THE SPARK

Short essays on strategic thinking, frameworks & scaling for creative founders.

NEVER MISS A BEAT,
GET THE SPARKS IN YOUR INBOX

BROWSE THE ARCHIVES

The Most Important Business Concept I’ve Learned

The Most Important Business Concept I’ve Learned IF YOU BOIL IT DOWN The most important business concept I’ve ever learned can be condensed into one sentence:  Everything has a process and you can improve it.  Now that may seem very vague and broad (and obvious) 

Read More »

AVOIDING “DEATH” BY ZOOM

AVOIDING “DEATH” BY ZOOM HOW TO LEAD & COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY WITH GLOBAL TEAMS WITHOUT BEING A ZOOM ZOMBIE The future of work is human.  AI, VR, metaverse etc… may open up new frontiers and help us do our work better… However the majority of work

Read More »

BALANCED LEADERSHIP

BALANCED LEADERSHIP HOW TO DIRECT YOUR ENERGY TO THE ACTIVITIES THAT WILL MAKE A LASTING IMPACT IN YOUR COMPANY As leaders, we spend the bulk of our time processing information and thinking.  This, in collaboration with others, drives our team’s actions.  Focusing on the wrong

Read More »

LEADING THE FUTURE OF WORK

LEADING THE FUTURE OF WORK HOW TO INCREASE YOUR TEAM’S PRODUCTIVITY & PROFIT IN THE REMOTE ECONOMY ON PRODUCTIVITY There are 3 facets of an idea:    1 – The communication of an idea 2 – The information related to the idea 3 – The

Read More »

Fix Information Overload

Does your team experience information overload? Here’s a quick #productiveprofits tip Create a simple, centralized hub we call: The Master Brain In it, you store: -info that is permanent to actions you will fulfill in the future -data that other team members can find to

Read More »

Let’s Fix YOur “Dry PIpeline”

99.99% of businesses need #sales to survive. Let’s tackle the issue of a “dry pipeline” by looking at frameworks #ProductiveProfits (Yes, you can design results – read carefully): First – what are your most important metrics for your sales process? For example: Leads, MQLs, Sales

Read More »

80/20 DAY

How to immediately become more #effective AND efficient… Here’s a powerful lesson from #ProductiveProfits and nearly a decade of trial and error testing…. It’s called 80/20 Day Optimization Every one of my clients gets this lesson and I outline it in the book. Why? Because

Read More »

DESIGN RULES

One of my early mentors wrote “a startup’s culture will either be defined by you (the founder) or the team” in his book Startup Culture Mindset I couldn’t agree more. Because it’s based on design. I’ll go ever further that -your sales process -your team

Read More »

Hidden Growth

According to a Forbes article “75% of all businesses in the UK, USA, and Australia, do not reach a point where they can employ anyone.” If you are in the 25% fold – this is for you: Your number one: -competitive factor -underutilized and untapped

Read More »

Scaling Intelligently: Value Design

Photo by Andrej Lišakov on Unsplash There are core pillars in business that are quite obvious and others that are hidden beneath the surface (we’ll talk about those tomorrow). One of those core pillars is simple: create value for your customers. When you design value for

Read More »

Demystifying Growth

Photo by Sebin Thomas on Unsplash There is an illusion trap that we fall into as entrepreneurs that not only stunts but creates a barrier between you and your growth goals. The trap of:-always seeking for the next big “thing” (whatever that is)-dismissing simple concepts because

Read More »

Scaling Intelligently Begins With Design

Photo by Taisiia Shestopal on Unsplash When you look out to nature you see that it is organized towards a purpose. An entrepreneurial endeavor is no different. There must be an end goal or milestone in mind. A purpose for the work. The work cannot be

Read More »

How To Scale Your Business Intelligently

Photo by Team Fredi on Unsplash First things first: you have to know where you are going and why. It’s baffling but it happens, that entrepreneurs grow for growth’s sake and end up at a point they didn’t imagine. Can you succeed in this way? Yes.

