Tag Archives: implementation

3 Ways to Keep Your Past from Living Your Future

Let’s face it.  As human beings, we can be creatures of habit.  For that matter, most every living creature I can think of is either a creature of habit or instinct.  The advantage we enjoy is having access to judgment and choice. But how often to we access that advantage?

It serves us to leverage our past learnings.  Without that continuity, we would be ‘reinventing the wheel’ every moment of every day. We wouldn’t get much done.

The difficulty arises when we allow the past to dictate (even unconsciously) what we can do in the present. Our belief in the past limits our perspective. It constrains our actions.  It stymies our ability to conceive of what’s possible.

Here are three concrete, specific things you can do to expand your consciousness and live on the edge of possibility. Use them to soar to new heights, accomplish forsaken dreams, live life more fully, enjoy your time on earth more.

Click here now to read (and comment on) these exciting ideas on my blog

1. Dream of and set big scary goals
When you look toward the future, you disengage from the past – sometimes. You may need to challenge yourself not to be constrained by what you think is possible.  Your sense of ‘possible’ is likely all past-based taking into account what your brain ‘knows’ you can do. Don’t succumb to that.

2. Take a course that requires to express your creativity
Several years ago, I purchased a book titled, Drawing with the Right Side of the Brain. Reading it and doing the exercises within, forced me out of my habitual way of seeing the world. It encouraged me to focus on new things, new perspectives of items that were right in front of me.

3. Consult with people who will challenge you
Surround yourself with people who are out to accomplish the impossible themselves.  The fleeting life we are given is wasted watching endless characters on TV play out scripted or artificial ‘reality’  lives.  Set your own destiny.  Make your own mark. Vow to do more than survive.

You can break out of being a creature of habit.  It takes making a choice to live outside of your box then taking actions consistent with that choice.

How to Create More Energy, Happiness & Prosperity

One of the big mistakes some people make is waiting for energy, happiness and prosperity to descend upon them.  Someday, things will be better, they muse.

Well, I’m here to let you know that you control how soon ‘someday’ arrives.

dredgeI was out on my morning walk the other day and spotted this dredging machine cleaning out a water canal of one of the local utilities. Over time, dust, leaves and trash accumulate in the canals and slow the flow of water. These ‘routers’ remove the debris so the water flows more easily.

This cleaning process made me wonder how often we rid ourselves of our debris in life.

If you want to create more ‘flow’ in your life, here are seven simple things you can do.

1. Set and communicate boundaries
We get resentful when people’s behavior doesn’t meet our expectations. Yet, we’re often guilty of not communicating those expectations. (They should just know, we righteously tell ourselves.) You have to let people know what makes you happy or not and what you need from them.

2. Un-volunteer from activities that have become a burden
If you’re involved in activities or responsibilities that leave you feeling unhappy or anxious, graciously remove yourself.  Don’t just run away.  Turn things over in a responsible manner.  Identify ‘next steps’, find someone to replace you, train them and step away.

3. Renegotiate relationships
Years ago, I realized that one of my best friends couldn’t keep her mouth shut.  I would share things with her as good friends do, but then learn that she had shared them with someone else.  I started specifying that this item is confidential, but even those disclosures got repeated.  I finally decided to only tell her things I wanted everyone to know. I never felt violated or disappointed in her again!

4.  Donate or sell your stuff
Our neighborhood organized a community garage sale this past weekend.  We didn’t participate but it did remind me to deliver that bag of items I had set aside for Goodwill or Salvation Army.  If you have things lying around ‘just in case’, get rid of them.  eBay is another good option that allows you to make a little money from your purge.

Stuff accumulates in our homes.  It becomes invisible to us but still drains the flow of ‘chi’, that life force energy that surrounds us and that blockage eventually drains our spirit.

5. List (and finish) your incomplete projects or items
Our soul gets burdened by the accumulation of ‘someday I’ll finish xyz‘ thoughts. Whether you’re afraid to tackle it or it’s just not high on your to-do list, it’s existence is weighing you down.

Empty your head of all of your ideas.  Write them down on paper.  Attach completion dates to them, even if the date is “Never”. Then get to work.  If you start with the scariest, you’ll feel amazing once it’s done.  If you start with something easy, you’ll feel successful too.  Just start somewhere and keep going.

6. Delegate
I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating.  If your to-do list is too long, give some of the items away.  Even though you might do it best, it may not be best for you to do.  Give it to someone who can get it done well enough. It will get done faster and you’ll be relieved of one more burden.

7.  Deliver undelivered communications
One of the biggest thieves of our souls is stuffing important communications and tolerating unpleasant situations.  They consume our mind and energy.  They rob us of important progress we could make in our lives. Find a gentle way to broach the touchy subject,  get it off your chest and come to some sort of resolution with the other person.

Do these seven simple steps and you’ll discover energy, confidence and opportunities you didn’t know you had!

Balance the Drive to Attain with the Need to Sustain

I wrote an article recently about the strength of your will to survive using a decapitated dandelion as an analogy.

cactusflowerkillingcactusSmYesterday, on my morning walk, I spotted another example in nature of the determination of propagate itself. You can see the ends of the ‘leaves’ beginning to brown and curl.  (A more dramatic neighborhood example where the underlying plant was all but gone had already been excavated.)

If you live in the desert, you’ve undoubtedly seen these spires.  They are quite amazing. But if we watch them grow for too long, they begin to sap all of the nutrients from the rest of the actual plant and it eventually dries up and dies.

So what does this have to do with you?

You are probably feeling like you’re working harder than you’ve had to in the past to make sales and grow your business (or even stay even).  While it’s critical to focus on prospecting for or attracting clients, you still have to take care of the basics.

Here are some things you must continue to do while you seek revenue.

1. Document and update your procedures and processes
Make sure your documentation is current.  I recently had to update mine after the computer crash because things/applications didn’t work the way they had in the past. Always be prepared to replicate yourself and your team.

2. Create a delegation plan
Make sure you’re acting like the Captain of your ship, not an oars(wo)man.  It’s tempting to do the ‘easy’ administrative stuff but it can consume your time.  Being busy is a good thing…sort of.  Ask yourself if you’re busy and broke or busy and making money.

Look for work your employees can do. Then give it to them. If you don’t have employees, find things you can outsource to an intern, contractor or vendor.  Use your time profitably.

3.  Analyze your financial records and cash flow
My friend, Ellen Rohr talks about getting to a ‘Known Financial Position’. By that, she means ensuring that your accounting systems are recording each of your transactions accurately.  Don’t have an accounting system?  Get and use one.

While many programs ‘learn’ which accounts individual transactions should be linked to, they are not infallible.  Work with your bookkeeper or accountant throughout the year to keep your records straight. Notice if there are seasonal fluctuations in revenue and expenses.  Develop plans to even them out if appropriate.

4.  Survey your customers
The world is changing and so are the needs of buyers.  Find out how you’re doing serving them.  Make adjustments when necessary.  Ask what their current needs are.  Find out their goals.  This information will help you anticipate and respond to their needs.

5. Invest in your own development and help your staff grow
When budgets are constrained, companies often look to cut out training, thinking of it as an expense that can be postponed.  Think of it instead of an investment in productivity and profitability vehicles.

Think and act long term and your company will be long term.

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.

Staying Focused on Your ‘Big Goal’

One of the topics I speak about is what I refer to as your Dream Destination.  It’s not a desirable vacation spot. Rather, it’s where your career and life would be 5 – 10 years in the future if things had gone far beyond your wildest dreams.

Imagine that for a minute.

You’ve accomplished more than you thought possible.  You’re happier and more fulfilled than you’ve ever been.  The people around you…in fact your entire world, feels joyful and light.

What’s that like for you?

The reason I ask is that I know how critical it is to be keenly aware of where you’re going with your life and your career.

As Dionne Warwick sang back in the 60’s,

What’s it all about, Alfie?
Is it just for the moment we live?

It’s not! Although it’s easy to get consumed and pulled into the day-to-day chaos and fire-fighting of our jobs.

In the moment, there’s ‘stuff’ to do; meetings to attend; deadlines to meet; accomplishments to make.

What makes all this ‘stuff’ more bearable is remembering why you’re doing it in the first place.

Is it so that you can create enough financial security so that you don’t have to work so hard?  Would you then spend more time with family? Travel the world? Write that book?

I was walking toward the mountain near my home Monday.  I kept my gaze near the mountain top.  While it seemed close on one hand, as much as I walked, it didn’t seem to get much closer.  Keeping my focus there however, made me forget I was walking up hill.  It took my attention off the effort of the incline.  I didn’t notice I was breathing hard.

All I could think about were the crevices, cacti, sagebrush and other features of the mountain that I could see.  I imagined myself there, on the mountain top, looking out over the valley.  I felt big, powerful, light and free.

That’s the value of having a Big Goal and keeping your attention on it.  It makes the drudgery, tediousness and challenges of the present moment less irritating because you know WHY you’re doing them.  Without that motivation, there’s just too much work.

Have a big goal.  Know your “why”.  Make sure your team knows their “why”, both individually and for the team.  You’ll have more fun and probably get ‘there’ faster.