What Scares YOU? Just Do It!

Most of us live inside our comfort zone. We can’t help it.  Our minds and instincts are designed to ensure our survival so they work hard at protecting us from taking risks and ending our lives, relationships or careers.Scary

We see scary things and people where they really aren’t.  The fear is in our mind, but we attribute it to some outside source.

We play it safe, not wanting to make mistakes and end up sometimes missing out on windows of opportunity that are open for often just one moment.

It happened to me just last week.  I was sitting at a table of friends at a business lunch and thought, ‘We should take a picture all together before the program gets started’. But I hesitated, the conversation went on and then, sure enough the speaker came on stage and the window was shut.

It was a small, insignificant event. Yet, my regret over not seizing the moment settled in, reminding me of earlier times I missed out on something bigger because my fear or indecision paralyzed me. We all do that at some point in our lives…hesitate.

Courageous people step out on faith.  We are all courageous at some point in our lives.  We take action even when the road ahead is not clear.  We at ‘in the moment’ without over-analyzing the situation or checking in on our internal state for too long.

We confront our fears only to realize that the terror was within, not in the thing we feared.  We build courage in those moments.

Confidence is expanded along with our comfort zone.  We find new internal strengths, resilience, resources.

I used to be afraid to speak up in a small group of co-workers, let alone open my mouth in public. But I kept throwing myself into opportunities that allowed me to stretch the limits of my comfort zone.  Now I do it almost every week and it hardly phases me anymore.  And some of you know I’ve even started singing to an audience!

So, what’s scaring  you?  Where are you trapped in your comfort zone?  What steps can you take to break out of that which confines you?  What are you procrastinating about?  What dreams of yours are languishing on the vine?

Trust your inner wisdom but don’t listen to that little voice that thinks it’s protecting you – that is terrified of making a mistake or ooking foolish.

Stop dreaming and act!  Do it now! Don’t think about it anymore.  Quit hiding. Step out of that comfort zone and discover a new expression of YOU!

Top 10 Tips to Make Next Year Better than This One

Every year, about this time, I clear off my calendar and get out of working in my business so I can work on my business.

I took some time last Friday and a bit over the weekend to contemplate the Dream Destination for my business and assess the various vehicles I’m ‘driving’ to achieve my goals.

2008 was my best year ever allowing me to create and enjoy a thriving 6-figure business! That felt really good!

This year has been a challenge for my clients and consequently for me as well.  I don’t know about you, but it’s felt like I had to work so much harder this year.  At the same time, some amazing doors and  windows of opportunity opened up.  So I used this time to evaluate the opportunities and challenges and devise ways to leverage the opportunities and overcome the challenges.

I poured over my financials and realized that the bulk of my revenue now comes from speaking and training.  I also realized, thankfully, that this is what I most enjoy doing.

I learned a lot during this strategic review using the Strategic Planning Toolkit and fashioned them into 10 simple tips that you can benefit from.

10.  Revenue Creation

Identify the services or products that generate the most revenue for you that you enjoy providing to your clients.

9.   Profit Creation

Identify the services or products that create the most profit for you  (this might surprise you).   Again make sure that you enjoy providing these products and services). Package them into various size bundles for the price-conscious and luxury-oriented consumer.

8. Time Utilization

Evaluate where you spend the bulk of your time. (Hint: if it’s not creating more of #10 and #9, you’re leaving some serious money on the table.) Make a commitment to re-prioritize your time investment.

7.  Team Evaluation

Make a rigorous review of your team.  Make sure each person is well-suited to the role they play and that you’re not tolerating poor performance from anyone.

6.  Systems

Document repetitive processes.  Automate where possible.  Use your website or other technology to handle appointment scheduling and automate your sales process.

5.  Delegation

Once your team and systems are in place, turn over as many of your current ‘duties’ to your team or the  system.  Free up your time for creation of more #10 & #9.

4.  Client Definition

Narrow your marketing and product/service creation to focus the clients you are best equipped to serve.

3.  Client Problem Definition

Get crystal clear about the problems your target clients suffer from that you can help them solve.

2.  Capability Statement

Write down specific skills, resources, tools, and experiences you have in solving the client problems you just named. Make sure you would be happy using these capabilities to deliver the products or services.  If the thought of spending your time on these activities puts a know in your stomach, start this process over.

1.  Client Acquisition

You won’t make money if you don’t have paying clients!  Figure out where they hang out.  Understand which marketing strategies are most effective in reaching them.  Gather testimonials from happy clients to validate your assertions. Put them on your website and in your marketing materials.  Get on the phone and talk with people.  Direct contact is THE best way to land new clients.

Implement these top 10 tips and you will have a better year next year!

Time is Money: Use 1 Well, Make More 2

You’ve heard the phrase ‘time is money’  When you invest your time on the right activities, it makes sense that you (and your department or company) make more money.  Problem is, we often spend our time on what’s comfortable or what’s urgent.

Here are some quick tips to leverage your time so you can make more mon’ey.

New-Years-Clock-7164031. Track your time to see where you’re flushing it down the toilet.

Create a log that allows you to track your time in 15-minute increments.  You’ll be shocked at how much time you’re spending on non-revenue or non-goal attaining activities.  I did this for three days and got recommitted to delegating and outsourcing.  I realized how much time I was losing on things that began with the thought “This will just take a couple of minutes.”

2. Create systems that allow you to delegate.

Having made that observation, I made a list of things I was committed to getting off my plate.  I hired a recent college grad who spend a Friday afternoon getting me caught up in data entry (from all those speaking engagements) that I hadn’t sent to anyone else on my team.  She registered my company with a number of corporations looking for vendors whose flyers had been sitting on my desk for way too long.

I drafted a script and set up another assistant to contact people who wanted to explore coaching with me.

3. Exhibit the courage to do the right things.

We are often reluctant to pick up the phone and call prospects.  We feel we’re intruding, begging or annoying people.  Yet the key to closing deals (especially high -ticket ones) is generally having one-on-one conversations.  That’s where the money is, folks.  Get on the phone.  Set appointments and see how you can offer value to your clients and prospects.

If you concentrate on just those three things, I promise you’ll open the doors to more productivity and profitability.