Friday, March 1, 2019

Expectations for Family and Friends and Business by Corvet Williams

Do you think family and friends should automatically support your business? Many heated debates have transpired over this topic. I had this idea sparked from a recent commercial I saw that said in the 1970s you could call up 10 family and friends and boom you had a successful business. Times have changed. 

Here is a personal experience I had. I was launching my business at an event and asked some family to come to help me promote while I tended the booth. Well, the help didn't exactly help the way I hoped for. They mostly sat down on their phone, at my booth, which made it look tacky when potential customers came up because there were people sitting down not engaging customers. A big NO NO right? I was upset and let down. They were even supporting other businesses and not mine. I expected them to be as excited as I was and help make my business a big deal at this event but they didn't. Afterward, I sat down and reconfigured my plan. I came to understand this was my dream, not theirs. To get the help I wanted I needed to hire people for what I needed or find others who believed in my vision.

 Family and friends are who they are regardless of our business. They were here before the business and we can’t demand them to be on board when we open a business. True enough, having their support is vital but we may not get it the way we expect and it’s necessary to adjust our expectations so we don't get let down. If I decided to sell a product for acne, it would be unreasonable for me to expect my family/friends to buy my product if they don’t have acne. They generally wouldn’t go to the store and buy a product they don’t use just for the sake of buying it. We have to remember that when it comes to our product/business. The most they may be able to help is by sharing a post on social media, donating money to the business or just being a shoulder to lean on for moral support. 

At the end of the day, don’t cut off your Friday night movie buddy all because he/she doesn’t support your business. Don’t forget the times they were there for you when you needed help changing a tire or took out time to sit with you when you lost a loved one. A family is a family, friends are friends, business is business. I hope this gives you a new perspective. I know its hard when the people we love the most don’t support our business the way we expect them to but know they still play a vital role in your life. If it gets too hard to understand their lack of support sit down and have a heart to heart with them about it. Maybe you can come to an agreement to get you on the right track.

Find more about Corvet Twitter: @CorVet

Who Do You Work For? by Dorinda Walker

I recently announced my retirement from a cushy corporate position after 20 years of service to one company. Quite honestly, the decision to leave was quite the battle in my head and heart for almost a year.  2018 was a year of triumph, my first book was published, I toured the country sharing my story, and I touched lives in a way that I never thought possible.

God had shown me and began preparing me for a transition.  My gifts could no longer be contained by the constraints of my corporate career.  But I refused to surrender. Like many of us, I struggled with my perceived lack of identity without my corporate title.  I questioned how I would be judged by my peers, if I would lose power and prestige, if I would lose friends, etc. These questions began to foster feelings of fear and doubt about my self-worth.

The irony is that when I walked into my corporate office each day, I had lost the passion and feeling of personal fulfillment. I really didn’t want to come to work.  Yet, I was still holding on, literally making myself sick with anxiety and feelings of insecurity, which put me smack dab into a spiraling sphere of depression. I knew this was a bad place for me to be in, so I began to pray for answers and guidance.

And then this happened…I heard the voice of God ask me “Who do you work for? Did I bring you this far to let you fail now?  Why are you worried about what others think when I have shown you time and time again who I am and how much I love you?”     

Whoa!!! It was like a jolt of lightning had passed through my spirit!  As a woman of faith, I knew the truth. At that moment, I felt quite silly for allowing myself to doubt what I know to be true.  I WORK FOR JESUS! My greatest passion and joy permeate my being when I serve and help others.  I did not need any corporate title to define me or my worth. My intellectual capital, talent, and gifts wouldn’t diminish because I left a corporate job. Those are things I carry with me, they are mine and mine alone.  And, the audacity to question God after everything he’s done to bring me this far?

It was then, that I said to myself, “Girl bye, you done lost your mind, but I am glad you found it! Do you know who you are?  Who you serve?  Pull up those bootstraps and show the world!” And that was the end of that nonsense the enemy tried to ingrain into my thoughts for so many months. I let go and let God! I now have a new title, Chief Executive Officer of both new business and my life.

I hope this inspires anyone going through a transition. The truth is you are the talent, you define your worth, you hold the power!

Peace and blessings,

Dorinda Walker

To learn more about Dorinda Walker: 
Twitter: @dorindawalker

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

3 Ways to Give and Earn Respect at Work by Jenny Garrett

The late Aretha Franklin sang it
Find out what it means to me

A little respect (just a little bit) is what we all want isn’t it?  In my experience, there are times and places where I have felt highly respected, cared about and valued at work and then times when ‘banter’ has gone too far, and I’ve felt bullied or belittled. You can guess which environment got the best from me.

Perhaps you’ve met those people who seem to throw their weight around because of their job title? It might get things done but it doesn’t earn respect. Demonstrating integrity in your words and in your actions, as well as showing how you make a positive impact is essential to earning respect.

In respectful environments people perform, they follow rules while also calling out poor behavior, they feel good about being there, feel secure in their work relationships and cared about. The Society for Human Resource Management released a report stating that “respectful treatment of all employees” was the number-one contributor to job satisfaction. And “trust between employees and senior management” was the second.

This means that above all of the perks and management tricks, treating each other like people is what really matters. Whether you’re starting a company or part of growing one, developing a culture of respect and trust should be a priority.

Changemakers develop good respectful relationships in the workplace, and with February being the month of love, caring and compassion, here are 3 ways to bring that respect into your work life.

1. Engage with Compassion and Curiosity
Years ago, I looked on in awe at a colleague, Trevor, who could connect with anyone, a fifty plus white male who was just as comfortable speaking to a disaffected working-class black teenager as he was to a senior government official. When I observed him, I noticed that he suspended judgment while taking the time to truly understand other’s behavior. Understanding the needs, values and beliefs that influence an individual’s behavior can really change your attitude toward them.

When you truly listen to them, you are able to develop empathy for their position or situation. Trevor was also able to accept facts. This does not mean that he agrees with or approves of other’s choices, it simply means that he was able to acknowledge the facts without any value judgment.

This engagement with compassion and curiosity is the type of behavior that creates an inclusive culture which can help organizations to be more productive and creative in the long run.

2.  Address Conflict Positively
There’s always that one person who riles you, who you struggle to communicate with, or perhaps it’s gone as far as you being enemies.

How you handle conflict is probably a fair indication of your ability to cope with both your own stress and the reactions of others to stressful situations. Too often, handling conflict isn’t done respectfully. Instead, we blame, criticize, have angry outbursts or just avoid dealing with the situation.

To communicate with respect, you need to depersonalize difficult situations. It’s likely that if an individual is angry at the situation, it’s not about you personally. Do really listen and allow the other person to speak.

If it’s appropriate to apologize, do so and mean it, don't blame others. Be the sort of person that does what you say you will and if it’s in your remit, train your people in how to solve their day-to-day disagreements informally, rather than escalating them to formal grievances.

3. Show Colleagues that you care
Little acts of kindness won't go unnoticed - particularly at work. So, when's the last time you did something nice just because you felt like it?

*  Pack an extra snack. Not all acts of kindness need to be grand gestures. You can just share a snack with one colleague on a day they seem out of sorts. Pack an extra one in your lunch or keep a few in your drawer for such an occasion.

* Buy coffee for everyone on the team. If you can splurge, then pick a random day to swing by the local coffee shop and surprise your colleagues by bringing everyone their favorite drink.

* Mentor a new colleague. Think back to your first few months on the job. Chances are, you felt like a fish out of water. Anyone new to the office probably feels the same. Take a recent hire under your wing and show him the ropes.

Remember: Respect is something you have to earn - you need to work for it!

Learn more about Jenny: