Can You Complete the 15 Minute Business Challenge?

If you cannot write out the plan for where you are taking your business in 15 minutes or less, chances are, you do not have a plan!

If you don’t have a plan then you and your business are just floating through time and you are at the whim of the marketplace and all of your competitors! Basically, if you cannot articulate what you are building or why you are building it then how do you know what you are doing or where you are going?

For those that regularly read my posts, you know that Thinking Business has a very detailed business blueprint that you can download (from our Business Tools) and apply to your business. We call it the Thinking Business Blueprint. It takes you through all aspects of your business to ensure that your business model and strategy are defined clearly at all levels.

However, I was recently challenged by a client to come up with a simple, high level, tool that would allow a business leader to summarize their business and their strategy in one simple page. This one-page tool must be simple to implement yet powerful enough to capture the very essence of an organization. A leader must then be able to take the completed tool and easily communicate it to any and all of it’s stakeholders.

To meet this challenge, I have come up with the “15 Minute” Business Blueprint described below.

How to Navigate Marketplace Complexities

This past year was a year full of transitions, amazing challenges, and stunning opportunities!

It was a year that saw many extremes including:

  • Outrageous political antics
  • Frightening political standoffs
  • Stunning Bitcoin valuations
  • Record breaking stock indices
  • Oil price climbing back to the $55-$60/bbl
  • Continued company downsizing
  • Record company profits
  • First recycled (reused) rocket
  • Great advances in hyperloop technology
  • #metoo movement

Some businesses experienced amazing growth (NVIDIA, Google, Apple, Amazon) while some saw their business shrink (Sears, Macys, GE). Others saw their market shift in an entirely new direction. Some took advantage of this shift and others were damaged by it!

This unprecedented rate of change and marketplace complexity can cause business leaders no end of sleepless nights and stressful days! However, this is where Thinking Business can help you thrive!

Tools of Titans

The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers

This week’s book review is Tools of Titans by Timothy Ferriss


Ferriss has compiled an extensive volume of advice from an impressive cast of high profile people on topics loosely categorized into health, wealth, and wisdom. Ferriss lives his life like “one big human experiment” and this book captures his experiences while leveraging the collective wisdom of all those who have influenced and impacted his life.

There is a ton of interesting material and wisdom in this book! There will also be some material that you do not find valuable . . . but that is the point of the book. You learn from what you can and ignore the rest!

My takeaway from this book is that I need to take more risks and challenges to grow in more areas. I also need to get a handle on cyber security and how it is impacting me and how it will impact me.

14 Easy Ways to Move Out of Your Comfort Zone and Improve Your Business

It is natural for us to always look for the easiest path through life. It seems so much more pleasant in the short run if we can avoid struggles and conflict. However, hardship and struggle are key ingredients for personal growth. Without these ingredients, it is hard to see any substantial personal or business growth.

As Gary Keesee says, “If you are not doing the hardest thing you have ever done, then you are not growing.

Looking at all of the amazing, humanity-altering discoveries and inventions made over the last century, I am not aware of even one that was made by a person who sat around all day shooting the breeze, drinking coffee or playing video games.

However, I can give many examples of people who embraced challenges, hardships and struggles and created world changing technologies, products and businesses like; antibiotics, vaccinations, microchips, X-rays, MRIs, SpaceX rockets, personal computers, the Internet, iPhones, Google, Amazon, and the list goes on.

These things have all impacted the world we live in but they were not created without extreme struggle and hardship.

Challenging Yourself Has Many Advantages

Why An “Echo Chamber” Culture Will Destroy Your Business

If everyone in your business is always in agreement with you and no one challenges your decisions or ideas then you are running an “echo chamber” organization (this is also commonly referred to as a “Yes-Man” organization). This type of organization is called an echo chamber because everything the leader says, the organization echoes back to them. There are no original thoughts, dissenting ideas or challenging statements.

This is a very dangerous environment to operate in as a leader. If no one is there to challenge your ideas and direction, you will eventually lead your organization into one of your blind spots (news flash: each of us has blind spots) and over a cliff. You won’t have anyone to warn you until it is too late!