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Inspira, breathing life into business

February 2015



Can we still wish you Happy New Year in February?  Well, Happy New Year!  As always, January disappears as quickly as it arrives and we are now well into quarter 1 of 2015. 

Have you come back to work feeling energised and re-inspired?  Or has it been hard to get back into the swing of things after a lovely break?  For some people, the energy does ebb and flow and it can be difficult to get back to the grindstone.  We suggest that you inject some love and passion into your working life and all parties will benefit considerably - just in time for Valentine’s Day!

In this issue, we’ll discuss how to fall in love with your business, we’ll give you some tips on how to stay motivated and achieve almost anything, as well as some key ‘dos and don’ts’ of meetings.

Fall in love with your business

Walt Disney famously said ‘Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.’ It’s pretty obvious that we all need our customers to be in love with our businesses, but owner managers often forget just how important it is to be in love with their own businesses.  We know that sounds corny, but if we don’t love what we do, then how can we persuade more people to love our product or service or work for us!  Sometimes business leaders are so wrapped up in the day-to-day running of their organisation that they fall out of love totally and can end up resenting their work. 

Here are our Top Tips for learning to love your business again! 
1. Remember why you started your business – does your current business achieve this goal?
2. Show your clients why your work matters to you.
3. Celebrate all successes, even the small ones.
4. Love your people; they are going to help you on your road to success.
5. Evaluate your daily routine and change the things that don’t make you happy.
6. Surround yourself with inspiring mentors or advisors.
7. You run your business; don’t let it run you!
8. Learn to delegate; focus on your skills and outsource the rest.
9. Wherever possible, make sure your business includes a hobby or passion.
10. Ensure your business allows time away with your family or friends.

Stay Motivated and Achieve Anything

It’s one thing to write an inspiring strategic business plan, it’s quite another to have a plan to keep yourself in top form and motivated to bring the plan to life.  At this time of year, it’s common to feel a little sluggish and blue – the weather doesn’t help, does it?  Put your mind to making 2015 a successful one with these helpful pointers.
1. What is your motivating force?  Define your passion and goals, remember why they are important to you and commit.
2. Use others’ energy.  If you’re feeling low, examine the people around you and surround yourself with people who take you up a gear, not down.
3. Organise your mind.  Cluttered thinking and an over stimulated brain destroys motivation.  Take 10 minutes to collect your thoughts and reorganise – you can do this alone or use someone trusted as a sounding board.
4. Then write it down!  Moving things from your head to your notebook (physical or digital) can really help to reignite your motivation.
5. Have a Plan B – not every idea will be the winner, but that doesn’t mean you won’t ever win!
6. Be happy!  It really is so productive!

Dos and Don’ts of Meetings

We almost always default to ‘let’s book a meeting to discuss X’ in business, but is that always the right approach and if so, how should we behave?  It’s a given that we form our opinions of people we meet in the first 7-10 seconds, so first impressions really are crucial.  It doesn’t end there, however.  How we behave day-to-day in business can really affect our working relationships.  So, if you do have to organise or attend a meeting, make sure you get it right! 

Before a meeting
- If you can secure the desired outcome without a meeting, DO!
- Inform all required attendees with as much notice as possible, including the logistical details and the reason for their requested presence. 
- Prepare – beforehand!  Ask attendees to prepare too.
- Circulate an agenda in advance
- Select a leader/chairperson/minute-taker/scribe, as applicable, in advance
- Confirm attendance beforehand

After a meeting
- Circulate minutes and actions, with deadlines
- Follow-up appropriately

At a meeting
DO!                                                                           DON’T!
Be punctual                                                               Don’t be late!
Stand up                                                                    Don’t interrupt
Shake hands!                                                            Don’t have side conversations
Bring ideas                                                                Don’t ask irrelevant questions
Pay attention                                                             Don’t yawn!
Listen more than you talk                                          Don’t wait for latecomers
Put all your devices away                                          Don’t mute a conference call
Ensure your phone is on silent                                  Don’t leave the room
Leave your emotions outside                                    Don’t eat – unless it’s a lunch!

Speak clearly

"To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart."
Thomas Watson, Sr. Chairman & CEO of IBM

Some useful articles we have read over the past few months….

How to hire the right employees

Megatrends: are UK organisations getting better at managing their people?

Innovation Vouchers: a new source of funding?