I survived 19 pages. Snuggled on the couch and ready to dive into a new world of friends and fantasies, I read until page 19. That’s it. Not even the promise of a man that sparkles brighter than the Swarovski crystal on my rearview mirror would prod me forward. Robert Pattinson will forever be Cedric Diggory to me.
Sparkly vampires are not my thing, and that’s ok.
Boring blog posts packed with business jargon aren’t my thing either.
The business terms that describe what I do have been pounded into a boring mush of overused, consultant-y phrases. Yet I need to use them to help people understand what value I bring. It’s frustrating to have an armory of valuable tools and weapons that sound about as exciting as a paperclip.
For example, DISC is an assessment that provides insight into HOW someone behaves. That sounds boring, but it is not. DISC – and the other assessments I use – are tools that give you insight when communicating with anyone. Whether business or personal. For any reason.
To help illustrate my point about the far reaching use of DISC to improve communication – and to give you a window into my brain, I created the following infographic to cover “people” that you should NOT use DISC with.
DISC isn’t a boring sounding business tool that ‘other people’ use. DISC is serious. DISC is powerful.
There are many assessments on the market. You find some for training and some for coaching and some for hiring. Ain’t nobody got time for all that, so I chose to use DISC assessments that are statistically validated and safe to use for hiring. Other than helping keep you out of court, that is important because that means you can use my one set of tools for all of your employee needs – training, coaching and hiring.
Five assessments I recommend:
- DISC measures HOW a person behaves. Powerful for improving teamwork and understanding communication styles.
- DISC plus driving forces measures both HOW and WHY a person behaves. Combining behaviors (DISC) and driving forces (motivators) is powerful for engaging employees, coaching leaders, building better communication and selecting team members.
- TriMetrix HD provides a 55-point analysis that uncovers a person’s behaviors (DISC), driving forces, acumen, as well as an individual’s unique competencies (soft skills). Powerful for executive coaching, talent selection and the development of high potential employees.
- EQ measures a person’s emotional intelligence, which is the ability to sense, understand and effectively apply emotional well-being to facilitate higher levels of collaboration and productivity. Powerful for developing leaders, engaging teams, coaching and succession planning.
- Stress Quotient assessment measures workplace stress in seven factors, revealing how stress affects the overall health, productivity and morale of both individuals and the teams. Powerful for identifying root causes of stress and facilitating conversations so you can create a plan to address causes and help improve employee performance and productivity.
Why use assessments at all?
I believe they help make your life more productive and less complicated. You don’t have time to spend a year observing employees, so you can figure out how to manage them. Or whether they even fit the team you are building.
My assessments tell you in 10 minutes what it would take a year to observe. And they give you a language to use for managing communication with everyone on your team.
The crazy part? DISC works wonderfully with humans. And there are 7.4 billion of us.
So if you work with humans, I have some powerful weapons to help you win the talent war.
Who ya gonna call? Call Metsy.
Below is an answer to this question that I posted to Quora on July 14, 2015.
Do you have this feeling that you are destined for greatness? Do you feel like you have something unique and wonderful inside of you waiting to get out?
That may not be enough to make the big leap. It’s important to find out before you set out to start a 21usiness.
A drive to control your own destiny:
If you feel like you have something wonderful, unique inside of you that is bursting to get out into the world, you likely have a driving force to control your destiny. (I’m not going to touch on faith or religion here, just business.)
I understand what this feels like. I bought the URL for my this company when I was 21. I started my company when I was 41. That’s a long time to yearn to CREATE something. To build something.
Learn as much NOW about your skills, your innate abilities, your communication style, your shortcomings, your biases as you can… as fast as you can.
Starting a business is a journey of self-discovery. Everything wonderful about you will be set into action. Everything thorny, jagged, ratty about you as well.
I help people work through all of this what-should-I-do stuff for a living, and here’s what I’ve observed. Wanting control of your destiny is a driving force marker for every entrepreneur I have met. Some successful. Some not.
As a business owner, you have to believe in your ideas and your unique spin on the world MORE than anyone else around you. Wanting control of your own destiny bad enough will help you get through the land of haters. Haters are not all trolls. Some mean well.
People who love you will try to get you to give up on your dream. (They are just scared for you.) Thank them for caring about you, and help them to understand that you have to give this a try.
People who want to control their own destiny but don’t have the guts to do it will try to create problems for you. (They may not even realize it.) Wish them well and move on. Who knows, maybe you’ll inspire them to take the leap, too!
And you’ll stumble on those people who have taken the leap already. Some who want to warn you about the traumas you are about to experience. Some who want to be your cheerleader and help you succeed. Learn from both but don’t be deluded by either extreme.
There are so many other important factors to consider before taking the leap.
A drive for function: The other marker I have seen with entrepreneurs is a driving force for function. Combine a desire to get your idea into the world with a driving force to be useful, and you start to have the makings of a business owner.
What do I mean by function? Do you look around and see how you could streamline that process? Wish you could improve that product? Reduce costs? Want to help people solve a problem? In the past, have you taken action on those impulses? If not, start now. If yes, you just need to develop this side more.
A drive for function often goes with a drive to accumulate wealth – but not always. Just make sure you are not chasing money without having to provide value to customers. That would make you someone who wants to be paid to be themselves and that’s not necessarily entrepreneur territory. (Closer to Kardashians, perhaps.)
Determining success is a question that we all ask, and some think they know the answer. There are many factors in addition to what drives you that help predict your success as a business owner, but FIRST figure out what propels you to take action in your life. That is an important – no, vital – part of preparing to start a new venture.
Not taken the leap as an entrepreneur yet? Please let as much as you can about yourself in order to plan a business that will fit who you ARE and WHY you take action. Please. Please.
If you are not sure, call me and we can help you learn more in 10 minutes than you could observe in a year.
Pluto: the final unexplored (maybe) planet. These are the voyages of the spacecraft New Horizons. Its 10-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man-made machine has gone before.
According to NASA, “the United States has been the first nation to reach every planet from Mercury to Neptune with a space probe. If New Horizons is successful, it will allow the U.S. to complete the initial reconnaissance of the solar system.” Congratulations, NASA! They have much to teach us.
The New Horizons mission to Pluto and its five moons took 9 1/2 years to reach the target. New Horizons launched on Jan. 19, 2006, then swung past Jupiter in February 2007 headed to flyby Pluto July 2015.
And 59 minutes ago, NASA posted a timelapse video of the Pluto images captured over the last few days (July 2015 as predicted) to Instagram.
13 minutes ago, NASA posted a photo of the New Horizons team celebrating a safe flyby of Pluto. To Twitter.
Twitter was founded March 21, 2006 and launched July 13, 2006.
Instagram was founded in 2009 and launched October 6, 2010.
Twitter and Instagram did not exist when New Horizons launched.
Think about the amount of planning it took NASA to prepare for the New Horizons mission. To prepare the vehicle and plan the route. To launch a machine at precisely the right time in 2006 and right place to ensure it would travel 9 years and 3+ billion miles to Pluto. Amazing.
Planning is good. Planning is powerful. Planning is necessary for success.
What if NASA had a communication plan from January 2006 with instructions to share the news about Pluto in a full page print ad in Newsweek magazine? Course correction needed: Newsweek announced a move to online only (no more print anything) by the end of 2012.
NASA no doubt had a precise plan for communicating the future success of New Horizons, but communication with Earth’s inhabitants is complex. People search out new ways to express themselves. Better. Faster.
NASA will share news from this first mission to Pluto in many ways, but they chose to make social media a priority. What an incredible way to bring us into the excitement. This is an important moment for all of us, and they shared it where we get our news today — online and social media.
NASA is posting where people are already communicating instead of doggedly following a plan that could not have predicted Instagram and Twitter. (Unless they have a working time machine they’re not telling us about.)
They adapted their plans because…
Planning for communication with people remains messy.
If only we could plan for human communication as precisely as NASA handles science, math, and other concepts my brain does not grasp.
Human communication can’t be quantified precisely like the trajectory from Earth to Jupiter to Pluto, but decades of science and brain research continue to provide insights into human behavior and communication.
Is the trajectory of your company important? Yes.
Can you plan for the trajectory of your company without dealing with people? No.
If years of research could more accurately predict the success of a potential employee in a job, wouldn’t you want to know?
Would you want to know how to get your sales team to play nice with finance? How to drive your employees to take action? How to keep them engaged?
That research exists. These tools exist.
Let’s use these tools to build teams that help you flyby every business goal.
Call me to find out more.
I use tools from a company called TTI Success Insights (TTI SI). Over three decades, TTI SI has researched and applied social and brain science, creating assessment solutions consultants in 90 countries and 40 languages used to hire, develop and retain the best talent in the world. TTI SI assessments have been used in over 100,000 companies, including Fortune 1000. TTI SI tools are EEOC and OFCCP compliant, continuously tested and refined to ensure the highest standards of ethics and reliability.
