Monday, September 26, 2011

Fighting Business

Anything we enjoy in life has a dark deep secret behind it.  At its core it’s a business.  You say well it’s free for me to go out there and play a pick-up game of basketball.  Sure it is, but those shoes you’re wearing, Gatorade your drinking, jersey your wearing, basketball your playing with, etc.  You see where I’m getting at.  It all comes at a price!

I did a short interview with a great friend of mine that’s a MMA up and coming fighter.  Ill be following him as he grows in his career and will quite frequently reference sports on this business blog.  His name is Andrew Whitney.  Remember that name!  So, just because it’s entertaining and a sport, it still has a place on a business blog.  Ask Mayweather if boxing isn’t a business.  He’ll give you seventy million reasons it is.

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The Cheap Seats; Absolutely Not!!

Lovin this time of year.  It’s football season.  The time of year I dawn all my Chiefs gear, hit up the stadium with friends, and if the chance of hell freezing over my Chiefs win.  Hasn't happened so far, but Im holding my golden horseshoe.    If you think about it, it’s created its own culture.  People actually plan and shift their lifestyle to the season of their favorite team.  I can’t count how many times I haven’t made plans due to the fact that my teams playing that day.

On that note, just as 90% of the things that we enjoy doing, it’s a business.  Yes we cheer, eat, drink, etc., but at the core of all this is a business.  Looking at the NFL as a business, personally I think they could use some help in the customer service department. 

Here’s a short story for ya.  My father has season tickets.  So, I usually use his tickets.  Last year I looked online at how much season tickets would have been for myself.  They were a little pricey. So, I passed on the tickets.  I had pretty good luck at scoring cheap, good, seats on eBay.  Well, about two weeks after looking into the tickets I get a phone call from a sales  rep from the KC Chiefs to pitch me a season ticket package.  Long story short I tried to negotiate with the guy and to no avail.  So I went to eBay and bought really good seats below ticket value.  This was due to the Chiefs having another “stellar” year.  I get to the game and I bet there was no less, just in my section, 120 empty seats.  Key word. EMPTY!!  Would it not have been more intelligent for that so called Salesman on the phone to sell those tickets to me cheaper.. Imagine on how much concessions, souvenirs, parking, etc they missed out on because they wanted to make $20 more per ticket than people were willing to pay. 

I see this as a classic case of losing focus on the big picture.  You treat that customer good, give them a great service, and ask for a fair price; they’ll hand you their wallet.  Next time you’re making that sales pitch look at the big picture.  There’s a lot of times Ill lose money on a car deal knowing they’ll be coming into our service drive to spend there hard earned money. It’s kind of like getting a shot.  Stick it in nice and easy and the person doesn’t feel it.  A customer coming in once a month gradually doing business and spending a little money doesn’t affect them as badly as dropping it all down at one time. 

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Saturday, September 24, 2011


--Thomas Edison

Those seven simple words have been engrained into my head ever since I set foot on my college campus. I realized at a young age that I had been blessed with academic intelligence; however, it wasn't until entering college that I realized intelligence will only get you so far...after that, effort and dedication take over. All throughout high school, I was able to breeze by simply on my laurels. Upon receiving my first “F” in my freshman year of college, I was faced with a tough choice: continue on trying to squeak by with minimal effort, or put my nose to the grindstone and get to work...I wisely chose the latter.

If you take a look into the background of the most successful businessmen and women in America, their drive and desire to succeed is what allowed them to get to where they are today. Don't get me wrong, higher education is a very worthwhile goal to strive after. But having a degree does not guarantee success or riches; what it does, however, is show a potential employer that you have the dedication and desire to succeed. When I am interviewing someone that wants to come work for me, I spend 4 to 5 minutes looking at their resume, and then lay it aside. Anyone can make themselves look good on paper; what you say to me and how you interact says more than any mindless statistic. The age old adage of “actions speak louder than words” holds true to this day.
In the sports world, they call it the “it” factor. NFL coaches look for those intangible characteristics, the leadership factors necessary to lead an NFL team into battle and bring home the title. In the business world, the same “it” factor is strongly desired and sought after. I credit the United States military for giving me that “it” factor. After college, I spent a number of years leading troops into combat, a place where the smallest mistake can get you or your best friend killed. Through months of backbreaking training, even the most stubborn of troops is transformed. Integrity, excellence and commitment are words used very often in our society, but to a U.S. Military member, they are not just words; they are a code to live by, an ethos sworn into the very core of each and every proud soldier, airman, marine and sailor. The ability to carry those same character traits over into your daily tasks will allow you to rise above and succeed in every task you take on.

My grandfather gave me some of the best advice I've ever been given when I left for college: “Whether you are a C.E.O or a trash collector, you do everything you can to be the best at what you do.” When I joined my company, I joined with absolutely zero experience in this business; I was as new as new could be. What I lacked in experience, however, I made up with a strong desire to be the best at what I do. And that is something I find more necessary than any degree or certification...I can teach you how to do this job; I cannot teach you how to have the heart, the drive, and the desire to be the best.

Not everyone is cut out for corporate America, and there's nothing wrong with that. Others believe that spending 4 years in undergraduate and 2 years in graduate school make you a guaranteed successful manager; that, too, is a fallacy. The one tried and true factor in being successful is an innate desire, a drive, to be the absolute best at what you do. I may not be the smartest, most talented individual in my career field, and I'm fine with that. But when I wake up in the morning and come to the office, one thing I know without a doubt is that I'm going to do everything in my power to be better than anyone else there.
Matt Lopez
Special thanks to Matt for this great guest submission.  Any questions you may have for Matt just leave in the comments. 

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Social Spaghetti

Twitter, facebook, foursquare, ustream, and the list goes on. So many to choose from and update. Just to make people like myself ,that work 13 hours a day, feel as if they have friends.  I’ve personally liked this blogging kick I’ve been on.  It’s an outlet that lets your own personality come out and not only be judged by the witty one-liner that popped into your head.  On twitter this morning I follow @epictweets.  She has some classic one liners. This morning she tweeted “facebooks kinda like jail.  You sit around and waste time, write on walls, and get poked by people you don’t know.”  Great stuff!! A lot of truth in humor there. Honestly,  I don’t have a personal relationship with a quarter of the people on my twitter, facebook, etc.  Its just an outlet and a tool for me to network and get to meet people from all walks of life.  Its amazing what people will share on their social network.  You get to meet their kids, parents, pets, etc.  Hell, you’ve seen the power of social spagehetti help over throw a country. (EGYPT).  Airing your laundry and pics are great, but social networking has become a very powerful advertising tool.    People are starting to view their social networks more than they watch television, live events, etc.  How many times have you been to a movie, game, etc. and have seen a person a row ahead of you updating their social network.  If you don’t see that this is a great opportunity for advertising put the crack pipe down, take the blinders off, and adapt.  Business will always be constantly be changing due to the fact people have the attention span of a nat.  So, if you don’t adapt someone else will and take your business.  So have fun with it, make new friends, but make sure when you’re eating that social spaghetti you leave some room for dessert... BUSINESS 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Business, There’s an app for that!

Here is a short list of apps that help me in my everyday business ventures:

 What has value? How is value perceived?  Is it the Green printable paper in your wallet?  Is it the shiny stuff you glam yourself up with to perceive to the public you have much value?  Is it time?  I think it’s actually up to the person and the situation they’re in.  I personally value a lot of things.  Family, friends, my pets, time, and yes of course those printable green sheets of paper in my wallet.  I think it’s important in life to prioritize your values in order to have a map toward success.  You can’t be pitching a sale with the thought of your vacation you’re starting the next day.  In that case your vacation is more valuable to you at the moment than the actual action that’s going to pay for that trip to Venice.  All your values have to have a time and a place.  Learn how to prioritize your values and success will come easy. 
If you master this process call me.  I need some training in this area!