Devote Yourself to creating something that gives you purpose . . .

"So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning."

Tuesdays with Morrie, author Mitch Albom

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Free Webinar Today

The Correct Way to Set and, more Importantly, Maintain Vision and Goals

City: West Michigan Business Owners Webinar Series #3

date: Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Time: 11:00 AM Eastern


Click Here to Register: The Correct Way to Set and, more Importantly, Maintain Vision and Goals

REGISTER ON LINE When you first opened your company you were probably excited and nervous all at the same time. You did your due diligence of creating plans for your company envisioning where you would like the business to go. Over a small period of time you quickly found that the operational work put you into a conundrum which was balancing working IN the company and trying to" market it" in order to grow it. While working IN the company all of those plans and goals took less precedence as all of the "fires" took your vision away from the end goals. The vision now turned into getting through the next day and the goals became month to month sales. The ultimate vision was now a far off goal that you think of every once and again.

On Wednesday the 24th, our presentation will be to help business owners get back to the re-establishment (possibly even re-structuring) of their ultimate vision of the company, establishing goals to keep the vision at the forefront at all times, and set milestones to measure their success. We will give examples of how many companies consider their vision an impossible dream or a blurb on the wall and we will demonstrate how, if created and monitored in the correct ways, the vision serves as a guide for the entire company helping the company to work in unity towards the same purpose.

If you feel that your company is not being strongly guided towards your vision or that your vision isn't clear enough to those in the company, or yourself, then this webinar is for you. Be sure to tell others that you feel would greatly benefit from this webinar to attend and/or post it to your groups on linked in or feel free to tweet it. Our goal for this webinar is to share the information that we have obtained through working with many business owners and to stress the need for owners to define their vision and implement it throughout the company.

"Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe". Gail Devers.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Networking - the "Don't List"

On the third Thursday of the Month, a local group called "Businesses Helping Businesses" provides a free program in support of small business entrepreneurs. This month's topic was networking where we had two speakers, one focusing on face-to-face networking, and the other focused on social media. With permission, I am reprinting a list that was provided containing the "Don't of Networking".

Don't Act Desperate - people prefer to associate with successful people. If they think you are desperate, they will avoid you like the plague.

Don't Sell - Never enter into any networking situation with the intention of selling. Networking is not sales; its relationship building.

Don't Monopolize - Respect the value and short supply of other people's time. Appreciate that your contacts are also attending to meet people and build relationships.

Don't Ask too Soon - Avoid asking for help until you've developed a relationship with your contact.

Don't Solicit Competitors - Don't ask for or expect help from those who are in direct competition with you. Be realistic.

Don't Show Off or Brag - Nobody likes braggarts and blowhards, except their mothers, and even that isn't always so.

Don't Interrupt - It's rude and turns everyone off. It tells people that you think that what you have to say is more important than what they have to say.

Don't Just Talk About You - Besides irritating others, you won't learn anything by talking only about yourself.

Don't Play it By Ear - Anticipate and be prepared. Have a killer 15-second "elevator speech" prepared to deliver along with the follow-up information that they might request.

Don't Misrepresent You - The purpose of networking is to build long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships. If you pretend to be what you are not, sooner or later you will be caught.

Don't Promise What You Can't Deliver and Don't Pry - Be clear about information you need, but don't ask questions about areas that seem confidential.

Don't Linger with Losers and "Hangers-On" - Your time is valuable and if you let them, some people will take as much of it as you allow. They latch onto you, try to take whatever they can get that could help them and are hard to shake.

Don't Over-Extend - Select a few prime targets that you think you can realistically reach and put them on your "A" List. Be realistic; concentrate your utmost efforts on a few worthy targets, and place the rest on your "B" List. (All of your fellow group members should be on your "A" List. These are the people who will see you. Your meeting should be the most important appointment for the week.)

Don't Be Discouraged - Most good things take time, patience, and work. When you try to build relationships, you are attempting to become a part of someone’s life and many desirable people won't let you right in.

Source:  Networking Magic" - provided by Pamela Blake, Grand Haven Chamber of Commerce

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How to Focus on Personal Success

Recently I was reading the book "When Money Isn't Enough:  How Women are Finding the Soul for Sucess" written by Connie Glaser.  In this book Connie tells of relevant stories where women learned to redefine their business success not by staying the course, but my expanding themselves beyond what they previous knew. 

A story about Debra Esparza talked she was voted "Most Likely to Succeed" by her high school classmates, and then shortly after her ten year reunion she realized that she had been living up to other expectations of her, rather than forging her own sense of what she would like to accomplish in life.  When the money she earned produced less satisfaction by the things it would buy, she decided it was time to re-evaluate her direction.

If any of you have asked "what am I here for?" or "what difference does my life make on those around me?", it might be time to re-evaluate your direction too. 

Esparza found her niche first by helping kids in a Young Entrepreneurs program helping kids form their own small businesses (similar to Junior Achievement, but probably more on an individual basis.)  As time went on she found herself working less with children, but more with small business entrepeneurs and the mission grew to help businesses grow and prosper.  This resulted in the development of the Business Expansion Network at USC in 1991.  From this basis, Esparza again refocused her energies and decided that working with kids had more of her heart and after being instrumental in building a program at USC, she returned to her passion to help kids.

Just because you head in one direction doesn't mean you have to remain the course.  Listen to your heart, listen to your calling, and respond to what is best for you.  This is the way to become a true success!

If you've written a business plan for your business endeavors, please read this informational article from Debra Esparza to see if you have developed a plan that focuses on all aspects of your business, not just the financial side.