You might fail. They may not like you. What if you aren’t prepared. You could make a huge mistake.
Your fears are different from the worries that weigh down your mom or dad. Different from your sister’s fears. Different for your BFF, spouse and co-workers.
Fear is a deeply personal struggle. A lonely trek through headtrash minefields, especially on the days you visit that nasty, thorny fear you thought you had laid to rest.
Conquer one fear and the next one appears. (Thankfully, we don’t have to face our fears in virtual reality à la Divergent.)
I am told I have a strong presence, but fear is my constant companion. How did I leave a painful marriage and start over? How did I change careers three times (on purpose)? How did I quit a steady job and start a business in a world where most businesses fail?
I feel the fear and do it anyway.
Acknowledge that you are scared. Feel how powerful it is.
Then quickly ask yourself a few questions. Visit the fear, but don’t live there.
Is this a fear that you have encountered before? What happened last time?
Look for times that you walked through the fear and found a positive outcome on the other site. Remind the fear that you have a history of success in these situations.
Did you give in to the fear in the past? What great opportunities did you miss out on by giving into the fear?
Remind the fear that letting it rule your actions did not help you in the past.
Most of my fears are lies I have believed about myself. I call them lies from the devil.
My dad calls them headtrash. Maybe your fears are gremlins. (I rely on my faith to help me, so I call them lies from the devil to remind me who is really in charge. Jesus.)
Fears impact your business. My fears caused me to stay at a job that was physically and emotionally killing me. My fears caused me to take too long to ramp up my business. My fears caused me to ignore areas of my business I have neglected.
Fears may kill my business. They could kill your business.
If you are scared to take action but need to take action in order to meet your goal, you have to feel the fear and do the thing anyway.
It takes practice, but it has been working for me.
- Call that client that you forgot to follow-up with.
- Tweet that author to tell them how much their book impacted your life for the better.
- Submit the article that is collecting dust to a magazine.
It’s not revolutionary, but the powerful changes in life rarely are. It’s those small course corrections on a daily (sometimes hourly basis) that propel you and your business forward.
Try it and let me know how you pushed through fears to achieve a goal.
Let’s pause for a second. I am sharing insight into what has worked for me when dealing with nagging fears that we have to work through daily to meet our goals. I am talking about everyday realms of behavior that impact business and life. I am not a mental health professional. If you are paralyzed by fears, having trouble functioning in life or considering hurting yourself, PLEASE seek help. You are not alone. No matter what problems you are dealing with, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). They will connect you to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.
When I was 16, I imagined turning 30 in a glamorous corner office in downtown Dallas as the CEO of my own company. Oh, the freedom I would have. Someday.
I would hop on a Concorde bound for Paris at a moment’s notice with Jake Ryan by my side.
Oh, the freedom I would have. Someday.
In the meantime, I did what any teenage girl would do. I joined the French club, became Flag Corps captain, and played a twin courtesan wearing silver spandex in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
I had my first love and first loss at the hands of a handsome boy who told me he didn’t love me anymore in a dingy school hallway.
I traveled to Paris on a school trip. It was my first trip to Europe and first glass of wine.
Those weren’t the only life-defining moments from the trip. The group left me behind at Montmartre and a stranger stalked me on the Metro in the middle of the night as I made my way back to the hotel. (That’s a doozy of a story, and Mom didn’t know about it until recently.)
Growing up is hard, but adulthood will be a breeze, right?
Attending The University of Texas at Austin was an amazing but emotional trial by fire. I lived away from home for the first time.
Joined a business fraternity. Met new friends and a handsome boyfriend from Germany. Tried not to watch the circles of dancing naked students by The Union. Relished exquisite meals of Ramen and Taco Bell burritos.
And nothing says “I’m a cog in a wheel” like a professor asking for my grandfather’s death certificate to miss class for a funeral.
Adulthood is not the sweet, light-hearted comedy promised on A Full House.
College morphed into internships and 90+ hour weeks. Into marketing and event planning. Then training to become a programmer. Over a decade of using tech and marketing skills to design web-based tools and manage tech projects.
Marriage and a painful divorce sent me into a shame spiral, and “Workaholic” became my title.
I excelled at work. Everything became second to my job. The doctor warned that the stress on my body had taken a toll.
The stress almost killed me.
When I turned 40, I knew I had to exit my self-imposed exile in the wilderness and follow the dream.
In 2013, I left corporate America. I moved out of my penthouse apartment in downtown Dallas into a friend’s extra bedroom. Most of what I own packed into a storage unit.
Then training, conferences, more training, and certifications to arrive here. Poised to help you in your journey.
I’m here to help you use the study of human behaviors, driving forces, soft skills and emotional intelligence to improve your business.
Hire better. Team better. Brand better.
So you meet your goals. You make more money. You help more people.
You can’t keep hiring yourself for every job.
You need help to keep the dream alive. Support in this crazy, exhilarating, tumultuous world of self-employment.
Let’s get real, let’s get to work and let’s take over the world.
I have a love/hate thing for those cutesy sayings slapped on inspirational photos.
Be a warrior not a worrier.
The first step toward getting anywhere is deciding you are no longer willing to stay where you are.
I already know what giving up feels like. I want to see what happens if I don’t.
These are the cat videos of the business world.
Bite-sized, mind-altering distractions that feed a society of emotion junkies.
I see one coming into frame on my iPad, cringe… and read it anyway to get an adorability high.
Then I create some of my own to send out into the world along with cute photos of my cat doing yoga.
These sayings and quotes feel like a teeny hug. A 2-second cheerleader telling me to keep going.
Because running a business is tough. Building a team is hard work.
Some days I wake up excited and ready to take another step in my business.
Some days I wake up feeling like I am as crazy as people think and should go get a job working for someone else.
Every dang day, it’s a battle.
- Battle to focus on the priority tasks and still have the creative energy to develop meaningful content.
- Battle to run lean but look put together.
- Battle to be a relationship builder and be authentic but needing to make sales.
Business isn’t easy. And being the big boss isn’t easy.
At one of the Dallas Startup Week 2015 sessions, a speaker said startups are like marriages. Some days you are in love, and other days you don’t even like your spouse. You have to keep going. Decide to work on the marriage even on the days (or months) you fall out of love.
That’s the same advice my dad gives me about finding a husband. Some days you are in love, and other days you don’t like them. So you have to choose to fall back in love with your spouse. Every. darn. day.
You have to choose to fall back in love with your business.
You are in charge, so you have to keep yourself moving forward. And you have to keep your team members motivated.
That is not easy to do. Now for the good news.
You can make informed decisions on how to motivate your team members. You don’t have to guess.
You gathered information – data – to determine salaries. To decide on which office space to choose. To choose which coffeemaker to put in the breakroom.
You gathered information on when is the best time to post to Instagram. Twitter. Facebook.
So many charts. Spreadsheets. Graphs. When you freak out about next month’s payroll. You consult the data. You don’t have to guess.
But what do you do when you see a team member veering away from the goal?
How do you get them focused and engaged in the work again?
Chances are you spend more time communicating with your team members than you do with any other group of humans. (Unless you spend more than 40 hours a week with friends and family outside of work.)
And the smaller the team, the closer the quarters, the more collaboration required.
Just like in a marriage, you can deal with Chris’s use of “irregardless” pretty easily for the first 30 days. But 90 days in, you grit your teeth and ponder if a dictionary would be an appropriate birthday present. (It’s probably not.)
Employees are one of your most valuable resources for your business. You invest in them. Take a chance on them.
What would it feel like if you had a cheatsheet on how to motivate Bob when he puts his foot down about the move to Agile development?
What if you could get sales guru Melissa to submit her paperwork to accounting on time?
What if you didn’t have to tell Susan and Olaf to stop giving each other the silent treatment and get to work – again?
People are complex and messy, but they can help you build your dream. You can meet your goals together.
If you don’t have any employee tension and the team is in the zone, please do a happy dance. You have a rare, wonderful situation. Cherish it.
If you are struggling with personality conflicts, loss of focus, missed deadlines, you don’t have to just figure this out by yourself.
You use data to support your business and help you meet goals, right? So do that for your employees!
You need to stay invested in the relationships. Talk to them. Ask them. Check in with them.
Have them give you a cheat sheet for how to keep them moving in the right direction and how to help the entire team happy and productive.
You can create a process from scratch to get that in place, but you don’t have to.
That’s what I do! That’s just the kind of thing that gets me excited about the day ahead. (Don’t judge me.)
I can get started today while you get back to that budget spreadsheet, sales meeting prep, or application for Shark Tank.
You don’t have to wing it to build a powerful team that kicks the competition out of the water.
Reach out today and let’s get this party started.
While you’re at it, post your favorite cat video… or inspirational quote.