Choices can either make or break us. Decisions are not to be taken lightly, especially when it comes to our vision. Certain choices we make can determine the success or the failure of our dream. It is important, therefore, to make decisions that align with your vision.
From the inception of an idea to its realization, you should be aware of the power of the choices you make. You cannot afford to unwind your progress over a poor choice. So take all precautions and consider the consequences of the decision that lies ahead before you make it.
Many people do not realize the importance of making choices that bring them closer to the life they want so that they can live it fully. If you see yourself raising a healthy family, then you must be conscious of the lifestyle you and your family have. It means choosing your meal plans and fitness routines wisely. You might have to walk the few blocks to the store instead of taking the car. It might mean introducing a monitoring tool to see whether you and your family are on track to lead a healthy lifestyle. You might even need to incorporate fun family activities that keep your mind and your body active and healthy. All these choices will aid you in ensuring that your goal to be healthy family becomes attainable.
Discard the choices that take you further away from your goals. There is no point in starting a business, taking up a job or getting into a relationship that does not feed into your ultimate vision. It wastes time and energy that you should be spending on building your dream. Ask yourself, “Will this set me up for future success, or deplete valuable energy that I can put to better use?”
If your answer is that it is not leading you in the direction where you want to go then maybe you need to make a different choice. Once you know where you are heading, you can choose whatever aligns with where you want to be.
The dos and don’ts of decision making.
Effective decision-making occurs when you first outline your vision, values and goals. This can raise your awareness on how to align daily choices to produce results. If your vision is not clear, it may be difficult to make the right choices to ensure that you fulfil it. Bring clarity on what it is you want to achieve and make sure it is complete with the timelines in which you wish to achieve it. Do as much research as reasonable into actions you need to take and choices you need to make. Be conscious of the choices you need to make about the options before you and understand their impact on your dream.
When you are faced with big decisions, you shouldn’t rush into them. Do not give in to the pressure of making a choice if you are not sure how it will impact your business, work or relationships or your overall vision. It is rushing to make choices that can propel us into moments of failure and uncertainty. So it is important to take your time when you need to make big decisions. Risking it may not always be worth it as it may cost more than you are willing to pay.
This is not to say you should not take risks, but be careful about the risks you take.
Do not decide from a place of fear. It can unravel the confidence you have built for your vision. So, do not allow any situation to intimidate you into choosing what you are not ready for.
It is also important not to give in to the pressure that comes from other people when you need to make decisions. As the curator of your dream, you hold all the power in making choices. It is good to have people who can advise you but maintain the veto on the final decision. It is your dream after all. Any consequences that come are your responsibility, so you would rather make the choices you need to without giving in to pressure from external forces. This takes strength and courage.
Make sure the choices you make do not compromise your values and your beliefs. No choice should make you sell out on who you are. When you are aware of who you are, who you want to become, and how you want people to perceive you, you are in a better place to make decisions that align with that. When many options seem reasonable, it is helpful and comforting to rely on your values and use them as a powerful guiding force to point you in the direction you want to go.
When you come to the crossroad of life and you are not sure which way to turn, think about what you do when you approach a railroad crossing. A speeding train about to cross your path can be darn right intimating. It’s impact isn’t your best choice. So too, achieving your goals can seem intimidating if you do not make the right choices to pursue your vision.
The Railroad Crossing Technique
This technique can help you align your decisions for greater goal achievement.
When you approach a railway crossing and you see a speeding train blasting it’s horn close by it makes you slow down and think. Life too can be loud and fast-paced. So when you need to make the choices that are best for where you want to go quieten the noise around you and slow down the pace.
Increase your powers of observation. When you see the train close by you become alert and become very cautious about proceeding. Be alert before you make major decisions that impact you and your vision.
