Category: Success Strategies

Attitude and Change

“If you don’t like something, change it.
If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
~ Maya Angelou 

Most people do not like change! Especially to be forced to change. In our world, change is continuous and we need to be more accepting of it.

To ease individual tension regarding change, allow the person to be part of the change process. If you are familiar with DiSC behavioral styles, you know that those with Steadiness and Conscientious styles do not like change. They are more methodical in their approaches and need time to adjust and feel comfortable with change.

The challenge is for those high in Dominance and Influencing styles as they like to move quickly. This creates conflict and uncertainty in the workplace. If each would take the time to put themselves in the other person’s shoes and meet their needs, there would be less conflict and discomfort.

Achieving Your Goals – Get Your Foot Off the Brake!

Achieving Your Goals – Get Your Foot Off the Brake!

Have you been going through life with one foot on the gas pedal and the other one on the brake? If you learned to drive a stick shift vehicle, you needed your left foot on the clutch. Now that your life is out of first and second gears and hopefully humming along in overdrive, it is time to stop using the left foot. It’s on the brake – not the clutch! It is holding you back in success!

  • What is keeping you from shifting into overdrive for smooth sailing?
  • What fears are holding you back right now?
  • From what are you using your “braking action” to protect you?

rolling_into_2010Make 2010 the year you declare your grand goals and announce your intentions to execute the action steps to get your desired outcomes. Are you worried that you might not be able to live up to what you announce? What do you need to help you successful execute your intentions? A personal success coach? A mentor to listen and guide you? A friend who pushes without humiliating you?

This may be the year you recognize which people close to you are holding you back or putting you down. Is their negative energy draining your energy and enthusiasm for success? Recall the Law of Attraction. You get what you think about and draw to you. Is it time to seek a new group of friends – the kind that will encourage you and celebrate your successes?

Start with a simple plan:

  1. Decide what you really intend to accomplish in 2010.
  2. Assess your circle of associates (family, friends, colleagues, etc.) to determine if any of them are negative influences.
  3. Take action to reduce the negative factors (people, habits, environment, etc.) in your life.
  4. Actively seek situations and people who are like-minded and supportive and can influence you in positive ways.
  5. Confidently declare your intentions and boldly take the proper action steps for success.

Along the way – each day – when you may not be staying on the success track, ask yourself: “Is what I am doing right now getting me closer to my goals.” If not, stop the current activity and refocus on executing the actions steps that will increase your success.

Achieve Strategic Thinking With S.W.O.T.

Achieve Strategic Thinking With S.W.O.T.

There are a number of techniques to stimulate strategic thinking. One of the most balanced approaches is the SWOT approach. The letters S.W.O.T. stand for:

S = Strengths                   W = Weaknesses
O = Opportunities            T = Threats

The reason the SWOT technique works so well is that it requires you to think about the four categories equally. You are forced to look at both the good (Strengths and Opportunities) and the bad (Weaknesses and Threats). The optimistic people can’t escape looking at the downside, while the pessimists must look for something positive. The main idea in this process is to stimulate thoughts and discussions by contrasting Strengths vs. Weaknesses as well as Opportunities vs. Threats. Then you can challenge the Strengths and Opportunities with Threats and Weaknesses. The process has you look at the situation from all sides and juxtapositions.

It is easiest to create a four quadrant grid and label the top left Strengths and the top right quadrant Weaknesses. For the bottom two quadrants, place Opportunities in the left on and Threats in the right. Leave space below each for people to write comments. You can also set up four separate flip chart pages, each labeled with one of the SWOT words. Once you have the “worksheets” set up, begin gathering information by asking four questions. Ask them one at a time, leaving discussion time before moving to the next one. Here are the questions to ask:

1.  What are the Strengths:

  • What is working?      SWOT image-blue
  • What is good?
  • What should you keep doing?

2.  What are the Weaknesses:

  • What is not working as well as it should?
  • What is bad or unacceptable?
  • What should you stop doing?

3.  What Opportunities do you see?

  • What new ideas, approaches, practices, etc.?
  • How can you adapt what you learn here to create something new?
  • How can you better use resources?

4.  What Threats do you see?

  • What challenges do you anticipate?
  • What is the probability of it happening?
  • How serious could it be if it does happen?

There is no set or logical order to the questions and people will want to jump around as thoughts come to them. Your challenge is to channel the energy to collect the comments in the appropriate quadrant. It is easier to facilitate if you explain this to them before you begin the process. You can decide if you want the free flowing approach or a more structured approach. You can also determine whether you want the group to work individually first and then share, or take another approach. The key is to get the information so you can draw conclusions and plan for the future.

Once you have gathered the thoughts and recorded them in the quadrants, look at them from another perspective: Use the Strengths and Weaknesses as an extension of Opportunities and Threats.

  1. What Strengths do you currently have that support the Opportunities?
  2. What Strengths do you currently have that will help you overcome the Threats?
  3. What Weaknesses do you currently have that will have to be overcome to take advantage of Opportunities?
  4. What Weaknesses do you currently have that will have to be overcome to manage the Threats?

While you will not come up with ready-made strategies, using the SWOT process will provide a framework for deeper exploration of how you can take advantage of Opportunities and prevent or reduce Threats. It is also a good technique for engaging others and building on ideas. SWOT’s can be used by individuals, teams or any group that wants to strategize. It provides a good framework and establishes a disciplined approach where ideas – rather than individuals – can be challenged.

Branding You for Success

Branding You for Success

I get a lot of emails everyday. You probably do also. I have to say if you are in business and you want me to take you seriously, make sure your email address is business-like!

If you have an email address at Yahoo or G-Mail or AOL instead of at a business domain name, you are missing the mark. If you are really in business, spend a few dollars a year and buy a domain name and set up an email account there!

receive emailAnd don’t have your administrative assistant send out emails from you under her email address. It should be coming from you so people recognize your name. You are a big part of your brand!

I would like to hear what others have to save about this.

Google-icious Email Marketing

Money + computerIt has been said that if you are not marketing your business via the Internet, you are not competitive in the 21st Century. The days of mailing glossy marketing materials are being replaced by email blasts, websites, Constant Contact-like email marketing sites, html pages, etc. Here are some things to keep in mind when creating your email marketing program:

1. K.I.S.S. Keep it simple, Sugar

2. Make it easy to share

3. Let is scream your brand

4. Offer a delicious click-through

5. Give it wings – make it viral

Use these five tips to review your existing email marketing materials. Test each piece against the five pointers. If they do not measure up, tweak the marketing materials to create more energy with them. Ask others for their reaction to the materials to get valuable feedback. Instead of defending your reasons for writing them the way you did, listen and try to modify by adding the input you have received from others. Many times you think you know what others want, but will discover what you value is not the same as what your potential customers value.

To read the details of each tip, simply register for the In-Circle Community just below LogIn at the right. There is no fee. Welcome to our forum.

Want To Be An Entrepreneur?

Want To Be An Entrepreneur?

What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?  Think about it for a minute… Entrepreneur.

Does it mean:

  • Living on your schedule?
  • Going to work when you want to?
  • Having total control over your work life?
  • Having freedom to run the business the way you think it should be run?
  • Not being responsible to a boss or stockholders?
  • Doing something you love and for which you have a real passion?
  • No more commuting?
  • More time with family and friends?

This list can go on and on with all of the reasons you have decided to own your own business. It is all of this… and more. What does it mean to you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

If you are or are planning to become a entrepreneur or business owner, you will benefit from joining our Member In-Circle Community to access many resources to help you succeed. Your success matters to us.

Just register at the right side of this blog. There is no fee for basic membership access to the categories listed at the top of the page.

It’s Time to Give Yourself Permission

Remember when you were younger and needed a “permission slip” for missing school or leaving the classroom or to go on a field trip? Now that you are an adult, you may no longer need a written “permission slip” to do the things you want to do, but I am betting that there are many things you don’t do because you don’t give yourself permission!

How about these:cell phone use

  1. Permission to take a day off – without feeling guilty.
  2. Permission to not check your email or BlackBerry if you do give yourself a day off!
  3. Permission to say “no.”
  4. Permission to go to bed early or sleep in (or stay up really late!)
  5. Permission to do something others may think is out of character for you.

Now is the time to give yourself permission to lighten up and enjoy life more! It will reduce your stress and lighten your load.

Focus On Significance – Not Success

Focus On Significance – Not Success

“The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but significance, and then even the small steps will take on a greater meaning.” ~ Oprah

We do tend to focus on “success.” Probably because it is measurable. Either you met your goal or you didn’t. You you are somewhere along the continum of progress toward meeting the goal.

Oprah is suggesting that you need to focus more on the significance of what you are doing, rather than just the end result. I think she has a good point. Often you overlook the steps you have taken to get to a certain point along the path of success.

This ties into my recommendation to “Celebrate Success” as part of your goal execution process. Celebrate a successful end result, of course. But also celebrate little successes along the way. This will keep you and others motivated to continue.

If the going gets tough, find something to celebrate to realign the focus. Focusing on the positive will encourage you to stay on your plan to the desired outcome.

If you are challenged by sticking to your plan, check out our “Get What You Say You Want-Goals” Program. This behavioral approach to setting and executing your goals could make the difference between success and what you have been doing in the past!

The Challenge of Vacation

The Challenge of Vacation

I have been on a “sail-batical” for most of the past six months. It was a test: a test of my skills and courage; a test of my ability to work from a virtual office; a test to see if I can live in a space of 48 feet by 14 feet (with a v-shape eliminating floor space; a test if I could live with a limited wardrobe in a 12 inch wide closet!

But the real test was could I keep my mind and spirit busy in such an enviroment. Trust me, it is hard to keep you mind on work when living in the Caribbean islands! However, everyone needs to take some real time for rest and relaxation.

  • Are you one of those who is too busy to take time off?
  • If you do take time off, do you short change yourself with long week-ends instead of a couple of weeks together?

Our minds need the break. Our bodies need the break. It takes a few days just to wind down before you begin to relax. Then your metabolism resets itself and actually allows you to relax internally as well as mentally. Take some time to unwind and rest. The work will always be there, but your friends and family may not. Or you may not if you push yourself too hard all of the time.

Part of success planning is planning ways to boost your personal health. The most important part is disconnecting from your electronic tethers and let yourself rest. Make this summer a time to regenerate yourself.sunset

Sharing Leadership Roles

presentation 1” Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal. “   ~  Vince Lombardi

While some people are more inclined to step up to leadership roles, everyone can develop leadership skills, if desired. Many times an individual just needs steady reinforcement of their ability. This can happen through coaching and mentoring. Or it could happen from being put in a situation where they have to lead and have the support of others.

While not every behavioral style is comfortable being in front of a group or taking the responsibility for success of the team, even the quiet, conscientious person has the ability to lead. It will be in a different way.

Regardless of one’s leadership style, it is important to give everyone an opportunity to develop their leadership strengths and put them to practice. Bring less experienced employees into the role by giving small leadership assignments to help them increase their confidence and comfort.

When a few others accept parts of the project and take the lead in those areas, you are developing talent. At the same time you are giving yourself more time to mentor and coach those future leaders.

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