Albert Einstein once pointed out that everything should be made as simple as possible—but no simpler. This certainly can be applied to any business that wants to keep its equilibrium.
For most entrepreneurs, that requires constant vigilance since a business can become complicated and cumbersome in the blink of an eye. Here are some guidelines to keep that from happening.
° Make simplicity a goal. It’s not enough to say you want to simplify your business. Identify specific measurable results that will indicate that you have made your systems, marketing, accounting, etc. as simple as possible.
° Work on one profit center […] Continue Reading…
When I tuned into my public radio station this morning, I broke into a smile when I discovered they were playing one of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. I’m not alone in loving that music. Classical music stations report that listener surveys always list the Concertos as a top favorite.
Did you know that this glorious series began life as a huge disappointment?
They were written as an audition for a commission Bach hoped to get with the city of Brandenburg. Bach lost the competition, but no one seems to remember who the winner was nor what music was voted superior.
Bach, of course, […] Continue Reading…
You don’t have to be a math whiz to put numbers to work for you. Assigning a number to a project can help you focus and, also, give you a finish line.
Open-ended goals have a way of never reaching completion, but attach a numerical addition and getting started is much easier. Here are a few ideas to borrow.
° Pick a number under ten and use it as a goal setting guide. For me, it’s the number five. You might prefer three or six. Then instead of thinking, “I need to get more clients,” set a short term goal […] Continue Reading…
Although my sister Nancy moved to Greece in the early seventies, it wasn’t until twenty years later that I made my first visit. Not only were the ruins of Athens, Delphi and Corinth new to me, the trip was filled with many other firsts.
I ate food I’d never encountered before, made my way around a country with a different alphabet than ours, and haggled with shopkeepers. All of these new experiences made the trip unforgettable—and taught me things I’d never have learned otherwise.
Of course, we don’t need to travel to distant lands to find new adventures.
From time to time, […] Continue Reading…
Psychologist Eda LeShan said that middle-age occurs when you realize that you won’t live long enough to read all the books you want to read. According to LeShan’s definition, some of us were born middle-aged.
Finding the time to read isn’t just a problem of our busy, modern world. Back in the 14th Century, Italian poet Francesco Petrarca faced the same dilemma and solved his conflict this way: “Whether I am being shaved, or having my hair cut, whether I am riding on horseback or taking my meals, I either read myself or get someone to read to me.”
Doubling up on […] Continue Reading…
Several years ago, two friends and I decided to take a trip to Las Vegas in July. (Insider tip: there are big bargains during the hot summer months.) Since both of them had been working on big writing projects, their cash flow wasn’t great.
Within a week, however, they had both secured the necessary funds. How did they do it?
No, neither of them held up a 7-11. Being self-employed, they had Option Banks, a collection of ways to generate cash flow when needed.
In the olden days when I worked for a fixed salary, I operated very differently than I do […] Continue Reading…
On my way out of the bank this morning, I picked up several deposit slips. As I walked back to my car, I suddenly remembered that a friend once jokingly pointed out that a sign of prosperity is using up your deposit slips before using up your check blanks.
Quaint, huh? In this day of online banking and virtual commerce, we don’t need to ever have direct contact with currency. Advertisers and credit card companies have done a brilliant job of making money an abstract concept.
Unfortunately, too many of us have failed to realize what a disservice we’re doing to […] Continue Reading…
Long before I began my life as a gypsy teacher, I was a gypsy student. I attended seminars on personal growth, on marketing, on building a business as often as I could. Since the teachers I wanted to study with weren’t showing up in my small town, I spent a great deal of time and money traveling to learn.
What I learned (among many other priceless things) is that seminar rooms are my natural habitat. I love to learn and I really love being in places where new ideas and insights also show up.
I began meeting people with the same […] Continue Reading…
It appears that I have fallen in love with the mandolin. This was no overnight love affair, however. It kind of sneaked up on me.
As a longtime fan of the music of Antonio Vivaldi, I had heard my share of mandolins and associated the instrument with music from the past.
That all began to change when I attended a performance of Prairie Home Companion and heard the amazing Peter Ostroushko play. Nevertheless, I wasn’t ready to commit.
Then it happened. Several weeks ago, while listening to the weekly broadcast of PHC, Ostroushko performed the most glorious piece, something he’d written to […] Continue Reading…