Recognizing and Overcoming Fears, Doubts, and Limiting Beliefs

Welcome to The Courageous Entrepreneur Show. This is the show that shares information and inspiration to help you move past fear, self-doubt, and limiting beliefs so you can achieve the success you dream of and deserve.

In this episode you’re going to meet Sheila Stevenson. She’s an expert coach who works with people dealing with emotional issues surrounding trauma.

Sheila is an Associate Certified Coach, an Adler trained coach, and a member of the International Coach Federation.

She’s certified in “Living Systems Approach” to coaching with families and she’s completed Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training.

Sheila is a published author, and an inspiring and informative speaker.

She’s a member of “Opening the Circle”, an emergent project begun in January 2014, in which men and women who are survivors of sexual abuse, their family members, and community service providers meet regularly to develop community, and to create useful and effective tools for support. In January 2013 Sheila founded the “Learning and Support Group for Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse.” And she’s served on the Board of Directors of Child Pornography Hurts, Inc and Youth Opportunities Unlimited.

In this episode Sheila shares…

  • The conflicting messages and conditioning we experience during our lives and how that can contribute to developing disempowering beliefs and patterns.
  • How to recognize our limiting beliefs and begin to effectively deal with them to move forward towards our goals.
  • Tips for recognizing when and how our beliefs are holding us back from the professional success we want and deserve.

Be sure to listen all the way to the end where I’ll share your reflection exercise and action step for this episode.

 

Guest Contact Information

Sheila’s website – drop her a line and let her know you heard her on the show. She has a limited time offer of 15% off on coaching.

Sheila on social media:  Facebook     Linkedin     Twitter

 

Other Episodes Referenced by This One

Melvin Pillay,

 

Additional Resources

From Sheila’s Blog:  Trauma Can Obscure Your Reality — Don’t Let It

Survivor to Thriver: Manual and workbook for adult survivors of child abuse who want to move on with life

 

 

 

 

14 Tips to Maximize the Value of Attending a Live Event

I recently went to a live seminar in California. The event was very powerful and, while I love taking part in webinars, webcasts, and live streams from the comfort of my home, there’s nothing like meeting your virtual connections at a live event.

I had such a great experience at this event that I wanted to share my best tips to maximize your value from the next live event you attend.

1. Choose the right event. There are hundreds if not thousands of training events held each year in the United States alone. And of course they all sound fascinating. I love learning and if I was independently wealthy I’d go to all sorts of workshops. But since time is limited in a way that money isn’t (you can’t get more time but you can always find a way to get more money), you’ve got to choose the best event for you and your business right now. So start by asking yourself how fast will I be able to use the information they’ll be sharing.

2. Manage your schedule well before, during, and after the event.
I know lots of Internet gurus don’t advertise too far in advance so you may need to shuffle your schedule to be able to attend a really great event. But as you manage your time, do your best to minimize what’s on your calendar the day before you head out of town and the day after you come back. You need time to prepare and pack, as well as time to reflect on and apply the information shared when you get back. And set the expectations of people back home – whether your friends and family, your staff, and clients. Let them know how easy or hard it will be to reach you and who they can contact instead, along with how they can contact you in an emergency.

3. Stay at the event hotel whenever possible. Boy this makes a big difference in your overall enjoyment of the event. If you’ve ever been to an event with hundreds or even thousands in a hotel you know how nice it is to be able to sneak up to your hotel room on a break. And if you’re attending a multi-day event with early activities and late activities, staying at the event hotel makes it a lot easier to get to the next day’s seminars with less stress and hassle.

4. Get clear on what you want from the event and set that intention. You hear a lot of great information at a live event, especially a multi-day one. It can be overwhelming if you’re not centered and focused on what you most want to get from attending the event. Your intention could range from learning more about a specific topic to be covered to meeting a specific type of person, to anything else that will make you feel the event was valuable.

5. Take good notes. I like to have one notebook dedicated to the event so I can put It in a file where I won’t lose it. You might want to take notes into an online tool like Evernote or One Note. You might want to use my notebook idea. Not every session or every event provides handouts to guide your note taking so you want to make sure you feel good about how you’ll take notes so you can actually refer to them later.

Summarize key takeaways and make note of how’ll you’ll apply the information. I think it’s a good idea to talk through your ideas with a friend or colleague, whether they know what was covered in the event or not. It’s in the explanation that things get processed in our minds and connected in our hearts. Start putting integration / application time into your calendar and don’t expect instantaneous results or a miraculous improvement.

6. Push yourself out of your comfort zone.
Look, as much as I love learning, I’m an introvert. Just being around a lot of people can be emotionally draining for me. But pushing beyond our comfort zone and being uncomfortable is an important part of the learning process. Here are a few simple ways you can stretch yourself:

7. Introduce yourself to others. I know that sounds ridiculous but I really have to push myself to do this. I’m a “don’t speak unless spoken to” kind of person so it really is a push to introduce myself to other people.

8. Switch seats and tables if it’s a multi-day event.
I’m sure there’s some sort of psychological study that could be done on the issue of how committed to and protective of “my seat” people get. As uncomfortable as it is, push yourself to do this if possible and if it feels right in the group. I’ve actually watched grownups – managers — get into an argument at a seminar I was leading at their company when one of them sat in what the other perceived was his seat. It wasn’t pretty. So do it if you feel safe in the group.

If you can’t switch seats, at least sit with people you don’t know so you can expand your network.

9. Don’t eat alone. This can be hard, especially if you’re an introvert like me and you need some down time. But try. Especially if it’s only a one day event. Find a way to eat at least one meal with other attendees. We build relationships with others over food. It really is an important networking and relationship building opportunity. And hey, a whole book was written on this premise.

10. Participate in activities. I’ve been to conferences that have offered tours of the surrounding area, held concerts, scheduled dinners, had parties, and run various networking events. One conference I attended had an ice cream social! If you feel up to it, attend at least one. Part of the benefit of attending an event like this is building your network but you have to actually….you know…NETWORK.

11. Apply for a hot seat if possible. Hot seats are activities where you get a few minutes on stage with the guru running the event. You typically have to fill out an application and yours is chosen if the problem you want to solve is something that others in attendance are likely wrestling with. I applied for and participated in my first hot seat at this recent event. I never felt adequate enough before. When you think about it, the leader running your event likely gets hundreds if not thousands of dollars for their time; so for you to get even a few minutes of focused attention is a great benefit. Take advantage of it.

12. Practice good self care. Rarely are these events monuments to healthy eating and plentiful rest. The ones I go to are typically from about 8am to as late as 6pm. Then there are activities or at least dinner to go to with your fellow participants. Do your best to stay on your typical eating schedule and adhering to your standard diet. Drink lots of water and get adequate rest. If possible, at least get some walking in if you can’t get in your standard workout activity.

13. Stay connected to and active in the group.
A Facebook group is sort of minimum of post event support or connectivity for attendees. Some don’t seem to survive but some groups  really take off and they become a strong support for post-event. The group can give feedback on application of strategies, share resources, and even provide coaching. A good percentage of my clients come from Facebook groups I participate in and most of those groups are off-shoots of a course I took, several of them were live, in-person events.

14. Take fast, imperfect action. This is one of those things we cognitively KNOW to do but often can struggle with when our perfectionism, fears, and self-doubt can take over. Confidence is unfortunately one of those things that comes about after action is taken. Courage is what’s needed in order to take action. To make this easier, pick one small thing you can do right away that will take a small amount of courage but will produce big confidence. The faster you do it, the more powerful and confident you’ll feel.

I know I learn best by taking part in a live training or information session.
Recordings are great but they don’t provide the same depth of experience. If that’s true for you, then be sure to build some revenue into your budget to allow for at least one live event each year to build your skills and your network. Just be sure to choose the right event for you and your business.

How to Deal with the Sudden Death of Your Business Partner

When we were in corporate life we could consider ourselves lucky if we had one good work friend who shared our workspace or who we worked on projects with.

Whether you’re a corporate escapee or an accidental entrepreneur, one of the dreams you may have had when you started your coaching, consulting, or other expertise-based business was that you could work with people you genuinely like, even love.

So imagine the fun, the excitement of building a business with your best friend.

Even in the struggles, you’ve got someone to share the ups and downs, to lighten the load, and to help maximize revenue.

But what happens when it suddenly ends — and it ends because of a tragedy?

