Speaking on Behalf of your Business

Whenever you speak, remember that you speak on behalf of both yourself and for the business you work within.

Here’s my story of proof.

About 10 years ago one morning I was traveling on a train from home into Adelaide city for my day job.
At one station a guy got on with his bike. Normally nothing would be said – but it was the express train. Bikes are not permitted. But most people on my train were already too tired, or had work on their mind already, or simply didn’t care – so let it slide. But it wasn’t going to be that simple.

He rolled his bike on, looked at me and a group of ladies sitting in seats that flip away to reveal a space normally reserved for bikes. He stood near us for a short while before turning to us and saying “Please move.”

All of the ladies, looked at him, then ignored him. They were in conversation and hadn’t anticipated this. After all, this was the peak-hour train. They’d never had to stand before that day – and rightly so.
He tried again, this time loudly and aggressively. I was at the far end of the 4 seats, so felt no immediate threat. But his tone got menacing, so I stood up and told him he shouldn’t have his bike on the express train, and that we were within our rights to sit there. He then pushed me backwards, and I fell to the floor.

I reckon the train driver saw and heard the whole conversation – the train slightly shook, then resumed speed before stopping at the next station.

At that point the train driver and two station guards were seen walking outside our carriage. One of the ladies beside said to the offensive man – “Oh look, your mummy is here.” That got a laugh out of a few of us. I had sat back on my seat, and my attacker stood at his bike. No apologies came forth.

The driver pointed at me, then at him. As they walked passed me (as they had come onto the carriage at the other door), I was nodded at. They walked up to him – and he went off at the guards, yelling about his rights. Wearing his flashy suit, metal ankle braclet to protect his pants, bright helmet and gloves. A spectacle to behold.

They ‘advised‘ him to get off the train, but just as he stepped off, one guard stopped and asked me if I’d like to press charges.

Some might say I made the wrong choice.

“No, but I’d like to ask him one question.”

“Umm… sure…” I don’t think they hear that often.

Train guards don’t touch people, they corral. I have seen it often enough. So the man moved in an odd way back onto the train without his bike.

“What?” He tried to too look angry, but his eyes said terror.

I smiled weakly and asked “Where do you work? That’s a nice suit.”
He clearly didn’t understand what I just did.

“I WORK FOR ____! THEY ARE GOING TO HEAR ABOUT THIS!”

That’s right, he told the whole carriage. The three ladies were smiling now.

“Good for you. You are right, they are going to hear about this. I can only hope you are not the ambassador for that business – because your attitude and behaviour today is totally NON-professsional. Seeya.”

Even the train guard understood what just happened. They again advised him to get off, with his shiny bike. As this wa the closest station to the city, he’d probably get to work sooner than us.

As the doors closed, there was an audible sigh, a slight laugh, and a few people applauded. I was shaking with both fear and exhilaration. I’d never done that before. I never wanted to ever again.

As I got off the train, three passengers quietly approached me and thanked me. The train guards nodded at me. The driver would have logged the incident.

And his business probably may have received a LOT of phone calls that day.
We never saw him on the train again.

Why tell you this story? I am constantly reminded of it when people I know work in amazing businesses decide to berate me on social media. What do you think I am going to do next? 

Well, I actually prefer not to do anything. I rarely delete social media unless it’s a conversation that should have been had offline. Instead your wonderful comments can stay for ALL my friends to read. Think about that for a second or two.

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The Answer to the Penultimate Question! 

Being a parent has taught me some amazing life lessons, one of which contradicts what I have always believed.

So I am producing a informative tongue-in-cheek video that will reveal my answer to the most important question of all time. 

What is the question? Aha, no! That too will be revealed! To see the video late next week, subscribe to my channel: 

https://www.youtube.com/user/stephentrepreneur
If it doesn’t make you laugh, it will make you groan!

Not Everybody’s Cup of Tshirts

As a part-time hobby I design artwork for tshirts for a whole range of amazing clients.

Usually they send me a drawing or a screen-dump of something they’d like to see printed on a Tshirt. Unfortunately some I have to reject because of ‘Intellectual Property‘ laws, or it’s a blatant ripoff. Satirical pieces I have done, but more often I redesign an idea into something completely new.

Some people might take offense to words in some of my tshirt designs. Maybe they grew up in an era where sexual thoughts and offensive language were not made public let alone printed on tshirts. Or on a coffee mug. Or on leggings.

At the very least I look at client ideas, and think to myself:If I was to reject your idea because I don’t like the message, or the lifestyle it promotes, or how some religious zealots may react, what am I really saying? That I am putting others’ beliefs above my client’s gender or life-choice? That someone else runs my business? That I can or will only do artwork with the approval of ALL the people in my life? Of course not, that would be silly. No, I won’t do that.

So occasionally I design a few tshirts that are going to offend a few people. Well, that’s easy: Don’t look. If you see the tshirt in the street, talk to that person – they paid for it. Or turn away. It’s like watching TV: If the channel is showing something you don’t like, change the channel.

To date nobody has complained or commented on my artwork – yet by publishing this, they may now.

When a client or a follower wants a design, I show them three examples of my design of their idea. Because they are rarely on commission, I show them how to purchase online via Redbubble.com. It’s really easy, you can pick from a whole lot of different colors, tshirt styles, and other merchandise you might like to see it on.

Checkout the following merchandise designed for various friends over the last ten years.

If you like any of them, you should be wearing them. Don’t let anyone stop you from being what you were born and who you are. Each image links back to my redbubble tshirt gallery where you can choose which best suits you.

  

   

 

PostScript: I finally designed an unusual request from a few years ago earlier this week. It’s actually nothing new, but they wanted to see how I would approach the design. Yes, the client is a lesbian – get over it. I know them, they are a beautiful person, and their lifestyle has no impact on you or me. In her words … “Even if you were my type, you’ll never know. Those that are my type, often know before I do.” That’s how all relationships should be. Look out for this tshirt-design, it will be online very soon … and I imagine it will be more popular than the ones above!

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Learn Something New Every Day

Whilst my 2yo son cried for no apparent reason this morning, I quietly said to him … “You have been alive for less than 750 days. That’s 1/50th, a mere 2%, of your potential life. Today is just one day. Tomorrow is another. Let’s put this nappy on, and take another breath.”

It’s easy to forget that every day is a gift.

So often we tell ourselves It’s OK, I will fix/become/change/join/upgrade/update/learn/do it tomorrow – and tomorrow remains tomorrow, the day after the last day, the eighth day we dream of but never see. We keeping putting stuff off, thinking we are safe, that one day that day will come.

And this is despite, thanks to the proximity of everyone on the internet, we see every day that life is NOT forever. We hear and see violence in the middle east, terrorists in stadiums, unfortunate fatal gunshots by children. Despite this knowledge, we think our distance from these activities makes us safe from harm.

So now you know that you have approximately 36,500 days of life: What are you doing with your time?

I say this to myself daily. I have to. I am a Daddy. My two young sons are the horizon that reminds me that it’s worth the journey, and I am their rock to climb, to aspire to, to learn from, to become men themselves.

My 2yo son clearly didn’t understand much of the words I said. Yet he heard the the sombre tone in Daddy’s reassuring voice, and slowly calmed down. After a dry nappy was attached, warm clothes adorned, and tears wiped away … we hugged me and said in his beautiful little voice “Thank you Daddy” … and he waddled off to play with toys. I smiled, yet I knew he was mimicking either myself, Mummy, or even his older brother. It’s the best way to teach them – by example.

Ensure your House Smoke Detectors Meet Current Regulations (AUS)

Power Up! I researched this information after our rental-home smoke-detector beeping beeped at 2.30am yesterday morning. At the time I also asked on Facebook (in a KI Q&A group) what should be done in the short term: All my good friends on Kangaroo Island suggested the 9Volt battery needed replacing. Yes, there is one inside the device.

Here’s where the issue lies:

  1. We believe the noise was the actual smoke detector noise, not the battery-dying noise.
    That was worrying, which is why I went straight to FB to ask in the forums. I imagined someone else might have experienced this and knew exactly what to do. Many great responses were provided, and I learnt a lot. There’s no saying if we were wrong or right in our decision, but I feel we did the right thing.
  2. We only moved into the house 3 weeks ago. Which got me thinking.
    Should it be responsibility of the tenant leaving OR the new tenant to replace the battery? Maybe the previous tenant should be required to indicate on the ‘final paperwork’ when they replaced the smoke-detector battery?

Short Back and Sides Mid afternoon, after all electrical problems in our house were fixed, I found these three websites – and was amazed by the information so much that I felt it prudent that all SA home owners, landlords, and renters should read and know. As I suspected we all have obligations and rights, all of which are designed to save lives:

1. CFS \ Fire Safety \ Smoke Alarms

Home owners are required, by Regulation 76B under the Development Act, 1993, to install battery powered or hard-wired (240 volt mains powered) smoke alarms.

  • Houses built since 1 January 1995 must be equipped with hard-wired smoke alarms.
  • All other houses must be equipped with at least 9 volt battery powered smoke alarms.
    [MY TWO CENTS] If you like to keep the house, or getting the rent on it, put in the hard-wired option! [/END]
  • When a house with 9 volt battery powered smoke alarms is sold the new owner has six months to install alarms which are hard-wired to the 240 volt power supply or powered by 10 year life, non-replaceable, non-removable batteries.

Heat Generator Penalties apply for non-compliance.

2. Our State Government provide a simplistic website layout for anyone, either on a computer or smartphone, to obtain the regulatory information easily and quickly provide/explain to your landlord to prove your case.

3. The Real Estate Institute of South Australia also provide quick explanations and simple tips and traps to ensure the correct information is available.

Our issue (and a few others) was resolved within 12 hours. I hope your household wiring, smoke detectors, house alarm, and any other electrical items are repaired or replaced in a timely manner to ensure your house/contents/family are not at risk!

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Radical Change Won’t Happen Overnight 

​This mesaage is circulating the internet, particularly Facebook. First read it through, then answer this:

  • Is it at all feasible?
  • Do you really think anyone in Parliament house is going to say “Oh that makes sense, let’s make radical changes overnight!”

Proposals to make politicians shoulder their share of the weight now that the Age of Entitlement is over:
1. Scrap political pensions.

Politicians can purchase their own retirement plan, just as most other working Australians are expected to do.
2. Retired politicians (past, present & future) participate in Centrelink. A Politician collects a substantial salary while in office but should receive no salary when they’re out of office.

Terminated politicians under 70 can go get a job or apply for Centrelink unemployment benefits like ordinary Australians.

Terminated politicians under 70 can negotiate with Centrelink like the rest of the Australian people.
3. Funds already allocated to the Politicians’ retirement fund be returned immediately to Consolidated Revenue.

This money is to be used to pay down debt they created which they expect us and our grandchildren to repay for them.
4. Politicians will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Politicians pay will rise by the lower of, either the CPI or 3%.
5. Politicians lose their privileged health care system and participate in the same health care system as ordinary Australian people.

i.e. Politicians either pay for private cover from their own funds or accept ordinary Medicare.
6. Politicians must equally abide by all laws they impose on the Australian people.
7. All contracts with past and present Politicians men/women are void effective 31/12/16.
The Australian people did not agree to provide perks to Politicians, that burden was thrust upon them. Politicians devised all these contracts to benefit themselves.
Serving in Parliament is an honour not a career.

The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so our politicians should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

Seriously, Don’t ‘copy paste & post’ this just because you like it, do it if you think it is achievable.