Let your employees run your business for a day!
Some may disagree with me about this topic but from my experience, I think it would benefit if every employee understood how to run a small business.
I think there’s a big difference in operating a small business to working in a corporate environment. Having a job is a gift, owning your own business is a blessing – both can be hard work but starting your own enterprise and making it successful takes patience, endurance, continual learning, a willingness to change constantly and, most of all, trusting your intuitive process.
A great number of employees today have an aspiration to own their own business. They step away from a regular work environment into building a successful business that will pay them what they earnt in the corporate world. Many are overwhelmed about the steps to take, the time and commitment and how to maintain the enthusiasm and not be overwhelmed. I have mentored and worked with many small business owners who did not realise what was involved. Given the correct tools and comprehension, they became more knowledgeable, more passionate and cognisant of the steps to take.
Working in the corporate world last year was a true awakening for me as the difference was glaringly obvious how employees in various departments are disconnected from each other and the overall mission and vision of the business itself.
If you want a great employee, give them experience in each department of your business, for a day or two, or even a week. Allow them familiarity and understanding of the jigsaw pieces that make up the puzzle and foundation of the business that pays them. It would improve productivity, reduce waste of time (which means loss of money), improve proficiency and the internal workings of a business.
Time to a small business owner is crucial and every minute of every day is accountable. Make someone who lives in a digital world spend a day in finance, understanding feasibilities, reconciliation and budgets. Move the bookkeeper into sales to comprehend the sales process and the efforts to retain customers. Put an HR person into marketing to create a promotion or event strategy. Each will realise and grasp a better understanding of what’s required to make that department efficient and effective.
If digital staff, who spend large sums on online mediums comprehended revenue, budgets and finance, maybe their focus on why, how and where they allocate funds may improve the ROI.
If accounting understand the sales process – what it takes to find, close and maintain a client or what’s involved in creating and implementing a marketing strategy, they may understand that sometimes the ROI needs to be protracted or more considered.
Lack of efficiency through misunderstanding, and absence of incentives ca produce a stressful workplace, bullying and even reverse bullying. Having a greater appreciation of how the business operates can motivate a more driven and empathetic employee. It may craft an individual who supports business decisions because their perception has changed, they comprehend the processes.
I have the greatest respect for anyone running their own business, taking an idea and developing a successful enterprise. Multiskilled is their middle name, their characteristic is made up of endurance, persistence and patience. They wear many hats and must understand, even the basics of finance, marketing, promotion, legal, business strategies, IT, product development and much more. They wake up each day with determination, drive and perseverance.
Maybe if employees understood all the pieces of the puzzle, there would have less waste, more respect, higher efficacy, greater teamwork, improved proficiency and no bullying or pride induced work environments would exist.
ODE TO 2019
At the end of every year we look back on what we’ve done
In preparation for new beginnings, new visions and the year to come
Some memories we bring forward, the best of what occurred
Some we should let go so repetition is not observed
Overall take the year ahead one day at a time
Live in the present and in the divine
Seek to say “I love you” each and every day
Not only to others but to yourself in every way
Create confidence through the small steps of achievements
Each success attained, a self-accomplishment
Face your fears and change your mindset
You are greater than what you regret
Remember change is the only constant
Trying to be perfect is exhausting and imprudent
Knowledge is not wisdom, seek experience and clarity
Find your own narrative, make your own pedigree
Be deliberate and consistent in your actions
A visionary not a dreamer, filled with emotions not emoticons
In order to move forward acknowledge where you’ve been
The good the bad and the ugly created the amazing reflection you see
Age is about attitude be as young as you desire
Wisdom is about evolving and keeping the inner fire
Remember – you are so much stronger than you think you are
So as the clock turns into 2019, may you find your life’s repertoire.
©2019 Karen R Levin
From a personal perspective, it’s not about the friends or family we have, but how they qualify you in their lives? Do they respect you, understand you or even listen to you?
What about the people who come and go along the way – employees, associates, partners, clients and people you meet in restaurants or where you buy your coffee each day.
It says something when people remember you, even just your voice. Not just how they know your coffee type but your smile, the words you have said to them and the attention you’ve given to them.
I recently went to an presentation and during the Q&A I asked a question. Someone I had not seen for over 5 years immediately came over to me and stated that my voice brought back the good memories of our association. That’s all he heard as I did not say my name. I was recognised by the tone of my speak.
This is what I hope for every day when I do business.
Every morning I am grateful for the people I meet in my life, even those who disagree with me because they mould me into the person I am. They make me develop my brand into something I am proud of.
Life is about wealth – not just from our income but from the wealth of knowledge gained, the wealth of love we give, the wealth of wisdom we pass on and the wealth of happiness we experience.
If you are in small business, an entrepreneur, manager or executive in a major corporation take a minute and think about your brand. Is it worthy – does it have a message – do you leave a UX for others to remember you by? I truly hope so.
Overqualified & Undervalued
With over 40 years of experience in the business world here and overseas, I am realising that all the hands-on experience and copious projects worked on, individuals worked with, business strategies developed and implemented make me overqualified and undervalued.
I wonder how many other experienced individuals are going through the same scenario and unfortunately, I know of a few.
I celebrate others successes, no matter what age and have mentored over 50 interns in the last 5 years, all have gone on to employment and clear career choices. This is part of why I do what I do.
I have helped professional athletes and entertainers learn how to run businesses, created partnerships with small business operators and much more. This is the most rewarding part of what I do, helping others through my own knowledge and skills – this is what I want to continue to do.
(Here comes the rant-sorry)
My skill sets work in many areas of a business from law to marketing to technology. I’m not afraid of getting my hands dirty, haven’t had a sick day in over 8 years, nor taken a long holiday in the same time.
Very technology aware having been the second mainframe operator working for Gadens (then Gadens Bowen) and trained by IBM and Nashua in Australia at the young age of 19. Au fait with most technology, working on pc and mac platforms, numerous CRM systems, know social media, build and designed websites and understand the digital world well.
I am and have been a paralegal, business manager, marketing consultant, product developer, music business manager, international financier, author, mentor, stress management consultant and counsellor working with charities, NFP, corporates, entertainers, sports personalities and entrepreneurs.
I have changed and morphed myself as needed in my career at the request of others because they trusted my skills in delivering their project, idea, business or product. If someone asked if I could work on a project, I simply did my research and due diligence to support what I needed to get the job done. I never said yes unless I knew I was capable.
My formal qualifications came later after my actual work experience and practices.
Yet it seems that although I am highly skilled, multi-talented, loyal, solution focused and trustworthy I am undervalued by HR departments and recruiters.
We speak about millennials all day long, how to get them in the workforce, how to create “start-ups” and technology hubs, seeking to assure there is youth employment opportunities. With less than 4% success rate for start-ups, maybe we need to rethink these structures and assure there is experience and knowledge embedded in their strategic plans.
On the other side of the coin is the discussion to raise the pension age to 70. If it’s a sensible measure, doesn’t that also mean we need to leave open the opportunities for the older generation to work longer? This is the first time we have five generations in the work force.
Seniorpreneurs, business owners aged 55 to 64, lead about 34% of Australian firms, according to new research from the Swinburne University of Technology and Queensland University of Technology. The entrepreneurship activity rate of 8% for this age group is about 3% above the average of innovation-driven economies, which makes them the fastest-growing pack of our entrepreneurial talent.
I am tired of hearing about how “overqualified” I am and I know I am not the only one. What we provide in an hourly rate, is well worth considering…intuition, resourcefulness, strategic thinking, pragmatic problem solving, performing and operating within complex, sensitive and high-volume environments, experience in working with complex stakeholders, sound researchers and so much more.
A crucial skill a mature worker brings is social intelligence, especially in this day of technology, they have the capability to work with others due to their aptitude to read and understand the needs of stakeholders, in and out of the workplace.
If you have a young person in your HR department, how much knowledge do they have or are provided about mature workers and the long-term benefits. Yes, an organisation may have to pay a little more than a millennial or person immediately out of University, but what they receive and provide is years of knowledge and expertise.
When you hire a mature individual, you bring in a mentor for the succession plan of your business, a true team worker, problem solver and someone who find challenges second nature and quick to respond.
Please don’t underestimate the over 50’s generation, even the over 60’s, as we have so much to bring to an organisation.
Change is inevitable. Each week I meet individuals passionate about their purpose and desire to be successful in their endeavours. They express something is stopping them from achieving their ambitions and feel a sense of fear and regret.
When I ask the question “What’s stopping you?” there are moments of silence and they’re not sure or can’t pinpoint the issues.
In many, if not most cases, it’s simply the essential tools required for change – a word that creates fear and yet you know is inevitable. So why or who instils this fear and how does it take over or place us in a suspended state of being?
Accepting change as a natural part of life is the same as growing old. For the first 20 or so years you are trained to listen to voices that are not your own. The echoes of parents, siblings, relatives, teachers, peers and mentors telling you what’s right or wrong. How to make decisions and impregnating their choices and decisions into your thought processes.
Growing up you realise that not every opinion matches your own belief system. You have repressed your own point of view and to a degree your voice is inaudible. All their beliefs, judgements, attitudes and ideas have been planted in your mind whilst your own opinions swim around trying to take pride of place. Is what you believe right or more important than what you’ve been taught or told for the first 20 years of your life?
Remove the Training Wheels
The implanted teachings from your past are similar to training wheels on a bike. Fundamental lay of the land rules to set you up for the rest of your life. You get to choose which of those ideas and thoughts have purpose and connect to your own inner truth. Now you need to raise the voice that has been sitting silent for so long.
Let the inaudible become audible, raise your voice to become distinct and purposeful. Pay attention to it, it’s your intuition – very different from your conscience. Raising the level of your own echo resonates it to the same vibration as your intuition. Allowing you to overcome fears and make better decisions to create your desires in life.
Raising your own voice to an audible level means you know yourself better. The Greek philosopher Socrates used the aphorism “Know Thyself”. Knowledge of self is important to your ability to understand and know who you are. To evaluate others more accurately and therefore makes allowances for them and, in turn, acknowledge your own limitations and possibilities, to make decisions that will help you grow and change.
With a trusted voice, you have a better sense of reasoning and the power to make better assessments about yourself and others. Knowing yourself and trusting your intuitive process provides you a better understanding of how you see acquaintances, colleagues, and friends. How they should be accepted and how they accept you. You also become less bothered if someone doesn’t agree with your decisions as now your voice is trusted.
Learning to read others means first reading yourself.
You often make things harder by comparing yourself with the idealised view of others. Again, the training wheels must be removed so you can make choices of your own. You may fall over, you may falter but in the long run, taking responsibility for the failings means success and change becomes so much more worthwhile.
The reason I started doing business counselling is because I found too many business owners, entrepreneurs and individuals who had lost their voice. In turn, losing their passion and at risk of letting fear take over.
If every day you can accept that change will happen, if every day you can look forward to any new challenges and “know” that you will find the answers and overcome them, your voice will be heard as an expert in your industry. Overtime you learn more about yourself and this self-understanding can only help you change for the better.