In October 1066 AD, the Duke of Normandy, William I, was about to lay claim to England on the field of battle against King Harold.
As William led his men ashore in southeast England, on their way to what was to become the historic Battle of Hastings, legend has is that this man-who-would-be-king rather ignominiously stumbled and fell, face-first into the mud . One of the classic truths about leaders, including once and future kings and small business owners, is that stumbling is actually ordained, whether the untimely descent is a mistake we've bought upon ourselves, or an unfortunate circumstance that could happen to anyone.
Consequently, the question is not if we will stumble but how we have after the fall, with mud on our hands. One of my mentors used to say that our character is not measured by the challenges we face or the mistakes we make, but rather how we respond to them.
Back to our Norman invader. With his next action, the future king of England demonstrated how leaders often have to think fast in order to snatch victory form potential disaster: Looking up from the mud, seeing "Bad Omen" written all over the faces of his superstitious men, William stand up, displayed his muddied hands, and claimed, "By the splendor of God, I have taken possession of my realm; the earth of England is in my two hands."
So, when you look up from the mud, how do you have?
Of course, you could complain about how deep the mud is, which may sound like, "How can I grow my business in such a bad economy?"
Or you could make excuses about how the mud caused you to fall, "I do not know which is going to cause me to go out of business first, the Big Box competitors or people buying stuff on the Internet."
And then there's the always-handy option of blaming others for the mud. "Yes, ma'am, I know you bought it from us. But that's a manufacturer's defect.
At least one thing that has not changed in a thousand years is that there are still plenty of people standing around – employees, customers, etc. – watching our behavior when we stumble. And like William's soldiers, these latter-day witnesses are also vital to the success of our empires.
The Norman request at the Battle of Hastings arguably changed the course of history. Who knows what the world would look like today if our hero had become known as William The Whiner, instead of William The Conqueror?
So, when you fall face-down in the metaphorical mud of your battlefield, your future may well depend upon whether you can – as William the Conqueror did – stand up, assess the damage, accept the circumstances, claim the responsibility, remember on what employees and customers depend, and then drive on to win the day.
One last thing: It also does not hurt if, like William, you can think fast.
Write this on a rock … "Leaders do not whine, complain or make excuses."
Source by Jim Blasingame
Business owners sometimes have a hard time with change. Setting up a business takes a ton of work to begin with and changing the way you've decided to do business means even more work. Chances are, when you set out to start a business, you did not do it because you were interested in making your life as tedious and laborious as possible. On the contrary, you wanted to do something you loved and were good at and make some money from it. Unfortunately, change is the only thing anyone can count on in the future. The good news is that the more open you are to changes, the better your business will absolutely be and the easier it will become both to do business and to keep adapting. Cultivating a love of learning and a willingness to apply it is the single best thing you can do for your business.
Learning new things everyday and staying on the forefront of technological and business trends will help you keep your business relevant and competitive. Learning as much as you can about your industry, business in general, and your customer's wishes may inspire you to make changes in your business, and making these changes might not be fun or easy, but every time you make a change and learn from the out, your business becomes a sleeker and stronger. Also, many of the technological innovations that appear every day are created to make business easier. So, if you can summon the motivation to make a change now, you can potentially save yourself a lot of time and effort in the long run.
Many of the largest companies in the world are able to remain viable because they are willing to make necessary and sometimes painful changes to their structure and business model. Bill Gates is the CEO of one of the largest and most successful companies in the world and he is a self-proclaimed lifelong learner. He attributes his success to his desire to learn new things all the time and his willingness to make changes based on his learning.
If you stop learning, innovating, and advancing, you fall behind; because the rest of the world is thundering on like a juggernaut and they have no problem leaving you and your silly little company in the dust – more cake for them.
If you can learn to love learning, your responsibility to stay on top of business trends will be met with ease. Then, you need to be humble enough to open your mind to the possibility of changing the way you live and work for the better. Easier said than done, I know, but not only is it helpful to your business to keep learning, it's absolutely vital.
Success Tip: Never Stop Learning (employees)
We've been admonished our entire lives to learn. From the time we enter kindergartens to the time we graduate from college, our main purpose in life is to consume information and regurgitate it on demand. The practice is admittedly beneficial, but exhausting. By the time we reach our early twenties and leave the hallowed halls of education (some of us for good), we are kind of burnt out on learning. A shocking number of college graduates seem to avoid books altogether once they are not being graduated on their knowledge of them. It sees fair, right? We pay our dues to the educational system for our developmental years and when we finish, we lay that part of our lives as in order to (hopefully) put our learning to action, make money, and contribute to society.
This system works fine for the average Joe. But you are not this average Joe – this mediocre schmuck willing to skate through life unnoticed and perpetually replaceable. You crave success. Unfortunately, the only way to achieve success is to get back on those books, figuratively speaking. You do not need to have to re-enroll in school for an advanced degree (although it could not hurt) but you do have to cultivate in yourself a passion for learning.
Whether you want to land your dream job, get promoted, or break out and start your own business, your success depends on your willingness to learn. Learn from your mistakes, learn from the people around you, find a mentor, and seek out as much information as you can about your industry, your ideal career, and how to get what you want.
The next step is to use what you learn to change the way you act. We've all heard the proverb "Insanity is doing the same thing in the same way and expecting a different exit". To change, we have to admit that we do not have it all figured out and that there may be a better way of doing things. Once you can take the information you learn and apply it to your life effectively, you will be able to adapt well to any new demands your career will put on you, and you will be able to figure out a way to succeed at anything you want to.
Not sure where to start in your new journey of lifelong learning? Start small – set a goal to pick up a new hobby or learn a new job skill. Chances are you'll catch the learning bug and want to keep going for your own enjoyment. Along the way, make sure you set realistic, quantifiable goals to help you get closer to your dream. Also, take a moment every day to remind yourself of your end goal when the going gets tough and the changes hurt. Making the choice to be a lifelong learner is not easy, but it's definitely worth the trouble.
Source by Courtney Buell
People love to get free information so using a free tutorial to share your knowledge is a great way to promote yourself and your business. By doing this, you will be establishing yourself as an expert and building your reputation. Then when people need products and/or services, you will be the one they trust and believe.
Divide your tutorial into lessons, one for each day of the tutorial or ecourse. Once you get your lessons written up you want to set them up individually on an autoresponder. There are many autoresponders available for free and for a fee. Some hosts may have autoresponders available as well. WordPress also has autoresponder plugins.
Let’s say you own a home décor and furniture website store. You could set up an ecourse on how to successfully paint a piece of furniture. Your lessons would be something like this:
Lesson 1: Choosing the Right Paint
Lesson 2: Preparing the Piece to Be Painted
Lesson 3: Painting the Piece
Lesson 4: Maintaining the Finished Look
After your lessons are completed, you can set them up to go out each day in a row or separate them by a day or two. It would depend on how many lessons you have and how long you want the tutorial to last.
Separating the information into lessons works better than sending all the info in one mailing because it keeps your name and business fresh in the mind of the potential customer.
When writing your lessons, sprinkle in information about your business and what you offer but try to make it fit into the tutorial so it doesn’t appear too. Offer special discounts for signing up for your ecourse/tutorial.
Be sure to place your contact email in each and every lesson and let the reader know you are readily available if they have any questions or comments.
Another good idea is to have a preceding thank you note with an introduction of yourself and your business along with a summary of the tutorial. This would precede the first lesson. And then once the course is finished you would have another thank you going out encouraging them to visit your site for much more information and to contact you if they have any questions.
You could also let them know about your special deal or discount they receive for taking the course. Be sure to add your social media links so they can easily follow you.
Make them fun as well by adding trivia or little games along with the lesson. Keeping people interested can sometimes take work but it is well worth the time and effort.
