Turning the Worst Thing Into the Best Thing

When Hot Rod and I were first married, we lived in a cabin outside of Whitefish, Montana.  It was 11 by 15 feet and the foundation was four, almost-flat rocks.  We had all of $5000 between us and we contracted a well driller and a “diviner” to help us find – and hit – water.  Three days later, we had a $5000 hole, but no water.  
So, my husband, The Plumber, figured out an alternative water system.  He routed the rain into a barrel (which doubled as a dog washer), as well as to an underground cistern.  We “poached” water (shhhh!) from a neighbor’s creek when he was out of town.  We would sneak over, with our pickup and a trailer, hauling an old 700 gallon dairy tank.  Hotrod would fire up a gas powered hand-held water pump and we would look right and left as he filled the tank. […]

By |January 21st, 2014|Business Makeover, Family|4 Comments

Leave it?…or Makeover Your Business

My friend and mentor, Al Levi, uses a powerful exercise to engage clients in business development.  He asks, “Imagine this.  You walk out the front door of your business, and cross the street.  You decide you are going to recreate, makeover, your business.  What, and who, do you bring with you?”

Or do you decide to do something completely new?  You get to choose and the beginning of a year is the right time to reflect and decide.

Leave it?   […]

Duck Dynasty v. Kardashians – TV’s Family Businesses Square Off

Family businesses are the back-bone of small businesses in the United States.   They comprise 80 to 90 percent of all businesses, and they face many heartbreaking issues, like divorce, succession planning, turf battles, and “why can’t you be more like your brother?” arguments. Chances are you are involved in a family business…or work for one.

So, when you head for the couch after a long day of family business drama, click on the TV.  There you’ll find two families feuding for top ratings, led by Willie Roberston, the Duck Commander and Momager Kris Jenner, head of the Kardashian Klan.  What can they teach us about what to do – and not do! – if you want to work together and still get invited to Sunday dinner?  While not overly proud of my […]

By |September 3rd, 2013|Entertainment, Family, Family Business, Women in Business|0 Comments

Talking Family Business in Seminarland

Yikes! Your wife (husband, parent, kid) may be keeping you from making money!

By |August 12th, 2013|Accounting, Family, Making a Business Plan|2 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. […]

Why Kooky Family Businesses Matter

Recently, I chatted with Monaica Ledell of MommyBreadwinner.com about what it takes to be successful in business.  We agreed that a winning business of your own can expand peace, prosperity and freedom.  It can also help make the house payment and pay for dance lessons.  Here’s the interview.  Lots of tips and a few rarely shared stories from my colorful business past!  

A family business can help you make ends meet, and it can help you build a dynasty.  Spanx is a family business, started by a busy mom.  Mary Kay Cosmetics is a family business, created by Mary Kay Ashe and her sons.  The best companies I know […]

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 […]

Functional Family Business? I Believe In Miracles!

Last night I watched “The 80’s: The Decade That Made Us,” The show opened with a recap of the 1980 Olympic Gold Medal Hockey team story. I remember watching the win over the Russian team, with my college roommate, in our dorm rooms. Lisa and I knocked over our lawn chairs chanting, with the rest of the country, “I believe in miracles!”

I still believe in miracles. I believe – brace yourself for this! – that family members can work together..peacefully, productively and happily. And the “miracle” is a sound, simple business system, one that worked for the 1980’s US Hockey Team. […]

By |April 21st, 2013|Building the Team, Employees, Family|0 Comments

How To Run a Family Business: 6 Simple Rules

Ah, the dream of running your own business!  Until it turns into a nightmare.  Does this sound familiar?  Mr. Know It All decides to go into business for himself.  He is good at what he does, so he gets really busy.  Certainly, he is too busy to do all the administrative work like accounting, answering the phone, sending out invoices, and paying bills.  He needs help!  Money is in short supply.  He’s not making enough money to hire a real bookkeeper or receptionist.

Guess who gets the job?  His wife, Mrs. Know It All. […]

By |February 5th, 2013|Business Planning, Family|5 Comments