Curiosity is best embodied in childrenI’m giving myself a subscription to Code4 Startup this year. Why? Because I need to learn a new programming language. Of course, I employ excellent programmers, and I don’t need to personally perform any coding for my job. So why am I doing it? For the same reason I learned to make patterns and sew when I ran an apparel company, and why I pursued goldsmith training when I ran a large jewelry manufacturer; because understanding the customer (business customer and end consumer) experience of any business is essential to business success, and I am very curious. Continue reading

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Tandem Bicycle - Good Analogy for Good ManagerIt’s one thing to have a bad job experience; it’s another thing entirely to watch one’s children go through one. Yet, that’s what they must do. When young people enter the workforce, they are typically subjected to a series of bad managers with poor training and insufficient communication skills. For years I had to watch my children live through a series of crappy jobs. It’s part of the learning experience, but it isn’t fun to watch! Continue reading

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Getting Value RightWhen you run a business, your job is to produce and sell value. It is both as simple and as complicated as that. When I see businesses getting value wrong, I have a physical reaction to it – it’s like watching a starving person eat cardboard. So that’s what we’re going to focus on today: Getting value right. Because if you can do that, you can make money.

Let’s start with a few examples. Continue reading

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Competitiveness Means Meeting Customer Needs

originally posted on LinkedIn

The nature of business is competition. There can be collaboration – where businesses team up to compete together. There can be good will, and there should always be ethics and character. There can be tremendous respect among competitors, and in the strongest industries there is. But competition is at the core of business. And yet sometimes I wonder – do we understand the nature of competition well enough in the jewelry industry? Continue reading

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Should you ever be on sale?My favorite afternoon snack is mixed nuts and seeds. There’s a special mix I buy that is perfect except . . . it contains Brazil nuts. I really don’t like Brazil nuts.

The good news is that my wife loves them. So every two or three weeks I bring her a canister containing all the remaining Brazil nuts. In fact, she likes them so much that I suggested that we buy a bag of Brazil nuts so she wouldn’t have to wait for my leftovers. Interestingly, she declined.

Who is Your Brazil Nut Eater?

There are a lot of business management myths in the jewelry industry (a lot. A ridiculous lot). The one I’m tackling today is the one that says Designers Should Never Be on Sale. Continue reading

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Be Fearless!I’m doing my annual ritual rounds at the Las Vegas jewelry shows: Part information gathering for my blog and industry articles, part assisting clients who are exhibiting, and part checking in with designers. Working a trade show is hard. I don’t mean for me – I mean for the people who are selling. And it’s particularly hard for the artists who are selling their own designs. If that’s you, I’m writing this for you. I hope you get a chance to read this before you do the show all day Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Continue reading

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How the pieces of strategic planning fit togetherPeople often confuse strategic planning with business planning. They also are unsure of where marketing strategy, sales strategy, sales forecasting, and branding fit in the mix. This podcast tells you how these elements fit together, and in what order. Continue reading

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these rules are the key to successToday’s blog is actually a podcast — a 16-minute extract from a presentation I recently made on getting the most out of your sales and sales organization. In this section, I share my 10 rules for working tradeshows, and why each rule has an impact on your success. Continue reading

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starve your distractions, feed your focusIf you ever worry that you have adult onset ADD, you’re not alone. Maybe you do, or maybe your life is just filled with way too many distractions. Before you go running to the doctor for help, consider these tips for getting focused and staying that way. Continue reading

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The artisan/designer jewelry represnts the epitome of art and craftIndividuality is in, keeping-up-with-the-Joneses is out.

Environmental stewardship is in, unconscious consumerism is out.

Social awareness is in, ostentatious wealth is out.

Thoughtful acquisition is in, conspicuous consumption is out.

No wonder luxury jewelry is having a hard time. Continue reading

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