New audiobook is now available at Audible and iTunes

February 4, 2013

Do you feel trapped…stressed out and unhappy…burning the candle at both ends…trying to meet the never-ending demands of your business and wanting some semblance of a personal life too?

Set Yourself Free! You can control your business rather than it controlling you. You can have a thriving business…and enjoy it! There is a way out of your prison and you hold the keys.

If you prefer to listen, check out the audiobook. The hardcopy is still available at Amazon.

Set Yourself Free – How to Have a Thriving Small Business… And Enjoy It!  by Stan Simkins with Juli Baldwin

Walking the Talk

October 15, 2011

Okay. I have a confession to make. I’ve been guilty of what I accuse my clients of… ‘thinking about’ but not ‘acting’ on changes I need to make. No, it’s not about my weight, but my use of social media tools. Yes, I’ve started to ‘look’ but I haven’t ‘leaped’. So after thinking about my mindset, I figured out my reluctance wasn’t for all the ‘valid’ reasons I had but more because it was like moving to another planet. I’m pretty savvy when it
comes to computers but something about this ‘social media thing’ felt different than when it came time to learn other computer tools. I think it was because I identified it with ‘the young crowd’ and felt it wasn’t something ‘an old professional guy’ should be doing. How’s that for being nuts? Well, I’m human too!

To add insult to injury, I also realized that I had to set a good example for my clients; so, I decided to follow the advice in my book (below) and change my MINDSET!  I am arranging for a ‘young’ tech savvy social media guru and having her walk me, step-by-step, through the while “social media’ process (this blog is my first venture into that realm). I expect her to enable me to actually DO all the things I should/could be doing to take advantage of the technology… using ‘best practices’ to avoid missing opportunities, and wasted effort. I’m particularly interested in it more for my book than for my consulting practice because I do want to reach ‘the world’ with my book but not necessarily so for my consulting.

My main issue with social media (e.g. LinkedIn) is that I don’t want to share my contact base because every potential vendor would love to get ‘connected’ with my hard-earned contact base. I know there are some controls but I’m not 100% comfortable they will provide the level of security/control that I need and even experts have told me my concerns are not unfounded. So, I’ll proceed cautiously and limit my involvement to my book – even using a separate email account and such. I will NOT invite all my contacts to this account so as to have them ‘private’.

I’m sure that many of you can teach me more about this subject and I welcome your feedback. I hope you will take a look deep into your mindset and see what is holding you back from using the tools (whether computer related, systems changes, or people changes) to achieve your goals. We are the ones who hold the key to unlocking our potential and sometimes don’t realize it.

Wow!  I feel better already. Thanks for listening 🙂

If you want to learn more about how to set yourself free, take a look at my new book, Set Yourself Free – How
to Have A Thriving Small Business… And Enjoy It!
because you do have choices.

Feel free to call me at 518.369.7101 or email me at:

Are Things Slipping Through the Cracks?

June 27, 2011

If you’re like most small business owners I’ve worked with, you probably find yourself wondering how it is that no matter what you say or do to clearly communicate, motivate and reward people, there is always someone who ‘drops the ball’. Oftentimes, the common REACTION is to consider such ‘bad behavior’  as either intentional, or simply unintentional neglect, oversight, or  just attitudinal.

In fact those might be the cause; however, my experience is that the most common reason is SYSTEMIC. In other words, the people don’t have the right systems in place or don’t use them – to avoid such ‘slippage’.  W. Edwards Deming, noted international consultant, made this point by saying “… the fault lies not within the people, but in the systems they use.”

This is not to excuse people from the responsibility of their assigned duties, but it helps us to focus on what is usually the ‘cure’ to most
‘slippage’ situations I have seen. Oftentimes, ‘lack of training’ is a part of the ‘system’ that is missing. Likewise it may be the lack of ‘reminder’
systems; e.g. something as simple as a calendaring or contact management system… or the failure to use it!

All that being said, I believe the root cause begins with the mindset of the owner and/or the individual who is allowing things to slip.  I was once given a lesson by a former boss (who eventually made me his partner) that “People do what you INspect… not what
you EXpect.” At first I thought he meant I had to micromanage everything I delegated. What he meant was that there is a combination of things needed to avoid things slipping through the cracks: mindset, processes and systems.

So I always recommend that everyone adopt the concept of ‘delegation’ (still owning the responsibility for the outcome) as compared to ‘relegation’ (washing your hands TOTALLY of it). Equally important, make sure you have a system in place that will provide periodic ‘follow up’ and/or feedback. This is especially true when you are working with someone with whom you have not had a lot of experience. No sense learning the hard way!

You can learn more about this (especially in the section dealing with personality types) in my book, Set Yourself Free – How to Have A Thriving Small Business… And Enjoy It! because personality type is also part of the ‘human system’ that you need to work with.

If you want to learn more about this subject, I hope you will take feel free to call me at 518.369.7101 or email me at: