VERY FEW BUSINESSES are completely independent. Even as a primarily one-man show myself, I still rely to a great deal on partners for marketing, lead generation, even fulfillment of services.

It’s crucial to have the best people you can. Especially because you might have just as much business reliance on them as you would with employees, with far less control.

The trick is to align around your mission and values.

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ABSOLUTELY AMAZING THINGS HAPPEN when you stick to a great mission for years.

I wrote about The ShareLingo Project a couple of years ago, so I was super excited when James Archer contacted me about what’s been happening.  It turns out that he’s just 22 days away from launching his new book about developing programs which build cross-language learning through cross-cultural relationships.

Quick synopsis: ShareLingo brings together small teams of English and Spanish speakers where they learn the foreign language from each other while building personal relationships and deep appreciation for culture.  Feel free to check out that previous article for more of the story.

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THE CUSTOMER IS COMPLAINING. That employee didn’t show up for work. It’s getting near tax time and you’re not sure what that’s going to look like. And the dog needs to go to the vet.

And that’s just in the first 15 minutes this morning.

Running a successful business is a challenge every minute of every day. Guess what? The buck stops with the business owner, so it seems like you’re sucked into EVERYthing.

There’s a way to deal with this, and I’m not talking drugs.

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CONCERN ABOUT OUR FOOD SOURCES has increasingly been a critical issue of the 21st century.

We know that enormous agricultural enterprises can be highly efficient, but tend to eliminate healthy diversity in what we eat.  And we worry about the environmental cost of transporting our food all over the globe.

I was fascinated, then, to talk with Michele Ostrander, the owner and CEO of RevoGrow.  It’s a company dedicated to connecting restaurants, stores and consumers with local growers.

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THERE MIGHT BE A  GREAT REASON why you feel like your business is just grinding away week after week, but not making progress on what’s most important.

Often it’s because you’re not tracking that important stuff.

Sure, you’re on top of revenue and expenses, inventory and backlog.  But rarely is that the PURPOSE of your business.  What is?

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ANY BUSINESS OWNER has a very interesting dance – to be immersed in the details while staying aligned with their bigger mission and goals.  Honestly, this is one of the powerful ways that my clients use my coaching: To ensure that we stay connected with the big picture.

Otherwise, they tend to never get away from the unending onslaught of details and day-to-day issues.

So how do you stay on top of this?  Actually, it’s pretty practical: Read the rest of this entry »

THINGS DON’T GO SMOOTHLY all the time.

 

Yes, you’re on a powerful mission.  But danger happens:

  • Regulations change
  • New competitors arise
  • A key employee leaves

So how do you navigate when things turn dark and threatening?

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T

he mission of your business is part of an amazing story.

That story starts with a cast of characters who encounter what seems to be an insurmountable barrier.  The tension mounts and the music swells.

Coming in to save the day is … your company!  The hero of the story, with your amazing product, an awesome culture, and a message which change these people’s lives.

It’s absolutely thrilling.

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THERE ARE TIMES when it’s good to step back outside my business.

A great example is the discussion I had with someone this week, where we were talking about the larger picture around our country.

Despite all the anxiety this last year has produced, I find that we still have an amazing and unique form of government.  It’s not perfect by any means, but I have deep respect for something which has lasted well over 200 years.

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PROGRESS COMES FROM BEING CLEAR. But of course it’s real easy to say that, right?

The problem is that it’s real easy to let the urgent overtake the important.  Constantly.

Here’s a simple example.  It seems like in between my meetings today, that I’ve been beating my email inbox back.  Right now it has 29 messages in it, but every time a new one comes in I have to pay attention.

Just in case it’s something urgent.

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