Mirror, Mirror…How to Recognize When You Are Shooting Yourself in the Foot and Overcome It

self-sabotageIf you’re not having the type of success that you want, it is possible that you’re experiencing some self-sabotaging behaviors. And, if you are engaging in these types of behaviors then it’s important to identify what you’re doing and turn it around.

Do any of these sound familiar?

Playing the Waiting Game – If you ever hear yourself say, “I’ll be do that when xyz” then stop it right now. You may have always done this and not realized it. “When I lose weight I’ll go hiking.” “When I finish this client’s work I’ll write the great American novel.” “When I do x then I’ll do y.” It all makes sense but it’s a waiting game that will never end. If you don’t take action now, nothing will happen.

You Hang Around the Wrong People – Yes, even as an adult you can choose the wrong friends. If you often find yourself at odds with your friends’ values and goals in life, or find yourself apologizing for other people’s behavior, you’re just making excuses to avoid an uncomfortable conclusion. You’ve outgrown your friends.

Saying: “I’ll never ….” – Fill in the blank about what you’re never say, do or feel. They say you should, “never say never”, and nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is, if you don’t believe you’ll become successful at your business, or lose that extra weight, you likely won’t. You have to envision the success you want to achieve to make it happen. If all you see is negative, that’s all you’ll get.

I Don’t Want to Do “It” Alone – The fact is we are all ultimately alone. If you wait around for everyone to be on the same page as you, you may miss out on a great new adventure. Whether it’s starting a business, seeing a movie, or trying a new restaurant, you can do it yourself without anyone else doing it with you.

Thinking You’re Not “Smart” As…. – The truth is, someone is always going to be smarter, prettier, or something more than you. By saying that you’re not something, you will have a hard time breaking out of the box you’ve put yourself in. Forget about who you think you are, and do what it is that you want to do. No need to be perfect.

You Hide Your Feelings – When someone asks you a question about your feelings, you simply say “I’m fine” and leave it at that – even when you are not fine. Did you know that you can get stuck in a certain mindset if you avoid it and don’t talk about it? That’s true whether it’s about work or something personal. You have to name it to change it.

My Client Needs Me – The fact is, everyone is replaceable. If you find that you’re working with someone just because you think they need you, even when the relationship is not working for you, you’re really wasting your time. A client who is not compatible with you will drop you the moment they find someone they’re compatible with. Don’t do anyone any favors unless you really just want to.

You Lack a Support System – Support can come in a variety of forms, from human support to electronic support. If you set up a good system to help you stick to your schedule (whether it’s for work or fun) and get help when you need it, you will be a lot more successful than if you don’t do that.

Being self-aware enough to notice self-sabotaging behavior will go far in helping you curb it, but you should also give some thought to how you’re running your life so that you can kick self-sabotaging behavior to the curb.

Money Doesn’t Equal Success

money-successSomeone once said that, “While money doesn’t buy happiness, it sure does make me giggle a lot.” Obviously, this was said by someone who not only was given money, but also had time to spend it. Because, the truth is, money alone doesn’t create joy; being able to have time to spend it and do things with those you love is what happiness and success truly is. When people want to become entrepreneurs they don’t actually think about the work; they think about the freedom.

What Is Success?

This boils down to what success really is. Success is freedom. Success means that you can take the day off to spend with your kids on a field trip. Success means that if you want to enjoy a leisurely breakfast with your spouse on Sunday morning, you can. Success means that if you want to take that trip to Nepal, you can. Yes, money does help you afford those things, but money is only the means by which you can purchase them and anyone can make money. But, not everyone who has money also has the time to actually enjoy it. Time is finite; money is not.

The Value of Time

Timothy Ferriss, in his book, The 4-Hour Work Week says, “To enjoy life, you don’t need fancy nonsense, but you do need to control your time and realize that most things just aren’t as serious as you make them out to be.”

That’s why prioritizing the things you do things based on money will often backfire. Instead, base everything you do on what kind of time it will cost you. What will it take you away from that you really would rather be doing? Some things, of course, have to be done that we don’t want to do. However, most of those things can be outsourced and worked around the most important things on your to-do list. Most things can simply wait.

People who are truly successful in life realize the truth of the limits of time and they do everything they can to make the most of the time they have. That’s why some of the most successful people you know are so productive. Successful people often live by their calendars and schedules. That might seem unromantic but the truth is, scheduling in work and fun will make your life better by leaps and bounds.

In fact, get out your calendar right now and first schedule in all the things you want to do with your family and for yourself that are not related to work. Once you’ve done that, you can fit in work around those things. That’s the entire point of becoming an entrepreneur – to have freedom, but it’s important that you remember what constitutes freedom. Not money, but time. How much is your time worth?

How to Become a Master Delegator

delegateDelegation is an important skill for any business owner to master, but it’s especially important for small business owners who have very little time and extra money to devote to bottlenecks, accidental duplication of efforts, and missed deadlines.

If you learn to delegate well, you’ll have more time to devote your energy to more important tasks, provide employment for another person, and (since it’s likely someone else can do the tasks better than you) make yourself look even more amazing due to the good choices you make.

Identify Blocks to Delegation – One of the first things to do is figure out what causes you to be fearful of delegation. Usually the reasons have to do with perfectionism, self-protection, lack of a workable system in place and being unsure of which tasks to delegate.

Set Up a Fail-Safe System – Before you even start delegating, it’s important to set up a system of some sort – like Basecamp or another online project management system. Keep in mind some of the people you outsource to may have their own system which you can use. This is especially true of online business managers or project managers.

Streamline Your Processes – Go through the processes you use to do the tasks now, and write them down so that you can figure out how to streamline the processes. However, do keep in mind that contractors are mostly concerned with deliverables, so this process is more for your benefit to find out what types of things you can delegate. An example would be repetitive tasks like email management.

Hire the Right People for the Job – When you know what tasks you want to outsource, it’s important to find the right people for the job or task. To get the most bang for your buck, choose someone to do it who likes doing it, wants to do it, and considers it their expertise. In other words, don’t expect to hire someone who can do everything perfectly. Hire several people to do one or two things each perfectly.

Give Clear Instructions – Provide the contractor with the requirements, deadlines, scope of authority, purpose, goals and objectives, potential problems, and tools available to them (if any are needed such as passwords and sign-on information).

Ask for Feedback – Open up the communication by asking the contractor if they have any questions based on your instructions. That way they won’t be worried about asking anything even if it’s “stupid.” The worst thing you can do is criticize a contractor for asking a question. And of course, you need to get back to them quickly with your answers.

Focus on Deliverables – In many cases, contractors want you to focus more on deadlines and deliverables than too many details. How they get something done should not be as important as the result of what they got done.

Give Constructive Feedback – As often as is practicable give feedback to your contractors. This is especially true if you would like something done differently than what they turned in but you still want to keep working with the person. Give the feedback by giving compliments on what is good, then what could be better, and finally something good again to help build up the confidence of the contractor.

Allow for Mistakes – The fact is, no one is perfect and contractors will sometimes misunderstand directions. As long as something isn’t blatant such as constant missed deadlines, poor quality of work and so forth, sometimes people make mistakes. If your contractors are afraid of making mistakes, sometimes it will stifle their creativity. So be open to new ideas and potential mistakes, while also being clear on your expectations.

Finally, the best way to become a master delegator is to let go and just do it. Start with something small such as outsourcing your email customer service, eBook writing, report writing, blog post writing, article writing, social media marketing, and graphic design for projects. Write a list of everything that needs to be done to launch one of your products and try to outsource as much of as you can to see how it comes together. The more you do it, the more you’ll want to do it.

How to Market to Those with Short Attention Spans – Squirrel

You only have 8 seconds to grab someone’s attention, so the problem with Short Attention Spans and content marketing is that usually it takes more than eight seconds for the user to click through to the content and start reading. But, there are ways to fight back and conquer marketing to people with Short Attention Spans – which is nearly everyone.

If you only have eight seconds, that means you have to greatly shorten whatever it is that you are doing to market to your audience, or you need to do something new every eight seconds to grab their attention again. That’s why some public speakers can speak for over an hour and keep the audience’s attention while others put everyone to sleep after the first eight seconds. Which type of marketer are you?
Boil It All Down

* What are your objectives? – What is the overarching thing that your business needs to accomplish? You can include an objective from each sector of your business.

* What are your goals? – Describe in concrete terms what the above means in terms of measurable results.

* What are your strategies? – Describe for each of the goals, in one or two points, what will be done to meet the objectives.

* How will you measure results? – Describe, using the goals, how you’ll measure those results. What tools will be used, and when will it be done?

Try to answer each question in only one or two sentences. The idea is to keep it short, succinct and to the point. If you can’t keep it to the point now, it will be hard for you to do so when you’re creating your marketing campaign.
Things to Remember

* You can focus on one objective at a time.

* You can focus on one goal at a time.

* You can choose one strategy at a time.

You can make a list of each and create a series of advertisements that all fit together to answer the first list of objectives and goals that you created, all in seven- or eight-second increments. But, start with just one. Get one completed, launched, and measured before moving on to the next. In this way you can ensure that you are on the right track and gauge how you’re keeping the attention of your audience by the metrics you are choosing to measure, which are based on your clear and specific goals.

Once you have everything spelled out, it will be a lot easier to follow and succeed in marketing to people with short attention spans. You’re going to find that using this method will help market to all sorts of people, whether they have short attention spans or not. It’s probably better to assume that 99.9 percent of your audience has a Short Attention Span and work from there.

photo credit: Kunzinger via photopin cc

5 Powerful Mindset Success Strategies 

mindsetBuilding a business is a fantastic and challenging experience. You can wake up exhilarated to begin your day and go to bed feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. The key to success is to maintain a positive, yes you can do it, mindset.

5 keys to help you create and sustain
a positive mindset

Easier said than done, right? Here are 5 keys to help you create and sustain a positive mindset so you attain the success you desire.

1. Surround yourself with successful and positive people. The influence people have over our own personal energy is amazing. Moods and attitudes are so easily spread – think about how much of a difference a simple smile from a stranger can make for your day and then magnify it 1000 times to demonstrate the power of positive and successful friends, family and associates. When you have people around you who inspire you, believe in you and want you to succeed, there’s no room for doubts and even when they creep up, they’re quickly swept away.

2. Create a mantra or an affirmation. Repeating positive affirmations has been shown to get people through tough times and to actually help them truly believe what they’re saying.

For example, “I am building a powerful and profitable business.” Many of the most esteemed business professionals have used the same affirmation strategy to attain their success. To find the right affirmations for you, consider writing a quick list of your doubts, insecurities and complaints. These can then be quickly turned into affirmations.

For example, if you write that you’re always feeling disorganized then your affirmation would be, “I am organized and in control.” Repeat your affirmations several times a day and feel the power of positive thinking.

3. Capture negative thoughts. We all have negative thoughts from time to time, however, negative thoughts and emotions can derail us and prevent us from achieving all we desire. Of course catching those negative thoughts takes practice and persistence. When you find yourself thinking negative thoughts or having negative emotions, find a trigger to turn them around. The affirmations mentioned above are a great way to turn the negative into the positive. You can also find quick pick me ups like a favorite song, a walk outside in the fresh air, or some exercise to help improve your mood.

4. Set goals/intentions and then be willing to let it go. The law of attraction says that we attract what we focus on the most. However, desperation, needing your business to be a success, sends mixed messages and a lot of negativity into the universe. Set your goals and intentions and then let them go. A certain amount of faith in yourself and in the power of attraction is necessary. Give it a try.

5. Be grateful. Gratitude is perhaps the single most powerful and positive tool for success. When you’re grateful for all of the wonderful things and people in your life the challenges you face seem significantly less important and are more easily dealt with.

Consider keeping a gratitude journal and make a practice of entering into it daily. That way, when you’re facing challenges a quick peek at all the amazing things in your life will make you feel as if you can tackle anything. Additionally, an attitude of gratitude helps you maintain a positive perspective and to face challenges as opportunities rather than obstacles.

Success is within your reach and with the right mindset you can accomplish anything you set your sights on. Embrace these five powerful mind success strategies and you’ll build a better business and live a happier, more satisfying life.