Business

New Entrepreneurs

Welcome to Mini Miracles from Minor Moments where every week Linda brings us a new 10-15 minute theme for self development and insight.   Our Podcasts are growing and changing so hopefully you will continue to follow us as we go forward into a new and evolving format to include regular interviews and co-hosts.  

This weeks guest is Angela Pletz who is a local community member of Mini Miracles Cafe, an entrepreneurial group that meets to encourage and go forward into building wonderful businesses.   Let’s hear Angela, who will be hopefully returning to us in the near future so we can learn more of her goals and aspirations.

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Total Makeover

Sometimes we need a total makeover and that is where I am at.  I came into the office with stacks of projects to attack and suddenly the whole office was under reform.   Yes I mean it!  From this magazine rack, to file arrangements, and updated notebooks.   Lots will be changing in the next few weeks.   In addition to taking 3 different coaching modalities and studying Counseling updates, it seems like I got a bolt of energy to change things up.

How about you?  Do you ever do something like this?   Where you walk into a room and start tossing things in the garbage or begin to give things away? Where do you start?  Do you consult with someone or just dive in with the hopes that all the planning and thinking is ready to be applied?

Our Mini Miracles Cafe Women’s Entrepreneurial group has just revved up and there is so much more to be highlighted.   I think the ability to listen and take away good ideas is primary to everything we attempt.   That starts with personal changes as well as transforming a business.   With social media the buzz, we can’t help but learn to use it effectively.

So here are 5 starters to help with your business:

  • Call some of your contacts for the names of businesses and firms that can help you grow.  Do it today while the idea is fresh in your mind.
  • Create internal systems within your business.   I can help you organize your company to be more effective and efficient.
  • If you don’t already have one, purchase an Internet Password Organizer.  It is a blessing and easy to keep up to date.   Why not?
  • Although we all use or phones, back up things in files.   You’ll be glad you did!
  • Read, read, and read some more.   Continue to use the library resources and local book stores to keep us on task.   Not all of the information we have on line is the most accurate.

Have a great day and wonderful week.   Forge ahead with confidence and goals in place.  Delight in all the Minor Moments that will bring on Mini Miracles!

 

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The Language of Dogs

Well you may be wondering how this topic is helpful to Business, but it really is important that we learn from many perspectives and apply those skills.  Various breeds are known for their temperament.  We used to have Male Boxers.   They could be wonderfully agreeable or very independent until we learned the same language.  That is true of the different professional people we all deal with if we are involved in a business.

Each business has its own vocabulary.   There are acronyms in many of them and to hear a person throw them into a conversation can be disarming.   On the one hand do you sound dumb asking or do you ask and see how the person responds to you?  As a counselor, there are many in our profession.   Even though people know what the letters stand for, it makes me mad that they toss the terms around with such authority.   I am thinking of the letters OCD that are used whenever one is describing a family member who tends to be neat and organized.   Or ADHD when one sees a child misbehaving and refers to them in that manner.   One must be careful to speak clearly about what they truly know.

Well we have Miss Rosy, who is pictured here.   She is a great dog and knows what we want by our hand signals, actions, or words.   We speak the same language when we use our common language.   She can also take a stand and not budge.   She has a mind of her own until you stop and take the time to communicate with her.   She did that earlier today.   First, we had the lawn service people around; she checked them out and then walked in peacefully. Then our water softener salt was delivered and she sat on her bed watching him carry it all in.   Then I was rushing her out during my break home at lunchtime to get her nails clipped.   I was in a hurry, put on her leash and started out the door.   She stopped and there she sat looking at me.

Yes, I am listening!

I realized at that point that the day had already been busy for her.  People had moved in and out of her space and now she needed an explanation of sorts to understand where I was taking her.   I simply stopped too, because I knew she was not going to move.  I explained where we were going and motioned to the car to explain how we were getting there.   She instantly relaxed and moved next to me.   Happily she jumped onto the rug I placed on the car seat and she waited for me to start the car.  At the vets, she saw the Dr. and ran up to him.   She knows the routine and responded to his appearance immediately.

