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Lessons Learned from the County Fair Corn Roast

folks enjoying cornGreetings!

My Lions Club has a tent at the Howard County 4-H Fair (www.howardcofair.com) every year. Every year, we roast and sell corn on the cob to raise money for our scholarship fund. Our fire-roasted corn is, year after year, the best and most popular at the fair. Now, I could wear you out with stories about why we do it the way we do it. Instead, I’ve been thinking about how I could share some of the lessons that I’ve learned by helping as a worker since 1999, and leading the effort for the last few years. So far, I’ve come up with the following three main lessons. I think they can be applied in almost any business.

1) Be Consistent

In years past, when we’ve had to serve roasting ears that were less than great, word spread almost instantly! Our business would fall off the very next night, and some potential customers would come up to the counter and ask, “How’s the corn? We heard it wasn’t very good.” WORD GETS AROUND QUICKLY WHEN YOU DISAPPOINT SOMEONE. Take all necessary measures to deliver your product or service consistently.

2) Have Fun

The crew works better, and produces longer without a break, when the mood is light, and the members in charge are trying to keep a good rapport with the customers, rather than just filling orders. Silliness is OK, as long as it doesn’t keep you from serving.

3) Continue to Improve

Since 1973, the corn roast operation has evolved dramatically. But from one year to the next, the changes are usually more like “adjustments”. Baby steps. The last two years, we have increased the involvement of students and adult volunteers. They have to be trained and supervised a little more, but they become part of a very important group: potential permanent members of the club. They also tell their friends about it, and we get more customers. For you, your continuous improvements can similarly broaden your network and expand your influence in your community and your industry.

If you would like to hear more about what we’ve learned by roasting corn at the 4-H fair, drop me a note at jr (at) marketingmercenary.net. If you’d like to discuss how to better market your business or organization, use the same e-mail, please.

A Big Switch

drinking tea instead of coffee

My current tea of choice.

You may be done with your first cup of coffee for this bright Monday morning. Typically, I would have had at least two or three cups by now. However, a couple of weeks back, I read an article from Accelawork about the benefits of tea, and they revealed some things I’d never heard. Now, I’ve been a raving advocate of coffee for many years. I even have a cabinet full of coffee cups from all over America. However, I’ve also been battling acid reflux for a long time now, so I decided to give tea a try.

I’m happy to report that I’ve nearly replaced coffee altogether. I’m also happy to tell you the lift from tea is different and good. I don’t feel “buzzed”, just alert and aware. And my acid reflux is all but gone.

I’ve pictured my current favorite. I’ve actually been keeping a box of Plantation Mint around for years. I find that hot tea does well to calm coughing fits that occasionally wake me in the middle of the night when I have a cold. Mint was sort of a random choice a long time ago that I enjoyed and stuck with. And, frankly, unflavored tea is still pretty boring to me. I typically don’t bother with herbal or decaf teas. Don’t really see the point, since my goal is to enjoy it as much as coffee.

What does this have to do with business? Obviously, alertness is good for productivity. But something even more beneficial to your productivity is your long-term good health. Read the linked article for more on this. Then, enjoy your beverage of choice, and have a great week!

Full text link: http://www.accelawork.com/how-tea-helps-your-productivity/

What is your experience with coffee vs. tea?

The Year of the Banana

The Year Of The Banana

The Year Of The Banana

It’s my own decision. I have not seen it proclaimed on any calendar or news site.  I am posting this for my own benefit, and if it helps you – great! For me, 2012 is officially The Year of the Banana.

Last year, I read “Do The Work” and “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. Both of those works talk about defeating Resistance, and producing results in your vocation, hobby, or other of life’s goals.

This morning, thanks to a link that was tweeted by my writer friend Erik Deckers (@edeckers), I landed on the blog of another writer by the name of Jeff Goins. Goins’ post was called “The Last Writing Prompt You’ll Ever Need.” and it lead me to his e-book, which I’ll let you discover on your own. The e-book was very similar to Pressfield’s work, with a kinder, gentler style.

With Goins’ material fresh in my mind, I started to make breakfast. I began thinking about how long it has been since I updated this blog. In my hand at that moment was a banana.

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Top 4 Things You Might Read Here

Ja, det er jo ikke det værste sted at holde pa...

More content is coming soon, that fits one or more of the following categories:

  • fun
  • useful
  • inspiring
  • ridiculous

I just want you to know that I haven’t quit on my blog. I’ve been mighty busy with numerous projects (grateful to God for that), but haven’t spent any of my free time right here. Feel free to post any comment you like. (Please keep it clean.) Thanks for reading! –JR

Sunrise Steakhouse in Kokomo CLOSED for now.

CLOSED

Sunrise Family Steakhouse Closed Today

This afternoon, I spoke with managers at Sunrise Family Steakhouse in Kokomo. They site a number of issues that have contributed to the closing of the newly opened restaurant today. I was asked not to publicize those reasons at this time, since there was still hope of getting them resolved. Please come back to “Exactly, J.R.” at a later time for more information as it becomes reliably available.

UPDATE 2 p.m., 12-9-2010: According to local media, the employees reported that Board of Health violations, as well as lack of payment to employees and contractors were the reasons for closing. At this point, in local media, only the employees have provided statements, not the Board of Health, contractors, or the owner. I heard the same statements from the employees and two contractors yesterday before they decided to close, but since I did not speak to the Board of Health or the owner, I did not report the reasons. An eye-witness reported to me at 12:15 p.m. today that the police were questioning the owner at the restaurant location. As further details are available from reliable sources such as authorized spokespersons, I will pass that information on to you.

Kokomo Rib Fest 2010 Canceled After Strong Start.

Kokomo’s 10th Annual Rib Fib Fest was off to a good start today when it was canceled at about 8 p.m. due to severe weather. The crowd endured the first bout of rain earlier in the evening , then continued to enjoy the charity event that benefits Carver Community Center.

Crowd endures rain at Kokomo Rib Fest 2010

The crowd endures earlier rain at Kokomo Rib Fest 2010.

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