Is it Calm or Chaos After Your Holiday?
October 20, 2015

Thank you for the feedback from my last miview. I really enjoyed some of your holiday antics:

-Peter is back, enjoying work after a nice break
-Gemma hasn't seen much of the sun as her holiday isn't until later in the year
-John returned to chaos and wondered if it had been worth going away at all!

Thank you John, for giving me the inspiration as this is the one I want to move forward with today.

Now we all know in business we have different responsibilities which need to work together to ensure
the whole business functions successfully.

The two key roles I want to explore today are:

1. The leader
2. The manager

I often get asked what the difference between these roles are, and while often there can be an overlap,
the roles are very distinctive and complimentary to each other.

The leader develops people for the future while the manager get results today.

The leader sets the company vision for the future, challenges the way things are working.
They share their vision with their teams and align people with goals and tasks
to deliver the vision and develop them for a better tomorrow.

Leaders lead people.

If they go on holiday for a while, no one panics about decisions that are not being made because
the leadership challenges are very important but seldom urgent.

A manager controls the resources to achieve the leadership vision, usually getting
results through others. They work with a system of processes and procedures that routinely
keep the organisation functioning in a consistent and stable method of operating.

They plan, measure performance and solve the problems that arise when the results
are not in accordance to their plan. They do this with a team of people and communicate
daily with customers and suppliers who usually want their problems fixed fast.
There is often a real sense of urgency within this role.

Managers manage things.

Until a Team is well established and capable to meet the needs of most of the customers,
they would refer to the manager for guidance, support and advice when needed.
The manager would therefore be greatly missed while on holiday.

So what can John do to prepare himself for his next holiday? It is not about the leadership
activities but more the management of the daily routine important tasks that need to be covered.
Before carrying out any tasks, ask, "am I the only person that could do this'
and I don't mean just now, if it could be delegated in the future,
then why not write a procedure for it - a step by step instruction of how you want this task to be done,
the purpose of the task, the trigger to make it happen and the desired outcome.

Congratulations - You have now started a system that will enable your future effortless business growth.

As you grow your list of tasks that can be delegated, there will come a time when you can delegate
and your procedures can act as a training guide, a reference and also ensure tasks are carried out
consistently, regardless of who is doing them.

Now John, you can look to the future when you will enjoy a well earned holiday knowing that business
is running smoothly on its day to day basis.

This is how you all can earn and enjoy your well deserved break from work.

Till the next time,

Kind Regards,

Jane Quinn

What Do a Roundabout and a Police Person Have in Common?
July 20, 2015

Source: Jane Quinn

I indulged in an amazing hour and a half of deep belly breathing at my meditation class last Tuesday, and afterwards was feeling a little ‘light headed’. I probably should have given myself a little while to regain my equilibrium, but since all I had inhaled was oxygen, I felt safe to drive home.

Unfortunately, I had a “wobble” in my difficulty to select the correct exit off a roundabout and was sadly mistakenly taken for a drunk driver by a policeman! I always feel like I’ve done something wrong when I’m stopped by the police, even when I’m totally innocent, as in this case! But the test quickly proved I had no alcohol in my breath and I was free to go.

We strive in life to keep our home and ourselves in order.
Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we encounter hiccups!

In business, we look to get our business and our work organised, so that we can enjoy our home life. Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we encounter hiccups! My point is that regardless of our journey, there will always be hiccups, (hopefully not caused by an alcoholic beverage while in the close proximity of a police person in charge of a breath alysing kit!)

Sometimes, things present show up and seem to only exist to slow us down. However, later reflection proves they have often presented us with a great opportunity. They made us stop, focus and think about what to do next. So when we want to learn and grow and move forward, where better to learn than from the people who have done it before, people who have mastered the art of overcoming obstacles and moving forward.

Tony Robbins once shared how he liked to learn; he doesn’t go to a training course, he seeks out a Master, someone who has expertise in a particular area and spends time with them. He does this to discover the secrets of mastery; the pitfalls, the common mistakes made and of course, the shortcuts past adversity and hardship to success in that field. When business, like life brings its’ challenges, we at miworld are ready for them. We have prepared by learning the secrets of successful business owners: what they do and how to copy them. Learning from their experience so their mistakes aren’t repeated.

