Five Essentials to Choosing the Right Business

"choosing the right business."How did you choose your business?  Did you choose it based on who you are or did you allow the circumstances and relationships in your life to choose it for you?

If you think you may have chosen incorrectly or if you haven’t even chosen yet – these five essentials will show you how to choose the right business.

I work with corporate employees who want to confidently quit their jobs and start a business.  Choosing a business that brings you alive is essential for your success but just doing what you love isn’t enough.

Just like the prospective entrepreneur who has yet to choose, existing business owners will benefit from knowing the five essentials for choosing the right business.

Existing business owners could be just one small adjustment away from success.  New business owners can start right the first time.

Money and clients are attracted to confident enthusiasm so both need a small business blueprint that inspires taking frequent action confidently and enthusiastically.

These five essential elements are not linear.  Instead imagine  a five sided pentagon of success.

  1. Sell the product or service that you are most eager to create. Eagerness leads to willingness which leads to action which leads to success. Eagerness is a natural response to authentic desire and only exists in the absence of fear.  Business can be a drag without natural eagerness.
  2. Work in your business on the activity that gives your deepest gladness. Deep gladness goes beyond love. Gladness is love with deep meaning.  What really matters to you matters because it is deeply aligned with your core makeup.  Isn’t it kind of stupid to start a business that doesn’t take into account the whims, talents and values of the founder?
  3. Start a business serving who and what you care about the most.  There is good reason for your experiences. Life is not a random event.  You’ve seen what you’ve seen and been though what you’ve experienced in order to give a damn about someone or something.  It’s time for you to take a stand and serve where you really care.
  4. Make a difference by giving customers the solutions that they most need.  In order for your business to thrive someone, somewhere has to really need what you’re selling.  There has to be some meat in your offer that someone is emotionally hungry for.  Quit talking about how you do what you do.  That’s too light of a meal.  Instead hit them hard with direct messages that speak to what they really need.
  5.  Finally offer your customers what they need in the way that they want it.  If you don’t meet them where they are they won’t recognize how much you can help.  Speak the language of those you are selling to.  Be strategic and smart by entering the conversation they are already having with themselves.  That’s how they want it.  They want it clear and understandable.

Eagerness, deep gladness and deep care enthusiastically served in a dish of what they need in the way they want it.  That’s the recipe for small business success.

So how many sides does your startup business pentagon have?  Without all five you aren’t really building a business that will last.  But you can change that.  You can choose to start a business that is right for you and for your clients.

Each month I offer five free strategy sessions to help prospective business owners get really clear on:

  • Understanding the person you need to be in order to make the leap.
  • Discovering the number one thing stopping you from starting
  • The right timing for you to make your move.
  • Identifying the next step that will give you the confidence to take the leap.
  • Exactly what you need to do next to make your move.

To claim your session send me an email  telling me why you want to be self-employed.

 

True Calling On A Wing A Prayer And A Guess

On a wing and a prayer means in beat up condition but still managing to get the job done. The saying is taken from a World War Two patriotic song that tells the story of a damaged plane barely able to limp back to base.

I think it’s wildly inspiring to fly by the seat of your pants and just make it.

Some folks get overly concerned about being able to find their calling because they fear they don’t have one. These fearful souls believe as if they are somehow so special that they were put on this earth for no meaningful reason.

So what, you haven’t yet found work that expresses your purpose, what are you going to do, quit life?

Are you going to quit living and settle way down in the depths of depression because your personal true calling quest has yet to be fruitful?

Don’t give me that bull. You may have stuck your toe in the water a bit but you have no right to hang it up, until you at least try a wing, a prayer and a guess.

Don’t quit life. I want to encourage you to suck it up, take off and make it back to the authentic base of who you are.

A Wing

To take flight, find some reason to feel good enough and hopeful enough to get to the next milestone of positive belief. That’s all it takes.

You simply need to change your perspective enough so that you reach the tipping point of positive belief.

To get started you just have to believe that finding and enjoying your true calling could happen. Then you just have to express the courage enough to say that you want it to happen.

All transition is about latching onto the uplift of positive energy and riding it to the next progress point.

This next point of progress can be a fresh realization of understanding or actual results. It doesn’t really matter which, as long as you can feel the energy of hope.

Being hopeful is ill advised only when it’s the only thing you’re relying on. But when you back your hope up with just enough action to stumble forward, hope becomes an uplifting and effective strategy.

