Learning Provider Profile
Mr. Meuchel is a Certified Learning Provider (CLP) at Appleton Greene and he has experience in management and entrepreneurship specializing in the construction industry. He has achieved a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Construction Management. He has industry experience within the following sectors: Business Ownership; Design/Build; Construction Management and General Contracting. His experience within the construction industry incorporates all facets of construction including: Design Phase; Bid Phase and Construction Phase. He has had commercial experience within the following countries: United States of America, or more specifically within the following cities: Baltimore MD; Washington DC; Raleigh NC; Jacksonville FL and Atlanta GA. His personal achievements include: established time management processes; published book for entrepreneurs; entrepreneur mastermind program and construction expert witness. His service skills incorporate: time management; process development & testing; marketing & sales; owner & 1 subcontractor relations; estimating & budgeting; planning & scheduling; cost & quality control; inspections & safety; municipal regulations and permitting.
This program is ideal for an entrepreneur; someone who has gone beyond just coming up with ideas and has already had some success by turning those ideas into something tangible and making some money. Specifically the program focuses on entrepreneurs in construction and construction related industries ready to take their business to the next level while simultaneously creating a healthier work-life balance.
By the end of the program the entrepreneur will develop a process driven and efficient business model tailored to work around their individual dreams and goals. This customized model will position participants to enjoy success on their own terms and achieve something most entrepreneurs aspire to attain but never actually achieve – Entrepreneurship Work-Life Balance.
During the first month of the program participants will be guided through a series of steps designed to establish personalized, unique goals, and determine what they plan to accomplish during the program. The purpose of establishing program goals at the outset is so that each succeeding step of the program can be customized and geared towards each participant reverse engineering their own success.
The entrepreneurs will first complete a gut level assessment called the Ten-Second Test, with the intent to begin establishing the baseline needed for self-testing and validation of goals. Next they will work through the Ten-Minute Dream Statement to begin expanding on their gut level assessment. This statement will then serve as the basis for a deeper critical thinking step to develop the Reflection Statement.
Participants will then work through exercises designed to analyze their new self-assessment data and how it relates to their current mindset, positioning, and work-life balance. This analysis is critical for the entrepreneurs to better understand how their end-of-program and long-term goals compare to the current state of their personal life and business model. The analysis will then be used to review their unique value proposition, and current niche markets to gain preliminary insight as to the feasibility of accomplishing their program goals and the necessary resources.
During the final steps of the first month participants will work to culminate the testing and validation results so they can begin brainstorming for the future and putting short-term and long-term parameters down on paper. With this in place the entrepreneur will revisit and further interpret the results of their self-assessment to make any adjustments. These results will be turned into tangible and realistic goals geared towards improving their business and achieving a healthy work-life balance.
At the conclusion of the first month and before moving to the next program phase participants will have established their own personal goals and validated these goals. This validation is the final goal establishment step to confirm the goals are realistic and achievable. Realistic and achievable is not intended to mean easy but instead to confirm that the entrepreneurs are committed to dedicating themselves and the resources it will take to achieve program success.
The participant will in turn leverage these now validated goals to serve as a key ingredient for developing the customized blueprint tailored to focus on results through every step of the program and reverse engineer their own success.
01. Entrepreneurship Cycle: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
02. Mindset: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
03. Deep Thinking: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
04. Positioning: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
05. Balance: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
06. Habits: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
07. Culture: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. 1 Month
08. Niche Identification: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
09. Interdepartmental Survey: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
10. Feasibility: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
11. Parameters: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
12. Goal Establishment: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
1. Entrepreneurship Cycle: Each entrepreneur to undertake SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
2. Mindset: Each entrepreneur to undertake SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
3. Deep Thinking: Each entrepreneur to undertake SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
4. Positioning: Each entrepreneur to undertake SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
5. Balance: Each entrepreneur to undertake SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
6. Habits: Each entrepreneur to undertake SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
7. Culture: Each entrepreneur to undertake SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
8. Niche Identification: Each entrepreneur to undertake SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
9. Interdepartmental Survey: Each entrepreneur to undertake SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
10. Feasibility: Each entrepreneur to undertake SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
11. Parameters: Each entrepreneur to undertake SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
12. Goal Establishment: Each entrepreneur to undertake SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
1. Entrepreneurship Cycle: Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, in order to analyze the Entrepreneurship Cycle process.
2. Mindset: Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, in order to analyze the Mindset process.
3. Deep Thinking: Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, in order to analyze the Deep Thinking process.
4. Positioning: Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, in order to analyze the Positioning process.
5. Balance: Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, in order to analyze the Balance process.
6. Habits: Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, in order to analyze the Habits process.
7. Culture: Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, in order to analyze the Culture process.
8. Niche Identification: Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, in order to analyze the Niche Identification process.
9. Interdepartmental Survey: Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, in order to analyze the Interdepartmental Survey process.
10. Feasibility: Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, in order to analyze the Feasibility process.
11. Parameters: Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, in order to analyze the Parameters process.
12. Goal Establishment: Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, in order to analyze the Goal Establishment process.
In the beginning stages of a new company one entrepreneur or a small group of partner entrepreneurs (the founders) often find themselves wearing many hats; taking on the roles of multiple management positions they have yet to fill.
Entrepreneurs who start a business this way eventually fall right into the typical entrepreneurship cycle if the company sees some success and starts to grow. Usually overwhelmed by this point, burn out starts to set in and it becomes less and less likely that the self-employed, sweat equity, approach to running a business will be sustainable. Not all entrepreneurs make it past this point.
The ones who keep going and over time transition into a more process driven business generally learn to shed some of their workload, adding leadership to the organization; C-suite executives and department heads. They also typically add more staff and outsourced resources to help ease the burdens of some of the repetitive day-to-day tasks they had initially been handling themselves because they thought it made sense or they couldn’t afford to hire these tasks out.
With added leadership and staff the founding entrepreneur’s day-to-day role almost immediately begins to change to less of a worker bee and more of a boss, largely out of necessity. For an entrepreneur who has been stuck for some period of time in the proverbial hamster wheel of work, work, work, there is a good chance this was the first time they got a taste of what it would be like to have some of their time back. This feeling could be best described as a breath of fresh air.
In addition to the changing role for the founding entrepreneur under this new model, the leadership in the company also begins to take on the characteristics of an entrepreneur; organizing, managing and assuming the risks of the business. Depending on the structure of the company this leadership could include positions like the CEO, COO, CFO, CMO and CTO, as well as division and department heads such as accounting, marketing and human resources for example.
If you are someone who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise then by definition, you are an entrepreneur. (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
As one might expect, the cycle continues over time and the time demands increase on the leadership, similarly to how they increased on the founding entrepreneur in the earlier stages of the business. At this point in the company’s tenure, one, a few, several, or in extreme cases all of the leadership could begin to feel overwhelmed, leading to an organizational breakdown starting at the top and trickling downhill.
Inevitably, at this point the time and energy commitment these leaders make to the business have crossed a boundary and begun impacting their own personal wellbeing and success as well; in some cases adding additional strains to life at home, inhibiting their social life and even making it difficult to find time for practicing good habits of taking care of themselves. As leaders, the key players also will begin to stress that their own personal reputation in the professional world is now resting on the shoulders of their company’s success (or lack thereof); which can cause them to work even more, complicating their work-life balance further.
The good news is that this constant feeling of overwhelm can become a thing of the past for entrepreneurs willing to commit to following a process and implementing a series of strategies designed to promote a process driven business geared towards creating a healthier work-life balance; Balancing Entrepreneurship.
In 2020, an eight person expert panel of entrepreneurs put together a list of eight strategies for business leaders to avoid feeling overwhelmed (Source: Forbes Magazine, March 5, 2020, How To Avoid Feeling Overwhelmed: Eight Effective Strategies For Business Leaders, Expert Panel, Young Entrepreneur Council)
1. Use Your Time Outside Of Work Wisely
2. Change Your Attitude Toward Stress
3. Learn How To Delegate
4. Fine-Tune Digital Notification Settings
5. Create More Time And Focus
6. Tackle The Biggest Hurdle First
7. Get An Executive Accountability Partner
8. Manage Your Deadlines
The great thing is that every item on the list can be addressed with goal setting.
Why Goal Setting
Years ago one of the panel speakers at a seminar I attended made an analogy that really struck a chord with me. I had heard the two words he spoke of, rich and wealthy, used interchangeably quite often but had never really thought about the difference between the two.
To get our attention the speaker started by telling a short fictional story about someone laying on their deathbed and how unlikely it would be to hear them say something like, I wish I had bought that expensive car I always wanted. After a pause for effect, the speaker continued with you would be more likely to hear the dying person say something like, I wish I had spent more time with my kids or visited my parents more often.
Quickly getting to his point, he explained that from his point of view, if you are rich then you have plenty of money to spend but if you are wealthy you not only have money but also have time to enjoy it. Comparison made, he went on to say that although he had amassed plenty of money and could pretty much buy whatever he wanted materially, without the time and relationships he had been able to nurture along the way, all the money and possessions in the world would not be worth it for him. Whether someone agrees or disagrees with this logic there is some rationale to it and there is definitely a difference between having lots of money in relation to having lots of money and plenty of time.
As humans we only get 168 hours in a week. For most people, adding up the hours it takes to do those things they have to do in order to survive leaves little time to spend doing what they really enjoy; one of which is probably spending quality time with the people whom they most prefer to spend it with or hobbies or the like. The funny thing is if you talk to ten people who have jobs and engage in deep conversation you will often find that some of them think entrepreneurs have all the time in the world. Their opinions couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Entrepreneurs, as a whole, tend to work more than employees and this isn’t a new problem. According to a poll of readers of the New York Enterprise Report conducted in 2006, 33% of small-business owners worked more than 50 hours a week and another 25% logged more than 60 hours weekly. On top of that, working a weekend regularly was the norm for 70%. (Source: Inc. Magazine, April 13, 2006, Business Owners Work Twice as Much as Employees, Survey Finds, Ted Callahan)
The constant feeling of not having enough time adds frustration and stress. This in turn triggers all kinds of emotions and inevitably an entrepreneur in this predicament eventually becomes overwhelmed and starts losing control, meaning they don’t know what to do minute-to-minute; much less day-to-day.
As the 2006 poll suggests, some entrepreneurs accept the lack of time as it is, and either continue to work randomly or freeze up and do nothing; basically grinding away daily for survival. In addition to feeling miserable and overwhelmed, doing nothing to get out of the rut like these entrepreneurs choose to do can actually make the problem worse over time because in entrepreneurship standing still typically means you are actually regressing and going backwards.
If you don’t know what to do minute-to-minute; much less day to day then where do you start to remove the randomness and stop wasting so much of your valuable time?
The answer is you start with goal setting, which is why the first workshop is dedicated to Goal Establishment.
As famous entrepreneur, Bill Gates is famously quoted as saying,
“Setting clear goals and finding measures that will mark progress toward them can improve the human condition.”
These days in society everything is rush, rush, rush. After all, it is completely normal to be overbooked and in many work settings if you aren’t absolutely slammed then it can be construed that you are lazy or a slacker.
The question you should be asking is;
Are all of these people really that busy?
Did you know the automatic scheduling calendar applications have modules built in to make it look like someone is busy. If you don’t believe this check it out for yourself. You can absolutely set a scheduling calendar to randomly block off free time so that when someone books time on the calendar it looks like you are jam packed with meetings already.
The answer is, yes, people as a whole in modern society tend to overextend. Why wouldn’t they? Technology makes it easy. Like it or not, the digital age has put a damper on effective planning because everything is liquid with nothing set in stone anymore. If someone is running late to a meeting they just send a quick text assuming since they let the other person know it was no big deal.
Making changes on the fly has become normal in homelife and in the business world. The problem with this thinking and these habits is that the impacts of these changes filter down much farther into the day-to-day lives of society in regards to how they act or feel.
Take running late to the meeting for example. If two people are meeting and one of them is late, the meeting will more than likely run past the allotted time. This means both meeting attendees are now behind on their next task. Just like that, efficiency is literally out the window.
So what does being slammed really mean? It means people are tracking hours logged instead of tracking results.
The studies already show that entrepreneurs’ employees are not productive. As published in Inc. Magazine, a study of full-time office workers revealed that the average productivity in the office among the respondents was 2 hours and 53 minutes. The study, conducted by www.vouchercloud.com, polled 1,989 UK office workers all aged over 18 as part of research into the online habits and productivity of workers across the nation.
According to the study here is where employees are spending their time.
(Source: Inc. Magazine, July 21, 2016, In an 8-Hour Day, the Average Worker Is Productive for This Many Hours, Melanie Curtin)
It begs to differ that if you conducted the same study among entrepreneurs feeling overwhelmed, the results would be similar which would mean entrepreneurs might think they are really busy; but are they?
Taking it one step further, are overwhelmed entrepreneurs logging hours or focusing on results?
I have to admit I drank the kool-aid for years and bought into the whole, you have to be busy to be successful and you have to outwork your competition to really thrive and reach your potential. For me this worked for years, right up until the time when my life started to change.
Sometimes I think back to what my days looked like before and compare them to what they are like now and I just shake my head. As a young, single, employee out of college work always took priority.
– If I had to get in early to wrap something up; no problem.
– When the boss invited us to a group happy hour I was there.
– Late nights in the office; the norm.
– Covering weekends; sure whatever it takes.
Then, several years later after I had resigned from my job and started a business my life began to change. In my case I had already settled down but was just starting to grow a family with kids. At this point, saying yes to everything work related became more of a decision; and a decision with consequences at that.
For the first time in my life I began to really experience the stresses of trying to maintain a work-life balance. I can tell you this unequivocally – I didn’t like how it felt one bit.
I can also tell you that the stresses of an unhealthy work-life balance took a toll not only at home but also with my business. No matter what anyone tells you it is very difficult, if not impossible, to completely separate your work life from your personal life; especially when you are an entrepreneur.
Looking back, one of the most important steps I made in my own journey to create a healthier work-life balance was to slow down. I remember vividly when I was completely overwhelmed and on the verge of exhaustion yet I carved out some quiet time to reflect back.
It didn’t take me very long reflecting to see the connection between the times when I was crazy busy and felt overwhelmed but had somehow managed to eventually get my head above water. Dating all the way back to my corporate days I realized that each time I had reached this point I had done the same thing; I had done less.
This doesn’t mean that I quit when times got tough. In fact I never threw in the towel and gave up. Instead I managed each time to put in the effort to offload tasks that I knew someone else could handle.
The problem in my case was that I had let myself get so busy that I wasn’t allowing time to develop a repeatable process, train someone on that process, make them responsible for it, and create a follow up process to make sure the process was getting done correctly.
Reality is in each case the process was already built and tested; in my head.
The magic was in slowing down and taking the time to get the process out of my head and down on paper. Once the process had been taught and delegated my role minimized to oversight and periodic follow ups.
Getting back to the 168 hours in a week the question you should be asking is;
Where am I spending my time?
How you get started is figuring out where you are currently in relation to where you want to be.
This leads into effective short-term and long-term goal setting to define the unique path it will take to connect the dots and cross the bridge between now and then.
Setting the Ultimate Baseline
In goal setting the baseline, sometimes called a datum, defines the starting point. When entrepreneurs set goals, establishing a clear starting point is imperative for the goal setting process to be effective. This is because without first defining the baseline it would be impossible to accurately measure goal progress.
Since the baseline anchors one end of the spectrum and the result, or goal achievement, anchors the opposite end, the distance between these two anchors can be referred to as the bridge. In this case the bridge represents the path between where an entrepreneur is currently and where they want to be.
The single bridge would suffice, and it does at a macro level, to define the ultimate goal. In terms of an entrepreneur working towards the ultimate goal of a more process driven business model with a healthier work-life balance it is logical that in order to achieve the ultimate goal will also require the achievement of a series of smaller goals along the way. Therefore ultimate goal achievement would represent the collective achievement of several smaller goals; interim goals if you will.
The delineation between the ultimate and interim goals is not intended to minimize the importance of setting the ultimate goal first before subsequently diving into setting and prioritizing the short-term micro goals. To the contrary, setting goals in this order helps alleviate the likely consequence of setting several random goals without boundaries; a series of unrelated goals that although achieved individually do not result in the achievement of the ultimate goal.
In their article, How Focusing on Superordinate Goals Motivates Broad, Long-Term Goal Pursuit: A Theoretical Perspective, the authors write,
“Multiple intermediate goals across different behavioral contexts in turn help achieve goals even higher up in the hierarchy—that is, superordinate goals. For example, the intermediate goals to ‘be in good physical shape’, ‘get enough sleep’, ‘avoid stress’, and ‘eat a healthy diet‘ all contribute to the superordinate goal to ‘be healthy’.” (Source: frontiersin.org, October 2, 2018, How Focusing on Superordinate Goals Motivates Broad, Long-Term Goal Pursuit: A Theoretical Perspective, Bettina Höchli, Adrian Brügger and Claude Messner; Department of Consumer Behavior, Institute of Marketing and Management, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland)
Keeping this in mind entrepreneurs will utilize the SMART goal setting methodology, to first establish an ultimate goal with baseline and desired result, followed by a series of interim or intermediate goals needed to achieve the ultimate goal. When utilizing the SMART method, each goal set will meet five criteria.
The five necessary criteria for each goal set are the goals must be,
● Time Sensitive
Using this methodology together with the data generated by the entrepreneur in the first workshop will provide the entrepreneur with the information needed to develop a personalized goal tracking log that will be utilized and fine tuned throughout the program. In addition to the baseline for the ultimate goal, the log will also include the unique baselines for each interim goal established.
For entrepreneurs results matter and in goal setting the result defines the end point, also called the finish line. Similarly to the baseline, when entrepreneurs set goals, establishing a clear result is imperative for the goal setting process to be effective.
Specifically, the desired ultimate result will be different and unique to each entrepreneur although generally it can be construed to mean, where the entrepreneur really wants to be. To help get their arms around where they really want to be a series of steps are followed to facilitate deep thinking, first at a gut level and then at a validation level.
This deep thinking starts with a self-assessment mindset analysis to zero in on and define values, expertise and passions while also acknowledging the entrepreneur’s mindset type. This analysis leads into a three step analysis geared towards establishing the entrepreneur’s ultimate desired result at a gut level before validating that gut and reaffirming commitment to put in the work.
During the Ten-Second Test the entrepreneur will identify their unique dream at a gut level. Subsequently, step two is designed to facilitate the entrepreneur getting their thoughts out of their head and onto paper; a necessary step before validating the dream. In step three the entrepreneur will use a looking back reflection concept to test confidence and clarity which are both integral parts of a healthy mindset.
At the conclusion of the three step process the entrepreneur will be able to define their desired ultimate result while satisfying each of the five criteria in the SMART goal setting methodology. At this point the unique ultimate goal for the program is established which enables the entrepreneur to begin figuring out and defining the interim goals they will need to achieve in their quest to get from where they are now to where they want to be.
Connecting the Dots
Defining the ultimate goal using SMART goal setting methodology and taking the extra step to put that goal down on paper should feel like a WIN for any entrepreneur. A study of 149 participants conducted by Psychologist, Dr. Gail Matthews shows, those who make the effort to write their goals down are 1-½ times more likely to accomplish their goals than those who just set goals.
With the ultimate goal established and written down on paper the entrepreneur can go to work establishing the interim goals required to connect the dots. Transparency and accountability are critical at this juncture because any known constraints, issues and variables that are ignored will render the analysis and subsequent goal setting process inaccurate.
The process begins with the entrepreneur methodically sifting through and evaluating several criteria at their departmental level. Under the presumption that each criteria evaluated will need work for the entrepreneur to achieve their ultimate goal, they will assess and analyze both their own personal standing as well as the positioning, work-life balance, habits, culture and niche of their business.
Once interpreted, the generated data will provide the necessary information to begin development of the unique, interim goals for the program with each goal again satisfying the SMART goal setting criteria. Although it makes sense for each entrepreneur and/or department to work on this analysis independently it is recommended they circle back around and conduct an interdepartmental survey to ensure continuity, unity and collaboration is present between the major departments and divisions of the organization.
It is important at this stage for the entrepreneur to validate the generated data and remove as many known variables as possible while identifying anything they are aware of that could create a problem or inhibit achievement of a goal. It is not realistic for the entrepreneur to expect that all of the problems will be solved at this point although it can be anticipated that many of the developed goals will require just that; solving known problems.
In fact, the entrepreneur should expect (and welcome) additional challenges to surface later. The objective at hand is to validate the data with the best known information at the time to make sure it represents an accurate assessment. The analysis and deep thinking performed at this stage will provide the springboard for the entrepreneur to evaluate the feasibility and establish goal parameters leading up to the development of the goal tracking log which will mark the completion of this workshop.
The goals will start to take form once validated although they will not yet satisfy all of the SMART goal setting criteria. This criteria won’t be met until time constraints have been applied to each goal. It would not help to apply time constraints at this point without first prioritizing the goals to follow a logical sequence and flow.
After the goals have been prioritized the entrepreneur will assign each item to either a short-term goal or a long-term goal. The short-term goals will then be broken down further into six-month and one-year goals. Similarly the long-term goals will be broken down into two-year, five-year and ten-year goals.
Entrepreneurs moving forward are constantly testing, learning and adapting so the idea is not to get everything perfect but instead to use the best available resources to be as accurate as possible. It is important to understand that the goal tracking log is meant to be a tool so updating the log throughout the program is anticipated and encouraged.
A side note – Don’t forget that billionaire and entrepreneur, Bill Gates is famously quoted as saying, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”
For a goal to be feasible means that it is capable of being done or carried out. (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
The main reason to perform a feasibility analysis prior to implementing and taking action on a goal is to make sure the anticipated action will render the desired outcome. Once completed the analysis also confirms another criteria in the SMART goal setting process; achievable.
Confirming feasibility marks an integral part of overall success in goal setting. The goal tracking log will comprise six-month, one-year, two-year, five-year and ten-year goals each follow-on goal will be dependent on the success of preceding goal results.
Acknowledging that ultimate success depends on the interim successes along the way, it is worth the effort to invest time thinking about the adverse effects if one or two in a series of multiple goals working together in harmony wasn’t feasible from the beginning and ultimately failed. Breaking this down further, the ultimate goal baseline is set in stone, representing a snapshot of the entrepreneur’s starting point in the program.
In order to achieve the ultimate goal result at the end of the program, and beyond, will require the accomplishment of a series of interim goals along the way. Because it would not be realistic to solve every problem or start taking action on every goal immediately, each interim goal will in effect have its own unique baseline. As a result many of these interim goal baselines will be dependent on the success of preceding actions and anticipated results.
Therefore, implementing irresponsible action on an unfeasible goal would inevitably lead to the failure to achieve the desired outcome. This failure would likely in turn create a snowball effect with follow on goals, rendering these goals unrealistic or unachievable as well. Utilizing accurate daya and meeting the SMART criteria will eliminate this from the equation but it is worth mentioning to highlight its importance.
In general, entrepreneurs are highly motivated, however when it comes to goal setting commitment and drive are not enough and details matter. Before jumping in with both feet it is important to take the time to get an initial handle on things like money, risk, income potential and available resources. Also an entrepreneur should always consider the consequences of committing to a particular goal in terms of whether the actions required aligns with core values and the perceived impacts on work-life balance.
In goal setting, parameters define the limits or boundaries. For the entrepreneur this means setting criteria to define how far they are willing to go and what they are willing to sacrifice in order to achieve the desired result.
The reason parameters are not set until after the feasibility analysis is because for the entrepreneur the parameters are largely personal. At this point they should already be confident that each goal they intend to add to their goal tracking log has met the four of the five criteria of the SMART goal setting process; specific, measurable, achievable and time bound.
The entrepreneur should already be confident that each intended goal has been scrutinized and determined to be feasible; meaning they believe the anticipated action will render the desired outcome. This feasibility analysis further addressed the achievable and realistic criteria.
The only remaining criteria to confirm is whether or not the goal is realistic. Whether or not an intended goal is realistic becomes an objective call for the entrepreneur depending on what parameters they set and how these parameters impact the chances of achieving (or not achieving) the desired result.
When setting parameters the main objective for the entrepreneur is to analyze the anticipated action that was tested during the feasibility analysis. In layman’s terms the anticipated action required could be construed to mean, at what cost.
In this case, anticipated action or cost doesn’t necessarily refer only to money.
For example, even if outsourced there will generally be some in-house involvement at an oversight level in which case the anticipated action or cost also refers to any added commitment and strain on the entrepreneur’s time; and that of their staff. On a case-by-case basis the entrepreneur decides whether these impacts to work-life balance are acceptable or not.
To that end, if accomplishing the goal will require outsourcing with an existing outsource partner, the entrepreneur analyzes the consequences of adding to the partner’s workload. If the additional workload will impact other tasks the partner is already responsible for, the entrepreneur can set boundaries which could mean altering the goal accordingly or in extreme cases, abandoning it altogether.
Referring back to work-life balance again, the entrepreneur can set parameters to limit or minimize short-term and long-term sacrifices it will take to achieve the goal. This may include things like reprioritizing and reallocating their time and that of their staff temporarily or putting other projects and tasks on hold. It could also mean deciding if they want to contribute extra hours and effort in the short-term to reap long-term benefits.
In terms of existing clients and potential new clients in the pipeline, the entrepreneur may choose to be transparent with clients about upcoming changes in the organization that will be apparent in the short-term but benefit clients in the long-term. Or the entrepreneur might decide to set limits and keep the changes off the radar to clients and in some cases to staff. Regardless of which route the entrepreneurs go when setting parameters, each of these decisions come with different consequences.
Lastly, the entrepreneur has the ability to set parameters when it comes to maintaining core values and upholding corporate culture. In some cases this will require an if-then type approach. For example, if it turns out that to achieve goal A we have to sacrifice our core values then we will abandon it immediately and transition to goal B.
In summary, the Parameters portion of the workshop is the last building block leading up to goal establishment. It is designed specifically for the entrepreneur to take randomness out of the equation and set goals based on logic instead of short-term emotions; all while keeping the balance between personal and professional at the forefront.
Entrepreneurs should be aware that no matter how well they prepare, there will be times they will be very busy and even on occasion overwhelmed. Yet, once the right systems and processes are in place, even though these times can be trying, they will be temporary.
The development and implementation of the goal tracking log will mark the culmination of the hard work put forth by the entrepreneur in the first workshop; Goal Establishment. Once built the log will be a working tool for the entrepreneur, providing the framework to create a more process driven business model while simultaneously improving on and creating a healthier work-life balance.
There is no doubt that the feeling of not having enough time adds frustration and stress. When this feeling of overwhelm becomes normal to anyone who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business they can easily lose control, not knowing what to do minute-to-minute; much less day to day.
The good news is that this constant feeling of overwhelm can become a thing of the past for entrepreneurs willing to commit to following a process and implementing a series of strategies designed to promote a process driven business geared towards creating a healthier work-life balance; Balancing Entrepreneurship.
For entrepreneurs, effective goal setting is one of the first steps to begin removing randomness from the equation enabling them to accomplish things like using their time wisely, better managing stress, delegating, creating more available time and focusing on what matters most; all of which contribute to a healthier work-life balance.
The first part of the workshop will focus on the Entrepreneurship Cycle.
How it Starts
Many people with aspirations to become an entrepreneur never make it past the Dream Stage. This is when someone spends much of their time dreaming and trying to come up with their widget; the huge money making idea. Some of these dreamers will make it to the Idea Stage and begin spending time coming up with ideas hoping to turn them into something tangible. As they let their mind dive into uncharted territory, the new ideas flood in but they typically are just ideas and lack true clarity.
It isn’t until the next stage called, The Plan, that a person really begins their transformation, potentially becoming an entrepreneur. As they begin planning how to turn their idea into a real business the planning can go on for days, months and even years, usually dying before going any further.
Prospective entrepreneurs who have pushed past this stage and started to Develop their idea before eventually taking the leap of faith can have you on the edge of your seat for hours listening to the steps they went through in the early stages. Taking the jump from planning to developing is huge, taking the prospective entrepreneur to the verge of making their dream a reality.
Taking the Leap
Many entrepreneurs who eventually make the decision to take the Leap of Faith have some initial success and make some money until Reality starts to set in. This doesn’t necessarily mean the business has gone bankrupt but it probably does mean that the work-life balance is out of whack. and the daily grind of the business may have led to stress and burnout in the entrepreneur.
If not addressed this stress and burnout works its way into the other entrepreneurs and leaders in the organization, the employees, and even the clientele; wreaking havoc on the corporate culture and business reputation the entrepreneur worked so passionately to establish. Most successful entrepreneurs will tell you they faced Failure and overcame it along their journey, recognizing the definition of failure, just like success, is different for everyone.
Failure for an entrepreneur could simply mean not being where they want to be personally, professionally, or both; or it could mean something much different.
Putting it All Together
During the next four stages of the entrepreneurship cycle the entrepreneurs who develop systems and processes can take a business to the next level while simultaneously creating a healthier work-life balance.
This starts with Assessing the Damage to establish a baseline and prepare to build on what is already going well. For this assessment to work, it is important to get a handle on everything – the good and the bad. That is the only way to make educated decisions and begin Taking Control to work towards optimizing the business.
Climbing Out is a step-by-step process that will not happen overnight. But it is 100% realistic with commitment. The goal is to optimize the basics; then exploit the differences to stand out from the competition.
Phasing in many changes one-by-one over months is called Executing with the result being a more process driven and better positioned business, requiring less of the entrepreneur’s personal time at work. This transformation in effect leaves more time home promoting a healthier work-life balance.
The Mindset portion of the workshop focuses on performing the first steps needed to begin zeroing in on absolute clarity and increasing confidence.
The reason to delve into mindset type at this early stage of the program is twofold. First, it is important in goal setting to understand and compensate accordingly for either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. Second, it is a common misconception that mindset cannot be changed, however the reality is some people are trained to have a fixed mindset from an early age then are retrained later in life. Understanding this ability to retrain is very important because a person operating under a growth mindset believes success is not predetermined, nor is it capped. The sky’s the limit so to speak.
Mindset identification leads into self-identification of key strengths and biggest weaknesses before testing this identification against a peer analysis. This is followed by identification of the inner circle; personal and professional relationships who have the most influence. Recognizing the effects of influence, the mindset types of these key influencers will be identified at a precursory level.
When it comes to mindset, self-assessment is very important which is why the next step is to define values, expertise, and passions. When compared against the preliminary goal setting and current circle of influence analysis this work often proves very enlightening for entrepreneurs trying to gain clarity and understand limiting factors are impeding their quest to achieve a healthy work-life balance.
Before completing the mindset portion of the workshop a confidence check is performed to test the commitment of doing what it will take to reposition and best leverage expertise and passion.
A second confidence check in the ability to drive revenue and continue making money while weathering the short-term inconveniences of transitioning to a more process driven business model is performed as well.
In general terms this means committing to trusting the program and being coachable.
The Deep Thinking portion of the workshop focuses on developing a gut level assessment of ultimate goals both personally and professionally and then validating the gut.
The first part of the self-assessment process begins with a short and concise statement called the Ten-Second Test to begin establishing the baseline needed for self-testing and validation of goals. The result of this test will be the identification of a dream unique to the individual.
The second part of the self-assessment process is designed to help the entrepreneur get the thoughts from their head onto paper on a gut or conceptual level. The result of this test will be the precursor for focusing more on the details and validating the gut.
Lastly, the Reflection Statement uses a looking back concept to improve mindset both from a confidence and from a clarity perspective. The first objective will be to figure out if current dreams align with past dreams then to identify what has changed, or has not changed, and why. Once the variables are identified, intentional actions to get back on track can begin.
Goal Statement & Action List
The product of the three assessments will provide the information needed to first define what a goal means and to identify a desired result. This leads into the development of a goal statement and customized list of action items. The action items will represent five immediate steps to start eliminating or correcting unnecessary obstacles. The idea is to begin taking these action steps immediately; not to wait until the next workshop.
The Positioning portion of the workshop focuses on assessing and analyzing the present state of the business’s positioning.
Entrepreneur’s often become aware during the positioning analysis that the image and branding they project to current customers, potential customers, and even to employees and between departments, does not clearly identify expertise and is in effect driving the business farther and farther away from its long-term goals.
Although it can initially be frustrating for business owners, C-suite executives and department heads to realize that branding needs some work, they typically soon understand the positives outweigh the negatives. Identifying the current state of operations at this juncture in the program enables the entrepreneur to establish a realistic baseline for goal setting and affords ample time to reverse engineer each succeeding program step.
Marketing and Sales
Without brand awareness business won’t survive very long. After all, if nobody knows a business service or product exists then who is going to hire the services or buy the products. In terms of positioning, the best return on investment will be streamlining the efforts to position a brand where your ideal clients will find it.
With many moving parts and pieces that need to integrate and work seamlessly together for consistency and efficiency, a well-thought out and process driven sales process from lead generation all the way through the agreement and then job set up and onboarding can pay huge dividends towards positioning the company for sustained success.
Although it is easy for most people to talk about what they are good at, coming to grips with what they aren’t so good at is sometimes easier said than done. Entrepreneurs working through the program will continue to implement the theme of doubling down on strengths and delegating weaknesses.
The Balance portion of the workshop focuses on assessing and analyzing the present state of work-life balance.
