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Choose & Use Wisely

Choose & Use Wisely Professionals can help Twenty years ago, I wrote an article titled, Consultants: How to Chose, Use, and Not Abuse Them, based on my own experience as a management consultant and as a client of other consultants, accountants, lawyers, and other professionals. The article offers tips for effective professional relationships and has retained its relevance for a Continue Reading

Consultants: How to Choose, Use, and Not Abuse Them

Consultants: How to Choose, Use, and Not Abuse Them Help them, help you Since my first consulting project over thirty years ago, I have learned a lot about how to successfully manage consulting projects and the client/consultant relationship. Here is my advice, which I am sharing again to help you with your consultants (and your lawyers, accountants and other professionals): Continue Reading

Trust nobody. Or trust everybody?

Trust nobody   Or trust everybody? Rule #1: You may know the story of the shopkeeper who decided it was time to teach his young son about the business. He told him to climb up the ladder to the top shelf, then jump down into his arms. “Don’t worry, I’ll catch you. Trust me.” The boy jumped, his father stepped Continue Reading

Fragmented or focused?

Fragmented Or focused? In discussing politics and social issues these days, there is a lot of debate around fragmented media – both traditional and online – and the negative consequences of people remaining in their “bubble” of commentators and audiences, who all seem to agree on shared ideologies and opinions. These bubbles are too often abused and manipulated to reinforce Continue Reading

Aim lower. Not global

Aim lower Focus on small targets Globalization is dead. Think small. The global tendencies protecting national interests, the multinational impact of America First policies turning toward isolationism, Covid-19 supply chain disruptions and the economic sanctions resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine are all restricting international trade and reducing the benefits of global economic co-operation to local economies and restricting Continue Reading

High tech still needs high touch

High tech Still needs high touch Sometimes artificial intelligence is too artificial and not that intelligent. Just another robot trying to think faster than we do and anticipate what we want before we ask or try to do it for ourselves. When do we get to talk to a real person? When do we get to ask the robot to Continue Reading

Storytelling. With a purpose.

Storytelling With a purpose. It may seem odd that I’m writing business advice for entrepreneurs at the same time as I’m writing crime fiction novels about an entrepreneur, but it’s actually quite consistent with my lifetime passion for telling stories – to share ideas, information and inspiration in a memorable way. Different stories, different audiences; same purpose.  It’s an important Continue Reading

It’s just business. Never personal.

It's just business. Never personal.  I recently completed my fourth novel about an entrepreneur and his crime-fighting buddy, called Bad Boys in Boston. The sub-title was, It's just business, never personal. However, it’s about a young woman in the family being kidnapped into the sex trade and it’s very personal. In business too, it often is. But you have to know Continue Reading

Democracy still works. But in your business?

Democracy still works But in your business? Around the world we are seeing democracies at work; not always the way they were intended to work and not always giving us the results we wanted or expected, but still delivering the decisions and making the choices the people were asked to vote on. Too frequently, we are seeing democratic processes used Continue Reading

Sorry! Really?

Sorry! Really? We Canadians have a reputation for always saying sorry. Sorry,  we're just too polite, I guess. (At least we've stopped saying, "eh," as often as we used to. Sorry if you were counting on that identifying trait. "Canadian, eh?") It seems like everyone has picked up on the quick apology now, though –– in personal relationships, political exchanges, Continue Reading

Christmas Gifts in September?

Christmas Gifts in September? Yes, you deserve it. Summer holidays are over, the kids are back at school, and you’re back at work trying to navigate away from health risks, climate disasters, and the political and economic turmoil around you. Looking forward to your next break? Let’s leapfrog past Halloween and Thanksgiving and avoid the stress of Christmas shopping in Continue Reading

Good branding? Or a good first impression?

Good branding? Or a good first impression?   It is an important distinction: Are we building a brand based on exceptional customer experience over the long-term; or, are we trying to get their attention with a glitzy logo and a catchy slogan? The long-term experience and the first impression have to be consistent. Not initial false promises raising unreasonable expectations resulting Continue Reading

Losing customer loyalty. It happens fast.  

Losing customer loyalty It happens fast   It is an important principle, in my opinion, that the primary purpose of any business is to build profitable, loyal, long-term customer relationships. Every strategic plan, policy statement, and operating decision should support that essential business objective. Customer loyalty is not easy to earn and retain. It requires consistent customer service that builds on Continue Reading

Exploiting a crisis

Exploiting a crisis Be careful how you do it. I wrote this article a few years ago and it has been a useful reference many times – even before the pandemic crisis, a Russian invasion of Ukraine, rapidly rising inflation and punishing interest rates. It advises of appropriate management tactics to survive and thrive through challenging times, but use them with caution. Continue Reading

Managing in Difficult Times

Managing in Difficult Times Ignoring or avoiding a difficult business environment is simply not possible.  It will happen, sooner or later. A credit crisis, stock market meltdown, or a looming recession all affect the attitudes and actions of consumers, employees, investors, lenders and business managers. What are some helpful ideas to respond effectively? Stay focused Avoid being distracted by the Continue Reading

Food for thought. Are you getting any?

Food for thought Are you getting any? Where do you find new ideas for information and inspiration? How do you learn to be better and do better? When I started writing business commentary and advice over fifteen years ago, that was my objective – to provide ideas, information and inspiration for entrepreneurs. The original objective of my website, LearningEntrepreneurship.com, my Continue Reading

Don’t be too perfect

Don’t be too perfect Or too precious. You’re not that special. In occasional attempts at false modesty or humble bragging we might admit to being too much of a perfectionist. In fact we have probably already learned that perfectionism is not only the enemy of good, but it also pisses people off. Nobody wants to be driven to pursue the impossible Continue Reading

It’s hard to be humble after a big win

It’s hard to be humble after a big win Are you still your toughest critic? After a big win it’s hard not to bask in the glow of success; enjoy the applause and rave reviews; share the news on all your social media channels; smack the high-fives and accept the toasts to how wonderfully talented you are. But when the Continue Reading

Talent is not enough

Talent is not enough Commitment to your best effort makes the difference  If you’re competing against the best in world, everyone is talented. To be a winner you’ll have to do more than demonstrate your talent. You’ll need to commit to extraordinary effort and apply it constantly and consistently. Then you have a chance. Whether you’re watching the NBA finals, Continue Reading

Results are all that matter? Wrong. Character matters.

Results are all that matter? Wrong. Character matters. This commentary was originally posted in 2019 when the whole world was watching and worrying about the true character of well-known figures like Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, and President Trump. It also appears in Don’t Do It the Hard Way – 2020 Edition. Sometimes we learn more than we ever wanted to Continue Reading

Are you an Activist CEO?

Are you an Activist CEO? Leading with your values? It’s no longer an option. It's now expected, by your employees and your customers. They have choices to make – who to work with and who to buy from. That’s the new reality in today’s hyper-sensitive, highly politicized, and widely publicized world. Or are you a politician, avoiding the issues and Continue Reading

What does R&R mean to you?

What does R&R mean to you? Do it regularly, don’t wait until it’s urgent   R&R is originally a military term referring to soldiers taking time for Rest & Recovery. You may have your own version to describe taking time to get away from it all; my preference is taking time off to Reflect & Renew. There are lots of Continue Reading

Celebrity CEOs. What do they know?

Celebrity CEOs  What do they know? I remember my investment broker telling me years ago, “making money doesn’t make you  smart.”  Maybe you’re just lucky. Or maybe all that talent and education and hard work finally paid off. And maybe these celebrity CEOs can tell us how to do better for ourselves and our businesses. They seem to be rich Continue Reading

You think it’s futile?

You think it’s futile? Don’t give up too soon. No sign of progress does not mean no progress. Don’t look for excuses to give up. Patience and persistence may still be rewarded. Keep checking the feedback and listen to the critics, especially the people who are usually your cheerleaders, even if you think they’ve got it wrong and you’re sure Continue Reading

Manage like a Hockey Mom

Manage like a Hockey Mom But in a good way (An extract from Uncle Ralph’s Random Ramblings in Part V of DON’T DO IT THE HARD WAY – 2020 Edition) Hockey games are always exciting and entertaining, whether it’s the NHL or kids in minor hockey, and they often provide inspiration and ideas applicable beyond the hockey rink. At a Continue Reading

Resilience – Fighting fatigue and frustration.

Resilience - Fighting fatigue and frustration. What is resilience? It’s not just bouncing back after a major setback or getting through difficult times. It’s not only about celebrities and superstars recovering from serious injuries or illness and returning to top performance again; it’s also about business owners getting back to work, serving customers and providing a boost to employees and the Continue Reading

It looks simple

It looks simple Obviously … It’s usually a bad start to a productive conversation if your opening comment starts with, “It looks simple enough to me…,” or “Obviously, they should…,” or “Why don’t they just….” You’ve probably now confirmed that you really don’t know what you’re talking about. You may have already heard me quote the genius scientist and mathematician, Continue Reading

Pay yourself first. Profit is not a dirty word.

