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I Want To Hide

What happened?

There is an invisible virus threatening the future of the human race and we have been plunged into a fearful state of denial and in disbelief, while trying our hardest to come to terms with what that means for us as individuals and also for the collective human race.

We are now prevented from seeing our loved ones, meaning our parents, grandparents, siblings as well as friends colleagues and neighbours, guidelines stating we need to be at least two metres away from each other at all times.

A man I passed in the street the other day said, as I was giving him a wide berth, “I feel like a leper” and I replied, “We don’t know who has it so I am acting to make sure I don’t give it to anyone”

It’s happening all over the world, and we all seek answers, but no-one has any.

Recently a tiger tested positive!

How do we deal with something like this, something so unfamiliar, so life threatening and so confusing?

I wish I had the answers, when I sat down and thought about it all I wanted to do was hide, to run away so I didn’t have to deal with it.

At all.

That was scary for me because my first thought is usually to get out there, deal with what needs to be dealt with and then sit back and reflect.

My not wanting to deal with this left me feeling even more confused and scared.

My first place to go when I feel threatened, unsure or faced with a difficult situation is to ask, “What is the worst case scenario?”

I like to have an answer to that one, because that’s not the most likely outcome, and if you have that one sussed, you can deal with anything else.

“Someone I love could die, or I could die” I didn’t like the answers I was coming up so my response altered to what was I taught in first aid.

First and foremost, assess the situation, you have to make sure it is safe for you to go into this situation.

Here is my recollection of an event from 1983. There was a man walking his dog along Blackpool beach, and like dogs the world over, he swam out to get his ball, further than he should have and his owner panicked and went in after him when it wasn’t safe to do so.

Three police officers then went in after the dog owner and none of the four ever returned. The dog, however, swam back to shore. Sad but true.

It’s called ‘daisy chain first aid’ when our first reaction is to rush in to help, without considering if it is safe to do so.

It was a situation that went badly wrong and didn’t have to be so tragic.

Our results depend on the choices we make and choices are best made from a place of calm, although this isn’t always possible.

When strange things happen our bodies go into an alert state of mind, to give us extra strength to deal with the situation. This, as you know, we call stress. And a stressed body produces hormones like adrenalin to allow us to fight the unknown and survive.

We have the essential workers: the supermarket staff, the refuse collectors and everyone in healthcare working full pelt. We have the non-food shops, the banks, the leisure centres and the architects closed and all told to stay at home.

These people are stressed in different ways. The essential workers are front line, facing their fears and being kept very busy. Wearing suitable clothing when it’s available to keep themselves safe, and being applauded by the country for doing so. These people are focussing on the job in hand and working long hours to deal with the urgency of the current crises. They deal with their stress mainly through their actions; however I am sure they have a lot of reflective thoughts when they are off duty.

We have many others who while not working on the front lines, have found their lives turned upside down too. Those who once went daily into an office but now able to work from home, those who have suddenly found that their work is closed, those who have been furloughed, or even sacked.

These people had what probably seemed like important things to do yesterday and are now facing life on their own, dealing with an uncertain future, financial disruption and lack of contact with loved ones. They are facing a different challenge, one that comes with suddenly spending time with yourself.

If work was their reason for getting out of bed in the morning, it can be a struggle for them to do just that.

And there are the people who see this extraordinary time of our lives as an opportunity.

For me I look at how we were over consuming and destroying our planet, I hope some people are conjuring up a better future, looking at new ways to do things in light of the changes that have been forced upon us. How do we keep the best of the past together with the best of the present?

Maybe we don’t all have to commute to the office but need to have a better wifi connection?

Maybe we can make a better use of technology?

Maybe we don’t need to travel as much and appreciate the beauty of our homeland?

Maybe we all can realise that working to make money to buy material things is not the best plan for our lives and the planet?

Maybe we look at what is important in life through a new set of eyes?

Whether you are still working as before, albeit with new CoVid19 precautions, feeling a bit isolated or planning how your life and your business can evolve into our new future, one thing is for sure, these challenging times are teaching us about life and what we are truly value.

Think about what you can let go of that has been a bind for you in the past and what you want to invite in for your future.

When we can open our doors and get out and about again, what will you have done in this space we’ve been given that’s going to change your world for the better?

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Ready, Steady…There’s a New Decade on the Horizon

In the aftermath of the recent UK election, I was thinking how the political process mirrors that of our life and business in some ways.

