Starting a business affects more than you, the people you hire or the customers you plan to serve. Owning your own business has the greatest impact on your family. According to the book “Honey, I want to Start My Own Business” by Azriela Jaffe, the first step is to make a family plan. Whether you are single or married, with children or without, this book makes sense. Consider these suggested questions from Ms. Jaffe:
Financial & Time Considerations
How much cash is required to support the business and your family?
How will insurance needs for your family be met?
How much time daily/weekly is required to operate the business?
Perceived Emotional Stress
Are there aspects of the business you expect to find difficult?
Will you have to sacrifice anything important to your physical, emotional, and spiritual health in order to succeed in this business?
How much intimate … Read More »
As I read this beautiful, down to earth account of Laurie Anderson’s “Farewell to Lou Reed”, I could not help but become emotional thinking about my own committed partnership, which in so many ways, resembles the story she tells about their relationship. It moved both of us to talk and write about what we will say about our relationship to those who care to listen when, inevitably one will remain behind.
And as I am busy with that, I am struck by how much that is positive and remarkable goes unsaid about our partners, friends, colleagues and teammates. In the oh-so-busy, fast-paced lane we all move in, relationships so frequently become transactional; the direct feedback mostly about how something needs to be done differently or better.
In current literature and in our coaching approach and practice here at CRR Global, we value … Read More »
*** Author’s Note: No cats were harmed in the writing of this article.
It was a cool winter’s morning, and we had locked our two cats (Max and Josie) in the bathroom overnight with food, water, and a litter box. They needed to go to the vet for a checkup the next morning, and this was the best place to put them to make sure we could catch them in time to make our appointment.
All dressed up and ready to go, we opened the door to the bathroom expecting to see the Max and Josie sleeping on the floor or eating some breakfast. We looked in, and they were standing on the counter next to the sink. With horror in their eyes, they jumped over us and went flying into the hallway…literally!
What in the world was wrong with the cats! And … Read More »
Wikipedia states the following: “Parallel processing is the ability to carry out multiple operations or tasks simultaneously. The term is used in the contexts of both human cognition, particularly in the ability of the brain to simultaneously process incoming stimuli, and in parallel computing by machines.” In my mind, this is not to be confused with mere multi-tasking. While we indeed leverage parallel processing in best practices for task forces and other team efforts, there is another, messier way in which it shows up in human relationships that I believe to be a good mine for systemic transformation. It happens when we are in a parallel process without realizing it!
You must have had the experience in client work or in your life, where you worked with or in a company and the very problem they were addressing for their customers, … Read More »
People learn what they’re made of when they are presented with adversity. Difficult situations expose all the warts. In a business, adversity magnifies where internal communication breakdowns exist. Where poor relationships exist. Where production quality issues occur. Where overpromising to get the sale is rampant. Where systems aren’t integrated. Where leadership is poor.
With adversity comes opportunity as well. It’s the opportunity to get the organization to rally around some reason to change. It’s the opportunity to transition toward a new direction. It’s the opportunity to get everyone to work more as a team. It’s the opportunity to create a common focus on what’s most important. But before that opportunity can be realized, the adversity must first be recognized.
Don’t Focus Too Much on the Individual Trees
Organizations, their customer service functions, and their service personnel are often seeing the symptoms of problems … Read More »
We are unique, complicated creatures, aren’t we? That’s something I was reminded of when reading this very short and to-the-point post by Seth Godin. He reminds us of 3 assumptions that we shouldn’t make:
1) That people are rational.
2) That people desire change.
3) That once on the same page, other’s views will align to your own.
Here’s an idea – go into every human interaction (well, those that you desire to be productive, profitable and pleasant) without holding onto assumptions and be prepared to be curious about the other person’s perspective. This way you won’t be blind-sided when things don’t go “your way.” Two people with very different views of the world can come to mutual decisions and form very solid partnerships – this very dynamic is what makes some of the most creative, innovative and productive teams in the world.
Remember that … Read More »
Don’t let another year slip by. Start making changes in your life now. Just think how much better you’ll feel at the end of 2014 by pursuing your dreams now.
First, you have to build your “dream” team of like-minded individuals of women and men who are willing to support you with structure. You’re like the “The Little Engine That Could” and you need a team of toys and other engines to help push you over the mountain top.
Your team should include individuals with the following five traits:
Is organized and knows how to create a functional time line
Has contacts and connections that can help you find the resources you need to achieve your dream
Sees the value of your dream and is willing to call you to task to accomplish it
Won’t let you “slide” because you are too tired or distracted
Is willing … Read More »
Every year, every company loses customers. These customers exit the organization because of a myriad of reasons. Maybe it’s the bad economy, it could be a competitor, maybe it’s your pricing, or possibly your customer experience is declining.
So if your business is like others, you may respond to a loss in business by ramping up advertising and marketing efforts. Or if the pain of loss isn’t too great because you’re adding new customers at the same time, it’s easy to assume that you had no control over why customers left; but if you make that assumption, you’re costing yourself time and dollars.
Instead, when customers have left, ask yourself this question: What is my post-exit strategy?
Some of the best sales prospects your organization can have are former customers. You already have a great deal of intelligence on your former customers. You … Read More »
Want to improve your company’s bottom line?
What to improve company morale?
Want to give employees the same sense of urgency you have?
Want to get your employees, from the shop to the office, pulling from the same end of the rope?
Most of us know that when we are experiencing problems with our staff, there’s some underlying communication issue that got messed up.
In other words,
Something that should have been said, wasn’t.
Someone said something that wasn’t true.
Someone made something up because they didn’t know the truth.
Something didn’t get communicated fast enough, to the right person.
Here’s a suggested solution to this Communication Quagmire that we, as leaders, find ourselves in more times than we’d care to admit:
Implement a 10 Step Company Communication Plan.
#1: Determine what information needs to be communicated.
For your company’s current stage of growth, what are your top 5 challenges?
Who are your top … Read More »
Are you a people pleaser – you know, one of those individuals who tries to make everyone happy? On a personal level, it can often be frustrating; you’re trying to do what will make Fred happy and make Mary smile and make Jenny like you, and you get worn out in the process. You’re doing too many different things for too many different people and for maybe not the right reasons. You want people to like you, but in the end you’re not as happy as you probably ought to be.
In business, many of us find ourselves in similar roles whether we want to be there or not.
It often happens when there are different teams or divisions within a company with conflicting goals. Operations wants to cut $15 million this year. Retention wants a 94% client … Read More »