Aug 02 2015

Baking Entrepreneur Cakes?


Entrepreneur Programs


Do Not Make Entrepreneurs


Entrepreneurship can be taught. And those who are entrepreneurs can be made more productive. But the truth is that those not born with entrepreneurial instincts and attitudes can only learn what the tools and ingredients are –and maybe even how to use some of them– yet never become entrepreneurs.

Not everyone, after all, can consistently look at problems and count them as opportunities. Thomas Edison saw his 10,000 attempts to invent the lightbulb as 9,999 ways to learn from, that led him to the last.

Just as tools and ingredients do not bake cakes, neither do they make entrepreneurs. What happens to the cake if you put the egg in at the wrong time? What happens to a well-informed entrepreneurship student who’s afraid to take reasonable risks?

Can risk-taking be taught? Maybe. But when the moment of truth arrives, will a top student who fully understands reasonable risk-taking, but lacks entrepreneurial instincts, actually take the risk she or he needs to take to achieve success?

Entrepreneurial instincts practically dictate resistance toward and distrust for authority figures. Does this preclude meaningful instruction? Who can teach entrepreneurship except an entrepreneur?

And how many entrepreneurs are driven by the entrepreneurial-essential fire-in-the-belly desire to put themselves in the middle of a complex politically-stratified organization that relies on academic authority channels to exist, when they themselves could instead be developing the next great medical treatment or mobile app, or self-tying shoelace?

Entrepreneurs are driven by making their ideas work, not by others’ ideas, not by money, not by organizational achievement. Though there undoubtedly must be some exception somewhere, my lifetime of entrepreneurial pursuits and independent coaching (to instill entrepreneurial values in organizations), has yet to uncover even one.

An entrepreneur is an entrepreneur is an entrepreneur. [That’s sort of like: “if it quacks like a duck . . .”] Learning as much as one possibly can about entrepreneurial-thinking-and-doing will, without doubt, strengthen one’s business and career odds for success — on a campus, in a corporation, or in small businesses run by entrepreneur-savvy people. And, yes, even in government captivity.


  • Don’t expect such efforts to crank out legions of entrepreneurs
  • Many succeed beyond their dreams without even an inkling of entrepreneurial values
  • Almost every business and career can benefit by infusions of entrepreneurial energy and style

Like teaching those few-and-far-between truly brilliant musicians that they have what it takes, entrepreneurship teaching and training efforts can provide much-needed wakeup calls! Programs grounded in entrepreneurial traits, characteristics, behaviors, and action-orientation do indeed succeed. They raise consciousness for students and corporate executives who have what it takes, but who never quite cultivated the awareness levels needed to put it all together for themselves.

Deliverables include: increased innovation, productivity (less wasted time, energy, resources and money), and sales; increased customer and market awareness and responsiveness; sharper and quicker decision making; accelerated market testing; rapidly expanded networking and referral bases; enhanced communication skills; and a stronger across-the-board sense of teamwork, self-fulfillment, and self-motivation.

The ultimate entrepreneurship determinant is REALITY

. . . existing as much of the time as possible in the

“here-and-now” present moment. 

Are you?

# # #

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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Apr 28 2015

Tank Shark Tank

shark tank

SHARK TANK: Entertainment


(But NOT Entrepreneurship)


It’s entertaining. It’s helped popularize the word entrepreneur and expose the hind flanks of what entrepreneurial pursuits are all about.  But TV’s “Shark Tank” is an entertainment product of pure fantasy. It bares almost no resemblance to the day-to-day real-world inhabited by zillions of struggling ideologists trying to piece their brainstorm ideas together with some magical business glue, and create success.

There’s really nothing “wrong” with the show or its (rather engaging) celebrity sharks. And “Shark Tank” is often amusing, provocative, comical, and at times even heart-rendering, but real entrepreneurs need to dismiss the show’s odds for funding success as akin to winning the lottery. And the occasional investment “loser” who ends up a winner –just from being on the show and gaining favorable PR exposure– is highly unusual.

Yes, there are some big-time “winners” plucked from the many thousands of applicants and auditions. But for the vast majority of contenders, time and energy expenditures alone can cost a fortune in opportunity losses.

So take Shark Tank for what it is: A source of amusement at seeing SO many people work SO hard to get to the point of not having the answers to questions they knew they’d be asked before they ever even set foot on the stage. If anything, the show is a rude awakening for those who think they can simply stroll into a bank, finance company or venture capital firm, talk about how great their ideas are, and leave with bulging wallets.

First of all, it is with rare exception that a business startup (or even a successful ongoing venture) cannot be more successful by focusing on making the creator’s idea work, instead of on seeking funding support. Ask anyone you know who’s made it, and they are likely to tell you that when they made their idea work, money simply came to them from out of nowhere – customer sales and investment offers. If your idea is great, money will find you!

Remember, ANY one can have a creative idea. It’s the ability to be innovative and internally driven to take that idea and run with it–all the way through to completion–that makes entrepreneurs and entrepreneurially-minded product and service developers stand uniquely apart from all other business careers and lifestyles.

Entrepreneurs are not just saying, “Hey! Look at this!” They are saying: this is how this works, this is what it costs. This is the market. This is how we can sell it. This is the profit margin. This is the next step, etc. etc. Unlike the fake version, Entrepreneurs, REAL entrepreneurs, don’t sit on an idea, or analyze it to death, or form a month’s- or year-long study committee. They just do it! Then they adjust it. Then they do it again. Then they adjust it again. Then they do it again and adjust it again, and keep going . . . until it works!

# # #

Hal@Businessworks.US               931.854.0474


Many thanks for your visit and make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Jan 05 2015

340,666 minutes left in 2015!

Published by under Uncategorized

In 1 week, you’ll have 340,666 minutes left in 2015!

What will you do with


your time this year?


upsidedown clock

 FACT: As of Jan. 10th, you will have already spent 14,400 minutes of this new year that you’ll never get back! QUESTION: On a scale of 1-10 (10=best), how would you rate your 2015 accomplishments so far?  ONE MORE QUESTION: What will you do with the remaining 340,666 minutes (511,000 minutes minus 1/3 for sleep) in 2015?



Can the last question really be answered? Of course not. How could you possibly know what situations and circumstances will impact your intentions? So maybe intentions are not such a great thing. We’ve heard, after all, that they pave the road to hell, hmmm. And they’re kind of like expectations, right? And expectations breed disappointment, yes?

So where does all this quibbling over semantics actually leave us? Hopefully . . . (aw, wait a minute, isn’t “hopefully” like an intention and expectation combined?). Well then, is this an end to planning as we know it? Do we throw the goals out with the posts? (A little pun there for football fans.) Do we stop having objectives to pursue?

Planning is essential, but it is not a trigger for compulsive pursuit at all costs. Why is this important to consider NOW? Because:

Entrepreneurs are business junkies.

 How do we know that strict, rigid planning fails? Because planning (i.e, goal setting) has been long proven to be successful only if the process of goal setting adheres firmly to specific criteria, and one of these is flexibility. The less flexible, the more stress. The more stress the greater the odds for failure.

There is something to be said for the thrust and direction of many, if not most, entrepreneurially-spirited engines . . . something that is most succinctly put as “living for the moment.” Entrepreneurs instinctively seek immediate gratification and are more focused on the “here and now” present moment than those in other careers.

It’s that old thing grandpa used to say about not putting off ’til tomorrow what you can do today. Entrepreneurs have a powerful need for a quick fix when things start to flounder or deteriorate, or when last week’s “high” begins to wear off. Sound familiar? It’s true.  Look around. Ask around.

Small business owners and operators have mostly learned the hard way –through trial and error and intuitive “street smarts”– that ongoing quick-fix actions are the only ones that get results, and keep businesses moving forward when the tide is changing or the current is a backwash.

