Every day, we are granted the same 24 hours. And, every day, some portion of that is wasted. It’s wasted to cell phones, email chains, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, shopping sites… deep breath…. you get the idea. In spite of all of these distractions, it is possible to accomplish more in a day. So, if you are ready to look like a serious rock star – read on. Or watch on. The video is right here.
It’s all about the mission you want to accomplish.
You have a mission. Whether its in your life, your work, or with your family – you have one. And you know what? You deserve to accomplish it! You do! Being clear on your mission and the three action items which move you toward it is the first step to productivity. In my Crappertunity framework, it’s the Awareness piece. You need to know what you want to do before you can do it. Pick three and then choose one to crush.
Then it’s about your mindset.
You need to prepare yourself to crush it if you really want to crush it. If you are the type who feels overwhelmed, doesn’t know where the day went, or tends to let others distract you, then you need a BATTLE CRY to start your day. Choose a word – any word – and speak it when you are at the threshold of your business, of your bedroom, anywhere you need that boost. Say it loud and proud to yourself. Heck, you can say it out loud if you are brave. But the only way to accomplish more is to set yourself up to do it!
The enemy will invade.
No, your friends, family, and co-workers are not your enemies. But they are to your mission if they are pulling you away from it. When you honor your own time, others will honor it too. Be prepared with a holding statement for them. Tell them when you are available. Clue them in on why you are trying to get more out of your time. Let them know when they have your attention, they have all of it. They will appreciate you for it.
Have a feast!
After battle, Caesar’s men would all gather for a feast. They would revel in the win. So should you! Revel hard, my friend, because you are forging your path to success one task at a time. Now, you don’t have to break out and have a party every time you finish something. But you do deserve a pat on the back. This is a new muscle you are conditioning. You are learning to accomplish more by actually accomplishing more. Be sure to acknowledge yourself for that. I know I am proud of you already.
Do it again – and again.
Wash, rinse, repeat – habit is formed when you do it over and over again. It becomes a way of life for you. It becomes who you are to be intentional during your work hours. I have been in the office an hour and a half. I have shot a video and written two columns. My original content for the week is done in less than two hours. I haven’t reached for my cell phone or my email box once. If I can do it, you can. Post your success below. I want to hear from you!
Have you ever just felt, blah? Like, you felt so blah you couldn’t shake it? The solution to shaking the blahs is literally in what you do with your body. And, yes, that mean shaking it!
You can change your mood and energy, as long as you are willing to do three things.
Recognize your attitude sucks. Yep, you have to get real with yourself and occasionally others to shift. I have gone into situations totally stiff and then when I opened up about my commute, my day, my challenge du jour, I felt lighter. Try it.
Decide how you want to be. You have total control over how you show up in the world. You just have to identify how you want to feel and then take steps to feel it.
Take action. You have to do the stuff to feel the good stuff, whether that is peace, energy, enthusiasm, connected, sexy (yep, I said sexy), powerful, or anything else.
Watch my video on it.
Stop right now and check in. Really check in with yourself and see how you are feeling. Check your body. Do you have a headache? Check your emotions. How are you feeling? Check your vibe – are you sending out a good one or a bad one? This check in will help you get a grip on what you are dealing with.
Consciously level up. Close your eyes and use that big beautiful imagination of yours. Did you know your body doesn’t know the difference between imagination and something that is really happening. That’s why your palms sweat and your heart rate goes up when you imagine bombing a date or interview. Guess what? Your body thinks you have already done it! So imagine success, get real with it. Feel it, taste it, smell it. Let it level you up.
Breathe. In through your nose and out through your mouth, this is breathing in a conscious way. Follow your breath down to your stomach. Observe it inflate. Follow it up and out of your mouth. This exercise brings you mind to a single focal point. It can pull you out of reaction. This practice of following the breath has saved me from doing some stupid stuff!
Post your results in the comments. In many cases, they are immediate!
In doing my research on my theory of Crappertunity, the moment where crisis generates more opportunity than would have existed without the crisis, I keep stumbling on a major theme. Values are the compass individual and companies use to guide their journeys. Unfortunately, too many lie about their why. They justify what they are doing to society, to their colleagues, to the board, all while ignoring the internal compass that says no no no.
I wrote about values and beliefs in my Carson Now column today, a column I write for a local news site in Carson City, Nevada. In the column, I talk about my mom, how she had to reinvent herself at age 46 after her divorce. She was married 25 years, a housewife, and had to do it all again from scratch. Growing up with this influence, this resilience, I was inspired.
What I Believe
I believe we all have the power to impact, change, and improve what happens in our lives. I believe we are not victims of our circumstances. Rather, those circumstances can benefit us and the world, if we allow it. We can be called to reinvent ourselves at any time. I value connection, with myself and others, and to maintain that bond no matter how rough the seas get. I value integrity, and not letting my solution be someone else’s pain. I value intense passion for life and career. The two to me are not separable. I believe in the power plant of personal growth and how it can change lives and the world.
Some of these values I formed growing up. Others I formed as a result of my own struggles and life experience. But here are seven reasons why values matter.
Values are more than just about Sunday school.
Sure, that’s where some of us learned them. However, what we value is really our truth. We have to know our truth to turn on that internal GPS, make decisions, have confidence, and take action. Without clarity on our values, we turn into people pleasers. When we people please, we cheat people out of knowing who we really are. We cross and break boundaries we didn’t even know we had. Values are life.
Values help you choose a partner.
Life partners can have different hobbies, different ideas about the world, and differing preferences. But where a relationship can fall into trouble is when the values are off kilter. Questioning employees, colleagues, friends, romantic interests, and partners about their values is an exercise in understanding and alignment.
Values dictate happiness in a career.
Have you ever said, my heart’s just not in it? I have. And when I have, for example, when I was working in corporations in marketing and I did not believe in what I was promoting, I was unhappy. My value of integrity butted up against what my job required me to do. Look at your company’s annual report. If they don’t have one, ask them questions about their company values. You will find out quick if you are a fit or not.
Values help you have more fun.
When you are in alignment with your values, life is just more fun in general. If you value peace, you may notice you enjoy peaceful activities. If you value learning, you may find yourself learning for fun. But the point is this. If you know your values, you can be real with yourself about what you enjoy and what you don’t.
Values focus you.
When you know your values, you can laser focus and measure your activities against them. When I coach a company while they are doing their strategic plans, I talk to them about the company culture they want to cultivate. I help them discover this because these values dictate hiring practices, company strategies, and how the company behaves in a crisis.
Today, What Works Coaching officially opened the doors to new direct recruitment contracts through its sister company, What Works Recruitment. What started as the fulfillment of a consulting client need has grown into its own division specializing in locating specialized and educated employees for today’s complex companies.
We recruit to fit your culture.
We interview every client company to determine cultural fit needs, screen resumes, and hire for select positions on a flat rate basis. We’ve eliminated the disincentive of negotiating salary when dealing with a recruitment agency by instituting a flexible flat-rate structure and per-position agreements. That’s right, we don’t have to handle all your recruiting. But after we send our superstars your way, you might want to!
Never impersonal. Always supportive.
What Works Recruitment is supported by a team of supportive, caring, and best of all, personal recruiter who truly focus on the applicant and their fit with our client companies. Plus, every applicant is supported with 30 minutes of complimentary career coaching once you decide to interview them! It’s a unique model which assures we deliver well-screened, talented, and capable individuals for you to interview.
Pure talent sourcing.
What Works Recruitment does not do testing, drug/alcohol screening, or other HR procedures at this time. What we do is save you time and money in sorting through applicants and give you great candidates to interview.
Once upon a time, there was young woman who loved her business. She loved it so much, she worked on it night and day. When she worked with others, she expected them to love her business as much as she did. She didn’t understand when people would take vacations, or breaks for that matter. She ate her lunch at her desk. She was dedicated! She was proud of her work ethic and the fact she would “do what it took” to succeed. After awhile, she was also burned out. No matter how hard she would try to sustain her performance, she just didn’t move as quickly as she wanted to. She lost her energy. And, then, she started wondering why she was working on her business at all. She had a full life. It was just full in ways that drained her.
It’s a nightmare of a fairy tale.
Yet, day after day, this is what many business owners do to themselves. They push hard. They lack working boundaries. Soon their life becomes work until one day someone asks them about their hobbies. The answer becomes, I work.
Awhile back, I wrote an article called “7 reasons why down time is not a waste of time.” This is a continuation of that article. Not only is downtime not a waste of time, it’s essential to re-energize, receive inspiration, and stay healthy. According to Psychology Today, workaholism is a disease. Those who work, regularly, in excess of 50 hours a week without extended time off or regular breaks are more likely to get sick. Additionally, relationships are affected and (gasp) they make less money, not more.
There are two types of full life: 1) the type that is full just to be full and busy, it’s mostly work, and 2) the type that fills your heart and spirit, it energizes you versus drains you.
So what’s a motivated person to do?
You have to work. But, what would happen if you told yourself, “I have to play?”
Step 1: Calendar it out. If you love your calendar, use it to help you build your new habit of play. Pick a color that represents play to you. Mine is bright yellow.
Step 2: Start slow. Remember, it’s not about running away from it all. It’s about taking time away to recharge, get some new ideas (no, you aren’t forcing these ideas by traveling with a way to take notes).
Step 3: Sabotage yourself. Go somewhere its not necessarily convenient to work, a beach, a lake, hiking, horseback riding, somewhere where thoughts can come of their own accord but you have to stay present. Persistent working is a hard habit to break. So set yourself up for success by making sure its hard for you to fall back into old habits.
Step 4: Enjoy. Allow yourself to get into what you are doing. Part of the benefit to play is the release of endorphins and dopamine. It’s that feel good formula that leaves you energized versus tired.
Step 5: Observe. Without trying to make anything happen you will see something is! You are sharper at work. Your body may feel lighter. You may be inspired. You might have more energy overall. And (oh no) you might want to do it again.
I would love to hear how your play experiments go. Drop a comment below. If you need help structuring this full life experiment for yourself, schedule 30 minutes with me. I swear it will be productive.
Sales – it’s the five-letter word that seems like a four-letter word to entrepreneurs. When Adams Hub surveyed its entrepreneurs, they discovered that fear of sales calls was a top reason for business stagnation. So, if that’s you, know that you are not alone. The phone can weigh 500 pounds sometimes. However, not making sales calls is a pretty good non-action to take if you plan on tanking your business. Oh, you don’t want to go out of business? Then perhaps you should read this.
There are a few reasons why entrepreneurs fear sales calls.
They don’t know the market they are selling to.
They aren’t clear on what they are selling.
They don’t know how to start the conversation.
They have poor conversations because they fail to listen and ask questions.
They are fixated on the outcome of the conversation.
Let’s take these one by one.
Research: If you don’t know who you are selling to or why they might be interested in what you have to offer, you are sinking yourself before set sail. Often, when your sales strategy is too broad it can produce anxiety. Narrow your target and you can fine tune your message.
Clarity: Once you narrow your target, you can get some real clarity around how you can serve them. Without this clarity, you may set yourself up to have an awkward conversation with no direction.
Icebreakers: Questions are great icebreakers. Be sure, whatever icebreaker you choose, it helps you connect in a reliable way. If you were at the same conference, you may want to connect about what you are learning.
Connect: Look for ways to come together and see eye to eye. This will help build rapport and connection. Curiosity + Connection + Conversation = Cash. I have a whole presentation I put together on this which is available when you join the Explore Momentum community. Contact me for an exclusive invitation.
Outcome: Let go of the outcome. Sometimes a connection will result in a referral. Sometimes it will result in a sale. Yet other times, traction develops down the road. Get out of the outcome and let the natural flow of the situation surprise you.
Do you find sales calls challenging? Share your best tips in the comments below.
I am jumping out of my strappy sandals right now. I have finally done something I have needed to do for so long it’s silly. I launched my YouTube channel. That’s right, the days of sending future clients and companies who need keynote speakers or workshop facilitators to a Dropbox are over. I am both doing a happy dance and breathing a big sigh of relief.
Why didn’t I enter the modern century until now?
The “Doing” Trap
Well, I fell into the “doing” trap. As entrepreneurs, we tend to get so into the doing of business we forget that businesses need to be taken care of. They need infrastructure, process, promotion, love, lots of love, to grow. What happens, though, is the job of the business becomes big. Revenue comes when I’m coaching, facilitating, on the phone, on video, and speaking. In other words, it’s the doing that creates the revenue. Or, so I thought. That’s not really true.
The doing creates the revenue but without the leadership, infrastructure, process, all the good stuff, my business won’t grow. I will be so stuck in blissful doing that I will create a job for myself. A business is something you work on. A job is something you work in. Successful leaders work on their business so others can work in it more than they do. It’s only then a business can scale, or become bigger than the sum of its owner.
So, launching my YouTube Channel was just that. It was a way to put technology to work for me. It’s a way to coach without being present, to capture interest, and to leverage all this great content that I’ve been producing and then throwing down the black hole of Facebook.
I’m proud. I’m taking my own medicine. Honestly, a coach should take their own medicine and the medicine of others multiple times a day. It’s healthy for them and your company as well. After all, we are all products of the product.
We work hard. Sometimes the money flows. Sometimes the unexpected happens and the money seems to go out faster than it’s going in. Still we work. We work for the passion. We work because it’s play. We work to change our communities, to change the work, to change ourselves. We innovate. We don’t think like other people. We fight through the lean-to get to the abundance. We are tenacious. We are a little crazy. We live and breathe what we do. Some cheer us on. Others don’t understand. But the fire burns deep within us. It may not be 9 to 5, but we change lives. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Being an entrepreneur can be hard. Some days you can’t imagine life any other way. Others, you wonder if you made a big fat mistake. Entrepreneurial stress is a real thing. It sinks more businesses and causes more business-related fights than just about anything else. It can burrow deep under your skin. And, if you don’t watch it, entrepreneurial stress can kill your business. A negative mindset can creep in. Action stops. You stop asking for help. You stop growing your team. Soon, you find yourself wishing you weren’t an entrepreneur at all and going back to the 9 to 5. If you are in the weeds. Here is some hope.
You are not alone! We all have felt this way at one point or another during our ventures. For some of us, we felt it early and we quit early. But for every successful company, there is a founder who has been in the weeds in one way or another.
A year ago, I began using the Daily Greatness Yoga Journal. I can’t believe it has been in a year. In that time, my relationship with myself, my health practices, and how I schedule myself has completely changed. I dropped 25 pounds. I feel better. This year, I started applying the Daily Greatness Business Journal to the business practices of What Works Coaching. The result has been more strategic partnerships, more content for you to enjoy, and building a family of superstar clients. It’s only been two weeks!
What’s the secret? Accountability, process, and flexibility. The three work hand in hand.
Stop me when this sounds familiar.
Example: You want to commit to accountability but you skip a day. You feel like you’ve blown it. You can’t hold to this new habit, practice, discipline for a week or two without messing up. The stick comes out and you start beating yourself up. Whatever you’ve been trying to do gets put on the shelf.
I know I relate. Do you?
Success comes with process and flexibility.
Fortunately, the Daily Greatness journals don’t have hard dates attached to them. I have “blown it” for a month or more and come back into my accountability practice. Overall, in the sum of the year, a month or two of oops is still majority win.
So, I decided to reach out to Daily Greatness to let them know I would like to start coaching my clients using their Daily Greatness Business Journal. I didn’t hear back directly. But, I did get this nifty discount code.
Then, I had an idea.
What if, I gave clients (new or existing) who booked my most popular accountability package the Daily Greatness Business Journal for FREE? I decided I would do it. And, I would structure my already popular text and email accountability program around What Works Coaching practices and using the journal!
What’s in my accountability package normally?
An hour long coaching call to address your challenges and apply them to how you will use the journal.
Five days a week of emails (48 hour response time)
Five days a week of texts (24 hours response time)
Use every day or just one or two. How you use it is up to you!
An hour recap coaching call to review your progress, fine tune anything that needs it, and send you off for success.
I am so excited about doing this. I can pilot this with 20 CLIENTS. That’s it. I’ll even start a very neat Facebook mastermind group with it, during the pilot phase, for no extra charge. So, book a customized accountability package and get a Daily Greatness Business Journal for free (A $50 value)! As soon as I see your order come through, I will order your journal. When it arrives, our work begins! What a great way to get a journal that will guide you for the rest of the year (or two, or however long it takes you to finish) and a solid month of coaching to kick it off!
Working from home.For some, it sounds like a dream come true: roll out of bed…put on yoga pants…turn on your computer…brew your coffee…and spend the day working in peaceful bliss. No traffic, no interruptions, no problem. Right?
Except…by noon, you may find yourself distracted by the television or laundry, with a crazed look in your eye as your hair begins to mat around your face (or is that just me?). For those of you who work from home on a daily basis, youknow the drill.
This past weekend, Diane and I found ourselves hunkering down during a flood warning. As the news urged us to “not go to work tomorrow,” (an adult-dream come true) we quickly grabbed our planners and started planning an #epic Work-From-Home-Day.
This was not any ordinary work-from-home day. It was one complete with a play-list. We thought it would be fun to share our day and some of our tips for working from home during these winter months.
Create a Morning Routine You Look Forward To
8:00am Wake Up and Morning Mediation
When you don’t have a commute urging you out the door in the morning, it can seem tempting to stay in bed longer. That’s why it’s important to have a morning routine that you look forward to. This can be anything that you enjoy: brewing a cup of fresh tea, reading, journaling, taking a walk, or anything that gets your mind to transition from the groggy sleep-state to more fully alert.
Diane and I chose mediation and quickly realized that this WAS NOT the right one for us. It almost put us back to sleep which was #counterproductive. However, with some trial and error, you can find the right morning ritual that you enjoy and ACTUALLY look forward to waking up to.
Our Trial & Error Story: During our mediation the previous night, Diane’s Dog, Roxy was lying on the bed between us. When the instructor said, “take a deep breath in,” Roxy took a huge inhale. We both busted out laughing and couldn’t stop laughing for the next hour.
The bottom line: Have fun experimenting and finding what works for you!
Energize and Make Getting Ready for the Day Fun
8:30am Dance Workout While Getting Ready
Since mediation was a no-go for us in the morning, we decided to try something more upbeat to match our personality types. Que the dance party! The night before we curated a “Work from Home Play List” complete with choreographed dance moves. Yes, we are both theater people (if you couldn’t tell).
Now, we realize this may not be your style, but the key is to find something that fits your energy levels and personality type to get you going for the day.
You won’t have an office of co-workers to push you along, so the key is to MOTIVATE and ENERGIZE yourself for the day.
Here’s a play-list to get you pumped for working from home. Turn up the volume while you get ready for the day and have some fun with it. We laughed hilariously at these songs and it got us in a good mood for the day.
We had our breakfast together as I checked in with my team and Diane wrote her column for Carson Now. When working from home, it’s important to be available via email and phone so that your team can reach you throughout the day.
Create Structure in Your Day with Online Classes
10:00am Instagram Webinar
It’s learning time! At 10am, we both tuned into an Instagram webinar that was teaching us the basics of growing a following and using hashtags. With a variety of webinars and online courses, there’s plenty of ways you can increase your skill-set during the day. I especially like adding courses to your schedule because it adds structure to your day.
Get Out of Your House for Socialization
11:00am Work from Coffee shop
After the webinar was finished, our Wi-Fi stopped working, so we headed to a coffee shop to get out of the house for a bit and change up the scenery. Getting out of the house really helped me focus and improved my productivity.
Hold Conference Calls and Meeting Virtually
12:00pm Analytics Meeting
At noon, I jumped on a conference call while Diane worked on her website. Having a meeting scheduled mid-day helped me prioritize my tasks.
If you don’t have any client or team meetings scheduled, set up a call with a mentor to check in. Having structured items on your calendar can hold you accountable and help you make progress in your workday.
Take a Break and Eat a Nutritious Lunch
After my meeting, we headed back home to have lunch together while taking a short break. Whether you eat at home or go out to a café, make sure you make eating regular meals a priority to keep your energy up.
Block Out Time for Focused Work on Bigger Projects
2:00pm Finish up Web Projects
With emails and meetings out of the way, the rest of the afternoon was reserved for focused work on bigger projects that we both needed to complete. Remember, 80% of your results come from 20% of your work. That’s why it’s important to block out time in your schedule with sufficient breaks so that you get your most important work done.
What we did we learn from our #WorkFromHome Day? A little bit of routine, structure, socialization, and variety can go a long way.
Are you struggling with your work from home routine? Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Working with a friend or hiring a professional coach can do wonders for establishing a productive routine and getting out of a rut.
This morning, I was back in my office…. but I jumped out of bed, ready to start the day, because I was excited to dance (umm… and start working *cough*)