Archives for May 2013

Step one to Success.

Creating and keeping healthy business (and personal) relationships it at the core of success. Some relationships are for a lifetime. Business relationships are in most cases time dated in that either the relationship is at one passing point of sale or last throughout the course of a business. Thinking about your business as a ‘factory’ for building good relationships will give you a sense of how  relationships are the meet and bones of your business. The blood of your business is of course, positive cash flow.

Back in the day “the customer was King” was our mantra. But I’m going to recommend something a bit more radicle. Depending on what kind of business you are in the type and term of your business relationships may vary. Howeve,r the more you put into the ‘relationship’ the bigger the return. This is common sense but harder to do than to talk about.

I do stand on the golden rule: treat others as you would treat yourself. However, some of us don’t treat ourselves very well do we? If you are overworked and underpaid, well you get my point. That said, the goal is to be as present with your customers and potential customers as possible. What does “be present” mean?

Technically, to be present means that all your focus, your attention is with the other person. To accomplish this I recommend you take a deep breath each time you engage someone and then focus your eyes on their eyes while standing not too close. Breathe into your belly thru your chest and back out. This may take practice…so practice with another person or at least in front of the mirror. Etiquette may dictate that you shake hands or more likely at work, you may have a greeting already prepared. No matter what you say, saying it from a grounded place will be way more effective than as an automatic greeting usually sounds. Greeting someone from this grounded place will have a positive effect for you and the person you’re greeting.

This may be a baby step on the road to building customer relations but it is a very important step. Do not skip this step. Again try this exercise and practice it until the people close to you notice “something different”. This is not about being forceful or manipulative. This is about you being REAL and in the moment. The better you get at this the more successful you will be…in whatever you do.

Practice, Practice, Practice.


Work as a Pilgrimage

In David Whyte’s well written and insightful book “Crossing the Unknown Sea—Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity”, we are given a new perspective on what it means to ‘work’ in the world. This is no small thing.

How many times in the course of your life, or the course of a year or even sometimes in the course of a day do we pause and say “what the heck is going on here?” The real question is, “what the heck is going on with me”?

Sure, we all have our bad days, our out of sort days, our wish I were somewhere else days. However, David’s insights go to a deeper level a level I find that will come up in my coaching conversations with clients more frequently than not.

Let’s make a leap, an assumption for a moment. What if…what if the world you are looking out at right now is a reflection of what is going on inside you right now. Yes, that’s a big jump I know, but stay with me a moment.

Is everything as it should be? As you look out there do you see your life flowing along? Is your work life, your business flowing along? Are there small ripples or large waves flowing across your life’s pond of tranquility? If so, do you know what created those waves, or how to let them subside? Maybe you like waves. Maybe you like sailing and a strong wind suits you. However, without a rudder a strong winds will blow you where they will, not where you intended to go.

Mr. Whyte’s book is about the journey we take once we commit ourselves to a given path we call our job or our business. If you have your own business or work for someone else you have chosen to do so and in doing so you become and/or must ‘own’ that role. So now you have responsibilities and time constraints and commitments that you must bring yourself to…all of yourself, your fully present and aware self if you intend to be successful in that role.

Work for ninety nine per cent of us is more than one third of our daily existence. Many business owners will spend more time working than time with family, friends, and even sleep. Is that a given? Is that not the way it’s done you may tort. As a former entrepreneur there was a time I could only see the trees and not the forest. Please do not take this as a criticism but rather a poke at your ‘reality’ beliefs.

One of my clients has a business that is not yet 5 years old and which is not yet over the profitability hump but is well on its way. He is young and ambitious and married and with kids and has tremendous discipline. He only works 8 to 10 hours a day 5 days a week. Not 6 or 7 days a week, just 5. He has a life because he values the rest of his life as much or more than his work life. Also, he loves his work life and the challenges it brings him. His ocean has its rough and smooth days but he stays fully present and has learned, with help, to sail with the wind, rudder in hand going in the direction he intends. Can you say that?

Getting back to Mr. Whyte’s insights, he is saying that one of our greatest opportunities for discovery and growth is in our work life. If you think about the times in each work day where you either get to make a choice or engage in relating to someone else you will have in those moments the opportunities of which David speaks so eloquently. Work is about creating successful relationships. Creating successful relationships with yourself, your family, your co-workers, your employees, your customers, your vendors, and your environment will lead to a meaningful life, a successful life, a rewarding life. This is the life you want to see in the mirror of your day.

What does it take to create such successful relationships?

More to come…enjoy your week, and stay in touch.


What drives you?

What ‘drives’ you?
What are your motives?
Do you know who you can trust?
Do you think you know the answers to these questions?

Something (or someone) is always ‘driving’ us, pushing and pulling us. Getting in touch with what that is, and where ‘it’ comes from can and will make the difference in creating a happy healthy successful life in business.

If you find yourself searching, seeking for some kind of assistance, some boost or pat on the back and recognition, I invite you to sign up here.

Success can be had on many levels. A well balanced life will be one with few if any regrets. Meeting life’s challenges, most of which we create ourselves are for one primary purpose: to learn, and from that learning, prospering and experiencing joy and comfort.

I recommend that a ‘sober’ evaluation of one’s choices and motivations for those choices be done. Whether you are just starting out in business or moving past that important 5th year milestone an annual ‘taking stock’ of oneself is always a good idea.

Taking stock is an older phrase originally used in business…as in accounting for one’s inventory. The word ‘stock’ also could mean shares of a business, or reaching back in time could also mean a device for holding one in place: “stock and chains”.

What are your talents, what are your shortcomings, what is missing from the business plan, where is the plan out of balance? Are you taking home at least a living wage? Does the business turn a reasonable profit? Maybe your business is a hobby? These may be easy questions to answer yes or no to. However, often it’s what is beneath the “yes” or “no” answer that will lead one to the truth in a given situation.

If you have chosen to be a business person, and more so, if you chose to be an owner of a business then you have chosen (consciously or not) to have those kinds of challenges that will help you become the skillful person you truly want to be. To go down the path of facing challenges and learning how you create them is not an easy task or one you should do alone. Get outside help! Friends can be a great help but they may not have the skill set to really help coach you through certain business challenges.

My intension is that through this blog and our interactions much will be gained by all who participate. Reading and responding to the blog will be helpful for all who are reading along. We can learn from each other and save time and money in doing so.

That said some issues are too complicated to be fully served via this one blog. The website connected to this blog is also available as well as reaching me directly via the contact form.

I offer this blog to be a sober place to take stock of your business self, your actions, and thoughts. You will not find judgements or useless negative criticisms but rather an open forum of ideas and possible solutions.