In today’s episode you’ll meet Everett O’Keefe the owner of an agency called The Solution Machine.

Listen in and you’ll hear him share…

  • How he and his best friend finally got their struggling business on a solid financial footing and were beginning to grow when suddenly his partner suddenly passed away.
  • How he dealt from the loss from a business standpoint and shares tips for how you can begin planning now for the worst
  • How he was able to meet the needs of his clients and complete the projects he and his partner had committed to
  • Lessons he learned — personally and professionally — while dealing with his loss
  • What to think of from a business standpoint to reduce your exposure to risk

 

Additional Resources

What if Your Business Partner Died Tonight?

Accounting for the Death of a Partner

 

Guest Contact Information

Everett’s business website

Get information on The Master’s Mastermind’s next retreat

Get Everett’s 7 Essential Tips to Get the Most Out of A Mastermind

 

If you liked this episode, please share it with your contacts and connections by sharing the post link with them, by leaving a comment below, or by going to You Tube and leaving a “thumb’s up” and a comment there.

You can share your contact information to receive posts right in your inbox or subscribe to my You Tube channel for alerts when a new video is posted.

 

 

 

 

Could PTSD Be Contributing to What’s Holding You Back?

Each of us goes through a variety of challenges as we move through our lives from childhood through adulthood.

Those challenges leave us with emotional and psychological wounds that can vary from superficial scratches to deep cuts.

How we respond to those situations is unique to each of us; and what one person may feel is not a big deal, another person may experience as profoundly wounding.

Over time, an accumulation of small wounds that are unaddressed could result in a deep emotional injury.

Often without our even realizing it.

And the strategies we adopt to deal with the slings and arrows of life as well as with circumstances that are profoundly hurtful — like losing a job, getting divorced, being the victim of a crime, chronic bullying and more — can eventually become ineffective and actively hold us back when we’re out on our own as independent professionals.

In this episode of The Courageous Entrepreneur Show, you’ll meet my friend and colleague Nancy Philpott.

Nancy is a registered Nurse, a hypnotherapist, and an emotional health strategist and coach. She’s the Chief Transformation Officer for Heart Sync Wellness Center and Founder of the Emotional Resilience Challenge and the Emotional Resilience Academy.

Nancy’s specialty is helping nurses, health professionals, military service members, caregivers, and their family members recognize, prevent, and recover from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Compassion Fatigue, and burnout.

Listen in as Nancy and I discuss…

  • What trauma is and why it can be different for each person
  • How the brain processes trauma
  • How trauma can impact our ability to interact with the world
  • How being a witness to trauma can impact you.
  • Symptoms that could indicate you’ve got unresolved trauma issues that interfere with your goal achievement
  • Suggestions to help you break free and break through.

Disclaimer:

Keep in mind that we’re speaking in big terms here. We’re not doctors and we’re not giving medical advice.

This episode is designed to educate and inform. So if you think you’ve got an issue and need help, contact a local healthcare professional and if you feel as though you’re at the end of your rope, be sure to dial 911.

Remember, it’s courageous and brave to ask for help.

Be sure to stick around until the end of the interview where I’ll share your reflection exercise and action step for this episode.

Learn More About Today’s Guest – Nancy Philpott

Nancy and her team of experts provide tips, tools, and emotional investment strategies to help you build emotional resilience. Go to EmotionalResilienceChallenge.com to join the free 10-day challenge.

You can visit her at HeartSyncWellness.com to learn more about the programs and resources available.

You can find her on Facebook.

Nancy on PsychologyToday.com

Resources Referred to in This Episode

The Mayo Clinic’s definition of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome aka  PTSD.

 

Tips to Align Faith and Work with Melvin Pillay

Aligning faith and work isn’t easy.

When business coach Ed Rush invited me to a workshop he was putting on in San Diego that he called Ultimate Breakthrough that would specifically discuss how to merge faith with growing a business, I knew I had to attend.

It was a great event for many reasons but it really through me for a loop.

While at that event I realized that there was a calling I was resisting. That event — and specifically Melvin’s message — helped me give in to that call and start this show.

I made sure to connect with him on Facebook and I make sure to watch his daily videos for my “daily dose of Melvin”.

If you’ve ever felt trapped in a pit of unworthiness…knowing you were called for more but afraid to take action, then I hope this episode speaks to you.

My guest grew up in apartheid South Africa as one of six children in a Hindu family. They were incredibly poor living in a tin shack with no running water. But he was greatly influenced by his mother and her belief in Jesus.

She used to tell him that if he ever wanted anything he was to pray to Jesus.

Melvin went from spending $2 to rent an audio tape of the legendary speaker Zig Ziglar to becoming a vice president in the Ziglar organization. Today, he’s a an advisor to CEOs, political leaders, and entrepreneurs looking to take themselves, their countries, and their businesses to new heights of success in a way that’s consistent with their faith.

In this episode of The Courageous Entrepreneur show Melvin reveals…

  • The role faith plays in helping us break free from the chains of trauma
  • How to deal with feelings of unworthiness and embrace the fact that Jesus is our brother
  • How shame can block faith
  • How an abundance mindset fits with being faithful

…and so much more.

Learn More About Today’s Guest

You can reach Melvin…

Go Deeper with Additional Research

Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon Hill

Other Episodes Related to This One…

 

 

From Addict to Entrepreneur and ADHD Expert

 

Listen in and hear Alan reveal…

  • The percentage of the population believed to be undiagnosed with ADHD
  • Why ADHD-ers engage in risky behaviors
  • Things we commonly tell ourselves when we struggle with ADHD
  • Things to reflect on if you’re wondering if you may have ADHD

 

Resources

ADHD Self Test for Women

ADHD Self Test, General for Adults

ADD.org – ADHD Support

 

Guest Links

Alan’s website

Alan’s TEDx talk

 

Additional research

Adult ADHD Overview (May Clinic)

8 Ways ADD is a Gift

ADHD Linked to Dopamine Levels

ADHD Statistics

Adult ADHD Support Groups

Treatment for Adults with ADHD

 

 

 

8 Mistakes to Avoid When Asking for Advice on Facebook

We all have times when we want feedback on something we’re working on. Sure, we’re independent entrepreneurs but we all like to know what others think before we go too far down a rabbit hole or discover too late that what we’re working on isn’t going to fly.

This is one of the best things about Facebook and especially Facebook Groups, where contacts share their opinions and where you can get feedback pretty quickly.

I see lots of people asking for help throughout any given day and I’ve noticed some common mistakes made. We’ve all tripped over at least one of these. Which ones keep you from getting and benefiting from great feedback?

  1. Posting a question you can google the answer to and not explaining why you’re asking. If you don’t want to weed through reviews on Yelp or you want to hear opinions from people you trust (and studies show that the opinion of total strangers are trusted more than advertisements or brand claims). But if it’s a google-able question you’re posting you run the risk of being ignored by people and coming across as unsophisticated or worse – lazy.
  2. Posting in a group whose members aren’t a good fit for what you want to know. Either they don’t resemble those you want to reach or they’re trying to reach clients different from your market or they’re style is completely different. I asked for feedback in a group full of people who are very salesy. That was a mistake because I’m not and neither are my clients so I wasted my time and the time of those who responded to my question.
  3. Not explaining what you want people to focus on. Ask a general question like “will you review my sales page” and you run the risk of getting feedback on things you didn’t want and people end up wasting their time. If you’re sharing draft logos you’re choosing between explain what it’s for, how it will be used, and who the target market is. When I review things like a book’s cover, outline, or marketing strategy I need to know who the ideal reader is, what the book’s primary objective is, and who is the primary audience. The context can change a lot about how someone views something.
  4. Asking for a very fast turnaround on something that takes longer than a minute or two. I had an acquaintance on Facebook who would often ask for feedback on things like a guest blog post, a proposal, or other important document and she’d need a response in an hour or less. I know great opportunities sometimes come up suddenly and I can appreciate you want an extra pair of eyes to look at something important like a proposal; but it’s unlikely someone is going to drop everything to review your multi-page document. And if they do, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to give you the thoughtful opinion they otherwise would have.
  5. Not being grateful. Don’t just “like” their answer. At least publicly thank the person. But even better is to practice good karma and do something to repay that person. A testimonial they can use on their website or a LinkedIn recommendation if you’re connected there would be nice. Maybe do a quick Facebook Live video and sing the person’s praises. It takes 30 seconds but means a lot to someone.
  6. Asking for a favor that’s just too big and out of alignment with your overall relationship. I had someone ask me to buy her 10$ book, read it over the weekend, and “leave a great review on Amazon”. I’m sorry, but even if I had time to read your book over the weekend and even if it was truly great I’m not paying $10 to do it. Send complimentary PDFs to people you want reviews from and ask them to leave a review when they can.
  7. Wanting applause rather than honest feedback. I’m in a lot of groups on Facebook. People might share a lot of creative work — book covers, sales pages, a draft of their logo, and more. Often I see responses to their request that are very thoughtful and full of good advice (this is one of the biggest reasons I love Facebook). But then I’ve seen the poster respond in a way that comes across as defensive, using words that seem very harsh or even snarky. I’ve even seen people argue with the responders. This not only guarantees you won’t get help again but it can lead to you being tossed out of the group.
  8. Allowing the feedback to confuse your or take you off course. Now, the whole point of getting feedback is to include outside perspectives and to help you see things you otherwise wouldn’t or point out things you haven’t considered. But feedback and opinions are like noses – everyone has one. And if you have any sort of self-doubt issues, you can get caught up in bouncing from opinion to opinion and never moving forward.

Before you ask for feedback or for people’s opinions about something you’re working on get clear about what you’re asking for, why you’re asking, who you’re asking, and what you’ll do with the opinions you get.

Ultimately you’re responsible for the results you get and being courageous means cultivating the ability to ask for and receive feedback, while having the confidence that you know enough and are good enough already to achieve your goals.

Making the Jump from Employee to Entrepreneur

Millions of people dream of ditching their corporate or organizational job to start their own business. Hundreds of thousands of people do it each year, few of them are successful.

Watch and listen in as M. Shannon Hernandez shares…

  • what led her to give up a 15 year career as a teacher (with great benefits and a pension) for the uncertainty of being an entrepreneur
  • the 4 people she hired right away — even though she had no clients!
  • the pricing strategy she followed even though she had no experience in her new profession
  • how she managed to quickly turn her business into a profitable, global brand

Pick up a copy of Shannon’s book

Visit her website to learn more about the Content Personality(TM) quiz and Shannon’s offerings including her international retreats.

Join the Content Strategy Lab on Facebook

 

Managing a Growing Business and a Growing Family While Dealing with Depression

(Unfortunately this video and the audio are out of sync. Sorry about that. When I figure out how to fix the situation I’ll replace what’s here. Thanks for your patience. I’ll also have the audio-only recording up at some point.)

When my friend and colleague, Shanna Landolt, shared on Facebook that she deals with depression I was shocked and moved.

I couldn’t believe that someone who appeared to have it all together — a thriving business…appearances in the media…..multiple best selling books. — could be depressed.

In addition to being a top recruiter in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, Shanna is also a highly sought after media authority as a Career and LinkedIn Expert.  She’s been featured all across North America on NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, CityTV & CTV.

Shanna has authored 6 books and is a 4x #1 International Best Selling Author. She works with authors to launch their books as #1 Best Sellers on Amazon.

Entrepreneurs, Organizations and People interested in Career Advancement hire Shanna to create compelling LinkedIn Profiles that get them found for their expertise.

Organizations hire Shanna as a Keynote Speaker at Industry Events to share how to create a personal brand in your business using Social Media & LinkedIn.

So you can understand how I would look at her and all she’s done and think “She can’t possibly be depressed!”

But her post moved me because it helped me recognize and admit to myself that depression has followed me my entire life.

I could see I’m not alone as an entrepreneur who manages depression.

So listen in as Shanna shares…

  • What made her admit she has depression and the aftermath of that admission
  • How long she’s been dealing with this and how it first manifested
  • The shocking incident that made her realize she really had a problem and needed help
  • How depression has impacted her professionally and how she manages it
  • Her tips for other entrepreneurs who deal with depression and who want to be successful inspite of it.

Some Additional Resources for You

Shanna on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter

Her main website

Shanna’s book, Secrets From a Headhunter

Official definition of Depression at the American Psychological Association’s website

10 Signs It’s Time to Get Help for Depression

A Special Offer From Shanna

Shanna is an expert at creating LinkedIn profiles that get people found. If you want to learn more visit this link and check out her LinkedIn Profile Writing Service. When you talk to her be sure to tell you that you watched / heard her interview with me on The Courageous Entrepreneur Show! You’ll save $100.

This Episode is Sponsored By…

The book, Brand Power Builder and its author, Duncan Moss of Moss Media Solutions.

This book is a field guide for serious entrepreneurs and business owners who understand the importance of owning and growing a strong Internet presence. You’ll discover the 9 powerful steps to:

  • Get control of your brand online
  • Defeat website hijackers
  • Rescue your orphaned website

You can get the Kindle version of the book on Amazon.

 

10 Tips to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

This  an edited episode of my livestream show, The Courageous Entrepreneur. It airs Monday through Friday at 11:30am ET on Facebook.  You can visit my business page to watch all of the unedited videos and Like the page to get notified when I go live.

 

Once we make the decision to go out on our own, it’s inevitable that we’ll start comparing ourselves to others who are also self-employed.

This type of behavior is deeply ingrained in us and can be seen in toddlers who recognize that another child has something they don’t and then baby B tries to take that thing away from baby A.

Growing up we’re compared to siblings, classmates, and neighbors in addition to seeing mass media and comparing ourselves to the rail thin models, journalists, and actors.

There’s healthy comparison which can work to empower us and then there’s unhealthy comparison which works to disempower and demoralize us.

Let’s look at the two of them.

Healthy comparison happens when you’re doing research and you look at the leaders in your profession or industry and you search for best practices and what works with the focus on reducing your learning curve or your path on the way to a specific outcome.

You look at websites for what’s working in terms of layout and content. You study offerings to see how things are packaged.

Then you think about what you’ve found and borrow what you like that works and modify it to fit yourself and your background.

During healthy comparison you don’t judge yourself as lacking or the other person as better than you. They’re where they are on their path and you’re where you are on yours.

Unhealthy comparison is when you look at what others do and focus on your inadequacy.

They’ve got a better website. They’re more successful. They’re more attractive. They speak better. Their message is more powerful.

Here the focus is not on what you can learn from them but on how lacking you are.

For an entrepreneur this is the path to depression, frustration, and misery.

This sort of comparison can happen even in supposedly supportive groups like a mastermind, accountability, or course group and that can lead to competition within the group.

But that’s not exactly negative.

The difference between healthy competition and unhealthy competition is the focus and interpretation of things.

Healthy competition is when the success of one person doesn’t mean failure for another. Where each member of the group is truly happy for the other and uses their colleague’s success as inspiration. Another’s success can be motivating. This happened with me when I met my friend John Cote, the host of the podcast Healthcare Elsewhere.

I met John not long after he launched the show and found his story so inspiring that I decided to launch my own show.

John’s attitude was “if I can do it anyone can” and I believed that too.

But still I don’t compare my show Let’s Talk Tech to his show Healthcare Elsewhere.

They’re different and we’re different.

But I think we all know the pain of comparing ourselves – especially in business – and finding ourselves lacking. Like I said, it can lead to depression and demotivation.

So how do you stop comparing yourself in a negative way?

Here are 7 things you can do.