Pay yourself first Profit is not a dirty word. It may seem inappropriate, but it’s not. My advice to entrepreneurs is always to align your business objectives with your personal objectives. It’s the best way to ensure your ongoing commitment, patience and persistence through all the roadblocks, detours and setbacks. Like making a career choice; find out what you’re good Continue Reading

Learn to live with it. Doesn’t mean ignore it.

Learn to live with it Doesn’t mean ignore it.  We keep being told we have to learn to live with it. It seems to me a useless cliché, whether it’s applied to the continuing risk of Covid variants, to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, to the humanitarian crisis in Europe or to the threat of escalating military conflict into WWIII. Continue Reading

Managing Business Risk – How are you doing?

Managing Business Risk How are you doing? An often-neglected section in many of the business plans that I’ve seen from entrepreneurs is the risk management section. What can go wrong; what will you do about it? And like all the sections in your business plan, it needs to be regularly reviewed and revised to ensure that it is still appropriate Continue Reading

You always have a choice

You always have a choice Usually a multiple choice. A simple yes or no would be easier. And sometimes that’s good enough. “Yes, that’ll do. I’ll take that one.” It’s right there in front of you. Don’t make it complicated. Just do it. But maybe it's not so simple. As Einstein or some other genius has been quoted as saying, Continue Reading

Management science? Or an Art.

Management science? Or an art. I was in engineering at UBC when I discovered that management was much more appealing to me than engineering. I didn’t ever enjoy the study of vector analysis or rock mechanics and I have zero mechanical aptitude, but I was hooked immediately after taking two optional courses – Economics 101 and Psychology 100. That’s what Continue Reading

They’ve already decided

They’ve already decided Don’t waste your time Early in my career, I learned an important lesson about the ability to change minds with  facts and logical reasoning. Based on my original degree in mining engineering followed by an MBA, I was recruited by an international firm to do management consulting – often for mining companies. One assignment during a labour Continue Reading

The light is green 

The light is green  Coming out of the dark tunnel According to the experts in pandemics and public health we are approaching that light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not red!  Of course, only the politicians who dictate the rules of play can decide if we’re actually out of the dark tunnel of restrictions on our businesses Continue Reading

Check your assumptions. Before you decide.

Check your assumptions Before you decide You may be off to a bad start, and getting it wrong When we make decisions we always have a set of assumptions in mind, usually in background, not always recognized or made explicit. Here’s a short list of starting assumptions to check-off before you finally decide: Am I the right person to be Continue Reading

Writing Projects & Plans for 2022

Writing Projects & Plans for 2022 Any suggestions?  This early in the New Year we are still taking time to look back and plan ahead for 2022. That usually means reviewing performance over the past year or two and learning what we can, or should, do differently for better results in the future. Given the pandemic that has affected so Continue Reading

Be Better. Do Better. Every day.

Be Better. Do Better. Every day Once a year is not enough It’s the start of a new year and we’re all expected to have prepared our New Year’s Resolutions for 2022 and be working diligently on them now. What’s the plan, the goals and objectives? How are we going to be better and do better this year? The process Continue Reading

Enduring another pandemic year-end

Looking back, planning ahead.  Enduring another pandemic year-end           We should be getting better at this by now. The pandemic environment and public health rules have changed everything we do, but sound principles and processes still apply. The year-end process hasn’t changed. We should still take time to look back and plan ahead. But let’s try Continue Reading

This is the new normal. Get used to it.

This is the new normal Get used to it. Like the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, twenty years later, has changed everything and I think we have to accept that we have arrived at the new normal for our lives and our businesses for the near future. From now on we will be applying Continue Reading

Thoughts for the day

Thoughts for the day Be Better. Do Better. Hello {First Name}, Thank you for joining us to share Ideas for Entrepreneurs and for supporting and promoting Enlightened Entrepreneurship. DON'T DO IT THE HARD WAY I’ve often suggested that all my business advice can be summarized in just six words: HAVE A PLAN. AVOID THE MISTAKES I would prefer, of course, that you bought my most recent Continue Reading

Becoming a More Humane Leader

Becoming a More Humane Leader Or more Enlightened? I was recently sent a Harvard Business Review article that presented research to prove the obvious –– wise and compassionate leaders have more productive employees. Maybe not obvious? It’s worth reminding ourselves what style of leadership is most effective for delivering better results. The authors describe the wise and compassionate humane leader Continue Reading

Build, Buy, or Franchise?

