“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” – Andy Rooney, journalist

GUT’S “Companies that Blow the Doors off Business as Usual.” (Doubleday)

Kevin and Jackie Freiberg’s previous book, Nuts!: Southwest Airline’s Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success, described the unconventional leadership that made Southwest an airline industry dynamo. In GUTS!, the Freibergs look at twenty-five gutsy and extraordinarily successful businesses and introduce the chief executives who are creating a new corporate ethos that blows the doors off business-as-usual.

Drawing on five years of research, the Freibergs provide a behind-the-scenes look at these intensely focused, passionate, and unconventional leaders and their companies. Among them:

Although the leaders in the book represent a wide range of industries, they share a common vision: They see business as a heroic cause and understand that good leadership isn’t a matter of position, but of influence. They reject hierarchical rules, rituals, and expectations, and have replaced in-the-box management with a culture based on passion and innovation. They regard their employees not as “human resources,” but as individuals with unique gifts and talents. And make everyone in the company responsible for the company’s brand and culture.

An exciting follow-up to Nuts!, which has sold nearly 500,000 copies in hardcover and paperback, GUTS! proves that it is possible to have fun, live your values, and still make money.

This book hit the world 2003 and I was so inspired by it and used it as my business moral mantra! I haven’t read it in years, but I totally recommend you take a look. Business has in some ways drastically evolved and in other ways the struggle remains the same.

This is a great read for anyone in the business world. The book is a study and compilation of the successful practices used by companies that “blow the doors off business-as-usual.” It brings to light many new and fresh ideas of how to run a successful business while creating a culture and brand for your organization that will stand the test of time.

The title of the book speaks for itself, as the elements in this book took GUTS to implement in these organizations, yet as Robert F. Kennedy once said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

This book will give you a lot of great ideas and thoughts on how to be unique, how to stand out, and how to have a lasting impact, not only on your clients/guests, but even more importantly your internal guests/staff/employees. I encourage you to have the GUTS to pick this book up and read it, it will definitely get the juices and ideas flowing and even better, it has checklists at the end of each chapter to give you guidance on the implementation of their thoughts/ideas/research!

The 3 main lessons that I took from this book are:

  1. It takes guts to lead with love and trust rather than power and fear (traditional business model). In today’s day and age, you must be different in order to truly stand out. And creating a place of business/work that exudes love and trust, autonomy, and knowledge will set you apart from others not only in your industry, but in all of business.
  2. The companies in GUTS are an open book. Everyone can see the accounting reports, payroll, spending, revenues, – they approach success in business as a group versus as individuals and hold themselves and others accountable to their mission and values.
  3. Hire for personality and “fit” versus skills. It is easy to hire the skills as their past success, references, and speak to it, all the surface levels of potential success. A deeper knowledge of your candidate, their drive, passion, hidden talents, and mindset are what leads to team and organizational unity.


Business Life

Five Ways to Identify that your Business needs a Process Overhaul

Process is king, queen, and the knight at the gate. Someone once said that the best offense is a good defense. Defense in business is a solid foundation of the process. Process = Organization = Flow = Profitability. Working in sales, the number one obstacle I have heard from the driving force of profit is the groan of pain after the sale is done. This to me is a signal that something is wrong. The sale is the difficult part. The sale is the hurdle, not the processing of the sale. Once the order is signed it should be a done deal. Case closed, money in the bank. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. The customer’s signature is simply the first phase in a complex system of hoops and checkpoints.

As an expert business strategist, I live and breathe process. If the process isn’t solid, you are setting your project up for failure. Unfortunately, this is many times forgotten in the rush to get it done. We all have process hiccups from time to time, and while these hiccups may seem minute, the ripple effect can be devastating. The entire reason we use process is to enable repeatable action, prevent the miscellaneous errors, and ensure consistent, bankable results. So here are five ways to identify if your internal processes are broken.

An example would be Order Fulfillment, start to finish. Map it out piece by piece from beginning to end. Some things to keep your eye open for are overly complicated processes, process jumps with no explanation, and gaps in communication. We will go over these one at a time, so you know what you are looking for.


Take a look inside before you look out. Good luck and always go with your gut!


Check your Marketing Health here.

Pro Tip #3

6 Ways to Reduce Your COGS:

  1. Keep Your Returns in Check– Most products and services include a warranty, and if they fail to produce as advertised, consumers will return them for a refund. It’s imperative that you keep a sharp eye on your return rate on a 4-week basis. If your investigation reveals the cause for the returns involves defective parts – don’t simply replace them and shrug it off as a normal part of doing business. Send the defective parts back to the wholesaler or manufacturer and demand a credit. If the problem persists, investigate alternate suppliers. Be sure you look for a proven record of product reliability before choosing another supplier.

However, if your investigation reveals the problem is indeed employee-related, make sure the training you provide is sufficient and updated.

#CHALLENGE – Do you have an established, repeatable process to handle returns of product or services?

What did you uncover?

Respond with your answer in the comments section or email me amyromine@cleardreamscoaching.com

I would love to hear from you!

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