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Issue 2 January 13, 2009

January 13, 2009


Welcome to week 2 of our new year!  We continue to grow thanks to good folks like you spreading the word.  Please do me a favor and share this newsletter with others.  Simply click on this link:
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3 Strategies for Thriving in 2009
               (Part 2 of a 3 Part Series) 
In Part 1 of this series, we began with the assertion that many businesses and individuals will thrive in 2009.  The big question is whether you will be one of them.
We then looked at the first of three strategies - Provide Value.  We concluded that the best way to provide value is to 1) know who you are and what you have to offer and 2) know who your customer is and understand what they value.  We will now turn our attention to the second strategy.
In my estimation, the second strategy for thriving in 2009 is one of the most critical.  It is a principle that few if any businesses can afford to be without.  What is this all important strategy?
Strategy 2:  Operating With INTEGRITY
In today's turbulent economy, it is more important than ever to operate with integrity.  The landscape is littered with leaders and companies that failed to act with integrity including Enron, Tyco, and Worldcom just to name a few.
As a result of so many companies and leaders acting without integrity and focusing only on short term profits and immediate gratification, today's consumers are more skeptical and jaded than ever...and rightly so.
Any business that simply lives only to "perpetuate itself" will not make in the new economy.  Likewise, any business that holds short term profit (at the expense of long term profitability - and integrity) will not be around for the long haul.
You see, integrity is not just about ethics or doing the right thing.  True, those are vital pieces of the puzzle.  However, integrity can also be defined as the consistency of the actions, principles, or values of a person (or business).  Hmm, we are back to that word "value" again.
In essence, integrity can be thought of as being "whole" in your actions and deeds.  In other words, if you are operating your business in integrity, you are consistent and true to who you are and thereby providing integrity and value to those you serve.  As you can see, Strategy 1 (Provide Value) and Strategy 2 (Operate in Integrity) are very closely interrelated.
Finally, integrity is also about "doing the right thing" from an ethical and moral standpoint.  I close with a story I heard once about a CEO that learned the lesson of integrity early on. 

This particular CEO was fishing with his father when he was just a boy.  They were down at the peer doing some night fishing.  Not having much luck, the boy's dad suggested the young man change his tackle and practice bass fishing since bass season opened the next day.
As the boy was getting in his practice, he pulled in the biggest bass he had ever caught - estimating it to weigh over 10 pounds.  The young man was ecstatic with his new trophy!
After congratulating him, the boy's dad flicked on his flashlight and quickly glanced at his watch.  It was 10 minutes until midnight.  With sadness in his voice, he explained to his son that he would have to throw the fish back as bass season did not start for 10 more minutes.
The boy was obviously disappointed as he released his catch back into the lake.  However, he learned a critical lesson that day that guided him to the top post of his company.  If only more of our leaders had parents that had taught them the value of integrity.
Integrity truly is "what you do when no one else is watching...and it always has a cost".
Next week, we will take a look at our 3rd and final strategy for thriving in 2009.  I promise you WILL LOVE this strategy!!!
           Cooking Up Profits!
  recipe box
When I was a kid growing up in east Texas, some of my favorite memories are of all the delicious meals that my mama prepared for our family.
Mama was an excellent cook - even if she did tend to fry almost everything!  I can remember being out working cattle or building fence and then smelling the fried chicken from a mile away!
Through the years mama collected and created quite a few recipes which she assembled into a massive cook book.  As I think about how delicious her meals were, I believe it was because she got the right ingredients prepared the right way every time.
So why am I talking about recipe's and ingredients?  Well, it has a whole lot to do with running a business.  Think of the "ingredients as Strategies" and the "meal preparation as Tactical Implementation" and the "right way every time as consistency".
In the market place today, there is certainly no shortage of ingredients...uhm, I mean strategies.  There are a million and one strategies on "how to make a sale" alone.  There are self-proclaimed guru's on every corner shouting what strategy to use and how to implement it.
So the question then becomes, as a small business owner or service professional, what strategies do you follow?  How do you know when or how to implement those strategies?  And finally, how can you maintain any type of consistency bouncing from one "great tasting ingredient" to another?

Well, the answer is actually quite simple.  You do as my mama did. You follow the recipe.  The key is to stay away from "grabbing on to individual ingredients" and dumping them into your business.  Just think, eggs, peaches, and paprika might all be great ingredients - but not mixed together.
The same is true for your business.  You need to start with the recipe - the bigger picture of your business.  The recipe provides you a blueprint of the strategies to use, the tactics to implement, and the consistency needed for success.
One caveat, as you know, some recipes are better than others.  Therefore, be very careful about whose recipes you use.  My advice, taste their meal before using their recipe.  In other words, you need to know firsthand that those providing you counsel on your strategies, tactics, and implementation are experts in those fields....or to use our cooking analogy, are 5 Star Chefs!
Wow, all of this talk about food has made me hungry....fried chicken sure sounds good!
   What Is Your Biggest Challenge? 
Are you having trouble with your recipe for success?  If so, let me know your biggest business challenge and I'll provide you a complimentary strategy session.  CLICK HERE to find out more!
Issue: 2
In This Issue
3 Strategies For Thriving in 2009
Cooking Up Profits!
Persistance! The Key To Success
Case Studies Needed
The Key to Success 

climbing rope
As I have worked with business professionals over the last 20 years, one of the top traits that I've observed in successful people is...
In business, just as in life, there will always be setbacks, obstacles, delays, and trials.   The strength of a successful business does not lie in its ability to create a trouble free existence. 
No, it's strength instead lies in its ability to persist through those obstacles, setbacks, delays, and trials.
You see, persistence is a habit that is formed over time.  Just as some folks have made quitting or giving up their habit, the truly successful have made persistence their habit.
Napoleon Hill in "Think and Grow Rick" stated that Persistence is one of the major keys to riches and success.  He goes on to outline the 4 simple steps  that lead to the habit of persistence:
1. A definite purpose backed by a burning desire for fulfillment.
2. A definite plan expressed by continuous action.
3. A mind closed tightly against all negative and discouraging influences - including negative suggestions of relatives, friends, and acquaintances.
4. A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.
When I think of persistence, I can't help of think about an early entrepreneur that epitomizes persistence.  See if you can guess who I am talking about...
* He was awarded 1,094 patents during his lifetime.
* He invented the phonograph, the electric light, and the motion picture projector.
* Two of his well known quotes are: "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration." and "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."
* He "failed" 10,000 times in his pursuit of the electric light before finally succeeding.
Who is this man of persistence?  Thomas Edison of course!
We must be careful to truly understand persistence.  It doesn't mean to run head first into a concrete wall, get up, and then do it again.  It does mean finding a way to blow up the wall, go over/around/under the wall, or simply tear the wall down.
I leave you with one of my favorite quotes of all time:
"Never, Never, Never Quit."
    - Winston Churchill

Case Studies Needed!!!

We are in need of 5 individuals or small businesses that would like to be a "Featured Case Study" within Born To Win.
Only those that are serious about success need to apply.  If that sounds like you, CLICK HERE  and enter the requested information.
Someone from our office will contact you immediately.
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Mike Estes
Born To Win
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