Someone asked me recently how I manage to find the time for all the walking & running I do with 3 kids & a busy business to manage. So it got me thinking & I managed to come up with some reasons at the time & afterwards on how I manage it, my suggestions may help someone.
After being announced at WWDC in June 2021 Apple's Universal Control which can share one mouse and keypad between Macs and iPads is finally available to test from late January 2022. Control your iPad from your Mac keypad and mouse and control your Mac from your iPad trackpad.
Watching Europe regain Golf's Ryder Cup you cannot fail to witness the emotional scenes displayed by the winning Europeans.
Of course winning an event such as the Ryder Cup will always spark emotions from the winning team but I believe the success and especially the margin of victory for Europe over their opponents USA comes down to a major factor, which is that Europe play as a team.
Yes, in golf, football, rugby and any team sport to succeed at the highest level there is no doubt you require individuals with the highest skill and ability but individuals with the highest skill and ability is not necessarily always a good thing if they don't have the fire and commitment to fight for and help other members of their team.
You can relate to this throughout any team sport at any level from kids through to world class teams and you can also relate to this in business.
As an employer with a growing team of electricians ideally I require a team who can carry out as many of the different skillsets and services required from an electrician but I would be foolish to believe every single electrician on my team can carry out all the different skills and services required.
Training and guidance is provided to each individual for them to gain new skills over a course of time but I must initially work with my team around the capabilities of the individuals.
And while training and guidance takes place I will be working and reminding each individual that they are part of a team, that when one person wins and completes a job that the end customer is happy about then it is a win and accomplishment for us all - for our team.
We win together and we also pull together when required. Team members digging deep and helping each member of their team to succeed the same way as they would do so for themselves is the ultimate goal for leaders in team participation.
So in your own world of team's whether that be in sport, business or work what more can you do to help out another team member say solve that problem, move the project forward, complete that task, give them a helping hand or provide support and motivation at your next game or match.
One for All and All for One.
Oh, and what a brilliant team effort and victory - well done Europe.
My new podcast is now available where I will discuss business, fitness and family.
Hopefully I will provide some words of wisdom along the way.
The podcast is available to listen and subscribe to on a host of popular platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
Full details are on my new podcast page.
With last weeks (mostly) successful Falcon Heavy mission Elon Musk and SpaceX have rarely been out of the news and within all the media clippings I stumbled across this TED interview with Elon from April 2017.
It's a fascinating 40 minutes insight into his thoughts and the current developments at SpaceX and Tesla as well as digging tunnels and missions to Mars.
If your interested in what the future and even near future holds for us all grab a cup of tea and settle down to listen to what one of the worlds most influential entrepreneurs has to say.
Monday tomorrow and I always look forward to an early start to the week.
Whether it's for exercise, planning, business time or just to get some you time it's amazing what we can achieve in the first hour or two before breakfast.
Try it initially for 2-3 times per week with one of those a weekend day and take note of what you have done in those early hours and when you look back at the end of the week you will be amazed to see how much you can accomplish in those quiet undisturbed hours.
Just one quick helpful pointer always use the evening before to plan for what you want to achieve in that morning time. Waking up with a plan will make it easier and keep you focused.
Are our expectation levels changing? I believe they are and my conclusion is that internet shopping is largely to blame - but that may not be a bad thing.
In the day of instant online answers to our questions and shopping via our computer and smart devices our expectation levels as customers have increased and it's been working it's way into the traditional trades and services sector for a few years now.
At Stirling Electrical Services and Stirling Alarms a large part of our service is being reactive to customers who have unexpected electrical and security alarm problems so we are geared up as much as we can be to respond as quickly as possible but increasingly we are finding our customer service team are receiving more phonecalls from customers who these days not 'hope' for a quick response but 'expect' a very quick response.
Back to my theory regarding the internet being a cause for increasing expectation levels, I can relate to this in my own experience. I love internet shopping especially for electronic gadgets and devices and purchase many items online for the business and for home and I admit that I will pay slightly extra if it means I receive the goods quicker.
Several examples of how the internet and especially delivery timescales are affecting our expectation levels was this weekend when on Friday I ordered goods from Amazon. Not only could I pick up the goods ordered on Amazon immediately at my local Argos store in a partnership between those companies when I returned the item I purchased on Saturday mid-morning as it was defective I was told that (instead of waiting until Monday as I expected too for a replacement) I could return to Argos later that afternoon when a replacement would be delivered to Argos for me to pick up.
Another example from this weekend was on late Saturday afternoon when I again ordered goods via Amazon and expected a Monday delivery but in fact I could choose for the goods to be delivered free (Amazon Prime member) on Sunday. The goods arrived at my home late Sunday afternoon.
Yes on Sunday, the last few years has seen many of the delivery companies starting a Sunday delivery service to meet the growing demand and expectations of online shopping.
The above examples add to the recent orders I have placed just minutes before midnight on Amazon for delivery the following day and I believe Next also offer a late at night ordering service for following day delivery.
Our expectation levels and demands are increasing and the instant answers and service driven by internet shopping is well on the way to affecting the expectation levels within other business sectors, and you know what I think it's a good thing.
These days when a customer of mine expects me to have an electrician hiding around the corner just on the rare chance that they may have an electrical problem so we can respond to in a matter of minutes, then although I will initially feel they are being unreasonable to expect an electrician to be waiting just for them, it does get me thinking and makes me take a step back and ponder about how we operate and how we can work towards improving our service level.
Customers expectations, yes for us business leaders they can be a pain at times but as leaders we must put ourselves in our customers shoes at every opportunity and improve and align our own business services as much as possible to match the changing customer exception levels as well as keeping an eye on and learning from other business sectors.
'Back With The Team' today after nearly two working weeks off and it was great being back engaging with them all again as we collectively work to improve as individuals and also as a business.
The family break in Lanzarote was most welcome and deserved after another challenging but also rewarding past 12 months. When you run a business especially one that employs many people there will always be ups and downs and it's how as business owners we react and the decisions we make to the challenges and successes is what determines how the business progresses and grows.
Watching my young boys have fun and how they have improved in their swimming over the past 12 months gives me such energy and drive and does an amazing job at recharging my batteries.
My office team fully expect me to be on the phone or email to them every day while I'm away but although I have various business information if I require at my fingertips via iPhone/iPad apart from seeking basic updates I have learned over the years that it is not healthy-management and is very soul destroying for my team for me to constantly check in to make sure all is ok.
A combination of introducing various procedures and systems over the years allows the day to day operations to operate efficiently but I am confident in the knowledge that our systems are run by our excellent office team who do a wonderful job keeping everything together and running smoothly. It's a team game, we all have our own individual roles within the team but collectively we must work and be motivated as a unit.
Although I've talked about my own experiences above, which I know I must continue to work on and improve, the principles of team building, delegation and trusting your team as well as taking time out to recharge from the day to day coalface are all crucial to small business owners with employees.
Time off, recharging and reflecting is a great investment in the business.
If ever you need reminding about the saying 'Never Give Up' then watch the last few minutes of the football action from Hampden Park, Glasgow yesterday afternoon.
When it looked like England would close the match out for a 1-0 win, two amazing late free kick goals put Scotland seconds away from a famous victory only for England to score and equalise with virtually the last kick of the match.
Three late goals in the last six or so minutes in this Auld Enemy fixture swinging the match either way made it a
'I Was There' moment for the near 50,000 spectators inside Scotland's national stadium.
In the business world sport reminds us often of the rewards of never giving up, not quitting and fighting until the end. Ok, on occasions no matter how hard you fight that bad luck and fate just become the overriding factors and win the day but when you do fight until the end, when you do perceiver, when you do push and give it that one more effort then that's when the odds can turn in your favour and results and achievements can happen.
That local music band which have performed for many years just never know when that breakthrough opportunity will come or when an app developer will develop that one particular app of many that it will go viral or when our business may attract the attention of investors or buyers.
Yes there are occasions when pursuing a dying dream should stop but we all have personal or business goals in life that are worth fighting for and we know that by never giving up and not quitting we increase the odds in our favour of having our own 'I did it' moment'
#askSCOTT - Question 3 - Stirling Weather - What's it all about?
Off-topic this week from the usual business related question as earlier this week because a lot of people were talking about the lack of rain in the Stirling area I was asked by a friend about my Stirling Weather service and how did it come about.
It all began in 2009 when I started to record live and historical data from my weather station near the King's Park area in Stirling. It was at that time in late 2009 that our data was made available to the public via the Stirling Weather website which we published and the data was supplemented by the Weather Underground website which also stored our weather data.
Over the years our weather instruments have been upgraded to near professional standard and via our website and social media pages Stirling Weather is the go to place for local weather information.
See the below weblinks for useful sites and information
Business , Weather, Community, Charity