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Ep117: Communication Triage

“You look so beautiful that I almost didn’t recognize you.” Ever have someone deliver a compliment with that kind of precision and deftness? Sure, there might need to be training to help them better communicate; but listening for intent is just as important. Do you have a culture that assumes best intent, and trains from there? Why is that important for business? Sometimes, you need to be trained to hear the intent behind the words or clumsy phrasing. Just like a good daughter, the...


Ep116: Happy Birthday... Give Me Your Money

Have you ever received one of those messages from a friend from high school, who clearly just wants to sell you something? Or had someone try to jump 6 or 7 rungs on the intimacy ladder, just to do business? Let’s talk about when the attempt to create an add actually becomes a detract. Why is that important for business? “Happy birthday, Eliot, now give me your money!” Although it’s not an exact quote, these kinds of emails happen. And they actually end up devaluing the sender. Like a...


Ep115: Grin-Worthy Goal Setting

Can you feel the difference between setting a goal and setting a Big Grin Goal? We sure can, and we want to spend some time talking about it. Why is that important for business? We’ve all set goals that – theoretically, at least – we want to achieve. And then…we don’t. But Eliot wants to introduce you to Scott and his concept of the Big Grin Goals (as measured with a Grindictator!) Now, you could really like something, want something, but it might not make you grin. That things that...


Ep114: Ask Anyway (Joe Natoli Part 2)

It’s part 2 of our lovely dalliance with guest host, Joe Natoli, and he has a lot to share, including how to say no to non ideal clients, how to (politely) ignore your clients requests, and how to stand for the truth of your work. Why is that important for business? When clients come to Joe with a defined problem (and a proposed solution), his first step is to politely ignore their request and ask, “what occurred to make you think you needed this solution? Tell me the story that led you to...


Ep113: Why All Business is UX (Joe Natoli Part 1)

We have a guest host today, and he has a great (2-part) story about finding the right work, making the invisible visible, and helping humans find new results from their systems. Why is that important for business? Our guest host Joe helped us explore a lot of topics in this 2-part conversation, including: Finding what you are skilled at doing, even if no one supports youSometimes we need “not that” people in our life, so we can discover what we want by having to fight for it.That you...


Ep112: When Ranting Actually Matters

How do you tell when something is just a quick rant, and when something actually matters? Well, we’ve got a story about that. Or a series of rants, as the case may be. Why is that important for business? Rants are specific to the people you tell them. What bothers you doesn’t necessarily bother other people. But these are the things that are the poppy seeds between the teeth in an organization that end up causing tension. If everyone agrees that about the poor etiquette, then you can...


Ep111: We Are Baltimore

Leadership isn’t about taking responsibility for just the parts you like; leaders don’t get to separate themselves from their organization. And as much as this episode is about the things Trump said about Baltimore, it’s more about good (and bad) leadership, and choosing between a chair and a hand. Why is that important for business? When you lead anything, whether it be a country, a state, or an organization, you can’t disconnect yourself from the things that are in your charge. When you...


Ep110: The Value of Imperfect Steps

It’s important to remember that clarity comes through action. For instance, clarity that two semi-introverts might not like to be the stars of their own party. And that there might be a better way to build a community without needing to hide in the corner or fake a bathroom break. Why is that important for business? Figuring things out in business is an imperfect path. But it is only by doing something that isn’t quite a hit out of the ballpark that the next thing that IS a fit becomes...


Ep109: Harmonizing for Fun & for Profit

In business, sometimes you need to lead, and sometimes you need to follow. Like singing harmony, it’s a balancing act of merging talents. And if someone doesn’t know or respect their role, nothing sounds right. Why is that important for business? Just like when you are singing, running a business involves asking yourself this question: “Is this a moment when I am the driver, or is this a case where I am a passenger?” Because everything gets harder when two or more people are trying to...


Ep108: The Problem with The Ask

When you’re starting a new venture, you’re all passion and enthusiasm. But can you expect your team to be the same? How much is too much to ask of the people around you? Why is that important for business? When you are getting something new off the ground, you are often asking people to make your priority their priority. You may have some basic rules – you won’t ask anyone else to do something you aren’t willing to do yourself, for instance. But there aren’t any hard rules about what is...


