Wednesday, June 26, 2013

You can have anything that you want...

Your ‘brain’ may fight this concept but that is because it has been trained by others that you CAN’T have everything you want. Forget all those who have said ‘you can’t’… they were wrong. 


Tell your brain what to expect and it will help you get it! Think positive, be positive, BELIEVE positive, and you brain will show you the path to whatever you want… it is powerful enough to hold you back and it is powerful enough to get you what you want!


You are what you think about most.


All success starts in the mind.

Decide what you want, believe it is possible and that you deserve it. Then focus on it, visualize it (see it).


Said another way, your every act is preceded by a thought. Your dominant thoughts determine your dominant actions. Control your thoughts and your will control all your actions. Think before you act and think about your thoughts!


Your character is the sum total of your habits and your habits are formed by conscious acts and every conscious act is preceded by a thought. Control your thoughts, change your actions, change those habits you need or wish to change or amplify those that you wish to.





Eric W. Leaman


Organization for Entrepreneurial Development

Unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit.

Change your mind ... and EVERYTHING changes


Interested vs. Interesting

OED Certified Advisor Sandy Riser of The Next Level Business Solutions brings us this simple and critical perspective on networking events.

When was the last time you went to a networking event where you felt someone was really interested in you? I like the theory about being interested in who you are talking to vs. what we think we should be at events which is being interesting.

If you switch those around, they will turn your networking into a powerful piece of your marketing. It is not all about you.
See more of Sandy's tips by visiting Next Levels's blog, or by follwoing them on Facebook and Twitter.

What is a Marketing Plan?

It is a written plan that describes your product in detail and how it will be sold to the markets that will best use it and that you can best reach.

A marketing plan should be developed when a business first starts, as part of its business plan, and should be updated at least 2 times a year (preferably four times).

Most failures in marketing can be attributed to executive oversight, neglect, or lack of facts.

A marketing plan consists of a total volume goal broken down (at least) by products, customer types, areas, and time periods. That is, how much of each product is to be sold to each type of customer in each territory over each month or quarter? How much profit is each to produce?

Good business organization calls for management to:
 Establish the business goal
 Analyze the market potential
 Plan a marketing program to get the job done
 Organize manpower, equipment, capital
 Train people to execute assignments
 Execute-administrate the program
 Control it - goals, budgets, performance as planned

Factors that must be consider in writing a marketing plan:
 What products and services are you selling?
 Where will you be located and why?
 How will you get or produce these products or services?
 What is the industry?
 What is the past, present and future outlook for the industry?
 Who will buy what you are selling?
 How many buyers are there?
 Why will they buy from you?
 How will you sell them?
 How often will they buy from you?
 How much will they buy from you?
 How will they know about you?
 Where are your buyers located?
 Who are the competitors?
 What are they selling and how are they selling?
 What will make you better then the competitor?
 What suppliers or vendors will you need?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Personal Responsibility

“The price of greatness is responsibility.” – Winston Churchill
There is only one person responsible for your life and that person is YOU.

You must take 100% responsibility for your life and your actions.

You can’t blame others for what you have or don’t or what happens in any area of your life. It is all your responsibility and you have created the life you are living and only you can change it.

You must take responsibility for your life and be accountable for your wants, desire, and dreams. Accountability unlocks the door to your future.

Responsibility and accountability are about results. If you hold steadfast to your wants, desires, and dreams and do everything you can to attain them… then they will be yours. But they will not fall into your lap you must have a plan and hold yourself steadfast in moving forward every day. You control you destiny… not luck or others.

And you can create a life of abundance and goodness… that is the beauty of life. You can change anything you want to, improve anything you want to… all you have to do is want it powerfully enough (have a burning desire) and keep the belief that it is yours to have and it can and will be yours… if you hold yourself accountable for attaining it all.

No more stories, no more excuses, no more unfulfilled dreams… just do it.

Eric W. Leaman
Organization for Entrepreneurial Development

Unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit.

Change your mind ... and EVERYTHING changes


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Ask People Why They Do Business With You

Testimonials are great, but successful companies do something more direct.

How often have you actually asked a person why they do business with you, and not your competition?

