A Great "How-To": Are You Ready For The Yes?

This is the first book I have read in a long time where I actually studied as if I was preparing for a college exam! Usually I'll read through a book and highlight some key points to refer back to later for myself and/or for my clients. Are You Ready For The Yes? was totally different. It started with me reading 1/2 the book during a recent flight and realizing that I was highlighting entire pages at a time instead of my usual line or two here and there. I couldn't wait to get home and tackle a few more chapters that night. That is until I realized while unpacking that I had left the book in the airport! I immediately put in a lost-and-found claim and went right back to Amazon to order another copy just in case it was never found. The content was too good to "wait-and-see" if it would turn up at the airport. I finished the book in record time - for me - and then immediately proceeded to implement the strategies that are outlined by Audria Richmond.

Are You Ready For The Yes? shows you how to prep your personal brand for lucrative opportunities, as it says right on the cover. The step-by-step nature of her recommendations make it easy for anyone to start from scratch or take the next step in the quest for personal branding. It is obvious that Mrs. Richmond is speaking from experience and transfers that experience to the reader in a manner that makes her words create action. The steps that she outlines in the opening chapters of the book align with the steps I took to launch my personal brand. (Click here to check out my blog post "Tighten Up".) I'm looking forward to studying this book with the fever of a Doctoral candidate as I prepare to catapult my own personal brand to the next level! I highly recommend picking up your copy of this book by Audria Richmond today!

Worth Doing Wrong by Arnie S. Malham - A Must Read!

Worth Doing Wrong by Arnie S. Malham was recommended to me by one of my mentors who has successfully utilized the teachings in this book throughout his career. Mr. Malham has tackled one of the easiest things to influence in business yet is also the topic that is focused on the least: culture. Let me start by saying that this book is an easy read. At only 113 pages with a pleasurable font, even those that don't like reading will find themselves finishing this book in record time. The content flows from cover to cover and is filled with real-life examples that can be put into action immediately.

Now for the "meat and potatoes". The tone is set early on with three simple words: "culture reflects leadership". Culture is one of those intangible parts of business that can be hard to describe yet easy to feel. Have you ever walked into an establishment and it just "felt" right? The vibe was good...the place was clean...the staff was engaging. On the contrary, some places immediately turn you off the minute you cross the threshold. This is an example of culture. So how do you as a leader mold your culture into what you want it to be? Worth Doing Wrong provides us with a long list of initiatives that we can begin today such as themed work days, make-your-day gift cards, first-day welcome baskets and free monthly lunch with the boss (just to name a few). 

The vast majority of the "problems" that businesses face can be solved by instituting the right culture. Employee turnover, low profit margins, customer (dis)satisfaction, decreasing market share, etc. are all a direct result of the wrong culture. As stated earlier, culture starts at the top. The book opens up with "You can't not have a culture". So either the culture of your company or department -or even family - is "by default or by design". Those images that we've all seen of tech companies that have employees riding around on skateboards in their sneakers with bean bag chairs sprawled throughout is a designed culture that stimulates creativity for those team members. When you go to Chick-Fil-A and you hear them sincerely say "My Pleasure", that is a designed culture. A default culture usually occurs when there is a lack of training, the employees have no genuine interest in the success of the company and everyone involved has a WIIFM (what's in it for me?) attitude!

Simply by taking the time to read this post means that you are interested in creating or being a part of a culture that you can be proud of. Notice that I said "be a part of" as well. Arnie Malham also breaks down ways on how you can begin to mold the culture around you without having the official title of Manager/Supervisor/Leader. So if you want to go to work everyday to a fun and productive environment - and who doesn't want that? - I suggest that you grab a copy of Worth Doing Wrong today and begin a quest that will change your life forever! 

My Review of Chateau 4 Paws

Chateau 4 Paws is a dog salon that is owned by Janelle Russell-Jones. From my first interaction with Janelle for my dog's grooming appointment, it was evident that she really loves what she does! She was actually featured in the July 2014 issue of Who's Who's Women in Business. Mello (my K9) was eagerly greeted and he instantly took to her. During the consultation, she reviewed our preferences to ensure complete satisfaction. Mello was promptly walked to the back and we were promised a call when he was ready. A few hours later that call came and we arrived to pick up our freshly bathed and excited four-legged family member. Mello's calmness (hence the name) was praised by the staff and they answered our questions for future care. To top it all off, the price was very competitive for what we had been paying at other groomers. I highly recommend that you take your pet to Chateau 4 Paws - you will not be disappointed!

My Review of Le Petite Marche

Le Petit Marche is located in the Kirkwood section of Atlanta. The owner, Marchet Sparks, is a California native who established her business in 2008 "as a true market complete with fresh breads, cheeses, pestos, unique locally-made pantry items and flavor-packed sandwiches, soups and salads". As the economy started to decline and with countless requests to turn the market into a place that served breakfast sandwiches, Ms. Sparks listened to her customers and switched gears. Le Petit Marche now serves the community with one-of-a-kind breakfast offerings and specialty sandwiches. The atmosphere is cozy and you can tell that it is a family-owned business. My wife and I recently ate breakfast here and we were delighted with the unique spin on seasonings that were in the eggs and french toast. Some may find the space a little tight but we actually preferred it over that of a chain restaurant. Whether you live nearby or just want to try something different, I would definitely recommend that you stop in at Le Petit Marche to see what they have to offer!