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Amazon.com is now over half a million people. For such an incredibly automated service, this is an astounding number of employees.

But you’d be hard pressed to find ANY business where its success doesn’t lie in the hands of its people.

So how do they manage this?

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You know exactly why employee motivation matters. Productivity. Teamwork. Customer service.

But I run across a whole lot of people who don’t know how to build and nurture that innovation. They think it’s just a magic thing that some people have and some don’t.That’s why I was excited to read Why Managers Must Ask 5 Questions to Empower Employees, one of Gallup’s top 2018 reports. It’s practical and powerful.

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Several things happened to me recently which reminded me that … the beauty in life comes from what also makes it messy.

I tend to be an organized guy, so it doesn’t feel comfortable when I’m dealing with things outside my control. I like to have a plan.

But I was part of an event organizing team recently, and the event was truly amazing. Yet it wasn’t as structured and tightly controlled as I would normally prefer. So why did it work so well?

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I’ve written profiles for about 80 values-driven businesses, and one of them shut down last week. As I think about it, there are probably 7 or 8 which have failed in the last five years.

That’s better than average, actually, as the SBA estimated that 95% of startups don’t survive their first five years. But it’s not a comforting thought.

As someone who is trying to do something special, even world-changing, in your business, why don’t statistics like this cause you to just give up?

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RECENTLY I HAD A GREAT DISCUSSION with a local service club about Conscious Capitalism. One of the members remarked that he’s heard about companies wanting to “do good” for decades. So what does Conscious Capitalism – and similar kinds of thinking – bring to the discussion?

This is a fabulous question! Because, in fact, some companies have engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and other kinds of philanthropy for a long time.

What’s new is how this is growing and accelerating. First, because people have been developing some core competencies and given us a language.

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It’s wonderful to be the boss, right? You get all the recognition and glory while your people do all the hard work.

Yeah, I don’t see that either.

The truth is that if you want to have time for your life, in any position at all, you have to create it.

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I just released a new webinar, so I wanted to make sure you’re able to take advantage of it. You can connect for free with the information down below – and these webinars are always live, not recorded.

I’m digging into the struggle that we all have with attracting the right customers. You may be lucky to have a sufficient flow of customers, but it’s easy to end up with ones who cause you more grief than they’re worth.

Plus, the revenue from these customers may be just fine, but what about the rest of the relationship? Because, if you’re following what I write, you probably have more impactful goals than just money. It’s your mission.

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At some point, you reach the end of your knowledge and expertise. You’re feeling exposed and vulnerable.

Especially if you feel you have to be the expert in the room.

The simplest, most powerful way out of this problem is just to … admit it. Tell the others that you’re at the end of what you know and need help.

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You have the power to make things easier or harder for your customers.

And for your employees, partners and community as well.

We all seem to complain a lot about how busy we are, how difficult life is, and how we feel everything is so complicated. A lot of that is just that we love to out-do each other on complaining, but there’s also some basic truth to it.

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The solar industry is growing, and rapidly. I’ve watched as the economics have shifted over the last couple of decades, and we’re now to the point where it can totally make sense to outfit your house or business with solar.

Ian Skor

That’s why I was excited to speak with Ian Skor recently. He and his partner Andrew Lyle started Sandbox Solar in 2015, focused on serving clients here in northern Colorado. It’s mostly residential for right now, but both residential and commercial are growing rapidly.

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