Today’s Wisdom by :

Gisele & Mary

Tip #118: Time for honesty!

As you embark on your journey of entrepreneurship, it is important to take time to celebrate your successes, and it is also very important to acknowledge what is not working. Problems always arise and they are not a symptom of failure, they are a reason for improvement and will eventually lead you to success. Honesty is key. When things are not working, a widespread tendency is to blame circumstances (wrong time, wrong place, wrong people, etc..) or ignore problems and make excuse for what is happening. How many times have we heard “in this bad economy…”?

When the feeling that something is not right starts nagging you, it is time to stop, feel it and address it. The signs that things are not going well are to be taken into consideration, which most of us despise doing because it means taking action and sometimes stepping out of our comfort zone. What does it look like to take action? Bluntly put, it means to stop living a lie, where we pretend that all is great and the situation we are in is perfect. What is the point of always claiming that you are happy and living a full life when you are not? Or pretending that work is doing amazing when it is not? Fear, again, is what motivates us to lie. Sometimes, by the way, the best action is to take no action and let it go. You need to be open to the possibilities when you are dealing with an issue. Any outcome is possible, whether it means changing something or just moving on from it. What it important is to address problems with an open mind.

Zig Ziglar said: “The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist.” Be brave, recognize what is not working in your life and deal with it, right now!

ACTION STEP: Write down a list of what is not really working for you. Then ask yourself and write down how you could address it. The main question you need to answer is: “what would I really like instead?”  If you have several problems on your list, prioritize them and address then one at the time.

 

Tip #117: Love Selling!

You have a product, you started your business, and now what? It’s time to generate some revenue by selling your product. Many people have trouble with selling, especially if the product was uniquely created by them. Promoting and selling what you make (and even more so yourself) is very challenging for most people. Our paradigms and blocks show up when we need to tell people “Look at this, I made it and it is a great product. Would you like to buy it?”. Selling has such a bad reputation! The problem is that when you have a business, there is no way around sales. Social media makes it easier; you can join groups and sell your products, but you still need to promote them.

How do you deal with the fear of selling? How can you love selling? It is, once again, about mindset.  Once you are convinced that you have a great product or service that will really make a positive change in people’s lives, then you can shift your negative beliefs around selling. Consider now that you are selling from a place of love. You are providing a service, doing people a favor by letting them know of your product. Doesn’t this perspective shift the way you look at selling? You recognized a problem that people were facing, you created a product to fix that problem, and now you are offering to sell them the product. By selling, you are making their life better. Isn’t that a great feeling?

Brian Tracy said: “Approach each customer with the idea of helping him or her solve a problem or achieve a goal, not of selling a product or a service.” Go ahead, see how that concept makes you feel, and sell your products!

ACTION STEP: Shift your negative preconceptions (and misconceptions) around selling. Write down a list of what your product or service does to serve your customers. Read that list every time you approach a customer and speak from a place of love!

 

Tip #116: Don’t do it alone

Moment of truth: it doesn’t matter how unique you think your idea is, there is a high likelihood that someone has done something similar before you. Far from being a bad thing, you can, and should, use other people’s knowledge and experience to propel you faster and farther!  If you want to start your own venture and don’t know where to start, the best way is to find someone who already has done it and has been successful at it and ask them how they did it.  In most cases, people love to talk about themselves and their accomplishments, so ask, sit down, listen and learn. You will make them feel very happy to share their story and at the same time, you will learn how to proceed for your own benefit. It is a beautiful case of a win-win situation!

Of course, unless you already know someone who can help you by sharing their story, you will need to do a little research to find such people. Social media is a great place to start. You can look for people who have already accomplished what you are trying to do, on Facebook or LinkedIn. You can also look up trade shows and conferences (even if they are conducted online) and access their participants directory, to find people you would like to learn from. In any case, as usual, if you ask and get a negative response, don’t give up, just move on to the next person!

Oprah Winfrey said: “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself”. Go ahead, enjoy successful people’s story, and then start writing your own!

ACTION STEP: Start building a network of people in the area you are interested in.  Find people who have already done what you would like to start. Make a list of their names and information.  Next have a clear ask.  The ask could be as simple as a few minutes of their time, ask what they would advise for next steps or see if they have someone they suggest you should speak with.  Successful people often are incredibly open to helping others.  The result will surprise you!

 

Tip #115: Learn Your Way To Success

If you want to contribute and help other people, you must first learn. We all have heard that knowledge is power. The power and willingness to learn are indispensable to create a successful business. You most likely are an expert in your field but deciding that you are done learning is ludicrous in an ever-changing environment. Learning is a lifelong process. Your business will go stale if you don’t invest in learning, and if you don’t benefit from the experience of those who are already successful, you are wasting precious time trying to reinvent everything.

How do you make time to include learning in your routine? It is simple math: if you reduce for example, your television watching time by one hour every day, you will free up 365 hours of potential learning per year (which is about 9 forty-hour work weeks). Imagine what you could learn in 9 work weeks? You could go through an entire course! With the internet, libraries, seminars, conferences, webinars, etc.. , there is no excuse to not keep learning and growing every day, which are indispensable traits for anyone in business, regardless of his nature.

Brian Herbert said: “The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice”. Make the right choice: keep learning, so you can succeed!

ACTION STEP: Decide to learn something new every day. You can read, watch biographies and documentaries, talk to people who are already successful and learn from them, attend conferences… the possibilities are endless.

 

Tip #114: Don’t Give Up!

You have set a goal and you are going for it. Is there an ingredient that will be key to your success? The answer is yes, and this ingredient is persistence. Every path to greatness is filled with obstacles. It is not easy, but when we are convinced and passionate about the outcome (or the “why”), we put in the work and either remove the obstacles or find another path to our goal. When obstacles arise, it is time to stop and think about how to deal with them. There are always three possibilities to deal with an obstacle: go over, go around or go through it. The key is to find the lesson in each of them and move forward. The only way to lose is actually to give up and not learn. Some people only see problems and excuses not to move forward and some people embrace problems and the lesson that they bring and end up winning with lessons learned and goals attained. Which category would you rather fall into?

Nelson Mandela said: “I never lose, I either win or learn”. Knowing that, how can anyone ever give up?

ACTION STEPS: Assess the obstacles that are standing between you and your goal. Spend some time thinking about how you could address them (going over, around or through). Adopt an “I won’t quit’ mindset! Think in terms of finding a solution, not avoiding a problem. Put in the work and persevere!

 

 

Tip #113: Are you a Leader?

Regardless of its nature, there is no business without a team. The task of a leader is to be able to carry a powerful vision and convince others to join in achieving it. Many people say: “Oh I am not a leader”. The good news is that we aren’t born leaders, we become leaders, and we can all learn how to be good leaders. Very often, the success of your business will depend on your leadership abilities. An example of having to become a leader is when we start parenthood. Most people embrace the role without even thinking that they are becoming leaders the very day they become parents. Being a leader means reaching a goal and making a positive impact on one’s environment and circumstances.

To become a leader, it is imperative to know one person very well: yourself. In the same way you can’t love people if you don’t love yourself, you won’t be able to understand people if you don’t understand yourself first. It is also very important to be accountable for your own actions and hold your team accountable as well for theirs. Finally, if you want to be heard as a leader, you need to learn how to listen carefully to your team. Are you ready to step up?

John C. Maxwell said: “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way”.

Action step: To discover and understand yourself as a leader, write down your strengths and weaknesses. Then, for each of them, think of how they impact your behavior and your interaction with others. A fair assessment of your limits will greatly improve your relationship with your team, and it will enhance your ability to respond to stressful situations rather than react, which is a quality people really seek in a leader.

 

 

Tip #112: Change: Embrace It or Stall

By now, we all have seen that change is inevitable and can strike when we least expect it. The recent events have shown us that not adapting to change and refusing to evolve can be damaging. Of course, we always have a choice. We can either accept change, learn, grow and turn it into a positive experience, or we can resist it, become bitter and get left behind. Change will always take place, regardless of our attitude, so why not make the best of it and embrace it? Many businesses have to adjust to change during the course of their existence. Imagine that you own a coffee shop and all of a sudden, two streets farther, a big coffee franchise shows up. What would you do? Some of us would quit and decide that the coffee shop wasn’t meant to be and some of us would decide that the new competition will attract a different clientele who might eventually stop by your shop and decide that the croissants that you are also selling are to die for. Once again, it is about responding to change and embracing it rather than reacting and resisting.

How can you embrace the change when all you want to do is run away from it? There are steps you can take to make the process easier.

Socrates said: “The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new”.

Action steps: When confronted to a situation of change and you find yourself resisting it, ask yourself some questions:

  • How is this change affecting me?
  • If there is no change and things remain the same, what is the outcome?
  • Is there a way this change will bring some positive to my life?

 

Tip #111: Learn to say No

It is a simple word, and yet it is so hard to say! As you embark on your new journey to greatness, you will have to learn to say no. If you don’t learn to say no to what does not serve you and your purpose, you will not be able to make the time to get into action efficiently.  It is a matter of prioritizing, but also cutting off the distractions. Anything that does not bring you a payoff, is a distraction.  It is very important to identify those and remove them from your schedule. It is very easy to fall under the spell of being overly busy and mix activity with accomplishments. Activity takes up a lot of time with very little result. Accomplishments, on the other hand, are the path to achieve your goal.

Why is it so difficult to say no? One of the main reasons is that nobody wants to be perceived as a bad person. Another one, is that we tend to like being someone’s hero. Unfortunately, the grand gestures of helping someone take away valuable time, so we must learn to say no. As good as it feels to say yes, it will feel great when saying no leads you to success.

Steve Jobs said: “It’s only by saying “no” that you can concentrate on the things that are really important”.

ACTION STEPS:  Create a “Not-To-Do” list.  This exercise will help you find out what you should NOT be spending time on and help you either automate them, delegate them or eliminate them!  Write a list of 5 – 10 actions or things you spend time on that don’t serve growth, greater income, empowerment, your higher power, your family or a bigger future.  Go through the list and mark them “Automate”, “Delegate”, or “Eliminate”.   Then ask yourself what are the top 3 actions that move the needle the most in your life.  Enjoy!

 

Tip #109: The Power is Within You

It sounds very much like a Star Wars quote doesn’t it? A wise person once said “People don’t need to be saved or rescued. People need knowledge of their own power and how to access it.” It is all about awareness and focus. Please bear with a little bit of science. We (and everything else, and that includes the entire universe) are made of waves and particles. As such, we all produce energy and we also are the recipients of other energies (people, environment, etc..). There is belief that we all are blessed with the same amount of energy within (just like we all are blessed we 24 hours every day to do whatever we want), and what makes us different is how we use and focus our energy. From this perspective, we all have the same possibilities and opportunities to better our lives, regardless of what external influences might be.

How can we harness the incredible power that we all have within us? It is a matter of looking deep and feeling, so we can focus our energy. They key is repetition. There is no profound change of the way we think without repetition. Focusing the incredible amount of energy, we have inside has to be done in increments, tackling one task or habit at the time. The book “Deep Work” by Cal Newport is a great resource to learn how to focus incredibly intensely on the task at hand rather than getting distracted with your surroundings.

ACTION STEPS:  Decide what you want to do, choose a goal, and focus on it. Feel how it would be like if you already had achieved your goal. Set aside 15 minutes every day (twice a day is even better if you can), be in quiet place, imagine the details of your goal already being reached, feel the peace and joy that comes with it. Then set aside another 30 minutes every day to work on that goal, without any distraction. Do it for 30 days. If you miss a day start all over again. You’ll be impressed by the results. Ideas as to how to achieve that particular goal will start flowing through your mind.

 

Tip #108: Work Hard… Reap the Rewards

Alexander Hamilton once said, “People sometimes attribute my success to my genius; all the genius I know anything about is hard work”. I don’t know of any great success story that didn’t come with a background of hard work and sacrifice. From Michelangelo, to Mozart, all genius masterpieces have been the product of long hours of working.

Nothing worthwhile comes easy right away. If it is too easy, you won’t reap the rewards because it means you are not pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and you are only trying to implement a small variation on what you are already doing. This might bring small improvements, but you will remain far from your big breakthrough. Bob Proctor divides goals into 3 categories: A, B and C. A means you are not really aiming at anything different. B means you are aiming at something different but still in your comfort zone. C means you are reaching out of your comfort zone. What type of goal do you think reaps the biggest reward?

It is important to assess what amount of work (or even sacrifice) you are willing to perform to achieve your desire or goal. Look at your goal, assess it, and decide if it is worth for you dedicating yourself to it. If you get scared or feel awkward, keep in mind: “You will never discover new oceans if you are not willing to lose sight of the shore.” (Andre Gide).

ACTION STEPS:  Decide what you want to do, evaluate what you need to do to reach your goal, and go for it! The rewards will quickly surpass the effort.

 

 

 

 

 

Tip #107: How Do you Respond to Feedback?

 

Getting feedback is key in every aspect of life and in particular when you start on a new idea or venture. Whether it is positive or negative, feedback is what we need to improve and keep moving towards our goals. How we respond to feedback is very important as well. It is our nature to dislike (and sometimes discard) negative feedback and it is a mistake. Any kind of feedback should be considered helpful, as long as it is objective.

Why are we afraid to get feedback? It is typically because we fear rejection. We need to move past the fear to be able to open ourselves to improvement. We don’t like to feel that our mistakes are pointed out. But, really, feedback should always be considered an opportunity for improvement rather than a mere criticism.

Go ahead, ask people, get feedback, it is what you need to master your trade.

Mother Teresa said: “Failure is merely feedback that there is something blocking the path of emergence and expansion of the greatest version of yourself”. Feedback is indispensable to better ourself and reach our goals.

ACTION STEPS: Use the Canfield methodology on feedback: everyday, make a point of asking 3 people (significant other, child, coworker…) for their feedback. It should be phrased this way: “on the scale of one to ten, how would you rate…” One is the worst and ten is the best. If the answer is less than a ten then say: “thank you for your feedback, what would it take to make it a ten?”.

 

 

Tip #106: Adjust Your Attitude

In his book “You 2”, Price Pritchett describes the behavior of a fly stuck on a windowsill. The insect spends a multitude of efforts trying to break through the glass, in vain. It desperately tries harder and harder, to no avail, until it dies. The saddest part of the story is that 10 feet away, there is an open door, and, with a different approach, it would have taken the fly a 10 second fly to free and save itself that way.

 

The secret to seeing the benefit within every struggle is to shift our mindset about the challenge we are facing. When we feel stuck or challenged, it can be so easy to adopt a fixed mindset – one of fear, worry, doubt, anger or resignation. This is perfectly natural, but in truth, moving away from a fixed mindset is the key to getting unstuck, moving forward and unlocking a new perspective and better opportunities for ourselves and our lives!

 

Confucius said: “If you are positive, you will see opportunities and never obstacles”. That fly would have loved to know that, wouldn’t it?

 

ACTION STEPS: When faced with a challenge, ask yourself those three simple and yet highly powerful questions:

 

1.What is it exactly about this challenging situation that is not working for me?

We all have challenges in our lives – that’s just the nature of the human experience. Think of the challenges you may be facing right now. If there are several, as there are for most of us, choose one.

Next, notice how you feel about this challenge. You may feel irritated, frustrated or even downright unhappy about it.

To begin separating the emotion from what’s actually occurring, ask yourself, “What is it exactly about this situation that is just not working for me?”

By means of asking yourself this question, you can begin to gain clarity on the problem at hand.

 

  1. What have I been thinking about this challenge?

Einstein knew that problem solving relied on a shift in thinking, and you always have the power to shift your thinking. But in order to do this, you first have to become clear on what you’re thinking about your challenge or situation.

Whatever you’re thinking, it’s okay! Just notice the thoughts and write them down.

 

  1. What possible good could come from this situation?

 

While it’s true that every challenge has within it the seed of equal or greater benefit, like any seed, it has to be found, planted, nurtured, grown before it can be harvested to move you forward in life.
Life is always going to have its ups and downs, and challenges are always going to present themselves.

Each question shared above is simple, but when asked of yourself you’ll already have moved from a fixed mindset to a more open and expansive one.

Tip #105: The Art of Asking

There is no point reinventing the wheel and if you want to be efficient in your business, the best way to do so is to get information from people who have already mastered what you are trying to accomplish. How do you do that? Just ask!

The problem is that we don’t like to ask, for fear of rejection. But rejection is actually something that we make up. When someone says no to us, we aren’t in a worst position than we were before we asked. So, if you think about it, there is no reason not to ask, because if we get a yes, that can really make a difference in our lives!

What are some powerful ways to ask? The main ingredient is to be assertive. You need to absolutely believe that you are going to get what you are asking for. Another important thing is to ask the right person. You need to qualify your audience, there is no point in asking someone who can’t grant your request. Finally, it is essential to be specific when you have a request. Not being specific can lead to confusion and not get you what you need.

A famous French writer, Eugene Ionesco, said: “It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question”. Go ahead, get enlightened, ask away!

ACTION STEP FOR THIS WEEK: Write down all the things that you would like to ask for. It can be at home, at work, or in general. Reflect on why you have been postponing asking and what fear is blocking you. Finally, write down what the result is of not asking and also write what the benefit of asking would be. Then…go ask!

 

Tip #104: Make Room for Greatness

​​It’s tidy up time!! Do you often ask yourself the following question: “how am I going to better my life, let alone start a new venture on top of EVERYTHING else I have to deal l with”? We often feel that our lives are overly busy and so full that there is no spare time at all. It is time to take a good look at the problem and fix it. We all share one thing (and nobody or nothing can take it away from us): we all have 24 hours to enjoy in a day, every day. This great gift also comes with the responsibility to decide how to use those 24 hours.

​​ Let’s take a look at our lives. There are so many little things (it can be as simple as cleaning up your closet or junk drawer) that can clutter our path to achieve bigger and better. We aren’t necessarily conscious of those messes, but they are in the back of your mind and they often clutter our thoughts, preventing us from dreaming bigger. As we get overwhelmed, we have a tendency to ignore the little irritants that need to get addressed and we then feel bad about missing a deadline, for example, which triggers negative thoughts, and takes us into the whirlpool of self- loathing at times. The secret to start fresh, with a clean slate, and remain in a state of positivity and accomplishments is to tackle each little task one a time. Once again, one step at a time is key to success.

​​As Barbara Hemphill said: “Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions.”

ACTION STEP FOR THIS WEEK: Write down all the things that you need to take care of and that you have been postponing. Make a table stating the task (or irritant), how can it be fixed, and if you can get delegate. Finally, add a column with a date to get done by. You will be surprised by how good it feels to finish your incompletes and how much time you are freeing up by doing so!

Tip #103: Gratitude is Everything

As physicists, we are taught early on that one of the principles that governs our universe states that for every action, there is a reaction of equal intensity. If we think about this principle, what we must do becomes clear: if we want to attract in our lives more things to be grateful for, then we must already feel gratitude for the things we already have.

​When things appear frustrating, dreary or you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel (you may have felt a lot of moments like this in past few months!) understand, we all have the ability to choose our thoughts. Amidst everything that is going on around the world, we must focus on our positive thoughts and bright outcomes as much as possible.  Although you may not always remember to do it, it is easy to be grateful for the things that make you happy and getting the things you want. But, trust us, there is also something to be grateful for when things are not going the way we want.

​Take a few minutes right now to reflect on something you are struggling with. Then, find something about the situation to be grateful for. When you expand your gratitude from a 5-minute practice of acknowledging the good in your life to an all-day habit, regardless of whether the current situation is to your liking, you end up happy with yourself and life. That ever-present feeling of gratitude attracts even more good things into your life to be grateful for.

As Napoleon Hill said: “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

ACTION STEP FOR THIS WEEK: Everyday, write down all the things in your life that make you feel grateful. Don’t just go through the motions, try to really feel it. Repeat the exercise every day for at least 30 days.




 

 

Tip #102: This year, make it all about you!

“Please put on your oxygen mask first before helping others” … We (or at least those of us who have been on a flight) all have heard that sentence from the flight attendant when giving us the security protocols. The same concept applies to everything. How can an unhappy person contribute to anyone else’s happiness? How can you give money to a charity to help others if you don’t have money yourself? In order to make a difference, you need to help yourself first.

Now that you have made your New Year’s resolutions, it is time to go for them! Hopefully, by now, you have decided which ones you really want, discarded the noise, and have planned to achieve them. If not, go through your list and chose to prioritize the goals that are for you only. Contrary to popular belief, it is not selfish to think of yourself. When you take care of yourself and feel good about who you are and how you are, you are a gift to the world!

Katie Reed said: “Self-care is giving the world the best of you instead of what’s left of you”.

ACTION STEP: make a list of YOUR goals and start working on them.

 

 

Tuesday’s Wisdom: Your Ticket to Freedom

Tip #101: This year I will…

We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, and we wish you a very happy new year! As we return from our holiday break, it seems appropriate to talk about a phenomenon that concerns a very large portion of the population: New Year’s resolutions.

We all have been there (and most of us still do it every year): January 1 st  hits, we get a sense of new and renew, and we have the overwhelming desire to hit the refresh button and make a lasting change to better our lives. When that happens, we have an amazing feeling of being invincible. And then, by February (yes, we have all been in that position), our resolutions fade away and we, consciously or not, decide that the resolutions aren’t worth that much and we get back to our old patterns.

Sounds familiar? Once again, our fears of change overcome our desire to change, but another reason is that we often wish for things we don’t really want. Without lasting motivation, we lose our drive and desire to accomplish. It gets even worse if our situation wasn’t that bad to start with. Remember that good is the enemy of great. Moreover, when we make a resolution, and we genuinely mean it, we forget to make a plan for it. We come up with the end result, but we don’t establish the path to get there. It is like deciding to climb a very tall mountain without thinking of getting in shape before starting the climb. So how do we fix this? It is quite simple.

J. Allen Shaw said: “Don’t make resolutions without an action plan. The secret to success is right in your hands”. Go ahead, dissect your goal into smaller attainable steps, make a plan!

ACTION STEP FOR THIS WEEK: make a list of your resolutions for the year, and don’t forget to write down your WHY for each of them. Then narrow the list to 2 or 3 THAT YOU REALLY WANT, and for each to them, write a plan with milestones and a timeline.

 

 

Tip #71: Learn to say No

It is a simple word, and yet it is so hard to say! As you embark on your new journey to greatness, you will have to learn to say no. If you don’t learn to say no to what does not serve you and your purpose, you will not be able to make the time to get into action efficiently.  It is a matter of prioritizing, but also cutting off the distractions. Anything that does not bring you a payoff, is a distraction.  It is very important to identify those and remove them from your schedule. It is very easy to fall under the spell of being overly busy and mix activity with accomplishments. Activity takes up a lot of time with very little result. Accomplishments, on the other hand, are the path to achieve your goal.

​​Why is it so difficult to say no? One of the main reasons is that nobody wants to be perceived as a bad person. Another one, is that we tend to like being someone’s hero. Unfortunately, the grand gestures of helping someone take away valuable time, so we must learn to say no. As good as it feels to say yes, it will feel great when saying no leads you to success.

Steve Jobs said: “It’s only by saying “no” that you can concentrate on the things that are really important”.

ACTION STEPS:  Create a “Not-To-Do” list.  This exercise will help you find out what you should NOT be spending time on and help you either automate them, delegate them or eliminate them!  Write a list of 5 – 10 actions or things you spend time on that don’t serve growth, greater income, empowerment, your higher power, your family or a bigger future.  Go through the list and mark them “Automate”, “Delegate”, or “Eliminate”.   Then ask yourself what are the top 3 actions that move the needle the most in your life.  Enjoy!

 

 

Tip #70: Interest or Commitment?

Let’s start with a quote. Kenneth Blanchard said: “There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.”

There is a big difference between activity and productivity. When given an idea, there are two ways to react. The first one is to acknowledge the idea, think about it, talk about it, express how great an idea it is, and then do nothing about it. Later on, we talk about “what we could have done” and make a series of excuses as to why it didn’t happen. Does that sound all too familiar? About 99% of us do it. This is called activity. Then the other way to react is to acknowledge the idea, think about it, talk about it, express how great an idea it is, and take immediate action to implement the idea. About 1% of us falls into this category. This is called productivity, and yes, it takes effort and sometimes sacrifice even, but it is the only path to success.

Activity presents a danger. It gives us the illusion of being productive beings, when all it does is to turn us into wishful thinkers. It is thus really important to assess which part of your actions are based on activity and turn them into productivity.

ACTION STEP: Make a list of your activities. Identify the ones that serve your purpose and discard the ones that don’t. Take each activity that could represent a step towards your goal and turn it into a productive task. Your mind will get decluttered from this exercise, allow for new ideas to emerge. This newfound efficiency will propel you faster toward success. Commit to this!

 

Tip #69: Work Hard… Reap the Rewards

Alexander Hamilton once said, “People sometimes attribute my success to my genius; all the genius I know anything about is hard work”. I don’t know of any great success story that didn’t come with a background of hard work and sacrifice. From Michelangelo, to Mozart, all genius masterpieces have been the product of long hours of working.

Nothing worthwhile comes easy right away. If it is too easy, you won’t reap the rewards because it means you are not pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and you are only trying to implement a small variation on what you are already doing. This might bring small improvements, but you will remain far from your big breakthrough. Bob Proctor divides goals into 3 categories: A, B and C. A means you are not really aiming at anything different. B means you are aiming at something different but still in your comfort zone. C means you are reaching out of your comfort zone. What type of goal do you think reaps the biggest reward?

It is important to assess what amount of work (or even sacrifice) you are willing to perform to achieve your desire or goal. Look at your goal, assess it, and decide if it is worth for you dedicating yourself to it. If you get scared or feel awkward, keep in mind: “You will never discover new oceans if you are not willing to lose sight of the shore.”

ACTION STEPS:  Decide what you want to do, evaluate what you need to do to reach your goal, and go for it! The rewards will quickly surpass the effort.

 

Tip #68: Don’t Give Up!

You have set a goal and you are going for it. Is there an ingredient that will be key to your success? The answer is yes, and this ingredient is persistence. Every path to greatness is filled with obstacles. It is not easy, but when we are convinced and passionate about the outcome (or the “why”), we put in the work and either remove the obstacles or find another path to our goal. When obstacles arise, it is time to stop and think about how to deal with them. There are always three possibilities to deal with an obstacle: go over, go around or go through it. The key is to find the lesson in each of them and move forward. The only way to lose is actually to give up and not learn. Some people only see problems and excuses not to move forward and some people embrace problems and the lesson that they bring and end up winning with lessons learned and goals attained. Which category would you rather fall into?

Nelson Mandela said: “I never lose, I either win or learn”. Knowing that, how can anyone ever give up?

ACTION STEPS: Assess the obstacles that are standing between you and your goal. Spend some time thinking about how you could address them (going over, around or through). Adopt an “I won’t quit’ mindset! Think in terms of finding a solution, not avoiding a problem. Put in the work and persevere!

Tip #67: How Do you Respond to Feedback?

Getting feedback is key when you start on a new idea or venture. Whether it is positive or negative, feedback is what we need to improve and keep moving towards our goals. How we respond to feedback is very important as well. It is our nature to dislike (and sometimes discard) negative feedback and it is a mistake. Any kind of feedback should be considered helpful, as long as it is objective.

Why are we afraid to get feedback? It is typically because we fear rejection. We need to move past the fear to be able to open ourselves to improvement. We don’t like to feel that our mistakes are pointed out. But, really, feedback should always be considered an opportunity for improvement rather than a mere criticism.

Go ahead, ask people, get feedback, it is what you need to master your trade.

Mother Teresa said: “Failure is merely feedback that there is something blocking the path of emergence and expansion of the greatest version of yourself”. Feedback is indispensable to better ourself and reach our goals.

ACTION STEPS: Use the Canfield methodology on feedback: everyday, make a point of asking 3 people (significant other, child, coworker…) for their feedback. It should be phrased this way: “on the scale of one to ten, how would you rate…” One is the worst and ten is the best. If the answer is less than a ten then say: “thank you for your feedback, what would it take to make it a ten?”.

 

Tip #66: Make Room for Greatness

Do you often ask yourself the following question: “how am I going to better my life, let alone start a new venture on top of EVERYTHING else I have to deal l with”? We often feel that our lives are overly busy and so full that there is no spare time at all. It is time to take a good look at the problem and fix it. We all share one thing (and nobody or nothing can take it away from us): we all have 24 hours to enjoy in a day, every day. This great gift also comes with the responsibility to decide how to use those 24 hours. Let’s take a look at our lives. There are so many little things (it can be as simple as cleaning up your closet or junk drawer) that can clutter our path to achieve bigger and better. We aren’t necessarily conscious of those messes, but they are in the back of your mind and they often clutter our thoughts, preventing us from dreaming bigger. As we get overwhelmed, we have a tendency to ignore the little irritants that need to get addressed and we then feel bad about missing a deadline, for example, which triggers negative thoughts, and takes us into the whirlpool of self- loathing at times. The secret to start fresh, with a clean slate, and remain in a state of positivity and accomplishments is to tackle each little task one a time. Once again, once step at the time is key to success.

