Posts filed under ‘2. Develop Strong Teams’

Successful Business – Defined

A successful business


clear benefits to a defined group of eager people easily and profitably


gives a Clear Benefit

to a Defined Group

of Eager People




You get to define what a successful business is. Does your business feed you? Financially, yes, but creatively and energetically? Are you proud of your business? Does your business help you in living your Good Life?

Clear Benefit – People have a problem they want fixed and you have a solution. They know what to expect and they are not disappointed, in fact, they are delighted.

Defined Group – These are people you know and love. You have an affinity with them. You feel for them and you know their pains and their joys. Most importantly, you know who they are.

Eager People – They need and/or want what you offer. Further, they are motivated to make the changes that your solution offers.

Easily – This means working from your strengths and with the help and support you need. This isn’t supposed to be hard. It is the things that you do easily that others need the most.

Profitably – Your profit should be more than you need so you have capacity to grow, give more and focus on what’s important. If it isn’t yet, keep adding value and increasing the price until it is.

The Business Owners Success Club is a community of business owners working together to make all of our off-line businesses successful. Would you like to connect with other like-minded business owners from around the world to share stories, inspiration and examples of how you can make your business better?


February 17, 2015 at 1:22 pm 1 comment

New Year, New Projects

The Business Owners Success club has been around since… I just looked it up on my Docs and the first one I can find was written December 14 2005. So this year is the 10th anniversary.

In recent years I’ve had a vision for this as a place where business owners can gather to help each other. I see that there are times when we need help and when we can give help. I see building a platform where there is no us (needing help) and them (the gurus who give it). The lines are blurred. We all benefit by giving and receiving help as and when we need it.

I don’t know what that will look like, but I’m going to take this year to find out.

January 1, 2015 at 3:37 pm Leave a comment

Epic Projects and Buying Groceries

I have a confession to make.

I’m one of those people who can’t work on only one project at a time. My comfortable number seems to be 3. I’ve been that way for years.

I’m also an innovator. You know, someone who craves seeking out new ideas and trying them.

I learn lots. I get lots done. When I do work work, I get paid. When I work on building projects, I don’t get paid.

But I don’t seem to be able to make big headway on any of my projects. I make progress, for sure. I published a book, thank you Joel and Tom. I finally started the podcast here, thank you Joe and Gary. But the need to make money in the short term seems to get in the way of building something for the long term.

I figured I knew the best way to fix that and that’s when I made a big mistake. I stopped doing the paid work to concentrate on my ‘projects’, the current 3. So that I could get one up and running. My words for this year are Epic Projects. These 3 projects (and the 2-3 waiting in the wings) are all potential Epic Projects.

I cleared the time (and stopped making money) and have worked very hard. I am making progress, but I find myself needing to do some work to make some money for the short term. I am doing a series of workshops around Your Effortless Business. That should keep the wolves from the door. It cuts into the time available to work on this project, but that’s part of the balancing act we walk. Your Effortless Business is part of what I bring to this project, so any work in that area, adds to my ability to contribute, here, too. I like it best when things are intertwined like that.

As they say: wherever you go, there you are.

I’m back where I started.


With some important changes in thinking.

  • I value my time more. I examine how I’m spending my time and I expect to get a return for it. I expect to make progress on each of my projects over the span of a day. It helps keep me focused.
  • I’m deep into the lean start up modality. I’m being much more deliberate with testing my assumptions and being willing to try a new thing as I learn. Progress on my projects means that I am answering questions and refining the problem and solution.
  • There are dreamers and doers. I like to think I’m a bit of both, but I recognize I fall heavily on the dreamer side. That means I need doers working with me. I have partners on all three projects.

The Business Owners Success Club is one of the 3 projects.
It’s been one of the 3 on and off for many, many years. I ran it as an off-line group for three years (2006-2009). We met monthly and improved our businesses and ourselves every month. I have 36 mini workbooks and a ton of on-the-ground results. It’s part of the research that went into my book.

Here’s what I learned from that, 15 years of running a bookkeeping business and working with 100’s of business owners:

  • Making a business work well takes continual improvement.
  • Trying and testing must be done in a deliberate way
  • What I need today is different than what I needed last month.
  • I circle back around and learn more each time I work on a part of my business (or project)
  • It’s all about practice, habits, change and courage.
  • All that works better with a circle of support.

It takes a community to grow a business.

We are building that community. We are incorporating those lessons listed above.

It’s me, so it will be innovative. Parts will work and some won’t. If you are willing to play along I guarantee, you will be so much farther ahead that when you look back in a year you won’t recognize where you were today.

This is one of my Epic Projects. This is both, an example of how to build an Epic Project and a wildly valuable resource for business owners who want to build their own wildly successful business.

