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Twenty-Six Years of Strategies
September 22, 2019 | By Neil Ducoff | 9 Comments
Holy crap! My company turned 26 on September 13th. Yes, that would have been “Friday the 13th.” Perhaps that’s why we let it pass without much fanfare.
As my thoughts drift back through the years, I feel a profound sense of pride on many levels that I would like to share.
- My vision has never wavered: From day one, Strategies has been about making a difference in the lives of those that entrust us to coach and train their companies. It’s about helping owners and their employees find and live a better way to do business. Every member of the Strategies team is 100% committed to the vision and the responsibilities it requires.
- Together, we overcame the challenges: Like any business, we’ve had our challenges. I’m responsible for a few, like my encounter with depression back in 2007, and ten years later when I was hit and seriously injured while riding my bike. Both times, my team stepped up to allow me time to recover. When the economy tanked in 2008, we responded by redesigning our seminar and coaching programs to make them more accessible. And, after 14 years of publishing Strategies Magazine, we made the tough decision to make the December 2007 issue its last. Today, my Monday Morning Wake-Up blog post has ten times the number of readers.
- Strategies past team members: When you truly believe in your vision and your work, you attract like-minded followers. Over the past 26 years, employees and coaches have come and gone. Without question, each and every individual played a role in our growth and success. To those that moved on, I say, “Thank you for your contribution.”
- Strategies current team members: Strategies is a very different company than it was ten+ years ago. We have tight systems, shared and focused leadership, and a company culture that is nothing short of amazing. I am blessed to have the most amazing leadership team and coaches ever. To the twenty-five+ that represent Strategies today, I say, “Lets continue our mission to bring best business practices to the salon/spa industry.”
- Team-Based Pay is officially mainstream: This coming weekend in Atlanta, GA, September 29-30, we will be holding our sixth annual Team-Based Pay Conference. Not only is TBP19 the largest we’ve done — it’s incredibly-close to being sold-out. TBP salons, spas and medspas from all over North America will gather to learn, share and re-energize. On Sunday evening, we’ll be holding our 5th annual TBP Awards Ceremony. The Strategies team works tirelessly to make each TBP Conference better than the last. All I can say is, “Thank you for believing and making a dream come true.”
- Who’s afraid of technology?: Strategies surely isn’t. In 2014, we built our first-generation coaching portal fondly named, the Command Center. Everything related to Strategies coaching was built into the Command Center, including a back end for documenting coach calls and monitoring progress. In late 2016, we began work on Command Center 2.0 and launched it the following Spring. Custom spreadsheets are better than ever, as is its entire functionality. Today, we have our own full-time programmer to keep CC2.0 humming along. We also moved operations and marketing to custom-built version of Infusionsoft. Our technology investment is huge — and, thankfully, it all works.
- Onlive — The future of education is now: As much as we love our Strategies Business Academy and other seminar venues, this year we launched Onlive Training to bring live interactive learning to your computer. This meant taking over the entire first floor at our corporate headquarters and building a full-blown video studio with all the bells and whistles to do serious full-day live-feed broadcasts. In March 2020, we will begin delivering our flagship Incubator Seminar Onlive, one full-day each week for four weeks. We can’t wait to share the Incubator Onlive experience with you. Stay tuned for details!
- What’s Neil going to do?: For some reason, I keep getting asked this question. Maybe it has something to do with me turning 70 this coming February 2nd. So here’s my official answer: I have a great team that’s been pretty much been running Strategies for a good number of years. I oversee my company and offer my guidance when asked or if necessary. I write my Monday Morning Wake-Up and do a few speaking events a year. Honestly, I’ve traveled enough in the past 50 years. As for my health, I would have done 3,000 miles on my bike this year if I hadn’t slashed a tendon on my thumb with a saw last 4th of July. I’ll wrap up 2019 at about 2,100 miles. Not too shabby for a guy about to turn 70.
Here’s my challenge to you: This is my story on my company as we begin our 26th year. We worked through our challenges and celebrated our successes.
We learned that leadership, systems, technology, open communication, accountability, fiscal responsibility, and the courage to make tough decisions, are all non-negotiables for sustainable success.
FACT: We work hard as hell at practicing what we teach and preach — because it works.
My vision is for Strategies to outlive me and provide secure futures for our employees and their families.
That’s my plan. What’s yours?