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Create an Environment of Excellence

A good friend is having his knee surgically replaced, about four years after having his other knee replaced. His first surgery relieved the constant pain he was experiencing and allowed him to maintain an active lifestyle. By all accounts, it was a success.

And yet, he has chosen a different surgeon to perform the second surgery.

The new surgeon examined the work done by his predecessor and confirmed that the work was technically excellent. Somewhat ...

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Do You Own a Business or a Job?


You have set up a corporation, designed a stunning logo, and registered your trade name.  You have opened a bank account in the name of your company, rented office space, and begun wooing
clients. You're a business owner, right?

Not necessarily.

Many people — perhaps even most — who consider themselves business owners don't really own a business, they own a job.  Even if you have set up many of the formal indicia of a "real" business,
one key factor prevents your organization from being ... << MORE >>

Everybody Has a Brand: Rise Above Mediocrity

We all have high opinions of ourselves.

Talk to any random person in your industry and you will hear the same refrain:  "We focus on the needs of our customers and provide world-class services at cost-effective prices" or something equally nonsensical.   If you don't believe me, check the website of three of your closest competitors.  Then read your own website.

Of course these high platitudes are not true. You do not live in Lake Woebegon, where "all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average."  No offense intended, ...<< MORE >>

Black Hats and White Hats: Establish Expectations Early, Enforce Consistently

                                                                                        (Part Ten in a Series)

A key employee has just left your company, joined your fiercest competitor, and begun a brain dump of your most critical intangible assets.  What can you do?

If this is the first time you have thought about protecting your intangible assets, the unfortunate answer is, "Not much."  That ship has sailed.  The cow's out of the barn.  Elvis has left the building.

You must begin today if you want to protect your intangible assets.  Waiting until a crisis arises only assures that you will lose them.
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Recipe: Asparagus Leek Chowder


At the request of my Twitter friends Greg George and Pamela Woldow, here is the recipe for one of my family's favorite soups, Asparagus Leek Chowder. It's simple to make and very tasty.

                                                                                                Asparagus Leek Chowder
                                                                            (From Taste of Home 2005: Annual Recipes)
 












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More Business Books You Need to Read


Your business will wither and die if you do not continuously add to your knowledge base. We've previously discussed three great business books — What Clients Love, World Wide Rave, and Made to Stick — that can help you change your way of thinking about how to do business.  Here are three more of my favorite business books.


The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing & Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly, by David Meerman Scott

David Meerman Scott is quickly becoming ...<< MORE >>

Black Hats and White Hats: Create a Culture of Confidentiality


                                                                                                (Part Nine in a Series)

Do you expect others to secure your secrets, protect your patents, and guard your goodwill?  Then respect the intangible assets of others.

Even if you have implemented sound policies and procedures to protect your intangible assets, your policies will fail if you do not have buy-in from your employees.  You can talk a good game about protecting intangible assets, but your employees will take their cue from your actions, not your words.

You must walk the walk, and not just talk the talk.

If you blather on about the importance of your trade secrets and confidential information then try ...<< MORE >>

Everybody Has a Brand: Overcoming Indifference and Hypocrisy


Building your brand is like doing house work. 

Say what? 

You heard me.  Building your brand is like doing house work.  Or, if you prefer, it's like doing yard work.  Or raising children.  Or doing dishes.  You get the idea.  Your work is Always and Never Done.

You never stop building your brand.  No matter how well you have done in the past, you have more work to do tomorrow.  And the day after.  And the day after.  If you ever stop working on your brand, you have a mess on your hands in no time flat.

At home you ...<< MORE >>

Black Hats and White Hats: Give Adequate Time to Consider Restrictive Covenants

                                                                                               (Part Eight in a Series)

Imagine that you have just started a new job with a great company. You've quit your job, sold your home, and moved hundreds of miles away from your family and friends to accept this fabulous opportunity.

Now imagine that on your first day at work the Director of HR plops the company's "standard" five-page Non-Compete Agreement in front of you and tells you that you must agree not to work in your industry for three years if you should ever leave the company. What is your initial reaction?

Yeah, I thought so.  That's what judges think, too.

Principles of ...<< MORE >>

Everybody Has a Brand: Are People Indifferent About Yours?


Like all brand owners, you must constantly be vigilant to avoid being tarnished with an unflattering brand.  No amount of creative marketing materials can save your business if your brand becomes "Over Promise and Under Deliver." You will have earned the disdain of your clients and prospects.

While you face the threat of a negative brand, you must be continuously aware of an equally devastating — and far more common — foe:  Indifference.  Thanks for Lance Godard, marketer extraordinaire from The Godard Group, for raising this important point in a recent telephone conversation.

Your brand may be ineffective ...<< MORE >>
1 pound  fresh asparagus,
           trimmed and cut into one-inch pieces
 3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms                    
 3 large leeks (white portion only), sliced      6 tablespoons butter    
 1/4 cup flour  1/2 teaspoon salt
 Dash of pepper