Being Profit Centric

What is the most important aspect of your business: Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, Management, Leadership, Teamwork Development, Technology, Quality Assurance of Product or Service or Your Customer’s Satisfaction?

WRONG! None of these.

What is most important is your profitability. As small business entrepreneurs we get very caught up in the marketing of the business or selling, selling, selling or making sure that we have delivered an incredible customer experience. This is all great, but it doesn’t mean your business is going to survive. All three of these aspects, which we call the Strategic Revenue Cycle, are extremely important but will be meaningless if you are not showing the correct amount of profitability. They are integral partners to each other. This means your net profit margins must be significant enough to cover all your expenses and then give you the profit you need to thrive.

No Margin, No Mission

This is an old saying, but quite applicable. If you do not set realistic margins you will not be able to fulfill your mission, whatever that might be. Many small business entrepreneurs feel awkward charging for their services or charging more than the other guy for their services. If you do not respect your own profit margins then you do not respect the work that you are doing. Doesn’t your work add value to people’s lives? Of course it does. You must understand that you are a problem solver. What you do is solve problems for people with your area of expertise. Plumber, Clothing Retailer, Dentist, Accountant, Massage Therapist, Sign Maker and a Heart Surgeon, are all the same. They are professions that help people solve specific problems. How well would a Heart Surgeon be able to help me purchase a blouse for my wife? Not very. He/she has neither the product nor the expertise.

Problem Solving is Value Building

Let’s say you have a broken ankle. The Brain Surgeon wants to fix your ankle and he will only charge you $300, interested? However, you also have the foot surgeon who specializes in fixing broken ankles and wants to fix it but it costs $3000. Who wins? Really? You will pay 10 times as much to an ankle guy versus a Brain guy? Why? Because his specialty is fixing ankle problems, therefore his expertise is worth more to you. Let’s make it even more obvious, you have a brain tumor who do you want operating in your head… ankle guy or brain guy? Point made.

You are a brain surgeon. At what you do, assuming you are very good at it, you are a brain surgeon in your area of expertise. I can’t do what you do. You can’t do what I do. This is how we exist in our society. We are interdependent. We respect ourselves and each other by developing ourselves to the best of our ability. We can then rely on each other and in a capitalist society we are willing to pay each other for that area of expertise. It is each of our responsibilities to continually develop ourselves. This knowledge an experience is worth money to you and value to your customer.

Handyman Gene Missing

Somewhere I lost the Handyman Gene. I can hardly put a nail in the wall. My friend Andre can tear a car down to nuts and bolts and rebuild it again. He can build a house from scratch and do all the plumbing, electrical and heating work; unbelievable. To me he is a mechanical genius. He is my brain surgeon when it comes to my house. He can solve any problem I have and that is worth a lot to me. He has a level of expertise I can only hope for. So do you. You have a depth of knowledge, a level of expertise that makes you who you are and your business what it is. People are willing to pay for that and pay well. Do you remember the movie, The Color of Money with Paul Newman and Tom Cruise? Paul Newman’s character partners up with Tom Cruise’s character to make money from hustling at pool. When Newman is first enticing Cruise to partner up he says something along the lines of, “When you’re the best, money is easy. People who are the best make lots of money, because they are the best.” That is what we are talking about here. If you develop yourself to be the best that you can be, and then if you can have others recognize that you are as good or better than anyone else in the area, they will not only do business with you but they will pay you well….more than the other guy to fix the same problem.

If you stay Profit Centric you know where your margins need to be and you will charge accordingly. By being profit centric you can focus on effective marketing, successful sales and delivering an incredible customer experience. You see, a Profit Centric organization is not about you the owner making lots of money. It is about assuring that you can stay focused on doing what is right by the customer because you are making the money you need to have a thriving business and the lifestyle you desire.

So, go put up your prices by 15% and increase your value by 60%. You will find that you will sell more at the higher price and have higher customer satisfaction and loyalty. Or, you could not believe me and keep doing what you are doing. To quote Dr. Phil: “Based on results, how’s that working for ya?”

7 Questions to Determine If You Have a Weak Man

Kevin thinks he is his own man. He does whatever he wants regardless of the circumstances. He does not listen. Kevin claims to understand manhood because he has fathered several children. However, Kevin lives with his mother and is jobless. He constantly evades child support payments and bill collectors. Yet, reality never sinks in his mind. He proclaims to the world that he’s a ‘real man.’ Sadly, Kevin represents a growing number of weak men in our society.

One night I could not go to sleep. I watched a movie classic, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” which featured Paul Newman, Burl Ives, and Elizabeth Taylor. Ex-football player and alcoholic Brick (Newman) reunites with his father, Big Daddy (Ives), who is dying of cancer. The movie showcases an assortment of personal conflicts and family drama. One of the strongest conflicts is between father and son. In one scene, Brick is found arguing with his demanding father, “I didn’t want a boss. I wanted a father. All I ever wanted was you to love me.” The movie provides a clear theme for the issues associated with manhood today. In the movie, the father’s controlling behavior contributes to the weakness of his son. Likewise, many people in America share the blame for creating weak men. Are we unknowingly contributing to the growth of weak men? It is a troubling observation as we look at our society. The hot story today is about the brutal treatment of Rhianna by boyfriend Chris Brown. Many pundits and women’s advocates highlight the negative nature of abusive relationships. While these stories are the tragic realities of our culture, they are often forgotten as a passing snapshot before another sensational news story. Yet, the most disturbing thing to witness is the growing trend of more weak men in our society.

The Real Problem
The storyline is very troubling. Weak men are negatively impacting our society. According to the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence, 25% of women had been raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, or dating partner/acquaintance at some time in their lifetime in the 1995-1996 study. Women experienced 20% of all nonfatal violent crimes at the hands of an intimate partner.

Celebrities tout their wealth as a symbol of good character. Consequently, destructive behavior is rewarded with million dollar contracts. The model is developed. Many men consider toughness a virtue and kindness a weakness. Young people follow what we do and not what we say. Therefore, a vicious cycle takes place in our culture where manhood isn’t understood. Men are depending more on women to provide for them and take the leadership role in their homes. Some men do not feel any commitment to the young lady. She is disrespected and taken for granted.

The Masculine Definition
In order to understand a weak man, an individual must understand the meaning of manhood. Being a real man is about possessing responsible character. It involves moving beyond the trivial to the significant in life. This concept is revealed biblically in 1 Corinthians 13:11: “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child, and reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up my childish ways.” The problem is that so many men have not grown up and are living the lives of grown-up ‘children.’ There is plenty of blame to go around: parents, media, celebrities, and society in general.

Young men are growing up confused about the meaning of manhood. Therefore, a fight exists between doing the right things and doing what’s in my own selfish interest. It is the battle of the internal man. General George Patton said, “Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base. All men are afraid in battle. The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of manhood.” Below is how to determine if you have a weak man:

  1. Is he a dependable person?
  2. Does he take responsibility for his situation?
  3. Does he work with you on building a shared vision for the future?
  4. Is he willing to make a commitment to you?
  5. Can he keep a full-time job on a consistent basis?
  6. Does he encourage your dreams and ambitions?
  7. Does he demonstrate that he respects you by his actions and words?

If the majority of your answers are ‘no,’ you’ve got a very weak man on your hands. Therefore, it is up to you to improve your conditions in life, not that weak man.

Society must allow men to become more self-sufficient. In the movie Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Big Daddy operated in ways that enabled Brick, his son. As a consequence, Brick never really experienced the consequences of his bad decisions. Likewise, many people promote the weak man model by cuddling and shielding these men from the realities of life. However, today’s men must be accountable, responsible, and character leaders in society.

Giving young boys positive male role models is important in stopping the epidemic of weakness. However, it is crucial that they interface with strong men through organizations like churches and community organizations. If adults take positive steps today, society can prevent this growing problem in communities across this country.

Future Outlook
Can you afford to have a weak man in your life? The media constantly bombards us with negative caricatures of manhood. Instead of producing positive results, they generate the negative unintended consequence of weak men. Some parents want to shift the blame to the schools or the government. It is time that we reject this weak man model today. Many men and women are attempting to correct this problem in order to raise more dependable men in our society. Real manhood is not glamorous as the movies would have you believe. Real manhood is not an easy process. It is about shouldering your responsibilities, making commitments, and making hard choices. Can you survive with a weak man?

How to Catch Walleye: The “Silent Partner” Method

Are you one of those adventurous people who are looking for some walleye fishing techniques and tips? Here’s a tip — Consider thinking of the walleye as your “silent partner” in your fishing adventure. Let me explain.

You could be interested in planning a fishing vacation to catch some walleye? You could be eager to experience some of the Canadian fishing lore of catching nice sized fish in an atmosphere of remote, pristine waters? If so, you are not alone.

Sure, almost anyone can go to Canada (or northern USA states) and enjoy the beautiful pine-scented, boreal forest and have a great time in a remote cabin on the edge of a cold water lake. That is the easy part. However, if you want to add the pleasure of also getting out on the lake and catching the prized walleye, that part takes some additional preparation.

Not only must you have all the rods, reels, line, lures, and all the other fishing gear to get the job done, but you also need some good old-fashioned knowledge or experience in finding and catching these seemingly elusive fish. That is where reading this and other articles comes in.

Yes, fishermen have developed websites and they contain information on specialized lures and fishing camps sent periodic reports for their particular lake. Yes, all that is great information and you should gather and use it to your advantage… information is the key. But, there is an additional aspect of fishing for walleye for you to consider.

Do you remember the movie “Cool Hand Luke”? It was a movie (starring Paul Newman) about a disgustingly primitive prison in the southern USA swampland. In one of the scenes, a prison guard supervisor was lecturing the inmates about learning to cope with the harsh prison life. He said to the prisoners, “You have to get your mind right”!

Well, the same idea can apply to walleye fishing. In this case, thinking of the walleye as your silent partner helps “get your mind right”!

Here’s the idea. Think about this. All the walleye in the lake are perfectly willing to cooperate in your quest to have a great fishing adventure. They will eagerly take your bait and are happy to give you the great, heart-thumping pleasure in wrestling them into your boat. They will even be glad to provide the basis of a tasty, memorable Canadian open-fire shore lunch. In this way, they are your partner in experiencing a great fishing trip.

All you have to do is give them a chance. They are not the enemy. They are not hiding. They are not avoiding you. They don’t run and hide in the depths when you approach. To be sure, they can be finicky and a little hard to please at times. However, overall they will agree to help “make your day”.

You might say, “That’s a lot of B.S. I’ve been out on the lake for hours and never got a bite”. The question one has to ask is, “Where were you”?

We know where the fish were. They were/are where they always are. They are in places that make them feel safe. They are at depths where the light and temperature conditions are comfortable. They are in places with food available. Where were you?

The walleye are there-in numerous places all over the lake that give them all the things above. They are there — swimming around and doing what fish do. So, how do you make them your partner?

The walleye are there-waiting for you to show up. All you have to do is:

a. drive your boat over to their location
b. drop something they like to eat (bait/lure)in the water
c. Send it down to their depth and
d. make it look interesting

When you do that… BANG, you get that Tug-Tug on your line and the fun begins. The walleye on your line has become your fishing partner. You have done your part. The walleye has done its part. There is a nice balance.

WOW! It’s so simple, eh? In many ways-yes, it’s simple. It’s simple enough to learn about the walleye, its habits, favorite habitat, food preferences, etc. It’s simple to learn about when and why walleye move around the lake in response to the seasons. The more you know about this stuff, the easier it is to find where the walleye are waiting. Learning all the details you need is not difficult.

There is a lot of acreage in most lakes. There are billions of gallons of water. However, a good part of the lake area is what might be termed “dead water”. You must know that walleye do not just universally litter the bottom of the lake. You cannot just stop your boat anywhere and expect to catch a fish.

Walleye will only be comfortable in a very small percentage of the lake environment. And, that is where they are swimming around…waiting. You have to learn to eliminate the “dead water”.

If you are a “rookie”, the odds of you jumping in a boat, heading out on a lake, throwing out some lines and stumbling onto a mess of nice walleye are very slim. The balance is all out-of-whack. The makings of a good partnership are not there.

Fishermen with limited experience in catching walleye will usually opt to hire a guide to take them to where the walleye are waiting. That is fine. We recommend it. It can be very educational. However, it is also very expensive.

It’s been a long time, but my fishing group (55+ years in Canada) have been there-done that. Sooner or later, you too will gain enough experience to easily find walleye. It’s your job to make the time frame as short as possible.

We mentioned balance above. In nature, there is always some measure of balance, but it is not always perfect. Sometimes the scales can be heavily over weighted to one side. Take the example of a rookie fisherman against the walleye.

On the one hand you have the walleye. They know their comfort zones and where to find them. They know exactly where they are in their environment. They know what they like to eat. They hover around their favorite places swimming, resting, and/or waiting to eat. The walleye are not looking for you.

On the other hand, we have a fisherman. He/she may not have a clue about any of these things. He doesn’t really know where the walleye are or why. Inexperienced walleye fishermen learn quickly that the scale or balance is heavily weighted in favor of the fishes that their location will remain a secret.

So, how can we shift the balance back toward the fisherman? What is the key? The key is information (substitute experience), of course! Information and experience changes everything and shifts the balance. That is what makes for a good partnership.

We realize that not everybody can get to Canada or go walleye fishing on a regular basis. Even taking a trip every year is not always possible. My fishing group has been fortunate. We have taken an annual trip to Canada every year since about 1955.

To make a long story short, we have gathered a ton of information in our 50+ years of hunting the prized walleye. And, you can too. Our goal in writing this and other articles is to keep the balance tipping in your favor. When fishermen get the balance shifted in their favor, or at least to a balanced position, they may WANT to hire a guide, but they won’t NEED to.

How is that for a walleye fishing technique or tip? It is maybe a bit esoteric, but we hope you get the point. Yes, it’s true–walleye can actually be your “silent partner” in a great fishing trip.

It helps to… “Get your mind right”! Grab all the background information you can to keep the balance fair. Start a plan to get out there and find where they are waiting. It’s a great adventure in the making!

Walleye Fishing is not a matter of life and death. It’s more important than that!