September 11 ~ 13 Years Later…

9-11-heroesI was sitting here pecking away on my computer writing for my book. As I took a quick break, I realized that today is September 11th. It actually stopped me cold.

This day 13 years ago was perhaps the single most consequential event in my life (outside of family things like marriage and birth of children). I still know where I was and exactly what I was doing when I first heard the news reports. The anniversary the years directly after were poignant and powerful; yet now as time marches on, it’s become much easier to overlook as just another day. I’m glad something triggered in my head to remember. I hope it always will…

Maybe this blog post for you will do the same. All of us old enough to remember (which I’m guessing is all of you…I don’t think I have many 12 year olds reading my work) this day 13 years ago had different reactions, experiences, and feelings. I imagine it must be similar to those of my father’s generation and Pearl Harbor. That event this year will mark 73 years on December 7th. If this article allows you to briefly pause and remember all those who died this day in 2001, then I’m happy. Also recall those who lost family and friends; those that risked their lives and saw unspeakable things; and those who had lives forever altered.

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights reserved

Does Your Business Taste Like Chicken?

14_02_DanCapJackRetouch_001From my monthly column for the Kitsap Business Journal…

I remember attending a Wild Game Dinner fundraiser several years ago replete with exotic hors d’oeuvres featuring animals that I was most familiar watching roam the prairies and jungles on the old television series, Wild Kingdom. They served antelope, wild boar, alligator and cougar (which struck me as ironic as a Husky alum). The one thing that I most remember of the experience was hearing the servers proclaim about almost all the offerings, “Don’t worry… it tastes like chicken.”
That adage has become a part of American culture, whether you’re describing frog legs, kangaroo, or cane toads. Chicken has become the generic standard that we base all other meats on. If it tastes like chicken, we are “safe.”
Here’s the problem. If everything tasted like chicken, it loses that joy of adventure and curiosity. It becomes stale and uninteresting. It’s just chicken.
The very same problem can happen to you and your business. If your customers and target market consider you to “taste like chicken,” then you’ve sunk into the abyss of ordinary and generic. You’re boring. When that happens, your viability is as threatened as a chubby chicken wandering aimlessly on a poultry farm. Dead meat walking.
How do you know if you “taste like chicken?” Consider these three signs:
1. You have no new clientele. The same people and businesses use your products and services, yet nobody new seems interested in your work. This appears to be success, yet it’s a fatal trap. No new blood means no energy, no interest, and no sustainability.
2. You haven’t produced anything new in years. Whether yours is a service or product, stagnation is a killer. The world-renowned speaking coach Patricia Fripp has said that sameness is the enemy of a speaker. Sameness is also the enemy of a business. No innovation leads to decline.
3. You live in a culture of “same old, same old.” If that’s your mentality when you get up and go to work; if it’s the mentality of your employees; then you’ve got a serious problem. In the rapidly moving business world brought about by escalating technology and global thinking, being in “same old” mode will get you run over. That chicken trying to cross the road today can’t take the same path he did 10 years ago or he will be roadkill.
If any of these signs pervade in your company or in you, then you’re probably beginning to smell like the chicken dinner your grandmother used to prepare. Here are five strategies and tactics that you can implement immediately to mix up the menu to bring new flavors and add spice to your world and to your customers:
1. Create new intellectual property or products. Remember what I said about “sameness?” I don’t care what you do or what industry you’re in, you can create something new and exciting to offer your target market audience. It might be a workshop, a newsletter, a free webinar, or a new product that you created to help them when they didn’t even know they needed help! It doesn’t matter initially how successful it is. What really matters is that you have something new to talk about.
Do something different than what everyone else is doing!
2. Boost your marketing. In the height of the recession, many small businesses hunkered down and hoarded cash for fear of running out. One of the areas they stopped was marketing. It should have been where they placed MORE resources. Boost your marketing by utilizing more technology, ask for more referrals, send out more press releases, seek out more interviews, and attend more networking events.
3. Fix your own swing. My golf swing is terrible right now. I’ve been golfing for over 30 years and it’s time to get it fixed, so I need a lesson from a pro. Regardless of how long you’ve been in business, you can use your own “swing fix” from a professional coach or mentor. In fact, the longer it’s been since you’ve had one, the more you will need it! You can’t be brilliant or as creative by yourself. Seek help and utilize it to maximize your talent and opportunity. It’s worth the investment.
4. Get out of the office. We’ve become too tied down to our desks due to technology. Email has changed how we communicate in good ways (speed of information) and bad ways (stopped actually talking to people). Get out and see people face to face. Visit your best clients and customers. Make phone calls to those that you can’t readily see in person. Business is still about relationships. Remind them of what you look like.
5. Change the culture. If the chicken taste has seeped into your workforce, it’s time to shake things up. How do you do this? Simple. Make work more fun by challenging your employees to create new things; help them grow personally and professionally; and offer mentoring to them to help them more rapidly succeed.

Bottom line — if you are perceived to be chicken, your goose is cooked. The business world demands difference and innovation, speed and accessibility, and technological sophistication and savvy. These are now becoming the new normal and those norms will continue to change and evolve just like menus in the finest restaurants in the world do. Does your business taste like chicken? If it does, don’t despair. You can always change the menu as long as you have the courage to do so.

