Posts Tagged ‘entrpreneurs’

Social Media Entrepreneur’s Interviews No7 – Stephen Bray

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Name: Stephen Bray Twitter name: @Stephen_Bray

What is your main Change challenge at present? 

Building a brand new business from a beach hideaway.

The ‘beach hideaway’ doesn’t really matter, but building a business is always a challenge.

One challenge that stands out is the personal development equation. Do I play to my strengths, leverage my core skills but stay essentially the same, or do I work at overcoming ‘blockages’ or ‘weak areas’, extend my neural maps in the hope of a ‘bigger’ more ‘enriched’ life?

Logic, and many gurus, would urge that I focus on what I know, and what works, but I’m a glutton for learning so although my business might be all the bigger for it, just using ‘core training’ doesn’t work for me.

What is your strategy for dealing with it?

I keep a diary to monitor what’s working today, and also jot down what I want to change, and when, as the business grows.

But that’s just one strategy. I also like to speculate on what I might do if certain components of the business were to be removed, for example if there was an earthquake, (a very real possibility in Turkey), how I would continue to operate. This frequently provides unexpected solutions.

Since I’m self-employed ‘thinking days’ are important. These really are days off spent swimming, or on other family activities, but my best ideas tend to emerge when I’m not faced with a computer. They help keep life in perspective and remind me when I’m spending too much time on my business and insufficient on my other interests.

Are you using social media as part of that strategy, if so, how?

I make lots of video, but tend to deliver it via AmazonS3, rather than YouTube etc. The reason is that I can then deliver different types of video to different audiences.

Social Media I think of as a means of making relationships, although delivering great content can play a part in that. Really though I should use Social Media in a co-ordinated way. At present my Social Media presence reflects the ad hoc way it evolved.

For example I built my Ecademy Profile when I was still commuting to cities to deliver face-to-face training, supervise family therapy clinics, and consult to family business owners.

My Facebook account started as a means to communicate with my wider family and friends, before the marketers moved in. I haven’t really done much to optimise it as a means to get business. YouTube and Twitter are experiments at present.

To make these work effectively I would need to devote some time to creating recognisable profiles, and also planning what would, and would not, be included when posting to each account.

This is what I recommend to others in ‘Your 52 Week Internet Marketing Program’, which is one of my Free Products. The time has come now to take my own public image in hand.

What is your top Change tip?

Use a pen and paper to record your achievements, track what’s working, see how far you’ve come, and sketch out future plans.

What role does emotion / intuition play when you dealing with Change?

Emotionally charged decisions are rarely good ones in the business world, but businesses based on a love of life, people and planet will inevitably thrive today.

Understanding the emotions of others also is pretty essential to building relationships both with colleagues, and customers. It helps to know your own emotional foibles too and then take responsibility for them.

Remember people sometimes react adversely to change so emotional outbursts and panic decisions are common, so staff need to be trained to cope with challenges.

Intuition is more complex. I think that traditional people had a feel for the weather and the land that enabled them to lead nomadic existences. Most reading this will have lost that ability but we still have developed visceral responses to situations based upon our own life experiences.

If a change matches some previous experience in some way the story that was involved may not be immediately replayed, but instead a person may experience what they perceive as an ‘intuition’. This may be helpful provided the sensation really seems intuitive, rather than the invocation of blind panic.

So I tend to trust my intuitions and go with them even when they may appear illogical. Later I may well see why the decision to follow an intuition was a good one.

Do you ever find Change brings unexpected gifts?

Wouldn’t life be dull if every day were the same as the one preceding it?

Change brings unexpected gifts ~ but this isn’t necessarily a reason to force changes to happen.

On the other hand when a business is slowly dying it can be a good idea to create a crisis. The managers get ‘sharper’, business plans get tighter and the ‘dead wood’ leaves.

Maybe the business finds a new direction, or identity?

My business isn’t facing that kind of challenge. The decision though to stop travelling and base my business in this beach hideaway location has some parallels.

Since I changed direction I’ve met a whole new network of contacts and colleagues and I enjoy communicating with them enormously.

What thing best symbolises Change for you and why?

The dawn always represents change to me. I’m often awake to witness it and no two dawns are the same.

It holds out the special promise of new people, mysteries, events and challenges, yet it is a quiet time when I feel as if I might be the only inhabitant of our world.

Of course as the dawn ends and the day begins I’m called back into the society of others with all their stories, dramas and scripts and that’s good too because, unlike the dawn when I feel a timeless connection to the moment, the day with its computers and timepieces speaks of mortality.

Will I survive the day? Might some disaster befall and remove me from this place?

Have I done all in my power to leave others without debt, or bad feelings?

What unfinished business needs attending to first?

Get on it!

Previous Interviews:

Social Media Entrepreneur’s Interviews No2 – Sarah Arrow

Friday, June 12th, 2009

This is the second in this series of interviews.  I can think of few people who have taken to using social media more successfully than Sarah.  Indeed it has been so natural, that i wonder if she realises how big a change it really represents?

Name: Sarah Arrow               Twitter name: @Essex_courier

What is your main Change challenge at present?

Sarah: Our main challenge at present is one of  change regarding the managing processes that we use. My personal challenge is deciding whether to remain in transport and continue with the courier business that I work in with my partner and husband, Kev or whether to go back and work in recruitment for the harder to help.

What is your strategy for dealing with it?

Sarah: We are undertaking a historical review of the processes and working out whether they are essential to the business, this is a very time consuming process. We opted for this method of review as it’s more thorough.

Are you using social media as part of that strategy, if so, how?

Sarah: Not for this particular change project, but we use social media extensively

What is your top Change tip?

Sarah: Resistance is futile…  🙂 Change happens in all businesses and it’s how you deal with it that makes the difference. Pretending everything is going to stay the same will just get you stuck and that won’t benefit you or your business. In fact it will hold you back.

What role does emotion / intuition play when you dealing with Change?

Sarah: I get very passionate about certain aspects of the business and when that happens I have to take a step (or three) back and think about whether I am achieving what I want. Kev (husband and work partner) is far more controlled emotionally and his intuition is very good.

Do you ever find Change brings unexpected gifts?

Sarah: Oh yes, that’s the best thing about change 🙂 the change in our marketing from offline to online has brought us a consistent stream of work, so that was a gift. We are looking at doing more offline networking again and that is already starting to look really good and that was totally unexpected.

What thing best symbolises Change for you and why?

Sarah: A snow globe, you shake it and it looks different but underneath the snowflakes everything is still there.

PS>  I want to thank Sarah for her idea of doing this series of interviews… just another example of her innovative use of social media

Previous Interviews: