Thriving Together: 7 Vital Pillars for Company Success

Thriving Together: 7 Vital Pillars for Company Success

As the President and CEO of a creative marketing agency that has been in business for 25+ years, I strongly believe that our success isn’t just about financial gains or market dominance. Success comes from creating a thriving ecosystem where every member of the team feels valued, motivated, and empowered to contribute their best. Over the years, I have identified seven essential factors that lay the foundation for a company’s growth and prosperity. These factors are not just pillars; they are guiding principles that shape our culture and define our collective journey towards excellence.

  1. Set clear goals and objectives
    At the heart of every successful venture lies a clear vision and a roadmap to achieve it. Setting goals isn’t just about defining targets; it’s about igniting the flame of ambition and channeling our collective efforts towards a common purpose. At Cazarin Interactive, we strive to set ambitious yet achievable goals that inspire us to reach new heights. I encourage my team members to align their individual aspirations with the broader vision of the company to help create powerful momentum. If you are unclear about your goals, I have a series of guiding questions to help you establish them. 
  2. Be in a grateful and appreciative state of mind
    Gratitude is a transformative force that uplifts spirits, fosters resilience, and cultivates abundance. As leaders, it’s essential for us to acknowledge the efforts and contributions of every member of our team. A culture of appreciation and recognition validates the hard work of your colleagues and creates a positive feedback loop that fuels motivation and fosters a sense of belonging. Gratitude serves as a beacon of hope even through times of challenge.
  3. Tap into your team spirit
    Your company’s strength lies within the collective synergy of your team. By embracing the spirit of collaboration, cooperation, and camaraderie, we harness the diverse perspectives, skills, and experiences that each team member brings to the table. Together, we celebrate our successes, learn from our failures, and navigate the complexities of our journey in solidarity. In a world that glorifies individual achievement, it is our commitment to team spirit that sets us apart and results in creating joy.
  4. Control your stress
    Stress has the potential to be a silent killer of productivity, creativity, and well-being. As leaders, we have to cultivate practices that promote mental, emotional, and physical resilience. It is imperative that we do not let our own stress get passed along to our team. By setting boundaries and fostering a culture of work-life balance, we create a supportive environment where every member of the team can thrive. Through mindfulness, meditation, and other stress-relief techniques, we empower ourselves to face challenges with clarity, composure, and courage.
  5. Exhibit healthy habits
    Healthy habits form the cornerstone of a thriving workforce, enabling us to perform at our peak and lead fulfilling lives both inside and outside the workplace. My favorite healthy habit lately is playing pickleball, which has positively impacted my overall health and performance. I share my pickleball hobby and meditation with my team to help champion a culture of wellness and vitality and inspire them to prioritize healthy habits that nourish their minds and spirits, too.
  6. Communicate clearly
    Effective communication is the connective tissue that binds teams together and fosters understanding, alignment, and trust. As leaders, we recognize the importance of transparent, open, and empathetic communication in nurturing a culture of collaboration and empowerment. By actively listening to the diverse perspectives of our team members, fostering dialogue, and providing timely feedback, we create an environment where ideas flourish, conflicts are resolved constructively, and innovation thrives. Clear and purposeful communication unites us in our shared mission and propels us towards shared success.
  7. Enjoy the journey
    Company success is clear when the whole team understands that what they are working towards is a journey, not a destination. It is in the process of pursuing one’s goals that one needs to find happiness and joy. The more the team can enjoy the journey, which is created by small efforts each day, the more joy can be created as an outcome. At Cazarin Interactive, we implement small actions such as “Living the Brand” moments, which include small team bonding activities incorporated into our daily sprint meetings. This contributes to the joy we experience through the intangible energy of team collaboration.

Company success is not a solitary endeavor, but a collective journey fueled by shared purpose, mutual respect, and unwavering determination. Embracing these seven vital pillars helps lay the groundwork for a thriving team where every individual can shine. 

5 Guiding Questions to Ensure a Successful Business in 2024

5 Guiding Questions to Ensure a Successful Business in 2024

Most business leaders have already reviewed their 2023 numbers and evaluated whether they reached their goals or not. Most businesses, by now, have also set their 2024 goals and identified what needs to improve. I’ll volunteer myself as an example: My company, Cazarin Interactive, did not meet its 2023 sales goals. However, we have our eyes on the target and are making foundational strides to get there. I’m confident that this fact puts us ahead of many businesses and on the track to success in 2024.

As you enter a fresh start with the new year, it is important to know where your destination is. What does success look like for your business? That question isn’t always so simple to answer. However, it is key to achieve SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) goals. Define goals with this criteria in mind and you will more clearly understand if you have achieved them or not.

Here’s a hard truth: Unless you know where your destination is, you won’t get there this year. As a business owner or a marketer, you have to set goals and objectives, otherwise there is no direction toward success. To help set those goals for a successful 2024, here are five factors you need to consider:

GROWTH DEFINED: What kind of growth do I want to have in the next 12 months?
There are many potential answers to this question and yours will set the bar for the year. The steps required to make tremendous growth look different than the steps needed to make a 5% increase in profit, for example. Here are some ideas to choose from:

Perhaps you want 2024’s revenue to increase by 20% from 2023.
You may want to expand your customer base to 20 new clients in a specific industry or a new market.
Perhaps you want to launch a new product and break even on its sales by the end of the year.
You may want profit to increase by 30%, which likely involves reducing expenses and increasing productivity.

You may want the value of your existing assets to grow, whether by developing intellectual property or buying/selling the facility you operate from.

It’s easy to say you want all of the above, however, it is important to choose one definition of growth for your company this year and direct your focus on that part of the puzzle. If you do that, trust that all those other goals will begin to fall into place and progress will be made.

RESOURCES TALLY: Do I have the people, talent and/or equipment to achieve the goals I set up?
The growth goal that you’ve set for yourself has to be obtainable, of course. Consider first if you currently have the resources for that growth. A business is typically very lucky if it can answer yes to this question, and it is definitely possible. Sometimes, it’s a matter of maximizing talents that are already seeking more fulfillment from their jobs. Or, you may have equipment that you have not been fully utilizing.

If you do not have the resources or people for that growth, it is time to take some action. Sometimes, eliminating talent that does not fit the growth goal you have established is the difficult, yet necessary step to help you get there. This can often be especially true when increasing profit is the goal.

IMPLICATIONS: What will be the implications of this growth?
Growth isn’t meant to be easy. It can result in a new level of responsibilities, new problems that may arise, more expenses, and more conflict than you used to have. One should expect these implications, whether they happen or not, and be prepared. Some good questions to follow this one up with are:

  • Do we need more staff?
  • Will there be a shift in business and a higher demand for everyone’s time?
  • Do we have the capacity to add more services or products?

If you are acquiring a company, expect there to be some conflict and disagreement from existing staff about your assessments of the financial, operation, and legal aspects. Aligning business processes, cultures, and technologies is not always a seamless transition. Stakeholder communication is paramount, as employees, customers, and partners need to be informed and engaged throughout the process to maintain trust and support. Challenges may arise and flexibility is key in adapting to unforeseen circumstances. All implications of the growth need to be accounted for in advance so that when the growth happens, it doesn’t result in a collapse.

PLAN B: What would be the consequences if I don’t reach that goal?
All great goals have skin in the game, right? What would be the result of a year of untapped potential going by for you? What does it mean for your personal life? Your family? Factoring these details in works as a serious motivation boost.

It’s easy to think about how this growth affects ourselves, but what about your employees? How would your stakeholders respond if you did not reach the goal you set? When presenting your annual report to your employees and/or stakeholders, how do you want that presentation to go?

CONFIDENTIAL: Do you have goals that can’t be shared with others?
Goals such as retirement, selling the company, succession, and exit strategies, tend to be kept private to avoid stirring up fears, resentment, or negative emotions around the company. But as a business owner, consider how these goals play a role or are affected by the growth goals you set. Your growth goals may be what contributes to an earlier retirement, or serve to attract key investors in your company. Keep track of these personal goals separately and compare them with your business goals on a quarterly basis to ensure the work you’re doing is aligned with your overall purpose. After all, your happiness will contribute to the overall happiness and success of your company, so it is important, not selfish, to consider these needs.

My company, Cazarin Interactive, can execute the marketing required to help you achieve your goals. However, if you don’t have plans lined up and your goals set, we cannot achieve that together. Here’s to a successful 2024 ahead with clear goals and objectives set!

Tips for When You Have to Fire a Client

 Neil Sedaka put it best, “Breaking up is hard to do.”  And when it comes time to “breaking up” with a client, there is no uncomplicated way to say, “Let’s just be friends.”  Firing a client should always be a last resort and implemented with care and consideration. The goal is to allow the client dignity in the severing of the relationship as well as leaving the door open for you, to one day re-examine the opportunity of beginning a new functional and productive relationship but under different terms and circumstances.

Here are guidelines for you to consider as you change your relationship status with any of your clients.

  1. Assess the reasons for terminating the relationship. Before taking any action, it is important to assess the situation and the reasons behind the decision to terminate the relationship. Consider whether there have been any violations of the contract or any unethical and/or illegal behavior. Also evaluate whether you have tried to resolve the issues with the client and have exhausted all the options.

Moreover, it is important to determine the extent of impact losing this client will have on your business. If it is going to have a significant adverse effect on your bottom line, it is imperative that you find a way to mediate and attempt to salvage the relationship.

  1. Communicate the issues both in writing and verbally. Objectively assess if the communication has been consistent both on your part and the part of the client. If there has been a lack of response, failure to follow through which has resulted in the ability of your company to complete contracted tasks, that is a critical component to this decision.

 Schedule a meeting, virtual or in person, or call and express your concerns in a professional and respectful manner. Be clear about the issues that have led to this decision and give the client the opportunity to respond and address the issues. It is essential to follow up this conversation in writing with detail regarding all the concerns and issues discussed. Be sure to include any action items and which party has responsibility for these as well.


  1. Review your contract or engagement letter. Evaluate whether your company has fulfilled its contracted obligations and provided all requested products where possible. It is highly recommended that you complete any/all open projects before terminating the client. Offering a suggestion for a substitute option or competitor at this point can often be perceived by the client as both gracious and professional.
  2. Provide an action plan. Provide the client with a plan of action to address any fixable issues. Offer guidance and support to help the client improve the relationship and work towards resolving the issues.
  3. Offer a graceful exit. If the client cannot or will not address the issues, offer a graceful exit from the relationship. Be professional and courteous in your communication and provide clear details about how the process will work and what the next steps are.
  4. Keep records. Maintain detailed records of all communications related to the firing of the client. This should include all e-mails, meeting notes, and phone call logs. This information may be useful in the future.

Remember that firing a client is not an easy decision and should only be executed when all other options have been exhausted. It is important to approach the situation with professionalism and empathy, while also protecting yourself and your business.

The Quiet Client: Why You Want Your Client to Complain

Smart brands know that the overall customer experience is a vital cog in the system of success, now more than ever before. Consumers no longer base their brand loyalty strictly on pricing or even the product. They now stay loyal to companies simply due to experiences. Stats show that 96% of customers say customer service is a critical component in which brands they stay loyal to and customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies who don’t focus on customer needs.

But there seems to be a disconnect; recent surveys indicate that:

  • 1 in 26 unhappy customers will not complain? 
  • 91% of unhappy customers will simply leave a business without ever bringing their issues to customer service?

Why is it that brand experiences are so important to customers, but most of them avoid the opportunity to make theirs better?

1. Customers think complaining won’t change anything

As a consumer yourself, you can relate to the frustration of feeling like your complaints are falling on non-responsive ears. Many customers have either complained in the past and no changes were made or no resolution provided to them, or they assume the problem is an industry-standard and that a company simply doesn’t care about them – like others they’ve encountered in the past. 

Statistics show that a whopping 79% of consumers who shared a complaint about poor customer experience online were ignored. 

If a customer sees giving feedback as a waste of time there’s no incentive for them to bring concerns to your business’s attention

2. Customers have a fear of damaging a long-term relationship with a business

In cases where a customer has an ongoing relationship with a business, the customer may fear conflict or potential retribution if they complain. Will they receive worse service next time? Will an employee that made a mistake get fired because of them? Will it damage their business partnership? And will it result in an even worse brand experience?

A great example of this relatable fear is one we all have had at one time or another: complaining about a restaurant server to their manager before the server brings our food. And the server tampers with our food in some way for retribution. To avoid this scenario, customers often tolerate lackluster service rather than have to worry about being a potential victim of an angry wait staff.

3. Customers believe their issue is not critical enough to report

Oftentimes customers experience an issue, but it’s minute and they feel it’s not worth the hassle of complaining about, so they won’t bring it up at all. They would rather save the time and effort it takes to make a complaint and use it on something else more important.

4. The complaint process is too difficult

Many customers don’t complain because they simply don’t know how to escalate their complaint beyond the customer service staff member they are currently dealing with, can’t reach the correct department, or find themselves on hold for hours. If they do wait for a general manager they might end up talking to someone who can’t actually fix their problem and this discourages them from making further complaints. In fact, 72% of people see having to explain their problem to multiple people as poor customer service, and 44% of consumers say a customer representative has given them the wrong information.

5.  Customers don’t want to give unsolicited feedback

There’s another reason why unsatisfied customers don’t complain: you never ask them for feedback .Some customers are simply more reserved than others and will not go out of their way to provide feedback unless you explicitly ask them for it, even if they’re dissatisfied.


3 Reasons why customer complaints are good for business

Negative customer feedback isn’t always a bad thing. Learn how customer complaints can be used to help improve your products, services, operations, and customer experience.

1. Complaints identify important areas of service in need of improvement

Customer complaints help identify problems with the features or aspects of your products or services that aren’t as convenient or well-developed as other areas. Over 60% of customer experience professionals use customer feedback to help them prioritize better investments in products, services, and customer experiences.

Instead of searching for ways to make your services and products more appealing to your target audience, you can easily look at your customer complaints as a resource of insights on what part of your product and services need to be adjusted or upgraded. By looking at bad reviews you will often find good ideas from customers for improving your products and services that you didn’t think of previously.

Customer complaints also help identify specific departments that are typically falling short, as well as staff members who may need additional training, closer supervision, or possible termination.

