Extra Points: Fantasy Football and Your Business

I love fantasy football.
Okay, it’s almost solely because of my love for the game and expanding my reason for watching all the teams in the National Football League. However, there are lessons that business can take away from it. Allow me to explain…
Fantasy football is all about quantitative performance data. Both good performances (touchdowns, yards gained, catches) and bad performances (fumbles and interceptions) are taken into account. At the end of the weekend, the team that performed the best overall – based on points scored – wins the game.
Because of that, I’m constantly keeping track of the players on my team and how they are performing. I can’t afford to not play the best players.
You can’t afford not to “play your best players.”
It’s easy to go week to week not focusing on performance. In your case, that means appointments set, proposals made, sales meetings, sales, products manufactured, etc. Who’s in charge of your quantitative data?
Coaches wear head sets on the sidelines and every conversation goes through the head coach’s headset. Are you aware of your “stats;” your performance?
Bottom line: If you don’t keep track weekly of your performance, then you will be less profitable and that impacts your company profitability and value. By staying attuned to your “stats,” you will be more likley to in every week of the year.
Be unleashed!
Quote of the Day:
“Most business is lost every year through neglect than through any other cause.”
~ Rose Kennedy
© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

Extra Points: Be The Storm

I’m writing this missive here in the middle of a huge lightening storm in the Puget Sound. It’s delayed (if not postponed) the University of Washington game in Husky Stadium. It’s chased our small neighborhood party on the lawn into our homes. And it made a bird run for cover in the safety of our home!
That’s right, just a little while ago – this is real time writing at its finest – I opened the sliding glass door to our deck to go outside and marvel at the lightning storm when a little bird made a beeline into our house trying to escape the same storm! Between Barb, Captain Jack and me (Bella was uninterested and stayed on the couch sleeping), we believe the little guy flew back from whence he came. At least a thorough search didn’t uncover him so we believe he took the bait and braved the storm. We hope he found refuge.
Nature’s fury is incredible. Had it not been for Jack’s enmity for the storm, we likely would have sat on the porch with a libation marveling at the show.
As a business, you have the choice of running (or flying) away from the storm or being the storm. With all due respect to my little bird friend (whom I believe did the very smart thing in seeking refuge), the bounty of success comes to those who create the wind and the rain.
Here’s the deal. Storms create their own ways, regardless of what’s in front of them. There is no “fear.” All too often, solopreneurs and small business owners allow fear of failure to keep them from crating their own storms. It takes courage to stand up and not fight the storm but BE the storm.
What about you?
Your assignment this week is to do something that really scares you; that will make you uneasy but be a source of creating opportunity. That makes all around you stop and take notice; something that creates a storm.
If you need help, contact me. Your business and you have the same strength of a storm. The difference is that storms aren’t capable of fear. They blast forward with strength, conviction, and majesty. And you should, too.
Go be the storm, and be unleashed.
Note: Watch the video because I argue from the bird’s point of view!
Quote of the Day:
“Beware the fury of a patient man.”
~ John Dryden
© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

Extra Points: Celebrating Labor Day

In the United States, we are very fortunate when it comes to labor. For many, if not most, on this planet, “labor” involves finding food and clean water; avoiding disease and destruction; and simply surviving another day.
It’s easy to take our labor for granted. To that end, you are encouraged to consider these points:
  • If you’re reading this, you have the ability and opportunity to do what you want for a career. You are not stuck doing something you hate unless it’s by your own free will.
  • If you’re a W-2 employee, never think of yourself that way. You have your own small corporation (whether it be just you or your family) of which you are CEO. Make sure you have a passion for your work and are being remunerated for your talent.
  • If you’re a CEO or entrepreneur, you are in the noble position of employing good people and allowing them to take care of families and be active community members.
  • In addition, you get to choose your own path; you’re own destiny. That’s not common in the world. Take advantage of it.
Celebrate Labor Day because you – WE – are so fortunate to be in a position to love what we do, create labor opportunities for others, carve out our own path, and fulfill dreams that others around the world can’t comprehend. So while you’re enjoying a day off with your loved ones and friends, remember that the next day, you’ll back at it with hopefully a little extra zip in your stride!
Happy Labor Day and Be Unleashed!
Quote of the Day:
“Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.”
~ Confucius
© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

 

Extra Points: Recovering from Business Sand Traps

Sports is a game of failure.

Last week, my wayward golf shots – my “failures” – resulted in penalty strokes, awkward situations under trees, and a few sand traps. Especially in the latter, I needed to have the right tools and skills to be able to recover. In every “recovery” situation on the golf course, the player must not only have the tools and resources, but the vision to fond the best course of action based on experience and help.

Business is also a game of failure.

