Got an Entrepreneurial Dream? Here’s Your First Important Step



Strong cash flow is critical for entrepreneurial success.

But 50 percent of all small businesses crash within five years because their founders are weak in financial literacy, according to a report by the JPMorgan Chase Institute.

“Growth, Vitality, and Cash Flows: High-Frequency Evidence from One Million Small Businesses,” stems from data compiled from accounts at JPMorgan Chase.

It’s the nation’s largest bank and is an advocate for small-business education programs.

The report makes it clear that such small-business failures stem from a lack of knowledge about cash flow and maintaining a cash buffer.

“Small businesses don’t fail because it’s a bad business,” Chris Wheat, director of business research for the JPMorgan Chase Institute and the lead researcher on the study.

“They fail because of cash flow problems,” he explains.

The report’s conclusions emphasize establishing and maintaining an emergency fund, and fully understanding how to sustain cash flow – that’s income and expenditures.

Least successful startups

Mr. Wheat analyzed the businesses that suffer from poor cash flow. Restaurants fare the worst.

The study indicates restaurants only last 3.7 years. That’s the shortest lifespan of a dozen industries that were studied.

Why?

Restaurants typically are hit by unanticipated expenses while trying to cope with irregular income.

Negative surprises occur because restaurants must continually buy supplies at constantly changing prices vs. an unpredictable flow of customers. Changing seasons are a factor.

“Restaurants we consistently find have more pronounced small-business challenges,” says Mr. Wheat.

“Restaurants tend not to be holding a lot of cash in their accounts. And if you put that together with any amount of volatility, it’s not surprising to see they have the highest likelihood of exiting,” he adds.

Most-successful startups

On the other hand, the study shows the most-successful businesses are real estate firms. They average a nine-year lifespan.

Their income and expenses are more predictable and stable. That means they find it easier to maintain a good cash flow.

So, if you’ve got an entrepreneurial idea, make certain you’re strong in understanding finance. Get a mentor and take whatever financial training programs you can.

Do this, and your dream will come true.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are relevant tips for entrepreneurial success:

You Can Creatively Manage Your Cash Flow 7 Ways – If you’re taking the pulse of your business, of course, the first thing to consider is your cash flow. If your cash flow is poor, you feel poor because you can’t pay the bills nor can you use money for what you’d like to do.

For the Best Cash Flow, Manage Your Inventory Costs with 8 Tips – With proper inventory management, you can lower your expenses and increase your cash flow. For many businesses, it means taking a look at your inventory costs.

Checklist — 11 Tips to Increase Your Startup’s Cash Flow – Cash flow is the salient dynamic that leads to the failure or success of a business. Here are 11 Biz Coach ways to maintain positive cash flow.

Angel Investor: Tips for Increasing Cash Flow, Profits — A successful angel investor shares his tips for good cash flow and other profit issues.

Small Business Options for Year-End Cash Flow, Tax Benefits – The fourth quarter is the time for small business owners to reflect on options for year-end cash flow and tax benefits. In general, here are items to discuss with your accountant and tax advisor.

11 Tips to Win Your Entrepreneurial (Marathon) Race – For successful small firms, strong cash flow doesn’t just happen. Advertising firms to tech startups have a system. They plan and implement with precision. Using these strategies, you, too, will win.

12 of the Best Financial-Planning Tips for Entrepreneurs – Typically, there are critical mistakes made by entrepreneurs. In essence, they’re so busy putting out fires, they leave their financial security in doubt.

“Starting your own business is like riding a roller coaster. There are highs and lows and every turn you take is another twist. The lows are really low, but the highs can be really high. You have to be strong, keep your stomach tight, and ride along with the roller coaster that you started.”

-Lindsay Manseau


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Financial Advice for Powerball Lottery Winners



So you’ve been faithfully trying the Powerball lottery, and finally struck gold.

Congratulations! The odds seemed to be an impossible dream for you to win a mega drawing.

Assuming you did. Now what?

There are financial precautions you should take.

Yep, be smart about it. Unless you plan carefully, your mega windfall will result in a nightmare.

Tips include:

1. Deliberate in your decision-making

Resolve to be analytical in how you handle your winnings. There’s a lot to think about.

2. Don’t forget about income taxes

Multimillion dollars in winnings, means you two things. 1. You’ll have to pay taxes. 2. You’ll be in the highest federal tax bracket – 39.6 percent.

Not only that, unless you’re in a state like Washington where there are no income taxes you’ll be hit with a state income tax bill.

Worse, if you buy your ticket outside your home state, you’ll be hit with taxes for both states.

3. Taking a lump sum

Decide what’s best – taking a lump sum or a payment over 20 years. For many people, it’s best to take the money in a lump sum. This will mean your money will earn more interest.

Be aware you’ll have to pay a significant amount in taxes upfront.

However, if you invest wisely you’ll have more money in 20 years than if you accepted 20 annual installments.

“We’ve all heard stories of lottery winners, rock stars, heirs and heiresses, and professional athletes becoming millionaire morons who wake up rich but are broke by nightfall.”

