Sanity? You have some??

Sanity? I have some…

Today marks the 28th of January and as every year I start planning for the year objectively and logically. I start looking at my business in a non biased way and align my vision to my goals, both the long term and short term. Sometimes it is fun and others it is a challenge, sanity you ask? Sanity comes in the process, where the process isn’t an hour nor a day but several days and really a roller coaster ride that has lasted over this past month.

So where does sanity come into play?

Well, that’s the thought that crossed my mind when I looked back at some moves I made this past year. Some risks I took and others I didn’t take.

So I ask:

Do you take the time to think about the risks of 2012?

Many people don’t look back. Many strive to avoid looking at mistakes as well as the wins. I believe that part of it comes from all this positive talk in social media and also from the day to day activities that don’t give us the time to reflect.
So, I decided to make a list of the things I do to analyze and gather my thoughts for the future. It is something that has worked over the years and I thought I would share it!

The Process:

1. Review the goals you set for 2012
2. List the wins of 2012
3. List the losses of 2012
4. Organize the why things happened
5. Organize the why you want or don’t want things to happen again
6. Create your top ten
7. Paste the list on your white board and read it every day

Why this process?

It is logical and it is beneficial to see everything as a timeline. We need to focus on the wins as we do on the losses. We need to become aware of the actions we took so we either repeat them or avoid them in the future.
Making the new goals for 2013 becomes easier once we are able to see the past and focus on making it in the following year. If you follow a process (doesn’t need to be mine) you are able to organize your thoughts and maintain calmness and your sanity. As small business owners, we are aware of the psychological torment that can accompany an individual running a business. Setting up procedures like this brings one back to level ground where decisions can be made without emotional attachments!

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PS. If you are wondering why I am sending this at the end of January… well I procrastinate… plus, I don’t want you to take this as a new year’s resolution… Now that the ugly and slow January is out of the way start planning!

Confidence in Math

Rather shocked when I meet people who can’t do basic math without the iPhone. Rather shocked that people can’t be confident in school, work, etc. when doing math. Is this a characteristic we picked up when we were young?  As we grew up did we realize that math either sucked or for some of us was rather fun?

I still go into schools to substitute and it is always a common occurrence to meet students who say they hate math and then see other who are working to get every question completely answered.

When do I convert people into believers of math? It comes at a time when I can relate the math to money or any kind of added value to their daily tasks.

So, I start showing smart math. Smart math is rather simple. It is math that enables one to understand basic concepts and at the same time do things quicker.

The process involves learning how to break down fractions faster, convert decimals to fractions, add, multiply, divide faster, etc.  By doing this they start mastering key math processes that start to become easier without them realizing it. Giving the basics a general walk through always entertains the non believers as they learn something of value that never settled in their head in the first place.

So why not google “Smart Math” and do an hour a day. Who knows, if you are in school you may get better in math and if you are a business owner you may get better at closing deals.

The NIKOS: the third person approach!

Are you a regretful person? Do you regret a lot of things you do? Sometimes they torture you? Pardon the French but do you ever say to yourself: “#@?! was I thinking?”

I used to! I think everyone does. Don’t have stats on it but I am pretty sure everyone I talk to has had that moment and if you haven’t, come for a coffee and quick chat and I will make sure you say it… the question is why? Why do we get into these situations?

Simple: it’s the EMOTION!

Your emotion controls many decisions in a given day. From what you wear to what you do, where you go, how you say things, what you say, and so on. Emotions guide us and if you read up on the brain, emotion is a part of our decision making process.

So what’s the cure? Well there is no cure but we can create a behavioral process to lower the average amount of times you get into a regretful situation. How you ask?

Simple: Talk in third person!

Nikos is the best! Nikos rocks! Nikos, Nikos, Nikos… NO!  I don’t mean this!

Third person approach is much different. It is an art that is developed over time! You must take your time learning the technique. You put yourself in a baby step learning process.

The third person approach works like a charm when engaged in any situation where a decision will be made and emotion is part of it.

Examples include, should I buy something? Should I go to sleep? Should I do my homework? Should I spend time with a person I don’t like? Should I be getting advice? Should I, Should I, Should I…

When making critical decisions to problems, I use this process (replace with your name):

  1. Calm yourself down with a coffee or something that relaxes you
  2. Analyze the problem analytically
  3. Calm yourself down again by forgetting the problem
  4. Create the options that exist to the decisions
  5. Say:  What is the best decision here for Nikos? Nikos, it is best for you to… because… and you will not regret it for the following reasons, Etc.
  6. Write it down to have the why of your decision handy
  7. Remind yourself that you made the decision for the reasons…..
  8. DONE!

Try this for a few months… it will be hard but the advantages will change your mood. You will be happier in every decision you make. You will become a decision making GURU…

How did I come about this?

When running your own business situations come up where you need to make a critical decision. Sometimes you can get advice and sometimes you can’t. This process came about when I thought to myself, WHAT WOULD I RECOMMEND TO A CLIENT?

Magically the decision to use third person was an excellent choice… Simply put, AWESOME!

 

 

Believe me … or DON’T

I am running a marathon… or at least I think.. last few months now… is it will or hope? The question I often ask myself!

I am actually running a marathon in the arctic, barefoot and shirtless.  When starting a new venture you analyze all and take risks… risks I took.

Small business is all about risk. Whether you quit your job to start a venture… or you build on it over time… to take the plunge, one thing is for certain… you made a choice and now you need to keep going!

The usual trip of an entrepreneur starts with a dream. Starts with a dream that aims to make things better! As things progress, one begins to think that all is good and success is on the way. As the wheal starts to role, one begins to gain great confidence only to be shut down with reality a short while later.

What happens? What turns the tide from happiness to disparity?

Reality! Yes, reality hits and we realize that the business world was not as we thought it would be. All the sudden success isn’t as promised (as we thought) nor as we expected.  We are now chasing a dream and not a goal. The key word here is goal. People get stuck in an adventure hoping that all goes well but when do we know to go on or quit?

I like to think that this is the point we start analyzing where we are at. Can we figure it out or do we need help? Can we keep going or should we quit? The questions are there but do we have an answer…

The point that we need is to stop and think, and say yes, we need a break from reality, we need a break from fakeness… we need a chance at a new beginning.  This is the point where we stop, no thinking, not actions, just being still.

Stillness is the key to my success. I absorb all my emotions (negative and positive) and allow them to settle down. Usually this is during my coffee break! I create a mind map of things that need to be done to change the tide and jump on the first idea that I think will bring me success.  This is the stage where we reset and align our actions with the goals!

Why does it work for me?

It works for one reason… when you have no emotion in an idea you have no biased opinion… you are using your mind, your knowledge and experience.

My next article will be all about my “NIKOS strategy”; the third person approach! Conveniently the cure to regret!

Ready to Connect? Networking Events in KW!

Do you network and at that how much time do you spend networking. When people ask me about it, I tell them how much time I spend and they look at me like I’m crazy! Am I?  Well no, I am not. My business is networking and as such I do it to the tee. I often coach clients on networking; teaching them the ins and outs of networking, tricks and tips, and so on.

I will be writing a full blog about networking, but in the mean time here are several events happening in KW.

SBCN Connect  Tuesday Nov 13 2012 – 7:00pm to 10:00pm The Honest Lawyer

This event always shows results and its one to come to. It is great to connect with people and have a social drink, in a social setting, where peoples real personalities come out!

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with Mayor Doug Craig at 5:00 pm! 284 Water Street North, Cambridge

Grand Openings are always great! Especially if it involves the mayor and especially if we are supporting our community!

Canadian Networking, Wednesday, November 14th, 6-9 pm at Conestoga Place on Manitou Drive.

If you haven’t been to one of these events, please check it out! You always bump into some grate people!

2012 Business Expo Wednesday, November 14, 2012 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM Bingemans

Of course this is the event of events for the chambers.  175 business showcasing their businesses… it’s a networkers heaven!

SBCN Monthly Networking Wednesday, November 21, 2012 – 7:00pm to 9:00pm Small Business center City Hall

SBCN is a great place to come and network. The relationships built here are worth keeping. Why? It’s a venue that promotes growth for all small businesses… have you met the OJ’s?

7th Annual Warm Hearts of Affrica Fundraising Party, Saturday November 24, 2012  8-12pm The Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery

This year’s event will be by far the most unique yet! 60’s Mad Men theme, fashion show, live entertainment courtesy of Chive Tonic, food and a wide variety of silent and live auction items! Tickets are now available at www.warmheartsofafrica.com.

Chamber young professionals, November 27th 5.30 – 730 pm Borealis Grillhouse and Pub

Once a month it’s nice to go meet young talent. Re-energize yourself and see what happening!

Rogers Business After 5 – December Wednesday, December 05, 2012  5:00 PM – 7:00 PM  Bingemans

Your monthly meet up with the chamber. Meet the businesses that are involved in the chamber.

SBCN Christmas Social Monday, December 10, 2012 – 7:00pm to 11:00pm The Honest Lawyer

Simply a great place to be… For us who don’t have a Christmas party!!!!

Movember Events: http://www.movemberkw.com/

Finally, there are about 10 events on the website for the remainder of MOVEMBER!!! Come out and meet a random group of people who are business, entrepreneurs, professionals, and just plain supporters for an awesome cause!

Having a tough time networking? Ask me for tips!!! This is what I do!

Don’t be Stressed, there’s no POINT!

I don’t know about you… but I haven’t had a full stressful day in years…

Why?

Simple! I don’t worry about things that may or may not happen. I get the deal? Great! I don’t get the deal? Great! Move on! Kinda like dating, no?

I see it this way:

  1. Opportunity comes
  2. Make a choice on it
  3. Win/Lose situation occurs
  4. Smile/frown
  5. Repeat

Why?

This is life. You can’t win everything and you can’t lose everything. I would say it is more like baseball and batting averages. Today you have a tough pitcher on his game and tomorrow you don’t.

In the stretch you should be succeeding or you are definitely doing something wrong. If that’s the case, consult with someone! Find a mentor or a friend that wants to listen to you and will help you find a solution (note: someone in the field of fixing things).  I have people from all industries around me. I strive to keep them close.

How many friends do I have? Well that’s a based on your definition of what a friend is.

In reality, you need to become self aware. You have no friends and you have no one around you; only those who need you are around! But you need them and you are sharing services… use what is available and build on what you have to get what you want.

Stress leaves when you realize that you are who you are and things come as they come. Accept that you are in a rut and figure out a way to change what is causing the rut…

Bank called? Great! Girl/boy called? Great! Business partner, client, employer, landlord, and so on? Great!

Something is wrong let’s figure it out! Find out what you need fixing and move forward in your journey. After all no one is better nor worse than you!

Fact is I don’t stress. I don’t worry. I just wonder and my mind leaves into the abyss.  When it comes back, work is done, the problem leaves and I am back in the game!