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.

 

Be Authentic and Grow Rich

The connection between authenticity and wealth cries out for illumination. I coach and write to inspire and to encourage. This year, I’ve chosen a theme by which to guide my work – Prosperity through Authenticity.

Many have experienced the emptiness of wealth without purpose. Others have experienced authenticity without prosperity.  Fewer have experienced both financial abundance and authenticity, simultaneously.

Check out these Google search results.

“making money”            20,800,000
“being authentic”                  184,000
“authentic money making”        104
“making money authentically”      3

What’s wrong with this picture? Millions of search results claim to have the money making answer, yet so few are making as much money as they want to be making.

Is it possible that the masses are approaching this question from the wrong entry point?

Or perhaps they aren’t asking the right question at all?

What is the missing link that bridges the divide between authenticity and prosperity?

I’m not asking you to answer the above question. In fact we’d all be better served to ponder deeper questions over time, instead of making a mad rush for solutions. In the interest of high self-regard, each of us needs to reflect on the connection between authenticity and prosperity.

But are you curious?  Are you satisfied with the many methods and solutions that over-populate the Web?

A good copywriter can make rotten fish smell pretty sweet. I’ve clicked through to read some of these moneymaking schemes, as I’m sure you have. The shallow stench of nothingness sickens me.

The dearth of genuine value is one reason for the collapse of our financial markets. All of this empty marketing, for the sake of marketing alone, smells of the same inauthentic bullshit.

Isn’t it time to get real? One way is to wipe your slate clean with a big, powerful, authentic eraser of the fresh new start.

There’s an inherent promise that comes with being authentic.

Be all of who you are and the world will support your authentic expression.

It makes perfect sense that we ought to be lavishly supported, for fully being who we are. The world doesn’t owe you a living but it certainly does want to support the most authentic version of who you are.

Why then is financially abundant authenticity such an illusive state to reach?

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

This is the question I’m looking for regarding authentic prosperity. Stay tuned, more authentic musings to come.

 

 

“Whatever” Sucks – Commitment Rocks

How might your life change if you truly, deeply committed to every decision you made?

Have you noticed that more and more people are trying to skate by with a lack of commitment to anything? Rather than thinking, deciding and committing, many seem to take what they think is the easy way out – avoiding, procrastinating and riding the fence.

The other day my soon-to-be ex-girlfriend dishonored me with a cowardly “whatever” in response to a suggestion I made. “Whatever” really pisses me off. “Whatever” comes across as: “I’m not willing to expend the energy to tell you whether I agree with you or not – you aren’t worth the respect of a considered reply.”

If that’s the case, why not have the guts to simply say so instead of hiding behind the cowardly non-commitment of whatever?

How many of your decisions are made with the no-turning-back determination and commitment of a Viking crew burning their boat?

A decision is a position one reaches after consideration.
A commitment is a pledged course of action that carries the strength of a guarantee.
Yet a commitment is only as good as the decision that preceded it.
When decisions are reached without determination and consideration they are too weak to benefit from the engagement of commitment.
How might your life change if considered every decision and committed deeply to them?
Certainly you’d fail less by being truly committed more often. When we have difficulty keeping our promises to ourselves we often look to make productivity adjustments. But the core issue may go deeper than that. Perhaps productivity and performance problems do not stem from a lack of discipline or accountability. Perhaps the core issue is the decision that preceded the commitment.
Thoughtful consideration and considered, sacred committing every time would result in making far fewer commitments and following-through on far more of them.

There are only two options regarding commitment. You’re either in or out. There’s no such thing as a life in-between. Pat Riley

I wish we all had the benefit of being coached by Mr. Riley. Then so many of us wouldn’t act like there was a third option – indecision.
The failure to make a decision often expends more energy than the work it takes to follow through on one.

When making a career change many are afraid of making the wrong choice. But what we really ought to be afraid of is wasting our lives putting off decisions we know we need to make.

It’s impossible to commit to an unmade decision.

We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. Carlos Castaneda

As an advocate of work life freedom and happiness through authentic expression, I often see people hesitate to make their move. They hesitate for many reasons but what really stops them is a failure to definitely commit.

There’s no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love. There is only a scarcity of resolve to make it happen. Wayne Dyer

Committing to an original and magnificent dream is a very courageous decision. It’s no less courageous than committing to a lifetime with one man or one woman. Yet this commitment is between your authentic self, and your pledge on how you will serve the world.

Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got. Janis Joplin

You might ask, how do I find that level of courage? The answer is practice and increased awareness. Do practice telling the truth to yourself about yourself. Make decisions and follow through on every one of them both large and small. Raise your awareness of all the options when deciding. Practice by telling people what you really think of their suggestions. Say no thank you, more often when that’s really what you want. By strengthening our commitment muscle on the little decisions we are more apt to be strong when it really counts.

Strength is a matter of the made-up mind. John Beecher

Here’s the kicker. We all are waffling on something. Our conditioning is to avoid conflict and we mistakenly think we can put off essential decisions. We cannot. We may think that we are can avoid committing by putting off deciding. But we’re fooling ourselves. What we really want is to stand up and follow-through.

What commitment do you most need to make today?

Seize the Freedom of Self-Employment

Fear around the lack of money keeps many stuck within the slavery of employment. I believe more would seize the freedom of self-employment if they truly understood the value of the freedoms they have willingly given up. Most seasoned self-employed individuals joyously place a higher value on their continued freedom and would not give it up even for much more money.

What do we, as free workers, know that employees do not? We intimately understand and are invigorated by the value of the freedoms that come from doing work that we love in our own way. We believe that it’s our sacred responsibility to safeguard this freedom.

I believe that we enjoy three essential freedoms that employees do not.

1). The freedom of autonomy is our independence. It’s our ability to exercise self-government. Answering to the whims and rules of another is akin to slavery.

2). The freedom of self-determination could also be called the freedom of unlimited decisiveness. By enjoying this freedom we get to decide and choose both our day-to-day work projects and over all strategies and objectives.

3). The freedom of self-expression is simply what we are able to say without hesitation or restriction. This freedom is at the core of our well-being and the freedom I want to discuss today.

The ability to speak our minds on any issue, in any setting, to anyone is invaluable because it’s directly tied to the magnificence of our own authentic identity. When you knowingly restrict your identity you have assumed an identity that is less than your core being. This pretense wounds you deeply at a soul level. Identity restriction is a slow deadening process where the individual hides his true feelings and ultimately settles for less of a life then he or she may have lived.

Many employees complain about their work but throw up the money or security excuse as reasons why their hands are tied. These employees know they have settled for something less than they could be enjoying but they have yet to find the courage to make their move.

How can we, the joyfully self-employed help them to seize their freedom? We can help by talking about how wonderful our freedom feels. We can help by replacing money with freedom as the new standard of success. We can encourage them to be bold and let their freedom ring as an example to their children.

If you are happily employed and can honestly accept the accompanying restrictions, please stay where you are. But if you are among the majority of unhappy employees, know this: the freedoms of self-employment can lead you into a life of unlimited prosperity.

Prosperity comes through enhanced awareness so we can see and seize the right opportunities at the right time.

By working on what you want to work on and dearly value you’ll end up producing work of higher value that will make you prosperous. Please trust that everyone wants to support individuals who put their heart and soul into their work. Trust your internal yearnings to be the man or woman you can here to be. Seize your freedom now!

If you are employed but want to seize your freedom – tell us how we can help.

If you are self-employed and would like to encourage others to make their move – please comment on how freeing self-employment feels to you.

Career Wisdom for New College Graduates

This is the commencement address you probably won’t hear.

It’s my life’s work to help others find their work life freedom. I believe that work life happiness and work life freedom go hand in hand. In terms of the work choices available to new graduates and their willingness to seize their work life freedom, not a lot has changed in the 35 years since I’ve graduated college.

New graduates with technical skills can generally find higher-paying entry-level employment. But this message is for well-rounded, right–brained, Bachelor of Arts grads – the modern day generalists and renaissance men and women. You are dubiously blessed with many interests and the ability to do a lot of things well. Who you are, what you can do, and the options available to you are what seem to make your employment prospects gloomier.

In 1973, I was you. Much like today, it was a tight job market for new graduates. I had just graduated with a degree in Political Science that I suspected I’d never apply to my actual career. Social unrest and the Vietnam War had soured me on ever working in politics.

I began to look for work. After a few months, my options were between two lousy choices. I could enter the management-training program of a national steakhouse chain, or I could take a self-employed position selling life insurance on straight commission. I often wonder what turns my life may have taken if I had chosen differently? I was young and ignorant, yet I accepted the insurance opportunity simply because of the work life freedom it offered. As long as I sold enough, no one told me what to do or where to go – and I found that deeply appealing. I made an important decision based on what I valued, even if I wasn’t even aware of the concept of values until much later in life.

