Friday, December 30, 2011

Please, Pray for Noah

For anyone who follows my blog or Twitter, you know I've been asking for prayers for little Noah for some time. Noah has brain cancer and has recently had additional growth of the tumor. He will be having his third surgery on January 3rd. He's had a rough time over the Christmas holiday having spent time in Children's Hospital in Birmingham and generally feeling lousy. Even with all he's been through in his almost four years, he has an awesome disposition and a smile to melt your heart. He's a great patient, and very courageous in the face of needles and scanners. He's endured more than should be expected of a little boy. 

With his surgery coming in a few days, please take a minute and send some prayers to Noah and his family. Visit his website and leave an encouraging comment or a get well wish. If you are so moved, make a donation to help offset the huge medical expense associated with his treatment. But if you do nothing else, send a prayer. 


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Research Tricks

Whether we're talking about developing a business plan for your great idea, or a marketing plan to promote your business, we always start with research. I teach this in workshops, classes, and in one-on-one coaching and consulting. You always begin with research. 

That entrepreneurs don't do this properly was brought to light several years ago when a coaching client responded to my inquiry about her experience in the niche restaurant business that she had eaten in plenty of restaurants and didn't need any more experience than that. Just last year a coaching client told me that he didn't need to do any research because he was starting a sporting goods store because we didn't have any in town. I really tried to polite, but just couldn't help busting out in laughter.

But here's the question, how do you do your research? For big companies that can afford to subscribe to services, databases, and hire their own research staff it's not a big worry. But how does a small company go about gathering all the appropriate information?  I have some thoughts, but I'd like to here yours.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's not the critic who counts

This is one of my favorite quotes of all times:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”  
Theodore Roosevelt

I've used the quote used with leadership groups, volunteer organizations and recent graduates entering the world as a kick in the pants to get in the game, get involved. Finding your place in the world has a lot to do with finding your niche, finding that path that God has laid out for you and staying focused. It's also about getting involved, even if it's a little uncomfortable at times. Whether that means your job, a volunteer or civic group or your church (inside the building or out).

I find this quote to be very compelling. I don't think I need to recap it, it speaks for itself. What are you doing in the arena?

P.S. I was reminded of this quote by Jack Weinzierl in a Twitter post. He wrote an interesting blog post about the quote on his site, check it out. Thanks Jack! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Marketing Plan Template

I teamed up with local marketing wiz, Felica Sparks of Ad4! Group to write a book on marketing for small business. Marketing Plan Template: Writing Marketing Plans for Small Business. The Kindle version is now available at Amazon. Click on the link below to get your copy now.