As I sat watching the election results it occurred to me,that for every event we go through in this life, be it a General Election, a family holiday, Christmas or simply an away day, we actually only have three stages. We can give them fancy titles, we can divide them into multiple aspects, but the bottom line is this:

  1. Before
  2. During
  3. After

For a moment, just imagine you are the political leader of a party. It doesn’t matter at this moment which one it is, but you are standing for something you strongly believe in and you want to make a difference in the world.

Before

You have working at the everyday of normal life, at your normal pace. You have probably become fairly comfortable in that place; you know what you’re doing, how things work and can fairly accurately predict the outcomes.

Then something happens, and an election is called for on a specific date 6 weeks from now. This throws everything up in the air, there are no accurate predictions here and it means normal gets pushed to one side in an onslaught of prep work.

There are millions of people in the UK eligible to vote and you want most of them to vote for you so you can lead them into the future you envisage based on the ideals you’ve communicate to the electorate. Everything will have to be done to make sure your message is known and understood by everyone with a vote. And the outcome? Well, it’s relatively easy to measure your success in an election, isn’t it? The number of votes you earn from people, the number of seats you win.

During

So how do you begin? This is a campaign, just like any other, whether in war, in media, in politics or business. You start by reaffirming your vision, outlining your values and presenting your intentions, the manifesto that contains those important issues that you believe will make the world a better place. You get clear on what you will focus on and why.

You consult with your team and proceed to set out a consistent message to let the people voting know your plans and proposals and how it impacts and hopefully benefits them.

The flurry of activity takes you door to door to speak with the local people, appearances on TV, in the print media and in your local community. As the deadline approaches, the energy ramps up, more interviews, more appearances, more quotes and manifesto details. You hope that your efforts will result in votes and the number of votes will result in one thing for you, success or failure.

Then the day arrives, your last effort takes you to the your local polling station to see people turn up to make their mark on the ballot, and you wonder if you have done enough to earn their vote as you offer one last smile, one last slogan as they pass you at the door.

After

The deadline is done, the doors are closed and the counting begins. The tension rises as you stand with your competitors, still wondering if you could have done more. You know you have one of two outcomes. You will win or you will lose. You will celebrate your success with that winning speech you prepared or you will commiserate with that other speech you hope not to have to deliver. You’ll either start down the road of reform and renewal and implementation of promises made or you will be wondering where it went wrong, what you should have done differently and perhaps consider the option of resignation as leader.

Is that scenario any different from our everyday efforts to build our business with additional clients? We consistently run marketing campaigns, consistently look to please the people who buy our services and products, we consistently reflect on how we can improve, do things differently to make it better and easier for our people, both client and staff. We wonder whether to keep going or to give up.

We do all of that campaign work consistently when we want our business to succeed; we don’t have the option of a flurry of activity and then settling into doing the job for 5 years without thinking about what happens next. That way leads to periods of no work, no clients, no business.

How do we keep up the urgency, the focus and the activity that happens in a campaign?

Take a moment, maybe sit with paper and pen and reflect on how your quest for business mirrors that of the UK current political system, think about what each party could have done differently and what insights their successes and failures have for you. From there think about what you can change in your own business process.

And here’s your deadline, 31.01.2020, the end of the first month of the new year, the start of a new decade. What do you need to learn from this last decade? What do you need to clean up and clear out so that you can get going for the next one? What do you need to bring in to give you a running start?

Let me know how you get on!

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Merry Christmas, I Wish it was Joy and Peace for Everyone

Christmas is almost upon us and once again I am torn in my emotions. Because I love the excitement around it, the dark evenings filled with bright colourful lights that shine through the dark, the smell of roasting chestnuts on a street stall, people out and about having fun and cheering ‘Merry Christmas’ at each other.

I love all of it and whether I’m walking along Princes Street as I was last week, enjoying the Christmas market with my hat and scarf on and a wee mulled wine, Or as I did the same in Malaga, this time minus the hat and scarf.

Whether in Scotland or Spain, the ambience was the same, the bright Christmas lights illuminating the streets, the crowds gathered to soak in the joys of community at Christmas time.

I walked home feeling humbled and grateful that I had peace in my heart and the health to enjoy a wee trip away at this time of year. On the way back to my hotel, I felt a lump in my throat and a tear run down my cheek.

Sometimes I just really appreciate my life and then I think of others less fortunate than me. All over the world, people are dealing with the unknowable crises and desperate circumstances, grief and pain that are especially hard to endure at this time of year.

