Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Manufacturing Salaries

The composite highest-income practitioner reported in this field (salary plus cash bonus and/or cash profit-sharing) is the President "B" of a manufacturing firm (defined as a chief executive officer who has little or no financial interest in the firm). The firm manufactures automotive parts/accessories, food/beverage/tobacco products, chemical & allied products, or machinery & heavy equipment; has 1,000 or more employees; has a total annual revenue of $100,000,000 or more; and is headquartered in or near Denver/Colorado Springs, Houston, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Modesto/Stockton, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Indianapolis, Boston, New York City, or Dayton, or outside a metropolitan area studied in Idaho. However, while the median President "B' has a total annual income of $214,966, the highest-income individuals reported are Presidents "A" (having a financial interest in the firm) and make well over $30,000,000.
Far toward the other end of the income spectrum, Assemblers "D" have a median income of $20,418. Sometimes earning under $14,600, the lowest-paid employees in this group are employed by firms that manufacture building materials; have $1 million to $4.99 million in total annual revenue; have 5,000 to 9,999 employees; and are located in or near Greensboro/Winston-Salem, Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, Dallas/Ft. Worth, or Charlotte, or outside the metropolitan areas studied in Texas, North Carolina, or Florida.
These composites represent the briefest possible "boil-down" of the voluminous data provided regarding current salaries and cash bonuses and/or profit sharing, and numerous demographic variables provided by 343 firms on over 54,000 managerial, supervisory, sales, engineering, technical, clerical, and blue-collar employees in 187 benchmark jobs which resulted in the eight-volume survey report, Compensation in Manufacturing, 24th Edition - 2004, sponsored by the National Association of Manufacturers.
Copies of the entire eight-volume report are available for $1,250.00 from Abbott, Langer & Associates, Inc., Dept. ART, 548 First St., Crete, IL 60417 (telephone 708/672-4200; fax 708/672-4674; Also available is Compensation in Smaller Manufacturing Firms (under 250 employees) for $595.00. Each volume of both reports may be purchased separately. Also available is findpay-MFG04 (a computer program which permits the user to determine pay levels of each survey job on the basis of two or more variables simultaneously).
It would be an exercise in futility to attempt more than a superficial overview of the survey results in this summary. However, some overall data regarding compensation can be presented herein. In addition to the incomes of the benchmark jobs already discussed, the median total cash compensation nationally of some of the other jobs included in the survey report is:
Chief Legal Officers - $181,200
Vice Presidents of Manufacturing/Production - $135,375
Chief Marketing & Sales Executives - $133,835
Chief Corporate Financial Officers - $130,066
Vice Presidents of Manufacturing/Production Engineering - $112,274
Research & Development Managers - $90,377
Engineering Department Managers/Superintendents - $89,232
Chief Human Resources Executives - $80,849
Plant Managers/Superintendents - $78,595
Product/Brand Managers - $75,789
Design Managers - $74,347
Facilities Managers - $68,198
Cost Accounting Managers - $67,161
Sales Engineers - $67,000
Manufacturing Engineers - $66,477
Production Managers/Superintendents - $65,730
Quality Assurance/Control Managers - $64,890
Computer Programmers - $61,963
Purchasing Managers - $61,805
Warehouse Managers - $54,000
General Production Supervisors - $49,781
General Accountants - $48,725

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Situational Marketing

There is a nuclear-strength "secret" weapon that 90% of self-employed professionals are missing out on as they try to build their businesses. It's amazingly simple, amazingly powerful - and - amazingly overlooked!
It's called "Situational Marketing," and it can revolutionize your business.
As professionals in service industries, we live, eat, and breathe ideas. We live flying in the stratosphere, soaring with angels, shooting with stars. We think in terms of big ideas and processes. When we talk about what we do, we love to describe how things work in our field and theoretical explanations of how to fix problems.
The trouble is that the vast majority of our potential clients don't live in the world of ideas. They live on the ground. They think about getting their kids to school. They worry about being laid off from work. They struggle with getting their own businesses to work better.
People have very short attention spans. Most people are aware of a very small number of acute, practical problems that are driving them crazy. They want solutions, they want them to be quick, and they want them now. They don't have the bandwidth for a lot of exposition.
Self-employed professionals like coaches who try to sell "realizing your potential," "getting where you want to go," or "creating the life you want to live" really have a problem. Most people might think those are nice ideas, but they have to think so hard to figure out what that means for them that they'd rather go home and balance their checkbook. Even if they might be intrigued, they are thinking something like, "It would be nice to work on that right after I deal with my employee turnover problem."
Other professionals who try to sell "accurate accounting services" or "high-quality graphic design" face a different but related problem. Those are commodities in the minds of their potential clients. Such language goes in one ear (or eye) and out the other. Ten minutes after finding out about you they have forgotten all about it.
It's a well-known fact that people buy what they want rather than what they need. Your marketing needs to be about the client: the client's situation, the client's feelings, the client's problem, and - finally - the solution you will provide for the client.
I was talking with a struggling self-employed woman the other day. She asked me what kind of coaching I do. I said, "I work with business owners who are tired of having their marketing efforts fall flat." She said, "Oh my God, that's me!" I asked her, "Do people's eyes glaze over when you tell them what you do?" She said, "Yes! They do! I need you!"
She was excited when she heard my marketing statement! She instantly heard herself in the description. It indicated to her that I know her situation and probably have the perfect solution. This is what situational marketing does for you.
Good situational marketing has several important qualities. It is:
· Clear and specific - the listener hears themselves exactly in the message
· Emotional - it elicits a response in the gut or the heart
· Communicated in the words your clients actually use themselves
· Easy to remember
· Unusual in a way that really makes it stand out.
Start with a careful examination of your unique talents and strengths. Then examine the situations your ideal clients face and listen to the words they use to describe them. Ask yourself what they say to themselves as they're driving to the office or brushing their teeth at night. When you find a match between the work you are passionate about doing and a problem your clients are aware that they have, you have struck gold. You know what to say, and you know what products and services you need to develop in order to help them. You know you can help them because their problem is really rooted in an area of personal growth in which you are an expert. And your ideal clients actually become excited to talk to you!
Here are some more examples of situational marketing:
· People who secretly wish they'd get laid off so they can go do what they REALLY want to do
· Single working moms sharing custody with a jerk
· Contractors who are tired of worrying where their next job is coming from
· Business owners who wish their employees would stop bickering and do their jobs

Monday, October 8, 2012

Business Lessons From History

Harry Truman stated, "The only new thing in the world is the history that you don't know." Truman spent many years studying the history of those who preceded him. His study paid off. Truman today is regarded as one of America's greatest Presidents. The reason history is important is because we live in a cause-and-effect universe. Similar choices produce similar results at the individual (micro) level and at the national (macro) level. History is the story of choices made, and the results of those choices. LESSON ONE: Look For What Worked And What Didn't Work, And Why You can use history like a case study in business school. Example: Mark Twain became a partner in a publishing company, Webster & Co., which published the " Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant." Twain also obtained the rights to Pope Leo III's authorized biography. The first book became a best seller. The second sold poorly. Both publications seemed like good ideas. Twain assumed that purchasing the Pope's biography would be required reading for American Catholics. It wasn't. At that time many working-class Irish and German Catholics couldn't read and those who could had little discretionary income for purchasing books. Grant's memoirs became a literary and financial triumph because it was written by a popular President who had just died, it provided an insider's account of the Civil War, which was a fascinating topic for millions, and it was beautifully written. (See Fred Kaplan, "The Singular Mark Twain." NY: 2003, Doubleday, pp. 422, 423)
LESSON TWO: There Is Magic In Thinking Big Ted Turner is the biggest-thinking individual I have ever known personally. He literally changed the world with CNN. Changing the world is exactly what he intended to do. I was an on-air host and producer at TBS when CNN was being planned. But I had no idea how big Ted was thinking. And where did Ted Turner get his inspiration? From history. One of Turner's favorite characters as a youth was Alexander the Great, who is reported to have wept because there were no more worlds left for him to conquer. An in-depth study of history can raise your aspirations. When you discover what others have been able to accomplish under adverse conditions and often with few advantages, you may hear a voice inside that says to you, "I can do something significant too." "Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood." The quote is from Daniel H. Burnham. Here's a thumbnail sketch of the man behind the quote. Burnham, who's the subject of Erik Larson's beautifully written new book "The Devil In The White City," was the man who made the Chicago World's Fair happen. He was Director of Works, World's Columbian Exposition, 1893. Burnham and his partner John Wellborn Root designed some of Chicago's earliest skyscrapers. His plan for Chicago was used for many years, and is considered a classic example of city planning. The book "Time Tactics of Very Successful People" contains an entire section on how high achievers make plans. For information about obtaining this book, go to LINCOLN'S LOG Lincoln still influences decisions. Christie Hefner, chairman and chief executive, Playboy Enterprises, recently told a New York Times writer that she had learned an invaluable leadership lesson from Lincoln. Here is a quote from that interview: "In leadership, it isn't about what you say; it's about what the other person hears. If you articulate well, like Lincoln, you have a tendency to think: 'I've made myself clear.' But the point is, Lincoln realizes, what did the other person hear?" Lincoln is generally thought of as a politician, which he was, but his vocation was the law. He served about 1500 days as President and 23 years as a lawyer. During that time he tried approximately 5000 cases, an average of about 200 a year. In the huge Eight Judicial Circuit of Central Illinois, Lincoln had the largest single caseload. During his career, Lincoln was involved in 15 murder cases. Of those, four men were found not guilty (one by reason of insanity), two were indicted but not prosecuted, one escaped during trial, six were convicted on the lesser charge of manslaughter, and only two were found guilty and sentenced to hang. (Lincoln Legal Briefs, July-September 1996, No. 39)
A quaint note has survived from one of Lincoln's civil cases in the 1850s. "If you settle I will charge nothing for what I have done, and thank you to boot. By settling you will likely get your money sooner, and with much less trouble and expense." (Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Assn., Vol 16, No. 2, pp. 4, 5) Lincoln understood that compromise is necessary in everyday life. "Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can," he wrote in a lecture for lawyers. "Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser--in fees, and expenses, and waste of time." Learn about how Lincoln communicated from the recently released DVD "Lincoln On Communication." It is widely used as an instructional manual in leadership and communication programs, but it also is valuable for self-study. It comes with an instructor's guide. For information about obtaining this valuable resource, go to Another Lincoln resource is the book "The Words Lincoln Lived By." For information go to The book is available as a spoken-word audiocassette. For information, to Quantity prices are available. One of our readers ordered 200 copies to give to customers and prospects. This article is excerpts from The Achievement Digest
(For a complimentary subscription, go to and follow the prompts.)
Gene Griessman, Ph.D. Editor and Publisher
Gene Griessman, Ph.D. is editor-in-chief of The Achievement []--and is an executive coach and a much-sought after public speaker for conventions, conferences, and retreats. He has interviewed some of the most famous people in the world asking the question: “What makes people great?”
His list includes Ronald Reagan, Ray Charles, David Rockefeller, Sandra Day O’Connor, Jack Nicklaus, Hank Aaron, Ted Turner, Julie Andrews, Aaron Copland, Jack Lemmon, Billy Joel, and Tennessee Williams and many others.
Griessman often appears on television and radio, and his award-winning programs have aired on WCNN and TBS. For years he was host of “Up Close” on TBS, the SuperStation founded by Ted Turner.
He has written and co-authored seven books, plus a one-man play on Abraham Lincoln. He has performed twice at historic Ford’s Theatre and at the Lincoln Memorial.
His book “Time Tactics of Very Successful People” was featured in Reader’s Digest and is now in its 24th printing. He is also author of “The Words Lincoln Lived By” and “The Inspirational Words of Abraham Lincoln.” His latest CD is entitled “99 Ways to Get More Out Of Every Day” and his latest DVD is “Abraham Lincoln on Communication.”
He has taught at the College of William and Mary, North Carolina State University, Auburn University, and Georgia Tech. He has served as a Fulbright professor at the national graduate university of Pakistan and as a visiting researcher at the National Agrarian University of Peru and the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Monday, October 1, 2012

How To Create A Mission Statement

Creating a mission statement can help you focus your business effort and do a lot of good in bringing your workforce together behind a common theme. The key to success is not just creating a mission statement, it's living the mission statement.
A mission statement identifies the major purpose that you fulfill when providing products and services to customers. Your mission statement should:
  • Include the reason for your business
  • Identify your firm's unique 'value added'
  • Reflect your firm's core business activity
  • Provide a focus
  • Identify the purpose you fulfill

Step One -- Develop your mission statement by identifying:
  • Stakeholders - Those people who are directly affected by the company's successes and failures. Stakeholders could be employees, internal customers, organizational customers, external customers.
  • Products and Services - Items that you produce for your customers. Products and services might include consulting, training, products or services for individual use, products or services for business use.
  • Value Added - The key advantage you provide over the competition. Why would a customer come to your company for service? What makes your company special?

