Saturday, June 30, 2012

Never Never Never Give Up

Today is the first day of the second half of 2012. How time flies. I think it's a good idea to take some time out to look back at the first half of the year. As you review and reflect, you may wish to ask yourself some of the following questions regarding the last 6 months.
  • When did I fail in my goals? (why?)
  • When did I give love?
  • Where did I receive love?
  • What Habits and life patterns have I formed?
  • When did I feel most alive? Most drained of life?
  • When did I have the greatest sense of belonging? Least sense of belonging?
  • When was I most free? Least free?
  • When was I most creative? Least creative?
  • When did I feel most fully myself? Least myself?
  • When did I feel most whole? Most fragmented?
My business partner and coach Eric Bailey sent the following email with a list of people who didn't quit and finally succeeded. I was encouraged by each of them and would like to share with you.

Henry Ford failed and went broke five times before he finally succeeded.

Beethoven handled the violin awkwardly and preferred playing his own compositions instead of improving his technique. His teacher called him hopeless as a composer.

Colonel Sanders had the construction of a new road put him out of business in 1967. He went to over 1,000 places trying to sell his chicken recipe before he found a buyer interested in his 11 herbs and spices. Seven years later, at the age of 75, Colonel Sanders sold his fried chicken company for a finger-lickin' $15 million!

Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor for lack of ideas. Disney also went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland.

Albert Einstein did not speak until he was four years old and didn't read until he was seven. His teacher described him as "mentally slow, unsociable and adrift forever in his foolish dreams." He was expelled and refused admittance to Zurich Polytechnic School. The University of Bern turned down his Ph.D. dissertation as being irrelevant and fanciful.

The movie Star Wars was rejected by every movie studio in Hollywood before 20th-Century Fox finally produced it. It went on to be one of the largest grossing movies in film history. 

Louis Pasteur was only a mediocre pupil in undergraduate studies and ranked 15 out of 22 in chemistry. When General Douglas MacArthur applied for admission to West Point, he was turned down, not once but twice. But he tried a third time, was accepted and marched into the history books. 

After Fred Astaire's first screen test, the memo from the testing director of MGM, dated 1933, said, "Can't act! Slightly bald! Can dance a little!" Astaire kept that memo over the fireplace in his Beverly Hills home.

So what about you????

Thursday, June 28, 2012

How To Relax When Your Time Is Limited

Time is valuable, and to many people, limited. But it's important to take time out to relax even if it's only a few minutes here and there. Below are some relaxation techniques you can use on a daily basis to unwind when your time is limited:

(1) Breathing Exercise: sit comfortably, and breathe in slowly. Hold it for four counts, breathe out for four counts, and breathe in again for four counts. As you continue to do this, visualize each vertebrae and muscle from your tailbone where you sit up through the crown of your head, unhinging, relaxing, loosening. This should have you feeling nice and relaxed.

(2) Dream Holidays: Spend a few minutes googling your dream holiday destinations. Studies have shown that test subjects that viewed pleasing images of travel destinations showed lower pulse and blood pressure.

(3) Physical Activities: You could run up and down the stairs a few times and really get that heart-rate going. Research suggests that any physical activity that raises the heart rate for minutes at a time can improve mood, relieve depression, and increase feelings of well-being. No need to train for a triathlon, just get moving!

(4) Positive Affirmations: Give yourself a few words of encouragement every day for a few minutes. When you get stuck saying only negative things to yourself, acknowledge your mini-me and remind yourself that you are talented, hard working, and smart, you’ll be more capable to handle the hard times without feeling overwhelmed.

It’s daunting to think of walking away from your work, but by taking a step back and returning refreshed to the task at hand, you’ll be doing yourself a favor.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Time Management Techniques for Entrepreneurs

We have previously discussed the importance of the 80/20 rule in terms of time management. However,  there is a difference between the ideas of time management when you work a standard 9-5 job, as opposed to when you’re working on your own time as an entrepreneur.

When you are a business owner, you don't get paid by trading your time for money by getting paid a flat rate no matter what you do. Therefore, each second now matters and is directly linked to your own potential income. When you work for yourself, time literally is money, and you want to make sure you’re spending it in the best possible way.

So how do you stay focused? Here are some techniques to keep yourself on-task, when there’s essentially no one around to keep you accountable.

1. Take some time to ease yourself into the day. Don’t get out of bed and sit down at the computer straight away. You’ll find it more difficult to stay on task if you jump right in. (READ “Seven Minutes in Heaven” for ways to relax when your time is limited.)

2. Take breaks during the day. It’s easy to get caught up in what you’re doing, and without a set “lunch hour” or break, you’ll feel guilty stepping away. But remember that keeping yourself refreshed and motivated makes your working time more productive, so don’t be afraid to take a (reasonable) meal or relaxation break. You’ve earned it!

3. Make lists. A great list to have is ABC. A: As soon as possible; B: Before end of day: C: can wait. Once it’s on the paper, stick do it and you will get to it when you are done working.

4. Stay organized. A messy work area is a great excuse not to get work done. At the end of your “work day” or right before you take a break, tidy up so that when you sit down and start to work, your area is always clear.

5. Work in an area where you feel relaxed, creative, and charged with entrepreneurial spirit! This could be your laptop on your porch with a mug of herbal tea, or in an office you’ve painted and decorated to feel like a beach cottage. It could be at a cafe or in the library, or at the kitchen table. Wherever you feel your most creative and energized is where you should set up shop.

6. Set goals. Daily, weekly, monthly, etc. Make sure that there is always a task or project to be working toward completing, even abstract things, so you are always using your time purposefully.

7. Set time limits. Example: If your goal is “write a blog post to promote my business,” you should set a reasonable time limit for that goal, like “one hour.” This helps you avoid wasting time pretending to work. If it’s not done, move on, and come back to it later.

Most important of all, ENJOY YOURSELF! Remember: You are your own boss! You’re working for YOU now! This is what you wanted, and you’ve achieved it. Don’t lose sight of why you wanted to work for yourself. Chances are, it was to make more time and money for your family or other priorities, so make sure that you are doing just that!

Do you have any additional time management tips to add to this list?

Friday, June 01, 2012

Delayed Gratification

Sigmund Freud said that a momentary pleasure, uncertain in its results, is given up, but only in order to gain in the new way an assured pleasure coming later.  Delayed Gratification is an important factor of success, as well as the forerunner of achievement and fulfillment.

Joachim de Posada, in this TED talk here, explains how delayed gratification was a good predictor of future success.