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E-News

E-News - For Leaders Only

Jerry Jr. took over his business from his dad, Jerry Sr., about ten years ago. Within the first twenty-four months, he made a few drastic but necessary changes. He updated the logo and company software, as well as arranged for a fleet of new trucks. ...read more

E-News - Shoot for Excellence!

Last night, I had the privilege of hearing Kyle Snyder speak at a “Night for Excellence” event at Ohio State University, when I was invited by my friend and mentor Mark Swepston, of Atlas Butler Heating and Cooling. ...read more

E-News - Three Ways to Sleep Better

Many of the business owners I consult with have one big thing in common: Issues at work either keep them from going to sleep or wake them up at three a.m. The top three factors that influence insomnia for these folks are typically stress, debt, and people. ...read more

E-News - Influence

You can’t start or run a successful business without influence. Dr. John C. Maxwell defines leadership as “influence, nothing more and nothing less.” ...read more

E-News - What is Your Carrot?

An entrepreneur can have multiple goals and dreams. Most crucial is a passion for what we do, along with a strong desire to succeed. ...read more

E-News - What is Your Foundation?

As the old adage goes, “if we don’t stand for something, we’ll fall for anything.” Our foundation is the most important aspect of our business success. ...read more

E-News - What it Takes to be a Great Company – Part II

Like many of you, I started working out of my garage as an unheard of wannabe. I did not come from wealth, was not raised in the area and did not have a well-known name. The McAfee anti-virus company was not as popular back in 1990 as it is today, making my name an unfamiliar one. When I considered the vast number of established companies in my area, I had to figure out how to not only become known, but to follow ...read more

E-News - Tune Out to Tune In

While reading the highly recommended book The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg, I came across something interesting about habits. Since I love to eat and indulge a bit too much at times, the section on overeating caught my attention. Mr. Duhigg explained that those who struggle with overeating can go through the day without even realizing what they eat or how much food they consume in a day. He also shared that once those people start writing down what they consume, even if just for one day a week, many begin to eat less and lose weight as a result. Overeating is just ...read more

E-News - What Kind of Community Entertainment Does Your Company Sponsor?

After consulting several HVAC business owners, I’ve determined that the content we advertise, market, and support is what is the closest to our hearts and minds. For instance, if you recently lost a loved one who spent their last days on Earth in a hospice where they were well taken care of, you might be willing to support that hospice by advertising in some of their newsletters, etc. If your hobby is racing cars, perhaps you will sponsor a local pinewood or soapbox derby in your community. If you are politically active like me ...read more

E-News - I’m Living Proof… it works!

I’ve heard it said a hundred times and I also teach it. “Write down your goals and you’ll have better chances of hitting them”. A few years back we were looking through a drawer of our home office desk and found a sheet of note book paper folded in a drawer titled “Greg’s Personal Goals—April 2008”. As I glanced over the list I made over 3 years ago, everything I’ve learned and taught was confirmed. A whopping 99% of the goals I set were accomplished. When we set goals and then write them down ...read more

E-News - I’m Not A Keynote Speaker

How many who attend seminars truly want to be challenged? I’m not sure we know, but if I were to guess based on my own experiences, I’d say it’s around 40 percent, if not fewer. Unfortunately, many see seminars and other educational and learning opportunities as little more than a chance to get away and party, perhaps in some exotic resort they would not otherwise have the chance to visit. The keynote speakers for these events are typically interesting, charismatic, or perhaps even well-known or renowned people who are great storytellers. They may not even work in the same industry as those attending the conference, but most still find it rather easy to just sit back and enjoy their ...read more

E-News - Toughen Up Your Business

While human beings are and always have been human beings, all the generations have their own strengths and weaknesses, and this includes the generations our customers fall into. Each has accomplished unique things, and they all come with a different mindset and outlook. Many believe that the WWII generation was, perhaps, the greatest picture of humanity, and some of these heroic ones still live among us. They went to war very young, conquered Hitler, and survived the Great Depression, the worst economic times this ...read more

E-News - National Donut Day

Here's a little history for you: According to Wikipedia, National Donut Day started on June 7, 1938, when a young military doctor by the name of Morgan Pett was sent to a military base. On his way there, Dr. Pett stopped at a bakery and picked up eight dozen donuts. At the base, he gave one of those tasty pastries to every wounded soldier he treated. One man he helped was Lieutenant General Samuel Geary. He greatly appreciated the good doctor's help with his leg but also the sweet treat - so much so that the jovial and grateful lieutenant ...read more

E-News - I Sure Didn’t See This Coming!

