Shrimp Tank – Seattle: Episode #10

February 14, 2017 Leave a comment

Last week, we welcomed Tom and Sean Jones from TV Jones, Inc. Tom Jones has been making guitar pickups and guitars for decades and is one of the leaders in his field. He’s made guitars and pickups for such starts as Brian Setzer (Stray Cats and Brian Setzer Orchestra), John Mayer, Nancy Wilson (Heart), Joe Perry (Aerosmith), and Joe Walsh (The Eagles) to name just a few. Check out their website to see more of their artists.

But before you do that, watch the video below and listen to the podcast of Tom’s story.

Listen to PODCAST (40 minutes)

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Barking at the Wind

February 13, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Captain Jack hates the wind. Hates it. He doesn’t cower and hide from it. He gets mad. So mad that he spends an inordinate amount of energy barking furiously at it. He can’t see the wind, but he can hear it and figures it’s his mortal enemy (along with the vacuum cleaner, hair dryer, and electronic sounds emanating from mobile phones).

His persistence in expending this energy is limitless. It ends when he has successfully vanquished the wind (in his mind – Mother Nature is the real reason). What he fails to understand is that his energy has accomplished nothing but to wear him out, create chaos, and cause great stress for him and everyone around him.

Do you ever get caught “barking at the wind?”

How many times have you ever caught yourself expending great energy at something which you don’t fully control? It might be something a competitor is doing or saying. It might be a client or partner failing to return your emails or calls. Maybe it is something you control in your business, but instead of looking for a solution, you find yourself fretting or even worse, becoming our own typhoon wreaking havoc on everything and everyone in our path.

We all can be guilty of barking at our own “wind.” Some sort of calamity or issue arises and we spend our time wasting energy that would be better used solving the problem; delegating to someone else more capable to handle it; or finding out its not really a problem at all! This negative energy not only exhausts and depresses us; it exhausts and depresses everyone else around us.

If you are the one barking at the wind, stop. Identify the cause, set counter measures to deal with it, and spend your most valuable resource – your energy – on things that will help your business, career, and family. If you’re in a leadership position and have employees that are expert in barking at the wind, then it’s your responsibility to help them stop.You will be doing them – and everyone around them – a huge favor.

Captain Jack gains nothing positive by barking at the wind. He’s proven to be less than coachable. You are. Make the commitment to invest your energy on solutions, growth, and development and you’ll find yourself barking a different – and more rewarding – tune.

Is barking at the wind an issue in your company? Give me a call and we can discuss how to change that for the better!

Quote of the Week:

“Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”

~ Maya Angelou

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The Power of the “POP’

February 8, 2017 Leave a comment

punch

(My real home gym where the bag lives!)

It’s easy to get bored with a workout routine if you don’t change things up. I found myself in that predicament a few months ago. I started taking a class that included punching a heavy bag as one of the circuits. It scratched three itches – it was different, it was great exercise, and I got to hit something really hard without the peril of being hit back or sued! I became so enthralled with it that I asked for – and received – my own heavy and speed bag combo unit for my birthday.

When hitting a golf ball or baseball squarely, you hear this sound of perfection – POP. It’s the sound of the ball being hit perfectly off the club or bat. Likewise, when you hit the heavy bag squarely with your fist, you both feel it and hear the same POP. It’s an exhilarating feeling of adrenaline and keeps me going back to the golf course and heavy bag for more. I want to keep hearing and feeling that POP.

In this final segment of my 3-part series on profitably growing, developing, and protecting your business and people, we will examine a topic you should be very interested in – Growing the equity value of your business. The result of successfully doing this should give you the same adrenaline rush of squarely landing a punch on the heavy bag…. that POP should equate to the financial reward you’re receiving for the risk you took in starting a business.

I speak regularly at events where business owners are in attendance. I’m no longer surprised that many of them have never heard of EBITDA (if you say it fast three times, it reminds you of Porky Pig signing off!). EBITDA stands for Earnings Before Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization. Your CPA and financial advisors know what EBITDA is and so should you. In essence, it’s your real profit and one of the factors in what you can eventually sell your business for.

This column can’t adequately explain EBITDA, so I encourage you to discuss how yours is derived and what it actually is with your CPA. Here’s what you should know about it for today…

Most business owners will eventually sell their business in order to use the proceeds to fund the lifestyle they desire for their “golden years.” They may sell to children or other relatives; an employee (or a group of them); or to a competitor. Regardless, just like with your house, you want to get full value for your blood, sweat, and tears. You want to maximize the equity.

For every $100,000 of profit increase, your small business (and your wealth) will be more valuable by a range of $300,000 to $500,000 based on valuation multiples of three to five times EBITDA. If you’re a company in excess of $10,000,000 annual revenues, that multiplier is probably closer to five to seven times EBITDA. That’s real money. Do you see now why you as a business owner need to stay apprised of what your EBITDA is?

So why don’t so many business owners pay attention to this, when it’s as important as their 401K and/or stock investments? Because many small and mid-size business owners get caught up in a “success trap.” In other words, they get trapped in your business doing “stuff” that they think they should be doing because it’s their business. While this “stuff” may be important (and at one time you needed to do when they were starting out), much of it can now be delegated by training others or allowing them to do it. Ask yourself this question – Are you optimizing your personal value to the company or are you really an employee with a fancy office?

You can maximize your value by developing leaders and focusing on tasks that improve the value of your company. It’s better both for you and your employees. One of the areas you should focus on is your profitable growth and the valuation of your company because if you wait too long, you may not be happy with the results.

You may be thinking, “I’m not a financial expert.” That’s not a problem. That’s why you build a team of experts – your CPA, wealth advisor, business consultant, insurance broker, attorney, etc. If you invested a couple hours a month to stay current on the equity of your company, you’d be able to strategize how to move forward in regards to growth, scalability, profitability, employees, and clients.

The financial piece of your puzzle is undoubtedly the most complex, and that’s why you must be confident enough in yourself to ask for help from smart people. It’s worth your time and financial investment.

Final thoughts on increasing your business value: While EBITDA is important; it’s only one factor. The topics and concepts we discussed in the past two parts of this series are equally important. The valuation of your company when you’re ready to sell it will be based on three factors:

1.    How attractive you are to an ideal buyer.

2.    How scalable your business model is beyond your existing market.

3.    How many buyers are interested.

If you’re successful in the first two of these, you may not even need the third. Maybe you don’t sell it; maybe you put yourself in a position to sell and keep it or become an acquirer yourself. In the end, you want to create a legacy for your business and build the equity to make decisions on your terms, not someone else’s. And when you do that, you’ll hear the sound of perfection and feel the power of the POP over and over again!
This article appeared in the February edition of the Kitsap Sun/Kitsap Business Journal as part of my regular monthly column.

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

I’m on TV!

February 7, 2017 2 comments

Thrilled to be interviewed by Ingemar Anderson from Kitsap Publishing on his show, The Author Show on BKAT. Thirty minutes on my book and the process of writing and marketing it. Enjoy!

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All rights reserved

Extra Points: Anxious or Eager?

February 6, 2017 2 comments

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: Anxious or Eager?

One of my pet peeves is the improper use of the words anxious and eager. You hear them used interchangeably all the time, even in the media (who should know better). Let’s make this crystal clear – anxious indicates anxiety; eager indicates excitement.

If your anxious, you have fear, trepidation, and angst. You would say, “I’m anxious about opening that door becasue there may be zombies behind there!” You should never say, “I’m anxious to meet you in person,” because unless they are the second coming of Al Capone, you’re hopefully eager to meet them.

Proper grammar aside, these words also have a place in your mindset. If you’re anxious for the day ahead, you’re setting yourself up for failure. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. You play the day scared, fearful of “zombies” that will ruin your day. Being anxious leads to poor self-talk, mistakes made under duress, and a victim mentality where everything is someone else’s fault.

If you’re eager for the day ahead, you embrace opportunity. You’ll be resilient when challenges come up; you’ll be more innovative and creative; you’ll seek and find solutions; and you’ll be way more fun to be around. Being eager is a discipline and a state of mind. While it sounds easy to do, it’s not because life and business can often be hard.

Read that last line again…

It’s not easy, but it can be done through discipline and perseverance. If you commit to being eager – even when it’s not convenient to be – you’ll win more in business and create a remarkable life for yourself. So in the words of that great American philosopher Bobby McFerrin, “Don’t worry, be happy mon…” Or in this case, be eager.

Need help going from anxious to eager for yourself or your employees? Check out my Unleashed® Balance Sheets below. They are free to download and send to me for a no obligation perspective.

Quote of the Week:

“Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.”

~ Napoleon Bonaparte

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Seattle Shrimp Tank: January 25, 2017

February 1, 2017 Leave a comment

Our latest episode of The Shrimp Tank features our guest, Nick Johnson of Libro.fm and Cima Creative. This is a fascinating interview with a very interesting entrepreneur. I encourage you to listen to the podcast and watch the video!

P.S. Sorry for the audio quality on the video. Technical issue caught too late. The podcast is perfect!

Listen to the entire podcast

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: What Are You Afraid Of?

January 30, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40For the better part of the last year, there seems to be a lot of fear and trepidation in this country. All you have to do is spend a few minutes on Facebook to get your fill of colorful responses to it.

The building of a wall on the Mexican border dominated the headlines last week as President Trump seeks to make good on his campaign promise. Fear of safety has been the rallying cry for those in favor, and the response against has been just as loud. As a history aficionado, I wonder what the response – had social media existed – would have sounded like in December 1941 when President Roosevelt ordered the internment of nearly 120,000 Japanese-Americans after the Pearl Harbor attack. Today we look back in horror to the actions of what is a now a very celebrated president. Just like the topic of today’s wall and other issues related to entering this country have been sparked by fear of security, those decisions made by President Roosevelt and the government were fueled by the same fear.

Fear is a powerful motivator. Although fear of certain things – getting too close to a flame for fear of being burned; fear of not insuring your home or business in case it’s destroyed – cause us to take actions that benefit us; many things we fear lead us to sit on the sidelines. We have all been guilty of it at one time or another in our lives, I’m sure. The question is now, what are you still afraid of and what is it holding you back from accomplishing.

The legendary actress Mary Tyler Moore passed away last week. For millions of women, she gave hope to taking control and betting on one’s self. The roles she played were contrary to the world’s view of a woman; and in real life she formed her own production company that spawned hundreds of popular television shows. Why is this important? Because regardless of gender, race, color of skin, or anything else, you control your own destiny. You direct each day, week, and year. The only thing stopping you from being bold is a fear of something. Identify what it is; exorcise fear from your thinking; lay your emotional and financial investment on yourself; and if you’re resilient, you may “just make it after all.” Because as some famous president who’s profile graces our dime stated nine years prior to those Pearl Harbor attacks, “the only thing we have to fear; is fear itself.”

Go be fearless.

Need help identifying and overcoming the fears and obstacles that hold you back? Give me a call or email and let’s talk.

Quote of the Week:

“You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.”

~ Mary Tyler Moore

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved