Why You're Not In the Business You Think You're In

March 12th, 2014 by Eric Holtzclaw
When I start advising a company, a few conversations into our relationship I get to work on one of my favorite exercises: I ask the management team to figure out what business it is really in. Sure, every business starts up around the concept of delivering a certain product or service. That product or service is the response I usually get, because that's often where founders or executives stop when it comes to thinking about or describing their business. And that's not enough. I make them get down to their core to look at what they are really doing or what they are really passionate about. In
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About Eric Holtzclaw

Eric V. Holtzclaw is the Founder/CEO of Laddering Works. He has spent 20+ years creating opportunity by identifying and capitalizing on emerging trends and disruptions to business. Eric is a sought after speaker on consumer behavior and entrepreneurship. His weekly column, Lean Forward, about the future of business and technology appears on Inc.com. Eric is author of the book, Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior and a frequent contributor to CMO.com, Fortune, Time and Wall Street Journal.

My Work is My Life. Is That a Problem?

March 05th, 2014 by Eric Holtzclaw
I distinctly remember having a conversation with someone about how much time I dedicate to my work. "Get a life and stop working so much," this person implored me. But there's a fundamental problem with that advice: My work is my life.  I enjoy my projects, and technology enables me to easily integrate my work and personal life. The notion of leaving work at work is a remnant of the industrial revolution. Most of us are paid to think, and you just can't shut it off when you walk out the office door each evening. That's why some of my greatest business breakthroughs happen when I am not "at
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About Eric Holtzclaw

Eric V. Holtzclaw is the Founder/CEO of Laddering Works. He has spent 20+ years creating opportunity by identifying and capitalizing on emerging trends and disruptions to business. Eric is a sought after speaker on consumer behavior and entrepreneurship. His weekly column, Lean Forward, about the future of business and technology appears on Inc.com. Eric is author of the book, Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior and a frequent contributor to CMO.com, Fortune, Time and Wall Street Journal.

1 Word That Kills Your Credibility

February 26th, 2014 by Eric Holtzclaw
I have watched more salespeople and companies pitch their ideas over the years than I care to count. And during thousands of interviews with consumers about how they use different products and services and respond to marketing messages, I have honed the craft of ferreting out telltale signs of lies and omissions. From that experience, I am going to let you in on a little secret about a word you should stop using immediately. It is "actually."  To find out why, read the rest of the article on my Inc. Column.
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About Eric Holtzclaw

Eric V. Holtzclaw is the Founder/CEO of Laddering Works. He has spent 20+ years creating opportunity by identifying and capitalizing on emerging trends and disruptions to business. Eric is a sought after speaker on consumer behavior and entrepreneurship. His weekly column, Lean Forward, about the future of business and technology appears on Inc.com. Eric is author of the book, Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior and a frequent contributor to CMO.com, Fortune, Time and Wall Street Journal.

5 Common Startup Mistakes That Will Sink You Later

February 21st, 2014 by Eric Holtzclaw
A friend of mine recently missed out on raising venture money because of a mistake he made in the early days of forming his business. He is far from alone: It reminded me of the common mistakes I see founders make at the start that hinder their ability to grow or sell down the road. Every day, entrepreneurs who are too focused on the big idea or on near term needs neglect what it takes to sustain long term success. In prioritizing the short term, they unwittingly sabotage their futures. Read about these 5 mistakes on my Inc. column.
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About Eric Holtzclaw

Eric V. Holtzclaw is the Founder/CEO of Laddering Works. He has spent 20+ years creating opportunity by identifying and capitalizing on emerging trends and disruptions to business. Eric is a sought after speaker on consumer behavior and entrepreneurship. His weekly column, Lean Forward, about the future of business and technology appears on Inc.com. Eric is author of the book, Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior and a frequent contributor to CMO.com, Fortune, Time and Wall Street Journal.

The First Area You Should Outsource (2/12)

February 12th, 2014 by Eric Holtzclaw
My guest this past Sunday on Lessons in Laddering was Mary Hester, CEO of LAN Systems. Mary is one of the smartest people I know and her company provides one of the smartest services you should consider to help get yourself out of the weeds and focused on growing your business to the next level. One of the easiest and first areas to outsource is your company's technology. With cloud computing (which Mary defined very elegantly on the show) and the rapidly changing technological environment, it's easy to tap into experts that can make sure you get the most bang for your technology buck. Mary share
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About Eric Holtzclaw

Eric V. Holtzclaw is the Founder/CEO of Laddering Works. He has spent 20+ years creating opportunity by identifying and capitalizing on emerging trends and disruptions to business. Eric is a sought after speaker on consumer behavior and entrepreneurship. His weekly column, Lean Forward, about the future of business and technology appears on Inc.com. Eric is author of the book, Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior and a frequent contributor to CMO.com, Fortune, Time and Wall Street Journal.

Are You Mixing a Jim Carey With an Andrew Dice Clay?

