Sales are still good, though slow. There was a spike in the beginning but now that everyone has tasted the goods, they’re slow.
One of the lessons learned: keep advertising. People act on what they see but once it’s out of sight, it truly is out of mind. To keep selling we really have to keep advertising.
In our case, that means Facebook. Because we’re local and because our customers are really only our family and friends in the area, we have to keep it in front of them in order to continue selling.
Step 1 to Self-Awareness: Learn where you come from and why you think the way you do.
How do we measure our own Emotional Intelligence? If we are lacking in the self-awareness category, can we even begin? I believe we can and I believe that the Book of Mormon gives us a good guideline for becoming self-aware and helping us with our relationships with others.
The questions I’ll be bringing up in this series of posts will be coming from Alma chapter 5.
The first question he asks is this:
“…have you sufficiently retained in remembrance the captivity of your fathers?”
The first step is to apply the question to ourselves. For many of us, our fathers weren’t in captivity, so how can this possibly apply?
Let me suggest this…
We were raised by our parents/guardians. We think and act the way we do, largely because of how we were raised. Many people even try to justify making bad decisions on their upbringing and lack of opportunity. It stands to reason then, that our parents’/guardians’ actions stemmed from the same place – how they were raised. Our parents likely taught us what they knew, the best way they knew how.
Now let me ask the question again.
Have you, sufficiently, remembered or learned where your parents came from and why they taught you the things they did the way they did?
Do you know where your thought processes come from?
Until you do, you can’t change them (if that’s what you’re looking to do).
Step 1 to Self-Awareness: Learn where you come from and why you think the way you do.
We all have stuff we need to work on in order to become better people. Below is a list of things we can work on to help us become better leaders, and consequently, better people.
Start with Fixed Principles
- Know your purpose
- Be consistent
- “Do what I do” not “Do what I say”
- Have team spirit
- Don’t be afraid of close friendships
- Be virtuous; have a moral and ethical code
Strive to Understand Others
- Listen to others
- Listen to your own conscience
- Don’t be condescending
- Be patient
- Be candid and forthright without being overbearing
- Be kind, yet firm
- Seek to understand them deeply – know the cause, not just the action
- Lead, don’t control
- Don’t take away the freedom of others
- Keep perspective
- Involve others
- Give helpful corrective feedback
- Believe in what they’re capable of now, what they have the potential to do, and let them know it
- Be lovingly and reasonably demanding
- Match the task to the ability while stretching them a little to become better
- Create opportunities for lasting changes
- Be accountable
- Hold others accountable
Manage Your Time Well
- Afford rest, relaxation, rejuvination, and recreation without avoiding responsibility
- Time management = self management
The sales are still coming and I am shocked.
I knew there was a need, but I didn’t realize the magnitude of it.
Apparently, people love chocolate chip cookies, especially when they’re homemade. We’ve made so many cookies over the past two weeks.
I was able to sell the cheesecake that was cancelled and one of the people that tried it ordered another one. I have an order to fill for Father’s Day that we will be customizing slightly. It will increase the cost, but I’m not going to increase the price because I know it will generate at least one more order.
The cookies are what’s so shocking to me. I thought everyone knew how to make chocolate chip cookies and while I’ve never had ones this good before, I figured that everyone else had a specific preference. I was wrong.
This is fun!
Even when they’re not.
I enjoyed learning more about the importance of customer service and especially appreciated the inclusion of the employees as customers. Good, satisfied employees create loyal satisfied customers. Loyal customers come back and bring their friends.
Employers should strive to hire people with the right attitude, knowing that they can teach them the skills they will need.
Employees should believe in the company as much as the owner does, but the owner (and management) have to show that they believe in it, not just that they’re there for the paycheck.
These were all good reminders to me and something for me to remember as I begin my own business.
Years ago, I sat through an 8-hour Franklin-Covey course designed to help me manage my time better. It worked and I’ve been using that system ever since. In preparation for that class, I had to read the entire 7 Habits book. It has been a very effective tool in my life, even though I haven’t visited with it since.
This week I had the opportunity to review the book in a summary format. I couldn’t get enough of the article. It took me three days to get through it and my notes are extensive. This time, with about 13 years of experience under my belt since the last time we met, I would like to take each habit and work on them individually, incorporating the advice given in Mastery. While realizing that I won’t perfect these habits in this life, keeping them in my memory and bringing them more into focus within my daily activities will help me to get closer to perfecting them.
