Justice In Action
During the 1980 presidential campaign, candidate Ronald Reagan vowed, if elected, to appoint the first woman to the United States Supreme Court. Six months after his inauguration, President Reagan kept his promise ? nominating a member of the Arizona Court of Appeals. The Senate soon confirmed her by a vote of 99-0.
Recently, Sandra Day O'Connor sent a short letter to the current Chief Executive announcing her retirement: "It has been a great privilege, indeed, to have served as a member of the court for 24 terms. I will leave it with enormous respect for the integrity of the court and its role under our constitutional structure."
President Reagan made history by appointing a woman to the Supreme Court. Justice O'Connor made her own history by casting the deciding vote on 136 cases, including some highly emotional issues. The willingness of both the president and the justice to take risks helped change the country.
Success Handler Action: Robert F. Kennedy said, "Only those who dare to fail greatly ever achieve greatly." As an entrepreneur, you took a leap of faith by starting your small business. If you've been at it for a while, are you still willing to take big risks, or do you often find yourself deadlocked on difficult decisions? After you finish reading this E-Newsletter, use these questions to determine if you're becoming more or less of a risk-taker:
~ Where are the innovative ideas in your industry, and are you ahead or behind the curve?
~ When was the last time you introduced a new product/service or bought new equipment?
~ Who do you turn to for guidance, and how often do you consult with them?
~ What is your reaction when you hear other business owners talk about their latest initiatives?
~ How often do you read magazines like "Fast Company" or visit leading-edge Websites?
One of the biggest reasons people take less risk as they get more successful is the fear of losing what they worked so hard to gain. When you had nothing, there was nothing to have taken away. However, if you're not continuing to pursue the edge in your small business ? "placing enough interesting, freakish, long shot, weirdo bets," in the words of management guru Tom Peters ? then you are creating a weakness that your competition can exploit.
Success Handler Action: With your team, discuss the opportunities awaiting you in the second half of the year. Seek their input on some of the decisions you've been avoiding because you're concerned about the risk. Also, encourage your team members to take their own risks, so they can grow. Here are five ways to help them start acting like risk-takers:
1. Explain the importance of change, and assure them it's normal to fear new approaches.
2. Coach team members on how to think like an entrepreneur and take ownership of their individual roles.
3. Give them more responsibility, grooming them as leaders.
4. Challenge them to look for new and better ways to do things.
5. Allow them to fail occasionally?and support them when they do.
Growing up on her grandfather's 200,000 acre cattle ranch in Arizona, Sandra Day O'Connor learned the importance of hard work and discipline. Upon graduating third in her class from Stanford law school in 1952, she couldn't get a job in Arizona, because no private firm would take the risk of hiring a woman. She credits these experiences as shaping her later judicial opinions.
Justice O'Connor said, "Slaying the dragon of delay is no sport for the short-winded." While you most likely will never serve on the Supreme Court, the people you serve every day in your small business are counting on you to keep moving forward and being innovative. Commit once again to being the entrepreneur you are, and start being the risk-taker you once were.
Copyright © 2005 by Success Handler, LLC. All rights reserved.
The Coach, David Handler, is the founder of Success Handler, (http://www.successhandler.com), and specializes in helping small business leaders find clarity and take action. He understands the challenges of running a business, because he's been there ? as a small business owner, franchisee, franchisor, corporate leader and trainer. Much like sports coaches, his coaching will show you how to compete on a level playing field in your industry.
Are You Making the Most of Your Intern?
KEEPING INTEREST HIGH: Supervision is key to the success of the program. Interns like direction, but don't like to feel they are being constantly checked on. Even this small amount of direction, however, can take a great deal of time. It is important to be willing to set aside this time to give the intern direction. One method that seems to work calls for a briefing at the beginning of each day and a "where-do-we-stand?" briefing at its end. Throughout the day, the manager is on hand to answer any questions that might come up -- remember this is a learning experience! There should also be additional time set aside throughout the duration of the internship during which the manager receives feedback from the intern on his or her satisfaction with the assignment and suggestions for future directions. Equally important, interns should receive feedback on their progress. They need to know if they are performing to the manager's expectations. Additionally, many interns have chosen to keep diaries and time logs documenting their involvement. These can be reviewed at the conclusion of that person's internship.
Awning Cleaning Business Case Study: Entrepreneurship 101
It is most fascinating to study how entrepreneurs spot opportunity in the market place. "My name is Lance Winslow and I am a serial entrepreneur, I admit I am addicted and need help." ..."Hello Lance." Let me explain how I formed one of my companies which became a franchise system in itself and became a module under the umbrella company I had formed many years the prior. I at first saw it as another business to fit into our growing niche of cleaning businesses. It was to be called the Awning Wash Guys. This is an interesting case study in how businesses form and how companies seek, find and exploit opportunity in the market place. Here is the story:
Hone Your Edge, Stay Focused
A common hazard faced by new entrepreneurs is a lack of faith in the power of their offer. Many business people lose focus because they are worried they wont generate enough cash flow from their core product. They attract potential customers with outstanding expertise but then muddy the water by trying to sell anything those customers want, regardless of how it fits into their business plan. This is confusing, both for the customer, who doesnt really know what type of business you have, and for yourself. Heres how to stay on track.
The Most Important Decision of Your Massage Business Career
Don't you find that there are so many decisions you need to make each and every day regarding the direction of your massage practice. Especially if you are a solo-preneur or own your own massage business.
7 Habits of Highly Successful Small Business Owners
Do you spend every waking minute in your business? Do you find it difficult to take time out for you? Are you constantly working in a mess?
Small Businesses with BIG NAMES: Protect Your Trademarks and Reap the Rewards
You're a small business owner with a hot new product or service and you're deciding what to name it. Perhaps you've even hired a graphic designer to create a flashy logo to go with it. You may have ruled out trademark registration as too expensive or even unnecessary because you only plan to sell in your local area. This article will show why nearly every business can benefit from trademark protection, and how a new option makes professional trademark assistance affordable for most small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Operating Your Small Business ? Everything Really Is a Project
Do you operate your business as a series of projects, using project management tools and skills to advance your projects from conception to completion? Or perhaps you're new to project management tools and skills and haven't considered applying them to your own business? Most of us fall somewhere in between.
Home Based Franchise; What About Future Expansion?
As a franchisor I am always asked by new and existing franchisees about future expansion. I find this to be a most wonderful question because I admire the strength of today's entrepreneur. With all and over regulation we still see hard chargers willing to battle the Tsunami of laws, rules and regulations as the debris rushes ashore. Indeed, with the Hurricane of lawyers presently in practice and Earthquake stampeding new attorneys getting out of law school, it is amazing the new warriors of free enterprise still press. Yes, in fact the modern entrepreneur has more floating and flying debris then ever before in our nations history. The of course want to shoot all the lawyers and regulators who have never made an honest dollar in their entire lives, yet no one has that much ammo and it is time consuming to run down all the much mold and slime.
Build Your Small Business by Building Relationships
-- The One Pager Shortcut Series --
Youll See It When You Believe It - Growing Your Business from the Inside Out
What unspoken message are you sending your clients and customers? Is your personal energy field projecting positive, high vibrational energy or just the opposite? The latter will cost you business--and worse, you won't even realize it. The energy I'm talking about here has been called many things, "being in flow," "in the zone," "locked on", "jazzed", "sending out good vibes," (that last one is for anyone old enough to remember the 60's).
Mission Statements: More Important Than You Thought
If an organization lacks a mission statement, it is worthwhile to at least try to draft one. Even if it does not yield an acceptable final draft, the exercise will be rewarding for the hard work which must go into figuring out the company's direction and putative purpose.
5 GREAT WAYS to Gain New Contacts
What are the 5 best ways to gain new contacts?
Small Business Strategies - Four Critical Success Factors
Small Business and Over Regulation
Over regulation of small business is so intense it is getting hard to make a buck.
The SBAs Savviest Program
Forget everything you've ever heard about the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The negative connotations may have been warranted in the past, but the SBA is different these days. The SBA is worth every penny of its more than $22 billion budget on the basis of a single program alone: the SBA 504 Loan Program for small business owners who want to acquire or develop their own facilities.
How Disabled Veterans Can Win Government Contracts
The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB) is a program that allows small businesses to self-certify as service-disabled veteran-owned businesses providing them increased opportunities to win government contracts. Significantly and permanently impaired veterans may be assisted in the daily business operations by a spouse or permanent caregiver.
The Failures Guide to Small Business Success
How many "get rich schemes" have you joined? Or have you invested in numerous legitimate business endeavors only to have them not work for you? Have you started you business and now facing a complete shut down? Do you consider yourself a failure? Are your loved ones pressing you to give up?
A Day in the Life of a Self Employed Professional
It's Monday morning and Connie the Consultant sits in her executive office chair overseeing her business empire. Her desk is strewn with half finished projects, several weeks worth of to do lists (none of them completed), scribbled post it notes, and a permission slip for her daughter's field trip to the Planetarium that should have been turned in last week. Somewhere, buried deep in the rubble is Connie's business plan. The last time she saw it was during the Clinton Administration.
Franchising Industry Burdened in Over Regulation
There were only an estimated 1800 active franchisors in this country at the end of 2002, that number down from 6000 in a single decade. It is not hard from this effort to increase regulations to see why. I believe the Federal Trade Commission's franchising expenditures should be cut by the same rate of decline after all they caused it. Why is the Federal Trade Commission favoring one business model over another, actually the franchising model lowers prices to consumers through economies of scale, efficiency of operations and competition. Any and all increased regulation over the franchising business model is a clear sign that the Federal Trade Commission is titling the field for the larger corporate box store and by doing so is hurting our country, decreasing competition in the market place and decreases choices for forward advancement of every citizen who wants to have a fulfilled life and a meaningful job. Shame on you, FTC; what an insidious consequence of this rule-making group at the Federal Trade Commission? Such a small group gets to decide the fate of hundreds of thousands of American workers and the destiny's of thousands of America's future bright star entrepreneurs and innovators. If this whole process is not evil, then I cannot even imagine what is?
Six Sigma for Small Business
It is not surprising that some people may perceive Six Sigma as being only for large corporations. Major corporations such as Allied Signal, Black & Decker, Dow Chemical, Dupont, Federal Express, General Electric, Johnson and Johnson, Kodak, Motorola, Sony, and Toshiba have all rolled out Six Sigma efforts and achieved outstanding results. Yet, it is incorrect to think that Six Sigma process improvement results can only be achieved by huge organizations. Small businesses can also succeed in implementing Six Sigma and reap the process improvement benefits that Six Sigma provides.
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