Wednesday, June 8, 2011


My wife, Christina, is doing a link up on her blog, My Silly Life and I am jumping on the theme of what inspires me!  Wow that is a hard one but I am going to start off with one that has pushed me for 29 years.

My Mother…… she was amazing.  I won't go into a ton of details since I have shared some of her story but my mother was 5 feet nothing, independent, carried her heart on her sleeve, strong as a mule, always calm, never raised her voice, and had character like no other.  Early on she was a single mother fighting and scrapping to take care of us, and  I can't recall a time where I felt I wasn't being taken care of.
My mom and me!

I think now about how times she went without for me.  Like I said above……... I was well taken care but my mother put her life to the side to be the very best mother too me.  That didn't mean buying me everything.  She was my best friend, someone I could talk too, she never judged me, only criticized in a way that I could learn from it, and I owe so much of who I am today to her.

My mother passed away almost 10 years ago.  My mother could have given up and lived her last 6 months living to the fullest, but she took experimental treatments and tons of treatments for me.  She fought almost 5 1\2 months trying to beat the cancer so that she could continue living as my mother and best friend.  The last week of her life she made me promise her that I would complete College, my Master's Degree, and complete the CPA Exam.  I haven't completely fulfilled the promise……..I ordered the CD's to take the practice test for the CPA Exam but I have been running from it.  To be honest when it came time to take the practice test is about the time I started fearing more than I was fearless.

What ever it was that she spoke into my hear to be that confident, fearless, smart, and person reaching for the stars……. I need to find again.  It is right around the corner I just need to put my hands on it.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Used by Nelson Mandela in his 1994 inaugural speech


Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday Management

Monday Management…………Well for this week it is easy.  Enjoy the holiday,  remember the amazing heros who do it daily to protect our freedom, unplug from work, let go of the crackberry, and take time to remember our families who so often are forgotten because of the pressure of work everyday.

Thank you Lord for this amazing life you have given us, the time that you watch over us and direct us, and we thank you for guiding our leaders and heros each day.  Amen!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Our Anniversary Spotlight

WOW!!! Today is our 5 year anniversary…….Thank you Christina for putting up with me for so long and loving me!!!!

When you reflect on the past 5 years there are so many things that you could put in the spotlight and say wow that was the moment but I can't narrow it down to one moment over another.

In a marriage it is so easy to get caught up in the day to day grind you forget how wonderful your spouse is and how much you count on them for everything.  Christina is my best friend, my love, my partner in crime, glue to our family, wonderful mother, and more than anything a hero in my eyes.

Christina is the most wonderful, caring, loving, and free spirited person I have ever been around and I am blessed to be married to her.  Thank you for making the everlasting decision to walk along side of me as a partner in life.  I am excited about the wonderful future we have ahead of us and I love you!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Mother's day is an amazing day to celebrate the person that holds the family together.  Without an amazing wife and mother where would our families be.  The saying is very true behind every guy is a better woman.

Ten years ago this year I celebrated my last mother's day with my mom, Sherri Burchette, who was my rock and inspiration growing up.  She stood next to me in all my ups and downs and never doubted me one time.  I remember that last mother's day like it was yesterday.  She was in the early stages of her battle with cancer and she wanted to spend the weekend at her favorite home away from home and just cook out.  We did and had a great time!  It is crazy how time goes by so quick.  Mom I miss you so much and I wish you could be here to see our family.  I am blessed to have an amazing wife who is an extraordinary mother to our one year old son Malachi.  I remember times where Christina had doubt that she would be a good mother, well in the first year she has put those doubts to bed by being an awesome mom!  Mom she is as strong as you, as independent as you, and as compassionate as you.  You would be so proud of Christina!

To my mom, Sherri, and my wife, Christina……Happy Mother's Day and Thank you for all you do!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

More Thoughts

As I was writing the last blog I was listening to an individual that discussed have you lived a life that would pass the mustard if God came today to collect.  Yes, the bible states a day will come when…..well I want preach today but I will say that I have seen miracles and I am what you would call Work IN Process!