If you have any other tutorials, list them as well and be sure to ask them to sign up for your mailing list. These details will go a long way in building the foundation and relationship needed to gain the customer’s trust and patronage.
Once your tutorial is complete you want to start promoting it so people can start signing up.
Add it to your email and networking group signatures:
FREE 4-day tutorial on painting furniture
place your URL here
Promote it on your social media pages and promote it often.
Offer it to your newsletter subscribers and post it on your website/blog.
Advertise it with ad swaps.
Put it on your business card and/or flyers.
Integrate it into your resource box when guest posting or submitting content.
Tutorials can be educational and fun so use them to your advantage and let them help increase your sales and build your business.
Source by Terri Seymour
The internet houses an amazing array of home biz opportunities, but the difficulty has always been finding the right one to fit your time and talent. You can’t always see the wood for the trees in the options available. One of the least advertised is online tutoring. If you are a teacher in a particular subject, or someone with specialist knowledge and looking for a home business, I would like to explore ‘is online tutoring a good internet business for me’?
Traditionally, home tutoring has been a laborious and demanding profession. Without the buzz and interaction of the classroom, working one-on-one can lack the spark and stimulation of group activity. The result has been the tutor’s challenge of keeping his pupil constantly engaged, as well as moving his grades onwards and upwards.
Fortunately, technology has spawned a new classroom – the internet! No longer tied to traditional methods of teaching, home tutors can contact many students at the same time, and with a much less punishing schedule. Once your lesson is up – it can be dispatched to multiple destinations. Teaching over, you can turn your attention to other tasks and simply wait for the homework. So, is online tutoring a good internet business for you?
1) who can do it? People suited to online tutoring include anyone with expert knowledge in specific subjects or specialist skills. You should enjoy helping students learn and have regular time slots to be available to your students. This is especially important to consider if you have another job or need to learn new skills to set up your own internet business.
2) What do I need? If you want to be an online tutor, you will require a degree or college certification. Online tutoring companies ask for degree certificates, and if you are starting your own internet business, students need supporting evidence of your accomplishments. A basic understanding of the internet is needed to be able to teach via webinar and send and receive lesson material to students. You will also have to undertake a criminal background check.
3) How do I Set Up? If you want your internet business to be freelance, join an agency for part-time online teaching options. Basic training of interactive methods is given and students will either be given or you will need to find your own. Check out Universal class, Home Tutors.org or Tutor.com.
To start your own internet online tutoring business, you need to know how to set up your own website, organise webinars or Skype sessions, publish and upload your lesson material and know how to advertise your service. These skills can be learnt from any of the internet centres that offer a coaching programme.
I hope I have given you a good idea of the internet, and whether online tutoring is a good internet business for you. To see some of the actual training provided by one of the top internet mentoring centres, make yourself a coffee and check us out. Not only will you have access to training theatres with 800 hrs of teaching, you will also be given your own free business to start today.
Source by Olive Bush
Steel Detailing for me is my life. If you had to ask the question, if I chose it for my life I would say “Deep down YES”. I just fell into it.
It all started when I was 18 looking for work straight out of High School. I was accepted into an apprenticeship as a Structural Designer for a company in Newcastle, NSW, Australia, working on mining designs. Back then the office was decked out with drawing boards, smoking was permitted and an ammonia copier.
The job involved standing behind the ammonia copier copying drawings onto CPR’s, Penmanship, small drafting jobs, the coffee run and the food run for the first 6 months. This was my introduction into detailing steelwork for mining jobs throughout The Hunter Region and it was all coal process and handling.
Little did I know, the owner of company had a habit of starting and closing companies on a regular basis and my job only lasted just over 6 months. This was just enough for me to continue into this career with just a small taste.
Since then I have worked for many prominent design companies and have gained extensive experience. It wasn’t until I was given the opportunity start my own company with the backing of a building company in Thornton, NSW, Australia before I really began to learn fast.
