Having friends with benefits can be one of the most rewarding and beneficial things you can do. I’m not talking about having a “friend” who will roll in the sheets with you whenever you are bored; the downside of those kind of arrangements are too many to count (talk about mixed messages)… I’m actually talking about real friends with benefits and why it will make the difference between whether you become successful in business or not.
“You can have everything in life that you want, if you will just help other people get what they want”-Zig Ziglar. This is a great quote that talks about the first benefit of a good friend. Over the years I have learned that when a friend is in need I have to be there for them, it’s not an option. This can cause a lot of inconvenient times, especially when you have a business and a wife and kids and, well, you get the point. The reason I do this is not to get something out of them but to let them know they are important to me. Inevitably though, whether you believe it’s God (which I do) or some other cosmic force, when I’m in need someone is always there to help. Without the help of friends I would have failed long ago and not had the strength to get up. So the next time you have a friend in need, take the time make a difference.
“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” I think out of all the quotes and sayings going around these days, nothing can be closer to the truth than this one. Over the years I have gained many friends and believe they all have value in my life but there are always those friends that have the ability to actually make things happen for you when you need it. It’s important to build a network of influential people that can make a difference in your life. I have different circles of friends for different things and by far my most important circle is my advice circle. These are guys I can be honest with and I know that when they give me advice it will be wise and unbiased. I’ve had countless times over the past 10 years where I was stuck at a crossroad and if I didn’t have men like this in my life I would have taken the wrong path, and that’s the difference between running a company or looking for a new job on an endless cycle of failed jobs. It’s hard to find friends like this so when you do, let them know you appreciate them and all they do for you.
“Bad company corrupts good character”–the Apostle Paul. This is the hardest of my friends with benefits tips. Nobody wants to tell a buddy to bug off, because, well, they are your buddy. In the end though, every friendship you have should be evaluated and if for some reason every time you are around this particular person, bad things happen then it’s time to break off your BROmance and find friends that will not get you in trouble. If you don’t know how to do this I’ll give you a helpful hint, ask your significant other. My wife can spot a bad influence friend a mile off and after I get done fighting with her about it, I usually come to my senses and see what she had seen long ago. When I don’t come to my senses fast enough though, I know she will repeatedly remind me of my mistake for the next decade or two. So my advice is to act swift or face the consequences.
Friends are a touchy subject for many people but if you want to succeed and become more than you are today, make sure the friends you want to keep in the future are helping you get there.
By: Todd Marinshaw owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan.
When I was a kid I dreamt of doing great things, making a difference and having an impact in this world. I had the drive to conquer the world and the immaturity to hurt everyone around me while doing it. I was basically a self obsessed lunatic for most of my young adult and teenage life, just like the majority of teenagers in the world, I walked around thinking about myself all day long and acted accordingly. You could say I was not off to the best start at becoming a leader and making a difference and you would be 100% correct. So what changed? Besides finding Jesus (not that he was lost or anything), I got married and had kids! And lived happily ever after.. Hmm, sounds pretty dumb but you wouldn’t believe how many people actually think this is what happens. The truth is for the first time in your life you are not the most important person in the world, so you can either embrace it or fight it. The choice is yours but if you ever wish to be a great leader, I would choose option A.
Here are three things I learned from my kids that make me the CEO that I am today:
Example is everything: When I’m at home the phrase “Monkey see, monkey do” is never more evident. One day while I was in the garage unloading some things out of the back of my SUV, I decided to try and juggle everything in one hand while closing the door with my other hand. Usually this is no problem and I can complete this task like a pro but on this particular day my head was in the clouds and I shut the door on my fingers. The next few words out of my mouth were nothing I will be ever proud of but suffice to say they would not be included in a Disney movie. When I looked over, my child was standing there listening and ran off repeating my cute phrase over and over again for Mommy and the whole world to hear. Lesson learned, you never know when someone is listening, especially when they are 3 feet tall. Even if I accidentally (because I would never do this on purpose) burp, I know for the week the dinner table is going to become the burp Olympics for the kids. Translation; nothing we do goes unnoticed so be careful. Work is no different. If I start showing up late and leaving early, within a week my employees are doing the same thing. As a business owner I have to make sure I either open or close so I am showing an example of punctuality. If I make a crass comment while at work, yep, you guessed it, someone else will inevitably follow suit. The worst is when I get mad about a customer because all of a sudden everyone feels justified to vent their frustrations about a customer out loud and that brings moral and customer service down. So be careful because people are watching.
When things go wrong, encourage, don’t shout: My kids are amazing but inevitably they do things that make me want to tear my hair out. The other day one of my children spilled their drink on the table as soon as I sat down to eat. The first thing in my mind after a hard day’s work and cooking and serving and cleaning was not “Oh honey, that’s okay, Dada loves you and I know it was a mistake”… No, the first thing on my mind was “God, please, please, what did I do to deserve this?” This kind of thinking many times will inspire me to bark out a harsh or angry remark that in all honesty is completely undeserved. Sometimes I actually use my brain and decide to say something encouraging and deny my primal urges of frustration and the result is usually spectacular. When I encourage them and tell them I believe in them and they can do better next time, it is like watching a light bulb light up and the happiness for the rest of dinner is infectious. Employees are not much different; I am not saying if your employee continually screws up you should put up with it (see point three for more on this). I’m saying when an employee unintentionally screws up, instead of showing frustration and anger, or even just reprimanding them, make it a learning moment for them and for others in their department so that not only does the mistake not happen again but the employee feels grateful that you didn’t blow them up for an honest mistake. Fear works for a little while but loyalty works much better; I’d rather have loyal employees than fearful ones.
Say what you mean and mean what you say: When calling the kids to dinner, many times it can go like this “Kids, dinner’s ready, lets eat”, then you wait, and wait, and wait. Next you say it in a louder voice “KIDS! Come eat!” You may get an “Okay dad” but still nobody comes. At this point your frustration builds and you scream “KIDS!! COME EAT NOW OR YOU’RE ON TIME OUT/lose your video games/fill-in-your-own-threat” and amazingly the kids come running. What did I learn? That every kid has the ability to obey if the rules are clear, and that I need to mean what I say the first time, and that I need to enforce consequences before they become threats. If you don’t really mean what you say, even kids can tell, how much more adults? So when I’m at work I’m careful to never say anything I’m not willing to follow through on. If we have a rule and it’s broken, I have to take that employee aside and make sure it does not happen again with a warning or even a write up. If I have a sales rep and they don’t hit their number, I have to bring them in and talk to them or they wont be motivated to hit their number each and every month. I hate doing these things but not doing them in the past has caused me to lose the respect of my employees. If you don’t want to enforce certain rules, then don’t make them rules! Always be clear about what you expect out of your employees.
I can probably write a book about everything else I have learned about leadership from my kids. But for now, if you learn nothing else in life about what it takes to be someone who people would want to follow, then embrace these three things and you have already won half the battle.
By: Todd Marinshaw owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan.
There have been countless movies and TV shows glamorizing the thrill of sleeping with someone who works for you but few will make the plot line about a married couple. They have no idea how much more action, drama and thriller this involves! Yes, I confess I’m sleeping with my employee and she happens to be my wife. Usually this is a recipe for disaster for both work and family life and is not recommended. For those of you brave enough to bring your wife on board I have a few tips that will keep your sanity and your marriage. Here are my three life (and marriage) saving tips.
The first and hardest tip to follow is to never, ever get angry/annoyed at her publicly. I have messed this up countless times and have paid for it 10x over each time I did it. What usually happens is I’m trying to verbalize an idea or make a point and since she is such an awesome, smart, intuitive wife she will “innocently interrupt” me and reply to what I was saying before I finish. Then I, in all my masculinity, get frustrated at this public display of being cut off and I say something shallow, dumb and a bit harsh at times. It all seems innocent but it does a couple things that you can’t reverse in the office- first it makes you look weak for having to resort to putting her down; second, it makes you look like you don’t love your wife because you embarrassed her in public, and third, it makes your wife want to put an ice pick through your thick skull and walk away satisfied. The benefits of doing this are, well, ummmm, none.
My second tip is to always trust your wife’s intuition. Over the years Tina has warned me countless times about people or ideas she thinks are wrong and at times I have listened, which has led to a lot of good decisions. But more often than not, I usually doubt her, make her explain herself, sit on it for a month or two while I mull it over and then act once disaster strikes. This may sound idiotic and that’s because it is; for some reason God forgot to give most men a sixth sense when it comes to people while he gives women an abundance of this and it drives us nuts. I generally try to find the best in people and will trust them until proven otherwise while Tina can get around a person for five minutes and be like “That one’s not going to work out”. To this day I still have to fight down my irritation when this happens but when I have the sense to listen, I have never looked bad. Maybe I should read this article once a week so I remember? Anyway, take it from me; being macho and blowing off your wife’s advice is a mistake you will wish you didn’t make.
My third tip is simple, “Be nice to the girl”. I got this tip from my good friend Mark Gungor, who is one of the best marriage gurus I’ve ever seen. It sounds so simple but it’s so hard for us guys to remember. Even if you work with your mate don’t treat them like an employee. In the workplace, they need to be loved and appreciated more than ever, and there are lots of ways to show it. I highly recommend public praise with some flowers or something thoughtful sprinkled in a least once a month. This should get you more love points and forgiveness when you blow tips one and two.
Alright, now that we have gotten through some basic rules of working with your spouse, who is ready to sign up? If this isn’t for you then great, you are in luck! But if you do decide to take the plunge and you can stick by these principles it will be one of the most rewarding experiences you ever have.
By: Todd Marinshaw (In response to my wife’s seemingly popular post Married To My Boss). Todd and Tina own a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan.
People always ask how I met my husband. A small girl from the Philippines with a 6 foot ex-Special Forces white man- the stereotypes can be hilarious! The most common of which is that we probably met at the Naval Base, with me doing what? The truth is, Todd and I were set up as a blind date while he was visiting Manila for an international church conference (Nope, not one of those Korean ones where you all get mass married!). Singles mixer, everyone’s excited, his friends ask my friends to go out, and poor little me just watching it all happen. As if an afterthought, one of the guys said, “Don’t worry, we can set you up with Todd”. Todd? Who’s Todd? Todd was in the middle of the dance floor surrounded by more than a dozen starry eyed single ladies. So I casually parted the crowd and said, “Excuse me, you are my date tonight”. And the rest, as they say is history.
I left a very promising career in brand management working for global brands such as Levi’s and McDonalds to follow Todd and start a new life in the US. Before anyone can say “INS Work Permit”, I was offered a marketing job in a new product development company in San Francisco. Not a year later and our CEO offered me a position that would’ve involved more traveling to pitch our products to fortune 500 companies. See, said CEO was young, successful, and not very bad looking, so you can imagine my then new husband’s reaction to that. (FormerCEO, if you are reading this, now you know why I really left ha-ha). In all seriousness, Todd and I wanted to start a family and knew we needed a lifestyle that would make that easy. So we started brainstorming and opening our eyes to opportunities and before we knew it, the idea for a fully custom team sportswear company, Allen Sportswear was born.
Cut to 10 years later, and what seemed like a fairy tale has had it’s share of ups and downs. We have learned a lot about each other and from each other. Even though the experience has been incredibly rewarding, there have been a few occasions when I have threatened to resign and work at Disneyland if need be. I personally think that working with or for your husband is a calling that only a few can embrace! Date nights can turn into strategic planning sessions and bedtime cuddling can include random financial analysis discussions and even weekends can turn into family field trips to paint the new office. The line between family and work gets blurred and heated discussions become the norm. For anyone who has ever worked for us and been completely bewildered by our dynamics, I want to take this opportunity to say I am sorry. And you are welcome- for the endless entertainment! But what can you do when you are the complete opposite of each other in the workplace? Whereas he is the visionary, always dreaming of new products and spewing out new ideas, I am the analytical planner, SWOTing in my brain and spilling out a list of
why it won’t work critical success factors long before he can finish his sentence. Whereas he can close a deal with his ability to build rapport and articulate his ideas in 10 seconds, I tend to ramble and go off tangent in my obsession with details. (Check out the awesome logo and simple layout of this blog site..oh wait, what were we talking about? Oh yeah, Todd is from Mars and I am Venus!) Yet in spite of this stark contrast in personalities and skill sets, we are both very driven and passionate about what we do, and so with much prayer, perseverance and the guidance of inspiring leaders we have in our lives, we have both learned to use our differences to shape us into something more powerful together. Proverbs 27:17 shares this wisdom, long before we figured it out! “As iron sharpens iron, so one man (or woman) sharpens another.”
So what is the secret to being married and staying married to your boss? I honestly haven’t figured it out. But what little I know, I hope to share through this blog (along with other random managerial and technical how to’s that I so terribly enjoy but do not have enough airtime during meetings to share). I am excited to share my experiences and learn from yours, to continually sharpen each other and together, we can band as one to become the most effective leaders in our respective organizations.
By: Tina Marinshaw
Every year we promise ourselves next year will be a better year, but at the end of the year we look back and ask ourselves, did we really change everything we said we would or achieve anything we said we want to do? I think sometimes we think it was a better year, when it really wasn’t, and other times we think it wasn’t when in reality a lot of good things may have happened that we did not even realize. That’s why it is so important to write about what you want to accomplish at the beginning of the year and review it at the end. Here are some keys to making sure this is your most successful year yet.
