Archive for the ‘Career’ Category
Our time is so valuable. How it is used determines integral outcomes in our life. There is “never enough time in the day,” is an old adage whose meaning becomes more realistic daily. Thus, we need a plan, particularly when our utilization (of time) determines our income. What’s primary; what’s secondary? How do we make those determinations? As an entrepreneur, making a daily plan makes sense. Four questions / commands of relevancy may determine how our business grows.
1. What tasks make money now?
2. What tasks make money in the future?
3. Schedule money making tasks everyday.
4. Delegate tasks that need to be done, but not necessarily by you.
In quick simplistic terms, the answer as I see it, is a what and a how.
What can bring in the $$$ now, in the future; and how will it be accomplished.
Time management is a science with our utilization of same equating to outcomes … with generation of revenue being one.
How we spend our time – directly and indirectly – determines how much money is in our pockets!
What is our next step? There may be many. Hiring a full time employee may not be financially affordable, but support – be it virtual or a consultant – may be an avenue to explore.
Many of us learn by example. Oddly, some of us can’t resist learning the hard way. We may insist on experimenting with the “bought sense vs. learnt sense” hypothesis.
With quantitative and qualitative measurements, eventually, we will learn that we cannot do it all … by ourselves. When that realization clicks, we will “be in the money!”
Green is such a spendable and vibrant color! Get started planning the “how’s” and “what’s” of your day!
“The early bird catches the most worms!”
Photo credit: www.homebusiness.about.com
We entrepreneurs dance to the beat of a different drummer. We are different with unique traits. Here lies –
15 Common Characteristics of Effective Entrepreneurs:
1. “You take action.
You Invent as you go.
2. You’re insecure.
Your insecurity drives you to achieve your goals.
3. You’re crafty.
You figure things out.
4. You’re obsessed with cash flow.
Liquidity is the name of the game.
5. You get into hot water.
You are never satisfied with the status quo.
6, You’re fearless.
You always see the potential.
7. You can’t sit still.
You are energized.
8. You’re malleable.
You are consistently evolving.
9. You enjoy navel gazing.
You are always evaluating yourself and your effectiveness.
10. You’re motivated by challenges.
Motivation comes naturally.
11. You consider yourself an outsider.
You are not a copy cat.
12. You recover quickly.
If you fail, you don’t stay still; you move on.
13. You fulfill needs.
You fix problems.
14. You surround yourself with advisors.
You hire smart people, not “yes” folks.
15. You work and play hard.
When you fall down, you pick yourself up.”
If you are self-confident, perceptive, hard working, resourceful, a risk taker, creative, goal-oriented, optistimistic, flexible, independent, visionary, get along with others ….sounds like to me that you are an entrepreneur.
You fit the mold!
Photo credit: www.zeroinfly.com; Source: www.wizoid.com
Before you read this lengthy description, please know that I wasn’t born writing books or marketing plans!
Certainty, I wasn’t born talking! I know many of you find the latter hard to believe, but it’s true.
I do however believe that I was born to follow my passions and dreams. They placed me in the world of entrepreneurship. I am so glad that I landed there! Though a “Mom and Pop” operation, I grew up in a small business environment in Mississippi. The entrepreneurial spirit has always been in my bones. I love what I do! I’m happy!
Maybe, we might be joined at the hip in this entrepreneurial experience if this describes you. Let’s see.
Here are “50 habits that born-to-be entrepreneurs can’t help but show. How many do you possess?
1. You can’t sit still. You’re always itching to come up with something, and do something great.
2. You’re always coming up with ideas. Good or bad, the flow of ideas never stops.
3. You can pinpoint flaws in other ideas. It comes naturally to you.
4. You marvel at successful business owners. Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, John Johnson, Bill Gates are just a few of your heroes.
5. You get excited when you see a successful business in action. Whether it’s a local bar or a supermarket franchise, you can’t help but smile when you see a good business.
6. You constantly think of ways to improve your employer’s business. When you’re at work, you only think about how it could be better.
7. You hate being told what to do. You’re resentful of taking orders.
8. You love to learn new things. How To’s and tutorials are what you’re all about.
9. You take things apart to see how they work. Remotes, toasters, phones — you love to see the inner workings.
10. You dream of wealth. Money isn’t everything, but you can’t help but have it on your mind.
11. You don’t give up easily. You face tough challenges but keep going.
12. You’re disciplined in your habits. You have set routines that don’t get broken easily.
13. You aren’t afraid of hard work. You give everything in your life 100 percent.
14. You have a high threshold for risk. You don’t take blind risks, but you don’t stay complacent either.
15. You meet as many people as you can. You aren’t afraid to branch out and meet new people.
16. You talk to everyone you meet. Strangers aren’t intimidating to you.
17. You bounce back from failure. You’ve experienced crushing failure, but it’s never stopped you from coming back.
18. You like calling the shots. You like the sound of being a director.
19. You set goals for yourself. Big or small, goals fill your life.
20. You help people whenever you can. You’re interested in the greater good.
21. You find challenges in everything you do. You seek out opportunities to challenge yourself.
22. You find ways to inspire people. You’re inspired by inspiration.
23. You plan everything down to the little details. Plans are a prerequisite for any activity.
24. You’re proud of yourself. You like who you are.
25. You help your friends solve their problems. You’re great at problem analysis.
26. You effectively delegate tasks and assign resources. In household chores and business operations alike.
27. You set deadlines for yourself. No excuses.
28. You like telling stories. You love to tell people about your experiences.
29. You’re hyper competitive. You can’t even play a board game without flipping that switch.
30. You get involved with things. You always ask if you can help.
31. You cut out things in your life that don’t work for you. If it’s inefficient or bothersome, it’s gone.
32. You negotiate whatever you can. Flea markets and salaries are just the beginning.
33. You see the potential in people. You don’t see people for who they are. You see them for who they could be.
34. You’re calm in a crisis. When stuff hits the fan, you still think logically.
35. You follow up with people when you want something. You don’t let opportunities go.
36. You avoid things that waste your time. You’re immune to mobile games and idle social-media time.
37. You persuade people to your side. You’re a natural rhetorician.
38. You make rational decisions, not emotional ones. For the most part, you trust your logic over your emotions.
39. You don’t forget people’s emotions. Still, there’s great sympathy in you.
40. You lose track of time when pursuing passion projects. Time seems to fly when you’re heads-down working on something.
41. You frequently start new passion projects. Every week, a new idea is transformed into a hobby.
42. You constantly upgrade your house (or car or anything). There’s always something to tinker with, replace or improve.
43. You’re crazy about new technology. You’re addicted to learning how new technologies can improve your life.
44. You read the news every day. It’s an ingrained habit.
45. You read books voraciously. Every book offers something new.
46. You listen to that internal voice. You trust your instincts.
47. You listen to others’ advice. You make your own decisions, but listen to others’ opinions too.
48. You don’t dwell in the past. When bad things happen, you keep moving forward.
49. You make sacrifices for what you want. You know you have to give things up to see greater success.
50. You never write off your dreams. You take your aspirations seriously. They’re a part of you.”
Welcome to my world!
This description fits me!
Photo credit: www.colourbox.com; Source: www.entrepreneur.com
I recently watched the movie, “The Intern.”
In fact, as it was full of valuable takeoffs, I found myself watching it on HBO several times.
Starring Anne Hathaway and Robert DeNiro, it is very entertaining; a must watch; a story of old school wisdom joining forces with a young entrepreneurial approach. A twist of the ordinary, a 70 year DeNiro is the interm. The movie clearly demonstrate that experience never grows old. “The Intern” is full of leadership lessons.
Take a look:
1. Keep moving.
2. Leaders set the tone.
3. If there is a hole in your life, fill it.
4. Leaders can get blindsided. They can’t see everything coming. Step back,
breathe, and see what’s happening.
5. Celebrate good things.
6. Passing the leadership baton can be difficult.
7. Find the formula for fair distribution of work. Stop piling up layers and layers of work on a person where it is not manageable.
8. Your ways may not be as productive as you think.
9. You’re never wrong to do the right thing.
10. We think that we’re less screwed up than we really are.
So what if your boss is not a leader? What if he/she leaves a lot to be desired?
You will soon realize that you can’t change them. You can only change you. Learn to not be like them!
Imitating poor conduct, be it from a leader or not, is not advisable.
By all means, don’t let their mishaps rub off on you!
Maximize your potential which may include leaving an environment where leadership and opportunities are absent or poor.
Rather, carry this cadre of quotes to motivate you:
A. Success never sleeps nor does it wait. It is available 24x7x365 even if
you are not.
B. You will make mistakes. Learn from them.
C. When was the last time that you did something for the first time. Keep
D. Not taking risks ultimately lead to failure.
E. Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.
F. Look back at past mistakes as a lesson, not a regret.
G. Positive things happen when you distance yourself from negative people.
H. Ego, particularly an inflated one, is the enemy.
I. Business success = mission, strategy, and resources.
The list goes on.
Allow these lessons to be learning experiences whereby you can move from Point A to Point Z pridefully and successfully.
Don’t let others be your stumbling block! Keep moving; don’t give up!
Reach for the sky!
Photo credit: www.pixteller.com; Source: www.jmlalonde.com
“What’s up doc?” Daffy Duck, Mickey Mouse, and Goofy are much too sophisticated for some job sites.
Recently, a friend related the “happenings” that occurred at her place of employment.
She indicated that there are two workers who characteristically resemble Wile E. the Coyote and Sam the Sheepdog. OMG!
I remember those two characters.
They were my son’s favorite next to Road Runner!
Wile E. and Sam both punched in together, acted hospitable, and then they would “go at” each other all day!
I am not sure if they were really friends. What I do remember is that they skillfully maneuvered those combative gestures swinging at each other all in the name of a day’s work.
You have seen those types of people; right?
Strangely, Wile E. the Coyote, the speedy one chased Sam’s sheep all day, but the burly slow moving Sam the Sheepdog managed to defeat his attacks with minimal efforts.
Sometimes, the energetic purportedly smart ones are not the victorious ones.
What an invigorating thought!
Interesting … Wile E. and Sam smiled at each other and made grandstanding overtures every morning as if they were bosom buddies.
So much for hypocrisy, but I think you know all about that!
Thus, I need not tell you about the back stabbers.
Remember what they say about them … “They smile in your face … all the time they are trying to take your place.”
Let’s deviate a moment from Wile E. the Coyote and Sam the Sheepdog.
Just watch your back tomorrow and the day after!
You never know who will be standing by the water cooler or the time clock waiting to rip you apart!
No brags; just facts!
As the road runner says, “Beep, beep!”
Photo credit: www.en.wikipedia.org
Are you a daredevil or do you take calculated steps?
It is better to be safe than sorry!
An associate recently reviewed the path of his successful career. It occurred to him that his recent entrepreneurial experience had him freehandedly “walking a tightrope without a net!”
Strangely, he did not realize that his journey was net-less as he was so entrenched in the company’s day to day operation that he had not taken the time to look down.
Fear he didn’t have!
Sometimes, what you don’t see or know remove fear because the negative consequences are not visibly before your eyes.
However, once the wool is pulled away, the dangers become conspicuously obvious. The negative realities stare you directly in your face.
Then, the realization of not having a safety net is akin to being in the middle of the lake with no paddle!
To survive, refocusing is necessary so that bad outcomes don’t defeat you.
Has the time come to reset the precautionary warning signals that implied trust convinced you to remove?
So what’s next?
Equipped with armors of courage, strength, resources, and knowledge, are you now prepared to walk into greener pastures with keener vision, balance and wisdom?
For certain, as embodied in William Ernest Henley’s “Invictus,” we are “the masters of our fate; the captains of our souls.”
Learn from the past.
Be wise; be smart!
Walk with God by your side as your safety net!
Walk with knowledge and integrity.
You will surely and safely find your way and reach your destination.
Photo credit: www.thestaffingstream.com;www.listen2myheartspeak.files.wordpress.com
A sidekick is defined as a “close companion who is generally regarded as subordinate to the one he accompanies. Some well-known fictional sidekicks are Doctor Watson (of Sherlock Holmes), Tonto (of The Lone Ranger), Robin (of Batman), and Ethel Mertz (of Lucy Ricardo).” “I love Lucy.” Don’t you?
Anyway, did I mention that some bosses have sidekicks; particularly those who cannot make executive decisions?
Who is smarter; the boss or the sidekick? Who gives the orders? Who is in charge? Let’s see!
Batman was the “man.”
Sherlock solved the crimes!
Though Ed McMahon said “Here’s Johnny,” it was The Tonight Show’s late night host Johnny Carson who was the star!
What happens when the sidekick usurps the boss’ authority that the boss willingly surrenders because he doesn’t want his job?
“Holy Switch A Roo,” as Batman’s Robin would say.
Will the incompetent sidekick’s decisions ultimately kick the boss in his behind? “Pow!”
Stop thinking that these are television examples only. Look around in your office complex. Too bad the walls can’t talk!
Stay tuned to watch corporate dysfunction at its best?
The cameras are rolling! Let’s see who steals the show.
Although it may seem like a comic strip, the Peanut characters and their many sidekicks were smart and on top of their game!
“Where’s Snoopy?” He’ll make sense of this!
The boss sure can’t!
Does your job have too many chiefs?
In order to successfully operate, a company needs organization and a balance of power. It needs someone to give orders and someone to take them. Commands from multiple people who lack the authority or who are not specifically clear may present inherent problems. Conflicting directions are just as bad. Is there clarity in the organizational lines of authority?
Are the directives understandable and clearly defined/stated?
To effectively and profitably move a company forward, defined lines of authority are essential.
Someone has to do the work when the instructions are given!
An imbalanced proportion results in chaos. If you don’t believe me, look outside your office door!
Photo credit: www.cafepress.com
Are you addicted to your cell phone?
Before you answer this question, let me share how I and so many others use our cell phones.
1. First and foremost – To talk. It is right at my fingertips to be spontaneously used.
2. To store numbers. I don’t know anyone’s numbers anymore. They are all stored in my phone. Why use my memory when I don’t have to? I know that there is a danger in that theory, but it works for now. (By the way, I only personally know one person who doesn’t store his #’s and directly dials out all the time. He is so secretive that I am convinced that he is hiding something or someone! However, that’s a blog post for another day.)
3. To canvass Social Media sites. Please follow me on twitter at #swta, #Vernalee, and follow my daily blog, stuffwetalkabout.com. Here I go again with my marketing!
4. To send text messages and emails. I am up on all the abbreviated shortcuts. R U ?
5. To play games. This is a shout out to all my candy crush fans.
6. To provide directions. Nothing beats a guiding handheld GPS when you are directionally challenged.
7. To serve as my personal secretary by maintaining / reminding me of my appointments. For those entrepreneurs who have no personal administrative assistant, this is a great fringe benefit.
8. To take photos and shoot videos. Does anyone still use traditional cameras?
9. To tell time. I wear watches for fashion purposes only. I love my cellular alarm ringtone to wake me up.
10. To listen to music and download my favorite iTunes; to watch HBO Go.
11. To browse the Internet. Google is my favorite.
12. To read my favorite magazines. Black Enterprise was just downloaded. How convenient!
13. To check the stock market. Check the Nasdaq; feel important even if you do not own stock! Why not?
14. To serve as my personal baby sitter when I am waiting on someone who is late and don’t want others to stare me in my face.
15. To use my Face Time application to talk to my love ones. I have asked them to give me a 3 minute warning so that they don’t catch me looking my worst. Oh well!
16. To check the weather. I daily check the temperatures in Cleveland, Ohio, but also in my hometown in Mississippi. Then, I get depressed when it is snow on the grounds here and the Mississippi temp is in the 70’s.
My list goes on and on …. so I guess that I am addicted! Think about it! The cell phone is so versatile that although it was meant to be at our ear and mouth to hear / talk; many of us use it more to transmit messages non-verbally. We can hide behind our small cellular devices and avoid verbal communications by sending written messages via text and emails. Why hear their voices when you don’t want to be bothered? It is so much easier to write what you don’t have the courage to say.
For the record, that was not me that you saw standing in the line last week for 8 hours waiting to pick up the newly released iPhone!
Photo credit: www.yahoo.com; www.bunow.com
How’s your Email etiquette? Are your words accurately and respectfully written?
Since Emails are a dominant form of communication in our personal and professional lives, making them effective is the key. Many of us prefer to or have chosen to email folks rather than verbally communicate with them. Besides, emailing is handy. You don’t have to worry about catching folks or them returning calls. You don’t have to leave home or get dressed to communicate. Plus, you can send them anytime, anywhere, and from your phone which is always with you.
Because of the conveniences and simplicities, why bother with the physical interaction? You may not be in an office when you send an email, but if it’s for business, it should reflect a professional tone.
It is for these reasons and more, that we should make sure that our emails convey the appropriate message.
1. Subject Lines – Make them succinct and to the point. If the subject should change in your email thread, change the subject line to reflect same.
2. Professional Email Address – If it is not a corporate email, does it contain your name/your company’s name or a reference whereby the reader will know that it’s you?
3. Reply All – Think before you press that button. Do you want everyone to read your message or just the sender? Are you sending the email to the right person? Double check your stored recipient’s name to assure your accuracy before you send. Slippery fingers can present a slippery mess!
4. Salutations – Be professional and please use a greeting of some sort.
5. Exclamation Points – Multiple exclamation points can be offensive. Some authorities equate multiple exclamation points to shouting.
6. Blind copy/Forward – Wisely use as appropriate.
7. Replies – Try to reasonably respond to emails even if it is a brief answer. ( i.e received, thank you). Don’t leave the sender wondering if you received/read their message.
8. Proofread – Read it before you push the send button.
9. Can you really hide behind the words? – This is a double edged sword. You can say in writing what you do not have the courage to say to a person’s face. However, words don’t lie whether they are oral or written. Unlike verbal communication, we have little or no wiggle room for interpretation when it is in print. Emails can hold a liar’s feet to the fire because the sender can’t say that it wasn’t him/her who sent the message when the email came directly from their email address. The black and white letters become permanent etches.
Emails are here to stay. They are permanent records that are undeniably evidentiary. Your emails can be funny or serious. They can be light or academic. They convey a consortium of messages. Regardless, be careful, discreet, accurate; be a person whose emails you can defend! Be wise with your choice of words!
By the way, the conveniences of emails can add hours to your workday because many of us transmit emails from home that we didn’t have time to send during work hours.
Photo credit: www.math.uh.edu