Lessons from The Million Dollar Club

At our seventh annual Million Dollar Club meeting, this one in Sevilla, the ten members considered these issues, which I thought might be of help to everyone. • The best reasons for moving into new geographic markets is to reduce labor intensity. • You can make a million dollars but that doesn’t mean you have a million dollar mindset. You need to move to an abundance mentality. • “Thinking big” means appreciating how various factors interrelate and not trying to “solve” …


Don’t Pay More Than You Should

If you hire a subcontractor, someone who will simply deliver for you (focus groups, workshops, interviews, etc.), don’t be fooled by the claim that they need to be paid extraordinarily well because they represent the quality component. What they do is important, but can be done by a great many people who would love to get the work. These are the people who are excellent at delivery but can’t market and, hence, need work from others. Don’t overpay for delivery, which is …


Staying Too Long At The Fair

I listen to Siriusly Sinatra on satellite radio frequently, and have collected hundreds of his recorded works. I think he is he best interpreter of the Great American Songbook in history, the pivotal point from “big band” to solo vocalist, and the antecedent for Elvis Presley. There is no one who can interpret lyrics as he did, and certain classics (“Without A Song,” “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me,” Night and Day,” etc.) are really his alone. Many of the horn players …


The Doorman

The first and last impression you have in most top-flight hotels is created by the doorman. He greets you, often relays to the desk that you’re approaching for check-in so that you can be welcomed by name, and then packs your bags in a car and wishes you well when you checkout. In the interim he greets you and holds the door every time you depart and return. He has a great deal to do with how you enter and …


Small Minds in Small Business: Dumb Ass Stupid Management

I walk into the local liquor store and ask a woman who’s obviously a manager or part owner to order a very expensive vodka and single malt scotch. I tasted Konik’s Tail Vodka at Scott’s in London and my local cigar club carries Dalmorie King Alexander, which I’ve inexplicably developed a taste for. I want them on hand for when the spirit moves me (pun intended). Well! I just about ruined her day. She couldn’t find the vodka on her …


The Dog Star: Dog Fight

(The Dog Star is a symbol of power, will, and steadfastness of purpose, and exemplifies the One who has succeeded in bridging the lower and higher consciousness. – Astrological Definition) I was working in my den when I saw Bentley attacking Buddy in the back yard. This is “play” of course, but an 80-pound, two-year-old Shepherd doesn’t know his strength with a ten-year-old, 30-pound Beagle. I stood up, ready to tear downstairs and out into the yard. Then I saw …


You Are Who You Say (Or Don’t Say) You Are

Former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci is running again for the position, and he’s hated by the Providence Journal, with an almost irrational venom. Buddy has viewed this with great humor, and quipped once, “If I walked on water today the headline in the Providence Journal tomorrow morning would be ‘Mayor Can’t Swim.’ ” I could tell you that my wife drives a seven year-old car. Or I could tell you she drives a 2007 Bentley convertible that she loves. Language, communication, truth, …


Reviving Business

If your business results are down, you have two basic choices to revive things: 1. REPLICATE what’s worked well for you in the past. Identify the causes of your success and recreate them. Find people, circumstances, and opportunities that have yielded high results before. This assumes that the times haven’t changed in a manner which makes these not as effective as previously. This works particularly well in finding new clients for existing products and services. 2. INNOVATE: Find new standards …


Checked by Choice

I used to play military games on my computer that were intuitive and simple. If I built enough battleships or bombers or tanks, and brought them against inferior forces, I would win. I played against the computer at various levels. I could choose the type of terrain. Recently, I was offered a game of fighting tanks. The instructions alone were stupefying: dials to read, varied ways to move and fire, getting the tank out of the garage, and so on. …


Fog

Here on Nantucket, the planes can’t land if it’s excessively foggy, which it often is. Whether a commercial flight, private jet, puddle-jumper, or whatever, the weather is egalitarian in determining if the wheels will meet the runway. There’s no place to divert, you simply go back where you came from and cancel your plans or try again later. There’s a fog surrounding many businesses. Potential customers can’t quite make them out. The lines blur. The benefits aren’t clear. It’s uncertain …