I was interviewed on July 28th on the Mountain Morning Show of Park City TV in Utan. Not only did I speak to the contents of “Never Drink Coffee During a Business Meeting,” I shared some Mom Tips on getting organized for the coming school year.
As I sit at my coffee table enjoying an unusually “free” Saturday morning, I can’t help but appreciate the stillness, quietness (my daughters are upstairs reading) and sense of calm around me.
I turn immediately to gratefulness for this day and the lifestyle that has been afforded to me. I remember it wasn’t long ago, (approximately two and half-years ago) that I relocated my family to Tampa after a series of unfortunate events and having less than $15k to my name and a number of pending legal actions before me.
I remember at that time thinking I would do anything necessary to take care of my family and build a new life for us. I was determined to build the “best” life for my daughters. In my mind I envisioned working 2 or 3 jobs if necessary and working Saturdays to do whatever it would take.
I had more than just “thoughts” about what I wanted though; I had VISIONS of what our life was going to look like in Tampa Bay. A great gated community, a fantastic school, involvement in a great country club. I saw myself playing tennis and golf as part of my weekly routine and “hopefully” gain new friends that would fill the void left from leaving a number of amazing “salt of the earth” girlfriends back in the harbor.
I saw my daughters excelling academically and being able to swim, bike or simply just being outside while the sun was shining.
Even more specifically I saw my backyard, formerly seeing the ocean my fantasy evolved into being backed up to the golf course so at a moment’s notice I’m walking with my clubs in hand to the tee, or with a tennis racket on the way to the courts. I saw all this as I closed my eyes and prayed for our new life. I saw exactly where I live today. Today we have all of this, and yet even more than I imagined.
For this there are no words that come to mind this morning but the one that comes close is the word “GRATEFUL”!
So someone asked me today, HOW do you get new clients?
What a question right?
This is the question all business owners ponder, lose sleep over and “hope” they can answer correctly.
So my answer, (not really an answer), “I wait until I receive requests for bids for our work”…
We all know this is really the wrong answer…..so why does it work for us?
I know our company is an abnormality; our success is different from most companies our size but I’ve always inherently known that we are both blessed and skilled in what we do.
For me, I think my business is different from the rest, but perhaps this thinking is nothing but naive.
What I mean is, the reason we don’t need sales people is because we have learned what our clients need and our mission is to fulfill these needs in the most innovative, cost efficient and awesome ways!
So my answer to the question “How do we gain clients?” is really this……
You continually strive to perfect your services to your existing clientele and then you expect they will continue using your services and provide you with continued business.
This formula has worked for us and I know it can work for you!
Are people really that blind?
I’m continually astonished when I witness people treating others exactly the opposite of how they would like to be treated.
I see it time and time again.
Relationships in business, relationships with their management, and relationships with their colleagues.
Its safe to assume you’d have to look far and wide to find someone who hasn’t experienced a negative relationship that hasn’t turned sour.
Its likely most people have experienced more than just one sour relationship too.
So why is it then, that we take so long to learn from these mistakes.
Why can’t we simply cease and desist the behaviors that caused these relationships to go bad in the first place?
I especially wonder when I see “older” people, ones I greatly respect, acting in embarrassing and disrespectful ways.
I was brought up with the basic respect for authority and seniority in most things.
I guess this is why it astonishes me when I see how truly unenlightened people can continually behave.
Surely, there are exceptions. I’m certainly not boasting that I instantly learn from all my own short-comings either.
Full disclosure, it sometimes takes me more than a couple of times in making the same mistake until I truly “smarten” up.
I hope I can continue to learn that one “Golden Rule” though, to treat others how you would like to be treated.
I found myself saying this morning “I love this time of year!”
Why, because I’m an organizer, an organizer of my daughters activities , an organizer of my management teams priorities, an organizer of my home, and office spaces but mainly I’m an organizer of my life and all that it encompasses.
The beginning of a new year is that month for me that starts all things new. I’ve always been one of those people who set New Years resolutions and other than a few “dark” years when these milestones came and went, I most defiantly would achieve them.
If people are at odds at the ending of the year and beginning of the next, I wouldn’t know it. The end of the year deadline for me is that time set in stone when all bets are off, you have either accomplished your goals from the previous year or you have failed. Yes I’m one of those people who hate to fail, so I find satisfaction in my accomplishment as I make my new resolutions.
What the New Years brings to me is that I have a blank calendar (purposely left off standing conference calls in January) with NO commitments, NO meetings, NO out of town trips. I buy a new planner, to integrate with all things tech because I’m still a little old school and I look at the clean fresh pages left open to all the opportunity the New Year brings.
I love this time of year because I organize the old right out the door to bring in the new. I find myself looking for opportunities to better organize things around me knowing this will help my sense of peace in my surroundings. I love this time of year because as we change from the holidays to the New Year we are bombarded with things from the 2014 to reflect back on. For me reflection on the past is an opportunity to scrutinize those things I can do better next time and it is very much an opportunity to grow from.
“It’s all in the perspective” I find myself saying this all the time, so for me this time of year is the time to put the past year in perspective and plan for the next best thing, the next best new year to come!
So this morning as we rushed to the last few days of school left before the holiday break, I happened to say something to my 5th grader (ten year old), Julia. Her response prompted me to say something like “really that is how a ten year old would respond?”
She abruptly said, “Mom I’m 10.10” meaning she is ten years, and ten months old today.
They live their life in a very literal way because they see the world in a basic way.
When they are hungry they get food.
When they are sleepy, they sleep.
For them, they see that good is good and bad is bad, in their school, in their families and in the world in general.
The most literal idea I believe is that for them, life should be fair and all things are equal.
I can’t help but wish business people would act more this way. Meaning that, most times there really is a black and a white mentality and it seems as though the only people who make grey are those who don’t want to deal with the “black” nor the “white” of the issue.
Personally, I think these people aren’t “brave” enough to deal with the black or the white in a serious way.
As the leader of our company, I’m faced with nearly all of the decisions; daily, weekly and quarterly for our team.
Having to see black or white (and sometimes red), means I have to break down those decisions quite literally.
For me, life in business should be broken down to the basics, the literal basics of asking yourself this question.
“Is this business decision something that will move us forward, or will this ultimately waste our time, resources and focus?”
It is quite literal to me that if we aren’t moving in a forward direction, we are literally moving backwards and it’s only a matter of mathematics as to how fast or slow.
Literally, business is that basic to me!