Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas But No Sign Of The Kids

Merry Christmas!


Did Someone Steal All The Children?


I celebrated Christmas at my brother's house this year. First Christmas I've been in Australia for some years now and as I drove to his house, something started to puzzle me. No children to be seen anywhere.

In the course of our day celebrating, I brought this up at the table, and another guest confirmed that she'd noticed too. No kids where she lived either.

No noisy christmas carols blaring out, scarce movement on the streets at all. Not at all the scenes that I remembered from childhood, or even the childhood of my child. Where were the kids testing out their bicycles? Where were the kids tossing balls or hitting them with their new cricket bats, and ending up rolling onto the road? The memories that I associate with Christmas is kids playing and laughing (and the odd crying) testing out their new presents and showing them off to the other kids, and having a marvellous time.

Surely not every present given to children involves being cocooned inside the house?

What if that is the reason?

Have we really arrived at the place where there is nothing 'outside' for children to do any more? No adventures. No fresh air.

Worse... Are our kids going to lose the ability to self entertain and make fun for themselves without a screen in front of them?



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Lindy Asimus
Design Business Engineering


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Friday, December 19, 2008

It’s Not The Economy, Stupid. It’s You!




I’m going to let you in on a secret. Your accountant won’t tell you, your lawyer won’t tell you. This may not sit well with some readers, but the dirty little secret that advisors to business don’t say in public, and certainly don’t tell you... is that the biggest problem in many businesses, is not the staff, not the economy, not the landlord, not the blah, blah, blah. The single biggest problem issue in many, many a business is you, the owner.


Some examples to illustrate.

You have deadbeat clients owing you money 30, 60, 90 or even more days after the service?

It’s not them. It’s you.


The person whose job it is to contact late payers but hasn’t done it because they don’t like to pick up the phone?

It’s not them. It’s you.


Employees who consistently underachieve or fail to maintain a standard that you’re happy with?

It’s not them. It’s you.


Lack of money in the business to do the things the business needs?

That’s you.


Employees who aren’t as good as you?

You.


A business which falls in a heap if you aren’t there?

You got it.


You suppliers are cutting you off your stock purchases or giving you no special terms?

You again.


Customers complaining about their orders not being fulfilled, on time or correctly.

Yup. You again.


Staff who are doing work but you don’t really know what they do, or why they do it, or if it serves any purpose?

You know who.


Marketing that delivers a result that you don’t really understand what are the returns on investment?

Well, you get the picture.


There are more examples that I could list here, but by now, you get the idea. If you have things in your business that aren’t working at peak efficiency, then walk to the bathroom and look in the mirror, because that’s the culprit to blame. Just in these few (and common) issues above, we see lack of discipline, lack of systems, lack of courage, lack of policy, lack of proper procedure, and certainly lack of a vision and overall direction to the business, and goals for the stakeholders in the business to work toward. Poor management, in other words.


On the positive side (thank goodness there is a remedy to this!) you are also the key to correcting this situation. Only you can do it. It is your business, and your decisions, are what put you where you are... and only your decisions that you make from here on out, will improve (or exacerbate) your current position.
There is nothing wrong with making mistakes. We are all human, we can all do that. Where it becomes shameful – and stupid – is to keep doing what doesn’t work, and not attend to fixing the problem, while it can still be corrected. Allowing ego to get in the way of getting the help you need... the help THE BUSINESS needs to prosper... Now that would be stupid.






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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Your Gift To Self



The days are flying by and the Twitterverse is full of
chitchat about things Festive.



This would be my gift to you.

As the big search goes on for gifts to buy, and ideas
on ways to indulge over the holidays, I am holding a
tiny candle out to Hope and wishing for all those who
are caught up in the gift-giving frenzy to take a little
time out and think about how they might give themselves
a gift for the new year.

The kind of gift that is useful not just for a day, but
for a lifetime.

What kind of gift would that be?

The gift that means that we learn more, understand more
fully, are able to get in touch with what is meaningful
to us, and adds to our resolve to achieve those things
that are truly worth striving for in life.

Investing the time and energy and resources (money) that
will allow us to improve our business skills, our
personal skills and develop the skills to enhance all
kinds of relationships that are rewarding wherever we go,
is a gift of the first order. A gift to self... and a gift
to all who enter our personal orbit.

Learn about yourself
Review your beliefs about what's important
Discover what are your core values
Let go of what holds you back
Discipline yourself
Do the right thing, for only the right reason
Encourage others
Get your life on track
Deal with what you've put off
Enjoy what you have
Eliminate that which you don't need
Understand that you are not who you were
Know that you can do more than you thought possible
Stop making excuses
Be the person you have the potential to be




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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Keep An Eye On Gran - Hi Tech Help


I was reminded again this morning how valuable technology has become in our lives, and in some unexpected ways, as I looked at Teddy Towncrier's blog on How Camera Saves Mother's Life - long distance! (See Herb's story).


Working with business owners who are in that Baby-boomer generation and facing the responsibilities and concerns of watching over parents in their twilight years, I know how worrisome it can be for them... and in practical terms the strain it can add to their burden, balancing the needs of their business, and their own lives, with overseeing care for elderly parents.

The idea of the Granny Cam is a brilliant example of how technology can improve communication channels with elderly parents, and allow an easy way to keep an eye on the wellbeing of those we love, even when we can't physically be there every day to check on them. The likely additional benefit - is that some will be able to continue to remain in their own treasured home, a little longer than might have been the case. Having watched my own mother move through the system of progressive aged care facilities, I know how important that is to maintaining dignity and wellbeing in our elderly.





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Monday, December 15, 2008

Social Media - Follow Me To The Limit

So we build our social networks and gather a Following on our blogs and Facebook and MySpace and Twitter. Where does subscribing to a set of ideas, go over the mark of good sense?



Over on Gaping Void, some fans have gone to the extent of having images tattooed. Is this flattering, or a bit Over-The-Top (OTT)?

We've certainly progressed from having our favourite bands written in ink on our pencil cases as we did in school. At this point, it does make me wonder... "What Next?"

Shall we next be seeing notices of the children named "Tweet" or "Friend" to turn up online?







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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Living Consciously




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A Conscious Life




Reading a blog today on TeamCircle by member Brian Francis on the question Do You Eat Till You Feel Full? put me in mind of all the different ways that we can move through a day on 'autopilot' without paying the slightest heed to what we are doing, or feeling, or causing in the way of future problems we may be setting up for ourselves.

Some areas where we may be oblivious to our actions are:


Not knowing how to differentiate between feeling hungry, or feeling something else

Not having a mechanism that works to identify when we have had sufficient to eat.

Not having a mechanism that works to identify when we've had enough alcohol.

Not paying attention to the fact that we are eating when we are gobbling down food.

Not savouring the food that we eat. (There are no prizes for finishing first!)

Not noticing when people are trying to gain our attention.

Not listening, when we ask a question, for the answer.

Not noticing when our body is telling us we are putting on weight, or engaging in activities that are having a poor effect on our health.

Not attending to bills when they come in, or the rising amount we owe on credit.

Sometimes it is more subtle and can be an inattention to understanding what are our true core values, and creating our life around the principles that truly matter to us.

Other times, it is entering relationships that are not rewarding to us - or even contributing to the failure of a relationship to thrive, through inattention and self-serving actions and expectations.

A life is a terrible thing to waste. Sleepwalking through life is wasting the opportunity.

No wonder the Buddha was so moved by becoming Awake.









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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Be Ready For Innovation, Get Organized!


All the world is abuzz with questions about the economy, and for anyone in business, this in turn begs the question, "How will the current economic situation affect me and my business?" Interesting comment from Richard Branson on his blog about Innovation - A Driver For Business
that touches on this subject.

There is a thought that the current economic situation means that there is a different approach needed for the small business owner to keep afloat. In reality, while there is even more need to be clear on managing all the parts of the business effectively, spending well and eliminating waste, these are practical approaches that should be followed even in good times.

Spending money wisely in business, and ensuring that there is good measurement of the metrics that apply to the different sections of the business, are important keys that let us know that we are on track to achieving great results. But we need to do more than measure – we need good systems in place to ensure quality standards, consistency in delivery, and a degree of predictability. There is never a time that this is not important in business... though sadly, it is most frequently not practiced. Indeed it is very usual for the small business owner to neglect some areas that are quite critical to the well-being of the business, and all who work there, and of course, this is reflected in the profitability, and even the value of the business as a saleable asset.

In his article, Richard Branson suggests businesses should experiment and use adaptation to navigate the waters of this changing economic environment. I would agree.

But here's the rub.

In order to adapt it is helpful to have good knowledge of what it is that you do now. Knowledge of how you do what you do in your business - that everyone knows, and not just you the owner, hopes is how it is done! So how many businesses have good documentation for the procedures, and marketing and operations planned and scheduled in advance? How many have a systematic approach to hiring and managing their staff and the performance employees (and Management!)? Very few. Experimenting by any other name is testing, and good testing requires analysis of the results.

Innovating and experimenting are most important in order to keep relevant in a changing world. If you want to innovate, then begin by understanding and having a clear written process for everything that happens in the business, and ensure that the vital information that you need to run your business doesn't fly out the door with your next employee who leaves.

Tough times call for good management. Not 'crossing my fingers' management, which may have been enough to sail through the good times.

And of course, even good times, are better with good management.

Good management doesn't just happen without thought.

Neither do good profits.





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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Creating an Achievable Outcome

For anyone with even a passing interest in personal development, it's true that we're constantly bombarded with messages telling us to set goals, and plan and create some direction in life, yet very little in the way of how to do so. And more to the point - how do create goals and results that can be brought to life - and are helpful! Indeed, many goals that people set, are in direct conflict with other goals that they would want to have come true in life.

The following questions assist in specifying an outcome is well-formed, and ecological (positive in all ways that impact your life).

Consider the goals that you want to set for yourself and achieve, both in the short and medium as well as long term.

  • What specifically do you want? (stated in positive terms.)
  • Where are you now?
  • What will you see, hear, fee, etc., when you have it?
  • How will you know when you have it?
  • What will this outcome get for you or allow you to do?
  • Is it only for you?
  • Where, when, how, and with whom do you want it?
  • What do you have now, and what do you need to get your outcome?
  • For what purpose do you want it?
  • What will you gain or lose if you have it?
  • What will happen if you get it?
  • What won't happen if you get it?
  • What will happen if you don't get it?
  • What won't happen if you don't get it?

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Social Media - Making Friends In Business



Lots of blab about social media lately, what it is, what it isn't. What platforms are good, what aren't good, and of course which ones are "professional" and which ones are not. Facebook, Linkedin, Ecademy, Ryze. So many networks. Largely the discussions on social media are much ado about nothing and a lot of pontificating by people who are not even on many of the platforms that they advise are a "waste of time and poor ROI".



Personally, I find it useful to have a profile on many of the social platforms. On the other hand, there is a limit to the time that I can spend to do justice to my contributions, so I do tend to cherry-pick in that regard, and aside from a few old favourites that I support as a show of loyalty to the network owners I am moving more and more toward creating the space on TeamCircle that allows all of my business connections to find me if that's their desire, and avail themselves of the facilities on the network to do the same. Want me? Look there!

Strangely Twitter has been a catalyst for more interactions of an immediate and open style of communication than I'd expected. I've friends on multiple platforms, and it is interesting to me, to see the difference in how communications flow, one network as compared to another. So many business coaches, or virtual assistants or this or that occupation on the networks... and yet what sets them apart as individuals might be a link they post to Twitter of some obscure item that overlaps with an interest of mine, or vice versa - or even a song posted courtesy of Blip.fm! Suddenly we have small clues to follow that allow us some insight into the person behind the name. I do love that!

On the social networking front, I have perhaps rather small lists of connections on the different networks than many of the UberNetworkers, and yet the chances of me getting to know even a few of my contacts, as much as I'd like to, is unlikely at best. On the other hand, I can get to know many, many people, when we have a context in which to interact day-to-day. TeamCircle allows that to happen, and if it happens for me ... then it can happen for them too. Suddenly we have a context in which to share ideas, plot things to do, or just share insights and offer support and a fresh perspective when it's needed. Twitter, and things like Blip.fm just allow that to happen without demanding we divert our attention from our work, but share an experience as we go about what are going about.

The virtual water-cooler, it turns out, is a rather fun place to hang out for a break from the buttoned-up and oh so serious "professional" schtuff.

I'll see you there.




PS. Find me on Blip.fm here


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Thursday, September 25, 2008

How Would You Sell Your Business?

It's a funny thing, that all the effort and marketing and promotion that goes into consulting and helping small business owners, one way or another, by consultants, and coaches and advisors and accountants... how little attention is paid to how to sell your business. And of course, how to get the best price for it!

Really, there is nothing that coaching or consulting can do to help your business as effectively as possible, without considering the potential for future sale of the business.

What are the assets to develop in the business?
What would have to happen now, in order to realise the best return on the sale of the business?
What's my business worth, and how would I calculate that?
How would I find a buyer?


The questions and more, are integral to the decisions that we make as business owners right now - even when a possible sale is years away.

Let's face it - if it isn't sale-worthy now... why would YOU want your business?

Life's too short to waste time (ie your life) toiling away in a business that isn't worth nearly what it could be.






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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Spring - Blueberries and Guiding Principles

It is now officially spring now, in Australia, and of course, as is usual, that means changeable weather and our warm sunny winter days seem to have morphed into rainy wintery skies.

No matter. Spring brings renewal and the gardens begin to wake up and so too, my new blueberry bush that I planted a few days ago. I'm getting conflicting stories. At the nursery, I was told the bush would grow 1 metre x 1 metre, yet others report they grow much taller. Is it a difference of variety, or something else? We shall see. And of course, I realise now, that I will need to put a net over it, or the birds shall beat me to every berry.
How does a blueberry bush know when it is tall enough?

I was thinking about renewal and how that fits with What Was... and what Will Be. And the agency that works behind the scenes to deliver our new Present. And it occured to me to wonder, how aware are we generally, of our motivations, our boundaries and where our things-we-would-be-prepared-to-do, bump up against those-things-we-would-not-do.

I think it would be a worthwhile exercise to articulate our own personal Manifesto. I shall be considering that very thing in the next few days.

What about you?

What Are Your Guiding Principles?

Where did they come from? Did you inherit them, or did you determine them, consciously?

How do you communicate your guiding principles to others? To your family, your friends, your customers, your prospects?

Do you live in alignment with your guiding principles?



Perhaps for a blueberry bush too, it is the genetic map that is imprinted with it's own kind of guiding principles that lets it know how tall, is tall enough.






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Friday, August 29, 2008

The Eight Irresistible Principles Of Fun



Sometimes we forget to value the moments of fun that we have in life.

Sharing these precious moments, is what makes life worthwhile. Never be too busy to stop and share a little joy. Or fun!

Here are some important principles to remember...


Watch The Movie - The Eight Irresistible Principles Of Fun




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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Wise Woman And The Stone

Here's a story that I've found handy to have around as reference, from the time I first learned of it.


A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime.

But, a few days later, he came back to return the stone to the
wise woman.



"I've been thinking" he said.

"I know how valuable this stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious.

Please give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me this stone."




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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Q&A On Websites With Reg Charie

Every day I see dozens of questions online from people who don’t know much about websites but either have a terrible one that doesn’t work, or are thinking of getting a website and have little clue how to go about it. Unfortunately, some of the advice I’ve seen is very disturbing... much of it from self-proclaimed “web experts”.

So I thought I’d call in someone that I’ve observed to give sound and practical advice on the topic, over many months now, and ask them some of the questions that business owners need to know to demystify the website for business process. Below are some questions that people often ask me, and see what Reg Charie has to say. Reg is a regular contributer on Ryze and is well known on the network for his practical, no-nonsense approach.

Reg Charie is the owner of DotCom Productions and Zero Grief Hosting.


Many thanks for making your expertise available here for this blog, Reg.



How much do I really save by making my own website?


This really depends on how talented and knowledgeable you are.
If you understand how to do the site design, how to code for the best
results, how to optimize for the search engines and more.
Most people lose when they make their own sites as it takes
them much longer to do, and they usually make mistakes which cost
them in traffic or conversions.


How can I tell if a website would help my business?


Any business can use a website to increase sales and bring in clients.


What’s the difference between a website ... and a website that works?

It is all in the layout and coding.
It MUST answer the visitor’s first question, “What is in this site for me?”


What are the top things that really MUST be right on a website in order for it to help a business?

As I just said, It MUST answer the visitors first question, “What is in this site
for me?” The site must have straight forward navigation that leads the reader
through the process of presenting your products with a defined call to action.

The site should build trust, have well defined terms of service, privacy policies and full contact information.


How can people measure the results that they are getting from their website? Is that even possible?

Very definitely.
The site owner should have a hosting package with a good web stats program.
AwStats as an example. Other stats programs can be added that do a bit more, such as the Crazy Egg free tracker that shows where people click in a heat map.

This allows for ‘fine tuning’ of the pages to give the visitors what they need.
Sales are another method of tracking results.


What actions can a business owner see and track as a result of having a website that works?

Stats programs show the amount of visitors, the pages they visit, the length of time they stay onsite, the keywords and phrases used to find the site, and more.


If I have a local business, and I don’t sell things that I can ship
all over... why would I need a website?


To advertise to your local market.
Google has really opened up local search.
Advertising your location along with your products will
get you excellent positions in the search engine results pages. (SERPs)
People often search for local merchants.


How can I sell products on my website and what should I know about that? And will selling products on my site cost me thousands of dollars to set up?

You sell products by installing a shopping system on your website or by using "purchase" buttons supplied by a payment processor like PayPal.
Costs would be low. Using the PayPal system all you would need
to do is to copy and paste their code for their buttons.
Shopping systems are available for just about every kind of
operation and range in price from free to thousands of dollars.


I’d like to be able to add information to my site, but I don’t want to set up a website myself. Is there a way that I can do this?

All of the latest Content Management Systems make it easy to add and
edit once the basic site is set up. Everything is done in the site admin or "back end” and no knowledge of html code is required.


I’ve been told that I need a website with Flash. Is that true?

No. Flash, is not recommended as it can cause long page downloading times and search engines do not draw content from it.


How much should I have to pay for a basic website that works and what should I expect to get for that?

Pretty tough question to answer without knowing what you want to do,
how many products you have to sell and the amount of other content.
My prices start at about $300, for a full featured working site with
shopping system.


I don’t know much about websites so how do I choose someone to help me build a website, without getting taken for a ride?

Talk to the designer’s clients, look at their search engine results, and see
what they offer.


My friends have paid thousands of dollars for a website to be built, and they have never had any satisfaction to get it finished and the person they hired doesn’t return their calls (or their money!). How can I prevent this happening to me?

Again, talk to the designer’s clients and get their opinions of the designer’s business ethics.

Be prepared. Do your research.

There are scammers in every part of life from “paving” your driveway to designing website.




You can read Reg’s SEO Tips here.
====================================================
Reg Charie is the owner of DotCom-Productions, RegCharie.com and Zero Grief Hosting,.





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Monday, August 11, 2008

What's A Social Business Network, Anyway?

Social media and networking are definitely the buzzwords right now, but while many are splashing about in the water, in varying degrees, still there remains a vast sea of people out there in bricks and mortar businesses who really don't know it exists yet, or if they do, think it is probably something for other people... not them.


Robert Scoble has some interesting explanations for Social Media on his blog and that's probably a good point to start on coming to understand the whole social business network potential. Social media allows us to interact, and share ideas and do it in a way that is world-wide and immediate. Using this social media for business networking opens up a whole galaxy of opportunities to better get to know the people we network with and in contexts that would be impossible just in face-to-face encounters at the local Business Chamber. We can share ideas, share links to complex ideas presented online, and share that experience in a way that would be impossible to communicate, just by telling someone about the information expressed on that link. We can share and we can have a permanent repository for those links and ideas that we can save if we so wish, and keep as a permanent resource.

But the media we use in our social business networking need not be limited to just a website, or a blog, or a group like Facebook. We can have profiles on different platforms, and friends on multiple platforms, as each allows for a slightly different context in which to know that person. Sometimes we may know them in one network, and only later discover things about their interests, because of a preference, or passion that is revealed in a totally different context on another network. My business aquaintance that I've known personally for many years, I discover has a secret passion for butterflies! Who knew? That's not the kind of thing that we'd be likely to discover at the BNI. But did you know... someone else I know has the same passion! And maybe they'd like to meet - I would do well to introduce them.


