OnePlusOne: In Store Performance 04/14/17

Catch DisputeOne & Orikal Uno performing live as “OnePlusOne” during an exclusive in store at Solid State.

Friday, April 14, 2017 at 7pm. 

4022 East 46th Street

Minneapolis, Mn 55406

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Monday Motivation 03/20/17 #MBKEntMentors

“What I know is, is that if you do work that you love, and the work fulfills you, the rest will come.” ~Oprah Winfrey 

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A Doctor’s Simple Formula for Business Success 

A Doctor’s Simple Formula for Business Success

By Dave Lavinsky

Donald C. Harrison is no typical doctor.

He’s perhaps the most financially successful cardiologist ever.

You may think his success is the result of his serving as the Chief of Cardiology at Stanford University for 20 years. But Harrison didn’t achieve financial success by performing medical evaluations, operations or teaching.

Rather, Harrison achieved enormous success as an entrepreneur. I’m talking about some serious success. The first company he founded, EP Technology, grew quickly had an IPO, and was later acquired by Boston Scientific. And later he founded AtriCure, which he also grew rapidly and took public (NASD: ATRC).

Founding and taking two companies public is a massive feat, which very few entrepreneurs have achieved. So, anything that Harrison says is worth listening to; and listening to closely.

Recently, Harrison was interviewed by author Robert Jordan for his book, “How They Did It.” My favorite answer from the interview is Harrison’s dead-on response to the question, “What are the biggest mistakes that company founders make?”

Harrison’s answer: “A poorly written business plan is a mistake, and so is a poorly organized presentation. When you’re making a presentation, if you can’t convince the potential investor within 10 minutes that you’ve got something novel or a solution to a problem and you’re dedicated to doing it, you’re not going to succeed. Most venture investors are looking at hundreds of opportunities, so you’ve got to clearly have an edge.”

Now Harrison attributes his serial success not only to always having a solid business plan, but to other key points that we entrepreneurs should always keep in mind:

1. Hang out with other entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial people.

Harrison trained at the National Institute of Health with what he felt was a very entrepreneurial team. Without this exposure and entrepreneurial attitude he gained from it, he probably would have just been another cardiologist.

2. Always search for a better mousetrap.

Harrison says his mother used to say, “If you want to find a worm, you gotta look under many rocks.” In business, that means you need to realize your first choices and/or solutions may not always work and you must be willing to try a lot of things to find the better solution.

3. Find an unmet need and a problem, and fix it.

When asked what the common element was for each of his startups, Harrison replied that for each, he found an unmet need and problem, and worked with others to solve the problem. I know this sounds simple; because itis. Even if you’re a great entrepreneur (e.g., you know how to manage and motivate people, you have great marketing and sales tactics, etc.), if you have a me-too product or offer a product/service that doesn’t solve a real need or problem, you’re going to have a really tough time achieving the success you desire.

4. Find multiple forms of funding early.

One of Harrison’s companies received early funding from a strategic investor (a large corporation). But when that corporation experienced an internal shake-up, it stopped funding Harrison’s startup. As a result, Harrison’s company nearly failed. Fortunately, he was able to scramble to find funding to keep his company afloat. That was the last time Harrison relied on only one source of funding.

5. Get compatible partners and employees.

As a successful serial entrepreneur, Harrison understands that he can only succeed if he can find, train and motivate others to do great work. In one venture he took on a partner, and in doing so realized quickly that your partner must be completely compatible with you if it’s going to work. (Most of you know that I have a partner at Growthink and if we weren’t highly compatible, there’s no way we would have lasted the past 12 years together). Likewise, you need to find great employees that have skills that you don’t.

Donald C. Harrison’s success should serve as an inspiration to us all. Few cardiologists have the entrepreneurial bug, and even fewer have succeeded as an entrepreneur.

Harrison did it twice. And both times he did it big time. His words of advice are simple as outlined above. Following them is a bit harder and require perseverance and determination; which I know YOU have by the fact that you just read this!

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Media Firms Unite To Provide Additional Coverage of “Core Culture” Blog Series.

Great News!  🎊🍾🥂🎊

My Brother’s Keeper Enterprises and iNoslen Media have unified their Media Departments, for a collaborative effort expanding the reach of the newly added blog series entitled, “Core Culture.” The Core Culture (CC) blog series was produced by the Program Director of iNoslen Radio and its existence was hinted to the listeners during a late December podcast, showcasing the new additions for 2017.

So far, the CC blog series has produced Two (2) well written articles. January showcased an article presenting as well as reintroducing, the listeners to Rampage — Remington Steele. February showcased a tribute piece for Clyde Stubblefield AKA “The Funky Drummer.” Both articles displaying how the “Core Culture” of Hip Hop is based in humanity and overall community outreach and support.

The contributing writers for the CC blog series will be provided by MBK Enterprises and Internship Opportunities will be provided for aspiring media  and journalist professionals, for both MBK Enterprises and iNoslen Media. For future updates check the Internship Opportunity Bulletin.

Here is the link to the first contribution provided by blog contributor “Signifyin.” Be on the look out for more material submitted by him for both companies.

Core Culture #2: Clyde Stubblefield 

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How to Grow Your Sales (Without Selling)

How to Grow Your Sales (Without Selling)
By Dave Lavinsky

“The point of marketing is to make selling superfluous.” 

This is a great quote from management guru Peter Drucker. What it means is that if you do a great job in marketing, sales will be easy. Likewise, there are other things you can do to improve your sales without having to resort to aggressive sales tactics. 

This article details such strategies.

1. Create a Stronger USP

Your USP or unique selling proposition is what distinguishes your company from others.

Here are some famous USPs:
The nighttime, coughing, achy, sniffling, stuffy head, fever, so you can rest medicine. (Nyquil)
Pizza delivered in 30 minutes or it’s free. (Dominos Pizza)
When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. (Federal Express)
15 minutes or less can save you 15% (GEICO)
Each of these USPs does a great job in distinguishing these companies and getting customers to choose them over competitors.

2. Provide Clear Benefits

In addition to a strong USP, make sure you detail the benefits of your products and/or services to your customers.

For example, do your products:
Remove their pain
Save them time
Improve their success
Make them feel better
You generally want to provide a list of features associated with your products/services, but lead with the benefits.

3. Use Many Different Marketing Channels

After you create the best USP you can, and identify your key benefits, you want to convey your message to as many of your prospective customers as possible.

But realize this: not all of your customers are in one place or read/view/listen to one media source. So, use multiple means of reaching them.

For example, you can reach customers through each of the following marketing channels among others:
Direct Mail
Event Marketing
Press Releases/PR
Print Ads
Radio Ads
TV Ads
Search Engine Optimization
Pay Per Click Advertising
Social Media Marketing (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)

4. Understand and Improve Your KPIs

Key Performance Indicators or “KPIs” are the metrics that judge your business’ performance.

And, as you might know, you can’t improve what you can’t measure.

So the key is to 1) identify the most important KPIs in your business, and 2) measure/track them over time so you can judge your progress in improving them.

While there are hundreds of potential KPIs to track, here’s a small sample of KPIs that most companies must measure:
Net Profit
Sales by product/service line
Cost to acquire new customers
Lifetime customer value

Importantly, as you understand and improve your KPIs, your revenues and profits will grow. In fact, identifying and managing your KPIs is one of the pillars of a successful business.

5. Make It Simple to Purchase from Your Company

When you make it easy to buy from your company, you’ll get more sales.

For example, not accepting credit cards will dramatically hurt the sales of many businesses.

Similarly, making customers complete tedious paperwork (that may not really be necessary) may frighten off some customers.

Conversely, having your product for sale not only on your website, but on Amazon, eBay and others, could make it easier for some customers to purchase from you and prompt more sales.

So, think about ways to make it easier for current and prospective customers to buy from you.

Start using these five strategies today, and watch your sales and profits grow.

Dave Lavinsky is President of Growthink and author of Start At The End

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How Rhythm Affects Your Personal Productivity…

How Rhythm Affects Your Personal Productivity
By Laura Stack

Forget company politics, who you know, how early you arrive in the morning, or how late you stay: in the daily workplace round, simple time management skills reign supreme. 

You can’t accomplish much in the world without learning to break down your working life into distinct tasks you can easily keep track of, so you can prioritize them by value and schedule them logically. Only then can you make the most of your workplace productivity, while still allowing yourself enough time away from the job for all those other activities that make life worthwhile.

Oh, working like a dog can get you by in the short term, but working too hard for too long just wears you down and burns you out. You can’t do your best work when you always feel tired, or just don’t care anymore. 

So let’s stipulate that an effective to-do list, a personal organizational system, scheduling prowess, and all the other basics of time management are critical tools for making it in the big time. This still leaves you with a lot of leeway to experiment with the details. 

Among other things, you can test various ways to structure your tasks so you get into a rhythm of work that takes into account not just your personal characteristics, but also human psychology and the way American business has structured the standard workweek.

Your Private Rhythm 

Human beings experience certain natural rhythms, marked by peaks and valleys in both mood and energy during the day and week. For example, most of us have more energy in the mornings, though this is by no means true of everyone; your peak may occur just after lunch, or at 3:00. Whenever it occurs, take advantage of your productive surge. 

Rather than waste it on housekeeping chores or taking a break, tackle the tasks that require greater focus and effort when you feel your best. You can handle less important things later, after you wind down a little. 

If you’re a morning person, you might try sitting right down to an important project first, rather than checking your email. You may have to shake up your current routine a bit as you work to match the correct task to your energy level.

On a weekly scale, you may have a hard time getting started on Mondays, as your body and mind readjust to the workweek; and by Friday, you may feel ground down by the week’s stress and strain. If so, these may be days when you should avoid tasks that require a lot of thought or focus, choosing instead to do things like organizing, planning, or dealing with simple people-related issues. 

On the other hand, you may find that the core of the week, Tuesday through Thursday, represents your most productive period. On such days, it really pays to put your head down and push through your most difficult and important tasks, while you have the capacity to do so. 

Or if you’ve been traveling, you may find the day you get back dedicated to just regrouping, reorganizing, and figuring out what’s on your plate.

Finally, consider the fixed actions you know you’ll have to take part in or take time off for, and try to build them into your rhythm. If you have a special meeting the first Wednesday of every month or need to drive your daughter to ballet class at 4 PM on Tuesdays, make sure you take those items into account. Arrange your schedule so you don’t have to bring a particular activity or group of activities to a screeching halt in order to take care of your fixed events.

External Rhythms

You don’t operate in a vacuum, so be sure to consider other people’s rhythms whenever you can. On a grand scale, suppose you have to drive across the city on a weekly basis. 

Don’t try to make your trip during the morning or evening rush hours; instead, maximize your productivity by choosing some time like 10:15 AM, after the morning rush has cleared and before people have started to head out to lunch.

At the intra-office level, recent research suggests that the best time to have effective meetings is on Tuesday afternoons. Even if Tuesdays don’t work for you, you may want to establish a specific meeting day for yourself-one day a week when you do little else but have face-to-face interactions and conference calls with others. I tend to stack all my meetings in one day, rather than spreading them out over several days, so I have larger blocks of time on some days to focus on creative tasks.

Closer to home, try to get to know the general rhythms of the co-workers you deal with most often. If you can predict when regular events in their lives will affect the rhythm of your own, then you can take those things into account when building your schedule. 

A Rhythmic Composite

Determining the work rhythm that maximizes your productive potential requires openness to experimentation, a sharp eye for your own rhythms and those of others, and a willingness to keep trying until you find something that works. 

The ideal approach probably won’t make itself obvious right away, though the tips I’ve outlined should get you started.

Just get moving and keep your eyes open. Eventually, you’ll hit your stride in a way that instinctively takes into account your peak energy periods, your scheduled tasks, the rhythms of your coworkers, and the world at large. 

That will help you maximize your overall productivity at work, while giving yourself enough free time to enjoy life outside work.

Laura Stack is America’s premier expert in personal productivity. Since 1992, she has presented keynotes and seminars on improving output, lowering stress, and saving time in today’s workplaces. She is the bestselling author of four books, including SuperCompetent. To learn more about Laura, visit

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Monday Motivation 01/16/17 #MBKEntMentors

“Learn from yesterday, live for day, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” 

~ Albert Einstein

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