Choose the Right Tool

My Dad subscribed to the brute force method of fine carpentry. He believed everything could be fixed with a big screwdriver and a hammer. If a door frame wasn’t quite plumb, just loosen it with the screwdriver and give it a couple of whacks.  Tools

Business can be like that. If something isn’t quite right we can often force it into place with a few good whacks of hard work and effort.  But these quick fixes in business and carpentry often come back to haunt us because we were addressing only symptoms.

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.  Abraham Maslow

When challenged we tend to reach for the life or business tool that gives us immediate but temporary relief – rather than looking at core causes and selecting a tool that eliminates the problem permanently.  Your life and your business works to the degree that you apply the right tool to make it work.

But what can you do when you know you don’t have the right tool for the job? You could apprentice with someone with a bigger toolbox.

If your life or business feels like you’ve whacked it into place once too often, perhaps it’s time to hire a professional coach with more of the right tools in his box?  Coaches are paid for resourcefulness.

By focusing on what, you the client,  most want to create, it’s our job to suggest practical tools, methods, approaches, concepts and exercises that will accelerate your focused progress.  If what you need isn’t already in my toolbox, you and I will create a customized solution to resolve your issue.

Remember the story of the craftsman who saved the day by getting an essential piece of machinery running again?  He inspected the machine, took out his hammer, tapped once and fixed it.  Later his customer was surprised to get a $500 bill for a five minute fix.  The craftsman explained his bill. “That’s $5 for tapping and $495 for knowing where to tap.”

Professional business coaches not only know what tool to use but they know when to tap, where to tap and to what degree.

Here’s a tool I often use to clear the air and see where we are.  Continuing with our hammer theme, a few words from a master.

Hammer time – Break it down.  MC Hammer

Breaking things down so you can see where you are is essential to business prosperity.  From my observation, we make business far too complicated.  Lately I’ve been on a quest to ruthlessly simplify my own business.

Ruthless simplification is powerfully transformative.

The effect of uncovering and releasing foggy purpose activities is astonishing.

Business coaches are paid to guide business growth.  You don’t need to hire a coach to maintain – you hire us for movement.

Break It Down Business Tool

I’ve found that the best way to break something down is to decide where you are in this laser-like process.  Regardless of what you want from your small business, your growth opportunity will be at one of these stages.  Select the stage where you think you are and then apply your answer to the accompanying question.

Clarity – What do I need to see more clearly?

Decision – What unmade decision demands my attention?

Creation – What do I most what to create now?

Action – What can I do now?

Then work with your business coach to apply tools of clarity, decision, creation or action.   Apply the right tool, at the right time, with the right touch and you’ll produce your desired outcome.

Business like life is neither difficult nor easy.  Both are how you see them and how you make them.

Have the courage to apply ruthless simplification to your own life or business?  Join me on May 20, for this powerful, free, group coaching experience:  Making Room for What You Want.

Stand Up For Individuality

Do you champion individuality?  Do you routinely encourage unique individuals to express themselves?  Do you listen to your authentic individuality or your fears?  It’s fun and freeing to boldly flaunt your wild, uninhibited individuality.

As a coach, I listen to client fears and prescribe tools and strategies to move  forward in spite of them.  This process is a big part of foundational life coaching before clients are confidently ready to apply business coaching.

Listening to the core fears of hundreds of courageous people has honored me.  These individuals are courageous because they are willing to fully express their fears.

The similarity of their fears is very telling.

You may believe that your fears are unique to you but they aren’t.

You either have fears of success or of failure.  You may have fears of not being capable in one area or another.  Or you have fears of not having enough time or enough money.  That’s it.

A vast majority of the fears fall into one of those five categories.

Individuals are brilliantly unique but their fears are strikingly common.

The marketplace rewards authentic differentiation and devalues what’s common.

Conformity is common.  The fearful conform.  Conformity is common obedience.  Conformity dilutes individual power and dulls authentic brilliance.

What do you think stops you from living fearlessly as the unique individual that you are?  Overtime fears become solidified as powerful limiting beliefs.

You only believe in your fears because you’ve lived with them for so long.  Your fears have crafted the frightening story that you keep retelling.

Yet your fearful story is just who you thought you were.  There’s nothing authentic about that story – it’s just an illusion created by years of over-thinking.   It’s not who you really are.  But you do have a choice.

The longer it takes for you to choose bold authentic expression – the longer it will take you to get what you want.

Taking a stand for your own unique individuality is a courageous and necessary component of evolution.

Buried beneath all of you fears may be an even deeper fear of your own brilliant individuality.

They have come to understand that – no punishment anyone might inflict on them could possibly be worse than the punishment they inflict upon themselves, by conspiring in their own diminishment.  Parker Palmer

I rally round the freedom flag of self-employment because working as an employee automatically makes you smaller.

Working as an employee is a consciously chosen path of personal diminishment.

What if your greatness can only be unleashed through the boldness of self-employment?

What if your fulfillment can only come by being your own man or woman, in every way?

What if the one true key to lasting business success is authentic expression?

If you are good at being you, products resulting from your ideas and character will have excellence built into them. Egbert Sukop

Others suffer by paying for inferior products and services when you settle for a job just to pay the bills.  But when you are unfaithful to your true self – you suffer the most.

If you are here unfaithfully with us – you are causing terrible damage.  Rumi

It’s time to quit telling lies about your own capabilities.

It’s time to quit repeating your fears.  Instead it’s time to embrace your wonderfully quirky individuality.

I’m looking for those who are ready right now to shed their cowardly skins and stand tall in their authentic brilliance.

You must make the decision to go for it, in your own way or your authentic brilliance will starve from a lack of self-respect.

I seek to work with the bold.

I seek to inspire and to encourage the bold.

Is it you?  It’s my honor to coach you to your greatness. Can you imagine laughing in the face of your fears?  Using the right tools you can free yourself.

There is a radiating enthusiasm building within you right now.

Free it.  Ask these questions of yourself.

“What magnificence is seeking to awaken within me?”

“What bolder, freer life is calling me forth?”

“How could I engage my individuality to astonish myself?”

Loving Your Work is Overrated

Every once in awhile, a new idea, explodes a concept that I previously thought was rock solid. Regular readers won’t be surprised that I’ve written 11 previous posts tagged with work that you love.

laptoplady11I’ve known that money doesn’t always follow finding work that we love, but now I have greater understanding.

Now I’m seeing that loving your work is, quite possibly, extremely overrated.  My friend, Egbert Sukop, in his new book, How to Better Hate Your Job, blew up my mind with these excerpts.

When I choose more often what I want to do, it is more likely I’ll make more money.  What you want to do is NOT identical with doing what you love.  Love in regards to business and work is so overrated.

Self-determination is key.  And so is a series of continued choices and course adjustments versus vegetating along the rusty tracks of a decision you made years ago.  Making a lot of choices is likely to lead you to making better choices, with some of them possibly leading to more money.  Egbert Sukop

Perhaps I was already aware of this distinction when I wrote this in a popular post on seizing the freedom of self-employment. “By working on what you want to work on and dearly value you’ll end up producing work of higher value that will make you prosperous.”

This concept is still formulating for me, so I could use your help in thinking it through.  Here’s why I think Egbert is onto something big.

Doing work we want to do, is so much simpler than searching for work that we love to do.  Simply doing work that we choose, because we want to, takes the pressure off.

Doing work that we want to do, permits the ongoing possibility of mistake making.  Making mistakes is no big deal because we can just change our minds when we are doing what we want to do.

I coach many clients on right career and right business discovery and the pressure they put on themselves has much to do with how they think true calling ought to feel.  If the horns of angels and blinding white light don’t announce their epiphanies, they often question their discoveries.

Identifying work that we love to do, is a much higher standard that comes with huge expectations.  High expectations often lead to second-guessing and disappointment.

Consider how challenging it is to continue loving our loved ones.  Many people believe they aren’t at choice when it comes to loving their relatives. That lie gives us a clue as to why loving our work is such an unnecessarily high standard.

Doing work we want to do feels more carefree and unencumbered.  Doing feels more attainable than loving because of the lightness of choice built right into it.

It’s that choice to change our mind and frequently do whatever the hell we want to do, that leads to the only real freedom there is.  The freedom to say no thank you and choose anew.

Resources:

Juliet du Preez at Life Made Great, interviewed  me and published it today.  Juliet asked some piercing questions check it out.

Juliet was bold enough to try something new and participate in one of my exploratory group coaching experiences.  If you’d like to exercise your boldness join us: Creating the Life & Business You Most Want; A Bold Process for Authoring Your Own Life Now!

Creative Consciousness Strategy

I’ve been observing the various states of being/doing, which we find ourselves in all day long.  For small business entrepreneurs, strategic productivity is essential.  To improve business productivity, raise your state of consciousness.

Doubt and distraction are the two stuck states most often raised by my clients, which get in the way of their completing what they say they want to complete.

Both states are non-productive and keep us stuck within over-thinking and avoidance.  But once we decide to act, what are the most and least productive states?

istock_000004139892xsmallFrom what I’ve observed, creation is the most productive and allowing is the least productive.

Creation stimulates positive evolution in business mastery, personal productivity and personal growth.

The Creative Consciousness Strategy is a way to pause and catch oneself in the moment. This is the third strategy in this series here’s one and two.

ladderfortomTo engage the strategy, look at the ladder of creative consciousness and use it to decide to move up as many rungs as you can.

The Creative Consciousness Strategy has the same effect as asking this question about any business activity: “Is this something that makes me a profit?”

Or, for more creative living, ask, “is this something that brings me great joy or fulfillment?”

Here’s a quick description of how I see each rung.

When allowing, we are permitting and/or endorsing an action that may not have originated by conscious personal choice. When allowing, we are indulging the whims of others or permitting unexpected situations to determine our investment of resources.

Reacting is a notch above, because at least we are recoiling to an outside stimulus – even though reaction is often quick and emotionally charged, and only provides temporary relief.

Responding is a more considered and thoughtful acknowledgment of the situation, and thus our return response is often more logical and effective. But it’s still a return volley and not an originally initiated action.

Promotion is a step higher because we have decided to affect our own world by coercion, persuasion, education or some other method of influence.

Requesting is a higher state because we are asking and inviting.  Since asking invites feedback and conversation, it is the closest state to creation and is often a precursor to it.

But creation is the highest business and life state, because it melds authenticity with intent, confidence and decision.  Creation allows for experimentation and the expansion of possibilities.  Because of this, it’s never a dead end.  Creation is the highest state of being/doing consciousness because it generates value.

The most effective way to reach a state of higher creative consciousness is to be challenged to boldy create the life or business of ones dreams.  Playing small serves no one.  Want a chaleneg that will knock your sokcs off? Enroll in this free coaching experience: Creating the Life & Business You Most Want; A Bold Process for Authoring Your Own Life Now!