Some call it a gut feeling and some call it instinct. Some call it just being plain smart. Whatever it is, it is worth listening to. If you have a sense of foreboding, then do not go through with a decision. Don’t let the train wreck your vision before you are ready to proceed. Become clear about what your instincts are telling you what to do about a pending decision?
Discern and Proceed!
Discerning is about having a deeper understanding by pushing the pause button. When the train passes it is time to proceed. When your heart, your head and your gut agree that all is well, then you are free to make your decisions to go ahead.
If the decisions you make determine the outcome of your vision, then you should be careful to make choices that align with where you want to be. Every small step you take toward your ultimate destination will help you get there. So does every single choice you make.
Thank you for Reading,
Take care, be safe and continue becoming the best version of yourself.
(From Build Your Vision, found in the Storefront)
Absolutely you can make money online, but you can’t necessarily do it for free. What a misconception? That is that you can make money online for free.
Now that I have your attention, there are ways to be more cost effective with your online business and that is what this article is all about - discovering ways to reduce your costs especially if you are just starting out. But even if you are a seasoned online business owner you may find there is something here for you too.
Strong online business owners want to be in control of their business. They don’t want to hand it over to others and put themselves in a position of falling victim to the whims of others. Keep the core of your business close to you so don’t hand the essential parts of your business to others. If you do you lose control of it.
In order to have control over your online business, there are a few essentials you need, like your own domain, a hosting service, an autoresponder and a website to name a few.
Here is the problem with free stuff, you don’t own it and it can be taken away just as easy as you got it. And there is usually some catch, for instance you really don’t get what you need and to get what you need there is an upsell. So you pay anyway – and even more than you originally intended.
So yes, you will need to spend money to build a successful online business. However there is good news. Your initial investment is nowhere near as much as a brick and mortar business.
In fact, with around $200-$500, you’ll be able to build your very own online business from scratch and notch it up to a comfortable income.
If you are on a tight budget the following strategies will help you reduce costs that will take out some of the burden of starting an online business.
1. Start Small
Starting small is the most important rule of the lot. When buying a domain name, use an affordable service like Godaddy. Choose a 1-year plan rather than opting for more just because you get a discount.
When choosing hosting, go with a starter plan and pay monthly rather than paying yearly because you want a cheaper price.
This is what starting small is all about. When your business is doing well, you can opt for the annual payments to enjoy cost savings – but not when you’re a beginner who’s just scraping by.
2. Follow your nose rather than the herd
The online marketing space is filled with followers who will jump on every new thing that comes along. You need to be more astute and alert.
When you’re first starting off, you may need a page builder for your sales pages. Think about using Google Documents, or your own Word document. These much more cost effective than purchasing ready-made documents.
Email is still one of the best ways to market your products and if you use Facebook right you may find you are building your list while at the same time strengthening your relationships with your clients and customers.
The best advice says, "Watch for not getting trapped into expensive options and reduce your recurring bills as much as possible."
3. Track your expenses
If you’re paying by PayPal, most of your recurring bills will be automated and it’s easy to lose track of your pre-approved payments.
Make a list of all the monthly expenses in your online business. You may be shocked to find that you’re paying for services you no longer use. For example, you may have a Canva subscription, but you’re hiring graphic designers from Fiverr.
So you’re wasting money here. You can eliminate wasteful spending just by tracking your expenses. And, make sure you have access to your receipts in case the tax man cometh.
4. Leverage free trials
A lot of software, tools, and the like come with free 7-day, 14-day or even 30-day trials. You can save money by using them – but before you sign up, make sure that you’re ready first or you’ll be wasting the trial.
For instance, when you take a 30-day trial for an autoresponder, prepare your opt in pages are ready and obtain traffic before signing up for the 30-day trial. In this way, you’ll hit the ground running from day 1 and build your list instead of wasting precious days getting the other components in your funnel ready.
5. Quality matters
You get what you pay for. Sometimes, it’s better to pay more for a product to get a better service. You’ll often find, for instance, cheap self-hosted autoresponders sold by dodgy marketers.
