What do you really want to do with your life?

This strange time, during this pandemic and all the time we’ve had out of our normal lives has many people thinking about what they really want out of life.  The way we’ve been doing life when seen from outside of our daily status quo, doesn’t seem right any more.

The prospective clients I’ve spoken with in the last couple months are thinking differently than they were before.  They don’t want to go back to the same old job or business as usual.  They want more.  More, meaning both more purpose, more life and more from themselves.  They are wanting to play bigger and be bolder, to focus on what really matters to them, to not have lives of consumption and business as usual but to live lives based upon their values.  Values of family, connection, focus on the greater good not just us versus them or self-interest.  They want real lives, connection, passion, something worthy of their time and their life.

Today I did a Strategy Session, my introductory phone meeting, with a possible client who’s in this place right now.  She’s this amazing woman with passion, great skills, experience and ideas.  And, she’s not sure how to move forward.  How to take all she has and make something extraordinary and extraordinarily hers.  She doesn’t know where to start or mostly, she’s not sure what’s even possible. 

As I listened, I started to see a possibility of what she could do, the business she could build and the impact she could have in the world.  The more we talked about it, the closer and more possible her dream became. All those gifts, talents, experiences coming together almost like life being her higher education for her purpose in life (which often happens). 

What about you?  What do you really want?

What has life, to this point, given you that would thrill you to share with the world?  The mix of the education, the experiences, the hobbies, the challenges, the growth from those challenges, the things you’ve done, your passion, your values, and the unique and amazing individual you are… what is all of that culminating to bring you to?

The trick is to get past the “but…”.   “I want to do this new thing, but…”, “but… I’m not sure how”, “but… I’ve never done it before” or whatever that voice in your head may tell you.

What I’ve found in 18 years of coaching and in my own life experience is that you’re probably closer than you think.  What it takes moving forward one step at a time in that new direction, even if you’re not sure what that step is.  Just taking the next indicated step.  The idea than intrigues you, that call or email that you feel like making even if it doesn’t make sense.  Just do it and see where it leads.  Then do it again. And again.

So, for your next chapter in life, what’s your next step?  Read the book, learn the skill, call that person, sign up for that class. Just take that next step. If it feels too hard, chunk it down and do the first part of it. ✓ Done. Then the next. ✓Done. Gain momentum, knowledge, friends, and new experience one step at a time with a focus, no matter foggy, and see what happens.

You never know how close you may be until you start moving.

If it isn’t already obvious by what’s going on in the world, let me say it.  The world needs you… You!  The world needs you to stand up, to use your voice for good, to make your unique difference, to share your gifts, talents and wisdom.  And if you’re reading this, I’m betting you need you to do this for you.

Your future is full of possibility.  It’s closer and easier than you think.  And it starts with one step in the new direction, followed by another.

Go!  You got this!
Lisa

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11 Simple Ways To Make Your Difference Today

What if you could change the world today?  If you could make the world better, even by just a tiny bit, would you?  I hear you say, “Of course.”  And then I hear you say, “But…”  But, “what can I do?” or “I don’t have time” or “I don’t know how.”

Making a difference doesn’t have to be big, bold, or inconvenient.  Giving back can go hand in hand with saving money, saving time, and creating more peace and connection.  Pick one or two ideas from the list below – and try it! The ideas on this list may sound small… but imagine if hundreds, thousands, millions of us all did something small today to make the world more positive.

Tell me how it goes.  And if you have more you’d like to add, please share below!

  1. Speak positively. Commit to one day, or even just one hour, when you only talk about the good stuff. Skip the gossip, complaining, and blaming.  Instead, notice the positive in others, and take a moment to share it out loud. Ask someone about the best thing happening in his or her life.  Start a conversation about the things you are grateful for.  Share a funny story, some positive news, or a useful tip you learned. And if your conversation partner is having a tough time in their life, hold space for their story, refrain from jumping in with your own complaints, and give the gift of compassionate listening. Tip: positivity is beneficial whether the conversation is out loud or just in your own head! ;)
  2. Be the kind of person you’d love someone else to be in traffic. Have you ever had someone treat you terribly in traffic and it lingered in your heart all day, or the opposite happened and it reminded you of the good in humanity?Let’s be the change – in traffic. Let someone in, wave at someone to say thanks, give a forgiving smile rather than flashing a dirty look, and follow at a safe distance.  These simple actions can create a domino effect of positivity for those around you – and they also make our roads safer for everyone!
  3. Vote with your dollars. Not every shopping trip has to be perfect – but maybe you can choose one or two items on your next grocery trip to make a choice to benefit our community and our environment. Choose products from companies with values you support, buy local and organic, or simply buy less unnecessary stuff.
  4. Talk to strangers. I live in Seattle, and there’s a thing called the Seattle Freeze, meaning that we have a reputation for not being friendly. If you live in Seattle, let’s change that together! I once read a book that included an exercise of saying “Hi” to 50 people a week. I tried it.  It was quite a stretch, but I loved it.  I became more friendly, open, and excited about going places. I was meeting all kinds of interesting people and my life felt bigger and better.  If 50 feels like a stretch, start with one extra person today, or maybe five.  What’s your goal for the day?
  5. Ask someone for help. This might sound like an odd one. An exercise I was assigned in a psychology class in college was to try three things and note the difference.  Talk to a stranger, ask a stranger for help, and touch a stranger. Then notice the different impact each had.  It’s a wonderful experience.  I dare you to try it, and just see what happens!  It’s amazing!
  6. Lessen the violence in the world. We want less violence in the world and are horrified by what we see, but are we willing to make choices to make a difference? Sponsors won’t support shows and movies that aren’t watched. If you want less violence, stop supporting it and watch less of it.  This includes unnecessarily violent news coverage – you can stay responsibly informed without watching every horrific event on TV.  It impacts all of us and the kids in our communities.
  7. Choose one item, meal, or day per week to eat more healthfully. I had a great dentist for years, and I loved hearing the conversations around me while he worked on my teeth. One I have always remembered was about shopping the periphery of the grocery store. The edges within grocery stores have the healthiest items, with less packaging and processing.  Better for your health and better for the planet. Shop there!
  8. Be kind throughout the day. Whether you’re at work or interacting with someone in their job, take extra care to be grateful, gracious, and kind. Open doors for people, and be genuine when you say “thank you” and “you’re welcome.” Every interaction we have impacts us and the other person… and everyone we interact with for the rest of the day.  Notice next time someone does something exceptionally nice or not nice to you, and how you behave towards everyone after that. If everyone did their best at this, the world would be a much kinder place.
  9. Be grateful for what we have. It’s so easy to take our good fortune for granted. I had a big wake up call recently when I walked into the produce section of my grocery store and there was no lettuce because of the recent E. coli outbreak.  To walk into a store and see that big, empty row… well, that was quite a shock! It prompted me to think about my sense of entitlement not only to fruits and vegetables, but also that they are nearly perfect! You can make this concrete by writing gratitude lists, and taking an intentional moment to deeply reflect on what you are grateful for – even for something as seemingly mundane as lettuce.
  10. Volunteer. You have so much good inside of you – share it! Share your skills, talent, time and love. Maybe it’s signing up to officially volunteer with a local organization, or maybe it’s helping a neighbor without expecting anything in return.  For extra credit, team up with your family or friends to volunteer.
  11. Be present with yourself and others. We hardly connect any more, with others or with ourselves. We live lives of busyness and avoidance.  We watch TV or some version thereof, look at our phones constantly, shop, eat, drink, and multi-task.  When is the last time you just sat and had a long, deep conversation without interruption or alcohol? Make a date with a friend, partner, family member, or yourself to connect and be fully present in the moment.  It’s truly all we have!

One of my favorite books, “The Tipping Point” by Jeff Olsen, talks about how change happens one small step at a time until there is a tipping point, like with compound interest, where those small changes add up to something big.  Yes, this is about changing the world… and changing the world starts with you and me. Starting small can set your life in a wonderful new direction.  Pick one or a few and see what happens in your life.  I dare you!  And share your experience in the comments below… and if have other ideas for us please add those too.  Together we can do amazing things!

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For Extraordinary Success…Own Who You Are

Can you build a powerful, profitable and impactful business in a way that works for you? Is there is any other way? Extraordinary Success takes owning what is unique about you; your values, your opinions and your way of doing things… and those challenging or quirky things that are uniquely yours. Embracing our humanity not only creates powerful businesses but businesses that empower us.

As an entrepreneur are you using your differences or feeling wrong because of them. One of the most powerful things I do with my clients is get them to own and value “their way” of doing thing… it builds confidence and empowers everything they do.

"In the end, solutions to big problems [will] come...by getting out there, asking questions, seeing things differently and finding the answers ourselves."

“In the end, solutions to big problems [will] come…by getting out there, asking questions, seeing things differently and finding the answers ourselves.”

As Branson said, “my learning disability has never been a setback — it actually gave me a great advantage in business… to bring a different perspective to problems and challenges… to see solutions more clearly… I would ask simple questions that others did not. Over the years, asking the simple questions and striving to answer them have become some of Virgin’s most important characteristics.”

“One thing that entrepreneurs have in common is a talent for seeing things differently.” He used what was different about him.  Entrepreneur Magazine:  “Richard Branson on Why Entrepreneurs Sometimes Struggle With Formal Education”

Take time to own and appreciate what you really have. Write it down so you know those unique skills, talents and passions, unique ways of doing and seeing things that are yours. Bring that to your business as you’re learning and mastering skills, trust your wisdom and instincts… learn the skill well but do the skill your way. When that voice in your head says, “This doesn’t sound right” or feel right, listen to that voice, to what you know. Then bring that to your learning and do it your way.

Imagine sales and marketing your way… a way that values people, supports their success, empowers them. And does the same for you.

