Who doesn’t want more time?
As a small business owner it is your most precious commodity, so it only makes sense to use it wisely. Here is a simple, yet powerful, way to help you gain more time for your business and your family. Best of all, you’ll be helping another business owner do the same!
Get More Time & Business Here
I wanted to take 1 minute, to share this article that I wrote for BlogBNI as a reminder to myself today–no matter how busy you are, you can almost always scrape up 1 minute to do one of these things. I’ll bet the ROI will be far more than you invested!
One Minute to Better Networking
My husband came home from a bike ride the another night with another story about someone who had nearly run him off the road and come perilously close to having caused a crash with two other cars. This, unfortunately, if not such an unusual occurrence. What made it stand out in his mind was this–there was a company name on the car.
While he wasn’t very familiar with the local construction company named, he certainly has a negative image of them now. And here’s the thing, it has NOTHING to do with how well they construct buildings and everything to with his experience (unwitting or not) with one person.
A safer place to ride your bike–the High Trestle Trail in Iowa.
Do you think he’ll have good things to say about that company when their name comes up in conversation? While my husband is a nice guy, he’ll uncountably recount his ONE experience with ONE person from that company. Sadly, that company may never know the harm that one employee did to their reputation.
I think we can all agree we may behave a little better under the watchful eyes of the boss. So how do you make sure that your employees are representing your company in an outstanding manner no matter where they are? A lot of it comes down to corporate culture and probably has as much to do with how the boss behaves and treats the staff as anything else. Show me a boss who cares for and supports their employees and I’ll show you employees who go out into the world and show that same care and concern to others.
You really can’t BUY the positive Public Relations (PR) that comes when one of your employees stops the company car at the side of the road to help someone change a tire. It may not seem like a big deal, but those hundreds of cars flying past are filled with people who will notice and file that positive impression away for future reference.
While it’s not the standard business school method for creating a PR plan, having a positive company environment and happy employees will go a long way towards creating the very best environment for a PR plan to flourish. So the next time you are thinking of investing in PR, start with your company culture and make sure that your people are delivering the company impression that you really want.
As I sit in my office on an overcast day, it’s a little hard to get motivated. I’ve learned from experience that I just have to stop piddling around and do something to get me back on track–>a mission reminder. As in, why am I here and what should I be doing with this amazing gift we call life? For those of you who are fortunate enough to work for social services agencies, this may be as easy as calling or visiting a client. For the rest of us, it may take a little more work.
Here’s some of the activities that have helped provide me with a “Mission Reminder” when I need to get renewed and unstuck:
1) Call up your favorite client and ask them what is the single most valuable thing you’ve done for them. I promise that you’ll be glowing when they are done.
2) Review past success. If you are in PR, this can be published articles, photos from a special event or even autographed photos of your hero(s). A little back patting can go a long way on a day when you’ve lost focus.
3) Go to the library or the nearest bookstore and pick up a book or magazine that you’ve never read before. Find something that amazes or delights you and act on it.
4) Take a dear friend or a family member to lunch for no reason. Discuss hopes and dreams.
5) Create a Twine that allows you to track all the cool things that you stumble across on a daily basis that may have nothing to do with your work, but are strangely seductive just the same. Visit often.
6) Create a personal mission statement. It doesn’t have to be cool or long or even use big words. It just has to reflect what you want to accomplish in your life.
It’s really easy to get consumed by a massive “to do” list and OPP (other people’s priorities), so when you feel yourself slipping under the onslaught, take a moment to remind yourself about your life purpose. I think you’ll be pleased with the results.
When I first started in the PR business I was so naive. I thought that everyone would be as excited and gung-ho about PR as I was. And, actually, a lot of my clients were. But I mistakenly thought that excitement would translate into them getting me the items I needed to do their PR in a timely manner. Oh Boy, was I ever wrong! I eventually realized something had to change–so I changed my attitude.
Thus I began my life as a PR Dominatrix, ruthlessly demanding time and attention and agreed-upon materials when I wanted them. I cajoled, I threatened, and I even offered a few of my clients the option of paying more for the privilege. Although I didn’t wear a leather outfit, use a whip or insist on being addressed as “Mistress”, I was bent on having my way (all for their own good, of course).
Until I hit upon this method, I was frequently frustrated by missed PR opportunities and deadlines, as well as, tired of working on weekends to make up for others’ tardiness. Once I began employing my Dominatrix mind-set, I found that clients responded more quickly and were happier. And we had better PR results to boot (pun intended).
I fully admit that I’ve never knowingly met a professional Dominatrix, but I suspect that we could all learn a thing or two from them about delegation, motivation and deadlines. While this attitude is not appropriate for every PR professional, or even every client, if you absolutely need to get things done, you might consider trying it.
In order to get through my day with a minimum of fuss, muss and personal damage, I have resorted to being a hard-core rule follower. However, this doesn’t mean I trot through life always driving under the speed limit and never rocking the boat. (I’ll be the first to admit that I have probably made over 100 illegal u-turns in my life). It just means that I have had to make some personal rules, just-for-me, that I vow never to break.
One example is the ever important, used-several-times-a-day “don’t button your shirt or do anything else when walking down the stairs” rule. The results of not following this rule are easy to guess. And, as such, you would think I would have “learned my lesson.” And I finally did. So I made that rule and anytime I am tempted to brush my teeth, talk on the cell phone or button my shirt going down the stairs, my brain immediately flashes to the results of not following the rule and stops the behavior. Saving me from another bumpy ride down the stairs and a set of glorious bruises.
I have noticed that most of rules tend to be in the avoiding personal injury line–the “always wear shoes in the basement” rule and the old stand-by “don’t run with scissors” rule. Or they fall under the heading of mess prevention–like the “no drinks without lids in the car” rule and the “only drink red wine when wearing black” rule. Of course, I do have a few that are just silly such as the “never buy shoes that have laces” rule.
I’m pretty sure everyone has these types of rules, I’ve just never heard anyone else talk about them. What are your “rules”? And why do you have them?