Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Security of a Paycheck...


...NOT!
Is that what we're learning in this recession? It's been at least 20 years since I read about the nature of the "Modern" business world. Our country is still suffering from the non-education of our workers. A person learns a job and the incentive to pick up new skills can be nil. It's been said that the responsibility of the Employer in today's business world is to give their employee the opportunity to have a job for "some period" of time. The responsibility of the individual is to learn as many new skills as possible to jettison them into the next job.

Even though this was stated as the new world of business some decades ago, it clearly has not been adopted in many failing industries. So, when I ask people what they have to lose by striking out on their own, they talk about that paycheck security, or that Health Insurance security.

At this time when we have been debating the heck out of the current state of healthcare, I was recently interviewed by BusinessWeek about just this topic. If you're not starting your dream business because of needing health insurance, we really do have a crisis. This is something that I've heard very little debate about. Considering the fact that our government touts our ability to innovate and the power of the Entrepreneur, this surprises me.

Inasmuch as I don't really like posting rants, this one is a long time coming, people! To say that you see the future is all about the Entrepreneur is just great, if you give us the incentives to do our thing. The New York Times sees yet another trend, the Accidental Entrepreneur. Given the right support from mentors like myself and our society, there may still be an upside to the downturn in our economy.

Here's hoping!

Monday, August 17, 2009

What Should You be Asking?

Sometimes my personal experiences of doing business fall right into my lap as blog posts. As I have said many times, we all need a mentor. This one is as much about me as it is you.

The question I would like to hear more of my clients asking is: What do I need to do to make my business more successful?

Often my initial sessions with folks focus on things that they feel have gone wrong in the past months or the past years. What I hear a lot of is:
  • I guess people don't really want the good stuff any more because they're rather shop in a big store.
  • Everyone wants something for nothing!
  • All I do is work and I feel like no one gets how much work goes into what I do!
  • Things just aren't the way they used to be...
What pattern do you see here? I see blaming outside sources.

Another way of looking at all of their situations is:
  • How can I find the people who want the good stuff I make?
  • People value what they pay for. How can I rise to the level of getting those folks to pay me?
  • How can I tell the amazing story of what I do that will build my brand and what I do?
  • Things change all the time. How can I be light on my feet to RESPOND to the constant change?
See the difference? One is taking responsibility and one is blaming. I know this isn't a couple's therapy session here, but finding a solution is what I'm all about. I can hear your pain about what's not working and how that's hard for you. I am about making the changes to get you where you want to go.

Change takes work. Having your own business takes an enormous amount of work. The upside is that when everything is going well, you made it happen. It cannot be a one way street: When things go poorly it's everyone else failing you and when things go right, you're a star. Nope. You get both sides, that's the deal.