Education

Education
Everything Is Too Expensive Until It Isn’t

Everything Is Too Expensive Until It Isn’t

Evaluate, Featured
It's a common complaint. "We can't do that, it's too expensive." The problem is that most people define "expensive" too narrowly. In most cases, people look at an amount of money and determine if it is cheap or expensive. There is more to the calcualation. What makes something expensive is a lack of Return On Investment (ROI). That ROI is not necessarily financial. It depends on what your goals are. If the investment will put you far ahead of your competition it is probably not as expensive as you think. Your short-term ROI may be small but what will beating your competition do to long-term ROI. Another thing to look at is the long-term cost. Solar panels have been called too expensive. Of course the more a technology progresses the…
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Good Artists Copy. Great Artists Steal.

Good Artists Copy. Great Artists Steal.

Featured, Improvement
The phrase used as our headline is an old adage. It is not meant as encouragement to plagiarize. Rather it is an acknowledgement that no artistic achievement is totally original but inspired by those achievements that came before. Business is no different. While business people chase innovation, it comes to doing what someone else has done better than they did. Sam Walton owned a franchised five and dime store. When the company that he franchised from wouldn't let him operate the way he wanted, he dropped the franchise and rebranded as Wal-Mart. His vision of Wal-Mart wasn't original. He was actually inspired by what K-Mart was doing. Using K-Mart's model as a starting point, he continually updated his model. He copied K-Mart but then moved forward to do better than…
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Make Yourself Obsolete

Make Yourself Obsolete

Featured, Improvement
Most businesses focus on making themselves indispensable. A better tactic is to go in the opposite direction. Try continually making yourself obsolete. There are many businesses who are first to market but fail to adapt to changing conditions. When was the last time you ran a search on Altavista? Why haven't you used them? If you even remember them, you'll know they were made obsolete by Google. Think of yourself in Alravista's place. Which is better: be made obsolete by Google or develop your own service that makes your old one obsolete? No matter what business you are in, eventually you will be obsolete. It can be because of a superior offering from a competitor, as in Altavista's case or it can be a shift in an entire industry (think…
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Don’t Let Amazon Ruin Your Business

Don’t Let Amazon Ruin Your Business

Featured, Planning, Process
Amazon has grown into more than a retailer. It is a marketplace for companies to sell their products. As a marketplace it has allowed companies to reach a larger market for their products and smaller retailers to expand their businesses online. However, there is a growing group of companies that are relying on Amazon as their sole distributor. This isn't just manufacturers, but small retailers who are selling their inventory and individuals who are selling merchandise as a side hustle. Relying on Amazon is a bad business model. Here's why. Amazon competes with its partners: Amazon is currently being investigated for taking the data from its partner's sales and using ti to compete against them. If Amazon decides to undercut you or downgrade your listings so they appear further down…
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Lessons From Apollo 11

Lessons From Apollo 11

Featured, Innovation
Fifty years ago man first set foot on the moon. This achievement was considered impossible by some and represented a giant leap forward in technology. When John F. Kennedy first announced the goal of reaching the moon, it was unknown if we would be able to do it. Like many challenges that business faces, it was a learning experience and a teaching moment. There are lessons from putting man on the moon that we can all apply. Have A Clear Goal: Everyone involved with knew what the goal was. Put a man on the moon and bring him back successfully. As complicated as the project was, the goal was able to be summed up in that one sentence. Make your goal simple enough so that everyone understands it. Persistence: There…
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Succeed At Networking Events by Being Generous

Succeed At Networking Events by Being Generous

Attitude and Mindset, Communication, Featured
You're not the only one who walks into a networking mixer full of dread. Before you make a run for the door, try a different approach. Tell yourself that it isn't about you. Instead of trying to meet potential clients, or making another connection that will advance your career, focus exclusively on what you can do for the other attendees. Refrain from telling anyone about your own area of expertise and think about how you can help others in the room. Introduce yourself and immediately ask about them — who they are, why they're there, and what they're looking to achieve that evening. Then think about what connections you can make, what favors you might offer, what introductions you might broker. Not only will the event be more fun but…
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During A Virtual Meeting, Make Sure Everyone Understands The Discussion

During A Virtual Meeting, Make Sure Everyone Understands The Discussion

Communication, Featured
We all know how hard it can be to follow along on a conference call. When facilitating a virtual meeting, it’s your job to make sure everyone fully understands what’s going on. Compensate for any difficulties by acting as a moderator. Try the following: After each comment or question, briefly paraphrase what was said. For example, you might say: “That’s an important question. I agree that the production facility’s capacity is a major risk in this plan. Here’s what we know…” Summarize a comment: “So, in your experience, this research technique requires a lot of resources, maybe more than we have. What does everyone else think about that?” These summaries may slow down your meeting, but making sure everyone understands the discussion will save you time in the long run.
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Focus On The Basics

Focus On The Basics

Featured, Focus
There is a lot to take care of in business. Most business people focus on expanding. New customers, new products and services, etc. That expansion is crucial to growing your business. Just as important is the foundation that that business is built upon. As businesses grow, especially young businesses, there is a tendency to spread themselves thin in search of revenue. Business people think if someone is willing to pay for a something, they should offer it, whether or not it is their core competency. That leads to the company spreading out and losing focus. When you focus on your core competency, the revenue you are generating is worth more. Why? It takes less effort to generate revenue in your core competency than it is to provide whatever service happens…
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Why Join A Coaching Advisory Group?

Why Join A Coaching Advisory Group?

Featured, Improvement
The Modern Observer Group hosts Coaching Advisory Groups for executives and entrepreneurs. These groups have weekly calls and meet in person on a monthly basis. What do participants get from a Coaching Advisory Group? Aside from the benefits of a coach to assist you as needed when you are a member of a coaching advisory group you get the following benefits. You learn from peers which, has long been proven very effective.You receive candid and constructive feedback from peers who are in stable, profitable, seasoned businesses.You benefit from fellow peers experiences.You network with business to business peers by sharing advice, information, recommendations and referrals.You obtain immediate and objective feedback from business to business peers at every meeting.You participate in effectively and efficiently run confidential CEO Mastermind Forums facilitated by multiple highly…
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The Entrepreneur And The Side Hustle

The Entrepreneur And The Side Hustle

Attitude and Mindset, Communication, Featured, Focus, Planning
The gig economy provides new ways for entrepreneurs to enhance their earning and in some cases provide funding for their ventures. A side hustle can be an amazing tool for entrepreneurs. More than money, they can offer new ways to meet people and a way to exercise different skills and abilities. There is, however, a downside. Depending on what your side hustle is, it may impede your ability to establish yourself in your entrepreneurial field. If your side hustle came first, you have (if you've been successful) created a brand for yourself in hat side hustle. You'll need to expand that brand or target a different audience. If you've been selling essential oils, that audience may not accept you as a web designer. Target different markets for each job. If…
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