Business Blog

Fantastic Flexibility: How Advancing Technology Is Allowing People to…

It’s considered the norm to work as an employee. You either have set hours where you go to work, or are given a rota ahead of time with your shift details- and you’re responsible for working during those times. While this is something that suits the masses, there are lots of people that struggle with this kind of working pattern. Maybe you suffer with a mental or physical illness, or perhaps you have care commitments such as looking after children or elderly/disabled loved ones. While you’re still willing and capable of work, getting yourself to a workplace and having to work for specific hours might not be something that’s possible. Maybe you have good and bad days and need your working hours to reflect this, or perhaps you simply don’t enjoy structure and don’t work well being micromanaged. Either way, there are many people who suit a more flexible working day, a way to earn money during hours that suit them. Thankfully, the accessibility of the internet has made it easier for more of us than ever to be able to do this- and those that either would have struggled at work or otherwise have been unemployed are able to earn a living on their own term. Here are a few of the ways they’ve been able to do this.

 

Start a home business

When you run a business, you’re the boss. You can work hours that suit you and run your company around any other commitments you have in your life. There are plenty of business you can start without much money and don’t even require you to leave the house. You could create an online store and either buy and sell items for a profit, or make your own items if you have a skill or passion. You could sell directly from your home- anything from cakes for all occasions to propagated seedlings depending on what you love to do. In many cases, you can turn a hobby into a business so it doesn’t feel like work and is something you genuinely enjoy doing. While it can take time to get established, later down the line it could quite easily be earning you a full time income. There are lots of types of softwares that can completely automate areas of your home business, or you could outsource areas that you’re not confident in.

Write a blog

Do you already write an established blog as a hobby? If so, why not look into ways to monetise? If you’ve only made a limited amount of money from it so far, then there are things you can do to make it more attractive to sponsors and advertisers. First would be to re-think your design, blogging is becoming increasingly professional and sponsors will want to work with the most attractive sites. You could work with a designer, otherwise a premade template from a site like Etsy can be bought cheaply and look really effective. The next would be to improve your domain authority, this is a metric that tells people how much influence your site has online. One of the ways you can improve this is by getting other high quality sites to link back to you. If you have a network of bloggers that you speak to, find out if they would be interested in link swapping, otherwise guest posting (with a link in the post back to your own site) is a great way to go about it.

 

Freelance

Finally, if you have a skill such as writing or design then you will be in demand. Sign up to a freelancing site and you can take on the work as and when you want it. You could do this around another job, to supplement your business or blogging income or as your main source of income. Since you can choose the work you want to do, you’re in control of your workflow. You just need to make sure you meet deadlines for the work that you choose to do.

 

Business Blog

Dealing With The Leader’s Guilt

The path to leadership that a woman has to walk continues to be rocky. Of course, times have changed and the challenges of today are not the same than those a woman would have faced 50 years ago. Nevertheless, it is a path that brings the challenges of her professional responsibilities at the same levels with the social expectations of all – including herself. The potholes and other obstacles that women have to negotiate on the road to leadership are numerous. In companies where the mindset has remained traditionally masculine, women need to challenge the sometimes discriminatory behaviors against their gender. As unbelievable as it is, there are still individuals in companies – both men and women – who don’t think that women should become a leader. Some genuinely assume that the place of a woman is by her family only. In every business, it is difficult to maintain a high performing career and have a happy family life. If a woman chooses to have children, she will struggle to pursue her career without fearing she’s failing her family. But in the end, the biggest obstacle that a woman has to tackle is not related to what others might expect of her or how she can manage her family life. The path of a woman leader is paved by one core emotion that can bring her professional aspirations to a standstill if she doesn’t learn to control it effectively. Guilt. You need to learn to avoid the guilt trap of leadership to embrace your full potential and become the best possible manager you could be.

People don’t have to think of you as an authoritative figure

There is a big difference between wanting to lead and inspire your employees to follow you, and being called the boss. Being a boss often feels derogatory. After all, everyone has had a bad boss in their career – and you can call yourself lucky if you have never experienced the troubles of handling a difficult manager. There is someone who has marked you by their incompetence, rough behavior or even ability to make themselves unpopular. You don’t want to be that authoritative figure. You want to be a boss who encourages respect and creative exchange. Unfortunately, most people when they embrace a leadership position find themselves battling their own fears: Does the managerial title make you a bad boss per se? It’s a tricky question, and the best way to approach it is to consider how you want to manage. What’s the best type of management style? From a democratic management style where you get your staff involved in the decisions to a strategic management plan in which you focus on the big picture and let managers handle everything in between, there are a lot of options. Defining how you want to work can help you to get rid of the authority guilt.

