Archive for the ‘Workin’ for a Livin’’ Category

By Marla Tabaka

If you’ve been avoiding launching the business of your dreams, try these simple attitude adjustments.

Who most inspires and influences your actions as an entrepreneur? Can you name your top five influencers; aside from family members and friends? Now, I ask, how many of them are women?

You may be unable to connect your inspiration to a female role model, simply because there aren’t enough female leaders out there.

Here’s one likely factor in that truth: A study of women entrepreneurs released last December by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor shows that women worldwide see entrepreneurship as just as attractive as men do, yet they lack positive attitudes about their own capacity for starting businesses. A comparison between sexes reveals that women have, on average, lower perceptions about opportunities and capabilities, lower intentions, and higher fear of failure than men.

Best-selling author Maria Gamb sees these trends firsthand in her work as an executive mentor.

“Women don’t always recognize their own value,” says Gamb. “This lack of confidence escalates their struggle with success. In fact, of the women who don’t feel 100% fit for the role of an entrepreneur, only 14% of them are likely to move forward with their vision.”

If you’ve ever questioned your ability or diminished your achievements, Gamb suggests you set yourself on track by using these five strategies.

1. Know exactly where you’re going. You must have a destination. Just like vacation; otherwise it’s like getting in a car and going nowhere. Get clear on the big-picture vision for your company and break down the steps to get there. It’s not enough to say that you want a million-dollar company. Break it down into bite-sized pieces so that it’s digestible. Everything is achievable if you take it one step at a time.

2. Know your value. Test your service or product in the marketplace. Ask your audience what is important to them about your brand and why it’s important. This can lead to valuable input. For example, when the Target Corporation asked its consumers these questions, it received feedback that people expect more from Target, but know that they will pay less. This resulted in their current tagline: Expect more. Pay less.

3. Realize that you don’t have to know how to do everything. There is nothing wrong with asking for help; it doesn’t make you weak or powerless. In fact, according to the GEM study, the men and women entrepreneurs who had larger and more diverse networks reported greater levels of innovation, internationalization and growth expectations. Yet compared to men, women may be at a disadvantage because their networks are smaller and less diverse. Build a large network of advisors and ask them for help!

4. Be willing to share your idea. One of the reasons businesses fail is that too many people keep their great idea a secret. They feel that the idea isn’t good enough, or that someone else will beat them to it. They lack the confidence to bring their idea to the world. Do your research, let it evolve and understand that when things go “wrong” it is not a failure, but rather an opportunity to learn. The more you learn, the better your end-execution and product will be.

5. Take the lead. In a popular TED presentation, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg emphasized that women must learn to “sit at the table.” She says that when women come to the boardroom, many of them will choose a chair on the perimeter of the room, rather than at the table with the men. Sandberg stresses that women don’t negotiate for themselves often enough, but simply take what is offered to them. Gamb agrees, saying women may walk away from opportunities constantly because they underestimate their abilities in business. Take the lead; assert your opinions, honor your talents and abilities, and be willing to take emotional risk.

Marla Tabaka is a life and business coach who helps entrepreneurs and small-business owners grow their companies faster. She coaches for Make Mine a Million and has 25 years of experience in corporate and start-up ventures. @MarlaTabaka

by Owen N. Wild

Next time your layover becomes a long night, work your way through it.  Am I the only one who thinks airports, like islands, are not the most productive place to conduct business? For one thing, layovers usually aren’t long enough to get work done.

But let’s assume for a moment you are stuck at an airport and you’ve just got to do your work. Consider this: More and more of the airlines are now offering one-day passes to their business lounges. Different airlines have different clubs and policies, but several do offer access for a nominal fee. Do your research, because a club means access to a business center equipped with desks, dataports, computers, wireless hot spots, faxes: all of the business travel goodies lacking in the common area in the main terminal.

If you’re a club member, you can often bring a guest. One caveat: Check on club hours; some begin shutting their doors at 8 PM, depending on the airport. (And don’t forget to score whatever snacks, etc., you need out in the terminal before those shops close.)

If you don’t get into an airline club, there are other options, although none nearly so attractive, convenient, or comfortable. The Internet kiosk is one such alternative. But these tend to be few and far between, and not inexpensive besides.

After the club and the kiosk, there is a yawning gap in service for dedicated laptoppers.

What it boils down to is a competition for plugs. Yes, we’re talking electrical outlets. The closer to your gate, the less likely you’ll be to find one unfilled by someone’s power cord. Consider bringing a compact surge suppressor, power strip, or extension cord to share that electric moment. If you don’t need to camp at your gate, explore relocating to one of the less busy restaurants in the terminal, where you’ll often find an open outlet.

In fact, when peace and calm are at a premium, check out another gate or terminal.

An extra laptop battery is an invaluable accessory for those times when you can’t locate a convenient outlet. By the same token, a USB flash drive comes in handy when you find a business center and just want print a document without having to restart your laptop.

Some road warriors find they can get by with only a cell phone or a Blackberry and a flash drive. The tradeoff is weight and bulk for online access and the security of having your office in your shoulder bag. Of course, when you venture into public with your laptop you have to concern yourself with the security of the device itself as well as what’s on the device’s screen. Roving eyes can gaze on important company data, which is all the more reason to invest in a top-flight privacy filter.