Read More »

Smart Business

Photo by Olav Ahrens Røtne on Unsplash Successful business owners are not smarter than you… …they just run their business like a business. Setting themselves up with key ingredients like: predictable sales fine-tuned customer fulfillment process process to create higher customer lifetime value… Want a sneak

Read More »

STOP Following Your Passion: What To Do Instead…

Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash There is an erroneous and misleading mantra of the times telling you to follow your passion and you’ll be happy. A few points: First of all, happiness isn’t something you earn. If you believe happiness is earned, you will never

Read More »

Untold Story Of My Entrepreneurship Failures

Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash Not too many people know of my own personal entrepreneurship learning lessons or “failures”, if you will. I think it’s important to view failures as learning lessons. The way I see, the only true failure is giving up… That being

Read More »

3 Reasons Your Business Is Not Growing

Photo by Hannah Wei on Unsplash Let’s have a heart to heart. This post is not to intimidate nor put you down. But we need to address key points I’VE SEEN stunt business growth. 1- You’re literally all over the place and you have multiple projects

Read More »

7 Traits Of The World’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs

Photo by Hatham on Unsplash These are all my PERSONAL observations of working alongside some really successful entrepreneurs. They are not in any particular order. 1 — wakes up early and workout. Average time wake time 3:30–5:00am. 2 — has an attitude and mindset that looks at the upside without

Read More »

How To Build A Framework For Your Business

Photo by Daniel McCullough on Unsplash Frameworks, systems, process, scale [INSERT FAD WORD HERE] Ok, so I grabbed your attention. But seriously, how do you develop a framework not only for your business today but for where you want to GROW your business to? It all

Read More »

5 Keys To Building A Successful Business That Lasts

Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash There is no one size fits all. But there are common elements for success. Here are 5 keys to building a business that lasts. 1 — Solve a pungent, in demand, and valuable problem for your customer. Just as in marketing where

Read More »

Driving Consistency In Your Team

Photo by Mia Nohara on Unsplash If you haven’t heard the story of a Chinese Bamboo Tree, then you’ll want to pay close attention. .. Like any plant, the Chinese Bamboo tree requires good soil, water and sunlight. The interesting thing is that if you plant this

Read More »

9 Ways To Optimize Your Company For Growth

Photo by Max on Unsplash Increase pricing Practice value-based pricing Create a downsell for prospects that don’t buy your main product/service Create a product to show value for 2–3 months and then offer a service/product that continues the momentum for the client and creates MRR for

Read More »

The One Opportunity We Can’t Miss

Photo by Rachel Cook on Unsplash “Wake up at 4, workout at 5” “Finish the most important work before 9” That might be ideal but has this happened to you: You wake up 1 hour right before your 8 or even 9 o’clock meeting? There’s no

Read More »

Designing SucIn The New Economy

Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash The information age is fading away… They say we are in the experiential age now. Here’s the real era we are in (and have been in): The design age. Where you get to design: -who you work with -how you

Read More »

The secret agenda of your company

Photo by Denise Jans on Unsplash What’s your secret agenda? Why are you really in business? The answer to this will drive every action and every decision you make in your company. It will also attract and repel. Attract potential new hires, opportunities, and business partners.

Read More »

#1 Reason Why Your Remote Meetings Fail (& How To Fix It)

Photo by Gabriel Benois on Unsplash Has this happened to you? 2:52pm “you around?” 2:54pm “yeah, just finishing up the project” 2:55pm “cool, can we meet to discuss?” 2:57pm “yes, let’s get @John and @Ana on as well” 3:01pm “here’s the link Z00m” Live Call: “So

Read More »

Practice makes perfect.

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash Practice makes perfect. Giving feedback to your team members is no different. Here are 5 tactical steps you can implement TODAY to give effective feedback to your team members that need it. 1 Get Permission Just like marketing, we

Read More »

Opportunities to Optimize Everywhere

Photo by Josh Calabrese on Unsplash There is truth in the proverbial fruit that is easy to pick, otherwise called “low hanging fruit”. (If you’re into Keto, call it “low hanging berries”…) In business, this refers to simple modifications and improvements you can implement that can

Read More »

The Other Side of Pricing Psychology

Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash When you start pricing your custom work based on the value your client receives you’ll start operating at a different level in business. Things changed because we saw ourselves and our business differently. When you see the value of your

Read More »

The Difference Between Strategies & Tactics

Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash A strategy is based on principles. When you look at the end outcome you are looking to achieve, you first have to review the principles that are at play review the current constraints within your situation Only then can you start

Read More »

How Your Home Screen Can Improve Your Performance

Photo by Neil Soni on Unsplash When I help my teams improve their productivity by optimizing their day, I always start with this principle: eliminate distractions! Emails, pings, notifications etc. It’s important to make sure that whatever you’re working on, you’re focused and do not have

Read More »

What Is Your Team’s Velocity?

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash I’ve had the honor to be working with some amazing teams. One of the ways I work with teams is through what I call a Sprint: a 6 to 8 week period to implement a strategic solution with the company. Depending

Read More »

What is success?

Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash Success isn’t buying power Success isn’t status Success isn’t being known Rather Success is knowing you gave everything you are capable of in every little thing (known or unknown to others). Success is raising your own bar and reaching it — even

Read More »

My Asynchronous Meeting Journey

I have recently decided to find creative ways to get information and communication across without having to get on a meeting. To some of my peers, this has been a delight because odds are they are drowning in meetings. Meaning, they are wasting time sitting

Read More »

What’s Your Meeting’s ROI?

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash Have you ever measured the return on productivity of your meetings? Should we measure this? Yes. Why? Your time is limited and wasting it one of the worst things you can do. What are the types of meetings your business should

Read More »

Shortening the Gap Between Information & Action

Photo by Sammie Chaffin on Unsplash We’ve all been there, the long drag meetings that you question why you’re attending in the first place. All to extract certain information that you could have gotten over a text. Now, I won’t say that all meetings are useless.

Read More »

The Natural Evolution of Business Problems

Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on Unsplash In today’s Spark, I want to write an observation of what I have seen as a natural progression of problems as companies grow. I will note that I have not personally seen every problem under the sun and have primarily

Read More »

The Role of the Entrepreneur

As a founder, you may have been unique at the beginning of your company, but when it starts to form arms and legs and is running then sprinting, your unique role changes… Photo by LinkedIn Sales Navigator on Unsplash There is a time where your business

Read More »

How to strategically make decisions in your business

Photo by Jake Melara on Unsplash In Productive Profits, I discuss that founders and leadership teams must have a finger on their company’s pulse while looking at the horizon of their vision, goals, and mission. When it comes to making difficult decisions or answering a series

Read More »

How can S.O.Ps evolve?

We are approaching 1 year of the release of Productive Profits. It’s been a ride but to be honest, it’s more of a long, cold but fun, tough mudder run… (not your typical marathon). It’s been amazing to see how the book has helped entrepreneurs

Read More »

What is an Evergreen Flow?

We are approaching 1 year of the release of Productive Profits. It’s been a ride but to be honest, it’s more of a long, cold but fun, tough mudder run… (not your typical marathon). It’s been amazing to see how the book has helped entrepreneurs

Read More »

What does impact mean to you in business?

Impact Graph — Raul Hernandez Ochoa — All Rights Reserved We are approaching 1 year of the release of Productive Profits. It’s been a ride but to be honest, it’s more of a long, cold but fun, tough mudder run… (not your typical marathon). It’s been amazing to see how

Read More »

Why Productive Profits?

We are approaching 1 year of the release of Productive Profits. It’s been a ride but, to be honest, it’s more of a long, cold but fun, tough mudder run… (not your typical marathon). It’s been amazing to see how the book has helped entrepreneurs

Read More »

What’s the easiest way to get more clients?

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash I had the opportunity to be invited on the AgoraPulse Agency Growth chat on Twitter. I’d like to take their question and answer format to provide a more in depth explanation to the tweet size answers I gave (if you’re

Read More »

Burn Your SOPs

Photo by Erica Magugliani on Unsplash Not everything in your company needs to be perfectly documented with a “HOW TO” guide. You hired talent that is smarter than you for a reason… So let them shine. The biggest waste in your company is not found in

Read More »

A Primer For Strategic Thinking

Photo by Cristofer Jeschke on Unsplash Strategic thinking isn’t always looking at new ways of doing something. It includes looking at what you’re doing in new ways. It all starts with knowing (understanding). To identify what is truly at play and what are the inner workings

Read More »

How To Identify Your Core Metrics

Photo by Volkan Olmez on Unsplash Core metrics are the metrics that you control and that drive your business forward. Identify in your business right now what metrics are in your control and who in your company is making progress on them. Don’t go surface level

Read More »

You’re Disrespecting Your Own Time

Photo by Kunj Parekh on Unsplash If you value your time so much, why do you disrespect other’s time so often? -Coming (regularly) late to meetings: be punctual -Letting meetings run longer than they have to: set an outcome -Having all your team join the meetings

Read More »

What Are Meetings For

Photo by Slidebean on Unsplash Meetings are for: -clarity -identifying problems -discovering solutions -planning -educating/training What meetings are not for: -getting updates to things you already have access to -asking questions you should have the answer to -hiding your responsibility on another team member -doing the work that

Read More »

The Purpose Of Questions

Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash Questions bring clarity and a certain level of understanding. Understanding is measured by how clearly you can articulate your ideas. It’s not “less is more” but saying “just enough” for the other to connect with your idea. This is how

Read More »

The One Question To Always Ask In Your Organization

Photo by Jac Alexandru on Unsplash Why does it matter? To your initiative, goal, or milestone: Why does it matter? To your company mission statement: Why should your team care? To your product or service. Who cares? And why do they care? And then going deeper

Read More »

How To Design A Process Worth Trusting

Photo by Coasteering on Unsplash Here are the core essentials: -Define what is the end outcome -Define who is involved -Define what are the core milestones -Detail what actions are needed to reach the milestones -Determine how often this needs to happen -Provide access to the

Read More »

How To Execute A Great Idea

Great ideas stem from understanding. Executing a great idea stems from experience. The better you can articulate the idea, clearly defining it — the clearer it will be for you to see: -what experience you need to execute it -who you need to talk to, hire or

Read More »

Idle Ideas Never Changed The World

The goal written in your journal is simply that — an idea written on paper. Your idea has the potential to change the world. But sitting idly on your paper, it never will. The only way to bring an idea into actuality is by working on it.

Read More »

The Two Things To Always Give Your Team

There are two things you must always give your team. The first is Clarity. The clarity to know and understand the work at hand. The clarity of how to execute it successfully. The second are resources. Resources to complete the task successfully. And training resources

Read More »

Wyze Lab’s Brilliant Strategy & How You Can Apply It

Wyze’s lean operations & tech innovation is remarkable. You may not be selling IoT technology or smart home cameras. You might not even be selling products at all, perhaps only providing services. However, let’s focus on some of the strategic principles Wyze executed and see

Read More »

Why Responsibility?

Responsibility invokes choice. Our will to take it up or desert it. Ethics and our values determine our choice. Choice determines action. Great leaders act not just for themselves but for the good of the organization, community, and culture — given the constraints, factors, and data.

Read More »

The Cornerstone of Leaders

Responsibility. Some hide from it. Others avoid it. But those who embrace it make a difference. Whether in teams or in your own personal life, taking hold of responsibility means doing the best with what you control.

Read More »

Habits & Process

Habits are for the long term. They produce an outcome. Positive or negative. The habit doesn’t care, it’s a habit. It’s up to you to determine which ones to adopt and which ones to stop. Process can be short term or long term. They focus

Read More »

A Process Worth Trusting

How do you know if you should trust your process? Do you have results but not sure how or if you can replicate them? Does thinking about the process rob you of your sleep? If yes, you must refine your process. Review the habits you

Read More »

The Anxiety Of Working For Timeless Peace

What do you work for? Time with family? The satisfaction of doing something great? To look and appreciate the lives you helped? That moment — regardless of what it is — brings stillness of time. There is a sense of peace, even for a moment. But we are hooked

Read More »

Strange Leadership

A leader that is in every meeting. A leader that does not let go. A leader that lacks trust. A leader that lacks patience. A leader that doesn’t set boundaries. A leader that acts then thinks. A leader that does not work on themselves. A

Read More »

Remote Teams Are Still Human

You don’t have a remote team issue. You have a communication issue. Turn that webcam on. Set time aside to connect with your people on a personal level. Have that buffer time before important meetings. Once you stop treating your remote team like a machine,

Read More »

Demand Greatness

If you want to foster a great team, don’t command it. Demand it. Here’s the difference. Commanding someone to do something is just that, a command. A task, a job, an initiative, a project — it gets done. And that’s the end of it. Demanding excellence sets

Read More »

Leadership Starts From Within

Yes, communicating with and leading people is an art. To understand, to hear, to listen, to have patience, to show empathy, and to pave a way forward. How we transmit this starts from within. To know ourselves, our way of thinking, and our internal communication.

Read More »

Still Setting Revenue Goals?

Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash When you set your revenue goal, who did you think of? That frame of mind looks internally, inward, first. It’s not bad, after all, revenue and profits drive business forward. But let’s look beyond just internally. If your business exists

Read More »