Thankfulness as a Success Practice for You and Your Business

Two ways to build your confidence and your business by being thankful.

Did you know business success is 80% mindset and only 20% business knowhow?  Think of it this way… is there something in your business you know how to do and know you should be doing but you’re not doing it?  That’s because it’s not just knowing how but having the right mindset to do what it takes.  Being thankful or grateful is a powerful tool in getting you in that right mindset, by helping you know what’s great about you and helping you feel a positive connection between you and your clients and customers, can help your business tremendously and make everything easier.

Our beliefs about our selves and about those around us
can make everything we do difficult or easy.

1. Be thankful for you, what you do and what you have.  

When we are thankful for our skills, talents and what we do and have done, we are recognizing what we have.  The more you acknowledge and appreciate what you’re capable of and will do, the greater your confidence to do the next thing in front of you.  You will feel more able.  Even if it’s something you’ve never done because you know that in the past you were successful (or at least went for it) and this helps you take on bigger goals and push forward when things get tough.

What we put our attention on grows.  If you’re putting your attention on what you haven’t done or how difficult things are, it’s easy to get stuck or to move forward very slowly.  If you put your attention on how great and capable you are, everything feels easier.

Have I sold you on this yet?  If so, here’s the exercise.
◊ Every night before you go to bed, list 5 of your days successes.  Take some time to put your attention on what you do and on what you do well.
◊ For extra credit, practice saying kind and supportive things to your self while you’re working. This may sound corny but try it… Say, “Good Job!” and “Thank you for doing that for me.” to you.

You have what it takes and the more attention you put on what you do well the more confident you feel and the more able you are to take that next step and do what needs to be done.  That’s powerful, and there is more.

2.  Be Thankful for your customers and clients (or your boss).

This time of year I think back over my year and the people I’ve worked with, and how thankful I am that they hired me, and that I got to know them.  And, I think of who they are, what they pushed through and how hard they work to make their difference in the world… to make our world better.  I am so thankful for them (for you :)!

The more I think of them and how thankful I am for them, the more I want to get out there and do things for them.

Whether you’re writing a blog post ;) or marketing your self, how you feel about others and how you believe they feel about you can make that very easy or very difficult.

When I’m working with clients it’s often fear that stops them from going for what they really want and putting themselves out there as boldly as they’d like.  That fear comes from either being afraid we’re not good enough (a belief most of us have, sadly) or being afraid that we or what we do aren’t going to be liked or well received.

Remembering who our clients are, getting into that place of thankfulness or gratitude and seeing “them” out there as friendly, makes it so much easier to put our selves and our products or services out there.  It’s not rocket science, in fact it almost seems too simple but along with having business knowhow, this is the stuff that really works.

So, here is the second exercise:
Take some time to think about or write down what you’re thankful for about your clients and about what you love about them.
Extra credit:
After thinking about it, send them thank you cards and tell them.

Imagine how much easier things could be if you are thankful for your self and for “them”.  You will feel better about you and the world, and your work should be a lot easier.

Try it and tell me how it goes below!

To Your Success!
Lisa

 

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5 Steps To Success In This Economy

If you’re an entrepreneur, executive, business owner, service provider or in sales the economy right now may be affecting your business but whether or not your business succeeds or fails is up to you, not the economy.  That’s good news.

In every economy there are businesses within the same industry that fail and businesses that come out ahead. The difference is often you.  Are you feeling stuck and paralyzed by outside influences, like the economy, or have you decide that you will do what it takes and be successful, no matter what.

There are two responses to what’s going on right now, either fear or opportunity.  Either you feel overwhelmed and shrink or you see what you’re made of, what you can do and strengthen yourself to meet those outside influences (Yahoo!).  It’s all perspective and choice.  In every economy there are people that come out ahead, that make money and do great.  Why not have it be you that succeeds! 

Your Attitude.  It starts with your attitude.  It’s not just about pushing harder, it’s about coming up with good ideas, following through on them, and doing so in a way that works.  With a negative attitude, with a belief that things are bad and won’t work, none of that is possible.  So, to create a successful business and be a winner start from within and follow up with action.

Empower yourself by what you think and say and do… these tips may seem too simple but give them a try and see if they make a difference in your life and your business.  These are tools I use with my clients (and myself) to go from being stuck to excitement and success.  When I started using these with my clients I was astounded at the raves from those clients and results they were getting.  If you practice (not perfection, practice) these, and keep progressing forward using them, your life and your business will change.

Step #1 – Start Your Day by Reading Something Positive.  Before you start looking at your To Do List, take fifteen minutes or an hour to read something positive, a book on success, prosperity, spirituality, wealth, positive thinking, a book that teaches about your industry – something to get you in a positive frame of mind first thing in the morning.  Some of my current recommendations are:

  • Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
  • The Magic of Thinking Big – David Schwartz
  • Secrets of Six Figure Woman – Barbara Stanny
  • You Can Heal Your Life – Louise Hay
  • The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity – Catherine Ponder

Read something that inspires and empowers you, that makes you feel good, like you could conquer the world, or at least your world.  Start your day on a positive note.

Step #2 – Decide What You’ll Accomplish Each Day.  I’ve noticed with my clients that when things get challenging and they get stressed they start doing busy work instead of going for it, they start feeling overwhelmed and freeze.  So, after raising your attitude and outlook by your positive reading, decide where you want to go next with your business, what you need to do to be successful and what you’ll do today to get there.  Set goals and make a plan for your day.  Decide what you want to do, where you want to go, and how successful you want to be.

Okay, your attitude is better, the next step is the doing.

Step #3 – Take Action – Do What It Takes To Succeed.  Do what you need to do today.  You’ll feel better.  Do something that will give you a sense of accomplishment and that will make a difference in your life and for your business.  Make some sales calls, go to a networking event and network, do that thing that you’ve been putting off… Do Something.  Show yourself that you mean business, that you’re going for it, and that you are going to get it.  Be a success today!

Having a positive attitude is very important and it needs to be followed by directed action to create your good (success, prosperity, wealth, happiness).  It’s taking your power back instead of feeling controlled by outside influences.  Create what you want, not what you think is possible based on the economy or any other outside influence.  Decide what you want to create and take the action to do it.

Step #4 – Take That Action That You’ve Been Putting Off!  If you’re not at the very top of your game, leading in your industry, there are things that you could be doing that you’re not and you know it.  Pick one that inspires you, that will expect more of you than you are giving now and do it.  Choose something that you know would benefit your business.  We can feel insecure, we get scared, we don’t think we’re good enough to do that next thing, to reach to that next level, but now is the time, the economy is giving us the opportunity to be more than we thought we could.  Stretch yourself.  Go for it.

Now that you’ve created a great day for yourself, appreciate yourself and all your hard work, and take stock of all the good that is.

Step #5a – Write a Nightly Gratitude List – One of the best things to get you into a better mental space, knowing that good is possible, is to focus on the good that already is.  Think about all you have – your skills, your friends, your opportunities, all the good in your life and business… your customers/clients past, present and future.  List what you do have.  To have a quick shift write a list of “100 Things I’m Grateful For.”

Then every night before you fall asleep write a list of *10 Things I’m Grateful For* so your subconscious mind thinks of all your good while you sleep.  You’ll sleep better and wake in the morning feeling better.  (Won’t that help your business… and all of your life?)

Step #5b – Acknowledge Your Successes – Along with what your grateful for, write what you did today to build your business and make your life better?  Before you go to sleep appreciate and value yourself, write a list of *5 of My Successes Today* so you are focusing on what you have done versus the things that you didn’t do.  There will always be things we didn’t do but focusing on them breaks us down.  Focusing on what we did empowers us to do more and do it better.  And again, you’ll sleep better and you’ll start focusing on what you are doing.  You’ll see the power you have to change your world and your business, you’ll feel better and want to do more because you’re appreciating and valuing you.

In every situation we have the opportunity to build ourselves up to meet the situation or to be beaten by it.  This is a great time to build new tools and create new habits for yourself.  Try these for a week and pay attention to any differences in your business and life.  If they work and support you now, imagine how great they’ll work when the economy swings back around.

You can turn this challenging time into your adventure… don’t you want to know what you’re made of?  Don’t you want to live to your potential?  What could you do now, that you haven’t done before?  We all want to fulfill our potential, to see what we’re made of and what we’re capable of.  The economy is giving you your chance, what you do with it is up to you…

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Using Your Adversity as Your Ally… in life and business.

What if… the adversity you’re facing in your business/life right now is not just a problem but an opportunity that holds within it all the growth and learning opportunities to take you beyond it, and help you fulfill your potential?

I’ve heard Carl Jung’s line “what you resist, persists” many times and I didn’t really get it until this week, or not to the extent that I do now.

Our challenges are not problems, per se; they are the solution to our problems.  Yes, there is something “wrong”, something that is not working.  But not something to avoid and be afraid of, not something wrong about us.  Those challenges offer us…offer you…the opportunity to grow and learn, and become what and who you need to, to move forward the next step.

If we resist that lesson or growth, we stay stuck where we are. The problem stays or comes up over and over in different ways.  We can try to do other things to fix our self… and the problem is still there because… the only way through, is through.  The only way to truly get beyond it, is to step into it and learn what it is trying to teach us.

The challenges (this economy, divorce, addiction, etc.) are something to embrace, not feel victim of.  Responding to the problem, instead of reacting to it is our next step to build our self and fulfill our personal potential (growing better financial skills & choices, building relationship and partnership tools, self power and self care versus avoidance, etc.).

It’s about knowing we are capable, that there is a solution and “using” the problem as our opportunity to grow.  Using the “bad situation” to our advantage… using it to grow our strength, our skills, our capabilities, our confidence, and our personal success and spiritual tools. Growing these one step at a time in the area most needed, the one bugging you the most, now so that we grow into all that we are meant to be.

I love using nature as a metaphor…  Imagine a flower.

First, you’re just a seed in the ground.  Hanging out in the dirt, just being.  Time goes by, and you start having this desire of wanting to be more, somewhere in you, you know you are meant to grow. You keep thinking about it.  Then one day you crack open!  What the…!

That would be seriously scary, I think.

Then things start growing out of you, roots and a stem…what the heck!  Then you pop into daylight…Whoa!  Ouch!  And then the first leaf starts…a bump, a weird growth on your side.  You don’t know what it is… is it good, is it bad?  And you keep growing and getting stronger and bigger…each step of the way, making way for the next, even fall and winter, every step preparing you for the next phase of you being what you are meant to be.

…But what if, when that first root came out, it scared you, and you spent all you energy trying to hold it in.  What if you were the first seed around to crack open and you were embarrassed because you felt different or broken, and you tried to stop growing.  What if you thought, “I don’t know how to do that” so you resisted your natural instincts and intuition of what to do.  Or that first flower started to bloom, like the other flowers around you, and you thought “I’m not good enough to do that” and you held closed, not showing your magnificenceSound familiar?  Take a deep breath.

The thing is, each step along the way, like the flower, will bring you to the next place.  Each step is necessary for your fulfillment. Every root and leaf might have felt new and wrong and frightening, and every bit was necessary for that flower to fulfill it’s potential.

No matter how big or frightening what you’re facing is, it is an opportunity for you to become all you are meant to be.

We all have areas in our life where we get stuck, where we stop our selves from fulfilling our potential.  Instead of doing the things we fear or feel less-than (not capable of) we avoid in whatever way we do (tv, booze, busyness, eating, etc.), and we don’t build that skill, talent, or muscle to get through it.  Then we can’t do the next thing.  We’re stuck.  We also break down our self confidence, our personal power, our faith, our belief in the rightness of things and that we can handle whatever comes up.

We can get stuck in any area. It can be over something like an opportunity to speak in front of 10’s of thousands of people, standing up for what we believe in at work, trying a bold new way of doing when everyone is doing something else, breaking out of our status quo.  It can be about feeling not good enough as you are (too young, old, tall, short, etc.).  It can be having a conversation we’re afraid of, doing what we long to but feel too small to or knowing it’s not “normal”.  It can be our finances.  It can be feeling stuck in our business or our relationship or our weight.  It can be just trusting that we’re great, going for what we want when it doesn’t feel feasible, or being who we want to be.  It is anywhere in life where we feel stuck or powerless, where we are complaining, blaming and reacting versus responding and feeling we have a choice and making that choice.

