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Jan Bolick

Business Lessons from Our Moms

What lessons did you learn from your Mom that have helped you do good business? Here are a few that come to mind. 1. Take care of yourself. 2. Be nice. 3. Mind your manners. 4. Pick up after yourself. 5. Be respectful. 6. Be generous with support and encouragement. 7. Use resources wisely. 8. Study hard and keep learning. 9. Look for solutions in unexpected places. 10.Do the right thing, even when no one is watching Got any to add? Please share in Comments section below or send to: Jan@Chapelboro.com. Thanks to  mothers everywhere for making the world a better place. Happy Mothers Day everyone. Note:  For more info on #6, 8, 9 and 10, Isee Management Lessons from...

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Generalizations

The conversation in a recent meeting reminded me of this tidbit.  Seems like a good time to make it the Quote of the Week. if the blue block was bigger, we could also include things like: Meetings are boring. Managers are controlling. People are lazy. Budgets are restrictive. Businesses make money. Oh yes – and did I mention “Generalizations are dangerous”? Generalizations can cause us to overlook people, projects and solutions that are rich with possibility. They may also cause team members to head in opposite directions.  Or to simply be at odds.  What generalizations have you heard lately?...

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Administrative Professionals Week

Just curious –  will you be celebrating Administrative Professionals Day (April 25) or Week (week of April 23) at  your office?  And if so, how? The celebration started in 1952 and some say it is “one of the largest workplace observances outside of employee birthdays and major holidays. From the International Association of Administrative Professionals website: ”Admins are one of the engines of business, particularly in a complex economy. In a world that demands the accurate and speedy movement of digital information, admins are masters of data. And they do this while maintaining their more traditional role as the...

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And the survey says….

You know those surveys you fill out and then forget about?  Do you ever wonder, but never know what other people said?  Do you ever wonder if the input made a difference anywhere?  Do you ever wonder if your responses were even read?  Today I want to remind you about the survey posted right here in the Good Business column back in February; let you know that it has been and still is being read and  let you read what other people said.  The purpose of the survey was to get input on how to achieve one of the  goals proposed by the Economic Prosperity & Engagement theme group for the future of Chapel Hill.  The goal:  Foster the success of local business. Here’s a sampling of responses from the survey.  As you read through them, I hope you will remember the quote I shared last week.  The purpose of gathering this information is not to knock down the ways business is done here, but to look for opportunities  to build, repair or remodel these ways so that Chapel Hill is an even better place to live, work and play. What do you like about doing business in Chapel Hill? Good university town with a good reputation Mix of people and incomes Community ideals Attractive, family friendly city, small town feel Climate, culture, clean, safe Walkability Bright people/forward thinking/well...

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Any Jackass Can Kick Down a Barn

After attending a few recent meetings in town and hearing about a few others, this favorite quote came to mind: It seems many people want to complain, blame, criticize, make fun, rip apart and tear down people, policies, departments, organizations and whatever else comes their way.   With no ideas or plans for making things better – no intention of doing anything to make it so.  Or if they do – their way is the only way.  No interest in listening or understanding other points of view. A bunch of jackasses kicking down barns and getting in the way...

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Hoppin' Idea from VilCom

If you’ve had the pedal to the medal, pushing hard to make sales quotas, production schedules and tax deadlines,  I  encourage you to take a break for a morale and productivity boosting bit of nonsense. If you need an off the wall, hoppin’ idea…this one certainly qualifies. Several of the seventeen divisions of The Village Companies, now called VilCom,  used to have an an annual Bunny Toss. Everyone was invited to bring one of those hollow chocolate bunnies that come in a box.  The event was held on the lawn of McClamroch Hall (right there on Weaver Dairy Road) ...

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Good Business by Harrison Barnes & UNC

It’s hard not to be impressed by UNC sophomore, Harrison Barnes  on the basketball court.  And then – there is the business side of Barnes. A friend sent an article to me yesterday and while reading it,  I decided I had to share it with the readers of Good Business because of the excellent lessons it includes: tailoring  pitches to the prospect the importance of managing your own personal brand and a few specifics on how to do it Below is an excerpt and link to the article.  I hope you enjoy it the way I did.  Thanks to Jason Zengerle for the great article.  Thanks to UNC coaches for taiiloring their recruiting approach in just the right way so that Harrison Barnes could share his B&B talents with us.  And to Harrison for doing that in such an impressive way. Here’s a excerpt from Moneyballer by Jason Zengerle   In the fall of 2009, Harrison Barnes was the best high-school basketball player in America. But the 17-year-old from Ames, Iowa, was more than just a hoops phenom. An honor student with a 3.6 GPA who, when he wasn’t honing his jump shot, would practice Bach and Chopin on his saxophone, Barnes was something of a renaissance man. So the college-basketball powerhouses trying to recruit him tailored their pitches accordingly. Read more Comments, questions, suggestions? Please send them to...

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Luck & Laughter

If you are a Chapelboro insider and read your email yesterday, then you already know of at least one person who is celebrating St Patrick’s Day this week. That would be Digital Media Dynamo, Kit FitzSimons.  Here’s an excerpt from his witty e-mail with the witty subject line: “Irish I May, Irish I Might”.  Top’o the morning to ya! St. Patrick’s coming, so you better be good for Guinness sake! …and while I know the big day isn’t until this Saturday,  it’s been a while since my last visit to Aveda, so my Irish roots are showing. And that...

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Good Business by the Town of Chapel Hill

There’s a story on my wall which is on my wall as an important reminder.  It goes like this. A boy was working on a project in the garage. He was trying to lift a big box but couldn’t budge it. His father passed by and asked, “Are you using all of your strength?” “Yes,” the boy replied with that tone of voice that usually goes along with rolling the eyes. “Are you sure?” said the Dad. “Yes, Dad. I am trying as hard as I can”. The father responded calmly, “No. You’re not. You haven’t asked me for help.”   Business leaders are often hesitant to ask for help.  They feel like they should have all the answers.   And if they don’t, they often turn to a consultant.  There can be value in that.  There can be even greater value in asking the people who are already right under the same roof.  Those who deal with the nitty gritty of the business every day.  And that’s why I applaud the town’s “If I were the boss” program, set up to solicit feedback from employees about the best ways for the town to save money. Town Manager, Roger Stancil said:  “We’re encouraging them and handing out cards and giving them ways to give us their ideas.  It’s generally true that the best ideas are in their heads. We want...

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The Shining of Grimball Jewelers

You’ve seen their ads (perhaps one on your computer screen right now).   You’ve heard and probably laughed at their ads on WCHL – about bling, the end of the world or the choice of sleeping on the sofa with your golf clubs or in the bed with your wife.  Very fun and clever.   You may know about their awards: Small Business of the Year by the Chapel Hill Carrboro Chamber of Commerce in 2002. Best Jewelry Store by readers of the Chapel Hill News in 2005. Best Jewelry Store in Orange/ Chatham County by readers of the Independent Weekly in 2008. Best Jeweler in Chapelboro 2011.  And you may know owner Berkeley Grimball, whose favorite line is, “We are hard-wired to love small shiny objects.”   What you may not know about is the polishing needed for Grimball Jewelers to become such a shining example of good business.  Polishing Berkeley shared with me when I interviewed him shortly after Grimball Jewelers won Business of the Year.  It was an interesting and inspiring story then.  And still is.  In particular to people in business who are going through rough times.  And so I thought Good Business would be a good place to re-visit and update the story.   When Berkeley was in college in the early 1970’s, he and his roommate started making jewelry by bending silver wire. ...

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