Back Up One Step and Choose Your Right Path

Success can be very simple.  istock_000003253553small

We needlessly complicate both life and business.

Use this checklist and locate where you are.

Make the necessary adjustment and get unstuck.

1). If you are not celebrating enough then be grateful more often.

2). If you are not grateful often enough then complete more often.

3). If you are not completing enough then act boldly more often.

4). If you are not taking bold action often enough then ruthlessly simplify and commit to less.

5). If you are not committing to a few consciously chosen priorities then be more decisive.

6). If you are not being decisive enough then go deeper within and tell the truth to yourself more often.

If you are not going deep enough to see your truth then what in the hell are you doing here?

Both life and business need your willingness and enthusiasm in order to thrive.

Not sure of your next best step to launch your new business? Then join me on June 17 for a FREE group coaching experience that will guide you right.

Creative Consciousness Strategy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Decision Strategy

Making decisions is essential to success. Without a decision, we cannot follow through and complete.

This truth seems so basic and obvious.  Why then do so many get so hung up in daily indecision?   I’m sure you know that completing priority items is optimum.  But decision making requires courage and sometimes we’d rather distract ourselves than choose.

The Daily Decision strategy works well on the tail end of the Go Direct strategy. Understanding and using the Daily Decision strategy causes one to quit second-guessing and to complete.

This strategy is not used for momentous career and business decisions.  It’s best used for daily personal productivity enhancement.  If you find yourself questioning what you’ve accomplished at the end of the day – this strategy is for you.

The marketplace pays us for completions.

Daily Decision Strategy Steps

1). Choose two, and only two, important things to complete today.
2). Identify what completion looks like so you’ll know it’s complete.
3). Schedule a time (I use one hour per item), set a timer and remove yourself from all other distractions (turn off email, phones, etc.) until complete.
4). Choose only things that meet these criteria:  A) You are eager bring your best to it.  B) Its completion inspires you.  C) Its completion creates progress for a greater objective.
5). Complete both items in the time allotted.

Inspiration and eagerness are vital to completion because obligation is resistance and you can’t complete something while fighting it at the same time.

Understanding Decision

Strategies are often deceptively simple to follow but laden with hidden blessings when followed.  Often these energetic blessings provide greater value, in the form of well being, than the completion itself.

But there’s a downside as well.  When we talk a good game but don’t follow-through on a strategy, we create unrest and self-doubt.

Actually using the Daily Decision Strategy brings forth five powerful energies, all directed for your greater greater good.  Yet it’s impossible to enjoy the five following energies without first making a decision.  Declaring what you want is essential.

1). Energy of Decision – Decision expands possibilities through trial and error.  Increased mistakes lead to more options, which create more opportunities, which always lead to greater freedom.  Decision making brings determination, resolve, boldness and a fixed purpose, which is built right into this strategy.

2). Energy of Commitment – Your commitment is your pledge and promise to fully engage in what you say is important to you.  Commitment is your assurance that you can trust yourself.  Clients new to coaching will often over-commit.  While you are getting the hang of this strategy, it’s important to promise less and to fulfill every promise.

3). Energy of Accountability – Accountability proves your responsibility or your ability to respond.  When we tell our intentions to another, we’ve stepped our game up a notch.  We’ve decreased the possibility of failure simply because another person is aware of our plans.

4). Energy of Self-Honor – Holding oneself in the respect of high regard brings a scared element of esteem along with the characteristics of integrity and courage.  Without honor we betray our original blessing of capability and we feel the shame of non-action.

5). Energy of Completion – Completion creates integration between you and your desires. Completion is conclusion, fulfillment and fruition, which are necessary to recognize your own competence to life.

Using the Daily Decision strategy will boost your objectives forward while increasing your joy and fulfillment.  Feel the natural power in decision, commitment, accountability, honor and completion and you’ll no longer question what you’ve accomplished at day’s end.

Decide.  Commit.  Be Accountable.  Honor Yourself.  Complete.

Personal Relationships and Business Support

Solo entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey and if you have a non-supportive spouse or significant other, it can feel even lonelier. Lately I’ve seen a greater number of brand new small business owners, who feel as though they are all on their own, even though they are in relationship.  Conflict between the man and the woman

Even if you are not presently in a personal partnership you may feel the need to seek relationship support from close friends and family members. In either case you may be been surprised by what appears to be the lack of unconditional support.

When I was building an entrepreneurial business 14 years ago, I was married with two young teenagers. During the business development stage, I was working over 70 hours weekly and telling myself the classic workaholic’s lie. “I’m doing it for them.”

It might make you feel better to rationalize your non-supportive behavior, but if you are anything like I was, deep within, you understand that being an absentee spouse and parent is not doing anything for them. Furthermore, you are mostly doing it for you and it’s okay to admit that truth.

If you need relationship help now, you’ll still need it while building your business but then there will even more pressure on all fronts. Everyone is familiar with a couple that tried to solve their relationship problems by having a baby. Did it work for the couple you knew? No? Then why would birthing a new business improve your relationship?

Here’s another big lie.

It’s not personal, it’s only business.  Donald Trump

Everything is personal! When Trump and others use that line, they are only trying to justify less than human behavior.

You and the actions you take are the main reason why your business succeeds or fails. If your life sucks then your business results will suck.

If you have weak personal relationships that drain your energy, then your focus will be lacking. Without a strong focus, your decision-making, personal productivity and inspired actions will all suffer.

If you don’t have strong spousal support or unconditional support in your close relationships, you first need to understand them from their perspective.

When a life partner cautiously advises you not to venture out on your own, they are not questioning your ability or resolve to succeed.

They are only speaking from the perspective of their own fears.

They could fear having less time with you. Your initiative could be forcing them to face their own fears of success, of failure or of never being authentically fulfilled in their work. And of course they could be thinking about having less money and how that affects the household budget.

Good personal relationships are essential to making good business decisions. If you are fighting battles both at home and in the marketplace, you will lose on both fronts.

My first coaching  certification was in relationship building and more and more it’s my relationship coaching skills that come into play first, with my small business clients.
If you’re considering starting a small business, first repair or end non-supportive relationships.

You might enjoy these tips for a confident career change.

Remember this brilliance in the face of relationship problems.

I’m never upset for the reasons I think I am.  Eckhart Tolle

What relationship challenges do you need to understand greater, in order to build your business with less resistance?

What adjustments need to be made in your relationship with you, so that you are more grounded and your business is more supported?

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Support Resource:

Request a free Confidently Make the Leap, strategy session to get really clear on how and when to make your move.


The Missing Key to Success

Have you ever felt like you were so close to the success you wanted but were missing one pivotal piece? What if you could identify that missing piece and make the adjustment, and then all things good would begin to flow to you? What would that be worth?

I once had a client, Joe, who worked his ass off. He was an extremely disciplined individual. Yet he was not getting the business results he wanted. He appeared to be doing everything right. And that was the point. He was doing everything right as far has he could see, but he was not seeing everything accurately.

Often in my life and career coaching practice a client will appear to be doing all the right things, but is still experiencing lack in important career areas. It’s then that I realize the adjustment they need to make is not in their business practices but in their own personal development.

That was definitely the case with Joe. Joe’s perspective was limited to what had worked well for others. That’s a good starting point, but if we really want sustainable success it’s imperative that we bring our own exceptionality forward. Because Joe wasn’t looking in that direction, he didn’t see the possibilities in his own authenticity.

Joe didn’t see it because he wasn’t focused on his inner game. It’s often the inner game where most solo practitioners and entrepreneurs are lacking. The inner game is made up primarily of our ability to squeeze maximum advantage out of our perspective and the energy from the feelings that that perspective gives us.

How we see life and business often determines how they interact with us. It was clear to this coach that Joe needed to make a simple yet powerful “change in perspective” agreement.

Joe’s agreement was to expand his mind to think of ever increasing possibilities in every aspect of his business and life for the next 10 days. The agreement was to increase his awareness of expanded possibilities in both solutions and opportunities. He also agreed to look more for the good in all ways and in all things. He agreed to be open to the possibility that somewhere within his new understanding was his golden thread of success.

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

You only need a fresh energy trail to follow.

As human beings, we are very resilient. We don’t need to see the final solutions all laid out for us, we just need to feel good in the moment. Often when our hope is expanded just a little, we create enough renewed enthusiasm to carry us for a while.

Just by adjusting your perspective to one of looking for expanded possibilities you can see a whole new array of fresh options that you were once blind to.

What we think determines what happens to us, so if we want to change our lives we need to stretch our minds. Wayne Dyer

All of a sudden you’ll see more good things appearing out of the blue. You’ll begin to consider life and business as a pleasant surprise. Expand your perspective and you too can enjoy delightful work.

