Business Growth Ideas #312 This week: Experience, Vision, Cough-cough

Sales and marketing Newsletter

Quick notes to help you grow your business in less time with less effort. . . sometime next week.

In this issue:

– Techniques for FIT
– Being Human
– Random Stuff

Techniques for FIT

  • When experience leaves, efficiency leaves. Time is a precious asset. It’s an argument for doing the most you can to keep and invest in the best peoples. It will pay dividends.
  • Turning on your problem-solving brain is as easy as asking yourself “How” with a modal verb. (could, would, can, might, etc) Do it right before you fall asleep. Wake up to solutions. 
  • In the Northern Hemisphere we just passed the winter solstice. Days are getting longer. Hang in there!
  • May the spirit of the season be with you and your people. Merry Christmas to you who celebrate!

Being Human – Flexible strategy, a historical example

“After chewing things over for two months. . .I wrote a white paper in February 1977 outlining our answer to deregulation, a white paper I called the Five Year Plan ’77.”

Becoming Trader Joe Book

Strategy and planning are two different activities. Strategy sets the destination and planning gets you there. It’s the core of my work. Reading Joe Coulombe’s “Becoming Trader Joe: How I Did Business My Way and Still Beat the Big Guys” is just one example after another for my management confirmation bias muscle. In Chapter 11 Joe discusses one of the key moments in the making of the beloved Trader Joes grocery stores. It’s a fun read, but what jumps out is the process he outlines for getting all of this people moving into the future.

  • He has a vision for what the future of world is going to be.
  • He puts his customers into that vision of the world, imagining how they’ll interact with it.
  • He asks how Trader Joes will provide value to those customers in that environment at that time.

His white papers give the guidelines for making decisions. Guidelines let your people make the best decisions in the heat of the moment and Joe’s are great. Emphasize edibles vs. non-edibles; Focus on continuity of supplies; Instead of national brands, focus on either Trader Joe’s label products or the “no label” products like nuts and dried fruits are examples.

Strong directional guideline, but loose enough for annual planning, quarterly targeting, monthly goals, and daily decisions.

It works. Good book.

Good stuff.

Random stuff


“Though I’d love to go, I’m going to have to pass. We’re leaving early Saturday for Vail. . .Also don’t want to risk CU COVID.”
– The Nostradamus of Omaha


It happened. It found me. The Covid.

Truth be told I didn’t do a good job of hiding. Not last Friday. I was screaming aerosol droplets into an enclosed arena with 17,000 of my closest friends for some kids playing basketball. Very exciting game. Covid may have been there too. Or at the alumni bar after the game. Or at the bar-bar after the alumni bar.

Anyway, once inside me, it found my lovely bride. She’s not happy about getting the plague during a holiday week. Our bodies have a head start recognizing the intruder. We’ve been vaxxed and boosted, but are still in the middle of our tour of the symptoms. Fingers crossed.

Stay safe!


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