Sep 04 2016

Just who do you think you are anyway?

Today you are you,

 

that is truer than true.

 

There is no one alive

 

who is youer than you

 

— Dr. Seuss

Youer Than You

 

“Show me an authentic boss

                                                   

. . . I’ll show you a winning leader!”

 

Real. Actual. Genuine. Bona Fide. Not False or Imitation. “Honest-to-Goodness.” Being Exactly What is Claimed. Good Faith. Sincerity of Intention. Legitimate. “The Real Deal.”

 

 

     How many of these qualities do you carry in your pocket and empty onto the table when you’re talking, meeting, and dealing with others? How often? How influenced are you by good or bad moods? By past experiences or self-doubts? By your own past or present choices?

     Does it matter whether the “others” are customers, prospects, employees, associates, investors, or suppliers? Does it matter whether you’re on the phone, in person, texting or emailing?

     How much do incidents, environments, and issues beyond your control play a part?

     What is it that you are most afraid of having others you work with, or sell to, learn about the real you?

What’s in the back of your closet

that you’re choosing to put

in the front of your mind

that’s holding you back from

being the up-front person

you’ve always wanted to be?

    

     Have you made yourself be a victim of circumstances? Is this an identity you cling to?

     This is not some ridiculous Hollywood exposé, or some empty suit government or political probe. This is about you, your business, your daily performance, and the way you “come across” to others.

     Here’s why it matters. When you own or represent a business, the business is an extension of your ego. It is the career stage on which you have chosen to perform. Bowing Cat

     Depending on how true to character you allow yourself to be, and how persuasively you present yourself and ideas, your business will rise and fall with the curtain calls and appreciative audience applause.

     If you elect to play a hard-nosed character, and you’re convincing in that role, you will attract hard-nosed critics and audiences who may not hang around until intermission . . . or who are harder-nosed than you!

     I’m not suggesting you or I or any of us has the ability to simply turn the authenticity faucet on and become (now finally SAINT) Mother Teresa. But I am saying that we all have certain qualities of genuineness as human beings.

     Exercising these strengths of character (in spite of closed closets) will serve to free up unnecessarily-guarded business behaviors and–in the process–open opportunities we may never have thought possible.

     It’s a choice that I can encourage, but only you can make. I urge you to take the risk to rise above your past memories, your own doubts and show more customers, employees, and suppliers more of what the real you is all about. Let them see that they can trust your judgement and earn your confidence.

     You don’t have to “become one of the guys” to let others know that you possess compassion and humor alongside your insightful and visionary leadership. Hey, give it a try. You may even like your self better. Have fun!

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Jan 13 2016

Business AND Family Freedom Now!

Entrepreneurial Leadership?

 

FREEDOM

… Practice “The 5 Freedoms”

 

World renown family therapist and author Virginia Satir spoke with me once after a workshop she ran at the University of California. She told me that small business growth and strength, and family growth and strength could both be most readily achieved with the acceptance and conscientious practice of what she aptly called “The 5 Freedoms.”

I share these with you here, now, not as some plaque to hang on your wall, or slogan to bang into your head, but as a road to travel. You may want to slow your brain down and digest each, then ask yourself how your family, small business or professional practice might grow stronger, quicker, by following your commitment to pursue this avenue.

 

The 5 Freedoms

by Virginia Satir

To see and hear

what is here,

instead of what should be,

 was, or will be.

 

To say what one

feels and thinks,

instead of what one should.

 

To feel

what one feels,

instead of what one ought.

 

To ask

for what one wants,

instead of always waiting

for permission.

 

To take risks

in one’s own behalf,

instead of choosing to be

only “secure” and

not rocking the boat.

 

How and when and where can you use this road to help guide your business and family development interests? Please be sure to let me know if this message works for you, if it helps you think big, and to share it (together with your own thoughts if you choose) by clicking on your choice of social media buttons shown below.

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Hal@Businessworks.US     931.854.0474

   Make today a GREAT day for someone!

Open Minds Open Doors 

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Sep 29 2015

DAY 16 – 30 Days To The New Economy

Your Role In History As An Entrepreneur

 Imagine Leadership

leadership

and Management

 

The traditional organizational chart is a construct left over from Alfred Sloan’s leadership at General Motors in the early 20th Century. That, my friends, is 100 years ago.

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

 

In the 1980s, the hierarchical organizational chart was challenged by enterprises that found products were better built when workers had ownership of their production. The philosophy of pushing decision making down to the employee flattened the organizational chart somewhat and relationships became “matrixed.” In other words, people sometimes had multiple layers of reporting and responsibility as well as accountability and all those layers were spread throughout the organization.

The shift away from top-down thinking has been gradual. It paved the way for entrepreneurs in the New Economy to be comfortable spreading responsibility, accountability and rewards across the organization — based on performance, not role.

Leadership and management in the New Economy is about vision— and goal-setting.

 

It’s about being able to get out in front of the parade with a baton while respecting the fact that without a parade, Internet Joe is leading no one.

orchestra leader

And here is where the distinction between leadership and management takes a leap.

True leadership isn’t conferred as much as it is earned.

True leaders are people who others follow, in fact emulate, for their innate qualities. This harkens back to our first and most important quality of leadership, and that is integrity. People naturally follow someone they trust; they know they will wind up somewhere worth going. That requires a bit of a track record.

Management skills can be learned. Management is about the ability to align and assign resources to achieve goals. Managers don’t require the kinds of rigorous traits of a true leader but they do require consistency, persistence and organization.

Managers don’t need to be leaders.

But great leaders get nowhere without great management of resources. If an entrepreneur is not a great organizer, it is critical she or he hires one.

A great idea, even with enthusiastic followers, goes nowhere without someone to arrange the resources in straight lines, all headed in the same direction.

Leadership and management don’t have to be embodied in the same individual. They do, however, need to be together at all times for efficient allocation of resources. An entrepreneur in the New Economy needs efficient organizational alignment with wise distribution of responsibility and accountability — even though your business map will not resemble, even remotely, Alfred Sloan’s hierarchical organizational chart at GM.

A successful Entrepreneurial Leader today

is not at the top of her or his organization.

He or she is in the lead, and that is a very different position.

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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

 # # #

Hal@Businessworks.US     

Open Minds Open Doors

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

 

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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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Sep 20 2015

DAY 10 – 30 Days To The New Economy

SEE SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT IN RED AT END OF POST

Your Role In History As An Entrepreneur

CHARACTERISTICS OF 

 

THE NEW ENTREPRENEUR

 

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

 

4 guys pulling arrow

Many long-standing entrepreneurial success characteristics remain on the front-lines. Reasonable risk-taking and possessing of some mysterious instincts are but two examples. NOW, as we approach the 2020s, other “quieter” ingredients are gaining traction and emerging as higher level success characteristics. Today, Peggy leads us to four of these: Nimble. Flexible. Responsive. Personal.

 

About 10 years ago, when my three kids were all in high school, I decided to go back to school to fulfill a dream of earning an advanced degree in economics. Okay, geek alert! Yes,I know that not every girl’s dream is to study what most people have always seemed to consider such a dismal science. But it was mine.

A for-profit online university called Cardean University advertised an MBA with a specialization in economics and strategy. The curriculum was developed by professors from The London School of Economics, the University of Chicago and Stanford. And I reasoned that they couldn’t advertise that fact if it weren’t true.

Yet, I still wasn’t sure of the value of an online degree in the real world. I phoned a friend I thought would know the answer. When I asked her if an online MBA would be akin to getting your degree on the back of a matchbook cover (ah, you do remember matchbooks, yes?;).

Okay, so my friend said the credibility issues I was concerned with were no longer the case, and that in the real world, virtual degrees counted just fine. (Eventually, Cardean was sold so my degree ended up being from a bricks-and-mortar school anyway.)

Here I was, attending classes and studying online, and learning real stuff that I still use.

I had classmates all around the globe — many from private sector corporations like General Motors and others from federal entities like the U.S. Army — which had a value all by itself.

 

I share this here because the Internet has become and remains a legitimate business and educational channel. Unlike the fly-by-night money order, cash-for-gold side street vendor-type people who open their virtual doors with the intention of fleecing the public or churning cash, and whose daily email bombardments we all readily block or delete, I suggest they will not ever gain credibility among credible people. In fact, it’s unlikely they will ever even get as far as the cash-for-gold fleece-master.

The Internet is designed for integrity. Internet Joe needs to have valuable wares he is exchanging for income. If not, he’ll be sniffed out and escorted out of town. So if integrity is the bedrock of business, the Internet is the place where it is most solid. After all, who among us wants to do business with the fleece-master? On the Internet, you probably have less chance of that happening than you do of winning some big-time cash prize at the carnival coming through town.

For Internet Joe, this is good news. The foundational principle of all business is that the owner must have integrity to conduct business successfully and continually. Nowhere is this more likely that in the place where one star versus five stars. Comment boxes and the online star and thumbs-up reviews are available to everyone.

So, if like me, you are concerned that perhaps a virtual business might be less legitimate than a storefront on Main Street, my friend’s “take” on virtual classes was right. The Internet business playing field is for real, and that means you must be, too.

Besides integrity, Internet Joe has a few other characteristics that ideally suit him for success in a rapidly unfolding New Economy.

Internet Joe is:

  • NIMBLE: He assembles the pieces necessary to build an online presence.
  • FLEXIBLE: He is working his way around obstacles and making adjustments as the terrain changes daily. Updates that change the way his online meeting service functions? He’s on top of those.
  • RESPONSIVE: He is always “on alert” for his customers. Customers get answers from his smartphone on the road, his tablet on vacation, and his home office on a 24/7 global schedule. Internet Joe responds with spontaneity!
  • PERSONAL: When his name is out there, his Facebook, Pinterest and far more private information is just a click away. Customers know that.

RETURN HERE TOMORROW 9/22 FOR DAY 11

AND THE TRUTH ABOUT INTEGRITY

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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

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Get fresh, informed, proven insights geared specifically to your business market, your biggest problems, your biggest opportunities.

With Hal and Peggy’s wealth of business coaching experience, you’ll learn what successful entrepreneurs need to be thinking and doing NOW. Simply call 931.854.0474 Central Time: 11AM to 4PM Monday-Friday for details and to reserve your seat!

———-
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      Peggy@Businessworks.US

Open Minds Open Doors

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Sep 14 2015

DAY 6 – 30 Days To The New Economy

Your Role in History as an Entrepreneur

The Virtues of Internet Joe

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

It takes a lot of hustle to open your own business.
I recently met a young married couple starting a boutique brewery. Location. Licenses. Equipment. Employees. And some real hassles. A lot to consider. But it was worth it to them. They’ll end up making their own beer.BEER

Internet entrepreneurship requires the same kind of hustle. He might not be cleaning vats or hoisting foamy mugs, but Internet Joe does his own version of cleaning and heavy lifting. Think about it. He will integrate years of expertise (could be 2, could be 50) to come up with a product or service that will provide value to people somewhere, anywhere on this planet.

That’s a pretty wide swath to cut, so Internet Joe (and maybe you too?) needs to build his pursuits on the following ESSENTIAL 7 TRAITS:

1.  CONFIDENCE: Internet Joe has enough confidence to believe he has something to offer and is willing to put in the time, effort and money to offer it.

2.  KNOWLEDGE: He has a defined skill set that he may have used or is using at a corporate job, but he has acquired other skills and knowledge that he did not use in his tightly defined corporate role. He is anxious to use these skills and knowledge in his new Internet business.

3.  DEPENDABILITY: He opened the business for a few reasons, including but not limited to the need for an income. By taking the chance of investing both time and money in developing the Internet business, Joe has already proven that he is a go-getter and is responsible. Customers can depend on delivery from Internet Joe.

