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Top of Mind: June 15, 2017
June 15th, 2017
by Bill Boyajian

Memo to Millennials

I handle many family transition issues, the coaching and mentoring of family members, and succession planning for businesses. One of the things I see most often is that young people coming into a business are not there as a first choice. Sometimes they feel guilty that they should help their parents. Other times they have nowhere else to go.

Young people should work outside of their family business before they join it. Sometimes it’s too late for that, and there is little recourse but to continue on. But this often leads to problems, uncertainty about long-term commitment, and resentment about not being able to choose one’s own path in business and in life.

 
Young people deserve the right to follow their passion and to choose their own way. One of the things I recommend to Millennials is to simply write down in one column what you love to do, in another column what you are good at doing, and in a third column whether you can earn a living from either or both. We are usually quite good at what we like to do, and if we can make money doing it, we may have a formula for success.

Sometimes our work is a means to an end and simply a way to earn a living. When this is the case, we often find a hobby where we can unleash our true happiness. Sometimes people can find that joy through their hobby, and also make a nice living from it. It’s hard to do, but perhaps worth trying. If you’re a Millennial, consider this option. It will help you decide what you truly want to do.

 

 

Business Tips:

  • Courage without measured caution is a recipe for disaster. Have the common sense to listen to others and consider their advice.
  • When we are too close to a problem, we are blinded by familiarity and proximity, while others can see the issue immediately.
  • We don’t realize the power of our words until we are silenced by the words of others. Be careful about what you say to people.

 

Life Tips:

  • That uncomfortable feeling when things just aren’t right, is often caused when we get outside of our comfort zone or experience.
  • Humility is not having a low opinion of yourself, but rather, the right opinion. Humble people are comfortable in their own skin.
  • Time is your most precious asset in life. Use it to explore new horizons, discover your passion, and share great moments with friends.
Top of Mind: June 1, 2017
June 1st, 2017
by Bill Boyajian

How to Get Better 

The old adage that “practice makes perfect” needs some serious reconsideration. Practice is great if we’re practicing the right things. Unfortunately, most of us keep practicing the wrong things and wonder why things don’t get better.

So instead of “practice makes perfect,” we should think in terms of “practice makes permanent.” It’s particularly true in business. We keep doing the same things over and over again somehow believing that things will change. We wonder why business doesn’t improve, why employees don’t get along, and why we fail to make bigger sales. But we don’t analyze why these things occur, and we often do nothing to try to change the outcomes.

We also try to maintain the status quo, somehow believing that things won’t change. Things always change, but they seldom change for the better unless we take action. We want to lose weight but we don’t change our eating habits. We want to improve our golf scores, but we do little to improve our swing. We want to read more books, but can’t get started with the one at the top of our stack.

If this sounds futile, it is because we need to practice those things that make us better, not just permanent, let alone perfect. Practice won’t make us perfect at anything because perfection is an unattainable goal. But practicing the right things in business and in life will make us better. And better is what we want.

 

Here are a few Business & Life Tips to think about….

Business Tips:

  • Partners with complementary skills are great for business if their views are not so extreme as to cause more problems than they solve.
  • Your employees will emulate far more of what they see you doing than what they hear you say. If they don’t, well, enough said.
  • Customers seldom know what they want when they enter a store. Great salespeople establish rapport and tell them what they need.

  

Life Tips:

  • Believing you can succeed at whatever you’re doing is the key to succeeding at it. Have faith in yourself and just do it.
  • Mature people control their emotions through reasonable actions and reactions, rather than outbursts that take people down.
  • Most of us should try to listen more and be less defensive. Listening gives us a chance to learn about the other side of issues.
Top of Mind: May 18, 2017
May 23rd, 2017
by Bill Boyajian

Don’t Let Life Pass You By

Too often we major on minors.  We bury our heads in our smart phones and miss a beautiful sunset.  We overeat (or drink….) at a party, and miss a quality conversation with an interesting person.  We exercise on a machine indoors and never jog on a trail to observe nature’s wonders.  We multi-task while watching a game and miss the live action because we know we can rewind the play.  We snap at a family member or associate and fail to be gracious.  And we do all these things because we’re preoccupied with ourselves or what we’re doing instead of looking at life through a wider angle lens.

With all the focus on having an “experience” today, you would think we would slow down to enjoy some of life’s little pleasures instead of running around without any thought of what we’re missing.  Life is not a straightaway that you drive down aimlessly.  It’s more like a windy road where you slow down for the curves, not knowing what will be around the bend.

