Tag Archives: implementation

7 Keys to a Mindset that Makes Magic Happen

I attended a training session recently and the speaker said something that reminded me of my days of being a mainframe BAL computer programmer. You may have heard the phrase “garbage in – garbage out”, or GIGO for short.

It reflects the idea that no matter how elegant a program or system is, if you put bad (trashy) data into it, the results you get will still stink.

The speaker took a different take on this concept choosing to focus on a more positive approach with PIPO or “positive in – positive out”. His challenge to us was to intentionally bring more inspiration and uplifting information into our personal computer (i.e. brain) to counter all of the negative messages we get from less inspired, less empowered, less self-determining people that might be occupying our personal space.

His acronym, PIPO, reminded me of my first doll, Pippo. My adoptive mother gave him to me the day she first brought me home with her. I was about one year old then and Pippo is still around now. (Shocking to think how old that makes him!)

To this day, he occupies a prominent space on my bookshelf with photos of my biological siblings I ‘found’ almost 10 years ago. It’s quite an amazing story which could be the subject of another book (and probably will be). If you want to read the (somewhat) Cliff’s notes version of it, go to Happy Reunion Story.

In any event, I’ve identified 7 specific behaviors which I say sustain a mindset that makes magic happen. Do these things consistently and you’ll fly high and achieve your goals all the faster.

1. Read positive, uplifting books and articles on a consistent basis
Daily reading is best and the optimal times for these readings is first thing in the  morning and just before falling asleep.  My morning readings energize me and remind me that all things are possible. Right now I’m reading “The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity” by Edwene Gaines and The Forty Day

2. Go on a detox diet
Get rid of foods that don’t serve you and people who drag you down. You’ve probably heard the story about crabs in a barrel. It’s been said that if you put crabs in a barrel, some will try to climb to the top to escape but others will pull them back down into the fray where they are all stuck. You may have ‘friends’ that spit on your dreams, who never think anything good can happen, that tell you you’re foolish to believe. Get rid of them: quickly if you can, slowly if you have to. At the least, reduce the time you spend with them and ignore much of what they say to you.

3. Watch and listen to intelligent shows on radio and TV
Local network news doesn’t really qualify. It’s mostly watered down. National news is better, global even more so. Angry people yelling their opinions can be useful to get a read on the mindset of some sectors of America, but don’t believe what you hear.

The truth often gets reduced to soundbites which may not even reflect the underlying story. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sitcom or SVU episode. It’s just I don’t spend my entire life in front of the TV. You may need to get your mind off work for a while, but if you’re striving to make magic happen, you’d be better off trading your TV time for inspirational books, meaningful  discussions with those close to you, making and enacting plans to better      your OWN life.

4. Meditate
Just a few minutes each day will help reducs stress and connect you to your higher self, the seat of knowledge. I’m amazed at the doors of opportunity that open with a few minutes a day spent in reflection and prayer.

5. Be grateful for what you have
Even when times are bleak, devote some time to look for and express gratitude for the good in your life. Bank account dry? Be thankful you have clean water and rice in the cupboard. Lost that big deal? Give thanks for the brains that allowed you to get that close and learn from the experience. Passed over for a promotion? Be thankful for opportunity to express your desire and skills. Keep sharpening them and looking for the next opening.

6. Sing, dance, move, listen
Harp music has been shown to reduce stress and even help with the healing of medical ailments. Dance energizes our bodies and stirs our souls. Hiking expands the lungs sending fresh oxygen to the brain.

Even if you don’t do these things regularly or well, work something different into your routine. Remember PIPO. Infuse yourself with that which soothes you. Express what’s in your heart.

7. Help someone less fortunate
A business referral group I’m in just adopted a down-on-their-luck family and donated toys and gift cards to a variety of stores. The woman who delivered the gifts sent out an email that brought tears to my eyes even though my contribution was just one of many. To feel that positive impact our action had on people I didn’t even know was so uplifting.  Feed the homeless. Donate your time. Make your little corner of the world a better place.

Alchemy is the process of transforming something common into something special.

Institute any or all of these (or amp them up if you’re already doing them) and you will cause a shift in your environment, both physical and energetic. Make magic happen.

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Converting Overwhelm into Productivity in 7 Simple Steps

People seem to be overwhelmed with finding and acting on potential opportunities for their business.  Fearful they might miss out on something, that grab at anything that looks like a remotely attractive possibility, but this leaves them feeling unproductive, exhausted and still unsure of their future.

Here are seven tips to help you focus and become more profitable:

1. Have long-term and short-term goals that you’re working toward.
Having a long-term view of your life and business helps you create a filter against which you can make your day-to-day choices of how to allocate your time, money and energy. It gives you direction and purpose plus the motivation required to keep going when things get tough.  I call this your Dream Destination and supports you moving through life quickly and definitively.

