Evan Thompson is founder and owner of Evan Thompson & Associates. With 30 years of experience as a leader in the communications industry, Evan offers a customized approach to business development through training in personal branding, relationship development, and overall workplace culture modification. He has successfully provided coaching to professionals at all levels of business.
Experience has shown me that the key to a happy summer is avoiding the tendency to worry about work when you're on holiday and wishing you were on holiday when you're working. That entails finding a work-life balance and can be easier said than done, regardless of whether you are an independent business owner or an employee.
A client has referred you to someone who you think is an ideal prospect. Conversations have gone very well and they made a Request For Proposal (RFP). But somewhere along the way, something changed. Here's why.
Regardless of whether your ideal client is an independent business owner or part of a large organization, the time you spend in choosing the rights clients will put you further ahead in the long run than settling for work from those who don't "fit" you business model or professional value system.
Everyone wants to be recognized by their employer for the work they do, especially if it's above and beyond their job description. It happens often, whether you're asked to complete a task outside your scope of work or you want to outshine your competition and win that VP role that just opened up. Unfortunately, usually the more you do, the more expectations of you rise and as the work piles up, your performance slips and your stress increases.
I have always approached achieving a work-life balance like investing for the long-term. Just as market volatility means every day can't generate gains for your investment portfolio, you can't expect to perform professionally at peak levels all the time. Don't be too hard on yourself and expect professional perfection and growth all the time. Like successful, long-term investing, a life well-lived requires balance and consistency between home and office.
The biggest challenge most of us have with mental health days is choosing when to take them and then wrestling with the resulting guilt. If arranged in advance to avoid disruption to your team and clients, a mental health day -- taken once every quarter -- is not going to stall your career. It could actually energize it.
Our fast-paced lives often require us to make decisions on the fly with little consideration of why we are doing what we do and even less consideration of the long-term impact of those decisions. Clarity acts as a steady light beam that guides us to the right decision -- in our business or personal lives. It helps us identify our goals and precisely when we want to achieve them.
When managed effectively, delegation can create ongoing benefits for you, your team, your business and your clients. By delegating certain projects to trusted team members, you are free to focus on other matters.
Your clients may see you as the "go-to" person in your business. However, in order to keep your business robust you need to bring in new clients while making your existing clients more profitable to your business.
You need to be absolutely sure you want to leave if you are to move your career ahead versus sideways. The thought that, "I'll see what's out there and then decide" can be a waste of your time, not to mention the people who interview you. Your job performance will suffer and your stress will be extended.
While research increasingly places feeling valued and getting promoted on the same level as being well paid, we still need to feel we are being fairly paid. I have always felt that compensation is another way of keeping score and of measuring your professional value.
As a business owner or team lead, you may like the fact that some clients prefer to work with you over others in your organization. It's a testament to your professional skills and your ability to earn trust. In many cases, yours is the only advice they will seek or accept and you feel responsible for their well being as they continue to play a large role in your success.
For most employers, firing an employee is not as easy as calling him or her into your office and telling them "things just aren't working out," giving them two week's salary, and asking them to vacate the premises within one hour. No two employment situations that lead to dismissal are the same because there are usually extenuating circumstances that are anything but routine. It is up to the manager to decide on the best course of action in each situation, never losing sight of what is fair, legal, and most ethical.
Feeling like you are about to be fired can be one of the most stressful experiences you can face. It can stir up a range of emotions including fear, anger, low self-esteem, panic, loss of trust in others and self-pity, to name a few.
A lack of soft skills will take a toll on the bottom line. Prospects hate to feel like they are merely potential revenue sources for sales people who simply want to "hit their targets". Winning their business should involve much more than a sales call, presentation, or a lunch.
The reality is you will need a good mix of both digital and traditional tactics when reaching out to prospects. Researching your audience to determine how they like to receive their information is key before proceeding.
Updating your sales list and identifying high-value targets is much like referral gathering. It is a pragmatic process and not an event. Identifying and approaching high-value prospects is essential to creating qualified leads that translate into your revenue and growth.
You can't fight science and change neural signals generated by peoples' primitive brains that tell them whether they instantly like you, fear you, or just aren't sure about you. However, you can consciously manage the verbal and visual cues you send upon a first meeting that can turn the tide in your favour. Here's how.