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?”.

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?


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 . . .





By | Leadership, Time Management | No Comments

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”


Jim Rohn (1930 – 2009)
Entrepreneur and Author  




Sarah (my wife) loves Sudoku. Not only does she enjoy it, she’s good at it, too. Saturday, I started a Sudoku. I think I’ve discovered the secret:

Systems and Discipline.


There are three ways to make sure a system is used:

  1. White-knuckled will. In his book Willpower, Roy Baumeister discusses how willpower is truly like a battery The more you use it, the less you have until you recharge it. The harder the choice to make, the more willpower it demands. Too many decisions in a short time will leave us unable to make good choices.
  2. Develop an accountability system. Create a way to track completion, effectiveness and success. Develop consequences and rewards for following systems.
  3. Create a system that eliminates the need for decision making. It is easier to decide to eat healthy food if you have eliminated the option of junk food and begin preparing meals before you are hungry.

So which solution are you depending on?


Eliminate the Need For Willpower:


Leadership Boot Camp

Next-Level Leadership

(Cafe Noir – October 5, 8a-12p)

  • Leadership FUN-dementals
  • Creating and Selling Your Vision
  • Managing Hidden Agendas and Conflict
  • The Next Level of Leadership



Leadership Vs Management

By | Leadership, Time Management | No Comments

“Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out. “

Stephen Covey (1932-2012)

Author: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People


I’ve talked before about the difference between leadership and management. I believe that leadership is casting the vision, deciding the direction, effectively communicating it, designing the process/steps necessary, and assembling the right people to make it happen.

Management, on the other hand is the plodding march that must take place to achieve that vision. It means making the hard decision, cutting the fluff where necessary, and holding everyone accountable for their part. The toughest part of management is not holding others accountable. The toughest part is holding yourself accountable.

Jumping from 7 Habits to E-Myth:
Leadership is an Entrepreneur skill.
Management (not surprisingly) is a Management skill.

Most of us have a hard time being both. Figure out which you are good at. Find someone to help you fill out the other.

You can’t survive without both of them.