Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cloudy Vision

Djembe Cape Town: Cloudy Vision: "Yesterday I had an appointment in town. I wear contact lenses and half way through driving I noticed that my vision was very blurry. I could..."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Be Teachable - Team work

Your attitude determines your future. If you are teachable, you will soar! Be part of the team and try to integrate yourself with the people you work with. You might not like everyone you work with and office politics can be quite an issue but suck up your emotions and learn as much as possible. Smile when you don't feel like smiling but be real and honest as well. I find that EQ is as important as IQ. Emotional intelligence is an important part of developing yourself in the work environment. Allow yourself to be brave. 

I had to deal with a lot of office politics but in the end as many times as I felt like running out of the office and never coming back, I had to stick to my duties! Your role is important, just focus on that and don't let anyone get you off track. Focus on your prize, focus on your goal and don't let anyone deter you from being where you want to be. If people speak badly of you in your work environment, hush! Don't go tittle telling to your boss about this person that hurt you. Let me give you an example:

There were two people who were on a drive to get me down. They were determined to make me look bad. There was much gossip about me and a few times I had to walk into the manager's office because they had told the manager about all the mistakes I made. I knew who they were and I knew why they had falsely accused me. I didn't tell the boss,"oh no, it wasn't me, it was them." Instead, I nodded my head, apologised and went on my way and carried on with my duties. I know all things that need to be exposed will be and I do not have to fall to their standard. I am sure the manager is smart and I am very confident in my own abilities. I didn't have to bad mouth them or expose their deeds, that is up to good old Karma. 

Allow yourself to embrace your situation and ask,"what can I learn from this?"

Team work and being teachable will get you very far. If you come into the office with a smile on your face and you don't allow the people to break you down, you will be fine! Don't sulk! Go with your gut! Trust in the obstacles that you face and know that this is something you can learn from. Good Luck!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fear Not Wilhelmina

You know in Ugly Betty, Wilhelmina is the nasty, controlling person in the office that everybody fears. I say, embrace her. I had a Wilhelmina in my work place once. I was petrified of her, I hated her but in the end, she was the most inspirational person. I learnt everything I know from her. I learned how to be pedantic, detailed and organized. I always thought she picked on me but she was really giving me constructive criticism that gave me the power to move forward.

If you find that you are battling to like your boss, just look at him or her from a different light and see how things change. You will find that you walk away with more experience and that you have gained so much from your boss. 

I fear no one now thanks to her! She has given me the confidence to make mistakes and learn from them. She has empowered me to be myself. My heart used to palpitate ridiculously every time I was around her but in the end she is just a person trying to do her job. I appreciate what role she played in my life! I owe her gratitude for being my Wilhelmina! Absorb information! It is the best way to learn!

always follow your passion

If there is one thing I know with all of my heart, if you are not passionate about a project that you are doing, you are doomed! You have to believe in what you are doing! You have to trust in what you are doing and you have to trust yourself that you are doing it for the right reasons. Trust yourself that you can do it!

I will never again in my life let someone force an idea on me. I will always follow my passion and do what I know best! It is pointless trying to do something that you don't believe in and it is pointless trying to do something you know you cannot do. You will depress yourself! You will be taking anti depressants before you know it if you allow other people's dreams to invade your own!

I will get into this more over time as this blog is literally 2 days old but all in all your heart and your head must be in alignment otherwise you will hit your head against many brick walls.

When you don't hire the right people and your area base is off

Research is so important. I wish I had spoken up in situations and really managed efficiently from the start. Study the areas, the people, the market. Don't set goals that are unreachable because de-motivation will be imminent! I found that out when placed in a position and I was given an impossible target which made me lose 20 kilograms due to stress! The more stress, the less positivity, the less positivity, the poorer the result! You start attracting negativity to everything!

Don't hire people who lack experience if you want quick results. Building a business takes time and it is not an over night process. You can't pressurize popularity, you will look desperate. Take your time, feel it, follow your gut and above all surround yourself with positivity and if there are negative results, you have to change what you are doing! If it's not working, change the plan but not the goal! If you want quick results then you have to be willing to pay a good salary to qualified sales person with ten years experience minimum! Even then, you still need the patience and understanding that trust is a huge value in the market place. Today there are way too many scam artists out there trying to make a quick buck and people are scared to just put their money into your bank account without clear affirmation that you will do what they have asked you to do. They need to know you for long enough to see the beauty in your ability! My husband has been a plumber for over 20 years with word of mouth only! It is the foundation of excellence over a number of years that has made him successful and always busy. It is his ability to be lenient on his price to suit the needs of the client. It is the years of foundation built on his business, it is his gut that he chose to follow that has made his business a success! It is a path, a journey that you embrace. It is not quick results and if it is that way, you might quickly crash. You need systems and tools to work well and build a solid business! I have learned this not from myself but from seeing the success and failures from businesses around me.

I am not one to listen to rules and I like to flow with my own ideas. When someone tells me I must go door to door to market them, I feel disgusted! I will not do that. I would rather create awareness. Build interest, slowly develop myself into something solid with a good foundation! You cannot just swing into a project without the correct foundations, goals and plans. Get advice from mentors! I find that most situations, people have tried to make me look bad by messing up a project that I am trying to create, make sure if you outsource that you can trust the people you outsource to.  Make sure most of all that you can trust your partners if you have any. Most of all, make sure you can trust your boss! They don't like to look less knowledgeable than you do. I follow my gut and when my boss does not want to follow my gut, I listen to my boss but if the project crashes, I cannot be held to blame. I can warn, I can suggest, I can try my best but I will not put the stress on myself if they will not be open minded to new innovative ideas to effectively create the idea.

If you need help, remember to ask! There is no shame in delegation or asking for help from someone with more knowledge and skill that you have. Be brave and risk embarrassment and foolishness. How will you ever learn if you are too afraid to take risks or make mistakes! Read on famous business people and gain all the mindsets that will free you into being more proactive. Read quotes to uplift you constantly and keep going!

Focus on the area you want to target. Who do you want to target? Why? Ask yourself every question you can and get into group discussions that will help benefit your current situation. Teach yourself new skills. Always be prepared to learn! Even if someone who you believe knows less than you do, the failure to hear their point of view could lead to a serious downfall, sometimes those people have better insight and could add value to your business! Don't assume that because they are uneducated and don't have a business degree that you know better! Nonsense! Don't get prideful and full of it, be open to learning but follow your gut! That's what I plan to do!

Social Media

I have been trying to advertise and market via social media. This is another blunder in a way, not that social media is bad for business but I will go into more detail shortly.

See, when you draw people to Facebook for example, you are drawing people to another company - Facebook!  Don't get me wrong, I love Facebook, but if you create all your business on facebook, you are taking away very important parts of Your business away. When you have a link saying, visit our facebook page, you are giving facebook a high five when in actual fact, you should be drawing people to Your Website!

Social media platforms have benefits but make sure that when you place something on facebook, you are drawing people to Your website! Your business neeeeeeds a website! I have people that make fantastic websites and this has been another blunder because I should pay money to professionals to Brand my business correctly! You cannot simply rely on social media for your business. You have to focus on your blog, website and your business. Use Facebook as a platform to draw people to your website but don't use your website to draw people to Facebook because that is why there is a recession, we are all spending way too much time on someone else's website! If you don't agree, that is fine but this is my case study so far and your business needs to be yours completely. You are sharing your contacts with everyone and Facebook is getting richer and richer while you are wondering why you are not getting any business.

Just a thought, use it don't lose it!

