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Archive | September, 2012

It’s Who You Know

I once counted the number of industries in which I’ve worked (way over 100 now and growing), and for each industry, I’ve found the following statement about building a business or career to be true. Continue Reading →


The Dance

An ever-present challenge for small business owners is the dance between looking for new work while attending to existing work. Twirl away from marketing and sales in order to meet production deadlines, and soon you’re standing alone in the middle of the dance floor looking for a new partner. Continue Reading →


Nimble Company

Photo by: Patti Trabon

Moving cows is a much more methodical activity than it seems to the Spaghetti Western watcher. Cow herding, cutting and sorting are not about speed, but about quickness.  Rush at a vulnerable calf, and you end up racing around at the calf’s beck instead of your call. Instead, approach the calf with calm focus, and be prepared to quickly shift direction when the calf changes course. I feel a metaphor coming on.  Continue Reading →


Count to 90

One of the best things I learned during Resident Assistant training at SMU was to count to ten before confronting an emotional situation. New insight from Jill Bolte Taylor, the brain scientist who survived her own stroke, suggests counting to 90 might be more helpful.  Continue Reading →


Use it or Lose it Retainer

For years of ongoing engagements, I charged a retainer that clients paid at the beginning of each month, with actual time used credited against the retainer. Unused time would spill into the next month, at times creating capacity problems when time allocated didn’t match cash received.  Though I no longer work on a retainer, I recommend the “Use it or Lose it Retainer” to all my service-providing clients.  Continue Reading →


The Upside of the Downside

I’ve seen people lose big lately — the sudden death of a young mother, an entire production staff lost to an INS sweep, and flooded homes in Louisiana. In all of these big losses, I ask: “Where are the big wins?”  Continue Reading →


“This is SO Fun.” / “This isn’t fun.”

Two different statements, from two different clients:  “This is SO fun,” and  “this isn’t fun.”  What’s the difference between these two? Continue Reading →