Organization & Structure = Success

Do you often wonder why it is so challenging to follow through with the thoughts in your mind? Why even when you write them out as clearly as you can, they don’t manifest in the way you are thinking? You are intelligent, educated, confident and have so many great ideas…in fact that is why you decided to go into business on your own in the first place! So why can’t you make it work just the way you have it figured out in your mind?

It actually isn’t that complicated and is a very common problem, especially with small business owners and independent contractors. The fact is that your passion and head filled with ideas is not enough on its own. While it helped to give you the courage to begin in the first place, it will not be enough for a sustainable and profitable business. As a matter of fact, the longer you try to ride on the fumes of your enthusiasm, the longer it will take you to create true financial success.

reaching_out

First, the ideas you have flowing through your mind day in and day out are meaningful, but you need to do more than think about them. If you have been thinking about them for weeks or months, grab a notebook now so you can write them down and organize them. Rather than creating a list, though, give each page in your notebook a different topic. Here are some examples:

  • Expenses
  • Profit
  • Time
  • Marketing
  • Daily routines
  • Weekly, monthly, yearly goals

Once you have done that, you will already begin to see the larger picture, but it is just the beginning. Next you will need to be as detailed as you can on each topic as you add timelines and deadlines. This is the most critical piece in order to create financial success.

The truth is that while many of us begin a business because it is something we are passionate about, often too, we want the freedom that goes along with being our own boss. Unfortunately, though, within that space of freedom, also a great deal of spinning aimlessly, unless we are capable of holding ourselves accountable.

True success will come when you spend more time on task creating money, rather than writing lists, creating ideas and thinking about what you want to do next. True success will come when you are able to design clear details about your daily routines and how each one of them will make money. True success will come when you not only know what each day will look like, but also have clear details of how the work today, will meet the goals you’ve set for the month and the year as well. Each task needs to be connected to the bigger goal, which needs to be connected to your financial bottom line.

Once you are organized in your thoughts, and have designed the structure of your business, you will be able to get into action. If you feel yourself perseverating on the end goal, and doing more thinking than doing, visualize your business as an actual building. Notice how an actual building has the base being the largest part of the structure, to create stability. It wouldn’t work any other way, right? I mean, if you flipped your building or business upside down, with the largest part at the top, eventually your building will topple over! In the same way, if you fill your days with grand ideas about the future of your business without the base to stabilize it, your business will topple over as well.

Design real organization and structure and get busy in the doing part! That is what will lead you to success.

Exhausted. Yet Still…Can’t Sleep.

It’s hard to believe how true that is, isn’t it?

It is 9pm. You are on the couch and dozing off. You can barely keep your eyes open but are too tired to get up to go to bed. So so tired. As a matter of fact, you are so tired that you convince yourself to watch the rest of the TV show, just so you don’t have to get up.

Yet at 10pm, once settled into bed, you suddenly don’t feel that tired. And it is then that you begin to worry that this might be another sleepless night.

can't sleep

So what’s going on? Why is it so hard to fall asleep, when all day you feel so tired?

There can be many factors that disrupt people’s sleep, even some that need medical attention, but first let’s go back to the basics.

1 – Caffeine intake. If you are a person that drinks more than one cup of coffee per day, make sure that your last cup is not later than 1pm. Surprisingly, even caffeine as early in the day as 2pm can disrupt a normal nights’ sleep.

2 – Sugar intake. Be mindful about what you are eating for dessert and how close to bedtime you are eating it. If ice cream and cookies are your favorite sweet treats, trying having it right after dinner. In addition, end the night with some berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries) and you will be able to lower your glucose level, which will also help you sleep.

3 – Exercise. If you work late into the night and are forcing yourself to workout at 9 or 10pm, reconsider this habit. While exercise is helpful in having a good nights’ sleep, too late at night or too close to hitting the sheets will also disrupt your sleep patterns. Instead, try getting up earlier. Waking up an hour earlier in the morning will still allow you to get more sleep at night.