2. Only set goals that are important or critical to you in some way.
Sadly, people sometimes take on goals that others have set for them. If you set a goal for something that seems ‘cool’ but doesn’t really have a place along the path to your Dream Destination, it will suck the life out of your dream and cause you to detour to unnecessary paths.

3. Decide before you end your work day what your priorities are for the next day.
For those of you who struggle with ‘time management’ issues, this one key will change your life.  Rather than walking into your office and dealing with what comes up (even if you have a to-do list), you’ll risk working on lower priority tasks.  So, before you wrap up one day, review your to-do list (if you have one), consider your Dream Destination and then choose what your top priorities are for the next day.

4. Just say “No”.
Practice saying “No” to both requests you get and to the ‘shiny objects’ that float by tempting you with the allure of something attractive but that isn’t on your priority list. It it’s not your ideal client, don’t pursue it. If it’s not in your current or needed expertise, leave it alone.

5. Work on one project at a time.
Clean your desk of all distractions. Move the piles to another location (or take the time during non-work hours to file them away). Create some physical and mental space for your creativity to arise.

6. Determine exactly what you are paid to do.
Make sure you know how you make money. For me, it’s speaking, coaching, writing and developing programs.  For your business, is it selling products, adding people to your team, creating niche websites that sell?  What?

And specifically what do YOU contribute to that process? Is it making calls to prospects, writing copy for your website, consulting with paying clients?

Spend your time doing those things.

Then…

7. Delegate everything else.
I know I harp on this, but it’s critical to your success if you want to grow beyond your current state.

Gather a team around you to take care of the administrative tasks and other items that don’t require your specialized skill set. Create systems and procedures that you can hand-off to other people so you can focus your efforts on the activities that are the closest to getting money into your bank account.

Focus applied to the right priorities is the key to your success.

The 7 Essential Lists Successful Businesses Must Have

Running a successful business requires more than a good idea.  It requires structure and processes to keep things and money flowing.

1. Long-term goals list
If you’ve been following me for any time, you’ll undoubtedly heard me talk about the importance of goals.  Goals that stretch beyond today or this week, will help you prioritize your time in the most productive manner possible.  They will motivate you and your staff.  They will keep on focused on what’s truly important.

2. Daily to-do action items list
Just as important as knowing where you’re going long term, is knowing (and doing) what’s most important RIGHT NOW.  Sometimes unforseen emergencies have to be dealt with.  But more importantly, you need to decide each day what the most productive use of your time will be.

I always have a to-do list and never get through everything on the list on any given day.  I do always decide what the priorities are for the day and then get to work on them.  Last week, I lost my list and I was lost without it!  Thank God I found it a couple of days later.  I remembered some of the critical items, but had forgotten one that needed to be addressed.

3. Prospect list
This is one of the biggest mistakes business owners make.  If you don’t have a list of potential prospects, you’re definitely leaving money on the table.  If you’re a retail establishment, people make a purchase the very first time they discover you.  However, if you don’t and you haven’t captured their contact info, you may never hear from them again.

You’ll increase your chances of doing business with them if you’re able to proactively reach out and remind them that you exist.  So if you aren’t already capturing either a physical address or email address from your store or website visitors, start that now! You’ll probably need to give them some sort of incentive (not just an offer for your newsletter) in order for them to part with their contact info. But capturing that valuable data must be your goal.

4. Customer list
Just as important as a prospect list is a list of your customers. These are people who have demonstrated interest in your product or service by making a purchase.  It takes more time and energy to make a sale to a stranger or prospect than to someone who has already bought from you and been satisfied.  Treat these people well, but don’t neglect offering them the next thing you offer that can help solve their problems.

5. Process list
Every business needs a set of processes that help the business run efficiently.  You probably have them even if they aren’t documented. You need to document them.

Start by making a list of all of the “Here’s how we do things around here” topics in a variety of areas such as answering the phone, identifying prospects, converting prospects to clients, taking on a new client, invoicing clients, processing payments, asking for a referral, publishing our newsletter, paying the bills, making minor changes to your website, etc. Then write out the steps involved in each process.

This compilation will be an invaluable tool in defining roles and responsibilities, delegating tasks and training new employees.

6. Resource list
This list includes the tools and systems you use to run your business and make your life easier.  It’s slightly different than the Process List which may reference certain resources: things like your accounting system, your website host, tools on your blog, new tools you plan to invest in, an employment agency or temp service, online portals for which you have memberships or accounts.

Having a list in a binder along with a brief description and access (login) or contact info will save you countless hours of trying find the information when you desperately need it.

7. Diversions list
After all of this work, you must take time to relax and enjoy life.  It’s challenging for some business owners to ‘work in’ time for play, but this list is essential as well.

Your list should include things you enjoy doing, that bring you peace of mind, that obliterate your stress.  Possible candidates are listening to a certain kind of music, playing music, painting, playing with your pets, children, spouse and friends.

Make sure you know which kind of ‘play’ you thirst for.  Is it board games, exercise, meditation, video games, outdoor sports, movies, ballet, opera, cards, TV, dancing, vacations, weekend getaways?

Whatever ‘floats you boat’, schedule it. That may sound weird but if these activities aren’t on your calendar or at least on a list you review regularly, they will get trumped by those emergencies and daily tasks.

Creating and using these lists will improve your productivity, keep your business soaring and maintain your sanity.

How to Take Action When You’re Afraid Or Confused

It’s tough to move forward when you’re confused or immobilized by fear.  The natural tendency is to lay low and do nothing, but that just keeps you stuck.  When you confront a big hairy goal, the secret is to move forward even if you’re not sure how you’re going to get there.

I experienced something yesterday that illustrated this point.  I wasn’t confronted by a BHG nor immobilized by fear but was mildly confused about a relatively mundane process.

I was heading to the Arizona State Fair (check out my Facebook album) on a route I’d never taken before.  I wasn’t sure what the most direct path would be but decided to get on the nearest highway and figure it out from there. (It would have been

Well, sure enough after driving just a mile or two, I realized exactly how to reach my destination.  Here’s the lesson, if I had sat in the parking lot or even consulted my GPS, I would have wasted a few moments (or perhaps a lifetime).

Here’s what to do instead.

1. Know your destination
Be crystal clear about the end result you’re aiming for. If you don’t know where you’re going, it will be a fluke if you get there.

2. Take one step in what you think is the right direction
Any step is better than no step at all.  Just as my path unfolded as I drove, your path will become illuminated as you move toward your goal. It won’t if you stay.

3. Course correct along the way
Once you start moving toward your goal, you’ll get feedback that will tell you what to do next.

Pay attention, trust your gut and go with the flow.

The secret is to stay in action.  Move toward your goal.  Don’t let your fear or confusion immobilize you.  Identify one tiny step you CAN make, then make it. Repeat.

7 Keys to Being a Brilliant Leader

Many people think that leaders are born, not made and that if they aren’t officially a Manager, Director, Executive Directory, Vice President, President or CEO, that they are really a leader.

I beg to differ.  Leadership is a set of specific behaviors that can be learned.

Here are seven keys I believe are critical to transforming ordinary people into extraordinary leaders.

1. Evoke the emotions of others
True leaders inspire people.  They touch their hearts on issues that are important to them.  They raise hope while acknowledging and accepting the human frailties we all possess.  Leaders make people connect the change they are striving to cause to their own needs and desires.

2. Believe in people
It’s hard for us to see skeptics or critical, negative people as leaders because they don’t do anything proactive to make us feel good about ourselves.  On the other hand, leaders see the rough diamonds buried in our hearts and bring them to light so that WE can see them too.

3. Have a compelling vision and be passionate in expressing it
Great leaders see a future that is dramatically different than the present we live in and they don’t keep it a secret.  They articulate that future and tell us WHY it’s important that we move toward it. They know they are on the right track even when the rest of the world is still asleep to or in denial about the problem.

4. Never give up but stay flexible
Leaders with big visions are often seen as crack pots or zealots before the masses catch on to the imoportance of their platform.  Expect to encounter some resistance at the beginning, but don’t give up on what you believe in.  Do however, stay present to new developments and trends and what’s on the minds of the people in your burgeoning ‘tribe’.  Find common ground with them an incorporate what you can into your vision, but don’t dilute it too much by trying to please everyone. You won’t.

5. Be an exemplary model
The increased visibility that your leadership will generate will put you in the spotlight. Keep your hands clean.  Don’t be tempted by your growing power and influence.  Also, don’t avoid leadershp if you have a shady past.  If you have truly repented, take ownership for your humanity and mistakes.  Share what you’ve learned from your errant ways and promise to stay on the straight and narrow.  And then stay there.

6. Demonstrate integrity
Keep your word. Be consistent in your actions.  Do what you say you’re going to do.  Tell the truth. Make decisions your mother, spouse, children, grandmother would be proud of.  Live as though your life will be played out in the media because it might actually end up there.

7. Ask for input and help
Don’t try to get to ‘the promised land’ alone.  You can’t. And even if you do, it won’t be very gratifying. As you enroll others in your vision, identify key people in your cause and solicit their opinions and help.  The more people you have actively engaged and on the bandwagon with you leading others as well, the easier your road trip will be.

Do these things consistently and you’ll find yourself living a fulfilled life, making a difference and leaving the world in a better place than you found it.  That is your purpose so go live it.