Who’s hungry?

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Dan Weedin is a strategist, speaker, author and executive coach. He helps business leaders and executives to become stronger leaders, grow their businesses, and enrich their lives. You can reach him at 360-697-1058; e-mail at dan@danweedin.com or visit his web site at http://www.DanWeedin.com.

Extra Points ~ Discipline

14_02_DanCapJackRetouch_001This week’s focus point…Discipline

The difference between being wildly successful in any career and not, is one of two things…lack of talent or lack if discipline.

This I learned from my mentor, Alan Weiss. My experience tells me I haven’t met anyone that lacks the talent to succeed….but we all struggle with discipline at some point.

I had planned on accelerating my Spanish skills…not only for comprehension and skill, but also to be better conversationally. The work is simple – 15 minutes a day on my Rosetta Stone. To say that I’ve been inconsistent would be charitable. It’s a priority, yet my discipline in sticking to this through lack of remembering and scheduling is a clear lack of discipline. I re-start tomorrow.

What about you?

What skill do you want to improve? What behavior do you want to change for the better? Want to be healthier, yet haven’t met your goal? The bottom line is that first it must be a priority and second you need to be disciplined. That means schedule it and stick to it. Don’t break appointments with yourself. If you find yourself doing that, it’s not a priority. If you find yourself slacking in scheduling and forgetting, it’s lack of discipline.

No matter your business or industry, lack of discipline will keep you from squeezing every ounce of talent and skill out of you.

¿Estás listo para tener éxito?

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

 

This week’s quote –

 It’s always one’s virtues and not one’s vices that precipitate one into disaster.”

~ Rebecca West


Unleashed Executive Experience ~ A transformational experience for business owners, executives, and entrepreneurs to maximize their talents, skills, and company. The first 3 are registered! What do they know that you don’t? Check it out and learn more!

Inaugural Unleashed Summit on September 23rd. Learn more and register now to save your seat to this dynamic event.

Weedin Unleashed LIVE broadcast at 12

First Members of Unleashed Executive Experience!

Header unleashed 4

I am pleased to announce that the first three members of the Unleashed Executive Experience are “in the house.” These three executives have made the commitment to unleash their own professional and personal growth, and transferring that on to their companies.

The program is detailed fully here.

This is a unique experience meant to transform business owners and executives to maximize the strengths, skills, and talents of themselves and their organizations. If you own a business, are an executive at a company, and want to take your organization to new heights in 2015, I encourage you to join these three initial members in an incredible journey. The best investment you can make is in yourself. Invest in yourself here and unleash your talent!

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All rights reserved

 

Last Chance to Register for Important Workshop

umbrella_riskEarthquake, fire, flood, loss of power, data breach, injured worker, auto accident, workplace violence, loss of key employee, reputation damage, economic downturn, hazardous spill, sued by employee, inability to operate, loss of property….

Crisis happens everyday to small businesses around the world and it can literally cripple you. Not being prepared and ready to meet that crisis and survive is negligent. Too many people are counting on you.

Join me and many of your peers for a very important workshop on creating a disaster plan for your business. Your investment is one hour of your time and $50. It’s recorded so you don’t even have to be there live. You watch it later and it becomes a permanent part of your risk management library.

Today at 12 pm PST / 3 pm EST. It may just be the most important workshop you attend because it might just save your business.

Link to register

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points ~ Perspective

This week’s focus point…Perspective14_02_DanCapJackRetouch_001

I like to write when I’m inspired or moved. It’s both exciting and therapeutic for me.  Today’s originally scheduled topic was bumped because an event moved me to reflection. I guess that means you get to share my thoughts…

On Friday, I found out one of the Senior players on my first high school basketball team I coached back in 2000-01, passed away after a 2-year battle with brain cancer. I had lost track of her over the past decade and didn’t even know she was sick. To say I was stunned and saddened would be an understatement. Her passing is the second from that team, as one of her teammates succumbed to complications from Crohn’s disease in 2003.

As I looked at our team photo that hangs in my man cave, it was tough to swallow knowing that two young ladies at 18 years old, that had a whole life waiting in front of them, were now gone. I know when I was that age, I couldn’t fathom that concept. In reality, at age 49 I’m not sure I still do…until moments like this stop me cold in my tracks.

Here’s your Labor Day message from all of this ~ Life is fragile and not promised. We all just come around this way once. We are afforded opportunities every day that we either accept or reject based on whatever priority is in our heads that day. Those may not always be the best decision-making factors.

If you’ve been putting something off for later because now is not the perfect time, then start it now. There is no perfect time. If you need to tell someone you’re sorry and have been waiting for the right moment, then do it now. If you are stalling on forgiving, creating, becoming, trying, learning, caring, or resurrecting…why not start today? September 2nd is no guarantee. Plan to live forever, but live like there is no tomorrow.

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

 This week’s quote –

 We weren’t put here to dip our toe in the water. We are here to make waves.”

~ Alan Weiss


Unleashed Executive Experience ~ A transformational experience for business owners, executives, and entrepreneurs to maximize their talents, skills, and company.

Inaugural Unleashed Summit on September 23rd. Learn more and register now to save your seat to this dynamic event.

Labor Day ~ No Weedin Unleashed today. Returns next Monday at 12 pm PST.