4 – Closing System. Do you physically shut the door on your workday? Do you know when you’re officially closed and the day is done? Or are you checking emails right until the lights go off?

If you do not have a closing system, creating one is easy and should be done immediately (and every day!). Most people, especially those that travel or have their own business, have difficulty letting their day turn off. This feeling of still being ‘on’ is highly disruptive to normal sleep patterns. Here is how you create a Closing System.

  • Choose a closing time. Then stick to it!
  • At that time, give yourself 15 – 30 minutes to shut down. Move all the things that weren’t done today to a day when you are able to complete them.
  • Fill in all tasks for tomorrow.
  • Spend five minutes checking the rest of the week to see if anything needs to be changed, added or taken away.
  • Spend 10 minutes responding to any emails that are time sensitive, move others into folders, delete those that belong in the trash and flag important ones that need to be taken care of in the morning.

5. Quiet Rituals. Create a quiet bedtime ritual. If you are always falling asleep to the sound of the TV, or the sight of your emails, design something different. Commit to a 15-minute quiet ritual as the last thing you do each night.

  • Read a book that is not about work, but instead might allow you to escape reality for a few minutes.
  • Play yoga or classical music and meditate.
  • Find a free guided meditation app that can be played on your phone.
  • Journal. Using a blank journal or notebook paper, take out a pen and start writing. It can be thoughts you have about your day, things you want to remember for the following day or anything that comes to mind. But make sure it is pen and paper, not on the computer. Once on the computer it is much too tempting to check social media, emails, etc.

6. Go to Sleep. Lastly, go to sleep when you are tired. Even if it seems too early, do it anyway. It is better to get into bed before you are too tired to begin your quiet rituals, then to not be able to sleep at all.

In order to create change…you will have to do things differently. And tonight, let’s try on sleeping!

 

 

 

 

My Life hasn’t Gone as Planned.

And you know what? That’s okay.

No, really. It is okay. Even with all of the disappointments, sadness, frustration, and moments of wondering how I got here again, I understand that I am human and perfectly imperfect like the rest of us. Yet my uncanny ability to get to my feet again, dust off and carry on with hope and possibility has been even more important than the fact that my life hasn’t gone as planned.

My gift to persevere is not something I think much about until the moment I have hit the ground again, but when I do, I rely heavily on my fail-proof plan: get steady, lean slightly and take someone else’s hand when needed.

That’s the basic stop, drop and roll for me, but the details are where the rubber meets the road.

1 – Get Steady
Getting steady means regaining some balance. And just like a balance pose in yoga, focusing on a steady spot in the room, in order to get fully centered in life, you need to find time to focus on yourself for at least a moment. For me, that means taking the time to be kind to myself. It means not criticizing that I am here again, but instead, praising myself with what comes next…I can always get back up.  I then steady myself and take the time I need to recover knowing that what is next, is to get back up!

2 – Leaning into the Curve
It’s hard to emotionally lean into the curve because it feels unnatural. At first. This is because in the face of real hardship and disappointment, our natural way of being is anger resentment and disappointment, which often leads to blame. You know…YOU did this. How could YOU do this to me? Why would YOU do this to me? Yet that actually perpetuates the upset and imbalance, making it impossible to move forward. Instead, I have learned to lean in. Literally leaning into what has occurred as if this is the only possible thing to choose. Instead of blaming, I look inward. I might say, okay, I thought he was the one, but I was mistaken. Or I hoped that this was my chosen life path, but now I see it isn’t. Or I was really blind-sighted this time, I will have to make sure next time I am seeing the whole picture clearly.

I have always loved the quote: “What we resist, persists”. It’s so true, yet when we lean in we become empowered to move on.

3 – Find a Hand
No matter where my life has taken me, I remain open to the help and support of people around me because sometimes we are so broken we actually can’t get up alone.  I actively seek like-minded people in my life who seem to get getting it right, either professionally or personally and then invite them into my world. These people become my inspiration on good days, and just what I need on the harder ones. I have come to learn that simply because we need help, does not make us ‘needy’, yet more insightful. It is critical to know what we need in order to move forward, especially when we have been wired to be strong and independent. It is critical to be surrounded by people who won’t blink an eye at the sight of your outstretched hand, but instead reach theirs back out to you. It’s a support system that we all need, one that helps even when you don’t need it. One that continues to help you build on your own strengths.

didnt go as planned - pic

 

We plan, and then life happens, but what matters most, is what you do next…

So what are you willing to do to finally reset and begin again with true hope and inspiration?

Let’s Reset together…

Building Support Networks

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

As a small business proprietor, you probably enjoy moving to the beat of your own drum. But doing everything on your own will keep you from sustainable success, which is why successful business owners have strong support systems. Regardless of where the support comes from, having people to confide in and share ideas with will create the confidence you need to take bold next steps.

What Is a Support Network?

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Your support network can be made up of relatives or close friends. In addition, you should consider including people you have professional relationships with including local networking groups, investors, employees, or former business partners and suppliers.

Having a diverse group of people to turn to will create a variety of outlooks and perspectives. Their prior experiences can offer solutions or strategies with a wide range of perspectives you may not have considered. While it’s important to surround yourself with people who can support and cheer you on, it is helpful to have relationships with people who aren’t afraid to criticize you yet also won’t hold back.

What Can a Support Network Do for You?

Having a dedicated group of people who support you can be helpful in many different ways. They can provide guidance and insight, help bring in new customers by telling others about your company and making referrals, and act as a sounding board if you have new ideas about ways to run your business. In addition, if your marketing campaign for your business fails to capture the attention of the people who are close to you, it probably won’t interest total strangers or potential customers either.

How Do You Maintain a Support Network?

Here’s the hard part: Getting the support you need often involves swallowing your ego. To build a network you have to accept that you don’t always know the answers, and that you have strengths and weaknesses just like the rest of us. With the right support group though, you will have the opportunity to be honest with yourself, and the people who are in your corner, which will ultimately contribute to the sustainable success of your business.

So how can you be certain that the success so far will continue into the future? First, loosen the reigns on your need to control everything, then imagine what’s possible with a team of people supporting your dreams.

Mastery of life is not a question of control,
but a finding of balance between human and being.

Let’s build this together.
The Women’s Lab: Building Support Networks.
September 24, 2017

Connecting with successful female business owners, community leaders, success coaches and charity founders through targeted group activities and keynote speeches that will foster collaboration and inspiration to help you achieve your goals.

Creating a Powerful & Positive Mindset

What if life success isn’t about your education, the experience you have or who you know? What if in fact all you need is a new perspective on what already lies within you?

Our perspective (how we see ourselves) is actually more critical than anything else. It trumps your education, background, and even experience. It is the mere ability to remain positive and feel powerful in any given situation that remains to be the most important in creating success.

create your future

Regardless of the perspectives you have had about yourself up until this point, with simple shifts in your thinking on a daily basis, you can also shift your mindset permanently. Yes, permanently! You can turn that automatic negative voice in the back of your brain into a voice that actually talks you into productivity. A voice that keeps you moving rather than guiding you to lie down and rest.

With new perspectives, you will feel motivated to create positive change, even when it seems a little out of reach! It’s about learning to hear the negative voice and being prepared to shut it out with a positive one.

That is the value in understanding the mindset you have now, and the value in creating one that is positive, powerful and with you all of the time. With this powerful mindset, you can stay focused, in action and create a sustainable, fulfilling, and successful life.

Who wouldn’t want that? Let’s get powerful and positive together!

Register: The Women’s Lab. May 21st. Women Empowering Women.

Designing a Structure that Produces Growth

Do you often wonder why it is so challenging to follow through with the thoughts in your mind? Why even when you write them out as clearly as you can, they don’t manifest in the way you are thinking? You are intelligent, educated, and confident and have so many great ideas…in fact that is why you decided to go into business on your own in the first place! So why can’t you make it work just the way you have it figured out in your mind?

