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Chris LoCurto

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March 12, 2013

Ask Me Anything

Tomorrow I’m going into the studio for another Q & A EntreLeadership Podcast to answer YOUR questions.

Leadership

These episodes are always the most downloaded, so please feel free to ask whatever you would like in the comment section, and hopefully your question will make it to air.

Except, don’t ask about the time I was Siegfried and Roy’s tiger nutritionist. You change one diet… Anyway, it’s a little embarrassing.

Ask away, and please invite your circles to do so as well.

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  • Jay

    I’m experiencing extreme frustration with my business because I feel like I need to be 100% focused on it to make it work and grow, but I need the security of my day job paycheck and on the flip-side it seems as though people and other companies I’m trying to do business with don’t take me serious because I’m only working my business part-time. What can you tell me that would help me deal with this frustration that I’m having and give me peace of mind?

  • James

    Chris, could you explain your reading habit (which sounds phenomenal), how you schedule your time, and how you get the most out of your reading.

  • Cheryl Todd

    Is the podcast available yet? Sorry, I’m new to this forum. :)

  • DaramiC.

    I think this is too late but have a question that I’m dying for an answer to….What do I do with a long term (8year) team member that is very efficient, gets lots of work done per day, and reliable but has a terrible attitude. She rarely smiles, will not engage in conversation with the rest of the team, in fact doesn’t really get along with anyone and has recently become a little more antagonistic. When I confronted her, saying the antagonistic behavior had to stop, it has but it’s because she sits at her desk, won’t speak to anyone unless absolutely necessary to her job, frankly she seems miserable and in turn is making the rest of us miserable. I hire based on attitude, I feel awful, but is ok to fire based on attitude?

    • Cheryl Todd

      Your question has similarities to mine, and my situation before the person in my organization quit of her own accord, so I hope Chris & others will chime in here. It would seem that culture and morale are very important aspects of one’s business to protect, but firing over attitude…I can’t say I know the answer.

      • DaramiC

        Cheryl,
        Thank you for saying your situation is similar! I’m wishing she would just quit on her own accord but she is a steady eddie, very diligent and has an incredible sense of loyalty…don’t see her going anytime soon.
        She is seeing a doctor (although didn’t tell me, told another team member) and is hoping that they may shed light on her miserableness?? I don’t know, I daily waffle on this decision, which is extremely rare for me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/grimmrobert Robert Grimm

    Hey Chris I love your stuff. I am a chiropractor running a small practice and I want to grow. I do not have a widget to sell, except for myself, and I am limited on what I can say in advertisement due to law and perception. What advice would you give me to help me expand my practice.

  • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

    Chris, I just began creating and selling unique table centerpieces. I plan to expand to table lamps, and various other pieces. This week I sold my first centerpiece. What would you say my next three steps are as I begin this venture?

  • Nilsa S

    I am at the crossroads point. I have
    been reading and learning not only management, but also leadership.
    I have a no brainer job that pays really well because of how long I
    have been with the company. I hope to have a bachelors in 2 more years. I can listen to podcast, and practically study while I work by choosing lectures instead of local radio.

    But now I am getting to the point where I don’t really fit in with the ideas of my peers, yet I now have started to amass more knowledge then my supervisors and sometimes even more visions of leadership verses managing than senior management.

    When did you start feeling this crossroads point, when you saw both sides? And how did you keep from loosing your understanding of regular folk (line workers) in the company as you moved up the ladder?

    • Cheryl Todd

      Nilsa, For me, my personal pursuit of management and leadership training caused me to eclipse my business partner, who is also my husband. This was helpful in some ways, since, as a partner and owner, I had a legitimate voice and platform from which to speak…but it was also extremely stressful since I had no support from anyone once I realized that had to implement the things I was learning. Change is ALWAYS met with resistance…and my husband resisted in very clear (and sometimes very loudly vocal) terms, especially when the thing(s) that needed changing were in his care, and under his direct responsibility. Attending the Dave Ramsey EntreLeadership One Day, and listening to Dave’s EntreLeadership audio book helped to open areas of conversation and reduced my husband’s level of defensiveness to the point where we have made huge strides in us being able to CO-lead and CO-manage our staff of twelve in a short span of time. And lots of prayer along the way, I might add. All I can say is, God is GOOD! Perhaps you can schedule a meeting with your superiors and ask if there is room for you to grow into management within the company? Losing sight of line workers was never an issue, because without them (our most valuable asset), we – our company – are nothing and can achieve nothing. Keep a heart of servant leadership…always. Subject: [closblog] Re: Ask Me Anything

  • http://www.janabotkin.net/ Jana Botkin

    Wow, Chris, these comments contain at least a month’s worth of blog ideas for you! Looking forward to the podcast.

  • Will S

    I am a recent college grad and went from a small startup to a fortune 50 company in the last year. What 2-3 quick tips do you have for build relationships in this larger organization?

  • Joe Schelling

    My question is more of a “now what” type of question. I have been contacted to do some contract work with an agency and would like to grow it into a small business or at least more contract /freelance work. Do I start with a blog, start a company (it’s in social work so just assume I don’t and won’t have money), how do I market myself? At least if I knew where to turn for first steps?

  • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

    What are the challenges you have faced in the quest for balance in your faith, family and work?

  • http://unknownjim.com/ Jim Woods

    Chris, how do you know when it’s time to admit failure and start over in your business?

  • http://twitter.com/Feelmore510 Oakland’ #1 Sex Shop

    Chris, im 2 years into my business, Feelmore510 Adult Gallery, im always looking at ways to increase business yet its always the scrnario(cart before the horse or rock & a hard place). Any suggestions for a young business that is getting trough the tough times on how to grow financially?

  • http://www.tammyhelfrich.com/ Tammy Helfrich

    What is the most important advice you would give to someone wanting to start their own business?

  • http://twitter.com/BarryWThompson Barry Thompson

    I have been following the podcast simply for teaching and importance on leadership. But recently have been wanting to start a new business on the side for online retail. If idea is 10 percent and marketing is 90, how do you get your widgets out there fast and debt free? My widget is is disc golf frisbee if that helps.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tom.ziglar Tom Ziglar

    Seth Godin says that the most scarce commodity in the connection economy is Trust. Zig Ziglar said that there are 5 reasons people don’t buy – no need, no want, no hurry, no money, and no trust. The biggest of these is Trust. Chris, what are the 3 most common things that people/companies do that destroy Trust?

  • http://www.TexasTigerRock.com/ Steve Barkley

    I am considering attending the EntreLeadership event in Austin but I am not sure it would be relevant for me. I have a small business (martial arts school) but it is probably not the size of most of the businesses you deal with. Most of our employees are part time. Would it make sense for me to attend? If so, why?

    • Laura Johnson

      Have you read the book?
      I don’t own a business and I attended a one-day event.

      • http://www.TexasTigerRock.com/ Steve Barkley

        Thank you for the feedback! I have read the book, I just didn’t know if the seminar was geared to larger businesses. Thanks again.

        • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

          Not at all. Go.

          You will learn more than enough to be worth the time and financial investment.

          • http://www.TexasTigerRock.com/ Steve Barkley

            OK, I’m going to attend. Thanks for the advice everyone!

            • KTEWSON

              Good choice. Book it and prepare for it. You will benefit greatly…in a big business, small business or no business, like Lily said. And dont ask “should I”, ask “how can I?” :)

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

          I attended the simulcast of the one-day event last fall. I don’t even own a business and I still found it really helpful!

  • http://www.softskillsforhardjobs.com/ Jim Ryan

    How do you build trust among your leadership team?

  • Stephen Ross

    Company minutes as s corp. we lost our company minutes as a s S crop. What and how to recreate them? Need to redo past few years. I think many business out there as s corp forget to do this as well and as we get started get so focused on doing business and don’t do the compliance part.

