Phoenix Rising

Trending Sources

What Spring Skiing Taught Me About Business

Phoenix Rising

In an Instant

Phoenix Rising

noticed very busy medical staff outside of their First Aid office - one on a radio.  Life changes - in an instant. I was riding the Headwall lift at Squaw Valley last week. It was a gray snowy day, but all us locals were out playing in the storm. noticed a gang of the local hotshots up on the Light Towers, a series of gnarly chutes off of the Slot - a famous Headwall run. Darn it!

Be the Pig!

Phoenix Rising

Sometimes opportunities to change our business game come with new and shiny products, markets, customers and a happy fanfare. Changing the game can leave a competitor wondering what hit them.Changing the Game can be the difference between winning and losing - for ourselves, our businesses and our dreams. Changing the Game can save our butts. How often do you change the game?

Be the Pig!

Phoenix Rising

Sometimes opportunities to change our business game come with new and shiny products, markets, customers and a happy fanfare. Changing the game can leave a competitor wondering what hit them.Changing the Game can be the difference between winning and losing - for ourselves, our businesses and our dreams. Changing the Game can save our butts. How often do you change the game?

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

better job of linking their efforts to measurable business results. Demonstrate business results: the challenge to tie marketing efforts to measurable business results (e.g., Encourage employee advocacy: a business's employees are (or at least should be) natural brand advocates. What are the business and. my business deliver upon them? B2B Marketing.

Please Don't Bet Your Business on Those Numbers

Phoenix Rising

Not exactly the best empirical fodder for your business decisions, now is it? Don't bet your business just on the numbers. I just spent some time with one of my clients. The goal was to identify the best target market profiles for a new product they are launching in the fall. The team argued in detail about the quantitative market data from a leading industry analyst. Which was the biggest opportunity?    I finally had to jump in and rain on their parade. All because of those numbers. He was usually right on. Numbers do have their place. Regardless of the numbers.

Is Yesterday's News Preventing Your Success?

Phoenix Rising

So what does that have to do with business?   Our business cultures have belief systems and habit patterns, just as we do individually.   These businesses don't expect to be successful again anytime soon, mostly because they haven't experienced success recently. Our most recent economic downturn shook the foundations of everyone's business. So let's ask ourselves. "What are we expecting in our business, right now? Are we expecting to receive in our own business, e ven if the economy doesn't rebound for others?

Is Yesterday's News Preventing Your Success?

Phoenix Rising

So what does that have to do with business?   Our business cultures have belief systems and habit patterns, just as we do individually.   These businesses don't expect to be successful again anytime soon, mostly because they haven't experienced success recently. Our most recent economic downturn shook the foundations of everyone's business. So let's ask ourselves. "What are we expecting in our business, right now? Are we expecting to receive in our own business, e ven if the economy doesn't rebound for others?

Signs

Phoenix Rising

How many times do we see a 'sign' in business - and ignore it? The Force, and all that mumbo-jumbo stuff doesn't work in business. Sometimes the signs warn us of a threat to our business.    I wa s on the KT lift at Squaw Valley when a friend said "Wow! Look at that!"  Directly above us, was a perfect 'X Marks the Spot' vision. My buddy joked, "Its a sign!    We're in the right place" Funny thing is, I'd just been wondering if I was in the right place.    But then that got me thinking.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

better job of linking their efforts to measurable business results. Demonstrate business results: the challenge to tie marketing efforts to measurable business results (e.g., Encourage employee advocacy: a business's employees are (or at least should be) natural brand advocates. What are the business and. my business deliver upon them? B2B Marketing.

Signs

Phoenix Rising

How many times do we see a 'sign' in business - and ignore it? The Force, and all that mumbo-jumbo stuff doesn't work in business. Sometimes the signs warn us of a threat to our business.    I wa s on the KT lift at Squaw Valley when a friend said "Wow! Look at that!"  Directly above us, was a perfect 'X Marks the Spot' vision. My buddy joked, "Its a sign!    We're in the right place" Funny thing is, I'd just been wondering if I was in the right place.    But then that got me thinking.

Leading for Success in a Changing World

Phoenix Rising

  That customer may be saving your business. plan and your business. Our markets continuously change, driven by any number of dynamic events; buyer behaviors, fickle brand preferences, or economic pressures—just to name a few. Competitors and. partners are changing as well. New competitors emerge as. older ones fade—or become stronger. Once powerful partners fall as new ones appear on our horizon.    To thrive in this ever-changing horizon, we must be dynamic as well! When we listen to our markets, evolving our plan. becomes a natural endeavor.  expansion.

Leading for Success in a Changing World

Phoenix Rising

  That customer may be saving your business. plan and your business. Our markets continuously change, driven by any number of dynamic events; buyer behaviors, fickle brand preferences, or economic pressures—just to name a few. Competitors and. partners are changing as well. New competitors emerge as. older ones fade—or become stronger. Once powerful partners fall as new ones appear on our horizon.    To thrive in this ever-changing horizon, we must be dynamic as well! When we listen to our markets, evolving our plan. becomes a natural endeavor.  expansion.

I'll Do It Tomorrow

Phoenix Rising

We do the same in business when it comes to prioritizing actions. If I told you that today was your last day to make a business decision for the next year - what would you do?    Then ask yourself  “If today were my last chance to save my business what would I do first? We assume we'll have tomorrow. In our personal lives, we put off things like laundry, paying the bills, cleaning out that nasty kitchen drawer - until tomorrow. personally put off laundry for as long as I can…. We’ll begin an exciting new endeavor as a first priority as well.

Changing Focus

Phoenix Rising

So why does 'business focus' translate to a static response? Ask anyone about business focus and they'll begin talking about staying the course, sticking to the plan, 1, 3 and 5 year objectives.   Yet that's how we've come to exercise our business 'focus' Stay the course, execute the plan, stick with it no matter what. Change is a natural state. Seasons change, weather changes, our bodies change.    We change with age, with education,with experiences and with exercise, or lack thereof.  Until we have an obvious crisis.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

better job of linking their efforts to measurable business results. Demonstrate business results: the challenge to tie marketing efforts to measurable business results (e.g., Encourage employee advocacy: a business's employees are (or at least should be) natural brand advocates. What are the business and. my business deliver upon them? B2B Marketing.

3 Leaders Who Follow the Signs

Phoenix Rising

  It simply takes a commitment to pay attention - to our markets, our customers and most importantly - our own business intuition.  Market leaders follow the signs. Leaders are always on the alert for Signs of shifting markets. When they sense a subtle shift in their audiences or their own value, they respond and keep moving forward. When there's a sign of a major shift, they throw their status quo beliefs to the wind, focus forward—and adapt. Many point to Apple and Google and Amazon as innovators who follow the signs. NU SKIN: NuSkin is growing in a bad economy. 

3 Leaders Who Follow the Signs

Phoenix Rising

  It simply takes a commitment to pay attention - to our markets, our customers and most importantly - our own business intuition.  Market leaders follow the signs. Leaders are always on the alert for Signs of shifting markets. When they sense a subtle shift in their audiences or their own value, they respond and keep moving forward. When there's a sign of a major shift, they throw their status quo beliefs to the wind, focus forward—and adapt. Many point to Apple and Google and Amazon as innovators who follow the signs. NU SKIN: NuSkin is growing in a bad economy. 

A Day Without Social Media

Phoenix Rising

My time has been filled between writing my book, blogging, normal work stuff and networking away. I  also used the social media 'busy time'  to duck the things I really didn't want to deal with in my 'other' life.    I can't imagine life without my social media community of friends, business associates and clients. Yesterday I decided to take a 'day off' from social media.    I wanted to see what would happen.    Would I miss out on a fact of earthshaking importance from @LeadToday? Quite the contrary.

New Tricks

Phoenix Rising

Let's say your business is making some pretty major changes.   Even as you are operating a changing business?  Let's say we're shifting from a focus on small business to corporate accounts. Businesses need experienced executive leadership.   That's our business we're drowning! We can't expect an exec to find their own way and reach a new level of expertise  while simultaneously leading our business forward. These are tough, painful business decisions.   Think about that.

SMB 2

8 Signs of a Positive Leader

Phoenix Rising

Those with true expertise usually also have the guts to spit in the face of a business storm and come out a winner.They don't collapse under the weight of negative commentary, shudder when the naysayers gather like a pack of wolves. Yesterday I added my two cents on sensationalism across so many aspects of our lives.    Today - I want to share my perspectives on the signs of a great leader. Not the sensationalism oriented gurus that seem to be popular today. Those approaches may not be the best to follow. Well, that's something we all have to decide for ourselves.

All I Ask.

Phoenix Rising

It surely doesn't compel me to want to do more business with you. If you're too busy to respond  to me, at least tell me that truth. Yesterday I wrote a post about my dilemma with a few vendors of late - wondering if I was expecting too much from my vendors as their customer. Your responses told me resoundingly that I was not expecting too much - that we all have some basic expectations when it comes to customer service.  Wow  - I guess I'm not expecting too much after all.    That's so nice to know!  So, here we go. Be honest.

Turn the Tables!

Phoenix Rising

We all know when the big bad chain moves into town - small businesses lose. How many of us would panic if some big, larger than life competitor moved in next door to our business? Would we focus on promoting ourselves with more extensive advertising, discounting our own product to meet their prices or pick up and move to a new location? Perhaps we'd become deer in the headlights and do nothing, waiting for the inevitable? This owner used the competition's perceived superior value against that big bad chain. He turned the tables and spit in the face of the expected outcome!

Convenient Commitments

Phoenix Rising

Even when it was inconvenient, we kept our commitments, in business and in our personal lives.  At the beginning of the season, I couldn't get the owner to write a full contract - she told me she was too busy and she trusted me. I bit on that hook and went for the ski lease with no written agreement - assuming, as she'd told me, we'd follow our verbal agreement. Remember when our word was our bond, and a handshake sealed a deal? We made a commitment, kept it and expected others to do the same.   So much has changed. What's up with our world?  

Do I Expect Too Much?

Phoenix Rising

  Those rules did well for me  - in my personal as well as my business life. I was raised with some pretty specific rules about behavior. Say please and thank you, treat people as you would want to be treated, be courteous and polite. Then there was the 'be on time' dictate. My mom taught me that being late for a meeting with another meant my time was more important than theirs - so always be on time.    There were lots of other rules - but you get the drift.  For me - it's simply common courtesy. So help me out, please! What has me so confused?

It's the Relationship!

Phoenix Rising

  Whether in business or our personal lives, relationships are all  about adding value to other peoples' lives.   Human relationships weave the fabric of all business. We are like gerbils on a wheel - racing as fast as we can to get ahead by working hard, refining our business skills, doing what everyone else has taught us to do along the way. What if success, in life and business, is as easy as giving to others, creating value for them, helping them succeed. It’s not about you; it’s about them. ~ Go Givers Sell More. And so I did. 

But That's the Way We've Always Done It

Phoenix Rising

especially when our businesses are spiraling downwards even as we hang on to our past. T he way we've always done it' is usually the reason we're in a mess. We can’t reinvent ourselves and continue to hang onto the ‘knowns’ of our business. If we want sustainably grow - in business or in our professional lives - we must release our status quo. I am the lightening rod for people's response to impending change.    T here's nothing like a strategic consultant showing up to stir the pot and bring all the tough 'stuff' to the surface.

Assumptions Anyone?

Phoenix Rising

Now think about how different the resulting two business courses would be - if they were based on those two diverse assumptions. There's an old saying about assumptions.    Remember? Have you ever found yourself disagreeing with someone - wondering how in the heck they could see the situation in their way? Only to find that your perspectives were based on dramatically different assumptions than your own? Now think about the impact of those assumptions on the task at hand. Social media gives power to our assumptions.   Wow, a never-ending circle of assumptions.

3 Steps to Customer Intuition

Phoenix Rising

Custom intuition makes or breaks our business. Wanna be a market leader?    Apply your intuition. You know what I mean, that feeling that tells us a product idea has legs, a story is going to sell, a customer segment is going to love our new idea.    You just know when you're on the right track. If you think like your customers. When we're in sync with our customers - we soar. Just look at Apple. When we lose our gut feel for our audience, we spiral downward. Customer intuition used to be an easy thing. Not anymore.   How? 1.   

Extreme Measures

Phoenix Rising

Not going to these extreme measures means they could lose their business to someone who makes a silly move and blames them - and in the end, the company pays, and pays big.   If this trend continues - businesses will have a hard time releasing products to their markets. Fifteen Laughable Product Warning Labels The above article was in Forbes this week.    I got a kick out of all of the warning labels - some were truly extreme, for example the one below.    Imagine - Office Depot warning people to wear Safety Goggles to use a letter opener.