Social Business Networking allows us to make connections that we would never have made any other way. It allows us to expand our reach to people around the world. Now for some they may think that they have a local business, and why would they need to know people around the world? The reason is simple. Our expertise being recognised is important to us and very often it is the people who are not in our immediate orbit, who often are the first to recognise it. This influence on others far away that we may carry, can itself carry enormous weight with those who are closest to us and had not realised how special you are. Now they want to know more too!

One can never have enough supporters. Never have enough people who are behind you and are willing to promote you and your business, and vouch for your expertise. Remember. It is always "the prophet without" - the expert from outside the local circle - that people take notice of. Sometimes becoming that ... will grant you more impact in your local sphere of influence.

Of course, it never hurts to be open to new ideas, and new ways of doing things. Social business networking can open doors to opportunity, but also open the doors of your mind to new ideas, new ways to use old ideas, and new friends with whom to explore this fantastic world of ours.

Active participation in your social business network is the the means to do all of that.









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Monday, August 04, 2008

Fast Track Business Review


Too Busy For A Proper Business Plan?


If you are like many business owners, you may be so rushed with filling orders, paying bills and getting through the day-to-day crises, that there is just no time to get organized, and put your thoughts down into a business plan, or even know quite where to start.

A Fast Track Business Review might be the way to begin your process of getting control of your business, fix those things that have been left undone that will bring the business fast benefits, and cut through some of the clutter that can turn up in a business, and prevent better results than you could be
getting now.

Getting Started
To get started on your review, take a few minutes and think about your business and how it operates every day. Think about what issues come up time and again and cause problems, and think about the improvements that you may have considered making in some parts of the business.
Now make a list of the things that you would like in the business to work better, stop irritating you or improve your financial position. Is cash-flow an issue for the business, or is something else holding you back?

Make your Wish List.

1. Things you’d like more of
2. Things you’d like less of

Look At Your Business Objectively


Your business has a need to operate efficiently across a range of areas in order to work as effectively (and profitably) as it may. Very often, business owners start out in a business because they have a skill in one area, and may be very adept at performing that technical skill. Of course there are more responsibilities that need to happen for the business to run smoothly.

A good business needs a Vision for what it is to become, so that everything that happens in the business can reflect that and move the business in the direction of fulfilling that ambition. Employees need to know what the owner has in mind, in order to buy-in and help deliver that end result. It needs sound financial management and effective marketing so as to drive new business, and great customer service to ensure repeat business and referrals to drive that cash-flow which is the engine of any business. A business needs good employees and good employees need good systems to follow, good management to inspire their loyalty, and good standards for delivery of product and services.


In each area of your business

Operations

Marketing

Financial Business Health

Sales

Customer Service

Service Delivery

Product & Service Standards

Information Technology

Employee Management

External Relationship Management

Procedures & Policies

Workplace Health & Safety

*Your business may have additional areas, EG Warehouse, Inventory management, Point of Sale, etc

Review
Write down the top 3 things in each section of the business you’d most like to change.

Be sure to include all areas of the business. Be sure to include any items that are particularly prone to producing stress in the workplace for yourself, or friction with employees.

Commit

Write down the actions for each change that has to happen.
Write down the deadline for this to be finished.
Write down who is responsible for making this change happen.
Commit to this undertaking, no excuses.



Thinking Of Getting A Business Coach?
Lindy Asimus
Design Business Engineering

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

What Is Risk Management ?

...And Why Do I Need It?


If you are like most successful people, you want money while
you plan for all the things that you want for you and your
family, and the money that you need to have because you want
your family to live life to the fullest.


If you really stopped to think about it,
you would want your family to live the good life -- even
if you were to be suddenly removed from the picture.

Wouldn't you!

Jokingly, you might say,
"Nuh...who cares, if I'm gone?"

But this is no joking matter. This is a very serious matter.
As you think about it you'll recognise it is so.

Now you might know people, friends who are in good jobs and highly respected positions. And some of them will tell you that you don't need life
and disability insurance. And since they are pretty well
off, you might even be inclined to think that they 'know
whereof they speak'.

The sad situation is this:

The vast majority of the population and certainly most
of the people with whom we associate, are really quite ignorant
of the facts about personal insurance. Most are either badly
misinformed, or plain uninformed.

In reality the person who, upon having advised a friend
or family member this way, and has, upon the friend's
death or disability,ponied up some cash to pay for the things
which that family needed to live, is so rare, as to be mythical!

Indeed. How many have you met till now?

Quite simply -

There is no way to replace your income
and create a certain and instant estate
other than through insurance


And yet every day, people unthinkingly take on a risk that a trained assessor
might turn down. They do it when they don't ge the cover they need,
and essentially,they commit to SELF INSURE.
If someone else isn't covering you
, then automatically, you are! So if that is the choice you want to make, then you need a strategy to cover that exposure.

Statistics range, but suggest that 90% of people have
either no insurance, or are dangerously underinsured.

In fact few people have enough money to pay for more
than their funeral and perhaps a year's living expenses
for the surviving family to support itself.

How long could you last without income now?

Good risk management, using the appropriate levels and
types of insurance is the only way to ensure that your
goals are automatically reached by your
family - no matter what.

In Designing your family's plan for a great life, it
needs to be backed with a guarantee to ensure the ability of
the plan to be attained, will happen...
No Matter What
.




Thinking Of Getting A Business Coach?
Lindy Asimus
http://www.designbusinessengineering.com

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Friday, August 01, 2008

A Rose By Any Naymz...

I just updated my Naymz profile. I admit I've been dragging my heels on this platform, grudgingly putting anything on the site at all. It pains me to admit that they've improved it since last time I was there and actually looks like it might be worth taking a bit of time and making the effort to add the relevent details to the site.

Think Of This

If your name is coming up in searches and showing a Naymz profile, it may as well show the details that are useful to you.


In a similar vein, and in an attempt to collate my contact information into a central focus, I've been impressed with the product at Retaggr.com and delighted with the human response I have had from the staff there in response to some questions that I had. Great job Retaggr! I only wish more online businesses actually cared about customer feedback. I hope they do well.




Thinking Of Getting A Business Coach?
Lindy Asimus
http://www.designbusinessengineering.com

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Local Web Search. Not Just For Aliens!

Getting found on the internet is obviously a big thing for anyone in business to want to promote in the best way they can. So many options... organic search, pay-per-click advertizing... and one of the reasons I like the setup on Merchant Circle.

Well here's a contender from the Google camp that looks set to open the doors to Local Search for business in a way that has been largely overlooked until now. Enter Google Local Search Center.

I've added some info and photographs and some coupons, for my business, and I'll be interested to see if there is any response, and what form that might take, and how long it might take to start appearing in the searches for business coaching in my areas.

If you've had some success with Google Local Search, I'd love to see your feedback.

And for those who still think small business doesn't need to be visible on the net. You're right. It isn't for you. It is for your customers.


Here's how it works.

Enjoy!






Thinking Of Getting A Business Coach?
Lindy Asimus
http://www.designbusinessengineering.com

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Twitter, MyBLogLog & New Friends

Twitter is a bit of a recent commitment for me, and the same for MyBlogLog. Actually, the whole blogging, micro or otherwise is something I'm still finding my way around, or perhaps "finding my voice" as they say.

So anyway, I've added this pic to my profile on Twitter for now, since it seemed silly not to have something that was at least a bit informative on my profile there. This will probably change over time, since I like variety, and no doubt I'll want to "say" more things over time.



For all my new Followers, thanks! And for all the new people I am following, I look forward to learning more about you, and from you, and perhaps return the favour in some small way.




Thinking Of Getting A Business Coach?
Lindy Asimus
http://www.designbusinessengineering.com

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Where the Hell Is ...Your Viral VIdeo?

Have to love this social networking stuff. A query from Twitter prompted me to go looking for Top 20 viral videos

Of course that's where I found Matt's video (below), showing his travels around the world and showing us how entertaining a simple idea can be.

Business can become very boring and serious. Well, at least that's how some like to think that presenting a professional image must be. I don't believe it. Let me see who is having fun and doing some great work and innovating in different ways that I might like to emulate in some way to repurpose into another context.

Are we having fun yet?












Thinking Of Getting A Business Coach?
Lindy Asimus
http://www.designbusinessengineering.com

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Be Inspired! - The Youngest

I was delighted to meet Hans Anneveld this week and learn about his great work that he's doing over at ArtKids.

This is brilliant in several ways.

Firstly, the great visual impact these pictures have and how joyful they are to look at. Absolutely inspiring! And I love the spin off benefits to those involved to. Very nice working model and you can read about how they turn a drawing by a child into precious art
at ArtKids website

Secondly, how inspirational to see how a simple everyday thing that we might see on any day, stuck to someone's refrigerator, can be captured forever - and turned into a vibrant business idea too!

I'm Loving This!

What are YOU staring at everyday, that might be a product that you could use to enhance your business?




Thinking Of Getting A Business Coach?
Lindy Asimus
http://www.designbusinessengineering.com

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Be Inspired! - The Oldest

Bye Bye Olive!

'World's oldest blogger' dies at 108


News just in that Olive Riley, has Gone To God, as they say.

108! Amazing. *sniff* Just goes to show those complaining about being "too old"
are just making excuses.

Olive, you've been an inspiration and the world is a better place for your having passed this way.




Read about Olive here



Thinking Of Getting A Business Coach?
Lindy Asimus
http://www.designbusinessengineering.com

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Why You Should Be On LinkedIn

I was asked by a friend recently, who is very much into business networking in person and on the ground, why his members should think about adding LinkedIn to their toolkit and accept those invites that they'd been receiving from time to time but didn't really know why they should accept a connection from a colleague, to join them on LinkedIn. Here's my response.

Why You Should Be On LinkedIn


LinkedIn is the pre-eminent professional business networking platform and provides a great way to create a means of keeping track of, and in contact with those business contacts that you have made in recent times, in times to come, and even those people who you've known throughout your working and school life.

For many people the idea of joining a network group like LinkedIn seems to be a strange thing to do and really, they don't understand why they might want to be involved. After all, they have their contacts in their address book already right? They know where they can reach those people they want to talk to, and that's all they need...isn't it?

Here's the difference. LinkedIn does itself become a database of your contacts, a 'back-up' of your business contacts and useful in that respect. But it is far more. What it really is, is a door to opening your opportunity to meet those people of influence in the lives of the people with whom you already share a connection, and a set of tools to enable you to access the collective wisdom of this super-extended network.

So how can you use LinkedIn?

There are many ways to use LinkedIn and each person will find a way that suits their own needs at the time. This may start out as a simple collection of your contacts, but may develop into quite different uses over time.
Some other ways that people use LinkedIn...

• Your business contact database backup
• Introductions to people you want to meet
• Identifying the decision makers in the companies with whom you want to do business
• Getting feedback on ideas or questions that you may have from specific industry specialists
• Expanding your professional network
• Growing your understanding of the things that are important to people you know
• Being visible to your market
• Prestige of being prominent in your profession
• Online endorsements of your work, by those who know and respect you, are available to all to see online
• Opportunity to give to those individuals, whose professional expertise you regard highly, a written endorsement, is a great gift to extend to your contacts, and is at the heart of "Giving First"
• Show that you are up-to-speed on current networking methods using technology to spread your name further
• Access new work or business opportunities
• Recruit new staff
• Check out people you want to learn about
• Connect with potential business venture partners
• Meet people in new markets that you might want to develop
• Reconnect with professional people with whom you've lost touch.
• Share your expertise

Every day, there are many people, as a result of LinkedIn, signing new business, hiring new people, getting new jobs, meeting new people of influence, and getting answers from specialists, expanding their own circle of influence and helping others in their network to achieve more.

As you think about it now… How might using LinkedIn help you achieve more?



Thinking Of Getting A Business Coach?
Lindy Asimus
http://www.designbusinessengineering.com

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Clare Oliver Melanoma Activist. RIP




Thinking Of Getting A Business Coach?
Lindy Asimus
http://www.designbusinessengineering.com

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

An Open Letter To The Small Business Owner




It has come to my attention over the years, moreover and in such a manner in recent days, that it seems but fitting to address some issues which have been seemingly passed-over by many and in such case, as has allowed certain assumptions to go without challenge, in the world of small business and those who would run one.

This letter seeks to address but some few of these issues, but issues nonetheless, that need some light shone upon them, in the interests of the health of small business, the sake of the customers that small business serves, and the staff who are tasked to work therein.

In short, it is for the benefit of everyone, since our society is built on the back of, and needs to maintain, a healthy and vigorous and profitable small business sector.

1 Your Customers Are The Biggest Asset In Your Business


2 Serving Your Customers Is The Essence From Which Will Spring The Health And Prosperity Of Your Business

3 You Cannot Serve Your Customers Superbly When Your Business Has No Standard For Procedures And Policies

4 Your Business Will Stumble Until Your Systemize And Streamline Procedures, Responsibilities, Accountabilities And Processes.

5 Your Staff Is (Or Should Be) The Other Single Greatest Asset In Your Business.

6 Your Staff Cannot Be The Best They Can Be...If You Fail To Provide Them With The Instruction, Skills And Feedback They Need To Do So.

7 If You Are Indeed, The Best Worker In Your Business, You Are Failing Your Staff, Your Customers And Your Business.


Consider these points carefully. If they apply to your business, then you have the power to do something about correcting them.

Please do so. For the sake of us all.
















Thinking Of Getting A Business Coach?
Lindy Asimus
http://www.designbusinessengineering.com

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Advising: How Much Is - Too Much or Too Little ?

Speaking with an accountant client, the subject comes up that the economy is tightening up and small business are starting to feel the pinch. I'm sure they are, and what is more, I'm sure it isn't going to get better any time soon!

When small businesses report difficulty, then it is likely that that's when it becomes very clear, that the broken parts of their business are going to be come apparent. When the bills stop getting paid and the wages bill becomes an issue to pay, and the rent is past due, it is going to be all too clear that the business is suffering a systemic failure and all it's 'vital organs' are going to be affected.

Too bad. From an accountant's point of view, that is the time when the client also doesn't have the money to pay for help out of the situation. When your business is falling apart, what will you do to fix your business? Who will you turn to, and how will you pay them? ...Or does it follow, as some small business people seem to think... that someone should help them out of it (even if it is possible) with no real prospect of being paid for their efforts?

That the accountant wasn't assisting to manage the business and avoid this mess, is another issue for another post.

It can't stressed enough, that the time to get help in your business is before it is on the verge of collapse!.

Any time is a good time to get a review done of how your business is travelling. Do it now...do it often! There is never a time that people typically "want" to spend money on preventative measures to ensure the health of their business. Nevertheless, that's probably the only time someone can help.




Thinking Of Getting A Business Coach?
Lindy Asimus
http://www.designbusinessengineering.com

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

What You Do - And How You Do It. Product-ification!

I've been considering the different ways that busineses operate, some selling tangible, hold-them-in-your-hand products that are a size to compare, quality to compare and price range that you can compare with another at another store or website. Then I'm thinking about services, how do we make that as seemingly easy to buy, as easy to compare and importantly, how to package it up to make it easy to buy?

Australia Post must have been thinking along these lines with their recent poster campaign...



Well services aren't products, and while there may be some comparison in some industries, it is essential in order to qualify that value, to know that one is comparing like to like. For example, in many coaching, business development services, the coach/consultant will work with you to determine what is your next action to take... and leave you with it! In my experience, that is often where the wheels fall off, because the business owner doesn't already have a strategy to use, in order to DO that! That's precisely why they have stalled and not taken care of addressing that very issue!

Speak to anyone from the insurance industry and they will tell you "it's harder to sell intangibles..." Well, I'm not so sure that is true. Some people buy a drill just to have drill. For others like me, they buy a drill so they can stick a screw in the wall to hang something on. Now I don't much care about drills, or screws, or masonry, but if I want to fix something to that wall, then you can bet that I'm going to buy a drill to do it. The drill is a means to my end, not an end in itself. Products and services are not so different. We buy insurance, not because we love insurance, but because we love our family and we know that we have enough to contend with, just making ends meet at the best of times. We also know that we may not have enough in the case of an emergency of crisis proportions - or if we do, we might prefer to spend Someone Else's money at that time - not our savings!

Business coaching is like that. Marketing is like that. Business resources are like that. We don't necessarily want to spend the money, but if we know what spending that money can give us as an outcome... a good result... then we understand what is a priority and what is not. To us. As it must always be, a value according to what is important to us.

It really is up to us, we brave souls out there pushing our imaginery barrow full of intangible benefits, to communicate that value, to those who would seek it.





Thinking Of Getting A Business Coach?
Lindy Asimus
http://www.designbusinessengineering.com

Friday, June 20, 2008

How We Read Online

Some interesting observations here on how we read online text... and how we don't.

Useful from an observational point of view ("Is it so for me too?") as well as a great guide to use when writing for the internet.




Lazy Bastards -- How We Read Online.
By Michael Agger
Posted Friday, June 13, 2008, at 1:00 PM ET

You're probably going to read this.

It's a short paragraph at the top of the page. It's surrounded by white space. It's in small type.

To really get your attention, I should write like this:

* Bulleted list
* Occasional use of bold to prevent skimming
* Short sentence fragments
* Explanatory subheads
* No puns
* Did I mention lists?

What Is This Article About?

For the past month, I've been away from the computer screen. Now I'm back reading on it many hours a day. Which got me thinking: How do we read online?

Read the full article here and find out all the juicy details!


Thinking Of Getting A Business Coach?
Lindy Asimus
http://www.designbusinessengineering.com

Aging Disgracefully? Who Says?

Here's a story that is probably being played over and over in aged care facilities around the world. When does an adult lose the ability to choose with whom they will share a physical and emotional relationship?

We often hear that "children become the parents" as people age and in some ways that can be a useful role to accept. But when does one's attempt to help, just become itself, problematic and controlling, for the benefit of self, not those to whom we seek to protect?


An Affair To Remember

She was 82. He was 95.
They had dementia. They fell in love. And then they started having sex.
By Melinda Henneberger
Posted Tuesday, June 10, 2008, at 1:14 PM ET

Bob's family was horrified at the idea that his relationship with Dorothy might have become sexual. At his age, they wouldn't have thought it possible. But when Bob's son walked in and saw his 95-year-old father in bed with his 82-year-old girlfriend last December, incredulity turned into full-blown panic. "I didn't know where this was going to end," said the manager of the assisted-living facility where Bob and Dorothy lived. "It was pretty volatile."

Because both Bob and Dorothy suffer from dementia, the son assumed that his father didn't fully understand what was going on. And his sputtering cell phone call reporting the scene he'd happened upon would have been funny, the manager said, if the consequences hadn't been so serious. "He was going, 'She had her mouth on my dad's penis! And it's not even clean!' " Bob's son became determined to keep the two apart and asked the facility's staff to ensure that they were never left alone together. Read the full article here

If you're of a certain age and your parents are still alive, there is a good chance that you will already be living with some of the fallout from having aging parents, or will face it in the years to come.

What would you do?




Thinking Of Getting A Business Coach?
Lindy Asimus
http://www.designbusinessengineering.com

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Business Coaching Video

I have an inkling that making videos, were I to start in earnest, might become an addictive thing for me to do. Would it be worthwhile? Hmm... Hard to say, but it is certainly true to say, that it allows a kind of communication level that goes beyond the usual framework that we use in business.

In any case, here is my first effort. Kind of fun, I admit.
Feedback welcome!

Design Your Business. Engineer It To Work video

Social Bookmarking - Easy!

Now this is the kind of video that I love. Simple. Succinct. Sensational!

Learn:
What Is Social Bookmarking?
Why Would I Want To?
How Would I Do It?
Who Else Might Benefit?


Monday, June 16, 2008

The Fresh Food People - What A Joke.

Here's evidence of what we've suspected. Competition in the supermarket sector is more fiction than fact. Competition between Coles and Woolworths may be for market share, but it certainly doesn't translate to competitive pricing for the poor suckers aka Customers. We know that the claims to "fresh food" made by the major supermarkets in Australia is bogus. We know that the death of the small independent fruit and vegetable vendor that has happened over the past 15 years is almost complete and now we get to see what the real game is.

Wipe out the small operator with predatory pricing, then when they are gone, the big players can ratchet up prices to whatever level they like, with impunity. We won't even mention the poor old farmer who is being gutted in the process. This from the Brisbane Sunday Mail this last weekend. (Australia)


Vege price outrage—Food giants under fire for mark-ups of 250 per cent

It's enough to make you cry. Customers at Australia's big supermarket chains are paying through the nose for onions and other winter vegetables…and it seems it has little to do with the weather or fuel prices. Brown onions, which fetch 90 to $1 per kilo at the wholesale markets, were being sold for almost 3 1/2 times that price at some Woolworths stores last week. And potatoes costing $1 per kilo at the markets were on the shelves for $2.98 per kilo at both Woolies and Coles. Carrots were almost double the wholesale price and other winter staples such as broccoli, pumpkin and cauliflower all showed big increases. Carrots wholesaling for $1.20 a kilo were sold for up to $2.25 at Coles, while broccoli at the markets for $1.75 per kilo was priced at $2.28 at both Woolies and Coles. The Sunday Mail (Brisbane), June 15.

