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Chris LoCurto

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March 7, 2017

The Little Things That Create the Vast Gap Between First and Second Place

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“However your family turns out, whatever happens with your business, your organization, or your team…at the end of it all, whether you have produced a disaster or a masterpiece, it will have been created one small brushstroke at a time. So sweat the small stuff. Seriously.

Today I have on the show my good friend Andy Andrews. Andy is a bestselling novelist, speaker, and consultant for the world’s largest organizations. He has spoken at the request of four different United States presidents. Andy is the author of multiple New York Times bestsellers, including The Traveler’s Gift and The Noticer.

We dive into why people are so offended all of the time, the difference between the “the truth” and “what sounds true,” the little things that create the vast gap between first and second place, and challenging conventional wisdom.

Here’s what you’ll discover:

  • The cure for a society that has become constantly offended by something or someone
  • How to use the question “Why?” to multiply the success of any endeavor (and the exact moments at which you should ask it)
  • How to identify the smallest details that ensure the greatest success
  • I ask, “If you could go back in time, what would you tell a young Andy?”
  • How to gain ground in the huge wide world that is beyond you
  • How to know what you don’t know

Listen here:

Resources:

 

Thanks for listening folks!

If you enjoyed the podcast, please share it! Check out the social media buttons on the pop-up side bar, or at the bottom of the post.

Let us know…Reviews are insanely helpful. I read each and every one of them! Please leave an honest review for Chris LoCurto Show Podcast.

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Chris LoCurto

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March 3, 2017

85% of Business Owners Are Stuck In Their Job

how to grow business, scale business model

Do you worry about your business never being able to run without you?

I learned the other day the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 85% of U.S. businesses depend on the owner to run the day-to-day operations.

So chances are that if you own a business, you’re in the 85%, and to top it all, there’s no clear plan for changing it.

I’ve met and helped thousands of business owners in the last two decades, and I know that even though most of them enjoy working and growing a business, they also want the results of owning a business.

Results like more flexibility in their daily schedule, time for family, hobbies, and vacations, and solid personal income.

I’ve known countless owners who don’t make anywhere close to what they pay their team members!

It’s something few owners want to share publicly, but it’s incredibly common.

And they’re caught in a crazy cycle of not knowing exactly how to scale their business so it’s not dependent on them, and being too busy to learn how or implement change, so they stay stuck.

I’ve been there, I know what it’s like to wonder if you can lead a team to success and grow a business without feeling like you’re climbing a new mountain every single day.

I know what it’s like to struggle in growing a business and wondering if it’s going to be an EVERY…DAY…FIGHT!

The good news is I’ve discovered systems to make every team successful and every business profitable. 

My team and I have taken that very information, and have helped thousands of leaders to do the same while creating team buy-in, greater revenues, and considerably less conflict along the way.

Now here’s the thing…the problem isn’t your leadership, the problem is that you haven’t been taught HOW to overcome these obstacles and make the changes stick.

We have an event that teaches a 3-part system on how to grow your business by scaling it correctly, lead your team more effectively, and fuel growth with proven marketing and sales processes.

It’s called the Next-Level Leadership LIVE Event.

The first part is where we teach you how to lead each team member to greater productivity and performance, how to move each team member from unhealthy conflict to unity, and how you can boost each team member’s productivity by learning how they are NATURALLY motivated.

The second part is where we focus on you as a leader by teaching you how high performing leaders accomplish their highest priorities, maintain mental strength, and scale their business with excellence.

And finally, we focus on growing your business by showing you how to market and attract more people who are JUST LIKE your best customers today, win more customers in less time and with less hassle, and keep more people coming back to do business with you.

You’ll leave the event with greater communication to get the highest productivity, greater leadership skills to lead your team more confidently, and repeatable systems to drive greater, more predictable growth.

You’ll be on the path of growing a business, not a lifelong job, and bust out of the 85% of owners who are stuck in their business.

So if you’re ready to go from stress, failure, and lack of confidence in your leadership, to team unity, focus, and successful growth in your business, register today for the Next-Level Leadership LIVE Event right now!

 

Chris LoCurto

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February 28, 2017

4 Examples of Everyday Leadership in Action – Part II

February 28, 2017 | By | No Comments">No Comments

 

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“I’m here to become a better father, husband, and leader.”

Today we are continuing the conversation from 4 Examples of Everyday Leadership in Action on how leaders are dealing with setting direction, focus, task saturation and stress in business and leadership every day.  We have three VERY special guests on the show today. Our clients and friends are giving their perspective as CEOs, Presidents, and entrepreneurs on walking out next-level leadership.

This episode is all about our clients who have been with us for years, giving you the unscripted answers and stories on how they’re leading their team members to success. We dive into:

  • How they have solved task saturation in their leadership roles
  • Shot gun approach vs. focus in leadership
  • How to finish what you start as a team
  • Mental, physical, and spiritual health as a leader
  • How to manage overwhelm

 Listen here:

Learn what these leaders are implementing everyday in their business, making DNA in their culture. Register for the Next-Level Leadership Live Event here: chrislocurto.com/events

Resources:

Thanks for listening folks!

If you enjoyed the podcast, please share it! Check out the social media buttons on the pop-up side bar, or at the bottom of the post.

Let us know…Reviews are insanely helpful. I read each and every one of them! Please leave an honest review for Chris LoCurto Show Podcast.

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Chris LoCurto

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February 23, 2017

The Secret To Overcoming Fear Of Failure (And The Root Cause)

February 23, 2017 | By | No Comments">No Comments

fear of failure, overcome fear

Have you ever noticed that success in business, life, and leadership has so much to do with overcoming fear of failure?

Perhaps you know people or maybe you are someone who grew up in a “suck it up” or “failure isn’t an option” home.

Or you’ve experienced failures in the past, and family or friends responded in a way that left you feeling not good enough.

Failure isn’t the problem though. Failure is a part of life.

It’s the fear of failure that jacks a person up, and it’s a lack of perspective on WHY it’s jacking you up and where it came from in your life that holds you back.

One place it can come from is a parent who always gave you a reason to not do something.

“Don’t do that, Paul, or you’ll get hurt.”

Another place it comes from is how people responded to you when you failed.

“Paul, you’re such an idiot! Don’t you know better than to do that!”

Or maybe failure just wasn’t an option for you. Excellence was expected, and if you didn’t perform, disappointment instantly set in.

Any of these scenarios can train you to fear failure.

The thing is, failure is one of the greatest teachers. Without it, we have to trust that we know everything to be successful in every situation. The truth is, we don’t!

When I see leaders who carry the same broken belief system of “no failure allowed”, I usually find it’s because they have been held to the same impossible standard by someone in their past as well.

Experiences like these leave a giant deposit in what I call your Root System.

Your Root System

What’s Root System?

We are all the sum of what’s happened in our past, and the influence we’ve allowed in. That makes up the Root System, and that’s from where we make every decision.

We go super deep into discovering your Root System in our 1-on-1 Next-Level Life event.

And that includes decisions like fearing failure. Yep, fear is a choice.

The tough truth to face is that all influence is allowed in.

next-level life, create a plan for your life

It doesn’t get locked into our brain unless we let it. Until we choose to believe it, it’s just a suggestion.

For me, knowing I have a say about the influence I allow in, who I spend time with, and that we can learn how to be less fearful is freeing!

This means success is rooted in the quality of our decisions, and great decisions are made with great perspective.

Gaining Perspective

Here are 9 questions to ask yourself to gain perspective and overcome fear of failure.

1. DO I HAVE CLEAR, QUALITY PERSPECTIVE?

You have to ask why. Why this, why that, why? Dig, dig, dig. Get as much information as you can. Talk to as many people as you can. Talk to your leaders, talk to your team.

Get great, clear perspective. How much time do I have to gain perspective? Go ballistic. Gather as much information as you can.

2. WHAT AM I AFRAID OF?

What am I afraid of in making this decision? Where’s my fear here? What is causing me to worry? What is causing me concern?

Do I have enough perspective on that? Do I have enough information on what it looks like when it does work out, and when it doesn’t work out?

Look at everything that’s causing you to be afraid of making the decision.

