Archives For June 2013

Survive or Thrive?

June 27, 2013 — Leave a comment

Bigstock Weed Growing Through Crack In 43558846

I was in a conversation lately where one person made the comment that the goal of every business is to survive. That got me to thinking.

Is my goal to survive or thrive?

I think it is an important question. How we answer determines the vision that we cast as leaders.

Survival implies defense. To thrive implies offense.

Survival tends toward reaction. To thrive encourages proactive thinking.

Surviving exists in a context of rations and scarcity.

Thriving exists in a context of options and abundance.

Do you think most often think about surviving or thriving?

Your answer will almost certainly predict the impact of your life and your business.

Dip or Squeeze

June 20, 2013 — Leave a comment

OB PR858 ketchu G 20110918183000

I was talking with my youngest daughter this morning. We chatted about our recent trip to the new Chick-fil-A in town.

I said something about liking the ketchup packets. She responded – “yeah, you have options – you can dip or squeeze.” If you have encountered this type of ketchup packet, you know what she means.

You can peel up the bottom corner and dip your fries into the container, or you can tear off the ‘neck’ of the packet and squeeze the tomato goodness out the top. The package, and the choices it offers are notable – at least for ketchup lovers.

While “Dip or Squeeze” ketchup packets break new ground in the fast food arena, the concept of options has significant implications for business in general.

Do you give your customers options? Their needs vary. Their circumstances change. What resonates with one customer may totally miss the mark with another.

Starting up a business requires focus and start-ups often benefit from limiting options, rather than creating more. It’s often wise to role out simple products and services. Such decisions decrease our time-to-market and provide a base-line for future changes and growth.

There comes a time, though, when people want a different color — they want baked, not fried – or prefer to dip rather than squeeze – and they want to decide based on their current needs and desires!

Who is walking away from your product or service because they don’t see it meeting their wants or needs?

When we started our prepaid phone card company, we simplified our offering into one flat rate card. The cards sold well, and we added customers and retailers on a monthly basis. Over time, however, the market changed. We heard new and recurring suggestions from our customers. Competitors began to offer other types of calling cards.

We got busy and designed a card that offered two rate plans – one was a flat rate per minute, the other offered a one-time surcharge per call and a much lower price per minute. (shown below) The customer could choose which rate plan that they preferred.

TeleBucks ChooseRatePlan
The guy who used our card to call his girlfriend and talk for two hours was real happy about out our new card and the ability to choose a rate plan that better-met his needs.

Options create opportunity. Opportunity to attract new customers – and keep old ones satisfied. What new options can you offer today?

Fathers

June 15, 2013 — Leave a comment

Fathers. Words are too inadequate to describe, but silence cannot prevail when I think about my father and fatherhood on this Father’s Day weekend.

Fathers are:
Faithful.
Mom lovers.
Consistent.
Fishermen.
Servers.
Motivators.
Standard-setters.
Humble.
Role models.
Faith livers.
Loving.
Complaint-less.
Supporters.
Leaders.

Loved

Bigstock marathon running athletes coup 44182684

I’ve been getting back into my exercise routine. After my cycling accident several weeks ago, I took a break from strenuous exercise.

It feels good to use a concussion-causing accident as an excuse for inactivity. Every other time that I have fallen out of the exercise routine, the reasons were far more mundane and less logical.

You see, usually when I “fall off the exercise wagon”, I literally have no good reason to support the change. Over the years, I have realized that I must be intentional about exercise or it just won’t happen!

The longer I live, the more I can testify that if I don’t train and push my body physically, it begins to regress, soften and bloat. We all know this, muscles that remain inactive will eventually atrophy.

Have you ever thought about your intellectual muscles? The same universal truth applies here. If we don’t stretch our minds and increase our skills through intentional training and challenges, we begin to loose our edge. It takes intentional planning and action on our part to continue growing into who we were meant to be.

Learning and the action that follows it are key to you and me reaching our full potential. Have you fallen off the personal growth wagon? Did you earn a degree or certification and then basically hang your mental work-out clothes in the locker? What have you done this month to combat the natural regression in the important area of personal growth?

You may be saying to yourself, “Ouch – I get your point, Brady”. My response: Today is a new day! Purpose to plan your own personal growth. Think about who you want to become, what you want to do, and who you want to impact – then choose to learn, stretch and grow in areas that will support your desired future. If you get serious about personal growth, I have no doubt that you’ll increase your effectiveness and fulfillment.

Possibility

June 5, 2013 — Leave a comment

Bigstock Possible concept in word tag c 46038091

Possibility – just saying the word makes me smile.

Possibility paves the way for hope.

Possible trumps Probable any day.
Probable is tied to analytical assessments, pros and cons, and the past. Possible suspends logic and assumes a grand, new solution.

Probability asks “Why?” Possibility asks “Why not?”

Probability asks “What for?” Possible asks “What if?”

Probability confines us to the safety of the known. Possibility opens the door to new markets, better relationships and the thrill of new opportunities.

Possibility begs us to dream.

Possibility stokes our imagination.

Do yourself a favor — view your career, your relationships and your plans for the future through the lens of Possibility.

What is Possible for you?

Bigstock Happy Graduation Student 4098840

Ah, tis graduation season. A time when we recognize the hard work, determination and success of those in school.

We have friends and family who graduated from high school and college this year. I also attended recognition ceremonies for our grade school and Jr. high school daughters.

Graduation is a time to:

1) Celebrate the accomplishment of reaching this point in your education. It takes hard work and perseverance to get to this place in your journey.

Celebrating helps us underscore the importance of the accomplishment. It is kind of like pausing to highlight a significant passage in a book. Celebrating highlights the specialness of the moment.

2) Gratefully thank those who were members of your support team. If we really stop and think about our success, we realize that it was built upon the shoulders of those who came before. Mothers, fathers, inspirational teachers and friends all play a roll in our success.

3) Look to the future. Graduation is the culmination of previous chapters in our lives, and it opens wide the blank pages of our future. Graduations usher in choices, opportunities and hope.

Here’s the kicker, you and I are new graduates. No, we did not don a tasseled cap and gown and walk across the graduation stage. We weren’t part of some formal ceremony. We did, however, just close out another school year measure of our lives.

Have you reviewed and celebrated your accomplishments of the last twelve months?

Have you thanked those who helped you achieve your current level of success?

Are your considering your future? What do you want to do with this next year of life and opportunity? Must we be destined to repeat last year?

Like a new graduate, be creative and intentional about what you do and who you’ll become during the coming twelve months. If you do, you’ll have a wider grin on your face as you walk the stage next year.

Are you living like a graduate?