The Gifts of Imperfection: Book Summary and Riff

The Gifts of Imperfection Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are

by Brene Brown

This book is about living a wholehearted life. As always, I think about business. As I read this book, I was thinking about what it means to live a wholehearted business.  I have already written about your mindful business. Let’s explore wholehearted business.

This post started out being a summary of the book and ended up being a mashup of Bene Brown’s book on wholehearted living and my thoughts on wholehearted business. Any mistakes or flawed logic are mine. All the good stuff is her’s. Italicized text are quotes.

Living wholeheartedly

How much we know and understand ourselves is critically important, but there is something that is even more essential to living a wholehearted life: loving ourselves

Head work is important, but heart work is just as important. Your business needs to make sense (cents) as well as feed your soul.

Courage, compassion and connection are daily practices. My favourite virtues and the ones by which I run my business are courage, truth, wisdom and beauty. Sometimes I lose sight of those as I get sucked into the day-to-day, making-the-mortgage rat race of small business. When I do, I find myself and my business spiralling into an abyss.  Every time I stop myself and focus again on those virtues, my world opens up, money flows again and the anxiety melts away. The more human, courageous, compassionate and connected I am in business, the more successful I become.

Courage to do the right/compassionate/vulnerable thing. Courage to show ourselves as less than perfect.  The reality is we are not perfect, so our business is not perfect. Pretending to be, means we are lying and everyone hates a liar.

Compassion involves learning to relax and allow ourselves to move gently toward what scares us. The heart of compassion is really acceptance

Connection is the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.

Until we can receive with an open heart, we are never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgement to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgement to giving help.

This may be one of the hardest lessons for small business owners to learn. Part of the difficulty we have with delegation is around not being willing to let go and not being willing to receive help. I took part in a discussion the other day where one business owner talked about getting help from a number of people. Her business is a very community-minded social business. Another business owner asked about how she managed those relationships so no one felt taken advantage of. Her answer was – cookies. She makes awesome cookies. That discussion opened my eyes to how I don’t ask for help enough. I’ve looked at that first business owner and seen the amazing progress she has made. That discussion is a clue to the reason why.

Can we love others more than we love ourselves?

If we want to live and love with our whole hearts, and if we want to engage with the world from a place of worthiness, we have to talk about the things that get in the way – especially shame, fear and vulnerability.

We want the how-to and it is very alluring, yet we are still standing in the same place. We have to clear what’s in the way. It’s not that we don’t know how to be happy, it’s that we do the things that make us unhappy. Like feel shame, afraid and alone. Everyone struggles in their business. This is where comparing my insides with other people’s outsides makes me feel like I’m not doing as well as everyone else. I must be a really lousy business owner. So who am I to offer to help people with their business…. You get the picture. You’ve probably said the same things. Loving and accepting ourselves is the best thing we can do for ourselves and the people we want to help.

In the same way that we all know how to eat well, yet it’s a struggle to do it all the time; we all know how to make our businesses work. Yet, we let the opposites of courage, compassion and connection get in the way – fear and the sense that we need to do this on our own get in the way.

Shame resilience 101

Here are the first 3 things you need to know about shame:

  1. We all have it. Shame is universal and one of the most primitive human emotions we experience. The only people who don’t experience shame lack the capacity for empathy and human connection.

  2. We’re all afraid to talk about shame.

  3. The less we talk about shame, the more control it has over our lives.

We have a tendency to judge our insides by everyone else’s outsides. That leads to feeling inadequate. We feel that our businesses reflect ourselves and if they are less than perfect, then so are we. The myth of the lone entrepreneur overcoming obstacles to reach that pinnacle of success, is just that. A myth. First of all every successful business person uses the word we, not I. They readily tell you that they did not and could not have done it on their own. They will gladly share their failure stories, too. They will tell you that their failures are what lead to their successes.

A wise and very experienced business woman told me about guiding her business through the recession of the 80’s. She said the worse thing was the loneliness and the feeling that she must have done something wrong otherwise her business would have been able to weather the storm better. After is was over, she said she heard the same things from other business people and she promised herself never to let her fear and shame keep her from connecting with other business people.