For me it isn’t a lack of belief it is my willingness to give up control (like I said Work IN Process)….Yes as a leader I have a control issue in which I believe I need to be a part of everything and I can fix everything.  In doing so, I forget the big picture, and I push back the thought that God is in control.  I once was told that wounds run deep and they do for sure.  

Even at a young age I was told to be strong, stand firm, and you must be there for your mother.  I was nine years old when my grandmother passed away and in the same breathe my parents were split up.  At my grandmother’s funeral a family friend told me I had to be the man and take care of my mother from that day forward.  

I recall standing firm and yelling at my father as he hit my mother and asking him to stop and leave.  He did, and at the age of nine, I thought I was in control and could fix everything.  

Fast forward a few years and I remember my mother calling me to meet her that afternoon saying she wanted to speak with me.  This wasn’t normal, but it never dawned on me that something was wrong.  That afternoon she told me that she had cancer and the doctor gave her six months to live, but everything was going to be OK, that she was going to fight the cancer.  Not exactly 6 months, but three days before the tragedy of 9/11, my mother passed away.  She was 42 years old.

I shared that last insert with you not because I saw my mother passing away as a miracle, but so that I could lead you into what God did and continues to do with me that I consider a miracle each day.  
After my mother passing I went into a downward spiral and didn’t even realize it.  The pain that I was feeling, the hate, the disbelief, and the loneliness that filled my heart and soul was pushed so far down that many wouldn’t have known I was hurting.  Some of my closet friends knew, but like young individuals, they had spread the word not to mention my mother or the loss.  The thought was, if you don’t mention her then the pain would be forgotten, or in my case the pain would be washed away in a bottle of alcohol. I wasn’t old enough to buy alcohol but I was trying to wash it away with the only thing I could think of.  

At that time, God was the last thing I wanted to hear, the last thing I wanted to believe in, and I wanted to run from him.  During that less than six month time period I remember praying and praying each night to cure my mother…..and when she passed Away I thought I had been let down.  I was sad, angry, and lost from what I was supposed to do. 

Fast forward a few years and Christina and I are married.  I was in search of something to help me out of the ditch I was in.  I was at rock bottom and I was searching for anything to help me out and when I gave up and said God can you help me……it is your life to control.  Things started changing.  My miracle happened.  The miracle that I was given was the opportunity to learn what a relationship with God was like and why I needed a relationship with him.  Ultimately we are not in control, he is, and we have to give him full control.  

Granite I still miss my mom very much, but looking at the big picture, I know she believed in God and she is in heaven.  Really I am pretty jealous; she is getting to hang out in heaven with some pretty cool people.  

I understand that our time here is short when you look at it, and I want to be ready when that day comes.  I have seen a miracle in me and my family but as I said early, I am Work IN Process.
My goal as a person and as a leader is to put my faith in God, hand over my issues, and ask him for wisdom to move forward so that I continue to grow.

Matthew 11:28-30
28 "Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. 29 Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives. 30 The burden that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light."  

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Thoughts

What an amazing Easter Sunday. The weather was great, we took Kai on an Easter Egg hunt, cooked out with friends, and then in great fashion I watched Life Time with my wife. It was a great Sunday, but more than that it was a celebration of Jesus being ALIVE!!! Jesus had risen on the 3rd day just as he said he would……..

Ok…..most people are saying Anthony you normally blog on leadership and now you are pulling in Easter and Jesus. You are correct! I have said over and over look to your past and you will find great leaders to learn from. Jesus was the best, hands down. He was perfect in everything… why would you not put him on your team.

Like so many things I am always looking at the big picture. In the book of Matthew, Chapter 28, we read how the angel tells the women to go and tell the followers that Jesus is ALIVE and he is going ahead of the group and he will meet them in Galilee. It is the greatest event ever……Jesus defeated death for us! So many times the discussion ends there, because it is such a huge event with major impact, we overlook what happens next.

Matthew 28:16-20
16 The eleven followers went to Galilee to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.17 On the mountain they saw Jesus and worshiped him, but some of them did not believe it was really Jesus. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All power in heaven and on earth is given to me. 19 So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach them to obey everything that I have taught you, and I will be with you always, even until the end of this age."