Have you ever?

Most people don't bring up the subject. They're afraid that the customer might start thinking about whether or not they should switch. Believe it that's not at all likely, unless they were on the verge of switching already. In that case, you'll find out now, when you have a chance to fix it, instead of later, after they're gone.

When the customer hears a sincere question from you that you genuinely want an answer for, you'll be surprised at how often you'll GET a direct answer. And you'll be surprised at some of the things you hear.

What you consider important might not be at all what the customer thinks matters. Ask them with a genuine interest (You DO want to know why people spend money with you, don't you?) and then listen. Ask for specifics. And when they've answered you, thank them.

When you see a pattern forming, use that in your advertising. Look for the things that are common to your most valued customers. Build on those strengths.

You'll also notice that, when your customers tell you out loud why they buy from you, they're also telling themselves. They reinforce the reasons that you are the one that they do business with. And that's the best advertising you can get.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Reality of Work

contributed by OED Certified Advisor Gene G. Wright, Managing Partner, Northstar Consulting

We now live in a world of exponential change and increasing uncertainty in the world of work. The “new normal” is often expressed in terms of jobless growth, asset de-risking and the relentless pursuit of increasing competitiveness. The necessity for innovation in the workplace has long been recognized as a critical success factor for global companies like Apple, General Electric and Wal-Mart. However, it is no less important to small businesses where the loss of a single employee may be devastating to its success.  Today, in the best and most profitable organizations large and small, greater wealth is being derived directly from people performance versus capital equipment investment. In these organizations, unleashing the potential of people is seen as essential for the organization to thrive. Their employees are regarded as “talent” versus “labor” and seen as investment versus an expense. And like an investment, they’re being sought after to provide a return on investment (ROI). Employees are being more precisely targeted and selected for work roles to predictably and consistently provide maximum performance to their employers.

In spite of the critical need for innovation in the workplace, many companies and their employees remain deluded about the nature of work in this new age. Both parties continually experience unnecessary risk, loss, failure and surprises due to their respective reliance upon assumptions, misunderstandings or information voids. Managers and staff at every level are interacting daily without the knowledge necessary to unleash the greater potential hidden within their relationships. Incredibly, in 2011, some still only use performance reviews, engagement surveys, and assessments that are little more than rear view mirrors of past performance and do little to address real workplace needs and desires of either party. In sum, yesterday’s work mentality is inadequate for today’s workforce realities.      

The reality of today’s work relationships is one of great complexity, percolating from differences, contexts, variables and change between employer and employee. Because of the many “moving parts” there are significant benefits for both in the workplace if they can develop a common map for understanding and assembling work role relationships. A well designed work role serves to improve everyone’s thought, design, communications and choices. This can also provide a means for continuous improvements and knowledge management across time.

The value of predictive performance that may be gleaned from such a process could enable sustainable competitive advantage for businesses large and small if managers and employees can begin to realize, reconcile and reach agreement with their respective work, workplace and career goals. This becomes even more true related to respective specific needs and what each sees as value or benefit related to work. Both find it is easier to produce expectations than to extend attentive empathy and understanding of the other. Being accurately responsive to the other parties needs is advantageous and reliably provides the powerful leverage either requires to best gain what they seek

The critical factors that define, influence and impact performance, relationships and attraction between workers and organizations are quite different for employer and employee. On the “employer side” of work relationships there are three ever-changing, universal dimensions of functional work role performance within every organization of any size or industry. They include outcomes and production (what is expected), conserving resources (efficiency) and preventing risk (mistakes). On the “employee side” of work relationships, three different dimensions drive, attract, engage or repel workers across every profession and every worker demographic. These include functional (skills, competencies, education and experience), social (interactions with people inside or outside the organization) and life effects satisfaction (travel, relocation).

Predictability, the only way for employer or employee to dependably and consistently get what they need from the other is to provide what the other needs, and do it consistently and with precision. In short-the reality of work becomes a “we” thing with shared accountability for creating and sustaining high performance work relationships. Neither party is entitled anymore. Choice is the cornerstone of shared accountability and the underlying force for strong work relationships.

What do you think? Comments welcome!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

How You View Life is How Your Life Will Be

If you want to be miserable, then get yourself around other people who are miserable. If you wish to be joyful, successful and fulfilled, put yourself around those who live with positive purpose.

The more energy you put into complaining about how bad things are, the more things you'll have to complain about. The more intensely you visualize how good things can be, the better they will become.

You are naturally drawn to whatever you focus upon. You will see precisely the opportunities and possibilities that you prepare yourself to see.

Each day is filled with so many choices and directions that you cannot possibly connect to them all. The ones you do connect with are the ones that most closely resonate with your view of life.

Fortunately, you can choose to view life in whatever way you wish. Those who find the best in life are those who continually remind themselves that all the good and valuable things are most certainly there.

“See your life as a grand opportunity for love and joy, achievement and fulfillment. And that's exactly what it will be.” - Ralph Marston


Organization for Entrepreneurial Development


Unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit.

Change your mind ... and EVERYTHING changes


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Maintain a Sales and Marketing Focus

Accomplish something from your sales and marketing plan everyday!!
When running your own business, it is easy to get caught up in the task at hand, the deadlines, and the deliverables. But it is important to keep some attention on the future and maintain a long-term view of the business.

Do not allow yourself to spend all of your time on today’s operational crisis while neglecting business promotion, customer service, and long-term relationship building. Force yourself everyday to do something that will help you get new customers, to make additional sales to existing customers, or to get the word out about your business.

The classical Chinese proverb reminds us:

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Lao-tzu

….and that journey continues with another step, and another, and another. You can only progress on your journey toward your goals if you continue to take step after step. These steps need to become regular, consistent and ongoing to continue to make progress.

Likewise, you must work at it to sustain or grow your business. You need to maintain a consistent sales and marketing focus to make sure your business endures and prospers.

Make it a habit to accomplish something from your sales and marketing plan every day. Every day you should be working on expanding sales, both directly and indirectly. Examples of some less direct activities you can undertake to position your business for increasing sales:

• Follow-up with existing customers
• Offer special promotions to dormant or former customers
• Meet with your biggest customers
• Meet with your targeted prospective customers
• Send out a promotional mailing/e-mailing
• Attend a networking event
• Sponsor a local business/consumer/community event
• Hold a special event for customers and prospective customers
• Meet with the sales team
• Refine sales messages
• Update sales management tools
• Optimize advertising
• Issue a press release
• Establish a new sales channel
• Address a new market segment
• Update sales literature
• Develop a strategy to increase competitive position
• Differentiate your products/services from competitors
• Optimize price points
• Map out an expansion plan

Of course you will want to select the items that are most important to your own business growth and success, and those items will logically have been reflected in your sales and marketing plan.

The important point is to not let a day go by without focusing on your sales and marketing tasks. By making them your top priorities, your business will benefit and you will be rewarded for these efforts.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Drawing Power of the Mind


 While I was mentoring an advisor the other day the whole idea of goals and focus came into questions. WHY, was the question she asked… “Why is it so damn important to set goals?”
I told her why,,, and here is what we discuss:

 “Whatever the mind can conceive it can achieve.” – W Clement Stone

“Your thoughts attract people, objects and circumstances that closely match those thoughts.” - Ralph Marston

“When our attitude towards ourselves is big, and our attitude toward other is generous and merciful, we attract big and generous portions of success”. – W Clement Stone

There is a science to/of thought. Through thought, controlled and mastered, you mold your life.
If You Want Something

  1. SEE IT: Your mind is visual and creative. Depending on your abilities create either physical or mental images of what you what to have, be, and accomplish.
  2. BELIEVE IT IS ALREADY YOURS: Have faith that what you want, and are visualizing, is coming your way already… in your grasp.
  3. RECEIVE IT: Be open and ready for it to be yours and show appreciation even before it arrives.
  4. ACT: Focus your thoughts into actions toward your desire/goal.

Why think on what you want in such detail?

 Just as with a talented musician, trying to master or attain a level of proficiency, practice and repetition will make it so. The musician goes over and over the piece and in doing so they focus their thoughts and their talent to learn it.

 Likewise as you crystallize, believe and accept what you desire you are focusing your mind and your thoughts to make it so. And it will be so.


Eric W. Leaman
Organization for Entrepreneurial Development
Unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit.
Change your mind ... and EVERYTHING changes


Monday, June 10, 2013

Why Good Companies Go Bad

contributed by Bill Donnelly, Bac2Profit LLC

What is it that makes good (and by that I mean profitable) companies, growing with a good future, go bad? Some will point to the economy and how tough it is. Some will cite pressures brought to bear by customers’ need for better prices and faster delivery. Others will blame the rapid changes occurring in their business and industry..

Although all of the foregoing are symptoms, I would suggest that the real challenges reside at a much more basic level. Think about the entrepreneur who starts a company on a shoe string. He/she fights for every sale, fights to save every penny and fights to keep the dream alive. Fast forward to success! The company is profitable, growing and has a management team and employees.. The founder now has the nice house, company car and the exclusive clubs. The future’s so bright everyone’s got to wear shades!!!

Business is a series of highs and lows, and my experience has taught me the following:

  • Nothing lasts forever.
  • Most owners and their management teams live off their past successes.
  • There is no clear vision of the future.

I’ve seen a lot of examples, like the owner who:
  • Used only his income statement to measure business performance and could not understand how the bank moved him to workout
  • Invested so little in technology that he lost customers  
  • Thought his customers were the problem. Allowed deliveries and quality to be so poor that it cost the company 1/3 of its business.
The words that come to mind are arrogant, ignorant, denial, lazy, sloppy and asleep!

The irony here is it is more difficult to manage a growing company than in managing a turnaround. A successful turnaround is done for the collective benefit of all involved while a growing company will begin to show signs of personal agendas and individual successes as things “get better.” Leadership becomes more about what you have acquired instead of what you have accomplished.

What every company needs, in no certain order, are:
  • A vision for tomorrow that avoids relying on past successes.
  • Profitable customers who are loyal.
  • Investments in technology.
  • Accountability and results.
  • Actionable plans and goals.
There is a quote I heard recently that says, “Tomorrow is the day when failure will succeed.” If you are comfortable that you finally made it, procrastinate and deny what is happening around you, and think you can wait it out and it will get better, you are three feet from failure. Good companies go bad due to leadership failure and then market forces.

Wake up, get engaged and go back to the future! Things don’t have to go bad! If you are interested in talking about your future, send me an email to set up an appointment.

Thanks to Bill of Bac2Profit. Check out his blog at: and OED's Community at for more operational tips and insights.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Business Woes

Þ    out of 3 business startups will close the doors within 6 months.
Þ    out of 4 small to medium sized businesses will fail within 5 years.
Þ    out of 10 small to medium businesses will eventually close.

What can the entrepreneur lose?

Everything! Their savings, their family car and yes, even their home. But even worse than the material items, they can lose their  self' esteem. They can work hard again and recover from economic losses, but sometimes the loss of belief in ones self can be the worst to recover from.

Why the high failure rate?

Because they have to have knowledge of all of the activities in their business. They must be the CEO, Treasurer, production supervisor, marketing specialist, insurance expert, legal critic, etc.:. They may hire people to help them with these jobs but the buck stops on their desk.  They have to be responsible for all of the decisions made in their company. And if they drop any of the balls they are juggling, they could be one of the above statistics.

The Difference? Business Knowledge!

The difference between success and failure in small business is business knowledge!  They cannot fly by the seat of their pants anymore. That worked back in the days of "build a better mousetrap, " but not in the 90’s and beyond they must have business  knowledge to succeed.

OED strives to:

1.    Reach these small business owners in need of assistance.

2.    Make them aware of the training and support available.

3.    Show then the value of learning and implementing what they learn.


Eric W. Leaman
Organization for Entrepreneurial Development

Unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit.
Change your mind ... and EVERYTHING changes

Both Sides Now

Follwoing is a post by Sandy Riser, originally published at The Next Level Business Solutions. Thanks, Sandy, for pointing out to us the need to view things from all directions!

Some of us remember that song from Joni Mitchell in 1969 – check it out here. She talked about looking at love from both sides. Believe it or not, marketing is like that – you need to look at it from both sides.

Most of us only look at our view of our business, but it much more vital to look at it from the eyes of your prospective customer. What do you want them to see? Do you really show them in what you do what you are about as a business? Is the “it” about your business evident? The thing that makes you special.

So much of marketing is copycat. What is at the true core of what you do that no one else does? Your marketing needs to reflect that – not that you sell pens, provide accounting services, or help people find a new home. Lots of people do that.

Look at it from both sides – which one really counts?

Guerrilla Marketing Basics

Deborah Bifulco of The Coach Academy brings us basic Guerilla tips for small business:

Most of my work is with start up businesses in the professional practices field, so Guerrilla Marketing is the most used tool in my arsenal.  And, frankly, Guerrilla Marketing is a lot of gun – it uses creativity, time and imagination in place of big bucks.  But before the creative part of the marketing occurs, some basic “grunt work” has to be done.  And, one of the areas entrepreneurs seem to struggle with the most is translating their services/products into customer-oriented benefits.

Most of us have a tendency, when asked what our company does, to talk in terms of features.  For example, if you own a landscaping company you might lead off with something like “We mow lawns.”  Seems simple enough, right?  But “mowing” isn’t what customers buy.  Customers buy solutions.  So, what problems might be solved by mowing?
o        The homeowner will have more time
o        The yard will look good and reflect well on the homeowner
o        The homeowner will have more time for (fishing, golfing, family time, etc.)

Ideally, one of the first steps of any good marketing plan will involve listing out every single thing your company does/sells and them coming up with two to three benefits for each.  If you are having a hard time translating your features into benefits, try asking your customers what they get out of their relationship with you – what problems have you solved for them?

Once you’ve got a good list of clearly stated benefits, start using these in every single element of your marketing … emails, advertising, newsletters, website, etc.   And, remember, people buy solutions.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

One Page Planning

One Page Planning - A Process that Works

Here's a framework that successful business people use that works and is VERY manageable in beginning the/a planning process.

The "1 Page Plan."
Simply stated, a "1 Page Plan" is a plan that you create on a single sheet of paper… using the front only! It provides brief answers to key questions you need to answer to be successful.

A 1 Page Plan helps you develop the fundamentals of your planning process that can then be expanded as need.

A "1 Page Plan" is especially useful as a format for basic business and marketing planning. In addition, successful entrepreneurs, professionals and small business owners simply don't have the time to over-plan. They need a simple, useful plan -- and then they need to act on it.

If you can't develop the basics of a plan (or almost any specific business activity) on single sheets of paper then your plan are most likely unworkable.

Using a 1 Page Planning will focus you and take advantage of one of the most solid business principles around… KISS!

From the Blogosphere: Social Media- Debunking Myths

We love the use of Social Media by small businesses. You can network, access vendors, touch prospects, and get answers to an amazing range of questions. There are also a slew of stats and over-hyped statements milling around to freak out the average small business owner.

Here's a post from that may help settle your nerves AND get you moving in the right social direction!

ps. Almost forgot... don't forget to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn ; )

Business Planning Done Right

Yogi Berra may have said it best:
“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else”A commonly cited reason businesses fail is that they do not have a current business plan, let alone one that is well thought-out. If it is so important to have a current business plan, why doesn’t every business have one?

Some of the excuses given:

• We prepared one when we started the business.
• Nothing much has changed since we prepared it last.
• The plan is in my head.
• Our management team meets frequently, so we don’t need one.
• We are too busy with day-to-day issues to put one together.
• We don’t have a good example to follow.

The planning process itself is extremely valuable, because it allows you (or your management team) to determine where you want to be in the future and how to get there. However, most of that value is quickly lost if the results and decisions are not committed to paper. A major benefit of preparing a business plan is to have a document that can be used by the business for alignment of managers and staff.

There are many templates available to help you structure your business plan. Using a business plan template can be helpful to ensure you address the range of important topics that must be considered in running a successful business. The topics covered and the type of information developed for your plan should always be tailored to the specific circumstances of your business.

