How to Keep Your Life and Business On Track: An Exercise

Every month, I do a simple exercise to help keep my business on track. When I first began to use this formula, I thought it would simply help me see how much work I had to do and where to focus my efforts… But the more I used it, the more I realized that this exercise helps in many, many other ways.

Aside from helping to focus my efforts, it also helps to:

1. Show me how far I’ve come, giving me motivation to keep moving forward.
2. Reminds me of my priorities and biggest goals once per month.
3. Actually assist in the manifesting process by creating both gratitude and desire simultaneously, without conflict.

So what is this simple exercise? Well it is the monthly inventory – and I’m going to show you how to do it today. Complete this exercise at the beginning of each month, and you will start to see major shifts and changes in your business.

The Monthly Inventory

The entire process starts out by completing an inventory of my life and work, as it stands, right now. Here is an example from June 2014 (when I’m publishing this post, obviously.)

Inventory:
Family – 9
Career – 10
Health – 8
Finances – 8
Education – 8
Recreation – 10
Charitable – 4
Adventure – 8
Travel – 7
Romance – 3
Relationships – 4
Spiritual – 6

I rate each item on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being completely dissatisfied and 10 being completely satisfied. In the past, things like charity and spiritual have been higher because I’ve been focusing on those areas. But as you can see, I’ve been focusing on my health, recreation, and business – so relationships, charity, and spirit have suffered a bit. Now I know where I need to shift some of my focus to for the month ahead.

Once I’ve completed my inventory, I can set my goals for the next month. For smaller goals, I’ll simply state a deadline. For larger ones that have carried over from months past, I’ll measure my progress. Here is an example you might use:

Revenue Goal: $1000
Revenue Current: $750
Goal Progress: 75%

Client Roster Goal: 10
Clients Current: 7
Goal Progress: 70%

Create landing page for new promotion (June 10th)

Reach out to new partners for promotion and secure 5 (June 25th)

Spend an entire day with friends and family (June 15th)

Take meditation course from MindValley (June 30th)

Now obviously those are not my real goals for the month, I simply made them up here as an example. However, you can see how I have business goals – continuing to build on the success I’ve had – and personal goals that relate to the areas in my life that I rated low on my inventory.

Now I have 4 small goals and 2 large goals to work toward for this month, so aside from my regular client work, those things will be my focus. At the beginning of July, I’ll do the inventory again and create new goals – bolstering the areas that need improvement and staying course with those that are okay as they are.

That’s it.

If there is one caution with this process, however, it is to not get caught up in guilt or shame about areas in your life that are lacking. Perhaps if you, like me, have been focusing on fun, fitness, and finances, your romance and friendships may have suffered a bit. Or you could have gone the other way – spent so much time in spirit-land, swooning your sweetheart and hanging with friends that when you’re being honest, your business isn’t where you would like it to be.

This inventory is not the place for judgement! Do not “should” yourself into a specific goal. You will never be “All 10s”, it is nearly impossible without the zen habits of a Buddhist monk. Where you focus will rise, and where you take focus from will fall. That is okay. This inventory simply points out where you’re not satisfied so that if you choose, you can make it a priority again.

Go ahead – do the inventory and then post a comment here. What did you discover from this process?

Make new things possible – love the gap.

Ever since my husband and I met (over 6 years ago now…) we’ve been campers. We camped on Valentine’s Day (in the snow), over long weekends and late nights (in places you could only walk to), and slept 10 feet from gorgeous lakes seen only by the lucky few with a strong enough truck (or legs) to make it there. He even proposed while we were camping – on a cliff, above the river, in the woods. But 4 years ago, just before my oldest daughter was born, that changed.

Camping with a baby seemed like a crazy idea – especially the way we did it, in a tent in the backwoods. Suddenly our camping concerns were less about beer and a view than about diaper changing stations and climate control. Things changed. We decided that before we would go camping again, the kids would be a bit older and we would (gasp) have an RV.

There Was a Gap Between Where We Were and Where We Wanted to Be.

The past 4 years, we’ve moved twice, had another baby, started (and ended) my corporate career, and launched 3 businesses. Each time, there was a gap between where we were and what we wanted – and we closed it. But the RV remained elusive… Until a week ago, when we finally decided to make the leap.

