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Additional Lessons Learned From Running My Business

  1. Read books with a highlighter and a pen and write down the ideas that resonate with you. Upon completion, summarize what you’ve learned and leverage it in your writing, newsletter and blog postings. Don’t forget proper attribution when applicable.
  2. Sales is a great profession, just don’t ever get caught doing it.
  3. When creating your online corporate blog, make sure your passion is obvious in your writing, be honest, write often and take advantage of emerging technologies to deliver valuable content to your visitors.
  4. Entrepreneurs and companies that are building blogs and delivering valuable content have a huge competitive advantage over the ones that do not have such blogs. In addition to all the business and marketing benefits I already outlined in my Blogging in the New Year article, it will take the competition precious time to catch-up once they decide that it’s time for them to start blogging.
  5. One of the most remarkable concepts I speak about when it comes to web sites and blogs is the concept of evolution. If you frequently keep on adding content in the form of text, pictures, audios and videos as well as new products and services, your site will keep evolving. This will avoid the stagnant syndrome from hitting your site and will generate value for your audience and create constant interest in your site.
  6. Our job security is our ability to constantly provide our clients with genuine and valuable knowledge, products and services. It is in their recognition that not having such knowledge will reduce or stop their progress and improvement and may weaken their existence.
  7. The key to make our strategic plan successful is the commitment to work on specific identified tasks.
  8. There are many ways to communicate and stay in touch with your customers. When you have important things to share with them you may do so via: email, face-to-face, phone, blog, web site, online chat, tele-conference, newsletter, note card, letter, books, booklets and a simple Thank You.
  9. It is our customers that pay our salary and they are the most important ingredients of our business. It was Peter Drucker who said: “The purpose of a business is to create a customer”
  10. While working on improving my parenting skills I discussed the following concept with my kids: a) doing the wrong thing for the wrong reason b) doing the right thing for the wrong reason c) doing the right thing for the right reason. I then realize the implication of this concept to my own business and technology implementation as well as the way I help consult our own clients. So when it comes to your own technology or web implementation do you fall into option a, b or c?
  11. The customer is not always right. I’ve learned to push back and challenge our customers whenever necessary. That is why they hire me as their consultant so I may point out the things they do wrong.
  12. The invention of the web as we use it today is the equivalent of the invention of the light bulb in the 19th century. We barely are scratching the surface of what is available to us and are also underutilizing this unbelievable tool. Invest in web technologies for your business and learn how to get the most of it.
  13. Determine the ideas in your business that represent the least amount of risks with the biggest rewards and opportunities and focus on the latter.
  14. Opportunities are all around us, all we need is to pay attention and get better at recognizing them. Some refer to it as serendipity, I see it as planned success.
  15. One of my favorite questions to ask our clients is “What legacy would you like to leave behind?” or “What do you want to be remembered for?” I recently started to ask myself the same question, which helps me raise my own bar, improve and reinvent myself.
  16. I mentioned in my previous lessons learned article that I rather focus on building my strengths than eliminating my weaknesses. However, I do believe in eliminating activities that do not create value for my organization, our clients or me and avoid people that suck out my energy. It’s not just learning what to focus on, it is also learning what to avoid and eliminate.
  17. Create a file or a special notebook that contains all possible business opportunities, new business ideas, products, services and new innovations – update and track often.
  18. I’ve stopped sending gifts during the holiday season to clients and colleagues and have replaced it with making donations to important causes. So rather than sending me a can of popcorn or a chocolate box, please consider sending a donation to St. Jude hospital, Cancer research or other organizations you believe in.
  19. I consult and help implement blog technologies for our clients as I am a great believer in the power of blogs and the immense knowledge and wisdom that is contained in many of their online pages. One of my favorite free products is the Feedly reader, which allows me to register to my favorite blogs and automatically get all the updates from all of them on one screen rather than having to visit each one of them separately to see if any new posts are available.
  20. I do all I can to take care of myself, treat and reward myself often and reduce my feelings of guilt while learning to move on and not agonize over failures.
  21. I love to capture the momentum of success. When it strikes, I immediately leverage it by contacting other clients and prospective clients and share with them ideas to improve their business.
  22. I do travel by car and airplane quite often and like to make the best of that time. In addition to always having some great books with me I have my iPod loaded with thousands of songs, audio books and Podcasts. This way I have the choice to decide what I would enjoy listening to. It may be some great music, a terrific book or a Podcast. To get the latest music and Podcast I use iTunes and for great book selections I use
  23. When I am surrounded by success and the good life (I’ve been very fortunate to have my share of it) I’ve learned not to take it for granted as it can abruptly change. I’ve learned to be humble about it, enjoy it and share it with others.
  24. “A goal is only a wish, unless you put it in writing.” I’ve heard this saying many years ago and its accuracy and applicability to my life still resonates with me.
  25. I love scheduling time on the phone with smart colleagues and clients and exchange thoughts and ideas. So often I end the conversation with at least one terrific new idea to implement in my life and business while giving them ideas to ponder.
  26. I leave my ego at the door and become a sponge, which means that I listen and soak up as much knowledge as I can from smart, successful and interesting individuals without trying to impress them with my wisdom.
  27. When it comes to my incoming email, I attempt to keep my inbox empty by using the simple rule of a) discard b) delegate c) take immediate action or d) schedule for later action. To reduce interruption, I do not keep my email program constantly open. I open it several times a day when I am ready to give me more control and reduce wasted interruptions. When I review my emails, I decide whether it is garbage, which I immediately delete. If I can delegate, I forward it and then delete it. If I can take immediate action, I do so and then delete it. If it requires additional research, I move to my “Todo” folder for further action and put it on my calendar. Once I take action, I always delete the emails unless they require an archive, which I try keeping to bare minimum.
  28. I learned to distinguish the difference between being efficient and effective. To me efficiency is mostly about getting tasks done as quickly as possible with the least amount of energy while being effective is about getting great results. I guess I like to be efficiently effective.
  29. I was contacted by one of the local colleges back in 1983 as they were looking for an instructor to teach the evening course of the famous spreadsheet program Lotus 1-2-3. “Can you do it?” they asked, “Of course and I would love to” I answered. The truth was that I was a novice when it came to this product and with less than two weeks to prepare I found myself putting myself through a crash course on using the product. It was one of the most amazing classes I got to teach with great and challenging students and even six accountants from one of the local accounting firms. This accounting firm eventually became my client and referred me to many other clients at the beginning of my career. The lesson I learned back then was that when an opportunity knocks on my door it is by far more valuable to seize it and go for it rather than attempting to constantly prepare for it for when and if it would even show up.
  30. I recognized several years ago that I have the choice to decide which thought I allow entering my mind. This gave me tremendous power and freedom to reject the negative thoughts and focus on exciting, creative and productive ones. It made a huge difference in my outlook on life and the feeling of how fortunate I am.
  31. I used to dread having to write. I decided to change this mindset and start writing our first newsletter back in May 2003. It took me over 30 hours to write my first article of a page and a half. It now takes me less than two hours to write an article and I truly enjoy the mental stimulation. Click here to view some of these articles or my blog. The benefit of putting down my knowledge in writing has been unbelievable and it keeps evolving.
  32. My son was five years old when we were looking at family picture albums and viewing some older black and white pictures as well as pictures in full colors. He looked at me and asked: “When did the world turn colorful?” When viewing one of the web sites we were working on for our one of our clients several years ago, my son came to me and asked me what I was doing. When showing him the site he said: “This is so boring.” He then proceeded to tell me what was boring about it. My daughter recently was telling me about her college friends that she was making connections with again on the online social networking site Listen to your kids and the younger generation, they have some amazing observations about our world.
  33. When delivering my speeches I learned to end on time but preferably several minutes early. It allows me to better focus, show my respect for time and leave the audience most likely wanting more.
  34. I use my digital tape recorder to record all workshops I attend. Although there is often a lot of chatter and unimportant concepts discussed, here is what I found to be most helpful and successful for me. While hearing important concepts and ideas that I’d like to further internalize, I simply jot down the digital track number and the exact minute and second displayed on my recorder. After the workshop, all I have to do is review these segments which only take me a small fraction of my time while guaranteeing that I did not miss these important moments.
  35. Put your intellectual property (IP) in writing and publish it in books and online. I used to be concerned about having my competitors read it or others possibly copy it. The benefits I’ve received from openly sharing my IP with my clients far exceeded the potential downside risk.
  36. Are you prepared for a computer disaster to strike and have you tested it? If you are not sure, discuss this with a professional. It will save you from losing critical documents, many wasted hours, great aggravation and potential business ruin.
  37. Talking about risks, I learned to utilize the risks vs. rewards grid when making decisions. Draw a horizontal line, put the number 0 in the middle and the number 5 on each end. Write down the word “risk” to the left of the zero and the word “reward” to the right of it. For any decision I struggle making, I rank the risks on a scale of 1 to 5 as well as ranking the rewards. I then make the decision based on if the rewards exceed or not the risks.
  38. I love the benefits of working out but dislike doing it. The little trick I play on my mind, which seems to work most of the time is to put on my workout clothes as soon as I wake up. As I said, it works most of the time opposed to most likely not doing the workout at all if I do not have my workout gear on.
  39. There are so many terrific resources on the Internet to help you learn, research, increase your knowledge and entertain yourself. Go to or check out and search for Peter Drucker, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Oscar Peterson, JFK speeches or Ayn Rand and you’ll see what I mean.
  40. Do you have fun in your life?
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