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JDOG JUNK REMOVAL is a fascinating new business here in northern Colorado.  I had never heard of it before, so I was surprised to find out that this rapidly-growing franchise operation is already at 73 locations around the country – and counting.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Chris Lewis this week, the new owner of the local franchise that opened in February 2017.

What’s amazing is the mission behind this company.

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FORNEY INDUSTRIES is a powerful company in Fort Collins.  Never heard of them?

Well, it’s nice to know that the family-owned business was born and raised in Fort Collins.

Forney Industries makes welding and metal-working equipment and parts.  It’s a fabulous business, powered from a solid reputation for delivering top value since 1932.

With about 220 employees worldwide, most in Fort Collins, they deliver their products through hardware, farm & ranch, automotive aftermarket, and industrial distribution stores.  They sell online, and their sales force also works directly with customers who do welding and metal working as a part of their business.

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WE WOULD LIKE TO THINK that we have a very generous culture.  And we pretty much do, in many respects.

But we struggle with receiving gifts, especially at the personal level.

We have lots of ways to deflect compliments and praise:

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Quid NoviYESTERDAY WE EXPERIENCED some great innovations in the business community.

At the Quid Novi Conference, I talked to all kinds of business leaders, all the way from startups to firms making billions of dollars.  What a great environment for learning from the best!

I was also honored to have Small Fish and Quid Novi award three of the most amazing, incredible innovators in Colorado!

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employee vpLAST WEEK I talked about marketing to your customers, versus actually delivering what you promise.

It turns out that this is even more critical for your employee base.

If you screw up with a customer, you can convince yourself that there’s plenty more where they came from.

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Newspaper brandsCOMPANIES SPEND AN INCREDIBLE amount on their marketing image.  But how often do you really see a brand message that well represents what that business actually delivers?

We’re really much more interested in how they behave than how they advertise.

I had a wonderful discussion this week with a group of Christian businesspeople, and we had a chance to explore this topic.

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EVERYTHING IS A DISASTER.  TitanicOr at least it seems that way.

But you get a different perspective when you’re able to reflect after the fact.  It’s human nature.

We’re expert at focusing on the detail.  If we didn’t do that, the magnitude of everyday experience would overwhelm us!  But it also means that we shut out 99% of the world to focus on the 1%.

Especially when it comes to problems.

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MANY OF US STRUGGLE to keep the energy going.  knight-321443_640Running a business is hard work!

It can be a deep test of character.

I’ve found that persistence is partially an innate characteristic, but is also a skill which can be intentionally developed.

I was amazed (and grateful!) to discover that my 2-year-old’s weakness was having the attention span of a goldfish.  Read the rest of this entry »

AS YOU WALK IN the front door of C3 Real Estate Solutions, you see three words on the glass in the lobby:

Character, Culture, Commitment
That’s not a terribly uncommon thing; a number of businesses like to prominently display key words to make an impression on their customers.  Fresh!  Best deal anywhere!  Innovation!

John and JesseBut when I attended their Chamber Red Carpet event a few months ago, I got the distinct impression that the founders, Jesse Laner and John Simmons, actually run the company this way.  That’s NOT common.

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stumbleYOUR BUSINESS screwed up. Publicly.

You had that blowup with the big customer, and they’re threatening a lawsuit.  The press is snooping around and is going to eviscerate you on the front page of the business section.

Things are getting ugly and the pressure is on.

Like it or not, this is bound to happen to you a few times during your lifetime.  Read the rest of this entry »