When to Let Your Marketplace Reset Your Compass

I am a big advocate for defining direction and strategy in business. We need to be pro-active to set the business compass, and program the GPS. But…sometimes it has to go in reverse. The business (customers and the marketplace and circumstances) may just override all your intentions and define your direction and strategy for you. Or, at least, refine […]

Chaos and Clarity – and Airline Meltdowns

  What does the recent Delta Airlines computer meltdown have to do with my consulting work? Nothing. But, curiously….everything. Let me explain. Delta – and other major airlines – rely on aging and complex computer systems (hardware and software) that have been built up over the years with varieties of parts and pieces. It’s what […]

How to Catch Your Marketplace Wave

  In this current blog series, we’re walking through 20 Clarity Questions (see the 6 questions we’ve covered *below) that every company should answer in order to set a clear business focus and direction. Today, let’s begin to think about your Target Market, starting with the 30,000 foot view. Clarity Question #7 – What are the Important Marketplace Trends Shaping […]

How Do You Figure Out Your High-Level Strategy?

I had an e-mail exchange with fellow solopreneur Stephen Lahey this week about a very cool form he has developed (see: here). This several-page analytical tool is to help other people figure out who their best clients are (and why). I looked it over, liked it, and then made the remark that I wonder how many people […]

How To Say “No” in Business

  This weekend, I received an encouraging newsletter from my friend and fellow solopreneur Stephen Lahey. He said “No” (and I hadn’t even asked him a question!) Here’s what Steve wrote: What Steve is doing is practicing businesss clarity – by having a very clear understanding of what the “Yes” of his business is, he has the […]

The Clients You Don’t Want

Everyone wants more clients, right? Yes. And, no. What we want is more of the right kind of clients. Which means we have to tune our sensors to recognize the customers we don’t want. Some clients are a good fit for who you are and what you offer. Others may be a source of short-term revenue…and […]

The Missing Piece of Your Business

  Small, growing businesses are often one key hire away from lifting off of the runway and beginning to reach their potential. Companies often begin their voyage with a key leader or two, and some employees. Growth occurs; then a certain inflection point is reached where the company moves either toward elevation, or stagnation. The problem isn’t […]

Stuck and Struggling: Misplaced Persons

You’ve heard the phrase about getting the right people on the bus…and then, getting them in the right seat on the bus. Well, it’s true. One of the plagues of companies that are stuck and struggling is having the wrong people on board, or having people in mis-matched roles. And it’s incredibly common. I remember […]

2015: The Year of the Depth Charge

It has become fashionable for many social media friends to put forward 3 words that will be their business (and/or personal) focus for the coming year. I like the idea – which I think originated with Chris Brogan – hey, it’s all about clarity and brevity, right? So, this year, I’m going to go with it. […]

Confessions of a Recovering “More” Addict

I can’t help it. I’m always thinking about more. More reach. More customers. More, more, more. That’s the default setting, even when I know better. Maybe all marketers are afflicted with this addiction (are you?) The answer, of course, is not more. It’s better. Knowing our target audience and putting more of our effort there. As […]