Hope Floats … Temporarily

Hope sometimes gets a bad rap in self-development circles.

Our culture is way too heavily influenced by parental programming, cautioning us not to get our hopes up.

I think that hope is an essential prerequisite for all new business creators.

Despair, disbelief, discouragement and pessimism are all antonyms for hope. Could you even consider starting a new business from that mindset? I know I couldn’t.

Childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome. That’s what momma always says. She says that beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will… Sandra Bullock as Birdee Pruitt in the movie Hope Floats.

How glorious it would have been to have such an encouraging mom.

Her momma knew that hope provides a necessary lift of positive expectancy.

Hope is the glue that bonds ideas to action.

Hope is the bridge between authenticity and prosperity. In the early days of new business development there is little else to hold onto when actual results are scarce.

Yet you’ll starve if hope is the only staple in your encouragement diet. Hope by nature is fleeting and provides only temporary sustenance. At some point you must act in order to experience actual, not just imagined, movement.

Yes hope floats! Hope works because it stimulates our original inspiration. This gift is our natural desire of authentic expression within.

But inspiration must be harnessed within a certain period of time, before your “realistic” mind, begins over-thinking your lack of results and your dominant thought becomes self-doubt.

In my career and new business development coaching, this realization is missing for those folks who always feel as though they have too many interests to select one idea.

So they remain suffering within the safety of an endless loop of temporary inspiration and non-action, while hoping that the next idea will have enough lift to be their one true calling.

I’ve also seen this fruitless cycle perpetuated by long time self-help book readers, who mistake end of the book anxiety as the tension-relieving call to get lost within the next book.

But that anxiety is really your call to action. End-of-the-book anxiety is the same anxiety that calls you when your hope is about to expire. Right there, at that point of raw potential, you must act. It’s the only way to get what you want.

Everything in your mind and body is screaming run but right then only a charge will work.

It reminds me of this inspirational clip from the movie Gettysburg where Joshua Chamberlin lead the charge of the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

Hope is wasted if it doesn’t lead to action. Action leads to gems of original realization and these enlightening treasures are only granted to those who act.

Teddy Roosevelt said it best. It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

If you’d like to find a point of original inspiration then join me on August 18, 2010, 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET for this free phone class.

Life Purpose + Self-Employment = Freedom, Prosperity & Fulfillment: How to Get Your Hopes Up & Remain Inspired About Succeeding In Your Own Business

Authentic Inspiration Zaps Procrastination

Authentic inspiration is to procrastination what sunlight is to darkness.
Procrastination or any form of resistance just can’t coexist in the presence of authentic inspiration.

I’m going to go against the grain here and take a stand for inspiration.  Especially since Seth Godin came out with his excellent book, Linchpin, I’ve seen an awful lot written about battling resistance.  His marketing advice is topnotch and it always stretches my noodle.  But I think he’s missed the mark on resistance.

But Seth isn’t the only one.  Many authors and self-help gurus recommend taking a stand against resistance.  They say that you don’t have to feel good in order to create, follow-through and complete.  Seth goes so far as to recommend ignoring your feelings.

You’re familiar with this Nike-like philosophy of just sucking it up and doing it.   Use willpower and discipline they say.  Face the fear and do it anyway.  I used to spout this same rubbish until I stumbled on a better way.

More on that soon but first a confession; I’m a big tough guy and a talented, experienced coach but I’ve lost more battles with resistance than I’ve won.

Resistance is by definition self-sabotage. Procrastination is the most common manifestation of Resistance because it’s the easiest to rationalize.  Steven Pressfield

Resistance can also show up as distraction, obsession and avoidance.  Really any made up excuse or rationalization that keeps you from doing what you want to do, is resistance.

“Just Do It!” makes sense but why is it so damn hard to just do it? I understood that I get more done by diving right in but I more often run than dive.  Resistance is a sneaky bastard.  Sometimes you can trick it and sometimes not.