Twisten Carefully

Phoenix Rising

Harvard Business Review ran an article last week entitled ' Let's Tweet About Something Important! ' I was yet again surprised by the premise of the article - that the power of social networking is being hijacked by frivolous, not-important-at-all information.    I met my strategist, Thom Scott and his fabulous business partner Bob Burg, both of whom I'm honored to call friends and associates.   We all know there's a lot of noise out there. That's one of the best things about social media - Twitter especially. And there's my point.

Twisten Carefully

Phoenix Rising

Harvard Business Review ran an article last week entitled ' Let's Tweet About Something Important! ' I was yet again surprised by the premise of the article - that the power of social networking is being hijacked by frivolous, not-important-at-all information.    I met my strategist, Thom Scott and his fabulous business partner Bob Burg, both of whom I'm honored to call friends and associates.   We all know there's a lot of noise out there. That's one of the best things about social media - Twitter especially. And there's my point.

Recipes for Success

Phoenix Rising

The patterned recipe for cooking up business success doesn't work in today's dynamic markets. Every business situation is unique. That means every business has to create its success based on their specific situational ingredients at a given point in time,  evolving their recipe in real-time as their markets change. Those B School recipes for success need an update. First of all - we're moving too fast to follow any set recipe. What was true last month may be old news today.    Buyers change, fads change, the economy changes. 

Legends

Phoenix Rising

  •    Our product is just too cool. •    We can’t win in that market, so why bother trying. •    Our sales cycle is unpredictable, but that’s just our business. •    We have to discount to beat that competitor. •    Changing plans will just disrupt our business. •    We’ll just have to cut expenses to keep profit margins. •    We can’t grow in a down economy, everybody is hurting. We tend to hang onto those legends, the knowns about our businesses.

No DMs Please

Phoenix Rising

create sustainable business systems.   And now you're telling me you're too busy to accept a DM back from me?  Just when I thought it was bad - it got worse. We all know how annoying all the Twitter 'Thanks for following' DMs are, right?    Mine have become downright out of control these days.    I miss my friends DMs thanks to all the SPAM in my DM column. It's worse than email because I can't block Tweets. wouldn't mind the DMs so much if they really were thanking me and/or offering something valuable. Can I help?

A Lesson From a Ski Hill

Phoenix Rising

What does that cost us in business and in our personal lives? I learned a lesson at Squaw Valley yesterday. It was a rough day. Over a foot of our famous Sierra Cement and more coming down.    Sierra Cement is heavy, heavy snow - think skiing slurpies. It changes with every inch - sometimes you move along, sometimes you get grabbed and stop suddenly.    It's an art to find your balance and stay down the hill when you're getting thrown all over the place.   He was being gracious and helping my relocate my ski legs in this stuff. My point? 

Keepers of the Truth

Phoenix Rising

  We’re too busy managing the day-to-day in our overloaded lives. Reality comes from our markets, not ourselves. seek customer, prospect and partner feedback before I ever begin to brainstorm a strategy.    Clients often ask me why I don’t take their word for where they are and what they do.    It’s not that I don’t believe them. I do.    It’s that I don’t believe any of us can clearly see today’s reality through the eyes of our buyers.  We need clear perspective - and that comes from the keepers of the truth – our audiences.

Fair Play

Phoenix Rising

Now that I think about it - we've even lost the concept of Fair Play in our sports heroes. I won't keep going - we all know the examples, in business, government, sports and our own personal lives. In business we'd return to the premise that when we deliver quality - we get the rewards. When we deliver crap - we go out of business. Fair Play ruled in my upbringing - in everything from horses to golf to piano competitions to life itself.    It's a simple principle promoting that how you play the game is more important than winning.   Hmmm.

Changing My Game

Phoenix Rising

  In 2009, I decided it was time to step into the life of my dream as an author and speaker, sharing my consulting experience to help  people think differently about how to grow their business. I've always been an independent person, rarely taking the tried and true approach to anything.  Hanging onto old recipes limits our success. We all have old recipes running around in our brains.    It's human nature to find and follow a pattern. We creatures of habit feel more comfortable that way.   Must be my name.    My agent fired me.

Little White Lies

Phoenix Rising

We can't base our business, or our lives, on untruths.  Just read the business section and you'll still see examples of that sad, sad truth.  There's nothing wrong with a little white lie, right? So we deliver an upbeat message to our team to keep everyone engaged. Why share the reality that the we're in a bigger mess than we want to admit, even to ourselves? It will only make things worse. Or we over-promise our capabilities to win a new customer. We will find a way to satisfy their needs, and they'll just love us when they get to know us.