But swimming upstream for any period of time can be exhausting to say the least, so the idea of taking immediate corrective/adjustment action needs, in reality, to be tapered only with the commitment to take only reasonable risks in the process, and to always imagine the worst case scenario before proceeding.

Try repetitively asking yourself the following question all during any crisis or critical period, hourly if need be:


“Is what I’m doing right this very minute

leading me to where I want to go?”


# # #

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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Feb 10 2014







Reality: The economy still sucks, and no amount of government or media mumbo jumbo will change that. We are sunken into knee-deep muck in the worst of economic quagmires. Yet entrepreneurs continue to rise and fall with the sun as they position themselves to save every dollar possible.

But saving money doesn’t make money.


In other words, being thrifty is good, but being thrifty will not end the revenues nightmare, so adjust your spotlight. to focus on what’s important. 3 things:




If you can’t do all three of these, quit trying to jamb your corporate or government brain into running a small business, and –instead– go flip burgers, sort mail, or get into politics. Anyone with some energy and half a brain can be a superstar in one of those roles.

Being successful as an entrepreneur takes gigantic amounts of gumption, endless hours of devotion to an idea, and willingness to take reasonable risks (which, contrary to popular myth, does NOT include “betting the farm”). It requires enormous sacrifice of family time and attention and the ability to ignite innovative thinking in a heartbeat!

No, it’s not a career for everyone. Mostly, because it’s not really a career. It’s a lifestyle. Entrepreneurs don’t shut down at 5pm, they don’t sleep and party all weekend, they don’t gamble or buy lottery tickets more than one or two a month, they don’t over-analyze, they take action and make ongoing adjustments and keep moving forward.

Entrepreneurs are passionate and inspired about what they believe is possible, and that overrides fear of falling or running off a cliff. They don’t get breaks in life. They make them. And they are needed now more than ever. This economy will NEVER turn around because of government. It will only turn IN SPITE OF government.

Government, after all, is what put us in the position of having to worry about saving money instead of earning money. Government is the instrument of uncertainty and the pile-driver that continually forces small business to take steps backward. The SBA? That’s a joke. SBA Advisory Boards are comprised of corporate executives!

So bottom line: Entrepreneurship requires internal spirit to start up and fan the fires of small business success. The road is always rocky. The quest has to rise above all else. But for those who have what it takes, they will leave their mark, and they will drive the economy back to reality. Encourage and support those who fight that good fight!

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Aug 16 2011

Small Business Politics

If you own a small business,


then small business


politics owns you.


You can run but you cannot hide. 

Even if you are a one-man-band or one-woman-band with no internal politics, you have no choice but to deal with external politics.


You’re an owner, operator, partner, or manager of an American small business or professional practice. You may own all or a piece of what you do, but the government (and politics) owns all of you!



Regardless of all other influences in your life, when you own or run a business of any type or size, you still must face the fact that the massive amount of government controls and regulations alone can ruin more than your favorite breakfast, a good night’s sleep, and even a kaleidoscopic sunset. It can ruin your health and your family.

Since the government for the most part dictates what you can and cannot do; what you must pay for goods, services, and taxes, and when; who you can and cannot do business with and hire or fire; how you must treat and insure those you hire and how you must treat and pay off those you fire

. . . since it dictates what kinds of tools and equipment and forms and suppliers and shippers and transportation you must use . . . even how you state your business to others . . . and since government is born of politics, while somehow managing to also be its inseparable twin . . . There IS a breaking point.

It’s a never-healing small business stress fracture!

And now, clearly on track toward a Marxist dictatorship by way of the nonstop and sorely misguided Obama Socialism freight train, America’s small business community has reached that breaking point.

First off, there are 30 million small businesses in the U.S. Don’t believe the White House; they are patently and intentionally wrong; home-based businesses are conveniently ignored. The government doesn’t consider home-based businesses as worthy enough enterprises to allow them to be included under useless SBA jurisdiction.

