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Wednesday, 31 October 2012 09:38
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An interesting concept – what does it truly mean to communicate openly?

I will share some thoughts based on my expertise and my experience.

  • Open communication means having no agenda – yes no agenda. It means being open to what is about to unfold before you.
  • Open communication means speaking your truth without holding onto how you want the receiver to respond.
  • Open communication means allowing the other person their truth whether you want to hear it or not.
  • It means letting go of being right.
  • It means allowing the other person the opportunity to be right and to experience a win.
  • It is achieved through being aware of what you are really telling someone. What is your body language saying? What is your tone saying? What is your face saying?
  • Open communication means listening. Yes really listening. The type of listening that moves the person on the other end because they feel valued and honoured.
  • It is achieved through being comfortable with silence. So comfortable that there is none of that inane chatter used to fill in spaces.
  • It is based on respect and honouring someone.
  • It is about grace.
  • It is about coming from love and not fear.
  • It is about letting go of what you truly believe you need to make your world better and to be open to what is needed by all parties involved.

It is quite possibly the most powerful thing one can really experience and nothing will bring you closer to others or allow you to bring others on board with you.

It takes courage to step into the power of open communication.

It could quite possibly change you and your organisation.

I challenge you to do whatever it is you need to do to learn to communicate openly.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012 09:31
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I read a very interesting post today by Alex Bowyer from a while back titled “The November Project: Observations from a month away from Facebook and Twitter” in which he reflects on his forced time out from Facebook and Twitter for an entire month! Its still relevant even today.

The key observations that really struck a cord with me are firstly Alex’s statement below about how he felt with his forced absence from social networks…

The most amazing thing is I actually feel like time slowed down. That’s a pretty profound thing to say, but when I think back to the beginning of November, it seems like months ago. Previous months seemed to whizz by. I think that, as I theorized beforehand, with fewer inputs, my brain actually was able to quiet down a bit and make me feel more relaxed.

And secondly…

I noticed that I became a lot less “twitchy”. I had developed a habit of every few minutes throughout the day, check Facebook, check Twitter, check email… and repeat. This is a surefire way to destroy any focus you have on work or other activities.

Its not hard to feel that most people will, after the initial excitement, have an internal ongoing conflict between feeling compelled to remain constantly socially connected, including the need to be almost instantly responsive with their social networks, with the increasing desire to reclaim their life and concentration back.

How does this relate to business?

Well I see the need for businesses to really focus on defining set rules of engagement with their social networks that includes set timeframes to access their profiles and engage with their community. If not, a business may actually run the risk of burnout and excessive overuse of their most precious resource – their time.

Using our own social media solutions for business (CampaignHub) we have already reduced the risk and effort for our clients to utilize social networks but I think there is still more work to be done around the constant development of our own social networks to provide even more value to our clients by leveraging off our time and investment not theirs.

Its important to take the evangelistic preaching of social media “experts” with a grain of salt. They are excited about social media because its new and shiny but it will be the businesses that have to really put in the effort to make this new channel work for them and ultimately help feed the pipeline.

Read Alex Bowyer’s post “The November Project: Observations from a month away from Facebook and Twitter“.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012 07:19
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Photo by  jurvetson

The day is soon coming when you’ll click “buy it now” on a website and the product will be delivered to you the same day. Google’s robot cars will bring it to you.

Google is now in the same-day delivery business. In San Francisco, some people affiliated with Google can buy a product, using their phones or computers, and have it delivered to their homes in a matter of hours.

Plans for the new service have been under way for more than a year. But it recently went live for some Google employees and their friends, according to two people briefed on the service who were not authorized to discuss it because Google has not yet publicly introduced it. At least one national apparel chain is involved, one of these people said. A Google spokesman, Nate Tyler, declined to comment.

Photo by jurvetson.


Wednesday, 31 October 2012 06:00
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These tools offer fast, easy ways to take notes, write documents or jot down ideas.


Wednesday, 31 October 2012 05:35
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Cash-flow is key for small businesses. Improving yours could be as simple as changing a bit of wording on your invoices. Here's how.

Company culture, cute offices, and collaborative environments are great things for small businesses to have. But healthy cash flow is absolutely essential. So whenever someone comes up with empirically-based, simple ways to get paid faster, small-business owners sit up and listen.

Which, handily, is just what FreshBooks has done. Due to the nature of its business, the cloud-accounting company is in possession of not only reams of real-world invoices, but also plenty of hard numbers on exactly how quickly they were paid. So earlier this year, FreshBooks sifted through this data, plotting certain key phrases against the quickness of payments to determine what phrasing works best to get you paid quickly.

It turns out simple changes can make a big difference. If you want to get ahold of the cash you're due more quickly, Freshbooks recommends:

Be Polite. The first thing we noticed in the data is that being polite really matters! A simple "please pay your invoice within" or "thank you for your business" can increase the percentage of invoices that are paid by more than 5 percent! That could easily equate to thousands of dollars per year. Not only that, but politeness clearly gets you paid faster.

Days to Pay. Using the word "days" as opposed to "net" gets you paid more often and faster. While the words "net 30" or similar may make sense to most business owners, perhaps that kind of wording is not as clear to less business-savvy clients.

Dump "Upon Receipt." Most people seem to interpret "upon receipt" as "whenever you feel like it." It's as if they receive an invoice with the words "payable upon receipt" and immediately dump it into the "whenever" pile. Using specific terms such as "21 days" seems to focus the client's mind around a specific timeframe and will actually get you paid faster than asking for immediate payment.

These small edits clearly caused invoices to be paid faster according to FreshBooks's analysis. One other change also affected when an invoice was paid but involved trade-offs. Declaring that interest will be charged on late payments, it seems, "gets you paid slower, but it also seems to ensure a higher percentage of invoices will get paid."

What exactly does all of this mean for your business? According to Freshbooks, the final takeaway is two possible wordings for your invoices. If getting paid quickly is most important to you, the company suggests adding this line, or something very similar, to your invoice: "Thank you; we really appreciate your business. Please send payment within 21 days of receiving this invoice."

If you're company has slim margins and getting paid every nickel you're owed trumps getting invoices paid a bit quicker, then think about adding interest to late payments with phrasing like this: "Thank you for your business. We do expect payment within 21 days, so please process this invoice within that time. There will be a 1.5% interest charge per month on late invoices."

Have small changes ever made a big difference to how quickly you get paid?



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