Habits that Destroy Happiness

“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.”
~ Dale Carnegie

As a business owner, the success and growth of your business or organization often relies on your personal happiness. Sometimes we make choices that can become detrimental to our happiness and create a negative cycle that can take a toll on you and your business. Understand and correct a negative habit that can take over your ability to achieve balance and happiness in your work life.

In the business world, comparing your business to other businesses in an unrealistic way can be easy to do when you are trying to improve your brand. This can be self-defeating and create unnecessary stress. Always remember that we each have special talents that make us who we are: try to take in consideration your perceptions of yourself and others. Never allow yourself to lose happiness over something you can’t control or an unrealistic view of the competition.

We have all thought and feared something that happened in the past or something that is going to happen in the future. Live in the present instead of dwelling on the past, this can be a big factor in our level of happiness.

When it comes to working in an office environment, it’s important to understand the type of people you should surround yourself with. Toxic relationships can destroy a positive atmosphere and put you in a negative mindset. Make sure you are around people who you enjoy mutual respect with and care about you.

Happiness is important in overall success and fulfillment. Remember to be your own best advocate, learn from past missteps and surround yourself with diverse positive people.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

Patience in Business

“Patience is not simply the ability to wait, it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.”
~ Joyce Meyer

The conscious action of becoming patient is not something that comes easily to a lot of us, it takes time and persistence to learn this hard discipline. In the business world, the key to becoming successful takes patience when it comes to business relationships, communication and compromise. Take some time to learn the benefits of patience and self-control in business.

Building a solid business reputation and applying the art of patience go hand in hand. Patience gives us the ability to work towards our goals while developing and pushing towards the level of success we are striving for while maintaining a strong yet yielding balance. No matter how efficiently your business is operating, understand that patience along with persistence will always be the key to having the great reputation you want.

By increasing the amount of patience we have as individuals, we can create a very successful business or organization with goals and aspirations. For a business owner, patience can help build your company to be the best in the industry while creating a sense of excellence among customers. Learn how to practice patience and present a strong enduring calmness.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

The Talent of Communication

“The art of communication is the language of leadership.”
~ James Humes

When it comes to communicating, it takes time and patience to practice this unique art form. Every relationship we have and each step we take in our career should require us to make decisions about how we approach specific conversations. Most of us don’t realize how old habits can ruin a conversation. Understand a few reliable practices to effectively communicate with anyone you encounter.

During a conversation with someone you’re trying to engage, it’s important to understand that you should not begin every thought and sentence with “I”.  Listening is often said to be the best communication skill. Eye contact and engagement are the physical positions of strength that should be practiced gaining comfort and familiarity with your audience.

Your choice of words, of course, is also important when communicating with others. Filler words like “um, like and just” can make you sound lazy and uninterested in the conversation. Sometimes we say these words out of habit or nerves, try to add a pause in your conversation to replace the use of these filler words.

Conversational style at company events is very important when trying to advance your career. Plan ahead with your subject matter by thinking about some thought provoking questions you can ask during a one on one conversation. These questions should be interesting, memorable and grab the attention of people around you. Be confident in your questions and get ready for any type of response back.

Solid communication skills can either make or break your reputation within your business or organization. Understand a few steps to make your conversations stronger while advancing your career. Being an engaging and engaged individual will be a benefit to you.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

Managing the Hiring Process

“Great things in business are never done by one person.
They’re done by a team of people.”
~ Steve Jobs

As a business owner, looking for a new employee to fit seamlessly into your office culture can be a difficult task. Hiring the wrong person to fill a certain position can take a drastic toll on your company and your team’s morale by wasting time and resources. Understanding the impact of a bad hire can go a long way towards the overall growth of your business.

One of the greatest costs of a poor hire is a lack of productivity while the overall impact may be to cause a team to become dissatisfied and lose interest in doing a good job. Poor performing employees are hard to spot when interviewing potential candidates and it’s important to communicate with current staff to provide feedback about the new hire. Training and retraining employees while utilizing existing staff takes time and energy that your business can’t always afford to dedicate.

