WOW eNewsletter

Vol 4 Iss 8 Aug 2009

Quote of the Month

"Whenever you find you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." ~ Mark Twain

Dare to be Different

Leaders don't always fit the mold. As business owners we need to be aware that we are already different than 90 percent of the population. We are motivated and hard working as well as goal oriented. We aren't satisfied to accept what we are given as employees. Our ability to face the challenges of entrepreneurship head on and stay focused on our goals sets us apart from the norm.

individualityHowever, to reach the top in your chosen field, you must break out of your complacency and blaze the uncharted trail. Think "outside the box." Find new, or better, ways of providing your products or services. If you take a minute to think about those who have achieved stupendous success, you have to admit that they were definitely not the normal entrepreneur. Henry Ford, Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Mary Kay, and Doctor Ruth just to name a few, all found a new way of doing, living, or designing that was different than anything that had come before.

Now, I am not saying you have to be cut-throat to achieve unique success, just highly motivated and unique. You can make 'nice' work for you too. The current economy requires you to find new and unique ways of doing business. Learning to balance kindness with assertiveness could be the key to moving your business in a positive direction. After all, there is a reason someone came up with the idiom, "You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar."

I am reminded of a business owner I once met online who was in a similar business to mine. He was rude, obnoxious and just plain unpleasant to interact with. He had a 'know-it-all' attitude.
Frankly, in the field of design, you can never know it all. This business, like many others, is constantly evolving and you must be willing to learn new techniques or you'll be left behind.

So, how can you find this balance between nice and aggressive? You must realize the 'nice' means being respectful, authentic and understanding of others. However, don't forget there is a time and place for assertiveness, when done in an appropriate fashion.

Being nice, rather than cut-throat, will gain you a reputation of trustworthiness. What is that saying we hear over-and-over again? "People do business with people they know, like and trust." You need to learn how to have candid conversations with others. Be honest, but not blatant. Your purpose is not to hurt the other person's feelings.Note: If you don't know how to communicate effectively, I highly recommend you seek professional help.

Whether you like it or not, the business world is highly competitive in nature. Knowing how to communicate your ideas and opinions in a way that they are accepted, rather than putting the other person on the defense, will gain you a reputation of trust and respect.

So, you can easily see the value of learning how to blend the positive attributes of nice with the candid communication techniques that will effectively resolve your potential customers and client's challenges. Don't approach them in a manner of holier-than-though or with a know-it-all attitude. Rather, take them by the proverbial hand and show or explain, in a candid but caring manner, how your business will benefit them. Remember, always that your customer is looking for what you can do for them, not what your product or service offers.

In"Nice Guys Can Get the Corner Office" by Russ Edelman is a list of eight strategies for getting ahead without being a jerk, that I would like to quote here.

1.    Self-awareness - learn about yourself. Know your strength and weaknesses.
2.    Speak-up - learn to express your opinions and be heard.
3.    Set boundaries - learn to set clear, strong and appropriate parameters.
4.    Confront - learn to confront issues directly and without fear.
5.    Choose - learn to make choices without guilt.
6.    Expect results - learn to hold others and yourself accountable.
7.    Be bold - learn to take chances.
8.    Win - learn how to finish first- respectfully and fairly.

All of these strategies for getting ahead in the workplace are sage advice for the business owner who wants to make 'nice' work for them.

One last piece of advice I can give you is to always look for new ways to add value to your business. Be innovative, creative and a good communicator. Remember, your business is a reflection of you. Make it one that others want to praise. There is no better way to grow your business than referrals. So, don't be afraid to ask for them.

©2009 Ginger Marks


Tip for Success

Adding Sound Into a Webpage

There are two tags for adding sound to your document, <BGSOUND> tag and <EMBED> tag. The <BGSOUND> plays the background sound from your page. That is, when a visitor visits your page, the sound will automatically play.

The <EMBED> tag is slightly different, you can use its attribute to select playing sound when the page is loaded or give the users an option to click whether they would like to hear the sound.

I always prefer to give my site visitor this option.

Also, it's a good idea to give an alternative to people who using browsers that do not support the embedded sound. Here is how to do this:

<embed src="bgsound.mid" hidden="true" autostart="true" loop="1">
<noembed>Your browser doesn't support EMBED, but you can still listen to the background sound of this page by<a href="bgsound.mid"> clicking here.</a></noembed>