5 Goals to Achieve This Year

If y0u’re up for it — I am going to push the envelope a little today and actually give you five goals to try to achieve by the end of the year.

Remember you are never going to know if you are capable of something if you don’t take that first step.

1. Go small

This may be a big one to start with but here goes-Downsize.  Look at all aspects of your business whether that includes employees, vendors or service providers.  If you find that there is a way for ONE provider to handle multiple jobs than cut back.  This may sound strange but sometimes less is more when it comes to project management as well as financial costs.

2. Take Time to Invest Fully

Make this the year that you completely focus on not only getting to know your customers but also their specific needs.  Once you make this commitment, find the best way to communicate.  Whether that is through a blog, social media, QR codes, or even a weekly newsletter; find out which option works for them.  There is no use in spending quality time and content on an area your customers do not even use.

3. Refresh your website

Take the time and really go through your website.  Analyze and make notes as you look over what you have currently.  Then, go on the Internet and find your biggest competitor.  Look at their website and make notes on what things stand out the most.  Once you do that, write a plan on what to change and a timeline to get it done.

4. Real Life Social Networking

Put some effort into networking by signing up for an industry conference or seeking out a local meet-up group. These are invaluable ways to develop relationships and share advice with fellow entrepreneurs and small business owners.

5. Put time for you on the calendar

It’s up to you to keep yourself motivated and inspired.  Be sure to reward yourself for specific milestones like a big client win, meeting a tough deadline, or working “overtime” for multiple nights on end.

Sticking to all of these 5 goals is a lofty for anyone. Follow the tips that ring true for your situation, and adjust as needed. Do you have other goals for your business this year?

 

How to Take Bigger Risks This Year

Something fascinating happened to me a few years ago that was worth repeating. I had this experience that totally changed my perspective on how I would think and do things in my business and my personal life.

Here’s what happened—

I had decided to go to the DMV, yes everyone’s favorite place to make jokes about.  I had been putting it off for almost a year and I had to finally deal with getting a new title. I actually wanted to cross if off my to-do list!  (I had paid off my car loan—yeah, and needed to get the lien holder name off my car title.)

I had a phone meeting that day with a colleague and as we were wrapping up I said that I had to head out to the DMV. It was 11am on December 30 and she thought I was crazy and said good luck; it will probably take a few hours.

Well, I had positive thoughts running through my head as I was driving over there that I’d be in and out in 30 minutes.  As I got into the parking lot it was NOT looking good. I found one of the last parking spots.  And at this lot, there are no meters you have to go to a central machine to pay for your parking. Now this was a HUGE lot and there was a doubly huge line just WAITING to pay for parking.

Here’s the part of the story to take note of—something just switched on in my brain when I saw that long line.  My brain went into high gear calculating how best  leverage this situation.  And at that split second, I decided to count the number of people in line to pay the machine for parking—there were over 15 people. AND the kicker is as I waited in this line to pay for parking— I thought ALL of these people WILL be ahead of me in the DMV.  So I made a mental note of the person in front of me—a young guy with a red hat (this will be important later.)  And that’s when I made the rash, big risk decision to leave the line and make a run for the DMV.

When I got into the DMV, there were only 2 people in front of me at the desk—double yeah!  The bigger risk I took was I bet big that I would NOT get a ticket because I’d be in and out of the DMV before I would have even reached the head of the line at the parking machine to pay for parking.

Guess what—my taking a bigger risk PAID OFF! I WAS in and OUT of the DMV in 10 minutes, and it was FREE to change my title! I had two options—pay $60 and wait to get a new one issued, or for FREE, they’d make a copy of my title, cross off the lien holder and put it in my file.  So of course, I chose the FREE one. No need to get a new title until I sell my car, which won’t be for a long time!  The important thing for the DMW was that there was no lien on the title and that I owned the car.