The one that stood out to me the most, and the one I’m going to work on first, is the first one: Be proactive. I didn’t choose this one purely because it’s first. This one resonated with me and with some of the things I have going on right now. I’ve lost a lot of the skill that comes with this habit and it’s past time to start practicing again. I’ll start with this quote:
“Being proactive doesn’t mean being pushy, aggressive or insensitive. Rather, proactivity means to control a situation from the inside out. Or in other words, to affect positive change, stop focusing on the immediate circumstances and instead consider your response to the conditions that exist. … We are free to choose our response to any situation…”
I haven’t been doing a very good job of choosing my response. Instead I’ve been allowing myself to react to things without taking control of my own situation. It’s time to change that. I cannot and will not grow until I do.
It’s important to be able to measure the results of changes we make in how we do things. Below is a set of guidelines to help us measure the impact of changes.
- Determine how many people you were having an impact on before the changes is made
- Figure out how many people bough products/services, and what the dollar amount was, before the change was made
- Count the number of people you’re having an impact on after the change was implemented
- Count the number of people who purchased something
- Figure out the average unit value of a sale
- Determine what the improvement was after the change
Adapted from The EMyth Revisited
I watched a video for one of my classes this week about choosing our own Hero’s Journey. In it were four key elements to finding and then choosing to become our own hero.
1. Live every moment of your life like it matters – because it does.
How we choose to spend every single moment of our lives counts for something. Sometimes we need a break and that’s good. Taking breaks helps us to rejuvenate and rededicate our efforts towards our goal. Even those moments of recreation or relaxation count towards becoming the hero we want to someday be.
2. Live as if you have an important mission – because you do.
Each of us was put on this earth for a reason. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that we’re making a difference but each moment, each hour, each day lived with purpose and definition help mold us into the hero we are destined to become. Each of us has a mission and we should live every moment building towards that goal.
3. See struggles as adventures and setbacks as lessons.
Sometimes we learn things the easy way and sometimes it takes a little (or huge) challenge for us to learn something. A friend of mine used to remind me during the hard times of my life, that I was having trials to help teach me something. She would tell me that the sooner I could figure out what it was I was supposed to learn, the sooner the trial would end. Looking at struggles or trials as learning experiences or adventures changes them into something meaningful instead of dreadful. Lessons learned are so much more valuable than setbacks. It’s a completely different way of thinking and, therefore, a completely different way of life.
4. What matters most isn’t the prize at the end, but how the hero is changed in the process.
Are we allowing ourselves to be changed? Do we keep our minds open and ready to learn new things? Identifying the adventures and the lessons and using them to improve ourselves is as important as the lessons and adventures themselves. If, once we’re on the other side of the adventure, we don’t take the time to inventory the things we’ve learned, we could quite possibly lose them. To lose them means we’ll have to learn them again in order to accomplish our mission. To take inventory and be accountable for the lessons learned helps to keep our life mission-focused and our moments purpose-driven.
In the article “Are Successful Entrepreneurs Born or Made?” Jeff Sandefer talks about an experience he had when trying to find out what it was that made an entrepreneur successful. Was it skill, character or luck?
There were a couple of quotes from the article that I’ve added to the Quotes to Keep page, but I also wanted to elaborate on them a little bit.
The first, and my personal favorite, was “It is adding value to the lives of customers and employees that builds great businesses.” If what you sell or if the service you provide adds value to someone’s life, that’s great. What’s more important is that you take that value very seriously. It should matter as much to you as it does to them.
I know a girl who has started many different business and hasn’t been super successful in any of them. The reason is that, even though the services she has offered have added value to others’ lives, she didn’t care as much about that value as she did about how much they would pay her for it. Not only should your product or service add value, but you need to recognize and acknowledge that value. It should mean as much to you as it does to them.
The second quote I liked was “Entrepreneurial success isn’t about money; it’s about freedom. The goal isn’t to make more than you need, it’s to spend less than you make. Because that way your free time belongs to you.”
When we go into business to help others and truly add value to their lives, our lives are enriched in the process. Touching peoples lives and making them better helps us to appreciate our own time and use our free time wisely. It’s not about the money we make but about the difference we make instead. It’s about having the freedom to be able to make that difference.
In one of the videos I watched for one of my classes this week, Peter Diamandis said something I’ve been saying in my head for weeks now. (Sometimes it feels really good to be validated.) He said,
“You have to believe in yourself and what you’re doing passionately enough that you’re willing to give this person the opportunity to help you or to be involved.”
Remember why you decided to do this in the first place. What was the reason why you wanted to have your own business? Is it because you wanted to make a difference? How passionate about that difference are you? We need to be passionate enough about the difference we want to make, or the legacy we want to leave, to be able to look at it like an opportunity for others as well.
Believe in what you’re doing. Treat it as though it’s a dream and you’re allowing others to come along on this incredible journey with you. Then go out there and work like you’re making others’ dreams come true. Because you are. And in the process, yours will come true too.