December 29, 2010

Guest Post by Kristen Bradley

Struggles Many New Small Businesses Owners Face
Most individuals would love to start their own business if they had the necessary time, financing, and experience available. The opportunity to flee the 9 to 5 rat race, be your own boss, and set your own hours are just a few attractive perks. However, new businesses owners first must overcome a number of challenges.
  • Financing. Small business owners sometimes find it difficult to find the necessary funds needed to start up a business. Furthermore, you'll have to have a sufficient cash flow to meet future expenses. Additional funds will need to be allocated for marketing and advertising so that your business can attract clients.
  • Employees. Entrepreneurs fight to find and keep good employees who will help the company succeed and grow. Initially, small business owners may not be able to afford to offer employees medical benefits, paid vacations, and profit sharing. Thus, finding—and then retaining—reliable and dedicated employees from the beginning can be difficult.
  • Management. The proprietors of fledgling businesses often end up working much longer hours than they did when they worked for someone else. They must perform many behind-the-scenes tasks daily, including sales and marketing promotions, legal paperwork, and product development and research.
  • Technology. A small business may not have the resources to take advantage of new technology, placing them at a competitive disadvantage. Effective web sites are key for getting your business's name out there.
  • Legal regulations. Entrepreneurs have a number of legal hoops to jump through before they start their first business. Name registrations, seller permits, surety bonds, and tax clearances are just a few examples. Oftentimes applicants must prove their professional reliability and financial stability before meeting such regulations, which can prove challenging for younger professionals.
Starting up a new enterprise can be very exciting and rewarding, but success is not usually achieved without first confronting and conquering many roadblocks along the way. With a little perseverance and a knowledge of the industry you're going into, you, too, can succeed.
This article was written by Kristen Bradley, an agency that helps entrepreneurs and new business owners get their enterprises started off on the right foot. aims to give new professionals an insight into industry restrictions that help regulate businesses in all 50 states.

December 14, 2010

Do You Know Who's On Top?

After you get your mind out of the gutter, when it comes to your career this question is serious business. Regardless of where you are in your career, who's on top matters. 

The "trickle down" effect. Take for example, Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. Recently there were reports that he heckles his players when they're not performing up to their potential. Not exactly a motivational speaker huh? Whoever is on top bleeds their personality and core values to everyone within the organization. As an employee, it's vital you get to know as much about the person in charge. Even if you never meet him/her face to face, you will know what they value based on how you are treated.

Choose respect over like. That means it's more important that you respect your boss than actually like him/her. It's not what they say, but what they do. Actions speak louder than words. If you truly respect your boss, there should be times you don't like him/her because they'll do what's best for the company, not just for you. On the other hand, if you really like your boss, but don't respect him/her, most likely you don't give 100% effort and the company suffers.

Look for growth opportunities. What is the company culture like? There's no harm in taking a lesser position if you know there's room to advance. On the flip side, if you are in it solely for the money, it will come back and bite you. A learning culture provides multiple ways to continuously grow their workers such as: coaches, workshops, conferences, training, etc. (Take a look at Google, Zappos & Dreamworks as examples) 

We've been told great organizations are flat, but that's a myth. All organizations need some form of vertical leadership to accomplish anything. The leader of a company drives the culture. The culture affects workers more than any other factor. Take some time to look up and figure out if you like respect what you see. What's on top will determine how you feel "below."

I'd like to hear your personal stories about good and bad leadership you've experienced. Please leave your comment below.

December 7, 2010

How Successfully Do You Fail?

Define success. Each definition is unique. 
Define failure. Any time you don't reach the intended goal. 

The most successful people in the world fail the most. 
Yes, I said it. Successful people aren't afraid of failure because of how they view it.

After your next failure (that's right, it will happen), try asking yourself these questions:

What can I learn?
We learn the most from losing, not winning. There's teachable moments in every setback no matter how painful they are. It's not what happens to you, but how you respond to it. 

What's my next move?
There's no harm in evaluating what happened (collecting data), but don't dwell on your mistakes. Pick yourself up and move on. If you "keep score" based on wins and losses, you'll become depressed. One great win can offset many losses.

