Thursday, June 20, 2013

Do you have these challenges running your business?


Building business in a 3rd World Country!
I just had my work-flow disrupted because I have NO electricity.  I know what you are thinking, but you would be wrong, I did PAY my electricity bill. The issue is when you work your business from a 3rd world country (what-ever that means- maybe a future blog) you have challenges. Believe me this is not the first time. I am walking out of my house right now and going to sit here and finish this blog. My air-conditioning also is off and according to what I know the temperature is 95 F outside but that is a lot better then inside the house as it might rise to 100 F.  But how do I handle these sometimes daily occurrences is what makes the difference.

A Real Life Example!

I have been in a middle of a video conference with some highly influential individuals and my internet goes down. Since I have digital phone number to the USA, guess what my phone goes down as well. They just saw me “disappear” from my  meeting and I can’t call them from my cell phone because it would be extraordinarily expensive as it is over $2.50 US dollars and some meetings last two hours, sorry but I do have a budget and that is not going to happen, unless under very important circumstances.  Now as a human being my virtual stress meter just shot up to a very high level.  I can just say “ I give up, I can’t do business here” – which by the way I have said a few times already or I can learn from this. How can I learn from this?

Pre-Plan and Stay Calm

I just lost connection with people that I am meeting with, what are they thinking, do they think that I just hung up and left my own meeting.  At first they did think that, but after this happened a few times before I get onto any call using video or phone, I tell them point blank- that I sometimes do have issues with electricity and internet connection, please bear with this situation if this does happen. If this does occur in this call, I have a back-up plan and I will get back to the meeting as quickly as I can. If you don’t see me back in 15 min, please note we might need to reschedule this.

I then will attempt to connect with the portable modem I have, or race to my mother and father in laws house , one mile away and connect there,  go to the church office, and or go to a public place that has wi-fi connection. This can be an extra challenge as if I do go to a public place it can take a good 15 min to get set up again and login to go back to the meeting. Today, I can’t do that as I have a person coming over in a little bit and I can’t leave them here in my house while I go off and find a connection.

Duck Analogy!

One of my good friends, who went into ministry after many successful years as a broker/owner of a large satellite office for a large insurance company told me once.  You have to remain calm, no matter what you are going through at the time. You have to stay professional at any cost. If you do, you will be more successful in the long run. He explained to me and gave me an analogy that I still remember 12 years later.

Be Like a Duck

Be like a duck! A Duck, what does that have to do with business? He told me that on the surface when you look at a duck (being from Minnesota originally, I have seen lots of them) when they are swimming they are very calm, their heads are up, they look like they are just gliding on top of the water effortlessly. However, if you dip your head into the water near their flowing body, you will find that their two little webbed feet are frantically working to create that glide-like motion.

Right now since this just happened, I need to make a decision. I need to make sure that I can work without using the internet, thus this blog post, which was actually going to be worked on later today, I just did it now. I had this on my to-do list, so I knew it had to be done, so I just moved this up to a higher priority. Just re-arrange my schedule plans.


So just like Nike has said for many years – JUST DO IT.  Or as the late Jim Rohn said in a talk he gave that was published on Youtube – Just Do it, and Do it, and Do it. When you get to where you want to be or the goals you have set for yourself or your company you just keep on doing it. Do it till you no longer are alive.  He was talking about even when someone who has achieved a rung in the corporate ladder or just won an award for achievement based on excellence he would congratulate them and say Just Do it.

Plan of Action

What we Do is really up to us, we know what we need to do every day, we know what our unproductive hours are and what are productive hours are, or at least we should. We know that if we don’t do it every day as business owners and professionals we are not going to thrive. Building a business from day one is not easy, sometimes not fun, sometimes very challenging, but we as entrepreneurs know this is the journey we must take; this is the path we must walk.  We need be calm like the duck and show others that we are professionals. I remember what Toyota used as their “tag line” in the Super Bowl commercial a few years back that I really liked “ Keep moving forward “! Or my good friend David Whiteford a Champlain for the Hennepin jail district and former business owner said all the time- “keep on keeping on”-

PS. Want to do more with your time on a daily basis, you might want to take a look at this, for me it was a no-brainer and I use it every day , as long as I have internet connection that is. – let me know what you think of this or of this blog, comments are very much appreciated.

P.P.S.  Oh by the way , waited for one hour, still no electricity, waited for the person that was going to come over, told her to leave nothing she could do anyways. I went to brother in law to get my older cell phone since the day before I dropped it in the ocean taking cool pictures of my son and does not work. Brother in law gave my old cell to his son which of course he was not there. Went back, locked house, went to Pizza Hut in town to do finish this blog and also have many more email’s to send and calls to make using Google Voice through Wi-Fi, see if that works.  My appointment that I had set up a time to talk to, emailed me and called me, so I have to reschedule our time together, I am sure he will understand.  You guys who live in the USA and other developed countries take so much for granted, I am saying this with tongue in cheek, I also did when I was there.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What a Journey!

The Journey- It is in all of us!

My family took a trip to the beach recently, for relaxation and much needed time to be with each other and have some fun in the process. There is nothing better than a mini vacation. I of course had to the do all the driving. So since we were only going to stay for one night due to other family duties back at the church which is almost like a business with all the to do items that need to be done before the next weekends services, we decided to leave a 5 AM so we could get there before the rooms were ready and spend all day. I have to admit, I also went there so that I could do possible business with this resort, but that might be for my next post.

The journey started off with good intentions.. However, the 5:00 wake up time, turned more like 5:30 Am- our family was going to meet us at the church as a central place and then we were going to drive up to the resort, following each other so that if something happened, we could help each other.
We got everything packed and then had to wait for someone, not from my family but my extended family. They were ready, but not ready to leave just yet. We finally got on the road about 45 min after we planned. We took it in stride, it was just part of the journey and we knew it.

Right away, when we stopped to fill up gas, I had to put in a little oil and some brake fluid, then I remembered something as my wife asked me, if I put the spare tire back underneath the vehicle, I had to admit that was one thing that I didn’t do. I had asked my brother in law for the tools earlier in the week which I did and he forgot to give them to me. So we had to make this trip without a spare tire, which is not necessarily a good plan.

After the long 4 hour drive, we finally arrived. However on the journey, we could have went a bit faster but would have missed some really beautiful scenery as we driving and avoiding the potholes and other crazy drivers that would pass on a no passing zone.  It was fun to actually talk about personal stuff , instead of business stuff, even though there was a mixture of both. % fell more on the personal then the business so that was refreshing.

I also noticed something that I have observed a few times before. When you set out on your journey, you plan what you are going to do, when you are going to get some place, where you are going to go, what you are going to do, but sometimes that will change. I also noticed that the journey to an unknown destination seems to take longer, you are always looking for what is around the next corner, and you are always wondering when you are getting closer to your destination. However when you return from your trip and go back to your home, the trip seems to go faster, the trip that took hours doesn’t seem like it was the same amount of time that it was getting to the destination. It seems like everything goes faster when you get back to something familiar.

What does this have to do with Business? Well everything. When you start out in your business you have grand plans, you know what you are going to do, whom you are going to do this with (your perfect client- target) and how you will get to that final destination, usually it is a financial figure. However, as you start rolling out your business and doing what is necessary to spread the word about you and what you do, it becomes more of a journey. You over that course of time- could be 6 months, 2 years, 5 years or more that you meet people that you have never met before that can and will help you grow your business. You might have had a few bumps in this journey but that is okay, some misdirection and potholes are expected when you go on this journey. But if you continually go forward and learn from this journey you will become a better person in the long run. 

We want everything to happen instantly, that is the culture of us growing up in a society that teaches us through media, internet, tv, radio, even schools. But we know as well as anyone that journeys  will take some time, it will take some effort. However, when you journey is completed you will know it and you will be happier because of it. 

Don’t think of a journey as a bad thing, it is not. All successful men and women I know went on their own personal journeys and now they are happy they did go through it all, because it matters to them and people that know them, how awesome a trip it really was as they recall their journey to others that want to learn from their experiences.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Social Media- Spread the positive- Not the negative.

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Social Media- Spread the positive- Not the negative.

Social media can spread whatever you feed to it. When you are on social media, unless it is positive don’t write it, show it, or do anything that could be construed as negative coming from you or your company. I know there are some people, guru’s out there, that say you should mix it up a bit and create controversy as that will bring more people into the conversation and your participation and engagement will grow because of it. I think they are partially right, but why would you want to do that? Do you really want to be thought of a person that brings up the negative or would you rather be a person that people know your honest values. If you are just concerned about engagement and will do what-ever it takes to get this then go ahead and go for it, you’re an adult, I am not your parent. However, I think long term; people will eventually tune you out or just loose interest in what you are saying and then eventually what you are doing. 

Be careful what you post on Social Media, it can bite you back!

Just think of it this way. Using Facebook Social Media platform as the behemoth that has over 1 Billion users, I believe illustrates a point.  Once you post, and submit, it goes to all your friends and the public right away (depends of course on your settings of that post). I have found on average 150 friends/ person… so if you have 150 friends, and they have 150 friends it is possible for all of them to see your message, which is 22,500 people, if you did the math. What if that number is small? I now personally have over 600 + friends– do you think that some of your friends have at least that or possibly even more? Even if you delete it, the message and the link that you wanted everyone to look at will still be seen, it may not work when they click on it, but it will be seen.

Never, ever, under any circumstance, throw out your negative emotions online, it will only come to bite you later and could possibly have very severe consequences down the road. Do you remember the take-off summer movie called “Gremlins” back in the early 1980’s.  Well think of this when you want to post something negative, just like the furry, good looking, cute alien animals that were loved by many, you start posting negative or your bad relationships or your horrible customer/client or your “I can’t work with my partner” or many other negative situations; you the loved one, will turn into that ugly Gremlin.  All that the fuzzy creatures needed to turn from love to hate is touch a little water. All you need to do is touch a little negative and it will spread faster than you can even imagine. 

Words do matter! watch this short video that was done about 3 years ago, still applicable today, probably more so.
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Take as much time as you need- never recorded but can be repeated.

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