Monday, December 27, 2010

The New Year

As this year comes to an end and the new year begins, it's time to reflect, complete, celebrate and most importantly plan.  It is time to envision what you want for yourself in 2011.
What do you want for your life this year?  I hope you are thinking in terms of more prosperity and abundance!
It's time to plan for success!  Create new habits of thought connected to new patterns of action.  What is your vision?  What do you see for yourself and your business?  What is worth working for?  Are you ready to live more positively?  more focused and energized?
Take a look at some key areas of your life.  Before you can write the plan, you must have the vision and set some goals.   Goal setting is a power play towards achieving success.
Did you know that effective goals setters usually suffer from less stress and anxiety, concentrate and focus better, show more self-confidence, perform better in all areas of their life and are generally happier and more satisfied with life!
There is such a HUGE payoff to setting goals.  It conditions you for success.  The process of setting and achieving goals, gives you confidence in your ability to achieve higher and more challenging goals later on.
So as this new year begins its approach, decide what you want to do with your life and what large scale goals you want to achieve.  Look at some key areas such as:
Personal Growth- how will you develop on a personal level?  How will you fuel your passions?
Career - Are you where you want to be?  Are you doing what you want to be doing?  How will you bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be professionally?
Education - What knowledge would you like to acquire or what area of study would you like to pursue?  What information and skills do you need to have to achieve your 2011 goals?
Family - How do you want your partner or family members to see you?  What impact would you like to make on those relationships?
Financial - What are your short term and long term goals regarding earning, saving and investing?  What are this years goals?  What are the goals for next 5 and 10 years, in your lifetime?
Physical - Are there athletic goals you want to achieve or do you simply want to be healthy?  What steps are you taking to get there?
Pleasure - How do you plan to enjoy life?  Yes, plan to enjoy life!  Ensure that some of your life and your goals are geared towards making yourself happy for no reason other than being happy.
Service - How can you make the world a better place by your existence?  What can you do to give back and help others?
As I write this, I am filled with excitement and anticipation regarding the new year and all it will bring.  What I don't feel is fear.   I made a decision a long time ago to no longer allow fear to cut me off from my own destiny.  I knew if I was going to live up to my own life purpose then I had to stop letting fear get in my way of my own success.
Fear is the reason why so many of us do not live up to our fullest potential.  Fear will stop the abundant and positive flow of energy that is trying to flow to you in your life, your work and your relationships.   Don't let fear interfere with all the goals you are going to be setting.   Instead of fear, tell yourself you will trust.  You see, trust is the antidote for fear.
Let's declare 2011 as the year of Fearless Living.  Isn't it time to take that leap of faith and create a life by design rather than by default?
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fuel Your Passion, Ignite Your Profits

Passion is something within you that provides the continual enthusiasm, focus and energy you need to succeed.  True passion does not come from those “feel good” emotions you get from external sources, it comes from within, an almost spiritual force.
The word enthusiasm comes from the Greek word entheos, which means “to be filled with God.”  When you are filled with spirit, you are naturally inspired and passionate.  Sometimes that passion expresses itself in a dynamic and energetic way and other times it expresses itself in a more peaceful and calm way.
Passionate people are enthusiastic about life and work.  They can’t wait to get up in the morning and get started.  They are eager and energetic.  They are filled with purpose and totally committed to their mission.  They enjoy what they do!
Create a plan for your business that incorporates the passions you have for life.  Let your Marketing Plan include people and places that you want to do business with.  Without identifying what you are passionate about,  you might find yourself  "a little asleep at the wheel."
Passion is a powerful tool for success and deserves to be an area you consistently work on.  Passion makes your days fly by!  It helps you get more done in less time.  It helps you make better decisions.  And it attracts others to you.
Spend more time doing what you love to do.  Discover and reconnect with your purpose for doing anything that you do.  Realize everything is a choice.  And when those choices are connected to your purpose that’s when your enthusiasm will build.
Here are some thoughts to explore:
How can you develop and maintain a passion for the most important areas of your life?
How do you know when you have a true passion and purpose for something?
When you express your passion and enthusiasm, you will become a magnet to others, who will be attracted to your level of energy.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Discover Your Best Self