As I walked by the parking machine line, the young guy with the red hat who was in front of me was now #4 in line to pay. So the important lesson is I would have STILL been in line if I had stayed and now I was done and was able to hop in my car and go home! The only thing it cost was gas to get there and 30 minutes of my time!  Seriously I was home by 11:30 am.  So by me taking a bigger risk, risking getting a parking ticket because I bet I could be in and out of there before I’d even get the chance to pay for parking.  AND—looking at that line thinking how would a policeman even be able to tell or bother giving a ticket with SO MANY PEOPLE still in line.

The lesson I’d love for you to take away— is —To Take Bigger Risk’s, think BIGGER for yourself, your life, your business. Don’t be stuck in your old ways. Look for ways to save time, money, and leverage yourself, your time and your people who work with you.

What I want for you is to have an amazing year every year. I keep doubling my business — And I am even more thrilled and I will take even bigger risks moving forward, and the goal is to triple it. And I know I will do it by thinking bigger and taking bigger risks.

Here’s to monetizing yourself and your business and making your business outstanding!

It’s All About the Questions

There is a quote by Albert Einstein that says “If you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t understand it well enough.”

This quote says it all when it comes to the topic of this week’s blog.

It’s ALL About the Questions!

This is actually STEP 2 – AFTER you figure out your goals and outcomes of what you want from doing your survey. Creating questions for your survey products is incredibly important because it will shape the answers you will receive and ULTIMATELY what you will be able to do with that information.  Through this questioning process you will step closer to finding success in your business.

Step # 2 –It’s ALL About the Questions!

When you are coming up with questions, there are SO MANY types of questions to choose from. So let’s start with this— phrase:

“Short, Sweet & to the Point”

One way to keep questions “Short, Sweet & to the Point” is to use open-ended ones. These are the questions that will bare the most fruit for you in your surveys.  A lot of researchers and statisticians don’t particularly like open ended questions because they are the most difficult to measure because each answer is unique, so when sifting through 10k open ended answers, it can be overwhelming in going through all of them. So I highly recommend using open ended questions when you:

1.  Want detailed information in the respondent’s voice

2.  Don’t have good solid answers to create a multiple-choice—because a lot of times you can miss an answer because you didn’t give them one they would have chose. (When you create multiple-choice you’re forcing them to answer your answers that you’ve created.)

The real key to using open ended questions is they can really help not only shape your business, products, etc.; they can also shape YOUR MARKETING.  They write the answers in their voice and will give you key words and key phrases that you can use when you market to them.

Here are some guidelines for you to keep in mind as you create your questions.

1.  Are you questions short or wordy?

  • Simple and concise words are the best to use

2.  5th Grade is your target when it comes to the understanding level.

  • Do not make assumptions
  • Everyone needs to understand them

3.  Stay Away From Complicated.

  • Complication will lead to people not wanting to participate in your survey

4.  Keep your goal and the main thing you want to achieve in mind.

Next week, I am going to take you deeper into how to create those easy and inviting questions that will give you the answers to help shape your business.

PLUS– FREE 60 Minute One On One Call with ME!

If you’ve made it all the way down here to the bottom, thanks for reading, and here’s a gift for you. I want to give you 60 minutes of my time for free, with my compliments.   Maybe you’re:

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Well, here’s the deal, you’re in the right place. I can help you!  Just click here. I want to give you a  FREE 60 minute call with me. I’d love to see how I can help you create the business you so deserve and helping you help thousands more people.

Are You Hard Wired To Fail?

Do you ever set important goals and then find yourself really struggling and not being able to meet them?

I used to have MANY sleepless nights when I first started my business. I would freak out about where my next dollar was going to come from or how I’d finish a project or what to do about x, y and z, it was endless. Worry was taking over my life.  Until I was able to read some terrific books on worry and learn about ways that really helped stop me in my tracks and enabled me to push past my worry and fears to create more success for myself.  The thing is there was definitely something stopping me and a lot of times I had NO clue what it was.

Have you ever felt like something was stopping you? You may be right: your subconscious mind can influence in you subtle ways to keep you from achieving your goals!

Here’s how it works: when you experienced a challenging event as a child – even something as seemingly small as your third-grade teacher yelling at you for asking a question in class – your subconscious downloads the details of that moment and marks the memory with a trigger. It’s like there’s a trigger in your mind saying, “There’s trouble here!”

If a new event activates that trigger, the creative problem solving part of your brain shuts down – stripping you of all the resources and capabilities you should have. So you stop moving forward. And you may not even understand why you stopped because it isn’t a conscious decision. Your subconscious is the one that decided to shut you down.

Want more information about how past events affect current performance, even without you being aware of it? Join my friends and colleagues Jack Canfield (America’s Number One Success Coach and “Chicken Soup for the Soul” author) and Pamela Bruner (Business Success Coach and EFT tapping expert) for a free video, “Are you Hard-Wired You To Fail: What’s Stopping You From Succeeding.” Details here: http://tinyurl.com/6o3d3u3

How to Give Your Customers Exactly What They Want

Technique #1:  Start With Your Outcome, Not Questions 

This week I want to challenge you with this thought: “Think Outside of the Box.”  The topic of this blog is a little different and will require you to think outside of the box.

Diving right into it, I do not want you to think about all the questions to put into your survey.  I want you think about the outcome first!  So many people fail before they hit the ground running with their survey because they think “Questions First.”

Think about it…before creating and writing questions, you need to know what you want from them first.  Therefore, in hindsight, your first question to ask is: “What is your Outcome.”  and “What’s your goal, what information do you need, or what kind of problems in your business will a survey help you with?”

Once you figure out your outcome, the next step is coming up with some objectives.  It is very important to limit your objectives to two for the outcome.  By limiting your objectives to two, it will help you in the end with coming up with specific questions.   Another reason for keeping it to two objectives is to follow my number one rule with surveys:

Less questions is more! No more than 15 Questions!

To help you out, I am going to give you some examples of good outcomes and objectives to get your creative juices flowing.

  • I want to get new testimonials – at least 10.
  • I want to find out what keeps my clients awake at night.
  • I want to know what my client’s biggest challenge is.
  • I want to know what my customers like and don’t like about my newsletter.
  • I want to know what kind of topics my customers want to read about in my blogs.

So your homework this week is to take the time and come up with some serious outcomes that you’d like to get for doing a survey to your prospects and customers.

Seek Out New Opportunities

Last week, I explained how overcoming setbacks is as an easy as A.B.C.
A-Ambiguity       B- Build      C-Commit
This week I am going to show you how easy seeking out opportunities is. It is as easy as N.O.W.

stands for “Never-as in “Never Giving Up!”  By making, a daily mantra of “I will never give up” means there is not a minute, an hour, or a month that you are not seeking out new opportunities.  New opportunities are the only way to completely come out of a setback.  The only way to find new opportunities is give it all you have every day!

stands for “Opportunistic”.  Before you see that word and think “I have to chase down every opportunity that comes my way”,-wait.  Have the spirit of being opportunistic but make sure it’s the right fit for you.  By going out of the box and chasing after something “just because” is not the smart way to do it.  Instead, figure out your niche and be opportunistic within that realm.  By being patient and not settling, you will find out it pays off in the long road.

stands for “Weigh-as in Weigh it all out”  When you do find those opportunities that fit your niche, do not jump in right away.  If time permits, make a list of pros and cons and see if this opportunity is truly right for you.  Sometimes people are so excited about that first job opportunity that they do not weigh out the pros and cons.  Six months later after the “Newlywed” feeling wears off, they find they are regretting their decision.

So that’s it…last week I gave the A.B.C’s of how to deal with setbacks and this week I showed you how N.O.W. will help you seek out new opportunities.

The Right Attitude & Mindset is a Must ~Be like the Bee~

                       Aerodynamically, the bumblebee should not be able to fly, but the bumblebee does not know it so it goes on flying anyway.      Mary Kay Ash

There is a saying that goes “You are your own worst critic”.  This simple six-word sentence is especially true when it comes to negative thoughts.  In the last two weeks, I have encouraged you to take big risks about your life, business, even your actions.  I can challenge you and motivate you to reach these amazing goals, but there is one thing I cannot do.  I cannot take away your own negative thoughts that probably consume you when something really, positive is happening.

Did you know it takes extra effort on your part to worry and think negatively?  Whereas, with positive thinking, if you make the decision to rid yourself of negativity, there is no extra effort needed.

Just to prove to you the amazing benefits of positive thinking, I am going to give you three simple but mind-altering tips today!

1.  Positive thinking is what keeps your motivation at its peak

Your attitude about life, how you see the world and respond with actions-both emotional and behavior wise-is determined by the way you think.  So instead of letting your attitude control you, make a decision to control your attitude by thinking positive.

2.  Visualize Your Positivity by Daily Affirmations 

You can also use visualization and affirmations by using tools such as a Life Vision Board or even a journal.  By creating or writing out images of what and how it would feel accomplishing a goal, you use them to replace the negative thoughts.

3.  Avoid Focusing on Set-backs and Seek out New Opportunities

If something does not work out or you are overwhelmed by a project, take a step back and think it through.  Now, I am not saying focusing on all the negative aspects or reasons why this happened.  Instead, go through the entire process and write out a positive lesson learned for every failure.  By focusing on finding a lesson learned, you are not allowing the negativity to flood your mind.

When your negativity starts to slip into your mind, do me a favor and think about a bee.  A bumblebee just the way its body is designed should not be able to fly.  Bumblebees are hard workers who do not know this about their body.  They just fly and focus on what job is ahead of them.

~Be like the Bee~

It’s a Balancing Act

Continuing with the balance theme… there are so many areas of our lives these days requiring our attention and not just when we get to it but sometimes like it needed to be done yesterday.

Work, relationships, personal time, school, emotional, physical, mental, etc are all aspects of life that require balance.  If balance is not established, you may find yourself feeling or saying something like this;

“I am drained, exhausted and overwhelmed.”

“I wake up in the morning and automatically feel tensed and stressed.”

“My life is chaotic and out of control.”

“I need to change my life but have no clue where to start.” 

                                                                                                           “I cannot focus at all!  No matter what I do, nothing is working!” 

These five statements all reveal one thing – you are lacking major balance in your life!  There is no reason for you to wake up feeling tense and stressed just from getting out of bed.  If you find yourself relating to those five statements, then please continue reading.  I am going to give you three simple and easy ways to find balance in your life once again.

1.  Personal down time is a MUST! 

When you are overwhelmed with life, most likely you have little to no personal downtime.  This is a time where you are doing an activity or even activities that you enjoy to do.  It is not something you feel like you HAVE to do.  The key word being: enjoy.

There is a reason I put this step first because it is the hardest step for anyone who has an unbalanced life to follow through with.  The best way to start to put this step into practice is by giving yourself 30 minutes every day to do something fun.  Once you are in the habit of scheduling in 30 minutes of personal time, then begin to increase it by 15 minutes at a time.  Eventually, you will have at least an hour to two hours of personal time scheduled each and every day.

2.  Remove Draining Negative Tasks/Activities

 One of the biggest reasons people feel overwhelmed and anxious is because of negative, draining tasks/activities.   These activities take our focus away from the things we need to be doing, thus putting us further behind with our daily to do lists.  They also put our frame of mind in a negative place, which can attribute to tension, stress as well as anxiety.

Examples of these tasks/activities include gossiping with co-workers, focusing on all the negative aspects of a task, constantly listening to someone who is complaining or venting, etc.  The best way to avoid these types of tasks/activities is to only participate in ones that enhance as well as add value to your life.  In addition, by avoiding these tasks/activities, you are able to save valuable time-especially at work.  By focusing on the positive aspects, you are giving yourself more time and welcoming positive energy.

3.  Prioritize Errands & Chores 

 Look at everything you are responsible for doing and make a list.  As you go through each item on your list, write beside it at least one alternate, easier way to complete this.  For example, are there groceries, stamps or other items you can purchase online that are delivered to your house?  You would be surprised of not only how much time you save but also money.  Another option is trading services or favors with neighbors and friends.  An example of this is offering to watch your neighbor’s kids a certain amount of days for mowing the lawn.  The key to this time saving tips is to trade tasks that you enjoy doing or that you were planning on doing.

These three simple and easy tips are only the start of finding and achieving balance in your life.  Do not allow those five statements at the beginning of this blog be a part of your life.  Life is too precious and short for it not to be enjoyed.

As always, please share your comments or your own ways of how you found balance in life.  Have a wonderful week! And find time to ENJOY!

It’s All In the Balance

When life is hectic, especially right now with the holidays, time seems to slip from our hands and balancing life, work, kids, and other things is hard to do.  Yes, I can tell you to take a breather but that might make you hyperventilate.  So instead, I am going to ask you to stop and take a moment to read these seven tips on how to balance everything.

1. Don’t overbook.

This may seem unusual to people who try to crowbar as much as possible into every workday. The problem is things rarely go according to a prearranged agenda. That means a lot of time falling through the cracks chasing down appointments, unreturned phone calls, and other items that simply are not going to happen. Instead, keep your to do list as simple as possible but productive.

2. Prioritize.

The secret to booking your time effectively boils down to knowing what is important and what can wait. However, it is critical to use the sharpest knife possible in trimming the essential from the secondary.

3. Learn how to say no. 

One of the biggest land mines to effective time management is recognizing you do not have to agree to everything and with everyone. Use your priority criteria to identify requests that simply are not worth your time.

4. Organize.

Bringing your time in line is not just a matter of scheduling. The mechanics of how you operate can be every bit as important. That means organizing most every element to allow as smooth a workflow as possible.

5. Use technology.

Although personal habits and practices can do wonders for time management, do not overlook technology yet another weapon to make the most effective use of your workday.

6. Nothing is Perfect .

Try as we all may; time management is not an exact science. Do not stress out—and waste time in the process—by obsessing over every second of time. Do what you can and enjoy whatever time you spend more pleasantly or productively.

How to Get Motivated

Now that we have kicked the procrastination habit, seemed appropriate to talk about staying motivated.

What is motivation? This simple but complex word can bring both disappointment as well as accomplishment.  It drives you to take action but can also drive you to not want to do anything.  Motivation is a word that everyone struggles with at one point or another but how long this lasts is up to you!

Are you finding it hard to keep motivated – especially with the holiday season upon us? Do you find yourself going strong and then BAM!  Something comes up and it takes a lot to get your motivation back on track.  The ironic thing about motivation is when those rough times come your way, if you keep it going, you will succeed.  Motivation is not easy but with a little hard work it is achievable.

Here are five tips to keep your motivation going especially during this time of year:

1.   When you have set-backs, the worst thing to do is to focus on the negative.  Instead re-focus, and do not hesitate.  Make a plan and go with it.

2.  Stay positive.  The number one reason people lose their motivation is due to negativity. It is like a disease that overwhelms your entire train of thought.  So just don’t go there!

3.  Believe in yourself.  When you start to doubt yourself, motivation starts to slow you down.  Before you know it – your motivation is gone. Be a believer.

4.  Acknowledge the progress you have made.  By looking at everything you have accomplished, it will jump start your motivation.  And reward yourself for this, it is huge!

5.  Stay focused at all times.  Keep a to-do list to remind you of everything that must be done.  By doing this, it will help you keep your eyes on the prize.  And let you see just how much progress you have made.

There is no such thing as “Instant Success”.  Everything in this world takes time, work, and motivation.  Motivation is not easy but with a little hard work it is achievable.  Let me know what helps keep your motivation!

Have a good week!