You can’t dance with the elephant in your business

March 15, 2010 | By Neil Ducoff | No Comments

It’s time to acknowledge that there is an elephant in your business. More importantly, no matter how hard you try, it is impossible to dance with that elephant. Reading this, you’re probably asking, “What’s up with Neil and this elephant stuff?” Well, this elephant stuff is all about that “thing” that’s been eating away at you and your business. The elephant is that big issue or problem you’ve been trying to maneuver around but not touch. It’s there, and no matter how hard you try to move around your elephant, it just won’t go away.

Still confused? Then you’re still refusing to acknowledge your elephant’s presence. So much so that you’ve gotten used to moving around it. Having your elephant in the way for so long feels almost normal. Yet, it’s a source of great stress. All that maneuvering wears you down and drains resources. The elephant needs to go away. And its removal falls squarely on your shoulders. (more…)... Read More

It’s time to acknowledge that there is an elephant in your business. More importantly, no matter how hard you try, it is impossible to dance with that elephant. Reading this, you’re probably asking, “What’s up with Neil and this elephant stuff?” Well, this elephant stuff is all about that “thing” that’s been eating away at you and your business. The elephant is that big issue or problem you’ve been trying…
Read More

Categories: Monday Morning Wake-Up

Random success stories and thoughts for these crazy times

March 8, 2010 | By Neil Ducoff | No Comments

I was in San Francisco recently to lead a Strategies Incubator. Attendees at the intense four-day seminar for the beauty industry ranged from independent contractors seeking a business model that offers structure and growth, to larger companies trying to figure out how to get their payroll and finances under control – and how to create a no-compromise company. During the Incubator, I received the following e-mail from Lisa Cochran, owner of The Studio in Hattiesburg, MS. The timing and the message couldn’t have been better.

“Last year, the thought of ever having $10,000 in cash reserves seemed like an unattainable goal. Today, I hit that goal. My company now has a cushion of $10,000 in our cash reserves account. For me, I finally have that ‘I sleep better at night’ money. I know you always meet owners that are stuck in that ‘How will I ever get out of this mess?’ thinking. Well, I am a living success story of a business that fought its way out of the ‘fiery pits of financial hell.’ I used the knowledge and tools that Strategies gave me. As always, I am forever grateful for you and Strategies.” (more…)... Read More

I was in San Francisco recently to lead a Strategies Incubator. Attendees at the intense four-day seminar for the beauty industry ranged from independent contractors seeking a business model that offers structure and growth, to larger companies trying to figure out how to get their payroll and finances under control – and how to create a no-compromise company. During the Incubator, I received the following e-mail from Lisa Cochran, owner…
Read More

Categories: Monday Morning Wake-Up

The Recession: No, it’s not over!

March 1, 2010 | By Neil Ducoff | No Comments

This Monday Morning Wake-Up is just that – a wake up. For months economists have been stating that the recession has bottomed out. Yes, there have been glimmers of hope in the housing market. Consumer spending rose at a lackluster 1.7% annual rate, compared with the previously estimated 2.0% gain.

So here’s the wake-up call: The economy isn’t that much better off in the first quarter 2010 than it was in the first quarter of 2009. Thank goodness, the news media is busy covering the winter storms and the worst bipartisan divisions and bickering in Washington I have ever seen. (Maybe I was mistaken, but I thought our elected officials in Washington are there to serve the People – not the special interests of their political parties.) (more…)... Read More

This Monday Morning Wake-Up is just that – a wake up. For months economists have been stating that the recession has bottomed out. Yes, there have been glimmers of hope in the housing market. Consumer spending rose at a lackluster 1.7% annual rate, compared with the previously estimated 2.0% gain. So here’s the wake-up call: The economy isn’t that much better off in the first quarter 2010 than it was…
Read More

Categories: Monday Morning Wake-Up

Do you have “deer-in-the-headlights” syndrome?

February 22, 2010 | By Neil Ducoff | No Comments

Without question, these are challenging times for everyone in business. It doesn’t matter if you’re an owner, manager or employee; it takes more energy and hard work to live in the warm glow of success. Succeeding today means you have to take some risks. Playing it safe means you’re hunkered down waiting for the storm to pass. And while you’re hunkered down, your competition is pushing forward. Your employees are asking, “When are we going to get back in the game?”

I recently had the pleasure of hosting an Internet radio show. My guests were friends Jack Stack, CEO of SRC Holdings and author of The Great Game of Business, and John DiJulius, author of Secret Service. The show’s theme was “Survival in the new business paradigm.” Jack talked about how the last quarter of 2008 and first quarter of 2009 were pretty ugly at SRC. “If there was a land mine, we managed to step on it,” explained Jack. “We needed something to help us focus on surviving the recession and all the heartache that comes with a downturn. We came up with something we called the Four Ps: people, positive cash flow, profits and positioning.”... Read More

Without question, these are challenging times for everyone in business. It doesn’t matter if you’re an owner, manager or employee; it takes more energy and hard work to live in the warm glow of success. Succeeding today means you have to take some risks. Playing it safe means you’re hunkered down waiting for the storm to pass. And while you’re hunkered down, your competition is pushing forward. Your employees are…
Read More

Categories: Monday Morning Wake-Up

Respect your investment

February 15, 2010 | By Neil Ducoff | No Comments

To be an entrepreneur means that you are willing to bet the ranch on your vision. You are betting on your abilities to create, lead and grow a viable business enterprise. It doesn’t matter if you started your company years ago or if you’re about the press the launch button – being an entrepreneur is most certainly a form of gambling. It doesn’t matter if your style is to play it safe and bet in measured doses or let it all ride on one big heart-thumping hand, you are responsible for your company’s success or failure.

In the coaching and consulting business, we work with all sorts of leaders. We work with wild cowboys who like to live on the edge and avoid any semblance of structure, discipline and accountability to the non-negotiable rules of business. These cowboys luck out for bit, but always seem to struggle over the long haul. At the other end of the spectrum, we work with highly structured, detail-oriented and disciplined leaders who often find their companies stifled by their inability to adapt to change and innovate. In the middle, we meet leaders who avoid responsibilities, procrastinate and get stuck in their own quagmire of compromise, resulting in contaminated cultures and one crisis after another. (more…)... Read More

To be an entrepreneur means that you are willing to bet the ranch on your vision. You are betting on your abilities to create, lead and grow a viable business enterprise. It doesn’t matter if you started your company years ago or if you’re about the press the launch button – being an entrepreneur is most certainly a form of gambling. It doesn’t matter if your style is to play…
Read More

Categories: Monday Morning Wake-Up

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