Life in our new office… Day 1

Today was C2IT’s first day in our new office on Clark’s Creek Road in Plainfield. One of my employees commented, “this must be a pretty big thing for you,” and he’s spot on.

We’ve been in business for almost 15 years now and in all that time, I’ve never had my own office. Never had my own door. Never had to get up and walk down the hall to talk to someone or wonder if they’re even in the building.

It is a big thing. A bit surreal to be honest. And awkward. And incomplete. And exciting. And scary.

And all of that’s ok. We have a lot to figure out at the new place. Who will sit where and when. How much we will spend on furniture and decorations. How we will make it feel like “home.” Who our first guest will be. What our first issue will be over.

Im glad this day has come. In a way I don’t want to let it go, but I must. There weren’t any bells and whistles. In fact, we scratched the floor. It may get more scary before it gets exciting. The bumps may bruise us. But we will come out stretched and stronger. All of us.

Day one is behind us. Day two is right around the corner.

The Man for the Job

I’ve been in meetings for the last couple of days with a large prospective client that would be a great “innovative first” in an area we are growing into and wanting to further explore. I’ve been courting this prospect for over a year now; last year I got a good referral to a department head while the client was considering doing the project, but it didn’t go very far due to existing relationships they already had in place. That faded into a memory, but I stayed in touch through our nurture marketing plan.

About a month ago, this department head sought us out again. They were once again interested in working with us, albeit on a smaller scale because even if the larger organization couldn’t get everything lined up, they wanted to on their own. Had a good meeting, but then we hit the roadblocks of organizational politics… or so I thought. This time, however, a meeting with the president materialized and everything has been flowing downhill since. My approach to foundational project work is completely different from the (failed) attempt they did last year, and over and over again my prospect is referring back to things I’ve said and how this is “the right way to go about it.” That just makes you feel good, you know?

What I wanted to write about today, though, was one thing he said yesterday that hit home with me. I don’t want to forget it, because often I do. The president was talking to a group of department heads about why this approach would be different than last year. He came out and said something like (in reference to the original department head I met witn), “I asked _____ if Chet was the man for the job, and he said was. We’re doing this right this time. It’s going to cost more. It’s going to take more effort. But in the end it will be done right, and the path we’re going down now is that right way.” (that’s a paraphrase, minus the “man for the job” line)

“The man for the job.” Set apart. Right time, right place, right people. Love it, love it, love it. My love of community and good communication has found a home in this project, and I can’t wait to embark on it. There are shared values all around, even to the point of a shared love of virtual community becoming real such as has been the case at the Daily Audio Bible. God is in this, and when you hear a client about ready to spend a pretty penny on a project say these words, and your gut tells you the same, it’s like nothing can knock you down.

Oh, and I got my tractor running last night. <<Fist Pump>>

Today – November 13, 2012

A bullet point of a day. Not bad, just out of time to put complete thoughts together.

  • Worked through last month’s financials for C2IT. We started really measuring some things about 3 months ago and it’s helped set goals and know what is and isn’t working to achieve them.
  • Made a strategic business decision to cut ties with a rather long term vendor in order to solidify ties with one that is better suited for our business. Not easy, but also not really that painful once I faced it head on.
  • Spent about 6 hours of the day working for the Community Foundation of Morgan County. While most of what we were doing were small “tweaks” to their website, they gave it a great face lift and solidified a good new relationship with a client.
  • Came home to my family, played with my kids while Erin made biscuits and gravy with dip eggs, a favorite of the boys in this house.
  • Took Colton to boy scouts. We went to the fire station. It seemed like a couple hours, but was really only about 45 minutes. Those boys sure had fun! Someday I want to be a volunteer fire fighter. I really do.
  • Took a walk in the cold. With my son.
  • Tucked Colton into bed after feeding horses.
  • Had my wife ask me if she could help me with evening animal chores to spend time together and with our horses.
  • Watched some TV while wrapping up a cool community project for the Daily Audio Bible that should be released soon.
  • Pulled together some records for the new vendor that I’m meeting with tomorrow and realized that while we took a $40,000 + pay cut a few years back as we reinvented our business, my family is doing just fine. I’m looking forward to getting that money back, though.
  • Shared news of my exciting day with my wife. 
  • Shot a bear with a bow and arrow.
  • Changed a poopie diaper (or was it two?)
  • Checked outside for coyotes.
  • Ok, I didn’t really shoot a bear with a bow and arrow.
That’s good for today.

 

Rockefeller Habits: Mastering the Use of Core Values

“A strong culture driven by a handful of rules (core values) makes leading people much easier, reduces the need for stacks of policies and procedures, gives everyone a foundation from which to make tough decisions, and generally brings simplicity and clarity to many of these “people” systems within a firm.”

My company’s Core Values:

 

 

  • Attentive Discovery – the products and services we have to sell are focused on our clients’ needs and goals, not our own pre-determined understanding of what they want.
  • Loyal Partnerships- Long term and mutually beneficial relationships with our clients are critical to the success of our business model.
  • Economic Value – We provide solutions that meet the needs of our clients and become sound financial investments for them.
  • Equipping and Empowering Relationships – We look for opportunities to help amplify the strengths of those we server: our clients, staff, management, and community.

 

Techniques for bringing your core values alive:

 

  1. Storytelling – share stories and relate the “moral” of the story to “and that’s why we consider ____ one of our core values.”
  2. Incorporate into recruitement and orientation – use them to help define the “culture” of the organization.
  3. Performance appraisals – personal plan for how they affect each team member’s role (let them “fill in the blank”)
  4. Recognition and reward
  5. Internal newsletters – why make yourself use “seasons” when you can adopt around your values?
  6. Themes / rhythms
  7. Everyday management – relate decisions to their core values. Relate issues to core values. Relate concerns / beefs to core values.
“Young, old, or in between: people need to know what marks they’re expected to be hitting. They want to understand how they can conduct themselves to please you and your customers. They appreciate a reminder when they goof up. And they want ot know the rules aren’t a moving target or prone to selective enforcement. Your core values will do all of that for you, if you take the time to find out what they are and how you can best make use of them.”

 

 

Tournament of Wants – Career

Tournament of Wants – Career

November 8, 2010

Purpose

The purpose of this exercise is to look through all the wants, desires, and dreams I have listed related to CAREER DEVELOPMENT and find out “Which one is most important to me now?” That is the ONLY question I am to consider. Not “I have to do this first” or “I’ll want this in 10 years…” “Which one is most important to me now?” That’s it. Each round will take two wants and get a winner, and then those winners will face off, and so on until there is only one thing. Let’s see where this goes.

Round 1

1.       Become influential in my area of business focus (8/9/10)

2.       Build an organized and useful contact list (8/10/10)

Become influential in my area of business focus.

3.       Build residual income: Start a NING site for home-service and fleet-based businesses with the expectation of building them a custom ticket / dispatch management solution. (Financial /Career Development)

4.       Continue working hard, but don’t feel or be bound to a 9-5 “schedule” that dictates what I do each day. (7/17/10)

Build residual income: Start a community site for private and municipal utilities and the contractors that serve them with the expectation of building core and customized components of a ticket / fleet / asset management and maintenance solution. (I’ve refined this goal a bit over the last few weeks)

5.       Define my company’s purpose and what we do in a specific, measurable statement. (7/23/10)

6.       Describe what I do in 1-2 sentences in a manner that is interesting and inspires followup. Do so in a manner that applies both to interested businesses and to individuals who just want to know what I do. (8/3/10)

Define my company’s purpose and what we do in a specific, measurable statement.

7.       Develop a catchy logo for my business (8/3/10)

8.       Develop a professional website for my company (8/9/10)

Develop a professional website for my company that includes the focus we are aiming for.

9.       Develop a reputation within my local area as a business where honesty, results, and solution finding are important. (8/9/10)

10.   Develop a software application from the ground up and a client base for it as a large part of the business. (7/16/10)

Develop a software application from the ground up and a client based for it as a large part of the business.

11.   Find an investor with an idea, and develop their product, start to finish. (7/31/10)

Find an investor with an idea, and develop their product, start to finish. (BYE)

12.   Find someone to invest money, time, and commitment in one of MY ideas. (9/22/10)

13.   Get a new customer originating from a cold call (8/3/10)

Get a new customer originating from a cold call (or a cold call based on a recommendation from).

14.   Give a seminar or teach a class on communicating with clients and finding solutions WITH them, not just FOR them. (8/3/10)

15.   Have a real office. Not just a corner of the spare bedroom. (7/18/10)

Give a seminar or teach a class on communicating with clients and finding solutions WITH them, not just for them. Perhaps even do this WITH the very clients you are considering working for.

16.   Help my wife open a restaurant (7/16/10)

17.   Open my eyes to alternate careers: Find a good book about the career of Christian counseling. (Financial /Career Development)

Help my wife open a restaurant.