As you engage your brain, your wisdom and trust your self more, your personal power will grow… so will your business. And we need more successful businesses run by fully engaged, values-driven entrepreneurs.

Here are some questions, and I’m going to ask them in the way that you may have heard as a kid that made you cringe and hide… but you are no longer a kid and it’s time for you to STAND UP BOLDLY AND CLAIM WHAT IS MAGNIFICENT ABOUT YOU, AND SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD!

So, what’s so special about you? Who do you think you are? OWN IT!   No matter what “they” said, your uniqueness is an asset.  If you want extraordinary, empowering and lasting success, you must value who you are.

Tell me more…

  • What’s great about you?
  • What do your friends and colleagues notice and compliment you for?
  • How could you bring more of your uniqueness into your sales and marketing? What would that look like? How would it feel?

The world needs you to be you.

The world needs you to be you.

Really imagine how it would be and feel.  I know it’s a risk and it takes courage but it’s your life and your success… go for what you want and create something extraordinary.

You were created uniquely. There is no one in the world like you. Own it. Use it. The world needs you to be you. Your business and your success need you to be you. You cannot have an extraordinary business and life if you are being ordinary (trying to be like everyone else). Own and use what you have, appreciate you and all you are… even those quirks and “disabilities” to create extraordinary success and have an extraordinary life.

Go For Extraordinary!™
xo Lisa

2011-10-08-steve-jobs-quote

If you’re in the Seattle Area, my What Piece of the Puzzle workshop will help you get clear on what you have and what you want, and use that to create greater success (profit and impact) in your business. You can find my events at: http://lisakbradley.eventbrite.com/

 

 

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Beyond Goals… the Power of a Compelling Vision

Have you set goals this year that you’re excited about, goals that are worthy of you and how great you are, that give you something exciting to strive for… something that is worth a year of your life?

Your Vision

The New Year has started, the dust has settled and if you’re that type of successful person that chooses their destiny, you’ve probably taken time to set your goals for the year.  If you’re a winner, you’re probably already acting on them…  Let me ask you, are your goals really worthy of you?  Are they what you really want out of your life?

Let’s say your goal is… I will make $100,000.00 this year, loose 30 pounds, I’ll get that promotion, that new house, work on my marriage, and be a better parent.  So maybe that’s not in your ball park but let’s pretend… 

Is that really a worthy goal for you?  Isn’t there a call in you to do something more, to be something more… to be who you are capable of being, to build a life that is meaningful, fulfilling, doing what matters to you and gives your life a sense of purpose?

Do you get how amazing you are?  You are magnificent.  You have the power within you to make a difference in the world, to do something with your life that is really worth doing.  Are you going to do it this year?

Whether we set goals or not, we often go through life accomplishing but is what we accomplish really what we want?  Is it what we want to spend our life on, or is it the shoulds and doing what our peers do? 

Have you had the experience of reaching that level of success you so longed for, got there and thought, “Is this it?”  Maybe you didn’t even reach your goal because it wasn’t exciting or compelling; it wasn’t what you really wanted to do with your life, and you end up not feeling great about your self or your life. 

We want more.  We want our lives to have meaning and purpose.  We want work that really values who we are and stretches us to fulfill our potential.  We want to make a difference in the world, to do something that really matters.  We want goals and a vision that show us that we believe in our selves and in what we can do.  Right? 

Imagine… believing in your self so much that you set big goals, goals that include you making a difference in the world.  You creating a compelling vision that inspired you to go for it because it sounded so exciting and filled you with so much passion, sense of purpose and gave your life meaning. 

Whatever industry you’re in, you could be a leader in changing that industry for the better.  You could run your business on your values, and even show how values-driven businesses are more profitable.  You could raise awareness and create change in how things are done – any industry, you name it.  You could express and lead in powerful social, environmental or even spiritual* practices through your business.  (*which could mean religious or could mean practices and ways of being in business that build someone’s spirit, for your employees and customers, and even bigger by your choice in the messages you send through your ads and commercials, etc.)

Maybe there’s a book in you, something that will inspire and empower others or raise awareness or consciousness.  If you work for a non-profit, maybe figure out how to make it more profitable, a healthier organization that empowers those you serve better – more social entrepreneurism.  The list goes on and on.

We all have something, whether you’re in a job or have your own business, there is a way that you could make a difference in the world though it.  Yes, you could be Gandhi, Mother Theresa… or think of the impact Bill Gates has had on all our lives, or the person who invented post-it notes.  Think of the impact all those people who didn’t stand up and say, “this isn’t right” that went along with things at Enron.

We are so amazing and living such small lives.  Most of us are living the status quo, even if successful.  Was being a CEO at Enron something to be proud of?  (Sorry I’m picking on Enron but the other companies I’d like to poke at are still around, and I don’t want to do that.  I’d rather have us change the way business is done so those businesses that don’t practice good social and environmental values go under.  Imagine that world.  Let’s build that world!  It’s up to us.)

Also, don’t get me wrong, I think we should make lots of money while positively changing the world – it needs to be sustainable, fun would be good too.  Making a profit should and can be done with values, with our humanity and consciousness intact.  A combination of The 3 P’s – Passion, Purpose & Profit ©.

Businesses are leading the direction of the world… why fight it.  Let’s just change the direction of business and do something worth doing though our work and be very successful at it.  On the cover of “values-driven business” by Ben Cohen and Mal Warwick is the line “how to change the world, make money, and have fun”.  That line is a great food for thought and I highly recommend the book.

So, how about you?  How about goals really worth your time, your life, and your talents?  Goals that excite and inspire you, that fill you with passion… something to do that gives your life meaning and purpose.  Goals and accomplishments that make you feel great about who you are, and how you are being in the world…proud of your self.  How would that change your life, your relationships?  How would that change your world… and our world?

Isn’t it time we really started being who we can be and living lives true to how amazing we are…and true to who we are in our hearts and souls?  We don’t have to sell out or play small.

What do you really want to do, not just this year but with your life?  And beyond business goals, what do you want to do through your business?  What impact do you want to have in the world?

 “Your willingness to create a new dream or vision for your life is a statement of belief in your own potential” – David McNally’s book “I Believe In You”

We can change the course of our destiny by setting a new direction for our lives.  Think of two planes leaving an airport… just a small difference in their direction will take them to two totally different destinations. 

Go back to your goals… what do you really want to do with your life this year?  Go for it!  You can make a difference!

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  • Here’s to a life lived with purpose! | Posted by Brittany Faulkner, Seattle, Washington
  • Excellent article Lisa, I agree completely! One of the biggest problems in the world is people just don’t think big enough. As of this week, I decided that my ultimate goal is to be the ultimate success catalyst; to completely transform the world in all areas. I’m not afraid to say it, because I am 100% confident in my thorough and specific action plan and ability to take massive action to follow through. Another problem is that many of the people who do think big just don’t follow through on their goals. The biggest difficulty in influencing others through information products is there is a tendency to be temporarily inspired but let it wear off without taking action. This is where a coach or accountabilibuddy is so important and valuable. | Posted by Ben Resnick, Seattle, Washington
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Harvest Your Successes, For An Extraordinary New Year!

It’s the end of another year… was it successful? Have you thought about your year, your successes and what you accomplished and learned, how you grew as a person or business-person, and what new skills you have? How do you know if you’re on track for the life you dream of and moving forward toward it if you haven’t? And how will you set solid goals or resolutions for next year if you haven’t answered those questions?

Below is a simple yet powerful 5 Question Practice to support you in creating the life and success you desire.

Celebrate Your Success

To live an extraordinary life you need to know what’s working and what’s not. You need the habit of appreciating your wins and having a big enough vision to turn losses into opportunities to learn (more wins). Harvesting is a powerful tool and habit, whether you do it daily, weekly, annually… or as a Thanks-giving or New Year’s Eve tradition. It gives you clarity about who and where you are, what you have and what you need to have the life that you desire… and helps you see how amazing you are.

It’s easy to get on the treadmill of life and not be creating the life you want or not give yourself credit for all you do. This is a powerful step to give you focus and clarity… Creating a Compelling Vision is the next step but that’s not until January. So let’s get started on your harvest!

Think of farming… you plant your crops, you work hard at helping them thrive, and then you pick them. You get to enjoy the fruits of your labor. You walk through your fields and look at the condition of them. You learn and plan next year’s crops based on what you learned.

Your harvest is walking back through your year, your project, your… whatever you’re finishing, before moving on to the next big thing. I do it with my coaching clients at the end of their coaching programs to help them see what they’ve accomplished, how much they’ve changed, what tools worked and didn’t work for them, and how to take and use all of that to build their future.

The value of a goal is not just the result, it’s also who you become in going for that goal or dream.

Your Harvest. Look back on your year…

1. What Were Your Accomplishments and Successes?

Often we have a lofty goal or something new we should be doing in our business. Let’s say the goal is blogging. Our first step might be to just learn about blogging, look at some different blogs and read up on them. The second might be to learn about the different blogging tools we can use, the next taking a class or jumping in and trying it. We might have done all this and still not be blogging, or not to the extent we want to. And what happens is, that’s what we focus on… how we aren’t blogging every day. We often don’t focus on all those steps along the way, all that we learned and accomplished. We focus on what we haven’t done.

A couple problems with that, first, who wants to work when their work is taken for granted? If we don’t acknowledge that we’re growing we’re not empowered to take the next steps or play big.

Next, one of the habits of very successful people is gratitude. Gratitude is paying attention to what works, what’s good, etc. They put their attention on what they have and they grow it. They don’t beat themselves up with ‘not good enough’ they focus on and grow their strengths, successes and good… and those in others.

In coaching, as my clients learn and grow and move forward, I point out those accomplishments and what it took. Then when it’s time for their next big stretch, they know their skills and talents and resources… their past empowers their present.celebrate-success

Your Turn! Dig in, think about your last year… what did you accomplish? What did you learn? What new skills do you have now? Were you tenacious about something, showing you can stick to it no matter what? What did you gather – friends, knowledge, social networking, skills? What did you create along the way? How much money did you make? Did you reach a goal you set? And what about those things that that you just felt really good about and then as time went on you forgot? What about those good things that happened, those flukes and “miracles” (often times when we put those in context we see how we had something to do with them)? What do you feel proud of your self for?

Just let this flow. I like to use bullet points. I find it’s hard to start but once I start they poor out, then I get stuck again, then it flows again. It’s just a process. Just trust your way of doing it. You can’t do it wrong. Just start listing your successes… personal and professional.

2. What Were You’re Breakthroughs and Stretches?

Some of these are those big bold breakthroughs, and sometimes these are those things that felt like failures at the time but now that you look back you see that you learned a lot and grew a lot. This is often more the internal stuff or the lessons about your process.

What did you do last year that you hadn’t before? What did you learn, maybe about your self, your life, business? What were some of those work/life lessons you learned that knocked you down and you got back up? What were some beliefs you had about you, business life, money, etc. that changed?

3. What’s Changed In Your Business, Your Life, You?

This is big picture and the results. This is the place to look at the impact all of the above had on you, your business, and your life. It’s easy to make changes and take if for granted, to not realize the change and not acknowledge what you’ve done or how far you’ve come. And it is so important to give yourself. This is that opportunity to really acknowledge what you’ve done and where it’s gotten you.

Between last year and this year, what’s different? What changed? How is your business better? How is your life better? How are you a better person? What have you learned? Who have you become?

4.  What Worked, and What Didn’t?  What’s Serving Me, and What’s Not?

Now that you’re on that solid ground of knowing what you’ve accomplished and the impact of it, it’s time to dissect a bit.  Check in and make sure you’re going in the right direction, that things are working, that the things you’re doing are working for you.

Your answers to this question will really help you when it’s time to set your goals for next year.  Think of the farming metaphor again… the farmer looking at his crop.  Did he grow as many carrots as he wanted?  Did he like the flavor?  Do they bring in the money he wanted?  Are they good for the land?  What needs to change?  What could he try?  What did he try that didn’t work?  All with thoughts of growing a better crop next year.

Now look at your “crop” closely, with the thought of being more successful next year… What were your failures, what didn’t work?   What have you been doing that isn’t serving you?  Did you put your time and energy into things that didn’t pan out?  Were there things that created the desired result but felt like more work than they were worth?  Maybe you found a new method of getting customers but found that they aren’t the type of people you want to work with – so the method worked but next year you’ll need to tweak something.  Are you trying to do something because you think you should and you just can’t get it to work?  Are you wasting your time on something?

5.  Celebrate!  Enjoy Your Harvest.

What would you like to acknowledge yourself for?  You worked hard, I know that because a slacker would not still be reading.

When New Year Eve and that stroke of midnight comes, say and feel a moment of gratitude for all you’ve done and all it’s created.  Building a business, being a leader, and making a difference are not easy.  You have chosen a path worth walking, acknowledge your self for it… for who you are and what you’ve done.

Congratulations!

See you in January when we Set Our Compelling Visions.

Go For Extraordinary!™
Lisa

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Own Your Gifts & Talents

“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”   – Thomas Edison

Who are you really?

We are all so amazing, capable, talented, and valuable. And, we often don’t realize it because:

  1. We define our selves by who we were in the past or based on what someone else told us about who we are;
  2. We don’t take the time to see our gifts and talents;
  3. Many of our gifts, talents, wisdom, and insight came out of our most challenging experiences and we don’t consider them successes or take the time to see the tools we gained.

It’s time to acknowledge who you are so you can bring your Whole Self to the table, play bigger, and boldly make the difference in the world that only you can make.

~

The following questions will help you see your strengths and open up possibilities for your career, business focus/niche, and mission.

Often in life it’s a combination of our training, things that we love to do (like hobbies or interests), education, successes, and the wisdom gained through our challenges that prepare us for sharing something of great value and doing something extraordinary with our lives.

Owing what we have and bringing more of who we are into our work helps us do what we value and are interested in, and also use our unique skills, talents, and insights. It makes our work more rich, rewarding and fulfilling, and success easier because we see that we have what it takes and we’re passionate about it.

Here are your questions:

Looking back over your life, in ten year increments…

1. What were the pivotal and valuable experiences in your life?  How did they transform you and/or your life?

2.  What were your successes (and best moments)?

3.  What were your biggest challenges and what did you learn from them (what skills, talents, insights, and values, etc. did you gain through those)?

Before you start – It’s one thing to make a list, to take it up a notch, tell the story. Sometimes the biggest success isn’t what we did, it’s that we even did it. It’s also the values we expressed in doing it, what we learned, who we had to be in order to do it, etc.

Here is an example from my life. I think of first time I really spoke in public. This was way before I became a coach. I’d done a lot of personal development work and someone asked me if I was willing to share my story. The first time she asked, I said, “no”. It was probably followed with a reason or just an, “I can’t”. Even the idea of it absolutely terrified me.

I thought about it and it poked at me all week. When I saw her the next week I asked her if she’d ask me again. She asked if I could be the speaker. My eyes got big and I said, “That’s not what you asked me last time.” She thought for a moment, laughed and asked, “Are you willing to be the next speaker?” I said, “Yes, I’m willing.” I couldn’t even say I “could” but I was “willing”.

There is a lot more to the story but the point is… my “speaking in public” was big and only a small part of my success. Did I do a good job, yes, but that’s still only part. The real successes show when I dig in. What that day showed me: I am bold and driven. I am courageous and will push through my fears and do what I don’t think I can. I’m willing to do what it takes no matter what. I care more about being of service than I do about my ego. And, after I shared my story, the next person who spoke said, “So, I guess the topic is gratitude”. Wow!  I love that.  And, thinking about this empowers me. It helps me remember who I really am. It helps me stand up, stand out, and make my difference. And, when I speak now and fear comes up, based on my success, I know what motivates me and I focus on that (being of service).

Another place to look for our skills, strengths, and wisdom and what’s important and valuable to us is through our challenges and hardships.

My mom had a strange habit of leaving me with strangers, either at homes of people I didn’t know or she and I would go somewhere and she’d wander off to talk with others for very long periods of time. It was a bit challenging, to say the least. And, if you know me now, one of the things you might have noticed is that I can talk to anyone. Also, I’m very easy to talk to and make most people feel very comfortable.

The first skill, talking to anyone, was a survival skill… and I’m so grateful I have it, even if the way it came about was very challenging. The second, helping people feel at ease, probably has to do with empathy. I know what it feels like to be very uncomfortable so I help to lessen that with others. It’s now a strong value of mine. Both of those benefit me greatly not only in life but in my business. So, sometimes our greatest education, values, and skills come from the most challenging experiences in our lives.

One last thing before moving on to your questions, we often define our selves based on who we were told we are, how we were treated, or based on the past and who we were. This exercise is to help you define and decide who you really are now. Take some time with it. Own your good.

After writing down your answers, go through them and highlight the ones with the most meaning to you. It’ll tell you a lot about you, what’s important to you, your values, what you know, and who you really are.

And… as with any exercise I share, do it your way. There is no right or wrong. Trust your self and your wisdom. Add or change any questions or the wording in the questions to make them work for you… and enjoy your self!  Mainly, just do it.  You deserve to know how great you are and the world needs what you have.

To Your Success!
Lisa

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Thankfulness as a Success Practice for You and Your Business

Two simple 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/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/grateful 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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Your Attitude and Your Success

Does your attitude really impact your success… and how much?

At a business networking event I met a man, we’ll call him Bill.  He seems like a nice, smart guy with some level of success.  And, he’s negative.  He talks only about the problem.  His response to solutions that are offered is that they won’t work and it’s just the way it is, more problems.  Life is the way it is and he just has to deal with it and it’s not working.  But that’s just the way it is.  Here’s how Bill’s attitude made a difference in his life.

Bill has a great business idea.  He has a unique and interesting marketing/advertising product that he wants to take to Bentley… but he doesn’t know how to get in touch with them.  He doesn’t know his next step or how to get started, and shoots down ideas.

Sitting across the table from him is a woman who is very connected in the car world. (Me!  I love classic cars.  I was recently driven around the countryside in a friend’s 1927 Bentley.  Sweet!  I know car guys.)  With a phone call or two I could introduce Bill to the right people.  Those people would not only be willing to talk to him, but knowing my friends, they would also help him succeed.

Bill’s success is steps away. lisa_bradley_success_coaching

But, with his negative attitude, those steps are a chasm because:  1. When I even talked about it, Bill shot me down.  He told me what wouldn’t work and why.  2. I’m not going to introduce him to my friends with that attitude… and even if I did, his response would probably be to tell them, these very successful and supportive entrepreneurs, why it wouldn’t work and to complain about all his problems, versus asking them for help and a solution to those problems.  It’s like the sales person that says to potential customers, “You don’t want to buy this, do you?” and then wanders around saying that selling their product isn’t possible.

I tried to talk to Bill about his negativity but he doesn’t believe all this positive attitude stuff.  He doesn’t “get” how it can make a difference.  He doesn’t see that his attitude is not only keeping him from the financial success of his product, it’s keeping him from meeting amazing, successful people that could help him change his life.

One of the major things I do as a professional development coach is work on attitude and the belief in possibility.  The above is an extreme case but most people think their dreams are impossible.  They aren’t.  It’s just a limiting belief.  Maybe it sounds like this… “I’d love to do _____ but I’m too ______.”  You fill in the blanks.  I hear it all the time.  Dreams are squashed before they’re even attempted.

When my clients start believing the dream they have may be possible and they start talking about it, the results are miraculous.  I thought about using a less woo-woo word but they are miraculous.  I often find myself in awe of how things can completely turn around and what they accomplish in a week… if they just believe that maybe it can, and start talking about what they want and taking the next indicated step.

If you’ve been stuck in any area of your life, let go of the being stuck, stop talking about it and thinking about it.  Focus on and talk about what you want… the solution you desire.  Start thinking about who you may know and who they know that might be able to direct and connect you.  Don’t complain, blame, criticize, minimize or maximize the problem (and don’t hang out with others that do that either).  Decide that you will win.  Do whatever it takes to get your self positive; study success, do affirmations and practice thinking positive thoughts, learn, be around positive people, do a gratitude list.  Do whatever it takes.  Decide that you will go for it and do it, whatever it takes, take action.  A change in your attitude can take you from failure to success… your attitude impacts your actions and the actions of those around you… those impact your results.

By the way… your attitude is a habit and like any muscle.  The more you use it, positively or negatively, the more it will grow and the easier it will become to use it either positively or negatively.  It’s not outside of your control… it’s a choice.

It’s not the economy… it’s your life.  Make a choice… dig in, get messy, go for what you want, decide it can be, talk to others about your dream, and take forward action… go for extraordinary because any other choice sucks!

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Leading In Times of Challenge

Leading In Times of Challenge – How to use adversity to build and strengthen those you serve, and your self.

Think of the great leaders in history.  It was their very adversity that made them strong, helped build their team, their “tribe”.  This is your opportunity to go beyond your status quo and do something great for your self and those you serve.  The current challenges in your business and the world offer you the playing ground to become a better leader, to help those you lead become stronger and more confident, and to build a strong community to do something worth doing, and together build something extraordinary… here’s how:

 

When things get challenging, like the current economy and global issues we, as leaders, take it on.  We’re the leaders.  We’re suppose to step out front, know what to do and perfectly lead everyone.  It seems like the right thing to do but is it? 

 

I started noticing a pattern recently.  I was hearing it from my clients (executives, entrepreneurs, leaders and ministers) in their experiences, seeing it in leaders out in the world, and noticed it in my self.  As we were doing what we thought we should, we were separating ourselves from our greatest leadership strengths… trust in our selves, and connection and trust in the people we lead.

 

So I dug in to look at the problem, to learn and better understand the challenge.  I paid attention to my clients, the leaders in my life… and I looked at myself in my role as a leader.  What I realized is that everything had gotten harder because we were putting more pressure on our selves.  The more pressure we put on our selves, the more expectation we felt, and the more distant we felt from those we were leading.  In each case I saw and heard it expressed differently but the pattern I saw was… the greater the expectation we perceived, the more we believed ‘they’ wanted something different than what we had or are or were giving. 

 

The harder we tried, the worse we did because we’d quit connecting and hearing what was really needed, and we quit feeling supported and connected.  The pressure of our own expectation of ourselves and our fear of not being enough was building a chasm.  That chasm was leaving us with a feeling of not knowing what to do and not being enough, which was negatively impacting the power and outcome of our leadership… Sound familiar?  

 

For me, I couldn’t figure out what my “tribe” wanted because in my expectation of myself and my scrambling to meet that, I had disconnected from them.  And, as I wasn’t serving them as well as usual because I was trying too hard, they noticed my distance and discomfort.  As a result, there was a separation from them too… for many reasons including the very human response of wondering if there was something negative I was afraid to talk about, or if the distance was something about them personally, along with the fear and stress they were already experiencing. 

 

So instead of building this strong and cohesive team to work together through this challenge, we were all alone trying to figure out what to do…  separate and alone in a group.  Again… sound familiar?

 

(This same thing happens in friendships and love relationships when there is a problem.  Instead of working together, we can start feeling there is something the other expects from us.  If we feel unsure of what that expectation is and our personal insecurities come up we can get defensive, start to build resentments, or push away because we feel we’re not enough.  Creating more problems, instead of working together to build solutions.)

 

So what do we do about it?

 

You, the leader.  You’re not in this alone.

 

It’s not all up to you.  You don’t have to be perfect.  You do not have to do it all alone.  You are part of a team.   That’s the thing to remember whether you’re running a company, leading a team, supporting your congregation or are a political leader.  We are a team.  We are in this together.  Yes, we as leaders stand out front, and we are not alone.  If someone is following you, they want you to win, and they’d love to be a part of helping you succeed… if you have the interests of the group at heart.  If you don’t have their best interests at heart, you’re screwed and you shouldn’t be leading anyway.  If you do, use it.

 

Part of the reason I wrote this article (and do what I do), is that so much of what I read about topics such as this sound like a textbook and seem to forget that we’re human and that those we serve are resourceful and capable.  That they want to be part of something, to belong, and they want to win.  We aren’t leading helpless followers, unless we treat them as if they are and disempower them, which unfortunately was what I observed.

 

So, here’s the question… what would you want from your leader?  Would you want them disconnected, way out front telling you what to do?  Or, would you want them in the midst of the group saying, “We can do this.  We can get through this together!”?

 

Help them, help you.  Reconnect.  Remind them that you are a team.  Do this for yourself and for them.  This is a hard time for all of you. You’ve got a good team. They’re smart, capable people. They know what’s going on in the world. They understand the realities of it. They may not like it any more than you do… and that’s the point. You’re all in this adversity together, this uncomfortable situation that you don’t like. It’s not them and you; it’s all of you.  If you invite them to help and participate, it’s very likely they will.

 

 

Your Team      

 

People, especially when things are challenging, want to feel part of something.  They want a mission, something to do bigger than the problem, or to face the problem together.  They want a mission to focus on that makes a difference, and they want to feel/be important.  This is an opportunity to give them the experience of belonging and being important.  I’m not talking about a “mission statement” I’m talking about a mission.  Something you all believe in, that makes you all feel good about your selves to work toward.

 

I started coaching the CFO of a company that had just gone through their first layoff.  Moral was low, obviously profits were down.  The management team was scrambling and disconnected.  The employees were upset at management.  Things were going from bad to worse.  The company was falling apart. 

 

As I started working with my client, he shared that part of the problem was that this company (600 employees) was family owned and operated, and that the employees felt like a family and felt betrayed.  What I realized through that, is this company had great values.  And, that if the management team reconnected with the employees around this value, they could create a mission of ‘being in this together’ and turn things around.  They did, and that new mission, that was already there, gave the whole company a new passion and purpose.  This got things moving forward again with everyone on the same team.

 

As the leader, what do you really want you and your team to accomplish, not just in reaction to the problem but through the problem?  Adversity is our opportunity to grow.  How can you lead and use this challenge to build something new of you and your team, as a whole and as individuals?  How can you use and grow all of your skills and talents through this, to help all of you?  How can you go from fixing a problem to working together to build something extraordinary through the situation?

 

 

Creating Your Mission               

 

This is the opportunity for you and your “tribe” to use your present situation to go beyond the problem, even beyond your status quo and… (wait for it)… Go For Extraordinary! 

 

When I work with a client, whether an individual or a company, the point is not so much where they’ve come from or what the situation is, it is where they’re going and what they want to create.

 

Bear with me on this, I’m kind of a sci-fi geek… the best analogy I could think of is that moment in movies where leader is beaten, we think they are down for the count… but we hope… Then, they get back up to step into their power and become more.  Think of that moment in The Matrix where Neo gets up, flexes and becomes the person he already was but didn’t know he was until he faced that challenge.  Remember how through it all, his “tribe” believed in him and would do anything to support his success.  Now it’s your turn.

 

So, you’re all in this together, and this is your opportunity to use this challenge as a microcosm, to face this challenge head on and be strengthened by it… together.  To build something better than there was before.

 

Find your mission.  Think of your team.  What is important to you as a group?  Why are you together in the first place?  If you’re the type of leader that cares enough to have gotten this far through this article, there is something special about you and what you stand for.  What is it?  Remember I mentioned the company with the family values.  What is it that brings you and your “tribe” together, not just on the surface, on a deeper level?  Rally around that.  Remind everyone of that.

 

Then build your team.  Think of the individual strengths that all of you have. Think of what you want to build with them. Create a vision for yourself of how you’d like it to be. Reconnect and work with those you serve.  Let them help you, as you help them.  This is a ripe opportunity to rebuild your team in a new way. Come up with some ideas and some action steps of where you want to go, a new vision, stronger, better.  Bring your team together to help you all.

 

One of the things I do as a coach and leader is to get people looking forward. It’s easy to look at what we lost and what’s not working. Our job as leaders is to get people thinking about what we want to build out of the rubble, to start planning forward and even get excited about it.  An adversity like this offers an opportunity to reorganize, to build something… something better. What do you really want? What will you make of this new team of yours?

 

Decide what you want to build.  Then bring everybody together.  Talk about what you want to build… share your vision, share your mission.  Then tell them you want their help.  Tell them and show them, you (all of you) are a team, that each is important and together you (all of you) can work together and build something great.  That this does not have to be a time of loss but of creating.

 

Every adversity offers us the opportunity to face the challenge and grow from it, to become more than we were… as individuals and as a group.  Take on the challenge, rally your troupes, and build something extraordinary as a team… stronger and better than ever because… you helped each other go through this, you valued each other’s strengths and saw each other as capable and as winners.  If you use this challenge, you might just create the most powerful team you’ve ever had and you and your leadership could be better than ever.

 

This is our world… let’s make it great by believing in ourselves, believing in each other, and working together to do the extraordinary!

 

If I can help… you know where to find me, and I’d love to.  You have not chosen an easy path… and I know you can do this!!!

 

 

Also check out:  Leading After a Lay-Off

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