Even after being beaten and left to die on the cross, he kicks death’s butt, and commands the followers to go and spread the good word. As a leader I think I would have struggled to give that pep rally speech. Talk about leading without fear, leading with an open heart, and leading with a bigger purpose. There are so many things we can learn from the great leader that there is NO way to sum up in one post.

All I can say is that I am grateful that Jesus was looking at a bigger picture, and leading with a purpose so that my sins could be forgiven. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Time is Passing--Leadership

My son turned 1 this past Thursday and instantly I thought the world was moving too fast!  Yes, it seemed like yesterday we were driving home from the hospital.  It is amazing how much he has changed over the past year.  He weighed 6 lbs 5 ounces when he was born and now he is approaching 30 pounds.  He went from sleeping every two hours to crawling around and getting into everything.  I am having a hard time remembering what it was like at 3 months and 6 months.  Time has flown……..

As I sit here I think that everyday life is very much the same way.  In our time as leaders how many days have we faced like this?  Life is flying by, we are pushing hard, and the next thing we realize that life just passed us by.  How many important things have we completed that we don't recall?  I have discussed in previous blogs about learning from the past.  That includes our past experiences.  If this is the case, how do we document our past experiences so that we can learn and grow on?  Journal is the best way, but who has time?

I know that I don't have time to journal everyday but I feel like it is more important to document and express my thoughts.  I am taking a personal challenge to journal for the next 30 days of how life is passing by.

I encourage you to take 10 minutes each morning to take the challenge as well.  

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Two great quotes!

In my mind Lincoln may have been one of the most influential  presidents.  His personality, his policies and his leadership allows him to stand out.

He had a strong ability to cast vision, mobilize people, and communicate at a high level.  
I would define leadership as a series of decisions that create a collection of events that we undoubtedly maneuver through. Abraham Lincoln once said "if I had 8 hours to cut down a tree, I would use 6 hours to sharpen my ax".  There is a lot of wisdom in this quote.  Think about it......a strategic decision was made to utilize 75% of your time doing one thing leaving only 25% of your time to accomplish the goal.  How many of us would have jumped head over heels trying to swing away to get the tree down?  Without a accomplish little.  Plan, determine what will be most efficient, and execute. 

Lincoln also quoted "if you look for the bad in people expecting to find it, then you will". In this day in time it is hard not to be skeptical of people.  We think everyone has an underlining reason for helping or they are out to copy your get rich plan.  It is true.....we have all said "I wonder what she needs now since she is being so nice".  Oh NO,  he is calling again.........Can we not be nice for the sake of being nice?

This thought process will derail us when we are trying to surround ourselves with those that will make us better.  We need to attract people that are people magnets.  Yes.....most of the time those people are out going and seem to be happy people.  Before you say those are the people that drive me crazy on a Monday morning.  Think about what you want out of life. Well......don't you want to be happy, what about encouraged, what about challenged?  

I said this a few weeks back, I am evaluating my team that surrounds me from top to bottom.  No joke, I made a list of those I am around and socialize the most with.  It is a great list but I asked myself the questions above......I may have to make some changes.  Remember as you build a team don't forget you are part of the team.. 

Someone is making you a better person, but will you do your part to make them better?

Don’t go it alone. Look for role models and consult widely. Include people from different parts of your life.  The same goes for your business.  Attract people magnets that fit your business model and who want to buy into the vision of the company.  Plan, find people magnets, look to be efficient, and execute.  

Have a great weekend and look for more next week!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Hey guys! PLEASE go to Ashley Stone Photography, LIKE her page and comment on Kai and Landon's pictures! We would love to win a photo session! 

Here are the rules: you must get all of your friends to "LIKE" Ashley Stone Photography's facebook page, and then leave a comment under YOUR childs picture once a day! Whoever has the most comments by 10 pm April 6 will WIN !!!!!!!

Click on the picture and it will take you to Ashley's Facebook page!  Look in the Easter mini's to find Kai and Landon!

Just as an FYI, Ashley is amazing and we love her pictures!


Service Project-Making an Impact

Wow....typically I write about leadership, management, or etc but today I am writing about a service project I was involved in on Saturday.