If Joe can do it, so can you. In an upcoming post I’ll write about what Joe did to sustain his expansion. But for now, could an inner game adjustment be the missing piece you need to make life easier and business more fruitful? Tell me what you think about expanded possibilities. Dare you make Joe’s agreement in your life? I wonder what good might happen if you did?

Five Good Reasons to Celebrate More Often

Celebration may be the most underutilized tool in your box. Some view celebration as soft or slacking off – like we aren’t really doing anything. Nothing could be further from the truth. Celebration is a pivotal stage in the productivity process because it allows us to commemorate all the good that we do.

Unlike indigenous cultures, in the western world, we have forgotten many of our traditions, ceremonies and celebrations especially around the work that we do. In the name of progress, our culture has lessened rejoicing over everyday occurrences like sunrises and important seasonal events like harvest time. We need to remember that when the crops are safely in, it’s time to dance and make merry.

In an earlier post, Work Life Happiness – Stake Your Claim Now, I illustrated the Authentic Cycle of Probability.

Cycle of Authentic Probability

Look where celebration falls – right after gratitude and just before completion. That’s an extremely powerful stage of the cycle that should not be overlooked.

Gratitude is the causative energy of appreciation that blesses us with ease and greater flow. Celebration is self-acknowledgment and recognition for successfully completing every small step. Completion is the triumphant achievement of our objective and our signal to proceed forward to the freshness of discovery. Here are five good reasons to celebrate more often.

  1. Celebration helps us stay in the present where our power is. By celebrating the completion of every small step, we leverage the powerful energies of gratitude and momentum. Thomas Edison taught us that even each mistake along the way is cause for celebration. Life is all about the journey, and that means that every step, as well as reaching our destination, is part of our journey. Celebrating at every juncture is recognition of a life well lived and well worked.
  2. Celebration builds self-respect. Others treat us according to how we treat ourselves. It’s important to hold yourself in high regard. Perhaps, like me, your early caregivers did not celebrate your presence and special glow. Celebration overwrites this limited conditioning and tips the balance of your internal programming so that it’s more natural to think well of yourself.
  3. Celebration feeds our basic human need for self-love and self-acceptance. Celebration is emotional nourishment. Yet sometimes we simply don’t feel like celebrating because we’ve fallen into the habit of harshly judging ourselves. When this happens, there is a negative feeling remaining in our bodies from a challenging event in our past. A very powerful tool to remove the feeling so you feel like celebrating once more is Emotional Freedom Technique. There are many practitioners with instructional videos available online. I like this one on self-acceptance:
  4. Celebration is positive magnification. What we focus on expands. When we downplay or skip celebration, we are telling ourselves that we haven’t done enough to be proud of ourselves – so our self-doubt is what expands. The proliferation of productivity blogs on the web tells me that lots of folks don’t follow-through frequently enough to feel good about it. Want to complete more projects with less procrastination and guilt? Then do not skip this powerful stage of the process. Celebrate more often and stay on it longer. Honor your completions, both big and small, in celebration so that you expand more of what you want in your life.
  5. Shameless self-promotion and marketing is easier with celebration. We’ve got to toot our own horns in this crowded world so the right folks will hear us and gather round. “If you’re embarrassed about what you do well, you won’t be very attractive.” – Thomas J. Leonard In 1998, way before The Secret, Leonard in his groundbreaking book, The Portable Coach, shared his 28 Laws of Attraction. In number 7, Market Your Talents Shamelessly; he shares a brilliant distinction: Confidence vs. Arrogance. “Confidence is knowing exactly what you do well and don’t do well; arrogance is a way to cover up what you don’t do well.”Confidently celebrate and flaunt your bad ass self and marketing gets easier because more people will seek you out. Fear not, the phone will ring. The world needs your edge to be complete. The same people who told you not to toot your own horn also told you to be seen and not heard. They were dead wrong, both times.

Sometimes we lament our lack of progress and go on fruitless searches for the answer. But often what’s missing is as simple as a little jig of recognition or bursting out in spontaneous song.
Your very being is enough reason to celebrate. Select a project or any progress that makes you feel good and join Kool and the Gang in Celebration of your achievement!

What do you think? Are you celebrating enough? What have you accomplished recently that is reason to celebrate? What have you passed over without giving it its due recognition?

If you truly want something to celebrate right now then schedule a complimentary session with me and we will expand your greatest business asset.

Unconditional Support – Ever had it? Want it?

Is it truly unconditional?

Do you have a source of unconditional support and are you tapping into it frequently? If you aren’t receiving such powerful backing in your life, what might you do to get some? In my last post, Seizing Your Greatness, I offered a powerful exercise to discover the true path to work that you love.

But what if you’ve found it and don’t feel strong enough to go for it?
That’s where unconditional support comes in. Support in Rugby

I used to be one of those guys who seldom asked for help. That was misguided. I’ve changed my ways, how about you? Do you graciously accept all support and seek it out when needed? I’ve found that most of us need to raise our willingness to receive. Even though the intention to give first without expectation is wise, we also must be willing to ask when we need the strength of others.

Mothers and fathers sometimes provide this level of support, and even spouses and siblings are capable of it. Beyond that (especially in traditional business circles) it’s rare indeed to find folks who are willing.
(Image by murky on Flickr, via Creative Commons license)

Wanting to, and actually following through without a personal agenda, is rare. One of my earliest coaching clients hired me just to listen to his ideas, because everyone else in his life, including his boss and his wife, had their own agenda for him. Have you ever felt that way?

I want you to know that this isn’t just talk. I’m presently testing my theories in a real life experiment by facilitating an unconditional support experience. Thus far, the results are amazing. I’m asking the members of this experience to offer their observations and realizations by commenting below.

What about you?

What could you accomplish, be or understand with a steady stream of support that was absolute, unquestionable and given with no strings attached?

Could this be a case of not knowing what you’re missing because you’ve never realized support without limit?

Observations from the Field

As with team sports, support is more easily given when clear-cut ground rules and a shared objective are agreed upon.

Support is more prevalent when facilitated by a coach who keeps one eye on the rules and another on the big picture objective. I’m finding it to be a challenging and glorious dance.

Even though I’ve coached individuals, groups and teams, those in a group experience receive unconditional support in far greater amounts because there are multiple sources of support that synergize with one another. I wonder if unconditional support could be the key to getting any business or sports team to perform at its best?

It’s certainly making a big difference in the lives of those brave adventurers who are right now participating in this bold social experiment. I’ll let them tell the rest of the story by asking them to comment on their experience.

Well my fellow supporters? What say you?

Can you tell us how differently you now feel while realizing greater unconditional support than before the experiment?

Have you noticed anything different about your decisiveness and/or clarity?

What specific value have you received from enjoying absolute support?

Have you accomplished more or less due to the backing of others?

What would you recommend to those considering a similar experience?

Why would you encourage them to participate?

What else do you want to share about the experience of both giving and receiving unconditional support?

For the rest of you, what could you accomplish, be or understand with a steady stream of support that was absolute, unquestionable and given with no strings attached?


Are You Sure You’re on the Right Path?

To successfully reach an objective, we need to clearly know our exact destination and our exact starting point. Most do well enough choosing a destination. But when it comes to the starting point, have you ever started walking down the wrong path because you really weren’t sure where you were?

CompassCan we get to where we want to be when we aren’t sure where we are? Sure, we do it all the time. But that’s the struggling, costly, “wait until we hit the bottom” route. There is an easier way. A really good business startup compass would be able to point us in the right direction and start us out on the right path.

(Image by mellowhummer on Flickr, via Creative Commons license)

I use a focusing technique that’s a great right business compass if you pause long enough to check it. When we’re lost in the woods or in life, it’s wise to check our bearings before we move. Do this at the beginning of your journey and you won’t be so tuckered out at the end. Whether it’s in designing a life, finding delightful work or building a business, this method will get you started out right so you’ll have more time to enjoy a drink and watch the sunset.

Let’s say that the key to everything you needed to be aware of, work through, realize or take action on, could be found at the source of one of three paths. If that were true, wouldn’t you want to be sure of your path before starting out? Here they are.
Path in Woods

Personal Awareness Path
Personal awareness could also be described as personal enlighten-
ment, evolution, mindfulness, growth or conscious-
ness. Use the term that resonates for you. On this path we courageously work through our personal points of discomfort. Andrea Hess, Empowered Soul has written an excellent post on engaging consciousness.

(Image by Vortech on Flickr, via Creative Commons license)

Personal Productivity Path
Personal Productivity is a willingness to create and honor an accountability structure that increases the probability that you’ll frequently complete key results-producing activities.

Business Mastery Path
Business mastery is our learning path where we demonstrate a willingness to observe, evaluate, learn and adjust whatever methods, language and skills are essential for success in our chosen field.

Here’s how to read the compass.