What's my goal?
After you get up off the canvas and start fighting again, re-focus on your desired target. Think of a mosaic (credit to my friend Josh Allan Dykstra). Instead of being consumed with the individual pieces, step back and view the big picture. Don't let setbacks stop you. Stay persistent and the results will come.

Being successful is about learning to fail forward. Learn from your mistakes. Move on. Fixate on your target. Failure isn't a bad thing, if you know how to "see" it.

Are you ready to fail forward?

November 30, 2010

Are you an Invisible Leader?

Inspired by a post written by Kevin Ding, Lakers Reporter for the OC Register, "Invisible Leader" refers to Lakers Coach Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant. 

In today's world, being an invisible leader is key to success. Let me explain...

Leadership starts with a Vision. When Phil Jackson was initially hired by the Lakers, his goal was clear: win multiple championships. He knew the talent was there, but he needed the players to buy into his philosophy (no pun intended). No matter what position you hold, your vision has to drive your actions. People cannot follow, if they don't know where to go.

Culture is the embodiment of vision. Once the vision is set, there needs to be a clear structure and set of behaviors to implement the strategy. Phil and Kobe had a rocky start to their relationship, but Phil never stopped teaching. Creating a strong culture means showing people how to do things the right way. Effective leaders model what is right, then expect others to do the same.

Empowerment is carrying out the culture. Leadership does not happen by force, but by giving responsibility and releasing control. In recent years, Phil doesn't have to do much teaching since Kobe has become an extension of his coach. Kobe trusts Phil and Phil believes in Kobe. The heart of leadership is developing others. Imagine a relay race. Leaders pass the "baton" and cheer on their prodigy. 

Being an "Invisible Leader" means putting others first. Plant a seed of hope. Focus on doing things the right way. Look for ways to help others shine. Invisible leaders choose to be in the background, but their followers definitely "see" and "hear" them.

How can YOU be an Invisible Leader to someone today? 

November 9, 2010

Is Conversation Becoming the Next Dinosaur?

What are the negative effects of technology? Poor relationships.

Social media and other forms of technological communication strip away the ability to have a decent face to face conversation. Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In broaden your network, but provides minimal depth of community.

Your brain sharpens with experience, so if your definition of friendship lies behind a computer screen, that becomes your context. Computers can't read emotion and facial recognition, so the more time you spend on your laptop and texting, the less socially aware and empathetic you become. 

My work is primarily with Gen Y/Millennials and what I notice is they are highly educated, but lack people skills. They've been taught instant gratification, but the problem is relationships don't work like that. We are getting closer to the days of eHarmony as the way to meet others because there's too much risk in real life dating.

Instead of getting depressed, here are some proactive ways to improve your interpersonal skills:
  • Practice having conversations with family members and friends
  • Attend networking events and focus on getting to know one or two people well
  • Invite a social media contact to grab coffee together  
Let's not let the "art of conversation" become extinct. Social media and technology is not the enemy (I'd be a hypocrite because I use them), but merely a means to an end. Don't substitute "contacts" for relationships.

Business is relationships. Your network is your net worth!

What will you do this week to build or strengthen a relationship?

November 1, 2010

How to Detox Your Mind

There are several products on the market to cleanse your body of harmful toxins, yet what if there was a way to do the same for your mind? Since your thoughts trigger feelings that initiate how you act, here are three ways to shift your negative thoughts into positive ones:

Shift: Away > Towards - In golf if there's water ahead and you tell yourself "Don't hit it in the water", you'll overcompensate and aim 50 yards clear of it. Usually it avoids the water, but still ends up being a terrible shot. Instead of telling ourselves to "stay away" from something, try "going towards" what you want. For example, instead of avoiding networking because you don't like large groups; meet up for coffee one-on-one. It's still accomplishes the goal of building your network, just at your style at pace.

Shift: Subjective > Objective - Your natural reaction is to take things personal, but what if you stepped back and looked at the big picture versus just your perspective? Simply looking at the situation from a different angle can change the way you react. Managing your emotions is a step towards maturity. 

Shift: Control > Choice - The faster you can grasp how much control you don't have, the less disappointed and frustrated you'll be. You can't control what happens to you, but you can choose how you respond to it. When things don't go your way don't dwell on what happened; figure out what you can do about it. In business, no one wants to hear complaining about problems, people want solutions. 

Detoxing your mind is ridding it of negative thoughts and replacing it with positive ones. Perspective is one of the most powerful tools for your mind. Just a slight shift in view can turn a pessimist into an optimist. Shifting your mind produces hope and hope is what we need to fuel positive change. 

How can you detox your mind this week?

October 25, 2010

If you are between the ages of 18 - 35, please take this brief survey to help create a Great Young Professional Development/Network Group!

Click here to take survey

October 18, 2010

How to Use Your Career GPS

Every time you get in your car, you have a chosen destination. What if you applied this same principle to your career? Despite the economy, you want a career you love (not just work a job). What if there was a career GPS to help you find the way? Good news, there is...
Goals - What do you want to do? Start at the end. Your goals are the steps to accomplishing your vision. You wouldn't get in a car without knowing where you were headed, so don't look for a job without knowing what field you desire to be in. Only you know what your dreams entail. Write them down so you can see them daily. 

Passions - What do you love doing? What are your hobbies? If all jobs paid the same, what would you choose? You should love your career. It shouldn't feel like work. The more you love what you do, the more focused and committed you will be. People who are passionate about what they do become positive catalysts for everyone around them! 

Strengths - What are you great at? (Notice I did not say "good.") In what areas are you way above average? What stands out about you? What have others complimented you about multiple times? A strength is a natural talent developed over time. You can be passionate about something, but you also need to be skilled at it. Figure out what you do better than anyone else and get better at it! 

Your career GPS consists of your goals, passions and strengths. Finding it is your responsibility. Don't settle for just a job. Create a career that you love and thrive in. The most successful people identified their career GPS and followed it. Form a Vinn Diagram of your goals, passions and strengths. Your answer lies in the overlap. 

What is your career GPS?

October 12, 2010

Supercharge Your Mental Wellness

There's a lot of talk about physical wellness, but what about your mental wellness? Think holistically. How do you take care of your brain?  

When driving your car, you have blind spots. In life, it's the same. Working with a coach brings new perspective into your life. A coach cannot change your circumstances, but he/she can help you change the way you view them. 
Make sure you are mentally "fit." Getting your brain in shape may seem like a silly idea, but your thoughts shape your behaviors.  
Here are some benefits from working with a coach:
  • Increased self-awareness 67%
  • Lower stress levels 57%
  • Self-confidence 52%
  • Productivity 53%
  • Job Satisfaction 61%
  • Reduced Conflict 52%
Just think how much better your life could be with just ONE of those advantages. Taking care of your mind is just as important as taking care of your body. What we think triggers our emotions, which drives our decisions.
Strong Mind + Strong Emotions = Strong Performance

Ready to improve your mental wellness?

October 4, 2010

How the NBA Free Agency Changed Corporate America

From LeBron James' "Decision" to Carmelo Anthony's desire to leave Denver, the power in the NBA has shifted. No longer are GM's calling the shots, the players are. This trend has become prevalent in the workforce. Let's take a look at how it's changed:
1) Direction
If a player feels his team is not headed in the right direction, he wants out. Today's worker wants to know the vision of the company. Translation: Make sure employees' personal visions fit within the larger company vision.
2) Talent
Great players want to be surrounded by other great players. Nothing great is accomplished alone. Keeping talent means catering to their needs. Translation: Figure out how to serve your workers, so they can better serve your customers.
3) Speed
Not only do players want to win, but they want it now. Instead of waiting, they create their own options. Retention may be difficult, but turnover can be deadly. Translation: Create an environment that removes distractions, so workers can focus on achieving goals.
Young Professionals have turned the workforce upside down. Companies have to adapt to keep their future leaders. Invest in your high potentials, they are your greatest asset!
Need strategies to help retain your top talent?

September 29, 2010

5 Takeaways Marketers Could Learn From Mr. Rogers

Who was a more engaging host than Mr. Rogers? I remember watching an awards show where he received an award and after he thanked everyone he could think of, the crowd burst into tears and gave him a standing ovation. Wouldn't all of us want to be that great of an influence on at least one person in our lifetime? There was nothing flashy out him, but he stayed true to who he was. Mr. Rogers addressed difficult subjects, but it was the calm style he did it with that captivated people. Even today, he would stand tall because of the relationship he created with his "customers." 