1. Pick Achievable Goals
If you are a coach and your team only won 1 game this past year, it is probably not too realistic to be dreaming of winning a Championship this year. Instead set a goal of getting to .500 or if you are feeling really optimistic, make a goal of having a winning season. If you’re a player and you sat the bench next year, than saying your goal to be a starter is great but don’t stop there, go one further and add the kind of statistics you realistically want to achieve in the upcoming season. Of course it should be everyone’s goal to look better than they ever did on the court and to have the best uniforms but that goes without saying…
2. Define your Goals
Just saying you want to have a winning season does not mean anything. You need to set up how you’re going to have a winning season by developing a step by step plan to make it happen. If you are a player and you want to get better at a certain aspect of your game, then come up with drills and a schedule that will improve the parts of your game that need it the most. When I was playing football in high school I needed to work on my explosiveness, so I set a time 3 days a week to run bleachers in the off season and the next season I went from platoon player to full time starter. It wouldn’t have happened though if I didn’t define how I was going to be a starter the next year and follow through with the plan.
3. Set a Schedule
Your goal will only be attainable when you make the small changes needed to reach that goal. you need to set a realistic schedule for yourself each week or you will be setting yourself up to fail. The schedule should be written down, just like your goal and the steps you will take to reach each goal. When I played basketball I would go out each day and shoot for 2 hours from different spots on the floor so that when game time came I would get to those spots and it would be automatic. My confidence went up and FG% skyrocketed. If you are a point guard than you should schedule a few hours a day out for just dribbling and making passes. If you are a Center than you should be under a basket going over the same post up moves repeatedly so your mind doesn’t have to think when game time comes. For Coaches, maybe a different off season program will be what your players need to get motivated and develop the skill to win more games or even a championship.
4. Don’t Be Upset by Setbacks
Two steps forward and one step back is usually how it goes. When things go wrong or if you are not improving as fast as you think you should that’s when you need to toughen your resolve and keep going; if changing for the better was easy everyone would do it. If you are determined this year to hit the curve ball but it’s just not happening you may want to take a deep breath, talk to another baseball player or coach and start again. You will get there eventually if you don’t lose hope! Just think, when other people are quitting because of their setback and you push through yours then you will be that much better than your competition next year.
5. Get Additional Help or Support
No man or woman can do it alone; Tiger woods has a hitting instructor, Peyton Manning has a QB coach and Bill Belichick has mentors that he talks to. If you want to be great at whatever you are doing you need help from other people and you need to continue to educate yourself by reading books. Even though my competitive playing days are over I still enjoy playing softball and I still need to get help when things go wrong, but as long as I stay humble I will continue to grow and get better at whatever I do.
Happy new year and may this year be your best year!
By: Todd Marinshaw
I’m excited about the opportunity to share with the world the “Band of Bosses” blog. Here we will talk about any and all subjects related to being a boss. Whether you’re a business owner like myself or a manager at the mall, it makes no difference because this site is dedicated to having a community of leaders and helping each other lead better. The idea behind the Band of Bosses comes from Proverbs, “Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance”. We are all leaders and learners on this site so feedback is greatly encouraged. Everyone wants to hear from you so don’t be silent! Just a few guidelines, no profanity and no belittling; we can correct, encourage and help each other with tact. Everyone that comes here is both a teacher and a student so lets make sure we act accordingly. Also, I encourage each and every one of you to write your own article to be published here with the wisdom you have obtained from your own experiences; just post a topic and once it passes review it will be posted.
I’d like to share a little bit about myself. Currently I am the President of Allen Sportswear a fast growing team sports apparel company based in Orlando, FL. I am also Co-Founder of iPrevail International Foundation, a non profit organization that specializes in helping families overcome tragedy and get back on their feet.
I started off from humble beginnings, after a very unmotivating 4 years in high school I had two options presented to me; move out and work my way through Junior College or join the Military. I chose to enlist in the Navy and that began my journey into not only becoming a man but becoming a leader. While in the Military I achieved the highest ranking possible in a 4 year period and became a part of the Special Forces as a U.S. Navy 2nd class Diver. During my 4th of what was supposed to be 8 year enlistment I was hit by a car on base in Pearl Harbor and that was the end of my diving days (Yes, I know that doesn’t sound sexy but it’s the truth).
After my military days I jumped around doing everything from tutoring to working as a prison guard (juvenile hall actually) . Nothing caught my interest though until I met the woman of my dreams and decided I needed to grow up and get serious about a career if she was ever going to marry me. Yes, she does read this blog if you were wondering 😉 but that doesn’t change the facts. So, I decided to get into the exciting world of selling and I was a natural. I moved from one job to the next until I finally ended up at SBC, now called AT&T. I made good money but was left unfulfilled by what I was selling and what kind of impact I was making in the world.
That feeling eventually led me to start Allen Sportswear with my wife Tina and 10 years later we are still at it, learning from our mistakes and doing what we can to make each year better than the last. I love Allen Sportswear but one of the things I’m most proud of is iPrevail, which is something I get nothing out of but knowledge that I have made an impact in this world, which For me, there is no better feeling.
I look forward to hearing your stories and learning from your endeavors, thanks ahead of time for the knowledge you bring.
By: Todd Marinshaw