Failures in business include everything from lost sales, poor communications, failure to promptly respond, forgetting an appointment, and simply dropping the ball (sports metaphor for a reason). You likley experienced a few failures in business last week; I know I did. They are so common that we tend to overlook them as a cost of doing business and move on. While this ability to put mistakes in the past is often seen as good, let’s not forget learning from them.

Failure is a great teacher if we allow it. On the golf course, my failures are pretty apparent during the round. If some become trends, I know that in order to lower my scores, this must be a place of emphasis to improve through practice.

In business, the failures aren’t always readily apparent. If you are consistently losing sales, a review of the process should be done to see where the issues lie. If you’re not getting enough opportunities, this is a sign of a flaw in your marketing process. If injuries occur too often and cause challenges in operations and morale, these must be addresses to reduce the number.

We humans are prone to failure. Because of that, we need to surround ourselves with the tools, resources, and intelligence to recover quickly and effectively. If we don’t invest the time in procuring the tools, resources, and smarts to do that, then we are negligent.

Here’s your assignment: Review last week’s failures and how you (and your employees) responded. If you didn’t “recover” as well or as quickly as you’d like to, then find out why. What was missing? Keep track on a weekly basis to see if there are trends that need to be addressed.

While we all love the revenue growth part of the business process, the only way to assure we are able to continue that growth is through the ability to recover from calamity. I can’t afford to give away shots on the golf course because I landed in a few sand traps. Similarly, you can’t afford to give away money because you weren’t prepared to recover from your own traps that are littering your course to success.

Quote of the Day:

“Let us be grateful to the mirror for revealing to us our appearance only.”
~ Samuel Butler

© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

Extra Points: Being Influential

Hola. Me llamo Dan Weedin. Y eso es Puntos Extra…
Okay, I admit that this open may be more impactful in person or on video, but perhaps you noticed it here, too. If it made you wonder what the heck I’m up to, it did it’s job!
Last week, you read or watched me talk about heading to a “rebound” weekend with returning Rotary Exchange students. During the weekend, we gave them pointers on how to begin the presentations they will give to their sponsoring clubs back in the United States and Canada. One of my recommendations is to begin the speech with a greeting in the language of the country they just returned from. The reason? It creates curiosity with the audience, and results in more attentiveness. That’s the goal of every presentation.
In business, you give presentations every day. They can range from one person to 1,000. Every time to speak to employees, co-workers, investors, clients, potential clients, and the community and media, you are tasked with delivering an influential “presentation.” Public speaking isn’t about being up on a platform; it’s the ability to transfer your ideas and motivations to others. And it’s crucial for business success.
Successful CEOs and Presidents of companies of all sizes regularly work on developing their influencing skills. This is NOT in a manner to be manipulative; but rather to exert influence for improving the condition of people and the company. One can be the smartest person in the room, but if they can’t transfer that influence, they will not be as successful as they could be.
Here’s your assignment: Find one way to improve ho you start presentations. Invest 30 minutes into integrating it into your conversations and presentations where you want to influence someone (or a group of people) to think, feel, or do something that will make the company or them better.
My Extra Points Extra: I love starting presentations with a story. You’ve even seen that in many of my missives. Find personal stories – NOT retread jokes – that increase curiosity, add humor, and engages your audience. When you do that, you’re off to a great start to be truly influential.
Quote of the Day:
“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”
~ Ayn Rand
© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

 

Unleashed® Summit 2019: Monica Blackwood – Westsound Workforce

Monica Blackwood, CEO of WestSound Workforce, will be speaking at the 2019 Unleashed® Summit on September 17th on how to better recruit and retain employees. Watch the video to hear one of her strategies.

Learn more and Register

Sponsored by:

© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Unleashed is a registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

Extra Points: The Rebound

I’m spending this weekend with about two dozen returning exchange students from my Rotary Club district. I’m taking over the role of what is called a “Rebound Coordinator” for the district. The team of Rotarians I’m working with spend time talking with both returning students and parents about the year the kids were gone, and importantly, how to re-adjust back to “normal” life. You see, being gone to a new culture – with new language, experiences, and even some challenges – requires a bit of debriefing for everyone to assure a smooth transition back for everyone. That’s a key reason parents are required to attend at least part of it. Making sure all stakeholders are taken care of is critical to ongoing success.
In your business, that same care and concern must occur after a crisis or calamity. All stakeholders must be included in a debrief of the event. Now this calamity might not be dramatic; it can range from a loss of power that stopped operations for three hours (and maybe had employees stuck in the elevator for that period of time); flooded your office space and created chaos; or forced a building evacuation due to any number of perils.
We all experience some level of crisis regularly. Whether they be large or small, we need to do a good job of examining what we did well and what can be improved. For every minute of lost time due to an event that stops your regular operations, you risk losing between $1,000 and $10,000 of lost productivity, opportunity, and profits. That’s worth finding a better way to deal with them! By going through this process, you might prevent another event, and at least improve recovery time for the next one.
Here’s your assignment: Create a process for debriefing after any event that you believe caused a loss for your business. It doesn’t have to be complex, but it should include all stakeholders (including clients, if necessary). Identify ways you could have improved your response to recover more quickly, and then integrate that into your Business Continuity program. If you need help with either of those, let me know.
Bottom line: You should never let a good crisis go to waste. Invest some time and resources into finding a way to debrief and improve from every calamity. Your bottom line will then be happier and healthier!
Quote of the Day:
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
~ Dr. Seuss
© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

