Posts

How do you protect your business from employees?

3 MIN READ

Protecting your business assets must be a high priority for all owners on a good thing with their products and services. However, when your priority shifts to become focused on guarding against your own employees, you have a problem. This is like a red flag of dysfunctional culture waving an urgent alarm that things are not ok.

This is a question I saw posted on social media recently. A real question from a real business owner. The assumptions implied in the phrasing of this question are a concern to me. If you have a culture based on opposition, suspicion and defensiveness you have a foundation for a very unhealthy company. If you’re asking these questions you won’t get far with ensuring confidence and investment from your team.

This business owner thought they had a problem with their staff. But what they really have is a problem in their culture. Instead of asking the best way of protecting your business assets from your own employees, why not ask:

“How can you create confidence and security for your team whilst harnessing your operational IP?”

“Everyone talks about building a relationship with your customer. I think you build one with your employees first.”
Angela Ahrendts

THIS is a question worth answering! My quick thoughts on the matter:

Protecting Your Business Assets Starts With Establishing Ownership

Of course, the protection of your most valuable assets is essential to business stability. Make sure your team members understand from the outset that all operational knowledge, resources, tools, inventions and developments are ultimately owned by the business. Not by you personally, or by them personally. Documented this in your team employment contracts, signed and dated by you and your staff member. A clause like this does more than protect your company’s operational IP legally. It sends a message to every member of your staff that it’s all for one and one for all at “Team You!”

System Access Should Only Ever Be An Inside Job

Secure all your business logins in an online service which stores sensitive information securely. We use 1Pasword in our team, but LastPass is another popular solution for you as well. Using these encrypted storage tools offers more than the protection of your logins. It guards your staff against the fallout of losing logins or having them fall into the wrong hands. It creates efficiency with faster access procedures, and it creates security for the data being protected. Password software also makes offboarding really efficient in the sad eventuation that a team member needs to leave. You can simply remove their access from the company password service and they’re free to move on.

Build Safe, Accessible Systems On Solid Tech Foundations

I worked with a company in 2019 who still used a local server to store their company business. This old technology is not as secure or efficient as migrating to cloud-based data storage. All your data can be protected by encryption as well as unique logins and access rights for each user. All your data usage can be tracked by many services. This means you see who has been accessing data, when they did it, and exactly what they did. And all data is then made available from anywhere in the world. Storing your company data in the cloud increases efficiency and accountability. Most of all, it celebrates a culture of transparency which keeps people on the same team, without compromising on security for your company.

Protecting Your Business Assets Is A Team Effort

Involving all team members in the development of operational processes is a perfect recipe for engagement. When people are involved in creating the type of workspace they want to work in, their personal investment into the company soars. Make sure they understand just how much the company values their input, and use the task of process documentation as an opportunity to celebrate and reward their knowledge. Then secure this documentation behind encrypted logins, stored centrally in the cloud for fast, safe, shared access.

Above all else, the development of a safe, invested workforce starts with positive leadership coming “from the top”. If leaders at the executive level use language which undermines the positive, invested culture of teamwork and collaboration at work, it will follow that the team will operate in kind. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy you never want to see play out in your company.

Yes, security is important. Especially as time marches on bringing with it new threats and concerns at every turn. But implementing effective security measures does not mean developing a culture of mistrust and fear. Your employees need those security measures just as much as your company does. Just remember the power of your language and the influence that you have as the leader of your company. It’s always the little things that lead to the creation of a healthy, positive company culture.

Power Doesn’t Come From Within

3 MIN READ

Empowering yourself as a leader starts with connecting your personal capacity with the opportunities you can find in the world. Facing upheaval often causes many of us to question how much control we really have in our lives. There are so many things we simply have no power over in life. However, it’s important to remember that even amidst the most brutal circumstances, we are powerful to withstand and even affect dramatic change.

Quite simply, we do not lack power. But sometimes, it’s easy to become confused about how to activate that power to face everyday challenges. Massive problems arise when you try to empower yourself as a leader by trying to manufacture a power you can’t actually believe.

You Need To Prove Your Capacity To Believe It

You are a smart person. You’re intelligent, thoughtful, and reflective about yourself and the difference you want to make. As a result, you need evidence for your beliefs. A motivational seminar will make you feel great, but it won’t necessarily prove that you are powerful. Positive affirmations will help you, but they won’t allow you to actually demonstrate your capacity. Even when you visualise yourself rising to new heights, you still lack the experiential evidence that your highly evolved brain needs to be convinced that you can really reach those peaks.

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I’d like to suggest that the journey of empowering yourself as a leader relies on you putting your own power into action. Like all of us, you have a unique power primed for activation within yourself. To realise your unique capacity, you need to embrace the reality that empowerment can only be situational.

The opportunities we need to empower ourselves as leaders come from the world around us

I lost my voice in 2009 after working through a sinus infection I developed while teaching. The effects of the injury sent me into a spiral of powerlessness which lasted a total of eighteen gruelling months of isolation. Progressively, I developed a very healthy depression complete with flourishing drinking habit. I was a mess, emotionally, physically, spiritually and socially. It was the most disempowered I have ever felt.

Making positive progress through this dark time depended on me proving to myself that I really was in control of myself.  To stop drinking and start to win over the depression, I had to go without the drink. Then I had to start performing the actions of a happy person: running, laughing, dancing, loving my friends and family actively. This season taught me lessons that have helped me ever since. It just might help you muster up your own fullness as well:

TODAY’S BEST IS TOMORROW’S BENCHMARK:

Following a pathway of genuine improvement is the only way to empower yourself as a leader, because this provides daily proof that you can withstand and even create change. This means taking on a lifestyle of constant increase, always pursuing new heights. You get to enjoy the rewards of this moment while taking in the panoramic views of the bright future ahead.

Living this way means that you can resist backing down or making compromises, even when tough times come. This mindset means this part of your life is better than it has ever been before, and it can only get better from here.

NEVER BREAK A DEAL WITH YOURSELF:

You will never believe you are powerful if you watch yourself fail at commitments. Honestly, you are better to never make the commitment in the first place than make one and break it. This is because your self-respect is the central pillar of your power. Once you make a promise to yourself, you must keep it if you want to succeed in empowering yourself as a leader.

I encourage you to pause before you make a commitment because failing to achieve them can have a damaging and even destructive effect. Instead, try this approach to goal setting:

SET UP WINS, NOT GOALS:

Rather than being set in stone, your goals can function more as an expectation of the sequence of wins you have set yourself up for. You will always get better at being your best if you simply practice being that person in your daily life. To pursue any goal you must first let go of it. This relief from striving will prevent you from the burnout that comes from chasing big goals that seem unobtainable. And it will allow you to take new risks in business without the pressure of being tied to the outcome.

Remember your most reliable source of empowerment comes from the small smaller wins you achieve consistently. The greatest endeavour is making a life that allows you to string these wins together.

 

You can take each of these three approaches into every area of your life when empowering yourself as a leader. The attributes of self-respect, constant improvement, persistence, and celebrating wins will always offer more lasting reward than finite, limited progress. These attributes give us the lasting proof you need to believe that you are able to make a lasting difference.  Watch your own successful performance in the world, then transform that evidence into the belief that you can turn any disaster into an opportunity for growth and achievement.

 

business leaders inspiring their staff

Why Business Leaders Shift From Inspired to Inspiring

4 MIN READ

Like most of us, business leaders all over the world are looking for inspiration. Billions of dollars are generated each year in sales related to self-help. People spend money on life coaches, motivational speakers, and courses or events which inspire attendees to achieve new greatness. It is a massive consumer industry on the rise. Soul searching millennials, stressed-out parents, and ambitious career builders are all on the hunt for the next way to elevate themselves and enhance their futures.

To participate in this trend is easy. Social media provides access to the promotion of resources that never end. The internet delivers materials right to your inbox or Zoom screen. Your global community joins you in celebrating the learning and development. They cheer you on as you advance towards your potential.

It feels great too! Who wouldn’t want to join an army of optimistic people on a mission to achieve more, be better, pursue their own personal greatness? Sharing with others as they come into their own is uplifting; doing that yourself can be euphoric.

But today, a question for business leaders:

Are you merely inspired yourself, or do you inspire others?

“A boss has the title, a leader has the people,” Simon Sinek

There is a massive difference between sitting in the crowd and presenting from the stage. When you’re building a business, it’s all about commanding that leadership role.

Inspiration is not conveyed by mere osmosis. Simply being positive and optimistic about how things are going in your business will not make your team automatically positive and optimistic too. Influential business leaders know it’s vital to shift from being inspired yourself, to inspiring others with your business mission. You need to strategically communicate the vision you have for your team, your clients, and your community. This does not happen by accident. Here are three ways you can master the art of harnessing your own inspiration to go on and inspire others.

 

Business Visionaries Have Consistent Messaging

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” Jeff Bezos

You started your business to achieve one main thing. Clarify exactly what that mission is to make it short and sweet so it is easy for others to capture that vision.

Think tagline!

Then plaster that short, sweet mission statement everywhere: on your website, in your company email footers, on your signage and in the tea room. Print it on T-shirts, open your team meetings with reminders, put it in your team position descriptions. Put it on your company header, tell your team members in their quarterly review, make it the centrepiece of your advertising and marketing.

Do not waver. Do not deviate. Do not become distracted. Shout that one message from the rooftops so everyone can join the inspiration you have for your business mission.

 

Business Leaders Set Achievable Goals

“Process drives culture, not the other way around, so you can’t just change the culture, you have to change the system.” Eric Ries

It may not seem as romantic as your original vision, but leading others to their own inspiration starts with taking a systematic approach. The inspiration you have needs to inform not only what people believe about the business, but how they operate each day.

Think systems and processes!

Lead your team in building out the procedures that get everyone working towards that vision with momentum and confidence. Empower your team to find the most effective, efficient way to work. Then  make that way the new normal. Set up regular reviews for your team so you routinely check in with them to offer support and celebrate their progress each quarter. Have systems in place to ensure that you can help your team get back on track even when standards might start to slip at work.

Everyone in your team will be inspired when you find ways to celebrate the vision being brought to life through achievement and increase.

 

Business Mentors Build Personal Connections

“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing” W. Edwards Deming

You can talk all you like about how your business is growing and your team is expanding. But taking others with you on the journey of business inspiration relies on you building a system to lead them. When you connect with other business leaders, you should be able to describe exactly what you’re doing to build the visionary leaders in your company.

Establishing ways to facilitate a sense of personal ownership, belonging and success for your team is foundational to your success. Your staff don’t only want to be acknowledged and rewarded. They actually need it. 79% of people who quit their job cite lack of appreciation as the reason, so actively demonstrating you care is vital to the long term health of your company.

Think mentorship!

When you were just starting out on your own, your job was to just keep going! With so much to do and so little time, your own inspiration was the fuel you burned to get that business off the ground. But building a business to expand and scale requires a paradigm shift. Inspiring your team to build your business for you means maintaining routines which make your staff know just how much you value their contribution. Take them under your wing. Connect with them regularly. Set them up for success with clearly defined expectations and rewards for achievement. Ask them what they want to achieve, and give them what they need to make that happen. As a business leader, you can make their days count for something more significant than their salary.

Watch what happens in your company when you shift from being inspired yourself to inspiring others.

 

How You See Determines What You See

3 MIN READ

If there is one word that we could all relate to lately it is change! Our own personal empowerment is being stretched by fluctuating social environments, changing global news, evolving health concerns, shifting lifestyle opportunities. Change has taught me a lot of lessons over the years, but when it comes to your own power this one is pertinent today:

Your words are your greatest power in defining your outlook, and so your future.

What we say is powerful! I know from experience that William Golding was right in the Lord of the Flies: “The greatest ideas are the simplest.” The truth of this concept is such a foundational part of my life now that its thread is easily identified in everything I do, think and say. I continue to invest in my personal empowerment and the empowerment of those around me. I do this by exploring how words can produce the best possible outcome in any and every situation.

Personal empowerment comes with words which reflect a higher vision

“Your words can be powerful, then can hurt or uplift, so think before you speak, as every word you say counts” Leon Brown

Personally Empowered Thinking

How much do you think about the words you use? Like everyone, you think about the things you want, the actions you do, the possessions you have … Do you ever listen to what you’re saying to yourself and those around you? Considering the world you are creating with your words can literally transform your life. This can lead to steadfast empowerment that anchors your very identity.

It’s been said that words are thoughts, and without them, humans can’t think.  We have around 50,000 thoughts per day. Some say up to 70,000 thoughts. But did you know that 95% of those thoughts are simply old ones on repeat? Only 5% of our thoughts are hot off our mental press. This means that the words filling our mind today are almost identical to the ones that were there yesterday. Our brain is the best autopilot around. However, this repeating cycle does nothing for us when we want to change. It also makes it incredibly difficult to respond to a change that comes from out of the blue.

Making More Personally Empowered Choices

The good news is that we can choose the words we say to ourselves, so you can actually start to put this mental repetition to work for us as a tool of your own personal empowerment. As you start to explore who you are by examining the words you think and say, you enter the inner part of yourself that can be changed by choosing new words. It’s important to notice the script that is already there. This will need to be actively discarded and replaced by the new words you choose.

I went through a very humbling journey recently as I listened to the default response I gave when people asked, “How are you?” Without missing a beat I would say I was doing well. Then I would follow up with how hard I had been working and how many trials I was trying to overcome. This response must have been created at some stage of my working-class background, in a society that wears hardship like a badge of honour. As a result, this undermined my own personal empowerment. But then I turned a corner.

Leading Your Own Empowerment

As an adult now, I am powerful to choose my own outlook. That old response sounded ugly to me. It was like I heard myself for the first time that day. In a strange combination of shame at what I’d found and excitement of what was to come, I decided to change the way I spoke. I was keen to alter those discouraging, defeated words to make them more positive and uplifting. This would result in me deleting the old words from my identity script, forever. I always want to choose words that create encouragement, success and advancement. This is how to develop the language of leadership.

We can all respond by telling people that we are well, then say something wonderful that has happened lately. Then, we can all ask how they are. Typically, you will receive a reply like your own. Your words have set a different pace for the conversation. Everybody wins! There are no excuses for complaining that life is too hard. Even on the toughest days, your friends are kind, the world is genuinely beautiful, and opportunity awaits. The sun is always shining above the darkest storm.

You Choose What You See

The keys to personal empowerment are in your own hands. You are the only person in the entire world who can master the power of your thoughts and language. Only you can choose the words that make a positive shift in your life. To use your words with creative power, you need to deliberately, strategically break into who you are to change what you find. You need to unlock the things you think and the things you say to transform how you see the world. Because How you see determines What you see.

 

Home Truths About Business Leadership

3 MIN READ

With all of us in isolation lately, we’ve been spending vastly less time around others than our usual schedules would require. It’s got me to thinking about the person we are when nobody is looking. I’ve been reflecting on how to make the most of the extra time we have to spend with ourselves at the moment. My thoughts lead me to realise a powerful key to personal growth. Today, I wanted to share it with you:

Who you are in private determines what people see in public.

A Time For Reflection

There’s a significant reduction in the amount of face time many have with their staff, their friends, and even their family and loved ones right now. Many are working from home, pushing through the distractions that come from children, pets, partners and even deliveries. Some are struggling through at their dining tables or makeshift work stations without a dedicated space to get stuff done. Others, like myself, have adult children living out of home now, so isolation brings the sadness of not being able to visit them or other loved ones.

I bet all of us are missing the comfort of our old routines, and the familiarity of how things were. Despite the massive changes we’ve been forced to navigate lately, all of us have been gifted with a unique opportunity to dig down deep to explore more of what we’re really made of in this season of isolation.

I’d love to invite you to join me in this special time of reflection by having a “heart to heart” with yourself. Who we are now is everything. How we respond in ourselves will make a defining difference to the outcomes we experience on the other side of the crisis.

“The empires of the future are empires of the mind” Winston Churchill

Do Your Routines Serve You?

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle

Take a look around the landscape of your “normal life”. Honestly evaluate how you’re going with managing the areas that are key to fulfilment and well-being. Boldly ask yourself if you’re happy with the state of your health, your relationships, your mindset and mood, your financial management, your business growth, and other areas that are important to you as a person.

The physical distance you need to keep right now might just be a blessing. It may well give you the space to conduct a lifestyle audit you’ve never had the opportunity to do before. Take advantage of the viewpoint you have right now to create some healthy new habits in your life. Match your intentions and ambitions with the little actions that will progressively create ease and flow across every area of your life.

Are You Getting Where You Want To Go?

“Long term success is a direct result of what you achieve every day. Goals provide your daily routine” Rick Pitino

For many business leaders, this lifestyle audit has been long overdue. The small things you do each day lead directly to the circumstances experienced by your family, your staff, and of course by you! If you’ve become stuck in a rut now is the time to acknowledge where you are and plan to turn the corner. The insights you uncover and plans you devise now in isolation may change the very future of your company.

Have the courage to think about how things actually run in your business. Will the way routine work is managed actually lead you to the achievement of your goals? Are your staff engaged and productive at work? Is everyone clear on exactly what they need to do, how it needs to be done, and why they are doing the work at all? Business success relies on clear vision being activated in tight workplace routines.

Do You Feel Free And Empowered?

“Freedom is people realising they are their own leader.” Diane Nash

I’ve never met a business owner who started their business because they wanted to work long hours and get stuck at work fixing other people’s mistakes. Every owner I know, plus all those in the research, says they are in business because they want to make a real difference. They want to be their own boss and enjoy freedoms in their lifestyle, their finances, and their relationships.

If you cannot confidently say that your daily routines at home and at work have created a lifestyle of freedom and empowerment for you and yours, it is time for a change. The entire world is in transition! You have the chance now to prepare for new outcomes. Set up new ways of working which liberate you from the burden of business growth. Develop systems which elevate your team and increase their performance at work. Create new boundaries for your life which lock away time for the things that matter most.

Now you can work in private to make a big difference in public. Now it is time to focus only on building a business that can make an impact that lasts.

 

Let’s Tell Our Own Story About Crisis

3 MIN READ

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been resolving a conflict inside of me. This conflict has been a leadership one. Working out how to manage myself well has been challenging, at times to the point of overwhelming. The circumstances we’ve all been experiencing from the impacts of the virus are some of the most restrictive I’ve ever encountered. The abrupt changes and global uncertainty have been immense to take on.

Dealing With The Changes

It’s been really strange to face days where I can’t go out to an event or enjoy breakfast at a cafe. Walking down quiet streets has been surreal. Navigating crowded footpaths whilst trying to keep my distance has been frustrating and even scary.

Reading the news has been a rollercoaster ride for me. I want to stay informed, to comply with the latest rules, and to get the information I need to make decisions. I want to keep doing well with managing my health, my relationships, my business, my day-to-day plans. But the news has been harrowing. Stories of global lockdown, sickness and death … Some days the human vulnerability I saw was just so confronting that I needed to take a break altogether.

The Power Of Questioning Assumptions

I was out walking recently, reflecting on just how invasive all of it has been. News of the virus and its impacts on our lives has become the story we’ve all been telling. Progressively, I’ve noticed that I’ve been tempted to tell myself a story of restriction, hardship and poverty. And I’ve generalised this story too, imagining it might even apply to everyone else too. It’s become a really hard story to deal with. Trying to keep moving through the days is a burden under the weight of a story like that.

Then I listened to myself and I realised there were massive problems with the things I was thinking. The conflict I was experiencing wasn’t coming from the stress of the outside world. It was coming from inside me! I hope that by sharing these thoughts you might develop some new ways to respond to the hardships you’re facing too.

“Watch what you tell yourself, you’re likely to believe it.” Russ Kyle

Disempowerment Doesn’t Suit You

When you listen to a story that makes you feel trapped and hopeless, and you start to believe that story, you forget that you’re powerful to create new outcomes. Following requirements to stay home as much as possible and keep your distance if you need to go out is how things are right now. But this still leaves so much room for you to make choices for yourself across every area of your life.

Above all else, it is vital to keep this truth at the front of your mind in all things: You are the only one who controls your thoughts and feelings. Regardless of how powerless you might feel, you are always the only one with the power to be you!

 

You Can Tell Your Own Story

The story that’s being told through the media is only one side of the story. If you quickly pop your head up out of the trenches you’ll see evidence everywhere that people can, and are, bouncing back with new ideas and creative improvements. They’re still going where they want to go. In fact, many have found better ways of making progress because they had to adjust to the circumstances.

You’ll always have unique aspirations for the future to activate. Even amidst change, you’re are the writer of your story and the creator of your future. Lead yourself forward with a tenacious dedication to achieving your aims. Embrace flexibility and responsiveness as essential to success.

 

You Have Abundant Resources To Fuel Growth

The opportunities available to you right now far outweigh the limitations being imposed. In telling a new story, I’ve been marvelling at the privileges afforded to everyone by the internet. You can still stay up to date online, so most of the time the big stuff won’t happen without you knowing. You can still stay in touch online, so isolation does not have to be so isolating. You can still do business online, with the chance to make your business more efficient, streamlined and scalable than it ever has been before.

Instead of focusing on what can’t be done right now, cast your vision over the things you can do. It doesn’t suit anyone to tell a story of scarcity because the truth is that we always have everything we need to move forward. Harness the power you have to create new outcomes, map out a pathway towards that outcome, then mobilise what you need to embark on the journey. There’s nothing stopping you!

 

Thinking About Identity In Times Of Change

4 MIN READ

If you’re anything like me you’ve been riding a personal and professional roller coaster lately. The world has been turned upside down, so it can be difficult to feel confident that you know which way is up. I have invested heavily in my self-care to continue making progress through this time. I’m dedicated to keeping my head above water by anchoring into the core values and beliefs that make me who I am. These never change … and if you commit to unearthing more of those treasures in yourself you can hone them and polish them up to a brilliant shine, even in seasons like this where the world is locked down. Especially in these seasons!

“Success is a journey, not a destination” Arthur Ashe

We’ve all heard the quotes. They become tired pretty quickly. It’s not that their truth doesn’t remain … it’s just that they get boring!

So now, I am going to brave the challenge of attempting to shed new light on this journey of Becoming that we’re all facing right now … Without going down the path of cliches and platitudes!  I’m hoping that the timing of my thoughts might just cut through the craziness of the world at the moment. Our perspective is everything right now.

“We are the hero of our own story.” Mary McCarthy

How you see changes what you see” Kerry Anne Nelson

Thought #1: The World Does Not Happen AT You

I’m betting I’m not the only one who has slipped into victimhood lately. “I don’t deserve this.” “This is not fair.”

Get ready … brace yourself … I’m about to sting you with a slap of reality.

Life does not owe you anything other than what you have.

The market has never promised to do you any favours. You are no more special than anyone else battling it out in the trenches of this global Lockdown. Your customers will not spend with you just because “they should”.

Ouch!

But let’s pause for a second … because this harsh reality actually has the power to make your experience of life itself truly authentic and completely invigorating if you can flip it around.  The switch comes when you change the underlying assumption here. Move away from disempowerment through to embrace the truth that you have everything you need to move forward.

Instead of looking at what has happened TO you over this past while, start looking for the things that have happened FOR you. What new opportunities exist right now that could not have happened if things had followed the old path of your life? You might have more time to yourself, increased flexibility with your work,  greater opportunities to create and build, or a sharper focus on the things that really matter in life. Get busy making the most of the gifts that have landed right at your feet! If you look for them, you will find them, without a doubt.

 

Thought #2: You’ve Only Really Had One Real Power

“There’s nothing I can do to make a difference here.” “I’m drowning here!”

You feel powerless to fix this situation, like we all do … but the absolute truth of the matter is that you do have the power to choose how you respond in any given moment, even this one … regardless of how overwhelming or pointy it may feel. In fact, it is the only power you’ve ever had … REALLY.

You might have tried to convince yourself that you were in control of your world and in charge of everything that happened in your life. Now life is proving that this is not true. It has never been true.

But here’s the rub. Having the chance to learn this, or remember it fresh in this season really is a gift. It’s possibly the most empowering, transformational lesson you can and will ever learn. You are powerful to choose.

Don’t get me wrong here. Despite your powerlessness to dictate what happens with other people, events and circumstances, your power to create significant change cannot be underestimated. It is with this human power that entire worlds have been transformed throughout history. The same power demonstrated by heroes such as Nelson Mandela, Edith Cowan, and Amelia Earhart have possessed … that power exists in you!

I can hear some of your objections right now … “But what about when She did this to me, or He said that?” “What about when THAT happened?”

The same applies. Even in the rare times when a person is overtly attacking you or seeking to undermine your happiness. Even when the world has been shut down to avoid a virus that millions have caught and hundreds of thousands have been killed by. Even when your government is telling you and everyone else to stay home, shut up shop and stay away from the people you love. You still have the power to choose your response.

The real question is, how will you choose to capitalise on the gifts that have been put right at your feet?

 

Thought #3: Growth Has Always Been Situational

I’m a big fan of personal development. I take a lot of pride and reward in being the person who reflects deeply and honestly about who and how I am in any given moment. I often marvel at how endless this process of reflection is for all of us. It literally never ends! While there is breath in your lungs there will always be something new to learn about yourself and others.

This lockdown period might feel like you’ve been sucked into a vortex of devastating loss. So it would be understandable that personal growth is not at the top of your priority list right now. Like a gigantic wave, you might have the impression that the world has dumped you facedown into the ocean floor. This is a shocking situation that came from nowhere.

Life itself is a lesson and every moment is a teacher. The only way any type of growth occurs is within a situation. No-one could ever have known how they would fare in the face of a global pandemic, because it has never happened before. None of us could have predicted how the world would change, or how they would deal with it, because it was unheard of! It has been quite a surreal turn of events, yes.

Nonetheless, being faced with this kind of upheaval can remind us again that growth always comes right in the heart of the circumstance. Your breaking point is your making point. What are you going to make of this?

If I was going to run with an old saying to wrap up my thoughts today, I would say this:

It’s time to rally your intentions, beliefs and personal capacity to rise to the challenge of making a fresh new batch of lemonade with the lemons you’ve been handed!

But I want to keep my promise to avoid cliche’s and platitudes, so I will simply sign off with a reminder that how you see really does determine what you see. Always.

 

10 Steps To Reclaim Your Business

4 MIN READ

Quite some years ago you started out in your business, brimming with positive expectations dreams that you were going to make come true. You were excited about what your big idea could lead you to, and your passion carried you through your first few years. You didn’t know what you didn’t know and this ignorance was bliss. You took big risks and giant strides into the future that you were intent on making.

Now you are tied to it like a concrete block. You’re working far too hard and you don’t have enough to show for it. Yes, you do have sales, cashflow, leads and a robust client base, but you feel like you’re dying under the workload of serving it all. The love you used to have for your work is slowly suffocating at the hands of endless admin, frantic jobs, an uncontrollable inbox and relentless customers that always seem to want more than you can give. Lately you have become increasingly tempted to get a haircut and a real job. You started this business to follow your passion, and now it is literally pushing you to the brink.

The passion you had for your business can be rekindled with a specific plan to get you back there

What Did I Want? – Re-ignite Passion

The first step to reclaiming what you feel that your business has stolen from you is to remember what you started it all for in the first place. Once upon a time you loved your core business offering and you wanted to tell the world about it. You were dedicated to making it work and you envisioned where it would take you. Reignite the passion you once had for this work. It’s still in there and it can be rekindled to give you the resurgence of ambition you need to make things better.

What Do I Want Now? – Goal

With your first love reignited, it’s time to be honest, and ask yourself what you really want now. Your blissful ignorance is long gone, and now you know that the journey of getting your life back will be epic. You’re not in the same starting position you were in back then, so take a look at your new landscape. What has changed? What remains? What are your ideal outcomes from this point forward. Clarify these to create a realistic new benchmark for yourself.

What Could It Become? – Vision

Exchanging those old naive ideals for more realistic goals will help lighten the load, but don’t go so far as to lose the entrepreneurial spirit of the starry eyed adventurer. As you conceive these new pathways forward, allow yourself to imagine wild outcomes. In the best case scenario, what might still be possible from here? How far could you reach? How powerful could your impact be? The limitless possibilities make this process all worth it. Keep stoking the fire of your wildest new dreams.

What If? – Benefits

With your head somewhere between your realistic goals and those entrepreneurial visions, connect yourself to the benefits of continuing the pursuit. How does this business still serve you, and what could you gain from making it stronger? Is it the income that drives you? The lifestyle for you and your family? The difference you make? The autonomy? Or other perks along the way? We all have different sources of ambition and reward, but tapping into what you get out of this business will keep you hungry for more.

What If I Don’t? – Motivation

Similarly, acknowledging the potential costs of not pushing through will help you stay on the front foot of your motivation. There’s nothing like measuring the opportunity cost to get us really going. It’s one thing to chase the promise of reward, but truly another to be propelled to action by realising that without this surge, you may very well put your business, your family, your financial security or even your sense of identity at risk. A healthy balance of “What If I Do?” and “What If I Don’t?” will keep you on the right track.

What Do I Have? – Inventory

Now that you have your head in the game it’s time to get down to business and take an audit of what you already have to get this show on the road. You have physical resources like computers, phones, cars, shopfronts, stock, and office equipment that can be put to use straight away to begin reclaiming your business. When you combine these resources with the people in your circle, your years of professional experience, and the natural strengths you bring to the table, you’ll see there’s a lot you can do to create change now.

What Do I Do? – Strategy

This evaluation process may have inspired some strokes of genius about moving forward. To create real change, these ideas need to become specific action steps. It’s not enough to write down your general direction or ideal outcome. Reclaiming your business can only be guaranteed when you have a step by step plan to follow. Ambiguity makes positive change fall victim to tiredness, confusion, dismay, frustration, or the next urgent crisis. Writing down every single step of the strategy puts this change into autopilot.

What Do I Need? – Resources

There will be some steps that you won’t be able to take without acquiring some new things. You might need to buy new equipment or upgrade what you have now. It might be as simple as installing new apps or software, or subscribing to a new service. You could enrol in a short course to expand your knowledge or do some online training … If you are really committed to making this new mission stick, you might invest in some new social connections, and dare I say it, redefine some of your less beneficial relationships.

What Do I Do Now? – Schedule

Now you have everything you need to reclaim your business … The only thing separating you from change is your planning. Your business will return to you when you turn your strategy into a schedule in your calendar. Timeframes, appointments and deadlines will let you draw a line in the sand. To keep you and your staff on the straight and narrow, document everything to make that autopilot work for you. Checklists, diagrams, instructions and procedures will take the gamble and guess work out of this transformation.

What Have I Achieved? – Evaluate

No transformation is complete without evidence … even if it were, how could you truly know that you made it? The most vital part of the business reclaim journey is to measure your progress. Your measurements will reflect your initial goals. Were you seeking more time? Revenue? Profit? Sales? Clients? The list of areas you could have targeted in your business reclaim is endless, but across every area is the need for data to prove your progress and inform future steps. Evaluation is the lifeblood of every healthy business, and when these processes become central to your operation, you’ll find that your business can never hold you hostage again.

Follow The Leader

3 MIN READ

I’ve been thinking a lot about business leadership lately. As my small business continues to grow and my vision continues to expand and refine I have considered the nature of leadership deeply. I have always thought of myself a leader. With this big personality and my love of people I slip into leadership roles naturally. I’m always looking for new ways to grow and to take as many others with me as possible.

Leadership has been a familiar friend for as long as I can remember. I’m the oldest of five so I took care of lots of things around our family home growing up. I also served in various school leadership roles through primary and high school. Leaving home saw me leading in church, and then leaving my first husband saw me taking up a business leadership mantle that I still carry to this day. I love the journey of change and evolution that all of us enjoy as small business owners. The task of managing business processes through from development to execution is what I love most.

“Leadership is taken, not given,” Kathrine Durham

Kerry Anne Nelson Speaker, Author, Business Process Genius. Business Like A Boss Workshops

To rise in leadership is to lead yourself in the business management processes you need for growth

Lead Yourself First

To be an effective manager of your time, money and other resources in your small business is to first become an effective manager of your self. As the owner of your business it is you who chooses what, when, how and with whom in every circumstance. Your actions drive every step, and your thoughts drive every action. There are a lot of things riding on your ability to lead yourself. Your family are counting on you, along with your clients, staff and service providers. Most of all though, you are counting on yourself.

From the moment you rise till the moment you retire for the day you are responsible for you. You are the leader of your actions, thoughts, even feelings. You make decisions about every aspect of your small business management, and these decisions come from the core of who you are as a unique person. If you are tired or flat, you are the one who must pick yourself up in motivation and dedication. If you are overwhelmed or confused, you need to manage yourself towards getting the help you need. The successful small business owner is one who can always rely on themselves to operate with determination, creativity, integrity and maturity.

Step Up To The Plate

I love that there are so many sources of support for us in our business growth journey. YouTube gives us endless motivation and instruction, and there is an overflowing abundance of seminars, classes, courses and coaches to keep us pumped and focused, and ready to take on the world. I realise the central role that all these services play in our business leadership, but I must say that I believe there comes a point where we need to remove ourselves from the seminar circuit and get down and dirty with who we actually are as business leaders.

How many conferences will you attend to learn about your potential before you step out to fulfil that potential? How many speakers will tell you that you have a powerful story before you stand up to tell your story to the ones who need to hear it? How many investment gurus will you learn from before you put your money where your mouth is to make that game changing investment? The list is endless but it all starts and ends with the same thing. If you have any desire to make an impact in your business you are like me, and this year, I am saying the buck has to stop with us!

Draw A Line In The Sand

No more productive procrastination with courses you don’t need or coaches who keep you in a loop of dependency. No more doubting our education, experience, ability or passion. No more seeking the validation of others and no more undermining our own expert authority. No more dreaming without planning, wishing without doing, hoping without action. It is time that we hold our head high as leaders and back ourselves. We know what we want, we know what we need. We don’t need to look outward to leaders in the world around us as much as we need to lead ourselves courageously from the inside.

Yes, we will still seek help. Yes, we will still share the journey. Yes, we will give and receive support to others. But this year, it is time to step up to the plate. The Giant Within has already been awakened. The Friends have been won and the Influence is there for the taking. The Seven Habits are known and now they simply need to be put into practice daily. I would love you to join me in making this year the year that you said Yes to making your daily routines into small business leadership practices. This is the year we Follow The Leader inside us.

A Message From Kerry

4 MIN READ

For the last couple of years I have been helping people to follow their passion by inspiring and motivating them with my talk and my social media posts, by coaching them, and by sharing my own unfolding story. It has been thoroughly enjoyable and I have been told frequently that I give people hope. This is an opportunity I will always be grateful for.

There has been a change coming though. Over the course of 2017, people have been indicating what they need to follow their passion by asking me this one question, again and again and again …

“How?”

“How do I follow my passion?”

I have come to realise that it’s one thing to KNOW your passion, but another thing entirely to know what you actually NEED TO DO to follow it and activate it in a transforming way, day to day. The penny dropped for me recently when I saw it clear as day. I know how I have followed my passion, and I can teach people how to follow theirs the same way.

I still help people to follow their passion, but now I teach them how I’ve done it myself. I create manuals for everything and then use these manuals to inform my daily activities. All of the steps in these manuals have managed my emails, my social media, my administrative work, accounting and superannuation, site management, event organisation, networking activities, speaking engagements, filing and data management, email campaigns, publishing my book, and all sorts of projects on the run. The steps in the manuals are turned into action by scheduling tasks in my calendar, setting reminders in my phone, and managing my work flow with project management software. The steps are customised. They are unique for what only I need in my business, and they document everything that I need to do to transform my personal passions into my actual dream life.

 

 

Kerry Anne Nelson Business Process Genius: "A Message From Kerry Blog" 0412 898 363

This year I have changed tack. Instead of simply telling people they can fly, now I show them how

These manuals also allow me to manage my team. Whether they are full time, part time, casual or volunteer support, each of them have their tasks clearly communicated in manuals just like these. It is the set and forget method that literally shoots me through my business growth journey faster than a speeding bullet. It is THE answer to the “How?” question that people keep asking me.

I am a born organiser with a highly strategic approach to bringing my passion to life. I have used these methods to do some amazing things … I still pinch myself some days when I stop to realise that it’s all true. Since May 2014 I have systemised my progress to:

  • manage all of the horrible jobs of my late husband’s passing
  • restructure the website business I used to share with him
  • establish pricing rules to increase the amount our clients spent on our website by 10%
  • rebuild warehouse processes of stock management, inventory control, order fulfilment, workflow
  • train new staff members from scratch in brand new business software and systems  
  • get that old business out of debt and sell it for a profit
  • establish myself as an inspiring speaker and social leader
  • write my book and publish it myself
  • open and manage an event venue called Our Place Melbourne in Camberwell
  • launch Melbourne Inner East Business in Heels branch  
  • launch several different programs and business building sessions
  • launch a business meetup group and attract strong support from members and sponsors alike
  • triple the connections across my social media networks in 6 months
  • create a full, comprehensive site management manual
  • train new on site staff and my remote assistant in different new systems, software and processes
  • mentor business clients through the creation of their own business building systems

I am a trained teacher with 8 years of classroom experience in primary, secondary, tertiary and special education settings. I have nearly 20 years of experience in business, having built businesses from scratch in service and retail industries across online settings as well as traditional bricks and mortar shopfronts. I love nothing more than to work alongside people to teach them how to empower themselves to build the structures they need for their own personal and professional growth.

Please message me today if you would like me to help you create a total business transformation. We are not talking about small tweaks or adjustments here. Together, we will conduct a complete overhaul. We will redefine how you do things to create entirely new routines, experiences and outcomes. When we do this, you will have choices that all stem from having more time. You might choose to add more team members, begin a new business project, or scale your business to new growth. You could choose to sell your business now, because you will have the support documents that you need to demonstrate its worth, and facilitate the handover to the new owners. You might simply choose to go home on time, reclaim your weekend, or even enjoy a long overdue holiday.  Your business will never be the same again.

Food for thought, right? What if it could be different? What if we could make it better, together? What if it worked? …

I know this works. It worked for me, and it will work for you.

Message me today to get started.

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