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HERE’S AN INTERESTING THOUGHT: In the mountains, the haze lies in the valley. To see further, you have to hike up.

It’s a wonderful metaphor for business.

Yes, you have to get down in the details; that’s where the progress is made. But it’s quite possible that you’re going in circles down there, so you have to pull yourself out occasionally to look at the big picture.

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REACHING THE TOP can be exciting … but it’s also a lonely place. I’ve actually found that the fear of reaching goals can hold people back.

Because when you reach the top, what’s next?

I happen to believe that it’s the business equivalent of the “mid life crisis.” Is this all there is? Wasn’t life supposed to be glorious by now?

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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 »

quoteTHIS IS THE TIME OF YEAR when we talk about planning and goal-setting.

Which is a wonderful thing.

But we have to recognize that longing for a better future and even planning for it is not what creates it.  At the end of the day, it’s about action.

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THIS TIME OF YEAR tends to get a bit slower for me.  More reflective, thoughtful.

For others, it can be crazy season.  Especially if you’re in retail.

But it’s still important to have a time when you can pull back from the details and look at the bigger picture.

thoughtful

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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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THIS IS THE TIME OF YEAR new-years-eve-2015when many people consider their resolutions.  I’m not a big fan of that, personally, because of the whole mindset that’s built up around the concept.

If I make a decision to do something, I’d like to set myself up for success.  If I instead want to just play around at something, that’s fine, but it’s not the same as making a commitment.

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JANUARY is a great time to start out with a clean slate.

Clean slatePerhaps you’ve heard of the powerful concept called “zero based budgeting.”  The idea is that you start from scratch and justify EVERY penny you’re spending.  Sounds painful, huh?

But there are times when you just get so much stuff built up around your plans and obligations that you lose sight of what’s truly important.

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