Education

Protect Your Non-Work Time

Protect Your Non-Work Time

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
Some jobs have very clear lines between when you’re “on” and when you’re “off.” But when you work in a role where the lines are blurred — or potentially nonexistent — it’s important to protect your non-work time. If you feel like work is taking over most of your waking hours, start by clearly defining what “after hours” means for you. Take into account the number of hours you’re expected to work each week, as well as personal commitments like taking your kids to school, making a certain train, or attending an exercise class you really enjoy. When do you need to start and stop to put in the appropriate amount of work time? Then, develop mental clarity about what needs to get done and when you will do it.…
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Don’t Let “Perfect” Be the Enemy of “Good”

Don’t Let “Perfect” Be the Enemy of “Good”

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
We should all strive to do our best, but if you always aim for perfection, you may blow deadlines, annoy your colleagues, and miss out on opportunities. Instead of never being satisfied with “good enough,” talk to others about their standards. What does a good job look like to your boss, peer, or client? Seek their feedback on expected results, costs, and timelines rather than trying to meet your extremely high standards. Then check in regularly with these colleagues. Don’t wait until you think the project is finished, build in checkpoints where you share your progress at 50% or 80% done. Your boss or client just might tell you that the work is good enough at that point. You can also try small experiments where you relax your standards slightly.…
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If You Can’t Name Your Company, You’re In The Wrong Business

If You Can’t Name Your Company, You’re In The Wrong Business

Attitude and Mindset, Communication, Featured
Often I meet someone at a networking event who tells me they are a consultant. I follow up by asking what kind of consultant. They will toss around all kinds of buzzwords. They won't say what company they work for. They are vague about what they actually do. Finally, they will state that they work for a network marketing company. There isn't anything wrong with working for a network marketing company per se. Many of them offer excellent products at good prices. If you are too embarrassed to say you are selling their products, or worse, if your focus is on getting other people to sell rather than selling the products yourself, you are in the wrong business. There is nothing wrong with sales. Most of us, in one form…
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How To Encourage Participation During Virtual Meetings

How To Encourage Participation During Virtual Meetings

Communication, Featured
It’s hard to get people to pay attention in meetings when everyone’s in the same room — let alone if they’re all calling in from home. How can you get people to actually participate in a virtual meeting? The key is to create structured opportunities for attendees to engage. Do something in the first 60 seconds to help participants experience the problem you want them to solve. For example, you might share statistics or anecdotes that dramatize the topic. Then assign people to groups of two or three and give them a very limited time frame to take on a highly structured and brief task. Be sure to give them a medium with which to communicate, like a Slack channel. If you’re on a virtual meeting platform that allows for…
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Don’t Operate Out Of Fear

Don’t Operate Out Of Fear

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
Whether it is fear of failure, fear of a virus, or just general fear, the worst thing you can do for your business or yourself is to operate from a place of fear. No one has ever succeeded by giving in to fear. While it can be easy to get caught up in the anxiety of failing or making mistakes, operating your business in a constant state of fear could be the reason your business is unsuccessful.  Of course, you should always be trying to protect your business and your livelihood, but be aware of the consequences when unhealthy fear begins to take over your mindset. Hope for the best but plan for the worst. The best way to avoid fear is to plan for what frightens you. If you…
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Overestimating Is Not Better Than Underestimating

Overestimating Is Not Better Than Underestimating

Evaluate, Featured
In a recent interview about the COVID-9 pandemic, mayor of New York City Bill DiBlasio reveled that he had overestimated the number of respirators they needed. He had estimated they needed between 200 and 300 each day. The real number was under a hundred. When criticized people took a quote from Dr. Fauci who said that he would rather be criticized for overestimating than underestimating. The fact of the matter is neither one is good. Using this example, let's look at it from the perspective of the mayors of Philadelphia, Houston and Chicago. If New York gets 100 - 200 more ventilators per day than they need, they have to come from a limited stock. How many people in those other cities couldn't be put on ventilators because New York…
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Misunderstanding Value

Misunderstanding Value

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
The show Wicked Tuna follows tuna fisherman off the coast of Massachusetts. These fishermen are trying to catch enough tuna to cover their costs and bring home money to live on. Each boat is its own business. In recent episodes there are more tuna than can be sold, prices go down and as a consequence, each boat needs to catch more to cover their expenses. One fisherman was complaining that he wasn't being paid what the tuna were worth. This is a common complaint of business people and it is because they misunderstand value. Value is not determined by the seller. It is determined by the buyer. The law of supply and demand states that if supply is high and demand is low the value goes down. The same happens…
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An MBA Isn’t Worth What You Think It Is

An MBA Isn’t Worth What You Think It Is

Featured, Innovation
Millions of dollars in student debt has been created by people seeking an MBA degree. Business have paid out millions of dollars in salary and bonuses to people with MBAs. Schools churn out MBA graduates and make a fortune by convincing students that they need one to succeed. The MBA degree is its own industry, but the value of the degree itself to a business is nothing. Why? The answer is best illustrated by a piece of advice a Harvard MBA gave to Jeff Bezos. Bezos was told, "You seem like a really nice guy, so don't take this the wrong way, but you really need to sell to Barnes & Noble and get out now." Obviously, Bezos did not take the advice. Why would an MBA give such bad…
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The Adaptive Business Model

The Adaptive Business Model

Featured, Improvement
The COVID-19 virus has thrown business into a frenzy. Many businesses have been forced to close or shift how their businesses work. Circumstances have shown that your business model needs to be able to adapt. Here is what you need to look at to build your adaptive business. Your Core Offering The base of your adaptive business is your core offering. This can be a product or service. It is the core of your business. Whether you run a barber shop, a restaurant, a web design firm or a consulting firm, this offering is what you are known for. Your Secondary Offering Your secondary offering should be complementary to your core offering. If your core offering is a service, your secondary should be a product and vice versa. A barber…
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Time To Reinvent Yourself

Time To Reinvent Yourself

Featured, Improvement
For businesspeople to survive they must always be moving forward. In a difficult economy, you must develop new skills and reapply old ones. Sometimes, this means shifting your industry, shifting your focus, or changing direction completely. A mid-career switch can be challenging, especially if you've become pigeonholed in your current role. Instead of becoming stuck contemplating how to move forward, Harvard Business Review recommends these ideas: Craft experiments . Take on freelance or pro bono assignments that allow you to try new roles while staying in your current job. Shift connections . To move in a new direction, you need a new network. Reach out to people who can give you a fresh perspective on what you're trying to achieve. Make sense of it all . Tell others the story of who you…
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