Frustrated? Take Ownership.

dreamstime_man-meditating_5645730I need more sales. I don’t have enough time. I need better marketing. Can’t find good people. Business owners stare at these frustrations at one time or another. Most often they go for the band-aid instead of creating a strong bridge. What if the problem was not sales, time, marketing or people? What if something more foundational was at the core of each of these with the result being poor sales, lack of time, not enough leads, staff is not performing, etc.?

Business owners are the heart and soul of the business so when something is not working looking outward will not show the answer. We have to look within. Our business is a physical manifestation of what is going on with us. This is true not just for a business owner but also for anyone. Look at what is happening in your life as a reflection of what is going on within you. This is not logical, but it is very intuitive.

When we accept that what we experience is a reflection of us then consider the following and take ownership of what you want to change.

  • It is NEVER someone else’s fault. Instead, we can ask why are we engaged with someone in a way that creates what we do not want?
  • There is never anyone to blame. Instead, we can ask, “What was I not owning or doing that created space for this mishap or situation?”
  • Need more sales. Take a new look at what you are selling. You are not selling just your product or service but more. What are you showing your prospect about you and your business? That is what they are buying.  The product or service you sell, for most industries, could be purchased from someone else so why should they buy from you?
  • Not enough time? Why is that? Honestly, where do you spend your time? What is important to you and what do you value? An honest self-assessment of your personal discipline is the first step. Then a time management plan is created from that honest reflection and focused on achieving goals not being busy.
  • Need more marketing? Stop before you throw money at websites, SEO, inbound marketing, etc. Before you do all those great things, decide who you are, what you value, your vision and what you promise to your customers.  Market from that awareness.
  • Finding staff. Qualifications are not enough. When we hire people who match our values, our vision and inspired to promote the promise we make to our customers that is a good fit.
  • Staff not performing.  Take time to assess yourself as a manager. Do you bring out the best in people? Do you create a culture of excellence?

So you get the point and the list could go on and on.  The problem is never outside of us. What you see outside is the result of what is going on within us. This is true for business owners and everyone else. To have inspired success means a journey in self-awareness and the application of strategic actions to achieve your vision of success.

Best wishes on your success, Kay

Business Coaching

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Don’t Be Afraid to Fire!

0024MasterFileIn a networking meeting this week I heard a woman ask for peer support for firing her assistant. Claire was clearly guilty and in grief over the need to fire her assistant, Sara. Sara has been with Claire and her team for some time. They brought her up through the ranks helping her to develop new skills required to support the brokerage team. Claire also bumped up Sara’s salary significantly so that she could quit her second job. Claire and her team needed someone 100% focused on the work of their clients.

During the past year, the needs of the team changed as they became increasingly successful. They now needed their assistant to do higher level work. Sara would need to become certified to do this. After repeated attempts, Sara has failed to pass the required tests. Other areas of Sara’s work are showing her weaknesses. It has become clear to Claire that Sara’s skill set no longer meets the needs of a growing team and client base.

Claire is confused by her loyalty to Sara, the needs of the team and Sara’s inability to grow with them. Claire worries that they are paying Sara such a high salary relative to her abilities that she will not be able to secure another position in the company or outside at the same level. She also knows that Sara cannot continue to work as their assistant as her limitations are becoming increasingly apparent with growing frustration by the team members.

From an intuitive perspective when an employee is no longer working out it is rarely or ever a one-sided experience. We may be discouraged and disappointed by the performance of the employee, but the employee is equally unhappy with their position whether they voice that or not. An employer/employee relationship is the same as any other relationship. We agree to achieve something together. Once accomplished we create another agreement to create again or realize that the agreement completed and ended.

The mistake comes in trying to continue a relationship that has completed its course, and there is no agreement in present time. Working without an agreement becomes painful for both sides. The need to separate (quit or be fired) is felt by both parties. It becomes a problem when no one takes a step to say that the agreement has ended, that you are in different places, letting the agreement can end. In this way, each of you can move in the direction that suits their differing goals.

My counsel to Claire was to see that Sara is unhappy as well. That it is painful on both sides to continue without an agreement to do so. Taking the step of firing Sara releases both of you to pursue a new course. Sara could also take the step of quitting, but the money she is paid keeps her on the job. She has lost her passion for it as well and is not interested in the position as it is evolving. If the job were right for her, she would have passed the exam. I saw intuitively that Sara does not want new responsibilities and the changes expected of her, but she cannot quit her job because of the amount of her pay.

