Archive | November, -0001
Let’s just look at the work you are doing and if you are enjoying it at all or not. Likely when you are starting out you will be working on over-drive. While this is certainly admirable and necessary from time to time, it shouldn’t be the norm. Or do you enjoy being really engaged and focused?
Realize that you are building over time and you may be on the foundation level at this point. The foundation of course is the most critical level because everything that happens after that is built on that premise. So it may be best to get all ducks in a row at least to some degree, if only conceptually at this point before we try to proceed.
Be real as far as what you believe you can accomplish in the short and mid-range target goals. What would it be like if 3-6 months from now, you were happy with what you did so far and know you are making progress even if you can’t see it yet?
Maybe in 12 months you are now starting to see substantial results of the actions you took in the past up to this point. Now if you just keep up your momentum it will start to ‘run itself’ (to some degree). This is sometimes referred to as autopilot. What a lovely concept – it is what it is and it does quite a bit to give you some freedom again. So take a deep breath and then keep on going in the right direction!
It’s really now more about ‘working smarter rather than harder’ – maybe upgrading some of your tools, services and/or equipment; creating ways to do things better – in a more efficient, organized way; maybe attend a webinar, download an eBook or take an online class or two. Keep growing.
It may be at that point you can see that there are always more things to learn before you can really make even more progress and things happen a lot faster. OK now you are finally really on your way. What would ideally be your level of involvement at this juncture? Would you be a ‘hands-on’ person (like a coach or consultant) or a delegator and remote like an executive?
Some of these issues really border on being related to whether you ‘work to live or live to work’. Probably that depends on how you look at that and give it either a positive or negative connotation. One thing is for sure – whatever it is, it is much easier if you can enjoy doing it and if not that you can afford to have it done for you while you enjoy your life otherwise!
If you are still working at a job, hopefully you like what you are doing, are being paid fairly and will be able to keep the position. None of the above is a given. Sometimes we must do things we are not crazy about just to support ourselves, sometimes we are not paid what we are worth or as much as we need to live well; sometimes we find our job is gone through no fault of our own. That’s the way it is.
The idea is to be prepared for any eventuality. It is a really tough thing to be worried about it after the fact. For example it is Friday afternoon at work and you get a ‘pink slip’ out of the clear blue sky. If they have any decency at all (and are in a position to), they are giving you pay in lieu of notice or at least notice of 14 to 30-days. (Friday is the day industry recommends letting people go as this gives them the weekend to recover from the shock and they don’t have much time to sabotage anything before they clock out).
It comes down to finding out how you will survive until you find another job. You take stock of what you have in the way of your pay during the ‘notice’ period, any accrued vacation they may pay you for, any severance pay (which is sometimes like 1-2-weeks pay for every year of service). If you are being ‘laid off, you do qualify for unemployment insurance right off the bat. For other situations in losing your job (fired, etc) you need to consult with the EDD office in your state, but it is believed that only people who quit their jobs would not qualify for at least some benefits as they do take the money out of our paychecks to fund that.
Then you need to take stock of your savings, pension or 401k plans. Really terrible if you need to tap those but it is good to know that they stand between you and sleeping under the freeway if you can’t find a job any time soon. Don’t have a cavalier attitude about that because during job recessions even executives and professionals sometimes have a very hard time finding work, particularly if they are over 40 or so.
If you have been wise you will have already at least started a business from home part-time or even as a hobby, that given full-time attention could be another source of income for you. If not then it can be really tough to be looking for a job at the same time as you are trying to start a business. Being that it takes time and consistent effort for a new business to develop, you should try to find at least part-time work first, if you aren’t prepared for this crisis.
You hear all the time ‘build a relationship’, ‘build trust’ when talking about how to network and develop your business. Whether or not you are completely open and receptive, skeptical, or completely contrary, you won’t trust somebody for long who doesn’t keep their word. Trust and respect really do go hand in hand.
We should always give the benefit of the doubt at least initially, and give the person a chance to clarify or explain the situation — (an apology is very cool, but only goes so far after multiple times). No excuse for rude behavior like being chronically late or no-show for appointments, or failing to return your call or answer your email, even after you made 2-3 attempts. (…calling to say you will be late BEFORE you are actually late goes a long way.)
It must be qualified here that it is of paramount importance to be responsive (have a pulse), from the perspective of you having invited people to contact you anytime if they need anything or have a problem, and you would be glad to assist them. Don’t say it unless you really mean it. Make provisions for your customers to receive assistance if it is not your trip. People don’t like to feel that as soon as they give you their money the whole atmosphere changes and they can’t find you.
However fair is fair and ONLY IF the customer is following instructions and being respectful of your protocols, do you owe them the respect of a prompt response.(For example using the correct link or email address posted as the one for support.) If they feel entitled to be hostile there is always the blacklist filter.
If you tell somebody you will call them Monday – then call them Monday. Otherwise say you will call them soon (if you will). So rude to have someone waiting for a call that never comes. If you say you can deliver something by Tuesday, then you really should be on time. If you are not absolutely sure you can keep your commitment, then say ‘Tuesday or so’ (meaning maybe Wednesday or stretching it to the max Thursday). Be proactive if there is a problem – let them know before they get annoyed.
This type of genuine honesty extends to time limits, costs and quantities in advertising. If you say that the price is $1 cheaper until Wednesday, then the price should go up Wednesday, lest they see you are not a ‘man/woman of your word’ and it was just a ploy to rush them. The point is to mean what you say so people will respect you.
On the other hand, you can fudge a little and exactly on Wednesday announce you have decided to extend the offer another day, week or whatever. The point is to say what you mean so people will begin to trust you. Most sales/advertising people know that it is a legitimate ‘psyche’ to use scarcity (time limits, limited quantity) as a selling point that compels people to take action now instead of later or never. So there is a ‘thin-gray line’ here.