What’s that quote again?  “What we resist, persists.”  Whatever we don’t face, whatever we don’t learn, whatever skill we don’t acquire, whatever we don’t accept and do what we can with, it will keep us stuck, it will keep things not working.  And, the good news…

Within the challenge in front of you, is your opportunity to fulfill your potential.

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A Prescription for Success: Are You Doing What It Takes?

Are you committed to your success or are you committed to…something else?

One measure, look at the results of your business and life. Do you have what you want? Is it the life and the work that you dream of?

WARNING: Before we go on, know that you might read the next paragraph and think, “That’s not me. I don’t do that.” But before you quit reading, consider whether you are having the results in your business and are reaching the level of success you want. If the answer is no, then read on…especially if you don’t want to!

The second measure, ask yourself if you are you spending your time building and creating what you want? Do you have a plan and goals; are you taking steps each day to build your dream, to create the success you want? Or… and this is where it gets uncomfortable… or, are you spending your time making excuses, blaming, complaining, telling your story about why it didn’t or doesn’t work, using the economy as an excuse, or just avoiding thinking about it at all?

That might be uncomfortable to read. What’s more uncomfortable is to have your dreams fail because you aren’t facing what isn’t working. The reality is this: either you are building what you want, or you’re trying to become comfortable with what’s not working by focusing elsewhere.

It is up to you to decide… do you want the success and life you desire or do you want the excuse? You can’t have both. This may sound harsh but I’d rather get in your face now, get you uncomfortable with what’s not working so that you’ll make the changes you need to, to have the life you desire.

Maybe you believe that you can’t, that you don’t know how, that you’re not good enough, etc. Whatever your limiting belief is, I’m here to tell you that it’s not true. You have everything within you and available to you. You just need to take the first step, then the next. So, let’s get to the solution. The way to change anything is to change what you think, say and do. That’s it.

The Prescription:

1. Listen to yourself. What are you saying, in the world and in your head? Are you talking success or failure? Are you talking and thinking, “I can” and “It’s possible”? You’re not going to find solutions if you’re not looking for them. If your thoughts are on “I can’t” you’re not looking for solutions, you’re looking for excuses. You are smart and capable, so you’ll find whatever you’re looking for.

2. Get really uncomfortable and face what isn’t working. What do you want that you don’t have? Success? Great relationships? Enough money? Time to play?  What aren’t you doing that you need to be doing? Are you showing up and following through or not? Are you being the person, on a daily basis, that will get you the success and the life that you want? If you’re not, face it.

3. DECIDE that you are going to do what it takes to change. Change won’t happen until you decide to make it happen. Get to the point that you say, “I hate this! I want something different! I’m going to do something about it!” Then…

4. Change your thoughts and words to support your success. There is a catch to this though. With all the self help and spiritual tools out there, people are learning to make the uncomfortable comfortable. So use your thoughts and words not to make yourself comfortable with what isn’t working, but to believe in yourself and believe that what you desire is possible. Thoughts and words are often just habitual so stay conscious and practice thinking and talking like a winner until it become a habit, then keep doing it.

5. Do something. I’ve found that we usually know what to do, at least the next step. The trick is doing it. Do what you know you need to do today. The next step that’s right in front of you, do it. When you’ve done that, what’s next? Do that.

6. Go for it! Take the risk. Do what you really want to do. I know it’s not easy to really go for what you want, to step out on that limb, to close that sale, to change careers, to talk to that successful stranger. It’s risky… but do you really want an easy life? Or, do you want a life filled with great experiences in which you are fully alive, believing in yourself, and making your dreams happen.

Now that you have the prescription, use it to create the life and success you want. This sounds hard until you start doing it. But imagine going for what you really want instead of settling, finding out that you are the person you always knew you could be!

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Fear of Success? What Really Holds Us Back?

I was thinking about the term “fear of success.”  One of my great new clients said it today.  It gets used often when we aren’t getting the results we want and don’t understand why.  What does that mean, really?  Why would we be afraid of success?  Literally it doesn’t really make much sense.  So when we label ourselves with it we can feel something is wrong with us because we’re doing something that is harmful to our selves and why would we do that. 

Well, it’s not fear of success… it is fear of trusting ourselves and standing out.  Fear of trusting that we know what we’re doing and how to do it and saying that.  Fear of standing up or standing out in the world basically saying, “yeah, I know what I’m doing.  I know what’s right or best.”  Fear of being seen and know… and vulnerable.  Yes, vulnerable.  And, that’s not wrong.  It’s very natural and healthy… and it can really get in our way if we let that fear stop us. 

I’ve found in my clients that have a big and very personal mission that this “fear of success” comes up.  Of course it does.  When you want to go out into the world and show your self, in such a bold, personal and vulnerable way, it’s scary. 

When we were kids, we believed we could do anything and be anyone.  We believed that we were artists and singers and… you name it.  Remember?  Then one at a time, or sometimes all at once, people told us we weren’t good at things and we started to question ourselves…  I mean, imagine if you painted like Picasso or Monet, or stood up and said things should be different like Gandhi.  How many teachers would have said, “Wow, that’s great”.  No, they said we weren’t doing it right (get back into the herd)… and some of us believed them… and there is the issue. 

It wasn’t just the that skill we questioned, we also starting distrusting our belief in ourselves… our trust that we knew something, our trust that we knew what was right. 

Rollo May in The Courage To Create wrote “If you do not express your original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself.”

So, what do we do about it?  First, what you just read.  Think about all of that.  Think about it when self doubt comes in, when your instincts pop their heads up.  It helps to be conscious in those moments and make a choice versus reacting to the fear. 

What helps is having a mission.  The times when I or my clients really step out of our fear is when we see a need.  That’s one of the reason it’s so good to have a niche and target and a clear focus of how you’re being of service.  (Not having to perfectly know and recite it but having a basic understanding of what you’re here to do, what problem you’re solving and for who). 

The first workshop I designed, I created and gave, even though I was scared because I’d been at an event where people were talking about being very unhappy with their current work or not having any.  I heard their need, strong need, to have fulfilling work that gave them life.  I also heard that they didn’t know what to do about it or how to go about getting it.  Well, that’s what I did through my coaching, help people find their right livelihood.  The problem was, people at the event were family members and not appropriate to coach.  So, how could I serve them?  I could turn what I knew into a workshop or book.  

That workshop I still do and it’s one of my favorites.  I didn’t know then that I’d love giving workshops so much or be so good at it (Oops, did I say that I’m good at it out loud in front of you? ;).  I’ve found that I’m at my most successful when I find that place where I really see a need and also see that I have something to meet that need (not in a needy “I have to” but in a sort of “I love you” and want to help you way… Yes, I know this is business and I’m not “suppose to” say that but I don’t do average business… I’m Going For Extraordinary©.) 

My fear of being seen (“fear of success”) became smaller as I clearly saw that what I had was needed.  That helped me trust myself and what I had… and feel less vulnerable. 

“Fear of success” comes up big when we want to do something different, to do business a bigger, better, or new way, or to lead.  When we can remember and clearly see that what we’re doing is really needed, it helps. 

Who are you here to serve?  What is it you’re hear to do?  Get into the mix.  Start asking them questions.  Find out what they really need… whether a product or service or to lead in a certain way. 

Remember, when those moments of self doubt come in:

  1. Be conscious and choose… it’s only fear of being vulnerable.
  2. Find a place to know that your services are needed. 

You are magnificent…it’s time you trust your self, do what you know is right… and Go For Extraordinary!(tm) in all you do!

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Choose Your Path…. Go For Extraordinary!

Are you seeing closed signs or are you open to possibilities and creating the success and experience you want…in your business or any other part of your life for that matter.  Are you making choices or are you following the crowd, believing what “they” say you can’t do?  Are you ready to Go For Extraordinary!TM

          “In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.” – Cassiu Longinus

I live a block from the beach.  A few times a year they close the road along the beach for special events, a 5k run, etc.  This was one of those days. I had somewhere I wanted to be.  There is only one way out of my street… through the closed road.  I got ready and walked outside, and this is where it got amusing…

 On my way to my car one of my neighbors, who could obviously tell I was planning on going somewhere by my outfit, nicely informed me that the road was closed.  She told me that I would not be able to drive out.  I smiled and said, “Really?” with a thoughtful head shake.  And kept walking.  I got in my car and started to drive.  Again, another kind neighbor stopped me and told me that I couldn’t go because the road was closed.  She then went on in detail to tell me how her husband had tried earlier and they hadn’t let him through.  My response, “Oh…hmmm?” kind of thoughtfully.

What I was thinking was, “How interesting that they let that stop them.”  It made me think about how different we are, the choices we make in moments like this.  How some of us see “road closed” signs as things to stop us.  Where others, like me, as merely an opportunity.  It also was a clear allegory of how our beliefs and perceived limitations impact our experiences, our work, our life, how far we go and what we do.  They believed it wasn’t possible… and for them, it wasn’t.  They made their belief true.  And I made my beliefs true too. 

          “When the defining moment comes, either you define the moment, or the moment defines you.”  – Tin Cup 

Our beliefs and perceived limitations create our lives.  Beliefs about what’s possible for our selves, our business, or any other area of our life… before I go into more detail about that and you and your business, let me go on with the story.

What were my options that day as I pulled up to the “Road Closed” attendant?  Stop and think of a couple choices before you read on…  What would you have done?

What did I do?  I drove up to the attendant at the “Road Closed” sign.  My window was open and I had a smile on my face.  As the person walked up I asked, “Is there any way I can get through?  I just need to go a block to get on a through street.” 

The attendant leaned over as if we were conspiring, and said with a big grin, “If you wait just a minute, there’s a space between runners and we’ll sneak you through.”  She and I shared a look, a laugh, and in a moment, I was on my way.  (And I think the whole experience left us both feeling good.  I know it did for me and in my rear view mirror, I saw her smiling.)

That day,  I created my path. 

We have these choices every day in our businesses, our lives, our experiences, our health, our relationships.  You name it.  Sometimes we are aware of that moment of choice, sometimes not.  It’s all based on our beliefs in what’s possible.

Often we decide what’s possible by what’s going on around us.  We think that what we experienced in the past, or by looking at our present, or looking around us (in our industry, our business, our friends businesses, and what people tell us) is the only thing possible versus deciding what we want to build.  The result is recreating the status quo.

           “The absence of courage in our society, is not cowardice.  The absence of courage is conformity” – Rollo May

It’s like when we used to crawl.  That was what we knew, that was what we did, and  that’s what the other babies did.  We could have believed that there wasn’t anything else, no other way to get around because “that’s what everyone was doing”.  Luckily, there were others walking, we believed maybe we could too… and guess what?  We did.  We had to take risks.  We had to do what we’d never done before and what we weren’t sure we could.  We fell on our butts.  We got back up and fell again and again.  Then we learned to walk.

The funny thing is, we have a life history of going beyond our perceived limitations, beyond our beliefs about what’s possible in so many ways.  And, what I often do as a coach is help people see and believe that the way business is, is not the way it has to be.  To see that there is a bigger, better way… more values, more empowering, greater success and fulfillment.  And, that they can do it.

          “We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.”  Max DePree

Are there things about your business that you’re doing because that’s what everyone does?  It’s “normal”, the status quo, it’s what’s expected in your industry.  Are there limits you’ve set on your self, your success, your business, etc. because that’s what others have said is possible, that’s what they accept, or because that’s what you’ve always done?

          “Burnout doesn’t occur because we’re solving problems; it occurs because we’ve been trying to solve the same problems over and over.”  Susan Scott, “Fierce Conversations”

No matter where you are today, you have the opportunity to create your own path, to go where you want to go… to Go For Extraordinary!TM  It starts with the little choices each day… 

Is the road really closed or is that just a sign post?  And is it just a sign to keep the timid out? 

What do you really want to do with your business?  Who do you want to be?  Think outside the box, what really is possible for you and through your business?  And… What will you do next time you see a “Road Closed” sign, or hear it in your head?

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