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communityCOMMUNITIES HAVE SPRUNG TO THE TOP of my mind this week.

Each of us has communities that we participate in and contribute to.  Social groups.  Family.  Work.  Spiritual support.  And other friendships.

This is much more important than we usually recognize.

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buckstopsherefrontsmallYOUR PURPOSE AND VALUES drive everything you do.  Fantastic!

But what drives it over time?  What keeps you from getting distracted by the pressures of the day and communication difficulties?

What often happens is that only one person is truly accountable to the vision: The founder.  But is that person involved in every decision and discussion?  Not if you’ve grown to any size.

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growth-1140534_640ARE YOU DOING SOMETHING AMAZING in your business?

I’m seeing a powerful trend in 2015 and 2016 of companies which are out to change the world.  Or at least their corner of the world.

It’s almost as if people are waking up to the fact that there’s more to life than money.  Not that money’s bad, but that it doesn’t actually change the world for the better until you apply it to making something better.

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Snowman_New_Year_cardMOST PEOPLE I’M TALKING WITH are positive about the outlook for 2016.

Personally, my 2015 was transformative, and I’m incredibly excited about the new projects I’m working on right now.  I’ll be talking about that here on the blog real soon.

It’s a bit surprising, actually, the optimism that I’m seeing.  Read the rest of this entry »

new yearIF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, there’s nothing special about the beginning of a new year.

Yet it’s amazing how much importance we place on this event.  Especially when you realize that there’s different calendars, with all kinds of various starting dates.

But here we are.

The importance of a new year is what we choose to place on it.  Read the rest of this entry »

partnership-526416_640THIS WEEK I had the wonderful opportunity to spend some quality face-to-face time with one of my key partners.  It was the best investment I could have possibly made in defining the future course of our partnership.

On the surface, the work we were doing was about tasks and projects and how this would add value to both of our companies.

The greater joy, though, came from our understanding of each others’ values and goals.  Despite having worked together for five years, we each learned a great deal by meeting up in person and taking substantial time to talk about that non-task stuff.

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scale-307966_640YOU WANT TO BE AWESOME at everything. I get that.

The problem is that the real world gets in the way!

Here’s an example:  You want to attract awesome, talented employees.  But your business plan also says you’re very tight on expenses.

Which means you probably can’t pay people what they’re worth.  Perhaps you’ll save money on hiring less-than-top-notch people, then spend a bundle training them up.

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WE’RE ALL SEEKING APPROVAL.

Gold starI’m convinced that deep down inside, and as social beings we want recognition from those we most care about.

Somewhere in there, we want Mommy to be proud of that artwork on the refrigerator.  We want to get a gold star sticker for accomplishment.

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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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THERE IS A POPULAR PHRASE, Alligator“You are what you eat.”  If you’re unfamiliar with it, the idea is that you should be careful about what you put in your body – because it is the foundation for what your body becomes.

This is a powerful concept that can be applied to other domains as well.

A number of years ago, I started noticing that my state of mind reflected what I was watching, listening to, and reading at the time.  Read the rest of this entry »