Creative Connections

January 1st, 2023

As a writer and editor, I prefer to do most of my work alone in the quiet of my home office. But during the dark days of a Minnesota winter, working alone gets lonely and my ideas feel thin and uninspired.  That’s why I attend literary conferences and classes each winter. The creative spark that […]

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Success at every age

September 1st, 2022

There is a ritual (some would say a bad habit) where each generation complains about the generation that comes after it. “Young people today are (lazy, selfish, self-involved, distracted, demanding, impatient…fill in the blank).” Some young people are sometimes those things. And some older folks are sometimes those things too. But young or old, the […]

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July 1st, 2022

If we humans are good at anything, it’s adapting to change. You might think I’m talking about pandemics, but I’m actually talking about business in general. Running a business means continuously adapting to forces both within and outside of your control. It’s about remaining flexible while having a strategic vision of your goals and constantly […]

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Spreading the word

May 1st, 2022

Are your marketing efforts attracting the types of clients and projects you’re interested in? If not, how should you go about it? The first step, obviously, is creating quality projects. And then you need to get the word out to your desired clients. For Midwesterners like myself, tooting our own horns can feel uncomfortable, but […]

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Success: Despite and because of

March 1st, 2022

The marine fabrication business often seems like a business of nothing but problems. Supply chain bottlenecks, a lack of employees, demanding customers and too little time to address the ever-growing waitlist. But it’s also a business filled with problem solvers. That’s the beauty of working with marine fabricators: they find ways to excel despite, and […]

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Control Issues

January 1st, 2022

If 2020 was a rollercoaster, 2021 was more like a Zero Gravity amusement park ride where spinning forces beyond anyone’s control pinned us to the wall making movement impossible. Businesses experienced a centrifugal maelstrom of surging customer demand, labor shortages, price increases and supply chain bottlenecks.  As the control equation shifted for business owners, it’s […]

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Community connections

September 1st, 2021

With or without COVID-19 restrictions, many fabricators spend a lot of time alone. Aside from interactions with clients and employees, fabrication work itself is often performed solo, either onboard or in the shop. Given the solitary nature of this profession, finding ways to make industry connections is crucial. Otherwise, where do you get your design […]

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Efficiency artists

July 1st, 2021

Marine fabrication businesses are an interesting mix of custom and ready-made. On the one hand, much of the work is manufactured to order, and each project requires unique tweaks and adjustments to the design and fabrication processes. But there are also times your shop becomes a mini factory and the same tasks are repeated over […]

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Gentler negotiations

May 1st, 2021

I watched an online presentation recently about how to keep your personal feelings from intruding on professional situations. I followed it with a discussion about how to deal with difficult people. I was trying to keep myself calm during thorny contract negotiations with a publisher over a book I wrote. My desire to be published […]

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Obstacles to success

March 1st, 2021

In a former life I managed a large team of writers and editors. My job, as I saw it, was to remove obstacles that prevented the team from being successful. These obstacles were the same for every person on the team: a lack of focus, perfectionism, poor time management, difficulty with conflict and a lack […]

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