Posts Tagged ‘business success’

We all have bad days – it’s part and parcel of business. But when they happen, they can be extremely frustrating.

Stay Positive

The first thing you must do is to try to keep your positive attitude for as long as possible. It is easier to dwell on the negative and even begin to feel sorry for yourself, but that can seriously zap your creativity. Focus on the positive side every chance you get. Consider what has gone right and what you have managed to accomplish to date.

Be Grateful

Focus on things which are going well. You might have lost a major sponsor, or something didn’t go as well as planned, but that doesn’t mean it is the end of the world. If you are really struggling, then write your gratitude points down to remind yourself of the great things that are happening in your life.

Make Plans

While you might not be able to fix the problem immediately, do something today to remedy the situation. Even taking little steps such as making notes to help you work toward rectifying what went wrong can have a huge difference on your attitude. You can change the situation – take a few deep breaths and move forward.

Be Realistic

While erring on the side of positivity is your aim, keep your feet firmly on the ground. Having unreal expectations can only cause you more unhappiness in the future. Rewrite your narrative, so you gain some control back in your day.

Learn From It

Once you have managed to put it all behind you, then you need to reflect on it. Learn from the mistakes that were made by your organisation and take solid steps so it does not happen again in the future. Understanding the missteps will help you stay on track and achieve your goals.

Your attitude will determine how long it will take you to bounce back from the situation. A smile, a positive attitude and small goals will help you see that you can overcome the hurdle and show the world you mean business.


Read Full Post »

thank-you-2011012_640When it comes to receiving donations, saying thank you should be high on your priority list. In an interesting study carried out by Parachute Digital Marketing last year, they discovered that most charities were not taking the time to say thank you.

Their longitudinal study also showed that less than 20% of thank you pages were personalised with the donor’s names and 10% of NFPs were still manually processing payments and sending out the receipts via the postal system.

Thank you may be just two words, but it can make the difference between how someon views your charity. These two little words are what stands between your one-time donors become repeat donors. Spend a little time crafting your thank you so it comes from the heart, yet remains on a professional level to reflect your charity. Show your gratitude to demonstrate how much you truly value your donors and their contributions. Explain how the money will be used clearly and concisely.

With a non-profit, your gratitude should go above and beyond a simple thank you. Acknowledge their kindness and caring nature and thank them for taking action to support your cause. While the majority of your donors may only give once, many will have it in the back of their mind to give in the future. Nonprofit Hub claims that 13% of donors stop giving to a non-profit purely on the fact that they did not say thank you. It may only be 13%, but every donation is important.

Your website should be set up to immediately thank the donors for giving. Following the donation, an email should be sent to acknowledge the donor’s kind nature. It might be prudent to send out a secondary email part way through the project to demonstrate the progress or a series of emails depending on the length of the project. It is this attention to detail that will entice them to give again in the future. You can also go so far as to thank them on your website or your social media pages. It is actions like these that will encourage others to follow suit.

There are many ways you can say thank you. If you feel like mixing it up, you might want to consider recording a custom made video message or sending a greeting card or personalised postcard.

Showing your gratitude is one of the most important things your NFP can do. Whether it is coming from a volunteer or the board, always remember the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously.” Wise words to live by!

Read Full Post »

Lawyer on his workplaceJob interviews! If you have been to at least one, you know that the experience can be quite tense and can bring out exactly those aspects of our personality that we would prefer not to show to our prospective boss. However, bear in mind that job interviews can be stressful, intimidating and awkward not only for the applicant, but also for the interviewer, as this piece helpfully suggests.

What Not to Say

Hundreds of posts around the web will explain in detail what you are expected to say at an interview: when to say it, how to say it, what to say and why to say it. It is also important, however, to know what not to say, because a perfect interview can be spoiled by a single inappropriate utterance. Therefore, always remember how to not lose your cool – be composed, take your time and think before you answer. Nobody will have a bad impression of you if you consider your reply before giving it. On the other hand, if you answer hurriedly with a nonsensical reply, that may well be the end of the interview. As much as you want to be yourself, remember there is a fine line between being yourself as you will behave at your new workplace and being yourself with your closest friends.

So, what not to say? No inappropriate jokes. No embarrassing personal information (think in terms of ‘what would I say on a first date – I don’t want to appear as a loony!’). Not too many personal details – speaking briefly about your hobbies or your life is okay, but giving the exact minute-by-minute details of your day would be a bit too much. And finally, do not mention other companies that have offers for you, other interviews you are going to attend, other opportunities you might take – it is cheap and will always make a bad impression.

What Not to Do

To start with, DO NOT fail the handshake. Many people will form their first impression (even if it is a subconscious one) on your handshake. So grasp firmly and release on time, do not offer a finger, do not slip your hand, do not catch the fingers.

Try not to appear stressed or anxious. Just remember that worrying and being nervous will never help, it will only make it harder for you to focus. Compose yourself and go in; act confident and calmly.

Do not drink alcohol before the interview. As much as you would like some extra help with calming down, they will know, and it will not be of any advantage to you.

Do not do anything strange, weird or awkward during the interview. This includes many of the examples in the piece quoted above – dancing, singing (unless that’s what the interview is for!), applying or taking medicines, eating, leaving and reappearing, leaving without reappearing, performing magic, etc. You are there for an interview and will have to impress the interviewer with your composition, experience, knowledge and manner, not with fooling around.

Finally, do not be aggressive or stubborn. Never threaten the interviewer or anyone in the vicinity. Actually, this is something to keep in mind at all times, not only at job interviews. Take ‘no’ as ‘no’ and leave when you are expected to; do not make it worse by refusing to go or doing something stupid. Remember, it is always better to part with good feelings (you might be the second best candidate and be invited if the first decides not to start), than slamming the door and thus locking it for yourself forever.

To cut a long story short, interviews are not as scary as they appear! The main rule is – “Keep calm and show them they need you.” Remember – the interviewer has probably seen some weird applicants out there, so he or she will be grateful for the lack of embarrassing situations. Good luck!

Read Full Post »

Portrait Of Happy Woman Who HasLow self-esteem and low confidence go hand in hand. If you are going through a phase of not feeling comfortable in your own skin, see what steps you can take to get your confidence back. It is too valuable a quality to go without for long.

Being too self-conscious or feeling anxious or awkward in social settings can have ongoing consequences, but as you rise out of your self-confidence slump you will feel a greater sense of well being and have energy to face life’s peaks and valleys. Take a look at the following ten steps and see how to develop your self-confidence without any further delay.

1. Good self care is integral to feeling confident. Take time to properly groom. Look after your health and establish a regular exercise routine.

2. Take care of your back and practice good posture. Consciously stretch to realign your spine and learn body work systems like yoga to keep your muscles and organs healthy.

3. Set a small goal, and bask in your own self approval when you reach it. Be proud of your own accomplishments and congratulate others on theirs. Rinse and repeat.

4. Never stop your own self improvement. Study. Learn and upgrade skills. Over time investing in your own self development will pay off.

5. Practice gratitude. Be grateful for the things that go right and the things that are going in your favour. Pack up the pity party and save the small stuff for really rainy days.

6. Let go of worries. Write down things that bother you, tear the page to pieces and dispose of it. Regularly write down things you are grateful for and things you are proud of and leave the lists where you will see them.

7. Reduce clutter in your life. Simplify your wardrobe, desk and diet. Shred old documents and dust living and working quarters. Reducing visual clutter can help clear your thoughts and help you perform better.

8. Meditate. Take time to get some mental space and a clear perspective. Welcome order and rituals into your life.

9. Let troubled thoughts rest, and think positive whenever you can. Small moments, free from negativity add up. Smile as much as you are able. Keeping good posture sets off endorphins to lift your mood.

10. Work with people you trust. “Surround yourself with competent people and remind yourself regularly of the times you’ve succeeded in the past.” professional workforce contractor Matthew Franceschini says.

If you are trying to increase your professional confidence, surround yourself with like minded people who reflect the traits you are seeking to embody. Before you know it you will be feeling confident and flying towards your goals! Confident people are more productive and report more satisfaction in all facets of life.

Read Full Post »

Woman showing a happy emoticon in front of face against a green background

The following four steps will help you to get started developing your persistence and mastery so that you can be more successful in all of your endeavours.

1. Listen to your inner voice. You might not realise it, but there is an internal conversation going on in your mind at all times. While most of us are too busy going about our day to notice and listen to this self-talk, taking time to stop and listen to this internal monologue is the first step in changing your mindset.

When you are going through a difficult time, or are facing a challenge that you can’t seem to overcome, if you stop and listen to your self-talk it is likely that it’s pretty negative if you have a fixed mindset. You will hear yourself thinking things such as, “I am not smart enough, talented enough, or pretty enough”, or some other self-criticism. You may also hear yourself say that it’s not your fault, or you may even become frustrated or a bit angry with those who offer help, advice or suggestions for improvement. All of these attitudes come from a fixed mindset, and you must learn to listen for it, and recognise it for what it is, if you wish to change your attitude, reaction and results.

2. Make a Conscious Choice. Up until now, it’s likely that you’ve either been ignoring this negative self-talk, or going along with it in agreement when you were aware of it. Just because you are thinking these thoughts, however, doesn’t mean that you have to agree. You can fight back, by making a conscious choice to look at the situation objectively and seek ways to turn it around. This might involve seeking the aid of others, working hard to improve specific abilities and skills or searching for another solution. Realising you can choose to disagree with these negative feelings and false beliefs is the second step to changing your mindset.

3. Replace the Negative with the Positive. As you learn to listen to your self-talk, and identify the limiting myths and false beliefs that come from a fixed mindset and begin to look for proactive solutions, you will need to also learn how to combat the negative, critical inner voice of your fixed mindset. Fight back with learning how to replace the thoughts from a fixed mindset with the positive tones and encouraging words of a growth mindset.

When the voice of your fixed mindset points out that you don’t have the right skill or talent to accomplish your objective, acknowledge it. “Yes, I might not have what I need right now.” Then, flip this negative into a positive by replacing it! “But, I don’t have to leave things as they are, I can work hard and persist until I do have what I need to get the job done! I can learn, I can improve and I can succeed!”  Learning to embrace challenges and face fears and combat negative, self-limiting thoughts with affirmations and statements that identify the actions that you can take to achieve a solution will help to give you the confidence, inner strength motivation and determination to not give up!

4. Take Action! Now that you’ve begun to learn how to see challenges and other issues with a growth mindset, and to identify areas for change and improvement, make plans and take action to achieve your objectives. Setting goals, and making a list of the steps that you need to take to achieve these goals is helpful during this stage. Over time, as you begin to experience some success, your confidence will grow. Eventually, your inner self talk will become more positive, your determination and persistence will grow and eventually you will experience fewer incidents of negative self-talk.

The level of success that you experience in your life is really up to you. You can use the power of your mind to improve your life by taking action to change your mindset into one that is more growth oriented and positive.

Read Full Post »


To be successful, it is essential to have ambition. Unfortunately however, ambition may not always be a good thing. There are three types of ambition, the good, the bad and the good with a bad side. Confused? Let me explain…

Good ambition is the driving force behind people like Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, and Oprah. People who utilise their ambition to rise to the top of their field, become extremely wealthy but then turn that wealth into ways to help others. When you not only utilise your ambition for personal success but for the success of others then you have a healthy dose of good ambition.

Bad ambition is that drive to succeed at all costs. It’s the driving force behind someone who reaches the pinnacle of their career without a second glance towards the people they may have had to step on along the way. Their success is not directly related to the ambition to help others, it is purely ambition for their own success and, in the end, greed.

Good ambition with a bad side is the one a lot of people get caught up with. You start out with the ambition to be not only the best in your field but with grand plans to help others along the way. You might invest money in social causes and help the less fortunate at every turn. The reality of this type of ambition however, is that it can become addictive. By that I mean that you become addicted to your work, your passion for your job and your passion for helping others. Whilst that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it does actually impact your life in a negative way. You may become a workaholic and sacrifice family time for the sake of your work. You may sacrifice your health by working far too many hours and not eating correctly to maintain your own health. This is the bad side of good ambition.

What starts out as a good intention can end up with the worst of outcomes because we lose sight of what the aim was from the start, to help others. You may be helping others on a grand scale but are you helping those closest to you, your family and friends by being present in their lives. This type of good/bad ambition can often be recognised by everyone but the person at the centre of it.

Ultimately, it is important to be very clear on why you do what you do and to set boundaries for yourself from the outset. We all want to save the world but when we do that to the detriment of our own health and our relationships, then it becomes a cost nobody should pay.

Read Full Post »

agent-18762_640At its heart, there are certain unavoidable truths about any business or organisation. First, it is only ‘working’ if it keeps the interests of customers a priority. And second, there is always room for improvement. Even if (or perhaps especially if) you are not wondering how you could improve your customer service, there is a strong likelihood that you can, and your whole operation will run better as a result.

Take this as a reminder that without your customers, your organisation would dwindle and eventually close its doors. The upside is, each positive interaction with a customer not only makes it easy for them to return, but makes it a pleasure for them to tell their friends about you and the wonderful work you do. So, it is really important that you and your staff always keep personal frustrations when at work in a professional setting. Support customers with a smile, no matter what. Putting their interests first, and letting them know how important they are will help ensure they continue to work with you.

Online customers deserve quality service also, and there are a few ways to make sure their experiences with your organisation are as good, if not better, than if they dealt in person. A lot of customer queries and complaints can be dealt with efficiently via a comprehensive FAQ page online. Remember, however, that just because someone can navigate to a webpage does not mean they understand all technical or industrial jargon. Keep the content clear and simple, to avoid unnecessary follow up questions. Another thing to consider when delivering customer service online is that customers will generally expect fast responses. If you are using social media, the closer to instant replies, the better.

Making each customer feel important and heard, will win their loyalty. There is no better promotion for any organisation than a personal recommendation from a satisfied customer.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »