Tuesday, July 28, 2015

It’s Simply Business Don’t Take It Personal By: Angelia White


You've probably heard the saying, "business is never personal" or "don't take it personal, it's only business.” I know throughout my career working as CEO and publisher of Hope for Women Magazine, this phrase, I can say have heard hundreds of times. Being cognizant of this phrase, I have come to realize that many times business matters shouldn't be taken personal. After all business is only business. Or is it? Not taking things personal can be quite difficult in some situations. Especially when it's your business and other people are involved ─ which has become one of the most important lessons I’ve learned so far in my career. 

Being an entrepreneur, you tend to experience the ups and downs of going into business for yourself. I’ve heard stories from various colleagues and their experiences of how oftentimes individuals with whom they have hired are far more than just business associates. I myself have brought people on board to work for Hope, where previously, these individuals and I began as being really as good friends. Just as with my counterparts, they shared a common vision for the future of my business, thus a business professional relationship ensued. As in any business, problems and challenges are to be expected, especially when it's a startup company. In which case they are pretty much guaranteed. However leaping over these hurdles often strengthens the bond between entrepreneurs that have a shared vision and strive for a common goal ─ the success of their business venture! 

But what happens when those relationships deteriorates? What if personalities begin to clash or if visions begin to grow apart. There may come a point where it would be in the best interest for all parties concerned to end their business relationship.

When faced with situations like these, the words "don't take it personal” tend to fall short. I absolutely agree 100 percent that when it comes to entrepreneurs, there is almost nothing more personal than their business, and I speak from experience. We have sacrificed greatly for our businesses to succeed. And it is he or she that has made the business what it is today. Think of successful business persons like Bill Gates, Jack Welch and Steve Jobs, and ask yourself, would these individuals have ever achieved their current levels of success without taking their businesses personal?  I say, it is their business to take personal! Look around you for examples that are a bit closer to home. Almost everyone knows an example of a corner store, their favorite ice-cream parlor or bakery that sets itself apart because of the owner who is running it. That owner makes a difference because he or she takes their business personal. 

Whether you're dealing with business partners, employees, customers or other stakeholders. If you are in business, especially your own business, there will be times when you will have to make unpopular decisions. You may have to do things that you would rather not do. Nevertheless when it's necessary, it's necessary. Don't worry about letting if affect you every once and a while. Some things ought to be taken personal ─ just don't take it too personal.

Connect with Angelia White on Twitter @angelialwhite Learn more about products and services at Hope For Women Magazine. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

When Faced with Tough Choices, Perspective Trumps All by Natasha Miller Williams

Photo Credit: www.THREE20media.com
Over breakfast I asked my then three-year-old son, “How’s your cereal?”

Without looking up from his bowl, he asked me, “How’s your computer?”

Blank stare.

I was feeding the kids, preparing an agenda, and emptying my inbox before a full day of conference calls. While my multitasking may be impressive, missing out on limited quality time was not. I can tell you it’s a humbling experience for a toddler to call you out.

Reality Check Awakens Perspective

While most of us don’t have jobs with life-or-death outcomes, we sometimes approach our work with that intensity. Sure, our decisions may have deadlines, our responses may be urgent to another person, or we just want to get something off of our to-do list. So we make small compromises like choosing to work during meals or checking emails in the movie theater on date night. It feels like a practical, necessary trade-off between work life and home life.

Every day there are winners (what we give priority) and losers (what we de-emphasize) between our professional and personal responsibilities, and we hope we’re making the right decisions as validated by our employers and families. If neither complains, we applaud our ability to manage it all. For most of us, work is how we make a living to support the people and things that we love. However, our work ethic has a way of overshadowing the relative importance of the work. If we’re not careful, work gains the upper hand instead of the other way around.

Keeping Perspective Helps Decision-Making

My friend Frank was traveling for work to give a presentation to a client. A couple of hours before the meeting he received a call from his wife, Joan. She was being taken to the emergency room. “It’s probably nothing,” she tried to convince him. “Enjoy your meeting and good luck.”

Frank called his boss and explained the situation, hoping for reassurance that going home was the right thing to do. He was shocked when he heard, “You know you’ve got to give that presentation, right?”