We have taken a good look at how successful people think and plan their future, setting clear outcomes and planning a strategy to get there. It’s what our seven stage program covers, derived from the experience and learnings of my journey with my clients.

It’s the one shared in our one to one sessions, which has helped so many people to organise their business in a way that frees up their time to enjoy life. That one!


The Art of Business

I always find it strange when I look at what people really have a passion for and the sacrifices they are willing to make in order to achieve some goal. It maybe reaching a certain grade for a musical instrument, a certain golf handicap, running a marathon, competing in any sport and so on...

We all recognise that in order to achieve anything worthwhile it takes Focused Effort. If you don't run many miles you won't complete a marathon in the time you want. If you don't practice the piano regularly you won't reach grade 6.

So why is it when people go into business that they get so focused on making their product or providing their service that they think they can succeed without learning and practising the Art Of Business?
I believe there is an Art of Business.

Sun Tzu, the acknowledged ancient master of strategy and author of the classic Art of War, would definitely say “Yes”! He outlined five strategic arts that can be applied to any situation to create mutually beneficial solutions-possibility, timing, leverage, mastery, and leadership.

I genuinely believe that to master your business and be successful you need to Master The Art of Business. You need to stop seeing business skills as necessary evils that you must do occasionally - when you have some time. You must come to see them as amazing tools that can help you make your dreams come true. Make them part of you everyday thinking and doing.

Your business is a reflection of who you are. It is a blend of your passions, your ideas, your beliefs, how innovative you can be, you ability to constantly learn and apply new knowledge, how you build relationships with people, and so much more.

You are an artist creating your own future - the canvas that you paint is entirely up to you. How good that canvas will be is directly proportional to your talent, the effort that you put in, and the sacrifices you are willing to make. The Art of Business is a crucial concept that runs through all my work - and you will be hearing more about it this year.

So - how good an artist are you?

Business is a lot like Gardening

7 Business Growth Tips

Growing a business can be a lot like gardening - just as messy and just as rewarding. Gardening is not rocket science, if you do the right thing at the right time you will succeed. Business is not rocket science either, if you do the right thing at the right time you will succeed! Here are my fail proof gardening and business growth tips:

1. Planning

If you want to plant anything in your garden you need to start with a clear plan. Take time to study the area that you intend to plant in and take time to study the plant’s needs. Are the plant and the part of the garden that you intend to plant it in a good match? Does the area offer the right conditions to match the plant’s needs? Are there already many plants in the same patch of soil? Are there lots of slugs? These are some of the vital questions that must be well thought out before planting anything! In the same way, if you expect your business to grow you should spend some time researching and planning before you do anything else. If you have already ‘planted’ your business, it is not too late to invest in some planning. Is the area suitable for your business and is your expertise suitable for the people you are aiming to reach? Ice is not going to make a great business in Antarctica! Is there enough 'space' for your business or is the competition already fierce? Overcrowding kills businesses! Make sure you can be better or find something else to do. Each question you ask yourself will force you to create a great plan for your business. Each and every time you work on your business plan you could find new and better ways to encourage business growth. Show me your plan I will tell you where your business is going. Not having a plan means you are going nowhere. It could be nowhere quickly or nowhere over a long period of time but nowhere is the ultimate destination. Would you plant in your garden randomly without considering all the necessary factors? The chances are that the plant will die. Most gardeners make sure that they understand the plant's needs and then plan where to plant based on these specific needs. Drainage, sunshine, water and soil type will significantly affect the growth or death of plants. Write your own metaphor based on these factors and see if it helps in your planning.

2. Preparation

Once you are certain that everything is ready for planting, you begin to execute your plan. The first part of the plan is always preparation! Long before you plan you dig, you water, you add fertilizer or manure and you wait. It might seem pointless, like a waste of time, but in reality the longer you take to prepare the better your crop! Business is no different. Prepare your target audience for your business. Make them excited. Get them ready so that when you announce your new business or your new product or service, they will already want it. Marketing is a huge part of preparation just like digging is for a gardener. Set up at least 20 to 30 different marketing pillars that will underpin your business. Another essential part of preparation is to make sure that all your systems work. There is nothing worse than using something that doesn’t work. You will frustrate your clients. If your business relies on your website, test it and test it and test it again until you are sure that it works the way it should. If your business offers some sort of health benefits, test it repeatedly until you are convinced that your product or service really does work. Dig, prod, refresh or do whatever you need to do to prepare.

3. Planting Seeds

Gardening requires a lot of waiting patiently. After all the hard work and digging is done you get busy with planting. Your word really hard at planting every single seed in the right place and you cover it and then you… wait. Waiting is an essential part of gardening and it is also an essential part of business. Imagine if a gardener planted her seeds and then after one day went back to dig them all up to see if they were growing. If she did that a few times the seeds would die because they have been disturbed too often. Business is no different. It is essential that we plant our seeds through advertising, marketing, word of mouth, social media, press, flyers and so much more. We must plant out seeds but we must also wait. Don’t assume because there is a great deal of silence after all your hard work that your seeds are not growing. They take time to grow. People see your adverts but perhaps don’t need what you have to offer right away. Your marketing is well ‘planted’ but people need to see it a few times before the twig that it is exactly what they need. Many factors could cause your seeds to grow or die but one thing is for sure, you must patiently wait and not be discouraged when you don’t see anything come of all your hard work. In times of discouragement simply look out into a garden and remember how long it takes for those little tiny seeds to form and shoot their tiny little stem up out of the ground. If you can patiently wait then you will reap a great harvest from all your tiny seeds. And while you are waiting, do something else. Work on your bookkeeping or on your admin systems, put a filing system in place or do anything else that will help you manage WHEN your seeds begin to grow.

4. Watering Seeds

Seeds need watering after you have planted them in your garden. That’s a given. Planting without watering would be silly. If seeds aren’t watered consistently they won’t grow, they will die. Business ‘seeds’ need watering too and neglecting to do so is just as silly as not watering seeds in your garden and expecting to see results. Consistency is the key. People need to hear the same thing at least six times before it sinks in. They need to hear, read and see your message several times in various different ways. Eventually they will realise that they need to contact you but only after you have consistently repeated your message to them. Subtly is a key too. Watering your seeds with a pressure hose will just blast them out of the soil and destroy them. A gentle rain like spray is all your need when watering the seeds you have planted in your garden. In the same way, your message needs to be subtle and not a full force sales pitch repeatedly. You will lose people this way. Gently sprinkle your message consistently and in time you will see the little seeds growing and bearing fruit. Pushy sales people usually scare people away. Take time to regularly water your potential clients with an appealing message that will encourage them to do business with you.

5. Protecting and Nurturing

Allowing your tender seedlings to be exposed to the elements will hinder their growth and could even lead to their death. When the seedlings push through the ground and show signs of life they need protecting from the sun, wind, hail, frost, bugs and so much more. Business needs protecting and nurturing too. You simply cannot start a business and leave it, expecting it to grow. Various things are dangerous to business and so it is essential to protect and nurture it. Some threats include money, time and health. It is essential that you make sure that you have enough financial backup to keep you through a difficult month or two. Most importantly, don’t allow yourself to accumulate too many overheads at first. No money equals no more business so a healthy cash flow is essential. Another threat is time! If your time is not managed well you could either burn yourself out or invest too much time in the wrong places and end up killing your business. There are many threats to a small business so including a thorough SWOT analysis in your business plan is essential. Don’t assume that your business is safe, protect and nurture it.

6. Pruning

Pruning is what strengthens and maintains plants. It is a practice involving the selective removal of diseased, damaged, dead and non-productive parts of a plant’s branches, buds, or roots. Reasons for pruning include removing dead parts, shaping (by controlling or directing growth) and increasing the yield or quality of flowers and fruits. Businesses need pruning too if they are to grow into strong, healthy and prosperous businesses. Prune off dead parts of the business, areas that are not producing a good income or are even a drain on the business. Shape the business into precisely what you want it to be. Most importantly, remove damaged or diseased parts of the business, parts that are haemorrhaging money or time or damaging people. One of the biggest mistakes that business owners make is that they feel the need to be the expert at everything. It would be better use of your time to do what you are good at and leave what you do not excel at. If possible leave it entirely but if it is an essential part of your business outsource it to someone who can do it better than you. Cut off people that are bad for business too. Cut off anything at all that is preventing your business from being strong and healthy.

7. Harvesting

Harvesting is hard work but this is also the fun part, the part where all the hard work pays off. If you planted flower seeds then you get to enjoy the beautiful flowers, if you planted vegetables or fruit then you get to eat from your hard work. In business, this is the part where you make your money, you harvest your return. Harvesting is very rewarding but even in the harvesting stage, you still need to focus on the important next steps. After harvesting take time to plan for the next season. Ask for referrals, create an after sales system, focus on customer care and upselling.

Happy gardening!

How Do the Seasons Influence Your Business Planning?

Source: Jane Quinn

As a leader, it's not enough to know what to do. You also have to know when to act. By considering the four seasons we can be guided towards the best time for action:
• the seasons are not all the same length
• each season has a beginning and an ending
• the seasons come in sequence
• crops of success may be cultivated in several areas simultaneously yet harvested at different times
• every season must be managed effectively to reap an abundant harvest

So, for the successful leader (unsuccessful in brackets)

Winter is the season for Planning (hibernate)
Spring is the season for Planting (spring fever; daydream and take long afternoon naps)
Summer is the season for Perspiring (vacation)
Autumn is the season for Production (feels loss and regret for missed opportunities)

"Are your decisions consistent with your seasons?"

• Are you aware of the different seasons for your business?
• How can you best work with those different seasons in your business?
• What’s the first thing you need to do to get started?
• When can you start?

Here at miworld, we are working on an exciting new program of events for 2015, so stay tuned for more to come. You can have a sneak preview of our calendar here.


Business Planning
February 25, 2015

Don't wait until your business fails to realise that you got it wrong! Business planning is a sure way to succeed in business!

It’s a common misconception that your business plan is only necessarily to apply for funding. This is very far from the truth; in fact I would say that funding is the last reasons for writing a plan. Your business plan is an essential document that captures exactly what your business is about, what is important to you and how you intend to make your business succeed. 80% of businesses without a business plan will fail within their first 5 years.

Writing something down is the first step toward making a dream a reality but sadly the number one business mistake is to skip the planning phase. If business owners understood the importance of their business plan, they would spend more time crafting it, fine tuning it, pondering on it and even workshopping it with other business owners.

Advantages of a Business Plan
• Clarifies your thoughts.
• Creates a clear vision, purpose and strategy.
• Identifies potential problems.
• Minimises legal problems.
• Forces you to be realistic about your money.

Top Business Plan Mistakes
• Spelling and grammar is overlooked resulting in a sloppy plan.
• The plan is too vague or incomplete.
• Inadequate research is conducted.
• The company's purpose/objective is vague.
• Unrealistic financials.
• Ignorance of competitors.

Top Business Plan Tips

• Be concise – be clear and get to the point.
• Be visual – use graphs, charts and pictures.
• Be creative – add your own personal touch.
• Be realistic – there is really no such thing as a ‘get rich quick’ business plan.
• Be open – ask for and value feedback from people you trust.

If you see your business plan as something that you have to do, and get bored with all the jargon, then what you write is probably going to be of no use to you. However, if you see the value of the business plan and that it can radically transform your business, you are more likely to enjoy writing it and you will be more passionate about sticking to it.

TOP TIP: Don’t rush your business plan – it is the foundation of your success.
King’s Daughters, Women in Business offer a fantastic workshop called: Clarify: Business Planning ...unleash the power of your vision. This workshop will give you the opportunity to either create a business plan from beginning to end or to bring your existing business plan and thrash it out with other business owners. Find out more about how King's Daughters Business can ensure your success!

