Sep 21 2015

DAY 11 – 30 Days To The New Economy

Your Role In History As An Entrepreneur

I  N  T  E  G  R  I  T  Y

Adapted from the book 30 DAYS TO THE NEW ECONOMY written and published by Peggy Salvatore

Boy Scout

First of all, without integrity, you can stop reading right now. Don’t waste your time trying to lead an organization—or even yourself—because if you do not have integrity in all you do, you cannot perform any of the necessary actions required to grow and lead a successful organization.

 

 

INTEGRITY. Is it more than not cheating on your expense account? More than not pocketing stuff in a retail store? More than lying on your taxes or to your partner or associates? Your landlord? Your family?

Integrity is all-inclusive. Maintaining integrity half the time is like being half-pregnant. Integrity has to do with your treatment of all people all of the time.

It includes all of your communications and the commitments you make – written (including texts, emails, blogs, and site content) and oral (including personal meetings, telephone calls, and electronic transmissions).

If you say one thing to one person and another thing to someone else, don’t expect anyone to listen to you or follow you. They cannot follow you because you have proven that you cannot be trusted; if they follow you, they don’t know where they’ll end up.

If there is any incongruity in your actions or words, you will lose the respect and trust of your employees and everyone else who knows you, including importantly (especially if it’s your own business) your customers.

The reality of  this thinking applies not only to all your business dealings, but all your dealings in life.

 You cannot effectively be one person in your public life and another person in your private life.

mixed signals street signs

Without integrity, you have (or will likely end up having) nothing.

An individual with Integrity is one who is wholly integrated. All pieces of that person’s life line up and make sense. A fully integrated person acts from the same core of values in her or his actions, at work with employees, at home with family and friends, at the gym, in the restaurant, on the phone . . . standing in line.

Integrity is about trust and consistency.

When others let you into their world, whether on a screen, or through a product or service, deserve a certain basic level of trust. And people with Integrity are honest in all cases, which is a demonstration of respect for others.

People who are used to treating others with respect can be expected to treat customers with respect, too. It’s a behavior that comes naturally.

People with Integrity have nothing to hide.

What you see is the actual sum of the man or woman. This is important for several reasons. Generosity tends to accompany Integrity. People who are fully integrated are free to be open and that means they are free to share their ideas, their friends, their lives and their resources.

As a corollary to generosity, people with Integrity usually have an abundance mentality. They aren’t hoarders. This openness is a prerequisite to have a giving personality, one that believes there is enough to go around. An open hand gives and receives in a virtuous cycle.

Another quality of people of Integrity is their outward focus. The natural integration of their lives means that their business is a member of the community it serves. In the Internet world, some entrepreneurs have a global focus, so that community can be near or far.

An Internet entrepreneur may be the leader of a company of one as a solopreneur, or may lead a company of hundreds. But the same rules apply. As the leader of your organization, Integrity is the make-or-break personal quality.

Integrity is the foundation of success in any
venture and is particularly critical to
long-term successful leadership
at any level. Entrepreneurship is no exception.

 

Let’s close this discussion by pointing out that this is not a sermon. None of us is perfect. We are, after all is said and done, humans. That requires us to each have faults. The intent of this post is to serve as a reminder that—as motivational guru Brian Tracy so aptly paraphrases: “We become what we think about most of the time.” Thinking more about integrity helps us to gain more of it. And that’s as good for our businesses as it is for ourselves and for those around us every day.

 

For more information on Peggy Salvatore’s book: 30 Days to the New Economy [© Peggy Salvatore 2015. All Rights Reserved.] click on ENTREPRENEUR NEWS or visit ow.ly/RysnP for the E-book

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Hal@Businessworks.US     

Open Minds Open Doors

Thanks for your visit and make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Jul 10 2011

The 8th Secret

Ever notice how the

                         

number “7” is magic??

                                                                             

Well here, entrepreneurs,

                      

is number 8!

                                                           
With special thanks to www.Twitter.com/RealLifeSecrets for the first 7 one-word “secrets to life” — Listen, Read, Love, Fight, Believe, Live, Pray. You can follow @reallifesecrets for more.  

                                                                                                                            

 

Okay, so: 3 wishes and 3 kings. But there are SEVEN of everything else — 7 seas, 7 habits, 7 brides, 7/11, John Elway and Mickey Mantle, The “Number of Perfection” in the Bible, so why shouldn’t there be 7 secrets of life? And why should there be anything else besides: 1) Listen, 2) Read, 3) Love, 4) Fight, 5) Believe, 6) Live, and 7) Pray?

