Systems 101: To "Control" or "Have Controls"

In the last blog we talked about creating more freedom in your business and acknowledged the tendency for most small business owners to "over-control," which keeps their business small. The alternative to controlling is to create "controls" or systems that allow us to streamline, templatize, structure and monitor the actions and results in our business. If this sounds overwhelming, start with baby steps.

Begin with the end in mind. Creating systems and controls isn't overkill for a small business, rather, it is the "end game" we can slowly start living into right now.

For service-oriented businesses, this may not sound very warm and fuzzy, but nailing the operations side of your business actually allows you more quality time with your customer. Consider anatomy; the structure that you are implementing is the spine and muscle of your business, allowing your head and heart to be free to create. A streamlined business offers you more freedom and because it is more efficient, ultimately generates more cash flow. 

Begin by asking yourself two key questions:

First, what is one piece of software or non-technical solution that you can put in place to start streamlining your business this week? (Think systems, templates, dashboards, policies, scripts, trackers etc.)

Secondly, but just as important, where can you spend less time on the day-to-day tasks in your business, and start thinking more about the big picture? Where are you paying attention to minutia while completely ignoring your long term road map? (No judgment, but do you even know what you want a year or two down the road, or are you just focused on getting through today?)

This week's homework is to do these two things:

1. Spend one hour thinking about your big picture. How have the most successful people in your industry achieved their greatness?  How can you model them? And just as importantly, how do you want to be different?  Write down whatever comes to mind. Then determine where you see your business in six months, one year and three years down the road, and set some benchmarks along the way that you need to meet in order to achieve these goals.

2. Create one template or one new process that will help you streamline what you do. For example, I recently implemented a free scheduling system called Calendly.com that integrates with my Google calendar and allows people to set up appointments with me without all the back-and-forth. It's a beautiful thing. 

I also created an editorial calendar for email marketing and have started writing my emails using voice dictation. Holy cow, it's so fast. *hiccup*  Oops, well, we are still working out the kinks, but guess what, I enjoy writing them more now because it feels like flowwwww.

Now go out there and have FUN creating more freedom in your business!


Jan
 

Screw the Monarchy!

This weekend as we celebrate our independence from the tyranny of British taxation, I am reminded that we Americans have always longed for financial freedom and the desire to write our own rules. Screw the monarchy! ;)

As an entrepreneur, I possess that same spirit. I didn't want to follow the rules of a corporation or answer to a boss. I wanted to work in an environment of co-creation and mutual respect.  I wanted to make my own schedule, and to live by guidelines that served a greater purpose than "the bottom line."  I wanted to be free. Can you relate?

My #1 goal as a Freedom Coach is to help my clients "buy back their time," thus creating freedom of choice. How do I buy my time back, you ask?  The first principle to understand is this: When you exchange time for money, you are never truly free. (Tweet it!)

That's because you need both time and money to have freedom of choice...

Buy your time back by building systems in your business that leverage other people's time or by creating products that leverage your time.  
 
(Tweet it!)

Setting up systems and controls in your business is different than wanting to "control" your business. When you hold on to your business too tightly it becomes unscalable, relying far too much on one person. That person tends to get caught in the weeds, not thinking BIG picture. (Sound at all familiar?)  Not only is this debilitating to the growth of your company, it keeps you from your freedom.

The self-employed create businesses that rely heavily on their time and expertise.  Entrepreneurs create systems that use other people's time (OPT) to implement around their expertise. Which would you rather be? 

Where do you need to uncurl your hands and let your business fly?  Take a tip from our founding fathers and go out there and create your own independence!  

 

P.S. Hey, even the founding fathers had each other. If you need a road map to get to freedom, I can help.

What is The Law of Attraction and How Does it Affect My Business?

Einstein said that thoughts are energy. We've all noticed how our thoughts and moods affect those around us, and we are affected by others.  We can observe that energy attracts like energy, everywhere we look.  Our spouse is irritable and we get in a bad mood.  We are feeling particularly "at the affect" of the world and things happen that seem to "vicitmize" us even further.  Likewise when we are on top of the world, things just seem to fall into place.  

What I’ve learned from both direct experience and observation is also that the energy of our thoughts directly affects what will show up in our lives, and we can learn to harness this.  I know from my Hypnosis/NLP training and direct experience that the power of having our unconscious aligned with our conscious mind is undeniable. As I was searching for a clearer definition of the Law of Attraction that didn’t sound too “woo – woo” I came across this one from the book Attracting Perfect Customers.

“There is an innate striving in all forms of matter to organize into relationships.  This desire is evident everywhere in the cosmos. Particles are attracted to other particles and so create atoms.  Microbes combine with other microbes to create capacities for larger organisms.  Stars, galaxies, and solar systems emerge form gaseous clouds that swirl into coherence, creating new forms of energy and matter.  Humans reach out to one another and create families, tribes and work organizations.  Attraction is the organizing force of the universe.  Everywhere discreet elements come together, cohere, and create new forms.  We know one form of this attraction is gravity.  No one knows what gravity is, but it is a behavior that permeates the universe.  This behavior is ubiquitous attraction.  Attraction has created the universe we know.”  -- Stacey Hall and Jan Brogniez.

So what does Law of Attraction have to do with your business?  It is the thoughts you think and the energy in which you go about your business that will pre-pave your success and spawn new opportunities everywhere you look.  If you use this principal to your advantage, your work will become much easier.  This applies to everything in life.

How have you noticed this already happening in your world?

 

10 Ways to Give your Clients What they NEED (Not Necessarily What They Want)

Have you ever taken the easy road of "yessing" a client because you were afraid of confrontation (or perhaps losing the business), only later to find it was not the easy road after all, either because the outcome was not good (when they didn't follow your direction), or because your client began to lose respect for you along the way?

Let's face it, the art of saying no to a client, or steering them in a direction they don't want requires tons of finesse.   The following tips can be useful for any type of deliverables-based business, particularly for agencies, who have faced the horrors of "design by committee" far too often.  If you're not a deliverables-based business, there are still some good tips here to follow.

  1. Build Rapport.  If you take the time to build up a good rapport with your clients, they will trust your leadership more readily.  We all come across clients who are "tough to crack," but if we can see it as a fun challenge or opportunity for us to grow, we will be thankful later.  If you're truly "out of synch" with your client, set aside time to ask them what style of working together has helped in the past, or bring someone else onto the team to see if the "mismatch" is purely chemistry. As a last resort, it is sometimes necessary to "fire" a client, who is taking up too much time and creating negative energy.  This "tough love" conversation alone has been known to cause a radical shift and create new found respect.
  2. Develop "horse confidence."  Much like riding a horse, a client will pick up on unconscious cues if you are not confident in your actions and decisions.  A client will be far less likely to ask for too many revisions (death by 1000 cuts) if you steer them confidently towards the right solution, and show them this confidence from the very first interaction.
  3. Build a better intake system. If you are consistently not delivering what your clients want, you may need to ask better questions during your discovery phase.  If the team is confident in the deliverable and you discover your client has changed their mind, it's time to write up a new brief for the team.  Set up a system to charge for this, so you are not giving away work for free. (e.g Create a C.O./Change Order.)
  4. Remember that they hired you because you're an expert.  If a client is constantly micro-managing the work, they need to hire an intern, not an agency.  In your initial conversations with clients it is helpful to set up this role of you (or the team) as "the expert," so they know how they are supposed to see you.  (Some people need to be told!)  If it helps, make a script you can loosely follow when you first talk with a client to set up your continued mutual success. If you aren't the person doing the on-boarding, check in with them to see what they are saying, or even putting in writing. It's purely tactical, but we also need to specify the number of revisions up front to manage the clients expectations. (Always do this!)
  5. Acknowledge and validate, without making them "right."  Some times your clients give you great feedback, they often catch things you didn't see that totally makes sense. Why? Because they know their business better than anyone.  That said, many times they are their own worst enemy, and we must gently steer them back in the right direction.  They hired us because we are an expert at this particular thing and can see things from the outside that they cannot from their myopic point of view. When it is necessary, gently say "You know, that totally makes sense that you would want x, because of y.  The only problem with that is z, which is why we developed the solution we did."
  6. Be kind, but honest when sharing your opinion and expertise. This probably goes without saying—never be cocky. But don't be afraid to be honest in a non-brutal manner, for therein lies your strength. Your clients hired you for your talent and your honesty.
  7. Offer real examples backing up why something may not be in their best interest. Whenever possible, cite case studies or scenarios where a certain path taken lead to a non-desirable outcome. If you need to, spend some time researching it.  If it's a gut instinct, tell them so and try to do an unofficial (or official) focus test on it if they still don't believe.
  8. Give them  great alternatives.  If they truly don't like what you have presented, and there is still room in the budget for revisions, give them some great alternatives that you can still stand behind.  Remove your ego, and let them think the alternatives were their idea if it helps. Sometimes people have to think something is their idea to like it!  Why, you've never been guilty of this yourself, have you? ;)
  9. Walk away if you can't be proud of the work. In the end, it is the clients product and you should deliver something they feel good about.  At the same time, your reputation is important and you need to stand by your work.  At the risk of sounding cliché, if it's not "win-win," then don't play the game. If you absolutely hate what they are asking you to deliver, you should give yourself the option to walk away. (Give them well documented source files, and always treat them with kindness—don't burn bridges!)  If you need to resort to this, recommend someone with good skills who is perhaps less principled, but will do exactly what they want.  Make sure you're not operating from ego if you make this decision and that it's truly the best one for you and everyone involved, as this should only be a last resort.
  10. Every problem is an opportunity.  An overused phrase perhaps, but it's a powerful mindset. If a proposed solution isn't working for someone (on your team, or for the client) and you have to push beyond it, you will often surprise even yourself. It often is a conduit to the really, REALLY good stuff, like a groundbreaking solution.  Seek to outdo yourself every time you work with someone and keep pushing towards the unexpected. If it disrupts the market, then wow—you've just created transformative work!  Sometimes people just want a good solid vanilla solution, and that's okay too.  The point is, the best solution is often the one that overcomes an initial dissonance, so push through the resistance until you find it. 

Have you ever had to steer your customers toward what they need, and not just what they want? How did you do it and how did it go?

Charge what your worth

Raise your hand if you've ever had a client try to negotiate your price down. (All hands raise.) 

Or maybe you've felt guilty for what you charge, so you offered a big discount before they even asked. (Been there, done that!)  

...And yes, sometimes there is a marketing tactic behind it—a method to your madness—which is, of course a completely different energy than guilt.  

Unless you're in an industry known for having set prices, you've probably dealt with clients haggling your fee. Sometimes you might have even come down in price only to see your potential client walk away after much time wasted on negotiations. (Consider it a blessing, they were not your ideal client—you just dodged a bullet!)

Be honest, you've also been on the other end, trying to negotiate down another person's price. How does that feel?

Let me get to my point...

Money is energy.  It thrives on movement, not stagnation.  When we hold it with a tight fist it loses momentum.  When we leverage our money allowing it to work for us, it keeps growing.  When we pay others what they deserve it keeps flowing.

Once you begin paying full price, it feels natural to charge full price.

Our energy around money is vital. When we're "cheap" the universe senses our tightness around money and gives us more of the same.  

It's incongruent to say you'll charge your full price, when you're not willing to pay a fair price to your vendors—and unconsciously we seek to rectify inconsistencies like this. Not only that, vendors will go the extra mile when you pay full price. They may cut corners or unconsciously put you at the back of the queue if they're not charging you a profitable fee.  

Think about it, if you always go for the lowest price quoted, you won't necessarily get the person with the most experience, and may end up paying to redo something. Hence the phrase, "you get what you pay for."  If it's TOTALLY not in your budget, and you really, REALLY want to work with someone, offer to trade your expertise in exchange for theirs, and see if they go for it.  Be prepared to give them MORE than what they are offering you in return.

Bottom line—value others/value yourself are two sides of the same coin!

If you want to get good at charging what you're worth and raise your income thermostat at the same time, join me for my Turning your Business into a Prosperity Engine workshop.

Until then, go out there and charge what your worth!

Jan

P.S. Here's a bonus tip!  While I do preach living beneath your means in order to be financially fit, I conversely recommend occasionally splurging on something luxurious. 

Why?  Luxury attracts more luxury! Why do you think financial service people invest in a Rolex?  It's not ego, it's common sense. Not only do they feel like a million bucks, their clients feel like they're working with the best! 
 

Waldhaus Family Pic.jpg

The hotel I was at two weeks ago in Switzerland was definitely a luxury! Do something luxurious for yourself and notice how you feel and what you attract!!!

Do you deserve to be rich?

We all have beliefs about money. We're often not aware of them because they lie at an unconscious level—and that's exactly what they are; money lies.  Most of us consciously believe we want to make a lot of money, but ourunconscious belief is that we don't really deserve it. 

Over the years we've been influenced by our culture, family, society, co-workers and friends. Beliefs like "Money doesn't grow on trees," is a scarcity belief that causes stress, fear and doubt around our ability to create wealth. Value beliefs such as "Money is the root of all evil" and terms like "the filthy rich" cause us to repel money. After all, we don't want to be greedy, filthy or evil! 

We may not feel we deserve to have more income than our family of origin, out of guilt or the need to "fit in."  But if your family loves you, shouldn't they be proud of your success, even if it surpasses theirs?  And why not earn enough to be able to treat them to nice things?  

We may believe that we don't have enough education, or we're not smart enough.  This is not true, I assure you.  People with no college degree and very average IQ's manage to make millions. 

So just how do we "clean up" our thoughts around money?  
Our beliefs about money have a certain energy, or vibration.  On a quantum level, energy attracts like energy.  Whatever we think and believe ends up showing up on the stage of our life. Here are some steps to assist you in writing your own money script.

