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Keep Focused: Ways To Shy Away From Distractions

By | Attitude, Blogpost, challenges, Food for thought, Goals, habits, mindset | No Comments

Having focus to achieve what you want is not as easy as it sounds, not with all the distractions that we are facing in our daily lives. Having said that, how do we keep the main thing – the main thing? We are already in the second quarter of the year – do you have a concrete plan on how to spend the next 90 days? Here are some questions I need you to ask yourself and let’s see how these can help us achieve our goals this quarter and on the next.

  • How do you limit distractions?
  • How do you keep the noise out?
  • How do you keep focus?
  • How do you keep the main thing, the main thing?

Typically, this coming quarter we got so many distractions. If you choose to give in to these distractions, we need to consider some things. We’ve got a lot of holidays coming up that the team members can take, clients can take. So,

  • How do you keep focus?
  • How do you ensure that stuff still gets done?
  • How do you ensure that you stay on track?
  • How do you minimize the noise?

How do you keep focused?

There are a couple of things that we do with our clients to help them keep their focus on different tasks or things that they need to do:

  • Phones off unless you’re making phone calls;
  • Emails off unless you’re on email time; and
  • One of the most important things is – who you need to be here right now?

We have over 555 different characteristics. We need to tune in to that person that we need to be for that specific task, for that specific focus on that we need to be focused in.

If it’s making calls, fantastic! Who does that need to be? Who do you need to drop on more of that?

If it’s putting to your proposal, fantastic! Who do you need to be more of that?

So, it’s tapping into that “beingness of you,” it’s all inside of you to ensure you maintain that focus, maintain those characteristics in order to achieve that result.

What happens so often is that people bounce. They bounce from emails to phone calls, to team – like a lucky pinball machine. And what happens when we bounce? Our energy goes up and down. We get overwhelmed so much easily and quicker, and we get frustrated because we feel that we’re not going forward.

Who do you need to be right now?

Now, let’s focus on how do you need to be? This is where an ideal week comes in a place, but more importantly with the ideal week is – who do you need to be in those chunks of time?

That’s the goal thing! That’s the missing link so often I see with people when they’re creating an ideal week, is who do you need to be in that time frame? Not that task associated but who do you need to be in order to do that task on that focused time.

So, there we go! Let’s keep the main thing – the main thing.

Let’s keep the focus.

Let’s keep the drive.

Let’s minimize the distraction.

Let’s achieve some great results today.

The Value of a Job Interview

By | Blogpost, Entrepreneurship, Goals, Human resources, Leadership, management, opportunities, purpose, Success | No Comments

Most of us would not accept a partnership proposal without at least meeting the business owner. The company may look good on paper but nothing beats an actual meeting to be able to get to know who we would be dealing with on a personal level. This is the same when conducting job interviews with potential new employees.

The job interview is one of the most subjective part of the hiring process and is also one of the most important. This is when we would be able to personally evaluate if the candidate is good fit for the company. This is also a good opportunity to decide if the candidate’s skills align with the company’s goals and needs. With that said, it is no wonder why big and small companies alike still value the job interview in their hiring process.

Confidence Level

Employees in your company may need to interact face to face with customers or may need to interact with your business partners. Confident employees will project an image of success within the organisation. This in turn will also give the image that your company is no stranger to success.

Interviewing a candidate would allow you to determine if that individual would be capable of confidently speaking up in front of many people.

Social Behaviour

As a business owner, you want your company’s day to day operations to run as smoothly as possible. You want your team members to work with each other as efficiently as possible. Basically, your team needs to be on the same page for you to be able to achieve your business goals. With that said, nothing can hinder a team’s progress like a team member causing unnecessary friction within the team. This can lead to wasted time and resources.

The benefit of conducting interviews is that you can analyze a candidate’s social behaviour. Does that individual have basic etiquette? Can they work well with others? Can they communicate their ideas properly in a team based environment? A well conducted interview can give you an idea about these things.

Intelligence

In order for an individual to be truly confident, he also needs to have the smarts to back it up. There is a difference between acting confident and being truly confident. Having the intelligence to back up the confidence can really go a long way when it comes quick decision making and taking responsibility at any given task.

Interviewing a candidate would allow you determine how smart a person is by how they present themselves and how quickly they can answer your questions.

Getting High Performers to Come to You

By | Attitude, challenges, Entrepreneurship, excellence, Goals, Human resources, Leadership, management, opportunities, Success | No Comments

The performance of your team members is one the pillars of a successful business. You may already have a huge market and a solid business plan in place to reach your business goals but without a good team behind you, the journey will be harder than it should be. Having a competitive team is essential if you want to stay ahead of the competition and create opportunities for further growth.

A high performing talent can have a positive impact and facilitate growth in your business, but we all know that getting those individuals to join your team is not an easy task. As a business owner, one thing that you can do is to make your company enticing to these high performers.

Team Leaders

Make it clear that you are looking for leaders. High performing individuals tend to be natural leaders and will see this as a challenge. They will assume that you are hiring them to facilitate growth and make positive changes in your company. Empowering them will allow these talents to shine and to step up to every challenge. This will foster an environment where leadership tasks are driven by the team members which can be an advantage when it comes to quick and efficient decision making.

Partnership

High performers know what their worth is. They know that whenever they are in business, positive things tend to happen. These individuals are not looking for the standard compensation packages like salaries, bonuses and benefits. They already know that they can get those at a competitive rate. As a business owner, offer up a financial partnership with them. Build a compensation plan that will show them that you want to share the value and wealth that they will create by being a part of your company. Being considered as a partner will encourage them to bring out their best, knowing it will also benefit them.

Confidence

High performers are always on the lookout for organisations that know how to succeed and is always expected to succeed. A culture of confidence within the company means that the company has seen multiple successes in their line of business.

Business awards, or recognition received by the company showing that it is a leader in the industry will make it more attractive to high performing employees. These companies are expected by the employees to succeed and grow because it has done so time and again. Company growth means that employees also have opportunities to grow and develop their career.

Hiring High Performing Team Members

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With growth comes new challenges. It can be stability or staying ahead of the new competition. One of the challenges is hiring high performing team members. When your business is growing rapidly, it can be difficult to know when and who to hire. While it is important to hire new team members to accommodate business growth, some business owners may not like the hiring process. It takes up a lot of time and can be complicated.

The job market has a lot of talented professionals just waiting to become a member of your organisation. With this said, you need to have a strategic process in place to have a higher chance of hiring the best person for the job.

Keep on Looking

Keep on looking for new talents. Do not wait for a job slot to be available in your company before starting to look for new team members. Thinking positive is a good mindset when running a business. It means envisioning your business to grow in the future, and needing new team members to support your growth. Keep tabs or stay connected with talented people that you might have already met. You can scout for talent even in unexpected places. Take conferences, for example. You might meet fellow entrepreneurs who can refer a professional who would fit in nicely in your current or future business ventures. Having information on the professionals who you think would be able to help you reach your future goals would make the hiring process so much easier.

Plan Ahead

Once you have decided to hire new team members, plan ahead of time so you can start the recruitment process early. It will give you enough time to pick out the best of the best. A standard recruitment process can take at least 4 weeks. This is on top of the training period for your new employees. The training process can also draw up a lot of your existing resources. This means that your existing employees, who are already at max capacity, will be the ones who will train the new hires. Planning ahead would allow you to predict possible delays or problems, which can give you time to come up with solid contingency measures to make the whole process as smooth as possible.

Set Your Expectation

The fact that your business is growing means that you are a competitive business owner. Make sure to share this fact when interviewing candidates so they will have an idea on what you expect from them. Share stories of current employees who has the same competitive mindset. Set the bar high. Competitive candidates will take you up on that challenge.

Interviewing Potential New Hires

By | Attitude, Blogpost, challenges, Entrepreneurship, excellence, Goals, Human resources, Leadership, management, Success | No Comments

Expanding your business means hiring new employees to fill up different job positions that will drive the growth of your business. You need professionals who are competent and have the drive to achieve your company’s goals. Depending on the scale of your business, you may start posting online for available job positions or let your company’s human resource department to do it for you.

Once you start receiving those job applications, you can start narrowing down the applicants based on their experience, qualifications and skills. How can you, as a business owner, further narrow down those applicants to the select few who share your vision, passion and as well as the talent to take your business to the next level? This is where the importance of interviewing applicants come into play.

A job interview is a very important tool in the process of selecting new employees or team members. You will be able to assess their experience, skills and their mindset on the job that they are applying for. This will allow you to know the potential employee on a personal basis. What good are all those skills and experience if that person does not work well with a team or has a questionable attitude? While some companies are moving toward favoring test scores in the employee selection process, most still rely on the good, old-fashioned and proven way. So how do you conduct a proper job interview?

Prepare a List

Whether you have an interview team or you are doing it solo, make sure to prepare a list of the skills, experience, qualities and knowledge that you are looking for in an employee. Using this list, you can come up with questions to be able to efficiently gather the necessary information on each applicant. If you have an interview team, make sure that they understand their role in the applicant assessment process and make sure that you review their questions.

Legal Job Interview Questions

In a job interview, not everything is up for discussion. Ask legal interview questions that will highlight their strengths and weaknesses pertaining to the job that they are applying for. Avoid illegal job interview questions that could make you a target for a lawsuit. Questions about their marital status or if they plan to have or already have children should be avoided.

Relaxed Atmosphere

A friendly handshake in an onsite interview or a friendly greeting in a phone interview can go a long way. Establish a connection with the applicant to make him or her comfortable during the interview. A relaxed applicant would be able to provide you with accurate information that you need during the selection process. This will allow you to gauge their personalities and attitudes and make a decision if they are a good fit for your team.

Creating an Employee Handbook

By | challenges, Entrepreneurship, Goals, Human resources, Leadership, management, Success | No Comments

In one of my previous articles, I talked about on how to onboard new hires to the team as smoothly as possible. One of the points I mentioned is having an employee handbook to set expectations and to provide a company overview to your new team members. This can also help them with their daily tasks and can increase their efficiency in the first few weeks on the job.

One of the challenges encountered when making an employee handbook is on how to make it interesting enough for your new hires, let alone existing employees, to read it. Let’s be honest, these handbooks aren’t exactly page-turners. If you are asked to describe an employee handbook, you may come up with words like “boring”, “bland” or “stiff”. Which should not be the case since an employee handbook is technically the first company document that new hires receive. Take that opportunity to grab their attentions and make them emotionally invested in your company or organization. Start nurturing those positive emotions by creating an employee handbook that you yourself would want to read. Remember, your employees are your greatest assets.

State Your Company Mission and Vision

The first thing that your employee handbook should show is your company’s mission and vision. This is the most important part since this is the part where you should be able to engage with your new hires’ at the emotional and intellectual level. Challenge their perception of your company or organisation. Lay it out for them so both of you would be on the same page. A company’s success depends on excellent teamwork. If you and your team members share the same mission and vision for the company then you are on your way to achieving your business goals.

Showcase Your Company Perks

Make the job more than just a paycheck. Almost all standard employee handbooks are filled with a list of expectations a company has of their employees. Make it more enticing and exciting to the one reading. Highlight the perks that you are offering. State what you are offering them and emphasize that you are investing in them. Showcasing the company perks is telling your employees that they are getting more than just a paycheck. Show them that you consider them valuable members of the team and worth keeping.

Do Not Call It an Employee Handbook

Remember the words that are usually associated with an employee handbook? Boring, bland and stiff? Well those same words will usually come up in your head if a handbook is just named “Employee Handbook” or “Staff Manual”. Come up with a name that piques their interest or reflects a company’s culture. Make them want to read the handbook just by the title. Be creative but be as clear as possible on what the handbook is. As simple as changing the title can make a huge difference.

3 Steps to Successfully Integrate New Team Members

By | challenges, Entrepreneurship, Food for thought, Goals, Human resources, Leadership, management, Success | No Comments

For the past few weeks, we have been talking about growing our business and how to efficiently do it. We have discussed looking into outsourcing as one of the ways to achieve our business goals as well as the pros and cons associated with outsourcing, as well as managing our teams and the different aspects of leadership. Leading and managing a team not only involves setting the path to your business goals, you also need to know how to integrate a new hire to your organization or company.

A new hire’s first few weeks are the most crucial. This is the time period where you are setting clear expectations and is the perfect opportunity to build their personal investment to your company or business. While it is tempting to skip the onboarding process, doing so might cause your new employee to leave, not have the right direction or mindset for the job. You need a solid plan to be able to easily integrate new hires to your organization.

Come Up with an Employee Handbook

Creating a simple employee handbook can be of great help to new hires as well as existing employees. When making an employee handbook, be as straight-forward as possible, use simple language and avoid legal jargon that might confuse your employees. You can start with a simple overview of the company and its policies. This will give your new team members a clear idea on the type of business you are running, how you want it to be run and the goals you want to achieve. It can also help them understand your company culture and make it easier for them to get along with the rest of the team.

Provide Feedback

Providing feedback to new hires can help them gauge their work and allow them to make the necessary adjustments to align with your company’s vision and goals. It is a good idea that for the first few weeks, to schedule a weekly one on one with your new hires. This will make them feel engaged and connected with the company. Taking the time to provide feedback can increase your new hires’ success and in turn they would be able to provide valuable contributions to your business’ growth.

Set Simple Goals

Set up a few simple goals in the first few weeks to help your new hires ease into their roles within the company. Make sure to point them to resources that they can use and to who in the team they can ask for assistance. Achieving simple goals in the first few weeks will give them that boost of confidence to encourage them to do even better in their jobs. It is a win/win situation for you and your new team members.

Five Reasons Why Outsourcing Fails

By | Blogpost, challenges, Entrepreneurship, Food for thought, Goals, Human resources, Leadership, management, outsourcing, stress, Success | No Comments

Why Business Owners Fail When Outsourcing Tasks

Your goals are set. You are now ready to grow your business. You have decided to take the outsourcing path to help you reach your business goals. Once you have outsourced those specific tasks, it should be smooth sailing from there, right?

Hi, I’m James Short. As you already know by now, I always encourage entrepreneurs to outsource if they want to have that edge over their competitors. But over the years, I found out that some businesses still do not experience significant growth even after outsourcing. What went wrong and what could have been done? With that said, I’m going to share with you five (5) reasons why business owners fail when it comes to outsourcing those tasks.

They Don’t Have a Clear and Effective Plan

Just like anything in business, we need to have a plan that outlines what your needs and requirements are. This is no different when it comes to outsourcing. Plan out which tasks need to be prioritized. Be specific and detailed in what exactly do you want to accomplish with the given task.

Choosing the Right Outsourcing Partner

Just like with any partnerships, we need to do the due diligence to ensure you’re partnering with the right type of outsourcing partner. Do your research before partnering up with an outsourcing firm or a freelancer. Ask other business owners for feedback on what their business relationship is like with the firm or individual. That way, you can get a good idea if the firm or individual is the right one for your plans and goals.

Too Much Too Soon

Giving your outsourcing team too much too soon and thinking that it’s just going to magically all get done. Outsourcing tasks is a learning process for both you and the outsourcing team. The team needs a bit of time to figure out the most efficient way to do their appointed tasks. Give them that time and you will reap the benefits.

Set and Forget

So many times, I hear business owners just set their outsourcing team on their way but without any follow-up and without any directions, no difference to a team onshore. You’ve got to manage them similarly. Set up regular meetings with the team to check up on progress as well as to get feedback.

Lack of Communication

This is where business owners fall down when it comes to outsourcing. Ensure that you are constantly in touch with your team. There is absolutely no reason not to do this since today’s communication is so much easier and accessible.

So those are the five (5) main reasons why outsourcing fails when it comes to those business owners wanting to outsource.

I’m James Short, looking forward to speaking to you soon.

Maintaining an Attitude for Success

By | Attitude, Blogpost, challenges, Entrepreneurship, Goals, habits, stress, Success, Work Life Balance | No Comments

When you were starting out with your business, did you have any second thoughts? Did you ever stop and think “Am I doing the right thing?” Running a business, you know we get so busy, busy, busy and then we just realise another week, another month, then another year has gone.

We all know the struggles when we are starting out. We try to make a name for ourselves, get recognised despite the competition. We put in hours and hours of work to connect with clients, to show what we can do and sometimes it is just not enough.

It is normal for challenges to come up in the course of running a business. It is normal that we face unexpected setbacks that we have not accounted for when we were plotting our year. What is not normal is if you get home from running the business – day after day feeling tired and dejected.

If you have ever experienced this, or if you are going through this right now, you have to change your mind-set, then you have ask yourself these questions:

  • Go back and revisit your why. Why did you choose to be in this business? Why did you decide to start your business? Why real estate and not technology, or finance. Why did you decide to start the business? Is it because you want more time to spend with family? Or is it because you want to have more control of your own time?
  • Ask, then act and not just react. What do you dislike of the current situation? Is it something you can change? What can you do to change it?

You see, when you are feeling low, you have to go back and think of your purpose. You have to look for your motivation. What do you love about the business? Once you find that it’s time to act. Do something. If you have setbacks, if you find something blocking your path then find your way around it.

  • Concentrate on your genius. Your genius is one thing that comes naturally to you. A task, or something that you do not have to mentally prepare or force yourself to do. Concentrate on that and whenever possible, outsource the other tasks to leave yourself time to breathe and rest.
  • Keep learning. The saying that goes – ‘our education does not stop in school’ is especially true when you are running a business. Keep learning the trend, make sure you know the latest news and developments. Find ways to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Find out what makes you stand above and separate from all the competition.
  • Just keep going. In any business it is not always smooth sailing. If you come across roadblocks, just find a way around it. There is no shortcut to success. The ones who win the race are the ones who did not give up.

The Power of Collaboration

By | Attitude, Blogpost, Food for thought, Goals | No Comments

So often in business, we find ourselves in such a lonely place. Where you know, out in the grind, out and doing what we’re doing and we feel isolated sometimes. We’re too focused, too busy with our tasks and solving our own problems.

There’s this saying that is really inspiring in a way – “There is not one thing, there is not one problem within your business that you cannot solve with the people in the room.” So true. Two heads or more is so much better than one.

And you know, those in the real estate space, it’s like you go! Go! Go! And sometimes we put our head up and we go, “Wow! am I going the right direction?”

No matter how well we have our direction mapped out for us, no matter how carefully we plan our week, month or year, sometimes we encounter setbacks and detours that we don’t anticipate.

So, what we can do is share some of the challenges, and also have our fellow team members gather around the table to actually give us advice. Allow them to give us strategies and to give us support.

Facilitating a workshop is also a great idea. Businesses collaborating together to help one another, through workshop where different ideas and different strategies are shared.

So, I think the more we can collaborate, the more we can share, the more we can grow. It is by working together, by sharing ideas that we can improve on our current strategies. We get a fresh perspective. A new way to tackle the problem.  A different set of eyes to see areas for improvement.

Each one of us bring different experiences, different strengths into the table. I might have a good idea for the business – you might also have a good idea for the business. Imagine what will happen if we combine our ideas and work through the challenges together. We are going to be unstoppable!

Entrepreneurship does not have to be a long and lonely journey. Very often, we find ourselves travelling the same road –  with some already far ahead while others lag behind. We just have to be willing to work together, to listen, encourage, and lend a hand when necessary.

Ask yourselves today, “Who am I collaborating with? Who am I working with to strategize my challenges?” 

And when you realize the importance of collaboration, I guarantee that business will improve and achieve a bigger success.