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Take Your Foot Off The Gas - You Eventually Come to a Stop

Jul 02, 2021

How Entry Into Competitive Environs Increases Sales

The classic adage in motorsports was and remains, “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday”.

This goes beyond brand recognition and appeal to the masses. Intensity actually improves your business' product. This is our take on how competing at a high level raises the bar throughout every facet within an organization.

The slim line between victory and vitriol of defeat is often measured in hundredths of a second – regardless of the field of endeavor. That competitive advantage often takes the form of a technological edge.

Just a few decades ago, a 4-minute mile was unthinkable. In just a few days we will witness a dozen athletes achieve it during the Tokyo Olympics. While partly due to better training and nutrition, credit must also be given to better shoe design and construction. Sneaker manufacturers spend great resources to attain that ‘edge’ which then translates to sales once their...

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No Jacket Required

Jun 11, 2021

Pivot: /ˈpivət/ /ˈpɪvət/ to turn or rotate like a hinge or a successful business owner.

During a recent episode of our Podcast, The Liquid Lunch Project, my partner Matthew Meehan and I addressed the need for a business to be agile and its ability to effectively Pivot when the needs arise.

This is the tale of one of the greatest Pivots of all time.

In 1967, five students from Charterhouse, a boarding school in Surrey, England formed a rock band that would go on to transform the style of rock. Imagine a graduating class including Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, and Steve Hackett! Incorporating innovative themes and nontraditional instruments, Genesis went on to becoming one of the most sold and highly decorated bands of all time.

From 1970 to 1975, Collins played drums and percussion for the Band. 

In August 1975, following The Lamb Dies Down on Broadway tour, Gabriel left Genesis. The band placed an advert for a replacement...

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Alloy Allies

Feb 08, 2021

Consultants as Catalytic Converters

There is often confusion as to the role of a consulting firm within the parameters of a small business. Pop culture is replete with tales of the swashbuckling, chart carrying MBA graduate seeking to revolutionize the world via the use of pie charts and tedious board meetings. In realty, a strategic partner can take the American small business to the next level. Albeit with the full cooperation of ownership.

Analogies are often the most effective manner to convey a point. Allow me to take you back to high school physics class. Remember our friend, the alloy? An alloy is a substance created from the combining of two or more elements. The classic 1+1=3. The mechanical properties of alloys will often be quite different from those of its individual constituents. You see where I am going here… American small business, often family-owned, with a proud type- A founder resistant to any change may be wary of such transformative...

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Go Bold or Get Old

Feb 04, 2021

The American Entrepreneur is Not Easily Deterred

One of our organization’s mantras, if not obsession, is our desire to implement systems within our client’s operations to allow for streamlined operations. A beautiful thing occurs when an entrepreneur is not bogged down by administrative muck: he or she is able to dream. When an American small business owner dreams, special things happen. Expansion plans, acquisitions, diversification of product lines: a business owner must have the peace of mind to think in bold macro terms.

This is part of the American historical mindset. Some of the greatest transformative acts in our history came with much resistance. Let us look at several bold, transformative decisions and that decision maker’s ambivalence towards the vehement opposition resulting therefrom.

Acquisition of The Louisiana Territory was a long-term goal of President Thomas Jefferson. Seeking control of the vital Mississippi River port of New Orleans, Jefferson...

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Experts Exit Stage Left

Jan 27, 2021

How Expertise Has Recently Changed Significance 

Traditionally, expertise, was an accolade reserved for someone who spent years honing his or her craft to such a degree they were considered an authority. Experts engage within a given subject matter from various perspectives developing their knowledge over time, through a combination of research and experience. That nurturing of a specific skillset takes time to develop. A lot of time. During that time, that future expert is known by his or her peers cultivating a reputation that positively deviates from the norm. By the time one is referred to as an expert, it is not disputable. Gretzky was an expert hockey player not at 17 but at 27..

Achieving a high level of fidelity in one’s craft may take countless paths. Regardless of how simple or complex the activity being practiced; the brain undergoes subtle yet significant changes as your skill mastery develops. To practice a skill, you first learn the...

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SAG Ace of the Rotation on Clubhouse

Jan 22, 2021

Shield Advisory Group had the privilege of hosting a Clubhouse Room last night with a special guest appearance by baseball icon Dwight “Dr K” Gooden.

As a 3X World Series Champion, Cy Young Award Winner, Rookie of The Year and 4X All Star, Dr K shared his experiences about the tools needed for winning. At the highest levels. We learned these tools were transferable to other facets of life. From Dr. K’s warm recollections of his childhood under his father’s mentorship and tutelage to his time amidst the media spotlight and fanfare we were given a brilliant display of humanity.

It was soon evident Doc was not only physically gifted as an athlete, but he was also usually the hardest working guy on the training grounds.

Doc shared insights into the discipline and work ethic necessary to take any career to the highest levels. Moreover, he regaled us in tales of the teen phenom transitioning into a league competing against the best players in the world.

We also...

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Cynic vs Skeptic

Jan 19, 2021

How the Karate Kid Taught Us To Read The Wall Street Journal

Face it. We are ensnared in a world of spin where true journalism has given way to opinion. Analytics has ceded to biased promotion. Taking this into account, how can we make sound investment decisions, develop strategy, and even decipher, ally from rival?

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Difference between Cynic and Skeptic.

Let us look to the Ancients for guidance, Daniel-San:

A skeptic is simply someone who demands good evidence before accepting something and is willing to change their view when it conflicts with the evidence. These requirements are easy to say, but often hard to follow. Nevertheless, everyone should strive to be a skeptic.

The philosophy of skepticism goes back to the ancient Greek and Roman world. One version was Pyrrhonic, founded by Pyrrho of Elis. He gave us the Pyrrhic Victory: Win the Battle but lose the War. Pyrrhonist’s aims are psychological. It urges suspension of judgment to achieve mental...

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Some Assembly Required

Dec 18, 2020

The Truth (Ahem!) Behind the First Assembly Line

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Ford’s Highland Park Factory in Detroit, Michigan
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Be Noble, Buy Local

Dec 09, 2020

As much as you enjoy coming home to that stack of cardboard boxes after a long day at work or whether you prefer to do your shopping alla keyboard, resist the urge. Buy local. 

Supporting your local ‘Mom & Pop’ shops creates local jobs, infuses community tax coffers with dearly needed sales tax revenue and creates a sense of community critical to our social wellbeing.

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Businesses may find less expensive alternatives to goods and services outside their neighborhoods. Resist this extra-locale acquisition. Over time, imports eventually become the predominant source of supply causing local businesses to suffer financially and close. This inevitably has a negative impact on the economy. Lower prices do not necessarily equate to a benefit for the ultimate consumers. Imports tend to increase the reliance of an economy on other nations. This leads to a drop in political power amongst nations. While global free trade is an ideal to be sought, sourcing as...

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“Show Me Your Friends and I Will Tell You What You Are”

Dec 04, 2020

Spanish Proverb

People have a huge impact on your life. “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” says American entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn.

You should think about the people you are associating with the same way you think about what you eat and how you’re exercising. Here are a few examples on just how poignant this one reality can be.

The “PayPal Mafia” is a group of former PayPal employees and founders who have since founded and developed additional successful technology companies such as Tesla, Inc.LinkedInPalantir TechnologiesSpaceXAffirmSlideKivaYouTubeYelp, and Yammer. Most of these so-called members attended Stanford University or University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign at some point in their studies.

Why do we denigrate a smoothly run southern Mediterranean conglomerate with tight hierarchical...

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