5 Business Lessons from the St. Louis Cardinals

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These birds can teach us all something about hard work.

Has the economy been tough on your business and income? Do you feel like you are working more hours for less money? Well, you are not alone. Never fear; I may have just the thing to pick you up. If you are like me, I start looking for inspiration to push me forward when things get tough. Here is a dose from the Show-Me State.

The St. Louis Cardinals had a wild and improbable season in which they ended up WINNING the 2011 World Series. Consider the rough road they had to travel: (more…)

Geeksgiving

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When I was growing up, I attended Catholic schools. As you might imagine, I had my fair share of guilt, and many times found myself on the wrong end of a wooden paddle. But I digress. During my tenure at Catholic school, Sister Audry taught me a simple poem that I keep with me to this day: “I used to sing the blues, ‘cause I had no shoes, until I met the man on the street, who didn’t have any feet.” Have you ever caught yourself complaining about something to later realize that it could be worse? Take a minute to think about something bad that has happened to you and apply the logic of Sister Audry. It works pretty much every time. (more…)

How to lose a million customers in one simple move

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Are you feeling dumb over a mistake you recently made? I know what that’s like, but not to the degree Reed Hastings, the current CEO of Netflix, does. WOW, what a mess!

The changes to these red envelopes had a lot of people seeing red.

Netflix started in 1999 and, in many ways, pioneered the modern method for renting movies. Much as Napster did with music, these guys started to disrupt an entire distribution system where the traditional path was to go to your local Blockbuster and pick out a few flicks for the weekend. (That is a whole other story that you can read about here.) By 2011, Netflix grew to 23.6 million subscribers and had a lot of those raving fans I keep talking about. If they had such a large, loyal following why did a million customers cancel their accounts? (more…)

The Benefits of Brutal Honesty

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I just came back from a trip with a few customers of mine. I have been on several trips with these guys and they have become real friends to me over the years; the kind that I genuinely look forward to seeing. Whenever we are together, it is a good-natured battle royale. From the minute we say hello to the minute we say goodbye, anyone is a possible target of the group, and when the group turns on you, it can get ugly. We are brutally honest with each other and it is really refreshing. Sure, most of that is couched in humor, so it is a constant belly laugh. But at dinner over a glass of wine, that honesty continues and we really speak the truth as it relates to our business. It’s even to the point that when someone new is introduced to this group, they think I am crazy for attacking a valued customer the way I do. But with these people, that is just the way we do it. (more…)

Legendary

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Jobs' innovative ways of thinking and humanizing technology made him a visionary who was respected by all.

With the passing of Steven Jobs last week, much has been said about the impact he made on the world. Think about it: This guy was fired from Apple, hired back, stole the portable music business away from Sony, changed the entire digital music industry, stole the cell phone market away from Nokia and Motorola and changed the entire mobile industry. Just about everything he touched turned to gold. He made his impact by living his life and dreaming big. (more…)