What you don’t know is important

Adobe ID 164ASP19151002What we are not good at matters most. That may sound counterintuitive, but it is not. In our journey to success, we know what we are good at and the skills we use to push forward enthusiastically. While this is important, it is not the answer.

Doing what we are good at alone will not make us successful. Many business owners and professionals forge ahead disregarding what they do not know, where they are inexperienced or simply don’t have the skills needed as the owner. Others do not know what they do not know. This disregard for our weaknesses gets in the way of our success.

Carol

Lunches is a daytime café that is wildly successful according to the owner. Carol says her café is popular and full every lunchtime so it must be successful. This concept of success is not working for her. She feels that she does everything right. In reality, she does a great deal that is right. She has a great location, great food, repeating customers, happy staff, etc. but she is not making enough money. Carol’s area of weakness as a business owner is finances. As long as she is bringing in lots of money every day she thought it would all work out then she realized that was not the case. Carol’s avoidance of financial planning, reporting, and management was killing her business.

Sara

Sara has an accounting firm, three offices, twelve staff and hundreds of clients eager to use the services of her company. She and other CPAs in her firm have a good reputation. Sara says her problem is she cannot service her customers because she is unable to keep competent, reliable, office staff. As we explored this Sara grew to admit that her weakness is hiring, training and mentoring staff. This is something she did not consider before. She was focused on the reputation of her accounting staff primarily. This was killing her business.

Max

Max has a financial planning firm that he bought from a retiring planner. He has a strong group of clients. He is a skilled financial planner but after two years he is ready to throw in the towel. He feels like he does not have a life. He complained that his staff is not competent, and he is not making enough money to make it worth his while. When we looked at the business, he was very confident and initially unwilling to look at his weaknesses. When we finally opened that door, there was an obvious solution. Max is a doer. His company had no systems or procedures for staff to follow. He simply tells each person each day what they need to do. This was inefficient and resulted in poor customer service. He was loosing business. Max had to admit that he was a good financial planner and a terrible manager.

There is a fear behind not knowing which makes us feel vulnerable. That fear is there whether we admit to our weaknesses or not. When we are willing to be clear about both our skills and our weaknesses, ask for help then we can create success. The fear no longer controls us. When we are overly confident, in denial or only focused on our strengths then we will be frustrated, and our business suffers. It is not easy to step back and look from this perspective and yet it is essential to success. Some do this easily, for others it is a struggle.

While, in this blog, I spoke about businesses, the concepts apply to professionals, as well. Finding out what we do not know is important. Asking for help is next. Making changes is the answer to moving your business or career forward and enjoying it more.

Best wishes on your success,

Kay

Business and Professional Coaching

New Culture of Business

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A new culture of business is emerging voicing a new set of values, increased self-awareness and businesses with a new definition of success. I am so relieved by the changes appearing in how businesses run, interact, view their staff, vendors and community. Some of the changes are subtle and others not so subtle. In the end, we are moving to a more moral, value based and healthy way to do business. Not everyone is on board with this, but more and more of us are. “Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.” (Margaret Mead)

Here are some differences I see between the old business paradigm and the new.

Old: Be on top. Beat out the competition. Be better than everyone else. Take out the competition. Get the largest share of the market.

New: Be the best you can be. Do the best we can. Build our brand so that people know how we are different. Attract loyal customers who value our brand. Collaborate with other businesses. Share resources.

Old: Get more sales – at any cost. Over promise if necessary. Get the sale. Get more than the next guy.

New: Create customers. Under promise and over deliver. Not everyone is our customer. Don’t sell. Understand our customer and serve them with unbeatable quality.

Old: Money flows to the top. Hierarchy with command and control management.

New: Collaboration. Everyone valued. Share the success. Everyone seen as contributing to the success.

Old: Environmental concerns are ok, but not if it affects the bottom line. The community is important if it is a customer.

New: Prevent impacts on the environment and be profitable. Be part of the community. Give back. Join the sharing economy.

