Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Why should the press write about your business?

I often hear from entrepreneurs who have read one of my articles in the National Post or PROFIT Magazine. I think they go "harrumph. My business is much more interesting than the business he's writing about today," and so they email me about covering their business.

Once I got a letter from someone who said, more or less, "Loved your story about the company that makes animal tracking devices. My business does the same thing. You should write about me."

I told him that the fact that i had just written about the animal-tracking business constituted a pretty safe guarantee that I wouldn't write about it again for at least seven years.

I got a similar letter from an entrepreneur today. In my reply, I told him what makes a great story for me. I thought you might like to know, too.
(His name has been omitted for obvious reasons.)

Hi -----------. Thanks for getting in touch.

When I write a story about a company, there's usually a theme or lesson on it that other entrepreneurs can learn from. Because business owners are way too busy to read just for general interest.

So I'm wondering what you think the theme might be of a story about (your business name here)? What major challenges have you had to overcome? What "secrets" of survival and success have you learned?

These are the essences of a good small business story for me.

Thanks very much.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Expecting More from our Leaders

We just got in a new shipment of reverse motivational posters in our "We Expect More from You" series.

Instead of exhorting employees to work harder and have better attitudes, these posters encourage bosses to set better examples. After all, leaders are supposed to create aligned organizations by example, not fiat. 

"We Expect More from You" is all about building stronger leaders. Because strong leaders build stronger, more motivated teams. 

Feel free to copy and paste your favourites. Post them on your cubicle, tack them to the bulletin board, or turn them into stickies and hand out to others. 

Building better leaders is everyone's responsibility. Don't leave it to your boss's bosses, because you know how busy they are. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

"We Expect More from You"

Announcing "We Expect More from You" -- a bold new series of motivational posters. 

Instead of exhorting employees to work harder and have better attitudes, these posters exhort managers to set better examples.

"We Expect More from You" is all about managers learning to become leaders. Because in the end, leaders build better and stronger teams than managers do. Everyone benefits when leaders step up.

Here are just a few of the proposed new poster designs. Feel free to copy and paste, and then post them on your cubicle. Or just outside the executive dining room.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Catching Up

If you haven't been following my Financial Post columns and blogposts, you've been missing some great stories.

Here are a few of them:

In today's column, some great tips and ideas from the day I spent with Peter Thomas, 76-year-old founder of Century 21 Real Estate, and a serial entrepreneur and dealmaker who has much to teach today's hotshots.

"Ten key things to help you succeed in business, according to real estate legend Peter Thomas"

Last week's column looked at another classic Canadian entrepreneur: the late Adam Chowaniec of Ottawa, who passed away in February a week shy of his 65th birthday. Ottawa high-tech mentor, Startup Canada founding chair, longtime CEO of Tundra Semiconductor - and a pioneer in personal computing, no less!

"Adam Chowaniec: The very real legacy of a little-known tech pioneer"

These three Canadians cracked the code on crowdfunding with the "Coolbox": 

"How a group of friends used crowdfunding to create ‘the world’s smartest toolbox’"

(Their $50,000 campaign on Indiegogo has hit $221,000 with more than  a week left to go.)

A Vancouver company dares the big league of mass marketing: A Super Bowl commercial on U.S. TV.
"Pro Draft League’s Super Bowl gamble pays off in unexpected ways"

(Click video to watch)

My Post blogposts are web-only stories I post weekly. They're usually a little less "story" and more prescriptive. And somewhat offbeat. 

Why saying ‘I don’t know’ could inject new life into your business