The Purpose of this podcast is to help entrepreneurs and startups experience success as they build businesses. The information is the result of years of business research and experience. State of the Art business practices are kept relevant with consistent research by the author. Business owners can prevent failure by listening to and practicing the information shared. Managers and leaders will benefit from the research results.
Podcast #10 The Importance of Focus for Business Building
Have you ever considered how the great masters contributed so much to our world? Think about beautiful art, grand buildings or great scientific discoveries. How did they get these things completed? Can you imagine these contributors being constantly interrupted by phones, emails, social media alerts or people with unrelated agendas? This would require the ability to multitask, the action many of us take on a daily basis. Can you imagine Leonardo DaVinci creating the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper while being constantly interrupted? There is no way we can say that the great masters engaged in multitasking, because reputable research has shown how disruptive multitasking can be when you’re trying to complete something. It's obvious, successful masters had the unsurmountable ability to focus on one project at a time.
We are a population of multitaskers. Travis Bradberry in “Multitasker? It might be time to break the Habit” wrote “Research conducted at Stanford University found that multitasking is less productive than doing a single thing at a time. The researchers found that people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information, or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time.” He also reported that multitasking affected your IQ tremendously. It lowered the IQ sometimes as much as 15 points. He says this is about the IQ of an 8 year old child. Can an 8 year old child build your growing business? I don’t think so. One of the most important effects of multitasking is it decreases your ability to pay attention to detail. This could be disastrous! Especially if you’re working on something with serious implications. Prepare now to eliminate multitasking from your activities if you want to be successful as you build your business.
Lin Yutang, writer, philosopher and inventor.
Jeffrey Hayzlett in ”Why Focus Is The Number One Element of Business Success” stated “As a business leader trying to think big and act bigger, if you don't relentlessly focus that ownership on what drives your business, create a culture that reflects who you are, and stay grounded as you make things happen, you'll never see the true rewards of thinking big and acting bigger.” In other words, important business matters must be top of mind and given adequate attention. This is easier if your business purpose/mission is meaningful to you and you’re committed to it’s success. If you aren’t, you may be in the wrong profession or business.
Several ways to focus were offered by Dave Ramsey in “10 Tips to Maintain Focus.” I have interpreted some of Dave’s suggestions as well as others to make this list of 14 guides for developing the valuable habit of focus.
1. As related earlier, make sure your business purpose is meaningful to you. If you are building a business that you really enjoy this will give you a great foundation for sustained focus. Are you excited about the contribution you can make to your industry? Have you discovered an exciting innovation to enhance, deliver, simplify or otherwise improve a product or service? If so, more than likely, you’re finding delight as you work on your business.
2. Design personal surroundings for achieving your goals. This will be unique to you. Some work in the mornings and some work better in the evenings. Some need complete silence for work while others like to have music playing in the background. Your system for focusing will be unique to you. Prepare your surroundings so they will be comfortable and motivating.
“You can achieve anything you desire, but not EVERYTHING you desire. Concentrate your efforts and your energy on just a few.” Michael Angier author and founder of SuccessNet
3. Create an objectives list. Understand where you are in th
Podcast #9 Transparency Con’t
This episode continues the discussion of the principle of “transparency”. In episode 8 we determined that transparency can help our businesses in four ways:
1.Transparency is becoming more important to everybody.
2. Transparency promotes trust. (No repeat customers without trust)
3. It helps everybody involved in your business feel important to the success of your enterprise. You let them know at different phases of your growth, how you are doing and they can see ways to help you.
4. Public knowledge of your Purpose and Values is an act of tranparency. Your Purpose and Values attract a base of customers who share or believe in the same Purpose and Values that you believe in.
I talked about Buffer as an excellent study in transparency. I want to share 2 more contemporary businesses practicing this principle in their operations.
“Currently, Whole Foods is working on becoming the first national grocery chain to offer full GMO transparency with its products. They’re trying to identify any products containing genetically modified organisms and they want to keep them off their shelves. By this year, they will require every product sold as non-GMO to go through a verification process. The company has always encouraged anybody supplying products to them to put the items through a verification process, as well. Whole Foods hopes that by making this commitment to GMO transparency, it will encourage industry-wide transparency, with manufacturers and distributors asking the questions that need to be asked” Quoted from
“5 Examples of Companies Succeeding Through Transparency” by Jonha Richman,
This dedication to transparency by Whole Foods lets you know how serious they are about avoiding GMO's in products they sell. Why do they do this? Key Point: Full transparency in this area is important to their customer base. This is the primary reason any business would want to practice this principle.
There is one more contemporary business succeeding through transparency I want to share.
Patagonia a clothing supplier is known for supply chain transparency. Richman reported, ”For outerwear company Patagonia, providing transparency throughout its supply chain means reducing any negative social and environmental impacts the company might have. Many companies have been caught off guard by information about the social and environmentally-unfriendly habits of its manufacturers or distributors. To avoid this,
Patagonia takes a proactive approach, taking the responsibility on itself to make sure no harm is being caused in the making of its products. The project is called “Footprint Chronicles” and they display it to the general public through videos on the company’s website. Check it out, it’s good. The videos show each step of the supply chain, including all textile mills and sewing factories used in creating the item." Richman
You’ll have to admit, this is real dedication to transparency around Patagonia's commitment to social and environmental safety. Many customers are drawn to their business simply because of this commitment.
