Posts tagged ‘action’

April 24, 2014

No Guessing

The other day I called a company that is the support group for an online system I have to use as part of a client project. I was referred to a specific person in one department, and when I asked for that person, found that she was on vacation for the week. The woman who answered the phone, however, wanted to be helpful.

“Perhaps I can help you,” she offered. So I started to outline the question that I had, related to what inputs the system was expecting. I had already used the system for a while; I just had a specific question about one type of operation.

The woman on the phone, though she was trying to help, started stumbling through an answer, and ended up telling me something very elementary that wasn’t even the point of my question. As politely as I could, I observed that perhaps this is something on which I needed to speak directly with the other contact who was on vacation. This person’s reply to that:

“Oh, probably. I haven’t been trained on this system yet, anyway.”

Well, then why didn’t she say so from the get-go? Why take a bunch of guesses, make herself look like she didn’t know anything, and waste my time?

No guessing. If you don’t know something you’re asked, just say so, and refer the questioner to someone else, or get back to them when you do know. No one has a problem with that.

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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.

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!

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?

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?

August 13, 2013

Lesson from BlackBerry

BlackBerry, once the dominant market leader in smartphones, just released the news that it is looking at the possibility of selling all or part of the company. They practically created the smartphone device market, and had a stranglehold on the corporate device segment. Now, they’re in danger of becoming irrelevant, despite adding singer Alicia Keys to its Creative Design group.

The reasons for BlackBerry’s dramatic fall are being debated. And you might say that this has nothing to do with any of us because BlackBerry is a large public company. But as small business owners we can learn something from this.

One of the reasons BlackBerry is in the situation it’s in is because it didn’t react to changes in its marketplace, as new devices emerged with full size touchscreen displays and “soft” keyboards (think iPhone). It seems that the BlackBerry guys felt that their customers would continue to prefer BlackBerry’s physical-keyboard devices. With such a large market lead, they started to believe they were invincible.

The same thing can happen to a small business. Its customers could be singing praises, and the business owner feels he or she owns the market. Things change, but the owner’s not listening, because of the previous adoration. Then the company fades, and this is one story that doesn’t make the press.

Remember, it doesn’t matter what you think about how good you are. It only matters what your customers think.

July 17, 2013

Don’t Get It Backwards

One of the common mistakes aspiring entrepreneurs make is to come up with a product idea before they figure out who to sell it to. They fall in love with some concept they’ve been thinking about, perhaps to solve a problem they personally have. Then they create a product to address that problem, and maybe even come up with a good solution for it.

But if very few other people have that same problem, the potential market won’t be very large. The entrepreneur could experience what I call “terminal success”: achieving 100% market share after 10 sales. You’re awesome if you reach 100% market share, but if your market consists of only 10 possible sales, you’re sunk.

Don’t get it backwards. Focus on finding a potential problem to solve, figure out if it’s a big enough market, then create a product to address it. It’s way cheaper to change your focus before you build a product, then to build a product first and find out the market’s too small.

July 8, 2013

The Best Time to Plant a Tree

The Second Boom has arrived, for Baby Boomers who want to start their own businesses. It’s not too late — I talk about it in my series of 3 training videos that are absolutely free just for opting in. Go here to find out more:

http://www.TheSecondBoom.net

Some people say that Boomers are past their primes. I say, baloney, it’s not too late to figure out a business that fits your passion and knowledge. And an old Chinese proverb says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Start your Second Boom. Make it big.