Authentic Business Building

We’ve all experienced the ready acceptance of affinity.  Having something in common like a similar university experience or hailing from the same neck of the woods seems to create an instantaneous bond that relaxes both parties.

I wonder,  if this occurs because way down deep within we already know that we are one and the affinity just gives us a reason to express our connection?

A Deeper Connection

My experience shows that authenticity can create an even deeper connection than affinity.

Authentic means you bring all of you to the interaction.  No hiding parts of your personality.  No mask wearing.  Simply show up as the real you.  For those of us who value authenticity this is meaningful.

A more genuine connection happens in the expression of that authenticity. A warmness and familiarity builds because you’ve shown up on the same terms with the same intention.

Authentic Business building is more about expressing than impressing.

An authentic connection means that we can count on one another for an intention of mutual highest good.  An authentic connection means more transparency than polish. When all of our interactions both commercial and personal are transparent and above board we can more cleanly make decisions without fear.

 Opportunities Arise on Comfort’s Edge

Everybody likes a good surprise.  We can create a breeding ground for surprises but we must to be willing to accept both pleasant ones and uncomfortable ones.

In my phone classes I’ll often share a point and then offer immediate laser coaching on that tool or issue.

Talk about being the edge of ones comfort zone.   At least for me, network marketing was very uncomfortable because it wasn’t really natural or authentic.  Authentic discomfort is a whole different animal.

When I make that coaching offer in my classes, I have no idea what someone is going to present or how my coaching will be received.    But I like being out there on the edge because on the edge of our comfort zones are where pleasant surprises happen.

Are you perhaps playing it a little too safe?  Nudge yourself a little closer to the cliff.  You might enjoy the authentic aliveness out there.

On the edge of comfort is where the juiciest opportunities present themselves.

 

How To Get On The Right Track

Being on track feels flat out exhilarating!  I’m talking about those vigorously inspiring times when you know you’re on the right track.   That knowing has been gradually building within me and I want to help you find it as well.  istock_000004985695xsmall

The seeds were planted in these posts where I wrote about doubling your income and getting rich authentically.  Since then I’ve been living with this question.

What is the question that if you knew the answer, would set you free? Peter Block

A powerful question  hangs in there with you when you feed it by continuing to ask it.

By asking the right question and acting on the answers, we earn the clarity to see the right track.

Successful business building is not an exact science.  Opportunities present themselves in unexpected ways.  Discoveries and realizations often occur in the pursuit of other objectives.

There is no “one right way” to accomplish business objectives.  There is only the way that works for you.

Success in business and life is primarily an inside game, because our inner feelings and thoughts determine our decisions and actions.

Five Signposts to Find Your Right Track

1). Are you giving it your all?

Can you tell when you’re stretched to do your best?  It’s often said that given the circumstances, we are all doing the best we can.

We all do the best we can, but only to the degree that we are aware and willing to improve.

When we become aware but don’t act, we have become unwilling and afraid; willing and courageous works better.

2). Is there a more direct way to get what you want?

As a community builder, I enjoy connecting on various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  Yet each of us needs to determine what the hell we’re doing there!  For what purpose are we connecting?  If your aim is to get new clients, fear may be guiding you to take the long way around.

Where might fear be guiding you on offtrack?

3). Are you truly open to seeing new approaches and perspectives?

If what you’re doing isn’t working, it’s time for some raw truth and fresh direction.

The most successful people are those who are good at plan B.  James Yorke

My most successful coaching clients, bounce back from disappointment sooner and look for different openings more often.  But often, we can’t see our own blind spots.

We can’t see what we’ve never considered possible.  That’s one reason why coaching works so well, because the process naturally expands possibilities and new- found considerations.

Most likely your way out, is not what you think it is.  The answer you seek could be within you and probably is.  Yet if you’re off track the answer will not be what you first think it is.

If you change the way you look at things the things you look at change.  Wayne Dyer

4). Are you too much in your own head?

Life coaching clients often come looking for the cure to perfectionism, procrastination and distraction.  If you’re over-thinking a fearful future, you’re clearly avoiding the now.

But exactly what “now” are you avoiding?  You may be wiser than you think you are.

Perhaps you dance with these maladies because you know deep within that the actions you’re avoiding are fruitless endeavors.

Perhaps the knowing part of you is aware that by following-through, you’ll create something that’s not aligned with your authentic desires.

5). Have you found your personal updraft?

If you aren’t energized and eager for your work, you need all the raw truth you can handle; and believe me, you can handle a lot.

What’s the big decision you just aren’t making?  What do you need to wake up to, in order to make a fresh start?

Where in your life are you explaining away your piss poor performance and results?  Dang, can’t you see that life is meant to be a joyful glide?

If results aren’t coming easily, at least some of the time, then you’ve chosen a path that requires greater effort to push through the resistance.  There’s always a more optimum path.

Yesterday I was reading about golden eagles that winter in West Virginia and summer in Canada.  They migrate along the mountain ridges in Pennsylvania to take advantage of very distinct, airborne pathways with buoyant updrafts.

This allows them to soar and glide with little effort.  But those eagles had to find and choose the right track for them.

Either you will make your life work or your life will not work. Nathaniel Branden

Your business can also be more of a joyful glide, by getting on the right track for you.  It’s there; keep choosing until you find it.

……….

Ready to find the shortcut to your right track?  Contact me today for a sample coaching session that will knock your socks off!

An Authentic Approach to Making More Money

This post is dedicated to those of you who need to get your moneymaking shit together.

Have you been challenging assumptions and considering business options? If you want to earn more from your small business, next year, read on. I’m not going to give you the secret to anything. My intention is to inspire you to wakeup, see where you are and act!

I’m offering a fresh starting point for authentic business planning. If you want to increase your earnings, you’ve got to replace your monkey planning and become more intentional in building your business.

Every time I write about making more money, someone always comments, “it’s not all about the money.” No shit. I get that. But if you feel the need to say it, perhaps it’s more about the money than you’d like to admit. I understand that fulfillment, freedom of expression and autonomy hold a higher value for many of you than making more money. But next year I intend to work less and earn more simply because I can. So can you.

Since each of us has the capability to create the business results we most want, why don’t we? It’s not simply a lack of belief. Most of you agree that anything is possible. What’s missing or what needs to be adjusted, to produce more lucrative small business results?

A big part of authenticity is having the balls to really look at what you’ve produced and what you haven’t. You can dream big and be very genuine, but if that isn’t producing buckets of cash perhaps, you’re already as authentic as you need to be. Since you already have an authentic grounding perhaps your best adjustment is a more strategic one.

The first place to look is at your big-picture business reflection and decision-making process. Do you have one? If you don’t consciously reflect on your business, you could fall prey to the random influences of those with stronger intentions.

I’ve realized that authenticity; natural optimism, and possibility thinking alone, – do not create sustainable success. Just because we can think big, – doesn’t mean that we do. Spiritual evolution does not take the place of business practices like following-through. I’ve realized that my wild ass desires and imaginings need to be grounded within a dynamic, intentional master plan.

Without an intentional business reflection and decision-making process our businesses often end up with unintentional results. Consider another way. It begins with slowing down, stepping back and consciously choosing. Without reflection and big picture thinking, strategic decisions remain unmade. If you fail to make a decision, you’ve made one anyway, and that default decision is far less likely to serve you well.

Begin with an honest assessment. We don’t know what we don’t know and shining a light of greater awareness generally illuminates sticking points. I’m going to share some places that used to bog me down in hopes that you’ll notice if you’re stuck in the same locale.

Stuck in Discovery

Discovery is such a juicy place for lifetime learners. Even when aware, we often don’t want to leave. Researching, learning, and staying on top of things are all wonderful excuses for failing to act. If only those excuses paid off like action does.

Good intentions cannot weather the assault of an infinite number of online gurus screaming to sell us the latest secret to exploding our business to the next level. I’m so sick of all this next level puke. Screw the next level. How about building a solid foundation instead?

Like most of you, I’m looking for ways to work less and earn more. But that’s the challenge; most of the stuff we read promises that. Excellent copy writing speaks to our emotional craving and reels us in until we stop searching for the secret. Stuck here? Pause and ask, “What exactly am I looking for?” Look for that and that only. Find it and act on it.

Stuck in Place

At least when stuck in discovery we have the illusion of movement. Stuck in place, – is just plain frozen in denial or avoidance. If you’ve been feeling like somethings got to give, then you may need to wakeup to the facts. Quit waiting for an outside intervention. No one is coming to save your ass.

Surviving isn’t thriving. Getting by is getting old. How many times are you going to pull it out at the last minute, before one time, you just don’t?

If you almost never market when times are good and then desperately over-market when the valleys hit, – you really aren’t doing much strategic thinking, are you? Perhaps a few strategic adjustments are called for? But first, take a hard look at where you are and what you earned last year. Look at what worked and what didn’t, and choose some new actions.

Stuck in a Small Mindset

How do some corporations mange to make a profit in spite of their faulty policies and their poor decisions? It’s catching up to them; they just have more wiggle room than we do. They just can’t see what they aren’t looking for and as solopreneurs we are not immune.

We don’t know what we don’t know. If you don’t work with a coach, then work with someone who will ask you the challenging questions. Sign up for this free phone class and I’ll ask you the questions before you even dial the phone.

We especially aren’t aware of the limited beliefs. You could be working a business model or following a mindset that does not serve you well. Your adjustment could be a very small change in perspective that could lead to a big gain. But you won’t see it, if you don’t know where to look. I’ll bet that you’re thinking way too small in some critical areas right now.

I love this time of the year as a small businessperson. This is our time, for reflection, big picture thinking and strategic decisions. But if you don’t choose to make any adjustments you could earn what you earned last year. You’re capable of so much more and you know it.

Tell me where to take the follow-up post to this one. I’m considering writing about my decision-making process, but I’d like to address what you think you need. Speak up please!


Finding Your Path to a Successful Business Startup

Budding entrepreneurs who want to discover and run the authentic business of their dreams often get bogged down in pre-startup analysis and research. Sometimes they wait for the brilliant light of epiphany along with horns of eureka to verify their business idea. But what if the trumpets never sound and the blinding light of clarity never occurs?

 

What does that mean? Does it mean that your idea isn’t good enough? Does it mean that you don’t have what it takes? Does it mean that you need to continue in analysis until an epiphany does strike you? No, no and no. It could only mean that you are still feeling more fear and self-doubt than determined confidence. Here’s a better question. Why are you attempting to find this path alone when you could hire a guide to show you the way?

What Coaches Do

Thomas Leonard is credited as the first to call himself a coach – but even he thought that “coach” was an incomplete description. The word coach originally comes from a small town in Hungary, Kocs, where they made carts. Three centuries later, in 1800s England, it became slang for a tutor who “carries” a student through an exam. Coaches do remain with you throughout your journey and the “carrying” we do resembles the challenging encouragement and raising-the-bar accountability typical of an athletic coach. But we also do much more.

Blogging Coaches are distinct from self-improvement bloggers, and even from non-blogging coaches, because our daily work goes beyond coaching and blogging alone. Every day we guide clients in the engagement of what we blog about as they move to where they want to be. So we get to write about processes, test them on committed clients, see the results, make adjustments, refine further and then share our realizations in writing.

Self-improvement by itself isn’t worth much if you remain stuck within the same limiting situation. If you read and don’t seem to change fast enough, perhaps it’s not the quality of the material you are reading but it is your engagement that needs to be adjusted. People hire coaches to help them improve, not themselves, but the situations where in they find themselves. The self-improvement occurs as a natural by-product of the courageous actions that clients take.

Tom’s Special Brand of Coaching

People hire me to help them make very personal discoveries, which lead to committed decisions. Those decisions lead to focus and to taking right action. That action changes your perspective and you are then able to see more opportunities to which you were once blind. My clients are investing in more of a guided journey than in an education.

In actuality, I’m a career coach who specializes in guided movement.

There are times, when I’m a pure guide, leading, showing the way and pointing out the course to be taken.

Often I’m a pathfinder, guiding you through the unexplored regions of your own authenticity. If you’ve decided to begin the journey of discovering an authentic business most likely you’re more comfortable working in the safe familiar regions conditioned by your upbringing.

My calling is to outfit you with the proper tools for your journey and guide you along the way. Ultimately, I hold your hand as you leap from the cliffs of employment out into the unknown freedom of self-employment.

Your special authentic path must be a newly found path because no one has ever walked it before. Only you can walk that path and build that business in the way you were meant to build it. Your talents and strengths have blessed you with the raw potential to walk your path.

I’m just your guide. I can’t use my machete to blaze your trail because it’s your trail. But I can show you how to sharpen your own machete. I can guide you along the path as we walk together until you need to veer off and lead the way.

But even then I have your back. I stay right with you in case you get bogged down in the quicksand of fear or lose your way in the murkiness of uncertainty and self-doubt.

Request your complimentary Making the Leap strategy session here. 

 

 

Authentic Business Discovery

The absolute sweet spot of your business is that place where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need. But how do we find a need so deep that fulfilling it would also make us feel so good?

There are two distinct schools of thought when it comes to discovering the right business to launch. One school seems to be more spiritually based – focused on finding work that you love, following your passion and living a purposeful life.

The second school appears to be more practical; focused on finding a need and filling it and about designing a business to alleviate your customer’s pain.

Which school of thought would serve you best right now? Most likely, it’s the opposite of the one you believe in the most.

Vocation is where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need. Frederich Buechner

That’s right, following Buechner’s formula, to build a profitable and fulfilling business we need to develop our businesses guided by the wisdom of both schools.

So how do you identify a potentially profitable business that is deeply fulfilling to you and deeply gratifying in service to your clients or customers?

One effective way is to put yourself in an environment that honors your creativity while at the same time insisting on your productivity.  You could attend a Big Link Rally event. You can visit my coaching website and request an exploratory conversation. Without accountability and commitment to action, even the best original ideas die on the vine.

What else could you do to get to the point of a confident new business launch?