The company went from just me to 6 people in a small 2 year period and was working really hard. I cannot emphasize the Really Hard part enough as the hours were long. The reason for this is that I was working in the business and not on the business and because I was the business owner, it had to run smoothly in order for it to grow.
For those that have not had experience with steel detailing there is a process you must follow.
Firstly, you are asked to provide a quote. If the quote is accepted, you are presented with a set of Structural Engineering drawings and a set of Architectural drawings depending on the project category. There are 3 main categories – Mining, Industrial and commercial. Mining has no architectural requirement.
Secondly, you go through the drawings and work out areas that maybe of concern and require more information and request the information. Usually at this stage because the information is going to change the amount of work you have to do, so you would ask for a variation if the work is allot more than you originally estimated.
Thirdly, the client accepts the variation and you begin the project. As the company owner I usually started the project layout for the rest of the team to detail the steelwork. The layout was completed in AutoCAD and consisted of the plan view with all of the elevations projected surrounding the Plan.
At the end of the day I was the checker also. “Why” did I check the drawings you may ask. It’s plainly obvious, the buck stopped with me. If there was an error, just a small error, it would cost me. Imagine that you would be back charged if the error required rectification by the builder or fabricator. Imagine that if the error was just enough that it holted the erection of the steelwork on site and they needed to hold the crane, hold the erection crew and a boiler maker was required to fix it. The costs start to add up fast. The drafting job may have only cost $10,000, but a small error could cost you much more.
At this stage, you are probably wondering why you want to start a steel detailing business. The risk is very high, the hours are long. But I need to add more fuel to the fire by talking about money. If you make the smallest mistake that costs more money than you were expected to receive for the steel detailing, the fabricator, building company will hold your money back until the project is complete. One error indicates there could be more and just in case there is, they will hold it back. So what does this do to your company’s cash flow?
I talk about errors in a frightening sense because they are very scary. You could, if you had an ego like I did and say there will be no errors, but you’re just kidding yourself. Believe me when I say “There are always errors” Consider that steel detailing is the lowest detail of the project. It’s every nut and bolt. Yes that’s right, if you get your bolt quantities incorrect you are liable for a back charge, if the steel erector has to go and get more bolts, it’s going to cost you.
Can you imagine not being paid for months. In my experience there are 2 main factors that influence a company’s growth, cashflow and risk. Think of errors as a risk. Depending on the error size the risk increases or decreases, but there is always risk. There are more risks other than errors. Yes that’s right more risk. That risk is getting paid. If you let the fabricator or building control the way you get paid, you are really going to be in for a big shock. Imagine just asking for 10% of the quoted price to be paid before work begins can cover your overheads. That’s great, what about the other 90%?
Imagine doing business with companies that are well recognised in the building and construction business. Usually their terms are 90 days with no deposit. That’s the top of the spectrum, what about the bottom of the spectrum. You come across another potential client, but your not sure about the stability of the clients company, but you take a risk only to find that you have been involved in trying to help them service and since you are the last person to get paid you never see payment from them at all. So you begin legal action. You start shelling out money for solicitors earned from other projects. You hire a personal debt collector that harasses the company for payment under terms that if he gets any money out of them he gets a cut. Now imagine companies starting and closing like my first job. Imagine the clients company goes into liquidation and you are not a secured creditor. No money here at all.
So I guess you are asking yourself at this stage, Why are people still detailing steel. Well there are ways to protect yourself. If you put in your quote that you will be paid under your terms, that you will be not back charged for any errors and your contract is created using a secured creditor arrangement you can protect yourself. If you find a reputable client that won’t back charge you and pays regularly, your on to a winner.
I just wanted to educate you so that you don’t make the same mistakes I did. So please be careful when it comes to steel detailing, because the Risk can take it all away from you.
The Steel Detailer…
Source by Michael A Crawford