More of this!

horizonachievementAs you come into the beginning of a space in time, a milestone marker on your journey, it's common to only set goals for the future. Talking and thinking about the things you need to change. Focusing your vision and intention on the future state so it can pull you forward. There is nothing wrong with this, and in fact I often recommend you do this on a daily basis. But during this time you can also take a moment to look behind you, rather than only focusing on things you want (future goals). Your wins from the past are just as important for your future as they show you clues on how to achieve your ultimate long term goals. Celebrate what you have achieved and add the actions you took to realize them to your future plans.

It's a simple shift of the mind to focus on what you did “right” rather than all of the failures or shortfalls. Heck, you will never be perfect and you will never be always right so expect to fall down and scrape your knees and expect to be wrong a time or two. It happens to everyone and it makes us all stronger.

I don't know if you ever watch TV or if you are a fan of reality shows. There are a couple that I find very intriguing and inspiring so I watch them from time to time. There is/was one show that had partners running around the world playing a time sensitive game. They had to follow clues and figure things out as they were racing forward (if you have been in business for more than 5 minutes you know what that is like).  There was no time to spend dwelling and contemplating as they had a great deal of ground to cover and they were racing against time. There are many lessons to learn from this game, but one of the key observations and morals of every contestant couples story, from the race winners to the first fall outs, is that they all had errors but they recovered. Even if those errors caused their elimination, they did not linger long on those. Just enough time to understand and move forward.

disintegration-1819860_1920They also learned very quickly what worked well. Each day, as they started the next leg of the journey, they focused on what worked and what each person's strength was.  The winning attitude they developed was to do more of what worked and try to keep the screw ups to a minimum.

So as you plan and adjust your sails for building your sustainable business, don't forget to look back and say “Yes! More of _____ !” Keep the positive and do more of that in the next leg of your journey. Sure, you can also try to keep the screw ups to a minimum.

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5 Tactics to get your business train movin’ on the tracks

train-781000_1920When you are building and running your own business and you have no staff to delegate to, it can feel a bit overwhelming at times. I don't think I am alone in this. I mean I can't be that unique an remarkable that I am the only one who still, after almost a decade as a solopreneur / entrepreneur, struggles with the plight of too much to do and not enough time to do it in. Or the underwhelm of boredom (yes, some tasks just bore me to tears). True, I have three companies, but I can coast one or two for a few days and still not miss a beat (thanks to the tools I use). But every once in a while it's as if I experience a train car pileup and I need to get the trains back on the track and moving forward.

You gotta' shovel the coal to keep the steam engine running. But yet, there are times when there seems to be to much to do or no enthusiasm to do it. What happens to me in those instances is that the feeling of drudgery sets in and motivation is, well, nowhere to be found. But you still have a business to conduct. It's not like there is a staff to take over while you are on a “mental break”. You need to keep things going forward right?

vias-784139_1280In business you never know “the” breakaway moment until it has already happened and for a sustainable business you need forward momentum.  Forward momentum is critical to company growth. It doesn't have to be fast, it can be slow and steady at times, just as long as you are moving forward. So what can you do in those times where you just feel like you have a list that can never be completed or you are just flat out bored with the tasks? How do you get things back on track and moving forward?

Here are five tactics I employ when I get in this predicament. I hope they will help you as well!

  1. Work on what matters the most at the time and make every effort to get that off of your list before you take on the next task. Some days, if all you could do is get one task done but it was completed and done very well, there is a great relief.
  2. Create a written list and rank order the tasks. Check off the task once it is done. I mean literally physically write it down with pieces of paper and a pen. There is a feeling of true satisfaction and a reward for getting it done and actually crossing it off the list.
  3. Organize the workspace. Either the digital one of the physical one. I find if I am feeling overwhelmed, chances are something around my work has gotten out of order or has gone to ciaos. I have a specific file folder on my computer, it's like my junk drawer. So I usually need to go in and delete or move files to their permanent location. I always feel better after purging and cleaning my disk space.
  4. Unless someone's life hangs in the balance,. don't be afraid to walk away for a few hours and do something completely different. Something you don't normally get the chance to do. Don't worry, what you need to get done will still be here when you get back, but you will be able to approach it with a fresh perspective.
  5. Create a game. I have played several games. One of my favorite ones I have task cards and I have organized my days around them when things get really backed up. I delegate a set amount of time (usually an hour)and sprint through as far as I can go then I move on to the next task card. This frees me up for having to “think” about it, I just Do It. Action creates a momentum of its own and before I know it, the day is done and I have hit on all of my priorities.

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Build your business on bedrock not sand

3500 to 2500 BC, the Megalithic Temples of Malta
3500 to 2500 BC, the Megalithic Temples of Malta

I place a great deal of emphasis on foundations in building a business. It's equally important for those just starting out as those already in business and maybe looking to rebuild. Personally, I know I function better if I have the basics in place and I know I am not alone. And yet, so many people go rushing out full tilt and they haven't taken the time to consider the basics. There are even those, with good intention, who would council others to just start taking action. Just jump in and start acting without too much strategy. In the long run, this is a disservice.

I get why they would encourage this. We all like to see results and the philosophy is that a person could get some fast action which would encourage the new business builder to stick with it longer if they get some fast “wins”. Who wouldn't like to get some fast wins. Heck we are all in it to win, so fast slow or anything in between are wins. But fast wins are short lived and eventually that mistake can catch up with you, but not until it has cost you dearly.

The allure of the fast win is that it can seem easy but if things get tough, and they always do, you might give up. That would be tragic. So why not avoid the hazards of playing fast and loose and invest in a little extra effort up front to make sure you build on a solid foundation. Then nothing can shake you. The rafters may quiver in the storms but the foundation will keep you standing.

So what are the foundation cornerstones you need to have for your sustainable business?

  • An unshakable vision of where you want to take your business because without it you are aiming at everything and anything.
  • You need to have a solid understanding of who you are and what you are about as a person as it relates to your business vision so that you are grounded.
  • What your purpose is and who you serve in business so you can align your actions appropriately.
  • Lastly, you need to have a plan to get you to where your vision is. It doesn't have to be a “set in stone” plan. But it should be solid enough to build on.

sand-867567_1920Sand castles and sculptures are pretty cool to look at, but they don't last. You can't build very big on shifting sands so if you want to go large and sustain your growth in business then take your time to set your foundation on rock.

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The Unshakable Vision

SnowflakeVisionThe very first step every Entrepreneur MUST take if they hope to be at all successful, is to create the unshakable vision for your dream future.

Stand up or risk falling

Have you ever heard the phrase “You have to stand for something or you will fall for anything”? In case you missed it before, let me introduce you to the phrase and the significance of its meaning for you in creating your ideal business lifestyle. No matter who you are or where you come from, if you are reading this article then the chance is that you have the same choices as any human being around you. No matter how low or how high up in society the person may be, we all have the same choice. We can choose to be led around by others, giving up our personal power and signing off our rights to aspire to greater things. Or, we can choose to make a stand for ourselves and create the life we envision.

Falling in line may seem like it is easy to do. Let someone else worry about all the details, all you have to do is show up and do the minimum to get by.  And it truly may be easy and feel like there is little to no resistance. You go in, do a little work, collect a paycheck, you may even get time off with pay and have your medical needs taken care of for you. Seems like a pretty sweet deal. Especially when you consider standing up for yourself means you may end up in the unknown and at times this can seem a bit frightening (and at times it is).  So we trade in our time and push someone else's dream forward. But what you have missed is the fact that you are, and always will be, just a cog in the wheel. Easily replaced, not critical to the vision, and in other words highly expendable.

Just when you think being complacent and numb just might work for you, the rug gets pulled and your balance is off. You were let go, laid off, down sized, right sized, divested, demoted, transferred, and any number of life altering actions taken that impact you greatly but you had no say in. Then it hits you, the real meaning of “You have to stand for something or you will fall for anything”.

You already have a vision, you just might not be aware of it.

You just realized you fell for the false security and sold yourself short. You had traded your vision for someone else's and you might not have even liked their vision. Heck you might have not been aware that you replaced any vision you may have had for yourself with the one the “company” gave you. At the very least, you let it control your destiny. They had guidelines for you and told you when you may or may not be promoted, what tasks you may or may not do, how much you were allowed to earn in pay. But don't worry. It's never too late (or too early) to take charge and create your own vision to stand for. And the best part, when it is done the right way, you can have a very strong personal vision while respecting  a company that may employ you for a time. It doesn't have to be all or nothing, you can have a solid unshakable vision for yourself and still work for someone else. After all, you may need that “angel funding” to help while your dream company gets its own legs.

It is so important to actively engage and create your own vision

So the first step you want to take, before you go any farther down any road, is stop and create your true unshakable vision. Notice that I stated that you need an actively engaged vision. One that you consciously created. I chose my words specifically and carefully. Your vision, like anyone else's vision, is yours alone. We are all here to do something, to bring something forward for others and only you know what that is. We are all able to make the world a better place and create our own wealth in the process. But the vision of what that is and how we live in it is unique to every person. We can all go through the same steps to creating an unshakable vision, but the vision itself won't be the same for any two people.

It's like snowflakes. 07f7dd2fa6755993ffb478aeccda6d29

The vision you need to get clear about for you is what you want for your life. You make it so real that you can feel as if you were already there.

P.S. If you want help in the process of designing your Unshakable Vision, check out the self paced guided workshop I created for you.

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