Enthusiastic energy provides the fuel of hope when results are thin. It doesn’t really matter what belief is behind your hope. Sometimes we need to lean more heavily on the confidence of others until our self-confidence builds.

The best reason for working career discovery on a wing a prayer and a guess, is because at least you are in the game. When you’re in the game and not merely on the sidelines fortunate synchronicities become more probable.

Timid souls who play it safe, never get even a whiff of these delightful possibilities because they are too damned sacred of losing the life of their daily bitching.

A Prayer

After years of work with hundreds of coaching clients, I’ve come to understand that identifying one’s true calling is primarily a spiritual process. Regardless of individual religious beliefs, this process must be approached with sacred reverence and respect.

True calling cannot be intellectually “figured out”. This process is deeply meaningful to the individual and to the greater community that the individual serves. This sacred connection makes the conscious awareness of working a spiritual process essential.

I want to share with you the prayer that I prayed to accelerate clarity around my calling. This prayer is not for the faint of heart, but for the bold. Do not pray this powerful prayer without a willingness to follow your call. Pray to the God, Higher Power or Inner Guidance of your own faith.


MP3 File

A Guess

Any educated guess, put into action, will get you 100 times closer to seeing your real calling than the most brilliant strategy that is planned and never acted upon.

Really, if you simply wrote down the business that most brings you alive by imagining it and decided on one small way to take committed action for the next two weeks, your life would be forever changed.

Seekers of ideal work would be better off by experimenting, by guessing, by putting themselves in play more often so that life force energy of calling can bless them. Guess and act and you too will receive experiences by which to adapt to move closer to calling.

Make more decisions in every day because a decision is a summoning of life. That’s why a little chaos is good for you, because often you don’t make a decision until you get yourself in a jam. And then, in the middle of the jam, you make a decision, but that decision summons Life Force. Have you ever been a place where you couldn’t quite make up your mind and you just felt sort of limp? “Oh, I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.” And then you decided, and you felt alive again. We want you to know that you’ll never get it done. So don’t approach this from, “I gotta get on this” because you’re not ever going to get it done, anyway. And the other thing we want you to know is, you cannot get it wrong. So, make a decision. Let it flow.
— Abraham

Which part of this sacred, true calling trinity do you need to engage right now?

Creating Clarity

clarity Clarity is clearness or lucidity as to perception or understanding. It is freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity.

Do you more often look for clarity or create it?

I’ve been pondering the creation of clarity. Most folks look for clarity like it’s something to be found. Discovering clarity happens but not as often as you’d think.

It’s far easier to decide to create clarity.

How do you come to your clarity? I find clarity is best approached with openness, calmness and a determination to create it.

A comprehensive process works best especially in matters of career change clarity. When there are many factors to consider that fog our clarity we must work a process that cuts through fog like a torch of sunshine.

Clarity is best created through a process of questioning, dialogue, decision and action. Every progressive step leans toward clarity and further away from confusion or complexity.

But there is one essential ingredient that must be put into the mix early and often.

Truth. If you really want clarity, you must decide to tell the whole truth to yourself about yourself. That’s the truth as you see it, without regard for the opinion of others.

To create clarity you must take a stand for your truth and your truth is likely to be unpopular. Its unpopularity is what makes it individual and thus valuable to you.

But without deep truth, as only you know it, you’re just spinning you wheels.

Here’s the secret. Be especially aware as a truth-teller, just before and during periods of important decision making.

Use this time to note your decision – to comprehend and appreciate the raw truth of it.

When we make a decision and then decide to make up some justification, explanation or fabrication after the fact, we don’t get the benefit of endorsing own authentic choices.

Singular and courageous endorsement of your own wisdom is what creates clarity and confidence.

Here’s a powerful opportunity to practice your truth telling.   Decide to tell the truth when you decline every invitation, be it business or social.

Just saying no thank you can be enough.  But just in case you’re asked, be ready and willing to share your whole unvarnished truth, even if you know that it will not be welcome.

It will be one of the cleanest and most liberating practices of your life.

What someone doesn’t want to hear, can be delivered respectfully and gracefully.  But a sincere, blunt and clumsy truth is far better than any eloquently crafted lie.

