The Top 10 Things that my Kids taught me about Business

The Top 10 Things that my Kids taught me about Business 1920 1080 Erik Peterson

Some of the greatest lessons in life don’t come from books, they come from experience and when we transition into whole new roles in life. Being a parent opened a world of education for me and taught me things none of the best sellers in the business category would have ever taught me.

In this article, I’m going to share the top ten lessons my kids have taught me about business. They’ve been eye openers for me and enhanced my maturity and forward thinking more than textbooks ever would have.

1. Nip it in the Bud.

  1. It is easier to call things out calmly and early.
  2. It is not kind to yourself or others to let things build and explode. They catch you off-guard, hurt you and make you look crazy.
  3. Tell the truth early and often. It builds courage in the truth teller, trustworthiness in the listener, and stronger connections in the long run.

2. When they are six, worry about six…not sixteen.

You’ll be mostly ready by the time they are sixteen, because you would have already had a 15, 14, 13, 12 year old and all the other ages in between. Attend to the things you need to attend to now. Take one step at a time every day. Don’t try to solve problems that don’t yet exist.

3. Be a Guide and Support, not a Problem Solver

It is not my job to solve their problems, but instead to guide them and support them. The greatest role as a parent I must play is to empower them and nurture their confidence in solving their own problems.

Apply this to your team members, peers, clients, friends, parents, and spouses too.

4. Always smile when they enter the room.

Teach people that you are glad they exist and that they are a wonderful addition to your life. Create a smiling habit to express your joy and the joy of others. Never stop being an encourager and especially never let your own concern for yourself importance or appearance prevent you from smiling and encouraging others.

5. Don’t confuse outcomes with identity

Bad behavior is simply a behavior problem but it does not determine the worth of a person. Poor results are lagging indicators of actions and efforts—not an indication that someone is not good enough. Address behavior problems if you must, but do not fail to celebrate their value.

 6. Mistakes are great teachers.

You steal growth, understanding, strength, experience and resilience from people when you prevent mistakes or prevent the consequences of mistakes. A three-year-old may keep reaching for the stove despite your scolding, but they won’t ever do it again after they give themselves a burn.

A seventeen-year-old will learn a lot of lessons after dealing with the embarrassment and having to work to pay for damaging someone’s car; unless one doesn’t ask them to be a part of the resolution. The same goes for adults.

7. Be present

Everything you want and everything you will someday regret is right in front of you. Engage, listen, give, pay attention, notice your surroundings, feel your senses, feel your emotions, and love other people through your gift of attention. This gift will save your life and help you realize your own potential.

8. You can’t want something for someone else

Even if your high school junior is an outstanding ballplayer and is getting private tryout invitations to colleges, nothing can make him want it if he doesn’t. You can’t teach someone to be hungry or motivate them to want something that isn’t aligned with the strengths they value in themselves.

9. Training takes time, repetition, encouragement, and accountability

You wouldn’t give up on a potty training toddler, because eventually, you’ll have a pants-wetting twenty-year-old on your hands. You wouldn’t hand the keys to a fifteen-year-old after just telling him to steer straight and push the left pedal to stop. Why are we doing this to our team members? Teach, write it down, explain what good looks like, show them what done looks like, give deadlines, check in, train again, course correct, and give feedback until they’ve got it.

10. Enjoy the journey

There is no hero without a battle. There is no happy ending without a saga. We don’t go to the movies and skip to the last five boring minutes. Why are we trying to hit fast-forward on our lives?


11. You can’t learn lessons before you learn them

Give grace to yourself and others; find the patience necessary to allow for the journey of improvement, growth, and epiphanies.


What are the things you are doing and allowing in your life that would break your heart if your kids had to deal with them?

13. Start now

Just like when we ask our kids to do their chores, we mean right now, not someday. So, what are you waiting for?

Podcasts & Speaking Events

Podcasts & Speaking Events 900 600 Erik Peterson

Speaking appearances and topics ranging from executive leadership groups, schools, and global corporations.

Guest Appearances

Podcast AEC Marketeer
August 19, 2020
Listen Here

Convene Podcast
November 11, 2020
Listen Here

Past Speaking Events

Grace Kennedy Marketing Summit
Topic: Marketing Through Difficult Times
Private, In-person in Kingston, Jamaica
January 13-14, 2020

Accomplished Executives
Grapevine, TX
Topic: Advanced Personal Branding
Public, In-person
February 15, 2020

University of North Texas
Guest Lecture: A Career in Marketing and Sales
February 24, 2020

Convene CEO Group
Topic: Maximizing your Influence through Marketing Workshop
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Private, Live
March 11, 2020

Blessed By Networking
Members Only, Virtual
June 11, 2020

Convene CEO Group
Topic: Maximizing your Influence through Marketing Workshop
Tyler, Texas
Private, Virtual
July 21, 2020

Brent O’Bannon’s Strenthpreneurs
Topic: Maximizing your Influence through Marketing
Dallas, Texas
Private, Virtual
July 27, 2020

Convene CEO Group
Topic: Maximizing your Influence through Marketing Workshop
Dallas, Texas
Private, Virtual
August 12, 2020

University of North Texas, American Marketing Association
Topic: Understanding B2B Marketing
Public, Virtual
September 15, 2020

Texas Association of Healthcare Facilities Managers
Topic: The Do’s and Don’ts of Business Social Media and Personal Branding
Pre-Recorded, Virtual
October 22, 2020

Grace Kennedy Marketing Summit
Topic: Marketing Through Difficult Times
Private, Virtual
January 12-13, 2021


Convene CEO Group
Topic: Maximizing your Influence through Marketing Workshop
Atlanta, GA
Private, Virtual
January 27, 2021

Convene CEO Group
Topic: Maximizing your Influence through Marketing Workshop
Sacramento, CA
Private, In-person
February 11, 2021

Quality and customer service are killing your B2B sales messaging

Quality and customer service are killing your B2B sales messaging 900 600 devdaciacoffey

You are competing to be the best, right? Of course you are, but your bias to be the best might be hurting your marketing strategy and B2B sales messaging.

While striving to be the best is a noble goal and platform, when it invades your B2B sales and marketing message, you choose to play by someone else’s rules. You eliminate the opportunity to be truly differentiated because you are too focused on comparison.

In B2B marketing, there must be substance behind your brand and differentiator. You must communicate a truly unique message that compels a prospect to consider you. Great messaging must draw from how and why you do what you do.

So how can you tell if you are making this “better vs. best” mistake? From a marketing standpoint, stop the dependence on words like “quality” or “customer service.” Those words are not differentiators. Even if your operational systems have carved a truly different way to deliver quality or customer service, you are watering down your potency by using those words.

Hint: These words should be off your list, too.

I heard Michael Porter of Harvard Business School explain it this way: “Many managers confuse operational effectiveness with strategy,” and he is absolutely correct. If you can only state that you are better, as opposed to how you are able to be better, your target market may not believe you. If you want to stand out, you need to be different and specific.

So how do you find the right words if “quality” and “customer service” are off the list?

First, focus on what your prospects’ pain points are instead of your operational output.

Second, ask yourself what specifically makes you better at handling your clients’ pain points. Do you have a different structure, system, or philosophy that your competition does not have? Convey the real story behind why you are great.

A killer marketing and messaging strategy exists where your truth intersects with your audience’s truth.

Want to know more? Check out this slide show about the Five Marketing Mistakes that could be killing your sales funnel. You will find strategy tips for developing marketing that will drive sales.

This slide show will teach you:

  • How to improve sales messaging with marketing
  • How to get prospects to stay on your website longer
  • How to create messaging that is impossible to ignore
  • How to use marketing and messaging to improve your sales funnel
  • …and more!

It’s time for your marketing and sales efforts to work together.

Or click here to schedule a free discovery session with Dacia to identify the marketing moves specific to you that will drive growth.

Why social media works

Why social media works 900 600 devdaciacoffey

It’s about creating human connections, not distraction.

I love to follow the latest crazed marketing scheme. There is nothing more exciting for me than when a company taps into the human experience and inspires a transaction that truly showcases how business can be a microcosm of one group of people being of service to another.

But I hate following the latest and greatest, too. Anyone up for real-time, big data, customizable, programmatic, interactive, digital, automated, re-marketed, converting, experiential branding campaigns? If that question just made you nauseated, you are not alone.

I was recently reading a Fast Company article about Oreo. The humor, the creativity, and the willingness to be spontaneous were thrilling. They had tweets that went viral, 3-D printers that provided a customizable cookie experience at SXSW, a prime spot in the latest “Transformers” movie, and a gaming app that actually made money. But the sheer daunting task of creating an organization that can be spontaneous when they are so big, not to mention the cost of the effort, netted the following summary: “And what did this do for cookie sales? Mondelēz does not know … [their] efforts really show that there is nothing new under the marketing sun. Real-time marketing is another gun in the corporate arsenal, and like all the others, it’s damn hard to tell if it ever hits the mark.”

My summary is even simpler: What business is Oreo in?

Entertainment or food? I can’t see their mission or vision in these efforts anywhere, unless of course their mission statement includes the words “to provide escapism at any cost.”

Have you ever wondered why social media works?

By all means, get real, innovate, and try new things, but let’s not forget the truth that underlies the popularity of social media: people crave connection. We are all seeking ways to feel less alone, to have our voices heard, and to share the human experience. Exchanging goods and services for money is part of the human experience. Here’s a novel idea: let’s do it with more truth, more integrity, and more emotion. It’s the same end, just with simpler means.

Your branding inconsistency could be killing your business growth!

Your branding inconsistency could be killing your business growth! 900 600 devdaciacoffey

Many of our clients ask for help with their branding without really knowing what a brand should accomplish for them.

To set it straight, a brand is more than just a logo and other visual marks. It is your truth. It’s how customers perceive your organizational identity and reputation across all platforms.

It’s important to understand that whatever customers experience from your brand helps build trust in your business. Hence, all forms of communication—not just visual—are key in reinforcing this trust and making your brand top-of-mind with your customers.

Your brand helps your audiences to easily understand your message and share it with others.

Here are some definitions of branding that we really love:

“Branding is the immediate and visceral reaction you have to any product or service, and what you believe it communicates about you as an individual to others.” – Jon Gieselman

“A brand is both a tangible mark and, at its best, a powerful emotional connection with the consumer.” – James Speros

“Branding is the sensory presentation and reinforcement of everything a brand promises to deliver.” – Ken Carbone

“Branding is the definition, communication, and management of a compelling truth.” – Scott Lerman

BEHOLD! The power of a strong brand.

In a study done by McKinsey & Company, strong brands outperformed weak brands by 20%.

The feeling of trust in your brand influences the B2B buyer’s decision to choose your product or service over another. B2B companies often face long buying cycles where lead nurturing becomes a tedious phase. But branding helps in that it directs initial impressions of your company and communicates your true value, helping customers understand how your product or service applies to them.

Even when customers resort to heuristic methods to shorten their journey, your brand helps to drive them through the sales funnel. How? Effective branding creates a mental association that customers use to catalog their impression of your company.

This makes brand management strategies important if you want your company to triumph over challenges such as a hyper-competitive market and even economic uncertainties.

SIMPLY PUT: Branding equals positioning!

What happens when you fail to deliver a consistent brand experience?

Consistent customer experiences and marketing messages drive positive sentiment. Furthermore, brands that fulfill their promises create trust. But consistency can break down when your company is focused on developing tactics instead of building a brand aligned with your vision, mission, and core values.

Inconsistent branding sabotages your business by reducing sales from new and repeat customers who are unhappy about their experience. As a result, growth goals and desired outcomes do not happen as fast as you would like.

Brand inconsistency generally leads to:

  1. Miscommunication
  2. Brand confusion
  3. Erosion of trust
  4. Poor customer experience

Check your brand for these common inconsistencies:

1. Inconsistency in Visual Communication
Inconsistency in visual communication is one of the most common mistakes in brand management. Your logo, images, color scheme, and typography should create instant recognition for your customers. However, inconsistency in your visual style makes it hard for them to trust the authenticity of your communication. It’s also a distraction from the core message. The style elements chosen in your branding should all convey a unified emotion, vision, and personality.

2. Inconsistency in Voice
How do you sound to customers? Fun? Business-casual? Buttoned-up? Calm? Brand discrepancies can be caused by the lack of a single brand voice. This happens when your company’s content is created by different individuals who may have different, and sometimes conflicting, styles. An inconsistent voice is a missed opportunity to resonate with your customers. The tone you use to communicate your message can help your company rise above the noise. To win the brand war, you need to maintain a unified voice whether in your social media channels, website, blog, or emails. This creates a stronger and clearer brand reputation, which then reinforces your unique value.

3. Inconsistency in Conveying Brand Values
One of the most overlooked areas in brand management is how business owners and employees bring their company values to the world. With the rise of social networks, people now have the power to engage in social selling and help build a reputation for the brands they represent. The problem is that different stories and activities could present the wrong values on behalf of your company. This blunder affects branding for the long term, especially if it involves major customer touch points. It is important to identify the true values that your company stands for and to determine whether they are aligned with your overall vision.This does not mean to say that everything has to be identical moving forward. A great way to start is by developing a set of brand guidelines that you and your employees can apply everywhere. Purchasing is, more often than not, an emotional decision. Consistency helps create a perception of quality—a unique value that builds your company and attracts more customers!

Social Media Today has listed the key benefits of brand consistency here:

  • Helps you to differentiate your business, making you stand out in your customers’ minds
  • Gives your business a personality and an identity that people can relate to
  • Effectively delivers and reinforces your key messaging
  • Meeting customer expectations helps to drive authority and trust in your business
  • Drives customer loyalty and brand evangelism

Remember, branding sets the stage for future sales! If you’re looking for a branding expert, we can help. Blender has lengthy experience in setting up B2B companies for success by helping them build their own brand personality and voice.

Schedule a 20-minute call with Dacia Coffey to discuss your goals and challenges and how branding can propel your growth. Onward and upward!