Feature Article: Key Qualities for Changing Times

Business Owner in the Spotlight
Jeff Prager
Backroom Management Services, LLC

Refueling Recommendations
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Advisory Board Openings

Make-it-Fly® MarketPlace

Next Make-it-Fly® Café

ISSN# 1552-3705

September 1, 2009
Volume 6, Issue 17

"In-Flight Refueling" is published twice a month.

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A Note From Dave & Victoria

Make-it-Fly Café last Thursday was wonderful—it’s always great fun to connect with other Make-it-Flyers and meet new friends. Amy Graham sponsored the event and launched her newest venture, Whole Life University, which is dedicated to providing quality, realistic educational programs to support work/life/balance for entrepreneurs and their families. One of her youngest fans fell in love with the toy tiger in her display.

Whole Life University at the Make-it-Fly Cafe
Make-it-Fly’s Conference for Entrepreneurs, Fall 2009The Fall Conference, Entrepreneurs Embracing Change—Tools for Tomorrow's Success Today is coming up soon. We have a dynamite keynote speaker and outstanding workshop leaders addressing topics that are timely and relevant to small business owners now. Click here to find out more about the conference. We’ve extended the special pricing to include today’s In-Flight Refueling readers.

We wish you a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend!

Our very best regards,

Dave and Victoria

Business Owner in the Spotlight

Jeff Prager of Backroom Management Services, LLCJeff Prager
Backroom Management Services

In working with closely held businesses, Jeffrey Prager realized their financial information was insufficient to help the owners of those businesses generate the wealth they expected from their businesses. “In response to this critical need, we formed Backroom Management Services,” Jeffrey says. “We also created Backroom Accounting™, a web-based, easy-to-use accounting system that gives them the tools required to manage cash flow from the creation of a lead through the time they put cash in their pocket. We take our clients through the 5 C’s of powerful financial management to help them create a highly valuable business.”

Backroom’s typical client, Jeffrey says, “has put in a lot of time, money and energy into their business. We look for those owners who have the commitment, discipline and desire to increase the value of their business.” Backroom Management Services opened its doors January 1, 2008.

Q: What do you find most fulfilling about running your business?
JP: I love helping businesses reach their goals – both financially and individually. By providing business owners direction and purpose, their businesses usually thrive.

Q: What motivated you to start this business?
JP: I’ve started and succeeded in a number of my own businesses. I had a CPA firm that I sold in 1992, I was one of the founders of Ashworth Golf Clothing (a publicly traded company) and two of my businesses (Strauss Homes and Gateway American Properties) were rated in the top 100 privately owned companies in Colorado by the Denver Business Journal. My key to success was to simplify everything so that my companies could have fast, focused breakthroughs. I actually retired in 2007 only to find out that I was severely allergic to retirement.

There are three reasons why I started Backroom Management Services:

  1. I want to share the tools that I’ve developed for my businesses (I’ve developed a lot of check-the-box, short-answer, fill-in-the-blank forms for my clients to use to guide their businesses.)
  2. I was frustrated that most accounting software was too complicated, required different platforms (i.e. spreadsheets) and didn’t provide the information I needed to run my businesses efficiently.
  3. I believe that growing businesses are the economic engine of our economy. I want to see business owners and their companies thrive – even in today’s turbulent economic environment.

Q: What book has been most helpful to you in your business?
JP: I do a lot of research and reading in order to keep my skill set up to date. Yet every year, I go back to reading the basics of my discipline to make sure my foundation is strong. I constantly reread the Schaum’s outlines on economics and financial management. My favorite book in economics is Fundamentals of Managerial Economics by Mark Hirschey. My favorite book in terms of working with people is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

Q: Who has influenced you most in your life?
JP: It is hard to isolate just one person; however, my grandfather probably influenced me in an entrepreneurial way. He was a refugee from Nazi Germany. He and his family had several of their businesses confiscated. He used his ingenuity to get his family to America. Once here, he started his own business and was fairly successful until he totally lost his vision. In all his years, he always maintained a positive attitude and wanted to live until he hit the age of 100. He died at 99 years of age.

Q: What has proved to be your most successful marketing strategy?
JP: Genuine sincerity and caring in generating success for my clients has led me to lifetime clients who tell their friends.

Q: What have been the greatest challenges you have had to overcome, or are currently facing, in your business?
JP: My biggest problem is getting the message out there that we offer a better and easier way to achieve success. No business is easy, but you want to identify the rocks in the water before you hit them. You also want to create the information and systems to efficiently run your business instead of letting the business run you.

Q: How did you benefit from participating in a Make-it-Fly® board?
JP: The interactive format of the board generated several ideas that we integrated into our own business. 

Q: What would you say to other business owners who are contemplating getting involved in a Make-it-Fly® board?
JP: “One is too small a number to achieve greatness.” It takes a host of skills and input to drive a business, and the more people that help you, the faster you will get to your goal.

Jeff Prager can be reached by phone at: 303-221-0823, or visit his website at: www.Backroommanagement.com.

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Dave Block, Co-Founder of Make-it-FlyDave’s Networking Nugget:

Go to networking events with no expectations, except to make new acquaintances, find new friends and build relationships. Look for ways you can add value to and help those you to talk with. When this is your goal, rather than hunting down new clients, your stress level will be very low, you and your business will benefit greatly, and you’ll have fun.

Feature Article

Victoria MunroKey Qualities for Changing Times
By Victoria Munro

Today’s economy presents new opportunities and challenges for business owners. With so many ‘unknowns,’ there’s a temptation to succumb to fear and freeze, or hunker down in a wait-and-see mode. There’s good reason for this apprehension, but whether we thrive or dive in the months and years ahead will depend to a large extent on the attitudes we choose to adopt. Below are six key qualities you’ll need to not only keep your balance, but to succeed and soar in the future.

1. Flexibility – It’s defined as a ready capability to adapt to new, different or changing requirements. Many of us are in business for ourselves because we value flexibility and enjoy what it affords us. But as the world around us continues to change with increasing speed, we need to constantly adapt. We must learn new skills, test different ways of doing business, broaden our horizons and perhaps try things we’ve never done before.

2. Creativity – Innovative thinking and resourcefulness have always been priceless assets, but they're vital for today’s entrepreneur. In his new book, How Successful People Think, John C. Maxwell writes, “Creativity is pure gold, no matter what you do for a living. Creativity is all about having ideas—lots of them. You will only have ideas if you value them.” We’ll gain a lot by taking time out alone to think. Albert Einstein is reputed to have spent many hours in his ‘thinking chair.’ He’s famous for saying, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” And the more we know, the more creative we can be. To gain new and creative ideas we need knowledge and we need think time.

3. Resilience – According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, resilience is an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change. It’s being able to bounce back when we meet unexpected troubles and to respond well to change. In his thought-provoking bestseller, The Age of the Unthinkable, author Joshua Cooper Ramo cites resilience as the number-one quality we’ll all need in the future. Entrepreneurs have always had to be resilient. In his latest book, How the Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In, Jim Collins asserts that “Success is falling down and getting up one more time without end.”

4. Humor – Lighten up and laugh! The physiological benefits of laughter are well documented. In my own experience, maintaining a healthy sense of humor has often brought joy and fresh perspectives to challenging and stressful circumstances.

In their book, Your Seventh Sense, How to Think Like A Comedian, authors Karyn Ruth White and Jay Arthur address the seeming paradox of humor in tough situations. “People have trouble conceptualizing the idea that tragedy and comedy are inextricably bound together. We are brought up in an either/or society. We tend to be linear. But life isn’t linear, it’s circular and convoluted. Life refuses to be pigeonholed. Have you ever been in the middle of a situation that was very serious and, in the middle of it, you found something hilarious to laugh about? Laughing is one of the greatest human release valves for pent up stress, anxiety and fear.” Karyn Ruth shared a joke* to illustrate.

5. Integrity – That quality of being undivided, holding fast to certain values, a commitment to uncompromising honesty, and sincerity will be key. In our changing, shifting society, we must remain true to ourselves. We need to know what our core values are—those non-negotiables important to us. These act as our north star, keeping us on course, even through stormy seas. They provide a baseline and guide for decision-making and problem solving as we move ahead in life and grow our businesses.

6. Interdependence – Today, more than ever we need to be part of a collaborative community where we can give and receive. We’ll thrive on the energizing encouragement, solid support, creative ideas and practical help from others. We need one another—as Ken Blanchard says, “None of us is as smart as all of us.” We don’t have to do this alone. Align yourself with a group of like-minded business owners, form a mastermind group, or join a Make-it-Fly Advisory Board.

*“When I die I want to go like my grandfather did, peacefully in his sleep, not screaming like the other passengers in his car.” Page 12, Your Seventh Sense, How To Think Like a Comedian.

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Victoria’s Marketing Advice

It’s Not All About Getting New Clients
Unless you’re starting out in business, getting new clients in the door isn’t your number one goal. Your marketing should focus first on treating the clients you already have in a way that will turn them into loyal fans. Then they’ll not only purchase more of your products or services, but they will spread the word about you and your business.

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Make-it-Fly Marketplace

Make-it-Fly's Sky-PlaceIf you haven't done so already, we encourage you sign up now on Sky-Place.com - Make-it-Fly's social networking site.

$350/month - Shared Space with IT Firm
(Arapahoe and University)

Space available in an office environment that includes up to four cubicles, a large conference room, good high-speed Internet/wireless, and a kitchen. The office space is across the street from the new Streets of South-Glenn (Whole Foods, Best Buy, Macy's, Staples). People in this IT company work from home frequently so it can be very quiet.

Call Mark Nichols at 303-915-8998

Rev NetworkingRev Networking

Up to 20 professionals, each representing one profession, meet one on one at customized speed networking events, allowing you the opportunity to have a five-minute conversation with each participant to generate leads, referrals and business. Rev Networking is not a group, as you will meet new professionals every time and people that attend are serious about growing their business by networking and power partnering with other professionals.

Reservation only $68
Marilyn Manning 303-763-1865

The RiverfrontThe Riverfront specializes in well crafted, richly satisfying occasions that balance aesthetics, personality and party. The site is versatile, accommodating groups from fifteen to five hundred. Features include: two dance floors with professional sound and lighting, a fireplace nook, three bars, outdoor patio, and gazebo. Our personal chef, custom menus, and full suite of inclusions rank us paramount in our industry.

Call 303.865.8500 today
and schedule your holiday event!

READING THIS AD? THEN WHY NOT PUT YOURS HERE TOO? The In-Flight Refueling Ezine reaches more than 2,700 entrepreneurs, small-biz owners, consultants and marketers. Reserve your advertising spot today in the next In-Flight Refueling Ezine,

Paid Advertising Disclaimer: Make-it-Fly® LLC does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any of the paid advertisements above or the quality of any products, services, information, or other materials displayed, purchased, or obtained by you as a result of an offer in connection with any ad. It's common sense to do your own due diligence before purchasing any product.

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Refueling Recommendations

The Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board 101

Each Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board 101 program consists of 12 non-competing business owners who meet once a month for three consecutive months. In the spirit of giving, they offer each other solutions, ideas, resources and encouragement. Dave and Victoria facilitate each group and share powerful tools to assist business owners in reaching their goals and living more balanced lives.

If you have experienced a Make-it-Fly® program, please share the following openings with other business owners who need support. Call Dave for more information at 720-962-8888.

Programs are held from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Next Advisory Board 101 in Denver:

  • Fridays - September 18, October 16, November 20 and December 18
Note: This Advisory Board 101 will be three months long and will be the last of these boards starting in the Metro Denver area this year.

Click here to sign up for Advisory Boards.
Or call Dave at 720-962-8888.

Alumni Boards are groups of 12-14 small business owners who have participated in at least one Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board 101 and wish to continue the support and accountability with a group of like-minded, giving business associates. Members meet once a month for a three-hour meeting. If you completed the initial Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board 101 and are interested in more information on Alumni Boards, call Dave at 720-962-8888.

Make-it-Fly Café - High Altitude Networking, where exceptional people help each otherNext Café:

Date: Thursday, October 29, 2009

Time: 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $10 online, $15 at the door
Click here to register now.

Location: The Riverfront
2852 W. Bowles Ave., Littleton (One block west of Santa Fe)

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Contact Make-it-Fly® - Dave and Victoria:

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