Monthly Archives: March 2015

Talmar Anderson
Founder, Talmar It Up
Operations & Management Consultant

Time Flying? Let’s Discuss “Who” IS the Boss of You.

Time flying by? Let’s Discuss “Who IS” the Boss of You.
By Talmar Anderson

When I ask clients and contacts how their companies are growing, I hear a familiar response.  “Phew…it’s been busy”. Yeah, I get it. Are you getting what you want done?   I can relate to wanting more hours in the day but today I am calling you out on your busy day. In fact, I call B**S**T. Yep.  I’m looking at you. Today we are talking about something that I consistently review with clients and yet it always elicits an “I know, I know.…”

No. It’s not about numbers but it will make your eyes roll.  Look, I get that your days are busy.  I even recognize that what you are spending your time on is valuable and purposeful. However, I will challenge that most of you are not being consistent. And that this lack of consistency is actually keeping your business stuck right where you are today.  Are you are talking about and obsessing over “getting ahead”, getting “further down the line”, or up to the “next level”? What are YOU DOING about it?  There is one thing that will actually ensure you get it done.

The best part is that it is easy to do. This act itself does not even take any real time from your day. It is also easily the most frequently seen self-limiting behavior across the boards for business owners trying to grow. You MUST put anything you value or truly intend to do ON YOUR CALENDAR!

Now, if you are putting these on your calendar but keeping pushing, moving or cancelling, well then you have found the hard part. Stop flat out lying to yourself.  You are not valuing the commitment to your company to effect change that likely can ONLY come from you. And this is no one else’s fault.

  • Not the 10 new clients.
  • Not the sick kid.
  • Not the assistant that quit.
  • Not the vendor that will only deliver on Monday.

You are in control.  You can move an appointment once but I challenge you to MOVE it, not cancel.  You must take time from somewhere else.  YOU are the decider. And while a week can go wonky, having this time calendared out for a full 12 months can get you back on schedule.

Last rule, you may not move these for client needs. If you are careful and considerate you will strategically pick operational and planning days and times that are less demanding.  That means that client work can be scheduled into an available calendar time. Whether customer service issues, invoicing and accounting or missed opportunities, your clients will work on the timeframes you teach them to expect.  In the end, your clients will likely suffer if you do not take care of what your business needs first and foremost.

Giving yourself set time on the calendar will allow you to feel truly in control of your company.  Remember; put your own oxygen mask on before you help others.  It is the only way to survive and thrive.

I’d love to know what tricks you use to keep your commitments to your own company.  Please share them in the comments or you can reach out to me at TAnderson@TalmarItUp.com.

Founder of Talmar It Up

Been there. Done that! – Mentorship

Been there. Done that! – Mentorship
By Talmar Anderson

I am sure that you had have heard plenty of talk about mentors and that is for good reason!  We need them to inspire us.  To guide us.  To give us answers and give us a kick in the pants.  Mentorship is the sharing of expertise and experience.  Great mentors give insight into how decisions have been made or exactly what catalysts spurred a specific course of action. Mentors talk through the failures AND the successes.  A great mentor shares the “why” to really allow the person listening to gain clarification on cause and effect.

As your company grows, your mentors will likely change because you will set your business sights on different business models or processes and will have new areas to tackle. Additionally, your personal experiences will have value to others that are just starting out.  I believe there are growth possibilities in both working with a mentor and offering mentorship.

For full benefit in either role, let’s understand some guidelines that can make sure this is a part of a formalized effort.  Whether as a board of advisors or a one on one relationship, these steps can help mentors and mentees get what they need out of each encounter as well as exit gracefully with a valuable business contact still intact.

Be a mentor –

  • Ask what result they are looking for in the relationship.
  • Give completely and candidly of your experience and opinions or do not bother doing it.
  • Set limits on meeting time, meeting frequency and access as well as consideration for an end game. Maybe this relationship will last a lifetime. Maybe it will serve a limited purpose.  Regardless, exiting the mentor role in a predetermined way can save hurt feelings and professional bashing down the way.
  • Consider what progress you would hope to see from someone you are working with in the specific area. Maybe some requirements that will prove to you that the mentee is using the insights in a fruitful manner. Any suggestion should come with possible recommended result or action expectation. This allows for evaluating and measuring whether the mentee is benefiting.  If it is not working, it is ok. Then you can withdraw.
  • Don’t forget to consider from their point of view. Remember questions asked are not questions on your expertise or value – so don’t get your feathers ruffled. Questions actually mean that mentees FIND VALUE in what you are talking about!
  • Limit the number of people / groups / businesses you work with as a mentor in any given year. If it turns into a “job” it can poison the effectiveness for each of you.

Best use of YOUR mentors

  • Be clear that you are asking for mentorship. In all likelihood, this WILL not help grow their company too…unless you plan to pay them their market rate!
  • KNOW what you want to gain from their insights. Have a strategic reason for asking a specific person and communicate that value to them. This will again clarify how they can best help YOU.
  • Clearly and specifically have questions and discussion points ready for each set meeting time. Run this like you would a client meeting. Don’t be late or disrespectful.
  • Offer deadlines out loud on actions recommended. This shows the value you are gaining from what they are delivering. Actions and results will encourage a lasting mentorship if they can see movement in your business.
  • Remember, THESE ARE NOT YOUR accountability partners or coaches.

A great mentor can be life changing. Mentors and mentees can end up with a great friend or a strategic partner in a future effort.  Best of all, a mentor can help inspire and focus change in the business RIGHT NOW. Mentorship should be driven by the needs of the company at its current stage of growth.  Now go, grow!

Of course, I’d love to hear about your experiences, either as a mentor or a recipient of mentorship. Leave a comment or feel free to reach out to me at tanderson@TalmarItUp.com.