Guilt = I did something bad

Shame = I am bad

When our businesses are less than perfect – and whose business is perfect? – we don’t feel we did something wrong or made a few bad decisions and we certainly don’t feel that it’s the ecosystem we are in, no, we feel there is something wrong with us. We are bad business people.Too many business owners ask me if they should get an MBA so they can be a better business owner. We are sold the idea that we need to master marketing, operations, HR and finance. No one can do that. So we feel shame that we are not good enough.

 

Guideposts to Shame resilience

Cultivating Authenticity. Authenticity is a practice. We can let our business reflect who we really are. It’s what makes people want to do business with us rather than someone else. Staying true to ourselves is the hardest battle we will have.

Get Deliberate: Face into your uniqueness and practice awareness of it

Get Inspired: Look around you to other business people who are practicing their uniqueness and take courage from their example.

Get Going: recognize when you begin to slip away from your authentic self. Give yourself a little space and gently allow yourself to be yourself.

Cultivating Self-Compassion. Perfectionism is the unhealthy expectation of never making a misstep. Striving to be your best and to improve, are positive endeavours. The best businesses have a healthy doses of the unknown, messiness and letting go. We need to be able to accept in ourselves the compassion we share with others. You would never tell a friend that they were stupid for making that decision in their business, so why do we feel it’s okay for ourselves. Perfectionism is contagious and we end up infecting everyone around us creating critical and charged environments.

Get Deliberate:Listen to your self talk and if you wouldn’t say it to a friend don’t say it to yourself

Get Inspired: Imperfections are not inadequacies, they are reminders that we’re all in this together.

Get Going: Have a replacement mantra for when we feel our critical self-talk begin.

 

Cultivating a Resilient Spirit. Resiliency is that capacity we build so we can draw on it when needed. Recognizing and building a community around you that you can draw upon when you need help. The ability to ask for that help and receive it. So, hope is a combination of setting goals, having the tenacity and perseverance to pursue them and believing in our abilities. Hope is learned. From experience, we can squash our hope, and therefore our resilience by focussing on the times we didn’t follow through with goals we set rather than applaud our courage in trying many things and focusing on the ones we did accomplish.There’s a difference between thinking we deserve something and the knowledge that we can accomplish it. One of the ways we deal with these feelings of shame is to numb. Any behaviour that has a whiff of addiction is eligible. Facebook, anyone? Email checking. Bad eating, work a holism, another podcast? all of these. when we numb the dark, we numb the light.

Get Deliberate: Food your body, mind, spirit and community every day.

Get Inspired: Hang out with people who have a resilient spirit.

Get Going: Develop a practice that nourishes you.

 

Cultivating Gratitude and Joy. These go hand in hand. Having feelings of gratitude gives you feelings of joy. When you are feeling grateful for your customers do you treat them differently than when you don’t. The answer for most people is yes. Don’t let this become another thing to fail at. No one feels joy and gratitude all the time. The opposite is fear and scarcity. When we are working from a place of scarcity and fear, we make decisions that are based on protecting, hoarding and saving rather than on generosity (which always ‘pays’ more in the end), openness (which invites collaboration and support) and investing (which multiplies).

Get Deliberate: Recognize when we are acting out of fear and making decisions based on fear. Replace those feelings with gratitude and feel the joy.

Get Inspired: Recognize and acknowledge the small moments of joy. Celebrate. That’s something we don’t do enough, especially in business!

Get Going: create a gratitude practice.

 

Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith. Intuition is not a single way of knowing – it’s our ability to hold space for uncertainty and our willingness to trust the many ways we’ve developed knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith and reason. What gets in the way is our need for certainty. We need the facts! the process happens without our consciously following it. Faith is also about letting go of uncertainty and trusting. You know more than you think you do. You have accomplished things that you didn’t think you could when you started them, but you did.

Get Deliberate: When you begin to feel the anxiety of uncertainty, lean into it. Give yourself some breathing room to let it wash over you and come back to a still place. Then listen to your intuition.

Get Inspired:

Get Going: Allow intuition and trust to guide you for small things and build from there.

 

Cultivating Creativity. There’s no such thing as creative people and non-creative people. The only unique contribution we will make in this world will be born of our creativity. If we want to make meaning, we need to make art. The more you let that side of you out the richer your business will be. By that I don’t mean rich in money, although it is inevitable that money will follow. James Altucher talks about our ideas muscle. He advocates spending time every day to come up with 10 ideas for the sole purpose of exercising that muscle. I consider myself to be a very creative person, whether or not I’m doing ‘art’. I did try to avoid using the words creative and bookkeeper in the same sentence, because sometimes people would misconstrue. I was and remain a creative bookkeeper and business strategist. I think this is one of the most underrated competencies in business and one that flies out the door the more stressed we are. That’s when we need it most.

Get Deliberate: Carve out time to be creative. Bring creativity to all you do.

Get Inspired: Connect with other people practicing creativity.

Get Going: Take a class. Explore widely. Pick up magazines in things you’ve never looked into before. Bird carving? Cabinet making? Jewelry making? Pottery? Yup, there’s a magazine for that and very likely you will find a copy at your local library.

 

Cultivating Play and Rest. Our best ideas come when we play and rest. We are living in an epidemic of sleep deprivation. We cannot do our best work when we are tired, cranky and strung out. Play and rest are the antidotes. In these days of our self-worth being tied to our net-worth and our worshipping at the altar of productivity, we revere workaholism.When things aren’t going well, our instinct is to put our heads down and push through. The reality is that the strategy most likely to work is to step back, play, rest and come at it again with renewed energy, creativity and vigour.

Get Deliberate: Get very clear about what the ingredients are for your ideal business. We’re not talking about revenue goals here, but what it feels like for you, your staff, your customers and your community. What is the joy and meaning in your business?

Get Inspired: Watch children closely enough that you see the light bulbs go off as they play. Then go do that.

Get Going: Take something off your to do list and add in play or rest.

 

Cultivating Calm and Stillness. It’s not about being anxiety-free or even anxiety-averse; [but] anxiety-aware.  ..bring perspective to complicated situations and feel their feelings without reacting to heightened emotions like fear and anger. Slow down and start by making sure you have all the info. Stillness is not about focusing on nothingness; it’s about creating a clearing. It’s opening up an emotionally clutter-free space and allowing ourselves to feel and think and dream and question. Meditation comes to mind. We’re supposed to focus on something (an object, image or mantra) and if our minds wander, we should gently and without judgement bring our thoughts back. Holy, moly, IF my mind wanders? It felt like a failure every time. But I came across something that helped the object isn’t about emptying your mind so much as it’s about practicing controlling your thoughts. The whole object of the exercise is to practice focusing our thoughts. That I can get my head around.

Calm and stillness are contagious in the same way anxiety is. One of the paradoxes of time I have found is that the more I slow down, the more time I have. The worst thing to do when I’m up against a deadline is to rush. Invariabley I make mistakes and I can’t engage deeply enough to bring my best. When I take a breath, focus on the task and ignore time, I have enough.

Get Deliberate: Recognize when anxiety is rising and breath.

Get Inspired: Stand up and step away from your desk. Get outside for a 10 minute walk. Your whole perspective, breathing, body language and focus relaxes and engages after that.

Get Going: Take it up a notch and try meditation or regular trips into nature. Allow yourself the luxury of leaning into flow with a hobby or your work.

 

Cultivating Meaningful Work. Ignoring our gifts and talents eats our soul. This is where bringing your uniqueness into your business feeds you and it means you bring the best of you to play. Some people are able to align their passions with their profits. It takes a strong awareness of what your gifts and talents are, deep work on building a business model around those and then consistent and sustained effort to build that business. It may seem effortless from the outside and certainly with hindsight. In some ways I’m not sure if I will never retire because I love what I do (and I don’t have the savings) or if I have already. I have the luxury of dictating my own schedule. I don’t live a life of conventional success, but I get to choose what success means for me. And you do too.

