Four Reasons to Be an Action-Taker

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What’s stopping you from taking action? Is it fear? Perhaps you’re waiting for the right break instead of making your opportunities in life? Or maybe you believe you’re not smart or talented enough? These negative beliefs are holding you back.

There’s a reason why so many intelligent people fail. They tend to overthink everything and are often afraid to take risks. Negative experiences in the past can come flooding back in the present when one is not ready, or prepared for them. These beliefs result in procrastination and avoidance, which only lead to more negativity and inaction

If that’s your case, here are four powerful reasons to become an action-taker:

Get Rid of Doubts

If you don’t take action, you’ll keep wondering What if? You will struggle with self-doubt and question your decisions. The woulda- coulda- shoulda’s will eat you alive. Taking action builds experience and boosts your confidence. It also allows you to discover new resources and information that will contribute to your success.

Your Time Is Limited

Steve Jobs once said that remembering you’re going to die is the best way to stop thinking you have something to lose. Your time on this earth is limited. You never know what’s going to happen a month or a year from now on.

You might never get a second chance to rent that perfect office space in your area, go to that meeting you’ve been postponing for weeks, or apply for your dream job. Take action today! Don’t settle for anything less than you deserve!

One Thing Leads to Another

Getting started is often the hardest yet the most important step to success. No matter your plans, you must take action to bring them to life. Stop overthinking the decision as brain chemicals hit the executive function in the brain, stopping you in your tracks. Using principles such as Kaizen, where you start with the least threatening action and work your way to the next step and the next, will subvert those chemicals so your fears don’t arise.

Once you make that first step, everything else will fall into place. It may or may not work out as you hope, but it will lead to something new. Think of it as an opportunity to grow and learn.

Let’s say you want to apply for a job that sounds perfect for you, but you know you aren’t quite qualified enough. Yes, it’s scary to apply, but what’s really at stake? Even if you don’t get the job, you’ll get practice interviewing for your dream job. You’ll also get feedback on what you need to focus on to get a similar job in the future. When you start taking action, you get results.

Develop Your Skills

Whether your projects succeed or fail, there’s always a chance to learn new things. Taking action will help develop your skills, leading to greater confidence. Be sure to write down these new skills to capture them while celebrating this new learning.

The next time you want to take action on a dream, you’ll feel better prepared and have more experience. On top of that, you’ll approach things from a new perspective and confidence and won’t repeat the same mistakes in the future.

 

5 Smart, Effective Ways to Protect Yourself from Negativity

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Negativity affects your life on every level. It has the power to ruin relationships, decrease work performance, and increase stress levels. Negativity in the workplace can be extremely toxic for the team and the culture of the organization. It can also spread throughout the organization, not taking long before it flows throughout; you might soon find yourself feeling negative about your work by just listening to negative comments day-after-day.

The good news is that you can fight it by changing your mindset. You do get the choice for where you place your thoughts. It’s important to understand that the longer you keep thinking them, the harder it can be to change them. But there are many techniques to do so.

Not sure where to start? Check out these smart, effective ways to protect yourself from negativity:

Don’t Take It Personally

Most people act in a certain way based on their previous experiences and current circumstances. Perhaps someone took credit for your colleague’s work in the past, so now he doesn’t trust his team anymore. That doesn’t mean he has something against you. He simply doesn’t trust people in general.

Stop taking things personally. If someone is misjudging you, prove to them that they are wrong. Be kind and authentic rather than stressing over it.

Set Boundaries

No matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to please everyone. On the contrary – people will always come up with new demands and take advantage of your kindness. That can undermine your self-esteem and keep you from focusing on your priorities.

Learn to say No and set clear boundaries. If someone reacts negatively or tries to hurt you, move on. That person isn’t worth your time or attention.

A true friend will understand that you have other things to do and that you’re not available around the clock. I find that most people know they are crossing a boundary and don’t get as upset as we think they might. If you believe they will, ask the question “Do I know this to be absolutely true?” You can’t say yes to that question (or any, for that matter).