You run an online business out of your closet, a jewelry-making business out of your garage, a cookie business out of your kitchen, or a grass-cutting business from your truck . . . you don’t count! The government only wants your tax dollars. Beyond that, you don’t exist! So, back to the beginning: there are 30 million of us!

If you are anything like the vast majority of small business owners and operators, home-based or otherwise, you clearly have a goal to make a difference with your life and your enterprise . . . for your self, your family, your community and hopefully –by the ways that you do what you do– for our nation as well.

That means taking some minutes out of your hectic schedule. It means putting down your tools, equipment, keyboards, dishtowel and whatever else you make a living with, for just long enough to take that step you dread into the sleazy world of politics. It’s time to do your part — show and inspire others to leadership.

It means taking just long enough to visit or write a couple of letters or emails to politicians about why you think small business matters. Take just enough time to support those who support your ideas about why small business matters. Why? Because small business does matter. And because it matters that we all step up.

Imagine the impact: 


visits and letters and emails calling attention to the economic recovery role of small business and why government must invest in small business –not with more wasted cash handouts– with tax incentives for innovation and tax incentives for job creation.

# # #


  Open Minds Open Doors 

 Thanks for your visit and God Bless You.

  Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Jul 11 2011

The Real Entrepreneurs

Many traditional marketers haven’t a clue . . .


Real entrepreneurs


respond in an instant and 


develop ideas thoroughly


from beginning to end.



Today’s marketing people are not adapting well to current economic realities. They see themselves as part of the solution to a problem that they do not understand . . . one they are not trying hard enough to overcome.

The no-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel economy we’re presently in doesn’t, for example, automatically translate to everyone being interested in finding a better dollar deal. Instead, when budgets are restricted is when entrepreneurs need to invest more heavily in building long-term relationships, as they would expect of their own suppliers.

Traditional marketing pros are missing this.

They are still knocking themselves silly trying to fit business owners into their media and social media games and patterns and rate cards and strategies instead of adapting what they know to help entrepreneurs do more with less

. . . instead of pulling their chairs up to the same side of the table.


This doesn’t mean reinforcing the customer service department. It does mean building customer service into the job decription for every single employee. When every staffer is also a customer service specialist –poof!– you no longer need a customer service department! Nurturing long-term relationships becomes your new business. 

Marketing traditionalists are missing this point, and others like it. The “new” cyberspace marketing pros are also missing the point. First off, the whole world is NOT tuned into the Internet which means the perspective that every human on Earth is aware of Mashable, YELP, Tweets, BFs, DMs, clouds, and the advent of Cicret Bracelets is false. So the perspective is warped.

Second, when traditionalists wrap their marketing strategies around media airtime, print space availabilities and “special rate card deal packages” or “online marketing and SEO experts” (most of whom are self-designated, unproven, and over-priced) parade out their website and email bells and whistles, entrepreneurs end up the losers. 

If you’re a small business owner, operator, or manager, you need to be looking AWAY FROM formula marketing solutions that do not bend over backwards for you the same way you bend over backwards for your customers.

This is not an economy where you can simply accept blanket marketing recommendations without questioning.


Marketing pros need to be thinking more like entrepreneurs. They need to be looking much harder at ways to market products and services for maximum impact without spending as much money as in the past. They need to be offering their services more on a performance incentive basis, and put their wallets where their mouths are. 

Entrepreneurs need to challenge marketing people more to get “more bang for the buck” and –by the same token — be willing to reward generously for performance. A marketing success that produces $1 million in new sales should be well worth a $250,000 or $300,000 fee because you end up with the balance — money you never had before! 

Bottom line: Get streamlined. Get simple. Look under new leaves. Push for impact and relationships instead of deals. Yeah, I know about car dealerships; but they’re in their own world. This post is about reality and your business. It’s about looking to Twitter instead of network TV, postcards instead of elaborate mailers, emails . . .


# # #



Higher impact. Lower costs.


Business Development/ National-Awards/ Record Client Sales

Entrepreneurship & Expansion Coaching    931.854.0474

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Jun 22 2011

STOP Getting Trashed!

How much “mental litter”


is cluttering up your brain,


. . .  your business?



Overwhelmed with what my wife calls “Crapola”? (She’s a super organizer; I’m not.) Are you ready for the Litter Patrol? Do you need to schedule a Department of Corrections van full of orange or blue or yellow-suited guys with plastic bags and spiked sticks to descend on your workspace? Crawl inside your brain?

 Okay, well maybe you could do without spiked sticks in your brain, but odds are pretty good that if you’re a small business or professional practice owner or partner or manager, you’re an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are born of creative ideas and innovative pursuits. That usually translates into a trashy, cluttered workspace.

  1. When did you last check your computers? Virus scan? Defragment? Clean out email files? Clean out Word files? Reorganize your record-keeping? Update your username and password list? Trash Bin everything that’s long over with and has no future app or reference value (especially pre-Bing and pre-Google historical data).

  2. Kill the paperwork! Are you holding on to 10 or 20 years worth of tax records, owner manuals, documentation for old business plans, no-longer-relevant presentation materials? If these kinds of paper files (or cartons of) no longer have any real value for you, they have confusion value. Kill ’em! If some or chunks of some have value, just save those.

  3. When did you last see the surface of your desk? No need to clear it off, but if you can’t organize it better (and keep it organized), you’re wasting time and energy and money. Entrepreneurs can’t afford to waste any of these, ever! Seeking negative attention? There couldn’t be a more feeble excuse. 

Is your workspace starting to look like one of those TV hoarder shows? Piles of magazines and newspapers you can’t get to? Toss ’em. The news will be the same in the next issue. You won’t miss a thing; I promise! The fewer old letters, thank you notes, sticky note reminders, children’s drawings of your dog on Santa’s lap, the better.

Photos, awards, small treasures? No problem. But all the other “crapola” (I’m starting to like that word), the more distracted becomes your brain, the more disorganized become your thoughts, the more convoluted becomes your business.

It’s hard to think OR act when you’re up to your knees (ears?) in trash. And you DO need to think AND act!

So, is this all about “letting go“? No. That’s 50%. What’s the rest? Keeping what you’ve let go of, gone! Making sure you stay on top of this physical, mental, and emotional litter problem. It does no good to make a token effort. Token efforts serve no purpose. Choose to clear your pathways and enhance your options.

Drive your imagination forward with reality. 

Open minds open doors.  


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“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals. God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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Jun 11 2011


Stop worrying, creative-types…


You’re not going


the wrong way


. . . you simply have a unique perspective! 


You’re an artist, writer, sculptor, musician, photographer, performer, designer, craftsperson, stylist, architect, landscaper, sign-maker, entrepreneur . . . and people call you “Weirdo”


You laugh it off . . . but, somewhere deep inside, you worry that maybe you are weird. (I’ve been there; I know.)

After all, you hardly fit those corporate suit meetings or the trappings of that threatening vast jungle of government incompetency. And you do indeed march to a different drum. You’re really not anti-social or inherently contentious. You simply are what you are. Period.

So much of what you do requires isolation, keeping “strange” hours, eating only when you’re starving from whatever the closest container may hold, not watching TV, forgetting birthdays and anniversaries, periodically forgetting to wash or brush your teeth or fasten your seat belt, or even to use the bathroom until it’s almost too late. 

Many creative businesspeople fill in the blanks with Twitter. It’s a good social outlet, and a decent sales tool for those who work at it.

There’s little point in trying to explain to others what makes you “counterclockwise”

— that you’re really not going the opposite direction of society, and clocks.

You are just standing behind the clock, reflecting what’s in front of it. You’re simply thinking and functioning from a different perspective.

HA! Sort of like a dyslexic visionary? ;<) But hey, whatever works, works.


If you can see the same thing differently from the ways others see it, you have a special God-given talent worthy of nurturing and training and developing. In other words, make the most of what you have and stop thinking (worrying about) what others who lack those skills might say or think about you. Rise above it!