When we define who/what we are we need to own it. I tell people all the time that I’m not a writer, and yet, I have a published book, I have blogs dating back to 2004 and I spend the majority of my time making sounds with my computer keyboard. It is how I spend most of my working time but I don’t make money that way. We are what we do. I am a writer. and a mom, friend, strategist, community builder, traveller, etc.

Get Deliberate: What does meaningful ‘work’ mean to you. I use quotes because I want to define work as how you spend your time, not how you make money. That may or may not come, but it definitely won’t if you don’t define it.

Get Inspired: I try to take the first hour of every day to work on interesting projects, you know the kind, the ones that we promise ourselves we will get to, once we’re caught up and everything is working properly. After many years of waiting for that time, I decided just to go for it. I find that I can tackle the rest of the day with more joy and creativity.

Get Going: Choose one thing that you want more of and do it. Volunteer, make it a hobby, integrate it into your offerings, write about it, study it – do what it takes to make it a part of your life.

 

Cultivating Laughter, Song and Dance. This is a tough one for me. I used to dance – I was a disco dancer, I took modern dance as a young adult. I have a stack of vinyl records that I haven’t heard in about 2 decades. I’m not telling you this to give away my age, but to indicate how much I have shut this part of my life down. I have a hard time with multiple sources of sound, so I tend not to impose my choices on the rest of the family. I’m . I always feel noticed in public. I don’t dance when all the girls head to the dance floor, because I am 6 ‘ tall, head and shoulders taller

I think (Country)’s Got Talent, Dancing with the Stars, So you think you can Dance and (Country) Idol have created an atmosphere of judgement around dancing and singing. It’s not about joy any more, it’s about how you compare.

I miss singing and dancing for the pure pleasure it brings. I wish I had a story about how I got brave and did it anyway. Maybe I will some day. I’m going to work on that.

The Hopi Indians have a saying, “To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak”

Get Deliberate:I did try to start a women’s modern dance class at the dance school my daughter attends. I will keep trying.

Get Inspired:

Get Going:

 

This is a book about Wholehearted Living. I’ve taken each piece and applied it to Wholehearted Business. I’ve incorporated Mindful Business and I’m adding this into my exploration of business. I am so interested in your thoughts on this.

How do you make your business wholehearted? Can you have a wholehearted business? What will it take for your business to be wholehearted?

Frances Schagen is a small business innovator, geeking out over business strategy, business models and building entrepreneurial ecosystems. She believes that’s the kind of thinking we need to save the world. Her calling is to create places where entrepreneurship can thrive within our business and within our community.

Week 6 – Wrap Up of Your Team

How did you do?

Do you feel less alone?

Have you planned any events or methods for connecting customers?

What are you doing differently for your staff?

Have you changed your marketing?

Are you part of a mastermind?

As Crystal Clear Bookkeeping becomes Crystal Clear Money Management for Small Business, we are keenly aware that we are starting with a solid customer base. This is one of our biggest assets. We are building this business around the questions and experiences of our business owners.

 

 

 

Janet Gets Advice with Her Dinner

“Thank you for coming. The reason I invited all of you is that I need help turning my roofing venture into an effortless business and I think, no, I know that you can help me do that.”

“How could we refuse what with you buying us supper and all.” said Mike. Everyone smiled at that.

“It’s a pleasure to help you, Janet. Helping small business succeed is my passion.” said Susan.

“Let me introduce everyone. This is Maggie, she works with me and she is taking on some of the management now that our crew is growing. Karen works at the bank and is my oldest friend. I have listened to her advice all along. Susan is a business whiz and coach. Mike is a sales guy and another good friend. He taught me what little I know about sales and he’s a fun and funny guy.”

“That’s who we are and I hope we can meet every quarter so you can give me some advice and keep me moving forward with growing my business. The topic for this quarter is managing growth. The phone hasn’t stopped ringing after the Boat Club job. Thank you for the idea of putting a business card holder on the truck, Mike. I had to refill it twice over that week and a half.”

“I could put together two more crews to handle all the work coming, but I’m not sure I can manage that much growth that fast.”

“First of all, put up your prices. When you have more work than you can handle, put your prices up. Don’t forget, you are getting this work because you are the Roofers Who Care. That means you have to be very careful with your hiring. Your roofers have to care, too, which means you have to care about your roofers.” Karen shared her expertise.

“Oh, she cares about us all right. We were very lucky finding Robb, Steve and Alex. They are working out really well. I know you weren’t sure about them, but I learned enough about them working on the Boat Club job to know they will do us proud.” Maggie beamed.

“How did you find them?” asked Susan

“They were people we met along the way. Different roofers ask Michelle and I about openings, and we can talk to the Building Supply drivers, too. They see and hear a lot.”

“Recruiting isn’t something you turn on and off. It’s an ongoing part of running your business and you should have a process in place for identifying good candidates and bringing them into the culture of your business.” Susan knew what she was talking about. She had seen many businesses ruined by bad hires.

“Janet made up a process, what did you call it?” “An Induction check list” “Induction check list .that takes ½ a day and covers everything. By the time we take them through it, they are clear about how we expect them to work and act.”

It was Mike’s turn,”The reason you are getting all this business is because you really do care and the way you work shows it. There are many good roofing crews around who could not have done that Boat Club job and made them as happy. It is much more than just hammering nails, it’s about deportment, demeanour and attitude. Your new crews will continue to grow your sales or they will not. No pressure, Janet, but you better hire, train and treat your new people carefully.”

When Janet paid the bill, she knew she just got a huge bargain. It’s a great feeling knowing others’ care about how she was doing.

Janet Builds Her Team

“How are Robb and Steve working out?”

‘”They are a little faster than you guys, but not as careful.” Michelle frowned. She was competitive and Janet could see her thinking about speeding up her work. “I couldn’t imagine putting them anywhere near Mr Wilson’s roses.” That eased the competitive spirit a little.

“We don’t get to see them very often.” prompted Maggie.

“I have a surprise for you. We got the contract to reroof the Boat Club.”

“Holy cow, that’s huge.” “Isn’t that a heritage building?”

“Yes, Maggie, it is a Heritage building, but as long as all we do is replace the cedar shakes, we’ll be in keeping. We’ll all be working on that one together. We’ll also have to hire some grunts to get the materials to the roof. The gardens surrounding the Club House mean we won’t be able to boom the materials onto the roof this time.”

“Do we have to wear gowns to work there?” They laughed. The Boat Club is considered the ritziest place in Town and it is no stranger to Gowns and Tuxes.

“We will have to be on our best behaviour. This will be a great chance to instill more of our “Roofers Who Care” culture with the new crew.” Janet felt Robb and Steve didn’t listen to everything she said and take it all the way to heart. They were too experienced for her to need to train them, but that also meant they had their own bad habits. Without hovering, she hadn’t been able to see how they acted.

Another hot and sunny day working at the Boat Club. There were six of them working, because they needed two young grunts to keep the roofers in shingles. One of them was a great worker and he was interested in the work. Janet was already trying to figure out how to add him to the team. But the other….

“Fuck!”

Janet’s face flamed red and she looked around the patio to see who else had heard that. No one seemed to react, maybe they were too far away, but this would never do.

She gave the new guy a stern talking to about appropriate language and sent him back to work. Later she came across him sitting on a chair on the patio, he said he was on break. Janet told him to take his break somewhere else.

Later six of them were cleaning up the tools and packing the truck. Maggie said, “The new guy isn’t working out.”

“Which one?”, asked Janet. Everyone else looked at each other and Janet noticed that one of the crew wasn’t there helping out. It was the one she had spoken to earlier. “Where is he?”

“Must be break time. Again.” said Robb.

“I have to fire him, don’t I? I’ll see about getting us another helper tomorrow.

“I can keep up. I pretty much did it on my own today.” said Alex, now a part of the crew.

“We can pitch in by bringing up a bundle every time we go up on the roof.” Steve was a big guy.

The next day the Commodore approached Janet, “You seem to be short a crew member.”

“We had to let one of them go. We will carry on with five for now.”

“Putting together a crew that pulls together isn’t easy. You know what they say, ‘hire slow and fire fast’. Good for you. I’ve had to fire a good number of men in my time and it’s never easy, but it comes with leadership. I wasn’t sure if I should talk to you about him, but I see you had his number.”

“I’m sorry, did he disturb your guests?” Janet thought of that word ringing out over the patio.

“No, not at all. We want you to succeed and he was making for choppy waters. Very good Corporal, er, Janet”

Janet liked the idea that even her customers wanted her to succeed.

Week 6 – Important Members of Your Team

Mastermind

I can’t stress enough how important your mastermind group is to your success. They will cheer you on and be your biggest advocate when you are flying high. They will brainstorm with you, advise you and open doors for you when you need a hand. They will hug you, pat you on the back and kick you in the pants when you need that, too.

If you don’t have a mastermind group, think of 5 or 6 people in your community you really admire and ask them. Ask your peers. Look within your industry association or start one. Ask around at the next Chamber, Rotary or networking event you attend.

You can meet as often as you like. Weekly is great if people are busy trying new things and deep into business development. That keeps things moving. Monthly meetings are good for keeping things sailing smoothly. Quarterly are good for checking in and keeping an eye on economics and industry trends. If you feel like you want to meet weekly and those you invite are talking quarterly, you will have to keep looking. Expectations have to match.

There are many forms the meetings can take from very formal and structured to very free-form. Again, It depends what the group wants. You may even start with one type and find you morph into another. As long as everyone is benefiting.

Customers

You knew that your customers were one of the most important members of your team already. The more you can get them talking to and helping each other, the more value you bring. Hold events that bring people together. Share resources like bringing in speakers, negotiating bulk ticket prices for a group of you or building a small library.

The best way to grow your business is to make your current customers deliriously happy. They will spread the word for you. That means put more of your resources to customer satisfaction than to customer acquisition. Look to Zappos to see that principle in action.

Sell what they want and you can find that out by asking them.

Staff

Treat your staff the way you want them to treat your customers. With respect, caring, and professionalism.

Vendors

the people you buy from are very attuned to industry trends. Ask them if you have a problem. They have likely seen it solved several different ways.

Vendors can also be a source of financing for growth. They have a vested interest in your success and growth.

Week 6 – Your Team Exercise

This week we will explore how we are not alone and there are many people who want to see us succeed and who can help us succeed.

Our exercise for this week is to open our eyes to all the people around us who want us to succeed.

Take a sheet of paper and list all the people on your team. Keep at it until you fill your page. Include people who help your business by keeping you moving, massage therapist, mechanic, instructor (you are taking a class in something creative, right?).

As you look over this list, ask yourself these questions:

Do they really know what we do? Can they tell others what we do?

Do they?

Do they know who we work best with?

 

Week 6 – Your Team

Sometimes it feels like we are working on our own because we have full responsibility for the success of our business. While no one will take that responsibility from us, there is a large group of people who are rooting for us, want to see us succeed and will help when we ask.

For Instance:

Asking your customers to bike to your shop by putting in a bike rack, may work for some. Putting together a compelling argument for your Mayor and Council to change the parking rules in front of your store, may work better. In fact, you might band with your neighbour shops, or your Economic Development group to look at the parking situation and make the changes that work for all of you.

Your customers want you to succeed, because they want what you offer. Your Mayor, Council and Economic Development Agency want you to succeed because you are part of what makes your community vibrant.

This is one example of how the people around you can help you and work with you.

Story = Marketing

Abel Martinez Volunteer Docent Guide Piedras Blancas Lightstation, San Simeon, CA telling a storyMarketing is having a great story and telling it.

