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December, 06 2005

Why doesn't anyone listen?????

I know, I know. I have written on this subject before. But it's endless...
The auto mechanic, The Doctor, The Salesperson -- Men, Women -- Old and Young...The listening skill isn't there. AND IT'S SO FRUSTRATING. I assume that it has to be, in large part, my responsibility to communicate briefly, clearly and precisely. So I have been working on it. And yet, I find, time after time, with just a little checking that the receiver-person has decided to interpret my remarks to suit him/herself rather than take what I'm saying at face value. Here's an example. I called a health professional about two weeks ago and told him that I was really feeling poorly and could I come in. He had no available openings before I was to leave on a short trip and so I told him I would muddle through and see him when I got back. My initial words to him were: "I'm really in lousy shape." And then I described some of the symptoms. When I finally saw him last week, I reiterated how terrible I felt -- his remark was, "You didn't tell me how bad you felt." What am I missing here? He had a description of my ills plus I said I was in "lousy shape." But I shouldn't pick on him -- the car repairman went off on a tangent -- my tailpipe fell off...give me a break -- THAT's what I want fixed not some obscure related problem -- Give me the facts about that FIRST! I occasionally feel that I'm not really in the conversation with some of these folks -- Isn't it their duty to clarify with me by questioning me about my problem? Why are they thinking the whole time I'm talking. Most people don't find me boring And I'm not someone who confuses meaning by using a lot of useless words. NO...I work at stating the facts and asking others to communicate back...If you want to be a hero in your business, make sure you listen and make sure your client/customer and you are on the same page and make sure you deliver what you are paid to do. THAT's EXCEPTIONAL service. We should deliver no less each and every time. This may be my new crusade. JOIN me.

November, 28 2005

Where's my money?

Any time I hear the same question over and over, I think it needs to be addressed. Maybe because this is the end of the of the year or unusual economic forces have been in play, I have heard from a number of clients recently that they just aren't putting money in the banklike they thought they would. Either through Quickbooks or an Excel Spreadsheet or a sophisticated financial system if one is large enough, a small business owner needs to be aware not only of profit and loss each and every month but also must assess the enterprise's cash flow. Every business that I have ever encountered has a "down" period once in a while. What we want is to catch it when it begins and make corrections as soon as possible. That is only possible when you have an eye on the balance sheet. Many entrepreneurs have a "sixth" sense about this. I really have no problem with this because I believe that it is a skill like many others they employ. BUT! An entrepreneur, who ignores either advice or his intuition is bound to get into trouble. Some hints: Put an income statement review time on your calendar each and every month. Set your goals for new business or increased income HIGHER than you think you will need. Take a hard look at what is a profit center and what may be costing you too much in time, effort or materials. Watch for warning signs: your material costs are increasing, travel time has become longer/costlier and employee benefit costs may have risen beyond expectations (even if you are a sole proprietor.) It isn't enough for someone to tell you to pay attention -- systems must be put in place so that material needs are regularly considered. Then you won't ever ask, "Where's my money?"

November, 18 2005

Feeling Thankful

It's so weird how appreciation works -- I can FEEL thankful because I encountered a traffic-less drive to an appointment and got there on time and yet have difficulty FEELING thankful for some of the GREAT BIG blessings I have. I'm asking myself a lot this week -- "What's that about?" I have started writing gratitudes again each night. I figure I could use the practice. We have one day a year in which we officially give thanks and I know for sure that most people bring their thankfulness to their consciousness more often than that. I have decided that I still don't do it enough and so I'm using this season to recommit to being more consciously thankful. I intend to bring dimension to my thoughts -- see, hear, feel all of the wonderfulness that has come to me. I am creating pictures of the people in my mind -- not just writing down their names. I am playing movies of situations and opportunities that were pure magic at the time and for which I am profoundly indebted. To me, it's that important. I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, much richness and an abundance of joy at this holiday time -- IN HIGH DEFINITION, colorful, surround-sound dimension!

November, 11 2005

Show a little excitement!

You gotta have passion! No kidding. Someone once told me that the word enthusiasm meant God's Energy. That resonates with me. I remember as a small child gravitating toward certain adults and it was only much later that I realized that they were the ones that had something important to them and they were happy to share it with me -- it could have been a card game, or a sport, or a job. It didn't seem to matter what the source of their deep feelings was. And I think that's the point. If we really love it, we can share it. I once had a young woman work with me that shared my passion for helping small business owners. At times, we were unstoppable -- it didn't matter what obstacles we confronted, we were bound and determined to keep moving towards our goal. Circumstances moved her away, and I can tell you I missed her. It was that daily dose of excitement around our shared mission that left a void. When you leave, is there an emptiness? Stop for a second right now and think of someone who is passionate about a job -- or a relationship -- or an upcoming event. Can't you just feel the space around you change as you bring up the image? When certain individuals walk into a room, it seems to be brighter. Can you picture that? What brought the change? The purpose of this post is to ask you to become a beacon. What do you love the most? Embrace it and let your feelings expand as you think about it. Do you hold back? Let loose! You may have noticed a number of exclamation points in this paragraph -- that's on purpose. Add exclamation points to your life. If you think you are giving 100 per cent -- go for 150 per cent. Give more! Feel more! PASSION -- it's what makes stars in every field. It can come in quiet tones or it can be exuberant but it is always deep, heartfelt and true. Let it out and keep letting it out. It is the secret ingredient -- for what? -- For everything!

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