Category Archives: Techniques

To Plan for Challenges is To Plan for Success

Deciding to take a plunge towards your dreams can be a scary and exciting event as an entrepreneur.  Of course with every great adventure comes unexpected obstacles and challenges.  That’s why preparing for success is critical.  Knowing that challenges will arise before you start on your entrepreneurial journey or adventure can be extremely advantageous.  Even more important however, is knowing how to detect what may not initially appear to be an obstacle.  It will also be helpful to ensure you are equipped with the appropriate tool or techniques to face these obstacles effectively.

Entrepreneur Planning

For those of you beginning on your new journey towards your the creation of the business of your dreams, know that obstacles come in all shapes and sizes.  Something as simple as an argument with a colleague, sibling, or spouse, a flat tire, a water pipe bursting in your backyard, or just about any random life event that has the potential to pull you away from doing what you initially set out to do can be seen as an obstacle.  In essence, life can and will distract you away from your need to kick-start your business idea, away from your needing to take the actions necessary to make your business a reality.

Being prepared for such random curve balls will make them easier to overcome.  More importantly though, is knowing how to mentally diffuse such occurrences.  The best method I’ve come across is a combination of two things, 1.) keeping a schedule no matter what, and 2.) keeping a journal.

By keeping a schedule that you commit to unwavering from, you set yourself up to get realigned with your priorities quickly in the event that some random life event attempts to derail you.  There is something very effective about making appointments with yourself to get things done.  If ever you get off schedule, you will feel a mental tug…which is hard to ignore and thus is essentially good.  It is good because it has the potential to get you back in the game, taking action on those tasks that will help you reach your goal.

The next method is keeping a journal.  Keeping a journal has done wonders for me in terms of keeping me on track.  Every morning I write about my goals, aspirations, and my progress in certain areas.  As such, committing to writing down your challenges daily can serve a as a terrific reminder, and troubleshooting tool to help you navigate around/through the goal-threatening obstacle that you inevitably face.

In summary, life will try to distract you.  If you wish to one day live out the vision that you set your heart upon, it will be important for you to be prepared for these potential life derailing events, know how to spot them, and finally, have some techniques up your sleeve by which you can ensure the successful overcoming of such obstacles.  To plan for challenges is to plan for success.  So go get your planning on.

 

Mastering Mountains

This post serves to compliment my last two posts…and well many of the other posts that have been weaved throughout this blog that have been a type of  nudge from me to you  to grow…to change.  I think it’s appropriate for me to post this now because, let’s face it…I ask a lot of you.  I know I throw a lot of ideas and challenges out there to you that aren’t necessarily your everyday habits, and so I definitely understand that they are not easy to consider, let alone do.

So think of this post as your hiking gear to go along with all the “mountains” I’ve pointed out to you.  What I’ll stress first is this idea of not shrugging off ideas, activities, or goals that seem too hard to initiate, or from retreating from your challenge, your “mountain”, all because it looks too high or seems too difficult.  For instance, a couple of posts ago…I suggested being positive all the time as a way to live better, be happier, and to live a healthier life.  Of course I know it would be tough to automatically be “that” supercharged positive person starting tomorrow.  So if you decide to do it…will you be that person tomorrow?  No, but you’ll be closer.  Should you still try?  Yes!  Another example I suggested was journaling everyday, morning and night as a good practice to learn more, learn quicker, and to grow and become more at an exponential rate.  Do I think you will be writing five pages and have a completely revolutionized life by tomorrow?   No, not necessarily.  Do I think it’s a great idea and that you should strive for it?  Absolutely…no doubt!

I guess there are two things to really keep in mind when considering not just my recommendations, but anyone’s, or in starting anything new for that matter.  The first thing is….to start, and the second is…. to take small steps.

If you actually give your toughest challenges a try and pay attention…you will see, oddly, that there really is some type of magical power behind just starting.  What happens is….a momentum is created and shortly thereafter with enough persistence… the positive results begin to show up.  It’s Crazy!  Perhaps this is what Johan Wolfgang Von Goethe meant when he said:  “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it…boldness has genius power and magic in it”.

And then of course, there is the second thought to keep in mind when you are about to make some changes….and that is….take small steps, even baby steps if you have to.  The idea is to just start moving in a determined fashion towards your end point.  It always seems to work for the tortoise; it’s been working for the people who have achieved greatly…why couldn’t it work for you?  I’ll bet this is exactly what Confucius had in mind when he made his famous quote:  “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” 

So..as much as I like to challenge you I am sure life likes to do it a whole lot more.  If you remember these two points I’ll bet your chances of surmounting those challenges, of mastering your mountains…. will go way up!  Give it a try…..Good luck!

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Entrepreneurs Must Turn Experiences into Equity

I journal somewhat religiously every morning….writing down how I feel, what I think, and about all the wonderful things I hope the day has in store for me.  And sometimes I’ll even jot down some of the newest and most novel ideas I’ve come across.  It is a good practice and I really like doing it. Here’s the thing, up until recently I would say I wasn’t 100% sure why I was doing it.  I mean I’ve always heard of the importance of jotting down your thoughts in a journal and how “great” it can be for you, but I’ve never truly made the connection as to why it was so important.  In reality I was really writing to track the progression and change in my thoughts/myself as time went by.  I mean I’ve been keeping a journal now since 2002 and I’ll tell you, it is pretty darn amusing to read how and what I thought all those years ago.  So it’s been worth it for entertainment’s sake.

Amazingly this past week I formed a new perspective regarding journaling. It was t

his idea of writing to learn, and not just to learn what has changed with the passing of time, or how entertaining my life has been, but to learn what the day had to teach.  To test this idea I became like a sponge on this initial day, and soaked in all that I had experienced to see what I could extract from my observations, to see what I could extract from life.  Typically, I was writing one page per day, however with this new approach I was writing four to five pages.  So what struck me the most was a realization of how much actually goes on in one single day.  I mean the first day I took this perspective my mind was almost overwhelmed with all the activities, opportunities, color, smells, and occurrences that took place in that one single day!  The most exciting part though…was that all of those experiences were beckoning me and challenging me to learn from it.  I felt a pull and a tug towards growth!  In all seriousness…one could probably write a “book of the day” if they paid enough attention to it.

Of course the really important part of all of this observation is focusing and paying attention to what you wrote down, pondering what worked, what didn’t, what one wanted to avoid, or what one wanted to repeat and to grow from.  The benfefit of all of this?…to use these experiences as a spring board for up and coming, yet similar experiences… so that they can be that much richer, that much more polished, that much more valuable.  You see experience can become a commodity, a currency, coin, it can be used.  It’s simply amazing when you think about… it’s like sifting for GOLD!  I am convinced that we can if we wish to….turn experience into equity.  So I challenge you to test the waters today…to go from a perspective of just getting through the day, to one that dares you to see what you can get from the day.

I can’t wait to hear your results.

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The Terror Barrier

I went to an event last week where I had the pleasure of seeing Bob Proctor, a 75 yr old millionaire and world renowned entrepreneur who carries himself like a youthful 25yr old.

It was a pretty phenomenal experience and EXTREMELY valuable, and I stress extremely because I personally walked away with powerful ideas and insights from an event which usually costs anywhere from $500 – $1,000 all for free!!!

One of the main ideas that I walked away with and really want to share with you, was this idea of the “Terror Barrier”.  An imaginary barrier that many have but probably won’t experience until they try to achieve something great.  If you are one of those who have ever been on the hunt of bigger and better things you probably have very intimate knowledge of what I am talking about.  So, this barrier usually appears when we are just about to make some critical gains in our endeavoring that would definitely set us apart from the also-rans, but….we stop short.  And of course this happens because of an internal block or fear we have, or because of a rule or paradigm which is programmed deep within us.  The barrier manifests itself in self-sabotage, excuse making, circular arguments or rationalizing with ourselves as to why we aren’t doing or can’t do the activities absolutely necessary for our break through towards our success.

So, what’s the solution?  Well, it’s a change in your mental paradigm so you can ultimately change your behaviors.  How do you change your paradigm?  Change your thinking!  How do you change your thinking?  First……START THINKING, (and it’s important you don’t mistake mental activity for thinking), then decide to change what you put into your mind.  Learn, Grow, Challenge yourself and in so doing be selective and very vigilant with what you read, watch, listen to, and then of course with what you think.  It’s as simple as that.

[Disclaimer – This post is written soley for those interested in doing extraordinary things.  If this is not you, please disregard NOW.  This post will self-destruct in 25 seconds……no not really, 🙂  I hope you are smiling!]

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Entrepreneurs Beware – Failure is Subtle

Failure is a sneaky thing.  It usually shows up in our lives when least expected and interestingly it is usually determined from the choices or acts we made long before the moment it is realized.

For instance.  Consequences have a very canny way of not seeming to be a big deal at the moment, even after a couple of days or months.  We can eat  our twinkie or drink our daily beer and think to ourselves “hey, it’s been a month and  I am still looking good, who said this stuff wasn’t good for you”  and so proceed to make the same choices.  And for a couple of months you are probably right, no big changes..no big deal.    And you still look good, well…somewhat, and you haven’t had a heart attack yet.  All is well right?   But..no, it’s down the road where that unwanted failure figure is lurking.  It will show up…and in this case it eventually does as a nice double chin, or that cute spare tire you’ve developed, or in extreme but still very possible cases…..death.

Another example of how failure is subtle can be seen by the employee who happens to take an innocent 10 extra minutes at lunch for personal time.  Thinking to him/herself that it will all be okay since it’s “only” 10 minutes and that their boss will never notice.  But what happens is a year goes by, and those 10 minutes (assuming the avg.  50 week work year) turn into a whopping 2,500 minutes of slack time.  In other words, you just took 41.6 hours of illegitimate paid time off.   Which may be good for you depending upon who you are or what you want.  But the failure comes in the lost opportunity, the lost options.  Now that you just took a whole week off, your competitive coworkers who might not have been as much of an opportunist as you  are now being considered for the promotion you wanted and it’s probably mostly because they are at least one whole week ahead of you!

The same could be said for the entrepreneur.  In this instance you could be a whole week behind in the preparation of an important presentation which was to get you the start up capital that you needed to move your business idea forward.  So, instead of practicing a few simple disciplines a day, and deciding not to sweep away those few “innocent” pleasures,  you lose out to the more prepared entrepreneur who actually does the sweeping that matters and sweeps the investors of their feet.

You see failure is a subtle and scary creature if you are not careful.  No need to fret however…. I am pretty sure that if you practice a few simple disciplines everyday you can still turn everything around.

Stay vigilant my friends.

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