Archives: Personal Growth
Today I want to write about something that I don’t think gets addressed often enough – how bad habits may be impairing your business (and life).
Often times when we’re struggling in our business it’s usually because of some untold truth or because we’ve taken on some “bad” habits. Quite often we are not even aware of these unproductive habits.
It can be as simple as not keeping on top of our numbers (Been there, done that!) or being inconsistent with our social media marketing (*cough*).
You know it’s very interesting. A lot people complain about social media … ‘they are not seeing the results they expected.’ I often get the all-too-often asked question, “How do I measure the ROI of social media?”
When asked, “How long have you’ve been consistent with the process of social media marketing?,” not surprisingly 80% of the time they respond with “A few weeks.”
Or they tell me that they post a few times a week but there’s really no rhyme or reason with their process and they are not consistent with it.
Just like with anything in life, it’s the long-term actions that create results … But you have to be consistent! You have to post regularly if you want to start seeing results. You also need to be strategic.
And if you’re not seeing results, then maybe it’s time to rethink your strategy or tactics. Each business is unique. Therefore what may work for one business, may not work for another.
The only way to get consistent with a process is by creating a habit out of it. Just like brushing your teeth, it becomes automatic. You do it without putting much thought into it. In the beginning it’s going to take some effort for sure, but as you do it long enough it becomes almost effortless.
This past week I’ve kept stalling about joining the Public Speakers Association. I had many “excuses” of course.
- How would I be able to keep up the monthly payments if income stopped coming in?
- What if I pay for the service and never use it? Been there, done that!
- What if I can’t take the time off to go to the meetings?
- What if I had nothing to say? (YES! This did enter my mind!)
But as I began to evaluate all the excuses (Valid for sure!) I had for not joining, I noticed something very profound – and at the same time alarming. They were all questions based on FEAR. None of it was true. It was all a projection of what I think might happen in the future.
In the moment, all there is is possibility. Therefore I was living into a future that did not exist and did not create the space for me to grow – as a person and as an entrepreneur.
The potential impact of being run by my fears were way worse than the fears themselves. The impact of not taking action were:
- I would be left behind
- I would remain stagnant
- I would never feel completely fulfilled and happy because I had made choices based on limiting beliefs and limited thinking
- My financial situation will be based on some else’ view of how they valued me and not how I valued myself
- That I would continue to struggle
- That I may have to rely on others when I grew old to take care of me because I never really “grew up”
A month ago I began reading a book called ‘How to Completely Change Your Life in 30 Seconds’ based on the works of Earl Nightingale. Great book by the way! I highly suggest it.
At a certain point in the book, Earl Nightingale suggested you write down a few important, yet specific goals. Nothing new right? I have a stack of cards spread throughout my home with goal cards. I’ve taught on the concept of SMART goals for goodness’ sake. This was going to be an easy exercise.
Or so I thought …
So I dusted off my journal (Which I haven’t written in over a month!), opened up to a clean page and thought hard about the top three goals I wanted to achieve. I knew getting a hold of my finances and achieving financial freedom was on the top of the list of goals I’d like to achieve, so I wrote down two goals – one centered around being debt-free and the other centered around my desired yearly net income by the year 2020.
However, health also has been an increasing priority in my life and therefore I decided to create a goal around that area as well. But here’s the deal. In the past, I’ve created health goals and if I achieved them they were short lived. Ultimately I’d end up back where I started … Very frustrating!
How would this health goal be different from every other one I created? I knew I needed to do some radical, out-of-the-box, thinking this time around. Out of nowhere – as if by divine intervention – Ironman popped into my head … NO, not the movie! The Ironman races – one of the most physically and mentally grueling triathlons you can participate in.
Yup! That one!!
I had no idea of what the Ironman entailed in terms of physical, monetary, and time commitment. But needless to say, I wrote down in my notebook,
Participate in the Ironman 2016
Fair enough. I had two years to train for this “Ironman thingy.” I immediately (and impulsively) got onto Facebook and shouted out loud for the whole world to hear, that I was going to do Ironman 2016 … “Who’s with me?”
The response was not completely what I expected, LOL. I had a couple, “YES. I’m in.” But mostly got, “I’m not that crazy?!” An hour later, my dear friend proceeded to text me:
2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2mile run inspired?!
After the initial shock and horror, I proceeded to crack up uncontrollably. Talk about making a decision without knowing all the facts. But nonetheless, I made a decision and had every intention on sticking with it.
Well, let me just say that it’s been nearly a month since that day and to my own surprise, I’m still forging ahead with this crazy idea. It’s been a challenge since day one, mentally and physically, but I haven’t given up on my new-found dream of becoming a Iron(wo)man.
But in the past month, as I struggle to push my body just a little harder than the day before and fight with my internal conversations of “Just give up and go back to bed. Nobody would blame you for it,” I remind myself of what this would mean for me and the promise that I’ve made to myself.
I’m also reminded of how many times I had thrown in the towel and how those choices have impacted my life. But mostly in a very short time, I’ve learned three very powerful lessons that I’m taking into my training, my business and my life in general.
And so here they are:
A couple of years ago I decided to make a transition in my business. I decided to add “coaching” to my list of business services. It seemed like the right move. In essence I was already coaching my clients. Many came to me for web or social media services, and ultimately I found myself coaching them through various business and life challenges.
I’ve always loved to troubleshoot and be the catalyst to other’s having a complete shift in how they were thinking and approaching things in their business. I dare say I had talent for seeing things others couldn’t – and was able to hone in on the root cause of what was keeping them stuck.
Sometimes they were stuck due to technical issues or simply bad habits. But often times it was a mindset issue. Being able to guide someone through the process of looking at things from a different perspective that they hadn’t thought of before, and hearing in their voice the shift from feeling helpless and defeated to optimistic and relieved – as if a weight has been lifted off their shoulders – is truly a gift to witness.
So you can see why I decided to add coaching to my repertoire of services. It truly was the natural step for me in my business. But taking that natural step and being able to create a sustainable business doing something you love are two very different things.
I don’t have any regrets about my decision – and I’m still coaching (part-time). But in hindsight, I would of done a LOT of things differently before taking the plunge. You just don’t know what you don’t know and often times by the time you know it, you’ve dug such a deep ditch that you wonder how you’ll ever climb your way back out again.
Let me explain …
I guess when I decided to begin promoting my coaching services that much like my consulting service, clients would simply show up and ready pay to work with me! I mean why wouldn’t they?! I had a skill-set for goodness sake! I was one of the most tech-savvy coaches I knew, so you where getting the best of both worlds – a coach that could not only tell you what to do, hold you accountable, but show you HOW to do it.
Seemed like a no-brainer to me …
Not the case!
I was so completely “sold” on the idea of coaching that I promoted my consulting services less and less. As a result, my client base decreased over a course of time … and my income along with it. Eventually I decided to take a position as Marketing Director for a local company – which don’t get me wrong, I LOVE. But it didn’t fit in with my long-term vision.
This is not to say that I’ve given up on my business. NEVER!! I’ve always have and always will be an entrepreneur at heart and my desire to be a financially free and a successful business owner still resides in my heart. It’s just going to take a bit longer than expected. 😉
So what went wrong?? And why am I sharing this with you?
Today I wanted to discuss your strengths. Unfortunately most people don’t take the time to look deep into what are their strengths, natural talents, and gifts and how to use that information to move forward in their life and business.
In particular, I wanted to share with you a great resource you can use to uncover what are your biggest strengths. It is a book called Strengths Finder by Tom Rath.
What is great about the the Strengths Finder book is that after taking a test (code is within the book), it lists your top 5 strengths in order. And it explains what each strength means and how you can use that information to grow.
Another really great thing is that you can use this information to pair up with other people who have strengths in those areas that you would consider a “weakness” of yours. Combining strengths with other entrepreneurs and small business owners is a very productive and powerful strategy to elevate all parties involved!
I recently did this with a business associate of mine. My strengths of course was with online marketing and techie stuff, and hers was more offline marketing – especially in the area of networking. She is a Master Networker! Thus we felt combining our strengths – and business models – would be the best formula for achieving entrepreneur success. The end result was the Marketing with Heart & Hustle Workshop we held this past January!
Today’s phrase: Don’t let your outside world dictate your inside world.
What do I mean?
For many of us, we allow our outside circumstances to dictate how we feel inside and who we are Being.
For example, say you’re in a situation where you are struggling financially – credit card debt, not being able to pay your bills etc. So basically you are having a lot of financial stress and worry in your life … And rightfully so.
The only thing we can truly control is who we are Being and how we choose to feel inside regardless of what’s happening in our outside circumstances. So regardless of whether or not we have the income to pay our bills, or challenges in our relationships, or whatever challenges we are facing, we have a choice of how we choose to feel and BE in the world.
Where do I start? I just got off the phone with someone who went on and on about all the things she had to DO! By the end of it, my head was spinning and I was rummaging through my cabinets searching for the bottle of Jack Daniels.
I get it. Really! I often fall into my automatic way of being and thinking that it all lies on how fast I can tackle my to-do list. The end result is exhaustion and feeling like little was accomplished.
Why is that you say? Because your to-do list does not contain the things that fill your Spirit with fulfillment. It’s just the way your mind thinks that in order to get to point B you have to perform tasks x,y, and z.
And let me be clear, there’s nothing wrong with having a to-do list. It’s just that we focus so much of our time and energy on working off our to-do list that we forget our to-Be list.
No point in living in regret. Regretting the past won’t do you any good. You can’t change the past anymore then you can change what you ate for breakfast. What’s done is done. All you can do is learn from your experiences and continue to forge forward.
But in hindsight there are things I wished I had known or done differently. Maybe it can’t do anything for me now other than to know what NOT to do moving forward, but maybe my experiences will help you in some way. At this point all I can do is pass my knowledge forward.
Trying to Be Everything to Everyone
Gosh! If I had know this when I started my first blog, I could of shaved off at least a year off my learning curve when growing my business. I’m by nature a people pleaser … always have been, always will be. Nothing wrong with it, it’s just not the most effective way to BE in life sometimes. Because at the end of the day you can’t please everyone all of the time.
In the process of trying to be everything to everyone, blogging about everything and anything, like a frog trying to catch some flies (Yeah. Weird analogy.), I was getting more and more off track with my vision and true hearts desire.
It was a long and hard lesson to learn, but learned it I did. I now know that everyone is not my peeps. If you’re open-minded, like to hear it like it is, looking to explore new ways of Being, passionate about living your life by your own creation, and not afraid to get your feathers ruffled a bit, then you’re my kind of peeps. If you’re sugar and no spice and only care for the warm fuzzy’s or not open to sometime radical ways of thinking, then you probably won’t get me… and I’m finally okay with that.