Failure Is Easy

????????????????????????????????????????When we have a great idea or something we are good at, it is easy to start a business but then what. So many business owners have a great service or a product, or are an expert at something. Running a business and being a business owner is a different skill set. That does not mean they cannot run a business though doing so takes self-awareness. What are my strengths, weaknesses, what don’t I know and what support do I need to make my good idea a successful business?

Over the years, I have seen many businesses succeed, and many businesses fail. I have learned from both. I am most impressed by those who fail unnecessarily.

Rosa

Rosa owned a restaurant in Detroit. She is a great cook, a smart women and good to her staff, but she was not making money. Rosa did not know how to run a business. She never determined the cost of meals she served so was unsure if she was charging enough. Marketing was a mystery, so she relied on word of mouth and returning customers. She wanted families from the town to frequent her business. In reality, it was the construction workers and laborers that came daily. Speaking with Rosa, she said she was going to figure it out herself. In the end, she could not and closed her business in 2014.

Sara

Sara owns a promotional products company. Sara realized she did not know how to make her business successful. She is smart, capable, and an expert in the creative and technical aspects of her industry. We started coaching with the basics: values, vision and brand. This work inspired Sara and grounded the work she was doing. It gave her a clear perspective to talk to market to potential customers. Her revenue doubled each month for three months then Sara decided she knew what she was doing and took off on her own thinking that the foundation was clearly all she needed. There is so much more to business. I spoke with Sara almost a year from our last coaching session. Her business is failing.  She found she did not know as much as she thought about running a business and was ready to learn more.

Frank

Frank has a wonderful new product that he is creating a business around. Everyone, who has tried his product, give it rave reviews. His market research and his passion for this new business are his strengths. He was on a roll, putting in place one aspect of the business then another until he hits a wall. Finances. Frank hates finances. He goes into fear and melts into a puddle of uncertainty. His business is ready to start production once he creates a real budget and determines how he is going to fund this start-up. Fear of finances is a major hurdle for many business owners. Frank’s business is on hold until he takes that step.

Dennis

Dennis owns a company that sells blinds and curtains. He has done this for ten years. Dennis has a great reputation, and his customers love him. He is not making money. Dennis has run his business without a budget, financial reports, and determination of cost of goods sold and more. Dennis is acting as an installer not a business owner though his gross revenue was $1 mil. in 2014. His profit margin is small and has been for years. Dennis fears finances, so he just does what he enjoys which is working with customers and avoids the finances of his business, and it is hurting him.

Each of these owners has created a business around their strengths, are smart and passionate, all of which are essential to being a business owner but a successful business needs all the aspects managed correctly. Business owners that struggle to succeed do the work of the business that they enjoy and are good at doing. They avoid or resist aspects of the business that does not fit their skill set, which they fear or feel uncertain about doing. These fears kill a business. Self-awareness is essential to owning a successful business. What am I good at doing? What do I resist? Admit that I don’t know what I don’t know. We all see through a small lens and can’t see anything that stimulates energy, a picture, a memory or emotion that make us uncomfortable. We put our head in the sand while our business suffers.

I tell these stories as we start the New Year to inspire business owners to take a deep breath, do a self and business assessment. Why do we persist running our business in a way that is not producing the results we want? What do you need to make your business successful this year?

Take the time to stop and meditate. Clear your thinking especially if it has not worked.
Quiet your body so that what you resist or fear does not cloud your awareness. From a space of quiet, go within and meditate on your business. What is working? What is not? What do you resist or fear?

Success is not a mystery. When we open our awareness of how we are getting in the way then we can make the changes needed to grow a successful business. If what you did last year did not produce the results, you want then find out what needs to change within you and in your business so that 2015 is different.

Best wishes on your success, Kay

Is Your Potential Client With You in the Moment?

WorkgroupWhen meeting with a potential client having their full attention makes all the difference. If they are distracted or have their attention else where you are losing your opportunity to pitch your capabilities. If they are not fully focused on the moment with you, they will not hear you.  To pitch your capabilities your audience has to be present and focused.

I attended a meeting with my client, Fred, and his potential client. Fred is a producer and works to develop relationships with national ad agencies. One of those agencies asked Fred and his creative partners to meet and discuss one of their projects. They wanted to know how the technologies Fred used on other projects might help their ad campaign to go viral.

Fred met with his creative partners for a half-hour before the meeting to set the energy for the meeting, to be grounded in their agreement, define roles in the presentation and to have a clear vision of the outcome they wanted.

The agency producer, Paul, came to the meeting along with an art director, Sam. I noticed right off that the Paul was not present. His attention was elsewhere. We had to find a way to bring his attention fully in this meeting. Introductions did not do the trick, so I asked Paul about his role at the agency and the clients they work with. That did not do the trick either. Paul answered my question, but his attention was still distracted. His gaze was not on us but out there somewhere.

