In a competitive economy, there are in most cases, a variety of products and brands. Some brands position themselves at the upper end….others mid to lower (or good, better or best).

Stihl products are certainly at the upper end of the product quality product spectrum. We have two Stihl leaf blowers….the BG 86 Handheld and BG 430 Backpad. While at the upper end of price point (the BG 86 sells for $239)….they are excellent products.

The hand-held blower has preformed well for many years. Good quality is worth the price.





One thing that always puzzled me was the lack of options from the business school to keep one updated in the business world. Of course, there are executive residence programs that are very good (and expensive).

Seth Godin has an alternative….altMBA. The “altMBA is an intensive, 4-week online workshop that delivers a condensed learning experience through teamwork, personalized feedback, coaching, curated readings and shipping thirteen projects in four weeks.” (Cost – $3,000). Seth Godin does excellent work and it seems like the altMBA is worth the time and effort. The key from my perspective is the tangible outcome….”shipping 13 projects”.


Another on-line choice is: “Udemy-An entire MBA in 1 course….Everything you need to know about business from Startup to IPO. This course has some good sessions on Presentations….Financial Analysis….Managing Cash Flow. (Cost-$15 normally $200). If anything, this is a good refresher for current business ideas.


While in no way do these online programs give one a true MBA….they certainly are options for keeping up to date.

The Best – No. 1



We watch a TV program that has been on the air since 1973. It has consistently been the best in its category.

What makes it the best?

  • Consumate professional actors
  • Creative writing
  • Substantial production values
  • Evolving and creative story lines
  • Cohesive commitment to excellence
  • Always striving to be No. 1

It seems that the actors realize that while they all are professional and individually well-regarded…..the collective performance is greater even than an individual performance. In other words….at least from the viewers perspective….it is an outstanding “team” effort.

The end result: worthwhile entertainmnet


Mission Accomplished


Comradery is the spirit of friendship and community in a group,  Who is a comrade?  Someone who comes to mind when you say, “We’re in this together.”

There have been a few times when comradery in the accomplishment of a task (or mission) has been most effective. One in particular when charting the long-term path of a growing organization….the team had the right people onboard and an unwavering commitment to accomplish the mission. The end result was extraordinary.

Does true comradery happen all the time….not necessarily. The key element like most anything else is getting the right people on the bus….heading in the right direction.

In our business….we did have a sense of community….after all we were together six days a week and working towards the same goal. Was it 100% comradery? No. perhaps because it was of such long duration.

Comradery develops at its best when forming a team to accomplish a specific task (mission). No matter how talented an individual….teams can achieve much more.

Robbins, NC



Few people know of Robbins, NC and probably even fewer have heard of Situs.

From WRAL: http://www.wral.com/company-weaves-data-together-in-old-robbins-sock-factory/16486949/

“Situs’ Robbins team provides portfolio analysis for commercial mortgage investors as well as loan servicing and accounting functions for property owners and managers.”

It is important to know that sophisticated operations such as those that take place in Robbins, NC are the same that can take place anywhere.

Every location has its advantages and/or disadvantages….there are numerous other small towns that also have successful businesses.

The key element of course….is the businesses successful?


Most Important

The Customer


From EMyth:

“That’s because the second most important person in your business (and the one who defines your brand and marketing) is your customer. And not just any customer….but your most profitable customer. Who is she, where is she, and what does she want?”

“But what smart business owners know (and what we teach at EMyth) is that your brand is how your ideal, most profitable customer experiences, thinks about, and feels about your business. She’s the one who is going to be paying you. So doesn’t it make sense to start with her?”

“That’s the person who buys the most, and the most often. The one who comes back. The one who responds to all your promotions. The one who raves about your business to her friends. And the one who won’t be lured away by someone else’s lower price, so you can safely charge more. Why? Because she loves your brand—which is the sum total of how she experiences your business.”

This is one area that was not completely on our radar screen….while our customers were important….we didn’t cultivate the most important. It wasn’t taught in business school either. The emphasis at that time was growing the customer base.

The lesson learned: a business/organization can’t stand still….it has to keep learning and growing.




Muskegon created an unique opportunity in that it is developing a completely new downtown….though the going has been slow.


The latest concept is to place these pop up chalets (think tiny homes) in one block to create interest in the downtown area as well as to provide a location for small businesses to gain a customer following.

They seem like a good idea to try out….better than the shipping container project a while back.