This means something different to all of us.  But one thing remains true, in order to understand your life's purpose, you must first come to understand yourself.  In order to achieve success in life, career and relationships you need to discover your best self!  That allows you to live your best life!
Living your best life means understanding and living out your life's purpose.  It means creating harmony within all parts of your life.  It involves more celebrating and less worrying.  It's joyful not stressful.  Your best self thrives when you are living your best life.
It all sounds so easy doesn't it?  But how to get there?  How do we discover our best self?  First, we have to make the decision to look for her.  Then we have to make a commitment - a life long commitment to the discovery because your best self is not a destination - it's a journey.
To help guide your journey to Discover Your Best Self, consider the following as part of your road map:
Choose Happiness - Be happy for no reason.  Create a state of peace and well being that isn't dependent on external circumstances.  When you are happy for no reason you bring happiness to your outer experiences rather than trying to extract happiness from them.   Live from happiness, rather than for happiness.
Own Your Happiness - Accept that being happy is up to you and that you have the ability and the power to be happier by changing your habits.  Respond to people and events in your life in a way that supports your happiness.
Appreciate Your Trials - The tough times in our life often become the blessings in our life.  Those tough times make us grow up, it develops our character.  Your most difficult times in life are usually the foundation for everything good in your life.
Have a Thankful Attitude - Be grateful!  Appreciate what you have rather than complain about what you don't have.  Gratitude is your ability to show thanks.  Consider everything you have, everything you get to do as a gift.  It will allow you to receive more.
Have a Positive Attitude - Your attitude belongs to you and only you.  No one can make you have a bad day.  To be your best self - look for the best in others and in every situation.  Think in terms of possibilities rather than problems.
Stop Complaining - It won't fix anything.  Complaining is a garbage magnet!  All you do is call more complaining and negativity into your life.  You can not be your best self if you are always focused on negativity.
Make Peace with Yourself - You can only know your best self when you make peace with yourself.  We all have things in our past that didn't go so well.  Blaming yourself robs you of happiness.  Make peace with yourself, free up your energy and accept yourself for who you are.
Celebrate Your Birthday - Celebrate your birthday in a big way every year!  The day you were born was an awesome day and should be celebrated!  It is not just another day.  It is your day.  It is a celebration of life and life is a gift.  Express gratitude for it.  Recognize all the wonderful things that make you uniquely you on the one day a year that is all about you!
Don't Be Ruled by Guilt - We are not built for guilt.  Haven't you noticed how yucky you feel when you allow guilt into your life.  Our system doesn't handle it so well.  How much time do we waste on feeling guilty.  Instead of feeling guilty, make good decisions and have confidence in your ability to do so.
Do What You Love and Love What You Do - What makes your heart expand?  What makes your soul sing?  Don't allow yourself to be so busy going through the motions of the day that you don't pay attention to what truly brings you joy.
Spend Time With Yourself - How can you be your best self if you don't know anything about yourself?  Claim 30 minutes a day as your own time to be with your thoughts. Perhaps read a book or meditate.
Practice Forgiveness - To be your best self you can not walk around angry at someone.  Practice forgiveness.  You can't be truly happy until you forgive.  Feeling hatred, anger and resentment toward someone who wronged you is not a way of punishing them.  It is punishing you and holding you back.
Respect Your Body - Nourish it properly.  You can not solve all your problems by eating happy meals!  Energize your body.  Get out and move around. Exercise regularly.  Love your Body.  Stop looking in the mirror and pointing out all of the things you don't like and wish you could change.  Come to love yourself for who you are and stop focusing on what you aren't.
Filter Out the Negative - Learn to filter out negativity in all its forms.  Negative thoughts, negative words and negative people.  Surround yourself with people you admire, with people who believe in you and want you to be your best self.
Being yourself takes time, courage, commitment and faith.  It is a process of letting go of many false beliefs that we have picked up along the way.  To be your best self means ultimately to love yourself.  You are a wonderful creation.  You can be, do and have anything you want and I want only the best for you!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

You become what you think, so think positive!

