Where Will Incremental Improvements Take Us?

There really is no such thing as an overnight success. If you see an actor or singer become big, seemingly out of the blue, that’s usually because they’ve been toiling away for years — and then, yes, their career finally exploded. It’s an important thing to remember when you’re ambitious and hungry for success — usually, the most successful individuals and enterprises don’t become the next big thing by taking big steps. Instead, success often comes through small but significant steps forward.

Not that I’m against taking bold, brash moves in the name of progress when necessary. But in my experience, it’s the seemingly small but substantial steps that make the most meaningful differences. One of my mottos or mantras as CEO of Any Lab Test Now is, in fact, incremental improvements. My philosophy is that incremental improvements for a business are what compound interest is to a retirement account. Over time, those incremental improvements, if you make them frequently, build into a formidable force.

I’ve noticed how important incremental improvements have been in my own life, and I doubt I’m alone. I started off washing dishes at Dot’s Country Kitchen in Jasper, Alabama, where I learned plenty, from how good it feels at the end of the day to have accomplished a full day of hard work, to how the most minor job can be one of the most important. If I had stopped washing dishes, eventually people wouldn’t eat, and the entire restaurant’s infrastructure would have come crashing down. And it isn’t like I moved on from there to become the CEO of Any Lab Test Now; there were plenty of other jobs in between, each building off the one that came before it.

Incremental improvements — there’s evidence in almost every facet of one’s life as to how important they are. I have four children, ranging from 14 years of age to 25, and I can tell you, one wonderful day at an amusement park or quality-filled vacation does not a well-rounded human being make. You raise well-adjusted children one day at a time, or if you prefer, one hour at a time.
And when you’re running a business, the same is true. The big and bold and brash steps generally don’t cut it — not when you’re employing people and their lives are on the line, at least in a sense. So, yes, I’ve more than established that I like incremental progress, and if you have a business and are looking to make similar small but significant changes to your company, I’d recommend zeroing in on a few things.

Focus on your employees, before your customers. Yes, you want a lot of customers — and happy ones at that. But you can’t get anywhere in your business, and you certainly won’t keep your customers happy and loyal, if you don’t start with your employees — or if you’re in a business such as mine, your employees and franchisees. If you work on deepening your relationships with your employees and franchisees, you’ll automatically be making improvements that will strengthen the bond between your business and customers.

But when you work with franchisees and employees, you actually have to work with them. That means you need to be engaged and listen, listen, listen. And if you do that, you’ll find that sometimes, no matter how great you think your system is, your employees or franchisees will have an idea that tweaks what you’ve created and improves upon it. It probably won’t be a wholesale completely new development, but as I keep saying, it’s those little pockets of progress that can really pay off later. And they have, with Any Lab Test Now, over and over.

Be willing to experiment. Experimenting takes time. Clearly, you don’t want to let a new initiative drag out if it’s clear that it’s failing. You need to know when to pull the plug. But you also need to allow people the freedom and space to fail — and then to try again, going down a new path, if you see potential in what they’re doing.

And being willing to experiment also means that you allow your team members the chance to grow, to try new things, to train them in areas that interest them. Not everything is going to work out, and as the leader of a company, you need to be able to know when to say no, firmly but empathetically. But you also need to be willing to say yes, sometimes when your gut is intrigued but your logic is wagging its finger. And sometimes instead, maybe you’ll meet a team member somewhere in the middle.

Set up the right environment to thrive. This is probably the most important way that any progress, whether incremental but important, or disruptive and meteoric, happens. Our existing franchisees want the company to grow, to be sure, but they also want resources dedicated to growing revenues and profitability. That generally doesn’t happen by growing too fast. In fact, the annals of business history are littered with successful businesses that seemed indestructible as they exploded in growth only to sputter out when they had expanded too quickly as the business’ costs outpaced its revenue.

We believe in growing smart — balancing our resources to bring new franchises into the system while supporting our existing franchises. We have overarching, ambitious long-term goals, but in the short term, we keep focused on incremental improvements. And one day, if it hasn’t happened already, some potential consumer will drive by an Any Lab Test Now facility and will think to him or herself, “I’ve been seeing that name everywhere lately. It must be one of those overnight success stories.”

Posted in CEO Blog | Leave a comment

Is Your Prostate a Problem?

Did you know prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among all men in the United States? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), six percent of men over the age of 60 will develop prostate cancer before they celebrate their 70th birthday. While there is no true prevention for prostate cancer, precautionary measures such as PSA (prostate-specific antigen) testing offered by Any Lab Test Now are recommended for all men to monitor risk levels and detect disease before it’s too late.

Establish a Baseline Early On

The prostate-specific antigen is a protein created by normal and malignant cells of the prostate gland, which are then released into the bloodstream. A PSA test is a simple blood test that measures prostate-specific antigen levels in the body and helps establish a PSA “baseline” for men to monitor over time. Results that reveal elevated levels of PSA in the blood could indicate signs of prostate cancer.

However, high levels may also signal a number of non-threatening prostate conditions, such as an inflamed prostate known as prostatitis or benign prostatic hyperplasia. Although there is no clear evidence that these two conditions are precursors to prostate cancer, it is possible for men to develop one or more of these conditions in addition to prostate cancer.

Am I At Risk?

Lab results are typically recorded as nanograms of PSA per milliliter (ng/ml) of blood. Men with levels of PSA that equal 4.0 ng/ml or less fall within the normal range, where men with results higher than 10.0 ng/ml are considered to have a greater risk of prostate cancer. PSA results between the normal and high range may indicate signs of benign prostate conditions.

Although the amount of PSA in the blood normally increases with age, it is important for all men to pay close attention to changes in their PSA levels over time. PSA testing is also recommended for men who undergo testosterone therapy.

The test is a simple and quick blood test with a one to three-day turn around for lab results. No more sitting in over-crowded doctors’ offices or waiting weeks on end to receive the outcome of your test. PSA testing is available at all Any Lab Test Now locations simply by walking in and requesting it.

Any Lab Test Now offers hundreds of lab tests, many specifically designed with men’s health in mind. No matter your age, PSA testing is a proactive step in taking control of your health. Whether you celebrate your 40th or 70th this new year, consider PSA testing so that you have the answers you need about your health and your future.

Posted in ANY LAB TEST NOW, men's health, Prostate Health, PSA | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Resolution #1…A More Balanced YOU!

Resolution #1…A More Balanced YOU!

Ellie loved the jolly jingle of the holidays; and making warm and wonderful memories for her family. She hasn’t enjoyed the stress, weight gain, and lack of energy that ushered in the new year though. Truth be told, she’s been battling those feelings, and a host of other “issues” for some time, but chalks it up to a busy life, not enough exercise and a less-than-ideal diet. She’s determined that her New Year’s resolutions THIS year will change all that. But wait. Could there be more to Ellie’s feelings of an imbalanced life? It is possible fluctuating hormones are the culprit.

Hormones affect everything, from sleep quality to hair loss to libido. Hormone health is very important and an imbalance can wreak havoc in every area of your life. Hormone imbalances can occur at any time in a woman’s life — especially during puberty, menopause or perimenopause. A good first step in achieving balance and ensuring your hormones are working in harmony is to find out what you are dealing with.

Any Lab Test Now knows how important women’s health is and how often women care for themselves LAST. That’s why we offer Take Home Hormone Kits that can be picked up at Any Lab Test Now and completed at your convenience. Return shipping and materials are included, and results are received in days.

  • Dry, Discolored or Wrinkled Skin?
    Loss of elasticity, collagen and moisture can take the luster off your skin. The Skin Vitality Take Home Hormone Kit is a simple dried blood spot and saliva test that can get fast results. If you discover an imbalance, it’s possible that topical hormone therapies may be just what the doctor ordered to restore your skin’s gentle glow
  • Disturbed, Fitful or No Sleep?
    Try the Sleep Balance Take Home Hormone Kit. Melatonin and cortisol should be working in concert to help you sleep and wake on normal cycles. If that’s not the case, this simple dried urine test determines if your levels of either are out of whack. Test results can help you make the lifestyle changes you need to catch more ZZZs.
  • Stressed, Tired, Wired and Anxious?
    Adrenal is the “master stress” hormone and if yours is not at optimal operation you could experience allergies, anxiety, irritability, infertility, sugar cravings, decreased energy — the list goes on and on. Results of the Adrenal Stress Take Home Hormone Kit, a simple saliva test, can be used to begin relieving your symptoms and reducing long-term disease risks.
  • Lethargic, Gaining Weight, Depressed?
    Try The Elements-Thyroid Take Home Hormone Kit. An estimated 60 percent of people with thyroid disease don’t realize it. This dried blood spot and dried urine test measures thyroid hormone levels and tests for deficiencies of beneficial elements as well as the presence of toxic elements. With your results, you can work with your physician to restore optimal thyroid function.
  • Persistent Weight Problems and Low Metabolism?
    Sadly, the U.S. ranks as the fattest nation in the world with the highest prevalence of obesity among adults over 40. If you struggle with maintaining a healthy weight, the Weight Management Take Home Hormone Kit, a dried blood spot and saliva test, measures hormones, vitamins and insulin. Your results will help you and your physician create a roadmap for achieving a healthy weight and avoiding long-term health risks.

Armed with information these tests provide, you are empowered to feel better, think better, and live your best life. Make your New Year’s resolution a more hormonally-balanced YOU!

Call or visit your Any Lab Test Now location to ask about getting a Take Home Hormone Kit today.

Posted in ANY LAB TEST NOW, hormone lab testing, Hormones, lab testing, Lab Tests, Wellness, Women's Health | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment