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Monthly Archives: March 2011

Deadliest Catch is Coming Back – Small Business Lessons

This is a respost of the most popular post ever on OCBizBlog. The Emmy® Award-winning DEADLIEST CATCH returns to Discovery Channel on Tuesday, April 19 at 10 pm ET/PT

I watch TV.

Most of it sucks.

Deadliest Catch does not.

Part of its appeal is not so much the drama of fishing on the Bering Sea but riding along with Sig and Jonathan and the rest of the guys and watching them lead, manage and operate their small businesses.

Here are five key things I take away:

1.  Know Who You Are.

dc5You hear it time and time again but it bears repeating.  If you are not crystal clear about what you do and why you are doing it, no one else will be.  Most of the Deadliest Catch guys are second or third generation fisherman.  It’s not like they have identity issues.  But for many of us forging a new path, we sometimes question if it is the right one. Don’t.  Be bold.  Build a boat and launch it.  It’s the only way to get collaborators and customers on board.

2.  Fish for Crab.  Don’t Herd Cats.

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Know your market.  And don’t waste time going up and down different channels and pockets of opportunity you THINK will pan out.  Find your freakin’ crab.  Know everything about them.  And make sure they are keepers.  You want big fat crab, not kitties.  Kitties are solo and hide and want to be left alone.  You want customers that are part of a tribe, hanging out together, waiting to be scooped up and…well…not eaten….but you know.

3.  It’s Gonna Get Rough Sometimes.

dc2It’s not easy.  90% of businesses are gone in five years.  It’s usually money or poor planning or not knowing #1 or #2.  No matter what you do it is going to take a herculean effort to break into calm waters where MAYBE one day you can coast for awhile.  And as soon as you do, another boat passes you by or a storm kicks up and you’re right back in it.  It ain’t easy, I know firsthand, but dammit, you just have to power through.

4.  Form a Band of Brothers.

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Gotta have a crew.  Even if you are running solo, you need to have a group of peers you can meet with to bounce ideas off of and hold you accountable.  Otherwise you’ll start to feel sorry for yourself because the crazy idea you had isn’t quite working out.  Well guess what?  That idea was crazy.  And you didn’t know it because you kept it all locked up in your head.  Get out there.  Get some partners.  Collaborate.  Help people. It will all come back.

5.  There Has To be a Big Payoff.

dc6Come on.  I mean why are you busting your ass?  It’s no fun if you’re not building something that will take you somewhere.  Somthing that excites you because it opens the door to other possibilities.  Dream big or go home.  Watch Jonathan when the Time Bandit is on crab.  He’s like a kid.  THAT’S when it gets fun.  That’s when your hard work pays off.  Because you’ve done #1-4 and now there’s a reward.  Go out and do the same.  Get yours. You deserve it.

 

By |March 30th, 2011|misc|10 Comments

Orange County’s Dianne Whitmire Lands Back at Carson Toyota

 

We have written about superstar car saleswoman Dianne Whitmire before.

She embodies everything you could hope for in a sales and marketing leader.

She’s a doer.  She’s a closer.  She’s passionate about her work.  She has a geeky kind of reverence for it.  Just check out what they say about her over at Prius Chat.

Any small business must have someone who will go to any length to satisfy a customer and service the heck out of them.  The marketing soon starts to take care of itself as word of mouth spreads, especially if you are leveraging it online.

Dianne was one of the first Prius salespeople on Prius Chat and it has paid off.  If you do a search for her name you will find countless stories of people sharing their buying experience with Dianne.  Mostly you will read about how honest and knowledgeable she was and how far she was willing to go to meet the buyer’s demands.

After making the change from Northern California Toyota stores, she began her Southern California Toyota career in 1998 at Carson Toyota and now she is back as Fleet Sales Director.  That means all you So Cal folks who are in the market for a Toyota and want to buy it from someone you trust can just head up or down the 405 a little ways instead – right off the freeway!

When you find people who just get it, you stick with them and you let other people know…hey here’s an exception to the rule.  And don’t take it just from us.  There are a lot of Dianne fans out there.  And for good reason.  If you want to reach Dianne you can send her an email at dianne@carsontoyota.com

TED Talk: Richard St. John on Success

By |March 26th, 2011|misc|4 Comments

Cal Net Technology Group Windows 7 Luncheon in Anaheim

This is happening today.  If you are interested in knowing where and when the next one is, let us know.

 

Guy Kawasaki’s Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions

This is a marketing blog, so I will assume you know who Guy Kawasaki is.  For anyone who doesn’t, Guy is the founder of Alltop.com and Garage Technology Ventures, has written nine books including The Art of the Start, Reality Check, Rules for Revolutionaries and  How to Drive Your Competition Crazy.  He was the chief evangelist at Apple and got his MBA from UCLA after attending Stanford as an undergrad.

Enchantment is a sort of cross between Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People and basically anything written by Malcolm Gladwell.

I have to admit that when I received my copy (full disclosure –  this blog is listed on the Alltop site and I was lucky enough to get a free review copy of this book), I was skeptical.

OK that sounds corny and infomercial-like but the subject matter just seemed played out to me.

But Guy’s approach turned it into a unique and valuable read.  He tackles everything from how to use technology (push and pull) to launching, being likable, even dressing and  swearing properly (no effing joke).

Enchantment is a treasure chest of tactics.  Gladwell may tell you what and why but Guy tells you how and he backs it up with research.  At first you think it will be all fluffy the cat but it gets dog deep into details. You get the sense that Influence by Robert Cialdini, was a motivator for Guy and it would make sense as Cialdini was his marketing professor at Stanford.

One of the cool things I like about the book is that there is a test at the end.  A test? Yes, a test.  Who the hell puts a test in a book?  Someone who really really wants you to understand his core concepts.   I liked that.  Again, at first I thought it was geez this is silly but then I got caught up in the challenge and found it a clever way to create lifelong learning teachable moment.

It’s a 200 page book broken down into 12 chapters and every chapter ends with a boxed out section of someone’s personal story which relates back to the chapter subject.  So in Chapter 6, for example, How to Overcome Resistance, you have the story of Richard Fawl, CEO of WatchParty in Austin, Texas and how his resistance to using sticky notes as a planning tool was overcome.  It’s another nice little touch that Guy used to drive home the point that it was a tactical book – one to be used not just shelved.

I don’t recommend every book I read or every one that comes as a free review copy.  But this one I highly recommend. The book is approachable, charming and likable, just like its author.  It’s a good book by a good Guy.

 

Are You Double Dream Hands Commited to Your Business?

from YouTube:

“John Jacobson teaches his original choreography for the song Planet Rock. Planet Rock is an original composition of John Jacobson and all credit goes to him. The original video is also available for free viewing on his website at Music Express Magazine.
This video has been posted with full permission from John Jacobson and the Music Express Magazine. Enjoy the video, and may your double dream hands stay dreamy!”

His commitment landed him on Ellen too:

By |March 18th, 2011|misc|6 Comments