As Barbara Hemphill said: “Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions.”

ACTION STEP FOR THIS WEEK: Write down all the things that you need to take care of and that you have been postponing. Make a table stating the task (or irritant), how can it be fixed, and if you can get delegate. Finally, add a column with a date to get done by. You will be surprised by how good it feels to finish your incompletes and how much time you are freeing up by doing so!

 

Tip #65: Fear is a feeling

We all experience feelings, and they can be very diverse, like joy, sadness, excitement, anger and fear. Feelings are never created by external circumstances; they are created by us and us only. Jack Canfield’s formula of Event + Response = Outcome (E+R=O) summarizes the concept. Fear is a natural warning mechanism, very much like pain is. It is our brain’s response to something which is perceived as a potential threat to us.

So, let’s look at it from this perspective. When we are in pain, our first reaction is to deal with the pain and make it go away. The problem with this approach is that very often, we have not cured the underlying cause of the pain even if we successfully removed it, and as a consequence our body will come back with the same response at a later time, and pain will resume eventually. Using a temporary fix does not work. The same is true with fear.

If we look at fear from a warning perspective, then it is easy to understand how use fear as an ally. Fear is nothing more than a warning sign that something is about to change. We do not want to get rid of fear, just like we do not want to get rid of pain (if we experienced no pain, we would most likely die much faster than we are supposed to). Fear does not mean “Stop”, it means, “Take a deep breath and proceed with caution”.

Theodore Roosevelt said: “It’s hard to fail but it is worse never to have tried to succeed”. Don’t let fear paralyze your progress towards greatness. Use it to your advantage and overcome it, you will be stronger for it.

ACTION STEPS: When fear hits, write down how you feel and make a list of the pros and cons of going down the road you are fearful to take. Then, thinking about how you can turn the cons into pros, mostly by changing your response to them.

 

Tip #64: How do you find your passion? 

A recent post on Facebook asked the following question: “If you were to talk about something for 20 minutes, without preparing, what would it be”?

This is such a great and important question. In tip #1, we have emphasized the importance of finding your why when you decide to get into entrepreneurship. Some people will stall at that point because they are not sure of their passion. Without passion, a job is just a job. The road to entrepreneur ship is the most rewarding, but like every worthwhile endeavor, it can also be quite daunting. We all have the one passion that drives us and gets us excited to get up for in the morning. It doesn’t have to be an art or a technology, it can simply be: “I love taking care of my kids” or “I love tending to my yard”. Have you noticed how most people can’t stop talking when you ask about a subject they really care about? With that passion also comes a wealth of information that is always worth sharing.

Take the action step described below to find your passion. Then let the world know about it! It is about living your life, not the life that you were told you should be living.

Steve Jobs said: “You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you are not passionate enough from the start, you will never stick out.”

ACTION STEP: When you talk to people, notice what you enjoy talking the most about, and once to start talking passionately about a subject, make a note of how people respond to you. Then sit down, write about your experience and see how you can go about making it into something bigger for your life. Turn your passion into your job, you will end up making a difference in the world.

 

Tip #63: A Small Twist on Your Goals and Performance.

We have previously approached the concept of goal setting. We have explained that in order to achieve your big dream, you need to set attainable goals and create a step-by step approach. However, there are two main reasons why most goals don’t ever see completion. One is the lack of measurable targets and the other is the systematic failure of committing to a deadline.  Most managers learn quite quickly that if they don’t provide their staff with a deadline on their tasks, they are simply wasting their time, and nothing ever gets done.  When a goal or task is set, it is very important to precise how much of it needs to be accomplished and by when.

An advantage of quantifying your goals is that it allows also to easily quantify your success. When you have reached the deadline of a given goal, you can assess how much completion you have reached. If less than 100%, you need to decide if you will extend the deadline to finish the goal (only if it is indispensable to the next step) or if you are going to change directions because the path you had initially decided on is not viable anymore.

Quantifying your goals is an easy and powerful way to keep performing at your very best and moving forward towards your dreams.

Josh Tyler said: “Creative professionals know the importance of quantitative goals and how they can lead to qualitative results”. Go ahead, quantify your goals and put an expiration date on each of them, your productivity will greatly increase!

ACTION STEP FOR THIS WEEK: Make a table with your goals in the first column, the date of completion that you want for each goal in the second column, and, in the third column, the % of completion of the goal at that date (this is somewhat subjective). If the second column shows less than 100% by the date of completion, take some time to think about that goal and why it didn’t reach 100% completion. Then, make a decision regarding that goal: should you keep at it and extend the completion date, or should you decide that the goal is not a priority anymore. When this is done, make a new table with the new decisions.

 

Tip #62: Time for honesty!

As you embark on your journey of entrepreneurship, it is important to take time to celebrate your successes, and it is also very important to acknowledge what is not working. Problems always arise and they are not a symptom of failure, they are a reason for improvement and will eventually lead you to success. Honesty is key. When things are not working, a widespread tendency is to blame circumstances (wrong time, wrong place, wrong people, etc..) or ignore problems and make excuse for what is happening. How many times have we heard “in this bad economy…”?

When the feeling that something is not right starts nagging you, it is time to stop, feel it and address it. The signs that things are not going well are to be taken into consideration, which most of us despise doing because it means taking action and sometimes stepping out of our comfort zone. What does it look like to take action? Bluntly put, it means to stop living a lie, where we pretend that all is great and the situation we are in is perfect. What is the point of always claiming that you are happy and living a full life when you are not? Or pretending that work is doing amazing when it is not? Fear, again, is what motivates us to lie. Sometimes, by the way, the best action is to take no action and let it go. You need to be open to the possibilities when you are dealing with an issue. Any outcome is possible, whether it means changing something or just moving on from it. What it important is to address problems with an open mind.

Zig Ziglar said: “The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist.” Be brave, recognize what is not working in your life and deal with it, right now!

ACTION STEP: Write down a list of what is not really working for you. Then ask yourself and write down how you could address it. The main question you need to answer is: “what would I really like instead?”  If you have several problems on your list, prioritize them and address then one at the time.

 

 

Tip #61: Learn Your Way To Success

If you want to contribute and help other people, you must first learn. We all have heard that knowledge is power. The power and willingness to learn are indispensable to create a successful business. You most likely are an expert in your field but deciding that you are done learning is ludicrous in an ever-changing environment. Learning is a lifelong process. Your business will go stale if you don’t invest in learning, and if you don’t benefit from the experience of those who are already successful, you are wasting precious time trying to reinvent everything.

How do you make time to include learning in your routine? It is simple math: if you reduce for example, your television watching time by one hour every day, you will free up 365 hours of potential learning per year (which is about 9 forty-hour work weeks). Imagine what you could learn in 9 work weeks? You could go through an entire course! With the internet, libraries, seminars, conferences, webinars, etc.. , there is no excuse to not keep learning and growing every day, which are indispensable traits for anyone in business, regardless of his nature.

Brian Herbert said: “The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice”. Make the right choice: keep learning, so you can succeed!

ACTION STEP: Decide to learn something new every day. You can read, watch biographies and documentaries, talk to people who are already successful and learn from them, attend conferences… the possibilities are endless.

Tip #60: Love Selling!

You have a product, you started your business, and now what? It’s time to generate some revenue by selling your product. Many people have trouble with selling, especially if the product was uniquely created by them. Promoting and selling what you make (and even more so yourself) is very challenging for most people. Our paradigms and blocks show up when we need to tell people “Look at this, I made it and it is a great product. Would you like to buy it?”. Selling has such a bad reputation! The problem is that when you have a business, there is no way around sales. Social media makes it easier; you can join groups and sell your products, but you still need to promote them.

How do you deal with the fear of selling? How can you love selling? It is, once again, about mindset.  Once you are convinced that you have a great product or service that will really make a positive change in people’s lives, then you can shift your negative beliefs around selling. Consider now that you are selling from a place of love. You are providing a service, doing people a favor by letting them know of your product. Doesn’t this perspective shift the way you look at selling? You recognized a problem that people were facing, you created a product to fix that problem, and now you are offering to sell them the product. By selling, you are making their life better. Isn’t that a great feeling?

Brian Tracy said: “Approach each customer with the idea of helping him or her solve a problem or achieve a goal, not of selling a product or a service.” Go ahead, see how that concept makes you feel, and sell your products!

ACTION STEP: Shift your negative preconceptions (and misconceptions) around selling. Write down a list of what your product or service does to serve your customers. Read that list every time you approach a customer and speak from a place of love!

Tip #59: Are you a Leader?

Regardless of its nature, there is no business without a team. The task of a leader is to be able to carry a powerful vision and convince others to join in achieving it. Many people say: “Oh I am not a leader”. The good news is that we aren’t born leaders, we become leaders, and we can all learn how to be good leaders. Very often, the success of your business will depend on your leadership abilities. An example of having to become a leader is when we start parenthood. Most people embrace the role without even thinking that they are becoming leaders the very day they become parents. Being a leader means reaching a goal and making a positive impact on one’s environment and circumstances.

To become a leader, it is imperative to know one person very well: yourself. In the same way you can’t love people if you don’t love yourself, you won’t be able to understand people if you don’t understand yourself first. It is also very important to be accountable for your own actions and hold your team accountable as well for theirs. Finally, if you want to be heard as a leader, you need to learn how to listen carefully to your team. Are you ready to step up?

John C. Maxwell said: “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way”.

Action step: To discover and understand yourself as a leader, write down your strengths and weaknesses. Then, for each of them, think of how they impact your behavior and your interaction with others. A fair assessment of your limits will greatly improve your relationship with your team, and it will enhance your ability to respond to stressful situations rather than react, which is a quality people really seek in a leader.

 

 

Tip #59: Are you a Leader?

Regardless of its nature, there is no business without a team. The task of a leader is to be able to carry a powerful vision and convince others to join in achieving it. Many people say: “Oh I am not a leader”. The good news is that we aren’t born leaders, we become leaders, and we can all learn how to be good leaders. Very often, the success of your business will depend on your leadership abilities. An example of having to become a leader is when we start parenthood. Most people embrace the role without even thinking that they are becoming leaders the very day they become parents. Being a leader means reaching a goal and making a positive impact on one’s environment and circumstances.

To become a leader, it is imperative to know one person very well: yourself. In the same way you can’t love people if you don’t love yourself, you won’t be able to understand people if you don’t understand yourself first. It is also very important to be accountable for your own actions and hold your team accountable as well for theirs. Finally, if you want to be heard as a leader, you need to learn how to listen carefully to your team. Are you ready to step up? 

John C. Maxwell said: “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way”.

Action step: To discover and understand yourself as a leader, write down your strengths and weaknesses. Then, for each of them, think of how they impact your behavior and your interaction with others. A fair assessment of your limits will greatly improve your relationship with your team, and it will enhance your ability to respond to stressful situations rather than react, which is a quality people really seek in a leader.

 

 

Tip #58: How Do you Respond to Feedback?

Getting feedback is key when you start on a new idea or venture. Whether it is positive or negative, feedback is what we need to improve and keep moving towards our goals. How we respond to feedback is very important as well. It is our nature to dislike (and sometimes discard) negative feedback and it is a mistake. Any kind of feedback should be considered helpful, as long as it is objective.

Why are we afraid to get feedback? It is typically because we fear rejection. We need to move past the fear to be able to open ourselves to improvement. We don’t like to feel that our mistakes are pointed out. But, really, feedback should always be considered an opportunity for improvement rather than a mere criticism.

Go ahead, ask people, get feedback, it is what you need to master your trade.

Mother Teresa said: “Failure is merely feedback that there is something blocking the path of emergence and expansion of the greatest version of yourself”. Feedback is indispensable to better ourself and reach our goals.

ACTION STEPS: Use the Canfield methodology on feedback: everyday, make a point of asking 3 people (significant other, child, coworker…) for their feedback. It should be phrased this way: “on the scale of one to ten, how would you rate…” One is the worst and ten is the best. If the answer is less than a ten then say: “thank you for your feedback, what would it take to make it a ten?”.

 

 

Tip #57: Conquer Your Fear!

Fear is a major factor that blocks people from achieving greatness. Because of this, fear should not be ignored or dismissed. When you start your new venture, you might find yourself at times, feeling paralyzed by fear and wanting to go back to the status quo. This is simple human nature, and we must be aware that we create our own feelings of fear and that it is completely normal to have these feelings anytime we go to do something we haven’t done before. The good news is that we can choose how we respond to circumstances – we are in control!  If fear is present, we can address it.

Here are 3 simple tips that you can use easily (and you might have a little fun doing it) that will help to conquer your fear:

  • Change your posture and expression– Stand up straight, put your hands on your hips and put a smile on your face. You will feel better and more confident right away.
  • Mirror Work (aka Mirror Play) – Look in the mirror, and say a powerful affirmation looking at yourself in the left eye then the right eye. Say the affirmation 5 times per eye a couples times a day.  This may seem silly, but you are affirming to yourself that you are powerful!
  • Take one step, despite your fear – Jumping in and taking action can not only help you gain momentum, but it can also reveal what the next step should be. Before you know it, the obstacles and outcomes you were so worried about begin to disappear and you are one step closer to your goal.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Do the thing we fear, and death of fear is certain”. Action is the best (if not the only) way to deal with fear. As hard as it may be, embrace fear, analyze why is it present, and start doing the very action that triggers the feeling of discomfort!

ACTION STEP FOR THIS WEEK: do the mirror exercise, stand tall and confident and write some affirmations about conquering your fears.

 

Tip #56: Ask yourself “WHY?”

Whether you have decided to improve your life or give a whole new meaning, the first question that you need to ask yourself is “WHY”. What is it that you want to change or want to improve and WHY?  

WHY are you embarking on your new journey? It is important to dissociate money from the reasons that push you to bring changes to your life. Money is certainly important and should not be dismissed so perhaps focus on WHY you want the money.  Money is almost always a by-product of success, so focus on your dreams and passions not directly on the outcome of money.   

Another reason to really understand your WHY is that when things become difficult and there are obstacles to overcome and you feel like quitting, remembering WHY you started in the first place is what will help you keep going.

WHY is certainly the most important question oneself can ponder. As Mark Twain said: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why”.

ACTION STEP FOR THIS WEEK: make a list of your WHYs and read it everyday.

 

Tip #55: Don’t do it alone

Moment of truth: it doesn’t matter how unique you think your idea is, there is a high likelihood that someone has done something similar before you. Far from being a bad thing, you can, and should, use other people’s knowledge and experience to propel you faster and farther!  If you want to start your own venture and don’t know where to start, the best way is to find someone who already has done it and has been successful at it and ask them how they did it.  In most cases, people love to talk about themselves and their accomplishments, so ask, sit down, listen and learn. You will make them feel very happy to share their story and at the same time, you will learn how to proceed for your own benefit. It is a beautiful case of a win-win situation!

Of course, unless you already know someone who can help you by sharing their story, you will need to do a little research to find such people. Social media is a great place to start. You can look for people who have already accomplished what you are trying to do, on Facebook or LinkedIn. You can also look up trade shows and conferences (even if they are conducted online) and access their participants directory, to find people you would like to learn from. In any case, as usual, if you ask and get a negative response, don’t give up, just move on to the next person!

Oprah Winfrey said: “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself”. Go ahead, enjoy successful people’s story, and then start writing your own!

ACTION STEP: Start building a network of people in the area you are interested in.  Find people who have already done what you would like to start. Make a list of their names and information.  Next have a clear ask.  The ask could be as simple as a few minutes of their time, ask what they would advise for next steps or see if they have someone they suggest you should speak with.  Successful people often are incredibly open to helping others.  The result will surprise you!

 

Tip #54: Make Room for Greatness

Do you often ask yourself the following question: “how am I going to better my life, let alone start a new venture on top of EVERYTHING else I have to deal l with”? We often feel that our lives are overly busy and so full that there is no spare time at all. It is time to take a good look at the problem and fix it. We all share one thing (and nobody or nothing can take it away from us): we all have 24 hours to enjoy in a day, every day. This great gift also comes with the responsibility to decide how to use those 24 hours. Let’s take a look at our lives. There are so many little things (it can be as simple as cleaning up your closet or junk drawer) that can clutter our path to achieve bigger and better. We aren’t necessarily conscious of those messes, but they are in the back of your mind and they often clutter our thoughts, preventing us from dreaming bigger. As we get overwhelmed, we have a tendency to ignore the little irritants that need to get addressed and we then feel bad about missing a deadline, for example, which triggers negative thoughts, and takes us into the whirlpool of self- loathing at times. The secret to start fresh, with a clean slate, and remain in a state of positivity and accomplishments is to tackle each little task one a time. Once again, once step at the time is key to success.

As Barbara Hemphill said: “Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions.”

ACTION STEP FOR THIS WEEK: Write down all the things that you need to take care of and that you have been postponing. Make a table stating the task (or irritant), how can it be fixed, and if you can get delegate. Finally, add a column with a date to get done by. You will be surprised by how good it feels to finish your incompletes and how much time you are freeing up by doing so!

 

Tip #53: Gratitude is Everything

As physicists, we are taught early on that one of the principles that governs our universe states that for every action, there is a reaction of equal intensity. If we think about this principle, what we must do becomes clear: if we want to attract in our lives more things to be grateful for, then we must already feel gratitude for the things we already have.
When things appear frustrating, dreary or you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel (you may have felt a lot of moments like this in past few months!) understand, we all have the ability to choose our thoughts. Amidst everything that is going on around the world, we must focus on our positive thoughts and bright outcomes as much as possible.  Although you may not always remember to do it, it is easy to be grateful for the things that make you happy and getting the things you want. But, trust us, there is also something to be grateful for when things are not going the way we want.

Take a few minutes right now to reflect on something you are struggling with. Then, find something about the situation to be grateful for. When you expand your gratitude from a 5-minute practice of acknowledging the good in your life to an all-day habit, regardless of whether the current situation is to your liking, you end up happy with yourself and life. That ever-present feeling of gratitude attracts even more good things into your life to be grateful for.

As Napoleon Hill said: “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

ACTION STEP FOR THIS WEEK: Everyday, write down all the things in your life that make you feel grateful. Don’t just go through the motions, try to really feel it. Repeat the exercise every day for at least 30 days.

 

 

Tip #52: Are you listening?

When building and growing a business, or even with our daily interactions and whereabouts, one quality is key to develop: the art of listening. Very often, we hear people say or we say ourselves “I am listening”, only to realize later on that whatever was said was only heard but not understood, because the other person was not listening at all.

There are different levels of listening. The first level represents that person who you are telling a story to and who immediately says, “Oh I know that feeling, I myself have experienced this when…”. The so-called listener then makes it all about themselves and your story or point is never taken into consideration. This kind of listening (let’s call it Level A) does not lead anywhere since it ends up being one-way communication only.

Level B is when a person is told a story and they intensely listen to the other person, or at least pretend they do. They do not bring up anything about themselves, nod their head and seem to have soaked all of the information that was given to them. Unfortunately, it is very passive and very often, the information conveyed is lost or not understood deeply.

Finally, level C is active and deep listening. The listener in that situation is intensely involved and focused and pays attention to the other party and the information, but also are very present in the moment. They notice everything that surrounds the conversation and when asked later, are able to retrace it like a vivid memory. This kind of listening is what we should be doing all the time, every single day, it is mostly about living every moment and being present.

Ernest Hemingway said: “I like to listen. I have a learned a great deal listening carefully. Most people never listen.” Are you listening?

ACTION STEP: Learn to listen. Pay attention to everything that surrounds you, even when you are alone. Listen to the sounds around you, pay attention to your environment. Be present. You’ll be surprised how your communication skills will improve.

 

 

 

Tip #51: In legacy we find purpose.

Almost a year ago, when we wrote tip#1, we wrote about finding your why. Why start your own business? Let’s talk today about legacy. When you have a job and you work for a few decades, you faithfully devote your time to an employer (or several employers), then you leave, or you retire. After you, there is nothing left, unless you have saved and invested your money and left your investments as a legacy.

Why is it so important to leave a legacy? Because it is what gives us purpose, and purpose is key to be a successful entrepreneur.  If you have children, then it is obvious. What better feeling than knowing that you are leaving them with something that will better their lives even after you are long gone? Building your own business achieves just that. Your legacy will fill you with joy and a deep sense of accomplishment, because making someone’s life better is the ultimate purpose. You need to generate “willable income” that can be transferred automatically after you leave this world.

Vitor Belfort said: “Legacy is not what I did for myself. It’s what I am doing for the next generation.” We are builders, so let’s create and build!

Action Steps: take some time to assess what your legacy might be. If you are not satisfied with the answer, think of ways to enhance your mark in the world, this will show you your purpose.

 

Tip #50: We are in Augmented Reality now!!

 

Welcome to Tuesday Wisdom Tip # 50!! A year ago, “Free and Rich Beyond Wealthy” was published, launched, and became an International Bestseller. Since then, we have helped people start, grow, or reinvent their businesses. We are keeping up with technology and making everyone’s experience easy, pleasant, and rewarding when they decide to embark on the journey of entrepreneurship. That’s why we now have included Augmented Reality in “Free and Rich Beyond Wealthy”. It doesn’t matter if you are purchasing the book right now of if you have already purchased it, as our Augmented Reality can be activated in ANY copy. To do so and see what it can do for you, open your book, and check out the instructions detailed in the link below! It’s very simple!

https://bit.ly/3ud1QiY

 

ENJOY!

 

Tip #49: The art of self-funding

How many times do you think that you’d love to do something, but you can’t afford it? We look at our busy lives and we wonder how we could possibly start a new business or go for our dreams. It is not just about money. Time is very much a concern also. And yet, we also wonder how the “successful” people do it. They seem to be able to juggle everything: multiple businesses, kids, vacation…  It is once again a matter of changing our perspective on how we look at things. We all have one thing in common: we all dispose of 24 hours in a day, every single day. It is our choice to dispose of that time any way we want.

So, let’s take a hard look at our own situation. We have explained before that it is very possible to start a business on no or very little money. Money comes and goes, unlike time. Time is precious but it has become a bad excuse for many of us to not do anything different. Most people feel that they are already overbooked and overwhelmed and there is no extra time in their day to accomplish their dreams. And yet, for most of us, if we assess what we spend time on, it is easy to see that we waste some valuable hours that could be used towards our dreams. Let’s try to change that!

Seneca said: “It’s not that we have little time but more that we waste a good deal of it.” It’s time to reassess how you spend your precious time.

ACTION STEPS: Take a hard look at how you spend your day. Count the minutes or hours you spend on given tasks. Ask yourself if everything you spend time on is necessary. Are you watching 3 hours of television a day? How about cutting it to two hours and spend the saved hour on your side business? There are plenty of easy ways to optimize your day without feeling deprived!

 

 

Tip #48: Say what you mean, mean what you say.

We don’t think about them because we use them every day, and often we don’t pay attention to them, but words are one of our most powerful tools we have. With words, we can build, or we can destroy. We can hurt, or we can uplift someone’s spirits. Words are vital to relationships. The way we speak of others and to others is what defines the relationship we are building with them. It is important to speak words that aim at building rather than damaging. Keep in mind that when you say something, the other person reacts and sends the energy back to you.

If you want to communicate efficiently, you need to be aware of the impact of your words. The worst form of communication is of course the use of lies. Lies not only present a distorted vision of reality, they also destroy trust, thus making a relationship impossible. It is also very important to speak only with integrity, in particular when talking about other people. Gossip is unproductive and should be avoided at all times since it only affects everyone negatively, whether you are the perpetrator or the recipient. There is real solace in speaking clearly and truthfully, and we should all indulge in the peaceful and accomplished feeling that comes with it.

Sigmund Freud said: “Words have a magical power. They can either bring the greatest happiness or the greatest despair.” Choose your words wisely!

ACTION STEPS: Practice mindful speaking. When you address people, make sure that your words leave them with a sense of elevation. This is the essence of good communication, and with great communication, comes great success.

 

Tip #47: Do you have ADD?

ADD: attention deficit disorder. Many of us suffer from it, even though we are not aware of it. It’s that disease that makes us buy books instead of trying to act to fix our lives. Sounds familiar? It’s a very common attitude. We set a goal, we stumble on an obstacle and we derive from our main course. How many people have bought several books on business or listened to podcasts or watched videos on how great it would be to start a business, but still don’t have a business running? There is a wide gap between talking about something and doing it. Our attention span is very short. We move from one thing to the other almost as fast as a toddler does.

So, instead of going to buy one more book about what we could do, how about we start doing it? The only thing we should be trying to learn from after we have set out goal is a tutorial that explains how to get there. If we run into obstacles, then we need to ask the right people how to go about them. Every single one of our activities should be directed toward accomplishments that get us closer to our goal. Let’s noe lose sight of the prize at the end of the journey! Keep focusing on it!

Vince Lombardi said: “Success demands singleness of purpose”. His team wouldn’t have performed as well if instead of practicing they had been given a book to read about why they want to be football players, don’t you think?

ACTION STEPS: Look at your goal and write down how you plan to achieve it. Be detailed with all the steps. If there are some steps that you think you’ll have difficulty accomplishing, then plan to ask people who already have accomplished that step. Keep moving forward, no matter what.

 

Tip #46: Where is the money?

That’s the eternal question: “Where do I find the money?” Money, or the lack of, is one of the biggest objections to NOT do something or move forward in life. And yet, we avidly listen to stories of successful people who started from nothing, overcame it all and made it big. As we sit there, thinking with admiration: “Wow, what an amazing story”, the concept of beating all unfavorable odds seems so far-fetched that we end up looking for the “lucky streak” of events that made our heroes so successful.  Let’s take the example of Charlie Chaplin: his Dad died when Charlie and his brother were very young. Their Mom, soon after, got committed into a mental asylum, and the two kids ended up roaming the streets of London for food and shelter. Charlie then decided to let his talent shine… and the rest is history! Without reading your mind, there is a good chance that you are thinking the following right now: “BUT he had that amazing talent, right? So, it’s easy to beat the odds in that case…”.

Here is the news though: we ALL have talents. Unfortunately, 90% of us decide to ignore them. We ignore them because the status quo seems easier than making a change. So, we blame it on the lack of money. But if we decide to go for it and go for our dreams (or just react to a dire situation) and get to work for it, then the money eventually appears. There is ALWAYS a way to fuel our dreams.

Henry David Thoreau said: “The truth is, there is money buried everywhere and you only have to go to work to find it”.

ACTION STEPS: Once again, take a hard look at what is holding you back. If it is the lack of money that prevents you from moving forward with your goals, then start working towards them without spending anything. You’ll be surprised by how easily things end up falling into place when you just simply try. Money will eventually show up, It always does.  

 

Tip #45: We present you your worst enemy: comfort!

Do you know what kills most wild animals? It’s when they get so comfortable in their environment that they forget about the potential dangers like a hidden predator, and they indulge in a few more seconds of eating the delicious grass. Animals find ultimate comfort in eating because their primary instinct is that food is survival. But sometimes, enjoying food and comfort lead to their death.

It’s the same for us. Comfort is the main driver for us to do nothing. Feeling comfortable is great, but what if we were being fooled by the illusion of comfort? Does our comfort depend on a specific situation? Can it all be taken away in a blink of an eye? The recent events have shown us that the answer to both these questions is yes for most of us.

How can we deal with it? One way to erase the uncertainty that comes with our comfort depending on circumstances or people, is to diversify our assets and sources of income. When we have multiple sources of income, it is easier to feel comfortable, knowing that if one of the sources dries out, then the other ones will keep us going. This is similar to being a stock market investor with a diversified portfolio.

As T. Arrigo said: “The hardest thing to do is leaving your comfort zone, but you have to let go of the life you are familiar with and take the risk to live the life you dream about.”.

ACTION STEPS: Think about what makes you feel comfortable in your life and assess if this feeling is attached to a situation or people (or both). Make a list of how you could diversify and multiply the sources of comfort in your life, then work at getting them!

PS: for help with creating multiple sources of income, checkout the membership or sapphire programs at www.giselemaxwell.com

 

Tip #44: Are you dropping the ball?

You had decided. You were going to start a business and make your life better by doing what you are passionate about (even if it is as simple as making more money) and by generating a new source of income. But then, life happened. Your kids needed you, you had to put in extra hours at work, family visited, or simply you got a little lazy… In summary, you got overwhelmed and you decided that being a business owner was not for you after all. You dropped the ball.

It happens to many of us! When that happens, it is worth analyzing how it makes us feel. Relieved? Let’s face it: if we were all meant to be business owners, we all would be. If this is how you feel, then it is a great step forward that you took, showing you that entrepreneurship was the wrong path for you, so you didn’t waste your time exploring it. Or do you feel down on yourself because of it? If that’s the case, please remember that it happens to a lot of us, so don’t be too harsh on yourself. It also means, however, that you are not completely satisfied with your decision of dropping the ball.

