Vision through friends

The coffee was cold, cake a memory and as I prepared to leave the office the mobile sprang to life with text:

‘Just sent you an email, come back to me!’

The number was familiar although ‘nothing current.’ Being curious, I did of course proceed as instructed and checked ‘mail’ anyway.

Hey Charlie, it’s Jackie here!

‘Some of the kids here are with you in spirit, see the attached please and let me know what you think!?’

Now I don’t know about you but whenever I’m engaging an unfamiliar email and being instructed to check the attachment, I’m a little cautious …

Still, I was curious and didn’t ‘bin’ this one but parked it, then dispatched the remainder of the (now ice) coffee and escaped with the boss (dear dog.)

It was some time later I’d recovered from the latest ‘trek’ and approached the kitchen for refreshment once again …

‘Did you get the message from Jackie?’ A distant shout came from Sue.

Memory was restored! ‘Jackie’ was the Carer for an elderley some-time client, someone I catch up with much too sparingly, only occasionally.

I returned to the email and scanning the contents immediately felt more positive about prospects.

The note began:

Hey Charlie, Jackie here, a note from the school front …

We had a sit down with the kids today (six 5 year olds) and we asked them to play along …

‘First we asked them to close their eyes until the count of ten and to think about what they were good at. We also asked the kids to think about where they would like to be when they grow up?’

”As you can imagine, the room erupted with shrieks of enthusiasm and the first hand that shot up I immediately thought of you:’

‘I’m really good at helping people.’ Came the answer from said 5 year old. ‘When I grow up I want to be surrounded by my friends.’

So, why tell me this Jackie?

I needed just a minute before the ‘penny finally dropped’ …

Jackie had been reminded of something by her young companion … something that she and I had discussed many times in the past. We’d talked how Carers needed help just like everyone else. The most helpful of people need their friends and just a little support at times.

Jackie also knew that the network of friends was one of the reasons I enjoyed my business so much and hence she was so taken aback by the youngsters comments, it became the reason she decided to make contact.

Sometimes kids have a great way of enlightening us to some of life’s really important stuff, like the mutual benefits that come through helping friends.

I was happy … my first testimonial of 2017, even if it was from a 5yr old!

 

Choose reliable

‘I cannot be with you this week – can we rearrange something?’

It’s little wonder some never achieve, they’re ok when it’s a sit down for coffee or cake, but when it comes to following up in business?

Trouble is, this kind of postponement has exactly the same effect on our own business. Postponement … so I’m inclined to move on.

Ok, let’s dwell a minute. It’s what we choose isn’t it? Really.

We put the household trash out regularly otherwise we’re left with some particularly nasty consequences. The kids we might take to school to ensure they arrive on time, safely. Makes sense to me? How about you?

We choose to save the cooking, grab a take-out, go for a swift interlude at the watering hole perhaps, we choose to accept the invitation for a night out with the ‘other half.’

At regular intervals during those busy spells I often choose the most comfortable chair in the room to relax for a minute, choose time with coffee, I choose to listen to those favourite tunes or the views of the current news hound …

The bed has to do the job as well, we choose and plan to take rest so that we can cope with the challenges the following day brings. We make the appointments, to take the journey, we choose to jump in the car to arrive at the meeting, on time – it’s convenient, we know it will get us ‘there.’

It’s about choosing to make that appointment in the diary. Isn’t it? 

We arrive for networking to cultivate the relationships, the affinity and most of all the trust with reliable colleagues who we understand shall be at that meeting for the very same reason.

We naturally choose to develop the trust with reliable people over regular pre-arranged appointments…

Yet, some still don’t ‘get it.’ some who should know better still don’t seem to understand the lingo when I explain that ‘it’ is about being there and supporting, by doing as you say you shall by following up on the promises.

We choose to support our colleagues.

You cannot build a reputation on false promises, although you can build your business and in turn your own reputation with the right connections.

What type of connection would you choose?

Time for coffee?

Breakfast was over, I had grabbed a coffee and was about to head toward the office when the ‘phone rang. Now the other hand was busy.

On the other end of the line was Tricia. Tricia had recently started a physiotherapy business and returned from holiday with what is recognised as a seasonal ‘gripe’ – although perhaps a little more of a reality check for those such at Tricia – a newbie to running her own business.

“Charlie, I’ve been away for two weeks, batteries recharged and ready to get back into ‘it.’

‘Good for you.’ I heard myself reply as I juggled the coffee and found a seat.

‘The trouble is, there is nothing happening – all my regular clients are away on holiday and I’m sure I’m not going to hit my targets for next month. I’m worried about my year-end totals.’

When I say that this reality check is something that many newbies find difficult to deal with, it happens to us all and it’s essential that we understand that business – like the people that run the business – its a seasonal thing and we need to make allowances for the roller-coaster of enquiry, order, invoice, payment and the impacted cash-flow.

‘Think about this Tricia. I began. Worry shows that you are aware of where your business should be although the emotion of ‘worry’ does not help you get ‘there.’

‘But it’s mid September – and just fourteen weeks until the end of the year …’ came the reply.

‘More likely just the 12 weeks Tricia.’ I suggested. Think about Christmas.

Stony silence from Tricia. She was listening and I wanted to help her.

Fifty two weeks of the year, take away your three weeks of holiday/vacation, another 10 days of public holiday, all topped by your best customer taking a much needed break … it means we need to really sit down and take a look at our business ‘seasons’ and budget accordingly.

‘Don’t worry about not making the end of year targets, there is nothing you can do to impact this just now. Stick to your original plan, keeping close to your clients and keep pitching the business.’

Take it month by month, week by week and prioritise your daily tasks. ‘Make it easy for you to finish the week on top every week – and start thinking about how you would like to finish the year.’

It’s great that Tricia is thinking for the future as next month we’d be talking about how she wishes to start the year in understanding that business is indeed seasonal, as we take time for a coffee and plan the reality check that is the ‘first year in business.’

image courtesy http://www.whyimcray.com

Coming in for landing …

If you can get them, try holidays next year; they really work!

Occasionally the challenge can be coming back to ‘biz’ don’t you think?

If we’re not on the ball, the best-laid plans are soon scuppered by the unexpected.

It was 7.30am and the first tea and sticky bun were already a distant memory as  I spied a familiar face heading my way. Brian and I shook hands and naturally, I asked how his networking was progressing?

‘Charlie, I’m under-whelmed’ he said.

Having not seen Brian for a number of weeks I enquired further.

‘I’ve been visiting my group for the past four weeks and still it’s the same, the same routine, same messages, even the breakfast has become ‘samey.’

You are unhappy because of the routine or the breakfast??  I replied.

‘Well it gets to a point where I expect what’s coming next … it’s about who needs help with this and how someone else can support you with that – I know all that stuff now and I’m thinking of moving on …

At that precise ‘go figure’ moment I enquired exactly why he was networking.

‘Business of course, I’m looking for more orders.’

I did my best to explain to Brian that, for some in business, the structured network meeting was not the answer.

If you are not looking for a fast-track to a diverse business community right on the doorstep, or a purpose-built sales team intent on learning about you and your own skills, it could be that regular networking is not for you … I added.

Brian then handed me his new business card with a detailed list of products and services printed on reverse. He suggested that … ‘if ever I needed his type of product, why not get in touch?’

I enquired after the coffee …

Structured networking is great for business; sadly some of us are not so great for networking.

Take time for coffee

Breakfast was over, I had grabbed a coffee and was about to head toward the office when the ‘phone rang. Now the other hand was busy.

On the other end of the line was Tricia. Tricia had recently started a physiotherapy business and returned from holiday with what is recognised as a seasonal ‘gripe’ – although perhaps a little more of a reality check for those such at Tricia – a newbie to running her own business.

“Charlie, I’ve been away for two weeks, batteries recharged and ready to get back into ‘it.’

‘Good for you.’ I heard myself reply as I juggled the coffee and found a seat.

‘The trouble is, there is nothing happening – all my regular clients are away on holiday and I’m sure I’m not going to hit my targets for next month. I’m worried about my year-end totals.’

When I say that this reality check is something that many newbies find difficult to deal with, it happens to us all and it’s essential that we understand that business – like the people that run the business – its a seasonal thing and we need to make allowances for the roller-coaster of enquiry, order, invoice, payment and the impacted cash-flow.

‘Think about this Tricia. I began. Worry shows that you are aware of where your business should be although the emotion of ‘worry’ does not help you get ‘there.’

‘But it’s mid September – and just fourteen weeks until the end of the year …’ came the reply.

‘More likely just the 12 weeks Tricia.’ I suggested. Think about Christmas.

Stony silence from Tricia. She was listening and I wanted to help her.

Fifty two weeks of the year, take away your three weeks of holiday/vacation, another 10 days of public holiday, all topped by your best customer taking a much needed break … it means we need to really sit down and take a look at our business ‘seasons’ and budget accordingly.

‘Don’t worry about not making the end of year targets, there is nothing you can do to impact this just now. Stick to your original plan, keeping close to your clients and keep pitching the business.’

Take it month by month, week by week and prioritise your daily tasks. ‘Make it easy for you to finish the week on top every week – and start thinking about how you would like to finish the year.’

It’s great that Tricia is thinking for the future as next month we’d be talking about how she wishes to start the year in understanding that business is indeed seasonal, as we take time for a coffee and plan the reality check that is the ‘first year in business.’

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