As a small business there is a plethora of information for a variety of certifications one may be eligible for based on a specific status.  There are woman owned, veteran owned, minority owned, LGBT (Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender) owned, HUB (Historically Underutilized Business) Zone and disadvantaged owned statuses.  So many options which can seem daunting.  There is so much paperwork to be filled out and one's life is put under a microscope to justify why that population is deserving of the certification.  Though all of it is time intensive and at times upsetting, it's worth accumulating each certification.  It allows a small business to get put ahead of the crowd to bid on contracts.  Statistics will tell you that the small business world is driving the economy and providing the most jobs AND we work the hardest to keep all the balls in the air to grow.  So take advantage of each certification for which you are eligible.  AdNet is proud to be certified as a MBE/DBE, LGBTE and WBE.  Are you certifiable??

Point the Finger.....At Yourself

When the planets and the stars line up and all goes right, what do we typically see?  Applause, high fives and acknowledgement for the person who made it happen.  When something takes a nose dive, there are no high fives, it's quiet yet the fingers start getting pointed at others. Why is it that we are quick to take credit for the good stuff yet slow to take responsibility for when it does not go right?  Perhaps it's an ego thing.  There is only one person who is truly responsible for one's actions..............it's yourself.  I have such great respect for people who will point the finger at themselves when something does not go right.  When something has gone array within my company, I look at myself.  Though the employee needs to improve perhaps I did not respond quick enough or made an assumption (you know what assumptions do)!!!  So take today and point the finger at yourself and make the change.  This is only hard if we allow it to be...............make it easy and make the change. That one finger will quickly become a high five!!!!

Pause and Patience

The inclement weather in the Mid-Atlantic is stressful as a business owner.  As the snow fell yesterday, this time around I took a deep breath and surrendered.   The day was used for strategic work and projects that require intense focus.  By the end of the day, I was pleased with what came off my "to-do" list.  When business is impacted by the weather, we tend to utilize the "rainy day" resources to supplement lost business.  That is a lesson I learned from my grandparents to "save for a rainy day".  Funny how those words didn't mean much to me as a kid because I liked rainy days.  Today, those words have a different meaning and the rainy day resources are empowering to have.  All to often I have seen small business owners win large contracts and race out to spend on items that show the outside how well they have done.  Been there----  Now, the windfall goes in the bank after the company is taken care of first.  That is responsible business that reaps the least amount of stress.  But when weather impacts the business, pause for a moment rather than getting upset.  This is not the worst thing in the world to happen.  Just be patient and take the slow times as a way to build up and gain strength!!!

Never Tolerate a Customer's Nonsense

There comes a time when the customer is NOT always right.  When a business owner or a manager experiences a customer's inappropriate behavior, interrupt it and blow the whistle.  We all know how to recognize bullying or harassment.  As long as the steps taken are professional and sticking to the facts, it is appropriate and expected that the vendor says "No More"!!  We had this occur last week where it was evident that a client was speaking inappropriately to our staff and putting a contractor's behavior under a microscope in an unnecessary manner.  "You, Mr/Ms. Client, don't get to treat anyone this way and if you don't stop, I'm firing you!!!".  That is an empowering place to stand when you do the right thing.

Traveling on The Road Less Traveled

Remember the book, The Road Less Traveled?  We all had to read it at one time or another in high school or college.  The title itself became a mantra describing the places that few go to because it is uncertain, dangerous or hard.  That thinking has had most people stay on the road where everyone travels, which is a good road to travel, until there are loads of traffic and the bottlenecks stop you from getting to your destination.  Here is where the road fewer travel is the place to be yet it's not always fun.  Driving down the road where few travel, opens up doors to  opportunity and growth that could never be found where everyone else is.  The view is different, the people one meets bring a plethora of new knowledge and answers to burning questions in ones soul.  It's not for everyone.  Sometimes the view is fine where you are at and you don't need one more bit of new information and frankly, don't want to explore those dark parts in your soul and the answers you were provided are sufficient in life.  That's all okay.  I invite you to exit the highway where everyone else drives and get onto the ramp of uncertainty and risk.  I have traveled here most of my life because my choices were different than most of the people around me.  It was and still has moments of difficulty yet the core of who I am was found on The Road Less Traveled.  Those experiences are priceless and I wouldn't have it any other way.