Monday, August 18, 2014

You Can Attack a Cognovit Note Judgment in Ohio

Guest post by Jack S. Malkin, Esq

A court’s jurisdiction (the right to hear the case) over cognovit notes is governed by R.C. 2323.12 and 2323.13, and these statutory requirements must be met in order for a valid judgment to be granted upon a cognovit note, or for a court to have subject-matter jurisdiction over it.  Since a defendant does not have the chance to be heard in the cognovit proceedings and gives up various rights and defenses normally afforded him, Ohio law provides that cognovit judgments must be strictly construed and applied.  In addition, to support a judgment on a cognovit note, the terms must be facially sufficient to support judgment.  In order for a cognovit note to be valid, the terms of the note itself must be sufficient to facially support the judgment for which confession is made. 
              R.C. §2323.13(A) provides in pertinent part:
                  “*** Notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary, if the maker *** resides within the territorial jurisdiction of a municipal court *** or signed the warrant of attorney authorizing confession of judgment in such territory, judgment on such warrant of attorney shall be confessed in a municipal court having jurisdiction in such territory, provided the court has jurisdiction over the subject matter; otherwise, judgment may be confessed in any court in the county where the maker *** resides or signed the warrant of attorney. ***” 

It is clear that a warrant of attorney confessing judgment must be filed in the county where the maker resides or the county where the warrant of attorney was signed.  It is also clear that the court must find that jurisdiction exists from the face of the note itself.

What this means is that the cognovit note must clearly indicate where the maker resides or where the note is executed.  If the note itself does not establish either of those two elements necessary to confer the court with subject matter jurisdiction required to enforce a cognovit note, then the note is invalid and the judgment is void ab initio. (treated as invalid from the outset).

There are other issues that can invalidate a cognovit judgment as well so it is imperative to seek the advice of a skilled attorney in this specialized area of the law.
For more on your ability to attack cognovit notes, please contact Jack for guidance and assistance.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Inspired Ideas for Business Growth

The other night I had the extreme pleasure of attending a COSE thinkspot event where Cameron Herold was the keynote speaker. He offered so many ideas and strategies for business success that I found myself listening more than writing. I didn't want to miss a word.

Much of what he shared really sunk in and I found myself sharing his ideas with others as I went about my business. The first topic he shared - Vivid Vision - is right in line with my Roadmapping for Business Success. As Cameron explains it, you should look out three years and visualize what your business looks like. Then you paint a picture of that vision - something you can share with others. Something that either really inspires them or turns them away.

This matters because WHO you have working with you is just as important as where you are going. If the right people aren't with you then you are hurting your business. 

Cameron reinforced the idea that when you have people with high values and high skills you should handcuff them to your company. This means finding out what matters to them and give it to them. Otherwise, someone else is going to poach them. When you have someone who has high values but low results you need to put them in the right seat. They aren't doing what they are good at but they still provide value to your company because of their values.

When you have someone with low values and low results - this is the easy one - you fire them.  When you have someone with low values and high results - you fire them. The belief is this - you break our core values, you can't work here anymore. It's that simple. It doesn't matter what their skill set is. They are a cancer to your organization.

Of course, in order to know what your core values are, you need to have your vivid vision. 

Do your business a favor and spend some quality time with yourself and your vision. Work it out and then share it with everyone else. Live it, breath it, speak it often.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Clarity of Course Sales Series - Welcome

Welcome to the Clarity of Course Sales Series

We'll be sharing articles, videos, tips and techniques for successful sales performance. Whether you're a small business owner or sales professionals, you'll discover ideas you can plug into your process today! 

It's The Relationship, Stupid!

Too many small business owners and salespeople are out there making promises they have no intention of keeping. They’re asking for favors from strangers; they’re expecting others to sell for them. None of this is good. And in today’s competitive economy, it’s disastrous.

Those who are going to survive and thrive are the business owners and salespeople who are building and nurturing real relationships. Many of you are reading this and saying ‘Well, duh!’

Before you go off assuming you are on top of this, think through your relationships with your clients, referral partners, connections, and associates. Are you promising what you aren’t delivering? Are you meeting someone and jumping into bed with them before you know their name (metaphorically)? Sometimes we get so used to what we are doing that we don’t take the time to make sure we are building real relationships.

It's worth the time to get to know your prospects, clients, partners and connections. Only then can you determine if they are someone you want to continue to engage with. Moreover, you have to be sure you are following through with what you promise. The majority of people and businesses would rather hear the truth than be told something they want to hear only to find it wasn't real.

Know what you do, what you don't do, and what you want to be doing. Build honest and true relationships and you will find that they flourish and bear results time and time again. It's a better use of your time than the one hit event. And your reputation will remain high.

Copyright© 2014 Seize This Day Coaching

Sales is critical to business success. This post is a small sample of what you will find when you explore the Clarity of Course Sales Training Digital Program coming soon. Keep an eye out for the launch announcement. It's a great, tactical, action oriented sales training program designed to help you succeed.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Must Read for SMBs

As you know, I like clarity and specificity. I’d rather have someone tell me how to do something along with the “why” than listen to a lot of theory. I like action. So, I really like the book Business Techniques for Growth by Thomas H. Gray.

In this book he outlines how to grow a business while providing those techniques mentioned in the title. And he starts with employees which I think is wonderful. After all, if your employees aren’t engaged nothing else is going to matter much.

Gray starts each section with a table of the topic, technique, and recap of the content you’ll receive. Then he systematically goes through each topic providing you with the technique and the reasoning behind it. This book is really great for all small business owners, regardless of where they are in their business. And he writes with a straightforward, succinct style that makes it easy to take what he says and implement.

If you are newly launched, read this book. If you’ve been in business for a while, read this book! This book can help you tighten up your company so you realize the success you desire. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

4 Things Your Brand Can Do To Get PR Today

This is a great article by Jennifer  Jacobson. She is the founder of Jacobson Communication

You don’t have to wait for your brand’s next launch, campaign, or big announcement. Successful communications is not about one point in time—it’s about momentum. Successful communications means strategically sharing something that will (1) provide useful information to your audience; and (2) support your brand’s objectives. It’s not rocket science.    

Here are four things that can help you move the PR needle starting today.

1. Share Your Data
If your brand has been around for more than five minutes, you have data. Look for the most interesting data that you can share about your market or area of interest. Then, look for the movement and/or contrast, where numbers move drastically or data is in stark contrast with itself. That’s where you’ll find the story.

Your job is not to reveal a 30-page report to the press; just summarize the data in a compelling way, and be sure to site your source. Infographics are a great way to do this, or well-written, one page reports, filled with insightful quotes from management.

Remember, the point of this document is to make your brand look like an authority in its space. Only share what supports this objective.

2. Share Someone Else’s Data
Don’t have your own data? That’s fine. Do a little research on your industry or area of interest. Then compile (and cite) that data into a relevant report or infographic. Be sure to add strategic insights from your management team.

3. Offer a Founder’s Story Exclusive
Every brand has a founder’s story. Ask your founder how they came to found your brand. What was their process? What was their inspiration? Why did they do it? What would they have done if they hadn’t done this? What is the most surprising thing they have learned?

This can be a great way to showcase the human side of any brand.

4. Be An Industry Expert
Chances are, someone at the top of your organization is probably an expert in at least one field, and it’s probably in an interesting topic like machine learning, zoology, bioengineering, health tech, internet security, or the intersection of big data and alleviating global poverty. Start strategically offering your advice to a handful of reporters who cover these topics regularly. If you’re a true expert, some of the reporters you contact will need quotes for upcoming articles, and want to interview you. Should you be so fortunate, don’t spend the whole time talking about your brand. Your job is to be an expert, who also happens to be with your organization.

In Conclusion
Successful communications is ongoing. Once you start looking for creative ways to both tell your story and offer value to people, you’ll find a whole new way to grow your brand and your brand’s influence.

