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Growth Summit cont Paul Orfalea Transform Obstacles Into Opportunities


Paul Orfalea is that man who created Kinko’s. He’s written a book, "Copy This!" about his taking a small copy shop and turning it into a $2 billion a year company. FedEx Kinko’s, as it is now known, is the world’s leading business services chain with over 1500 locations worldwide. He is also the self proclaimed “poster boy for Attention Deficit Disorder and dyslexia who just happened to have failed two grades. 


Talk about taking challenges and attaining success; you probably couldn’t have a better example.   Paul Orfalea more than any other speaker is a beacon for what every small business owner should aspire to be.   His message, as CEO of your company, your #1 job is to remove obstacles to make your workers more productive. How many of us successfully pursue that each day? To run a business he says you need to have three things in balance, work, love, and play. Yet too many small business owners are tired, haggard and miserable. Where’s the balance? He noticed early on that the less important he was to his business the better he and the company were. He found out early that he needed to be inaccessible to his people; otherwise they will always come to him to solve problems. Your job as a CEO and owner is to the thinker.  How can you be a thinker if you are constantly being interrupted? Are you aware of these statistics? It takes 25 minutes for the human mind to get up to speed.   Seems like a long time doesn’t it? Did you realize we are being interrupted on average every 11 minutes? Close the door Paul says. 99% of the problems your people have they can solve themselves. 


He had a number of other insights that I found enlightening as well. Why does a two year old quit asking why? Do you know that answer? It’s when he/she sees it’s aggravating others? What can you learn from that?


Children he said need a healthy dose of anxiety. And he offered that success is your children wanting to be with you. Can you say that about your children? Finally he offered that what every employee wants is a leader who is affable and trustworthy. If you’ve reached the point where your employees find you amiable and approachable then your next step is to manage this trust.  


So what’s your story? Paul Orfalea’s “Copy This!” is one story most of us would do well to duplicate.

Duplication seems to be the message most companies take when it comes to customer service and judging customer loyalty.  The next speaker from the Growth Summit, Fred Reichheld suggests that most companies are doing customer loyalty all wrong, and yet it is the one thing that when done right secures real growth for your business. His presentation was one of the highlights of the summit and you won’t want to miss what he offered. Until next time, thanks for reading.

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Positioning Systems helps business owners and entrepreneurs transform their business.   We provide the tools and coaching to help you take control of your business -- rather then having your business control you.