An Honest Look at Your Business

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An Honest Look at Your Business

By: Shaun Kirk

There is a difference between being comfortable and being in apathy.

It is very comfortable to have a smooth running organization when you have a team that knows what to do and does it. It is comfortable to have this group take care of your company and make it expand, and all you have to do is take care of the team. It is comfortable when the staff will actually handle the discipline problems of other staff members and not give it to you to handle. It is, of course, very comfortable to have a consistent flow of new customers into your office and not have to worry about it week to week.

What is apathy?

Perhaps apathy is excuses - thinking that things can't change, considering that "this is pretty good" and "I just want everybody to be happy," but recognizing that they are not. Apathy can be present when there are situations going on in the office that aren't going well and you choose to ignore it and hope it will go away. Apathy can be mere excuses and explanations as to why a situation or problem exists.

Sometimes, as business owners, we can fall into such apathy that we don't actually use any tools to evaluate whether the organization is expanding or not. We wait until the accountant reconciles the books and tells us whether we did well or poorly. That's truly apathy.

Apathy can also be a lack of planning, the "just come to work and see what happens" attitude. Some business owners at one point in time used to keep a "to-do" list, now they don't even bother. They just wait until they come into the office and one of the staff members gives them the first order of the day, in other words, they take orders from their staff. That's truly apathy.

Some business owners are doing all right and they are making good money, but they are not taking care of their staff. They may have lack of emotion or caring or a general apathy towards their staff.

Whatever your financial goals are, you probably need to triple them, because it's important to take care of the team that takes care of you. When you recognize what good staff members can do for your organization and you actually exchange with them for that good work, it tells those staff members how much you truly care about them.

When you accept excuses for low productivity, you as a business owner go more and more into apathy. And so does your team. But on the other hand, improving the employees' ability to handle their jobs well, giving the staff real, obtainable production demands and getting them to achieve these targets regardless of the "excuses" is certainly not apathy. It is the ability to make things happen as an executive.

Many business owners are not satisfied in some way about the volume of new customers into their business, but most are not doing anything about it. Now that's truly apathy! Sometimes we look around at other businesses that are doing well and blame them for our lack of success. That is slightly better than apathy - at least there is some emotion, but the practice owner still hasn't done anything about it.

What we are talking about here, plain and simple, is how to shift from being the effect of your referral sources to being causative over that relationship. In other words, in regards to new customers, instead of "look at me and recognize how hard it is for me to get new customers," you can shift to "I know how to drive new business in the door." One is apathy and the other is causative. It is first and foremost a shift in viewpoint.

If you don't have a plan to drive some business in the door, if you don't have a solution for this problem and you haven't had a solution for years, then most likely you are not very causative over this area. Most likely you're in apathy about this area of your business.

Perhaps you consider it is comfortable if you are making good money and you're not working a whole lot. But if you are doing well and your staff is not doing well, something should change.

A good executive cares enough about what's going on and cares about his group. I am not implying that you don't care about your staff, that you don't feel that they are important. I am sure you recognize that they are. Unfortunately, you can feel alone sometimes in the running of your business because you make all the decisions in the organization. You may have a team that works with you that's really not a team but a group of robots that take orders from you all day long. Well that type of management style would certainly make me or any other business owner feel like, "why should I take such good care of these guys when they can't seem to fight their way out of a paper bag?"

One way in which you can take care of your group is to show them how they can take care of you. The way you do that is by managing with statistics and not with emotion. Set good, acceptable, agreed-upon targets and work with your staff through whatever barriers that may come up in order to achieve that end. You can move from being apathetic about certain areas of your business to being more causative over it.

Imagine the confidence that it will give you and your team when these key areas are handled in your business. Think of the reduction in the amount of worry that you may have if you know and can predict your expansion. But if you are in apathy about what you can do to increase you numbers, you still are worrying. It is not like you are off picking daisies, you are still worrying.

Make no mistake, this is not necessarily easy - it is a fair amount of work, you have to roll up your sleeves, you actually have to DO something.

But if you are frustrated, perhaps angry about the way things are and have gotten to a point where you say, "Look, I need to freshen up what we already do," or "I need to do SOMETHING!" then that change in viewpoint alone can help you get started on your way.

To summarize:

1)Teach your staff how to take care of you. This is as simple as telling them what is needed and wanted. It is likely that it cannot be communicated all in one sitting, but if done well becomes an ongoing communication.

2)Figure out how take better care of your staff as they start taking better care of you.

3)Manage by statistics - not with emotion. Take the "office politics" out of your business. Reward on merit alone - the merit being "does that employee do their job?" The statistic will show it; it will either be up or down.

4)And last but not least, change your viewpoint. Quit deciding situations that are truly not the way you really want them to be are OK. Decide that they can be different and then go about working out how to make them so - for the better!

