Archive for April 2014

Finding The Best Support For You

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In all my businesses, not one came out instantaneously successful and flawless. They are always unresolved problems that come my way. And sometimes, I can’t even pin point what the problem was, I just know that there is something wrong. How I managed it? I made some new visions and changes. Remember new stuff is always cool, and people tend to look and crave for anything that is new. This might sound easy, but it’s actually difficult to just make a change to your old plans, especially when you don’t know if it actually works or not.

In order for these new changes and visions to come to reality, you must find and build your support frameworks. They say entrepreneurship is one of the loneliest professions. Other people might find you extrovert because you are doing your best to sell, but in fact you are solitary. Why? Because they don’t think the same way you do. Their minds are too busy choosing the best things to buy, while you are there trying to convince them that yours is the best. To escape reality, befriend the solitary people of your same kind. Build a network with other people with business ventures. Go to networking events and get yourself exposed to their businesses.

Once you build your network, you can now start solving your problems. Again, in order to succeed, you must make those necessary new changes and visions. The vital steps are of three steps. First, make the decision to change and share changes to support structures. Second, ask them for your feedback. Share your visions and changes, and listen to their ideas. They might have encountered the same problems that you are facing now, and whatever their feedbacks are, it will definitely help you succeed. And third, ask them to help hold you accountable to achieving those things.

The aforementioned three things is not a onetime deal. Problems in businesses do not only happen once, but it happens all time, in a cycle. So if another problem comes your way that does is not in compatible anymore with your visions, then go back to step one. Improve. Do a regular review of your business venture.

[ Full Transcript Follows ]

Hey folks! Thom Rigsby here from thomrigsby.com. Today it’s Friday we’re putting a wrap on this week, making your vision a reality. Today we’re talking about how to find and build your support framework. Stay tuned, 7 Minutes In the Morning is next.
[GAP 00:16 – 00:25]

Hey folks, this is 7 Minutes In the Morning, your daily dose from the business coach. My name is Thom Rigsby and I am your business coach. Well this week we’ve been talking about making your visions for your business a reality. We talked about the difficulty that’s gonna come with making the decision to change and then with dealing with the change. We also talked about some of the fears that go along with change. Some of the stakeholders that have invested interest in your business and yesterday we talked about some of the structures that we can put together and construct to make a support system for you and your business. So today I wanna talk a little bit more about that and how you use those structures to make your vision a reality. So yesterday we talked about masterminds, accountability, partners and coaches, one of the best ways to find the people that can help you with your business is by networking. You know I said yesterday that entrepreneurship is one of the loneliest professions and that’s the truth but because we tend to be solitary people even though we might be in amongst hundreds or thousands of other people, they just don’t think the same way we do. They don’t see opportunity the same way so we tend to be a little bit alone. So I want you to get out and network, go to networking events – Chamber of Commerce, BNI, whatever the case maybe, find a way to network with other business owners. Maybe you have to do it virtually, if you’ve managed to succeed and you’re off on an island by yourself somewhere you have to do that virtually but, whatever the case is find a way to get some exposure to other business owners. You will naturally gravitate towards some who would be able to help you, so very important to get out there and talk, shake hands, just create relationships with other entrepreneurs it will make a huge difference.

Okay so now once we have made those connections what do we do, how does all of these help us make our vision a reality. Well I said on Monday you have to make the decision to change and I asked you to write down three things that need to be changed the most. Well now with these support structures and frameworks in place I want you to start sharing those three things in that structure. Go to your wife, go to your husband, “honey, I need to reduce the amount of time that I spend working. How can I do that?” Talk to other business owners. I will tell you one of the ways you can reduce the amount of work is to get help, hire a VA, hire an employee, outsource some of the work that you are doing. So, just by having exposure to other people and their experiences they can share those with and help you overcome those. They don’t have to be the huge daunting tasks that they look like or that they appear to be today.