Step Two -- Construct A First DraftThe [your company name] meets the [your products and services] needs of [stakeholders] by [value added].
Step Three -- Refine the Mission Statement
Is it too wordy? Is it brief and to the point? Will employees remember it? Would it make sense to your stakeholders? Is it a true mission statement and not a goal? Does it inspire your organization? Does it describe your business focus and effort? Is it unique?
Step Four -- Make It Visible
Post the mission statement for easy review by all employees and customers.
Step Five -- Live it!
This step will be easy if you've involved your entire group in the process.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Enjoy Procrastinating, and Get The Job Done Anyway - 7 Steps

1. Choose a task you have been meaning to get done but never seem to get around to doing. You must be able to see and touch something that represents this task to you. It could be a note about making a phone call or a file folder containing everything you need to start writing a report, or a stack of material you have been meaning to file.
2. Pick up the object, the note, the stack, the paint can...whatever it is. Preferably pick it up 10 times a day; but at least once a day. Hold it and look at it.
3. Say aloud the following words. "I don't want to...(fill in the blank with words similar to these the following) this client (specify his/her name), fill out this form, write this check to (specify the name)." "Nobody can make me...(say again what you are not doing.)" "I will do...(say what it is once more) when I am damm good and ready to do it!"
4. Pay attention to your creative (or resistant) thoughts as you do this process. Laughing, giggling, or stomping your feet during the process is okay too.
5. Repeat this process daily for at least 5 days -- unless of course you complete the task before then.
6. If the job still isn't done by now, you certainly know why it isn't done and/or what resources you need to do it. Decide whether or not you will actually do the task.
7. Do it, ditch it, or delegate it appropriately.
This works because procrastination is often a sign of ambivalence. Part of you does want or needs to do the task, but another part of you, usually a silent part, does not want to do it.
Giving the resistant part of you a chance to speak, as well as acknowledging that you have the power to complete the task when you are ready resolves the impasse.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Hidden Traps for Life Partners Who Work Together

Neither couple I describe knows the other couple, but their stories are strikingly similar.
Craig and Warren are both recently retired executives. Craig's wife, Marcy, owns and operates a website design firm.  Warren's wife, Sharon, owns an exclusive gift shop.  Both businesses are successful, and each woman finds business ownership personally satisfying and rewarding.  Both women requested couples coaching for similar reasons.  Their husbands were interfering in their businesses.
Craig and Marcy were newlyweds.  It was a long distance romance, and they both were delighted when his retirement allowed them to be together.  His unspoken plan was to help her with her business so that she could work less, and they could spend more time together.  Her plan, also unspoken, was to continue to develop her business in order to sell it in a few years and fund her own retirement.
Craig enthusiastically earned his certification in web design.  He found the new information fun and refreshing after years of heavy corporate responsibility.  Marcy was delighted that he was busy and happy, until he started to help her with her work.  She found his suggestions insulting. It was her business, she was the expert, and she supervised many designers and negotiated profitable contracts.  Now he, a novice, was trying to tell her what to do!
Warren and Sharon did talk to each other about their plans and goals.  Warren felt that his expertise could be put to good use in Sharon's business.  He convinced her, against her "better judgment," that expanding the business would create long term benefits for both of them.  She decided to go along with his ideas.
They made plans together, expanded their capacity, hired several new employees, and Warren started pressuring everyone to be more productive.  Sharon began to hate going to work.  She had loved the personal contact with her customers,  but now she spent most of her time managing employees and trying to keep Warren calm.
Both women knew they were angry about their husbands' interference, baut neither could communicate about it effectively.  Each was trying to balance keeping the peace, supporting their husbands and taking care of themselves and their businesses.  Each time the women tried to discuss their own discomfort, their husbands would logically explain that they were only trying to help their wives.
During our sessions we uncovered the hidden assumptions and discussed them.  When each man discovered the cause of their respective spouse's feelings they was astonished to learn about the negative effects of genuinely trying to help their wives.
Neither of the men had thought much about how they were going to find a meaningful way to fill their time after retirement, and simply picked up what was convenient--their wife's business.  As the women learned to protect their own boundaries, a new conversation emerged.  Each man needed to explore their own options for finding their own fulfilling activities.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Boss Didn't Understand Why His Staff Wasn't Reading His Mind

Many people believe that everyone sees the world exactly the same way as they do. This is never true and was the source of much turmoil in Dr. Jacob's office.
When the Job Isn't Getting Done
"They never seem to get any work done on time, but they complain that they're being underutilized."
Dr. Jacob, a chiropractor, was talking about his office staff.
"I have to do so many things myself that they could do for me, but they don't. They just don't seem care about what I want. I just don't understand. I pay them well and they need their jobs."
As Dr. Jacob's frustration increased, he explored the idea that he had hired inappropriate people in the first place. He reflected that if only he could find the proper leverage he thought he could make them do what he had hired them to do.
Leverage to Dr. Jacob meant the proper combination of rewards and threats.
Guidelines May Be Necessary
When I asked about what guidelines the staff was given to do their work Dr. Jacob admitted that he let them set up their own procedures with very little input from him. He communicated his expectations very vaguely, because he himself hated to be told what to do.
Dr. Jacob thought if he were "nice" to them, they would like him and work hard to assure the success of the office.
Unclear Expectations Produce A Schizophrenic Experience for the Boss and His Staff
Dr. Jacob only got angry when they didn't meet his admittedly non-specific performance expectations. When he got frustrated enough, he would insist that his rules be followed; telling his confused and demoralized staff exactly how to do what he expected. They were constantly seesawing between unclear expectations and over-detailed instructions that discounted their intelligence and experience.a
Giving Others What You Need For Yourself May NOT Work
Dr. Jacob argued when I suggested that he needed to create clear guidelines for his staff and then leave them alone to do their jobs. He was sure his staff would hate him and quit if he did that, and he firmly believed they would never get any work done without closer supervision.
Dr. Jacob believed that everyone in the world hated structure as much as he did.
When I explained that most people need and want structured guidelines in order to feel safe and happy, Dr. Jacob was surprised. He explained how he had been forced to follow rules for most of his life and cherished his present freedom. He assumed that everybody else felt exactly the same way he did.
Give Your Staff What They Need to Produce Results
He experimented with the idea that some people felt nurtured by structure. Warily, he started telling his office manager only the outcomes he wanted including necessary completion times.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Turning Piles into Files

Are you searching for an organized office?  Then, the best thing you can do for yourself is schedule the time to clear the "To File" box and all those piles that have accumulated on your desktop, counters, chairs and floor.  If you want organization, you will need to get rid of the piles and break the habit of piling.  The secret is developing a filing system that works for you. 
Schedule some serious time in your dayplanner, roll up your sleeves, and get to work.  This is a good time to get those files in order, purge the unnecessary and archive those that you absolutely must keep, but rarely use.  Current, active files are for those items that you need to run your home or business for the fiscal year.  These files are accessed frequently and need to be in an order that makes sense to you.  The archival files include those items that you need or want to keep but are not accessed frequently.  These may include past year's tax forms and documentation, old love letters and personal correspondence that you cannot part with, children's art projects or research for your book. 
As you progress through your organizing project, be on the lookout for excess papers that are cluttering your files.  Toss or archive the old ones to make room for the current influx.  Box, label and store the archives in the attic, basement, garage or off-site.  Do not get caught in the trap of keeping papers "just in case."  Consult your attorney or accountant to find out what you personally need to keep and what you can safely toss.  
Here are some simple filing rules that may make it easier to determine where to put your papers:
1.  Separate personal and business files.  If you have a home-based business or bring work home from an outside office, be very careful to keep everything separate.  Set up specific zones or boundaries for each type of paperwork that enters your office.  Color coding separate files makes it easy to visually identify where a particular file belongs.
2.  Establish a labeling system that works for you.  There is no law that says it has to be alphabetical. You can use broad categories and subcategories, color-coded files, numerical files, 3-ring binders, cubbyholes or desktop files.   Whatever works best for you is the right thing to do. Just remember to label, label, label.
3.  When you first set up a filing system, use post-it notes for labels until you are comfortable with the order you have placed things.  It is much easier to tear off a sticky note than retype labels.  First set up the system, live with it for a while, and then type the labels.  Typed labels are neater and easier to read and worth the investment of time.  Use a label maker or learn how to use labeling software installed on most computers.
4.  Toss those prefabricated labels and concentrate on your own words.  Label files according to how you think.  You do not need to use nouns. Verbs and even full sentences may work better.  My favorite filing job was with my mother who wanted to keep some papers that were not specific to anything.  Of course, I posed the big question, "Why?"  Her response was that they were things she liked.  We set up a file labeled "Things I like" and she is happy.  She now has a place to put those trivial papers without cluttering her desktop.
Why get organized?  Paper has become the biggest source of clutter - junk mail, emails, correspondence, and website surfing.  Most of us prefer to read information on paper rather than the computer screen, so we print and print and print some more.  With the information highway spewing forth tons of data, the printers keep spewing forth tons of printed material even though statistics show that we use only 20% of the papers we keep.
It is time to wage war on the paper influx by learning to make wise choices.  Take a good look at everything piling up on your desk or countertops.  Is the information still relevant?  Is the information available somewhere else?  Toss papers that can be replicated or unimportant.   Clutter is simply the by-product of indecision.  Make the decision to purge!
Email is a major form of paper clutter as more households obtain computers.  Printed emails pile high around the computer with the good intentions of reading them someday.  Decide what action to take on the document while it is still in the computer inbox - act on it or delete it.  Be careful not to overload the inbox.  This, too, can become a source of clutter. 
When you take time to establish an effective way to handle incoming papers, you can win the battle of the piles. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Internet Home Business Secrets That Payoff!

I can picture you exactly where I was just a few short years ago --
Sitting in another useless meeting organized by a group of senior managers that have a combined IQ less than your own child at 3-months old.
Around in circles you go, no progress again today and only those who play the game the best will collect the bigger paychecks - but even they can't outlast this game of roulette can they?
Listen - I get asked often, even by my own wife, "why are you so driven!"
It's true, these days I am passionate about just about everything I do - especially my internet home business.
Is it the thought of a new porsche sitting in my driveway that motivated me to succeed with my internet home business?
What about cruising up and down the Pacific Coast in my new yacht?
Maybe it's being able to take a dream vacation to Australia and New Zealand?
Nope! You guessed wrong.
In fact, what motivates me everyday is the thought of having my time, energy, health and family UNDER THE CONTROL of someone other than myself scares the heck out of me.
I mean all out spiders on my face, snakes in my bed and lizards in my pants scared!
When I hit 30 back several years ago - I was in a hotel, alone on business in downtown London, England.
Incredible city, but I realized that after spending 29 birthdays with my family - I was FORCED to spend this one alone thousands of miles from home.
Every day after, I became incensed each time someone at my old job controlled some aspect of my time, health, energy or family.
I don't mean a little upset - I mean DEEPLY ANGRY.
There's only two ways to deal with something like that in your life - curl over and die a slow death or take action until you change the circumstances
Trick was, to channel that anger in the right direction - positive instead of negative.
Then I discovered something incredibly powerful --
Anger and Pain Are Part of the Formula for Success!
Name me any highly successful person and chances are I can find a burning, gut-churning, unstoppable force within them that will not let them fail. That force usually comes from anger or pain.
Even with this incredible passion I had to control my own destiny, success didn't come right away.
I tried opportunity after opportunity, scam after scam, UNTIL...
THE HOLY GRAIL - Internet Home Business
Ever since the beginning of business, the same principles hold true - you must have;
1. Compelling product to reachable market
2. Competitive Advantage or Unique Selling Proposition
3. Operation plan that is profitable
4. Constant Plan, Do and Review process to increase profits
Whether you want to market other people's products online or create your own products or services, you must follow these fundamental business principles.
What's great about an internet home business is:
1. You can find reachable markets and compelling product ideas sitting in your office in your underwear
2. You can easily discover and communicate your Unique Selling Proposition without having to spend thousands on competitive intelligence
3. You can develop very profitable operational plans taking advantage of instant download, or build to order systems
4. It's easier, and less risky than ever before to continually test and improve your internet home business.
So - snap out of it!
Stop settling for whatever it is that is eating away at you!
Take action - right now!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fat Day

