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Sunday, January 4, 2009


I.How to Ask Questions That Get The Results You Want

The quality of outcomes depends greatly on the quality of the questions asked.

Lack of personal accountability is plaguing organizations and preventing real solutions being found. In turn, our sense of accountability determines how we frame the questions we ask. Too often questions are framed in the context of blame or complaint. Questions beginning with 'why have' often end up in a pity party. Why only seeks to place blame elsewhere instead of taking ownership of a problem, and finding a solution. Inappropriate questions represented a lack of personal accountability.

In the culture of success, individuals are reluctant to admit failure, in spite of failure being the greatest opportunities for learning and growth. This lack of accountability is driven by the fear of reprimand and recrimination. The pathway to greater growth and transformation is in changing our thinking and asking more personally accountable questions. When we ask, and are asked better questions, our lives and our organizations are transformed. Personal accountability in the state of mind. It's about continually asking 'what can I do to help out?; and 'how can I provide value to you?'. These positive, action-based questions make the difference in the answers that appear. For instance, ask 'what more can we do with what we have?'; instead of asking for more to do what you already do.

In a negative culture, our first reactions to any question are often negative, and bring into mind further incorrect questions. In a positive culture, each decision we make helps us discipline our thoughts to look behind initial questions and answers to find even better ones, one that will ultimately lead us to better results. This is the principal of drill-down and drill-across capabilities in business intelligence tools. By applying the process used in technology to our personal habits we can transform the quality of our personal outcomes. It's a simple matter of - ask a better question, get a better answer.

Guidelines for better questions:

1. Begin with what or how; not Why, When or Who
2. Contain I; not They, Them, We or You
3. Focus on action

Instead of asking why something is so difficult or not working, ask 'what can I do to make things better?

II.5 Children's Businesses You Can Start For Under $10,000

Running your own small business can be a really enjoyable experience. That is of course if you like what you do. In this case if you like children then there are many opportunities to become an entrepreneur. Of course starting a business can be expensive but each of these five opportunities can be started for under $10,000. If you'd like to help people with their children and be your own boss as well then these businesses might be worth considering.

1. Baby Sitting Referral Service: This is a good business with low start-up costs. You set up business as the middleman between baby sitters looking for work and parents looking for baby sitters. Parents today want some flexibility to be able to go out and leave the kids at home. But hiring just anybody can cause some unease for parents. And trying to get friends or family to watch the kids can be inconvenient. The ability to have baby sitters pre-screened gives parents an incentive to use your services and providing steady work helps the baby sitters.

2. Childproofing Services: Kid's are the sneakiest little creatures. They seem to have the ability to get into everyplace they don't belong. You can help parents and of course their kid's by helping childproof their homes. The concept is simple enough. You go into a home and do an inspection. Then you help the parents by installing latches and other safeguards so that children can't go where they shouldn't. You also take the additional step of identifying and pointing out potential hazards for their children that cannot be childproofed.

3. Childcare Service: If you are a bit more hands on and want to actually work with children then you can provide child care services directly to parents. Of course this business comes with the rewards of watching children develop. And there are some headaches as well. Hearing them yell all day. For this business you can use your home although it should be spacious with a large fenced in yard preferably. There are licensing requirements that will vary depending on where you live but this can be a very lucrative business to be in as there is usually a shortage of day care centers.

4. Children's Party Service: If you love a good party then this might be the right business for you. Of course the parties are for children. With birthday's and other events happening every day helping parents organize that party to remember can be a great way to make a living. Often parents lack the time and know how to set up a good party for their kid. This makes parents willing to pay. Being paid to organize and set up that perfect party is what this business is all about.

5. Nanny Placement Service: Although similar to the baby sitter referral service it is actually more like operating an employment agency for nannies. Your first step is going to be to find qualified nannies. You'll have to do resume screening and some background checks. Next you need to find clients. The clients of course are going to be parents looking for someone to come into their home and care for their children. Often parents do not want to use a regular day care service for their kids. Finally you'll have to match qualified nannies with parents that need their services.

Each of these businesses has a few things in common. They each involve provide a solution to a typical parenting problem. And they each have low start-up costs which are perfect for someone that either lacks financial capital or are just looking for a second source of income. So if you would like to become your own boss while helping out parents in need and their children one of these businesses might be right for you.

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