Monthly Archives: September 2013

Knocking Out Fear & Networking With Others

Last week I had the opportunity to attend Denver Startup Week, and it was an amazing experience. I must say it’s my second time I go to an event like this and I plan on attending many future events like this.

When I first heard about the event, I marked it down on my calendar, I was excited about it but there was this emotion of fear going on. As the day got closer and closer, I began to worry even more about the what happens if this or that situation would occur.

I began to question instead of what, I asked why did I fear about these issues. It’s not just an only me issue but many people will come to a point; where before they attend an event for those starting out, will begin to worry about the weak parts of themselves. Wondering what if I don’t fit in or what if they know more than me, and not knowing what they’re talking about.

When I asked myself why did I have this fear of attending an event with a huge gathering, it made a switch in my mind that in reality it’s nothing to worry about.

When I got there, it was such a great turnout. Not only were people willing to come up and meet me, but they were delighted to give me advice in the struggling areas. Not knowing where this mindset of everyone being selfish came from, but I had in mind many people would not offer advice because they’d think I’m too inexperienced or too young, and it wasn’t like that.

A book I recommend you to read is called “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi. It’s such a great book about how in order to be successful we must also find other people and work with them. Making these relationships with others will help us grow and gain additional knowledge we didn’t know about.

What we should learn about this is that we shouldn’t have the mentality of fear plugged into our minds, instead we should keep in mind how important it is to establish a network relationship with other people similar to your field. However, we shouldn’t just walk up to them and ask if we may have their personal phone number. We have to ask ourselves what is it that we could do for them that they later can do for us.

What are your experiences in first creating a relationship with others? Were you afraid of any small mess-ups that weren’t true? What advice would you recommend for those first-timers?

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“Me” Is Not Better Than Team

When you start to brainstorm on your idea, do you tend to seclude yourself from the outside that you start to lose motivation and gain exhaustion? You’ve reached the limit and are stuck where to go? That’s what happened to me recently.

I’ve stumbled upon a great idea and began working out on the layout of the plan, and the business model. What I immediately did afterwards was to start making a small illustration of what the product would look like. After putting in several hours onto this idea, I came to a complete stop. The reason being was because my mind felt blank with nothing else to add or what I could do to change it up a bit, I felt exhausted.

Having lunch with a few close friends of mine, I mentioned to them about this idea I had that could work out and describe to them what the whole concept was about. They loved it. To my surprise, they started to brainstorm as well.

They removed some features which I was okay with, and added other small things that could make it better. What was even better was they took the opportunity to take their time and come up with the design for the layouts and logo, which I’m fortunate to have great graphic designers as friends.

What I’m learning here is that, it’s good to share your ideas with everyone. Two or more minds is obviously better than one mind. When you have people that believe in your idea, you’re creating strong motivation amongst everyone who’s in on the conversation and the chances of executing it is even greater.

However, one of them asked if I was afraid someone might steal/copy my idea. Of course I responded to him with the simple no. He seemed a little bit shocked.

There may be innovators out there who are very sensitive with their ideas, but one of the most important things to not worry about is whether or not they will steal your idea. The reason being is because you’ve already captured it in your mind, and the purpose along side with the end results of where you want it to go will be different than that person who decided to copy what you were doing. In fact I would encourage them to copy it because I yet still have no clue how good the idea would work out in the market.

As I come to conclude this post, the point of this story is that we should invite more people to share their opinions, feedbacks and any other comments they have about our ideas. When you feel exhausted or frustrated, I think that’s the best time to open up opportunities and let others in on your idea. Not only will it re-create great motivation, but getting the work done is greater than you going at it alone.

Consequeces of Holding Someone for Too Long

Have you been in a situation without thinking of what the consequences are when we hold on a team member that loses interest with the entire team and isn’t showing any enthusiasm any longer? Recently I had a conversation with my mother that runs a business about working different ways this situation could’ve been handled.

The discussion was mainly about how one of her team staff was just lacking in her work ethic. She was slow, non-energetic, and throughout the day the manager would be very stressful due to her speed of work. She would on occasion try to motivate her, talk her into giving more passion for her work so they could speed things up and leave customers satisfied, but over-time, it just wasn’t working out.

She mentioned she didn’t want to let her go because she’s been a part of the business for too long, with all the experiences she’s gained and if she were to let her go, finding someone else would seem too expensive for her.

I started to notice something going on here, it wasn’t that she didn’t want to let her go because she was a very experienced member, but rather she’s become dependent on her.

When we start to become dependent on someone for too long, it creates this barrier keeping you from stepping up to take the lead. That person of who we become desperately dependent among will not only notice it, but will take it to advantage and this is where I think starts to get ugly.

Why you may ask? Because a shift in power starts to happen and now the one who is being dependent on starts to play it as a game, sort of like a “you’re nothing without me” type. This will drag the organization down slowly and other team staff will become aware and I’m sure most would start to take off in different direction.

This as leaders makes us weak without hesitation, and we must not be carried into this playing field. What I suggested is that this team member should’ve been let go quickly. The ‘hire slow, fire quickly’ mentality.

When we hang on to a person that doesn’t bring value to the organization any more, they are robbing us- our time, our team, our customers, and our money.

I understand also that there is fear about what happens when we aren’t prepared to let someone go in that moment?

What happened during this situation was that the manager couldn’t handle it anymore and told her how she saw it. She blamed her for being too slow, wasn’t doing quality work and was wasting their time. That staff got upset and at the end of the day she decided to quit.

Soon after they all came to a meeting, they weren’t sure of who they were going to hire next. It was a clueless situation, there was no one in mind for the following Monday to hire. They quickly began post hiring ads everywhere and you could sense the stressful situation they got themselves in. On the opposite side however, they were the ones walking away laughing because they knew she was needed.

So what can we learn from this?

When there’s a person that doesn’t bring value to the organization any more, we have to let them go promptly, but before we let them go; we should prepare ourselves to have a plan of those who can replace them following the termination. This will reduce a lot of hassle and once you’ve found a replacement, it’s best to not go all out on a member in front of everyone, but instead at the end of the day have a one on one discussion with them about their work performance and let them know they no longer will be bringing their contribution to the team. It’s much more organized and saves a lot of time.

What strategies do you tend to use before letting someone go in your organization? Have you ever had to wait onto someone for too long and just decided to stick with it? Was your outcome good or bad? And what experiences have you gained?

Stories Make a Bigger Impact

Ever found yourself remembering about a great story from a motivational speaker weeks after you’ve listened to it? And you question yourself why is it that you remember this but not a lecture with bullet points on a slide show presentation?

The answer is simple: telling a great story sticks to even long after it was told, and as leaders, when we want our team to succeed, these stories can make a huge impact towards them.

Having scheduled meetings with the team, we always tend to write down what is needed in our improvements. There are members I’m sure of that really can’t hold that long of an interest and what we must do in order to get their attention up is telling them a story that can relate to what is needed or what we’re doing.

There’s a science about the magic of listening to stories. I was reading an article that mentioned about this and it mentioned that our brains are somehow wired to story-tell and captured what they’re saying and we tend to put it into an image. It then forms into a connection where we then try to relate to and this is how it begins to make an impact on us.

To make our team capture our stories more further, make sure to keep it simple. Making it simple reduces all the stresses of capturing difficult terms or nouns we are trying to explain to them.

How has telling stories related to a project your team is working on improved their performance? Would you rather consider this form of strategy more than the usual bullet point presentation?