So the next time you get in too much of a hurry, stop to listen carefully to the person with an idea to share.  Take the ocean route or the mountain road instead of the freeway.  Pull over to read the historic sign or view the scenic vista.  Notice the flight of the flock in the distance and how perfectly they coordinate their turns and synchronization.  And then you’ll be enjoying life and not letting it pass you by.

 
Here are a few Business & Life Tips to think about….

Business Tips:

  • Don’t confuse working hard with working smart. Being busy doesn’t necessarily lead to the results you are looking for.
  • Many business owners look deeply into why things aren’t going well, but seldom look in the mirror to discover they are the problem.
  • As a leader, if you aren’t challenging people to be better and motivating them to peak performance, you aren’t doing your job.

Life Tips:

  • Persistence is as important as performance. Greatness is seldom achieved on the first try. Never give up on your goal. Never!
  • The past is usually filled with regret, whereas living in the present helps you create the future. The past is just that, the past.
  • When was the last time you distanced yourself from the hectic day-to-day grind just to think and reflect on life’s imponderables?

 

Here is a past article related to the message….

No Regrets

Top of Mind: May 4, 2017
May 4th, 2017
by Bill Boyajian

Commitment

Recently I rented a car out of state, but when I got to the rental car counter at the airport, the representative told me he was out of cars. I told him I not only had a reservation as a VIP client, but that I paid for the car in advance. The representative said he was very sorry but there was nothing he could do. I then went to another rental car counter – now teeming with people – and tried to wait as patiently as I could when I saw my rep waving me back to his counter. He had (miraculously?) found a car for me. I was delighted, if not curious, but it didn’t matter. I got my car at 10pm that night, and that was all that mattered.

This experience, though disturbing, reminded me of how important our commitments are in business. Imagine your customers’ frustrations when you can’t deliver on something that was promised. Or what about when you tell your staff they’ll get a promotion or a bonus and then retract it for no apparent reason.

We need to take our commitments seriously. When we cancel things at the last minute, miss deadlines, make excuses, or fail to come through for people, we let them down and we most certainly let ourselves down. We diminish our business even more than we inconvenience or upset our customers when we can’t live up to our commitments.

So the next time you break a commitment, think about how people might eventually forgive you, but will likely not forget what you did. Then think about how that affects your integrity and your reputation.

 

Here are a few Business & Life Tips to think about….

Business Tips:

  • It’s a leader’s role to use resources in such a way as to benefit customers and ultimately benefit the business and its employees.
  • As a leader, when you can get people to appreciate their own vested interest in the business, performance will be enhanced.
  • Word of mouth referrals are the best form of advertising. They cost nothing, but provide powerful testimonials that are priceless.

 

Life Tips:

  • Truly mature people live by their commitments, not by their feelings, which can be as varied as the wind.
  • We lose the will to win when we become so overwhelmed that we no longer believe the goal we had originally is achievable.
  • One of the keys to enduring success is the ability to stay positive even during the most stressful and challenging circumstances.

 

Here is another article related to customer service….

Did You Impress Them?

Top of Mind: April 20, 2017
April 20th, 2017
by Bill Boyajian

Culture

The culture of any business is created by its founder and nurtured by its current leadership. A brand, an image, or a reputation can attract a lot of people to want to work for a company or organization, but it is the culture of the place that keeps people happy. What you really want are people so pleased with the workplace that they fall in love with it, and tell others about it.

The way this “love affair” starts is through a company’s culture. Talented and success-oriented people want to work around other talented, success-oriented people. They also want to invest their time (and their life) at a place where they feel in synch with the values and direction of its leadership. The key aspect of this lies in the leader: his or her philosophy, temperament, and credibility. No amount of money can keep someone happy if the desire to work is outweighed by the problems at work.

Even the traditional elements of good leadership, performance recognition, effective communication, and a collaborative environment aren’t necessarily enough anymore. People now seek fun environments where genuine appreciation is the norm and a work-life balance with reasonable flexibility is encouraged. All of this is established and nurtured by ownership and leadership, and leveraged to form a culture that is invigorating and worthy of peoples’ time.

What is the culture of your workplace? Can it be improved? Are you the one responsible for it? How can you impact the culture and those within it, even if you aren’t the one responsible for guiding it?

 

Here are a few Business & Life Tips to think about….

