Four Quotes All Entrepreneurs Should Read

Number 4I Read some good quotes in a local publication and thought I would share them with you, as I think they are great, especially for my fellow entrepreneurs:

1) Don’t apply rules of reason to unreasonable people. resist the temptation to assume everyone is like you. They are not.

2) To the one who understands, no explanation is necessary. To the one who doesn’t, no explanation will suffice.

3) A prudent person sees trouble and seeks refuge. The simple keep going and suffer for it.

4) Stop finding reasons why something won’t work and start looking for reasons why something will work. Life is WAY more fun if you think like this.

I hope you enjoyed these. Please share any great thoughts, ideas and quotes you might have with me!

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RESPECT find out what it means to me

Everyone has their own definition of the word respect. When talking about a person, you might admire them. When it’s a company, you may like the way they run their business or love the quality of their products. When it comes to a religion, you may be tolerant of other’s ideas. But as a business owner, how can you “Respect” your employees?

Don’t Think Negatively - You have hired a person to do their job, don’t think they aren’t just because they take a vacation day, a long lunch or an unexpected sick day. Respect that the person you pay is making good decisions for you.

Meetings - Everyone has them and nobody likes them. Respect your staff’s time. Just because it’s urgent to you doesn’t mean it can’t wait an hour or a day. Plan your meetings in advance and don’t just assume that if your employee is sitting at their desk they can be interrupted without creating some sort of havoc.

In Trouble - Sometimes you have to sit down and correct an employee’s attitude or behavior. As business owners, we almost all hate confrontation, but sometimes you cannot avoid it. Respect the fact that the person you are talking to is a grown up and makes mistakes, too. Talk factually and to the point. Don’t get caught up “in the weeds” and keep your tone level.

Firing - In the book Double Double, Cameron Herold talks about firing with dignity and respect. Don’t disgrace the person you have to let go. Don’t take the years of service they gave your company and make them meaningless with an off hand remark. Furthermore, don’t let others talk despairingly of the employee who was just let go.

In the last month, I have had to keep all four items above fresh in my mind, as I have been through each. Looking back, it has been hard, but I know whatever the outcome going forward, my employees will respect the decisions I had to make.

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Two Quotes For The Price Of One

While at my monthly CEO group meeting, I heard a couple great quotes. Side Note: If you are a CEO or President of a company and you don’t have an “advisory board” or people who you can talk to and about your business…you’re doing it wrong. And now for the quotes:

“If happiness is on the other side of success, you’ll never get there”.- A great quote to remember when you say to yourself, “If I just had insert your wish here (million dollars, the next big sale, a hot girl friend or wife). If your happiness is defined by what comes after success, you will go through life miserable.

The new quote I heard was, ”NEVER confuse activity with results”. This one struck home. Think about going to the driving range and hitting golf balls and expecting to be better, just because you went to the range and hit some balls. Or what about thinking that just because you made 30 phone calls you expect to make a sale, when on the call you didn’t have a plan or script to follow. And lastly, I love that you can use this when it comes to marketing your business…just building a website or running ads online or on the radio aren’t necessarily going to get you results…at least not without a solid strategy and performance tracking.

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Creating a Marketing Plan Is Hard

I’m sure you have been there before. Someone comes to you and asks you to create or manage something they think you can get done quickly. Hey, it should be easy to do…right?  Take marketing plans for example. Every company wants one, but most do not have them and many do not see the value in paying for one…we will get Bob in engineering to write  one…he has a degree, right? Creating a marketing plan is hard and takes time, and creating a great marketing plan is even harder and takes more time. But did you know that  creating a marketing plan after your company has hired a firm to build your new website without thought to your overall marketing strategy is downright stupid?

Sorry to offend you, I thought you already knew.

At Fat Atom, we start all retainer client engagements with our analysis process. Why do we do this? A few reasons. First, it makes the client admit they need help.

“Hi, I’m Steve and I don’t have a marketing strategy for my business.”

And everyone at Fat Atom says, “Hi Steve.”

Another reason is that the client believes we can help them by providing them a great strategy. This is also why we charge for our strategy…if it were free it would have no perceived value.

Advice is a great example of this thought process.

Me – “I need help on my corporate taxes.”

Who do I trust most?

Free advice from my friend Ted, part-time bookkeeper and Xbox aficionado – “ What you need to do Todd, is not pay taxes.”

Paid advice from my accountant, at $185/hr – “Todd, you need to pay us to do your tax planning, which in turn will save you money, time and keep you out of jail.”

Exactly. Paid advice is almost always better. And by clients paying us for a marketing strategy, they are saying….we trust you.

And I get this sometimes, “What is the ROI of a marketing strategy?” Love this one. I always ask, what is the ROI of a buy-sell agreement? What is the ROI of title insurance? And I could go on and on.

So let me tell you, the ROI on a plan is exponential. How much do you value your time? How much do you value alignment in your organization? How much do you value your marketing budget working optimally for you?

Lastly, you always get the person who says “…but why?”  And to that I say…

You don’t build a house without a blueprint

You don’t play a football game without a game plan

You don’t go to war without a strategy

You don’t spend money without a budget

You don’t travel without a map

You don’t have surgery without a diagnosis

You don’t get married before you date


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