Might Your Business Be Running a Temp?

Today, hundreds of new business owners will place an OPEN sign in the window for the very first time. On this same day, one thousand other businesses will statistically bite the dust. Starting is obviously the easy part. But if you are planning to be in business for the long haul, finishing is an all together different matter.

The current entrepreneurial environment is volatile. But the truth be told, it has always been that way. Even while markets are fluctuating, and products are dying, and everything is evolving at lightening speed, the old French adage applies: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” No matter which customers we serve, and no matter what products we sell, the essential questions still remain.

That is why every Monday this month, we will focus on these essential questions. Some of these will be the marketing 101 questions that you have always had, but have been afraid to ask. Why only marketing questions you say? Yes, I know it seems a little self-serving to think business is all about marketing when we are blatantly in the industry. Still our claim is that marketing is your most important business system. But claims must be backed up with logic. Logic provided, as follows: without marketing, you have no defined product to sell, you have no target customer, you have no compelling story, you have no jingle, and you have no sales. Without sales, you will not need an accounting department because you have no money to manage. Therefore, marketing is more important than accounting. You will not need an HR department because you have no employees to pay, and you cannot afford them anyway. Therefore it is more important than human resources. And you will not need a sales force to keep the non-existent employees busy. No management required. Therefore, a business with no marketing strategy is no business at all.

While most companies do not survive, it is possible to sustain. Case in point: the oldest company on record is in one of the world’s most volatile industries: Construction. The Kongō Gumi company of Japan has been in operation since 578. Yes, you read that right. (It operates as a subsidiary of the Takamatsu Corporation today. See the entire list of the oldest companies in the world here.) How can this be?

The temptation for new entrepreneurs is to be disruptive, thinking this will propel them instantly ahead of the pack. Don’t get me wrong. We are not saying that new and improved is wrong. All we are saying is that sometimes you do not need to reinvent the wheel, and a culture of customer service is all you need. Sometimes a strong Vision is the only differentiator you need, and all you need to tether your company to the future. Getting back to basics can strengthen your overall business health.

How long has it been since you have had a business health check up? There are a lot of bugs going around, and you might be running a temp. Stay tuned as check in on the health of your marketing and advertising and branding. It may be just the shot in the arm that you need.

That is this week’s Imagination Hat!

Imagine Your Business–A Work of Art!

Rembrandt, self-portrait, c. 1630, National Museum, Stockholm

Rembrandt, self-portrait, c. 1630, National Museum, Stockholm

Small business will have trouble making any tracks this short week right smack dab in the middle of the Holidays. That makes it the perfect week to take some time to not only count your inventory, but to take honest stock of your business. If you were going to write out your own Year in Review, what would be the highlights? What went well? Can you measure it? Have a party with your team to celebrate the stats. Also examine what went wrong and why. You now have prime opportunity to work on remedial measures–especially for those problems that showed their ugly faces more than once. But this is only the reactive review. It is also good to dream about how to make the New Year your BYY–your Best Year Yet. Dreaming is the proactive review, and the only way to clear new paths through the jungle. What is one thing you can do to make next year different? What we are looking for is not necessarily a whole mass of entrepreneurs jumping on the bandwagon of the latest rage. What we ultimately want is steady, systematic, disciplined health. We want that strategic innovation that makes you prepared for success.

Many entrepreneurs work so hard on their business plan that once they finally have it done, they rest. They set it on the shelf and believe it is ok to set their business on cruise control. Nothing could be further than the truth. Even your Mission Statement should be reviewed annually. Is it still valid? Is it clear? Could it be said in a more concise way? Don’t forget, our own Constitution, as great as it is, required amendments to keep it useful and contemporary. If you are not reviewing your plan at least annually, I can guarantee at least one of two things.  For one, in the battle for the survival of the fittest, you will face extinction from climate change. And two, you are most certainly missing opportunities.

Small businesses only work in a living breathing ecosystem. This ecosystem is both internal and external. It requires that we become good stewards of our assets, not only concerned about the health and growth of our own business, but in the health of our community. Without a bigger story, small business is just commerce. Commerce without a bigger story is at a distinct disadvantage. We need to be doing business on purpose, and for a purpose. 

We encourage you to do business in 2015 by design. The more robust your annual review, the more robust your return in the New Year. Clarify your reason-to-be. Clarify your focus for 2015, and your vision for beyond. Then instead of a tool of commerce, your business will evolve into a work of art.