His boss’ lack of compassion brought Frank’s perspective to full focus. Why was he looking for permission in the first place? He knew he would rather be fired than to work for a manager with those expectations. With that, Frank headed home. This was hard for him and the entire flight he was sweating bullets.

Fortunately, his wife’s situation did turn out to be minor, but it changed Frank’s outlook on work in a major way. It's been four years and Frank still works for this company. Ironically, his former boss was let go because of his poor people management skills.

When we’re faced with hard choices, we wonder, Is this a big enough deal? Can I be honest about missing a meeting because of a difficult-to-schedule dentist appointment? Should I cancel the play date my daughter has been looking forward to when my client calls with an urgent request? What will people think?

There’s No Algorithm

I had a situation similar to Frank’s. While in London for business I received a text from my husband that he was taking our baby to the emergency room. We spent the next 30 minutes in a frantic exchange of messages and calls. I needed to know symptoms and see pictures. “Let me hear his cry,” I asked.

My coworkers panicked, too. “Should we get you to Heathrow airport?”

I don’t know! What do you think?! I was looking for some direction.

After an hour on WebMD, I decided to continue my business trip. My son was in good hands, I would never get home in time to be helpful, and I accepted a new-mom’s truth—it wasn’t necessary for me to be right by his side for him to get the care he needs. It was a different choice than the one my friend Frank made, but it was right for my family and my work.

There isn't an algorithm to help make the best decision. What we have are our values, our gut, and the circumstances surrounding our situations. These provide valuable perspective to make a wise decision in the moment.

Keeping perspective helps to manage your professional and personal reactions, and your interactions too. There are big choices like Frank’s struggle on his flight home and small ones like not emailing during mealtime. For both, you'll need to rely on your instinct and sometimes a sounding board, like the candor of a toddler.

Connect with Natasha Miller Williams 
on Twitter @nlynniewillie and follow her Linkedin

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

BOSS Spotlight: Meet The "Mom Strategist" Jacqueline Miller


Jacqueline Miller, CEO and Founder of Jacqueline DuJour Enterprises, LLC. She is a Mom Life Strategist, who is committed to bridging the gap between the woman with dreams & the mom she has become. In addition, she is a bestselling author, a speaker and a blogger.

TheBOSSNetwork: What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career?

Jacqueline Miller: The greatest obstacle that I faced in the beginning process was myself.  Once I became clear on what my true passion and purpose was, the rest was easy. I simply needed to get out of my own way.

BN: What inspired you to break into your particular industry?

JM: When you love what you do, you seldom view it as work. Without realizing it, I had been
doing what I love for years, pro bono. Conversations over lunch with motivational speaker, Lisa Nichols and a woman who eventually became my first coach, Nicole Roberts Jones, opened my eyes to this fact. My journey began that day and I have never looked back.

BN: How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance?

JM: Rather than seek balance, which I believe to be nearly impossible, because something or someone is generally shortchanged, I prefer to seek what I call, “healthy harmony.” While I believe that it is possible to be, do, and have it all in life, I maintain the “healthy harmony” in both my professional and personal life by understanding that all three components can’t exist all at once, nor without regularly using a 4-letter word: H-E-L-P.

BN: What is an inspirational quote that you live by?

JM: My faith is my foundation, therefore unequivocally it would be, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

BN: Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?

JM: In addition to the two phenomenal women who I have named, there are so many others, that to name them all would result in a novel. I must say that my two biggest cheerleaders, aside from my Mom and the man in my life, would be my children. My sons have been the most influential “WHY” along this journey.
BN: What are your “must-haves” to keep your career or business going strong?

JM: I must have a positive mindset, which will enable me to remain focused on my vision, clients who are willing and ready to explore their passion and purpose in life beyond motherhood and a tribe of awesome collaborators who also believe in my vision, from whom I can learn and whom I can support in their endeavors.

BN: What is your definition of a BOSS?

JM: A woman who knows what she wants and who pursues it - unapologetically. She seeks to be in charge of her destiny and not vice versa. While a cheering squad would be nice, it’s not necessary. With or without it, a BOSS operates in “permission granted” mode 24/7/365. A true BOSS also understands that she is her sister’s keeper. When one wins, we all win.

Connect with Jacqueline Miller on Twitter @Mogulmomdujour

learn more about products and services at  www.jacquelinedujour.com

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