Smart Entrepreneurs Wear Six Hats


Entrepreneurs are necessarily optimistic. You need to be, it allows you to see the possibilities around you and act on them.

However, the downside is that your emotional attachment can blind you to problems that are otherwise obvious to someone who is not as personally invested in the project.

This is why smart entrepreneurs learn to wear six hats: six “Thinking Hats”. Originally defined by psychologist Edward DeBono, the Six Thinking Hats are a structured creativity tool to help you look at a situation from different perspectives, to solve a problem or to foresee and minimize risks before they turn into problems.

When you “wear” a specific color hat, it gives you permission to look at your problem is a specific way:

  • White Hat: Analytical – What does the data say? Look at the available data, both quantitative and qualitative. What are past trends? What can you extrapolate? Where is the evidence to support your assumptions? Where do you need more data?
  • Red Hat: Emotional – How do you feel about this? Access your intuition, gut reaction, emotion. Talk about your feelings about the situation, where you feel good and not as good. How would others feel about this?
  • Black Hat: Pessimist – What could go wrong? Think cautiously, defensively, why it might not work. Poke holes in the idea, look for the weak spots, all with the intention to identify what needs to be addressed in order to overcome any problems.
  • Yellow Hat: Optimist – What if all goes right? Think optimistically, positively. Imagine all the opportunities, the benefits, the advantages. Reach for the stars!
  • Green Hat: Creative – How can we make this better? Use your creative juices to think “out of the box”. Explore weird tangents, unexpected synergies, make it into a “purple cow” (something remarkable that stands out from the crowd).
  • Blue Hat: Process – What do we need to do now? Direct the process of creativity so avoid getting stuck. When in “Blue Hat” mode, step back from the problem and consider if you are giving all of the other hats equal time.

Entrepreneurs seem to do quite well with the Yellow, Red and Green Hat approaches to thinking about an idea. There is more resistance to the White Hat (analytical) and definitely a big block around Black Hat thinking. Could this be because the Analytical and Pessimist are associated with external control?

There is nothing to fear from the Black Hat – it can be your best friend. Wearing the Black Hat gets you out of cheerleader mode and forces you to examine your assumptions up close. From personal experience, I know that when a project backfires, the failure can be traced back to an assumption that was not properly tested. Black Hat thinking gives your project real traction by foreseeing the difficulties and encouraging defensive planning. This makes the plan more resilient and improves the probability of success.

As you explore wearing the various Hats, put on the Blue Hat (Process) from time to time to see if you are considering all the perspectives of your project. Note that the purpose of this thinking exercise is not to assign fault or blame. The mindset of every Hat is to make sure the project succeeds.

It is great fun to dream big and to reach for the stars. But if you want to make any progress, you need to keep your feet on the ground. Practice wearing the Six Thinking Hats as you plan and execute your business project. This mindset will give you the traction to power your project towards real and enduring results.

Source by Davender Gupta

11 Ways Investing in Impact Helps Your Business


You’ve bought into the idea that investing in your business is a good idea. You’ve seen the results in action, the return on investment.

ROI is by no means a guarantee. It never is. You do your due diligence and research, and then you decide if it’s worth the calculated risk for the return you want.

What is guaranteed, though, is that without investment – of time, energy, and money – there is no return.

The decision to invest in a strategic shift can be most challenging, because the benefits are often delayed. Why do it? Because strategy drives everything in your business.

Your commitment to a strategic approach that is focused on impact is at the heart of your decision to invest in it.

So why invest in impact? Here are 11 reasons, 11 ways you’ll reap the returns:

  1. Companies that focus on impact have 12-14 times more income than those that focus only on profit. They even perform better than best practices companies in Jim Collins’ Good to Great list.
  1. You have distinctive positioning. This is especially important for crowded markets and those with established and well-regarded players. Both millennials and over-40s are drawn to companies with a higher purpose, by knowing that their purchases matter. People are increasingly willing to look at products and services not just as commodities, but as the opportunity to have a high value experience grounded in impact and the ability to contribute themselves just by supporting impact-focused companies.
  1. You attract the best people, ones that are motivated by your mission. That means an engaged workforce. People are inspired to perform above and beyond, to bring themselves more fully into their work. Fulfilling work, where we spend so much of our days, helps us have a fulfilling life.
  1. You reduce the churn of employee departures. You avoid money and knowledge lost due to increased turnover and the loss of valued employees It’s a renewing wheel where you retain valuable employees in the older age range with their wealth of experience and promising young performers too, and bring in even more engaged people into your workforce, and potentially even new customers as engaged employees become brand ambassadors.
  1. You thrive with a higher purpose. What helps you get through those challenging times is a bigger picture, a greater contribution that you are willing to make. So you move through obstacles more easily, you stay motivated to move through them, and you don’t waste a lot of time and energy wishing things were different.
  1. You avoid commoditization. For people aligned with your vision of impact, a purchase from your company becomes a moral and ethical decision, not just a cost comparison.
  1. When you don’t invest in impact, you remain trapped in the profit economy, which is dying along with the companies in it, at a faster and faster rate. A move to the impact economy, with a pivot in your company to focus on impact, helps you be sustainable.
  1. You nurture a company culture that helps people flourish. We all want to contribute to something bigger than ourselves. We don’t want to just be a cog in a wheel that churns out products and services. We want to know that what we do matters. With impact in mind, we elevate day-to-day work to this enhanced level of contribution and creativity. We work together to achieve that.
  1. You create value for all stakeholders. This happens at multiple levels: financial, employees, suppliers, investors, and your community.
  1. Your company has enhanced market valuation. Your financial performance is directly related to impact. Even if you’re not building to sell, increased market valuation can give you leverage with investors.
  1. You make a difference. You have more opportunities to innovate, build, and contribute. Companies can do good in the world. You can contribute beyond money, to your employees, to customers, and the larger world, with an impact focus.

It’s not enough to think that impact is a good idea. You have to commit to it on a strategic level. You have to invest in it.

Impact is where your business meets the world and makes it a better place. True leaders value the well-being of all. Invest in making your company impactful.

Source by Ursula Jorch

Juno Moneta: An Ancient Money Goddess With a Message for 21st Century Women


Female spiritual entrepreneurs are invited step into their truth as powerful professional presences through the archetype of Juno Moneta, an ancient goddess with a message for the 21st century.

The word “money” takes its name from Juno Moneta, a Roman goddess in whose temples coinage was minted. A fertility goddess, the Goddess Juno Moneta assumes her role as the abundant mother of money. Modeled after the Greek goddess of memory, Mnemosyne, and mother of the Muses, this archetype reminds women of their ability to manifest plentifully. This ability depends upon intuition, creativity, nurturance, and service in order to manifest.

In order to welcome the power of Juno Moneta’s mysteries into their lives today, female spiritual entrepreneurs must also be willing to consider the deep connections between money and emotions, facing illusions and exploring the positive and negative aspects of relationship with money as an earthly manifestation of divine energetic flow.

The first and most critical skill that any Moneta needs in the 21st century is an understanding of money as divine energy made manifest. In other words, the energetic flow is limitless, and the form of money itself simply exists as a way to make visible that flow.

Today’s entrepreneurs, versed in the Law of Attraction, seek support and belief in their vision. Some work with mentors for assistance as they reach their business earning goals through service, intuition, creativity, and joy. In the 21st century, they seek the expertise they need in order to succeed in their spiritual quest for the divine.

Working with Moneta, it becomes possible for women to initiate action, prepare specialized communication, and step into their power in their business – even on a budget. The archetype provides a strong mythological mentor partner for women as they learn new ways of thinking and communicating their passion about their work in the world.

Source by Sherri L. McLendon

Learn To Let Go So Your Company Can Grow


In 2016, my client Mariah found herself at a tipping point that many entrepreneurs can relate to. Her business was growing in revenue, scaling quickly after several years of building.

Mariah had steered her company for 6 years but was spread so thin that the stress was beginning to show. Long work hours, neglecting friends and family, finding it difficult to find time to eat lunch or even visit the bathroom!

The situation was unsustainable. If she and her business were going to survive, things had to change.

Mariah had reached that tipping point where the skills that had brought her to that level were different from the ones needed to steer her business forward. It happens in every company that grows beyond the startup stage, so if you’re in that boat, you’re not alone.

You have some choices to make. Here are an even dozen questions to consider so that you can determine the best way forward in your business’ life cycle:

  1. Can you go on like this? Typically, when you’re at this point, the answer is no. And yet you may feel you don’t have any other option. You do. You always have options.

You can’t pour more into an already full cup. In order to grow your business and have more freedom in your life, you have to let go to create space for something new and exciting to present itself.

