Quality vs. Quantity


A group of businessmen were leaving the office early every Friday and saw a colleague of theirs that was still in the office working diligently. One in the group asked him, “why you work so hard?”, and if he would like to grab a beer with us at a local bar? The colleague mentioned that he’s got too much work to do and will not be able to join at this time. The group member said “you work too hard” and left the colleague at the office.

Throughout the night the group was ridiculing the colleague, and mentioning that all he was doing was trying to get on the bosses good side. Well, this went on for months, and one day the boss announced a town hall meeting at the office, and everyone needed to be present.

Their boss mentioned that he was impressed with a particular individual, and wanted to give a promotion to this person, and when he announced the individual, it was the colleague who stayed in the office and worked throughout the nights. The boss continued and mentioned that he was in a tight financial crisis and will need to eliminate a whole department for budgeting purposes, and when he reviewed the numbers, the colleague was working as much as the group who was leaving early to hit the bars.

The boss finally announced that he will eliminate the department who is showing little to no effort in completing their task and eliminated the department which the group of businessmen was assigned to. With that, he promoted the individual as a manager and he can select the next group like himself to work for him.

There’s a lot of truth to this story, but the real reason I composed this was to show that hard work and determination does get you somewhere. Even though this was a corporate environment, you can custom tailor this for any scenario, and this colleague possibly is you! Working hard while everyone is having a good time, but don’t beat yourself up, I always believe in the term… “play hard, but work harder”. In the story, there was a group of individuals that make up a whole department, but this one person was doing a job far beyond the quantity because this colleague brought quality.

I hope this brings encouragement and inspiration, as this is my purpose in life! -Ralph Johansen

-Ralph Johansen

Owner, CEO | Octomaven, LLC


“You need to pick up the tab”!


Hello everyone, I wanted to try something different and post a real client scenario. I promised Betsy that I will only disclose her first name and State to protect my client’s identity.

-Betsy from Louisiana | Company not disclosed

I am an executive of a company that was taking a client out to Lunch, later I discovered that this client has an outstanding amount of debt tied with my account, but they never say no to any outings. After the client ate and was satisfied, the waiter placed the bill on the table, as usual, the client waited for me to pick up the tab, but to the client’s surprise, I decided to have the client pay for the outing instead. An awkward silence hit that table at once. The client said if I would pay for the tab since you are always great to work with. To reflect the tab was for over $2,000, and his payables (in default) was about $1,800. Please tell me what I should have done?

So I usually get these types of questions, and for the sake of time, I will explain how I would have resolved this issue. Do your math before you are taking clients out. If your client is always prompt with payment, but just this time they fell behind, then remind them of their debt, but if you have a client that is consistently always in collections, then reconsider in holding off on any outings until the account is back in a positive note. Do not consider a lunch or dinner outing as payment for their debt! If they are offering to take you out, quickly remind them that they have an outstanding debt that you rather collect before you can participate in any further outings.

-Ralph Johansen
Owner, and CEO | Octomaven

Can you say…”Hunger”!

An elderly man found himself taking a stroll near a babbling brook. He decided to rest his aching joints by sitting on a bench and focus on relieving his tension by focusing on the water. Afar came a group of young adults that came with a high level of energy, noise, and excitement, so much that the old man could not hear the brook anymore and was disturbed. He politely asked the young group “what is it that you are celebrating”?

One of the young members mentioned that we’re just trying to spread energy to the world. The old man thought about the statement that the young person gave and replied…”If its energy you spread, please give me some so I can get up and move to the other side of the brook to keep focusing on nature”!

Something humorous to say the least, but the fact is despite the old man’s comments, his real desire was to sit down and hear the babbling brook and be with his thoughts. Ask yourself this question…”When was the last time you wanted to do something so bad, that it took you days, weeks, months, or perhaps even years to carry out? It’s a burning desire within yourself that it has to be accomplished by you alone, and no one else can do it but you. That my friend is called “Hunger”!

In business, there’s got to be a desire, a focus to perform tasks that entitles what you do as a company each day, but if you just focus on just high energy, then you are going to miss out on the most simple task in business, and at times it is listening, as energy alone will distract you from staying hungry.

-Ralph Johansen

Founder, CEO | Octomaven

“The truth about a business that makes anyone cringe”!

In 2017 everyone speaks about financial freedom and the reason why to create a business, but no one tells you how difficult, disappointing, and frustrating it can be. At times people will quit before they reach their goal. The truth of the matter is if your thinking of quitting, or about to quit, then probably your heart was not truly in it in the first place, and you went into business for the “wrong reasons“. 

On the flip side, you’re probably frustrated, trying your best to keep this business alive, but your back is against the wall and now you don’t know what to do next. The following steps are tips to assist “The Frustrated Business Owner”…

  1. Know your numbers – How frustrating to know that your the owner of the business but doesn’t have a grasp of where the company’s money is going.
  2. Review your expenses – Don’t ignore them, sit down and see where your money is going. Business owners forget how much is going out when there is money coming in.
  3. Downsize, downsize, downsize – If you are having financial issues, then please try to liquidate assets that are not being profitable. Also, try to minimize client/office lunch-ins, and events as this can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars a week!
  4. Shop for deals – I know this sounds contradictory, but if you have a partner to provide materials/services, try to look for competitors to see if you can obtain the lowest price, yet maintain your quality.

I hope these simple yet effective steps can assist you and your business to go to the next level.

-Ralph Johansen

Owner, CEO | Octomaven