  1. Be Grateful. This is a critical part of a successful attitude and triggers you energetically to become more attractive in every way. Think about it. Have you ever worked with ungrateful people? They never said thank you for help they got. They had this sense of entitlement every time the company or anyone else gave them something. They complain a lot because things aren’t good enough. Be grateful in all things for what you have. When you focus on the positive you attract people and opportunities.
  1. Be Happy for Others. I had to face the fact that at one point I was a very unhappy person. And I was jealous about the opportunities and successes that others got. Why didn’t good things happen to me? When I realized what I was thinking and how out of alignment those thoughts were with what I said I believed in my heart, I worked to become truly happy for others. I not only would tell them congratulations but I started sending notes and cards. I’d leave post-it notes for co-workers celebrating the smallest thing they did. I bought silly gifts for friends who got promotions. And I focused on becoming the best at what I did by building on my strengths and not focusing as much on my non-strengths.
  1. Examine your commitment. Sometimes we’ve been seduced into believing there’s a short cut to our goal. You might be able to avoid mistakes by following someone else’s path but you still have to make your own. So If you see someone making strides that you’re not, study what they’re doing. Would you be willing to make the sacrifices they made to get where they are? There’s an old saying that “everyone wants to be an author but no one wants to write the book.” Meaning that we might want the outcome but may not want to do the work to get it. How badly do you want to achieve something and why. Connecting to your core motivation can help you strengthen your commitment. But focus on what your achievement will do for others because the core mission we all share is to be in service to others.
  1. Be crystal clear on your goals.  “More money”…”more clients”….wanting to “serve more people” isn’t clarity. A penny is more money and I know I want more than that. Write your goals down (by hand if at all possible) and let them rest for a few days. If you read them and can ask questions about them then they’re not clear. The more clear you become the easier it is for your brain to focus on the outcome and support you to make it happen. And of course focus on what you DO want, not what you don’t.
  1. Focus on your own mission. Each of us has our own path to walk. Embrace your own mission of service and focus on that “inch wide and a mile deep” segment of the population you most want to serve. And truly see your work as a mission. When you do and you communicate what that is then those who are inspired by it while get behind you. You become easier to refer and easier to identify as an expert.
  1. Track your results. As legendary management guru Peter Drucker said, “What gets measured gets improved.”From monitoring our diets by writing down what we eat, to improving our fitness by tracking our steps, humans are motivated by tracking results. This is the only way you can really treat your business like a business. And it can inspire incremental improvements over your own (or your team’s) past performance. When I work with clients, this is an important part of supporting them with their goal attainment. It’s often the micro movements — toward a clear goal — that deliver the results we want.
  1. Practice good self care. Being self-employed is exciting and depressing all at the same time. It’s frustrating and liberating. It’s full of dichotomies and trade-offs. And while every entrepreneur works long hours building their business, we can’t afford not to take good care of ourselves. Sleeping well, working out, eating healthy food are all important in helping us manage our emotional state. Work too many 20 hour days and you’ll become cranky and miserable. It’s hard not to compare yourself to someone wildly successful who looks like they’ve got this great life with plenty of time off. But don’t do it. Remember, you’re seeing the outside that they likely work hard to control. Who knows what they wrestle with to make their life look so good.
  1. Change your inner monologue. Each of us has this constant chatter that runs through our heads nearly all day long. We figure out problems….we comment on the news….all inside our heads. Well that inner monologue can descend into a raging inner critic that can leave you comparing yourself to everyone from that skinny neighbor who runs past your office window every day to the Facebook friend who continuously posts these “Love my life!” posts.  While that might sound like you (’cause after all it IS your voice), it’s not you. It’s the voice of your worst critic from your past. Or it’s the voice of a situational critic — also from your past. Tell them to shut up. Start tuning in to what you’re saying to yourself, and change the script. Throw out the old tapes. They’re not serving you anyway. Be kind. Especially to yourself.
  1. Build relationships that support you. This is critical. Even if you’re an introvert like me, the chances are good you reach a point where you need to talk to actual adult humans. Cats are nice but not the same. There’s a reason prisons use solitary confinement as a punishment. So join productive and emotionally supportive groups online as well as in person and cultivate relationships with others who are similar to you. One of the great bonuses of taking courses or attending events is they often have a Facebook group. I’ve made some wonderful friendships with people all over the world as a result of online groups.
  1.  Celebrate. This is an important part of the whole business building, Law of Attraction stuff. I am working to improve on this. Too often we go from task to task, client to client, project to project without taking time to truly reward ourselves for our achievements. And if you’re like me — an adult survivor of child abuse — this may truly be a struggle. Those old tapes I mentioned in number 8 will replay and tell you that you don’t deserve to treat yourself. But oh yes you do. It’s demoralizing to continue to work without being rewarded. And you really do deserve to celebrate. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. I treat myself to lunch on the sofa with one of my three cats and a magazine. Sometimes I’ll go for a walk down to the river a few blocks away and just savor the quiet. Do something for yourself that feels like an indulgence. We know that gratitude is an important part of telling the Universe you’re ready for more. I think it’s also an important part of telling God thank you for the blessings you have.

Focusing on your own issues…taking care of yourself…being grateful for everything in your life…all of that is important for you to manage your stress, stay motivated, and to continue growing in a healthy way.

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