Sunday, March 30, 2008


Wil Schroter is a savvy entrepreneur with a laundry list of companies to his name. I've been asking myself how someone, who is roughly six years older than me, can already be so successful.

In search of the answer, I'm about halfway through his book, Go BIG or Go Home.

The title says it all. By examining his own companies, and other internet giants like Google and MySpace, Wil outlines the common elements in a proven business model that allow GoBIG companies to "dominate new markets virtually overnight".

  • Vision - Think BIG, the way companies like Google, PayPal and Skype do

  • Growth - Learn how to compress time to grow faster than your competition

  • Marketing - Position your company as Number One right from Day One

  • Capital - Forget raising capital, learn how to create capital and leverage what you have today

  • Management - Leverage your smaller size to run circles around your larger competitors
This book is a fun and easy read, and I recommend it to anyone looking to leverage the speed and scalability of internet businesses.

The interview below will highlight two of Wil's latest projects:

Friday, March 28, 2008

Case Study: Consumer Generated Media & Good Beer

My friend and co-worker, Ashley Routson, has been working on what I believe is a great idea.

She has branded herself and her blog as The Columbus Beer Wench, finding a nice niche in our great city as the local beer expert.

Her mission? Seek out, taste, rate, and enjoy the fine offerings of local brew pubs and high quality distributors.

Here's why I think she's a winner. In less than 2 months, Ms. Routson has taken an idea, developed relevant and interesting content on her subject, and has secured a dedicated following by hosting frequent local beer tasting events, branded as Drink with the Wench.

By converging online social networking with real world events, her readership is beginning to attract the attention of local restaurants and brew pubs. She has successfully changed consumers' behavior by bridging the gap between the internet and the real world, and positioning herself as a true "influencer" of her target audience.

Case in point: Consumer Generated Media is gaining traction faster than anyone can imagine. More and more audiences are turning away from traditional media, to seek out their information from the people on the street. The ripple effect of this trend will be exciting to watch.

Do you read blogs? Are you a blogger? Here's why I blog.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Winning at Breakfast

Going to the early morning business networking event is a good move. First and foremost, the pastries and coffee are usually provided free. What's not to like about that?

To make sure you leave with a few new connections, here are a some strategies that have worked for me:

  1. Scan the crowd. Find someone who looks more uncomfortable in the situation than you are. Approach them first. Ask "Is this your first time here?". They'll be relieved to be in a conversation.

  2. Drink lots of coffee. Wait to get your next cup until you notice a line at the coffee station. Then approach. Conversations happen naturally between the sugar and cream.

  3. Camp out at the plate return tray. They are usually located near the wall. Everyone who attends the event will visit at least once. Sit back, wait, and let people come to you for some one on one.

  4. Have a memorable business card. Not necessarily a flashy card, but one that's different from all the others. At Young Isaac, our business cards are personalized with an ink stamp.
Most of all - relax, have a good time and smile! Everyone likes to meet a person with a smile.

For more cool ideas on networking, click here.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Chasing Change Welcomes M.J. Clark

I'm delighted to welcome a guest this week on Chasing Change. My friend and coach, M.J. Clark, is a professional speaker, leadership consultant, and executive coach with Integrated Leadership Systems in Columbus, OH. You can read her bio here.

Are You Ready To Change?

I love the name of this blog – Chasing Change – because it identifies change as something good, something we are chasing after. I love change, because to me change means growth, but I often encounter people who greatly fear change. Change is definitely something you must be ready for and something that takes hard work. We spend lifetimes developing bad habits and harmful self-talk that takes time and effort to undo.

Through my work as an executive coach for Integrated Leadership Systems, I have worked with people in all stages of change. Many times people think they want to change but, when faced with a coach who challenges them, they quickly come up with a wide range of reasons why they can’t begin now. Studies have shown that the ability for a person to make a permanent change depends on their readiness to change. People go through five stages of change before a permanent, new habit can be formed:
  • Precontemplation – No intention to change any time soon.
  • Contemplation – Knows a problems exists, but is not committed to taking action to fix it.
  • Preparation – Have not taken action in the last year, but intends to in the next month or two.
  • Action – Taking action to modify behavior (involves expenditure of time and energy).
  • Maintenance – Habit has been changed and person works to prevent relapse.
During this process, some people will slip back into old habits from time to time. This should be expected. They are still moving forward, but they have to keep learning and trying new things to make the new habit permanent. Be patient with yourself or those you know who are trying to change. Change takes time and a great deal of effort. It also takes courage.

We all have baggage we carry with us from childhood. Sometimes dysfunctional behavior that is a byproduct of our personal baggage leaks out like acid into our personal and work relationships and can destroy what we have worked so hard to achieve in our lives. Facing our past and our fears is scary, but it’s the only way to move forward to become a stronger, wiser, more self-aware individual.

Change is a character-building activity I highly recommend. And I welcome any questions you might have or comments you would like to share if you are facing change-related challenges in your life. I do know this: you won’t change if you just sit around reading blog postings about it. So lace up those sneakers, and let the chase begin!

M.J. Clark
Business Consultant
Integrated Leadership Systems
614/214-7062 (cell)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Seth Godin on Being Ordinary

I subscribe to Seth Godin's blog.

He always surprises me with the amount of truth he can capture in a just few short sentences. His most recent post, Ordinary is cheaper than you, is a wake up call for young professionals everywhere.

Seth eloquently points out:

...if all the best you can do is 'good enough', then why on earth should I pay you the benefits and wages that it costs to get you to do that work?

What are you doing (or not doing) to earn the money that an employer intends to spend on you?

Here are a few ideas to help you get started.