You can see how transparency can be a positive force for your business building efforts. It helps you clarify what you are doing. It also helps you simplify your Systems and processes so they can be communicated to others more effectively and efficiently. Transparency helps you get valuable input about ways to improve your business and keep it ahead in your industry. The big advantage is..It helps you promote trust with your customers. You may now be wondering: when is transparency NOT appropriate?
Santiago Iniguez describes what we should do: He reiterated.. “Ethan Bernstein’s article "The Transparency Trap" convincingly argues that complete transparency is not advisable,
Podcast #8 Transparency: A Business Building Enhancement Part 1
I’m sharing another great Value for you to build into your growing business. It’s another one I call a Super Value, introduced in episodes 2 and 3. Transparency is also one of the principles used by some of our greatest contemporary businesses. Without doubt, embracing this will add to your phenomenal business building success. You’ll see why as we go.
While you’re preparing for or improving your entrepreneurship, I’m sure you’ve run across the term”transparency” as it relates to business. Interesting questions you might ask are: how does that apply to you as you are building your new business? Why is transparency important? What are the benefits of business transparency? How is it done? What are the limits?
Larry Alton in”How Transparency Became a Top Priority for Businesses, and Why You Should Care” described what transparency means to the entrepreneur. He writes:
“Transparency in business requires entrepreneurs to remain open and informative about key points of information, including their business's goals, history, performance and operations. And it's a goal that's risen in importance and continues to do so.”
He also shared a study by label insights:
"According to a recent study by Label Insight, they study the labels on products and how people react to them. They found that up to 94 percent of consumers surveyed indicated that they were more likely to be loyal to a brand that offers transparency, while 73 percent said they were willing to pay more for a product that offers complete transparency”MUSIC
So fist let’s look at Why is transparency is important?
4 Reasons transparency is important:
1. Transparency is becoming more important to people in general. Think about your own experiences. We are drawn to people who are transparent. We are also drawn to businesses that are transparent. That is, we like to understand the nature of the entity we are dealing with. We like to relate to the person or business and know as much as we can about who they are and what their guiding principles are. What’s important to them.
Just think of the popularity of ratings and reviews when we are preparing to engage with a business or purchase a product from a business. We like to know as much as we possibly can about the business or product before we get involved .
That’s because Transparency promotes trust. This bring us to the second reason Transparency is important.
2. Transparency promotes trust.
This is good to remember if you don’t remember anything else in this podcast. According to Integrity Solutions: “Customers and clients want to do business with a company that is trustworthy. When trust is at the core of a company, it’s easy to recognize. They [the customers] know you are reliable and capable. Over the long term, business success is dependent upon a network of positive relationships. Trust is invariably the critical component in enhancing business relationships and transparency builds trust.” We must have trust to grow our businesses.
3. People contributing to your business (workers, customers, investors and all affiliates) need to feel important to your business. Think about your team members.When team members understand the who, what, when, how, and why of a system, decision or requirement, it gives them the clarity and freedom to do their jobs or engage with your business in any way necessary. Your operations will be transparent. Nobody likes to work or contribute without knowing why and how their contribution fits in. That’s why, the more you can share with your customers, employees or other affiliates, the more comfortable they will feel when dealing with your business. This leads to the fourth reason transparency is important.
4. Public knowledge of your Purpose and Principles are important to success. In episodes 2 and 3 of my podcast
Episode #7 Integrity as a Business Value
You, as founder, are responsible for designing, modeling and promoting the Culture that will be most supportive of your Mission/Purpose. The Culture is made up of the Values or principles that are most appropriate for reaching your Vision. You are responsible for making these core Values become habits in your organization. We look at the advantages of adopting Integrity as one of your core business Values and believe that better control of your organization is one essential advantage. It’s also easier to solicit and keep your customers and employees with Integrity as a core Value. You will see how integrity leads to higher degrees of trust and motivation all around. It’s worth considering. Should Integrity be at the top of your list of business Values?
Craig Cincotta" The 8 Values Every Company Should Live By
"The Difference Between Ethics and Integrity" Shane of Zoomstart.com
"Seven Principles of Business Integrity" by IntegritySolutions
Podcast #6 The Elegance of Simplicity in Business Building
Simplicity as a business value or principle is presented as a "Super" value. A value used by some of the most profitable businesses. Simplicity as a value, will help you build a strong and sustainable business because you’ll eliminate everything you really don’t need by developing the habit of making things simple. This is another secret of some of the most successful 21st century enterprises.
"Simplicity in Business: To Be Simple is to Be Focused" Victoria Vessella
Chris Zook Bain and Company
"Simplicity-Minded Management" Ron Ashkenas
Podcast #5 Values and Culture con’t
8 "super" values identified in episode #4 are explored. I apply these Values to 3 extraordinary and legendary businesses. This helps in the understanding of how to apply great values and the importance of the results your business will see as you apply them.
Zappos Core Values
The Birkenstock Shoe Company
Customer ReviewsSee All
Professional and Business Builder
Excellent way to contrast the thinking processes of the successful business builder.