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Archive for July, 2011

When Has Competition Gone Bad?

July 27th, 2011 12 comments

We live in a competitive world.  Competing can be a worthwhile endeavor.   It encourages the drive for excellence.   It has led to advances in science, from our walk on the moon, to the races for success in the business world.  The results leading to an advancement in our enjoyment of our personal living conditions.  It’s even present in our  everyday life when we compete with others for the chance to date and marry our special someone.

Some of us are more competitively driven than others.  There’s a special rush to winning!  While others don’t like the feeling of being compared or competing with someone else.  They haven’t experienced the good feeling which can be wrapped up in the art of competition.

It’s something we learn to enjoy or hate when we are children.  Positive parenting encourages it and is a role model of productive competition.  It’s important to remember the lessons we’re teaching as we watch and react to our children when they are playing sports.  How we behave and relate to competition speaks volumes to them.

Those who enjoy competing, understand the beneficial art of competition which can enhance our self esteem.  It’s one of the best ways to learn from our opponent, especially when we lose.  Competition brings out our opponent’s strengths and can pinpoint our weaknesses and the areas where we can improve.

We all know someone who has moved the love of competition from the fun beneficial endeavor to something much darker.  Someone who’s desire to compete has taken on frightening proportions and has moved into malevolent behavior.  The person who’s entire life is about competing and winning.  It becomes all consuming and effects even their loving relationships.

What are the signs to watch for in “competition gone bad”?  Here’s a few.

1.  Putting too much emotion into the loss or win.  Losses enrages them.  This bleeds over into their personal relationships with ugly mood swings, violent behavior, and the mistreatment of others.  Winning can turn into addictive behavior such as betting.  Addiction to betting can rob us of our financial and emotion lives.

2.  Competition becomes the only vehicle which triggers the emotions of happiness, well being, and self fulfillment.  When someone can’t relate to another individual without the need to compete with them.  This includes their spouses, children, co-workers, and friends.  It damages their loving relationships and ends up isolating them from their connection to their friends and family.  Their loved ones get fed up with everything being a competition.

3.  Putting too much emphasis on the competition and not on the experience and the lessons wrapped up in it.  Someone who has slipped into this self defeating mode will be critical of anyone they believe could beat them or overly verbally abusive when their perceived opponent loses.  They are consumed with winning at all costs.  This presents itself as bad sportsmanship.  Cheating to win, rubbing it in to an extreme when they win, or being mental or physical abusive when they lose.

Competition can be fun and filled with learning experiences.  It can teach us how to do something better.  It can lead to emotional, scientific and technological breakthroughs which have a positive impact on our lives.  It can be a fun way to enrich our lives and improve our self esteem.  When it goes from fun and life enriching to the opposite, it’s time to address it.  Fix it before it moves into dangerous waters where only a professional can lead the way back to a more safe and fun place for competition to reside.

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What Communication Skills Are Important in Relationships

July 11th, 2011 2 comments

Jerry was a talkative and like-able guy.  Ever since grade school he was the class clown and involved in all school activities.  He was told many times by his teachers, if he could make money using his mouth, he’d be a millionaire.

Fast forward 25 years.  Jerry has gotten a job in car sales.  He’s liked by all his comrades.  He has a list of Facebook friends in the thousands.  But, his career and his main relationship is in a major slump.  His wife doesn’t talk to him much any more.  She is too busy with her career.  He is baffled by why his friend, Roger, always seems to be leading the sales chart at the dealership.  Where has he gone wrong?

One day, as he’s watching another customer walk out the door, Jerry was baffled.  He thought he had gotten along well with this customer.  Why did they walk away?  His sales manager walks up to him and asks what the customer was looking for? Jerry’s response was, “Oh, he was only kicking tires.”

Where did he go wrong?  Many people, like Jerry think they can razzle-dazzle people with their conversation.  They talk about themselves and go on endlessly about things the other person may not give 2 hoots about.  They think they are controlling the conversation, but they are sadly mistaken.  Likeability and being cool will only take you so far.

A sales transaction, like any relationship, involves forming a bond with your potential buyer or loved one.  A good sales relationship is formed because your prospect believes the sales person cares about them enough to find out what it is they are looking for.  A good sales person knows how to control the conversation, by asking good questions.  Questions such as;  what are they, the customer, looking for?  What are they going to use it for?  What features are important to them? What would things have to look like for them to make a purchase today?

Some people understand the idea of asking questions of their potential clients, but then they don’t listen to the answers.  They are too busy thinking of the next thing they are going to say.  The customer catches on to this very quickly and knows the sales person isn’t really listening to them.  Effective questioning also involves feeding it back to the customer.  Feeding it back and then refining their preferences down with more questions.

This technique doesn’t only apply to sales.  Any relationship is a selling experience.  Everyday, we sell people on our ideas, and our way of thinking.  We sell our kids on being well behaved.  We sell our love partners everyday on us.  If I was going to give any relationship advice, I would say, ask more questions.  Not accusing questions, but asking questions about why they like something, what they would like to do, how they want things to be, what’s important to them….and then shut up and listen.

I often hear from married people that their partner doesn’t communicate with them any more.  I ask, what kind of questions are you asking? Are the questions which will give you more insight into what’s important to them?

If we would like to enjoy better relationships with our customers and our loved ones, we must learn the art of proper communication.  Asking thought provoking questions and listening to the answers will turn more tire kickers into customers and our loved ones into avid fans.  This is what we really want, isn’t it?

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5 Tips Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know to Starting a Business

July 6th, 2011 4 comments

All most everyone would like to own their own business.  Home businesses, small business, and MLMs (multi-level marketing) are on the rise!  Everyday of the week someone is starting a home business or a small enterprise.  Business ideas are rampant.  Business opportunities have never been as good as they are today  Why doesn’t everyone have their own business?

There are many pluses to business ownership such as; having equity in your career, possible unlimited income, calling the shots, and having mastery of your career path.  There are, also, many problems with being a successful entrepreneurs.  Many new businesses fail in the first 5 years.  How can someone have more control of their success?

Here are some business tips which will lead to greater success:

1.  Have a clear concise mental picture of what success looks like in your business.  What would your business look like when you succeed?  Know exactly how many transactions/sales have to be made to equal the cash flow you need to run your business, pay all your employees, pay taxes, etc.  It’s important to know exactly how much and where the cash flow is going.  How long will it take to get to this point.  Do you have a business plan and a mission statement?

2.  It’s important to prioritize the behavior which gets you to your goal.  It’s vital to know what your bread and butter activities are.  Once you discover what they are, it’s important to do those activities as much as possible.  If paperwork doesn’t make you any money, don’t do it.  I’m not saying let your paperwork reach the ceiling or sit unattended on your desk.  What I’m saying, is it might be more cost efficient for you to hire someone to do it which will free you up to do the bread and butter activities of your business.

3.  Set effective goals.  It’s very important to set goals with time frames.  A goal without a time period attached to it is only wishful thinking.  Goals will need to be long term and short term and broken down into the daily activities.  The daily activities should encompass the bread and butter activities that make the money, or you won’t be in business very long, or successfully.

4.  Have rewards and punishments in place.  Everyone likes the rewards, but where people fail is they don’t punish themselves if they haven’t accomplished their goal.  I’m not suggesting flogging oneself with the cat o nine tails.  I’m suggesting that if you haven’t met your weekly production goals, make yourself work on your day off.  Rewards and punishments are important for keeping yourself motivated day in and day out.  This step takes self discipline.  If you don’t have self discipline, you probably shouldn’t be working for yourself.

5.  Fall in love with your future outcome,  Sell yourself, everyday, on how wonderful it’s going to be when you succeed.  Use all your senses to sell yourself your dream life.  Put pictures of your dream life and dream business where ever you will see them every day.  Many cell phones are capable of taking pictures.  Take pictures of where you would like your office to be, what car you are going to drive, what school your children will go to, etc.  Put them on your computer.  Tools like mindmovies can not only build your perfect life movie, but the workbook helps you become clear on what it is you really want.

No one wants to become a statistic of another failed business.  You have control of what you do, everyday, to succeed.  Businesses succeed or fail because of daily habits.  Master your destiny by mastering your success habits.

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