Life is given, and not one other human being on the planet was given to live the life you’ve been given to live.  The given self lets you quit trying to live another life, which is what the quest for the ideal life is, and lets you begin to live your own.  Mari Perron

I’ve found that my given, most authentic self can’t get clear in the presence of white lies.  I’ve found that in order for my given self to flourish in resolute clarity, I must first take a stand for what I want, even when it disappoints another.

True freedom is found in the loving acceptance of self and in the glory of expressing as no one else can.

Top Ten Tips For A Confident Career Change

confident career decisionConfidently making a career change comes first from you knowing and believing in yourself. Assured action then kicks in to confirm the  right move for you.  Use these ten tips to move from confused, doubtful and uncertain to enthusiastic confidence.

One framing, bonus tip before we begin.  Career wisdom most often comes in the form of active verbs rather than final professions. Fulfilling work is more about what you’d be doing rather than what you’re called while doing it.

Too many career seekers try too hard to see the end game.  They first try to identify the profession and that’s wrong.  Trying to imagine whether you’d like to be a butcher, baker or candlestick maker is putting the cart before the horse.

I’ve been career coaching for 12 years and here’s a question I ask every potential client.  “If the best career change for you, happens to be creating your own business, are you willing to seize the freedom of self-employment?

Any response less than a strong yes, generally means that a client is either unaware of or doesn’t agree with, one of the following career change truths.   If you’re hesitating with a career change decision, carefully look them over.  You’re solution is to understand and embrace the truth(s) you find yourself resisting the most.

1. The absence of risk often indicates that you’re playing too small. There is no such thing as authentically playing it safe.  You can’t compromise yourself into a fulfilling and successful career change.  Getting real has nothing to do with being realistic and everything to do with self-honor.

2. You can’t see around the bend without getting off your ass.
No matter how good a career decision looks on paper you really won’t know until you step into it.  You can’t see what doors may open until you walk down the hall.  Knowing that truth will allow you to keep your cool, stay present and observe.  Adjusting actions and seizing opportunities as they arise, can make a once shaky decision a brilliant one.

3. Ease into change or make the big leap but don’t straddle. Straddling the fence is painful because it hurts no matter which way you fall.  Change doesn’t have to be a big leap off the cliff.  You don’t have to immediately quit your job and leap.

Entrepreneurship isn’t right for everyone.   You could even begin taking control of your career and advance your professional goals by earning one of these online degrees MBA.  Some of us love the leap and don’t sweat burning bridges.  Others have more of a toe-in-the–water style.  Be who you are.  If you’re naturally an ease in to it person, be that in your change.  You can start small in scope but remain large in authenticity. One way of starting small authentically is to create an authentically inspired product.

4. You really won’t care as much about the money following. Money doesn’t always follow doing what you love.  However, do what you love and fulfillment does follow.  Once you taste fulfilling work you just won’t care about the money as much.  Then a funny thing happens.  Once you’re not so afraid about making money you become more confident. And money does follow confidence.

5. As long as you choose you can’t really lose.
The only way you can make a big mistake is to ignore the longings of your heart and stand pat.  Settling sucks, for a day or a decade.  Don’t waste another day in soulless work. The instant you know in your heart, that you’re unfulfilled, decide to choose another path.

6. Desire = Proof of Capacity.
If you didn’t have what it takes to turn your idea into a business or a fulfilling position – that idea would not have come to you. You are enough.  You have what it takes.  You are more than enough to live the purpose you came here to complete.

7. Quit worrying about looking like you know what you’re doing.

Fear of looking like a fool will keep you from getting what you want.  Egbert Sukop.

Few of us ever do actually know what we’re doing.  But we are remarkable beings in our ability to land on our feet.  Every thought you have about what someone else might think of you is pure bull.  They just don’t care that much.  Start being your own authority this minute. What you think about you is the only thought that counts.

8. Find and follow your enthusiasm. Journal. Observe. Take notes of every appealing idea.  If a certain business or career change appeals to you, dig deeper and identify exactly what you find appealing about it.  Look for and record all themes of enthusiasm; they are valuable signposts.  Your life has been nudging you in the right direction.  Open your eyes and notice the nudges.

9. Be sure to imagine the upside.
So much of change seems to over-emphasize the downside of what might go wrong.  Remember; the reason you’re seeking a career change is to be fulfilled and happy in your work.  Imagine how gloriously delightful it will soon be to bounce out of bed each morning eager to face the day.

10. It’s all about fit, first and foremost. If you are miscast in your work you are out of place.  Out of place means out of authentic alignment with who you are.  Out of alignment means out of luck and good fortune.  Be authentic and make your own luck by understanding your authentic career change elements.

Which tip do you need to embrace the most right now?

Want to discover your right work once and for all?  Contact Tom for an exploratory coaching session to find your career clarity. 

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.

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.

Free Yourself

We gain the greatest freedom from cutting our own ties. Ties that bind us to old agreements and roles, need to be broken, when once freely chosen activities now feel like obligations. istock_000005716223xsmall

Self-created ties are complicated, because like any relationship, liberation is more challenging in the presence of emotional entanglement. Our dysfunctions become comfortable. Fortunately there are effective decision-making tools available to aid this process.

In the comments of my last post, Juliet at Life Made Great, asked me for an example of how I use this question posed by Peter Block in his book, The Answer To How Is Yes. What is the question that if you knew the answer, would set you free?

Here’s my formula for using this powerful transformational tool.

1). Trust yourself. You know what’s best for you better than anyone else could know. Until you recognize your caring wisdom within and act accordingly, you will continue to search for answers outside of yourself.

2). Tell the truth to yourself and identify an unmade decision that is weighting heavily on you, right now. Unmade decisions are fail proof indicators of where you are losing focus and energy. Delay is extremely costly.

You will always suffer when your mind wants two opposing things at once.  Byron Katie

3). Decide to ask the question.  We suffer only because we haven’t chosen. But instead of choosing we try to do more.  It’s crazy because we add when we need to be simplifying.

We often seek productivity and time management solutions that only serve to make us realize how far behind we really are.  Sometimes we just can’t catch up.  Instead we need to declare a fresh start by setting fresh standards.

Time management is not about organization; it’s about boldness.  Steve Chandler

4). Ask the question. What is the question that if you knew the answer, would set you free?

5). Write down your question and answer it.

6). Follow-through and act on the answer. Without action you are disrespecting your own wisdom.

What happens when it all works as designed?

Here’s how I used this process recently.  My coaching business has been booming.  It’s become very clear, that I need to cut way back on some blogging and social media activities, in order to focus more on delivering break through results for an increasing number of clients.

Yet I’ve struggled doing so, mostly because I truly enjoy and value the connections I’ve made with you, my fellow bloggers.  I’ve been grieving the loss of supportive Tom who once visited and return commented on every commenter to his blog.  But I was fearful of cutting back as well.

Fear-Based Marketing

Blogging and social media can become extremely fear-based marketing.  It becomes fear based when we fear the consequences of not doing it well or frequently enough.  Social media by nature, is a reaching-out activity, to those beyond your closest circles.  The further away from intimate connection marketing is, the more fear comes along for the ride.

But that’s the beautiful thing about fear; if you really look at it, fear goes away.  I’ve realized that my true connections will respect my decision.

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

My question.  How can I feel really good about my decision to radically simplify my life?

My answer.  I can feel really good about my decision to simplify my life: by cutting ties that feel like obligations, and by declaring new standards for blogging and social media participation.  Here are my new standards.

I do not market based on fear of loss or how I look to others.

Before engaging in social media activity I’ll ask this question.
Is there a more direct way to make connection?

I am free from all obligations and I do nothing that feels like an obligation.

I blog only when I am inspired to encourage and inspire others.

I exercise my right to totally change my mind when it feels right to do so.

I am free.

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

What unmade decision will set you free?

Want to experience masterful breakthrough coaching at no obligation? Join us on March 18, enroll here.

Fearless Living

scan0003Fearless living is a choice.

I want to inspire you to do something today from the raw, unblemished core of who you are.  I want to encourage you to act for today or even for one hour, as if there were nothing wrong with you.

I want you to boldly go where no man or woman has gone because only you can walk your path.

I’m asking you to do that because you can.

Abundance is doing what you can do right now.  Kim George

What stops you from living fearlessly?

What stops you from doing what you say you want to do?

My thoughts stop me.

What if everything brave and beautiful that you’ve ever wanted to create was stopped by a fearful thought?

We have become masters of fearful thinking.  We’re experts at labeling our maladies.

We call them procrastination, perfectionism, attention deficit disorder, overwhelm.

By labeling them we invite their existence, and by doing so we sentence ourselves to an unnecessary, more permanent experience of them.

I like this about my upbringing.  We didn’t have a lot of money so we couldn’t afford to label our maladies.  We sneezed, but we didn’t know about allergies.  As a result, we grew up allergy free.

