16 03, 2020

How Can You Make It in Uncertain Times?

By |2020-04-03T15:21:35-04:00March 16th, 2020|Categories: beliefs, Blog, Coronavirus|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on How Can You Make It in Uncertain Times?

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Ok, relax, meditate, work out, do whatever it takes to collect your wits; it’s just beginning. The Corona-virus is here.

We’re all in the same boat; at least, most of us are. My business is closed to. My in in store training’s  have been canceled. Yes, it’s scary, and it’s time for us to band together. My neighborhood is not only quiet; it’s desolate. I went to the little store across the street, just to check in. I love Joe, and his retail store has the coolest things. Today he said he’s sure they are going to tell him to close. What will he do? He will stay in the store and start thinking.

It’s time for all of us to start thinking and feeling. If you run a business and have employees it’s a good time to speak with them as a group and each one individually. It’s likely that each one has different circumstances that are giving them more angst during this crisis. Children at home from school (who will take care of them), a spouse who’s not working, and everyone worrying about their future. As an owner, you have the same issues and a few more. As of tonight my state, New York, is basically closed. I’m worried about the hourly workers in my neighborhood as well as myself. My neighbor and I have decided to cook daily, and I can deliver. We have put up an emergency site just for our street!

Here is something’s, I think are important for all of us business owners.

Check your business interruption insurance. Likely not going to cover those that have to stay home but may cover merchandise that isn’t going to arrive.
Make calls to your elected officials; be sure they know you will need money for your business–grants for your business, not just loans. What good are loans if you don’t have customers.
Check in with your landlords, utility company and your insurances. It’s best to tell them your situation before they start sending notices. This applies to everyone in your business so make sure you have this discussion.
Take care of yourself physically and discuss this with your employees. If you can’t go to the gym, give everyone’s time to have time to run outside, or if the gym is open, go. My gym is closed for at least a week.
If you have a message that you want to get out, let me know, I’m not hosting a podcast. Last week, I interviewed Greg Hadfield, from Century, Professional flooring & Cleaning, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He said the response from the interview was overwhelming. I’m happy to get your word out also.
Customers not coming in or you have limited hours? You need to stay in contact. If you have an email database, it’s time to start reaching out. Ask what you can do to help them, can you deliver anything to them, can they use your ‘shop at home’ service. Yes, this is the time to have them.
Reach out to the businesses around you. Can you help each other? Even if the business is similar to yours, you’re all in the same boat. When things calm down, you should consider planning events together.
Reach out to your community. They are needing people to deliver food, work in the food Pantry’s. People will never forget your good deeds during these times. Reach out to your local Rotary’s and other groups that are community minded. Maybe your business can be the drop off point for food or whatever else is needed in your community.

This is a good time to educate your staff. I will have my video training  up in a few days that should really be helpful. Let’s not have their skills get rusty during this downtime.  I will also be conducting webinars with ideas on what we can do. 

Start brainstorming; what will you do when this is over? What will be different, what will you have to change?

If you have any ideas let me know so I can print them. It’s time for you to use those problem solving skills that haven’t been in demand.

If  you  want to talk call me or send me an email. We’ve never had anything like this before so let’s band together. [email protected] or 518-495-5380.

#coronavirus #stayingsane #buildingbusiness #Greghadfield



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4 03, 2019

Hang @the Barber Shop and You’re Bound to get a Haircut

By |2019-03-04T21:28:52-05:00March 4th, 2019|Categories: beliefs, Blog|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

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Denzel Washington was nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars in 2017 and didn’t

Denzel Washington

make the cut. His reaction?  “If you hang around the barbershop long enough, you’re bound to get a haircut!”

Cute right? Denzel had to hang around plenty of shops before he got his. One thing that scared him professionally was he couldn’t sing. He failed many times while waiting for that haircut, and then it happened.

Famous baseball player Reggie Jackson struck out 2600 times during his career. In fact, he amassed the most strikeouts in the history of baseball. Jackson also hit 563 home runs during his career and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Following in the footsteps of The Babe, he also had a candy bar named after him in 1978.

