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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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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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seasonTO EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON.

One of the biggest challenge that we have in directing business is to know when to hold the course steady, versus changing things up. In fact, you’re probably doing both simultaneously in different aspects.

As you know, I’m a fan of cycles, seasons, holidays, and the general rhythm of life.  Not because I’m easily bored, but because it helps to rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul.

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WE JUST SURVIVED the most contentious election cycle in my lifetime.

There’s a lot of people who feel injured right now.  But our strength as a country is being able to pull together for the good of the nation after each election.

What we’re seeing is directly applicable to running a company.

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RyanRYAN WALLACE OPENED A GREAT PUB here in Fort Collins three years ago.  William Oliver’s Publick House has great food, wonderful drinks … It’s a place that you enjoy taking friends.

But there’s a lot more to the story.

I found out that they instituted a no-tipping policy last September, so I was eager to find out why he made the decision and what the results have been.  After all, very few restaurants have the courage to make this magnitude of change.

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ALMOST EVERY INDUSTRY has some kind of seasonality.  SeasonsWhen I talk to someone about their business, it’s usually fascinating to dig into the cycles which are natural for them.

This came to mind today because I had a chance to talk with a lady who’s starting up a great business bringing products from South America and Asia here to Colorado.  I suspect that many of these products will be used as gifts, which means that she’ll be connected to the gift-giving occasions around Christmas, Mother’s Day, and so on.  Birthdays happen year round, of course, so that may help even out the revenue stream a little.

Her primary selling methods will be on her website and via markets and similar events – which means lots of activity during the warmer months.

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LEE Lee PorterPORTER is one of three founders of InnovatioNews, a news organization that targets entrepreneurship and innovation in Colorado USA.

It’s an all-electronic publication, not printed on paper.  The focus is on high quality news and other digital content which is on the IN website, distributed via email, pushed through social media and placed strategically on other websites. InnovatioNews is jumping on the age of new media with full enthusiasm – which is a pretty great fit, given their subject.

This company is jumping on the age of new media with full enthusiasm – which is a pretty great fit, given their subject.

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CONFESSION: I HAVE started business which failed.  OK, I’ve admitted it.

Dangerous watersBut you know what?  It’s not the end of the world.  It’s a natural part of the cycle of learning.

Yes, I realize that doesn’t alleviate the pain very much, especially as you’re going through the process.  But you also can’t let the prospects of failure keep you from ever taking a risk.

How do we think through this?

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BACK IN MAY I mentioned that Google would bear watching, because it seemed like they might be losing some of what made them special as a company.  So it was interesting that I ran across a Quartz article which discussed the death of Google’s “20% time” policy.

You may not be aware of this, but it was a HUGE DEAL in the high tech industry.  It was astounding that a company would give every employee 20% of their work time to pursue unrelated opportunities.

When I started at HP back in 1978, there were some philosophies which were similar to this, including the concept of the “G-job” as a sanctioned means of working on unassigned projects.

But 20% of your time, a full day every week?  That’s outrageous!

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