When picking a template or an example business plan to follow, make sure it is simple enough to complete readily, yet detailed enough to address all the important issues facing your business. A long and cumbersome plan is of little use if nobody will read it or use it. Remember the purpose of the plan is to guide the business, not to document every aspect of all operations.

All good business plans have some common characteristics, including:

• Always written
• Simple enough to be prepared in the first place
• Detailed enough to be useful
• Realistic and real-world
• Tailored to the specific business
• Includes input/review from key team members
• Understandable by all affected managers
• Includes implementation, not just strategy
• Contains specific and measurable objectives
• Includes actions and target dates
• Referred to routinely
• Updated regularly to be kept current

Please remember:

• It is not a business plan unless it is written
• Update your plan at least every six months

Friday, June 7, 2013

Life Has Nothing to Do With Luck

There are people believe that most success is the result of favorable breaks or luck. The fact is… Nothing in life is accidental. Life is always about cause and effect.

 The only ‘break’ or luck that anyone can rely on is the self-made variety.

This is the kind of ‘luck’ that comes from having a strong desire and a stronger will power and persistence to accomplish or receive what you desire.

“I am a great believer in Luck. The harder I work the more of it I seem to have.” – Coleman Cox

“(Lucky) Breaks” come to those who work at/for them… they are never random or an accident. You do things that create luck and put you in the path of opportunity. There are no shortcuts. Do the right things and ‘luck’ will bless you.

 “Luck is an accident that happens to the competent.” – Albert M Greenfield

 Most people have desires and lofty wants or goals. What they almost never have is a plan to attain them. Without a plan they are only wishes… not desires or goals

Eric W. Leaman
Organization for Entrepreneurial Development
Unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit.
Change your mind ... and EVERYTHING changes

Thursday, June 6, 2013

I Don't Need A Business Plan

Neither did Alice in Wonderland.
      ``Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?''
      ``That depends a good deal on where you want to get to, said the Cat.
      ``I don't much care where,'' said Alice.
      ``Then it doesn't matter which way you go,'' said the Cat.

 ``How can I increase my business?''  The answer is often easier than most think.  But before figuring out how, they must decide where they want to take their business.  This is why everyone in business should have a business plan, not just the people seeking venture capital.

 Your business plan will be the ``road map'' of your enterprise.  It will show you how to get to where you want to go.  To develop a good plan, you need to write down the answers to quite a few questions.

 To get you thinking, let's jump twenty years into the future. 

 Describe your life.  Are you still working or are you retired?  Are you worth a lot of money?  If so, how is your wealth distributed?  Stocks?  Bonds?  Equity in your business? Other businesses?  Are you independent or do you have a company?  How large is your company?  What is your annual revenue (in today's dollars)?  How many hours per week do you work?  Do you work on weekends?  Do you travel?  And most importantly, are you happy?

 Tough questions?  Maybe.  But they need to be answered honestly and realistically.  I know that life can hit you with some unwelcome surprises that might change the way you want things to be.  It is because of these changes, however, that you should re-evaluate your plan completely every year – for a new business every three months..

 After defining your long range goals, break them down into 1 year, 3 year and 5 year goals.  Make sure they are consistent with your long range plan.  The next step is to determine what you need to do to achieve your goals.

Here are some short-term questions you should think about:

Do you want more customers or steady customers? 

What is your competition doing? 

Will advertising help increase your profit?

If so, what kind of advertising and what media should be used?

Think of your own questions.

Your specific marketing strategies will depend on your individual goals (once you have an idea of where you want to take your business).  Put your answers down on paper!  Organize your thoughts, questions, and concerns.  If you have financial data, use it.  You don't have to take your plan to the bank, but by recording your income and expenditure you will have a benchmark to use when you review your goals and accomplishments. 

Review your plan for consistency.  Is it coherent?  Is it realistic?  This is your guide to your business.  It will help you get what you want.  Keep it updated.  Change it as your goals change or as the market changes.  Remember, a little planning will take you a long way.


Eric W. Leaman

Organization for Entrepreneurial Development
Unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit.

Change your mind ... and EVERYTHING changes