Ep107: Rabbit Development

You probably don’t expect the story of a rabbit statue at a Shinto temple in Japan to be the inspiration for an episode about the importance of deepening your business relationships, but here we are. Relationships in business are often looked at as transactional. But what happens when we see relationships as valuable in their own right? Why is that important for business? So many of the lessons we are taught about marketing, about networking and about business development in general have...


Ep106: Business IS Personal

Ever fallen in business love and just assumed you will be working together forever? Typically, life just doesn’t work that way – employees and teammates come and go in our career, even when we wish they didn’t. And even though we might intellectually know this, it doesn’t mean we don’t sometimes react badly. Like so many of Eliot’s stories, this is one he isn’t proud of. Why is that important for business? When you find that perfect person for a role in your business, it can be hard not...


Ep105: It's Bigger than the Job Description

There’s the part of the job that is in the job description and the part that is harder to define, but typically just as (if not more) valuable. This amorphous magic that someone brings to the work they do is hard to hire for and often, completely irreplaceable. Yet it can be considered superfluous. Why is that? Let’s discuss in this episode. Why is that important for business? There are people in our businesses who simply make things better. They may or may not excel at the specific tasks...


Ep104: Unhealthy Competition

Ever found yourself in the middle of a “who slept less or worked more” competition? It happens to the best of us, and it is always weird. So why do we do it? Let’s see what our intrepid hosts have to say about this entrepreneurial misery one-upmanship. Why is that important for business? Even if we would never admit it – or worse, outright deny it – busy working people often take a strange pride in being overworked. But if there is honour in being too busy or not sleeping – which is...


Ep103: The Tragic Flaw of Leadership

Ego is a requirement of entrepreneurship, but it can also be an obstacle. Let’s go back to the recession of 2007/2008, where Eliot recounts some of his personal failings for us, so we can learn from his mistakes. Why is that important for business? Hope and optimism are necessary attributes of an entrepreneur; so is a healthy dose of ego. But they can also be dangerous. When you need to make tough decisions, all of these traits – assets though they might be – can become obstacles....


Ep102: Unintended Consequences

Are there any places in your business where you are falling short of expectations? You might be surprised. There are elements of service and care that, when present, make little impact. Yet when they are absent, they can make all the difference in how clients feel about you and your business. Miss them, and you might be telling clients not to return. Why is that important for business? It’s important to do periodic audits of the customer or client experience – are there any ways you are...


Ep101: When Things Go Sideways

Sometimes things go sideways. Especially when we have big plans, but absolutely no…”plan”. Like, for instance, our “plan” to make last episode a two-parter. But as always – our stories are yours to learn from. Why is that important for business? When you are a busy entrepreneur with more ideas than time, things are bound to go sideways. Between the idea and the actual awareness of what it takes to execute the idea are often a massive disconnect. We want something to happen, we make no...


Ep100: Stop Missing Milestones (Our 100th Episode!!)

It’s a very special 100th episode, which leads us to this important question: how do we celebrate milestones? It turns out, this is harder than it sounds. Why is that important for business? The act of intentionally creating a ritual in order to pause and feel the weight of an accomplishment, a milestone or an event – in business or in life – can actually help solidify the experience in your mind. It adds punctuation. Yet we are quite bad at celebrating these milestones in any way. Often,...


Ep99: When Good Marketing Gets Gross

There’s a difference between taking a side door into an opportunity and gaming the system. Just what that difference is and why it matters is what we want to talk about in this episode. Why is that important for business? Some marketing can feel a little extra…gross. But working to get a seat at the table feels a lot different than gaming the system to create the illusion of a seat, or a title or a reward. It’s the difference between hustle and manipulation. And it’s a recipe for Imposter...


Ep98: How to Take (and ignore) Feedback

Feedback can be a tricky thing. If you listen to every opinion that you hear, it’s easy to get lost. But if you ignore valuable input simply because you don’t understand the perspective, you can easily get stuck in a rut. The art of eating the fish and spitting out the bones is a fine one, and it’s worth a discussion. Why is that important for business? If you’ve ever led a workshop where feedback forms are handed out to participants, you know very well the frustration of hearing...