Monday, June 24, 2013

Women and Success - Why We Need to Create a System that Works!

"I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved."  B.R. Ambedkar

The success of Women in the workplace speaks volumes about the values and beliefs of our society.  

The truth is, the corporate world only narrowly defines us.  It is a very small part of what we, as women, are and hope to be.  We are made up of parts career, family, friends, hopes and dreams.

No matter our path, our goal is to be taken seriously in our journey.

I put to you that the way for us to achieve our goals is to re-create a flawed system, not try to butt heads with the existing one.

The system as it stands is made up of rules created by men.  These rules are tightly focused and, in many ways, celebrate exclusion.  This is what must change.

What I want to make clear is that this is in no way “man bashing”.  I believe that the system is broken for men too.  In many ways it stresses job above all else.  This serves no one.

It is also true that the current system was born from the way society dealt with the “traditional” roles of men and women.  This no longer holds true.

Growing concern about having a quality life filled with all things that are important to us is universal.

Where I find hope is in our young women and in our young men.

I believe that instead of fighting their way to the top, many are choosing to follow a different path, one of change.  They realize that, currently, women who make it to the top are often asked to sacrifice more than men who do so.

This generation is not willing to accept the status quo.

  Flexibility in the workplace has become their ultimate goal.  They want more, not less, chances to work from home and they simply believe in a different set of priorities.

These priorities are very individual, and this generation celebrates uniqueness.  Allowing everyone to forge their own individual path and reach success on their own terms is important to them.

This is not to say they don’t believe in the power of team work and collaboration.  It simply means that they are not buying into the antiquated definitions of what they should want out of life.

As often happens in a society, and has definitely happened in the past, I believe our younger generation will be the catalyst for this change.  Their refusal to accept traditional corporate roles will help create a new order.

This new order will be developed through the dedication of both our young women and young men to achieving this change.

Consider these words from Plato;

"Every person needs to define success on his or her own terms. Ultimately, for both men and women, the definition of success is deeply personal. At the end of each person's life, only he or she can look back and say, "I was successful." It is also important to realize that what constitutes success to one person may not constitute success to another.  Nothing can be more absurd than the practice that prevails in our country of men and women not following the same pursuits with all their strengths and with one mind, for thus, the state instead of being whole is reduced to half."

Although written long ago, these words define the importance of fighting for a common goal.  Being divisive gets you nowhere.  Definitely food for thought!

Check out and join my blog so you don’t miss articles like this and more!
  You can also reach me on my website,  Thanks!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Small Business, Karma, and the “Golden Rule”!

I originally wrote this article in honor of "National Small Business Week".  But in closing out the year, and in the holiday spirit, I would like to once again recognize the innovations, successes, and milestones of Small Business.....

Each time I think about Small Business, I reflect on what it means to me to be successful in my own small business.  Every business owner wants and needs to make money.  However, I think it has to be more than that.

For me, True Success goes beyond what I can Get to what I can Give.  I believe it is possible to be generous and giving in our business practices and still have a healthy “bottom line” - in fact, that bottom line may even be better because of it.

Since I am a firm believer in Karma and particularly the “Golden Rule”, I have found how to apply these to my business. I think it all begins by aligning your core beliefs with your business practices, making a strong foundation for your business.

“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”      Wayne W. Dyer

Karma is centered on the belief in “cause and effect”.  Much like the “Golden Rule”, “Do Unto Others as you would have them Do Unto You”,  they embody the idea of “what goes around, comes around”.  When you treat people as you would like to be treated, you create a general feeling of good will.

This just makes sense.

So, How can you translate this into your business?

  • Really Listen.   Taking into account your customer’s and employee’s suggestions and feedback shows you care about their opinions.   People that feel acknowledged become loyal.

  • Treat Your Clients Fairly.  Be upfront and truthful in how you do business.  Do what you say you are going to do and stand by your word.  Your clients will appreciate this and come to trust and rely on you.

  • Think of Yourself as a “Helper” and Partner.  Approach your clients in the spirit of what you can do to help them and not by focusing on what you will gain.   With this as your mindset you cannot go wrong.

  • Encourage and Collaborate with other Small Businesses.  Think of yourself as part of a bigger community of Small Business Owners.  Lend your support where you can and find ways to work together.  Creating a community of Small Businesses really strengthens us all. 

Following these 4 tips really helps me incorporate my belief in Karma and the Golden Rule into my own Small Business.   Because of this, I know my business is run ethically and honestly.

I have been able to build upon this and develop a company “mission statement” that makes both me and my clients happy.....and that is the kind of success that means the most to me!

I close with these words from author Debbie Ford;

“Remember, all the answers you need are inside of you; you only have to become quiet enough to hear them.” 

Authored by

Go Small Business!

If you like this article, please Share It!

You can find more tips and information on Small Business by visiting my blog and website.  Thanks!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Privacy and Background Checks - A Balancing Act!

Created by Kimberly Kline, API

“I particularly recognize that reasonable people can disagree as to what that proper balance or blend is between privacy and security and safety.”      John Pistole

There always seems to be controversy when it comes to  background checks and employment.  The importance of personal privacy 
versus the right of employers to hire safely 
is under fire.

Some believe that by requesting a background check, employers are invading their privacy.  Others believe that companies have the right and the responsibility to verify any information provided by the candidate.  In fact, it is their legal obligation to provide a safe environment for their workforce, customers and the public.

I believe a balance between the two 
is both possible and desirable.

