The 100 Deadliest Days

The 100 days between Memorial and Labor Days are the deadliest on American highways. You likely know the reasons: more cars, more drinking, more impatience, more rage, more distractions.

As a risk management expert, I promise you that the greatest risk you take daily is getting in your car and driving. As your public service announcement (and because I care), please don’t drive distracted meaning: texting, intoxicated, angry, eating, stupid, medicated, with a dog on your lap, shaving, putting on makeup, dialing or answering your phone, or complacent.

I have plenty of reasons to avoid doing any of these, and these are two of the biggest ones.

Nothing is so important that the risk is worthy it. Be safe out there this summer.

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© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The Warrior Mentality Code: Part I

20 Under 40 20_3From my May 2018 column for The Kitsap Sun / Kitsap Business Journal…

Being an entrepreneur requires a “warrior mentality.” As CEO or President, being the “boss” means you fall under this definition of entrepreneur, so pay attention to my next statement.

If you don’t follow my Weedin Warrior Mentality Code, your business could maim you for life, or simply kill you prematurely.

Being a business owner is demanding. While it’s an aspiration to take on this challenge to build a legacy and create wealth, it’s only a good thing if they are around to enjoy the rewards.

I’ve compared being an entrepreneur to being an athlete. While an athlete trains both body and mind, all too often entrepreneurs do neither. The consequences are severe to the health of the owner and the business. In this 3-part series, we will explore ideas and concepts on how to create your own “warrior mentality” to not only accelerate business growth, but also enhance your own health and lifestyle.

The concepts will be broken out into three categories: Personal Health, The ROI of YOU, and Company Culture. In this column, we will tackle Personal Health…

Entrepreneurs and executives are driven. They work long hours, take financial risks, and care deeply about clients, employees, and legacy. Some of the stress that comes with the job is self-inflicted, yet much is still out of their control. If they aren’t mentally, physically, and spiritually fit, the ramifications are dangerous.

Mental Warriors: Mental warriors invest time in attitude and knowledge. Listed below are my best practices on how to become more mentally fit to deal with the stresses of being the boss:

  1. Invest your time and money in learning. This means both professional and personal development. The opportunity to improve how one thinks through videos, books, podcasts, and more has never been greater. Taking 10 minutes a day to learn something new leads to better creativity and innovation.
  2. Hire a coach. The best athletes in the world have coaches, often several. If an entrepreneur thinks that he or she doesn’t need a coach because they’re long on experience and don’t need anyone challenging them, then they are making a grave mistake. Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant, Serena Williams and countless other world-class athletes enjoyed greater success and longevity because they hired coaches. From a mental standpoint, being able to discuss critical issues and gain outside perspective keeps one from “breathing their own exhaust.” It’s also freeing and creates a stronger level of confidence in decision-making.
  3. Improve mental toughness. Mental toughness is that innate ability to respond and be resilient to adversity. Being mentally tough is not easy; it takes discipline, practice and perspective. To grow your mental toughness, dedicate yourself to the first two practices above!

Physical Warriors: This is the area that I see that is least valued by entrepreneurs. Athletes and soldiers must be physically fit to compete and fight. Entrepreneurs compete and fight daily, too. Check out these best practices to improve your fitness level:

  1. Diet is everything. You can’t outwork a bad diet. Sugar is more addictive than any illegal or legal drug, and maybe more harmful. Carbohydrates in excess will increase weight and dull brain power. What you eat will exacerbate how you deal with stress both good and bad. The best thing I ever did to improve my overall health and capacity to run a business was to change what and how I ate. It will be the same for you.
  2. Exercise. You don’t have to exercise like a professional athlete, but you do need to move. Invest time in 30 minutes of exercise a day: walk, swim, bicycle, yoga, golf, or box. In order to best deal with mental stress, you must change the brain chemicals through physical exertion.
  3. Accountability. If you’re going to really improve, then find someone who will hold your feet to the fire. It must be someone that won’t let you slide, and that you respect. Accountability partners work the best.

Spiritual Warriors: This isn’t a faith-based issue; although for many of you it might include it. Here’s what I mean for the purposes of this exercise: what are the things that bring tranquility to your spirit?

  1. Create habits that bring peace of mind and spirit. It’s comfort food for the inner workings of your mind. For me, a good cigar and a complimentary libation once a month is good for the rejuvenation of my spirit! For others it might be a form of exercise (walk in the park), spending time with grandchildren, or reading a good mystery novel. When these become habitual, they become part of your “therapy.”
  2. Be quiet. This is hard for me, but I’ve created a discipline about finding quiet time. I’ve made it fun by allocating time during the day to quietly practice my putting stroke in my exercise room. The getting out of my head to focus quietly on something else is good for the spirit. For others it might be meditation or prayer. Regardless, find that spiritual comfort zone to rejuvenate the all-important spiritual part of you.
  3. People Power: On the other end of the spectrum, cultivate friendships that also rejuvenate you. Make sure they are outside your professional life. I enjoy spending time with my neighbors (sometimes smoking a cigar with libation in hand) as a tranquil time to simply enjoy life. You can be an introvert and still find companionship and support from people.

Final thought. Find one thing to improve in each area. It’s better to move one thing forward a mile than ten things forward an inch. If you choose just one from each, in 30 days you’ll have achieved great progress.

Next month, we dive into the ROI of YOU. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to me with questions and comments about this column.

 

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

7 Questions Non-Profit Directors & Trustees Need to Be Able to Answer

58842029-Dan+Weedin+Unleashed-43 copyAre you a non or for profit board member or trustee? If so, you’ve got tremendous liability for property, people, and growth. Here are 7 questions for Board of Directors or Trustees for any organization:

1. What’s the plan if we have an active shooter at our location or event?

2. What’s the plan if we suffer a cyber attack and personal information of people is compromised or important information lost or stolen?

3. What’s the plan in the event of a sexual harassment or discrimination lawsuit?

4. What’s the plan to evacuate and protect people and property if our building is on fire?

5. What’s the plan if we have a natural disaster that blocks transportation and halts communication?

6. Are we doing everything possible to safeguard our employees, volunteers, and those we serve?

7. Am I willing to accept the liability and financial consequences of not being fully compliant and prepared for a crisis?

I have a longer list of questions that revolve around your fiduciary and leadership responsibility as a broad member for either a non-profit or for-profit board of directors. By completing this exercise, you will learn how your organization grades out.

It doesn’t matter the size of your organization, any one calamity like those listed above can destroy a non-profit and damage your reputation. As you begin strategizing an planning 2018, are you sure that your organization is fully ready and prepared to deal with a crisis?

If you have any doubts or concerns, let’s schedule a time to talk.

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Lauer and Rose and Weinstein, Oh Boy.

LauerThe sudden firing of popular NBC television personality Matt Lauer yesterday is just the latest in a series of high profile terminations stemming from sexual misconduct and harassment. Charlie Rose and Harvey Weinstein are also on the short list of others that have plummeted from grace in a split second. The main thing these three have in common is that they were all promptly terminated from their jobs because the allegations came from co-workers where they wielded power and authority over their victims. That’s where your concern should come in…

It’s easy to be lulled into thinking that this is a big media, high profile, social media fueled phenomenon. The sad truth is that bad behavior, discrimination, harassment, and bullying occurs every day in small and medium-sized businesses and flies under the radar to the detriment of the employees that are victims. That is until you get a lawsuit dropped on your desk.

Employers get sued for a bevvy of discriminatory practices: gender, age, and race are the most prevalent. However you can include wrongful termination, retaliation, unsafe or toxic work environment, and social media bullying as other reasons. With the enormous spotlight being shone on this issue now, more than ever you need to protect your people, your reputation, and your bottom line. Here are three thoughts:

  1. Commit to taking care of your employees by having a zero tolerance for inappropriate behavior. It’s easy to say that you do, but how are you validating it? Do you have annual training; do people in leadership positions confront issues promptly; are there written guidelines and policies communicated to all employees; and is everyone subject to the same disciplinary actions? Talk is cheap; are to taking actions to protect all your employees?
  2. Watch out for water cooler jokes and language. This goes for BOTH genders! If you allow “locker room talk” to become water cooler talk, then you’re setting yourself up for a fall. You know it happens. This is more than political correctness. The issue is creating a work environment that is welcoming to everyone and creates a culture where people want to work for you. You’ll also be dramatically reducing the likelihood of a lawsuit.
  3. Protect your profit by purchasing Employment Practices Liability insurance. Even by doing everything right, employees may still sue you. Don’t tell me you have a “family environment.” Families fight, disagree, and are dysfunctional. If they aren’t really your family, you’ll get sued. The average cost for damages is $150,000 and attorney costs will triple that. If you don’t want to have a catastrophic bill then transfer the financial risk to an insurance company. Just like with cyber insurance, you’re more likely to be sued by an employee than have your building catch on fire. Protect your company wealth.

Take care of your people and you’ll be rewarded with higher performance, productivity, and profits. Finance the risk of being sued through Employment Practices Liability insurance and protect your company valuation and wealth from something you can’t control. If you have questions on your current company culture, practices, and/or insurance, let’s talk. Make sure that you’re heading into 2018 doing the right things for your people and your business.

I’m an expert in resilience, insurance, and crisis planning. I have a proprietary scorecard to assess where you are today when it comes to protecting your most important assets and your bottom line. If these are important to you, then call and let’s talk. I can also buy Employment Practices Liability insurance for you to adequately protect your profit and business. Call or email me at 360-271-1592 to schedule a meeting.

Extra Points: Practice & Build Out Your Plans

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

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

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

 

Lessons from Hurricane Harvey

He is ready to fight for success

Rainy Days Happen To Us All
The images of Houston and the surrounding areas hit by Hurricane Harvey are heartbreaking. The devastation will have an impact on residents and businesses for decades.

All of our hearts go out to the people suffering and trying to survive this tragedy.

However before the rest of us get too comfortable in our chairs, it’s the right time to take stock of our own precarious situations. Houston is the latest in a long line of calamities, and it won’t be the last. What can we learn and most importantly implement from Hurricane Harvey?

September is National Preparedness Month and a great time to assess your current state of readiness and preparedness. How resilient are you personally and professionally?

I’m offering you risk assessment questionnaires for your current state of readiness and preparedness in your professional and personal lives. They’re short, simple, and free.

There are two forms: one for business and one for personal. After completing one or both, you can send them to me via email and I will respond within 24 hours with a brief assessment and some suggestions. If after, you’d like to schedule a chat about your situation, we can do that.

We see occurrences like what is happening in the Houston area and are shocked and saddened; however all too often we forget about them quickly and go on without making any changes that will better us. Don’t let that happen this time. Take a few minutes to understand how ready and prepared your business and family are so that when you face your own calamity, you are in a position of strength and resilience.

LINK for Business Assessment

LINK  for Personal Assessment

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved