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Steve Marr Blog

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Category >> Leadership
Mar 29
2017

Is Business Easy?

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

I received an inquiry from a person wanted me to help him find a business idea that “would make my life easy, make me a lot of money and require a small investment.” I thought if I had an idea that fit his request, why would I give it to someone else?  I would start the business, sit back, relax, and collect the cash.
 
Business, like most endeavors, requires hard work, focus and many hours of effort to be successful.  When I was CEO in an international trade company, I knew some people looked at my position and felt I had it made. They thought I could just sit back, relax, and enjoy my view from the top of the company. The reality was that I arrived most mornings by 6 am and didn’t leave early.  I also had to travel quite a bit. On the airplane I didn’t read novels, but took a briefcase full of work to do while traveling.  I’m not saying this to impress anyone with my work ethic, but to reinforce the truth that business is hard work.

Mar 23
2017

Understanding Someone Else’s Paradigm

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

In business we frequently negotiate as we discuss arrangements with others. At times our paradigm or someone else’s will have a dramatic effect on the outcome of a discussion. Often to obtain the best results, you need to dig deeper into an issue to uncover the background and experiences of others.

I help market franchises to individuals who want to use the franchise idea to launch a business. “Sharon” was interested in a business that provided home tutors for students, and she was well qualified for the business. A key issue came up that threatened to derail the entire transaction. The franchisor required the purchase of a smart car as well as branding the car with the business logo and information. The franchisor understood this marketing was effective. The prospective franchisee was adamant about never using a smart car.  For a time it looked like an impasse that would derail the franchise agreement.

Mar 15
2017

Get the Job Done

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

In business we sometimes encounter people who seem to have a perspective summarized by the words, “It’s not my fault.  It’s out of my control. There is nothing I can do.”  If we are not careful, we will embrace the same attitude. There are times when it is hard to deliver and get the job done.  A key is to understand that in most instances, we can find a way to get the job done rather than give up.

Mar 13
2017

Hire Specialists

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

In business it is easy to think you need to do things by yourself instead of delegating them to a specialist, especially if you have to pay for their services. I recently dealt with a legal question and was starting to do my own research instead of sending an email to my attorney who could respond with a short answer requiring five or six minutes of their time.  Even though he could bill me for this service, it was a small price to pay for getting an accurate answer. Besides, it saved me one or two hours’ research.  Also, I don’t proofread my writing particularly well; so I hire an editor who keeps me from embarrassing myself with grammatical errors. While I could read through an article five times carefully and catch most of the typos, is this the best use of my time and skill?

Jan 25
2017

Tolerating Anger in Others

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

In life we will encounter angry people. King Solomon understood this when he wrote, “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.” (Proverbs 29:11, NIV) Like most of us I have encountered angry people. When possible I prefer to avoid such individuals.  However, there are times I am unable to completely distance myself from them.
 
One example was “Mark” who was a member of a Homeowners Association who had a lot to say about many things.  In some meetings he would become belligerent to the point that most in the neighborhood didn’t want to deal with him.  In the vacuum that occurred when others failed to step up, Mark would decide issues for everyone else. This was unacceptable to me.  While there were times Mark was correct, there were enough times he was wrong. On several occasions when I stood up to Mark, he turned his anger toward me. While I didn’t enjoy being his target, I tried to respond appropriately. I continued to challenge the way he used anger to decide issues for everyone.