Motivation is important to success. In order for you to do the things you need to do to succeed and get off your butt and make them happen - you have to be motivated.
But, contrary to popular believe motivation does not come from watching a video or a speech or some sort of external source. These things can energize and create a feeling of motivation that is short lived, but lasting motivation, the motivation that is needed to really succeed and do it consistently, come from one place.
The only way to consistently succeed and keep going in spite of all the challenges put in your way is to motivate yourself. But, how do you do that?
It's simple. You make the choice every day. You make the choice every day that you are not going to be stopped. You make the choice every day that you are in control of your own destiny (aside from God). You make the choice to keep going and overcome. You make the choice to reach your dream and live it, breath it, love it, and all that comes with it.
When you make the choice, you wake up with a purpose, a mission. You know where you want to go and you figure out and take steps to get there. Because you know the reward that waits for you. And when you do this, you don't need outside motivation. You don't need a speech or a video, because all the motivation you need came from the choice that you made. The choice to be great and reach your goal or dream.
So make your choice, let it motivate you, and go after what you want today!
The habits we have in our lives shape us, our lives, and our success. I once asked Zig Ziglar's son, Tom Ziglar, "What is the fastest way to success?" His answer was, "The fastest path to success is to replace a bad habit with a good habit." It's that simple. You pick a bad habit, replace it with a good habit, and then cement. You can then move on to the next. Think about if you did this multiple times in the course of a year - where would you be? You'd be in a completely different place that you are today.
So, with all that said, here are 3 habits you can start doing today that will make a major difference in your life.
You've no doubt heard about the power of writing things down and journaling. Many of the most successful people in their fields do this every day. Why? Because it works. When you write things down and get your thoughts out of you on paper - it helps you to crystalize them and get them in order so they aren't just bouncing around in your head. Taking 5-10 mins a day to write your thoughts down will help you be better organized, know what to prioritize, help you to know yourself better, and help you be more successful. My favorite tool for helping someone do this is the 5 Minute Journal. It makes it easy by giving you the structure, so you don't even have to think. And it takes 5 minutes to do each day! Click Here to Get a Copy!
This is an easy. Start going to bed and waking up at the same times each day. Set your times and adhere to them, even on weekends if you can. Studies have shown that your quality of sleep directly affects your energy levels and mental capacity. By going to bed and waking up at the same times each day, you create a habit of consistency for your body and its sleep rhythms that will help you be more rested, have more energy, and be more alert and on your game each day.
Commit to Personal Growth
You know this one, but it bears repeating because you can do it today. They say you are the sum of the 5 people you hang out with. I like to take that further by saying you are not just the sum of those you hang out with, but of the books you read and the things you put into your mind. And if you don't take the time to put anything into it, you cannot learn, grow, and get better. If you want to increase your success levels, you must grow yourself. Start small - pick one new book to read a quarter. Then maybe one per month, and go from there. Listen to podcasts like the Misfit Entrepreneur or take courses on things like Udemy. Whatever you do, commit to a personal growth plan. As Jim Rohn said, "Formal education will make you a living, self-education will make you rich!"
There is just no substitute for great customer service and taking care of people. I was recently reminded of this when dealing with a provider in one of my businesses. They lost their relationship with me because of how poorly they treated me.
The company offered a service I use to help manage my business and then one stopped access to it for the business. I checked and everything was up to date, there had been no issues or anything that we could find. I then got a cryptic message saying they had suspended service and to get service back up, I needed to provide more detail about my business.
I thought this was odd, so I got on the phone with their support and discussed why they needed the detail they needed. They were less than helpful and would not give me a good answer. Instead, they said that in order to re-instate services, I would need to provide the requested details. They told that if I did so, in 24 hours things would be resolved and that it would be restored. I obliged and gave them the detail they asked.
3 days later I got a message back from them stating they needed even more detail and wanted things that didn't even make sense for the services they were providing. At that point, I was done. They were rude, not forthcoming, and did not live up to their promise in that if I provided what they originally wanted, things would be re-instated.
This company lost a long-time customer simply because of their service and the way they treated me and my business. It today's age, it can month's to find a customer and seconds to lose one. It is much easier and less costly to keep a customer and care for them than it is to lose them. This company forgot that rule.
In any business, customers are your lifeblood and you should love them and do everything you can to take care of them. It's a simple lesson that gets forgotten more and more - There is no substitute for great service, period!