Job Interviews

Every interview I have ever been to, I have been offered the job.You want to know how to get the job, that is easy, let me tell you how:

  1. Presentation, presentation, presentation! Make sure your C.V is perfect! No spelling errors, focus on your grammar, don't waffle on your C.V, get to the point, focus on your strengths, boast about yourself because you are good and you know it!
  2. Presentation, presentation, presentation! When you go for your interview, dress up! Put your face on! Wear your nicest jacket, smartest shoes, style your hair, it is a date and you should make sure you are on form. Most importantly, wear a smile!
  3. Be Yourself!!!!!! Don't act like some one else! Don't go into a job pretending because you will wind up not enjoying the job anyway!
  4. Preparation - Study the company that you might work for, go to their website, know everything you have to know about their business and show that you care and are interested!
  5. Confidence! Your life decreases and expands according to your courage! Don't fear rejection, take it and learn from it but go into the interview with confidence in yourself and what you have to offer. Believe in yourself and don't ever put yourself down! You are who you are and you are brilliant, make sure you carry that message across
If you need any help with getting a job, let me know and I will do my best to guide you into getting the job that you want! Don't go for second best, reach your dreams and go for it! Nothing can stop you but yourself!
Originality is a by-product of sincerity.
He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.

Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth.

Issues with trust

One of the biggest things I am learning at this very moment is my over eagerness to trust people. I easily take on a project without signing contracts. 

It is a mark of prudence never to trust wholly in those things which have once deceived us. ~ Descartes

The thing is I want to base my life on trusting people but when it is broken and suddenly the story changes, my motivation to go out there and get the job done minimizes because I am very aware that there is deception and it becomes incredibly difficult for me to put my total energy into a project when I know that the person I am doing the project for has lost my trust.
I easily am taken advantage of but I trust the universe speaks to me in such a way that whatever does happen, I am in good hands! I always end up carrying a load that I shouldn't be carrying. Recently my husband and I had a huge argument as he spotted that I had fallen back into my old ways of focusing more on my work than my family. I want to please everyone and I end up overworking and burning out. 

The first story I can tell you when it all started was that I was given my job post with my job description but suddenly without a contract, the boss decides to add to my job description without the pay. My husband warns me, "Dee my darling, you are getting nothing out of this and this is not what your job description entails and we have lost you because you are permanently on your phone and your pc." After much thought, I wake up to realise he is actually right (damn I hate admitting it) but I know more than anything that my husband has my best interest at heart and I trust him with all I am! So immediately I let my boss know that I am cutting down on responsibilities and I feel like I am on top of the world, doing what I am meant to do, not what people tell me to do!

I always find it easy to do something when the heart talks more than the head and I'll stay there! My own personal success depends on my own guidance. It does not revolve around people who claim to know more than me, who want to bring me down and have me carrying a weight that they themselves should be carrying. 

Blunder no 2... make sure you sign a contract! Don't be a fool, no one is your real friend in business! I don't care how good that person might have been to you in the past. People have ulterior motives and they will take advantage! Protect yourself at all costs because your brain is precious, what you have to offer is of value. Don't ever let someone underestimate or lower your value! I am learning this now! Don't make the mistakes I have made!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Blunder Number One

My biggest blunder comes from over excitement! I want to just get it all out there in the open with out much planning or thought. My over trust in people and my eagerness to share my ideas openly leaves me in a very fragile state. 

Everything you do, do it with much thought prior to action. It's pointless creating a business and advertising without a website or correct social connections. Failure to do so will leave you feeling exhausted when trying to sell your product. No matter how good you are telephonically or how educated you may sound you will still find yourself tongue tide without the correct foundations first.

Working as a manager for a business (unnamed) is a new, fresh, brand spanking new company that I have been trying to market and it offers everything! It offers mass exposure, it offers incredible service but what it cannot offer yet is the profound key feature that is needed in every business - TRUST. 

You cannot expect immediate results if you haven't been around long enough for people to trust you. Things don't just happen over night. I expect it to happen over night! I am roaring and ready to go but my petrol seems to be running low because I started the car without checking the oil, the water, the tires and I didn't fill the car first. Where does that leave a person? Stranded? No, if I persevere and be persistent, not all has failed.

I am a dreamer, a hopeful, a person who was told she was a failure all her life to wake up and realize, no, I am a genius because I am not afraid of people. I trust them and therefor they should eventually trust me. I am busy thinking of ideas at eleven o'clock at night trying to think of ways to better my service. Surely that is not failure. 

If everything does fall apart, I know that in essence this was just a learning curve. Since I didn't have the help of having a business degree, i will have to learn the hard way by trial and error and I must not be afraid to make mistakes. How do I make it happen when the world tells me I can't? That's easy, all I need to do is believe in myself!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Do your Research

Experience is a wonderful thing! I started working for a company as a sales representative. One week after starting my job there, the other sales representatives quit within the first week, leaving me with all the responsibility. I was proud of it, chuffed! I was made sales manager after two weeks thinking, wow, I must be good. The only thing I really is that I was not good, I was a beginner who didn't see the signs of a mistake in the making. I learnt from it though! My pride in being sales manager made me lose sight of the real issues in the business that I was working for.

I did not research the company I was working for. I went in blindsighted and I hit my head against so many brick walls. I was doing well in sales, I was creating relationship with my clients, I was doing my job for a company that didn't respect my efforts. Within three weeks of working there I was told that the company had run out of running costs and they could not pay me. They still haven't paid me. I forked out so much money visiting clients, petrol costs that in one month I lost a lot of money instead of gaining money. My need to excell without knowing what my true passion was, led me to fall flat on my face.

I won't sue the guy, I believe that it was a learning curve and I'm okay with that. So in future, I will research a company before actually deciding to work for them. How well are they known? what is their reputation amongst clients? How do they treat their employees? Do they pay their employees? I won't be in such a rush to work for just any company again but the thing is I think I may have made the same mistake twice.

People like to steal ideas and without the resources to protect your ideas, you become a chicken running around without a head. Money should never be the focus of climbing a ladder, it should be about purpose! Questions like,"why am I here?" should be the primary objective in all adventures. This is my university, since I never had money to go to university, all mistakes will guide me to where I need to go.

See, I am a perfectionist and now I am working where I believe in certain things and I have to keep my mouth shut until the right time comes. This world is unkind and it's people are jealous of any success you may have but you have to trust something higher than yourself to protect you against the wolves out there. Learning from not doing effective research of a company should be key before anything. Know how good you are, know what you have to offer and don't let anyone make you stop pressing on towards your goals.

I have been offered to represent a lot of companies but I am going to stick to my passions and will represent my passion and see where that takes me. Be bolder in your approach and don't let anyone make you feel less than what you are. You are a genius if you allow yourself to think it! Let people teach you, take the good and reject the bad. I am blessed to have a whole lot of mentors in my life. This is a journey and where ever it takes me, I hope to learn more and more. Research is so important, don't just go in blind sighted. You must stand your ground in all circumstances even if your boss thinks he or she is bigger or better than you, stay true to yourself always!

Know you purpose, know your goals

You have to know what you want out of life to make the most of it. Cast your plans in sand and your goals in stone. Write all your goals down. Write down your dreams. Know what changes are necessary. Know yourself well enough. Discover yourself if you  have to.

This we can go into more detail but let's start with my first blunder in the next post.

Defining Success

A lot of people have their own definitions of success. My definition is simple - COURAGE!

That is the only word I have. It defines every part of life. You have to be courageous enough to trust your own instincts and you have to be courageous enough to trust people. My success is ultimately based on the decisions I make in life. I try to be successful in my marriage, successful as a mother but we all make mistakes and hopefully we learn from it but it is all based on courage. One of my favourite quotes is that 'your life decreases and expands according to one's courage'.

It takes courage to make friends and open your heart to people. It takes courage to be honest with yourself and most of all it takes courage to BE YOURSELF! Self expression in the work place I think is a definite attribute towards me climbing up that ladder so fast. I did not push my way up there, I did not spite or stab people in the back. I am against office politics but I am for teamwork. It's about being completely you in a world where obstacles are bound to try and stop you but you must have courage!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Case Study

As a beginner in the world of leadership, it is only fair that I hand down my life lessons to the people around me. Part of learning is making mistakes and learning from them. I hope to share my good and bad times, my downfalls and successes through this blog. I have gotten a job at every interview I have attended and in two years I developed from being a receptionist to becoming a business manager. Nothing is by luck and I hope to help you find your niche and help you prevent making the same mistakes I have made in my journey to 'success' but first we must define Success!