If you are interested in being part of the early development of this community, have a look at our Welcome tab to see what we are thinking. If not, stay tuned to see what happens.

Do you have Epic Project(s)? Is your business your Epic Project? Do you agree that building any successful venture takes continual improvement?

Here we go on an epic journey together to making the best business and the best life we can.
The business owners success club brings business owners together to help each other. Who else do you know who could benefit and who could add to the conversation?


March 1, 2013 at 12:24 pm Leave a comment

Strength in Teams

Strengths-based leadership is about building a team where everyone works from their strengths and everything gets done well.

It’s so easy it feels like cheating. When it’s our turn, we breeze through the work we have to do while, of course, doing our best work because the pressure is on. Then we watch while others take on all the heavy lifting. The best part is, everyone feels that way. The project gets completed quickly, the results are great and everyone is raring to get going on the next project.

How do you create a team like that?

A strong vision and an interesting why are essential to attracting great people and motivating them to give their best. We’ve talked about that already.

A strong team is complete with thinkers, doers, people people and communicators. A really strong team has mature enough individuals to not only accept the diversity of the group but to revel in it.

Everyone is clear on the project, their part in it and how that fits with everyone else.

Communication is key. The more people know exactly where the project is, the more effective they can be.

Celebrate successes and learn from failures.

Maintain a sense of humour.

What’s the best team you were on? What lessons can you share?


January 27, 2012 at 10:43 am Leave a comment

The Midas Touch

Midas Touch: why some entrepreneurs get rich and why most don’t by Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki

I read a lot of business books and most are full of great information. In this book, the authors have presented information from the trenches in a way that is practical and useable. They talked about business concepts in ways I have thought about them but hadn’t heard before.

They presented five traits of successful entrepreneurs which they likened to the five digits of the hand.

Thumb: Strength of Character

Index Finger: F.O.C.U.S. (follow one course until successful)

Middle Finger: Your Brand

Ring Finger: Relationships

Little Finger: Little things that count

The 2 biggest takeaways were:

  • Successful Entrepreneurs are prepared to take risk because they know that the faster they fail and learn and move on the faster they will succeed. 
  • The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward.Taking responsibility in your business also means taking control and vice versa.  Without those, you won’t exert your power to win.

Here are the points I flagged as I read the book:

They talk about the Peter Principle of Small Business – your business will grow to your level of incompetence. Here’s one of those points I mentioned earlier. I wrote about this, but hadn’t heard it anywhere else.

Once you take responsibility for all you touch, the power is in your hands to make it extraordinary.

Schools teach us to avoid mistakes. The A students are the ones who can do the work the same as the teacher (or curriculum) demands. In Business, the Entrepreneur who fails the most, wins.

Your brand is the Promise you Telegraph and the Experience you Deliver. A brand is founded on what the entrepreneur stands for.

You and your business must mean something in the world. Your business must be about more than you and your product or service. In thinking about your Brand they suggest you answer this list of questions;

  • What is the problem you want to solve?
  • Why is it a problem?
  • What causes the problem?
  • If your business were gone tomorrow, what would the world lose?
  • What makes you think you can solve the problem?
  • How does your product or service solve the problem?
  • How does your product or service make your customer’s life better?
  • What do you think your customers really need from a company like yours?

(Emphasis, mine – I always wanted to say that)

Most lists of Branding questions don’t talk about the world losing without you, or making your customer’s life better (unless it’s toothpaste).

Your business is your lab – it’s your best business school. If you pay attention you will learn much of what you need.

In school, we are taught to compete for grades along a bell curve. In Business, you cannot make it on your own, you must cooperate with others to be successful.

Successful businesses focus on one little thing – lowest prices, fastest delivery, easiest buying experience. What is your one little thing?



January 3, 2012 at 9:38 am Leave a comment

How I did with the 100 Day Project

I started my 100 day project on September 14 so it would end on December 20. Here’s the original post.

My objective was to focus on my businesses; to figure out where they can go and to set it up so they will. I outlined 3 business ideas: Crystal Clear Bookkeeping Ltd, this Business Owners Success Club and Repair-Share.

That’s how I started. How I ended that 100 days is very interesting. Yes, it’s a great idea to stop and look back once in a while.

Crystal Clear Bookkeeping Ltd.

I had 3 full-time people in the summer. My vision has been to build a business with a whole room full of bookkeepers helping lots and lots of business owners. The reality is that the margins aren’t there, meaning, for the cost of paying my bookkeepers a decent wage, continually training them, and paying for non-billed time, I can’t bill enough to do much more than cover overhead.

