Seeking Awesome

Real Talk on Business, Career and Life

It’s My Birthday, I’ll Take It Shaken Not Stirred


“Three measures of Gordon’s; one of vodka; half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it over ice, and add a thin slice of lemon peel.”

~ James Bond, Casino Royale

Yes, today is my birthday. As much as I don’t like getting older it is better than the alternative. I haven’t been this excited for a birthday in awhile. There is nothing special going on, it’s a Thursday after all. What excites me is that last year is over. Yeah, last year pretty much sucked but I survived.

This year will be better. There are a number of opportunities ahead and this has me re-energized. I’ve reset the blog. I’ve replaced my hip and can move without pain. My wife and kids are healthy and there is a new Bond movie coming out in November. Optimism abounds.

James Bond: “In your defense, a moving target is harder to hit.”

Moneypenny: “Then you better keep moving.”

~ Skyfall

Good advice, let’s keep moving!

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Three Areas To Watch Out For As Your Company Begins To Grow

Start upYou launched your business. You have built out the product, you are getting favorable reaction from your early market entry, you even got some early financing. Things are going great. This entrepreneurship thing is a piece of cake, right?

WARNING ~ Celebrate early success but don’t take your foot off the gas. 

There is a life cycle to business growth and even if things are working at the beginning there are a lot of different issues you will have to deal with in the future that can derail your business. I have been working with businesses for over 20 year and I know those entrepreneurs that are committed, passionate and driving forward succeed long term.

Here are a few things to watch out for early on…

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Great and Horrible ~ Same Thing

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom time to time I get asked to judge business plan competitions.  I used to judge a lot of these type of things but my schedule intruded on my ability to to put the proper time into understanding the business so I now decline most of the requests.  Recently, however, things worked out so I was able to judge a competition.  As I listened to the pitches I noticed a few things that you can use for your business.

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Make Your Customer Service A Solution Machine

Hero (2)I recently found myself dealing with an issue that none of my staff was involved in but it “technically” fell into my department. As I worked to piece everything together I felt like a police detective trying to solve a crime by questioning uncooperative witnesses. I spent six months on this before we came to a resolution.  More than once during this time I thought what the hell am I taking my time away from my job to fight this fight. The thing was that even though I had nothing to do with this it had to be fixed and I had to do it.

I often have new business owners tell me their value proposition is great customer service. I firmly believe that high quality customer services is expected. Saying that you have great customer service isn’t enough to get you business but bad service will certainly lose you business. The competition is to strong for anyone to take a “not my problem” position. Customers just want their problem fixed and they don’t care who fixes it.

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Dealing With Failure

embrace-failure1Looks like I just dropped the F-Bomb. Not the one you might be thinking but rather “Failure”.

Fear of failure is paralyzing to most of us in some way. Fear of failure often keeps us from trying new things and having new experiences. Fear of failure keeps many of us locked into the status quo.  For some of us we make up for it in other areas of our lives but for others it dooms them to live lives of quite desperation.

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