Business Tips:

  • If morale in your business is great, peoples’ needs are being met, enthusiasm is high, and productivity is likely flourishing.
  • New ideas are almost always created by people outside of your industry. They lack built-in bias about the old way of doing things.
  • Anyone who thinks he needs a title to have authority deludes himself. You earn authority by winning peoples’ respect.

 

Life Tips:

  • Simplify life by taking a hard look at what is important and what is not. Drop the unimportant, and get closer to an ideal lifestyle.
  • Instead of trying to compete with everyone or keep up with what they have, simply try to become the very best version of yourself.
  • The best way to win the hearts and minds of people is not through pressure or embarrassment, but by showing them that you really care.

 

Here is another article written by Bill….

Be a Leader People Follow

Top of Mind: April 6, 2017
April 6th, 2017
by Bill Boyajian

No Regrets

We all have friends and family in the latter stages of their life.   It is important that we encourage them to do those things they really want to do.  Is there a place they haven’t been where they really want to go?  Is there an activity or a practice that they want to take up? Is there someone they want to see again who they long to visit?

We should always encourage people who need a little push, who could do more if we just helped them get there.  Often people wish they could have or would have done something that they later regret in life.  Sometimes it’s too late to do anything about it, but many times things can still be done if we are creative about it.

The goal, of course, is to try to live a life with no regrets: To do and say those things that make a difference in someone’s life, or maybe even your own.  Is it time to think this through?  Help someone today so they can avoid regret.

 
Here are a few Business & Life Tips to think about….

Business Tips:

  • As a business owner, if you can’t attract and retain great people, you will never be able to relax and enjoy what you have built.
  • People wait too long to ask for help when they need it, be it personal problems, career direction, or business challenges.
  • If you want to climb the ranks in business, do so well in your current job that management can’t help but promote you.

 

Life Tips:

  • Your circumstances are a result of the past. Your actions are a result of the present. But your aspirations are all about the future.
  • Achieving a major milestone can only be accomplished by breaking it up into smaller goals. Small successes lead to bigger ones.
  • The best way to get what you want is to give it away: be it love, money, trust, or faith. Just give it away, and get it back in return.
Top of Mind: March 23, 2017
March 23rd, 2017
by Bill Boyajian

Our Pursuit of Happiness

Everyone wants to be happy, but happiness seems to be an elusive, almost unattainable goal.  People become even more anxious trying to attain it, and that can keep us from finding the peace and joy we all want in our lives.

There’s even a new book out called America the Anxious, by Ruth Whippman, where she identifies the state of perpetual anxiety that has become a new norm for so many people.  After reading an article about it, I stopped to ask myself what makes me happy.  Sometimes it’s the simplest of things, like watching my garden grow, or seeing my favorite sports team win a close game, or watching raindrops hitting our swimming pool when we’re in a drought.  Other times it’s more meaningful realities like helping someone become more successful in their business, or solving a difficult interpersonal relationship between an owner and her sales associate, or just having more time in my day to read, write, and reflect.

I think if we took more time to think about what makes us happy instead of chasing our latest dream, we might just find the happiness we’re looking for.  And maybe then we would be more relaxed, less anxious, and happier.

So take some time today to think about what makes you happy.  I’ll bet just taking the time to think about it, and to be grateful for what you have, will make you happier.

 
Here are a few Business & Life Tips to think about….

Business Tips:

  • Leaders who make the workplace fun, and a great learning and developmental environment, bring an added dimension to their team.
  • Reinventing your business – even yourself – is a helpful thought in a fast-paced world where nothing seems to stay the same.
  • Business owners and managers hire consultants to help clarify their thinking on matters of importance. Get help if you need it.

Life Tips:

  • A “glass half empty” person sees difficulty in every opportunity. A “glass half full” person sees opportunity in every difficulty.
  • Our insecurity can cause us to unconsciously focus on other peoples’ weaknesses and mistakes, rather than their strengths and virtues.
  • Life’s greatest wounds are often self-inflicted. Everyone makes mistakes, but your willingness to admit to them is the start of recovery.
Top of Mind: March 9, 2017
March 9th, 2017
by Bill Boyajian

Ups and Downs

Business has its ups and downs. When business is good, we think it will always be that way. And when business is bad, we can’t see it getting better. That’s because we make excuses for our situation and blame outside forces or other people for our problems.

Business, like the economy, goes in cycles. But we have much more control of our business than the economy as a whole, where we have absolutely no control. Therein lies the difference. We need to stop worrying about the things we can’t control and focus on the things we can control.

Most business problems lie with their leadership. Leaders need to accept the fact that things don’t always go well and to take responsibility for their circumstances. After taking responsibility, the only rational course is to accept the current situation – even embrace it — and to develop a plan to make things better.

All of this lies in the hands of the business owner or manager.   If the situation I describe sounds familiar, take some time to reflect on your current circumstances and to determine your best course of action. Doing nothing is an unacceptable choice. Commit to making things better, knowing that business always has its ups and downs.

Bill

 

Here are a few Business & Life Tips to think about….

Business Tips:

  • Lead with clear focus. Without it, confusion reins and there is no common purpose. Without that, you can’t have effective execution.
  • A start-up business should shift direction as the market dictates. Be flexible and go with the flow. Let the marketplace lead.
  • Good leaders don’t apologize for leading with strength, but they also understand the power of gaining “buy-in” from their staff.

 

Life Tips:

  • A path isn’t blazed with one pioneer. A host of followers is required to carve a trail and it takes a dedicated team to sustain it.
  • It is often said that it is better to try and fail than not to try at all. But failure can be success if you learn from it.
  • We couldn’t control how we got into this world, but we can control how we respond to what life brings us. It’s our responsibility.

 

Here is another article written by Bill…

That Defining Moment

Top of Mind: February 23, 2017
February 23rd, 2017
by Bill Boyajian

Is Complaining Really Working for You?

Many things get us irked at work: an unappreciative boss, a dumb mistake by an associate, or a very difficult customer, to name a few.  Our frustration and disappointment levels can peak, and we often resort to complaining about the problem instead of doing something about it.  We waste enormous amounts of time moaning about things – often the amount of time it would take to remedy the problem.

So instead of complaining about things that go wrong, try turning the complaint into a constructive action that allows you to take responsibility for things that are well within your ability to address.  Complaining is a weak person’s way of letting off steam and pointing a finger at someone else.  So stop complaining and start doing.  You’ll find a renewed sense of confidence and some amazing results when you do.

 

 Here are a few Business & Life Tips to think about….

Business Tips:

  • People leave companies because of untrustworthy leadership, poor management, or a lack of appreciation for work well done.
  • If you want to lead people, bring them together under a common cause, develop a plan to achieve it, and execute on your plan.
  • It’s not that money doesn’t matter, but what drives top performers is internal. It’s about the feeling they get from achieving success.

Life Tips:

  • “Emotional Intelligence” today tells us that being a successful performer is more about what you’re like than what you know.
  • Even if you do the right thing for the right reason, things won’t always work out. But you’ll find it rewarding to have done right.
  • Some people insist on being right about everything. It’s in their DNA. I ask them this question: Do you want to be right or successful?
Top of Mind: February 9, 2017
February 10th, 2017
by Bill Boyajian

Eliminating Misery

The most miserable people I know create stress by over-doing life. They have so many balls in the air that they can’t cope with all the decisions they have to make.

Conversely, the happiest people I know have limited the excess in their life. They have a balance of physical, emotional, and spiritual involvement, but without the stress caused by taxing the brain to the extreme.

The psychological damage that is caused by excess stress over-complicates life and is both unhealthy and illogical. There is nothing logical about excess unless you want to blow up internal body parts. Then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Take time to eliminate misery by removing the excess in your life.

 

Here are a few Business & Life Tips to think about….

Business Tips:

  • In my work coaching owners and leaders, I have noticed that their criticism of others says more about the critic than those criticized.
  • When morale is good, the needs of employees are being met, their enthusiasm is high, and their confidence in management is evident.
  • Great leaders understand the need to surround themselves with smart people. They are never threatened by intellect or experience.

 

Life Tips:

  • Our words can get us in so much trouble with our key relationships that one might wonder why we sometimes erupt the way we do.
  • People with great wealth or status are not necessarily more content. Contentment instead emanates simply from lacking needs.
  • Be grateful for what you have. Someone close to you is grateful with far less. Gratefulness is a key to lasting contentment.

"Bill Boyajian is a leader people follow, with a proven track record of success. He will provide solutions to your biggest challenges and deliver terrific results."

–Howard Herzog
International Jewelers Block Insurance

"A sought after role model, Bill reminds us that how we lead our business has everything to do with how we live a fulfilling life."

– Pam Levine,
Levine Design Group