For many this is a merry time, but for others Christmas is simply something to get through.

I wish you all a happy, merry Christmas and instead of a card, we have provided a couple of Christmas lunches for the homeless in Edinburgh this year, so when you raise your glass, as well as thinking about those no longer round your table, think of those less fortunate while you appreciate your festivities with those you love.

And finally, it’s a hectic time so put yourself first, take care of you and you’ll be more able to help those around you.

Posted in Business Blogs, Business Consultant, Business Development, Business Growth, Business Success, mi blog, mi view, Personal Development

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What Would Happen If You Just Stopped Working?

Have you ever thought about that? What would happen if you stopped turning up to work? Would your business fall apart or would it carry on, despite a wobble here or there?

One of the differences between working a job and owning a business, is that you have to go to work if you have a job, while in a business you must create a system and train others to work for you.

I started a business because I love what I do but I soon found out that I spent a lot of time actually doing some tasks that I didn’t love at all, and some were very important tasks and they became the ones that had to be done late at night or early in the morning, because I kept putting them off.

And I can tell you, that took a lot of the fun out of my work and I started to forget why I had started my business in the first place.

So I had to do what I often advise my clients to do.

STOP!

I had to take a break, and look at my business from a different perspective, with fresh eyes.

And using a creative approach I could see that I needed help and I sought out ways to improve the way the business was managed, dividing the work into the things I wanted to do, the things I needed to do and the things I could get other people to do, people who were more skilled than me in those areas, allowing me to breathe again and improve the quality of the life I was leading.

Often when I talk about this with clients, they get all excited about letting go of the stuff they don’t like to do but then fear steps in. They don’t know where to start or how to go about this and one of the all time favourite excuses for anything and everything comes up: ‘I don’t have time for this!’

Listen, if you don’t have time now, you certainly won’t have it when you get busier. And you do want to get busier don’t you?

One new client even said, “I can’t fit in everything I need to do just now, I don’t know how I’m going to fit you in as well!” Because all he could see was him doing everything himself and no other vision seemed possible.

Do you think Richard Branson, or Steve Jobs or Walt Disney served their people alone?

Of course not.

And you don’t have to either.

But before we build this business we need to do one thing that many people find very difficult to do.

We need to let go.

Let go of what? I hear you say?

There’s a lot you can let go of, starting with all the emotions and fears that arise when we feel the need to do something different. And then you can let go of all the anxious questions that start popping into your brain, ones like:

Who am I looking for?

How do I recruit them?

How do I train them?

How do I pay them?

What if they don’t do as I want them to?

Because the real question is how can you grow your business if you continue to work like you’re doing now?

You’ve got to where you are right now because of the way you worked in the past, but to move forward, to grow your business, you need to do things in a different way.

Think about this; “What do you currently do that someone else could?”

What are the drudge tasks for you? The ones you hate, that you don’t feel expert in and the ones you’re overqualified to do?

Make a list of all of those, group them into compatible skills and attributes and that’s the start of the job description for the person you’re looking for, the person you need to help you take your business up a gear.

When you know what you can let go of, what you can delegate others, and fill that space with someone who frees you up to do more of the business work you enjoy, that will help you and your business grow.

It could be as simple as getting an online PA to schedule your appointments, maybe hiring an apprentice or you could be building a team that supports your growing business and its complex needs. It all starts with you deciding to let go and move forward.

And then, some day you can say, ‘okay, today, I’m not working – but my business is.’

How good does that sound?

Posted in Business Blogs, Business Consultant, Business Development, Business Growth, Business Success, mi blog, mi view, Personal Development

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What Your Boss Wished They Knew About You and it’s good for you to know too!

I remember talking to a lady I know who’d just gotten a promotion. Fantastic! I said, I love hearing about people growing and thriving and succeeding in their lives. As I congratulated her, I saw some apprehension in her face, and I made a huge assumption that it was the normal mild panic we all get when we jump into an unknown role.

‘Am I up to it? What if I fail? What made me think I could do this?’ You know the stuff I mean.

I’ve felt that panic, I’m sure you have too. Her news took me back to a time I had been promoted and I remembered all the doubts that flooded my mind even as I celebrated the promotion.

“What’s the face?” I asked, thinking she’d confirm my thinking.

But, the old adage about assume holds true!

‘Well’, she said, ‘I’m in the training department, but the promotion transfers me to the IT department.’

Yikes! I immediately felt her pain, because I knew she loved training people, but I also knew she didn’t love IT!

This was a couple of years ago and she’s still in the IT department even though she’s not happy in her work. The thing is, she’s just not unhappy enough to move.

At the time of that initial conversation all I felt was sympathy for her but now I understand that working is not just about doing a job you enjoy, it’s also about using the talents that you have.

Let me break that down because I believe this is really important and it’s something we often get wrong and that ends up making us unhappy.

There are some people who love imagining things and bringing them to life, it may be the concept of a house or a cabinet or a dress or a model aircraft. Whatever it is, they are really happy working away on their own with their creation to bring from imagination to reality.

There are other people that are more comfortable interacting with other people, maybe a nurse who cares for the sick or a shop assistant who helps people make decisions about what they want to buy.

There are people who work in suits, in a clean office environment giving advice about finance or architecture while others like getting their hands dirty under the hood of a car or working on the land.

With different jobs comes different fits for our natural talents, and it’s this fit that makes you much better at some things than others. And we usually like the things we fit well

with too. Which makes sense, when we’re good at something we do it more and we get better at it and the better we get at it, the more we like it.

There are plenty of ‘tests’ created like Myers Briggs or Honey and Mumford to help you identify your talents as well as your natural inclinations but the one I use more often is from the work of Ned Herman.

Ned Herman looked at the right brain as the creative side of the brain and the left as the logical side, but he went a bit further than that, discovering that the right side was also where our emotions were triggered and the left where our organisation lay.

Although we all (allegedly!) use all of our brains, we feel naturally more comfortable in one area, and that would be where our talent lies.

Here is what I found particularly interesting,

  1. It can be really interesting to understand the areas that I am naturally good at and compare them to the areas where I am not. The realisation that we all excel in different areas and are not all the same was a huge revelation to me at the time.
  2. I can develop my talents and excel rather than struggle to improve the things I am not naturally good at and never will be, which is unfortunately normally the focus of these tests, to improve our ‘weaknesses’.
  3. I can find a partner whose talents are different from mine and we can excel together.
  4. I can build a robust team instead of surrounding myself with people like me
  5. I can value the different thoughts, opinions and talents of the team I have created.

So, to return to my poor friend, although she was pleased to have been selected for promotion, she struggled with her new area of work and then with her progression in that field because it wasn’t a good fit for her talents and ability. Her natural talent lay in her right brain, she was happy with the emotional aspect of developing and supporting people and her job now required more of a left brain skill, with programming machines and largely working alone.

This sadly is the story of many people in certain areas of their business. We start a business because we are good at something and seek independence however we may struggle with the creativity required for marketing or the discipline of finalising our accounts each month.

As the business grows we can match the roles we don’t like to do with people who do have the talents for those areas, evolving the process until everyone is happy doing their part that fits in with the whole, everyone advancing in the thing they are good at and all working as a team together. That’s when we see the business begin to fly.

I urge you to discover your own talents and see how much fun it can be when you’re doing the work you love, surrounded with people who like doing the things that you don’t really want to do, everyone working to realise the vision of the business. That’s when work becomes a joy, business is a pleasure and success seems to come without effort.

Doesn’t that sound like something worth exploring? Want to know more about how to set your business and your people up for success and real work satisfaction? Get in touch and I’d love to tell you more.

Posted in Business Blogs, Business Consultant, Business Development, Business Growth, Business Success, mi blog, mi view, Personal Development

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How We All Love a Distraction

Is there a secret to staying focused, getting more done, and steaming ahead full speed?

Do you ever have days when you think, “Wow, I’ve got to the end of the day feeling like I achieved everything I set out to do and wasn’t distracted by anything?”

Or is it more likely the opposite, where you get home, tired frustrated and fed up and think; “that’s yet another day where I achieved none of the things I needed to do and was distracted all day long by stuff that’s neither important nor urgent”

Is there a secret to finishing your day feeling good about the work you’ve done and the steps you’ve taken in business and life, knowing you’ve moved forward?

It’s not magic, we know that. It’s focus or more specifically a lack of distraction. You could even say it’s the ability not get pulled into the distraction.

Because there will always be distractions. There will always be something going on to test your ability and determination to complete the task in hand.

Jack Black says when you set a goal for yourself, the universe will give you an offer to test how easily you will be side-tracked – to see how much you really want it. And I agree. Try it. Say to yourself that you’re going to eat healthily and watch how fast the desire to eat junk food rises up. Or tell yourself you’re going to get up early to start work on a new project and notice how you don’t go to bed early, read later, wake through the night, all things designed to stop your desire to get up early before it starts.

There are times when I’m getting on with something that needs to be done, but something far more exciting pops up and before I know where I am, I’m off, away doing that something else. Not even having consciously thought about the consequences of my actions.

Maybe it’s a phone call, the doorbell or even the desire for a cup of something hot calls, regardless what it is, the distraction has won and I’ve lost my way with whatever I was doing.

I think we live in three worlds, each with a different agenda and I call them miworld, your world and nature’s world, here’s what I mean.

In miworld. I set my goals and intentions for what I want to achieve in every area of my life. I make a plan of what to do and when to do it and I work steadily and continuously towards them. I know why it is important for me to achieve these things and I stay focussed. I think it’s like a single track, I know where I am going and the tasks that I do are like putting one foot in front of the other to progress along it.

When I’m in your world, I am helping you achieve your goals. This is the place where everyone else lives. There’s my family and friends, my work colleagues and even the cold calling brigade. Together, they have one mission and that mission is to get me off my track. When I stay motivated and determined, perhaps when I am clearing up to go on holiday, I don’t budge, but as a curious individual who hates to miss out on something, there are times when I am easily distracted. And it’s not just me, its human nature, this

desire to not miss out. And when this happens, I have an excuse as to why I didn’t get my goals finalised! These people are very good at what they do.

Finally there is nature’s world, the place where we have no control; the sun shines, the moon lights sky at night, the seas ebb and flow and the rain falls. The plants grow, the animals reproduce, and there is a balance where, if we look after it well, it is a place where can all grow, survive and thrive together. But it can be an excuse provider too, it was too cold…it was raining…. it was sunny today…far too hot to work.

I can set my intention for each day, however just staying in miworld to complete these can be another challenge altogether.

And only four percent of the population actually sets goals to begin with, and since their day is void of intention, it’s easy for them to be pulled into someone else’s world and they want to bring you along with them.

Now there are times when a friend needs help and I go to them, and that’s a conscious choice I make to do so. That’s about decisions, not distractions. That not what I’m talking about, I’m talking about when you get pulled into another person’s stuff because you haven’t committed enough to sorting out your own.

The secret to finishing the day content you’ve done all the things you set out to do?

Set your intentions for the day, give yourself a deadline and work like you are going on holiday tomorrow. Choose your distractions wisely and you might just fly through your tasks. You’ll be going home with a feeling of achievement knowing your tasks today are moving you closer to your goals.

And every step closer is a joy, feel that joy and allow it to power your focus and determination. And the more you do so, the easier it gets.

Posted in Business Blogs, Business Consultant, Business Development, Business Growth, Business Success, mi blog, mi view, Personal Development

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7 Surprising Ways for Entrepreneurs to Gain More Energy

Do you ever wonder why some people seem to have an endless supply of energy, able to do everything they need and want to do in a day with energy to spare while others have big dreams and plans but don’t seem to have the energy to even take the first necessary step on their journey?

Oftentimes, it seems to be the high achievers, the movers and the shakers that bounce around, making things happen and rarely sitting still.

And some days you might be one of those movers and shakers, and then other days you’re not. And when you’re not, it seem to take forever to get started, and you know if you could get started then you would be able to get lots done but nothing works to get you to put that first fifteen minutes into it.

Why is it that our energy levels can fluctuate so much from day to day and is there a way we be more productive on a more regular basis?

That was a question I started to explore as several of my clients were talking about, not their lack of motivation – they had that in spades, no, it was their lack of energy. They were tired, drained and unable to get going. This motivated me to delve deeper into energy because it is one of the great factors of getting things done, maybe even more so than having time and money. Here’s what I have concluded from my research:

1. Tomorrows Energy Starts Today

Sometimes it’s the last thing you want to do at the end of the day, but leaving your desk set up with the first thing you need to do in the morning gives you a much better start to the day. This removes what I call ‘faffing about’ time, and I am sure you are as aware of this highly unproductive time as I am. It’s that place where you feel unsure of where to start, of what to do and can lead to that nasty feeling of overwhelm because your energy is being zapped and you feel guilty as the clock ticks on and you achieve nothing.

2. Early To Bed, Early To Rise

Ah, sometimes the old ones are the best but we all know that when we awaken fresh, well rested and early and get a great start to our morning, the rest of the day seems to follow in the same way. When we work late, when we sleep in, which leaves us feeling tired and lethargic, our day follows our energy levels and it can be a real effort to get anything done at all.

3. Start In Your Own World

Nowadays, many people sleep beside their mobile phone and the first thing they do when they waken is reach for it. They check their emails, Facebook and all sorts of distractions before they get their self out of bed. What they are actually doing is being pulled into other people’s worlds, getting distracted with all the stuff out there in internet land and managing very successfully to avoid doing what’s most important. Then when it’s time to work on your own stuff, the things that make your world better, your energy is already depleted, you’ve given it away and it’s now much harder to get started.

4. Do What You Love

You started out in business for yourself because you love to do what you do. Often what then happens is you get dragged about doing all the other stuff that involves running a business, the invoicing, the books, the marketing and there’s nothing that deflates your energy like doing one thing when you want to be doing something else. Learn the art of delegation and start using it as soon as you can, leaving you to spend much more time on the important things in life – what you love to do

5. Be Good To Yourself

Energy is about movement so be sure to move. Some people like swimming, others walking, others the gym. It doesn’t matter how you move but it’s really important that you do. Our ability to move can be hampered by health, but also by the fuel we put into our bodies so I encourage you to be aware of what you are feeding yourself. Garbage in, garbage out as they say. Most people eat too much, too much of the wrong foods and often for the wrong reasons.

6. Work With Intention

“Love me for a reason and let that reason be love”, sang the Osmond brothers many years ago. Now I was never an Osmonds fan but they were around a lot while I was growing up and these words often come into my mind. When we do something because we love doing it, when we work towards something worthwhile, then we seem to have more energy to do it. When you work towards a worthwhile goal, when you set an exciting intention, then your passion rises and is accompanied by a seemingly boundless amount of energy to make it happen along the way.

7. Enjoy Your Energy

I often say there is not enough laughter in the world and how grateful I am to Billy Connelly who reminds us of how funny living in a world surrounded by others can be. Laughter is our way of expressing our joy and humour, its important to allow ourselves a laugh when we see, hear or feel something that amuses us. And it’s healthy, it’s can fight off stress and there’s even laughter therapists popping up to focus on better health through fun!

Protect your energy levels, start by planning your first action for tomorrow at the end of your day, get up early and avoid the phone to go straight to work on what’s important for you, Get what you can delegated, work with intention on the stuff you love and don’t forget to be good to yourself. You’ll get more done and be able to have more time off and don’t take it all too seriously – we need a medicinal shot of laughter along the way.

Ps last night I set the intention to email this miview to my editor by close of business today – it’s now 07:07 and it’s going off – and I haven’t even looked at my phone! Let me know what your energy secrets are.

Posted in Business Blogs, Business Consultant, Business Development, Business Growth, Business Success, mi blog, mi view, Personal Development

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Can You Move Mountains Just Because You Believe That Much?

Self Belief is a massive topic, covered by every self help book starting right back with the Bible. I tend to focus on one area where self belief really matters to the outcome of your effort and desire.

And it needs to be in you when you make the decision to go from employed to working for yourself.

Why?

Because it’s such a huge leap for you to take. Employment offers a steady regular income that allows you to plan holidays, home purchases, family occasions, build a savings safety net and maybe some investments. Its comfortable, safe but it can feel restrictive.

And when comfortable and safe start not feeling right, then you might experience a yearning to go it alone, to hand in your notice and open your own doors for business.

You’ll feel every emotion under the sun from excitement to fear, self belief to crippling doubt in your ability to make it work, anxiety that the phone is never going to ring to euphoria after every sale you make, no matter how small.

Your business outcome will be in line with this famous quote from Henry Ford :

“Whether you think you can, or
you think you can’t – you’re right”

Your outcome will be based on how you think and whether you believe you can make self employment and your own business work, or not.

How do you decide if that journey is for you?

If you spend your time worrying about what can go wrong, before you even get started, then that’s probably what will happen for you. You create a self-defeating prophecy.

Instead, envisage a clear picture of what your success looks like, bring it to life in your imagination, filling in every details, every sense, flood the images you create with sensation. Put yourself in the picture in your mind, when you achieve this great success what will you see, what do you hear around you, what do you smell, what do you taste? Luxuriate in this success in your imagination and make it so real you can almost touch it. Consider how it makes you feel, it hopefully will make you feel really good!

A former client of mine felt that he would have made his business a success when he had a holiday home in Florida. His ‘made it’ moment was standing on his deck, looking out at the ocean, at the incredible blue of the sky starting to turn red and pink as the sun set in the horizon, listening to the waves rushing up the sand, as he opened a bottle of beer to start relaxing at the end of the day. He held the bottle opener in his hand and smiled as he heard that woosh as the bottle opened. He felt immense peace in his belly, pride in his heart and satisfaction in his soul. He had done it.

Did he believe he could achieve it? Absolutely.

Did he doubt himself? Not any longer.

Now his focus was on what he had to do today that steadily moved him towards that bottle of beer on his deck, the reward he had chosen for his hard work. There was no longer room for doubt in his mind, it was too focused on what had to be done to take him to that moment. He was driven, he was excited and he was on his way.

I met him a couple of years later and he said, “I’m still on track for that bottle of beer” I thought that was fabulous. That single image had inspired this man through years of the struggle that is owning a business and making it successful.

Sometimes it’s just a nudge, finding a bit of confidence or self belief that you moves you from thinking about your options to taking the action required to bring them to life.

How are your beliefs shaping your future?

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What I learned about finance from T.Harv Ecker, Brian Tracy, and my Son

If only I had more money I could…..

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that, considered that and reflected on how different life would be today if only…. And I’m sure you’re the same.

But when we look back on our life, on all the things we’ve done, all the stuff we’ve bought and those moments of impulse spending, we can see how much we have wasted by being unorganised, unplanned and extravagant, (nothing wrong with being extravagant every once in a while) and maybe, it’s just me who sees the waste and inefficiency.

James Hunter, in his book, The Servant, writes about unhappy staff and how the request for more pay is often really a cry for recognition, community and about being heard, rather than the money itself. However money is tangible and is something we can point to as a signifier of our value.

I find his work really interesting however in this piece, I want to focus the practicality of money and some best management practices of it.

I have three resources to share with you. Each of which has their own unique wisdom and situation for use.

1. My Son

We were having a conversation about money, about how much money qualified one to be rich or poor. Our discussion evolved to equating money with the quality of a person’s life and what habits rich people have vs those of less well heeled. Then I said something that has stayed with both of us throughout the years:

‘Rich people save and poor people spend’

It’s not about the amount of money you have, it’s far more about what you do with it. If you spend your wages in the pub on a Friday night then you are poor, if you leave it in the bank you are rich! Because savings gives you options, with money in the bank you have the choice of how to spend it. You can spend it many times in your head and yet never touch the capital. Once it’s spent, it’s gone and all your options with it.

2. T Harv Ecker (from Secrets of the millionaire mind)

I used to think that the management of money would be deterred until I was in possession of money to manage. I’ve always saved a little but I never though I needed a strategy for the amount of money I had. Mr Ecker totally changed my thought and behaviour on this.

This book covers so much more than finance, and I recommend it highly. I’m only pulling out a tiny piece of its wisdom to share with you today.

Harv recommends learning to manage our money, regardless of the amount, because then we will be better able to manage it when we are in possession of a larger amount

Like me, I’m sure you’ve read of people who win the lottery, it used to be the football pools, and within a short time, they’re back to being broke again. All of it spent on things they have always wanted to own with no thought to the future.

If people learn to manage the small amount of money they have, they could perhaps handle a large windfall like a lottery win in such a way as to enable them to consistently live a more comfortable life.

There’s so more to this in the book, but the outline of the secret to money management is:

If you say there’s no way I can live on half of my income, teach this philosophy to your kids so that when they start working, and before they have fallen into the trap of spending what they earn, they can manage their money to build affluence. And maybe look at a 90/10 % split to start off with for yourself and work towards this ideal for how you manage your finances.

I started with a liking for the Luxury money portion– buying something for myself without feeling guilty. I also started a fun event with my son, where I introduced what we called “silly money” days– we’d have a day where we would buy something because we can, usually a game and we’d play it together that day. We didn’t do it often but I look back at the times we did with fond memories and laughter galore.

My favourite memory of this book was when I recommended it to a friend, who said, if it has the word secret or millionaire in it, I’ve read it. This reminded me of the struggle and searching we do for peace of mind around our finances and our ongoing search for financial freedom.

3. Brian Tracy

I have admired the work of Mr Tracy for many years and love the way he summarised his clever focus on money. Its four simple strategies:

  1. Earn as much as you can
  2. Spend as little as you can
  3. Save for a rainy day
  4. Insure against unexpected events

That’s it, some simple strategies for managing the money in your world, regardless of the amounts you have. This gives you some options to consider.

Of course, if you are having financial difficulties, please discuss your financial goals with a professional adviser, there’s no shame in that. I did it.

Money is one of the two most common excuses we use as to why we can’t something, why we’re not where we want to be. None of these strategies will change your financial situation overnight, but consistent application and the law of compound interest will change it over time.

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In Less Than 4 Weeks You Could Achieve Twice As Much In Half The Time

Right now, what is the number one thing that is preventing you from creating the business you need to support the lifestyle you want?

That’s a question I have asked many people over the years and I usually get one of two answers: people either say ‘I need more time’, or ‘I need more money.’

Time. Hmm, how do we get more of that?

Thinking back over the years; if I had all that time to live over again, would I do anything differently? I hate how much time I’ve wasted, how much time I spent firefighting, and how much time was spent faffing about.

Much of my life I wouldn’t change, although I could certainly make improvements. Would I risk and reflect more, would I plan more, would I relax more? It’s all very well being highly productive but we need to balance that with rest, relaxation and being kind to ourselves. When you’re tired in body and mind, you won’t ever be productive.

‘The way you do anything is the way you do everything,’

Tom Waits.

At the end of the day you are either really chuffed with yourself for what you have achieved or you are shattered because you didn’t do what you set out to.

And now you’re faced with two choices, either work late tonight or set the alarm and start early in the morning.

And then something strange happens, come tomorrow evening, you are faced with the same thing. Because you’ve formed a habit, a way of operating, that keeps you stuck in that unproductive loop.

Something needs to be different. You know this is not where you want to be but you are not sure how to change it. So you keep on doing what you’re doing and blaming time for your lack of productivity.

When things in your life need to change, it often means you need to change too and change makes us uncomfortable. However as the discomfort of your current situation rises, it reaches a tipping point, the point where you say to yourself, enough is enough.

You are now so uncomfortable where you’re at that you are now willing to do something about it. And that’s when change happens.

But for some, the level of discomfort where they’re at never outweighs the challenge of doing something about it and they struggle on; blaming time, money or something else for their lack of progress, productivity and results.

What could you do differently?

You could google time management tips and get overwhelmed by multitude of advice, options and suggestions that claim to help you get your life under control and tame this thing we call time.

Let’s face it though; time has been flowing without your intervention long before you, or even the human race arrived on the planet. It’s not something that can be managed.

Instead we can learn how to manage ourselves within the context of time. The least of which is planning the day better. Even better is to have a clear focus on what you want to get done each day and how that drives the achievement of your long term plans.

When your daily activities aren’t linked to your long term plans, your business will not grow and neither will you. I talk to people all the time who work hard every day but aren’t going anywhere.

If you work alone, there comes a time when you need to switch your thinking from doing the work to getting the work done. For example if you are an electrician, to encourage your business to grow you need to start thinking like the director of an electrical company.

That’s quite a shift and one that you may not think you’re ready for, but what if you are?
Just this one shift in your thinking can have a huge impact in how you use your valuable time, and can shift your results.

How do you manage yourself better within the context of time?

To answer that, it would be good to have the answers to these questions first.

  1. What is your long term vision for the company?
  2. Why is that really important for you?
  3. What targets can you set to take you there in stages starting with the next 3 months, 3 years, 5 years?
  4. How do you measure your success?
  5. What are the important tasks that must be done today to stay on target?

In considering these questions, remember these are your questions and your answers. The business needs to give you the life you want, not the life someone else is living that looks good from the outside. Shape your world and don’t let someone else do that for you.

To do this properly you need to give it time. You can return to your plan over and over again, give it room to breathe and grow.

You need to give it some time.

Then you can structure your day in such a way that you start seeing real progress towards something bigger, something better and something so exciting that when you wake up in the morning, you will be so eager to go to work, because you’re working on your future and your future now looks great. Because you took the time to create it and you know exactly where you are going.

There’s been no change in time, but there has been a huge change in the way you deal with it.

Posted in Business Blogs, Business Consultant, Business Development, Business Growth, Business Success, mi blog, mi view, Personal Development

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