July, 2010 Archive

Grab Your Slice of Peace

July 29th, 2010 by Adaire in Financial Freedom, Lifestyle

Peace of mind – a concept seemingly foreign to most of us overworked and overscheduled people running out and about in this modern world. Amidst our responsibilities, needs, wants and everything else in our everyday lives, we seldom get the chance to own and revel in it. When we do get glimpses though, it’s like we get to taste just a little piece of heaven! :)

Now, there are a couple of ways we could grab our own slice and enjoy peace – finding out what we really want and learning to delegate or  let go, as some may say – two  deceptively simple phrases that, not surprisingly, weigh the hardest on most people’s minds.  :) How do you find out what you want? When is it right to let go?

Source: Gettyimages.com

Listen to YOU

An article from Thrish Bishop – speaker, Intuitive Guide and author of “The Question Journey” – in Healthy Wealthy n Wise entitled It’s Time to Be Quiet helps us focus on finding all the answers we need within ourselves. Imagine that, we try and try to find answers to life’s many questions elsewhere and get confused by everything that’s going on around us, when all we needed to do was to find a spot, be quiet and listen to our inner voices.

Below are some tips from Thrish mentioned in her article:

Break the “buy your answers” habit.

Do you, like me and most people, spend money on self-help materials, when they’re basically saying or teaching the same principles? Somehow, we might be led to think that maybe if we pay for something, what we find inside it might actually be of some value. Well, that may be true for most of these sources, but not always. Try listening to what YOU know. Learn to distinguish the difference between the information they give and the knowledge that you already have. Between what you find out and what you believe in, you’ll definitely find what you’re searching for.

Shut off the chaos valve.

When we don’t want to know exactly what’s happening within us, or if we’re trying to hide something, we pretend that we have all these things going on. We make it a point to be busy, or we allow all the external distractions to, well, distract us.  :) Given that they really are important and they really do need your attention, don’t help them help you hide from what you need to do. Shut out the chaos, quiet your mind and find at least a modicum of peace within.

Rip-off the band-aid.

Don’t cover your feelings with bravado or denial. Those will only cause the negativity to fester. It’s better to let the wound breathe than let it breed in the dark. When emotions are exposed, it’s easier to deal with them, get them out of the way and move on to whatever you need to do. Let me tell you, the sooner you rip that bandage off, the better you’ll feel. :)

Cut the strings.

Don’t listen to society. Nor should you let them dictate what you should wear, eat, do or feel. Don’t let society’s restrictions limit you. I’m not saying you should break state laws or commit random acts of violence or sin. Show them off and be comfortable in your own skin instead. Listen to YOU and trust YOUR instincts. Follow your intuition and don’t allow “them” to mold you into something you’re not. Give yourself a chance to experience some personal growth.

Let THEM Help

Kim DeYoung – the “Get It Done Girl” who gives business and life solutions to mom entrepreneurs – on the other hand, shares with us one of the best tips for avoiding mistakes, and instead, boosting your profit and potential through her article Delegate – Give Yourself More Time, Energy and Money. How? Like the title said, through delegation. It may sound simple enough, but from my experience, it’s easier said than done. :)

One of the many business success secrets out there is delegation. Yes, aside from clearly setting and visualizing your goals, allowing failure to peep every once in a while and having a good marketing plan, you also need to learn how to let go of certain things and allow others to step up to the plate.

I’m sure you’d do an amazing job handling whatever it is you need to do, but with everything going on around you, you don’t have to drive yourself crazy with keeping up. There are other equally competent people out there who are very much willing to help and would likely give you better results and allow you to focus on the things that need your attention more.

Give the little, time-consuming things to them, so you could handle the bigger, more important things yourself. There are virtual assistants, virtual bookkeepers, and the like, who are very competent and enthusiastic about what they do.

With this set up, you could even pay them by the hour, as opposed to hiring full-time, in-house staff whom you’ll have to pay even without output. You’ll also get the benefit of picking their brains if you get stumped along the way, since they could easily have encountered similar situations before.

Kim DeYoung passed on some tips from her interview with Erin Blaskie:

Make a list of the things you know you want to delegate out.