This service project involved youth ages 14 to 18 and then a group of "older guys" that completed lawn work for two families in our small community.  It was an awesome morning of serving together and loving on our community.

The morning started off with the threat of rain and cold temperatures but the guys were not phased.  Right off the bat we sent older guys and a group of youth to knock out a project and we were working hard.  We had young guys who had never mowed, operated a weed eater, or used equipment such as leaf blower and pressure washers.

This was a new experiance for the guys on so many different levels.  It was awesome to see our older guys jump in beside the high school guys and lead them, and even better I saw 16 year olds leading 14 year olds.  That is the part of leadership you can't teach.......the heart of a leader.

It was awesome to see that we have a upcoming generation that can lead and work hard.  At the end of the day we had touched the hearts of the families and put all of us in an awesome adventure.......oh yeah......and a great lunch afterward.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Are you running a learning organization?

How are you running your business? Wide open, controlled chaos, scattered......or all of the above.

In most cases we are trying to keep ourself a float. We really don't have time to think about the future. It is hard to think ahead.....Plan for the ever changing world we live in.

But we have too! We have to be proactive and adapt. Are you placing yourself and employees in a position to grow for the future? To do that you have to place everyone in a learning environment. A mechanic couldn't fix the oil leak without the proper tools. Your managers can't manage without the tools. As a owner you have to provide them with the tools of training, knowledge, books, and etc to allow them to succeed. The higher success rate your team has the greater chance your company has to grow and prosper. No one has all the answers. What will you do or provide to make your team better? now you are growing frustrated because all you have processed is the $cost$ to send individuals to classes. Do not get stuck on the cost. Look for free tools. Did you know there are a ton of podcast that are free? There are tons of podcast on leadership, management, communication, and etc.... These are great tools to share with your team. Lead by example of listening to and carrying out the recommendations of tool.

Andy Stanley has a great Leadership podcast that is free!

Sunday, March 20, 2011



Is networking lost?  No it is not lost but face to face networking is gone.  Look I am networking through Facebook, Twitter, and Blogging.....but how many times are we talking face to face.  Seldom. Why????

Because we can reach people faster through mass networking versus the time it takes to build a face to face relationship.  The time it takes to call someone, get them on the phone, check calendars, make an appointment, meet, and build a relationship allows someone else the opportunity to exchange a dozen emails.  They are one email from completing the deal......

One would think we have progressed and simplified the networking process making life easier.  I would agree except for the over load of spam and fraudulent networking that has created this uneasy feeling that this must be a lie..... I have been looking online for a used car and I am overwhelmed at the number of people that say send us a money order and we will send you the car for free........really!!

Have we created this technology so fast we didn't plan how to police?  I have a new HOA Management company and social networking should be an affordable source of marketing but how do you market without creating that question.......are they for real or is this a scam.

As hard as it is, Face to Face is still very important and is my preferred choice.  I started my company based on the importance of solid relationships and I know building relationships face to face will take longer but in my mind they will last longer......

How will you network?  Do you network for fun or business?  What works for you?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Have you run out of time?  Does the day overwhelm you?  If so, you are like so many small business owners.  I have been in this boat where the days just run together.  I was caught in this last week where I didn’t realize it was Friday and thought it was still Thursday.  The sad part, I was more concerned that I had lost a day than realizing it was almost time for the weekend. 
In the good days, we would just recommend hiring another worker to maximize your time and efficiency, but in this market you are working so many hours just to make things stick together.  Who has funds to hire another person?  We all wish we could hire more workers…..our economy would be much better if we could. 
So, what do we need to do to make things easier?  I have talked about working hard is just part of the business but working smarter is also part of being a small business owner.  Prioritize and work down.  Most would say start with the most important and knock them off the list, but most of the time the most important take the most time.  If this is the case then you would never get to the small things and they will continue to stack up.  Trust me I know.  I have had many things stack up because the “larger, more important” things took priority.  This is new to me….but I am working through it.  I am not saying this will change your life and way of living, but if what you are doing isn’t working try something new.
I started something this past week.  The first hour of each day in which we have no meetings I have made this “Task Hour”.  How much can I get done in that first hour?  Because if I wait until the end of the day I am so overwhelmed and burned out I will put it off until tomorrow and then it is a trickle-down effect.  I have challenged myself to do this for 30 days.  I will let you know how I do in 30 days.
Small things make a difference………..

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Leadership Style

What type of leader are you? Do you demand respect, lead by example, set high expectations, assume the best/worse, or fall to back and allow others to lead?

So many different styles. Over the next week we will discuss different styles and when you should adapt for different situations.

Stay tuned in and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Failure happens, but don't allow it to derail you

Have you done your research?  Have you made your business plan?  Have you written down your goals?  Are you putting your business in a position to succeed? 

Have YOU failed enough to be successful?  Yes.....have you failed enough to be successful?  You should spend as much time evaluating your failures as you have spent researching, goals, and etc..  This is huge.  We can learn from our past.  I have used iconic people as examples in previous blogs to demonstrate the learning opportunities of those experiences, but our past should be used as well.

How many small businesses are there in the United States. Plenty! According to the latest Federal data, there are 24,653,098 small businesses in the United States.  According to a study by the U.S. Small Business Association, only 2/3 of all small business startups survive the first two years and less than half make it to four years. With numbers like that, it's no wonder so many entrepreneurs think twice before taking the plunge.

OK hold the press......our country was founded on small businesses.  I would like to see the stat on how many businesses are owned by someone that failed at a previous start up business.

If you start your business with the attitude that it's probably going to fail, guess what - it will. The businesses that succeed are the ones that were founded on an attitude of success.

BUT it takes more than attitude!  Because if it was solely up to attitude there would be a lot of wealthy business owners.  If something is worth having it is worth fighting for.  It requires nothing less than hard work to make whatever sacrifices are necessary to succeed. Sacrifice yes, but NOT sacrificing values and family.  If it means being unethical or pushing your family to the end of the bench then it is not worth fighting for.

I want share his name because I have not discussed it with him but my first business was in 7th grade with a great friend.  We started selling blow pops between classes.  We had a plan, a product, and demand was booming.  All was great until our target audience figured out they could buy them cheaper before school at the store.
We failed to have a plan B that would withstand changes in our market.  Mark it up my first failed attempt as a business owner.

I knew then, that one day I would be a successful business owner.  Through out I have had many failed attempts, but the great thing I decided to do was to add some education and hard work to my attitude.

Things I have learned over those failed attempts have been to plan well, plan for the risk, enjoy every minute, work hard, and don't let one failure kill your ability to move forward.  Negative times are the hardest to navigate but when you pass the storm the faster you can move in clear water.

I can't sum up how hard this is to swallow, how hard it is to think about failure, or the impact it can have on your life.  I recommend reading the Rich Dad book series and John Maxwell's Failing Forward. They are great!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Martin Luther King Jr.- A Real Leader

Monday is Martin Luther King Day in the United States.  For many this is a day off from work, but on this day WE celebrate the life and work of one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known. Please take a few minutes and reflect on a leader that helped shape a world of freedom.

MLK was a leader that expressed qualities that we are all looking for.    MLK addressed conflict straight on, engaged more than the mind....he engaged the heart, he would not settle, moved with a sence of urgent passion, motivated others to act vs. reacting, and painted a vision that was obtainable. Take some time to reflect on the past and how we as leaders can embrace learning opportunities.  

Here are some quotes from MLK speech:

"In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".

March 20, 1775 Patrick Henry closed with this quote, "Give me Liberty, or Give me Death". A little less than 200 years later MLK continued to fight for all men to have life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

"But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so we have come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.”

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!"

"I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today!"

"I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”

Leaders, I have said so many times the past carries a wealth of knowledge that we MUST rely on as a critical resource for moving forward.  Our leaders of this great country fought for and taught  valuable lessons so that we could move beyond these obstacles.  

MLK believed in his work, his work had a greater purpose, he went for the goal, and planted a Vision! MLK defined Leadership.