In the end, both Sara and Claire will be able to move forward to what achieve their goals when they let go of each other. This is both logical and intuitive.

 

Never From NEED!

0032PhotonicaOne of the biggest mistakes a business owner makes is when they have a desperate need then makes decisions from that energy.

The energy of need comes deep within us in fear.  When we are in fear, all our energy leaves our upper chakras and our rational mind. Instead, our energy goes directly to the first chakra where we manage survival and fear. In some ways, this is helpful because it creates energies and physiological responses that can set us into strong action – fight or flight.
One area that commonly we may not have a clear perspective is the people we need to help us. When we hire from the energy of need, we forgo our intuition, hiring someone who can do the job without considering if they are a good fit for the company. Making decisions this way is always a disaster because we look from only one perspective – can they do the job. As we know, we need more than skill sets from our staff. The energy of need in the first chakra causes us to lose this perspective.  “I need someone who can do the job and I need them NOW!”  When we hear ourselves feeling this way we need to stop.  We are in fear.

Operating from the energy of need happens also when we have a staff person who is negative, bored, unhappy with their job, not performing well, causing disruption, etc. but we NEED them. When we are in the energy of need, we believe that we need them to do the job as if there was no one else in the world who could.  This is not true but when we are in need and fear we believe it.  Our life depends on it.   It is always true that letting go of an unhappy or unpleasant employee will improve your company no matter how much you believe you need them.

Hiring and supporting staff that support you and your vision are critical to your success. The common phrase, hire slow and fire fast, is one of the best pieces of advice I have heard. To hire slow gives you the opportunity to decide not only the skills the applicant has, but also how he/she feels to you and what your intuition tells you about how they will represent your brand and fit into the culture of your business. That same intuition tells you that someone on your staff is disrupting the energy of your business as well as the culture and brand you have worked hard to create.

When we are in the energy of NEED, it disrupts our decision-making and distorts our perspective. This blog talks mostly about staff though the energy of NEED can affect any decision that we make. When making a decision take the time to notice the energy you are making it from. If you feel that urgency in your body or the energy of NEED, take some time to step back, calm down, clear your thinking, come out of fear (lower chakras) to find a more neutral perspective (upper chakras).  It will change your perspective and you will make better decisions.

Best wishes on your success, Kay

 

 

Gut Feelings, Intuition & Decisions

dreamstimefree_manimaginingCan you trust gut feelings? How is that different from intuition? These are questions that I often get asked. There is a big difference, which is important to note. Intuition and gut feelings are similar in that they are each one of the several intuitive abilities that all of us have. Some of us are more finely attuned to these abilities than others. It is helpful and important to develop these abilities and to use them consciously in our daily life. I know there are those of you who are not convinced though how many times have you said, “I knew that would happen!” Or “I should have listened to myself.”

Energy Centers

There are seven major chakras or energy centers in the body with many minor chakras. Each chakra or energy center has a particular function and ability. For example, the famous gut feeling comes from feeling something with our second chakra located just below the naval.

 Gut Feelings

Gut feelings are the body’s way of saying how something feels to you. It might feel good or not so good. That does not mean that it is or is not good. It is just a feeling. I would never suggest that you make a decision purely from your gut feelings though in combination with other information it is a valuable barometer.

It Doesn’t Feel Right

One of the important ways to use your gut feelings is if something does NOT feel right. I would never go ahead with something that does not feel right. It is often best to stop, gather more information, look behind closed doors, check to see what is not yet visible or known or if not important then simply walk away. If it involves a decision then find out more before you decide on something that your gut feeling says does not feel right.

Knowing for Certain

While we are not going to discuss all seven energy centers in this blog I would like to mention a couple of others that are used most often.

There are times when we just KNOW. We don’t know how we know but we are certain. There is no doubt and we are at a loss to say how we know. This ability to know comes from the crown chakra at the top of the head. It is where our higher awareness is. It is not logical. It is an intuitive ability to know. Decisions are best made from this high knowingness.

Telling the  Truth from a Lie

Finally, clear seeing is ability we experience all the time but may not recognize it as an intuitive ability. Unfortunately we also do not always act on what we see. Clear seeing comes from the sixth chakra in the middle of the forehead, the third eye. It is our ability to read someone or something. We pick up on people. No matter what they are saying we can see what they truly mean or where they are coming from. This is a very reliable form of intuition because it is not emotional. It is seeing clearly. It becomes challenging when we see something clearly but cannot explain logically how we know this information.  As a kid I always wondered why so many people lied.

 Open Intuition

The next step is to listen to our intuition. It can be loud. “Don’t go there!” or it can be subtle, “This does not feel right.”   Intuition is your very first thought or first feeling. It can be fleeting. Within seconds of your intuition your brain kicks in full force to make sense of or be logical about or give an explanation of whatever situation you find yourself it. Far to often we follow our analyzer and ignore our intuition always with a less desirable outcome. “I wish I had listened to myself.” “I knew that would happen.”

Listen

If nothing else start to listen to your intuition – that very first thought or feeling. It lasts a second before it is replaced by logic.   Once you start to listen then it is not replaced and you spend more time connected to your intuition, opening it and becoming more aware of your intuitive perspective. In the ideal world we would use both sides of our brain, using both our logical self and our intuitive self. Until that happens people most often use half their mind and it is unfortunately the logical one, which is not always right. We all know this from life experiences. What is logical is not always the right answer.

Start today and listen.   Become aware of your intuition and how to use it.

Best wishes, Kay

Decision Making Is Overrated

beautiful thoughtsWe do not always have to make a decision.  We can make a really good decision or be completely off the mark.  While there is no science to decision-making there are ways to make them better.  We make decisions all the time.  Mostly we do not pay attention because the decision is obvious though not always easy.  We make most decisions without a second thought throughout the day in our personal lives and in our work.

Whose Problem Are You Solving?

It is always important to know when we do not need to make a decision.  Others may place their problem in our space demanding that we decide to solve a problem they have.  Knowing what is our problem and what belongs to someone else helps us in many ways.  That is the topic of another blog.  For this context knowing when we need to make a decision and when we do not is critical.  Knowing our goal comes first then knowing if making this decision is moving us toward that goal or distracting us.

Does It Feel Right?

Decisions based on facts, data, information, advice, etc. that make sense are made easily.  We have no doubt and decide.  Other times the facts, data, information, tell us one way to decide while our gut feeling says there is another.  While I never recommend that we make a decision based on gut feeling (second chakra) gut feelings are an important red flag to stop, step back and reflect because something is not right.  In general if it does not feel right then something is off.

Trust Your Intuition

Step back, check the information and take the time to separate your energy from the question so that you can gain perspective to determine why it does not feel right.  There is always a reason for this feeling.  If you know how to meditate us this to clear your thinking.  When we step back, calm the body, clear our thinking, clear everyone else’s energy and thinking out of our space then we can see more clearly. Listening to our intuition is an important to making good decisions.  How many times have we said, “I knew that would happen!” or “I wish I had trusted my intuition on that.”  This is hard with others are pushing you in a different direction.  Being in touch with your clear perspective and in touch with your intuition about the decision guides us in making good decisions.

Don’t Decide

Sometimes the best decision is not to decide.  I know that is not logical but you know what I mean because we have all had that experience.  When making a decision at that time does not feel right then simply not deciding is the best decision.  It is amazing how many things are solved this way.

Be Certain

The best decisions are those made when we are certain.  If we learn to step back, clear our thinking, release the energy in the body and the emotions, ours and others, then we can see more clearly.  Meditation is a good way to find perspective. Gaining clarity and certainty are the prerequisites to making a good decision then trusting your intuition.

Best wishes on your success,  Kay

Meditation

 

The Right People in the Right Positions

org charg I met with a new client yesterday. Kathy is the President and CEO of a very successful family owned business with two of her sisters working for her.  Kathy finds she is doing a lot of the work and wants to hire but does not know how because she has never done this before.

Set in Their Ways

As we spoke it became clear the problem is more complex than simply hiring.  Because this is a family business that has been around for over 30 years many of the staff have been on board for 20+ years.  Loyalty is a great asset but it only works when the long-term staff is willing to develop new skills, allow change and grow professionally.   Kathy feels her staff are “stuck in their ways”, not interested in learning new technologies, changing systems or changing their roles.  They have gotten into routines and habits that keep the company from growing. Kathy cannot fire them because they are loyal employees.  They are LIKE family. Then there are her two sisters who are not about to have Kathy tell them what to do.  She can’t fire them.  They ARE family.

