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Healthy Living Is a Prerequisite for Success

admin Posted in Working for Success 1 Comment »

 


 
   

Nearly 300 years ago, a British physician, preacher and intellectual by the name of Thomas Fuller said, “Health is not valued till sickness comes.”

Such sage historical wisdom still holds true today. Those who hope to achieve the highest heights in the 21st Century economy need to take care of something as simple as personal health. Making a commitment to healthy living is a prerequisite for success. But it’s not only physical health that matters.

Those who enjoy long-term success realize that their personal lives must be in order. That means you should care for your mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and financial health as much as the health of your career.

It is very difficult to be successful at work when your personal life is a mess. If your marriage is dysfunctional, it’s hard to focus on high-level career achievement. If you lack a set of core beliefs, you may not be able to create philosophy of life that guides you to some great achievement. If you are barely keeping your financial head above water, you don’t have the financial ability to take on entrepreneurial endeavors. Whatever the problem, you will be more successful in all facets of life if you take care of things at home.

A good attitude does wonders for your success. Think positive thoughts and constantly reinforce yourself in your own mind. As Norman Vincent Peale taught us in his famous book, The Power of Positive Thinking, you can cause successful outcomes by forcing yourself to be optimistic.

After you adopt a positive attitude, there are several other things you can do that will make you a healthier person.

If you have a faith, I recommend you practice it. Believing in and answering to a higher power has an amazing affect on career success. Prayer, meditation or whatever you choose to call it, purges the toxins from your mind and gives you strength and confidence.

After faith comes family. No matter how ambitious you are, your family should be one of your highest priorities. Do whatever it takes to protect your familial relationships. If things ever get really tough, you want to be able to depend on those who share your blood. Stick up for your family members and look out for their interests. In the long run you will be far richer if family comes before career.

Close friends are almost as important as family. A long-time friend who truly understands you is worth his or her weight in gold. Put the important people in your life on a pedestal and make them your priority. If you go out of your way to put people first, you will have more business opportunities than you can handle.

Because family and friends are so important, you should adopt an attitude of acceptance. Let them be who they are and enjoy them in spite of all their flaws and weaknesses. Forgive them any time they wrong you. Bite your tongue, when you feel like saying something hurtful to a friend or family member. These relationships are so important, that it’s foolish to put them at risk over some temporary passion.

While relationship-building contributes to career success, so does physical health. You don’t have to be an obsessive gym rat, but being in shape and consuming the right nutrition gives you more energy and stamina.

Keep your home life organized. Make sure your house is generally clean and tidy. Have a good system for organizing your bills and other important papers. Develop systems and routines for the simple, daily things. If you run a tight ship at home, you will have time for important things. After all, it’s awfully hard to conquer the world if you’re constantly misplacing your car keys.

Hobbies and recreation are also parts of a healthy life. Having enjoyable stimulation outside work recharges your battery and contributes to creative thinking. Just don’t go too hog wild with your hobbies. Some people get so deeply involved in hobbies that they hurt their job performance and drain their bank accounts.

Speaking of bank accounts, personal financial discipline is part of a healthy lifestyle. Just as you need to get your body in shape, you need to shape up your financial condition as well. A long time ago, philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Few people have any next, they live from hand to mouth without a plan, and are always at the end of their line.”

There has always been a portion of the population that has chosen to live on the edge of the financial abyss, recklessly spending all they have, investing little or nothing. Unfortunately, that portion of the population has been growing rapidly, and it’s becoming quite a problem.

Living a financially reckless life will eventually catch up with you and hurt your career. If you have no savings, you have no “go-to-hell-money,” the power to walk away from a job or a client when you’re not happy. A lot of financial debt can prevent you from taking some lower paying job that might actually make you happier. For every minute you spend worrying and fretting about how you will make ends meet, you are taking away time from your grander goals.

It sounds so elementary, but it’s worth a reminder. Live a balanced and healthful life in order to reach the top.

That said, let’s end with one disclaimer: don’t be obsessive-compulsive in your quest for a healthy lifestyle, because as comedian Redd Foxx said, “Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.”
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Jeff Beals is an award-winning author, who helps professionals do more business and have a greater impact on the world through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. As a professional speaker, he delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. You can learn more and follow his “Business Motivation Blog” at http://www.JeffBeals.com.

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Go Ahead and Fire Your Customer

admin Posted in Working for Success No Comments »





We all have at least one – a customer with whom we just don’t like working. Before you get too excited thinking I’m going to say it’s okay to fire any customer – regardless of the reason – guess again.

What I am talking about are customers we don’t like because after we do everything we do for them, we simply are not making any money from them. Not making any money off of a customer goes beyond your commission or bonus. It’s the bottom-line profit your company is not making because of the customer. No salesperson is going to intentionally go out and find unprofitable customers, but too often we do end up with a few of these.

We wind up with unprofitable customers not because of the price we’re charging them, but because of the intensity of their demands and requests. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the customer who seems to always want one more thing. No matter how good of service you think you’re providing them, they keep asking for something more.

The problem we get into is the more we serve the customer, the more they expect from us. Each time we help them, they come away thinking of something else they want from us. These ongoing demands on your time (and the time of other people in your company) are what quickly erode profit – turning a once profitable customer into one that is completely not profitable.

What is even more disturbing is that often this dynamic happens so slowly that we don’t even realize how unprofitable they have become. This “slow drain” means that it usually gets way out of control before anyone realizes how bad the situation is.

To be able to determine which customers need to be “fired,” you must become more discerning of customers who place too many demands on you and/or other people in your company. It is absolutely essential you get control, because if a customer becomes high maintenance, there is a great likelihood they will remain high maintenance.

