What’s Your Business Vision?

Monday, 22nd April 2013

What’s Your Business Vision?

To grow your business on your own terms it is critical to know what your vision for your business looks like and how you play in it. What does your perfect business work day look like? What are you doing? Who works with you? How are you feeling?

Answer these questions and step into it.

Don’t Do Business like a Surgeon

Monday, 15th April 2013

Don’t Do Business like a Surgeon

Recently I had deviated septum surgery. For those who know anything about it, you will know that that surgery is quite painful, and since the operation is on one’s nose, I decided to take great care in selecting a surgeon. So naturally I went for a doctor I heard was one of the best. He had been performing surgeries for years and had a stellar reputation. I also talked to people who he had operated on. This type of reputation is what we should all shoot for in our companies. Plus, if you can convincingly explain the need for your services, like surgeons do for theirs—all the better.

But there are some business practices that you would not want to adapt from a surgeon if you wanted to have an extremely successful business. One of them is that often a surgeon may have the reputation of being kind and considerate as you talk to them about having the surgery, but once you are done with the surgery, you are a number to them, and they don’t care about your pain, or how anything turned out, etc. Their eyes are on the next person they can slice up. I personally experienced this years ago with my ACL surgery by a physician who had a great reputation. Perhaps he had gotten too comfortable with his success, and little things, like treating patients well, were no longer his concerns.

This could be a deadly practice, whether or not you are in the medical field, and it could completely destroy your business. You never, ever want your clients, patients, or customers to think that they are just dollar signs to you.

Fortunately, with the nose surgery, my surgeon was not as cold and callous as some surgeons are, but he did make a mistake that surprised me, and which bothered me as a patient. Because it bothered me so much, I realized how I do not want to do this to my customers, clients, etc. So what did he do that was so offensive?

He didn’t believe me. He asked me how I was feeling the day after the surgery during the check-up appointment. I listed my complaints along with saying I felt raw.

He said, “You don’t feel raw.”

“Yes, I do.”

“No, you don’t.”

I just looked at him and he finally said, “Why don’t we have a look?”

Turns out the stitches in my nose had gotten buried into the open wound, which was giving me the raw feeling.

Of course I wished he was right and I was wrong, but that is beside the point. The point is that it’s CRUCIAL to believe your customers when they say something. If you don’t, resentment can quickly come.

For me, my first reaction was—“Here’s another doctor that doesn’t believe what I say. I hate doctors.”

Is that what you want your customers to be thinking? If not, believe them when they are telling you their pain. If they are saying I want to do a simple task, don’t create a product that is more complicated.

Sounds simple—believe your customer—but it really isn’t when you set your goals and plans on what to create for your customer, and they don’t match exactly what they want.

Right after the nose doctor saw what was causing my rawness, he dove into my nose with vigor to pull that stitch right out. Despite my writhing around, he worked with confidence, not pausing to second guess. This confidence and his extremely steady hand impressed me. It calmed down my resentment of him not believing me, and he earned my confidence in him right back. I walked out of the office, asking my husband if he noticed how steady the doctor’s hand was.

The lesson for the business owner is, if you do mess up and don’t listen to your customer, you can always redeem yourself by doing your job with utmost professionalism, confidence, and skill.

Are You a Hobbit in Your business?

Monday, 8th April 2013

Are you a Hobbit in your business?

Am I the only person out there that finds the whole Hobbit and Lord of the Rings a bore? To me the movies are tragically flawed to the point you could fall asleep and wake up hours later and not miss anything in the unfolding plot. It is one wrestle after another.

The most recent movie, The Hobbit, is no exception. It’s a shame too, since the costumes and scenery are stunning. The acting is not bad either. I think part of the problem is that the Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, is just way too flawed. In the story there is a lot of time spent establishing the Hobbit as a loner who stays at home enjoying his books. There is nothing wrong with that, but it does raise the big question of why these thirteen other heroic characters would join up with him? Why would they even care if he were on the journey with them?