That’s this week’s Imagination Hat!

Kiss the Chaos

Woman standing under bunch of mistletoe

For the entrepreneur, these short weeks can be brutal. We need to be at the top of our game. Everything at work is piling up, backed up, and chaotic. Unfortunately, everything at home is also piling up, backed up, and chaotic. During crunch time like this, we need to be good at juggling both our business and personal lives. How can we avoid getting so caught up in the frey that we miss out on life itself?

Define your purpose for this week, and serve only that purpose. It is simple. But not easy. Be brutal to hack every unnecessary thing off your list, including your pet projects that do not serve your highest aim. What good does it do to get everything checked off, if it stresses out your whole team? Stressed employees do not supply good customer service. And so you have cooked the perfect Pinterest meal. What does it matter if your whole family is stressed out? It would have been better to have a Christmas hot dog.

Accept that life is full of chaos. It comes included in the package. Every small business, if they are honest, experiences at least some of this stuff. Years ago, we were booked with work three months out, when Todd, our right-hand man, was in a severe car accident and was not expected to live. He pulled through, and we were elated. But without his expert labor in our work flow, chaos ensued. Right when Todd went down for the count, I had just finished my third time-management course. It covered “how to get control of your life”,  followed immediately by “how to cram two days into one”. I remember thinking I had just been sold a bill of goods. My whole life was screaming that we are not ultimately in control. You cannot live two days at once. And besides that, who wants to? Life has no guarantees. This day is yours. Be in it.

Embrace the chaos. Wherever work is being done and new things are being discovered, messes will be a part of the process. Innovation is never tidy. Teach yourself to be comfortable within the mess, and you may find yourself using the word ‘eureka’ more frequently than you do now. Chaos is an indicator that creativity is happening.

I expect a messy short week. That is small business. And that is life. I have much to do. To be fully present–in your life and in all your relationships–is the real present under the tree. It has your name written all over it! Don’t allow your business to rob you of the most important things in life. People, those people we love to work with everyday, and our family and friends, are our most important asset at any time of the year. Take time to breathe. Enjoy. And have yourself a Merry little Christmas!

That’s this week’s Imagination Hat!

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don’t clean it up too quickly. –Andy Rooney

Good words can help keep us anchored and focused. This is the last week to vote for your favorite quote in the iCan Quote Contest. All winning quotes will be featured in iCan subscription. Visit our Facebook page to vote for your favorite here. 

A Key Antidote for Your Daily Battle with FOMO

blue man group

Are you good with keys? Unfortunately, I am not. Past lectures to my children haunt my brain. “Put important things in important places”, I would scold. Losing my keys is a matter of losing focus. I am simply not engaged when I take my keys from the ignition. In an age of constant distraction, it is no surprise.

The one vital key in business and life is focus. Again–no surprise. With open offices and social media, and everyone doing the work of three people, focus the easiest key to lose.  In order to put all of your concentration in one basket, you must consciously choose to disregard another. And choosing is where many entrepreneurs get hung. We are infected with the FOMO virus. The Fear Of Missing Out. It is truly epidemic. Like Pavlov’s dogs, we salivate at the sound of alerts and bells. Convinced that we will miss some essential bone, we invite the distraction.

A skit by the Blue Man Group illustrated the FOMO phenomena very well. Seated in their dark and intimate little theatre in Chicago, three disturbingly blue guys move on to the stage, each bearing a flip chart. Each blue guy opens his chart to the first page. The first page on each contained the same identical warning. “Do not try to read all the charts. You will miss the entire message.” Each disturbingly blue guy then began to turn the pages of their charts, pausing just long enough to give you time to read only one of the three charts. Each chart, of course, contained a different message, to illustrate their point.

For me, it was mental gymnastics. The temptation to read all three charts was obsessive. True to common entrepreneurial self-delusion, I told myself I really could read all three, even though I had just been warned. The next few seconds, sure enough, proved them right. Next I was torn between charts. I wanted to receive the best message. So I tried to quickly scan the messages to find the best message, still attempting to read all three charts. I reluctantly gave up and chose one chart, and was rewarded with the punch line. Though I am sure the message was clever, I do not remember what it was. It was not memorable. And it does not matter. The skit was the message.

