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Posts Tagged ‘Business’

Don’t Be A Dumbarse …

April 1, 2012 1 comment

Last year I set a goal of reading 52 books, which I reached on New Years Eve. Mainly I read business books on such topics as customers service, sales, marketing, etc but also biographies about truly inspirational people that achieve despite the odds.

What does this mean to my everyday life in 2012? Over 29% growth in the first quarter, two deals of a ‘lifetime’ with another one almost completed, a pay rise, joy at the success and promise of bigger and better things to come during the rest of the year. And if you’re wondering what all this mean to my reading I’ve set myself a goal of 62 this year!Image

It’s simple, really simple, if you want to be successful find ways to study what you want to succeed in, whether it’s business, family, friendship, or anything you can think. Learn, get an education, read a book, listen to a lecture, maybe even read a blog …

 

You Make It Happen!

December 1, 2011 6 comments

Do you ever find yourself saying ‘I wish the government would do this or that’, or ‘if only my parents’, ‘or one day when the right circumstances come about I’ll get what I want, do what I want and then I’ll be happy’? You, like most people, probably answered yes but the problem with those statements is that none of those people or situations control you or your decisions. If you want to be healthier get up and go for a walk, if you want to have better friends go out and be the best friend you can, if you want to succeed in business read a book or a blog. Do something about it NOW!

Life is about change, the seasons change, we change (getting old is a fact), other people change, fashion changes, expectations change, trends, gadgets, places change. Knowing this it then becomes our responsibility to create the change we want to see in our little part of the world. Even if your plan is to get rich by winning the Lotto, not a strategy I suggest, you still have to do something about it, like buying the ticket.

The best thing I can suggest is to continually get an education, whether that is a formal education like university, listening to people that have achieved success already in the field you’re interested or reading a book, articles, industry magazines’. I like to cook but I always feel I can do it better; this is where Jamie Oliver comes in! I enjoy watching his shows; I even have a couple of his cookbooks. Why? Because he is very good at cooking and has made a huge success out of being a chef and so I listen to him. Of course if I wanted to be a serious chef I would go to a school for chefs but I only want to cook for my friends and family, not for an adoring public.

So what are you waiting for, get up now, take action and start to make your life better and enrich yourself.

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I love you!

I love what I do, well most of the time. It’s not really work if you love what you’re doing. It’s because I love what I do that I can do it, sometimes 80+ hours a week. It’s more than a job, it’s a lifestyle and I’m passionate about it Moreover the more I learn the deeper in love I fall with it. I think this is one of the keys to a successful life, finding out what excites and motivates you, then make a career out of it. It’s all about personality fit, knowing yourself well enough to find out what you love to do, then chasing it with all your might.

Of course, all things in moderation as the saying goes. No matter whom you are, or what you do you will have important people in your life that you must spend quality time with if you truly want to be happy.  You must love them too because what use would it be to create the largest bank account in the world if you have no one with which to enjoy it? This is something that needs much improvement in my life.

So I say love your job but love people a little more!

How Much Money Did That Cost Me?

July 23, 2011 1 comment

Recently I made a decision that cost me $140000+! Yep, you heard right. I deliberately walked away from $140000, the easiest money I would have ever made. I hear you asking ‘what did you do?!’ Well I walked away from my business. The business that I’ve worked 80 hour weeks for, spending over three years building. The business that I’ve lost sleep over, even costing me my health a couple of occasions. The business that finally worked. That had loyal customers, that produced raving fans! The business that I had shed tears over, even bled over. The business that had finally become profitable for the first time since the mid 90’s (although I have only owned it for 3 and a half years). The business that was finally a saleable commodity, valued at least $140000. All I had to do was sign a new lease

Before I explain my decision, let me tell you about Island View Takeaway, my baby. I spent two years doing whatever necessary to get this business; I worked almost as hard to get it as I have to keep it! I made horrible mistakes in the first year. I was naive and even plain stupid on occasion. I wanted to be a ‘successful’ businessman so bad that I even allowed myself to believe I could run two businesses at the same time when I was struggling to run IVT! The mistakes of the first year nearly cost me the business, and they still haunt me now. Then I got smart, which is to say that I realised that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, and I had better learn quick! I cut my losses at the second business, got business coaching and put my head down, working hard.

The second year of business was a period of rapid learning coupled with the realisation that I was doing it all wrong. I swallowed my pride, changing my attitude towards nearly every aspect of how I thought a business should run. The biggest decision during this period was removing newspapers from sale. As a business decision it was smart, saving the business a significant cost that yielded a loss. Profits went up from the first week! However, I had not learnt about loving your customers at this point, so, in typical fashion, I totally stuffed it by not including the customers in the decision. They simply woke up one day to discover I had removed the papers with no warning! I should have given them a few weeks warning to explain why the decision had to be made.

