Archive for September, 2012

September 26, 2012

Tips for Indies

I came across a good article at the FastCompany website that was directed at creative freelancers, who are independent contractors. Being a contractor is not much different than being self-employed. The points offered by the author are actually applicable to all independents, whether you’re a freelancer, consultant, attorney, CPA, therapist, or any other type of solopreneur.

Check out the article, and take note of some very useful tidbits of advice.

September 24, 2012

Indecision and Mistakes

A good part of what might hold us back is indecision. We might waffle on whether we should take a certain course of action, and as a result take none. Or we might hestitate to fix a team chemistry problem, wondering if we’ve read the situation incorrectly. And again do nothing. Or we might put off talking to an employee about a performance problem, for fear of not having all the information we need. Meanwhile the problem continues.

There is fear behind indecision — the fear of making a mistake. If we take that specific course of action based on what we know, we fear that we might be making a mistake because of incomplete information. We put off talking to a problem team member, again because we fear that we might be mistaken about whether they’re the problem or not.

And this fear could be in the face of strong and certain feedback that we’re reading the situation correctly, but we still fear making a mistake. A business owner I know, even though he was unhappy with an employee because of multiple job performance issues, was still unsure if he really should bring the subject up. He was afraid he might be wrong.

If you can lose the fear of making a mistake, then you will solve any issues you might have with indecision. I don’t ever mean that you make decisions based on little or no information. But I do want to remind you that we will never feel that we have enough information to make things perfectly obvious, even if we have a ton of information. You just need enough information so you can use your judgment and experience.

And try not to worry about making a mistake. As Teddy Roosevelt once said, “In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” According to Teddy, the wrong thing is better than nothing!

September 2, 2012

Wisdom from the Original of the Mad Men

George Lois is known as the one upon whom the Mad Men, the popular cable series, is based. In his recent book Damn Good Advice, he offers a number of tips for success, with foundations in the advertising industry, but applicable to all types of businesses. Some of those tips are summarized in this Fast Company online article, which includes excerpts from the book.

Sound advice from the guy who created the brand names “Lean Cuisine” and “Aunt Jemima”, and the cult ad phrase, “I want my MTV!”.

September 1, 2012

Fruits of Your Labors

It’s Labor Day weekend; I hope you’re all enjoying it, before the school year starts up again in earnest. Thoughts of Labor Day tend to remind me that it’s labor that bears fruit. Success and results are rarely attained without the labor behind it. So if you’re considering a business method that sounds like “success with only 3 hours a week”, “6 figures with push-button software”, or “no experience necessary”, then it sounds too good to be true. And if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Get your R&R this weekend, and resume your labor next week, to work toward your goals!