Knuckle Down Meaning: Getting sincere about something; applying oneself seriously to a job. Two impromptu Ice-breaker speeches – moving towards Goal 1. Did not win prize, got a participation certificate but the pleasure was in audience individuals – rank strangers coming back not just complimenting but quoting me ‘VERBATIM’ and saying, they loved it, they would like to keep in touch, some even said we would like to learn a few things from you. I was humbled.
Dropping Like Flies Meaning: To fall down ill or to die in large numbers. I wish it does not happen to humans, pests and insects, viruses and diseases is another matter. What I noticed today is the best Evaluators club of Toastmasters had difficulty in filling the hall with audience and participants for the Marathons the Area Directors are planning to hold across city. One actually said about ATTRITION of members? That was sad. It said a lot about the lack of leadership and the Pull and Push of the managing committees.
Man of Few Words Meaning: A person who does not speak a great deal; someone who talks with as few words as possible. Met an interesting person. He was my speech evaluator. His speciality is being brief and as an extempore impromptu ice breaker speaker who was pushed to speak – I had failed by exceeding the time limit. He said he will mail his evaluation ! That’s it. 🙂
Poke Fun At Meaning: Making fun of something or someone; ridicule. Had this experience. At the end of a dominant communicator speech the speaker did actually did not want any questions. When asked – he asked me to repeat thrice and explain 4 time and I was about to say – “Let’s take this off line as I did not ask this to challenge you but to support your views, just clarifying a point”. Some Speakers are on their High HOrse ! They feel, they are the only one who can challenge! Anyone asking a question is a lowly minion, dimwit and brainless. My Professorial hat tells me to answer them – Questions are never stupid – answers are – like mine 🙂 🙂 .
Hear, Hear Meaning: A shout of agreement, or to draw attention to a speaker. I asked the speaker that when a friend is faced with problems – should I make an appreciative enquiry and find what solutions he has in his mind, as he knows the problems best. Second, is my friend looking for an Affirmation that the solution he has found has my tacit support so that he can try it out with heart? I was taken round and round in derogatory circles with a menacing look on the face by a socalled Guinness Award winner and World Speech champion and I felt very sad for him. What did I do to hurt his Ego?
On the Same Page Meaning: Thinking alike or understanding something in a similar way with others. Sometimes, in a gathering when you wish to say that you are in the same boat, same page, thinking alike – it is best to use non-verbal communication like nodding your head to convey Yes, I agree.
Swinging For the Fences Meaning: Giving something your all. One more article coming up in a new club Newsletter which was launched today. Felt great. Meeting new Chamber of commerce and meeting some very interesting and interested people ( atleast on the face of it) I felt great and felt genuinely that there are things I can do to assist and help. The new Chairman was receptive and said wants to have a one on one Strategy/ vision statement session. He said he is a Visual thinker like me, that was pleasing.
Up In Arms Meaning: Angry; being roused to the point that you are ready to fight. But I gave up. I saw on Whatsapp the pictures of a poor girl being honored by a sport shoes company and giving them her name as she could not afford them. i felt sad for someone whose dream was ignited, latent wishes brought to fore in my mentoring but had given up on them with diffidence. I was angry inside but let go.
Quick and Dirty Meaning: Things that are fixed with great speed, but as a result, it’s probably not going to work very well. Hmmm… it was a busy day, I could have gone and got my Suits overhauled now that I have lost so much weight and bought a new pair of formal shoes as the formal meetings are moving up but I just changed jackets for two occasions – Reminder to self – GO FIX THIS ASAP.
Mountain Out of a Molehill Meaning: One who escalates small things and turns them into big problems. I found a senior evaluator indulging in overstatements, exaggerations, over praise, excessive acting skills show and was bit turned off. Then I met him one on one for about 7 minutes, got his life story out and realised that even at our late age – the need to RECOGNITION is so high that NAME AUR FAME KE LIYE KUCHH BHI KAREGA i.e. I’ll do any thing to get name and fame. I quietly agreed to disagreed and moved on to another person by saying “Sorry, Sir, I do not wish to monopolise you, others also need your kind attention”. Thank you.
How, we can make sure that we are among the winners rather than the losers in these high stakes game? The answer is within us. We must ask ourselves four key questions to determine whether our small business can survive and thrive.
business, starting a business, small business, entrepreneur, SME, SME Startup, Startpreneur, Startuppper
Every year lakhs of people answer “Yes” to the BOOM – (Being Oné Own Man/Woman) calling and make it their SOP – (Statement of Purpose) and every year that answer comes with Risk Staruppers ( I call them Startpreneurs) take which costs them money, time, efforts, confidence, goodwill and heartbreak as 9 out of 10 Startup businesses fail ! Even where their is a single soul as sole employee, it happens. I was a Startup and I tasted failure 16 times. In couple of cases, I fired myself as CEO/ Founder with impunity :). Funny, but True! It happens to many of the new entrepreneurs.
As per an estimate, two-thirds of new businesses survive at least two years and 44 percent of Startups survive at least four years.
Two of the key factors in the businesses survival and ability to thrive evident are:
- the owner’s education level and
- the owner’s reason for starting the firm in the first place.
Let us examine from an Investor’s point of view as to what they judge us as Startpreneurs:
- A Top Angel investor looks at 5 things in Startups before investing
- People 2. Product/ Service 3. Process 4. Traction 5. Profitability.
- Some investors focus on the Founders and look at Vital Qualitites such as:
- Passion 2. Ambivert 3. Erudite 4. Calculated Risk Taker 5. Dedicated All-in
(But more about these in another article I shall share here)
So how d we make sure that we are among the winners rather than the losers in this high-stakes game? The answer is within us. We must ask ourselves four key questions to determine whether our own small business will survive and thrive.
- What is our STATE of Readiness?
How mentally prepared are we, for the switch from employee (or student or whatever label fits we currently) to boss? as we are going to be the ones making decisions now about everything from office products to product line.
This total control is one of the driving forces behind many people who take the plunge into starting their own business, but it is also one of the elements that drives new entrepreneurs crazy. When we start out there is an endless list of decisions that need to be made and new questions crop up every day.
Even more important we will need to remember that in a small business we will have to wear many hats. Even if we manage to start out with one or more employees we will each fulfill more than one role in our new business. And if we are running a one-man or one-woman show then we serve in every capacity from file clerk to maintenance crew to salesman to CEO.
Can we handle switching from task to task and role to role like that? Are we willing to make those switches?
Similarly, have we prepared our family and friends for this switch in attitude. Our life is going to change — pretty drastically — and that change can have a positive or negative impact on our family life and social interactions. It will make things much easier if our friends and family are supportive going into the process.
- Where O’ where does lie My Niche’? Does it REALLY exist?
Have we identified our niche yet? One of the reasons many businesses fail is that they fail to focus on a target audience. Yes, if we are a major discount store then we can sell everything from peanuts to wallpaper, but this type of business requires vast resources that just aren’t available to the small business. But small businesses dominate the marketplace by finding a different approach — a niche’.
Knowing our niche’ means we are better able to find, target, and maintain our customers as well as provide the best possible goods and services to that customer base. That focus is one of our best chances to not only survive but to thrive in a very competitive marketplace.
- Do you have a Plan of Action? With Who, What and When ?
Another key factor in the survival and ultimate success of our business is how much planning we do before we open our electronic or physical doors. We need to decide if our business will be based on the internet or include more traditional models.
Are we going to work full-time or part-time at our new business? Are we going to hire help or go solo? Have we written (or at least outlined) our business plan? Dreaming, thinking and planning can save we much trouble and waste later when things are hectic and problems strike.
Planning can also help keep we focused and to balance our spending and time.
- Who is / Are my Back-up Cushion/s? Just in case, we FALL?
At some point, no matter how experienced a business person we are, we will need help. We will need support, advice, tools, or information — or all of the above. One of the beautiful, and most frightening, aspects of growth is that it can lead us to places we never imagined. No matter how much planning and experience we bring to our new position as CEO the unexpected will arise.
How will we cope with this? It is important to recognize that no business is an island. It is not failure to seek help. Failure is when our business shuts down because we didn’t get the help we needed.
The best way to get timely help is to work on our support system while we work on building our business. That way we will already have a ready list of resources available that we can quickly tap into when emergencies strike. In today’s world there are many marvelous resources available to we no matter what our business model may be. These include, which I define as the 4 M’s
- Media (newsletters, magazines, books)
- Mentors (professional advisors, mentors, teachers, consultants)
- Memberships (organizations and forums in our niche as well as general business and marketing)
- Mental Stimulation : Education and training (tutorials, courses, and seminars)
After we have answered these four key questions we are now ready to ask ourrselves that one big question again — are we ready to start our own business?
Like Father Like Son Meaning: Resembling one’s parents in terms of appearance or behavior. Yes. The receding hairline on my forehead and rear part of head do make me resemble like my father but he was dark brown, I am pale brown in skin – may be because my mom was fair skinned.
Back To the Drawing Board Meaning: Starting over again on a new design from a previously failed attempt. To work on the three goals Speaking, Writing, Learning is he only focus. No more mentoring. No more Freebies or free advice to anyone.
Playing For Keeps Meaning: Said when things are about to get serious. The feedback slips which many of Toastmasters handed me after my icebreaker speech really make me believe that “It all starts with a speech”. I am enjoying my Udemy speech and body language lessons and practicing to make videos to self correct as far as possible.
A Piece of Cake Meaning: A task that is simple to accomplish. I thought making and watching my own video of speech would be easy – It is scary. I find my voice and face manners unacceptable to myself.
Give a Man a Fish Meaning: It’s better to teach a person how to do something than to do that something for them. I facilitate many mentees with Equipments as gifts for improving their skills, helping them practice and books to further augment their sharpening of skills. I truly believe in this phrase.
Not the Sharpest Tool in the Shed Meaning: Someone who isn’t witty or sharp, but rather, they are ignorant, unintelligent, or senseless. I sometimes behave this way. My friend read my article and said Mirthful – I had to look up Google and then I realised it is pronounced MOUTHFUL and is associated with fun and my friend was actually pr aising me. What a dimwit I am but I learnt new word.
Fight Fire With Fire Meaning: To retaliate with an attack that is similar to the attack used against you. I am a challenger, and I am not under any attack so I think this is a good phrase but not relevant to me and hope it never comes true.
Love Birds Meaning: A pair of people who have a shared love for each other. The number of poems I read on WordPress gives me a sincerely a heart break feeling that we have more lovelorn love lost poets here than love birtds. Would be interesting to know if love birds share poetry with social media?
Drawing a Blank Meaning: Failing to recall a memory. Unable to remember something. That’s usually happening with me especially with names, things. Forgetting to wear a watch, taking keys while going out – small things. Some medication is helping or perhaps not.
Fish Out Of Water Meaning: Someone being in a situation that they are unfamiliar or unsuited for. That is the sinking feeling I used to get dealing with TAble topics at Toastmasters. Slowiy my fish is finding water and depth 🙂 .