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How diverse is your micro-business?

Redefining Success | Resorting Life Balance

how diverse is your micro-business?

How Diverse is Your Micro-Business?

The benefits of a diverse workforce are well communicated. But if the opportunity for diversity doesn’t present itself, can it be an unrealistic aim for a micro-business owner?

We have all become more familiar with the significance of diversity in the modern world. It’s a no-brainer that a diverse workforce is better for all. Diversity can promote ideas and innovation. It can restore that everyone is valued regardless of ethnicity, gender, ability or perceived position in society. 

Still, it can be challenging to introduce this into a micro-business with one to ten employees. In many cases, just one employee and some infrequent freelancers. Regardless, diversity is still an area of development in micro-businesses. 

If you are a large multinational, you have natural access to various opinions and perspectives. Although this doesn’t guarantee that they are sought or listened to. For micro-businesses, this can be more complicated. Working in a small shop, or running an online business in a similar part of the world, leads to a lack of unique perspectives inside your business. With that in mind, it may seem that a micro-business is at a disadvantage. If you’re running a one or ten person business, it can be challenging to be diverse. Making matters worse, many micro-business owners fall into the trap of hiring people who they like, and who are like them.

Thankfully, it is possible to renew your thought process about team diversity once you understand how good a diverse team is for your business and how simple it is to create one. However, there is one more dynamic to diversity to consider – physical and social aspects only make up a fraction of diversity. The rest lies in the diversity of thought.

What good is promoting diversity if everyone thinks the same way? The key to successfully implementing diversity is to have a team with diverse backgrounds and diverse thoughts. Only then will authentic innovation and growth be achievable.

Why diversity matters

Aside from being simply the right thing to do, growth orientated micro-business owners understand the many benefits of a diverse team and know that it’s part of business growth. A diverse team brings diverse viewpoints and perspectives to the company in terms of age, race, religion, nationality, sexual orientations, gender, gender identity, and national origin.  

Among other things, these factors can help you develop new products and new services to provide to customers. The variety of your team’s backgrounds, cultures, and upbringings are a strategic advantage that you can maximise.

The advantage of diversifying your thinking

Hiring diverse employees or freelancers can benefit your business as differing world views, experiences, and skillsets expand, resulting in new ideas and opportunities. These can boost your audiences, as customers often find it more appealing to work with someone they can relate to. 

Someone who has lived only in one city, one county or country won’t have the same experiences as someone who has lived abroad or travelled. Great ideas come from unique perspectives. 

Thinking safe won’t change the world, but diverse thinking can. Steve Jobs once said

"those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are usually the ones that do".

Steve Jobs

Consider the impact of inventions like the iPod or the smartphone. Its businesses like this have diverse teams willing to challenge the defy the possibilities, try things new, and potentially failing before succeeding.

Attained Diversity

We each have a natural trait we are born with, with other forms of diversity attained through life events. Diversity of thoughts can come from prior work experience, things we’ve learned from schools, parents, and friends. In other cases, we have diverse thoughts from a variety of perspectives and belief systems.

Financial Performance

According to a 2017 McKinsey Report, businesses with racial and ethnic diversity teams are 33% more likely to outperform their industry peers in terms of profitability. Gartner reported that in 2022, 75% of businesses reflecting a diverse and inclusive culture would exceed their financial targets.

8 Tools to Make Diversity Work in Micro-Businesses

Micro-businesses need to embrace an appreciation of differences. Finding common ground despite our differences is a way to build team rapport. Micro-businesses must work differently under this new model. They need to attract, train, hire, manage and promote differently. 

1. Vision and Mission Statement

A vision statement and mission statement can help you identify the people who believe in the same aspirations but have different views on how to achieve them. Something as simple as having an inspirational vision and mission statement for micro-businesses can work wonders for attracting diverse talent. Research by Deloitte has revealed that mission-driven businesses enjoy 30% more innovation and 40% more engagement from employees.

A vision and mission statement is a short paragraph that summarises what you do, who you do it for and why you do it. It is ideal for clients, competitors, partners and talent to see why you’re different, what you stand for and what your ultimate goals are as a business.

2. Improve your recruiting strategy

It is one thing to plan to be diverse, but if you can’t attract a more diverse team, you are setting yourself up for a lesson. Start by rethinking your hiring strategy.

  • Language. For example, masculine-type words like “hungry” and “dominate” are often less appealing to female applicants.
  • Flexibility. Employees or freelancers strive for flexibility and being able to achieve a work-life balance. Could you give them the options to be flexible?
  • Personality assessment. This tool will help you measure personality traits, motivations, and skills.
  • Expand your reach. Expand your search using third-party websites and online job boards instead of relying on the same recruiting channels. Check schools and community colleges, or Acadium short term apprenticeships. 
  • Work with partners. Create a board of trusting peers you’ve met at networking, hire an HR freelancer to manage the hiring process or work with organisations that specialise in diversity.

3. Hiring

When training new hires, the onboarding process should emphasise the core values and how the employee upholds those values. If the owner of the micro-business doesn’t behave against those values, the team dynamic will fail. Start within your leadership style first before hiring.

Great micro-business owners push teams to new heights of creativity and encourage task-focused outcomes. 

4. Feeling valued and expressing vulnerability

Most importantly, the micro-business needs to cultivate an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their views and genuine selves. These teams can challenge business strategy, products and preconceived ideas with unique and different viewpoints.

As much as the business feels like it is your baby, micro-business owners don’t need to control every decision. Allow your team to shine and maximise their perspectives. Trust the process of learning from each other.

You should also be aware that diversity can lead to conflicts among your team, so you have to prepare for this eventuality. For example, creatives are more likely to associate with other creatives and technical people tend to communicate better with other technical experience. Another conflict can be between age differences or socioeconomic backgrounds might weaken open conversations and team morale. 

Vulnerability and feeling valued will ensure no one is left out and that team members work better together. You may not always agree, but strong relationships will help overcome the disagreements, allowing the team to reveal the best action plans.

5. Celebrate team differences.

Run regular diversity awareness training and events or mix it into the monthly/quarterly team meetings. You could add a thank you email to the end of week sign off whereby each member sends a thank you to a team member for the efforts and why they appreciated it. 

6. Active listening

“This is the way it’s always been done” is the business growth killer mentality. Avoid team members feeling undermined, overlooked, and dismissed. 

You can keep it simple by talking with your team over breaks or video calls, giving them the space to express themselves without any preconceived biases or assumptions. You could host a meeting that encourages everyone to speak up or run a team survey. 

The key here is to listen to understand and not to respond. Listening to your team will ignite a beautiful relationship – take advantage of this leadership skill. 

7. Reflect, rethink, reboot

Plan time in the diary to reflect on what worked and what can be improved. The most straightforward method is gathering feedback from your team such as an online survey. Equally, acknowledge those who no longer work with you to see what areas need to be improved.

8. Teams aren’t just employees

Go To Yellow was built with one person and grew to 9. All of which were freelancers and apprentices or skill swaps with other micro-business owners. Everyone was treated as an employee. 

We also found diversity in an advisory board, in mentors from business-led programs and focus groups. The latter is what led us to create The Yellow Mastermind service.

The Yellow Mastermind solves business growth

At The Yellow Mastermind, we have six diverse micro-business owners per team, working together to build a reciprocal relationship without the increase in payroll. 

When I’m forming The Yellow Mastermind Team, I look to achieve diversity in three key ways:

  • All members of The Yellow Mastermind Team come from different sectors and are non-competing – this ensures openness and trust within the group.
  • The Yellow Mastermind Team are created with all genders, cultural and neurodiversity – this makes for a much better dynamic in the room and improved insight.
  • Different sized micro-businesses working together – they often bring different solutions to solving the same problems.

Suppose you get a team of people who provide this diversity and are all the decision-makers within their respective micro-business. The quality of thinking and insight is more significant than in a networking group or a group of people who look and think the same. Too often, networking groups drift into a situation where they hear their thoughts echoed around the room and struggle to break through their current growth, geography, product/service diversity.

If you want to grow your business, understand your customers, clients and suppliers but don't have diverse thinking, consider a new approach to business by joining The Yellow Mastermind.

Tammy, Founder at Go To Yellow. Tweet
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Tammy Whalen Blake

Tammy Whalen Blake

Founder of go to yellow
Personal Development Coach

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#4 Power to small business owners

business owners working

Redefining Success | Resorting Life Balance

power to Micro-business owners

#4 Power To Micro-Business Owners

Doesn’t it paralyse you that you have the potential to create a fantastic business but not the means…yet.

Just like a car, you know what you’d love to drive but currently, you have to settle for much less.

The engine misfires, the suspension is shot, the headlights are dull and some dials on the dashboard are stuck.

You’re not even sure how it got through the MOT.

Still, it is a car and it runs; sometimes.

The car you would love is way beyond your price range and currently you can just manage to keep this one fuelled. Even then, you’re working flat out, 80 hour weeks to keep that car on the road. 

Of course, you are already stressing about it getting through the next years MOT because you’re convinced it will fail. In the meantime, you wake up each day dreading the next things to break down.

Wouldn’t you love a team that could fix the faults, stop it limping along. A team that could make the engine purr, fix the suspension, repair the lights and the dashboard.

A dream right?

You have no budget so where are you going to find that? There is a solution.

You are describing a Mastermind. Your own crew of mechanics.

Your business is the vehicle you have chosen to take you out of the traffic jam of Hussletown and its congested streets to the beautiful city of Prosperity, with its wide boulevards and avenues.

In his book “Think and Grow Rich, Hill described the Mastermind principle as,

“The coordination of knowledge and effort between two or more people who work towards a definite purpose in a spirit of harmony…no two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind”, also known as, the Mastermind.

Napoleon Hill

It is an incredibly powerful process, that has proven to produce amazing results. But Tammy has taken this principle, improved it further and made it VERY affordable. Designed for you.

Click here to find out more by booking a call or download the PDF

She assesses each member of the team personally to ensure they are:

  • High Calibre.
  • Trustworthy.
  • Dependable.
  • Committed.
  • Have an excellent skill set.
  • And are not burdened by their own ego.

Each Mastermind will have the functions necessary to help you build that highly-successful business. Such as Accountancy, Operations, Legal, Automation, Marketing, HR and Business Mindset Coaching.

These are the mechanics that service, repair and upgrade your vehicle.

In exchange, you contribute your skill to help the other members to keep their car in perfect condition.

Each Yellow Mastermind brings you POWER:

Productivity and Energy

  • You have a team working with you on your business. This brings its own energy that flows through you, enabling you to become more confident and productive. You will achieve more collectively than you could on your own.

Outstanding Direction and Focus

  • More than just a network, the Mastermind focuses on your business. You will become crystal clear on the direction you need to take to grow faster, more methodically and efficiently.

Wealth-building Brainstorming

  • A fascinating phenomenon is created when multiple minds come together to generate ideas for a common goal. A new Master Mind comes alive that generates a higher level of thinking and awareness, that brings new insights to solve existing challenges.

Exceptional Coaching for Personal and Business Growth

  • The members in the small Mastermind group not only support your business growth but also your personal growth. Your business will never outgrow the level of thinking that you bring to it. If you don’t grow, nor will your business.

Results driven Accountability

  • Many times, collaborative projects are born in the Mastermind. New ventures, new services, new products and new income streams. The Mastermind exists to create sustainable success for all its members.
  • More confidence as you see your business grow successfully and sustainably.
  • Free up more time to enjoy your work and your life.
  • Save the investment it would have cost you to have this team.

Each person offers a 2 hours skill swap so they can focus on their ‘area of genius’. This reduces any overworking and as no-one is in competition, everyone is working for the common good of helping each other create their dream business.

No longer will you be facing those 80 hour work weeks because Tammy’s goal is for you to create that strong, sturdy growth that ultimately brings you freedom in your business. Not to be one of the 8 out of 10 failures in the small business sector.

Can I afford the time and the money?

The stock answer is “can you afford not to be?”

But let me go deeper than that.

No business owner can be successful without spending time working on their business. You can’t see the picture when you’re in the frame.

The problem is, wherever you work, there are distractions, people clamouring for your attention and probably hundreds of reminders of unfinished tasks that need completing.

Working this way is a recipe for disaster and the market is littered with those.

You must spend focused time, away from distractions, with like-minded people who want to support you, to help you create your dream business. 

This is not like any network. These people have been hand-picked so you know you can delegate with ease and trust.

As for the money? You will be pleasantly surprised at how affordable this is for you.

Why should I do this now?

Because now is the time for growth. 

As Jim Rohn explained, in business just as in life, after every Winter there is a Spring. 

The world has just witnessed a devastating Winter. 

Now the signs of Spring are here, take advantage and apply now to start the assessment process of your suitability

Unleash your POWER now.

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Tammy Whalen Blake

Tammy Whalen Blake

Founder of go to yellow
Personal Development Coach

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#3 Focus Your Mind

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Redefining Success | Resorting Life Balance

Focus Your Mind

#3 Focus Your Mind

Are you feeling lost and unfocused? Do you get distracted easily and forget where you were to start with? Does this leave you feeling weary and lacking in motivation?

How many things have you got whizzing around inside of your brain at this moment in time? I bet that if you sat down and wrote them all down, there wouldn’t be half as much to worry about as you think. The problem with holding everything in a mental capacity is overwhelming and frustrating.

Many people keep their task lists in their heads, adding to it constantly until they get to a point where they just don’t know where to turn or what to tackle next. This is when they go into autopilot and fight the metaphorical fires as they meet them instead of having a strategy to stay organised and productive.

We are expecting far too much of ourselves to remember all of the stuff, all of the time. Something has to give sometimes, and it’s usually our sanity, not the work schedule.

So, where is the root cause of the problem? I can imagine that if you had a clearer head, you would have a much happier and productive day. But where is all of the brain fog coming from?

Why have you lost focus on your goals? I’m guessing it’s because you have so much other stuff to worry about right now. You probably tell yourself that you’ll think about that later when it’s quieter. But when is later? And why is there never a quieter moment?

Why are you lacking direction? Do you ultimately know what direction you want to head in? What’s the plan? I’m guessing you’ll be figuring that out in that quiet moment I just mentioned!? And in that same moment, you can think about identifying what it is that you’re passionate about and what you want out of life. 

Simple, hey!?

But, hang on, you need to do X, Y and Z first, so I guess you’ll have to put that thinking time off until tomorrow or next week or maybe a month?

Am I right?

How on earth can you focus and achieve your goals and desires if you are never giving yourself the time to think? The space to plan and do? Carrying on like this will make it virtually impossible!

planning focus your mind paper laptop

So, let’s start by making a plan to think about finding your focus again.

Time to think is essential for any task that you undertake. You can’t just plough into things at a hundred miles per hour and expect to come out with the results you had hoped for. There is going to be some clearing up to do along the way.

Approaching everything in life with a clear idea of what you want to achieve and how you will do it can only lead to success; even when taking on something simple such as the weekly food shop or entertaining guests. There has to be a thought process for everything, no matter how small.

So slow down, take your foot off the pedal, take a deep breath and….

START HERE!….

Put aside some time in your diary at regular intervals and make a plan for each session. Make sure you are away from distraction and have some peace and quiet to really, deeply contemplate. I think we spend too little time contemplating these days.

Think about and note down your thoughts on these points:

  • What do you want from life?
  • Are you living your true purpose?
  • What is your passion?
  • What do you need to do to find these things?
  • What changes in your life do you want to make?

Using this list, then put an action plan together. This is where you can look to regain your focus and the goals you want to achieve.

We all need a purpose in life and when it goes astray, we then start feeling lost. I don’t think that we ever lose these desires but I do believe that we, all too often, push them aside to make room for the immediate things that are going on in our lives; especially the demands of others.

When you’ve put your plan together, it should now be giving you a direction to head in and some ideas on the things to change or implement to get there.

Having accountability is essential. Having someone who you can bounce ideas off of and who will keep you on track will only serve to motivate you into ticking off the steps toward your goals.

Also, you should identify what the distractions are for you in your life. Do you worry that what you seek won’t fit into societies ‘norms’ and that people will judge you for dreaming big? Are your goals being hindered by other people such as children and family or even a demanding boss? Do you worry that people will think you are being silly for wanting something more in life or is your life goal deemed just not ‘trendy’ enough? Does this hold you back as you think that it’s not the right time for whatever it is you want?

If someone else told you of their worries such as the ones above, in relation to their own dream, would you be telling them the same story that you are telling yourself or would you be championing them and their ideas, trying to bolster their confidence to push them into action? 

Why are you talking yourself out of being who you want to be? Is it how you’ve been conditioned or taught?

It’s time to BREAK FREE! You have the power to remove these limiting beliefs to live the life you want.

Make your plan – set actionable goals – find your accountability partner – and believe in yourself.

It’s as easy as that. 

The first step is to take the time to think. Clear your space and your head and rediscover your fire.

So, now you know what you need to do, what would be a good nudge to ignite that spark?

Who could you stay accountable to? You need someone who can listen with open objectives and no judgement. Like the sound of that?

TAKE ACTION! Book a coaching session – It’s that simple. 

Let’s chat through all of your hopes, dreams, desires, forgotten goals etc., and let’s rediscover your focus. Invest in yourself now and you will reap the benefits later when you are where you thought you’d never be. 

Take a look at joining my goals and accountability coaching sessions at https://1.gotoyellow.co.uk/goalsetting or just reach out for a chat about how I can support you on your journey of discovery.

Get your diary out now and carve out some time for you. This is your opportunity; grasp it and the future you want.

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Tammy Whalen Blake

Tammy Whalen Blake

Founder of go to yellow
Personal Development Coach

Hear what others have to say...

client success stories

It's Your Turn