First off, there are valid reasons why a company would use Background Checks as part of their hiring process.  (Read "4 Reasons Why Small Businesses Need to Use Background Checks" here).

Background checks provide employers with a powerful tool.  Their purpose is to help a company make a safe hire.  They can also indicate the truthfulness of a candidate.

The reality is that a person’s past does matter.  Your past, both good and bad, shapes your character.  Whether that past includes a criminal record or not, your past experiences mold you into the person you are today.

Employers have a right to be reluctant to hire someone with a criminal history.  Companies are responsible for ensuring a safe work environment for their other employees.  They are obligated to craft policy to guard against violence and bullying in the workplace.  Companies also face legal ramifications for unsafe hires.

There are also positions where a person with a criminal past poses a specific threat.  Someone with a history of embezzlement, for example, would most certainly be unsuitable to have access to company funds.  The same would go for someone with a past drug problem having access to medications.  In cases like these, an employer needs to know the past of their applicants.

However, a criminal record should not automatically disqualify someone from employment.

I truly believe in second chances and the need for everyone to find employment in order to make their way in this world.  That is why it is important to weigh the past offense against the applicant’s ability to safely perform the duties required.

Discover more of my thoughts on this in "Once a Criminal, Always a Criminal ~ Why We Need to Believe in Second Chances"!

My motto:  "Trust but Verify"!

A Background Check can also be used as an indicator of a person’s honesty.  Many employers request one to verify the education and past employment history of their applicants. Knowing that the information listed on a person’s resume is truthful is crucial.

It is also important to know whether the skills listed, either as part of a degree or training, are valid.  Hiring someone with a fabricated or exaggerated skill set is unfair and possibly dangerous for any company.

Now comes the question of privacy.  By its very definition, a Background Check concerns a person’s privacy.  Any research into someone’s history delves into “private” matters.

What is also true is that, 

A Background Check is Not a Violation of Privacy!  "Tweet This"

When a Background Check is conducted legally, an employer fully discloses that an investigation into an applicant’s past will be done and a release form permitting the investigation is signed.

The release and the disclosure statement, by law, must be completely separate from a company’s application.  This ensures that the applicant fully understands that they are waiving their right to privacy in regard to the company’s Background Check process.

It is always good business 
for every company to review their 
policy on background checks 
and make sure it is sound 
and takes the issue of privacy into account.

The key to balancing an employer’s right to know and an individual’s right to privacy is consistency and restraint.

A company needs to be consistent in how they conduct their background checks and practice restraint as to what information they really require.  They need to draft policy that indicates how much information is actually needed to ensure a qualified and safe hire and stick to those parameters for every candidate.

In this way both the company’s rights and the individual’s rights are taken into account.  Practicing true balance between the two goes a long way towards making the entire process as fair as possible - and that is a goal we should all try to achieve.

Authored by

I can help you 
navigate the world of background checks and guide you in making the best hiring decisions .  Please visit my blog or Contact Me 
for more information. Thanks!

Monday, June 3, 2013

4 Lessons Facing my 50s and Insomnia Have Taught Me About Business & Life!

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.”              Gilda Radner

When I started my business, I thought it was important to work “regular business hours”.  I believed since I worked from home that putting in the traditional “9 to 5” was essential to promoting a professional image for my business.  There was right time for things and schedules were necessary. 

Now I have come to rethink this.

Since turning 50, I have been plagued by the cliche “hot flashes” and insomnia.  I find myself waking regularly in the middle of the night and alternately kicking off or wrapping myself in my covers.

I lie awake, unable to get comfortable or once again find my sleep pattern.

For awhile, this bothered me.  I was determined to try and force myself back to sleep and keep to my set schedule.

Then I had a break through.  I started asking myself “why”?

Why was I so insistent on the notion that I sleep for at least 6 hours and I needed to wake by 7 to start my work day?   

Instead, I learned to let it go.

Once I surrendered to what was, instead of holding on to what I thought should be, I was free - free to find my own way and free to do what was right for me.  

I began keeping a notebook on my nightstand for any “late night inspirations”.  I also kept my kindle handy.  This way I was able to make great use of the times when I couldn’t sleep.  I was amazed by what I was able to accomplish!

During those “middle of the night” hours, I have found subjects for future blog posts and formulated new “plans of action” for my business.  On the personal front, I have been able to enjoy purely recreational reading and have even planned a redesign of my kitchen and bedroom!

So, in the end, having insomnia and hot flashes has taught me something.  It has taught me some important lessons that have changed the way I approach my business, and my life!

This is what I learned:

  • Don’t fight what you can’t change.  You can’t try and force something to be the way you think it should be.  Sometimes you have to go with the flow.

  • You determine your own schedule.   You need to find what works for you and roll with it.  It may not be the norm, but why should that matter?  You are definitely more productive when following your own path.

  • You need to be flexible.  Believing things will go according to plan usually leads to disappointment.  Being able to embrace uncertainty and not fear it will free you.

  • You need a sense of humor.  I have found this to be my most important lesson.  If you can’t laugh at what business and life throws at you, you are doomed.

All these “lessons” have allowed me to approach my business and my life on my own terms.  I am more productive and relaxed than ever before.

So, although I would love to get a full night’s sleep again, I don’t sweat it.  I have actually embraced my erratic lifestyle, read some awesome new books, and am more at peace with myself than ever before.

And I don’t think I would ask for anything different!

If you would like to read more of my views on Small Business, please visit my blog.  I also invite you to check out my website for more information on my company, Access Profiles, Inc. - a Background Check and Due Diligence investigation service.  Thanks!