1.) Get very clear on one end of the spectrum by identifying a deep gladness or a deep need.

2.) Then persistently observe, brainstorm ideas, consider approaches and seek openings until you have a matching need or gladness that feels strong enough to develop.

3.) Then imagine the fulfillment of that gladness and need working together seamlessly in a profitable business that you own. Do this by answering these questions as if you have already succeeded.

  • How have you changed the world for you and your clients?
  • What can they do now that they couldn’t before purchasing your product/service?
  • What can you do or be now which you were reluctant to experience before developing this wonderful business?

4.) Write down all of your answers and continue to make adjustments until you can withstand the sharpest of challenges when questioned about your projected business.

5.) Then once you’ve decided and committed, continue to identify the next best step that you can complete to move you further each week and take that action.

Personally I like to get so fired up that my business feels like I’m starting a revolution. My mission needs to inspire me to that degree.

How about you, how can you tell that you’re on the right track?

What’s the best combination of personal gladness and customer gratification that you can imagine and believe in?

If you’re already in business what deep need are you now fulfilling?

If you have yet to start your own business what deep need would give you deep gladness to provide?

Spirit and Business

Yesterday I was leading a coaching group, via phone, on developing the confidence to be your own boss. During class we discussed the concept of burning desire and its origination from Spirit or God. Have you ever considered where your new business ideas come from?

Interestingly this talk about desire surfaced when we were addressing how so many budding entrepreneurs fear that their business ideas won’t create enough income for their family’s needs. Fear around the lack of money is the number one obstacle that stops new business owners from ever getting started.

Many in this phone class were emboldened by this idea of being blessed with Divine desire. We agreed, that it’s spiritually meaningful that we’ve all been gifted with unique talents and strengths. There must be some practical reason for this Divine differentiation and that is this: we are already equipped to build the business that we want to build. Laurie from class said, “I don’t think God would send us on a wild goose chase.” I agree. I believe in a loving Spirit that wants only good for us.

Read this powerfully inspiring sentence from Emilie Cady’s classic, Lessons In Truth. Then read it again and really let it sink in.

Desire is the thing you want in incipiency; that is, the thing you desire is not only for you, but has already been started toward you out of the heart of God; and it is the first approach of the thing itself striking you that makes you desire it, or even think of it at all. Emilie Cady

This means that from the initial moment that a faint flicker of the idea flashed into your mind, your new business has already launched. Your burning desire for a new business has already formed in the universal ethers and it is just waiting for your commitment to bring it into being.

Please consider this: if you’re business idea did come directly from the heart of God, aren’t you showing tremendous disrespect by not making your move to the freedom of self-employment?

If you don’t believe that desires are Divinely sent, then what do you believe in, randomness? I’m not endorsing predetermination in any way. Certainly you’re uniquely equipped to build the business you were meant to build. But that’s as far as it goes. Our free will takes over then and what we ultimately develop is based on the choices we make.

In my coaching practice, I’ve always taken a holistic approach because it seems silly not to use everything that we have. We have four realms of power why use less? I find it surprising, that many fear using their spiritual strengths in their businesses. It’s one reason I enjoy working more with solopreneurs than with corporations. With the self-employed there is less emphasis on what’s appropriate and greater emphasis on what’s effective.

What about you? Have you had a business hunch you haven’t acted on?

Where do you think it came from?

Do you routinely engage Spirit in your business?

 

Because Spring Is the Time of Love

In my last post I wrote about celebration. Now I’d like to celebrate a success story of one of the people I coach. About a year ago, Bill shared with me an idea for an online relationship-enhancing tool. Bill is one of those folks, like so many of us, that just need someone firmly in his corner to take, and stay in, action. The next few weeks we tossed some ideas back and forth, and then Bill committed to take steps to have the system developed. Bill continued to set targets, making some, missing others, and processing whatever needed to be processed to remain in action.

If you are currently in a romantic relationship, I invite you to try LovePong. It’s fun, it’s free, and it really works!

If you have an idea for a business that you’d like to discuss with me, drop me a line. I’d love to support you in any way I can.

A Client’s Perspective – How I Use My Coach
By Bill Weil

When Tom and I first began working together, he shared his perspective that a coach is simply a tool to add the greatest possible value to the client’s life and business. So how do I use my coach?

  • As a nurturing, safe and affirming sounding board
  • As an accountability partner, so that I honor my own promises
  • As a nudge to get me off the dime and into action
  • As a fellow brainstormer, with an unbiased, third-party view
  • Finally, as a “negative energy clearer,” so that I can release all the raging emotions and conflicting thoughts in my head, find my clarity, and be productive.

I have benefited tremendously from Tom’s coaching and support. I would (and do!) highly recommend Tom to really anyone who is serious about taking their business, or their life, to the next level.