Accept that you are extraordinary.


Easier said than done, you may say? Then reach into one of those deep dark corners of self-expression and remind yourself that it’s a choice. Everything you do and say and create is a conscious or unconscious choice. HOW you create and innovate (following a creative idea all the way through to completion) is a spiritual process.

That HOW part –your ability to capture, control, and exercise your spiritual process– is the difference between you and your white shirt and tie brother-in-law or athletic “jock” sister or your federal/ county/ town agency employee neighbor. The HOW process is what comes from your heart and soul. It is what primes the process pump.

You need always to be focused in the present, here-and-now moment as you perform for it only takes one slip of the knife, the brush, the camera, the tongue, to deliver catastrophe to your heart and soul. Here’s the best way to do that: Deep Breathing. (It keeps you in touch with your self, and each passing moment as it passes!)

When you DO come out of your artsy little closet to rub a few elbows, practice asking questions and listening carefully to the answers. Every question you ask and every answer you get holds out the promise of spectacular creative thought because it’s coming from outside of you but is something you ignite.

Rely forever on yourself and your instincts.


You are more often right about a creative decision than you give yourself credit for. When it comes to business, if that’s a problem, study up on it. It’s not as complicated as you may think. Like finding a doctor who’s skills and experience match the ailment, find professional services with creative management experience.

Or, when you get to the point of possibility, hire or commission someone with good business sense and/or good organizational skills and a sense of finances — someone you trust who can take it all away from you. But be careful to not use the occasion of such new found freedom to slack off or get careless. It’s an opportunity to grow!


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Hal@Businessworks.US or 302.933.0116

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals. God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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May 25 2011

Are You Being Trickled On?

No wonder we feel like


drops in the bucket


with all this


trickle-down spending!



I mean where do we business owner types get our ideas? Sometimes from bits and pieces of what others say and do, and sometimes from opportunities that emerge or smack us in the mouth when we’re not looking. The steady bombardment of media drivel and twisted reports of government greatness can make us stop in our tracks.

We start to think, hey, maybe things aren’t so bad after all. Maybe gas prices will stand still and small business tax incentives for job creation and innovation will actually start to move forward. Maybe there’s more spending power in my bank account than I thought. Maybe tomorrow it will start raining ducks! Maybe I should have hope.

Hope. Yeah, well, that doesn’t accomplish anything. So let’s go back to the trickling action and see what we can learn

From the White House to the State House to the County Seat to the Town Hall, look and learn from all the mindless trickle-down spending muscle-flexing.

I’ve seen people in my town climbing through dumpsters for food scraps, and the mayor and council decide to spend a thousand bucks to buy a town logo and open a mega-million-dollar floodgate of “revitalization.”


Hey, why not? The White House thinks it needs to buy votes so it prints a few million and sends it to the States. The State people think it’s a great thing and that the counties will love them for passing along some of the dough to “green up” the place. The county guys want the poverty-stricken town’s votes, so the town gets a thousand bucks.

The money is spent on a new logo for the town. Next, of course, will be “beautification teams” and landscapers and architects and engineers and street widening and off-street parking and bigger more complicated infrastructure — more fire, police, EMTs, water, electric, sewerage.

But, hey, why not? Easy come, easy go. Spend it now.


Brick walks and old-fashioned looking gaslight fixtures? Go for it. Have fun! After all, you can’t take it with you. Besides, it will spruce up the boarded-up places with broken windows. And why be selfish. Think of your grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Plan ahead for future generations. Spend. So what if the revitalization isn’t needed. Do it anyway. It’ll create jobs, and we need jobs. What does it matter that nobody much cares about beautifying the town except two struggling over-priced restaurants. No one can afford the gas to drive through here anyway.

Oh, and take a guess where that revitalization money will come from. 

There you go. Consider yourself trickled down to! How does that feel? Seems like you need deep pockets and no sense of reality to be successful in politics. Just slap backs, pass out money, and make everything green. “I’ve always wanted a logo” the mayor explained as he railroaded the town council vote through.

Well, who knows? Maybe that’s the kind of thinking we need. A new $1,000 logo for a town where food scavenging and foreclosures and unemployment are almost more the rule than the exception. 

And are you as lucky as we are? I mean we’ve already got mandatory recycling services that we’re forced to pay for even if we want to do our own recycle sorting and transporting. I am NOT badmouthing recycling. I simply want the choice to do my own.

Don’t you just love mandatory stuff?


Well, that should certainly wrap up all the country’s economical and terrorist and natural disaster and devaluation and plummeting national image in one neat tidy package. Isn’t it just exactly the way you would deal with these kinds of problems in your own business?


Oh, right, you know better than to tax and spend

and ignore others’ needs.

Hmmmm. How come you know all that

and our great leadership hasn’t a clue?

Think about it. You have ’til November 6, 2012. Nineteen months to get UNtrickled. Y’think? Well, there ARE 30 million small business owners being trickled on

 . . . as you read this.

Thought for the day: Strength in numbers!


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Hal@Businessworks.US or 302.933.0116

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals. God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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May 14 2011

“Ain’t nothin’ like the real thing, Baby!”

Is speculation


feeding your doubts? 


 ( With appreciation to Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell for popularizing the Ashford and Simpson lyrics in their 1968 hit song, “Ain’t nothin’ like the real thing.” It is used in this post title because it fits the message below and because it was likely to attract more visitors than the headline, “Is speculation feeding your doubts?”) 


You’re an entrepreneur of some sort. You own or manage a professional practice or small business that you started or bought or inherited. You’re pretty sharp about most things, and probably more innovative than the majority of businesspeople. Way more than corporate and government types. Not even an issue.

Management, though, and maybe the finer points of leadership, have never found that comfort zone among your greatest strengths. So perhaps you tend to rely on others for those skills? 

If others are providing the majority of practical, shirt-sleeves back-up support your venture needs in order to allow you the time to pursue sales and financing and creative idea development, you may be putting too much risk into your business.

Even if they’re half wrong, government reports claim 9 of 11 new businesses fail in the first 3 years because of poor management, and that even with good management, that it takes 5 years on average just to break even. You may want to re-read that and digest it before you respond with

“Hey, whatever works!” 

Why? Because your reality might speak otherwise. 


It’s your business. When you have doubts about operational or staffing issues, get out from behind your desk or dashboard or computer screen or BlackBerry, or office or garage or kitchen door (or wherever you camp out every day) and check it out yourself. In person. Regardless of when or where. Go to it! Speculation breeds screw-ups!

When you depend on other people’s reports –no matter how loyal or trustworthy they may be– remember that they don’t have your perspective or your personal business interests at stake. It’s not a matter of trust. It’s simply not their business. They do not see things with your sense of vision. Go to the trouble spot.

This is not a suggestion for you to become a firefighter, solving everyones’ problems.


It is a recommendation to take increased responsibility for operational and staffing issues that can impact your bottom line. Others, for example, may have great intentions, but intentions never led anyone to accomplishment or success. Only action does that!

If, for instance, you have reason to believe that your customers or clients or patients are not being handled properly on the phone or by email, become a customer/client/patient and see what you get back. Be your own “mystery shopper.” You can be a detective without acting like one. Ask questions. Take notes. Check resources.

You don’t need to flash your badge, wear a trenchcoat or yell “Aha!” every time you find a clue.


Instead of telling, lecturing, scolding, threatening, or intimidating someone you find is getting it wrong, consider showing her or him by example how you would get the job done. Remember how you once learned something you’re fond of? Remember that your people are your most important asset!

Leave the how they do it part up to them — as long as the task and/or attitude is accomplished on time without compromising quality or results. Food for thought: Everything need not be done your way!  


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Hal@Businessworks.US or 302.933.0116

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals. God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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