This is a good question, not only for the movie, but is a good question to ask yourself. Why would potential clients or customers join up with you? Why would they part with their hard earned money to go on whatever journey you are offering them? Some would say, “because my product is so good”. That is like saying that the Hobbit is so good. There was a ton of other people those heroes could have chosen, just like your potential clients take, or that there was enough involved in the journey that I cared about. Even at the end of the movie, we were wondering what had really happened? It seemed they went through adventures but didn’t even make it back to the castle, much less get the home back for the dwarves. The movie felt like a lot of mindless action without making significant change for the world of the people involved, and definitely didn’t improve my world with insight, humor, or much of anything but a fairly good nap. If the movie is supposed to be a trilogy, then that is not a good enough reason for this movie to not stand on it’s own. Just like in your business you need to be able to stand on your own value no matter what part of the journey you are on.

To avoid causing such flatness with your potential clients, there needs to be a really good reason why you are the one to go on the journey with and not hope to come up with a reason during the journey. There also has to be forward motion, where your customer gets the value that working with you provides, and of course the most obvious element you need in your business is to be entertaining enough that you keep your customers not only awake but feeling like you are committed to the results that you promised you would bring them by working with you.

How can an Entrepreneur Gain a Competitive Advantage and Effective Leadership in the Market

Wednesday, 26th December 2012
    Entrepreneurship: How do I go from being an idea/vision guy to an idea and execution guy?

The best way to go from an idea guy to execution is to implement some system where you are holding yourself accountable in getting things done. Make it so that you will do things because you don’t like the consequence if you don’t.

    Entrepreneurship: Is being a ”people person” a prerequisite for entrepreneurship?

The important thing to be successful in any field is to be determined. Steve Job was extremely successful in the tech field and he certainly wasn’t a people person at all but he was a driven person. The simple truth is we all have strengths and weakness and those aren’t excuses to not get what you want. If you can’t do something one way look for a solution or a way around it. There are always answers if you are determined enough.

    Entrepreneurship: Why do people NOT take action to start a business, even though they consciously want to?

Most often the reason don’t take the steps they want is they are too focus on the fear of the steps they are about to take. Many people are slow to start a business because they think about all the things that they will need to do, all the things they want to figure out before jumping in action then they get overwhelmed and freeze. What needs to be done is to take the first smallest step– do it. Then figure out what the next step is and take that one. The truth is you will never come up with what will actually happen and you will never find the answers either without taking the first smallest step first then the next.

Why Do You Need a Business Life Coach?

Wednesday, 28th November 2012


Business coaching helps employees in two ways – one, when the coaching helps the leader to be a better leader so someone that is much easier to support and two when the employees are getting coached and able to work on their own stuff.

Coaching should include everything that in service of the client and will best serve the client.  A lot of times that requires much more then asking questions and validating someone.

A great life coach can definitely help a low-functioning person if that low-functioning person wants to change enough.  A good life coach will not allow the low-functioning person to make excuses.  The life coach will be determine to call the person on their excuses over and over again.  I don’t even believe there is such thing as low-functioning.  Just a person who is not motivated in certain areas of their life.  I am sure there is other areas that they are higher functioning.  If they care about something you’d be amazed at how functioning they are.  The job of the life coach would be to help explore with the person what the supposed low-functioning person really cares about and how to set up their environment to support them to move forward in the area of the life they really want.

Coaching does deal with goals, getting clear on your objects, and moving forward in your life.

Overcoming Betrayals and Challenges in Business

Wednesday, 7th November 2012

Before I joined the forces of being a person in business, I hated business. I thought it was boring, and driven by the pursuit of money, numbers, and sales. I believed it was for the technical guys and gals who could crunch numbers, make sense of the stock market, and wear uncomfortable black suits.

I was an artist. Well, at least trying to be one, and my brain was not built to understand the world of business. I happily dove into the world of writing. After three years of incredibly hard work, I landed my first book contract. I stumbled on my way until, by book three, my publishers were talking to me about the importance of promotion, marketing, and selling more if I wanted to continue publishing with them.