New Vision of Success

Kathy wants to take the business to a new level.  She is creative and has a new vision for their success. She is the CEO but finds no one else wants to change.  She even finds herself doing a lot of the day-to-day work assigned to staff and her sisters that somehow bounces back to her.

New Organizational Design

I took an intuitive perspective on this with Kathy.  Her father made all of agreements with staff when he ran the business.  They are not her agreements (spiritual or other wise).  It was time for Kathy to develop her own vision for the staffing of her business.  For Kathy it begins with letting go of the energy and pictures that say there is no hope, that she is saddled with her dad’s agreements and sisters who don’t share her vision to grow the business.

As an intuitive I know the power of a clear vision so Kathy’s first step is to meditate on the kind of staffing she knows she needs to manifest her vision.  This is not about specific people but rather the ideal structure, positions and  functions – an org chart.

When Kathy is clear in her mind’s eye of how she sees staffing the business to achieve her vision then we agreed that she would it down – not to be shared.  This is just for her work as the visionary/CEO of the company.  She would also write down her vision of the business in three years.  This she would share with her sisters first seeking their input then the staff inviting everyone to work toward this vision.

Who Fits In?

Once she has a clear vision of the business and the staffing then she must take her attention off and stop resisting her current staffing and her frustrations with everyone.  It is my experience that when an owner begins in this way everything starts to change.   Kathy will start to assign work to her current staff in a way that fits her vision, slowing creating change.  As she does this she will see a change in the staff.

Don’t Resist What Is

By creating a vision of what she wants it begins to manifest.  This is different than resisting what is.  (Resistance perpetuates what you don’t want.)  Intuitively staff will feel the change. Staff who is in agreement with her vision will begin to fit into one of the positions on her org chart.  Staff who are not in agreement will suddenly find a new job, decide to retire or force themselves to be fired.  This is not a coincidence. That is just how a vision manifests.

Steps To Create Change

This is a story about a family owned business but the intuitive principles apply to every business.  If you are a business owner take the time to meditate on your business.   First see clearly the vision you have for the next three years.  Write it down. Be clear in present time.  Now meditate on the ideal staffing to get you there.  Write this down.  Finally begin to act in ways that support your vision.  Read and meditate on this everyday then watch this vision manifest.

Best wishes on your success, Kay

Staff Supporting Your Vision

????????????????????????????????????????Karen owns an interior design company and when I first met her she was working out of a large one-room office in Berkeley with another designer in a one-room office in Concord.  She had an office manager and two part-time designers.  She rented space to another designer to help pay the bills.

Karen’s work was well respected and her clients liked working with her but she was not making enough money to create the kind of company she wanted. We worked on her vision.  She was able to dream big and  was not afraid to face her demons, the pictures and energy that  were in her way.

The first step was to use meditation as a tool to clear her thinking, to clarify her vision and to get out of fear.  Karen wanted to approach her business from an intuitive perspective so meditation was an easy fit for her.

One of  Karen’s big obstacles was her staff.  They did not share her vision.  Something had to change so the next step was to bring staff into alignment with her vision or let them go.  It was a rocky time as Karen is a healer meaning she wants to help people.  This hurt her business.  Her rates were low and she gave more to her staff than they gave to her business.  Her Berkeley staff decided to leave and subsequent hires did not go well as Karen hired people she felt compassion for.  They call came and went.

In meditation Karen released her need to heal the people that she hired. Finally she was able to find enough neutrality to hire highly qualified  staff that supported her vision and who she did not have to heal.  This changed everything.

With this new staff Karen felt comfortable changing her rates to the level that supported her value and the value of her company.  To make this work Karen had her lead staff receive coaching as well with the goal that each of them would own their department, set goals, clear their thinking and have a strong vision of success in their area of responsibility.

Did I mention “departments”?   Yes, her company in its new design has departments, home design, office design and sales.  Her staff is in agreement with her vision; see their role in creating success and use meditation as a way to stay clear and focused.

This year Karen opened her third office in Marin and expanded her offices in Berkeley and Concord.  She was able to do this because she was willing to get out of her own way, to see where she was stuck, release energy and create a clear vision.  Inviting her staff to share in her vision and her practice of using intuition and meditation strengthened this.  Karen’s greatest challenge is to not let fear stop her and to watch when she is healing everyone.  She is eager to be self-aware and how she is creating her success.  This year with strong staff in place her focus is on her personal life so that her business serves her life.

Having a vision is powerful. Having your staff share your vision is more powerful.

Best wishes on your success, Kay