Tips for Finding a Bossy Mentor

Note: I am blogging on behalf of Visa Business and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. Visit to take a look at the reinvented Facebook Page: Well Sourced by Visa Business. The Page serves as a space where small business owners can access educational resources, read success stories from other business owners, engage with peers, and find tips to help businesses run more efficiently. Every month, the Page will introduce a new theme that will focus on a topic important to a small business owner’s success. For additional tips and advice, and information about Visa’s small business solutions, follow @VisaSmallBiz and visit
Recently the word “bossy” has come under fire (see Is “boss” the better word? I’m not buying it. The campaign is well intentioned. The more important issue is that, if we are going to succeed in life and in business, we need to help each other out. We need mentors. I encourage you to find bossy ones.

As the Plumber’s Wife, I got sucked into the family business. I was in charge of the office, and my husband, Hotrod – The Plumber – turned the wrenches. It was miserable. We didn’t make any money. I started to network, to find others who were interested in building their businesses and increasing sales and profits. I felt a little lost, as I was one of very few women at the local association meetings. […]

By |March 28th, 2014|Consulting, Setting Sight|0 Comments

Business Makeover Tip #2: Be Brave

I met a fellow named David recently.  He is working on an exciting business project.  There are a lot of unknowns with this project, and a significant financial investment.  As we were discussing the long list of things to do, I asked David, “The scope and risk of this business venture don’t seem to worry you.  How come?”

David replied, “A few years ago, I was working on a construction project.  We were laying out pipe for the plumbing system.  A couple of days later, most of the crew got really sick, me included.  We found out that the construction site was contaminated  […]

By |December 3rd, 2013|Consulting, How Much Should I Charge|0 Comments

Win a Business Makeover with me!

How very cool that PHC News is hosting a contest where I get to do my favorite thing:  Hang out at your shop and help you grow your business!  That’s if you are the winner.  PHCNews will pick up all the costs.  It’s like a TV Makeover Show…starring you and me.  Fun!  Life changing.  Profit building! […]

By |November 6th, 2013|Business Planning, Consulting, Contractors, Plumbers|0 Comments

Business Makeover Tips – The Ride Along

As a small business expert, I have learned a few things.  Here are my latest, greatest insights…

There is information and implementation.  You probably have PLENTY of information already.
You are short on time and energy.  Ergo, you get behind on implementation.
Your front line team members can get things done for you.  They will fix your business.  If you ask them.  If you let them.  If you acknowledge and reward them for it.  If you help them be successful.
The opportunities to ask, allow, coach, celebrate and get things done are in the field, in the truck, and on the shop floor.  You’ve got to Ride Along (or work Side by Side) with your team members to move from idle information to profitable implementation. […]

3 Business Lessons Served on CNBC’s Crowd Rules

I love watching TV!  I steer clear of bad TV.  However, there is solid programming out there.  And there is great free advice if you are building a business.  I love Restaurant Impossible and Tabatha’s Salon Takeover.  (BTW, I am at the ready to host an Extreme Makeover – Service Business Edition show!)

I love it when the TV biz expert shares simple ways to fix a failing business. Why do the owners fight it so much?  Why would they rather be right…than rich?  Business is just a vehicle, for driving us in the direction of our dreams.  Terrific reality TV shows help us see the denial, and perhaps recognize it in ourselves.  So, tune in, grab the popcorn and learn how to make more money.

My latest, favorite show is Crowd Rules on CNBC.  Here are a few “Lessons Learned” from catching up on the latest episode with Rockstar Business Expert Larry Winget… […]

Post-its + a Sharpie + Excel = Your Org Chart

Does it make you cringe to think about imposing the formal structure of an Organization Chart on your small shop?  Fear not!  The Organization Chart can be a wonderful tool.  Recalling my many, many jobs, I can count on three fingers the number of times I actually knew for what I was responsible and to whom I was required to report.  I would have loved that information on every job.  It’s frustrating to not know what your responsibilities are.  It’s confusing to have someone tell you what to do just to have another person tell you to do just the opposite.

Your Own Organization Chart – The Bare Bones Basics

You will need…

A large unadorned wall or dry erase board.
A stack of Post It notes…the 3×3 inch size is good.
A sharpie!

Begin with the end in mind.  What is your […]

Business is easy.

Business is not a complicated mystery.  There is not a book or seminar that holds the cryptic message, if only you were clever enough to figure it out. There is no mentor who is withholding the secret formula until you say the magic word.

Business is easy.  Consider what you want and why, and take bold action in that direction.  Measure your results.  Adjust and repeat. That’s essentially a business plan.  And you build a business for the sheer joy of the creative process.  And, the money is nice, too.

Sometimes fear holds us back.  Sometimes the negative voices in our heads convince us that we aren’t worthy.  Sometimes we are too smart, and cleverly obsess over all the ways things can go wrong.  Sometimes we believe others who tell us how hard it is and that we must suffer to succeed. […]

I don’t like big “buts” and I cannot lie

“You could pick one of these items, do it…and get more sales. So, which one?”

I was at a client’s shop. We had just done a terrific brainstorming exercise, and come up with a list of 27 rockin’ good ideas for getting the phone to ring. So, I asked the owner which one he was going to engage…today.

“Well, I could get a testimonial from one of my clients, BUUUUUTTT….”

At which point, I tuned out. Because everything that comes before that big but gets negated. Erased. Dismissed. What comes after is a string of reasons why the good marketing idea will never launch. What a shame. […]

By |April 8th, 2013|Consulting, Marketing|0 Comments

Find The Love

“Tell me,” Ernie pleaded. “What am I doing wrong?”

Ernie had just closed the books for February and he had a loss for the month. He rattled off a laundry list of very good action items and projects that he was initiating to make sure March would be profitable. The problem, according to Ernie, is that nothing was working fast enough. He was also struggling with some family problems and health issues.

As I saw it, Ernie was doing a whole bunch of things right. He just had a bad month. He was in danger of escalating a bad month into a bad quarter. He was in serious danger of burning out. […]

By |March 25th, 2013|Business Planning, Consulting, Making Sure|3 Comments

How Inspiration Changed the Course of My Business

Plan… or be planned for. If you don’t craft your intention, you may fall into someone else’s plan. And what they have planned for you may not suit you. So consider what you want, and plan for it. Clarity simplifies your life and energizes your dreams. This is the basis of solid business – and life – planning.

That is what I believe. And I am a big on planning. I do it regularly, weekly, religiously.

So, how did I get so frustratingly busy? How come what I really really want is not on my calendar? Why am I dreading the New Year? How did I get…lost? […]

By |January 16th, 2013|Business Planning, Consulting, Making Sure, Running|1 Comment