Monthly Archives: May 2013

Forgiving Our Emotions

Have your emotions caused a significant impact with you and those around you recently? Have they been a distraction from completing your tasks and goals? There are many great quotes about emotions, especially anger. Aristotle states that anybody can become angry-it’s easy, but to be angry at the right person and to the right degree and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way- that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy. How has anger played out with you?

Recently there’s been many changes going on around the people I enjoy being with, but their emotions have played a significant role. In the work-place area one of our team-members hasn’t been able to work with us because they just had surgery, so everyone had to have a change of plans, and organize themselves to do their roles in a much more structural manner that could still benefit us all.

At first we had trouble, we weren’t adapting to the new changes we had to make over that period of time. Members would lack in time of completing their tasks and blaming others would occur on the spot. Some would say “If you could’ve finished this task much sooner, we would’ve been caught up by now.” After hearing this how will the person receiving this feel? He didn’t go up to him to discussed about the issue on their own time, instead he held all the negativity in. And what happens when we hold on to negativity that causes us to create angry emotions? It blows up.

As he worked over these last few days, he kept holding on to his anger. You could see it in his face he was trying his best to hold it in. He couldn’t. As soon as they blamed at him again, he bashed out onto everyone and snapped. He shouted how much he hated everyone and didn’t want to see them. Threw his tools and other people’s belongings to the ground with force and flew right off the door. Nobody said anything, it was quiet for a minute. As he left, the person in charge has to take action because he was being driven by excessive emotion. He had to be guided on controlling his emotions in a better matter, and he did just that. As soon as someone is going through anger emotions it’s best to let them take some space, but also we have to confront the situation right away because it may get worse.

Buddha states that holding on to emotion is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. When you express your anger towards someone we have to realize that the one receiving the anger will not be affected, rather it will be yourself. I went through this recently as well. Although I felt like I never was did well at holding my emotions in, I’ve improved at finding better ways to express and relief them in a more convenient manner.

There’s this special person I enjoy talking with, we talk about everything. When ever I have anything to say or show about any topic, she is the one who I go to first because I want to see what she has to say. We tend to resolve each others issues and give advice that would benefit one another.

A special day for her comes up, and I start thinking what can I give her that I know will show how much I appreciate her. I’m not very good with making these type of decisions, it felt as if time passed by quickly as I began to think this over repeatedly. As the day finally hit, I already made gift reservations that I know she would enjoy, the only problem was that she wasn’t going to expect it to arrive til next month, which was weeks to come. She said it was okay, I had no need to worry, but somehow I was still caught up with it that no it was not okay because of the scheduled date the item would arrive. The next day I’m informed that she doesn’t need it because she’s happy with what she’s got. The way I read this drove me completely off guard. I didn’t know what to say, and my frustrating emotions couldn’t be held in. I had to tell her that her response was nothing more but a selfish act. She didn’t take it too kindly. It felt as if both of us didn’t have a complete understanding.

After unleashing my frustration towards her, I realized that in reality it didn’t make any damage to her but rather to myself, she didn’t want to speak to me at the time. Not that I was saddened by the issue but by noticing that just a few days prior, we spoke to each other how we normally did before the releasing of excessive emotions. And it’s unbelievable how emotions can change everything in an instant. One day you are in a positive mood, the next day you are in a negative. I had to speak with her quickly and couldn’t hold back any longer. It felt like I affected her by changing the way we view each other now, and I had to take action. I think by not resolving the issue quickly would’ve made things much worse, as I previously stated. She had to acknowledge that I was driven by frustration at the time and didn’t think before I spoke. I’m not sure if its changed our bond but we’ve had prior arguments before as well and we both came to agreement to avoid these conflicts as much as possible.

Looking back at this whole conflict over one small thing just seemed so silly. Not that I want it to come off as offending to her, but rather knowing that I made one small issue into a large one. Resulting in time wasted that could’ve been gained to further improve ourselves and discuss on more important issues that would help us both. It became a distraction would you say. Instead it resulted of loss interest, not speaking to each other and negative vibe between us. We have to forgive our emotions because they can make an negative impact on us and those around. She is one of the very few key people I enjoy spending time with because of the motivation I gain with her to keep going forward, and the mindset of being on track with goals I’ve set myself with.

How have emotions played out with you in your experiences? What strategies do you use to control them at best? And how do you handle a situation when you witness someone being out of control with their emotions?

Addressing the Issue

I taught myself music growing up. My father would look through his set of Cd’s he had, and play them throughout the day. Some said how is it that I taught myself music so well? Only response to them was that the amount of music I used to listen to. I’d grab drum sticks and started hitting whatever I could see and turn it into a rhythm. My mother would always get upset with me because of the damage caused onto the furniture, and therefore I was given a practice pad soon moving to my very own drum set. As I got older, I began to have more confidence to step up and participate with the worship ministry at church. At the time we had two drum musicians, they would take turns, one plays Sundays, the other during the week. I don’t recall what happened, but some issue erupted between them. One started coming in less and less while the other began to be demotivated. We had another newcomer who just joined the team, but with his incredible drumming talent, he was often nervous. This at the time was the beginning for me.

It began right when we started prayer for offerings, I’m not sure what our drummer wanted to do. I think he wanted to use the restroom real quick, but that’s a long walk so he wouldn’t be back on time (I apologize also because I forgot this man’s name. I think it was Mario). My father comes up to me and says “Get up there, you can do this, you’re ready.” Now I’m sure many of you think these are motivating words and I would start getting in the mood, but I really was nervous. It was about the only time I can recall I felt completely nervous and indecisive if I should go up on stage and play in front of a huge crowd. The crowd knew who I was, but standing in front of them with all eyes on you is about nerve-racking as it gets.

Some of those around me started encouraging me, and finally I chosen to go. When I sat down, it was a great feeling, but I still felt nervous because I didn’t know what songs they had lined up. As they started singing, I quickly caught up with the rhythm; a 6/8 drum beat for my readers that are drummers. I began to gain more confidence, and as I finally got through worshiping, I observed around and noticed I had a broad view of the crowd.

This is just a little background of how I started my life playing music, but I’d like to share with you that musicians see everything. They may be distracted by getting so emotional into the music, but we see everything. What do I mean by everything? Everything as in seeing people’s attitude, the drama going on, kids causing trouble and the changes that have been made.

My number one thing; besides looking at our music group if they had failed a note, is I always had my eye on are people loving the way I’m playing? When we look into the crowd we see everyone’s body language and facial expressions. By reading these I had a good amount of knowledge if they were enjoying this or not. Sometimes I would watch the newcomers stand still not engaged at all, and that’s where I would try my best even more. It felt kind of like a ‘let me impress you’ feeling. When I saw them enthused and engaged into the music, I felt really good having the thought they’re enjoying what I’m doing. On some occasions it would be difficult for me to change a person’s attitude if they came in depressed or upset. Normally if they showed up with those signs, I always did my best because it’s what people come to church for right? To look for guidance and seek a positive spirit from others and God.

Being up front seeing when the girl I had a crush on was an advantage also. When I saw her walk in, she’d look at me and smile. I’m sure the whole crowd saw me blush at the moment because I was just madly in love with her at the time. There’s the disadvantage also because you’re looking at the entrance door hoping that some person doesn’t come in and once you know it, they come right in when least expected.

Apart from seeing everyone’s facial expressions, I saw how not solving people’s issues with one another distracted them from being involved at church. Especially with the girls within the youth. I saw one group sitting next to each other on one side, while the rest bunched up on the other side, I knew there was something going on. This is how gossiping started and bullying would go on without their parents knowing. Some women at our church also faced problems, they’d greet everyone except for that one person to avoid confrontation with. Only question I ask myself is why didn’t our musicians say anything? Do they keep it in to not make the issue much worse or do they not know how to address the problem?

Everyone didn’t say much either when big changes started happening at church as well. We knew a few people have made decisions not to be involved in our organization anymore, it affected two members in our music group. They enjoyed being around them but not being able to see or speak with them created motives to leave as well.

In a leadership prospective, it’s most likely you will come to a time where you can’t see what you’re team is doing, how do you make your team address the problem to you? One of the ways we handled these situations was having a sit down meet in the office to discuss matters. Another way was after the service was over, they’d make a personal phone call to the leader stating what happened.

What methods have you used in which your team can feel confident and kept confidential about it? Is there one person that has ‘your eyes’, and mentions every detail to you? These are some of the aspects to think about.

Difficulty of Giving

Has anyone had a hard time giving? Giving as in giving your time and effort? Giving your earnings? Giving all that to an individual or organization? The problem that exist with me when I give is that my mind makes it difficult that when I give I won’t receive anything in return. But isn’t that the law of sowing and reaping? When we give we will receive something greater in return.

You may ask well what makes your mind so influenced by not wanting to give? There are some factors to say but I’ve always had in mind that keeping your earnings, you build yourself more. Why should I give a person a particular set of cash flow when they aren’t going to invest it well within themselves? Another reason is those around me.

“The way you shape your life determines who you revolve your life around with.” That’s a famous quote I read and it’s true. Most of the people I revolve myself with are completely greedy. Knowing they have a great set of assets, they will not use it only to the minimal use as possible. This subject is very strong and I’m looking forward talking more about it in the near future. But, as I’m reflecting on giving, I had to change.

One of the ways I had to change is firstly change my attitude towards it. I had to put my mind in a positive mood and adapt to it because if we’re giving with the wrong attitude, we’re not sowing properly. To sow means to plant and expect a positive outcome. If we’re giving out of anger that trait carries that attitude and others will notice resulting perhaps in a negative outcome. Secondly what I had to do was inspire myself to keep giving. Listening to many audio of speakers with great success, they all said in order to succeed in life, one of the keys for it is to give back. Either giving it to charities or church, give to a place that may use it for great benefits.

It’s such an improvement I had, and giving hasn’t been a hard issue with me. The thought of putting the time or money on someone, and they result using it for bad use isn’t nothing to worry. I know perhaps no one may see it but when ever I have those assets to give, I truly give it with a great positive feeling.

Take the time to give. There are people I know that don’t take advantage of giving, and are too insecure about it. Gather your thoughts and find ways to give either by giving the time to coach someone about life, business or give funds putting in my that those funds will grow into a bigger outcome.

Our Company Culture cont.

What shapes a company’s culture? Have you found out yet? Earlier this week I wrote about the top three keys I think make and shape a company’s culture. The first post was about values. I had so much to say about it because I believe it makes a large portion up of how it shapes the culture. Have you found out what the values of your business or organization are?

The second key that makes the culture of a company is vision. We have to have an aim and believe ourselves going for it. When we have no vision of where we want to go, we become lost. Everyone that is on board will dive out because there is no direction.

When vision is planned, don’t get too carried away with the dream that it starts to look as a fantasy with the rest of the team-members. I think it should be reachable, consistent, and realistic.

Churches for example tend to set a vision but may never achieve it. Reasons because those visions are far out of reach and unrealistic.

Before we made huge changes, my church tended to fit in the category. We had a vision. Our vision was to get a bigger building that everyone could attend. The size of this place was seen as having 100 acres. I’m thinking to myself, is that even possible? Of course the leader always has to share his vision with his members in order to move forward, but this casted vision seemed out of the ball park. I think we had to be realistic here and cast a more reachable vision. The members all agreed, they all believe in this vision and hoped on board. Throughout the year it was mentioned consistently, and people were motivated by it. They kept inviting other people to hear the greatness. They were excited knowing that their vision was such a positive feeling.

As we got through the year we kept on hearing what we were aiming for. A downside started turning, people were starting to get tired of it. In my opinion, I think most of these members started getting frustrated of the usual hearing and the leader never taking any action for it. The reason being because the vision felt like a direction that isn’t reachable. People started to hop out of the boat, we had to look at the vision the church was aiming for. Dramatic changes had to be made and the vision had to be re looked at.

The third and final key that shapes the culture of a company I think is to invest in your team. When we invest in our team we are showing them that we care for them, they mean a lot to us and they are our assets. Now I know some of you may say, “But why should I invest in my team when they don’t do nothing on their part?” Well you hired them, doesn’t that make you a fool for that process?

Investing in them brings loyalty, it’s similar to recognition towards them. So you may ask what I mean by investing? We don’t invest in them by inviting them to barbecues or giving them discounts from our own company, that’s relevant to taking advantage. We invest in them with ways they can improve their skills being used at work. Meaning we send them off to seminar or courses and we pay for them. This type of investment towards them acknowledges that the leader cares for them and wants their strong qualities to be improved.

In organizations, when the leader cares, he doesn’t fear the risk of regrets. You are family, and when the leader sees you having a difficult time, he will see that. Example being the leader at our church. He invested in our musicians. Hired a music teacher to further improve them. When those musicians gain more skills, they invested back into the leader by bringing loyalty and commitment. However, not all of them had that in thought. One of the members was having an awful time. He was struggling financially. There was a day where we went grocery shopping and left those purchases on his door step. It felt really good that we made that happen so he had food to feed his kids. Closer into the year he made the choice to leave the organization. He took those skills gained and left nothing behind him. Asked if the leader regrets giving him the time and investment, he said no because he knew in the future it would pay off. The whole congregation took notice and respect for the leader grew at a high level. The culture in the air felt warm and loving. They all were taught that when we give, we may not expect nothing in return, but our lives are that much better each and every day.

Values, vision, and investment are what make the culture of a place. What has your company visioned striving for? Has the leader invested in their team? Going back to our precious post, how were you valued at a company? And lastly what makes the company culture where you are at?

Our Company Culture

Company culture is one of the traits I look at in businesses, especially the place I’ve worked in and church organizations I’ve been involved with. As I continue to develop my growth each and every day, I’ve observed how company culture is different in many places. I see it as how it shapes the place and how people interact with each other. It’s the vibe you feel as soon as you walk into their space and the culture truly affects those involved around it. If someone were to ask you to define your company’s culture in two words, what would it be? Commitment and quality, engagement and energetic, honest and reasonable, these are a few examples. But what is it really?

I’ve read several great book by authors that talk on the issue of company culture and after reflecting on them all, I’ve applied and listed three keys that make a company’s culture. Note that you may or may not agree with it, so your opinions are appreciated, but the following are:

  • Values
  • Vision
  • Investment

This is one of the biggest keys I’ve seen pop up when someone determines how the culture is shaped. Picture in your head that someone comes up to you and asks, “What is it that your company values?” Maybe it’s already happened, so what was your response? Sometimes we even have to pause and think because we’re not sure what the company really values the most. Do they value their customers? Work quality? Team-members? Their vision? And I know perhaps in church, those attending would come with the response that they value God, but excluding Him, what else do they value that makes their culture in the organization so great?

I believe we should value each other. I remember one of the first jobs I had, the values in putting customers first was great, but there was little to no value in the members bonding together. It was laid back but no one was putting as much time getting to know each other. The only way you’d get them talking was if you walked by coincidentally or if I needed them for help with a task. During lunch it felt awkward, everyone grabbing their meals in the kitchen and going their separate ways. The only ones staying there would be the ones having no where else to go and casually watch television. Having a decent conversation would be two people, and these two obviously are the only two connected well. And now I’m asking myself why didn’t they valued each other more as a team? The result was the leader. Sure we had a manager, but what I saw in the manager, I saw in the leader as well. Both weren’t fully engaged with the team. The leader is what determines this value.

There were problems. It was disorganized and the blame game would occur often. The manager would come late and didn’t know what was going on. The leader was unheard of. The only time you got to have a talk with him was at the time of being hired or doing overtime and seeing him leave. Other than that, he’d come in around the afternoon, waive at you and head upstairs to his office. That was it! So did that same quality transition unto team?

I felt bad with what was going on with this new team-member we had. We didn’t know his name because he didn’t get the proper introduction at the time because of our hectic work schedule. We only found out who he was by another member stumbling upon knowing his name. The guy was quiet, but he seemed hard working and getting by. There was a day that a tragic event occurred involving his wife. We all were called into the manager’s office. He gave out the situation and what could be done to help, but the faces on everyone seemed clueless on who he was. They called for a small charitable donation, and looking back now, I’m not sure if he received a good amount. Wherever this guy is now, I hope him and his family are blessed and doing well.

Why are values needed in being part of a great company culture? How does the leader affect it? As I mentioned, the leader was hardly to be found. Very friendly but had no involvement with the team and felt as if we were all partially abandoned. We were all very skilled at what we did, but weak bonding as a team. We needed to be improved.

I will break this down into two posts for you readers. Company culture on vision and investment you can expect for Friday. Until then some questions for you to think about are in simple words describe your company’s culture? What do they value the most and value the least? What are ways you think it can improve?

Funding The Project

There are many ways you can do to fund your business. Many people who I’ve spoken with had been fortunate enough with getting funds from venture capitalists and began building their projects from there. If you’re wondering or clueless of where to look to finance your starting business, I’ll give you a quick list of what I accumulated that helped me look into, that hope it can help you as well.

  • Bootstrap funding
  • Crowd funding
  • Loans
  • Family & friends
  • Angel investors
  • Venture capitalists
  • Grants

This list demonstrates the the options you have to finance your starting company, but me on the other hand, I find it difficult to see myself going to a venture capitalists or angel investor giving them my pitch of the company. You may ask why? Because I know I’m just a young guy with no experience owning a big company yet, asking for a certain amount of funds puts them at a much greater risk than one whose already create two or more businesses in the past. But I will keep in mind that having a great relationship with them can lead to great investment in the future. Banks? Nope, banks won’t do, I can for sure say they apply interests on their loans and you’d be lucky if they actually grant you one. Avoiding debt should be one of the things to keep in mind. Family and friends? I love my family and some friends may be so-so, but I’ve read about and witnessed this. The advice is that most of the time, doing this could result in conflict ending relationships with them. The only outcome I have as planned is bootstrapping my business.

What is bootstrap funding? In short words it’s personal money you’ve saved up. There are also several methods of bootstrap funding, but I personally have made the route of saving some income to accumulate it to a certain goal I made earlier this year. I find it complex because it’s the sweat and tears approach and I feel it takes longer than that of raising capital from investors. Yes I’ve heard the usual that you can start a business with up to a minimum of $350 cash, but what I’m willing to achieve is getting over that amount.

How do you come to this approach? What are your experiences with raising money to fund your business? Did you experience similar problems? How did you overcome this process?