Episode #86 – Warning! Don’t Hire This Person! “Adulting is Hard”

“I Can’t Adult Today” – Yep. That’s what her T-shirt read.

I saw this and thought… OK, I’ll be honest…  I thought this after my initial disgust and judgement of her as a person… but I did get around to this thought.  Would she wear a shirt that says, “I am immature, irresponsible, flighty, and resist people who give me money, food, and shelter”   Because after all, if you don’t want to “Adult” today, what you are doing is “Child” today.  And quite frankly, where are her parents if she doesn’t want to “Adult” today, shouldn’t they be with her holding her hand.  Oh wait!  Would she wear that shirt in their presence?  Unfortunately there are a lot of people that wouldn’t  even know it’s wrong.

So there’s my tangent. Whew.

Now I’m going to elaborate.

Did you catch my sentence, “…after my initial disgust and judgement of her…” Oh Yeah, I judged her.  I did it right away.  I decided right then and there I didn’t like her as a person.  Granted, I want to thank her for coming with a “warning label” right there on her chest telling me what kind of human she is, and what kind of work ethic she aspires to, because at least anyone coming into contact with her knows exactly what they’re getting.

This is no different than my hatred of T shirts that say, “slut” or “bitch” or “princess” or “drunk” or anything else dehumanizing.  That’s why today’s quote is amazing.

“How you treat yourself sets the standard for how others will treat you.” S. Marabili

She can wear whatever she wants… you can wear whatever you want… but do not be upset with me for responding to your billboard.   You advertise yourself as a “bitch” right there on your chest, you automatically set yourself up for a response/interaction.  Words Mean Things.  If you wear a shirt that says, “Adulting is Hard” do not expect to be given responsibility.

And this is my point to small business owners.  Don’t hire these people.

Ahhh, but wait… how do you recognize them?  If you’re lucky, when they come to apply for your job, they’ll be wearing this shirt.  But most of the time they’re hidden.

Or are they?

When you get an application…  GOOGLE their name, put the first and last name in quotation marks.  Do the search with your city.  Google their phone number.  Google their address.  You’ll be amazed at what you find!  Search their Facebook Profile, Instagram Profile, Twitter Account, Pinterest Boards, Linked In Account.  They are proud of this shirt.  They are so proud of it that they wear it in public!  I’ll give it a 99% shot that it’s in a photo on their profile.  Go a step further, find a party or group photo on their profile, look at who they’ve tagged as friends, and investigate the friends’ profiles.  When you find it, don’t hire them.

Why?

Because, unless you are in a business where you want to attract a bunch of clients that “don’t want to ‘Adult Today’” you do not want your company name attached to this person.

Clients will look to who your employees are and they do investigate (creep) their profiles!

If you are a small shop and hire one or two people you must be able to depend on them.  Do you really want your company name attached as “employer” of  the “Adulting is Hard” girl?

PS: if you love my post… give it a “like”!

Action Step
1- Google and Research people before you hire them!  You do research on the best refrigerator to buy, do this the same way!  Look to an applicants friends – who they hang out and associate with shows a lot about their character.
2- People research you, too.  Take control and become a Subject Matter Expert – read my article here.
3– Install our app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

 

Two ways to get more Small Business Tips …
A- Install our Free App (SmallBusinessClubApp.com –Apple or Android )
B- Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com

Listen to Episode #86 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

 

Episode #85 – Get Ahead of Your Business Cycle!

There’s a reason you can’t bet on a horse race from two weeks ago.  Because it already happened!  It’s the same reason you can’t buy home insurance after the fire.  Or the reason Halloween candy costs more on October 27 than it does on November 5.  It’s all about timing.

Timing is one thing that all recretainment businesses understand.  We generally operate on calendars, deadlines, and special events.  This is actually a plus for our industry.  People want to enjoy the services we provide, they want to be entertained.  You can send out announcements, reserve the space, and order food to sell, however, it’s really hard to host your Pond Hockey event in the summer.

Yes, I’m being a little obvious with my examples. The important take away is that businesses have cycles.  It may follow a calendar.  It may be longer than a calendar.  When I worked in college admissions we worked on an 18 month cycle.  We started with Juniors in the spring (because they take their entrance exams).  Then we encouraged summer visits.  That lead to the fall of their Senior Year our big application time.  Followed by Winter visits and spring decisions rolling into fall enrollment.  It was a cycle dictated by their high school calendar.

If we started providing the “decision” information at the time they were Juniors our efforts would be wasted.  Psychologically they are not in that phase.  Believe me, the entire class, as a group, moves through this phase.  It is rare to have an outlier that knows what college they will select at the beginning of the 18-month cycle.  It’s been a while since I worked in admissions, my hunch is the prospecting cycle starts earlier now.

