This 10 tips, 10 days campaign was started on LinkedIn – see official link.

Tip #1: How to apply LEAN methodology to your business

What is LEAN? Lean is a problem solving methodology to help you eliminate “waste” and maximize customer value. The ultimate goal is to provide perfect value to the customer through a perfect value creation process that has zero waste.

Eliminating waste along entire value streams, instead of at isolated points, creates processes that need less human effort, less space, less capital, and less time to make products and services at far less costs and with much fewer defects, compared with traditional business systems. Companies are able to respond to changing customer desires with high variety, high quality, low cost, and with very fast throughput times.

The acronym “Downtime” is an easy way to remember the 8 wastes.

DOWNTIME: Defects, Overproduction, Waiting, N – underutilized talent, Transportation, Inventory excess, Motion excess, Excess processing.

Let’s elaborate on the first letter D = defects.

Defects are mistakes that require additional time, resources, and money to fix. In a manufacturing process, a defect might involve a defective part that has to be remade. Some causes: Poor quality controls, Poor repair, Poor documentation, Lack of standards, Weak or missing processes, Misunderstanding customer needs, Uncontrolled inventory levels, Poor design and undocumented design changes. Completely eradicating any form of waste is impossible, but defects can certainly be limited by the application of standardized work plans, more stringent quality control at all levels, a full understanding of work requirements and customer needs, and simple job aids such as checklists.

💥 Due to my lean/six sigma training, I have saved corporations over $20M over my career.

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Tip #2: Utilizing the DMAIC process

This tip is about how to apply the DMAIC problem solving methodology to eliminate waste and save money.

DMAIC = Define Measure Analyze Improve Control

Define: The purpose of this step is to clearly articulate the business problem, goal, potential resources, project scope and high-level project timeline. This information is typically captured within project charter document. Write down what you currently know. Seek to clarify facts, set objectives and form the project team. Define the following: A problem, The customer(s), Voice of the customer (VOC), and Critical to Quality (CTQs) — what are the critical process outputs?

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💥18 years later, and I still follow the DMAIC process because it works!

Tip #3: A tool to shift your mindset

Would you value becoming a better version of your current self? Here is a tool to shift your mindset in a positive direction. Think about the person you want to become in every interaction. For me I wanted to exemplify more compassion, kindness, be filled with relentless integrity, etc.

In Silicon Valley in 2015, I got to learn a little tool from my coach Brendon Burchardwhich proved to be very powerful. I am better today as a result (more kind, more compassionate, less anxiety, etc.) and continue my journey to be better tomorrow.

Set your clock to go off every single day at a specific time where you can devote 3-5 minutes dedicated to repeating the words, tapping them into your mind. Reinforce the belief into your subconsciousness.

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💥 I have taught this to my college business students, who thanked me years later as this tip had a profound effect on who they grew to be.

Tip #4: Don’t blame people, fix the process.

🛑 blaming people. Every organization has challenges or opportunities that they need to overcome. If you want to avoid the fire fighting drills every day and find resolution once and for all, then you need to first change your #mindset to not blame people, but rather focus on fixing the process.

Are there standards of work written? Does each person know what their roles are? Does everyone know their key performance indicators? Are those KPI’s aligned to the corporate strategy? Are their controls and checks n balances in place? Get back to the basics first and continuously improve.

Utilize the #dmaic process I mentioned in tip #2 and run a #kaizen to fix your company’s problems. Do it now… and increase your profitability.

In the #lean #sixsigma world, we don’t blame people EVER!

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💥 I had a boss named James about 12 years ago, who really helped me realize how important this was. As a result, the project I worked on saved the company $1.4 million.

Tip #5: Set DUMB goals

You are the limit, not the sky. Stop making excuses for why you aren’t becoming your greatest self. Shift your mindset and make your goals dumb. Nobody gets to the moon with SMART goals.

DUMB: D – dream driven U – uplifting M – method friendly B – behavior triggered

You start with the dream. The how will come later. - Brendon Burchard 

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💥 Look, what’s most important is that you are setting goals. Not everyone is going to have crazy dreams, but at least shoot for the stars and you might end up on the moon.

Tip #6: Focus on One Thing

Who wants to be more #productive?

Who wants more #purpose?

Where is your #priority?

At the end of the day, it’s about results. ✋ with the damn checklists and focus on ONE thing.

Last year, I had way too much going on… work, family, side hustles, volunteer work, consulting, etc. I read a great book by Gary Keller called the One Thing that reminded me to re-prioritize, and minimize things. I focused on one major thing in each of my priority buckets – family time, work time, etc. The results were awesome and I found myself with greater clarity and sense of purpose. Most importantly, I was living more in the now and minimized anxiety of trying to do too many things and make too many people happy.

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💥 The beauty of this process for me was that I realized what a waste most of time most of what I was doing was and that it really boiled down to family being the most important thing as my first priority.

Tip #7: How to not lose your business to your competition

Look behind you. BAM! Before you even turn around, your competition stole your client. POW! There goes another customer. ZAP! There goes your business (if you don’t pay attention).

Real-life lesson: In 2009, roughly 1 year into building my own company, we were forced to sink or swim. A woman who also sold bamboo products to the same mass retailer (Lowes) we were selling to, stole our trade secrets, tricked our overseas factory and tried to steal our business.

Let me do some easy math for this to make sense.

Let’s assume my product costs $15 and I sell it to mass retailer for $35 and they mark it up to end user at $60. Along comes crazy woman who says to mass retailer, I can sell you the same product for $25. What do you think mass retailer is going to do? Thankfully, we prevailed but our margins were eroded significantly, which cost us $millions in the long run. Furthermore, we spent the next 18 months tied up in a lawsuit, and the only people who win in the end, are the attorneys. I’ll save that story for another day.

Lessons learned:

  • Trust no one…and if you do, still be skeptical and cover all bases
  • Be vividly aware of competition from all angles and understand that you are never safe
  • The barriers to entry are easier than you think
  • Be careful when you have a product that is somewhat of a commodity, and no patent
  • Sign and enforce non-disclosure agreements (ensure they are well written)

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💥 Looking back, I wish I would have paid more attention to my competitors, but even more so, paid considerably more attention to my customers.

Tip #8: Power of Work

You HAVE to do the work. Knowledge alone is not power, it’s potential power. You can read others inspirational posts. You can read all the books. You can listen to all the podcasts. You can attend all the seminars. None of it will work, until YOU do. What are you waiting for? No fear!

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💥 I wish I would have had a mentor early on in my career who could have helped shape me to realize the importance of working on the right things. I worked hard, no doubt about it – easy 11-12 hour days, but my results could have been better if I was more focused: 80/20 rule.

Tip #9: Legacy – what will be yours?

June 21st, 1986, on San Francisco’s Baker Beach, Larry Harvey burned the first Man. What is the man? Who is the man? Look 👀 it up.

Yesterday, a few hundred people joined for a global celebration and day of gratitude in Larry’s honor; he recently passed. 32 years later, Burningman still brings a crowd of 70,000 people to black rock city, Nevada from around the world to build a temporary city representing radical self expression, radical inclusion, community and participation.

My first attendance was in 2007, with the Playa Surfers camp and it transformed me. To start, I became more ecologically responsible. I became more involved in arts and music. I saw the potential that the world really could be changed by bringing people together. Deep within me, I became more compassionate and understanding. The list goes on. Those who had the privilege of spending time with Larry can also speak highly of their experience. Such a beautiful human.

Build a legacy:

1. Know what matters… have a deep sense of knowing, what is non-negotiable

2. Get off the front line… get out of the weeds-spend time with people

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💥 My legacy will be the imprint I leave on the hearts of those that I touched, who I trust will continue to pass the baton to the next generation.

Tip #10: Education never stops

Education / self learning shall never stop. Business is changing at such a rapid pace these days, that soon you will find that your degreed education is no longer relevant. If you are working in an older industry, with an older company you need to more than ever sharpen your skills and get with the modern times. Don’t wait until the company dies to say “oh shit!!” That will be too late! Self education is a continuing journey… likely until we die. Don’t say you are too busy… too tired… etc. No excuses. There’s plenty of online classes at self pace. There’s a ton of great learning platforms to ala carte your learning. Always keep your pulse on where things are moving and be agile to adapt when needed. Your company needs you to be on the edge!

My family: My wonderful wife started going back to school this week for her masters degree in education. I’m finishing up an IoT engineering class at a university in Australia through MOOC.org My daughter Giana Riad got 5 A’s and a B at CSUN. Liam loves his pre school. Proud husband/dad. Education never stops!!

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💥 Simply put, I wouldn’t be who I am today without education. I challenge each of you to read for at least 30 minutes per day.

Thank you:  Bobby Umar Kira Day Jake Jordan Lila Smith for a great campaign.  Thanks, Geoff Koboldt