 

You’ve worked hard to get there

The impostor syndrome is more common than you might think. In fact, you may not know it, but you could be suffering from it. Indeed, if you believe that you landed a leadership position you didn’t deserve – it was a mistake, and someday someone will notice you’re not in the right role –, you are exhibiting some of the most common signs of the impostor syndrome. Gradually, you can experience guilt, believing that you have taken the role from someone more deserving than you. It’s time to stop yourself. Leadership is earned. It’s not a gift you can be presented with. If your company made you a leader it’s because you’ve already shown you’ve got the right set of skills and inspiration to do the job. A leader is someone who can inspire their team to follow their direction. Consequently, at the point you tackle a leading role, your company already knows your vision and shares it.

 

It’s okay to feel lonely

If you felt one of the team before, when you sit in your leader’s chair, you’ll experience the true meaning of loneliness. Indeed, while you can complain about the boss to your colleagues; when you are the boss, there is nobody else to talk to. You’ll notice as well that your team doesn’t treat you as one of them. Don’t take it too personally, as it doesn’t say anything about your leadership skills. In fact, the truth is that you can’t be a boss and a friend at the same time. Remember that it is the natural way of things. Staying out of the office in-crowd lets your team bond freely and ensure that you can keep clear boundaries between work and your social life. You can find many communities that support lonely managers and entrepreneurs throughout their challenges, if you don’t want to feel isolated.

 

Not everything is your fault

As a leader, you are accountable for the mistakes of your team. You need to be aware of that, as you might find yourself falling into the trap of defensiveness. Being accountable is not the same thing than having to feel guilty for failures and mistakes. In other words, while you can accept mistakes, from yourself and your team, and decide to use them as an opportunity for improvement. Indeed, if you approach your role with the mindset that you’re going to be blamed for everything that happens, you are going to struggle with guilt every single day of your leader’s life. Mistakes happen, and that’s okay. Don’t hide them, but see past the individual failure. An error is a lesson to learn.

 

Guilt makes you a better leader

Feeling guilty is typically described as a negative emotion. Indeed, guilt is perceived by psychologists as a response to a failure to fulfill expectations – aka you’ve done something wrong or didn’t do something that people expected from you. As a rule of the thumb, it’s important to understand that not everyone has the same relationship with guilt. Some people tend to feel guilty more often than others. Their guilt proneness is, in fact, not a handicap in the business life. It highlights a conscientious mind who is keen to have a positive attitude and commit to their work. In other words, feeling guilty actually makes you a better leader, as it encourages you to increase your performance. Your sense of commitment reflects in your actions and in the way you manage your team. The guiltier you feel, the better you become.

 

You don’t have to know everything

People who land a high management role tend to assume that they have to have the answer to everything. You can find similar behavior in new parents who want to be able to answer every single question their child might ask. In reality, good leaders – as well as good parents – are unlikely to know everything. Firstly, because nobody can. Secondly, because you don’t need it. Your role is to trust each expert in your team to perform their tasks as best as they can. You don’t need to know everything or more than they do – their job is to provide a specific type of knowledge to the team. Your role is to manage. Knowing what they do and how relates to micromanagement, and that can dramatically affect your leadership status. There is no shame in directing someone to one of your subordinates when it comes to niche expertise or everyday task. To be a good leader, you need to know that you don’t have to know everything.

 

You hate letting go of an employee

As a leader, you have a say in who stays and who leaves your team. For some managers, there is no bigger joy than getting rid of employees. They perceive it as a display of their power. But if you dislike letting someone go, you have to embrace this attitude as a strength. Indeed, when you are responsible for your team’s employment, you need to take this role seriously. A frivolous leader who has no second thoughts of firing an individual is someone who manages through fear and punishment. Feeling guilty about the process implies not only that you care about the individual, but that you are able to take a difficult decision and give your employee enough feedback to improve before it’s too late.

 

Learn to relax

Finally, you’re a manager. But managing doesn’t mean you should dedicate all your waking hours to working. On the contrary, you need to allow yourself some well-deserved rest. It isn’t always possible to plan a vacation to recharge your batteries on a sandy beach. But you can make sure that your evenings are not spent at the office. You need to set a time frame for the work day so that you can leave room for your social life and your family. You can also let experts handle emergencies as they occur. For instance, you don’t need to be available when your website crashes –  let an IT agency tackle the issue instead. Worrying doesn’t make you a better leader if you don’t have the professional skills to solve problems.

