Jun 20 2015


baseball glove





We’ve all read inspirational quotes from the likes of Einstein, Edison, Disney, Ford, Mother Theresa, Jobs, Gates, Gloria Steinem, Lincoln, Knute Rockne, Billy Graham, Reagan, Oprah, Churchill, Mary Kay, Dyer, Denis Waitley, Brian Tracy, Fritz Perls, Zig Ziglar, Vince Lombardi, JFK, John Glenn, Mr. Rogers, Helen Keller . . .

We’ve read hundreds (thousands?) of different interpretations of “THE” 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 “WAYS” “METHODS” “STEPS” “KEYS TO” “RULES” “COMMANDMENTS” “TIPS” or “BEHAVIORS” we must follow, or “SINS” “MISTAKES” “ERRORS” or “TRAPS” we must avoid “TO SUCCEED.” They headline endless online posts, each proclaiming more author-self-anointed-authority that the next.

We know from our observations of friends, family, and associates that “10 or 20 years of career experience” is often simply one year of do-nothing actions repeated over and over for 10 or 20 years.

And from all of this—and more—we’ve learned to smile and sit up straight, to not “make waves,” to “hold our tongues,” and to “accept the life (and struggles) that have been given to us,” to “be patient and wait out the storms,” and—when in doubt—put together a committee to study the question. Sure, you may feel like you have to play the hand that’s been dealt to you, but you chose to get in the game, and you can choose to get out!

It’s worth remembering that every sunrise—yes, including today and tomorrow, and the next day, and the next—is a wakeup call to action, a new opportunity for each of us to do the best we can do, be the best we can be . . . make a difference with our lives.

And since all humans have imperfections, it’s hard (and probably impossible) to even try to do and be better every day without a daily assessment of where we are at the moment and how (what was the process we used) to get where we are right now.

How can we change what we don’t know exists? Or when we don’t know how it got that way to begin with? How can we get where we’re going if we don’t know where we’ve been? How many of us can take apart a faulty machine-engineered appliance we have no working knowledge of, repair it and put it back together?

How can we change (Yeah, I know, a link to “10 Steps.” Sorry ;>) something without thinking through the steps of how we got there in the first place (i.e., what are the how-to’s, NOT what are the reasons)? Taking a quick daily personal inventory is one answer. Even heavily-experienced, well-trained pilots review checklists prior to takeoff.

The practice of daily checkups is the foundation for the attitude that drives every entrepreneurial mindset . . . that every problem is an opportunity! Trust yourself!

“Get busy livin’, or get busy dyin’. . .
If you’re not moving forward,
you’re moving backward.”

– Reid Hoffman, Cofounder/Chairman- LinkedIn (From the 2012 bestselling business book, the start-up of YOU, by Hoffman and Casnocha)



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Hal@Businessworks.US    931.854.0474

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

God Bless You and Thank You for Your Visit!

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Oct 31 2011


Welcome to the world’s first SMALL BIZ Alphabet Series of blog posts!


[You were expecting maybe

kangaroos, kaput, keeper. keyboard, kicks, kisses, or kudos?]



KALEIDOSCOPIC (according to Writer’s Digest Books’ FLIP DICTIONARY) means “changeable, colorful, diverse, fluctuating, motley, protean, variable, and vivid”… a pretty decent 8-word description that can be applied to the characterizing of entrepreneurial instincts and behaviors, sooo…

So, let’s explore a little of how this word impacts small business ownership and management. Since Kaleidoscopic implies an ever-changing view, it also suggests having kaleidoscopic vision. No, not “VISION” as in fancy corporate Vision Statements, not that kind… it’s more in the context of having eyes in the back of your head.

Now every entrepreneur can relate to that, right?

When you own or manage a small business — everything from a one-man-band functioning out of your kitchen, basement or garage, to a staff of 300 operating out of an industrial park complex, or a crowded office of five or ten– you must keep your antennas up and be on the lookout 24/7 for problems, potential problems, and opportunities (remembering of course that every problem is an opportunity!).

Running your own business is a lot like taking a scout group of twenty ten-year-olds on a camping trip. [Rule One is to make sure you have plenty of adult help!] You no sooner get a tent up and find yourself first-aiding a youngster with a cut knee. As you apply the bandage, another child, soaking wet from falling in the stream is in your face.

You start a fire to dry off the wet clothes and yet another camper has made off into the woods with two burning branches . . . you get the picture (or know it all too well). It is not instinctive for most of us to be firefighters at work. Corporate leaders in fact are trained not to be (real leaders plan, plan, delegate, delegate, etc.). 

But no matter what size your business, you cannot delegate responsibility. This means what comes around from putting your shoulder to the wheel stays on your shoulders, and heavy shoulders make kaleidoscopic vision difficult if not impossible. How do you turn your head when there’s an anchor around your neck?

Yet business success is often largely attributable to being able to see opportunities as they surface. That leaves not too many options. Either function in moderation — keep your plate less than full and avoid over-stress (HA! Just a joke.) — or learn the best ways to manage your attitude and your time to keep a kaleidoscopic balance.

When you can get to the point of anticipating without having packed too many parachutes and umbrellas and BandAids, when you can take things day-at-a-time yet have some long and short-term plans (and alternate routes) worked out, when you can stay focused in the here-and-now present moment: VOILA! You win!

By avoiding worry about future events that haven’t yet come (and may never), and by avoiding dwelling on past events that are over and will never return, and that can’t be changed, you are more than halfway to success. The rest depends on what you see that works for you in the rest of this BIZ ALPHABET series. Scroll away! 


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Hal@Businessworks.US   302.933.0116

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Many thanks for your visit and God Bless You.

 Make today a GREAT day for someone!

No responses yet

Sep 30 2010


Let it rain on your parade.


You get wet??  So what??


Rain. In life, it comes from the sky. In business? It can come from anywhere and everywhere, any time. It’s the “anywhere, everywhere, any time” part that gives most business owners ulcers, right? 

At least when rain always comes from the sky, we can duck for cover, use umbrellas, pull up hoods, wear hats, and avoid getting our eyeballs pinged by looking up!

But have you noticed that whether it rains in real life, or it rains on your business parade, it never makes everybody happy all of the time? That of course exempts those of you who live in Seattle, San Francisco, Ireland, or one of those preserved rain forests where you simply go with the flow (no pun intended).


Anyway, there’s always either too much or 

not enough… Or am I just imaging things?


We’re either in a terrible draught and can only wash the car on alternate weekdays, or we’re hiding under the covers, quivering with each cloudburst, and bemoaning the juiced-up local TV weather person’s bug-eyed flash flood warnings.

Oh, and we certainly know about how “hard” it can rain. We’ve known since kiddiedom that “When it rains, it pours!”… and Bob Dylan warned us that a “hard rain’s a gonna fall.”


People complain there’s not enough business,

or that there’s too much business.

Oh. . . such killer problems!

(You think I’m making this up?)


How do you handle too much or too little business raining on yourparade? Do you drown yourself, just wallow around in the muckity mud, or do a “Singing in the rain” routine as you tap dance around the nearest light stanchion?  

How often do you ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen here?” Hopefully, that’s the leading question that pops into your rained-on brain just before every decision you make. Why? Because having a worst-case scenario in your mind provides a platform of reality for forward motion, and helps prevent surprise…which most entrepreneurs stopped liking when they turned six.

Here’s the deal: You got into your own business by hook or crook, or by accident or accidentally on purpose. Or maybe you slid sideways into it through some family rainstorm or annoying drizzle, or slam-bam downpour. But it’s yours.


Like the old Toyota theme: “You asked for it. You got it.” So, by now, dealing with upsets is probably daily routine.

Dealing with your SELF though, may not be.


So, stop and take stock. This weekend is as good as any to look hard in the mirror and size up what you see there that’s upsetting. Ferret out the rain, and make your mind up to see it for what it is: necessary, refreshing, and routine in many places. Yeah, and wet.

Next, decide how you can reverse your own gears to back out of whatever upsets come your way. (Combat is not always the best answer!) And consider contingency plans based on (you got it) worst case scenarios. “Be Prepared” caution the Boy Scouts.

Choose to look at every problem as an opportunity, and get on with it.

Too much rain sells more umbrellas, slickers, ponchos, foul-weather gear, waders, boots, sump pumps, waders, hair dryers and flood insurance. Not enough rain, sells more watering cans, mulch, faucet washers, flush-efficient toilets, rain-dance manuals and videos, and ice cubes (for exotic drinks to enjoy while draught-watching!).


What’s the opportunity in your latest problem?


302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.
 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

One response so far

Aug 15 2009


“Stick to your knitting!”


(and risk going down the tubes!)


All of history’s great management gurus  have traditionally advised business owners and managers to stick to their knitting, as in “do what you do best, put your head down, and charge forward!”

But these are radical times  that call for radical solutions. “Sticking to your knitting” can earn you bankruptcy. Look around you for the proof. Would you like a list of all the (big AND small) single-minded-pursuit businesses that closed in the last two years?

Except for those few businesses  that thrive on hard times… do-it-yourself stuff and debt consolidation and pawn shops and vulture lawyers… those who do best are adapting and expanding and re-inventing themselves!

You run a service business  but have more to offer than just your accounting skills. I’m not talking about your tuba-playing. Surely you have taught others something about your specialization at some point. Why not add that ability to the range of services you offer?  

VOILA!  Now you are also a consultant and trainer. Package these add-on services, price them, and include them on your business cards and letterheads. Hey, nothing ventured… 

You’re a painter or designer?  Add less-expensive, one-of-a-kind postcards and greeting cards to your lineup.

You sell furniture  and discover the new senior housing complex down the road provides a small alcove area next to every front door; nothing you carry fits there, but you (or someone you’re connected with) have (has) some carpentry skills. Measure twice; cut once. Skinny/tall/customized corner cabinets! Sell affordably and POOF! A new revenue stream and new prospective customer base.

Every problem is an opportunity.  

A lousy economy is an opportunity

to innovate and spin new business

directions out of your old knitting.

“A stitch in time…”     

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 Hal@TheWriterWorks.com or comment below.

Thanks for visiting. 

Go for your goals, and God bless you!


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