This year, I visited the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Meyers, Florida. I still find it hard to believe that Thomas Edison actually made one thousand light bulbs before one actually worked. Edison said every failure brought him closer to success. Obviously, he wasn’t afraid of being called ‘stupid’ because isn’t that what we’re afraid people will call us? Maybe that’s where the ‘fake it until you make it’ came from. The key is to get over being stupid, obviously stupid is a good thing.

Wow, what an attitude. Edison spent his entire life trying to synthesize rubber. He imported plants and trees from all over the world before finding one that was capable of producing the needed product. By the way, I don’t think he ever got a haircut.

I watched Denzel Washington give his commencement address to the 2017 Penn State graduating class. Denzel said there was nothing as frightening as giving that speech; he had never seen so many people watch him. Most watch him in his movies when he’s not in the audience.

The message, of course, is that we will all fail.  And every time we fail, we will be closer to success. This is a great message for all of us. Seth Godin wrote a wonderful book entitled, “What to do when it’s Your Turn—and it’s Always Your Turn.” If it’s easy and fun and guaranteed to work of course you can do it.

How often do you say yes or do you spend so much time thinking your turn is gone? How many times have you thought about going to a movie but didn’t go because the coming attraction didn’t appeal to you? We want reassurance that the movie will be good before we go.

If you are willing to always be ‘up’ for your turn you will have your opportunity to make a change in this world and to realize your true potential.

Here is the link to the YouTube video of Denzel’s speech. It is only 22 minutes long and well worth listening to

Lisbeth Calandrino has been coaching business owners and salespeople for over 20 years. For more info. on Lisbeth, check out her web site,, or email her at [email protected]




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2 12, 2018

Why I Hate Flip Phones

By |2018-12-02T19:21:49-05:00December 2nd, 2018|Categories: beliefs, Blog, Change, Economy|Tags: , |Comments Off on Why I Hate Flip Phones

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Teenagers on flip phones.

I just don’t get it. Why would anyone want to use a flip phone?

Maybe I’m spoiled; instant gratification is what I want. I don’t want to do the thing where I leave you a message and then you call me back and I’m in the shower. Then I call you back and your voice mail is full. It all makes me crazy.

Okay billionaire investor Warren Buffett says he’s not giving up his flip phone—at least not yet. The flip phone people are probably the same ones who don’t text. Do you remember texting on your flip phone? You needed 4 hands to do it! I’ve read there are lots of people who like the flip phones, It does slow you down and gives you lots of control about what comes and goes from your phone. Yes, you are in control. You are in control. Wow, I feel like I’m being controlled on some level; maybe I am.

“The flip phone is the new protest statement,” declared one article that recently appeared in several newspapers including The Seattle Times. “I don’t need that phone. I have everything I need without it,” wrote Katie Reid for The Baltimore Sun.  Kim Kardashian was spotted with a flip phone, now it’s cool! Maybe I’m just out!

I remember reading about Thomas Edison and what happened when he finally perfected the light bulb. He went to several companies to try and sell the bulbs and most companies said they weren’t interested! In order to get the bulb used, he had to give it away.

Is it that people didn’t think it was useful to see in the dark? Maybe they were right, work stopped at night because you couldn’t see. Possibly they knew if they could see in the dark, they would have a longer work day? Or was there some fear of seeing? Is it that when you removed your clothes in the dark you were less likely to be judged?

I feel like people with flip phones are the same type of people. They make excuses that smart phones are too much work, and too complicated. Somehow they don’t see the smartphone is just that; it’s smart and makes many things easier. (Plus you are connected to the internet and all that wonderful information.)

Actually I believe it’s about change. We think change is difficult. I believe change is annoying, not really difficult.

Change means we have to think and thinking requires work. Ask yourself, how much time do you actually spend thinking? My downstairs neighbor says she likes things the way they are and she doesn’t want anything to change. So she spends her time working on keeping everything the same. She rarely goes out to do anything except buy groceries, have her nails done and go to work. In the meantime, I am looking for something new to do.

Change also requires decision making. Some people aren’t good at making decisions so they just don’t bother. If you have to make a decision, it’s likely you will run into a conflict. Nobody likes conflicts.

Are these the same people who see others climbing dangerous mountains and say why are they doing this? Or am I making too much of this? I tried to coordinate the delivery of a television to a man who only used text and one who only used his phone. To me it was a nightmare.

Possibly I should ask what kind of phone a person has before I decide to get too serious.

Lisbeth Calandrino is a regular contributor to the Albany Times Union. Need help improving your business? Check out Lisbeth’s web site, or reach her at [email protected]

#flipphones #Warrenbuffetflipphone #Seattletimes, #Thomasedison #redhotcustomerservice

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8 03, 2018

Violence has become a Disruptive Trend for Your Consumer

By |2018-03-08T22:09:56-05:00March 8th, 2018|Categories: beliefs, Blog|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on Violence has become a Disruptive Trend for Your Consumer

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For several years, I have done work for a talent agency that provides live event, trade show staffing, field marketing & more. These live events are usually in large box stores where I get to demonstrate various products—the real reason I do these events are because I get to talk with customers and employees and get paid.

This past Sunday I worked demonstrating cell phone plans. I would say 4 out of 10 customers were looking for cell phones for their 5 and six year olds. When I asked why, I was told it was a way to keep in touch with their child in case something happened in their school. When I went to school it was a place to get away from your parents and hang out with friends; now it’s considered unsafe.  Consumers don’t often share their real concerns with salespeople, but these concerns come straight from the heart. This is a rare glimpse into what is foremost on the consumers’ mind, and it comes straight from their heart. Usually, what is motivating a buying consumer is not so obvious; it reminds me of what happened after 9/11.  While the Flagg Code may not be enforceable by law, many citizens think wearing the stars and stripes is offensive. After 9/11 companies couldn’t make enough flags; flags were everywhere and clothing with flags and flag designs was all over. It was one way to show our patriotism.

Young children getting cell phones.

It would appear that as a nation, many people are being motivated by fear. They are fearful for themselves and their kids. I must admit I would be fearful if I were sending children every day to school. I would speculate that this fear translates into other areas where kids congregate. Does this also carry over to movie theaters, churches and retail stores?

Are we as a nation motivated by fear? I took a self-defense course and am more cautious in place where there are lots of people.

Whenever possible, explain to your customers what you are doing to secure their safety.

  1. I suggest you focus on services that make consumers feel safe. If you are delivering a service to a consumer’s home, your delivery people should have several items of identification, i.e. a uniform and a picture id. In addition, warrantees on your products that protect the customer and provide repair services.
  2. Is your parking lot clear of trees and other obstructions? Is it clearly lit with security cameras? You might consider having your employees walking your customers to their cars.
  3. 24-hour security cameras aren’t let expensive and should be around the perimeter of your building and in your warehouse. According to Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than 11 percent of property crimes occur in parking lots or garages, and over 7 percent of violent crimes occur there.
  4. Chip card security is the latest standard in credit card security. This standard (called EMV®,) includes a small microchip in the credit card that protects buyers against fraudulent transactions. These cards are really hard to clone. Chip readers have been used in Europe for 10 years.
  5. My friend handles networking for a large community agency. He does training weekly and tells everyone to never download certain messages. Once a month he sends out a ‘trial balloon’,’ and he says at least ¼ of the employees download it! He has them change passwords monthly. I have a company that I do business with that has you change your account password every six months even if you don’t use the site! What a pain that is.
  6. Take steps to protect their customers’ credit card numbers, addresses, and other sensitive details at your web site. You may want to develop your own security package in addition to one that you purchase.

This is a time of uncertainty, do whatever it takes to make your customers feel secure.

Need strategic planning for your business? Reach Lisbeth at 518-495-5380 or email her at [email protected]

#violenceandchildren, #violenceandguns, #societyscared,#disruptivetrends



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