what project can you do now?

What projects can you do that you have been putting off?

We all have a list of things that need to get done. And it is easy to put them off. This weekend, I knocked two off my list: power washing my driveway and cleaning my carpet. While doing the work isn’t fun, the result is fantastic!

Many businesses now have the time to complete all those projects that will make the business run better and more efficiently, but haven’t had time to focus on them. There are many programs right now aimed at keeping people employed. Why not take the time to complete those projects that will position you to take off once things get back to normal!

how are you getting perspective?

How are you getting a clear perspective?

It was a foggy morning. One that you could hardly see through when you were in the middle of it. But as I got to the top of the hill, the fog parted to reveal a beautiful, clear day.

That’s the thing about perspective. Sometimes you need to raise up a bit to get out of the fog and get a clear perspective.

what are you doing to keep a smile on your face?

How are surrounding yourself with things that bring a smile to your face?

I love flowers. They are happy, especially in spring. So during my trip to Trader Joe’s to pick up groceries, I picked up flowers too. Apparently I wasn’t the only one. The woman checking me out shared that flowers sales were up dramatically.

Turn on the news or social media and you’ll find largely negative stories. And there is no end in sight to the pandemic. In the era or social distancing, it is important to have something that lifts your spirits and brings a smile to your face. How are you keeping a smile on your face?

Are you inspired or intimidated?

Are you inspired?

Over the last week the reaction to the coronavirus has been truly inspiring. People have come together to help neighbors and communities. Businesses that make alcohol have started producing and donating hand sanitizer. Small businesses have started curbside pickup or home delivery. Creativity and innovation are everywhere. Are you inspired yet?

are you taking a moment to observe the beauty?

Amidst the panic and chaos, there are things of beauty

Things are changing quickly. Businesses and public institutions are shutting down quickly. People are working from home and scrambling to adjust daily life. For many it is stressful and scary. And the news seems like it is non-stop and bad. And that is why taking a moment to step outside, take a walk and observe the beauty of nature is so important right now. When was the last time you took a moment to stop and observe it?

stop fighting nature

Stop fighting it and learn to work with it

The weather changed just a tad and the humidity level notched up just a lot. It was just enough to cause a number of women at the gym trying to fix their hair trouble. They were working against what their hair wanted to do and the hair was winning. They were fighting against nature.

The same thing happens in business. Industry conditions, the economy, the nature of products, etc. all have a natural flow. Companies that learn how to leverage that flow have the greatest success. Meanwhile, competitors that fight things and constantly struggle lose ground. How are you leveraging that natural flow to outperform your competitors?

The little things matter

It’s the little things that matter

A friend was telling me about tuna he buys. He loves it. So, I did what many do when something is highly recommended. I went to Amazon and bought one to try. The package arrived a couple days later. And when I opened it, I was delighted. Attached to the tuna was a hand written note, addressed to me, that said they hope I enjoy my tuna. That little touch brought a smile to my face.

How often are you adding a little touch that delights the people around you?

how are you mentoring your people

How are you mentoring your people?

Every year, the American City Business Journals hosts Mentoring Monday. I was pleased to participate today as a mentor in Portland. The Portland Business Journal brought together 50 mentors and more than 200 mentees from across the region. The bell rang and the conversations started. Each 7 minutes, mentees rotated to ask questions and get exposure to many different perspectives. It was a fantastic way to start the day.

As I reflected on the conversations and the format, I was impressed. It was a great way for ideas to be shared quickly in a relevant way. And a great format for companies to adopt too. Why not have a morning where people in the company can sign up to talk to leaders about the business, career paths, ideas, etc. one on one.

Kudos to PBJ for putting together a great event and giving a format for a great way to start mentoring conversations!

is a geyser about to go off?

Is a geyser about to erupt?

There is a stretch of highway near my house that segments into blocks and depresses on one side, causing the other side to elevate. Periodically, the department of transportation comes through and replaces the section, resulting in the same thing happening to the next section.

A few days ago, after a long stretch of rain, a semi ran over the next section, causing a geyser to erupt that went many feet into the air through the seam in the pavement.

Clearly, large amounts of water are getting trapped under the highway, only getting relieved once a significant amount of pressure is applied. There are signs something is going on under the surface. The symptoms seem to be addressed periodically, but not the cause.

You’ve probably seen the same thing happening in business. Pressure starts building somewhere and eventually cracks become apparent, along with the occasional geyser. It is important when the signs become apparent, the cause is addressed and not just the symptom. If the cause isn’t addressed, the symptoms will continue, getting worse and more expensive.

How are you making sure you don’t have a geyser in your business?

what does the light show?

The light reveals what is really there. Are you ready for it?

It has been raining in the area. A lot. January was the wettest in the last 14 years. So it is no wonder my backyard is really muddy. With an 80 pound yellow lab, it is hard to keep the mud in the backyard and not in the house.

I knew there was quite a bit of work necessary this weekend to get it cleaned up. No amount of toweling seems to get it all. But, I was surprised when the sun came out and lit up my stairwell to see the mud drops all the way up the stairs to the second story. On the walls. Yikes! What a mess!

As hard as you try to stay on top of things, messes can creep in. The same happens in business. And it isn’t until a bright light shines on different parts of the business that you see some work is needed.

How are you shining a light through the business to see what is working well and what needs attention?