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What Do People Have to Do With Business Growth?

Monday, 30th June 2014

I had recently moved to a new state when my former husband filed for divorce. From the stress of going through a complicated divorce, becoming a single mother, and still running a business, I hunkered down and rolled up my sleeves to build a new life, a better one, one that was more in alignment with who I was becoming.

In the mastermind group I belong to, I shared that although I was meditating twice a day, practicing yoga four times a week, watching what I was eating, and making time to play with the kids, and occasionally getting a massage, the reports came back from the doctor that my cortisol, the stress hormone, was still out of whack, even though I was functioning well. I couldn’t understand what I was missing.

The mastermind leader asked, “How many people do you know in your town?”

That answer was easy, about 40 people, 38 of them were in the business network group that I belonged to. He looked at me with surprise, and I explained that I was really busy and didn’t get out much. I didn’t have time to make it to the local yoga class or exercise class and just did that at home in-between clients.

The leader of the group then asked why I was launching my own local mastermind group. I brightened up and told him I believed in the power of group coaching, and I have seen business owners totally transform from plugging along in their business to streamlining it, working less, and getting more of the results they wanted. I have seen how people flourish in a safe community that supports them and believes in them.

friendsHe then turned my own words against me. “Don’t you think you need that community for yourself? You know, some place where you aren’t the leader. Some place where you can express your worries and concerns?”

He was right. We all need community whether to grow our business faster or to decrease our stress. This is one of those factors in modern society that isn’t so easy to implement into our lives. especially if you are like me and new to a place and haven’t made much of an effort to get to know people, not an easy task for a full-fledged introvert.

That is the irony of human nature. The harmful things people sometimes do to us makes us want to withdraw and isolate ourselves, but this very action will cause harmful effects to our bodies and spirits. According to science, we are wired for connection. So maybe you would thrive more in a mastermind group where you have community support to grow your business, or, if you are like me and need people to help you feel a little more stable and who will assist you in getting back on your feet, we may all need to get out there and mingle.

Transforming Work to Play

Monday, 23rd June 2014

In the 2014 Winter Olympics, there was a lot of talk about the athletes and their performances. Some of the athletes who traveled to Russia to play had sterling reputations because of their past performances. In the world of sports, they have been considered exceptionally talented and have earned recognition for their talent. Yet once they performed on the Olympic stage, many of them couldn’t seem to get their minds in the game. They stumbled, fell, and TV viewers started hearing things like, “This performance was so unlike that athlete.” And, “That performance must be a major disappointment.”

What happened? Clearly these athletes have major talent and have proven it at other times. There could be a lot of personal reasons going on that we as viewers are not privy to, but mindset has to be one of the major contributors.

performanceOne of the attributes that I notice in many of the athletes that didn’t choke at the games was their ability to relax to a point that they could smile and enjoy their experience. I have also observed that singers who are able to be at ease in contests more often do the best.

Why? In the book, Talent is Overrated, the author describes this. When a person reaches true mastery in their field, they are able to see all the systems and structures that take place. Once they master a certain skill level, they develop the ability to look at the whole system. When they reach a level where doing that is easy for them, performing their craft or sport becomes play, while others still have to think about what is going on.

In order for you to prevent being taken out of your game and your performance, it is important to have a regular schedule and cultivate good habits that continually build your skills. These good practices make it easier for you to slip into the zone of your performance so you can smile more and transform your work to play.

How Good are you at Prioritizing

Monday, 16th June 2014

plannerI talked with an entrepreneur today who has many exciting projects going on with a lot of opportunity. When I asked him which project was the most important, he looked at me with sincerity in his eyes and said, “They are all really important.”

If an entrepreneur doesn’t know how to make their “To Do List” and prioritize what is really important and then recognize what is mildly important and then determine what would simply be nice to get done, they are going to end up working harder and getting more and more exhausted. Unfortunately this chaos of lack of crystal clear direction will spin over to other areas of their life, and will create more confusion and pressure.

The first step to stop this “too-much-to-do” and “everything-is-important” nightmare is to recognize that what you are doing is not working, and is also costing you money, time and resources.

Second step is to get really clear about what the most important step is. I have worked with many business owners who get truly lost on this part. Everything has potential and it all ties together in a whole. If you are suffering from this experience, the first questions to ask yourself are, “Are you meeting your bills? Are you bringing home profit?” If you are not, then that is top priority. You are not in business to make work for yourself. You are in business to make a living.

If you do have the bottom line covered, then the next question to ask is what is the most important thing that needs to be accomplished or done in order to get my business to the next level? How strong is my business foundation? Where am I weak? Am I working too much, and if the answer is yes, why?

After you have gotten clear on what is the most important task or goal to accomplish, it is vital for you to make a master plan of what you are saying no to. What is flat out just not that important?

Step four narrows it down to what you are going to say yes to. Hint: in business that should be no more than four things. Write down what that list is.

If you are still struggling on what to say yes and no to, work with a 10 scale. 1 being that you can’t stand the job, and 10 being that you absolutely have to do that project right now.

Step five is to look at all the items that are not on the first thing you must do, and not on the list that you aren’t going to do, and get out your calendar and schedule when you are going to work on each of the other projects as main focuses.

Saying yes to everything is saying no to quality, getting things done, and peace of mind. Getting clear on your top priorities is an essential work to do for your business.

Ways to Stop Working So Hard

Wednesday, 11th June 2014

sleepMost entrepreneurs, once they have a solid foundation under them, want to know how to keep getting the same results financially but also have a life outside of work.

This desire will lead the business owner, if they are truly motivated, to fix the struggle of working constantly by looking into time management solutions. Although time management can be an extremely helpful place to look to find those sought after hours, it is not the place that will provide you with the best results. Oftentimes entrepreneurs will implement more systems, chunk their time, and utilize their schedule more, but if they don’t have the sustainable energy to follow their new plan, they will never get the results they are truly capable of. If you want to work less and sustain your income, or even make more, the first place that you need to look is how you are managing your energy. Are you maintaining a steady blood sugar level so you don’t have those dreaded lows in the early afternoon? (Work requires food intake every two to three hours).

  • Are you getting 7-8 hours of sleep so that you approach your work fresh and invigorated?
  • Have you addressed all major health concerns so you are functioning at your best?
  • Do you have mind-management practices to release a daily build up of stress like: yoga, meditation, regular walks in nature?
  • Do you have some way to connect to the divine, universe, or higher power so you feel a stronger connection to a bigger purpose daily?
  • Are you crystal clear on your mission for work and how it contributes overall so that you are in alignment with your work?

These and other areas are critical to look at to develop a way to manage your energy so that when you are working on a task, you are on fire and can easily flow through what needs to be done and go to the next thing on the list.

Set Yourself Apart from Your Competitors

Monday, 2nd June 2014

How do you set yourself apart from your competitors? This is an important marketing and business question that most business owners find themselves answering on a semi-regular basis. If your business is based on craft or a skill that you love to do not only would you be answering this question based on marketing distinction but the business owners often ask this question from the point-of-view of improving their craft or skill.

The path of mastery is an ambitious journey and one that requires dedication. In

highwire

the book Talent Is Overrated, it is explained that scientific research suggests that the more time a person puts into their craft, the more likely he/she will achieve the top mastery level. The book also suggests that one of the biggest determining factors to help you soar in mastering your craft is how often and how well you engage in practice. Not just any practice, but a different method from the average person’s performance while practicing, compared to those who achieve mastery. For the artist and the businessperson, it is important to perform “deliberate practice.” In their heavily researched findings, deliberate practice looks a very specific way.

Before we get into what it looks like, lets first define it. Deliberate practice is a way to engage in an activity that creates growth in skills that you are not strong in. That means that the person practicing is engaged in the part or parts of their craft that they are weakest. They work on it and practice it until they achieve a high level of skill. An example of this in business would be to approach a customer for a sale of your product or service. A businessperson who wants to become top in their field, and if sales happens to be part of it, would ask for the sale, practicing over and over again until they figured out what works and what doesn’t.

Here are the five components, according to Talent is Overrated, that have to be included in deliberate practice:

  1. The task is designed specifically to improve performance, often with a teacher or coach’s help
  2. Repeat the task often
  3. Feedback is given on the result in a consistent manner
  4. The activity is highly demanding mentally
  5. The actual doing of the practice isn’t much fun

If you want to set yourself apart from your competitors in the actual delivery of your craft, the only way to authentically achieve this, according to research, is through dedicating many hours practicing, using the right methods.