In Business Practice Makes Perfect

The lion and the mouse headed out to tryouts for the football team. The lion looked at the mouse and thought, “this mouse has no chance to make the team. I am much bigger and stronger than he.” The mouse thought to himself, “I am going to make the football team by practicing hard and showing the coach how determined I am.” The lion and the mouse arrived at the practice field and saw all the others waiting for tryouts. The lion felt very confident about making the team seeing he was bigger than everyone else.

The coach started running drills and everyone gave a lot of effort. The lion decided to save his energy for when he made the team. He had no doubt he would be chosen given his size and strength. Finally, the day had come for the coach to make his picks. He announced the new members of the team. Surprising the lion’s name was not called, but the mouse managed to make it on the team.

The lion was baffled at the results and thought there must be a mistake. He went up to the coach and asked why he was not chosen. The coach pointed to the mouse and said, “Do you see him? That mouse gave 110% everyday while you did not. Although you may be stronger and bigger, the mouse is dependable and determined. “The lion went away defeated.

Lesson: Determination and practice are more important than bloviating ones strengths. Just as in the story, in real life people often think because they may be bigger or stronger or have more knowledge or wealth, they do not have to put in as much effort. No matter what your stature, class, or intelligence, giving your best effort is always going to be more important. No one wants to work and do business with someone who is not giving his or her all.

This post is from a contributing writer to CEO Blog Nation


In Business & in Life Be Yourself

One day, an Ox was passing by and a frog happened to see it. The Ox carried himself well and trotted along as if not a care in the world. The frog was envious of the Ox and decided he too wanted to be big like the ox. The frog decided maybe it was possible to puff himself up like the Ox. Then, he could gain the respect as the Ox did. The frog’s friends tried to tell him it was not a good idea but the frog insisted. The frog began puffing himself up in hopes to gain more stature. He asked, do I look big like the Ox? His friends replied no, so the frog kept puffing himself up. Shrugging off all warnings from his friends, the frog puffed himself up so much, he burst.

While there are many oxen in life that seem grander and bigger than us, we have talents that make others just as envious. By focusing on our own talents, we can become just as grand in our own rights. The oxen in our lives have already established their demeanor. You can spend time trying to be just like them which only hurts us in the long run. You can also focus on what you do know and strengthen your own talents.

Lesson: Trying to be someone you are not is just wasted time. Others see this and get the impression we are fake. It is important that you always be true to yourself and establishes your identity based on your own qualities. When others see how great you are, they too will be jealous of what you have. You will be more successful in life and business when you focus on improving yourself and honing the skills you already have. Even frogs are great to have around for killing those pesky insects.

Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Don’t Attack Bad Customer Feedback

A Bear walking through the woods happened upon a nest of bees that had just made some honey. Hungry as he was, he was determined to take a little honey for himself. One small bee saw what the Bear was about to do and stung the Bear hoping to deter him away from the nest.

The Bear immediately was enraged and decided to destroy the nest of bees after the tiny sting. The entire swarm saw what the Bear was about to do and rose together to attack the bear at once. As the continued to sting the bear all over, the bear’s only chance to get away was to dive into a nearby pond.

Lesson: Often customers may provide bad feedback for a product or service that was provided by your company. While this can often be infuriating, biting back can be worse. When you attack a customer, whether their opinion was right or wrong, it only makes you look bad. Other customers may see this and respond negatively to your business even if the customer was wrong. This can hurt your business in the long run and force you to lose many more customers.

When hit with negative feedback from a customer, the best way to handle it is to be humbled by it. Take the criticism and think about how you can improve their experience the next time. This will not only save face in the other customer’s eyes but also may gain more business from the first customer who was unhappy. When you react to negative responses, you may get more negativity swarming your business. Instead silence can often be powerful. The customer who continues to be negative will not be slowed down with more anger towards them. Be kind, quiet, and allow other customers to see your professionalism through others criticism.

This post is from a contributing writer to CEO Blog Nation. 

Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


If you have customers, you’re in business

The Owl would consult all his fellow business owners on different business decisions and actions. He was often asked by his clients, “How do I know if I’m in business?” and he would respond the same way. “If you have customers or clients that are paying you for your products and services then you are in business. It’s that simple.”

Lesson: Often it is asked when does a business become a business and not a hobby. It’s simple, when you have customers and are paid for your products and services then you are in business.