Feast Yet Famine

Life is strange. In the midst of all this publicity about world food shortages, this item from the news roundup on Hospitality Magazine in Australia.

Something disturbing and ultimately shameful in this.

Our $6bn food waste bill

Australians are wasting $6bn worth of food a year—enough to feed the entire nation for three weeks. The staggering data from an OECD study into food waste in developed countries emerged as the United Nations and IMF meet in Rome to discuss a looming global food crisis. The Australian figure is an estimate of domestic waste from items bought and not used. It does not include food scraps or restaurant and catering waste. It includes unopened yoghurt and milk cartons, whole chickens and tonnes of plastic sealed meat trays, part of the $96bn Australians spend on food each year. Meanwhile, a separate study found an average household produced 5kg of food waste each week. Sunday Telegraph (Sydney), June 15.

More news items on hospitality here

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Relationships and Online Social Networks. Value?

Much is being written in the various networks and blogoshere on the different social media, so-called businesss social media and how valuable each may be - and indeed if there is any difference at all. I maintain that without social interaction, there can BE no business networking of any substance. Here's an interesting blog from Dosh Dosh on the topic, worth reading.

The strength of lifestreaming services lies in their ability to help you develop persistence in relationships, which itself will enable you to gradually build a network of people around you. These are individuals who’ll provide you with feedback, information, conversation, empathy as well as support for your present or future initiatives/goals.

Lifestreaming makes it easy for a group of people to be informed of your opinions and events in your personal life. It’s like taking up a phone and calling a few hundred people at once. It’s effortless to talk to many people through Twitter/Plurk as well and using these services not only strengthens your existing relationships but broadens the range of people you can know.

When it comes to ROI, we often instinctively know what is most important and hence worth pursuing. We are interested in developing strong relationships with others that share similar interests/goals. Hence, some of us return to these sites again and again.


Read the full blog post here:
Social Networking and Relationships and The Value of Twitter etc

Friday, June 13, 2008

Overwhelm. Nature's Prompt To Get Organized.

Meeting with new clients, it is many times the same story, told in a different way, but comes back to the same elemental position...

The business is doing well, but the place is not well organized and as a result,

things aren't getting done that should be,
things are getting done that shouldn't be,
some things are getting done that we didn't know
some things we thought were getting done aren't and we didn't find out until a customer complained


The upshot of all of this of course, results in a lot of messiness that adds nothing to the smooth running of the business, but does tend to lead to things like missed deadlines, added and unnecessary stress, double handling, errors and ommisions, poor operational management, and of course, lower profit!

There is a reason that overwhelm feels so horrible. It is a sign that your body is trying to tell you to stop and get things in order.

Looking at the long list of "Things To Do" can itself seem overwhelming. Even knowing where to start, prevents many business owners from doing something to address the situation. In reality, it is not nearly so onerous as the task may appear, and that's precisely where someone who is outside the business can help to give you some clearer perspective and guide you through the process, to come out the other side, with a well defined system for all the components of your business and processes documented to ensure that when staff changes are made, your intelligence and knowlege of how things work in the business is maintained and not lost out the door with the departing person.

Do yourself a favour. When you feel those first signs of overwhelm, start thinking of where you can call to get some help. There are no medals for 'soldiering on' and trying to do what you have neither the knowhow nor time, or skills set to do alone.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Clay Shirky - Love, Social Collaboration & The Internet

Clay Shirky vid on life, social networking and love on the internet. I love the story of the Shinto temple. Grandfather's Axe all over again... it's had 3 handles and 4 new heads, but it is the same axe!

Clay Shirky articles

Big love.

Are You Oversharing On Your Blog?

Over on the New York Times, Emily Gould writes a piece about sharing - or Oversharing, as the case may be, when writing blogs and on social networking platforms. It's an interesting topic that she covers in some depth, and raises the issue of where our privacy and right/write to say what we like stands when it involves Other People and what is essentially their business, and perhaps should be their call on what to keep private and what they may be willing to share. Willing to share now... and later down the track when the rosy glow of a love affair may be long cold.

Perhaps one of the biggest surprises for me when I first became interested in Myers-Briggs personality typing and joined a group for my own type, was to see where we fell into areas of "likeness" in some ways, but even more so, where the differences showed up. From an NLP perspective, the preferences in the MB are but a limited selection of what we might refer to as meta programs. Just a selection, certainly not all, but some fairly important ones. One of the big differences for me, was the notion of how discreet individuals were, when it came to sharing personal information. Now some things come up in the course of discussions, and they can be quite personal, and yet some people could perfectly well describe what they wanted to say without the gory details, while others seemed incapable or perhaps it was more uninterested, in keeping their intimate details to themselves. Definitely, in some cases, to the point of Too Much Information.

Now of course, we have the issue of identity theft gaining purchase as an issue that needs to be managed, and discretion once again seems to be a useful mode of operation, and yet with the explosion of social media, we have more people than ever able to find out more about people they know (and some they don't know), than ever before. Twitter, Facebook, Business networks like Ryze and Linkedin and the networks that relate to them, means that there has never before been more opportunity to know more about people you may have seen somewhere, or heard of somehow, or are thinking of employing. For those seeking employment, or promoting a business who is not yet aware of how much information about them may be on the internet and just a Google search away, this is likely to come as a surprise!

For me, it comes down to this. Would I say the same thing in company? Fortunately, I am rather comfortable with speaking my mind no matter where I am and in what company. I can live with it if some people don't like my point of view, (or more commonly) don't understand it.

It must be a very sticky situation for those who like to keep different 'faces' for different people in their lives.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Riff: Kmart's Abstinence Pants Maker Says: Yes You Can!

The Riff: Kmart's Abstinence Pants Maker Says: Yes You Can!: "Kmart's Abstinence Pants Maker Says: Yes You Can!

Yes, I said 'abstinence pants.' Kmart in-house designer Piper & Blue has jazzed up this year's summer collection with a pair of sweatpants for teen girls that say 'True Love Waits' in your choice of colored bubble letters. No, there is no corresponding set for boys.

But there is an official Piper & Blue designers' blog that lets you know how you should be thinking about your summer couture. And maybe it's just me, but some of the suggestions seem a little risque for the True Love Waits crowd. 'Top garments like coats and jackets are what an onlooker sees first,' warns the blog. What do they see next? Well, if you wear their 'football jersey,' that would be 'a casual outfit that's super stylish and easily accessible!' Easily accessible? Uh oh. 'These days, you don't need a bank account like Britney's to get Lindsay's look.' You, too, can model your style on two of our culture's pillars of Christian morality. That particular post is entitled, 'Hollywood Glam? Yes You Can!'"

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Everlasting Peace - A Peace Of Mind

New product comes to my attention today that will be of great interest to anyone with a family member or friend in palliative care. I've known Joel for many years now, through our association on the NLPTalk-reserve Yahoo group and admire his work and his skills greatly.

We don't much like to speak of death in western society. And yet for many, every day, this is part of their landscape and for some, they will spend a considerable time in this 'half-way house' between life and death. Anything that brings comfort and allows for some grace to these individuals, is a fantastic contribution.

Here's what Joel Bowman has to say about it.

"Debra Basham, CHTP, and I have just released a special CD for those in Hospice Care. If you work with those close to transition, you may be interested. Here's the blurb:

Everlasting Peace is a special product created for use by individuals as they are nearing death. This project was done with a unique Hospice program in mind: Hospice at Home. Hospice is a program that works to manage pain (emotional and mental as well as physical) during this intense time of transition. Designed to promote a deep sense of well-being, regardless of current life circumstances, Everlasting Peace is appropriate for use by all of those involved family, friends, care givers, hospice staff, and others who desire reduction of stress and greater peace of mind.

The background music, Pachelbel's Cannon in D, Three Meditative Variations with Ocean, by Live & Let Live, is used by permission. To purchase their music, visit their website


Everlasting Peace will be available to Hospice at Home at low cost. In addition, SCS Matters LLC will donate $10 of each retail purchase to Hospice at Home. The single CD is $25, plus sales tax and shipping. We are excited to share this!"

Contact Debra Basham at debra@scs-matters.com

You'll find Debra and Joel's website at SCS Matters LLC

The Daily Reckoning

Why do I like The Daily Reckoning so?

Who could resist such well articulated thoughts?

"We would like to set the record straight. We are neither gloomy nor pessimistic. People who know us well say that we are often cheerful and fairly pleasant company. Even in adversity, we manage to keep a sense of humor. In fact, friends say we smile when bad things happen, provided, of course, they happen to someone else. And we often laugh gaily when reading the obituaries, as long as we don’t find our name mentioned."

Indeed!


The Daily Reckoning

Friday, May 23, 2008

Unexpected Results

Sometimes we can be too predictable. Boring even. People think they know what we mean, who we are, what we think, long before they know us enough to have the faintest idea.

Not knowing, doesn't stop people assuming they do.

A shame really. Suspend that impulse to assume you know, long enough to actually find out... can bring rewards. Not doing that can bring a great deal of loss of opportunity and life experience.

Here's a vid that reminded me of all this.

Enjoy.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Your Website Grading. Do You Pass?

Thanks to Heidi Caswell at Connect Simply
for the heads up to this great online tool at websitegrader.com that offers fantastic reporting on the strengths and weaknesses of your website and offers suggestions on how to improve it.

From their website: "It provides a score that incorporates things like website traffic, SEO, social popularity and other technical factors. It also provides some basic advice on how the website can be improved from a marketing perspective."

Web Marketing SEO Tools Score

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Got Acres Of Diamonds?

Over on TeamCircle I have been glad to see the members who've joined me from Merchant Circle, making the site their own. I am frankly blown away at the vast array of interests and businesses people choose to get involved with. Here's to a long and happy association.

And here's the blog that I wrote for them, since it is a closed group, and really, this message applies to EveryMan. Even the female ones. ;-)

Life on the internet is a little like a microcosm of life outside of the internet. Like watching a culture grow in a petri dish... a few cells here in the right medium, a little warmth and hey presto! a whole mess of activity and new cells growing apace.

The favorite occupation online seems to be rushing after The Next Big Thing. Websites...SEO... Identity verification... Got to have self hosted blogs, and on and on and on... And the reason? What is it? Find new people to show off our wares to. More, new, collect names, names, names... The frenzy for numbers. More numbers, must be better, right?

This often strikes me as a rush to be busy, but not necessarily always effective. In the 'olden days', it was marketing to get new clients. For some reason "new" seems better than "old" when it comes to clients, for some reason. And yet what is an old client, if not someone who has already shown that they like what you do enough to pay you! You already know that. You have clear evidence of the fact that they will part with their money for what you do. With a new prospect? Who knows. Maybe they will, and maybe they won't.

And yet the focus seems to be much more on looking for the New Thing, the New Customer. While never fully learning how to get the most leverage out of the Old Thing, or serving better the Old Customer.

Here's a link to an old story that I think is appropriate to this topic.
Read the story and let me know what you make of it.

What are the acres of diamonds that you are overlooking, in the search for the New and Untested?


Acres Of Diamonds: Read Here

Acres Of Diamonds By Russell H. Conwell

I am astonished that so many people should care to hear this story over again. Indeed, this lecture has become a study in psychology; it often breaks all rules of oratory, departs from the precepts of rhetoric, and yet remains the most popular of any lecture I have delivered in the fifty-seven years of my public life. I have sometimes studied for a year upon a lecture and made careful research, and then presented the lecture just once -- never delivered it again. I put too much work on it. But this had no work on it -- thrown together perfectly at random, spoken offhand without any special preparation, and it succeeds when the thing we study, work over, adjust to a plan, is an entire failure.

The "Acres of Diamonds" which I have mentioned through so many years are to be found in this city, and you are to find them. Many have found them. And what man has done, man can do. I could not find anything better to illustrate my thought than a story I have told over and over again, and which is now found in books in nearly every library... continues Acres Of Diamonds: Read Here

Thou shalt be attractive - Michael Leunig - Opinion - theage.com.au

Michael Leunig looks at the modern curse - Be Attractive Or Be Nothing.

Style over substance? It seems to extend beyond mere physical looks.

Mortgages given to people with no capacity to pay once the 'honeymoon' rate reverts to normal. What were the banks thinking?

"That's how much it costs..." is not equivalent, when making a purchase, to "That's what I can afford."... No matter how much we might want something.

Is humankind really becoming so shallow? Is there potential for this to turn around some day?

"It is difficult to imagine any time in history when so many people claiming to be so free have lived in so much fear of being unattractive." - Michael Leunig


Thou shalt be attractive - Michael Leunig - Opinion - theage.com.au

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Offline Business Networking - Online

I'm finding it interesting the difference with online social networking and personal networking groups 'on the ground' as it were. It is almost like two different animals, and yet the purpose for both would seem to be the same.

Interestingly, I'm exploring a personal network for people to use online facilities to manage their personal network (on the ground) with online functions and a profit sharing component. It is available for members to join in any location, and seems to be an interesting way to combine in-person and online into a system that allows one to create a strong, systematic approach to endorsing those who are known to us as being reliable, ( and to whom we would refer now to the appropriate people), and allowing a way to monetize that as well. Since it is being put together by someone who is not involved online, it is going to be interesting to see how that develops.

For many trades people and bricks and mortar businesses, social networking is not even in their vocabulary. And meeting at regular functions is outside the constraints of their working day schedule. This might be a nice way to open up the door to the benefits of networking for these people who have really been doing it on their own up till now.

Let me know if this is something that might interest you.