What do you remember about Mr. Rogers? Please share!

Do you Dress for Success?

Presentation can trump Content. People's first impression of you is how you dress, carry yourself, talk, etc. It's better to err on the conservative side at first, just to gain respect then as you do, tailor it back. I'd rather have someone criticize me for being overdressed, than not taken seriously because I'm underdressed.

September 27, 2010

How To Get A Raise

One of my favorite success stories happened with a client a few years ago. Initially, she was skeptical, but 5 months later she became one of my biggest advocates. Here is how she got her raise in 5 steps:
1) Shut Your Mouth
Nobody likes a complainer, especially your boss. If you feel you deserve a pay raise, you're going to have to prove it with your actions, not your mouth.
2) Work Hard
Actions speak louder than words. Your results and work ethic are your active resume. Do your work better, faster and push yourself.
3) Ask For More
More work precedes more money. Start by asking for more responsibility. Check with your current supervisor. Volunteer for another department. Use your time wisely, because you're always being watched.
4) Prove Your Worth
Stand out from the crowd. Give your boss a reason to look at you. Work for the job you want, not the job you have. Show you can handle the next level. Don't expect better compensation until you prove it.
5) Approach Your Boss
After at least a month, you now have the credibility to set up an appointment with your supervisor. Share with him/her how much you want the promotion and highlight what you have accomplished. Do research and present a proposed increase in salary and explain why you deserve it.
There's no guarantees, but this process worked before my eyes. Proving yourself before opening your mouth is always a good strategy. 
Any thoughts? Experiences? Please share!

September 23, 2010

A Demand for Career Help Sooner?

The reality is: a college degree is no guarantee for a job.

Students are starting to look for career advice earlier because of the urgency the economy has created. I've done career coaching with students in high school and college to help them determine a target (career choice) before a school of choice. Why apply to a college that doesn't have the field you want?

College should be fun, but you're not paying those big bucks to NOT prepare for the real world. 

The earlier you find a career you're passionate about & love, the better prepared you'll be to be successful in it!

Statistics say 80% of people are unhappy with their jobs. Are you part of the 20%?

September 22, 2010

Which 5 Powers is your Favorite?

Five Powers that Get Ideas off the Ground

I've had to experience #5 on a weekly, if not daily basis. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to give up, then thinking about what I really want to do, then going back to grinding away. I keep telling myself "greatness takes time." If I want to do it right, it's going to take a lot hard work. It also speaks to your resiliency. Keep fighting and be persistent and things will eventually happen...

Which Power is your Favorite? 

September 21, 2010

Why You Should Hire Me

During these challenging times, we need more help, not less. Everyone wants to save money, but how do you expect things to change if you don't invest in yourself? Results come faster when you hire a professional. See if these scenarios relate to you:
1) "I don't know what I want to do."
If you lack career direction, I can help you find it. What are you passionate about? What are your strengths? Find a career you love and are great at. You should love what you do.
2) "I'm so disorganized."
Time management is one of the best ways to organize your life. Do you spend time on what's most important to you? Do you run your schedule or does your schedule run you? Start eliminating useless tasks and spend time on what matters.
3) "I never accomplish the goals I set."
Are you setting S.M.A.R.T. goals? Are your goals aligned with your vision? Goals should be a means to an end, not an end in itself.  Setting the right goals is as important as achieving them.
Those are 3 examples of situations that I coach clients on frequently. Your situation is unique to you. Your agenda is what drives the sessions. I urge you to give coaching a try. The first session is free!
Imagine how much MORE successful you can be with the help of a coach...

September 16, 2010

Can You Spot a Liar?

Communication is broken down as follows:
7 percent verbal (words)
38 percent vocal (volume, pitch, rhythm, etc.)
55 percent body movements (mostly facial expressions) 

Listening and observing is much more than just words. Are you able to pick up on non-verbal cues? You shouldn't over-analyze people's behaviors, but when you smell fish, it usually stinks. To me the moral of the story isn't trying to sniff out a fake, but just to pay more attention to more than what someones says. The way we carry ourselves and how our body language comes off speaks louder than words!

September 15, 2010

What's Your Leadership Caffeine?