You have the power to think and be positive and the power to think and be positive will change your life.  People who think positively can see potential in even the most challenging and discouraging situations. In contrast, people who think negatively usually only see the problems and limitations in any situation rather than the solutions.
Negative thinking distorts reality.  Your ability to think negatively or positively is a choice.  When you see things through the glasses of negativity it is impossible to create rational solutions.  Problems seem bigger and harder to get through than they really are.  You begin to feel like nothing can go right.  Negative thinking becomes negative talk and negative actions.  You can not attract good things into your life with bad thoughts.
The alternative is to tap into the power of positive thinking.  That's a choice too!  Understand your thoughts and beliefs and allow positivity, happiness and optimism to be your focus.  When your thoughts are limited, your beliefs are limited and so are your actions.  Until you make positive thinking a way of being, doing and having you will always experience a disconnect in your life, your work, your relationships and in your ability to fulfill your very purpose.
To start living the life of your dreams,  you only need to do one thing ... change your state of mind.
Believe that you have the power to create the results that you want in your life - in large part to the way you respond to the events that are occurring in your life.  Good things are yours to have and nothing is impossible if you have faith and believe in that the Universe is here to support you.
Don't let anyone else stop your flow of positive thoughts.  Protect them and your ability to be positive from the negative thoughts of others.  Don't let anyone else's limited thinking limit you.  Always focus on the solutions and sometimes the very blessings to come from any challenges.
Being positive is a choice, and it requires practice and dedication to the process.  Train your mind to think positively in every situation.  Train your thoughts to be kind and supportive, especially to yourself.   Train your voice to always speak with positivity and encouragement to others.  Focus on all the things in your life that are good because what you focus on expands.  Express gratitude for what you have rather than discontent for what you don't have.
Think highly of yourself!  The world takes you at your own estimate!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Is your list too long?

How do you know what to do first?  How many things can one person do in a day?  Well, many successful people have mastered the ability to get more done by doing less!
It’s a well established fact that the average person cannot successfully handle more than six or seven things in their minds at one time. Yet, we try to do it all the time. One simple method will help … write it down!
This will do more than just create a to-do list. Writing things down is the process of down loading.
The strategy is to keep a short list in order to narrow down what’s truly important to do each day. And writing things down helps you summarize the details and envision the tasks already done.
The next step is to rank those six items in order of their importance. Anxiety can be caused when we have too many things on our minds or when we feel our “plate is full”.
Once you have the list, develop your focus and only keep one thing in the forefront of your mind – the task at hand.
Is it possible, that if you create this list the night before, you might even sleep better? Your subconscious mind will work on preparing you for the tasks of the next day while you sleep. You will find yourself waking up not only refreshed from a good night’s sleep, but also with great ideas for accomplishing the day’s tasks.
Don’t assume that the list will allow you to accomplish 12 hours of work in an 8 hour day. Know your limitations. The goal is to have a smooth-flowing productive day, not a day crammed with so much activity that you have nothing left to give your personal life. After all, why work hard to earn an incredible income if your health will be too poor to enjoy it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Overnight Success

Is it possible to just be in the right place at the right time and boom're an overnight sensation? ... an instant success?
Hmm ... probably not.  The belief that success can happen over night is a myth.   Please don't buy into the images of success you see in the media when you look at athletes, entertainers and highly successful entrepreneurs.  All we see when we look at those individuals is their status, their current level, their income and their fame.  Rarely ever do we stop and think or even try to acknowledge the long road they had to travel to get to this moment in time.
Success takes time and it takes patience.  It also takes hard work, practice and a vision of what is to be achieved in the long term.   When we admire some one's success, or even our own, we often focus on the end result and not so much on the effort (and time) that it took to get there.  We begin to develop unrealistic expectations, and some of us even assume that "they must be lucky!".
Luck has absolutely nothing to do with it!  To make it today, you have to have a "no quit" attitude!  Being successful doesn't mean you have to be a superstar, it just means you have to remain committed to your goals.   Be consistent in your efforts, stick to it and over time you will see results. Failure only exists in the minds of people who quit.
Success is built on a foundation of bricks called "little events and achievements".  Sometimes these small achievements can seem to take an eternity and those little events often include a few disappointments along the way.   They can challenge everything about you to the core - your stamina, courage, integrity, and even your willingness to keep going.
But if you focus on what's not working, you will likely become frustrated as your mind wraps around all that is wrong.   You may even have negative thoughts like "I'm not good enough," "It will never work," or "Something must be wrong with me."
The key is to focus on what IS working.Celebrate every step along the way.  Recognize your growth as future milestones.  A simple practice to help you keep your focus and record these smaller accomplishments might be to maintain a journal.  It is a great way to steer your attention to the positive and continually renew your vision for yourself.   Start each day with reflections on what you are grateful for in your life (list them out!) and end each day with notes on what went right (again, write them down), however small they may seem.
So what happens when you have done all that and you are still not seeing results?  I'll ask you then, are you taking real action? In order to achieve your goals and feel the success you wish to define for yourself you must understand it's not what you say that will get you there, it's what you do!
Now, you may be taking the actions you are used to taking.  But if you keep doing what you've already done, then you'll keep getting what you've always gotten. It's a matter of practicing some new behaviors. Shake things up a bit and see if you can take new actions or modify existing ones.
Every day do five specific things that will move you closer to your goals.  Change up the five actions regularly and be open to feedback so you know when you're off course.
It's natural to underestimate how long a certain goal can take, especially a profound one.  Patience is a virtue.  But keep at it, and in no time, you'll be only one week, or one day away from your ultimate success.
Be GRATEFUL, reflect on what IS working and continue to take ACTION!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