Days and days were spent driving to dealerships, scanning Craigslist, driving for hours to see a tent trailer that turned out to be a piece of… “Junk”. We were almost giving up hope that we were going to close that gap, until we found it.

A 1995 Dutchmen with a toilet, shower, furnace, fridge and sink. Two beds, just the right size. A table and bench for seating and extra sleeping. And it was within budget! We towed it home on Wednesday night, and left on our first camping adventure as a family Thursday morning.

There were hiccups, of course. The winch stopped working – and we had to replace it (in the campground, with borrowed tools!) The showed leaked. The sink overflowed. The roof dropped a quart of water on Darren’s back at 4am Friday. All hiccups, but all fixable. We were camping, and we were in an RV!

But The Gap Remains.

We bought our first tent trailer, and once we make a few repairs it will be everything we need as a family. It would probably last us well into our old age if we took good care of it. No issues.

Pulling into a campground with tents and tent trailers, we felt like real “grown  up” campers. And then we saw it – the 23′ Creek Side bunkhouse we looked at last year. Hard walls. Proper water supply and holding tanks. Bunkbeds for the kids. A bigger fridge and more storage – all with a $20k price tag.

And we wanted it.

There we were, finally sitting in the tent trailer we’d been dreaming of for 4 years, and we wanted to step up. What we had wasn’t enough. And for a moment, I judged myself for feeling that way.

“Isn’t this what you wanted?”

“Shouldn’t you just be happy?”

“This is just rampant consumerism running through your brain!”

But I stopped myself. That was the gap. It never, ever goes away – every time you reach a goal, the gap will show you something newer, bigger, and better on the other side.

Before the tent trailer the Creek Side seemed a million years away, and yet now it is a simple trade in and a few thousand dollars to get an older model and we’re there. It is within reach in a couple of years.

So I loved the gap.

I loved it for showing me what is possible.

For bringing a dream closer to reality.

For reminding me that when we get the Creek Side, I’m going to want something else. A new truck, a bigger RV, a 5th wheel… Something else newer, bigger, better, and closer to my reality from that point.

The Gap Stretches Your Boundaries.

When you were 16, if you were anything like me all you wanted was to get your drivers’ permit. The symbol of freedom – being able to go off on your own somewhere. But once you got it, you probably wanted your own car. And then a better car (better on gas, faster, sexier, whatever your fancy.)

You didn’t just “get your permit” and stop wanting – having your drivers’ permit opened up new possibilities on the other side.

Embrace the gap for everything it is, and everything it shows you. Allow yourself to reach a goal, then revel in “what’s next”. Love the gap.

What is On The Other Side of Your Gap?

I want to hear from you – what is on the other side of your gap? What is your “big goal” – not the meaningless business one, with the numbers and the comparisons… The real emotional goal. Supporting your family? Getting the bigger house? The fancy car? The freedom to buy an RV and take off camping without having to answer to a boss, like I did?

Do you know how to close that gap? I want to show you – so let’s talk. For 15 minutes, I’ll listen to your biggest goals and refine them into a plan that makes sense for you. One you can actually implement (without the frustration and overwhelm of those boxed “systems” you see elsewhere.) Something that is personalized for you, your goals, your future, and your skills.

I’ll show you how to love the gap, and push it further – to stretch the boundaries of your imagination and reach entirely new goals.

And it’s completely free. No cost, no catch. You, me, and a plan to reach your next big thing. Just click here to schedule a time to chat.

See you on the other side…

– Cheryl

How Jessica Oman Overcame Commitment-Phobia to Launch Her Entrepreneurial Journey

Today’s guest post is courtesy of Jessica Oman, one of the most fabulous guests from the Start Something Telesummit who has so graciously decided to share her story here. She tells the true story of how scary it was for her to start her business, to commit to doing the one thing she does well, and shows off her storytelling chops in the process. Read on!

How I Overcame Commitment-Phobia to Launch My Entrepreneurial Journey

Here’s a little-known fact about me: I’m a commitment-phobe.