In a very general sense work-life balance is the ratio of your time spent working in relation to personal life. When the ratio, or balance, is out of whack the mental and physical tolls the lack of balance takes on an entrepreneur over time can be catastrophic on many levels. Creating a healthier work-life balance does not happen by accident and many factors play into each unique situation and what is considered a healthy balance.
Setting the Terms
A person’s values will be tested over and over again both in life and business. It is critical to always keep core values at the forefront of decision making when planning, developing and implementing changes during the program, and beyond.
With values in mind, when setting the terms for a healthy work-life balance it helps to think in terms of capitalizing on strengths and compensating for weaknesses while taking into account likes and dislikes.
Taking it a step further, it would not be fair to talk about work-life balance in a bubble without accounting for those things in life, both personally and professionally, that are non-negotiables. These non-negotiables are not necessarily permanent and they will likely be a combination of self-induced non-negotiables and ones that cannot be controlled.
Personal and Professional Goals
There is a difference between goal setting and effective goal setting. It is important to prioritize goals and include well thought out and realistic parameters to maximize results. Goals will continue to be adjusted and reprioritized throughout the program.
The Habits portion of the workshop focuses on developing and maintaining good habits.
Self-Motivation and Consistency
Each top entrepreneur and successful person in general is unique and they have all developed their own tricks and rituals to stay motivated. It would be rare to find two people who follow the exact same process day and night, but there is a common theme. The best-of-the-best have figured out and mastered what works for them. They have succeeded long-term by practicing the rituals and routines that work best for them. The consistency is what’s important; not the exact process.
Mornings and Evenings
Super productive mornings aren’t a necessity although most (not all) top achievers and entrepreneurs will swear to the importance of their morning rituals.
In this portion of the workshop you will spend time analyzing and updating your own personal morning ritual by working through six steps.
– “Peak Productivity” Period
– “Non-Negotiable” Tasks
– “I Should Be Doing” Tasks
– Write it Down
– Schedule and Track
Formal evenings exercises are not incorporated into the program but the entrepreneurs will learn the advantages of breaking the evenings into two parts; after shutting down for the day and right before heading to bed.
Working Through the Noise
It would not be practical to completely isolate an entrepreneur’s business life from their personal life. Inevitably as they work through mornings and evenings they face challenges and frustrations just like everybody else. And yes, entrepreneurs have needs and desires too.
Challenges are issues that need working through and frustrations are annoyances that sap energy. Both are distractions and need to be addressed. Needs are the things that help someone be at their best and desires are things someone wants.
Creating and sustaining good habits is never easy and putting a handful of tasks down on paper is not going to instantly solve 100% of motivation problems. The idea is to begin navigating through and creating a plan that takes into account what the entrepreneur needs, what makes them feel good, what they desire, what they want to do and what they stand for.
The Culture portion of the workshop focuses on how the business thinks, behaves and works.
Companies with the likes of Amazon, Apple, Tesla, Whole Foods, Disney, SEC, Lloyd’s of London, Huawei, GSK and Zappos have all found success operating under completely different types of culture.
In a clan culture type the employees will feel like they belong to a large, friendly work family where their coworkers tend to have common interests, skill sets and goals. Companies with a clan culture type could be described as sophisticated and very by the book.
When thinking of an Adhocracy Culture, the word visionary comes to mind. In an Adhocracy Culture organization, the employees would get the opportunity to be pseudo-entrepreneurs in their own right and be encouraged to bring new ideas to the table. In these organizations change is welcome and expected in order to stay at the forefront of their industry.
If the leader and employees are focused on making money and becoming a market leader then the company is likely operating under a Market type of culture. In this type of culture success is dependent upon the employees ability to put their heads down to perform focused work in the name of a desired result. Two examples of these types of companies are Amazon and Apple.
Some employees aren’t looking for competition at all when they come to work and would prefer to just come to work, do their job, then go home to their families and personal lives. These types of employees will really benefit from working within a hierarchy culture organization, one with functional systems and processes already in place. Government organizations, health care and aviation industries are examples where one would typically find this type of culture.
Different cultures work better for different people and different companies. Imagine what would happen to Amazon or Apple if they completely switched gears and tried to reinvent their culture in the midst of their current success?
To that end, from a philosophical perspective; an entrepreneur should know how they would like their business to operate.
Success or failure as an entrepreneur comes down to people. It starts the leader at the top but it cycles all the way down through the organization. How the leader and the leader’s employees behave will define the core values and define the culture type regardless of what anyone says or puts down on paper.
The Niche Identification portion of the workshop focuses on establishing the entrepreneur as the go-to authority in something they are good at.
Within an organization, where people know someone and see them in action, it really comes down to what they do and how they behave over a sustained period of time that defines their niche; what they are known for.
The difficulty arises when entrepreneurs find that within an organization they are good at many jobs and activities. It is common for these self-motivated, leader types to wear more than one, if not several, hats within the company.
In order to have the biggest impact on the organization the challenge is for the entrepreneur to identify what they are “most suited” for in regards to their expertise as the first priority. Then they need to figure out the time and energy demand required to focus on this niche first. With this data in hand the entrepreneur can begin offloading the time and energy burning tasks that are handicapping their ability to best leverage their ideal niche within your organization.
Pitches definitely are not limited to the corporate pitch level. Within a company each department will have pitches and in many cases there will be multiple pitches used from time to time. Some examples are pitching for the hiring of more personnel, pitching for added benefits in the employee packages and pitching for upgraded computer equipment and/or software.
When developing pitch(es), it is important to keep a pulse on likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, and whether or not the pitch will drive revenue while also making sure the pitch aligns with corporate culture and core values.
The Interdepartmental Survey portion of the workshop focuses on seeking input from the leadership team about the ins and outs of the business from their perspectives and also to better understand how they feel. This data will help establish a baseline for the present state of the organization which can be compared against the goals for the state of the business by the end of the program.
In today’s world, employees typically feel the effects of stress and burnout both at home and at the workplace. In fact, Gallup’s 2021 Work Experience Communication Survey found that about seven in 10 employees feel burned out at work at least sometimes.
If the departments within an organization are not congruent and have a different perspective on work-life balance it is important to understand and address their emotional and logical problems. Identifying the current state of operations at this juncture in the program enables the entrepreneur to establish a realistic baseline for goal setting and affords them ample time to reverse engineer each succeeding program step.
Culture and Habits
Building on the earlier discussions on culture and habits, the goal of this portion of the inter-departmental analysis is to better understand how the departments can work together to create even better habits that align with corporate culture and core values.
Collectively and individually:
– What are they doing well?
– What are they not doing well?
With lots of moving parts and pieces between departments it will be a challenge to find a balance between each department handling its own challenges independently while also understanding and taking into account the effects of problem solving on other departments. Keeping lines of communication open at a macro level between departments will help ensure that the major parts of the organization are working as a unified front towards corporate goals instead of independently of one another.
The Feasibility portion of the workshop focuses on confirming the feasibility of building a bridge between where the entrepreneur is at the present moment and where they want to be.
Your Current Position
The first part of analyzing feasibility is to check in on the entrepreneur’s mindset. This check in leads to the feasibility of the current identified expertise providing what it will take to achieve the goals and dreams set forth by the entrepreneur.
Next, the entrepreneur will identify if the current front end systems and processes are feasible and what back end support is needed. After analyzing the front and back ends the entrepreneur will review the feasibility of the business’s messaging and positioning.
Support Network and Resources
The likelihood is that the people closest to the entrepreneur and the ones they spend the most time with are very influential on them both personally and professionally. Acknowledging this influence is important because if those influencers don’t align with the entrepreneur’s vision, purpose and values then they could bottleneck the entrepreneur’s success.
The idea is for the entrepreneur to figure out if they need to minimize time with some, spend more time with others, and set boundaries as needed.
Part of the feasibility analysis involves identifying available resources and deciding if any changes are going to be handled in house or if implementing changes will require hiring staff or outsourcing, or some combination. Acknowledging what it will take to best leverage the available resources and committing to do just that is what makes plans feasible.
Variables and Challenges
Neither business nor personal life is perfect for anyone which means while both can be rewarding entrepreneurs will always have to deal with challenges. The objective at this stage will be to acknowledge any known challenges, prioritize them, and begin laying out a plan to address each challenge starting with the most pressing.
Like challenges and problems, variables will always exist too both personally and professionally which is why it is also important to identify any known variables early in the process. Once a potential variable has been identified, parameters can be created within the affected processes to address these variables.
The purpose of the personal feasibility statement is to reaffirm commitment to the process, understanding the entrepreneur is in ultimate control. The business feasibility statement takes on a similar role with one big difference.
In the personal scenario the entrepreneur will address short and long term consequences with families, friends, your hobbies, etc. that will be impacted potentially during the transformation. On the business side the entrepreneur also will take into consideration the effects on employees, customers, brand, culture and values.
The Parameters portion of the workshop is the last building block leading up to goal establishment and focuses on setting short-term and long-term parameters.
Short-Term and Long-Term Parameters
The entrepreneur will be introduced to a SMART method multi-step process for goal setting to help in the defining of and setting of well thought out goals with purpose. To establish a baseline for goal setting parameters they will use a brain-writing strategy with the SMART template as a guide. This will guide the entrepreneur to put current parameters down on paper with a focus on being intentional and specific; leaving no doubt or room for interpretation.
The information garnered will then be used to begin setting parameters for the rest of the six-month and one-year short-term goals. Keeping the long-term future in mind and utilizing the same SMART methodology, the entrepreneur will next take steps to set parameters for two year, five year and ten year long-term goals.
The Goal Establishment portion of the workshop is focused on the development of a personalized goal tracking log.
Develop Goal Tracking Log
To develop the goal tracking log the entrepreneur will utilize and prioritize each piece of the deep thinking actions and processes completed leading up to this phase.
It is important to write goals down and follow a process with parameters because statistically studies have shown people who write down specific goals are much more likely to achieve their goals and find success. Developing a good mix of well thought out and intentional short-term and long-term goals and actively working towards them will help keep the entrepreneur from becoming complacent and standing still, which in entrepreneurship means moving backwards.
Once built the entrepreneur will utilize the tracking log as a regular tool to help manage themself and their business both professionally and personally. The log will provide the framework for the next month when the entrepreneur will begin to really analyze actual time spent in relation to where they should be spending their time.
