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Tip Sheet

Yoga Practitioners and Navy Seals Alike Follow This Business Advice

Plus more tips from our September-October issue.




OPERATIONSNo Hurry, No Pause

Yoga practitioners are known to say, “No hurry, no pause.” The Navy SEALs have a mantra, “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.” And then of course, there is the slow and steady tortoise we’re introduced as a child. But the lesson of all these invocations isn’t so much about a tactic to win the race. It’s that life — and business — is so much more pleasurable when you’re in the flow and enjoying the journey. “You don’t need to go through life huffing and puffing, straining and red-faced; you can get 95 percent (and maybe even more) of the results you want by calmly putting one foot in front of the other,” Tim Ferriss notes in Tools of Titans. “Perhaps I’m just getting old, but my definition of luxury has changed over time. Luxury, to me, is feeling unrushed. No hurry, no pause.”

EXIT STRATEGYBe Prepared to Walk

After helping almost 100 owners sell their businesses, consultant Stephen Semple of Business Growth Guys says he has one core piece of advice: Run your business like you are planning to own it for the next 20 years. Buyers will often try to low-ball you at the very last minute, knowing full well that owners have often already sold the company in their heart and are ready to move on. “The champagne is on ice, and the owner is not emotionally capable of walking away from the closing table. To fight this, the seller needs to remain ready to walk. Walking away is the only power the seller has,” Semple says.


COMMUNITYOffer Chip Scanning

Want to add some feel-good factor to people’s perception of your brand? Become a microchip scanning location and help reunite lost pets. “We get lost pets in every week and have reunited over 100 pets with their family,” Mary Hardin, owner of Woof Gang Bakery Fleming Island in Fleming Island, FL, says. “If you find a stray animal, everyone knows you can bring it to Woof Gang for a microchip scan. Our staff loves being able to reunite pets who have made their way to the pet bakery.”

MANAGEMENTKeep Some “Slop”

Do you keep 50 percent of your time unscheduled? If not, you’re probably not leaving enough slack in your day to manage optimally. That’s the view of Dov Frohman, a former VP at Intel, who during his corporate career also found enough time to invent EPROM, a widely used type of computer memory. In his book Leadership The Hard Way, he argues that bosses should ensure they maintain sufficient “slop” in their schedules to allow space for reflection and the assimilation of lessons learned from experience.

PRODUCTIVITYDo the Right Stuff First

Not an original tip, but an incredibly important one, which in this iteration goes by the mnemonic M.I.T. Nope, it’s not the fancy college in Massachusetts. It stands for “most important task.” At the start of the day, work out the most important task that you have to do and, this is key, do it first. Don’t clear out your email, don’t check Twitter, do your MIT. “Get it out of the way, and the rest of the day is gravy,” Leo Babauta, founder of the Zen Habits blog, says.

MARKETINGBring Discipline to Your Message

Feel your marketing is more scattershot than cohesive? Then bring discipline to it with a Brand Messaging Guide, says Andrea Hill, CEO of small-business consultancy Hill Marketing Group. Start by coming up with three things you wish every potential customer knew about your business and use them to inform all of your marketing. “Consider how each of these items benefits the customer and create two or three benefit statements for each,” says Hill.


You may be the boss, but that doesn’t mean you should win all arguments. Ease up, says Phil Dusenberry of top ad agency BBDO in a profile in Fast Company magazine. Cede a debating point, the execution of an idea, or even ownership of a concept at least once a day, and your staff will praise your open-mindedness and feel more free to act boldly.

SECURITYDon’t Be Rushed

Our emotions lead us into places we’d often be wise to avoid. It’s a thing conmen know too well, says psychologist and writer Maria Konnikova, author of The Confidence Game. The answer? To pause. “Time is the great antidote to emotion,” she says. “Scammers will rush you; taking space to reflect is your best defense against conmen. The same applies when reading a news headline, or a tweet, which wants you to hurry up and feel something. Don’t be rushed.”




P.L.A.Y. Media Spotlight

At P.L.A.Y. — Pet Lifestyle & You — toy design is definitely a team effort! Watch PETS+ interviewer Chloe DiVita and P.L.A.Y.’s Director of Sales Lisa Hisamune as they talk about the toy design process, the fine-tuning that makes each toy so special and why every P.L.A.Y. collection is made with independent retailers top of mind.

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