The Halloween season wouldn't be complete without a post about skeletons!
But the skeletons I want to talk about today are different. They are your business' skeletons.
Business skeletons? What are those?
Your business skeletons are the things that you know have needed fixed or done in your business for a long time, but you have not gotten around to or keep putting off because you can continue operating with them the way they are. They might a lack of processes or not being buttoned up legally or in accounting. They could be keeping a line of business that should be removed. They could also be something that is embarrassing and to confront it would bring it to light.
Business skeletons exist in a lot of different ways and if not dealt with will eventually cause issues and come out. It's best to confront them head on now, than to wait til later.
What kind of issues can they cause? Well, let's say you've built a nice business, but have been lax in your contracting with clients and thus have no consistency or even records of contracts in some cases. If you have a problem with a client you have nothing to go back - no clear set of rules for your relationship. Or worse yet, maybe you go to sell the business, but have no record of contracts with your clients - the buyer would definitely red flag that and your value would probably not be what you expect.
Another example is not delegating and creating processes with systems for others to follow. As your business grows, you will reach a breaking point and could get crushed under the weight of tasks that fall only to you making you a giant bottleneck and limiting the growth of the business.
Every business has skeletons. The key is to admit it and fix them long before they can become an issue. Yes, they are often things we don't want to deal with or don't seem as important as the day to day in the business - until they are. Deal with them now and you'll find it much easier to grow, scale, and succeed!
A friend of mine sent me the video above. It won an Oscar for Best Animation. And as I watched it, it made me think about an old adage I used to talk about, called R.A.K.
It stands for Random Act of Kindness. As you watch, think about how you can incorporate R.A.K. into your life daily and make a difference - Because YOU CAN.
What a world it would be if we all practiced R.A.K daily!
One of the biggest challenges for people and that limits their potential is their own self-destruction. But, here's the rub - most people don't know that they are doing this to themselves.
Wait, what? How can someone be self-destructing to themselves without knowing they are doing it? One word: Subconscious.
You see, we have 2 minds, a conscious and subconscious mind. The conscious mind is the mind we "think" with and use to process information into our inner core, the subconscious. You can think of it this way. When you learn to drive a car, the conscious mind is at work where you have to think about everything - "hands at 10 and 2, blinker on when turning, checking mirrors, etc." Most would agree that it is awkward at first, but after a while, "we get the hang of it." Now think about this, the last time you drove a car, did you really have to think about it? No, you just got in started it up and went. What changed? The subconscious mind. Because you have now driven so many times, it is almost automatic, just like throwing a ball or brushing your teeth. Your subconscious mind has filed all of the reactions needed to the scenarios when driving a car and automatically reacts without you having to think.
Once you understand this, you can start to see how the subconscious can automatically affect other areas of our lives. It is truly the most power part of our brain and when we learn how to use it properly, can be our biggest asset. If we don't, it can become our biggest liability and hinder our success.
How can it hinder our success? Over time the subconscious is "trained" by the influences throughout our lives, our experiences, and trauma that happens through our lives and begins to create responses to situations and scenarios that come up. The subconscious is also the animal part of our brain that puts survival above all else and avoid pain wherever possible. So, when put in a situation where you need to push your limits or get outside of your comfort zone, your subconscious will automatically respond in a way that keeps you safe and where it is used to and has been trained to be.
And these automatics reactions and responses stop people from reaching higher levels and capabilities. If you are wondering why you cannot break out or a rut or keep having trouble getting to a new level, it's most likely your subconscious at work.
The good thing is that you can change this. Awareness is the catalyst to change in anything and the key growth. Now that you are aware to the fact that your subconscious runs a lot of areas of your life without you even knowing it, you can begin to recognize these patterns and change them.
for example, if you find that you seemingly spend every dime you make and never have money leftover to save, you can recognize this self-destructive money management problem from your subconscious and start to change the pattern. Maybe you start by writing out your monthly expenses and tracking where you spend your money. And then start small, setting a mini-goal like saving $10 per week in a "money jar" on your counter that then get's put in a savings account. You begin to develop this habit and a new pattern and your subconscious sees the money being "saved" and begins to change it's automatic responses/reactions to money situations. Over the course of a few weeks and months, you can completely change your subconscious conditioning to saving money.
