Lessons in Growing a Business

Starting, building, growing a business… is an exercise in personal development. 
 
Growing a business tests you in so many ways. It tests your self-discipline, your intelligence, your communication skills, your focus, and so much more. 
 
The real world of business can be very unforgiving. 
 
It’s a world where success is rewarded and mistakes are not forgotten. 
 
What is the benefit in that? 
 
It keeps you honest. 
 
I’ve learned that you cannot settle for weakness, you cannot be unwilling to do the work, you cannot pursue bad ideas, and you have to invest time and money in your continued education… or your business will fail. 
 
Some people can’t handle the pressure of running their own business. The risk of failure becomes a serious issue. I’ve learned that risk helps you grow and it makes you stronger. 
 
An entrepreneur who fears risk is like a swimmer who’s afraid of water.
 
Growing a business has allowed me to grow; it has made me aware that I am woman who can handle a lot more than I thought myself capable of. 
 
I’ve learned to pace and challenge myself. To trust myself and others, to work (very) hard, to stay focused under pressure, to let go of what doesn’t serve my mission, to learn from others, to find a balance between family and business, and still enjoy the ride.

Which lessons has growing your business taught you?

Please share in the comment section below.

Originally Published on: Oct 16, 2012

First Impressions and 15 Habits That Can Ruin Them

Things have changed in the he business world. It has become much more relaxed and that’s a fabulous thing!

In some instances, however , it might not be as accepting as you think. I am very much about being authentic, but other people still make judgments on the basis of first impressions.

I am most definitely more about being the kind of person YOU want to do business with. It’s a karmic synergy and you’ll be more likely to attract more like-minded people to you and your business.

People looking to partner, hire, or buy from you will carefully dissect you if they are looking to engage and do business with you.

It’s what I like to call and am sure you’ve heard of: The KLT Factor (Know, Like, and Trust Factor).

The deeper the engagement or commitment at hand, the more they will want to know. It may not be fair (or even conscious), but some of our habits can trigger an adverse reaction.

So what do you do? Conscious reframing by doing your best to avoid them or correct them. Your success may depend on it.

Here are 15 Habits That Can Ruin a First Impression:

1. A weak handshake.

Handshakes in American society are still very telling. A solid handshake may go unnoticed or it may even send a jolt of positive energy. But a weak handshake may leave the receiver questioning your confidence and energy.

2. Inappropriate Attire.

So halter tops look great on you…AWESOME! But clothing that’s too revealing will get you attention, but quite possibly not the kind you want. Boring doesn’t equate to appropriate. Choose a style that fits your industry and make it your own within reason. Few industries will welcome you in yoga pants.

3. Chewing gum.

You may like the taste and the motion, but chewing gum while meeting someone gives an impression of immaturity.

4. Arrogance.

The great speaker Walter Bond said: “Confidence is arrogance under control.” Learn the difference and people won’t think you are a jerk when they meet you.

5. Sloppy clothing.

Shabby chic does not mean dirty. Your clothes should be clean and neat. You can tell the difference between intentional business casual style versus someone who doesn’t wash or iron their clothes.

6. Bad breath.

This one is tough because you may halitosis and not even know it. And the truth is, no one really wants to tell you. Most bad breath issues come from food or poor dental hygiene. The good news is that you can remedy both. Keep fresh mints handy for after meals and take care of your teeth and gums.

7. Excessive texting.

When meeting people, if you can’t stop looking at your phone, or responding, you will send a signal that you find no one more important than yourself. You seriously CAN last 15 to 30 minutes without knowing what your kids are up to, you can easily leave them reading Bed Time Stories for Children and they´ll fall fast asleep. Be present in the moment, that has more value than you believe.

8. Body odor.

Like bad breath, you may be unaware, and people struggle with telling you. Solution? Take showers, use deodorant, and wash your clothes. Also, lay off the perfume. Aromizing BO only makes it worse.

9. Being intolerant.

The PC police is overrated at times but in truth, most people really don’t want to offend others. When you engage in the business world, you make a conscious choice to deal with people of all types. When you show people you are intolerant, it makes them wonder what’s wrong with you. By all means, create conversations, but be prepared to handle difference of opinions with grace. It can be done.

