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Focus on Your Moonshots, Plus Other Business Tips for February-March

The need to be efficient often keeps you from big exciting projects.




PrioritizationMake This the Year You Launch Your Moonshoot

In 2015, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin handed over day-to-day operations of one of the world’s richest and most dynamic companies to a subordinate, so they could focus on “moonshots.” They had realized something that confronts all business owners: The demand to be efficient means that what’s most exciting to you doesn’t get done. It’s also reflected in the timeworn advice to spend the first hour of the day working on your most important project, something British writer Oliver Burkeman thinks many of us would be wise to make a life philosophy, or at least a starting point for our days in 2021: “If you’re going to spend at least some of your time on the planet doing what matters to you most, you’d better actually start doing what matters most,” he writes for The Guardian.


Sgt. Matt Eversmann took part in one of the U.S. military’s great “no man left behind” stories, leading troops in the Mogadishu, Somalia, firefight that served as inspiration for Black Hawk Down. So, what’s his take on leadership? Fearlessness, charisma, self-sacrifice? It’s looking sharp, he tells Carmine Gallo, author of 10 Simple Secrets of the World’s Greatest Communicators. To start, “Always dress a little better than everyone else,” he advises, especially subordinates. “Presence” makes people receptive to the important stuff that follows, he says.

LET’S GET AWAYInvite A Vendor

If you’re able to hold a company strategic retreat, why not invite key vendor reps? Share everything. Your vendors will understand you better, and can provide ideas to help you sell better. Jason Jennings, author of Think Big, Act Small, cites this policy as a key strength at successful fast-food franchise Sonic Drive-In.


Want an insight into the latest thoughts and theories on marketing without having to pay Big Four fees? Find an intern at a large marketing or consulting company, or even a marketing major at a local college, and ask them to take you on as a “client,” suggests For a small fee, they should be able to give you exposure to cutting-edge marketing ideas and ways to implement them in return for some real-world experience to bolster their resume.


POSITIVITYGood Things in a Jar

Forget grandiose New Year’s resolutions. Instead, take one small step to a more fulfilling, positive and memorable life with a “Good Things Jar.” Each day, write down on a slip of paper every good thing that happens to you, and then toss it in the jar. “On Dec. 31, open it up and read all the amazing things that happened to you that year,” says Walter Chen, whose iDoneThis blog encourages people to swap one-minute stories about their day’s highlights. If you don’t want to wait until the year’s end, dip into it when you’re feeling blue.

MANAGEMENTPersuasive Brew

Your brilliant new marketing strategy for 2021 is a sure winner, but your staff just can’t see the big picture. What to do? Drug them … with caffeine. A moderate dose (about two cups of coffee) might make them see your side, according to research published in The European Journal Of Social Psychology. The study found that in addition to boosting alertness, caffeine increases the ability to be influenced. “It’s most effective in the morning, so for the sake of argument, deliver that java early,” advised Working Mother, citing the survey.

ShreddedTrim Your Costs

Tax season is almost upon us, which means it’s a good time to buy a shredder. And no we’re not suggesting that because you may have something to hide, but because office-supply retailers discount them to lure customers into their stores. You don’t need a top-of-the-line model that chops paper into the tiniest of confetti. One that simply shreds and crosscuts will do the trick.


Each January, the National Retail Federation’s Stores magazine produces its list of 20 Ideas Worth Stealing. Here’s one that stood out from a recent collection: Say thank you. Yes, it seems retailers need to be reminded. Customers love those little gestures of appreciation, the magazine said, whether it’s a beverage or a handwritten note from the sales associate after a large purchase. And for the true skeptic, it cited a study published in the Journal Of Marketing that found “expressing thanks was a powerful tool in building trust between the customer and the company.”



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