The skit was a perfect allegory of life and business. We cannot do it all. We cannot read all those blog posts. We cannot learn everything we want to learn. We cannot manage and sell thousands of disparate products. We cannot serve all people. If we try, we will certainly fail. We will do a poor job at all, and especially where it translates to our visual branding.

Focus is a choice. When we choose to focus all of our energy and cognition on one thing, we are like sunbeams through a magnifying glass. We can burn our way through any task in far less time.  When we concentrate our wits on one bit of information, we can absorb and use more of it than gleaning snippets from seven articles. With our thoughts focused, we are able to see new patterns, create new connections, and find new solutions–solutions that we would have missed trying to multi-task.

In your daily battle with FOMO, free your brain to divide and conquer. The antidote is to choose your focus.

That’s this week’s Imagination Hat!

To find out more about The Blue Man Group, visit www.blueman.com

We believe in the power of words. Right now on our Facebook Page, we are conducting the iCan quote contest. We need to know which quote helps you to focus the most. If your favorite quote is not listed there, feel free to post your own! Link to the album is HERE

Desperately Seeking Focus?

Elton John

If you are anything like me, Monday mornings are like an allegory of Pinball Wizard. The Wizard is sending me in all directions and I am at his mercy. Yet I never wanted to be part of his game. One thing is certain. He sure plays a mean pinball. Why is it that I have more time-saving devices than ever before, but less and less time? I can connect with anyone anywhere in the world, and yet I cannot seem to find time to connect with my own thoughts, or connect with those across the dinner table.

Constantly flipping between screens and windows and responding to dings and messages, I feel busy and productive, especially if I don’t know what I should be doing. The real fallout is the TILT–we forget what we were thinking about before we were thinking about this new shiny thing that just popped up. Our time is constantly fractured. With everything getting only half our brain, how could we possibly discover any eurekas? One thing technology cannot do is teach us how to make the wisest use of technology. In a culture of distraction, nothing can be more important than sitting still. In a world of interruptions, we desperately need focus.

Steve Jobs said that creativity is just connecting things- and connecting them in new ways that have not been connected before. He said that you cannot connect the dots of your life by looking forward. You can only connect them by looking backwards. We all want more creativity and perspective. The caveat here is you can only connect the dots if you make the time to connect them. Without time to reflect, we only have the dot-to-dot, with no connecting line and no big picture.

An uninterrupted day is virtually impossible. Focus is not impossible. Focus is a choice. Regaining mindfulness can be as simple as pulling the plug on the pinball game. Schedule spaces in your week to be screen free. Concentrate on good words to tether the helium balloon thoughts back to the ground.

All of us have favorite quotes that have hit the nail on the head and helped us to regain a sense of balance. If you have a favorite quote that has helped to anchor your journey, chances are it will also help someone else. Encouragement is meant to be shared. From now till mid-December, you are invited to share your favorite quotation on our FaceBook page in our iCan Quote Contest. Quotes chosen by popular vote will be designed into custom art. You will also be in the running to win two subscriptions to iCan quotes, one for yourself and one to encourage a friend. 

See more at our Facebook Page here: Official Contest Details and Rules

That’s this week’s Imagination Hat!

French Fry Thinkin’

french fry heads

We all know the critical importance of nutrition. We are what we eat. Everything I put in my mouth eventually becomes me. Or isn’t becoming to me at all, as the case may be. (I would just tape it on my thighs to save time, but I would lose out on all the fun.) Normally, I am quite careful about my food budget, which includes an allowance for the occasional splurge. But after Thanksgiving? “I am what I eat” can be quite disconcerting. I try to rationalize. If I am my pumpkin pie, then my shape is round, and I have work to do. If I am what I eat, what if I were to munch on a skinny person?  Is a balanced diet a pie in both hands? I know as well as anyone the logic fails.

All joking aside, and aside from genetics, no one is forcing me to eat too much. I alone am in charge of what goes into my mouth, and the resulting health, or lack thereof.  To be frank, if I am not in control of my person, let’s just say all other problems are secondary.

It is easy to see the direct correlation between health and food. But have you ever thought about what happens when we indulge in unhealthy thoughts? The physical mantra is important, yes. But more important still, we are what we THINK. Thoughts have the power to shape our reality. Our thoughts form our choices, and our choices form our behavior. Our behavior forms the very fabric of our lives. Our visible behavior then is like the tip of an iceberg. If you are in a rut, you can almost guarantee it started when your thoughts fell into the ditch.

We are in charge of what we feed our minds. We may not be able to control every thought that comes into our mind, but we have a choice whether to dwell upon them or to exchange junk food thinking for a healthier alternative. You have the freedom to choose the thought or dismiss it. Think about it this way: just because an unwelcome person knocks on your door, does not mean you have to let them in.

All this month we are focusing on the power of words to shape and harness our thinking to make it serve us better. Words can pull us out of a rut, soothe a wound, or serve as anchors to pull our helium balloon thoughts back into tether. They can sweeten stinkin’ thinkin’, launch a new idea, or completely transform our journey.

Quotes are a great tool to bring clarity and focus to our thinking–and especially short quotes because they are easier to recall. What quotes have anchored your journey? Can you share them with us? Sometimes the very quote that has inspired you can also give strength to the person sitting next to you.

From now till mid-December, you are invited to share your favorite quotation on our FaceBook page in our iCan Quote Contest. Quotes chosen by popular vote will be designed into custom art. By posting your favorite quote, you will be in the running to win two subscriptions to iCan, one for yourself and one to encourage a friend.  Please see complete details here. – See more at our Facebook Page here: Official Contest Rules

Trade in your mental junk food for a healthy alternative.

That’s this week’s Imagination Hat!

“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7

Success Comes in Cans, not Can’ts


Do you love quotes? You are cordially invited to participate in the iCan Quote Contest!

Please see below for more information.*

What words have inspired you? What are your go-to quotes when you need a lifeline? There is a fire hose of words coming at us every second, and more words on the devices in our hands than we can consume in many lifetimes. After an intense week on social media, I feel like I am in a room where everybody is talking too loudly, directly at me. And everybody is saying exactly the same thing! I want to clap my hands over my ears, run out the door, and find that deliberate space in the woods. You probably do too. When words are in such abundance, it is more important than ever to harness words that empower, strengthen, and focus our lives. That is why we are focusing this entire holiday season on favorite quotes–pithy words that we can recall in times when we need them most.

Even the Bible teaches us that our words have great power. In the book of James, our words are likened to a small spark that can start a forest fire raging, or like a rudder that steers a massive ship. They can be used either for bad or good. If you belong to the human race, chances are you carry a few wounds from words seared into your heart like a hot branding iron. Oh yes, we understand that power! Other words, fitly spoken, and like apples of gold in pictures of silver, can completely change the course of our lives, cauterize the wound, catalyze, and convert us. Such were the words of Ms. Humpke, my 5th-grade teacher. She patted the arm of this overmuch serious student and said, “You need to learn to enjoy little things.” I have not forgotten these words to this day, and my life has been daily so much the richer for it. The right words delivered at the right time are indeed the most powerful asset in the world.

Why do we love quotes so  much?  What do quotes do for us?

They express things in our hearts that we can not find the right words to say ourselves. They focus us on the right things. They anchor us when we are indecisive. They ground us when we are unsure of the path. They bolster our confidence. They speak encouragement into our hearts. They give us strength. They shape us. They are valuable currency that we can share with another person. They are a way to preserve a little bit of the heart of great people from the past. Words can start wars, yes, but they can also stop them.

Sometimes the very quote that has inspired you can also give strength to the person sitting next to you. *From now till mid-December, you are invited to share your favorite quotation on our FaceBook page in our iCan Quote Contest. Quotes chosen by popular vote will be designed into custom art. By posting your favorite quote, you may win two subscriptions to iCan, one for you and one to encourage a friend.  Please see complete details here.

iCan. Because Success Comes in Cans, not Can’ts. 


Here’s one of our favorite quotes:

Henry Ford quote

The One Thing That Will Affect Your Entire Day

One of the first things I do every morning in Iowa is look up the weather report. I usually do this from the safety of hibernation–while I’m still under the covers. I want to be prepared. In my old farmhouse, the floor can wake you up much faster than the alarm clock.

More recently, I have also been checking the wind. Not the wind outside per se, but the way my thoughts are blowing. I have noticed that the way I think first thing in the morning will affect my entire day. Though, I consider myself an optimist, I still can wake up groaning. Sometimes I can feel the weight of piles of work before I even start to work. As Calvin and Hobbes so eloquently states, my to-do list is so long I shall never die. I confess the way I talk to myself about it stinks. Though I confess to talking to myself outloud sometimes, the way I talk inside my head is by far the most important. Like the snow outside, our thoughts can swirl around and collect and accumulate on almost anything. They can quickly become a beautiful adornment or an obstacle to our progress.

But there are a few tools that we can use to dig out from the obstacle kind of thinking.

The first is simply a gut check. Become aware of your feelings. We often hit the floor running and do not take the time to be honest and reflect on how we are feeling. Take a moment to stop the thoughts swirling around in your head and look at them. 

Next, get a vision check. Seeing mountains as molehills and molehills as mountains is fairly common for human beings. Check your perspective. Are you using words like “never” and “can’t” and “always”? Whenever distorted thoughts pile up, you can be assured that distorted beliefs are underneath, and they will impede or completely oppose your progress. What is it that you truly believe? To date, you have made it through 100% of your difficult and bad days. That is a mighty good track record. Is this truly an insurmountable mountain you are looking at, or is that a distortion? Distinguish fact from fiction, and replace your lies with the truth. Nothing can happen today that you and God cannot handle together. While He won’t do your work for you, He is there to help you.

Now, gain some perspective. Get outside yourself and become your own best friend. What would your best friend say about way you are talking to yourself if you shared your thoughts with her? What would you say to any good friend if they had shared these things to you? Do you really think that you can beat yourself up, and after that, have a good day? Start being as kind to yourself as you are to your friends, and respect yourself enough to talk to yourself as your friend talks to you.

Action check. So you feel less than confident. You wish you had more X or more Y. Some angst can be good. I’m glad you are not content with yourself where you are, because that would mean you had stopped growing. Instead of comparing yourself to others, compete against yourself. How can you become a little bit better today than you were yesterday? Make sure you are doing those foundational things to improve your lot. Do not wait around for opportunities to present themselves. Get ready for them. Nothing worth achieving happens overnight.

When you wake up tomorrow, check your thoughts along with the weather. Check your expectations for your day. If you believe you are going to have a bad day, problems will blow in and accumulate right in front of you. But if you are expecting a good day, that is what you will find. You need only to open the door and invite the good stuff in. 

˙ǝƃuɐɥɔ ʇɐ ʞool noʎ sƃuᴉɥʇ ǝɥʇ ‘sƃuᴉɥʇ ʇɐ ʞool noʎ ʎɐʍ ǝɥʇ ǝƃuɐɥɔ noʎ uǝɥM Wayne Dyer

That is this week’s Imagination Hat.

3 Very Important Things I Have Learned from a Veteran About Business

Kenny Newsom

Kenny Newsom

Today’s Imagination Hat is actually hats off to US Veterans. What can we learn from Veterans about business and the business of life? Only the most important things.

I recently had the honor of attending a funeral for my brother-in-law’s Father, who was 91. Sure, funerals of 91-year-old guys are not uncommon. But smiles and laughter, even through tears, abounded. Kenny Newsom, a bonafide member of the Greatest Generation, would have been glad for this response at a funeral. But what Kenny’s life can teach us is about business and the business of life is far from common.

Classic black and white photos, many of which could have found a place in Life Magazine, covered the walls. Kenny was a handsome young man in military uniform. But no one would guess the depth of his courage from his infectious smile. He flew 29 missions, 15 as a tail gunner in an aircraft named “Little Butch Rodney Rocks” (shown above), and another 14 missions in a B24 plane of the same name. One particular image caught my eye. There he was, inside the machine gun turret, looking like a man crammed into a tiny tin can, where he would sit and await the enemy. Or worse. The B-24 was notorious among American aircrews for its tendency to catch fire. It was dangerous to ditch or belly land, since the fuselage tended to break apart. And there he was, on the bottom of the plane. It struck sheer terror in me just looking at it. Just how could you stop shaking long enough to take aim? Knowing you were the certain first target, or the first to die? What exactly is it that possesses a young man to do this? And what would cause thousands of others, from a various backgrounds, political persuasions, and religious affiliations to all work together, even at the risk of their own lives? Words are not just words. They mean something. There are certain words like Freedom, that are worth dying for. Veterans teach us that there is nothing like the power of Big Ideas. Thank God, the great majority of business owners reading this post are not working on life and death issues. Nevertheless, a big vision requires great courage. It is certain that without a clear bugle call, you will have trouble rallying any troops to your cause.

The next thing veterans can teach us is the real meaning of leadership. Kenny’s crew was always the lead aircraft in the squadron. Real leaders do not tell others to do the difficult thing. They model it. The Greatest Generation did not wait to be told what to do. They did what needed to be done. They did not wait for anyone to tell them to do the right thing, even if the right thing was the most difficult. They just did the right thing. They did not care who got the credit. Going above and beyond the call of duty was normal duty. Veterans know that the real meaning of leadership is being the first to serve. And that means anyone can be a leader- even the lowest ranking member of your organization.

Little Butch Rodney Rocks

Little Butch Rodney Rocks

The third thing we can learn from Veterans is that a great work requires great patience. The very Big Idea that required this American squadron of B-24 Liberators to fly 29 missions from Sudbury, England was not going to be accomplished in a day. With any Big Idea, you must have daily goals and patience to persevere, despite the set backs, to wait for the goal. Your team players must all buy into the vision, and understand the risks. While Kenny was overseas, he was not the only one shaking. His wife Louise sometimes waited two months for word of his well being.  Any goal worth pursuing will at times be very scary for everyone involved. Patience is the commitment to see through the stress to the end goal.

We are getting dangerously close to the day when the last of this Greatest Generation will have passed from the earth. What then? Will only us weanies remain? They just don’t make guys like Kenny Newsom anymore. We would do well to exercise our courage muscle. One thing is certain. When you are enjoying pursuing your Big Idea, and enjoying the fruits of your labors, remember to thank a Veteran.

If you don’t stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them. Anonymous

Purposeful Gratitude as a Great Business Strategy

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln, my favorite President, had a great idea when he proclaimed “a national day of Thanksgiving.”  It was a Holiday proposed right smack dab in the middle of the Civil War. At that most horrific hour, it had to take some intestinal fortitude for anyone to turn their head around to see anything good in anything. President Lincoln knew that if Americans did not purposely look up, they would lose hope. Hope is a priceless commodity. Mankind can live without anything but hope. To preserve it, he created a Holiday set aside for purposeful gratitude.

Without minimizing the miseries of the Civil War, many entrepreneurs can also lose hope. With their daily battles, they can be overcome with the problems and responsibilities of running a small business and succumb to deep discouragement. But when your nose is dragging, you will miss opportunities as they fly past. Focusing on the positive is not only good exercise for the soul, it is good for business.

Since the month of November celebrates our 26th Anniversary in business, I am especially thankful for three things–three things I could only see from the perspective of 26 years:

Small Business not only grows the economy. It grows people. Small business owners often start with great excitement and anticipation. They often have a big vision of what they want to do, but it often does not turn out the way they planned. The number one problem in being an entrepreneur is that you don’t know what you don’t know. And Small Business will show you what you don’t know, whether you like it or not. Lest you think that it is a negative thing, the entrepreneurial journey is also one of the most effective catalysts for growth and change. We learn by necessity to change our self-talk, our habits, and our attitudes. The truth is, God cares more about helping us to become all he has intended for us to be, than our success. We must be before we can do. He will not let us out of the oven half-baked. We end up finding out that we can do far more than we have ever dreamed we can do.

Small Business grows creativity like no other catalyst. No one enters business with unlimited resources. And that is the perfect soil for creativity to grow! Real creativity is born of constraints. Without enough X, you must invent a way to do what you need to do with what you have at your immediate disposal. So you have too little time? You must find creative ways of managing people and projects. Did the rug get pulled out from under you? Sometimes the biggest disasters reveal the largest opportunities. We learn to look at things with different eyes by necessity.

And last but not least, Small Business gives people a voice. It is not uncommon for any business, large or small, to begin with a very self-focused mission.  We talk about ourselves too much. As we go along, we find out that that does not work very well. We soon discover that our business is not about us. It is about creating a vision larger than ourselves. We find and hone our purpose. In finding our purpose, we discover our gifts and our abilities. These may not be what we originally thought at all. But it does not matter. In all this wrangling, we discover what we were put on earth to do. It develops such a confidence that, as Who’s down in Whoville, we are compelled to YOP. And we are no longer YOPPING about ourselves. We are YOPPING for the sake of others. And it is a beautiful thing.

Yes, Small Business is much harder than it looks. The bad and the good are like two train tracks running side by side. They will always exist together in our businesses and our lives simultaneously. Do not derail by focusing on just the negative rail. Throughout the Holiday Season, no matter what situation you are in, take time for purposeful gratitude. It will improve your outlook, your health, and your business.

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Dipika Kohli

That’s this week’s Imagination Hat!

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