The third year was my, and IVT’s, best year! I learnt that I needed to love my Team first, customers second, suppliers third and myself last. It was during this time I realised my biggest and best success, my Team! I have built the best Team in town by genuinely caring about them and their lives while not being intrusive. I have been sympathetic and caring towards them, showering them with just praise and justly earned rewards! I have loved them to the best of my ability and the reward has been their loyalty. They have all expressed the desire to back me, waiting for me to get another business and continue to work for me. Nicole, Kelly, Rhys, Steph, Jayden and Dom, thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Lastly, but definitely not least, my customers. Let’s face it; customers are what we are in business for! A basic principle in business is creating ‘raving fans’.  People who love your business and everything it does. People that tell anyone that’s listening – even those who aren’t – about you, your product, your service, everything about you. In a world where the statistics tell you that, on average, an upset customer will tell 19 people, but only 3 if you impress them. Having raving fans is invaluable! In the 24 hours since we announced our decision to close IVT the outpouring of genuine sadness, together with comments of praise towards my Team, products and the business in general has been overwhelming! I didn’t recognise that I had also successfully created raving fans. I will miss my very special customers. Thank you so much for your support and patronage; it means an unmeasurable amount to me!

What do you value?

Now to my decision to close IVT instead of sign a new lease. Simply put, the lease proposed was unfair and greedy. More importantly I realised that I could not sell the business, as good as it is now, to someone, having to tell them it’s a good lease, not to mention the Landlord (and I won’t!). It came down to integrity, which choice could help me sleep at night? Money is not everything; it’s not even in my top five. My decision to leave IVT satisfied my top five; my families respect, integrity, peace of mind, fairness and my friends respect. These things are way more valuable and important than money. I know I can create wealth with successful businesses somewhere else, but my top five I can’t afford to lose, not even for a day!

So thank you to everyone that has loved and supported me through the last three and half years. Truly thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, and stay tuned for our next adventure, with an invitation to join us.

Be A Know-It-All

One of Pink Floyd’s more famous songs, Another Brick in the Wall Part 2, has the line “We don’t need no education”, and while I am a massive fan I couldn’t disagree more! Unless you are God, and therefore all knowing, you can find something to learn today that will help you be and do better tomorrow.

Which path is right for you?

Business education is vital but rarely, it seems, do people take the time to learn. Whether about the specific industry they are getting into or the more generic business ‘stuff’ that is required by any endeavour. This just doesn’t make sense! Most people invest their life savings or house to buy a business, with little more than a casual look at what it takes to own and operate a business, let alone a successful one.

What is the best way to learn and prepare? Let’s have a look at some the different ways to gain the education you will need in business. Remembering that you will have to find your own path, the way that suits you, your goals, dreams and ambitions best.

University

University is the most formal avenue, and possibly the most rigid. Generally there is no scope for thinking outside the square. Most university courses have a set course structure with core subjects and electives, with even the electives being limited, specific to the degree.  University is not a place to be spoon fed and pushed, if you decide not to do the work they will simply let you fail. However, if you want to be successful in corporate business than a business degree is the minimum requirement and more likely you’ll need a MBA to achieve your goals.

Mentor

The best way to learn anything is from someone who has already been there, done that, and has the scares to prove it. Mentors take a vested interest in your career and life, genuinely caring about you, while helping you to avoid business obstacles and potholes along the way. Good mentors will not be ‘yes men’, but will tell you the uncomfortable truth when you need it most. Good mentors take a holistic approach, helping you to integrate your business life into other, equally important, areas of your life. Mentors take you under their proverbial wing, helping you to be the best in all situations, not just in business.

Business coach

Unlike mentors coaches are strictly about business, specifically teaching you the practical skills required to run a successful business. A business coach is someone that already knows about business in general terms, but they most likely don’t know the specifics of your industry. However, running a successful business is more about the art of business than your industry. For example, legal requirements, administration, Team building, customer service, not how to bake a loaf of bread. Like mentors business coaches will push you to the point of being uncomfortable to help you achieve your goals. I personally have been coached by Action Coach Australia and found it to be a very worthy investment.

Self Taught

The best thing, most attractive, attribute of this method is that it’s cheap! Books, audio books, podcasts, online newsletters, etc don’t cost much. A book, for example, is generally less than $30, with hundreds, if not thousands of titles to choose from, covering any aspect of business you care to think of. Alternatively you can often find resources for free, especially online. The biggest consideration with this method is how to choose the right book, newsletter, etc. There are so many choices, many of them good and some not so good. Motivation can be a problem, if you are not motivated there isn’t anyone to give you a push or kick you in the butt. Most people find it hard to be self motivated over an extended period of time, especially if you are under pressure to make rent or pay the bills, the irony of not getting an education due these pressures is that the idea that could turn the situation around might be on the next page or book you were about to read!

So there are some examples of education for you to think on. Of course there are many more options available and you should definitely look outside the box to see what else you can take advantage of. As long as you find ways to improve your knowledge and skills the method you choose is secondary. Hopefully this will inspire, motivate and encourage you to keep learning.