Tag: Business Growth

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Why Is Business Networking Confusing?

Business networking like social media, means so many different things to so many different people and because of this, there is a lot of confusion in the marketplace about what it is, what it is used for, and how effective it can be.

I can understand when people use the term “networking”, and they put a great deal of emphasis on coffee catch ups, social networking, getting together for drinks etc…

But when you confuse this with “Business Networking” then it can create a problem because expectations can be very different.

In the last few months I have had the privilege of engaging with 273 people and asking them all a very simple question.

That question was:

“What is your understanding of business networking?”

Interestingly, there is no wrong answer to this question, however, in my opinion, only two people actually nailed the most appropriate answer to the question.

Many people said it was to make connections, to make a sales pitch, to build relationships, to build my database and so on… each of these are a valuable perception.

As I stated earlier, there is no wrong answer!

Two people on the other hand categorically stated that business networking was a system.

 

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You see… they understood that “networking” isn’t a verb… ie. “I’m going networking!”

They understood that “networking” in a noun… that describes a process… ie. “I’m going out to network.”

A system that is not just valuable in business, but needs to be used by everyone, in everyday life, in every situation where we connect and communicate with others.

In fact, everything we do with other people is the process of networking… building relationships.

Most people don’t actually understand the real importance of “networking” in their lives, and they are never taught the fundamentals of developing an effective networking system that will help them build good quality relationships with people.

The system has a number of components, the first of which is actually getting an understanding of why we network and why it is so important in our lives.

Remember – every time you connect with somebody… you are starting an amazing relationship journey… enjoy.

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What Can You Achieve?

“It’s not just what’s inside you, it’s what you do that defines you!”

I heard this phrase recently, and it made me think quite a bit about how we do or avoid things.

When I first heard this phrase I thought, “That can’t be right, what we are inside makes a huge difference… our passion, our love, our values”, I recently thought this phrase was so wrong…

Then I started thinking, and soon other phrases start to pop into my head that actually supported this statement on so many levels. For example:

“All it takes for evil to flourish, is for good men to do nothing.”

A more contemporary phrase is, “Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk!”

And from the book ‘Magic Kingdom’ – “What you do thunders above your head is so loudly, I cannot hear a word you say.”

 

I started to realise that you can have all the passion and intent in the world, none of that really matters until you put it into action. Not activity… which is just doing stuff, but action – on purpose, which creates results that impact on yours and others reality.

Too many of us hold back, spending time learning about ourselves, our world, the universe, without realising that knowledge without purpose… active purpose, is as fruitless as no knowledge at all.

The greatest inspirations in history were men and women of action, some of that action was spectacular, for example, creating atomic fusion, exploring outer and inner space. Some of it has been sublimely subtle, like helping lepers in India, but action, it is nonetheless…

So back to the statement, ‘If what we do, defines us’, then we really need to look at how we do what we need do.

How do we move through the world, to make it a better place, not just for us, but for others? What is our purpose in life? Why are we here? What do we need to do to make us better people? Who do we need to connect with to fulfil our lives? Where do we start to achieve what we want to achieve?

These are pretty amazing questions, and each and every one of us is going to answer them in a very, very different way.

 

For my part, I would like to make a suggestion. It is only a suggestion because I feel that this may be valuable for me, and hopefully, it could be valuable to you, if for no other reason than to give you an idea to set you on your own path.

When I quit smoking, what helped me was to have a small daily goal. Now I know the word goal has a lot of different connotations for different people, however, I use the word goal in its broadest sense. My small daily goal was very simple, it was to ‘not light a cigarette… today’. When I got to tomorrow, my goal was to ‘not light a cigarette… today!’

I kept this up, until I had actually quit smoking.

If we select any goal, whether it is to quit smoking, or to lose weight or to learn public speaking or to simply learn how to make scrambled eggs, when we follow a simple daily goal, we will be able to achieve what we set out to achieve, taking action, real action. This daily goal needs to be simple and achievable, and something you can focus on every single day without too much difficulty.

By achieving our goals, one day at a time, our results start to define us in a very real way. So, as I challenge myself, I challenge you, to find out what it is you want to achieve, set a small daily goal, and move forward in your life, one day, one moment at a time.

I look forward to hearing about your successes, as you define yourself, and as you change your reality around you.

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A system – WHY?

Is Systemising a Business a Waste of Time?

We hear about systems ALL the time, yet for some reason, businesses fail to grasp the intrinsic importance of a good business system and continue to ignore the necessity of implementing even the most basic systems to their businesses.

 

Here are four points that I believe need to be considered and understood when thinking, talking about, designing or implementing a system.

1. Businesses need to learn that systems are about different processes within the operation of your business… they are not rules or policies or regulations that everyone in the business must follow (although some or all of these things could be part of your system).

Every business will need different systems for different processes within their operation.

For example… there needs to be a system for dealing with and entering receipts throughout the organisation on all expenditure that is generated by all relevant staff, I mean really… they are spending the company’s money after all.

