It’s on the nose!

I’ve had a great morning, just cleaned the wheely ‘garbo,’ the bin. Treated her to a …

disinfectant and hose, she’s a little on the nose.’

Working at home is like that, isn’t it? I mean, it’s the flexibility …. we get things done when we want, we schedule stuff in like a walk with the dog, a leisurely breakfast perhaps or a visit to the beach before the day even starts.

Routines are good although being accountable, working alone and the routine for self-preservation, planning to make a crust can take some doing. A little balance is needed so I tend to work well in advance and ensure my diary is up to date. How about you?

Mulling over forward plans the night before is good for me. I do have a tendency to revise my ‘stuff,’ including the plan for the following day and it’s just as I’m falling asleep, evening peace and clarity brings some surprisingly good results.

Holes in the net?

The regular meeting I was due to attend this morning had been planned months in advance. A dozen or more like-minded souls from the Weekly Business Network are looking to put down roots for new referral forum. It has shown great promise.

Today though I awoke early to find that a half of the regulars had other ‘things’ planned. One was a family welfare call (fair play) always family first! Another couldn’t face the walk(!) someone else had taken a last minute order she needed to fulfil while another suggested it was going to be impossible to stop the car between regular appointments.

Couldn’t stop the car? For our appointment?

So with a net that had so many holes it was a no-brainer that any messages I’d planned during introduction were going to be lost this time ’round, and so I made decided to contact our featured speaker, advising him of our postponement to his presentation, did the same with the caterer, the venue and followed-up with our intended guests …

It’s great to get up early’ I thought to myself.

Networking. The regular contact with like-minded business owners is a great way to show your colours, your intention … a great opportunity to enhance the reputation, don’t you think?

It’s our choice. We can come up smelling roses or if you’re not careful the scent may be a little more repugnant. Think wheely bin … you may need a spring clean.

Be helpful

Be helpful. It seems to me we worry a lot about how people see us…
“But, I’m no expert,”  I’ve heard people say.
In most cases, people want a solution more than they want to worry about who you are or are not.
It’s true of course, I might want my surgeon and my airline pilot to be the expert but for anyone else?

But what do I mean? What’s helpful?
More often than not, and this is the most important part of this note … being helpful means sharing or doing what you know with someone who doesn’t know it or can’t do it. It’s that easy.

I don’t know anything about video marketing, so I work with Mark Orr. Others need a Psychotherapist, so they reach out to Sian Barnard. Helping others by connecting others. Isn’t that simple?

While Networking, being helpful requires action and initiative.

Not so helpful?
The least useful thing you can ever say to another in your network:
“Let me know how I can help.”
Most times, we don’t know what we need or want. We may be organising a fundraiser and we hear. “Let me organise the invitations,” in contrast to another who says “What can I do?”

Here’s the trick … learn to know how you can help others.

In my own business, I lead with written ideas, but that’s another story. In my network – it’s solutions. I offer specifics for people, because I know them, know what they do. If someone says, “I’m having trouble finding a reputable valet.” I ask my Network Forum, or a reliable Accountant – I can do this.
Although when someone tells me they’re frustrated with the progress of their book, I show a few of my own potential solutions.

Be helpful. Lets listen …
Helpful people come in all forms. Some of the best and most helpful people I know are good listeners. Friends like Gareth Shackleton and Paul Tutleman often help with just a sentence.

Other times, people are helpful by just caring. That’s just as helpful.

We meet and engage our communities regularly, not just for being fed and watered, but to build our support network (that’s the key) Net-Work … of support.

More on this next time, meanwhile, ‘who can I be helpful for today?’

the plan for profit

With the turn of the year our business expectations come into focus and most reflect on what has gone before … usually for me it’s when I’m putting together a fresh pot of tea, sitting down with friends … what about you?

We have a plan (of course we do) and that plan may not be a lot different to last year although, at this time and with the benefits of hindsight, like you I tend to become a little more critical. I’m adding to this, taking away from that, building more actions and reference points to the existing plan to help guide me forward.

All these actions set out to make me busier, to be more profitable!

How did your three words guide work for you last year? Do you need to revise the short cut to your ‘key action’ reminders? Again, this proves more work for us …keeping us busy.

It’s easy to feel overrun sometimes with the must do’s, the add-ons, his/her opinion etc., all of those critical elements we feel we need to encompass in the plan, the bigger picture.

It is of course important to simply begin the journey in the first place.

Take the business plan you are working with, assess and consider really what needs doing and understand that some, though not everything may be accomplished today. Some of these small actions we implement will hugely impact the forward planning and ultimately the results so take just a little time … small steps.

More importantly is, as a business owner, we have the willingness to take those small steps of change, to improve, one step at a time.