18.   Patent something (7/23/10)

19.   Plan ahead for business finances: Create a “dream” and “bare minimum” budget for C2IT starting from the point I’m at right now for the next 12 months. (Financial /Career Development)

Plan ahead for business finances: Create a dream and bare-minimum budget for C2IT starting from the point I’m at now and out for the next 12 months.

20.   Remove myself from responsibilities that are superficial to what I want to focus on and that could be better handled by someone else (8/7/10)

21.   Sell a piece of software to a larger company

Remove myself from responsibilities that are superficial to what I want to focus on and that could be better handled by someone else.

Round 2

1.       Become influential in my area of business focus.

2.       Build residual income: Start a community site for private and municipal utilities and the contractors that serve them with the expectation of building core and customized components of a ticket / fleet / asset management and maintenance solution. (I’ve refined this goal a bit over the last few weeks)

Build residual income: Start a community site for private and municipal utilities and the contractors that serve them with the expectation of building core and customized components of a ticket / fleet / asset management and maintenance solution. (I’ve refined this goal a bit over the last few weeks)

3.       Define my company’s purpose and what we do in a specific, measurable statement.

4.       Develop a professional website for my company that includes the focus we are aiming for.

Develop a professional website for my company that includes the focus we are aiming for.

5.       Develop a software application from the ground up and a client based for it as a large part of the business.

Develop a software application from the ground up and a client based for it as a large part of the business. (BYE)

6.       Find an investor with an idea, and develop their product, start to finish. (BYE)

7.       Get a new customer originating from a cold call (or a cold call based on a recommendation from).

Find an investor with an idea, and develop their product, start to finish.

8.       Give a seminar or teach a class on communicating with clients and finding solutions WITH them, not just for them. Perhaps even do this WITH the very clients you are considering working for.

9.       Help my wife open a restaurant.

Give a seminar or teach a class on communicating with clients and finding solutions WITH them, not just for them. Perhaps even do this WITH the very clients you are considering working for.

10.   Plan ahead for business finances: Create a dream and bare-minimum budget for C2IT starting from the point I’m at now and out for the next 12 months.

11.   Remove myself from responsibilities that are superficial to what I want to focus on and that could be better handled by someone else.

Plan ahead for business finances: Create a dream and bare-minimum budget for C2IT starting from the point I’m at now and out for the next 12 months.

Round 3

1.       Build residual income: Start a community site for private and municipal utilities and the contractors that serve them with the expectation of building core and customized components of a ticket / fleet / asset management and maintenance solution. (I’ve refined this goal a bit over the last few weeks)

2.       Develop a professional website for my company that includes the focus we are aiming for.

Develop a professional website for my company that includes the focus we are aiming for.

3.       Develop a software application from the ground up and a client based for it as a large part of the business. (BYE)

4.       Find an investor with an idea, and develop their product, start to finish.

Develop a software application from the ground up and a client based for it as a large part of the business.

5.       Give a seminar or teach a class on communicating with clients and finding solutions WITH them, not just for them. Perhaps even do this WITH the very clients you are considering working for.

6.       Plan ahead for business finances: Create a dream and bare-minimum budget for C2IT starting from the point I’m at now and out for the next 12 months.

Plan ahead for business finances: Create a dream and bare-minimum budget for C2IT starting from the point I’m at now and out for the next 12 months.

Round 4

1.       Develop a professional website for my company that includes the focus we are aiming for.

2.       Develop a software application from the ground up and a client based for it as a large part of the business.

Develop a professional website for my company that includes the focus we are aiming for.

3.       Plan ahead for business finances: Create a dream and bare-minimum budget for C2IT starting from the point I’m at now and out for the next 12 months.

Plan ahead for business finances: Create a dream and bare-minimum budget for C2IT starting from the point I’m at now and out for the next 12 months. (BYE)

Final Round

4.       Develop a professional website for my company that includes the focus we are aiming for.

5.       Plan ahead for business finances: Create a dream and bare-minimum budget for C2IT starting from the point I’m at now and out for the next 12 months. (BYE)

Plan ahead for business finances: Create a dream and bare-minimum budget for C2IT starting from the point I’m at now and out for the next 12 months.

Once again my “most important thing right now” seems to be to “get a handle on where I am.” Take care of some basics that are lacking, and then build on them. That’s where I am with this. This is probably going to be the first year my company breaks the quarter million mark in total sales, and while that’s awesome, I honestly don’t know why. I know God’s hand is in it, but there’s also something that has helped us to sell more services and products throughout the course of the year that led to that. Do we want a similar “dream-sized” goal for next year or something bigger/smaller? That’s what I want to be able to set. And then … ACHIEVE.