Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Feb 04 2021

Make 2021 Time for a “STRUGGLE HUDDLE”

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STOP COVID-COMPLAINING

RUN A “STRUGGLE HUDDLE”

Dear Mom and Pop and Entrepreneurial Enterprise Leaders, Dear Fortune 500 Corporate Sharpshooters, Dear Healthcare and other Service Industry Principals, Dear Product Manufacturers, Retailers, and First Responder Organizations, Dear Teachers and Students . . . BE ALERT TO THE REALITY THAT TODAY’S WORLD CALLS FOR A “STRUGGLE HUDDLE”!

Step up to the challenge and pull together your most creative thinkers and doers to brainstorm where your business (and life) needs to go now. NO CRITICISM ALLOWED! Criticism scares away constructive thinking. Once you’ve established realistic targets, determine how to get there: 1) what are the best and most direct routes, and 2) who can best lead the way?

How do I know this? Because I’ve led many hundreds of productive sessions like this since the 1970’s with every type of organization noted in the top paragraph. I can attest to the fact that those leaders who are genuine, open- minded, determined, receptive, and truly care will succeed in conquering the Coronavirus invasion of business and will be proclaimed the winners!

Larger organizations can host numerous “Struggle Huddle” sessions at numerous levels, beginning with top level representations and working through various departments. Smaller entities might consider inviting connected providers (e.g. CPA, lawyer, a top supportive customer, a parallel provider) . . . and family if it’s a family enterprise.

It helps to start with a stress management approach or two, presenting an overview of both the associated problems and goals, reviewing process and procedures, conducting a short warm-up activity, then moving forward to define and separate the most immediate and the down-the-road needs. With proper preparation, a “Struggle Huddle” can be effective in one hour.

Please feel free to connect direct: Hal@BusinessWorks.US for a free (untracked/un-followed-thru unless requested) email and/or telephone [1.931.854.0474] exchange on how best to set up and conduct sessions like this by yourself or with my on-the-spot or remote (Zoom) input.

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Dec 24 2020

Published by under Uncategorized

2021 . . . Here We Come!

It matters not if you run a Mom/Pop store, delivery service, professional practice, mega-billion dollar corporation, or if you’re a healthcare worker, 1st responder, teacher, or make and sell products from your garage. . .

If you are even the slightest bit entrepreneurially-minded, take one look in the mirror and say to yourself: “It’s 2021! And it’s time to make things happen!”NOT as an empty New Year’s Resolution, but as a promise to yourself and to those you love and care for.

We have all struggled with our fears, but the time is NOW to use all that pent-up energy and resources you’ve stored away. NOW is the time to face and conquer your frustration with COVID’s ugly track-record, with media and government apathy, and twisted self-importance political pursuits .

NOW is the time to show what you’re really made of, and you can start the minute you finish reading this post and taking these steps:

START with adopting a productive, non-interruptive, positive attitude that keeps your mind and body alert and in touch with reality. You can help yourself to pursue making that happen as often as you choose, with every passing moment. HOW?

With deep breathing in through your nose, pushing air to the bottom part of your lungs where it is seldom circulated, then slowly with your mouth closed, push that air up to the top part of your lungs, hold it a couple of seconds then exhale slow steady stream through your almost closed lips until it is (with an extra little push) ALL out . . . then repeat as often as it takes until you can hear the exhale as a slow steady stream without any “hitches” — You will be more in control and more in touch with the “here and now” in front of you.

Dizziness simply suggests you take a break. So simply sit if you’re standing, and recognize that you may need to do more of this than others might have to, to achieve full value. Keep at it!

Age and physical health make no difference. Your determination to follow this process whenever you feel upset (or angry, worried, frustrated or out-of-touch), will deliver the best return on investment of your energy and the minute or two that it takes. It will keep you focused on what’s important.

And it’s free!

The end result? You will feel better, think more clearly, be more productive . . . and the more you do it, the less noticeable it will be!

Are YOU Breathing?

MORE INFO? Click on the “ARE YOU BREATHING?” tab at the top of this home page or email Hal@BusinessWorks.US or call 1.931,854,0474 (CST)

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Jan 28 2020

ConteXt (not conteNt) Is King!

HOW you say what you say

 

is at least as important

 

as WHAT you say!

 

What? Read that again! But before you click off, do your  SELF a favor:  Record your voice and listen hard to your  volume, tone of voice, inflections, and emphasis . . . or find someone to listen and repeat what you just meant!

 

It’s not just WHAT you say, it’s HOW you say it . . . HOW you come across? Odds are someone else’s take (or even your own in listening to a recording) will be different than  what you thought you were communicating.

Actors know this; it’s why they re-read scripts aloud many  times–until it FEELS right and until others GET what they  are trying to communicate.

WHY?

Because HOW something is said is what gets processed and communicated far beyond the meaning of the actual words.  Not sure? Try yelling “I love you!” in an angry tone of voice,  or whispering “HELP! I’m drowning” as you fall off a cruise ship. Okay, a bit extreme perhaps, but you get the idea.

The conteXt (or HOW you present the conteNt) of your idea or message is what matters most. Is a “mixed message” any different from wearing a suit and tie to a kid’s backyard birthday party or a greasy hoodie and overalls to a formal wedding?

Are you representing your business interests, products and services in proper conteXt with your:

  • customer base and target market?

  • branding line and platform?

  • vision and mission statements?

  • marketing and PR and promotion goals and budgets?

  • employees and suppliers?

  • business community and community-at-large?

  • website and social media platform?

If you can answer “YES!” to all the above, congratulations! If  you have doubts, you may need a quick-fix or some ongoing experienced input from a team of conteXt experts who can help ensure that all your messages are in the most productive light  to produce the most sales and grow your customer base quicker.

From running focus groups to training your staff . . . to creating branding and marketing programs that work . . . to implementing your website and social media development . . . to creating customized training and promotional videos (even customized music!) . . . all with many hundreds of miles of success experience: visit

www.FasTrakBusinessWorks.com

(with no “cookies” or tracking of your site visit, and no annoying followup calls or emails!)

 

Then call Hal @ 1.931.854.0474    

 

for a no-fee, get-acquainted consult.

 

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Sep 02 2019

REAL entrepreneurs are born, not made!

REAL entrepreneurs

 

 are born, not made!

 

Almost like a 6th sense, true entrepreneurs are blessed with an intuitive instinct that sets them apart from other businesspeople. They possess an inner quest for making their ideas work even after suffering what sometimes seems to others to be endless defeats.

True entrepreneurs rise from the “smoke and ashes” with smiles and renewed energy. They don’t whimper, cry, curse, or pound on tabletops. How is this possible? Because they instinctively view every setback as a new learning experience, as an opportunity, not as failure.

They do this by launching yet another try to achieve their goals. Remember Thomas Edison made 10,000 (TEN THOUSAND!!) attempts before inventing the lightbulb!

Over the past few weeks, I had the good fortune to separately interview two purebred entrepreneurs: Valerie Connelly (3-part interview) and Alex Maddux (former “Mr. Tennessee”) on my weekly radio show and podcast.

 

[NOTE: Podcasts are 22-23 minutes and accessible 24/7, worldwide, for free at www.NewsTalk941.com/podcasts  Then scroll down 13 program titles to “BUSINESSWORKS” then through 9-10 recent topics to “Cannes Film Festival”/”Valerie Connelly & Entrepreneurship Pt1” and then to “Pt 2.” The show with Alex Maddux will be available on Monday 9/9/19]   

 

Both of these entrepreneurs rose from what some might call “the depths of failure” but neither Valerie nor Alex ever considered such experiences as depressing or oppressive. Even though neither was “rollin’ in dough” at the time, each chose to see what others might call “errors” as nothing more than learning experiences.

Each took overwhelmingly crippling results from having their ideas knocked over, knocked out, and trampled on by others as “positive learning steps” that led each to the door of imminent success:

 

  • Valerie, is reaching her door (a 35-year pursuit!)  to create an enormously entertaining and inspiring women’s (and men’s) empowerment, totally-original, musical film [See the 2  1/2 minute “sizzle reel, “a pre-production imagined version of the post-production “trailer” at vimeo.com/340320166 ; this “teaser” was developed prior to the 8/22/19 live Nashville  theater script reading by professional actors and is presently being updated to be featured on upcoming Indiegogo film-credit funding opportunities].

                                                     

Alex (shown with son Avyn), has reached his door with varied career pursuits, each of which contributed to

his current “athletes and outdoor work and play experience” market for UBEECOOL towels and other distinctive UBEECOOL logo-imprinted merchandise. 

See www.UBEECOOL.com 

The take-away from both of these innovators is –whether you are an entrepreneur-by-instinct or have lived and applied entrepreneurial actions and ways of thinking to your own pursuits– take heed (and comfort) in the shared guidelines and key ingredients that both Valerie and Alex attribute to entrepreneurial success:

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.

BE (and stay) DETERMINED.

BE PASSIONATE in your pursuits.

HAVE A STRONG SUPPORT SYSTEM (family/friends/employees/community/church).

BE FLEXIBLE (product and service planning and adaptability).

 

 




Having worked closely as a creative business development coach and guide to thousands of successful entrepreneurs, I can authoritatively say:  The bottom line is to learn from those you believe have entrepreneurial instinct how she/he/they think and  act, and how you can vastly improve your odds for success by applying what you absorb and practice… Hal Alpiar

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Mar 25 2019

YOU AIN’T SOLD NOTHIN’ YET!

Published by under Uncategorized

YOU AIN’T SOLD NOTHIN’ YET!

 

Movie film clip art free clipart image

 

Entrepreneur & Sales Career

Food for Thought:

If you’ve never “pitched” a plan for a movie to movie investors, agents, directors, producers and big-name talent, you haven’t a clue about a sale being “hard.”

Think about it. Everything you sell is a defined product or service loaded with bells and whistles (or sometimes, empathy, sometimes good cheer, sometimes fear or apprehension), but always it is defined by size, shape, contents, features, performance, longevity, even expectation.

But until a movie is made, completely finished and ready for release, it is in constant flux… changing itself–it’s characteristics–right up until the very split second it has been filmed and is finally edited.

An actor’s unique facial expression or voice inflection has sometimes changed an entire scene on the spot. Sometimes 100’s of little changes are made during production of the end product even after being long-ago-sold-to-investors!

Try to imagine integrating this flexibility dynamic into a any object or service you represent.

The only exceptions that come to mind are those rare occasions when, for example, a surgeon being part way into an operation discovers some previously undetected issue that needs to be addressed along the way to completing the planned surgery…. or perhaps a builder following an architectural blueprint discovers the makings of a troublesome sinkhole where all or part of the structure is planned.

Consider for just a minute how many times a situation like those noted actually cross your path as a business owner or sales rep. Probably few if any, and hopefully never.

But a movie? A movie must first be sold to prospective participants and prospective investors… sometimes in that order, sometimes in reverse order, and sometimes even at the same time!

So every time you’re tempted to think you’re the original whizkid of the sales world (or, conversely, the all-time sales disaster), take a second look in the mirror!

Consider what it would be like if your product or service was changing literally every minute of every day in an effort to be constantly improved, energized, provocative, enticing… right up until the last second of purchase… and even then, often beyond purchase to the moment of consumption.

Thought about all that?

Okay, so now return to what you’re selling with newfound appreciation that the only sales problem you may truly have is learning how to put yourself in your prospect’s shoes. . . 