Select a current objective where your progress might have slowed. While considering where you want to be, ask. Which path, right now, would move me closer to my destination?

Although it might seem like we need to simultaneously walk more than one path, don’t do it! That’s a sucker’s route that will weaken your focus and get you lost.

Tips & Shortcuts
If it’s a really big question or resolution, you probably need to walk the path of personal awareness. Same thing goes if you are uninspired. Get on this path and question yourself intently until you have a clear focus on what you want.

“Even though you are on the right track – you will get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

Lack of action is an excellent sign that you are on the wrong path. A path can be perfect one day and a total dead end the next. As with using a compass, we need to pause frequently to check our bearings.

If you keep telling yourself you don’t know how, then jump on the path of business mastery. It begins at your search engine. Get online and find what you need to know to make a sound business decision.

If you procrastinate or are lacking energy, validate your destination by asking questions while walking the path of personal awareness.

If you can’t seem to complete, then build a better personal productivity structure by working with an accountability buddy or a coach.

Especially in the discovery stage of seeking delightful work, business discovery hikers sometimes think they need to go back to school or somehow learn how to function in a new career – before they decide on it. These folks jump on the path of mastery before they’re sure what their destination is. That’s definitely the wrong path. It’s like studying how to ride a bike for four years before you jump on and ride.

Beware of the advice of others because they always see things from their own perspective. If they got where they are through hard work, then they may suggest that you stay on the path of personal productivity. But if you’re on the wrong path, working harder at what doesn’t work won’t get you were you are going.

Which path are you on right now? Is it the right one to get you were you want to be?


You Are WHO You Hang With and WHAT Hangs Around You

It’s much easier to change our environments than it is to change our behavior. The first step to improving our environments is be aware of their existence and how they influence us.

One of the nine ingredients of finding delightful work is: Discover and create environments to thrive within. Read this post to see all nine ingredients. Like all the ingredients, our environments are constantly influencing our pursuit of delightful work; sometimes apparently and sometimes without our knowledge.

Environmental life design is the process of deliberately constructing our environments so that they positively influence us in the way we want them to. Conditioning from our genetic makeup, and the influence of previous formative environments, created the person that we are today. But the world is getting smaller and, with the new dizzying speed and quantity of information, the influence of our social environments has grown stronger. Thus, it’s become even more important than ever to consciously choose our molding influences.

The good news is this: environments make it easier for us to live the fully alive life we most want to live because their pull is like a strong current that carries us along. It’s much easier to go with the current than it is to fight our way upstream.

We’ve all heard the adage, “you are who you hang with.” This is a statement about the power of our Relationship Environment. But are you aware of how all eight environments are molding you? According to my coach training from CoachVille’s Graduate School of Coaching, there are nine in all.

  1. The Memetic Environment is made up of thoughts, ideas, beliefs and knowledge.
  2. The Body Environment is our physical body, its health and energy.
  3. The Self Environment consists of our intangible assets, including strengths, values and feelings.
  4. The Nature Environment. If you don’t know what this is, you’re not out in it enough.
  5. The Spiritual Environment is our connection to the Divine and the invisible connection we feel to one another.
  6. The Relationship Environment is made up of our connections to those closest to us.
  7. The Network Environment consists of our larger communities and associations.
  8. The Financial Environment includes our money, as well as everything that supports our financial well-being.
  9. The Physical Environment consists of our physical surroundings and tangible stuff.

Fork in the road

As these environments are all interconnected, I wonder. How does the rise of social networking today influence who we have become? We are at choice – For example, some folks have gotten rid of their TV in order to have better control over the barrage of “dark energy.” However, even when we are consciously aware, look how much uninvited information seeps through. But we don’t have to allow it. Any of these environments can be strengthened to have an overriding positive influence on the others, particularly the Memetic environment.

Even greater news is that the purpose of deliberately designing environments is to inspire enthusiastic living in every regard. Which brings me full circle to my intention to help people with deliberately designing their environments.

A couple of months ago, I was inspired to create an Unconditional Support Experience. This was a direct result of observing the harmful influence of environments on so many wonderful clients who wanted to live more extraordinary lives. I wondered, could a small group of individuals come together for the soul purpose of providing total unconditional support for one another? In other words, could we experience the ultimate connection, our oneness, within such an unconditionally supportive environment? I say YES!

What do you think about the influence of your environments? Which of your environments are you most inspired to change? Which are you very delighted with? Which are slowing your pursuit of work life happiness? Please choose to inspire the environment of this blog with your comments.

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