Old: How much money can we make?

New: Create a business that serves everyone’s life, that people enjoy working in, and that has value whether it sells widgets to solar power.

 

What changes can you add to this list? This is just the beginning. In what new ways do you or your company operate? Join the conversation.

Stuck on the Wrong Solution

HugTrust your vision. It is always manifesting – even when we get in the way. Just because our vision does not manifest in the way we expect does not mean it is not going to happen.   It is so easy for us to get in our way, lose sight of our vision and decide that we are not going to get our goal because of once circumstance or another. That decision is powerful and wrong.  Here is a story of one business owner who thought her vision was not going to manifest.

Sara

A business owner, Sara, called last year at her wit’s end saying she was going to close her business but wanted to check in with me before she did so. After speaking with her it was clear that she did not want to close her business. She just wanted and needed to change her role in the business. Sara’s next step was to move more into a leadership role and not be responsible for the day-to-day operations any longer. This is normal and needed step for the owner and the growth of any business.

Leadership Solution

When Sara called she was vibrating at the energy that her business was a big problem. Not so. Sara just needed to stop being CEO, CFO, COO, CBO and every other c-suite title you could think of. Her real goal was not to close her business but to position her business for sale and to find someone she trusted to buy the business she started. Sara wanted someone to carry on its strong reputation and tradition.

 A New Organizational Strategy

We created a new organizational strategy to grow her business.  We changed her role to CEO/President, made her accountant functionally the CFO. One staff person was promoted to CBO as marketing chief. Another staff person, Carol, was promoted to COO in charge of the day-to-day operations. Carol was also interested in eventually taking over the business. As an intuitive I did not see that Carol as strong nor committed enough to take over the business in the long run but Sara was convinced this would work.

Sara stepped back and let the Carol take over. It did not turn out as well as Sara had hoped and Carol quit within a year throwing the business back into Sara’s lap. Sara was devastated. Her disappointment was overwhelming. She felt like a failure and was unhappy that she was back in the role of CEO and COO once again.

Vision Still Manifesting

Sara called in tears. I had to remind her that she was still getting her goal of finding someone she liked and trusted to take over her business. That goal had not changed.  It was so clear to me intuitively that Sara was still getting her goal. It simply was not manifesting in the way she expected. She had pushed for the Carol to be that person. That was not meant to be. Intuitively I saw that Carol was not the person who could carry on the reputation and tradition of the business so it was inevitable that she would leave. It is not a mistake nor a coincidence.   That does not mean that Sara is not getting her goal. Quite the contrary. She just has not found the person who she trusts and who could run her business with the same quality of service the community had come to know.  Sara could not see this at first because she had too much energy in Carol being the solution.

Not A Coincidence

Not coincidentally the next day Sara ran into a Gail who operated an agency that was her largest competitor. Gail asked how Sara was doing and said she had heard that Carol, Sara’s heir apparent, had quit. Gail asked if Sara was interested in selling her business. Sara was blown over by this.

Vision

Even with this miracle appearing out of no where Sara was still stuck in the energy of disappointment about Carol quitting. She was so much in that energy that she could not see the miracle being presented.  Sara’s focus on the solution rather than the goal is something that we all do. By doing do so we get in our own way. We are unable to have a clear perspective and lose sight of the goal. Sara was so focused on losing Carol who she always believed was the solution that Sara had lost her perspective. Sara’s goal was to sell her business and to someone she trusted and who could continue the business in much the same way.  She liked Gail and respected her. This could be her dream come true. Perhaps this is the right plan for achieving her vision.

Notice for Yourself

Notice for yourself. Have you ever fixated on what you believe is the right and only way your vision can manifest? In your daily meditation take the time to pull your energy out of solutions, strategies, etc. to order to focus on your vision and where you want to be. Your vision is always manifesting. How you get there may surprise you.  Always take steps toward your vision and allowed it to manifest in unexpected ways.

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

Don’t Start Work Until

dreamstime_5775817We get up.  We go to work.  We work hard and don’t always meet our goals and more importantly our vision of success.  Getting things done.  Completing our To Do List is not important.  Are you surprised?  One of my clients told me that she has a To Do List that for her is everything.  If she does not get that list completed every day then she does not feel that she has accomplished anything.  On the other hand when she does complete her to do list she is no closer to being successful.

So what does this all mean?  It means we are not focused in the correct way.  Sure there are things to do but they are not your purpose, vision or intention of why we do what we do.  So often we become doers and lose sight of where we are going.  The rest of the title of this blog is “Don’t Start Work Until You See and are Focused on Your Vision of Success”.

Don’t Leave This Blog

As an intuitive Business Coach I recommend all my clients to begin their day with meditation.  I know half of you just left this blog because I mentioned meditation  but there is no other sure way to promote your success.  You won’t understand this until you experience it for yourself.  Meditation is simply a way to quiet the body and clear your thinking so that you can regain perspective.

Busy But Not Successful

If you run off and start doing whatever you think you should do, the body will be energized and your mind buzzing on whatever is at hand  and it may not be the best choice to achieve your vision.  On the other hand if you start with meditation (quieting the body and clearing your thinking) how might things be different than starting our day from thoughts left in our head from the day before that have nothing to do with achieving success or an emotional reaction to something we experienced which also has nothing to do with our success.

Reacting & Stuck Thinking

So often we are reacting to what is on our mind or in our space instead of being clear about the actions can we take to move us further in our success.  Don’t just be busy.  Don’t be reactive.  Don’t get lost in your thinking which can take you way off target.  Stop.  Clear your thinking.  Let go of all the energy in your space then see clearly what is the next step and what can you do today to further your success.  Ask that question when you are clear and quiet.  That is the most important question you can ask and from the space of clarity.

Try This Meditation 

Find a comfortable and quiet place.  Allow yourself the time to do this well so don’t rush.  That is not to say it will take a long time.  It will take the time that it takes depending on how easily you are able to get grounded and quiet in present time.

  • Sit in a chair in a comfortable and quiet place.
  • Close your eyes. Take a deep breath and as you exhale relax and release tension (energy). Repeat as needed until you feel relaxed in your chair.
  • Be grounded.  Feel and see yourself connected deeply into the ground.
  • Be centered.  Bring your attention behind your eyes into the center of your head. Notice what that feels like.
  • Stop thinking.  Be aware of being centered.
  • Have your space.  Imagine all of your energy in around you – within arms reach.
  • Don’t be scattered or distracted.
  • Be present in the moment.  Notice yourself breathing.
  • Don’t let your mind wander.  Be present.

(Repeat until you are grounded, centered, have your space and are present in the moment)

  • Now meditate (imagine) your vision of success (personally and professionally).
    • See it clearly in your mind’s eye.

(If you cannot see your vision of success then do this often until you can because the things that manifest are those that you can see clearly.  Think of them as the blueprint.)

  • Once you can see your vision of success begin to notice any thoughts you have that argue with your success.  Clear and let go of these thoughts.  They are just your thinking. They are not true unless you decide they are.
  • Now in your mind’s eye see the steps you can take today to move you further along.  Don’t think.  Use your intuition.  Meditate and know your next step.
    • It may be an uncomfortable step, one that you are avoiding, something you resist, etc.  Decide to take it!
    • Take a deep breath.  Stretch.  Come out of meditation.

Do this everyday.  Each day you will become clearer.  Each day you will see the benefit of taking this time to be clear.  Also observe how each day goes when you begin this way.

Best wishes on your success,  Kay

Please share your experiences with meditation and success.

Meditation

Don’t Get in The Way of Your Leadership

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Leader

This week was a look at how easy it is for business owners to get in the way of their success.  Here is the story of one business owner getting in his own way. Jake has owned a large heating and air conditioning installation company for 18 yr. and suddenly it is about to go under.

Jake

Jake turned over the day-to-day operations of his company two years ago to two of his key staff.  In general day-to-day operations is the function of managers and so that was a good strategy.  On the other hand, Jake also stepped out, and unknowingly gave them the leadership of his company and this was his mistake.

Setting The Tone

For a business to succeed someone, typically the owner or CEO, sets the vision, values and the tone of the company. Staff, vendors and customers come to know this as the company’s brand which becomes how they feel about the company and what they expect in terms of customer service and product/service quality.

Abdicated Leadership

For two years,  Jake trusted these employees, thought they were doing a good job and left them to run the business while he found new projects/customers to serve.  This year Jake’s intuition told him he better come back as the leader of the company.   He felt compelled by his intuition to ask for financial reports.   With that both men quit leaving Jake with huge debt and little knowledge of the day-to-day operations, staff, vendors, customers and current operational procedures.

Admit Mistakes

Jake made several mistakes as a business owner but the one that harmed him the most was he gave up leadership of his company.

Jake had not been providing leadership from which all work would be done.  One person has to define the vision for the company, the values they hold, the products and services provided and the way everyone will interact with each other,  clients, vendors, investors, etc.  When Jake gave up leadership, the two lead staff took over setting their own vision, imposing their own values and setting the tone for working with everyone. This change resulted in financial mismanagement, decreased quality and delivery of their products and services as well as relationships altered.

Now What?

When these two men left Jake had a crisis on his hands.  He was in enormous debt, could not service his contracts, did not have qualified staff or systems in place, all the knowledge about the operations was held by the two that left and he had lost the faith of his bankers, staff, vendors and clients.

Jake’s Fears

How did Jake get into this mess?  It was simple and could easily happen to any of us.  Jake is educated and smart, but like all of us he does not know what he does not know as a business owner.  Two years ago he felt like he did not know enough to keep his business going so rather than admit his uncertainty and finding a way to learn how to take his business to the next level he abdicated his business to others.  Jake’s greatest weakness as a business owner is his fear of not knowing.  His greatest strength is his knowledge of his industry and the high values that he brings to his business.  His greatest fear, stated by him, is that he is not a leader.  Jake is clearly a leader in his family of 14 children and his local community where he works to inspire youth to get an education and sees his role as helping others to be employed and productive.   That sense of leadership is missing in his business.

Intuitive Perspective

Jake belongs to a very conservative religion that values humility and allowing others to be senior to them.  This affects his ability to set his crown at a leadership vibration.   Leadership from the crown chakra is different from the control and command form of leadership which comes from the third Chakra below the sternum.

From an intuitive perspective leadership vibrates in an energy center on the top of the head called the crown Chakra.  When you hold your head high and straighten your spine, you experience an energy change.  Try it. Suddenly you feel more certain. The crown Chakra sets the energy for our space.    We can use this energy center to set the tone in any situation.    Notice for yourself.  Those who hold their head high show the energy of leadership, seniority and certainty.  We notice, listen and pay attention to them.   Those who hold their head low, bowed or below others give off the impression of not knowing, not being important, being weaker and certainly not a leader.

Be Willing to Learn and Change

Jake created a successful company for 16 years based on the information he had available to him then he hit his limit.  He did not know how to manage or grow his $6 mil. company.  In his fear of not knowing, he gave up leadership.

When Jake came back into the company and realized how desperate the situation was he called to discuss business coaching.  He was willing to admit that he did not know what it would take to turn things around.  After working with Jake for a month I realized it would not work.  Jake’s greatest weakness he was his inability to plan and prepare both of which are essential qualities of a business owner and a leader.  It is, in fact, the most important ability, to work on the business rather than doing the work of the business.  He was simply unwilling to spend the time to create the vision of his company, define the brand he wanted to impart, to develop a financial or organizational plan and all the other foundational components of a successful business.  He admitted he hates planning and preparing.

As an intuitive, I see Jake was stuck in an old energy pattern or routine that is familiar and comfortable even if it is not serving him.  He was in resistance to changing his space, energy or focus.  So if nothing changes within us then nothing changes in our lives or in our creations.  In the end we stopped coaching as Jake admitted he could not take the time to plan.  He would try to put band aids on his problems for now.

Being willing to lead, admit what we don’t know and to change ourselves first are essential components of success.

As always, your comments and experiences are appreciated.

Best wishes on your success, Kay

Business Coaching

Ego Is Not Leadership

????????????????????????????????????????  Leadership seems to come naturally to some and for others it takes learning but one thing is clear, it is no place for the ego.

Ego

A strong ego is not of much use to a leader and, in fact, can get in the way.  Ego is about the self.  Ego is often confused with being  strong.   From an intuitive perspective ego is a set of pictures or concepts of our perfect self.  We measure ourselves against those pictures.  When we like what we see we have a strong ego and we are proud.  When we do not feel that we measure up to our perfect self then we are invalidated.  Either extreme of the ego does not work in the world of leadership.  Leadership is not about self.

Leadership

Leadership is about the ability to lead in contrast to ego, which is about self.   A leader who is ego driven may feel strong to himself/herself, likes the sound of their own voice, likes their thinking and their presence. This seems almost like a performer in a play.  Leadership is about being strong of spirit, having a sense of purpose, wanting to hear the voice of others, encourages others thinking and has affinity for the people he/she leads. These are stark contrasts.

Jim, the “Leader”

I was speaking with “a leader” in a company.  I do not know him well. I was seeking his counsel on a mutual client and colleague.  The moment I posed the question for our discussion I saw his aura change with the energy of his ego coming strongly to the forefront.  Immediately I sensed that this was not going to be a discussion, that he was going to tell me the right answer because he saw being right was his role as the leader.  As you might imagine I could not hear or follow him in the conversation because his ego was so loud and occupied the entire space.  In fact, there was no conversation.  Jim was  leading by pushing his ego into the conversation.  Needless to say it did not go well.  I let the conversation end quickly so that I could pursue a solution another way.

Hold Your Head High

Being a leader is a way of being on an energy level.  A strong leader has a strong crown.  Crown refers to an energy center or chakra on the top of the head.  This energy center sets the tone for the group.  How he/she sets their crown give others a sense of how it feels to work with this leader.

An ego focused person tries to lead from their third chakra, the power center at the base of the sternum.  It often feels like control – not leadership – to those under him/her.  To be an effective leader means knowing yourself.   I love the term, “Know where you are coming from.”  From an intuitive perspective this means knowing the energy center do you lead from.  This makes all the difference in how people experience your leadership and their willingness to follow.

Lead from Upper Chakras

An effective leader leads from the upper chakras (energy centers).  Leading from the crown makes people feel comfortable that someone is in charge and has the certainty to lead.  A strong leader also uses the sixth chakra (center of head) to have perspective and experience the ability to see clearly the truth in any situation.  The fifth chakra allows the leader to give and receive communication and encourages creativity. Finally the fourth energy center (in the heart) is the ability of the leader to feel affinity for the people he/she leads.

Control/React from Lower Chakras

Leaders who are not effective are those who lead from their lower energy centers (chakras). They lead through control, have their ego in the way, are in competition with others and engage in power struggles through the third chakra (below the sternum).  It is not effective to use the emotions of the second chakra (the gut) or to be in fear and survival when operating from the first chakra (base of the spine).

Leadership – A Journey in Self-Awareness

Upper chakra leadership allows the leader to have neutrality and a clear perspective.  Operating from the lower chakras causes a leader to be reactive to whatever he/she encounters with little awareness of what is really going on.  None of this is logical but it is very intuitive.  Notice the energy center from which you or the leader in your business leads.  Being aware allows you to grow in your understanding of leadership.  Are you a leader?  Would you like to be a leader?  Begin by noticing what energy center you lead from.  Shift your energy to your upper chakras and experience a whole new way of being as a leader and others will allow you to lead.

Best wishes on your success,

Kay