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Like Nobody's Business



Exactly who said that having your own business is supposed to be frought with struggle and effort -- producing little money and burning through all your time? What rule book is this written in? Business Success Coach and Strategic Planning Consultant,



Last Build Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2016 08:54:58 GMT

Copyright: (c) 2006 Total Team Solutions, LLC || Music courtesy of RoyaltyFreeMusic.com
 



LNB #053: Help! I Neede Someone!

Sat, 07 Jun 2008 20:09:16 GMT

I remember seeing the Beatles' movie, Help! when I was a kid. Love the lyrics, which are so brilliant: (Help) I need somebody (Help) Not just anybody (Help) You know I need someone (Help) When I was younger, so much younger than today I never needed anybody's help in any way But now these days are gone I'm not so self assured Now I find I've changed my mind I've opened up the doors Help me if you can, I'm feeling down And I do appreciate you being 'round Help me get my feet back on the ground Won't you please, please help me I can almost hear the strains of this song on the phone when prospects call me to ask, sometimes convolutedly, for help ("I really don't need help, but if I did, what could you do for me?"). Where I see businesses get into trouble is knowing when to ask for information and when to pay for it. According to the SBA, businesses fail for several reasons, chief of which are lack of planning, capital and other resources. In this biz environment, operating without the key information needed is almost criminal, given the massive amounts of information available on the Net. Michael Gerber, author of the The E-Myth Revisited, spoke of "working on your business, not in it," staying out of the tactical weeds and into the strategic mission and vision. To do this, Gerber spoke of the importance of creating systems that tied directly into those strategic aims. Burning daylight poring over website after website, looking for information defies our ability to be strategic and our ability to get the most out of our time. The Wild Hunt for information, particularly when you need it to be right and you need it right now, can be the greatest of all cul de sacs. This week, we hear from Jim Patton of J Patton Consulting and his Prepaid Legal affiliation. What Jim offers is a business service that, for a monthly fee, allows members to pose real-life problems to legal, accounting and other professionals and get real life answers. One example he gave was the business owner who needed to let an employee go. That owner posted the question in the service and got back a checklist for terminations that allowed him to stay fair, square and legal. Be sure to grab a copy of a copy of The Dip as well. _____________ FOR MORE INFORMATION, TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION FORUM, LISTEN AGAIN OR READ SHOW NOTES Lalita Amos http://www.TotalTeamSolutions.com/podcast/podcasting.htm http://totalteam.blogspot.com 214 615 6505, 3895 for questions or comments


Media Files:
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LNB #052: The Dip (Pt. 2)

Sat, 10 May 2008 21:11:17 GMT

This week, we cover ways to think your way through quitting. Knowing the answers to the key questions for your business or accountability, you can figure out pretty quickly what you should be saying "yes" or "no" to. To remind you, in Seth Godin's book, The Dip, he describes three key conditions when we get stopped: The dip: where the break in your action is so deep and wide that you can't move out of it with the resources you're expending. Kind of like the straight-A highschooler who never really had to expend herself...until she got a snootful of Calculus 115. The cul de sac (or dead-end): staying here will keep you from doing something that will work for you and it will never, ever change. His suggestion? Get out as quickly as possible. Remember, the analogy of the kid on the Big Wheel? It was cute the first few times around, and then it never seemed to stop. The cliff: you can keep this going for quite a while, but it runs out of gas and leaves you on the side of the road with no options. Kind of like smoking, that doesn't seem to really hurt anything--that is, until the doc gives you That Look, you know the one. Be sure to grab a copy of this little book. I'll be chatting about it for a few more 'casts. _____________ FOR MORE INFORMATION, TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION FORUM, LISTEN AGAIN OR READ SHOW NOTES Lalita Amos http://www.TotalTeamSolutions.com/podcast/podcasting.htm http://totalteam.blogspot.com 214 615 6505, 3895 for questions or comments


Media Files:
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LNB #051: The Dip (Pt. 1)

Sat, 19 Apr 2008 06:21:12 GMT

Marketing guru, Seth Godin's book, The Dip, forms the basis for this podcast (and several more to come). Seth describes three key conditions when we get stopped: The dip: where the break in your action is so deep and wide that you can't move out of it with the resources you're expending. Kind of like the straight-A highschooler who never really had to expend herself...until she got a snootful of Calculus 115. The cul de sac (or dead-end): staying here will keep you from doing something that will work for you and it will never, ever change. His suggestion? Get out as quickly as possible. Remember, the analogy of the kid on the Big Wheel? It was cute the first few times around, and then it never seemed to stop. The cliff: you can keep this going for quite a while, but it runs out of gas and leaves you on the side of the road with no options. Kind of like smoking, that doesn't seem to really hurt anything--that is, until the doc gives you That Look, you know the one. Be sure to grab a copy of this little book. I'll be chatting about it for a few more 'casts. _____________ FOR MORE INFORMATION, TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION FORUM, LISTEN AGAIN OR READ SHOW NOTES Lalita Amos http://www.TotalTeamSolutions.com/podcast/podcasting.htm http://totalteam.blogspot.com 214 615 6505, 3895 for questions or comments


