Balancing Mindfulness

Balancing Mindfulness

Attitude and Mindset, Evaluate, Featured
Mindfulness is sweeping corporate culture. It's the hot buzzword of the moment. It's practice brings great benefits. However it is not the ned all and be all. It needs to be balanced in order for you to succeed. What does this mean? Let's start with what mindfulness is. Mindfulness is the act of being in the moment. It is focusing on what you are doing right now. In practice most people focus on their breathing to clear their minds, but you can focus on any activity you are doing. It is about being aware of yourself, your activity and your surroundings in that moment. It is a great way to resent your mind and stay focused. What do we mean that it needs to be balanced. Like most things, people…
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Investing Is Not Spending

Investing Is Not Spending

Evaluate, Featured
We're all concerned with the bottom line. If you don't have money coming in faster than it goes out, your business can close down. This limited mindset makes us scrutinize every purchase. When deciding whether or not to commit funds to something, you need to ask yourself a question: are you spending money or investing it? Spending money means you are giving money in exchange for goods or services of relatively equal value. Furthermore, when you spend money, the item you are spending on loses value over time. This doesn't mean that spending is always a bad decision. It is a decision that should be carefully thought out. An investment provides more value over time. This isn't limited to investment vehicles (stocks, bonds, etc.). It includes education, self-improvement, professional certifications…
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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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Your MBA Isn’t Worth What You Think It Is

Your MBA Isn’t Worth What You Think It Is

Evaluate, Featured, Improvement, Leadership
The exalted MBA degree is suffering a downturn. Fewer people are entering MBA programs. There is a good reason for that. The MBA is not worth the time and money. How many great companies were built by people with MBAs? You'll be hard pressed to find one. How many companies were run by people with MBAs when they collapsed? That number is a lot larger. The financial instruments that caused the great recession were created by MBAs. Why is this? What you don't learn in an MBA program is how t run a company. You also don't learn how to manage people. What you are taught is business theory. When you get5 out of the classroom, that theory isn't worth much. Academics have had to admit a few hard truths…
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All Comparisons Are Not Equal

All Comparisons Are Not Equal

Evaluate, Featured
Mark Twain once said, "There are lies, damned lies, and statistics." There was a recent instagram post from a company called Arbonne. Arbonne is a network marketing/MLM company that sells cosmetics and vitamins. The company was touting the fact that their growth rate was higher than Google and Amazon. While the statistic is technically true, it's also incredibly misleading. How can they claim to have a growth rate larger than those incredibly successful companies? It is simple. When a $20 million company grows to $30 million it has a 50% growth rate. For a billion dollar company to match that rate, they need to grow $500 million. By the same token if you invest a dollar and get a 1000% return, you have $10. A fantastic growth rate but hardly…
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Follow The Facts

Follow The Facts

Evaluate, Featured
It happens all the time. A project goes off the rails. The projected results fail to come in. Yet a business continues to pour good money after bad to keep it going because management believes in the project. While belief is a wonderful thing, you need to follow the facts. When a project you are invested in, emotionally as well as financially, it becomes difficult to evaluate it objectively. Without that objective evaluation, these projects can go from a minor failure to massive drain on resources. How can you make sure a project is evaluated properly? Step away from the project: Look at what's going on as if it were happening to someone else. Would you advise someone else to take the action you have if you weren't involved?Ask for…
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Demographics Vs. Psychographics

Demographics Vs. Psychographics

Evaluate, Featured
The need to understand who your ideal customer is comes down to finding what your customers have in common. Most business people describe their customers in terms of demographic information. To get a better feel, you should look at their psychographic information. Demographic segmentation — i.e., defining audiences by factors such as age, gender, marital status, income, etc. — has been used by marketers for decades to help define their target audience profiles. But as countless real-world marketing campaigns have shown, it is not uncommon for people who fall within the same demographic profile to act in radically different ways. Psychographics include characteristics of an audience that are slightly more intangible, such as interests, habits, attitudes, emotions, and preferences. Psychographic segmentation is the act of identifying and classifying groups of people…
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Know Your Strengths

Know Your Strengths

Evaluate, Featured
To get ahead in your business or career, whether you are trying to get a  job, a promotion, or a new venture off the ground you need to know your strengths. If you can’t articulate them, you can’t expect your boss or potential employers, partners, or customers to either. Here’s a four-step process to identifying what makes you great: List your strengths. Include skills and knowledge you’ve acquired through experience and education as well as softer intrinsic strengths, such as insightfulness or empathy.Ask for input. Ask colleagues for honest feedback.Revisit past feedback. Reread old performance reviews or think back on coaching from previous bosses.Modify your list. Adjust your original list to reflect what you’ve learned. Make sure the strengths are specific so that they are credible and useful.
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The Solution to a Tough Problem Isn’t to Overthink It

The Solution to a Tough Problem Isn’t to Overthink It

Attitude and Mindset, Evaluate, Featured
We all like to consider ourselves smart, but raw intelligence isn’t everything. When we get stuck on a problem, sometimes it’s because we’re overthinking it. Pay attention to when focused thinking isn’t getting you anywhere; perhaps it has turned into obsessing over the same answers or approaches. Consider whether experimenting with a new strategy or talking ideas through with others might be more likely to result in success. Take breaks to let your brain relax and get unstuck. Expand your range of skills for reaching insights and coming up with new ideas; don’t be someone who sees every problem as a nail because your only tool is a hammer. And when you do find yourself ruminating, disrupt it by doing a few minutes of an absorbing activity, such as a…
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Evaluate Whether That Latest Digital Trend Is Worth Adopting

Evaluate Whether That Latest Digital Trend Is Worth Adopting

Evaluate, Featured
No one wants to pass up a useful innovation. At the same time, you don't want to jump after every "next big thing." Jumping into new apps and programs can be a huge drain of time and money if you're not careful. When deciding where and when to invest in technologies consider whether the new technology does one of the following in a unique way: Eliminates customer pain. Know your customers’ biggest pain points, and assess whether the new technology alleviates them.Elevates customer service. Any new technology should materially improve customer service. Introducing something new should enable better delivery of the core components of your brand promise.Creates a differentiated, personalized customer experience. Does the technology create a purchase experience that’s unique to each customer? If a new technology doesn't meet these criteria, take…
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