Image of burning matchstick - ignite motivation from within

For most of grade school and middle school, my granddaughter was homeschooled…at my house. Each morning her mom dropped her off before she went to work, and Aubrey and would I head to our shared office. Most days she jumped on her computer, loged into her curriculum (she is enrolled in an international online school), and knocked out her lessons. Some days though, she just couldn’t get into it. And most of the time when that happened, it’s not that she wasn’t motivated to do her lesson. It’s that she couldn’t relate to it. Continue reading

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Clear Expectations Help You Release Control

Create Clear Expectations or Learn to JuggleOne of the things I like to write about is how to get out of our own way, and how most people get in their own way by fearing change and trying new things. But what if you like change, you embrace learning new things, and you’re still stuck? Then it’s possible you’re suffering from one or both of the other two reasons we get in our own way: a need to control everything, or sacrificing good for the perfect. Continue reading

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an image of a clock - time to planThe fourth quarter is nearly here, and your head is probably in go-go-go-for-the-holidays mode. That’s good – you’re supposed to make hay while the sun shines, right? But the risk is that you’ll wake up one day soon, the holidays behind you, and immediately become stressed over everything you’ve failed to do for your business while you were focused on production and sales. Continue reading

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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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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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