Founder and Chair – LMFC
Vice Chair – LMFC
President and CEO – The Bank of Northern Michigan
SVP of Shared Services - LMFC
Senior Vice President, Traverse City Market Manager

Hear from the founder of Lake Michigan Financial Corporation, Rich Lievense, and his insight on what this blog encompasses.

The recession certainly had an effect on us all. The statistics in this article certainly paint a bleak picture. I have been considering the longer term effect on the economy and our society. I think we’re going to hear more about this topic in the months to come. 


A popular buzzword in business is ‘delighting your customers’. We talk about it at the bank all the time. The attached article advances an argument that the key to winning customer loyalty is simply solving their problems. This idea makes sense to me and may have application to your business. 

Read more article: Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers from Harvard Business Review (Subscription required to view full article).


One of the biggest enemies of success is a “do it yourself” mentality. For those of us in Small Business, it’s crucial that we take a break once in a while and relinquish control so our businesses and employees can thrive. Take a vacation. I enjoyed my summer break – traveling around the country, reading, thinking and spending time with family. It’s wise for any Small Business owner to take an opportunity to step away from work and gain clarity once in a while. When was the last time you did this?  If you haven’t taken a vacation in some time, I encourage you to do so. Your employees will thank you and you’ll return refreshed and ready to take on whatever new challenges face your business. This article gives interesting perspective on how to sustain motivation during the summer, and how to mentally prepare for a vacation.


Most of us agree that small businesses and entrepreneurs will be the engine for future job growth in our economy. I just watched a television series titled ‘America – A History of Us’ on the History Channel. It reviewed our country’s history and highlighted the importance of our creative business environment. The cumulative effect of our business entrepreneurs literally changed the world. This article provides some common sense guidance to reestablish and reinforce this spirit today. 

Read more article: How to Start an Entrepreneurial Revolution from the Harvard Business Review (subscription required to view full article)

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