Category

Planning for Success

An Abundance of Resources

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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!

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!

 

Don’t Let the Toast Burn

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

You know the saying “you can sleep when you’re dead”? Well it’s not true! Pushing beyond your limits, often at the hand of employers, is the most detrimental thing you can do to the longevity of your career. It’s damaging mentally, emotionally, and can actually set-back your progress as an employee. Burn-Out is common because growth surpasses the volume of people being hired.

The Pressures of Production

We all put that pressure on ourselves to be the best. Maybe people’s definitions of that greatness is different, but either way our culture fosters this competition. Even professionals in Management have the tendency to award good work with more work. While it’s a good idea to increase production, it’s not always good to make that production rely on your top producers. Companies with stacks and stacks of seniority often fall prey to this cycle because of diffused responsibility. One person says “oh he can do that” and passess it on, and so do others down the line. This is how there are often strained assets in any organized entity. Most of the major projects tend to fall on the biggest players, why? Because they’re the best, right?

Employees are like pieces of bread – always soaking up the environment around them. If you are constantly increasing the level at which they should be performing, they’ll burn up under the heat! So save yourself the trouble, and promote a healthier, happier, and actually MORE productive team. When someone’s heart is in the work, it shows. So allow them to take the liberties they need to accomplish everything. There’s a difference between leniency and carelessness. Take care to ensure production is still occurring, but don’t put so much pressure that it halts!

 

Don’t Forget to Pay the Tax Man!

By | Business Ethics, Planning for Success | No Comments

Ahhh yes. It’s the time of year where hair pulling and stress abounds for professionals. Tax season! It can be the easiest or the hardest thing in the world, depending on how you prepare, approach, and attack it. Let’s take a look at some fool-proof ways to ensure you get the maximum return that you can.

Get Help – Big or Small

Whether you’re a first-time tax payer, or seasoned vet with assets coming out of your ears, it’s recommended that you enlist professionals. Why go to a secondary source when the primary is the best? By going straight to companies like H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt, you can ensure you’re fully compliant with any and all regulations. This is insanely important to being safe and secure in your filing. Take a look into online tax companies, freelance employees,  etc. There’s lots of options out there, but above all, be careful! Ensure they have the certifications and licenses necessary – see proof! You never know who’s doing business without ethics, so protect yourself.

There’s a growing field of online professional services, but some that truly need a person’s touch. Even though taxes are the most impersonal thing ever, you should get a person to look them over. The amount of variables and changing laws to consider is growing, so be sure to get the best information that you can.

You Don’t Know

You know those people who go to others for professional services and act as if they know better anyways? Don’t do that! Be earnest, and take the advice they give. Ask all the questions you need, because correcting things on already filed taxes is a bigger headache than filing in the first place. Speaking from experience, it’s best to do it right the first time. Be transparent with whoever is helping you, too! NEVER omit material facts because you think it will lower your return or raise what you pay. This is really dangerous and not in your best interest. You’d never guess all of the crazy things people do for their taxes.

Is one tax preparer better than the other? 

Maybe! It depends on how they’re certified. Sure, a CPA may sound better than an Enrolled Agent, but do you know what those mean? Enrolled Agency is the highest form of credentials the IRS awards. Good to know! Next comes a CPA, typically licensed by their State boards. Check out this link if you want to know more: https://www.irs.gov/tax-professionals/understanding-tax-return-preparer-credentials-and-qualifications

 

 

 

 

 

Results Should Speak

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

If you’ve ever been designated as a Project Manager, you know the stressful feelings that can come. It can be a lot of pressure to return the results expected of you, but know that regardless of what comes of the project, your name is on it! This is when you have to be super careful, because even if others make mistakes, it reflects on YOU! So to ensure your reputation isn’t on the line, cross your T’s and dot your I’s!

A Thought for Guidance

Here’s a great mantra to adopt. It’ll lead the way you react to mishaps, and guide your management efforts:

If there’s no result, there’s nothing to be said.

Results are often the driving forces in projects, and can lead to contention if those results don’t come as fast as expected. Especially when progress is dependent on others, it can be frustrating to be the one urging people along. When your employees come to you with reasons as to why something isn’t completed, hear them out; however, don’t accept these excuses as a reason for it not being done! The results should speak for themselves, so if they aren’t there, there’s nothing to be said! Being clear about your expectations, deadlines, and requirements will ensure your management platform stays free of result loopholes. Meaning, no one will have a reason to miss the deadlines!

Be Q.C with your Q.C

On the same note of being clear about expectations, you need to remember the importance of transparency. Let your employees see the background process, as it’ll drive their work to be comprehensive. Ensure they have all of the information, because it’ll save you time as a manager by not having to go back through all of the work. You should always be Quite Clear with your Quality Control, because standardization is highly effective! With clear Quality Control processes, your errors will be minimized, and expectations clear.

 

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.

 

Legitimizing Your Legacy

By | Planning for Success | No Comments

When you start your business, you probably think “This is it. This is my legacy, and it’ll stay with me forever”. But what happens when plans and lives change? Before you bask in the glory of your success, take time to think about where it’ll go in the future. Do you have someone to take over if things go off-course? Business isn’t about planning your next move, it’s also about ensuring the things you do won’t be met with a dead end. (No pun intended).

Insurance is your whole plan, not just the monthly payment you make out. Making long-term plans through organizational documents is ESSENTIAL to the way you run your business. If you don’t have a long term plan, don’t plan to be around for a long time! Above all, get professional help with this! Getting a lawyer and creating the documents will ensure there’s no loopholes, errors, or illegal terms included.

Who’s On the Plan?

If you don’t exactly have a perfect successor, that’s okay! It’s actually alright to have a firm ‘no’ when answering the question, because it shows you know the limitations of your employees, and aren’t giving ownership away like candy. Finding someone qualified is never easy, so don’t jump the gun with the first promising candidate. Your plan doesn’t have to be formed overnight, but should always be something worked towards completion.

Expect for Progress

By | Fear, Lifestyle Fix, Planning for Success, Uncategorized | No Comments

The link below will lead you to a story that’ll resonate with you. It’s about a woman who found confidence in herself through the words of a trainer, and her thoughts on the effects of expectations. There’s one part I found particularly inspiring, and I want to give you my thoughts on the topic. https://great-inspirational-quotes.com/because-i-was-told-i-can.html

Jan Graham wrote: “He spoke to her (with good intentions) of how hard she would have to work in order to succeed. University wasn’t like High School – this was the real world and now she would have to grow up. This child quit after two years. Another friend spoke to her daughter of the adventure she was embarking on and how proud she was. I remember how we laughed because the mother already had her outfit picked out for convocation day! This child just graduated with her degree in physiology. Looking back, neither daughter was more intelligent than the other. Was it the silent expectations (or lack thereof) that predicted the outcome?” (Because I was Told I Can).  

This resonated with me because I’ve had a first row seat to the ways advice giving can affect minds. If someone is told they can’t, they won’t, because they are convinced they can’t. No matter how much it seems like young adults aren’t listening, they are, and to every word said. When opinions are given, even if they seem inconsequential, plant a seed. This seed can grow inside them, and change them for the better or worse. Fear can easily be put into someone’s head, that’s what stops them from doing the great things they’re capable of.

Should Expectations Even be Set?

Setting expectations can be both good and bad. Good, because it’ll help keep things focused and goal-oriented. Bad, because when someone can’t rise to those expectations, the fallout can be disastrous. When setting expectations for employees, it’s important for them to know that it’s okay to fall below them. They just need to know that’s when they have to buckle down and rise to meet your expectations. Be it performance, sales, or deals made, expectations can be a great way to get the end results you want.

 

Empathy, the Life Saver

By | Fear, Lifestyle Fix, Overcoming Obstacles, Planning for Success | No Comments
“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone” Ronald Reagan

At some point in our lives we’ll feel powerless. We’ll feel like no matter how much we do, the results we want will never come. We all want to make a difference, and we all want to help those close to us. But sometimes, it’s just not possible. If someone wants to change, they have to want if for themselves, and take the first steps to doing so. This is true in not only life, but in business too! Motivation can be hard to come by for some, so don’t waste your efforts on the people who won’t willingly accept it.

An individual’s drive isn’t defined by how much they do, it’s defined by how much they will do. You can never know what someone is capable of until they show you, so don’t expect to always get a good read on people. There are countless circumstances that explain why people are the way they are. A person’s background is often an explanation for their inadequacies, successes, and trials, and all we have to do is listen. Empathy, believe it or not, has the power to save lives.

Compassion isn’t always innate, in fact, it’s largely learned. Your ability to listen without judgement or prejudice is the most influential thing on someone who needs to talk about hard things, so better your skills for the benefit of those close to you. That way, when someone needs help, you can be prepared to give it.

 

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.