When things go wrong, look in the mirror

When I first joined the company, I wasn’t sure what to make of what I saw. There was a guy, sitting at a desk, surrounded by nothing but hundreds of square feet of carpet, no one near him, working away, quietly, each day.

He was nicely dressed, showed up on time, was pleasant to everyone, but did not engage in chit-chat. I assumed he was a hard working guy on a project requiring focus on what he was trying to accomplish.

I ...

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Ten Mistakes Business Owners Make

A former leader of a large Fortune 500 company was quoted in an interview that “People who do things make mistakes. The biggest mistake is doing nothing.”

This is the first mistake made by a business owner: doing nothing when action is called for. By holding off making a decision, the owner believes that the trouble will disappear of its own volition. In reality, left unresolved, problems often grow.

The second mistake is not having a plan. While having a tangible number ...

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Your bottom line is determined by your front line

Once a month, like clockwork, a gentleman comes to my house in the morning around dawn and sprays for insects and bugs. We’ve spoken a few times and he always hands me his card, telling me to let him know if he needs to come back between visits. I think I have called him once in the last decade.

Every week, on Thursday afternoon, a crew of two come from our landscape maintenance company to mow the lawn, pull weeds and ...

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Business Lessons I Learned in College

Thirty-six years ago this month I graduated from college. I didn’t study a major that paid immediate dividends, meaning a job, and I wasn’t ready for graduate school.

But with a college diploma as a foundation I have been fortunate enough to have both an interesting and a challenging career in business.

My four years at Stanislaus State College in Turlock, California, aka Turkey Tech, were characterized by personal growth, acceptance of responsibility, learning time management and attempting to balance work, school, ...

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