  • http://www.LazerDesigns.com JosiahG

    How do you effectively implement a performance based pay system, moving away from the, perhaps, entitlement culture of an annual raise “just for putting in your time”? What are your ideas on making the transition work and making the entire system work?

  • Cheryl Todd

    My question is, “How much responsibility rests with management (my husband & me, who are owner / managers) to meet the needs of individual staff members?” Specifically, we had a lady who quit because she didn’t feel like we liked her (joked with, interacted with, etc) as well, and as often, as we did with other team members – and being a small, family business, this felt like a personal failure on my part. Did I let her, and myself, down by not finding a way to retain her? She was with us for 2 of our 6 years of business.
    ~Cheryl Todd

    • http://www.janabotkin.net/ Jana Botkin

      Sounds like Big Baby Syndrome to me – did you have clues such as pouting, silent treatment, snippy responses? And did she have a replacement job lined up?

      Wow, this question sure triggered irritation in me – toward your employee Cheryl, not you!

      • Cheryl Todd

        Jana,

        Sounds like you have some experience with this kind of situation!

        My lady didn’t have an alternate job lined up, but the moods you mentioned were very prevalent. She was highly defensive, and read negatives into perfectly benign conversations and interactions on a regular basis.
        Wow…I guess that helps me realize how little responsibility and control I had over her leaving afterall! Thanks for your question! But, it’s sad when things can’t be salvaged.
        Subject: [closblog] Re: Ask Me Anything

  • Steve Pate

    So, I’m working on building a “platform” and I’m taking in tons of info and digesting what works for me in my field. My question is about blogging, When do you start building a blog page and what product is out there that is user friendly?

    -okay I’ll be honest, I just want to be like the rock stars on your commentators list who have blogs too! not really but really!!!

    Thanks Chris, your the first blog page I started following of some one who I didn’t know and it took about 10 months of listening to your pod cast to convince me to check it out. And I’m ever so thankful that I did. Keep being you!

    • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

      “When” is different for everyone. You need to make sure that you are definitely ready to commit for the long haul.

      Use WordPress. Ideally, get hosting with your own domain name and install the WordPress there. Otherwise, go ahead and use WordPress.com. It is arguably the best platform to use.

      Others will undoubtedly have better suggestions and advice.

      • Steve Pate

        Thanks Joshua, If I remember right, are you in the camping/retreat world too?

        • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

          No, I’m not. But it sounds like it would be fun! I’ve started a web design and development business. Maybe I’ll do a web design camp… :)

          • KTEWSON

            That got my attention! Do it Joshua! I have interest in learning more about that. I need to subscribe to your blog so I dont miss any of your latest great blog and simulcast ideas!

            • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

              Is there anything specific you’d like to learn about? I’ve been thinking about putting together some tutorials.

              And, yes, you need to subscribe:)

    • http://www.janabotkin.net/ Jana Botkin

      Steve, Michael Hyatt has great info about starting a self-hosted blog. I used it to start a second blog, and it took longer than he said, but it is possible to do it. He recently updated the video instruction for it. It’s at michaelhyatt.com and is free. It’s in the right sidebar about 6 items down. If you get stuck, email me and I’ll help you.

      • Steve Pate

        Thanks Jana you ROCK! Yea I started listening to Michael this month. And I will defiantly check out his material. Blessings

        • http://www.janabotkin.net/ Jana Botkin

          Heehee, Steve, I bet you meant to “definitely” check out his material rather than “defiantly” – although I guess you can be defiant if you want!

          • Steve Pate

            ahh shoot THANKS!LOL Spelling is not one of my strong suits!

            • http://www.janabotkin.net/ Jana Botkin

              I can help you with that – want me to proofread when you set up the blog? I seem to have a bit of a typo disorder – sort of manifests itself like Tourette’s, with me shouting TYPO! at the most inopportune and inappropriate moments. (My husband can’t take me anywhere. . .)

