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Small Business Matters: The Conference
A personal challenge, a celebration for the tribe 

Everyone can see we’re together … As we walk on by … And we fly just like birds of a feather … I won’t tell no lie …

The doors opened, and the sounds of Sister Sledge’s We Are Family greeted the nearly 200 people at the inaugural Small Business Matters: The Conference. It was an energetic start to a truly inspiring day for me and – from the feedback we’re getting – to those of you who were there.

You came from all around metro Atlanta, Augusta, Athens, Columbus, Savannah and a few from beyond Georgia. Durwood Fincher baffled and entertained us; Patti Wood made us wonder why we point our feet that way; Dave Hubbard made us run in place; and Cindy Miller encouraged us to slow down and think about what we’re saying. And that wasn’t even half of the speaker line up. Each and every one made a valuable contribution to the day, bringing ideas and energy to the group gathered at the Cobb Galleria Centre on Friday, May 14.

“Tim’s event was excellent! Very well organized. I liked the short presentations and discussions in-between”, commented attendee Kenny Zail.

“This conference was different than any other that I attended. Participation was effortless and I look forward to next year. Impressive all around.” commented one of the event sponsors Mike Iverson with Trillium Financial.

200 people. 12 speakers. 9 sponsors. 3 stages. 1 memorable event.

We set the bar high for business conferences, and Small Business Matters: The Conference 2013 will be a tough act to follow. But we’re up for the challenge: See you on May 16, 2014.

DECISIVE written by Chip Heath & Dan Heath 

How many decisions do you make in any given day? Ten? Twenty? Probably many more. Big decisions. Small decisions. Decisions whether to make decisions. You are making difficult decisions all day. How to you make those decisions? Would you like to make better decisions?

Stop what you were planning to read this summer and read DECISIVE written by the Heath brothers. The author’s last two books, SWITCH & MADE TO STICK, were both best-sellers. This book will be as well. Like their previous books, the Heath brothers gathered every bit of existing research on the topic along with many interesting anecdotal examples and then organized them into a compelling journal of best practices on making the best decision.

The Heaths describe in their book several reasons why we tend to make bad decisions and they include:

  • Overconfidence
  • Emotions
  • Laziness
  • Over-analysis

To overcome these biases, the book provides the reader with a four-step process. Why a process? Research indicates that “process” mattered more than “analysis” by a factor of 6. This is a simple but powerful process offered by the Heaths that I am eager to begin using myself.

Aside from the process, the book offered me a number of very good questions to ask when working through a decision. Here are a few of them: 

  • “What would my successor do?”
  • “What are we giving up with this decision?”
  • “What would have to be true for this option to be the right answer?”
  • “What would I tell my best friend to do in this situation?”

I loved this book and recommend it to any small business owner or leader.

Freakonomics Coin Toss

Having a tough time making a decision? Try flipping a coin. The authors of the best-selling book Freakonomics have created an experiment using a coin flip to make big decisions. I tried it and got very lucky.