Ramon Ray, founder of SmartHustle.com, has been involved in the small business sector for over twenty years as a serial entrepreneur, podcast host, author, and expert advocating for small business success. As a vocal participant and active contributor, he helps small businesses adapt to new marketplace dynamics—from developing meaningful client relationships to motivating and supporting employees. He shares five priorities to focus on and the strategic importance of empathy.
[02:27] How Ramon’s experience working at the UN was the embryonic beginning of his focus on entrepreneurship and small businesses.
[03:56] Technology advice and understanding have been core to Ramon’s support to small businesses growth which has evolved with platform, application, and digital media advances.
[05:41] Ramon bridges the chasm between small emerging businesses and large tech companies trying to reach them—their empathy factor and influencer.
[08:36] Five priorities for small businesses to focus on to transform for the new era of work.
[11:34] How empathy came to the forefront for Ramon in 2020 as many significant events occurred.
[13;16] What it means to wear someone else’s shoes—in life and when offering business advice.
[14:59] Empathy can mean recognizing but not agreeing with another person’s perspective.
[16:14] Ramon encouraged a client to empathize with him, facilitating an effective way to work together.
[17:46] Understanding and fulfilling your own needs as well as supporting others during tough times.
[19:51] The power of contentment to appreciate the positive aspects of your situation.
[22:35] How empathy is particularly important now to bridge differences, connect with more people, and mitigate our more insular situations due to COVID19 restrictions.
[24:02] Managing differently in small companies to adjust to a less predictable marketplace while staying profitable—being more transparent, flexible, and supportive with employees.
[26:57] The reciprocal benefits of empathy, trust, and communication especially in changing conditions.
[27:56] Ramon shares the challenges of his kids—navigating work as a recent graduate and coping with very restrictive situations overseas during the pandemic.
[30:02] Wondering about new labor market entrants learning new work conditions as the standard.
[31:13] Aligned intention, shared values, and empathetic understanding with customers promotes strong relationships.
[34:33] The benefit of clients recognizing you for who you are!
[36:06] IMMEDIATE ACTION TIP: Encourage and care about people. Be empathetic. Build and focus on your personal brand. Don’t be afraid to amplify who are you—in an empathetic way!
“We cannot predict the future. Be comfortable with that.”
“It comes to the human dimensions, right? That make the biggest difference.”
“It’s not just shooting the target. 60% of it is mindset.”
“Somebody reading this may want to do it a different way. That’s okay.”
“We all need someone to reach out to us. It’s not a business thing. I go on WhatsApp once a week and send a message to 10-15 people and let them know I care.”
“I understand the broad strokes of your company [and your values], now unleash me and let me do what I do.”
“Don’t be afraid to amplify who you are.”
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