Decluttering takes dedication
I despise clutter to the point that I have fought with co-workers about it. I’ve medicated since then, so my relationships are more successful, but my personal aspiration to keep clutter (read: Satan) out of my life goes on. I have a theory that your outside should reflect how you want to feel on the inside. I want to feel free and peaceful, and I will declutter, organize, and Feng Shui myself into the cardio heart rate zone trying to accomplish that.
A few Lenten seasons ago, I decided that I should take a more spiritual approach. I was spiritually cluttered (everything bad and inherently evil in my world is described as clutter), and a forty day commitment was just what I needed to cleanse my soul. For the forty days of Lent that year, I made a list of forty areas of my life that needed restructured, decluttered, or otherwise organized.
Life lessons from decluttering
Here are a few things I learned from that commitment that can (mostly) be applied to any personal or work space:
1. One task on the list was to clean out and organize what I call the “electronic drawer.” It’s the catch all place for chargers, cords, batteries, flashlights, cameras, and old phones. Old phones? Why do we have old phones? If my smart phone was submerged in a puddle of kid goo this very second, I doubt seriously I would calmly walk to the kitchen and slip my SIM card into my good old slider phone. I’d be at the phone store three minutes before closing scouring my entire rate plan to see whose upgrade I could steal. And, you know what else? None of those cords went to anything. Not one. It may be a far reaching analogy, but what am I waiting to plug into? Am I waiting for something to ignite me into success or peace or who knows what? I certainly don’t know what. No more electronic drawer.
2. In some instances, clutter is positive. Also on my list was to organize the kids’ craft closet. I did. It was futile. Midway through Lent and after about the tenth time I corralled all the crayons and faced all the bin labels the same way, I realized that the messy closet is indicative of endless creativity in my house. I have five minions who draw endless pictures for me – most recently on the back of the couch. I realized I was spending more time huffing about them messing up my closet organization system than I was appreciating them, coloring with them, and enjoying my time with them. Craft closet: open at your own risk.
3. My final conclusion with the whole experience was profound – at least to me. I have too many kids. I’ve decided that someone is going to have to grow up and move out. While I may have too many kids, your version of “too many” may be too many computers or boxes or file folders or knick knacks, so help them to grow up and move out in your own way.
Keep your company’s operations lean by following these proven strategies
(BUSINESS) Keeping your operations lean means more than saving money, it means accomplishing more in less time.
The past two years have been challenging, not just economically, but also politically and socially as well. While it would be nice to think that things are looking up, in reality, the problems never end. Taking a minimalist approach to your business, AKA keeping it lean, can help you weather the future to be more successful.
Here are some tips to help you trim the fat without putting profits above people.
Artificial intelligence frees up human resources. AI can manage many routine elements of your business, giving your team time to focus on important tasks that can’t be delegated to machines. This challenges your top performers to function at higher levels, which can only benefit your business.
Consider remote working
Whether you rent or own your property, it’s expensive to keep an office open. As we learned in the pandemic, many jobs can be done just as effectively from home as the workplace. Going remote can save you money, even if you help your team outfit their home office for safety and efficiency.
In today’s world, many are opting to completely shutter office doors, but you may be able to save money by using less space or renting out some of your office space.
Review your systems to find the fat
As your business grows (or downsizes), your systems need to change to fit how you work. Are there places where you can save money? If you’re ordering more, you may be able to ask vendors for discounts. Look for ways to bring down costs.
Talk to your team about where their workflow suffers and find solutions. An annual review through your budget with an eye on saving money can help you find those wasted dollars.
Find the balance
Operating lean doesn’t mean just saving money. It can also mean that you look at your time when deciding to pay for services. The point is to be as efficient as possible with your resources and systems, while maintaining customer service and safety. When you operate in a lean way, it sets your business up for success.
How to apply to be on a Board of Directors
(BUSINESS) What do you need to think about and explore if you want to apply for a Board of Directors? Here’s a quick rundown of what, why, and when.
What does a Board of Directors do? Investopedia explains “A board of directors (B of D) is an elected group of individuals that represent shareholders. The board is a governing body that typically meets at regular intervals to set policies for corporate management and oversight. Every public company must have a board of directors. Some private and nonprofit organizations also have a board of directors.”
