Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Work At Home And Keep Your Focus

Many of us are now working from home, or attempting to, and there has been much written on the benefits and the pitfalls of maintaining a working routine when we are working to our own schedule, not one dictated in a "real job".

Therein lies the problem sometimes. Self employed people can share similarities with business owners who have a business they run but fall into bad habits... like doing what the business owner does... not necessarily what the business needs done! That lack of 'someone else' to dictate when we do what we do and set deadlines for us, can mean that we lack the structured routine that would commit our time in set ways.

That's the key to making the most of our time working from home. Having set guidelines and putting aside time - marked into the calendar - to dedicate to specific jobs and being accountable to complete those things we set out to do, in a timeframe that allows to plan for all the other things we need to do, around those times.

Working these hours? Then work.

On scheduled time off? Then stay off. Turn off the phone, close the door and keep your free time free. Never allow work to bleed into your free time.

Be clear on your time as you are with your goals. Fill out your diary with some long weekends and plan to spend some special time with your partner throughout the year. Plan first, then stick to it, and never make that special time try to fit around everything else that you have to do.

Do you have tips that have worked to make your time working at home more effective?

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Lindy Asimus
Design Business Engineering
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Friday, September 18, 2009

Activity With Purpose

A Story About Activity Without Purpose

John Henry Fabre, the great French naturalist, conducted a most unusual experiment with some Processionary Caterpillars. Processionary Caterpillars blindly follow the one in front of them. That's why they are called "processionary"--they travel in a procession. Fabre filled a flower pot close to the rim with dirt. He then carefully arranged some Processionary Caterpillars in a circle around the rim of the flower pot, so that the lead caterpillar actually touched the last one, making a complete circle. In the center of the flower pot he put pine needles, which is food for the Processionary Caterpillar.

The caterpillars started walking around the circular flower pot. Around and around they went, hour after hour, day after day, night after night. They obtained no nourishment, no rest. For seven full days and seven full nights they went around the flower pot. Finally, they dropped dead of starvation and exhaustion.   Which begs the question for us all...

What Purpose Is Your Activity Serving?

 Just as it is useful to understand the purpose that our activity serves, understanding what is our core Purpose is vital in living a life of meaning. I think that Earl Nightingale said it best when he announced that the greatest secret in the world, and the secret to success in life, was to spend our life working toward a worthwhile purpose. Really knowing what is important to us can help inform our sense of purpose in life. A worthwhile purpose can motivate and inspire, not just ourself, but also those around us.

Earl Nightingale lived in a completely different world than we live in now. And yet all these years later, his words are as simple yet powerful as ever. You be the judge.

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Lindy Asimus
Design Business Engineering
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Coaching Philosophy - Leonard Cohen

In many ways this seems to encapsulate a set of core beliefs not out of place in the coaching role.

Is it too bad a pun to suggest this resonates with many...


Lindy Asimus
Design Business Engineering
Mobile: 0403 365855
Thinking About Getting A Coach?

Posted via email from lindyasimus's posterous

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ease Into Your Own Business

"I like to tell people that all of our products and business will go through three phases. There's vision, patience, and execution." ~ Steve Ballmer

In the past I've written about the challenges that face franchise owners and those who buy franchises and the challenges that can face both.

So I was interested to see the new way to train-then-own option that one brand of franchise have introduced as a way for potential franchisees to work their way into a franchise arrangement.

According to details on their website, limited opportunities exist for those interested in owning a franchise to "earn and learn" what being a franchisee for this chain is like, and experience first-hand what is involved and be trained in:

•    Small business operations and small business finance.
•    Franchise systems.
•    Production skills and management.
•    Product knowledge and safety.
•    Team training, management and customer service.
•    Marketing and promotions.
•    Purchasing and inventory control.
•    Effective people management practices and workplace relations.

As well as training, those chosen will have the chance to manage a store and learn first hand what that's like before making the final decision to proceed. Presumably this also gives the franchisor the chance to find out if the person is really cut out for owning their own franchise.