That’s my point. Even though you may be unaware of it – your life is speaking to you right now. Are you listening? To do so, you’ll need to tune out all the chatter of well-meaning folks who want you to conform and take the best job you can get. But is a job really right for you? At what price will you compromise your freedom and your happiness?

If you are one of those uncertain renaissance folks, I want you to know that you are truly more fortunate because you don’t exactly fit any existing employment positions. I know this can be a very scary time for you. Many of you feel that getting a job means growing up and surrendering your freedom. Well, you’re right about that. I can understand your hesitation; who in their right mind voluntarily surrenders their freedom?

I also understand that a lot of fear around the lack of money comes into play in all of your decisions. You may need to temporarily put your dreams on the side burner while you create a small financial reserve. But even if you go for a job for only financial reasons, allow your heart and soul to have some say in the decision. Every choice you make has consequences. Even some for-the-money-only jobs are better for you than others.

I’ve seen a lot after 10 years of work life happiness coaching. I’d like you to consider this. What if you didn’t have to give up your freedom? What if you could be paid well just for being yourself? Would that be appealing? What would you do if you knew, beyond any doubt, that the following three statements were true and would turn out to be true for you?

1. Even now your life is trying to speak to you through your available options. It may be hard to get your attention, but somewhere among your options is a choice that will ultimately serve you well because it will put you on the path that is a better fit for who you are. It’s your duty to choose the option that will make you feel most alive.

2. It’s more likely that you’ll find your work life happiness and freedom in a self-employed opportunity of your own creation than in the higher paying, but much more restricted, life of an employee. Your parents and most everyone else will want you to be cautious and go for the steady, more stable financial situation. This will calm their fears, but they aren’t the ones who could end up slaving away in uninspired work for the next 35-40 years. You are. It’s your life and your choice.

3. You may not think that you have what it takes to be your own boss own right now, but your suitability to life and work will increase sooner by boldly claiming your freedom now. The longer you wait to be the person you really are, the more difficult it will be to choose what makes you happy. Even if you miss badly, the experience of going for it will ultimately pay off for you.

Life is challenging. However, by being genuine and by making authentic choices, we get more competent at living. Meeting challenges, and not just going through the motions, is the only kind of life worth living.

“Self-esteem fully realized is the experience that we are appropriate to life and to the requirements of life. To trust one’s mind and know that one is worthy of happiness is the essence of self-esteem.” Nathaniel Branden

You are worthy. You are capable. Who you are is enough to create a life of freedom and happiness. Get started today. You can be true to yourself now or you can believe in the “make money first” myth and hire a career coach like me after two decades of uninspired living. The choice is yours. It’s your life. Be happy now.

What Everybody Ought to Know About Finding Work You Love

There are nine ingredients to finding work you love and these ingredients are influencing your search whether you’re aware of them or not.

Puzzle
Nine Ingredients of Right Livelihood

The surest way to clearly hear your true work calling is to deliberately work through all nine essential ingredients by journaling your realizations and conclusions as you go.

  1. Honor your Core Self (inner voice) to bring forth the glory of your soul so that others can feel it and support it.
  2. Identify, clarify, verify, fortify and gloriously express your natural Strengths.
  3. Energize your Heart’s Desires.
  4. Flaunt your natural personality Traits (‘bad ass’ self) and feel good about it.
  5. Orient your life around your Values.
  6. Connect to a deliberate Vision that works for you.
  7. Commit to your nonnegotiable Requirements.
  8. Move through Fears and blocks that are holding you back.
  9. Discover and create Environments to thrive within.

In this post I’ll share some methods to go deep within to honor your Core Self (inner voice) to bring forth the glory of your soul so that others can feel it and support it.

The masters tell us to be who we are or to be all of who we are.

“To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.” – Dostoevsky

But how does one go about discovering and honoring his or her core self? What’s the process? Let’s begin by understanding what our core self is. I’m referring to your essence, the heart of you or vital core, what some call your soul. According to Dictionary.com, soul is defined as follows.

Soul is the emotional part of human nature, the seat of the feelings or sentiments.

Soul is the animating principle, the essential element or part of something.

Soul is the inspirer or moving spirit of some action or movement.

I’ve found that the process of honoring my soul (core self) begins by setting the intention to carry on a lifelong dialogue. Our soul provides us with an inner compass that we can align with to become more in harmony with the life we were meant to live. Like wild geese somehow knowing when and where to fly south, our compass is just as accurate and fitting for us.

So we begin this dialogue by simply stating the sacred intention to be true to ourselves. One excellent way is to simply take a deep breath and say out loud. “I choose to be true to my core self.” Then thank your soul for getting your attention in this important matter and invite it to show you ways in which you can. You can jumpstart the process by journaling the following questions.

  1. What parts of myself have I been thus far reluctant to express?
  2. How can I honor myself and bring them out?
  3. What environments do I enjoy so much that just by being in contact with them I embody grace?
  4. What are the ways I like to work that bring me most alive?
  5. Like migrating geese, what wonderful, unseen urge is calling me?

These questions are powerful. But that sad thing is you’ll never know how powerful unless you invest the time to ask them and carry on the dialogue. This is a somewhat tricky process that can only show its gold to you in the doing of it.

“We understand why children are afraid of darkness, but why are men afraid of light? The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Plato

You can do one simple thing better than anyone else in the world: be yourself. When you do that, without holding back, the results are indeed magnificent. Yet that process only begins with rigorous self-examination.

In summary there are nine essential ingredients to get your search for work life happiness and freedom really cooking. Will you begin a dialogue with your soul today so this most important ingredient is present? In my next post I’ll share how to identify, clarify, verify, fortify and gloriously express your natural strengths.

Could I Write an Entire Post Containing Only Questions?

If I wrote such a post would anyone read it? What would be the point of such a post? How could I get that point across only with questions? And how could I answer those questions only in the form of other questions?

Do you understand the value in answering questions that you don’t want to answer?

How about questions that you just can’t answer?
What about questions that you’re afraid to answer?

Can you see the tremendous value in answering them?

What questions would be so provocative that they’d inspire you to action in your quest for work life freedom?

Would answering the following questions serve you well?

What brings you alive and what are you doing about it?

What dreams have you put aside because you haven’t yet solved work life freedom or money issues?

What is the deep meaning of your work life?

Do you know what’s most missing in your work life?

What scares you the most about aligning your work with your authentic self?

Would you even know how to do that?

What do you care about so much that it hurts when you are out of alignment with it?

Which of the above questions were you compelled to answer?
Which of the above questions are you inspired and determined to answer?

What good might occur if you exercised the courage to answer every one of them?

What is really stopping you from doing so??

What’s one small action step you can take today that will move you towards the thing you most want to accomplish?

Are you willing to take that action step?

When will you take it?

If not now, when?

If you read this post, will you please comment by telling us which question you found most valuable?

Is Your Work Life Delightful?

Delightful work is: amusing, attractive, captivating, clever, engaging, enjoyable, fascinating, gratifying, luscious and thrilling.

Does your work invoke any of these, or something less?

If you’re not engaged in work that you love, you have chosen less than you could have. If your career, job or business does not feel like a true calling, can you even expect it to be a delight?

Here is your wake-up call. If you aren’t in active pursuit of work life happiness, prosperity and freedom, get in the game my friend. Get in the game now. Know this: each of us has a special something that can be expressed as our unique, fulfilling work. In the engagement of that work we’ll be in service to others and financially prosperous.

Writer Frederick Buechner said it best. “Vocation is the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.”

Have you always had this hunch that you were destined for greatness? That hunch was your deep gladness calling out to you from within. Your first step is to acknowledge that whisper of greatness and declare yourself in active pursuit of your delightful work. The path needs to be your own, but you needn’t walk it alone. Let’s boldly stride out on this path together.

The mission of Delightful Work is simply to increase the number of folks on this planet who are in active pursuit of work life freedom and happiness. I’ll be your guide and together we’ll move all obstacles now standing in the way of your deep gladness. My name is Tom Volkar.

The world has a deep need for what only you can give it. This is your time. It’s your time to stand tall and pursue what was meant for you, with honor and commitment. Author of Coaching Into Greatness, Kim George, shares this very inspiring thought. “What is meant for you can’t be lost.”

What was meant for you is still there waiting for you to give it life first by making a bold proclamation. No obstacle, real or imagined can stop you once you commit. I’ll prove it to you.

Tell me what scares you the most. What stops you from pursuing your delightful work? Really. What do you run up against when you entertain the thought of creating a happier work life? What circumstance, belief or fear has caused you to settle for less than you could enjoy?

Be bold and share, and I’ll post it here. But we’ll do far more than post it. We’ll work together with other committed adventurers to show you how to move through it in active pursuit of your deep gladness.

For you brave souls who are already enjoying work that brings you alive, what once stopped you and how did you move forward anyway?
Stumble It! Stumble It!