Extra Points: Be Careful How You Judge

This past weekend in college football was Rivalry Week. In essence, it’s that weekend when arch rivals clash and fan bases get crazy. Sometimes, too crazy.
I follow Twitter to keep track of all the games and notes that a large number of tweets – including some from people I know and respect – got a little nasty in deriding other college’s fan bases. While I’m all in with good-natured ribbing, expletive-filled social media posts aimed at groups is troublesome in a lot of ways. Here’s why and how it applies to your business:
The insinuation is that ALL of a group of fans are “expletive deleted.” While past individual experience might include poor behavior of members of a group or organization, it should never be an absolute that judges everyone in that fan base or group. We’ve seen this blanket statement go well beyond sports, and deep into our politics, workplaces, and communities.
Here’s the business application: Employers often refer in negative blanket terms to employees; employees speak in terms of management; and I’ve even heard businesses talk about customers in negative terms. Almost all are due to poor behavior by individuals in those groups, and then entrap the entire group that can spread gossip leading to poor morale and loss of reputation. Heck, if one isn’t careful, it could cost them their job, future employment (or promotion), or a client.
Humans are responsible for their own bad behavior. Sometimes they can mass together and make an entire demographic look bad. But in the end, individuals are responsible for behavior that is detrimental.
Your assignment: this season of the year is a great time to stop passing judgments and make assessments based on observed behaviors. Judgments on groups due to a few bad apples will spoil a lot of things, including productivity, morale, reputation, and career.
Make sure you are disciplined in your own observations. It ultimately results in increased fairness and better goodwill and friendships.
Be Unleashed!
Quote of the Day:
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
~ President Theodore Roosevelt
© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.


Thanksgiving Message


cropped-dan_weedin_034.jpgRe-printed from 2018…Happy Thanksgiving!

Being Thankful.

It’s pretty easy to immediately think of the things I’m thankful for every Thanksgiving. My beautiful wife of 32 (now 33) years; my children that have grown into wonderful adults (and I include my son-in-law when I reference children); my perfect granddaughters (added one in March); my family and friends; my business…. you get the picture. While these people I’m grateful for are foremost in my mind, I’m often guided to think of other areas of thanksgiving.

I’m grateful for the countless things in my life that I daily take for granted:

I was born in a first-world country that offers freedoms, resources, and opportunity to chart my own course in life.

I was born to parents who provided me with unconditional love and the income that could send me to good schools to get an education unlike what millions of children at that time (and still today) can’t even fathom.

I’ve never had to find clean water; been anxious over my next meal; or worry about discrimination or injustice. I’ve had the advantage of the best medical care possible and education to know how to live a long and happy life.

While I have great faith, I also know serendipity is involved. I could have been born anywhere in the world where all those amenities I described wouldn’t exist. While I’m thankful for me, it’s a sobering reminder of the plight of many.

As I write this, it dawns on me that this month, I’m celebrating 25 years in Rotary. Rotary has been a constant reminder to me of how my life is the exception; how I’m in the 1% of the world’s population based on when, where, and to whom I was born. While I made my own decisions which helped me to where I am, those were made simpler by my education and those that mentored me. I’m thankful to be a Rotarian so that in some small way, I am able to give back and support people who aren’t as fortunate as me.

Final thought. This memo today is meant to inspire. You are getting this because you’ve been placed in a similar position to me. Be thankful not only this week, but every day and do something small daily to help improve the condition of someone else. Very often, that might simply be kindness. My guess is that every one of you do this, and it’s a friendly reminder that we should all be thankful of where we are and how we got here. And a reminder that we have a chance to take that thankfulness and help someone else.

As I conclude, my sincere thanks to all of you for being faithful readers and followers of my work. I am grateful for you.

Quote of the Day:

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.”

~ Helen Keller

© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

What Should I Write About?


As I turned in my final Kitsap Sun column for 2019, it dawned on me that this would be a perfect time to enlist ideas from my community for me editorial calendar for a new year and decade.

As I begin plotting my topics for 2020, you can help me. What topics would you like me to write about? Keep in mind, I turn all my columns into videos, blogs, and social media posts.

Here’s your chance to help me mold by next three months. Send me your ideas and topics and I will find a way to write or speak on it in the coming months! You can either post here or email me at dan@danweedin.com.

© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Riding the Wave of Innovation

I remember my first real television. It was the mid-1970s and this big, brown, boxy Zenith was in the center of the living room. We had exponentially less channels than today; the local affiliates of ABC, NBC, and CBS (no FOX back then), PBS and a couple of Canadian stations we could pick up due to our proximity to the border. The remote control? That was me; in order to change the channel, one would have to get up, turn the knob over to your new channel, and then go back to sit down.
My friends were very impressed when my grandfather – who was an expert electrician – built a small box with a button that was wired to the TV, but long enough to sit by your chair. It was the first mute button we ever had!
Watching television has changed dramatically over the past 45 years. Heck, even 20 years ago, I’m not sure we saw this coming. I now watch television from the Internet, using Roku as a base for applications like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and You Tube TV. As I write this, we recently signed up for the new Disney + for a year for free, compliments of our wireless phone carrier. Think how foreign that would have sounded not that long ago.
Entertainment and communications have changed so much over the decade that they have made extinct businesses like video stores. Innovation and change is required for survival for any business of any size, including yours. Regardless of your role – be it the owner or employee – sustainability and value of the business is predicated on the ability to innovate. And you don’t have to be a giant to do this. In fact, the smaller more nimble you are, the better!
Your assignment this week is to identify one way your business will look differently next year. What product or service will you create? What might you stop doing? Will you enhance your ability to communicate with clients by technology? Will you improve the lives of your employees and their families? How will you change in 2020 and beyond?
The term “surfing” once meant only one thing; catching a wave in the ocean with a surf board. Today, it most likely means using your remote control to find entertainment over hundreds of options. If you don’t strategically plan to innovate and grow, you’ll crash on those waves. However, if you make innovation part of your business continuity plan, then you may find yourself on top of the wave and leading the pack.
Be Unleashed!
Quote of the Day:
“The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.”
~ William Blake
© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

Veterans Day Special Tribute

I’m preempting my normal missive to do something a little different. In past years, I’ve written on the history and significance to me of this special day. This year, I’d like to honor and recognize three important people that served. I’m asking all of you to reciprocate; either on this post on social media, my blog, or even just emailing me. Maybe I will make it an annual recognition…
This year, I honor and recognize:
Don Weedin: My father served 30 years in the Navy, including being part of the Atlantic theater in World War II.
Max Weedin: Dad’s older brother joined WWII even before Dad did. He also served in the Navy.
Curt Seth: One of my childhood best friends and a groomsman at my wedding. Curt joined the Navy after college and served 30 years during some of the most volatile times in our history.
All three of these individuals – like all the others we honor today – selflessly dedicated their career and lives to defend our way of life and keep others around the world safe.
My deepest gratitude.
Now it’s your turn. I encourage you to honor someone today by sharing here!
Quote of the Day:
“The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier that must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”
~ General Douglas MacArthur
© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.


Leaving a Legacy

Depositphotos_13916368_xl-2015As a father and grandfather, leaving a legacy has become more personally important to me. If you’re a grandparent or parent of children under the age of 18 years old, you may have wondered what kind of lifetime impact you can make for them…I know I have.

I’d like to introduce you to a concept that Barb and I will be providing for our grandchildren….I call it a Legacy Gift. This Legacy Gift uses a whole life insurance policy as a funding mechanism to grow cash for children over the course of their lives. That’s where the legacy part comes in. Allow me to explain…

A grandparent or parent (or any other relative adult) can purchase a juvenile insurance policy with a whole life permanent policy (I recommend the 10-pay plan). The insurance is easy to purchase as the child doesn’t need to go through any medical exams. The life insurance portion is minuscule due to their age, so the premium amount chosen goes mostly into their cash value.

Example: The grandparents purchase a whole life policy for their grandchild and fund it over a 10 year period. They are the “owners” of the insurance policy. The parents are the beneficiaries of the policy in the event of death. The policy has a cash value component and grows at a guaranteed 4% rate (pretty good for most guaranteed investments!); after 10 years of premium payments, the policy is paid up forever.

