Make a Buck or Make a Difference?

What do you think about this quote from Tom Brokaw? Is it easier to make a buck than a difference?

I look at this and think “Transactional versus Relational”… and relationships are hard, thus, making a difference is hard. Okay…how about an example.

Here in the south, we have the Publix grocery store chain. They do lots of “little things” right but one of the most visible is that they offer to take your groceries to the car for you. Nah, it’s more than that…they assume they are going to unless you tell them no…and they don’t allow tipping!

So why is that important? Because any one of the millions of grocers in the US will execute a transaction with you, Publix wants to make a difference!

In my business coaching practice, I often talk with business owners and leaders who are too focused on making a buck and they miss the opportunity to make a difference! Frequently this is rooted in a cash flow problem but more often than not, they just aren’t thinking about it. Why should they worry about it? Why should YOU worry about it?

Publix is far from the cheapest option. Their location closest to our house, in fact, two of their locations here are across the street from a WalMart…and yet they are always hoppin’! Why? Because they make a difference!

Spend some time today thinking about how to put your customer first, what that will look like for you, and how you can make a difference in THEIR day! Leave a comment below and let us know how you’re going to do it!

Find the Will to Win

transformation for the week: From afraid to confident / courageous
For Today: Finding the will to win

Do you have what it takes to win? Are you willing to do whatever it takes?

I had a terrible boss once. No, I mean REALLY bad! Combine that with my stubborn streak and what do you get? I became determined to stay at the company longer than he did. That vision, that mission, gave me the will to put up with a LOT of crap!

For many people, the ‘will to win’ is something soldiers or athletes need but you don’t need it in your role, right? Well, maybe! I hate to break this to you but every day won’t be a great day, in fact, some days will be downright terrible. But even those aren’t the days when you need the will to win.

When you’ve been working on that big pitch, trying to land that game-changing client, or working diligently to open a new store…then you lose! The pitch get’s accidentally deleted, the game-changing client goes with someone else. The new store has a new neighbor…your biggest competitor!

THESE are the days you need the will to win!

Making Risky Progress

Is there something you’re not doing because it’s ‘risky’? Let’s talk about that…

We deal with risk every day. Driving a car, or for that matter just riding in a car, is risky! According to the CDC more than 32,000 people are killed and another 2 million are injured every year in car crashes! Okay…so it’s not risk you’re afraid of…

Maybe instead of saying you are avoiding risk, you could say you’re ‘playing it safe’ or ‘pursuing that safe career instead of the risky business or job opportunity with that startup. I say it has NOTHING TO DO WITH SAFETY!

Nope, you’re not looking for safety… you’re looking for predictability!

We’ve misused the word safety for so long, we don’t even realize it anymore. That job is no more safe than driving…in fact, IT’S MORE RISKY! In 2016, almost 20 million people were laid off or fired! 10x more than the number killed in car crashes!

So be honest, stop saying you want safety and acknowledge that you’re just comfortable with the predictable. THEN you can embrace the risk and start the change!

Will You Be Happy If You Get Where You Are Going?

Do you know where the road you’re on will take you?

I ask this question a lot and most of the time the answer resembles, “Um, yeah…I guess.” You have probably heard most of your life that if you study hard, get good grades, get a good job and work hard that you can finish happy. The problem is, what about the journey?

See, the reality is that you can do all those things, just like the checklist tells you to, and still have a miserable trip only to arrive at an empty destination. Kind of like that Chevy Chase movie Vacation. After ALL THAT…the park is closed.

So if following the checklist is not what you’re supposed to do…what SHOULD you do? Well, I have good news and bad news… First, the bad news, you’ll have to wait till next week to find out! What and how to change your trajectory is our topic next week on 7 Minutes In the Morning (be sure to watch and listen).

Now for the GOOD News…there is something you can do right now to start the change. Over the weekend I want you to think for yourself, not what anyone else says…what YOU say success looks like to you. Big vacation every year? Maybe three or four mini-vaca’s every year? Private jet or just a nice car. Sky’s the limit here…just take some time this weekend to do this exercise…

Grab a piece of paper, at the top write, “I envision a time when…” then spend the next few days writing out some bullet points to describe what success looks, feels, tastes, sounds and smells like to you.

Bring that with you next week, and we’ll start working on making that plan a reality for you!

Have an awesome weekend.


Have You Held On Too Long?

There’s a fine line between committed and crazy, have you crossed it?

I once coached a business owner who was frustrated by their lack of progress in bringing their product to market. When I dug into the details, he told me he didn’t really have the time to work on that product because he was so busy answering customer calls for another product.

He was so focused on one product that he was blind to the success that was right in front of him!

Knowing when to stay the course and when to pivot is hard, no doubt about it. We have to have a tenacious spirit and a willingness to do the hard work, but there is also something to be said for taking the outcome that is right in front of you and living to fight another day.

Every situation and circumstance is different and ultimately you have to make these kinds of decisions on your own. But a great place to start is by asking, “which option moves me closer to my goal today?”

The answer may not be the sexy one, but it will very likely be the right one.

If you need help finding your why or setting meaningful goals for your business or you life, send me a message, I can help!

Keep Moving

How will you know you’ve ‘made it’?

It’s a pretty common question, especially in entrepreneur and business owner circles. So common in fact that we don’t really pay attention to what the question assumes…namely, that there IS such a thing as making it!

Too many business owners, leaders, and high performing individuals assume that the promised land awaits if they just keep their head down and soldier on. Do you feel that way? What if that’s wrong?

In my coaching practice, I’ve had the opportunity to work with several business owners as they were making an exit from their company. All but one of them looked back on their time owning the company with a perspective of failure, or at least missed opportunities. “We never really made the big time” kind of thinking. It’s not until I remind them that they did manage to keep their family fed, clothed, housed, kids through college, employees employed, suppliers supplying…that it finally dawns on them that they’d been “making it” all along.

So instead of seeing today’s trials and challenges as failing, or as Sir Winston says, “Going through hell,” consider it par for the course. These are the things that keep out the weak and give the strong the opportunity to shine!

So yes, if you feel as though you’re going through hell, by all means, keep going. You certainly don’t want to camp out there. But also consider just how bad today’s “hell” is…maybe it’s not so bad after all.

If you are having difficulty seeing the value in the journey or you’re just feeling the weight of ‘failure’, DM me…I can help!

Enjoy the journey.

Will You Answer the Call?

Would you answer your phone the next time it rings if you KNEW the call would change your life for the better? What if it MIGHT change things for the better?

Many people, maybe even you, look at an opportunity as a single big-thing delivered with a bow on top and a card with instructions. The outcome is guaranteed, just plug it in and the world is yours!

But just like many a birthday or Christmas present, the reality of that present is much different than what you’ve built it up to be. Oh yeah, it’s awesome to rip open the paper and see the gift you’ve been hoping for. Then you open the package and the dreaded “Some Assembly Required” or “Batteries Not Included” annotation that you overlooked on the outside of the box becomes painfully real.

So now that gift that you wanted more than anything else just lost a bit of its luster, work is required and now, maybe, you want it just a little bit less.

It’s hard to turn on the television, scan through the YouTube feed, or read through entrepreneur forums without finding a title similar to, “Looking for the next opportunity.” You’ve even seen it on LinkedIn “Between Opportunities.”

The problem is too many people are saying opportunity when they really mean gift. They want a plug-and-play solution when the reality is…it’s not that simple!

You are uniquely gifted, talented, and placed to do work that matters, and that work will call to you. Ever had an idea that just wouldn’t go away? Maybe it was a product idea. Maybe it was an open-ended offer to join a startup. You may find a career and income, maybe even prosperity without it, but you’ll never find fulfillment and the joy of knowing you are answering the call!

Whatever yours is, it is calling to you because THAT is YOUR work that matters. If you’re not answering the call, it’s not too late (remember yesterday! You’re not a tree!) If you’re not sure what that nagging emptiness is, I can help! Just ask.

Will you answer the call?

How to Create Happy Customers – Start With Yes

Have you ever had a request from a customer that was just completely ridiculous? Did you do it anyway?

The only thing that makes any request ridiculous is our perception of the request. If you run an ice cream food truck and someone comes up looking for coffee…you might think that’s ridiculous. For whatever reason, that lost customer didn’t think it was ridiculous… hhmmm. So adding a coffee pot, that’s pretty simple. Adding an espresso machine, not so simple.

Since our job is to solve problems for other people, it stands to reason that the more problems we can solve the more customers we will have. Now, we have to balance cost/benefit for sure, but the more times you say YES, the more happy customers you create…and the more happy customers you create, the better your bottom line will be.

Don’t get hung up on “that’s not what we do here, man” kind of thinking. Make your business about solving problems rather than ___. And if that scares you, good! Real growth only occurs outside your comfort zone! So get out there, say yes, and enjoy the benefits!

How To Deliver World Class Customer Service

When was the last time you experienced bad customer service?

See how easy it was to remember that time? I recently read some stats that said 1 in 3 BAD customer experiences get shared with friends and/or social media but only 1 in 14 GOOD experiences. So it stands to reason that we have to create many more positive experiences to get the same “credit” from our customers.

Piggybacking on yesterday’s topic, it’s the little things, done over and over, day after day, that create positive customer experiences. You might buy hundreds of things off eBay…then you get that one thing that doesn’t live up to its pictures…

And tying in the concept that you can really only have one priority at a time, the only real, long-term priority any business can have is making customers happy! Because without customers, there’s no need for anything else, right?

When everyone on the team is focused on how they can serve the customer, how THEY can solve problems for other people…that’s when it all just works. Now, YOU as the business owner/leader owe the team something as well…but we’ll save that for another day! (Be sure to like & follow if you don’t want to miss the answer!)

when everybody takes care of the customer every day, it just works. focus on your customer and everything else works out.