This built up emotion from people with all the good intentions of the world, opting to tell me that I should not be working so hard. I am frustrated, confronted and in desperate need of explaining myself so that hopefully good natured people understand that some things require work.
Gray has a book, Mars and Venus on a Date which basically is a guide to navigating the 5 stages of dating to create lasting relationships.
If you bare with me, you will see how this can relate to relationships with employees that are looking for the perfect job. Particularly essential reading for small business owners.
I have a couple; personal and professional.
Marketing Eye is the most exciting small business marketing concept to ever hit the US.
While we all love our Jim Janz and Seth Godin's of the world - who wouldn't - they are fantastic, knowledgeable and inspirational all rolled into one - we still need to get the work done.
It's a statement that has finality but how much of it is true?
Today, I am reminded yet again why start-ups fail.
I met with a lovely couple a few weeks ago who wanted to open a retail store. They have a dream to work for themselves and the wife wanted to be in fashion.
They are new to the market and have never owned a fashion outlet, but they both have passion and are determined to do it.
I asked all the normal questions;
Mine = Apple Martini @ FOG, Prahran, Melbourne, Australia.
Entrepreneurs are unique. They have drive that comes from an inner place that very few people understand. Instead of laying in front of the television every night, entrepreneurs usually pick up their ipads or a good book and learn about how other entrepreneur became successful. Coffee on the go is essential and sitting still for too long usually means that there is something going wrong - or at least entrepreneurs think this is the case.
We are looking for a dynamic, really talented, Marketing Manager who not only can write a strategy, but can implement it with ease. A creative knack to keep our creatives in line would also be super handy, along with a firm understanding of social media, direct marketing, advertising, branding and promotions.
Imagine this. You are walking down the street to buy an ice-cream. You are thinking about what ice-cream you want to eat. Five selections come to mind, each with their unique selling proposition and price point. You select. You pay through mind authorisation. You arrive at the dispenser, and your choice pops out. You open the wrapper and start eating.
The wrapper needs disposing of. You think again. Environmentally friendly option is has more merit. Immediately a map comes to mind. You select your destination. Your body automatically walks to the place of disposal. The bin, thanks you, recalling your name.
As you ride the wave of being an entrepreneur, one thing sticks out. No matter how enthusiastic and positive you are, there is a wave of excitement that at times diminishes. That does not mean that you give up or even want to give up - but it does mean that life is not all a rosy 100% of the time.
After chatting to one of the top Hedge Fund Managers in Australia last week about the state of the economy and where it is heading... I got thinking – is my business recession proof?
The European market isn’t getting any better and in fact, it is expected to get a lot worse. Greece is battered by recession, debt and now a snow storm and the recession in the Eurozone is one of the deepest recessions on record.
The US – well that’s another story. But debt levels are higher now than they were in the 1920’s recession. Much higher. No wonder people are stopping their shopping sprees and thinking twice before buying a new set of golf clubs or another pair of Jimmy Choos.
As small business owners, we have a lot to think about. If you are anything like me, I think about what I should do and often only get to do a few things off my list because there is always something else that pops up. Thinking about your business and how equipped it is to survive a further downturn is not only smart, but critical if you want to survive- yet while many of us think about these things, how many of us actually do something about it?
While over-hyped valuations are still going crazy in the market similar to the dot com boom (Instagram!!), the property and the mining booms – we all know that what goes up must come down. But as small business owners we cannot afford to go down with the economy.
Here are some things all small business owners should look at:
Ever wondered why you see the same number by coincidence over and over again?
While researches say that it is merely a case that our minds just recognises a number and attunes itself to it, could it really be more than coincidence?
My number is 8. I park always in a carspot that has an 8 in the digits, I feel lucky when it is a date with an 8 in it, any ticket I receive always has an 8 and the address of many places that I go to has an 8 in it.
I genuinely thought someone had hacked my account but couldn't understand why. Who would waste that much time deleting followers.
But the culprit was someone I did not suspect. Someone I had a lot of trust in. It was...
You would have to have been sleeping under a rock to not know that Facebook has just finalised an acquisition of the 12-man band, Instagram, for a cool price of $1 billion, give or take a few dollars, in shares and cash.
Firstly, congratulations Instagram! 12 people, 1 billion dollars, 18 months of sleepless nights. I am in! I am up for it! How can I join your club? I am prepared to wash dishes, empty your bins and learn to cook the most delicious lunches you can ever imagine for a decent share of the proceeds. Photosharing never looked so appealing.
Billion dollar deals are few and far between. They tend to go with over hyped market analysis and valuations of the hottest trend of the moment. Remember the dot com boom? Did anyone really survive? Did the big deals ever really get a decent ROI for investors? Maybe for those smart enough to get in and out of the deal very fast, but what about the mere morals. The Mum's and Dad's who put their superannuation into investments that newspapers told them where 'hot'? What about these people? Do you really think that they are laughing all the way to the bank or are they in fact just making these young millionaires richer by the second and the more they publicise the fact, the more the Mum's and Dad's who often don't have a clue about such things, invest more and more cash that they don't have or were saving for retirement.
Do I think Instagram is worth $1 billion? Hell No! Seriously, that is more than $33 per email address. Are they serious that this is going to get them a decent ROI? Are we all falling prey to the hype and ridiculousness of the social media era?
Sure, social media will be here forever - or at least until something else replaces it, but are these valuations giving false hope to small business owners hoping to crack the jackpot?
I have not used Instagram and probably never will. Being a narcissist and promoting the fact isn't really my cup of tea. I don't need to showcase what I ate for breakfast, that I met a celebrity for 2 seconds in the street and begged them for a photo, or that I am supposedly having a great time even if it was me who had to set up the tripod to take my own photo just so others thought that my life was fantastic and something that everyone around me should be jealous of.
And... where are the boundaries. Yes, my nieces and nephews know what Instagram is and have been sharing photos for ages. Some have children as little as 3 or 4 years of age, parading in their cute little bikini's. Well, I think this is ridiculous. Great spot for Pedophiles to hang out and get their jolly's.
There is not enough policing of social media and everything has a place. These valuations on companies that have made no profit are not realistic and does have little or no reflection on what companies are really worth. What it says is that an eccentric billionaire, had a good idea that Instagram would be a great add-on (which it probably is) and wanted to showcase his power by buying it at whatever cost. Not bad really, since it isn't really his money to buy it with. It's Mum's and Dad's at home who have given their money to super funds and fund managers, that love nothing more than to do a deal. After all, isn't that how they make their fees.
Many entrepreneurs are 'ideas people' or 'thinkers'. They sit down for breakfast and think about what they can do to change the world, improve their companies and inspire their people. Great ideas are good, but are nothing without being 'seen through'. There are many great entrepreneurs in history who had somewhat peculiar habits, but when it comes to strategy and the workings of how they made wealth and kept it, they each had something in common.
If you look at the life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., you would note that while he gave away his money as wisely as he accumulated it, he was incredibly focused. He retired at 35 after accumulating more wealth than anyone in history. He detested ostentation and raised his children as if he were not a wealthy man. He had an obsession with costs and is known for his saying "It's the figures that count". To that point, he recorded in a notebook every cent he ever made. This recording of his monetary status was something that many buddying entrepreneurs would note about Rockefeller, and it certainly gives backbone to what many entrepreneurs may think about doing when it comes to not only accounting for their financial growth but also, documenting their ideas and how they see it through.
Rockefeller once said to a friend while driving on a country road observing a happy boy whilstling and convorting on a beautiful day, "That young man will never be a success in life." When asked why, he replied, "Because he is not thinking of driving his horse, and that his is business."
Rockefeller was a practical man with an abundance of common sense, an activist and a doer, rather than a thinker.
Too many entrepreneurs are thinkers. Not doers. Are you one of them?
When I started out working, my friends were all in the same boat. They were starting out their careers too in journalism, advertising, television and marketing. Today, most of them are Directors of News, Television Presenters, Editors and Senior Managers. We all still keep in touch from time to time and support each other whenever and wherever possible.
There are some things, that no-one else but the entrepreneur in a small business can do. It almost makes them indispensible although we are all trained to think that no-one is this.
I have arrived safely at my desk at 11.30am after an early morning interstate flight and am a bit weary even though I have just spent 5 days away, in the most picturesque setting possible with loads of sunshine, great wines and good food. The company wasn't too bad either ;-)
Queensland is such a stunning place. Like most people who travel up there, I always dream of living there permanently because in a week, you don't get bored, the flies don't bother you too much, and you cannot get enough of the sun and surf. It is pure paradise. Beautiful one day, perfect the next as the slogan goes.
Never one to 100% tune out on business, I learned a few things during my Easter break that I would like to share with you:
There are so many things we all can relate "Make hay while the sun shines" to. Here are some that I think you should consider;
A few weeks ago, I had to cancel a trip to the US that was for both business and pleasure. Mainly business, but a few days pleasure that I was seriously looking forward to. There were real reasons, which I cannot disclose here, but nevertheless, business was somewhat involved.
Then my beautiful girlfriend married the man of her dreams in South Africa, and I had to cancel going there too. More than $1000 down the drain, because South African Airlines don't reimburse you for cancelled flights nor do they give you a credit. Yet again, work got in the way.
Then this weekend, it's Easter and my two nephews are looking forward to spending the special occasion with their Aunt Mellissah. I have work to do and I was about to book a flight to fly to Queensland on Friday and back Sunday until...
As a table of 5 women sharing their stories and updating everyone on their lives, one thing became apparent. Everybody has their shit.
Not the most enticing word in the English Dictionary, I agree, but nevertheless, its meaning in this context makes it appropriate.
I enjoyed the company of 5 fabulous women tonight. Smart, beautiful, successful, emotionally intelligent and value adding, women that can converse on every topic imaginable.
They depict the women that I had in mind when I wrote "what men can do to make their women more successful."
It's how you deal with it that counts.
Which has me thinking. I am what I affectionately call a "stress pet". Someone, who stresses a lot. If not daily, bi-daily. I find things to stress about that sometimes deserve my attention, and then others that certainly don't.
Managing stress has always been an issue and I have over time tried everything. But just like any diet, or new health regime, you need to keep with it long after the actual decision to do it in the first place and constantly remind yourself that it is something that requires ongoing work, not just a quick fix.