Sunday, August 25, 2019

North Star Objectives

North Star Objectives are long-term, high-level, aspirational goals that motivate, inspire, and uplift the goal-setter. Think of them the way that sailors view the North Star: a way to stay the course, no matter where you are.

Dogs are cool.

In business, the idea is to identify the organization's overall purpose and ambition - the North Star by which it is navigating - as well as stakeholder promises, guiding beliefs about the future, and strategic assets.

I love dogs.

Vision serves as a unifying focal point for everyone in the organization - like a North Star. In fact, your vision statement needs to be something you can achieve at some point in the future. You need to see it, feel it, and believe that it will come true.

Have I mentioned dogs?

In many areas of the country, especially in the South, the situation for animals is desperate. Chained outside and starving, homeless and running loose, or just simply no longer wanted and abandoned in an overburdened and underfunded facility that simply cannot take another animal, there is little hope. They need a miracle. These animals can look to the night sky for the North Star, their only way out.

North Star Pet Rescue was founded in 2017, a New Jersey volunteer-based, 501(c)(3) all breed animal rescue, focused on saving at-risk dogs from overcrowded animal shelters.

I live in Boonton Township, New Jersey. I learned of North Star and I immediately made the connection with their name, and how their name resonated with me from a business owner's perspective.

From North Star's website, I learned about (formerly which is North America's largest non-profit pet adoption website. They help over 17,000 animal shelters, humane societies, SPCAs, pet rescue groups and pet adoption agencies advertise their homeless pets to millions of adopters a month - for free.

Via the power of the Internet, these groups connect adopters with shelter pets and help pets to go from alone to adopted. They also provide useful and informative information on the human/companion animal relationship to help keep pets healthy and permanently in their loving homes. They have blogs and a YouTube channel with useful pet training tips, as well as entertaining videos, all produced by experts and professionals in animal training and behavior, as well as human psychology.

Pause here. Stop.

How does this blog make you feel so far? What brain chemicals are firing in your cerebral cortex at this moment? And did you know that the cerebral cortex is the most important part of our brain (at least in the field of psychology) because it is what makes us human.

Where are you going with this Tom???

If you can find your North Star in business, everything changes. If people (your customers, your clients, your vendors, your suppliers) can "feel" your North Star deeply and clearly, your success is guaranteed.

Travelers and explorers have always relied on Polaris, the North Star, to navigate long before the era of GPS. It has a unique position and constant visibility providing the direction of true north. It was dependable, it was reliable, it was a given.

We're Pet Lovers Trying to Make a Difference. 

Finding Homes for Homeless Pets is What We Do.

Simple. Clear. Powerful.

So: What is your North Star?

Sunday, August 11, 2019


In printing and publishing, proofs or galleys are the preliminary versions of publications meant for review by authors, editors, and media review publicists. Many years ago, I received a galley proof of Start With Why for my review.

When I learned that Simon Sinek was doing a book signing in NYC in July of 2011, I told my two sons to "get in the car" because we're going to the city. WHY? they asked. 

"EXACTY!" I said.

Meeting Simon changed my life. Over time, I thought about the WHY movement, and how it was like electricity. You don't "invent" electricity. You "discover" electricity, as it was always there, hiding in plain sight. Ah, but how to harness and utilize electricity as a tool for mankind, that is indeed the magic. The concept of WHY and its power was always there - just like electricity. The power of WHY was always waiting to be discovered, hiding in plain sight. We have Simon to thank for sharing it with the world. Inspiring, indeed.

The next thing I knew, I was hooked. I became part of the WHY movement. I would "present" and teach and evangelize the principles of the Golden Circle. When I would be asked to speak at a college, university or professional association, my presentation would always begin with WHY. Rutgers University alone, has 500,000+ living alumni. I know for a fact that their School of Business put Start With Why on the must-read list. So did Quinnipiac, so did UCONN, so did PURDUE, so did.....

And now, it has happened again. 

I just caught lighting in a bottle, again.

I met David Meerman Scott on LinkedIn (June, 2019). I said to myself, "Wow, this guy would make a great keynote or video podcast for the millions in community!" 

So of course, I reached out to David. We did a Zoom meeting. We clicked. We had a follow up meeting. Sparks were flying. We know so many of the same people. I learned that David had a new book coming out in January, 2020 that (in his words) is his best work to date. FANOCRACY.  

Fandom is not just for actors, athletes, musicians, and authors anymore. It can be rocket fuel for any business or nonprofit that chooses to focus on inspiring and nurturing true fans. The most powerful marketing force in the world isn't social media, email blasts, search ads, or even those fifteen-second commercials before YouTube video. It's fandom. 

David's publisher sent me a galley proof for my review. (Oh baby, here we go again....)

The foreword of the book is by Tony Robbins. Yeah, that Tony Robbins. He says, "The core strategy behind any remarkable organization - one that dwarfs the competition and creates massive customer loyalty - is to provide so much value that customers can't help but share their enthusiasm and excitement. Fanocracy is breaking new ground. It is a deep dive into the strategies to build a powerful culture that drives business success. The book has ideas that you can implement immediately, such as letting go of your work and allowing people to make it their own, seeing the world as a gift and giving gifts in return, and celebrating your customer's stories". 

Here is my review of FANOCRACY. Simon Sinek's book Start With Why changed my life. David Meerman Scott (and his daughter Reiko Scott) wrote a book that IS my life. The key to a "fanocracy" is an organization that puts the needs and wishes of fans ahead of every other priority. It is not easy to focus on intangibles like community, generosity, and fun, rather than maximizing profits on every interaction. Those who apply the strategies in Fanocracy are more likely to dominate their categories. And beyond the financial benefits, fanocracies spread more joy and inspiration to the world at large. 

David has agreed to doing a video podcast series for the NYDLA community. Although the book does not come out until January, 2020 you can sign up for their amazing newsletter and - preorder the book, and all members of NYDLA shall receive the book for FREE. I'll personally give you a credit to your NYDLA account, just email

See? Here's proof that I read David and Reiko's book! 

Why do some brands, even supposedly boring categories like car insurance and enterprise software, attract not just customers but raving fans?  It's simple: they Started With Why and then, they created a Fanocracy

And so can you.

My Challenge Coin from Simon Sinek