The Business Woman Media For Women Serious About Success Wed, 21 Apr 2021 02:06:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.6.2 How to get comfortable being uncomfortable – it’s the new norm at work /how-to-get-comfortable-being-uncomfortable-its-the-new-norm-at-work/ /how-to-get-comfortable-being-uncomfortable-its-the-new-norm-at-work/#respond Fri, 09 Apr 2021 19:52:40 +0000 /?p=19186 COVID-19 has impacted everyone in some way and our ways of connecting, working and thinking.  With hybrid and remote working in play much has changed and with it we need to ramp up our adaptability, innovation and collaboration, all key competencies in workplace success. This requires us to get comfortable being uncomfortable and into what […]

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COVID-19 has impacted everyone in some way and our ways of connecting, working and thinking.  With hybrid and remote working in play much has changed and with it we need to ramp up our adaptability, innovation and collaboration, all key competencies in workplace success. This requires us to get comfortable being uncomfortable and into what I call our stretch zone.

Comfort and fear are the enemy of progress.

Change is one of the few constants of life and it requires us to embrace uncertainty.  Many people resist getting out of their comfort zone while some embrace it, it all comes down to how you are wired and the reference and experience you associate with it. Change makes us feel uneasy as it takes us into the unknown and moves us away from things, we are certain of. Change is needed and imperative in the workplace as I really believe change equates to growth, new learnings and possibilities.

What will it cost you to stay in your comfort zone?

There are few people who actually enjoy the feeling of being uncomfortable.  The biggest challenge is to get past wanting to return to the norm, so you can grow and benefit from that discomfort. Failing to do this stifles performance, innovation, collaboration and staying relevant. I believe adopting a Gift Mindset can help. This where we embrace and see the gifts in both challenging and positive experiences. These ‘gifts’ once distilled down and understood can help progress ourselves and others forward. These gifts could include the ways we deal with change, growth and resilience. These are all important skills and traits to allow you to welcome change, challenges and new ways of thinking and doing.

If we live within a safe zone, there is no growth – nothing changes.  To break out of it, stop focusing on what you need to do and instead, think about who you need to be. It’s not always about the process, but who you’re becoming to make it happen. The changes we face in the workplace can come in varying forms. The most successful people, leaders and business owners embrace unknown change and take risks to grow. They don’t stay with what is comfortable – a trap that is easy to fall into. Change can come in the form of innovation, a new role or team or challenging the status quo and new ways of working.

Here’s a few key strategies to help build habits to stretch yourself:

Know the reason and the why for change

  • Take the time to make sure change is for the right reason
  • Build a support network and step into the stretch zone together, a great way to learn and grow

Focus on what isn’t changing

  • When dealing with uncertainty focus on a few things that aren’t changing so you have a measure of stability around certain things to help you deal with what is changing
  • Look at things that are stable in your life such as certain people in, your role, routine and so on

Know what lights you up

  • Tap into your strengths and the things that motivate you and make you feel alive
  • Leverage the strengths of those around you to embrace uncertainty as “one team”

Don’t be nervous or “awfulise” what could go wrong

  • Reframe the situation by being excited, lose the words nervous/anxious
  • Think about what could go right and reference back to a positive change you have experienced

Delegate what you like doing

  • Delegate something you have grown from to empower someone else
  • Utilise this time to learn and try something new

Embracing unknown change can take time and courage. The more self-reflective time you create with your peers and team, the more you can embrace and reap the rewards of living in the “stretch” zone and make this part of your workplace culture.

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Doing more with less: How solopreneurs can level up /solopreneurs/ /solopreneurs/#respond Wed, 21 Apr 2021 01:51:37 +0000 /?p=19183 When you work as a solopreneur, the lack of people to bounce ideas off or delegate work to is sometimes stifling. Concepts can stay in your head, and not become fully formed. You may also get bogged down with the workload and feel frustrated that the business is not gaining sufficient traction. The trick is […]

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When you work as a solopreneur, the lack of people to bounce ideas off or delegate work to is sometimes stifling. Concepts can stay in your head, and not become fully formed. You may also get bogged down with the workload and feel frustrated that the business is not gaining sufficient traction. The trick is to do more with less. Then you can level up by getting ahead quickly. Here are some suggestions about how to do just that.

Use training or coaching for ideas and support

To become better at staying positive and making strides in the right direction, sometimes it’s necessary to get some training or coaching. Don’t admit defeat if you discover that you’re not naturally gifted at staying organized or planning strategically. Instead, boost what you’re capable of by learning how. Look for business trainers who can provide guidance and advice. They’ve usually seen it all before and may have even advised companies working in the same industry. To get a sense of what’s possible with coaching, look at this site: jenniferdawncoaching.com.

Add More Structure into Your Day

When you find that you’ve no longer got a boss looking over your shoulder, it requires more structure and discipline to make the most out of each workday. To do so, add more structure and regimentation than you’ve done previously when working solo. Block out time for different projects and the workday as a whole. Doing this should also mean that work won’t get intermingled with your personal life as much. Also, let friends know your new fixed work times so that they disturb you less or expect a slower response. Turn off phone notifications if you need to.

Identify the big wins and invest extra time there

Look at what you’re trying to achieve. Rather than spreading yourself too thin, identify the potential big wins. These are projects or products that you’ll be proud of and can put your little business on the map.  Also, don’t ignore that these wins are often something to highlight through free marketing. Being a guest for some podcast interviews or getting referenced in an article by a journalist (use the HARO program) can work well on a minimal budget.

Make time for exercise to get more energized

When you have a fixed schedule, then there’s time left to get on the treadmill, the spin bike, or for a jog around the park. By getting away from the office, you give your mind a break. The endorphins will help you to enjoy the rest of your day after exercising too. Use the exercise to trim up, become fitter or more flexible, and broaden your horizons. Sometimes, ideas flow when working out that you never would have had otherwise. Other times, your mind is elsewhere, and it will be something of a release. Not only is it exercise healthy, but it can cut down on stress levels and avoid anxiety rising over business concerns.

Leveling up your small business is possible without needing to take on employees. Gains are made through focusing on the right places and avoiding losing time with low-return tasks.

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Trade shows a barometer for business recovery /trade-shows/ /trade-shows/#respond Tue, 20 Apr 2021 05:36:13 +0000 /?p=19170 The annual Life Instyle and Reed Gift Fair trade shows — back after a missed year due to the coronavirus pandemic — proved to be a good barometer of how businesses are faring in the retail and design sectors now that the lockdowns have (hopefully) finished. Discussions on the floor with trade show exhibitors revealed […]

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The annual Life Instyle and Reed Gift Fair trade shows — back after a missed year due to the coronavirus pandemic — proved to be a good barometer of how businesses are faring in the retail and design sectors now that the lockdowns have (hopefully) finished.

Discussions on the floor with trade show exhibitors revealed that businesses’ experience varied according to how well they were already working in the online space when the pandemic hit or how quickly they were prepared to pivot once shop doors were forced to close.

Those businesses that had already an online channel responded they did well during lockdown, although some found they had to give the digital side more attention than previously. They also found the cost of online services have gone up — especially website development and hosting — due to demand.

New businesses that have started just before, or during covid on the whole so far reported they were doing well. Some even said they were at the trade show as part of a move from a fully-online model to wholesale and retail (such as Hoap and The Little Homie).

However, businesses that did not have an online model when the pandemic arrived had varied experiences that seem to have been dictated by their ability to respond either quickly or strongly.

Most acknowledged that their business was impacted for at least a couple of months and they took the opportunity to reflect on their business model and responded quickly (such as By Samantha, who has a sales background and understood quickly that she needed to change).

On the other hand, a couple of the exhibitors BusinessWomanMedia spoke to were almost defensive and said that their retail business wasn’t impacted or mostly not at all impacted during Covid.

Strong themes throughout the show were sustainability and community support, expressed not only in business structures and strategies but in product design and packaging. And among the exhibitors there were some that BusinessWomanMedia regarded as standout products. Here are our top 3:

We were particularly taken with The Epic Fail Game – a family game consisting of a set of 30 challenge cards providing a fun family game that is expressly designed to change the way children — or indeed, the whole family — thinks about failing. As they explain at https://www.theepicfailgame.com.au/ “We should encourage children’s social skills to get the best out of very different people, with different ways of thinking. And we need to supercharge their ‘bounce-back’ness – because in a place where your ideas are always being tested and you’re often in front of new people, resilience will be the best safety net you can give them. That’s when they’ll really flourish.”

We also could see a big future for Georgi Swimms: Australian sustainable swimwear made from recycled ocean rubbish. So new that there is very little on their website at https://georgiswimms.com.au/ but watch that space.

And last but definitely not least, at the Reed Gift Fair, Hoap deep cleansing leaves which are made from natural and predominantly plant-based ingredients that have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal & anti-inflammatory properties that clean, care for and moisturise your skin. Each biodegradable leaf capsule contains 100 scientifically-formulated slow-dissolve washes ensuring your hands are perfectly cleansed and free from harmful germs and bacteria. We thought this a brilliant product, and yet the two founders — who started this during the pandemic — seemed weirdly unenthusiastic about it. Go figure … and go to https://hoapbody.com/ if you want to check it out.

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A lesson in disrupting the status quo: Cathie Wood /learn-to-disrupt/ /learn-to-disrupt/#respond Sat, 17 Apr 2021 20:00:57 +0000 /?p=19161 Cathie Wood is considered among the top stock-picking experts in the game. But outside of Wall Street and the finance universe, few people are familiar with her name which is a shame given a very impressive career and track record. Up against robo advisors and algorithms designed by the brightest minds that the world’s largest […]

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Cathie Wood is considered among the top stock-picking experts in the game. But outside of Wall Street and the finance universe, few people are familiar with her name which is a shame given a very impressive career and track record.

Up against robo advisors and algorithms designed by the brightest minds that the world’s largest banks can buy, Wood manages to stand out and beat Wall Street at its own game.

Who Is Wood?

Wood is the daughter of Irish immigrants and was pushed by her father who worked as a radar system engineer to discover connections between things. This set the tone for her very successful career as a professional money manager.

Wood graduated with a degree in economics and finance at the University of Southern California. Her first job at Capital Group connected Wood with her mentor Arthur Laffer. Within a few years, she made the move to Wall Street where at the age of 25 she held several titles at an investment advisory firm Jennison Associates, including chief economist.

After 18 years at Jennison, Wood got her first taste of entrepreneurship. She co-founded a New York-based hedge fund Tupelo Capital Management in 1998. After three years she accepted the position of portfolio manager and thematic research strategist at AllianceBernstein.

Wood managed and oversaw $5 billion worth of client capital at AllianceBernstein but the higher-ups weren’t supportive of an idea she had. In short, she wanted to create an actively managed exchange-traded fund that seeks out disruptive and innovative companies.

When AllianceBernstein shut down the idea because it was deemed too risky based on its internal standards, Wood did what any fearless visionary would do: start her own business so no one can ever say no to her again.

The birth of Ark invest

Wood founded Ark Invest, a fund manager that seeks investment opportunities in areas that few if any others are looking at. She packages all of her stock picks together into an exchange-traded fund that she and a small team actively manage.

This sets her apart as nearly every other ETF in existence is designed to merely duplicate the performance of a benchmark, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Instead, Ark focuses on companies that have a vision of becoming a leader, enabler, or beneficiary of disruptive innovation. Some of the categories she invests in include autonomous technology and robotics, genomic innovation, the next generation of the internet, space exploration, financial technology, mobility-as-a-service, 3D printing, and cryptocurrencies.

She also has one specific fund that seeks out investment opportunities in Israel.

Wood personally financed Ark’s operations during its first three years as it had no outside investors. While she faced the same kinds of challenges that any woman would face in a very traditional male-dominated industry, she also had to compete against robo advisors and machines.

Robo advisors, as the name implies, are a high-tech digital investing technology that is able to absorb in theory unlimited information and offer personalized investment advice.

While certainly an uphill battle, Wood proved her investment style is superior to those of a machine. Here is Barron’s list of all the different ETFs that Wood manages and its one-year return as of March 3, 2021.

Anointed ‘Queen Cathie’

Wood is known in Reddit and other stock forums as “Queen Cathie,” “Aunt Cathie,” and “Cathie Bae” for good reason. Her rise to fame among younger investors is in part due to their common uber-bullish stance on electric automaker Tesla and bitcoin.

Wood is also very popular among young investors because of her commitment to sharing and publishing research reports and information. This is something that traditional fund managers would never dream of giving away at no cost.

Her title as queen is in reality much more than a fun nickname she earned from the meme community. According to Bloomberg, Wood and her funds own more than 10% of 29 different companies. Coupled with the firm’s Japanese partner Nikko Asset Management, Wood owns more than 25% of at least three businesses and 20% of 10 companies.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise given the fact that Ark managed more than $40 billion in investor capital at the start of 2021. This puts it as one of the 10-largest issuers within the $5.5 trillion global ETF industry. Of course, Wood is taking 电子货币交易平台官网home quite a bit of money for herself with a net worth of roughly $250 million as of late 2020.

Conclusion: She has the respect money can’t buy

One of Wood’s more bold predictions came in early 2021 when she modeled upside potential for Tesla’s stock from around $700 today to $3,000 by 2025. This large move is on top of the stock’s 1,280 percent return over the past five years.

She notes that Tesla will not exist in its current form today in the coming years. Rather, the company will successfully expand into money-generating ventures like insurance and a robotaxi service.

CNBC pundit Jim Cramer commented on the report and said there is no other fund manager that can “get away with this kind of thing.” If a research analyst published a similar outlook they would get laughed at.

“Cathie Wood actually is so good that you start thinking, ok what is [Tesla CEO] Elon Musk going to do?” Cramer said. “Maybe he has a lot in mind that she has thought about.”

Now, this is the type of admiration and respect that managing billions of dollars of capital can’t buy. It has to be earned over many years of superior performance — the kind that even roboadvisors can’t dream of matching.

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3 Cultural nuances to recognise when managing remotely /3-cultural-nuances-to-recognise-when-managing-remotely/ /3-cultural-nuances-to-recognise-when-managing-remotely/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 20:02:53 +0000 /?p=19134 More often these days, we are being called on to lead, influence and navigate situations where there is more than one culture at play. Communication can be challenging at the best of times; when working remotely with diverse cultural teams, across channels mostly reduced to digital rather than in person, the difficulty can be compounded. […]

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More often these days, we are being called on to lead, influence and navigate situations where there is more than one culture at play. Communication can be challenging at the best of times; when working remotely with diverse cultural teams, across channels mostly reduced to digital rather than in person, the difficulty can be compounded.

Our cultural lens is accustomed to our own societal rules and definitions of what is normal and what is not. When someone behaves differently to our own social codes, we can be quick to judge their behaviour as strange or even unacceptable. Recognising cultural expression as a learned behaviour, separate from personality, promotes a deeper level of understanding.

Here are three cultural nuances you can look out for that will help you foster understanding and communicate effectively when managing remotely:

1. Identity through language – ‘I’ or ‘we?

When a person uses ‘I’ more often than ‘we’, thinking that this person is not inclusive, demonstrating true leadership or team spirit is a mistake. This behaviour can be driven by a cultural value that speaks to identity and refers to how we see ourselves in relation to a group.

People who identify with individualistic cultures emphasise the needs of the individual over the needs of the group as a whole. Independence is highly valued as an individual’s right and tends to take a higher precedence. Members of individualistic cultures, such as is predominantly seen in Australia, tend to prefer personal goals, place greater importance on being assertive and stress personal freedom, so may often speak from the ‘I’ perspective.

This contrasts with collectivist cultures which highlights the importance of the group through social cooperation. Characteristics such as being dependable, generous and helpful to others are of greater importance than individual needs.  Those whose orientation leans more towards collectivism will see themselves in the context of a group of people and tend to use ‘we’ to focus on group goals.  As an example, Latin American and Arab cultures lean towards collectivism.

2. Interaction in groups – active or reserved?

Notice how some colleagues tend to dominate a meeting whereas others appear to lack initiative or hold back, despite being asked to participant more actively? They could be displaying their preference on the cultural spectrum of ity.

Hierarchical structures characterise a preference for high power distance. Such constructs tend to grant considerable power to those in positions of ity, be it the head of a family, those at the top of an organisation or leaders of a nation. People who identify with high power distance cultures are respectful of hierarchy and those in positions of power. They will tend not to speak up and offer opinions openly in a group situation, especially where seniors are present. They may also be reluctant to make decisions autonomously, awaiting directives from those in senior roles. High power distance cultures include China, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.

Conversely a more flat, egalitarian approach where power is dispersed suggests a low power distance culture. People who tend towards a low power distance culture are more likely to voice opinions freely, put forward ideas and challenge the status quo. Australia is strongly representative of a low power distance culture that emphasises equality.

3. Focus – task or relationship first?

When some people engage in seemingly lengthy casual banter, others may prefer to get straight down to business -this can relate to the cultural value of achievement. Competitive cultures tend to prioritise tasks over relationships and be more assertive and results driven. The opposite is true of cooperative cultures that prefer to collaborate with others. Those who sit on each end of the spectrum are not necessarily in opposition: they may be working towards the same goals, but merely approaching them differently. This can be wrongly interpreted as misalignment in a business setting, if you don’t appreciate the cultural nuances.

Most Western businesses are largely organised around a competitive orientation. Cultures that are cooperative in nature place high priority on collaboration through establishing and nurturing relationships. Cooperative societies are driven by guiding principles that prioritise collaboration and value human force. Nordic countries such as Denmark and Sweden are among the highest on the cooperative scale.

Keep in mind, you don’t need to have an international remit to be faced with culturally complex situations.  Australia’s domestic population is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse in the world. A country of immigrants, more than 75 per cent of the nation identifies with an ancestry other than Australian. How’s that for cultural diversity?

This article speaks to three values from a framework of ten cultural value dimensions.  Value mapping amongst teams is a powerful way to deepen our understanding of the different orientations amongst team members of different cultural backgrounds.

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