As the salesperson servicing the account, you are often the one in the best position to realize how high maintenance the customer has become. More than likely, most of the customer’s requests are flowing through you. You then dole these requests out to the respective departments, but collectively all the departments do not see the big picture of everything the customer is demanding.

Once you spot a trend with a customer making multiple service requests, you must begin detailing the cost involved. A detailed account of what has transpired will help when you and management need to decide how to deal with the customer.

Once you have identified an unprofitable customer, you and your company must decide what is going to be done about the customer.

Too many times, companies roll over and play dead and allow the customer to continue to be high-maintenance. In the end, the only thing that happens is profit is lost and sales motivation is depleted. You and other people in the company become disenchanted with the amount of support devoted to a customer who never seems to be happy.

If, on the other hand, smarter heads prevail, then you and management will realize something needs to be done to rectify the situation.

There are two options:

1. Confront the customer. Your objective is to decrease their requests.

2. Increase their prices. This will offset the additional costs you incur serving the customer.

Personally, I prefer option #2. The reason is simple. Increasing their price either restores your bottom-line profit or they reject your price increase and leave. Essentially what this option does is allow you to make the profit you need – or it releases you from a customer who is draining your profit. Either way, you and your company are winners.

This is a much better option than the first choice of confronting the customer. I’ve found that confronting the customer tends to create a level of tension that winds up as long-term friction. Ultimately, no one is happy.

If you raise your prices for those difficult customers, you will gain the profit you need or the customer will walk away. The beautiful part of using this approach to “fire” your customer is that they leave without you ever having to tell them you are firing them.

Profit is good. Don’t sacrifice it in the name of “good customer service.” Wisdom tells you that the best service is that which satisfies your customer and allows you to make a profit.Your time is best spent on profitable activities. For more information on implementing a price increase, consider this article section of my website (http://thesaleshunter.com/resources/articles/selling-a-price-increase/).

Mark Hunter, “The Sales Hunter,” is a sales expert who speaks to thousands each year on how to increase their sales profitability. For more information, to receive a free weekly email sales tip, or to read his Sales Motivation Blog, visit www.TheSalesHunter.com. You can also follow him on  www.Facebook.com/TheSalesHunter,   www.Twitter.com/TheSalesHunterand www.LinkedIn.com/in/MarkHunter

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Receiving Support: Expert Advice for Two Types of Female Entrepreneurs

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A vast majority of female entrepreneurs go it alone as they launch, build and maintain their businesses – but they don’t have to. By seeking and accepting support from experts and from community members, businesswomen can shorten their learning curves and reach potential they didn’t even know they had.

Research by a trusted authority on female entrepreneurs shows there are five distinct types of women in business. Each type of business owner has a unique approach to running a business and therefore each one has a unique combination of needs. This article describes two of those types and outlines various ways each of them can seek that support effectively.

Accidental Jane is a successful, confident business owner who never actually set out to start a business. Instead, she may have decided to start a business due to frustration with her job or a layoff and then she decided to use her business and personal contacts to strike out on her own. Or, she may have started making something that served her own unmet needs and found other customers with the same need, giving birth to a business. Although Accidental Jane may sometimes struggle with prioritizing what she needs to do next in her business, she enjoys what she does and is making good money. About 18% of all women business owners fit the Accidental Jane profile.

Because Accidental Jane values creating a work-life balance that allows her to make her own choices and maintain her freedom, she would benefit from connecting with a mentor/expert who knows how to build a thriving, happy and balanced solopreneur business – who has experience building a referral system, and who understands making money by leveraging time. Also, Accidental Jane should surround herself with a community of Accidental Jane business owners who understand how she wants to grow her business, and with whom she can share referrals and overflow work.

Go Jane Go is passionate about her work and provides excellent service, so she has plenty of clients – so much so, she’s struggling to keep up with demand. At 14% of women in business, she may be a classic overachiever, taking on volunteer opportunities as well, because she’s eager to make an impact on the world and she often struggles to say no. Because she wants to say yes to so many people, she may even be in denial about how many hours she actually works during the course of a week. As a result, she may be running herself ragged and feeling guilty about neglecting herself and others who are important to her.

Go Jane Go businesses are often thriving – and sometimes at the expense of the Go Jane Go business owner’s personal well-being. Therefore, Go Jane Go will benefit from connecting with experts who can help her with her time management skills, who will hold her accountable when it comes to making time for herself, and who can take care of tasks that do not require Go Jane Go’s own attention. Whenever Go Jane Go has the opportunity, she should delegate to qualified experts to free up some of her own time. If Go Jane Go seeks a mentor, that mentor should be someone who has gone through what she is going through, and who can help her learn to delegate and prioritize. In terms of community support, Go Jane Go should seek a pressure-free community where she can relax, have fun and be herself – where she can feel supported.

For women business owners, seeking expert and community support saves time, frustration and even money – and can accelerate the path to success. Being a solopreneur doesn’t have to mean doing everything alone.

Michele DeKinder-Smith is the founder and CEO of Linkage Research, Inc, a marketing research firm with Fortune 500 clients such as Starbucks, Frito Lay, Tropicana, Texas Instruments, Hoover Vacuums and Verizon Wireless. She parlayed this entrepreneurial knowledge and experience into founding Jane Out of the Box, a company that provides female entrepreneurs like YOU with powerful resources, such as educational blogs, teleclasses, newsletters, and books. Take your Jane assessment to determine your own business type at www.janeoutofthebox.com Also, she is the author of two successful books for female entrepreneurs, “See Jane Succeed” (at www.seejanesucceed.com) and “See Jane Collaborate” (at www.seejanecollaborate.com).

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