Friday, April 24, 2009

Career Online Counseling as a Small Business Advice

Sometimes through Online Counseling people don’t always “like” the advice they’re given.

This was the case recently with M., a 31 year old professional saleswoman who had a small high end sheep leather coats import company. M. had recently lost here dream contract in early 2008 doing ‘big business’ with a nationally known prestigious clothing store. Since that time she had moved around a bit job-wise and slowly gotten herself into debt. At the time when I starting communicating with her she had reached the point where she was willing to work part time for others, in a commission only based job. She was currently four months behind on her rent and was exhibiting the beginning stages of clinical depression. M. lived in New York City by herself, most of her friends and family lived overseas. She did have a few friends in the area but she hadn’t seen very much of them recently because in her own words: “What friends I do have here, I rarely see anymore as I have withdrawn into my apartment. A typical weekend for me will be to stay up all night Friday night only to sleep for the next two days consecutively until I have to return to work on Monday”. Through our introductory Online Counseling session M. revealed that she was falling into a type of depression and having all sorts of strange dreams whilst sleeping (12-14 hours). She could not afford health care at this time and did not know what she was going to do financially. The weekend she had contacted me she had simply decided to discontinue eating and stated that she, “did not even feel that hungry anymore.” It was later revealed that she had also been engaging in other activities that pointed to sings of her depression. She showed signs of drinking binges beyond socially acceptable standards; there were also some concerns about promiscuity (with one of her potential client).I assessed that M.’s life was spiraling out of control and the things that provided her with a feeling of self worth i.e. her job, her apartment, her standard of living in general - were all dropping significantly. She was trying to get past these difficult times and just reached the point where she did not know what to do. Three Online Counseling sessions were needed in order to formulate my assessment and professional advice; generally speaking, I appreciate someone who is having a true awareness about him / herself and wants to take the right steps - and she falls into this group.

I had the feeling that M. is having 'an o.k. personality’ and therefore is capable of getting through the current situation, if major changes would occur in four domains:
A. Drinking should be a definite target for a change in her life.
B. Job and Business re-structuring: This economy has no room for many high end products; leather sheep coats are definitely within the heavily affected range. Use your sales ability, and move into another area. You are good in that line, so do high commission jobs.
C. Love / Sex / Relationships - no more and never again with clients or potential clients. Adopt therefore another mission: to look inward for your 'self assets' and thereafter outward, to find the right one.
D. New business location - no chance in NYC. Costs are too high and market trends are alarming. You are single, I told her, with no real supportive social circle around your location. Transform this “negative asset” into a big “plus” and move int to a growing areas, economy wise. Neither you nor I are going to produce miracles that would beat the economy trend. Since I'm not a magician, only a professional, I could see no reason to support an effort to swim against the stream when she could float on it instead.

So the strategy is:
Look for another business and or job, elsewhere in the US.

Establish a new 'you' - no drinking, financial responsibility and healthy relationships.

M. questioned me on the necessity to move out of New York; she was slightly agitated by my recommendation. Our Online Counseling work has ended; the Small Business Advice I could give her was left untouched.
Dr. Joseph Abraham, Director, Center for Human Growth and Business Insights, Mechanicsburg, PA Tel 717-943.0959 Management Consultant and a Small Business Advice provider, as well as a Psychologist, Online Life Coach, Marriage Counselor and Relationship Advice provider
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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Online Counseling Provides Small Business Advice about Team Goal Settings

Recently R. requested an Online Counseling session for a solution to some issues that had come up at his work. He was the new asst. manager of a restaurant and had some concerns about the way his position was being perceived by his superior at the restaurant he worked at.

“I have a staff of either very young girls or older women and I can’t seem to find a middle ground with them. The young girls like to play around at work a lot and the older women are very uptight. I’m trying to find a way to bring them all together. I need to get the older women to understand that I am in charge and the younger girls to understand this are a professional work environment around here.”R. needed help figuring out a way to establish his authority with the older women as well as advice on how he should be asserting his authority to better manage the younger girls and let them see that things had to change and calm down to create a more professional atmosphere. Through offering him some Small Business Advice by means of Online Counseling I was able to offer some procedures that could assist in facilitating the changes that needed to take place.

I advised R. that first off he should be assured that the main problem was not his but the manager’s. The manager dealt only with the people on her shift and in turn R. dealt only with the people on his shift. There had been no authoritative presence established when R. took over his shift and that was the start of the issue but certainly not the only cause.
Working with R. and offering him some Small Business Advice I helped him create a set of operations that would hopefully help the Manager see the need for her to do a better job as well as establish his position of authority.
1. Arrange a very detailed set of missions and assign who is responsible for each one (could be a team). Specify levels of standards (quality) and ways of measuring the work / results. This is the MBO (Management by Objectives) method. It does take some time to establish.2. Use the team approach in order to further refine the various chores. Let the staff be a partner of the plan. Support them in their input.3. Build your own team, using well prepared weekly meetings (30-45 minutes).I advised R. to approach the business’ owner for a reasonable budget, regarding professional assistance in the above process. What I had specified sounds easy, but it is not. Online Counseling to provide Small Business Advice would help to create a professional business atmosphere that would increase profits as well as enhance time and business management.
Dr. Joseph Abraham, Director, Center for Human Growth and Business Insights, Mechanicsburg, PA Tel 717-943.0959 Management consultant and Small Business Advice providr as well as a Psychologist, Online Life Coach, Marriage Counselor and Relationship Advice provider. Small Business Advice Online Counseling Psychologist Room and Efficiencies Rental
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