While Human Resources has evolved into a science and can be an effective hiring tool, it’s often necessary to also utilize older methods of screening. Often a face to face meeting with the prospective new hire’s peers can help the hiring manager gain a new view of the possibility of a good fit.

Recruiting and training are all part of the cost of a growing business. However managing the hiring process can be a larger expense when not conducted properly. The financial costs of hiring someone inappropriate or without the proper previous experience can be devastating particularly to a small business.

Your business’s reputation can either make or break your business or organization. New hires may be able to add or detract from that reputation. Monitor your company’s brand image on all social media platforms to make sure new hires aren’t making errors that are costing you business.

Hiring new team members is a risk for all business owners. Understand the positive impact of having the right person in the right place and take your time hiring that person.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

“Ready” to Retire?

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
~ Soren Kierkegaard

Knowing when and how to end your career and transition into the next chapter of life in retirement may seem like a simple goal to accomplish. The confidence needed to go from a life of work to a new leisurely life of golf, sailing or other hobbies or spending your days with friends and family should take time and patient planning.  Are you financially, socially and emotionally ready to change your life? Retirement can be anything you are ready for.

The financial considerations are, of course, the most important factor for most people to consider. The typical, steady cash flow of traditional income changes to other forms of income and spending habits. Retirement is in some ways what your whole career has been planning for. Utilizing savings, investments and having a solid plan to help you live a comfortable life for hopefully at least the next 20 years should be the goal.

One major objective that should be considered is paying off debts. Do you have any loans, credit lines, mortgages or any other long term debt connected to your finances that would be best paid off or best left alone?  At the best case, attempt to utilize your retirement funds for life costs instead of worrying about making large payments during your retirement years.

Healthcare is, of course, a serious consideration in this changing world. Other plans should include investigating long term care facilities and nursing home care in your area. Have a plan and of course be proactive in taking care of your health now more than ever.

Retirement can be an exciting time for you and your family. It can open up many doors to a new life of exploring the world while enjoying much needed time rediscovering yourself with friends and family. Learn how to best evaluate your time, money and resources to live a long and healthy life.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

Internship Programs

“Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.”
~ Keri Russell

Internship programs can be a very effective recruitment strategy for businesses of all sizes. Hiring interns can be an exciting experience for both the company and the intern and breathe new life into a stale atmosphere while aiding in a possible career path for a college student. Understand how to start an internship program in your office to grow your company or organization.

Introducing new ideas, skills and innovations are all possible when hiring interns. When planning for interns, make sure you review your needs as a business. Basic items like work space, time allotted to train and supervision should all be discussed to plan the best experience for all involved. This will help your team determine the best places to seek interns, the hours you will need and the background that will produce the best fit along with the proper office resources to support another employee.

Another factor to consider is the understanding that paid internships are, of course, more attractive to most students but unpaid internships are also possible. Creating an hourly rate that your business can justify while being reflective of what talents you are looking for and the help you are offering is the first step in deciding the compensation.

One big benefit of internship programs is that most young college students tend to be technology oriented which can be a benefit in your organization and can help you stay innovative and fresh in your approach no matter what market or industry your business operates. Job fairs at local universities and their career services are great places to start your search.

Taking this step in innovation in your business will help you grow and give back to the community.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

Becoming a Powerful and Enduring Brand

“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person.
You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”
~ Jeff Bezos

Creating a lasting positive impression in the marketplace is crucial for continued success. At one point in time, we have all asked for a Kleenex instead of a tissue or a Q-tip instead of a cotton swab. Brand awareness focuses to create a valued image for your company or organization. Branding involves the use of slogans, images and logos and can be a tool to measure how well your products and services are positioned for success in the market.

Surprisingly, a lot of companies aren’t aware of the messages they are sending, the meaning they are suggesting or the impact they have within their own industry. Before trying to create an advertising strategy for your company, create a business plan for recognizing how and why your company performs the way it does and decide how to utilize your resources to create a path to your goal and vision. This will help the marketplace tie a product or service that you provide back to the company you represent.

When consumers think about a product or service they want to use or buy, the first thing that comes to mind is usually the one they have the habit of purchasing or have used in their lives.  It’s important to remember that delivering your brand to the public requires consistent positioning and exposure over a period of time. Develop your brand into something everyone can visualize and remember within seconds.

Social media is a great tool when working on brand awareness. It provides a way for you to share your marketing plan with hundreds even thousands of people. Your message can be shared across several different platforms to many different audiences with measurable results. Adjusting your strategy has never been easier than it is now. The data available is almost endless.

Creating a strong reputation is important for growing your business into something people can trust and rely upon consistently.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

Give Yourself a Boost

“Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.”
~ George S. Patton

No matter what type of profession or field you are in, we all can benefit from a boost to push ourselves to reach the finish line. Giving yourself incentives for the completion of tasks can motivate you in some cases however, often obstacles can be frustrating and become road blocks to success. Take a step back and understand specific strategies to improve your inner drive.

Creating a daily reminder to have a positive attitude and to strive towards future success can be a great motivational tool. Create a notebook or vision board on your personal social media accounts to keep track of what you want your future success to look like. Ideas such as a picture of a dream vacation, more time with family and friends or a promotion or higher degree of education may be your idea.

Strong support systems, whether it’s in the office or at home, will create a path for you to seek guidance when your motivation is down. Surround yourself with like-minded people who will motivate you and keep you focused on the road to your goals.

Balancing a work and personal life may be overwhelming at times and can take a toll on your motivation. Getting enough rest, and taking care of your health will support higher energy levels and mind focus.

Take time out of your day and focus on how to give yourself a boost to create opportunities to grow.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

Over Thinking

“We cannot solve our problems with the same
thinking we used when we created them.”
~ Albert Einstein

Over thinking is something we all do as a way to protect ourselves against making mistakes. This thought pattern can cause us to worry about things that have happened in the past, second-guessing important decisions and cause us to be highly stressed. Rehashing one’s decisions may prevent us from making progress and weaken our resolve long term. Learn how to control your reevaluation habits to become more confident and to accept what has been decided.

Sometimes we tend to recheck our thoughts and decisions without knowing we are doing it. Acknowledging when and how we do this is the first step in realizing these thoughts aren’t productive and won’t lead to positive actions. Re-examining decisions too often restrains you from doing your best.

Over thinking about events that have happened in the past or are going to happen in the future won’t allow you to live in the present. Instead of over thinking something you have made a decision about, train your brain to find solutions to that problem and then put those thoughts to rest. Try keeping a list of solutions or strategies you can use to focus on situations you can control.

Changing what you are physically engaging in can also help alleviate this habit. Exercising on a daily basis, reading a book, or watching a video on a different subject can be a great distraction and allow you to clear your mind.

Just like any other skill, it takes time and dedication to improve. Don’t let over thinking take over your time and energy. Learn how to develop mental discipline to stop over thinking and have a more productive and peaceful thought process.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

Understanding the Value of Social Media

“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”
~Albert Einstein

We have learned over time that the use of social media can either make or break a business or organization. With many different social media platforms reaching thousands and even millions of people, it’s necessary to understand the different and most current methods to reach and connect with your audience to increase the exposure of your business. Many businesses, it appears, can’t quite seem to engage their audiences online for any ongoing period of time. Learn how to balance your output to get the most from social media.

Whether you want to post news updates or amusing video clips, understanding which platform to post content on is crucial for getting your brand recognized and remembered. Facebook is widely used for all types of content, with millions of users scrolling through and reading the news feed. Twitter has become more popular and is the best way to send a short concise message and is preferred and utilized more and more.

Focusing on attention getting content is always important when deciding what to post on social media. Your content should create interest to your audience and give information about your business, its history, success and future goals. Providing this information will draw your audience in, and help create your brand in a consistent fashion.

Social media may seem simple to understand but there are many creative nuances that can add value and make your business grow on all platforms. Understand your audience and your message to accomplish your social media goals.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results