Unleash Your Company’s Potential

Learn more about the upcoming 2019 Unleashed® Summit being held on September 17th at the High Spirits Classroom in the brand new Centennial Building in Poulsbo, WA. A great lineup of speakers to help you grow and protect your business and life.

You can register on this blog site. Space is limited so reserve your seat today!

 

© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Unleashed is a registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

Extra Points: Expanding Your Brand

We all have a message to tell in our businesses. That message is disseminated out in an effort to target current and potential clients and customers (there is a difference). How do you know you’re getting the most bang for your buck?

I’m a visual learner. Given a choice, I will invest in learning by watching a video. In the last week, I’ve done this to learn a new recipe and cooking preparation, to watch the news in order to stay current in world and local events, and to improve my golf swing. I also am aware that many other humans like to learn in different ways. It’s inherent for my business to touch them all in a manner that they understand my brand and my services.

Are you doing the same?

Visual learners prefer to learn by watching. That’s why I now have Extra Points on video (see above). I post them on You Tube, Twitter, Facebook, and now Instagram. I also have a new course on LinkedIn Learning (my third) which you can check out below. Do you utilize video to expand your message to visual learners?

Auditory learners prefer listening. I have a podcast (with an accompanying video – see how this works?) for people that like listening while they commute. In the golden age of radio, commercials needed to be powerful in order to create curiosity. Some people still need that, even though television and social media is tilted to visual.

Kinesthetic learners are tactile; they like to touch things. These people might still like to hold a brochure or fill out a questionnaire with an actual pen or pencil. That’s why I still have assessments that require someone to fill in the blanks.

Regardless of your business, you have a message to share. If you’re in sales (and truly we all are to some level), it’s incumbent on you to be creative. Find different ways to advance and expand your voice and message; thus ultimately your brand. Your assignment this week is to see if your marketing and sales process has any gaps that need to be filled.

Final note: Lack of steady business and revenue is a crisis. If you want to avert that in your business, be strong in marketing. This concept will help you. Contact me if you’d like to learn how I help my clients accomplish this. Be unleashed.

Quote of the Day:

“A somebody was once a nobody who wanted to and did.”

~ John Burroughs (19th century American author)

© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

Extra Points: The MVP

Ken Griffey Jr. was the most valuable employee in the history of the Seattle Mariners. Not only was he a first-ballot Hall of Fame player, but he also had his greatest years in a Mariners uniform and may be the sole reason the team is still in Seattle. As the Mariners marquee public figure, he helped lift the team to it’s first-ever playoff run and defeated the New York Yankees in a five-game playoff series in 1995, where he slugged five home runs and scored the winning run in the deciding game. Over his career with the Mariners, he was always the best-known player nationally, and the best player on the field.
You might call him a key-person in the organization.
All businesses have Most Valuable Players in their organizations. They range from top sales people, to savvy executives, to potential successors. Often, they are the CEO or President themselves! Bottom line, the loss of that key person has deleterious consequences long-term for a company.
The two years after Ken Griffey Jr. left the team, the Mariners had highly successful years going to the American League Championship Series in back to back years. But since then, they have missed the playoffs for over two decades and have never been able to ably replace their best player. The initial success was a mirage.
The loss of your key employee(s) may not have immediate poor results (though often it does). But over the long haul, that person is hard – and sometimes impossible – to replace.
An important aspect of business continuity and succession planning is dealing with the retention of key employees. There are three perils to consider: death, disability, and disengagement. The first two are as obvious as a ham sandwich; the last means disengagement from a company in any form. That might mean they were hired away by a competitor; won the lottery and ran; or simply retired.
Having a plan in place to retain and compensate important executives and employees is critical to business continuity. That includes the sudden loss of the CEO. If you own a business – or maybe you are a key employee yourself – your assignment is to identify ways to most effectively manage the retention and development of these people.
Had the Mariners been able to keep Griffey, they may have won multiple championships. We will never know and neither will they. What we all acknowledge is they have never been the same without him. Can your business afford that loss within your own team? What can you do to take best care of your MVPs?
Quote of the Day:
“If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing And believe in what you are doing.”
~ Will Rogers
© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.