Media Files:
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LNB #050: Gobbledygook (Biz Communications)

Fri, 02 Nov 2007 20:44:24 GMT

Leverage... Cutting edge... Scalable... ...and the list goes on. When did our business communication stop being authentic and start being a frantic race to leverage robust world-class business intel that offers flexible, yet scalable, capabilities to help achieve (I really wanted to say "leverage" again) potential and future stakeholder value? Use language that is clear and check in to make sure that your intended meaning is coming across. _____________ FOR MORE INFORMATION, TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION FORUM, LISTEN AGAIN OR READ SHOW NOTES Lalita Amos http://www.TotalTeamSolutions.com/podcast/podcasting.htm http://totalteam.blogspot.com 214 615 6505, 3895 for questions or comments


Media Files:
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LNB #049: Work-Life Balance (sigh)

Tue, 11 Sep 2007 04:20:30 GMT

This is a short work week due to the Labor Day Holiday. People are slammed, trying to get work done and the children back to school...and everything else. Someone said their short week felt more like a punishment requiring them to work even longer hours. Conversations have turned to the mythic Work-Life Balance. Where did this come from? This term was coined around 1986. Men and women of color and white women had begun making serious inroads into the professional workforce. The country had been experiencing a depressed economy and people were working longer hours to try to get ahead. Added to this, workforce reductions caused people to work even longer hours. Workers balked at complaining over the extended work weeks for fear that they'd wind up on the chopping block. There was a heady mix of increased worker productivity, advances in technology, stepped-up globalization, and more people in the workplace that went into the RIF brew. I remember taking a group of managers off into the "wilderness" (Oconomowoc, Wisconsin) to meet in groups and discuss our personal mission statements. Sounds nice, but the gathered managers and key employees were left wondering: How do achieve that much vaunted "balance" when my evaluation depends on producing results (no matter how long I have to work to get them). Added to the mix is the trend for performance management systems to include evaluation of a worker's work-life balance. Now, I had been in HR for a number of years and I know I didn't have a solid explanation of WLB. As it turned out, no one else did. Seemed kind of pointless. How you think gives an insight to how you work? Even though I'm trained in behavioural science, I'm not a fan of extensive testing in the workplace--mostly because I'm not sure that those tests are valid (measures someting worth measuring) or reliable (consistent application of the measure over time). Taken in broad strokes, humans tend to think and solve problems in two dynamic ways (there are others, but just hang on: we're embarking on a little chat here): linear or serial thinking and non-linear or parallel thinking. In a serial world, a person handles one problem set through to completion. Ask them to take on several projects and you'd be spitting into the wind. Parallel or non-linear thinking and problem solving tends to see people working on several projects at the same time (or moving from project to project). In most companies, we make space for only one kind of thinking: care to guess which one? Does it work? Now, I've met those people who thrive on the energy and drama of a packed schedule. You may like to run from pillar to post with your hair on fire, trailing paper, taking on the cellphone and sliding into a parking space at the gym in just enough time for yoga. You may like being up in the wee hours checking email and crafting a question for your LinkedIn Q&A forum. If that works for you: God love you. Keep on keeping on. There really is no need to force change on a person whose personal system is working. Where we get into trouble is when it no longer serves us: That's when it's time to consider other options and develop other habits. _____________ FOR MORE INFORMATION, TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION FORUM, LISTEN AGAIN OR READ SHOW NOTES Lalita Amos http://www.TotalTeamSolutions.com/podcast/podcasting.htm http://totalteam.blogspot.com 214 615 6505, 3895 for questions or comments


Media Files:
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LNB #048: Just Say "No" (pt. 4) Cleaning Up the Slop

