A Preference for Peace

In this month as we talk about quiet, one of the things that is usually associated with quiet is peace (“I’d like a little peace and quiet” being the well-known phrase). If you have kids quiet may be a distant memory for you, and peace may be as well. But as we’ve already established that they’re connected, it’s through that connection that we’ll be able to have a breakthrough in getting peace and quiet in our families, and our relationships as well.

If you want quiet and peace with your kids you need to establish quiet times. When your kids aren’t napping any more you should still have time set aside each day for reading or coloring time or another quiet activity that’s able to be done independently for the most part. To set a good example you should have a quiet activity to do as well, maybe folding laundry, checking/paying bills or even reading yourself. Setting aside just 30 minutes each day for everyone teaches your kids that there is value in being quiet, and it’s not just BS you’re feeding them to make them stop being crazy.

As for relationships, one of the challenges many of us face is finding peace in them. We’re busy trying to get our way and be right or even be together that peace goes by the wayside all too often even though it’s something that we all claim to really want. If you really want peace you have to create it. Instead of fighting over things by default, choose to make compromises. Instead of forcing your partner to do something they don’t enjoy step up and do it yourself without them asking or begging. Instead of putting things off big discussions, have them before things really turn into issues and do create fights. Instead of always thinking of yourself first, try to put your partner’s needs above your own at least once each day. When you’re both putting forth effort to make peace in your relationship it will be a lot easier to keep the relationship healthy and happy, and the same holds true for your family.

“My wife and I don’t compete. We know each other’s preferences, and we work to provide those for each other. One will take over when the other is faced with something he or she dislikes. That’s what friends do.” Matthew McConaughey

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Common Sense Success

Today I want to start off the month simply with a list of some common sense business practices that we should all consider for our businesses and satisfying our clients and customers.

Communication:

1 reply back to emails and messages sent
2 make it easy to get in touch with you
3 communicate clearly, consistently and completely
4 have consistent branding throughout your business
5 communicate frequently, but not annoyingly often, so you stay front of mind
6 provide easy to use or/and detailed instructions
7 have a feedback form for employees and customers
8 be social and friendly even when you’re not on social media

Products and Services:

1 make it clear what you offer
2 market all the time, not just when you need customers
3 take advantage of seasons, holidays and special events for products/services and marketing
4 choose quality over quantity if you have to pick one
5 know your suppliers
6 consider what trends can work for you and what’s more than just a trend or cultural changes
7 refresh your offerings so they don’t look dated and aren’t stale
8 be aware of what your competitors offer that you don’t

Customer Service:

1 ask what your customers need/want
2 have consistent policies so you don’t always have to think about options or how to respond
3 be polite
4 train your employees thoroughly initially, and offer additional training as well
5 support your customers before, during and after the purchase
6 use newsletters, blogs and social media to educate your customers and support their purchases
7 work on building a relationship that will lead to more sales, not just the current sale
8 learn from returns, critics and bad reviews

Leadership:

1 don’t put all your eggs in one basket
2 test, test, test!
3 practice makes perfect
4 be a leader and not a dictator
5 keep learning
6 have respect for all people involved
7 stay humble
8 believe in yourself and your offerings
9 know the laws
10 be open to change

What common sense advice do you have for businesses?

The Meaning of Quiet

We’ve arrived at a new month and as I sat down to look at the month ahead I pulled out my calendar that I wrote up at the beginning of 2015 to see what our theme this month would be. For some reason I thought that I had gone with thanksgiving or gratitude, but it turns out that while we will touch on being thankful, it’s not going to be our main theme. Instead, our topic will be quiet. Initially I was a little frustrated because I really wanted to talk about gratitude (there’s a good chance we’ll spend time on it next year), but the more I thought about it the more I realized that it was exactly the right topic for this month. So now that I’m back to being on board with our topic, let’s talk about why this is such a crucial topic for this month.

November is our second to last month in the year and is a month that signals slowing down, speeding up, endings, beginnings and cold weather. It’s a month filled with changes as well as reminders of changes that are coming. It’s a reminder of how little time we have left in this year to accomplish our goals. And November provides a reminder to all who would listen how important it is to be thankful, a topic that bypasses religious, cultural, language and many other typical barriers we face in celebrating things.

I make a point of stressing on this blog and with my clients that success only happens with actions, but if you are going to take smart actions there has to be time for consideration of what those smart actions are, otherwise they’re not necessarily smart. So this month we’re going to force ourselves to practice taking regular time outs, really seeing the world around us and realizing what’s most important to us (and making time for it). As always I invite you to share what you learn as we journey through this month on being quiet in the comment section.

“The month of November makes me feel that life is passing more quickly. In an effort to slow it down, I try to fill the hours more meaningfully.”  Henry Rollins