Sometimes accountability works and sometimes not.  Sometimes a sacred and honorable pledge will work and sometimes not. Sometimes looking at your deepest motivation  (why) for creating what you’re creating will work and sometimes not.

Have you had similar struggles with Resistance? Have you tried but found the “just do it” advice lacking?

I think that Seth and the boys assume that since willpower works for them it will work for everyone just as well.  Apparently not.

Self-control is an exhaustible resource.  Chip & Dan Heath from their book, Switch: How To Change When Change Is Hard.

Self-control is willpower, discipline, sucking it up and just doing it.  And we can run out of self-control.  I think traditional productivity experts have forgotten all about this oldie but goodie.

What we resist persists.  Perhaps resistance is so powerful because we keep fighting it. Ignoring feelings is resistance.  Sucking it up is resistance.  Standing up to resistance is resistance.

How about we try something that we can’t run out of?

Inspiration is inexhaustible as long as it’s authentic.

I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to work around resistance.  You don’t have to stand up to resistance.  You don’t have to suck it up and just do it.

Instead how about tapping into your naturally occurring flow of authentic aliveness?

How about working on something that naturally inspires you to feel really good?

I wonder what that might be?  Here’s a hint.

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.  Howard Thurman

So my friend, what brings you alive with natural enthusiasm?  What brings joy to your heart and puts a spring in your step?  What work calls you?

One of my biggest challenges as a true calling coach is helping clients to see how they can transition into a true calling inspired business without putting everything at risk.

One of my biggest personal challenges used to be completing what I started.

So I’ve been experimenting with ways to serve my calling while at the same time finding a solution to my completion struggles.  I’m very excited to tell you that I’ve found the solution to both.

Today I’ve launched that solution in the form of a creation/completion product that you can use to Create Your Inspired Info Product In 5 Days. Purchase on or before Friday March 19, and save 50% off.

The easiest way to start a true calling inspired business is to create and sell an authentic product.   This guide inspires you every step of the way, as you complete not by sucking it up but by riding a wave of authentic aliveness.

Life doesn’t have to be one big struggle after another.  We were first built for joy.
I’ll close with a powerful video where Pamela Bruner takes us through a delightful EFT tapping session that uses fun instead of willpower to make challenging tasks easier.   This video is wonderful for creating a state of inspiration.

Get your copy of Create Your Inspired Info Product In 5 Days.

Courageous Individuality

Thank goodness this isn’t the norm today but this was true for girls of my generation. It used to be, if you asked an 11-year-old preteen what she wanted on her pizza, she decisively said, pepperoni. But ask her just four years later at 15 and she’d be more inclined to respond. “Oh I don’t know, what do you want?”

Cultural pressure to fit in is a powerful conditioner that affects all of us.

It’s takes a lot of courage to stand tall, speak up and boldly act as an individual.

But expressing as an individual is your only chance if you want to create an authentic business with sustainable prosperity and fulfillment. Conformity is not a selling point. Being average is dull.

Yet the truth is, it’s far easier to just go along with the crowd and follow a system created by someone else, than it is to boldly and authentically speak your mind.

So what. Who said easy and comfortable wins? Hyped up marketers pitching systems tell lies of easy money and big riches. If it sounds too good to be true it’s not either right? So why do we fall for those lies?

I know why. We fall for them because it’s safer not to stand out. It’s safer to hide behind someone else’s creation than to expose our own vulnerable individuality.

But these, more and more often, systems are collapsing and remarkable individuals are succeeding.

Money is attracted to confidence and I think it might be time for all of us to take a look at the path less followed.

What if your greatest potential source of confidence was your expressed individuality?

What if your greatest way to make more money was also your greatest way to make a difference?

Spiritually evolved communities have been announcing a new age of consciousness for years now. It seems to me that we are willing to lend our financial and emotional support to those who create authentically.

I hope you can see that this is your time to serve humanity through individual expression. I’ve realized that a true calling can be started in a much smaller way than I’d originally recommended. To follow your calling you can take the big leap off the cliff or barely stick your toe in the water.

In fact a more prudent entry point for many could be starting smaller. That’s why I’ve been creating a product that combines the three most powerful concepts I have experience of.

1). The Supportive Accountability of Coaching

2). The Authentic Aliveness of True Calling

3). The Inspired Productivity of Completion

 

You can’t save the day by sitting on the sidelines. I hope you agree that it’s your time to push all of your chips to the center of the table and bet big on your individuality.

 

Your True Calling Inspired Business Startup

The old saying goes, he who hesitates is lost.  That’s true but the hesitator is more than lost – he’s lying to himself.

If you’ve wanted to identify and start a true calling inspired business and haven’t by now. What’s your excuse?

Really what are you waiting for?  I hope it’s not a small business idea that’s so brilliant that it arrives bathed in golden light on the wings of angels.  That’s a myth.  More good ideas come from observing mistakes than from epiphanies.

But to observe a mistake and extract the wisdom from it you’ve got to be willing to try lots of stuff so you make really good mistakes in the first place.

This post came from a mistake.  Yesterday I started a teleclass with 8 folks on the line.  It was called, Finding the Clarity and Confidence to Begin Your True Calling Inspired Business.

Halfway through the call all the participants got bumped off and I was talking to myself.   I thought that a couple may have dropped off and the remaining folks were just shy about participating.  I figured even if I were alone the recording would still take and I could send it out to folks.  Nope. Later I found out that I had no audience and no recording.

So I re-recorded the call and simplified it down to the three necessary ingredients for a true calling inspired business startup and five ways you can start up your business today.

You might think you need a perfect startup business plan or at least a completed idea of what your business will look like but that’s not true.  Believe that and you’ll never get started.

What you need for a successful business startup is to feel really good about it.  That good feeling comes from the clarity and confidence to begin.  If you’re through whining about risks and security and are ready to do something, listen to this recording and tell me what you think. Better yet – get started; humanity needs your expressed uniqueness.

[podcast]http://www.delightfulwork.com/audios/TruCallInspiredBiz.mp3[/podcast]

You’re Brilliant!

You really are brilliant, you know.  Out of 6 billion of us on the planet there is no one like you.

That’s not some cruel joke.  There is meaning to your being.  But that meaning is wasted when you don’t do what you love for a living.

Your uniqueness is your greatest blessing.

Are you leveraging your uniqueness?

Are you expressing your authentic individuality by doing what you love?

If not what do you fear?

I know you’ve experienced flashes of your own brilliance.

I know you’ve felt authentic aliveness with the arrival of a bold new idea.

How many of those ideas have you had without even taking the next small step to acting on them?

How often do you set one half-completed project aside and jump to the momentary madness of yet another fresh idea that you’ll likely not complete?

What causes you to fear and not act?

What is it about the delicious inspiration in a brand new idea that causes you to momentarily lose your senses?

Is it because it carries with it an unconditioned and unspoiled promise?

Is it because you haven’t yet dishonored it by not acting?

Is it because it offers further relief from the discomfort of completing last week’s fresh idea?

I used to be affected by this kind of unproductive, uninspired behavior but since I have begun noticing how the energy of inspiration, I’ve been experiencing creation differently.

So I’m curious, what do you think is missing from your creative productivity process?

There’s really nothing wrong with your brilliant bad ass self.  You can do something brilliantly that is far more valuable than you ever contribute by copying the inspiration of another.

But if you can identify what’s missing – you can add it.

There’s a lot to be said for work habits and or inspiration that increase your speed to taking the first step.  Urgency bypasses the fear of our cognitive minds.  You can try this do what you love exercise and prove it to yourself.

What was missing for me was a real feeling of connection that inspires authentic aliveness.  I’m almost embarrassed to admit it but I think I’m one of those people who need to feel good about doing what I’m doing.

Some self-employed business owners develop the discipline to be productive regardless of their feelings.  But does creativity have to be a fight or can it be more of a flow?  It makes me wonder.

I wonder if for me and maybe others, a more effective approach is to generate good feelings about our ideas and projects so we are more authentically inspired to complete them.

Now generating good feelings of authentic aliveness is something that I know how to do.

It’s working so far.  Stay tuned for further developments.

In the meantime, lighten up and imagine how effective you might be if you regularly got unconditional supportive praise like the dude in my favorite commercial.

When you are ready to get really clear on what you want seize this opportunity.

The Missing Link To Business Start Up Success

Too often the founders of start up businesses keep things to themselves for far too long. Without the willingness and ability to bounce ideas off the right people, would be entrepreneurs unnecessarily delay a successful business launch.  istock_000005716223xsmall

In 1999 I’d been coaching for a little more than a year and a prospective client was interviewing me to determine how well we might work together.  I can still recall the conversation 10 years later, because Bob understood the value of paying for an objective truth.

Client Bob explaining, “I just want you to listen closely while I talk though my business challenges.  That will be invaluable to me because you’ll be the only trusted person in my life without an agenda.  My boss, my wife, my children and my co-workers all want something from me and thus they are all biased towards their own motivations.  I just want you to listen and to occasionally give me a straight, unbiased opinion.”

Bob and I worked well together for over a year because my only agenda was his success as he defined it.

The Value of Objectivity

The straight up truth is very rare and extremely valuable for business start up success. Yet it can be challenging to get someone to tell it like they really see it.

Where do you get your totally unbiased, independent feedback?

Is your source truly objective or do they have a hidden agenda of their own?

Closeness is not always a good indicator of objectivity as this post on spousal support suggests.  The closer one is to you the more difficult it is to remove their personal fears from the advice they offer.  Often unwillingness to leads to diluted, sugarcoated advice.

Survival fears also heavily influence what’s shared.  I’ve seen large organizations where everyone is afraid to tell the leader that he’s wearing no clothes.

Your Business Is Very Personal To You

You and your business start up ideas are separate.  Yet being able to really hear feedback and receive it without getting defensive requires that the source of the feedback be skilled in communicating it.

Truth can be personally challenging to accept, especially when it comes from a close friend or relative.

You Get What You Pay For

Trust and confidence needs to be unquestionable.  In matters of law we have no trouble hiring an attorney to present us with our options.

As a coach I am a fierce advocate for coaching because  I’ve seen so many potential entrepreneurs die with their music still in them.  Often the death of their initiative can be traced to fearful free advice offered by a friend or relative.

Paying for an environment conducive to start up success along with the trust and confidentiality that only a business coach can provide is essential when faced with crucial career and business start up decisions.

Consider your current source of business advice and ask these questions.

Can I be sure that they are putting my best interests first?

Have they demonstrated a capacity to tell the truth while at the same time unconditionally supporting my efforts?

Do I leave conversations feeling more inspired and much clearer about possibilities?

Am I inspired to confidence after these conversations because I’m now armed with methods to create what I want to create?

Coaching delivers all of this and much more.

Unbiased Feedback Presents Priorities

What’s the number one priority for any business?

Delivering a uniquely better product, profitably, to more clients.  That’s it.

But so many start up entrepreneurs in the planning and pre-startup stage are working on everything but that.   They’re spending weeks thinking about domain names, business names, tag lines, business plans, brochures, forms, etc, etc. etc.

Instead on concentrating on the main thing – a better service and happy clients.

Could straight up advice delivered in clearly supportive fashion be your missing link to start up success?

If you’d like to enjoy a truly stimulating exploratory conversation contact me to realize the possibilities.   Explore shaking things out in the true spirit of brainstorming, championing, encouragement and unconditional support.  Hire me as your coach.

Stop Playing Small

Playing small does not create magnificence. rasied-hands1

Deep down you know this.  Deep down you know that playing small serves no one.  Deep within you resides the spark of a big dream just waiting for your decision.

What’s your one thing that would change everything?

If you could make one thing come true that would change everything, what would that one thing be?

If you told the whole truth to yourself – you’d have to admit that you do have the capacity for greatness.

What is your big dream?

Can you at least admit that you’d be better off with one?

If you can, that’s where it all starts – imagining the possibilities.

What’s your overriding dream, objective or guiding desire?

Do you have a blog without a purpose?

Do you run a business without a clear path to how you want it to end up?

Do you have a desire to feel the freedom of owning your own business but lack the insight or courage to make it happen?

If you have no wish, how can it possibly come true? Seth Godin

Indeed, how can it?  After reading Seth’s Ruby Slippers post I am inspired to add to his thoughts.

You know that you’ll never hit a target you haven’t identified.  So what stops you?  Is it fear of failing or succeeding with something that really matters to you?

What could you be best in the world at?

I’m curious, what keeps you from deciding and declaring that thing?

What keeps you from even considering the possibilities?

What is your main thing?

What goal, objective or dream has you aglow in the possibilities?

Ponder that thing.

If you aren’t yet playing as big a game as you could be,  start here and answer these questions.

Who would I be most inspired to serve?

What realized dream would open my heart the widest?

What could I be doing that would make my life feel like one glorious joyful glide?

That’s my main thing, guiding you to discover and ride your joyful glide.  Contact me today to explore the possibilities.

Seven Step Small Business Startup Checklist

To beat paralysis and get started on your authentic business you first need to master the inner game of business. What you’re thinking and feeling has direct impact on the actions you are or are not taking. Use this guide as a business startup list to be sure your head’s nailed on straight .

1. Exploit Your Authentic Edge

Your edge, or marketplace advantage, comes directly from your willingness to move into your authentic power. Authentic business building is the willingness to start and maintain a business strategically from your core makeup. The marketplace rewards authentic expression. Your small business idea came to you and that means that you are in the best position to make it happen. Trust your gut. Confidence attracts support and confidence increases in proportion to authentic engagement.

2. Slow and Small Is Better than Not at All

What the hell are you waiting for? Delay is costly – start, complete and sell one small project, product or service.

Speed and size of your initial success isn’t as important as progress. Part-time works, if it works for you. Create your own transition model and follow it.

Decide on your tolerance for risk and your need for a financial/emotional reserve. If you don’t fear shoestring business building – go for it. If you require more back up, secure that first. Decide what works for you and what you need to be your best.

3. Embrace Mistakes

Count on learning from your frequent mistakes. Let go of the illusion of building the perfect product, business or service. Accept the likelihood that you’ll screw up repeatedly and that’s what you are supposed to be doing in a brand new business.

Let the marketplace shine a light on necessary adjustments. It’s impossible to reach perfection in your own mind. Take your show on the road and evolve from customer feedback.

4. Stay Present – Visualize Success

The only place you can actually build your business is in the now. Always ask this question: “What am I looking to accomplish right now?” Work there – complete that.

If you must engage in future thinking, then decide to only do positive visioning. This means that you refuse to even contemplate any fearful future – or at least spend no more than a few seconds dwelling on fear before catching yourself and moving forward.

Fear of failure and fear of success can only exist if you feed them with fearful future thoughts. Become aware of your dominant thoughts and let go of anything limiting. What you think about comes about, so choose as if your business life depended on it.

5. Be a Merchant – Ask for the Money

If you intend to be a successful businessperson, you’ve got to get past any fear of asking for the order. You’ve got to start somewhere. Produce something small and ask someone to buy it.  Recent online advances make many business resources like merchant services much more affordable these days. Your fear about self-worth, like “who am I to be asking for this business,” fades, – once you’ve asked a few times.

6. Any Movement Works

Any strategic movement works because it creates a fresh perspective which is different from the one that keeps you stuck. The only wrong move is standing pat. “You can’t get there from here,” is only true if you’re not in motion. Fortune favors the bold – primarily because the bold are moving.

7. Be Inspired by Your What & Why

Too many budding entrepreneurs want to first “figure it all out”. That’s an illusion. You can’t “figure it all out,” before hand, in mind alone. Get out of your “how-to” directed mind and into you “what and why” inspired mind. What you want to build and your reasons for building it, will do far more to inspire you to action than a fruitless search for how-to. Once you commit and take action, your optimum “how-to” path appears, – as a result of your actions but not before them.

Which point do you need to focus on now?

Get all seven aligned and you’ll be primed for a successful small business launch.

Related Resources

Free Project Blastoff Email Course

One-on-One Coaching with Tom

Does a Business Startup Have To Be Hard?

I don’t think so. I’ve found that the more authentic the business is for the entrepreneur, the easier it is to build. Opportunities and productivity increase in proportion to fulfillment. Since there is an easier way why do so many solopreneurs insist on earning success the hard way?

Pamela Slim over at Escape From Cubicle Nation wrote a thought-provoking post. Who says following your dreams shouldn’t be hard?

After reading this post twice, I can’t fully agree or disagree. But I was surprised by all of the readers who commented in full agreement. They seemed to have embraced the necessity of hard work.

How you answer the following excellent question, Pam raised, – will tell you much about your own beliefs. “Why is easy desirable?”

Many of my spiritual friends say that struggle and closed doors are signs that we have chosen incorrectly. This school of thought says that open doors and flow indicate that we’ve chosen the right career or business.

Yet this hasn’t always been my experience either. I’d like this to be true. But few of my accomplishments have come struggle-free. I’m sure we’ve all had the experience of needing to knock down obstacles to get what we want. But is it absolutely necessary to fight and claw our way to success?

When you are doing the right things, leading your tribe, tackling tough problems and creating truly useful products and services, it shouldn’t be easy. Pamela Slim

When you are doing things right it shouldn’t be easy? Please don’t should on me. I have a real problem with that because I know that in discovering and building ones authentic business, ease is all about fit. When your business fits who you are, then it is right for you and building it is easier.

Struggle seems to surface when I haven’t chosen authentically or when I’ve failed to notice the need for an internal adjustment. This tells me that ease is the more natural way to build a business. Read what Abraham-Hicks has to say about flow and resistance.

What we mean when we say, “Nothing that you want is upstream” is that your desires because you have already thought about them and asked about them are already in the process of being created. In the same way that a round object will roll downhill of its own accord without needing an engine or added impetus from outside influences, your desires are, in a sense, easily and naturally rolling toward their own conclusions as well. Once your life has caused the creation of a desire, your work is done, and natural forces and laws will take over.

The best way we have come to explain to you this pattern of natural evolution is in our analogy of the Current of the river: Your every request, large or small, adds to the Current of this river; and literally everything that you have ever asked for is downstream, where you can easily find it, experience it, possess it, or live it.
Abraham –Hicks The Astonishing Power of Emotions, page 36

Esther Hicks explains further in this video.

Here’s where I stand on this one. Yes, it often takes persistence and lots of hard work to build the business of your dreams. Like you, I’ll do whatever it takes. But at the same time, I can attest that it’s not always necessary to work your ass off.

I do know when authentic business building is easier.
It’s easier when I make decisions guided by my core values.
It’s easier when I remember to express gratitude.
It’s easier when I’m inspired to serve.

Does a business startup have to be hard? No. But if that’s your belief then most likely that will be your experience. If you are at least open to things coming easily, you will have increased the probability of enjoying ease. I’m really looking forward to your thoughts on this one.

Entrepreneurship Interview

Akemi Gaines, of Yes To Me, interviewed me for her Successful and Inspiring Entrepreneurs series.

I share my story and startup realizations. I’d be grateful if you’d visit her blog and tell me what you think over there.

Read interview here, thanks!

Akmei Gaines is a spiritual consultant and entrepreneur with a big vision and an even bigger heart. Take the time to visit her; it’s worth the trip.

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