Author Archive

Have fun and Win!

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After a great week of team meetings in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, The Hayzlett Group members will disperse back to their designated areas of the country taking away a notebook full of scribbles, diagrams, and new ideas. While this week was about learning new ways to accomplish our external goals, it was also about having fun and improving our team chemistry internally.

We kicked the week off with a competition between members of our company and it showed the endless amount of possibilities, excitement, and intelligence that we embrace. The expectations of their level of work reside within these collaborative competitions.

Winning in business cannot happen without having fun while doing it. I believe that our openness and energy amongst the group came from our ability to respect the company of each other, at both the business and personal level.

Our week included a few “firsts.” First time to shoot a gun, first time to ride a horse, and the first time to realize just how flat the state of South Dakota really is.

As the 4th of July approaches, don’t be afraid to ride away on a horse because it is these experiences that you learn from and can ultimately spark creativity and inspiration for things that you may not have been able to solve without it.

Here are a 7 ways to have fun and grow your business this summer:

1. Take your team off-site for a day. Inspiration does not happen in a cubicle.

2. Take time to acknowledge your successes, while finding resources for further that success.

3. Ask the team member that you know least to collaborate with you on your next project

4. Present your challenge to a child of your own, or one that you may know.

5. Ask yourself how you would be able to accomplish your goal in half of the amount of time.

6. Ask questions that you believe to have no possible answer – then brainstorm until you find the answer.

7. Create a sense of urgency among you and your team by holding competitions.

Have fun this weekend and don’t let your kids, or anybody else light ALL of the fireworks!

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What You Learn From Bird Brained Ideas

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Jeffrey W. Hayzlett, Best-Selling Author, Change Agent and Sometime Cowboy

Passion is not a substitute for planning. Passion blinds you. And it can teach valuable lessons in business and in life.

Early in my career (but not so early I shouldn’t have known better), I thought pheasant farming was the most fabulous idea ever. After all, I love everything about pheasants. I love to watch them; to see them run & fly free. I love to hunt them and most of all, I love to eat them! When I took people with me, they loved it too. And when I served guests those beautiful birds soaked in my special marinade of buttermilk and hot sauce, they devoured them with delight.

I had never invested more money in anything in my life, but it was a no-brainer to me.  And that’s literally what it was:  all passion, no brains – the pheasants and me.

My passion fueled my desire and my business plan.  I reached out to a bunch of friends and sold them on the idea.  Many of us invested everything we had.  We moved quickly to capitalize on the market and never questioned, researched or were even aware of the lack of competition.  We became consumed with the idea.  We saw money everywhere.  We were pioneers. Our plan: to set up giant outdoor pens on the prairies where the pheasants could fly and run free. It would be a thing of beauty. We’d process the pheasants or sell them live to hunting operations. It was perfect. We found a farm and a recently bankrupt (should have been our first hint) slaughtering facility. Soon hundreds of pheasants were living and flying free within our giant netted pens on the South Dakota prairie.  Our passion grew as we watched them. In our minds we were going to sell fresh and smoked pheasants to chefs, restaurants and stores worldwide. Visions of gift baskets with smoked pheasants shipped nationwide danced in our heads.

And then, it happened. One prairie thunderstorm and thousands of pheasants huddled together, looked toward the sky, opened their mouths and drowned. We ended up losing everything.

What happens when you hit rock bottom like that? When you’re done crying there’s nothing left to do but look at the wreckage and honestly confront what you’ve done. I let dreams of money and passion me away.

I say it again–passion is not a substitute for planning.

It’s fine to aspire to corner the market on something – own it top to bottom – but do your research. Find out if there is a market. Pay attention. Find out what the customer is saying (because you know they are always right!).

Give your business practices “The Mirror Test” and thoughtfully-yet-aggressively evaluate, deconstruct, and then reconstruct your business idea. Let passion push you straight ahead into a plan. Take enthusiasm for your dream, evaluate, put legs on it, and allow it to walk you into your future business; one that’s breathing strong and fogging the mirror every day.

 

 

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Make Your Biz Visible!

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Jeffrey W. Hayzlett, Best-Selling Author, Change Agent and Sometimes Cowboy

Jeffrey Hayzlett shares a tip your business can’t do without.YouTube Preview Image

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2 in 1: Father’s Day and Miss USA

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Guest Blog

Lindsey Hayzlett, Publicist for The Hayzlett Group

Not only is it Father’s Day today but its The Miss USA Pageant as well. As Publicist for The Hayzlett Group, I’ve been fortunate to work with The Miss Universe Organization for the last several months. So today is the culmination of hard work and dedication, qualities I learned from my parents, Jeff and Tami.

I wanted to write this guest blog as a tribute to my dad, without whom I wouldn’t be where I am today (not only in Las Vegas at the pageant), but personally and professionally.

Being the daughter of a “larger than necessary man” leaves big cowboy boots to fill. I speak my mind (never know WHERE I got that trait), which has resulted in being fired by Jeff a time or two. If you ask me, technically I’ve never been fired, because I was appointed Vice President of Hayzlett & Associates when I was born. It’s become our standing joke!

My fondest memories with my dad are going to The Oscars and his book tour for “The Mirror Test”. We survived a 2-month book tour, staying in the same hotel room, working 20-hour days. It was quite the road trip!

The biggest lessons my father has taught me include:

Throw myself in the fire. I owned my own businesses and  attended business conferences because he always said that  the best way to learn was by doing. He says “ready, fire, aim” in  order to keep moving forward. Test something, then go out and do it.

 

Not to worry about what others are doing or saying.  He always told me to rise above.  Go and do.  Keep moving. While the opinions of others matter to me, it cannot stop or change how I live my daily life.

 

Consistency, persistence, and follow-through. This will build me the strongest relationships and credibility, which ends up with results.

 

 

The man who taught me how to write a business plan when I was 10 is still #1 in my life.  I have loved being involved with him in The Hayzlett Group. I am thankful for his belief in me to help the Miss Universe Organization, and other companies grow to be the best they can.

Be sure to watch as Miss USA is crowned this evening.  This year, ( for the first time ever!) your vote counts! Vote for the next Miss USA at http://www.missuniverse.com/missusa/members/contestants.

 

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Share Your Father

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Guest Blog

Tyler Hayzlett, Business Manager for The Hayzlett Group

Father’s Day marks a moment to reflect on the moments and memories shared between father and son.  For as long as I can remember, the memories with my father, Jeff, and I are cloaked in camouflage and cold mornings hunting in South Dakota.  Hunting continues to be a binding adventure for my dad and I as we take on the Dakota Territory.

Many days were also spent driving to and from the family farm to take care of the horses.  Although this is sometimes a daunting task, the horses are “a part of the family” and have always been an exciting addition.

More relative however are my experiences surrounding what I have learned from Jeff’s incredibly BIG business mindset.  Jeff has a way of making everything simple, but BIG.

The main things I have learned living alongside Jeff are as follows:

Hustle. You don’t need to be the smartest guy in the room; you just need to work twice as hard as the guy who is.

118 pitch. If the person you’re pitching your business to doesn’t know what you do and why they need to care within 118 seconds, you’re wasting their time.  Also, less is more.  Get to the point, make your impression and the rest is just details.

Step and repeat. Create a business platform and alongside that platform, a network of highly connected professionals.  Then, repeat your business model as many ways as possible.  Leverage everything!

On Father’s Day 2011, spend time reminiscing, but also, keep in mind your parents have a lot to teach you.  Learn everything you can from them and share it with others.


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