Tag Archives: goal achievement

5 Critical Concepts for Business Growth & Profitability

People often go in business for themselves because they have a special knack or interest in something. They soon realize however, that that knack is not the only thing they need to be a success.

There are many internal factors that influence how fast or how big a company will grow. If the owner doesn’t acknowledge and attend to those critical factors, they are setting their burgeoning enterprise up for potential failure or enduring mediocrity

The most critical factors often aren’t always obvious but I’m ready to share them with you right now to help you navigate the perils and enjoy the benefits of business ownership.

Here are 5 simple, yet critical concepts you MUST master if you are to experience the growth and profitability you desire.

1. Know your strengths and deficits – intimately
When you’re crystal clear about your skills, you can leverage them to move mountains. You can also use them to counterbalance your weaknesses. When you’re working in your blind spots, you’ll struggle to accomplish goals. You’ll try to do things you shouldn’t and fail to delegate profitably.

2. Work within your value system
The whole point of being in business for yourself is to more closely control your own destiny. Without a thorough assessment of what’s important to you, day-to-day and for the long haul, you rob yourself of bringing in experiences that will create the fulfillment you need. Once they’re clearly articulated, your chance for fulfillment increases dramatically.

3. Understand the marketspace you operate in
When you target the highest possible level of clientele for your product or service, your fees have room to expand. When you clearly distinguish yourself from the competition, people will seek YOU out.  If you go to market blindly, you run the risk of stepping into a crowded space, missing out on opportunities to leverage your company’s unique advantages and not being prepared internally for growth.

4. Have a variety of sources of revenue
You’ve probably heard about the importance of diversifying your investments. Well, your business is one of the most important investments you own.  While you can make a great living selling just one product or service, with more options, you’re likely to improve your revenue stream.  During the recent recession, many businesses had to expand their offerings to appeal to additional markets. Even as the economy recovers, having various offers for various kinds of customers can help maintain your revenue stream. Just remember to not diversify to far afield. If that happens, you run the risk of spreading yourself too thin and becoming ineffective in your efforts.

5. Utilize your time in the most effective manner possible
It’s tempting to work on that which is easy, comfortable and familiar. Unfortunately, those kinds of activities rarely lead to outstanding results. “Magic occurs outside our comfort zone.” Work in your personal ‘sweet spots’, delegate the rest and focus on the highest profit potential activities possible.

These concepts are critical for your success. Implement them and practice them consistently. They will pave the road to profitability for your business

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How to Master Your Psychology to Accomplish Your Goals

The primary reasons people don’t reach their potential has little to do with their circumstances and much to do with their personal psychology, the voices in their head that tell them what’s possible for them and what isn’t.

Seemingly well-equipped, well-put-together people sometimes struggle to manifest success. And you probably know or have heard of people who start with ‘nothing’ in life who rise to the highest levels of accomplishment.

What’s the difference between them? Their psychology.

Psychology manifests itself as thought patterns and habits repeated often enough to become automatic. They’re often formed by default in childhood and beyond as we observe and mimic authority figures.

Many of our thought patterns are deigned to safeguard our habits to help us be more efficient and save us time and energy. (Think about the way you habitually shower, brush your teeth and start and operate your car.) If we had to think about each of the individual actions involved at every juncture, we’d exhaust ourselves.

The problem arises when the thought patterns and habits outlive their usefulness or when they are created based on mis-information, solving a problem that doesn’t exist. If you’ve ever made a bad, inaccurate assumption and then acted on it (perhaps for years), that’s a good example of this dynamic at work.

So what’s a body (or mind) to do?

1. Identify the beliefs you have that make you fearful, hesitant and reluctant to take action.
This might take some work since we’re not aware of some of our beliefs and may not have articulated them before. Start listening to the conversations you have about yourself, to yourself as well as the conversations you have about the world.

When you start hearing refrains, things you say over and over, that’s a belief.

2. Challenge what you think
Beliefs are like cow paths. The more you go down them, the more they seem like the only way to go. Don’t assume everything you think is the truth. Practice thinking new thoughts.

3. Recognize that your mind is designed to protect ‘the way it is’
Your thoughts will tend to dissuade you from trying new things. Know that this is a signal that you’re on the right track. Your brain wants to keep things simple and new thoughts and behaviors appear as a threat.

4. Surround yourself with optimistic, supportive people
We rise to the level of the company we keep. If you’re surrounded with pessimistic people who are victimized by the world they inhabit (and have unknowingly created), it will be hard to do the things you need to do to make progress.

When you hang out with successful people, you’re encouraged to be your best (rather than blame the world for your problems). You’ll have access to more and better resources. You’ll be inspired instead of depressed. You will experience a greater sense of possibility and be more likely to try new things. You’ll set goals and actually believe you can accomplish them.

5. Run when you can and tread water when ‘life’ kicks you in the butt.
Optimistic attitude or not, sometimes bad, annoying and troublesome things happen. During those times, you’ll need to apply your full attention to solving the issues at hand.  When you’re not encumbered by those emergencies though, work diligently toward your goal. Invest your time on the most productive activities you can muster, especially those that frighten you. Do at least one thing every day that will get you closer to your goal that you’re afraid of doing.

Miracles happen just outside your comfort zone. So make it a habit to consistently step outside yours.

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Upgrade Your Fears And Free Your Soul

Fear is part of the human condition. We have all experienced it at one point or another. It’s what we choose to do in the face of fear that defines our character…and our results.

Fear’s original design is to protect us from harm. Unfortunately, sometimes we place too much value on the “Danger! Danger!” alerts it sends us and fear things that should be more directly confronted.

A recent, simple experience got me thinking about the impact fear has on our lives. I attended a surprise birthday party with an Hawaiian theme.

After the surprise, entertainment, food and cake, the coordinators announced there would be contests and prizes for the lowest limbo and longest hula hoop whirl.

I surveyed the jagged rock-covered ground and considered the flimsy sandals I was wearing and immediately ruled out the limbo contest.  I thought though, I could probably handle the hula hoop contest.  However, immediately my mind went to “How will I look?”, “Has it been too long?”, “What will they think?”, “Will I embarrass myself?”

Just as quickly though, I DECIDED it didn’t matter how I looked  or what they might think and sprang out of my seat to claim my hula hoop.

Out of a crowd of over 50, about 10 of us decided to participate in the contests. No, I didn’t win (shucks). I did come in second though and felt pleased with myself that I didn’t let that little voice in my head keep me on the sidelines cause even though the hula hoop fell down too quickly in the final round, it was exhilarating pressing my muscles to remember  ‘the moves’ from my childhood.

What do your fears keep you from doing?

It’s a trivial example, but it made me think about the things my fears DID keep me on the sidelines for. So that night I DECIDED to push the edge of my concerns and worries when I got back to the office on Monday.

So, at the start of the week, I pulled out my call list and when I felt a twinge of “Oh no. Today’s not a good day to call that person”, I knew that was the person to call. Now I can’t say any of those calls turned into immediate money, but amazingly, I DID get two enticing offers ‘out of the blue’ that let me know the universe was rewarding my efforts.

Most of us waste our energy worrying about things that are undeserving of our attention.  Studs Terkel once wrote, “Most people are in jobs that are too small for their souls.” I would spin that slightly to “Most people live inside fears that are too small for their spirit.”

We are afraid of stuff that’s too small, insignificant, unbecoming of the magnificent person we truly are.

So, instead of wasting your time on the trivial minutia or day-to-day drama, create something meaningful that scares you and conquer that.

It’s silly to be afraid to pick up the phone to make an important call. But left to our own devices, we all do it from time to time.

Life, and our success in it, is about continually expanding our capabilities, our sense of self, our positive impact on the world, the expression of our deepest longing, our gift and purpose for being on this planet at this time.

And to do this, we most grow larger than that which constrains us.

What would you do or attempt to do if you were living life courageously? Who would you call? What would you say? What project would you take on? How big would you play? What would you do with your life? How bold would you be?

Here are today’s simple fear-busting tips:
1) Catch yourself when you start to procrastinate or make excuses. Then take action on something you fear.
2) Go public by telling others what you’re up to so it’s harder to back out.
3) Commit to goals that stretch you even if you have no idea how you’ll put them off.
4) Ask for help along the way.
5) Praise yourself for kicking your fear to the curb even if you don’t get the immediate result you desired. If you continuously take courageous action, your life will change.

Be aware of your fears, but not beholden to them. Use them as stepping stones to your future and a brave new world.

Loretta Love Huff

7 Requirements to Turn a Dream into a Business

One of the things I hear over and over again when I work with my clients is “Wow!” I never thought of that!”

There’s something about the process of talking out loud with another person skilled in thought facilitation that generates insight, creativity and innovation that simply isn’t possible on one’s own.

A recent new client spent an afternoon with me sorting out the ideas in her head about the business she dreamed of launching.

To quote her, “We’re caught in our own heads and world and thoughts. We need an outside agent to pull the ideas out.

As I evaluate what it is I consistently do that evokes the sparking of new ideas that provoke committed and inspired action, I’ve boiled it down to seven things.

1) A proven process
Depending on the client’s goal, one or more of several processes are employed to guide the client toward the desired end result. Whether it’s defining the perfect market, evaluating your readiness for the venture or surveying the competitive landscape, you can’t just have a random, meandering conversation that goes nowhere.

Surely there must be flexibility in the system, but having a definitive track to start on, helps the process flow smoothly.

2) Mirrored thought
Ideas when articulated become more clear. Even faulty thinking is identified more rapidly when expressed out loud.

Often just repeating what someone says makes them come to grips with it’s truth or fallacy.

3) Shared observations and recommendations
Years of experience in banking, technology, marketing and management have generated a practical perspective and literally thousands of opinions 🙂  on a variety of topics that can be invaluable to someone who isn’t quite sure how to proceed on their quest. Well-informed counsel can make life easier.

4) Appropriate doubt
“Are you sure about that?”. Another client was about to take action that was fundamentally a good idea, but about to be implemented without appropriate research and advice. Questioning her encouraged her to seek other professional advice that equipped her with the proper strategies and approach to protect her investment in her business.

We are enamored with our own ideas. The intent here is not to rain on anyone’s parade, but to help avoid the pitfalls of certain decisions. By identifying potential risks in advance, plans can be made to minimize them or avert certain situations altogether.

5) Support that evokes commitment
By the same token, we sometimes doubt our abilities. Belief in an idea and the person holding it will go a long way to building their confidence for making it happen. Think about it. When some has believed in you, didn’t you feel you could conquer the world?

6) Action planning
All of the brilliant insights are of little use if not applied in the real world. Goals are accomplished one step at a time. Knowing what those steps are keeps you from procrastinating or wasting time flailing around on non-productive activities.

7) Follow up and follow through
Most people are more likely to get something done if they’ve told someone else they will do a thing. When commitments are made and kept privately, there is too much temptation to let them slip or to replace them with some other activity.

Going public with your goals and reporting on your journey will help ensure that the journey actually happens. Getting support and coaching along the way, empowers the experience of accomplishment.

I believe accountability makes magic happen. When we’re held accountable for making progress on our dreams, it opens the door to a life of purpose, fulfillment and prosperity.” -Loretta Love Huff

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Goal Setting: Why You Have to Know What You’re Looking For

Right before our wedding anniversary, I bought a small gift for my husband. I put it in my office and eagerly awaited the delivery date.

The night before our anniversary, I went to get it to wrap it but couldn’t find it.

Disappointed and anxious, I looked everywhere. On the desk where I thought I’d placed it. In my purse where it might have been if not on the desk. In our bedroom where it shouldn’t have been. In the closet, kitchen, office (again)…everywhere.

No present, present.

Our anniversary came and went. He knew he had a gift coming because we were together when I got it. I had to confess though that it had disappeared somehow, but that I was confident it would turn up. (One of my beliefs about myself is that I find things that I ‘lose’.)

Anyway, about 3 days later, I found it! It leapt out at me from…on the desk! How could it have been there all the while and never have been seen? It’s as though it had a  Harry Potter invisibility cloak on it.

Well, quickly I discovered why it had gone unnoticed.

I had taken it out of the bag it came in and just the tiny gold box that held the gift was ‘visible’.

I wasn’t looking for a tiny gold box. I was looking for a white bag, folded over with a little box inside. A simple distinction, but missing it meant looking high and low for three days!

Three days and it was there the entire time!

My point in telling you this story is to reiterate the importance of setting goals and being really clear what you’re looking for, knowing what the desired end result will be.

If you aren’t clear about what you’re aiming for, you might never notice that it’s happened. You’ll keep searching and whining. And you’ll miss the satisfaction of the celebration you could have had if only you had known precisely what you were seeking.