Entries by Cary Matthews

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Autonomy and Accountability

As a kid I learned about balance.  I once made Kool-Aid without putting any sugar in it. Add the mix to water and stir. The results were not good.  The reason is the ingredients weren’t in the proper proportion or were missing altogether.  Companies without balance between autonomy and accountability have the same problem: bad […]

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Act now

The hill was more than I bargained for.  It was a struggle and I should have realized earlier that is was time to act now. I had all kinds of excuses: the weather was bad.  I didn’t have time.  It could wait another day.  I had other plans. No, I wasn’t hiking up a steep […]

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Facing change

Sometimes you initiate change, and sometimes it is forced on you.  Regardless of how you got there, you must deal with it.  Facing change isn’t always easy or wanted. Key employees leave.  New technology disrupts the market.  Your exit strategy or timeline changes.  Maybe your business has grown beyond your capacity to manage it all […]

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You don’t have all the answers

It’s lonely at the top.  We’ve created a myth of the confident CEO or business owner who has all the answers. Deep down, you know you don’t have all the answers. The truth:  no one does. CEOs of larger businesses may have a proven executive team who can act as a sounding board.  They can […]

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Turn ideas into reality

Business owners can be idea machines.  Your business started as an idea, and ideas keep the business fresh and relevant.  By themselves don’t accomplish anything unless you turn ideas into reality. Unless you can accomplish something by the stroke of a pen, you have to dedicate time, staff, and resources to a project to bring […]

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A master class in customer service

Recently, I had two very different experiences with customer service that proved to be a master class in how to deal with customers.  Both situations concerned lost packages, and I spoke with the shipper rather than the company selling the product.  The difference was stark and provides insights on how a company views customer service. […]

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Does location still matter?

Location, location, location.   That has been the mantra of real estate for years.  Many employers, especially smaller businesses, also counted on location as a selling point.  Unless you were willing to move, people typically looked for jobs locally.  Location may not be a competitive advantage any longer. The advent of remote work, work from home, […]

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Do you feel stuck?

Do you feel stuck? On one hand, you’ve been “all in” on building your business for a long time. You need time to do those things that only you can do, or you need to devote time to family or passions outside the business. You can’t continue to do it all. On the other hand, […]

Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree

Do you have an idea that people think won’t work?  Maybe it is like Charlie Brown’s little Christmas tree and others just don’t have the vision you do.  Kinda what like Charles Schulz was up against… A Charlie Brown Christmas may be one of the most acclaimed and popular Christmas specials shown each year. It […]