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You’ve got the words to change a nation

But you’re biting your tongue…..

These two lines are from the Emeli Sande track – “Read all about it.”  Overall the consensus is that this song is about being the real you?   What has this got to do with business?

Something that is really important to me is understanding what it MEANS to be a business person and identifying when I need to reassess my goals, vision and priorities.  I hope the following helps you whatever stage you are at with business, especially if you feel that something isn’t quite right or where it should be.

So why let your voice be tamed?

Firstly you need to be assertive:   Whether starting up, expanding or diversifying,  its really important to understand that everyone…. And I mean absolutely everyone will have an opinion.   Even those people who have never ever taken the step of owning a business will tell you their experiences.   The decision you have to make is 1) who to listen to and 2) Whether you compromise your vision.    Ask yourself are you biting your tongue for fear of speaking out for what you know you want?   In business you will need to believe in yourself implicitly and sometimes that has to be no matter what anyone thinks.

When did we all get so fearful?

 

Another question to ask yourself is whether you are fearless enough for your business.  Please note this is not a generalisation that you should be a bull in a china shop and know no fear, but more a point that you cannot let fear take you over in business.  It’s really important to “hold your ground” in business and not be afraid when the pressures on.

You’ve got the light to fight the shadows?

 

This leads back to my post on instinct.  When the chips are down and it seems like there is no way out, remember that you have the answer inside you.  The reason you are in the role you are is because you believed in yourself (if you’re employed, someone believed enough in you) that you could handle everything that came your way. Think about everything you have had to deal with so far in life, work and business.  You handled it didn’t you?   So when something happens, stay calm and think about who can help and support you through.  Go with your instincts, they’re rarely wrong.

 

Finally here’s the track.  Click here Grab a cuppa and take a listen.  What can you do differently to stay on the right track to realise your life goals and dreams.

Enjoy, and have a lovely week

Richard and the team at Hold Everything

Get a Job!

I have had a very interesting week.  When you do what I do, you deal with a variety of business people and sometimes become a sounding board for their challenges.  Sometimes even an agony uncle!

I learn so much about my clients when I listen to their challenges and they are surprised when they learn that I’ve often experienced the issues and feelings that they have.   Like many of my fellow experienced entrepreneurs, we have seen a lot.   This week was no different.  One of my clients was speaking about the economic times and her business associates changing.

She was down about the fact that a number of her close business colleagues were back in full time or part time jobs with what she described as “more financial security “ and felt dreadful that she was a little bit jealous of the new successes that they were having.  Where she used to be one of their first and foremost trusted contacts, suddenly she wasn’t. The goalposts had changed.

Things in business are always changing and the skill of handling and positively managing that change is essential.   When asked what it was that made my client feel the way she did, it came down to the fact that it was a massive change for the dynamics of her business.  She felt she couldn’t say anything for fear of how it would be seen.

So when faced with such a situation, what can you do?   Here are three quick tips!

1)      When faced with a change (which sometimes manifests itself as some kind of feeling of jealousy or unease) – ask yourself what it is exactly that you have the challenge with. What is it that you’re feeling?

2)      What’s the benefit?  It’s easy to focus on the negatives of a situation, but remember the positives too.  As I said to my client, how about the new contacts she can make?  The new conversations?

3)      Talk about it:  Speak to someone you trust and know.  It’s important to speak to a sounding board.  I have been in the situation of change more times than I can remember.  You may be surprised at the experience around you.

So what happened with my client?   Well she sat down with her colleague and they worked it out.  The real issue was that then the colleague closed their business, she felt like they took away part of hers.   Always remember to have business plans and strategy to fill any gaps for essential services you offer.

On that point remember, that change happens all of the time, but never ever underestimate the power that your decisions can have on others.  Be aware, be courteous and be kind!

Have a great week.

Richard Cooper – Hold Everything

I don’t give a Hoot!

Something that always interests me about the business people I meet, is the approach that they have to their company and those around them.

Now, whether you believe in Karma or not, I personally see an unwritten code of conduct that businesses tend to follow. Examples of this include:

  • Acting with honesty and integrity
  • Treating fellow businesses with respect
  • Good manners
  • Assertiveness without aggressiveness.
  • Basic dignity and respect as a minimum.

All pretty standard? So one would think!

Increasingly I am seeing more and more business behaviour which has an edge to it that isn’t necessarily positive.

From non negotiation to nothing more than playground bullying and games. Not talking to each other (especially business partners) and even worse, taking issues to social media to air them in public are acts I see more and more regularly.

Clients usually come to us because they want a defined barrier between their home and business life. Who wouldn’t want this?

However when businesses start attacking each other and using online tactics to put each other down, what can you do?

Marie Coles – founder of Business Connections and all round social media superstar shares the following quick tips on how to handle the “playground antics”:

1) If it’s a business partner who is taking their issues to air with facebook/twitter etc, then arrange a face to face meeting. Consider a professional mediator. The cost of their services may save you a serious amount of money in the long run. Do NOT engage with any online debates or arguments. It will damage your reputation more.

2) If it’s a competitor or business relationship gone wrong, try your best to ignore them. Most of them go away in time. However if it’s blatant slander or reputation damage, seek legal or where necessary police advice.

3) Always remember that even bullying online is still bullying. Act assertively and protect your business but always remember good ethics and manners. Don’t be afraid of the “block” button on social media.

Marie x

These tips are extremely valuable. Are you involved in any arguments or issues? Are they really necessary and are you acting like a good business should? My tip for the week is to step back from your business for an hour. Look at it and walk around your premises if you have them. Ask yourself “am I facing the issues I need to” – because if as a business manager or owner the answer is no, then you need to look at all of the people affected by it. Making changes to your business, your staff and their responsibilities isn’t easy, but its much easier than losing good business contacts and staff because you don’t. Just be wise and know your allies as well as your enemies.

Until next time

Richard Cooper

I Google YOU!

So, you’ve made that first connection with a potential business supplier.  You have started to carve out a deal.  What next?  One thing that is used increasingly (yet is hugely under rated) is the Google search – or any online search for that matter!

Who are this company?

What is their reputation like?

Are they as good as they say?

What do their customers say about them?

On twitter, I have a follower who posts a number of blogs’ from Seth Godin. Here’s what he wrote on one of his blogs’.

A friend advertised on Craigslist for a housekeeper.
Three interesting resumes came to the top. She googled each person’s name.

The first search turned up a MySpace page. There was a picture of the applicant, drinking beer from a funnel. Under hobbies, the first entry was, “binge drinking.”

The second search turned up a personal blog (a good one, actually). The most recent entry said something like, “I am applying for some menial jobs that are below me, and I’m annoyed by it. I’ll certainly quit the minute I sell a few paintings.”

And the third? There were only six matches, and the sixth was from the local police department, indicating that the applicant had been arrested for shoplifting two years earlier.

Three for three.

Google never forgets

So when you Google YOU, what do you see?  Is it professional with a reputable email address and landline phone number?  Do you have a business address, which says, “I’m serious about business”? Or is it a home address or even worse a PO Box?    On the other hand, does your search bring up links to “those” pictures on facebook and twitter, which you thought, had been forgotten. The comments you made on the office party page (yes THAT office party!)   When did you last Google yourself and what does it look like?  If you haven’t then my tip for the week is DO SO.  If it’s not how you want other people to see you, then you can start to change it. That party or night out may have only been one night, but the imprint online can potentially last forever!

Have a brilliant week

Richard and the team @Hold Everything