The other day I felt fat and flabby.  I was having a "fat" day.  My stomach felt bigger than normal, and I felt puffy.  My legs jiggled and seemed to spread to the corners of the earth when I sat down.  I must have eaten too much or exercised too little.  I must have been having a hormonal moment.  Discipline must have failed me.  I felt like my work wasn't working.  I must be losing my focus.  Oh no, I'll never get fit.  Why keep trying?
But wait!  I hadn't lost focus, except in my mind's eye.  My mind was playing a trick on me.  I couldn't see the strong me that I usually see looking back from the mirror.  My mind was showing me a flabby, ugly, fat woman.  What a dirty trick.  But haven't we all felt that way before?  Haven't we all felt the futility of our efforts and questioned the point of keeping on?
Here is what I have learned.  No matter how much we exercise and no matter how well we eat, every once in a while we will feel fat and flabby.  That magician in our minds - our emotions - waves a mean, magic wand, making us see things that aren't really there.  Our bodies don't have issues, our minds do.  The truth is that yesterday's exercises worked and tomorrow's will too.
Easy to say, hard to believe, right?  I struggle to keep my mind's eye focused.  I struggle to respect and acknowledge my emotions without letting them get in the way of my daily life.  I struggle to interpret them realistically and struggle to avoid seeing my emotions as a fat and flabby mind instead of as a fat and flabby body.  When my mind's eye gets blurry, I know it's time to step away from the mirror.  It is time to separate mind from body.  It is time to sort out the emotions that are manifesting themselves as rotten feelings about my body.  It is time to go to my journal.  I try to be honest and gutsy as I write down my thoughts and describe my feelings.  Wow!  I am always surprised when I'm able to come around to the realization that my feelings of "yuckiness" have nothing to do with my body.  Being honest with myself allows me to correctly classify my feelings as frustration, worry, or sadness, instead of disguising them as jiggles and rolls.  I'm able to admit that my physical efforts are good ones.  From journaling to jumping jacks, they are all good efforts.
The bottom line is that nobody is perfect all the time.  The goal is to continue to strive toward our own personal "perfection."  I always tell you to listen to your body, and I now want to encourage you to add a filter to that.  When you feel fat, flabby, or jiggly, use that filter to separate the emotionally charged feelings from your truly physical instincts.  Best wishes for good feelings of strength and beauty.
Molly Setnick graduated from Baylor University with a BS in Health/Fitness Studies.  She is certified as a Physical Fitness Specialist through The Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas, Texas and is AFAA certified to teach aerobics.  She co-writes a weekly column for the Texas Jewish Post with Jessica Setnick, MS, RD/LD called “Making Fitness Fit”. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Use Your Invoice to Increase Your Value

What does your invoice say?
Does your invoice simply list the products or services and the invoice amount? What about the application fee you waive? ...or the extra hours you don't bill your client?  My invoice used to simply list the products and services billed to my client and the rate. But, since I revamped my billing system, I've added the various products and services that I normally provide my client without charge. I list the retail rate and note "no charge" next to the rate. My client might have no idea I was providing products and services others would normally charge for unless I specifically list the various items.  Just to give you a few ideas... We have an application fee others would charge anywhere from $20 to $50. We choose not to pass this fee on to our clients, but instead note it as "no charge." If you process credit cards at your retail location, a backup imprinter (aka a 'knuckle buster') is an item that some businesses may charge anywhere from $45 to $75. We simply provide this to our clients, listing it on the invoice as "no charge."  If you provide a professional service, you may have made a conscious decision not to nickel and dime your client with lots of little fees. But unless you list those phone calls, or mailings, or extra hours you provided at no cost, your client won't have a true picture of the real value you provide.  Your invoice is one piece of communication your client is sure to read line by line, so use it to build value for your business and improve your cash flow.
Cheryl Cook works to develop business relationships where her experience, knowledge, and ideas can help improve the small business owner’s cash flow. As the Executive Director of Pro Money Inc., Cheryl conducts workshops with the Chamber of Commerce and teaches adult education classes on topics related to cash flow. Cheryl publishes an ezine every other week titled “Cash Flow Tips for Your Business.”

Monday, August 6, 2012

Leadership Skills Coaching

The Old Way - Command and Control
Although workplaces and management styles have come a long way in the last decade, the command and control style of management remains common practice in many companies. This management approach basically means that employees are told exactly what to do, when to do it and even how it should be done. The manager is in charge, has all the answers, and fixes all the problems.
It's no surprise that plenty of people find this approach demotivating - and that workplaces with a command-control style are rated as pretty unsatisfying. When it comes down to it, none of us really enjoys being told exactly what to do, and neither do our employees. When people feel as though they have no say and are given no opportunity to contribute outside of their work tasks, then they switch off and become disengaged.
The command and control approach is being phased out for a more collaborative and engaging style - a 'Coach' approach or being a manager-coach. This is a positive shift - as long as we are clear about what the new expectations of managers really are.
Coaching - What does it really mean?
The coaching profession has exploded in recent years, diversifying across many different fields and industries. All of these people are dedicated to helping others achieve their goals, improve aspects of themselves or their business, or move forwards from where they are today.
In a work environment, the role of a manager-coach can be described as :
- achieving results and excellence through others rather than personally taking care of things, and
- focusing on developing employees in order to achieve business results rather than micro-managing their every move.
Adopting coaching as a management style requires managers to help other people unlock their potential and enhance their own performance. It's about supporting people to learn instead of telling them what the answers are.
The New Mindset
The mindset of the manager-coach is to create an environment that fosters learning, independent thinking and opportunities to contribute. The manager-coach doesn't want to be seen as a solution provider. Rather, they want to be seen as a facilitator, paving the way for team members to achieve their results.
Coach managers are a role model for others. They are excellent listeners and communicators, providing perspective and encouragement whilst setting high standards and expectations.
There are 8 ways to make coaching behaviours part of what you do:
Number 1:
Stop thinking about employees as people that need to be controlled or managed and give them the latitude to take actions and make decisions. Trust is a vital component of this equation. If you can't trust people to do their jobs well, then you either have the wrong people in the jobs, or you have the right people but you haven't trained them sufficiently. A third option is that the people are properly skilled, but the manager just can't let go.
Number 2:
Listen, listen listen. If there are unhappy or disgruntled people in your business, you can guarantee that at some stage they've tried to tell you what the problem is. It's likely you weren't listening (or didn't want to listen), or perhaps your initial reaction made the person think twice about bringing the problem to you. Truly listening is one of the greatest skills to develop, regardless of your role. Good listeners are genuinely interested, convey empathy, and want to find out what's behind the conversation. Great coaches are great listeners -without exception.
Number 3:
Focus on developing the strengths of each employee rather than managing merely for results. Identify each person's development needs and commit to following through on them. When people are growing and improving, their enthusiasm and effectiveness is greater. And they feel more connected and loyal to the company for supporting them.
Number 4:
Endorse effort and growth instead of pointing out failures or errors. As individuals, we all know how seldom we are given positive feedback, but how often we are reminded of our "mistakes". Instead of pointing out errors, the coach-manager accepts them as learning opportunities and uses them to develop their employees. The focus is on making sure the same mistake doesn't happen again by fixing the source of the problem.
Number 5:
Stop providing solutions. Managers often achieve their positions after being technical specialists, and so will have an opinion or view on how to "fix" situations or problems. The mindset is that it's usually faster to tell someone what to do, or do it yourself, than give your employees an opportunity to figure it out. By always providing the answers, managers take away the learning opportunity for their employees to come up with alternative (and potentially better) ways of doing things. If you catch yourself about to provide the answer, take a deep breath and ask a question like: "What would you do in this situation?"
Number 6:
As a manager, stop making all the decisions. You don't have all the answers all of the time. Engage those around you - your team and peers - when it comes to finding a way forwards. Involvement breeds ownership and engagement. The more you can find opportunities for people to contribute to the decision-making process and encourage people to have their say, the more your employees will feel connected and satisfied with the company.
Number 7:
Be unconditionally constructive - no exceptions. Don't patronise or be critical of others - take complete responsibility for how you are heard. If you catch yourself about to make negative remarks, take a breath and rephrase your words to get your message across without the emotional attachment. It is possible to phrase everything in constructive terms - even a negative sentiment. Practice makes perfect!
Number 8:
Create an environment where people want to work with you, and feel valued and respected. Make it clear to your employees what they are responsible for, but give them the latitude to go about it in their own way. In short, treat them the way you would want to be treated.
The Wrap-Up
The true success of a leader can be measured by the success of the people that work for them. When managers and leaders adopt a coaching style, the productivity, motivation and satisfaction of the employees increases, which filters through to bottom -line results. All this makes for an engaged workforce who are committed to giving the business as much as it is giving them. And as an extra incentive, adopting a coaching style of management results in a much more enjoyable workplace for everybody!