3. IS THIS A FEAR-BASED DECISION?

Is somebody pushing me? Is somebody pressuring me? Is a situation pressuring me? Am I making the decision because of fear?

4. WHAT OPTIONS NEED TO BE REMOVED? 

Start removing things from the table.

Those would be elements that you can say, “if this is going to be the outcome, then ‘no’ is the answer. I’m not going to do this.” Start removing those pieces.

Start removing excuses. For example:

Excuse: “I don’t know if we can get this done in this time frame.”

Challenge it: Why not? Are there things holding you up, or is this more important than other things?

5. WHAT IS THE IMPACT?

Questions to ask to determine the impact: How is this going to impact my team? How is this going to impact our revenues? Is this going to have a negative effect? If it failed miserably, could put a huge dent in our finances?

If the answer is “yes” to any of these, yank it off the table, period. If the answer is no, the outcome can be controlled. This is a variable situation.

6. IS THIS A LONG-TERM, SHORT-TERM, OR PERMANENT DECISION?

How long will I, or my team, have to live with this decision? What’s the impact of that? Is that acceptable?

7. WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF WE DON’T MAKE A DECISION?

What happens if we don’t? Is everything going to be okay? Is everything going to be copacetic, same as always? Or is that going to impact us in a negative way?

What if we don’t pull the trigger on this bad boy? Does that, all of a sudden, cut opportunities out from underneath us? Look at that possibility.

8. WHAT’S THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN?

What’s the worst thing that could possibly happen?

What’s the likelihood of it? On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “it’s unlikely” 10 being “yeah, it will abso-stinkin-lutely happen”, determine the possibility of worst case scenario.

9. HOW DO I FEEL ABOUT THE DECISION?

How do I feel about this process? What is your gut saying? If you have done all of these things and if you still feel weird in your stomach about making this decision, then pull back.

Do not make the decision. Hold off.

I believe it’s one of a couple of things. It could be God, very possibly.

It could be that you are questioning whether or not you did get all the great information, or it could be that you’re questioning whether or not you trust the information.

Usually, it’s either a spiritual gut check, or it’s a “I don’t think I did my due diligence.”

As long as you go back and make sure you do your due diligence, and it’s still there, it is my belief, the world according to Chris, that its going to be a spiritual issue. Pull back, don’t do it.

Do this yourself, and what you’ll find is every big decision that you make going forward, whether it be business or life, you will have a new force-of-habit thinking.

Ask these questions to make sure you get to absolute clarity, so you make the strongest decisions possible, not fear-based decisions.

next-level life, create a plan for your life

Question: Is fear of failure holding you back from making strong decisions?

 

Chris LoCurto

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January 31, 2017

What Toxic Culture Looks Like, And How To Avoid It

January 31, 2017 | By | One Comment">One Comment

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Terrible customer service can be incredibly frustrating. This week we had a taste of it at the office. Here’s why it matters in your leadership…

Today we are talking about customer service. Here’s the phone call we experienced at our office this week, listen here:

[jump to 4:45]

It takes a lot to get me upset… this phone call did it pretty quick.

For me, caring more about money, making a sale, than serving God’s kids is a spiritual issue.

There comes a time in your role as a leader where you have to take responsibility for your company’s actions. Don’t be surprised if you lose business when you treat the actual business…like business! Instead, you have to treat your customers like they are actually the ones contributing to your 401K. Treat your customers like they’re the ones who are putting the food on your table.

Yes, there are times that the customer is wrong. I believe that. The customer might not always be right, but the customer should be honored. To continually mistreat customers and then wonder why you’re losing business, is ridiculous.

After listening to the phone call, do you see the culture that’s inside of this business? For me, culture comes down to two things: actions and attitudes. What you teach, what you lead, the integrity you teach…it becomes DNA in a business.

You have to ask yourself this question: “Is money worth having this kind of culture, DNA, in your business?”

If you want to be successful in creating a phenomenal culture… you must define it.

Here’s what you can do this week:

  1. Write down what you want your culture to look like. Define it! What actions do you want when it comes to: working, clients and customer service, team members, leadership? Integrity? Culture?
  2. Ask yourself the questions first, then bring others in and see their feedback. Ask if you measure up as a business to what you wrote down.
Resources:

Thanks for listening folks!

If you enjoyed the podcast, please share it! Check out the social media buttons on the pop-up side bar, or at the bottom of the post.

Let us know…Reviews are insanely helpful. I read each and every one of them! Please leave an honest review for Chris LoCurto Show Podcast.

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Chris LoCurto

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January 24, 2017

The 3 Skills Successful Entrepreneurs Share

January 24, 2017 | By | One Comment">One Comment

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“The three skills entrepreneurs and leader need to master: productivity, discipline, and focus.”

Serving entrepreneurs with free, valuable and consistent content. When I hear these words, I think of my friend John Lee Dumas, host of the EOFire podcast. John is on the podcast and today we’re talking about what makes entrepreneurs and leaders successful… what sets them apart.

In this episode we walk through how to get to success through mastering productivity, discipline, and focus. Here’s what you’ll discover:

  • The Pomodoro technique
  • “How to win tomorrow, today”
  • The importance of having a vision for your time to utilize it
  • What’s in the Mastery Journal for you
  • A framework for new habits that WILL work
  • How to get an accountability partner that won’t let you fail
  • Masters in Training

Resources:

Left-Isolated

To master productivity, discipline and focus in 100 days, go check out The Mastery Journal at TheMasteryJournal.com

Freedom Journal

John and I’s episode on EOFire

 

Thanks for listening folks!

If you enjoyed the podcast, please share it! Check out the social media buttons on the pop-up side bar, or at the bottom of the post.

Let us know…Reviews are insanely helpful. I read each and every one of them! Please leave an honest review for Chris LoCurto Show Podcast.

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Chris LoCurto

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January 17, 2017

3 Lies Leaders Believe

January 17, 2017 | By | One Comment">One Comment

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“Today we are talking about 3 lies leaders tell themselves daily…”

If you’re anything like me, these are things I’ve struggled with in the past…so many leaders get caught up in these lies. We’ll cover three of the biggest lies many leaders tell themselves, why, and what you can do about it TODAY in your leadership.

     1. “Leading people is like leading me”

Do you tend to hire people with personality styles that match up to you?

If you’re hiring just like you, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Each personality style brings incredible strengths to a team, and you’re missing out if everyone on your team is just like you!

On the other hand, if you have different personality styles on the team then I am going to guess that you may struggle with leading them according to their personality styles.

As a leader, it can be so frustrating to not understand why your team isn’t doing what you’re asking of them…or continually falling short in an area or role. If you find yourself in this place as a leader, stop and ask, “how am I leading them to success? Am I leading them based on their personality style? Is what I’m asking them going against their personality style?”

Asking the right questions is crucial, and I’ll dive into all the specifics of this lesson at the Next-Level Leadership Live Event.

Leading well, is leading your team in the way they receive information. If you need a crash course on Personality Styles, get the tools you need here.

If you want a successful team, you must lead them based on their personality style, not how you want to be led.

     2. “How I act and react, is how my team acts and reacts”

Many leaders believe everyone should respond to a situation the way they do. In leading, you must act and react in a way that is beneficial to them. Communication looks very different for high D’s than it does for high S’s. Your team needs to hear information in a way that will move them forward…sometimes for high D’s, it’s a two-by-four over the head.

You can’t just sit back and ask, “why are they not where I need them to be?” You have to be asking the question, “is this exactly the role they need to be in?” Put a plan together to make your team member successful, and they will get to where you need them to be.

     3. “How I hear and understand things as a leader, is how my team hears things.”

Years ago, I had an event coordinator working for me that was fantastic. Why? Because she thought the way I did. I just knew if I gave her information, she would make it happen. So I promoted her, and brought in another person to fill her role. I would say to my new hire, “hey, go do this thing.” She would leave and come back asking, “What exactly is it you wanted me to do?” She would go out again and then come back…”So, what did you want me to do?”

I could not understand why it was such a challenge. To figure out what was going on, I decided to go with this team member and see where the issue was happening.

I quickly found out, I was the problem.

I kept trying to lead her the same way as I did her predecessor. I kept assuming she would be able to do exactly as I was asking without giving any information…and that was my mistake. I went back and poured through her DISC profile, and saw everything I was doing to set her up for failure. I was expecting her to be the same, and not leading her in her strengths. She needed far more details. I also quickly figured out that her predecessor would always get it done, but with a trail of destruction in her wake. Highly detailed personalities need to be led in a completely different way.

The keys are understanding how each individual hears things, understands concepts, acts, reacts, and how they need to be led in their personality style. There are no hacks to this. You need to learn how to lead each person individually. It will make you a better leader.

To take this content a step further and apply it to your leadership and business everyday…learn the tools you need to lead your team confidently, scale your business the right way, and get out from under your daily tasks to become the strongest leader for you team, register for the Next-Level Leadership Live Event.

Here’s something you can do today, RIGHT now

Think about someone on your team that you’re struggling to lead…

  1. Sit down with their personality profile.
  2. Read through all the information and see if it leans in the direction of the role you have them in.
  3. See how they see leaders, projects, how they approach you.

And lastly…ask yourself, “what have I not led them well in?”

Resources:

Next-Level Leadership Live Event

If you need a crash course on Personality Styles, get the tools you need here.

Thanks for listening folks!

If you enjoyed the podcast, please share it! Check out the social media buttons on the pop-up side bar, or at the bottom of the post.

Let us know…Reviews are insanely helpful. I read each and every one of them! Please leave an honest review for Chris LoCurto Show Podcast.

Subscribe

Want more? Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes!

Chris LoCurto

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November 22, 2016

Registration to Our Biggest Event of the Year Opens Soon

November 22, 2016 | By | No Comments">No Comments

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Just in time for Christmas, registration for the Next-Level Leadership Live Event opens in early December!

We’re in a big-time giving spirit around here, and for only a couple of weeks, tickets will be available at a discounted price.

Whether you’re on Santa’s naughty or nice list, you can get on my list right now!

Click here to sign up to be notified BEFORE we launch this event to the public.

Give yourself, AND your team, the gift of personal and leadership growth in 2017!

Hurry and sign up here to be one of the first to get your tickets (before we open to the public)!

Come along with fellow leaders, and join us for our Next-Level Leadership Live Event!

Merry (almost) Christmas!!!

 

Chris LoCurto

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October 18, 2016

Encore Episode: What You Have In Common With Wine

October 18, 2016 | By | No Comments">No Comments

Today’s episode is part viticulture and part life lesson. I think you’re going to enjoy it…especially if you like wine!

Hi folks, this week we are bringing you an oldie but a goodie and revisiting one of our top rated podcasts of all time. (This is one of the most important things we talk about, and it’s so powerful…) So this is an encore presentation of us talking about what you have in common with wine!

In this podcast I’ll explain:

  • How wine grapes are grown and how this relates to you and your business
  • Your Root System
  • What makes a great farmer and how that farmer harvests a perfect grape
  • The process of destroying perfect grapes to make great wine
  • How farming and the process of wine making relates to you and your business

Every great business has seasons and there is a cycle or a process to growth. There are times to take advantage of the sun, the shade, creating boundaries and making sure things are set up correctly to grow. My own businesses have had moments of destruction to create something new, next thing you know, we grow. For me, I see that as God preparing us.

Just like the wine, there are seasons of aging in a barrel, mellowing out and giving us extra flavor. We can’t discount the destructive times. In those times, we’re becoming more intense. If we don’t look back with our teams and celebrate what we’ve come through or what we’ve done, we don’t understand that it’s a season we’ve grown out of.

Resources:

Next-Level Life 

Chrislocurto.com/show

Thanks for listening folks!

Share the love

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Let us know…

Reviews are insanely helpful. I read each and every one of them! Please leave an honest review for Chris LoCurto Show Podcast.

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Question: Have you come out of a hard season of life or business that made you stronger?

Chris LoCurto

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May 24, 2016

Why Entrepreneurs Plateau in Their Business

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There’s something that we are going to be doing more of, and that’s because you guys said you loved it.

We did a live call-in show a few episodes back and had phenomenal responses to that. #welistened

We’re going to start doing some of the shows as call-in! We will walk through whatever questions you’ve got. Get on the schedule here.

#ASKCHRIS is back! 

On today’s show, we’re tackling two killer questions from our podcast listeners. Here’s a taste of what we talk about:

  1. Why entrepreneurs plateau in their business + life and what to do about it
  2. Tackling negative management and creating culture as a team member

We dive into…

The ultimate goal is not for you to just focus on you. The ultimate goal is for you to also help and serve people as well in this process.

cloletterblue

 

If you want to be on the show and have your question answered by me, it’s actually pretty easy to do now. Go to chrislocurto.com/show.

Resources:

chrislocurto.com/mastermind

chrislocurto.com/show

freshbooks.com/chris

Click here to download the transcript.

Thanks for listening folks!

Share the love

If you enjoyed the podcast, please share it! Check out the social media buttons at the bottom of the post.

Let us know…

Reviews are insanely helpful. I read each and every one of them! Please leave an honest review for Chris LoCurto Show Podcast.

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Chris LoCurto

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November 12, 2013

How to Lead Your Leader [Podcast]

November 12, 2013 | By | 7 Comments">7 Comments

Today’s topic is a question I get asked all the time and it came up in several comments in our recent reader survey. If you’re struggling to understand your leader or just hoping to make things better around the office, here are a few things to keep in mind:

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  • You have to understand how they receive information and how you communicate is equally important. Learn more about communication in this post, Start Communicating Better Today.
  • Lead up. Make sure your intentions are to help them, not belittle them. It’s got to be beneficial to both of you.
  • Ask questions and get to understand them personally. When you do that, you’ll get perspective on why they are the way they are.
  • Don’t allow a terrible leader to hold you back. Do everything you can to make the people around you successful – up, sideways and down.

Question: What ways do you know to lead leaders?

Chris LoCurto

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April 18, 2013

Your Business Is Not Who You Are

April 18, 2013 | By | 40 Comments">40 Comments

To do well in business, you have to realize your business is what you do not who you are.

Committing to that thought changes your decision-making and frees you to win. When you view your business as who you are, you’re so emotionally invested that every decision is cloudy.

Chris LoCurto, Leadership, Business, Strategic Planning

When you realize it’s what you do, you’re able to make decisions that don’t feel like they’re going to hurt as much. And this is key to growing a business that lasts.

In case you missed it last week, I’m recording a videocast soon with my good friend, Small Business Marketing Coach Joel Fortner on how to make your business last.

Joel will interview me on: – How to distinguish your business from competitors – Marketing and sales strategies – How to grow and make your business last It’s not too late to sign up to receive it. Just click here.

Question: How are you working to make your business last?

Chris LoCurto

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April 16, 2013

Simple And Easy Tips For Entrepreneurs

April 16, 2013 | By | 9 Comments">9 Comments

I just finished being interviewed on The Iron Jen Show: Simple and Easy Tips for Entrepreneurs.

Chris LoCurto, Leadership, Business, Strategic Planning

It was a LOT of info on what you need to do to be successful in business.

Be sure to click the link to listen, and then leave a comment about it below.

Chris LoCurto

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April 12, 2013

ObamaCare: How Is It Affecting You?

April 12, 2013 | By | 38 Comments">38 Comments

ObamaCare has taken a pretty heavy toll on small business. Every week I am having conversations with entrepreneurs who are telling me ObamaCare is causing them to lay off team members due to the increase in rates it has created.

Chris LoCurto, Leadership, Business, Strategic Planning, ObamaCare

As well as companies aren’t hiring because of the potential impact.

The Federal Reserve reports:

  • Employers Cited ObamaCare As Reasons For “Planned Layoffs And Reluctance To Hire More Staff.”
  • Businesses Have “Delayed Hiring” Due To ObamaCare.
  • ObamaCare Has Caused Companies To Hire “The Absolute Minimum” Of Employees To Skirt The Law’s Burdensome Regulations.

In 2014, companies with 50 or more team members are expected to pick up 100% of team member insurance, or pay $750 a year per team member penalty to the Government. This is a ridiculous idea, since it will be cheaper for companies to pay the fine and leave team members without insurance. But the Government will get paid!

Many companies are considering not growing past 49 total team members. Thus keeping them from growing business.

There are SO MANY issues with this that I could post on, but I really want to know your thoughts.

Question: How is ObamaCare affecting you, and what do you think of the changes? 

Chris LoCurto

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April 10, 2013

How To Make Your Business Last

April 10, 2013 | By | 50 Comments">50 Comments

Here’s a guest post on making your business last by Joel Fortner. He specializes in helping entrepreneurs be better marketers, and is the author of the blog, Get Serve Keep. You can guest post as well. Read how to here. Oh, and there’s something very special only for ChrisLoCurto.com readers at the end of this post!

Chris LoCurto, Leadership, Business, Strategic Planning

Once a business is up and running and revenue is steadily coming in, the last thing you want to do is put it on cruise control.

Besides finding ways to optimize and grow it, you need to figure out your plan to make the business last.

This weekend I was doing a marketing audit with small business entrepreneur Bret Wortman of Somerset Penworks and long-time reader of Chris’s blog, and he told me a story you must hear!

The Story

Years ago, Bret used to frequent a bar in the Washington D.C. area that served very high-quality beer. He was a beer judge back then so he knew quality when he tasted it.

During a visit to the bar with some friends and fellow beer judges, they ordered a round of draft beer that had a bad flavor. They all immediately knew what the problem was – the keg lines hadn’t been flushed well when they were last cleaned.

They alerted the bar tender to the issue, and instead of thanking them, he told them they’re wrong and the lines are fine! Quite taken aback, they told the bartender they’re all beer judges, and they know what they’re talking about.

But the bartender wouldn’t have any of it. This situation came on the heels of several other major missteps during their visit.

Fast forward a few years, Bret said he popped into the bar and it had changed. They were now offering happy hour specials and food, put in dart boards, and other stereotypical bar offerings.

The owner was chatting with him and another customer. The owner asked what they thought about putting in a pool table.

The one customer said he thought it was a great idea, but not Bret, who told the owner that putting in a pool table would be the end of the bar.

And here’s the priceless lesson for you.

The Lesson You Must Remember

Bret basically told the owner that the bar had lost its identity. Years ago, it was the THE place for top quality beer and it appealed to those who sought it out. That was what distinguished it from competitors.

Over a few years, they lost their way and did what so many panicking entrepreneurs do. They broadened themselves thinking they’d appeal to more people, and over time they diluted the brand. They no longer stood for anything.

What the owner should have done was gone back to the basics of what made them popular in the beginning and hyper-focused on being the best at that one thing.

Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, gave this a name – the Hedgehog Concept.

In the book, he tells a story about a determined fox and the simple hedgehog. The fox keeps coming up with new ideas to eat the hedgehog, but the hedgehog easily defeats him by doing his one trick: rolling into a prickly ball.

If you want your business to last, be a hedgehog.

Question: Are you practicing the hedgehog concept well?

Only for ChrisLoCurto.com readers, click here to sign up for a FREE recorded videocast of Chris LoCurto on how to make your business last! If this isn’t enough, the first 25 people to sign up get an incredible gift!

Chris LoCurto

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April 2, 2013

Quality Living Made Simple

Today I want to share with you the interview that I did on Joshua Rivers podcast Quality Living Made Simple.

Chris LoCurto, Leadership, Business, Strategic Planning, Entrepreneur

Josh is preparing to attend the EntreLeadership 1 Day event in Oklahoma City, and he wanted to ask me a few key questions like:

  • Do you prepare yourself for attending an event? If so, how?
  • How can someone get the most out of an event like EntreLeadership 1 Day?
  • How do you network when going to an event?

Those are just a few of the questions I answered in this interview. To hear the interview click here.

Chris LoCurto

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April 1, 2013

Debt Limit: How To Increase Yours

I couldn’t help but post this great and informative piece on increasing your debt limit. Let me know if this works for you.

[youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li0no7O9zmE’]

Question: Does any of this sound familiar? How do you feel about it? 

Chris LoCurto

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March 26, 2013

If You Haven’t Loved My Apology Yet, You Still Can

March 26, 2013 | By | 13 Comments">13 Comments

When I made the switch to MailChimp, I made some rookie mistakes that had me emailing my subscribers twice each day. (Some three times)

Dillanos

I quickly sprang in to action, because I’m that kind of guy, and called my buddy David Morris at Dillanos and asked if he would be so kind as to help me say I’m sorry.

David was so kind as to offer a 30% discount on all Dillanos coffee for the whole month of March!!!! 

All you have to do is click here or on the image to receive this incredible offer, and enter the promo code WHOOPS (Thanks for rubbing it in David) and stock up while the gettin’s good!

Chris LoCurto

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March 25, 2013

Customer Service: Do You Really Care?

March 25, 2013 | By | 48 Comments">48 Comments

Customer Service is something you hear me preach about quite a bit here. To me, it’s the lifeblood of your organization. Without at least good customer service, few people care about your product.

Customer Service

Recently I attended a conference in Colorado. (Having been to a ton of events, and perhaps put on one or seven hundred myself, I was pretty excited that we had two great instructors in Pete Richardson and Michael Murphy.)

During one of the sessions, Pete shared about an experience he had with the now defunct CompUSA. Early in his last business he had used CompUSA to get all of his computers up and running…and continuously fixed.

He got to a point where he was so frustrated with CompUSA’s customer service that he was just done. He went to the store that he had been using and wanted to let the manager know what was going on.

As he walked in he noticed the manager standing under a sign that listed the companies core values. As he looked up and read them, he thought to himself that they were pretty solid.

He then decided to let the manager know what was going on. He said, “I am taking my business elsewhere and I thought you might want to know why”. To which the store manager said, “No…I really don’t.”

Without the need to respond, Pete left the store and never went back.

There comes a time in your role as a leader or entrepreneur where you have to take responsibility for your companies actions. Is there any doubt it was this kind of attitude towards customers that caused the retail chain to die off?

 You can’t be surprised that you lose business when you treat the actual business like…business! Instead, you have to treat your customers like they are actually the ones contributing to your 401K.

Yes, there are times that the customer is wrong. I do believe that. But to continually mistreat customers, and then wonder why you’re wearing a paper hat flipping burgers, is ridiculous. Understand where your paycheck comes from and respond accordingly. Especially if your speaking under your core values.

Question: How should Pete have been treated? 

Chris LoCurto

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March 18, 2013

Leadership: What Are You Doing?

March 18, 2013 | By | 62 Comments">62 Comments

Leadership has never been obtained through osmosis…as far as I can tell. It takes you doing something to gain the leadership wisdom needed to lead people.

Leadership

This week I am in Colorado feeding my mind and, if you’ve seen some of the pics I sent out, my soul as well. I’m attending a conference to add some tools to my leadership tool belt.

Early on in my leadership career I learned the power of not sitting on my backside waiting for God to fill me with ideas of how to take my team to the next level of their success.

The more I filled me with great information, the more I could turn around and pour that information back into my team.

As a leader, it’s your responsibility to do the same. Find great events, conferences, workshops, etc. to grow you in what you are doing, or where you are headed.

Don’t wait for someone to tell you what to do or where to go, be looking for ways to grow you! Here are just a few areas to focus on:

  • Servant Leadership
  • Team Building
  • Motivation
  • Goal Setting
  • Coaching
  • Mentoring

And then be sure to do one of the most important things you can between each lesson – BRAIN DUMP! As I teach I always make sure that people understand the importance of getting out on paper what they just learned, as fast as they can.

This is for two main reasons:

  1. You do not want to leave the event on a high, knowing that you just learned a ton, only to forget it all next week.This happens when you THINK you’ll retain it all.
  2. If it’s an event that has more than one teaching segment, then you’re about to fill your brain with a ton more stuff. So be sure to get out what you can so you can fill it again.

Pick how many times a year you can grow you with an outside of your company event. Then, put it on the calendar! Don’t…wait!

Question: What are you doing to grow YOUR leadership?