We never said it was easy and that creating your own business was a “get rich quick” scheme. It is a long road, and a very rewarding journey, and like most things worth having, it takes a while to get there. But there are ways to make it a little easier on yourself. It only takes courage and one commitment: think about it every day and do every day at least ONE small thing towards your goal.

Gary Brian Blair said: “If you are brave enough to start, you are strong enough to finish”. This is true, regardless of the outcome.

ACTION STEPS: Divide your goals into smaller steps if you are feeling overwhelmed and loosen your timeline. It doesn’t matter WHEN and HOW FAST you get to your goal, what matters is that you get there!

 

Tip #43: All about you… and it’s not.

You have a product and you are putting it on the market. Why will people buy your product and not the competition’s? If you think it is because your product is cheaper and better, think again! Yes, the product’s performance matters, but, very often, those arguments are not enough to gain significant market shares. As authors, we all know that writing a book is 5% of the work. The rest of the 95% that will turn it into a best-seller is pure marketing!

What is the ONE thing and ONE thing only that makes your product unique in such a way that people will want to buy it? The answer is simple: it is YOU. YOU are what makes your product unique. People are not just buying your product; they are buying it from YOU. In order to become your clients, people need to trust you as much as they trust your product. As you can see, it’s all about YOU!

How do you gain people’s trust? By making it all about THEM, not YOU! Wait… What?! I know, we just said the opposite… What this mean is that you gain your clients’ trust by listening to them. Being a good listener is key. It will allow you to understand your clients’ needs and respond in a way that will make you unique and trustworthy.

Bryant H. McGill said: “One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say”. Deeply listen to your customers, you will serve them better.

ACTION STEPS: List the qualities that make you unique. Relate them to your experiences. Make a list of your clients’ needs and more importantly their fears. Use your unique approach to solve those.

 

Tip #42: Don’t Give Up!

You have set a goal and you are going for it. Is there an ingredient that will be key to your success? The answer is yes, and this ingredient is persistence. Every path to greatness is filled with obstacles. It is not easy, but when we are convinced and passionate about the outcome (or the “why”), we put in the work and either remove the obstacles or find another path to our goal. When obstacles arise, it is time to stop and think about how to deal with them. There are always three possibilities to deal with an obstacle: go over, go around or go through it. The key is to find the lesson in each of them and move forward. The only way to lose is actually to give up and not learn. Some people only see problems and excuses not to move forward and some people embrace problems and the lesson that they bring, and end up winning with lessons learned and goals attained. Which category would you rather fall into?

Nelson Mandela said: “I never lose, I either win or learn”. Knowing that, how can anyone ever give up?

ACTION STEPS: Assess the obstacles that are standing between you and your goal. Spend some time thinking about how you could address them (going over, around or through). Adopt an “I won’t quit’ mindset! Think in terms of finding a solution, not avoiding a problem. Put in the work and persevere!

Tip #41: Are you a Leader?

Regardless of its nature, there is no business without a team. The task of a leader is to be able to carry a powerful vision and convince others to join in achieving it. Many people say: “Oh I am not a leader”. The good news is that we aren’t born leaders, we become leaders, and we can all learn how to be good leaders. Very often, the success of your business will depend on your leadership abilities. An example of having to become a leader is when we start parenthood. Most people embrace the role without even thinking that they are becoming leaders the very day they become parents. Being a leader means reaching a goal and making a positive impact on one’s environment and circumstances.

To become a leader, it is imperative to know one person very well: yourself. In the same way you can’t love people if you don’t love yourself, you won’t be able to understand people if you don’t understand yourself first. It is also very important to be accountable for your own actions and hold your team accountable as well for theirs. Finally, if you want to be heard as a leader, you need to learn how to listen carefully to your team. Are you ready to step up?

 John C. Maxwell said: “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way”.

Action step: To discover and understand yourself as a leader, write down your strengths and weaknesses. Then, for each of them, think of how they impact your behavior and your interaction with others. A fair assessment of your limits will greatly improve your relationship with your team, and it will enhance your ability to respond to stressful situations rather than react, which is a quality people really seek in a leader. 

Tip #40: One Injury Away From Nothing…

 

About a year ago, I got a message on social media from a young professional basketball player from Europe. He wanted to know how I moved from being a scientist to writing a book about business. He told me that his Mom had been pestering him about starting a business on top of playing basketball because she said he was “one injury away from nothing” if he didn’t have a backup plan. The outbreak of Covid last year has shown us that, even if we have “regular” jobs and are not professional athletes, we are all one injury away from nothing. How many of us live in fear that if we lose our jobs, we won’t be able to pay our bills anymore? And that fear makes us stay in jobs that are often less than stimulating. How many times do we hear “it’s a job, it pays the bills”? And how many of us have the nagging feeling that there is more to their life than what they are experiencing?

There is a fix to that problem. There is a way to experience a deeply fulfilled life without having to fear tomorrow if something outside of our control happens. The solution is to divide and conquer or to not put all your eggs in one basket. In other words, keep your day job for now and think about what your real passions are or what you like to teach other people, and start working on those. In order to feel more secure about the future, it is necessary to consider more than one source of income. It’s like having a backup generator in case the power runs out at your house. Ideally, you’ll have one or two sources of income to pay for your bills, one for investments and building your wealth and one for your fun. It’s time to think about it and act.

Barry Finlay said: “Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing”. Go ahead, start climbing!

ACTION STEP: Think of what income would make you feel secure. Look into what you could and would like to do besides your daily job. Devise a plan to monetize your ideas or passions and turn them into additional streams of income.

Tip #39: Celebrate your successes!

 As we stated before, it is important to acknowledge your failures in a productive and constructive way in order to move forward, but it is equally important to celebrate your successes along the way of your goals achieving venture. Celebrating successes along the way, and feeling that we are making tangible progress, gets us motivated to accomplish even more.

Just as it is with failures, successes have to be acknowledged and then celebrated. Taking one step at a time is what prevents us from getting overwhelmed, and we need to stop along the way to indulge into enjoying what we have accomplished by getting to s specific step. When you set your goals, it is important to set checkpoints. Divide the goals into a few smaller goals along the path and “grade” and assess everyone of them. Focus on the things that you have done well and feel good about them. Focusing on what you didn’t accomplish will make you stall, whereas focusing on what you have successfully done will encourage you to take the next step, with a feeling of joy.

Albert Schweitzer said: “Success is not the key to happiness, but happiness is the key to success”. Celebrate, be happy and enjoy your success!

ACTION STEP: Write down the goal you want to achieve and write the date of completion next to it. Draw a table with 4 columns. The first column is labeled “Steps”. Write down as many steps as you can think of (each line is a step). The second column is labeled “Planned completion date”. The third column is “actual date”, and it might differ from the initial date. The last column is labeled “Wins”, this is the place where you write down your wins for each step.  Keep taking goal achieving steps every day and before you know it, you will be right where you aimed to be!

Tip #38: What would you like people to say about you?

In 1867, the Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel patented the invention of dynamite. It was a breakthrough invention that we still use nowadays. In 1888, Alfred Nobel’s brother died and the newspaper mistakenly published Alfred’s obituary instead. The obituary mostly talked about the invention of dynamite and how dangerous and lethal it could be. They even called Nobel the “merchant of death”. It was an eye opener for the scientist who decided to change his life purpose so that his legacy could be different. This is why, in 1895, he decided to start and fund the Nobel Prize foundation, for which he is also now remembered for.

The purpose of this story is to take a look at our lives in a different light and ask ourselves the question: “if I were to die tomorrow, what would my obituary say?” It is not really about trying to look good to other people, but it is certainly about what legacy we want to leave. So, let’s think about it.

Shannon Alder said: “Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you”. How do you want to be remembered?

ACTION STEP FOR THIS WEEK: Write what you would like to be remembered for. If your current situation doesn’t match exactly what you wish for, change your story! You and only you have the power to do so!

Tip #37: A Small Twist on Your Goals and Performance.

We have previously approached the concept of goal setting. We have explained that in order to achieve your big dream, you need to set attainable goals and create a step-by step approach. However, there are two main reasons why most goals don’t ever see completion. One is the lack of measurable targets and the other is the systematic failure of committing to a deadline.  Most managers learn quite quickly that if they don’t provide their staff with a deadline on their tasks, they are simply wasting their time, and nothing ever gets done.  When a goal or task is set, it is very important to precise how much of it needs to be accomplished and by when.

An advantage of quantifying your goals is that it allows the ability to quantify your success. When you have reached the deadline of a given goal, you can assess how much completion you have reached. If less than 100%, you need to decide if you will extend the deadline to finish the goal (only if it is indispensable to the next step) or if you are going to change directions because the path you had initially decided on is not viable anymore.

Quantifying your goals is an easy and powerful way to keep performing at your very best and moving forward towards your dreams.

Josh Tyler said: “Creative professionals know the importance of quantitative goals and how they can lead to qualitative results”. Go ahead, quantify your goals and put an expiration date on each of them, your productivity will greatly increase!

ACTION STEP FOR THIS WEEK: Make a table with your goals in the first column, the date of completion that you want for each goal in the second column, and, in the third column, the % of completion of the goal at that date (this is somewhat subjective). If the second column shows less than 100% by the date of completion, take some time to think about that goal and why it didn’t reach 100% completion. Then, make a decision regarding that goal: should you keep at it and extend the completion date, or should you decide that the goal is not a priority anymore. When this is done, make a new table with the new decisions.

Tip #36: The Art of Asking

There is no point reinventing the wheel and if you want to be efficient in your business, the best way to do so is to get information from people who have already mastered what you are trying to accomplish. How do you do that? Just ask!

The problem is that we don’t like to ask, for fear of rejection. But rejection is actually something that we make up. When someone says no to us, we aren’t in a worst position than we were before we asked. So, if you think about it, there is no reason not to ask, because if we get a yes, that can really make a difference in our lives!

What are some powerful ways to ask? The main ingredient is to be assertive. You need to absolutely believe that you are going to get what you are asking for. Another important thing is to ask the right person. You need to qualify your audience, there is no point in asking someone who can’t grant your request. Finally, it is essential to be specific when you have a request. Not being specific can lead to confusion and not get you what you need.

A famous French writer, Eugene Ionesco, said: “It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question”. Go ahead, get enlightened, ask away!

ACTION STEP FOR THIS WEEK: Write down all the things that you would like to ask for. It can be at home, at work, or in general. Reflect on why you have been postponing asking and what fear is blocking you. Finally, write down what the result is of not asking and also write what the benefit of asking would be. Then…go ask!  

 

 

 

 

Tip #35 Redux : Change: Embrace It or Stall

By now, we all have seen that change is inevitable and can strike when we least expect it. The recent events have shown us that not adapting to change and refusing to evolve can be damaging. Of course, we always have a choice. We can either accept change, learn, grow and turn it into a positive experience, or we can resist it, become bitter and get left behind. Change will always take place, regardless of our attitude, so why not make the best of it and embrace it? Many businesses have to adjust to change during the course of their existence. Imagine that you own a coffee shop and all of a sudden, 2 streets farther, a big coffee franchise shows up. What would you do? Some of us would quit and decide that the coffee shop wasn’t meant to be and some of us would decide that the new competition will attract a different clientele who might eventually stop by your shop and decide that the croissants that you are also selling are to die for. Once again, it is about responding to change and embracing it rather than reacting and resisting.

How can you embrace the change when all you want to do is run away from it? There are steps you can take to make the process easier.

Socrates said: “The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new”.

Action steps: When confronted to a situation of change and you find yourself resisting it, ask yourself some questions:

  • How is this change affecting me?
  • If there is no change and things remain the same, what is the outcome?
  • Is there a way this change will bring some positive to my life?

 

 

 

 

Tip #35: Are you worth a million dollars?

This week’s tip takes after a very valuable lesson that Jack Canfield teaches in his “Success Principles”. Have you ever been in the position where you over-committed (your time, your money, etc…) and couldn’t deliver? Then, after you failed delivering you most likely felt really bad about it and down on yourself. You are not alone; we do that all the time. We all like to make agreements with others, because we feel good about them. But if we don’t think about and gauge carefully the agreements we make, then when we fall through, our integrity is questioned, and our self-esteem suffers. Most of us are people pleasers so we love to say yes to everything, and we get in trouble for I, because we don’t assess our real priorities carefully. A typical example is getting late to an event or a class, or work. How many times have we blamed traffic? It is not a valid excuse though because it is obvious that all we have to do once we know traffic patterns is to leave the house early enough to get to our commitment on time.

When we are failing a specific commitment systematically, then it is time to ask ourselves why we are doing it. Then ask yourself the question: “If I were given one million dollars to do it, would I do it?”. In most cases, the answer is a very strong “YES!”. What this means is that we are very well capable of keeping our words if the motivation is strong enough. Beyond money, assessing the consequences that not keeping our words brings upon us is very important. Is breaking your commitment worth losing your self-esteem, your integrity and the trust that people have in you?

Les Brown said: “Honor your commitments with integrity”.

ACTION STEP: Look at your ongoing commitments. Are you honoring all of them? If not, look at the ones you are not honoring (or you know you won’t honor), and ask yourself the question if you want to keep the commitment or not. Then take a calendar and schedule all your commitments, every day of the week. Look at the schedule daily to make sure you will be honoring every one of them. Then celebrate your very productive week!

 

 

 

 

Tip #34: Sometimes it’s overwhelming

You have set your goals and you have made a plan and a schedule to achieve the necessary steps to be successful. And, best of all, it has been a month since your New Year’s resolutions and you are sticking to them. Congratulations! You are on your way to change your world and make it a better place for you and those around you. Then, all of a sudden, life hits. Life can hit in many unpredictable ways. Your car breaks down and you can’t go to work that day, or your kid breaks an arm on the playground, or a pandemic hits and the world gets shutdown. Now what? When that happens, we call it “back to reality” and we very often decide to put our dreams and goals on the back burner. That’s how we forget about who we really wanted to be, because we feel it is necessary to deal with the overwhelming unpredictability of life.

Do you remember the principle taught in an earlier tip that stated that the way you respond to an event dictates that outcome? As overwhelming as life can be, there is always room for your dreams. That’s why it is necessary to break up your goals into very small pieces that you can easily fit in your daily routine until they become habits, just like taking a shower in the morning. Those steps have to become what you do every day NO MATTER WHAT. When you do this, even the seemingly biggest problem will appear manageable and part of your big picture. It won’t appear as a showstopper but more as a nudge to keep going and growing.

Robert Schuller said: “Problems are not stop signs; they are guidelines”.

ACTION STEP: Tackle unforeseen events like you do your daily steps towards your goals. Divide the problem into smaller ones to deal with and fit it in your daily routine, alongside with your steps to achieve your dreams. You will be surprised by how more confident you become in your ability to solve anything that comes your way.

 

 

 

 

Tip #33: Just keep swimming…

Now that you have your big picture dream and your goals and you have written them down, it is time to decide that regardless of what your day-to-day obligations bring, you will be consistent in your commitment to achieving your goals. Whether your goal is to write a book, lose some weight or clean up your house, a little bit everyday goes a much longer way than days of inaction followed by a few days of full-on action.  Consistency and persistence are the key.

Finding time to work towards your New Year’s resolution goal can be challenging, especially if you already have a busy life with a full schedule. But, since you have established that your new goal is a priority, then it is worth reassessing your schedule for it and set aside one hour every day to work on it. What we deem productive is of course suggestive and you can vary what you are doing during that hour. For example, if you are writing a book, you can be writing for an hour or you can be researching literary agents, or you can be working on a schedule for your social media postings to announce your new venture to the word. What matters is that you focus during that time on your goal and only your goal. You will be surprised by the result after a few months of consistently working towards your dream. Are you ready for it?

Tony Robbins said: “It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, it is what we do consistently”.

ACTION STEP: Free up one hour in your daily schedule (wake up one hour earlier if you have to) and assign it to work on your new goal. Get excited about the outcome!

 

 

 

 

TIP #32: ALL ABOUT YOU!

“Please put on your oxygen mask first before helping others” … We (or at least those of us who have been on a flight) all have heard that sentence from the flight attendant when giving us the security protocols. The same concept applies to everything. How can an unhappy person contribute to anyone else’s happiness if they aren’t happy themselves? How can you give money to a charity to help others if you don’t have money yourself? In order to make a difference, you need to help yourself first.

Now that you have made your New Year’s resolutions, it is time to go for them! Hopefully, by now, you have picked the ones that are about you and have made a plan to achieve them. If not, go through your list and chose to prioritize the goals that are for you only. It is not selfish to think and care for yourself. When you take care of yourself and feel good about who you are and how you are, you are a gift to the world!

Katie Reed said: “Self-care is giving the world the best of you instead of what’s left of you”.

ACTION STEP: make a list of YOUR goals and start working on them.

 

Tip #31: This year I will…

We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, and we wish you a very happy new year! As we return from our holiday break, it seems appropriate to talk about a phenomenon that concerns a very large portion of the population: New Year’s resolutions.

We all have been there (and most of us still do it every year): January 1st hits, we get a sense of new and renew, and we have the overwhelming desire to hit the refresh button and make a lasting change to better our lives. When that happens, we have an amazing feeling of being invincible. And then, by February (yes, we have all been in that position), our resolutions fade away and we, consciously or not, decide that the resolutions aren’t worth that much and we get back to our old patterns.

Sounds familiar? Once again, our fears of change overcome our desire to change. One of the main reasons behind that phenomenon is that when we make a resolution, and we genuinely mean it, we forget to make a plan for it. We come up with the end result, but we don’t establish the path to get there. It is like deciding to climb a very tall mountain without thinking of getting in shape before starting the climb. So how do we fix this? It is quite simple.

  1. Allen Shaw said: “Don’t make resolutions without an action plan. The secret to success is right in your hands”. Go ahead, dissect your goal into smaller attainable steps, make a plan!

ACTION STEP FOR THIS WEEK: make a list of your resolutions for the year, and don’t forget to write down your WHY for each of them. Then narrow the list to 2 or 3 and for each to them, make a plan with milestones and a timeline.

 

Tip #30: It’s only temporary!

 

When I was growing up in France, there was a commercial for a brand of ice cream and its slogan went something like “Everything passes, everything ends, but our cravings for ice cream!”. Well, cravings for ice cream come and go, but the ultimate truth is that good or bad, all situations are temporary. What that means is that when we feel stuck, it is very important to understand that it is temporary and that our present always forges our future.

When a company experiences a downturn in business, it is time to think about new products, new solutions, new services, rather than trying to figure out how to keep the profit level steady by reducing the work force for example. Since every situation is temporary, when a bad situation hits, it is time to brace and think of better times to come (and they always come) and ensure that we are prepared for when things turn around.

Napoleon Hill said: “Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat”. When in a daring situation, think of the opportunities ahead and keep moving forward.

ACTION STEP: if you find yourself in a difficult situation, think that it is only temporary and imagine and work on what you will do when things get better. What is worse than dealing with a bad situation is to not know what to do when things get better.

 

 

Tip #29: Are you listening?

When building and growing a business, or even with our daily interactions and whereabouts, one quality is key to develop: the art of listening. Very often, we hear people say or we say ourselves “I am listening”, only to realize later on that whatever was said was only heard but not understood, because the other person was not listening at all.

There are different levels of listening. The first level represents that person who you are telling a story to and who immediately says, “Oh I know that feeling, I myself have experienced this when…”. The so-called listener then makes it all about themselves and your story or point is never taken into consideration. This kind of listening (let’s call it Level A) does not lead anywhere since it ends up being one-way communication only.

Level B is when a person is told a story and they intensely listen to the other person, or at least pretend they do. They do not bring up anything about themselves, nod their head and seem to have soaked all of the information that was given to them. Unfortunately, it is very passive and very often, the information conveyed is lost or not understood deeply.

Finally, level C is active and deep listening. The listener in that situation is intensely involved and focused and pays attention to the other party and the information, but also are very present in the moment. They notice everything that surrounds the conversation and when asked later, are able to retrace it like a vivid memory. This kind of listening is what we should be doing all the time, every single day, it is mostly about living every moment and being present.

Ernest Hemingway said: “I like to listen. I have a learned a great deal listening carefully. Most people never listen.” Are you listening?

ACTION STEP: Learn to listen. Pay attention to everything that surrounds you, even when you are alone. Listen to the sounds around you, pay attention to your environment. Be present. You’ll be surprised how your communication skills will improve.

 

Tip #28: How do you find your passion?

 

A recent post on Facebook asked the following question: “If you were to talk about something for 20 minutes, without preparing, what would it be”?

 This is such a great and important question. In tip #1, we have emphasized the importance of finding your why when you decide to get into entrepreneurship. Some people will stall at that point because they are not sure of their passion. Without passion, a job is just a job. The road to entrepreneur ship is the most rewarding, but like every worthwhile endeavor, it can also be quite daunting. We all have the one passion that drives us and gets us excited to get up for in the morning. It doesn’t have to be an art or a technology, it can simply be: “I love taking care of my kids” or “I love tending to my yard”. Have you noticed how most people can’t stop talking when you ask about a subject they really care about? With that passion also comes a wealth of information that is always worth sharing.

Take the action step described below to find your passion. Then let the world know about it! It is about living your life, not the life that you were told you should be living.

Steve Job said: “You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you are not passionate enough from the start, you will never stick out.”

ACTION STEP: When you talk to people, notice what you enjoy talking the most about, and once to start talking passionately about a subject, make a note of how people respond to you. Then sit down, write about your experience and see how you can go about making it into something bigger for your life. Turn your passion into your job, you will end up making a difference in the world.

Tip #27: We all need coaching

 In a previous tip, we talked about how it is unnecessary to try to reach your goal alone, regardless of what your big idea is, because someone has most likely already achieved what you are trying to accomplish. We then suggested that you track down your peers and learn from their experience.

There is another aspect of not doing things alone, and it is the also very vital to your success: it is the ability to find a coach. Why would you need a coach? If you were to play a sport at a high level, would you consider not having a coach? Probably not. It’s the same when you want to start making changes in your life. You are trading uncharted waters and it can be very difficult without a coach. The majority of very successful people have coaches. A coach can help you through when you to stay motivated and keep going.  A coach may show you how to manage your time more efficiently or even help you discover a deeper purpose and what direction is best for you. And simply, they can help you remain focused when you get overwhelmed.

John Whitmore said: “Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their growth”. Don’t miss out on being great, hire a coach.

ACTION STEPS: Hire a coach once you decided that it is time for you to take action. Look up their reviews and ask for a preliminary call (which should be free of charge in most cases). Then decide if the coach is a good fit to you and your needs.

 

 

Tip #26: Fear is a feeling

We all experience a wide range of feelings, and they can be very diverse, like joy, sadness, excitement, anger and fear. Feelings are never created by external circumstances; they are created by us and us only. Jack Canfield’s formula of Event + Response = Outcome (E+R=O) summarizes the concept. Fear is a natural warning mechanism, very much like pain is. It is our brain’s response to something which is perceived as a potential threat to us.

So, let’s look at it from this perspective. When we are in pain, our first reaction is to deal with the pain and make it go away. The problem with this approach is that very often, we have not cured the underlying cause of the pain, even if we successfully removed it, and as a consequence our body will come back with the same response at a later time, and pain will resume eventually. Using a temporary fix does not work. The same is true with fear.

If we look at fear from a warning perspective, then it is easy to understand how use fear as an ally. Fear is nothing more than a warning sign that something is about to change. We do not want to get rid of fear, just like we do not want to get rid of pain (if we experienced no pain, we would most likely die much faster than we are supposed to). Fear does not mean “Stop”, it means, “Take a deep breath and proceed with caution”.

Theodore Roosevelt said: “It’s hard to fail but it is worse never to have tried to succeed”. Don’t let fear paralyze your progress towards greatness. Use it to your advantage and overcome it, you will be stronger for it.

ACTION STEPS: When fear hits, write down how you feel and make a list of the pros and cons of going down the road you are fearful to take. Then, thinking about how you can turn the cons into pros, mostly by changing your response to them.

 

 

 

Tip #25: Money, Money, Money…

 

Did you notice that for most people, talking about money is synonym with discomfort? It doesn’t matter if the person you are talking to is rich or poor, the minute the subject of money comes up, the energy of the conversation becomes awkward.

For most of us, money is almost a taboo subject because we suffer from paradigms and limiting believes around it. Those limits were impressed upon is as we were growing up and we all have heard adults tell us that “money doesn’t grow on trees” or that it is the “root of all evil”. Those repeated statements have tainted our relationship with money and hindered the full realization of financial success.

How can we change those ideas? The same way they were implanted in our brains: with repetition. When negative thoughts around money occur in our head, we need to identify them and change them into positive thoughts. It is only by feeling good about money that we can achieve fully our financial goals.

Socrates said: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new”. Change your old habitual negative money thoughts into positive thoughts. The result will be astonishing.

ACTION STEPS: Make a list of all the negative thoughts you have about money. Then change each of them into a positive thought (even if it sounds funny or ridiculous to you). For example, turn the phrase “money is the root of all evil” into “money is the root of going to Hawaii”. Write a set of positive affirmations about money and read them out loud every day. You can also use EFT tapping to free yourself from negativity around money, it will help manifesting what you want.

 

 

 

Tip #24: Celebrate your successes! 

As we stated before, it is important to acknowledge your failures in a productive and constructive way in order to move forward, but it is equally important to celebrate your successes along the way of your goals achieving venture. Celebrating successes along the way, and feeling that we are making tangible progress, gets us motivated to accomplish even more.

Just as it is with failures, successes have to be acknowledged and then celebrated. Taking one step at a time is what prevents us from getting overwhelmed, and we need to stop along the way to indulge into enjoying what we have accomplished by getting to s specific step. When you set your goals, it is important to set checkpoints. Divide the goals into a few smaller goals along the path and “grade” and assess everyone of them. Focus on the things that you have done well and feel good about them. Focusing on what you didn’t accomplish will make you stall, whereas focusing on what you have successfully done will encourage you to take the next step, with a feeling of joy.

Albert Schweitzer said: “Success is not the key to happiness, but happiness is the key to success”. Celebrate, be happy and enjoy your success!

ACTION STEP: Write down the goal you want to achieve and write the date of completion next to it. Draw a table with 4 columns. The first column is labeled “Steps”. Write down as many steps as you can think of (each line is a step). The second column is labeled “Planned completion date”. The third column is “actual date”, and it might differ from the initial date. The last column is labeled “Wins”, this is the place where you write down your wins for each step.  Keep taking goal achieving steps every day and before you know it, you will be right where you aimed to be!

 

 

 

Tip #23: Interest or Commitment?

Let’s start with a quote. Kenneth Blanchard said: “There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.”

There is a big difference between activity and productivity. When given an idea, there are two ways to react. The first one is to acknowledge the idea, think about it, talk about it, express how great an idea it is, and then do nothing about it. Later on, we talk about “what we could have done” and make a series of excuses as to why it didn’t happen. Does that sound all too familiar? About 99% of us do it. This is called activity. Then the other way to react is to acknowledge the idea, think about it, talk about it, express how great an idea it is, and take immediate action to implement the idea. About 1% of us falls into this category. This is called productivity, and yes, it takes effort and sometimes sacrifice even, but it is the only path to success.

Activity presents a danger. It gives us the illusion of being productive beings, when all it does is to turn us into wishful thinkers. It is thus really important to assess which part of your actions are based on activity and turn them into productivity.

ACTION STEP: Make a list of your activities. Identify the ones that serve your purpose and discard the ones that don’t. Take each activity that could represent a step towards your goal and turn it into a productive task. Your mind will get decluttered from this exercise, allow for new ideas to emerge. This newfound efficiency will propel you faster toward success. Commit to this!

 

 

Tip #22: Say what you mean, mean what you say.

We don’t think about them because we use them every day, and often we don’t pay attention to them, but words are one of our most powerful tools we have. With words, we can build, or we can destroy. We can hurt, or we can uplift someone’s spirits. Words are vital to relationships. The way we speak of others and to others is what defines the relationship we are building with them. It is important to speak words that aim at building rather than damaging. Keep in mind that when you say something, the other person reacts and sends the energy back to you.

If you want to communicate efficiently, you need to be aware of the impact of your words. The worst form of communication is of course the use of lies. Lies not only present a distorted vision of reality, they also destroy trust, thus making a relationship impossible. It is also very important to speak only with integrity, in particular when talking about other people. Gossip is unproductive and should be avoided at all times since it only affects everyone negatively, whether you are the perpetrator or the recipient. There is real solace in speaking clearly and truthfully, and we should all indulge in the peaceful and accomplished feeling that comes with it.

Sigmund Freud said: “Words have a magical power. They can either bring the greatest happiness or the greatest despair.” Choose your words wisely!

ACTION STEPS: Practice mindful speaking. When you address people, make sure that your words leave them with a sense of elevation. This is the essence of good communication, and with great communication, comes great success.

