Posts Tagged : Destination University

Eric Chester, Reviving America’s Work Ethic Expert, Speaking in Longmont, Colorado on Thursday, November 15

Eric Chester, a leading expert on the emerging Generation Y workforce, will discuss “The Declining Work Ethic in America and How to Fix It” from 9 to 10 a.m. November 15 at the Left Hand Brewery Tap Room at 1265 Boston Avenue in Longmont, Colorado.  The event is part of Destination University’s “Tapping the Experts” series on topics vital to business owners and entrepreneurs. The event is free and open to the public.

Chester, is the author of five books, including his most recent best-seller “Reviving Work Ethic: A Leader’s Guide to Ending Entitlement and Restoring Pride in the Emerging Workforce” published this year. He is the founding CEO of the “Bring Your A Game to Work” program.

The talk focuses on restoring the traditional workplace and instilling it into younger frontline workers in order to increase productivity and performance. Chester will answer questions from audience members following the interview.

Destination University, the online training network for small business owners operated by The Schallert Group of Longmont, will record the event and make it available online ( on-demand for members.  Jon Schallert, President of The Schallert Group, will interview Chester during the hour.

The live event seating area has a capacity of 50 participants, so reservations are necessary to reserve a seat. Reservations can be made by calling (303) 774-6522, by clicking here, or by going online to and clicking on the “Tapping the Experts” tab.

This event is co-sponsored by the Left Hand Brewing Company.  

Large Cities, Small Towns, and Business Success

13 Generalizations on Large Cities, Small Towns, and Business Success

I’m approaching my 25th year of consulting with business owners.  After working with tens of thousands of them, here are thirteen (13) small business principles of which I am certain.  For instance, I know why many small business owners will go extinct, why small towns are better than large cities, how Frank Sinatra was wrong, and where you can find the worst marketers in the world.

1.  It’s easier to generate more sales with a business in a large city than in a small town. But, it’s easier to create a more profitable business in a small town than in a large city.

2.  The most innovative businesses in the world are found in small towns and small cities.  They do more with less.  Unfortunately, they are often not as good at telling their stories, so they often go unnoticed for long periods of time.  Sometimes, forever, when owners don’t learn to market themselves.

3.  The success of a retail business has nothing to do with the amount of drive-by traffic.  Thank, Blockbuster, for again validating this.

4.  Location, location, location doesn’t have to matter anymore. Every true Destination Business continues to validate this.

5.  Owners who have businesses in tourist destinations are the worst marketers.  Since they are spoon-fed customers everyday, many forget how to aggressively market themselves, and they neglect learning about complex marketing concepts that businesses in out-of-the-way places have to learn to survive.  Groups that aggressively market for them and feed them customers actually are enabling their marketing backwardness.

6.  For most average business owners, the level of your business performance will rise to the level of your nearest best competitor, unless that competitor is a national Destination Business, and then, you’ll likely just be puzzled with the customer traffic they’re generating.  Unfortunately, some owners get jealous of the success of a Destination Business which is really silly because other businesses could be capitalizing on their traffic.

7.  Really smart people with multiple college degrees do dumb things when it comes to opening and running a small business.  It’s too bad that when they hand out degrees at college, they don’t come with transferable guarantee that can be applied to running a small business.

8.  Owning a franchise, rather than starting a business from scratch, neither insures success nor happiness.  But it will insure that you have bought yourself a job, though.

9.  An extremely passionate business owner with little money will kick the butt of a well-financed business owner with little passion, with all other conditions being equal.  Better yet, give me any business owner who is willing to change and learn new techniques to be successful, and that person will beat out both a passionate owner and a well-financed owner when both aren’t willing to learn.  (And if you’re an owner who really wants to learn, you should be in our Destination University! Click here to learn more.)

10.  Small business owners who don’t become small business CEO’s will become extinct in the coming years.  ‘Identify your weaknesses’, ‘question your business model’, and ‘delegate if I can’t learn it’ will be the new mantras for Mom and Pop businesses that want to survive.

11.  Don’t ask your nice customers what needs to be improved in your business because they will lie to you.  They want to be nice, and they won’t tell you about the parts of your business that disappoint them.

12.  If a customer says that your parking is bad and that’s why they don’t come in your business, most are using this as an excuse.  This really means that your business is interchangeable with someone else’s business, and that your business isn’t special and unique enough for them to want to expend any effort to work their way to your business.  Using the parking excuse is the easiest way to not go into a business when you’ve found someplace else that is just as good.

13.  When Frank Sinatra sang: “If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere” about New York, he was wrong.  With over 2,800 people per square mile there, it’s one of the easiest places.  Show me a multi-million dollar business in northern Maine, central South Dakota, or in eastern Oregon, and then, you can sing about it.

That’s it. That’s what I’m sure of.  Agree?  Disagree?  Let me know by posting your comments.