If there is no system in place then anyone at any time can spend anything and before too long the company will have no money or worse find themselves in debt because they haven’t controlled their cash flow, their debts and their receipts.

As obvious as it sounds, a simple bookkeeping system is needed by ALL businesses to ensure that there is money in the bank and that the business is not operating insolvently. Yet many businesses do not have such a system in place.

 

 

2. Businesses need to plan for the systems they need… and the processes that they have.

As you can see bookkeeping is simply one system within an organisation, most businesses will need a system with regards to customer engagement, marketing, sales processes and product or service delivery, just to name a few.

As a person in business, you may need to start looking at your business as a process from beginning to end, and look at the different sections of your business that flow one into each other.

Once you are able to identify the flow of your business, then the processes will be a lot easier to identify and then you can engage professional to help to create the necessary systems you may need to simplify your operations.

 

3. Don’t leave your systems gathering dust.

One of the biggest challenges with most businesses is that even though they take the time to work out how their business flows and then they invest the time and the money in creating the appropriate systems, once the manuals are written they seem to sit on a shelf gathering dust.

I can admit this now, but once I was one of the biggest anti-system people in the business world. I played with systems, I saw organisations with systems and I even created a few in my time.

But I never applied them to my own endeavours and ended up wasting enormous amounts of time, energy AND money that should have been applied… or been invested in worthwhile systems… that could have been used to create greater efficiencies in time and energy.

Today… I leave the system design and implementation to others who are better equipped for it (some of my business associates for example). However, I now use these systems, because as I have discovered painfully… systems… good simple and effective systems, actually set a business person free to do what they do best.

They are quite simple to design and implement (by the right person)… but implement them one at a time… do not try to implement all your systems at the same time, this is a recipe for disaster.

REMEMBER, systems set you free, implement them one at a time and you will have created a successful business.

 

4. Kaizen (改善), Japanese for “improvement” or “change for the best”.

Kaizen was a development by the Japanese after William Edwards Deming who was an American statistician, professor, author, lecturer, and consultant set Japan on the path to industrial super stardom after the Second World War.

Where your business systems are concerned, you need to have at least an understand the basics of kaizen… making small improvements on an ongoing basis.

No system is perfect!

The systems you create today will need to be constantly tested, measured and improved on as your business grows and develops in its size and complexity.

If you check your systems on a regular basis you will find that making small, important improvements will be very easy as you have already created a culture using them within your organisation (the McDonald’s brothers and their kitchen designs, which were constantly tested and improved upon, revolutionised the fast food industry).

 

These are just four (4) simple steps to help you on your way to thinking of systems in a positive and engaging manner.

There is so much more you can learn and read… and you should… once you recognise the importance of systems in your business.

 

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Can You Free Your Passion To Build A Business?

I’d like you to stop for a moment, take a deep breath and cast your mind back to when you were a child….

Pick a time when you had a favourite toy you played with all the time.

I mean ALL the time… you know the one… you always took it with you… the one your parents thought you were obsessed with… the one that allowed your imagination to really flow.

Hold that thought… more importantly, hold that FEELING!

Now come back to us… here to the present. I’d like you to think of something, anything that ignites that same feeling in you today.

You might be thinking… “Where is this going?”

Well, there is a comic strip called ‘Calvin and Hobbes ‘, about a young boy, Calvin, and his toy tiger Hobbes, who is also his imaginary friend. In one of the comic strip episodes, Calvin’s father says, “Go and do something you hate – being miserable builds character!”

Interestingly, I see a lot of people character building and not getting anywhere.

People forget that what created joy and passion in their lives as children can also create joy and passion in ourselves as adults. We spend so much time being miserable in our work life. We forget to really have fun, and look to see if we can rekindle that feeling. To make our lives better, and possibly create a business opportunity as well.

Most people also forget that, it is actually possible to make money, create a new career, improve your life and lifestyle by actually doing what you love.

It might just be time to rekindle your passion and rediscover what you love to do, then you can harness this passion into a new direction for yourself.

 

 

Now back to that feeling you had earlier.

Start to feel it again and see if you can match it to an activity you really enjoy doing. It doesn’t matter what that activity is. You can make a business or career out of almost anything these days. Don’t believe me? Just check out the Internet, you will be surprised to learn that there are probably people already creating a business and making money from what you love to do.

Now it’s your turn.

If you are truly passionate about your idea, then take some quiet time and really start thinking about what you can do with it. You’ll be surprised that you’ll be able to come up with a range of ideas and concepts that you can turn into a business.

Once you’ve narrowed your focus, look for someone to mentor you, someone who can help you take this idea and make it into something substantial and significant.

Truly, ask yourself if you’re happy with your life, and is it going exactly where you want it to. In most cases, the answer is no!

So if you are looking for a change and to change, then perhaps this is the time to free your passion and create a business, a future, you can be inspired by and enjoy.

 

“You know you’re on the road to success, if you would do your job and not be paid for it.” – Oprah Winfrey.