MLK, "We are not makers of history. We are made by history."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Don't Build Walls

“Don’t Build Walls, but Lift a Lamp to light the way”

Who thought in this period of bottom line, heavy bulk buying, and Wal-mart mentality that our economy would be at this point? I didn’t for sure. If you look at the surface, most would think the American economy has been on a great ride. The stock market has made people millions of dollars and the American dream has been soaring high.

Do you know the lady checking you out at Wal-mart? Do you have the same lady checking you out each time you make a purchase at Wal-mart? How about the grocery store? Do you have the same people checking you out at the local gas station? In most cases, the answer will be NO. Between multi-shifts of people, self check out, or pay at the pump the thought of a relationship with your local vendor is crazy talk.

Why would you want to know the people you are paying? I remember not too long ago I had one guy I bought lumber from when we were selling houses. If there was a problem, a delay, or we were in a bind I could call him. In today’s world relationships are gone, the job goes to the lowest bidder, and hopefully he sends an invoice so I know who to write the check to. That is where we are today.

I have said before we have to reevaluate not reinvent. This mentality we have grown a custom to has created walls between businesses and customers. I would think this would be a reason so many would buy online. If you are not going to be customer oriented and work to build a relationship, why involve a breathing human.

Since I am in the Financial Industry full time I have to say Community Banks in this arena are ahead of the game. They understand the need of a warm body, someone the customer can speak with, and the ability to actually meet face to face. They also understand the fact that a relationship is more than saying hello. Business owners should take notes here. If you are going to offer multiply services or products do they have synergy? Do they go hand and hand? If you can tie services and products together you have a better chance of pleasing your customer. If you have multiply services or products going to one client it is much harder for that client to be persuaded by competitor.

S. Truett Cathy, Founder of Chick-fil-A once said, “People are more important than profits”. I would agree. A Relationship will last a long time, while a pay at the pump is an instant win. The instant win is a quick fix and dwindling niche. I am not saying that in the next 12 months the pay at the pump option will be obsolete, but I am saying the relationship will last longer than the machine. If we look at history the idea of relationships will ultimately play a larger impact in life, business, and our success than the instant win. If you are looking to improve your business take a look and determine what walls have been built in your company. Look inside at your employees’ relationships first and work your way out.

Monday, January 10, 2011

"The Longer you look back, the farther you can look forward”

The Longer you look back, the farther you can look forward

Did you know that Lee Iacocca was “dismissed” at Ford Motor Company after serving as President? Did you know that Lee Iacocca was asked to be the President of Chrysler after that? Did you know after helping to rebuild Chrysler Lee Iacocca’s replacement cashed in and sold the company?

Lee Iacocca who many think to be one of the great leaders of all time in the American Auto Industry could serve as a platform for future leaders. I think we could apply his platform of leadership across many industries. 

The best way to learn about leadership and business is to look at what has already happened. They say history repeats itself over and over, so why not learn from it. Why don’t we concentrate more on what happened to us in the past? Well…..because there is always the one person who will tell you not to live in the past. I ask why not.

On December 20, 1803, the biggest land deal in history took place when the United States led by Thomas Jefferson purchased 831,321 square miles of land from France.  The Louisiana Purchase cost the United States fifteen million dollars and more than doubled the size of the United States.

As a business owner what can we take from the real estate transaction completed by one of our founding fathers?  His business was to expand the United States territory.  Decisions had to be made, risk had to be taken, and the impact would involve many.  The outcome was unknown but the plan was in place.

Two years after Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th Amendment was created.  This Amendment  to the Constitution abolished slavery throughout the entire United States and not just areas under Union control.

Abraham Lincoln had a plan, a goal, and a strategy to abolish slavery.  His business was to free all people, and he believed in his business.  His decision involved risk, lives, and an impact that is felt today.  Robert F Kennedy, once said, "Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against an injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope...Those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."

Do we as business owners believe in our business?  Do we take pride in our work?  Are we willing to put a plan in place, stride for a goal, and work HARD to get there?  Will our hard work add value to others?  We are in the "New" economy, reevaluate, not reinvent.

History is History, and we should strive to learn from what great leaders have done before us.  When we opt to look forward before looking back we forego the opportunity to capitalize on the most valuable resource, HISTORY.

