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I don’t live life to the fullest… what should I do?

Recently had someone ask me the question, “I don’t live life to the fullest, what should I do?” and quite frankly didn’t know how to answer. So I have pondered it for a while and here goes. I asked what is it that they need right now in their life and they said “enjoyment”. The following question was simple to ask but hard to answer… what does enjoyment mean?

I realized over the past few years that life is simple. Life becomes difficult when we get stuck in this process of emotional un-attachment to our inner selves. We want something but how do we get it especially when we don’t know what it is we want.

What about Soul Searching?

I think not! I don’t believe in this process of searching for one self’s inner being. I don’t believe in searching for something that we don’t know how to find. Why? I am a logical, realistic person who believes that life brings you to events based on previous decisions. I have sat and pondered while doing the whole soul searching adventure and I realized until I try things out I won’t know what I like.

So what did I recommend to this person?

Make a list of things you don’t want to do… and simply don’t do them (Just like the commercial).

Focus on doing anything but those. Opportunity arises for something, ask yourself:

Is this something I don’t want to be doing?

The simple fact is that if you know you won’t want to be doing it then it won’t make you happy to be doing it. So how can you live your life to the fullest if you continually do stuff that you don’t like to do?

Getting rid of these will immediately change your life.  Trying new things involve patience and time. If you are in a place where you don’t want to be, change where you are by moving to something that isn’t on your list of things you don’t want to be doing!

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.

Smart or Smarter?

FACT: everyone thinks they are smarter than the other! Why waste that time worrying about little things in life? When working with someone do you find it frustrating that a person is acting like they know everything but you seem to do all the work? While working with a client and a few of his partners on a consult, I realized that they had a big problem: “No one valued each other’s intellectual ability”

Fact is they didn’t trust each other. Big problem don’t you think?

I was standing in a typical example of a person not respecting the other thinking they were always right and always smarter. This applied for each of the partners on to each other… further this, it trickled down to the whole team of employees! Thought I was in Ramsy’s Kitchen Nightmares…

What did we do? We had a session on what everyone is good at looking at their strengths and weaknesses. Surprisingly, they all had both segments. What a relief.

We started talking all together and analyzed the opportunity cost for each person’s time spent on what the other was doing, trying to make it better or redoing work. The ROI on everything was causing them to be so inefficient that they were latterly bleeding their wallets dry. Further that, they had given up on the business and wanted to end it.

The process was simple:

  1. State what you are good at and what you like to do, then focus on it
  2. State what you are NOT good at and what you DO NOT like to do, then simply don’t do it
  3. Mind your business over a period of 3 to 4 weeks while everything is being monitored
  4. Analyze the performance in a meeting
  5. Figure out a solution and implement it if required

Point is that we spend too much time in other people’s business. We spend too much time trying to fix the other instead of trusting them and helping them develop that skill… Trust is crucial especially in a growing company. If there isn’t any then it must be developed or an exit of one person must occur.

Communication Change in the Corp Word

Communication Change in Corp World

Communication Change in the Corp Word

Communication Change in the Corp Word

 

We have all been involved in large organizations. We have all witnessed what it is like to work with others in a massive team. We have worked the jobs at the bottom of the chain and also the ones at the top. Various understanding of how to deal with people exists and it is usually based on previous experience, culture, society norm, and so on.

What I noticed while working with some big corporations, is that people tend to stick to what they know. They don’t like change and certainly not anything that will compromise their job/career. It is intuitive that they follow procedure.

Does this make or break a corporation? Well startups are in a different position. They are able to create a different culture and develop new approaches to their work flow. Usually this can give them leverage over bigger companies and giving them an opportunity to grow faster and capture market share.

So how does communication come into play? The basis of any working model should require a proper communication flow; a way for a team to develop and grow constructively. What happens next? The interesting process of corporate politics enters the arena and when you have new technology… fireworks are always expected.

While at the bottom of the chain working the entry jobs, I would suggest great tools, great flows and really, anything that would limit the amount of time it would take to get responses back. Moving up the chain and learning the tricks of the trade I would start suggestions with proper presentations and proof of efficiency. This proved to be beneficial. The interesting portion however, came from different management.

Focusing on the successful ones, they integrated culture change. Culture change is always difficult, with all the politics, procedures and what not else that exists in a large corporation. The effectiveness of being able to make the change always brought success in the implementation. If this was not accomplished, the opposite occurred, where by efficiency dropped and the projects felt the ramifications of limited culture change.

Sensitive Much

Sensitive Much?

Sensitive Much

Sensitivity… Its a bitch!

You ever work with someone who is over sensitive? Don’t know how to deal with it? It comes with experience but I wanted to give a quick example and a solution of steps to try that work with me.

After working with a member on my team I realized that the person valued how “smart” they were. They valued being the smartest guy on the team. Rightly so they were the smartest in their own domain. Everyone has different skill sets that they excel at and being the smartest all around doesn’t always apply. What happened over and over however, the person would get upset with anything and anyone who tried to show him something that he didn’t know.  What I realized however, that a pattern was emerging. Steps I took:

  1. Started following the pattern
  2. Analyzed what was said and how
  3. Developed the timing and situation
  4. Came up with different solutions and tested them
  5. Analyzed them and Voila

What we realized is that he wasn’t getting upset over him not being the smartest, he was upset over how we said. The tone and words that were used.. I am a direct person and will tell you straight to the face not worried about how you feel. Why? This is how I was raised and this is how my culture is.

So I started working with sensitivity words. These words included “we”, “let us”, and so on; words that were group mentality, words that avoided the “you are not that smart” feelings.

Sensitivity is a big issue both in the work and social life of everyone. I have my theories but will leave them for another article. The point is that you can’t afford to not accommodate these scenarios. People by nature are negative and by this thought we need to focus on avoiding sensitive dialogue. By this I mean becoming aware of any sensitive words that a person may take differently and have a mood swing that ruins productivity for the day.