10. Sexism.

Men and women will likely never completely understand each other, but that doesn’t mean they have to be disrespectful. There are natural and distinctive masculine and feminine traits that can appear in either sex and different toys to buy in the sex shop. Learn to deal with people as individuals and professionals, not based on their gender.

11. Complaining.

If you are always seeing the glass half empty, you are projecting that you are a difficult and dissatisfied human being. No one wants to work with an unhappy person. Decide to change the way you see things, because happiness IS a  choice.

12. Self Rambling.

A good story about how and why you got started in business can always be entertaining. But when it turns into a continual droning about nothing but you, it will send others running for the door as soon as they can.

13. Eye-rolling.

This habit can be entertaining among your friends, but in a first meeting it comes off as rude. Show people you are open and eager. You can eye-roll together once you have an established relationship.

14. Unkempt hair.

Hair is a highly noticeable way to show people how you see yourself. Styles that are modern and well kept will signal that you know who you are and care about detail, you could have the perfect hair you want with the best vitamins for growing hair, it will leave it looking amazing for those interviews. Dirty hair says you don’t care enough about yourself to bother, at http://besthairflatirons.com/ you will find the best utensils to keep your hair always looking great, that way you can get a hair styling cut and play with it. Just get the The Flat Straighter, it´ll keep your hair simple and looking nice, it won´t be to fancy so you won´t catch the other person off-guard with crazy hair.

15. Not listening.

Everyone wants to feel important and appreciated. Be the type of person you want to meet and take a reciprocal approach. Be the first to offer your focused attention.

Treat your new relationships kindly. No one needs to know about your bowel movements or relationship woes at the first encounter. Leave others wanting more; be the type of person you want to meet!

Any pointers on how you handle first encounters? Were these tips helpful? Please share if so. Would love to hear from you! Leave me a comment below!

New Year, New Goals! 10 Productivity Tips to Help You Get $#!t Done!

In just a few days, it’s back to the grind. Kids go back to school (Hell. To. The YES!) and -naturally- we feel that we will get back on track.

But, how do you prioritize? How do you decide which task to tackle first?

Truth: A key differentiator between people who succeed in their business and those who do not is personal productivity. Leaders and entrepreneurs who are consistently making things happen know how to achieve what they want in less time than others. American Express Forum details what highly successful entrepreneurs do every day.

I was pleasantly surprised at learning that many of these tips are already a part of what we teach at ETTWomen, I wanted to share them with you again so you keep them top of mind.

There’s a lot to be learned from the tactics of successful, and incredibly busy, individuals on how to better organize our own days. Here are 10 things you can start doing today:

  1. Pick 1 task to focus on. One thing many successful entrepreneurs have in common is the ability to focus on what matters most. Pick one thing and do that one thing.

  2. Block out distractions. Period. Martina Navratilova says, “I concentrate on concentrating.” If you don’t have the willpower to be self-accountable, try Rescue Time. It is an application that runs in the background of your computer and measures how you spend your time so you can make better decisions.

  3. Set a strict time limit on meetings. In general, people don’t need as much time as they ask for. Meetings can be time vampires. So, be cut-throat when it comes to managing your time so you can focus on high value tasks.

  4. Set up productivity rituals. Many of  you know I swear by waking up earlier than most consider normal. You also know that because of this, there are tasks that are done by 6am. Therefore, setting up rituals that automate behaviors, make us more productive – without depleting our energy reservoir. 4am may not be your cup of tea, but force yourself to prioritize so that you know that you will finish at least that one critical task during the period of the day when you have the most energy and the fewest distractions.

  5. Get up earlier. Research shows that mornings can make or break your day. Use the mantra “mind over mattress” to motivate yourself to get out of bed to pursue your goals.

  6. Outsource personal chores. Highly productive people are selective about how they expend their energy. They don’t waste time or energy on tasks that others can do. Do a cost/benefit analysis of how you spend your time and see if it’s worth offloading some repetitive tasks so you can focus on what will bring value to your company.

  7. Increase your effectiveness through technology. There’s a plethora of programs to make a small-business owner more effective in increasing productivity. A few popular tools—some of which are free—include Dropbox to store files online; Any Meeting to host a webinar and Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your social media postings.

  8. Don’t say yes to every request. Most of us have a deep need to be liked. That translates into us saying yes to everything – which is the end of your elite productivity.

  9. Stop multi-tasking. New research confirms that all the distractions invading our lives are rewiring the way our brains work. Be one of the rare-air few who develops the mental and physical discipline to have a mono-maniacal focus on one thing for many hours. It’s all about practice.

  10. Learn from others. Understand that for you to move to your next level of success, you must be in constant student mode. Whether you’re learning from others, attending school, reading books, attending seminars or taking a course, you have to gain access to the information you don’t know so you can get to where you want to be.

Your productivity is your life made visible. Protect your time, your energy, your business, your life.

Our planner is also a fabulous productivity tool to start the new year with a bang! Check it out here!

Do you have a question? Leave me a comment below!

Before 2017, Ask Yourself These 10 Questions

I think we can all agree that this year raced through, right? At the end of every year, I take a minute to stop and reflect on what I have accomplished for myself, my family and my business. Do you?

I do this because I promised myself many years ago that I would live life fully.

I would say yes to the things that would serve me, my family and my community. In order to know this, you have get clear and write some things down.

If you haven’t taken a minute to decompress about this year, here’s a start. Here are 10 questions you may want to ask yourself:

  1. Am I happy with where I am at with my life right now?
  2. What am I passionate about? What am I doing to pursue my passion?
  3. Who and what things are weighing me down that I need to get rid of? How will I do it?
  4. What do I need to forgive myself for?
  5. When did I feel most alive this year?
  6. What was sacred about that moment?
  7. What do I want to let go of?
  8. What do I want to dedicate 2017 to?
  9. What did I learn about myself in 2016?
  10. What did 2016 represent to me in my path?

DOWNLOAD THE QUESTIONS HERE ===>10-questions-to-ask-yourself-before-2017

I wish you and your loved ones a very happy and healthy New Year! And as always, let’s roll 2017!

 

Need some help getting clear? Try this powerful tool!

Do you have a question? PLEASE, let’s connect HERE or leave me a comment below!

 

ETTWomen’s Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide!

The most wonderful time of the year is here, and you still have a few people to cross off your list. You can get New Smart Deals – pearl necklaces for women at their site, there are more deals for when you buy christmas wrapping paper wholesale immediately following the holiday season. Have no fear, ETTWomen is here and you’re a click away from spreading cheer! You can go to ReviewTap to find lots of other items at a cheaper price like cell phone cases or other accessories. Before you order anything, make sure you use Shiply to deliver your items.

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Tracey Rediker is an avid knitter. She realized long ago that golf clubs were prime real estate for her quirkiness to come to life! She’s expanded her product to cozy, warm and beautiful scarves and hats. Have something specific in mind? At Tracey Knits, it’s all possible. TraceyKnits.com/Shop

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The Eclectic Chic Boutique is a unique boutique that carries an array of handmade goods and limited edition items – all craſted with love and quality.

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Meet and Connect with Shenna Vaughn the Artist Behind Soulful Funk on Canvas at #ThePowerOfConnections2016

Shenna Vaughn is the artist behind what she describes as ‘Soulful Funk on Canvas’. Vaughn’s intuitive abstract paintings tell subconscious narratives of the deep stories of the soul. Her use of warm colors sets the stage for the expression of the personal thoughts that we all confront. Her work invites the audience to enter a personal conversation of reflection and confession. While these subjects are introduced through her particular use of pigments and textures, the symbolism used uninhibitedly exposes vulnerability.dream

I had the pleasure of meeting and connecting with Queens based artist Shenna Vaughn at the I am Woman Conference, hosted by Sylvia High. I am so honored and excited that she’ll be at The Power of Connections, 2016.

I always had a love for art. I remember whenever I was asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, I would always say, “An artist, of course!” However, my dream at the time wasn’t considered a realistic future which then took me off track.

Vaughn says,”As I became older, I began to do other things. Circumstances occurred, responsibilities kicked in, and I found myself allowing the masses to tell me what I should be doing along with the fear of being judged. During this time I was miserable, angry and couldn’t even figure out why. I was a closet painter and no one knew I even had this gift. Then one day one of my dearest friends, Leanna, cared enough and introduced me to a transformational workshop. There I was able to find my path again. From that day forward I picked up my brush and never looked back. I started to honor my wants and needs. I decided to be the woman that I didn’t see growing up – painting not only my story but many others with the hope of inspiring others not to give up on their dream.”

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Shenna’s use of symbols also acts as both a stabilizing balance and an ingenious hint towards her abstraction. Figures are represented by bold geometrics and hard lines, forcing the content driven work to command our attention. Yet despite the power of this technique, in reality it is only the means to an end. Shenna’s introspective work effectively acts as a reminder that it is important to listen to the story of the self. Shenna’s work has been included in the following:

National group exhibitions:

  • Nassau County Controller (March 2016)
  • Rush Arts Gallery (November 2015, November 2013, October 2012)
  • Skylight Gallery (September 2015, January 2014)
  • Harlem School for the Arts (April 2015)
  • William P. Miller Gallery (March 2015)
  • National Black Theatre (February 2015)
  • Holiday House NYC (December 2014)
  • Artmarket Hamptons (August 2014)
  • Jamaica Cultural Arts and learning (August 2014)
  • Prizm Art Fair (December 2013)
  • Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (December 2013)
  • The Baobab Cultural Center (August 2013)
  • Art Prize (September 2013)
  • Gallery Guichard (August 2013, August 2012,  May 2012)
  • African American Museum of Dallas Texas (April 2013)
  • Jamaica Performing Arts Center (February 2013)
  • The WAH Center (October 2012)
  • Miami Scope Art Basel (December 2011)
  • Agora Gallery (May 2011)
  • Hudson Guild Gallery (September 2008)

International group exhibitions:

  • CAFA- Barbados (March 2016, March 2015, March 2014)
  • Agora Gallery (February 2011)
  • Caelum Gallery (July 2010)  

Solo Shows:

  • Billie’s Black (December 2015)
  • Jamaica Performing Arts Center (February 2014)
  • Le Grand Dakar (January 2011)
  • Cape Liberty Gallery (July 2008)

Competitions:

  • Annual Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series in conjunction with Rush Arts Gallery
    • Winner in (December 2011)
    • New York Finalist in (November 2015, November 2013, and October 2012)  

Public Display:

  • Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage (March 2014 & 2013)
  • Government Social Security Building  (February 2014 & 2015)
  • Resorts World Casino  (February 2014)

Publications (Paper and Online)

  • Juicy Highlights (February 2016)
  • Model Citizen Magazine  (February 2016)
  • Brooklyn Reader (January 2014)
  • PrizmArt Catalog (December 2014)
  • Communities of Color newspaper (March 2013)
  • Artisan Series (December 2011)
  • Art Spectrum (May 2011)
  • Queens Chronicle newspaper (January 2011)
  • Dynamically Active Movement Magazine (February 2010)

Commissions/ Film:

  • The Poets (April 2016)
  • Seven Angels Theatre  (October 2010)   
  • Delusions of Guinevere (November 2014)
  • Night Catches Us (2009)

midnightlights

Shenna’s work is privately collected by many including Mara Schiavocampo, Tommy Porter and Josh Powell NBA just to name a few. Learn more here!

November 18th and 19th, 2016 Bella Vista Country Club 100 School Road East Marlboro, NJ 07746 8:30 AM-4:30PM (Both days)

RESERVE YOUR SEAT HERE!

I'm In!

What is ETTWomen’s 360 The Power of Connections Conference?

ETTW brings together entrepreneurs, authors, teachers, artists and visionaries. Our members and attendees receive powerful training, profound mind shifts, groundbreaking ideas, make deep connections and unique opportunities to change their lives and the lives of others through their business.

Our annual conference teaches the most fabulous personal and professional development ideas that help elevate participants’ lives and businesses. Unlike traditional seminars or conferences, ETTW360 is positioned as a unique experience for participants.

Who attends each year?

ETTWomen’s 360 gathers a Tribe of thought leaders in their respective fields who are committed to constant learning and growth. They appreciate transparent and entertaining presentations focused on business and personal growth that expand their mind, inspire ideas and present concepts that have a positive impact on their lives, their community and the world.

They are entrepreneurs who are interested in personal growth and are familiar with basic business and personal growth topics. Their presentation are aimed on creating an experience for participants.

