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Extra Points: Practice & Build Out Your Plans

September 18, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This is Part 3 of a four-part series this month in honor of National Preparedness Month. While this may not seem to be the sexiest of topics, you need look no further than the wreckage left by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma to understand the life and death issues faced by you, your family, and your business.

Week 3 focuses on creating and practicing your plans. This reminds of being a high school basketball coach. Each week, the coaching staff would put together a plan for the two teams we would play that week. We would then focus our practice and preparation on that plan, including very specific situations that would simulate the games. Creating a plan to survive – both in your personal life and for your business – demands the same process.

Step 1 is to actually think about, write, down, and communicate a plan. This step is for both your home and business. You should include things like first aid kit locations, emergency funds access, critical document storage, evacuation planning, and how everyone will communicate. Very few small and medium-sized businesses ever get past Step 1!
If you are a business owner, you have a responsibility to your employees and their families. If you have a family, you have a responsibility to them. Not doing so is negligent and dangerous.

Step 2 is knowing how to access community resources. This means shelters, food banks, and other resources that your local, county, and state emergency management teams have created. I know in my city, City Hall is designated as a community shelter in an emergency. They will provide heat, shelter, and food for those that have had some impact and are vulnerable. Do you know where your emergency shelters are in your city or town?

Step 3 is practicing your plan. I often tell business clients that while the fire extinguishers mounted on the walls in their business are nice, they are useless if nobody knows how to use them. You can have an evacuation plan that fails miserably if nobody knows it; a communication plan that falls on deaf ears if it hasn’t been tested; and someone become injured or die because they never practiced how to stay alive and guessed wrong. Bottom line: practice your plan to assure the safety and well being of the most important people in your life.

There is a fabulous program meant to train people to be first responders and help each other. It’s called Until Help Arrives and information can be located here – Learn more.

Next and final week, we focus on getting involved and being part of something larger. Being “safe out there” is incumbent on planning ahead.

P.S. Follow me on Facebook. This month, I will be doing a Facebook Live segment on how to pack a “go bag” in case you must evacuate your home and one that you should keep at work in case you get stuck and can’t make it home for days. I’m also posting daily tips on Twitter.

Quote of the Week:

”To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.”

~ Confucius

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help creating an emergency crisis plan for your business or family? Call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. The time to act is before you need it. Email me

Extra Points: Helping Neighbors & Community

September 11, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This is Part 2 of a four-part series this month in honor of National Preparedness Month. While this may not seem to be the sexiest of topics, you need look no further than the wreckage left by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma to understand the life and death issues faced by you, your family, and your business.

Week 2 focuses on making a plan to help your neighbors and community. I am very fortunate to live next to incredible neighbors. We have access to each others house to help in an emergency and are really “on call” when needed. Neighborhoods look different for everybody. so let’s talk about three things you and your neighbors can do to help each other and your community.

Step 1 is to have a neighborhood meeting (adding food always helps) to find out information like: who has a generator; are there medical professionals in the group; are there any vulnerable or special need people; where are the best places to stage people; and routes of ingress and egress. It doesn’t have to be overly formal, yet these are important things to know in a crisis.

Step 2 is to create a communication link. Make sure there are secondary and tertiary plans in case connectivity and power are compromised. If there is one person that is willing to do the work of gathering contact information, that would be a huge benefit for everyone.

Step 3 is keeping current. The group should meet at least once a year – September is good – to update information and fill in any new neighbors. In the case of a disaster, we will need to count on each other becasue nobody else may come for awhile.

I just saw a tremendous presentation on a program meant to train people to be first responders and help each other. It’s called Until Help Arrives and information can be located here – Learn more.

Finally, your community is also your neighbor. As safety allows, be ready to help your larger area with skill, expertise, and often just muscle.

Next week, we focus on practicing and building out your plans. Being “safe out there” is incumbent on planning ahead.

P.S. Follow me on Facebook. This month, I will be doing a Facebook Live segment on how to pack a “go bag” in case you must evacuate your home and one that you should keep at work in case you get stuck and can’t make it home for days. I’m also posting daily tips on Twitter.

Quote of the Week:

”Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

~ Thomas Edison

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help creating an emergency crisis plan for your business or family? Call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. The time to act is before you need it. Email me

Extra Points: Family and Friends Plan

September 4, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This is Part 1 of a four part series this month in honor of National Preparedness Month. While this may not seem to be the sexiest of topics, you need look no further than the wreckage left by Hurricane Harvey to understand the life and death issues faced by you, your family, and your business.

Week 1 focuses on making a plan for yourself, your family, and your friends. Step 1 is to create a written emergency plan that responds to evacuation from your home; staging areas to meet; first aid and medications; food and clean water supplies; how to shut off water and electricity; emergency power and connectivity, and pets (to name just a few).

Step 2 is to assure your insurance protection is in place and accessible. Do you need earthquake or flood insurance? Note that about 80% of homeowners affected by Harvey did not have flood insurance (CNBC article). Flood insurance programs have a 30 day waiting period after you make payment…like a time deductible. With winter coming, now is the time to get it if you are in any path of rivers, lakes or other water tables. No matter what, you must know how your insurance will respond to crisis and have Internet access to a copy of your policy.

Step 3 is to plan financially for a disaster. I recommend you have at least $300 of cash in your house at all times. This is even hard for me becasue it’s easy to rob from yourself with the”promise” of putting it back! However, in an emergency, access to your bank or other funds may be delayed. Cash still works to buy food!

Step 4 is to once a year (now would be good), practice your plan. We all went through fire drills in grade school to know what to do in case of a fire, right? Why my school always chose the days it rained is curious to me, but disaster rarely sends advance notice.

Step 5 is to share with your family and friends so they know how to contact you and can build their own emergency plan and kit. Communication is essential for saving lives; make sure your most important network connection is strong.

Next week, we focus on planning to help your neighborhood and community. Being “safe out there” is incumbent on planning ahead.

P.S. Follow me on Facebook. This month, I will be doing a Facebook Live segment on how to pack a “go bag” in case you must evacuate your home and one that you should keep at work in case you get stuck and can’t make it home for days.

Quote of the Week:

”Luck is a very thin wire between survival and disaster, and not many people can keep their balance on it.”

~ Hunter S. Thompson (American Journalist)

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help creating an emergency crisis plan for your business or family? Call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. The time to act is before you need it. Email me at dan@danweedin.com

 

Extra Points: Flattened Squirrels

August 28, 2017 1 comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40“Be decisive. Right or wrong. Do not hesitate. The road of life is paved with flattened squirrels who couldn’t make a decision.”

This was the “story of the week” from our legendary Rotarian, Ardis Morrow. For you squirrel lovers (and I like squirrels to, for that matter), send your complaints to Captain Jack. He doesn’t like squirrels. While meant to be humorous, the truth of the matter is that it’s pretty accurate.

Squirrels and other wildlife that trek over highways and byways and survive probably didn’t spend much time hesitating. We humans have a penchant for hesitation. We often create our own “invisible fence” that is the enemy of decisiveness. Fear of rejection; fear of failure; and fear of a multitude of things keep us in our self-created invisible fence. This becomes problematic if the fence has us confined in the middle of a highway!

Business decisions – especially in times of crisis – can easily be overwhelming. However, if properly planned in advance, they can be made with more decisiveness. While planning ahead doesn’t guarantee the right decision, it at least improves the odds. Once that decision is made, don’t hesitate and commit to accelerating through it.

Here’s the deal: Important decisions are made in business every day. Often these decisions are made in the midst of crisis and chaos. The best way to compound the issues is to stand still holding a meeting about it and wringing your hands in fear. The best way is to have identified your potential issues before they happened; considered your options; and then when faced with the decision, not worry about right or wrong, but on your ability to be a leader and resilient. That’s the best way traverse life’s constant challenges.

Quote of the Week:

”You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”

~ Plato

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help growing and protecting your business? Call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. I’m confident I can help you and your business unleash your potential and profits.

Extra Points: Respect & Rewards

August 21, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This past week has simply been astounding and confounding from a historical perspective. The events in Charlottesville, VA and the events and fallout are being etched in history books for future generations to read. No matter your political persuasion, it’s clear that there is great unrest, fear, and uncertainty with many demographics of people in our country.

The business climate never strays far from what happens in society. You don’t have to have a keen memory to recall a few months ago when the Uber CEO lost his job after creating an abhorrent culture and woeful morale with employees. Even small and medium sized business can become victim to misunderstandings, lack of empathy, and lack of caring. This all leads to poor morale and the consequences are significant: poor performance, high turnover, floundering sales, and loss of reputation.

If you own a business (or have a leadership position), then you’re responsible for making that place of business a welcoming environment with a culture of advancing employee skills, professional growth, and fun. Yes, that’s right fun. When people enjoy being somewhere and have fun, the results are off the charts.

If you are an employee, don’t think you’re off the hook. One of the most insidious maladies is a victim mentality. This is manifest when one thinks problems are someone else’s fault or responsibility; they take no ownership and instead pass the blame; and they bring in outside personal problems and make it everyone else’s problem.

Nobody needs any more victims. We all have greater control than we think. Respect and encourage people in your employ. Care about them as people, not just as human assets. Employees respect the sacrifice and courage it takes to start and run a business. Be a positive influence, rather than a divisive one. Ultimately, we all must simply care about each other as humans and respect that we share this earth together. That will lead to better politics, a better society, and better business for everyone.

Quote of the Week:

”Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness fall upon you.”

~ John Ruskin, English writer

(with the eclipse happening today, I just couldn’t help myself with this quote…)

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help growing and protecting your business? Call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. I’m confident I can help you and your business unleash your potential and profits.

Extra Points: Up a Tree

August 14, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40One of Barb and my favorite television shows to watch is called Treehouse Guys. This reality-style program chronicles a company of guys that build what I would term “luxury treehouses.” These homes (mostly used as vacation homes and cabins) are spectacular. It takes the simple huts kids build to new heights…literally. The skill and craftsmanship to safely build a safe and luxurious house up in the trees is amazing.

These guys are contractors with a patently unique concept that highlights their skill, talent, and creativity. They have a very targeted clientele as not everyone wants or can afford a luxury treehouse. They’ve parlayed that uniqueness into a “destination” company and a cable television show.

How is your business patently unique? To whom are you a destination business?

It doesn’t matter your business or industry. If you’ve not carved out your own niche and created a uniqueness about you, then you’re destined to be just another vendor or company among the masses. How do you find your uniqueness? It comes from what makes you unique and different. The Treehouse Guys turned a passion for treehouses and blended it with highly developed skills, and ultimately an ability to entertain into a television show (and undoubtedly more business).

Your task for the week is to uncover your individual and organizational uniqueness. While you may not build treehouses, you are skilled and talented in other areas. What you bring to the table is a value that must be marketed to your specific clientele. The more and better you do this, the more opportunity you find and the more resilient you become. Take some time this week to identify and define what your treehouse is, and then go tell the world in a way that they will take notice.

Quote of the Week:

”Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

~ Peter Drucker

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help growing and protecting your business? Call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. I’m confident I can help you and your business unleash your potential and profits.

Extra Points: My Best

August 7, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40I’m on the national faculty for The National Alliance, which is a professional development and continuing education program for the insurance industry. This past week, I was sent to teach two different classes held in Eugene, OR. Often in smaller cities where there are fewer opportunities (like Eugene), many students sign up for both days. That was again the case here.

One of the participants was a young lady named Abbey, and she taught me a mindset lesson I plan on immediately implementing for myself. Each class concludes with an exam, and when the participants hand theirs into me, I always ask, “How did you do?” As you might imagine, I get a number of different responses ranging from, “Great,” to “Not so well.” On average, the replies are mostly positive and hopeful. On both days, Abbey answered with a smile saying, “My best!”

The first day I thought her response somewhat charming. However when she said it again the next day, I took more notice. It became evident that this is her normal response to that question in life. She’s more than happy to go through life doing her best and living with the results. I chalked that up to a new entry into the definition of “unleashed!”

How many of us go through life dissatisfied with our best for that day? We are all human and some days we are better than others, whether it be at work, with our family, on the golf course, or taking a test. Abbey’s example of being satisfied with doing her best is a great lesson for me and for all of you reading this.

Understanding and accepting that by every day going out and doing our best and living with the results and consequences will reduce stress, alleviate pressure (often self imposed), make one happier and more fun to be around, and lead to a more rewarding life. That would be a good test for all of us.

How will you do today?

Quote of the Week:

”Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

~ Leonardo da Vinci

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help gaining control of your business or career? Call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. I’m confident I can help you and your business unleash your potential and profits.