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South Burlington, VT

Value Creation Blog

What Role Do You Play?

I like to ask owners I work with a question - what role do you play in your business?  If the person I’m asking this question is honest


 their answer is it depends.  It depends on what they’re actually doing at a particular time.

When I’m working with clients I like to help them work on the $10,000 per hour question.  The one that will help them move the needle in their company.  If most business owners are honest with me they’ll tell me their time is usually spent on things that are worth $25 to $300 an hour. 

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Topics: financial planning, roles, creating value

4 Reasons You Need Goals – Wealth Management in Vermont

wealth management vtI’ll admit that I’m not a big fan of goal setting. I don’t like to do it and I don’t like to monitor them. At the same time I know that if I don’t set goals I’ll just chase my tail and get nothing useful done.

Does this sound familiar to you? You know you should set goals, you’ve been taught that without goals you don’t know where you’re going, and yet, you just never seem to get around to setting them.

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Topics: mission vision values and goals, financial planning, wealth management, roles, asking why, stage 3,, stage 2,

Happiness Is What Happens Now - Wealth Management

present-4I hear this all of the time, “When x happens I’m going to be happy.” The problem with this statement is that happiness is going to be in the future, it’s not happening right now.

Too often we wait for something that is going to make us happy. Why don’t we instead look for things that can make us happy today?

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Topics: cultural change, wealth management, roles, professional relationships

Do You Feel Like You’re A Groundhog (The Movie)

groundhogdayIn the movie Groundhog Day Bill Murray gets to live his life over and over until he learns some basic lessons. I use this movie as a metaphor for how many of us live our lives. We seem to have the same problems every year and they never go away. Do you ever wonder why this happens?

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Topics: cultural change, roles, learning experiences

3 Reasons You Want To Be In Your Own Business

be your own boss resized 600I could make this list the ten reasons you want to be in your own business.  Instead of ten I’ll start with what I think are the three most important.

If you understand these three and integrate them into your life, it’ll become easier to take the leap.  Without some very good reasons to open your own business you’re never going to leave the comfort of working for someone else.

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Topics: value creation, roles, professional relationships

Are You A Curmudgeon?

curmudgeon resized 600I have to admit it; the word curmudgeon is one of my favorite words in our language.  I like to say it and I like the way it sounds.  What I don’t like is the dictionary definition of a curmudgeon.

Dictionary.com defines a curmudgeon as a bad-tempered, difficult, cantankerous person.  Sometimes it’s a good thing to have a curmudgeon around.  Sometimes a cantankerous person will say something that needs to be said and no one is willing to do so. 

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Topics: business coaching, communication, roles

Joining The Middle Market Is A Real Challenge

middle marketThis is the end of our series on the type of business you can own. 

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Topics: business coaching, for business owners, roles

We Don’t Live In A Zero Sum World

zeroA few weeks ago I wrote a post on why I believe it’s important to go for win/win or nothing.  Win/win is where you get what you need and I get what I need.  We both walk away happy.  There are other options and the result is often not very pretty:

  • Win/Lose - I get what I want and you don’t.  When this happens I always have to worry about what sort of revenge you might be planning for me.
  • Lose/Win - You get what you want and I don’t get what I want.  This might just a problem for you.  You’re going to have to spend a lot of time wondering whether I’m going to sue you or I just might go for plain old revenge.
  • Lose/Lose - It’s hard to believe that anyone would want to do this, but it happens more often than we think.  This is where compromise lives.  It’s when we both decide we would be better off if we both don’t get what we want instead of looking for a 3rd alternative.

Are you a zero sum person?

If you allow win/lose or lose/win to exist in your life you just might be a zero sum person.  Zero sum people think there is only so much in the world.  Zero sum people believe that resources dwindle and I have to get mine before they run out.  They believe that markets are only so big and that there isn’t enough business for all.  They take all of the business they can get just because they believe there might never be another customer that walks in their door or signs a contract with them.

Zero sum people are not bad people.  They just have a belief system that forces them to see the world as one with diminishing opportunity.  In my opinion this comes from a headset that sees the world in a way that evidence shows is false.

If this belief were true, it would have been impossible for billions of people to join the middle class over the last fifty years.  If you and I look at the facts we will see that this is patently not true.  In fact, billions of people have joined the middle class and it looks like billions more will in the next fifty years.

But if everyone can win won’t we ruin everything?

This is the belief of some environmentalists and some in our own country who think we have to “police” the rest of the world.  Both camps come from a zero sum belief system.  They believe there isn’t enough and as a result we either have to deprive ourselves (lose/win) or we have to forcibly take what we want (win/lose). 

Both models in my opinion are faulty.  Technology has saved us over and over for the past two hundred years.  It looks like it just might do so again.  At the same time, we have to be aware there are bad people in the world and we have to mindful of where we live and take care of our environment.  Both can be accomplished with a mindset of expanding opportunity and prosperity. 

Expanding our belief system is the opposite of zero sum.

The only way we really can believe there is a world of expanding opportunity is to always go for win/win or don’t play.  It’s a choice.  You can decide to not participate with those who don’t work towards win/win.  You don’t have to associate, work, or do business with those who want to take advantage of you.  You don’t have to compromise to move forward.  If you spend time looking at the core values of what you both want, you can move forward.

If you decide that you really do live in an expanding world, being a little magnanimous in how you work will play to your advantage.  You’re likely to be able to get what you want and need and not have to take the last crumb off the table.  The choice is yours.  Which path will you choose to follow?

I’ve written a special report on relationship and roles in your business.  I think if we understand what roles we play and how those roles control the relationships with have with our business it helps us move forward to be in expanding what we can and might even want to do.  To get this report, click on the button below.

Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through NFP Securities, Inc. (NFPSI), Member FINRA/SIPC. Stage 2 Planning Partners and NFPSI are not affiliated.

This article is published for residents of the United States only.  Registered Representatives and Investment Adviser Representatives of NFP Securities, Inc. may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered.  Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed.  Not all of the products and services referenced on this site are available in every state and through every representative or advisor listed.


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Topics: for business owners, business relationship management, roles

7 Reasons You Need A Personal Management System

personal management resized 600I’ve been a big fan of David Allen’s Getting Things Done system for many years.  I believe that without this system I would likely be lost.  You see, I’m a really big fan of bright shiny objects.  For me, a bright shiny object is anything that gets my attention and manages to move me away from what’s important in my life.

I find that when I use a personal management system I get three or four times more accomplished than if I just wing it.  What about you, do you have a personal management system?  Does it help it make you more effective or is it just too much of a hassle to use?

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Topics: business coaching, value creation, roles

Lessons I Learned In My Writing Class

business secretsI’ve been taking a blog writing class for the last several months.  During the class I’ve learned several things that I hope have made my writing better and more enjoyable to read.  I find that I often have unintended results that happen when I take classes or try to learn something new.  Here are some of them.

Secret’s I’ve learned about life

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Topics: communication, relationship, roles, lessons learned

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