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Business Innovation

An Abundance of Resources

By | Business Innovation, Planning for Success | No Comments

When you’re entering a new field, or even just looking to improve within your own, the resources available might seem small at first. You might ask “Where do I go to learn (specific thing in my field)?” The key to finding these resources is to not only look online and in local resource centers, but to create your own resource!

No matter what you embark to do, there’s always someone out there who’s done it before, or at least has knowledge of someone who has. The experiences they’ve had are an excellent way to learn before doing! So ask all the questions you have, and build a relationship with them to understand what will help you in the future. When the people you reached out to get to know you, they further understand your problems and how to help even more! So keep the conversation going, and connect with them more than just surface level.

Branch Out, Spread your Wings!

Another great way is to attend the conventions, seminars, and classes applicable to your field. These events have professionals just like you who look to get the education and resources these events bring. By networking here, you can get in touch with the motivated and passionate people who can share the things they’ve learned along the way. Don’t be overly selective of which events you attend. If it’s a seminar on a topic a little out of your scope, do some reading beforehand and get prepared! Extend yourself past your comfort zone and diversify.

Let us know the ways you advance your education and resources in the comments below!

Glass Elevators Helping us Grow

By | Business Excellence, Business Innovation | 2 Comments

Goal Setting can be a treacherous effort for company executives, especially as they work to appease both the higher-ups and employees. Courtesy of the Harvard Business Review, their study information brought about some interesting conclusions. You can give it a read here!

Vale Zmeykov Via Unsplash

There’s really insightful information out there on the best way to set attainable goals and how to motivate your employees to achieve those goals, but here’s our take on it:

Why Start Small?

It’s a misconception that you need to set low, easily attainable goals just to satisfy employees. There are those who will appreciate the lax benchmarks, but that won’t make them improve! As an employer, manager, or even mentor, your goal should always be to help others grow, develop, and succeed! This can’t be done through just setting goals. You’ll need mentorship, check-ins, and a solid plan to show them the way.

Often employers see goals as rungs of a ladder. You wouldn’t take a giant leap up a ladder, which is why they think starting with smaller goals is best! They got the metaphor wrong, because goals are actually an ELEVATOR! The bigger the goal, the more floors you’re made to rise to.

I envision goals as elevators because once I meet the goal, I’m on the highest floor I’ve ever been! When I seek to attain new goals, the floor I start on is higher than before too. I’m more equipped with the tools to advance farther and farther, so the sky is the limit. Kind of like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as they ride the glass elevator up above the clouds.

 

Rivers and Flows of Stress and Your Best

By | Business Ethics, Business Excellence, Business Innovation | 2 Comments

Another day, another cancellation. Sometimes those days come up in our industries where it’s easiest to throw in the towel and go home. But there’s difference between those who fail in their first 10 years of business and those who persevere to make it to their 50th anniversary. Their passion.

When the situation is at its bleakest, when you’ve been working for free for weeks, maybe even months, what resources do you turn to? No matter what you first go towards, a rock in your business has got to be passion! Passion is the flowing river that will carry you over all the rocks, even when the water level is low. The water is your energy, and your passion is the flow of it. As long as you’re putting the energy and dedication into your river of success, your passion will ensure it keeps moving forward! This also means, that when your energy is at its lowest, barely covering the rocks that may lie on the riverbed floor, your passion will push along the bits of water you’re able to put out.

What if My River Already Dried Up?

To get a boost of energy, and an infusion of water to your river of success, I want you to try the following:

  • Take a long minute (or 5!) and just stop.
    • When you’re assuming the roles of a bunch of different people, such as business-owner, partner, manager, teammate, spouse, mother/father, daughter/son, etc., it can feel like you never get a break. Your emotions will feel like they’re overflowing, your head spinning from thinking of so many tasks, and your body physically exhausted by the stress. So take a long few minutes, sit somewhere quiet, and let the stress flow out of you. Mindfulness practices can totally change your mindset, you just have to truly stop what you’re doing. If you need to cry, let it out. Feel like screaming to the world? Do it! Whatever you feel like will allow your mind and body to not hold on to those negative emotions, do it.
    • What’s most important is that you take time to be quiet afterwards. Take deep breaths, and think on what you’re doing it all for. For family? For your personal growth? Whatever your reason, it’s valid, and you need to come back to it. Get back to your roots and truly let whatever you feel wash over you.

Let us know what helps you to overcome your feelings of overwhelming stress on our Social Media!

Time-Wasters and Money Makers

By | Business Ethics, Business Innovation | No Comments

When you work for commission, time is money. That one’s a no brainer! But what do you do when the client keeps you from doing the best work you can? Simply put,

How do you know when it’s time to give a time-wasting client the boot? 

Everyone has asked about this at one time or another. They’ve found a great client with lots of potential to help them earn money, but then, it turns out they are actually a huge waste of time! Since you can’t exactly kick them to the curb without warning, what’s the best way to finesse yourself out of a less than lucrative professional relationship? With tact and grace it’s completely possible to take charge of the situation!

Our words are our most powerful source of change, so use them! Think about the effect you want, and what you might want said to you in this situation. You have to make sure they still feel valued, and find value in you, otherwise you’ll lose the opportunity to work with them at all. Try using phrases like “I can guarantee great results, you just have to give me the time to make it happen for us!”

Is this client referred by a friend or family? 

Above all, you should aim to maintain the relationships that give you business. Our lives are built on relationships, and tarnishing that isn’t worth the pursuit of a paycheck. You need to remember that the things you say and the way you treat others is a huge influence to those who wish to do business with you. It can make or break someone’s decision to work with you. But it’s not all about them! When you’re doing business, you know it’s more than the experience of your client. To you, it’s about profit! The way you make your livelihood should never come second to the whims of a client. EVER! If they are compromising anything important to you and your business, put a stop to it! Take control because YOU are the one in charge of producing. Not them.

With clients, you often walk a fine line between partner and manager. You have to be submissive to the wants of your clients, but also fight to get them what they truly want. Sometimes you even have to fight them! As professionals, we know more than anyone who’s not  in our field, but we can’t outrightly say that! We have to be careful to explain our expertise, without invalidating anyone. It’s a fine line, but one you have to walk if you truly want change in your professional relationships.

 

Tackle it Together – In 24 Hours?

By | Business Innovation, Motivation, Planning for Success, Uncategorized | No Comments

Some interesting techniques can really boost production, creativity, and ingenuity. While one Company’s concept may be a golden ticket for them, it can be kryptonite for another! It’s all about finding what works best for you, and what can give you the best edge. It’s time to revolutionize the way we attack problems with an eye towards progress!

This is the page of a company who took a bold idea, and created an even bolder result. Think of the possibilities that could occur if you dedicate the efforts of your whole company to select projects. You probably already have an idea of how productive you can be at your best. Now multiply that productivity level by how many Employees/Coworkers you have. Do you see how impactful this can be? It’s huge! Be it tackling bugs in the system, reorganizing long overdue files, or nailing down a new marketing system, this kind of practice can revolutionize your production! This is a time for rejuvenation, and a time for everyone to re-center.

Realign, Refocus, and Re-center

When your team is going in 4 different ways at once it can be invaluable to have those short moments where refocusing happens. Imagine being able to realign everyone’s efforts, goals, and mindset all at once! That can be the profound effect of an event like a 24 Hour Push for Production. This is a concept you can read about all over the internet – you simply dedicate EVERYONE’S efforts over a 24 Hour time period towards a common goal or project. It’s called different things, but either way it can revolutionize your work!

Another great method that my team puts into place daily, even multiple times a day, is the simple To Do list. Discuss with everyone new developments, new tasks, new deadlines, recurring events, recurring tasks, and anything else on the docket. This gets everyone on the same page, and allows your company to fully write your success story!

