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Archive | April, 2012

Your Energy Account Balance

For any endeavor’s success, you need to allocate resources.  We typically think of Money, People, and Time.  But interestingly, most of my clients who’ve closed their businesses have done so for lack of energy, not money! So, I always include energy on the list of resources I’ll need.

Like money, energy can be deposited and withdrawn.  During the next week, observe the different aspects of your work and life, and jot which experiences give you energy and which take energy away. This exercise (thanks to author Marcus Buckingham) is best done in real-time, not when you’re sitting in your office thinking about an average day.  Hint:  It’s quite common to start a business because you love building tree houses, but product demand means you no longer have your hands on the hammer.  Which gives you more energy – building the tree house or supervising the builders?

Review your notes at the end of the week.  What’s the net balance in your Energy Account?

Brainstorm ways you can eliminate energy withdrawals and increase energy deposits. Ending the day with a net energetic gain could be as simple as delegating those activities that are more costly than their worth.  And of course, if I can help, let’s schedule some time together!


Spring Break? What’s That?

It’s called a vacation, and if you can’t remember the last time you took even a long weekend truly off, do I have a mandatory homework assignment for you!

Small business owners often (through guilt, adrenaline addiction, or a misguided sense of duty) are reluctant to take more than a day off here and there.  But at least a week away every quarter is essential for keeping your business’ leading employee refreshed.  Visits to family or tours with your little soccer star don’t count!   Only activities that restore energy count.

Wean into the idea by going to a trade conference or a destination where you can visit peers in another market to swap ideas.  Soon you’ll graduate from the working vacation to real time off.

Mandatory Homework:  Independence Day is getting to be like that last week of each year (when companies are virtually, or really, closed for a whole week between Christmas and New Year’s).  Even if you’re the only one in your industry to skip out, you won’t miss much. Use those two weeks every year for guilt-free vacation time. Mark your calendar now!


What Big Means to You

Sometimes “big” is about more. Or even less. Or deeper. Or wider. Or sometimes it’s about bigger. Call me if you wanna explore, “What Big Means to Me,” by Insert-Your-Name-Here. And for further illumination, check out what Hugh has to say about The Big Idea.


Need Cash?

Despite the best of collections practices, every business faces moments when you’ve got more payables due than receivables in the bank.  A cash reserve account allows you to borrow from yourself to keep paying others while waiting to get paid.  But what if you leveraged your cash reserve account to stay afloat these past few years, or lost your cushion to cover another’s bad debt? Continue Reading →