Archive | January 2016

Start Living in the Present in Four Easy Steps

Written By: Kathleen Riessen

Live in the presentA mere month ago I couldn’t scan Facebook, open a newspaper or read a blog without reading about someone’s New Year’s resolution. Now that we are almost through January, I wonder how many people are actually sticking to their resolution? According to Forbes, 40% of Americans make resolutions. That’s an astounding number considering 33% of Americans watch the Big Game (a.k.a. the Super Bowl). Unfortunately, only 8% of those resolutions will be achieved.

Instead of feeling like a failure because you have already quit on your New Year’s resolution (or you are part of the 60% of us that never even made one), I ask you to join me and be a part of my yearly resolve. Instead of making a resolution to change, I choose to celebrate the successes I have made in both my personal and professional life and commit to living in the current time. When you are always focused on the future, you can’t be happy in the present. To be happy in the present, you have to study your past.

How to follow my resolve in four easy steps:

  1. Dedicate 45 minutes to you. Book a meeting with yourself away from others. I try to have lunch away from the office and by myself once a month just to clear my head and think (Side note: This is a great practice any time of the year).
  1. The first 15 minutes. Take a piece of paper and write all of the negative things that happened to you in the past year. What do you wish you could have done better? What happened that was out of your control?
  1. The second 15 minutes. Take a separate piece of paper and write down all of the positive things that happened in the past year. What surprised you? Which of these items do you want to have happen again?
  1. The last 15 minutes. Pretend it is a year from now and write a letter to yourself. What exciting things happened this year? What things surprised you? Write about the growth of your company or your personal growth. Be sure to put your letter in a place where you can find it in a year.

Key takeaway: It’s never too late to live in the present.

Try these four easy steps and let us know what you think!


Are You Empowering Your Employees? A Tale of Chicken and Quinoa.

Written By: Kathleen Riessen

During a layover at the Detroit airport, my husband and I ran to grab a quick lunch. We found a place that looked appealing and had healthy food options. We both said, “Wow. This might be the most impressive spread I’ve seen at an airport.”

Their menu had a lot of options, but I couldn’t find one for the chicken and quinoa that was so nicely displayed in their case. So I asked the cashier:

Me: Hi!

Cashier: Yes?

Me: I’d really like some quinoa and chicken from the case. Which menu option is that?

Cashier: I can’t sell you that.

Me: Umm . . . I just want the quinoa and the chicken that’s right here in the case. Can I have it?

Cashier: We don’t sell that.

Me: So, how do I buy it?

Cashier: You can order a chicken meal from the menu that comes with that quinoa, but the chicken for that is from the back.

Me: But I really want this chicken and this quinoa that’s on display. How do I get that?

Cashier: You could buy a kale salad and I can put the chicken on there.

Me: Does that come with quinoa?

Cashier: No.

Me: How do I get the quinoa with the chicken?

Cashier: You can’t.

Me: Fine. Just sell me the kale salad.

Cashier: That will be $75.

Okay, it wasn’t $75, but it sure wasn’t cheap and I didn’t get what I wanted. Why? Because the cashier didn’t have a button to press on her register for what I was asking for, so she couldn’t sell it to me. This business put a lot of effort into making the case look appealing, but forgot that someone may actually want to buy the food.

What’s the takeaway from this? Think about your business. Are you giving your employees the ability to sell what your customers need or want? Are you empowering your employees to help your customers? Or do you lack of the buttons for good customer service?