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reinvent yourself

Reinvent Yourself to Find Success

At some point, we all feel like we could use a do-over. There may be others who tell you, “There’s no such thing as a ‘do-over’ in the business world.” I wholeheartedly disagree. There are many ways you can reinvent yourself or your organization to increase your chance of meeting or exceeding your goals.

When you need to reinvent yourself, consider these four action strategies:

1. Start by “Cleaning Up”

Is there a mess in your workplace that needs cleaning up? Maybe it’s an annoying or outdated policy that everyone hates or simply ignores. Maybe it’s baggage from poor employees or managers that’s weighing you down. reinvent yourselfMaybe it’s an actual physical mess. Whatever the case, it’s not too late to stop in your tracks and start a do-over. Modify or get rid of policies that hamstring your business. Counsel or replace employees that are preventing progress. Clean up the mess on your desk. Of course you have to want to change before change can actually happen. But intentions are not actions. As the Great Yoda of Star Wars said: “Do…or do not. There is no try.”

2. Revamp and Re-brand Your Marketing

Do you have a marketing strategy or campaign that has just never worked? Or maybe worked once upon a time but has long since stopped producing meaningful results? One lesson I learned my first year in business: measures matter. Take a few hours to objectively evaluate your own measures and metrics to determine if your marketing and branding campaigns are working. If they’re not, it’s time scrap, reinvent or revamp yesterday’s ideas that no longer work.

3. Individual Reinvention

Sometimes it’s not the organization that needs reinvention, but an individual – maybe even you! People often lose focus, find themselves drained of motivation, or simply get overwhelmed or tired. As leaders, our job is to lead – including pulling, pushing, cajoling, incenting or otherwise causing your people to bring their best every day. Start with your own partial or all-out reinvention; show others by your example just how important it is for them to remain on track and deliver every day. Work with (not against) them as they seek to ‘reinvent’ themselves as needed to fully meet expectations – both yours and their own.

4. Forgive a Grudge

Grudges in the business world come in all shapes and sizes. They could be grudges between individuals, between competing organizations, or even between you and your customers or partners. Grudges drain energy, sap attention and divert attention from what’s important. Often it’s best for business to let bygones by bygones and start fresh. Without these grudges in the way of your progress, it could feel like you’re working with a brand new company

What do you think? Do these action suggestions apply to you or your organization? Let me know.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

employee to entrepreneur

What You Need to Know When Going from Employee to Entrepreneur

There are thousands of people out there working nine to five jobs with dreams of breaking free from the system and starting their own business. I’ve done it, and I always try to encourage others with these same ambitions to ‘find their own way’ to go for it. But never say goodbye to life as an employee without knowing exactly what you’re getting into as an entrepreneur.

Here are a few things you will need to know about taking that leap:

  • You’re going to be in for some long hours. There’s no way of getting around it; when you first start out as an entrepreneur, you’re going to be working a lot more than you did when you had your nine to five office employee to entrepreneur job. It takes a long time to get a business up and running to the point where you can take a step back and breathe. 25 years in I’m still cranking out 60-plus hour weeks every week. But if this is a business idea that you’re truly passionate about, it won’t matter so much to you. Just make triple sure that your loved ones are ready for the change, too.
  • You’ll be wearing many hats. You won’t be able to afford to hire people for every aspect of your new venture right off the bat. You’ll be in charge of many things yourself, ranging from overall leadership to tech support to marketing to service delivery and much more. Be sure that you are comfortable handling a wide range of responsibilities. If you don’t do it, it probably won’t get done.
  • You may feel isolated. This is especially true if you’re leaving a big company where you had lots of friends in the office. When you get started as an entrepreneur, it’s likely going to be just you for a period of time. This could be a shock to your system if you’ve never worked outside of a traditional office environment. From day one, find ways to include meaningful human interaction in your work. Coaches and mentors are a great place to start.
  • You will need to be able to set your own schedule. As an employee, your days are pretty much scheduled out for you before you even step into the office. It takes much more self-control to be able to work as an entrepreneur, because you have to plan out your own daily schedule. This means you’ll also need to learn how to prioritize tasks and manage your time appropriately.
  • You won’t find success right away. This last point might seem rather obvious, but it’s worth reminding you that you’re probably not going to have a high level of comfort with your new venture right off the bat. You’re going to have to take some risks, and it will likely take time before you reach a reasonable level of success. But if you have reasonable goals in mind, take effective daily action, and stay on track, you can get there. And it’s a great feeling when you do!

I’m not trying to turn anyone off from jumping into a new life as an entrepreneur. But after the safety and relative security of a full time position in an established organization, it’s important that you are aware of what to expect before you take the lead.

Think it through, ask for help, recruit your advisors, write out your plan, and then execute every day. You’re worth it!

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

better time management

5 Tips for Better Time Management

When you spend your life in the business world, you come across a lot of different articles about how to effectively manage your time. Many of these tips are pretty similar (be flexible, budget your day ahead of time, etc.), but I’ve come across a few tips over the years that work well for me and really make a difference.

Here are some of my favorite tips for Better! time management:

  • Avoid your smartphone for note taking if possible. Carrying around a pen and paper may seem old fashioned, but it has a several benefits. For one, it’s clunkier than having a smartphone in your pocket, which better time managementmakes it difficult to ignore. For another, it doesn’t have apps and web browsing capabilities to distract you during brainstorming or note-taking sessions. Smart phones and tablets can be ‘distraction boxes’. Plain white paper and a pen can focus the mind.
  • Plan out your entire day, not just your to-do list for work. When you create your to-do list, include everything you have to do for that day that takes up time, including eating meals, showering, exercising, personal phone calls, etc. If you want to more effectively manage your time, you can’t just focus on your business life; you have to consider everything in your life that takes time.
  • Stop checking your email so often. The more often you check your email throughout the day, the more it’ll distract you from more important tasks. Rather than compulsively checking your email every few minutes, schedule points throughout the day during which you can check your emails and respond to them. Most messages can wait longer than a few minutes before they require your attention.
  • Keep a clean workspace. If you’re like me, you’ll work much better in a clean, orderly space. I like to keep only one task at a time on my desk. The rest are organized nearby but out of my line of sight while I work. I know where everything is, and the other piles don’t distract me from my work.
  • Prioritize your tasks. As you make your to-do list and determine how much time each task will take, make sure that you rank these tasks in order of importance. You should take care of the highest priority tasks first before moving on to those farther down your list. Common sense, but not usually common practice.

My goal is always Better! Sustainably Better! practices and habits. Why not examine your own time management and make minor Better! choices like the ones outlined here right this minute.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

How to Make the Most of a Bad Job Situation

How to Make the Most of a Bad Job Situation

Even with an improving economy, there’s still a lot of press about how hard it is to find a good, full-time job: a job that fulfills us and provides financial confidence for ourselves and our families. Too many good hard-working people are stuck having to deal with jobs they dislike and can barely bring themselves to do every single day.

There are no guarantees, but we can improve the probability that something Better! will come along with a few simple steps.

  • Focus on other people. If it’s the actual work at your job that you dislike, try to connect with other people at your company. Show them what a positive person you are. Be easy to be around. Good relationships with your colleagues and supervisors can often make bad situations Job Situationmuch more bearable. Be sure to look outside your department as well. Find a small group you can spend some time talking to. Not complaining, just talking.
  • Speak up. If you’ve built a positive relationship with your supervisor but often wind up with tasks that you just can’t stand doing, ask for some time to speak to your boss and let him or her know what you don’t like about the work you’re given. Be positive in your words and be prepared to offer specific solutions. Perhaps the two of you can work out a situation that allows you to avoid some of the work you dislike so much. And if you don’t have a positive relationship with your supervisor, why not start right there!
  • Keep it light. Find ways to try to squeeze some appropriate humor into your everyday routine. At least smile. This will help you to pass the time and will hopefully have a positive response within your office.
  • Enjoy yourself outside of work. As much as you can, try not to take your work home with you. Keep busy with positive outside activities. Enjoy your friends and family so that you don’t have to spend your time outside of work feeling down about your job. Balance is the key.
  • Keep your options open. Block the time to polish your resume, check for job openings and attend networking events. The search for something Better! will help give you a light at the end of the tunnel. Take positive action to move your career towards that potentially Better! place.

Teddy Roosevelt had this great advice for any life situation: “Do what you can, with what you’ve got, right where you are.”

Make the most of a bad job situation while working proactively towards something Better! NEVER give up the goal of having work that you enjoy.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

happy half new year

Happy Half New Year

We all know the scene. New Year’s Eve from Times Square in New York. The ball dropping as we count down the seconds with family or friends. The crowd in New York happy as the television pans, the confetti falls, and hugs and smiles dominate everyone’s actions if only for a few short minutes. One worn down year crawls to an end and a brand new year of possibilities opens at the stroke of midnight.

For many, New Year’s tradition includes making resolutions for improvement. Get in shape, join a gym, eat better, work more intelligently, save a little money, spend more time with family. Few of these new life resolutions stick, take root and grow; just as many wither and fade away within  a week or two.

I have a different tradition. I make life and business resolutions as well, but I make them on July 1 – at the halfway point in the year. Let me explain.

In many sports, halftime is where the team takes a formal break, gathers together with the coach, assesses their first half results, and adjusts their plans for the second half. I do the same thing. I take a brief break in the action in late June, measure where I am in my plans for the year, and make adjustments for the second half. These mid-year resolutions become my new game plan and will provide guidance as I take action towards my desired goals and outcomes for the next six months.

What are Your Mid-Year Resolutions?

July 1 marks a time to act. It’s a great day to take a few moments, reflect and analyze. happy half new year

Here are three questions that should help.

  • Back on January 1, what was one of your 2014 goals? Where do you stand today? What can you do in the next three to six months to feel like you really moved the needle on your results against this goal?
  • In your business or career, what is your most important specific target for 2014? A new position? A promotion? Total revenue or income? A new product taken to market? Cash savings stashed away? What major actions could you take right now and sustain for the next 180 days that would jump you forward towards that target?
  • At home or with fiends and family, where do you know right now that you’re are not ‘performing’ up to your own or someone else’s legitimate expectations? What one new habit could you start today and practice every day through the end of 2014 that would dramatically improve your personal results?

It’s halftime. Let’s make a few mid-new year resolutions to keep us on the path of success for 2014. Stop today for just a few minutes. Give yourself the gift of quiet. Measure your results against your 2014 goals. And adjust your actions to get back on the right track.

Let me know what your “Half a New Year Resolution” is – and how I might be able to help.

Best wishes for Better! results on your terms.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”