2 Rules for Delighting Customers

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Promise on what you know you can deliver.

If you don’t deliver on your promise, your customer will be upset – wouldn’t you be? You want to manage expectations upfront and do everything you can to deliver. Even over-deliver if you are able.

One of the things I loved most when I first started using Amazon.com’s free shipping is that while they projected delivery within 5-7 days, packages often arrived early!

Follow-up with the customer on the status of the deliverable.

Let’s face it, things happen, unexpected problems occur, and sometimes you have no more options to try and get the work done on time. Let the customer know before your deadline that things are running behind schedule and specify how much more time you need – your deliverable may affect other plans and projects.

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Make Tomorrow More Productive in < 15 Minutes

We all have days where we find ourselves staring at the computer screen for hours and at the end of the day feeling like we got nothing accomplished (except for catching up on our Facebook and Twitter feeds).

This is an awful feeling.

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Instead of commiserating on the lost time, make tomorrow a bit more manageable and successful by implementing these two habits:

 Write out 5 goals for tomorrow

Start out by making a short list of the top 5 things you want to accomplish tomorrow. Make the goals specific and descriptive.

Here are some examples:

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Optimize Your Meetings with These 6 Components

In a startup, you cannot afford to have meetings with no outcomes/ accomplishments. Well, to be frank, no company should be able to afford meetings where all you do is share updates. (if all you are going to do is share updates, send me a compiled email…please)

Having a great meeting can happen! But it takes preparation and follow through to ensure success.

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Here are 6 components to help you get the most out of company meetings.
Great meetings:

Agree on an agenda beforehand

If you have a structure to the meeting you can cut the meeting time in half…and are more likely to get through all the items. It’s not fun to go into a meeting with no idea what is going to be talked about or how long it will last. It will also allow people to formulate ideas to contribute beforehand.

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7 Essential Skills for Being a Team Player

teamworkIf you want to make meaning and change the status quo, it’s not enough to just be on the team. You must also be a team player.

Remember your 6th grade basketball team? Whether you were a starter or second string, A-team or B-team, your position on the team was extremely important.

No matter what your role is in the organization, it is essential to have these skills in order to be successful.

The best team players:

Help teammates win

Have the back of your teammates. When one person wins, you all win. If someone is struggling to meet a deadline or stuck on a problem they just cannot solve, jump in and help. Sometimes just an outside perspective can get to the solution quicker.

  • Ingrain trust

    You know those plays where the point guard doesn’t even look at the person they are passing to? That’s what you want to do. You want your team mates to trust you will be there when it counts.

  • Inspire each other

    Inspire your teammates to push harder and further. Go out of their comfort zone. Do things they didn’t think they were capable of doing.

  • Bring positivity

    The Power of Positive Thinking. When someone gets a miss, stumbles, falls…help them get back up and shake it off.

  • Work with intensity

    Nothing is more demoralizing than busting your butt while others walk across the finish line. Work with the same intensity you expect from others.

  • Are coachable

    Everyone can continue to learn new things. Allow other leaders to give feedback and be appreciative of their assistance. But don’t listen just for listening’s sake – put it into action!

  • Pass the ball

    No one likes it when one person takes all the credit for the work of a team (a ball hog). And if you try to do everything yourself, your chances of success dwindle. You need people to help you who have complimentary skills – but they will be more likely to help if give them a chance.

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    The Most Important Formula You Need to Solve

    formulaWe often associate formulas with mathematics, however they are hugely beneficial to use in many other circumstances that don’t include just numbers.

    Figuring out what you need from your current or future job can help you create a career path that best fits your personality, needs, ambitions, and lead to a more fulfilling life.  I call this your “work-happiness formula“.

    Take a moment to list out the factors that are important to you.

    Once you have your factors, take the top 5-7 and place a multiplier in front of them (not exceeding 100%) in order to prioritize them.

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    The 5 Step Scientific Method for Startups

    science-catRemember science fairs?  The excitement that comes from standing in front of a tri-fold board and explaining the meaning of words you don’t even know to strangers who walk by is…exhilarating, right?

    Having a ‘method’ to the madness that is the startup/my life has become an important task. That doesn’t mean I shy away from crazy and irrational decisions…but it DOES mean I very often (but not always) analyze the data prior to making a choice (side note – be open to always collecting new data points!).

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    3 Tactics for Overcoming Haters

    hatersThere are haters out there – everywhere. Some subtle, some very direct.   They are the folks who don’t believe you can do what you say you can do, brush off any of your success, and often beat you down…(emotionally…not physically).

    Haters are toxic to creativity and can hinder pushing forward on your goals. How do you deal with them?

    Decide not to associate with them, and cut your losses

    It’s not worth being miserable everyday. If you circle the parking lot before heading into work…it’s time to move on and find some new associates. However, it can be difficult to not associate with these folks if they are close friends or family, and in that case it is worth talking to them about what is going on. It will probably be a difficult and uncomfortable discussion, but it is better then lying awake in bed each night with the anxiety and doubt. You might even be able to turn them into supports!

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    6 Survival Strategies for Life Mavericks

    be differentGoing against the grain to create something incredible and wonderful is not for the faint of heart. You may channel this desire in the career you pursue, or in the building of your ideal dwelling, or in the formation and development of your personal relationships – maybe it’s all three. There will be many lonely and dark days and nights while following a different path than the norm and status quo.

    How to you survive the hard times?

    Keep those who both believe in you and will call you on your shit, the closest

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    4 Critical Tips for Avoiding Decision Paralysis

    Businessman Forward PathIndecisiveness is futile…but making impactful and important decisions can be difficult.  I know.  Trust me.  We are often forced to make decisions without complete information.  Any mathematician (like myself) loves to make decisions based on formulas, data, and concrete assumptions.

    Unfortunately, life and business don’t always present challenges that way (you know…with all that data presented nice and neatly for you).

    How can you ease the process? (and stop wearing the finish off your wood floors from pacing)…

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    5 Audacious Motives for Investing in a CRM

    iStock_000041800086_SmallIt’s time consuming to setup.  It’s expensive to get started.  And nobody really wants to do it.  But the perils of not spending the time and money on a CRM (Customer relationship management) system can be more devastating than the initial pain.

    What may be your motives for taking on this fruitful challenge?

    You don’t want to navigate blindly

    Can you get accurate forecasts by sticking your finger in the wind?  If so, kudos to you!  But for the rest of us, seeing what is coming through the pipeline (numbers and dollars) is essential for accurate planning.

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