Learn to follow the pattern of your customer cycle and most important, get ahead of it.  Your most effective efforts will come when you’re able to plan.  I think one of the downfalls of the “instant” society we live in is that it’s instant, we tend to be operating last minute, because we can.  I’m guilty of it too.  It’s the “oh shoot” moment… when you realize that it’s a holiday tomorrow… and you can post something online about it.  It works, but would it have been more effective if you ran a 2 week countdown with specials along the way?

PS: if you love my post… give it a “like”!

Action Step
1- Identify your business cycle, and it may be different for each profit center.  But is it a calendar year, school year, holiday cycle?  Or is it independent for each person?  Work backward from the sale to your first “touch point” with the customer.
2- Now… get ahead of the wave!  Don’t create social media posts the night before… Plot dates on a calendar, create countdowns, start planning!
3– Install our app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

 

Two ways to get more Small Business Tips …
A- Install our Free App (SmallBusinessClubApp.com –Apple or Android )
B- Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com

Listen to Episode #85 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

 

Episode #84 – Adjust Your Attitude to Change Your Results… Well, Sometimes it Works. haha

It’s great to have a positive attitude, and often changing your way of thinking helps adjust your mind set…. but I just found out, this can be more difficult than you think!

Often when you are planning your marketing calendar you need to be several weeks, even months, ahead in your planning.  I went on a tour at Disney World and the Christmas Decoration planning started 6 weeks after the previous year’s decorations were removed.

Well, at a marina in Minnesota that means we are thinking of summer in the middle of winter.  That’s a nice change of pace!  It’s freezing cold outside… even snowing… and we have people visiting the marina to see if it’s the place they want to spend the summer.

Here’s the bummer… that means in the beginning of summer, I’m planning for winter.  While people are packing coolers and heading to their boat in 80 degree weather, I’m placing ads and creating calendars to get our winter storage filled. YUCK.

I am not a fan of winter.  In fact, I hate it.  I even said it last night, which prompted this post!  I need to change my attitude.  I don’t think I’ll be able to love snow.  But with the wisdom of Eleanor in my head, I can change my circumstance by changing my attitude.  I think I’ll try focusing on the storage and service aspect of the title “winter storage” instead of the “winter” portion of the title.  After all, I work in marketing, I suppose it could be the “opposite of summer storage” season, “summer in Australia Storage” season, “7 months of non-boating” storage, “when the outside temperature is colder than inside your freezer storage” HAHA – this is going to be more difficult than I thought!

I wish you luck as you explore the ways to adjust your thinking, it’s a valuable tool but at a the same time not as easy as it sounds!  I still recommend giving it a try.

PS: if you love my post… give it a “like”!

Action Step
1- Where are you struggling?  Determine just one thing that needs a different way of looking at the situation.
2- Brainstorm and give the “new attitude” approach a try… My example of “winter storage” didn’t exactly work… but it did make me laugh!
3– Install our app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

 

Two ways to get more Small Business Tips …
A- Install our Free App (SmallBusinessClubApp.com –Apple or Android )
B- Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com

Listen to Episode #84 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

 

Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com

Listen to Episode #46 of the Two Minute Commute

Episode #83 – Keep Pushing Through The Pain and Build Your Business on a Solid Foundation.

The fun part of today’s upcoming generation is their inability to stay focused.  There’s a whole spectrum of issues you can debate as to why this is the case, but the truth of the matter is… there is no attention span.   I’m not sure if the book, “The Tortoise and the Hare” was taken off the reading lists, but the end result is… respect for the long haul no longer exists.

I have noticed that they want the “quick” way to get rich.  They see making money online as super easy… they watch a TV show… and decide, “that’s what I’ll do”… I’ll be an entrepreneur.  And that’s fine, as a hare, they’ll make money.  But as a tortoise, they will tumble over on their shells and be flopping their poor little legs in no time.  The reason is, when you jump ahead of experience, you outrun your luck.

You can capitalize on this.  I read a great passage yesterday that talked about the “Silent Generation” that’s the folks born between 1925 and 1945.  This is the wealthiest generation.  They were born during war and economic instability.  They learned patience.  Some are comparing Generation Z to the Silent Generation.

Wait!  Hang on… there’s a generation after Millennials?  YES! In fact, there are two… we just rarely hear about them.  Gen Z was also born during economic instability and war.  But will they have patience?  That is yet to be determined.

