Monday, November 30, 2009

3 Exercises to Improve Your Focus

Often, adults don't give much attention to their mental development. People will join fitness clubs to exercise or lose weight, but far fewer even think to do anything about improving their mental performance. Too many people settle for things such as they are.

"Oh, I just can't stay focused on anything for too long!" they might say, matter-of-factly.

Unfortunately, some of that attitude is ingrained in our psyches, coming from interaction with people around us who never knew any better either. It is a sad fact that, while physical education is a required course in schools, there is no comparable required course in mental development. As a result, many of us never learn any methods of improving ourselves, except perhaps as an after-thought in some courses.

Fortunately, you know better than that, which gives you an advantage over those who would settle for mental mediocrity.

So, how to go about improving your focus?

First, let's define focus as the ability to maintain a mental hold on a given thought or idea. You might be able to keep your attention on that thought or idea for a second for for several minutes, or more. Such focus is also thought of as concentration.

Focus (and therefore concentration) is a necessity to get learn, to get work done, to finish assorted tasks throughout your day.

To improve your focus, here are three exercises you can practice. To do these exercises, you will need a pen or pencil, a notepad or paper, and a stopwatch or a clock or watch that displays seconds. A calculator may also be helpful.

Exercise 1: Consider Something You Enjoy

It's easier, of course, to focus on something you enjoy that on something you don't. You might enjoy reading a good book on your favorite hobby, and lose track of time when you read it. On the other hand, when reading a book for work or furthering your education on a topic you consider boring, you might find yourself looking at the clock every couple minutes!

The first thing you need to do is pick something that you enjoy. This might be a hobby, a favorite film, kittens, sports, or so on. For now, just pick one subject.

Write down your subject and the current time (or zero if you are using a stopwatch). Focus on the subject and write down the time when your attention on it lapses.

The objective is to focus on your chosen topic. Allowing yourself to drift off on tangents is not permitted. That's the point at which your focus is lost and you need to notate the time.

For example, let's say your topic was football. Thinking about football, you thought about the first game your dad took you to. You thought about the players coming out on the field. You thought about how you wanted to play.

At that last point, you drifted from football to cars. So, that would be that point at which you would stop the exercise and write down the time you lost your focus.

This is an exercise you'll want to repeat. Your objective is to keep increasing the duration of your attention. If you perform this exercise on a daily basis, you will be able to see how your focus improves.

Once you have reached a point where you are satisfied with your progress, it's time to move on to the next exercise.

Exercise 2: Consider Something to Which You Are Ambivalent

This next exercise is much the same as the first. The difference is that, instead of using a subject which you enjoy, you will need to pick something to which you are indifferent.

That is, you need to pick something for which you have no feelings whatsoever. Something you don't enjoy, but also something you don't dislike. Something that doesn't excite you, but also something that doesn't bore you.

Choosing such a topic may be the most difficult part of this exercise!

Once you have chosen your subject, then you repeat the same exercise as you did with a subject you enjoy. Write down your starting time and then write down the time at which you lost your focus.

Repeat this exercise as you did the first. You may find that, despite improving your focus before, you're not able to maintain your focus for as long as you did with an enjoyable subject. That is to be expected, so don't get discouraged!

Once you have achieved satisfactory results with this exercise, it's time to move on to the next.

Exercise 3: Consider Something that Bores You

The final exercise is the same as the first two, except this time you will use topics that you find unenjoyable, uncomfortable or even boring. Things that are so mind-numbingly dull you can't help but think of something-anything-else will be great here.

Note, however, that you want to avoid things you hate. Hate can be passionate, and it is easier to focus on things for which you are passionate (whether it be love or hate) than things for which you are indifferent. So, a subject you hate is not desirable for this exercise.

Of course, if you "hate" a subject because it's boring and your hate is one of boredom rather than passion, then it can be a good topic for this final exercise.

Repeat this exercise as you did the first two.

Even after you've achieved satisfactory results with these exercises, you should continue to practice them. You can do so with less frequency than when you started, but you should still continue them in order to keep your focus sharp and to continually improve.

And, having an improved focus and concentration will benefit you both at the office and at home. You can be more efficient and effective, which can leave you with just a little bit more free time to spend doing the things you enjoy.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Be Different, Unique, Opposite (DUO)

It’s hard to compete against your competitors if you just follow what they do. Whether your competitors are cutting prices, enhancing quality, or aggressive marketing, if you are just following what your competitors are dictating, you can never catch up. Do the opposite of what your competitors are doing and become good at it to distinguish yourself.

If your competitor focuses on quality, focus on quantity. If your competitor focuses on cheap pricing, make it expensive and luxurious. Reverse what your competitors are doing to indirectly compete against them. This is the best way to distinguish your brand and compete effectively.

Many businesses fail to recognize that they need to be different in order to indirectly and effectively compete against competitors. Many businesses do whatever the competition dictates which results in massive loss in resources and a brand that cannot distinguishes itself. Be unique and distinguish your brand through your differences.

Never follow what your competitors are doing. You may want to know their next move, but don’t copy them for you are just being their shadow. Be creative and unique by doing things that your competitors lack on to compete with them indirectly.

Target Competitors Weakness

Whenever your competitors make a move, weaknesses appear that are unexpected to them. Discovering them is a matter of research and time put forth and the possibilities are numerous on how to defeat them with this information.

When new products/services are offered by your competitor, you can research its weaknesses and use it to capture their market share. The flaws of the product or service and the options that are not offered can be your selling point when you research and develop a new product/service for your target market.

Targeting the flaws and weakness of others is a strategic move and an effective one at competing against others. When your competitor makes a move, weaknesses arises for you two exploit. You just need to look hard enough.

Friday, November 27, 2009

What Have Vibes to Do With the Law of Attraction

By Graham M Nicholls

What is the basis of the Law of Attraction?

There is a basic law in physics - matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed; they can only be changed from one form to the other. There is also the phenomenon that like energy seems to attract like energy. In some way shape or form, we are all radiating energy out into the universe. If we project this further, we even get real life black holes that seem to suck the energy from everyone around. The fact is that we all positively or negatively radiate energy depending on our emotional feelings at a given time of day or night.

All energy has a level of vibration - many call these "vibes" for short. Have you ever noticed when someone is happy or laughing, that the laughter becomes infectious? Try this out - get one person in a room to start laughing and see the reaction in the room. Laughter has also been quoted as being the "best medicine" for people recovering in hospital - hence we go to "cheer people up" when we go to visit them. On the down side, have you ever been with someone who is so unhappy, they have withdrawn from the world into a "black hole" - "draining" is often a term used when around people unfortunate enough to be in that space.

So, you see, this energy is very real on some level of the conscious or subconscious. Let's think about the mind for a moment - why have two levels? Why a conscious level and why a subconscious one? Here you will have to think about all the things that the subconscious does. Can you imagine how much stimulus you receive from the environment every second of every day? What if you had to consciously deal with every piece of information you receive? Your thinking would soon become paralyzed from trying to handle a million things at once. Not convinced, ok, how is the big toe on your left foot? Before I mentioned it, you weren't even aware of the big toe on your left foot - yet it has nerve endings too and receives stimulus from the environment, every second. The subconscious is the filter - it handles all the "auto-pilot" things and then raises them to the subconscious level when the need arises (most of the time, anyway - ever been late for an appointment because you had forgotten?)

The subconscious, then, is our auto-pilot. How did we teach it to do what it does? Mostly, this comes from childhood conditioning. As we grow up, we receive stimuli for the first time and we learn how to react. After years of growing up, the reactions are usually "programmed in" - we don't have to think about them. Great - but what if we want to change them? You see, the vibrations we send out are sent out on a subconscious level - we don't consciously think about projecting vibrations out into the universe (well, most of us don't, anyway!) - it's an unconscious (subconscious) act.

The thing is that the person who is sending out negative waves of energy does not consciously choose to be unhappy or to drain people around them (ok - there are a few exceptions - but mostly it is because they do not want to be alone in their misery). When people send out happy vibes, this is usually a spontaneous act - something great has happened to them and they want to share it with the world (winning the lottery for one!) And there are many different things that make someone sad or happy - we each react in a different way - and all of it on a subconscious level.

Ok, just what are the sorts of stimuli that produce positive vibrations? Usually they are created by good "feelings" (positive emotions) when we experience joy, love, excitement, pride, confidence, affection, comfort, relaxation feelings that we have all that we need - contentment.

On the other hand, the sorts of stimuli that produce negative feelings, negative vibes are those that produce disappointment, sadness, confusion, loneliness, lack of what we need, stress, hurt and anger. Have you ever heard the expression that you could cut the atmosphere with a knife? This is especially true around anger.

So - what does this have to with the Law of Attraction?

As I said at the beginning, the underlying theory of the law of attraction is that like energy attracts the same to it. So, if someone is sending out positive feelings, positive emotions, positive energy, then they are likely to draw more good things to them. On the other hand, the reverse is true. Have you ever had a day when, as soon as you get out of bed, you stub your toe, spill your coffee... and the day goes from bad to worse? Hm... now you get the idea of what I mean! (We've all had that sort of day!) In actual fact we become living magnets attracting more of what we send out into the universe.

I'm sure many of you know some people who always win no matter what the odds are against them? They find it as difficult to be unlucky as the other guy who constantly is in the mire no matter how hard he or she tries to get out of it, finds as difficult to be lucky (you know, when they turn around and say that if it wasn't for bad luck, they would have no luck at all!) Both sets are attracting the results of the energy they are giving off. Whether you want it or not, whether you like it or not, you attract whatever it is you give your energy and focus on.

The real problem is that this all happens on autopilot. Your subconscious is sending out the energy based on your own emotional feelings. Here's another example. When people focus on their bills, their debt - saying "all I want is to get out of this debt!" That is their declared goal. Unfortunately, their subconscious genie only hears the word with emotional focus - "debt" and turns around to the conscious and says "your wish is my command". You get more of the debt you "wished for". Try focusing on wealth and prosperity and not the debt, but do it with the same emotional intensity that you focused on debt, and see what happens in your life.

You have been conditioned since birth, to react emotionally at a subconscious level. A new born baby has only basic needs. How do we as parents know how to meet those needs which are not able to be expressed? Some even go further to say that babies in the womb listen to the external environment beyond the mother's body - taking in stimuli it does not know how to react to. Does this in turn condition the baby as to what to expect when it is born? That is a subject for debate on another platform - but certainly food for thought.

The one big problem with emotional vibrations is that no-one has been able to measure them!But we do know they exist!

The main thing to remember is that you have the ability to change the pattern. You have a conscious choice to accept your own responsibility for everything that happens to you and to train your subconscious to send out positive vibrations and not negative ones. When your conscious mind accepts that there is a way around all obstacles, the universe will listen and a way to achieve your heart's desire of wealth, health and love will be revealed to you. Your subconscious is your "genie" who is the tool of the universe that says "your wish is my command!" Emotion is the key that unlocks the full potential of the law of attraction

The law of attraction began to gain popularity in the western hemisphere in the 19th century, as people began to appreciate the power of positive thinking and apply it to their life. This new concept was first introduced to the general public by William Walker Atkinson, the editor of New Thought magazine, who published a book called Thought Vibration or the Law of Attraction in the Thought World in 1906.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Albert Einstein Quotes - How These 3 Albert Einstein Quotes Can Accelerate Your Success

Albert Einstein has always been viewed as an eccentric. However, his personal oddities did not, in any way, undermine his brilliance. Despite the way he looked, he is considered one of the most groundbreaking scientists of all time.

For anyone struggling to find success in his or her own field, these Albert Einstein quotes can inspire you to fulfill your dreams.

Einstein has been responsible for some of the most amazing breakthroughs ever discovered. His words would always ring true, even after his death. For inspiring Albert Einstein quotes, read on!

Albert Einstein Quote # 1: "The only real valuable thing is intuition."

Intuition cannot be bought. It is inherent in each one of us and can only be honed through experience. Unfortunately, not a lot of people listen to their intuition. And perhaps even a larger number don't even believe they have one.

But Einstein, a man of science, believes in a person's gut feel. When torn between two decisions, it is important to listen to that nagging feeling inside of you.

Intuition has saved a lot of people from danger. And if yours is nudging you to go a certain direction, there's no harm in trying that out, right?

Albert Einstein Quote # 2: "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

As unusual as this success quote sounds, it does tell the truth. Stubborn people, for example, get themselves stuck in a situation by not listening to the advice of others.
Instead of remaining stubborn all throughout the ordeal, why not take someone's word for a change and try a different approach?

Stubbornness will not get you anywhere. Einstein recognizes the importance of flexibility. If you want to achieve success, you'll need to adopt that same flexibility as well.

Albert Einstein Quote # 3: "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

This is one of my favorite inspirational quotes. After all, you cannot always live life by the book. You'll have to be as creative as you can to make every day of your life more meaningful.

Life's problems cannot always be solved by equations either. Sometimes, it takes a touch of creativity to help you get to the bottom of things.

Einstein was truly a man who had a lot to share. With this set of Albert Einstein quotes, hope you feel a renewed drive to succeed in whatever field you choose.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

4 Secrets for Selling Value Instead of Price

Do you find that your prospects are focused on the price of your products and services and often pressure you to give them discounts?

You've told your prospects in so much detail about all the great value they will receive but they just don't seem to get it. You know that if only they could see the value in your products and services then price would not be such an issue.

Here are four secrets, if learned and applied, will guarantee that your prospects will see the value in your products and services so that price is no longer the issue. These four secrets are commonsense and obvious once you know them but in selling what is commonsense and obvious is rarely applied.

Secret #1: Forget about selling and trying to get your prospect to buy your products and services.
The common trap, that you don't want to fall into, is to start selling your products and services from the very first conversation with your prospect. Instead, you want to forget about selling and trying to get your prospect to buy your products and services. Just have a conversation and ask the right questions so you can understand their problem and determine, if in fact, you can help them. I call this initial phase the 'Discover Phase' and it is where you should be spending the majority of your time in the sales process.

Secret #2: Have your prospect tell you the value (instead of you tell them).
If you tell your prospect about the value you offer, they may or may not see this as relevant, of interest or of value. However if you ask the right questions so your prospect tells you the value of solving their problem, they will then see this value as relevant, of interest and of value. The big difference is that they have told you (and themselves) the value as opposed to you telling them.

Secret Number #3: Have valuable conversations.
The conversations you want to have with your prospect should include so much value that they actually thank you for speaking with them and, in fact, look forward to having more conversations with you. How do you have such conversations? It's easy really. You see probably no one has asked your prospect powerful questions which help them get clarity around their problem and what it is costing them. This sort of clarity and information is of great value to your prospect. They will see that you have a valuable skill and they will want to have future conversations with you to continue gaining clarity in other areas. They will see having conversations and having a relationship with you as valuable.

Secret #4: Add your value to their value.
Once your prospect has told you the value they will receive from solving their problem, they will be receptive to listening to how you can add even more value. Not only will they be receptive to listening to how you can add more value but they will also be appreciative of the additional value you can add. This is because, at this stage, they will have effectively sold themselves on taking action to solve the problem and the more value they can see that they will receive; the easier it is for them to justify buying your products and services.

In summary, as a consequence of not selling while you ask the right questions, your prospect will see both the value in solving their problem plus they will see the value in having a relationship with you. You are then in a position to help them justify a buying decision by adding more value to what they have told themselves. This all leads to a decision based on value and not on price.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Finding Financial Freedom

Do you ever get this in your email box: Find Financial Freedom! Make $150,000 from home in the next 90 days! How about 10 times a day?

Every time I get one of these, I think to myself, “Hmmm, Financial Freedom. I already have financial freedom, even though it doesn’t look like what these emails promise me.”
Financial freedom is a buzzword for our generation. It is the pursuit of literally millions of people.

So what is it? Is it that elusive? Can anyone get it?

Let me start by saying that this article will not be about how to earn money, or even more money. Rather, it will be about how to find financial freedom, which may or may not involve making more money.

Financial freedom – here we go!

The first step in finding financial freedom is to realize that financial freedom has absolutely nothing to do with how much money you have or make. What? Exactly. Financial freedom is something that goes on inside of you. This is why someone who makes very little can be happy and someone who makes a ton can be extremely stressed out over his or her financial situation. So the first step is to realize that financial freedom is more about our attitudes toward money than about the amount of money.

“Okay, So what are the attitudes that provide financial freedom?” Here are a few that keep me in financial freedom.

I do not have to worry about money.

I used to catch myself saying, “If I had more money, then I wouldn’t have to worry about …” But do you know what? I don’t have to worry anyway. I can control my income. I can control my outgo. I can make choices that can alleviate any of my worries. I also realized that things always work out. So why worry? I choose not to worry.

I can be happy regardless of my financial state.

I know people who are worth hundreds of millions of rupees and I know people who don’t have two paise to rub together. Some are happy and some aren’t. And none of the people who have a lot of money say to me, “I’ve become so happy since I got money.” They were happy before they had money and they are happy now that they have money. Their happiness has nothing to do with the money. I think it was the Billionaire David Geffen who said, “Anyone who says that money will buy them happiness has never had any money.”

Money will be a means to an end, not the end itself.

Another way to look at it is that money will be a tool to build the house, not the house itself. I would set some financial goals if I were you, but go beyond that to know what greater purpose there will be when you reach them. What will the house be that you will build with that tool?

I am free.

I am free to earn – some people think it is bad to earn more money. It isn’t. I am free to save – some people believe it is bad to save. It isn’t. I am free to give money away – some people feel they will be better off hoarding it. They won’t. I am free to spend – some people believe that they can’t spend anything on themselves. They can. We are free to make choices. That is financial freedom. One of my favorite quotes is from Charles Wesley, “Earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can.” That will keep you in financial freedom.
Some other principles for financial freedom…

Debt is the primary freedom killer.

Want financial freedom? The first thing you should do is to get out of debt. That is priority number one. One of the reasons I have financial freedom is that I have no debt other than my house payment. And I work hard to manage myself and our home to keep us that way. For years I drove an old junker car, and while I looked bad, I had financial freedom that others who were in debt didn’t have!

There is an old proverb – The borrower is the servant of the lender. Who has freedom? The lender. Who doesn’t? The borrower. Develop a plan to get out of debt!

Embrace delayed gratification.

Here is the principle: Buy it now and struggle later. Another principle: Delay it now, invest the money, and have all you want later on! And you won’t even have to touch the principal! We tend to think that having it now will bring enjoyment, but unless you can do it and not cause yourself financial stress, you will actually get more from waiting to buy it later!

Have more by managing better.

The fact is that most of us earn enough. What would be beneficial would be to set our priorities and live by a budget. As we get control, our budget will loosen up a bit and we will find ourselves enjoying it more. Money that is already there can be your answer if you put it to work for you.
Spend some time thinking through your attitudes about money. You may be surprised at how you can change a few, look at things a little bit differently and begin to enjoy true financial freedom!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Five Qualities of Top Teams

By Brian Tracy

Over the years, exhaustive research has been done on top teams. There seem to be given characteristics or qualities of peak-performance teams that you can incorporate into your own business. Here they are:

Shared Goals and Objectives
In a smoothly functioning team, everyone is clear about what the team is expected to accomplish. The goals of the team are shared and discussed by everyone. Each team member gives his or her ideas and input into how the goals and objectives can be best achieved. Each person feels like a part of a larger organization.

Shared Values and Principles
In excellent teams, there is regular discussion about the values, principles, and behaviors that guide the decisions of the team. The leader encourages values such as honesty, openness, punctuality, responsibility for completing assignments, quality work, and so on. Everyone discusses and agrees on what they are.

Shared Plans of Action

In this phase of team building, you go around the table and have each member of the team explain exactly what part of the work he or she is going to accept responsibility for completing. At the end of this discussion, each member knows what every other member is going to be doing and how his or her own work fits in with the work of the team.

Lead the Action

There must always be a clear boss or leader in any organization. Democracy is a fine concept, but it goes only so far in business. Someone must be in command and take charge. And that someone is probably you. On a good team, everyone knows who is in charge. The leader sets an example for the others. The leader becomes the role model.

Continuous Review and Evaluation

In this final phase, the team regularly evaluates its progress from two perspectives. First, is the team getting the results that are expected by its customers or other in the company? In dealing with customers, does the team set up mechanisms to continually ask customers, "how are we doing?"

Bringing the Team Together
One of the most important things you do in building a peak performance organization is to hold regular staff meetings. Bring your people together weekly, at a fixed time, to talk, discuss, catch up on progress, learn how the company is doing, and generally share ideas, opinions, and insights.

Action Exercise
Conduct a values clarification exercise with your entire team. Then mutually agree to live and work by the common values.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

6 Steps Not to Take When You've Hit Rock Bottom

We have all found ourselves at one time or another experiencing the agony of the rug being pulled out from under us, and finding ourselves sitting on our bottoms wondering where to go from there. Nowadays things are rough; the current state of the economy has caused mortgages to be recalled, people are facing bankruptcy, divorces, loss of jobs... all these events can be coined as hitting rock bottom where an individual, regardless of age is facing the need to start over in a situation. Yes life is always in constant motion and that you can bet on... "nothing remains the same," the economy will recover and so too the individual situations that have hit rock bottom.

One of the advantages of "bottoming out" in any situation is that there is really nowhere else to go. The efforts of attempting to halt the downward spiral have ended; as well as the sleepless nights and worries that have all gone with it. Soon enough it becomes evident that it is time to shift gears in a new direction. Indeed necessity is the mother of invention! There is a saying that when you hit rock bottom there is only one place to go but up... and to some degree it is true. You do have to pull yourself to your feet at some point and start moving again. Why not make the best moves you can, and take opportunity by the hand by avoiding the following 7 steps to repeated failures.

Step #1... Holding it all in.

As in any ending, a loss warrants a grieving process and a recognition of what point of that grieving process you are in. Bottling up what ever emotions that have arisen from the situation is only setting yourself up for ill health and an unexpected re-occurrence of all these emotions in the future. They really should be recognized for what they are, respected as legitimate, and dealt with. As in any grieving process there are steps you can expect to go through. Initially you may want to deny that anything has taken place. "Life goes on," you will say to yourself. This stage may last a few moments or longer.

Then you may find yourself withdrawing from those around you: friends, co-workers, even family. You may find yourself angry: at the world, at yourself, at the situation, or even at others involved. Perhaps bargaining with God, or making oaths to yourself about never going down that path again. And then suddenly feeling numb, although the anger and sadness may still remain underneath. Finally when all these emotions have been faced and they begin to subside, you will find yourself simply accepting the reality of the situation. Having so many strong feelings can be very stressful..Be gentle on yourself.
Treat yourself with the same respect and dignity as you might for someone else who would turn to you in a similar situation.

Step#2... The glass is half empty!

Grieving is one thing, but wallowing in self pity and negative energy is just plain self destructive. It would be a good time to start counting your blessings and turn your perspective around, to allow yourself to look at your world with fresh new eyes. There are no failures, just ineffective solutions! Take stock of your assets, both the tangible and intangible. These will be your tools to rebuild with. You can not fail in rebuilding if you have tools in hand. Look for the positive sparks you have within you that can light your way to a new path.

After all with every ending comes the promise and optimism of new beginnings. Opportunities now await you that you may miss if you are not open to receive them. You have survived the fall, you have gained valuable life experiences that have just made you both wiser and stronger. You have a world of opportunity in front of you with all the freshness that a start over offers. You have cast off the chains that the situation bound you in and the weight is lifted from your shoulders. See and feel the blessings in that.

Step#3... It all ends to begin again.

Life is a never ending set of cycles, and if we don't take the time to investigate where we tripped and stumbled within a cycle, we are more or less doomed to repeat it. Awareness is always the first step to change. Take some time to evaluate the steps that led up to the situation bottoming out. Be honest about the situation and your role in it. Much healing and learning is fostered in honesty. Identify the shifts in attitude and choices necessary for you to adopt in order to avoid the cycle repeating it's self.. In all honesty the only changes you can effectively set into motion and control are your own actions and perspectives. If circumstances happened that were out of your control, accept it for what it was worth. There is no sense of you beating yourself up for things that were out of your hands, yet you now can identify similar situations in the future, and with your new found experience readjust your choices.

Step#4... Turning to comfort food.

There is no comfort in inanimate objects, whether it be food, alcohol, medications and the likes. Recovering from a loss and its stresses that the event naturally places on you will pass more quickly, with good self-care habits. It helps to have a close circle of family or friends. It also helps to eat a balanced diet, drink enough non-alcoholic fluids, get exercise and rest. Do good for your body and your soul. Enough bad has occurred already... mitigate the losses! Network with friends, colleagues and support groups if necessary. Don't make the mistake of leaning on crutches; stand up on your own and rally your support. But make sure this is positive support; it is imperative to block out all negative sources of comfort no matter how well intentioned they may seem.

Step#5... Jump in feet first.

"Failing to plan is planning to fail," we have all heard it being said time and time again. But there is considerable wisdom to this old adage. It puts you in control again. And that is where you need to be in order to catch the next wave of opportunity. Because with every ounce of uncertainty, there is always an equal ounce of opportunity. Set up goals for yourself, as well as what it would take to accomplish them. Where do you want to go from here? Don't look at the impossibilities. Consider the planning process as free of limitations. Map out your dreams and desires. Then prioritize them.

Set strategies to accomplishing these priorities. Understand that any obstacle is only one point in the plan. An area you need to slow down and strategize carefully for your success. Not a point where you must turn in disappointment. Set realistic target dates as stepping stones for you to walk on, and promise yourself to go there. Finally close your eyes and visualize yourself accomplishing all you set out to do. In doing this you are conditioning your mind to a set course of action and focus. You now have direction, and can see yourself getting there.

Step#6... Act as if nothing happened.

You have made a come back, and that is worthy of celebrating! Always take the time to smile at your accomplishments. Don't let your hard work go by unrewarded, nor wait for someone else to acknowledge in you what you already know. Rewards are tokens of encouragement that can spur you onwards and upwards. By you acknowledging your own efforts, you are in control of your own personal responsibility and happiness. Then you will never falling short of recognizing and feeding from the positive vibe your victory created. Use this momentum to propel yourself even further forwards.

Situations in life are always present and changing. That is the fluidity we must learn to balance ourselves in, not unlike a surfer on their board. We find ourselves having to get on and standing up time and time again. Often having little choice about it, because we are miles away from shore. Losses and trials are conditions we as humans all share in, a bit of brotherly compassion goes a long way. In as much as you were sensitive to any kicks while you were down, try hard to remember not to do it yourself, and maybe we all can survive to surf another day!.

"If we're growing, we're always going to be out of our comfort zone." - John Maxwell

Friday, November 20, 2009

8 Ways to Breakdown Barriers and Reach Your Potential

by Deanne Earl
What is it that's blocking you from reaching your potential?

Business is expanding in-line with or ahead of plan. Customers pay on time and suppliers deliver exceptional quality consistently while remaining open to constructive feedback for continuous improvement. Employees are motivated, empowered, and fully immersed in a culture that embraces change and responds to challenges as part of business as usual resulting in process improvement and elimination of waste. Revenue is high and costs are low because of the collaborative and adaptive approach to doing business, communicating objectives and people development. Career choices and self-motivation have enabled a personal life that's stimulating and satisfying both financially and emotionally. Everything and everyone is striving for and achieving beyond their potential - they're flying!

These outcomes are not fanciful. Read on and discover 8 ways to identify and breakdown the barriers that are blocking you from reaching your potential and fly in a way you've never known before.
  • Current state - Where are you now?

    Know your starting point. As this is the first layer peel it's no easy task - it takes an objective, uncluttered and honest analysis along with an absolute commitment to making things different. What's good, bad and downright ugly about this current state? The type of things that trigger thoughts similar to 'why won't this work?', 'what a mess!' or 'how come everyone else seems to get ahead and I don't?' are the most likely barriers blocking growth. Writing down and getting clear about these blockages is the first step to reaching your potential.

  • Future state - Where do you want to be?

    Know where you're going. A few more layers in and the same exercise can be repeated this time considering goals and the desired future state. Daydreaming and fantasising is imperative for all those wants and desires to come to the surface. Whenever the 'that's not possible', 'don't be ridiculous' or 'no way would that ever happen' barriers pop up move past them with the 'who said?' counter argument. Be careful what you ask for as you may just get it!

  • Look inside

    Ever noticed when someone physically points a finger there's 1 pointing out and always 3 pointing back towards them. This suggests an externalisation of something that's not being acknowledged or taken responsibility for internally. While external influences may be out of our control we do have full control over our reaction to them. Identifying these reactions along with our self-imposed limitations helps expose them for what they are - a bunch of words to which we've added meaning. To get closer to realising your potential, ask just one simple question - is that really true? Bet you it's not...

  • Everything's possible

    Yup, absolutely everything and anything is possible! Just look at the Para-Olympians, what an example they are to every human and organisation on the planet. No-one in their right mind could say those athletes have not overcome challenges and barriers to reach and exceed their potential. In business as in life there is always a way. Can't is only a word for a skill or process that hasn't yet been attempted, learned or mastered. Should is a value judgement that leaves someone to decide whether they're going to do it or not. Adjusting both words and attitude immediately breaks down barriers previously deemed Himalayan in stature.

  • The Black Hole - What's on the other side?

    Who knows, it's a mystery. If we knew it'd be a bit boring. Like exploring a new restaurant or country going there to find out is part of the excitement. Not everything will live up to expectations but if you're clear about what you want and focus on how to get there the disappointments will hold less significance. At the same time you'll discover new capabilities and increase your potential for anything and everything that crosses your path.

  • Taking that first step

    As with toddlers the first step is the most difficult and the more steps a toddler takes the more skilled they become eventually mastering the task and then running all over the place causing complete havoc. Humans naturally find it internally confronting when asked to leave their comfort zone. It's natural and easier to complain about being hard done by or that life has dealt them a cruel hand. Others who totally commit to having things different take that first tentative step and soon realising they should have done it long ago. What's it going to take for you?

  • Support

    Whether the journey is professional or personal support is critical. The difference between a good and a great manager is that one delivers what is required with good results, while the other openly encourages and provides challenging situations for their team and themselves to continuously extend beyond their potential therefore delivering more than expected with great results. Being clear about where you're going and what assistance you need to get there makes your network more able to provide the necessary support.

  • Flying
    It's been quite a journey and is still going however...

Business is expanding. Customers pay on time and suppliers deliver exceptional quality. Continuous improvement is sub-conscious. Employees are motivated, empowered, and fully immersed in a culture of change. Revenue is high and costs are low. Personally life is stimulating and satisfying both financially and emotionally. Everything and everyone is striving for and achieving beyond their potential - they're flying!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Surviving the Recession!

Recession: a mighty event that has hit the economy very hard, leaving many people jobless & even homeless. Many people were forced to change their profession. In addition, the worst part is more than three fourths of the people hit by the recession suffered from physical as well as mental illness, they lived depressed & frustrated. Was this a way to manage through such a period of economic malaise? Here, The Economist Magazine explains the best ways to survive Recession .

Control your senses: -
  • Don't stress out.
  • Believe you are capable of surviving an economic recession.
  • Believe that you are smart enough to do so.
  • Plan ahead and be prepared to face problems and obstacles.
  • Use your instincts to decide what path to follow.
  • Have faith in yourself and in God.
  • Always be willing to make an effort.
  • Come to grips with reality.
  • Try understanding things so well that you can take action even before the event occurs.

Planning & managing the Finances: -

  • Be diversified and spread your risk out. It's not about taking risk, but managing risk.
  • Invest in the long term.
  • Be conservative.
  • Hold your course.
  • Consider new investments.
  • Realize that things aren't as bad as the news pans it out to be.
  • If you're in a high-rate mortgage, refinance now.
  • If your finances are tight, resist the urge to splurge.
  • Keep your job.
  • If you happen to have a little extra spending cash, now is a time for good deals. Companies need to stimulate sales, so they will be offering their best deals. Just like mortgages, if you've had your eye on something special (and you have the funds) now's the time to buy.
  • Start saving as much as you can.
  • Eliminate high interest rate credit cards.
  • Stop spending on luxuries.
  • Stop trying to live up to your neighbors.
  • Stop buying only brand name products.
  • Make sure you and your loved ones are properly insured.
  • Prepare to switch jobs when you see a trouble ahead.
  • Prepare to learn how to work from home.
  • Prepare to rely on your talents and interests.
  • Redefine the difference between needs and wants.
  • Learn to do more with less.
  • Learn to be master of your own soul.
  • Learn to be your own boss.
  • Take the time to analyze what your interests are, and what you are good at. Don't overlook your hobbies. Some of these things can provide you with the basis for forming your own work at home business.
  • Be prepared that in an economic recession things are not going to be the same as they were.
  • Be prepared to change the way you do things.
  • Be prepared to survive and prosper. There is no magic formula. How well you survive and prosper during an economic recession depends on your ability to say to yourself - "Yes I Can".

There are a too many points to be implemented at once & you may leave many of them out because of you may think they are not feasible, but then, Read the Last Point Again.

All The Best...!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Four Easy Steps to Getting More Customers

The good news and bad news about marketing is that price and results are not necessarily connected. You can pay the same price for poor results as you would for great results.

The difference is based on what you put into your marketing before you implement.

By planning your marketing well, you can put more quality into it and therefore, get better results out of it.

Here is an easy and effective method to plan your marketing so you can see better results from your marketing without spending more money.

A. Understand your strengths

Ask yourself these questions:
  1. Why do people buy from you?
  2. What do you really do for your customers?
  3. How are you better than your competition?
  4. What special skills or advantages do you have?

The answers to these questions are your competitive advantages. They are what make you stand out from your competition. They may be related to price, location, professional skills, attitude, responsiveness or your own personality.

People buy from you because you do something for them no one else does. Understand this and you've taken the first step to better marketing.

B. Identify your customers (your target market)

To promote your business you should focus on people who value what you do. Your strengths (or competitive advantages) will help you focus on who will most value your service or product.

For example, if your location is a strength then your customers will reflect your location. If high quality is a strength then your customers should appreciate quality.

To get an idea of who your target market is, look at your current customers. Or, look at your profit margins to decide which type of customers to focus on. You might have several target markets because you have several products or services and a variety of strengths.

Bottom line: focus on people who will place a high value on what you can do for them. These people will be your most loyal and profitable customers.

C. Create a meaningful message

The key in successful marketing is to deliver the right message to the right people as often as your budget will allow. So, you need a message that tells your target market why they should do business with you.

Your message should reflect your strengths because those are what you do best. And, your message should be in terms that your target market is interested in.

In other words speak in their language and say what they want to hear.


You're a Realtor and your strength is that you sell houses fast and your target market is people who want their houses sold fast, then your message might be:

"I sell houses fast!" And you can give them some details to demonstrate how you sell houses faster than anyone else in town (such as statistics and testimonials).

Your message comes directly from your strengths and your target market. The three work together naturally and simply.

You can have more than one message. Each marketing focus (based on a product or service, a target market and a strength) should have its own message.

To start, just work on one message. Then as you develop a system that works, add others to your marketing system. Don't overwhelm yourself right away by trying to do too much.

D. Deliver your message as often as your budget allows.

Now you have to find and purchase the appropriate delivery vehicles (or media) for your marketing messages.

There are three things to remember as you plan how to deliver your message:

  1. Set a budget for the project.
  2. Get the most exposure possible for that budget.
  3. Focus your exposure on your target group.

Unless your budget is unlimited, you need to choose delivery vehicles that focus your message.

For example, if you have a retail store and you know 90% of your customers live within two miles of your store, then you might focus your message delivery on people who live within two miles of your store. This gives you the ability to repeat your message to them multiple times, putting the power of repetition to work for you.

There are many ways to deliver your message: advertising, direct mail, networking, phone calls or personal visits. Some less direct ways might be to teach classes or offer seminars on topics that relate to your product or service. Other ways might be to sponsor events or offer informational sessions about what you do. Or, you might partner with a nonprofit.

Whatever you do, try to achieve a balanced mix of media when delivering your message. This increases awareness of your business and multiplies the impact of your message.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Four Parts of Visualization

By Brian Tracy

There are four parts of visualization that you can learn and practice to assure that you use this incredible power to its best advantage all the days of your life.

How Often?
The first aspect of visualization is frequency, the number of times that you visualize a particular goal as achieved of yourself performing in an excellent way in a particular event or circumstance. The more frequently you repeat a clear mental picture of your very best performance or result, the more rapidly it will appear as part of your reality.

How Long?
The second element of visualization is the duration of the mental image, the length of time that you can hold the picture in your mind each time you replay it. When you deeply relax, you can often hold a mental picture of yourself performing at your best for several seconds, and even several minutes. The longer you can hold your mental picture, the more deeply it will be impressed into your subconscious mind and the more rapidly it will express itself in your subsequent performance.

How Clearly?
The third element of visualization is vividness. There is a direct relationship between how clearly you can see your desired goal or result in your mind and how quickly it comes into your reality. This element of visualization is what explains the powers of the Law of Attraction and the Law of Correspondence. The vividness of your desire directly determines how quickly it materializes in the world around you. Here is an interesting point. When you set a new goal for yourself, your image or picture of this goal will usually be vague and fuzzy. But the more often you write it, review it, and repeat it mentally, the clearer it becomes for you. Eventually, it will become crystal clear. At that point, the goal will suddenly appear in your world exactly as you imagined it.

How Intensely?
The fourth element of visualization is intensity, the amount of emotion that you attach to your visual image. In reality, this is the most important and powerful part of the visualization process. Sometimes, if your emotion is intense enough and your visual image is clear enough, your goal will immediately come true.
Of course, the elements of frequency, duration, vividness, and intensity can help you or hurt you. Like nature, the power of visualization is neutral. Like a two-edged sword, it can cut in either direction. It can either make you a success or make you a failure. Visualization brings you whatever you vividly and intensely imagine, whether good or bad.

Action Exercise
Continually feed your mind with clear, exciting, emotional pictures. Remember, your imagination is your preview of life's coming attractions.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ten Powerful and Life Transforming Tips That Will Change Your Life

Here are ten powerful and life transforming tips that will change your behavior and build upon your success in less than 10 days. Ten simple tips you can implement into your daily routine starting right now. You will only stand to gain from these life transforming tips. You get guaranteed results, greater success and motivation to achieve goals that you once thought were impossible to achieve.

In the next 10 days you will be able to achieve your goals faster and with conviction. You will see and feel the difference and benefit from the results. You will be inspired like never before. No mountain will be too high for you to climb after you read these life transforming tips.

10 Powerful and Life Transforming Tips
  • Foster strengths and acknowledge weaknesses: Create a list of all your strengths. Create another list with all your weaknesses. Give greater focus to tasks that foster your strengths and delegate tasks that play on your weaknesses.

  • Admit to mistakes: You are human and humans make mistakes. Admit to mistakes as soon as you discover it. Deflecting or lying about it will make you feel bad, and you won't learn from the experience. Don't try to cover it up, lies are difficult to keep up with and difficult on the mind and your self-worth.

  • Accept criticism: The automatic reaction to criticism is defense. Stop defending and listen for any truth behind the criticism. You can only change what you are aware of.

  • Embrace change, it's inevitable: Change is everywhere and in every living thing. Life is continual change preceding death. Nothing remains constant in life - change is inevitable. Fear for change will only lead to feeling stuck.

  • Challenge core-beliefs: Core-beliefs are strongly rooted beliefs that often cannot be substantiated with facts they simply are not true. Core-beliefs will prevent you from trying new things for fear of failure and what you believe it will mean to you. Next time you are about to make a decision based on a core-belief make sure you can substantiate it with facts.

  • Fear stunts growth: Fear limits your personal growth and distracts you from achieving success. Fear draws upon past frightening and humiliating experiences. It creates illusions of what the future holds based on those experiences. Illusions create fear that will stunt your growth. Recognize fear is only an illusion - its not real.

  • Patience is a virtue: Patience will make you a better and more successful person. Exercise self-control and forbearance to what you want and success will be achieved. You miss opportunities when you jump to conclusions and make quick decisions in your effort to succeed. Slow down and enjoy the ride because success will take as long as it needs to succeed anyhow.

  • NOW is all that matters: Life unfolds in the present. When you spend too much time vacillating into the future, or reminiscing about the past, the present time slips away and its gone forever. There isn't anything anyone can do about the past and the only difference you will make for the future is based on what you do this very moment.

  • Treat yourself first before another: You are useless to those in need if you don't take care of yourself first. Just like on a plane when the oxygen mask is deployed - You put your mask on first before you assist others, or else you will pass-out from the lack of oxygen and you will be useless to anyone in need of help.

  • Unconditional self-love: Means to love yourself no matter what. Strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Your confidence and self-esteem will shoot through the roof when you foster strengths and acknowledge your weaknesses, appreciate your likes and find beauty in what you do not like. You can't change who you are so all that is left is for you to love yourself unconditionally.

Go ahead and see for yourself. See how fast success will be knocking at your door after you implement these 10 easy life transforming tips. You're just days away to a happier and more fulfilled life.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Maximize Profits

By Brian Tracy

Sales are only one barometer for success. Your ultimate goal is to increase profits in order to achieve the greatest possible return on your investment of money, time, and energy. Every customer, activity, product, or service yields a specific profit of a specific amount. In some cases, you may actually be losing money in one or more of these three areas. One of the most important things you can do for your growing business is to determine where to focus the investment of your time and money based on the return thrown off by this investment.

Personal Profitability
To truly analyze the profitability of your business, you must first examine your personal rate of return. From this personal perspective, what is your major expense? It's your time. By now, you should have developed the habit of continually asking yourself this basic question: Would I pay someone else my hourly rate to perform this task? If not, you are failing to maximize the return on your time. In other words, you are investing your time in an area that yields less than the optimum rate of return. You are incurring a "loss of opportunity" cost. This, in turn, affects the overall profitability of your business.

People Profitability
Payroll represents one of the largest expense items for most businesses. As a business grows, it typically hires additional staff according to the most pressing need at the moment. Once a person has been hired, often she or he can become a permanent fixture, even when the company's needs change. Many entrepreneurs are too busy creating products, designing services, and generating revenues to pay close attention to employee performance. Over time, the result can be an inefficient and ineffective staff and a bloated payroll.

Customer Profitability
Some customers are more profitable than others; some may actually be costing you money. Can you identify your most profitable customers? Do you know any who are unprofitable? There is not necessarily any connection between the size of the customer or the volume of business he produces and his profitability. There are several questions you should ask as you examine your customers profitability: How often does each customer purchase from you? What is the average size of each purchase? What is the profit margin of the product(s) purchased? How much time is spent providing customer service after the sale? What is the "product returns" record of each customer?

Concentrate on Profitable Customers
Many companies regularly “fire” the top 10 percent of their customers. They stop doing business with those who generate the least revenues or yield the lowest on their return purchases, choosing to concentrate on their more profitable customers and attracting more like them. At the very least, be diligent in rooting out those customers who actually cost you money—regardless of the revenues they generate. You cannot afford to carry this unprofitable load.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Inner Peace - How to Say No Without Burning the Bridge

Have you ever said "Yes" when you really wanted to say "No"? Do you often spread yourself too thin with many different projects and social obligations? Do you ever feel stressed or overwhelmed when there is not enough time in the day to get everything done?

If your answer is "Yes" to any of these questions, then you exhibit the signs of an overachiever. Many of us are great at what we do and sometimes we take on more than we can handle. Since other people expect us to be the best and we must keep up our winning stride, we have to do more, we have to do better, and we have to do it all of the time! In the end we carry on more burden than anyone else around us. Learning to say "No" can be a life saver that will lowers your stress level and brings more inner peace - before you pass out from exhaustion!

Here are few simple tips that will help you say "No" without burning the bridge.
  • Know what you want. Before you can say "No" to anything you need to say "Yes" to what you really want. It is the toughest not knowing the direction you wish to persuade. Once you know where your "Yes" is, anything else does not fall into your "Yes" will automatically be a "No". For example, if there are three meetings today and two of them might over lap, so you have to say "No" to one of them. Align yourself with your goal and see which meeting feels like a better fit into your overall direction and keep that one. Cancel the other one.

  • Be committed to your "Yes". When you are spreading yourself too thin and try to do everything for everyone, you are really not being effective. You might have noticed that sometimes you might physically be in a meeting or a gathering but your mind and your heart are somewhere else. Being half in and half out will only produce mediocre results. The key is when you are here, be here and nowhere else. Do not plan what to do in the next few hours in your head or replay what happened a few hours earlier. When you are with your "Yes", be committed to it!

  • Schedule downtime to realign. This is probably the most essential tip for gaining inner peace instantaneously. When you are running from one minute to the next without the proper planning or introspection, you will only run yourself into the ground. So schedule time to be by yourself and introspect right on your calendar during the workday. This is an essential part of your work and do not try to accomplish this when you get home. I call it strategy alignment. During this time I can figure out what needs to be done next and how to delegate to my staff.

  • Practice saying "No". Once you can be fully committed to your "Yes" and know the best strategy to move forward, it is simple to say "no thank you" to anything else that does not fall into your plan. Practice in the mirror and watch your facial expression when you say your "No". Does it look gentle and smooth or forced and awkward? When you say "No" to yourself in the mirror, how do you feel on the receiving end? If it does not look or feel right, what is the thought in your head that is making this difficult? Make peace with that thought. Also keep in mind that a "No" right now does not mean a "No" forever. So you can always get a rain check.

  • Do not feel guilty. There is nothing wrong with telling a friend you will not be at her party. It is better to say "No" up front than cancel at the last minute or show up not wanting to be there. Chances are your friends and your coworkers want to see the best you and not some beat up tired version of you. They will understand when you simply have to prioritize your life and your work and get the best out of the time you have on hand.

Just like anything else in life, the more you practice the more comfortable you will become. Saying "No" is an art not a science. Adjust your style with different people and soon you will find that you have the ability to say "Yes" to the things you really want and drop everything else that distracts you from your goal. Work effectively, work efficiently, and work smart - learn to say "No".

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Personal Mastery

By Marty Jacobs

What is personal mastery?

Personal mastery, as defined by Peter Senge, is "the discipline of personal growth and learning. It is more than just competence and skills or spiritual growth. It is about creating a desired future and moving towards it. People with high levels of personal mastery are skilled at creating a personal vision and accurately assessing their current reality with respect to that vision. The gap between current reality and personal vision propels them forward. This gap is often referred to as "creative tension." Personal mastery is about generating and sustaining creative tension and living comfortably with that tension.

So how does one recognize individuals with a high level of personal mastery? Below is a list of characteristics of those individuals:

  • They have a special sense of purpose - a calling.
  • They accurately assess their current reality; in particular, they quickly recognize inaccurate assumptions.
  • They are skilled at using creative tension to inspire their forward progress.
  • They see change as opportunity.
  • They are deeply inquisitive.
  • They place a high priority on personal connections without giving up their individuality.
  • They are systemic thinkers, that is, they see themselves as one part in a larger system.

These people are continually expanding their capacity to create their desired future. In doing so, they create the potential for considerable organizational capacity building, a potential that can only be realized through integrating all five disciplines of organizational learning.

How do individuals develop personal mastery?

Developing personal mastery is a lifelong process, and it is never too late to start. Much of what needs to happen has to do with shifting how we think and how we view the world in which we live and work. Here are some things to try:

  • Thinking systemically: When you encounter an unexpected or undesirable outcome, try to think about what processes enabled that outcome to happen, rather than looking for someone to blame. Thinking systemically is about looking at the whole and the relationships amongst the individual parts. It is also about looking for patterns over time, rather than taking a quick snapshot.

  • Assessing current reality: In order to be effective at assessing current reality, you need to be very aware of the assumptions you make about existing situations. Those assumptions shape, and sometimes cloud, our view of reality. Assessing current reality requires a great deal of reflection on your own thought processes and an ability to recognize your assumptions.

  • Balancing advocacy with inquiry: Most of us are accustomed to entering into a discussion with our defenses securely in place. What this means is that we often do not hear what others are saying. By balancing advocacy with inquiry, we take as much time to understand the points of view of others as we do in explaining our own point of view. Those skilled at personal mastery will gently probe until they fully understand a different point of view while inviting others to question their own perspectives and thought processes.