February 12th, 2014 by Eric Holtzclaw
As I have run my different companies, I have learned that using personality indicator tools like DISC and Myers Briggs are important to understanding why members of my team react and interact the way they do.  Knowing what drives an employee can help predict their ability to perform a role, and is key to the overall success of a team's ability to effectively work together. But I had never considered how individual humor style impacted the way my teams interacted and perceived each other until June Cline shared she calls her ROI of LOL philosophy with my Toastmaster's club about a month ag
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About Eric Holtzclaw

Eric V. Holtzclaw is the Founder/CEO of Laddering Works. He has spent 20+ years creating opportunity by identifying and capitalizing on emerging trends and disruptions to business. Eric is a sought after speaker on consumer behavior and entrepreneurship. His weekly column, Lean Forward, about the future of business and technology appears on Inc.com. Eric is author of the book, Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior and a frequent contributor to CMO.com, Fortune, Time and Wall Street Journal.

What's Your Company's Laugh Track? (2/5)

February 05th, 2014 by Eric Holtzclaw
As a research geek, I love what you learn about others through tools such as DISC and Myers Briggs.  I have learned that understanding why others react the way they do is an important key to success. I had never considered how humor impacted the way my teams interacted and perceived each other until  June Cline shared her ROI of LOL with my  Toastmaster's club about a month ago.  June's insights opened my eyes to the different comedic styles and why we don't always "get" each other. June was a guest on my radio show Lessons in Laddering this past Sunday on KCAA 1050AM and she shared the different comedic styles and ga
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About Eric Holtzclaw

Eric V. Holtzclaw is the Founder/CEO of Laddering Works. He has spent 20+ years creating opportunity by identifying and capitalizing on emerging trends and disruptions to business. Eric is a sought after speaker on consumer behavior and entrepreneurship. His weekly column, Lean Forward, about the future of business and technology appears on Inc.com. Eric is author of the book, Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior and a frequent contributor to CMO.com, Fortune, Time and Wall Street Journal.

Leadership Lessons from the Pope

February 05th, 2014 by Eric Holtzclaw
Sometimes the savviest business leaders aren't in business at all. Pope Francis has made waves since being elected to his new position, and while all may not agree with his stances on political and religious matters, the Pope is excellent at leading by example. I shared three ways that the Pope represents characteristics of a good leader on my Inc. column. 1. He Talks to Customers Where They Are Pope Francis picks up the phone and calls perfect strangers and those that have left notes at the church to ask them about religion and their religious life. He has done it so often and at suc
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About Eric Holtzclaw

Eric V. Holtzclaw is the Founder/CEO of Laddering Works. He has spent 20+ years creating opportunity by identifying and capitalizing on emerging trends and disruptions to business. Eric is a sought after speaker on consumer behavior and entrepreneurship. His weekly column, Lean Forward, about the future of business and technology appears on Inc.com. Eric is author of the book, Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior and a frequent contributor to CMO.com, Fortune, Time and Wall Street Journal.

Your Most Valuable Asset Could Be Your Voice (1/29)

January 29th, 2014 by Eric Holtzclaw
Have you ever thought of using your voice as a way to create additional revenue streams? Do you even know what I am talking about?  :-) If not, you should definitely listen to my latest episode of Lessons in Laddering: [dewplayer:http://ladderingworks.com/mp3/kcaa-ladder-20140126.mp3] Sandy Weaver Carman from Voicework on Demand was my guest and she shared strategies on turning your content into a "Revenue River".  If you have written a book, developed training materials, give speeches often or even share your knowledge on a blog, audio is an up and coming trend for capitalizing
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About Eric Holtzclaw

Eric V. Holtzclaw is the Founder/CEO of Laddering Works. He has spent 20+ years creating opportunity by identifying and capitalizing on emerging trends and disruptions to business. Eric is a sought after speaker on consumer behavior and entrepreneurship. His weekly column, Lean Forward, about the future of business and technology appears on Inc.com. Eric is author of the book, Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior and a frequent contributor to CMO.com, Fortune, Time and Wall Street Journal.

14 Ways to Spoil Yourself in 2014

January 29th, 2014 by Eric Holtzclaw
Many of us write New Year's resolutions about what we vow not to do or how we want to improve either professionally or personally.  That's a worthwhile exercise, to be sure. But to truly stay motivated, don't be so focused that you forget the little things: You need a little indulgence along the way to help keep yourself going. I talked with some fellow entrepreneurs and uncovered 14 ways--big and small--you can plan to spoil yourself to stay motivated as you move through the upcoming year.  You can read them on my Inc. column.
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About Eric Holtzclaw

Eric V. Holtzclaw is the Founder/CEO of Laddering Works. He has spent 20+ years creating opportunity by identifying and capitalizing on emerging trends and disruptions to business. Eric is a sought after speaker on consumer behavior and entrepreneurship. His weekly column, Lean Forward, about the future of business and technology appears on Inc.com. Eric is author of the book, Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior and a frequent contributor to CMO.com, Fortune, Time and Wall Street Journal.
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