ETTWomen’s 360 attracts visionary speakers and thought leaders from a variety of industries. Latham Thomas, Lisa Lieberman-Wang, Jennifer Longmore, Patty Lennon, Mike Michalowicz, Jennifer Tuma-Young, Jennifer Bronswick, Heather Chauvin, Britt Bolnick, Susan Vernicek, Vallori Thomas, Kelly Lynn-Adams, Courtenay Hall, Janine Strafaci are just some examples of the fabulous speakers who have shared their stories at ETTWomen’s 360 and inspired the lives of hundreds of others in the process.

ETTWomen’s 360 is a perfect opportunity to meet new business partners and get your messages and ideas in front of a crowd who is ready to turn up the volume in their lives and business. The quality of attendees is one-of-a-kind. Speakers and attendees form new business opportunities including joint ventures and strategic partnerships. Not to mention, relationships for life.

Are You Making Your Mark?

Storytelling…it is not the new ‘it’ thing. If you haven’t been telling your story, you’ve been missing out on a crucial part of brand building.

Guess what? You, yes YOU are a brand. The way to cut through the noise is not the outlet through which you tell your story, it’s the story itself.

You are your brand. As an entrepreneur, you are the pulse of your brand. And you and only you can verbalize this.

Amy C. Cosper, Editor-In-Chief of Entrepreneur Magazine says, “Building a brand is one of those mission critical but challenging exercises that all entrepreneurs, really all companies, go through to define how the world views them and their business. Brands represent the soul of your idea and its values, your story and its authenticity.”

Branding is a monster all on its own. It is a process that brings together emotions and values and how you want the two conveyed to others. It’s not a logo. It’s emotional. Its purpose is to trigger an emotional response from your customers. And when it comes to emotions, well, saddle up Chica…that is where it gets serious.

Branding is not just the messy narrative, it’s about claiming something as your own. The only way to truly leave your mark, is by telling your story, but more importantly, knowing your story.

The latest issue of Entrepreneur is dedicated to the idea of establishing your brand. Be it by your packaging, a meme or a gif…the end goal is to tell the world what you take a stance on, authentically. That my friend, is branding.

How Are You Making Your Mark? 

10 Ways People Get in Their Own Way

Have you read Falling Forward by John Maxwell? It’s a great read!

I compiled this post several years ago, after reading the book and it continues to be one of my favorites whenever I find myself ‘lost’ in my business goals.

I hope it does the same for you! Here are 10 ways people get in their own way:

 

1) Poor People skills.   I was talking to someone the other day and she was complaining about not winning a contract,  “It wasn’t fair… all the people knew each other and we didn’t have a chance.  It’s all politics.”

But what she went on to describe wasn’t politics. It was lack of relationships!

Most careers involve other people.   You can have great academic intelligence and still lack social intelligence—the ability to be a good listener, to be sensitive toward others, to give and take criticism well.

If people don’t like you, they may help you fail… On the other hand, you can get away with serious mistakes if you are socially intelligent…a mistake may actually further your career if your boss/client thinks you handled the situation in a mature and responsible way.

 

2) A Negative Attitude. Your reaction to the circumstances of your life has everything to do with your well-being and your success.    If your circumstances constantly get you down, then maybe its time for a change—not in your situation, but in your attitude.    If you can learn to make the best of any situation, you can remove a formidable obstacle that stands between you and your dreams, you have to remember that you have to be open to receive those things you desire in life.

 

3) “A Bad Fit”. After we check our attitude, we should examine IF a change in situation is in order.  IF you learn to make the best of any situation, you can remove a formidable obstacle that stands between you and your dreams.   Does anything need change today?    If so, what?    Does anything need to be “tolerated” and “accepted today” that can’t be changed—then accept it!    Few things in life are more frustrating than being stuck in a profession that doesn’t serve you. It’s like wearing shoes that are 2 sizes too large or small.

 

4) Lack of Focus. Bad things happen when a person doesn’t focus. One day a business man visited a small florist shop to order flowers for a friend opening a new business. The shop owner was unusually busy and scrambling to fill orders while she took the businessman’s information.   Later that day, the man arrived at his friend’s grand opening and saw a big floral wreath with his name written on it that said, ‘With Deepest Sympathy During This Time of Sorrow’    The businessman was irate.   He called the florist to complain and asked “What in the world happened?  Do you have any idea how stupid you make me look?”  “I’m so sorry,” the shop owner said, “I was a little scrambled when you came by.  Your situation wasn’t nearly as bad as it was at the Perth funeral care. That card said, “Best Wishes in Your New Location.”

Anybody can make an honest mistake when things are hectic.   But people lacking focus have trouble not because they’re too busy, but because their priorities are not straight.  And that wastes their time and resources.  If you go from task to task to task without making any progress or you can’t seem to reach a goal no matter how much effort you give it, examine your focus. No one can move forward without it.

People lacking focus have trouble not because they’re too busy, but because their priorities are not straight.

 

 

5) A Weak Commitment. For a long time, it seemed that apathy was chic. Guess what? Effort and commitment are back in style.

 

Until one is committed, there is hesitance, the chance to draw back and always ineffectiveness.   The moment one definitely commits oneself,  a whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

The last time you failed, did you stop trying because you failed, or did you fail because you stopped trying? What was your level of commitment? Did you give the task everything you had? Did you go the extra mile?  You put enough of yourself on the line to guarantee that you would give your very best.

If you’re committed, a failure doesn’t mean that you’ll never succeed.  It just means you will take longer.

Commitment makes you capable of failing forward, UNTIL you reach your goals.

 

6) An Unwillingness to Change. Perhaps the most relentless enemy of achievement, personal growth and success is inflexibility.

 

Some people seem to be so in love with the past they can’t deal with the present.

 

Albert Gray says, “The common denominator of success lies in forming the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do.”

If you continually give in to your moods or impulses, then you need to change your approach to doing things.   The best methods is to set standards for yourself that require accountability (hint, hint: ETTWomen) and suffering a consequence for not following through, helps you stay on track.

Once you have your new standards, work according TO THEM -NOT YOUR MOODS.

 

7) A Shortcut Mind Set. A common obstacle to success is cutting corners and taking a short road to success.  It never pays off.

As Napoleon said, “Victory belongs to the most persevering”. Most people underestimate the time it takes to achieve something of value, not just to be successful, but be willing to pay your dues.

James Watt spent 20 years laboring to perfect his steam engine.   William Henry labored night and day for 8 years to prove how blood circulated in the human bodies.  It took another 25 years for the medical profession to acknowledge he was right!

Cutting corners is a sign of impatience and poor discipline. If you’re willing to follow through, you can achieve a breakthrough. Self-discipline is a quality won through practice. Mancusi noted, “Truly successful people have learned to do what does not come naturally!”

Real success lies in experiencing fear -or a version of it- and ACTING IN SPITE OF IT!”

 

8) Relying on Talent Alone. Talent is overrated.  It has value, but it isn’t enough to take a person through the multiple failures that life brings. Adding a strong work ethic to talent is like pouring gasoline on a fire—it’s explosive! Those who rely upon talent alone without developing further, peak quickly and soon fade to obscurity. The greater your talent, the more likely you are to lean heavily on it and skip the hard day-to-day work of improving it. If you possess this negative tendency, put yourself on a growth plan to make the most of your God-given talent.

 

9) A Response to Poor Information. Don’t make weighty decisions based on limited amounts of information. Gain reliable information!

General Douglas MacArthur wrote, “Expect only 5 percent of an intelligence report to be accurate.  The trick of a good commander is to isolate the 5%”    Does this go along with the truth, “Don’t take advice from someone you wouldn’t trade places with?” Be careful where you get your advice and information! At this pace of life and business increases, the difficulty of being able to collect and evaluate information will increase.

 

10) No goals! The last major cause of failure is an absence of goals.

Don Marquis perceives “Ours is a world of people who don’t know what they want.” Joe Griffith believes, “A goal is nothing more than a dream with a time limit. Many people don’t have goals because they don’t allow themselves to dream. Without a dream, there is no desire!   Without desire, there is nothing to describe you!

If you can discover the weakness that weakens you, you can start doing something about it, and that can change your life!

If it helps, talk to a trusted friend who can help you, join a support group. Put yourself on a growth plan to turn the weaknesses into a strengths!

10 Productivity Tips to Help You Stay on Track this Summer

Kids are out of school and naturally we are feeling the burn -and it’s not just from the sun.

Work days are shorter, I get it…but, you can’t wait until September to get your business back on track.

The challenge I hear from many women is with staying focused and prioritizing.