Leadership Caffeine: In Pursuit of Your Potential

Being driven is a necessity in life. No one is going to push you as hard as you push yourself. You can't expect others to motivate you, that's your responsibility.

When things don't go your way, don't make excuses, figure out what you can do differently and move on. You can't control all your circumstances, but you can control how you choose to look at and deal with them. There's so much to learn from the "down" times even though it's difficult to see that while you are going through it. 

Just continue to GROW FORWARD...

September 14, 2010

Is Your Brain Lopsided?

One side of your brain is not bigger, but most likely your left brain is more utilized than your right. How would your life be different if you developed your right brain more? 

Let's start in elementary school. Besides recess and lunch, what do you remember? Math, Science, English, etc. Those subjects process in the left side of your brain. Art, Music and Sports (all right brain activities) weren't pushed as much. What effect did that have on you? 

Did you know your right brain is responsible for vision, emotion, creativity and risk taking? Think of how your body responds to lack of movement. It becomes atrophied and weak. All those years of not using our right brain leads to be deficiency. 

Take drawing for example. When you were 4 years old, you drew freely and willingly. As you grew older your drawing skills stayed the same or got worse because of lack of practice. What was considered "great" at age 4 is "terrible" at age 18. 

What are the future implications? Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future argues that right brain skills are necessary to succeed in the new economy. Left brain functions such as logic, verbal skills, organization and analysis are necessary; but the new worker needs to be innovative, empathetic and bi g picture thinking to thrive. 

Are YOU developing Your Right Brain skills?

September 13, 2010

Are you Coachable?

I have to admit, I didn't read this entire article, but the part that intrigued me was the title...

In my experience as a coach, no one trait determines success or failure more than attitude. I'd go as far as to say attitude determines whether you should work with a coach or a therapist. Nothing frustrates me more as a coach than a client with a "victim" mentality. It's always someone else's fault, there's always an excuse or their obstacle is just too huge to overcome. I realized quick why I wanted to be a coach when I got to sit in a client "seat" with both a coach and a counselor. I found myself wanting to speed the pace up, figure out what action I could take next and move forward! I admit, I have a difficult time when I coach a client who has "cyclical" thinking.  

My ideal client is one who will take responsibility for his or her shortcomings, is hungry to learn and is willing to try different things. You can't change your circumstances, but you can change your perspective on how you view them...

September 10, 2010

Private Athletic School - Sport School

I'm glad after 11 years Farell Duclair didn't give up on his dream. Merging the best principles of business, education and sport into one campus is genius. In the days where parents will pay anything for an advantage for their kids, this concept is groundbreaking. 

School in the morning then individual sport training in the afternoon. There is a definite parallel between business and sports. Competition and self-motivation are key to success. HBR did an article called "The Corporate Athlete" a while back that argued if companies trained their employees like athletes, performance would improve. 
I hope to see more of these pop up knowing that college isn't the best preparation for the real world. 

That's my opinion, but what do you think?

September 8, 2010

Is Now a Good Time to Start a Business?

Speaking from experience, it's been much tougher than I expected to launch and sustain a successful business. I was told the difference between a business and a hobby is profit. (If that's the case, mine's looking more like a hobby as of now). Yes, I'm strong willed and hopeful, and you can't argue what some of the "experts" have stated in the article. The resounding theme I keep hearing is there are great opportunities to be seized with the lack of competition. How come no one taught marketing in college? 

I'll continue to push ahead, depending on relationship marketing and faith. If belief and vision have anything to do with it, I'll have more than I can handle and will need to call in help for the abundance in the future. 

Right now, I'll focus on today. Doing my best to stay afloat and making sure I'm rowing, not drifting in this sea of recesssion.

I'm curious to hear from other entrepreneurs...what's your journey been like?

Chief Psychologist?

When most CEO's move up the ranks, some forget they need to change their skill set. As a worker, you excel because of your technical skills. If you get promoted, now you need to refine your leadership skills because you're managing people. No one cares if you're the best at what you do if no one will listen to you...

The move from middle management leader to CEO means you have to become more strategic minded. You set the vision (direction) of the company you are leading, yet statistics show 50% of a CEO's time is spent dealing with interpersonal issues. (Time to hire an external coach!) 