Your story is what you do and how you do it. It’s your history, your culture and your mission. It’s your vision, your dreams and your plans. It’s who you work with, how you interact and what you do for them.

Your story is what makes people want to work with you. It’s what turns you into a person or company who is likeable and trustworthy.

Predictability = Brand Image
People want your story and how you tell it to be predictable. They want to know it’s you, every time.  They don’t want to confuse you with someone else and they want to follow your continuing narrative.

Environment = Media
Your people want to come across it where they are looking. They want it in a way they can relate and with language they understand.  Which media you choose is based on where your audience hangs out and which ones make you comfortable.

Team Building = Content
Your people want to know that you are there for them and that there are others there, too. They want a conversation and they want to be heard. Everything you say should speak to them and help them know you care. That, of course, assumes you do care.

Well Paid = Business Model
Your people want what’s fair for both of you. They want to reciprocate when you give them good stuff. Your price, your products and your offer are all part of your story. They tell people if they belong working with you.

That’s marketing, branding, usp, tactics, social media, and strategy all rolled into one story. Your story isn’t just about what you say, it’s what you do and what others say about you.  You can’t just make it up. Not any more.

The basics of your story answer these questions:

Who are you and what do you do?
With whom do you work best?
What do you do for them?
Where do you reach them?
How do you relate to them?
What do they want to hear from you?
What’s your offer to help them?
What’s your core message?
How can you wrap that to make it easily communicated?

Bernadette Jiwa tells us, in today’s post, what goes into our brand story and how everything we do communicates it. http://thestoryoftelling.com/20-elements-of-brand-story/

Here’s Your Effortless Marketing Plan Worksheet. Your Story and How You Tell It

Answering those questions will give you a start on your story and ideas about how and where to tell it.

photo by Mike Baird

Should Your Team be Well-Balanced?

It’s not so that your team needs to be balanced. You need to know what your team’s focus is and what strengths are needed to meet that focus.

The Barcelona Soccer Team squad are all the same and all with the team’s strengths. They are dominating their league. They force the other teams to play to their style and the whole team is strong in their style.

I knew a team that was very creative. They brought in one person to be their process person. She drove everyone, including herself, nuts. I always wondered what happened there. I always assumed that they needed that process person and they just didn’t give her the space to do what she needed to do.

It could be that they were never going to use her processes and it was a matter of thinking they needed something they didn’t. It’s hard to say, because that project didn’t make it.

Daniel Pink author of Drive

Daniel Pink

Have a listen to this video of Daniel Pink and Marcus Buckingham talking about teams and strengths.
http://www.danpink.com/office-hours

Marcus Buckingham

Who’s on Your Team?

This is a partial list of all the people in your life who are invested in you and your business. I hope this makes you realize you are not alone in your business, even if it’s only you.

Family
Cafe staff
Caterer
Stationary Store Owner
Hairdresser
Courier
Postal Carrier
Landlord
Rotary club
Chamber of Commerce
Lions Club
Networking Associations
Hobby clubs
Culture organizations
Sport Teams
Sport Facilities
Yoga Instructor
Mechanic
Sign Maker
Neighbours (We’re Canadian, eh?)
Subcontractors
Suppliers
Industry association
Operating Staff
Staff admin/reception
Tribe
Customers (Our Business Owners)
Realtor
VA – research
VA – admin
Electrician
Carpenter
Handyperson
Banker
Cleaning
IT
Marketing
Librarians
Facebook Friends
Twitter Followers
G+ Circles
Trainers
Website designers, hosters
Graphic designer
Printer
Local Small Business Organizations
Phone company
Radio Stations
Newspaper reporters
Payroll company
Mastermind group
Friends
Boards you are on
Other Business Owners
Mentor
Cheerleaders
Sparks/innovator
Inspirer
Bigger picture person
Hugger
Shoulder rubber
Financial Advisor
Accountant
Lawyer
Mayor
Town Council
Politicians

Each of them brings a piece you need for you, for your business, or for your community.

Who else is on your team?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 40 other followers