Tag Archives: Business Success

What Your Small Business Should Learn from Big Business Mistakes

Photo by Alim Mohammed on Flickr

They’d lost seven million dollars in one year…

But after two years of losses, the numbers finally looked better. By the fall of 2010, Starbucks had earned $152 million, compared to that awful loss the year before.

That was a giant shift for a company many thought was dying, and the success was sweet.

But it sure wasn’t easy.

In his book Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul, Howard Schultz, Starbucks ceo (they don’t use capitals), tells a story of transformation as they went from hanging-on-by-a-thread to alive-and-thriving through the Great Recession.

It’s a powerful story, and a fascinating read.

“Personally, for the first time in a long time, I felt as if we were winning.” He writes.Not that we had won, because there is never a finish line, but that despite the odds, the brand and our partners were prevailing.”

It was the fall of 2010, and that’s what Schultz thought just before calling investors with long overdue good news.

Schultz, the company’s founder, had stepped away from the CEO role eight years earlier, when everything was going well. Starbucks was opening stores around the globe at an astonishing rate. Profits were steady and always on the increase.

Yet by 2006, he’d begun sensing an intangible change when he visited stores. Something was missing; the customer experience had shifted in ways that he could feel, but not explain. Traffic was down considerably.

Something was just flat off.

And it bothered him.

A lot.
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The One Thing You Must Protect – No Matter What

“I told my friend what you said…”

Uh oh. I always hold my breath when a client says something like this. What did I say this time?

“I told her about my new packages, and how you said I need to raise my rates.”

Oh. That. Well then.

“She didn’t think that was such a good idea…”

Of course she didn’t, I thought to myself. That’s why she’s not your coach.

And I set about working to repair the damage to my client’s confidence.
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Is Your Business Calling You to Grow?

Oh that’s B.S., and you know it!” my friend exclaimed.

Her lips were tight. Her voice tense. And there was a fierceness in her eyes that startled me.

I have a lot of friends who speak their minds, and I’m used to them coming from the blunt end of the interpersonal spectrum.

But this was different. I knew she was speaking from love – but for a second, I thought she was mad.

She wasn’t.

She was frustrated – and determined; determined to get me to see something I just couldn’t see.
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The Most Effective Ways to Start Your Day

I drove her crazy.

And it was so much fun.

In college, I had a roommate who had a very clear, personal rule that said no one was to speak to her until she got back from her first class. To say that she was not a morning person was an understatement.

So I had a lot of fun with her.

“Good MORNING, Debbie! How are you this morning? Is this a great day, or what?!”

Yes. I was that roommate. Continue reading

How To Find Your Entrepreneurial Sweet Spot

entrepreneurial-sweet-spot

Ahhhh…This is the good life!

That’s how it feels when you know you’ve made it; when you’ve finally crafted a life, and a business, that actually works.

And serves you in all the best ways.

But unfortunately, for too many entrepreneurs, running their business is nothing more than another burden. 

     I have so much to do, I don’t even know where to start.

     This isn’t really the kind of work I like, but heck, at least I’m making some money.

     Vacation? Who has time for a vacation?

As Dave Ramsey often says, they swing from “Thank God it’s Friday!” to “Oh God, it’s Monday…”.

But what if it didn’t have to be that way?

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