mindset

Window Seat Is Best

Window seat on plane

How do you stay innovative?

Is your business ahead of the industry?

Where do you look and what resources do you tap into to stay current and relevant?

Things are changing fast. We have VR, AR, AI and now Elon Musk is looking to wire the human brain to your personalised microchip. Stable industries are being shaken, challenged and changed by technology. New industries are being created, redesigned and reimagined in an ever-evolving  cycle.

Some things beautifully contrast this by being, thankfully, very constant. Sunrises and sunsets. Beauty of mountain ranges covered in snow, young kids laughing out loud in public, simply because they have found something funny. Travel is a kaleidoscopic mixture of technological change and traditional normality.

This is especially true of air travel.  As engines get better, auto pilots get smarter, check-in becomes cloud based app and automated self service, it is still a people driven (or maybe I should say flown) business. The smile of the crew members,  their friendliness and professionalism, the cleanliness of the airport and plane all make a difference. Sitting on seat 16D for my flight to Auckland (best seat for view of the mountain!) I look out at a view I have see hundreds of times before (and still take a photo of the spectacular Mt Ruapahu).

In the same way, an essential business survival practice is to both look internally and be inspired externally - look beyond the current state to what is happening (or about to happen) in the wider world. Do you stay aware of the inevitable changes happening in your industry? How? Are you looking at the same view from an up-to-date perspective? A useful tool is to use is PESTEL. This acronym encourages people to look at their business through the multiple lenses of

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Political

Economic

Social

Technological

Environmental

Legal

Use additional perspective-expanders: ask customers and suppliers what they need, want and have heard seen and are aware of; go to trade shows; read books and articles; research papers; do your own research & development internally and with clients and suppliers.

Dream big and add a dash of crazy in there. Consider how you could deliver what you do with half the resources in half the time at half the cost. Look from all angles and you might just spot  something so incredible it changes your business, the industry and the world!

Here's to your success!

Make It Easy

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Rush hour in Palmerston North is more like rush minute.  The swell of people going to work and parents taking kids to school slows one down by a few minutes, and even when brought to a crawl, the crawl usually lasts for less than a block.  Driving about Palmerston North is easy - no more that twenty minutes to anything you need to attend. It’s one of the reasons we live here - it makes our lifestyle easy.

 

What do you do which makes life easy for your customers?  In a world which is increasingly busy, time poor and pressured, those businesses who make life easier for their customers are the ones which draw more attention.  Businesses such as Frog Parking, which allows you to use your phone to pay for your parking, and stops that endless search for spare cash, or the unexpected holdup which means you don’t get back to your vehicle in the time allotted, have honed in on a need and created a product which makes life easier.


Do you look for the little things that make it easy for your clients to use you?  Products that are easy to find and buy on your website. (Ever been to a website, found exactly what you’re looking for and then not been able to find a way to purchase it?) Clear and readable information on pricing, content, capacity, process.  Most people know what they’re looking for and making a decision to buy is easier if they have all the information at their fingertips

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Clarity in price, delivery times and consistency in service. I cannot count the number of times our family would have called into McDonalds on a roadtrip because we know what we will get in terms of service and food, and in a full and busy life, it’s an easy decision.

Do you talk to your customers?  And listen carefully to their words? You cannot replace a few minutes of genuine face to face conversation for knowing your customers, their pain points and their sweet spots.  

Consistent and carefully constructed conversations with your people, with genuine interest in their lives will enable you to create way to make life easier for them and you.  Shopping for a ring for our daughter’s 21st, the variety of service between the dozens of jewellers we visited was huge. From those who scarcely noticed you’d entered their shop, to those whose careful questions helped them understand our needs and provide us with viable options to choose from.  Careful attention to conversations, looking for patterns and pain points, means you will have solid knowledge to provide the help your clients are looking for.

 

Is your buying process clean, clutter free and clearly communicated?  Processes are a work in progress and a gentle tweak, shift in perspective or lift in efficiency can make a tremendous difference.  The couple of extra minutes spent ensuring your processes are well taught and used can save you huge costs mopping up mistakes and caring for disappointed customers.

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Step back from working in the business and have a good look at what’s going on.  What could you work on to make it easier for your customers, or for your team?  It’s those little things you implement that make a big difference in the lives of your people.  

 

Here’s to your success!

 

Growth Occurs Outside Your Comfort Zone

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Get uncomfortable.  Sensibly and with guidance, but get there. - Mike Clark

Do you have a desire to improve yourself? Do you want a better reality than the one you currently have? Do you feel you could be more, have more, do more?

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“Personal growth” is one of today’s fastest growing industries, coming a close second behind health. Personal growth occurs in many ways and can be applied to every facet of your life. Skills are developed by doing, repetition, practise. I see skill enhancement as the honing of what you already have. A way to improve inside your current circle of comfort and ability. Today I wanted to explore what happens outside of your comfort zone.

Stepping outside of your comfort zone is uncomfortable (funny thing that!). The further the stretch, the greater the the corresponding levels of caution, fear and anxiety. Often people look at others who push themselves and think it must be so easy for them. Countless interviews reveal that they “felt the fear and did it anyway.” Caution and fear at the unknown is your brain's way of keeping you alive.

When we are clear around why we want to go out of our comfort zone, it emboldens purpose. The art of visualization is a powerful tool at this step. Take time to ‘see’ the new reality and how it will make a positive difference. It is at this point where a positive, growth mindset enables action. Seeing any ‘failure’ as a learning experience. Watching kids learning to walk or ride a bicycle is an inspiring illustration of this.

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Self talk is incredibly powerful. The way you talk to yourself and about yourself will either limit or liberate you. If you make a mistake or have a failed attempt and proceed to beat yourself up verbally - “Trust me to stuff this up. I never get things right. I’m so dumb”, then progress will be hard and painful. Seeing mistakes as learning opportunities changes the whole internal conversation, “That did not work. What can I learn from that? How can I do that differently or better next time?” is an far more empowering and liberating approach. The “Little Train that could” is a children's story that is a superb illustration of this. As it pulled the supplies up the hill, the mantra it speaks to itself is, “I think I can, I think I can” and as progress is made, “I’m sure I can, I’m sure I can.” Then, “I know I can, I know I can”. With this approach the end result is the excited proclamation, “I did, I did!”

One of the greatest benefits of stepping outside your comfort zone is the extraordinary ability of the human mind to correlate experiences. When we have done something we know is extraordinary for us, maybe run a marathon, or deliver a talk to a large audience we enlarge our self image. This then enables us to look at tasks that previously lay outside our comfort zone and say, “If I can do that, then I can do this.”

Growth in ability, leads to an enlargement of self image which leads to greater challenges being considered and surmounted. It is a self-fulfilling, positively trending upward cycle - growth! What could you stretch yourself to achieve today?

Here's to your success!

Balance

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Balance - a simple word, holding in it the promise of peace and equilibrium; sought after by cultures, countries, religions, people of every race and creed.

Do you want it? Do you have it?

Mindfulness is a current trend that holds, as one of its appealing attractions, more “balance”. Looking into mindfulness, I was intrigued to discover that it has been around in mainstream society for years under the rather boring (albeit self explanatory) title of “attention training”.

In an increasingly noisy, distracting world the growing cry for more balance is easy to understand. Be it a work-life balance, or family time/personal time; screen time/outdoor time; exercise/food – we know it is good for us but can seem to be a little elusive. A pot of gold at the bottom of the ever moving rainbow, the elixir of life, the philosophers stone! While I do not have any of those, below are what I have found works (when I apply it!).

Have a look at how you actively create balance in your life, and encourage it in your team and family.

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Be present. Be in the moment. Every moment.

Attentiveness is a gift to yourself and other. There is greater depth and joy with increased attention to the present moment.

Live in the present. It is a gift. We are born to live not just exist. Find out what makes you feel alive and do that often.

Appreciate your blessings. It creates an attitude of gratitude. Be aware and grateful for what you do have rather than all that you don’t have. Living in appreciation makes you happier.

Now is the only moment you absolutely have control of. Live in the now. Make the most of now.

Create the life you want, purposely, with vision, persistence, and care.

Every day has its up’s & downs. Learn. Grow. Enjoy the journey!

Be Attentive, Live Appreciating Now Creatively, Entirely

The Power of Choice

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I remember the first time I encountered Dale Carnegie’s classic book – How To Win Friends and Influence People. My free-flowing mind had never encountered the idea of choice over its pathway. If it took me to a state of joy, or of anger, or of despair, I had previously thought that I was at the mercy of where ever life and circumstances had led me. The challenge of Carnegie’s book for me was that I have a choice. I can influence the path of my life by the things I choose to think about, focus on and give my time to. So can you.

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Choose What To Focus On

Travel has a way of bringing the best and worst in people. After the hottest January in NZ history, the month ended with a super moon and February started off with more rain in one day than is expected for the whole month. This great combination caused newsworthy weather and, as happens, caused some flight disruptions.

Read more here

A million dollar question

Compromise can be the dove of peace or a deadly viper - Mike Clark

What would you do for a million dollars? 
Lie? Cheat? Steal?  How about sell company secrets? Murder someone? 
Many people would tell a lie for a million dollars, some waver on the cheating and stealing and many stop at murder. 

Surviving and thriving in 2017

Have you set some goals for the year? Are you aiming to get and do more? Have you resolved to be more? The call of many at the start of the year is often, “Work harder, do more, call more, sell more and you will be more successful with even more to show for it all.”

This perpetual drive is what keeps companies growing and we are encouraged to apply this to our personal lives. The challenge is that all this ‘growth’ needs something to feed it...