Is your business suffering from Information Overload?

Smartphones started a trend that has seen us bombarded with more information than ever. Studies have shown we read 100,000 words a day and that over 50% of white collar workers are overwhelmed at work due to the sheer volume of information they must consume. Make sure you business is not at risk. This video will show you how.

What my 2 year old taught me about business last weekend.

When we get the right help and support we can be far more productive, effective, and successful than we would ever be on our own.

I have a 2 & 1/2 year old boy (Jaden) and 1 year old boy (Zane) and girl (Mia) twins.  Yes it’s a very busy household…
Both the boys are walking with the older one running and climbing, but Mia is a little behind.

Typically the boys play pretty rough together whilst Mia doesn’t want a bar of that aggressive behaviour.

Last Sunday morning I noticed something unusual happen. The youngest boy Zane was still sleeping as he had been a little sick the day before. So it was just the older boy Jaden and Mia hanging out.

Jaden was crawling with Mia trailing behind, that was strange as anyone who has kids knows that once they conquer one hurdle (i.e. walking) they just don’t go back to the previous stage. But this morning he was crawling with Mia trailing closely behind, they were both giggling and having a lot fun.
Then Jaden stopped, communicated with Mia in some form of gibberish and once he had her attention he leaned against the wall and slowly stood up. She copied, and low and behold stood up also leveraging the wall in the same way.

He was coaching her, he is the expert out of these two and he is showing her a trade secret (how to stand up) – the 1st step in walking. He joked around a laughed a little which seemed to take Mia’s mind off the task at hand and relaxed her, in a few seconds she took her 1st steps.

This exchange of skills was rapid, without ego or expectation and yielded fantastic results.

I thought about my life and wondered how many times (particularly in business) I had not  accepted advice, I had not to an expert that could help me accelerate my skills. I also wondered how many times I was the expert and had not offered assistance to others. We don’t always recognise ourselves as an expert or we let our ego get in the way of effective skills transfer.

What do you need to be able to get these types of results in our own lives? I put it down to 3 things.

  • Expertise – in your field that does not mean you have to know everything, rather you need to have depth of knowledge and experience in specific areas and recognise you have something to offer.
  • Trust – you must genuinely want to help others, for them not for yourself, and provide real results they can see and touch.
  • Lastly and perhaps most importantly, we must recognise we cannot be expert at all things, we also need help and support in the things we are not expert in. Getting that help being on the receiving end will help us understand what it is like when we are providing advice to others.

One thing is for sure just as was the case with Mia, when we get the right help and support we can be far more productive, effective, and successful than we would ever be on our own.

Although this seems obvious, often in business we forget to offer or ask for help, we try to do it all ourselves rather than recognise that we can all do better by leveraging other skill sets and experts in the field.

Who can you help in business this week?
Who can help you in your business this week?

How to be a Successful Entrepreneur

How to be a Successful Entrepreneur

There are 3 People every CEO and Entrepreneur must sleep with to be successful.

Firstly I am not referring to how a CEO and/or Entrepreneur gets to be in their position, rather how to be a successful Entrepreneur once they have the position and are steering the business into the future.

I also want to be clear that I am not talking about a one-night stand or a casual fling here. A long-term, intimate relationship is required for success.

Managing any intimate relationship is tough. Here we have 3 people in this intimate relationship, and they know about each other. As you can imagine all 3 will be competing for attention and resources. No one person can be ignored or be seen to be favored over another.

We must be a master of relationships and strike a balance across these 3 people.

I had a particular priority for these 3 people which I lived by for many years, however recently I discussed this with several very successful CEOs and Entrepreneurs and they each had a different view based on their own philosophy and business model.

It is clear to me now that priority is not as important as balance.

The Customer – it is important to recognize that the customer here relates not only to existing customers but also potential customers and therefore the broader society. To be a successful entrepreneur you must know your customer intimately. What they like/don’t like, and how they expect us to act when we interact with them. Customers expect us to listen and change, although surprisingly they are often not the most demanding of our sleeping partners.

When we don’t respect our customers they leave, new customers become harder to attract and more expensive to acquire. Unhappy customers generally lead to negative interactions with “The Employee” (impacting another key person we must sleep with) and if they are unhappy enough they will impact our profitability which will impact our relationship with “The Funder”.

Note: I have never heard of a business failing because they focused too much on the Customer.

The Funder – Traditionally the Funder is a shareholder, stockholder, or anyone else that provides funds to the business (e.g. Banks). However, I also include spouses and family here, they are not funding with money but with our time. Funders are looking for some type of reward for their funding. They are often the most jealous and controlling of the 3 people we sleep with, they are generally needy and require constant reassurance they are high on our priority list. They often don’t appreciate the time we spend in bed with Customers and Employees.

We need to manage Funders very carefully, if we don’t respect them we may run out of resources as they tighten the reigns. Typically businesses focus heavily on funders, when they do that at the expense of customers we almost always see catastrophic results – Enron, Blockbuster video, Vodafone are classic examples where focusing too much on Funders at the expense of Customers had major impacts on the business resulting in closure or at least significant restructure.

The Employee – In many industries, these are the most expensive of our sleeping partners. They take up space, need computers, cars, phones, sick days, tea & coffee, it all adds up. Typically they are key people in front of our Customers and we really need them to be making our customers happy.

Unfortunately, when the Funders are unhappy the first group they target is Employees. When the Customers are unhappy Employees are the first port of call to unleash their fury.

Plenty of research shows that engaged employees are great for your business however it is important to recognize that every person is different and not everyone will be a fit in your business. Unhappy disengaged employees can be cancer in your business – Government departments can be a good example, they typically struggle with staff engagement leading to poor customer service. Once the low engagement is ingrained (and has become the norm) it can be very difficult to change the work environment without a total and costly restructuring.

Like most things in life, there is no silver bullet to magically make all of our sleeping partners happy. It takes hard work and careful expectation management. As the business grows the ability to understand and manage these relationships becomes more difficult.

Only CEOs and Entrepreneurs with Actionable Management systems that provide an early warning of relationship rifts before they happen can avoid the pitfalls that slow growth, cost money, and can ultimately destroy your business.

Lucrature – Business Advisory | Chartered Accountant.

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