One thing you can let go of: feeling guilty that you’re not doing more. You are doing enough. You are enough.

  1. Are you working IN your company or ON it? Here’s where the realization really hits home. If you’re bogged down in the day-to-day at this stage, you won’t have the time or energy to plan for the growth you dream about. Are there things you can delegate? Are there things that simply don’t need to be done anymore?
  1. What incremental changes can you make? That may include rejigging responsibilities, establishing processes to allow your employees to have more autonomy and not always involve you. Control alert: you’ll have to release the desire to manage everything. If you’ve chosen your people well, your role now shifts to one of coach and mentor, to help them build the confidence to take on more responsibility. You must allow space for them to do so, as much as you may want to step in, or they will never make this transition.
  1. Are YOU willing to change? At this stage of your company, it’s just not an exercise in getting everyone else to change. YOU must change too. Are you willing to do things differently? Remaining obsessed with keeping the status quo will not serve you or your business. The good news is that you can change. You can learn and grow. You can become the leader you need to be in your company at this stage. When you embrace these changes, your path will be easier.
  1. Are incremental changes enough? Even incremental changes will require your time and energy, and you will bump up against some of your own issues as you navigate the changes. Are they worth the effort, or is more required? It can be tempting to feel that incremental changes are less threatening, more comfortable for you. But they rarely are, if you really embrace them, and even so, incremental may not be enough.
  1. Is your cash flow in order? One of the stressors at this growth stage is availability of cash. You won’t be able to make the shift to the next level without the funds to do it. So get your cash flow in order. Work with your accountant and mentor to map out a plan. Monitor the situation weekly, and keep an eye on expenses.
  1. Are the people you have in your company now the right people to move the company to the next level? You’ll be relying more and more on your staff as you scale. Define what you need them to do, and assess whether they are up to it. If not, do they have high potential and are they coachable?

To help your staff make changes, prepare by giving incremental responsibility and also, importantly, authority over discrete areas. Instill a sense of pride and ownership over the responsibilities you are passing on. Discuss your expectations and goals, and ask if they have the time, resources, and support to get the job done right. Decide in advance how success will be measured and rewarded.

Not everyone has to be a leader, an idea generator. You may value those traits because you have them yourself. Keep in mind that other traits have value too. Some roles are filled just fine by someone who will consistently do good work as defined for them.

  1. Are you willing to be transparent? You have an important role to play in building your company’s culture. If you want to create a culture where employees feel empowered, attracts the best people, and builds loyalty, you need to display trust. Sharing information does that. They will then follow your lead and share too. That’s what leads to innovation.

For your staff to know the implications of their decisions, made with the new autonomy you’re providing, they have to understand the company’s financial situation. You can start small, by sharing the thoughts you are having about the acceptability of potential new projects or the implications of acting on a suggestion.

The best time to begin to share financials is when you are in a positive financial situation. Teach business financial literacy, or require your staff to attend a local or online course that helps them understand the fundamentals. The more you involve them, the more invested they will become and you’ll find yourself with an arrangement approaching a partnership.

  1. Are you expecting enough? You and your people must be accountable for the success of the project and company as a whole. That shared responsibility means that everyone pitches in to get the job done. Look for ways to build camaraderie and connection, and actively require people to contribute by building group performance into compensation.

This accountability has to extend to you and your managers as well. Show people that you are willing to be held accountable too. If you set boundaries and then routinely break them, you’re showing your staff that you’re not accountable. Ask them to hold you to your decisions. For that to happen, there has to be an environment of trust that means they can point out where you’re not being accountable and it will be heard and not punished.

  1. What’s your plan? Determine where you’d like to go: develop strategy and create goals. And here’s the most important part of the plan: make it live in your business by establishing action steps with defined accountability and allocation of resources. Be willing to revisit, revise, and realign your plan as the inevitable unexpected arises.
  1. Is there a creative solution you haven’t yet considered, or fully considered? I know you’re creative, because you’re an entrepreneur. This is a great time to bring your creative juices to bear on the problem. Take some time to step back and consider what you might do to alleviate the pressure. Talk to your mentor or coach. Research or call up other business owners to see what they did.
  1. Are you the best one to lead your company in this next stage of business growth? You’re human. You can’t do everything equally well – no one can. This can be a difficult question for founders to even consider. You’re so emotionally attached to your business, not to mention financially tied, that handing over leadership may be one of the toughest decisions you’ve ever had to make.

According to a Harvard paper, most entrepreneurs are motivated by money and control. These can directly conflict. I would also add impact to the mix. You’ll have to choose between attracting the resources to build a more valuable company, both financially and in terms of impact, and retaining control, which doesn’t allow you to build as valuable a company. It’s the rare founder that can have both.

When making this decision, consider your business. Consider your employees. Consider yourself. That triumvirate is tied to your future success. Many founders cede control at this point, and allow a veteran business builder to step into the CEO role. You may retain key aspects of your current role, such as business development and strategy. You don’t have to give it all away – keep the roles where you can really continue to bring value.

Once the decision is made to take this step of handing over operations to an experienced CEO, the key question becomes how to best make the transition smoothly.

If you want to grow your business, you’ll have to get out of the way. More money and more impact means that the founder has to make shifts to move into a new role. Let go of the responsibilities that weigh you down so you can do bigger things. That can happen gradually.

Does your business mean enough to you to keep it thriving and growing? These questions will help you define how you can do just that.

Source by Ursula Jorch

The Fears of a New Client


Several times recently, when I have signed on a new client, they express their fear about making a commitment to a 12-month program and it seems that they are afraid of more than just one thing. I’d like to address these fears so that if you are a client who has just hired a coach or is thinking of hiring a coach, you will understand your emotions around your decision and what to do about them. And if you are a coach, this will help you understand a client’s fears so you can help them work through them and follow through with the program.

Clients can fear a long-term commitment just because 12 months seems like a long time. They think, “How can I make that long of a commitment when everything is so uncertain?”

Of course, in the life of a business, a year is not very long. And it certainly isn’t a very long time to learn all the ins and outs of running and marketing a business.

Nevertheless, they can be afraid that something might happen to prevent them from finishing the program. This could be a downturn in finances, an accident, a family emergency, or an acute health problem. But what’s the focus on here?

The focus is on what could go wrong. People tend to get stuck in that mode when purchasing something—i.e. what if something goes wrong? It may seem natural to react that way, but actually focusing on the negative is unnatural. When hiring a coach, the natural feeling should be one of excitement, enthusiasm, and anticipation. Their investment in a coach is going to move their business forward. Shouldn’t that feel exciting?

Another new client’s unexpressed fear is, will they get results? Will it be worth the investment? Or is this just another bright, shiny object they should have avoided? This may just be because they don’t actually know the person they are hiring. They may be familiar with the coach from being on their mailing list, seeing videos of them, and learning from them. But it may still feel risky.

However, hiring a coach to help with a business is an investment. Yes, it’s also a risk, but so is starting a business. You are at risk every day of going out of business. And yet you still work your business every day. So you have to take on some risk when you hire someone to help you.

Still another fear that I see in new clients is that they are afraid that they may not be able to take the necessary actions to get the prescribed results. They might fail. They may not make it after all. They may lose interest, or get overwhelmed, like they have in the past. And this program will just go on the shelf with all the other unfinished programs.

But this fear is mostly based on a lack of confidence in their own abilities. The reality is that they are in control and they get to decide what they will complete and what actions they will take. That’s also why they are paying the coach they have hired. Shelling out hard-earned money is a strong incentive to do the work.

So if you are thinking of hiring a coach to help you with your business, be prepared for these fears to surface and here’s how to deal with them:

· Make a long-term commitment to your business

· Feel excitement and anticipation when you embark in a new program

· Be willing to take a risk and if it doesn’t work out, be willing to keep trying things

· Have the confidence that you can do anything if you put your mind to it

If you have this kind of mindset, you’ll be able to experience much more enjoyment when you hire a coach, and you’re more likely to get results!

And if you have clients who have these fears, you can help them work through them by:

· Supporting them in their decision to hire you

· Helping them feel the excitement of getting involved in your program and show your enthusiasm—it’s contagious

· Reminding them of past clients results and/or case studies to give them evidence that you are trustworthy

· Reassuring them that you believe they can take all the necessary actions to be successful in your program and get the results they desire

When you incorporate these points into your enrollment conversation, you will instill more confidence in your clients’ decision to hire you.

Source by Jeannette Koczela

Strategy to Budget – Seven Types of Plans For Building Sustainable Advantage


A plan is a proposed statement of direction and course of action to achieve a desired result. The planning horizon is the period over which the end-result is expected to be delivered, and can range from months to years. The planning cycle either refers to the process by which plans are prepared, or represents the time frame between planning activities. The budget cycle is the most common, and is usually annual with quarterly updates aligned to the fiscal year.

Many enterprises have planning methodologies that describe the scope, objectives, approach, estimating guidelines, deliverables, roles, and responsibilities of the activities. They also have formal schedules for preparing plans that tie to financial reporting periods. However, sometimes it is necessary to prepare or update a plan at any time as, or as a consequence of, a “hi-spot” review – an “ad-hoc” project to determine the impact of new innovative ideas on existing plans, programs, and projects.

The seven types of plans are:

  • Strategic plans: long-term statements of direction – typically three-to-five years or more, with short-term initiatives as necessary from the point of departure to one-to-three years out. Strategic plans decompose into enterprise aspiration and industry position and posture, competitive position and posture, performance improvement, constituency-based, functional, and governance components. Strategic decisions are made in the present about the future, and are about doing the right thing.
  • Information technology strategy: a special case functional strategy because information technology impacts all functions within the enterprise.
  • Tactical plans: activities to implement strategy – tactical decisions are those made in the present about the present, and are about doing things well.
  • Operational plans: address sales and production activities – quantifiable targets in terms of markets, products and/or services, and constituencies based upon market share and penetration, product and/or service usage, satisfaction, quality, time-to-market, cycle time, productivity, and asset capacity and utilization.
  • Financial plans: pro forma sets of projected financial statements with assumptions. These plans represent the translation of tactical and operational plans into financial targets in terms of revenue, costs and expenses, profits, cash flows, financial capital, operating capital, investment capital, and returns on investment based upon rates, quantities of input, and volumes of output.
  • Business plans for financing: abstracts of strategic and tactical plans aimed specifically at raising capital from third-party investors – applicable to both private and public enterprises, and commonly used by early stage entrepreneurial enterprises. Financing plans can also be used for internally for bootstrapping new product lines, business lines, and business units, or for research and development initiatives. Plans are funded when commitments are actually made and when sources are available.
  • Budgets: annualized financial plans at working levels of detail. Budgets are the translation of strategic, tactical, operational, and financial plans into specific period-based financial and non-financial goals.

Plans are implemented through programs, projects, and perpetual processes within and between functions.

Periodic checkpoints should be established to review progress and measure performance as plans are deployed and executed. A feedback loop should be established between performance measurement and planning and policy development activities so that adjustments can be made in estimating guidelines, projections, and assumptions accordingly.

Developing plans is an enterpriship (entrepreneurship, leadership, and management) competency.

Source by Nigel Brooks

Fear and Getting Through the Storm


We all have fears. Fears about how the company will do financially this year, about that crucial new hire who looks promising but is unproven, or about how your new offering will fare in a busy market. Fears can abound, especially if nurtured and given attention.

“The future you constantly worry about, Is nothing other than a projection of fear and desire from the past.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh

Fears can instead be a tool, an indicator. They can lead you to research, to ask good questions, and to explore options. As long as you don’t allow fears to take over the present, they can actually be valuable.

One way to be vigilant about fears is with mindfulness. Mindfulness, that focus on the present, is more than a business fad. It’s a practice that decreases stress and increases productivity.

The leaders of outdoor apparel maker Patagonia are committed to using their successful company as a vehicle to put mindfulness into action. Patagonia founder Yves Chouinard describes navigating what could be a terrifying Class 4 rapid as a teaching:

  • look ahead and prepare
    • be proactive
    • don’t ignore what is coming
    • think through scenarios
    • do what is necessary to get ready to the best of your ability
    • trust that you can handle whatever happens
  • go into a drop

    • take calculated risks
    • once you decide, follow through wholeheartedly
  • read the river

    • be vigilant
    • be perceptive
    • adjust as needed.

That intuitive process has helped guide his business for the last 50 years. Chouinard believes that if the process isn’t sound, if your intentions don’t come from the right place, the outcome, even if profitable, doesn’t matter.

Practicing wisdom by making decisions from a place of love rather than fear can open the door to creative solutions.

Fear can be a driver of decisions and actions, but they don’t have to be.

Elizabeth Gilbert in her book, Big Magic, tells the story of treating her fears like an inevitable passenger on a road trip. Fears can and will be there, but they can Never. Ever. Drive.

Source by Ursula Jorch

Startup Law 101 Series – What Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Business Law


The Startup Law 101 Series is aimed at educating founders and entrepreneurs about the basics of startup business law.

Here are my suggestions on this important question.

1. Law is fundamentally a specialty field and entrepreneurs should leave it, for the most part, to the specialists when it comes to technical details.

This part can’t be emphasized enough. Law is a maze of complexities. If you, as an entrepreneur, try to master it at that level, you will be an unusual entrepreneur if you are not quickly discouraged into abandoning the effort altogether.

2. Entrepreneurs can feel trapped, though, by specialists who hem them in and sometimes abuse them. Lawyers have been known to attempt to capitalize on the “fear, uncertainty, and doubt” (FUD) factor that can be used to scare up business where none legitimately exists. So it can be unsafe to leave everything to the specialists without being informed about their proper role and without being proactive in managing their activities as your hired agents.

3. Entrepreneurs should attempt to gain a working knowledge of the law as it affects their companies. The emphasis here is on “working.” This is not a technical knowledge. This is not about going to law school or about learning to think like a lawyer. It is about trying to get the equivalent know-how about law that a serial entrepreneur might have — it is about knowing the decision points and the main factors that affect those decisions so that you can manage a lawyer’s efforts in giving you technical assistance on those points. It is about learning the fundamentals of how companies are formed, funded, managed, and sold. It is about understanding how deals work within a company context. As an entrepreneur, you don’t have to know how these things work beyond following the advice of your lawyers. But you will be far sharper if you do. You can be led by the professionals or you can actively manage their efforts, even while using their expertise, to help achieve your goals.

4. Therefore, though law is fundamentally boring for most entrepreneurs, the smart ones attempt to educate themselves in this area as needed to achieve the goal of being effectively proactive in working with lawyers and of being able to use the law effectively to further their business goals.

5. What does this investment of time and effort get you? It will educate you on how to use the law to help protect yourself from liability risks relating to your business. It will improve your ability to plan effectively for your company’s launch and growth. Finally, it will save you money because it will improve your ability to manage the time of your lawyers.

6. How do you gain this knowledge? That is up to you. I emphasize here only that you should not disdain the task just because it involves law. Nor should you overdo it in the other direction by diving into specialty forms of knowledge. Strike a balance. Invest the time needed to understand business law at a high level, with a strategic and not a technical focus. Use this author’s Startup Law 101 Series to learn the fundamentals of startup law. Read significant blogs in the area (the Startup Company Lawyer and The Startup Lawyer are good ones). Read the posts. Think about the issues. Get the larger perspective on how legal issues affect you and your company.

You can also use self-help resources from the publishers who specialize in such works. These can be helpful for learning about general legal issues affecting business, though they are less helpful for startup issues specifically.

In the end, experience will be your best teacher. But you will need to give yourself a foundational knowledge to ensure that you learn the most from your experiences. And, above all, make sure to work with a business lawyer who works with you and educates you about the legal steps you are taking. Do watch out for lawyers who keep you in the dark and who merely spread the FUD factor.

Remember, don’t be discouraged if you cannot understand legal technicalities. Your goal is not to master technicalities. It is to get a working knowledge. Place a high value on anything that gives you that perspective. This is what the serial entrepreneur has mastered. It is what you will need to master as well if you are to be optimally effective as an entrepreneur in managing legal matters to further your business goals.

Source by George Grellas

Third World Entrepreneur


Have you ever observed people in Third World countries and how they are mostly resourceful and self-reliant entrepreneurs? Examples would be trading commerce within their community, farming and feeding local families, and making their own clothes for personal use and trade. A lot of families in the Third World have a home-based business of some kind. One can say they need to do this out of necessity, due to minimal availability of jobs and their economy, however, I see them as people who have learned to create their circumstances. I believe Americans and all others impacted by this global economy change can learn a lot from the Third World Entrepreneur.

The majority of people in developed countries like the United States have historically worked up the ladder as a laborer or hired hand, and have accepted that exchanging their time for money is the best way to earn a living. In reality that is the worst way to earn a living. Why would you want to build someone else’s business, when you can build your own? Why build someone else’s dream when you can build your own?

The people in Third World countries that become entrepreneurs to survive are not weak. They are strong and empowered people. They have developed self-reliance and inner strength. They did it because it was possible.

I would propose that we work together in peace and create a community in which we adopt the best of Third World entrepreneurialism while utilizing the modern conveniences of the developed world (such as technological advances that make our lives easier, modern holistic healing, and rapid transit.)

I feel, and perhaps you will agree, the masses in today’s society have become weak and dependent instead of empowered and free. I hear countless stories of people being dependent on an unemployment check and fearful their extension will not be approved. These are educated people that had successful careers and are now fearful souls. These people have accepted this scenario in their lives instead of creating their own circumstances.

A choice can be made in a different direction and that is why I choose to be an entrepreneur. I can learn business skills and self-reliance that will pay off in the long run. Even if I have to put my time in without pay to learn business skills and what it takes to succeed, it will be worth it, because it is priceless experience to do so. Through trial and error, I have found the Network Marketing Industry to be the best place to learn these skills and still earn a living.

So how can you become an entrepreneur and start creating your ideal circumstances? Before I answer that, let me frame a bigger picture for you. If we keep letting the government make decisions for us instead of being Leaders in our own lives, and especially if the majority of the population continues to do this, we will lose our great country. This is just my opinion, however, there is a lot of evidence out there that led me to this conclusion. Now might be a good time to remember JFK’s famous quote, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your country. “

Stay with me here. As individuals we have given control of our lives away, whether you want to admit it or not. And the best way to reclaim personal power, and to empower others, is to be great and show others what is possible right now. Imagine creating, sustaining, and living in a community that is self-supportive. Imagine a community, comprised of families, comprised of individuals who are self-reliantly developing their unlimited potential as individuals, not only for their own self-empowerment, but in the service of others.

It is time again to stand up and take back our country. Be bold! Be entrepreneurially-minded! Learn to be the leader of your life again! And, let’s get used to the idea of helping ourselves by helping others.

Network marketing is a business model designed with just such goals in mind. If you’d like to know more about networking marketing and my experience with it, please write me at

Source by David Sandercott

Using Customer Service In Your Practice As a Marketing Tool


Health care practices are not generally known for their customer service. In fact, more often than not, they are known for its lack thereof. We all know that patients talk about our practices. If that talk is good, it’s great for marketing. However, if it’s not good…it can do a great deal of damage to your practice. There are lots of ways to encourage good reviews and favorable referrals to your practice. One of the best ways to get patients talking positively about your business is with excellent customer service.

Picture this: You go into your provider’s office. You don’t feel well and you hope that you can just get in and get out before you have to pick up your kids from school. You are a bit grumpy by the time you walk in the door…parking was horrible and now you see the waiting room is full and there are crying kids. The receptionist does not seem to know you are supposed to be there even though you spoke with her two hours ago. When she tells you (without even looking at you) the NP is running behind, you turn around to see the only available chair is next to a screaming 2 yr old, who obviously feels as bad as you do. So begins your wait.

Without going further into this scenario, I’m sure you can already see several issues that should be corrected immediately. As time drags on, this is one patient who will be less happy with her visit to you today, and aside from telling her friends about her horrible experience, she just may find a new provider.

So what can you do to help ensure that your patients receive excellent customer/patient care?

  • Make your patients feel welcome. If you have anything other than a walk in clinic, your patients should be expected. Make them feel so with a warm welcome.
  • Drop the “waiting room” and refer to it as your reception area or another appropriate term.
  • Keep your patients updated on any wait times. Offer them the opportunity to reschedule if necessary.
  • Consider making your reception area more comfortable. What’s the temperature like? Is it clean? Is there water available? What about tea and coffee? In keeping up with the times, consider making Wi-Fi available. Avoid loud TV’s that are tuned into game shows. If you must have the TV going, tune it to appropriate viewing.
  • Encourage an office culture that treats each patient as if this was the most important person they will see that day. Listen to them.

Of course there is so much more you can do both in the front and back office of your practice, but this is a good start to making changes in your office. Your patient’s want to be comfortable in your office. They want to like you and your staff.

Consider this question: “How can I delight you today?” I was asked that question once by a customer service rep. It stopped me in my tracks and made me a loyal customer. I’d love to see you do that in your practice.

Remember: Excellent customer service + Happy Patients = Excellent Marketing ROI.

©2011, Barbara Phillips, NP All Rights Reserved.

Source by Barbara C. Phillips