Adopt a Positive Mindset

Be grateful for what you have and then seek ways to achieve more. Start a gratitude journal and write a few things every day. That will reinforce positive thinking patterns and reduce negativity. Be sure to be grateful, and appreciate, not only things in your life, but for you – your strengths, skills, aptitudes, and the like, which will raise you esteem and you can focus on your needs and desires.

Your positive attitude will also inspire others and strengthen your relationships. The more you focus on the good in your life, the more opportunities will arise.

Find Solutions, Not Problems

Most people tend to focus on the problems they are facing instead of actively seeking solutions. That results in feelings of guilt and dissatisfaction. Our brains have this way of only focusing on the problem the more those thoughts are given.

Whenever you have a problem, take the steps needed to solve it. Sit down and write out possible solutions that would resolve any problems you have; the brain will work towards getting it. The longer you wait, the more obstacles you’ll face along the way.

Stay away from people who make a drama out of everything. They’re only wasting your time and energy. Their negativity will affect you sooner or later.

Surround yourself with positivity. Build relationships with people who encourage and support you. It is said that we are the product of our environment which includes those around us; expand your realm and put up boundaries on those who deplete you.

Remember that people don’t care that much about what you say or do. Focus on whatever makes you happy and stop feeding the negativity around you. Once you take these steps, you’ll be happier and see new opportunities that you’d otherwise have missed.

 

 

 

Time to Bring It On!

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As we are starting a new day, new mo nth, and new quarter, it’s time to bring ‘it’ on; essentially, going after those unmet goals that you’ve been saying you want to achieve.

These may include:

– starting or growing a business

-getting a promotion, or a new job

– going a a vacation

– finding the love of your life

– dealing with life more effectively

Goals don’t have to be major – they can be really small things but we want them in our life. We desire them, dream and think about them – sometimes, constantly. But we also fee frustrated that we don’t have them.

If this sounds familiar, and I admit they do for me on some areas of my life, then today is a new day and new time to go after them. Don’t you think it’s time?

There is no better day to make a new start than the beginning of a new month, which just so happens to fall on a new week. To me, that brings a lot of hope and desire to define new thresholds to reach and to plan how this time will go.

You have the same ability. And, it does not take tons of time. Some quick tips (if you haven’t already done so):

  • get a monthly calendar for July – I printed one off the internet – to help with planning and get a quick ‘snapshot’
  • fill in important dates that you know you have to commit time to, such as: meetings, speaking engagements, proposals or articles due, birthdays, and the like. Once you have these, then you can fill in other actions that will bring you closer to your goal.
  • set a target goal, say a money goal, that you want to reach – now you can identify all the steps that will get you there; I like to mindmap my ideas, but just listing them will help you not only identify particular steps but it makes them more tangible
  • write each step down on the calendar – I am using a white board calendar and commit every day to write down what actions I’ve taken daily; I find that this shows me what I’ve done and it makes me accountable.  It’s an easy way to get ‘coached,’ so speak
  • identify any barriers, roadblocks (real or perceived), excuses or fears you have around what you’ve identified and then challenge each of them. Do you know that your idea won’t work? Do you know that people won’t buy from you? Do you for certain know that you will fail/aren’t good enough/will succeed, etc.?
  • have a cache of tools that will keep you motivated and positive – I have affirmation cards, read motivational quotes, journal, be around positive people, among others (self talk also works). Identify ways for you – this will keep you going when you feel scared or feel like giving up

I, personally, feel very excited for what this month holds. I am, equally,, fearful of what it will take for me to get them. But, I know that I don’t want to stay where I’ve been, which is a big driver for me. I hope you take my lead and set the direction for you business, your career, and your life today.

A good exercise is to imagine that it is now August 1 – where are you? In the same place or miles ahead??

 

 

Your Systems Make Your Business Easier

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If I could tell  business owners (no matter the size) one thing, for  their business, it would be to identify their systems as it will make their business easier. Systems involve the process(es) you use from identifying potential clients, to starting a conversation with them, to having a strategy call, to signing them on as a client.

Systems make your business easier as you won’t have to think of what you will do when you meet a potential client – the system is what you will follow each time. That makes business easier and you won’t be all over the place each time. It’s the old ‘rinse and repeat’ process.

I see many business owners who struggle with this; they have a potential client who wants to work with them but then they aren’t sure what to with them; they feel they have to recreate a new way each time. This not only leads to massive frustration (on both sides) but it is a costly mistake in that the potential client drops out and finds someone who does have a system.

Clients want solutions to their problems – and quickly. Many of your potential clients have struggled for quite some time; they have lost some sleepless nights and have developed self-defeating behaviors that prevent them from moving forward in their business. Making the decision to get help is very challenging for a lot of business owners.

So, when they finally reach, out they don’t want to wait on getting the solutions they need. With a system, you can help them faster and you will have a thought-out method that leads them to that solution. Not only that, you will have a way to gauge your return on investment (ROI) as they move from one step to the other. Results will be more visible to both them and you.

So, what is involved in a system? This will vary with each business and their offerings but, basically, they include:

  1. Identifying and finding your target market – knowing who you serve is the key to then finding and helping them with what keeps them up at night. When you know your target, then you can have a system for finding where they hang out.
  2. The method you take them through from intake to goal accomplishment – these are the specific steps from the time you have that first conversation with them to them reaching whatever goal(s) they set in the beginning. Knowing these will not only lead to client success, but it can also be the foundation for products to create, such as a book or eBook, a how to manual, checklists, etc.(and can add multiple streams of income while helping more people).
  3. Your marketing methods, including follow-up – this is where you plan all activities for attracting your ideal client, and letting the world know about you; this can include: your website, business card, log, social media, networking events, speaking events, writing (blog, articles), and the like. Having a calendar each month will keep these action steps in view so you know what to do each day Following up with clients – potentials, current, past – will keep you on their mind and lead to them hiring you, whether the first time or again and again.

Following these steps will help you to have a proven method that you can repeat over and over again. This will not only help your clients achieve the level they desire, but it will take the stress off of you so you can focus on helping more clients and having fun in your business.

 

 

What Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Songwriters

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One of my favorite new shows is Songland, which is a competition for songwriters to present their word for a famous star. There are three others, who have all written songs for major stars, such as Beyonce; the mentors work with them to make the songs better and then the star chooses the one they will sing and put on their next album.

Last night’s show featured Will.i.am. Watching the process was really phenomenal, as he – like other singers – give their input on the presented songs. But I saw some things that I see can relate to entrepreneurs and their business.

1. Just like any business, it starts with an idea and each songwriter’s song did the same; their stories were personal and related to the words and melody they wrote. Entrepreneurs need to start with an idea, that relates to their reasons for leaving a job and going out on their own – their ‘why.

2. Each of last night’s songwriters were young – one was 28 and the other three were 18 -21; each of their reasons was to change the world and make a difference. Entrepreneurs, from my experience, want to make a difference in the world, as well – it starts with a problem they want to solve and solutions to do so.  Being clear on their purpose, as these songwriters were, will lead to developing the programs and services that will solve a problem and change the lives of others.

3. Each of the songwriters knew that they were going to be presenting before Will.i.am – they knew their target and wrote their songs knowing the style he, and the Black Eyed Peas, sing so their songs reflected this, which definitely resonated with him. Entrepreneurs who know their target market, and their pain points, will have more success as they will be able to speak directly to them; they will be able to attract their ideal clients with little effort.

4. The creative process is so interesting to see unfold; while each of the writer’s songs were good, Will.i.am had ideas that morphed them into greater songs. Each songwriter worked with a mentor, who helped them rework their songs; each was very open to the feedback they received and doing what was needed to make their songs so good that it was chosen. Likewise, the idea that an entrepreneur has may change and grow over time. They recognize that they can’t do everything on their own, so hiring a team to help, as well as getting a coach or mentor, will help them grow their business faster.

I mentioned that there were four songwriters but only three were worked with; one will have Will.i.am record with him, as he liked that song so much. What was really spectacular was the end – Will.i.am decided to take three songs off of the album he was producing and add all of the songs to the new one. One of the songs was titled, “Be Nice,” which he released last night – check it out (the video  is great).

The next time you listen to a song, think of the person who wrote it and how their process can relate to you – it will make you appreciate the work you do and how you do it. (and check out the show – so good!).