Articles — Business

Financial Traps Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Financial Traps Can Hurt Your Business

Sometimes we are surprised when we witness the closing of a business that we had known for decades and therefore expected to be around for many years to come. A business is only able to remain open, however, if income is the same as or more than the operating costs involved. As a business owner you therefore need to be very aware of how much money is coming into the business and how much is being spent. There are a few financial traps that can hurt your business and, if you are not aware or able to develop a strategy...

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Fear Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Fear Can Hurt Your Business

I often tell clients that fear forms the bars of our own cages. When we are afraid, we tend not to take risks. This can hurt your business in a number of ways: 1. You might not do the things that you know how to do - Many of the people I know are extremely intelligent and skilled but they are so afraid of things that they become immobilized. Instead of offering their talents to the world, they shrink into a state of self-doubt and then feel upset because they know that they could do better if they were just...

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Immaturity Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Immaturity Can Hurt Your Business

A person who is mature takes responsibility for things even when it isn't convenient or easy for them. On the other hand, the immature individual tends to ignore or partially do things. There are a number of areas in which a business can be affected or hurt by immaturity: 1. Business hours - It takes good discipline to make sure that you consistently are open to serve your clients. When you feel ill or tired you might want to just stay in bed. On warm, summer days the golf course might present temptation. It is important, however, that you honour...

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Lack of Medical and Dental Care Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Lack of Medical and Dental Care Can Hurt Your Business

I have heard people theorize that the reason men tend to die at a younger age than women is because they do not take care of their health. Many men have told me that they do not go to a doctor or dentist unless they are sick or have a horrible toothache. Because of this, the physicians and dentists do not have an opportunity to do proper assessments or teach preventative measures that will lead to an ongoing healthy condition. A lack of medical and dental care can hurt your business in a number of ways: 1. You feel poorly...

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Lack of Fun Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Lack of Fun Can Hurt Your Business

Working in a business can be very hard work. There are times that stress can wear you down. Even your clients will likely feel the effects of an environment that is too serious. As a business owner, it is therefore important that you are able to add a little fun and humour into the mix. Oh, I'm not talking about being silly or trying to make others laugh by telling them jokes. What I am talking about is building relationships with others in a light-hearted manner. This can be done in a number of different ways. Following are some examples:...

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Ignoring Family Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Ignoring Family Can Hurt Your Business

A family is usually the most important support group that a person has in life and the one that is with us longer than any other set of friends or associates. Family members are usually loyal and sacrificing, especially when it comes to the ventures and goals that each person treasures. If someone from outside the family unit criticizes or shows disrespect, family can be depended upon to defend and support each other. Often people become so wrapped up in starting or building a business that they begin to ignore their family. Over time this can really begin to hurt...

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Sleep Problems Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Sleep Problems Can Hurt Your Business

I tell my clients that I am very much like a baby. If I don't eat or sleep - I cry! Some people claim that they do not get enough sleep. The reason for this might be that they have too many things to do with work and family demands. They hurry through the day trying to get everything done often without reaching the finish line. At night, they fall into bed to try to get a few hours of sleep before the next race begins in the morning! Others know that they need sleep and do better when they...

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Excessive Time Indoors Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Excessive Time Indoors Can Hurt Your Business

Days can go by without my feet touching dirt or grass. You see I live in a condo and the parking is underground. I go down on an elevator and drive to work only to step onto the pavement. I walk across the sidewalk and then down five steps into the office. There aren't any windows in my office so natural light is pretty well absent. I didn't like the brightness of fluorescents and many of my clients are less well when they are exposed to them, so I had all the bulbs removed and instead use the soft light...

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Not Having A Plan Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Not Having A Plan Can Hurt Your Business

Let's imagine that you have invited twenty people for Thanksgiving dinner but don't have a plan as to how you will prepare for them. How successful do you think your dinner will be? Well, it's the same thing with business. If you do not have a good plan you will likely not experience success. Let's compare the two experiences, for it really doesn't matter what you would like to accomplish in life, the steps for achievement are basically the same: 1. See the end result - Imagine the twenty people sitting around the beautifully decorated table with smiles and eager...

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Ignorance Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Ignorance Can Hurt Your Business

In the 1940s Abraham Maslow developed a theory of "The Four Stages of Learning" which was progressive in nature meaning that one had to complete the first step before they could move to the next step. The US Gordon Training International organization has taken this theory to another level by defining and promoting the learning competence theory. This model has four stages as follows: Unconscious Incompetence means that you don't know what you don't know. When people don't know how to do something but don't realize that they are missing this, they do not have a need or desire to...

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Lack of Technology and Automation Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Lack of Technology and Automation Can Hurt Your Business

I remember way back in the eighties when I took a university course thinking that perhaps someday there might be computers in the workplace. I wanted to be ready for that possibility. The first computer that we bought was very primitive. We bought a magazine and I typed and typed and typed code into the computer as there was limited software in those days. When I was finally finished and we hit "RUN", a tiny black and white fly quickly moved from the left hand corner or the screen to the right side of the screen. That was it! I...

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Making Mistakes That Steal Your Time Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Making Mistakes That Steal Your Time Can Hurt Your Business

It's easy to make a mistake. It's when you make the same mistake over and over again that you need to very seriously make some changes. You see mistakes can steal your time and, in a short period of time it can also hurt your business. 1. Exactly what is the problem - Sometimes it is hard to know what has gone wrong, especially if a client is very upset and not communicate concerns in a clear manner. You therefore need to be able to gather enough information that you can actually summarize the problem in one sentence of a...

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Narrow-Mindedness Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Narrow-Mindedness Can Hurt Your Business

We all know people who state that there is only one way to do something. They are not open to new ideas and therefore continue to do things the same old way over and over again. Some traditions are cultural and passed from one generation to another. There are countries, for example, who do not believe that women are as valuable as men. Other cultures limit the number of children that can be born into a family unit because of ideas about restricting population. There are individuals who have a strong political alliance and would not, under any circumstances, change...

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Lack of Training Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Lack of Training Can Hurt Your Business

This morning I went for my annual mammogram. The technician was amazing! She knew exactly how to get me into the right position with the least amount of effort. I was thinking about how precise she was as she gently and in short but clear sentences gave me directions. I wondered how she knew exactly how many steps were required to have me stand at exactly the right place before the machine or where she learned how to position the patient accurately in such a quick fashion. It is a privilege to watch someone who knows how to do their...

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Isolation Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Isolation Can Hurt Your Business

Sometime solo professionals get so focussed on the thing that they are doing that they isolate themselves from others. They do not do research to learn about new strategies or treatment options. They do not meet with others in their field. And they do not spend time with the people who actually care the most about them. One of the goals for a healthy life is to have a balance in life. That means doing some work and some play. You need to make sure that you have times for serious work as well as times for relaxation and enjoyment....

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People Addiction Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

People Addiction Can Hurt Your Business

Some people call people addiction "codependency". This is a very complex condition that is not understood by very many people. Sometimes people grow up in a family or environment where there are specific problems. These might include abuse, addictions or serious illness. In order for a child to survive this, s/he may learn to ignore their own individual needs for the sake of the offending individual in the family or for the sake of the family. There are certain rules in dysfunction families that usually include "don't feel" and "don't talk". Everyone is focussed on "fixing" the person who is...

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Not Meeting Needs Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Not Meeting Needs Can Hurt Your Business

Imagine what would happen if you went to a restaurant, ordered a steak and then had the server bring you a big plate of pasta. Would you clearly state that this was not what you ordered? Then what would you do if the server firm argued that this is what you really want and need? How much discussion would you have before you just got up, left the restaurant and swore never to return? Sometimes business people do not provide what the client wants. They think that they know better and try to force their ideas on the client -...

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An Uncomfortable Environment Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

An Uncomfortable Environment Can Hurt Your Business

Each of us has been in an environment at some time in our lives where we felt uncomfortable. We not only wanted to leave but likely made a decision to not return! There are three specific things that can drive your clients away from your business: 1. Dirty or cluttered space - I can remember years ago doing a home visit that will stay in my mind for the rest of my life. Something crunched under my feet with each step. I was invited to sit down on a kitchen chair but, when I pulled the chair away from the table, the...

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Lack of Understanding Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Lack of Understanding Can Hurt Your Business

When in taught in a third and fourth year Criminal Justice degree program, I would often tell students about how misunderstandings can occur between professional groups. Sometimes Social Workers state that police officers are ineffective because they are too desensitized. At the same time, police officers might accuse Social Workers of being too compassionate to be helpful. Desensitization is a state of mind that occurs when an individual is exposed to a certain situation a number of times and, as a result, becomes emotionally detached from the situation for future encounters. I remember when I first saw the bombing in...

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Gambling Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Gambling Can Hurt Your Business

If you are going to start and build a business you will need to be able to take a little risk but that is not at all the same as having a gambling addiction. You see, gambling can hurt your business for a number of reasons: 1. It robs your finances - People who have a gambling addiction will use whatever money they can access in order to feed this activity. Personal and business money is not immune. In fact, it might not take long until all available cash will be gone, loans taken and credit cards are maxed out....

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Alcohol Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Alcohol Can Hurt Your Business

Sometimes, even if our intentions are good, people can be offended by whether alcohol is part of our business or personal lives. You see, we each have a set of values and perception of how things "should" be done. I was recently at an appointment with my family doctor. Last Christmas I had given him a bottle of wine and, at the time, he expressed sincere thanks for it. This year, he explained that a drug representative had sent him a bottle of alcohol for Christmas and he was not impressed. He explained that in his mind a gift of...

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Drugs Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Drugs Can Hurt Your Business

Over the years I have worked with many individuals who use illegal drugs in varying degrees. Often they are deceived into thinking that they enhance their performance but, even if this occurs for short periods of time, there comes a point when the line is crossed and the drugs start to take over. All we have to do is turn on the television to see how movie stars begin using and end up repeatedly in one rehab program after another. Their fall usually also includes relationship problems and may even take the user into Court where they are sentenced because...

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Crisis Addiction Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Crisis Addiction Can Hurt Your Business

For six years I worked with the province's Child Protection department. I remember hearing one of the co-workers talk about how difficult the work can be but if someone stayed for six years, they would like make a very long career out of the job. Her reasoning for this was that some people become addicted to the adrenalin rush that accompanies working in crisis situations. There are many careers and professions that place workers in daily crisis environments. Immigration officers, emergency room staff, firefighters, police officers all are thrown into situations that hold both risk and danger. They are required...

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Habits Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Habits Can Hurt Your Business

Each of us sets up patterns and habits in our lives. Sometimes they help us to function in a healthy way and at other times they may cause problems for you and your business. Following are some habits that might hurt your business: 1. Frequently being late - When your clients are waiting for you, they may be losing respect. People are very busy and do not usually like have an appointment time that isn't honoured by you. I have seen people who, after a period of time, actually leave offices in an angry huff because they are not willing...

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Love Addiction Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Love Addiction Can Hurt Your Business

Sometimes we use the word "addiction" as kind of a joke. We might say that we are addicted to chocolate or a certain restaurant or even a hobby. But addition is far more serious than that as it usually encompasses one's whole life and can lead to a life that is fraught with problems. You see, when you have an addiction, you tend to focus most of your time, energy and money on it. Boundaries may be lose or missing. Pursuit of the substance or activity is paramount in the mind and because of this, there isn't much room for...

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