Bite-Size Chunks of Wisdom

March 2011

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Despite the enormous devastation occurring on the East Coast and other countries around the world, the National Research Council released a report stating that Americans are not ready. That’s really no surprise, is it? The report indicates we’ve been lulled into a false sense of security. Even that statement is shocking given the bizarre and destructive weather experienced throughout the US this winter. It’s time to take the time to prepare for whatever disaster your location may experience.

Here are a few disasters to consider ensuring you’re properly prepared:

  • Earthquake
  • Floods
  • Winter storms/blizzards
  • Hurricanes
  • Gale-force winds
  • Volcano
  • Wildfires
  • Tsunami
  • Tornado
  • Thunderstorm and Lightening
  • Fire
  • Extreme Heat
  • Pandemic
  • Radiation
  • Terrorism

Further considerations may include:

  • Develop a disaster communication plan with family and friends
    With whom do you need to communicate? Do you have a critical contact outside the disaster area that can notify other family and friends in the event there is an interruption of cell service in the disaster area? Social media is proving to be a vital form of communication. Do critical contacts follow you on social media? Can you access your social media sites via mobile communications?
  • Prepare for disasters at home, work, school, or on the road
    Don’t get caught on the road with your earthquake preparedness kit at home! I know it’s tedious preparing two kits. How do I know? I’ve done it! Yet you can never be over-prepared when disaster strikes.
  • Provide for employees (and clients) should a disaster occur during hours of operation
    As discovered in Japan, the earthquake occurred during work hours. With transportation disrupted, employees found themselves unable to return to their homes. What do you need to ensure your employees are  well-cared for should they need to seek shelter at work for 3 – 4 days? What will you need to provide for clients who may be on the premises?
  •   Arrange for continuation of services provided by your company to your clients
    Do you have clients that rely on your company’s services in areas not affected by a local disaster? What system have you established to provide ongoing service to clients in need? Is it redundant?
  •   Build a cash reserve
    As we learned during the economic meltdown of 2008, companies lacking cash reserve quickly find themselves unprepared and out of business. Don’t let that happen to you. Start today to build a cash reserve that can  carry you and your business for at least six (6) months.
  •   Make certain you’re properly insured
    Insurance is really about protecting your future.
  •   Establish your disaster relief procedure
    FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) is a good place to start. You can find information specific to disaster preparedness for your area at

Don’t rely on anyone else to look after you in the event of a disaster. Do your part to protect yourself, your employees, your clients, and your business.

On Sunday, March 20, 2011, from my warm, cozy bedroom I watched as thousands of runners braved gale force winds and torrential downpour to run the L.A. Marathon. In fact, it was only the fourth time in the 26-year history of the LA Marathon that rain plagued the event. This is, after all, LA!

While watching the men’s lead runner, Markos Geneti, burn up the course, I was astonished at the commentary. Two broadcasters – so called marathon experts – mused at the thought of how Geneti’s blistering speed would be his demise causing him to ultimately lose the race. Although Markos Genefit achieved success as a mid-distance runner, this was his very first marathon.

As Mr. Geneti’s speed slowed to 5 minutes and 06 seconds/mile at mile 18 as he waded through shin-deep water, the commentators quipped, “He can’t continue to run that pace! He can’t run that pace and win this race! He just doesn’t know it yet” (referencing his apprentice marathon status). Thank goodness, no one told Markus Geneti that it couldn’t be done!

That statement – “he just doesn’t know it” – held more truth about the real winner of the 26th annual LA Marathon. It didn’t matter what the naysayers and so-called experts had to say. The most important conversation was the one Markos Geneti was having with himself. In that moment, Markos Geneti was telling himself he could win. In fact, he was hoping to run the marathon in 2 hours, 7 minutes and 30 seconds!

The naysayers continued their diatribe. They ruminated how Markos Geneti went out too quickly and would feel the impact of his novice decision at mile marker 21 – 22. Famously known as “The Wall”, they predicted he would hit it and lose it all.

Through mile 21 – 22 – 23 and on, Markos Geneti proved what C. W. Longenecker penned in his well-known prose You Can If You Think You Can that “… soon or late the man who wins, is the man who thinks he can.”

When Markos Geneti crossed the finish line in record-breaking time of 2 hours, 6 minutes and 35 seconds – a full minute faster than he hoped – he proved that if you can if you think you can.

There’s a lot we can learn from Mr. Geneti on determination, persistence, the desire to win, believing in ourselves, and not buying what others are selling, especially when its contrary to what we think we can achieve.  For that inspiration, Marcus Geneti, we say “thank you”!

Has someone told you it couldn’t be done?

fit entrepreneur

During my 20’s and 30’s, I was running … running my business and my health into the ground.  There wasn’t time for physical activity. Like many entrepreneurs, I was busy building my business.  Unfortunately, while keeping my business on track, my health was veering off track.

fit entrepreneur

At the age of 40, jarred by a health crisis and a physician who said I’d “never climb a mountain or run a marathon”, I vowed to climb a mountain and run a marathon…and return to my natural healthy state.

My first-hand experience taught me what studies are now confirming … that physical fitness has a significant impact on business fitness.

A study with 366 entrepreneurs demonstrated an unexpected relationship between sales and the type of rigorous exercise performed by an entrepreneur.

The study measured sales performance when connected with running and biking against sales performance when only weight lifting or strength training was performed.

The results are eye-opening, to say the list.

Although the study demonstrated that running, biking, and weight lifting influenced the entrepreneur’s ability to meet personal goals such as personal satisfaction, independence, and autonomy, only those entrepreneurs who incorporated running and biking into their program were able to validate a significant improvement in sales.

Taking Time for Fitness — Business and Personal

fit entrepreneurEntrepreneurs have a wide range of responsibilities and pressures.  Lacking the depth and breadth of resources, entrepreneurs are juggling multiple roles and responsibilities of being salesperson, marketing director, spokesperson, negotiator, bookkeeper, influencer,  and technician delivering the service.  Additionally, you have to bear the costs of any mistakes made. It can be a heavy load at times. Equally important to note, unhealthy habits and subsequent risk factors are dangerous to you and your business. Lack of sleep and exercise, unhealthy foods, and high stress don’t keep us performing at our best.

It’s challenging to justify the time exercising. After all, you could use that time for selling, marketing, or growing your business, right? Yet, more and more studies prove exercise reduces stress, stimulates creativity, and improves self-esteem.

Now we know … working out improves not only your waistline but your bottom line as well.

Apparently, you do have to move it to make it.

Toleration is a term coined by the late Thomas Leonard, a founding father of the coaching industry. Defined as things that “bug us,” tolerations are a major drain on our energy. In fact, did you know that as much as 80% of one’s life is built around tolerations?  Yikes!  That’s a lot of wasted energy that could be invested in more constructive activities to move you forward.


Tolerations are like sand in the machinery of life.  Although seemingly small and insignificant, they easily wear you down, make you tired, cloud your judgment, and fog your focus.  That’s no way to spend your day.

Tolerations occur in all areas of our lives.  We put up with things around our house.  Think of that cracked paint on the trellis or the chip in the kitchen window from the kids playing kickball in the backyard several years ago.  Not enough to warrant an emergency but just enough to capture your energy each time you pass by and say to yourself, “I need to get that fixed.” Like open files on your computer, each requires energy to remain open and slows down the speed of other programs currently in use.

Tolerations crop up at the office with cluttered desks, messy files, and mediocre performance.  They arise with automobiles low on gas crammed with empty fast-food bags. They show up in our health when we eat at our desks, on the run, or from that fast-food bag in the car. Tolerations surround us.

If tolerations are such a drain on our energy, why do we tolerate them?  Part of our willingness to tolerate comes from how we’re raised.  Do you remember your parents saying “don’t rock the boat”?  Other tolerations come from compromises we’ve talked ourselves into. And, some of our tolerations exist because there’s a payoff.

Are you ready to stop the tolerations keeping you from your potential?  If so, here are a few steps to get you started:

  1. Tune in to all the things that “bug you.”   As the antennae go up on your awareness, you’ll be amazed at just how much you’ve invested in toleration.
  2. Keep a running list of your tolerations over the next several days.
  3. Identify the hard and soft costs of your tolerations. Hard costs are those known and measurable (i.e., the cost to replace the kitchen window).  Soft costs are those less easy to identify (i.e., energy tied up in projects not related to your goals).
  4. Select the “costliest” toleration and eliminate it. But don’t stop there!  Eliminating the cause of the toleration ensures it won’t return.
  5. Continue through your list until you’ve eliminated all your tolerations and their causes.

Once you start saying goodbye to those things that bug you, you’ll be happier, more fun to be around, and have much more energy to invest in moving your business forward. And isn’t that something to look forward to?

Core Business Assessment


Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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