Business / 26.12.2016

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably surrounded by amazing success stories. I know I am. It seems like everyone is getting funding, doubling every year, and selling at ridiculous multiples. And there you are…wondering if you’ll even make payroll. It’s the entrepreneurial equivalent of comparing your body to Kate Upton’s (or whoever makes guys feel inadequate). Need a reality check? Back some Kickstarter campaigns. You’ll see how the sausage is made…and when it isn’t. Patent issues, delivery nightmares, missing funding goals, and just general failure. Now realize I’m not suggesting you look there for excuses, just for reality. ...

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. ...

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....