Monthly Archive for May, 2014

Success is not measured only by money and stuff

Believe it or not, much of the potential for success in your small business depends upon two things:

1.  Your ability to effectively function physically, mentally, and emotionally.

2.  How well you balance where the business stops and your personal life starts.

"The best way to be successful AND happy is to be able to define success in many ways, including having a life that’s balanced with richness outside of the business."There actually are times when being one with your business is not only a good thing, it’s essential. But extreme commitment weaves a fine seam between business and owner. And unfortunately, entrepreneurial single-mindedness will often result in the opposite of what is intended: a business in jeopardy run by an unhappy human.

The best way to be successful AND happy is to be able to define success in many ways, including having a life that’s balanced with richness outside of the business. Getting that new customer on board is an essential part of your business’s future. But making the time to attend a child’s activity in the middle of the day is also important to the long-term well-being of your business.

A small business is more like a patchwork quilt than a gilded security blanket. Some patches represent good things and some not so good. Some patches are about the business, others are about the owner, and some are hard to tell. Happiness will be found by those owners who can feel successful regardless of which patch is in front of them.

Having multiple touchstones of success, not just money and stuff, helps keep the rough patches in business and life in proper perspective. If you became a small business owner to find financial success, good for you; as a capitalist I admire that motivation. But if you think being rich will make you happy get your umbrella out, because I’m going to rain on that parade with these two truths:

1.  Wealth only provides options, not a guarantee of happiness.

2.  If you can’t be happy without money and stuff, you aren’t likely to be happy with it.

Now let’s talk about fun.

The most successful business owners I know are those who have learned that one of the keys to their success is to run a tight ship while encouraging their people to laugh and find joy in their work. Every day that goes by without some kind of joy is a precious opportunity lost.

Two final thoughts:

1.      Think of happiness as a business best practice and a success fundamental.

Write this on a rock —

Learn how to define success in more ways than just money and stuff. And don’t forget to have fun.

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Jim Blasingame is the author of the new book, “The Age of the Customer: Prepare for the Moment of Relevance.”

VIDEO: There is no handshake in “the cloud”

In this week’s message I discuss how to begin and maintain virtual relationships in “the cloud.”

There is no handshake in \”the cloud\” from Jim Blasingame on Vimeo.

Poll Results: What Will Make Gas Prices Come Down?

The price of gasoline is up again. What do you think could be done to  make it come down?Photo courtesy Good Housekeeping
5% - Oil companies should stop gouging customers.
46% - Obama should approve the Keystone Pipeline.
22% - Stop oil speculators from driving up the price of crude.
27% - The price of gas is a product of supply and demand market forces.

Jim’s Comments:

As you can see, most small business owners believe–correctly I think–that approving the Keystone Pipeline would go a long way to bringing down crude oil prices, and therefore gasoline prices. There is a precedent for this. In 2008, when crude was $140 per barrel, President Bush merely hinted that he might consider releasing oil from the strategic reserve, oil prices plummeted and so did gas at the pump.

If President Obama is really as interested in helping the poor and the middle class as he says, he would take every step possible to contribute to lower gas prices.  And the first piece of low-hanging fruit he could pick to accomplish this would be to approve the Pipeline.

Three fundamentals of small business capitalization

The first sentence in the job description of every CEO should be, “Get the capital your company needs.”

Webster defines business capital as, “any asset, tangible or intangible, that is held for long-term investment.” Capital blended with operating cash flows becomes the financial fuel your company’s engine uses to operate with and fund growth.

•  Investment Capital — from you or someone else.

•  Borrowed Funds — for most small businesses, from a bank loan.

Additional capital is required just to STAY in business beyond what was necessary to START the business. And the stay-in-business capital is much more than the get-in-business capital. Success begets growth and growth eats capital like Cookie Monster eats chocolate chip cookies. So without a capitalization plan you can grow yourself out of business.

Here are three capital allocation guidelines.

1. Don’t use operating cash to purchase assets.

2. Don’t borrow money for operating expenses.

3. Funding growth with borrowed money is okay, if you have a plan to convert growth funding from debt to retained earnings.

Retained Earnings

As the CEO or your business, it’s your job to acquire, manage, allocate and maximize all sources of capital.


Jim Blasingame is the author of the new book,”The Age of the Customer: Prepare for the Moment of Relevance.

Until Next Time: Learn from your failures

Billy Joel is a pretty fair musician and singer, but he’s a world-class songwriter. He and I were born on the same day, so perhaps that’s why I like his words. One of my favorite Joel lyrics is from the song, “Second Wind,” “You’re not the only one who’s made mistakes, but they’re the only things that you can truly call your own.”

We’re not likely to learn much when we succeed because we think it’s a result of our being so smart. Who wants to think about lessons when there’s so much self-congratulating to do, right?

When we fail, we have more time to reflect on what happened because there’s less celebrating. Use the time wisely; don’t wallow around feeling sorry for yourself. Claim your failures. Remember what Billy said, “… they’re the only thing that you can truly call your own.”

All of the great minds of history were well acquainted with failure. There are so many examples of world-changing discoveries that resulted from perseverance in the ace of bitter, demoralizing failures. Thomas Edison is said to have observed that, “Failure is successfully identifying what doesn’t work.” What if your last failure is actually a discovery of something that no one else knows?

In one of my favorite books, The Words Lincoln Lived By, by my friend, Gene Griessman, I found this Lincoln quote on adversity, “I find quite as much materials for a lecture in those points wherein I have failed, as in those wherein I have been moderately successful.”

So, it’s official: You learn more from your failures than from your successes. And if you don’t believe me and Billy, you have to believe Honest Abe.

I’ll leave you with the chorus to Billy’s song. “Don’t forget your second wind. Sooner or later you’ll feel that momentum kick in.”

Think of these words next time you fail.

Thanks for being part of my community. I’ll see you on the radio and the Internet.

Three fundamentals of small business capitalization

The first sentence in the job description of every CEO should be, “Get the capital your company needs.”

Webster defines business capital as, “any asset, tangible or intangible, that is held for long-term investment.” Capital blended with operating cash flows becomes the financial fuel your company’s engine uses to operate with and fund growth.

•  Investment Capital — from you or someone else.

•  Borrowed Funds — for most small businesses, from a bank loan.

Additional capital is required just to STAY in business beyond what was necessary to START the business. And the stay-in-business capital is much more than the get-in-business capital. Success begets growth and growth eats capital like Cookie Monster eats chocolate chip cookies. So without a capitalization plan you can grow yourself out of business.

Here are three capital allocation guidelines. Don’t use operating cash to purchase assets. Don’t borrow money for operating expenses. Funding growth with borrowed money is okay, if you have a plan to convert growth funding from debt to retained earnings.

Retained Earnings

As the CEO or your business, it’s your job to acquire, manage, allocate and maximize all sources of capital.


Jim Blasingame is the author of the new book,”The Age of the Customer: Prepare for the Moment of Relevance.



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