The Story Behind the "M"

The "M" is 620 feet above the Missoula Valley floor. It is 125' feet long and 100' feet wide. University of Montana forestry students cut the switchbacks into the side of the hill in the early 1900's. The first "M" was assembled out of whitewashed rocks in 1909, and given a fresh coat of paint by freshmen every year, until 1968, when all those rocks were cemented together with concrete.

Photo by Nelson Kenter, kenterphotography.com

Archive for the ‘Tips for Launching’ Category

Is It Done Yet?

By MARK RIFFEY - The earlier the customer sees your work, the earlier you'll find out if you're on track.... more

Why Do Startups Fight City Hall?

By MARK RIFFEY - To a startup, city hall is often the next obstacle in line.... more

Start Your Marketing Calendar

By MARK RIFFEY - Are you marketing with intent or by accident? Choose intent.... more

Hiring Entry Level People and (Gasp) Millennials

By MARK RIFFEY - I know a number of 20-somethings who are looking for jobs. Some like to categorize “millennials” as a generation of slackers with no work ethic and no motivation.... more

Liz Marchi: Sleep

By LIZ MARCHI - I am grateful every morning that my alarm doesn’t go off at 4:00am as it did for the better part of 20 years.... more

Train Them To Make It Easy To Buy

By MARK RIFFEY - Word of mouth business and referrals come from handling problems gracefully.... more

Leading Your Team to Goal Setting

By MARK RIFFEY - How do you prepare your staff to contribute to your company's success?... more

Liz Marchi: In the New Year 2016

By LIZ MARCHI - The last two years have been spent trying to change habits, explore new opportunities and changing tempo. I have had mixed results.... more

Company Goals Need Context

By MARK RIFFEY - Company-wide goals need to have "Why does this matter to me?" context at all levels of the company, for every employee.... more

Working Linear vs. Parallel

By MARK RIFFEY - What costs do you introduce by solving problems sequentially?... more

Is Your Business 2016 Ready?

By MARK RIFFEY - Planning for 2016 is about more than adjusting numbers in a spreadsheet.... more

Do They Have Each Other’s Back?

By MARK RIFFEY - Culture is critical, not only day to day, but to make sure you can take a punch.... more

Liz Marchi: Curiosity and Perfection

By LIZ MARCHI - I am so glad I lived to read Lean In by Cheryl Sandburg. She affirms both curiosity and bossiness as positive attributes in girls. ... more

Liz Marchi: Seasons Change

By LIZ MARCHI - Fall has arrived and we are preparing the ranch for winter. We downsized this year but the plan is to ranch until the end. I am good with that.... more

Liz Marchi: Tomatoes, Tempo and the Short Game

By LIZ MARCHI - Until I began cooking on my own did I realize that what passed for a tomato in the grocery store was nothing like the flavor feast I was accustomed to.... more

Liz Marchi: Wiring

By LIZ MARCHI - The older I get, the more I believe we are wired very early in life for a certain path. My husband and I share a lot of the same wiring and lot of very different wiring. ... more

Liz Marchi: Maintenance

By LIZ MARCHI - Maintenance has never been a sexy concept for me. I like startups, building, remodeling. As I age, all of that is changing. Maintenance is EVERYTHING. ... more

Liz Marchi: Digital Detox

By LIZ MARCHI - This weekend was Big Sky Dev Con in Bozeman. This was year 5 of the event which is another of those little known but extraordinary things going on in Montana. ... more

Liz Marchi: Manners, the Masters and Equal Pay

By LIZ MARCHI - Be on notice, hitting on women is unwelcome and exhibits the worst in manners. Sexist comments and jokes are NOT funny.... more

Liz Marchi: Give Me Patience for Parents

By LIZ MARCHI - I am flying back to Bozeman after spending two weeks with my Mom and Dad and family in Alabama. I am so conflicted about them these days. ... more

Liz Marchi: On Birthdays and Aging

By LIZ MARCHI - Sunday was my 61st birthday. The great thing about a January birthday is that you spend the entire month thinking about the New Year, goals, planning and “getting ready.” ... more

Liz Marchi: Paper Bliss

By LIZ MARCHI - As much as I love to clean and organize, my husband loves to keep every piece of paper that he's ever owned. Whatever your bliss is, nurture it, edit it and own it in 2015!... more

Liz Marchi: Working in Yoga Pants

By LIZ MARCHI - What’s great about yoga pants, other than they are comfortable, is that I don’t use any mental energy getting dressed on days when I work from the barn. ... more

Liz Marchi: Handing Off

By LIZ MARCHI - My work life has been full of aspirations and over reach. I have always aspired to do things that I wasn’t credentialed to do and that people said were too hard to do. ... more

Liz Marchi: Operating Without a Plan

By LIZ MARCHI - Defining purpose. That’s how I always started any endeavor. Why are we doing it, what does it look like when it’s a success? ... more

Liz Marchi On Entrepreneurship: Rewiring

By LIZ MARCHI -Entrepreneurs are different. They are almost never satisfied with the way things are. They are always looking for ways to make things better, faster, more efficient, and/or smarter. ... more

Earning Return Business, Part Two

By MARK RIFFEY - Not long ago I heard someone say “Excuses are a lie wrapped in a reason.” Training is a critical component to building a team that brings clients back repeatedly.... more

Wayne and Kathleen Newton Set Up Shop in Lakeside

By JUSTIN FRANZ-Kat’s Korner is one of several new shops and restaurants that have popped up in the small community of Lakeside and Wayne Newton, 72, said it’s no surprise the town is growing.... more

Earning Return Business

By MARK RIFFEY - When you make client service decisions, do you weigh the cost of losing the client?The incremental cost of service is usually tiny compared to losing the client.... more

Consistency is Critical to Repeat and Word-of-Mouth Business

By MARK RIFFEY - What inconsistencies can you address to increase repeat and word of mouth business?... more

Busy Business Owners Have No Time

By MARK RIFFEY - The average CEO says they only spend about 25% of their day doing what they feel is meaningful work. Does that sound like your typical work day?... more

Help Them Produce Their Best Work

By MARK RIFFEY - No matter what business you’re in and what summer does to your workload – summer is a great time to implement improvements that help your staff produce their best work.... more

The Search for Mentors

By LIZ MARCHI - As I look back on my career journey, I look at the role mentors played in guiding my choices in life and work. What’s a mentor? For me, it was someone whom I admired and wanted to emulate. ... more

How Do You Create The Right Surprises? Baby Steps

By MARK RIFFEY - One of the best ways to figure out ways to transform your customers' experience is to walk through the process of doing business with you in little, tiny steps: Baby Steps.... more

Are You Uncoachable? Drips Can Help

By MARK RIFFEY - Frustrated with the rate of change or accomplishment of new work in your business? I had a conversation recently that might help. It involved coachability and drips.... more

When It Comest to Business: Start Doing the Right Things

By MARK RIFFEY - Rather than talking about 30 things to stop doing, I decided to discuss a shorter list of things to START doing in your business.... more

What Do Surprises Say About Your Business?

By MARK RIFFEY - Professionals seldom get surprised by normal things. If they are surprised, they take steps to eliminate problems before a client can see them.... more

Melanie Brock Joins Missoula Economic Partnership Staff

FYI - Seasoned leader will work with Missoula’s entrepreneurs, Partnership investors and government partners to help the Missoula community thrive.... more

How to Segment Your Customer List

By MARK RIFFEY - Have you heard that you should "segment" your customers before marketing to them? Ever wondered what that means, much less how you'd do that? ... more

Which Matters Most When Hiring: Experience or Cultural Fit?

By MARK RIFFEY - Doctor Obvious says "Hiring the right people is crucial for any small business." But what matters most when hiring? Experience? Attitude? Cultural Fit?... more

Governor Bullock’s Main Street Montana Project Launches Surveys

Montanans are encouraged to take in-depth county surveys in an effort to to build an economic development business plan for Montana. CLICK ON SURVEY.... more

The Best Surprise is Truly No Surprise

By MARK RIFFEY - Hotels often provide fuel for writing and a recent trip I took was no exception. Hospitality 101: everything that impacts a guest's stay is everyone's job - particularly simple little things.... more

The Most Expensive, Stressful Thing On Your Desk

By MARK RIFFEY - Nothing destroys a work day like distractions. Clutter doesn't help - and I mean clutter of all kinds - physical as well as electronic. These things are waiting to distract you. Eliminate them.... more

The Unexpected Message Clients Get From You

By MARK RIFFEY - Have you ever received a "new-customers-only" offer from someone that you already do business with? Is it better than what you're paying? How does that make you feel? Mad as hell? It should!... more

Are They Proud Of Their Work? It Will Show

By MARK RIFFEY. Just because it is "grunt work" doesn't mean it isn't valuable. Your employees' work and personality at 2:00 am is the face of your business to many customers.... more

Why They Don’t Answer Your Calls Or Read Your Email?

By MARK RIFFEY. Do your customers and prospects let your calls go to voicemail? Do they open your emails? It's time to get relevant and engage them in THEIR context with you – not as total strangers.... more

The Scariest, Most Painful Business Conversation

By MARK RIFFEY. The most painful (and scary) conversations I have with small business owners are about marketing.Commonly it involves how another company "stole" their business with "more aggressive" marketing.... more

Business is Personal: What’s a Core Story?

By MARK RIFFEY - One of the more common things you'll see from a business that's differentiating themselves using things other than price is their use of a unique selling proposition (USP), and a "core story" t... more

The Most Expensive Advertising Ever

By MARK RIFFEY. Are you wasting those carefully planned advertising investments? The most expensive investment we can make is one that's wasted.... more

View Marketing as an Investment, Not an Expense

By MARK RIFFEY.When something is viewed as an expense, your instinct is to reduce it to the smallest possible amount. Doing this to your marketing is not unlike choking yourself.... more