2. Complaints help identify needed improvements in company policies and procedures

Customer complaints are really a reality check for your business. They can help identify operational deficiencies – highlighting flaws in your internal processes and pinpointing what areas of your external operations are not working well for customers. You can create a more efficient operation by knowing which procedures and policies are effective and efficient, and which ones can be reworked or simply discarded altogether. This makes strategic planning for growth and development much easier. 

3. Complaints open more doors for customer communication 

Complaints give your business more opportunities to speak with customers. Knowing and understanding your customers is a key point every successful business focuses on. When you know more about your customers; who they are, what their interests are, and what they think about your company, you can build more effective sales and marketing strategies.

Customer complaints can also indicate if any information your company is providing through your website, marketing materials, sales reps, or other communication channels is misleading, out of date, or simply lacking clarity. Statistics show that unhappy customers tend to leave companies because they don’t feel like a company cares about them, so it’s important to let them know that their feedback is valued and their opinions are acknowledged, even if it’s a dagger to the company’s ego.

It’s also critical to act on complaints and provide quick resolutions. This makes it clear to customers there is an open line of communication and their thoughts and problems matter to your company, which increases the chance they’ll continue doing business with you and/or provide a positive review of your company to their friends and family. 

The average American will tell 15 people about a poor customer experience. Customer loyalty is not just about catering to your promoters and happy customers, it’s about taking care of each customer as if they were your only customer.

A Destiny Driven Team Solves, Not just Sells

Destiny Driven” Team Ideology and Series


A Destiny  Driven Team Solves, Not Just Sells

Stop selling your employees about why they need to perform better.  Explain why their contributions help solve problems and contribute to the company’s/clients advancement.  Employees are more inclined to step up their game when they know their work can add-value to the healthier whole of the organization.

People tend to do three things when faced with a problem: they get afraid or uncomfortable and wish it would go away; they feel that they have to come up with an answer and it has to be the right answer; and they look for someone to blame. Being faced with a problem becomes a problem. And that’s a problem because, in fact, there are always going to be problems!

One of the key components of a successful team originates from their ability to solve problems as they arise, and do so in a collaborative, non-judgemental way. This can be more difficult than it sounds, but it’s important to remember that it’s a TEAM problem, so what’s needed is a TEAM solution. 

To begin with, a leader who is focused on results and has their finger on the pulse of the team is going to be able to determine where the gap is in service or quality. It might take some time and a little investigation to ascertain where the bottleneck is, but it is always the responsibility of the team lead to find the issue and then determine the best way to solve it. Additionally, how a leader sets the tone for dealing with an issue is key to how your team members will not only react, but how effectively they will work to fix it.

   Because people are born problem solvers, the biggest challenge is to overcome the tendency to immediately come up with a solution. Let me say that again. The most common mistake in problem solving is trying to find a solution right away. That’s a mistake because it tries to put the solution at the beginning of the process, when what we need is a solution at the end of the process.

When a client has called me with an issue, I might try to ascertain if there is one specific individual on my team who is at the root of the issue, but I tend to keep that as personal intel I don’t share with my team. It’s information that I keep in a mental file, but I don’t necessarily jump to the assumption that the entire issue rests solely in their hands. Instead, I gather the client team together to address the issue together for a problem solving session.

Why? Because years of managing people has taught me that approaching a problem as a puzzle the team needs to solve together is going to generate much better ideas – and results – than pulling one person into my office and asking them why they’re messing up. All that typically generates is defensiveness, excuses, and resentment. Conversely, if people feel that they have a team behind them to support them and work with them on fixing an issue they are much more likely to react positively and want to find an answer. 

It’s a proven fact that people who feel they are part of a cohesive unit working toward one goal are much more likely to step up to the plate. Think of the most successful sports teams in history along with the most revered coaches. Both have been born from a shared sense of work ethic, working collaboratively to solve an issue. While there may be a standout player here and there, the best of the best always know that the team wins together and fails together. And when you solve problems collaboratively, you increase the amount of stakeholders and the people who want to make sure the solution works. The more people who care, the more likely you’ll find success.

Here is the seven-steps I use for an effective problem-solving process.

  1. Identify the issues.

Be clear about what the problem is.

Remember that different people might have different views of what the issues are.

Separate the listing of issues from judgment and blame. Too often, team problem solving sessions can become a witch hunt of who to blame or who gets the passed buck passed to their desk last. All this ends up creating is a culture of suspicion and mistrust, and it is the quickest enemy to a cohesive, collaborative team. Instill from the start that the issue is the PROBLEM, not the person. If it seems like the issues do seem to consistently involve one team member, start by finding out if there are tools or training they need that could easily solve the problem.   

  1. Understand everyone’s interests.

This is a critical step that is usually missing.

Interests are the needs that you want satisfied by any given solution. We often ignore our true interests as we become attached to one particular solution.

The best solution is the one that satisfies everyone’s interests but that might not be possible. Find the one that satisfies the most.

This is the time for active listening. Put down your differences for awhile and listen to each other with the intention to understand.