The reason the small business owner can capitalize on patience is because the internet is full of “get quick” schemes.  Sites like Ebay, Etsy, and Uber, push that scenario.  You can make money on them, but the truth is, when factored with the breakdown of someone’s hourly input, they are not.  It’s fantastic to pick up an extra $30 to give someone a ride in the afternoon, but do you want to be up from 1am to 5am for the bar close and airport runs? Sounds less like quick cash and more like a job, eh?!

On Etsy, it’s fantastic to make an extra $50 to sell necklaces they create while watching TV… but do they really want to make 100 of them all weekend from sun up to sun down and occupy all of their free time? What does their hourly wage become at that point?    When these “ready made” sites are utilized as a hobby or extra income stream they are fantastic revenue generators.  But do to the inherent nature of competing on price you will always be in the position of doing the job for the cheapest.   When your core business relies on doing the job for the cheapest, you lose.

Those looking for the “get rich quick” method might turn a profit, but at what cost?  Free time, exercise time, sleep?  Their patience will run out…

I’m not suggesting that you don’t explore these sites or extra revenue.  I’m just saying that life has trade-offs.  If you go 100% into a Ebay, realize you are at the mercy of Ebay.  It’s no different from building your house on a sand foundation.  You have no control over your destiny.  If Ebay changes their rules, you must comply regardless of how it affects your traffic or bottom line.

This is THE advantage of the small business owner that operates in the real world.  Your advantage is your patience.  You have built your business in the proven method.  Now, here’s where you get to “Insert Your Favorite Sports Metaphor”… I’m going to say here’s where you… “Break away from the pack”!  Take your existing business that is solid and utilize the internet’s “ready made” sites for awareness to build your online presence.  Simply use them as an advertising channel that makes you money.

This allows you to capture the best parts of the internet without relying on the rules of someone else.  And really, didn’t you go into business for yourself because you hate being controlled by someone else?

Again, do NOT rely on “ready made” sites for your core business money.  That’s the whole “all eggs in one basket” rule.  Dang! It’s funny how all these old school metaphors keep working…  but it’s true, never build your business  on a platform that you do not control.  Some of us remember when Facebook changed it’s rules and all the traffic dried up in one day… some of us remember when Google did the same thing!

The pain of building your business the right way is temporary, but if you go the “fast and quick” shortcut method on someone elses platform, and they shut you down… the quitting lasts forever.

PS: if you love my post… give it a “like”!

Action Step
1- Look at your revenue streams and where the traffic comes from.  Does it come from ads in the newspaper, a sales person, online traffic?  If one of those disappeared today how would it affect your business
2- Find new baskets for your eggs!  Start to protect your business!
3– Install our app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

 

Two ways to get more Small Business Tips …
A- Install our Free App (SmallBusinessClubApp.com –Apple or Android )
B- Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com

Listen to Episode #83 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

 

Episode #82 – Keep Going! It’s Working. Don’t Quit.

Sometimes you feel like you’re talking and no one is listening?  Often your social media marketing will feel that way.  You’ve read all of the guides or books and follow their “sure fire plan” to success.  Post X number of times a day and keep it Y number of words and only post at Z hours.  Yeah, that’s a bunch of poo and we all know it.

You need to make posts people want to read.

There’s an old saying in advertising that 50% of your advertising is working, you just don’t know which 50%.  Well, in today’s era you can narrow it down by modifying old techniques.  You realize ads used to say, “ask for Jim”  knowing there was no Jim that worked there!  They did that to count how many times an ad in the paper or on the radio triggered a phone call.  The modern version is text a Key-Word to a phone number.  Same idea, different year.

The most important thing to remember is to keep going.  You’ve started on this journey and when it feels like you want to quit. Don’t.  With the exceptions of “likes” on a post (which, feel free to like this one… haha) — you rarely get positive interactions.  After all, how many positive reviews have you spontaneously written about any product/service you use?  Yet… you think people will just stop and write one for your product or service.   If your goal is positive reviews, just ask for them.

So the fun part about our business inspiration is that you just have to trust your efforts are working.  If you don’t put the effort in, you will get nothing.  So I guess if you want a 100% results driven outcome, doing nothing produces nothing.  UGHHHH don’t do that!

If you need motivation — check out my article on BigFishIdeas.com

But ultimately, you’ve got to keep going. Just because it’s silent doesn’t mean your efforts are not appreciated… it just means it’s silent.

PS: if you love my post… give it a “like”!

Action Step
1- Pick one product or service you sell
2- How can that product change someone’s life?  Will it add convenience, save time, create money?
3- Write a “did you know…” post.  This post just talks about the benefit of (whatever you came up with in #2) – try sharing a story from a customer that experienced that result… .  Just make the post meaningful to the person reading.
4– Install our app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

 

Two ways to get more Small Business Tips …
A- Install our Free App (SmallBusinessClubApp.com –Apple or Android )
B- Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com

Listen to Episode #82 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

 

Episode #81 – Become a Subject Matter Expert – Find Your Cat by Bundling Your Knowledge and Experience!

Yesterday I saw a great tweet from Sean Gardner… It is the photo I used on this post.  The three photos represent Knowledge, Experience and finally Creativity.  Knowledge is the scattered circles… experience shows straight lines connecting the circles.  However, when you combine the circles in a creative pattern you get a cat.  Today, find your cat!

I’d like you to think creative for a minute.  If you take your knowledge and experience and bundle them together in a nice package you become a subject matter expert.  This is one of the building blocks you need as a small business.  When you package yourself as a subject matter expert you are owning your corner of the web and allowing yourself to be found!

Content is produced ever minute on the internet, for example, this blog post didn’t exist yesterday… and tomorrow there will be another.  Well, multiply that by everyone posting on Facebook, adding pages to websites, or photos.  Just stop and think of photos!  There is a whole lot of noise out there and you need to cut through it.

This is where creativity is essential.  You need to position yourself as a subject matter expert.  I have an article on my website, BigFishIdeas.com that explains it in detail.  Essentially, you start as an order taker, you become a sales person, and then you are a subject matter expert.  Subject matter expert is using education, knowledge, experience, and honors, to elevate your status above the noise on the web.

You can do this in your field or business area… or you can do it in your hobby or passion.  For me, I’m in the marina industry, but my hobby/passion is baton twirling.  I competed for 17 years, I’m a former national champion, I have taught/coached and I’m currently a judge.  I created an app with a following of over 4,000 and boom… it has nothing to do with boats.  But if someone who is looking for our marina finds my baton information, they learn about me.  I break through the noise.

My other passion is small business marketing!  (Thanks for reading my blog!)  Focusing and breaking through the social media clutter for small businesses and showing how the tools can be utilized to produce results is exciting to me… because I do this for our business.  Now I share my experiences.  I enjoy speaking on the topic. I enjoy writing on the topic.  Again, nothing to do with boats, but it does build my web presence.

This is vital in an increasing internet.  Look at your knowledge and experience in a creative way… find your cat!  Connect your dots to position yourself as a subject matter expert.

PS: if you love my post… give it a “like”!

Action Step
1- Read my article on Subject Matter Expert
2- Decide to position yourself as a subject matter expert
4– Install our app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

 

Two ways to get more Small Business Tips …
A- Install our Free App (SmallBusinessClubApp.com –Apple or Android )
B- Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com

Listen to Episode #81 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

 

Episode #80 – Elevate Your Game By Hanging Out With the People You Want To Become

I used a photo of sky divers to enhance the business inspiration for today.  How do you get from standing on the ground to jumping out of a plane?  You start to hang out with people who are “already the way you want to be”.  Skydiving is a skill that is taught by people who have already done what you want to do.  You cannot read a Dummies book to jumping out of planes and hope for the best.  You need to position yourself with experienced skydivers.

This means, you need mentors and this goes for all aspects of your life and business.  The best way to learn a new skill or to “level up” is to find a mentor and start learning from him or her.  The funny thing is, your mentor can be a public figure.  What?  Sure… it can be a public leader in business or society!  You may never meet the person, but if you start reading everything about your chosen role model and start using their experience to your benefit, they will become your mentor.

Another fun thing to do is create your own customers.  I don’t mean put a sign on the window and create people coming in the door.  Instead, actually develop an ideal customer.  Strategically think about this person’s characteristics and target them.  It’s a useful exercise when you suddenly realize that the customers surrounding you by happenstance actually drain your emotions and it makes you hate your day.  Take charge, create your customers, and surround yourself with people who are the way you want to be.

Finally, those that complain about not having enough money… Peter Voogd relays the concept the best when he says your wealth is the combine average of the five people you spend the most time with.  It’s kind of a short, sweet, and brilliant nugget of information.  If you are tired of not having enough money, you need to elevate your game.  But remember, you need to become the person you are trying to attract… and for most people it’s out of their comfort zone or it’s just “too hard”.

End result: Work on yourself first.

PS: if you love my post… give it a “like”!

Action Step
1- Determine “where you want to be” – whether this is a new experience, hobby, financial level…
2- What people do you need to surround yourself with to get there?  Do you do this in person with a class, do you get a business coach, do you find a mentor?
3- Start!
4– Install our app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

 

Two ways to get more Small Business Tips …
A- Install our Free App (SmallBusinessClubApp.com –Apple or Android )
B- Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com

Listen to Episode #80 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast