The Magic Bullet of Success

By | Accountability, Follow-through, Leadership, life style, Marketing, Motivation, Strategic Planning, Time Management, Uncategorized | One Comment

What's the secret sauce?I’ve been reviewing the many clients I have had over the years and looking at what the difference has been between the ones who grew their business and those that did not.


As I developed my list, here is what I have determined made them successful:


Follow-Through – This was the single most important factor in who succeeded and who did not. The ones that I saw increase their sales, hire better employees, and create exstatic customers were the ones who put into action the things they committed to doing. 


Burning Desire – not a passing craving, or a “that-would-be-nice” motivation. They were almost obsessed with changing their business to become something incredible.


Willing to Be Challenged – they did not mind having someone challenge their way of thinking. They were humble and wanted to learn. However, when they would defend an aspect of their business, they had a well thought-out reason and could logically defend why it was that way. Emotions were important in the decision, but there was  logical basis to it.


Time to Think, Plan and Dream – Successful clients I have worked with took the time to think through what was happening every day. They (usually) did not allow everyone else to dictate their schedule or the just rely on their to-do list to determine what would happen next. Dreaming was an important aspect as well since it allowed them to re-focus on what they wanted to accomplish (see “A Higher Ideal” below.)


Support – As a coach, I help provide support and provide accountability. Those who are amazingly successful, however had another person or group that was cheering them on.


A higher Ideal – The success of the business was merely a symptom of something bigger. Successful people started their business because it was their passion. They did have to find a way to monitize and leverage it for it to be able to grow. Sales became easy then and their focus became more about doing what they love – the money followed.


Faith – Faith in something greater than yourself is critical. I don’t mean an ideal or a passion. I mean someone or governing power that controls the universe. Faith in God is an easy one to identify. Some of my succesful clients have been agnostic or aethiest, but they believed in something – that people are basically good, natural energy, etc.


Creativity – The ability to see potential in the mundane is key to any success. People that I would deem successful were able to look beyond what is right in front of them and finding value where others could not.


Discernment – Beyond seeing the potential in the mundane, the people I know who have moved to great heights are those who can push away the distractions and the waste of time. They did not spend much time on failing efforts. They either changed it or abandonded it.


Courage – I don’t just mean the courage it takes to branch out on your own. I mean the quite courage it takes to do the most important thing when no one is looking or holding you accountable to it.  


So the challenge for today is this: What are you missing within yourself that is keeping you from growing?

success concept


By | Accountability, Follow-through, life style, Motivation, Strategic Planning | No Comments

success concept“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.”


Abraham Lincoln


I had the special privilege of being in a Silverdale Rotary meeting where six high school kids were being honored for the many great things they are doing with their lives. All six came from different backgrounds, different family structures, and different cultural heritages.

Each of them was supposed to address the audience.They talked about the many activities, clubs, teams and other efforts they were making in their lives. The reason they gave for doing everything was simple: they had a large horizon that they planned to cross. There was little desire for the award they were receiving – the awards they craved were much larger than the little framed certificate and small gift they were receiving that day.They want to be greater than themselves.

So that got me thinking: “these teens are defining success in ways they understand it. Most of us had the same ambitions and dreams.”


Do we still define success the same way we did in high school?

What caused us to change how we measure success?


I can’t define success in life for you.

Business success is just as elusive. A “successful” business is often defined as growing, making a profit, long-term viability, attracting investors, . . . . The measures are endless.

Make up your mind. Set your horizon. Determine your measures. Make it happen.


Get Surrounded

By | Accountability, Accounting, Leadership, Marketing, Operations, Systems, Uncategorized | No Comments

support“Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves, those who work hard and play hard.”


Colin Powell

Retired four-star general and former Secretary of State (2001-2005)


In the last few weeks, I have repeatedly come in contact with businesses that have achieved a level of success and want to take the next step, but can’t get through it. Often their biggest obstacle is getting the right people on the team.


This was emphasized in the Kitsap Business Forum on Tuesday. It seemed we kept coming back to the same point:


You shouldn’t do it all yourself.

This does not mean you have to hire and replace yourself in your business – at least not right away.


It means finding the core team you need to make your business a success. Here is my list of professionals you need to be successful. There are many others, I suggest every business owner have the following.


  • Accountant
  • Bookkeeper
  • Attorney
  • Insurance Agent
  • Banker
  • Marketing Expert (actually a team of experts here)
  • Cooperative/Complimentary Business owners
  • Accountability Source (Master Mind, Coach)


Surround yourself with great people and great minds. If you are surrounded by people or businesses that you do not wish to emulate – it’s time to get find a new group.


Don’t do it alone! Entrepreneurship is lonely enough already.



Fear of Success – Fiction?

By | Accountability, Follow-through, life style | One Comment

Fear“If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score?”


Vince Lombardi (1930-1970)

One of football’s most winning-est coaches in the NFL:

Winning 73.8% (149-47-6) of all games


I had a very interesting conversation with someone this week. We were talking about the “fear of failure” and the term “fear of success” came up.

I’ve heard that term before but never really understood it. How can someone be afraid of success? This article suggests that Maslow (yeah, the guy with the Hierarchy of Needs and the pyramid) and his friend Frank Manuel coined the phrase. I don’t believe this fear is as pervasive as some suggest.


There are genuine fears of responsibility, not being accepted, or gaining prominence. Some of us use this “fear of success” as an easy excuse.


 Why Many of Us Sabotage Ourselves:

Sometimes we are so beat up, run-down or self depreciated that we don’t put our best effort forward. As I was discussing this with my friend, we came up with the term “Bad News Bears Syndrome”. Here is what happens:

You feel burned out or defeated after putting it all out there and not accomplishing what you thought you should have. Instead of analyzing what went wrong or learning from it, you emotionally decide not to do it again. You then stop putting it all on the line. Now you can tell yourself, “Well I didn’t put as much into it as I could have.” We accept our role in the world – just like the Bad News Bears. This becomes a habit. You may have some success and you feel like a genius or just lucky because “I didn’t do much” but you can still use your excuse if it falls short.


Have you accepted your place? Are you ready to break out?





The Silverdale Chamber of Commerce is now taking RSVPs for the Kitsap Business Forum. Our first forum is a panel of experts (facilitated by yours truly):


Kelle Kitchel-Cooper (Rockfish Group Marketing )

Dennis Bryan, CPA (Parker, Morris & Cena)

Jeff Reed (Farmer’s Insurance)

Lisa Jewett (Customer Service Specialist)

Wayne Sargent (Express Personell)

Dan Martin (SCORE)

Diane Russell (Attorney)


Bring your business and local economy questions for the panel to answer and debate!


RSVP at (360) 692-6800


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?


Accountability Groups are starting to form! These groups are more than a social club for business. Get a sounding board and a committed professional group to help you reach your potential in 2013.


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.

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?”.