Friday, January 7, 2011

“We Must Demonstrate to People that our COMMONALITIES are greater than their Differences”

Small Business owners….the tag line of this blog will tell the story. We as small business owners have for years been stuck on the thought what “Separates” our company from the others. What makes us different from our competitors, what will make us “Stand” out? Being business minded I have thought this way for years structuring my company, my employees, my time, and my knowledge in a way that will make us “Different”.

This is hard for me to swallow! In this world; if each one of us is trying to reinvent the business model, than progress will continually be at a standstill. AT NO point am I stating a business owner should not be innovative, think outside the box, or not be creative. So….your first thought will be, if we are not different, than we are all the same, how will we be competitive. Good question? If we are the same, and we can’t compete on price with the large box stores how will we stay in business.

Yes….the answer is simple and you may blow off the rest of this blog, but take time to absorb it and think about your business. Unless you are in the business of R&D for a cure for cancer, business should not be over complicated. Very straight forward….Provide a product or service that is in demand at the highest quality possible. See, very simple.

Take time to think about it. We’re so caught up in the Wal-Mart mentality that we have forgot about what made our country amazing. We once created top notch products, provided customer service above and beyond, and focused on the fundamentals of our business. Then the period of bottom line or nothing sweeps the world and large box stores buy in bulk, factories move overseas, customer service is thrown out the window, and then our country is labeled fat and lazy. We have become so focused on the bottom line that we have thrown away our opportunity to be “Different” in our commonalities.

If you want to be different, I recommend start by focusing on the fundamentals of your business. Ask the following questions: What does my company offer? Who else provides these items? Who do I DON’T want to be like? Do I as a business owner value my employees? Yes, you must focus on what YOU do in the company. The TONE of your business will start with YOU. If you tell your employees thank you then your employees will be more likely to thank your customers.

We are in the “New” economy where we will be required to revaluate everything…not reinvent everything. Focus on being great at what you do across the board and that will make your company “Different” from the pack.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Fight

“Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight”
Yes I have a MBA, an Accounting Degree, and I look like your typical business executive. I am balding and aging daily in this current economic time. I work in the Financial Industry and daily I see small businesses collapsing, folding up, and even worse families losing everything they have.
My degrees show the stamp of approval that I have an idea of what I am doing, but the years of experience that I carry on my back is the staple that I hang my hat on. My experience started way before my post grad experience, and to be honest, those are the days that developed me into the person I am today. This is a FREEBEE….for you mid level managers that look at resumes and say the new college graduate has a blank resume since he graduated should start asking more in-depth questions. Yes, they are fresh out of college, but do they have what it takes to WORK HARD and LEARN. I have been on the front lines and understand what it means that our country has to get back to Customer Service, Quality, and controlling the bottom line.
Will it be easy? NO, we are so inflated by our own thoughts that we are worth more than we really are it has blinded us to what will need to be done. What I wish I could do. I said before I see small businesses collapsing daily, and you ask if you are so smart why you don’t lend them a hand. Well in my position if I help out and the business does collapse, in return I would be sued for liability, and in this country I would lose for helping out. Well that sounds pretty selfish, and at first I thought I was protecting my family, but if all these companies continue to flounder will there be a need for my services.

Ok….so after a year of pondering over the “Question” I have decided to stop being so selfish and put myself out there to help. I will NO longer give the advice you need to contact a Consulting firm that could offer you advice. Why, because if you could afford $5,000 to hire a consulting firm for your small business you wouldn’t be seeking HELP, you would use that Capital to jump start the NEW YEAR!

My wife and I own a HOA Management and Lawn Care business in addition to my full time role in the financial industry. We’re in the world of reviewing, critiquing, consulting, and living life in this NEW Economy that we must work with. I am not saying I can solve all your questions, or lead you to a multimillion dollar salary but ask me some questions and I will do my best to help you. Actually if you are looking for a quick, get rich idea, please don’t contact me. I am offering my services, my knowledge, and my time to help those Small Business Owners on how to get through this “Slump”…or how to live with our New Economy.