Please click 'More info' for ticket information and to book.
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Getting started online in 9 easy steps

I love technology, I always have. I dreamed of the internet years before I finally typed my first search request into Google. I have an intuitive sense with IT. I never read manuals but prefer to launch myself into a new tool, app or programme and work it out as I go.
I know, however, that technology can seem like a black art to many people. The options and possibilities can be overwhelming. A constantly evolving landscape can appear difficult to navigate.

When it comes to creating a website or, as I like to call it, an online presence, it can feel like a mammoth task. Yet, with some support and guidance, it's quite feasible for someone already able to surf the internet to develop, manage and maintain their own site.

1. Keep things simple
The trick is to start gradually and create a firm foundation, and to prioritise what's important. Having a website with compelling content is much more critical than having an all singing, all dancing design. You can always revisit the design later. The key factor when you launch is to have a website that is pleasing to the eye but provides good information to encourage visitors to return.

2. Don't skimp on hosting
The first decision you'll need to make is around hosting. Building a website is very much like building a house. You need a plot of land on which to lay your foundations. The hosting is the space that your website will occupy.
It's tempting to skimp on hosting but I would recommend choosing a host that offers a good Control Panel and also functions such as a one click WordPress install. Hosting tends to prove its value in the unfortunate event that something goes wrong and then the hosting company is worth its weight in gold. A reasonable rate for a good host is between £65 and £70 per annum.

3. Be memorable
Some hosts also include a free domain name. If not, you can purchase a domain name quite easily for around £10 a year. One interesting fact to note is that your hosting and domain name don't have to be bought from the same company.
When choosing a domain name it needs to reflect you and your business but it also needs to be memorable. You don't want to have to spell out the domain name each time you refer a visitor to your website so avoid hyphens or very long names. If you're a sole trader it's worth contemplating using your own name - this is instantly easy to remember and also provides an umbrella for new projects as your business grows.

4. Create a business email address
Once you have a domain name you can then create an email address to match. Always a good marketing tool and keeps you branding consistent.

5. Use WordPress
My tool of choice for designing websites is WordPress. With a one click install it's easy to create a WordPress site and the dashboard gives you an interface that you can use to manage and maintain your site. To create a look and feel for your web pages, you can install a WordPress theme. This is an upload that can be customised to make your website unique. There are many sites where you can download themes - again, it's worth investing in a good theme as you're also paying for additional functionality, security and automatic updates.

6. Plan first
The next step is to plan! I'm a passionate advocate of planning. I recommend creating a mindmap to outline the site navigation and give you a one page summary of all the content you will need for your site. You can see how everything links together and can streamline the detail you want to include. A plan also gives you an overview that you can continue to use to grow your site organically. Whether you're working with a designer or planning to build the site yourself, it's definitely best not to over complicate things. Some of my favourite sites are very minimalist and I deliberately keep my own site simple too.

7. Do the work
The work really begins once your website goes live. Certainly in the early stages, you'll want to invest some time developing content, writing blog posts, networking online, perhaps creating an email newsletter with a sign up incentive, and starting to engage on Social Media. A plan comes in handy again. There are no hard and fast rules that you need to adhere to but a key principle is being consistent. Writing one really good and regular blog post each month is much better than none at all. Whatever schedule you choose, visitors will soon anticipate your content.

8. Doing it your way
Growing your website has to work for you. The style that you choose, the tone, the frequency of updates, whether you engage on Twitter or Facebook or both. The idea of writing blog posts may not appeal to you but if you're great on video or audio, this could be a different medium to use.
Your website is a reflection of you. By aligning your online presence with who you are offline, you're more likely to attract your ideal clients. Just be who you are. Not only will this make the process of updating your website more pleasurable for you but it will also create greater resonance with your prospective customers.

9. Constantly evolve
Be ready for your site to change. A website, once built, is not static. It constantly evolves. WordPress is an ideal framework as it makes it easy for you to change your site as your business grows.

Find out more
If you would like to find out more about creating an online presence, you can download my Get Started Online eKit here.

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