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  • Aspire » Leadershiptitle_li=Uncategorized

    22 Aug


    If you’re like most entrepreneurs, there are plenty of days you don’t feel much like a leader, but as a business owner, that’s a major part of your job description, a huge driver for success…or failure. Are you focused on being a great leader?

    Leadership is needed in all kinds of places, it’s not just about business owners, it’s a universal requirement – it’s something everyone will step up to at some point in their life. Some feel they are called to lead in areas of high visibility while others may lead in areas where their leadership almost goes almost unnoticed but is important just the same. Teachers (or even our role as parents) are examples of unnoticed leaders, but effective leadership in those roles is profoundly important to the development of a child. 

    As a business owner what your business really needs is effective leadership from you!

    Read More…

    15 Dec

    hats  photo by striatic

    One of my favorite guiding principles / quotes is:

    All things in moderation, including moderation.” (attributed to Mark Twain, but I can’t verify that).

    This idea is one that keeps you centered – balanced across all of the different aspects of your life.  Let’s face it, as a business owner you wear a lot of hats – both in the business and out of the business.  You are the leader, the face of the business, probably the guy emptying the trash can…and on top of that, you’re a spouse, maybe a parent, a member of your church, a neighbor, a friend and possibly lots of other things.  If you let one of the roles you play become too dominant, all of the other roles will suffer.

    Think about a workaholic that you know – maybe it’s an entrepreneur, maybe it’s a corporate hard charger trying to get up the ladder.  In either case, you might admire their capacity for hard work and possibly you admire their results or their success, but it’s unlikely that you envy their life overall, they aren’t in balance (and it’s not sustainable in the long run.).

    This idea of having and embracing clear cut roles in your life is important when you start thinking about your planning for next year.

    Read More…

    22 Nov

      photo by aussiegall

    There’s a popular business saying that “What gets measured gets done” – it’s attributed to Peter Drucker, Tom Peters and other business management experts.

    On the surface, it’s a common sense kind of statement – obviously if you aren’t measuring specific results, you can’t manage the outcome…picture playing a fast-paced basketball game where score isn’t kept, at the end of the game should you hold onto the ball and work the clock?  Or should you foul the other team and try to score as quickly as possible?  Without a score there’s no way to tell.

    However there is an implication there’s a clear answer of what needs to be measured.  I would suggest that for many small business owners, what should be measured may not be obvious.

    Read More…

    26 Sep

      photo by Alan Cleaver

    Business growth can be a scary proposition…obviously it’s better than business failure, but there are a whole set of fears centered around business growth and success that plague a lot of business owners.

    When your business starts succeeding beyond where you’ve been for a while, you leave your comfort zone…you head into new territory (which is scary).  Maybe it’s a situation you haven’t faced before (also scary).  Maybe it will require you to do some things you haven’t had to do before…hire more people, find a new location, spend more money (on people, stuff, rent, etc.).  And maybe it will force you, as the business owner, to do things differently…not do as much hands on work and to do more strategic leadership and planning.

    All of that can be scary stuff – but I would propose there’s a better way to look at it.

    Read More…

    19 Sep

       photo by Rhett Maxwell

    When was the last time you took a few minutes…or better yet a few hours and really thought through what you wanted to get out of your business and what your exit strategy might be?  Have you looked at the end of the rainbow at all?

    Even if you have no plans of selling or getting out in the foreseeable future, it’s still worthwhile to think about it in terms of someday…maybe 10 years, maybe 20 years…whatever that timeframe is, having a long term vision can only help you.

    Anita Lieser – a broker with Apex Business Advisors just wrote a great article breaking down a very successful transaction.  I don’t know any of the details behind this particular deal, but there are several critical things you can take away from the article as you think about the long term outcome of your business.

    Read More…