We also came to the realization about the type of clients we prefer. We work best with people who are actively building their businesses and engaging in the way their business. At the same time, bookkeeping is changing. (see the post here)

So we went back to our core mission: helping Business Owners succeed.

Two things came out of that exercise:

Work less on data entry and more on interpretation and coaching. Working less on data entry has us exploring the world of programing and web development. Cool, in a bumping along in a dark basement kind of way, not really knowing what you are going to run into.

We have enough experience and knowledge with business to offer a more complete way to make business, I don’t know, more Effortless. I spun off a new concept called Your Effortless Business in this blog. I’m really excited about this, mostly because of the response I’m getting. One of the responses is a group of friends who decided to make a publishing platform and they have decided to make Your Effortless Business book their first project. I’ve been writing furiously for the past month or so (which explains why I haven’t posted as much). Fun and exciting!

Business Owners Success Club

As I developed the Your Effortless Business concept, I wrote about it here. Eventually, I realized it needed it’s own platform so I gave it one here. That left me wondering about this. What is this about and why am I doing it?

The BOSC is about you, the Business Owner. YEB is about your business.

One of the keys to an Effortless Business is for the owner to belong to a group of people talking about business and being a business owner. That’s what this will continue to be. I can’t stress how important that is for your success and even peace of mind. Many of you already belong to groups and that is terrific. For those that don’t, I would like this to work for you. How can we make that work? What will give you the best benefit? The technology is available for us to meet in many different ways to have the discussions we need.

I haven’t come to any clear conclusions about what to do with the BOSC. I will continue to post Business Owner type stuff here.


I haven’t made a lot of progress on this one. It will be an interesting exercise in teams. Have a look here for more information.


I have been asked to join the Board of the Kentville Development Corporation Limited

I belong to an online, international book club and we are exploring the idea of starting a project to help entrepreneurs fail successfully. Failure is inevitable and even a necessary part of reaching in business. We want to help make it a smoother process, by helping people up, dusting them off and helping them understand what happened.

I’ve been invited by TEDx to join them in Doha, Qatar for a TEDxSummit. All paid, but the airfare. Now I have to raise the airfare very soon.

So the project list looked like this when I started:

  • Crystal Clear Bookkeeping Ltd
  • Business Owners Success Club
  • Repair-Share

Now it looks like:

  • Crystal Clear Bookkeeping Ltd.
  • Software Project
  • Business Owners Success Club
  • Your Effortless Business
  • Book
  • Help Develop my Town
  • Failure U
  • TEDx Summit

I don’t know if I am farther ahead or farther behind. I do know I’m excited again.

How about you? What will you do with the first 100 days of 2012? What will your 100 day project be? How can I/we help you with that?

December 29, 2011 at 10:30 am Leave a comment

What Does it Take to Make an Effortless Business?

It comes down to 4 things:


You know where you are and where you are going.  You know how to do what you want to do.  You know when to ask for help and from whom.

You know your why.  Your Business Model is clear.  You have policies and procedures in place that everyone follows.  You have an effective financial system (mostly automated) giving you the feedback you need to keep you moving forward.

Most surprises are good ones.


Your business can run without your direct input for the day-to-day running.  Everything is in place so you can give it your all.

Your information is stored appropriately and in a way that makes retrieval easy.  All repetitive tasks are automated.


The people around you support you and the work you do.  Your team can articulate the common goal; they understand how they fit into the big picture, everyone shares similar values.  Everyone brings their own unique value and everyone appreciates the value others bring.  The team is compatible and able to work independently.  You practice effective delegation.  You coach your team to communicate, collaborate and cooperate.


You offer true value.  You can do the work efficiently and cost-effectively.  You bill appropriately and you make it easy for others to pay you.

You have a marketing system in place that attracts the right customers and makes what you offer clear.  People feel they are getting a great deal when they work with you.


What do you think?  Does that sound right to you?  Which of these do you do well?  Which would you like to work on next?

November 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm 1 comment

Older Posts

The Three Success Factors

I have worked closely with 100’s of business owners and I have seen too many struggle. I have seen what works and what doesn't.

It takes 3 things to succeed:
1. Hard work - and I know you do that already.
2. Knowledge - domain knowledge: you've got that and continue to learn; and business knowledge: this is where everyone focuses and it's easy to find
3. Mindset - This is the killer app. This is what makes or breaks small business owners.

We work on Mindset here at the Business Owners Success Club: how you think about yourself and your business.

When you focus on a business that gives you what you need to live a Good Life and gives others what they need to solve a problem, everything else falls into place and you have a successful business.

Using that as a framework we work on one aspect of business every month. February is "Your Place in Your Community" month.

In March we will open the doors to our online community. Stay Tuned.

Sign up here to play along.


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