-Robert Kiyosaki

4. Go for installments, if you plan to spend the money right away

It’s true, you’ll be better off in the long run if you take the amount in-full. However, if you have plans to spend the money, go the installment route.

But spread it out over the years.

5. Suppose you die unexpectedly, know what happens

If you die, the winnings can be passed to your spouse without being taxed. However, if you’re unmarried and depending where you live, your heirs will face estate taxes probably for more than 40 percent.

From the Coach’s Corner, more advice on finance:

Before You Travel Abroad, Take 6 Financial Precautions Today — Whether you’re traveling to a foreign country for business or pleasure — there are at least six steps you should take. You need to do more than just making sure that your passport is current, planning your itinerary or deciding what to pack.

Protect Your Bank Accounts So You Can Sleep at Night — Imagine for a moment — you’re sitting at your desk enjoying a second cup of morning coffee. Then, your phone rings. It’s a call from your bank to discuss possible fraud. Your bank is concerned about possible suspicious activity with your accounts, and wants to make sure you’re not a victim.

9 Secrets for Success in Real Estate Investing — Whether you want to work with investor partners or go solo, real estate investing can be a profitable business. By performing due diligence, developing a system and working hard, real estate investing works.

Tax Deductions for Small-Residential Property Landlords — As investments go, small residential property landlords enjoy the most tax benefits. In a down year, rental property tax deductions can make a big difference whether you enjoy profits or suffer losses.

Financial Tips for Taking the Plunge to Buy a Business — So you’ve decided to take the plunge in buying a business. Congratulations. I salute such bravery. Owning a business represents one of America’s great fundamentals — our free-enterprise system.
You’ll have multiple financing options.

Even Ordinary Folks Need 10 Best Strategies for Estate Planning — Updated March 27, 2015 It’s a mistake to think estate taxes only apply to the super rich. Estate taxes hurt ordinary folks. Estate taxes are especially problematic for farmers and small businesspeople, alike, who own their buildings and have capital tied up in equipment to grow crops or to produce products.

“My wife said to me: ‘If you won the lottery, would you still love me?’ I said: ‘Of course I would. I’d miss you, but I’d still love you.’”

-Frank Carson


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Make More Friends at the Office with 6 Etiquette Tips



In many companies, good etiquette is nonexistent and office co-workers fail to make friends of one another. Lack of trust and turmoil is seemingly evident everywhere.

Doesn’t it make sense to get along with your coworkers?

For five days a week, you spend more than a third of your time at the office. You don’t have to like everyone, but it’s best to be respectful, and assertive versus aggressive. That makes for good office relationships.

business woman ID-100109224There are ample opportunities for agreements and disagreements.

After all, it’s not uncommon for people to disagree.

For career success, your image is important.

To keep your reputation intact, it’s best to be known for cooperation, fun and mutual support.

For best communication, common courtesy is important.

If you’re good at making friends, chances are you’re influential.

To make more friends at the office, here are six etiquette tips:

1. You don’t have to have the last say.

Know-it-all people are annoying – really annoying. So don’t always act as if you have to have the last say.

If you have a different opinion than someone else, you don’t have to always be right. People are unpopular in part because they are thin-skinned and get defensive. In matters of disagreement, you can choose to disagree and let it go.

A typical good response: “Hmm. I didn’t see it that way.”

When you make a mistake, it’s also unproductive to deny your role or to try to blame somebody else. Admit your mistake, apologize and devise a solution. That’s what respected people do.

2. Don’t criticize others publicly.

If you have a legitimate criticism of a co-worker, discuss it privately. No one likes a big mouth or a snitch.

You can compete with your peers, which is common especially in sales or among workers competing for a promotion or raise. But it can be a friendly competition.

When a co-worker is successful, be gracious with your congratulations. Don’t change the subject back to you. You will have ample opportunity at the right occasion for your self-promotion.

Otherwise, the person will notice your puffery and take offense. Being happy at someone else’s success is a hallmark of maturity.

3. Be a good listener.

Good conversationalists are good listeners. You will actually enhance your chances at influencing others if are a good listener.

An unfortunate common trait of a bad conversationalist is the use of the phrase, “Yeah, but…” People who react or interrupt others with “yeah, but” are seen as negative.

“Confidence is the easiest thing to lose and the hardest thing to get back.”

-Drew Stanton

It’s no secret that the best salespeople or leaders ask open-ended questions and then listen carefully to the answers. They let people talk without interruption.

An open-ended question differs from a close-ended question. An open-ended question prompts the person to talk and explain. A close-ended question will only get you a close-ended answer, a “yes” or a “no.”

4. Don’t be a people-pleaser in making commitments.

Showing a community spirit is to be encouraged. It’s great if you’re empathetic about people less fortunate than you.

You’re likely to be asked to help others, especially in what I call the stewardship season – the holidays in the fourth quarter. However, don’t make the mistake of over-committing. Carefully select what and whom you will help. If you have to decline to help, you can say no nicely.

5. Avoid water-cooler gossip.

Trustworthy people avoid water-cooler gossip. Conversely, negative people who criticize others aren’t to be trusted – they will be sarcastic about you when you’re back is turned.

Be inspiring by aspiring – to be trustworthy.

Remember the adage: “What goes around comes around.”

6. Avoid profanity.

People who swear a lot do so because they’re negative. Civility counts a lot at the office. In 90 percent of your conversations, there opportunities to use words, such as “thank you,” “please” and “you might wish to consider.”

Oh, and by the way, the above tips are common techniques used by confident professionals – who are promotable people. These are some of the characteristics of people who succeed as the best managers and even leaders.

So, if you want to get ahead, start using these techniques.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related tips:

Tips for Dining Etiquette with Your Boss or Anchor Client – Whatever the important business occasion, it’s helpful to hold your meeting away from the tense hustle and bustle of a corporate setting. The right ambience for deal making is often an opulent restaurant with sumptuous food. That’s been my preference.

18 Tips for Productive Behavior to Win in Office Politics – Most people troubled by office politics are too focused on the behavior of their adversaries. Stop giving away your personal power. Don’t think or act like a victim. Here are 18 valuable tips to win in office politics.

Hate Your Job but Can’t Quit? How to Enjoy it in the Meantime — If you hate your job but can’t quit because you need the money, you’re not powerless. There are ways to enjoy your work and improve your situation.

11 Tips for a Better Relationship with Your Boss — Whether you want a happier work environment or lay the groundwork for a raise, promotion or transfer, you must create opportunities for success. That includes, of course, being on good terms with your boss and often your boss’s boss.

13 Tips on Coping with Change at Work – Conquer Your Fears — In this economy, it seems normal to fear losing your job. Plus, budget cuts, hiring freezes, revised job descriptions and getting a new boss can all be unnerving. Other changes can be sources of fear, such as fear of failure in new responsibilities, fear of looking obtuse, fear of an alcoholic coworker, fear of the unknown and fear of success.

“Confidence is the easiest thing to lose and the hardest thing to get back.”

-Drew Stanton

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

You Can Be a Popular Speaker with the Power of Touch



Effective public speakers know the power of physical touch, says a leading expert in how to improve communication with others, public speaking and performance.

“In my humble view, there is never enough attention given to the formidable power of tactile connection,” asserts Eric Stone.

Mr. Stone is a former New York City stage and television actor, operates Speakers and Artists International, Inc. (www.publicspeakingconnection.com) in Beverly Hills, Calif.

woman glasses b&wThat’s right. He suggests speakers learn the art of physical touch.

“It assuredly dates back to our tribal heritage where constant contact was the only way to trust and thrive,” he explains.

“We trust what we can see and touch before anything else,” adds Mr. Stone.

“Politicians understand this so well and so should anyone interested in better communication and public speaking,” he points out.

He says “the act of touching solidifies your game.” 

The speaking expert provides examples of typical ways to touch.

They include:

— Shake hands with someone before you go on stage or before you begin your speech.

— Mingle by touching.

— Do the same at meetings. Make a point of holding your gaze as you touch someone’s arm or elbow and make eye contact.

— Touch objects such as furniture, a glass of water, the podium, etc., anything that belongs to the physical world.

“Spots objects in the room. See them physically not just as the mental awareness that they are there,” he explains. “It establishes your presence and grounds you.”

Mr. Stone says “it brings us back to natural living and anchors our performances and communication.”

He says touching helps you bond with your audience.

“Gravity, balance, breathing and tactile relatedness are your best allies when things signal that something could go wrong,” he adds.

“Feel the weight of your body, breathe deeply several times consciously and get on a mission to touch and hold,” he advises. “Remember: the mind can only project mental pictures and it should only operate in the background at the service of your physical self.”

From the Coach’s Corner, here are more public speaking tips:

Success in Public Speaking Stems from Being Natural…Here’s How — Ever notice how some public speakers perform flawlessly? How they seem to be authentic, natural speakers? Our thought processes prevent us from becoming natural speakers, says Eric Stone, a leading expert in how to improve communication with others, public speaking and performance.

Maximize Your Speaking with the Power of Pauses — Have you ever noticed why some people succeed as powerful public speakers? One salient reason is they know how to use the power of pauses.  “Along with rooted passion and deliberate enthusiasm, pauses are the true launching pads of any great verbal impact,” says Eric Stone, a leading expert in communication with others.

Communication – You Can Train Yourself to Stop Stressing — It’s OK to be nervous before giving a speech or when you’re entering an important round of negotiations. Feeling pressure is one thing but allowing it to morph into stress and tension is another. When you allow this to happen, in a sense, you’re giving away your personal power, which inhibits your performance.

Public Speaking Tips – for Speeches in Accepting Awards, Honors — So you’re about to be honored for your pro bono work, volunteerism, or for creating a foundation to fund scholarships for education. But you get stage fright or don’t know how to most-effectively frame your acceptance speech? Join the crowd. A lot of people have difficulty in public speaking.

How to Get More Opportunities as a Guest Speaker — If you’re successful in generating speaking opportunities, you’ll create opportunities for your career. At the least, you’ll be in a position to raise your business profile. Ideally, prospective clients or customers will be in the audience. Count on opportunities to develop centers of influence — people who can refer business to you.

9 Tips to Connect with People after You Make Your Speech — Typically, in making a speech at a public forum, businesspeople hope to get a return on their investment. After all, giving a great speech or serving on a panel before a targeted audience necessitates your valuable time and effort in preparation.

“A good speech should be like a woman’s skirt; long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.” 

-Winston S. Churchill

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please  contact Terry.

Success in Public Speaking Stems from Being Natural…Here’s How



Ever notice how some public speakers perform flawlessly?

How they seem to be authentic, natural speakers?

Our thought processes prevent us from becoming natural speakers, says Eric Stone, a leading expert in how to improve communication with others, public speaking and performance.

ID-10083079 posterize

Mr. Stone says being a natural speaker is difficult “because we are so identified and attached to the endless gymnastics of the mental plane.”

In other words, Mr. Stone says we’re distracted by our thoughts.

“Any time of the day, our minds are technically ‘on fire’ plotting the next chapter of our lives or putting out the fires from yesterday or yesterdays; or still, measuring this or that in reference to what we should have done, could have done, will do, etc.,” he explains.

Mr. Stone, a former New York City stage and television actor, operates Speakers and Artists International, Inc. in Beverly Hills, Calif.

His Web site is www.publicspeakingconnection.com.

He provides five insights to becoming a natural speaker:

The mind is always so busy thinking, comparing, and assessing that being natural and relaxed gets lost and takes a back seat.

There’s no break from that it seems; and yet there are people who make it into a practice, even a way of life such as athletes, musicians, dancers, actors, performers and in the business world as well.

Our best and effortless experiences in life occur when it is the mind that takes the back seat. In my view, the difference between being and thinking is listening, and listening comes from watching with our internal body rhythm as opposed to judging or evaluating with our thoughts.

Even when we listen to music we are watching or contemplating imagery, which evokes feelings and sensations. These feelings are part of our internal rhythm and very far from thinking. Therefore, ease of being comes from the physical body. It is not a mental process.

Confusion arises because we trust our thoughts way before we trust our bodies (breath, senses, intuition, feelings, instincts, touch, etc.). When we begin to pay attention to the body, internal rhythms naturally emerges.

For instance, the weight of your body on a chair or standing, your heart beating, the flow of your breath going in and out, sensations such as warmth, applying yourself to a task, sport, activity, etc.

Inhabiting our natural rhythm is a simple task. It requires a change of allegiance from our thoughts to our inner rhythm.  I have called it “body-time experiencing.”

Body-time has a different quality or atmosphere, which seems to render everything effortless and transparent, all anchored and rooted in physical sensations not mental activity.

When we allow the physical realm to anchor our thinking process, we start noticing major improvements that make a real difference with everyone and everything we touch, professionally and personally.

In my professional and personal experience, over-thinking and the speed of the mind is like an addiction.

From the Coach’s Corner, more public-speaking tips:

Maximize Your Speaking with the Power of Pauses — Have you ever noticed why some people succeed as powerful public speakers? One salient reason is they know how to use the power of pauses.

Public Speaking Tips – for Speeches in Accepting Awards, Honors — So you’re about to be honored for your pro bono work, volunteerism, or for creating a foundation to fund scholarships for education. But you get stage fright or don’t know how to most-effectively frame your acceptance speech? Join the crowd. A lot of people have difficulty in public speaking.

To Give a Great Speech, 9 Tips to Manage Your Nervousness – If you get nervous even at the thought of giving a speech, join the crowd. You’re not alone. Many people get nervous because they fear criticism, embarrassment, failure and/or rejection. But if you learn to manage your nervousness, you can give great speeches. Here are nine tips.

Learn to Give a Speech Like a Business Pro with 8 Tips – When it’s time to give a speech, do you tremble with abject fear? Do you break out in a cold sweat? Getting terrified and tongue-tied is not a fun experience. It’s OK to be nervous before giving a speech in public or speaking in a meeting at work.

7 Steps to Become Great at Thinking on Your Feet – Have you ever been at a loss for words? For example, when asked a question, have you been tongue tied in a sales presentation, while speaking at an event, in negotiations, during an interview or a staff meeting? Getting tongue-tied is not a fun experience.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.”
-Henry Ford


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy of Posterize at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Praying for a Job? Key Questions to Ask Interviewers



Employers prefer inquisitive applicants. When applicants ask questions, it shows their interest in a company as well as their communication abilities, especially if they ask the right questions.

Actually, there are two benefits if you ask the right questions in a job interview.

Firstly, you shine compared to your competing job seekers. Secondly, you get the right information to make the best decision.

ID-10091541For interviewing success, it’s best if you know how to differentiate yourself. If you’ve ever accepted an offer for the wrong job, you know it’s a pain.

Either way, it’s in your best interest to learn more about the company and the position before accepting a job offer.

Chances are you’ll be interviewed by more than one person. When in doubt, ask them each the same questions so you can compare their answers.

Here are key questions to ask:

1. What have former employees done to be successful in this job?

You’ll probably learn important points. For instance, you’ll learn the expectations of the company.

Moreover, you’ll learn something about the company’s culture. You might also learn how and why the previous person succeeded or failed.

2. How has the job evolved?

More than likely, you’ll learn whether it’s a dead-end position. If you’re not ambitious, OK. But if you’re ambitious, you’ll want to know if it’s a position offering potential — a catalyst for professional growth and promotions within the company.

For interviewing success, it’s best if you know how to differentiate yourself.

3. In the next three months, what are the priorities for this position?

Obviously, you’ll discover on what you’ll need to focus to get a good start. As a new employee, it’s important to make a great initial impression and on what you’ll need to accomplish.

If the interviewer paints a comprehensive picture of expectations, you’ll be able to gauge whether the job would be the right fit for you. If you’re a high achiever, OK. On the other hand, if the employer has too many expectations, you’ll readily see a red flag.

4. What do you think are the biggest challenges for this job?

You’ll get a quick dose of reality. Hopefully, you’ll sense transparency. If the interviewer paints a utopian picture – the job is a cake walk – you’ll want to be very careful about accepting an offer. Few jobs are that easy in this economy.

Also, a lot depends on your professional goals. For example, if you’re trying to work your way up your career ladder, you might be disappointed if the answer indicates you’ll get stuck working awful hours or mundane duties.

If you’re a manager, you might be told you’ll be given all the tools to succeed or you might be expected to accomplish the impossible with poor resources.

5. If I were to be offered the position, how would I be working with my manager?

The supervisor’s style will be revealed to you. This means, you’ll learn how the company treats its employees.  You might not like to be given marching orders all day long. You might prefer a more collegial, collaborative style.

You’ll find out the company’s reasons for its preferred management style and its culture. Either way, you’ll see if you’d be happy.

6. What do employees appreciate the most about working for the company?

If the interviewer hesitates in answering the question or has difficulty, it’s likely you won’t enjoy working there. Conversely, if you’re told the company provides great benefits, revenue sharing or bonuses, you’re getting a green light.

7. If you’re interviewing for a manager’s position, ask: What are the qualities of successful managers?

If the person can’t give you success stories, you’ll learn whether it’s a dynamic company, Otherwise, you’ll get a positive answer and an idea of what the company appreciates in a manager.

8. Do you have any reservations about my qualifications?

Employers like to hire people who are confident and communicative. Such a question demonstrates your self confidence and your openness to be coached, which is an indication of your soft skills.

If the person mentions any concerns, listen intently. Be direct and answer the questions as adroitly as you can. If you’re successful in overcoming any concerns, congratulations. If not, it’s a great learning experience for your next job application.

Either way, make sure you are prepared with a great elevator pitch.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are more career tips:

Career Advice — An Alternative to Applying for Jobs Online — As a job-hunter you know that a significant number of companies, nonprofits and public-sector agencies use an online tracking system to accept applications and screen out applicants. It cuts down on their paper work and saves them time.

7 Tips to Tweet Your Way to a Great New Job – Seriously — Surprise! If you play it smart you can take advantage of the 500 million Twitter account holders to get a new job or career. Really, it’s true.

Job Hunting? Tips to Land Your Dream Job with Style, Substance — Yes, the competition for jobs is ferocious. Here are proven tips to be hired for your dream job.

Increase Your Job Chances if You Have to Interview on the Phone — Face time, of course, is best if you’re interviewing for a job. However, headhunters and many companies schedule introductory telephone interviews. Pat yourself on the back. Even if it’s not an in-person meeting, a telephone interview is a good omen.

7 Steps to Become Great at Thinking on Your Feet — Have you ever been at a loss for words? For example, when asked a question, have you been tongue tied in a sales presentation, while speaking at an event, in negotiations, during an interview or a staff meeting? Getting tongue-tied is not a fun experience.

Let your faith be bigger than your fear. 


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Photo by imagerymajestic at www.freedigitalphotos.net

11 Tips to Succeed in Your Career with Effective Writing



Whether you want to write as an author like Mark Twain or to generate content to market your business, effective writing requires two attributes.

They are dedication and passion.

To enhance your attributes, here are 11 tips:

1. Check your motives. Your immediate objective isn’t  about making money or becoming famous.

Your writing should benefit your readers either for entertainment or for information. And in the end, you’ll enrich your life.

2. You should create content on a daily basis — even if you’re uninspired or tired — but it’s your job.

If you’re an author, write every day. If you’re a blogger, develop an editorial calendar and write often and not up against deadlines.

Don’t let it become a dreary occupation.

3. Be consistent in your style. If you’re a business or academic writer, you’re likely to be more effective as a passive writer.

But if you’re writing the next great novel, throw caution to the wind.

4. Avoid boring, long phrases and sentences. Write with an economy of words. Be descriptive, but eliminate unnecessary words. To maintain your readers’ interest, write short sentences.

5. Know your audience. If you’re writing for academia or business, grammar is important. If not, conversational English should be your goal. Did you ever notice that broadcast journalists write for the ear in order to be easily understood? Yes, they write news copy at a junior high or high-school level.

6. Know that great writers are voracious readers. You won’t add to your readers’ experience, if you’re not well-read. Great writers are often self-taught. You learn by reading.

7. Don’t procrastinate or let fear dictate your approach. As an acronym, FEAR, stands for “frantic effort to avoid responsibility.” Write regularly. Just do it. Chip away.

8. Get rest, recreation, and exercise. You’ll clear your head and feel better with fresh air.

9. Have a support system. If you’re in a healthy relationship, great. You won’t be distracted.

10. Create the right environment for productive writing. Get rid of any distractions so you can focus.

11. Recheck and edit your work. Read it aloud to yourself to catch errors. If you have someone whom you can ask to read your writing, do it. You might get help regarding the structure of your writing or to help you clarify your points.

From the Coach’s Corner, more writing tips:

11 Best Practices to Profit from Writing a Business White Paper — When you’re writing a case study for a client or you’re commissioned to write a white paper – there are best practices — then, there are only attempts at shameless promotion of a biased idea. You’ll want readers to perceive the former.

25 Best Practices for Better Business Writing — If you want to accelerate your career or turbo-charge your business, one of your priorities should be good communication. Good writing is necessary in a myriad of ways, including letters, advertising copy and presentations.

Don’t Know How to Write? Here Are 7 Tips to Write Well — So you think you don’t know how to write? You have more potential than you think. However, the more important need you have for writing, the odds are higher that you either freeze from writer’s block or that you’re uncertain about grammar. Don’t let that stop you.

Secrets for Attracting, Keeping Readers on Your Blog — Content marketing is a valuable tool, but only if you observe best practices in substance and style – writing the most intriguing headlines and most relevant copy. Attracting readers and keeping them on your blog or site means you must capitalize on your strengths and write for the benefit your Internet readers.

PR Is Nearly 90% More Valuable Than Content Marketing — Study — A Bill Gates’ quote is famous: “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.” Certainly, there’s validity for his philosophy. Even if you go to the competing Google News, you’ll typically find 50 million results for the key word, Microsoft.

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

-Benjamin Franklin


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.



Multiple Job Offers? Ask the Right Questions to Pick the Right Job



The words every job seeker wants to hear: “We want you.”

You’re no exception. You’ve been on a nerve-racking job hunt.

At long last the search is over. Suddenly, you’ve got choices — several companies have said “We want to hire you.”

It’s an enviable situation, but now your real work begins.

Yes, you’re winning against your competition. But remember it’s not all about the money.

If you make the wrong choice, you’ll lose the Big Mo — momentum — invaluable for your career.

So capture the moment — create a balance sheet of questions.

The right answers will help you choose the right job for your career performance without hesitation.

To pick the right job, here are five recommendations:

1. Check out the stability of each employer.

Due diligence will reveal how secure a company is in fiscal issues. What does its financial picture look like?

But there are other questions to ask:

Is it a strong brand? How do customers rate the company? What kind of online reviews does it have?

Do people stay there? Why or why not?

On the other hand, perhaps the company isn’t doing well, but the offer might be just what you need to rock in your career. So ask yourself: “If the company is an underdog in the marketplace — in a turnaround situation — is it a good opportunity for me to shine?”

If you’re a competitive person, it just might be a great opportunity.

My preference was to look for employers who needed my help and wanted it. I loved the challenges. And many years later they are a source of great memories.

2. Research the company’s opportunity for your personal growth.

The bottom-line question: How much does the company value its human capital?

True, no job is perfect. However, some offer room for growth — to advance — opportunities to work your way up.

Does the company pay for training or further education?

Will it be an environment that will allow you to grow professionally?

Does the company tend to promote from within or does it recruit from the outside? Hint: Search the profiles of the company’s employees.

3. Evaluate how the job will affect your personal life.

How will the job affect your work/life balance?

If you have a family, how many of your kids’ little league games or ballerina performances will you miss?

Is there a lot of travel? Too much after-hours work? How would you feel about it?

4. Assess the employer’s culture.

Keep in mind that 33 percent of your day will be spent with these people.

Is the company’s culture compatible for your best interests?

Start at the beginning. Was the interviewer comfortable with whom to chat?

What is the work environment like?

Long before becoming a business-performance consultant, I held a myriad of jobs. I still remember the agitation I felt when a recruiter tried to persuade me to quit college. I also the frustration I felt when pressured to accept an offer that required me to commute 50 miles one-way. Neither culture was for me.

How do you feel about your prospective boss?

5. Pursue your career dreams.

Which offer allows you to stay on your career path?

Is it the right sector? Is it the right location? Is it compatible for your financial goals?

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related tips:

The 22 Dos and Don’ts for Successful Negotiations — No matter what you need to negotiate, there are easy strategies to get anything you want. But you must first remember it’s important to reach a fair compromise – with win-win negotiating skills. You’ll want both parties to feel positive after the negotiation is complete.

To Enhance Your Career, How to Quit Your Job Professionally — OK, so you’re fortunate to have worked several years for the same employer. Perhaps your working conditions have worsened or you’re ready for a vertical move, and you’ve been offered a better job. Congratulations. Before you resign, however, take precautions to make sure your resignation enhances your career, not hurts it.

With a Mentor, You Won’t be Alone in Making Career Decisions — You don’t have to be alone in making career decisions. No matter what you do for a living, there’s one investment on which you can count to improve your career. Plus, it won’t cost you any money. Huh? Yes, you can get a mentor.

7 Steps to Become Great at Thinking on Your Feet — Have you ever been at a loss for words? For example, when asked a question, have you been tongue tied in a sales presentation, while speaking at an event, in negotiations, during an interview or a staff meeting? Getting tongue-tied is not a fun experience.

Career Strategies: How to Get a C-Level Job — If you’re climbing the corporate ladder and have designs on a C-level job, a noted Stanford University professor has some excellent advice.

“Don’t let negativity affect your vision. A lot of people have said harsh things, but I don’t let it affect me. If anything it gives me more enthusiasm and pushes me to do better in my career so I can prove them wrong.”

-Nicole Polizzi


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Quick Checklist for Profits You Can Implement Today



Here is a top-10 checklist for profits:

1. Review and fine-tune your business plan. Be sure to discern your competitive landscape and benchmark your main competitors.

2. Bring on the A team – both in staff and advisors. Recruitment and training will remain important, and seek the best mentors and professionals for inspiration to help you sustain growth.

3. Remember Pareto’s Principle – the 80/20 rule – that applies to you and your business in a variety of ways.

It means, for example, that 80 percent of your revenue comes from 20 percent of your customers.

So evaluate how you spend your time and resources.

4. Enhance your staying power by concentrating on your most profitable customers while identifying new revenue sources.

5. In prospecting and marketing, select and target the right customers.

6. Add sizzle by improving your niche-performance. Uniqueness counts more and more each year.

7. Watch your cash flow and your firm’s overall budget each week.

8. Focus on quality in your business processes – make it your No. 1 job.

9. Innovate – plan for more marketplace changes and evolving consumer preferences.

10. Practice the art of mental toughness. Remember when it’s appropriate to ignore the opinions of others, and to persevere in your dreams against seemingly insurmountable odds.

I’m still marveling at the success of my mother, who is in her eighties. She was diagnosed with macular degeneration, which meant she couldn’t read the newspaper. A couple of years ago, she had life-threatening complications from back surgery. A few weeks later, she was back in intensive care and doctors warned she wouldn’t walk again.

Well, guess what? She’s walking, and once again insists on preparing full-course meals, especially at family gatherings.  Mmm, delicious! Go mom!

From the Coach’s Corner, editor’s picks:

Strategies for Stronger Profits by Optimizing Prices — In general, how can you manage the sweet spot – between your price-optimization and costs? Dennis Brown of the consulting firm, Atenga (www.atenga.com), says many companies make 11 pricing mistakes: Companies base their prices on their costs, not their customers’ perceptions of value.

For Profits, Manage Your Growth at the Right PaceEntrepreneurs frequently try to rush their business growth. Certainly, growth is great but if you scale too fast, you’re looking for trouble. The key is to prepare.

Profits: How and Why to Align Marketing with Sales — If marketing isn’t synchronized with sales, a company doesn’t enjoy optimized profits. So why is it so many companies don’t align their marketing with sales? Here is how and why to align marketing with sales for higher profits.

Profits: How to Save on Sales Opportunity Costs — There are five basic dos and don’ts for productive selling.

How to Create Luck So You Can Fly High with ProfitsCompanies survive and gain market share when their competitors fail. But that’s often because successful firms know how to create luck.

“A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.”

 Henry Ford


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Why You Might Get Your Teeth into Career Finance Opportunities



Are you looking for career opportunities with long-term growth potential? Consider finance.

Increasingly, corporations worldwide are recruiting chief financial officers for their boardrooms. In addition to affecting current CFOs, it’s an encouraging bonus for financial professionals who aspire to become a CFO.

A 2012 EY (formerly Ernst & Young) study shows there’s an unprecedented clamor for CFOs to serve on corporate boards.

What are the catalysts? They include a challenging economy, government regulations, and the ever-increasing capabilities of CFOs.

“Regulatory pressure is driving a major increase in demand around the world for CFO experience on boards,” says EY’s EMEIA Markets Leader Jay Nibbe in a press release.

“In many countries, a CFO’s financial expertise is not only highly valued, but also mandatory,” he adds. “Additionally, as companies grapple with a volatile economy and the diverging growth trends of developed and rapid-growth markets, they increasingly want good insights and support for cost, risk, and cash flow management – three areas of focus that fall squarely within the CFO’s skill set.”

However, there are professional risks. A board position must be the right situation with the right timing (more on the risks later).

The report is entitled, “CFO and beyond: the possibilities and pathways outside finance.”

It includes responses from the following:

— 800 CFOs

— A 10-year review of the careers of CFOs at 347 companies with revenue in excess of $5 billion (US)

— Interviews with notable academics, CFOs, and governance experts

The study also indicates current and former CFOs are intrigued. They want to improve workings of boards of directors, develop innovative concepts, and create opportunities for boards to learn dissimilar cultures.

Key findings:

Rising demand for growing number of CFO competencies

  • 79 percent of respondents agreed their financial expertise means they are in more demand than ever for board level roles.
  • 14 percent of board members from the world’s largest companies studied were serving or former CFOs, up from 8 percent in 2002.
  • The proportion of audit committee chairs who are serving or former, CFOs has doubled in the last decade (41 percent in 2012, up from 19 percent in 2002), perhaps reflecting the demand for increased transparency on company balance sheets.

“Although they are crucial, financial skills alone don’t necessarily make for a good board member,” adds Mr. Nibbe. “Many CFOs today have the financial skills as well as a unique combination of analytical, technical and strategic capabilities.”

That explains the trend.

“Regulatory pressure is driving a major increase in demand around the world for CFO experience on boards.”

Benefits of CFOs taking on non-executive roles

Seventy-five percent of respondents say a board position provides new perspectives, which enhances their skill sets.

“Experience in a different sector is seen by many CFOs as particularly valuable, with the opportunity to gain knowledge and transfer best-practice across industries,” Mr. Nibbe observes. “There can also be a ‘halo effect’ for those companies whose CFO is serving on the boards of large well-respected companies.”

Professional risks and distractions from core role can be a deterrent

  • Despite the benefits, more than 40 percent think it is inappropriate for them to take on part-time roles.
  • Board directors are often personally liable if it can be demonstrated that they have neglected their executive duties. For some, the demands of their core responsibilities are too great, and the risk of being overstretched is too significant. As corporate governance legislation becomes more stringent, the time required to be an effective non-executive director is increasing.

Note: Despite the appetite of CFOs to take on non-executive roles, there is a growing mismatch between the amount of time they feel able to dedicate to such a role and the recommendation by corporate governance best practice.

More than half of CFO respondents confirm that they can only spare five hours or less per week on a supplementary role, yet the minimum recommendation from the 2009 UK Walker Report (30 days per year) corresponds to at least that.

CFOs should adopt a long-term view and anticipate board composition changes

  • Among the CFO respondents, those who identified themselves as long-term planners were significantly more likely to have taken on additional roles than more opportunistic CFOs.
  • CFOs are also taking on board positions at a younger age than they were a decade ago. The increase in those CFOs from the companies studied who have taken on non-executive directorships is most marked among the younger generation – those aged between 40-49 years old.

Mr. Nibbe’s conclusions

“CFOs and future finance leaders interested in taking on a board level role should start early – competition for roles and expectations are rising so career planning is critical. They should do the research and choose the right role carefully and for the right time,” he asserts.

“They should also expect that, over the next decade, boards will increasingly value knowledge of rapid-growth markets, analytics and other dynamic technologies such as social media,” he adds.

“Finally, board recruiters are now looking for deep technical know-how, such as M&A and capital markets. Building deep experience of a particular domain will give candidates a good chance of being matched up with certain positions on certain boards.”

I agree. These are notable career insights from Ernst & Young (www.ey.com), a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Globally, the firm employs 167,000 people.

Copies of the study can be requested at www.ey.com/cfoandbeyond.

From the Coach’s Corner, from this portal’s Finance category, here’s  a variety of suggested reading:

How Bloggers Help Startups Get Venture Capital — Multi-million dollar venture-capital financing decisions are affected by bloggers and social media. That’s the conclusion from an academic study, “Putting Money Where The Mouths Are: The Relation Between Venture Financing and Electronic Word-of-Mouth.”

Cutting Costs: 9 Best Practices to Avoid Reactionary Decisions — In chaotic times, it’s common for businesspeople to be fearful and reactionary when they feel they must cut expenses. But entrepreneurs need to be unemotional so that they make decisions that will bolster their objectives.

Tips on Understanding the Mindset of IRS Auditors — An IRS audit is enough to make you tense with cold sweat in the palms of your hands. More businesspeople have complained to me about the mean-spirited treatment at the hands of IRS agents than any other federal agency.

Finance: The Intrigue of Sovereign Wealth Funds — Some eyebrows were raised during the last week of the 2012 presidential campaign when the second-oldest son of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney journeyed to Moscow. But he was after a big prize.

“Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it’s just the opposite.”

-John Kenneth Galbraith


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy Ambro at www.freedigitalphotos.net

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Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.