Do You Have Spirit?

JackI was at a client meeting and was asked a very good question – “How can you tell if someone has an entrepreneurial spirit?” This inquiry came out of a conversation around perpetuation planning.

The question is really about knowing how someone is wired. Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. While some employees show the “spirit” part, many are averse to the risk side.

Here are the 5 qualities that I described about my take on how it is evident that someone does have a bent towards being an entrepreneur:

  1. They have high self-confidence. This is imperative. Just like major league baseball player, an entrepreneur will often get “up to bat” and either strike out or ground out weakly t second base. In order to be successful, one must have such confidence in their own abilities, perspicacity, and value that they can’t wait foe the next “at bat.”
  2. They are risk takers. This doesn’t mean they are reckless, but rather open to every opportunity and willing to bet on themselves.
  3. They make quick decisions. Just as with the last example, this characteristic does not imply impetuousness. They can do a very rapid “pros/cons” list and make a decision either way and feel good about committing to it.
  4. Fearless. Well, at least they are willing to fail. Perfectionists struggle with this. We all will fail; nothing is perfect. In fact, the faster you fail, the faster you will grow and be better.
  5. Natural Influence. Being influential is a skill, however there are people that through a combination of words, actions, example, and presence manifest a high level of influence. This is a key ingredient in leadership.

If you own your own business or consider yourself an entrepreneur, my guess is you resemble many, if not all of these characteristics. The challenge is being able to embrace all of them – especially self-confidence – so that the results remain high. It can be easy to get down when bad things happen. The BONUS quality for entrepreneurship is resilience.

Bottom line – if you want to be your own boss, decide that you will be the best boss you ever had. Focus on these qualities and you’ll be well on your way to achieving it.

 

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Up PERISCOPE

58842030-Dan+Weedin+%22Unleashed%22-30I’m excited to announce that I’m now officially on Periscope and inviting you to follow me. Here’s what’s in it for you…

Periscope is a virtual broadcasting mobile app that allows people to take part in live broadcasts. It’s free through whatever mobile product you use to acquire apps and easily links with either your Twitter account or email.

Once you’re in, you can start “following” people like, well…. ME. You can find me at danweedin (just like my Twitter handle). I am embarking on broadcasting virtual programming that will be available both LIVE (you get a notice) and for up to 24 hours after for followers. Pretty cool.

My first broadcast will be Groundhogs  Day – February 2nd – at 10 am Pacific and 1 pm Eastern (and all times in between). That’s this coming Tuesday.

Here’s the topic:

How to Step Out of Your Shadow and Be Unleashed: Creating a bolder and more confident you to bolster your career and life. I wax poetic about 15 minutes or so.

This is my first one, so you never know what can happen as I muddle my way through it. Let’s muddle together and I promise you’ll find the experience worth your time. Who knows, you might even see Captain Jack!

Instructions:
1 – Download Periscope to your mobile device
2 – Find me @danweedin and FOLLOW
3 – Get reminders from me about February 2nd at mark it on your calendar
4 – Join me on the 2nd at 10 am PST. The broadcast will be available for 24 hours after.
5 – Have fun.

P.S. Follow me on my Facebook business page. I’ve got a growing number of people in this community. I hope you’ll join us!

 

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

A New Rave Review

I’m always grateful to my clients that take the time to write a testimonial on my behalf. Just this week, I received a new one that was especially nice…

My work with Dan Weedin was targeted to help provide guidance and insight, while navigating through issues inherent with managing a small company. Dan became engaged very quickly, he listened, asked questions, analyzed, and then offered possible solutions and suggestions.  

Dan leaves no doubt about his sincerity in helping me resolve issues, and to get me back on the fast track to success. I have to admit, I was somewhat skeptical about how someone I had never met could help me and my team, especially considering he had little or no knowledge regarding the industry I was working in. Well, my only regret now is, I wish I would have started sooner with Dan. I have relied on Dan’s unique insight, experience and wisdom many times, and I am grateful for the guidance he has provided me. With Dan’s tutelage, I have gone from “frustrated” to “triumphal.”

Patrick G. Reed, Sr. Project Manager – CW Solutions (New Jersey)

Any of you feeling “frustrated?” Would you like to moved to “triumphal” in your career? Ready to maximize your talents?

Many thanks to Pat for his kind words. Business and executive coaching can work wonders for your professionally and personally. Just like elite athletes need coaches to help them reach their highest abilities, so do elite business people need coaching to accomplish the same thing.

If you’d like to learn more about how I can help you achieve more, contact me at (360) 271-1592 or dan@danweedin.com.

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

 

Ectra Points: Thriving or Suffering?