22 Ways to Generate New Leads!

Generating new and constant leads should always be the #1 priority of every business owner.   It is how you support the continued growth and prosperity of your business.  
Without the ability to meet new people and create a constant flow of leads where will your next business opportunity come from?  
New customers or leads are everywhere and you can never get enough!  You come in contact with so many people every day and who knows who those people know!  You can find ways to generate new leads everyday, as long as you make it a priority.   Face it, if you don’t think about it or plan for it, it doesn't happen.  
But, lead generation doesn't have to be something you turn on and off .  It is as easy as saying hello to the person behind you on line at the grocery store.  It can be fun and easy, just be yourself and look to create connections with new people wherever you go.  It can happen quite organically.  Yes it can be as easy as striking up a conversation there are also lots of creative ways to increase your market.  Here is a list of 22 out of the box ways to help you generate more leads and grow your business: 
1.  Be visible everywhere you go and be sure your company name is too.  Wear a name tag or clothing with your company's logo as often as you can. 
2. Make a habit of staying in touch with past clients.  Call them to "check in" – thank them for their business.  Find ways to keep in touch in order to build relationships.  It is much easier to ask  for referrals when you speak to your customers more frequently. 
3.  Take a look at some of the other professionals you know.  Who can you partner up with when it comes to marketing?  Who has a business that pairs well with yours?  If you are essentially marketing to the same people why not work together and create special events to attract new customers.
4.  Attend seminars and workshops that will not only provide you with personal & professional growth but will also give you an opportunity to meet new people.  These new connections can result in new customers and referrals.   Business building seminars will have other professionals in attendance and that can lead to new connections for referrals and additional co-marketing opportunities.   
5.  Participate in Trade Shows/Home Shows  as a vendor to promote your business but also make a plan to attend them as well.  You will meet tons of people at events like these! 
6.  Host client parties with the purpose being to say "Thank you.  I appreciate your business."   Your customers will feel special, they will want to continue to support you & you WILL be thought of the next time they hear of someone looking for the service or product you offer.   Client parties can be done as small intimate groups periodically throughout the year or as big customer appreciation events.  The ideas and themes are endless ... host a summer bbq, tea party, ice cream social, brunch, wine & cheese,  holiday party …. Whatever your budget allows!
7.  Attend Networking events, but keep a few things in mind.  First, choose the right ones.  Many mixers and networking events can be fun, but always validate your time there by asking  "Am I making valuable contacts with the right people?"  Second thing to keep in mind, don’t just show up, engage!   Make connections with people, be yourself, have fun, make small talk then discuss what you each do for a living.  Make genuine connections before you start passing out all of your business cards.  
8.  Host your own networking event!  You know lots of other professionals.  (Probably from all the other mixers you go to!)  Choose the people you really want to get to know better.  Keep the number small, maybe 10 or 12 so you can really spend time talking with each other.  Choose the people who can really impact your business.   Have a mixer of your own, hold it at your office, home or local restaurant.  This is a great way to learn more about each other’s business and how you can refer work to each other.  As the host, you will be sure to have the stage for a portion of the night so everyone there will get to learn about what you do.
9.  Give back to the community and attend Community events.  Join Civic groups such as the Lions  Club, Kiwanis, or church, etc.  Get involved or become a sponsor.  You will usually have a way to advertise your business & people will have an opportunity to see you in a positive light!
10.  Get in the habit of  ASKING  for Business!  Expect business when you give business.  Don't be shy about handing 5 business cards to your hairdresser or dry cleaner and saying something like, "I appreciate your service and always look forward to coming here.  I am a business owner too.  Here are some of my cards.  Would you be willing to share my name with your friends as I often do the same for you."
11.  Become an expert and show what you know to others.  Share your knowledge.  You can write a blog, or an article in a paper, magazine or online version of the same.  When you can become a trusted resource of information pertaining to what you do, your customers and potential customers will see a deeper value in doing business with you.
12.  Sponsor or create informational and FREE seminars for people.  For example if you are a Realtor, put together a Home Buyers Seminar.  Share valuable information that will let these prospective clients know you are the right choice to do business with.  Give yourself even more leverage and invite other professionals from industries that also relate to first time home buyers like mortgage lenders, home inspectors, moving professionals and stagers.  By inviting these professionals to speak at the seminar (even if it's only for 10 or 15 minutes each) will also deepen the professional relationship between you and them. 
13.  Create reasons and opportunities to call people in your data base.  For example, special invites to some of the events we mentioned or to share newsworthy info, even just to remind them to change their clocks! (that's always a good one because they will hear from you at least twice a year!)   
14.  Hold monthly or quarterly prize giveaways.  Post a trivia question on your Facebook page or email it or include it in your newsletter.  When it comes time to notify the winner, Call them!  It's a reason to speak!  
15.  Create and send a newsletter to everyone in your database on a quarterly or monthly basis.   Share valuable tips and ideas, don't just make it a sales pitch.  You might also ask other vendors to contribute to your newsletter with their own articles and information.  Co-marketing can be great!
16.  Set a daily goal to exchange business cards with at least 5 people.  
17.  Look for Free radio spots to promote yourself.  You can be an in studio guest or call into a show to provide tips, information or ideas that support and enlighten what you do for a living.
 18.  Offer to be a guest speaker at business meetings.  This is a great way to show what an expert you are and promote your services in an in-direct way.
 19.  Use Social Media to expand your reach.  Not sure how?  Find someone who can help you.
20.  Have a great website and be sure to update it regularly.  Provide valuable information in addition to solid marketing.
21.  Create video blogs, instead of the usual written blogs and emails.  You can start your own You Tube channel to host these blogs and you can also link tehm  to your social media sites like Facebook as well as your website.  Be creative, mix valuable information about your service or product as well as entertain and delight.  So for example, if you own a cafe, don't just say please join us for lunch.  Instead, video the prep and cooking of one of the lunch specials!
22.  Provide good service.  Be professional at all times and always respectful.   Think of your clients needs and deliver what they expect.  Treat them the way you would expect to be treated.  Clients will be loyal to what you represent.  Remember that professionalism extends past business hours too, so be sure to always be consistent in your behavior even when the customers aren't around. 
When it comes to growing your business and developing a marketing plan do what feels right and do what will move you closer to your goals.  And also think without fear, without limits and try new things – think out of the box… today to be successful – you must stand out from all the rest! 
Modest actions = Modest results
Not one of these ideas alone will work to grow your business.  You need to diversify your marketing approach and try multiple things to cast a bigger net and gain more customer leads.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Don't be anti-social

