Category Archives: Business
This post is part of a series in which LinkedIn Influencers share the best advice they’ve ever received. I DECIDED TO SHARE
“Be sure you take time for walks.”
“What?” I thought to myself. “Me? The person who heads to the gym to get a workout in as efficiently as possible so I can get in to the office?”
It’s the last thing I expected to hear from my new “boss.”
Hussein Enan, the CEO of Insweb, the early online insurance marketplace founded in Silicon Valley, was now the chairman of and partner in the company I was starting, Women’s Financial Network.
“It takes a lot of energy to do what you’re doing,” he said. “Are you ready?”
Having started several companies before himself, Enan knew how much effort and sheer persistence it took to get a new company off the ground, and he knew I would face moments when those walks would be critical.
Still, it was a zen insight that caught me by surprise: “Take a walk.”
As I speak to you, there are so many other pieces of advice to share – focus, listen more than you talk, know who you’re doing business with – but it’s that time during walks when you can stop and reflect.. to improve your decisions, your behavior, your priorities.
It’s advice that would come in handy in so many ways.
Take, for example, Women’s Financial Network. It was starting to get known for helping women financially. And now, we were working through a strategic partnership with a major media company that would give us national presence. Exciting stuff. In an effort to get the deal done, we took on the additional work of drafting the contract, at a substantial cost.
And then, the Internet bust occurred. Remember that? Companies were pulling back on all sorts of things, just as we’ve seen over the last few years: little investing, little hiring. I figured the media firm would back out of our partnership for sure.
And then, about two months later, as we still worked to shepherd the agreement through, they pulled out. They had been impacted too much themselves by the economy’s turn and couldn’t take on any new projects, they said.
OK, painful. But the worst occurred when I looked on their website a few weeks later only to discover that they were now using some the ideas we had offered-up as part of our partnership. I wanted to shout to the world: How could they?
I then remembered Enan’s advice: take a walk. Not to run from the problem but, rather, to step outside the problem by stepping outside the office.
That walk was critical. It led me to step back: would shouting to the world really help? Did I have the money to fight? Fight based on what? And, let’s face it: I’d rather have more friends than enemies. Not the direction I wanted to take.
And then, during that same walk, I had the ah-ha that would help re-focus my energies: form a strategic partnership with a brokerage firm to complete our goal of offering direct investment services. We did.
As I’ve come to realize, taking a walk can be essential to success in so many ways: birthing your next best idea, identifying the solution to a big challenge on the job, or just de-stressing so that you can connect with others more effectively.
Indeed, we spend so much time sitting in the office, staring at the computer screen or finding ourselves distracted by multiple voices and opinions, that taking time out almost becomes essential to success.
Taking a walk can be a bit like mental yoga. You open yourself up and create space and time to digest what is happening around you. Are you bringing any biases to your views or decision-making that deserve a re-think? How are others responding to you? If it’s not as you’d like, what might be standing in the way?
It’s also a great time to integrate ideas that you may have heard over the course of the past few weeks or months. What are the little nuggets you’ve picked up – the “ah-ha” moments from meetings or conversations – and how do they all fit together? Chances are, a good walk will lead you down the path to a stronger conclusion, and one more in sync with who you are.
A short hike can also be a great way to bond with someone. How many times have you heard about golf outings? Why not a walk? It takes less time and still provides the ability to talk without running out of breath.
Finally, I find a long walk at the beginning of the year can be especially beneficial. Every year, I create my own “Annual Plan” of personal and professional goals. This year, I decided to take a walk in my local park near the water to ponder some of the items in my plan: What did I really want to focus on in 2014? What activities were diversions and what were essential to my personal and professional goals and passions?
Today, on occasional walks, I go through a mental checklist of the items in my annual plan and ask myself how I’m doing.
I’ve discovered what Hussein revealed: that your best ideas, your best solutions, your best “you” will emerge in a walk. Not only that, if you put some energy into it, and perhaps add some inspirational (but quiet) music, you will have also succeeded in a fruitful workout as well.
About the writer
Jennifer Openshaw is a nationally known consumer financial expert. The author of The Millionaire Zone (Hyperion) about the social networking strategies of the wealthy, she also serves as president of Finect, a compliant social communications platform for the financial industry.
Values are those things that really matter to each of us … the ideas and beliefs we hold as special.
