Archive for January 2013

Taking Control of My Time (Can I really do that?)

Time is what we want most, but what we use worst
- William Penn -

I love multitasking, yes I really do! The ability to do many things at the same time, aha that is true efficiency, every business owner needs to multitask more. Give me more tasks, it’s just great, I love it, getting up in the morning with a list of 100+ things to do is why I started my business. Give me more, give me more.

I think it was one of the first times I saw Charlie laughing so hard, he literally fell on the floor while laughing. I seriously believe someone saw him and came up with ROTFL :-).

Charlie could not stop laughing while he kept on repeating one word – “multitasking”.

I was really upset with him and told him, what’s so funny Charlie? Everyone is telling me doing multiple tasks at the same time is not only the key to controlling your time but it is a must for any successful business owner. What’s so funny Charlie?

I remember Charlie fixing his glasses, trying to control his laugh, telling me something which I will never forget, he said “Elizabeth, multitasking is a myth; we can not control our time. We can only prioritize what we do within our time”.

Why do I try so hard to control my time? Can I really control my time, Can I slow it down? Can I achieve more by performing multiple things at the same time? Why do we think we can control our time? Read more

My Secret Ingredient

“Po gazes at the Dragon Scroll and screams…
Po: It’s Blank
Master Shifu: What???
Po: Here, look! [Po hold the scroll, showing it to Master Shifu]
Master Shifu: No, I am forbidden to look upon…
[Master Shifu grabs the scroll looks for himself]
Master Shifu: But…I don’t understand…”

- Kung Fu Panda / DreamWorks Animation

I just finished a call with a good friend of mine. My friend is a struggling business owner, she wakes up early in the morning, provides her business services, sells her business products, and goes to sleep late at night. She seems tired all the time, she used to be happy. She said she will be happy once she finds the secret ingredient for her business success.

She just called me again today and asked, “Liz, What is the secret for a business success? What am I doing wrong?” I wanted to give her the answer which I have learned over the last few years. I wanted to tell her about having a great product with competitive advantages supported by an amazing customer service. I wanted to tell her about creating systems in your business and controlling your financials. I wanted to tell her about hiring the right people, having great mentors, and even about luck. But then I remembered Kung Fu Panda (Is it just me or do you also find many great insights in these animation movies? If it’s just me, don’t tell anyone!). Read more

My Sweet Vision

The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.
- Michelangelo -

Let’s talk a little bit about creating sweetness in people’s lives. Sounds great right? I have to admit, it took me over a year since opening my chocolate store until I realized I need to the find the “Why”, or why am I doing all this. What is my higher calling in business? Or in a more professional way, what is my business vision?

I remember the first time Athena asked me about my business vision. It was after another hard working day, I still had to reconcile the cash register, clean up the place, call my box vendor and she goes on and on about the importance of setting a business vision. All I wanted to tell her was “lady, look around, what vision are you talking about? My store is a mess, I am behind on some payments, and I need to clean up and go home to rest. Who cares about a business vision, let me first take care of my reality!”

I remember Athena (cool name right?) smiling at me and nodding as I almost yelled at her, “Who cares about a business vision?” putting on my angry face. I cannot really hold it for too long, and I think she knows it, so annoying. Athena just kept on mumbling about visions of other great companies, things like: “Refresh the world”, “Make people happy”, “Organize the world’s information”, “A desire to tell great stories and inspire audiences”, “A catalyst for transformation in people’s lives”.

At that moment I jumped out of my seat and told her “Stop, Stop, what do these inspiring quotes have to do with my little business? Why do I even need to have a business vision? Why can’t I just run my chocolate store, be successful, have a good income and be happy?”

So, why is it important to have a business vision? Read more

Protect the Shire

“Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo? It’ll be spring soon. And the orchards will be in blossom. And the birds will be nesting in the hazel thicket. And they’ll be sowing the summer barley in the lower fields… and eating the first of the strawberries with cream. Do you remember the taste of strawberries?”
- J.R.R Tolkein -

I am almost done with writing my next blog post, it’s good, and it’s about your business vision. But last night after watching a great movie, you have to see “The Hobbit”, I know I am a Gandalf freak but it’s really a good movie, I lay down in bed with an old 2011 BusinessWeek magazine. It had an article about a company called Palantir Technologies. In simple words they provide solutions to make sense of a lot of unrelated data, their solutions help to fight terrorism, crime and fraud. Looks like a great bunch of kids with a really helpful solution.

Maybe it was the movie, however as I was reading the article, the company’s head , Alex Karp, was talking about his company’s vision (mission), and I think it’s one of the best vision statement I have ever heard of, so I just have to share it with you! In the article Alex said their grand mission is to “Protect the Shire”, so simple, smart and inspiring. Wow.