 

Guilt is a powerful feeling that can cripple your path to leadership. While developing a sense of responsibility and accountability makes you a better leader, it shouldn’t hinder your activities. Embrace your guilt and identify its triggers to learn how to become a more relaxed manager in the long term.

Business Blog

How Can Your Business Greet The Younger Generation?

It’s little wonder that top marketing teams get paid a lot for what they do, almost as much as some senior staff members. Especially in a modern business, the marketing department is one of the most futuristic, and wherever the future is being pondered in a business, you can expect great minds and plenty of funding. Marketing departments need to think about the future because, the circle of life matters, and has a direct impact on the ability to stay alive and well in terms of business. The older generation of consumers pass away, and now, you have to build up a whole new relationship with the younger generation that is coming through and making their own buying decisions. One cannot purely rely on competitive pricing, discounts and even trying to link their name to a large event. Although you are seen, you’re not making a cultural impact, which is how the youth interact with businesses these days. You need to show you understand their needs, how they might use your products and services and why you should matter in their daily lives. If you can do this, your business will secure a new wave of consumers who will be your core customers for the foreseeable future.

 

 

Utilize relevant stardom

Celebrity culture hasn’t gotten any less powerful, in fact you could say that it’s now more influential than ever. Young consumers are on their smartphones constantly, consuming entertainment content and interacting with each other in real-time in social media. When their favorite stars are in the news, there’s a lot of activity and communication about what they did or what happened to them. Celebrities have a certain magic about them that businesses can use to their advantage. By connecting their face and persona with your products and services, you can bridge the gap between the youthful consumers that look up to them and trust them to be some kind of guide in their lives.

However, don’t try to make the star into something they’re not. Before you hire a star, you need to pin down why they are unique and how their talent or public image can be best used for promoting your business. Make sure that the appeal of the star and your business values meet in calm cohesion. For example, Daniel Craig plays many suave characters including James Bond. Transfering that gentlemanly debonair personality to something high-class and refined such as a luxury sports car, an aftershave or expensive watch, makes sense. This is how you can retain image consistency. Use the celebrity for what they’re known for and link you have to offer consumers in the same fashion.

 

Go to their events

Business owners of all kinds are familiar with the challenges of havings stands at exhibitions, and professionally interacting with other business owners at industry conferences. However, the younger generation isn’t going to be going to these sorts of events in their droves. For a modern business to capture, modern consumers, you have to adapt to their way of life. In short, go to them and don’t want for their interests to eventually bring them to you. Go to events that are popular to the young, such as music concerts, seasonal festivals, a specific ‘Con event, social media gatherings, etc.  

At these events you will be surrounded by thousands of people, that are all trying to go around and be the first in lines and interact with other businesses that are present. So, it would be helpful to have some kind of beacon that would make your stand, able to be seen from all across the event. It would be even better if this beacon could be the mascot or logo of your business. Luckily, that is entirely possible as large inflatable animals ranging from 2 meters to 8 meters tall, can be bought for this specific role. They can be suspended from something, such as a ceiling, be ground based, flying or even water based. The inflatable animals will be designed to look exactly like your mascot or logo, as intricate shapes and colors are not a problem to produce. Whether it’s PVC or nylon, the materials used are chosen as they have some resistance to sharp objects and can easily stretch to ensure any damage is limited.

 


Involve them in change

The younger generation are more involved in social campaigns and political discussion than the previous generations. Millennials are the current largest consumer, but generation Z are soon going to be entering into the workforce and able to be customers also. It would be useful for your business, to utilize the sentiments of change. For example, generation Z is leaning toward the high in conscientiousness side, which is in the spectrum of being a conservative. They inherently approach something from a philosophical and logical problem-solving perspective. If you can involve them in a conversation about workplace attitudes and explain the reasoning behind your product and service creation, you’re involving them on a level that they are more likely to garner a positive response to.

 

For example, you can create a survey, and spread it all over social media using a hashtag. It should be targeted toward youngsters so the questions should be very age-specific; keep them short and sweet. Make it clear that whichever viewpoint is most voted for, will be incorporated into the next product and or service. This gives the gen Z a chance to be a part of your business without actually having power over you. It also, introduces them to your business and gives them the impression that you want and care about their opinions and feedback. They in turn, get a chance to enact some kind of real tangible change in a company.

 

Don’t wait for them to come to you, go to where they are. The younger generation is going to events and shows that they like and not worrying about business exhibitions and conferences. Bring a beacon with you to let everyone in the event you attend know, of your presence. Celebrity culture is hotter than ever, thanks to social media. Seek to hire a star that fits your business values and your influential power will increase substantially.