Many of us learned our values at home, at church or synagogue or at school.
Values are difficult to see in a person. People often have difficultly articulating their full set of values. When they do, values can seem a complex array of ideas–and usually come out
disorganized in a person’s thought process. Personal strategic planning begins with your determining what it is you believe in and stand for-your values. Your values lie at the very core of everything you are as a human being. Your values are the unifying principles and core beliefs of your personality and your character. The virtues and qualities that you stand for are what constitute the person you have become from the beginning of your life to this moment.
Your values, virtues and inner beliefs are the axle around which the wheel of your life turns. All improvement in your life begins with you clarifying your true values and then committing yourself to live consistent with them.
See you soon and don’t forget to like us Facebook.
By definition a mission statement is a statement of the purpose of a company, organization or person,its reason for existing . It should be noted that I have seen plenty of beautiful nonsense when it comes to mission statement. At minimum, your mission statement should define who your primary customers are, identify the products and services you produce, and describe the geographical location in which you operate if need be.
It should describe your key market and your contribution. It should explain why your product or service is unique, setting out reasons why a prospective client would, or should choose you. No wonder most businesses find writing a mission statement hard.
If you’re stuck, you could try using any handy mission statement generator to help you come up with a mission statement like this one.
“We will work concertedly to efficiently monetize best practice methods of empowerment to stay pertinent in tomorrow’s world.”
Or try this for size.
“We are committed to globally engineer virtual sources while continuing to quickly leverage web 2.0 services.“
You want a case study? You have it.
Exxon Mobil Corporation’s mission is
an example of a poor statement.
“We are committed to being the
world’s premier petroleum and
petrochemical company. To that
end, we must continuously
achieve superior financial and
operating results while adhering
to the highest standards of
Exxon Mobil seems to think their
unwavering expectations provide the foundation for their commitments to those with whom they interact. They don’t. How many of their 77,000
employees will respond to a statement like that? Exxon Mobil might as well
“We want to make tons of money, honestly.”
This, of course, is the truth, but it sure as hell isn’t motivating.
Don’t laugh! I’m sure you’ve read many a meaningless mission statement similar to these ones.(Beautiful nonsense). Your
mission statement doesn’t have to be clever or catchy–just accurate. To help you
According to Bart, the commercial mission
statement consists of three essential
1. Key market: Who is your target client or
customer (generalize if needed)?
2. Contribution: What product or service do you
provide to that client?
3. Distinction: What makes your product or
service unique, so that the client would choose
Your mission statement shouldn’t live in a dusty A4 file, or be buried on a long forgotten, never updated page on your website. And it shouldn’t just be something you say.
It should be something you live every day, on purpose.
What are you doing right now, today? Why does your business exist? Why does it matter?
Are you actually on a mission, or are you just saying that you are?
Have a great day!
Don’t fail to communicate your mission statement to your employees or volunteers effectively.
Passion is the most essential element in business. it ranks top on entrepreneurs check-list Now listen carefully, before you throw your job in your boss’s face, consider next whether you have and enthusiasm for the idea of running a business. Of striking deals like Donald Trump with suppliers. Of handling technology problems,invoicing snags. handling poring spreadsheets and being occasionally slapped by customers who woke up from the wrong side of the bed. And that is just the beginning.
Does these thought excite you or horrify you?
There is more to it than just enjoying the world of business.
Probably of more importance is having an appetite for engaging with other people. This is because entrepreneurship is fundamentally about people and relationships. Its about forging social connections with investors,suppliers, employees, customers, and even competitors.
Even with the best business plan investors are only going to stump up funds if they trust you to deliver on your plan. Suppliers need to understand you vision. Employees need some persuading to join your little start-up outfit rather than some established firms like Apple. It goes without saying that customers will need some more convincing to buy your products or services. In addition it wouldn’t hurt to have a friendly relationship with competitors to keep up with new trends in your industry.
If all of that communicating and negotiating, and influencing and persuading sounds like your idea of hell, then entrepreneurship is not for you. Stay with your boss still or find a more comfortable firm to stay with. No harm. Avoid having to get your hands dirty with horrible responsibility of financial goings-on and business decisions, and dealing with people on daily bases.
If all this still hasn’t put you off. Venture and keep coming to this blog. like us on facebook now