Posts Tagged ‘Productivity

01
Sep
10

Patience Pays

 

Originally uploaded by jaboopee

Patience pays, wait, let the hand of God work for you, and all good things will reach you ~Yogi Bhajan

Fundamentally, planning is about creating the steps between a current situation and a chosen future.  Steps are taken –containers / structures are created i.e. a spider spins a web, an entrepreneur writes a business plan.  Often, frustration occurs when as soon as the structure is designed, we continue to expect specific linear results and become lost and identified with goals and the container itself. How can we relax when our structure demands that there are customers to capture, products to be sold, and bills to be paid?

One option is to be patient, trust ourselves, and relax anyway. When we are patient, we can pay deep attention, remember who we are, adjust accordingly, and allow all good things to reach us.

On a recent trip to Bastrop State Park near Austin, my husband and I stayed in a cabin in the woods. On the back porch was a picnic table set in tight quarters on cement with waist high stone walls. Four mornings in a row I walked thru the area to do my yoga by the water. Every morning there was a spider web spun from the same side of the bench to the same stone wall. Every morning I walked on the other side of the bench, so a not to disturb the web. When I was done with yoga, the web was gone. The spider seemingly made adjustment for visitors! (OK, maybe it just closed down shop at daybreak). I imagined her setting up shop sometime in the middle of the night, patiently waiting to receive – basking in the moonlight -never expending an ounce of energy more then she needed to, including any mind games about why she has to deal with people in the morning.

Evolving business practices proactively interweave attention, action, and adjustment.  Patience is a practice of deep attention and is access to balancing allowing and receiving. A practice that pays to the bottom-line and beyond.

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16
Jul
10

How to Deal with Overwhelm


The recent ProBlogger Blog Post by Darren Rowse, about how to get things done when you’re dealing with overwhelm, caught my eye.

Right now I am feeling a little overwhelmed with my business and I can’t think of one client I have worked with that has not experienced overwhelm at some point with their business or leadership role. Even when it is all good e.g. new projects, new clients, new offers –there is a darkness to overwhelm that can sometimes be paralyzing.

Here are the 4 ProBlogger tips integrated with a few thoughts of my own:

1. Focus upon the things you can control Don’t spend time worrying about factors you have little or no control over –focus on the things you can control.

2. Break it down into bite-size tasks Identify what smaller tasks need to be achieved to get the larger vision or project accomplished, then create a timeline with the tasks that you can check off as you go. Sometimes, just the act of organizing what it is you need to do can be a great relief.

3. Talk to others Don’t wallow in desperation and fear of what needs to be accomplished. Verbalize to others what you are feeling and consider collaborations so you don’t feel alone. Remember that talking to others includes prayer and meditation i.e. communicating with a source greater than yourself.

4. Start There comes a time when you just need to roll up your sleeves and start –the hardest part is often taking the first step. Avoid busy-work and be honest with yourself when are doing something that is simply a distraction.

Most importantlythink of your business or project as the river you have invited to flow into your life. The most important thing you can do is to breath, relax, and float –focus on navigating the water and you won’t get caught on the dark rocks of overwhelm.

To read the full ProBlogger Post and/or subscribe to ProBlogger Blog Tips

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15
Jun
10

The Principle of Wheat

Running a business is a creative process at every phase. There is never a point in any business where every single detail is known. Creating a business plan is about designing a strong framework in which the business can operate, while at same time allowing enough flexibility for conscious observation and spirit-filled revision.

Once a plan is produced, it is a given that weeds of error, such as faulty observation, old habits of thought, and so on will sprout just as quickly as seeds of wisdom and foresight. Remember the parable in the Gospel according to St. Matthew concerning the wheat and the tares? It is a story of the successful application of revision:

So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, ‘Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in they field? From whence then hath it tares?’ He said unto them; ‘An enemy hath done this.’ The servants said unto him, ‘Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?’

“But he said, ‘Nay, lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root out also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, gather first the tares, and bind them into bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”

Based on my studying the lessons of B.O.T.A., my understanding is the principle of wheat is about accepting with love and compassion everything that shows up once a plan or project is set in motion. It is about being 100% revision-responsible without pouting, blame or revenge — this is the true power of the principle of wheat.

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12
Apr
10

6 Strategies for Making More Money in Less Time

 


Renewable Energy Sculpture in front of Houston Public Library

Originally uploaded by ANVAR – SO BUSY RUSSIANTEXAN ©

Laura West, host of the Joyful Business Blog recently wrote about packaging your services in a way that enhances your energy.  I call this R.O.E. = Return On Energy. I have changed Laura’s post up a tiny bit, but here it is mostly word-for-word –an inspiring read if you don’t want to feel depleted “holding-up” your business…..

One of the most important intentions in your business, even in a passion-based business like yours, is to make a profit. Yes! ~you do want to make money while making the world a better place by contributing your magical gifts. In order to keep contributing and changing the world in your unique way through helping your clients, you need to also be financially successful. Your gift, in the form of products and services, is the seed, your business plan the tree, and financial success a must-have-fruit!

The thing is, this must-have-fruit, should not come with an unjust price of draining your energy in any way, shape, or form –ever. You want to create energy-enhancing business models! There are ways of serving a variety of client needs while serving your need to develop a financially sustainable and flourishing business – all without depleting yourself physically, spiritually and energetically.

One thing you can do is to look at how you can bring your creativity into your pricing and services so that you make more money and give more value with out taking so much of your time that it starts to drain your energy. Here are six ways to create packages for your services, products, experience and knowledge so that you can joyfully serve more clients in less time and make more money doing it!

Strategy #1: Offer Options with Your Time
The idea here is to offer three ways a client can work with you – a small investment option, medium option, and top of the line option. Clients love choice. If you tell them that you have one price or one package, they will often not take it because the question becomes “Do you want this service? Yes or No?” With three options, the clients have a choice. The question becomes “Which one would you like?” This is a totally different question which will lead you to more clients. You’ll also be surprised at how many people will take the top of the line or premium option. This is a great way of stretching into new pricing options that might have been higher than you were used to charging.

Strategy #2: Package Your Process
Potential clients like to know that you have a process. It helps them to know what to expect from you so they can get their arms around the commitment. Most of all, it gives them confidence in you. When you share that you have a process, they trust that you know what you are doing. Funny thing is…they don’t really care about what your process is – they really care about the results for them. They just want to know that you have a system for what they are going through. For example, you may offer a six-hour package where you take them through five steps that will change their life or business. Or you may have a 90-day program or a four-week series. When you package your process, you will get more and better results from your clients as well. It creates a win-win. Your clients get more value and better results – and you get clients with amazing results – which feels great!

Strategy #3: Create Products From Your Process
Have you determined your five-step process? Now is a great time to put it into a workbook, an e-course or create an audio series. Some people may want to just buy the product and apply the principles or tools themselves. You’ll be surprised by how many people will buy the product and still want your help in taking them through the work. They need the accountability and partnership for success!

Strategy #4 Create A Membership Program
You attract people to your services who are at different places in their buying process. Many people want just a taste of what you have to offer. Maybe they are new business owners and aren’t quite ready to invest in an entire package with you, or they are just new to your services and want to experience more before they invest in a full program. Offering a membership program is a way of creating a community of these similar clients and giving them a taste of what you offer. You’ve seen examples of free membership clubs like Starbucks, an Amazon Prime Account, or airline frequent flyer mileage programs. Then there’s the small fee membership club that for $24, $47 or $97 a month they can join your membership club and get access to certain services. For example, you could offer a group teleseminar and then mail the audio CD and transcript to them each month. It’s a great way to get them in a relationship with you and usually once people experience your magic – they are going to want to upgrade and they’ll want more from you.

Strategy #5: Offer a Continuity Program
A continuity program is typically a long-term relationship where clients consistently get to work with you in a variety of ways. It’s often offered over a year. You can package together products, ebooks, audios, teleclasses, transcripts, online forums and even in person retreats to create a program throughout the year.

Strategy #6: Premium Programs or Platinum Style Programs
Look around you and you’ll start to notice how often the word “Platinum” shows up to describe an upscale or premium offering. Delta Airlines and their Platinum program comes to mind for mega flyers. A premium or platinum style program is ideal when you are ready to scale back your hourly work and create a premium program (with a premium price tag) for more one-on-one work, special retreats, or small group coaching. There are some of your clients who are ready for this type of intense work. The greatest reward is that the type of clients who come into this program are usually very committed to their success. Again, it’s creating a win-win program. They get flourish with big results, and you see the impact of your work! Every time a client commits to this type of program with me, just the power of this big commitment within themselves creates a jump in their business, new clients, a big PR opportunity or other major success.

What ideas has this post sparked in you for your business? Pay attention to your inspired energy. That’s where you want to start. Don’t try to do all these ideas at one time. Pick one idea and focus on it for the next 90 days. Clear, focused energy is powerful creation energy! Post in original format

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11
Feb
10

Strategic Social Media Portals

 


Tunnel to Infinity

Originally uploaded by fluxxus1

Last week I went to the new Barnes & Noble in Houston with my husband.  As we turned onto West Gray we wondered if this B&N would have a Starbucks in it like most B&N’s given that there are already two Starbucks across the street from each other at this particular end-of-the-world. The corner of West Gray and Shepherd is a triple threat – there are now three Starbucks less than a block’s distance from each other – interesting strategy.

Speaking of strategy……I went to B&N looking for a book on Social Media that focused on integrating social media into a business plan strategy.  It was the right day to go – the very helpful sales associate was in the process of creating a special display for all things Social Media.  While I sipped my triple, vanilla Cappuccino (I can’t help it) he shared the list of books planned for display – over 50 titles.  I chose The Social Media Bible because not only did it give a great overview – it had a strategy focus plus information on metrics – perfect!

Because here’s the thing – there are so many avenues (portals) of Social Media that unless you target and measure the mix that gives you 1-a decent R.O.I. and R.O.E. (Return on Your Energy) 2-a projection of your particular business vision into the world and 3-happiness –you could get really, really frustrated.

As a famous yogi once said ~ We come from Infinity into finite to prove ourselves through the projected purity of our actions, and anyone who knows this point of purity and projection shall always be prosperous ~ Yogi Bhajan

Considering the strategic point of purity and projection in Social Media is an interesting inquiry (and one that I am in myself).  My next post will be a quick overview of the components of a decent Social Media Strategy and a few Social Media Marketing Best Practices.  In the meantime, remember this: Social Media provides portals into unique subsets of an infinite universe – choose a finite number of portals wisely.

Speaking of infinity……my husband I were wondering, can an infinite number of Starbucks fit into one city block?

Here is a great video on Social Media R.O.I.  — it points out the potential for high R.O.I. as well as the cost of doing nothing.  There is somewhat of a mixed message with statements leading to R.O.I. not being important — the missing link is strategy, but the video remains an inspiring message.

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06
Feb
10

Social Media Toes in the Water

 


Toes in the Water

Originally uploaded by martha.harmon

Social Media is defined as activities, practices, and behaviors among communities of people who gather online to share information, knowledge, and opinions using conversational media*. There has always been a strong relationship between traditional media and business, but the new Social Media realm can occur as disruptive –a sink or swim proposition. The fact that the “which” and the “how” of a strategic approach has no commonplace baseline can be overwhelming and frustrating –at the same time there is a beauty in the vastness and budding nature of Social Media that provides a perfect scenario for creativity on a level playing field.

There are an emergent set of commonplace media portals (activities) that entrepreneurs and businesses are exploring —FLYT activities (Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter) are a “toe in the water” approach to the boundless ocean of Social Media possibilities. Easy to set-up and explore, FLYT provides the confidence to determine the next steps in a smart Social Media Strategy.

From a business perspective, Social Media is about enabling or empowering conversations – it is also about how this conversation can be prompted, promoted, and monetized*. As Shelley Roth, owner of Springboard Works states “Customers, investors, employees, critics, and fans are participating in a complex, organic online conversation that is quickly making traditional business communications obsolete” –here she defines FLYT activities:

Facebook is used by 350 million people and provides a mini website for your business where you can share photos, video, and messages within a social framework. This platform is about community. This powerful and free relationship tool signs up 600,000 new users every day.

LinkedIn connects 50 million professionals representing every company on the Fortune 500. Online profiles build credibility by articulating your value proposition, conveying information about your people and organization, and displaying your credentials. Fifty percent of participants are decision makers; eighty percent are college graduates and the average age is 41. You can join groups and communicate with a laser focus on your target market.

YouTube boasts one billion views per day, and is second only to Google as a search engine.

Twitter is a microblog that people use to follow their friends, and companies use to market their product or service. Tweets are limited to 140 characters, about one sentence. People use Twitter to follow friends, and companies use it to promote their product or services by sharing new information and helpful links and building credibility. Perception of Twitter has evolved from a fun indulgence to a key communication tool with the power to impact global politics.

So, get started, share the love, apply Social Media Best Practices (Communication, Collaboration, Education, Entertainment) and you are well on your way to gracefully navigating the Social Media Ocean.

* The Social Media Bible

See schedule of Springboard Works public workshops in Houston on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter –use code RUBY for a $10 discount when you sign up!

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03
Nov
09

The R.O.I. of Coaching, Consulting & Training


Inte ma3e ybga il zman kilah i7san

Originally uploaded by N S R

If any seemingly “intangible service or program” that you are offering or purchasing promises an increase in productivity, customer service, product quality, sales or the like– measure it. If the service or program cannot promise results linked to business performance, reconsider it.

It is important to expose any fantasy related to the application of services such as coaching, consulting, and training.  Clearing out  delusions and examining motivation, supports accountability for both buyer and seller  — ensuring inspirational and truly powerful results.

All programs should produce a demonstrable increase in business performance that exceeds the cost of the program (Results – Cost)/Results = Return on Investment (R.O.I.).

Before the program begins, obtain a baseline number of the performance measures (e.g. productivity, customer satisfaction, employee retention, product quality, or sales). Only track a measure that is clearly linked to the overall success or profitability of the business.

Convert information such as customer and employee satisfaction scores into a dollar amount. Similarly, cost of the program can be translated into a “score.” The goal is to have two like numbers to use in the R.O.I. formula.

Determine how often the measure will be revisited. Immediately following the program and quarterly or semi-annually checkpoints are typically good.

Share and discuss the results to keep the door open for further inquiry into how the program can impact the performance measure.  Maintain effectiveness as the measure of truth.

Considering only the cost of a program is like a viticulturist paying more attention to the bottle than to the wine. When measurable results are integrated into program implementation, the delivery of substance over form is ensured.

This post is a retread of an article written under my non-pen name, Brenda Rarey ~ co-authored with Diana Petrochelli ~ published in the Houston Business Journal.




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