Business / 15.12.2016

I’m struck by how many owners settle for mediocre talent in key positions. Sometimes it’s loyalty, sometimes it’s fear, and sometimes it’s Ostrich Syndrome. A mediocre employee is a real risk. He can stall growth -- and spread a bad attitude through the organization. Here’s quick gut check: If he told you he got another job offer, would you make a counter and fight to keep him? Or would you wish him the best, or even be relieved he’s leaving on his own? If it’s the latter, develop an exit strategy and bring someone stronger into that position ASAP. ...

Marketing / 13.12.2016

When I was running NMG, copy was our most important – and needed – asset. So we looked everywhere for writers. Eventually, I realized there was one more place to look: under my nose. In fact, I ran contests inviting everyone on my team to take a shot at copy. And if their copy won, they’d get a bonus or a royalty. That technique led to emails that increased response 200-300% by people that never would have written copy otherwise. Is there more meat in your team than you realize? Offer a challenge and see what talent you might be...

Business / 08.12.2016

Ever build something with Legos? Before the Batmobile and Death Star kits came with blueprints, we used to just stick the blocks together. You’d be trying to make a dinosaur and suddenly realize it looked more like a building. What to do? Why, add a tail, of course. The problem is…now your T-Rex just looks like a skyscraper with a tail. Too often, that’s what we do in business. We try to fix things by patching the mistakes instead of pulling it apart, stepping back, and building it out the right way. So…is there an Empire State-dactyl in your business?...

Business / 06.12.2016

Whenever I start with a new client, we make an STFU list. You see, every leader has pet projects and ideas that the team hates dealing with—or thinks are more a distraction than an opportunity. Occasionally, the boss listens and will kill the project or take the idea off the table. But often the answer is “I know, but we’re doing it anyway.” By identifying which ideas aren’t up for discussion (the STFU list), we can map out how to work around (or in spite of) them instead of wasting time and energy trying to quash them....

Business / 01.12.2016

As you move up the ladder or your business grows, you’ll hold onto tasks from your old position too long. (It’s hard to give some things up.) Use this quick gauge to decide what you should keep doing and what you should delegate ASAP. Ask yourself: What do I need to DO? What do I need to REVIEW? What should I IGNORE? Be honest about how much something can really impact your business – and whether it’s a good use of your time and attention. And move as much to REVIEW and IGNORE as possible…so you can focus on GROW. ...