At nine thirty p.m., at the end of a long Thursday, I fell fast asleep. To my surprise, though, I was awakened abruptly at one thirty a.m., thanks to excruciating pain in my stomach – a nasty little wakeup call I did not need nor expect. I tried for several hours to relieve the pain in every way I could think of, until my wise wife finally talked me into rushing me to the emergency ...read more

E-News - Three Reasons to Take a Vacation

As I’m writing this, I’m looking over a balcony in a vacation rental home in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. One of my favorite ways to relax is get up early, grab a steamy cuppajo, and write newsletters such as this one. I’m surrounded by tall palm trees, whispering in the warm breeze, the water is like blue, rippling glass, and the sun is just starting to tickle the patio table with its shiny reflection. It’s even easier to appreciate these perfectly sublime moments because I just left fifteen-degree temperatures and five inches of snow, and ...read more

E-News - Three Things a Happy Customer Can Do

Happy Customers are more likely to come back to you for decades to come. The other day, I was in a store and ran into one of the first fifty customers I’d ever had in business. “Greg,” he said, “we sold our home and moved into an assisted-living home last year, but up until then, we had two McAfee systems and service every year.” Wow! What great customers! When I figured up the monetary worth of such loyalty, I estimated it to be close to $22,000. Wouldn’t we all like to have ...read more

E-News - Just Serve Them

We often think of customer service as a job and sometimes even a chore, but what it really boils down to is something so much more important than job descriptions. It’s really about serving others. In the military, we call it “serving your country,” and police are expected “to serve and protect.” If you have ever been involved with these, thank you, but in the end, each and every one of us in every line of work should have customer service as our mission. Even Jesus came to serve, not to be served, and I can think of no better calling ...read more

E-News - What Takes a Customer from “Wow!” to “Whoa!”?

Wow! can be defined in my world as the ability to deliver above and beyond customer experiences with empathy, excellence, and a sense of urgency. It takes a lot of work to wow a customer. It isn’t easy, and at times you have to be very creative to do so. Here are some examples of what we do to wow our customers here ...read more

E-News - Rehydrating: Quenching the Thirst

While reminiscing of the days when I often worked out, I recall Joe, a personal trainer I worked with. Actually, Joe was much more than a trainer and was certainly no dumbbell. His mind was as strong as his body, for he had many hard-earned certifications under his belt, such as Exercise Physiology. He was also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA-CSCS) and was working toward his PhD. During one training session, Joe asked if I’d been drinking enough water. “Probably not,” I admitted. “I just don’t really crave it as ...read more

E-News - Top Three Reasons Business Fail, Part III

Lack of Vision. This is the final installment of The Top Three Reasons Business Fail. We’ve discussed what high growth and lack of investment can do, but we cannot dismiss this topic without discussing a crucial element: vision. Over dinner one evening, Dave Sullivan shared with me the importance of both a professional and a personal vision plan, and while our focus here is on business success, we both wholeheartedly agree that the latter is the most neglected. Truly, one is impossible without the other, and a personal vision is ...read more

E-News - Top Three Reasons Business Fail, Part II

Fear of Investment. Many companies find it easier to buy new equipment than to hire great people. I coach several business owners a week and too many owners prefer to pour their concentration and money into buying new trucks, computers, scheduling software, and flat-rate modules than into hiring better performers. Ultimately, this is a mistake, for none of your company’s resources will ever be as valuable as your human resources. According to Eric P. Bloom, President of Manager Mechanics, LLC ...read more

E-News - Top Three Reasons Business Fail, Part I

High Growth Without Competency. As always, especially in the case of my newsletters or blogs, I enjoy giving credit where credit is due. If you’ve attended any of my boot camps, I hope you noticed this quote on front wall of the training room, right above the whiteboard: “There is no such thing as normal – only next!” These wise words were shared with me by a very good friend and gifted business mentor, Mr. David L. Sullivan. Dave has helped me on a variety of projects, and I have had the privilege of listening to and learning from him in many of ...read more

E-News - Warning: Complacency Kills Business

Building a thriving, innovative business takes more than hard work and the ability to put out fires. You must also have the ability to think ahead, to anticipate the future, and you simply cannot afford to become complacent. According to dictionary.com, the definition of complacency is “a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often [occurring] while [one is] unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.” Complacency can occur when a business owner becomes almost prideful and ...read more

E-News - KEEP HOPE ALIVE

During the thirteenth century, King Frederick, head of the Holy Roman Empire, conducted a most unusual experiment. He wondered what language a child would learn to speak if no one ever spoke to the infant. A large number of babies and newborns were gathered, and it was decreed that their caretakers would only feed and clothe them, without ever speaking a word to them or around ...read more

E-News - A BRAND THEY CAN TRUST

You’re at home one weekend and receive a call from a family member. It’s an emergency, and you need to be there, but you cannot take your one- and three-year-old, nor can you leave them alone. You have two options: your new neighbor, a very experienced babysitter whom you’ve only known for three weeks or the fifteen-year-old who lives down the street, not quite as experienced but someone you have known for years. Given those options, who is the best choice for looking after your precious little ones? Would it surprise ...read more

E-News - BUSINESS REVIVAL

My church denomination of choice often holds something called a revival. A special speaker, an evangelist, is invited to hold several meetings with our congregation. As its name might suggest, the purpose of a revival is to renew the soul, to challenge us to become closer to God and live a better Christian life. Few of us ever admit that we need a revival, but by the time it's over, most realize we needed it far ...read more

E-News - Stress Avoidance

There have been multiple articles written about stress, and countless methods have been tried and tested to help us manage it. Stress is a complex and potentially dangerous phenomenon. We all have it, yet we all attempt to deal with it differently. Some choose negative paths in their search for stress management, turning to alcohol or drugs to help them relax. Some result to a shopping addiction, seeking happiness even as they overspend and overextend themselves ...read more

E-News - Giving Back, Paying Forward or Just Plain Helping Others?

A boy was headed to Sunday school, and his dad gave him two quarters. The father told the boy, “Put one quarter in the offering, and you can keep the other one to buy an ice cream cone.” (An ice cream for just 25 cents? Just how old is this story anyway?) As the boy walked down the street, heading to church, he accidentally dropped one of the quarters ...read more

E-News - Valuable Lessons to Be Learned from the Mistakes of Others

#1 Ford Motor Company. Henry Ford, in the early days of automated vehicles, dominated the auto industry. At one time, he was so far ahead in his field that he was quoted as saying, “If I asked my customer what they wanted, they would have told me, ‘A faster horse.’” For Ford, the trouble didn’t come until his stubbornness and refusal to accommodate was revealed ...read more

E-News - Keeping Your Word

How important is it for you to keep your word? Although this might sound like an old-fashioned concept in today's busy age, when things can change in a millisecond, keeping your word will never go out of style. This is true in our business as well as our personal lives, but what is your ...read more

E-News - Empowering Your Team

Our daughter, Tiffany is ten years old, five-four, and loves basketball. About three months ago, she asked if she could participate in gymnastics. Although I was somewhat reluctant, I agreed to ...read more

E-News - Which Are You, the Tortoise or the Hare?

Twenty-three years ago, I started McAfee Heating and Air Conditioning Co., Inc. with $274 in my pocket and a used truck. Early on, my business could have been seen as a tortoise. We worked for the first eight years out of my humble garage, and we spent the first fifteen ...read more

E-News - Kick Off the Fall Season

Yes, it's here already. What can you do this fall season to maximize the returns on your business like no other? For ...read more

E-News - I’d Give Anything to have a Successful Business like Yours!

These questions come from a story about Gary Player, the golfer. “Many years ago the legendary golf pro Gary Player was hitting balls off the practice tee one morning and the first ball he hit went 280 yards straight as a bullet. A guy in the gallery just within earshot said ...read more

E-News - Win or Just Participate?

Even if we are unwilling to keep score, and even if everyone gets a trophy or a blue ribbon for participating, the real winners know who they are. In the end, somebody comes out ...read more

E-News - Serve Me!

While vacationing with my family in Destin, Florida, we had the opportunity to eat at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. It’s a neat place to eat, and the food was delicious. One of the things that caught my eye at Bubba Gump’s were the signs positioned on each table, flip-style signs with a red placard that said, “Stop Forrest Stop” to alert servers ...read more

E-News - Take a Day Off!

In spite of the fact that you've been working your tail off, you can't seem to make any progress, and you have no idea why. You work hard seven days a week and have probably missed far too many of your children's games and events, yet you don't seem to be getting anywhere. Why doesn't working harder work? Because all work and no play can make you a dull boy (or girl), especially once your ...read more

E-News - Is Your Company Outdated?

Look for an upcoming article on this same topic, but in the meanwhile here are some great questions for you to ask yourself ...read more

E-News - What Kind of Community Entertainment Does Your Company Sponsor?

After consulting several HVAC business owners, I’ve determined that the content we advertise, market, and support is what is the closest to our hearts and minds. For instance, if you recently lost a loved one who spent their last days on Earth in a hospice where they were well taken care of, you might be willing to support that hospice by advertising in some of their ...read more

E-News - Five Proven Ways to Hit Your Goals in 2013

You must set the goals. Think about six to ten items that you'd like to accomplish. Think big. Make sure they can be accomplished, but big enough to make you stretch. Write them down. Place them in a place ...read more

E-News - No Excuses!

It's the month of Christmas, and I title my newsletter "no excuses"? You would think I'd come up with something a little happier, cheerful or merrier, right? Well, a couple weeks back, I met a guy by the name of Kyle Maynard for the first time live. I had hired Kyle to come in and speak to ...read more

E-News - Four Things You Must Have - Part IV

A business seeking growth would be disappointed by the graph above, while a person seeking comfort might be very pleased with it. Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, quipped, "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got." Nothing happens differently until ...read more

E-News - Four Things You Must Have! - Part III

Whether it’s budgeting, record-keeping, sales, tax information, or a customer’s account history, a successful small business requires accurate bookkeeping. First, let’s look at the definition of accuracy. ACCURACY - Freedom from mistake or error, or degrees of conformity of a measure to a standard or a true value by comparison. There are many elements of our business that could be more accurate ...read more

E-News - Four Things You Must Have! - Part II

Every successful business must evolve in order to grow, yet some ways of doing business should never change. This applies for both our internal (employees) and external relationships (customers and vendors). In all areas, we MUST be consistent. From our arrival time to the office or job, the cleanliness of our equipment and workspace, the speed ...read more

E-News - Four Things You Must Have! - Part I

This past weekend, I drove my seventeen-year-old son to a one-day football camp at The Ohio State University. As we were walking up to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, I noticed some sort of competition going on in a stadium close by. It was the state summer games for the Special Olympics, an event that over 3,500 amazing athletes participated in. When my son ...read more

E-News - Does Your Team Trust You?

In Top Gun, the hit that had Tom Cruise posters decorating the lockers of teenage girls in 1986, there was a scene that fans will most certainly remember: Viper: Maverick, I flew with his old man. Tell me one thing…if you had to go into battle, would you want him with you? Jester: I don't know. I just don't know. Maverick, played by Tom Cruise, was one of the best and gutsiest fighter pilots. One of the “top guns,” as it were. Never the less, there were times when he felt he had much to prove, and he ...read more

E-News - Five Ways to Prepare for Summer!

Is your team ready? Have you taken the time to explain this upcoming summer season and just how busy it is? Early preparation is key, so in April, we begin by reviewing the differences in our business between the first and second quarters. I’m not sure where you are, but I can tell you that for cooling specialists in Ohio, the hot and sticky second quarter is much busier! In addition to this, I also send out a letter to the families of my employees, alerting them to the likely necessity of their ...read more

E-News - What it Takes To Be Great (Part II)

Like many of you, I started working out of my garage as an unheard of wannabe. I did not come from wealth, was not raised in the area and did not have a well-known name. The McAfee anti-virus company was not as popular back in 1990 as it is today, making my name an unfamiliar one. When I considered the vast number of established companies in my area, I had to figure out how to not only become ...read more

E-News - What it Takes To Be Great (Part I)

Like many of you, I started out as an unheard-of wannabe, working out of my own garage. I did not come from wealth, I did not have a well-known name for I was not raised in the area, and the McAfee anti-virus company was not as popular in 1990 as it is today. Thus, out of all the fifty- to seventy-five-year-old companies in my area, I had to figure out how to become known. Of course, my dream ...read more

E-News - Keep Your Eye on the Ball

Besides needing capital to run a business, many different skills are needed to succeed. You must have leadership ability, people skills, know how to hire, systems in place, develop a culture, selling skills, creative thinking, patience, handle finances, training and yes ...read more

E-News - I'm Living Proof... it works!

