March 4, 2021
Spring seems to be peeking around the corners in many areas of the country. The thickening of tree branches – could those possibly be buds starting? A robin sighting, a couple degrees warmer at the peak of the day, could that really be a sprig of new green shoots?
Some tiny changes, but oh how they warm our souls and our thinking -- we might be able to get outside more! And that is especially wonderful to think about as our COVID challenges continue. The chain of thoughts starts rolling—
I better get my seeds ordered and find all my garden tools, and boots so I can start getting the garden beds ready. Where are those notes of what I wanted to do differently in the garden this year? This could be a fun project with the kids or grandkids to use some science and math and nutritional data to determine the best choices for the garden this year and keep it organic. It will get them outside, working, organized, using their muscles and they get to play in the dirt! Maybe they will even eat some green things they grew! Woohoo – that would be a BIG WIN!
These tiny little ‘almost buds’ on the trees change our thinking, our emotions, our outlook on next week and next month – and even give us new energy! How on earth can something so small make that much difference? Interesting, huh?
This newsletter will explore some of the tiny or small things that can make a BIG DIFFERENCE in our businesses. Get out your magnifying glass and come explore with me.
And by the way – if you’ve been hibernating through the winter, you may not have tried out a small thing that makes a big difference that I have been offering in my newsletter.
How would 1 hour a day be better used in your life – instead of not even coming close to getting ‘caught up’ with your email?
It seems like email handling has become a full time job- even just to delete tons of stuff!! But the Fear of Missing Something Important when you are deleting tons of things, gets in the way of efficiency on this and causes some real stress!
My GO TO technique for the last 10 years (that I tweaked a bit as the numbers of emails got super crazy in the last couple years) - has allowed me to have more effective focus time on project work without the constant distractions of email, yet never miss anything important! Try my 5 Simple Steps to Recapture an Hour Every Day to Build Your Business. I'm sharing it for FREE right now—since we all need a bit more time and focus in this strange time.
Click here to get your copy!
Pat got this gift back in November and emailed this to me a week later:
"Thanks for the 5 Simple Steps. I changed my email labels and included the action label. With all the Medicare emails right now this is a huge help in keeping it all straight so I don't have to go through the whole email list each time. Thanks for the tip!" — Pat, Medicare Specialist
I am so glad she got such immediate help from implementing just ONE step. See what all 5 Simple Steps can do for you!
To your success,
Have you ever noticed how some of the smallest things can make the biggest differences?
As a business owner, we often feel overwhelmed by the multitude of big issues that are impacting the business climate, our client’s worlds, human resources rules, laws, and attitudes that could so quickly affect our teams and create problems. Then there are the changes and issues that impact the technical aspects of the work we do to actually serve our clients! We all want to serve our clients REALLY well – but it seems roadblocks keep jumping in our way!
Since the best way to handle BIG things is to break them down into small steps – let’s look at some of the tiny things that make BIG impacts. They happen like a single pebble dropping into a pond. The ripple effects keep getting bigger and bigger in their reach. THOSE are THE THINGS we want to do in our businesses.
Like… a smile. Have you ever noticed how most smiles create other smiles? And when you smile genuinely, there is actually a chemical change in your body that creates relaxation, stress relief, and a sense of joy? Stress reduction frees your brain to function better, being more creative and in tune to connections of thoughts that otherwise seem unrelated. That ‘in-tuneness’ (no that is not really a word 😉) allows you to be more observant in an objective way, and to notice things that otherwise you would be oblivious to. All from a smile!! THAT is how you want to impact your team each day!
A question. The right kind of question – allows freedom of thought and expression and requires curiosity to jump into the picture. What kind of question? Exactly!!
The kind that doesn’t have a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer.
The kind that doesn’t have a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ answer.
The kind that is open-ended and waits for another question to help define it – or continue the wide-open opportunity to let people explore possibilities.
Most of the time when we ask a question, we have designed it to gain information that we then can take action with, and we already have an idea what the action will be depending on ‘which choice’ they choose. Those kinds of questions create a sequence – like working in a process flow chart. They have their place in our daily world, in both our technical work and business processes. But those kinds of questions fall short when we want to solve a problem that is unusual or different, or we want to connect with people at a more human level.
So, how do we create questions that are NOT filled with ‘right or wrong’ answers?
What did you come up with?
It is a bit challenging isn’t it? We are so used to having expectations of the responses we will get from a question, that we have to deliberately check ourselves to make sure our questions don’t have a right or wrong answer! AND, we have to be ready to ASK ANOTHER QUESTION! Why?
The whole idea is to NOT stop the flow of ideas of the other person, but rather to encourage their ability to share and explore a new idea – concept – thought – and let it get BIGGER, like that ripple effect of the pebble.
Ok… we could go on ALL day with these little things that make a BIG Difference, but I’ll introduce just one more for today:
The biggest small thing you can do is create a new thought!
The smallest BIG thing you can do is create a new thought!
- where do new thoughts come from?
- How do new thoughts change anything?
- If you have a new thought – what happens next?
- Do you let an old thought delete the new thought?
- If an old thought tries to delete the new thought, does the old thought win?
- Is the new thought really gone? Or has it automatically gained space in your brain? Will it continue to affect you?
No this isn’t a riddle or circular philosophy. It is a simple exercise to let you experience how a new thought impacts you and everything you do. We hear, read, and experience the same old thoughts over and over so they SEEM to be reality. Often they are repeated even at times when they don’t apply!
STOP! Question them. Ask: HOW they apply to this situation? WHY they apply? WHEN they apply? Always, sometimes, rarely, never? If this – then that? WHO do they apply to? Everyone, certain people, no one?
Let yourself go beyond the standard answers. REQUIRE thoughts to be questioned – you will be surprised at the ripple effect! When a NEW thought shows up, make a note of it and keep asking yourself how that new thought changes THIS SITUATION?
I can’t wait to get some feedback from you as to how these 3 small things make a difference as you practice them. Give it a try – pick ONE and check it out over the next week. Then, let me know what happened. What kind of ripple effect did you notice?
Use a STICKY NOTE to post the one you pick – where you will see it all the time:
- If you drive a lot, on your dashboard
- If you are working from home, on your computer, or your bathroom mirror
- If you work from an office where you move around a lot - where do you most often fall back into old, rote ways? THAT is where you need to post it!
Have with you at all times: a small notebook, or 3 x 5 cards, or piece of paper folded up in your pocket – use it to note the situation – what you did and the ripple effect you noted – keep it simple and short- but just enough to remind you what happened
At the end of the week – review your notes and decide how this has helped you this week, and how it could make a difference moving forward. TALK ABOUT IT with someone! Anyone!
Let me know! Holly@Baileyeng.com
A Cool Tool!
2020 became an opportunity to learn some new things - since many of our normal ways of doing things had to be modified and adjusted. I tried to embrace the opportunities - and allow myself to explore and really look for the good points of things I had resisted or felt were unnecessary.
In the process, I learned a ton and found some new ways to communicate, as well as do a better job of building relationships. For an introvert - THAT was way out of my comfort zone! But I found ways to do it that work for me.
Communications are such a key to our business success; all this learning about how to do them better has opened up new doors for my business. I got to thinking other professionals who are business owners probably need these skills too. No need for you to be in business almost 40 years before getting good at communications! (like me)
So I've created a PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP named Small Professional Services How-To Exchange.
Don't let the FACEBOOK aspect scare you!!
Facebook is just a TOOL we are using to give us the meeting spot.
PRIVATE means you have to ask to join and answer a few questions to be sure it is a good fit for each person who joins. It also means it is a spot where we can have good, honest conversation on the topic at hand, knowing we are all learning together. We are all there for the same thing. Think of it like going to a meeting where everyone is there to discuss and learn together about the same type of topics. Yes, there will always be a mix of professionals and those who serve them with support systems or want the professionals to recommend their products. But that is the group we want, so we can learn. And at the same time, we get to support each other with what we have learned and resources that help us.
Here is the link:
We are a new group and we need some people to get involved - check it out. If you don't like what you see after a couple of months, you can drop off. (I'll even provide directions!) It's totally in your control. But we can make it something really useful for all of us together. Let's support each other and learn together. We can make 2021 the best kind of DIFFERENT!
Some of the things we will include in our sharing:
- Articles from quality sources to provide solid information and ideas on business tasks and strategies
- Resources that others have found to be very useful
- Suggestions for products and tools that people have discovered
- Polls to help understand where other professionals are on-topic matters or methods
- Polls to determine what topics we need to focus on
There is a post up there right now inviting you to say what you want to get BETTER at this year... My Get Better At's are posted - add a comment with yours!
Past Articles You Might Like ...
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Fake it till you make it. / Be Confident! / Don’t show them you are nervous! / The first one to say something loses.
Some familiar mantras for many of us – as we started out in the world of ‘being’ a professional. To top it off- we have ‘practices’. What the heck is that about?
Read the full article here.
The Quest for YOUR Perfect Planner
January is a QUEST MONTH — for the Planner that meets your needs and have it helping you by the end of the month.
In a world of technology, a paper planner is still a great way to keep it simple and use all the triggers that keep your brain organized.
Read the full article here.
Different! What an Opportunity for Growth
Yes - 2020 has been different! And guess what? That is GOOD!
Read the full article here.
Holly Bailey is a Small Engineering Business Owner / Engineer who has also had the joy of coaching and mentoring other professionals as Business Owners, who have struggled to grow their firms while maintaining their high-quality reputation and quality services.
She helps them be free to use their genius to provide their best services and provide more impact in their community, families, regions and whatever 'corner' of the world they choose to operate in.
Holly believes professional services firms can provide the best value and customized services to their clients when they are not struggling with the growth and administration issues that secure the future of their business.
Curious what your business can level up to? Set up a Free Strategy Session to see your potential.
©2020 Holly Bailey & Bailey Engineering
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