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I May Have to Fire an Employee. Any Suggestions?

Bigg Challenge
Rick has been a manager now for about six months. He has an employee who is under-performing. Rick thinks he may need to fire this employee, but he’s never done that before. He says he would welcome any suggestions we can provide.

Bigg Advice
Do you remember the Cheers episode where Norm Peterson became the executive’s executioner – his job was to fire people. So he took them out for drinks and, by the time it was done, the employee who was being fired felt sorry for Norm. Because as Norm once said,

“It’s a dog eat dog world and I’m wearing Milk Bone underwear.”

So there’s one option, but not one that we necessarily recommend for the real world!

Company procedures
Look to your company’s policy manual for guidance on how to proceed.  Also, discuss this with your boss so you fully understand company protocol and precedents.

No surprises

Except for the most egregious situations, you’ve done something wrong if it’s a surprise. To make sure they’re not surprised, you should follow a process. For example, issue a series of warnings with repercussions for not correcting the performance deficiencies

Round and round we go

Sit down with your employee and explain the problem. Discuss what needs to be done to correct it, tell him or her when you’ll review performance again, and outline the consequences if it’s not corrected (e.g. a 3-day suspension without pay).

At the scheduled time, repeat this process. This time the ramifications have to be greater. (e.g. termination of employment). So if you reach this review and the situation hasn’t improved significantly, the result should be obvious to your employee.

You’re giving them a chance to improve their performance and also covering your liability because you’ll document this entire process and have them sign off each step of the way.

An example

George said that in his early days in business, he was managing his field staff. They worked without direct supervision because they performed work at the customer’s home or office. George had hired a young man who just couldn’t work without ongoing oversight.

George went through the rounds outlined above with little improvement. Finally, he let the employee go. He recommended that this young man get a job in a place where someone could watch over him.

He encouraged the young man come back and reapply for employment once he got used to working in a supervised environment. That never happened because the young man found that he liked working with supervision better.

Firing someone doesn’t have to be negative. Offer any help you can provide. Make suggestions. And realize that sometimes it’s just not a good fit – it doesn’t mean they’re a bad person, or that they couldn’t be helpful to any employer. It just means it’s not working out for both of you here.

Thanks, Rick, for sharing your bigg challenge. We’re sure you’ll handle it just fine.

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I Want to Supplement My Retirement Income. Any Suggestions?

Bigg Challenge
Dorothy is preparing to retire. She was recently presented with an opportunity by a network marketing company. She says she is a people person, but not a sales person. It makes her nervous, asking people she knows to buy something. She would, however, like to supplement her pension and social security checks somehow. She wants to know if we could offer some suggestions.

Bigg Advice
We followed up with Dorothy to find out what she really likes to do. She said there are a lot of things she likes to do, but most of them don’t pay. For example, she’s an animal lover, often volunteering at the local animal shelter.

Our first suggestion is to go with what you love – what you’ll do even without pay.

Before we get to that, though, let’s look at the sales opportunity you have. Do some market research by talking to five people you know. Tell them about the idea you’re considering and see what they say. You’re not selling them … you’re asking their opinion.

See how that goes before you invest any money upfront or commit to any ongoing fees. Then make a decision.

Now let’s explore some other options.


Pet sitting service

Why not start a business that fits your love of animals?

Many people think of their pets as part of the family. When they’re away, they want their pets to be well cared for at home. They need a trustworthy, pet-loving person to take care of their pets.

Start a pet sitting service to meet this need. It’s a simple little side business that’s in great demand. Print up some cards that promote your service. Contact veterinarians you know that don’t offer boarding to see if they would allow you to leave your cards on their counter or bulletin board.

It’s definitely a word-of-mouth business so you won’t have to spend a lot of money to get work.

Related links

Pet Business Startup Guide

Start Your Own Pet-Sitting Business

The Professional Pet Sitter 

Pet Sitting for Profit 

 

House sitting service
Here’s a way to double down on the pet sitting idea. Make more money by combining your pet sitting service with a house sitting service. People who travel want to know someone they trust is watching their homes. You can market this service to the same people whose pets you care for.

Errand service

There’s a growing demand for errand services (sometimes referred to as a concierge service). People just don’t have the time to get everything done. That’s where you come in – run their errands for them. You may drop off and pick up their dry cleaning, shop for gifts, and any number of other things.

Market your service at the same places where people are running errands. Once again, start-up costs are low and word-of-mouth is key.

Related links

Personal Concierge / Shopper Business Startup Guide

The Concierge Manual 

Start Your Own Personal Concierge Service 

 

Thanks, Dorothy for sending us your bigg challenge. We wish you bigg success!

Our bigg quote today comes from Francoise De Motteville:

“The true way to render ourselves happy is
to love our work and find it in our pleasure.”

So find pleasure in your work, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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How Do I Find My Passion?

Bigg Challenge
Amy knows she’s not passionate about her career, but she doesn’t really know what she would love to do. She wants to know how to discover her passion.

Bigg Advice
We recommend that you get a notebook to write down your thoughts and answers to the following questions, Amy.


These things all revolve around one simple theme –

Look to the past to discover your future.

#1 – What did you want to be when you grew up?
Now you may think that’s a silly question to ask at this point in your life, but it’s not. Because it leads to the more important question …

Why? Why did you want to do that one thing when you grew up?

Mary-Lynn wanted to be a singing star. She wanted to be like Cher – up on stage performing in front of an audience with a microphone. Unfortunately, she couldn’t sing!

But today, she does perform in front of an audience with her very own microphone. It’s not exactly what she envisioned as a kid, but the elements are there.

#2 – What classes did you really enjoy?

You probably thrived in these classes. What were they, from grade school all the way up through college? And more importantly …

What about that particular class did you enjoy so much?

George loved philosophy – learning how to think logically and debate a subject. He’s used those skills his entire career. He has found that the work that’s most enjoyable to him often has to do with problem-solving.

#3 – What extracurricular activities did you love?

And more importantly, what did you love about that activity?

Mary-Lynn loved music. She loved being in the pep band and going to competitions. These additional benefits were a bonus to learning to play an instrument well. It appealed to her competitive nature and fulfilled her social needs.

#4 – What jobs or roles have given you the greatest satisfaction?
More importantly, what common themes were there?

George has been an entrepreneur and a teacher. As his career as a business owner advanced, he found that teaching and inspiring others was what he really enjoyed. He got great feedback about meetings he conducted. He also got positive reviews from his students. Today, Bigg Success gives him that outlet to share knowledge with others.

#5 – What is, or was, your favorite hobby?

What do you, or did you, do for free?

Mary-Lynn has loved writing since she was a kid. It taps into her creative side. That desire to be creative has guided her throughout her career. She once left a job because it didn’t offer creative freedom. Her need for creative control in her job spills over from her hobby. Being in touch with what you naturally do, even without pay, can help you discover your passion.

So as you ponder these five questions, think about the elements of the activity, rather than the activity itself, to discover your passion.

Thanks, Amy, for sharing your bigg challenge with us. We’re confident you’ll discover your passion soon!

If you have a bigg challenge, e-mail it to us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com
What advice do you have for Amy? Click on the Comment link below

Our bigg quote today is by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, who said,

“Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.”

So find your passion to uncover your greatness.

Next time, we’ll discuss what to do if working harder isn’t working anymore. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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I Changed My Mind – How Can I Back Out of a Commitment?

Bigg Challenge
We received an e-mail from Joe who recently agreed to serve on a committee of a local non-profit organization. He’s discovered that it’s a bigger commitment than he thought. So he wants to know what he should do to get out of it.

Bigg Advice
You obviously had good intentions, Joe. Sometimes our circumstances change – health issues, new responsibilities, extra care for loved ones, or any number of things. Since there’s no mention of that in your e-mail, we’ll assume that it’s not the case here.

5 options to reduce your responsibility to this commitment

#1 – Quit
This is the most cut-and-dry way to do it. However, keep in mind that it may damage your reputation. That’s why we don’t think it’s a very good option.

#2 – Fulfill your commitment

We think your best option is to suck it up and honor your commitment. Then don’t recommit at the end of your term. You’ll deliver on your promise. Your reputation will remain intact. Learn from this experience so you don’t repeat it.

#3 – Find someone to replace you
We think this is your next best option. If you know someone who is interested in the organization, talk to them to see if you can recruit them to take your place. You’ll leave with your reputation intact because you didn’t leave the group hanging.

#4 – Find someone who can help you
Can someone assist you? For example, perhaps they could make phone calls or send e-mails for you. Delegate some of the work so the commitment is more in line with what you thought.

#5 – Can you be reassigned?
Talk to chair person of the committee. Maybe you can “trade duties” with someone else on the committee who is looking for more responsibility. If your circumstances have changed, the chair person will probably be happy to help.

We’ve been in this situation ourselves, Joe. The bottom line is that you should try to minimize the damage to yourself and the organization.

2 tips to keep this situation from repeating itself

#1 – Don’t commit on the spot

Many people are very flattered when they are recruited to serve. They often say “yes” on the spot, without really giving it much thought.

To keep this from happening again – commit to never committing on the spot!

The U.S. government has laws to protect consumers – you get 72 hours to reconsider a purchase. That’s a good rule when someone asks you to give your time …

Give it a day or three!

Thank them for considering you but tell them you’ll need to think about it for a few days.

#2 – When you say “yes” to anything, you’re saying “no” to something.

A lot of people don’t think about this. As you’re considering giving your time for a new cause, think about what you’ll have to give up because we all only have 24 hours in a day!

What's your bigg challenge? E-mail us: bigginfo@biggsuccess.com
Or, click on our Comment link below

Our bigg quote today is by Tony Robbins, who said,

“Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.”

Once you say, “Yes, I’ll do it” … the best thing to focus on is how to get it done.

Next time, we’ll talk about how to reclaim your weekend. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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