March 2009

Shannon Wells

Better Business | by Neil Ducoff


You Could Sure Do A Lot If You Weren’t Doing So Much

If you don’t like your situation and want to take your business to a better place, when are you going to change and get yourself unstuck?

As long you continue to buy into the thinking you must continue to generate revenues with your two hands, nothing will change.

You have a business. You have employees. Each one has two hands to do the work. It’s time to use their hands and start leading and making money with your head.

As training and coaching company, we meet and work with leaders seeking solutions and guidance to grow their businesses. They come ready to dig in and absorb all the amazing business solutions we can throw at them.

They’re motivated and focused. You can hear their entrepreneurial engines revving up as they prepare to go back and take their business to that amazing next level. And then it happens. Their engines start to sputter. The fire in their eyes fades to deer-in-the-headlights.

What happened? Simple, they slammed into their daily routine and work habits. As if shifting into reverse, they blurt out, “I don’t have time to do all this. I’m already working 50-60 hours a week.” They’re stuck.

I totally get it and appreciate the situation. You’re a working owner and you need to generate revenue for your business with your own two hands.

Here are some red-hot strategies to get yourself unstuck:

What does your business need from you? Does it need you as a service provider or a strategic leader? Does it need focus, a clear direction or even a new inspiring vision? Do your employees need your guidance, praise and encouragement? As you can see, your business needs more from you than service revenue.

Break your routine: It’s your routine that keeps you stuck. Nothing else. Change your routine one day at a time. Commit that day to completing specific projects or tasks. How about this? Schedule one-on-ones with each employee. Find out what they need from you and the business. Listen. Really listen well as there is much to learn.

Small wins add up: Resist the temptation to embark on that big project you’ve been chomping at the bit to do. Tackle some small but meaningful projects that can be done in short order. Rack up some wins before you climb Mount Everest.

Get comfortable in your new role: Manage your time carefully by making appointments with yourself to complete tasks. Work through a daily checklist. Be present and engaged with your staff. Communicate and share what you’re working on. You’ll soon discover your leadership stride.

Leave yesterday behind: It’s so easy to slip back into old behaviors and thinking. Keep looking forward and press on. You’ve got a lot to keep you busy.

Changing your work behaviors and thinking is certainly going to shake up your world. And if shaking things up gets you unstuck, it’s the best thing for you, your company and all who depend on it. So rev up your engine and ignite the fire in your eyes. You’ve got a company to lead and grow. No compromise!

Neil Ducoff is the founder and CEO of Strategies, a business training and coaching company specializing in the salon and spa industry. Ducoff is the author of Fast Forward, and his new book, No-Compromise Leadership, is published by DC Press and is available at For a signed copy, go to For more information