Here’s the Truth: Whether you’re on vacay or not…A key differentiator between people who succeed in their business and those who do not is personal productivity. Leaders and entrepreneurs who are consistently making things happen know how to achieve what they want in less time than others. Highly successful entrepreneurs do these things every day.

I wanted to share these with you so you can keep them top of mind.

There’s a lot to be learned from the tactics of successful, and incredibly busy, individuals on how to better organize our own days. Here are 10 things you can start doing today:

  1. Pick 1 task to focus on. One thing many successful entrepreneurs have in common is the ability to focus on what matters most. Pick one thing and do that one thing.

  2. Block out distractions. Period. Martina Navratilova says, “I concentrate on concentrating.” If you don’t have the willpower to be self-accountable, try Rescue Time. It is an application that runs in the background of your computer and measures how you spend your time so you can make better decisions.

  3. Set a strict time limit on meetings. In general, people don’t need as much time as they ask for. Meetings can be time vampires. So, be cut-throat when it comes to managing your time so you can focus on high value tasks.

  4. Set up productivity rituals. Many of  you know I swear by waking up earlier than most consider normal. You also know that because of this, there are tasks that are done by 6am. Therefore, setting up rituals that automate behaviors, make us more productive – without depleting our energy reservoir. 4am may not be your cup of tea, but force yourself to prioritize so that you know that you will finish at least that one critical task during the period of the day when you have the most energy and the fewest distractions.

  5. Get up earlier. Research shows that mornings can make or break your day. Use the mantra “mind over mattress” to motivate yourself to get out of bed to pursue your goals.

  6. Outsource personal chores. Highly productive people are selective about how they expend their energy. They don’t waste time or energy on tasks that others can do. Do a cost/benefit analysis of how you spend your time and see if it’s worth offloading some repetitive tasks so you can focus on what will bring value to your company.

  7. Increase your effectiveness through technology. There’s a plethora of programs to make a small-business owner more effective in increasing productivity. A few popular tools—some of which are free—include Dropbox to store files online; Any Meeting to host a webinar and Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your social media postings.

  8. Don’t say yes to every request. Most of us have a deep need to be liked. That translates into us saying yes to everything – which is the end of your elite productivity.

  9. Stop multi-tasking. New research confirms that all the distractions invading our lives are rewiring the way our brains work. Be one of the rare-air few who develops the mental and physical discipline to have a mono-maniacal focus on one thing for many hours. It’s all about practice.

  10. Learn from others. Understand that for you to move to your next level of success, you must be in constant student mode. Whether you’re learning from others, attending school, reading books, attending seminars or taking a course, you have to gain access to the information you don’t know so you can get to where you want to be.

Your productivity is your life made visible. Protect your time, your energy, your business, your life.

Our planner is also a fabulous productivity tool to start the new year with a bang! Check it out here!

Do you have a question? Leave me a comment below!

3 Steps to Finding Abundance in Your Life

Do you look at the glass as half way filled or half way empty? When thinking about things in your business and your life, is the question ‘why me’?
If you see the glass half empty or if you have become the victim in every plausible scenario, know this: you can change the cycle.
Here are 3 steps you can take right now to find abundance in your life:
 

Step 1: See the world as an abundant, providing, friendly place.

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Dr. Wayne Dyer

When you see the world as abundant and friendly, your intentions are genuine possibilities. They will become a certainty, because your world will be experienced from a world that provides rather than restricts. You’ll see a world that wants you to be successful and abundant, rather than one that conspires against you.

Step 2: Affirm: I attract success and abundance into my life because that is who I am.

This puts you in harmony with your Source.

Your goal is to eliminate any distance between what you desire and that from which you pull it into your life. Abundance and success aren’t out there waiting to show up for you. You are already it, and your Source can only provide you with what it is, and, consequently, what you already are.

Step 3: Stay in an attitude of allowing. 

Resistance is disharmony between your desire for abundance and your beliefs about your ability.

Allowing means a perfect alignment. An attitude of allowing means that you ignore efforts by others to dissuade you. It also means that you don’t rely on your pervious ego-oriented beliefs about abundance being a part of or not a part of your life.

In an attitude of abundance, all resistance in the form of thoughts of negativity or doubt are replaced with simply knowing that you and your Source are one. Picture the abundance you desire freely flowing directly to you and it will be yours!

 

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