The cash value continues to grow over the life of the child. No other payments ever need to be made. Here is where the legacy part comes in:

The grandparents can turn over the policy – in essence gift to policy and it’s cash value – when the child becomes an adult (at whatever age they choose). That cash value can be used for a number of things like college education, starting a business, or simply allowing it to grow as part of a retirement plan. In fact, a policy starting as a toddler and running into the ages of 70 or 80 will likely have significant values. I’ve seen illustrations going into the $300,000 range for a policy with a $10,000 investment. That’s a legacy!

Additionally, the value of lifetime insurance can’t be overstated. People can become uninsurable at any age due to illness and disease. These policies, once paid up, are permanent. They may actually be set up to increase the death benefit over years. Here is a case where the value to child turned adult can be significant for their family of the future.

Here’s the deal: I think it’s safe to assume that most people want a strong financial future for their grandchildren and children. The Legacy Gift is a tremendously generous way to get them started. Regardless of when they might utilize the cash value, your gift will have turned into significant money when it was most needed.

The fine print: Depending on how it’s structured, there could be a gift tax on the benefits. There are several ways to structure the policy to avoid that (e.g. trusts). This is part of the proper programming of it, and should be discussed at length. That being said, the guaranteed nature of the growth and protection is something I know we want for our grandchildren, so we are taking this route.

If you’d simply like to learn more about how the Legacy Gift might work in your family’s life, contact me. There’s no obligation; I’d love to talk with you about how you can make the difference in the lives of the children in your life.

® Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Extra Points: Out of the Blocks Sprinting

This past week, I invested a great deal of time on my strategic planning for 2020 and beyond. Coming off my excellent Mastermind group meeting in Whistler BC, my plans around revenue growth, business succession and continuity, and personal and professional development have been installed.
I use the end of October as the date to honestly review 2019, compare to 2018, and build for 2020. Why October? Why not wait until the calendar year is over? Because I don’t want to be poised on the blocks waiting for the gun to sound when January 1rolls around. I want to be sprinting out of the blocks!
It’s pretty easy to estimate the last two months based on what’s expected and in play. Your numbers don’t have to be perfect; they just need to be tallied. Now is the time to both quantitatively and qualitatively review your work: what’s worked well and what hasn’t; what did you enjoy and what were challenges; and (this is important) how can you be innovative and re-invent yourself next year?
You don’t have to make wholesale changes. However, if you don’t regularly seek ways to re-invent and to innovate, then you will be be walking out of the blocks, rather than sprinting.
Here’s your assignment: Start your 2020 visioning now. This week. Maybe even today. I know what will be new and exciting for 2020 (starting this month, so stay tuned); do you?
In order to be sprinting when this decade flips in about eight weeks, then the positioning in the blocks must begin now. Are you ready to get out of the blocks fast?
Be Unleashed!
Quote of the Day:
“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”
~ e.e. cummings
© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

Extra Points: You Business Immune System

Dan_Weedin_022I’m normally very healthy, but the last nearly two weeks I’ve been dealing with a “good” case on bronchitis. Not sure I recall ever having it but I promise you I don’t want it again! While I’m well on the way to a full recovery, my recovery corridor has included working through travel, my Mastermind Group retreat, and babysitting my beautiful granddaughters! While not at 100%, you grind through it, right?
The immune system is the the body’s defense system. The stronger it is, the less you get sick and the faster you recover. I know this sounds like an oversimplification, but it works for now. I’ve worked hard to build my immune system. Although not foolproof, I know it allows me to recover quickly.
Your company has an immune system that does the same thing for it. The stronger your immune system, the more prevention, protection, and recovery your company will feel. Just like our body’s immune system, it’s not foolproof. Bad things happen and some can’t be prevented. However, that recovery corridor is strong.
The recovery corridor is that period of time where your company goes from full steam ahead to calamity to recovered. A strong immune system accelerates that recovery time, saving your company a whole bunch of valuable time and money.
One more thought. I’ve had help along the road in my recovery corridor. My doctor, chiropractor, pharmacy, and family have contributed. In business, you need the same help from people like insurance partners, CPA, legal, consultants, and employees.
How strong is your business’s immune system? Your assignment is to do a quality check on it. By committing to creating a strong immune system for your business, you will prevent loss, mitigate what you can’t control, accelerate what recovery corridor, and protect your profitability and bottom line.
Be Unleashed!
Quote of the Day:
“There’s a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker.”
~ Charles M. Schultz
Note: Sorry for no video again this week. Plan on it returning next week!
© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

Extra Points: The Near Miss

Dan_Weedin_022Barb saved the day. Or at least my business trip to Whistler!
As you’re reading this, I’m at my own Mastermind group experience with my professional coach and consulting colleagues in beautiful Whistler, BC. As I was heading out the door to leave, I did one final check of everything I needed, and that included a check with my wife and business partner.
As we went though everything that was critical – including what I needed to deal with for the bronchitis I’d caught earlier in the week and was now grinding through – Barb asked, “Passport?”
Of course it was downstairs in my office and that would not have sufficed with the border guard and the crossing!
While I have a checklist for my travel, the passport has not been on it because I almost never need it. It has now been added. Additionally, this “near miss” must be learned from in order to not have a calamity later. I am applying for my enhanced drivers license when I return. This additional coverage on my drivers license allows me to cross into Canada without a passport. In this case, even had I forgotten the passport, I would have been able to enter enter. Redundancy at work.
While there are several metaphors I can use for this story, the one I will use for this missive is the “near miss” adjustment. All too often, in business and in life, we experience near misses and allow them to become forgotten and thought of as simply a dodged bullet. The better action is to fix what might be an obvious future peril.
In my story, the fix is twofold; adding the passport to my checklist and getting the enhanced drivers license. What recent events have you experienced that might be considered “near misses?”
Your assignment is to figure that out and appropriately respond. Examples might include near misses involving auto accidents, home or office mishaps, forgetting to do something important, not promptly responding to a business request, a workplace accident, or an equipment failure. I’m confident you will find a few!
Take it from me, near misses are often the best teachers. We get to fix an issue that we avoided. The worst thing I could do is not follow through on my adjustment and then at some point forget my passport. Make sure you make the proper adjustments to your near misses to help prevent calamity and assure success.
Be Unleashed!
Quote of the Day:
“Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise in time”
~ Theodore Roosevelt
Note: Sorry for no video. As you read, I’ve been dealing with bronchitis and the video just wasn’t going to be good enough! It will return next week!
© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

Extra Points: The Mental Side of Your Business

Being in business is a daily mental challenge. Heck, life is a daily mental challenge. How we deal with and respond to that mental side means everything when it comes to our businesses, careers, and lives.
October is Mental Health Awareness Month. While I’m not a therapist or counselor, I’ve been an entrepreneur or business professional for my entire career. The mental side of our business can become challenging as we deal with adversity, other humans we disagree with, and calamity we had no control over. That mental wear and tear over years can take a toll. They will keep any of us from being “unleashed.” In today’s missive, I’d like to share three concepts with you that I hope you can immediately implement for your best mental health today and moving forward.
First, you must identify when there is a challenge. Most of us who own businesses and/or are reliant on ourselves for our income, often eschew admitting when we need help. It’s easy to proverbially “rub dirt on the injury” and carry on. It’s almost become the way we define our resilience. The problem is that too much of this can become overwhelming and lead to a myriad of problems. This first step is being vulnerable and confident enough to identify these challenges.
Second, ask for help. There are many professionals in the mental health industry that one can lean on. Additionally, there are also colleagues and peers that can provide support. It takes someone with great confidence and self-awareness to ask for help. I don’t believe we can be successful on our own; and that includes taking care of ourselves in our won heads! Ask for help well before you need it. In fact, make it a part of your business and personal life.
Third, focus on what you can control. So much of life is outside of our control. We can only take charge of how we react, what we think, and our attitude. There’s plenty of research to show that good mental health and a positive attitude go hand in hand. It’s easy to say’ harder to accomplish. That’s why we all need the first two steps! By focusing on your response and thinking – things you an control – you will avoid the chaos and crisis that comes from being overcome by the things you can’t control.
The world we live in is demanding, fast-paced, and volatile. By being able to slow things down in your own world, you’ll be armed and ready to take on anything both mentally and emotionally. And that’s a good thing for you, your business, and your life.
Be Unleashed!
Quote of the Day:
“Greatness is a road leading towards the unknown.”
~ Charles de Gaulle
© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.