March 27, 2014

Find Your Passion First

I think the thoughts I posted a couple of days ago on my other blog at TheSecondBoom.com are worth repeating. In that post I mentioned the importance of figuring out your passion, or whatever moves you, before you start a business. Check it out, and tell me what you think.

March 19, 2014

Just Take Action

Even though it’s my mantra, and I regularly remind business and coaching clients to “take action” (after proper consideration of course), I still am struck by the difference in the feeling of taking action versus waiting with indecision.

I’ve recently been grappling with a problem in one of my businesses, where a change in the look of an ad didn’t seem to be working out. Yet, the ad was not necessarily the only factor involved here; there were other dynamics that could also be affecting the outcomes. So I waffled … do I give it a chance? Or am I digging myself deeper in a hole by giving it a chance?

Early this morning, after considering the overall situation, my partner and I decided to ditch the new look and return to the previous one. That alone might not fix the issues, but we felt that there were problems with the new look that needed to be fixed anyway.

What a difference the decision made! I felt so much better for the rest of the day, because I knew I was taking action, not waiting nervously. The nervousness I’d been feeling the past few days seem to have melted, at least for now.

Sometimes, you have to think it through, and just take action. You’d be surprised at how much better it can make you feel.

February 17, 2014

An Awesome Experience

10 days ago, I stood in front of 800 people packed in an auditorium, delivering a speaking engagement that I called “The 10 Aha! Moments of Entrepreneurship”. Most of the attendees were students, from grade 7 through grade 12, at The Pingry School, a private preparatory school in New Jersey. I wanted to give them 10 things to think about from the world of entrepreneurship.

After the keynote, a couple of dozen students moved up close to the stage for a one-hour Q&A session about anything on their minds. It was during this conversation that I got a feel for the interest and motivations that many of the students share. By the time I left, after touring the school and hearing about some of their ongoing projects, I couldn’t help but feel energized by what I’d seen and heard.

I went there to inspire them, and they in turn inspired me. What an awesome experience!

January 2, 2014

A New Year, Dive In

Happy New Year! I hope your holiday celebrations were both joyous and fulfilling. On this second day of the new year, I have one request of you …

Pick one thing that you wanted to get done in 2013, and start off 2014 by getting that one thing done. I don’t care how small it is, though it probably shouldn’t be too large, either, or else you might get sidetracked again. Pick something manageable that you procrastinated through the end of 2013, and get it done during the early days of 2014. And feel good about it afterward.

Cheers to making this year an awesome one!

December 21, 2013

Keeping Your Cool

You know how work can be sometimes, whether it’s your own business or whether you work for someone else. Once in awhile you just have it up to here. And because you figure it doesn’t happen often, you’re entitled to blow off steam in some loud or nasty way to try to make a point. Or maybe you didn’t even have a point to make.

I have to admit, early in my career while I was still learning, I lost my cool once or twice in a professional setting. Hey, I was young. Subconsciously, I probably thought I’d create more impact by losing my cool. By the second time I did it, I started to realize that the reverse was probably more true. And that’s why I remember those instances after all these years, because I didn’t want to do that again.

Don’t do it. Don’t lose your cool. Even if someone loses their cool with you first. If you lose your cool, you put yourself on a level from which you have to raise yourself afterward. People who lose their cool, contrary to their beliefs, do not get respect. They do get attention, at least temporarily, but they don’t get respect. That’s why you sometimes hear people say, after another person blows up suddenly, that they “lost a lot of respect” for that person.

Be cool! And have a great holiday season…

November 19, 2013

5 Minutes Instead of Checking Email

Instead of checking email yet again, why not spend 5 minutes doing something else, perhaps something more refreshing or energizing? In a recent article posted on the FastCompany website, Laura Vanderkam offers 17 possible suggestions.

What do you think? Any of those sound good to you?

November 14, 2013

8 Things You Need Before the Start

In business, the hardest thing is the start. And there are often factors that prevent us from launching successfully, or that create distractions after we launch. On my other blog, The Second Boom, I wrote about 8 things Boomers need to have in place before they consider starting a business, but those 8 things are not restricted to just Boomers. Jump over to that post and tell me if you’re thinking of those 8 things:

Do you have these 8 things in place?

Where do you stand in regards to these 8 things?

October 7, 2013

The FORE Leadership Cycle

In my second book, Let It Fly! Defy the Laws of Business Gravity and Keep Your Company Soaring, I introduced the FORE cycle of leadership. FORE is an acronym which stands for focus-offload-review-encourage. I’ll let you read the book and learn the details of each stage of the 4-stage cycle, but in this post, I want to point out that FORE is a complete cycle. You can’t just do some of the 4 stages, you have to do all of them. Here’s what happens if you leave out a stage while doing the others.

If you leave out the “F” or focus, you might still offload, review, and encourage your team, but they’re all over the place because you supplied no focus. Lots of unfocused work just passes the time.

If you leave out the “O” or offload, you never trust your team enough to offload the responsibility to them. Then you become a micro-manager, even though you review and encourage, because all you’re doing is reviewing and encouraging them on exactly what you told them to do.

If you leave out the “R” or review, you’ve focused your team, offloaded responsibility to them, and encourage them, but never check on whether they’re executing properly. Things that break could be broken for awhile until you finally discover them. Plus, if you’ve been encouraging them all along, they might be reluctant to bring you bad news.

And finally, if you leave out the “E” or encourage, you have a good team that’s focused, takes responsibility, fulfills your reviews of them, but never gets thanked or encouraged about what they do. That could become a thankless job for many of the team members.

See how focus-offload-review-encourage, or FORE, is a complete cycle of stages? Those of you with leadership responsibilities, please take note.

September 24, 2013

Making the Technology Habit Work for You

Sometimes it seems we’re wedded to our technology toys. Before you know it, it takes away from the productive things you could be doing about your business or your career. However, unlike what some might preach, we can’t just leave our toys either, because there are useful purposes for them.

A recent article on the Fast Company website entitled 4 Ways to Cure Your Technological Distraction Addiction gives 4 tips on how to make technology our friend (enhance productivity) instead of our enemy (create distractions).

So here’s my question for you … do you think we can get people to stop tweeting pictures of their dinner entrees, any time soon?

September 5, 2013

Objection, Your Honor!

In courtroom dramas, we see opposing attorneys object to things, and the judge settles it with a “Sustained” or “Overruled”. In life, it’s not such a convenient situation when someone objects to what we’re saying or proposing, whether it’s in a business or a non-business setting.

This article on the American Management Association website offers tips on how to deal with objections. The author offers 4 steps to keep in mind: clarify, acknowledge, respond, and confirm.

How do you deal with objections?

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