You are not Costco. Or Target or JC Penny. You can’t be everything for everyone.  You’re not Amazon either.  So if you’re a smaller business, focus on your core customers–the ones who pay the bills.  And use the one competitive advantage you can easily use: Personal Contact. That’s right. Personal connection with the customer. Know them by name.  Know what they like.  Be nice to them. Treat them well. That’s all.  And focus on the long term.  And no bullshit…

True Story: Joe runs a pizza place with 4 employees.  When he is not there, the place runs better than when he is there. Pizza goes out on time, tables get cleaned, customers are happier. 1.  Is Joe a good  leader or a bad leader?  A. Good  B. Bad   C. Can’t Tell Joe’s brother, Ralph, runs another pizza place down the street, also with 4 employees. When Ralph is not there, the place is a disaster.  Customers wait almost…

I see people in LinkedIn who call themselves decisive on their profile. I hope they are and if so I’d like to do business with them. If you want to be an executive, you have got to start getting better at decision-making. I know a lot of people who are not decisive.  When I go out to dinner with them, they spend way too much time trying to decide between the chimichangas or the nachos. When I am super hungry,…

Do you know how you can tell if your idea is a good one? If you come up with an idea and someone asks you, “have you totally lost your mind?, ” you know you’re on to something good. Years ago, I came up with a collapsible hair brush that could fit in your pocket. My professors and friends thought I was nuts. Now, you can find them everywhere, including almost every Hyatt hotel. Lately, I’ve been preaching against performance…

I’ll admit it. I have trouble with boundaries.  I run a gallery and do consulting and sometimes people come to the gallery and ask for advice. We started the gallery after some consulting clients asked about the art we had in our home and wanted to buy some. So for me, boundaries can get mooshy sometime. I’ve learned to put my foot down when things really get out of whack and I know how to say “now is not a…