Category Archives: Entrepreneurship 101

Are you a good employee?

employee

Anyone who does hiring will tell you, it’s hard to find good employees. We live in a time when folks act like they’re doing you a favor by showing up to work and it’s sad. You certainly don’t have to kill yourself working for someone else, but appreciating the gift of having a way to bring income into your household should be valued and respected.

If you have dreams of one day owning your own successful company, the best thing you can do for yourself is learn how to be a good employee. Every great Boss was once a great employee. So let’s address some basics that may seem like common sense to some, but in reality some people are never taught these things so that’s why I’m sharing it. What makes me the expert? I wouldn’t call myself an expert but I do have a decade of experience teaching employment skills, hiring, managing, supervising, and eight years of self-employment so I’d at least consider myself a reliable source.

Accepting a Job

When you accept an offer of employment, realize what is actually happening. You are agreeing to preform the duties outlined in your job description and follow the company’s policies for an exchange of a certain amount of money (hourly/ annually). There are far too many folks who come into agreement with this written contract (which is everything most people don’t really read and just sign on multiple pages within the application) and don’t uphold their end of the bargain.

It’s extremely hard to fire someone who preforms the duties they agreed to and it is almost impossible to fire someone who does their duties well. Why? Because Unemployment Insurance costs  money. The more people you fire, the more people collect and the more expensive it is to carry insurance. Employers are in the business of making making money, not loosing it. Employers seek to hire individuals that they think can become an asset, not a liability.  Most companies evaluate their employees on a 90-day, 6-month, then annual basis. Within these evaluations are basic questions, do you or don’t you do the job you agreed to do?

If you agreed to preform certain duties and follow certain policies, the very least you can do to keep yourself employed is keep your word. Far too many people have no problem cashing a paycheck and not upholding their end of the bargain. Far too many people get a job, then behave like it’s an entitlement. One of the hardest lessons you will ever learn in the working world is that anyone can be replaced. If you are a person who strives to give 100% in everything you put your hands to? That will always work in your favor. If you’re not a person who strives to give 100%? You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do, but the least you should do is do what they’re paying you to do.

But I don’t really like my job, I only work there because I need money….

So what? Seriously, so what? Nobody told you that you had to like anything but if you have a need (income) which they (the job you don’t like) are providing to you and your household? Suck it up. Did you like going to school everyday? Do you like when the kids make a mess? Do you like paying bills? Nobody likes everything but there are things we have to do in order to provide for our household or fund our dreams. If you really are that bothered? Look for a different job. However, while you are employed at a place you don’t like? Show up with a good attitude and do what they’re paying you for. You may very well need that reference checked one day and although it is illegal for any company to give an opinion (non-factual information) about you , things like your attendance is  factual. Sometimes a tone of voice or simply saying a person is not eligible for re-hire is all that a new potential employer needs to hear in order to make a decision about hiring you.

Every great Boss was once a great employee

A great Manager is one who has worked multiple positions within a company before getting promoted. A terrible Manager is normally one with no experience. Working your way up a ladder will teach you skills and lessons that you can’t obtain any other way. Some of the lessons you learn will be fair and some won’t be, but it’s important to have both so you know exactly what to do and what not to do.

For those of you who desire to be your own boss, be the kind of employee you’d want working for you. Would you continue to pay someone who had a bad attitude and was always doing the minimum necessary to get by? Take every opportunity you can to learn about the business and policy so that you know what to do when it’s time for you to run your company. Even if your job isn’t in the industry you desire to operate a company in, there are many things that are just standard for running a business of any kind.

Corrective Feedback 

Learn to be a person who accepts corrective feedback. There are far too many people who take it personally when someone offers them corrective feedback. If your supervisor is evaluating your job performance or offering corrective feedback about something in the work place, that is not a personal attack against you as a human being.

There is a huge difference between someone belittling you and correcting your job performance. The first time I had a supervisor pull me to the side, I felt bad. I felt like I screwed up. I however took heed to what she said and within the next three years following her pulling me aside, I was promoted twice.

Friendly & Friends

You do not get paid at any job to make friends. Most people get friendly with co-workers, invite them to weddings, they show up at funerals, and some you may even spend some recreation time with. In reality, you normally spend a lot of your time at work and you get friendly with folks. Your being friendly, should never blind you from the fact that you’re there to work or compromise your job performance. Professional Boundaries are extremely important. If you have ever supervised someone who was a friend or family member you know exactly what I’m talking about. Work is work, friendship is friendship, and not everyone has an easy time making that separation.

Simple Steps to being a good employee

  • Show up on time, call if you’re running late, minimize tardiness
  • Do your best to schedule your time off according to company policy
  • Follow policy
  • Have a good attitude
  • Finish your shift responsibilities, don’t leave your work for other people to do
  • Be a team player
  • Put in a reasonable effort, do what they pay you to do
  • Keep non-emergency personal calls/ texting to your break times. Nobody pays you to be on your phone and most companies have a cell phone policy you probably signed off on and didn’t really read

If you want to be one of those above and beyond employees? Ask if there’s anything else you can help out with once your work is done. It’s not that complicated folks, sometimes we need to change our perspective. For every shift that you get to work and generate income for your household, there is someone who wishes they had that same opportunity. If you don’t believe me, feel free to have a chat with anyone who is currently homeless or was recently released from a correctional facility and is now job searching.

Start a business with your Tax Refund

Source: Black Wall Street

Folks I am a living testimony that you do not need to have thousands of dollars to start a business.

In all honesty, the single most important thing I can tell you is find what you’re good at. Sounds simple but I have seen time and time again a lot of people pick what they see someone else doing because it “looks easy” from an outside perspective. Well? Of course it does, because it’s THEIR gift. YOUR gift will “look” easy to people who don’t have it too.

Listen, starting any business or business venture is never easy. Don’t make it harder than it has to be. Everyone has God-given gifts and talents. Find YOURS. A wise woman once told me that “God has given each one of us a gift or talent that we can make money with and provide for our households”. I believe that.

Everyone starts somewhere, and we wobble before we can actually walk. If it’s in your heart to start something you can call your own, go for it!

The Power of Consistency

People underestimate the power in consistency. If you’re living for God or even promoting your #business or product, be consistent. Consistency is not plastering the same post nine thousand times or trying to meme your way into heaven. Consistency in your faith or brand is all about what your public and private display is. There’s a whole lot of people who say one thing and do the opposite. The number of “positive” and “righteous” folks who publicly flip flop depending upon whatever their emotions dictate for the moment is disgusting.

The only thing I believe when someone is positive one second and savage the next is that the person is double minded and unstable.

If you want to see success in any area of your life? Stop complaining and be consistent. Consistency will open more doors then social media temper tantrums.

#Entrepreneurship 101 Your brand and Social Media

entrepreneurship

It is an awesome feeling to work for yourself and have it be successful. I can tell you from first hand experience, there is no crazier employment ride then trying to get your own small business off the ground. I’ve started several of my own over the last ten years and I’ve been brought on board as a consultant for many people who are running successful small businesses as we speak.

The internet and social media especially are powerful tools when they are used responsibly. Think about it like a glass of wine. Having a single glass of wine with dinner versus drinking an entire bottle then getting behind the wheel of a car. See the difference? The internet has made it easy for people to network and even start a small business. In most cases even if all you have is an idea, there is a website that offers a template or basic store front for you to get started.

Almost everybody uses some sort of Social Media these days and for the entrepreneur, it is the most cost effective way to share their business with little to no marketing budget. In every area of life you will find people who are good at some things and other’s who aren’t. Not every person who makes music is going to develop a following or sell albums, not every person who applies to Harvard gets in, and not every entrepreneur is able to turn their business into an income sustaining entity.

The thing that drives me crazy as a person who truly loves to see others succeed is the utter lack of professionalism on social media when it comes to individuals trying to create a brand or run a business. It drives me crazy because there are far too many people with million dollar ideas or an outstanding product that only get so far and the reason they can’t get past a certain level is largely due to their own behavior and attitudes.

If you are starting a business or brand, it should have it’s own social media handles, especially if you’re one of those people who can’t resist the urge to blow off steam in your posts.  If you had money to invest, would you invest your money in a company or brand who’s owner was emotionally unstable all over social media? Think about it. Your personal life should have absolutely nothing to do with your business. If you are marketing your business to your personal social media followers and then when you’re in your feelings you’re using that exact same platform to blow off steam, how is anyone supposed to take you seriously as a business person? Some steam may be appropriate depending on the industry, but if you want yourself being taken seriously as a “CEO” or Business Owner? Then present yourself seriously.

What job have you ever had that you were allowed to walk around cursing in front of customers? What job have you ever had where it was okay to whine about your haters all day? You should care more about the integrity of your own business then you’ve had about one you didn’t own and just worked for. Sometimes YOU are the only obstacle standing in your way of greatness.