Their selling point will be that you only pay a one-time fee. That’s true. But once you start using their software, you’ll find that the cheap software breaks down or has atrocious deliverability rates and so on.
You’d be better off paying a monthly fee for a solid service like Get Response or AWeber and avoid wasting money on questionable products. Your key here is to find the balance between cost and value.
6. Shop around
You may find that some info-products, educational programs and courses. are priced differently in different places.
For example, you may find a PLR store selling you a resell rights product for $9. That same product may be sold in another website for $3.
This happens all the time and is no different from a buying a bag of popcorn costing 3X more in a cinema than at your nearby grocery store. Shop around and see if you can get the product at a cheaper price.
If you are buying products on Warrior Plus or JVZoo make sure you read reviews first before being taken by the glossy sales page. Remember these are prepared by seasoned marketers who know their stuff and have excellent internet marketing experience. Also many of these products have “down sells” so watch you don’t jump at the first page that is presented to you. Finally look at the bonuses that sellers offer, ensure you understand them because some sellers are just unloading worthless products that have glitches in them.
7. Look for coupons
Another way to save money is to search on Google for ‘product name + coupon’. You may find coupons that help you get a few dollars off.
Always be alert. Sometimes software is discounted during times like Black Friday, Christmas, and other festive holidays. These may be the best time to grab products and save yourself some money.
Alternatively, you can contact the product vendor directly and ask for a discount coupon. Many vendors will respond to your requests if you’re polite. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
At the end of the day, you want to run a lean, effective online business that makes money round the clock without incurring huge costs. One of the easiest ways to increase your bottom-line will be to trim your expenses.
Constantly look for ways to do this and your business will see higher profits and you’ll be able to earn more and save more.
Thanks for reading,
And as always stay safe, be well and continue becoming the best version of yourself.
You can monetize your blog as well as gaining potential customers to your email list. Here are five easy ways to get it done..
!. Use a Sidebar Opt-In Form
You have worked hard to write a blog post. So here is one easy method to attract people to your list and that is to use a Sidebar Opt-In Form. This will show on every post you make. Make sure your Test different locations, use different images and different opt-in forms until you find one that works.
2.Use Pop Up forms.
Some consider these to be a nuisance, but they work well. Switch things up and try different ideas and see if you can improve your conversion rate with different copy or offers. Test, test, test until you find that people are signing up for more information, or whatever you are promoting. Personally I don’t like them as I consider them a real distraction, but they work.
3.Add a value up-grade to your blog.
You just wrote a blog about a topic, let say say ‘Finding Your Purpose,” What you can do is add a Mindmap or a Resource File or a video file that people can download if they add in their email address. Simple, effective and a value add to your post.
4.Turn your blog post into a video.
Having written a blog post you now have the basis for a video script. With a few tweaks and making it a bit more conversational you can easily turn it into a script. By turning your blog post into a video you have increased your outreach several fold.
5.Turn your blog or blogs into a PDF eBook.
You can use Apps to do this. Two examples of Apps are Post Gopher for WordPress or Simplebooklet for Weebly users. These are plugins that convert your blog posts and pages into downloadable PDF books and pamphlets. Once you have the eBook, offer it free and connect it to a Landing page to capture names and email addresses. I have provided links to Post Gopher and Simplebooklet below.
Remember if your blog isn’t converting for you, it may need some work. Prepare a goal to obtain a certain number of subscribers from everything you write and see what happens. Review those that are not converting and find ways to improve them.
You may be interested in my blog post entitled “Effective Blogging” found in the Effective Blogging link below. https://www.fontaniemagazine.com/skills-4-success/effective-blogging
As always folks, stay well, keep safe and become the best version of yourself through personal growth and development.
The first step in starting your new business is to choose a single focus. Solopreneurs usually start by catering to a niche market, where they can build an active and interested audience. You will want to have a steady customer base before you move on to anything else.