I've heard it said a hundred times and I also teach it. "Write down your goals and you'll have better chances of hitting them". Last night my wife, Naomi, was cleaning out our home office desk and found a sheet of note book paper folded in a drawer titled "Greg's Personal Goals---April 2008". She called out to me, "Greg, you have to see this." As I glanced over the list I made over 3 years ago, everything ...read more

E-News - Nine ways to show appreciation to customers

On my way to a standing Wednesday dinner with my son at Buffalo Wild Wings, I drove by an independent, privately owned mens' clothing store. I noticed several signs on the windows that said, "Going out of Business Sale, Up to 75% Off". A good sale always gets my attention! After dinner, I stopped at this clothing store. When I walked in, I wasn't greeted with a smile, but I did get a rather unpleasant and ...read more

E-News - We're All in the Same Bucket

Does your company badmouth the competition? If so, why? There is plenty of work out there for everyone and putting other companies down does nothing, but make you and your company look bad. The old rule that says, "if you can't say anything nice about someone, don't say anything at all" still applies today. When I pull up to a traffic light and see another HVAC company vehicle sitting ...read more

E-News - Be Real

It's a lot easier to just be yourself than trying to be what you "think" others want you to be. I know some people in businesses that spend a lot of time and energy trying to be someone or something other than themselves. They sway with the wind of popularity or political correctness. Being real is not regarded by our culture as having the same importance as being right, or being able to justify our actions. We all have the potential to be authentic, but most people are caught up in the drive for acceptance and approval... to the extent they ...read more

E-News - How About You... Are You Happy?

I like to be around happy people. They are full of energy, and just plain fun to be around. A good friend and spiritual leader in my life, Robert W. (Bob) Taylor, often said: "If you are happy, you better tell your face." Happiness in life and business all depends on you. Dr. Gerald Bell, a Professor at Kenan-Flagler Graduate school of Business at the University of North Carolina said, "You are 100% responsible for your own happiness. Other people ...read more

E-News - Take a Vacation

If you work in the HVAC industry, you know that taking a "summer vacation" can be tough. According to an article in Small Business Trends, only 46% of U.S small business owners plan to take a summer vacation this year. If you're among the 54% who plan on working straight through the year, you may think that free time is a luxury you can't afford. Here's some more interesting news: taking the time to unwind isn't just a treat for you and your family; it's a necessary part of running a successful ...read more

E-News - A Special Holiday Message from Greg

Two hundred thirty five years ago, on July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence, announcing the colonies' separation from Great Britain. The discontentment with Great Britain centered on unfair taxes levied by Parliament against colonial subjects that was used to pay for the defense of the colonies from the French and Indian Wars, which ended in 1763. Britain was shouldered with an astronomical debt much like our US government ...read more

E-News - Mobile Marketing?

Simply put, mobile marketing is communicating a marketing message with a consumer via cellular (or mobile) device. Notify consumers of special offers, emergency response or any service offer with a mobile ...read more

E-News - Dream Big!

Dreams? Not really a polite or common topic of conversation at association meetings. That's too bad, as dreams create powerful and motivating stories. Without a dream, nothing happens. Here's a great story about one man's dream: Michael Dell. While growing up in Houston, Dell said that ...read more

E-News - Receiving New Team Members

The Marine Corps Depot greeted 100 fresh recruits, including me, on a rainy, March morning. The 4 Drill Instructors who met our bus firmly told us to get out, and stand on the yellow footprints so that they could begin an inventory. Next, we were marched into a classroom with cold, stainless desks to fill out a seemingly endless stack of forms. For the next 18 hours, we were in "receiving" mode; receiving ...read more