Breaking free to the ultimate you!

Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Clarifying the Focus of Your Business

Do you feel stuck, no more passion, can’t get to the next level in your business?

Ask Yourself These Questions:

What Business Are You REALLY In? It’s always more than just the product or service you provide. Give this some thought and find someone with whom you can brainstorm. You will gain many benefits from this process. Also, this will give clarity in helping you decide on specific markets and how to appeal to them.

Why Are You In Your Business? By asking yourself this question, you will get clear on your business purpose and mission.

How Did You Get Into Your Business? Answer this question by grabbing a pen and writing a story. Let your thoughts flow. I think you will be pleasantly surprised with how much insight you will gain.

USEFUL, CLARIFYING QUESTIONS:

Intentions: What is your heart’s desire? Who do you want to be? What is the big picture behind the objective?

Meaningful Objectives: What are your tangible outcomes? What specifically do you want to accomplish? What makes this truly meaningful for you?

Learning Plan: Nearly every new intention or meaningful objective will require that you learn something new. Too often we jump into action with incorrect assumptions that we should know it already. This can lead to frustration. What do you need to learn to accomplish your objectives? What resources do you need?

The Environment: How well does your current environment, associates, family and friends support your objectives? Is your network sufficient to provide all the resources you’ll need? What are the obvious obstacles that will get in the way? What have you been tolerating that will drain your attention from what you need to do?

Your answers to these questions will infuse new energy into your business. You will get clarity and laser focus to create bigger results.

Creating Alliances

The strategic alliance is a joint venture and partnership between two companies or individuals to advance each other’s position. Especially in today’s business environment, it’s quicker and less expensive to gain additional markets and sales. By creating a successful alliance, you and your alliance partner will gain much value in many ways.

Begin by evaluating what products, services, niches, and specialties you offer. Identify your niches which are the market segments your focus on. For example: entrepreneurs, dentists, schools, parents and home owners etc. Identify your specialty, which is a set of skills or proficiencies that can be used across many professions, industries, and niches. A specialty is what you’re good at doing or making or teaching or selling.

Next – identify your target professions, industries, niches, and specialties that you would like to pursue. Now make an “I Wish List.” For example: “I wish my Dental Practice Building Workbooks were standard training for every dental office worker nationwide.” Then you think about individuals and businesses you could create an alliance with that would put your workbook in every dental practice in the country. You could reach out to the Dental Association and offer to speak at their annual meeting, as long as your materials were available at the back of the room. Contact editors of magazines who go to that market and offer to write free articles in exchange for mention of your workbook and your website. Any company that sells products to dental practices, make an offer to their email data base in return for leads you provide for them. The ideas are endless.

You see your “I Wish List” has helped you identify your target, and you are now going full steam ahead. So make an “I Wish List”, get out of the box, get away from “going it alone,” think big, and do brainstorm sessions with your associates. You will be surprised at how many different ways you can create alliances to improve your business for very little or no expense. So . . .just do it!

Top 10 Reasons to Delegate

In the August 2006 issue I gave 10 top tips on How to Delegate. I’m seeing another challenge for entrepreneurs / managers on why they should delegate.

The art of delegating is anything but the practice of “dumping” responsibility off your plate onto someone else. Delegation requires a vision toward maximizing your time and talents by focusing on the right mix of things to achieve your larger objectives. Here are some reasons for dealing out tasks that are best performed by others:

  1. Frees up your time and energy to perform at a higher level.
  2. Lets you see more clearly what task or projects need your direct attention.
  3. Giving responsibility to other in your group fosters team-building. Make sure that the objectives of the responsibilities are clear and agreed to in order to get buy-in.
  4. Lends a new dimension as to how thing can be done. Can lead to interesting results!
  5. Builds others’ skills and self esteem. Delegating reflects trust in that person’s ability to perform.
  6. Delegation reduces delay.
  7. Creates greater efficiency if tasks are delegated to and performed by individuals with more expertise than you have. No need to reinvent the wheel. There are outside vendors and consultants for just about anything. Don’t overlook in-house expertise.
  8. Can help get work done on time.
  9. Skillful delegation creates win-win situations for all involved.
  10. A good exercise to develop your letting go and trusting.

My hope is that the above-named reasons will encourage you to practice delegating. Your business and life will be that much better for it.

Love… Does it belong in the workplace?

Yes. The feeling, thought and the word belongs in your business and work place. Because . . . let’s face it . . . whether you believe it or not . . . you built your business, your skills and talents from the energy of love. The products and or services you provide come from those skills and talents and they are as unique to you as your finger print.

When you provide your service and/or products from your job or business, you are paid for it. The money you receive comes from the energy of love. Money is another way of moving that energy around.

Here is a case and point that money is another form of love. At the beginning – before money was created – this is how it worked: the person who made candles did it because it was his talent; he or she learned this skill because of a love for making candles. The one who worked with wood built things because he loved doing it. The farmer grew things because he loved doing it, etc. When the farmer needed candles he would trade some of his crop for candles and so on . . . and so on. This is how people passed on to each other the things they loved to do to fill the needs of others. As it became more complicated, bartering came into being and then money was created.

In today’s complicated world we lose sight of the fact that we get paid for selling the things that we are talented, skilled and passionate about. It’s true . . . a lot of people do work that they don’t like in order to earn money. If that’s the case, rather than stress or struggle, learn to love the work you’re doing until you discover and are able to do the work you love.

Why is it valuable to see our business and work this way? There are many reasons why the more you embrace this paradigm the more enjoyment you will have in building your life and business, solving your challenges and delivering your services. Through that process you will be improving your skill and becoming a master at it.

Here is a very powerful quote I read a long time ago that still serves me very well in my business:

“The more you love what you’re doing, the sooner it will give up its secrets to you.”

Are you wanting to go to the next level?

Do your business and/or life feel stagnant? Are there no real improvements or growth going on? Are you feeling comfortable like the crab? If he stays in his shell, he feels safe and never grows. Would you like to step out of that ho hum comfort zone, get reenergized and grow?

Where are you? What is it that you think you should do but are resistant? Be truthful with yourself. Are you just not sold on doing the changes, or are you fearful of doing it?

If it’s fear it could be the biggest fear we all face – the fear of failure. This can be perceived as not being smart enough, no courage, or just plain lazy. Whatever it is it will tear down your self-esteem. It’s impossible to function at peak performance when your self-esteem is low.

So what do you do? Change you perception of what failure is. The word failure doesn’t need to be in your vocabulary. It conjures up a lot of negative thoughts and feelings that don’t serve you well.

In reality what is failure? “You missed the mark”. When you’re playing darts and you miss your mark, you make a few corrections and throw another dart. If you never missed the mark it would be very boring for you. The miss or “failure” give us the opportunity to learn, make adjustments and continue to improve. This approach will serve you better. It’s productive, fun and doesn’t tear down your self esteem. In fact, it will improve it.

When you’re about to implement the change and you feel the resistance, ask yourself what the resistance is. Are you not sold on doing it or are you fearful of doing it? If you’re not sold on it, you know what to do. If it’s fear, ask yourself:

  • What resources do I need?
  • Do I have the resources, and if not, where can I get them?
  • What is the time period and checkpoints for completion?
  • What’s the risk? Can I live with that? What are the rewards?
  • When I run into a barrier I will gather the learning and implement the adjustments.
  • What are the joys of the journey and the benefits of its success?

Once you have your plan in place and questions answered, then make your commitment. The fear will be replaced with a renewed excitement and vigor. You will feel a renewed energy, keen sharpness and vitality as when you first began your business or relationship.

Do you remember how you felt at the beginning? Remove the fear. Replace it with that new excitement and love and get that feeling back.

Have a wonderful journey!

Family Members Working in the Business

Dear Coach Pete: Our business is growing and as a result I hired my wife, two sons and a daughter-in-law about two years ago. What can I do to reduce the interpersonal tension? It’s causing a lot of problems in our once loving family.—Fred

Dear Fred: This is a challenge shared by many family-owned businesses in varying degrees. If it isn’t nipped in the bud it could cause serious consequence.

A family business can be the most rewarding and enjoyable way to express your talents and create wealth or it can be a nightmare. Here are a some suggestions, keeping in mind that the business and family relationships should be kept separate as much as possible:

  • Get a vision in your mind of how well you are all communicating and handling business decisions when you and your family members are in harmony and synergy with each other.
  • Start creating an environment and process that foster open and proper communication with each other.
  • A good way to start this process is by having a business family meeting for the purpose of brainstorming ideas and solutions. Have a specific agenda, keep it up beat, engage everyone to participate and write down every suggestion without judging them. Occasionally include some of you own to keep the flow going.

Include on your agenda questions such as-Would it be helpful to keep our business and family relationships separate? If so, what could we do to create a process to effectively communicate and make decisions without affecting our family life? How can we be a family and business associates handling the challenges, stress, accomplishments and successes while still growing the love and respect for each other.

You will be surprised how many good suggestions will come out of this, more importantly the synergy that will be created. With that information you will be well on you way to creating a more harmonious culture in your business. If need be, bring in an outside coach to facilitate the process, to dig deeper and offer different perspectives to the issues involved and/or mediate any real sticky issue.

Are You In Business For Your Self?

If you own a business, have a job, are unemployed or retired, and you receive and spend money, the answer is “Absolutely yes.” Why? Because in today’s world your whole life is a business.

If you are an owner of a business: You either bought it or created it to sell products and/or services and you conduct the business assuming full control, responsibility and risk.

If you are employed or contracted by a company: You are responsible for fulfilling the tasks and mission for which you were hired. You are using your skills and talents. Therefore, you assume part of the risk.

If you are unemployed and are seeking employment: You’re in the business of marketing and identifying and selling your skills and talents.

If you are retired: You are responsible for using your skills, talents and interest to create a life of fulfillment based on how you spend your time and money

Your whole life can benefit from applying the principles of operating a successful, productive business. Your life has a beginning and end, just like a business. It goes through various stages as it matures, and you have 24 hours each day to manage and create the life you want. It would be to your benefit to change the way you look at all your relationships. An example is the way you view your employment relationship. Rather than thinking of yourself as being an employee, see yourself as a business person with the perception of, “I am selling my unique skills and talents to the company to fulfill the tasks and mission for which I was hired.” The benefit of this perception is that it will make you stronger. Thinking as a business person, you become more aware of continually improving your skills, talents and interest so that you are always marketable.

When the time comes for you to quit, get laid off or be ‘downsized,’ you then become an entrepreneur to create and build a mechanism to market you, your skills and talents to an employer or to create your own business. The same will hold true when the time comes for you to create a joyful fulfilling transition into semi- or full retirement.

Your whole life, as with a business, has similar categories and tasks, things to plan, create, manage and improve: Career/Business, Money Management, Health, Family, Social Relationships (personal friends/significant other and business associates), Personal and Professional Mastery, and Physical Environment (fun and recreation).

As a business, life and retirement coach, I assist you into breaking free of the barriers and transition into the results you desire. I will guide you in your journey by gaining clarity in your purpose, goals and vision, uncover and identify the obstacles and challenges. I provide processes that will enable you to move through them effectively so that you can create the business and life you desire with passion, prosperity, balance, and fulfillment.