What if they have it all wrong?

What if what the experts have been telling you about their success formula is something that mostly only works for them?

What if successful marketing and business success strategy was totally unique to the individual?

I am a big fan of uniqueness.  It is no accident that we are all so distinct from one another.

What if that uniqueness came into play not only with the gifts and talents we have to give but also in how we operated our own small business?

I’m coming to see that truth more and more clearly.

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

That’s my favorite career coaching quote yet I now believe that there are two additional roads intersecting at that essential crossroads.

I believe that your core business calling can be found only at the intersection of these four paths.

1). the product or service that you are most eager to create.

2). the work activity that gives your deepest gladness.

3). who and what you care about the most right now.

4). what value point others most need from you offered how they want it.

Let’s look at eagerness in this article.

Just like fear cannot exist in the presence of love, resistance cannot exist in the presence of inspiration.

You can’t run out of inspiration either. I’m talking about a special vein of inspiration that is tied to right action.

I’m talking about eagerness.  Right now think of something that you are eager to do.  Does any resistance come up at all?  I didn’t think so.  Here’s a powerful distinction for you.

The relief or avoidance of resistance is, running away from what you want.

The inspiration of eagerness is, running towards what you want.

Nike is wrong! Inspiration works better than discipline. Just doing it is the old way. 

When you find and engage your natural eagerness it’s easier to get what you want because a natural flow takes over.  Here are my principles of eagerness that will tie it all together for you.

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.

The fierce and passionate qualities of the heart are more prevalent when we are actually doing something, so the more active the experience the more authentic the desire.

Two of our most basic desires are to create and to connect.  When we are creating or connecting we have already moved from eagerness, through willingness and into action.

Can you see why the most certain route to success begins within?

Would you like me to coach you in the discovery of your eagerness free of charge?

 In your comment please share which of your paths are the most underdeveloped?

 

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.

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.

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?

 

Finding Your Business Sweet Spot

Since each of us has unique desires, values and strengths, it follows that each of us also has a unique business in us that we could build better than anyone else. Discovering that business, and then developing the confidence to launch it, is what stops most folks from enjoying the fulfillment, freedom and prosperity that was meant to be theirs. The absolute sweet spot of your business is where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.

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

Risk, self-created pressure, marketplace demands and the lack of financial reserve are all factors that raise the new business bar high. You can lower the bar by understanding exactly which areas need attention, adjustment and strengthened before you make your move.

Al at 7P Productions recently asked an excellent question that’s worth considering in light of a new business launch. What’s Important: Who You Are or What You Do? I vacillated answering until I realized that it’s not “either/or.” These are only two of three spokes in the wheel to really get your new business rolling. In entrepreneurship and business success all three are equally important.

1). Personal Growth is what you know, understand and are willing to engage in about yourself.

2). Business Mastery is your proficiency in utilizing what you know and understand about business.

3). Personal Productivity is what you commit to and take action on to bring it all together.

Will you turn into Superman by identifying these three components of business success? No, but you will have the confidence of Superman – and the lack of inspired confidence is often what stops folks from living their dreams.

Looking at these three, where is your ideal point of adjustment for either growing your existing business or launching a new business? Adjusting simply means to bring into proper relationship with one another – and the closer we get to alignment the easier the business runs. Identifying and adjusting the right path represents our operational sweet spot.

Here’s an example of a misdiagnosed adjustment. In a 23-year sales career, often I would see new sales people struggling with lackluster results. Many needed to go deep within and examine their feelings around personal rejection. Yet Stupido, the sales manager, would give this brilliant advice. “Just make more cold calls and you’ll be okay.” Stupido pushed his timid new reps to adjust in the area of personal productivity when their true adjustment was in the area of personal growth. How long do you think they lasted?

Cath Lawson recently wrote an insightful post 7 Questions To Ask Before You Launch A Business.
Each of her questions falls under one of these components. Read her post and see if you can tell which goes where.

Personal growth could also be called awareness or development. Hold on now; before any of you spiritual purists start a debate on this, please let me explain. I agree, at a core level there is no development necessary because we already are whole and complete. Yet a funny thing happened on the way to maturity; we rubbed up against a whole passel of folks who didn’t see themselves as whole and complete. Because of this conditioning, to successfully launch a new business, some growth is necessary.

Everything worthwhile requires more of us than we originally imagined. This is a given, and no one gets a free pass. Eventually we’re all challenged beyond our point of development and we have the choice to work through it, stall out or quit.

Bottom line, the choice is yours to recognize the extraordinary person you already are. You can listen to your excuses or to the drumbeat of freedom. You’ve proven that you have the wisdom to consider the freedom of self-employment or you probably wouldn’t be reading this post.

Adjusting for optimum personal growth is not a matter of becoming anything – it’s more a matter of choosing to live into your preexisting greatness by facing your fear and moving through it.

Using blogging as an example, you may need to become more vulnerable and share more of yourself on each post. You may have to work to find your authentic voice or even your real purpose in blogging. But whether you look at blogging as a business or not, your sweet spot exists and you will enjoy greater fulfillment and help more people by finding it.

Business mastery is made up of methods, strategies, systems, concepts and processes. How well you understand and utilize the right components at the right time determines the effectiveness and efficiency of your business. There is an optimum way for everything, and struggle is only valuable as a lesson. Struggle is not a strategy.

Business Mastery is your proficiency in utilizing what you know and understand about business. It’s often the “how to” of business. Budding entrepreneurs used to say, “I don’t know how,” and it used to be a credible lament. But now the Internet has made that excuse obsolete. As little as 10 years ago, start-up knowledge was difficult to access. Now we have so much at our fingertips that the challenge is deciding what sources to use. But it is all out there somewhere.

Adjusting for optimum business mastery is deciding on the right business model and identifying exactly what you need to know that you may not be aware of. An experienced business coach or mentor can provide extremely valuable counsel for this adjustment.

Personal Productivity is taking commitment all the way through taking frequent actions that are the right actions at the right time, while tapping one’s resources to the maximum. The personal growth of awareness and the knowledge of business mastery are useless without action. Generally it boils down to a matter of doing what you can do today, and then taking action again tomorrow.

For most, the optimum adjustment point in personal productivity is to ramp up the frequency of meaningful actions.

Whether contemplating a new business launch or building an existing business, you would be wise to consider the location of your optimum point of adjustment.

What is your optimum point of adjustment right now?