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The Entrepreneur’s Corner

Questions for your business
Patrick Henry said, “I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. A few years later, Einstein said, “Doing the same thing and expecting different results is insanity.”

These two bits of wisdom have guided me for decades. In the last few years, they have proved insufficient. Our world has changed. Cheap energy and currency exchange rates have allowed people on the other side of the world to effectively compete for our next door neighbor’s business.

Businesspeople are constantly on the lookout for ways to systematize our processes so we can achieve maximum efficiency, thereby lower our costs of operation to either offer our services at lower rates or better yet, increase our margins.

We determine our processes by agreeing to sets of assumptions. Assumptions we agree to after thorough examination of our competencies and market opportunities.

Once we establish these efficient processes we loathe changing them. It’s at this point that our agreed upon assumptions become “givens”. They become our culture. They become “the way we do things around here.”

Once solidified into the concrete of unconscious habit, we no longer regularly check to see if our assumptions are still valid. We all know the old adage that when we assume we make an ass of you and me. This truism relates to the unstated assumption. The conscious, shared assumption on the other hand is a powerful tool.

So, if you’re doing what you’ve always done and not getting the results you’ve gotten in the past, let me encourage you to reexamine your assumptions.

Bring then out in the open and ask yourself,

1. “What’s our business?”

2. “What do we do?”

3. “Who are our customers?”

4. “Do these people give us money?”

5. “For what?’

6. “Why?”

7. “What do they value?”

8. “Are we delivering value they want?”

I’ve a bunch more questions, but having your team candidly revisit the assumptions upon which you’ve based your business to see if they’re still relevant is a great way to come to grips with your current reality. Because in today’s business climate the definition of insanity may be doing the same thing and expecting the same results.

Gayle Turner, a member of Henrico Business Leaders, can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Community

Author, child abuse survivor to speak at Henrico event

To help celebrate twenty years of service to advocating for abused and neglected children in Henrico County, Henrico Court Appointed Special Advocates, Inc. (CASA) will host an evening with bestselling author K.L. Randis on Tuesday, Aug. 26, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Belmont Recreation Center in Lakeside.

Randis is best known for her bestselling novel, Spilled Milk, which tells her painful – but ultimately triumphant – personal story of abuse and of child abuse prevention. The book is her first novel.

The event is free to the public, but seating is limited Reservations may be made by e-mailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Belmon Recreation Center is located at 1600 Hilliard Road. > Read more.

Philippines ambassador to the US visits Filipino Festival in Henrico


The Ambassador of the Philippines to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. attended the Ninth Annual Filipino Festival at Our Lady of Lourdes Church earlier this month. Cuisia (pictured above with festival performers) was welcomed by County Manager John Vithoulkas and Brookland District Supervisor Dick Glover (below) at the church, which is located in Lakeside.

While enjoying some of the cultural performances at the festival, the ambassador and his wife had a private lunch with Vithoulkas, Glover, Eldon Burton (an outreach representative from U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner’s Office) and Father James Begley, the pastor of OLL. > Read more.

Dragon boats invade the James

Hundreds of spectators filled the banks of the James River to watch two dozen teams of competitors in the Walgreen’s Richmond International Dragon Boat Festival at Rocketts Landing Aug. 2. The event included a number of races, as well as several cultural performances. The sport is billed as the fastest growing water sport in the world.(Photo by Roger Walk for the Henrico Citizen) > Read more.

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Entertainment

‘Planes’ sequel crashes

‘Fire and Rescue’ proves too predictable, boring

Planes: Fire and Rescue opens with a dedication to the hero firefighters of the world. It’s an admirable notion, and it makes sense, given that this is a film about planes that fight fires.

But here it might be a little out of place, as Planes: Fire and Rescue has a few things on its mind besides supporting the men and women who routinely throw themselves into burning buildings.

Like money. Lots and lots of money – into the 11-figures-and-counting range. In case you weren’t aware, 2006’s Cars was the biggest moneymaker Disney had in decades – not because of how much green the film printed at the box office, but because a combination of toys, games and snack foods stamped with the Cars seal of approval routinely pulls in tens of billions of dollars per year. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


This weekend in Henrico, you can learn about fall herbs or mad science. Enjoy some laughs from West End Comedy or Three-Penny Theatre’s production of “The Rivah Home Companion.” For music lovers, Jennifer Nettles is in concert tonight and the fifth annual GWAR-B-Q takes place tomorrow at Hadad’s Lake. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.

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