Please Like Me (And Prove It)

Here’s my next Facebook post: I need to know that you’re really my friend, so please prove that you’re really reading this post by commenting with just two words about how the world is better because I’m in it. Then, have someone else witness it, so I know you’re not just lying or having someone else do it, and have your friend like it and include a photo. But in case your friend is doing this for you and not …


10:1

I’ve always advised showing your clients at least a 10:1 return on any option they choose, so that the value of doing business with you is unarguable. (I’ve worked with consulting firms who told me their own clients were delighted with a 3:1 return. I don’t find that sufficient for six-figure fees.)   Be careful about the return on your own investments.   For example, if you purchase a software assessment instrument for $25,000 for use on a single project, …


Finding David

At the recent Million Dollar Consulting® College I told the (probably apocryphal) story of Michelangelo buying a piece of discarded marble and creating the incredible masterpiece, David. When asked how he could do this from a single piece of stone, he said, “I just carved away everything that didn’t look like David.” I told the participants that their careers should be based on what they love doing and are passionate about, and all else should be “carved away.” Michelangelo didn’t …


Do You Have A Future Or Just Another Today?

Adding older age to our time here makes no sense unless we are adding value to our time here. The “wisdom” is not to ask for ten years of experience in a job candidate because he or she might have had the same year ten times over. But the same applies to our lives. Are you growing, or stable, or retrogressing? Some idiot on Facebook is dumb enough to actually post that he’s stopped reading all periodicals, stopped watching television …


There’s A Sommelier in My Wine!

My wife and I were dining at Toppers, the very high-end restaurant at the Wauwinet Inn on Nantucket, as we have been doing for over 20 years every summer. On this particular evening, I ordered a very nice Meursault. The opening and tasting ritual was successful, and we were enjoying the wine when I noticed the sommelier fussing around with the decanter nearby. She soon returned to tell me that she was not happy enough with the wine, and was …


Lessons from the Million Dollar Club

These notes courtesy of Matt Kolbusa, from Hamburg, who joined us for the first time and made excellent summary observations of our three days together. The Million Dollar Club comprises no more than ten firms whose principals meet annually in exotic locations to discuss business, life, and the future.   What do I do from January to March 2015 to increase my earnings from last year by 50%? New value to existing clients: what exactly to whom? Make a list! …


Evergreen

Here’s a copy of the foreword I wrote for Noah Fleming’s new book, Evergreen:   Los Angeles is a warm-weather creation, at a similar latitude as much of North Africa and Southeast Asia. But whenever I’ve flown in I’ve had the feeling it’s not as lush as my native northeastern United States. Yet, back home, we routinely endure winters with feet of snow and temperatures below zero. How can that disparity exist?   It exists because L.A. is not verdant. New …


Guest Column: Inventions, Innovations, and Improvements

Inventions, Innovations and Improvements: Know How Each Contributes to Your Business Growth By Susan Trivers Airplanes, assembly-lines and telephones are examples of familiar objects that began as inventions, were then subject to innovations and that are continually being improved. What’s the difference? Invention refers to the creation of the idea or method itself. In patent-office language, it’s the creation of the non-obvious. Innovation refers to a novel idea or method applied to an invention. Improvement refers to the notion of doing the same thing better. …


When Do Most People Want To Buy Coffee?

If you owned a coffee shop, would you open for business at noon? If you owned a car dealership, would you locate it ten miles down a dirt road? If you wanted to sell surfboards would you open a shop in Aspen? If you’re a consultant, why would you be humble in terms of what you can accomplish for people? Why would you spend time fooling yourself that you’re “marketing” on social media when corporate  buyers rely on peer-level referrals …


Taxi, Anyone?

Taxis in New York (and other cities) require medallions to legally operate, and the medallions, being fixed in number, have often sold for six figures, with taxi fleets sometimes spending millions. However, medallion prices are now declining for the fist time in my memory. Why? Because of industry disruption, AKA: Uber. Whether you use Uber or even like it (I do and I do), it is a disruptive idea that is changing an industry. It’s not even that innovative, since …