Remember, first become aware to subconscious and it's potential to self-destruct or stop you from reaching what you desire. Then start to change it's programming or patterns incrementally over time and create new patterns that take you where you want to go. And while, you are at it, embrace the amazing responses/reactions that your subconscious has that bring greatness and good into your life and that you want to keep. Make the most of them. Lastly, know that this process is a lifelong one and will require effort, but it is a lot of fun to start to see the success that can happen when you do. Now go out and make it happen!
What makes a great brand? What creates loyalty? What makes you want to keep coming back time and time again to buy from a brand?
Picture a brand you truly love. Why do you love it so much? I bet you could list a number of things.
I've spent some time thinking about this lately and have come up with a lot of signs of a great brand. But, after some further thought, I was able to distill things down to 4 signs that signal a great brand and are always present in great brands.
1.) The brand engages you on an emotional level
Great brands stir our emotions. We absolutely love them and are major advocates for them to them point where we will even stand up and defend them when others disparage them. Some may saying that getting emotionally involved with a brand is going a little too far, but think about your favorite brands - the ones you know, count on, and love in your life - you are emotionally involved with them. That is OK and perfectly normal. It also means the brand has done a good job in creating a relationship with in addition to #2, #3, and #4.
2.) The brand provides a truly unique and incredible service to it's clients
Think of your favorite brands and how good they service their clients, including you. Their service may be one of the reasons you love them so much. They aren't perfect, no company is, and they know it, so they go above and beyond to provide service to their clients and make sure they have a great experience.
3.) The brand takes care of you
To go along with great service, the brand actively works to take care of you - not just when you have a service issue, but as a customer in general. They may give you special offers. They may check in on you from time to time just to see how you are doing. They reach out in unique and creative ways. They show genuine gratitude for you putting your trust in them. They go above and beyond to take care of you and make you feel like part of their family.
4.) The brand listens to you
Lastly, on top of service and going above and beyond to create a great relationship and take care of you, a great brand will truly listen to their clients and work to serve them in the ways they want. They will take the feedback, both good and bad, and use it to create better products, services, customer environment, and tailor things to what people are asking for. And they will prove to go above and beyond in doing so and not just say they do it. They will show it and they will keep their clients engaged and updated on the progress.
If you look at those 4 signs of a great brand and think of your favorite brands, they no doubt have them and if you embrace them in building your business and commit to them, you will develop deeply loyal customers who are raving fans and great advocates for all you do.
Every should an advisor or mentor for themselves. You do not have to pay for these services, although when you do pay, you are much more apt to take it seriously because your money is on the line.
It is important to seek out the right advisor or mentor for your needs - not just someone with experience. You need someone who understands you and were you are on your journey of development. You need someone who understands your business and it's needs not only now, but in the future. And you need someone willing to work with you on a consistent basis.
Once you find someone that fits the criteria, do everything possible to work with them. The benefits will be tremendous.
For example, I mentor a young entrepreneur that has a fast growing startup. This entrepreneur is very good at a few things in the business, but crafting professional communications is not one of them - at least not yet. Recently, there was a client contract dispute in which the entrepreneur needed to get an attorney to represent the business in a specific state. They had no idea what to do and were just going to fire off a couple sentence email that would not have gotten a response. They knew they needed help.
So, they reached out to me and we crafted the message together. I shared with them how to address an attorney, how to lay out the facts and desired outcome from retaining their services, and craft a professional message that would get an attorney to respond and work further to potentially represent them. I saved this entrepreneur hours of time and headache and taught them how they need to approach professionals for their services. I also walked through the situation with them to see the client's point of view and come up with a plan and solution that when communicated by the attorney would most likely resolve the matter and cost a few hundred bucks at most.
This type of mentorship can be priceless. I know it was for me when I started out (how do you think I learned to craft professional messages!)
No matter what stage you are in for your growth and that of your business, you should seek to bring in the best people you can around you to fill your gaps and help you become better in these areas. Remember, the bigger you grow yourself and your capabilities, the bigger business you can have.
Reach out and seek an advisor (or two), today!
I get to meet, speak to, and work with a lot of top entrepreneurs. I am always impressed by their ways of thinking, success routines, and the effort they put in to be the best in their business and in serving their clients/markets.
But, still, as good as these people are, they aren't perfect and have to overcome challenges. Many times, those challenges are self-imposed. I was thinking about this the other and I started to look at the most common ways I've seen that entrepreneurs sabotage themselves and hurt their success. Here are 6 of the most common ones.
This is probably the most prevalent. Everyone goes through periods of doubting themselves and their abilities, especially entrepreneurs, but the key is someone's ability to pull themselves out of it and not let self-doubt create unnecessary destruction in your life and business. The first place I always start when I feel self-doubt creeping in is to stop and ask myself if what I am feeling is really true or just an emotional reaction to current events, a bad day, etc. Usually, it is a temporary outside event or influence that is short lived and in understanding it, I can change my thought patterns and gain perspective so that I don't let it sabotage me. You can do the same.
Taking on Too Much and Not Delegating
It is sometimes tough for entrepreneurs to truly let go and remove themselves from the day to day tactical needs of their business - but they will not grow or scale unless they do so. The hardest part is knowing that you can do all of these better and/or faster than those you delegate to, but that is OK. You will never be able to have the business run for you unless you realize that there is only one of you and that is OK. Others can get the job done. They may do it differently, but they will get it done. Trust in that and empower them. Let go!
To go with above, one of the biggest sabotaging habits of entrepreneurs is not trusting the people around them and questioning everything instead of empowering and trusting. I've see another of great businesses ruined by an owner who could not and would not trust those they have worked hard to bring in to help them. And typically either ends with good people quitting or leaving or the business owner taking the business down. If you are going to have a business and grow, you must be willing to trust those you bring into help you. There is nothing wrong with checking in and verifying things are being done how they are supposed to, but that is leadership, not lack of trust. Don't fall into this trap.
A lot of business owners are incredible at creating and selling their product, but horrible at managing their finances. I understand. Financial education is not taught in any real good way in formal education. Understanding cash flow and how to read a P&L, or how to understand the trends happening in a business is a different kind of financial literacy. Entrepreneurs need to invest the time to understand the numbers and what they are telling them. An accountant can easily help educate you on these things and you should self-educate. I've seen a lot of businesses who are "killing it" fall apart because they could not manage cashflow. Just because you sell something doesn't mean you have the cash yet and not understanding the expenses required to deliver what you sell can sabotage you very fast. Get financially literate.
Understanding and Managing Risk
Great entrepreneurs, understand risk and how to use it well in their business. They practice "asymmetric risks." These are risks that when taken have a tremendous upside, but small downside. In other words, if it doesn't work out, the business won't fail. Many entrepreneurs do the opposite. They take huge risks where almost all of the risk and consequences are on them if they fail. They "bet the farm" and many times don't last because of it. As entrepreneurs, we will always have and many times must take risks, but the key is to make sure they are asymmetrical and that the consequences can be mitigated or overcome if the risk doesn't pan out. I'd rather take a number of risks and have a few workout very well than take one big risk and it bring me down. I think you'd agree.
Lack of Focus on Two Key Areas
Another thing that sabotages entrepreneurs has nothing to do with the business itself. It is a lack of focus in two key areas: Physical and Mental Health. You cannot be your best in your business if you are not at your best physically and mentally. You need to have the stamina to keep things going and pushing forward in your business and you need the mental capacity to handle all of the things that come your way. The best entrepreneurs have a daily fitness routine and a daily mental health routine. And it doesn't need to be anything crazy. For me, it is my Ironman training every morning and my 10 minute prime that I do where I write our 3 things I am grateful for and my 3 most important things to do for the day, followed by a prayer. This keeps me grounded, focused, energized, and healthy. Everyone is different, so you need to figure this out for yourself, but you must figure it out and put it a physical and mental health routine into action in your life.
Avoid these 6 ways of sabotage and you'll find you reach goals even faster and will have a better business for it.
Sometimes, you just need a little pick-me-up...something to make you smile.
Here is a sample of quotes I go to when I need to put a smile on my face or someone else's.
"What a wonderful thought it is, that some of the best days of our lives haven't happened yet!"
“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.”
"Embrace the glorious mess you are..."
"Stop and think about it. You are 1 in 4 Trillion! That is your chance of being born. You exist where so many others that could have been, do not. Make the most of it and make your mark on the world."
- Me (I have a good one once in a while)
"Let us endeavor to live so that when we come to die, even the undertaker will be sorry."
"People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."
– Rob Siltanen
“Whether You Think You Can Or Think You Can’t, You’re Right.” –
- Henry Ford
“You Are Never Too Old To Set Another Goal Or To Dream A New Dream.”
– C.S. Lewis
Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.
- Winston Churchill
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
- Philippians 4:13
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