Where to find the best small business advice

Here’s a situation that happens to business owners everyday:  You are in your business and you have a new idea to bring more customers in your doors.  You feel reasonably certain that your idea would work, but you would like to bounce the idea off someone else, to get their perspective before you proceed.


Your first inclination will be to ask those immediately around you in your business, like your employees.  There’s nothing wrong with getting feedback from your team, but understand that their experience and perspective will not be the same as yours.  For one, remember they don’t have the vision for your business that you do, so don’t expect them to be as enthused about your idea as you are.  You’ve probably spent hours thinking about your idea (some of them in the middle of the night, as you’re worrying about how to solve your other business problems.)  Count on employees not being able to see the full picture of where your idea is meant to take the business.  Plus, if your idea means more work for them, expect some push-back.


Your second inclination is to ask your partner, your spouse, or someone who’s emotionally close to you.  While it’s a great to seek counsel from those you trust with other aspects of your life, unless that person has a full understanding of your business, don’t expect a revelation coming from them.  I’ve seen many people who you’d trust with your life not give good advice at all when it comes to business.  I remember one husband who always told his wife whenever she had a business problem that she should go ahead with her solution.  Unfortunately, for this owner, a “Yes Man” was not what she needed, and despite her husband’s best intentions to support his wife, his perspective was often faulty when it came to business tactics.


Another inclination might be to ask another business owner in your same industry.  Some owners have access to an association website or a group list serv, where owners with the same type of business can ask others for advice.  A word of caution here though:  If your idea is really revolutionary, do you really want to be giving your brainstorm of an idea to hundreds of other owners who can copy it?  And if your idea is so unusual and out-of-the-box that no one has ever thought of it, don’t expect a lot of creativity from this group of like businesses.  It’s more common for owners in the same industry to recycle the same ideas again and again (causing the consumer to grow more and more immune to them).


A fourth thought might be to walk next door and ask a business owner who’s nearby what he or she thinks of your idea.  If you plan to do this, take my advice on this one:  Avoid those owners who have all the time in the day to talk about your business, but who rarely put into practice anything new in their business.  Another owner-type to avoid are the negative ones.  For many owners, the opportunity to interact means they’ve been given another time to complain about everything that’s wrong in the world.  Count on these owners to offer very little helpful advice, while generally making you more depressed and less-focused on the positive action you are planning to undertake.


So who do I think is the best person to offer you valuable perspective?  Here are my favorites:


A Mentor:  Do you know someone you trust, you value their advice and you admire the business that they’ve built?  Try to get their perspective on your idea.  The one problem with these people is that they are generally busy, and you might have to schedule time to get in front of them.  Successful people aren’t likely to be sitting in their office just waiting for your call, but if you can get some time with them, in a short, focused session, explaining your idea to them might lead to an entirely new perspective.  Just remember that after getting their advice, though, that you look for opportunities to reciprocate and share something valuable with them in the future.


A Mastermind group:  You might have never heard this term but a Mastermind group is a collection of like-minded individuals who share confidential ideas about their business successes and failures in a small group setting.  Most of the time, these groups operate somewhat under the radar, and usually, you have to be invited to a group to become part of it.  If you are ever invited into one, evaluate the members in the group, and understand that their sometimes harsh, brutally honest perspective doled out on a regular basis can be just the ticket to improving your business, but you better have a thick skin.


A group of experienced owners outside of your industry:  I’ve found that this can be one of the best resources, if you can find a group of owners who don’t have the same type of business as yours, who are likewise successful, who are wiling to share ideas and offer their perspective.  We see this positive effect at every one of our Destination BootCamps:  business owners who have different businesses from different parts of the world, who seem to have nothing in common sharing their ideas across different industries becoming great resources for one another.  (One other hint here: next month, our new Destination University program will be forming an owner group that will be available to all of you where owners can share information online and from their smartphones, while also interacting with authors and business experts.  Click here if you’d like to learn more about this when it launches).


A Business Coach:  Sure, you saw this coming, considering I consult with business owners myself on how to make their businesses and communities a Destination.  But forget about the fact that I do this as part of my consulting business.  Regardless of whether you ever hire me or use any of my services, there are great coaches out there in the world who can help owners with specific business problems that they’ve seen before with other clients.  It makes no sense not using a coach’s experience to avoid the same mistakes as others, and to draw on their years of consulting with other businesses.  Just make sure you get a list of references before you begin any relationship with a coach, so you can check out what successes they’ve had for other clients, and be wary of the coach who has answers to everything.  When interviewing for a business coach, ask them to tell you what they don’t know and in what areas can’t they help you.  There are a lot of areas in the business world on which I’ll readily admit I am not the person to be giving advice.


So there you have it.  My four worst people to seek advice from, and the four best.  This should help keep your better ideas from getting shot down before they have a chance to shine, your worst ideas from becoming a major mistake, and help your best ideas to be even better.