Extra Points: Summer of ’69

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40The other day as I was driving, the song Summer of ‘69 by Bryan Adams came on the radio. My memory immediately went back to the mid 1980s when I was in college at the University of Washington as that was when the song was released. Funny that it seems both like a long time ago and not very long ago at the same time. That song referenced a year that was less than 20 years in the past. Today that song still frequently played, is about a summer nearly half a century ago.

Strange how days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, months turn into years, and years turn into decades. Just the other day my daughter shared a one year memory on Facebook of an ultrasound of her daughter and now that little girl is crawling all over the place. Here’s my message for today…

Don’t wait for the perfect time to start anything that you dream of doing. There’s a high cost to waiting. Sometimes it’s money; other times it’s opportunity lost; and most frequently it’s that the dream never takes its first step and quickly turns into regret. Life’s too short and volatile to wait for that “right time.”

Today is that right time, that right moment to start. Our recent podcast guest (see below) when asked what his recommendation was to those thinking about starting a business was short and to the point – “just start.” That’s my recommendation to you for whatever you want to achieve or accomplish. Just start. You don’t want to find yourself decades in the future thinking what might have been. Instead, you want to find yourself recounting the lyrics from Summer of ‘69 by saying these were the best years of your life.


Quote of the Week:

“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.”

~ Carol Burnett

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The key to personal and professional improvement is accountability. My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Extra Points: Baby Steps

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Babies are a lot like dogs. Wait for it…

They are able to teach us a lot about our business and life and don’t even know they are doing it! I get the opportunity and joy of spending a lot of time with my 7-month old granddaughter. One of the interesting things about her age is that she’s just discovering that she can actually discover! In other words, reaching, scooting, and crawling are now part of her daily adventures.

I noticed this past week that she has moments of displeasure when she can’t meet her objective. These include things that I’ve kept her from doing: e.g. sticking a pillow’s tag in her mouth; chewing on my finger with her two new (and sharp) teeth; or pulling my hair. In her world, these unmet objectives might seem momentous to her at the time, however she has the uncanny knack (just like Captain Jack does) to recover quickly and not allow them to become ongoing angst.

Her Recovery Time Objective is very fast…

Recovery Time Objective is something every business should identify as a goal to bounce back to full strength. Obstacles to goals are daily occurrences. Some are small, yet others can be significant and cause a lot of distress to a company. Research indicates that unplanned downtime that stalls operations for a company will cost between $926 and $17,244 for every minute that their operations are stalled. Those costs include lost revenue, lost productivity, recovery expenses, equipment replacement and more. By creating an objective metric to shoot for, an organization can save tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to it’s profitability.

Don’t own a company? Well, yes you do. You own your own professional career. How often do we as individuals get sidetracked, distracted, or completely thrown off course by a calamity? How much does this distraction cause us to lose valuable time and energy through worry, anxiety, and lost productivity?

Recovery Time Objectives are small for babies and dogs because they have better things to do than to fret. As businesses and adults, we must plan on recovering quickly and set measurements around it to know if we are successful. That way, we can go from crawling to running in no time at all.


What’s your RTO?

Quote of the Week:

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”

~ Aristotle

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The key to personal and professional improvement is accountability. My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Extra Points: Going for the Green

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40I’m writing this missive while watching one of my all-time favorite sporting events, The Masters. I’m always impressed with all these professional golfers on how they stay resilient and positive in the face of adversity on the biggest stage of their “industry.”

I’m writing this minutes after being inspired by one of the best golfers in the world, Rory McIlroy. Playing the vaunted Par 5 13th hole, he hit a terrible second shot that found it’s way into a huge clump of azaleas. After a brief effort was made to find the ball in the plants (fortunately at professional tournaments there are many eyeballs working on it), he had to make a decision on trying to play what appeared an unplayable shot, or go back and re-play with a penalty shot.

The danger of playing the ball is staying stuck in the azaleas and compounding the mistake. Unflinchingly, he played a marvelous shot out and went on the save his par. While it looks effortless on television, I know that it’s not. You don’t practice those shots so it comes down to two things: skill and confidence. Confidence is probably 80% of it.

Business is hard. Entrepreneurship is hard. Life is hard. There are many times we will all find ourselves metaphorically tromping through the azaleas looking for our ball and wondering what to do next. Many times, fear and anxiety will lead to a lack of confidence and cause us to make bad decisions and mistakes.

Self-confidence is the most powerful attribute any of us can have in both business and life. It’s the consistent and unflappable belief that you are great at what you do; that you have tremendous value to offer as a person; and that you are willing to bet on yourself even when others aren’t. Confidence is the 80% in the difference between success and mediocrity in both business and life.

Just like Rory McIlroy is supremely confident in his game and skill level, you have permission to be equally confident in yours. That permission simply needs to be accepted is by you.

Quote of the Week:

“Either I will find a way, or I will make one.”

~ Philip Sidney, 16th century English soldier

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The key to personal and professional improvement is accountability. My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Extra Points: Going to Confession

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40On Good Friday, Barb and I attended church and then dashed into the quickly forming line to go to confession. For you that don’t know, confession during Lent is required before Easter of all practicing Catholics, and we take it down to the very last chance by going on Good Friday! I think it’s because I have less chance to mess up over just one day!

While in line, I use my handy Confession app on my mobile device to go through what’s called an “Examination of Conscience.” This private and candid deep dive into your conscience is an important exercise as part of the process to giving a thorough and good confession to the priest. I remember being a kid and thinking that I could “get away” with confessing the less egregious sins and let the others slip through the cracks of absolution unnoticed. It’s the equivalent of sticking your head in the sand, rather than face up to your biggest spiritual challenges. Now I make sure nothing gets missed!

The business translation of this process is important for any business professional – CEO, entrepreneur, or business professional. How often are you examining your business conscience? On other words, are you honestly reviewing your actions and activities related to what will make you more successful and improve the condition of others?

For example, your exam might include questions like: Are you consistently asking for referrals to accelerate your acquisition of new business? Are you taking all steps to assure the safety and security of your employees while they are at work? Are you investing time and resources into advancing your professional development in order to grow your business or career? Are you investing time in yourself to exercise and eat well in order to assure you’re operating at a peak level?

Your business examination of conscience should include the same candor that I described in my personal one preparing for confession. I’m sure there are some business leaders that would do what I did as a kid; let the most egregious “sins” slide and hope they vanish into thin air. Doing this has consequences that may be fatal to your business or your career.

The goal of confession is to unburden yourself and then go forth and try to be better. The same objective is in place for your business and career. Acknowledge the areas that need improvement in your business life, be honest with yourself, commit to improvement, and then go do your best. Then regularly do a “check-in” with a new examination to make sure you’re staying on track. By making this a habit, your business and your career will do nothing but get better and more rewarding.

Quote of the Week:

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”

~ Vincent Van Gogh

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The key to personal and professional improvement is accountability. My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Extra Points: When Silence Isn’t Golden

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Pope Francis’s homily on Palm Sunday included an exhortation to the youth of the world to “keep shouting.” Without referencing any particular event, but rather proclaiming a global message, Pope Francis exclaimed, “The temptation to silence youth has always existed…Dear young people, you have it in you to shout; It is up to you not to keep quiet. Even if others keep quiet, if we older people and leaders, some corrupt, keep quiet, if the whole world keeps quiet and loses its joy, I ask you: Will you cry out?” It seems the pontiff is saying that silence isn’t always golden.

The message isn’t just for youth, but for us adults as well. We cannot keep silent when we see injustice in the workplace, whether it be discrimination, inequity in pay, or harassment. We can’t keep silent when we see someone struggling at work and we can help; when we see see opportunities to improve the condition of others and have it within our own voice or actions to accept that opportunity. How often are adults turning a blind eye to those in the workplace – both employees and co-workers – because it’s inconvenient or uncomfortable?

Over this past weekend, a client of mine didn’t remain silent. He witnessed a car in the road on fire and the driver too much in shock to leave. He pulled over, left his wife and young daughters in the car, and rushed to help. Between him and two other men, they became the first responders until the professionals arrived, and likely saved a life. Amazingly, there were other cars that didn’t stop to even offer any assistance; rather many to stop and take photos with their mobile phones of the scene probably to post on social media. How many of us walk by and don’t stop to help another human, but rather remain silent and keep walking because it’s too much trouble?

One last thought. This past week, a friend of mine named Charlie passed away. I’ve known Charlie for a long time and over the years, he’s emailed me personally in response to this very newsletter; always with a kind word, encouragement, and a bit of humor that was indicative of his joyful personality. I will miss Charlie a lot. Charlie never remained silent when it came to cultivating and deepening relationships with both family and friends. How many of us find ourselves “silently” too busy to send a brief note or make a call to people we really care about, hoping that sharing on social media is good enough? One thing I take away from my friendship with Charlie is that relationships are the responsibility of each of us and silence isn’t golden, but a steward of complacency.

Silence has it’s place. However in our lives – both personal and professional – we have a unique connection with our fellow humans. That connection allows for us to make our voice heard to improve the lives and conditions of others. Don’t allow fear or apathy silence your voice. Be ready to “shout” for a cause, a movement, or another human being. That’s part of the secret sauce in living an unleashed life.

Quote of the Week:

“Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

~ Dylan Thomas

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Professional development opportunity. Join my Unleashed® Writing video webinar to improve your creativity and influence with the written word. Learn how you can double your value for only $1. CLICK HERE to learn more!

Do you need help unleashing your potential? My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Extra Points: Perfectly Imperfect

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Last week, I visited a sports card shop to have them look at my baseball cards. My card collection is mostly baseball, football, and basketball cards from the early 1970s to the mid-1980s, with the vast majority in baseball. Because I was curious to see if the collection had any real value for insurance purposes, I was hoping an expert would shed some light on if it was worth getting a complete appraisal.

What I learned was that while my collection fell into the right time period (sports cards became over supplied in the mid 1980s to the point of saturation and devaluation), they were in far less than “mint condition.” As I explained to the expert (who was probably in his late 20s), when I was collecting cards, you’d buy your packs of cards, open them up without care for how they were handled, and then regularly trade among friends as if you were the General Manager of a Major League team. Some of my fondest memories involved bringing my stack of cards to my friend’s house (or vice versa) and then wheeling and dealing to get the best deal.

One of my cherished deals was trading for a 1970 Willie Stargell card. It’s a prize possession and the inspiration of why I chose the name “Pops” as a grandfather, as that was his famed nickname. The expert advised me that collectors drive the value, and unless baseball cards – even those more than 40 years old – needed to be in mint condition to have any monetary value. He gave me the example of a Thurman Munson 1971 rookie card, which I own. In mint condition – which is literally without any blemish – the card is valued at $300. My card, which I will call delightfully imperfect, was valued somewhere closer to $4.99. Ironically he explained, he loves the vintage look. We agreed that the imperfections actually added great value nostalgically if not monetarily.

As business people and as human beings, we often strive for perfection. I often talk to people who consider it a badge of honor to be a perfectionist. I respectfully disagree. I think it’s an obstacle to success. Just like my baseball cards are perfect to me in their imperfection, we also achieve much more when we don’t allow the quest for perfection to get in the way of success.

Wanting to perform at the highest level and giving your best is laudable. Getting thrown off track because of less than perfect results will slow one’s progress, stunt their growth, and lead to disappointment and regret.

To all you self-proclaimed perfectionists reading this missive, I recommend you worry less about attaining “mint condition” and more about being like my Stargell and Munson baseball cards; and that’s achieving perfect imperfection.

Quote of the Week:

“To me, baseball has always been a reflection of life. Like life, it adjusts. It survives everything.”

~ Willie “Pops” Stargell, Baseball Hall of Famer

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Professional development opportunity. Join my Unleashed® Writing video webinar to improve your creativity and influence with the written word. Learn how you can double your value for only $1. CLICK HERE to learn more!

Do you need help unleashing your potential? My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Extra Points: Your Business DNA

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40My kids bought me the Ancestry.com DNA kit for my birthday a few months ago. It was a great gift, as my father was quite the genealogist and I was eager to learn more about my actual heritage.

The results finally came in a few weeks ago. I have to admit, I was a little surprised. Leading the way at 43% was the conglomeration of England/Scotland/Wales. This wasn’t totally a shock because I knew from Dad that our last name was either English or Scottish. What did surprise me was the high percentage. With my mother being Colombian, I thought that exact number would fall more into the Iberian Peninsula (including Spain). The sum of the Iberian Peninsula and Native American (includes South America where I trust it’s almost fully from) was the second largest at 26%. The results were fascinating and I spent much of the rest of the afternoon looking through all the data they included. 

We all have individual DNA that leads back generations and likely hundreds of years. That DNA forms how we look, how our bodies function, and both strengths and vulnerabilities. Your business (and your individual career) also has it’s own DNA. The problem is that often, we don’t take the time to understand what it tells us.

Your business DNA has obvious “markers;” things like your services and products; your family business lineage; and your time in a community. Some other “markers” may not be as obvious. Consider what your DNA says about how you answer (or don’t answer) incoming calls; how quickly you respond (or don’t respond) to emails; the upkeep of your website; the hospitality and comfort of your front desk staff and area; and your vibrancy in the community or communities you operate in. Your DNA will tell all those around you – both clients and potential clients – what you’re really made of.

What’s Your DNA say about you?

Quote of the Week:

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

~ Confucius

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help unleashing your potential? My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.