Archive for August, 2006

Intuition in Business

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We really need to trust our intuition more.

I was talking to someone a few weeks ago, and explained that I thought our decision-making process should be based on three inner criteria: intellect, intuition and emotion.

Here’s a scenario:

I’m in a grocery store and I see a chocolate bar. My intellectual process goes something like this, “I’m on Weight Watchers. It’s my intention to lose weight. If I eat the chocolate bar, I won’t be true to myself and my intentions, and I won’t lose weight.” It’s all about reason and good judgment.

My emotional talk goes something like this, “Waaa! I want a chocolate bar! I want a chocolate bar! No one can tell me what to do! (Not even me.)” It’s all about how my emotions impact my decision and what will help fulfill my emotional needs.

So now I have one vote “for” and one vote “against”. I stop and ask my inner self, my soul, my gut instinct, “Is this the right thing to do at this exact moment in time?” It replies, “It doesn’t feel right to have this now.” It’s all about what feels right on a deeper, spiritual level, and in the grand scheme of my life lessons.

Final vote: two against, one for…so I don’t buy the candy bar (and find some other way to placate my whining Inner Child).

This is, of course, just an example of how the three-part decision making process happens in my world. I apply this same thing to all of my business decisions: Should I create this particular class? Should I partner with this particular person? Should I take on this new client? Should I invest in a new printer? When is the right time to take a vacation?

Notice the question I put to my intuition: Is this the right thing to do at this exact moment in time? I’m asking a question that can have only have a yes or no answer, and I’m asking it in the present tense (Is this right for me right now?). It’s the best way I know to frame questions so that you can get an intuitive, gut response to something.

It’s the only balanced internal voting system I know.

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Category: Managing Projects, Tasks & Time
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Thinking About Selling Your Business?

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With the rise of The E-Myth Revisited, entrepreneurs are getting savvy to creating businesses that can be sold later on in their life cycle. Even if you’re just starting a business, it’s wise to think about where you’d like to be in 10 or 15 years.

eVenturing has put together a collection of articles on getting ready to sell your business. These articles will help you to understand some of the aspects of selling. If you’re just starting your business, these articles can help you to understand that the things you do today, in the planning and startup phase, will affect your future selling potential.

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Category: Running a Strong & Efficient Business

A New Way to Get Funding

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In today’s National Dialogue on Entrepreneurship, they discussed online resources for funding for small business owners. A new source that I hadn’t heard of before is Prosper.com. It’s a great idea! When you’re looking for funding to start up a business, or launch a big marketing campaign, or buy new equipment, you log onto their website and post your request. People who want to lend you money, many of them individuals or small groups of investors, will “bid” on your request. Prosper.com helps manage the transaction.

Pretty cool, eh?

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Category: Business Strategy & Planning
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What To Do When Business Is Slow Over The Summer

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I read a good article today on MSNBC: Slow summer? Business owners should get busy. It’s always uncomfortable when things slow down over the summer as your clients, customers and colleagues take vacation. This article gives some good tips and advice.

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Category: Running a Strong & Efficient Business
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Watch Out For Telephone Scams

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Before I tell the story, let me first tell you that I am registered with the National Do Not Call registry (https://www.donotcall.gov/) and my State Do Not Call registry.

Today, on my business phone line, I got a voicemail. They did not identify themselves, the name of the company, nor the service they were selling. Instead, the recording said that they were investigating a “case” and looking for a person (and gave the name of my neighbor), and said that I had been identified as a colleague or relative of that person (I’m not). They did not disclose that they were debt sellers (I looked them up in Google to find out who this phone number was associated with; “Arches Financial”). They simply said they were investigating a “case” and needed to contact this person (my neighbor, whose phone number is in the phone book, no unlisted).

Wow, what a scam! If I were a gullible person, I’d want to help someone working on a “case,” wouldn’t I?

I immediately went to both the Federal and State registry websites and filed a complaint. Since both my home and office numbers are on the “do not call” list, these debt sellers violated the law. And, even worse, were perpetrating a scam that many will fall for.

My advice to you:

  • First, get yourself on the “do not call” list for both the Federal government and for your State, if your state has a registry.
  • Second, never believe offers that come through the phone — ask them to mail you information that you can read and consider (they probably won’t, but the legitimate ones will). If you get a human person calling you, remind them that you are on the “do not call” list and that it’s illegal for them to call you. (See the “do not call” website for a list of those who CAN call you, namely charities and political organizations.)
  • Third, if they don’t identify themselves, look up their phone number through Google.
  • Fourth, file complaints online when someone violates the “do not call” list.

When we all work so hard to run our business is a legal and ethical manner, we need to take action against those who bend the rules.

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Category: Running a Strong & Efficient Business