Separate the naming of interests from the listing of solutions.

  1. List the possible solutions (options)

This is the time to do some brainstorming. There may be lots of room for creativity.

Separate the listing of options from the evaluation of the options.

  1. Evaluate the options as a team.

What are the pluses and minuses? What is the “all-around” answer. Remember that perfect is often the enemy of the good here. You’re looking for the best all-around solution to the problem. You’ll never find one that works from all angles and makes everyone absolutely happy, but you can find one that will be accessible and actionable.

Separate the evaluation of options from the selection of options.

  1. Select an option or options.

What’s the best option, in the balance?

Is there a way to “bundle” a number of options together for a more satisfactory solution? Share the work among team members? The possible issue could be a result of one person doing too many things. 

  1. Document the approach you’re going to take to solve the problem.

Don’t rely on memory.

Writing it down will help you think through all the details and implications.

  1. Agree on contingencies, monitoring, evaluation, and accountability.

Conditions may change. Make contingency agreements about foreseeable future circumstances 

How will you monitor compliance and follow-through?

Create opportunities to evaluate the agreements and their implementation. (“Let’s try it this way for three months and then look at it.”)

Effective problem solving does take some time and attention more of the latter than the former. But less time and attention than is required by a problem is not well solved. What it really takes is a willingness to slow down. A problem is like a curve in the road. Take it right and you’ll find yourself in good shape for the straightaway that follows. Take it too fast and you may not be in as good shape. *Add in accountability.


A Destiny  Driven  Team Focuses on Purpose, Not Just Profits

Employees are inspired by knowing that their hard work  makes a difference beyond profitability.  Destiny driven employees want leaders who see beyond the bottom line and look to create wider reaching impact that extends into the community and influences social causes.

Ricardo’s Input:

We are all on this earth for a purpose. To teach, to learn, to grow, to help, to experience. I once read a story about a very successful millionaire who happened upon a monastery during a trip abroad whose focus was working with the poorest among us. Within weeks, the man changed his life around: donated his money and his possessions, sold his business, and joined the monastery as a monk*  Needless to say, people in his life were shocked by this choice; many thought he had lost his mind. What did he have to say on the matter? He hadn’t lost his mind; he’d found his purpose. What he was put on this earth to do. Being a monk and working with the poor, taking the focus off of him and putting it on others, giving of himself every day rather than taking fulfilled him like nothing else had, even making money.

Now, this might be an extreme case, and certainly not all of us will find our purpose in such a selfless call. Conversely, your life’s purpose isn’t all about what you do when you’re at work. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find the right role in your job that will best inspire and stimulate you and where you can feel your talents are being used in their best way.

When I bring new people onto my team, I always have them take a personality inventory test before extending an offer. I’m not judging them solely on the results of the test, but I am trying to find insight into how they work, what makes them tick, how they interact with others, and where they are going to feel the most inspired. Someone who is an introvert, for example, is very unlikely to be a superstar in your sales department. Someone who is highly creative is not going to find their happy place working with analytics all day. Having this type of knowledge about a new hire has proven to be invaluable to me. I start out knowing where I can best plug them into my team to not just get the best out of them, but also where I can help them to feel the most fulfilled and purpose driven.

I once hired a talented woman in my marketing department who was working as an account manager and dealing directly with clients on a regular basis. Her role was to oversee all aspects of the clients’ account with us and ensure that all of the tasks they’d hired us to manage for them were being accomplished. She was performing well, but it became clear to me through our weekly check-in meetings that something was missing for her. She was getting the job done, but there was a decided lack of enthusiasm and joy in her spirit and her commitment to the team.

When I approached her about this, she shared with me that the constant interaction with the client that is required of an account manager made her feel like she wasn’t getting much accomplished, that instead, she was just making sure OTHER team members were getting the job done, and that wasn’t fulfilling for her. SHe felt more like a gatekeeper than someone who actually contributing in a meaningful way. 

It became clear to me during this conversation that this woman was an executor, not a manager.  For her to feel like she had put in a productive day at work she needed that task-oriented, crossed that off the list, here is what I produced that is making our work product better feeling. And while she was professional enough and talented enough to make sure her job got done, I knew she would never truly find her purpose working as an account manager. She would eventually come to this realization on her own and likely leave in a year or two. 

Rather than lose a talented and valued team member, I realized it was time to pivot. Through a few more meetings, we found what kind of client work was inspiring to her. A highly analytical and strategic person, she enjoyed looking at metrics, key performance indicators, and performance analytics, finding the patterns and discovering where efforts where falling short, and then problem solving with the team to rectify them. Once we discovered this, I was able to work with my Marketing Director to transition her account management role to one where she became an analyst. Once she stepped into this role, the change in her spirit was almost immediate. She not was visibly happier, she became a shining asset on our marketing team as a analyst who could quickly see problem areas and correct them.

The lesson? Find a team members true purpose and you find the way to unlock their true potential. Additionally, if a team member feels that you value them enough to help them find that purpose at your company, you foster true loyalty and connection.

*Unlock people’s potential

*Spiritual teacher – there are spiritual principles that do work in a work situation.

A Destiny Driven Team Leader Knows the Ingredients, Not Just the Recipe

When you spend time with your employees, make it matter. Don’t just expect your time and title and the fact that you sign their paychecks to be enough to inspire them. Employees want a leader that pays attention and genuinely cares about them.

Great leaders take the time to know the ingredients before they can create the best recipe for success. Employees are most inspired when a leader takes the time to know them and show that they have their best interests at heart.

Ricardo’s Input:

Make Yourself a Leader Who Conveys Humble Confidence

If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that the way you arrive at your destiny is at least as important as the place where you end up. As a Destiny-Driven leader who is focused on steering your team through rocky waters, there’s going to always be a lot of information and pressures that you’re privy to that your team is not, nor should they be. It’s crucial that as a leader, you always remember that you are the grounding rod for the team. 

Teams that succeed do so because they trust in both the vision and the resiliency of the person in charge. After all, for a team to believe in your mutual destiny, they have to have absolute faith in you being the person to navigate that journey. That doesn’t mean that you handle all the pressures and deal with all the worries alone, and you certainly can’t do it without ensuring that you’re ready and able for the challenge. A true destiny-driven leader has to be up to the challenge, which requires you doing a lot of personal work on yourself, and you have a trusted team helping you execute and deliver. 

We have all heard the phrase “Never let them see you sweat.” It’s typically a saying we associate with “competition”; never let THE OTHER GUY know you’re rattled or not prepared. But it’s also a sentiment that pertains to how you allow yourself to be viewed by your team as well. A CEO who appears to be frightened or flapable doesn’t inspire confidence or a sense of security in anyone. Consider some of our more revered and successful Presidents in history, like FDR or JFK; both of them were excellent leaders in part because they demonstrated and communicated a sense of authority and control in times of real crisis.

This is also true for a leader of a team of ten or a leader of thousands. In fact, a leader’s inability to maintain an appearance of confident control can result in making whatever difficulty you’re currently facing become twice as big as it was before. Consider this: If your team picks up  a sense of panic from you, what will they likely do? You’re the person they are going to look during a stressful time, and if you appear to be worried, they’re not only going to worry themselves; many are going to interpret your concern as a sign that they should jump ship and find another job. The last thing you need during a professional setback is to lose some of your best team members. This is why it is crucial that a leader has cultivated the talent of always maintaining their “game face” and conveys a sense of stability and authority. How do you make that happen?

It’s crucial that you continually invest in “me time” and self care. This can be counterintuitive to some leaders, who believe that working around the clock is always the answer. But consider this; if you’re continually stressed and have not cared for your physical and mental well-being, how can you possibly meet new challenges and setbacks when they arise? Think about a time in your personal or professional life where you weren’t taking care of yourself. Maybe it was when you were in college, cramming for exams and not getting enough sleep or proper nourishment. Maybe it was when you were working several jobs in your youth to be able to get a downpayment on a car or a house. If a setback had come along at that time, – like your car breaking down or an illness in your family –  would you have been able to meet that challenge with all of your power and focus? Of course not. And being a leader is no different. 

When coaching leaders, I always stress the importance of taking personal time for rest, reflection, and growth. Meditation, retreats, moments with family and friends, and vacation time are all worthy of your attention and are absolutely needed in order for you to be at your fullest potential to be a leader who has the focus and personal resources to see a team through a crisis. You need to be at your best; clear-headed, rested, balanced and strong. Find a routine that works for you and adopt it as your new normal and you will notice the difference.

Building a Team that Can Weather the Storm

There’s a lot of sayings we have all learned over our lives that speak to the importance of having the right parts of the puzzle in place: The whole is only as good as the sum of its parts. 

A Destiny Driven Team is Focused on Innovation, Not Just Ideation

When given the right role and resources, the best employees will instinctively challenge themselves to be more innovative in their work – and will perform better.  Provide your employees the resources and inspiration to be innovative in their work.   Stay close enough to your employees’ activities to know the 2 or 3 skills  and/or resources that  each would require to take their performance to the next level.

A Destiny Driven Team is Focused on Significance, Not Just Success

Helping your employees to be successful is important, but not inspiring enough in itself.  People want more out of their leaders and if you can activate the natural talents of your employees in ways that make them feel more responsible about their jobs, you will be inspiring something that is more significant; true pride and joy in their work. This has longer lasting impact.

A Destiny Driven Team is Focused on Personal Growth, Not Just Responsibility

when a leader can help foster the professional growth and development of their employees that performance most flourishes. Leaders must take more time to mentor their employee’s development and growth outside the office as well as inside.