Having reliable customers is essential. They keep your business profitable and allow you to easily engage with them. Plus, a solid customer base keeps your business easy to manage. If you start to branch out too much, you might have trouble handling all of the tasks on your own
Center of all your services and products around your single business focus. For example, if you were running a freelance graphic design business, you would focus on delivering the graphics your customers wanted. You would likely not branch out too much into other areas.
This is another difference between entrepreneurs and solopreneurs. An entrepreneur who runs a graphic design business would have a team of designers working for them. They could offer more services- which would be hard for a single person.
Your single focus should reflect your passion and what you love. With one main service or product you will be able to cater to a niche market- where there is less competition. Many independent workers can meet all of their goals by doing this.
So, before you can start working as a solopreneur, you need to know how to sell to a niche market.
Choosing Your Business Focus
Your business focus is going to be the center of everything that you do- you do not want to pick something you might dislike or grow bored with later. What is your passion? Do you have any hobbies you want to market? If you love what you do, you are much more likely to succeed.
Use these steps to determine what your business focus should be:
To summarize, your business focus should be something unique that you enjoy doing. It is difficult to work in fields that bore you - you would lose interest in the business quickly, then likely lose your investment in the start up too.
How to Sell to a Niche Market
Once you have your business focus, you will need to learn how to sell to that niche market. You will want to know everything you can about your audience. From there, you can use your focus to create your marketing strategy.
A well thought out content marketing strategy is essential. Luckily, you can build your own online. Many independent workers run social media pages for their brands. To do this, you will need to work on your brand identity, then focus on uploading consistent content.
Your unique business focus can lead to a great content marketing strategy naturally. For instance, if you are a photographer looking to market yourself, posting your professional shots often on Instagram would be extremely beneficial to you.
If your business offers products, then you can find plenty of ways to market online. Social media advertising is a great way to bring traffic to your website, which increases sales. When it comes to niche audiences, you want to be certain your ads are appealing to them - otherwise you are wasting money.
Most importantly, take the time to engage with your audience and listen to them. Your customers know what they want and will tell you.
Building a Market
Is your idea or niche such that there is no obvious market? You can always try to make your own. To do this, you will need to invest a lot of time into your marketing campaign.
Once you have found your audience, you need to show them why they should buy your products or services. The best way to do this is to create a compelling story around your business focus. Potential customers will want to see all the benefits that your business has to offer them before they make any purchases.
You can tell your story through content creation. Make videos, images, and articles. Make sure that you include all of the benefits that your brand has, as well as what makes it different from your competitors.
Thank you for reading,
This article is based on a chapter from Solopreneur Success found in the Storefront.
What happens when you develop a product, get approval from JVZoo, Warrior Plus, ClickBank or put it on your website but yet to have made a sale? Or maybe you saw something that sells well in one market, so you try it in your market and nada. No sale. You think you have a good product, you worked hard at it and after all you got approval. But approval doesn’t mean that you make sales. So, what could be the problem? Well, here are a few hints.
1. Do you have an audience for your product?
Contrary to public opinion people don’t buy for your reason’s they buy for their reasons. A corollary to this is ‘we don’t sell anything, people buy.’ Unless we understand why people might want our product, we won’t sell anything. We can market the heck out of it, but people will still not purchase. No matter how much we have invested both personally and professionally, if you don’t have an audience for your product you are not going to sell it. This can be an emotional let down but it will be a lessoned well learned as we move onto the next product.
2. Are you solving a problem that people want solved?
I learned this many years ago when I had an excellent tool for measuring knowledge worker’s effectiveness along eight distinct processes. The product was tested worked well and I used it to assess over 200 individuals with specific reference to their openness to learning. I knew it worked. But when I went to sell it, I found some disturbing results. I didn’t sell one Profile. Not one. When I did a bit of research, I found that:
3. Are you using the right keywords?
Keywords are words or phrases that people type into search engines to find what they are looking for. For example, if you were searching to buy an eBook on goal setting, you might type something like, ‘SMART goals,’ ‘aspirational goals,’ ‘personal goals,’ ‘goals that work’ ‘how to write goals,’ into Google or YouTube. Even though your phrases consist of more than one word, it is still considered as a keyword.
