Have you hung up on one of THOSE phone calls lately? You know the kind I mean, the ones that ring at exactly the moment you are sitting down for dinner. Regardless of the organization, these calls are all in the same category; SALES. But did you know you are not that far off being one of THOSE callers.
Author and trend identifier, Daniel Pink notes in his book To Sell Is Human,
“Like it or not we are all in sales now.”
Your platform may be the boardroom, a pulpit or even sitting around the kitchen table. Communicating with clarity and making a difference are your goals. We all know lives can be transformed by our ability to communicate. But where do you learn this skill? If you don’t learn at home or in school, where do you learn to overcome the fear of public speaking? How do you gain confidence to communicate ideas and faith?
The Bible contains an important principle on this topic:
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
1 Peter 3:15
Imagine running a relay race. Each person has to be individually competent but the thing that can trump the whole race is the hand off. Drop the baton and the team is disqualified. If you have a family business you are in a unique position to hand off to the next generation a great opportunity. Sadly, many experience heartache when passing the business on to their children: businesses fail but more importantly families are ruined, broken apart by unrealized expectations and misunderstanding.
Family business succession is an important topic because it affects many of us, indirectly. In the United States, family businesses employ 60% of workforce. In Canada the number is closer to 50%. Worldwide, in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries – including France, Mexico and Sweden – more than 90% of businesses now have fewer than ten employees and are family businesses.
As Thomas William Deans says in Every Family’s Business, handing off a business is largely about setting realistic expectations, avoiding surprises and just plain communicating, and this can happen many, many years prior to the turnover of the business. Through this fictional story based on the real life events in 3 generations of the author’s family, you can discover some essential steps.
Doing the right thing, for the right reason and at the right time is the sweet spot of success. Sometimes being stretched by too many tasks in life others are making the choices for me and I bet it’s the same for you. We often confuse being busy with being productive with little Margin. Accepting every opportunity, squeeze in one more commitment, one more phone call, one more email. We operate on the principle of scarcity rather than abundance and are tempted to take everything on all at once! Change your thinking and it will change your life.
In ancient times, Moses father in law Jethro was the first life coach and business consultant. Watching Moses exhausting himself judging all the Israelites, he suggested the appointment of others to handle the simpler cases and freeing Moses to judge the complex ones.
Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves.
Most people in the world operate with a 1 to 1 approach to life. One hour work equals one-hour pay. Productivity is limited by the number of hours in a week. Productivity isn’t always focused and without a life plan priorities are often missed.
Successful entrepreneurs are not like most people. Never content to settle for a 1 to 1 relationship between efforts and results they achieve far higher levels of productivity. We all know someone whose productivity is outstanding.
The problem is if you’re already working as hard as you can, you’ve hit a limit on what you can produce. So how do they do it? How can you learn to increase your productivity?
Jesus provides the answer. In his first and most famous teaching metaphor, the Parable Of The Sower (Mathew 13:1-23) Jesus describes four different scenarios in which an investment, in this case seed, produced significantly different levels of productivity.
Some stereotypes are almost impossible to escape. Think of all the sales industries that try to come up with names for their employees that mask their true identity! Executive consultants, advisors, experience managers, development directors…..the list goes on. A tacky suit and a pushy approach are usually equated with sales and regardless of venue we all push back against the idea that we are being “sold” something.
In reality one in four of us are in sales or service industries. But so are the other three.
Whether we send email, sell something on eBay, pitch ideas to coworkers, are entrepreneurs enticing investors, or parents and teachers encouraging children to study, we spend up to forty percent of our days persuading others. Almost everyone is engaged in “non-sales selling.” As a result, we wrestle with the tension between selfish “selling” versus selflessly serving others.
Being a Christian I think there’s a basis for understanding this problem. Peter, who hung out with Jesus, provides illumination.
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:10
Can you name something you need in yoga, on a financial statement and for your tires? If you guessed balance – you’re right! Balanced health is possible! In the past I have made choices that were out of balance, especially in the area of sleep. I followed unhealthy role models who took pride in how little sleep was needed and I thought I’d catch up on my sleep – in the grave!
Ever feel like you’re just reacting in terms of your health? It shouldn’t be this way. We’ve all tried to do better but where do you turn to for information and motivation?
If you’ve got it flaunt it! That’s the mantra that surrounds much of western society. Whether it is appearance, ability or assets – many people live to flaunt it! Especially when it comes to assets; many people spend more than they should and it costs them. They really don’t have the wealth they need or should have for the long term. So what’s the secret to having wealth? Most people want the short, easy answer. They don’t want to read a book, attend a class, or take the time to learn the power of good habits.
I hope that’s not you! Invest in learning. There is a secret to getting rich. It’s very simple. It’s so simple almost no one does it. It’s also kind of obvious. Chances are you’ve heard the answer before.
Who doesn’t want more money? Here’s a site that gives a list of most wanted goals that people have declared they want to make for themselves. Take a look at 43 Things. Some common items seen involve acquiring more money. Things like getting out of debt. Becoming financially independent. Work because I like to, not because I have to. Save money. Travel. The problem is over 65% of Americans do not have a net worth of $100,000. In Canada the average is $200,000.
Everybody wants to have more, do more, be more but where do you turn to for advice? For some the goal is trying to get out of debt. Others are people who have already arrived at the destination of affluence.
Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals works! Many people want to achieve goals and as an executive life coach I work alongside them. But success is never an accident. It starts with a goal and it’s only by studying the success of others that this pattern emerged and was crafted. As a homebuilder our company success was based on setting and achieving goals. This strategy worked as the net profitability increased 10 fold.
We thrive when we set and achieve goals. God gave us these desires in the first place and He wants us to take action to achieve His purposes.
Coaching people I help them uncover their opportunities and obstacles. The single biggest obstacle for people is unclear goals. Why aren’t they clear – they’re not written down! Sounds simple right, but when you miss this important first step it’s easy to drift aimlessly in generalities without the capacity to look 3, 5, or 10 years ahead with focused direction.
Opportunities are often missed when your goals are vague and not in writing!
God gives us clear direction on this topic:
The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.