Cirilo McLaine

Cirilo McLaine

I am a business advisor specializing in providing solutions to challenges often encountered by those who own, run or start small businesses.

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In the super hyper-active world we live in today we seem to be constantly searching for a simple solution to make up for the things we don’t have real time to handle. We text instead of picking up the phone to communicate, we listen to audiobooks instead of reading, hell we even use things like Splenda to sweeten our iced tea because it takes to long for real sugar to dissolve!

Don’t get me wrong these modern conveniences have made our lives more pleasurable in a lot of regards but we must be very careful to not allow this concept to creep into other areas of our lives. More specifically as we go day to day make a living we have to make sure we recognize there are NO substitutes for hard work!

In my business I am always looking for the better mouse trap, trying to stay ahead of industry trends and systemize as many processes as possible but my success hinges on my ability to work harder than my competitors. It’s not all that glamorous and if one more person hits me with the famous cliche’ “Work Smarter, Not Harder”, I am going to catch a case!

The only Smarter Work is Harder Work, less you look up and find yourself with zero clients or unemployed! This is the bottom line and I am sorry to be the one to break the bad news to my intellectual folks out here who have tried to make us hard workers think any different.

Sure you can coast through life finding short cuts and back doors but that is hardly the way to become the Top Dog in your field! I mean really what would the greats say to the “Work Smarter” crew? Michael Jackson, Bill Gates, Kobe Bryant (I still hate the Lakers but that’s a different subject), Warren Buffet or Barack Obama would all tell you sure you need modern conveniences but there are absolutely No short cuts, No Substitutions for hard work!

The modern conveniences that many use as substitutes make it easy for some to coast but they allow the great the opportunity to out work everyone else. If you doubt what I say, test it for yourself but don’t be surprised when you don’t exceed your wildest dreams! On the other hand if excellence is your goal, get lost in your work more than not, allow no one to have a better work ethic than you!

Just think about it, even if you miss the moon you still can dance with the stars! Work your asses off and the world will beat a path to your door and the satisfaction you get from the process will allow you to live with no regrets! Anything worth having is worth the hard work it takes to get it, so go get it!

Make Money, Have Fun & Be A Blessing,

Leuconoe, don't ask — it's dangerous to know — what end the gods will give me or you. Don't play with Babylonian fortune-telling either. Better just deal with whatever comes your way. Whether you'll see several more winters or whether the last one Jupiter gives you is the one even now pelting the rocks on the shore with the waves of the Tyrrhenian sea--be smart, drink your wine. Scale back your long hopes to a short period. Even as we speak, envious time is running away from us. Seize the day, trusting little in the future. 

- Horace Odes

Many people are familiar with the phrase but really have no idea where it came from. I mean it's everywhere, on tattoos, in commercials, on billboards even. Really, how many times a day do you hear the phrase, Carpe Diem? It has become such a common statement that it almost loses its value to both inspire and challenge. It need not be that way though. Let's think about the requirements of Carpe Diem.

  • Wake Up
  • Choose to truly do all you can that day to live abundantly.
  • Hope that you are blessed enough to do it all over again the next day.

It's that simple! Carpe Diem! Seize the Day! Is that really all there is to it? YEP, and stop trying to complicate Life!

Make Money, Have Fun & Be A Blessing,

It's been a longtime, I shouldn't have left you, without a dope blog to step to. Ok, I am no Rakim by any means but the sentiments are the same. I have been on a mission to find the simple life. You know the life where the grass is greener, the air is cleaner and the Kool-Aid is sweeter, but I ended up right back here! Go figure.

The ever so elusive Simple Life, is so attractive. Everyone has seen it including you! It is that life that as a spectator makes you feel all warm inside. It's the warm apple pie on the stove, the changing leaves on the trees, the smell of pipe tobacco as you pass the gentleman on the park bench reading the newspaper.

Why then is it so difficult to recreate these elements in ones own life. I tend to believe it is because as a leader you are often looked at as the go to person for everything and once that happens and you allow it to continue to happen your life no longer is your own. Not only is your life not your own but you end up being responsible for the lives and success of others.

How can you create the simple life for yourself when the lives of others all around you are so complicated? A good friend of mine told me you can't until you learn to say the magic word, No! Yes, it is that easy. Say no, to others and say yes to you. It's not a sin to do this, it's not selfish either, it's self preservation and no one who loves you can look down on you for that. If they do they really don't love you, they loved what you were doing for them and there is a difference.

Love yourself and the world will look at you and wonder, what must they do to enjoy that Sweeter Kool-Aid!

Make Money, Have Fun & Be A Blessing,
Do you remember the first dance/party you ever went to? You laid out that perfect outfit a week in advance, scheduled that tight haircut with your barber. You washed the family car even though you didn't have a license yet. You took two showers that day sprayed on the best cologne/perfume you could find (Faberge' for me). Not a whole in your socks or underwear and your breath was taken care of with ,what else but, Big Red chewing gum! You were straight! Everything was perfect down to your mom pumping Guy's "Groove Me" in the car, on the way to the dance, because she liked that jam too!

All this preparation was for a reason. It was to build your confidence. To make sure you could handle any situation the party might throw your way but most of all it was so you felt strong enough to ask that special girl for the couples slow dance to R. Kelly's new song. With all that work you knew you were going to get that dance, right, but right as the DJ says it's time to slow it down you freeze up. You go through your mental checklist, everything is straight, you glide over to the spot where the fly girl crew is hanging out and you look her dead in the eye and ask "May I Have This Dance?". She smiles and said she thought you would never ask. Victory! you said and all the hard work was worth it.

Alright, Maestro what is this all about? Well, all the things I just described above we seem to forget to do when it comes to attracting new customers and clients. Everyone of those details described before were absolutely necessary not because the fly girl might have said No had you not washed your mom's car but because washing your mom's car added to the confidence it took to Make the Ask! Never let anything you have control over stop you from making the ask.

Take two showers, wash your car and your mom's too. Put on the latest and greatest cologne (not Faberge' I hope), get that fresh cut and spend some time on putting that perfect outfit together. It will all be well worth it when your client looks over the Starbucks bistro table and says those magic words, "I thought you would never ask"!

Make Money, Have Fun & Be A Blessing,
A brand is a representation of a business or business person's offerings. Put another way by, Wikipedia, the online reference site, a brand, logo, slogan, and/or design scheme associated with a product or service.

So what? Well to be quite honest in business your brand is everything, very similar to an individuals character. It can take a lifetime to build and once it's established you must do everything in your power to protect it.

For instance if I said "Chicken 'n Waffles" to most people, they would respond "Roscoe's"? Even though they may have never been there, the brand is strong and synonymous with great chicken and waffles.
I have always made friends with those older than myself. I can't really tell you why, but my mom always called me an Old Soul. This may explain why I enjoy the sayings that old men have told me over the years. One of my favorites is, " You know Ideas are like A**Holes, most all of them Stink and Everyone has one". Yeah, I know it's crude but it's also true.

You see after being in the business of providing advise to small business owners for over 10 years, I have heard my share of Great Ideas. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy hearing people who are excited about their business and the opportunities associated with the companies they love. I don't take issue with that one bit.
If someone were to ask you what you did for a living what would you tell them? I am a doctor, lawyer, janitor or liar(I meant politician), is the typical answers. We have been trained to offer these types of answers to the age old question, What do you do? The question is not what is your title but what do you do?

A doctor may heal the body, a lawyer may fight for justice, a janitor may create pleasant environments to work, live & play in, and a politician lies (three out of four isn't bad). Those are descriptions of what you spend your valuable time everyday doing and that is how you should answer the question, what do you do?

People need to understand that you are unique and dynamic. The answer real estate agent is boring, but I help families find the home of their dreams, is SEXY! I'm a Rapper will get you no respect but I help people identify with their inner emotions while entertaining them musically, is intriguing. Ok, maybe that last one is a stretch but you get where I am coming from, right?

The word Do implies action and you should respond with action. Take sometime to figure out your own professional actions, so when you are asked the question you won't waste the opportunity to tell someone how SEXY your profession or business is!

Make Money, Have Fun & Be A Blessing,
I often ask myself, can one make a difference? Not in the Your Vote Counts kind of way but more so in the business realm. If you have something to offer, can one person wanting it make a difference? I mean really what can one person do for your business. Well, you are one person and your business begins with you, right? So let's take a short look at this Power of One concept and what it can do for your business or career.

Let's say I want to start a business selling salt. I mean you sold every kind of salt there was to sell, sea salt, kosher salt, table salt, industrial salt, winter ice melting salt, Epsom salt, bath salt, etc. Who is your customer? Well that is the problem you don't have any yet. You are ready for business but you don't know where to find your pipeline of customers. Common problem, uncommon solution.
Many years ago there was a Wendy's commercial where three ladies are at a counter with a huge bun on a plate. One lady picks up the bun top and history was made. Why was that commercial so magical? How do you break that formula down and apply it to your business or career? Well let's take a look at marketing basics.

Marketing is the science of exposing your product or service to potential buyers. How do you decide to buy what you buy? Nine times out of ten it's because you have been marketed to. At this point in our world there is so much marketing going on that companies will do just about anything to get you to remember there product or service.

Talking lizards that sell insurance, cookies that sing as they roll down the street in their convertible, and even a gang of nerds that sell mobile phone plans. Does any of this work anymore? Did it work years ago? What should you do moving forward?

Yes it still works as it worked years ago and you need to jump on the band wagon! As I always say, businesses succeed because of high sells and they fail because of low sells. People buy what they want, need and can afford. It's your job to show them that your product or service is just that. You have to show them, Where the Beef is!

Do they want it?
Do they need it?
Can they afford it?

Spend most of your time letting them know. Keep your product or service on their mind and you will enjoy years of success.

Make Money, Have Fun & Be A Blessing,
Many times in my career, I have been guilty of giving away what I should rightfully be paid for. In my haste to get the deal, I present to much, I show the big picture, I lead myself right out the door by providing solutions before anyone cuts a check.

For years I felt the only way to get the business was to show you were qualified to do the work. Often that meant you could leave nothing or very little to the imagination. Oh, how wrong I have been and continue to be from time to time.

It's very simple, no one is going to pay you for what they can get for free! Implementing your ideas are not the hard part, they can get anyone to do that, but coming up with the idea is not that easy to come by for plenty of people. So what is the solution?

First you must clearly identify the problem that someone is looking for a solution to. Next, you must be clear as to whether or not they are looking for a solution from you. "Are you engaging my services or asking me to bid on the work?", should be the next question. Next, you must create the solution that addresses all angles of the problem. Now you are ready to present and this is where you have to be much like a, Vegas Show Girl inside the Champagne Room. Not to fast, it's just a metaphor, keep those things tucked away!

When you present you must be deliberate, methodical, exciting and vague. For instance, you can say something like this. I know you all were really looking to solve this problem with this budget but what would you do if I were able to not only solve that problem but also this other one and do it for half your budgeted amount. Next, tell them you have the solution but instead of giving it to them proceed to explain what you will need from them to make it a reality. Then Shut Up!

That's right Shut Up, you have given them as much as they need to make a decision. If they want more information, so do you. Is there a problem that I didn't address? Is there a new problem? Only speak about problems and what it will take to implement a solution but never talk about the solution itself until a check has been cut!

Make Money, Have Fun & Be A Blessing,
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