Be specific about what you want to delegate. Make sure that you’re not wasting anyone’s time, and your dime, by passing off mediocre tasks.

Track your time for one week. Track everything.

Keep track of your time, so you’ll know which tasks take up more of it that you need to let go. Of course, this wouldn’t help if you don’t know how to leverage your time properly and end up spending more than you could bring in.

Communicate your business vision.

Define your business vision and share it with the team. This way, you’ll all work towards the same goal. In turn, you could better set your goals and expectations of each other. Quid pro quo. You share your vision with your people and they’ll share their opinions and own visions with you, while helping you realize your own dreams in the process.

Consider your virtual assistants as partners, not employees.

Whomever you choose to delegate your tasks to, treat them as equals and not employees. Trust me, when each is given equal chance to show what they can do and come up with, you’ll definitely see bigger and better results that would bring more to your business.

Utilize their expertise.

Let them bring something to the table. The reason you chose to delegate tasks to them is because they know something that you might not. Trust them to share what they are capable of, and revel in human beings’ capacity to learn from each other and learn on their own, while trying to satisfy their insatiable thirst for knowledge.

Have you listened to the inner you, grabbed a piece of that peace, and found out what you want? Are you able to delegate and let go of tasks that would help you grow your business? Let me know through the comments section below.

Happy searching!

Channeling Your Creative Power

July 22nd, 2010 by Adaire in Financial Freedom

Source: iStockphotos

What’s the difference between a rich person and a poor one?  The obvious answer would be the amount of money they possess, but the other unnoticed major difference is their mindset.  Notice how they are poles apart – a rich man will generally believe that he can make another million dollars if he wants to, while a poor guy will think that it’s so difficult to make money and become rich.  The mindset makes a lot of difference in a person’s life – there’s a certain type you need in order to achieve success. 

That’s the main subject in Karim Hajee’s interview in Small Business CEO Magazine on how to Unleash Your Creative Power.  This guy is an expert when it comes to creating wealth by having an entrepreneur’s mindset – after all, he has over 20 years worth of experience on it.  He’s actually an investigative reporter at one of the top news agencies in New York and he had to overcome some obstacles along the way.  During that time, it seemed impossible for someone like him – a guy from East Africa with an Indian descent – to be successful in his chosen field.  Well, that was what somebody said to him at least.  But he didn’t let that stop him from reaching his goals and objectives.  He pursued his dream and became a success.  The secret was to focus on the positive and not spend so much time on the negative.

The Power of Positive Thinking

Karim did not only turn out to be a winning journalist, but he also managed to create other profitable businesses along the way.  One of his most successful is his book on “Creating Power,” which focuses on developing that success mindset.  This involves positive thinking, blocking out negative thoughts, and focusing on reaching goals.

Creating Power By Karim Hajee

For instance, if you’re a brand-new entrepreneur, you must train your mind to think that your business will do well despite the recession.  Don’t allow yourself to consider that your business is having a slow time.  Believe that your money making venture is going to succeed and don’t entertain negative thoughts that it won’t.        

As a businessperson myself, I agree with what Karim discussed in his TALK – that every entrepreneur must turn his mindset around.  How?  By following these steps:

  1. Look at your business overall and discover your objective.  The most common goal for entrepreneurs is to make money so focus on that.
  2. Find a way to accomplish your objective.  Concentrate on attracting the right kind of people into your business. 
  3. Know how you can attract these kinds of people.  Have faith that there are always people who are ready to buy whatever you’re selling – it’s just a matter of looking for them.

Keep an Open Mind

You must have encountered the saying, “It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.”  Our minds are like that, too.  If you want to think differently, you have to train your mind to do it.  It might take some time but it’s still possible.  The trick in turning toward an open mind is to keep track of the things you think about and say. 

Change your negative thoughts.  Be patient about it because your mind can’t automatically shift from negative to positive.  Your subconscious is not really used to receiving such responses.  But if you’re able to change the messages you send to your subconscious, then you’ll be able to change your energy and attract positive things – that’s the law of attraction at work.