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Your Brand is Everywhere

Every morning the Ant would wake up and hop on his computer before he want into the office. He check his email which sent Google Alerts directly to his e-mail containing information about his business, his name and even his competitors. He monitored the Facebook and Twitter pages to ensure that the messages, logo, images all branded his company in the way they were supposed to. He understood the ubiquitous nature of business and wanted to be ahead of the curve.

Lesson: Now more than any other time it is important to monitor your brand because your digital footprint is growing and only continues to grow. Everything your business’ (and personal) brand stands for can be found online with a simple Google Search.


Investing too much in the status quo

Every morning the Rabbit repeated a quote to himself before he rolled out his bed.  It was part of his morning routine, “Make mistakes of ambition, not mistakes of sloth.” By the time he arrived at his office, he had already planned his morning speech to his team. Later that morning, Rabbit said to his team “go out there and make mistakes, be ambitious and make things happen. Everything you do won’t work out, but remember the Hare. He was scared to evolve and change and now his company doesn’t exist.” That won’t be us.

Lesson: This post is inspired by Seth Godin’s post “Two kinds of mistakes.” As Godin’s post said, “…the error of investing too much time and energy in keeping things as they are. And then there is the mistake made while inventing the future, the error of small experiments gone bad. We are almost never hurt by the second kind of mistake and yet we persist in making the first kind, again and again.”

Image courtesy of piyato / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Quit Weaknesses, Focus On Strengths

The Elephant knew that he wasn’t the fastest of the animals, but what when he shipped his goods to his clients rather than take multiple trips like other animals, he focused on taking twice as many goods. The Elephant’s strength was his size and although he moved slower than the other animals, he was able to take more on each shipment.

Lesson: This tip is inspired by The Startup Playbook by David S. Kidder. This ideal has been repeated throughout success books and explains the ideal that instead of wasting time on trying to improve weaknesses, successful people focus on their strengths and leverage them to reach goals.

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Don’t Abandon Plans When the Going Gets Tough

The Owl was the business adviser to the Rabbit and every time things began to get difficult and the Rabbit wanted to pivot, he promised to come see the Owl. When he sat down with the Owl, he would always hear the same thing, “Remember we wrote this thorough business plan based on all our research and we promised that we would stay true to it unless there was a evidence that we should change it. Don’t let a tough day or ‘advice’ force you into a emotional decision which you could regret.”

Lesson: This lesson is inspired by Alabama, the 2013 NCAA Football National Champions. In a post by Biz Journals it offers a few lessons to learn from their season. Here’s an excerpt:

When Alabama found itself in a third quarter deficit against Georgia in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game, the Tide didn’t fall into the typical “we’re down in the second half, so it’s time to start throwing the ball every down” mindset.

Instead, it came out doing what it does best: running the football.

In business, it’s tempting to abandon your previously successful plan and start throwing up Hail Mary passes when times get tough in hopes of kickstarting sales.

While you shouldn’t panic or lose your composure, as Florida showed us last week, sticking to what made you successful doesn’t mean you can’t mix it up when the time is right.


Maintain A Positive Mindset

The Flamingo lost her business, lost her house, her spouse left her and even came down with a major illness. Just a few years later, she was able to turn everything around and build her empire from nothing. At her photo shoot for her cover spot she was asked, “What’s the secret to your success?” She took a breath and said, “I maintained a positive mental attitude. Bad things will happen to your business and in life, but if you hold true to the Law of Attraction and put positive thoughts and beliefs out into the Universe.”

Lesson: The law of attraction is the belief that “like attracts like” and that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts, one can bring about positive or negative results. One of the most popular books to look at this ideal is The Secret but it is not a new concept.


The Future is Mobile

The Bear sat down with his family to have dinner one night. Throughout dinner he heard the buzzing of phones on vibrate and the ringing of phones. While he tried to ignore the interruptions and have a nice conversation with his family, after he looked up from his dinner and saw his entire family glued to their phones he finally growled “That’s it! No more cell phones at the table”

His oldest cub said, “But dad, I was just buying your birthday present.”

His youngest cub said, “Yea and I was just updating my status.”

His wife said, “I understand, but I was just watching my favorite TV show while you watch the news.”

Related Post: The Mobile Industry [INFOGRAPHIC]

Lesson: Customers are increasingly using their mobile devices to communicate, purchase products, search for reviews, find deals, compare prices, surf the web, watch videos, read e-mails, update statuses, shoot videos and pictures and so much more. Because customers are on their mobile devices and connected all the time, it is a good way to reach potential customers and clients.

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