About The Author

Shaun Kirk is President and Co-Founder of Measurable Solutions Inc., a consulting firm engaged in all areas of business management. Measurable Solutions trains entrepreneurs and executives how to be consultants to their own businesses, so they not only can expand their own business but any business. With his partner, he has built the most rapidly expanding company of its kind in the world. Visit his website at

Comments 11.03.2008. 01:57

I am looking for legitimate work at home, not marketing, job. Using computer, no cost to start? I am looking for an at home job doing data entry, computer work, customer service, etc. I am excellent with computers and learn programs really quickly. I want to work part time. serious about an at home job. do not want to pay price for job, want serious legitimate job. Should not have to pay for it. Also no marketing jobs or sales job. Where can I find honest business looking for me as an employee?

Admin 11.03.2008. 01:57

My wife and I work for, you need a referral in order to get signed up.

It's absolutely Free (but you will need to go through a series of tests to see if your English and Research skills are up to par).

It works like this, you need a PC with internet and Firefox. You get a popup letting you know someone texted in a question to Chacha on their phone. You research the answer and paste it in the website and it sends your text message back to them. If you are interested, you can message me and I'll send you a
referral and the website. They pay .20 per text that you answer and it takes about 2-5 minutes of research to find an answer (it isn't a fortune but a person can easily make $150 - $200 a month doing this).


PDD 27.06.2006. 21:48

Where can I start my own referral network? I would like to satrt my own refferral network with like minded people. No BS, just honest people who are looking to expand their business contacts and exchange clients names who can use one anothers services. I don't like the set up of the Chamber of Commerece nor BNI.


Admin 27.06.2006. 21:48

Get a dating script and modify it


Dialectical Reflections 07.05.2011. 02:41

What is the point of an iPad 2 if you have the iPhone and a macbook? What is the point of an iPad 2 if you have the iPhone and a macbook?

To be honest, they look cool, but what's the point? I kind of want one, but I'm not really seeing a purpose.

Dialectical Reflections

Admin 07.05.2011. 02:41

many people that I know use it for reading proposals and whatnot. Its the perfect size. You don't need a laptop, and an ipod/iphone is too small.

truthfully, for entertaining purposes, you are better off getting an iPod, but for business purposes, the iPad can be phenonemal.

I met a windows salesman that said with his 3g iPad, if he makes an extra sale due to answering an email faster, the iPad paid for itself


tim_emily_weaver 15.10.2009. 17:59

How would I start a business, marketing and advertising for other local small businesses? I would offer many different options for business owners to choose. printing and distributing flyers or corner signs, running ads in the newspaper and online websites or radio. Pretty much anything to do with advertising/ promoting for local businesses owned by individuals (like lawn care, roofing, restraunt, hair salon etc.) What should I do to start my business and is this a stupid idea?


Admin 15.10.2009. 17:59

I really think this is a good idea. I would contract you. Here are a few things you should know.

1. Pick a good name. Something people will remember.

2. Will you be a Sole Proprietor, LLC, or Corporation? This effects your liability if you get sued and taxes.

3. How much seed capital, or money do you have to start your business? This can include credit available.

4. Do you have a contract your costomers will sign? AKA an Engagement Agreement. Without this you will probably not get paid, and you will always want to leave very clear what you will do and not do. That way there are not any mistunderstandings.

5. Do you have an office, or work from home? Office will help you get clients vs home where business is rent free.

6. How will you keep records? Bookkeeping is very important. If the IRS has questions and you don't have records you will loose audits and get fined. This can lead to not having funds to run your business. BE CAREFUL and keep records.

7. Will you have employees or sub-contractors? This can also get you in trouble. If you pay an employee cash that employee can sue you and you will most likely not have money to run your business after all the fines. BE HONEST.

8. Do you have an Accountant, Lawyer who will help you and give you advise? This is an investment. We can help you to stay out of trouble and grow your business. Look for a trustworthy accountant.

Hope this helps and Good Luck!


san_mia 16.11.2007. 14:52

How do I find a good, honest dropshipper? I'm looking to start a business through e-bay, I need a honest dropshipper. I've heard nothing but bad things about dropshippers though. Does anybody have any helpful hints to make this work?


Admin 16.11.2007. 14:52

I appologize for not being way up on all this so my opinion is a little thin.

I've found that DHL is trying to do the most to fill this gap. They purchased SmartMail (Atlanta based) who had purchased Dropship Express (MN based with like 100+ centers across the US) to increase their domestic drop ship business. Of the "big's", I've found this to be the most progressive strategy to provide a) service, b) reliability, and c) consistency.

So, I'd start with DHL and see what they can do for you. As a large corporate, they have more resources to handle your needs which may be better for you.

I can't speak to international, other than I know DHL and Fedex are especially strong.

As for mom and pop's, I'd be reluctant. It's a very competitive industry and it's dominated by three major players. There are disrupters but for something like eBay, rather than a regional need, you'd be better to go with a major player (my gut).

Hope it helps.


C O 14.09.2007. 03:59

What is an honest easy online business to start for disabled people.? There are mostly scams out there but I'm sure there are some honest ones out there that someone, who is limited in physical ability, can start and not become rich but do well enough to pay the bills without worry.


Admin 14.09.2007. 03:59

There is a Website that you can use to find lots of Legit ideas and choices to make money working online, including easy online businesses that you can start.
The information is Free, and many of the choices are Free to join.
To find it, please click on the link to my 360 profile page
and look near the top of the profile page. Make sure that you go to the "Additional Income? page of that Website.


Phili Ca 02.09.2011. 12:05

What is a good wholesale website that do honest business ? i'm looking for a good honest wholesale website that sells purses, designers like louis v, gucci, coach, ect. anyone know and have you ever ordered from one called

Phili Ca

Admin 02.09.2011. 12:05

it's a good online store. I got to know this website from my friend, some of my them buy products there, the products are quite good, and it normally takes a week to get the ordered products.

I ordered some accessories yesterday, their customer service is great!! An honest supplier worth to be trusted.


Disciple 01.04.2007. 18:15

Is anyone out there a successful Herbalife distributor? I have been with Herbalife for three months now. I have to admit, I have not done much to progress in this business. I need to know if there is anyone who succeeded at Herbalife just by selling the products and NOT recruiting a "downline". I really want nothing to do with a "downline" but I would like to be successful by just selling the products. Is there anybody out there with that kind of success? If so, can you tell me how you got there? If not, do you know of any LEGITIMATE home-based businesses?

I am an honest person looking to make some extra money around my full time job. I have a Bachelor's degree and have a great job but I'm just looking to supplement my income. I've heard so many terrible, awful things about this company AFTER I got started. I should have done better research. I want to hear of anyone out there who is successful at selling the Herbalife products.


Admin 01.04.2007. 18:15

My mom sell herbalife and she has been successful. I do not think that I would be successful selling herbalife.
Why is my mom successful? She know how to talk and tell them what the products can do for them. She loves herbalife and she love what she does. First you have to know more about the products and then tell people what you learn. My mom sometimes goes to seminaries to learn more about this products get in contact to the one that introduce the products to you and ask him were can you go to learn more about herbalife.
Hope this works!
If this does not works go and start your own business selling herbalife on eBay you can make some money selling the green teas. Or you can sell what you do not use anymore and get a profit for things you just do not use.


fx_invest74 24.11.2008. 05:49

How many of you have failed at most Internet Marketing businesses? Looking for honest answers only. Please don push your links, I am not interested.
John, I dont think you read my question. That being said, can you prove yourself?


Admin 24.11.2008. 05:49

"marketing" is not a business. You have to have something to market - either goods or services. That being said anything called a "Marketing business" or "cash flow" business or "gifting" is most like a pyramid scam or something else where you won;t make any legitimate money


Aaron 18.01.2011. 01:54

How do I start my own Website business? How do I create a new website? What are the skills that I need to start and run a new website business? How much start up capital do you need to get it built and launched if I don't know much about computer programing and web design myself? Do I need to do any kind of course? Please help thanks.


Admin 18.01.2011. 01:54

Although you wrote only two questions the answer will take a little longer to flesh out. Here goes.

In 2008 I was laid off from my last job and decided that I would rather work for myself and so I started looking for ways to start a website business that I could use to help the handicapped since I am visually handicapped. It took me over a year of trial and error before I stumbled across a free book that covered all of the basics you need in a simple step-by-step format that waas easy for me to understand. Here are the basics in a nutshell.

1 - You need to purchase a domain name - depending on where you get if from it can run you between 8 and 25 dollars a year - I usually get my namess from godaddy.comm

2. You need a hosting account - this is where your domain name and future web pages will come together to form your new website - I use because I can have unlimited number of websites for one low monthly cost - as of today that is $10

Once you have those two items you then have a simple choice - you can either get a HTML editor and design and upload your new web pages - I use kompozer because it is free or you can go to hostgator's cpanel and using fantastico install a free Wordpress blog which I feel is the best way to go these days.

Once you have those items done you will be well on your way to being in business.


If all that seems a bit overwhelming you can do what I did - I found a great ebook written in simple terms by an honest guy who explained all of the above and more for free. He is still giving his book away for free which is basically a tutorial on doing everything you want to do based on his learning the hard way. I have included the free link below if you would like to check it out. Look it over, sign up and download the book. I know it will help you because it helped me.


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