Any business who does not have social media as a part of their marketing plan today is quite possibly committing professional suicide. 
I know it is a strong statement.  But think about it for a minute.  Social media is not the next big thing, it is the here and now.  Face it, we live in a social media world.  It is not the future, it is today.  
Social media provides entrepreneurs and businesses with an opportunity to communicate and engage with existing customers like we have never had before.  It also provides us with a way to meet and attract new customers all at the same time. 
Statistics don't lie, according to  online users spend 22.7% of their time on social networking sites.  That’s twice as much time as we spend on any other online activity.  Consider where people are getting their news today.  More and more, it’s not through direct sources like USA TodayThe New York Times, or TV broadcasts, but through social networks.  True for me, I learned about the BP Oil Spill, the death of Steinbrenner and Michael Jackson all from Facebook first.
Face it, we live in a social media world.   So why shouldn't social media and a strategic plan to use it be a part of everyone's marketing plan today?   Industry is social.  In the future, every company, no matter how small or how big, will be influenced and impacted by social media internally or externally.  
The Internet represents one of the biggest shifts in how we do business and social media provided an additional movement.   An entrepreneur or business should be working to create and develop a personal brand regardless of how you deliver it.  It can be done through various ways - online, blogging, tweeting, posting ... but one thing to keep in mind is consistency.  Show up the same way in all ways.
Another thing to consider when developing your online brand especially on social networking sites like Facebook is to show up as a person first and sell second.  If you want to sell wine, teach people how to select it, buy it, and serve it first.  Provide value and you will build customer loyalty. 
Success in social media is about how you build relationships.   Same rules apply online as they do in "real life" .  The way you "show up" on Facebook for example should be the same way you would act in the office or at that mixer you go to once a month. 
For a business to gain credibility in social media - it requires a degree of sweat equity.  You need to put the time in to interact with others online.  Build rapport that leads to relationships.  Be dedicated to the process.  The interesting thing about social media especially Facebook is that it provides a valuable marketing opportunity.  It is a tool in your kit to continue conversations on line with the people you meet in the real world who with time can become valued customers.  It allows you to be where the people are.   In this case, there is something to be said for the statement, "Everybody's doing it".   Facebook alone has over 540 million registered users, chances are the people you want to do business with are there too, right?
During the workshops I teach regarding social media sites like Facebook, I talk about the importance of using these sites to deepen professional relationships.  However, I caution you to maintain a balance of time when networking online.  You want to use social media to support your marketing efforts not sabotage your productivity.  And it should never replace the importance of face to face marketing and networking.  A business can not be developed and grown by never leaving your office.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Time - Friend or Foe?

