Archive for the ‘Strengths’ Category
Whilst owning and running your own business can offer you flexibility and control, it can also be lonely and frustrating. When there’s no one in the office with you to brainstorm issues or problems or even to celebrate your latest success, a feeling of isolation and overwhelm can creep in.
A good networking group gives you some camaraderie and you can build some great relationships but essentially its purpose is to gain business. So discussing your challenges or issues with a potential client or those who can refer business to you will probably not be front of mind!
So how can you prevent that feeling of overwhelm or isolation that impacts your success?
The answer is to stay in control of your time and emotions and make sure you surround yourself with the right people.
Here are my three top tips:
1) Make the time to plan achievable tasks
Put time in your diary to plan the following week’s activities to make sure they are relevant and working towards achieving your business goals. Break them down so they are achievable and can be ticked off rather than overrun to the next week.
2) Do what you do best
You know what you enjoy – anything that makes time fly and gets you the best results! Focus on your strengths, and play to the strengths of others to get more done. The cost of outsourcing or delegating what you don’t enjoy will be worth it as it will take a weight off your shoulders and give you more time to maximise your potential.
3) Hang around with the right people
Negative nellies will bring you down so ditch them for success, action oriented individuals who listen to you, offer inspiration and encourage your success. Create your own board of directors to whom you can turn for expertise, advice and non judgemental support.
“I needed an environment where I could open up honestly about the challenges I was facing, rather than try and always have my “confident, in control” face on. dma’s group coaching has met that need head on… A group of like minded business owners, able to share the trials and tribulations of working life, whilst being guided by Denise towards resolving the issues that felt overwhelming but once talked through, finally produced a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Jo-Anna Francis, Maidstone Virtual Assistant
Looking for action oriented people to hang out with?
Come and try out one of my Step Up Forum coaching groups on Tuesday 9 April.
Visit www.stepupforum.co.uk for more information and to read what members say about their group coaching sessions
To book your place now contact me on 01732 851858 or firstname.lastname@example.org Places are limited
I had the pleasure of recently presenting to a group of ‘Mumpreneurs’, all of whom have newly established or nearly established businesses. I think the way they’ve taken the plunge and are seeking to create a business that fits their lifestyle is an inspiration and I shared with them my top tips for growing that business.
Buss Murton Solicitors were kind enough to host the morning and Robert Sedgwick provided an information packed presentation on the legal matters surrounding setting up a business while Jackie Barker of Wells Associates provided the tax and business planning essentials.
My virtual assistant, Lauren Ford, of A Matter of Time, was one of the attendees and she’s agreed to be my guest blogger this week.
I always enjoy hearing Denise speak. It’s so obvious how passionate she is about what she does and how much she enjoys helping people step up their business. She has a knack of really getting to the point and reminding us to stay focussed on our business vision whilst not forgetting to enjoy what we do and keep having fun!
Here are the key messages I took away from her presentation and as always, they’re a great reminder to me of how to step up my business.
1. Surround yourself with positive and inspirational people who question and challenge you in a supportive way – they may (or may not!) be family, friends or business acquaintances. Steer clear of business discussions with people who are negative or unsupportive.
2. Focus your energy on what you do best – when are you ‘in the flow?’ When time flies, when you feel happier, more inspired and more productive, what are you doing? Take note of it and do more of it! Ditch the other stuff through delegation or outsourcing.
3. Invest in yourself – what’s stopping you step up your business? It might be time, fear resources, procrastination or a lack of confidence. Decide what you need to overcome these and invest in a solution.
4. Write down your Business Vision – articulate where you want to go as it demonstrates faith that you’ll get there and keeps you on track.
5. Implement your plan –
a. maximise your time by focusing on what’s important right now,
b. structure your day, tell people and then stick to the plan you’ve made
c. manage your activity by minimising distractions and staying focussed
d. balance your energy by taking note of when you work best, what renews your energy levels and taking breaks
6. Know your market and plan your marketing accordingly – be really sure about what you’re offering, your target market and your delivery. Remember that a marketing plan should be fluid – you need to measure success and make changes to get the results you want.
7. Be authentic – be you! Remember that people are buying YOU, so show them who you are.
There are just 2 places left on the Kings Hill Step Up Forum that is launching on 10 October but you will have to be quick as the programme kicks off with a 121 with Denise before the first meeting on the 10th.
Find out more now at www.stepupforum.co.uk
Denise Molloy is a business and personal performance coach who works with owner managers to build sustainable and profitable business to suit their lifestyle – find out more on her website.
I’m in Baltimore at the moment updating my business plan and devising my marketing strategy for 2012. I’ve listened to some inspirational speakers during the last couple of days and what comes out loud and clear is the need to feel the passion for your business. I totally agree.
You need to have a business head, but if your heart isn’t in it – well you might as well down tools now! If you feel the passion, you are setting yourself up for success as you will be inspired into action. Combine that passion with clarity of vision, your strengths & skills and focus, and you will be driven into action to build a sustainable and profitable business.
That’s the core message of my presentation at the Sales Road Show on Monday 5 Dec in Ashford. If you’ve booked I’ll see you there, if not check out with the Invicta Chamber of Commerce if there are still places left – it’s free and will get you thinking about action you need to ‘get your year into gear’!
I happened to flick onto the tail end of a documentary with Peter Jones of Dragon’s Den ‘How we made our Millions’. He was seeking to find out the unique qualities of an entrepreneur – what made them successful.
Regular readers of my blogs will know that I am a fan of the Gallup Strengthsfinder tool and their book ‘Strengths In Leadership’, research studies into the unique strengths that makes a successful leader. Jones’ documentary provided further insight into how two very different leaders achieve top performance and earn millions.
Richard Reed is co-founder of Innocent and Michelle Mone founder of MJM International lingerie.
Reed advocates everything natural; from his smoothies to the way he does business with his staff and business partners. The offices are like a family home and his style is very much about collaboration and accessibility. Peter Jones called him a ‘hippy with a calculator’. The creative team confessed to working in organised chaos that was successful, much to the discomfort and dismay of Jones. Reed told Jones that he wanted to get rich and die poor, a reference to his contribution to charity and the needy.
Michelle Mone is much more of an authoritative, demanding leader whose strong need for perfection, by admission of her and her staff, makes life quite stressful. Her offices, like her home, are pristine and organised to perfection. Mone is always changing her mind and admitted she is a ‘nightmare’. Jones compared her to Thatcher as the ‘Iron Lady’ also only needed 4 hours sleep. Michelle’s drive for success is strong, and any self doubt she may have accelerates that drive to greater success and satisfies her need to achieve more.
I picked up on 6 of the traits for success that I think are worth reflection as you take your business to where you want it to be
- If you don’t like what is happening, do something different to change it
- If you are 70 % sure go for it, it doesn’t need to be perfect to start
- Don’t take no for an answer without asking ‘why’?
- You can be doing well but you can do better
- Collaboration with business partners and staff earns loyalty and trust
- Let any self doubt be a driver not a barrier
However different Mone and Reed behave and think, they are undoubtedly inspirational leaders in their field, and have made millions! The road to success is very different for each of them, as they chose to run their business so that it fits their lifestyle.
Denise Molloy is a business and performance coach who works with owner managers to take their business to the next stage. Watch out for her workshops in January to help you:
‘Get Your Year In Gear’
Register to receive her blogs direct so you don’t miss out.
In my group coaching programmes, I suggest ‘buddying up’ with another group member to whom you hold yourself accountable to take the actions needed to move you and your business forward.
For my group members, it’s like having a second coach who will chivvy them on between our forums and prevent procrastination. They each have a coaching journal to record their actions as by writing down and talking through actions, it helps create a mindset to make it happen.
So find yourself a buddy to add to your board of directors who will help you achieve your goals. Choose someone who complements your experience and skills so there is mutual support and keep in regular contact.
Consider half hour calls and alternate weekly who is going to take action and record it in your ‘coaching journal’. The following questions may help formalise it a tad just to make sure it doesn’t become a social chat – you can do that on another call!
Before you agree your action points, make sure they are congruent with your strengths and values. If they are not, review them or ditch them. You want to set yourself up for success so only set yourself actions that are achievable.
1. What actions have you agreed to take this week?
2. Are they recorded in your coaching journal?
3. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 high, how committed are you to taking action?
4. If less than 9, consider the benefits of taking the action, then the consequences of doing nothing.
5. If you still score any action at less than 9, really think what will motivate you to Step Up and take action. If you are not motivated, consider if you should put your efforts into areas which you are ready to Step Up and grow your business.
6. When will you take each of these actions? Be date and time specific.
7. What may get in your way that may prevent you taking these actions?
8. What can you do to overcome any barrier to make sure it happens?
Denise Molloy is a business and personal performance coach – find out more here!
It was great fun appearing on Kent’s Business Bunker radio last week where I was given the opportunity to talk about my passion – discovering and working to your strengths (my segment starts about half way through the show!).
Do you know your leading strengths and do you use them?
The show stimulated a lot interest and curiosity. So I wanted to take the opportunity in this post to feed the interest by recommending the Strengthsfinder 2.0 book by Tom Rath. Rath explains the Gallup research that underpins the profiling, after which you are given a pin number to take the profile online. It will generate a report that details your top 5 leading strengths and recommends actions you can take to best utilise your unique strengths. The book also tells you about the other strengths measured in the profile that you may also recognise in yourself and others.
It was my experience working within the Gallup Organization that inspired me to become a coach and to focus my energies or moving people away from fixating and worrying about what they can’t do and towards focusing on what they do best and managing their limitations.
Discover the power of combining your strengths with that of others
I always include strengths and personality profiling in my coaching programmes as a solid building block from which you and your business can grow, and to help you identify what you are looking for in others to complement your strengths and move you towards your business vision and goals . In particular my group coaching programme kicks off with a 1-2-1 to discover your strengths and how you can best focus your energies to your business vision and planning.
If you want to find out more, please get in touch or even better, come and meet me at the Launch and Briefing evening for the Step Up! Forums in Tunbridge Wells on Wednesday 28 September 6-8pm. Please RSVP on my linkedIn Event.
A traditional SWOT health check will help you take a closer look. I offer a few questions under the four quadrants to get you thinking but you will think about a lot more as you work through this mini SWOT.
Strengths of your business:
• What is your Unique Selling Point? What do you offer that your competitors don’t?
• What is your business good at? Where do you excel?
• What resources do you have in place that strengthens your business? Eg finance, people.
• What personal strengths do you bring to the business?
• How well do you know your (current and potential) customers?
Weaknesses of your business
• What areas of your business, service or product can be improved upon? Eg processes, people management.
• What are specific areas of challenge for you and the business and what impact do they have on your business?
• How much does your business rely on you or any other person? What if something happened to you?
Potential threats to your business
• Who are your competitors?
• How much don’t you know about your customers?
• What external threats are facing you? (eg interest rates, new competitors)
• What is the impact of these on your business?
Finally, what opportunities are there for you out there?
• What are your competitors doing that you could be doing?
• What are the trends in the market place?
• What can you outsource to give you more time to plan and do what you do best?
• What technological advances could you be utilising better?
• How do you plan to keep ahead of the field?
Now to action!
What is the one thing you’re going to commit to do in the next 7 days that will take you one step closer to eliminating one of those weaknesses? I would love to hear about it!
Do you want support to STEP UP your business?
Join a monthly forum of success orientated Kent business owners ready to brainstorm and take action on issues preventing you Stepping Up your business! Click here for more information and to register your interest.
In last week’s blog, I emphasised the need to be aware of your core values to help you understand what you really want from your business and how you do business. Keeping your core values front of mind AND playing to your strengths will undoubtedly set you up for success and help you set goals that you really can achieve.
I am a passionate believer that playing to your strengths is the key to personal and business growth. The foundation of all my coaching rests on this belief and is backed up masses of research by The Gallup Organization.
Over the past decade,Gallup has surveyed more than 10 million people worldwide on the topic of employee engagement, (how positive and productive people are at work.) Only one third ‘strongly agreed’ with the statement:
‘At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day’.
Time and again when I am coaching clients, we discover that as their business has grown, they have allowed their strengths to be diluted by not undertaking activities that play to their strengths. After building a successful business, many owner managers are reluctant to let go, delegate responsibility to others, and as a result, don’t focus on what they do best – the reason they went into business in the first place.
Gallup’s studies indicate that people who do have the opportunity to focus on their strengths every day are ‘6 times as likely to be engaged in their jobs’ and more than ‘three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life in general’.
So to get yourself back on track and to inject a booster of motivation and inspiration, undertake the activities that play to your strengths. Strengths are also needs, the more you use them the happier you will feel. If happiness is a core value for you – consider the power of working to your strengths and your values in achieving success for you.
If you want to find out more about how I coach to your strengths, and haven’t already listened to my teleseminar, sign up to my free download, ‘What’s Stopping You Step Up Your Business’ at www.denisemolloy.co.uk
For a number of reasons, many business owners have staff but still have difficulty delegating. Does one of the following sound like you?
• You haven’t prepared a proper job description, so neither you nor your employee are clear about their role in the company, their responsibilities and the authority they have to take decisions. As a result, you both shuffle uncomfortably around the issue; you’re not sure if you can trust them – or maybe should even impose on them – while your employee is left wondering why you can’t let him just get on with the job!
• You might feel the business is your ‘baby’ and you can’t leave it in the hands of a ‘sitter’ while you go away and enjoy yourself (or, more probably, apply yourself to some other aspect of the job).
• Maybe you haven’t planned the training your employee needs to perform the job to the level of excellence you expect?
Core to all of the above, is to be sure you have identified the potential of each member of staff to ensure they are working to their strengths. That may mean some shifting of responsibilities to get the best from each team member to maximise productivity and inspire confidence in their ability to do the best job.
Once you know the strengths of your team, you will feel much more able to let go knowing the job will be completed on time and to the high standards you and your clients expect. By delegating effectively, you will have more time to do what you do best rather than trying to be jack of all trades.
I appear to be gaining clients that are family run businesses, be they run by husband and wife, siblings, parent and sibling, or a mixture of family and extended family. One of the key areas that we find needs addressing to step up their business, is establishing the future vision of each business partner so they are moving forward in unison. This means opening up communication.
Owner-managers in general can be so busy with the day-to-day running of the business, that they don’t make time to think about and openly discuss the future, including where the business fits into their life plans. Family members are understandably mindful not to take work home with them and make a conscious effort to try to switch off and have quality time with each other.
As a consequence this can result in skirting around issues rather than making time to have a focused conversation about the future to establish where each member sees the business going.
Open communication is key
In family run businesses, there can be a closeness that can almost inhibit open communication, either because they think they know what the other wants, or they hold back from verbalising their thoughts in fear of upsetting other family members. Discussing when each member sees themselves leaving the company is of a particular delicate nature and can be a taboo subject. It shouldn’t be – brought out into the open it helps to give the business direction and focus as they work in unison towards common goals.
When I work with any client, one of the first things I do is take them through some personality profiling to help highlight their strengths and potential limitations. The profile reports also provide a great insight into their communication style, values, needs and desires. Once in black and white, I have found that by sharing this information, it gives each family member an objective base from which to open up communication channels.
I have used this process with great success to get things moving with all my clients and it is particularly effective in family run businesses. If you want to find out more about how I help clients to establish their business vision, sign up to receive my download, ‘What’s Stopping You Step Up Your Business’ teleseminar. Just enter your details in the sign up box in the left hand column of this blog post.
KENT 2020 VISION – Come and meet me and win a free profile and feedback
You can also come and meet me at the Kent 2020 Vision Show at Detling on 7 April. At the show you will have the opportunity to win a strengths profile and discuss the findings in a 1-2-1 coaching session to help you to maximise your potential and build your business success.