I like this idea on several levels. Too often people get a payout of some kind and with no background in business, run off and buy a franchise before they know if they have what it takes to buckle down and commit the time (and there is a lot of time involved to make a successful business of any kind), or have the temperament suited to be dealing with staff and customers all day long. Other people go buy a job for themselves (franchise) then get surprised that there is a lot of work to do! From the franchisor point of view - their reputation depends on successful stores, so if this training helps more franchisees be more successful, then that has to be a good thing.

We often hear the terrifying statistics about how many businesses fail in the first 5 years (most of them... and those who don't will likely fail in the five years that follow that).  As I review businesses I sometimes am more surprised that any survive at all!

As a business coach, my role is often about working with owners of non-franchise, conventional businesses to help them set up their own "franchise prototype" model - systems to follow, and standards for service and procedures to follow so that they can deliver consistent service and run the business as a business, not some kind of hobby.  Indeed, much of my coaching revolves around the issues in these trainings. My greatest wish in business, would be for anyone looking to open a business to undergo this kind of training before they commit, but those opportunities aren't really there for them. Kudos to this franchisor for turning a challenge into a benefit. In the current financial situation, this might be the smart thing for other franchises too.

Buying a business should not be an emotional decision. You buy a business, you put yourself in debt, and sign on for some hard work. Make no mistake. The better you understand the business you will own, the better armed you are to make it a success. If we begin with the end in mind... that's a great place from which to start.

[And if you are considering buying a business, look for my upcoming article on tools for new business buyers and business sellers!]

Have you thought about buying a franchise? What would make the difference for you? Do share your comments below. 

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Lindy Asimus
Design Business Engineering
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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Childhood Landscapes. Mulbring ((no gallery))

I was looking at some real estate for sale recently out at Mulbring and
ocurred to me that this is the countryside that I remember from my childhood.
Now if only there was a quality cafe closeby... I might move back!

Well actually, this last one is a bit of wishful thinking.
Strangely I can't recall seeing a koala or a kangaroo
all the time I was growing up in this area. There was
an echidna though... and lots of ringtail possums and
sugar gliders.

See and download the full gallery on posterous
Lindy Asimus
Design Business Engineering
Mobile: 0403 365855
Thinking About Getting A Coach? 

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Don't Bite The Hand That Feeds Your Business

As a business coach I do a lot of networking and meeting new business owners, both online and offline. So it is always interesting to me to see how business owners approach their networking function and to see what system they have in place to leverage the opportunities that networking creates for more real business sales.

I'm fascinated to see the number who pay little or no attention to networking at all and I suspect many do not quite realise that it can be a powerful tool for their business to gain entry into circles of influence, from which, in the normal course of events, they would be forever locked-out.

I was ruminating over this and the idea the people sometimes - without realising it perhaps - can 'bite the hand that feeds them'.

As I thought about it, it came to me that for many, because they don't fully understand the dynamics and the potential that is at their feet, don't understand the loss that they sustain through their own inattention.

If you are networking... or you are not networking, then it is worth understanding fully the situation as it exists in a well-organised networking process. That process, which can encompass many different formal and informal networking situations... is yours to create.

So let's look at this a little more closely.


Networking is important because it gives you access to new businesses and new people who know about things that you don't! They know about their specialty experience in areas different from yours, and they know people you don't know. That means that they can be in possession of information about plans and intentions of people who are important to you and your business - who you don't know!

That's worth knowing.


Aside from the obvious 'get more business referrals' and it's other face 'give people you know who need help, referral to people who have the expertise to help them', are some powerful 'secondary' benefits. To me, these can sometimes be even more important.  These other benefits can include:

1)  Learn about things that are not your core business but are important to know

2)  Access expertise of peers in a variety of specialties when you need them

3)  Share and learn from the experiences of business owners in other sectors, whose  ideas would be adaptable for your business

4)  Open the opportunity to develop strategic partnerships to leverage your     opportunities to do more business, at minimal cost.

Learning To Value The Gift

When you Get Smarter, or are Invited to opportunities, or Share what you know, you are being hand fed opportunities that would not happen in any other way.  This is a high value and needs to be seen for the gift that it is.

See the gift.
Make something positive with it.

But most importantly... Recognise that hand that is feeding you such opportunities. Make your hand the one that brings opportunities to others in your network.

Have you recognised gifts like these that you've received in the past?

Post your examples comments and let's share that gift too!

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Lindy Asimus
Design Business Engineering
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