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Passing the Buck

PassingTheBuckYou may know of people who seem to always have someone or something to blame for their circumstances or problems. Those same people are likely to be quite negative about life in general, seeing situations from a ‘glass half empty’ perspective.

In business, this is an especially detrimental attitude to have. It is a path to nowhere. Blaming staff, partners, or external factors on the lack of success in your business means you are not taking responsibility. Although it can be tempting, and even perhaps seem logical, to blame others, what you are doing is subconsciously affirming that you are not accountable for what happens in your business.

A better way to operate is to take responsibility for whatever happens in your business: the good and the bad. Constructively ask “How can we do this better in the future?” and “How can we correct this?”. You will always find an action you can take to make a situation better for the future. Learn from negative experiences and use them to build in safe guards and move forward.

Even worse than ‘passing the back’ is ‘playing the victim’. You might hear a victim say something like “I wanted to launch my new business idea but the economy wasn’t good”. Conversely, successful business women aim for what they want, regardless of the economy, resources or other factors. They don’t use external circumstances as an excuse to stall an idea.

It is important to remember that you are the person steering your business. And only you can decide how, and if, to move forward. There will always be circumstances beyond your control but it is up to you whether they determine your success. Accept right now ‘what is’, and then proactively take actions that may improve or change what ‘could be’. There are no guarantees for success. But I can guarantee that if you do nothing, nothing will change. And really, what have you got to lose? If you are in a negative situation, the best course of action is to turn it into a positive action.

 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

 

 

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They Said You’d Never Make It

b2ap3_thumbnail_Girl-with-Megaphone_sml.jpgWhen I was nineteen years old, I told my parents I was going to travel overseas by myself. They laughed a little and said “no you’re not”. Their lack of agreement with my plans came not from thinking I wouldn’t have the confidence to do it, but because I had no job and no savings at the time. As parents should, they were looking at the practical aspects of my plan and concluded that it wasn’t feasible.

But this just made me more determined to find a job and save every cent. I managed to get there via some creative means (and borrowing the final portion from my parents!) and credit my three months travelling solo with building maturity, tenacity and resourcefulness.

When I started my business, there were similar naysayers about the longevity of my business plans. It was either viewed as a hobby or wouldn’t last beyond a few years. Some of these opinions were innocent and uninformed (not intended to belittle me, but just stating the ‘facts’ as they saw them), while others (from potential competitors) were a little more sinister in purpose. Regardless, I took all these comments as fuel to prove them all wrong – and ten years later I think I have!

Remember Jessica Watson, the Australian woman who at age sixteen sailed solo around the world? Although Australia now claims her as a great success story, many criticisms were aimed at Jessica, and even more so at her parents for letting their daughter do something so risky.

I imagine that while some of the comments hurt, they also spurred her on to prove them wrong. But more importantly, Jessica had her own intrinsic reasons and motivation for undertaking the journey. She stated that “I wanted to challenge myself and achieve something to be proud of. And yes, I wanted to inspire people. I hated being judged by my appearance and other people's expectations of what a 'little girl' was capable of.”

So ignore those who say ‘You’ll never make it”. Remember why you started your business, and listen to your own voice rather than any negative ones around you.
 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

 

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Are you a ‘woe is me’ kind of gal?

b2ap3_thumbnail_Woman_Stop_sml.jpgThere seems to be quite a few people I come across who cannot help but view life as ‘hard’, and they bring this view with them into their businesses. I am not referring to people with genuine hardship, or serious health issues or any number of difficult circumstances. I am referring to people who generally expect the worst from the world and view any positive as a stroke of luck.

I am going to let those people in on a secret: if you expect the worst, you are more likely to get it! Not because there is something or someone out to ‘get you’, but because you will be too busy wallowing in your own negativity to see opportunities when they come to you.

And here is the second part of the secret: people who seem to always come across great opportunities are not sitting back waiting for them to arrive. They are actively looking for opportunities, and in fact, probably have a hand in making those opportunities arise.

We all have days where we would rather stay curled up in bed because the thought of facing obstacles or continuing to push through hard times is too much to deal with. But allowing yourself to stay in a place of negativity and letting ‘what ifs’ to fill your head instead of ‘why nots’ is a sure fire recipe for business failure.

As women, we tend to be worriers: many of us spend a lot more time than men worrying about what might happen. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have found that eighty-five percent (85%) of what we worry about doesn’t happen. How astounding is that! We get stressed and tired over things that haven’t happened and aren’t even likely to happen. As John Lubbock said “A day of worry is more exhausting that a week of work”. Imagine if we put that same effort into imagining positive outcomes and dreaming up solutions to negative situations.

 

 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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Success Secrets

Actually this heading is probably a bit misleading: if you’ve been in business for more than 2 years, you will know that none of tips in this article are ‘secrets’ or even new ideas. However, if you are anything like me, they are things that fall by the wayside far too easily – and it is good to be reminded!

The following tips relate to your productiveness and how best to ‘get things done’:

  1. Have confidence. Too many women in business let lack of confidence affect their business, either in the form of telling yourself you are not good enough or saying yes to things that you’d rather not do. You are a better business owner than you give yourself credit for – ignore the negative voice in your head and focus on your goals and dreams.
  2. Check the company you keep. Surround yourself with productive and successful people and remove yourself from negativity or naysayers. You need inspiration and help from people who will cheer you on and celebrate your successes.
  3. Focus, focus, focus. Everyone has a long to-do list. But it’s the people who know how to chunk it into manageable pieces who are productive. Set a timer for 10-20mins and focus solely on getting a job, or part of a job, completed. Then move on to the next. Multi-tasking is most often not as productive as it might appear.
  4. Work smarter. Are there jobs you can outsource? Are there better ways to structure your time spent with clients? Are there ways you can adapt previous work instead of reinventing the wheel each time.

So re-acquaint yourself with these ‘secrets’ and start being more productive in your business.

 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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Don’t Worry, Be Happy

If you are a business owner who started or bought into your business in the pursuit of greater happiness, are you actually happier? Or has your happiness been dampened and you feel tense, anxious and unhappy?

The success you are seeking (in business and life) won’t come if you are not happy. Your level of happiness has a direct correlation to your confidence, energy and goal achievement. So how do you become a happier business owner? Try these tips:

  1. Don’t be scared to fail: you learn infinitely more from failure than you do when everything is smooth sailing. Write down the worst case scenario and most often you will realise that the worst case is not as bad as you might expect.
  2. Most business owners and entrepreneurs are perfectionists, which if left ‘untamed’ can result in missed opportunities. Change occurs quickly in business and in reality, perfection is not achievable. ‘Good enough’ is often the best goal in order to move your business forward.
  3. You most likely became a business owner because you are passionate about what you do. Which means that it is hard to deal with negative feedback or set backs. But you need to train yourself not to dwell on it or focus on the negatives when more often than not, they are outweighed by positives. Find a way to learn from negative feedback and use it to your advantage.

 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

 

 

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Contact Us

Shel Design
PO Box 8142, Glenmore Park NSW 2745
0412 701 147
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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ABN: 88 695 161 542

Contact Us

Shel Design
PO Box 8142
Glenmore Park NSW 2745
0412 701 147
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
ABN: 88 695 161 542

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