Being an entrepreneur myself, and having run a web development business for almost two decades, I have seen many ecommerce businesses come and go. And, with the statistics from the Small Business Administration that say up to 85% of all businesses have been failing within 18 months of starting, the odds are against entrepreneurs.
But there are steps entrepreneurs can take to better those odds. Start by working on your business. There are five basic questions you can answer that could make a huge difference in the success of your endeavors. They are: Why are you doing what you are doing, what are your core values, what is your mission, what is your strategic vision, and what is your strategy? Working on your business, especially when starting out, is just as important as working in your business. That is why I have created a series of free webinar/workshops (I call them Webishops) to help entrepreneurs at www.webishops.com. These Success Planning Webishops help you to answer each of those five questions.
Firing someone is a difficult decision, but the reason to fire is a person rarely a spur of the moment thing. Chances are, many instances have already happened, and the person is probably a toxic element in the team. When it is decided to fire a person, do it quickly. Growth cannot happen in a toxic environment, and if you have decided to fire a person then the rest of the team already knows this person is toxic. The longer the person is allowed to stay in the team, the more poison that person will spread.
Brainstorming is a common practice in businesses, and brainstorming has come up with some amazing ideas and inventions. But there is one fundamental flaw in brainstorming: No new thoughts seem to emerge once one person comes up with a good idea. The main reason is because everyone bands together to refine and hone that one good idea into a fantastic revelation.
But what if you want several new ideas? What are good ways to keep the creative juices flowing? One way is to start the brainstorming session before everyone meets in person. Send out an email with details on the brainstorming session and allow members to submit suggestions before the session actually starts. There are a couple of benefits to this: First, it allows the introverts in the group time to think about new ideas. Introverts process internally, and too much talking while they are processing can make an introvert shut down and stop contributing during a meeting. Sending out an email in advance will help them be more creative. Second, it gives the opportunity for more independent ideas to come forth. Rather than everyone banding together on the first good idea, it gives the opportunity for the group to look at many ideas.
Speech is an important sign of maturity, and a trait many people forget to look for in a potential partner. Of course, when you first meet someone you want to date everything they say seems to be cute, but how they talk can tell you a lot. Do they put other people down? Do they get angry or frustrated easily? Do little negative comments seem to come out every once in a while? How a person talks will let you know the kind of person they are, if you are willing to listen.
A Positive Outlook
I still remember the day I had a very difficult meeting scheduled. Two people I was responsible for had miserably failed to do some important tasks and, as a result, a large project was held up. I woke up that morning dreading the day to come. I visualized the meeting being absolutely terrible, and I was sure I would be let go because of the problems.
I did not lose my job that day, but the meeting did go as bad as I had visualized.
And I realized later that I had helped to make it bad. That was one of the situations that helped me to see that my mind will work to accomplish what I think about, good or bad. Now, each morning when I wake up, I visualize my day as being a great day. I imagine the meetings I will go to being happy and productive. I see myself doing my work and enjoying it, no matter what it is. I see in my mind’s eye customers that are happy because of what I accomplished, whether I actually see them or not. There are still problems that come up, but I have noticed that I now have less stress in difficult situations. And I enjoy helping others to see positive outcomes when big problems come up. I attribute that to changing the way I see my day when I wake up.
So when you wake up each day (or right before you go to sleep), visualize a great day. What meetings will you have? Who will you see? Visualize those interactions going surprisingly well. Imagine everyone smiling and laughing, happy for the time spent together. There is nothing you can do about what happens around you, but you have the power to control how you respond.
Divorce is difficult for everyone involved, but most especially the children. No matter the age, children tend to deal with two things when parents are splitting up: Blame and powerlessness.
Teens have the tendency to blame themselves, thinking that the divorce is their fault.
And, at the same time they feel powerless because there is nothing they can do to keep their parents together. There are some things teens can do to cope with this stressful situation, however.
First, see it for how it really is, but not worse than it is.
The parents are divorcing because of their problems, not anything the teenager contributed to. You may want to blame yourself, but it is not your fault. What you can do is be there for your parents.
Take on the role of the parent while your parents are the ones acting immature.
Let them both know you still love them, especially when their decisions are rocking your world. This has an added benefit as well. There is a chemical in our brain that produces feelings of well-being called Oxytocin. It only gets released when we help other people. So, by helping your parents through this difficult time, you also may lower your stress and lower the possibility of depression. And, if nothing else, you can hold your head high knowing you did everything you could.
Feel like nobody listens to what you say? There are three actions you can use to be taken seriously.
- Take others seriously (meaning: Listen). We tend to talk more when it seems like other people don’t take us seriously, spending more time explaining what we mean by what we say. One way to be taken seriously is to listen intently about what the other person is saying.
- Talk less. I had a client who admitted that she felt like she talked a mile a minute but never seemed to be saying anything important. Through coaching, she learned to say a lot less and get to the point quicker. By talking less, she felt she was being heard more by others.
- Pick a topic and stick to it. Don’t talk about four or five different topics at the same time. What may make sense to you could be very confusing to others, so stick to one topic at a time.
Combine all three of these together to become a conversationalist that people will listen to. Listen to what others are saying then respond specifically to what they are talking about. Stick to that subject, and try to stay on point with fewer words.
“Everyone hates change,” is a common saying, but it’s not entirely accurate. We only dislike the changes we don’t like or understand. Leaders, however, need to be change agents. Organizations must change to stay competitive, and leaders need to be the ones to champion those changes.
Each change has the chance of affecting company culture, and each change can add stress to employees. The best way to help effect change is to make sure every person in the company understands why the change is happening. What are the positive benefits of the change? What challenges will need to be overcome? What will the end result of the change be? Answering these questions right away has the benefit of getting buy-in from more employees.
Do you think your significant other is making you fat? Do you find that they “mistakenly” bring home your favorite fatty foods every time you try to go on a diet? Does it seem like, the more you try to lose weight, the more they want to go out to eat?
That may not just be your imagination. In situations like that, I would guess that your significant other is overweight as well. And, while they may not intentionally be trying to get you to gain weight, they probably are subconsciously. Some overweight people are very self-conscious of how they look, but they feel better about themselves if they are not the only one who has put on a few pounds. Your attempt to diet, however, is a stark reality for them that they are not as slim as they used to be. The response shows that they could use some emotional maturing, and counseling or coaching could help them.
Opposites attract, and that is proven when an introvert and an extrovert get together. Introverts and extroverts in a relationship have the opportunity to discuss how they relax, or recharge. Extroverts love to be in groups of people, happily talking about nothing in particular. That is how extroverts recharge their batteries. The batteries of an introvert, however, will drain very quickly in the same situation. Introverts need time alone to recharge their batteries.
Time alone for an introverted parent, especially when young children are involved, is very important. Let’s say there is a family with one extrovert parent and one introvert parent, which is pretty common. The extrovert parent may come home to loud, rambunctious children and fondly imagine having some alone time for a bit. The introvert parent, however, may desperately need it to stave off insanity.
Communication is important. Introverts incorrectly assume that everyone knows they need to be alone at times. And extroverts sometimes don’t understand how important it is for introverts to have alone time. Introverts need uninterrupted alone time every day, and that can be difficult when young children are involved.
If this sounds like you, carve out some alone time. Then, when your batteries are recharged, have a conversation with your partner. Find out what they need for alone time or social time with you and friends. And discuss with them how you need alone time. Find a compromise. Remember, you are in this together.