Day 62 of Michelle’s Transformation

Day 62 is another long day and it’s no wonder – Michelle has been in the process of finding a building, signing a lease and buying a business. She can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but she’s not there yet.

Are you halfway through the tunnel to the vision you have for your life? How big is that light at the end of the tunnel? What’s one thing you can do today to get a little closer so that light becomes a little bigger?

From Jeff:
“Michelle came to me because she was looking to make some huge changes in her life and kickstart her new business. She’s an experienced florist living in a major city and she is totally devoted to her kids, including a daughter with special needs. Michelle’s motivation to start her own business stemmed from her desire to spend more time with her daughters. She chose the Total Transformation one-on-one VIP coaching package and she’s keeping a video diary of her progress in this 90-day Meh to Marvelous transformation.”

Am I Planning or Just Worrying?

Regret lives in the past, worry lives in the future. You live in the present. Stay awhile.I spend a lot of time thinking about the future. I’m a business owner so it’s important that I make plans and projections and know where things are headed. Right? Most of the time, it’s helpful to think about the future. But sometimes it’s not helpful at all. When my planning starts turning into worry, I’m in trouble.

The reason worrying is so dangerous is that our thoughts have incredible power in our lives. Businesses have collapsed just because the owner kept thinking about the worst-case scenario. And I’ve seen my businesses blossom when I am focused on what I want (instead of what I don’t). But that’s not all. We have powerful imaginations. So even though there is only one actual future, we can worry about a hundred different outcomes at once. Scary, huh? Continue reading

Just Say No

Are you one of those people who says “yes” to every single thing someone asks you to do? It’s hard to say “no,” especially when the project sounds interesting (or the person asking is a bully). It sounds good (or we don’t want to turn someone down) so we say, “Yes!” But then another project comes along, and then another. And pretty soon we’re in way over our heads and we have no time for ourselves or to really focus on our passion.

Why We Can’t Say No

I think most people are afraid to say no for a couple of reasons:

1- We are afraid to miss out on an amazing opportunity.

2- We don’t want to let others down.

Why No is Necessary

Taking on everything all of the time is exhausting. You will burn out. The problem is that there will always be someone who wants to drop something on you so they don’t have to do it. So you need to start sticking up for yourself and for what you really want. What are your big goals, your dreams? If you want to have a super successful business doing what you are passionate about, you’re going to need to STOP doing a lot of the things that are preventing you from focusing on that. We can’t take on every project. When we try, the things that are most important to us (including our health) suffer the most. Not only that, but we run the risk of turning into a frazzled mess that no bride wants to hire.

How to Say No

Saying “no” doesn’t have to be painful. If you are someone who is afraid to miss out on an opportunity, think of the greater opportunity that will come from focusing on your passion and your ultimate goal (and know that other opportunities will come along). Recognize that many before you have sacrificed their own good stuff for the sake of the best stuff.

If you have a hard time turning people down, be honest and get creative. Tell them the project sounds awesome, but that you are choosing to be very selective about what you take on because your time is limited. (That should knock their socks off and encourage them to consider saying “no” more in their own lives.) If you’re up for it, take a moment and reach out to someone who would really love the opportunity. You help two people out and you don’t take on any new projects.

That’s Not All

It’s not enough to know how and when to say “no” to new projects. What obligations are already in your life that you need to say “no” to so that you can say “yes” to the best?

Getting Better Results in 2012

How are those New Year’s resolutions coming? After a couple of weeks, most people have already given up. Are you tired of setting goals but not achieving them? It’s not your fault. We don’t exactly teach kids in school how to set and achieve goals. Though the work that I do is more focused on helping entrepreneurs break through road blocks, we almost always spend some time getting really clear on what they want. Here are some tips to getting better results by setting better goals in 2012:

Set SMART Goals
This is basic, but essential. You’re not going to achieve your goals unless the goal you’re setting is Specific, Measurable, Attainable/Realistic and Time-based (has a deadline). Ask yourself, “What exactly do I want and how will I measure success?” and “When exactly will I have completed it?”

Think Big
Believe it or not, you’re more likely to achieve your goal if it’s something big and worthwhile than if it seems too small. It can’t be totally unrealistic, but setting a huge, meaningful goal will help you stay motivated when the initial enthusiasm is gone. Small goals will leave you thinking, “Why did I want this again?” or even “Meh, it’s not really worth it.” So think bigger!

Write it Down
I’ve read a ton about goal setting and this one is non-negotiable. If you are serious about making more money or losing weight or getting out more, it’s not enough to just think it. Write down your goals and put them where you will see them everyday.

Pick Four
Zig Ziglar, the deep-voiced sales guru who was popular in the 90s, has a goal-setting system I love. He recommends paring down what you want to achieve to just four things. I think it’s a great maximum. And if you get really honest about all of the things you want, narrowing it down to just four is flat-out painful. But having that kind of clarity on what you really want can make all of the difference.

Keep Track
Zig Ziglar (fun fact: his real name is Hilary Hinton, no joke) also has a system for keeping track of his goals. You can buy his Performance Planner (I definitely don’t get paid, but figure I at least owe him a link), or you can create your own system. I personally love www.joesgoals.com for a super-simple online system.The idea is to remind yourself regularly of your goals and check in daily on your progress.

Make a Quick-and-Dirty Plan
So often, people set goals, thinking they have a pretty good idea of what needs to be done, and then nothing happens. Maybe you fall into the camp where you spend ages creating the perfect plan, you just never get to the “action” phase. I’ve been guilty of that one a few times. My clients find it really helpful to make a super quick-and-dirty plan in 5-10 minutes. It outlines the major benchmarks and what it will take to realize their goal. They can add more detail where they need to. If nothing else, they have broken their goal down into more manageable steps and are less likely to get stuck doing nothing.

What are your goals for this year? Maybe it’s to make more money, work less or to have more fun. Maybe it’s simply to be kinder to yourself. I hope you find these tips helpful and I hope you get everything you want, and more, out of 2012. If you’re serious about getting better results in your business and your life, invest in yourself with Cake Coaching. Coaching is my calling, I can’t wait to hear about yours.