Sat, 01 Sep 2007 04:02:00 GMT

No. Nein. Nyet. Non. Little words in whatever language we speak. Big mischief if we don't use them when we should. We end up half-committed to projects and other decisions we know we really don't support, taking precious time away from other priorities, working without the focus that comes from commitment. Resentfully wasting time. Search Amazon.com and you'll find a staggering amount of books in getting to "yes" but nary a one on getting to a "no" or saying "no" for that matter. Curiously, most of the ones on saying "no" were written with children in mind. Truthfully, some of those books purport to be sales manuals, but are little more than cheap verbal manipulations designed to satisfy us. Funny enough, I can't tell you how many salesfolk I've met who hate being "sold to." They hate when someone doesn't take "no" for an answer. We all do. And still their bookshelves are lined with books that keep spreading the magic. In this business 2.0 world of relationships we find ourselves on a collision course between two sets of desires: theirs (customers, partners, vendors, suppliers, employees) and ours. Doing untold damage to their chances for the further collaboration. A half-hearted "yes" becomes the low-hanging fruit. Clean, concise, authentic communication is always the ticket. We end up with less to remember when we stick to the plain, unvarnished truth with little embellishment. On the show, I talked about the four options you have in responding to requests made to you. They are: Yes With us committed to an action either immediately or in the future. Ever heard a prospect say "I'd like to do it in January at the top of the budget year?" Our training has us inclined to try to get them to do it now when they might really mean "I want to sign up in January." Here, you can tell them that you're going to take them at their word...and get your proposal ready for them to sign now with a January start date. You can even make sure that they meant it by calling a spade a spade: "I want to be clear that you are commencing in January. So, I'll take you American Express number so I can run the agreed-upon amount on January 1." No Onlineorganizing.com maven Ramona Creel suggests that there are 20 Ways to Say No; however I find that, given some of the equivocations she suggests, people are liable to enter into a tussle with us, believing that those equivocations are up for negotiation. If it doesn't work, isn't consistent with your commitments--whatever--stop trying to be "nice." A clean "no" will save you from trying to manufacture a reason (which isn't nice, by the way). You don't need one (unless you've trained your business associates that you do). Counter-Offer You may, in fact, want that project, but with some clear caveats. Tell them so: "I'd like to commit here, and I have a few changes that will have it really work for our team. Take a look and see if we can work those in and then I'm all in." Here, they can say yes or no--they can even counter your counter. This is called a negotiation. Have fun and be clear in you communications. Commitment to Commit Later You may be racing out the door. Keep moving. We sometimes say things to people to placate them and hope we can dig ourselves out later. If you don't have time to carefully consider an offer now, resist the pressure to commit right away. Giving people a clear date and time you want to discuss the merits of their request with them will satisfy most. Putting it on your calendar will satisfy even more. Really racing out the door and can't stop. Ask them to email you a request with some suggested dates and times for your talk...and then keep moving. ...and now some Zen from the epic movie, White Men Can't Jump: Rosie Perez: Sometimes when you win, you really lose. Sometimes when you lose, you really win. Sometimes when you win or lose. you actually tie. Sometimes when you tie, you ac[...]


Media Files:
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LNB #047: Just Say "No?!" (pt. 3) It's What You Say "Yes" To

Fri, 03 Aug 2007 22:53:35 GMT

Just say "no?" Seems like this has energized many of you (ticking off some) and gotten you into action. Being one who thinks when it gets tough one should dig deeper (as opposed to scarpering away), we're going to look some more at this ugly topic. We've discussed the bloated lifestyle that has us say "yes" to everything without limitation...and then giving up sleep, family life and sanity to try to make it all work. We've talked about the fact that our actions (including what we say) is given by our belief systems: If you're worried about your image and want to look good, you may find yourself a slave to it, saying "yes" to things that will raise you in the esteem of others, while your find yourself filled with resentment (or copping out, running late or other tactics to make the pain go away). Here, we're looking at what we say "yes" to. We discussed that by not knowing the answers to several key questions about our business (business unit or department), we wind up at a loss about what we should be saying "yes" and "no" to in the first place. Mentioned also was the point that we're not having a happy relationship with many of the "source documents" for our businesses (like our business and action plans or our budgets). We create them once (if we do at all) and then operate like they don't exist. RESOURCES Simplify Your Work Like: Ways to Change the Way You Work So You Have More Time to Live...some of these suggestions are stunningly simple and effective The One-Page Proposal: How to Get Your Business Pitch onto One Persuasive Page. After completing your plan, you'll know what you should be saying both "yes" and "no" to. TotalTeamSolutions.com: Contact me for help with your plan. I'm a licensed One Page Plan consultant and can help you as the owner or leader of a management team get--and keep--your act together. ____________ CONTACT ME Lalita Amos, llamos@totalteamsolutions.com Got a question or comment: Call the Question Line: 214 615 6505, ext. 3895 or totalteam.blogspot.com


Media Files:
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LNB #046: Just Say "No?!" (pt. 2) Beliefs

Fri, 27 Jul 2007 21:59:35 GMT

Face it. We suck at "yes" and "no" to the extent that we're doing work that isn't meaningful, takes up lots or time (or keeps us from the social lives we though our buisnsses woulc give us access to), we don't go on vacations and when we do, we can't unplug. Some of you have asked me: OK, Amos, how do I say "no"? When do I drop the n-bomb? How do I deal with the consequences? I've rolled over so many times, if I said "no" it would speed up global warming How do I deal with pressure...potential loss of business....loss of image? We're going to cover most of these questions in this podcast series. Problemmatic, is the fact our business training (particularly sales) is teaching us not to take "no" for an answer and "getting to a yes" even if that means pressure, manupulation or down-right lying. Any wonder that our college campuses will see a spike in date rape cases in August as students return to school. Women with a weak "no" and men who misinterpret a weak "no" as a "maybe." Truth is, there's a connection between what we believe and what we say and do. Materials to Consider Simplify Your Work Like: Ways to Change the Way You Work So You Have More Time to Live...some of these suggestions are stunningly simple and effective The Millionaire Next Door...what it takes to get your wealth may not be what you think Chicken Run, an epic motion picture, chronicles the shift in belief of a group of chickens who don't believe they can fly themselves to freedom. Very funny. ____________ CONTACT ME Lalita Amos, llamos@totalteamsolutions.com Got a question or comment: Call the Question Line: 214 615 6505, ext. 3895 or totalteam.blogspot.com


Media Files:
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LNB #045: Just Say "No?!" (pt. 1)

Mon, 23 Jul 2007 03:39:28 GMT

Let's face it: We're tapped out. We work longer than ever with less return. We spend more to get the lifestyle and wind up working longer and harder (notice I didn't say "more effectively"). How do we get off the treadmill? A HISTORY LESSON In the 1940's and 50's, the post-war business climate was booming (as was the population). By the 70's anti-discrimination laws were gaining ground, opening the workforce to women and men of color and white women. At the same time, the economy contracted and prices climbed. Then the 80's and 90's heralded the unthinkable: reductions in force among salaried workers. Now, people are becoming too afraid not to work late. Late in the 90's and into this century, we've seen an explosion in technology, which should have made our lives easier and our businesses more productive. However, that just hasn't been the case. People just can't shut down. As businesses start up, we bring all of this (and other) baggage onto the mix. As our businesses grow, so go the bad habits. RESOURCES + Simplify Your Work Like: Ways to Change the Way You Work So You Have More Time to Live...some of these suggestions are stunningly simple and effective + The Millionaire Next Door...what it takes to get your wealth may not be what you think + Living the Simple Life: A Guide to Scaling Down and Enjoying More + Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things that Really Matter ____________ CONTACT ME Lalita Amos, llamos@totalteamsolutions.com Got a question or comment: Call the Question Line: 214 615 6505, ext. 3895


Media Files:
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LNB #044: Where is a Mirror a Doorway

Sat, 07 Jul 2007 04:28:45 GMT

Only in our fevered imaginations. While on vacation, I observed my expensive (but not very bright) purebred cat checking out her temporary new digs. She touched everything in the hotel room and got poleaxed at the full-length mirror. Believing it to be a doorway to a magical new world, she began frantically digging for gold on the face of the mirror. Every few minutes all through the evening, she'd stop and gaze longingly at that mirror, expecting it to become something else. Don't giggle at my simple beast: we do this all the time. Expecting that mirror to really be a doorway, we... Try to retain problem employees (when we know they'll never work out), Pretend that our horrible jobs will be wonderful tomorrow (with exactly the same boss and business culture as before), Expect that a flawed business partnership will turn itself around (when we know that a little more pressure should set off even more pyrotechnics). Why do we keep doing this to ourselves? Several reasons. We find it hard to tell the "stank nekkid truth" to ourselves and others, instead pretending that we can put lipstick on that pig and pretend it's Nicole Kidman. In other cases, we're too into it to be able to judge whether we've gone beyond what a reasonable person would take (or do). Getting another head involved can provide the perspective you need to see things more clearly. Finally, we get so invested in forcing an outcome and making it work that we lose track of the end-game--what we're really up to. Now, where are you treating a mirror like a doorway to that glorious new (but entirely fictional) dimension in your business dealings? ____________ CONTACT ME Lalita Amos, llamos@totalteamsolutions.com Got a question or comment: Call the Question Line: 214 615 6505, ext. 3895 www.totalteamsolutions.com/podcast/podcasting.htm


Media Files:
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LNB #043: What Are You REALLY Listening to (Customer Service

Sat, 30 Jun 2007 05:31:01 GMT

"We're committed to excellent customer service." Interesting idea. However, I'm not sure that we really are. Most of the time, I assert, we're too busy listening to the little voices inside our heads. I mean the voices that are constantly filtering our experiences--judging and assessing, telling us that we agree/don't agree/like it/don't like it/seen it before/trust you/don't trust you and on and on and on. With our little voices giving us the blow by blow from Radio Free Saigon, it gets a little tough to hear much of anything else. So, are we really listening to our customers, vendors, suppliers, employees and business partners? Probably not. Setting up listening posts, routine ways to listen to our customers, can be a daunting undertaking. We face loss of management control, changing the fundamentals of the business, reliability of information and scalability. We tend to contact people only when there's a problem we're trying to solve--not to learn about how to improve services that are already great. Request for Help If you have a contact at MTV, send me an email. I have a business associate who's trying to make a contact there. Resources Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't Surveymonkey.com Lessons in Listening to Customers (has the overview of the Vodaphone survey) ____________ CONTACT ME Lalita Amos, llamos@totalteamsolutions.com Got a question or comment: Call the Question Line: 214 615 6505, ext. 3895 www.totalteamsolutions.com/podcast/podcasting.htm totalteam.blogspot.com


Media Files:
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LNB #042: Virtual Offices/Real Power

Fri, 22 Jun 2007 21:40:48 GMT

We're not in business the same way we were in the PE (pre-email) days before 1987. Small businesses are proliferating in a curious way. Non-micro enterprise businesses with between 11 and 499 staffers have declined from 12% in 1997 to 9%. Micro enterprise business, however, has grown by 95%, with 76% of that growth coming from firms with no employees at all. Over half of those new businesses are being operated out of people's homes, lofts and garages. Yup. The business horizon has changed! Along with that, people are challenging their thinking behind choices for administrative and office services. Intelligent Office locales like the one here in Indy, are helping firms get all of the flexibility and prestige of the bigger, bricks-and-mortar dogs while staying lean like their other flourishing clicks-and-mortar brethren. People who use Intelligent Office, tend to be forward-thinking firms who consider: - Ways to get more out of their scheduling system (even if they're firms of one) - The real need for office space (either permanently or on an ad hoc basis) - How to get the most out of their current administrative staff, if they have one. - How they'll supplement their administrative staff for less complex tasks (like mailing and booking appointments) The IO staff route calls, book appointments, handle mail, create mailings while at the same time offering modest rates for premium office space for hourly, daily, weekly and monthly lease. Part of the challenge in using a service like IO is shifting one's thinking from the traditional to the innovative. For me, that meant the 4 months it took for me to realize that I could set up my cellphone to ring over automatically to my staff at IO if I wasn't answering. They've bailed me out in crises (mother's death, father's grave illness and husband's emergency hospitalization) allowing me to keep my business rolling rather than being forced to close up shop. Love the book, Working from Home, by Paul and Sarah Edwards. It's a must for people who run SOHO's (small offices/home offices). When you find Chris from Intelligent Office (sales@ioindy.com), be sure to congratulate him on becoming a new papa. _____________ FOR MORE INFORMATION, TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION FORUM, LISTEN AGAIN OR READ SHOW NOTES Lalita Amos http://www.TotalTeamSolutions.com/podcast/podcasting.htm http://totalteam.blogspot.com 214 615 6505, 3895 for questions or comments


Media Files:
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LNB #041: Sales vs. Referral Mindsets

Sat, 09 Jun 2007 03:27:34 GMT

OK. You’ve started lining up your raving fans—people who know, like, understand and trust you. You’ve begun meeting with them, but are concerned that your relationships are starting to feel the chill. Consider these two broad mindsets when meeting with your raving fans and the prospects they bring you. Sales Mindset (Referral Mindset concepts in parentheses): * People who may need to be "sold to" (Raving fans find people who are ready to be buy. Need established by your raving fans who can ask more and better questions than you can based on their relationship) * Convinced of your competency (Prospects found by your raving fans are predisposed to be believe in you by their business/personal associate. They already trust Jane and come to you believing that you'll be trustworthy as well) * The sales rep is responsible for moving the prospect through the sales prospect (Your raving fan moves the prospect through the sales funnel) * Lower level of repeat business (Raving fans generate more business with more of a likelihood to continue and expand. They are much more comfortable with the sales process and feel more confident in doing business with you). Longer sales cycles (The work of your raving fans produces sales more quickly). * Demonstrations are a must (Your raving fans have already demonstrated your competence, referring prospects—people they know—to your website or your sales literature. They need little more convincing. Instead, be sure that you’ve asked them for their understanding of your product or service and see if they need any more information—it my not be the information you think). Now that you’ve lined out these two broad ways of thinking, consider this: both are necessary for prospecting using your raving fans. No matter how hot the prospect they bring you, you will still need to be skilled in the nuances of closing the sale. The fish can still jump off the hook. The challenge is keeping your referral network, well, working! One of the chief ways you can cabbage-up your network is by selling to them. Given the amount of information you’ll be giving them so they can better support you, they’ll know if they need to have a conversation with you about a paid client arrangement. Trust me on this one: Don’t push. Another challenge is in the lack of reciprocity that can occur between business associates. The feeling can be “if she wants me to help her, she’d better ask.” Interesting sentiment, however, she’ll be more likely to tag you as the stingy-gus you are and never help you again. Instead, ask her “Where are you challenged? And how can I help you win here?” Spend real time focused on her business and be willing to champion her business. Pay it forward, my friend. References: Endless Referrals, Third Edition, Bob Burg Get More Referrals Now!, Bill Cates 76 Ways to Build a Straight Referral Business, ASAP!, Lorna Riley _____________ FOR MORE INFORMATION, TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION FORUM, LISTEN AGAIN OR READ SHOW NOTES Lalita Amos http://www.TotalTeamSolutions.com/podcast/podcasting.htm http://totalteam.blogspot.com 214 615 6505, 3895 for questions or comments


Media Files:
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LNB #040: Raving Fans

Tue, 15 May 2007 03:37:43 GMT

RESOURCES At www.totalteamsolutions.com's whitepapers page, you can find the whitepaper "Create Your Kitchen Cabinet," which details how to create an advisory council. Use it to help you find additional customers and key business contacts. Find and read "Raving Fans" for more information on how to use the power of people who know, like and trust you to more easily generate new business. FIND HIM AND CONGRATULATE HIM Scott Forgey's the gentleman I was referring to on today's show. He's a former attorney and lead large group format workshops on personal and organizational transformation. He's started a new consulting concern, Corporate Training Professionals.com. Send him an email to wish him well. _____________ FOR MORE INFORMATION, TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION FORUM, LISTEN AGAIN OR READ SHOW NOTES Lalita Amos http://www.TotalTeamSolutions.com/podcast/podcasting.htm http://totalteam.blogspot.com 214 615 6505, 3895 for questions or comments


Media Files:
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LNB #039: Ready! Set! Go! (starting off on your own)

Sat, 05 May 2007 05:30:36 GMT

Starting your own consulting firm is not for the timid. One must think like an entrepreneur. Here are a few key areas of your business you should concern yourself with: * Administration: As I said, the tedious bits of your business that include your phone system, your location, your clerical support, your relationships with bankers, insurance firms, attorneys and accountants * Research & Development: How you develop your new offerings * Marketing: Key demographic information about your customers (or proposed customers). What they want, who they are, where they are, how they want to get it and how much they want to pay for it. Includes web, referral and other marketing systems. * $ (sales, sales support and product/service delivery): What you'll do to close the sale and delivery of the product or service is needed Some very helpful books: * Consulting for Dummies by Bob Nelson and Peter Economy: Helps with a general picture of your business endeavor. * Consulting on the Side: How to Start a Part-Time Consulting Business While Still Working at Your Full-Time Job by Mary F. Cook: How to transition from a full-time job to part-time consulting. Good for people who need a stop along the way to full self-employment. * The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber: A great take on the mindsets necessary for successful entrepreneurship _____________ FOR MORE INFORMATION Lalita Amos http://www.TotalTeamSolutions.com/podcast/podcasting.htm http://totalteam.blogspot.com 214 615 6505, 3895 for questions or comments


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LNB #038: When the #%$! Hits the Fan (Disaster Preparedness)

Sun, 22 Apr 2007 03:31:11 GMT

Do you have a disaster plan? Given that we in the Northern Hemisphere are just entering hurricane and tornado season, we would do well to know what to do. Write a brief (you know how much I love working from one page) plan, including medical other disasters, give it to a trusted party and then practice. However, there are those disasters that are entirely personal, like a very sick parent, partner or child. Do you know how to keep your business running or will your business run out of gas? ------------ For more info: Question Line: 214 615 6505, pin #3895 Comment Line: 214 615 6505, pin #3386 www.totalteamsolutions.com/podcast/podcasting.htm totalteam.blogspot.com


Media Files:
http://llamos.audioacrobat.com/deluge/a1dec790-0471-2bc3-9beb-025f35ebe176.mp3




LNB #037: Messy, the New Neat? (organization & productivity)

Sat, 17 Feb 2007 05:11:26 GMT

Neatness is overrated. More relevant are questions of productivity and effectiveness rather than how pristine your office space is. CONSIDERATIONS: Are you a serial (single thought processes) or a parallel (multiple trains of thought) thinker? Do you have separate private thinking spaces (which you can keep in whatever way works for you) and public meeting spaces (which you can keep in pristine condition for meetings with prospects or clients)? RESOURCES: * Intelligent Office: http://www.ioindy.com * Abrahamson and Freedman's book, A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder--How Crammed Closets, Cluttered Offices, and On-the-Fly Planning Make the World a Better Place DON'T FORGET: Stop Selling Like a Man Teleclass: 27 February, 9 Pacific/12 Central. Check back here or at Toni’s welsite for more details. HOW TO REACH TONI NELL http://www.springboardconsulting.biz/ FOR MORE INFORMATION Lalita Amos http://www.TotalTeamSolutions.com/podcast/podcasting.htm http://totalteam.blogspot.com 214 615 6505, 3895 for questions or comments


Media Files:
http://llamos.audioacrobat.com/deluge/812fd212-67fd-f3de-8db8-dbd2c7eeb40d.mp3




LNB #036: Truth Telling While Selling

Tue, 13 Feb 2007 02:51:40 GMT

This episode includes an interview with the fabulous Toni Nell of Springboard Consulting. Focusing on one of the key steps in her "Stop Selling Like a Man" program, she helps us understand the importance of truth-telling while selling. Toni Nell of Springboard Consulting is a player. She’s worked with A-List clients (like Morgan Stanley) and been the go-to-gal for such business luminaries as Jim Horan (One Page Business Plan) and Michael Gerber (The E-Myth Revisited). In her own right, she’s seen and done about everything in a sales context. What she’s learned is that selling is truly about understanding and moving into the world of your prospect or client – lock, stock and teardrop. Your PowerPoint presentations and glossy brochures be damned. Key steps to being your ever-so-wonderful, authentic selling self include 1. Relaxing At a sales call, there may be nothing for you to DO, except be fully competent and ask, “So why am I here?” Your curiosity makes you powerful. 2. Show up 3. Listen without agenda 4. TELL THE TRUTH (this episode) 5. Let go of the outcome ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Stop Selling Like a Man Teleclass: 27 February, 9 Pacific/12 Central. Check back here or at Toni’s welsite for more details. HOW TO REACH TONI NELL http://www.springboardconsulting.biz/ FOR MORE INFORMATION Lalita Amos http://www.TotalTeamSolutions.com/podcast/podcasting.htm http://totalteam.blogspot.com 214 615 6505, 3895 for questions or comments


Media Files:
http://llamos.audioacrobat.com/deluge/fe26a868-ea37-e699-34eb-8b923e9d25eb.mp3




LNB #035: Care and Feeding of Partnerships

Fri, 02 Feb 2007 22:47:14 GMT

We spend more time picking an Ob/Gyn that will birth our babies than we do building the business partnerships that provide the income we need to take care of said babes. We know that one out of nine new businesses experience a five year failure rate and that the survivors may not be fairing all that well. For partnerships, more attention is spent on the legal and financial positioning of the partnership - whether it was a limited partnership. S or C Corporation, whether it was taxed like a partnership or a corporation and how the partners would get money from the partnership. Little information exists out there on how to have an effective partnership -- one where you don't continually fantasize about pitching one or all partners under the bus. Once the structure is in place, where do we go to work? Smaller firms tend to stay more tactical and, unfortunately, have a harder time getting and staying strategic. Business planning is a single event, usually tied to getting start-up funding needed to open the doors, but not an informative, educational process designed to help you understand the needs of the business and the needs and best thinking of the partners. Business partnerships tend to work best when the partners have done the work of understanding each other. Knowing these things about each partner is crucial to determining how to best allocate them as resources: * What are you good at? * What can you do competently, but need support for (like, I can do the financials well, but it really takes it out of me)? * What do you do badly? Now, everything in a partnership isn't always a box of kittens (warm and fluffy). Conflict happens. The question is: what do we do when we're not on the same page? Conflict, by its nature, is positional. People square off on things that really don't matter most but, instead, on old wounds or superficialities. By asking partners what they're committed to for the business, the partnership or themselves, you can begin to move towards what matters most. Consider this book: The Partnership Charter: How to Start Out Right with Your New Business Partnership (Or Fix the One You're in), by David Gage is a good resource for putting together (or repairing) business partnerships. For legal and tax advice, of course, see a legal or tax expert. --------------- FOR MORE INFORMATION Lalita Amos http://www.TotalTeamSolutions.com/podcast/podcasting.htm http://totalteam.blogspot.com 214 615 6505, 3895 for questions or comments


Media Files:
http://llamos.audioacrobat.com/deluge/a729a06d-7000-f090-afe9-8cd5e3212da4.mp3




LNB #034: Stop Selling Like a Man (Be Yourself)

Fri, 26 Jan 2007 22:21:08 GMT

This episode is NOT about women. What it’s about is selling in such a way that in bringing your A-Game you bring yourselves. Toni Nell of Springboard Consulting is a player. She’s worked with A-List clients (like Morgan Stanley) and been the go-to-gal for such business luminaries as Jim Horan (One Page Business Plan) and Michael Gerber (The E-Myth Revisited). In her own right, she’s seen and done about everything in a sales context. What she’s learned is that selling is truly about understanding and moving into the world of your prospect or client – lock, stock and teardrop. Your PowerPoint presentations and glossy brochures be damned. Key steps to being your ever-so-wonderful, authentic selling self include 1. Relaxing At a sales call, there may be nothing for you to DO, except be fully competent and ask, “So why am I here?” Your curiosity makes you powerful. 2. Show up 3. Listen without agenda 4. Tell the truth 5. Let go of the outcome ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Stop Selling Like a Man Teleclass: 13 February, 9 Pacific/12 Central. Check back here or at Toni’s welsite for more details. HOW TO REACH TONI NELL http://www.springboardconsulting.biz/ FOR MORE INFORMATION Lalita Amos http://www.TotalTeamSolutions.com/podcast/podcasting.htm http://totalteam.blogspot.com 214 615 6505, 3895 for questions or comments


Media Files:
http://llamos.audioacrobat.com/deluge/0bb38771-90c3-00ae-a081-9c514e73fd3a.mp3




LNB #033: Open Book Management

Fri, 19 Jan 2007 20:50:05 GMT

OPEN BOOK MANAGEMENT Key Elements * Provide employees and key contributors with all the information they need to help the business be successful Financial data Profit data Performance data Cost of goods/services sold, etc. * Train these good people how to use and understand this information * Give these people responsibility for the numbers under their control. * Provide these people with a financial stake in how the company performs. Resources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Book_Management The Human Equation (book) Fast Company Magazine (February, 2007 issue, page 112) For More Info -------------------- Lalita Amos http://www.TotalTeamSolutions.com/podcast/podcasting.htm http://totalteam.blogspot.com 214 615 6505, 3895 for questions or comments


Media Files:
http://llamos.audioacrobat.com/deluge/d48320d0-fddc-a301-6f2e-b2a30c7a4bba.mp3




LNB 032: Staying off the "Road to Hell" (Achieving Goals)

Fri, 05 Jan 2007 23:38:36 GMT

Considerations for success in achieving 2007 goals: Courage -- see Wesley Autrey Structures for existance Structures for fulfillment What matters most Resources: Landmarkeducation.com ------------ For more info: Question Line: 214 615 6505, pin #3895 Comment Line: 214 615 6505, pin #3386 www.totalteamsolutions.com/podcast/podcasting.htm totalteam.blogspot.com


Media Files:
http://llamos.audioacrobat.com/deluge/50da8091-fb1f-385b-a2f3-7c596a81bff4.mp3




LNB #031: What Matters Most

Sat, 23 Dec 2006 02:34:54 GMT

"That which matters most must never be at the mercy of that which matters least." -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Never confuse what you want in your business with what you'd be willing to settle for. Further, be clear that your business exists to fully fund your life and interests -- not just to make money. Be clear what you want the money for, so you make certain that you pay due diligence to those things as well. Special thanks for 2006: - John Weymouth (Medisurg.com) and YorkAli Walters (imajination.com) for insisting I podcast (blame them). - YorkAli for opening up the blogosphere for me. - Rodney Amos for helping me sort out the the audio issues. - Jim Horan, Lynne and Toni (onepagebusinessplan.com) for a new world of planning execution. - Toni Nell (springboardconsulting.biz) for her support and friendship. - You listeners - My clients for their courage and commitment. ------------ For more info: Question Line: 214 615 6505, pin #3895 Comment Line: 214 615 6505, pin #3386 www.totalteamsolutions.com/podcast/podcasting.htm totalteam.blogspot.com


Media Files:
http://llamos.audioacrobat.com/deluge/1f395e67-0c58-bc26-99d2-bfa3850a3c20.mp3




LNB #030: Get the Most of What's Left of '06

Fri, 15 Dec 2006 23:10:28 GMT

On a recent call with consultants from all over North America, we generated a list of things we could do to get the most of this waning year. Here are the highlights of our conversation (with my own offerings added for spice) and my invitation to try some of the things we're doing now to ramp up for 2007. * Take someone new (or weird) out to breakfast or lunch. * Send out information to begin lining up speaking gigs. * Finalize my own One Page Business Plan. Done! * Write out 3 things I won't do again in 2007. Oh, Lord -- just 3 things. * Remember the power of "Thank You." * Pick people to help shamelessly. I like this one. * Finish that one project I've been procrastination on. Mine is a booklet on habits, thinking and business success. * Build on successes from the past. * Schedule two, 1-week vacations for 2007. For me, that means no tech. * Write down three things that would make 2007 better. * Do year-end check-in calls with clients (as Jim Horan of One Page Plan fame says, "leaving the sales hat off."). * Attend holiday parties with a smile and a question. * Call five non-clients I haven't spoken with in 6 months. * Take the last week of 2006 off. ------------ For more info: Question Line: 214 615 6505, pin #3895 Comment Line: 214 615 6505, pin #3386 www.totalteamsolutions.com/podcast/podcasting.htm totalteam.blogspot.com


Media Files:
http://llamos.audioacrobat.com/deluge/07676280-8ebb-721a-dd4d-f985d3551468.mp3




LNB #029: One Page Proposals?

Fri, 08 Dec 2006 22:48:12 GMT

While on my "one page kick" I didn't want to leave out one of my favorites: The One-Page Proposal: How to Get Your Business Pitch onto One Persuasive Page. I found the book several years ago and have used the principles the author espouses religiously in my business with great success. Key elements: - Title and Subtitle, defining the entire proposal - Target and Secondary Targets, clarifying the goals of the project - Rationale, with information about the client's needs and why the project is needed - Financials, with info on what money is needed and how it will be spent - Status, showing where things stand now - Action, listing the next steps and what you need the prospect to do. While this process isn't workable for all types of proposal opportunities, it can help introduce you and your thinking to a prospect and have them chomping at the bit for your detailed plan. ------------ For more info: Question Line: 214 615 6505, pin #3895 Comment Line: 214 615 6505, pin #3386 www.totalteamsolutions.com/podcast/podcasting.htm totalteam.blogspot.com


Media Files:
http://llamos.audioacrobat.com/deluge/e452038a-4f60-f73a-789b-029dcfa58b6f.mp3