Mending Fences – Finding new business right under your feet August 26, 2010

As I speak to my clients about ways to increase their current business volume, a recurring trend is appearing that I find quite fascinating. While their focus seems to be on finding new business, an important strategy anyway, there seems to be a blind spot for many business owners that is constantly being overlooked … mending fences!

When I ask my clients about their past business relationships, I hear a variety of stores about what went wrong in the relationship and why they’re not doing business anymore. In many of those cases there was simply a breakdown in communication or, even more common, a misunderstanding that was never cleared up.

Do any of your former clients or business relationships sound like this? If so, it’s significantly easier to mend that fence than to build a new one. So, look into your archive of old clients and see how many of those broken fences can be mended. You might find yourself sitting on a gold mine!

Integrity – Saying what you mean and doing what you say

It’s quite alarming to me just how many people are operating out of integrity. Many times I observe business people making promises they’re not sure they can keep in order to get the sale. Then, when they fail to deliver on time or otherwise let the customer down, they’ve demonstrated their lack of integrity and lost the trust of the customer.

I know none of us is perfect and that’s what makes us human. Nevertheless, we can operate with a higher degree of integrity simply by ‘saying what we mean,’ that is speaking the truth, and by ‘doing what we say,’ that is honoring our commitments. In business, some might call this approach under-promising and over-delivering. However you do it applying integrity will build the trust of your clients, colleagues, friends and family. Then watch as more business, respect, happiness and yes, love find their way to you!

Conscious Business – Want to give something back?

Many businesses are looking for more ways to be more socially responsible and here’s a great practical way for any business. is an office supply company that donates a portion of their proceeds to charities and non –profits that support local communities and the planet at large, in addition to practicing conscious business in the way they run their company and manage their employees, they are also socially responsible with the products they sell. I’m starting to get as much of my office products as possible from them. And there’s a bonus. They ship overnight – for free!

Perspectives – Things are not always how they appear! August 18, 2010

I listened to a client complaining about one of his colleagues and when I asked him what he liked about them, what were their strengths, he was stumped … for a while. Once he had time to reflect on the question he began to come up with some powerful, positive responses which shifted his perspective of his colleague. It also changed how he chose to approach this individual and address the issue. While it might be true that his colleague could improve in certain areas, who among us doesn’t want to improve?

Whenever you’re tempted to complain or criticize another, take a moment to reflect on the positive aspects of that individual first, and then frame your complaint or criticism in the form of what they could improve or do better. You’ll become a better manager, leader and be establishing some powerful and positive habits that will serve you and those around you forever!

Vision – What do you really want?

I often ask my clients what they want and am fascinated to discover how few of them can really articulate clearly what they want. Yet they continue to do what they’ve been doing and expecting some kind of miraculous outcome that will magically appear … one day!

Having a vision of what you want, articulating it clearly and connecting with that vision every day is an essential step towards that vision. So … what do you want? What is your vision?

Do your daily actions align with that vision? Do your business conversations and meetings have, at their core, that vision? Is your vision shared by others? Do you share your vision with others? Your answers to these questions will help navigate you towards that vision. You just have to want it … really want it!!