Oh, but there is. There’s one more. Can you think of what it might be? I mean, just imagine, if you’ve done all those great seven things consistently, what else could possibly matter? What else could be so powerful? A number 8? Seriously?

                                                                    

We’ve learned that effective managers, salespeople and professionals typically spend 8o% of their interactive time with others: LISTENING. So that first one certainly makes sense. And except maybe for the guy who invented fire, I’ve never heard of anyone becoming truly successful without reading, as much as possible, as often as possible.

Oh, some entrepreneurs may run successful businesses and possibly even successful families without reading, but they probably are not successful with their own physical and/or emotional health. Or they may have great health and successful businesses with no satisfying family life. You get the idea. Listening and Reading are a package deal. 

Love. There’s that word. It reminds me, by the way, to suggest you check out Rob Bell’s vigorously debated new book, LOVE WINS. Besides smashing lots of theories and age-old teachings, it’s a smashing (provocative, quick, and illuminating) read. Love. So craved. So sought after. So misunderstood, So indispensable. So strengthening.

                                                                   

Surely, you can add your own “descriptives,” but suffice it to say that Love is certainly worthy of being one of the magical seven. Then there is “Fight.” A peculiar item on the list? Not really. My college motto in Latin: Certa Bonum Certamen” (“Fight the good fight”) — ah, yes, in that light of “Standing Tall,” who could find fault?

Believe. Well, without that, there can be little of worth remaining, true? But every true entrepreneur believes in what she or he is doing, so not much need to dwell on this one. Now: Live. This is something only a few entrepreneurs –the successful ones– actually do. Not nightly partying. Daily enjoyment of being alive.

Ah, and then there’s: Pray. If you haven’t in awhile, I recommend you get on with it — more than you think you should. If you already do this, do more. Many of the most successful business owners and managers I’ve known (of thousands) make a point of praying dozens of times each day. Not just requests. Prayers of gratitude.

[Are you thankful for your vision that allows you to read this right now? Room temperature? The chair you’re in? Your last meal? Your next? Your family?]

                                                                               

So you’ve labored through all this just to see what Number 8 is all about. If you haven’t yet figured it out, you won’t be disappointed. It is the one secret of life that’s joined at the hip with all the rest: Be Honest! Nothing speaks higher of your integrity, reputation, intent, and authenticity as a person.

If you seek trust, be trustworthy.  

                                                                                       

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Hal@Businessworks.US  931.854.0474

  Open minds open doors.

 Thanks for visiting and God bless you.

   Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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May 09 2011

Creative? Risk Being Unliked.

As a writer, designer, teacher, 

                                            

artist, architect, landscaper,

                                                

jewelry-maker, stylist or stage

                                                      

performer, if you’re not

                                  

risking . . . you’re not

                           

being honest!

                                                                                                                    

With special thanks to author Mary DeMuth for the three great words: “Risk being unliked” which were featured in her article, “A Smart Approach to MEMOIR” in the June 2011 issue of The WRITER.

                                                                                 

Those of us who create for a living, who own, operate, or manage creative businesses understand immediately what the “Risk being unliked” message is all about. And does it apply to professional selling too? Absolutely.

Whether we create with computers or paint brushes; with crafts supplies, hair, or music; with classrooms or pen and paper, or with the ways we communicate our sales messages, we must –as Ms. DeMuth so aptly puts it– “Tell the truth as you understand it. If you’re a writer,” she says, “you have a moral obligation to do this.”

I propose that truth-telling applies to all businesses, even the least creative.

                                                                  

When your focus, your branding, your website, your messages, your employees, and most importantly YOU are all about telling the truth as you understand it, you are setting yourself up to cultivate strengthened long-term high-trust relationships. Those who unlike you for it are not those you want to deal with anyway.

Honesty is (still) the best policy!

                                                        

I’m not suggesting any limitations here. What’s the best way to express this idea to people who earn their keep with their creative talents? Could there be any greater and more meaningful statement than the following six words from Shakespeare?:

To thine own self be true.

                                                    

When you believe heart and soul that the line, the dimension, the color, the musical note, the arrangement, the word choice, the emphasis is what your gut, your intuitive experience, says it needs to be, go with it and don’t waste time worrying about winning a popularity contest. People will judge your authenticity, not your masks or apologies.

For ALL business pursuits, not fibbing to or misleading customers, employees, associates, partners, referrers, investors, professional advisors,  lenders, and the various communities you serve is just one chapter of your build-a-better-business book. Leadership transparency is another. Honoring commitments is yet a third. 

Delivering exactly what you say you’re going to deliver –and more– exactly when you say you’re going to deliver it is the standard by which others will continuously measure your business performance.

                                                                                    

There’s risk involved in all of this, but as with the mark of true entrepreneurship, the risk is always a reasonable one. We’re not talking about harnessing creative spirit here. In fact, if anything, the suggestion is to set it free, and to recognize that the results produced by an honest free spirit outperform those born of smoke and mirrors.

Don’t throw the tending to details, business conduct, and tight-fisted money management out with the baby’s bathwater simply for the sake of being more expressive in the products, services, and ideas you create. But do stop cowering away from being straight-ahead with your work and with all those you come into contact with every day.

Your behavior is of course your choice. Where do you think your reputation comes from?                                            

                                                                                       

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Hal@Businessworks.US or 302.933.0116

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals. God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Mar 01 2011

Deal-Killer Phrases

Those who underscore

                                        

their trustworthiness– 

                                        

are probably dishonest!

                                                                                                                                                   

 

I get tired of having people raise my skeptical right eyebrow with the distracting words they use (and sometimes the distracting ways they deliver them), instead of giving me cause to pay attention.

Am I alone here, or do you ever experience the same thing? What is it, do you think, that they think they are communicating?

I recently heard a top executive start out five (5) sentences with, “To be perfectly honest with you, I . . .” which, of course, gave me cause to pause, and doubt everything that followed. I recall scores of discussions with ineffective sales people who peppered “Trust me . . .” into every few sentences. [Shurrrre I will!] 

Rarely, methinks, doth Shakespeare haveth any consequence of business value, but “The lady doth protest too much, methinks” (from Shakespeare ‘s Hamlet, Act III, scene II), doth come to mind.

                                                           

Okay, okay, enough doth! C’mon, people, trust me when I tell you that all of us carry little deal-killer phrases around in our pockets. We keep these pet phrases well-oiled and ready to drag out onto the front lines whenever the going gets tough.

When does this happen? When we get paranoid and start thinking a credibility erosion is taking place — especially in dealing with key customers, key suppliers, key investors and lenders, and, generally, anyone up the ladder. . . any ladder, real or perceived.

The nervousness sets in, breathing and heart rate quicken (usually accompanied by thoughts like: I don’t want to lose this opportunity; Let me underscore my honesty.)

So, now, on the brink of losing, the person re-groups and blurts out:

“You can believe me when I tell you that . . .”

BAM! DEAD DEAL!

                                                                                         

Worse than that, of course, is when phrases like this become habitual or routine expressions. There are just so many times you can hear, “Now, here’s the truth, I . . .” before you start thinking: “Hmmm, is she lying all the other times she speaks, and is only truthful when she asserts that she is?” 

“Are you kidding me?”

“No. I’m gonna be honest with you . . .”

The alarm: DINGDINGDINGDINGDING!

(So, let’s see, if this statement that he says is an honest one is,in fact, an honest one, what about all the other statements? They were all dishonest?)

                                                      

Most of this is processed in our unconscious minds, so it’s a bit difficult to catch ourselves without getting some trusted help. If there’s no one you can trust, let me be truthful with you and suggest that a good old-fashioned tape recorder can accomplish the job.

Just talk to someone and record yourself. Besides the shock of hearing how many er’s and um’s tumble out, pick up on the assurances of trust and honesty. Does it work? You’d better believe it! Really. Honestly. No kidding. Serious.

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Hal@Businessworks.US or 302.933.0116

 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]
Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals. God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

No responses yet

Aug 04 2010

MARKETING FROM THE EDGE

Businesses balanced on

                                     

the brink of  bankruptcy

                                         

have only truth to sell! 

                                                                                    

Regardless of how you explain it or how you think you got there, businesses that teeter-totter, balanced on the brink of bankruptcy got there through poor management.

Not enough capital, not enough sales, the wrong personnel, the underestimated expenses, the increased cost of raw materials, the lack of bank loan support, weak operational planning, bad press . . . it’s ALL poor management!

But no need to bury your head about that. 

  • First: You have company. 9 out of 11 new businesses reportedly fail within the first five years, and a best guess is that probably half that many fail after the first five years.
  • Second: Every (Right, “Every”) highly successful venture of the many thousands I am keenly aware of has its success roots traced back to major failure. Forest fires create new and stronger trees.

Not unlike cutting and running on the battlefield or in the sports arena, the choice to fold up the tent is of course always available and, for some, it can gallop into position rather abruptly and become a choice that is no longer a choice.

For many, however, the moment of truth can breed heroics! It has a lot to do with courage, gumption, spunk, resilience, stick-to-it-iveness, passion, and drive.

It also has more to do with common sense and authenticity than most who face the threatening storm typically would care to admit. But facing the consequences with your business on the line — especially where the increasingly common issue of bad press is involved –requires more of one ingredient applied thoroughly and consistently than any other: truth.

Recent bad examples abound on the big business side of the coin with brokerages, mortgage companies, automakers, and scores of big-name corporate product recalls, with the over-exaggerated media hyperbole in oil leak containment effort reports.

Many see the same kinds of mismanaged and basically DIShonest accountings of activities surrounding sinking hospitals, banks, the post office and, sadly, many small business ventures.

There lies deep within these complex business failings a desire to save face at all costs, to cover one’s butt — a desire that is actually stronger than the desire to succeed. 

A sizeable hospital has disavowed it’s attachment to an affiliated and approved and endorsed physician who is alleged to have literally destroyed a community that the hospital has thrived in and nurtured its whole life.

Instead of going to the great lengths and expense and repeated hand-wringing it did to deny a relationship with the person in question (a tragically mentally sick doctor is the only way to describe what the evidence appears to point to), the hospital needed only to:  

  • Step up

  • Own up

  • Tell all

  • Admit past screw-ups and negligence

  • Ask forgiveness, and

  • Act immediately to bring the public to the truth of it.

Resistance to speak the truth in trying circumstances because the consequences are imagined to be humiliating, inevitably ends up making the dynamics and repercussions of the act itself far worse than when it started out.

Toyota’s response to failure was to smother it with marketing dollars. But peoples’ memories can’t be bought off! The hospital referenced will likely fold or be bought out for a monumental financial loss – all because the administration lacks backbone!

When the going gets tough, speak the truth. Sweeping the mess under the carpet only makes cleaning harder.       

www.TheWriterWorks.com or 302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You. God Bless America and Our Troops.

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Jun 13 2009

BRANDING IS MORE THAN A NAME

You are your business.

                                          

Attitude and behavior

                                            

are your brand.

                                                                                      

     Small business owners rarely devote enough attention to branding and the importance of branding. It is much more than a logo, name, label, or catchy slogan. Brands reflect the integrity and reputation of both the company and the business owner.

                                                                      

 Your brand and branding messages need to include

 and be wrapped around

ALL aspects of your business.

                                                                       

     Your brand and branding messages need to make a statement about the environment and methods you and your company are engaged with. This “statement” needs to be an integral focal point of ALL of your communications… verbal, visual, written, in-person, and implied!

     Your business exists because of your customer bases: INternal customers (like associates, employees, referrers, strategic alliances and present suppliers) as well as EXternal customers (like past and present buyers, prospective buyers and employees, and prospective suppliers). What it is that you put out to each and all of them every day is what adds up to your brand and branding.

     This translates into how you and your business deal with all of these diverse “customer audiences” on a day-by-day basis, how you treat them, whether you pay your bills on time, if you follow-through with customer service after the sale is made, if your business is a good citizen in the communities that support it, whether your products and services provide true quality benefits and dollar value.

     Keep in mind that one unhappy customer (internal OR external) will tell ten other people about her or his lack of satisfaction, and each of them will tell ten more. In case you weren’t doing the math, that’s a hundred people walking around bad-mouthing a business that may naively dismiss one upset as one upset. But–aaaaaah, the reverse is also true: delight one person and gain a hundred positive referrals!

     Reality is that maintaining positive and productive brand images and branding messages means you need to practice unending vigilence in tending to all levels of (internal AND external) customer service. It is especially important to be and stay tuned in to employee and industry-related issues, and to pounce on problems and deal with them honestly.  

     A great memorable name and themeline are critically important to brands and branding messages, but not nearly as important as a business with clear-cut genuine values run by people with clear-cut genuine attitudes. 

# # #  

Hal@TheWriterWorks.com or comment below.

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God bless you!

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