Monthly Archives: March 2014

You Can't Know Everything

By our very nature we humans are fallible beings and as such you can’t know everything. It is however the mark of the mature person that we understand this, and strive always towards seeking knowledge and learning from life’s many lessons.  To wit:
We all have “blind spots”: blind spots are the areas we don’t even see as risks or potential deficiencies because we don’t even know they exist.
These can be unforeseen market circumstances, or skills we have lacking.  The challenge is, EVERYONE has blind spots.  It’s the things we don’t even know we don’t know and they often come back to bite us in the…
Arrogance is NOT the same as self-confidence: Having a calm assurance that we possess the knowledge, skills, desire and resources to succeed is self-confidence.
Arrogance resides just across the border from self-confidence in that toxic land fill area where people condescend others, put on an air of superiority, devalue others and their contributions.  It is self-destructive and alienates others.
Find coaches and mentors at every stage of your career: The most mature professionals and business owners are keenly aware that they have had help throughout their career and are always in a stage where they can benefit from the experiences and insights that others can provide.  In fact, these mature people actively seek out confidants and advisors.
Mature people embrace uncertainty and the unknown: In biology, the term entropy is the state of all matter deteriorating into disorder.
It is the rare individual that accepts chaos is a part of existence and prepares for opportunities that spring out from the weeds.  They do this by hiring top talent, entrusting others, pursuing lifelong learning and the acquisition of skills, expertise, and experiences that they can leverage in unique and new ways.
Surround yourself with super talented people and listen to them: The mature business owner is not intimidated by hiring highly successful people. In fact, they actively seek out the best talent available to them as a key competitive advantage.  They hire the best talent, and really nurture these top performers (Jack Welch called them his “A” people.)
Once you hire the best talent, you can and MUST provide them with the resources, skills, guidance and independence they require in order to make great contributions for your organization.
Create a culture that asks WHY and WHAT IF?: Most of us stop asking such questions around the age of five.  There is a reason we learn nearly everything we need to be successful by the time we reach Kindergarten.
It is the truly mature professional that continues to seek new heights, challenge convention wisdom/thinking, and pursue the unexplored as areas for the greatest potential result.
Empower your people: Nothing speaks to a mature and self-aware leader like the act of entrusting the people you hire who are closest to your customers, systems, and processes to make the right decisions for the greatest good and benefit to your organization.
Know successful people: It is extremely beneficial to align yourself with successful individuals, but don’t engage with them solely for the purpose of doing business with them: In the mind set of success by closeness we can learn quite a bit from highly successful people.  The trick is to be close to them to connect with them and watch out for successful behavior that we can internalize and emulate. The goal is not to find them and try to sell to them.
You can’t do everything on your own: In summary, the mature and constantly evolving professional understands they cannot be successful as an island unto thyself.  Those people that are most productive find great allies, align themselves with people that share their passions, values and sense of mission and build strong teams for mutual and shared long-term success.
Here’s to your continued success in 2014!
Ethan Chazin, The Compassionate Executive Coach, Management Consultant, Business Coach
> Plan > Launch  > Grow Your Business.

Doing Small Things Well Pays Off Big

Doing small things well pays off big!
Having spent a majority of my career in marketing roles, I can attest to the critical importance of sweating the details of doing small things well.  For starters, you have to select the right audience for your product and service offerings, and define in minute detail who these people are.
Once you define your ideal target customers that you plan on selling your stuff to, you have to research the things that motivate these people, in order to craft compelling messages that engage your prospects emotionally.
You have to figure when and where they are when they are MOST likely to receive and listen to your messages.   As if all this sweating the small stuff wasn’t enough, you also have to measure the results in detail to determine the ROI for each and every campaign.  Then, you have to keep tweaking your efforts to see what continues to work when it comes to special promotional offers, messages, and target segments.
“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”  – Napoleon Hill
Now as a business coach and management consultant, I see first-hand and get to directly influence how organizations either do or don’t pay attention to the details.
Most specifically, the attention to detail of focusing on doing the small things well begins with an organization’s business plan and strategic planning.  How do you as a business owner focus on the fundamental building blocks of your business to perfect the needed small things?  Conduct a top-down business audit.  Investigate the operational imperatives, those things that are mission critical to operate your organization on a high level.
Other strategies you can implement to ensure you are focusing on building a solid foundation include delegating, empowering your workers, creating strategic partnerships with vendors, suppliers, and customers, and constantly gathering feedback from those folks that have a direct impact, and stake in, the ultimate success of your business.
From the first time you greet a potential customer to how your treat your employees, to your store’s physical layout, to your website design all of the small things your business chooses to focus on will have a direct and pronounced effect on your performance.
“Great things are not done by impulse, but a series of small things brought together.” – George Elliot
Consider the following questions:
* How do you capture all of your contact information in one place?
* Do you set out of office greetings/messages on your email and voice mail?
* Do you have written standards for how and when you respond to leads?
* Is your brand messaging consistent across all mediums including online and offline?
* Does your website contact us form work? Do you know how visitors engage your website? How do you interact with people on your website, and customize messaging to each visitor?
* Do you have a written vision and mission statement? If so is it prominently displayed in your office, on your website, included in your job postings?
* Do you train your employees to treat each and every visitor that enters your establishment pleasantly, professionally, and identically?
* Do you have a formal written return policy?
The devil they say is in the details.
For some inspiration check out the book entitled: “The Power of a Lot of Little Things Done Well” about John Wooden, UCLA’s revered basketball coach.
And finally, remember:
“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”  – Vincent Van Gogh
Here’s to your success doing the small things that lead to your continued success in 2014!
  Ethan Chazin, The Compassionate Executive Coach, Management Consultant, Business Coach
> Plan > Launch  > Grow Your Business.