It is time to have a diverse representation of thoughts, values and insights from intelligently minded people that can give you the intel you need to move forward – as they don’t have quite the same vested interests as you.
We have become the nation that works like a machine. Day in and day out we are consumed by our work (and have easy access to it with our smartphones). We do volunteer and participate in extra-curricular activities, but it’s possible that many of us have never understood or considered joining a Board of Directors. There’s a new wave of Gen Xers and Millennials that have plenty of years of life and work experience + insights that this might be the time to resurrect (or invigorate) interest.
Harvard Business Review shared a great article about identifying the FIVE key areas you would want to consider growing your knowledge if you want to join a board:
1. Financial – You need to be able to speak in numbers.
2. Strategic – You want to be able to speak to how to be strategic even if you know the numbers.
3. Relational – This is where communication is key – understanding what you want to share with others and what they are sharing with you. This is very different than being on the Operational side of things.
4. Role – You must be able to be clear and add value in your time allotted – and know where you especially add value from your skills, experiences and strengths.
5. Cultural – You must contribute the feeling that Executives can come forward to seek advice even if things aren’t going well and create that culture of collaboration.
As Charlotte Valeur, a Danish-born former investment banker who has chaired three international companies and now leads the UK’s Institute of Directors, says, “We need to help new participants from under-represented groups to develop the confidence of working on boards and to come to know that” – while boardroom capital does take effort to build – “this is not rocket science.”
NOW! The time is now for all of us to get involved in helping to create a brighter future for organizations and businesses that we care about (including if they are our own business – you may want to create a Board of Directors).
The Harvard Business Review gave great explanations of the need to diversify those that have been on the Boards to continue to strive to better represent our population as a whole. Are you ready to take on this challenge? We need you.
Average age of successful startup founders is 45, but stop stereotyping
(BUSINESS) Our culture glorifies (yet condemns?) startup founders as rich 20-somethings in hoodies, but some are a totally different type.
There’s a common misconception that startups are riddled with semi-nerdy, 20-something white dudes who do nothing but sip Nitro Brews and walk around the open office showing off the hoodie they wore yesterday. It turns out that it’s extremely rare that startup offices resemble The Social Network.
However, the academic backdrop for the real social network story (AKA Harvard), produced statistics that will serve to put the aforementioned misconception to rest. According to the Harvard Business Review, the average age of people who founded the highest-growth startups is 45. Say what?! A full-fledged adult?!
In fact, aside from the age category of 60 and over, ages 29 and younger were the smallest group of founders that are responsible for heading the highest-growth startups. I guess you can accomplish a lot when you’re not riding around the office on a scooter all day.
The study also found that older entrepreneurs are more likely to succeed. The probability of extreme startup success rises with age, at least until the late 50s. It was found that work experience plays an important role.
Many will argue, “Well, what about someone like Steve Jobs?” You could easily argue right back that it took Jobs until the age of 52 to create Apple’s most profitable product – the iPhone.
The study continues to answer questions like, why do Venture Capitalist investors bet on young founders? This goes back to the misconception at the start, and there’s a notion that youth is the key for successful entrepreneurship. Wrong.
There is also the idea that younger entrepreneurs are likely working with less financial options, so it may be common for them to take something from a VC at a lower price. As a result, they could be viewed as more of a bargain than older founders.
“The next step for researchers is to explore what exactly explains the advantage of middle-aged founders,” writes Pierre Azoulay, et al. “For example, is it due to greater access to financial resources, deeper social networks, or certain forms of experience? In the meantime, it appears that advancing age is a powerful feature, not a bug, for starting the most successful firms.”
Business Entrepreneur1 week ago
Entrepreneurs face higher rates of mental illness [part one]
Business Entrepreneur1 week ago
Many entrepreneurs facing mental health issues don’t get help [part two]
Business Marketing5 days ago
The use of offline marketing can still be advantageous in a digital world
Business News3 days ago
How to apply to be on a Board of Directors
Business Finance1 week ago
Follow these 7 steps to get outstanding invoices paid to you ASAP
Opinion Editorials2 days ago
3 reasons to motivate yourself to declutter your workspace (and mind)
Tech News2 weeks ago
Sometimes tech is a sight for sore eyes – others it’s the cause of them
Business Entrepreneur2 days ago
Having client difficulties? Protect yourself with an exit strategy clause