Build, Buy, or Franchise? Had your Subway yet, today? The original co-founder of the Subway sandwich chain, Peter Buck, died earlier this month at age 90. He was a 34-year-old nuclear scientist (and expert in subway sandwiches, apparently) when, in 1965, he loaned $1,000 to a family friend, 17-year-old college  student, Fred DeLuca, to start a sandwich shop called Pete’s Continue Reading

Best Advice Ever

Best Advice Ever In only three words And it still applies - Don’t Waste Time! One of the bizarre side effects of the economic shutdown and being told to self-isolate and work from home is that the pressure to be productive and meet deadlines seems to have evaporated. The sense of urgency has dissipated. Everybody is preoccupied with the pandemic Continue Reading

Cultural sensitivity. Tread carefully.   

Cultural sensitivity   Tread carefully      It seems to be a pandemic side effect. Everyone has exhausted their tolerance with all the  minor annoyances and the reaction on bigger issues may be exaggerated or extreme. Tread carefully. Nerves are exposed, fuses are short, anger and frustration are bubbling close to the surface. You may think it’s over reaction or hyper-sensitivity Continue Reading

Recommended reading for entrepreneurs

Recommended reading For entrepreneurs In the recent 2020 Edition of DON’T DO IT THE HARD WAY, I included my updated list of recommended references and books for entrepreneurs, to manage themselves and their businesses better. (See Part 6. Page 231) The full list is available at below: In order to help you be better as an entrepreneur, leader, manager and Continue Reading

Coach, Critic or Cheerleader?

Coach, Critic or Cheerleader? You get to chose      It doesn’t matter whether you’re giving or receiving. Which are you going to be, and which do you need, right now? Coach, Critic or Cheerleader? Choose one. It’s an important distinction and a choice of role has to be made. In every relationship: manager & employee, coach & player, teacher & Continue Reading

Lessons from Lamborghini

Lessons from Lamborghini Build a better tractor    Neighbour has a nice car …. I wonder if he'd take me for a ride. Maybe my next car, after I sell the 2nd million books ….  As Anthony Robbins would say, have a goal in mind and give yourself rewards as you pass the milestones. Do you know the story of Continue Reading

The Enlightened CEO

The Enlightened CEO Obviously   Most outspoken critics of CEOs are lazy. They find an easy target in the stereotypical greedy, selfish CEO, and they shout their loud accusations. Unfortunately, some of those CEOs are easily found and they are equally lazy about explaining or defending themselves. As my mother used to tell me, “Don’t confuse them with the facts, Continue Reading

Basic principles still apply

Basic principles still apply Stay calm & carry on As we near the end of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is lots of talk of the new normal. The world has changed, and we need to do things differently. Now what? It’s worth remembering the old normal and the basic principles that still apply. Here are a few reminders: Look before Continue Reading

Abuse of loyalty

Abuse of loyalty Lost to arrogance and greed Consumers can be fiercely loyal to a brand. Beyond rational explanation and impervious to persuasion to try the alternatives. Until they’re feeling abused or taken for granted. Even the best of brands make the mistake occasionally. Losing their integrity and showing a lack of respect for loyal customers and fans because somebody Continue Reading

Pandemic notoriety: Naughty or Nice?

Pandemic notoriety: Naughty or Nice? Which list are you on?  (This article is based on the ideas in Uncle Ralph’s books for entrepreneurs, DON'T DO IT THE HARD WAY & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans.)  “Awesome! What a profit opportunity!” Probably not what you will be reading in the press releases. It will be all about the socially responsible Continue Reading

A test of loyalty

A test of loyalty Time for a change? (This article is based on the ideas in Uncle Ralph’s books for entrepreneurs, DON'T DO IT THE HARD WAY & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans.)  In times of economic crisis, we are faced with difficult choices in a stressful new environment. Loyalties are tested and we’re wondering if it’s time for Continue Reading

The Beginning of the End

The Beginning of the End We’re not there yet (This article is based on the ideas in Uncle Ralph's DON'T DO IT THE HARD WAY & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans, 2020 Editions)  I’m feeling safer, and closer to the end of the pandemic effects on life and business after receiving my first dose of the Moderna vaccine for Continue Reading

Learn to Apologize

Learn to Apologize Do it right next time  (This article is based on ideas in Uncle Ralph's DON'T DO IT THE HARD WAY & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans, 2020 Editions)  Customer service is simple, but never easy. We all recognize and appreciate good customer service and we have all experienced failure at it, occasionally, ourselves. The pandemic lockdowns Continue Reading

Back to Normal. Are we there yet? 