It was important that Fred and his team have a grounded and clear communication with the ad team if they wanted any chance of securing this contract. Fred turned his attention to Sam, the art director, and noticed that Sam was completely present and enthusiastic.

The creative discussion went well. I noticed that Paul’s attention slowly came into the room. He clearly had a lot of energy in his space that made it hard for him to be focused in the moment. By the end of the discussion with Sam, Paul’s attention was more with us but part of his attention was still distracted.

We knew it was important for Paul to be present and aware of what was going on, and so the challenge was how to make that happen. I suggested that we move out to the creative floor and see examples of the technologies Fred’s team had developed. Getting Paul moving and focusing his attention in this way did the trick. We got his attention. He is clearly a guy who was at his best doing the creative work rather talking about it, so he was intrigued.

In the end, Paul and Sam got a clear understanding of what was possible from Fred’s team and invited a proposal to bid on the project.

Every business owner knows the importance of making a good first impression. That impression depends not only on what the business owner or staff present but also on the space of the potential client and their ability to hear and receive the presentation.

Taking the time to make sure that you and your team are grounded and have a clear vision before the presentation is the first step. Being aware of your potential client and the space they are in is also important. Finding a way to bring their attention fully with you in the moment will determine their ability to hear what you present.

By the way, Fred was awarded the contract.

Best wishes on your success,

Kay

You’ve Gotta Feel It To Make It

0082 Adobe ID 044ASP367940For years, as a coach, I have worked to encourage everyone to take the time to stop and see clearly his or her vision of success. Some resist it. Others get it. Over time most of my coaching clients have settled in with the practice of making sure they have a clear vision – but that is not enough.

Now don’t get me wrong. A clear vision of what you are creating is essential for your success but truly it is only a mental image picture in your mind’s eye. Right? When we stop here then, we have a vision that we want to manifest, but it’s not happening.   A vision must be energized to be real-ized.

There are many ways to add energy to a vision so that it shows up in your world. Taking actions or steps are obvious and essential but there is more.

We have to feel successful. We have to feel successful in the body.  When we have a great vision, are taking all the right steps but don’t feel successful then we manifest failure.

Creating a clear vision is not easy for most but with time spent on reflecting, meditating and focusing, it can be created. As for actions, we are taught to create plans, define steps and take action. The key is to take action that will make a significant difference not just keep you busy.

More importantly is how we feel about our vision of success. How do we react emotionally to the idea of it? What are our thoughts about our vision? If how we feel or think about our vision are not aligned then the vision stays in the realm of something that we want versus something we can have.

So here are the steps:

  • See clearly in your mind’s eye your vision of success. Eyes closed. Imagine your success precisely as you would like it to be and see it happening now – not in the future.
    • Write it down.
  • Notice your thoughts about this vision. Clear any thoughts that compete with it, for example, all the reasons why you can’t be successful.
    • Clear your thinking.
  • Create thoughts that support your vision. Have you ever deliberately created thoughts? This is a time to do it. Think of ways to make it happen and steps you can take and reasons why it will work.
    • Write down those steps.
  • Now notice how you feel about it. Does your energy level rise when you focus on your vision of success? Do you feel inspired, excited, creative, enthusiastic, etc.? These are high vibrations of energy when focused on a mental image picture are creative. On the other hand, if your energy drops or you entertain feelings at the lower energy levels, i.e. worry, fear, doubt, tension, stress then your vision will not manifest because that is how you feel about it.
    • Raise your energy level to enthusiasm.

Take the time to align body, mind and spirit around your vision of success. You can change your thinking. You can change the energy level you are being. It takes focus to change old patterns and ways of being. See your vision of success, believe in it and feel inspired as you make it happen.

Best wishes on your success, Kay

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Change Will Happen – Gracefully or Not So Gracefully

????????????????????????????????????????David started his business ten years ago. Today his gross revenue is close to half-million. David and his wife, Carmen, run this plumbing company with no staff. David does the work – plumbing. Carmen manages the office. David is exhausted, does not charge enough and works on jobs on an average of one-hour from their very rural home. Last year David injured himself, and he can not continue to do all the work himself.

David wants a change. His wife, Carmen, wants change, but they have very different and opposing ideas of how to move forward. Carmen wants out of the business. David wants to stop doing the work of the business, hire staff and grow the business so that it serves his life. In EMyth terms, he wants to stop being the technician and become an entrepreneur.

David started coaching because he was unsure how to make such a big leap. He started with great enthusiasm. David was determined to proceed to define the changes needed to grow this business with him as a leader.

We started with finances and soon found that while they were keeping books the information was not entered correctly and was not available to guide them in their business. First change was to contract with a great bookkeeper. Seemed like a simple solution though David found he could not change his involvement in managing the books.

Next step was to create a budget for the changes planned. David was used to keeping his “budget” in his head and resisted writing it down and planning on paper.

David needed to hire a plumber to take his place as the only technician. He worried that no one could do the work the way he did, as good as he did it and with the care he showed his clients. David found it hard to give up being the plumber.

It became clear that as much as David wanted things to be different he was unable to change. He thought the changes would be in his business but discovered that the changes needed were within him, and he just couldn’t do it.

David’s story is a great example of wanting and desiring something different, but not being able to make the needed changes. David was getting in his way. When we want something to change it always starts within us. Getting out of our routines, being willing to be uncomfortable, letting go of what is familiar and, in David’s case, letting go of the need to control.

From an intuitive perspective when we decide we want change, the change will happen one way or another. We can be the leader of change, and it will happen more gracefully or if we resist it will still happen but in a less comfortable and forced way. I imagine David’s desired changes will happen by his knee giving out. There are easier ways to create change.

Notice the changes you desire then find what has to happen within you so that it can.

Best wishes on your success, Kay

Multi-tasking done right

multitaskingRecent have said multitasking is bad, and I rejoiced. Researchers said  that multi-taskers were less successful. This was shocking. I was raised to be a multi-tasker. Wasn’t multi-tasking was a virtue? Everyone valued someone who could get a lot done.  Right?  I was a lifelong multi-tasker and saw this as my chance to stop working so hard. After years of working fast, completing multiple projects at one time, this was my way of saying that I needed to make things simpler. I could relax. What I found was quite the opposite. I was not relaxed. I was not as productive nor did I feel as accomplished so I decided to learn more about this phenomenon called multi-tasking.

To begin, I observed myself multi-tasking and not multi-tasking and the results, accomplishments and how much I enjoyed what I was doing. I observed others in the same way. As a coach and consultant I had lots of opportunities to observe others. As a result I was to ask the researchers two questions. Did you measure the difference between men and women? Did you assess the value to the tasks they were doing?

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Recognize Your Success

In my observation and my experience, women are natural multi-taskers and men are not. Women have by our nature and physiology a higher energy level. Women have a higher energy level in our bodies to create life. We are wired at a high energy level, so multi-tasking is natural, can creative and rewarding when done correctly. Men, on the other hand, do better when singularly focused. This is not less of an ability just different, and the world is better for these two different ways of being. Multi-taskers and persons who are singularly focused are both needed for success.

Multi-tasking of itself does not create success, so I agree with the studies in this regard. Focused multi-tasking does work. Whether you are a multitasker or a single focus person, your success depends on what you spend your time doing. Just being busy doing whatever presents itself is of no value and has no long-term result. On the other hand, when multi-taskers or single focused persons chose high value tasks they create success. High value tasks are those that will make a difference in your efforts to achieve success versus other tasks that are just busy work or someone else’s need.

So men feel free to be singularly focused on high value tasks if that feels right to you. Women, I say go ahead and multi-task focused on high value tasks if that feels right for you as well.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. For me, I have returned to multi-tasking, and I am much happier, getting more done and finding greater success.

Best wishes, Kay

Work fast. Work hard. Really?

dreamstime_xs_19899077 Working fast, hard and smart is one perspective on success. I recently read a blog on success and the author suggested that the most successful people work fast, fast thinkers, fast decision makers, and they move fast. He also suggested that they work hard, long hours and do the hard work. The third characteristic of a successful person was they carefully selected where they spent this fast, hardworking time. They worked on things that mattered.

This blog grabbed my attention because I have found similar characteristics in the successful people who I work with and others that I observe though I would describe them differently.

From an intuitive perspective working fast is not necessary though you may enjoy working fast.  From my observations successful people have high energy. High vibrations are creative energies. High energies make it easy to be creative, create change, to see more clearly, to move through blocks or limits. So while I would not say working fast is a good approach working at a high energy level which is enthusiasm, creativity and may feel or appear fast is essential for success. When our energy is low, nothing is moving, nothing changes and energy blocks are too hard to unlock. So best practice, be in enthusiasm when you work.

Working hard is not necessary either though we might choose to do that, and it may happen. Working hard, of itself, is not a useful goal. From an intuitive perspective successful people are those who have a clear vision, focus on the vision and are not easily distracted. This might feel like hard work, but the key element is to focus. When we are focused and see the impact of that, we want to focus more, to create more. It is rewarding and so we may in the end work harder but that is not the goal.

The last characteristic is doing what matters. I completely agree. It is so easy to work hard and stay busy without accomplishing anything. We are successful when our time and attention stays focused on high value activities. By that, I mean tasks that will make a difference in achieving our vision of success. It is easy to keep busy doing whatever presents itself. Being disciplined enough to focus on actions that matter to our success makes all the difference.

My formula for success using the three traits mentioned in the beginning would be: With enthusiasm focus on high value tasks that will help you achieve your vision of success.  Sounds simple? Spend this week working in this way and see if it is easy to do and notice the impact of this approach.

Best wishes, Kay

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