Are you Considering Business Ownership?

Is it better to start my own business or work for somebody else?

This is truly a personal question. Each individual will have their own goals in life and their own definition of success. Each person should take a close look at themselves and determine how they define success in their life.

Aim Beyond Network provides FREE TRAINING and consultations to help you decide about owning a business and  register (at no cost). But in case you are still not sure, take a look at some data and statistics that might point you in the right direction.

You may feel comfortable working for someone else, and you may have been raised to believe that loyalty to your employer is a must. We believe that there are good employers out there who treat their employees well. We also believe that anyone has the opportunity to reach their personal and professional goals either through employment or through building their own business. The question here is what format is best for you? And to answer that you need to know the facts and clarify some of the myths.

Myth #1: Very few people want to start a business.

If you are wondering if you should start a business, you are certainly not alone. The University of Phoenix released the results of online survey (1) of more than 1,600 U.S. employed adults. The results show how many workers hope to own a business in the future by age group:

  • 55% of workers in their 20s
  • 48% of workers in their 30s
  • 36 % of workers in their 40s
  • 39% of workers in their 50s
  • 26% of workers age 60 or older

Myth #2 Employment provides the best tax benefits.

So what if you find yourself among the percentage of people who are content or even happy as an employee? Robert Kiyosaki (2), a well-known speaker and author offers some insight as to why this may not be as advantageous as you might think.

He explains his observations using the Cashflow Quadrant described in his site at

http://www.richdad.com/Resources/Rich-Dad-Financial-Education-Blog/June-2011/Rich-Dad-Fundamentals–CASHFLOW-Quadrant.aspx

“The CASHFLOW Quadrant is divided into four types of people.

  • E is for Employee
  • S is for Self-Employed or Specialist
  • B is for Big Business
  • I is for Investor

On the left side of the quadrant are Es and Ss. They pay the most in taxes and trade their time for money.
On the right side of the quadrant are Bs and Is. They pay the least in taxes and create or invest in assets that produce cash flow for them even when they’re sleeping.”

Kiyosaki explains that employees work and time is highly taxed, and employees receive less benefits than those who choose to build a business.

Myth #3 Employment is more secure than owning a business.

Employment gives the person a false sense of security. But fact of the matter is that there is little security no matter what your job is. In the companies eyes, everyone is expendable and can be replaced regardless of how important you think you may be to them. And in today’s global economy, where companies merge or get acquired, anyone’s job may be eliminated leaving employees without recourse.

Another aspect to consider is that employees are often given a false sense of loyalty. For example, most companies will require the employee to give a two week notice before leaving their employment. However, if the company decides to let an employee go for any reason, employers hardly ever give advance notice.

Myth #4 Employment is fair and pays me what I am worth.

Employment gives people a false sense of fairness. When you work for a company, you may have a coworker next to you doing the exact same thing for the same or more pay than you, whether you work just as hard or harder than that person. Many employees across the world get paid regardless of their performance. When you build your own business, if you build the right kind of business, you earn what you work for and get rewarded for what you develop for yourself.

Once again, you should take a close look at what your goals are, and who you should be most loyal to: your own goals or a company’s. If you come to the conclusion that you should at least explore starting your own business, you are not alone. Groups like Aim Beyond Network can help you determine what your options are. Contact Aim Beyond to get started with a free consultation.

References:

  1. http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20130725005487/en/Working-Adults-Business-Entrepreneurial-Ambitions-8-10
  2. http://www.richdad.com/Resources/Rich-Dad-Financial-Education-Blog/June-2011/Rich-Dad-Fundamentals–CASHFLOW-Quadrant.aspx

Ethics First and Always

According to a five-year research project by Doremus and Financial Times that started in 2003, when two suppliers offer the same product/service or similar quality and a similar price, executives in the USA will rank High Ethical Standards as their top priority when selecting a supplier.

In fact, 86% of senior executives in North America and about 64% in Europe would stop a sale if they perceive a lack of ethical standards on the side of the supplier. This indicates that having and implementing strong ethical standards can be a significant competitive advantage in tough economic times.

As an example, take a look at this statement by one of our customers, Xerox. On their Supplier Relations page you’ll find the statement “We assess the quality, cost, delivery and sustainability of the supplier’s products and services and ensure their business is run with high ethical standards and in alignment with social responsibility principles.“

But what are these ethical standards? Xerox requires suppliers to abide by a Code of Business Conduct that provides standards in five critical areas of corporate social responsibility: labor, health and safety, environment, management systems and ethics.

Xerox has adopted the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) Code of Conduct for corporate social responsibility as its code of conduct for suppliers. To learn about EICC standards, you can visit their site here: http://goo.gl/y4KNc5. Another example of supplier expectations by another customer of ours, GE Healthcare, can be found here: http://goo.gl/TuAAVl.

Class, Education and Income in the USA

ClassAndIncome

Entrepreneurship Survey 2015

6 out of 10 people would like to be their own boss and have their own business but they struggle knowing how to get started.
We want to hear from you and your interest and challenges becoming an entrepreneur. Select the link to open the survey.

OPEN THE SURVEY

About Learning4Managers

Before you aim for a goal check where you are first

I travel often for work and pleasure and spend many nights at hotels. In my travels, one day I entered the elevator and got ready to push the button for the 11th floor. I quickly realized that the buttons only went up to 6. I exited the elevator, looked around, and waited for the other elevator door to open. The same thing happened. I was puzzled. It took me a minute to realize that I had stayed in the 11th floor the week before and that this week I was in the 5th floor.

I think my experience is an analogy that tells us that before we can reach our goals, we need to know where we stand and where we are going. I thought my goal was to get to the 11th floor. If I had kept pursuing that as my goal I would have been frustrated and eventually embarrassed.

I see people that on a daily basis keep trying to reach a goal that isn’t there. And they keep trying. They ask themselves, “am in the right elevator?” not realizing they are in the wrong place altogether.

When we feel we are not reaching our goals, we need to take a look at what our real goal is. In my case, my real goal was to get to my room. To do so, we need to know and understand where we are now, and then aim at where we really want to go. So the first question to ask is, are we where we think we are?

Trust Sells

It doesn’t matter if you are not in a sales career, we all sell a product or a service and we all negotiate. To that end, let’s talk about the key to success in selling a product or a service: Trust Sells.

The statement is simple but profound. First, you can’t fool people. If you do not trust the product or service you offer, people will notice right away. Second, if your behaviors and attitudes do not inspire trust, people will not want to do business with you. In short, if you break trust you lose the sale.

On the other hand, if you inspire trust and extend that trust to your product or service, you have earned the chance to close the sale. Notice that this is a two-step process. The person you want to do business with has to first trust you, and only then will they trust your offer.

Once you earn the person’s trust in you, you can start developing trust in what you are offering. Your own testimonial and that of other trusted people will go a long way. You are building a trust chain: your client trusts you -> you share your confidence in a product or service -> your client then extends the trust they have on you to that product or service.

Ask yourself, what am I proactively doing to earn the trust of my clients and prospects?

En Español

Boosting Team Performance

AssertivenessBoostersLeaders and managers have a direct impact on team performance. But is it their technical expertise or something else that helps boost team performance?

In 2014, Learning4Managers conducted a survey with participants ranging from Director to C-Level. We asked them what helped them be more assertive at work. Their answers showed us the importance and value of soft skills over technical expertise.

The top performance booster, found in 60% of the answers, was showing support. Respondents revealed that they appreciate leaders that take the time to show appreciation, give feedback, and take time to encourage them.

Managers and leaders could benefit from updating their motivational and feedback skills. Team members appreciate to hear positive and constructive feedback from their leaders. Developing positive professional relationships also motivate team members to please their managers by demonstrating higher performance.

Next in the list with 25% of the answers came allowing autonomy. Respondents expressed that when leaders and managers gave them sufficient instructions accompanied by adequate freedom to do their job, they felt empowered and engaged.

Last at about 15% each came leading by example. Respondents indicated that they respect a leader that shows energy and a positive attitude.

In summary, update you skills giving feedback and motivating others. Work on your delegation skills and allow for autonomy. Finally, set an example for your teams.

En Español: https://learning4managers.com/dir/?p=709

What Keeps You From Getting Things Done?

AssertivenessIn 2014, Learning4Managers conducted a survey with participants ranging from Director to C-Level. We asked them what kept them from being assertive at work. Their responses led us to understand that what keep us from accomplishing our work are things that we can control or influence.

The top obstacle, found in 60% of the answers, was lack of power and support. Respondents revealed that when they do not feel support from leaders, peers or even their customers, they feel powerless. As a result they experience a decline in motivation and assertive behavior.

Things that can make an individual feel lack or support and powerless include restricting autonomy at work, not allowing for dialogue in the decision-making process, and using intimidation instead of reason to force a choice.

Next in the list with 30% of the answers came lack of clarity, knowledge or skills. Respondents told us that when they are unclear about their expectations, or when they lack the knowledge or skill to do a task, their motivation and assertive behaviors diminish.

Finally at about 10% each came conflict. Respondent included examples such as power struggles and office politics.

If you notice these behaviors at your workplace, now is the time to put a plan together to put a stop to them. Show support to your teams, work on communication skills and clarity, and provide training in conflict management.

En Español: https://learning4managers.com/dir/?p=709

Are your goals right for you?

Do you have personal and professional goals? Are you on track to meet them? How do you know?
Ask the average person if they have set goals for themselves. Many will say they have. But when you ask them to describe their goals in detail, most people either hesitate describe a hope or a dream they have for their future instead of an actual goal. This is why we spend a significant amount of time training leaders about goal setting.

First, let’s be clear about what a goal is. The easiest way to know if your goal is a true goal is to test it using the S.M.A.R.T. Goal model. Is your goal Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely?

Let’s look at an example. Nora is a busy professional and she wants to optimize her day. However, her goal is stated as a wish: “I’d like to have more time.” Because this wish does not meet the S.M.A.R.T. criteria, it isn’t likely Nora will achieve her desired goal.

Let’s take that wish and turn it into a S.M.A.R.T. goal: “I will free one extra hour a day next week by creating a time log to track my activities at my desk and at meetings in order to identify which time-wasters I can eliminate each day.”

Here is a challenge for you: Set a S.M.A.R.T. goal today! Prepare a personal and a professional goal for yourself by the end of the day.

Continue reading

Be Careful What You Ask For

Many managers struggle with employee performance. It is evident when you look at job description that often list “self-starter people” or “independent thinker” and other similar statements as highly desired characteristics.

The fact is that at work you’ll find different kinds of individuals

  • Those who need prompts to do their job
  • Those who are self-motivated
    • to perform their job functions
    • to look for additional duties beyond their own

Leaders hope for the last type listed here to work for them because they believe that these individuals will work with as little supervision as possible. And how could this be a bad thing after all? They also hope to avoid those who appear to need direction because they appear to be the least motivated individuals in the group.

The issues leaders face with highly motivated people are not as obvious as those you’d expect from low-motivated individuals.  It begins when these highly independent and self-motivated people start diverting their attention to extracurricular work activities that are not aligned with the corporate objectives.

High energy and motivation can be an asset, but only when it is pointed in the right direction. Don’t assume just because someone shows initiative that that they will know what they are supposed to do or what their boundaries are.

Always set clear expectations with individuals and discuss clearly what the boundaries are, both in terms of minimum expectations as well as how far their independence can reach.

To discuss how you can get access to training about alignment and how to maximize the potential of highly motivated employees Contact Us Today.