 

 

 

 

Tip #21: Time for honesty!

As you embark on your journey of entrepreneurship, it is important to take time to celebrate your successes, and it is also very important to acknowledge what is not working. Problems always arise and they are not a symptom of failure, they are a reason for improvement and will eventually lead you to success. Honesty is key. When things are not working, a widespread tendency is to blame circumstances (wrong time, wrong place, wrong people, etc..) or ignore problems and make excuse for what is happening. How many times have we heard “in this bad economy…”?

When the feeling that something is not right starts nagging you, it is time to stop, feel it and address it. The signs that things are not going well are to be taken into consideration, which most of us despise doing because it means taking action and sometimes stepping out of our comfort zone. What does it look like to take action? Bluntly put, it means to stop living a lie, where we pretend that all is great and the situation we are in is perfect. What is the point of always claiming that you are happy and living a full life when you are not? Or pretending that work is doing amazing when it is not? Fear, again, is what motivates us to lie. Sometimes, by the way, the best action is to take no action and let it go. You need to be open to the possibilities when you are dealing with an issue. Any outcome is possible, whether it means changing something or just moving on from it. What it important is to address problems with an open mind.

Zig Ziglar said: “The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist.” Be brave, recognize what is not working in your life and deal with it, right now!

ACTION STEP: Write down a list of what is not really working for you. Then ask yourself and write down how you could address it. The main question you need to answer is: “what would I really like instead?”  If you have several problems on your list, prioritize them and address then one at the time.

 

 

 

Tip #20: Love Selling!

You have a dream, you have a product, you started your business, and now what? It’s time to generate some revenue by selling your product. Many people have trouble with selling, especially if the product was uniquely created by them. Promoting and selling what you make (and even more so yourself) is very challenging for most people. Our paradigms and blocks show up when we need to tell people, “Look at this, I made it and it is a great product. Would you like to buy it?”.  Selling has such a bad reputation! The problem is that when you have a business, there is no way around sales. Social media makes it easier; you can join groups and sell your products, but you still need to promote them.

How do you deal with the fear of selling? How can you learn to love selling? It is, once again, about mindset.  Once you are convinced that you have a great product or service that will really make a positive change in people’s lives, then you can shift your negative beliefs around selling. Consider now that you are selling from a place of love. You are providing a service, doing people a favor by letting them know of your product. Doesn’t this perspective shift the way you look at selling? You recognized a problem that people were facing, you created a product to fix that problem, and now you are offering to sell them the product. By selling, you are making their life better. Isn’t that a great feeling?

Brian Tracy said: “Approach each customer with the idea of helping him or her solve a problem or achieve a goal, not of selling a product or a service.” Go ahead, see how that concept makes you feel, and sell your products!

ACTION STEP: Shift your negative preconceptions (and misconceptions) around selling. Write down a list of what your product or service does to serve your customers. Read that list every time you approach a customer and speak from a place of love! Know you are serving and helping them. 

Tip #19: Don’t do it alone

Moment of truth: it doesn’t matter how unique you think your idea is, there is a high likelihood that someone has done something similar before you. Far from being a bad thing, you can, and should, use other people’s knowledge and experience to propel you faster and farther!  If you want to start your own venture and don’t know where to start, the best way is to find someone who already has done it and has been successful at it and ask them how they did it.  In most cases, people love to talk about themselves and their accomplishments, so ask, sit down, listen and learn. You will make them feel very happy to share their story and at the same time, you will learn how to proceed for your own benefit. It is a beautiful case of a win-win situation!

Of course, unless you already know someone who can help you by sharing their story, you will need to do a little research to find such people. Social media is a great place to start. You can look for people who have already accomplished what you are trying to do, on Facebook or LinkedIn. You can also look up trade shows and conferences (even if they are conducted online) and access their participants directory, to find people you would like to learn from. In any case, as usual, if you ask and get a negative response, don’t give up, just move on to the next person!

Oprah Winfrey said: “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself”. Go ahead, enjoy successful people’s story, and then start writing your own!

ACTION STEP: Start building a network of people in the area you are interested in.  Find people who have already done what you would like to start. Make a list of their names and information.  Next have a clear ask.  The ask could be as simple as a few minutes of their time, ask what they would advise for next steps or see if they have someone they suggest you should speak with.  Successful people often are incredibly open to helping others.  The result will surprise you!

 

Tip #18: Learn Your Way To Success

 

If you want to contribute and help other people, you must first be open to learning.  Learning new ideas, perspectives and possible new skills.  We all have heard that knowledge is power. The power and willingness to learn are indispensable to create a successful business. You most likely are an expert in your field but deciding that you are done learning is ludicrous in an ever-changing environment. Learning is a lifelong process. Your business will go stale if you don’t invest in learning, and if you don’t benefit from the experience of those who are already successful, you are wasting precious time trying to reinvent everything.

How do you make time to include learning in your routine? It is simple math: if you reduce for example, your television watching time by one hour every day, you will free up 365 hours of potential learning per year (which is about 9 forty-hour work weeks). Imagine what you could learn in 9 work weeks? You could go through an entire course! With the internet, libraries, seminars, conferences, webinars, etc.. , there is no excuse to not keep learning and growing every day, which are indispensable traits for anyone in business, regardless of his nature.

Brian Herbert said: “The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice”. Make the right choice: keep learning, so you can succeed!

ACTION STEP: Decide to learn something new every day. You can read, watch biographies and documentaries, talk to people who are already successful and learn from them, attend conferences… the possibilities are endless.  Plus, learning new things makes you more interesting!

 

 

Tip #17: Don’t Give Up!

 

You have set a goal and you are going for it. Is there an ingredient that will be key to your success? The answer is yes, and this ingredient is persistence. Every path to greatness is filled with obstacles. It is not easy, but when we are convinced and passionate about the outcome (or the “why”), we put in the work and either remove the obstacles or find another path to our goal. When obstacles arise, it is time to stop and think about how to deal with them. There are always three possibilities to deal with an obstacle: go over, go around or go through it. The key is to find the lesson in each of them and move forward. The only way to lose is actually to give up and not learn. Some people only see problems and excuses not to move forward and some people embrace problems and the lesson that they bring, and end up winning with lessons learned and goals attained. Which category would you rather fall into?

Nelson Mandela said: “I never lose, I either win or learn”. Knowing that, how can anyone ever give up?

ACTION STEPS: Assess the obstacles that are standing between you and your goal. Spend some time thinking about how you could address them (going over, around or through). Adapt an “I won’t quit’ mindset! Think in terms of finding a solution, not avoiding a problem. Put in the work and persevere!

 

 

 

Tip #16: Letting go

Do you ever feel that you are unable to move forward because something is holding you down? Typically, our past is what prevents us from achieving our dreams. What we consider our failures becomes a hindrance to our future successes, because, in many cases, the only thing that we have learned from our mistakes is fear. However, a failure only becomes that if we haven’t learned anything from it. Our success in life really depends on our ability to let go. A good metaphor is that you can’t add any more water to a glass that’s already full. If you are full of regrets, resentment and fear, there is no room at all for the good things that your future might be holding.

We all need to practice the art of forgiveness, as it is the key to successfully move forward. Many of us tend to bottle up emotions, expecting that time will make them go away and mistaking that process for forgiveness. To enable forgiveness, we must first acknowledge the hurt and fear that were inflicted upon us, then acknowledge how they made us feel and finally let it go. Remember, being able to let go requires a strong sense of self, which gives you the ability to learn and grow from your experiences. 

To paint a new picture, we need a blank canvas!

Ann Landers said: “Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”

Action Steps: Make a list of your fears and failures. Read it out loud and acknowledge every one of them.  Be gentle on yourself and forgive yourself and anyone who was involved. Let it go. Then, write down how you would like your life and events to be and create a new picture for you and your future. 

 

 

 

Tip #15: Are you a Leader?

Regardless of its nature, there is no business without a team. The task of a leader is to be able to carry a powerful vision and convince others to join in achieving it. Many people say: “Oh I am not a leader.”  The good news is that we aren’t born leaders, we become leaders, and we can all learn how to be good leaders. Very often, the success of your business will depend on your leadership abilities. An example of having to become a leader is when we start parenthood. Most people embrace the role without even thinking that they are becoming leaders the very day they become parents. Being a leader means reaching a goal and making a positive impact on one’s environment and circumstances.

To become a leader, it is imperative to know one person very well: yourself. In the same way you can’t love people if you don’t love yourself, you won’t be able to understand people if you don’t understand yourself first. It is also very important to be accountable for your own actions and hold your team accountable as well for theirs. Finally, if you want to be heard as a leader, you need to learn how to listen carefully to your team. Are you ready to step up?

 

John C. Maxwell said: “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way”.

Action step: To discover and understand yourself as a leader, write down your strengths and weaknesses. Then, for each of them, think of how they impact your behavior and your interaction with others and if there are areas you can improve.  A fair assessment of your limits will greatly improve your relationship with your team, and it will enhance your ability to respond to stressful situations rather than react, which is a quality people really seek in a leader.

 

 

Tip #14: Change: Embrace It or Stall

By now, we all have seen that change is inevitable and can strike when we least expect it. The recent events have shown us that not adapting to change and refusing to evolve can be damaging. Of course, we always have a choice. We can either accept change, learn, grow and turn it into a positive experience, or we can resist it, become bitter and get left behind. Change will always take place, regardless of our attitude, so why not make the best of it and embrace it? Many businesses have to adjust to change during the course of their existence. Imagine that you own a coffee shop and all of a sudden, 2 streets farther, a big coffee franchise shows up. What would you do? Some of us would quit and decide that the coffee shop wasn’t meant to be and some of us would decide that the new competition will attract a different clientele who might eventually stop by your shop and decide that the croissants that you are also selling are to die for. Once again, it is about responding to change and embracing it rather than reacting and resisting.

How can you embrace the change when all you want to do is run away from it? There are steps you can take to make the process easier.

Socrates said: “The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new”.

Action steps: When confronted to a situation of change and you find yourself resisting it, ask yourself some questions:

  • How is this change affecting me?
  • If there is no change and things remain the same, what is the outcome?
  • Is there a way this change will bring some positive to my life?

 

Tip #13: Gratitude is Everything

As physicists, we are taught early on that one of the principles that governs our universe states that for every action, there is a reaction of equal intensity. If we think about this principle, what we must do becomes clear: if we want to attract in our lives more things to be grateful for, then we must already feel gratitude for the things we already have.

When things appear frustrating, dreary or you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel (you may have felt a lot of moments like this in past few months!) understand, we all have the ability to choose our thoughts. Amidst everything that is going on around the world, we must focus on our positive thoughts and bright outcomes as much as possible.  Although you may not always remember to do it, it’s easy to be grateful for things that make you happy and getting the things you want. But, trust us, there is also something to be grateful for when things are not going the way you want.

Although you may not always remember to do it, it’s easy to be grateful for the things that make you happy and getting the things you want.

Take a few minutes right now to reflect on something you are struggling with. Then, find something about the situation to be grateful for. When you expand your gratitude from a five-minute practice of acknowledging the good in your life to an all-day habit, regardless of whether your current situation is to your liking, you are happy with yourself and life. And that ever-present feeling of gratitude attracts even more good things into your life to be grateful for.

As Napoleon Hill said:Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

ACTION STEP FOR THIS WEEK: Every day, write down all the things in your life that make you feel grateful. Don’t just go through the motions, try to really feel it. Repeat the exercise every day for at least 30 days.

 

Tip #12: Adjust Your Attitude

We feel that at this point, this tip needs to be repeated.

In his book “You 2”, Price Pritchett describes the behavior of a fly stuck on a windowsill. The insect spends a multitude of efforts trying to break through the glass, in vain. It desperately tries harder and harder, to no avail, until it dies. The saddest part of the story is that 10 feet away, there is an open door, and, with a different approach, it would have taken the fly a 10 second fly to free and save itself that way.

The secret to seeing the benefit within every struggle is to shift our mindset about the challenge we are facing. When we feel stuck or challenged, it can be so easy to adopt a fixed mindset – one of fear, worry, doubt, anger or resignation. This is perfectly natural, but in truth, moving away from a fixed mindset is the key to getting unstuck, moving forward and unlocking a new perspective and better opportunities for ourselves and our lives!

Confucius said: “If you are positive, you will see opportunities and never obstacles”. That fly would have loved to know that, wouldn’t it?

ACTION STEPS: Ask yourself those three simple and yet highly powerful questions:

  1. What is it exactly about this challenging situation that is not working for me?

We all have challenges in our lives – that’s just the nature of the human experience. Think of the challenges you may be facing right now. If there are several, as there are for most of us, choose one.

Next, notice how you feel about this challenge. You may feel irritated, frustrated or even downright unhappy about this challenge.

To begin separating the emotion from what’s actually occurring, ask yourself, “What is it exactly about this situation that is just not working for me?”

By means of asking yourself this question, you can begin to gain clarity on the problem at hand.

  1. What have I been thinking about this challenge?

Einstein knew that problem solving relied on a shift in thinking, and you always have the power to shift your thinking. But in order to do this, you first have to become clear on what you’re thinking about your challenge or situation.

Whatever you’re thinking, it’s okay! Just notice the thoughts and write them down.

  1. What possible good could come from this situation?

While it’s true that every challenge has within it the seed of equal or greater benefit, like any seed, it has to be found, planted, nurtured, grown before it can be harvested to move you forward in life.
Life is always going to have its ups and downs, and challenges are always going to present themselves.

Each question shared above is simple, but when asked of yourself you’ll already have begun moving from a fixed mindset to a more open and expansive one.

 

 

 

Tip #11: Learn to say No

It is a simple word, and yet it is so hard to say! As you embark on your new journey to greatness, you will have to learn to say no. If you don’t learn to say no to what does not serve you and your purpose, you will not be able to make the time to get into action efficiently.  It is a matter of prioritizing, but also cutting off the distractions. Anything that does not bring you a payoff, is a distraction.  It is very important to identify those and remove them from your schedule. It is very easy to fall under the spell of being overly busy and mix activity with accomplishments. Activity takes up a lot of time with very little result. Accomplishments, on the other hand, are the path to achieve your goal.

Why is it so difficult to say no? One of the main reasons is that nobody wants to be perceived as a bad person. Another one, is that we tend to like being someone’s hero. Unfortunately, the grand gestures of helping someone take away valuable time, so we must learn to say no. As good as it feels to say yes, it will feel great when saying no leads you to success.

Steve Jobs said: “It’s only by saying “no” that you can concentrate on the things that are really important”.

ACTION STEPS:  Create a “Not-To-Do” list.  This exercise will help you find out what you should NOT be spending time on and help you either automate them, delegate them or eliminate them!  Write a list of 5 – 10 actions or things you spend time on that don’t serve growth, greater income, empowerment, your higher power, your family or a bigger future.  Go through the list and mark them “Automate”, “Delegate”, or “Eliminate”.   Then ask yourself what are the top 3 actions that move the needle the most in your life.  Enjoy!

Tip #10: And… Action!

You have a dream and you are clear on what you want to do. Would you like it to materialize or will it remain a wish forever? How many times have you heard people say, “if things were different, I would…”? And when they say that, what is your reaction? Most audience tunes out when people talk about their unfulfilled dreams. Unfulfilled dreams often leave us with a feeling of bitterness and almost helplessness that can end up being detrimental to our self-image.

As we mentioned before in our previous tips, fear is what often makes us put our dreams on hold. We talk about what we want to be or what we could have been and then we promptly add “but, that was just a dream!” What if you decided right now, at this minute, that your dreams are actually worth being taken into consideration? If your dreams are put in your head, it is for a reason. When your body hurts, you know that it is trying to send you a signal that something is wrong and most times, you won’t ignore it. Dreams are the same way; they should not be ignored. Take action, talk about your dreams with no shame to people, if they don’t support you (especially your inner circle who will tend to discourage you from your dreams because they try to protect you from failure), widen your circle, find people who think the same way you do. Think about what it would take for you to achieve your dreams and proceed. Assess what you need to do and get to fulfill your dreams, and when fear kicks in (it always does), weigh the consequences of not pursuing your dreams versus keeping them alive and acting on them.

Joel Baker said: “Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world”. Go for your dream, for yourself and for everyone else, people will thank you for it.

ACTION STEPS:  Once you understand the importance of action and where you want it to take you, the next step is to create a plan of action. Remember, don’t just think about your goals, write them down. When you write your goals, do it on paper or in a journal – not on a computer.  There is something that happens to our minds and emotions when we actually write them on paper.  Next, write a list every night of six GOAL ACHIEVING activities, to do the following day.  As you move through your list cross it off and add another, so you always have a rolling six items.  If you only get a few items done in a day, don’t feel bad, just keep going!  It’s a system.  Remember, repetition is the key and action will get you there!

 

 

 

Tip #9: The Power is Within You

It sounds very much like a Star Wars quote, doesn’t it? A wise person once said “People don’t need to be saved or rescued. People need knowledge of their own power and how to access it.” It is all about awareness. Please bear with a little bit of science. We (and everything else, and that includes the entire universe) are made of waves and particles. As such, we all produce energy and we also are the recipients of other energies (people, environment, etc..). There is belief that we all are blessed with the same amount of energy within (just like we all are blessed with 24 hours every day to do whatever we want), and what makes us different is how we use and focus our energy. From this perspective, we all have the same possibilities and opportunities to better our lives, regardless of what external influences might be.

How can we harness the incredible power that we all have within us? It is a matter of looking deep and feeling, so we can focus our energy. Why do most of us want to use this power, it is usually for a change.  Most people when they want to change their lives, they often focus on all the external stuff, like a new home, promotion at work, new partner and so on.  The reality is that changing our lives is an internal procedure.  There are only two known ways to make such a strong internal change.  One is an emotional impact.  That is something that hits you so hard that your life will never be the same. 

The second way is through repetition.  That is the only way you learned your name, learned how to walk, etc… However, using our incredible power within us, we can deliberately expose and focus ourselves to new ideas and new ways of thinking and being over and over. If something is important to you, make a commitment to repeatedly spend time on it – every day, every week.  

As your daily or weekly act becomes a habit, you have unleashed a life-changing power within you!

ACTION STEPS:  Decide what you want to do, choose a goal, and focus on it. Feel how it would be like if you already had achieved your goal. Set aside 15 minutes every day (twice a day is even better if you can, be in quiet place, imagine the details of your goal already being reached, feel the peace and joy that comes with it. Do it for 30 days. If you miss a day start all over again. You’ll be impressed by the results. Ideas as to how to achieve that particular goal will start flowing through your mind.

 

 

 

Tip #8: Work Hard… Reap the Rewards

Alexander Hamilton once said, “People sometimes attribute my success to my genius; all the genius I know anything about is hard work”. I don’t know of any great success story that didn’t come with a background of hard work and sacrifice. From Michelangelo, to Mozart, all genius masterpieces have been the product of long hours of working.

Nothing worthwhile comes easy right away. If it is too easy, you won’t reap the rewards because it means you are not pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and you are only trying to implement a small variation on what you are already doing. This might bring small improvements, but you will remain far from your big breakthrough. Bob Proctor divides goals into 3 categories: A, B and C. A means you are not really aiming at anything different. B means you are aiming at something different but still in your comfort zone. C means you are reaching out of your comfort zone. What type of goal do you think reaps the biggest reward?

It is important to assess what amount of work (or even sacrifice) you are willing to perform to achieve your desire or goal. Look at your goal, assess it, and decide if it is worth for you dedicating yourself to it. If you get scared or feel awkward, keep in mind: “You will never discover new oceans if you are not willing to lose sight of the shore.”

ACTION STEPS:  Decide what you want to do, evaluate what you need to do to reach your goal, and go for it! The rewards will quickly surpass the effort.

 

 

Tip #7: How Do you Respond to Feedback?

Getting feedback is key when you start on a new idea or venture. Whether it is positive or negative, feedback is what we need to improve and keep moving towards our goals. How we respond to feedback is very important as well. It is our nature to dislike (and sometimes discard) negative feedback and it is a mistake. Any kind of feedback should be considered helpful, as long as it is objective.

Why are we afraid to get feedback? It is typically because we fear rejection. We need to move past the fear to be able to open ourselves to improvement. We don’t like to feel that our mistakes are pointed out. But, really, feedback should always be considered an opportunity for improvement rather than a mere criticism.

Go ahead, ask people, get feedback, it is what you need to master your trade.

Mother Teresa said: “Failure is merely feedback that there is something blocking the path of emergence and expansion of the greatest version of yourself”. Feedback is indispensable to better ourself and reach our goals.

ACTION STEPS: Use the Canfield methodology on feedback: everyday, make a point of asking 3 people (significant other, child, coworker…) for their feedback. It should be phrased this way: “on the scale of one to ten, how would you rate…” One is the worst and ten is the best. If the answer is less than a ten then say: “thank you for your feedback, what would it take to make it a ten?”.

 

                                         

Tip #6: Adjust Your Attitude

In his book “You 2”, Price Pritchett describes the behavior of a fly stuck on a windowsill. The insect spends a multitude of efforts trying to break through the glass, in vain. It desperately tries harder and harder, to no avail, until it dies. The saddest part of the story is that 10 feet away, there is an open door, and, with a different approach, it would have taken the fly a 10 second fly to free and save itself that way.

The secret to seeing the benefit within every struggle is to shift our mindset about the challenge we are facing. When we feel stuck or challenged, it can be so easy to adopt a fixed mindset – one of fear, worry, doubt, anger or resignation. This is perfectly natural, but in truth, moving away from a fixed mindset is the key to getting unstuck, moving forward and unlocking a new perspective and better opportunities for ourselves and our lives!

Confucius said: “If you are positive, you will see opportunities and never obstacles”. That fly would have loved to know that, wouldn’t it?

ACTION STEPS: Ask yourself those three simple and yet highly powerful questions:

  1. What is it exactly about this challenging situation that is not working for me?

We all have challenges in our lives – that’s just the nature of the human experience. Think of the challenges you may be facing right now. If there are several, as there are for most of us, choose one.

Next, notice how you feel about this challenge. You may feel irritated, frustrated or even downright unhappy about this challenge.

To begin separating the emotion from what’s actually occurring, ask yourself, “What is it exactly about this situation that is just not working for me?”

By means of asking yourself this question, you can begin to gain clarity on the problem at hand.

  1. What have I been thinking about this challenge?

Einstein knew that problem solving relied on a shift in thinking, and you always have the power to shift your thinking. But in order to do this, you first have to become clear on what you’re thinking about your challenge or situation.

Whatever you’re thinking, it’s okay! Just notice the thoughts and write them down.

  1. What possible good could come from this situation?

While it’s true that every challenge has within it the seed of equal or greater benefit, like any seed, it has to be found, planted, nurtured, grown before it can be harvested to move you forward in life.
Life is always going to have its ups and downs, and challenges are always going to present themselves.

Each question shared above is simple, but when asked of yourself you’ll already have begun moving from a fixed mindset to a more open and expansive one.

 

 

 

Tip #5: The Art of Asking

There is no point reinventing the wheel and if you want to be efficient in your business, the best way to do so is to get information from people who have already mastered what you are trying to accomplish. How do you do that? Just ask!

The problem is that we don’t like to ask, for fear of rejection. But rejection is actually something that we make up. When someone says no to us, we aren’t in a worst position than we were before we asked. So, if you think about it, there is no reason not to ask, because if we get a yes, that can really make a difference in our lives!

What are some powerful ways to ask? The main ingredient is to be assertive. You need to absolutely believe that you are going to get what you are asking for. Another important thing is to ask the right person. You need to qualify your audience, there is no point in asking someone who can’t grant your request. Finally, it is essential to be specific when you have a request. Not being specific can lead to confusion and not get you what you need.

A famous French writer, Eugene Ionesco, said: “It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question”. Go ahead, get enlightened, ask away!

ACTION STEP FOR THIS WEEK: Write down all the things that you would like to ask for. It can be at home, at work, or in general. Reflect on why you have been postponing asking and what fear is blocking you. Finally, write down what the result is of not asking and also write what the benefit of asking would be. Then…go ask!  

 https://annabellebeckwith.com?bypass=new-secret

 

Tip #4: Make Room for Greatness

Do you often ask yourself the following question: “how am I going to better my life, let alone start a new venture on top of EVERYTHING else I have to deal l with”?

We often feel that our lives are overly busy and so full that there is no spare time at all. It is time to take a good look at the problem and fix it. We all share one thing (and nobody or nothing can take it away from us): we all have 24 hours to enjoy in a day, every day. This great gift also comes with the responsibility to decide how to use those 24 hours. Let’s take a look at our lives.

There are so many little things (it can be as simple as cleaning up your closet or junk drawer) that can clutter our path to achieve bigger and better. We aren’t necessarily conscious of those messes, but they are in the back of your mind and they often clutter our thoughts, preventing us from dreaming bigger. As we get overwhelmed, we have a tendency to ignore the little irritants that need to get addressed and we then feel bad about missing a deadline, for example, which triggers negative thoughts, and takes us into the whirlpool of self- loathing at times.

The secret to start fresh, with a clean slate, and remain in a state of positivity and accomplishments is to tackle each little task one a time. Once again, once step at the time is key to success.

As Barbara Hemphill said: “Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions.”

ACTION STEP FOR THIS WEEK: Write down all the things that you need to take care of and that you have been postponing. Make a table stating the task (or irritant), how can it be fixed, and if you can, delegate. Finally, add a column with a date to get task done. You will be surprised by how good it feels to finish your tasks and how much time you are freeing up by doing so!

Tip #3: Gratitude is Everything

As physicists, we are taught early on that one of the principles that governs our universe states that for every action, there is a reaction of equal intensity. If we think about this principle, what we must do becomes clear: if we want to attract in our lives more things to be grateful for, then we must already feel gratitude for the things we already have.

When things appear frustrating, dreary or you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel (you may have felt a lot of moments like this in past few months!) understand, we all have the ability to choose our thoughts. Amidst everything that is going on around the world, we must focus on our positive thoughts and bright outcomes as much as possible.  Although you may not always remember to do it, it is easy to be grateful for the things that make you happy and getting the things you want. But, trust us, there is also something to be grateful for when things are not going the way we want. 

Take a few minutes right now to reflect on something you are struggling with. Then, find something about the situation to be grateful for. When you expand your gratitude from a 5-minute practice of acknowledging the good in your life to an all-day habit, regardless of whether the current situation is to your liking, you end up happy with yourself and life. That ever-present feeling of gratitude attracts even more good things into your life to be grateful for. 

As Napoleon Hill said: “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

ACTION STEP FOR THIS WEEK: Everyday, write down all the things in your life that make you feel grateful. Don’t just go through the motions, try to really feel it. Repeat the exercise every day for at least 30 days.

Tip #2: Conquer Your Fear!

Fear is a major factor that blocks people from achieving greatness. Because of this, fear should not be ignored or dismissed. When you start your new venture, you might find yourself at times, feeling paralyzed by fear and wanting to go back to the status quo. This is simple human nature, and we must be aware that we create our own feelings of fear and that it is completely normal to have these feelings anytime we go to do something we haven’t done before. The good news is that we can choose how we respond to circumstances – we are in control!  If fear is present, we can address it.

Here are 3 simple tips that you can use easily (and you might have a little fun doing it) that will help to conquer your fear:

  • Change your posture and expression– Stand up straight, put your hands on your hips and put a smile on your face. You will feel better and more confident right away.
  • Mirror Work (aka Mirror Play) – Look in the mirror, and say a powerful affirmation looking at yourself in the left eye then the right eye. Say the affirmation 5 times per eye a couples times a day.  This may seem silly, but you are affirming to yourself that you are powerful!
  • Take one step, despite your fear – Jumping in and taking action can not only help you gain momentum, but it can also reveal what the next step should be. Before you know it, the obstacles and outcomes you were so worried about begin to disappear and you are one step closer to your goal.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Do the thing we fear, and death of fear is certain”. Action is the best (if not the only) way to deal with fear. As hard as it may be, embrace fear, analyze why is it present, and start doing the very action that triggers the feeling of discomfort!

ACTION STEP FOR THIS WEEK: do the mirror exercise, stand tall and confident and write some affirmations about conquering your fears.

Tip #1: Ask yourself “WHY?”

Whether you have decided to improve your life or give a whole new meaning, the first question that you need to ask yourself is “WHY”. What is it that you want to change or want to improve and WHY?

WHY are you embarking on your new journey? It is important to dissociate money from the reasons that push you to bring changes to your life. Money is certainly important and should not be dismissed so perhaps focus on WHY you want the money.   Money is almost always a by-product of success, so focus on your dreams and passions not directly on the outcome of money.

Another reason to really understand your WHY is that when things become difficult and there are obstacles to overcome and you feel like quitting, remembering WHY you started in the first place is what will help you keep going.

WHY is certainly the most important question oneself can ponder. As Mark Twain said: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why”.

ACTION STEP FOR THIS WEEK: make a list of your WHYs and read it everyday.