It actually isn’t that complicated and is a very common problem, especially with small business owners and independent contractors. The fact is that your passion and head filled with ideas is not enough on its own. While it helped to give you the courage to begin in the first place, it will not be enough for a sustainable and profitable business. As a matter of fact, the longer you try to ride on the fumes of your enthusiasm, the longer it will take you to create true financial success.

First, the ideas you have flowing through your mind day in and day out are meaningful, but you need to do more than think about them. If you have been thinking about them for weeks or months, grab a notebook now so you can write them down and organize them. Rather than creating a list, though, give each page in your notebook a different topic. Here are some examples:

  • Expenses
  • Profit
  • Time
  • Marketing
  • Daily routines
  • Weekly, monthly, yearly goals

Once you have done that, you will already begin to see the larger picture, but it is just the beginning. Next you will need to be as detailed as you can on each topic as you add timelines and deadlines. This is the most critical piece in order to create financial success.

The truth is that while many of us begin a business because it is something we are passionate about, often too, we want the freedom that goes along with being our own boss. Unfortunately, within that space of freedom, though, there can be a great deal of spinning aimlessly, unless we are capable of holding ourselves accountable.

True success will come when you spend more time on task creating money, rather than writing lists, creating ideas and thinking about what you want to do next. True success will come when you are able to design clear details about your daily routines and how each one of them will make money. True success will come when you not only know what each day will look like, but also have clear details of how the work today, will meet the goals you’ve set for the month and the year as well. Each task needs to be connected to the bigger goal, which needs to be connected to your financial bottom line.

Once you are organized in your thoughts, and have designed the structure of your business, you will be able to get into action. If you feel yourself perseverating on the end goal, and doing more thinking than doing, visualize your business as an actual building. Notice how an actual building has the base being the largest part of the structure, to create stability. There’s a reason for that. If you flipped the building upside down, with the largest part at the top, eventually the building will topple over! In the same way, if you fill your days with grand ideas about the future of your business without the base to stabilize it, without the specifics on how to create money now, your business will topple over as well.

Modern business buildings

Design real organization and structure and get busy in the doing part! That is what will lead you to success.

The Ability to Triumph Begins with You.

Where does your workday begin?

If your business operates in an office space outside your home, you know all about commitment and passion and how challenging it is to keep your dream alive. If your actual space is in the basement of your home, most days are filled with visions of where you want to go next. But if your office space is simply the kitchen counter, your challenge may be the hardest, as dreams seem to come and go before they are even fully formed.

But nonetheless, you ARE working. Every once in a while, success catches you by surprise, as you begin fantasizing about the possibilities of this business. You imagine financial freedom within the walls of something that began as a hobby, a passion, or a need to make a difference and suddenly you get excited, filled with emotion and adrenalin…and then…something happens.

For most women, there is a voice that convinces you this will never be anything more than a hobby. Sometimes it comes as you realize the school bus is about to arrive, that dinner hasn’t been made, or that you still need to food shop before everyone gets home. It is then that you will have to decide if you want it more than you fear it.

“It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.” Oprah Winfrey.

create your future

When Oprah Winfrey decided to leave a life of abuse and begin a life on her own, she was 14 years old. “You become what you believe,” says Oprah. “You are where you are today in your life based on everything you have believed.” Oprah’s unwavering belief in her abilities is what drove her to focus all of her life’s energy on reaching her objectives.

These belief factors lead her to success:

  • A goal-oriented focus.
  • The ability to overcome diversity.
  • The ability to recognize and seize the opportunity.
  • A sense of responsibility to others.
  • The courage to follow her passion.

Today, according to Forbes magazine, Oprah was the richest African American of the 20th century and the world’s only Black billionaire for three years running. Life magazine hailed her as the most influential woman of her generation. In 2005, Business Week named her the greatest Black philanthropist in American history raising more than $51,000,000 for charitable programs.

“The key is not to worry about being successful, but to instead work toward being significant – and the success will naturally follow,” Oprah says.

This let’s work toward being significant…Together, at The Women’s Lab, January 29, 2017.

Don’t miss this event. Sign up today!