About YourCrisisExpert

As Executive Director of Crisis Communications & Reputation Management at Piranha International, Aaron Duncan specializes in, corporate litigation, high-profile brand crises, executive changes, political scandals, social media rumors, federal & state investigations, investor relations, and corporate communications for individuals, brands, and organizations all over the world. Aaron is dedicated to maintaining a positive public image for high-profile individuals such as celebrities, entertainers, professional athletes, musicians, moguls, executives, medical professionals, entrepreneurs and politicians. With an emphasis in crisis communications and reputation management, Aaron helps individuals, brands, and organizations respond to negative accusations and information. When a company or individual's brand or reputation is attacked, protecting and defending that most precious asset becomes the highest priority. An inadequate or ill-timed defense can result in irreparable damage. Individuals, brands, and organizations that want to successfully address these inevitable threats needs an experienced crisis manager and communication’s expert to help them through the process. High-profile crisis communications and reputation management is Aaron's specialty. Helping you manage the complexities of a crisis is critical to ensure the life of your brand and the strength of your reputation. "In the absence of communication, rumors and "fake news" fill the gap. Either you communicate or people will communicate for you." - Aaron Duncan Aaron is also available to speak to your audience on a wide variety of topics concerning Branding, Crisis Management, Crisis Communications, Reputation Management, 24/7 Preparedness, Ethics and much more. Contact Aaron today to discuss a possible speaking opportunity for your event. Aaron Duncan W: www.yourcrisisexpert.com P: 636-385-4999

Happy New Year! 2020

If you don’t make the time to work on creating the life you want, you’re eventually going to be forced to spend a lifetime dealing with a life you don’t want. Make 2020 a year of focus. A year of renewal. A year of eliminating bad habits, ending toxic relationships and creating the life you’ve always dreamed of. Happy New Year! 🥂 Make it epic! 🚀

Enjoy the Journey!

Why NOW is the Best Time to Turnaround your Business—Yes!! Even in this Economy!

Remember when running your business was fun and exciting? When you got there early and stayed late? Since then, you’ve sacrificed a lot for your business. Going to work before Starbucks even opens, pulling all-nighters and grinding out a business plan on a Sunday morning are all examples of the work you’ve put into your business. Along the way you’ve invested your hard-earned money, determined to build your enterprise, and eventually along the way, borrowed more. Then there are the countless dance recitals, swimming lessons, anniversary dinners and barbecues that you’ve missed along the way, all in the name of success.

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, all the sacrifices were worth it—that is until today. Let’s face it— things have changed. Despite all of your hard work and sacrifices, your business has become more than you can realistically handle. It’s not producing the cash you need and your days are more frantic than fun. It is at this moment that you find yourself at a turning point— a crossroads of sorts. You need to make some necessary changes and turn things around, but just how do you accomplish such a turnaround in today’s economy?

A successful turnaround depends on producing positive cash flow, while systematically restructuring the business around a smaller, but profitable “core” business. Our highly successful Turnaround Consulting Package is designed to help you achieve your goals, quickly and efficiently. Let us turn your business around so you can start realizing its full potential. Our Turnaround Consulting Package consists of the following services:

» A Review and Evaluation of your current business situation
» An Interview and evaluation of key employees
» A detailed three-year strategic plan with the focus of getting your business back on track
» A specific debt consolidation plan
» A comprehensive financial roadmap
» Specific sales/marketing recommendations
» A Complete Step-by-step implementation checklist

Turning your business around does not involve guesswork, unnecessary stress, or long-nights at the office. It is a straightforward process designed to get your business back on track so you can begin to see profits again! During this process we will assist you with:

» Stabilizing the environment so you can make good decisions.
» Diagnosing why cash is nonexistent, sales are low, and profits are down.
» Reorganizing your business around a profitable core.
» Preparing a reasonable turnaround plan your creditors will support.
» Negotiating the restructuring of your debts and obligations.
» Executing your turnaround plan with precision and consistency.
» Growing (or selling) your business when the turnaround is complete.

Often time’s entrepreneurs confuse process with results, and as a result, their expectations are rarely met. Turning around a business is a lot like getting in shape – it doesn’t happen overnight. If you wanted to run a marathon, you probably wouldn’t sign up for a marathon tomorrow. You would begin by gradually increasing your mileage while you get in shape. At first, you may only be able to run a mile before collapsing on the couch, but in time, you would realize your goal and cross the finish line a champion. Like a marathon runner, entrepreneurs achieve lasting results by following a proven method and sticking with it.

If your business is running you into the ground, now is the time to turn it around. Let us help you turn your business around, so you can get back to having fun running it! Even in this economy, businesses are thriving. Get your business back on track and contact us today.

If you would like us to help you with your turnaround, please email (aaronwduncan@gmail.com) us today!

The Pathway to Excellence

“ Some people dream of excellence…while others wake up and work hard at it.”

Too often in life, obstacles that are in our way burden us, drag us down, and prevent us from reaching excellence. For new entrepreneurs starting out on their own, those obstacles can seem insurmountable. Yet with every new obstacle comes opportunity—the opportunity to prove ourselves, and the opportunity to prove the doubters wrong. It is during times of uncertainty that I am reminded of a story.

Careful where you tread, each step forward is your life.

Deep in the heart of the desert, two cities waged a ruthless war. During this heated battle, the powerful sultan captured the neighboring city’s prince and brought him to his palace. As he looked over his captured prize, he devised a plan.

”Prince,” he growled as he pulled his chains tightly, “your life is in my hands now. Yet to show you what a just and merciful sultan I am, I have decided to place your life back in your hands. A servant will bring you a bowl of milk filled completely to the very top. If you can carry that bowl out of this palace to the gates of the city and back, then I will grant you your freedom. If; however, one drop of milk spills out of the bowl, the captain of my guards will remove your head instantly.”

The sultan snarled as the servant filled the prince’s bowl and the prince methodically set out on his incredulous journey. Step by cautious step, the prince walked, being ever so careful where he put his foot, lest he might step on a loose stone or an unstable brick. His life rested on every step he took and he knew it.

As he walked down the streets, the sidewalks became crowded with all of the inhabitants of the city. They waited for him to spill a drop, so they could cheer in his failure and witness their enemy’s death. As he walked, they began to laugh at him and mock him. Every insult they directed at him with the hopes of distracting him from his purpose.

“What an idiot,” they jeered, “ doesn’t he know how funny he looks.”

“ Don’t trip mister. You’ll never make it”

Some even tried to get him to take a shortcut through the city in the hopes of tripping him up and distracting him from his purpose. Yet all the while the prince remained steadfast and with each cautious step he drew closer to achieving his goal and gaining his life.

When he arrived back at the palace, the sultan stood in disbelief.

“ I never dreamed you could do it, young prince,” the sultan cried. “ Didn’t you hear the people taunting you, the laughter, the jeers? I hope you know they were trying to distract you. I hope you realize that they were trying to make you fail. They all said it couldn’t be done.”

The prince stood there for a moment and pondered the sultan’s remarks. He thought back to his long journey, the overflowing bowl of milk and the task he focused on so intensely.

“ Sultan,” he finally remarked when he found the words to speak, “ I never saw any people. What people?”

“The crowds…the streets! There were thousands of servants mocking you at every turn,” the sultan replied. “How could you not see them? Well if you didn’t see him, surely you must have heard them.”

“No,” the prince replied, “ I didn’t even know anyone was there.”

In disbelief, the sultan sat back and pondered the prince’s remarks. Surely he must have heard the remarks and the insults. The more he thought about it, the angrier he became. Finally he demanded that the prince tell the truth and tell him how he managed to block out thousands of his enemies.

The prince thought about his long journey and replied simply, “All I knew is that I had to remain focused. I knew that I couldn’t cut corners or take shortcuts; after all, my life depended on it. I had to maintain balance and make adjustments with every step. In this way, I was able to focus on the task at hand and in the end reap the rewards.”

–*–

Just like this prince, entrepreneurs face many obstacles in this economy and in the future. In every business, in every sector and in every country of the world, we face obstacles. When we realize that the obstacles we face are nothing more than opportunities for excellence, only then will we truly be on the pathway to success.

When others tell us it can’t be done—-make a way!

And when your competition tells you that you will fail—–leave them in the dust!

The Foundation of Excellence: Building your House

“Our achievements are shaped by the terrain of our lives and the strength of the foundations we set. In building the life we’ve imagined, we must be true to our beliefs, dare to be ethical, and strive to be honorable. For integrity is the highest ground to which we can aspire.”

As entrepreneurs we must continue to strive for excellence in every waking moment. Everything we do should be rooted in the concept that excellence will bring success. Whether we are providing excellent customer service or simply striving an excellent work environment, there is no substitution for hard work. Often times, we find ourselves slipping into a laid back lifestyle, while hard work and excellence drift right out the window. It is during times like these that I am reminded of an ancient story of a carpenter and his master.

Whatever your dreams are, build them with excellence:

One day, an elderly carpenter approached his master of 40 years. He had grown tired of building houses and longed to retire and spend the remainder of his life at his wife’s side. Although his master was disappointed to lose such a dedicated and hard working carpenter, he understood his desire to spend the remaining years of his life enjoying the fruits of his labor. Before he gave him his blessing to leave, the master asked him for one final favor. He wanted the carpenter to build him one last house before he retired and although the carpenter was reluctant, he eventually agreed.

In time it was easy to see that the carpenter’s heart was no longer in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and cut corners using inferior materials in order to get the job done quickly. He no longer cared about striving for excellence; all he cared about was finishing the job and leaving his master.

When the house was finished, the carpenter called his master to come and inspect the house and release him from his duties once and for all. But to his surprise, the master did not want to inspect the house. Instead, he handed him the keys to the front door and announced, “This is your house now, and it is my gift to you for the many years of wonderful and dedicated service to my company.”

The carpenter stood in shock and disbelief. What a shame! What a disgrace! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would’ve taken better care, he would’ve built the best house of them all. Alas, there were so many things he would’ve done differently. Now, he had to live in the home he had built none too well.

So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting. We consistently allow ourselves to give less than our best, and at important points we do not give the job our best efforts. Instead, we make compromises, cut corners and build our homes with inferior materials. Then, with a shock, we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. We are forced to live with the decisions we made or didn’t make along the way.

Think of yourself as the carpenter, and then think about the house that you are building. Every day you hammer a nail, place a board or erect a wall—build wisely, and never settle for anything less than excellence.

Excellence: The forgotten requirement of success

“Excellence is never an accident; it is the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, skillful execution and the vision to see obstacles as opportunities.”

When I first set out on my entrepreneurial journey, I had just been laid off from TWA. It was at that moment that I decided to start my own company, in order to support my wife and brand new baby. There was no mistaking the pressure I was under; after all, I only had one shot at it. Every morning I would put on my BEST suit and head down the cold basement stairs to work. No matter what I had to accomplish that day, no matter what was ahead, I kept the same routine. Those first few weeks on my own taught me a considerable amount about what type of businessman I wanted to become. I was determined to succeed; failure was not an option.

But didn’t all entrepreneurs feel this way? What would set me apart from the others and prevent me from being just another new business casualty? Throughout those first few weeks, the answer became crystal clear. I realized that most entrepreneurs fail because they lose their motivation and their excitement and eventually they fall by the wayside. They failed to be excellent.

In our pursuit of success, we as entrepreneurs have forgotten about the one requirement of success—-excellence.

My first encounter with the importance of excellence came in the third grade. My teacher, Mrs. Good, was the oldest, ugliest, meanest, hardest schoolteacher I knew, and at the ripe old age of 8, I was certain my evaluation of her was correct. Through the years though, my impression of her has softened a bit and I now realize what kind of teacher she truly was. In addition to being a beautiful, young blonde schoolteacher (not exactly the cootie covered spinster I remembered), she was incredibly dedicated to teaching and believed in the importance of establishing a solid educational foundation at a very early age. It is precisely this foundation that has gotten me where I am today.

Almost right is always wrong

One day, Mrs. Good gave us a spelling test on all the words we had learned from that year. My mother, in an effort to inspire me, told me that she would give me five whole dollars if I brought home a perfect paper. My challenge was great, but my reward was even greater, so I studied night and day for the spelling test.

On the day of the spelling test, I was confident in myself. As I breezed through the exam I began to count the dollar bills lightly hitting my palm as I handed my mother my “perfect paper”. But when I got to the word Excellence, my brain froze. I suddenly couldn’t remember how to spell it. I did my best to figure it out, but when I got my paper back, I realized my mistake.

I had forgotten the first “c” in excellence and I went home heartbroken, crying and holding a less than perfect paper. Even though I begged and pleaded with my mother to reconsider her original proposal and give me the five dollars anyway, she wouldn’t budge. My only chance at obtaining the coveted five dollars was to persuade Mrs. Good to change her mind.

The next day, armed with my best arguments, I confronted Mrs. Good about the exam. I reasoned with her that if I could only fix the one I missed, I would buy her an apple (something I was sure she couldn’t resist!). She; however, remained unmoved by my 8 year old pleas.

“Aaron,” she said, “I want you to learn this lesson, even if you don’t learn anything else all year in my classroom. Excellence was spelled “Excellence” last year, it will be spelled “Excellence” this year and it will always be spelled “ Excellence” next year.”

“But I almost got it right,” I argued, hoping to turn the tides.

“Almost right is always wrong,” she answered quickly.

And with that, I knew she had won. Even though I was only eight and even though I was disappointed, I knew that she was right.

Throughout the years, I think back to that moment and to her answer, “Almost right is always wrong”. Now, as an adult, those words still ring unbelievably true.

Almost right is always wrong because almost won is always lost.

Almost right is always wrong because almost hit is always miss.

Almost right is always wrong because almost safe is always out.

Almost right is always wrong because almost yes is always no.

Almost right is always wrong because almost passed is always flunked.

Almost right is always wrong because almost succeed is always failed.

Almost right is always wrong because almost excellent is always average.

Everything we set out to accomplish should be excellent. Excellent customer service, excellent employees, excellent products, excellent brands. As entrepreneurs we need to be in pursuit of excellence every moment of our lives. If we pursue excellence, success will inevitably follow.