  • Justin Bloxham

    In a leadership role; should you be friends with staff members and direct reports on social media such as FaceBook? I do not post anything on my pages that my mother wouldn’t approve of, so it isn’t that I would be worried about that! What are your thoughts?

  • Joel

    Tough week so far. This Friday is the first time I will have to conduct layoffs at our company. It’s embarrassing and uncomfortable. Since we are a technology company, there is a lot of potential for damage. Have you had to do this? If so, How do you recommend the execution of layoffs?

    • Steve Pate

      that is a tough one, just make sure you treat them the way you want to be treated.

  • Debra

    How can I motivate without shoving? ;)

    • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

      I’ve found that kicking works just as well.

  • http://twitter.com/2ndLeicester Kathy Leicester

    Vision: how do you cast and maintain the vision for the team, given the different personality types, length of time with the organization, age….?

  • Charles aubrey

    What is the best way to inspire other team members to be positive. Where I’m at is a bad culture but I will remain positive. How do I bridge the gap from negative attitude to positive without alienating myself or others?

  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    My question may be a more on a more personal level, but you said to ask anything…

    How’s your daughter doing? How has her health crisis impacted your leadership? How did the Dave Ramsey organization rally around you? And how do you suggest our organizations deal with these kinds of life events when they happen to our team members?

    • http://twitter.com/2ndLeicester Kathy Leicester

      Love this question, Jon. I think the way the Ramsey team embraces this type of issue is one of the key ways they are set apart. And one of the ways I want to emulate them.
      How do they integrate this type of issue into the life of the team?

      • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

        It’s interesting. I’ve had so many recent incidents of team members having family health issues. I want to do the best job supporting them. I’m looking forward to hearing Chris’ response.

    • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

      I would love to hear this, too!

    • Steve Pate

      agreed.

    • http://www.softskillsforhardjobs.com/ Jim Ryan

      Me too.

    • Laura Johnson

      It would be amazing to hear the answers to these questions! :)

    • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

      Good one Jon.

      One day I will share how they rallied around my wife when she went through a health challenge. It is pretty remarkable.

      • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

        I’ll look forward to hearing this story. I know I’ve experienced support from my boss during two family health crises during my time at my company. I’m so thankful for the support.

    • Wade_Thorson

      Excellent question Jon both on the personal level and how the Ramsey organization showed their support. I am sure this would be an example why they have been ranked as the number 1 employer in that area I believe.

      • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

        And this is one of the reasons I look forward to reading the response. I want to do my part to make my organization a number 1 employer in my area.

    • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

      Perfect question — life happens – how do we deal with our team members when crisis occurs.

      • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

        …it’s easier to answer this question when it happens to a performer. What happens when it happens to someone who has been struggling with their performance?

        • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

          Good point, Jon!

  • John Hopper

    Chris,
    How do you know it’s time to leave one leadership role to pursue a better opportunity for your family and financial well being?

    • http://twitter.com/2ndLeicester Kathy Leicester

      Yes. Yes. Yes to this question.

  • Wade_Thorson

    In regards to Dreams, Visions, Mission Statements and goal setting, do you write out a statement in all four areas? I understand mission statements and goals. And then I could see writing out maybe a vision, but I am having a tough time understanding the difference between the Dreams and Visions and then do you typically write out a statement for both.
    Thanks.

    • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

      Awesome question! (Here comes a shameless plug…) This question was actually addressed as I interviewed someone last week for my podcast. The episode should be out on March 26. It focuses mainly on core values, but we talk about the role of the others as well.

      • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

        I’ll have to ask @Mark Sieverkropp what’s the policy on shameless plugs

        • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

          Probably the same as the policy on frilly toothpicks…I’m For ‘Em!

          • Laura Johnson

            Frilly toothpicks…?

            • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

              It’s from a Mitch Hedberg joke:

              I order the club sandwich all the time, but I’m not even a member, man. I don’t know how I get away with it. How’d it start anyway?

              I like my sandwiches with three pieces of bread.

              So do I!

              Well let’s form a club then.

              Alright, but we need more stipulations.

              Yes we do; instead of cutting the sandwich once, let’s cut it again.

              Yes, four triangles, and we will position them into a circle. In the middle we will dump chips.

              Or potato salad.

              Okay.

              I got a question for ya, how do you feel about frilly toothpicks?

              I’m for ’em!

              Well this club is formed; spread the word on menus nationwide.

              I like my sandwiches with alfalfa sprouts.

              Well then you’re not in the club!

  • Mike

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the great source of advice.

    My question is similar to one below, I have no positional authority. I have seventeen years of successful experience in a range of applicable disciplines. Do you have any tips on crossing the line from valuable associate to the first level of formal leadership? I lead, build up and influence all the time. I haven’t stayed at one place for more than three years, each time lured by the possibility of growth and leadership opportunity. I could stay put longer and use patience, or I can search for a lateral move that has some management authority.

    Thank you,

    Mike

    • http://twitter.com/2ndLeicester Kathy Leicester

      I could have written this one, Chris, thanks. I’d like to second the question.

  • http://www.toddliles.com/ Todd Liles

    Chris, I struggle with the guilt of having a balanced life. As a workaholic, I feel guilty and lazy when I turn work off. I know that I am more productive when I take the time to rest, but the drive part of me says “You have more to do!” And, I really do. My business is no where near what I want it to be. So, the question is, “How do you (Chris LoCurto) deal with this in your life?” (If you deal with this.) Thanks!

    • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

      There’s an “off” button? Interesting concept…

  • Tony

    I would love to hear your thoughts a bit on “keeping up with the jones” in business. My wife and I run a business where we have at least 2 other competitors in our local area. I have found that when ever we spend time looking at what the competition is doing, we get down on what we have going on. I have never felt the need to keep up with the jones at home, but seem to fall into this idea in our business. Any thoughts?

  • Shawn W.

    Chris, I know this information in Entreleadership can rasie the bar for our company. The only thing is we have leaders who just don’t get it. We have 40-50 employees & I come in contact with 90% of them daily. The majority would jump through walls for ths family based business. I thought I would buy all the leaders the book EntreLeadership, but figured it would be a waste of money. I am living this stuff the best I can with no positional power, but tyring to encourage our team when I see great work being done. We rarely get our good deeds noticed & we rarely here from our leaders on the state of our company (usually once or twice a year). I am living the no gossip policy even though it is not something that is even close to being implemented. I can see how my actions are effecting others but I have no way of raising that bar any higher. Somedays I just want out & am a bit fearful to press leadership on these issues. What can one employee(team member) do to effect change when leaders thing status quo is working & change would be too hard?

    • http://twitter.com/2ndLeicester Kathy Leicester

      Shawn, I work in a similar place. Thanks so much for asking the question, and providing the context.

    • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

      Great question! I have thoughts floating through my head, but I’d love to hear this answered on the show!

  • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

    When getting ready to attend a conference (i.e. EntreLeadership One-day in April), what would be some great ways to prepare beforehand?

    I’ve never been to a conference like the EL, but I’d like to prepare beforehand so I can get as much out of it as possible.

    • KTEWSON

      Joshua, Obviously, I would love to hear Chris’ thoughts on how to prepare for an EL conference, but from a previous Master Series attender would it be alright with you to share my experience and opinion on this sort of question?

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        Even if Joshua says no (he won’t) I say yes. :)

        • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

          Thanks, Matt

      • http://twitter.com/2ndLeicester Kathy Leicester

        Yes-squared!

      • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

        Excuse me, but I believe that I asked Chris the question!

        Ok, I’m over it. I’d definitely like to hear (read) your experience. In fact, others (except Matt) can share their’s as well. :)

        • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

          I’ll probably share some of this on my blog/podcast. I won’t mention names without permission, though.

        • KTEWSON

          You guys are too funny! I still dont know how to fully grasp the ins and outs of blogs and feeds. Joshua, you are a regular here, but anyone who has a comment….What would you say is the maximum number of characters that should be used in a feed like this? If its less than half the amount I just used, it wont hurt my feelings. Be honest. I want to have a better understanding of whats “social media acceptible”. :)

          • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

            There is a character limit. I think @Matt_McWilliams:disqus holds the record for longest posts… previously held by @Scott Kerzner

            • KTEWSON

              :) Awesome! My competitors. I’ll have to look into that.

    • KTEWSON

      well then for the rest of you who are open for suggestions:1. It sounds so cliche….but DO PRAY…throughout the days and weeks before attending…that is if you even know that much in advance that you’re going to attend.   It is very likely that God will show up there too, so just be prepared to hear from Him!  Pray He shows you what He wants you to learn there.  I learned some heavy stuff that wasnt even uttered from the mouth of many wise leaders there.  Ask your friends and family to join you in praying for you as well.  2.  DO READ THE ENTRELEADERSHIP BOOK before attending the event.  I find most people attending are already familiar with EntreLeadership and the principles and culture within it. I know many following the threads here are seasoned leadership gurus but for those who aren’t, you will find the conference will be far less overwhelming!3. For the sake of practicality, DO BE VERY INTENTIONAL IN THE PREPARATION OF THE EVENT.  Prepare your family schedule and business schedule for this conference. It is crucial to not have the distractions of family schedule logistics and important urgent business matters lurking in the day(s) leading up to the event and the day (s) following the event…you can greatly benefit from debriefing your fresh thoughts and journaling after the event is over. I would imagine they will be cramming in lots off information if it is just a 1 day event. *Consider booking a 1 night stay after the close of the event at a local hotel if that’s what it takes to find a place for quietness and clarity while the information is fresh on your mind.4. DO MEET AND KEEP IN TOUCH WITH OTHER ATTENDERS!  Boy, writing all this is painful.  I never intriduced myself to anyone the entire week!  I was pretty self absorbed in my despair. Yuck!  But 1 lady was so kind to invite me for coffee during one of the breaks. It meant more than she will ever know!! Sniff.Because about a dozen other things came to mind, I’ll stop there.  My disclaimer: I did not do any of the above, myself, before attending the Entre Master Series last fall .  I have very little knowledge of anything in the business/leadership arena.  What I do have is the plethora of the lessons I have learned in my years of mistakes made, my bad habits and painful experiences in my life.  So, there you have it: Kelly’s Top 4 Entre-To-Dos…or TO DONT’S if you will. If I knew how and if I had the time, to get my own blog page up and running, I would love to make this topic my very first Blog. At least my mistakes would not have gone in vain, right?

      • http://twitter.com/2ndLeicester Kathy Leicester

        Joshua, I can’t thank you enough for your answer. For a number of reasons: the reminder that prayer is #1 and #-always; the vulnerability of confessing that you didn’t do what you now know you need to do; admitting that you, too, despair (which grabs me on a regular basis); be intentional…. All of it.
        Thank you.

      • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

        This is great! Thanks!

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

      Get your networking gear out! Stock up on business cards, update your online profiles, post something awesome on your blog. Start connecting with attendees on social media and promote the event before, during and after…. Wait I’m going to the Performance Series on Sunday! I’d better start listening to my own advice!

      • KTEWSON

        Awesome, Lily! Great advice. Where were you (or where was my head) the week before my event? Yet another lesson learned. This really hurts! Joshua, please DO do a blog on EL preparations! I hope Chris is getting all of this too! :)

        • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

          I’ll definitely blog about it. I may podcast about it, too.

      • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

        Thanks, Lily! I did schedule a tweet to go out calling for those that are attending. I’ll do a more concentrated effort later, too.

        Oh, and everything I post on my blog is awesome! :)

      • Steve Pate

        great words of wisdom right there folks!!!

    • Laura Johnson

      Flat LoCurto

      • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

        I hear that he’ll show up! If he does, I’ll provide some lodging for him.

  • http://twitter.com/Ceronomas steven sarff

    How much adverstising should be done? How do you decide which medium to use? I read in some articles 20% of your budget should be adverstising but suspect that that amount was set up….by the advertising companys. Any thoughts or resources on this would be great!

    • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

      I’m interested to hear Chris’ take, but that is a very subjective question. It totally depends on the industry.

      I’ve got clients (and have worked for) companies where advertising is 40-50% of their costs. These were otherwise low overhead companies (i.e. payroll, rent, etc. made/make up less than 20%).

      When starting out, advertising might be 70%. If you are a solopreneur trying to get started with little overhead otherwise, 70% might even be low.

      I’ve also worked in industries where it is more in the 20%, range depending on what you classify as “advertising” (i.e. affiliates, salary for in-house team members in marketing).

    • http://jonahenry.com/ Jon Henry

      I’m going to bombard you with a ton of questions, mainly because these are the questions I ask myself every time I create an advertising campaign. If you want to answer them here, I would be glad to give you more specific feedback on what I’ve done based on your situation.

      What stage is your business in (startup or well established)?What and why are you planning to advertise?

      Are you looking to create demand for a company or product someone has never heard about? Are you aiming to remind people about something? Are you wanting to match a competitor’s advertising campaign? Are you going to advertise post-purchase to improve satisfaction and prevent returns?

      Is what you are advertising something that someone purchases routinely (toothpaste, beer), or something that involves a great deal of research (cars)? How much research do customers do in order to make a purchasing decision? Are there alternatives that are actively advertised?

      Are you advertising to existing customers with sales promotion (coupons)? Are there other ways to create demand?

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

      Steven, there’s great info on this post http://chrislocurto.com/chris-guillebeau-extended-interview/

      • http://twitter.com/2ndLeicester Kathy Leicester

        Lily, you’re again a fountain of wisdom. I’ve bookmarked the link to listen to later. This blog and all the encouragement and teaching has my creativity kicked into high(er) gear. Thanks!

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

          Thanks Kathy, you’re too kind. I don’t know about wisdom as much as it is being the resident blog stalker… :0)

  • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

    Before Dave was a national brand and you had 200+ applicants for a single position , what were some of the creative ways you attracted/recruited top talent to the team? (Or were your top people more homegrown?)

    • Steve Pate

      great one

      • http://www.softskillsforhardjobs.com/ Jim Ryan

        Agreed

    • Laura Johnson

      I like

    • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

      Like, Like, Like.

  • Coy

    Currently there’s so much stress and pressure at work (real estate industry), may I ask any practical tips on how to be tough but not overbearing or disrespectful?

  • http://www.facebook.com/colin.krieger.92 Colin Krieger

    Chris,
    I run a newspaper where we have seven team members on our core team. The most productive team member I have is also our biggest critic. This team member often is critical or judgemental of others work when i talk with her, whether or not that work affects hers directly or not.
    How do you deal with an All Star who is too concerned with others performance?
    Colin in Columbus

    Also, it appears you never sleep. Teach me how to do that.

    • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

      Wow. That is an awesome question Colin!

      • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

        Which one? The one about the team member or the one about not sleeping? :)

        • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

          The question about the all star.

          • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

            I like to sleep, but I’d like to hear Chris’ response to the no sleeping question as well. :)

            • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

              Stock up on Dillanos…I’d say is the answer

              • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

                That would explain a lot…

        • http://jonahenry.com/ Jon Henry

          You know how they say dolphins are really smart fish? Well, dolphins don’t sleep. There’s probably a correlation.

  • Deborah

    I would love to see a weekly Entreleadership podcast. How soon can you guys and Becky make this happen? Thanks so much for all you do!