The 9C’s: Help for Achieving Your Goals

Humans seem to be naturally goal oriented. We look to the future as the place where we can have more of what we want in our business and our lives. Goals are what help us bring the future into focus. By knowing where we’re going, it makes decisions a lot easier and produces better results.

In addition to determining where we are now versus where we want to be at some specified time in the future, I find it’s helpful to understand the goal achievement process in terms of sequential conceptual stages. This offers another way to look at what might otherwise seem straightforward and colorless.

The 9 elements that support goal achievement are Courage, Commitment, Clarity, Communication, Consistency, Confidence, Credibility, Completion and Celebration.

When you first consider the goals you want to work toward, you may not have confidence in your ability to reach them. So how can you reach that state of confidence? I find the best point of departure is to establish a level of courage.

Acting from a feeling of courage and commitment is the foundation upon which confidence is built. Confidence begets confidence. Credibility is confidence returned. It comes when others believe in you and your message. Completion finishes the process and sets the stage for gathering courage for your next goal. And Celebration acknowledges and reinforces it all.

Courage

— Aware of who you are and what value you offer.

Courage comes from knowing yourself, your assets and limitations, and what you can and want to do that others will value. Courage provides a feeling of strength. Aligning all your assets makes you feel strong and courageous. Supporting your limitations adds more strength. Feeling courageous prepares you to take action.

Commitment

— Making a commitment to a goal is the first step toward achieving it.

Using the courage you’ve gained from defining and aligning your assets, you must look deep in your heart for what puts the fire in your belly, what motivates you to stick with it regardless of the challenges faced. Commitment is what makes you unstoppable.

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The Secret Ingredient: YOU

Want to create a strong brand, add to the sustainability of your business, increase your confidence and really enjoy being an entrepreneur? Just add the secret ingredient. Billion dollar businesses have been built on the secret ingredient.

In your business the secret ingredient is “YOU” and your personal assets. It’s up to you to know who you are: your strengths, your motivators, your values, and to apply those liberally to how you conduct and present your business. A good part of what attracts customers and clients is you.

Early in life you may have been discouraged from using your personal assets by well-meaning family, friends, teachers and others. It is, however, these qualities that have the strongest potential to attract what will make you successful and happy in your business and your life.

Marcus Buckingham, noted author and speaker on the subject has shown that “people will be dramatically more effective, successful and fulfilled when they play to their strongest skills rather than attempting to improve their weaknesses”.

Think back to when you were a child. I’ll bet there are things you can remember having fun doing or that were important to you then that somehow got lost in the growing up process. Chances are they’re still there, but have been forced underground because you wanted to “fit in” and be accepted as one of the group – or there was no obvious way to use them at the time.

The wonderful thing is you have choices all the time. With every choice comes the resulting impact on your universe. Each option will bring a different set of results. If you are conscious of who you are – your strengths, passions, talents, etc., you can make choices that will allow you to benefit from these assets.

I believe we use only a small part of our brain power to a large extent because we are out of alignment with our innate nature and strengths. It’s an exercise in basic physics. We’re designed to receive our awareness energy from many sources. If our basic receptors are out of alignment, some of that energy will be deflected as it enters our multiple consciousness levels, thereby substantially reducing the energy we can use.

By realigning ourselves with our core strengths we receive the full force of that energy. This means we gain maximum awareness from our environment. We become stronger, more intuitive and express ourselves with more passion and confidence.

So how do we realign ourselves to benefit most from who we are?

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7 Questions to Ask If Your Business Is Struggling

Struggle
Are you one of the many small businesses whose market has dried up? Some industries that I’ve seen hit particularly hard are financial advisors, consultants, graphic designers, event planners, photographers, catering companies, esoteric retailers and many others that depend on discretionary expenditures. For some entrepreneurs it may mean cutting both their business and personal expenditures to the bare bone.

Continuing to pursue a declining or oversaturated market is only going to put you closer to the edge. When there are a lot more suppliers than there are customers something has to give. It’s time for some strategic decisions and action.

Many are taking creative, and sometimes drastic, actions to stay alive. They have recognized it’s time to save their business. [Read more…]

Is it time to save your business?

Save your Business?The economy is in the tank and there’s no sign of when things will get better. Some small businesses are doing well…and some are not. To do well now, or even survive, every business must review its market, its business practices and its finances. Big changes may be needed to realign the business for success in this market. And if the down economy has compounded previously existing problems, it may be time to save your business…before it’s too late.

I say before “it’s too late” because I feel really bad when I have to tell someone I can’t help them. They’ve waited too long. Sometimes it’s just too late – and there’s nothing left to work with. You don’t want to find yourself in that situation.

It’s important for business owners to identify the Warning Signs that spell trouble ahead. Unfortunately, many don’t recognize these signs early enough to take corrective action…before it’s too late.

So tell me: what is not going well for you right now? Would you answer “yes” to any of the following questions? Be honest. This is meant to help you take a hard look at your business. [Read more…]

Are you prepared to lead?

LeaderTo lead is a verb. It implies action. The leader acts, the follower reacts. The leader is the one who steps out in front and says “Follow me; I know a better way.” If he’s convincing or trusted, those who relate to the message will follow.

There are those who say leadership can be learned — and I definitely agree with that. There are, however, natural strengths and talents within each of us which are not the result of learning.

If given the opportunity to make our choices without outside influence, we’ll select certain activities on which to spend our time and dedicate our undivided, disciplined attention for long periods just for the pleasure of the experience. These are the points from which we can learn to lead. This is where we really are the experts and where we do have something to offer.

Leading from our strengths and passions is the soundest foundation upon which to build a business. It’s extremely valuable to be able to call upon these personal qualities for a level of credibility that can’t be achieved from anything that we’ve learned externally. [Read more…]

How Do I Find the Right Business Partner?

Having a partner presents a complex mix of interpersonal and business issues, and both need to be addressed for it to work.

If your primary interest is having someone to brainstorm with and to help your business move forward, there may be other options besides a partner. A consultant or coach may be able to fill that role. In that case you’d have the benefit of an objective dedicated mind but would still make the final decisions.

Likewise, if additional capital is needed now, there may be alternatives to giving away your hard-earned equity. Debt is usually preferable to equity unless the partner can add significant value to your business. If an equity partner can open a sizable new market, take on critical responsibility or provide access to valuable resources, it may be worth serious consideration.

Base your decision to have a partner on sound logic and reasoning. Be careful of just wanting to dump responsibility on anyone who will agree.

The purpose of the partnership should be clear in your own mind first. Then you’re ready to determine the qualities and assets a potential partner would bring. A partnership is usually a long term arrangement, so think long and hard as to whether or not you’re ready for that level of commitment. [Read more…]

The Keys to Finding Good Help

Audrey had been looking for a Field Supervisor for months. She’d taken referrals from friends and family, posted at the colleges and on Craig’s list. So far, no one had met Audrey’s expectations. I was concerned that she would become discouraged and hire the wrong person to fill the job or would give up and continue to spend her own precious time doing the supervisor’s job. So I helped her see why she wasn’t attracting the right candidates.

The first thing she did was write out exactly what she wanted from this person. From that she created a specific and clear job description that was able to attract the right candidates. Once she posted it she finally found someone she believes will meet her expectations on the job.

The success of a small business is dependent on having good help. Without it, the business just cannot go to the next level. [Read more…]

7 Strategies to Recession-Proof Your Business

We don’t yet have confirmation that we’re in a recession, but the media are certainly leading us to believe it’s imminent. I’ve spoken with a number of small businesses who are already starting to feel a slowdown.

That tells me every small business needs to take a hard look at the status of their business to make sure it can withstand a downturn. The secret is to have your Plan address spots where you may be vulnerable. Prevention n0w definitely beats fixing things after they become difficult to turn around.

Following are top strategies for weathering a downturn. They are actually good business practices in any economy.

1. Get your house in order.

Start by solving as many problems as possible n0w. Unresolved problems hurt even more in difficult times. Get your cash under control. Choose strategies that conserve and manage it. If you need help, get it ASAP. [Read more…]

The One Page Marketing Plan

I’m so excited about this new One Page Marketing Plan I want to share the first part with you now. If you begin to see what it can do for you, I hope you’ll get it for yourself.

The purpose of the One Page Marketing Plan is to simplify the steps of creating a practical plan you can put to use immediately. It can be used to support a marketing campaign or to carry out your overall business plan.

We start by gathering pertinent information and answering specific questions. We give you explanations and examples to direct your thinking plus simple tools that provide a structure you can use over and over again. You are both learning and doing at the same time.

When you actually put the Plan to use, you’ll not only see positive Results, you’ll have started a new habit that will prepare you to reach the next level in your business. [Read more…]

Are You Operating From: IF or WHEN?

“The more clear and definite you make your picture, and the more you dwell upon it, bringing out all its delightful details, the stronger your desire will be. And the stronger your desire, the easier it will be to hold your mind fixed upon the picture of what you want.”
Wallace D. Wattles, The Science of Getting Rich (first published in 1910)

IF or WHEN? Two little words that mean so much. IF implies an uncertainty as to whether or not something will happen. WHEN implies it will definitely happen, it’s just a matter of timing.

When we’re operating in IF, we’re not committed. We’re still questioning, “can I reach my goal?” There’s no forward movement and it may actually feel like we’re going around in circles.

When we’re operating in WHEN we’ve made the decision to reach our goal. It’s just a matter of WHEN. We may not know exactly how we’ll get what we want, but the fact of having made the decision removes any doubt that it will happen. The “how” will come much easier because all future decisions will be taking us in the direction of our goal. [Read more…]