A Destiny Driven Team Focuses on Empowerment, Not Just Accountability

A Destiny Driven Team Focuses on Respect, Not Just Recognition

A Destiny Driven Team Focuses on Collaboration, Not Just Execution 

A Destiny Driven Team Focuses on Excellence, Not Just Status Quo

A Destiny Driven Team Focuses on Trust, Not Just Transparency

5 Elements of a Good Brand

As the CEO of a marketing agency that has been in business for over 24 years,  I have heard the laments of many businesses that have wasted many resources on developing a business. A good brand has thought about the efforts of growing a company. 

Review your brand against these elements.

Having read from successful CEOs , marketing professionals, and from personal experience, I can attest that nurturing a  “Good Brand” for a company is one of the best investments an organization  can make.


It is great to have  a “Good Brand”.   Employees, staff and vendors notice a difference when they are in the presence of a Good Brand.  It is as a solid presence, a presence that says “we stand for X” we will help you to achieve X.  It is the power of the brand.


Team spirit is easy to lose if the company doesn’t support it.  If the company cares for the staff, they will reciprocate for the most part.  A cohesive team  is not easy to gain either. While I am not an expert , I can provide our experience in acquiring it and the benefits.

5 Elements of a Good Brand

These are the most important elements for a brand to possess: 


It is Purposeful 

A strong brand knows what it is and what is not.  It is defined and created to be the umbrella for the company.  It aligns the employees internally and projects a strong brand image to prospective customers and real customers.


It is Unique

Strong Brands know their Customer Value proposition and can easily articulate it to their prospective customers. Their staff knows clearly what they stand for and align these principles with their own values.


It Knows its Target Market

A strong brand knows who is the right potential target market to purchase its products and services.  It creates messaging that resonates with them.  It builds a connection with its target market and creates a solution for a need.


It is Consistent

A strong brand is consistent with its look, message, and character.  A brand character is usually defined early on, you can select any character from serious, to funny or laid back.  The goal is to be consistent with the messages, and tone the quality.  This will translate into a strong brand.


It is Authentic

A strong brand that is authentic, doesn’t try to imitate its competition.  It sets itself apart from the competition by being or doing something that it cares about.  By providing exceptional “Customer Service” or Technology advanced products, or always innovating.  An authentic brand knows where they stand in the marketplace.

Benefits of having a “Strong Brand” 

These next elements will ensure your marketing waste is minimal after 6 months. The key is to follow up on these five factors. 

Higher Retention of Talent

Staff will stay longer at the company when the organization has a strong brand with values that are well implemented. 

When the values of the staff resonate with the values of the employees, it creates pride and connection with the company. Having a strong brand also means that employees have clear goals, which gives your staff a sense of purpose in their role. 

Better and More Job Candidates 

Fostering a strong brand will promote your company work culture to outsiders looking for work.  Having a good work culture improves your company’s reputation for job seekers, allowing you to find higher quality applicants that best suit new openings. 

Higher Sales

Having a strong brand will generate more sales because the right brand messaging resonates with your customers. Brand messaging helps to increase sales by setting your company apart, in a positive way. Customers will spread the word to others who seek out the same values that your brand possesses. Having a strong brand makes it more likely that prospective customers will put their trust in your company. Your brand is what customers will remember, so having a strong brand ensures that your company will be remembered.

Higher Value

Companies with a strong brand have significantly higher value.  At the time of valuation, companies with strong brands will always come out on top. 

A Healthier Company 

 Promoting a strong brand is very important for the overall functioning of your company. By promoting a strong brand, you will set your company up for success

Defend the Brand

My final advice for nurturing a strong brand is to have very clear brand guidelines, for each of your audiences that interact with your brand. For example, vendors, staff, employees, executive team, customer service team, etc.


Make sure everyone knows the benefits of a strong brand.  


At Cazarin Interactive, we strive to have a great, strong brand and understand that we all represent the company.  We create joy together!  This is very important to us.

Final Takeaways

Be purposeful when promoting your brand.  Make sure your brand messaging is well developed and that it is well understood by your employees and stakeholders.  Develop clear brand guidelines that are easy to access.  When the brand messaging is promoted you can focus on what is important to the brand from its services. Including its products, caring for the environment, and caring for its people.  Just be consistent on the message and make sure that everyone is aligned in understanding the brand.

When someone selects Cazarin Interactive as their marketing partner, our team becomes a part of their company.  We seek to have long term relationships with our customers and pay for ourselves by increasing sales and enhancing their brand. We will nurture joy and respect in our interactions with your company.


Do you want to utilize our Marketing Fusion (™) and see real growth in your business? Contact our marketing department today.  


Marketing Fusion Brochure


How do you nurture “Team Spirit” in your organization today?

Marketing Strategy – Partner with Google

Early on Google dominated the search on the Internet.  Perhaps it was their simplicity on the page. Perhaps their name, but it is clear that Google has become an important company for anybody or any company who desires to market on the Internet.

Google came from the word Googol which is one of the largest numbers named.  Googol is a 1 with 100 zeroes. Very large number if you ask me!

Google has turned into a verb, its brand is incredible.  My daughters when talking among themselves and can’t find the meaning of something just say “Google it!” Meaning find its meaning on Google.

The company dominates the searches online and tries to be ahead of its competition by looking, researching and investing into many different technologies.  Google’s official vision statement is to “Organize all of the data in the world and make it accessible for everyone in a useful way.”  

Since I sell digital marketing company and believe in Google my company is a Google Partner.  Decided to take the courses, I am certified by Google on the following:

Google Provides all the necessary tools:

Google has an incredible Academy online available to anyone.  Google tracks your progress and provides the certification for free.  There is no need to pay any company or anyone.

We are currently Google partners, there are several of us certified.  We should be Google Premier Partners by the end of 2019.

We adopted Google Docs a few years ago and the implementation of these tools have made us very productive.


Google is a great company to review and analyze.  There are many tools available free of charge.

You are invited to receive 30 minutes of free advice if you mention this article.

To learn more, contact Ricardo at

Marketing Strategy – New Business MN Magazine

Marketing is one of those things that everybody thinks they know something about. After all, every day they are exposed to it through emails, phone calls, direct mail, web ads and more. What they don’t see is the strategic thinking that goes into designing campaigns that reach them with the right message, in the right medium, at the right time that stimulates their interest to act.

For more than 20 years, I’ve worked with small business owners to create successful marketing campaigns to grow their businesses and educate them. Based on that experience, here is What Every New and Small Business Should Know about marketing strategy:

So much has changed over the years when it comes to marketing online. It used to be enough to have a good looking website. Now, it’s so easy to build a website that almost anyone can do it. My teenage daughter built one for $6 a month with easily available software tools.

Yes, a site should be attractive, but the overriding purpose behind the design must be to attract the market segment you want. And they you want that market segment to execute an action that is planned and gets you closer to having them call or fill in a form to doing business with you.

At Cazarin Interactive, we view a website as a “Digital Sales Channel.” We take that term very seriously because we believe your website should be part of your sales department. Rather than hire a sales rep for $60,000 plus benefits, you could upgrade your website and have your Digital Sales Channel achieve those sales.

To drive sales, your website needs to be creative and attractive. It should differentiate you from competitors. There should be a clear call to action, such as an enticement to fill out a form or pick up the phone. It should have Persuasion Architecture, which helps the user to navigate well and easy to find the necessary information.

Your website needs to be the hub of all your sales efforts. It needs to tie in with social media, direct mail, Google Ad Words, and other advertising. It will produce for you day and night! – That is the Digital Sales Channel.

Track Results

There is truth in the old saying that 50 percent of your marketing money is wasted, but you just don’t know which 50 percent. That’s why it is so important to track results.

By tracking, you can figure out what marketing effort is working and what isn’t. When you know that, you can fine-tune your message or channel. Good marketing requires that you follow this recipe: Implement, review, fine-tune and repeat.

Brand Building

We elevate brands, both large and small, with cohesive, impactful presentation.

Marketing Services

We develop customized marketing campaigns to achieve specific goals.

Web Development

We build robust websites that drive business and grow audiences.

Establish goals for your marketing plan. It could be a goal like adding four to six new clients every month totaling a minimum of $40,000 in revenue. Or that a telemarketing campaign must provide two qualified appointments each month. Make sure you set up a tangible goal for your website and measure the results.

Keep It Fresh Search engines reward websites that have changing content with higher rankings. Make changes on at least a monthly basis. Add a page or an article. If your website isn’t evolving, it will look outdated and be harder to find in a search. Never forget that your website is often the first Impression for prospects. Old and outdated content can be seen as neglect. One of our newer clients has a beautiful building because they want to impress their high-end clients. Their website, however, was atrocious. They didn’t realize that making a bad first impression online can turn off prospects rather than leading them to take the next step to buy.

Watch Your Competition

If people are searching online for your products or services,they are also checking your competition. Follow their example. Visit your competitions’ websites to learn what they are showcasing. See if you can glean any insights that might benefit you. Then, like a prospect, compare the first impressions of the sites. If you are on the losing end of the comparison, it might be time to update your design.

Website Is an Asset

If what I’ve said about using your website to drive revenue is true, then it is also true that a website that produces sales is an asset that can increase the value of your company. A great example of this one of our clients. After we built their Digital Sales Channel, sales increased by 1,100 percent. When the time came to sell the business, they were able to get a higher value because the website was the engine that produced that growth.


Take a few minutes and take a good, honest look at your website. Ask yourself if it could do more to support and drive sales.

What kind of first impression do you think it presents?

Think about what is the tangible purpose for your website?

Think about what you could do to improve your search ranking. Check out what your competitors are doing. Start thinking of it as a Digital Sales Channel and as an asset.

You are invited to receive 30 minutes of free advice if you mention this article.

To learn more, contact Ricardo at