It also helps to surround yourself with people who’ll support your success.  Those who will say, “You can do it!”  It’s essential to talk to the right crowd – those who have a good support structure.  At the same time, you must avoid people who are just maliciously negative – those who suggest you quit before you even start.  It’s true what they say, “Like attracts like.”  It’s best to gravitate towards positive people instead of negative ones.

Key Things to Look Out For

 The most important lesson I learned from Karim is to have the right mindset.  Remove the negative thoughts from your mind and concentrate on the positive.  I discovered it’s also necessary that you know what you want and why you want it.  You must also remember that you need to set aside some time to have some fun because your mind is relaxed during that time and your subconscious mind will be open to new possibilities.  Another significant thing that was pointed out was change is bound to happen – whether it concerns you or your business – so just embrace it and don’t fight it. 

 To know more about unleashing your creative power, download Karim’s FREE TALK here

 Or if you have something to share about developing the right mindset, do leave a comment below. 

More Power to You!

Communicate Right

July 17th, 2010 by Adaire in Financial Freedom, Lifestyle

Source: iStockphoto

Communication, verbal or not, is our way of getting in touch with people – or even animals, for that matter. :) Without communication, we won’t be able to build relationships, we’ll be locked in our own worlds and we’ll never get whatever we want to say out to our fellow human beings.

Furthermore, the money-making success secret of businesses, whether small or big and using online or offline marketing, is right communication. This is what Ric Thompson’s Small Business CEO Magazine’s  talk with Sam Horn focused on – Empowered Communication.

Sam Horn, with six books and 20 years of award-winning communication/creativity consultancy for international clients under her belt, discussed a few tips that she also featured in two of her books, Pop! and Tongue Fu! This top-rated speaker and in-demand consultant shared how we could empower our communication and use it to improve our businesses and relationships.

Source: iStockphotos

Elevate Your Style

At first meetings, we’re often asked, “What do you do?” For some professionals, this is so easy to answer. They either say they’re doctors, lawyers, accountants, consultants and the like. But for others with out-of-the-box, slightly unique or somewhat new careers, it’s very hard to convey what we do. I mean, it’s simple if the word marketing just covers it. But since there are different types of marketing out there – online marketing, event marketing, strategic marketing, web marketing, email marketing, affiliate marketing, etc. – it’s best to be more specific, yeah?  :)     

You don’t want people knitting their brows in confusion and forgetting all about you do you? Of course not!  :) Sam Horn introduced the concept of the “elevator speech” or “elevator intro.” According to her, when we answer a question concerning what we do, we have to offer them something that they’ll be able to touch, feel, hear or taste. We should answer in such a way that will capture the other’s person’s senses.

Instead of rambling on about the technicalities of our job, that others might not necessarily care for, we could ask them a question so we could get FI or free information from them. We could then wrap our answer around that information. It would help relate what we do to what they’ve experienced or known before. They’ll understand what we’re about and most probably even want what we’re offering. Since we connected with them on a deeper level and our conversation led to something meaningful, there’s a bigger chance that they’ll remember us. 

Promote Word of Mouth
One of the greater benefits of having people understand what we do is the chance of getting unsolicited – but very much welcomed – word-of-mouth promotion from them. First impressions last, as they say.  :) When we’ve captured their attention and made what we do remarkable to them, people tend to share information about us without actually meaning to. If someone asks them about what we do, then they’ll have an easier time sharing the information in our behalf. This is how information about us and our services could go viral. I don’t know about you, but that’s what I would call effective marketing. :)
Bite Your Tongue

Good manners are made of petty sacrifices.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson

 This is another concept that Sam Horn shares in her talk with Ric Thompson. According to her, the best way to deal with complaints is not to explain, but to take the A-train instead — agree, apologize and act. I totally agree!  :) The best way to put out a fire is not to fan it nor add fuel to it, right? :)

During conflicts, it’s always easier to defend oneself isn’t it, especially if we’re certain it’s not our fault. It’s mostly an ego thing, I know. But there you go.  :) It’s human nature. When threatened, our defense and fighting instincts take over. When we’re on the frontlines of service though – whether by email, phone or in person – it’s not exactly the smartest way to go.

So, what should we do? We should do as Sam Horn advices – bite our tongue and process our thoughts quickly in our heads. We have to learn to think on our feet and to agree that we didn’t deliver what was expected, apologize for the oversight and act on a solution that would appease the customer or whomever we’re talking to. This doesn’t only work in business mind you, but on every relationship we wish to keep. :)

Don’ worry though, even if you don’t get it right the first time, there’s such a thing as a “fresh start.” Even if we stumble during introductions and first meetings, we could always make up for them the next chance we get – whether it be a day, a week, a month or even a year after the incident. Now, doesn’t that make you breathe easier? :)

Keep It Short

I try to leave out the parts people skip.” – Elmore Leonard, bestselling author of Get Shorty

Instant gratification takes too long.” – Carrie Fisher, Princess Leah from the Star Wars movies

These are good points to launch the other good advice that Sam Horn shared in her talk with Ric Thompson. She said, “If we write an article that’s too long, if we speak for too long, if we give a report that’s too long, or if we have marketing copy that’s too long, we are taking ourselves out of the game.”  

This, I believe, is true. If we really want to capture people’s attention and be remembered by them, then watching their eyes glaze over and boring their brains out are not exactly the smart routes to take.  :) Trust me, and the experts, on this – keep it short.

As a litmus test, it’s always better to ask yourself if what you have to say is (1) interesting; (2) easily understandable; and (3) would add value to the person you’re speaking with, before you actually say anything. Even when you’re excited, try to not get ahead of yourself. Take the time to process your thoughts before uttering any words. Better yet, it helps to have a prepared intro or a concise and compelling bit when you go into any personal or professional gathering. It’s a little unnerving to think about at first, I know. But with practice, it’ll get easier.  :)

Communication comes easy to everyone. Empowered communication, on the other hand, is a different matter all together. With the tips Sam Horn shared, we are actually given room to improve on our own communication skills. Keep in mind that in what we have to say, whether it’s about ourselves or our business, it always pays to keep it short, interesting, easily understood and remarkable. The best way to go viral, build networks and strengthen relationships is to get our messages across and have people relate to what we say.

In a way, these tips help us work on our own personal growth. By learning how to communicate well, we improve ourselves and our relationships with those around us. Don’t you think so too?  :)

To access the recording of Ric Thompson’s talk with Sam Horn on Empowered Communication, click here.

If you have thoughts and other tips to share on how to improve communication skills, please type in your comments below.

Happy mingling people!

Rise to the Challenge

July 1st, 2010 by Adaire in Financial Freedom, Lifestyle

“Success is not a place at which one arrives but rather the spirit with which one undertakes and continues the journey.” ~ Alex Noble

We’re halfway through 2010, and yes, times are still tough. Amidst news of recovery and restarting growth, there are still those who fear for their livelihood, their income, their next meal. Not to be Ms. Negative here, but let’s face it, there will always be challenges. For as long as we live, there will always be problems to solve and hills to climb. After all, it’s one way to make sure we’re alive right? :) If we don’t have anything else to overcome, then we might as well just drop and well, stop living. :)

Contrary to popular belief, bad times can actually bring the best out of people. It is during these tough times that the strongest surface. The survival instinct within us tells us that only the fittest survive. As we have seen in history, the best practices are those that survive over time and only the strong thrive in the thickest situations. Those who are left standing are those that make millions and live happier lives.
Whether we’re talking about our professional or personal lives, it’s not really just the destination that we’re supposed to focus on. Of course, we all want to make millions in business and enter the pearly gates once we check out, but ultimately, it’s not the results that would matter. At the end of the day, more than the destination, it’s the journey that we should be more concerned about – the means to our end, so to speak. The journey is where we’ll spend most of our waking hours and get to experience a whole range of emotions. Thus, it’s not really something to be cavalier about.

Source: GettyImages.com

Fighting Tough

As humans, we are born resilient. When times are tough and we feel we can’t take it anymore, we’ll be surprised to find that we still have all that reserve energy and strength deep within us that we could call upon to get us through. On top of that, Anne Leedom, founder of www.netconnectpublicity.com, publisher of www.parentingbookmark.com and one of our contributors at HealthyWealthyNWise Magazine, shared with us Five Ways to Feel Empowered During Challenging Times.

Surround yourself with positive people.

Don’t add insult to injury. If you’re already feeling down and out, it’s not wise to surround yourself with negative energy and people, right? :) Trust me, you’ll be more productive if you maintain the company of optimistic people. I’m not saying you should forget about everyone you know, just spend time with those who could help lift you up for the meantime. Better yet, go with those who have the same goals as you. That way, you won’t have to feel lonely or out of place on your road to success. Be careful though, misery does love company. So, better have the power to say, “No, thanks!” and move on to positivity. :)

Do something you love everyday.

Don’t deprive yourself. Yes, I know, times are tough, but that doesn’t mean you have to wallow in self pity and close yourself off from those that you love. Go ahead, pamper yourself every once in a while. Never feel guilty for giving yourself time to enjoy. It could be as simple as sharing a meal with your family, listening to your favorite music, watching a bit of that guilty pleasure (a.k.a. that afternoon soap you’ve been following ever since you were a teenager or that single scoop of ice cream you so love :) ), etc. It doesn’t have to be expensive, as long as it helps you get through and provides you with a refreshed outlook every time.

Stay organized.

Declutter your life. Imagine being overstressed and overworked and having to deal with a cluttered office or messy home. Looking for those darned keys, slipping on that blasted banana peel and missing that deadline due to a misplaced report – you don’t need those in your life! In fact, you have the power to prevent them from happening. Organize your office and clean your home. You’ll find that these simple measures can help lift that heavy weight off your shoulders – and would likely save you from physical injury in the process. :)

Get Up and Move.

Shake those limbs and move that body. I’m a big fan of sports. I love feeling the energy that runs through my body whenever I run, swim or even dance. There’s something about hearing my heart beat faster and feeling my whole body’s coordination that keep me alive and refreshed. Somehow, knowing that I’m physically conditioned and healthy helps me focus my mind on the prize. It’s true what they say, adrenaline keeps you energized, happy and productive. Waking up those lethargic muscles helps give you the confidence you need to last however many rounds you need to get through the day. Stop dilly dallying. Get up and find your own physical activity now. :)

Give Yourself a Break.

Take a breather. Don’t push yourself to the limit, and don’t go thinking you could be too hard on yourself either. No matter how you see it or feel, it’s not always the end of the world. :) Every obstacle you face will resolve itself one way or another, with or without your help. Of course, you would prefer to have and solve things your own way. But, how are you supposed to enjoy whatever emotional or financial success awaits you if you go on and drop into oblivion or worse, beat yourself to a pulp over every single hiccup. Learn to adjust to those ever-changing situations, and challenge yourself with the many different ways you could get up and keep on fighting. :)

Ready for Business

What does this all have to do with you and your small- or medium-sized business? Don’t forget, the strength of your business is only a projection of your internal abilities and set goals. Whatever you achieve depends largely on how strong your foothold is. In spite all the uncontrollable external forces that may affect our decisions and actions, our success also depends on our minds, instincts, emotions and ability to ride the waves and come out standing at the other end.

Working Smart

Frustrations lead nowhere. In challenging times, we tend to work harder. We can’t help it. We try to double or even triple our efforts, thinking that by putting in extra hours and investing more, we’ll have a better chance at survival. These often lead to frustration, and the more frustrated we get, the more we struggle. The answer is not to work harder, but to work smarter. That’s a great stab at the back of the well-trusted notion most of us hardworking citizens believe in. How can we reach our goals if we won’t work hard? How can we achieve if we don’t push hard? Not to underestimate the blood-and-sweat-earned achievements, but it’s important to know how to work and work best.

The key is to know the best possible way to reach our goals – the smartest way possible. Not really academically smart per se, but smart in knowing how to tap resources, making fast and right judgments, acting quick, working creatively and coming up with proactive solutions to problems. With the rate of information and technology nowadays, someone else will beat you to your goal if you’re not fast enough. Especially in these tough times, everything is up for grabs and ready for the taking, and people will do everything to get what they want.

Are you equipped to survive these challenging times? How will you shape your business and personal lives to achieve that longed-for success? Share your thoughts and success secrets through the comments section below.

Stay focused and keep fighting!