Thursday, July 24, 2014

How to be the smartest person in the room.

I often feel like I am the smartest person in the room. I know that I am not, but I read an article on how being confident about your intelligence level and increase it, lol! Seriously though, there are a few tricks available to help you become smarter. I wanted to share them with you on today’s blog. They’re listed below;

1. Write everything down that you learn. Don’t rely on your brain to retain important information. Note taking, even if you text message yourself, is important. Your brain tends to hold onto concepts and points longer if you write them down, so- get the pen or tablet out at your next big meeting.

2. Play board games. Yes, it is very important to play board games. Why? All the strategizing and puzzles actually help your brain expand and think through unpredictable situations. Many studies show playing a board game twice a week can help improve your IQ by a point every year!

3. Surround yourself with smart people. This may sound cliché, but it works. Ever hear that birds of a feather tend to flock to together? Well, it’s true. So, join some social groups that focus on the environment or certain causes that incorporate strategizing, thinking and working together as a team for the greater good.

Some people believe going back to school helps your intelligence. In can, but only if you enjoy the subject matter. Don’t go back to school for the sake of going back to school. Instead, make sure you are engaged with the concept of why you need to go back to school, otherwise- it is a waste of time and money.

Until tomorrow,

Twyla N. Garrett

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Homeland Security; Are You Tough Enough?

It’s not easy being in the homeland security business. While the business landscape can be a daily battlefield, the homeland security industry can really take a mental toll on its workforce. I wanted to address being tough enough for homeland security in today’s blog because true strength comes from the right mental attitude.

If you’re thinking about getting into the homeland security business, keep reading! You will need the following two habits to ensure you are tough enough to succeed within this industry.

First, you can’t waste mental energy relying on luck to distinguish your destiny. In any situation in life, especially with homeland security, you need to act as if you are in charge and there is no such word as “try”, you either do or you don’t. The middle doesn’t exist. If you act as if you are in control, others will respect you and you will have no room to blame bad luck on your failures or successes.

Second, complaining and critizing others isn’t an option. Homeland security requires you to work with a team. If the team succeeds, know it is a team effort. If the team fails, know that it is a team effort. If you spend too much time talking about others or complaining about the tasks at hand- people will start to question if you are mentally frail or out to sabotage others and you will not succeed within the industry. Play nice and be transparent, not critical or a baby about certain tasks!

I hope this information has provided you with a brief oversight on the toughness needed to combat the day-to-day operations within the homeland security field. You may also want to pick up a copy of my book dedicated to homeland security for more in-depth information. Here’s the link:

Twyla N. Garrett

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Winning in the boardroom.

I wanted to use today’s blog to discuss playing nice in life. I mean all aspects of life, too. You see, in business we have to deal with boardroom meetings, client meetings, interaction with coworkers and employees, in-laws, etc. I’m not going to lie, these interactions can test our patience. If we lose it, we lose in life. It is crucial to know how to win in a group, which means making some unpopular decisions and statements on occasion.

Below, I am going to lay out my top 5 ways to win in the boardroom and in life. These steps will help you navigate your way to success in a group environment. Please don’t think these are tips on being popular, they’re not. In fact, some of the time- they may make you unpopular.

1. Don’t lie. It sounds obvious but it has to be said. The truth will follow you. Not stating something is also a form of lying. If you are always upfront with people, you have nothing to worry about in life.

2. Address conflict immediately. You shouldn’t wait for things to die down. This tactic will always cause the other person to hold onto a grudge versus letting it go. My best advice is to address conflict head on and work for a positive resolution versus hoping it will all “blow over.”

3. Understand there are no perfect people. . A variety of personalities and types can add differing perspectives to help make a team more productive. You will have to work alongside these different personalities. You may not have to like the people you are working with, but respect their differences and how they can better the project because of their distinctions.

4. Ask questions. Don’t assume anything in life. Further, if you think someone understands what you are asking of them, don’t be afraid to have them repeat the instructions back to you with a plan of how he or she is going to attack the tasks. This isn’t for micromanaging purposes. Instead, it helps to ensure the other person understands what you are asking of them without insulting them.

5. Allow yourself to fall down. The world is super competitive right now. Cheating is at its highest level. Don’t cheat, don’t forge, simply try. If you fail, allow yourself to fall down and then get right back up. Try again and make sure you do so by incorporating what you learned from the failed attempt.

Remember, if you are honest and address conflict with others right away- you are already going to win many battles in life. Now, work in understanding that people aren’t perfect, ask more questions then you make suggestions, and also become persistent and the world will be yours for the taking.

Until tomorrow,

Twyla N. Garrett

Monday, July 21, 2014

How to ruin your reputation in one step.

I want to talk about your reputation. In business, it means everything. Some people, however, go out of their way to save their reputation and single handily ruin it in the same step. How is this possible? Covering up a mistake. Yes, not taking responsibility and fixing the mistake will harm your reputation for a long time in business.

Business guru John Brandon recently wrote, “The more you've done to hide a mistake, the more you will be despised. The alternative? Fess up right away. The sooner you come clean about losing a signed contract or getting into a fight with a competitor, the more time everyone has to deal with the problem and take corrective action. Let the mistake stay hidden and you are setting off a time bomb. When people find out, your reputation will suffer.”

I couldn’t agree with his advice more. Lying or trying to cover up a mistake irritates not only the customer, but those within the office. It takes more time and energy to correct a lie then it does to apologize and fix a mistake. We are all human. Being accountable and making mistakes are part of this process. Embrace it and learn for each experience versus trying to hide from them.

Until tomorrow,

Twyla N. Garrett

Friday, July 18, 2014

2 Ways to Sell.

I was reading a lot on the subject of sales recently. I had to travel and came across a book on sales. We are all sales people. We have to pitch ourselves to clients or to the HR department for the job, etc. But what happens when you are the actual sales person who has to bring in clients? Are you stuck in a rut and using the same hum-drum tactics.

After much reading, I have discovered the following best sales tactics.

1. Ask for the business directly. This simply is presenting, asking and answering questions, and then stating that you have answered all the questions and it sounds like they (your audience) are ready to move forward. Then, boldly, present the contact and take care of the business now- or as quickly as possible. Being blunt and to the point, yet polite, does work and works often.

2. Time sensitive matters. If a potential client has been on the fence about moving forward, then give them a deadline as to when pricing will expire or go up. Either you have their business or you don’t. The time sensitive issue will clarify this immediately.

There are, of course, other tactics that do work. You want to use something that is ethical and comfortable for you.

Until Monday,

Twyla N. Garrett

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Bad Side of Success

I had an interesting conversation with a woman recently on the dark or bad side of success. She seemed to think that every single CEO takes advantage of their own power and uses that same power to oppress employees and destroy society. Well, this is a bit extreme. I don’t like being categorized this way and I know other business owners and CEOs that don’t fit this description.

I can’t, however, deny that there isn’t a bad side to success. Some business situations are difficult and require a bit of a mean streak to navigate. In order to get what you want and what is best for your company and employees, sometimes being a master manipulator and a bit of a narcissist will benefit business.

Being able to have no regrets can be considered a “bad” trait, as this woman pointed out. But this trait is an important one. Business owners have to try new things and not become emotionally attached to ideas that fail. Why? They have to bounce back, move forward and keep generating income and jobs. If we become too invested in our failures, we will never be able to move forward.

So, I plead with anyone who thinks CEOs are hardened or possess “bad” traits to reconsider. Think about why these alleged bad traits (no attachment, narcissist behavior, manipulation), are needed to move business forward. I believe that as long as one uses these traits in ethical business deals, that all is OK and that these “bad” traits can actually be used for good!

Until tomorrow,

Twyla N. Garrett

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

When Opportunity Knocks…

One of the biggest mistakes I see new business owners make is not knowing when opportunity is knocking. This fundamental cornerstone of business isn’t often taught in business school, but often talked about. You have to know when and where to look for opportunities in order to expand.

The best way to create your own business opportunity is by offering an upgraded version of your products or services. Yes, create your own opportunity. If sales are starting to flat line then take a page out of Apple’s tech book and create a newer, better version of your old products or sales.

You also want to seek out a narrowcast of options. This is a TV term but it applies to business. Don’t try to market your product or services to all of the people, all of the time. Instead, be precise about the group you want to capture and then start seeking out opportunities to network, introduce or promote your product at.

Don’t think advertising alone will create opportunities, either. Long term publicity campaigns are needed in order to layer your brand’s identity in a credible manner. Ads don’t produce credibility, longevity or a huge push in ROI.

Remember, creating your own opportunities are the best ones to take advantage of!

Until next time,

Twyla N. Garrett

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