Balancing Entrepreneurship – Workshop 1 –Goal Establishment
- Entrepreneurship Cycle
- Deep Thinking
- Niche Identification
- Interdepartmental Survey
- Goal Establishment
1. Entrepreneurship Cycle
1. Define Entrepreneur
6. Leap of Faith
9. Assessing the Damage
10. Taking Control
11. Climbing Out
1. Mindset Identification
4. Peer Analysis
5. Circle of Influence
6. Circle of Influence Mindset
12. Mindset Goals
3. Deep Thinking
4. Ten-Second Test
5. Mind Break
6. Ten-Minute Dream Statement
7. Statement Analysis
8. Statement Reflection
9. Statement Review
10. Goal definition
11. Initial Goal Statement
12. Action List
1. Define Positioning
3. Unique Value Proposition
4. Ideal Client
5. Brand Awareness
6. Marketing Strategy
7. Lead Generation
8. Sales Process
11. Strengths Statement
12. Weaknesses Statement
1. Work-Life Balance
2. Balance on Your Own Terms
10. Personal Goals
11. Professional Goals
12. Reflection Statement
3. Morning ritual
4. Peak productivity
1. What is Culture?
8. Core Values
10. Dream Culture
12. Realistic Culture Goals
8. Niche Identification
1. Niche Discussion
2. Multiple Niche Discussion
3. What You Are Known For
4. How You Help
5. What They Get
6. What You Use
7. Corporate Pitch
8. Your Departmental Pitch
9. Logical and Emotional Problems
10. Compare to Expertise and Passion
11. Compare to Corporate Culture
12. Expand Into Unique Value Proposition
9. Interdepartmental Survey
1. Current Mindset
2. Current Expertise
3. Current Systems and Processes (Front Ends)
4. Current Systems and Processes (Back Ends)
5. Current Messaging
6. Current Positioning
7. Current Support Network
8. Available Resources
9. Known Problems
10. Known Variables
11. Personal Feasibility Statement
12. Business Feasibility Statement
1. Short-Term Parameters
2. Long-Term Parameters
3. Current Statement
4. Six Month Statement
5. One Year Statement
6. Two Year Statement
7. Five Year Statement
8. Ten Year Statement
9. Dream Statement Update
10. Dream Statement Analysis
11. Reflection Statement Update
12. Action Items
12. Goal Establishment
1. Baseline Statement
2. Updated Ideal Balance Statement
3. Identify Variables and Challenges
4. Identify Non-Negotiables
5. Personal Goal Statement
6. Business Goal Statement
7. Prioritize Six Month Goals
8. Prioritize One Year Goals
9. Prioritize Two Year Goals
10. Prioritize Five Year Goals
11. Prioritize Ten Year Goals
12. Develop Goal Tracking Log
Welcome to Appleton Greene and thank you for enrolling on the Balancing Entrepreneurship corporate training program. You will be learning through our unique facilitation via distance-learning method, which will enable you to practically implement everything that you learn academically. The methods and materials used in your program have been designed and developed to ensure that you derive the maximum benefits and enjoyment possible. We hope that you find the program challenging and fun to do. However, if you have never been a distance-learner before, you may be experiencing some trepidation at the task before you. So we will get you started by giving you some basic information and guidance on how you can make the best use of the modules, how you should manage the materials and what you should be doing as you work through them. This guide is designed to point you in the right direction and help you to become an effective distance-learner. Take a few hours or so to study this guide and your guide to tutorial support for students, while making notes, before you start to study in earnest.
You will need to locate a quiet and private place to study, preferably a room where you can easily be isolated from external disturbances or distractions. Make sure the room is well-lit and incorporates a relaxed, pleasant feel. If you can spoil yourself within your study environment, you will have much more of a chance to ensure that you are always in the right frame of mind when you do devote time to study. For example, a nice fire, the ability to play soft soothing background music, soft but effective lighting, perhaps a nice view if possible and a good size desk with a comfortable chair. Make sure that your family know when you are studying and understand your study rules. Your study environment is very important. The ideal situation, if at all possible, is to have a separate study, which can be devoted to you. If this is not possible then you will need to pay a lot more attention to developing and managing your study schedule, because it will affect other people as well as yourself. The better your study environment, the more productive you will be.
Study tools & rules
Try and make sure that your study tools are sufficient and in good working order. You will need to have access to a computer, scanner and printer, with access to the internet. You will need a very comfortable chair, which supports your lower back, and you will need a good filing system. It can be very frustrating if you are spending valuable study time trying to fix study tools that are unreliable, or unsuitable for the task. Make sure that your study tools are up to date. You will also need to consider some study rules. Some of these rules will apply to you and will be intended to help you to be more disciplined about when and how you study. This distance-learning guide will help you and after you have read it you can put some thought into what your study rules should be. You will also need to negotiate some study rules for your family, friends or anyone who lives with you. They too will need to be disciplined in order to ensure that they can support you while you study. It is important to ensure that your family and friends are an integral part of your study team. Having their support and encouragement can prove to be a crucial contribution to your successful completion of the program. Involve them in as much as you can.
Distance-learners are freed from the necessity of attending regular classes or workshops, since they can study in their own way, at their own pace and for their own purposes. But unlike traditional internal training courses, it is the student’s responsibility, with a distance-learning program, to ensure that they manage their own study contribution. This requires strong self-discipline and self-motivation skills and there must be a clear will to succeed. Those students who are used to managing themselves, are good at managing others and who enjoy working in isolation, are more likely to be good distance-learners. It is also important to be aware of the main reasons why you are studying and of the main objectives that you are hoping to achieve as a result. You will need to remind yourself of these objectives at times when you need to motivate yourself. Never lose sight of your long-term goals and your short-term objectives. There is nobody available here to pamper you, or to look after you, or to spoon-feed you with information, so you will need to find ways to encourage and appreciate yourself while you are studying. Make sure that you chart your study progress, so that you can be sure of your achievements and re-evaluate your goals and objectives regularly.
Appleton Greene training programs are in all cases post-graduate programs. Consequently, you should already have obtained a business-related degree and be an experienced learner. You should therefore already be aware of your study strengths and weaknesses. For example, which time of the day are you at your most productive? Are you a lark or an owl? What study methods do you respond to the most? Are you a consistent learner? How do you discipline yourself? How do you ensure that you enjoy yourself while studying? It is important to understand yourself as a learner and so some self-assessment early on will be necessary if you are to apply yourself correctly. Perform a SWOT analysis on yourself as a student. List your internal strengths and weaknesses as a student and your external opportunities and threats. This will help you later on when you are creating a study plan. You can then incorporate features within your study plan that can ensure that you are playing to your strengths, while compensating for your weaknesses. You can also ensure that you make the most of your opportunities, while avoiding the potential threats to your success.
Accepting responsibility as a student
Training programs invariably require a significant investment, both in terms of what they cost and in the time that you need to contribute to study and the responsibility for successful completion of training programs rests entirely with the student. This is never more apparent than when a student is learning via distance-learning. Accepting responsibility as a student is an important step towards ensuring that you can successfully complete your training program. It is easy to instantly blame other people or factors when things go wrong. But the fact of the matter is that if a failure is your failure, then you have the power to do something about it, it is entirely in your own hands. If it is always someone else’s failure, then you are powerless to do anything about it. All students study in entirely different ways, this is because we are all individuals and what is right for one student, is not necessarily right for another. In order to succeed, you will have to accept personal responsibility for finding a way to plan, implement and manage a personal study plan that works for you. If you do not succeed, you only have yourself to blame.
By far the most critical contribution to stress, is the feeling of not being in control. In the absence of planning we tend to be reactive and can stumble from pillar to post in the hope that things will turn out fine in the end. Invariably they don’t! In order to be in control, we need to have firm ideas about how and when we want to do things. We also need to consider as many possible eventualities as we can, so that we are prepared for them when they happen. Prescriptive Change, is far easier to manage and control, than Emergent Change. The same is true with distance-learning. It is much easier and much more enjoyable, if you feel that you are in control and that things are going to plan. Even when things do go wrong, you are prepared for them and can act accordingly without any unnecessary stress. It is important therefore that you do take time to plan your studies properly.
Once you have developed a clear study plan, it is of equal importance to ensure that you manage the implementation of it. Most of us usually enjoy planning, but it is usually during implementation when things go wrong. Targets are not met and we do not understand why. Sometimes we do not even know if targets are being met. It is not enough for us to conclude that the study plan just failed. If it is failing, you will need to understand what you can do about it. Similarly if your study plan is succeeding, it is still important to understand why, so that you can improve upon your success. You therefore need to have guidelines for self-assessment so that you can be consistent with performance improvement throughout the program. If you manage things correctly, then your performance should constantly improve throughout the program.
Study objectives & tasks
The first place to start is developing your program objectives. These should feature your reasons for undertaking the training program in order of priority. Keep them succinct and to the point in order to avoid confusion. Do not just write the first things that come into your head because they are likely to be too similar to each other. Make a list of possible departmental headings, such as: Customer Service; E-business; Finance; Globalization; Human Resources; Technology; Legal; Management; Marketing and Production. Then brainstorm for ideas by listing as many things that you want to achieve under each heading and later re-arrange these things in order of priority. Finally, select the top item from each department heading and choose these as your program objectives. Try and restrict yourself to five because it will enable you to focus clearly. It is likely that the other things that you listed will be achieved if each of the top objectives are achieved. If this does not prove to be the case, then simply work through the process again.
As a guide, the Appleton Greene Balancing Entrepreneurship corporate training program should take 12-18 months to complete, depending upon your availability and current commitments. The reason why there is such a variance in time estimates is because every student is an individual, with differing productivity levels and different commitments. These differentiations are then exaggerated by the fact that this is a distance-learning program, which incorporates the practical integration of academic theory as an as a part of the training program. Consequently all of the project studies are real, which means that important decisions and compromises need to be made. You will want to get things right and will need to be patient with your expectations in order to ensure that they are. We would always recommend that you are prudent with your own task and time forecasts, but you still need to develop them and have a clear indication of what are realistic expectations in your case. With reference to your time planning: consider the time that you can realistically dedicate towards study with the program every week; calculate how long it should take you to complete the program, using the guidelines featured here; then break the program down into logical modules and allocate a suitable proportion of time to each of them, these will be your milestones; you can create a time plan by using a spreadsheet on your computer, or a personal organizer such as MS Outlook, you could also use a financial forecasting software; break your time forecasts down into manageable chunks of time, the more specific you can be, the more productive and accurate your time management will be; finally, use formulas where possible to do your time calculations for you, because this will help later on when your forecasts need to change in line with actual performance. With reference to your task planning: refer to your list of tasks that need to be undertaken in order to achieve your program objectives; with reference to your time plan, calculate when each task should be implemented; remember that you are not estimating when your objectives will be achieved, but when you will need to focus upon implementing the corresponding tasks; you also need to ensure that each task is implemented in conjunction with the associated training modules which are relevant; then break each single task down into a list of specific to do’s, say approximately ten to do’s for each task and enter these into your study plan; once again you could use MS Outlook to incorporate both your time and task planning and this could constitute your study plan; you could also use a project management software like MS Project. You should now have a clear and realistic forecast detailing when you can expect to be able to do something about undertaking the tasks to achieve your program objectives.
It is one thing to develop your study forecast, it is quite another to monitor your progress. Ultimately it is less important whether you achieve your original study forecast and more important that you update it so that it constantly remains realistic in line with your performance. As you begin to work through the program, you will begin to have more of an idea about your own personal performance and productivity levels as a distance-learner. Once you have completed your first study module, you should re-evaluate your study forecast for both time and tasks, so that they reflect your actual performance level achieved. In order to achieve this you must first time yourself while training by using an alarm clock. Set the alarm for hourly intervals and make a note of how far you have come within that time. You can then make a note of your actual performance on your study plan and then compare your performance against your forecast. Then consider the reasons that have contributed towards your performance level, whether they are positive or negative and make a considered adjustment to your future forecasts as a result. Given time, you should start achieving your forecasts regularly.
With reference to time management: time yourself while you are studying and make a note of the actual time taken in your study plan; consider your successes with time-efficiency and the reasons for the success in each case and take this into consideration when reviewing future time planning; consider your failures with time-efficiency and the reasons for the failures in each case and take this into consideration when reviewing future time planning; re-evaluate your study forecast in relation to time planning for the remainder of your training program to ensure that you continue to be realistic about your time expectations. You need to be consistent with your time management, otherwise you will never complete your studies. This will either be because you are not contributing enough time to your studies, or you will become less efficient with the time that you do allocate to your studies. Remember, if you are not in control of your studies, they can just become yet another cause of stress for you.
With reference to your task management: time yourself while you are studying and make a note of the actual tasks that you have undertaken in your study plan; consider your successes with task-efficiency and the reasons for the success in each case; take this into consideration when reviewing future task planning; consider your failures with task-efficiency and the reasons for the failures in each case and take this into consideration when reviewing future task planning; re-evaluate your study forecast in relation to task planning for the remainder of your training program to ensure that you continue to be realistic about your task expectations. You need to be consistent with your task management, otherwise you will never know whether you are achieving your program objectives or not.
Keeping in touch
You will have access to qualified and experienced professors and tutors who are responsible for providing tutorial support for your particular training program. So don’t be shy about letting them know how you are getting on. We keep electronic records of all tutorial support emails so that professors and tutors can review previous correspondence before considering an individual response. It also means that there is a record of all communications between you and your professors and tutors and this helps to avoid any unnecessary duplication, misunderstanding, or misinterpretation. If you have a problem relating to the program, share it with them via email. It is likely that they have come across the same problem before and are usually able to make helpful suggestions and steer you in the right direction. To learn more about when and how to use tutorial support, please refer to the Tutorial Support section of this student information guide. This will help you to ensure that you are making the most of tutorial support that is available to you and will ultimately contribute towards your success and enjoyment with your training program.
Work colleagues and family
You should certainly discuss your program study progress with your colleagues, friends and your family. Appleton Greene training programs are very practical. They require you to seek information from other people, to plan, develop and implement processes with other people and to achieve feedback from other people in relation to viability and productivity. You will therefore have plenty of opportunities to test your ideas and enlist the views of others. People tend to be sympathetic towards distance-learners, so don’t bottle it all up in yourself. Get out there and share it! It is also likely that your family and colleagues are going to benefit from your labors with the program, so they are likely to be much more interested in being involved than you might think. Be bold about delegating work to those who might benefit themselves. This is a great way to achieve understanding and commitment from people who you may later rely upon for process implementation. Share your experiences with your friends and family.
Making it relevant
The key to successful learning is to make it relevant to your own individual circumstances. At all times you should be trying to make bridges between the content of the program and your own situation. Whether you achieve this through quiet reflection or through interactive discussion with your colleagues, client partners or your family, remember that it is the most important and rewarding aspect of translating your studies into real self-improvement. You should be clear about how you want the program to benefit you. This involves setting clear study objectives in relation to the content of the course in terms of understanding, concepts, completing research or reviewing activities and relating the content of the modules to your own situation. Your objectives may understandably change as you work through the program, in which case you should enter the revised objectives on your study plan so that you have a permanent reminder of what you are trying to achieve, when and why.
Prepare your study environment, your study tools and rules.
Undertake detailed self-assessment in terms of your ability as a learner.
Create a format for your study plan.
Consider your study objectives and tasks.
Create a study forecast.
Assess your study performance.
Re-evaluate your study forecast.
Be consistent when managing your study plan.
Use your Appleton Greene Certified Learning Provider (CLP) for tutorial support.
Make sure you keep in touch with those around you.
Appleton Greene uses standard and bespoke corporate training programs as vessels to transfer business process improvement knowledge into the heart of our clients’ organizations. Each individual program focuses upon the implementation of a specific business process, which enables clients to easily quantify their return on investment. There are hundreds of established Appleton Greene corporate training products now available to clients within customer services, e-business, finance, globalization, human resources, information technology, legal, management, marketing and production. It does not matter whether a client’s employees are located within one office, or an unlimited number of international offices, we can still bring them together to learn and implement specific business processes collectively. Our approach to global localization enables us to provide clients with a truly international service with that all important personal touch. Appleton Greene corporate training programs can be provided virtually or locally and they are all unique in that they individually focus upon a specific business function. They are implemented over a sustainable period of time and professional support is consistently provided by qualified learning providers and specialist consultants.
You will have a designated Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and an Accredited Consultant and we encourage you to communicate with them as much as possible. In all cases tutorial support is provided online because we can then keep a record of all communications to ensure that tutorial support remains consistent. You would also be forwarding your work to the tutorial support unit for evaluation and assessment. You will receive individual feedback on all of the work that you undertake on a one-to-one basis, together with specific recommendations for anything that may need to be changed in order to achieve a pass with merit or a pass with distinction and you then have as many opportunities as you may need to re-submit project studies until they meet with the required standard. Consequently the only reason that you should really fail (CLP) is if you do not do the work. It makes no difference to us whether a student takes 12 months or 18 months to complete the program, what matters is that in all cases the same quality standard will have been achieved.
Please forward all of your future emails to the designated (CLP) Tutorial Support Unit email address that has been provided and please do not duplicate or copy your emails to other AGC email accounts as this will just cause unnecessary administration. Please note that emails are always answered as quickly as possible but you will need to allow a period of up to 20 business days for responses to general tutorial support emails during busy periods, because emails are answered strictly within the order in which they are received. You will also need to allow a period of up to 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies. This does not include weekends or public holidays. Please therefore kindly allow for this within your time planning. All communications are managed online via email because it enables tutorial service support managers to review other communications which have been received before responding and it ensures that there is a copy of all communications retained on file for future reference. All communications will be stored within your personal (CLP) study file here at Appleton Greene throughout your designated study period. If you need any assistance or clarification at any time, please do not hesitate to contact us by forwarding an email and remember that we are here to help. If you have any questions, please list and number your questions succinctly and you can then be sure of receiving specific answers to each and every query.
It takes approximately 1 Year to complete the Balancing Entrepreneurship corporate training program, incorporating 12 x 6-hour monthly workshops. Each student will also need to contribute approximately 4 hours per week over 1 Year of their personal time. Students can study from home or work at their own pace and are responsible for managing their own study plan. There are no formal examinations and students are evaluated and assessed based upon their project study submissions, together with the quality of their internal analysis and supporting documents. They can contribute more time towards study when they have the time to do so and can contribute less time when they are busy. All students tend to be in full time employment while studying and the Balancing Entrepreneurship program is purposely designed to accommodate this, so there is plenty of flexibility in terms of time management. It makes no difference to us at Appleton Greene, whether individuals take 12-18 months to complete this program. What matters is that in all cases the same standard of quality will have been achieved with the standard and bespoke programs that have been developed.
Distance Learning Guide
The distance learning guide should be your first port of call when starting your training program. It will help you when you are planning how and when to study, how to create the right environment and how to establish the right frame of mind. If you can lay the foundations properly during the planning stage, then it will contribute to your enjoyment and productivity while training later. The guide helps to change your lifestyle in order to accommodate time for study and to cultivate good study habits. It helps you to chart your progress so that you can measure your performance and achieve your goals. It explains the tools that you will need for study and how to make them work. It also explains how to translate academic theory into practical reality. Spend some time now working through your distance learning guide and make sure that you have firm foundations in place so that you can make the most of your distance learning program. There is no requirement for you to attend training workshops or classes at Appleton Greene offices. The entire program is undertaken online, program course manuals and project studies are administered via the Appleton Greene web site and via email, so you are able to study at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home or office as long as you have a computer and access to the internet.
How To Study
The how to study guide provides students with a clear understanding of the Appleton Greene facilitation via distance learning training methods and enables students to obtain a clear overview of the training program content. It enables students to understand the step-by-step training methods used by Appleton Greene and how course manuals are integrated with project studies. It explains the research and development that is required and the need to provide evidence and references to support your statements. It also enables students to understand precisely what will be required of them in order to achieve a pass with merit and a pass with distinction for individual project studies and provides useful guidance on how to be innovative and creative when developing your Unique Program Proposition (UPP).
Tutorial support for the Appleton Greene Balancing Entrepreneurship corporate training program is provided online either through the Appleton Greene Client Support Portal (CSP), or via email. All tutorial support requests are facilitated by a designated Program Administration Manager (PAM). They are responsible for deciding which professor or tutor is the most appropriate option relating to the support required and then the tutorial support request is forwarded onto them. Once the professor or tutor has completed the tutorial support request and answered any questions that have been asked, this communication is then returned to the student via email by the designated Program Administration Manager (PAM). This enables all tutorial support, between students, professors and tutors, to be facilitated by the designated Program Administration Manager (PAM) efficiently and securely through the email account. You will therefore need to allow a period of up to 20 business days for responses to general support queries and up to 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies, because all tutorial support requests are answered strictly within the order in which they are received. This does not include weekends or public holidays. Consequently you need to put some thought into the management of your tutorial support procedure in order to ensure that your study plan is feasible and to obtain the maximum possible benefit from tutorial support during your period of study. Please retain copies of your tutorial support emails for future reference. Please ensure that ALL of your tutorial support emails are set out using the format as suggested within your guide to tutorial support. Your tutorial support emails need to be referenced clearly to the specific part of the course manual or project study which you are working on at any given time. You also need to list and number any questions that you would like to ask, up to a maximum of five questions within each tutorial support email. Remember the more specific you can be with your questions the more specific your answers will be too and this will help you to avoid any unnecessary misunderstanding, misinterpretation, or duplication. The guide to tutorial support is intended to help you to understand how and when to use support in order to ensure that you get the most out of your training program. Appleton Greene training programs are designed to enable you to do things for yourself. They provide you with a structure or a framework and we use tutorial support to facilitate students while they practically implement what they learn. In other words, we are enabling students to do things for themselves. The benefits of distance learning via facilitation are considerable and are much more sustainable in the long-term than traditional short-term knowledge sharing programs. Consequently you should learn how and when to use tutorial support so that you can maximize the benefits from your learning experience with Appleton Greene. This guide describes the purpose of each training function and how to use them and how to use tutorial support in relation to each aspect of the training program. It also provides useful tips and guidance with regard to best practice.
Tutorial Support Tips
Students are often unsure about how and when to use tutorial support with Appleton Greene. This Tip List will help you to understand more about how to achieve the most from using tutorial support. Refer to it regularly to ensure that you are continuing to use the service properly. Tutorial support is critical to the success of your training experience, but it is important to understand when and how to use it in order to maximize the benefit that you receive. It is no coincidence that those students who succeed are those that learn how to be positive, proactive and productive when using tutorial support.
Be positive and friendly with your tutorial support emails
Remember that if you forward an email to the tutorial support unit, you are dealing with real people. “Do unto others as you would expect others to do unto you”. If you are positive, complimentary and generally friendly in your emails, you will generate a similar response in return. This will be more enjoyable, productive and rewarding for you in the long-term.
Think about the impression that you want to create
Every time that you communicate, you create an impression, which can be either positive or negative, so put some thought into the impression that you want to create. Remember that copies of all tutorial support emails are stored electronically and tutors will always refer to prior correspondence before responding to any current emails. Over a period of time, a general opinion will be arrived at in relation to your character, attitude and ability. Try to manage your own frustrations, mood swings and temperament professionally, without involving the tutorial support team. Demonstrating frustration or a lack of patience is a weakness and will be interpreted as such. The good thing about communicating in writing, is that you will have the time to consider your content carefully, you can review it and proof-read it before sending your email to Appleton Greene and this should help you to communicate more professionally, consistently and to avoid any unnecessary knee-jerk reactions to individual situations as and when they may arise. Please also remember that the CLP Tutorial Support Unit will not just be responsible for evaluating and assessing the quality of your work, they will also be responsible for providing recommendations to other learning providers and to client contacts within the Appleton Greene global client network, so do be in control of your own emotions and try to create a good impression.
Remember that quality is preferred to quantity
Please remember that when you send an email to the tutorial support team, you are not using Twitter or Text Messaging. Try not to forward an email every time that you have a thought. This will not prove to be productive either for you or for the tutorial support team. Take time to prepare your communications properly, as if you were writing a professional letter to a business colleague and make a list of queries that you are likely to have and then incorporate them within one email, say once every month, so that the tutorial support team can understand more about context, application and your methodology for study. Get yourself into a consistent routine with your tutorial support requests and use the tutorial support template provided with ALL of your emails. The (CLP) Tutorial Support Unit will not spoon-feed you with information. They need to be able to evaluate and assess your tutorial support requests carefully and professionally.
Be specific about your questions in order to receive specific answers
Try not to write essays by thinking as you are writing tutorial support emails. The tutorial support unit can be unclear about what in fact you are asking, or what you are looking to achieve. Be specific about asking questions that you want answers to. Number your questions. You will then receive specific answers to each and every question. This is the main purpose of tutorial support via email.
Keep a record of your tutorial support emails
It is important that you keep a record of all tutorial support emails that are forwarded to you. You can then refer to them when necessary and it avoids any unnecessary duplication, misunderstanding, or misinterpretation.
Individual training workshops or telephone support
Please be advised that Appleton Greene does not provide separate or individual tutorial support meetings, workshops, or provide telephone support for individual students. Appleton Greene is an equal opportunities learning and service provider and we are therefore understandably bound to treat all students equally. We cannot therefore broker special financial or study arrangements with individual students regardless of the circumstances. All tutorial support is provided online and this enables Appleton Greene to keep a record of all communications between students, professors and tutors on file for future reference, in accordance with our quality management procedure and your terms and conditions of enrolment. All tutorial support is provided online via email because it enables us to have time to consider support content carefully, it ensures that you receive a considered and detailed response to your queries. You can number questions that you would like to ask, which relate to things that you do not understand or where clarification may be required. You can then be sure of receiving specific answers to each individual query. You will also then have a record of these communications and of all tutorial support, which has been provided to you. This makes tutorial support administration more productive by avoiding any unnecessary duplication, misunderstanding, or misinterpretation.
Tutorial Support Email Format
You should use this tutorial support format if you need to request clarification or assistance while studying with your training program. Please note that ALL of your tutorial support request emails should use the same format. You should therefore set up a standard email template, which you can then use as and when you need to. Emails that are forwarded to Appleton Greene, which do not use the following format, may be rejected and returned to you by the (CLP) Program Administration Manager. A detailed response will then be forwarded to you via email usually within 20 business days of receipt for general support queries and 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies. This does not include weekends or public holidays. Your tutorial support request, together with the corresponding TSU reply, will then be saved and stored within your electronic TSU file at Appleton Greene for future reference.
Subject line of your email
Please insert: Appleton Greene (CLP) Tutorial Support Request: (Your Full Name) (Date), within the subject line of your email.
Main body of your email
1. Appleton Greene Certified Learning Provider (CLP) Tutorial Support Request
2. Your Full Name
3. Date of TS request
4. Preferred email address
5. Backup email address
6. Course manual page name or number (reference)
7. Project study page name or number (reference)
Subject of enquiry
Please insert a maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Briefly outline the subject matter of your inquiry, or what your questions relate to.
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Please note that a maximum of 5 questions is permitted with each individual tutorial support request email.
* List the questions that you want to ask first, then re-arrange them in order of priority. Make sure that you reference them, where necessary, to the course manuals or project studies.
* Make sure that you are specific about your questions and number them. Try to plan the content within your emails to make sure that it is relevant.
* Make sure that your tutorial support emails are set out correctly, using the Tutorial Support Email Format provided here.
* Save a copy of your email and incorporate the date sent after the subject title. Keep your tutorial support emails within the same file and in date order for easy reference.
* Allow up to 20 business days for a response to general tutorial support emails and up to 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies, because detailed individual responses will be made in all cases and tutorial support emails are answered strictly within the order in which they are received.
* Emails can and do get lost. So if you have not received a reply within the appropriate time, forward another copy or a reminder to the tutorial support unit to be sure that it has been received but do not forward reminders unless the appropriate time has elapsed.
* When you receive a reply, save it immediately featuring the date of receipt after the subject heading for easy reference. In most cases the tutorial support unit replies to your questions individually, so you will have a record of the questions that you asked as well as the answers offered. With project studies however, separate emails are usually forwarded by the tutorial support unit, so do keep a record of your own original emails as well.
* Remember to be positive and friendly in your emails. You are dealing with real people who will respond to the same things that you respond to.
* Try not to repeat questions that have already been asked in previous emails. If this happens the tutorial support unit will probably just refer you to the appropriate answers that have already been provided within previous emails.
* If you lose your tutorial support email records you can write to Appleton Greene to receive a copy of your tutorial support file, but a separate administration charge may be levied for this service.
How To Study
Your Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and Accredited Consultant can help you to plan a task list for getting started so that you can be clear about your direction and your priorities in relation to your training program. It is also a good way to introduce yourself to the tutorial support team.
Planning your study environment
Your study conditions are of great importance and will have a direct effect on how much you enjoy your training program. Consider how much space you will have, whether it is comfortable and private and whether you are likely to be disturbed. The study tools and facilities at your disposal are also important to the success of your distance-learning experience. Your tutorial support unit can help with useful tips and guidance, regardless of your starting position. It is important to get this right before you start working on your training program.
Planning your program objectives
It is important that you have a clear list of study objectives, in order of priority, before you start working on your training program. Your tutorial support unit can offer assistance here to ensure that your study objectives have been afforded due consideration and priority.
Planning how and when to study
Distance-learners are freed from the necessity of attending regular classes, since they can study in their own way, at their own pace and for their own purposes. This approach is designed to let you study efficiently away from the traditional classroom environment. It is important however, that you plan how and when to study, so that you are making the most of your natural attributes, strengths and opportunities. Your tutorial support unit can offer assistance and useful tips to ensure that you are playing to your strengths.
Planning your study tasks
You should have a clear understanding of the study tasks that you should be undertaking and the priority associated with each task. These tasks should also be integrated with your program objectives. The distance learning guide and the guide to tutorial support for students should help you here, but if you need any clarification or assistance, please contact your tutorial support unit.
Planning your time
You will need to allocate specific times during your calendar when you intend to study if you are to have a realistic chance of completing your program on time. You are responsible for planning and managing your own study time, so it is important that you are successful with this. Your tutorial support unit can help you with this if your time plan is not working.
Keeping in touch
Consistency is the key here. If you communicate too frequently in short bursts, or too infrequently with no pattern, then your management ability with your studies will be questioned, both by you and by your tutorial support unit. It is obvious when a student is in control and when one is not and this will depend how able you are at sticking with your study plan. Inconsistency invariably leads to in-completion.
Charting your progress
Your tutorial support team can help you to chart your own study progress. Refer to your distance learning guide for further details.
Making it work
To succeed, all that you will need to do is apply yourself to undertaking your training program and interpreting it correctly. Success or failure lies in your hands and your hands alone, so be sure that you have a strategy for making it work. Your Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and Accredited Consultant can guide you through the process of program planning, development and implementation.
Interpretation is often unique to the individual but it can be improved and even quantified by implementing consistent interpretation methods. Interpretation can be affected by outside interference such as family members, TV, or the Internet, or simply by other thoughts which are demanding priority in our minds. One thing that can improve our productivity is using recognized reading methods. This helps us to focus and to be more structured when reading information for reasons of importance, rather than relaxation.
When reading through course manuals for the first time, subconsciously set your reading speed to be just fast enough that you cannot dwell on individual words or tables. With practice, you should be able to read an A4 sheet of paper in one minute. You will not achieve much in the way of a detailed understanding, but your brain will retain a useful overview. This overview will be important later on and will enable you to keep individual issues in perspective with a more generic picture because speed reading appeals to the memory part of the brain. Do not worry about what you do or do not remember at this stage.
Once you have speed read everything, you can then start work in earnest. You now need to read a particular section of your course manual thoroughly, by making detailed notes while you read. This process is called Content Reading and it will help to consolidate your understanding and interpretation of the information that has been provided.
Making structured notes on the course manuals
When you are content reading, you should be making detailed notes, which are both structured and informative. Make these notes in a MS Word document on your computer, because you can then amend and update these as and when you deem it to be necessary. List your notes under three headings: 1. Interpretation – 2. Questions – 3. Tasks. The purpose of the 1st section is to clarify your interpretation by writing it down. The purpose of the 2nd section is to list any questions that the issue raises for you. The purpose of the 3rd section is to list any tasks that you should undertake as a result. Anyone who has graduated with a business-related degree should already be familiar with this process.
Organizing structured notes separately
You should then transfer your notes to a separate study notebook, preferably one that enables easy referencing, such as a MS Word Document, a MS Excel Spreadsheet, a MS Access Database, or a personal organizer on your cell phone. Transferring your notes allows you to have the opportunity of cross-checking and verifying them, which assists considerably with understanding and interpretation. You will also find that the better you are at doing this, the more chance you will have of ensuring that you achieve your study objectives.
Question your understanding
Do challenge your understanding. Explain things to yourself in your own words by writing things down.
Clarifying your understanding
If you are at all unsure, forward an email to your tutorial support unit and they will help to clarify your understanding.
Question your interpretation
Do challenge your interpretation. Qualify your interpretation by writing it down.
Clarifying your interpretation
If you are at all unsure, forward an email to your tutorial support unit and they will help to clarify your interpretation.
The student will need to successfully complete the project study and all of the exercises relating to the Balancing Entrepreneurship corporate training program, achieving a pass with merit or distinction in each case, in order to qualify as an Accredited Balancing Entrepreneurship Specialist (ABES). All monthly workshops need to be tried and tested within your company. These project studies can be completed in your own time and at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home or office. There are no formal examinations, assessment is based upon the successful completion of the project studies. They are called project studies because, unlike case studies, these projects are not theoretical, they incorporate real program processes that need to be properly researched and developed. The project studies assist us in measuring your understanding and interpretation of the training program and enable us to assess qualification merits. All of the project studies are based entirely upon the content within the training program and they enable you to integrate what you have learnt into your corporate training practice.
Balancing Entrepreneurship – Grading Contribution
Project Study – Grading Contribution
Customer Service – 10%
E-business – 05%
Finance – 10%
Globalization – 10%
Human Resources – 10%
Information Technology – 10%
Legal – 05%
Management – 10%
Marketing – 10%
Production – 10%
Education – 05%
Logistics – 05%
TOTAL GRADING – 100%
A mark of 90% = Pass with Distinction.
A mark of 75% = Pass with Merit.
A mark of less than 75% = Fail.
If you fail to achieve a mark of 75% with a project study, you will receive detailed feedback from the Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and/or Accredited Consultant, together with a list of tasks which you will need to complete, in order to ensure that your project study meets with the minimum quality standard that is required by Appleton Greene. You can then re-submit your project study for further evaluation and assessment. Indeed you can re-submit as many drafts of your project studies as you need to, until such a time as they eventually meet with the required standard by Appleton Greene, so you need not worry about this, it is all part of the learning process.
When marking project studies, Appleton Greene is looking for sufficient evidence of the following:
Pass with merit
A satisfactory level of program understanding
A satisfactory level of program interpretation
A satisfactory level of project study content presentation
A satisfactory level of Unique Program Proposition (UPP) quality
A satisfactory level of the practical integration of academic theory
Pass with distinction
An exceptional level of program understanding
An exceptional level of program interpretation
An exceptional level of project study content presentation
An exceptional level of Unique Program Proposition (UPP) quality
An exceptional level of the practical integration of academic theory
As a student enrolled in the Balancing Entrepreneurship program you are encouraged to spend some time reflecting on how your life has unfolded since making the decision to venture into entrepreneurship. Is it better? Is it worse? Specifically, what did you expect in relation to what you have learned and experienced during your personal and business journey up to this point?
While reflecting, you should strive to mentally remove any self-invoked and self-limiting boundaries you may have set for yourself either consciously or unconsciously. This includes self-limited beliefs those close to you might have planted in your mind. It is important to understand and embrace that at times most, if not all, entrepreneurs fall victim to feelings of imposter syndrome.
During these times entrepreneurs tend to experience self-doubt and find themselves feeling like they really aren’t qualified or capable of being paid what they are worth in exchange for providing their skills and expertise. Instead of focusing on the negatives and letting the imposter syndrome become the focal point of your reflection time, you are encouraged to also use the bulk of this time to think about what you have already accomplished.
Your Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and Accredited Consultant have geared the workshops, exercises and project studies to specifically focus on entrepreneurs like you who are ready to take their business to the next level while simultaneously creating a healthier work-life balance. This means you are already successful and have made the investment in yourself and your business to receive ongoing mentorship to help build on that success. Throughout the program your Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and Accredited Consultant will be there for guidance and will place emphasis on implementing strategies to work smarter instead of harder and to leverage strengths while compensating for weaknesses.
Laying the foundation
The purpose of the first workshop, titled “Goal Establishment” is to begin laying the groundwork for the work you will put in over the next several months as you take measures to strengthen your mindset and begin taking intentional steps towards your ultimate goals both during the program and afterwards. Unlike a traditional employee who gets paid to build someone else’s dream, entrepreneurs have the unique ability to develop a business model tailored around their own definition of success.
Since you’ve already had some success I’m sure you have a plan and goals in place but the objective of this analysis is to dive much deeper. This doesn’t mean what you work through in the first workshop is set in stone or that you will need to completely abandon your successful business. A big part of reinforcing your foundation is setting goals and then confirming your goals stand up to your own scrutiny; meaning that you believe in them. At the same time you will test your gut and validate that the goals are realistic not only in the current market conditions but also in the projected future market conditions.
Why niching down is so important
From my perspective with the limitless opportunities entrepreneurship offers, why not take steps as an entrepreneur to tailor your business model so that it aligns not only with your expertise but also with your passion. The reality is many entrepreneurs with established businesses in the construction industry find themselves making money but have strayed from their original business plan for a variety of reasons. Adapting to changing times is generally considered good practice although without the proper checks and balances it can quickly lead down a path destined for failure.
The implementation portion of the first month’s workshop is designed to perform a preliminary analysis as to the current state of the business for purposes of goal setting and establishing a baseline or datum if you will. During this portion you will perform a preliminary analysis of the bridge between where you want to be and where you actually are with your business and personal life at the present moment.
The purpose of establishing program goals at the outset is so that each succeeding step of the program can be customized and geared towards each participant reverse engineering their own success. You will be guided through a series of steps designed to establish personalized, unique goals, and determine what you plan to accomplish during the program.
You will hear your Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and Accredited Consultant talk about the importance of balance, habits, ideal clients and using the right elevator pitch. Getting a handle on these things at a gut level early in the process enables you to consider them as part of your goal establishment. It also helps you to immediately begin doubling down and prioritizing your resources to focus on a niche market which aligns with your expertise and passion so you can enjoy making money instead of just having a job.
The final portion of the first month’s workshop is when you will take the steps to validate your work thus far by preliminarily scrutinizing all aspects of the goals you have begun to establish. This will allow you to confidently summarize your gut level work into a set of realistic and tangible goals for the program both on a personal and also on a professional level. Putting these goals down in writing and validating them will arm you with the necessary framework for the next month at which point you will begin to really analyze how your actual time is spent in relation to where you should be spending your time.
The goal establishment workshop is the first step towards, by the end of the program, developing a process driven and efficient business model tailored to work around your individual dreams and goals. This customized model will position you to enjoy success on your own terms and achieve something most entrepreneurs aspire to attain but never actually achieve – Entrepreneurship Work-Life Balance.
Course Manuals 1-12
Course Manual 1: The entrepreneurship cycle
What is an entrepreneur?
If you are someone who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise then by definition, you are an entrepreneur. (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
In the beginning stages of a new company one entrepreneur or a small group of partner entrepreneurs (the founders) often find themselves wearing many hats; taking on the roles of multiple management positions they have yet to fill. As a company grows and begins to develop processes the founding entrepreneur will generally reach a point of overwhelm when they need to shed some of their workload.
At this point the founder typically will begin adding leadership to the organization; C-suite executives and department heads. It is also common at this stage for the founding entrepreneur to outgrow the self-employed, do-it-all kind of mindset and realize it is time to delegate some of the repetitive day-to-day tasks they had initially been handling themselves.
This realization necessitates adding staff and outsourced resources to assume their now delegated workload and also to support the added leadership. Depending on how fast a company is growing the new staff and outsource roles, as well as the leadership positions, could be filled quickly or as needed one-by-one over time.
During this time of transition as the founding entrepreneur settles into their new role as more oversight and less of a worker bee, the leadership in the company also begins to take on the characteristics of an entrepreneur; organizing, managing and assuming the risks of the business. These leadership positions could include C-suite executive positions like a CEO, COO, CFO, CMO and CTO, as well as division and department heads such as accounting, marketing and human resources for example.
It isn’t surprising that these leaders begin to take on characteristics of an entrepreneur because according to findings published in the GMAC, 2015 Alumni Perspectives Survey Report, entrepreneurs and C-suite executives really are similar.
“Self-employed alumni are more likely to describe themselves as innovative, proactive, creative, and competitive compared with most employed alumni, with the exception of those who occupy c-suite positions, such as CEO and CFO. They are also more likely to be risk takers.” (Source: Graduate Management Admission Council, 2015 Alumni Perspectives Survey Report, page 15)
The Dream Stage
I’m sure you’ve met people with aspirations to become an entrepreneur who are looking for greener pastures and don’t understand what it really means or takes to become a successful entrepreneur. They know they want something better and spend much of their time dreaming and trying to come up with their widget; the huge money making idea. They are at the dream stage of their journey and many never get past this point.
The Idea Stage
During the idea stage prospective entrepreneurs sometimes refer to themselves as visionaries meaning they spend their time coming up with ideas hoping to turn them into something tangible. As they let their mind dive into uncharted territory, the new ideas flood in but they typically are just ideas and lack true clarity. It isn’t until the next stage that a person really begins their transformation, potentially becoming an entrepreneur.
If you’ve ever published a book or paper you would be familiar with the common statement, “I’ve always wanted to write a book.” Another common thing to hear is, “Writing a book is on my bucket list.” The people that make those types of remarks are likely in a similar position to a prospective entrepreneur who has begun planning how to turn their idea into a real business.
This planning can go on for days, months and even years, usually dying before going any further. Prospective entrepreneurs who have pushed past this stage and started to develop their idea before eventually taking the leap of faith can have you on the edge of your seat for hours listening to the steps they went through in the early stages. If you listen closely you’ll generally find that their original dreams, ideas and plans were flawed but without going through the stages they would never have been able to accomplish much of anything and they would inevitably have given up and failed.
Taking the jump from planning to developing is huge. One of the biggest decisions to be made at this juncture is how the new venture or project will be funded and what role the prospective entrepreneur will play. Bear in mind all of the work up to this point was probably sweat equity and done off hours from whatever the prospective entrepreneur was doing to cover the initial cost investment. Simply put, at this stage only deposits have been made with the hope of creating something down the road to provide withdrawals.
Leap of faith
At some point, the dream became an idea, the idea was planned and developed, and the decision was made to take the leap of faith and to turn the initial dream into something real and tangible.
The following story is an example of what an entrepreneur who is probably very similar to you in many aspects went through when they took their own leap of faith.
I’ve always been a logical thinker, not one to gamble. I don’t sound much like an entrepreneur, do I? That was until I took a huge leap of faith. Don’t get me wrong; I weighed the pros and cons for almost five years. But eventually, I jumped off the bridge. My stable and secure job of twelve years was gone – forever.
The time had come. I still remember the day vividly. I was the first one in the office, sitting there waiting for my boss. My stomach wasn’t sure whether it should be nervous or relaxed. Here I was, getting ready to give two weeks notice and tender my resignation. The odds were fifty-fifty whether my email would be cut off immediately and I’d be escorted out.
My boss had just settled down at his desk, when I kind of moseyed on in, saying, “Do you have a minute?”
He nodded and looked up. At this point, I’m sure he had no idea something was getting ready to hit the fan, so to speak.
Our conversation was short, cordial, and very awkward. In less than five minutes, I had taken my only professional career and thrown it in the toilet. Those benefits I had become accustomed to were instantly gone:
– Multiple weeks vacation
– Regular paychecks
– Regular bonuses
– Company car
– Health insurance
– Life insurance
– And the dagger – I signed over the unvested stocks, a.k.a the golden handcuffs.
Several hundred thousand dollars worth right down the drain. It was official; I was an entrepreneur.
As an entrepreneur you already know that despite what many people will tell you entrepreneurship isn’t easy. If you initially signed up for “easy”, then by now you have taken a dose of reality.
Shortly after going into business, many entrepreneurs find themselves on top of the world. It is not uncommon for a new business owner to make some quick money or benefit from some extra time early on. I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of stories where new entrepreneurs were able to indulge in things they couldn’t when they had a job. Maybe they made lifestyle changes, took trips or bought cool material things. At this point business was good. Life was good. Sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it?
Then reality starts to set in. Although a small percentage of businesses continue to do well on paper, most start to stray from their original business plan. Typically this means as they take on different types of projects, the business starts to niche up instead of niching down. When this happens everything becomes custom. No efficiency. No automation. Sweat equity at its finest.
At the time this busyness probably feels like growth to the entrepreneur. In hindsight they have made a huge mistake that many of their counterparts have repeated and been unable to survive. Why does this misstep happen to so many entrepreneurs and how can it be prevented or at least corrected?
Generally, it originates with the absence of pointed