4. CREATIVITY: Internet Joe has the energy and creativity to build a business online from scratch. He also has the ability to put that kind of thinking to work for customers. And all those skills that weren’t used by the last employer? Now’s the time to figure out how to integrate his interest in fine art with his sales and marketing expertise.

5. REASONABLE RISK-TAKING: Joe took a risk by putting himself and his products, services and ideas out for sale to the public. That investment of time, money and creativity to build the business came at the risk of not doing something else with those resources. It also came at the risk that his endeavor could meet with crickets.

6. INTEGRITY: This is the core requirement for any business person online and offline. Your word is your bond. You can be trusted and you respect yourself as well as everyone you come in contact with. Without integrity, you have nothing in business. Internet Joe is putting himself in the public eye and subjecting himself to levels of scrutiny heretofore impossible without investing in private investigation services.

7. ADVENTURESOMENESS: The Internet is new. Even if you are following a proven model in your online business, you are bound to uncover some new ways of doing things and improving upon the existing system. Because Internet business is in its infancy, Internet Joe is learning along with everyone else. Internet entrepreneurs are learning together and there is a lot of room for innovation.

Certain personal qualities are essential for success in any business. With an industry that is new, people who succeed will be among the first to find effective ways of operating in this environment.

 

Businesses and products have a life cycle. The business cycle is traditionally divided into four segments:
• Early Adopters
• Pragmatists
• Conservatives
• Skeptics

 

“The Chasm” is the space between the innovative early adopters and the majority of early pragmatist entrants when a majority of people jump on to a new idea.

I reproduce this graph here to suggest that we have not crossed the chasm but we are rapidly approaching it.

The Early Adopter phase is the place where

history is made. It is where you are!

 

 

PEGGY'S GRAPH

The seven traits I list above are essential for success at the Early Adoption phase. I will dedicate the next seven weekdays talking about them . . . the Success Traits of Internet Joe.

 

There are lots of Internet Joe’s in the new economy. Are you one of

them? Are you one of the “Frontier Pioneers” staking your claim?

 

C’mon back TOMORROW 9/16 for Day 7
to find out how you and Joe compare.

When you need some personal, one-on-one coaching beyond the Internet offerings, give us a call. (Direct line numbers on masthead above.) In the meantime, follow us HERE for FREE for the next 24 weekdays to see what others think, and discover some of the surprise findings we have in store for you—new and proven “mental apps” to apply to your own entrepreneurial and business development!
———-
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      Peggy@Businessworks.US

Open Minds Open Doors

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Oct 30 2013

BEING YOURSELF!

MASQUERADING AS 

                                       

SOMEONE YOU’RE NOT?

Think about it.  Are you representing your SELF in some way that’s not truly you?  Is it to make a sale? Get a date? Be accepted? Make points? Save yourself from losing face? Is it what you like to see other people do? No? So why pull the covers over the real you? Do you think others can’t see through the façade? Can’t you tell when someone else is faking it?

Authenticity isn’t a make-believe attribute that can be manipulated to suit the occasion. By its very definition, it means being genuine all the time. Authenticity, in other words, cannot exist on a parttime basis, or be in effect one minute and not the next. You either are who you represent yourself to be or you aren’t.

Yeah, some say, but there are always exceptions to everything. Not true! You either believe in God or you don’t. You either love someone or you don’t. You are either real or you’re not. There are no two ways about it. You can’t use Bcc emails to have someone else (or others) know your “secret ” communications and then pretend you are sending someone a private message.

Integrity is often defined as doing the right thing even when no one is looking.

As stampeding technology sweeps us all into lower levels of sociability — actually redefines sociability to be global instead of personal– we can often find ourselves distancing ourselves from others who are physically and emotionally close, in favor of socializing with total strangers who may seem less threatening and who may be more conveniently available to be in contact.

Is this behavior in our best interests career-wise? Possibly. In terms of personal growth and development as a human being who wants to make a difference in the world? Not likely. Performance track-record and familiarity breed trust. People accept and buy from one another (including health services, by the way) because of trust more than any other factor, including price!

How do we take the first step toward becoming more authentic? By recognizing that it is a choice, and then by choosing to live more honorably, and finally by setting up support systems to help ensure continuation of that practice. Is that difficult? If you choose to make it difficult, yes. But, YES,  you can choose to make it easy. Behavior is a choice.

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Hal@BusinessWorks.US  931.854.0474

Open Minds Open Doors

   Make today a GREAT day for someone!

  God Bless You and Thank You for Your Visit!

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Oct 21 2012

The 3rd of 10 Things Nobody Tells Entrepreneurs

LEADERSHIP STARTS

                

WITHOUT FOLLOWERS

                                                         

Now what exactly do I mean by such an apparent contradiction? Answer: That leadership begins (and thrives) with attitude. “Yeah, Hal, right! Sounds great, but what kind of attitude and HOW does someone get it? Like it falls from the sky, or what?” Good questions. No it doesn’t “fall from the sky,” but it does begin at the beginning.

Leadership begins at the beginning, without a following, without an entourage, without an expedition, without a master plan, without a goal line, and without intentions of superiority or competitiveness. Effective leadership starts simply, with a mindset that exudes integrity at every turn in the road.

Leadership starts with an attitude that explodes in words and actions which set examples. Exemplary words and actions– by their very nature, by their very implementation– attract the attentions and admiration of others. True leadership attitudes ignite, engage, motivate, and sustain without ever having to ask others to roll up their sleeves and dig in to work alongside you. When people step it up and rise to the occasion, others rise as well to follow.

A TRUE LEADER DOESN’T START OUT

WITH A GOAL TO BECOME A LEADER.

                                  

A true leader simply demonstrates the qualities of behavior that set her or him apart from the pack, but this is accomplished by taking action, not by talking about taking action, or by aiming to play a leadership role.

Neither do great presentation or oratory skills make a great leader. Walk the walk beats talk the talk. Track-records speak louder than words. Show me what you’ve done and show me how to do it are far more important follower requests than tell me how great you are.

Effective leaders are great activists who consistently strive to teach and motivate by quietly doing. He or she is a great innovator, and a great solutions creator who takes entrepreneurial pursuits to completion, who doesn’t stop short with an idea, and who thrives on the sense of accomplishment that accompanies each step of bringing an idea to fruition.

Leaders move constantly forward. They turn over every stone and readily adjust themselves, their approaches, and the processes they use along the way, unafraid of taking action without having all the information.

Focusing on the finish line is not leadership. Focusing on each step, as the fortune cookie might say, prevents one from falling on one’s face, and almost always wins the race. 

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Hal@TheWriterWorks.com     Open Minds Open Doors

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Jul 20 2012

You got 20/20 Vision? Hmmm, what’s your Mission?

Is Your Vision Statement A Mission?

Does Your Mission Statement Have Vision?

                                         

It’s the 4th Quarter and you’re confused? Gee, hard to imagine . . .

                                                  

Just because the media and politicians tell us the economy is getting better? Just because we’re looking at a healthcare reform that has absolutely nothing to do with healthcare and everything to do with costing business more money? Just because enemy combatant terrorist situations surface from those we’re told are not really terrorists, and from circumstances that we’re assured do not exist? Just because global-warming hoaxers have us running to refrigeration investments?

~~~~~~~

We’re probably feeling like confusion is nothing new, right? So why not live with a little more?

Well, here’s why: The business you own or manage doesn’t need to be as misguided and convoluted as politicians and the media. Remember they get paid for creating confusion. Your success depends on keeping things simple.

Keeping things simple starts with a foundation of mutual trust, an integrity attitude, tenacious awareness, and consistent hard work.

First off, don’t let anyone tell you to work smarter and not harder. That’s baloney! Every business success comes from hard work. Next, don’t let people confuse you about the characteristics and values of Mission and Vision Statements. [No, they are NOT the same!]

A Mission statement is essentially a declaration of intent, challenge and pursuit. It is your goal statement that clearly and succinctly explains what you plan to accomplish over what specific period of time and by what means. It is action-focused. Its ultimate success will be determined by the extent to which you cultivate mutual Trust among those you work with and oversee.

And, like every meaningful goal, your Mission Statement needs t0 be specific, flexible, realistic, have a due date, and be in writing. [Without all five criteria, you’ve nothing more than a fantasyland wishlist!]

A Vision statement is a heart-and-soul summation of where you see your business in 5-10 years. It is a picture you paint in your mind and share with others. It answers the question: If you succeed in your mission, where will you be? Its success is determined by your practice of —and ultimately your reputation for— high Integrity on a consistent day-to-day basis.

Your Vision Statement is a set of words that best describes what you imagine your future state of existence to be, and how you expect (hope) to be viewed by others: your employees, associates, vendors, customers, markets, industry or profession, and community. It is dream-focused. Its primary value is to inspire pursuit of your Mission.

What’s your Mission for next year? What’s your Vision for  five years out? For beyond 2020?

Oh, and in the same fashion that it helps to start ANY mission with 20/20 vision, it is often most useful to put your 2020 Vision on the table (to keep focused on it) while you develop your present Mission (or while you think up the ways to get where you want to end up).

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Hal@BusinessWorks.US

National Award-Winning Author & Brand Marketer – Record Client Sales

Open Minds Open Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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May 06 2012

Business is NOT life or death!

“If you think sometimes

                          

  that you just can’t win,

                      

remember that life

                       

is not a contest!”

— Kathy Alpiar

 

She reminded me of this shortly before her life struggles ended this past March at age 55. She had reminded me of it often over the last 25 years of our marriage . . .  almost always after my face retreated into my hands bemoaning some frustrating situation or another that I had somehow boxed myself into. I’m told everyone does this on occasion?

If you’re an American, you probably grew up with the conviction that everything you had to deal with every day –from school and Scouts to college or trade school and a career to marriage and family raising– was (is) a contest!

Admittedly, in a nation dominated by sports performance and competition at literally every level of life, it’s hard to grasp that “life is not a contest.”

But it’s NOT a contest.

(Workaholics, please re-read those last five words!)

  • Life is a gift. It is a blessing. We either consciously or unconsciously choose to embrace it, or choose to waste it.

  • Life is a waste when it’s obsessively dedicated to ultimately meaningless, make-believe values — making money, acquiring things, trying to impress, being self-serving and self-indulgent, putting others down, bullying, chastising differences, thinking and acting dishonestly.

                                                  

How much of our precious time on Earth is wasted each day trying to get even; trying to undermine, manipulate, or represent ourselves as more than what we are; trying to pretend; trying to bait those who are weaker into our arena so we can defeat them or make them look foolish? Can any of that possibly be serving our true best interests?

If the answer to that question about how much time, by the way, is anything more than one minute, it may be worthwhile to think twice about Kathy’s quote. In other words, is our purpose here on this planet to make a difference?

How important is integrity?

                                   

Kathy wasn’t suggesting that we all abandon competition and head for some mountaintop to meditate on our navels. Of course we have to be responsible to earn a living and pay our bills. But what she was saying was that there’s a whole lot more to life than having such narrow pursuits d-i-c-t-a-t-e human existence.

Entrepreneurs get pounded over the head with these finger-waving “take time to smell the flowers” thoughts because they tend to disappear into a product/service development zone to the exclusion of friends, family, and many of life’s joyful experiences. They substitute the pursuit of “success” to the exclusion of what’s around them. I know because I’ve been there.

But I’ve come to realize that return on investment is not the sole province of business. ROI has also to do with having an ongoing sense of humor, a conscious effort to cultivate only positive stress, making room in our lives for living, keeping our promises, and being perpetually focused on service to others. Thanks Kathy.

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Hal@Businessworks.US    302.933.0116

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

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