The realization that I would not be around as an author if I did not “step it up” and sell more was a nasty pill to swallow. But I swallowed and banged around into the world of sales, marketing, and business.

That world became tricky, and the more I learned, the more I danced in it, the more I forgot about writing. (What a sneaky environment!) The money I could make doing business far overshadowed the royalty checks off book sales.

I all but forgot the harsh world of books that caused so many struggles, and focused passionately on building my business and counted on that paying well. I’d probably still be on that path if I had not been stricken with a host of health problems that landed me in the hospital and rendered me unable to stay conscious.

As I struggled to get back on my feet, I searched for something to help heal me, something that I loved, something that calmed me. I dove back into reading literature. As I read, I rediscovered my true love. I realized that I have always loved reading a good book that transported me to another world. When I read, I feel authentically me.

I wondered why I had so neglected my love? Why was I doing so much business that my health was crumbling under the burden of stress? As I read, a message from one of the books :cleared things up: Literature never disappointed me. I thought about all the disappointments that came from the book world—the rejections, lack of sales, small payments, and frustrating plots. All the disappointments came from trying to publish—not from literature itself.

Perhaps in some ways you are like me—you had something you enjoyed doing in your life –golf, basketball, painting, woodwork, etc., and you abandoned it or did less of it because … well, lots of reasons.

When I looked at my life head on, I realized that literature did not abandon me, but I put myself into the business part of the literature out of fear. I cut off the part that I’d loved so much and did the business part until it swallowed me up. I did this even though the business gave me headaches. I valiantly plowed through, feeling like that was what needed to be done. I had become swept up in the race and did not know it because my ego was at play.

It was my ego that wanted the gold sticker that said I was successful. It was ego that listened to the publishers and pushed so hard for the sales. It was ego that took something so beautiful and made it about image, which in truth does not matter so much. My being consumed with “business” had betrayed me from keeping my real love alive.

Peak Performance Training Through Simplified Systems, #21

Wednesday, 31st October 2012


Welcome to Biz on your Own Terms!

It’s really fun to do business on your own terms! Today we will talk about how to magnify your business by simplifying your systems.

One of the things that I learned the longer I have been in business is that the more successful a businessperson is, the simpler their systems are. It is the person who has been in business for only a few years that runs around stressing about how there is too much to do. They have piles of emails stacking up that they need to get to, lots of phone calls they need to return, social media tasks they’ve been meaning to get to, not to mention the need to balance their books and find time to get more sales.

The traditional thinking is to work harder, longer and put many systems in order to gain competitive edge in your selected industry. But are these applicable at all times?

I have pointed out to my clients who have that belief, that some of the most successful business people I know, who have made billions of dollars, don’t spend all day working harder and harder, but they are often the people who take the most vacations and spend time with other cool, wealthy friends. How do they do this? Does their email box fill up even faster since they are well known and famous?

Well, most of us get bitter and say “Well they have the money to hire people to do things for them.” That is true, but that doesn’t take care of all the workload. They have to do more in order to have that time off. They don’t simply all of a sudden come into money then schedule a lot of time off.

What do the successful business people do?

One of the things they do is to put systems in place to meet their needs, from finding and creating templates, to some more unusual systems.

Tracking and Simultaneous Assessment is Significant

It doesn’t matter what your need is, if you have one that is important for you to do in order to grow your business-put in a system immediately. If you are working extremely hard and putting in tons of hours, it is time to really examine your work environment and how you have your business structured. Looking for ways that you could implement more systems and do things better will not only be a good idea but will also save you time, which in the long run will help make you money.

Coaching Baby Boomers for Business Success

Thursday, 25th October 2012

Baby boomers are at a fun time in their lives. Most are in transition and a lot of them are looking at their businesses differently. Many of my clients ask me, in a roundabout way, if they can have it all. Can they have a full family life, successful business, and enriching “me time,” (which often includes travel or doing things that give them fulfillment)?

Clear on the Definition

The first step is to determine what having it all means to you. What it means to one person is definitely not what it means to another. Does it mean making loads of money, success exploding from your business, a very romantic love life, quality time for kids, and a spotlessly clean house? Or does it mean having that quiet satisfaction of knowing that you are happy with what is happening in your life, and you’re enjoying a sense of contributing?
A lot of my baby boomer clients want a sprinkling of things in their life that make them feel complete. If they’re overloaded in one area, things start not working out as well for them. For example, one of my friends played with a grandchild several full days a week. She loved her grandbaby and cherished the time with that child, but after doing this for over a year, she started feeling swallowed up with the labors of childcare.

It was a huge struggle for her to determine what she wanted to do because she loved her grandchild and wanted what was best for that child. But the more she took care of the child, the more she had the general sense that she was no longer contributing in a bigger way. For some women, watching their grandchild would be just perfect and completely satisfying. For this friend, that wasn’t the case.

Before she could achieve satisfaction, she had to identify what was causing the problem. Once she figured out that she had an inner yearning to contribute more and to be seen for her other skills, she was able to do something about it. It is also important to realize that having “it all” and happiness are two different things. You need to prioritize between the two.

Research the Possibilities

My friend decided the possible solution to her problem would be to find a part-time job. She then determined what kind of work she was good at and would give her the satisfaction she needed.
For other baby boomers, the answer may not be as clear cut as this example . Many of my clients need to try out the balance of the things that are most important to them. They ask themselves questions like:

  • If I work only so many hours a week, what would that be like? Feel like? How would that affect others?
  • Would more firm boundaries give me the breathing room that I need to feel better?
  • What would happen if I took a day off regularly?
  • What am I doing when I feel at my best?

After they think they know the answers to what work/life balance will bring them happiness, it is time for them to experiment and try it out and see if what they experience is anywhere close to what they imagined.
My friend didn’t need to do this because she had worked before, and she knew the kind of job she wanted and the hours and the type of work place she’d be working in. After you have a good sense of what will work for you, balancing the factors of your life, your wants, needs, and desires, it’s time to make it a reality, or in other words, time to swing into action.

Make It So

For some this can be one of the scariest steps because not only is it taking action, but it is also making a declaration for you and the kind of life that you want to live.

Striving for happiness is not always the easiest path, and is not one that can be accomplished without bravery and courage. It takes a lot to stand up against what is “normal” and say I am going to make some changes.
My friend applied for the job that met her criteria and got it within a week. Her boss is thrilled, and her husband is happier, but most importantly she is happier, and she still has a great time with her grandchild.
It is not always easy to take the steps to happiness, but that is what it takes to live a life of no regrets.

Can Partners be both Effective in Leadership? #17

Wednesday, 5th September 2012

Welcome to Biz on Your Own Terms!

We’re gonna talk about something that have caused a lot of problems for a lot of people that I’ve coached.

So let’s dive into it – and that is when partnering in business is a bad idea. Getting someone to team up with you and help you build your business sounds like a great idea especially when you think all the extra work you can get done in a less time. But there are still things you need to watch out for!

Number one is the same skill set bridge trouble. The second thing that you need to pay attention to is that “Do you have different work ethics?” Nothing breathes resentment more than how one person or more people in the partnership thinking that they’re doing most of the work. Another thing to watch out for is if one person likes to be in charge or one of the people really likes to be in charge.

So think about all these when you’re partnering and if you partner right, it will help you get the more results faster. So goodluck on your partnership!

Until next time!

Have a step-it-up business day!

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Photo: s_falkow on Flickr.

Leadership Coaching: The Art of Co-Leading

Wednesday, 18th April 2012

The art of co-leading takes work and effort. Chances are the better your relationship is with your significant other, the more likely you will be able to take that skill to the workplace. There is not just one way to co-lead. There is a lot of room for your personality and skill to come into play. The most important part of co-leading, though, is to treat each person in the relationship as an equal and to move forward to a common goal. It is much easier to for the co-leading to unfold if the common goal is in place.

If you really want to see change happen, and other people are involved, consider leading with a co-leading style.