Posts by Fran Tarkenton

What is Our Best?

What is our best? What do we really mean when we talk about doing our best? It’s become a stock answer we hear whenever someone asks another person to do something: “I’ll try my best!” Afterwards, we’ll hear the inevitable follow-up: “I tried my best.” I’ve come to realize that those statements bother me. At…

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Provide Relevant Benefits to Your Customers

You get your customers to come back more often to buy more and occasionally pay more by constantly providing them with relevant benefits (through your products, your service, and the total customer experience with your business) that are differentiated from all competitive options. That’s it. That’s how to succeed in business. Relevant needs drive half…

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It’s Not About Me

Your business isn’t about you. It’s not about what you think people want, it’s not what strategies you think will work, it’s not what you think your product or service’s value is. The reality is that any business has to be about meeting the needs of other people, providing a product or service that other…

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How Small Failures Help You Avoid a Big One

American optimism has launched many businesses. But it’s all too easy for enthusiastic entrepreneurs to think that they can push through problems by sheer optimism. As I have found out in my years in business, though, if you don’t deal with reality, reality will surely deal with you. There’s actually recent scientific research to back…

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Fully Commit to Your Game Plan

When I decide to do something, I fully commit to doing it. If I think that something is worth doing, then it is worth doing right, giving it my full attention and best effort. It might succeed, it might not—but I want to give it the best I have. As a quarterback, the time to…

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Adjusting Your Marketing Focus

When you started your business, you entered the marketplace ready to solve a specific problem. It’s the whole point of any business, really — to help people by providing a solution to a someone’s problem. Unfortunately, businesses sometimes miss the mark and end up trying to sell their products or services to the wrong people.…

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Long Term Focus for Small Business

As a small business owner, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of an average day. Especially when work piles up in and around the office, entrepreneurs don’t always take the time to consider the long term impact of what they’re doing. Here are a few things to keep in mind that will…

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To Win, You Have to Know How to Lose

A paradox: I think one of the best signs that someone has a good chance to be successful is when they know how to deal with failing. I learned more from losing than I ever did from winning, and my greatest successes have all come about because of the things I learned from things that…

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Embrace Failure!

If you’re a business leader, you have a responsibility to embrace failure. Most people—especially leaders, executives, managers, CEOs, administrators, chairpersons—avoid failure, both word and subject, as they would day-old sushi or French opera. Failure, it seems, is not a fit topic for polite conversation. For that matter, neither is doubt, fear, uncertainty, or lack of…

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Don’t Forget the Plan

One of my favorite quotes is that an idiot with a plan will always beat a genius with no plan. I love to make bold moves and try new things—but I always want to have a plan, even when I know that the plan has to be flexible and adapt to all the changes that…

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