A gift for Bobby?

Yesterday, I was reading a comment from Bobby Rich about this small business (whaaaaa?) post on Hildy’s blog.

Bobby took Hildy’s idea, smooshed it around a little and decided to see if it would work for his business.

I like the idea, but I think we can put a cherry on top of that smooshed idea.

No doubt, it’s a nice giveback to the community to promote these local businesses.

In partnership with the local Chamber of Commerce, regional marketing co-op, etc; it might also be a way to promote that group and its members, introduce new members’ businesses, and maybe urge new businesses to join that group.

Even better for Bobby, I’m thinking it’d be a simple way to demonstrate to a small business owner how well radio/tv ads for that business would work on his stations, particularly the small local businesses who might not even consider advertising on radio/tv.

Imagine the reaction of a small business owner who previously balked at the investment of a radio ad, only to find that a free ad ended up generating 100 new customers in a few week’s time – especially if the ad was designed to make the results obvious and trackable to the ad.

Kinda makes a guy wonder…

Transparency. Real transparency.

Hildy and Dimitri’s efforts have always been pretty transparent.

But a few months ago, they made a big decision to basically reboot their entire business.

Many business owners have done that. But not like this.

Instead of doing it all in the cones of silence, they decided that every step of the way, they would make this transition in full view of their friends, family, competition, clients, prospects and anyone else willing to look.

It’s much more interesting than anything Charlie Sheen’s doing.

But the discussion there really isn’t why I mention this. Sure, it’s instructive because they listen as well as anyone I’ve ever worked with.

That’s not the takeaway. What you should take away from the process they’re going through is the idea of being willing to completely redesign your business – even if it doesn’t need it right this minute.

I suspect there are some in the nuclear energy business who are mulling that over right now.

You don’t have to do it in full view of the public like Hildy and Dimitri have, but everyone ought to do it once in a while.

Like Harvey Mackay says, “Dig the well before you’re thirsty.”

 

 

The Cure for “The Culture of Cant”

[audio:http://www.rescuemarketing.com/podcast/pollyannaprinciples.mp3]
Droopy dog

It’s not unusual for small business owners to be involved in community organizations, so in that spirit I have something a little different from our every day discussion here – yet still completely applicable to your business – no matter what that business does.

Rather than Friday’s normal Hotseat Radio show, today I had the pleasure of interviewing Hildy Gottlieb, long time friend and author of the newly released book “The Pollyanna Principles“.

Hildy is a nationally-recognized consultant and President of the Community-Driven Institute in Tucson AZ, and has been called “the most innovative and practical thinker in our sector”.

That sector is what folks in Hildy’s business call “non-profit organizations” – which unfortunately describes exactly what those organizations are NOT.

One of Hildy’s missions is to change the mindset inside these organizations is to encourage them to call themselves “Community Benefit Organizations”, which describes what they are and do. The result of that subconsciously takes the “Droopy dog” attitude out of the picture.

You may feel that this is outside of the normal bounds of BIP, but in fact, it strikes at the core of it: business fundamentals, attitude and a number of the other things we talk about here on a regular basis.

You need to run it like a business

No doubt you’ve heard people say “non-profits need to run like a business” – and in fact we examine the pros and cons of that assertion, why it’s true, false and doesn’t necessarily mean what you might think.

After listening to my conversation with Hildy, I’m hoping you’ll grab a copy or 3 of her new book and provide them to the orgs that you support and believe in.

No matter what you do to encourage (convince, coerce, etc – you make the call) your favorite board member to read The Pollyanna Principles, the ultimate goal must be to make it happen. Hildy has created a great piece that organizations can use for motivation, strategy and like it or not, to arrive at the real long-term, more than a calendar quarter away, community-changing vision and a roadmap to get there.

Profit is evil? Horse Hockey.

The temptation by some in these organizations might be to ignore the great business books and their strategies, simply because they are supposedly all in the name of profit and thus not applicable to the charitable organization.

The fact of the matter is that neither assertion is true.

Still, if you prefer to stick to strategic books about the charitable sector rather than crossing over that supposedly evil profit line, then The Pollyanna Principles will be right up your alley because it was written just for you – because it’s all business. Your business.

Buy The Pollyanna Principles here

Please accept my apologies for the audio quality. We had some volume dropouts, an odd hum here and there, as well as some cool coffee shop environmental noise as I spoke with Hildy from a coffee shop in Missoula (Break Espresso, if you’re taking notes). Hildy and I have what appears to be several sessions left before we are “done” discussing her book, so I will make sure we have better infrastructure in place for those sessions.

Deposits, karma – Whatever it is, are you earning yours?

Hildy Gottlieb, a fellow board member from my days on the CharityChannel.com board had the temerity to call me out on her blog yesterday. 

Well, maybe not call me out exactly. More like give me a hat size adjustment.

I only found out about her kind words because WordPress told me I had a new inbound trackback. So I mosey over there like I always do when I get an inbound link and blammo, I’m humbled by her words. 

It was a nice really thing for her to do, and something that she had nothing to gain from. 

It made my day, if not my week.

Stephen Covey talks about making deposits in your personal account, but he isn’t talking about money. He never uses the word karma, but that’s what some might call it.

Regardless of what it is, the day after Hildy makes that post and calls attention to a number of folks including myself, she appears on a list in a post at FastCompany.com with some pretty amazing company (noting that she is pretty amazing herself).

Maybe it was a coincidence, maybe not. 

What can you do for someone today, without expecting a thing in return? 

To that end, as I asked the other day on Twitter: 

What local business in your area is in the most trouble, economy-wise? What can your business do to help them?

Speaking of deposits, karma and what not…

Tomorrow morning for a couple of hours, I get to carry out Christmas baskets at our food bank. Its cold as a welldigger’s, uh, boots here. Those boxes are heavy. Lots of folks coming to the food bank are not the most mobile or don’t need to be carrying a 20-30-40 lb box of food, plus a turkey – and that’s particularly so when the parking lot is slick, its 4 degrees and the wind is whistling.

Our Rotary Club helps the local food bank at Christmas every year. It’s a high demand time for them. Last year, about 100 Christmas baskets went out. As of a few days ago, they had over 140 requests for this year. Earlier this week, we gave them $1425 to help with their purchases.

Been that kind of week. Good stuff flowing in all directions.

Don’t forget my question about that local business. You never know what that might turn into.