Archives for July 2013

10 Traits you must have to succeed

NEWS FLASH (You may know this, but let me remind you…)

Investor’s Business Daily has spent years analyzing leaders and successful people in all walks of life. Most leaders have 10 traits that, when combined, can turn dreams into reality.

1. HOW YOU THINK IS EVERYTHING: Always be positive. Think success, not failure. Beware of a negative environment.

2. DECIDE UPON YOUR TRUE DREAMS AND GOALS: Write down your specific goals and develop a plan to reach them.

3. TAKE ACTION: Goals are nothing without action. Don’t be afraid to get started now. Just do it.

4. NEVER STOP LEARNING:  Go back to school or read books. Get training and acquire skills.

5. BE PERSISTENT AND WORK HARD: Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Never give up.

6. LEARN TO ANALYZE DETAILS: Get all the facts, all the input. Learn from your mistakes.

7. FOCUS YOUR TIME AND MONEY:  Don’t let other people or things distract you.

8. DON’T BE AFRAID TO INNOVATE; BE DIFFERENT: Following the herd is a sure way to mediocrity.

9. DEAL AND COMMUNICATE WITH PEOPLE EFFECTIVELY:  No person is an island. Learn to understand and motivate others.

10. BE HONEST AND DEPENDABLE; TAKE RESPONSIBILITY: Otherwise, Numbers 1-9 won’t matter.

Business Principles…some suggestions

Greetings from the Mt Shasta. I’m reviewing some issues for upcoming blogs. Does your company (do you?) have a list of principles by which you stand for in the running of your business?

Try these on for size and or create your own is you don’t already have some.

Business Principles 

1 We operate our business with integrity and that being of service will be profitable.

2. We accumulate cash reserves; we pay ourselves and our workers and vendors on time.

3. We take responsibility for our business commitments and obligations and remember that we are in charge of the professionals that work for us.

4. We maintain clear and orderly financial records.

5. We have clear knowledge of our overhead, operating expenses, pricing and profit, accounts receivable, accounts payable and all of our assets and liabilities.

6. We have a business plan, and goals and visions for ourselves and our business.

7. We place all agreements in writing.

8. We budget our time realistically and focus our work time on generating revenues.

9.  We value our goods and services and price them accordingly.

10. We are willing and able to ask for help when we need it. And we are at peace with ourselves and allow our business to grow and expand harmoniously.

The Personal Inventory

Personal Inventory

In this series of blogs we have been looking at personal development…building your interior resources so to speak. Since YOU are the one who is in charge of and responsible for the business I recommend that you take a personal inventory at least once a year.

There are four health categories to consider: Physical health, mental health, emotional health and spiritual health.

Physical Health

This is pretty strait forward. When was the last time you had a physical? When was the last time you had a stress test? Are you healthy in an average sort of way…statistically speaking. Nothing wrong with average if that is OK with you, but I can tell you that the stressors of owning and running your own business will be more than you ever imagined.

Being physically fit and staying fit will be a great resource for you both in the short and long run. Can you dedicate at least an hour a day to aerobic and strength training? The latest research seems to say that’s what is called for in today’s world to be able to deal with all the stress coming at us. Remember life is a long distance run not a rat race.

Mental Health

Is your brain working well? How you learn and move through life solving problems, making plans, executing plans and keeping track of all that is going on in your life and your business is part of your mental health checkup. Thinking about this can make your head hurt. We may not be able to grow smarter brain cells but we can learning from our mistakes and keep up by reading and researching those topics most relevant to us and our business. With age (if we’re lucky) may come wisdom.

Emotional Health

Staying emotionally balanced can be a challenge when things are not going as you planned or hoped. Having a person or persons around you to support you through tough times is a must. Trusting someone to be there for you emotionally, to share your struggles and successes is mandatory. Some include therapy in our health support system. There are many worthwhile therapies that can be useful. If you feel that you are “losing it” then get help sooner not later.

Spiritual Health 

This area is more often not looked at or discounted as being important to your business. For some this health is the most important health of all for others not so much. However, to ignore your interior world of beliefs is to be not prepared for the challenges life may present to you. This is multiplied by ten for those of us who aspire to own our own business. Spending an hour or so a week might be enough for you but for me I need daily time with the deeper (higher) part of myself. I chose meditation and walks in nature are my prime elixirs.

Humanss are complex and may be becoming more complex over time. Indeed, the world is getting more complex and we will not be going back to a simpler time as we sometime wish. So showing up to be and do the best we can by being conscious of the present moment, letting go of outcome, and by speaking our truth without blame or judgment gives us a good chance at reaching our goals in life and in business.

Keep on keeping on…

Motivation vs Motivation

Why do

you do

what you do?

Motivation is understood to be the ultimate motive(s) behind your actions.  When I think about what motivates me I start with a list that might look like this:  enjoyment, fulfillment, make others happy, make money, be healthy, be a good neighbor, be a good citizen etc. All very OK, but maybe not quite as deep as one can go. You will need to go deeper if you intend to find your true motivations.

Why should you do this search?  To find your deepest motivations will help you achieve clarity and to sustain your desire for success when the odds seem to be against you. That said, when you do feel that the odds are against you it would be advisable to get a second opinion. One of the companies I started failed spectacularly because I was not in touch with my real motivation and I did not seek outside help and would not accept other people’s ideas. I wanted to do it my way, I knew I was right, I knew the time was right, I knew the service was right because I did have focus groups telling me so, and I knew if I pushed just a bit harder I would ‘win’.

I lost. My ego was so invested in my way of doing the business that I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. The business opportunity window slammed down hard and because of my nearsightedness I almost lost my family and I did lose my life savings. I know now that I’m not alone in having that kind of experience but when one is in that situation and you feel like you are alone that is a big clue that you need to stop and get help. I didn’t and I paid a huge price on many levels. Yes, I learned a lot and I am here to help others not make that kind of mistake.

I have won on other ventures and I would say that the main difference is in having the right staff and or partners to both share the vision and share the burdens and the wins.

“But, Michael, I’m just a one person show, how can get to that next level?”

If there were a simple blueprint for success in business there would be a zillion books already written with all those helpful suggestions or rules or laws printed inside. To be fair there are a lot of great books that have good advice and/or info in them. Regarding the motivation inquiry I can endorse one of my all-time favorites: “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” By Stephen R. Covey. This is a classic business/life book that will never go out of worth.

Reading thoughtful books should be part of your daily regime. Even if it’s just a few minutes before you nod off each evening. Do not short change yourself, be proactive and find out what is/are your true and deepest motivations.

And keep on keeping on…