Customers–after all is said and done– are truly only looking for someone they feel they can trust and someone who exhibits the capabilities that warrant that trust. The more specialized and complex a product or service, the more important are these criteria.

Sales Workshops That Sell

Call Hal:     1.931.854.0474

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Mar 04 2019

Want more customers/clients or patients? Get your butt in gear!

Published by under Uncategorized

Want more customers,

clients or patients?

 

Get your butt in gear!

 

It doesn’t matter if you are an inventor, retailer, wholesaler, manufacturer, service business, heart surgeon, veterinarian, creative genius, or lawyer.

It doesn’t matter if you have a top-notch sales team.

If you haven’t enough people paying for your products or services, stop guessing and find out why.

Where to start? Use a Focus Group with 7 or 9 or ll (an odd number works best when disagreements may surface) EXISTING clients, customers, or patients (and possibly a couple of prospects as well!).

You’ll want to recruit people who you think come across as honest and outspoken supporters of you and what you represent and will speak their minds when you’re not around.

Yes, you should NOT be present.

You need to find out what brought them to your doorstep, from where, and how, and when, and why. But you are too close to what you do to expect yourself to not feel anxious, or angry, or antagonized, or defensive in attempting to gather that information.

BEING A DETECTIVE . . .

So start your detective work by researching who in your geographical area (and preferably someone familiar with the terms and nature of your business or professional practice or specialization), is affordable and offers the right kind of experience to represent your interests without risking your reputation.

You need someone who is sensitive to your business or professional needs but who can probe a responder without insulting participants and without playing head games or defending your interests.

This person must also know how to structure and ask the kinds of questions that get the results you need. This needs to go far beyond a typical office or online survey.

Find –first and foremost– someone (a consultant/coach/ trainer type) who has experience with putting together and running Focus Groups… someone who can initiate and maintain a productive group discussion, who can read body language, who probably has an assistant, and who knows the most appropriate meeting place arrangements (NOT in your office or place of business).

You’ll need someone who can arrange and distribute token thank you gifts for participants, conduct unobtrusive (complete session) audio recordings and note-taking and summarize highlights for you . . . someone who knows how and when and where to set up and conduct Focus Group sessions . . . and how to orchestrate participants to bring meaningful feedback, ideas, suggestions and input to the surface.

You should expect immediate next-day feedback from the moderator, followed up by a detailed report (plus the actual session recording and recommendations) usually within a week.

It may be necessary to conduct two or three sessions (each with different participants) if the business or professional interests are complex (as perhaps with a heart surgeon who must simultaneously represent the best interests of each patient, each patient family, the institution involved and the doctor’s staff . . . each and all requiring separate and delicate care and attention.

  

But the bottom line is that you are likely to get the information you need to begin immediately to reverse the problem, and initiate an exciting new growth period that meets customer/client/patient needs better than ever before.

Get a free (No-strings attached)

10-minute briefing. Call Hal now:

1.931.854.9474

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Jan 22 2019

Do you REALLY know what your customers think?

Published by under Uncategorized

Your “Best Guess”

 

No Longer Sells!

 

Small business and professional practice owners and managers need to squeeze every marketing dollar.

That’s easy to do when you make the decision to stop thinking you know it all when it comes to customer and patient needs and wants, and start finding out the truth! Successful businesses are those that use Focus Group Sessions to uncover the real reasons that customers and prospects may be driven to your door, or abandon your offerings for those of a competitor.

“No matter how great your business

or professional skills are –as

with life itself– there’s no way

you can actually “put yourself

in another’s shoes.”

But (Voila!) you actually CAN get an accurate reading of other’s perceptions about what products and/or services you offer and how you offer them. No, not by using questionnaires or inventories or surveys… none of which most people ever respond to truthfully or meaningfully, even when they use heavily-researched, data-proven wording and techniques. What matters is what actual customers/patients/clients actually say and think, and how they express those comments. That takes a Focus Group.

6 FOCUS GROUP ESSENTIALS

 

1. PARTICIPANTS

9 to 11 mix of screened customers and types of prospects you most want to reach. Identify those who best seem to represent your target market (or results may be skewed or not useful).

2. MODERATOR

Market research firms can be hired to organize and facilitate. This, however, can cost a small fortune and not necessarily perform as well as one (non-employee) consultant or coach who has solid Focus Group leadership experience, and who can also interpret body language and be 100% objective… someone who knows how to encourage on-time attendance and full participation… plus be able to keep the discussion lively and beneficial to your interests, without feeling (as you might) the need to be defensive in response to a comment or attitude. In this case, it’s actually best to not be present at all.

3. COMFORTABLE “OFF-CAMPUS” SETTING

Location (not your place of business) matters. You need a relaxing environment… a general meeting room at a business building, nearby hotel or conference center, or a private restaurant room where you might host an informal dinner.

4. RECORD IT ALL

In addition to written notes, be sure to record the entire event with the understanding it will ONLY be used for review by the Moderator and business/practice principals involved to make sure of accuracy of written notes.

5. MORE THAN ONE GROUP = MORE ACCURATE RESULTS

Depending on the amount of budgeted money and time available, multiple Focus Groups can be used at different times to allow for response variety and the additional data helps validity and consistency of results.

6. REWARDS

If not a meal, at least coffee/tea/water/juice, and snacks should be available, and a small token gift with a personally-signed (by the business/practice owner/principal and the Moderator) Thank You card plus a token gift… a small potted plant, a $10 gift card for a local restaurant… for each participant.  

GO FOR IT! Doubts? Worries?

Call HAL: 1.931.854.0474

No fees. No sales pitch.

Just some free input to clarify the above

and help you succeed.

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Dec 29 2018

TOMORROW!

Published by under Uncategorized

TOMORROW?

 

“It’s the first blank page

 

of  your 365-page book.

 

Write a good one!”

 

Thanks to Brad Paisley for the quote, and to my old friend Tony Emanueli, the very finest New Jersey Realtor, for sharing it <www.TonyEmanueli.com>

It has been commonly reported in the publishing world that more than 80% of all people believe they have a book to write. Keep in mind that:

A) Books don’t write themselves,

B) Your “Resolution ” to write a book (or even a 7 words-or-less billboard!) will never happen without a plan, and

C) NO plan (book-writing, business sales and development, professional practice growth) works without all five of the following criteria…

1… Your plan must be REALISTIC.

You cannot plan to write a bestseller that will also be the basis for an award-winning film. You cannot plan to price your book for $139.95 and think you’ll make enough money from sales to retire, or spend the rest of your life in luxury traveling the Mediterranean. You cannot plan to write exactly 327 and 1/2 pages or have a genuine leather dust cover. In your business or professional practice, or book, your plan must fit the reality of what you are TRULY capable of doing, not what you dream of doing. It is NOT “a wish.” It is an approach to taking action.            

2… Your plan must be SPECIFIC.

Don’t allocate 10-hour workdays to uninterrupted writing time unless you’re a hermit. Having a goal to sell a million units a year or “paint the Brooklyn Bridge” or to “clean the house” will never be as effective as an agreed-to-in-advance monthly sales goal , or a goal to paint each girder (or clean each room), so you can check off daily/weekly sales –girder or room at a time– what you are in the process of achieving, and gain a sense of realistic timing to complete the goal.

3… Your plan must be FLEXIBLE. 

Nothing is in concrete. Goals need to be changed to fit the reality of changing circumstances. A plan is meant to be edited and changed according to life circumstances. You can always keep the target and change the dates or the methods to use or the steps involved… or you can even change (enlarge/expand/ reduce/move the target to best accommodate the flow of people and changing events involved.

4… Your plan must have a DUE DATE.

Figure the hours and days and weeks and months, perhaps years, involved. If you approach the due date and see it won’t happen, regardless of whether the reason (There will A-L-W-A-Y-S be interruptions in life!), simply move the due date or reduce the desired results and get back on the horse. Remember #3 above and don’t berate yourself. Remember your due date is what you seek to achieve. It’s a target that you’re free to move or expand as circumstances dictate.

5… Your plan must be IN WRITING.

Electronic keyboard entries don’t cut it! There’s a physiological response that handwritten plans produce by sending the message from your brain, through your neck and shoulder and arm and wrist and hand to your pen into the ink, and onto paper that adds up to genuine commitment.

Have a happy, healthy, productive 2019-2020

filled with accomplishment of realistic,

specific, flexible, due-dated, handwritten

plans (not empty Resolutions) for your life,

your business, your professional practice

. . . and, yes, your book!

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Dec 20 2018

CHRISTMAS is not about giving OR receiving.

Published by under Uncategorized

Watch where you’re going!

Barnegat Girl 10/15/97-9/1/10 R.I.P.

I watched a blind man’s golden retriever thread his master through the parking lot and into the giant retail outlet, through electronic doors and deftly around an oblivious woman who appeared cast in stone, at one with her shopping cart… surely not about to move.

The man and his companion worked their way around obstacles, displays, counters, other shoppers. They passed so briskly and so seemingly self-assured that only a few passerby even noticed just one pair of color-blind canine eyes leading three pair of legs.

But I did. And in a mere matter of seconds after the man’s best friend and the man were devoured by store traffic, my mind snapped to attention from its visual tracking trance and realized I had been witness to a man with no eyes. Mine began to fill with tears. Maybe it was being sad for him, or grateful for me, or simply the season, but…

All my weaknesses, complaints and woes went quickly off into space as I closed my eyes and considered for just a moment what my life would be like without ever again seeing a crepe myrtle in full bloom, the ocean, a blue heron following with its body its spindly silent legs as it creeps along the shore, a laughing toddler, deep woods, a frolicking litter of puppies, snow-topped mountains, my family, a book, works of art, lightening, swooping seagulls, my toothbrush, a roaring fireplace, faces, a Christmas tree…

Who could possibly want a Christmas present, who has full use of vision, after seeing someone who does not?

So, I am left to conclude

that Christmas is truly not

about either giving or receiving.

Christmas is instead about consciousness-raising, celebration, self-renewal, and setting out once again on our annual trek to make the most of what we already have, to better ourselves and the lives of those around us.

Christmas is a gentle wake-up call to remember we are here to make a difference on this planet, one day at a time, to focus on making what’s possible actually happen. Christmas is a time for melancholy, yes, but also for introspection. We remember that we have within each of us the ability to choose the pathways that make existence on Earth as worthy as what lives in the riches of our souls.

Here’s what I’ve learned (often the hard way, mind you) so here’s what I have to share: In both business and in life, watch where you’re going, but always think about where you are. Be grateful for all that is yours, and continue your work to grow your business so you can help others from a position of strength… because the greatest gift of all is love wrapped up in charity.

# # #

God Bless You One And All

And Merry Christmas To You!

# # #

Hal@Businessworks.US    

1-931-854-0474

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Sep 14 2018

THANK YOU for your support of “FEARLESS! ABOUT LOVE”

Published by under Uncategorized

THANK YOU for your support 

 

A truly heartfelt thanks to each of you,

dear friends, you who stepped up to help

support movie pre-production expenses of

 

“FEARLESS! ABOUT LOVE”

 

CLICK PHOTO for first minute of musical movie!

You know who you are. We know who you are. And headed toward production in 2019, we know only that we couldn’t be here without you!

You are friends of Valerie, friends of Hal, friends of music and the performing arts. You are also friends of creative and determined entrepreneurship.

You are friends of this dynamic humorous and dramatic triple love tale that everyone can relate to.

And you are friends of the inspired music and lyrics that tell the whole story. Your support is genuinely appreciated. 

 

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