So number one, share those changes with your support structure. Number two, ask them for their feedback. This is the vision that I have for my life, these are the changes that I think I need to make, are they gonna make me, are they gonna push me closer to this vision. The more closely related your stakeholder is to you, the better the answer you’re gonna get back, I guarantee you that. But they also will have an idea. Me, I’m on my 7th business now, I’ve got some experiences with how businesses grow and operate and decline. I’d be happy to share that experience with you and with anybody who comes to ask, here’s what I’m gonna get to, here’s the things I think I need to do, am I on the right track? So, that’s number one, number one share those things, number two ask for their feedback and number three, ask them to help hold you accountable to achieving those things. To say I need to spend lost time and the change I need to make is to hire a VA or hire a staff member, okay those are great, now let’s make it happen. This is where in lot of cases where coaches can do a better job than stakeholders, friends, or family. They’re gonna tamper their feedback to you more than a coach would. I’m gonna tell you, Bill, John, Sue you have said you need to hire a VA before the end of the month, it is the 20th of the month who have you hired? And I’ll ask you that everyday until you get one. I’m not gonna be mean about it but I am gonna prod you into achieving that result that you said you wanted. So if that’s the kind of support that you need, people may be on the look out for a coach. But those are the three things you need whatever your support structure is those are the three things you need to do. Share the vision and the change with them, ask for their feedback and then ask them to hold you accountable to achieving those results.

Now, here’s the final bonus tidbit that I haven’t talked about all week, this is not a one time deal, it’s not do it once and you’re done. You can’t go away for a long weekend, do all these work then come back and keep doing the same things you’ve always done. After you knocked all those top three things off the list and you master whatever the replacement for those is, do this exercise again because there are three more, those are just the top 3. What’s top 4, 5, 6? 7,8, 9,10, 11 12? What are the next three challenges that you need to tackle. If you make this a continuous improvement process then, over time I mean think about where you can be a year from now. If you knock off one problem a week, just one problem a week means that by this time next year you will have overcome the top 52 problems your business faces. How significant would that be toward moving you toward your vision of success, I think it will be pretty big time. Think about all the things we’ve talked about this week and certainly you can bookmark this week’s episode if they helped you. But this is not a do it once and done, this is every week, every month, every quarter maybe but that’s really stretching it out. If you do this every month, have a  month-in review and a month-in forecast then you can make these plans and knock these things out. You will only have to overcome one problem a week, just one! I think that’s within the grasp of anybody here on the show. 

So I hope that this week’s episodes have helped you out. You are really getting some of the value that I bring to my coaching clients here, this is the process that we go through, we get in to what their vision is, a little more deeply we get in to what their challenges are more deeply. We talk about their stakeholders and what’s their support framework gonna look like and what that vision is that they want to achieve. This is kind of a self-paced coaching program that you’ve been through this week, if it has helped you please let me know. I wanna hear back from you, what your thoughts are about this week. But if you’ve made a decision to change, shoot me that email, “Thom, I’ve made the decision” send that email to Thom at thomrigsby.com or give me just feedback about the episodes this week I love to hear that also and send those to me via email also. I loved for you to follow me on twitter at @thomrigsby or you can hear me up at Facebook. Facebook.com/thomsrigsbycoaching.

I hope you had a great week. We’ve been at the lake this week, we’ll be here through the weekend. Just kinda recharging our batteries so we can continue to bring you the value that help your business.

So until Monday, it’s the weekend. If you’re working this weekend I hope it’s profitable for you. If you’re resting I hope you get the recharge that you need. Until then, my name is Thom Rigsby and I’m your business coach.

The Power Of Support

We have been talking about “The Vision for your Business”. In our previous session we talked about your support network and I asked you to write down some of the people you can consider as stakeholders in your business. Today we are going to talk about the power of that support network and how put them to work.

In one of my previous sessions, I mentioned that entrepreneurship is one of the loneliest professions. This is because of two reasons:

  1.  It typically takes another entrepreneur to really understand what we are going through.
  2.  We tend to hold things very close to the chest and not share to the people closest to us that can help us.

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Today I am going to share with you about how you can get beyond that loneliness through the power of support.

The first way is by taking advantage of the stakeholders you wrote down in the previous session. Those people you identified that would be willing to help you when faced with challenges. It might be uncomfortable asking for their help at first mostly because you have brought your business to where it is by your own efforts. But remember if you want different results you have to decide to do things differently. It is very important to get those people plugged into your lives because together you will work on your challenges and resolve them.

Sometimes though you need more than the support of your stakeholders; be they friends, family or vendors. Certainly, there are things in your business that you need to hold very closely. Finances is one of those things and it’s usually tough to talk about it openly. In such cases, I would encourage to identify people that could be your kitchen cabinet. Those people you can talk to and share your struggles with. Those you trust will hold those things in confidence and give you quality feedback on what you want to accomplish.

[ Full Transcript Follows ]

Hey folks, Thom Rigsby here from thomrigsby.com. This week, coming to you from the lake, and today, want to talk to you about the power of your support network. You know, we’ve been talking this week about vision for your business, and yesterday, we talked about that support network, today, we’re going to put them to work. So stay tuned, this is 7 Minutes in the Morning.

Hey folks, good morning and welcome! This is 7 Minutes in the Morning, it’s your daily dose from me, Thom Rigsby, and I’m your business coach. Well, this week, we’re talking about the vision for your business. And I’m going to start this episode the same way I started every episode this week. I want you to think about the vision that you have for your life when you started your business. Maybe you were thinking big house, fancy cars, lots of money in the bank. Well, what was that vision? I shared with you mine this week that my goal is to make work optional and location irrelevant, and we’re here at the lake this week, enjoying some time away, and I do have an opportunity to do my work from here. That’s an important thing for me, but what’s the vision for your business? Are you living that vision today? If not, this is the most important thing I want you to take away from the series this week: if you’re not living your vision for your life, you have to make the change. You have to decide that this is not what I started to do, and you have to decide things need to be different, and you have to decide to make a change. Once you’ve made that decision, the rest is just tactical steps along a journey toward your success. And that’s what I’m here to help you do. So this week, we’ve been talking about how to do that — making the decision to change, some of the fears that come along with change we talked about on Tuesday. Yesterday, we talked about your stakeholders, and how they can be an important part of your support network. You see, entrepreneurship is a lonely, lonely business for two reasons. One, because it typically takes another entrepreneur to really understand what we’re going through.

And second is kind of self-induced, we tend to hold things very close to the chest, and not share those people with our — the stakeholders, the people that are closest to us that can help us. And I shared with you yesterday the story of a minister friend of mine, and the admonition he gives the new bride and groom when they get married, that your joys can be doubled, and your burns can be halved if you’ll only share with one another.

So today, I want to talk to you about the power of support, and how you can get beyond that loneliness that a lot of entrepreneurs suffer through. The first way is by taking advantage of that stakeholder network that we talked about yesterday. I asked you to identify some of the people in your family, in your friends, in your employees, your vendors, your customers that would be willing to help you. You know, as an entrepreneur, you have brought your business to this point by your own efforts. So now, it’s clearly, clearly understandable how you might have some discomfort asking for help at this point. But, you know, it’s just like I said a few minutes ago. If you want different results, you have to do things differently, you have to decide that you need to make a change. And that’s exactly what we’re working on doing. So I want you to go through that list of stakeholders that you made yesterday. Circle some of the names that you think would be willing to help you when you have challenges. Now, give you this little piece of advice also. I’m eating regularly with fellow entrepreneurs, at least 2 or 3 days a week. The reason that I do that is twofold. One is to get their feedback and fuel into what I’m doing, and the second is to give them feedback.

And sometimes, I recognize — I can see in them, problems that I have, that I don’t even think are that significant. But together, we can work on those, and resolve them. So, very important, to get that feedback, to get those people plugged into your life. Sometimes though, you need more than just the positive support that you would get from friends and family and vendors and whatnot. Now, certainly there are things that go on in the business that you need to hold very closely. Finances is one of those things, it’s really tough for a business owner to talk about. Certainly very tough to talk about with your vendors, you wouldn’t want to go to one of your suppliers and say, “Yeah, I’m having a real tough time finding money to pay my expenses. I could just use some help talking through that.” That might not be the best person to share that with. So, what I’m going to encourage you to do today, is you look through that list of stakeholders. I want you to start trying to identify people that could be your kitchen cabinet. I mean, there’s this notion of — and I forget who’s the first, it might’ve been Andrew Jackson, first US president who said, “I’ve got my public cabinet that everybody knows about, but I’ve also got my kitchen cabinet. Those people I can sit around a table and talk to, and I trust their advice and their counsel.” Get 3 or 4, that’s all you need, 3 or 4 people that you can communicate with, that you can talk with, that you can share your struggles with, you trust them to hold those things in confidence, and to give you quality feedback about what you’re trying to accomplish. You know, even though there are things that we need to hold closely, we still need people that we can talk to about that. Now, I’m going to introduce — I’ve talked about masterminds before, but I’ll introduce this idea a little bit better. Napoleon Hill in his book, “Think and Grow Rich”, talked a lot about masterminds, but he didn’t come up with the idea. In fact, Thomas Jefferson is supposed to have had one. Benjamin Franklin is supposed to have had one. But certainly some of the more famous ones of our time were involved in Napoleon Hill’s work. And Edison is one, I quote Thomas Edison quite a bit, but Thomas Edison, Roy Firestone, and Henry Ford had a famous group of people, and they were the three in the core of that group, and they would regularly invite other people into that group. They called themselves “The Vagabonds”, because they would hop in the car and then go somewhere, go camping for a week or two. They talk about business, and not just their business, macroeconomics, microeconomics.

Specific problems that were occurring in each other’s business, and they helped each other overcome those issues, understand those issues, and come up with strategies to solve them. So I’m kind of looking at this, you know… if Thomas Edison, Roy Firestone, and Henry Ford can do this, and be completely vulnerable and transparent with one another, that’s probably okay for me to do it. Great success typically comes out of that. Now, the reason it’s called a mastermind is, you know, the power of three minds or four minds is greater than that of one person. So that’s kind of a group that you can put together with those 3 or 4 stakeholders that you found. Sometimes though, it’s easier and more effective to get someone who’s not a direct stakeholder. I mean, think about those 3. Edison, Ford, and Firestone. They kind of had relationships with each other business-wise, but — and maybe Firestone, Ford, more than Edison, but they weren’t really dependent on each other. So they could give clear, objective advice to their friends about their business issues. So sometimes, it’s easier to get — to pull in people that aren’t directly impacted by your business. So how do you find those?

Well, we’ll talk about some of that tomorrow, how you find those people. But masterminds are important perhaps for the things that are — for other issues. Because, look, our lives are the sum total of everything that’s going on in our life, it’s not limited to just what’s going on in business. Maybe I’m having issues communicating with my spouse, maybe my kids are driving me nuts. Maybe my parents are at a point where we need to start talking about how to help in their care. Those things are important, and they have an impact on your business also. Sometimes, I call this person an accountability partner, but it’s just one-on-one relationship. Someone you can talk to. And almost has to be a fellow entrepreneur so that they can understand the same things that you’re going through, but maybe that’s an appropriate venue for you. And finally, maybe coaching is an appropriate for you. Someone like me, who can give you completely objective advice, who can hold you accountable, who can prod you along the path toward success. Whether it’s me or someone else, if that sounds like something that’s going to help you, find that vision, and by all means, seek those people out.

Now, I’ll talk at more length tomorrow, about how to find these people, but what I want you to consider today is what’s the right kind of organization for you. Is it a mastermind where you have 4 or 5 people together, all sharing about their business, is it an accountability partner where it’s kind of one-on-one with someone you know, or is it a coaching relationship, somebody that you pay to help move you toward that vision of success, or maybe it’s some combination of all 3. But I want you to consider what’s going to work best for you. Don’t forget to take those stakeholders into account, and look within that body of stakeholders to see if there’s somebody that can perform that role for you. Tomorrow, we’re talking about how to find the right person. We’re putting a wrap on this week about making your vision a reality. I want you to join me again tomorrow, and please, if you’ve made a decision to change, please send me an e-mail, thom@thomrigsby.com. I want to get that feedback from you, I want to know that this is something that you are pursuing in your life, and I will make the commitment to help you along that path. So until tomorrow, my name is Thom Rigsby, and I’m your business coach.

You Are Not In This Alone (stakeholders)

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We are still talking on the vision for your business. Today we are going to talk about the visions some of your stakeholders. Stakeholders are the people who have an interest in you, your business or your project. They might be your family, friends, vendors, employees or customers. What I want you to see is that they are other people that are both closely related to you and loosely coupled to you that have an interest in your success. What does this has to do with the vision of your business?

I have a good friend who happens to be a pastor and as a result of that he has the opportunity to do lots of weddings. One of the things he tells the bride and the groom as they are going through the ceremony is that for the rest of their lives together, their joys will be doubled and their troubles cut in half. Why? If something great happens, they have someone to celebrate that with and if there is a burden weighing on either of them they will have somebody to help them. These stakeholders have a vested interest in the success of your business. They are excited when you succeed and are there to help you when things aren’t going well. Those joys can’t be doubled and those burdens can’t be halved if you try to carry the whole weight by yourself- it’s a team’s effort. These stakeholders are interested in your success and in your struggles. Share those with them. Don’t carry all that burden on your own, you are not in this alone.

Take that notebook or card that you wrote on your challenges in the last session. Flip it in the back and write down some of you stakeholders by name. We will be working with those names in our next session.

[ Full Transcript Follows ]

Hey folks, Thom Rigsby here from Thomrigsby.com. This week, we’re talking about the vision for your business and today I want to talk to you about the vision that some of your stakeholders may have. You’re not sure who you’re stakeholders are, stay tuned. This is a great episode for you. This is 7 Minutes In The Morning.

Hi there folks, good morning and welcome. This is 7 Minutes In The Morning, it’s your daily dose from the business coach. My name is Thom Rigsby, I’m your business coach. This week, we’re talking about the vision for your business. When I challenged you on Monday, is the life that you’re living right now, today, is that what you expected, was that the vision for your life when you set out to run this business?

If it’s not, I want you to make a decision; this is what I asked of you on Monday. It’s still not too late if you haven’t made that decision, you can do it right now, today. If this is not what you envisioned I want you to make a decision that you need to change. Deciding for me is always the hard part, everything after that is just mechanics. But I want you to make that decision that you’ve to change, if you’ve made that decision, I want to hear from you also. Drop me an email, Thom at thomrigsby.com.

Yesterday we talked about change that has to occur after you make that decision, and some of the obstacles that people run into when we talk about change; fear of failure, fear of success, comfort of the known versus fear of the unknown. I challenged you yesterday to write a list, make a list of the top three things that need to change.

You need more time off, you need more customers, more money, you need to add products, [01:56] products, whatever the case. What’re those top three things? Yesterday I told you I’d tell you what to do with that list, but today I want to talk to you … it’s going to seem a little bit over the side but trust me it’s coming back around.

Today, I want to talk to you about the stakeholders in your business. We’re, if we worked with corporate America, very much at home. We’ve had this term, The Stakeholders, it’s a very popular term but really what it means is that people that have an interest in you, your business or your project.
I want to suggest to you some people that might be on your list of stakeholders. As I mention each one of these, if you’re driving, I don’t want you to close your eyes; you need to reach to where you’re going safely. But if you’ve a chance, if you can, I want you to close your eyes and just listen to these terms as I share them with you.

I want you to think, is this group of people really a stakeholder for my business? Do they really care about whether my business succeeds or fails? Is their success or their failure [henced?] on the success of my business? Take just a minute, listen to these names and see if they resonate with you in those ways.
How about your family? They can be your immediate family, your spouse, your kids; it could be your extended family. Are they stakeholders for your business? What about your friends? Has your relationship with your friends changed since you started this business? Have they recognized it? Have you recognized it?

What about your vendors? Those people that you get products or services from, that support your business. Have you considered them as stakeholders in your business? They should have a vested interest in whether you succeed or fail.

What about your employees? Do they depend on you? Do they have a vested interest on whether you succeed or fail? Finally, what about your customers? It’s really easy to think of customers in a transactional sense. Do they depend on you? Are they invested in your business? If not, with dollars, with their trust?