I believe the higher you move up the "totem pole" the less you actually deal with customers and the more you deal with employees. It can cause real headaches, but it's the reality of the job. Know this going in and if you're not willing to play the mediator, don't take the gig!

September 6, 2010

Cheap Eats Leadership

I'm always looking for the next great local eatery that gives me good bang for my buck. Cheap eateries stay alive because of their nostalgia and raving fans. Here's 3 ways you can follow their lead:
Great Value. Getting more than what you paid for. Provide an exceptional product/service and offer it at a competitive price. When you interact with others, would they say you give them great value? 
Word of Mouth Marketing. Cheap eateries don't spend much money on advertising. They depend on customer driven publicity. Social media is flashy, but word of mouth is more effective. Get your "customers" to promote you!
Raving Fans. Fans are committed customers. They voluntarily spread the word to their friends. A raving fan is worth more than 10 customers. Make your goal to create raving fans.
Observe how local eateries create great value and inspire their customers to market for them. Word of mouth marketing may be cheap, but it keeps people hungry for more.
Are YOU creating raving fans?

September 2, 2010

10 Entreprenuer Mistakes: Which ones do you make?

I'm guilty mostly of:
#3 (spending too much time on features, not enough on benefits) 
#4 (to niche or not to niche)
#5 (needed a market/customers before I launched passionately)

Which of the 10 do you struggle with the most? Why?

September 1, 2010

Are Attending Conferences Worth Your Money?

I've gone to many conferences only walking away disappointed. I used to believe the main dish was the speakers, but you can only listen to so many people talk before being completely brain dead (and not remembering a thing).

What if you changed your approach? Instead, you planned who you wanted to talk to and what you will say when you converse with him/her. Consider a conference a place to "bump" into people intentionally and build your network. It's about quality, not quantity, so plan to continue the conversation after the conference has come and gone. 

What do you think?

Stop! Don't Cut That Training Budget

Even with profit loss, the last thing you should cut is your budget. Instead invest in your current workforce by spending money on training. Your employees will feel valued and appreciated which translates to better customer service for your customers. 

+ training = + engaged employee = + customer-employee transaction = $$$

August 30, 2010

Sell Your Vision

Do you like to sell? I sure don't. Whether you're a worker or the boss, sales is part of the job. What if instead of selling your product or service, you sold your vision? How would that change your approach? 

People want to be inspired. Marketing is motivating people to act on their desires. If you can paint a picture about how life will improve with your product/service, you have a customer.  

People want to know where you will take them. Would you get in a car without knowing the destination? Vision is direction. Show people where you will take them so they can decide whether to follow you.  

People buy visions. Nike promises better performance. Apple sells the "cool" factor. Disneyland enhances your happiness. We buy the perceived effect a product/service will have on us. 

Vision gives us hope. We want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Vision is a combination of passion and direction. Vision lies in your heart. Sell your vision and people will get on board with you.

What vision are YOU selling?

August 24, 2010

Waiting Sucks

Whether it's traffic, long lines or following a slow foursome in front of me at the golf course, waiting sucks. In business, slow times are discouraging and makes us question what we are doing...  
...suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. [Romans 5:3,4; Bible]
Think about this. When you "suffer" it can build your ability to persevere through tough times. That perseverance strengthens your character. Good character gives you hope for the future.
When I'm struggling, I find it difficult to see outside of my circumstances. When things go slower than I would like, I get frustrated. That frustration makes me feel like there's no hope. 
What if I took a different approach?
What if I looked at my "down time" as an opportunity to grow? 
If I can deal with the slow times, then I become a stronger person. Simply changing my perspective gives me a new sense of hope. 
I'll probably never enjoy waiting, but I can choose to shift my view on it. Sometimes life throws tests at you now to prepare you for greater opportunities in the future.
What are YOU doing while you wait?

August 16, 2010

What's Your Shift?

Every leader experiences a pivotal moment where everything changes. For me it was the day after Thanksgiving, November 26, 2004 . I woke up with my knee hurting and exclaimed:
"I must be fat!"

Those words motivated me to get up and go to the gym immediately.
At first, I started doing cardio and swimming. Next, I figured weights would be a good idea so I copied what people did at the gym. In addition, I adjusted my diet by eliminating: fried foods, starch, soda, sweets and beef.
Three months later I reached my goal of losing 20 pounds, but this was not temporary. It was a lifestyle change.
Two years later (2006), I decided to up the ante by becoming a certified fitness trainer. My goal was to understand how to workout correctly. The course was helpful and I use some of the same strategies to this day.
I've maintained my weight and benefited from increased energy and mood that I translate to my business life. Working out revealed my drive, strong will and desire to see results.
Everyone has the ability to shift to a better place. Make a choice to take action to your intentions. Start now by writing down a goal you intend to accomplish and act on it.
Your time is now...

When will YOU shift?

August 10, 2010

How's Your WellBeing?

How well are you REALLY doing? Gallup created an assessment to measure where you thrive in life. It's a great tool for Life Coaching.

Here's a brief summary of the 5 areas...

Career - Do you like what you do each day?
Boost your Career Wellbeing by making sure you use your personal strengths daily.
Social - Our best moments in life happen amongst friends.
Boost your Social Wellbeing by communicating 6 hours daily (in person, social media, e-mail, phone, etc.)
Financial - We tend to define our wealth by social comparison.

Boost your Financial Wellbeing by purchasing experiences (memories last; material things fade)
Physical - Every choice we make is a net positive or net negative.
Boost your Physical Wellbeing by exercising 20 minutes daily (it can brighten your mood for up to 12 hours!)
 Community - Get involved & give back.
Boost your Community Wellbeing by contributing towards others based on your personal mission (what appeals to your heart)
Improving your Wellbeing is about making short-term decisions consistent with your long-term objectives. Check out the book that includes an online assessment at: WellBeing

What are YOU doing to boost your Wellbeing TODAY?

August 1, 2010

Aim to Dominate

How has the recession altered your dreams? Do you put more focus on surviving than thriving? Are you more likely to settle vs. fight?
How would positively adjusting your target affect the outcome?

Let's look at a couple examples...
In sports, there needs to be dominant player/team to create excitement. The favorite becomes the bulls-eye. When sports lack a premier attraction, nobody cares to watch.
In business, there's a leader in every industry. You are either being chased or chasing the frontrunner. Competition breeds success and innovation.
Maybe during these challenging economic times you need to re-evaluate your target. Be realistic, but aim high. Never apologize for having high standards.
The more motivated you are towards being the best - the better chance you have to succeed.
It all starts with defining your target...
What are YOU aiming for?

July 27, 2010

The Entitled One

"How" LeBron James handled his free agency decision was heavily criticized. So what leadership lessons can we learn from his mistakes?
Respect the Game
You are not bigger than your career. Treat others with respect. Abide by the rules and don't expect special treatment. Be part of something greater than yourself. Respect the game and it will respect you back.
We vs. Me

Surround yourself with strong players, but crucial times call for leaders to step up. Within your team, individual ownership must be taken. Be willing to accept responsibility for your mistakes. Take initiative, absorb the consequences and move forward.
When possible, choose face-to-face or a phone conversation as the way to communicate. Don't rely solely on social media, it can dilute the quality of your communication. Misinterpretation occurs when layers such as non-verbal cues, emotions and tone are removed. Improve your interpersonal skills and you have a distinct advantage over the competition.
Entitlement means you believe you deserve special treatment. Earn the respect of your colleagues by working hard. Lead by example and let your actions speak about your values.

How do YOU deal with entitlement?

July 19, 2010

Your Choice: Respect vs. Liked

As a Leader, how do you balance being respected vs. being liked?"
Here are my thoughts:

Leadership is getting things done through people.
If respected, you may not be liked...
If liked, you may not be respected...
Which one can you live with?

Everyone wants to be liked, but sometimes you care so much you become a people pleaser. In your attempt to gain approval, you fail to take a stance. You become "dust in the wind", blown in the direction of others' opinions.
In order to gain respect, you make the best decision which can be the unpopular one. By choosing what is right, you may loose favor.
If you're disliked because you don't "go with the flow", live with it. Life is not a popularity contest.
Most leaders make the mistake of trying to do both. The happy medium is doing what's best for your people and living with the consequence(s) of your decision.
Value people, but honor the purpose behind your decisions more than the acceptance of them.

Today, ask yourself...

Do YOU desire to be respected or liked?