4. Are you presenting with emotion?
People buy for emotional reasons. This is related to people having a problem that needs a solution. For example, they may be frustrated, stressed, discouraged, anxious, or concerned. These emotions point to ‘pain points’ so your copy needs to address ways that alleviate the pressures or the ‘pain’ they are feeling.
5. Do you appreciate the difference between marketing and selling?
Marketing is about educating your audience about your product and what it can do for them. Selling is closing the deal. Often we don’t prepare the marketplace for the product and just expect that people will buy. This is particularly true when you are introducing something new to the marketplace. Number 2 above is a perfect example of this. I tried to sell before the market was ready for my ‘great’ solution.
6. Do you know the difference between relationship selling and transactional selling?
The latter is straight forward selling, for example. “I have a headache (my problem) do you sell aspirins (solution)?” “Yes, they are right over there on the second shelf.” This is a simple quick sell.
A relational sell is long term and a bit more complicated. Most internet marketers have a list that they have nurtured for a long time before selling anything. They have developed a relationship with their customers or ‘buyers’ even though they haven’t met them. In other words, they warm up their customers before selling a product. This is particularly true if you are selling using Facebook.
Using Facebook is all about relationship selling and requires much preparation before attempting a sell, even then the call to action is often soft rather than a hard sell. My experience is that friends buy on Facebook only if I have known them before hand or I have become friends with people I never met after a lot of likes, loves, and comments. Really you can’t do ‘transactional selling’ on Facebook unless you are prepared to spend a lot of money on ads and even then it is iffy.
7. Have you done your market research?
Here we need to clearly understand who we are marketing and selling to. Your product might be the best thing ‘since sliced bread’ but if you don’t have a market for it you won’t sell it.
8. How do you Brand your product?
There are many things about branding that are important, but here are a few points that filter to the top.
9. Don’t get discouraged.
Keep to your vision. Keep working on your goals. And, keep developing products based on lessons learned.
There are very few internet marketers who have succeeded the first time and many internet marketers give up just before they find their own ‘secret sauce.’ Statistics show that 90% or more don’t make it. And many of those that don’t make it fail to realize that they are within an inch of making it.
Again, based on my real-life experience, I have developed over 50 training products and delivered some of them once because a company wanted it. I thought ‘boy this is a good training program for others.” Unfortunately, they didn’t go anywhere.
Yes, this can be discouraging but don’t let it get you down. Affirm yourself that you are on the right tract, continue to share your experiences with others and they will help you, find an experienced coach who will guide you. Build on your experience, tweak your product or begin another based on what you have learned. The bottom line, internet marketing as a solopreneur can be a lonely undertaking but it needn’t be because those with more positive experiences are willing to help.
By the way whatever happened to that Profile product I tried to sell in #2 above. I regrouped. I did more work in preparing the marketplace, repackaged it, and in the meantime used the product in my own practice. Owners began to see how it could be used in their company and after a couple of years they began to buy. Funny how that works eh?
If you wish to receive a free eBook on Branding CLICK HERE.
As always, keep well, stay safe and become the person you were meant to be!
Your personal growth and development matters.
Thanks for reading,
Over the years I have assisted hundreds of budding entrepreneurs in getting started in their businesses. Our Business Development course included everything one needed to know to establish a business. We began by assessing the individual to determine whether they were open to learning, what skills they had to bring to the business table, what their attitude towards business was, and whether their lifestyle was conducive to the hard work of opening a business. We worked with them to develop a business plan, supported them as they learned to get their business off the ground, and even worked with them to obtain business loans from the bank.
We know that many people start a business without such support. Our studies showed that only 35% of those who started a business were no longer in business five years later. We found that our business support and coaching catapulted new business owners to an 85% success rate after five years. This percentage increase is not unusual as others who provided business training and coaching had the same result.
Many of the businesses we worked with started as “Mom and Pop” operations and others were solopreneurs. The age range included hose in their twenties to those in their fifties. The gender was a mix of male and female, and the geographic location was both rural and city.
Almost all of these new business owners wanted to establish a ‘bricks and mortar’ business, hire employees, and contribute to their communities. They were budding entrepreneurs in the traditional sense.
Here Comes the New Kid
I tell this short story because traditionally that is generally how people viewed business development. A business meant a local grocery, furniture, or bookstore. It meant some form of industry where products were made, marketed, and sold. It meant a place where people went to purchase goods and services.
Then something happened. It was the development of the internet. A new breed of entrepreneurs began to emerge.
Don’t get me wrong here. “Bricks and mortar” types of businesses are here to stay, but they too are undergoing a transformational change and have an internet outreach. Many are hybrids where they serve both local customers and have outreached their products and services beyond their boarders.
Then there are companies that have understood the changing nature of the buying public and developed a massive internet presence like Amazon, eBay, Apple, and many others. Unfortunately, many large retail businesses didn’t adjust fast enough to meet the new emerging internet buyer phenomenon and have since closed their doors.
Now we are seeing a new kid on the block, the virtual solopreneur. Virtual solopreneurs don’t want a ‘bricks and mortar’ business they want an ‘internet marketing’ business where their community of customers come from communities scattered throughout the world rather than from their local marketplace. They operate from their laptop. They are affiliates of Amazon, software companies and businesses that have a strong internet presence. They write eBooks, training programs, and develop apps and software that make it easier for people to make “money-on-line.” They work primarily alone but the successful ones’ have a strong network of mentors and colleagues from around the world. Many have administrative support, some from their own family, others hail from other countries and are connected virtually with the solopreneur.
The past five years has seen an increase in the number of solopreneurs. The picture presented is like the “phoenix arising from the ashes.” People are adjusting to a new reality. Their place of work has changed dramatically and many no longer have jobs because their workplace went bankrupt or closed for other reasons. And in the past year they have been laid-off because of COVID-19 and have had time to think about their life and the virtual opportunities available to them.
Another reason why people are moving towards virtual solopreneurship relates to the workplace itself. To be sure there are those who claim that they do not fit within a structured work environment but increasingly there is an unsettling number emerging. They are those who have relationship difficulties with their boss or manager-minder.
Many businesses are struggling with how to lead and manage their workforce. Owners and managers continue to work within a command-and-control style rather than with the flexibility and employee engagement needed for today’s work environment. Most employees are rebelling against this by ‘striking out on their own’ and turning to the freedom that Internet Marketing offers.
But we are noticing a troubling problem. We are learning that just like those who wanted to start a business in the past where 35% failed and 85% succeeded with support, we are now witnessing a high percentage failure rate among virtual solopreneurs. That rate varies from 90% to 98%. A shocking statistic. The reason for that statistic is that people who want to get into the internet marketing business think it is easy. The sad truth is that it is not easy. The top 2% so called ‘Gurus” in the internet marketing world have taken years to get to that level.
The idea of starting an internet marketing business sounds sexy. It goes something like this: “I can work from home and make millions.” “I will be able to travel the world and provide financial freedom for me and my family.” “Just look at those who have made it, they are rich, and I’m going to become the same.”
So, just like those who struck out on their own to establish a ‘brick and mortar’ business and so often didn’t succeed, the virtual solopreneurs of today are falling into the same trap. They plunge into the virtual world without preparation, knowledge of what they are doing, and the discipline necessary to succeed. They start but don’t follow through with any action plan; they lack time management skills and have no real sense of purpose or strategic understanding about where they are going.