That’s just a few, just scratching the surface, but all of these groups of people are potential stakeholders in your business. There’s a great opportunity here for this to add a tremendous amount of stress to you, I don’t want that to happen. What I want you to see, is that there’re other people that are both closely related to you and loosely coupled to you, that have an interest in your success.
What has that to do with your vision of the businesses? Thom you’re just putting a long of weight on my shoulders. I have a very good friend of mine who’s a pastor, a minister and he, as a result of that, has an opportunity to do lots of weddings. Because he’s a good friend of mine and we spend a lot of time together, I spend a lot of time with him while he is doing the weddings.

One of the things that he tells the bride and the groom, as they’re going through the ceremony, is that for the rest of your life together, your joys will be doubled and your burdens will be cut in half. Your joys are doubled and your burdens are cut in half. Why? Because when something great happens, I have somebody to celebrate that with. When I have something that’s weighing on me, that’s heavy, that I need help with, then I have somebody to help me.

These stakeholders have a vested interest in the success of your business. They’re excited when you succeed and they’re there to help you when things are not going well. Here’s the admonition that he gives to the bride and I’m going to give it to you today.

Those joys can’t be doubled and the burdens can’t be halved, if you try to carry the whole weight by yourself. It’s a team effort. I know that for a lot of people, a lot of business owners, you feel a tremendous about of responsibility for the success or failure of your business.

I know in one circumstance where I started one of my businesses, I walked in to the bathroom one day and my wife was there. She was getting ready for work and I said “You know, honey, I decided to quit my job” and she said “Okay, what’re going to do?” and I said “I don’t know yet but I’m not going to keep doing this. She’s a very trusting soul and she said “Ok, well, you let me know what I can do to help.”

I know, even though she said that, I know that during that whole period in that spanned two businesses that I started during that period, I tried to carry the entire burden, the whole weight of the success or failure of that business. It was incredibly stressful for me. When things were going well I’d say “Hey, we got a new customer. Hey, we sold XML. Hey, we got a new project.”

And the funds were not coming in and I wasn’t sure how I was going to make payroll or cover some of our expenses. I didn’t really run in there and share that with her. In fact, I decided I wanted to quit my comfortable safe job and start this business. So when things were not going well, I didn’t want to share that.

So, what I’ve learnt in talking with her, and I even did an episode a little while back. Maybe I’ll get her back in this week since we’re here together at the lake and get her input on it too. The point is, these stakeholders, they’re interested in your success and they’re interested in your struggles. Share those with them. Don’t carry that burden all by yourself. You’re not in this alone.

Entrepreneurship is one of the loneliest professions on the face of the planet and it’s for two reasons. One is because we need other entrepreneurs in order to understand what we’re going through. The second one is what I just described, because we try to try to carry those burdens ourselves. If you do that, you’re going to find yourself racing to a burn out and you’re certainly, certainly not going to be able to achieve the vision that you had when you started your business.

I want you to take that card or that note pad that you wrote your top three challenges on yesterday. Flip it over to the back side; I want you to write some of your stakeholders down by name, not just by group, not by family. You write their names down; your spouse, your children, your parents, brothers or sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, whatever the case may be.
Some of your friends that are impacted by your business; your vendors, your employees, your customers, I want you to write those names down. Especially those people that you feel, not just deserve to hear when you are struggling, but also would be willing to help. Write all those names down and we’ll continue to work with that again tomorrow.

We’re going through a process here; I want you to hang with me for the whole week. If this is a struggle for you to get through, it’s because your mind is struggling with doing something that’s uncomfortable with, I want you to acknowledge that. Just like we talked about fear yesterday, I acknowledge that I’m uncomfortable because of this reason and I’m still going to do it.

At the end of this week, you should have a clear picture of your vision and an idea of how you’re going to get that vision, so stick with me this week. Tomorrow we’re going to come back and talk about the power of that support network that you just wrote down on your piece of paper, and how to get them engaged in the process. We’re three phases of the way there, 60 percent of the way, I done want you to give up on me now. Stick in there with me. I’ll be back tomorrow talking about that power of your network. Until then, my name is Thom Rigsby, I’m your business coach.