  • Creating shared meaning: Creating shared meaning takes the previous point to the next level. It involves finding the common ground within various perspectives and broadening the understanding of all involved. People with high levels of personal mastery understand that they only have a piece of the puzzle and only by inquiring into the points of view of others can those puzzle pieces begin to fit together and take shape into a clearer picture of current reality.

Each of the above techniques can take a lifetime to master. In fact, one never really "arrives"; there is always something new to learn. Therefore, it is important to start with small incremental steps. It doesn't matter where you start, just that you begin at a place where you can feel progress and success.

How can organizations foster personal mastery?

Organizations must have people at all levels capable of personal mastery in order to become successful learning organizations. It is important to remember, however, that this is a matter of choice. It cannot be dictated from on high. Efforts to do so will only backfire since employees will likely develop a "personal vision" that they think the boss wants to hear.

The most important thing an organization can do to help employees develop personal mastery is to create an environment conducive to individual pursuits. Here are some ideas for doing that:

  • Encourage inquiry and curiosity: In most organizations people are rewarded for coming up with solutions and not for asking probing questions. The problem with this is that an organization will often settle on the quick fix rather than take the time to truly understand the nature of the problem. Encourage employees to look deeper into the nature of problems, particularly recurring problems.

  • Encourage employees to challenge the status quo: New employees are particularly good at doing this because they don't have a history with the organization and are not yet assimilated into its culture. Take advantage of their fresh perspective and encourage veteran employees to do the same. The results will be infectious.

  • Change your assumptions about what motivates your employees: Most organizations, whether they would admit it or not, use external incentives (money, recognition, fear) to motivate their employees. Personal mastery is all about internal motivation, and under the right conditions, it will blossom. Create an environment that is consistent with the belief that most employees are self-motivated and want to do their best.

  • Be a model: It is important that organizational leaders practice their own personal mastery. By setting an example, you will send the message that this is important.

  • Make a commitment for the long haul: Personal mastery is not a single event or one-day workshop. It is also not a precise process. Make every effort to be flexible in helping employees develop personal mastery and realize that the gains will be incremental over time.

By creating a safe and supportive environment where employees can develop their personal mastery, you are helping them generate that creative tension that will propel them forward and ultimately move the organization along the path toward becoming a learning organization.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Law of Advance Planning

By Brian Tracy

The best salespeople prepare thoroughly before every call. This principle is so simple that it is often overlooked. The hallmark of the true professional is thorough preparation, reviewing every detail, before every sales meeting. The very best salespeople are those who review their presentations and study the details of their products and their sales materials repeatedly prior to every new sales contact.

The Customer's Situation
The salesperson with the best knowledge of the customer's real situation will be the one most likely to make the sale. The more time you take to thoroughly understand your prospective customer and your prospective customer's situation, the more likely you will be in a position to sell at the critical moment.

Sales Professionals Plan their questions in Advance
There is a direct relationship between the quality of the problem focused questions that you ask a customer and the likelihood of a sale taking place. The only way of assuring that your questions are clear and penetrating is by writing them out, word for word, in advance. Some of the most successful salespeople who have ever lived have been "question experts."


The power is on the side of the salesperson with the best notes. Plan your sales-call objectives thoroughly in advance of meeting the client. Write down and itemize exactly what you hope to accomplish in this visit. After the call, quickly write down everything that was said. Don't trust it to memory. Remember the Chinese saying, "The palest ink lasts longer than the finest memory." Prior to every sales call, and no matter how many times you have visited this same customer, take a few minutes to review the customer's file, the customer's situation, and your own notes on what has taken place in the past. You'll be amazed at how impressive you sound when you go into a sales interview having just reviewed the customer's file a few minutes before. And customers always know if you have done your homework.

Prior to Closing a Sale
The top salespeople in every field prepare exhaustively prior to selling, prior to their presentations, and prior to closing. They think everything through in advance. And they leave nothing to chance. Remember, it's the details that make the difference. The salesperson who has taken the greatest amount of time to acquaint himself or herself with the most specific needs of the customer is the one who builds the highest level of trust and the best sales relationship. Thorough preparation is the essential precondition for successful selling.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Surpassing the Bar - Living Up to Your Expectations

Do you expect that you can achieve greatness? How about when you hear the phrase, "you were born for greatness," do you believe those words to be true - about you? Do those words increase your expectancy in your ability to achieve greatness? Do those words motivate you to set your bar (expectancy) high?

If it hasn't become apparent to you yet, understand that you must come to consider probable or certain your chances of achieving greatness. Meaning, if you are to set the bar high, you must possess a high level of expectation in yourself. In addition, if the bar is to be set by you, YOU must be your strongest advocate for what it is you think and know you can do. You cannot achieve your greatness, if you don't expect that you can be great. If you don't expect that you can be great, you will never set the bar high enough to achieve your greatness.

Your level of expectation in yourself is the bar that you set for yourself. Your level of expectation in your abilities to achieve greatness is similar to setting a bar that you step over to the next side. The higher the bar is set, the more challenging the cross will be to the other side. If the bar was here, at your ankles, would you expect to fail? Of course not! You would expect yourself to step over the bar - without tripping - to the other side. However, if the bar was set at your shoulders, you would expect the process of getting to the other side to be more challenging. Yet, would you doubt your ability to make it? You shouldn't. With each level in which you set the bar higher, you will experience stretching yourself (i.e. knowledge, skills, experience) in new ways that can prove beneficial to you and your ultimate success.

When was the last time you assessed all that you can do and summed it up to equal success? Can you honestly say that you are okay with pushing yourself out of your place of comfort to achieve the things you imagine? Have you been able to connect to a level of expectancy that you can achieve greatness? Are you in a state of connecting to your greatness?

Connecting to your greatness requires that you recognize your innate ability to be great in whatever you set your mind to do. Yes, others may tell you that you can be great, but you must be able to think it, see it, and do it for yourself. You must be comfortable with expecting greatness from yourself, especially when others don't. When you comfortably connect to the understanding that you can achieve greatness, you will be able to surpass the expectations that you've placed on yourself. Although others will place expectations on you, too, the expectations that you place on yourself will be the expectations that will carry you higher in your personal and professional success.

Therefore, challenge yourself. For every endeavor you engage in and for every space that your presence occupies, do yourself a favor and remember to connect to your greatness by expecting that you can be great. When you place a level of expectancy on your abilities, it will allow you to:

- Establish the bar (determine the goals you want to achieve),

- Maneuver the bar (strategize the steps needed to achieve your goals), and

- Surpass the bar (do the necessary work to meet and reach your goals).

Monday, November 9, 2009

Flying Into Headwinds

By Brian Tracy

When you set off toward a new destination or goal, like taking off in an airplane, you will have an idea of both your departure time and your arrival time. You will set a schedule for yourself and expect to arrive pretty much on schedule. But as soon as you take off, you will experience what pilots call “unexpected headwinds.” The situation in your life is similar. As soon as you embark on a new journey, you will experience headwinds as well: everything will cost twice as much and take three times longer than you anticipated. You should estimate how long you will take to achieve certain milestones and then triple that time to get the actual time period required.

Types of Headwinds
Headwinds in your business and personal life will come from several sources. Your primary source of headwinds will be other people. They will disappoint you, cheat you, betray you, and fail to live up to your expectations, and turn out to be incompetent or indifferent. Your customers will be a major source of headwinds. When you start a new venture, you will be amazed at how difficult it is to get customers to buy your product or service for the first time. Your customers will disappoint you in that they will buy less than you expected, take longer to buy than you expected, pay slower than you expected, and complain more than expected. Remember that the customer is always right. It is not what you produce but what people buy that counts.

Financial Headwinds
Another form of headwinds that you will face has to do with money. Some people will tell you that it is easy to make all the money you want just by thinking positively and visualizing yourself as wealthy. Everyone wants to believe that this is true, and many people embrace the idea of effortless wealth with their whole hearts. But that doesn't include those people who have actually achieved financial success. People who have made a lot of money have learned through bitter experience that the only thing easy about money is losing it. As the Japanese proverb says, “Making money is like digging with a pin; losing money is like pouring water on the sand.”

Personal Headwinds
You will experience headwinds personally in that you will discover, much to your surprise that you lack specific talents, skills, and knowledge that you need to succeed. You may find that you are a poor time manager or that you lack self-discipline. You cannot seem to focus, concentrate, and apply yourself single-mindedly to your most important tasks. You waste time and feel overwhelmed with too much to do and too little time in which to do it. You may lack financial, analytic, marketing, or selling skills. You may not know how to plan and organize your business, advertise effectively and attract customers, or persuade your prospects to buy from you. Fortunately these are all learnable skills. But the starting point of mastering these essential skills is for you to admit that you need them. After that, the education can begin.

Action Exercise
Because of your incredible mind, you can learn any skill you need to learn to achieve any goal you can set for yourself. You must never allow yourself to be held back because you lack a particular skill. Figure out what skill you need to increase the quality of your life, and then set out to learn it.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Taking Action Pays Dividends - 3 Key Points That Will Have You Taking Action in No Time at All

When you take action every single day towards what you want, it gets easier and easier to take the next action the next day. Simply because if you do things over and over again it becomes habitual or habit forming.

No one ever turns up for work and smacks themselves on the forehead and says flipping heck I forgot to get dressed this morning.

This is because our subconscious mind has been programmed into knowing that we get dressed every morning. We just know that we get dressed before we go out to work.

When you apply the same simple logic to your big goals, you will find yourself mastering the taking action habit. Simply write down your big goals somewhere you easy to notice (on my white board at the side of you my computer works for me) then take one action every single day that takes you closer to achieving them.

Simply by taking action and completing one of the goals that you have set yourself every day, you will reach an unstoppable force making it easier and easier to achieve your goal.

You know, perhaps the biggest mistake people make that limits their self-belief and efficiency in situation after situation is to wait until they are completely happy/certain with something before taking action.

Yet what sets high achievers apart is they have developed a habit of taking action before they feel completely ready.

You may have had an idea in the past, and some time later you find that someone has beet you to it. You see the difference between you and the person who got your idea out there is: 'THEY TOOK SOME ACTION.'

Friday, November 6, 2009

How to Start a Mastermind Group - The Power of Masterminding With Others to Achieve Success

Mastermind groups have been around for more than a half century, but they are still just as powerful as ever in helping you to create the life you want to live. The idea is a simple one. You find a group of like minded people and share ideas on a regular basis. When you meet with these people you form a bond that is more powerful than anything that could be done in a more traditional way.

The best way to form a mastermind is to ask someone you know if they would like to start one. Two people are definitely the beginning of a mastermind. You can have as many people as you like in your group, but limiting it to four or five people will give you the best results.

Hold the members of your group to a commitment of meeting once a week. This is necessary so that everyone benefits and grows over time. You can meet by phone or in person, as long as you meet regularly and support each other.

Set goals and then discuss them with your mastermind members. Two heads are better than one, and several minds are powerful. Over time you will trust your fellow members to give you ideas and suggestions for making significant changes to your life.

Even if you have never heard of this concept before, give it a chance to help you to achieve your goals. Look for groups locally or online and then join one to see if it is right for you. Give it about thirty days before deciding the people in the group are not right for you. Sometimes it just takes time to get to know the other people well enough to trust them with life decisions.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Lack of Self-Esteem Needs Attention When You Are Going Through Major Changes in Your Life

Even the most self-confident people may experience times in their lives when their self-esteem has been impaired. This may be after a divorce, loosing a job, being subjected to mobbing, finding oneself as a middle-aged person having to start up again in a career, instead of moving into retirement. Sometimes, we may not be aware that a chronic lack of self-esteem has inched itself into our lives, causing us to loose trust in our capabilities and making us feel depressed.

Diminished self-esteem can occur gradually. Consequently, we tend not to recognize this as such. The danger then is that we spend far too much time without being consciously aware of the fact. This is a great pity, since any changes in our life, negative or positive, also mean challenges and great opportunity for new possibilities. For these to happen, we need to take action and require all the energy and courage we have. If we are lurking in a muddy well of diminished self-esteem, we will lack the energizing, positive attitude required when starting out on new ventures.

The faster we can get rid of any feelings of insufficiency, experiencing lack of worth, dealing with diminished self-esteem or even depression, the faster we can move into a life that will fulfill us and make us happy again. There are many ways of regaining our confidence. If severe depression has developed, professional help may be required, or some kind of spiritual support. In this state of mind it is difficult to create a new future. It may be necessary to spend a few months eliminating emotional pain and rebuilding strength, both physically and emotionally.

If loss of self-esteem is still in the early stages, it will be easier to get back on course. In this case, being surrounded by caring people can be very supportive. This may be with family or friends; or it may be necessary to seek support outwards within a group of people going through a similar situation. Everything that resonates with a deep sense of worthiness, beautiful music, unspoilt nature, good films, animals, can help strengthen self-esteem. The faster you can move into a new direction, and conjure up renewed energy and enthusiasm, the faster you will build up your self-esteem and rediscover your own very special sense of value.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

How to Resolve Workplace Conflict

by Gregory P. Smith

Conflict in the workplace is a painful reality and a key reason for poor productivity and frustration. Do you have people in your workplace that cause problems for everyone else? Do they create additional work for others? One point is clear--conflict does not magically go away and only gets worse when ignored.

Certain types of workplace conflict are readily identified. Other forms of conflict may not be so easily detected. Small, irritating events such as negative attitudes occur repeatedly over time and can cause people to strike out at each other. In many cases, conflict occurs at the senior level of the organization. In these situations some kind of intervention is needed.

What type of workplace conflict requires intervention? Anything that disrupts the office, impacts on productivity or poses a threat to other employees needs addressing. The degree to which you tolerate a situation before intervention may vary. A manager may not feel it necessary to intervene when a minor exchange of words occurs between employees--unless such an incident becomes a daily occurrence and expands beyond the employees initially involved. However, a situation where one employee threatens another requires immediate action. When handling conflict, some basic guidelines apply.

Understand the situation. Few situations are exactly as they seem or as presented to you by others. Before you try to settle the conflict insure you have investigated both sides of the issue.

Acknowledge the problem. I remember an exchange between two board members. One member was frustrated with the direction the organization was taking. He told the other, “Just don’t worry about it. It isn’t that important.” Keep in mind what appears to be a small issue to you can be a major issue with another. Acknowledging the frustration and concerns is an important step in resolving the conflict.

Be patient and take your time. The old adage, “Haste makes waste,” has more truth in it than we sometimes realize. Take time to evaluate all information. A too-quick decision does more harm than good when it turns out to be the wrong decision and further alienating the individual involved. Avoid using coercion and intimidation. Emotional outbursts or coercing people may stop the problem temporarily, but do not fool yourself into thinking it is a long-term solution. Odds are the problem will resurface. At that point not only will you have the initial problem to deal with, but also the angry feelings that have festered below the surface during the interim.

Focus on the problem, not the individual. Most people have known at least one “problematic individual” during their work experience. Avoid your own pre-conceived attitudes about individuals. Person X may not be the most congenial individual or they may just have a personality conflict with someone on your staff. This does not mean they do not have a legitimate problem or issue. Focus on identifying and resolving the conflict. If, after careful and thorough analysis, you determine the individual is the problem, then focus on the individual at that point.

Establish guidelines. Before conducting a formal meeting between individuals, get both parties to agree to a few meeting guidelines. Ask them to express themselves calmly—as unemotionally as possible. Have them agree to attempt to understand each other’s perspective. Tell them if they violate the guidelines the meeting will come to an end.

Keep the communication open. The ultimate goal in conflict resolution is for both parties to resolve the issue between themselves. Allow both parties to express their viewpoint, but also share your perspective. Attempt to facilitate the meeting and help them pinpoint the real issue causing conflict.

Act decisively. Once you have taken time to gather information, talked to all the parties involved, and reviewed all the circumstances, make your decision and act. Don’t leave the issue in limbo. Taking too long to make a decision could damage your credibility and their perception of you. They may view you as either too weak, too uncaring, or both, to handle the problem. Not everyone will agree with your decision, but at least they will know where you stand.