Actually, maybe it’s a totally obvious fact. Having a party on Saturday? I’ll respond “maybe” on your Facebook event page. Want me on your dragonboat team? Sure, but only as a spare paddler. Thirty day fitness challenge? Yeah, right. I’m lucky if I get through the first week (where’s my wine?).

So when I decided to start my own business, you can probably guess that I wasn’t all in.

The story goes like this: I was in a job I sort of enjoyed, but couldn’t make progress in. I was being paid way below market value. I felt under-appreciated. I had no power to create or improve systems to deliver a better product to the customers. And, I couldn’t use all of the skills I’d spent six years and $40,000 in university tuition (for three degrees) acquiring. It was frustrating, and I had to do something.

I’d thought about starting a business for a while – something that combined my business education with my strong writing skills and allowed me to have complete control over my work while only working with the clients I wanted. But there were two problems: 1) I couldn’t commit to what I specifically wanted to do, and 2) I only had $170 to fund this new venture, whatever it was going to be.

So I did what one who can’t commit to something does: I started advertising on Craigslist for gigs as a “writer and editor for individuals and small businesses”. I didn’t quit my job, of course. I used my $170 to register my business name, get a set of $5 business cards and buy a piece of software that I don’t even use anymore.

It didn’t take long to get my first gig – and it was a big, nasty one. A $3000 project that I thought was my ticket to entrepreneurial freedom. But I let the client take advantage of my willingness to be helpful, and in the end neither of us were happy. I waffled. Should I keep going? Do I suck at this?

In the story you read when you sign up for my newsletter, you read about how I “never looked back” after launching my business. That’s true – but the official launch didn’t happen until three months after this first hairy, difficult project. That’s right; I spent three months going back and forth about whether I should start a business that, today, does nothing else but teach other people how to start businesses!

Ironic, huh?

So believe me, if you’re thinking about starting a new company and you’re scared to commit, I get it. That was me, too. The thing that ultimately pushed me into entrepreneurship was simply this: the pain of staying at my job or looking for another one was greater than the pain of just quitting and getting on with what I really wanted to do.

When The Pain is Too Great, You Must Commit

This is what I always tell my clients now. When they’re unfocused, indecisive, or scared, I ask them to visualize the new bliss. What is life going to be like when you become an entrepreneur? If your business fails, is that worse than staying in your current situation? If it’s not – then do it. Start something.

It’s not that you can’t pivot once you’re in the throes of owning a business. It’s not that you can’t go back to a regular job if you want to or need to. It’s that while you’re doing this thing, you need to be all in if you want to experience all the success you envision today.

I used those Craigslist ads to learn more about the types of clients I wanted, so I could more clearly define them for myself and refine my business to serve them better. I’m no longer a “writer and editor for individuals and small businesses”. I’m a business planner who trains new entrepreneurs in health care, food, or service-based specialties to plan and launch successful and profitable small companies.

And you can guarantee I’m committed to that.

Manifesting clients, customers, and cash… NOW!

makeitrainToday I’m going to share a very cool, actionable technique that you can use to grow your business. Whether you want clients, customers, or even just cash, this quick technique will work – and work quickly – to manifest what you’re looking for.

How do I know this? Because I just did it! I wanted to find 2 new clients for 2 new spots in my roster… But not just any clients, clients that I would love. I did this process, and within a week I had two absolutely amazing clients who are already making progress!

So, how do you “make it rain”?

Many people state that “the universe abhors a vacuum.” Of course we know that this isn’t an absolute, otherwise outer space would be filled with junk BUT we do know that here on our terrestrial planet, as terrestrial beings, we fill spaces.

You have an empty closet, it ends up full.

You find an empty lot, someone builds a house.

You have an empty counter, it is a constant battle to keep it from filling up with junk.

So what do you do when you want new clients, customers, or cash to appear in your business?

You create an empty space.

There are two ways to do this, and I’ve found it is most effective when you use both.

The first is to put together new client files and folders, ready and waiting for your new clients. Completely blank, of course – full of potential. By creating a space for these new clients, you are more likely to fill that space.

You may find by doing this process that you actually don’t have all of the supplies you need to serve the clients you want (as I did.) Go out and get the supplies! That way you’re fully prepared to serve the clients you intend to bring into your business, and nothing will be subconsciously sabotaging you from doing this.

This process will make the end result seem more real, tangible, and achievable.

The second way to bring new clients, customers, and cash into your business is to create a visual representation of your business AND the space you want to fill.

First figure out how many total clients, customers, or dollars you want in your business. Then using a whiteboard, chalkboard, or even a piece of paper, draw circles (or stars, hearts, squares, trapezoids or even tangential quadrilaterals) to represent this number. In the case of dollars, you may want to do this in chunks (i.e. 5 circles each representing $1,000 rather than 5,000 circles to represent $5k.)

Fill however many spaces as you can with your current clients, customers, or cash-flow – this is acknowledging your current abundance and making your goal very clear. The remaining empty spaces are there, waiting to be filled.

Now set it somewhere that you can see it every day, and go about your business. Keep your goal in the back of your mind if you wish, but don’t dwell on it or stress – it will happen! Sometimes the results have come in less than a week for myself and my clients, so don’t be afraid to be ambitious.

Go ahead, give it a try – then come back and share your results!

"Enjoy the ride"

journey

Success.

Part timing, part preparation, part opportunity, and part luck. As human beings and entrepreneurs, we have a tendency to focus on our goals. This is after all what we’ve been taught for most of our lives – to set goals, and push forward to achieve them.

Goals are funny things, though. They are not absolutes, like the number of hours in a day, set in definite terms and scientific rules. They are fluid, ever changing and evolving, just as we are.

Many entrepreneurs set goals, and this is an important process. To get something off the ground and gain momentum, you must have some idea of where you’re headed. But many of us get stuck on our journey when things aren’t progressing the way we anticipated. We fixate on our goals, striving and pushing toward them with an almost reckless pursuit at times.

This does not serve us.

I’ve been asked quite a bit recently about the organic, unfolding nature of business. How one can set long-term goals effectively, without endlessly focusing on them and dismissing any results that fall short as “failures.” I myself have been guilty of this habit at times, and it is destructive – both to your mindset, and to your ability to actually reach your goals.

So how can you cope? How can you set long term goals, and not allow the pursuit of those goals to play a destructive role in your business?

You begin by understanding the nature of a business.

Just like goals and human beings, businesses are not absolutes. They are constantly in evolution, shifting, changing shapes and forms. This is the true nature of business, and with each new stage come new goals, opportunities, challenges, and lessons.

It may be helpful for you, on your journey, to think of your business as an oak tree.

In the beginning, you plant an acorn. You envision the tall, mighty oak towering overhead one day – this is your goal, your entire reason for starting a business.

If you were able to peer under the ground, within a few weeks you would see changes in the acorn. From a seemingly solid little nut, cracks form and a sprout emerges reaching toward the sky. This is the very early stage of your company, but take note – the acorn had to split and change for the oak to sprout. Your vision and your goal likely will as well.

Soon the sprout emerges from the ground, and begins the journey into a real tree. This is when the oak (and your business) are at their most vulnerable. Being exposed to the world, to the elements, to reality presents new challenges and opportunities. You must overcome fear to emerge into this stage and begin to take root.

The seedling grows, and over the years shapes into a small tree. It has grown stronger, no longer living in a harsh and unforgiving world it has adapted to life outside of the nut. It provides shade, beauty, and bounty as much as it can. This is your business in adolescence – when you’re gaining ground, become self-sufficient, and growth becomes more routine.

Eventually the small tree becomes a mighty oak, hundreds or thousands of years old. It has finally achieved what you intended, but it will not stop growing. The mighty oak will continue to grow until it dies, much as your business will have to continue to grow once you’ve reached your goal.

It is easy to get impatient with an oak tree.

You planted the acorn, why can’t you just have the 600 year old oak right now?!?! But ask yourself – if the acorn were to turn into a mighty oak today, what would you be missing out on?

The joy of seeing it first sprout, the shade of a young oak, the journey it took from nut to tree that hardened it into something capable of sustaining itself at those heights. Indeed there is much beauty in the growth of an oak tree, just as there is beauty in the growth of your business.

You can’t water an acorn like an oak.

If you get too caught up on your ultimate goals, it can be destructive. We have already established this. But why? Why is it such a bad thing to get fixated on where you’re going, rather than where you are?

Because you are where you are, not where you are going.

If you poured gallons of water on an acorn, it is very likely the nut itself would rot. If you watered a mighty oak with a few tablespoons of water, it would likely die. You have to nurture your business for where it is, not where it is going or where it has been.

This is why an obsessive fixation on the ultimate goal is unhealthy. We push too hard, we grow too fast, and not only do we miss the beauty of our young business but we sabotage our own success.

The secret to setting goals is in releasing them.

You have to be okay with what your business is today, and nurture it for what it is today. If you’re brand new, stop focusing on the money you have to make by X date and start enjoying the birthing of your business. If you only have a few clients, enjoy the free time to work on creative pursuits in your company. If you’re maturing and ready to hire staff, enjoy the interview process without fixating on training or HR policies. If you’re thinking of selling your company, enjoy taking stock of what you’ve accomplished and finding the right person to take it over.

Stop and smell the roses, and remember – success is a journey, not a destination.

The Biggest Mistake You're Making in Your Business… (and how to stop making it today.)

jumpingoffbridge

“I don’t want to be too… ‘corporate’.”

I probably hear that 4-5 times a week. There is this negative association with corporations, as though doing anything that they do makes you somehow less noble, less helpful, almost evil. Like to be fully corporate, you would have to run your business with a board of advisers that meet in a shadowy back alley – outside the fringes of the law.

I’ve heard that a bit more than usual this week, and it was my call to say this to you:

Stop saying that.

Do you know why corporate marketing looks different from small business marketing? Is it because they’re evil, or manipulative, or distant and uncaring?

No, no, and no.

It looks different because it is. Corporations are marketing on a massive scale. They’re building brand associations, they’re creating a platform, they’re reaching hundreds of thousands, millions, and even billions of potential customers with their marketing.

They’re partnering with big name brands, getting major media attention every time they use the washroom or hire a new janitor, and just generally dominating their market.

Corporate marketing can feel impersonal because it can’t be one-on-one to hundreds of millions of people. How many personal emails or phone calls have you received from someone at Coca-Cola or Pepsi to get you to buy their products? That isn’t because they don’t care about their mission or their customers, it is simply that they’ve found more effective ways to reach you.

Many of you are probably saying “but I don’t want to be as big as Coke or Pepsi, so this doesn’t apply to me.” But, my friend, it absolutely does – and I know it does because I cause breakthroughs around this very challenge every week. For people just like you. (This is where you lean in and read intently…)

Being “corporate” isn’t what you’re afraid of.

In fact, being “corporate” just represents what you’re really afraid of. Something that scares the sh!t out of many of you, really.

Yes, there are some corporations that hurt people – no denying it. There are also people that hurt people, and with the negative focus of modern media, it is getting harder and harder to avoid hearing about them.

Microsoft has done some semi-evil things over the years (anti-trust lawsuit, anyone?) But did you know that they provide good paying jobs to over 100,000 people worldwide? That the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is working to solve world hunger with grants that also create dozens of jobs in developing countries?

But I forgot – you don’t want to be “corporate.” Why is that? Well, I think…

You’re avoiding playing a bigger game.

Because calling Sally over at Sally’s Health Spa to partner on a presentation to 10 of her best customers is easier than calling up Centrum and partnering with them to present your offerings to 10M people worldwide, right?

Because calling the local newspaper editor to share your story is easier than calling a journalist at People Magazine or TIME or The Wall Street Journal, right?

Because sitting there selling your own time and knowledge is easier than creating a product that can be replicated with or without you, right?

When you *are* the business, either you’re there and making money… Or you’re not there, and not making money. It is easier to do that than to scale, because your business getting bigger means you need to work a lot more – right?

Because staying small is easier than getting big, right?!?

But is it really?

A phone call to Sally and Centrum will take the same amount of time, and Sally is less familiar with promotional partnerships than Centrum is… She’ll probably take more convincing.

A call to the local newspaper editor won’t likely get you far, unless you’re in the local “clique” of important people… And because he is the only editor, it will probably take you weeks to chase him down. A quick email pitch to the editor at WSJ could be done in 5 minutes.

Selling your time and knowledge is easier at the beginning, when you don’t have a product to sell… But it is impossible to scale, and you end up owning your own job if you don’t evolve beyond that. “Well, if I want to make another $5k this year, I could work another 15 hours a week…” *shudder*

When you own a business and you grow enough to put someone else in charge, you sit around and help steer the vision of the company when you have time… All while getting a nice income from your creation.

Staying small isn’t easier than getting big.

Really, it isn’t. There are hundreds of thousands of companies out there trying to stay small. There are hundreds of companies calling Sally and John the Editor, hundreds of thousands selling their own time and knowledge.

The playing field opens up for the few who step up and play a bigger game. There’s just less competition the closer you get to the top.

So what are you really afraid of? Is it being corporate? Is it playing a bigger game? Is it working too many hours? Is it solving world hunger and creating 100k jobs?

No.

You’re afraid that you’re not good enough.

Who are you to call up Centrum, or WSJ? Who are you to create a product that sells millions of units per month, or to hire someone else to run your company? Who are you to build a company that helps millions, employs hundreds of thousands, generates billions in revenue, and doing it all while you’re enjoying your life?

Here is what I want you to understand: You don’t have to be good enough.

I mean, you already are, but you don’t have to be the best to have a huge impact and enjoy your life. You don’t have to create something amazing from scratch, or be the biggest innovator. Facebook is a publicly traded corporation worth billions, and they were a MySpace copycat. Apple is the same way, and they pay royalties on upwards of 100 patents for every single iPhone they sell.

You don’t need to be the best to have a huge impact, to change the world, to become a millionaire or a billionaire. In fact, to play a bigger game, you only need these:

brass-balls

They’re big, they’re brass, and they are the only difference between Bill Gates and that dude down the street who builds PCs in his basement. Mr. Gates had the “equipment” to walk into IBM’s office and strike a deal to put his operating system (one that he didn’t even create, he basically swiped it from Xerox) on every single PC they built, and pay him for it. That is what made Microsoft what it is today.

Now ask yourself, and be honest:

Do you want to help lots of people?

Do you want to be financially free?

Do you want to enjoy your life?

Do you want people to admire you for your accomplishments and your contribution to this world?

Then stop playing small.

You don’t have to sacrifice yourself and your priorities, you don’t have to be something you’re not, you don’t have to work like a dog or lie, cheat, and steal. You  just have to have the courage to step up, to put yourself out there, to align with people who are bigger than you are today, and to keep pushing until you make it.

Here is your challenge:

Do one thing, every day, that takes courage.

It could be that call to a big name magazine, or a partnership proposal to a Fortune 500 Company, or pitching a guest blog post to The Huffington Post, or sending one of your products to an A-List celebrity asking for their support.

Do one thing every day that pushes you into a bigger  game.

Even if you decide to stay small anyway, being small is a lot more fun when you’ve got big support.

– Cheryl

End Overwhelm Once and For All…

I have a special request, all. This is going to be very blunt, but just stay with me.

Can we please stop making everything so f***ing complicated?

I mean everything. The marketing methods we use, the launch sequences we do for our products, the things we need in place before we give ourselves the permission to launch our business, the titles we give our products and programs, the schedules we give ourselves…

It’s all so… Complicated.

Why does a launch sequence have to be 10 events and thousands of subscribers before we consider it a success?

Why do we need everything to be perfect, absolutely perfect, before we’re willing to give ourselves permission to try?

Why does our website need to look like a million dollars before we’re willing to try to make our first buck?

Why the cute and clever headlines and product names with alliteration and puns and metaphors?

Why the flowery language? Why the buzzwords and meaningless nonsense in our messages?

Why 6 different social networks? Why 12 email lists?

Why?

It’s time to get simple again, my friends.

It’s time to put yourself out there, no matter how perfect or imperfect things are, or how “ready” you feel you are. Stop waiting for everything to be 100% – it never will. Just do it.

It’s time to ditch the cute and clever, the alliterations and puns and metaphors, and be blunt. It’s time to call your flagship product what it is. Nobody wants “Super Fantastic Problem Rescue SOS!” They want “Problem Solved.”

It’s time to stop spending months planning a huge launch before ever trying to sell a thing, and just get out there and start something. You can always call it a soft launch and do a “launch event” later.

It’s time to stop saying “heart-centered”, “soul-filled”, “passionate”, “empowering”, “vision statement” and all of that other flowery, meaningless, buzzword language. Everyone is heart-centered, everyone is soul-filled, everyone is passionate, every product should be empowering and every statement should have vision. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.

It’s time to simplify your list segmentation. With technology these days, if it is important to send something *only* to a specific demographic, region, gender, household income, or even hair color – you can do it. If everyone on every list has expressed an interest in what you have to say, combine it all. You’ll win some, you’ll lose some, but you’ll make sharing what matters a much simpler endeavour.

It’s time to simplify your marketing. Stop doing everything that everyone says you should do. Hate Facebook? Drop it! Bored by Twitter? Let it go! Mystified by PR? Leave it to the pros. Do the things that feel good to you when spreading your message, and just drop the rest. And while you’re at it, pair it down to the five things that feel *really* good. There is no reason to bounce between 100 tasks.

It’s time to let go of complication. It’s time to simplify. It’s time to consider every visitor, every subscriber, every event attendee and every client a success. It’s time to celebrate more and analyze less, implement more, procrastinate less, embrace entrepreneurship as a way of life, forget perfectionism and embrace the evolution of your ideas.

It’s time to get back to basics, get out there, and just…

Start something.

The Secret to Success

I had the distinct honour of attending the Business Excellence Awards this past Saturday night here in Chilliwack, and what a night it was. Business leaders from everywhere in our community were in attendance, and you could almost feel the achievement in the room.

It was sitting there, and table 27, surrounded by my father and other Chilliwack business owners, that I had a realization that has come to completely change the course of events since.

Now, I have always believed in helping others and making contributions to society. I am an entrepreneur, and at my core, I am passionate about solving problems. But whether it was a product of society, my upbringing, my life lessons, or something else, I always believed that to truly serve the community I needed more resources.

I needed more connections, more financial ability, more experience, and more free time… I would be able to share my contribution and solutions with the world later, once all of these pieces were in place.

All of the people I saw making big contributions to the world had these things, after all. I need to have them as well before I can really make a difference, right?

Well, no.

Watching the people receiving awards, I was honoured to stand witness to their accomplishment. Watching those who were nominated and did not receive an award, however, I was in awe.

Here they are, some of the most successful business owners in our community, many of them with multi-million dollar businesses, families, volunteer commitments, and community events on their calendars, and they only have two topics on their mind – the successes of their colleagues, and how much they love helping the people of our city.

It was in that moment that I realized the secret to success.

I always believed that the connections, the money, the success, and the time came first. That when you have those things, you have the privilege of being able to help others.

I realized on Saturday night that it is only when you reach out and help others that you can achieve those things. Solve problems that are bigger than yourself, reach out to other human beings and make their lives a little bit better, easier, more fulfilling, more fun. Be authentic, be yourself, and let your light shine.

Do that, and the money, the success, the connections, and the time – they’ll follow. They are a product of passionate and selfless generosity, not a requirement of it.

The secret of success – give of yourself passionately and without reservation.

The rest will come naturally.

Until next time…

– Cheryl

It's about choice.

Let’s say, for a minute, that you’re human and there is something you’re afraid of. I’m sure you can relate to a situation like that.

You put off doing something that could have a huge, positive impact on your life or your business because you’re afraid of what could happen. It could be a public speaking engagement, reaching out to a mentor or a high-paid coach or consultant in your niche, or even day to day things like making dinner or picking up the kids.

You don’t want to screw up.

You don’t want to look bad.

You don’t want to forget.

Or like I’m faced with right now, you don’t want to let someone down.

Here’s a coach tip for you – make a choice.

Don’t want to screw up? Choose not to.

Don’t want to look bad? Choose not to.

Don’t want to forget? Choose not to.

Don’t want to let someone down? Choose not to!

It may sound silly and trivial, but what you have to realize is that most of those fears are coming from a limiting belief. In the moment, however, we don’t often have time to trace our lives back over the years and figure out exactly where that limiting belief came from, heal it, and move on – we often have to just pick up our boots and do something about it now.

That is when you make a choice.

By choosing to be competent, to look good, to remember, or to keep your word, you’re essentially short-circuiting your belief.

You’re telling your mind “I know you believe that I could screw this up and let so-and-so down, and that if I do, it’ll be really, epically bad… But guess what? I choose to be competent. I choose to keep my word. And there is nothing you can do or say to change that.”

Try it right now with something you’ve been afraid of.

If you’ve been afraid of letting down a family member, try telling yourself “no, I won’t let them down!” – then listen. Listen closely, and you’ll probably hear “yeah, you will. You always do!”

That negative self-talk is at it again, speaking from the experience of your limiting beliefs.

Now try telling yourself “I choose to keep my word, regardless of the circumstances.” And wait.

Totally different, isn’t it?

You might hear silence. You might hear “okay”, or something similar. This is your internal dialogue, and it is okay that you play with it like this – you’re not going crazy or hearing voices or anything like that.

Whether you like it or not, this internal dialogue is always going on. It filters everything for us and controls how we interpret situations, so that it can attach limiting beliefs to our new thoughts – protecting us.

But no thought or situation has meaning until we give it meaning, so no limiting belief has power until we give it power. And by stepping in and making a choice, you’re temporarily taking the power away from your limiting belief.

Obviously, you will still want to come back when you have time and trace out the root of that belief. See if you can heal the original situation that caused the belief to form, and then you’ll be free from it on a more permanent basis.

But in the moment, when you can do what you want (and face your fears) or play it safe, make a choice. Choose to be powerful, keep your word, look good, be competent… Choose to be the opposite of whatever you fear.

Take the power away from your limiting beliefs.

Try it some time.

– Cheryl

How to work less and earn MORE

I’m willing to bet that you’ve heard of Pareto’s Principle (the 80/20 rule) before, right? 20% of your work generates 80% of your results, 20% of your clients bring in 80% of your revenue, etc. Dr. Joseph Juran described the principle as “the vital few and trivial many”, which I think is a great way to put it.

We’re going to cover Pareto’s Principle from a different angle today.

Have you ever wondered why you bother with the trivial activities that only bring in 20% of your results? Really, if 20% of your activities bring in most of your profit, why not just do that 20% and then move on with your day?

Well, I’ll tell you why. You have a limiting belief.

Of course, you probably have hundreds of limiting beliefs – even thousands. But today, we’re going to talk about one in particular. For me, this belief sounds like:

“Until I _____________, I have to work really hard.”

That blank space could be filled by “pay the bills”, “finish my book”, “achieve success”, or any other goal you are working towards. Even when you’re not actually moving towards your goal, you want to continue working hard because you believe that you have to.

Often you’ll even end up feeling guilty when you’re not working.

Now, think about Pareto’s Principle for a second. If only 20% of your work creates 80% of your results, why would you feel guilty if you skipped some of the 80% that is basically time filler?

Your job now is to recognize where in your business you are working for the sake of working, and determine if that time would be better spent on other tasks (profitable things!) or just relaxing, taking care of yourself, and spending time with your family.

When I began doing this, I was able to cut my 16 hour days down to about 6 hours – and still make more money, change more lives, help more clients, and get more done.

I stopped working for the sake of looking busy, I stopped working because I thought I *had* to – and it gave me more free time to take care of myself and my family, which resulted in more profitable ideas “coming to me” instead of having to fight for them.

Even this very blog post just came to me last night while I was relaxing in bed, reading a book.

Stop working for the sake of working. Realize when this belief is controlling you, and take back your time!

Until next time…

– Cheryl

If you haven’t downloaded my free assessment tool yet, now is your chance! Discover the beliefs that are holding you back from authentic, effective marketing and sales copy, learn how to move past them, and take your business to the next level. Click here for your free download!