Tag Archives: business

Five Questions that Will Prepare You for a Successful 2013

“I’m calling all entrepreneurs and leaders to make 2013 their best year to date!” 

I recently sat in a corner office suite with an accomplished leader of a successful and growing firm. Over the course of a working lunch, I offered him a series of strategic questions to help generate a great 2013. This series of “Five Key Questions” is what I offer each of my clients along with bullet point sub-questions.


I have used these the last several years in my own business and leadership endeavors and have honed in on the sure-fire formula for success. I’m not suggesting it is a magical formula, but rather a highly-strategic road map. Take this and add some elbow grease and personal drive and it is proven to work!
For three Tuesdays in December and two in January, I will be posting these strategic questions for your use. I would like you to provide the answers to ensure your personal development, growth, and success this coming year.
Let’s make 2013 a year of amazing results!


Take time to think these questions through. You will be glad you did!
This week we will start with Question 1.

Question 1: Where are you now?

Situation analysis:

  • What trends and emerging markets do you see as opportunities in your business?
  • In the next 3-6 months, what markets should you focus on?
  • What is a simple strategy for that emerging market? How can you meet a need, want, or desire?
  • What is your greatest personal strength?
  • How can you leverage more of your strengths and translate them into active business?
  • What should you delegate, outsource, or eliminate in 2013?
  • What is the core competency you possess that can be leveraged to meet customer/client needs and ensure your successful year?

Note: All of my experience and reading has revealed to me that less than 5% of entrepreneurs or personal leaders have any clear strategic plan for a coming year. The 5% who do, are radically successful and typically out-perform their previous years!

Join me in the 5%!
When will you start planning? Can you start right now?

Next Tuesday: Question Two!

The Five Stages of Love and Buisness


Right before I got married, someone shared with me the “five stages of a relationship.” It has been so true. And I’ve found that it seems to fit the natural cycles of building any business too!

Stage One: Romance

Wow! We all remember this stage. The excitement! The passion! The possibilities! It is true that in both situations, as we entertain the realization of our dreams, we are filled with the romantic ideas fueled with our love, our commitment, and our passion!

Stage Two:  Reality

Yep, it doesn’t take long before the luster fades. That new exciting relationship has flaws (and weaknesses!)- maybe that business partner quits or the bills begin to pile up. “Dang, I didn’t know I’d be working and everyone else seems to be in Cabo.”

Stage Three: Resentment

We begin to resent the very person we once loved. We resent our situation: “Why did I allow myself to walk out on this limb?”  “Why do I get stuck with all the work, stuff I didn’t like to do?” These petty resentments begin to grow and fester.

Stage Four: Rebellion

Ouch, we begin to rebel against that person. Turn our attention to other places or people or causes or things. In business we might be tempted to take short-cuts or lower our ethical standards. That raw hurt manifests in outward rebellion and in thoughts like: “Okay, I’ll show them” or “they won’t hurt me anymore. I’m out of here!”

Stage Five: Rebuilding

Yes, there is hope for relationships to rebuild and renew. Yes, there is hope for your business and career. It’s been told that Thomas Edison had a warehouse burn to the grounds in flames. The warehouse held investments and inventions and ideas worth millions. All of which was reduced to flames and ashes. His son and wife were frightened that he would cave and collapse in despair; he had slept by the ashen remains of his investments the night before. But then the next morning as he awoke, his first words were:

 “Let’s rebuild!”

These are two simple words that can change your outcome. Two words that can move you from despair to destiny, and from ashes to achievement!

I have found rebuilding has a whole lot more to do with my heart and attitude than physical resources. Great remarkable leaders and achievers keep going in relationships and businesses despite the unavoidable setbacks. Sometimes there will always be occurrences when we (luckily) will not be required to rebuild. But these are rare and I encourage everyone to be a builder and a re-builder.

One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is self-respect. The two golden qualities that build your self-respect are determination and work ethic.

During these tough and turbulent times, you might be sleeping by a little pile of ashes. Sift through them and find one gem to build on. Build yourself up with encouragement and go at it again. Let’s all rebuild!

The Power of Emotional Intelligence

I was facilitating a luncheon meeting but on this occasion was happy not to speak.  There with me was a group of business leaders who resembled a torn and tattered team at halftime: physically beaten down even though the game wasn’t complete. We had gathered in front to hear the founder of a successful company speak on the subject of “How to Rebuild Business Cultures to Succeed Again.”

The mood was grim. Not a lot of boasting or bragging going on with this gang.

My thoughts drifted back to thoughts of what the speaker was going to say to this despondent group of business leaders –how in the world could his message lift theses leaders of the ashes of despair? No sooner had I been thinking these thoughts, did the speaker stroll into the room. He wasn’t cocky, but extremely confident. He worked the crowd like a well-seasoned politician, greeting everyone and shaking hands. He brimmed with remarkable people skills and genuine warmth. I sat amazed as the whole mood of the room changed. He seemed to alter the environment of the gathering with only his positive emotions. It was like this leader’s emotions were contagious.  Soon everyone seemed to perk up and sit up. His message was insightful and relevant. He inspired us with words and gave us a pathway to renewed action. The thing I noticed was his electrifying eye contact and physical energy. Everyone seemed to sync to his optimistic attitude and feed off his vision!

When the meeting concluded, the networking and energy soared. Business cards were exchanged with hearty handshakes and smiles all around.

Wow, one guy, one emotional exchange, one meeting, and dozens were impacted for good!

Don’t tell me Emotional Intelligence is “just a soft skill.” It is a “hard edge business skill” that happens to be the number one predictor of peak performance, professional success, and personal excellence.

Emotional Intelligence is that unique ability of understanding how emotions drive our behaviors and the behaviors of those around us. It is a game changing skill that you can develop.  Things like your personal self-awareness, self-management of your emotions, and authentic relational connections.

I guarantee that business speaker was extremely intentional about his mood, attitude, and emotions. He knew he was contagious for better or for worse. And this time, it was for the better. It was powerful.

Try it on today:

Here is my challenge to you today:
Try on a powerful and positive emotion today. Watch and observe how people respond to your smile, your body language, and your choice of words… your mood can move people. Walk differently, talk differently, act differently, and watch the results.

My dad used to say: “people do business with people they like.” We follow leaders we like, we purchase from people we like, and we even select businesses based on products and services we like. So, be likable! Watch the power of Emotional Intelligence in your life and I think you’ll see some positive new changes around how people respond to you. Your personal attraction will go up. One of the very cool effects is that you’ll see people change for the good because of your mood. It’s powerful and it provides powerful results!