Posts Tagged 'small business success'

Don’t Change Your Business; Redefine It

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Last week I was the guest on a radio show—two hours talking about the Beatles, which is heaven for me. One of the things we spent a great deal of time talking about was the Beatles’ incredible growth and evolution from album to album. I mean, in roughly five years these guys went from Please Please Me through Sgt. Pepper and the White album all the way to Abbey Road. That’s a growth curve that’s unprecedented and, so far, unequaled ...

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Stop Playing Tic-Tac-Toe Leadership

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I had a wonderful phone conversation yesterday with a fellow Beatles fan whom I’ll call “Rich,” because that’s his name. As is generally the case when Beatles fans (or, in this case, fanatics) talk, the conversation soon turned to Beatles trivia. Rich asked me some great questions, and then he wanted me to ask him some. I asked a few, but he kept saying, “C’mon—make them harder!” I asked some tougher ones, but he kept at me: “Make them harder!” ...

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3 Things You Can Do NOW to Build Your Business

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A friend of mine has a dog with cataracts. He (the dog) is perfectly happy going through his day, but he bumps into things a lot. It seems to me that a lot of businesses are plagued by “corporate cataracts.” There’s a lack of clarity, a lack of focus, in what they do. Their vision is cloudy, and this is costing them millions of dollars a year. So right now you’re either thinking, “Boy, I’m sure glad that’s not my ...

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How the Little Guy Can Win

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Say you run a small business. (Go ahead, say it: “I run a small business.”) And say you’re competing against one or more big players in your industry. (Ditto.) Is there any way you can come out ahead in such an uneven battle? Is there any way the little guy can win? Yes, there is—but not if you try to beat the big guy at his own game. You have to play a different game. It’s how underdog basketball teams ...

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Office Politics Made Simple

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“Office politics” has gotten a bad name, but it’s really nothing more or less than the informal communications network of an organization. At the first TV station I worked at, there was a guy named Rick who had really figured out this network to the nth degree. He had determined who the key players were in the organization, and who had influence over these key players (for example, the General Manager’s adminstrative assistant had influence over the General Manager). He ...

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Competitiveness: Friend or Foe?

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Competitiveness. It can be one of your greatest assets—or it can kill you. (Yes, there’s probably a middle ground in there, but I like to start these things off with a bang.) Like fire, it depends on how you use it. So how do you know if you’re on the right track? How do you know if you’re using competitiveness for good or evil? Like many business insights, the answer hit me this morning at the gym.

My gym is festooned ...

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Your CEO Style: Are You Ringo or Keith Moon?

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I just finished reading a New York Times column by David Brooks where he discusses which traits and abilities are most important for a successful CEO. He cites a number of surveys and studies, and they all (at least the ones he cites) seem to generally agree on what it really takes to make it as the head honcho. Somewhat counterintuitively, the best CEOs (that is, the CEOs of the best performing companies) don’t tend ...

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Are You Working Too Hard?

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The first words of the title track of the Beatles’ first movie are, “It’s been a hard day’s night, and I’ve been working like a dog.” Does that sound like your life? If so, I’d like to suggest that maybe, just maybe, you’re working harder than you have to. Please note: I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t work hard. As I’ve pointed out before, Paul McCartney once said, “The reason we were twice as good as anyone else is because ...

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How Are You Using Your Time?

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I waste way too much time. When you work for yourself, that’s real easy to do. Although, come to think of it, when I worked for other people I wasted way too much time as well. I’m trying to get better, which is why I’m writing this now. I’m sitting in a lounge in Dulles airport and I’ve got 20 minutes before I need to board my flight to Seattle. My choice—and the choice we all have virtually every waking ...

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5 Bits of Business Wisdom from Mom

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Happy Mothers Day! The Beatles wrote a song called Your Mother Should Know (it’s on the Magical Mystery Tour album), so I thought it would be appropriate on this day to talk about five things that mothers do know that business leaders should know as well—but sometimes don’t. Because, after all, mother knows best!

  1. Look both ways before you cross the street. Don’t rush recklessly into the “traffic” of your business: decisions, new ventures, partnerships, etc. Make sure you know what ...
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