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I’m a big fan of the Tim Ferris podcast and read his “5 Bullet Friday” emails.   If you aren’t familiar, I highly suggest you check out some of Tim’s work.  The plan with this email is to list out 10 lessons from the past 10 years like that of the “5 Bullet Friday” email. These lessons are all experiences that we’ve prevailed through to this point at least!   Hopefully they can be of help: 

  1.  Respect is earned.   No shit, right!   Lead from the front and don’t expect employees and peers to be willing to do tasks that you are unwilling to do or have never done.
  2. “Never mistake activity for achievement.”  It’s easy to fill a to do list with busy work.   People avoid the hard tasks by filling their time with activity.  Make time for ACHIEVEMENT by blocking time to meet with employees, peers in the industry, and to build systems that make processes reproducible without YOU.
  3. Appreciate what you have. Often equipment and fancy new facilities are not what’s holding the business back!   Budget for improvements as they are necessary but never forget, profits are KING.
  4. You WILL experience adversity and cash flow issues.  When times are hot, prepare for a rainy day. Note to self…
  5. Personnel issues, it’s not a matter of if, it’s when!    This doesn’t make YOU or THEM bad people.   Abide by your core values and stick to the script.  If you are in business for long enough people will be fired and some will move on.   Great systems and leadership make for great employees.  Always make time for employees and their development.
  6. You WILL need a good attorney/accountant.  You also get what you pay for!
  7. “Burn-out” is inevitable with any career, schedule a vacation.  At this point I book 2 separate week-long vacations and a long weekend every other month.
  8. Read, every single day. You can never know enough about your given industry.
  9. It takes YEARS to build reputation and minutes to ruin it.  We must provide an unmatched level of customer service every minute, every hour, every single day.   If you are having a bad day take a personal day before showing up to work out of sorts.
  10. “The will must be stronger than the skill.”   An excerpt from an Ali poster that hangs in my office.   Being a great coach or practitioner is different than being a great business owner.   Knowing the X’s and O’s along with being a “good” person works for coaching and training.   That’s not the end all be all for being a great business owner.    It always shocks me that great trainers and coaches are apt to ask for programming help or attend coaching seminar after coaching seminar, yet they have literally ZERO business experience or coaching.

I get it because I was that exact coach.  There’s so many great events, books, and free content regarding both subjects.  The first business book I ever read was, “Crush It,” by Gary V.  That book led me on a path of reading daily which still shocks my parents!   My recommendation for all coaches is go 1 for 1 with coaching/training and business reading.  Become well rounded!  My top 4 reading list for any small business owner is as follows:

  • Traction – Geno Wickman
  • Bluefishing – Steve Sims
  • Turning Pro – Steven Pressfield
  • The Ideal Business Formula – Pat Rigbsy

– Dan Goodman


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