 

Enjoying the Idea of Drastic Changes

By | Activism, Business Innovation, Lifestyle Fix, Motivation | No Comments

I’ve always taught that diversifying your revenue streams is the best way to ensure success, stability, and sanity. But how do you diversify if you’ve spent a greater part of your life doing one thing? I know people who have been in the same business for 20+ years but now want to do more/other things and have no idea where to start! It might not be an option for you to go back to school, and while that’s the best option to completely revolutionize your career, it may not be the best for YOU.

So take a look at what you’re willing to do to get to where you want. Are you willing to go back to school for 4 years? Or do you just want to take some vocational courses? The world is your oyster! It’s never too late to chase the dream you’ve always had. Especially if you’re at a point where it seems like change will happen now or never… make the change now!

Dive In!

There are tons of online resources (this blog for one!) that’ll help you learn what you need to make the change you want. Be it opening a new business, capturing a new client, learning a new skill, or gaining capital to be philanthropic, you can make it happen! The world wide web has the potential to make us all millionaires, if only we know what to search for.  The steps may not always be clear, but the effort you put forth will designate your success.

Diversifying into industries that already seem controlled by others can be another tough facet of making change, especially if you don’t know the field before entering. My recommendation: Get with the people that have already done it! There’s no shame in asking for help, guidance, or mentorship. Chances are, the people who gained the success you seek will be more than willing to share how!

 

Steal the Show with Nerves of Steel

By | Business Ethics, Business Innovation, Passion & Purpose!, Uncategorized | No Comments

I’ve really been liking the posts from Harvard Business Review lately. They give me some great ideas on what to blog about. Just today, Rebecca Knight wrote a piece on communication titled “Tips for Reading the Room Before a Meeting or Presentation”.  So today I’d like to share with you some of her ideas as well as my own!

Enter the Cues

When we enter a meeting, our own nerves and anxieties often get in the way of having the most effective communication. We worry more about how we look than how others react to us. Noticing the small non-verbal cues people give off, which actually makes our nerves spiral more! You wonder “what are they thinking about me right now? Do they like what I’m saying?”. That loud voice in your head clouds your ability to notice the small smiles, frowns, and glances that make communication more intelligible. Without these cues, you don’t have an accurate read, and can’t accommodate for those reactions!

Read the Room

Along those same lines, noticing how people react can go a really long way. It shows care and lets your associates know how much you value their time and support. If you’ve ever left a meeting feeling dissatisfied and unheard, than you’ll know the value of recognition. In corporate structures it can be tough to feel heard, and speaking up in meetings can be even tougher. To be a considerate employer makes your company culture one of compassion, understanding, and compromise. Knight said “Consider the people in the group more broadly and reflect on the possible reasons for their individual and collective emotional states”. That’s some powerful stuff! We need to expand our conscious empathy to think of not only individuals, but also groups as a whole. Understanding the influence and power of a collective is extremely important to try and persuade them of contrasting ideas, especially if the small cues tell you they might not be on board.

Often times in groups there’s one person that can convince everyone else to go along, so reading the room and understanding the dynamics of your employees can be extremely helpful to increase understanding. Reaching people from different backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives can be tough, but you just have to know: There’s ALWAYS a point of reconciliation. You just have to work to make that point happen.

Source Mentioned: https://hbr.org/2018/05/tips-for-reading-the-room-before-a-meeting-or-presentation

 

How Small Businesses Can Increase Their Transparency

By | Business Innovation, Uncategorized | No Comments

Countless CEOs tout that they embody transparency, but have we seen the real evidence of this initiative? When guarantees like this don’t come to fruition, how can we trust the transparency is really there? You don’t want that doubt clouding your business. So here’s how you too can effectively implement a more transparent management approach.

Employees dedicate themselves when there is motivation to be an asset to the overall product. They see the work done, the opportunity, and want nothing more than to get in on the action. So how can your company’s culture promote this dedication? It all starts with the information that’s put out.

In an article on Harvard Business Review, David Larcker and Brian Tayan wrote about the transparency efforts of the well-known corporation, Netflix. They detailed the unique methods used to encourage the information clarity that drives the corporation’s success. Their transparency starts with Board Members’ involvement in monthly and quarterly senior management meetings, allowing for a clear view of the management process. Not only are the Board Members attending these meetings “in an observing capacity only”, but they also receive interactive memos that allow them to ask questions and comment. A highly effective process, and something to model your business after! So how might this apply to a small business?

Not on This Big of a Scale?

In offices of 5-10 people, sharing information can be as easy as leaning over and saying what you need to. However, for those businesses that are a conglomerate of moving parts, you need to nail down a method of communication. At my business, we use a discussion line email that blasts out to everyone in the company. At another company here in Nevada, I’ve heard of using a live Google Drive folder that holds all different kinds of docs. From a live expense sheet to a continually updated procedures manual, the options really are endless.

It’s these kinds of technologies that drive not only our businesses, but also the advancement of our industries. Not only through the use of technology is this accomplished, but also through the uniquely innovative methods we might think up. We, as business owners (and even employees!), should always be striving to better the environment in which our product is made, because all in all it’ll increase productivity and broaden our opportunities!

 

Source mentioned: https://hbr.org/2018/05/how-netflix-redesigned-board-meetings

 

The Power of Influence

By | Business Innovation, Employees, Planning for Success, Uncategorized | No Comments

How? – Speak in earnest of things that hold true value

Making an intellectual contribution is so much more than telling people what to do or how to do it. It’s about taking the things you learn, and sharing it in a way that positively impacts others. An added benefit is that you have an outlet for your experiences, which allows you to reflect more than you would having only experienced it once. When you look further into your life, you often see the causes, effects, and negativity that impact your happiness. Being able to relay how those experiences impact you is a great tool to understand how similar situations might impact others. This kind of understanding goes beyond your ability to tell a resonating story. It truly allows you to reach the hearts of your audience.

Why? – Like the well-known book, so you can make friends and influence people!

Having a sphere of influence, whether it be your friends or co-workers, can be really helpful in advancing your career. Not only does it strengthen and mature the relationships you already have, but it gives you a platform of status to convey the things that matter to you. Not only is being an influencer best for your career, it’s great for philanthropy! With a wide base of people to ask for support, the causes you’re passionate about can gain a ton of traction. I value my ability to help others through philanthropy, because it’s truly the most rewarding thing!

Where? – EVERYWHERE

Creating open environments where communication and discussion is encouraged is easier than you might think! It’s really done simply by setting a precedent: All you have to do is be open first! Share a personal thought or anecdote, and encourage others to do the same. More often than not, your efforts will be recognized and reciprocated by those around you, because we all like sharing our opinions.

 

Consider Your Company’s Culture

By | Business Ethics, Business Innovation, Customer Service, Employees, Marketing, Planning for Success, Uncategorized | No Comments

Company culture is the environment that your employees experience while at work. Some factors of a company’s culture include the work environment, mission statement, values promoted, ethics displayed, and goals strived for. It’s important to pay attention to this because it can positively or negatively affect your employee’s productivity.

It’s your purpose that drives your progress, so be sure your employees know it! A prominent display of the overall goals your company is working towards will promote a results driven work effort. Keeping everyone on the same page regarding expectations and norms can help to make your company cohesive, and therefore, more effective. Having a strong culture also helps new people acclimate better to the workplace.

So how can you make your culture effective?

It’s all about recognizing where your company’s values lie, and what direction you want to take your business. Also, it’s more than just a statement of what you want. Culture can include the space your employees work in, what resources they have available at work, and the opportunities they have for socializing. Being able to talk about things not work related is important because we can’t be completely focused on work 100% of the time. Focus in moderation allows for creativity, fresh eyes, and greater return from the time actually spent.

Did you know, the space you choose to work out of can affect this? It’s true! Open spaces promote open communication and fosters the random interactions that help employees socialize.

Be it a big company, or small operation, culture can impact how successful everyone is.