Growing by Acquisition

Exciting things have been happening on our company, Kodiak Mountain Stone. Below is a blog that I posted on our company website to tell about it:

Since 2005 Kodiak Mountain Stone has continued to expand our product offering to meet the needs of our clients. This has included the addition of new stone profiles and colors. The demand for manufactured stone veneer continues to grow in both commercial and residential new build and renovation projects. We are proud to know that our products have helped create lasting beauty and value to these projects.
We are now extremely excited to announce our next growth phase that will help us to offer even more options to our customers.  Kodiak Mountain Stone has recently acquired Rocky Mountain Stone Products of Salt Lake City. This immediately adds ten new stone profiles and three thin brick veneer profiles to the Kodiak Mountain Stone line of products! In addition, we will continue to offer all of the Rocky Mountain Stone Product colors in all our profiles and likewise will offer all the Kodiak Mountain Stone colors in all of the Rocky Mountain Stone Products profiles.
Leather-Olympus-Ledge-kodiak-Mountain-Stone-Rocky-Mountain-Stone-Series-002
Over the past decade Rocky Mountain Stone Products has developed a great product offering and has expanded it’s reach throughout the Western US. We are happy to continue working with all of their distributors, adding them to our Dealer Network. Find a dealer near you HERE.
The Rocky Mountain Stone Products profiles that have been added to the Kodiak Mountain Stone line will be known as our Rocky Mountain Series. All of our profiles are now available throughout our dealer network in Canada and the US.

Kodiak Mountain Stone  Rocky Mountain Stone Products

Kodiak Mountain Stone  Rocky Mountain Stone Products

Check out our Rocky Mountain Series photo gallery HERE

 

Up to 50% Off Select Outdoor Products sale at BuildDirect! Ends 05/31/2017

Advertisements

Alarm Clock Discipline

unnamed-2
Everyone wants to know:
“How can I be successful?”
“What do I need to do to be the best at what I do?”
“How do I get an edge to beat our my competition?”
What’s the answer? Well, there’s an entire industry built on telling you the answer. There are so many resources available to answer your questions.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Think and Grow Rich

How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life

The list is endless. There are many more I’ve included in my Reading List, check them out HERE. Or check out the 2,275 books that come up in Amazon when you search “How to be successful” HERE.
But it doesn’t matter how much you know or how much you’ve read if you don’t act.  There are many things that you need to do and things that need to come together for you to be successful, but I know that one thing you need to be successful is discipline. Today I have been thinking about something I call Alarm Clock Discipline.
The more I read, the more I see thoughts and ideas overlapping with different authors. Recently I’ve had three different resources that have made me think about this topic.
In October I wrote a post about The Slight Edge. In that post I wrote:
Out of all the great things that I have learned from this book, there is one concept that stands out more than the others. “The simple things that lead to success are all easy to do. But they are also just as easy not to do.” This concept is hit on throughout the book. It’s the simple, little habits that you do every day that lead to success. The simple, little habits that are easy to do, but just as easy not to do. This phrase runs through my head every single morning now if I want it to or not. I set my alarm for 5am. When it goes off I have two choices. I can slide out of bed, put on my running shoes and go for my morning run. Or I can hit the snooze button, curl up in bed and fall back asleep. I’ve really done both quite a few times in my life. I’m pretty disciplined so getting up early to run or workout usually isn’t a big deal. But I’m not as disciplined in going to bed at a good hour. So some mornings when the alarm goes off at 5am and I’ve only been in bed for a few hours it’s pretty easy to justify skipping the workout that morning and usually hitting the snooze two or three more times after that. But now each morning when my alarm goes off, before I have the opportunity to realize how tired I am, the words, “Easy to do. Easy not to do.” are running through my head. That’s motivation enough to get me going.
Jeff talks about the “little things” a lot. If I hit the snooze and skip my run it likely isn’t going to kill me or have a drastic impact on my health. But the compound effect is always working. It’s either working for us or against us. So as I get out of bed for my workout those actions are compounding with all the other times I take those positive actions. That one workout might not have much of an impact on my health, but compounding them all together will. Just like when I hit the snooze, that action compounds with all the other times I take those actions and works against me.
Basketball is a big part of life in our family and Alarm Clock Discipline is a big deal when we are getting teenagers up at 5:00am for a workout. As would be expected with kids, some days are easier than others, but over the past five years I’m proud to say that Tia and Daxon have put hundreds of hours into working on their game before most kids their age would even consider being out of bed.
I recently sent them the following video to watch from PGS Basketball: 5 Ways to Build Mental Toughness.
Number one on the list: Wake Up Early & Get Out of Bed
I love in this video when he says that by “hitting snooze you are giving into your feelings. When you give into your feelings you will never be special at anything.”
I don’t care if you do or don’t like the sport of basketball. Take five minutes to watch this video, it’s worth your time.
The most recent resource that got me thinking about this topic again was a book that I just finished by Jacko Willing and Leif Babin. The book is Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALS Lead and Win
In the book they say that discipline starts every day when the alarm clock goes off in the morning. The moment the alarm clock goes off is the first test and it sets the tone for the rest of the day. The test is simple. When the alarm clock goes off do you get up out of bed or do you lie there in comfort and fall back asleep.
They go on the explain that if you have the discipline to get out of bed, you win, you pass the test. If you are mentally weak at that moment and you let that weakness keep you in bed, you fail. Though it seems small, whichever decision you make will translate into more significant and substantial elements of your life.
My favorite quote in this book is, “Discipline is the difference between being good and being exceptional.”
How do you become successful? There are many answers to that question. But having Alarm Clock Discipline is a good place to start.

Click Image

Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks
Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

Equal is Unfair

https-cdn-evbuc-com-images-22707218-128850641699-1-original-jpg
I have my own personal thoughts and feelings when it comes to politics, but I usually don’t express them publicly too much because the debates that can arise from them can drive me crazy and there’s usually no way of coming out ahead. But Equal Is Unfair: America’s Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality by Don Watkins and Aaron Brook got me thinking about something I decided is worth spending some time reflecting on.  The authors share a number of ideas that I would tend to agree with and I can imagine could start some heated debates, but I’ll leave it to you to read the book and decide if you agree or disagree with their opinions.
Until six months ago I’ve lived my entire life in Alberta, Canada. In my mind it was the greatest province in the country for an entrepreneur. Not everything was perfect there but it was pretty dang good. But last year a new government was voted in and with many of the initiatives they have been implementing I feel they are anti-business and anti-entrepreneurship.
I was invited to a meeting with a number of other business owner and the new Minister of Finance, Joe Ceci. There have been many more hot topics since this meeting, but at the time the hot topic was the governments proposal to hike minimum wage to $15/hour (In 2015 it was raised from $10.20/hour to $11.20/hour). The frustration came from the minister’s ignorance to the facts. Not all businesses are highly profitable. Not all businesses have high profit margins. As business owners sat in that meeting and told the minister if minimum wage was to raise to $15/hour they would have to raise their prices he told us that a minimum wage increase would not raise prices. He also told us that a hike in minimum wage would not increase unemployment.  When I listen to the business owners state the opposite I tend to believe them, but we will have to wait and see the outcome.
Many of the business people at this meeting were restaurant owners who typically hire minimum wage workers. I have never been involved in the restaurant business, but today I found this on Reference.com
Profit margins are typically low for restaurants in general and especially for restaurants owned by individual franchisees. The average profit margin for the restaurant industry overall is 2.4 percent, as of 2013. The margin is down from 3.2 percent in 2009. The average franchised restaurant location makes a profit of less than $50,000 per year as of 2013. Opening a franchised restaurant with an established brand sometimes costs as much as $500,000.
Many who support such a hike argue against the “greedy business owners.” However, if I were a franchise owner that invested $500,000 to open by business and I was making less than $50,000 per year, such a significant minimum wage hike would be very tough to swallow.
Here are some ideas shared in Equal Is Unfair: America’s Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality on this topic. Again, I’m not trying to create a debate here, these are just my thoughts. But it’s a good book to read if you are interested in this topic or any of the other inequality topics that seem to be on the rise.
  • A government mandated minimum wage prevents people from deciding for themselves what pay to accept. If a person cannot find an employer that will hire them at the minimum wage level, they are legally barred from accepting a lower paying job.
  • A raise in minimum wage will raise the pay of some workers but stop others from working all together.
  • The biggest victims of a minimum wage increase are the lowest skilled workers. When minimum wage increases, higher skilled workers will now compete for jobs that previously we too low paying.
  • It hurts businesses
    • Many will hire fewer employees. We already see many fast food restaurants automating their services to reduce the number of employees needed so that they can stay in business.
    • Many will reduce perks and benefits
    • Some will simply have to go out of business

click image

Have you read the book? Thoughts?

Fortune

Daily Success Habits

Road to Success Highway Sign

When Jeff Olson talks about success habits in The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness he often says, “they are easy to do, but they are easy not to do as well.”

I recently read Think and Grow Rich again and decided to take on Napoleon Hills challenge of writing down my goals and reading them twice per day, once first thing in the morning and once just before going to sleep. Really, it’s a pretty simple way to get your mind continually focused on your goals, it’s easy to do.

Over the past week I’ve had some late nights and early mornings. That’s no excuse and I still have all my good intentions, but as I look back there are times that I have simply forgot to do this. Easy to do… Easy not to do.

As I hurried to get the kids off to school this morning and realized I had forgot about reading my goals over this morning I started to reflect on it. How important are these goals to me? How bad do I want to achieve them? If I can’t take the simple step of reading over my goals twice per day am I really going to do the other things that are going to help me achieve those goals?
To be successful we need to create our success habits which we do day in and day out regardless of what they are. As Darren Hardy teaches in The Compound Effect, it’s the small, daily habits that create big results. Figure out today what those small daily habits need to be and don’t cheat yourself, make sure you are doing them every single day. They will help you find success.


 

Learning

The Aladdin Factor – Go For It!

Scared man isolated over white.
Cold calls can be tough. Yes, there are some of you out there that it’s no big deal and you don’t even think twice about it, but for a lot of people, including me, cold calls can be tough. Just the thought of the call begins a narrative of stories in your mind. Who do I ask for when I call? What if they say no? What will I say?
Maybe it’s easier to just not make the call and save yourself the stress and embarrassment, right?  Well, not in the life of an entrepreneur or someone in any type of sales position.
I recently was in this position while I was trying to make some major decisions for one of our companies. I had thought through some scenarios and the idea came to me that there might be an opportunity to collaborate with one of our competitors to create a win-win for both of us. But my thoughts tried to sabotage the idea. “I don’t even know who to talk to. Do I just call their toll free number and ask for the boss? What if they think it’s a dumb idea?”
Any time that I’m in a situation like this I think of a book that really changed my life as an entrepreneur. The Aladdin Factor by Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield. The principle they teach that I find most helpful in this type of situation is to basically not care what the other side thinks of you when, if the worse scenario in your mind happens, nothing in your life changes.

Click Image to Order

If you make the call and get a NO. Nothing has changed in your life. You didn’t have whatever you were asking for before. You asked and you don’t have it now. So nothing has changed by asking, so who cares. Sure, if you don’t have “it” right now, you. still don’t have “it” if you don’t ask and nothing has changed in that situation either. But if you don’t ask at all, you are not giving the opportunity for a YES. So go ahead and make that call.
Back. to my story. I made the call and told the lady who answered that I didn’t know who I should ask for but explained why I was calling.  Turns out that it was a great action to take. The deal we are working to put together is nothing like I had imagined when I was first making the call.  In fact it is significantly different.  But in the end it’s looking like it will be better for both of us and I’m having an opportunity to work with some great business people that I would have never known if I didn’t make the call.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anticipation

Fail and Learn

Failure is such a common word when people talk about entrepreneurship. We hear things like, fail fast or fail often. It’s a known thing, all business don’t succeed. Things happen that are out of the entrepreneurs control. A good idea doesn’t work out because of an outside force or situation. Or a business fails because it was a bad idea from the beginning. Maybe it was a good idea but it was poorly executed. Whatever the matter, some businesses fail.
As an entrepreneur I am well aware that failure is part of business. But a lot of entrepreneurs think like I have, that failure is something that happens with other people’s businesses. Sometimes, as hard as it might be, failure is the best option, or the only option. I have operated in situations with the attitude that failure is not an option and in the long run it was a mistake. In those situations I believe that if I would have allowed myself to fail I would have been able to pivot and get back on track a lot sooner than I had by trying to keep something going that should have failed sooner.
The most important part of failure is the lessons learned. I hope that the future will show that I have learned from my mistakes and moving forward can be a better entrepreneur because of it.

Be Obsessed with Learning

be-obsessed
I recently wrote the blog, Read Less and Study More. Today as I was reading Be Obsessed or Be Average by Gant Cardone he mentioned something in the chapter titled Feed the Beast that made me think about this topic some more.
Under the title, Obsessed with Learning, he said:
“The easiest way to feed your beast is to spend time learning something new or learning how to be even better at something you’re already doing.”
In my blog, Read Less and Study More, I talked about Darren Hardy teaching that rather than moving from book to book as we complete them, we need to spend more time studying what we read to really get a better understanding of the topic.
Cardone teaches that, “What we pay attention to is what you get.” and  “The more attention you give something, the more you feed it, the stronger and more powerful it grows.”
 
As we are learning something new or trying to be even better at something we are already doing, we will have more success as we dedicate more of our time and focus to that topic. As Cardone would say, become obsessed with the topic.

click image for details

 

Success Requires Persistence

One of Henrie Ford’s most inspiring stories comes from when he decided that he wanted to produce his famous V-8 motor. The design was put on paper but all of his engineers agreed that it was impossible to cast an eight cylinder engine block in one piece. To this, Ford said, “produce it anyway.” So his engineers went to work. Months passed by with no success. Soon it had been a full year and the engineers answer to Ford was that it was still “Impossible.”
 napoleon_hill_persistence
He told his engineers to stay on the job no matter how long it took. He wanted it and he was going to have it! Then one day as if by a stroke of magic, they discovered the secret and Ford had his V-8 motor.
There is so much to be learned from this story. One lesson could be about desire. Henry Ford knew exactly what he wanted and he was determined to get it. But I want to talk about Persistence.

per·sist·ence
pərˈsistəns/
firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.

Henry Ford knew exactly what he wanted and he wasn’t’ going to stop until he had it. In Napoleon Hill’s book, Think & Grow Rich , Persistence is the Eighth Step Towards Riches. He says that the “lack of persistence is one of the major causes of failure.” “Without persistence, you will be defeated, even before you start. With persistence you will win.”
 
To be successful we need to know exactly what we want and have a plan to attain it. We have to be willing to learn from our failures along the way and adjust our plan. But most of all, we need persistence. Without persistence, when we are faced with defeat we will quite. With persistence, we will pick ourselves up and keep on trying. And Win!

Related Blogs

Build Your Network for Success

networking
My daughter is a junior in high school and is trying to figure out the path she wants to take in life. To help her out I took her to visit with an amazing friend of mine. She runs multiple, successful companies. She serves on multiple boards. He has an incredible family. She serves extensively in our church. I could go on and on, but lets just say if I’d like my daughter to get some life advice, she’s a great one to be getting it from.
As I sat listening to the two of them talk, my friend shared stories, helped make plans and gave some great advice. But there was one part of the conversation that I’ve been thinking a lot about since that meeting. They had been taking about some specific universities and she had told my daughter who her contacts were at these universities. My daughter made a comment about how she seemed to know everybody.
This was the most valuable lesson my daughter could learn in this meeting. My friend expressed to my daughter the importance of who you know.
Does it really matter who you know?
Does it really matter how big or connected your network is?
Really, how valuable is your network?
Your network is everything!
zig_ziglar
As I’ve said in other posts, people are going to do business (or whatever you are relating this to) with people they know, like and trust. Products and services obviously all come into play but on an even playing field, more often than not the decision maker is going to go with the person or company she knows, likes and trusts.
I think back to some of my major business transactions and in every case I had a relationship with the decision maker or the person who sent the referral. Your ability to build the proper network around you will determine your success in everything that you do.
In Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money, Rabbi Daniel Lapin talks a great deal about the importance of building your network. He advises us to “build genuine and sincere relationships with as many people as possible with no thought of reward.” This is the key in building your network. Be genuine. Build Friendships. Don’t build relationships based on wanting to know what that person can do to help you. Look for opportunities to help others in your network without expecting anything in return.
As you build and foster relationships you will discover opportunities to serve others and when the time comes that you are in need, you will have someone within your network that you can turn to.
Is there someone right now that you want to connect to? Figure out how you can help them with something they need done. 
Prompt: Learning Together

Create Your Own Path

A few days ago we were recording and Entrepreneur Next Door podcast with Steve Christensen from Novo Watch. I had asked him a question about his entrepreneurial journey and he made the comment that from a young age he wanted to create his own path.
novo-watch
Whether you are an entrepreneur or are working for someone else, I think that this is something great that everyone should aspire for. Use your skills and talents to create the path that you want to take. Life is way too short to be doing things that you don’t want to be doing. Figure out what it is that you want and create the path to get there.
As an employer, I know that these are the types of employees that I would like to have working with me. Those that know what they want and are working to make it happen. If that means for them to get to where they want to end up my company is only a stepping stone and they will eventually have to move on, I will fully support that. Of course I would never want to lose a great employee. But I’d rather have someone that is great and ends up moving on because of their personal goals and aspirations that did great things with us while we were together than have a life-long employee without any drive that is just showing up each day to punch the clock and get through the day.
What path are you on? Comment below.
Good luck!
Watch for this and other great podcast at www.enextdoor.co