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40
 My professional mentor, Alan Weiss, provided a great quote in a recent newsletter he writes. He said, “Pain is inevitable, but suffering is voluntary.”

Let that sink in for a second.

Struggle and adversity are part of life; part of business. I counsel my clients that risk management is a myth because you can’t “manage” risk, you can only plan to be resilient. Crises will happen, it’s what you do with it that is important.

The social media platforms are filled with people that have chosen to “suffer.” They will post ambiguous statements meant to draw some sort of reaction from friends wondering what it means. You’ve undoubtedly worked with people that boorishly share their misfortune (always someone else’s fault). And you may have people in your life that seemingly thrive in self-pity and cynicism.  These are your “volunteer sufferers.”

If you go into life knowing that every day offers an opportunity for both pain and contentment, then you’ve got a chance to enjoy a healthy existence. Bad things happen, yet they are rarely “personal,” many times are random and out of your control, and always offer opportunities for personal and professional growth. Encouraging and “sharing” suffering only makes one (and those around them) miserable. The alternative – acceptance, resilience, and positivity – will lead to many more “open gates” that you can bound unleashed through.

Quote of the Week:
“Without struggle, there can be no progress.”
~ Frederick Douglass

Cool Stuff to Help You Build Your Business & Career

Unleashed Executive Experience: Creating radical results for you and your company in developing talent and unleashing your potential.
Learn More & Register Here

My new book Unleashed Leadership is now available!

Click Here to review and order!

Follow me on Periscope (free mobile app). My first LIVE and free Periscope event is on Groundhogs Day – February 2nd at 10 am PST / 1 pm EST. The topic is How to Step Out of Your Shadow and Be Unleashed: Creating a bolder and more confident you to bolster your career and life. More to come but start now by following me on Periscope @danweedin

 

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

How Will They Know You Were Here?

58842030-Dan+Weedin+%22Unleashed%22-30I was driving in to my Rotary Club meeting this morning and a country song came on the radio that made me pause to think. The song is “Gonna Know We Were Here” by Jason Aldean. The lyrics from the chorus that caught my attention were…

Ain’t scared to ride this train
Make a few marks, leave a few stains
Might slam just a little too hard
Might take it just a little too far
Might burn out like a firework,
Like a shooting star across the sky
And we may not be around in 20 years but they’re sure gonna know we were here
Yeah, they’re sure gonna know we were here

At my club meeting, we had a fascinating speaker. This woman is a nurse that volunteered to go to Africa last year and help with the Ebola outbreak. In fact, this particular woman has been doing volunteer medical work around the globe for 15 years. Going into the most impoverished areas, seeing the most improbable and horrible things, and making a mark on those people and the world.
I’m not suggesting that if all of us aren’t making these heroic efforts that we are failing. As a matter of fact, we all have chances every day to be heroic. We have an opportunity in our business, in our career, and in our personal life to improve the condition of someone else. We’ve got talents and skills to leave a few marks and stains; to be able to say that the world will know you were here.
This is about action; it’s about implementing. Pausing to ponder is fine, but taking action in a bold and confident manner is what moves the needle. The speaker I watched today has been doing that and can say she’s left a mark. We all have opportunities to do the same, maybe not to a global extent, but to very important ones.
How will people know you were here? What are you doing to leave a few marks, leave a few stains…?
© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Take It To The Limit…

UnknownI was stunned and deeply saddened by the announcement of Glenn Frey’s passing. The former Eagles founder was (along with his fellow band members) one of the voices of my generation. I was in junior high and high school when The Eagles were arguably the biggest American music group going. I have their “Greatest Hits” in my iTunes and listening to Take It To The Limit as I write this post.

The lyrics, “You know I’ve always been a dreamer…” should be a mantra for all of us. You can spend all your time making money but that’s not what being happy really is all about. It’s not being Unleashed. Money is simply a vehicle for the lifestyle you want to lead.  What are your dreams?

Being unleashed is doing what you love and dream about and improving the condition others. When you’re passionate about the value you can provide, the income end takes care of itself. As I think on the impact that people we’ve recently lost like Glenn Frey, David Bowie, and Alan Rickman had on millions of people through their art, it’s easy to understand that their great value improved the lives of many. It was their passion and dreams for their work and giving it to us that made them who they were.

Look, it’s very easy to muddle through life if you allow it. As we hit the middle of January, the rush of the new year celebrations is over, the weather may be gloomy, the stock market may be down, and your football team may be done for the season. Before you know it, the same old, same old creeps in. Your dreams might get mired in the fog.

If you really want to have a career that’s rewarding and a life that’s meaningful then you need to make the decision daily to “take it to the limit.” There’s no promises about what tomorrow brings and worrying about the past is dysfunctional. Glenn Frey left this world too soon for my liking, however based on comments and anecdotes from those who knew him, he lived a full and influential life. Shouldn’t we all?

So put me on a highway and show me a sign, and take it to the limit….one more time.

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserve

Extra Points: Unleashed Resilience

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: Unleashed Resilience
 

The NFL playoffs are fascinating. The entire weekend was filled with drama, big plays, and stunning comebacks. In 3 of the 4 games, teams made improbable charges to go from sure loss to having a chance at the end. While 2 of those teams didn’t end up prevailing, the “never give up” attitude was certainly on display.

Today, we as a nation honor Martin Luther King Jr. This is a man that also exemplified the “never give up” attitude. For nearly a full decade, he fought for equality in the face of immense turmoil. In the end, it cost him his life. In truth, the “game” didn’t end there. The seeds he planted grew into change for a country that needed it.

The lesson for each of us? Be ever vigilant; be ever confident; and never give up. Be unleashed.

 
Quote of the Week:
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Buying or Selling in 2016?

My January column for the Kitsap Sun….58842030-Dan+Weedin+%22Unleashed%22-30

The clock has passed into a new year amid the hangover of a bustling holiday season full of parties, gifts, revelations, and resolutions. Now it’s back to business with a fresh outlook filled with hope and expectation.

Right?

There’s a certain “back to reality” perception that obscures our emotions whenever January rolls around. It’s human nature. Everyone is now done wishing you a “Happy New Year” and loads of joy, prosperity, and success. The challenge is that now the hard work begins to convert those well-intentioned wishes into reality. My question for you is – are you buying or selling?

Nothing magical happens when time shifts from December 31 to January 1. The wish for “happy” results knows no set time or place. Your attitude, mindset, and level of discipline are what will result in consistent and sustained success. Those 3 factors determine whether you’re buying or selling on the concept and reality of a “Happy New Year.” Too many business people actually are “selling” on that concept.

Here are 5 signs on whether you are unwittingly bailing out – or “selling” – on a “Happy New Year:”

  1. You’ve invested nothing in personal growth and development. That means no investment of time or money for you or your people in growing your minds, your skills, or your habits.
  2. You choose not to review your practices, procedures, and activities. Just because you’ve always done it the same way doesn’t mean it’s the best option. Those that never look for a better way often fade into complacency.
  3. You fail to invest in marketing. Every company is reliant on acquiring new business. Failing to stay creative and bold in marketing results in stagnation and obsolescence.
  4. Company culture isn’t a priority. As much as “culture” has become a buzzword in business, there is still much evidence that it hasn’t caught on everywhere. Overlooking the importance of it can lead to dire consequences.
  5. Recruiting and hiring are done on an “as needed basis.” Hiring people out of desperation rarely works.

Any of these maladies look familiar? Whether you run a gigantic company or are the boss of just yourself, any of these factors will interfere with your desire to have a successful and prosperous year. At the very least, you won’t be maximizing what you can accomplish. Let’s fix these problems and swap to “buying” through a changed attitude, mindset, and discipline.

  1. Commit to professional growth by putting your money and time where your mouth is. Decide what you’re going to do to improve yourself and your team. Is it coaching and mentoring? Is it skills based training? Is it virtual workshops or attending conferences? Map out what you’re going to do this year and then find the time and finances for it. Pull out your calendar and schedule professional development now. It’s too easy to put off and then complain that you ran out of time. Professional growth is an attitude (priority), a mindset (always striving to learn more) and a discipline (actually doing it).
  2. Schedule time to review your practices. I just met in December with a new client that committed to this strategy. It takes vulnerability and humility, yet it’s worth the effort. It’s too easy to get caught in the “same old, same old.” This concept breathes a fresh perspective on your activities and uncovers areas that you can enhance or add for your benefit. Make sure you have an outside expert helping you or otherwise you get caught breathing your own exhaust. Make the most of your time spent and implement your new practices.
  3. Focus on building your brand. My professional mentor Alan Weiss has always said that, “If you don’t toot your own horn, there is no music.” You have value to offer through your products and services. You have the ability to improve the conditions and lives of others, but they need to know you exist. Don’t get caught in the snare of thinking that you can get by with your current base of clients or else one day you may find that your pipeline has run dry. Brand building requires consistency, patience, and discipline. It may be the most important business activity you perform.
  4. Create a fun environment. Employees invest a huge chunk of their lives in a company. If it’s dreary and dull, the results will be poor performance and high turnover. It doesn’t take much to exponentially improve a culture. Even adding a modicum of fun into the daily grind can enhance an entire company attitude. More on this topic next month.
  5. Always be recruiting. The worst thing that can happen to a company is to hire out of desperation. Recruiting must be a regular executive function. The focus should be on finding good people that add value and diversity to your business. Most skills can be taught; seek out individuals that enrich your company. Even if you have to hire without a spot in place, you build better bench strength and grow the quality of your people.

Bottom line: You are either buying or selling on your success and significance in 2016. Making a conscience effort to acknowledge that and prepare your attitude, mindset, and discipline to guide your efforts is the first step in making sure all those that wished you a “Happy New Year” will have been prophets.

Are you buying or selling?

 

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. He was inducted into the Million Dollar Consultant™ Hall of Fame in 2012. You can reach Dan at 360-697-1058; e-mail at dan@danweedin.com or visit his web site at www.DanWeedin.com.

 

Extra Points: Going to WAR

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: Going to WAR
 

WAR is a fairly new baseball statistic invented out of the sabermetric phenomenon where the emphasis on metrics is accentuated. WAR stands for “Wins Above Replacement” and is an indication of how many wins a player is worth to his team over what is considered a “replacement player.” That definition is a player who is just called up from the minor leagues and is average at best. A good baseball player has a WAR of about 2-3 games. An All-Star player is worth about 5-6 wins for his team. For perspective, I saw a statistic last week when Ken Griffey Jr. was elected to the Hall of Fame, that his WAR was calculated at about 8-9 wins a year over an 11 year period.

What’s your WAR to your employer? In other words, are you just a “regular” employee that does the work, but offers no additional “wins” to the organization? Or rather, are you so valuable in your WAR category that you are considered an All-Star? If you’re the employer, the same question can be asked of you, and frankly may be more important. If you’re not adding tremendous value to your company and employees, how can you expect the same in return?

Final thought. While it’s not as easy to attach metrics in this area as it is in baseball, everyone knows based on the “eye test.” Whether you’re the boss or the employee, your value to the team is being measured. How good is your WAR?

 
Quote of the Week:
“Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day.”
~ Bob Feller, former Cleveland Indians pitcher and Baseball Hall of Famer
© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Thinking Small

IMG_6904I like to practice my putting stroke in my man cave that I affectionately have named The Varsity Club. Practicing putting without a real golf hole can be a challenge to the brain. Focus and visioning is a required discipline in order to get any value out of the experience, other than just mindlessly hitting the golf ball.

I decided to take a lesson from an old basketball coaching mentor that taught me how to improve free throw shooting. Jim explained that he taught his players to practice missing. That’s right, practice missing. He worked with them on “missing small.” His players practiced missing on the right corner of the rim; missing on the front-left; missing on the back of the iron. The concept was simple; if you can “miss small,” it’s much easier to make it in the larger goal during the game.

In my indoor putting, I decided to practice “missing small.” I placed 3 coasters (ironically looking like golf holes) next to each other with just a tiny opening in between. The opening was just large enough for a golf ball to roll through. I took my position about 12 feet away and aimed not for the coasters, but for the openings. My goal was to hit the ball perfectly enough to make it between the coasters. I would alternate between each one. By “thinking small,” my focus became more laser-like, and simpler. We will see this spring and summer if the results are better.

What’s this mean for you?

“Thinking small” isn’t relegated to practicing putting and free throws. As a business professional, consider the ways thinking small can be of benefit to you…

  • Identifying your one greatest value and focusing your efforts there. I’ve worked mentoring and coaching consultants that have over-complicated their practices by doing too much. They’ve confused their prospective clients. What is it that you do really well? Focus on that and make very clear how you improve the condition of others.
  • Instead of trying to “fix” a number of professional growth areas for yourself (or for others), concentrate on one at a time. It’s easier (and better) to move one thing forward a mile, than 10 things forward an inch.
  • Ever tell yourself you’re involved in too many things? Stop spreading yourself thin and think small. Learn how to say NO; step away from organizations and associations that you can no longer give your time to (they will still take your money); and simplify your efforts. In turn, you will simplify your life!

Bottom line – Thinking small is about simplifying the process, improving focus, and gaining greater results. It requires discipline and confidence. By narrowing that focus, you will indeed sink more winning putts in both your professional and personal endeavors.

Are you a consultant, coach, or professional speaker? Accelerate the success of your practice. Betsy Jordyn and I can help you take “thinking small” to lofty heights! Check out or 12-week virtual program, Accelerate Your Consulting Success to learn exactly how to attain exponential growth! LINK

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved