Be Prepared

As a Boy Scout, I learned the motto, “Be Prepared” and have tried to live it ever since.  But how does one prepare for something that has never been experienced or even considered before?  That is where we are with the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Business owners are struggling with the reality of having to close operations for an unknown period of time.  Most are willing and able to do so for three or four weeks without threatening business continuation. However, some may not have the resources to do so and what happens IF the restrictions and shut-downs continue for an extended period of time?

I can only speak for myself when I say that I will continue to live and work within the parameters set forth by our leaders and authorities and make thoughtful decisions without panic.  We are all in this together. No one is immune to the virus or the collateral damage it may cause. While doctors and health experts work to reduce the risk and impact of this virus, we as a business community must be prudent in keeping our businesses going while protecting the health of employees and customers.

May God be with us all as we unite to protect and maintain as we move forward.

Posted in Mindset

De-Stressing for Work

It’s probably a safe bet to say that all of us deal with stress in the workplace.  Yes? The amount of stress we are under varies from day to day depending on deadlines, commitments, mood, energy-level, frustration level, and so on.  The amount of stress we’re under correspondingly affects our productivity, efficiency, creativity, and attitude. And what good is it if when you do achieve your goals you can’t enjoy the results due to lingering stress? 

At today’s monthly “Business Builders” program, we discussed ways to reduce and overcome stress in the workplace.  Attendees learned, among other things, that the “digitalized” world we live in today makes us more prone to distractions and unwanted correspondence that contribute to a significant increase in stress levels in the workplace.
If you were unable to attend today’s session, don’t stress over it!  By popular demand, we will be covering this topic again at our next “Business Builders” program in March.  For more information or to register, please visit our website at  Learn how you can be proactive in reducing stress in your workplace.

Posted in Mindset

Know Your Numbers

If I asked you how your business was doing financially, would you be able to tell me in numbers rather than “good”, “not so good”, “could be better”, or “I don’t know”?  Well, most small business owners I’ve talked with can’t. They are either afraid to look at the numbers fearing they are horrible or they don’t think it matters because it’s just what’s in the  checking account that is important to them.  

Knowing your numbers can relieve and prevent a lot of unnecessary stress.  One particular client of mine fell into the first category – fear of the anticipated bad news.  However, when we actually looked at the numbers, he was surprised to see that they weren’t nearly as bad as he thought.  And when we looked at his break-even numbers, he realized that he simply needed to sell one more “widget” per day to be profitable in less than a year.  “Would you like fries with that?” This simple phrase made McDonald’s millions of dollars in additional revenue.  Do you think they knew their numbers and what it might take to improve them?

In our Quarterly Planning Sessions, we show you tools to help you determine not only profit and loss, but break-even numbers per quarter, per month, and even per day.

To attend, register on-line at

Posted in News


Stress – can’t live with it, can’t seem to live without it!  However, much of the stress we have is self-inflicted. By that I mean we often make more out of difficult tasks and time-limits than what we should.  Think about something you were worried about a year ago, a month ago, or even just last week. Are you still worried about those things now? Of course not.  In the moment – when the pressure and, therefore, your emotions were highest – it was nearly impossible for you to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But somehow you persevered through and completed the task (or maybe ignored it completely and just let it pass – which I don’t recommend!).  The result was no more worrying about that which not long before had you wringing your hands. All that worry for nothing!  

So the next time you’re feeling stressed, I suggest:

  • Take a deep breath and let it out slowly.
  • Prioritize your tasks.
  • Break down the first task into manageable parts.
  • Focus on each individual part of the task rather than the final product.
  • Smile that the task is completed!
  • Repeat for subsequent tasks.

To learn more about de-stressing for success in the workplace, come to our Business Builders presentation on Friday 02/27/20.  Register on-line at

Posted in News, Time Management

Exciting News From Dogwood

I am excited to announce my “Business Builders” and “Lunch & Learn” programs are actually going to happen!  Teaming up with Mr. Pete Emmons of On-Track Consulting LLC, our first monthly “Business Builders” session will be held on Thursday January 23, 2020 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at my office.  The topic will be “Recruitment & Retention of Quality Employees” as this is the No. 1 stress-filled challenge facing business owners. Learn how to reduce that stress through practices that attract the right applicants and retain the employees you want.  To register on-line, please visit the Dogwood website today.

Our first monthly “Lunch & Learn” will be held on Friday February 7, 2020 from 12:00 P.M. – 1:00 P.M. at my office.  The topic, “Using DISC Profiles”, will cover how this employee behavioral assessment can serve as a valuable tool for more effective communication in the workplace.  We will guide you through what DISC is, how to access an assessment(s), and how to use the results in your business. To register on-line, please visit our website.    

We are offering these programs in addition to our one-on-one business mentoring to better serve the business community.  Pete brings his inimitable wit along with a wealth of knowledge and business experience to this collaboration and I am thrilled to be working with him.  We are sure you will benefit from attending these sessions and cordially invite you to attend.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Best regards,
Duane Hammer

Posted in News

Today’s Motivation:

  • Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose.