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.

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)

In difficult times, it is natural to focus on the challenges and problems facing our businesses. It is important to remember that our good people are now even more important to our long term success. This article describes practical suggestions to get the best performance from our people.

Read more article: Engaging the "Pole Vaulters" on Your Staff compliments of the Harvard Business Review.

Common thinking will tell you that entrepreneurs succeed by taking big risks and winning big. In our business, we are exposed to entrepreneurs who both succeed and fail - sometimes privately and sometimes very publically. We have come to the conclusion that really successful entrepreneurs - the ones that have longevity and build great businesses- are quite risk adverse. They have put their own money and future at risk and work hard to insure they don't lose it and make it grow. They tend to have a long term perspective and make reasoned bets that often pay off over time. This story line does not read as well as the person who bets it all and hits the home run. But these people have been the traditional core of our American economy and will lead us positively into the future. 

Read more, article: The Sure Thing via The New Yorker.



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