Campus Farm Neighborhood

I simply wanted to share this photo I took a few weeks back. This is the University of Arizona Agriculture Center from Roger Rd. They have cattle, horses, sheep, and lamas. Every so often you can hear pigs too. Luckily no roosters for those who don’t like waking up at the crack of dawn!

Kind Regards,

Michael Erickson

Cave Creek Canyon Camping Trip 2016

This is our second camping trip to the Chiricahua Mountains in southeast Arizona. Our first was in September 2014 and we had wanted to go again in 2015 but chose to stay closer to home.

The photos below were taken from my smartphone at two separate locations; our Stewart Campground site and the John Hands Campground which is no longer a developed campground.

We stayed at the Stewart Campground, like we did in 2014 but may be considering a stay at the Sunny Flat Campground on our next visit.


One of many (more than a dozen) deer we came close to.

Already looking forward to next season!

Kind Regards,

Michael Erickson

Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action


Strategic Direction Points You Down The Right Path

I’ve been working on ways to help better set up the strategic direction for not just my business, but a few clients. In my research I found a website that referenced Simon Sinek’s “How great leaders inspire action” video.

Having seen this in the past I’m able to see it a little differently and have begun applying the concepts to my own business. I’m working on the “what,” “how,” and “why” that help define who I am as a business. It feels good to be on track with this focus and look forward to applying it to my clients’ businesses

Let me know what you think of the video and its message. I’d be interested in your comments.

Kind Regards,

Michael Erickson

SWOT Analysis for Potential Performance

A good measure of your small business’ potential performance is through a SWOT analysis.

swot-analysis-quadrantA SWOT analysis an immensely helpful tool. A thorough and honest analysis of your business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats can help you understand both the external and internal factors related to your business. These factors can either advance or hinder your progress and growth.

When you draw a SWOT analysis example for your small business, be sure to base it on ground realities and real facts. Avoid being modest when stating your strengths and weaknesses. Rather, make sure that you state these explicitly so you know what to capitalize on and where to be extremely cautious.

When drawing upon your strengths, consider the following questions:

  • What is your expertise?
  • What is your competitive advantage?
  • What is your experience? Is your experience your strength?
  • What makes you think your customers will prefer you over the competition?
  • What unique skill(s) do you have?

When writing down your weaknesses, consider the following points:

  • What expertise do you lack?
  • What experience do you lack?
  • What resources do you lack?
  • What areas do you need improvement?
  • Which business processes (Sales, Marketing, Accounting, Technology, Quality, Product Delivery, Management, Human Resources, and/or FinanceProduct Development) do you suspect may not be working effectively?

When listing the opportunities available to you, consider the following questions:

  • What can you use to boost your business? Is it based on technology or skills?
  • What are the consumers overall missing?
  • How can you acquire new customers?
  • What needs do consumers have that you can fulfill?

When listing the threats you may face, consider the following:

  • What are the strengths of your competitors?
  • What “monopolies” are present in the sector you are entering?
  • What trends are changing?
  • What technology is evolving?
  • What are the obstacles/ hindrances you may face?

Conducting an honest and thorough SWOT analysis is a great way to determine how well your business can perform. It will give you valuable insight and lead you into better planning for your future.

Think about where you want your business to be. Is it able to produce that future for you? If not, let me know how I can help you define, create and execute a good strategy to get you to those results.

Kind Regards,

Michael Erickson

Functionary vs Fiduciary

I have a dear customer who recently passed on to me a version of Functionary versus Fiduciary.

I’ve learned there are many versions of this differentiation but the one he gave me made sense (copied below). He felt it was a good summary of the difference between someone “just doing their job” and someone who is “building a lasting business.”


What are the definitions of these two words?

“When you make a commitment, you build hope. When you keep it, you build trust.”
Author Unknown

Fiduciary involves trust, especially with regard to the relationship between a trustee and a beneficiary. When we conduct ourselves in a way that matches more closely to the Fiduciary column we have a much better chance of building the kind of trust that is required of a lasting business.

“Management is about arranging and telling; leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.
Tom Peters

Functionary involves the performance of official functions or duties. I see the examples in this column as more managerial than the leadership qualities in the Fiduciary column. I saw many Functionary functions when I worked in the corporate world and even see it when I work with managers at other companies.

Business leaders must live by the Fiduciary functions.

For a business to grow it needs strong leadership. Even small businesses need strong leadership. Following the example we find in the Fiduciary column we can build a solid and trustworthy business capable of creating a life we intended to have.

Think about the Fiduciary list. If you focus on doing everything on this list at all times will you business grow?

Kind Regards,

Michael Erickson