Just remember — if you’re going to take a nap, your feet belong atop the laptop bag.

When you arise from your snooze in a place where you’ve been working for a while, make very sure to survey your temporary work zone before moving on, because, inside the terminal’s warm friendly confines it is surprisingly easy to forget a coat or hat.

But let’s say you’re traveling the non-laptop route. Road warriors have downtime. Lots of it. Airports are perfect for those cram sessions to do the administrative stuff you’ve been putting off — whether it’s your expense reports or budgets, updating an address book, or catching up on business reading. It’s stuff that just requires time and a chair.

You’ll need a bit more than that for a good phone call. You’ll need quiet. Places to get away from the ambient noise can include the airport lounge or even a spot near the ATM. Just a word of caution about scheduling cell phone conference calls in an airport: You may find yourself interrupted by loudspeaker gate announcements at the most inconvenient time.

That cell phone is invaluable when that announcement is about your flight cancellation. Prompt action to ring the airline or your travel agent and schedule a new flight actually can prevent you from getting stuck at the airport in the first place. But if stuck you find yourself, be nice to your gate agent. You never know when an upgrade will come up.

Getting cancelled also offers an unequalled opportunity for conversation with those on your flight. After all, many are road warriors, too, and many a business relationship has been struck up while marooned. You just never know who you’ll meet there. So share business cards and contacts. Don’t underestimate the power of networking on your island.

It’s Monday again people.  It’s our favorite day of the week and since I missed posting a Friday funny I thought I’d post this which is slightly funny and rather enlightening! Have a great week!

by Gracie Murano

Most of us don’t crack our first smile until 11:16 a.m.

Most of us don't crack our first smile until 11:16 a.m.

A study, by Marmite in England, showed the Southeast was the happiest region, with people cracking the first smile at 11.06 a.m. The East Midlands are the glummest, taking until 11.33 a.m. to look on the bright side.


The best preferred way to beat Monday blues is by watching television or having sex

The best preferred way to beat Monday blues is by watching television or having sex

The top five ways to get over that horrible Monday feeling is: 1. Watching TV, 2. Sex, 3. On-line shopping, 4. Buying chocolate or make-up and 5. Planning a holiday.

Over 50% of employees are late to work

Over 50% of employees are late to work

A lame excuse won’t work; researchers claim that most of us find the start of the week so grim nearly half of us are late for work.

Most people will moan about it being Monday for a whole 12 minutes

Most people will moan about it being Monday for a whole 12 minutes

That’s how much they hate Mondays.

People between the ages of 45 and 54 are likely to suffer the most Monday blues

People between the ages of 45 and 54 are likely to suffer the most Monday blues

The biggest whingers are 45-to-54-year-olds, who spend at least 12 full minutes moaning.

Workers only manage three-and-a-half hours of productive work

Workers only manage three-and-a-half hours of productive work

Mondays tend to be fairly unproductive, with only about three-and-a-half hours of actual work getting done.

Monday is the most likely day to commit suicide

Monday is the most likely day to commit suicide
The Office for National Statistics in England found 16% of male suicides and 17% of female suicides occurred on Mondays, compared to 13% on the weekend days. Researchers said the trend was not solely a result of returning to work as it was also seen in retired people. (Link)

Or having a heart attack

Or having a heart attack

The British Medical Journal reported a 20% increase in heart attacks on Mondays as opposed to the other days of the week. The attacks may be caused by stress and high blood pressure caused by returning to work.

Monday is the least rainy day of the week

Monday is the least rainy day of the week

Some believe it’s due to man-made pollution subsiding over the weekend.

Monday is the best day to buy a car

Monday is the best day to buy a car

Believe it or not, there are positive things about Monday. For instance, when you’re going to shop for a new car, do it on a Monday. Car salespeople make the bulk of their sales on the weekends. When Monday rolls around, there are usually few customers in sight, and the weekend is a long way off. That’s why car salespeople are more desperate on Monday, and they’ll be more willing to cut you a deal. (Link)

What a great and inspiring story! If you’ve got entrepreneurial spirit this story will truly move you.  Watch the set of videos by clicking the link below.

How Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, took $5,000 and an idea for footless pantyhose, and turned it into a multi-million dollar women’s undergarment business.

By Steve Crawford, IB Senior Lecturer

Traveling to South America from Finland never seems to be easy and straight forward. I once had to go Jyväskylä-Helsinki-Amsterdam-Bonaire-Quito-Guayaquil, a series of plane rides that dragged on for thirty-eight hours. But this time the trip to Buenos Aires was a bit shorter than that, and every bit as rewarding. Argentina is a magical place of contradictions and complementary sensations. If anything, Buenos Aires is a mashup of many ethnic and cultural influences, a place where immigration in the distant past from around the world set the stage for a cosmopolitan menu of modern dance, food, and, of course, wine. I found a similar place in Lima, Peru, but Buenos Aires is certainly the most “European” place I have been to in South America.

But lest you think this was a pleasure trip ; ) the purpose of my visit was to deliver an intensive course in intercultural communication at the University of Argentina de la Empresa (UADE), specifically to their new Global Business Management degree students. Perhaps continuing the mashup concept, this new degree is modeled after JAMK’s own GBM program, but one that features a local flair and imagination. So like all things Argentine, it faintly resembles on one hand a European product, but is first and foremost a distinctively local, regional and national product.