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Goodbye, Norman Schwarzkopf

By | Accountability, Follow-through, Leadership | No Comments

DesertStorm011“The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in battle.”


Norman Schwarzkopf (AKA:”Stormin’ Norman”)
Commander, US Central Command
Commander, Coalition Forces – Desert Storm
Died Yesterday (12/27/2012)

I remember seeing “Stormin’ Norman” on TV during Desert Storm. He calmly explained how new technology in weaponry was allowing U.S. and allied forces to steer a missile directly through a window and into the target of choice. We saw how the camera on another missile destroyed a bridge just before an Iraqi military vehicle started to cross. I was 14 at the time and just beginning to take notice of the outside world.


It seemed like everyone liked Schwarzkopf. Why was that? 


Very simple reasons:

  • Integrity played an important role in everything he did. There have been many commanders of our US forces that have had their integrity questioned – some of them very recently. I believe it was his integrity that led him to decline a promotion to Chief of Staff of the US Army and to his retirement in August after the end of Desert Storm. In retirement, he didn’t abuse his notoriety for his own self aggrandizement, but to promote causes he believed in. 
  • He communicated well with everyone. He shared as much information as he could. Never did you get the feeling he was holding something back. He held many more press conferences regarding Desert Storm than was expected and provided ample information and access to those seeking reasonable information.
  • He expected the best from himself and everyone around him. In his autobiography “It Doesn’t Take a Hero”, Schwarzkopf relates how he risked his own life to save his soldiers in a minefield in Vietnam. Crawling through the minefield to an injured soldier after he himself had been injured, he pinned him down so the flailing man would not set off any more mines.

He later told his men regarding how strict he was: “When you get on that plane to go home, if the last thing you think about me is ‘I hate that son of a bitch’, then that is fine because you’re going home alive.”

I admired him. A leader in every sense of the word. We need more leaders like him in our government, our communities, our businesses and our homes.



Do You Have One Yet?


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Fiscal Cliff . . .

By | Accounting, Finance, life style, Systems, Uncategorized | No Comments

mayan_calendar1“Be Prepared”


Boy Scout Motto 


If you are reading this, the world has not ended – yet. Our politicians battle about the impending fiscal cliff that will spin the entire US economy into a financial disaster worse than the Great Depression. At the same time, our National Debt continues to rise, random mass shootings seem to be  happening everywhere, unemployment is still high, and any other headline you see in the news may impact your life at any moment


How do you protect your business and family from all of these impending catastrophes?


I’ll call on Stephen Covey to start. It boils down to circles of influence. Most of us have little influence on the debate in Washington. We vote, write our congressman, stay abreast of what is happening, and let our voices be heard in various other ways. Beyond that, we have little influence.


What we can do is prepare our selves, businesses, and families for the most probable of situations?

  • Reduce or Eliminate Debt. You don’t need to fear what the banks or lenders will do when they are in need of cash. Any of them call “call the loan” at any time and expect all of the debt to be payed back. Without debt, all cash flow is completely in your control.
  • Cash reserves. Keep six months of cash put away in an account. I suggest two accounts: one for your business and one for your family. The amounts there do not need to be extravagant – just enough to keep either the business from folding if there is no revenue and enough to take care of the bare necessities of your family (food, shelter, heat). These accounts can also be used when an incredible investment opportunity presents itself.
  • Educate Yourself. When the Zombie Apocalypse comes, have a basic knowledge of survival techniques: find shelter, build fires, find clean water and food. Not only will it protect you from the Zombie Apocalypse, but should you ever get stranded in a snow storm or caught in a natural disaster you will be ready.The same is true for your business. Knowledge and skill will help your business survive almost any catastrophe.
  • Have a Plan. This is something that they taught us in elementary school. If there is a fire, you should have an escape route, a back-up and a meeting place. The same is true for any other catastrophe that may occur. Know what you would do if . . .


When you are prepared, fear will not be the basis of your decision.

We Need You!

We are putting together Accountability Partnerships! This is a new accountability and educational format I have developed based on Napoleon Hill’s Master Mind.

Learn more at the Accountability Partners Website!



Sandy Hook Tragedy

By | Accountability, life style | No Comments

My Daughter With Her Kindergarten Teacher

"I am very mindful that words cannot match the depths of your sorrow. But whatever measure of comfort we can provide, we will provide…. Newtown, you are not alone."

President Barack Obama
speaking at the memorial service of the Sandy Hook Tragedy

I heard the news driving from one appointment to the next. “Children from the school have been moved to a firehouse nearby where parents are arriving to pick them up. Some of these parents will not bringing their child home.”


I teared up at that moment. I reflected as I drove down Hwy 3 on my own children, ages 6 and 9.


I hugged them a little more eagerly when I picked them up that day. It made my daughter’s gymnastics demonstration on Saturday that much sweeter.


While we all ask why and how and who is to blame, let’s not overlook the treasures we have – our own children. Hug them a little tighter, kiss them a little more often, tell them how important they are a little more often.


A Hunch

By | Leadership | No Comments

“I go by instinct. . . . I don’t worry about experience.”


Barbara Streisand  


I sat with the pen in my hand staring at the form. Something in me could not fill it out. This had been my dream I had worked so hard for. I knew it wasn’t the right thing to do.

I started wrestling at nine. I was a short, skinny kid; and an easy target for bullies.

My parents couldn’t afford martial arts or boxing. My mom stumbled on an introduction to wrestling class with the Parks & Recreation Department. I stepped on the mat looking for the ropes and the turn-buckles so I could become like Super Fly Jimmy Snuka of WWF fame. Instead I discovered a passion that I still carry today. It took two years before I started winning, but I loved it.

Many years later, there was the form: a walk-on offer from a college. With any luck, I could earn a scholarship before the end of the first year. I knew it wasn’t the right thing for me. I opted instead to start junior college and worked my way through getting my MBA with part-time jobs and student loans.

Looking back, I am grateful I didn’t take the plunge. My academics would have suffered. I would have never met my wife. I may have never found the path to becoming a business coach and consultant – something I love more then wrestling. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.


Call it intuition, a sixth sense, your gut, Karma, or the Holy Spirit.


Whatever you call it; Trust it.

Building Blocks

Building Blocks

By | Cost Controls, Finance, Leadership, Marketing, Operations, Systems | No Comments

“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”


Michelangelo (1475-1564)

A business is nothing more than a system of systems that create value. So examining those systems, there are five basic systems every business should have. I call them the 5 Building Blocks of Business.

  • Marketing
  • Management/Leadership
  • Operations
  • Controls
  • Finance

Of course within those categories, the specific systems that create widgets, tools, knick-knacks, food, services or experiences depends entirely on you as the business owner.


In each of my Kicks In the Butt, I try to address each of these individually. Today I am taking a step back and looking at the system as a whole. I am breaking down my own business into these systems with the intent of having them all work together in a seemless fashion.


Take a couple of hours over the next few weeks to review your systems. Where is the hand-off from one system to the next? What systems do you have within each of these “Business Building Blocks”


I have a very simple diagnostic for reviewing these building blocks. Email me or request it here if you want a copy sent to you.



Who are you accountable to?

Check In

By | Accountability, Leadership, Marketing, Time Management | No Comments


Who are you accountable to?

Who are you accountable to?

“The more accountable I can make you, the easier it is for you to show you’re a great performer. “


Mark V. Hurd (1957- )

Co-President, Oracle Corporation
Former CEO, Hewlett-Packard


It’s lonely being an entrepreneur, business owner, or leader. We are often left to “figure it out” our selves or to have great ideas, only to fall behind or poorly implement because of our own shortcomings. Sometimes, it’s not lack of desire, skill or time. Just being human gets in the way.


A big piece of survival in business is accountability. There are a few stalwart individuals who can make it on their own – most of us are not them. We need someone to hold us to the commitments we make to ourselves. As I coach, this is a large majority of what I do.


There other accountability measures we can take. One that was clearly defined almost a century ago was the “Master Mind Group”. Napoleon Hill, in his book Think and Grow Rich, listed it among the basic principles of success that he observed when interviewing the most successful people of his time.


Do you really want your business to succeed?

Would you like more than just making ends meet?


Get a coach or a mastermind group.


If you would like more information on a master mind group, please check out “Why A Master Mind?”.

What's Your Style?

Your Style

By | Leadership | No Comments

“Leadership cannot really be taught. It can only be learned.”


Harold S. Geneen (1910-1997)
As CEO of ITT, (1959-1977) grew annual revenue from $765 million to $17 billion

Many universities have tried to define leadership and the important aspects of it. They have discovered many important attributes, skills and techniques that are critical to success as a leader.

One of the leading theories on leadership describes four specific styles of leadership:

  • Directive
  • Supportive
  • Consultative
  • Empowering


The interesting thing about leadership style, is that each has it’s time and place. However, we all have our “default” style that we seem to use first.

Most of us would like to think we were “empowering” leaders. The truth is, most of us tend toward the middle two.

As you develop as a leader – none of us are done developing – have you understood what it means to be a leader? Do you change your style to fit the situation and the people involved in order to be more effective? Which is your “default” style?


Yelling Is Not Selling

By | Marketing, Sales | One Comment

“The sole purpose of an advertisement is to sell a product”


Claude Hopkins (1866-1932)
Author of “Scientific Advertising”. Considered the Father of Modern Advertising.



We are all looking for that “silver bullet” that’s going to bring hoards of people into our business or overload our phone line wanting what we offer. While there is no single trick, there are some aspects to advertising that many businesses miss:


  1. Define the purpose and goal of the ad. Is there a specific volume of sales or responses you hope to get from the ad? Just putting your logo, name and phone number in the ad is not going to get a response. Usually only about 3% of your target market is actively looking for your offer – what are the chances they will act only on your “name, rank and serial number”?
  2. Forget branding. I do suggest you have a strong logo and recognizable name. However, branding is a difficult to quantify benefit. Generally your brand strength depends on the recognition and reputation of your business or product. Your brand will be built over time through great service and better product – not usually through advertising. Most small businesses don’t have time or money to spend on branding because you need sales now. Leave branding to Coca-Cola and McDonalds.
  3. Give a compelling reason to act. Do you have information they need to make a decision? Will you help them escape some great catastrophe?
  4. Have only ONE step for your market to do. In sales, often the sole purpose in the first phone call is to get an appointment. They know they will not sell in the first couple of minutes over the phone. Your ad should be similar –one purpose and one action.
  5. Develop a strong headline and copy. Get their attention without yelling at them. Define the problem and solution. Help them see the gap between where they are and where they want to be. Make them aware of an impending disaster they need to be prepared for. Please stop yelling at us.
  6. Test it. Test it. Test it. Give an ad a short run. If it doesn’t get you the response you expect, edit and try it again. Spend a little money to see if it works. When you find what does perform well –blow it out of the water.
  7. Have a plan. The ad should be part of your overall strategy. Now is the time to put one together if you have not already.

Don’t let all your advertising become only about steep discounts, starbursts and “Act Now” calls to action. You don’t have to yell at your market to communicate your value.


Remember the lifetime value of a customer. Don’t get so focused on today’s sale, that you make it difficult for them to buy from you again. Keep your promise and create consistency between the look and feel of the ad and the actual customer experience.



91 Hours Every Year

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

“Short as life is, we make it still shorter by the careless waste of time”


Victor Hugo (1802-1885)
Considered the most well-known French Romantic writer

I was going over my calendar the other day and wondering where all my time was slipping away. I knew I had time wasters creeping in and was making new resolutions to get rid of the “extra”.


To convince myself how much time I was wasting, I did a little math:


Suppose I spent 15 minutes each day doing something that was a complete waste of time.


15 min= 0.25 hours

365 days=1 yr

therefore: 0.25 X 365 = 91.25


That’s 91.25 hrs wasted every year if I spent 15 minutes each day doing somthing useless!


Eliminating weekends, holidays: 65 hrs wasted in a year!


Averaged between the two it’s about 2 work weeks more in my life.



How many calls could I make?

How much could I get done on that book I want to write?

What could I do with my family in that much time?


Think about that the next time you want to cruise the net when you could be doing something else. I know I will.



Be Grateful . . .  .


Thank You

Just Good Business

By | Follow-through, Leadership, Marketing | No Comments

“The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.”


~H.U. Westermayer
It’s been beat to death the need to show gratitude to our clients, our staff, our family and our Maker.  So why do we still stuggle with it?


We already know that showing gratitude will:

  1. Increase return customers
  2. Develop more loyal employees
  3. Improve our family relationships
  4. Make us happier people.


I know I tend to not show gratitude when I:

  • am focused on a goal that I have not reached
  • don’t feel the result is as good as I had hoped
  • have too much on my plate to accomplish
  • feel that the result is owed to me.

So here is my suggestion: Before setting your goals or moving on to the next one – count your blessing. I will try this week too . . .