Time … the word & the concept of it gets more attention in our daily life than most world news.  It seems we can’t stop talking about it, almost obsessing over it.  How many “times” a day do you find yourself looking for more time, scheduling time, taking time, managing time, wanting time, blocking time …
Our relationship with time  is somewhat tumultuous.  We seem to always want to control time and why not?   Time itself is a man-made concept dating back to the Mayans.  They created the calendar by calculating the length of the Earth’s orbit around the sun.  And ever since then society has been measuring time in years, months, weeks, days, hours, and even seconds.  We have spent centuries trying to control time in order to save time and have more of it all at once.
What’s your relationship with time?  How balanced is it?  Do you have enough of it?  Do you want more of it?  Do you work together in harmony or is time working against you, one minute it’s a friend and the next a foe?
Well all relationships are based on our ability to give and take.  There must be mutual respect.  Don’t expect to have time on your side if you are always abusing it and using it as a scapegoat.  You know what I mean.  How many times have you used time as an excuse to get out of something?    “Oh, I would love to but I really don’t have time for that right now.”
You can improve your relationship with time and in turn make more room for your dreams to become a reality.  Now don’t get nervous, I understand your concern.  You’re thinking, “Yes, I have lots of ideas and dreams, but I don’t have the time ….”  Wait a minute, didn’t I say that you can improve your relationship with time AND have your dreams be a reality?
The first thing we do is run to our calendar or blackberry and search for the time slot we need to work on our new projects or dreams.  We begin blocking and planning and listing.  We are diligent in our efforts for as long as our “time” allows.  Then other things come up and once again we are cursing and chasing time.
Perhaps there is something else.  Maybe something was missing.  Perhaps it’s you.  Do you have time for you first?   I am going to ask you to consider turning your life upside down.  I want to show you how to live a little more from your passion and a little less from your calendar.  Practice using passion as your barometer.
If you have a passion – an intense, driving desire, feeling or conviction for something you WILL make the time for it.  So if you are asked to do something and your first response is “I don’t have time for that.”  take a step back and think about whether that is true or not or is it because you just don’t want it bad enough?  Isn’t it true, that when you are doing what you love, who really cares about the time?
Passion is an important element of success.  It is also a time saver!  When you are doing what you love doesn’t it get done faster than doing the things you need or must do?
You can be in control of your time and your life but it does require a few things:
1.  Clarity – It is important to have a clear picture of what you want and need and what you are trying to accomplish.
2.  Prioritize Each Day – Having a daily to-do list is something important to do first before you start scheduling on your calendar.  But the to-do list alone is not enough and sometimes the list can become very long and very overwhelming which may eat away at our passion.  So once you have the to-do list, prioritize the top 5 things that must get done today to move you closer to your goals based on your clarity or clear vision of what you want to accomplish.
3.  Develop a Sense of Time – In other words know when to get things done.  Having a good understanding of this means recognizing both internal and external circumstances.  Internal meaning you, for example when are you most productive?  Morning?  Afternoon?  Try to schedule as many of your top priorities during your high energy times.  External meaning your environment.  Are there people and places you need to work with or within in order to accomplish your goals?  Then take time to understand their peak times as well.  Part of your effective use of time and creating ease in your life includes deciding when would be the best time to get things done.
4.  Just say No – When you don’t have to do something and you don’t want to do something, why are you doing it?  Practice saying no with grace and ease.  Pain and discomfort come from the resistance to something , not the release of it.  Do you resist saying no?  Take the pressure off yourself.  If it makes you feel better, say “no, thank you”!
5.  Using resources – This is a powerful time saver.  If you don’t know something or where to find it – ask someone who does.  Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.
Time to live!  Time IS on your side.  Be a friend to it!  Use it wisely.  The way you spend your time is what really matters because the way you spend your time is how you live your life.  In order to feel truly abundant, to feel the richness of your own life you need to be able to do some of the things you want to do when you want to do them.    The clock is always ticking so be sure your time is quality time spent.  The better you are at this the better your life will be.

Don’t Put it Off

Beating Procrastination
If you’ve found yourself putting off important tasks over and over again, you’re not alone. In fact, many people procrastinate to some degree – but some are so chronically affected by procrastination that it stops them fulfilling their potential & disrupts their careers.
The key to controlling this habit is to recognize when you start procrastinating, understand why it happens and take active steps to manage your time and outcomes better.
What is Procrastination?  In a nutshell, you procrastinate when you put off things that you should be focusing on right now, usually in favor of doing something that is more enjoyable or that you’re more comfortable doing.
How to Overcome Procrastination
Step 1: Recognize That You Are Procrastinating – If you’re honest with yourself, you probably know when you’re procrastinating. Here are some useful indicators that will help you know when you’re procrastinating:
  • Filling your day with low priority tasks from your To Do List.
  • Reading e-mails several times without starting work on them or deciding what you’re going to do with them.
  • Sitting down to start a high-priority task, and almost immediately going off to make a cup of coffee or do something else.
  • Leaving an item on your To Do list for a long time, even though you know it’s important.
  • Regularly saying “Yes” to unimportant tasks that others ask you to do, and filling your time with these instead of getting on with the important tasks already on your list.
  • Waiting for the “right mood” or the “right time” to tackle the important task at hand.
Step 2: Work Out WHY You’re Procrastinating
Why you procrastinate can depend on both you and the task. But it’s important to understand which of the two is relevant in a given situation, so that you can select the best approach for overcoming your reluctance to get going.
One reason for procrastination is that people find a particular job unpleasant, and try to avoid it because of that. In reality, the best way of dealing with these is to get them over and done with quickly, so that you can focus on the more enjoyable aspects of the job.
Another reason might be disorganization.  Organized people tend to procrastinate much less,  because they will have things like prioritized to-do lists & schedules which emphasize how important the work is, and their due dates. They will also plan how long a task will take to do and when they need to get started in order to avoid it being late. Organized people also know how to break the work down into manageable “next steps”.
Even if you’re organized, you can feel overwhelmed by the task. You may doubt that you have the skills or resources you think you need, so you seek comfort in doing tasks you know you’re capable of completing. You may also fear success as much as failure. For example, you may think that success will lead to you being swamped with more requests to do this type of task, or that you’ll be pushed to take on things that you feel are beyond you.
Perfectionists are sometimes guilty of procrastinating.  They might think “I don’t have the right skills or resources to do this perfectly now, so I won’t do it at all.”
One final major cause of procrastination is not being able to decide what to do, so you’re likely to put off taking action in case you do the wrong thing.
Step 3: Adopt Anti-Procrastination Strategies
Procrastination is a habit – a deeply ingrained pattern of behavior. That means that you won’t just break it overnight. Habits only stop being habits when you have persistently stopped practicing them, so use as many approaches as possible to maximize your chances of beating procrastination. Some tips will work better for some people than for others, and for some tasks than others. And, sometimes, you may simply need to try a fresh approach to beat the “procrastination peril”!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Wheel

Spinning wheel …
What pictures and thoughts come to mind when you hear “the wheel of life” or “spinning wheel”? 
Are you thinking about how the world is always turning as we move through it?  Or are you thinking more like a coach and picturing the different parts of your life that should balance together to make up the whole?  Or …is the image that comes to mind the little wheel found in a hamster’s cage and you’re in it running non stop!
Do you ever feel as though you’re stuck on the treadmill of day-to-day life, just going through the motions?  Your success is directly proportional to the degree you’re growing and learning, yet you may find yourself so caught up in the mundane tasks of living that you neglect your personal growth and the growth of your business.
By consciously deciding to take small steps toward both personal growth and building your business, you’ll make daily progress toward your goals.
Success and personal fulfillment are really just a matter of being disciplined enough to do a little bit on a daily basis.   I bet, most of what you need to do falls into two categories: working on yourself and talking to people.  
Here are some small steps you can take every day that will, over time, make a huge difference in your personal life and in the life of your business.
1.  Spend 15 minutes focusing on your goals.  This is your opportunity to review the big picture of why you do what you do and how you’re going to realize your vision.  Think in terms of personal and professional goals – short and long-term.
2.  Spend 30 minutes a day on your professional growth and education.  Divide up your week and spend some time reading trade specific magazines or articles found on specific websites that offer information and knowledge on the industry you work in.  On the other days of the week read articles that will help in other areas of your personal and professional development.  Don’t like to read as much?  Why not listen to webinars and books on CD.
3.  Read even just ten pages of a good book.   Whether you choose to read literature or a self-help book, reading broadens your horizons and gives you food for thought.  Reading “for fun” is also a great way to enjoy a break and a little “me time”.
4.  Set a goal to grow your database and find opportunities to gain new leads every day.  Get out and meet and greet!  Set a goal to exchange business cards with 5 people each week and offer your business opportunity to at least 2 warm prospects per week. 
5.  Follow up every day!  If you are meeting new people every day than you should always have people to follow-up with everyday!
You don’t need to overwhelm yourself with the work you do every day.  But  you do need to have a plan and time block for the activities that will help you not only be productive but successful and consistent.  
If you can incorporate these 5 tips into your routine on the days you do work, these are the activities that will make you a superstar!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Referrals Rule!