About the Author
Jennifer L. Jacobson is the founder of Jacobson Communication and a Silicon Valley leader known for helping brands get the attention they deserve. She is also a social media expert and author, known for her book, 42 Rules of Social Media for Small Business.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Terrific Insights from Ryan Estis

When you get the opportunity to hear Ryan Estis speak, lock it in on your calendar. In the meantime, subscribe to his blog and twitter feed. I was fortunate to attend the COSE Thinkspot event the other night where Ryan was the keynote. Besides his energy and compelling delivery, he had some terrific insights to share. I was so impacted by what Ryan had to share that I thought I’d pass it on.

1.    There are two questions you should be asking as a small business:
a.    How did I add value today – specifically
b.    How will I be remembered by the people I interacted with today

How I heard this: It’s more than providing our service or product. It’s about
                            making a difference in the lives or businesses of others. This is
                            how we are sustainable and continue to have relevance.

2.    Be remarkable. The definition of Remarkable is: worthy of being remarked upon; so good; so distinct.

How I heard this: Wow! Such a great point. It’s interesting to think about whether
                            we are having such an impact on others that they would talk
                            about it within their spheres of influence.

3.    Every employee you have is watching you.

How I heard this: This really struck me. While I don’t have employees I do work with many business owners who do. And one of the things they don’t necessarily think about is how their actions are being interpreted by their staff. Employees really are watching their leaders. And they are deciding whether to follow the leader based on what they see.

4.    Most small business owners say they want to provide excellent customer service but they don’t define what that is. So, everyone does it their own way which leads to chaos.

How I heard this: Bravo! It is up to the leadership to not only define what excellent customer service looks like but to consistently share that viewpoint with their staff. And hold them to a standard that they are meeting themselves.

5.    In order to sell something to someone you have to help them see that the pain of same is greater than the pain of change.

How I heard this: I just LOVE this! Such a great way of describing a challenge every sales person/small business owner faces. People don’t like change and inertia is one of the biggest enemies we face. As Ryan points out when you can help them see that the pain of change is not as great as the pain they are currently in, they will buy.

6.    There is value in scheduling time to write, read, and learn.

How I heard this: Life is busy. It’s easy to fill our time with other things; things that don’t elevate our businesses. Ryan shared his experience with blogging consistently and how that has made sales easy for him. I’ll tell you what – that re-energized me to get blogging again!

7.    The next generation expects a couple of things – technology, and to be treated like a VIP. Ryan says that you have to understand technology in order to be relevant for the future. And it is the next generation who are the buyers of the future.

How I heard this: We can fight the texting and the seeming rudeness of the millennials but that’s like pushing a rope! They aren’t going anywhere. Meeting them where they are builds respect and trust – both ways.

Ryan said all this and more. And then, as he was wrapping up he suggested we think about the person who had the most impact on us and our path, and if it was possible, to call them and thank them.

I cannot thank my father via the phone since he passed away in 2005. So, I reached out to the best boss I ever had, Dave Westcott, and thanked him. Who can you contact and thank for helping shape who you are? And, what have you learned from reading the wisdom of Ryan Estis?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Marketing Simplified

Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking with Ivana Taylor on Accelerate Your Business Growth Radio Show. Ivana shared her tips about small business marketing. She talked about four marketing styles:

  • Social Style
  • Persuasive Style
  • Analytical Style
  • Creative Style

It’s important to understand your style so you can develop a strategy that makes the most sense for you and your business. Ivana also talked about the importance of understanding what your marketing goals. Identify who can help you meet those goals and develop relationships with those influencers.

Also important is knowing what you can automate and what you can’t. You can automate some posts but you can’t automate conversations.

To learn more about your marketing style and what to do with it, you can listen to the show and visit Ivana’s website to take her style assessment. There you’ll also find tools for creating and implementing your strategy.

And check out Bizapalooza on July 9-11 to learn client acquisition and retention secrets of the best small business experts.