Forget Competition

Abstract with heartSome things are set up naturally for competition, i.e. sports and games. Would you be surprised if I said that, from an intuitive perspective, competition does not belong in places of creativity, i.e. your business or your career?

Competition in business expresses a fear of lack. Whatever we fear we create. Thoughts create. If we fear our competition and believe they are better or will harm us then that is what we create. Clear your thinking on this and your reality will change.

A business or profession is a creative endeavor, a form of self-expression. It is a journey of knowing what is within us that we can manifest in our world. It is the purpose of life.  When we get stuck in competition, our attention moves from who we are and what we are expressing and creating onto what someone else is doing. We lose awareness of ourselves.

When we are in competition, we are no longer creating. Our focus is on what has already been created by someone else. We lose awareness of what is within us, our business or profession begins to show the lack of our creative expression.

Success does not depend on someone else’s failure.  That is  competition and fear.   Our success does not depend on being better than someone else.  That too is competition and fear of lack. Our success comes from creating the best that we are capable of and creating wealth for that effort.

Connecting to the creative urge within us, focusing on expressing that will bring the wealth and success we are capable of creating. As you go through your day notice any way that you express that fear of lack. Stop, release that fear and refocus on expressing your passion and creativity from within out into your business or your work.

Best wishes on your success,  Kay

As always, your views on this are welcomed.

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

How I Spend My Day

Cloud SmileysRealizing that I have two ways I can spend my day, I decided to pay attention to the result of each. How did I feel? What was my mood? What did I accomplish? What did I gain?

One day goes something like this. I get up early. Jump out of bed and begin my morning routine, get dressed without much thought, have my usual bowl of cereal while reading only the headlines on my iPad then I have a cup of coffee as I walk to my home office. I check my email and spend a lot of time responding to what I find there. Organizing my desk and taking care of the obvious To Dos on the top of my desk takes a bit of time as well.

Now I think about the most pressing, urgent, etc. issues. By the way, something being urgent or pressing does not mean that it was important. Typically it is urgent and important to someone else or something I must get done by the due date.

By now, my head is swimming with information from everything I already placed a moment of my attention. I look at my very long to do list that adds more thoughts to my mind. Then other things come to mind. I start doing things I don’t mind doing one after another.

The phone rings and my attention shifts again to that request and so my day goes. I am very busy, doing a lot of work, feeling tired, growing less and less focused. At the end of this day, I can say I was busy, did a lot and accomplished nothing!  I can say that I do not feel good about the results of my day.

Another Kind of Day

Another way that I spend my day, I wake up and lay in bed for a moment to gain my focus and perspective. How am I doing? What must I do today? What would I like to do?  What would help me to take a step to accomplish my vision of success? How would I like to feel today? With that intention, I get up and make sure that I am approaching each step mindfully. My cereal, headlines and coffee are still in the routine but I am more conscious about each step.

Look around my home, I put things away, clean up so that my living space is clear. Now is my time to meditate in a quiet, comfortable space. When I feel calm in my body, have cleared my thinking from the day before and set my space to enthusiasm then I am ready to create my plan for the day. I meditate on my vision and my goals. Where am I now and what can I do today that will have the greatest impact on achieving them? What am I resisting? What steps am I not taking? Who is on my side and can I engage in helping with my goals? With this clarity and feeling grounded I move into my office.

Clearing and organizing my workspace does not take much of my time. I do a quick and cursory scan of my emails, addressing only those that support my goals for this day. The others I will look at later. Now is the time to take on what I call high value tasks and make some magic. I know from experience that focusing on a single high value task to completion moves the dial that much closer to the result I want to achieve. The challenge is not to avoid the task just because it is difficult, pushes my limits or makes me feel uncertain. I take a deep breath, ground, center, focus and begin. It is amazing to me how a very difficult task taken one step at a time unfolds, opens up so that I can see the next step, then the next. None of the steps is as daunting as I expect.

At the end of this day, I am smiling, inspired, assured and energized. I can see the distance I have come. Now I am ready to close the door for the day. Collect up my energy from the days work.  It is time to play.

The first day I described I am justing going through a routine with barely a second thought, doing a lot and accomplishing nothing. The second day describes my way to taking ownership of what I intend to create and making it happen.

If you have ways that you spend your day that support, your vision of success, please share your thoughts.

Best wishes on your success, 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

 

 

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

Sacrificing Your Business

how-to-fast-forward-your-goals-bkt_9343Frank has a strong vision of the business he is creating yet everyday he does things that sabotage his success.  I met with Frank for the second time yesterday.  Our first conversation was about his business – mostly the facts.  The meeting yesterday was to assess the state of his business and create a business development plan for the year.

Frank was full of bravado that I knew masked a deep fear so I delved.  He kept saying he was moving forward, making changes, etc.  I could see his uncertainty and fear behind this.  He was not going to be successful without being honest with himself.  His wife, partner and bookkeeper told him they need $30,000 per month to survive, pay bills and put food on the table.  They have been generating $15,000/mo. since the beginning of the year. They are at risk of loosing this business and Frank was hiding.

We talk about what it would take to turn this around.  Sales was his answer.  Who does sales for the business? He does.  How much time does he spend doing sales?  Not enough.  Where does he spend his time?  Responding to what comes up.

These answers are not uncommon.  Frank is getting in the way of the success of his business.  He is scared so he does those things during the day that make him feel good and valued.  He is very good at solving customer problems. They love him so given the choice of helping someone who loves him versus making sales calls he choses the former.  He is working within his comfort zone, what feels good and is validating.  I understand why he does this though when we want to create a change it means getting out of our comfort zone, doing something new that will make a real difference and create the change that is needed.

He defended his need to serve his customers.  I challenged him asking if sacrificing his business was worth making his customers happy at this critical juncture.   We created a plan to do both.  The plan included daily sales efforts which he avoids and will find any reason to do otherwise as well as time to work with customers.  Both times of the day are important and cannot replace each other.

At the end of the consultation Frank thanked me for making him get out of his bravado, hiding and helping him face the reality of the weaknesses in his business.  Now he feels he is ready to address them to move his company into profitability.  His next step was to complete the business development plan for 2014 that we started.  This will help him stay focused on the high value tasks and not hide dong what he makes him comfortable and that he enjoys doing.

Frank is not unlike most business owners.  If any of this rings true for you then it is time to get out of your comfort zone.  Take the steps that are uncomfortable but will make a real difference.

Best wishes on your success,  Kay

Be Careful What You Choose

Cloud SmileysI just have to ask, “What do you choose?”   Every day I watch business owners and professionals make really great choices and others make the worst choice possible but they do not see it.  Of course, they do not see it.  Who would deliberately make a really bad choice yet it happens all the time.  So today I ask you to look deeper at what is behind choice for you.

Making choices is the most powerful creative act we perform each day.  The choices we make create our reality (spiritually and physically)and yet we often do this with so little regard.  What do you choose to have in your life?  The energy behind our choices is important in understanding the experiences we are creating.  Do we make choices from fear, resistance, anger, etc.?  Wow!  It will manifest from there.  On the other hand do we make choices from enthusiasm, compassion, love, excitement, validation?  If so, it will manifest in that way.

We make choices all day long.   Some are automatic responses made without a second thought.  We might also chose based on the collective consciousness – go with the flow.  Finally, you could choose from your inner awareness of the choices before you and make your highest choice which is not always the easy one.

Making choices to control something never turns out well because we know we do not have control – ever.   We can make choices that set forth how we want to be in relation to someone or somethingbut controlling it is never a reality.

I work with business owners and professionals every day.  Some take responsibility for their choices, understand what is behind them and learn about the impact of the choices they make.  Others do not want to know, to be conscious of themselves or take responsibility for the result of the choices they make everyday.  They just decide and move on.  How well someone understands themselves and what drives their choices is reflected in their personal and professional success.  No one to blame.

There is much to be learned by understanding ourselves and what is driving one choice or another, hopefully before we make it.   The choice itself does not matter nearly as much as the thoughts, pictures, concepts, emotions and energy that is behind it.  Why do you want to make that choice?  What is behind it emotionally, conceptually, etc.?  You have heard, “Be careful what you pray for” or “Be careful what you believe”.  I would say even before that “Be careful what you choose”.

Your first choice here is whether to be aware of what is behind your choices.  This is an important choice.  What is behind this particular choice for you? To know yourself or not to know yourself.  The greatest step we can take to achieve our vision is to stop acting and reacting to everyone and everything but to choose how to be.  This is a choice to be conscious and aware of what we choose in each moment.  This means to be present, conscious and aware of self.

If something is not as you would like it to be – do not judge it.  Take a moment and remember the choice you made that brought you here.  If you do not have something perhaps it is because you have not yet chosen to have itor  you  inadvertently chose not to have it.   For example,  saying that you want something then thinking that it cannot happen is a choice not to have it.

Let’s assume you are someone who understands that the choices you make create  you experiences.  Let’s assume that you are willing to see and know what is behind your choices (fear, grief, anger, envy, control, love, enthusiasm, creativity, etc.).  Once you know thatanswer then make the highest and grandest choice even if it is at first uncomfortable.

All the choices we make come from the body, mind and spirit.  The best choices use all three.  From who you are as a spirit come your highest choices, your grandest vision of who you are and chose to be.  What is more common is for the body to want one thing, the mind to think another way and for you to know intuitively your highest choice.   What do you choose?  When we are aligned in body, mind and spirit our choices create results that will amaze.

Take time to stop and be aware of what is behind the choice you are making in each moment.  Make your highest and grandest choice then see what happens.

Best wishes on your success,

Kay