Money’s Worth

Don’t get me wrong, I like staying at hotels that have all of the amenities.  What I don’t like is staying at high priced hotels that are not maintained to my picky standards.  I’m not talking about how you are greeted at reception or the fantastic location.  I am talking about the facility itself.

I do not want the doors to squeak.  I want them to close properly.  I expect them to be plumbed correctly and not have cold where it says hot and vice-versa.  When it says it has a kitchen, I would like it have pots with lids and a frying pan that has retained its non-stick coating.  I expect the coffee carafe to be compatible with the coffee maker.

I recently had the above experience and while we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, these little items bugged me and did interfere with my enjoyment to some degree.  Am I too picky?  Perhaps, but where does one draw the line?  Some would probably say that I’m the one to blame for choosing to let the nit-picking interfere with my enjoyment.  And, they may be right!

How many times do we let insignificant things interfere with our daily appreciation of the things around us?   We get wrapped up in things that are beyond our control.  We need to sometimes ask ourselves if anyone is going to get hurt or suffer as a result of what is happening and, if not, walk away and enjoy the moments in front of you and those you are with.

Choose you battles carefully and be aware if you are actually battling yourself!

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Posted in Believe and Succeed Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Business Planning, Coaching, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Empowering people, Life coaching, Lifestyle, Managing stress | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Relaxation & Recreation

While many of us derive our pleasure from the day-to-day production of (hopefully) tangible work, we all need to step back occasionally and get away.  Such is the case for me this past few days.  We traveled to Waters Edge Resort in Beautiful Ucluelet, British Columbia on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

After a scenic trip passing by Cameron Lake, Cathedral Grove, Port Alberni, Sproat Lake, Kennedy River, and Kennedy Lake we arrived at the destination.  It was a good day and felt nice to relax on the deck with the chatter of sea lions in the harbour keeping us company.

It is essential to our well-being to take time for ourselves and our families.  Our health will be better as will our relationship with those we love!  While Ucluelet and the west coast of Vancouver Island is our choice for this escape, everyone has their favourite spot in Beautiful British Columbia or further afield.

We perform better when time is taken away from our daily routine.  It is an opportunity to learn new things and re-tune the mind.  New experiences expand our thinking and expose us to differing viewpoints.

Seeing the enormity of the Kennedy Hill project first-hand, I no longer will comment, “Why is it taking so long?”  At the junction of the road to either Ucluelet or Tofino, you can feel the stress leave as you enter another time and space.

If you haven’t stepped away from the rat-race lately, make plans immediately to visit your favourite place to recharge.

Try it, your life will like you for it!

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Posted in Business Coaching, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Environment, Family, Life coaching, Managing stress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Personality and Career

Personality preferences do impact how we go about our daily business.  One of the most used personality assessments is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® or MBTI®.  Personality type does not limit what a person can do as any type can do any job.  It can only show where your comfort level may be and what activities you may enjoy more than others.  For this reason, it cannot be used as a recruitment tool.

With the Myers-Briggs® your assessment will show a four-letter type.  The certified person administering the assessment will debrief the results with you to determine the validity.  Your four-letter type will show you to be;

Extraversion (E)                or           Introversion (I)

Sensing (S)                         or           Intuitive (N)

Thinking (T)                       or           Feeling (F)

Judging (J)                          or           Perceiving (P)

In looking for a career, these are some general guidelines.

If you are an Extravert;

  • Look for work with a lot of interaction and people contact; Sales, marketing, personal services, public relations, hospitality, entertainment.

If you are an Introvert;

  • Look for work where ideas are important; Teaching, accounting, computers, engineering, scientific fields, medicine, research and development.

If you are Sensing;

  • Look for work where details and procedures are important; Administration, building and trades, law enforcement, navigation, nursing, public service.

If you are Intuitive;

  • Look for work where communication or theory are involved; Counselling, journalism, teaching, writing, religion, research or law, or where long-range planning, business or policy development are involved.

If you are Thinking;

  • Look for work where logic and problem-solving is important; Skilled trades and crafts, science and technology, computer science, engineering, management, law, police and criminal justice work.

If you are Feeling;

  • Look for work in fields where people and values are important; Teaching, health care, office and clerical work, personal and human services, communication, artistic fields, health services, counselling and the ministry.

If you are Judging;

  • Look for work in settings where plans and systems are involved; Management, finance, building and trades, order and deadlines are important and where they can assume responsibility.

If you are Perceiving;

  • Look for work where there is change, not routine; Artistic fields, counselling, entertainment, psychology, journalism, child care, research.

As I mentioned, these are generalities and show where comfort levels may be.  It does not define who you are as an individual but is one more tool for the tool-box when you are looking for a career fit.

While comfort is important, we must remember that growth only occurs when one is outside of their comfort zone!

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Posted in Assessments, Career development, Coaching, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Employment, MBTI, Myers-Briggs, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Starting Off on the Right Foot

I guess there is such a thing as falling into a business, after all, people do fall into jobs.  It does get a little more complicated when it is a business.  If one wants the business to succeed there are steps that need to be taken and work to be done.

First of all, one has to have knowledge of the product or service they are proposing.  It is difficult to market to your customers if they do not have the confidence that you know what you are doing!  You also must do your due diligence and research your target market and ensure there are enough potential customers or clients in your market area.

Once you have an idea of the number of potential clients, you need to determine how many competitors there are.  This will establish your market share.  Your research into your potential customers or clients should tell you why they buy the product, how often they buy the product, where they get it now, and why they might change and come to you.

Knowing the regulations pertaining to the proposed business is essential as you need to ensure that you can do your business legally whether you are home-based, have a store-front, or are manufacturing.  Regulations for some businesses might also be health and environment.

What are your start-up costs?  What are the costs to open the door?  You may have licensing, permits, renovation costs, supplies.  How much money will I need for the business?  The three things to consider are; what is needed to start the business, what is required each month to maintain the business, and what do I personally need each month from the business?  Do you need financing, if so where is the money coming from?  Most businesses do not break even for some months so you should not count on taking owner draws on the business for the first few months, sometimes longer.

Producing a monthly cash flow worksheet for the business will keep you on track and show where you need to concentrate your efforts.  It will show your projected sales and expenses for a year and I guarantee it will not turn out as projected.  It is a living document that will keep you on track and can be altered.  This is extremely important as you can be asset rich, but if you have no cash flow, you will not be in business for long.

Falling into business is not easy, or wise.  You need careful planning and research to be successful.  There is lots of help out there for you at your local Community Futures Office and good resources online.  Do it right and have fun!  Done right it can be very rewarding!

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Posted in Business Coaching, Business Planning, Community Futures, Customers, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Entrepreneurs, self-employment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Labour Shortage

We have no excuse, we were warned in 1996 by David Foot in his best selling book, “Boom, Bust & Echo that this was coming.  Twenty-three years later some employers are just waking up to the fact that there is a shortage of labour across a wide spectrum of jobs.

This is creating challenges for many as it affects production, transport, customer service.  I know of businesses that have had to curtail their hours as they did not have the staff.  There are help wanted signs in every other store window where we live, some are multiple positions.

We are seeing it in the professions as we see more and more postings for accountants, engineers, nurses, doctors, and many others.  Because of the demographics, this situation is not changing for a few years.

There is a labour pool with many skills and abilities that for the most part is overlooked.  In British Columbia, there are roughly 350,000 persons with a disability.  The unemployment rate for them is around 25%.

There are many myths out there about hiring a worker with a disability.  It is thought that they will have to take too much time off, will not be as productive, will be a safety risk, or will cost too much to accommodate in the workplace.  These are totally unfounded.  In fact, most require no accommodations at all and they are five times as likely to remain in the position.  Some think they can’t be disciplined or fired when in reality they fall under the same laws as everyone else.

These workers are out there.  Give them your consideration when hiring and look at the ability, not the disability.  By all means hire the best person for the job, but the outcome may surprise you.

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Posted in Business Coaching, Business Planning, Career development, Career professional, Coaching, Community Futures, Diversity, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Employees, Employment, Human resources, Leadership, Older Worker, Team development, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Network – Part Two

After seeing last weeks post, I know you’re wondering if this old guy has heard of Social Media?  Yes, in today’s world it is an important part of networking.  But, bar none, there is nothing that can match face-to-face, personal contact for networking.

Social media can present your profile and can be exceptionally effective in finding and connecting with contacts in your profession or industry.  LinkedIn can connect you with your industry groups, Facebook, for some businesses, can link you to those who have need for your product or service.  Instagram can be an amazing outlet for your product or service where a picture is worth a thousand words.  It is what you do with Social media before and after the connection has been made that counts and will build the relationship.

I knew someone who work for a sawmill.  They were the exclusive supplier to clientele in Japan.  Twice a year this person’s task was to go to Japan and meet personally with the clients to see how they used the product and what might be done differently to improve the product.  In addition, each client had pictures of the workers who produced the product so there was a connection to it.  At home in the mill, there were pictures of the clients so the workers could see a destination for what they produced.

This is the ultimate networking.  This completes the connection of sales, production, and utilization.  Does Social Media play a role?  Of course, but it is not in itself, the complete process.  Face-to-face with its body English and human nuances still makes for real networking.

Get out, connect, and have fun!

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Posted in Advertising, Business Coaching, Business Planning, Clients, Coaching, Communication, Community Futures, Customers, Diversity, Economy, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Employees, Empowering people, FaceBook, LinkedIn, Networking, Relationships, Sales, Social Media, Team development | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Network

Whether you are in business, starting a business, or looking for employment, you need a network.

If you are in business, you need a network that will tell you what competitors have emerged from the woodwork and what they are offering to the market, so that you can adjust if necessary and retain your market share.  You need to know what the economy is doing, especially if what you do is discretionary. What are the implications if it is a downturn or good news?  How will I react?  Your main network is you existing customers or clients.  Your constant communication with them over their wants and needs will guide your decisions.  Other networks include your local Chamber of Commerce, BNI groups, Community Futures, Service Clubs, and other volunteer opportunities.

For those contemplating starting a business, networking is essential to collect data on number of potential clients, competition, shopping preferences, and actual, potential customer information.  What are the demographics?  How many potential clients are there in the geographic area?  Who are the competitors?  What will the competition likely do when I start my business?  What is the economic forecast for your geographic market?  Your networks might include your local Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures, Local Library, Municipal or Regional District Office, Provincial or Federal offices for small business information and regulations.

If you are unemployed and searching for employment, your first stop is your local WorkBC Employment Centre.  There you will find assistance with all of your job search needs.  You may qualify for some of the programs such as training, wage subsidy, or self-employment.  If networking is not your strong suit, assistance is available.  Building the network with your targeted employers is essential in finding a position in your desired field.  Networking is not just a one-time connection but building a relationship with the individual or organization and maintaining it.  Your network could include volunteering, which with some organizations puts you in front of employers in the local community.

Your network makes the difference in achieving your goals.  Target it, build it, and maintain it.  No-one arrives at success alone!

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Posted in Business Coaching, Business Planning, Career development, Chamber of Commerce, Clients, Coaching, Community Futures, Customers, Economy, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Employees, Employment, Entrepreneurs, Life coaching, Marketing, Networking, self-employment, Service Clubs, Social Media, Volunteering | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment