26 May

Work, love it or hate it?

Why is it that when you hear the word “work” your reaction is either “oh crap, I have to work” or “Yay, off to work I go!” ?

Why is there such a disparity?

Is it perhaps that there is a negative stigma attached to the concept of “work”?  Before we have even started we feel as though there is a heavy weight that has been placed on our shoulders and we transform, from relatively rational human beings, into depressed zombies. (Yes, a little bit dramatic, but you get my point?)

If it isn’t a negative stigma, is it perhaps how you feel about the work that you do?  Do you do what you love?

If you love your work, then you can conceivably escape the above mentioned zombie transformation. But, if you don’t love what you do and rely on external motivators to create that “happy place”  in your workplace, then things could get pretty miserable.

So, how can you turn it all around? Perhaps start off  with reflecting on the following questions.

1) What was the original reason for taking the job?

2) How are you benefiting from this job?

3) Is this job a stepping stone to a brighter future?

4) What is it about this job that truly motivates you?

5)  Does this job align itself to your personal values?

6)  Is this job consistent with your beliefs about yourself and your abilities?

7) If a change is required, what one critical step can you take today that will move you forwards in the change process?

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs

 

 

 

 

19 May

Stop bothering me. I’m trying to market my business!

One of the biggest goals within any business is to increase customer acquisition and retention. Right? Right. You just need to walk out your front door or simply open your eyes and you are bombarded with advertisements. From burgers to beauty products everyone’s product and service is a hundred times better than the next guys.

So, while the marketing experts are brainstorming strategies, trying to work miracles and business is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing communication to achieve these goals, what is actually happening at ground level inside the business?

Have you considered the following?

There is a constant flow of people interacting with your business at any given time. Delivery people, people applying for jobs, external services companies, general enquires, the list goes on. On a day-to-day basis how do your employees  interact with these people? What impression do these people leave with when exiting your business?

Do you and your employees see these people as potential customers? They might not fit your customer profile or demographics, but does that and should that affect how you and your employees treat them?

Is it policy  to treat every person interacting with your business with respect? What does that look like? Here are a few thoughts…

  • Are all calls, emails and messages returned promptly? Say, within 48 hours?
  • Are visitors greeted when they enter the business? Not just by the person meeting them, but by any employee coming into contact with them?
  • Are  the “behind the scenes” employees who are not working directly with the customer aware of their customer service role? Or do they believe they are exempt from this responsibility?
  • Are your employees aware that they represent your business in everything they do?

Can you confidently answer yes to the above  questions? If not, perhaps you need to rethink your strategy.

I do not claim to be a super marketing guru nor do I want to be one. But I am a member of the public. I see the reality, sadly more often than not. How the glitzy, flash and very expensive marketing messages can be destroyed in an instant by one careless act.

These non-customers may not buy from you now, but how you treat them now will affect their purchasing decisions and recommendations into the future. People talk to people. People buy from people they like. Simple.

12 May

Are you a people pleaser?

Are you a people pleaser? Do you say “Yes, no problem” when someone asks you to do something,  but in your head you are screaming “NO!”

For some people this is the story of their lives. They spend so much time chasing the clock  trying to complete other people’s urgent tasks, which aren’t important and never get to their own truly important tasks.

With this in mind I have been reviewing Eisenhower’s Important and Urgent Principle.  How this principle is explained is that once you have selected and completed  important activities they generally lead to personal goal achievement. This makes complete sense and seems so simple, but why is it so hard to get started on the important tasks? On the other hand urgent activities are usual associated with completing other people’s goals. So why do so many people complete other people’s urgent tasks before tackling their own important ones?

Why do people fall into the people pleaser category? Do they feel guilty or pressurised? Do they just say “yes” to avoid a confrontation?

The following questions will help you to consciously choose which tasks you will complete:

1) Why am I performing this task?

In other words, “What am I getting out of performing this task?” If the answer is a positive one such as “I get pleasure out of helping someone” , or if completing this task is going to benefit you in some direct or indirect way, then go for it.

If the answer to this question provokes thoughts  such as “I am carrying out this task to keep the peace” or ” I want to avoid confrontation because I want people to like me”  then you need to continue answering  the next set of questions.

2) What am I compromising?

By completing this urgent task what are you losing? Time? An opportunity to complete your own goals?  Are you compromising your own value system or your voice?

3) How can I change my situation to ensure my important tasks are done first?

If you are constantly operating in the people pleaser mode and are not happy with it, the following tips may help to change your behaviour…

  • Firstly, learn how to distinguish between important and urgent tasks. As everything on your to-do list is definitely not all important and urgent. This  will help you to prioritise your tasks. (click on this link to an easy to follow template, which will help you to prioritise your tasks)
  • Secondly, learn how to say “NO” respectfully and practise saying “NO”. By saying “no” to others you are saying “yes” to yourself. Putting yourself first is key.
  • And lastly, have a few answers ready so when someone does approach you with an urgent unimportant task, you are confident  in your answer.

“Sorry, I cannot help you at the moment. I am busy working on another project”

“I cannot help you right now, but I can look at my diary and see when I can fit it in”

If you are a serial people pleaser it will feel awkward in the beginning, but persevere as you are only investing in yourself by saying “NO”.

05 May

Are you preventing yourself from succeeding?

We have the capacity to dream big and create amazing worlds in our minds, where we are happy, successful and life is wonderful! So why do these amazing dreams remain just dreams for some of us?

One of the biggest reasons I find is that people become their own worst enemy and procrastinate. The skilful art of putting important stuff off and replacing  precious time with miscellaneous rubbish!

So why do people procrastinate?

People procrastinate for many reasons, the one reason that I see appearing over and over again is the fear of failure.

So, if you are fearing the worst and have decided to go with the safer option of sticking it out in your comfort zone and thinking better the devil you know, then just think about this.

What would you do if you knew you could not fail? Try using the Disney Creativity Strategy to guide you through this exercise. Think and picture what your success would look like without being the critic. Yes, you don’t get to ruin your success before you have gotten out of the starting gates! Once you have created this amazing successful visual, change hats and become the realist.  A  realist only thinks about how the dream can be achieved. Remember to resist the urge to criticise  and think like a realist. There are only ways of succeeding, not failing. For some of us this is a hard pill to swallow as we are serial critics, but humour yourself and give it a try.

As Jim Carrey so wisely stated in his 2014 commencement address at Maharishi University “You can fail at something you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance doing what you love.” 

Step out of  your comfort zone. Dream big and get comfortable  playing the realist role as opposed to the critic role, you might just like it.

Why be your own worst enemy? Why stop yourself from succeeding?