There was an old saying in our business, “It’s a simple business, but it isn’t easy.” This rings true for the virtual solopreneur. Unfortunately, they:
There is a neat Solopreneur package in our storefront that will give you more information about how to become a successful solopreneur. You can get a sense what it is all about by clicking the button below.
Oh yes, don't forget to scroll down to the bottom of that page and get your free eBook on personal branding.
Thank you for reading and remember your personal growth and development matters.
As always: Take Care. Stay Safe. Be Your Best Self.
Positive thinking combines attitude with action. People often describe another person as having a positive or negative attitude. What does that mean? It essentially means the way the person generally thinks and feels about people, events or things and those thoughts and feelings are reflected in their behaviour.
The way the person describes or acts toward someone or something or the way the person stands or sits often reveals their attitude. For instance, some people see any kind of change as negative or a threat, whereas others see it as a challenge or an opportunity; or they always view others or situations from a negative point of view rather than from a positive one. They become “picky, picky” rather than taking a balanced view of the person or situation. Because of their negative approach they are toxic to be around and are an energy drain in the workplace – and that goes for the ‘boss’, manager or employee.
From a personal growth and development perspective positive thinking is fundamentally about reviewing your thought processes and personal actions for areas that require improvement and for areas where you think, and act negatively and then turn around those negative thoughts and actions towards a more positive outcome.
11 Keys to Improving Positive Thinking
1. Have Confidence in Yourself and Your Products - One of the barriers to positive thinking is to lack confidence in yourself or your products. First, yourself – if you don’t believe in your business or the products you deliver, you will have a difficult time projecting a positive image to others about yourself or about your product.
The key here is that you need to believe in yourself and your product. I have helped hundreds of people establish a business. Often when it came time to make the leap from depending on others for their success (read, feeling secure in their job) to depending on themselves as a business owner, they were afraid to make the leap of faith. And that is okay because without that belief in self they were not ready to go on their own.
2. Expect to Succeed – When others have high expectations of you, you will attempt to rise to the level of their expectations. The same is true if they have low expectations of you – you will drop to the level of their expectations. This is known as the Pygmalion Effect and it has been tested time and time again. We can use the same approach within ourselves: If you expect to succeed and put in the effort you will succeed; and conversely if you don’t expect to succeed you may not – you may surprise yourself if you do succeed, but if you strongly feel that you will not succeed, you probably won’t. You have put a psychological barrier in front of you that will block you from moving forward in a positive way. The lesson here is to expect to succeed and reap the benefits of the Pygmalion Effect.
3. Have a Burning Ceremony - One of the exercises I introduced whenever I was dealing with a negative group of people was to have a burning ceremony. I had them list on a flip chart all the things that caused their negativity. I pointed out that all the things they identified were things of the past. I took all the flip chart papers and tore them in half indicating that they were things of yesterday, and yesterday is no longer here. I then took the group outside and put all the flipchart sheets in a bin and burned them. We then went back inside, and I said, “It was now time to move forward – to develop a new and better future. We cannot change the past we can wallow in it or we can accept it for what it is and move on. It was now time to take responsibility for your future.” This exercise was a welcomed catharsis for the group, and they were able to move on. To this day, I meet people who were members of those groups and they always reference that training event as the turning point in their team. You can follow this process as an individual. Just write down all the things that give you doubt and pain from the past and then burn the paper and move on.
4. Refocus on Possibilities – Now part of moving on is to write down all the things that you have achieved in the past and use these as steppingstones to strengthening your belief in yourself and building your confidence going forward. Then move onto number 5.
5. Visualize Your Future – Give yourself room to dream – without a dream you will not go far because a dream gives you reason to drive for success. Dreams leads to goals. And goals are the precursor to action. Don’t let your dream fade – set aside times to revisit it regularly. Draw a picture of what it will look like. Put it on a wall in front of you. State it in simple language… where do you see yourself professionally and personally in five years? See your business operating at peak performance. Describe what that looks and feels like? What do you need to do to achieve your dream? Identify your KSAVAs (Knowledge, skills, abilities, values, and attitudes) and set out the gaps you need to fulfill to achieve your dream. Then develop an action plan to reach your dream and close the KSAVA gaps.
6. Set SMART Goals and Action Plans – When setting goals don’t think about what is, think about what it looks like in the end. Don’t be confined by where you are at, your finances, your office space, whatever. Goals don’t define the present, they define the future. So don’t fall into the trap of ‘near sightedness’. Become a ‘far sighted’ goal setter. This is important because it allows you to focus on possibilities and achievements.
7. Beat Defeat - As you motor towards your future tuck in your brain that defeat is not an option. Detours yes. Defeat no. You can expect to make mistakes along the way, learn from them, correct them, move forward. You may also have unforeseen challenges both of a personal nature such as an illness or illness in your family, a downturn in the economy or a disaster caused by flooding, or whatever. View these as challenges and find solutions. Mistakes and challenges make you stronger and when you overcome them your confidence is strengthened. You may feel overwhelmed and frustrated at the beginning so take one step at a time. Find a way out of the difficult situation. This is all about becoming a self-leader and taking responsibility for your future.
8. Use Affirmations to Your Advantage - Stare defeat straight in the eye and if you are down or see things negatively use affirmations to turn your stinking thinking around. Sometimes people think that affirmations don’t work. I’m not one of them. I look to those successful people in sports, business and yes, in life. We have seen teams as they run onto the field shout out an affirmation such as, “Let’s go for the win,” or “We can do this.” They visualize the end goal and psych themselves up to achieve it. The same goes for individual sports. Before a run, or a skiing downhill race, individuals will visualize the run, and positively affirm themselves. Walk around a business and look at what is on its walls. Usually, you will see positive posters reinforcing strong customer service or motivational quotes. Why do they do this? Simply because affirmations work. They strengthen confidence, discipline, and resilience.
9. Turn Negatives into Positives – When your thought process begins to turn sour or you find yourself talking in a negative way it’s time to: a) eliminate negative words from your vocabulary, and b) refocus your energies on the positive aspects of the situation. Here are some turn around example:
Defeat thought: “My plan not succeed," or "I will fail”
Replacement thought: “My idea may not work the way I envisioned but I’m sure it will turn out equally as well, if not better.” Or “I may make mistakes along the way, but those I can correct and learn from.”
Defeat thought: “There is so much out there, nobody will buy my product."
Replacement thought: “My product may not not fit everyone's need but there are millions of people out there who will find that my product to their liking.”
Defeat Thought: “Selling is not my thing. I’m just not good at it.”
Replacement thought: “I'm going to take a course on selling and I will become the best salesperson on the block.”
10. Know the Difference Between Selling and Marketing - You may be good at marketing but not selling. Marketing is all about educating your potential customers about your product. Selling is closing the deal. The big thing about marketing and selling is to use all the avenues at your disposal to find customers, develop relationships with them, understand their needs, and ask for commitments to buy. Always remember, people buy for their reasons and not yours. So, when people are reluctant to buy ask yourself whether you have given sufficient information about your product, whether you have established a warm relationship and whether you understand their needs.
11. Avoid Negative People Who Are ‘Nay Sayers’ – When we are negative, we attract negative people; and, when we are positive, we attract positive people. Now ask yourself which group of people would you rather be with? Positive people help you grow and develop in a healthy way. Negative people reinforce your negative thoughts and feelings and drag you down. Sometimes it is hard to distance yourself from negative people; but if you want to grow and develop your business or change your lifestyle for the better then it becomes necessary to surround yourself with people who will help you build your business and support you in your changes.
Please stay safe and remember your personal growth and development matter.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article,