Friday, June 27, 2014

Too much Stress....will never stop our SUCCESS!

We live in the islands of the Caribbean - a place where people come to relax and recoup.  Yet there's an alarming reality of the people who actually live here.  We're too stressed!

What do I mean?

Let's break it down into groups of people living in the Caribbean. You will realize that though we live here, it can only be classified as an existence; bearing little resemblance to what others envisage as the lifestyles we experience.

There's something about the islands, that people of other lands would classify us as rich. Yet we don't see ourselves that way. Is it that we take too much for granted? Too many of us don't know how to swim. We only know the route to and from work. We don't get to visit our family, and nowadays don't even know the younger and older members of the family.

The islands are expensive. Living in the islands requires money and know how. If you have little money, you better have know how, since these skills are necessary to eke out a livelihood. We have to pay at least twice as much to be on par with those in other countries; and this goes for goods and services.

This constant hustle to survive is taking its toll on island life. Too much time at work, often in sedentary roles, is contributing to the increase in non-communicable diseases - diabetes, hypertension, to name a few. The high costs of living mean that we now have more month than money - a very real situation for many people living in the Caribbean. Apart from working in a job, one often has to have a sideline business - making items for sale, growing food stuff inclusive of livestock, or having a skill such as cutting hair, trimming hedges, making craft, making clothes, and the list can go on.

Despite the sea breezes, the coconut water, the rum, flying fish and other Caribbean goodies - when others come here to work; they quickly realize one thing - We Work Hard for What We Want! Though things are touch economically, we still want to experience what it's like on the side of the wealthy and will work to buy accessories for our cars, hair, bodies, homes and experiences. Life is short and we want the best!

Stress...bring it on. It will never defeat someone from the islands! We are born to succeed! We are winners!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Can you build a team?

Nowadays, it seems that everyone wants to be an entrepreneur. It doesn't help that governments seem to be fuelling this trend in order to justify their employment statistics either. What's happening though is that entrepreneurs don't want to work with others in many instances since they want to be the boss and not be accountable to anyone else. It's a recipe for disaster and failure.

There's a need for accountability, and that doesn't mean giving up control; though it may mean you don't exercise full ownership any longer. Here are some of the common thoughts being touted by many entrepreneurs - in raw unpolished form:

  • They want the investors money but not their input; so the investor should put their money in and just disappear until it's near repayment time. 
  • Staff don't need to be paid well, their work is not that valuable as running a business. Who gets the headaches at night trying to keep this business afloat?
  • Customer better take what we're offering since the research shows they're getting a deal. No one else offers this product/service at this kind of price and value. Is this really how you wish to treat a customer? They may not complain....
  • Look we have people who'd figure out the details. Who's the visionary here? That word, visionary, irks me personally. They always want to pull one over on everyone they meet. Personally I seldom wish to deal with anyone who has such a title. 
You get the idea. No one recognizes that to truly succeed you have to work in teams. Though the information's there, very few look to see that the successful entities have learnt the value of team and how to work with the skills and strengths of their various team members. 

No successful entity really does so without understanding the importance of having skill with people. Can you provide the following?
  1. Clear direction 
  2. Sound communication 
  3. Create positive environments 
  4. Be helpful without making others feel weak or useless
  5. Empower others to utilize their skills and abilities 
  6. A solutions oriented environment that solves virtually all problems because of clarity of focus

The list can go on but the message is clear. To succeed you have to be able to build teams. Too many still tout the cliched if you want it done well do it yourself type of thinking. 

The result is stress! 

Can you build teams with accountabilities in place? Are you willing to be accountable as well? If you're willing to learn team building then there are solutions available that will help you in realizing the success that you require. 

Here's what you can do. Read the books for yourself, take a course, hire a professional; all the while understanding that the process will be as quick or slow as you determine. In the realm of your plans, what time do you have realistically? In the scope of things, time can be even more valuable than money; so be careful how you invest your time. 

One thing is certain, whatever your decision, you can determine if you want fragmented dribblings of results or if you wish to really experience that feeling of loving it when a plan comes together. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Take stock and revamp

When you're doing business for any length of time, it's easy for some things to fall through cracks. What do I mean?

  • You deviate from your planned/established procedures
  • Damaging behaviours creep in, especially when taken for granted that it's a one off experience 
  • Your systems are not really systems, only an ad hoc set of behaviours clumped together 
What do you do?
  • You will feel overwhelmed
  • You will experience the frustration of not truly making progress 
  • Stress levels will increase in all facets of your life - you get the picture 
  • Examine what you're doing and the results you're getting 
  • Identify where changes need to be made; get help if you need to
  • Make the changes, and then evaluate to see if they're working 
Here's what you'll find
  • You may become more organized achieving more in less time
  • Your stress levels will decline
  • You will feel more in control of what you're doing and what you wish to achieve 
  • Ever so slight, you'll start to experience some successes 
  • Stopping and taking stock often enough will even result in your becoming a bigger success than you've ever been
Don't take my word for it. Try it for yourselves. You owe it to yourselves, your family, and your business; whatever it may be. Begin to take steps today to improve the quality of your living. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Mistakes - Life's greatest teachers

One thing's for certain. If you're in business long enough you will have some challenges. You may encounter professional and personal challenges, but they all affect some of the circumstances within your business.

How are you doing business wise / personally?

Often times we are caught up in the busyness of our business. This activity becomes so routine and automatic that planning goes out the window and oftentimes we feel like we're on the treadmill - lots of activity but not covering any real ground. Progress seems to be in the far distance and success still farther away.

Getting sick is not necessarily a bad thing. It forces you to stop and think. You question yourself about your current lot / place in life. Depending on who you are you'll have various questions that apply to you. After some pondering, you tend to decide on a course of action and take it.

You realize that you knew the answers all along. You just never had the opportunity to stop and address your personal situation as you were always busy taking care of others.

So what can you do so that you don't have to wait until you become sick to do evaluations?

  1. Book appointments with yourself
  2. Take time to improve your knowledge and skills 
  3. Apply what you've learnt to take you closer to your goals. 
You will make mistakes along the way as you alter your actions. Don't be afraid to make them; mistakes are some of the greatest teachers. You'll see that once you take heed to your findings, your business environment will improve and your personal challenges will be eliminated in terms of that particular set of mistakes. 

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