Three Ways to Get More Referrals
  1. Leave your house.
  2. Ask for them.
  3. Expect them.
Sounds easy, doesn’t it?  Well it might be simple but for some of you it may not come as easy.  But those three factors are probably at the core of understanding how to get more referrals for your business. 
I believe that sales is a contact sport!  That means you have to make contact with someone in order to sell them something!  Be pro-active and look to make connections.  Seek opportunities & events that will lead to those connections.  Your ability to connect with people & network to build relationships will have the biggest impact on your business.  It will always lead to more referrals.  Now I know you can do a lot of “networking” on-line today however nothing will generate more business than the face to face contact you make with people. 
Devote time each week to getting out & doing just that.  Whether it is to attend an event dedicated to networking or just participating in life!  Community & social events can prove to be great opportunities to promote yourself & your business.  But, please don’t “sell” while you are networking!  The key to success in sales is to understand that you must build relationships first.
Be your genuine self.  Enjoy the people & the atmosphere you are in.  People will always do business with people they like, so show them your personality first!  Volunteering is a great way to give back as well as meet new people.  When others see you in such a positive light they will want to get to know you & that will give you an opportunity to talk about what you do & offer your services to them.
And most importantly have confidence & belief in yourself & your business!  Believe in yourself and the world will believe in you too! 
Be confident, ask for referrals!  Expect them!   There is truth in the saying, “ask and you shall receive”!  Especially ask for business where you give business.  For example, your hair dresser, your trainer, your auto mechanic, banker, accountant, insurance agent … you are giving all of these individuals your business; are you asking for theirs?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

It's not business as usual.

Right now, during these times it is not really “Business as usual”.  It is more about staying flexible during change.  Easier said than done, right?  Not really.  As long as you have the right mindset!
What you think of yourself will always be true.  Now more than ever to survive in business you must think of yourself as stretchable, expandable and able to adapt to anything new.   Who wants to view themselves as static, inflexible and unable to adapt anyway?  Periods of change can be unpredictable as the recent economic events of the last 18 months has shown us.  I’m sure you have found yourself needing to learn to adapt to changes that you were not able to anticipate. 
Some of the things you have always done may not work for you today.  In order to stay flexible and thrive rather than just survive in your business, try to follow these new ideas and guidelines:
1.  Establish more short-term goals.  While I always think it’s important to establish big goals, I think now is the time to “chunk it down” and learn to establish more short-term goals in shorter time spans to help you better accomplish the long-term goal(s).  In changing times it’s best not to think too far ahead of yourself.   Focus on goals and tasks that can be accomplished in the immediate future.   That way you can achieve measurable and attainable results, instead of abandoning your mission because of ever-changing circumstances. 
2.  Work when you feel inspired.  Learn to get more done when you feel that burst of energy, inspiration and creativity.  I have heard this referred to as the “blitz mentality” .  Complete tasks with intense periods of creative output that produce concrete results.  That way we have measurable outcomes that motivate and inspire us to continue our work and, in the process, better embrace change.
3.  Focus on team efforts.  You know the saying.  There is strength in numbers.  Well this may be true when working on your business.  Seek out others who have similar goals and aspirations.  Talk to those who seem to be thriving and doing well today.  Working with others in a Mastermind group or coaching group can provide you with support and motivation to move you closer to your goals.  
4.  Plan for change.  The most important strategy for staying flexible during change is to prepare for it!  If you understand that change happens and you create a plan for each possible circumstance, you might be more  prepared to engage change in any way that might affect your business.  This gives you more flexibility, greater confidence, and makes you more likely to be successful.