Staying Productive During the Dog Days of Summer

The dog days of summer are here. It can be hard to stay productive during this season while co-workers and employees go on vacation, summer hours go into effect or maybe even your business slows down a bit. In this post we will look at ways to stay productive during the dog days of summer.

What are the dog days of summer, anyway?

What thoughts come to mind when you hear the phrase “the dog days of summer”? Warm weather, sunny beaches, pool side barbecues or family road trips? Or maybe you think of it in more of a literal sense like dogs lying around in the heat or playing around like this fun video from America’s Funniest Home Videos (AVF).

Sidney Hall [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sidney Hall [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

While the term may mean many of those things to us today, I think you would be surprised to learn about its origin. It comes from the Greek belief about the star Sirius also known as the dog star in the Canis Major and Lepus constellation. Take a look at the image above. The Greeks believed that Canis Major was like a dog chasing a hare named Lepus. The dog star Sirius is at the tip of the dog’s nose. The dog days of summer occur when Sirius lines up with the Sun. These days are believed to be the hottest days of the year. However, we know now that this couldn’t be true. While the months of July and August are usually the hottest the hottest days can vary from year to year depending on where you live. We also know that a star could never warm up the Earth as much as our Sun already does. However the term “dog days of summer” has stuck and taken on a whole new meaning. Continue reading

5 Ways to Spring into Renewal

spring-into-renewal

Spring is such a gift. After cold gray winter months it is a delight to enjoy the cool air and beautiful colors of spring.

Out of all four seasons, spring represents a time of renewal. Flowers are in bloom, trees grow back their lush green leaves and the streets of residential neighborhoods are filled with the sounds of lawn mowers pruning fresh green grass.

The beauty of this season brings on a feeling of change or the want and need of something new. It’s a good time to evaluate how you are servicing your business needs and how you can implement changes to your business to maximize and satisfy the feeling of renewal for your team and your clients. Continue reading

How to Stimulate Creativity

As marketers, business people, developers, innovators, bloggers, parents and creatives we have to be on top of our game in order to stay ahead. Technology is always changing the way we communicate. We have to be fast thinkers in this instant world that we live in.

I enjoy watching Ellen DeGeneres whenever I need a good belly laugh. I came across this video with Ellen and Rebel Wilson the other day and thought it was a fun example of how in marketing or in life we can fall into situations where we need to do a little improvisation as well. I have also come up with a few ideas to share about how we can stimulate our creativity when we run into a block.
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In Marketing Timing is Everything: Nissan’s Second Royal Baby Tweet

nissan-royal-tweet

Like when you are shooting the winning score seconds before the clock runs out or making the decision to have a baby timing is important. In marketing timing is everything. Being in the advertising specialties industry, I live at least three months ahead of everyone else. In this sort of business you have start marketing and planning before the idea even reaches your customers mind. Sometimes it’s a no brainer, for example, I wouldn’t start my holiday promotions in July. If your timing is too off you can miss the opportunity to connect with potential customers. Continue reading

What is it Big Deal this Year at the Westminster Dog Show?

Who Knew??  The prestigious Westminster Kennel Club dog show is not only allowing mixed breed competitors but it also allowing the sport I practice with my dog, agility. Only 225 dogs can participate so you can image many of us didn’t get in. Like a lottery, the dogs were selected at random. To qualify, you have to be at the “Excellent and Master’s Level”. We were there but sadly didn’t get in.

westminster-nyc

The first widely documented appearance of dog agility was at the Crufts Dog Show in England in 1978. It was originally designed as an entertainment segment between the conformation and obedience rounds. It was enthusiastically embraced by the spectators. Agility intrigued dog owners with its demonstration of speed, agility, and the enthusiasm of the competitors. It is open to a of a variety of breeds and it had quickly grown into an international and local sport with standardized equipment.

crufts-dog-show

How Agility Training is Making a Difference at Westminster

This year will be the 138th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Westminster Dog Show is the one of the longest-running shows of its kind, starting back in 1877. This prestigious dog show judges canines in categories, such as Best in Group, Best of Breed and Best in Show.

The New York the Championship course will be a hybrid of the qualifying rounds and will be televised. It will be run as a ‘time to beat’ course. The first dog will set the baseline time for the subsequent competitors. Agility has become an exciting canine sport for spectators and it has become the fastest growing dog sport in the country. I am not going to bore with my experiences running my dachshund. I have already done that and if you want to look at my experiences please read: How Agility Training Has Helped Me Overcome Business Obstacles.
Why is this a big deal? For 138 years NO mixed breed dogs have appeared in Westminster and agility wasn’t even thought of.

How can you relate this huge change made by the Westminster Dog Show to your Business Plan?

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How Teamwork is the Root of Any Successful Business

redwoods-teamwork

As a native from San Francisco I visit California often, and love while I am in  the bay area taking those drives through Northern California. I will never forget the experiences of driving through the magnificent Redwood National Park.  The reason why I’m talking about redwoods is because I had come across several articles that related these beautiful trees to teamwork. I knew that I wanted to focus this week’s post on teamwork and I found their root system and it’s comparison to teamwork really fascinating.

I became very interested in these amazing trees and wanted to research and explore them more. I learned some very useful information. Growing to a height of 350 feet, the coast redwood trees of Northern California are part of what makes America beautiful. Beyond their visible beauty, these trees also possess an inner beauty that goes all the way down to their roots. For such a tall tree, the coast redwood trees have a root system that is considerably shallow, only extending 100 feet from the base of the tree. The inner beauty of these trees is that they stabilize each other by intertwining their roots with neighboring trees. They’re a team and literally need each other for survival. It is the intertwining of their roots that enables them to remain stable during storms that sometimes bring floods and high winds.

Just like in nature, business comes with its own set of storms that can bring major complications. So the question then becomes, is teamwork the answer to strengthening your company’s foundation; its roots? Yes, effective teamwork is essential to the success of any business or project.

Photographer Nick Nichols wanted to accomplish the impossible. He wanted to photograph the “most complex architectural tree that Earth has known.” Watch the video below to see how he was able to accomplish this for the National Geographic magazine. It is evident that he required a team and without teamwork he would have never been able to accomplish this.

Key Factors within Teamwork for Successful Business

Putting a Team Together
Building a team takes time and effort. What you put into the team is what you will get out of it so if you want excellent results you first have to put together a team of excellence. If team creation is something new for your company, it will change its DNA doing so, the changes must be made uniformly, across the whole organization. Google is a company that is all about teamwork, it’s a part of the Google culture. They almost solely work in teams and feel that this not only makes their company more effective but fun also. Teamwork increases efficiency and opens the door for different minds to focus on the same project.
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Business Innovation is Our Forte

Just weeks before their America’s Got Talent audition Josh Page of New York, Hana Ryu of South Korea and Fernando Varela of Puerto Rico met on the internet. Never before performing in front of an audience, these three strangers got on stage to perform on national television. Mel B asked them how they met, how long they had been together and where they had sang together before. Their answers led to skepticism from the judges as well as myself because they had met on the internet, practiced via Skype and had never sung for anyone as a group before their audition. I remember thinking, “this is going to be a joke”. Well it was a joke and the joke was on me because their voices brought me to tears. I watched the video 3 times in a row and could not understand how three strangers could sound so harmonious. They honestly sounded better than groups that have been together for decades. The group is called Forte and although they have since replaced an original member, they are gaining notoriety. This is all because they were willing to take a risk and try something new. They had a plan and because they didn’t worry about how unconventional their plan may have been they are now a singing group that has the attention of the world. Continue reading

How Agility Training Has Helped Me Overcome Business Obstacles

I started agility training because it helps me to get exercise and clear my mind. It is a great way to enjoy my time away from the computer. I have learned a lot about myself through training my Dachshund, Roxie. The main goal in dog agility is to run your dog through an obstacle course. You are competing for accuracy and time. I’ve been able to carry these lessons into my business life as well. Continue reading to find out more about agility training and how it relates to business life.

agility training tire

Overcoming Obstacles – Business Lessons Learned from Agility Training

Here are a few of the exercises that Roxie and I have had to practice and how agility training has helped me overcome business obstacles. Continue reading

How To Reboot and Get Back to Business

As the summer is coming to an end I can’t help but feel a sense of rejuvenation. It’s Back to School season which, for me, feels like a new start. Similar to how a New Year feels. During the summer, for some of us, business slows down and all anyone ever wants to do is relax and enjoy the sun. But now as we approach the end of August things start to change. It’s time to get back to business and so like me you probably need a reboot. Now is the best time to evaluate and plan how you are going to handle the rest of the year and make the most out of it. So, in today’s post I have put together 8 ideas on how to reboot and get back to business.
Reboot and Get Back to Business

8 Ways to Reboot Your Business

1. Out With The Old, In With The New
Hopefully your business is exactly where you always envisioned it would be. You look at your business and you see all of your hard work paying off and the goals you once set for yourself accomplished. Whether or not that is the case, there is always room for improvement. Set new goals that will keep your business relevant in an ever changing world of business. What are you willing to leave behind, what are you willing to change? The answer maybe just what your business needs to continue to be successful for many years to come.
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Juggling and Balancing Business Productivity

David Ferman - Balancing a Burning Molotov Cocktail

Did you see when David Ferman did his juggling and balancing of a burning molotov cocktail act on America’s Got Talent? Amazing. He’s a smart kid. He realized that in order to impress the judges and the audience that he needed to do something extraordinary. With a little creativity and organization we are all capable of being more productive, successful and profitable. Like Ferman, we have to be consistent, apply practice as well as step out of our comfort zone.

Here is the clip of David Ferman in action. This is how I feel when I’m trying to “juggle” my company. As a business owner there is a lot of pressure to get things done all while, managing, taking risks and captivating an audience.

While I like to watch TV, I don’t normally have much time to watch TV and I don’t have time to watch TV because I’m too busy juggling multitude of tasks for my business and daily life. So I sat down to write this post and come up with ways to maximize productivity for business. Some of these ideas can also be applied to our daily lives.

Business Productivity is an organization’s ability to use all recourses available to them in an effort to produce an environment where goods or services needed by customers and clients can be profitable. Are there things that could be changed within our businesses would make them more productive? There is often a lot of wasted time, redundancy and lack of focus in business. Ever put off a project that you knew would benefit your business because you “didn’t have the time”? Yet we find time for everything else that needs to be done and more. Continue reading