A Good Time to Reinvent, Review and Plan Ahead

It can be a very busy time of year for some businesses and professions, but it always important to set SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely goals for the coming year. These can be "big stretch goals' such as a new client in the premium garage door business who in 2006 wants to buy a building, move to a new location, and double his business in 4 years - about 19% per year growth. I met with a future client in Boston who is only 5 years old in the mortgage business and now has 22 employees and close to $4 million in sales. He plans to open 8-10 new offices in 4 years and grow to $15 million - very doable, but we need to work on his key employees, build his team, get stronger commitment to the company, and strengthen his management skills (which are already very good) to get there. ..... It is an exciting!!!! time of the year - set your future direction for 2006 now.

Sylvan-Darien Celebrates 20 Years Officially

We hosted a community event on Improving Your Reading & Efficient Reading Techniques with a professional presenter. It was very well recieved, and even the kids learned a great deal from the program. How twenty years goes by! From 2 programs to 9. 2 Locations. New computers and technology to manage the business. Out teachers have close to 200 years working for us even though for many it is part time and thier second job after the classroom. - a testament to Gwynne and her excellent people skills. Email inquiries, although not committed inquiries about individualized turoing programs. Success in all shapes and forms as our former students graduate form the Naval Academy, Georgetown, Princeton, Duke and other major schools.
We also dined with 15 teachers and their S.O.s at our house just before Thanksgiving. Every summer and in November we celebrate with everyone. A fine time was had by all, and the loyalty of our team is unparallled.

Scotland in September

We just spent 10 days in London and Scotland touring castles, visiting the Standing Stones, venturing out to Iona, the birthplace of Christianity on the west coast, and enjoying the people and ways of the Scots. We also played golf at several locations and stayed at Troon - one of golf's truly great settings. A visit to Turnberry revealed the history of that august club where Tom Watson (1977), Greg Norman (1986) and Nick Price (1994) won British Opens. It was beautifully photgraphed and recored.

One day my wife, Gwynne and I played in 45 mph winds along the coast - classic Scottish golf. The first 4 downwind holes were manageable, but when it started to rain fiercely coming back into the wind the going got rough. We relied on a very knowledgeable caddy, just like you might in small business, and we fought through 9 holes. Alas, the conditions were too much - after 9 the pants were soaked. After 10 holes the shoes were drenched, and after 11 we were bck in the clubhouse. It was the worst day of the year for the course. They dried our clothes, we had hot soup, and 2 days later we were back out on the course. Sometimes in your own business, you have to regroup; accept less, rethink, reenergize, adn then get back in the game.

Jim Blasingame - The Small Business Advocate

I was recently on Jim's national radio show (http://jbsba.com/) for the third time as part of his "brain" trust - his words not mine. Jim is colorful, knowledgeable and brings a great understanding of small business to his daily show. He has interviewed many of the very best like Jack Canfield, Ted Fishman, and numerous others. His down home Alabama perspective adds just the right seasoning to his thoughtful and provocative interviewing style. To listen to my interviews or check out the site, take the time to visit and learn (listen now; archives, motivational 8/1/5; 3/30/5; 11/24/40 or search for campbell or another speaker you admire at the bottom of the page.

The Redwood Grove

I just spent 10 days under the towering Redwoods a couple hours north of San Francisco. The mix of great speakers from major California universities, presentations by business and political leaders, and a host of performances by grove members and other well known musicions made it a most unique encampment. There was a fascinating group of people from around the country - with a range of interests and expertises. It was wonderful professional and personal development. For example, the president of Cal Tech spoke on viruses, Steve Miller and Jimmy Buffet played music several times, and a descendent of the family that created Tobasco sauce spoke on peppers among many others. Truly a special excursion.

Altamira in Westport CT Roars Ahead

Richard Rapp launched the Westport office of Altamira (www.thinkaltamira.com) less than one year ago. We just completed a forward-looking team meeting with everyone participating that was very successful. There are now 6 employees and several key partners that are helping build the thriving business. The company was just nominated for 5 awards at a recent conference, and the goal is to double the business in the next 12-18 months.
Key steps along the way included aligning the team - getting everyone on the same page with the right attitude; building up a strong number two (Chris Swee) to run the dialy operations of the company allowing Richard to focus on new clients, and a fun, content-rich team building event six months after the office was officially opened. It has been a great ride. Check them out.

20 Years at Sylvan Learning Center in Darien CT

While I have started 5 businesses, Sylvan-Darien (203-655-3276) www.educate.com which I launched with my wife Gwynne in late 1984 and opened officially in 1985 is coming up this fall for a big celebration. We have tutored thousands of students and worked with over 200+ schools. We were the first Sylvan (professional tutoring center) on the east coast. I also helped launch Sylvan's national advertising before we could afford TV, and today we have numerous competitors.
What should we do this fall to celebrate and highlight our mission?
1 Have a vetriloquist perform. 2 Offer a speed reading expert 3 Have a nationally known speaker address educational challenges we face today ....... your thoughts are welcome

Abby Marks Beale & Rev It Up Reading!

Abby is a pro. She has written 3 books and run hundreds of classes on how to read faster and more efficiently (http://www.readmorefaster.com. Now she is launching courses in NY and Boston this fall to teach you the proven techniques she had been sharing with large companies for over a decade. Be on the lookout for these excitng programs. Abby also has another claim to fame, as President of the Connecticut chapter of the National Speakers Association, she officially launched the full fledged NSA chapter in 2004.

Ted Fishman & China Inc, the bestseller

Ted Fishman, a new coaching client, ( http://www.leadingauthorities.com/23866/Fishman_Ted.htm) has written a best-selling book called China Inc. - at one time #11 on the New York Times best seller list. He spent 2 years researching China and how the goings on over there are impacting the US, manufacturing in Wisconsin, farming in Illinois, major trends in china such as rural to city migration, piracy, competition and cultural issues to mention a few. It is an important read to frame and understand this all-encompassing relationship. I highly recommend the book. We just had a book club discussion and 6 members of the groups had lived in or visited China multiple times - very interesting back and forth on the future of this relationship with our partner and competitor!

TEC for CEOs

I have been in discussions with www.teconline.com about chairing a group of CEOs. TEC works with over 11,000 CEOs in groups around the world. It has a very detailed and informative website with extensive resources for members. This would be an extension on my High Talent Creative group which provides a meaningful outlet for studying business models and cross fertilization of ideas. TEC companies are larger companies ($3-4 mil +) which gain from a shared review and the collective wisdom of a group of CEO confidents. TEC also has excellent knowledgeable speakers. There is also a group for Emerging Entrepreneurs that are smaller in size, but growing.

The Success Coach blog philosophy

Many people cut and paste into their blogs. It is easy to do and creates links or ramps up the google search engine. It may also create considerable traffic and keep peopl;e informed on a topic. My writings are thoughts and ideas to grow and launch your business. I also want to capture the ideas of key speakers and entrepreneurs I have heard and met in person i.e. I un derstand their expertise and what is important to them.
I recently met Alan Seale (www.alanseale.com) and participated in a revolutionary coaching program of his. He focuses on using energy adn intuition to achieve breakthroughs and transformation.

Working Solo & Terri Lonier

Terri Lonier (www.workingsolo.com) wrote her first book in the mid 90s on SOHO (small office home office). I had a chance to catch up over dinner and hear her speak to the Entrepreneurial Women's Network (www.ewn-ct.org). She offered 7 tips for business owners in their growth and development journey. 1) make it up (and make it happen) 2) get clear (on what you do and how you do it 3) speak your mind (clients want you to do this 4) learn to say no to others (not easy or natural for some people) 5) self confidence is the currency of self employment 6) think profits, not gross 70 feed you head (continue to learn). Great ideas to chew on.

Cruice Financial Organization (CFO) and Larry Kudlow

Cruice Financial Organization (CFO) (www.cruicefinancial.com) reached new heights last night. I have been coaching the money management and financial planning firm for over 10 years. we have grown continually with more clients, better reporting and new technologies to better serve clients. Last night we had Larry Kudlow (www.larrykudlow.com) - journalist, author, TV show host, et. al. - speak to clients, partners and guests in a private dinner. It was a smash hit! He was insightful, eloquent, and very knowledgeable.
CFO also launched its new look, new key employees, and the coming Cruice Opportunity Fund. We planned and refined this event for over two months. Way to go Jay!

Ted Fishman's China Inc book

Before The Stamford CT Trade and Investment Conference last week I had dinner with chairman Gene Rostov and with Ted Fishman , the keynote speaker. (http://www.leadingauthorities.com/23866/Fishman_Ted.htm)
Ted, an accomplished journalist, spent two years researching how China impacts every aspect and part of the US. He outlined 5 major issues and handled questions with great insights. The issues and discussion are front of mind, and we have scheduled a book club discussion to dig into the issues. Ted will be available by phone to give us further insights.
How big a competitor and partner is China? Is is similar to the Japan threat 25 years ago? How do we respond?

Reinventing your business

I recently hosted a webinar on Execunet (www.execunet.com) on "Reinventing your business and your career." This is a constant challenge for any business owner ... even more pointedly with global competition, better educated consumers, rapidly changing technologies. etc. you get the idea.
I also was on Jim Blasingame's national small business radio show speaking about reinventing your business (www.jbsba.com) ; go to listen; archives; inspirational and motivational; dates
3/30/5 (and also 11/24/4).
This is a key topic for business owners. Listen and send in your thoughts.

Key elements for highly successful coachees

Key elements for highly successful coachees:

Living and working with the right attitude
Developing and reinforcing excellent communication skills
Creative solutions and actions to solve nagging problems
Creating forward momentum for the coachee and his/her team (or peers) and clients/vendors
Aligning goals, energy, enthusiasm and your network to leverage new growth and opportunities
Be open to new ideas and approaches
Regular meetings with a coach who challenges and stretches the coachee

Top performing executives and athletes have coaches.

Network More “Effectively” and “Enjoy the Experience”

25 Ways to Network More “Effectively” and “Enjoy the Experience”

As the number of options for networking continues to grow in the business and non profit world, a coherent strategy is more important than ever. As you read this, circle the five ideas that make the most sense to you – and implement them today.

* Set up realistic goals when you attend a meeting. Meaningful conversations with 2 or 3 people are frequently a goal for me.

* Take a networking quiz to assess where you are and how difficult networking is for you.

* Write down the 10 things people should know about you.

* Craft an appropriate message or commercial with several lengths that people will remember.

* Honor business cards. Look closely at the card, and make notes on the back of the card to remind you of the date, event, what you discussed, and any follow-up action you need to take.

* Call people you have met that you would like to share ideas over coffee even if they only partially overlap with you business. Partnerships come from all directions.

* If you meet someone that you have previously met, learn and record 1 or 2 new pieces of information about them – family, interests, recent travel, etc.

* Join networking groups, especially if you are starting out, that fit your schedule. There are groups that meet in the morning, at lunch, or in the evening. The size of the group may also be important.

* Get in a leadership position in a civic group such as Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions or another group. You will meet city and community leaders and learn about local happenings.

* Join a committee in your local chamber that plans or develops events. There is also an ambassadors committee which welcomes new members. I ran the Small Business Council and launched several new programs for business owners in a local chamber.

* Join a second or third chamber to expand your reach and meet new people.

* Work for a local non profit cause that is important to you. You are giving back, and you will be visible at their annual events.

* Develop a list of 50-100 types of professionals you need to know to expand your business or organization. Systematically work to meet them.

* Attend meetings of trade associations where you will meet or see them, even if you only can make it once or twice a year.

* Check the Sunday papers for a list of the events coming up in the coming weeks.

* Call people you know who are in the media and congratulate them. They are glad to reconnect.

* Nurture relationships with editors and writers at events you attend. Share ideas or thoughts with them to provoke their thought process.

* Write practical articles for the paper with a byline and contact information at the end of the article.

* Teach a course at a university. This positions you as an expert, and you will learn from the process.

* Run a teleclass (teleclass.com) on a topic of interest where you can share your knowledge.

* Visit trade shows such as the automobile, toy, gift or software shows, for new contacts/ideas.

* Read a new book on networking every year and save them as references. I like Power Networking by Vilas & Donna Fisher (1992) and Make Your Contacts Count by Baber & Waymon (2002).

* Join or set up a mastermind group with your peers that meets at least monthly. A friend who is a professional speaker meets every month with 4 other speakers from New York and Massachusetts for a day.

* Set up your own networking group and make it unique. I have a group that meets with leading entrepreneurs, authors and speakers in the area.

* Engage in a debating society to sharpen your mind and meet people in a different setting.

Networking is a discipline that you have to work at continuously. Challenge yourself to give, give and give and help others. You and your business will be paid back with abundance.

Doug (www.thesuccesscoach.com) works with innovative business owners and independent professionals who want to grow their business and with company executives who want to develop empowered and cohesive management teams. His experience includes building 5 businesses and as Director of Marketing for a Fortune 100 company. He speaks on leadership, team building, strategy and innovation.