1. Does this feel light or heavy?
The first step is to notice how a particular thought (in this case about money) makes us feel.  If it feels heavy, it lives at a low vibration.  If it feels light, it is very likely a thought that will serve us in the accumulation of wealth. Using our "feeling-sense" around money can help get us in touch with our unconscious beliefs and choose something lighter.
2. Choose a new thought.
Practice affirming the thoughts that will serve you until they become beliefs, for example, "I can easily create wealth."  
3. Take inspired action.
Take actions that are in alignment with the new thought. If you don't yet know the inspired actions to take, ask your unconscious mind for guidance. 
4. Seek out evidence that the new thought is true. 
Whether we are aware of it consciously or not, we constantly filter reality based on our own personal beliefs. (You buy a red Honda and suddenly you see red Honda's everywhere you look.) Create a "reality filter" based on this new belief and find evidence of it everywhere you look.
5. Surround yourself with others who are successful, or who support you.
When we surround ourselves with people who support us we are more likely to be successful in our endeavors. (This is why hiring a coach, such as myself, ensures a quicker path to success.) Likewise we are more likely to be successful if we surround ourselves with others who are successful.

In my Turning Your Business into a Prosperity Engine workshop we'll do exercises that tackle your money mindset head on.  RSVP now to reserve your spot now for $47 (or pay $97 at the door.)

Now go out there and create the LIFESTYLE you deserve!

Jan

Laughing my way to the bank

I recently started teaching a laughter yoga class for fun.  It transforms and brings me the kind of joy you get when you double over, unable to stop laughing and your eyes tear up — which let's face it, doesn't happen nearly often enough.  My attitude with this new endeavor was more about joy, and less about making money.

But hold up. (I says to myself!) Who wouldn't want to get paid to laugh? This is an additional revenue stream for me, so why not grow it and let more people experience the joy of this practice? (Win-win.)

At a networking event I recently attended an entrepreneur next to me almost apologetically called this type of unrelated work that so many of us do, "The New York Hustle."  It's a type of creative juggling act that allows us to use different aspects of ourselves for fun and profit. As long as it doesn't distract you from your main goals, then go for it.

I tell you this because there will be things in life that you love doing that you may be tempted to give away for free. (And sometimes you will of course volunteer.)  We somehow think that if it's something we love doing we can't charge much for it.  On the contrary my friend, if it is something you love doing you are probably even better at it than something you find less inspiring.  

When we share our gifts with others it is only natural for there to be a value exchange in the way of money. If we only give and we don't receive, we will eventually end up depleted, which may cause us to stop doing the very thing we love. Don't rob the world of your light. Do what you love and charge what you're worth!

What is it that you love doing that you could turn into an additional revenue stream?  If it's unrelated to your primary business, make sure it energizes your spirit and revitalizes your work. Play with the idea for awhile and let me know what happens. Does anything get in your way?  What makes you inspired to keep going?  Most importantly, who are you becoming in the process?

Happy streams!
Jan

P.S. Would you like to learn how to align your offerings so that one product or service effortlessly sells the next? To learn more about creating additional revenue streams remember to RSVP for my live event on April 29th. Tickets are only $47 now, or pay $97 at the door. 

You're Fired!

Um, we need to talk...

Look, you’ve been great, you’ve put in so many hours, but really, it’s time to move on…

Usually nobody wants to hear the words "You're fired!" but in this case it's a good thing!In order to generate massive prosperity in your business you need to openly embrace some pretty big concepts.One is firing yourself—either completely, so you can go out and create other badass businesses, Richard Branson style—or just from certain tasks that other people can handle for you.

Fears pop up, like "Will they be able to do it as well as I do?" and "How could I ever afford to pay them?"While these may be valid concerns, they are also exactly what keep you playing small, and we need to creatively move you past them.

We also need to be honest with ourselves that hiring experts means the job will usually be done just as well or even better than we are doing it, and frees us up for much bigger thinking.

Using the 80/20 rule is a great place to start.

Take the 80% of tasks you need to get done in your business, but generate the least amount of profit (in other words "low value tasks") and farm them out, so you can focus on the 20% high value tasks.
(I'll have a worksheet that helps you figure out exactly what these are in my workshop.)

Now pay attention, cuz the next step is important…

What will you do with all that free time?

Time is only half of the freedom formula.You also need money in order to have your freedom of choice. Here’s my back of the napkin drawing simplifying the three elements of financial freedom:

That’s why I recommend putting 5 times more effort into those high value tasks that you are now able to focus on. [5 x 20% = 100% of your working time.]

Just remember to keep sight of the big picture, so you don’t get consumed by your business. You can take a step right now to create more freedom in your life by signing up for the Turn Your Business into a Prosperity Engine ™ live workshop on Friday, April 29th in New York City. (Space is limited.)

Get your tickets here for $47 (they'll be $97 at the door.)  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/turn-your-business-into-a-prosperity-enginetm-tickets-21841046157

Now go out there and create the FREEDOM you crave!
Jan

“I’ve always had a soft spot for dreamers – not those who waste their time thinking ‘what if,’ but the ones who look to the sky and say ‘why can’t I shoot for the moon?’”
~ Richard Branson

P.S. I know this is a metaphor, but it’s also reality. Branson actually did invest in Virgin Galactic which hopes to make flights to the moon!

15 things that will transform your productivity

I'm always searching for ways to reign in my sometimes unfocused mind. I found some terrific productivity tips in this article, some highlights of which are below.  Read more details here and comment below if you have tried any of these with success. 

Here are 15 easy ways to make every day more productive:

1. DECLUTTER YOUR DESK.

2. BE PART OF THE 20%. (Spend at least 20% of your day on high value tasks)

3. WORK LESS. (You're not very productive after 8 hours.)

4. TURN OFF YOUR IPHONE SO IT DOESN'T EVEN BUZZ

5. IGNORE YOUR EMAIL DURING YOUR PRODUCTIVE TIME, OR IF YOU HAVE AN IMPORTANT ONE YOU'RE WAITING FOR USE THIS EMAIL HACK (go to article)

6. DELEGATE ANYTHING THAT'S NOT A HVA (High Value Activity.  Yep, that's what I've been saying people!)

7. MEET SMARTER. (For one thing, have an agenda!)

8. SLEEP ON THE JOB. (Take a power nap if you need it.)

9. BEWARE THESE PRODUCTIVITY KILLERS. (Social media, email, cell phones, gossip, etc.)

10. MAKE PRIORITIZATION A PRIORITY.

11. FOLLOW YOUR BRAIN

12. PRACTICE STRATEGIC PROCRASTINATION

13. STAY IN THE SLUMBER "SWEET SPOT."

14. SEEK OUT THE SUN.

15. DON'T SIT FOR TOO LONG!  HIT THE ELLIPTICAL.

 

 

3 Questions to Uncover if You Have a Limiting Belief or Real Obstacle Standing in Your Way

Limiting beliefs are fearful stories we tell ourselves that crumple our confidence and take us out of the running before we have reached a full sprint. Whenever we start to live outside our comfort zone this voice usually flares up.  Our creativity often walks hand-in-hand with fear, as necessary partners in a relay race to reach our destination. How do we befriend our fear without letting it run us?  And how can we recognize if there is a legitimate obstacle in our path instead of a limiting belieft?

1. Ask yourself, is this a belief of mine and where did it come from?  Do other people believe this also to be true?  Are there examples of other people who do not hold this as a belief?  Which person is more successful?

2. How is this fear or belief trying to help me?  If you find it's a limiting belief or fear, acknowledge that it is trying to protect you from risk in some way. You can acknowledge your inner critic when it says you can't do something, without actually following it's advice. When we listen to our limiting beliefs, we play small.  Dare yourself to feel the fear and play the big game anyway.  If it is a belief about your value, raise your prices anyway. You might be surprised how it increases your self-worth. If it is a belief that you must work hard for your money, challenge yourself to come up with a program for creating money with ease that adds to your income stream.  Hire a coach to work through limiting beliefs you keep bumping into. It will pay back your investment many times over.

3. Is this a real obstacle?  If this is a tangible life problem, such as a lack of education or knowledge you need to do something.  What steps do you need to take to move through it?  If this is something you've failed at in the past, ask yourself if honing the skill over time will make you better at it.  As with learning any new skill. practice usually makes perfect.  If it is lack of funding that you are facing, study how to create a minimum viable product (MVP), how to set up a VC deal or get funding via crowd sourcing so you don't have to take out massive loans.  Instead of making excuses, take ownership to move through whatever is in your way.  If it's not something you think you will ever be good at or it takes too long to learn, it probably makes sense to hire someone to do it for you.

If you don't trust yourself to stay the course and go it alone, building a team or hiring a business coach are ways to keep the creative momentum going.  Name an entrepreneur who built a company completely on their own?  Even solopreneurs reach out for help from others and outsource things that are not their expertise as they build their business steadily over time. 

Whether it’s a limiting belief you need to address within yourself or an external obstacle, own the responsibility. Always be curious and always play your biggest game. 

9 Daily Success Habits

If you're like me you can be a little scatter brained if you don't comb your hair the right way in the morning.  My mind is racing in so many directions when I hit my desk that I often wonder "where do I begin?"  Unfortunately if I don't have a plan, it's off to the races, chasing rabbits down one hole after another.

We often talk about habits we want to break, but what about the ones we want to create?  Here are my favorite daily habits that set me up for success.  If you don't have time to try all 9, pick one or two to start.

1. Mindfulness Meditation Practice – No matter how busy I am, it helps to start my day off with 10 mins of quieting my racing mind and accepting things exactly as they are in this moment.  The health benefits of meditation are right up there with eating healthy and getting cardio exercise, but many people don't realize that quieting the buzz helps you focus, stay sharp and creates room for flashes of inspiration throughout the day. 

2. Planning my day - I like to end the meditation with an intention for the day, which is different than goal setting.  An intention can be super simple like "Today I will have fun and laugh!" or "Today I will  end every interaction with a positive statement." or "Today I will feel calm and peaceful." I follow this with sitting down with my (non-digital) notebook and writing down at least 3 things I want to work on today with a couple of smaller next steps underneath the 3 buckets.  For instance if I want to go grocery shopping the small next step is creating a shopping list.  I then choose the one thing that NO MATTER WHAT I want to complete that day.  This helps me prioritize. If I notice I'm blocked or feeling icky about a certain task I review how it's in alignment with my core values and how I ultimately want to feel.  If it's not, I chuck it or outsource it to someone else.

3. Water – Oddly drinking water throughout the day helps me concentrate better and has tons of health benefits to boot such as younger looking skin and losing weight.  

4. Focus time – My power hours happen to be the first 2-3 hours in the morning. I get more done before 10am than I do for most of the day. When I’m most productive, I focus on a key project or writing. I get into trouble when I lapse into checking email or doing other busywork which throws me off for the rest of the day. What are your power hours? What should you reserve for that time?

5. Slower hours – By mid-afternoon I start to slow down and may even sneak in a power nap.  I often don't feel productive in the evening, until I pass my slump period. I use afternoons to check email or other busy work that needs to get done. I sometimes schedule meetings for the slump time because I know that I will instantly draw upon the energy of being with others. I occasionally schedule in a little "unstructured time" during these hours too. What are your slower hours? What can you do during that time that matches the energy and focus you have to give?

6. Timed work – I use a countdown timer on my phone called a Pomodoro Timer that I set for 25 minutes and after that time I take a stretch or refill my water.  Not sitting too much and getting a stretch is so important to our health.  I often see how many Pomodoros I can get done in a day and try to beat my average.  

7.  Gamify it!  I find making little productivity games like the Pomodoro Method mentioned above helps me get more done.  Sometimes I text an emoticon to my personal trainer or my coach when I've completed a work-out or an important task.  It's super simple, but I love it when they text me back with a thumbs up!  I often use this with my clients too. What can you gamify in your day to make it more fun and productive?

8. Get outdoors - We don't have access to a lot of nature in NYC, but I still love getting outdoors to clear my head and reduce stress.  I try to go for a short walk every afternoon to run an errand, stretch my legs and get outside. On warm days I work for an hour in the park.  It also helps that there's no wifi and no danger of checking email.

9. Gratitude journaling - Before bed I write down a few things that went well (successes, larger or small) and some things I am grateful for that day.  It can be as simple as writing "Thankful for the sunny day today." or "Nailed the presentation -- I thought I'd be nervous and I wasn't!" or "I can't believe I hit that high C -- I still got it!"  It always sends me off to sleep with sweet things in my head and affects my outlook on life.  Do you have any tools that help you see the glass as half full, not empty?

Admittedly, I don’t always follow my own routines, and then I am not as productive or focused that day. But if I can manage to stick to most of these, I often find I have more than enough time to work, rest and even treat myself to free time. I am always tweaking and adding to my list of success habits, so I welcome your feedback!  What daily habits work for you?

15 Ways to Create Quantum Success in Your Business

To be an entrepreneur is to take a quantum leap; a leap beyond the so-called "safety net of corporate culture,"  into the unknown world of creating a business on your own terms.  Utilize the 15 frameworks below as a catalyst for becoming a successful entrepreneur. 

1. Quit Trying Harder - Trying harder only produces incremental gains.  A quantum shift is an elegant solution requiring less effort.  Consider the metaphor of a wheel that you are pushing from the outside rim with great effort as you turn a full 360 degrees around the axis, just to start over again. Now, focus on placing yourself at the hub of the wheel instead of the outermost rim.  Notice how little movement or effort you need to go the same distance.  Imagine all the momentum you can build with all that excess energy available to you. 

2. Ignore Conventional Approaches – A quantum leap requires an abrupt change in behavior. It requires finesse over effort, simplicity over complexity, a new paradigm and a fresh perspective.  

3. Think Beyond What Common Sense Would Allow – Quantum leaps require “uncommon sense.” Rethink your thinking.  Violate the boundaries of the probable.

4. Suspend Disbelief - Act as if your success is for certain and proceed boldly.  If you need to doubt something, then doubt your limits.

5. Focus On Ends Rather Than Means – It is crucial to have a clear picture of what you want to accomplish.  Solutions will appear. Draw the map as you go.  

6. Rely On Unseen Forces – When you focus on the clear picture of what you want to accomplish, and move confidently toward it, unexpected and unknown resources materialize.  Another way you may have heard this said is "Leap and the net will appear."  

7. Choose A Different Set Of Rules – You can never avoid risk, you can only choose which risks you will take.  Risk believing in yourself.  (I love that!)

8. Trust In The Power Of The Pursuit – Dreams begin to crystallize into reality when they are pursued, because the world behaves differently when you go after what you want.

9. Seek Failure – Unless you are willing to fail, you will never have the opportunity to test the limits of what you are capable of accomplishing.  Remember, the acronym FAIL stands for First Attempt In Learning. 

10. Get Uncomfortable – Quantum leaps jerk you out of your comfort zone.  If you aren’t experiencing discomfort, the risk you are taking probably isn’t worthy of you.

11. Open Your Gifts – There are unused gifts waiting to play a role in your quantum leap, open them.

12. Fall In Love – Create a dramatic dream that goes beyond the ‘reasonable’, and then allow it to become your “magnificent obsession.”

13. Make Your Move Before You Are Ready - You don’t prepare for a quantum leap, you make it!… and then you fine tune as you go.  Just like I advise clients to create an MVP (minimum viable product)  and launch it before it's complete or perfect, this step challenges you to learn by total immersion.  It's like going to Paris to learn French vs. learning French before you go to Paris.

14. Look Inside For The Opportunity – Everything else that’s needed, comes from inside you, not from anything outside you.  Another very powerful frameset is to see every challenge as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and grow. 

15. Finally, be grateful about your successes, even the small ones This builds momentum and makes you unstoppable!

Further reading: The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks and You 2 (Squared): A High Velocity Formula for Multiplying Your Personal Effectiveness in Quantum Leaps by Price Pritchett.

Six Tips for Creating New Year's Resolutions that Stick

Here's wishing you a fulfilling New Year full of joy, good health, success in your business and in your personal relationships.  Many of us have been coming up with resolutions or themes for 2015, so I want to personally invite you to my free one-hour teleconference on January 4th to help you follow through on your New Year's resolutions and set goals for the coming year. 

We all know from past experience that many of our resolutions don't stick. That's why I want to share six tips below to ensure your success as you begin putting your intentions together for 2015. 

1. Imagine It - Make a colorful movie where you envision yourself already having achieved your goal. Use all of your senses: how will it look, sound, smell, taste, feel?  Pack in as many details as you can and replay your movie as often as possible throughout the year. Athletes use this technique for peak performance and neuroscience shows it works.

2. Make it Actionable - Even if you have a grand scheme (e.g. "I will win the lottery") make sure that you create small actionable steps to attain your goal. Remember that "you've gotta be in it to win it!" Your strategy might include buying 5 lottery tickets a week and envision yourself cashing in some small wins before you win the big jackpot. Small steps are not only practical, we are building momentum.

3. Focus on what you do want, not on what you don't want - Your unconscious mind cannot process things that are couched in the negative.  Therefore "I don't want to smoke" translates to "I want to smoke," subconsciously. Reword your goal to be smoke-free by talking about all the rewards and benefits of quitting for best results.

4. Have fun with it -  Make your resolution playful and joyful in any way you can.  If saving money sounds boring, take the 52-week savings challenge and put $1 more into your piggy bank each week; in week one you put in $1, but in week four you are putting in $4, and by the time you get to week 52, you will have saved nearly $1400, which can get you a plane ticket to anywhere in the world!

5. Be inspired - Whether your goal is small or huge, you will face obstacles, so make sure your goal is big enough to inspire you.  For example, you may think a goal of working out three times a week might be realistic, but it might also be uninspiring. What if a goal such as running the NYC marathon challenges every belief you held about yourself and gives you the opportunity to see yourself in an entirely new light.  Go for it, and if you fall short you still will have worked out many more times than you would have initially!

6. Make it larger than yourself - When you make your goal inclusive of others or the world around you it magnifies its energy. Specifically naming how your goal will also benefit others is key here—for example, a goal to stop smoking might benefit not only you but your grandson, because you'll be able to attend his high school graduation in 15 years (...vs. being six feet under.) You don't have to be Gandhi or Martin Luther King to ensure your goal is at least a "win-win," so that it not only benefits you, but your loved ones. Typically what benefits us affects those around us in a positive way.

What are your resolutions for 2015 and what is your roadmap for getting there?

Warmly,
Jan

Ever Wonder Why Your To Do List Seems to Keep Growing?

Are you focusing all your energy on the tasks in your to do list but it just seems to keep growing bigger and bigger?  It's maddening! How can that be?!?  Blame the law of attraction. Here's how it works: by focusing on the tasks and not your outcome or end game, you are making it all about "the work," and thus you are vibrating on that level.  Energy attracts like energy, so you are attracting more and more work.  This is how those mole hills are turning into mountains!

What can you do?  Relax, and chunk up.  Envision how you want your day to be.  Ask yourself, "What higher goal do I really want to accomplish today?"  Learn to look at the big picture before you focus on the step-by-step process of getting there.

When you become the hub of the wheel and not the many spokes, the effort to turn the wheel to gain momentum becomes much easier.  So center yourself and envision what you truly want.. at your CORE.  It doesn't have to be deep.  Let's say one of your "to do" items is to clean away piles that have been on your desk,  envision first a clean space, how you will feel working there and how much more successful you will be when you can find everything.  The key here is chunk up as much as possible to the highest good completing this task will bring you, so that the task has a "greater purpose," if you will.  Breathe into that purpose and when you feel it in your bones, tackle that first pile.  Give yourself one Pomodoro to start, and see where that leads. 

If you need help with this process, contact me for a free session on how to get started. 

Has anyone else experienced this "mysterious" expanding To Do List phenomenon?  What would your life be like if you woke up tomorrow with more free time?  What would you focus on instead?  Tell us in the comment box below!

My Favorite Season

As we enter Fall, a season that so many of us love, with its beautiful colors and the first scent of fireplaces in the air, I sometimes hear grumblings about the days becoming shorter and the coldness of winter soon approaching.  Winter can sometimes be a harbinger of depression (If you have SAD, for example) but there are powerful ways to reframe this that can influence our outlook.  This poem does just that.  It is one of the most poignant and touching poems I've heard about true love for all the seasons...

My Favorite Season

By Bruce D. Schneider

Someone once asked what was my favorite season and I gave it considerable thought.

I first considered Fall:

Fall is the time of beauty and change.

Fall is the time to watch Football.

It is also a time for family gatherings and festivities.

It’s the time for Halloween and with that, a connection with the neighborhood

I truly love Fall.

 

Then I considered Spring:

Spring. The time of rebirth; of new life.

You can observe daily the changes in colors of nature, and listen to the sounds of

Birds singing beautiful melodies of peace and harmony.

Spring is the time to watch baseball!

Yes. I truly love Spring.

 

But I had to consider Summer:

Swimming, lying on my hammock in the beautifully warming and relaxing sun.

Summer’s the time for picnics, barbecues and parties.

It’s the time for some real family enjoyment.

Summer is great fun.

And yes. I truly love Summer.

 

So in considering the beauty of Fall, the rebirth of Spring, and the fun of Summer,

It became very clear to me.

My favorite season was Winter.

Along with Winter’s offerings of darkness and cold,

It is only Winter that allows me to know and truly appreciation the love have for

Fall, Spring and Summer.

The Mother of us All

When I joined the #PeoplesClimate March today I noticed many more happy than angry marchers, perhaps because we were coming together (300,000+) to affect change.  Many of the marchers had clearly spent hours crafting costumes, floats and signs. I borrowed a marker and a blank piece of poster board and quickly created a sign that read "Love Your Mother!"  for the obvious reason that mother earth is where we were spawned and who continues to feed and shelter us. There are of course many amazing causes out there, but it seems like a no-brainer that saving mother earth trumps them all.

I wanted to make sure I didn't get so caught up in the marching and ensuing visual and auditory excitement that I didn't reflect on the bigger picture of why we were there.  It's so easy to just go with the flow.  Fortunately I had an hour with little distraction while waiting on a side street before joining the frey, to do what I call a "cognitive preloading" (fancy word for 'visualizaton' or 'segment intending') where I imagined the world leaders coming together to sign an agreement, which seems to be one of the greatest potential outcomes of the march, and then I chunked up to visualize the planet healing from all the damage humans have caused.  I did this visualization as a way to pre-load the movie that I want to play out in actual life, sort of like an athlete primes their brain before a tournament.  The big difference is that I'm not a part of those events.  Or am I?  What about the notion that we are all connected by a web or field of energy.  (One of my favorite books on this topic is The Field by investigative journalist, Lynne McTaggart.)  This cognitive preloading works for me and for so many people I have spoken with that I no longer question "The Law of Deliberate Creation,"  though the scientist in me still wants to know exactly how it works.  I'm not particularly religious, but I've often wondered if it is why so many people swear by the power of prayer. 

As we marched along Central Park South I was happy to notice a rather large group of meditators with a sign that read "Earth Vigil."  I would have happily joined them, as I think they were pretty much doing the very thing I had done before, where you center yourself and quiet the mind as much as possible, and then direct the movie you want to play out, with as many juicy details as you can.  Somehow this seems to direct our energies towards affecting a change, just as writing this blog post does.

A friend who joined me at the march was saying that it is corporations who must make the changes, not our government, which seems to have little power over Wall Street.  I was happy to come home to this piece of very good news...

Six of the world's largest oil and gas companies will commit, via a new partnership with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, to take steps to reduce methane leaks in fossil fuel production.

"This is an enormous opportunity" for the industry, says Nathaniel Keohane of the Environmental Defense Fund, a private group. He says emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, account for 25% of global warming.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/09/21/companies-make-pledges-un-climate-summit/15891791/

They say to "be the change you want to see in the world."  Keep visualizing it too!