Business is like that too.   When we trust the people we work with and how to conduct ourselves, we respond well.   When procedures, billing, and communication changes, we stop in our tracks and reconsider how we will react to the changes.   Sometimes the lack of communication disrupts or destroys the business relationship.  Furthermore, we question how sincere the relationship is working.   For many years, I was on a handshake at the office where I had my business.   There was a mutual respect and none of us violated it.

When we were looking for land to build our home, the man said “just give me $20 bucks in good faith and come back when you are ready.”   We were in the midst of having a family member undergo heart surgery and gave him the 20 dollar bill.   We really didn’t know if he’d hold the parcel for us.  Sure enough, when we returned several months later, he said, “Oh I remember you” and took out of his drawer a paper clipped note with our first names on it and the $20 was still attached.   Do you think we trusted him with our plans?   Why, of course, and he did a fine job as well.  He was a man of his word.  Fast forward to 35 years later when his sons were driving through our area.   Time passes, but the kindness and trust we had for this man was tops.

Practicing communication skills takes place from the family pet to the integrity of being kind and respectful to others all around us.  We see during crisis’ that people respond to helping out.   Time we do that on a regular basis 365 days a year.  Have a blessed day.  Enjoy doing business with the finest of people.   Be among the first to set an example.

 

Is That A Calculated Risk?

Hi Hope your week has gone well.  This is Linda Gullo and I am delighted to be with you.   Welcome to Mini Miracles from Minor Moments where a few tiny changes can escalate in your life and create monumental JOYS.  Our small daily habits can add up to make our vibrant and alive.

Mini Miracles from Minor Moments is designed to help you find an insight about yourself.  My plan is to help you like yourself and love life.   Engaging in life and learning what works for you is the first step.  You don’t have to duplicate anyone else’s life or do things in a way that doesn’t fit.

How are you doing as we wind down the month of April and move into May?  Are you on task with your goals for the year?   Do you have them written down?  If you are like me, they are always changing and taking on a new look.  But that is fine as long as we have a plan in place to get things accomplished.

This is Podcast # 51 on Risk Taking.  On the Web page with this Podcast,  there is a picture of a bridge.   Many people are cautious about walking over a bridge, but if it is built well, it is a safe way to get from on side to another.  Constructions are made to be safe. Well I have a few stories for you to enjoy that bring up the topic of CALCULATED RISKS.  The first one is a rather funny one about teenage boys.  The following are about a Business options.

I recently heard a funny story about a young man soon to be 17 years old.  He was staying with his father and a group of soccer friends for a few days in St. Louis for a tournament.   It was a nice break for this Illinois lad.  This was a special group not affiliated with any school activities.

The fellas decided to meet up in the Lobby during a break one evening.  Meantime the dad took a moment to relax and unwind.  With a few minutes to just breath it would be nice.

Well, you know how it is with some teenage boys, they like to be funny,  and so his friends “dared” him to streak through the lobby in just his undies.  Did he do it?   Was the challenge daring enough?  Why, yes, of course the lad took on the dare and ran across the Lobby in his undies.  We must remember that he is a silly 16 year old.   And yes he got caught.  He was escorted up to the room by a hotel staff member in his undies.   You see, his fellow soccer comrades did the obvious.   They hid his clothes!  Why wouldn’t they?

You can imagine the Dad’s face when he responded to the knock at the door.

We all have taken calculated risks in our lifetime.  Think about the ones you have made and what resulted.

I know  a fellow who in his Mid 20’s was working as a Marketing Representative for a large well known Oil Company.   He learned the in’s and out’s of the Gas Station Business and understood the risks involved.   He also had a steady salary, an allowance for traveling expenses and entertaining clients.  His insurance was covered and many other perks large companies can provide.

In a quest though for bigger and better, he opted out of the position and bought into a Franchise from the company.  It was not one the company really liked to see happen.  Company representatives knew so much and had been trained in a special Master’s program.   They hated to see their time and training go to waste.   You can tell me at the end of the story though if their training was really lost.

After all it was a new station and in a “prime” location.  Did he do it?   What did everyone around him think?  Well his family was supportive enough, they wanted him to do what would make him happy.  And so he opted in to the idea.

He became the owner of a 24-hour Service Station on the North Side of Chicago.   It sounded good and he was young and able bodied.  Savings were poured into the business.   At first, the job gave him an adrenaline high while he tested, interviewed and hired people to pump gas and repair cars.   There was ordering to be done for parts, tools to be bought and inventoried, lockers to be set up, vending machines to rent, bookkeeping protocol, and proper identification that The Company insisted upon for all its franchises.   There was to be a Grand Opening with Promotional items that needed to be moved in and counted.

The lines at the gas pumps were full all the time. And the flow of traffic on a busy corner kept everyone hopping.  That was when gas was put in the tank for you and oil levels were checked.

His wife would come in after a full day of teaching school and help with the books.   The bank was set up to work with an armored company to pick up the cash and checks.   Credit card systems were set in place.   It was all consuming and a great deal of work.   Add in the time to clean the restrooms, the bay areas where the cars were worked on, and the endless deliveries of give away promotional articles kept him pretty busy.   So busy in fact that he began to eat poorly.   Although there was activity is was a lot of standing and working.

Then the miseries and mishaps started.   The station owner was held up by gun point one night.  A gun was put to his head. It was a traumatic and difficult issue.  Thank goodness no one was harmed and knowing a police detective in the area helped relieve some anxiety.  But there were police reports to file and concerns about future endangerment.   Maintenance was ongoing and took time.

Tools began disappearing and monitoring the equipment became a never ending job.   There was mentoring to be done and workers to watch. The 45 minute trip home often didn’t happen.  He’d end up sleeping in the car and not shaving.   Things were very trying, because the station was open on the Holiday’s as well.  One year his mother-in-law brought Easter Dinner so the family could still celebrate together.  It made it very hard to be with the family, yet alone his new bride of less than a year.   Money was coming in, but only after all the expenses were cleared and accounted for regularly.

And then one night when he had just gone home to his apartment to relax and sleep, the phone rang.   Someone had run over a pump.  It was mandatory  for him to return and take care of a potential fuel danger.  He had to report the incident for insurance coverage and cover all the bases.  Being the primary source of expertise made it hard for the business to succeed.

Oddly enough the owner was always running out of gas.  In the buzz of business and constantly running to pick up parts or keep things in place, he’d forget to put fuel in his own car.  It became a joke, as his wife was always meeting him somewhere to help him by bringing a gallon or two of gas.  Youth and being easier going was thankfully on their side.

This was a example of calculated risk of taking on a new business at the expense of relationships.   I have to tell you the relationships won out and the Franchise was not happy when the station closed down.   The officials from the company even said, “you can’t do that!”

What they forgot was that the X-Rep of their’s was trained too well and knew the loopholes.   Furnishings and  equipment was picked up immediately by a large truck and put into a building his family owned.  He dissolved the business and moved out within 24 hours of the decision.   Accounts were cancelled, vending machines with cigarettes, sodas, and snacks were picked up. Unfortunately, part time jobs were lost and the couple exhausted most of their savings.     It was an intentional move that was a good good decision.

Thankfully, another job was waiting.  After a short vacation, the couple returned to start again.   Income was assured as the young man returned to a family business that he had been trained in all his life.  To look back at this now many many years later, it was a risk with options set up along the way.   Thank goodness.

Many adults in business take calculated risks all the time.  They venture out with limited funds and try new things.  They don’t always have backup plans. Others invest in stocks that go bust or they try selling new products that soar with great profit.

Sometimes we learn from the mistakes; these become lessons no one could possibly teach us.   In many cases, life is a risk.   It may be for personal decisions, as well as, business.  

One drops out of school only to realize the mistake and has to begin again.   People return in a better state of mind and begin again not only to advance but to shine on the second or third time around.  It reminds all of us that we need to be encouraging and helpful to one another.

Medically medications and treatments for disease may be a gamble that pays off in many more years of life and the joys of living.  But then how much of what we do has guarantees.

Years ago, I embarked on a series of radio ads that were costly.   They did not pay off.   Although I did make a few good friends at the time and learned about an area of marketing I did not know about, I ended up with a theme song.   The return of the investment did not really pay off.   I guess it has helped me understand recordings that I now apply to Podcasting.

Gambling on the odds of something working out well is necessary or we’d make no advancements.  For even mistakes provide clarity and insight to help us in the future.

One of the shows we tend to watch on Sunday nights is the Funniest Home Videos.  The videos are funny, because things just happen when they aren’t expected.  They are so spontaneous.   Sometimes the pranks look they are set ups and I wonder how many people suffer serious injuries.  People don’t always think about the what if’s and that is the bottom line of thinking things through fully and completely.  Being dared to do something can be in fact foolish and have long lasting results in addition to feeling embarrassed!

Well as this week winds down, I hope it has been a good one for you.   If not, there are new tomorrows and opportunities for growth and advancement.   Take the small steps to put you on the escalator of success.   Peace for the week and I will see you next week!

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What Do You Want?

Yesterday I discussed the things we don’t want to catch that may come our way.   But today there are things that are necessary to catch in order to be a success.  Is it winning the lottery, getting a raise, resolving a health issues, or finding a good virtual assistant?  Maybe it is getting credit for making a suggestion in the office that creates a bonus or adds to your reputation?

Catching what we want may help with a few  suggestions.

  • Be present and show up in spirit and on time.
  • Listen, ask questions, and follow through with action.

    Welcome and catch the right things with joy!

  • Do your homework.  Read and research what it is you want.
  • Welcome and catch the right things with joy.
  • Take care of the responsibilities you have and do them well.
  • Stay organized-plan your work and work your plan.
  • Consistency pays off in many forms.
  • Write down what goals you are trying to reach.
  • Place the goals where you will see them.
  • Connect with people who have already become successful.
  • Make the right connections by shopping around and talking to other people.
  • Be with the younger people who are aiming high; their energy is contagious.
  • Continue learning whatever you can even if you don’t think it is important, it will be!

Don’t give up! Whatever small steps you take can be the ones to a bigger and more successful ending.  Be  honest and open with the people and the business you conduct, it always comes back to bless us.  Being authentic is easy!  Just be yourself.

Delight in Living!

 

 

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How Do You Spell Contentment?

So with vacation time coming around for school children and adults as well, people are thinking of going to Disney, driving to see family across country, or planning a summer of local activities.  Where are you going?  What do you plan on doing?  Are you going to see your parents?  Will you fly or drive?   What are your plans?   Will you have kids along?  Well I have a few thoughts for you to make this summer the best yet!

Maybe you’ll be going to an annual event in your neighborhood or doing local events.   Taking a one day trip rather impulsively to Wisconsin, down to Chicago, or to meet a friend for a play may be your mode of enjoying the nice weather.   Perhaps entertaining more or with people you haven’t seen in years?  All of these ideas are wonderful.   Usually they can be economical and scheduled according to the “FREE” days at the local zoo or museum.  Take advantage of them and enjoy the sites!

Why do we vacation?  Are we trying to get away from the day-to-day pressures that take the toil on our health and thinking? And if this is the case, why is that necessary?   I think of past generations who found the weekend picnic or time with family on a Sunday afternoon.   That was their pleasure.  Simple and easy, not so expensive that they would set back the budget.  So let’s take their example and expound on it.   Pick a site and go with a bunch of people for safety and a fun time to a picnic site or a big backyard.   It is fun.  Each person can bring a dish to pass or a fruit to share.   It takes down the stress that so many of us suffer from experiencing daily.

Stay connected with friends is so neat.   Well staying connected with those we value is neat.   We give away what it is we want from others.   It may be time, money, energy, wisdom or ?    We also seek out the wisdom we need to stay efficient.  Find friends and brainstorm.  Making time for others is the best gift we can get.   Blessings and “Delight in Living” today and everyday.

 

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Do You Network?

Do you NETWORK? With who? and How do you do it?  Online?  In person?

The thing I love about SOCIAL NETWORKING  is that there are so many wonderful benefits for everyone.   It is the best WIN-WIN for those who are involved in the activity.  Let’s look at this closely.

Years ago, I had a dad who was involved in the Loyal Order of the Moose.  It was a fraternal and service organization founded in the late 1800’s to help one another.  At that time, they had Moose Heart for Children and Moose Haven for Senior Citizens. He’d talk about the Fraternal aspects that created  opportunities for helping one another.  Dad would attend meetings and donate yearly to them.

My father-in-law was a member of the Lion’s Club and he also was an active member.   The monies and old glasses they collected helped those with sight issues.  He knew many other businessmen who also contributed their time and money to helping.  They often socialized at dinner dances and breakfasts to raise money.  These Fundraising events unified and connected people.

Fraternal Lodges helped families by offering services and opportunities that one couldn’t obtain on their own. They still are very present in our society.  The Moose, Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lion communities along with many others have expanded what they do and their presence in the world.   Our fathers would be ecstatic knowing how much their groups have grown over the last 50 years. 

I am a Charter member of the Crystal Lake Kiwanis that started back in 2005.   It was a new beginning as the original group dissolved due to deaths and people moving.   We work  year around to raise money and help children in our world locally and internationally.  We have helped conquer mental illness with iodized salt programs in the world.  Currently we are working with UNICEF to eliminate maternal/neonatal tetanus (MNT) from the earth.  It is The Eliminate Project that has already saved many babies. Our group also runs the Annual Crystal Lake Santa Run for Kids.  We are joined my other service agencies to help children.

But Social networking can be through your local Chamber of Commerce, Senior Citizens groups, or Churches.   Networking is the key to helping others and helping yourself as well.  In the last 10 years, we are all more involved in the “online” world of Networking.  In the Digital world, we can communicate from anywhere and do it in minutes.   Each networking group is, of course, different and even though contacts may carry over from one to another, each serves a different purpose.

We can all learn from one another and improve.   May you be blessed with the richness of keeping in touch with warm, talented, and wholesome people through Networking.   Join one of these groups and help make a difference for the next generations.   “Delight in Living!”

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Getting Your Foot in the Door

Simple ways to get that job you want may be easier than you think.   It is all about awareness, drive, good attitudes, perseverance, and networking.  

1-  Think about what you are qualified to do and/or be willing to get trained in!  Bone up on your skills asap.  Dress appropriately for the appointment.

2-  Are you busy making friends and staying personally connected with people?  I don’t mean on social media, I mean getting out there and shaking hands kind of relationships.

3-  Smile, and be willing to go through the process of applying and interviews.

4-  Get your resumes ready and printed.   Call and ask people to be your references.   Take down addresses and information the typical applications will ask you.

5-  If you are on line, be sure to answer the questions you are asked appropriately and completely.  Communicate complete thoughts.  Don’t barge in asking for “how much” you’ll be making off the starting gate.

6-  Be ready if you are refused or not replied to immediately.   Keep applying and don’t wait like a lump of coal for action.

7-  Don’t apply to places you are NOT QUALIFIED to hold.  It is a waste of time for you and the employer.

8-  Follow through with drug screening or follow-up interviews.

Put your best foot forward!

9-  This sounds silly, but you are not entitled to a job.   Be courteous and respectful.

10-  Don’t take a job just because a friend is working there.   I see this so much with young people.   It isn’t to  be socializing, but really committed to doing a good job.  This person has jeans on, but they are not what one would wear for an interview.  BEWARE!

11-  If you are luck to get a job don’t start out by looking for the easy way to do it.   Listen, follow instructions, and be a responsible worker.

12-  Congratulations when you land the position you want.    Let it be good for you and the owner.

“Delight in Living” for the opportunity to freely select your opportunities.

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Where Do I Start?

Have you ever experienced that the simplest task turns out to be so hard?  It can be cleaning out a drawer, responding to an email, or typing up an agreement.   It is that same feeling students get when they are taking a multiple answer or True/False test.   All the exceptions in our head pop up and it makes the answer harder than it needs to be!

Well we all face that every day in making decisions.  Learning to be intent, concentrating on specific outcomes, and being realistic take time to develop.  We need to take self-control and discipline ourselves.   A major shortcut to doing this in by developing rituals, following systems, and creating new habits.

So let’s take rituals to begin with as an example in making decisions.   In school, we may start our day with the Pledge of Allegiance or a song?   Maybe in a parochial school, prayer begins the day.  In churches, people may all rise and greet each other to start the service.   At meetings, a gavel or bell may call everyone to attention.  Rituals are defined as a series of actions or type of behavior regularly and invariably followed by someone.   Rituals create chances for being fluid and learning easier.

Next we might create systems and follow them.   Systems are step-by-step procedures created for clarity and completeness.   When a system is followed well, anyone can follow and do it and the outcome should be the same.   When things are deviated from a system, the results are less efficient and incomplete.

There is a  simple way of creating new habits.   It means however, one must create your own steps for doing something well.   It may mean cutting out processed sweets and pastries with the intention of having a piece of fruit instead.   It could mean answering all calls with the same greeting.  Or as I have had to do in the last day, locking my car door in a different manner, so I don’t set the alarm off.   Each thing requires a new habit to replace a previous one.

Setting realistic goals helps us feel accomplished and helps us discern the answer to living a wonderful and productive lifestyle.   A lifestyle we are proud of and feel happy about each and every day.

Our animals learn rituals and live by them.   We also teach them systems.   Have you noticed they know how each person in the house responds differently toward them?   My dog knows what I am about to do, before I even do, on many occasions.   She lays down and waits.   Opportunities for me to teach her new things are always around the bend.  And habits make them easy to train.   It makes us our lives filled with opportunities of growth too.

So think about what you want to accomplish and use these ways to make life easier.  You’ll jump right into projects and get so much accomplished.   Is that something your need to do?   What are the things holding you back?  Are these good things to consider?

Blessings for your day.   Delight in Living!

 

Do You Ignore Signs?

A red light turned on in the vaporizer last week.   It is usually green and stays light.  It began to flicker and then stay on red, not green.   So did we just ignore it?

Often one can find themselves in trouble if they don’t respect signs.   Signs may be an indication of danger or warning of some sort.   Although they can be visual and read, they may also appear in other ways.  An example would be:  Watch for standing water and don’t drive into it.   It may have a sink hole, open sewer, or deeper than it looks.  There is no written sign to tell you that, but rather common sense and perhaps knowing that from seeing something on TV!   I know that because as a child, our area used to flood easily.  I became aware of the danger that flooding can create.

Signs are placed around us for a purpose.   When I am Podcasting, the door is closed with a sign that says THIS DOOR IS LOCKED, PLEASE RETURN LATER.  People are usually respectful and don’t start pulling or knocking.  A DO NOT SMOKE sign could be keeping a smoker safe from a flammable area.  Or someone inside could be on OXYGEN and it would create danger for all.

Not all places are Open to Everyone.

Not everything a person does is for the world to see.   We have PRIVATE as a word in our English vocabulary, because it is an important one meant to set boundaries.   Can you recall the first time, you saw a sign like this?  We have all seen PRIVATE signs  on a television mystery shows or at a business or doctors office when I was a child.   Private tells us not to enter, or to knock, or maybe even avoid.

If you are traveling, signs of warning or advice are displayed differently. It might be an icon instead of a word.   Often one sees this at the intersections of streets in Chicago or other large cities.  People do not always observe these and cause accidents.   Prudence dictates we pay attention before learning the hard way!  

What other kinds of signs must we recognize?   Are the signs of illness?   Signs that our car is ready to overheat or be out of gas?  Signs that we need more training or understanding before we tackle a piece of dangerous equipment in the garage?   Signs that our business is about to fail or the company we work with is beginning to lay people off of work? Signs from God that we have prayed for?

Knowing how to see signs and then read them correctly can save us time and trouble.  It is good to teach your children to recognize the power they hold. Expand your influence by becoming a good example.  In that way, you will help yourself and others to  “Delight in Living!”

 

 

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