Are we there yet? Back to Normal  (This article is based on ideas in Uncle Ralph's DON'T DO IT THE HARD WAY & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans, 2020 Editions)  The surrounding political drama and pandemic crisis continue to preoccupy us, but we do expect that life and business will return to normal later this year.  Not the old Continue Reading

Looking Back & Planning Ahead

Looking Back & Planning Ahead Have a great 2021 in the brave new post-Covid world  (This article is based on ideas in Uncle Ralph's DON'T DO IT THE HARD WAY & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans, 2020 Editions)  So 2021 has arrived, now what?  It seems the same as 2020 so far, maybe worse in many ways – both the Continue Reading

Neglect the negative. Be creative.

Neglect the negative Be creative (This article is based on ideas from Uncle Ralph’s Random Ramblings in DON’T DO IT THE HARD WAY - 2020 Edition) In our current preoccupation with pandemic paranoia and political drama, we need to redirect our energies to more productive plans for next year. Start by looking back and deciding what is most worthy of Continue Reading

Are you ready for post-Covid? It’s coming soon.

Are you ready for post-Covid?  The new era of life and business after this pandemic period is coming soon  (This article is based on ideas from Uncle Ralph’s Random Ramblings in DON’T DO IT THE HARD WAY - 2020 Edition) Even in the current period of Covid pandemic protocols that are actually getting stricter, there is still optimism that vaccines Continue Reading

Author Interview with Bernie Landry

Author Interview with Bernie Landry More than you were ever going to ask about Del Chatterson, author of the Dale Hunter Series of crime thriller novels and, as your Uncle Ralph, author of new 2020 Editions of his business books for entrepreneurs. Here's the whole story!  

Results are all that matter, right?

Results are all that matter, right? Wrong. Character matters. Behaviour matters.  This post from a year ago seems particularly appropriate this weekend as America makes important decisions about leadership for the country. The whole world is watching and worrying. Let’s hope they get it right and do better this time. Here’s why I think character and behaviour are important to Continue Reading

Covid Customer Service – Part 3. Be Respectful

Covid Customer Service - Part 3 (This article is based on extracts from Uncle Ralph’s Random Ramblings in DON’T DO IT THE HARD WAY - 2020 Edition) Be respectful  In this period of Covid pandemic protocols we are all being required to overcome new challenges to deliver outstanding customer service. The pandemic frustrations have heightened anxiety and stress for everyone. Continue Reading

Covid Customer Service- Part 2. Make it personal  

Covid Customer Service- Part 2 (This article is based on extracts from Uncle Ralph’s Random Ramblings in DON’T DO IT THE HARD WAY - 2020 Edition) Make it personal In this period of Covid pandemic protocols we are being required to meet new challenges and obstacles to deliver outstanding customer service. The pandemic frustrations have heightened anxiety and stress for Continue Reading

Covid Customer Service – Empathy on steroids

Covid Customer Service  (This article is based on extracts from Uncle Ralph’s Random Ramblings in DON’T DO IT THE HARD WAY - 2020 Edition)  Empathy on steroids In this period of Covid pandemic protocols we are meeting new challenges and obstacles to delivering outstanding customer service. It’s time for new levels of empathy and understanding. And customers are likely to Continue Reading

Maybe autocratic leadership is better. Democracy doesn’t work.

Maybe autocratic leadership is better  (This article is based on extracts from Uncle Ralph’s Random Ramblings in DON’T DO IT THE HARD WAY - 2020 Edition) As we observe political leaders around the world getting their way, dictating arbitrary policies, behaving badly and revising the rules of play, it would be easy for business leaders to conclude that autocratic dictatorship Continue Reading

Time for a new plan – Everything has changed

Time for a new plan Everything has changed.  (This article is based on an extract from The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans - 2020 Edition) Rethink, Review and Rewrite The Covid-19 pandemic has changed everything – in our lives and in our businesses. The only questions that remain are – What exactly has changed?  By how much? For how long? Continue Reading

Speaking of Enlightened Entrepreneurship

Speaking of Enlightened Entrepreneurship Listen to Del Chatterson, your Uncle Ralph, on Business Talk Radio Please  tell your friends, family, and business associates to visit and listen. Click on the link:  https://businesstalkradio1.com/studio-two/  or Tune in Thursday, October 8th at 12:28 PM-EST.   @ https://tunein.com/radio/Business-Talk-Nationwide-s281640/  and the broadcast can be heard live on the day (or replayed later). 

How to be a successful Enlightened Entrepreneur

How to be a successful Enlightened Entrepreneur   An extract from the Staples Spotlight Event, August 19th, on ENLIGHTENED ENTREPRENEURSHIP.   The full one-hour ZOOM recording is also available online with Staples at:  https://share.vidyard.com/watch/km8duQnk3bjrBsy1ZSCZwM?   You can scan quickly through the presentation to the specific slides or topics that interest you most. Enjoy the “real” experience with other participants. What is an Enlightened Continue Reading

Explaining sales is hard to do

Where did that come from? Explaining sales is hard to do As a wise marketing agency executive once said, “I know that half of our advertising works, I’m just not sure which half.” I have the same impression of my own efforts at sales and marketing. Something’s working, I’m just not sure what. So how do you keep doing what’s Continue Reading

The secrets revealed! How to be a successful Enlightened Entrepreneur

The secrets revealed! How to be a successful Enlightened Entrepreneur Thank you for your interest in the STAPLES SPOTLIGHT EVENT , Wednesday evening, August 19th, on Enlightened Entrepreneurship.    Be a successful Enlightened Entrepreneur Have a Purpose and a Plan Avoid the Big Mistakes I wanted to follow-up with this article and also to provide the ZOOM meeting recording for your review , Continue Reading

How to be a (more successful) Enlightened Entrepreneur

How to be a (more successful) Enlightened Entrepreneur Two simple principles - Have a Purpose and a Plan. Avoid the Big Mistakes. Join us and learn how to be a (more successful) Enlightened Entrepreneur. Two simple principles - Have a Purpose and a Plan. Avoid the Big Mistakes. August 19th, 2020 - 7:00 PM. To learn more and register for Continue Reading

Boston Pizza demonstrates Enlightened Entrepreneurship

Thank you for your support during pandemic protocols Boston Pizza demonstrates Enlightened Entrepreneurship Recently tested over a pizza and a glass of wine, Boston Pizza restaurant staff showed exceptional empathy and understanding of how to be a socially responsible business and build loyal customer relationships. It started with a decision to try patio dining at a Boston Pizza restaurant on Continue Reading

Checklists for the re-start of your business after Covid-19

Checklists for the re-start of your business after Covid-19 Good management is required now more than ever. Looking back over the past three months, you may be thinking, OK, that was painful, but it has to get better from here. For most of us, the negative impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on our businesses were unexpected disasters and the final Continue Reading

The Magic of Entrepreneurship

The Magic of Entrepreneurship Demonstrated by the street vendors in Rome Find the magic of entrepreneurship. In the post-Covid-19 world you will need to be more creative, determined, flexible, responsive and persistent than ever. Be better. Do better. What entrepreneurs do best is identify an opportunity and respond to it. They observe the market, test customer response and then deliver Continue Reading

Yes, you need a Business Plan

Yes, you need a Business Plan From Start-up to Exit It may seem unnecessary, uncreatively old-fashioned, boringly bureaucratic, and inappropriate for your brilliant business idea where you “dare to be different.” Nobody wants to look at a thick document full of industry jargon, market research mumbo-jumbo and spreadsheets up the ying-yang, do they?  Sorry, but yes they do. The most Continue Reading

Best Advice Ever

Best Advice Ever And it still applies - Don’t Waste Time! One of the bizarre side effects of the economic shutdown and being told to self-isolate and work from home is that the pressure to be productive and meet deadlines seems to have evaporated. The sense of urgency has dissipated. Everybody is preoccupied with the pandemic and keeping themselves safe Continue Reading

Starting-up is hard to do. Re-starting in a pandemic is even harder.

Starting-up is hard to do Re-starting in a pandemic is even harder It’s time to pull out your original business plan and start re-thinking and re-writing it. Assuming you have one, I’m sure it didn’t include a contingency plan to survive a pandemic shutdown. Now you need a new plan to re-start your business in a world recovering from the coronavirus Continue Reading

Do-It-Yourself Business Plan? Yes, you can!

Do-It-Yourself Business Plan? Yes, you can! What? Why? What is a Business Plan? What are the results you  want?   Good questions. Here are my answers. A business plan is a document that describes your idea for realizing a business opportunity. It describes the market need that you have identified and the proposed strategies and plans to turn your idea into a profitable Continue Reading

Switching from Defense to Offense

Switching from Defense to Offense Are we there yet? Do you know your Basic Defensive Interval? For a business start-up, it’s the number of weeks or months before you get to break-even cash flow. For an operating business, it’s how long can you survive a disaster without any revenue. You may have business interruption insurance or a disaster plan, but Continue Reading

Enlightened Entrepreneurship: The Action Plan

Enlightened Entrepreneurship: The Action Plan If Enlightened Entrepreneurship requires us to practice it, promote it and defend it, does accepting that mission make us missionaries? Yes. Your mission has a Three-Part Plan: Practice enlightened entrepreneurship and lead by example. Help other entrepreneurs be more enlightened and thereby more successful. Advocate for enlightened entrepreneurs and help to defend entrepreneurship against the unfair critics. Continue Reading

Enlightened Entrepreneurship: The Next Step

Enlightened Entrepreneurship: The Next Step I continue to promote and recommend the concept of enlightened entrepreneurship, but we do not have a common understanding of the term. Some define it as a very spiritual or humanistic approach to business and others confuse it with social entrepreneurship, where the purpose of the business is to meet the social needs of society Continue Reading

The need now for Enlightened Entrepreneurship

Enlightened Entrepreneurship: The Need, now more than ever.  “I’m only in it for the money.” Really? Hardly anyone admits to it; most of us are accused of it. But we know that being motivated primarily by personal gain and short-term profit are losing propositions. We must have a higher purpose and a wider range of goals and objectives to satisfy Continue Reading

For your reading pleasure – reduced prices & free E-books

For your reading pleasure - reduced prices & free E-books. Crime fiction and advice for entrepreneurs  Dear friends, fellow writers and readers, We're missing the pleasure of meeting face to face during this challenging period and even if I am used to working at home alone and mostly online, it’s been more than a month of isolation in Montreal and Continue Reading

Looking for Readers & Reviewers, please.

Looking for Readers & Reviewers, please. New 2020 Editions from your Uncle Ralph  Please take a look. Take 3 seconds, 3 minutes or 3 hours if you have time and let me know what you think. Covers or content, style or presentation. I’m looking for honest critics and cheerleaders to join my mission and help support and promote Enlightened Entrepreneurship. Any Continue Reading

New 2020 Editions from your Uncle Ralph

They’re here! New 2020 Editions from your Uncle Ralph I did say March and today I’m making them available online everywhere! The 2020 editions of my two business books for entrepreneurs recently released. Learn how to start, manage, grow, and exit your business. Two simple messages in two easy-to-read books for entrepreneurs: Have a plan. Avoid the mistakes. Practical advice for Continue Reading

Managing in Difficult Times

Random Ramblings from your Uncle Ralph  In the current environment of a corona virus pandemic with its devastating effect on lives, businesses and economies around the world, this article seemed appropriate for reconsidering. (An extract from Don’t Do It the Hard Way – 2020 Edition, p.117) Managing in Difficult Times Ignoring or avoiding a difficult business environment is simply not Continue Reading

Are you a storyteller? 

Are you a storyteller?  Do you use stories to engage, communicate, sell or teach?   I shared my own Storytelling Journey from Entrepreneur to Author-preneur with a SPOTLIGHT Presentation at Staples/Bureau-en Gros on Nov 20th.    You can see the details here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/my-storytelling-journey-from-entrepreneur-to-author-preneur-tickets-80505796003   My Storytelling Journey from Entrepreneur to Author-preneur You can review the PowerPoint of the presentation. Click here: My Storytelling Journey My experience Continue Reading

My journey from Entrepreneur to Author-preneur

My journey from Entrepreneur to Author-preneur It’s about the journey, not the destination   Live! SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION – STAPLES/BUREAU EN GROS Kirkland, Quebec – August 15th, 6:00PM  Including Author Sale & Book-signing, 12 noon – 7PM  In this presentation, Del Chatterson will discuss his journey from successful entrepreneur to published author and share his experiences and the lessons learned along the way. Helpful Continue Reading

Requesting Advance Reader Reviews – MERGER MANIAC

More summer reading! MERGER MANIAC, Novel #3  in the DALE HUNTER SERIES is now ready for early Reader Review. If you're interested, I'd love to hear your first impression or your reaction to the first 10 pages, or if you have time for a quick summer read of 200 pages, to send me your review comments. More stories of crime, Mafia, suspense Continue Reading

Learning & Storytelling

Learning & Storytelling - Presentation/Seminar including Author Sale & Book-signing. July 11th, 5-à-7 Bureau en gros, @ St. Charles & Transcanadienne, Kirkland, QC.   YOU'RE INVITED: Which do you prefer - Fact or Fiction?  Business text book or crime fiction with an entrepreneur as hero? Entrepreneurs learn best by sharing stories - Fact or Fiction?  A boring business textbook or a Continue Reading

Entrepreneurs learn best by sharing stories – Fact or Fiction?

Entrepreneurs learn best by sharing stories - Fact or Fiction? A boring business textbook or a crime thriller with the entrepreneur as hero? As an experienced entrepreneur and business advisor, I often tell stories as an effective means of communicating with other entrepreneurs. Storytelling helps to establish rapport based on shared experience and a good story makes the message more Continue Reading

Einstein: “The simple answer is always wrong.”

The false comfort of simple answers Comforting, but wrong. I know we shouldn’t quote Albert Einstein. As he often tells us, “Don’t believe all that sh*t you read the Internet.” But I can’t resist. The important statement attributed to Einstein was, “For every critical and complicated problem, there’s always an obvious simple answer, that’s wrong!” Whoever said it, they must Continue Reading

Christmas Shopping Lessons for Entrepreneurs

Christmas Shopping Lessons for Entrepreneurs Ho! Ho! Ho! I’ve always said I never wanted to work in retail. It’s hard work and unreasonable hours. Customers expect too much and are willing to pay too little. Employees ask too much for doing too little. And both groups are probably stealing from you. It’s a harsh judgement based on limited evidence, I Continue Reading

Expertise or Opinion. Which is it this time?

Expertise or Opinion Which is it this time? If you ask for an opinion you’ll get one. Almost nobody can resist giving you a response. They’re flattered that you asked and they don’t want to disappoint you. Apparently, you think they’re an expert in the subject. Or at least you think they might have an intelligent, insightful opinion.  Nobody is Continue Reading

Available NOW – Novel NO EASY MONEY and Uncle Ralph’s Business Books

Available NOW Novel NO EASY MONEY and Uncle Ralph's   Business Books NO EASY MONEY, “You never win playing by the rules.” The first in a series of Dale Hunter Crime Novels, this novel an explosive mix of crime, cash and computers in the 1980s. Entrepreneurs face challenges every day. It’s hard to be a hero. This is the story of a Continue Reading

Political decisions

Political decisions Risky business Political decisions are risky because they're public and they're personal. They're political because they're about principles, policy and personalities. They're important and unavoidable. Political decisions have to be made, not just in politics... in business and in life. The question is, will the decision be guided by the principals and the policy objectives or by the Continue Reading

Entrepreneurs don’t read

Entrepreneurs don't read And business fiction doesn’t sell I’m trying to prove both assumptions are wrong. A futile exercise? Maybe you can help. First, entrepreneurs can and do read – mostly non-fiction books and articles, mostly related to business and self-improvement. I think we can agree, entrepreneurs are time-challenged and do not want to waste it on fiction. Many do Continue Reading

Good luck or bad bounce?

Good luck or bad bounce? Hazards of the British Open Tiger Woods was leading after nine holes. At one point it was Spieth, also Kisner, Schauffele, and Chappell. Finally the winner, after four days of challenging conditions and 72 difficult holes of Scottish links golf, was Francesco Molinari. How to explain it? Yes, the best golfer won, that’s the way Continue Reading

What did you learn today?

What did you learn today? You don’t have to be in school to learn something every day If your goal is to get better and do better, then you should be learning something new every day. You don’t have to be in school to be learning. There are many alternative learning strategies and they can all make a difference. Read Continue Reading

Bad behaviour needs to be changed, not explained

Bad behaviour Needs to be changed, not explained Bad behaviour needs to be changed, not analyzed, explained, rationalized or excused. Speculating over why it’s happening may keep the analysts and commentators busy, but it’s tiresome and irrelevant. If the bad behaviour can be stopped by removing the cause, then let’s do that, but if we cannot determine the cause, then Continue Reading

Enlightened Entrepreneurship – A wider perspective

Enlightened Entrepreneurship A wider perspective “I’m only in it for the money.” Really? Hardly anyone admits to it; most of us are accused of it. Most of us already know that being motivated by personal gain and short term profit are losing propositions. We must have a higher purpose and satisfy a wider spectrum of interested stakeholders to achieve sustainable Continue Reading