At six years old, I slid down a muddy hillside and gashed a long, deep wound in my thigh.  Spending money for a doctor just wasn’t an option.  My parents cleaned it, disinfected it and wrapped it.  I felt taken care of and my leg healed, without a stitch.

We tell these stories now and laugh.  Home healing gets passed on.  Also at six years, my daughter Leslie, (that’s her in the air) ran and slid up on an old picnic bench.  A finger length sliver of wood splintered off in her rump.  I gave her the choice of a doctor visit or a Barbie Doll, if I pulled it out.  She chose the doll.

Reflecting now, I see that our greater gift was not the medical savings but the gift of acting swiftly without needing to slow down and label experiences as something bad.

I made a wonderful discovery when my kids were toddlers.  They’d fall down and smack their heads.  But in that instant of surprise, they’d look to us before reacting.  If we laughed they were infected by our laughter.  But if we showed concern, they cried.  As a result, they learned that pain wasn’t always bad.  Often pain is only surprising, until we label it as something else, by attaching a fearful thought to it.

Like many of you, I’ve worked through the emotional wounds of a less than nurturing upbringing.  But I think we are too quick to label our conditioning as limiting.  When we look for the good, we can see it.  I now see that my upbringing also spawned my natural optimism.

I’ve often been called unrealistic.  Harsher critics have said I’m avoiding, or in denial. They’re right.  I’m denying the need to explore what’s wrong with me.

I think it’s a waste of time.  I know it’s a waste of life.

We’ve made our temporary disorders more permanent by accepting them as our fate.  We say, “I have” a cold, like we own it.  We describe colds as though they have taken up permanent residence in our bodies.  Wouldn’t it be better to tell the truth?  Wouldn’t we be better off saying?  “The experience of a cold is now leaving my body.”

We declare, “I’m overwhelmed.”  “I’m a procrastinator.”  We describe ourselves as if our core identity is flawed.  These fearful labels are not who we are, but they have become misdiagnoses because we have thought them into being.

They become excuses and even bigger personal puzzles that we think we have to solve in order to be get what we want.

But really, haven’t we made all of this up?  Yes, thoughts are creative and most of us have advanced degrees in negative thinking.  But positive thinking isn’t the best answer either.

How about simply more acting and less thinking?

When we are living, we are creating.  We aren’t thinking but doing.

We fear the idea of something more than the thing itself.  Steve Chandler

Our minds are tricky and powerful.  We can believe that we “have” anything. We can believe that we can think our way out of any problem.  But while thinking so much, are we really living?

What might you create if you didn’t “have” anything?  No malady, disorder or disease, and not a single impediment, block or fearful thought?

Choose fearless living.  Act.  Do.  Create.  Walk your own bold path today.

Fearless Creators

Steve Chandler his book, Fearless, Creating the Courage to Change the Things You Can, inspired this post.  I’ve joined his Club Fearless and you can get his book free by joining.  This isn’t an affiliate program; this recommendation is my thanks to Steve for the inspiration to live fearlessly.

Davina Haisell for having the courage to try something new and create The Quote Effect.

Marelisa Fábrega for her relentless dedication to creativity.

Five Mood Enhancers for Business Success

How to Feel Like Doing

What You Say You Want to Do

Anyone who wants to figure it all out before taking action, delays unnecessarily.  Read In the Mood,  by Seth Godin.  He points out that we aren’t lacking information.  But we are lacking the proper mood to do what we want to do.

How do you get in a good mood?

What’s present when you’re eager to do the right work?
The short answer is: an abundance of good feelings.

What creates the good feelings?

Often in  small business coaching, I’ve noticed certain ingredients that nourish a good mood.  Without these ingredients we’re more prone to mood swings.

Coaching is an accelerator because it creates a supportive environment that gives the clients exactly what they need, when they need it.

Create the right environment and you can accelerate your life and business.  Feed on regular doses of these five ingredients, and your good mood will be nourished.

1). Recognition

As social animals, we thrive on positive recognition.  When unrecognized, we question our own value.

2). Realization

Wisdom requires fresh understanding. Without realizations, or the occasional epiphany, we don’t know what we newly know.  Thus we cannot adjust in areas where we remain unaware. Rich, questioning conversation encourages realizations.

3). Clarity

When we aren’t clear about what we want, our first work is to determine what we want.

4). Results

In order to feel good about the work we’re doing, it’s necessary to make and acknowledge incremental progress.  If we don’t feel like we’re getting anywhere, we probably aren’t.

5). Accountability

This is your back up system.  All things can’t be done out of the duty of accountability, but sometimes it’s needed to prime the productivity pump. Completion is more accessible with an accountability partner who cares enough to be both firm and encouraging.

In the mood for a commenting?
I’m curious, which of these ingredients are you starving for? Which are you getting fulfilled?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Two More Mood Enhancers

Make a Fresh Start by signing up for Tom’s free phone class.

Schedule an initial coaching consultation at no obligation.  Sample an environment that makes you thrive!

Five Tools to Sharpen Your Authentic Edge

Your authentic edge is based on who you are, where you are in your business development and what you’ve experienced.  That edge drives your personal power.  It’s your natural positional advantage in the marketplace and you’ll struggle to the degree that you fail to exploit it.

When I first began following  small business owners on Twitter it appeared as though  everyone had a thriving online business.   A client also noticed this and asked, “Where are all the regular people?”

It matters little where anyone else is, even if they are further along in their business development.  Here’s what matters, are you exploiting your authentic edge?

An outside focus will dull your authentic edge by positioning you in the  reactionary hell of deadly comparisons.  Success comes from looking within to determine the purpose of your business and that purpose must have a whole lot of you in it.

Many contend that Walmart hurts small businesses, yet you’ll find thriving exceptions in every town.  News of a so-called global economic crisis permeates the airwaves, yet many one-woman and one-man shops are flourishing, right now.

When your eye is on the competition or the economy, it dumbs you down and dulls your true source of power. Your authentic edge is found within and keeping it sharp is essential to your business success.

Expressed Authenticity > Personal Confidence = Business Success

Greater confidence will help you to complete more often, risk more frequently, bounce back from mistakes more easily and kick more marketplace ass.

Since confidence comes from within how can we keep our edge sharp enough to act boldly?

Here are five tools to keep your edge razor sharp.  Ask yourself these questions, note the answers and feel your confidence build.

1). Passion

What do you really care about?  Are you sure?  Try this one.

If you woke up tomorrow morning and had all the time and money you could ever need, what would you still care enough about, to want to make a difference?

2). Willingness

Early in our business development we have more time to deliver exceptional one-on-one service.  Express your willingness to do so.  Those who are ahead of you in earnings or business development, just don’t have to give as much individual attention anymore.  You both can, but you have the edge because you will.

What’s the greatest value that you can offer right now, that the big guys can’t or won’t?

3). Empathy

When people know that you really get them, that understanding leads to connection.  I hope you’ve selected a business purpose that you’ve personally experienced or are experiencing.  If you’ve felt the same pain as your market then it’s easier to be real.   Molly Gordon writes about empathy as a powerful marketing strategy.

In which area do you really understand the pain of others because you’re there now or recently have been?  What’s working well for you that they may not yet know?

4). Imagination

We all unwittingly set our own limits.  We get to make all the rules in our own mini-empires.  You get to imagine a business that perfectly suits who you are.  When you hold yourself in high regard, you’ll build your business in a way that will ideally serve you.  By honoring who you are, you’ll also be in the best position to generously serve others well.

Specifically where do you need to rewrite the rules to expand opportunities?  In what area of your business objectives are you thinking way too small?

5). Practice

Is it truly authentic to practice so much that repetition creates mastery? Yes!  I like how Steve Pavlina explains Steven Covey’s habit of sharpening the saw.

Somehow we’ve gotten it into our heads that engaged authenticity should come easily.  It does for some and it doesn’t for others.  If you haven’t been blessed with an obvious natural talent, then you have been blessed with the necessity of honing the ones you have.   Steve Chandler thinks practice is the most powerful trick ever.

What strengths have you been afraid to express?  What natural talents scare the hell out of you?  If you practiced the same strength for one hour daily, how might that change your life?

I’m challenging you to sharpen your authentic edge beginning now. The latent advantage of authentic business building is that the owner remains eager to do the work.  When work is not a chore you’ll naturally be more productive and attractive to ideal clients.

Which tool do you need to use the most to sharpen your authentic edge?

I feel a definite bond with those of you who are building your business authentically.  I also admire those of you who want to start a small business built on a foundation of who you are.

Let’s connect on Twitter.