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There are no scraps of men

This is a TED talk.  You can see this and many other talks that inspire and capture the imagination at http://www.ted.com.  there are a range of topics including technology, business building, entertainment, and science.

This is an awe inspiring story told by Alberto Cairo, a physiotherapist who leads the International Red Cross’ orthopaedic rehabilitation work in Afghanistan.

He’s spent the past two decades in this war-ravaged nation, far from  his native Italy, helping an estimated 100,000 Afghan landmine and accident victims learn to find the strength within themselves to not  only walk, but also to hope, again.

In a country where the  disabled are generally given pity but no rights, Alberto found a way through micro-loans, positive discrimination schemes and home schooling, to give tens of thousands of disabled Afghans a job and a sense of  dignity and pride.

This has nothing to do with financial planning, business coaching or business building but it does have a lot to do with empathy, care, kindness and respect for other human beings.  We could do with a lot more people like Alberto Cairo in the world today.

Learn The Art of Peace

Check out Griffith Aikido at http://www.griffithaikido.com.auAikido is a highly refined Japanese system of self protection.  It is a martial art where the ultimate aim is to not to fight or to hurt an opponent, but to develop inner peace and hone a positive spirit.  As we all come to learn, the only real control is self control.  As O Sensei once said, “True victory is self-victory.”

This mysterious art is practiced all over the world by people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.  It’s teachings are metaphors for living life as well as positive business building, regardless of circumstance or adversity.  We actively promote peace, one student at a time.

Gary Weigh

Business building

Aikido Instructor

Business coaching Brisbane

WHAT IS RISK MANAGEMENT?

Gary Weigh business coaching BrisbaneAnd what does it have to do with your business?

Risk management is:

(a)   Identifying the risks in your business and taking steps to eliminate, reduce, cover, or in some way manage those risks: AND

(b)   In dealing with arguably the biggest risk of all (YOU) – identifying and rectifying the balance between ‘unfocused daily activity’ activities and ‘business building’

For most small businesses, most of the risk resides with the owner!!!

DO YOUR OWN RISK ASSESSMENT

Q1. Do you feel that you are in total control of your business?

Q2. Do you do the important high-payoff tasks or only the stuff that you like?

Q3. Do you act decisively or do you tend to procrastinate about it and delay action?

Q4. Are you persistent or do you feel discouraged at the sound of the first “NO”?

Q5. Are you and other key people insured against loss due to left-field health events?

If you don’t score 5 out of 5 then you know you can improve.

For help, encouragement, a mentor and business coaching Brisbane area, call Gary on 0408 756 531 or email to gary@garyweigh.com

Stay focused

Business building Australia – Brisbane based

Gary Weigh business buildingIf business building is your focus this year, give up trying  to be all things to all people.  Doing that might make you feel good but is the quickest way to lose focus by running  around doing things that you are not good at.   Let me assure you that losing focus means losing money.

Focus on the product and service you want to offer, package it up and go out and sell it.  Narrow your focus onto the things you are very good at, find the customers who want to buy your package, and resist the urge to be overly obliging to customers at any cost.  Doing so will only add to your costs without adding to your revenue at your target margin.

Business coaching is the surest way to keep you  focused on your targets.   Invest in your business at http://garyweigh.com/

Risk – the fear of loss

Risk is fear of loss but that fear is not the same for everyone.  This makes risk a subjective concept.  What is perceived as high risk and uncomfortable by one person may be perceived as low risk and feel very comfortable to another.

When financial advisers offer advice or recommend a financial product, they must do so in written statement of advice, but not before they take into account the client’s risk profile.

Product and service providers in other industries could well take a leaf out of this book.  All vendors should show a deeper interest in what a customer is likely to be comfortable with and what is likely to keep them awake at night.

Risk analysis is one very useful tool I have taken from my financial planning tool kit and applied to my business coaching services, and with great results.

It takes a little more time and effort but it basically involves understanding a customer’s perception of risk, identify the most serious risks and introducing information or strategies that helps overcome the risks, and enables the customer to confidently move forward.

Until next time

Gary

Business and divorce

For most people, divorce is an unpleasant experience.  However, it pays to be cooperative in the process.  The more acrimonious a divorce is, the more expensive it tends to be.

Divorce is a direct path to the poorhouse for many as the same income has to support two households instead of one.  It is often an exercise in survival.

An equitable divorce must be planned if both parties are to achieve a fair result.  So it pays to start planning the finances during the divorce, not after.

Most assets are capable of being split, including superannuation.  Often, both parties are willing to sell the former family home as a means of emotionally moving on.  However, the one asset that can present difficulty is a business.

A business may have been the family income generating asset or it may have represented self-employment for one of the divorcing spouses.  Unlike the family home, it is an income generating asset without which one or both parties might suffer financial hardship.  It is often the case that at least one party wants to keep it.

Selling a business in a depressed economic environment at a fire sale price could be financially disastrous.   Rearranging ownership and perhaps the departure of one working spouse from the business could have a negative effect on its ongoing performance.

I have seen owners of solo service businesses all but shut down their businesses during a divorce, in an attempt to render it worthless.  It is such a shame and subsequent recovery and business building is difficult.  Besides, the aim should be to maximise marital assets, not minimise them.

Instead of muddling or fighting your way through a divorce, think about keeping a ‘cool head’ and doing some ‘smart planning’ with good financial advice.

The power of introverts

Business building

Thank you so much Susan Cain for having the courage to so ably represent us.  Introverts have such great business ideas but also have great difficulty promoting them.  We create businesses that stay too long in the shadows, relatively unknown.  We love the technical stuff but dislike the promotional stuff.  Networking and public speaking are the hardest things we ever have to do.  The internet marketing and social media outlets have provide introverts with an alternate range attractive promotional options.  We like the elements of anonymity and solitude inherent in sitting at a computer.  But it is still difficult for us to be the centre of attention, albeit in cyberspace.  We still feel as though we are lost in the noise of spammers and extroverts.  At some time or other, we think we need extroverted sales people to do that bit for us, so we can get on with the more grippingly enjoyable tasks of generating internal brilliance.

But there is another way.  That is to join forces and hunt as a pack.  Ok it is going to be a very silent pack but a powerful network of like minds nevertheless.  Take a look at this TED video at http://www.ted.com.  Can we silently and cautiously network with each other, and share ideas and opportunities?  I think we can and together I think we can make a difference.  I hope you enjoy listening to Susan Cain.  She’s my hero.

Could you finance 30 years retirement?

Whether we are employed or business building or both, we all face the same problem.  That is, how to finance that period of our lives from so-called ‘retirement age’ to the day we die.

For many, superannuation will only be part of the story.  For the majority of Australians approaching retirement age, work super will not be sufficient regardless of whether it is in an industry fund or a retail master trust.  Most who struggle with low super balances now would have still faced the same problem, albeit not so severe, even if the GFC hadn’t occurred.

Let’s face it!  The period of time in retirement these days could be 30 years or so.  Even a seemingly healthy $500,000 in superannuation is not likely to cut it over that time span.

We all need to accumulate enough income earning assets to see us through to the end of life.  That requires a pro-active approach to wealth building with sufficient lead time.  The alternative is to rely on work super and the age pension and hope for the best.

Those unable to be fully self funded retirees or who find the age pension inadequate, may have to keep working in some capacity, even on a part time basis to accommodate traditional retirement activities, such as travel and sightseeing.

Business owners might choose not to sell out so soon and stay longer in their businesses, perhaps decreasing their direct involvement.  Others might choose a sea-change, living and working in a different location, or a career change which could include running a home-based business, online or offline.

The point is that whatever the post-retirement strategy is, it has to be planned.  If a new career or business building are to be part of the retirement solution, common sense suggests that they should be planned and in place before existing income sources are terminated.

Is what you do a ‘high payoff’ activity?

business building

Most small to medium businesses have only limited resources, so you and I as owners are not only busy but have to be multi-talented as well.  There is a lot to do in a day but still there has to be a sharp focus on which activities are most directly related to bringing in business.

Two common culprits that hungrily eat into high payoff activity time and stifle business building are (a) other people trying to steal or prioritise your time and (b) problem solving and putting out fires.   They serve to distract attention from the main game.

High payoff activities generally centre around three main objectives.  Although they are not always easy, doing them will generally have the following effect on your business:

  1. Increase sales at healthy margins (e.g. up-sell or find new products and markets)
  2. Decrease direct expenses and / or fixed costs (e.g. better negotiating, volume discounts, higher quality inputs, inventory control
  3. Improve productivity (e.g. new technology, improved systems, focused hiring)

Achieving all of these objectives will consistently increase profit which in turn increases owner’s equity.  This should remain the number one financial goal of any business.

Business building wisdom

Success, good fortune, flourishing health, wealth and happiness!  That’s prosperity.  It is so much more robust and satisfying than merely being rich.