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Gabrielle Douglas of the U.S. competes in the balance beam during the women's individual all-around gymnastics final in the North Greenwich Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 2, 2012. (DYLAN MARTINEZ/REUTERS)
Gabrielle Douglas of the U.S. competes in the balance beam during the women's individual all-around gymnastics final in the North Greenwich Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 2, 2012. (DYLAN MARTINEZ/REUTERS)


Golden lessons to be drawn from the Olympics Add to ...

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What the Games can teach about better running your own small business

It’s inevitable: Get a major event like the Olympics underway and lots of pundits will come up with parallels to be drawn from the Games to apply to business.

There’s no shortage out there. This piece in the Miami Herald and this one at Entrepreneur.com offer social media lessons be taken away from gaffes that have taken place during the Games.

Take a page from the athletes’ coaches to learn how to better coach employees, suggests this piece, also on Entrepreneur.com. In this post in the Huffington Post is wisdom to be drawn from young U.S. gymnast Gabrielle Douglas’s path to gold.

Here’s a Fox Business take on what’s to be learned on bouncing back from adversity. And here’s another Fox take on what can be learned from Olympians.

In this Inc. piece, U.S. small business consultant Gene Marks offers six lessons  learned in London on how to to better run his business that he says he’ll be taking home.

The new procrastination

A chronic overachiever with a procrastination problem? That may sound like an oxymoron, but in this Amex Open Forum, Rory Vaden, co-founder of Southwestern Consulting, describes what he calls a “new form” of procrastination: “priority dilution.”

It has nothing to do with “laziness, apathy or being disengaged” -- the usual stuff from which typical procrastinators suffer. And rather than the conscious putting off of things that afflicts the average procrastinator, for sufferers of priority dilution, it’s more unconscious, he says.

So what is this new form all about? According to Mr. Vaden, 58.5 per cent of managers in his management consulting program say that priority dilution “most closely describes” their struggle. Quite simply, “getting consumed” with putting out fires makes them put off their more important activities at work. As he says, “you are trading your to-do list for emergencies.” And “when you are not focused on your most critical priorities, you are unintentionally procrastinating on what matters most,” he writes.

The piece also offers some tips on how to overcome priority dilution, with a list of questions to ask yourself when deciding which activities to pursue, and which ones are diluting your efforts to pursue them.

U.S. small business optimism dips again

Lingering concerns about their financial futures caused a dip again in U.S. small business confidence, according to The Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index.

The index dropped six points, virtually erasing gains made earlier in the year. The number of business owners expecting to be in a good financial position over the next year fell seven percentage points to 59 per cent; those expecting revenues to be up fell six percentage points to 43 per cent, the index showed.

Wells Fargo surveys small business owners quarterly. “Business owners have a lot of unknowns in front of them today,” said Doug Case, Wells Fargo’s small business segment manager in a release. “This is the first drop in the index this year,” he noted.

That’s also in keeping with the Canadian small business mood. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business’s most recent business barometer index fell for the fourth consecutive month, to 60.9, its lowest level since July, 2009.


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Canadian small businesses go for the gold in London

While all the attention is focused on the athletes, many small businesses are also capitalizing on the 2012 Olympics. Here are four Canadian firms that are also playing in, and cashing in on, the Games.


Small businesses can score big with Pan Am Games

The Olympics may still be underway but small businesses that want to score are already thinking ahead to the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games, as this May story recounted.

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