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9:58am EDT July 22, 2002
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The secret of success

William J. O’Neil claims to know the secret of success. At the Entrepreneur Of The Year Institute, held late last year in Palm Springs, Calif., as part of Ernst & Young’s well-known award program, the founder and chairman of Investor’s Business Daily ticked off 10 traits.

“Anybody can succeed in this country,” explains O’Neil. “But every successful person we’ve dealt with shares some, if not all, of these traits. It’s easy to be successful. It’s another thing to stay successful.”

1. How you think is everything. “Always be positive,” says O’Neil. “It’s not what happens to you; it’s how you react to it.”

2. Set goals and write them down. “If you don’t set definite goals, you’ll never get there.”

3. Take action. “Never be afraid to get started now. You can’t succeed if you wait. That decision making capacity is imperative; decision and action go hand in hand.”

4. Never stop learning. “Keep reading,” he suggests. “Readers tend to become leaders.”

5. Be persistent and work hard. “It is only when you outsell the other guy that you help your own company.”

6. Learn to analyze details. “Get all the facts and don’t be afraid to learn from your mistakes.”

7. Focus your time and money. “It’s the extra work at night and on the weekends that makes you successful. No 9-to-5er will ever be successful.”

8. Innovate. “Be different. If your competitors are doing things one way, there’s a good chance you can succeed by doing it another.”

9. Deal and communicate with people effectively. “Business is nothing but dealing with people. It can be learned, like playing the piano or golf. You need to be able to communicate with and motive others if you want to succeed.”

10. Be honest, dependable and take responsibility. “If you’re honest with yourself, your employees and your customers, it creates credibility. Otherwise, the other keys to success won’t even matter.”

Stacking the deck

If you aren’t a bridge or poker player, you may have overlooked “The Shuffle,” which holds the distinction of creating some of the smallest advertising space we’ve ever seen: the faces of playing cards.

Cleveland’s Salem Communications & Marketing Inc.,which first sold ads onto The Cleveland Shuffle in 1992 (the back has a photo of a local scene) has expanded its line of souvenir coupon card decks to include Key West and Orlando. A recent edition of The Cleveland Shuffle contained advertisements ranging from restaurants to T-shirt shops to exterminators.

Where the workers aren't

A recent survey of owners and CEOs of small and medium-sized companies across the United States, conducted by The Alternative Board, revealed a problem that will at least make you feel like you’re in good company. Fully 70 percent of the respondents said their biggest problem is a shortage of qualified workers.

From the “I Guess There’s a Web Site For Everything Department”: Two Mentor residents, George Koenig and Paul Jonke, in January launched, a contractors’ online resource center. The site ( lists everything from architects and bathroom remodelers to plumbers and painters, but limits the number in each of 45 categories to 10 contractors.

It’s hard enough finding qualified employees to fill your empty job positions, so why limit your prospects? The Ohio Bureau of Employment Services recently overhauled its Ohio Jobnet Online job bank ( to help employers seeking qualified candidates. Among the features:

• List a job order over the Internet
• Display a job opening
• Link to America’s Job Bank
• Track labor market information about labor force, industry and occupational trade.

If you’re looking for a good place to go for dinner but nothing exciting comes to mind, take a look at SavvyDiner ( Bill Matuszak, a Willoughby businessman, has developed the site to provide restaurant reviews and directions. It also lets you make reservations round-the-clock on any day of the week.

Ups and Downs

Special “last-gasp at growth” edition:

Downs ...for the Cleveland Clinic Health System, in the unfamiliar position of announcing a $13 million loss in ’98—after a $23.3 million profit in ’97. But didn’t we spot another couple of buildings going up at the clinic? It’s the business model: Buy market share now and worry about paying for it later.

Downs Cleveland and Brook Park; their fight over airport expansion could take years to sort out. And if they haven’t noticed, the big corporate taxpayers aren’t exactly sitting on their hands. Maybe we should have built it in the middle of Lake Erie.

Ups TRW for its acquisition of LucasVarity PLC. The deal makes TRW the No. 2 automotive supplier, which—as anybody at TRW will tell you—beats handling consumer credit reports.

Ups Eaton Corp. for buying Aeroquip-Vickers Inc. Did they really overpay for the Toledo hydraulic equipment maker? Or simply buy the right to compete directly against the industry’s top gun (and cross-town rival), Parker-Hannifin?

Downs LTV and other U.S. steel makers, ravaged by the low-price stuff dumped from Japan. LTV lost $61 million in last year’s fourth quarter alone. But the low prices seem to have freed up Ford and GM to make some big deals.

Ups Goodyear. Its 10 percent stake in Sumitomo Steel vaults the Akron giant back to No. 1, leaving skid marks on the competition—which now would seem to include LTV.

Downs Ameritech, which is still on hold over its deal with SBC Communications. Is this transaction ever going to happen?

Checking in on old friends

Geric New Health, which was still called Geric Home Health Care Inc. when SBN profiled its owners in May 1998, has moved into a larger office to accommodate recent growth. Geric bought the 47,000-square-foot building at 10701 Shaker Blvd. in Cleveland last October—moving out of a labyrinth of offices in less than 10,000 square feet of a building two blocks up the street.

Shortly after SBN interviewed Micki Tubbs in September 1997, the founder of New Life Choices in Life Care sold her Elyria hospice to the Mercy system hospital network, which owns the former Lorain Community Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital. At the time of the sale, she said she looked forward to the chance to maintain the company identity while shedding the risk of ownership. Last September, however, Tubbs resigned as president and was replaced by Jay Koeper. Incidentally, Tubbs founded New Life in 1993, after leaving what she called an increasingly corporate environment at St. Joseph’s.