Character

A person of character does the right thing even when forced to live within a wrong process.

 

Openings available for March’s Live More, Laugh More, Earn More program

“Live More.  Laugh More.  Earn More.” is a six week program to help participants create strategic life plans to overcome obstacles and create immediate results.  Participants will go through a process to understand their goals, inventory their assets, address their obstacles and create internal motivation.  After six weeks, you will know your goal and be rushing toward it.

This process is done over the phone and online.  The next program starts March 7th.  Sign up while there are spots available.

Are your obstacles internal or external?

Think of a big goal.  It can be a personal or company goal.  Make it a big, audacious goal.  Now double it.  Is it huge yet?  If not, double it again.  Once it is huge, back off of it just a bit.  Take it to just this side of ridiculous.  It should be doable but just barely.

Close your eyes and live that goal for a few minutes.  How does it feel?  Is your life different?  Is the sense of life at your company different?  What relationships have grown and which have wilted away?  Is it easier or harder to get out of bed?  What did you have to accomplish to reach this goal?  What did you have to give up?

Now write down all of the obstacles that you overcame to reach this goal.  Write down all of them.  You are writing from a perspective of having already reached the goal.  You made it, so there must be a way to overcome them.  Don’t focus yet on how to overcome them but know that you can find a way.  Write them all down.  Take a break and then write down some more.

Read over your obstacles.  How many of them are external?  For a personal goal, how many of these obstacles are literally outside your body?  For a corporate goal, how many of these obstacles are literally outside your four walls.  We are typically better at identifying obstacles outside ourselves and outside our organizations.  I believe we do that because it is so much easier to think the reason we haven’t already reached our goals not our responsibility.  That is, it isn’t our fault we haven’t achieved more.

Look at those external goals again.  Are they really external?  One of the most common reasons people give for not being able to reach their goals is that they don’t have enough time.  They frequently say this is an external obstacle.  Is it really?  Who owns your calendar?  How much time do you waste?  Facebook and Instagram anyone?  Lack of time means lack of prioritization and lack of creativity.  Whether your external obstacles are time, money, talent, other people, etc., the solution is within you.  Yes.  You will have to be resourceful.  You may have to find another way.  You may have to ask for help.  You may have to start small.

In the end, all obstacles are internal.  You have the power to overcome them but you must act.  Act now.

Tell me.  What obstacles are you facing?  Share with your friends and we can overcome these obstacles together.

Asker of uncomfortable questions and teller of unpleasant truths

I bumped into a neighbor recently.  She’s very nice and our kids have gone to the same schools for nine years.  While we aren’t exactly friends, there is a history of drop offs, student dances, after school programs, etc.  We hadn’t spoken more than the normal neighborly “hellos” in months.  She did know that I started working as a Business Coach but had no real understanding of what that meant.

We had a chance to talk last week and she asked about my Coaching Business.  I summed it up for her as, “I ask my clients uncomfortable questions, tell them unpleasant truths and they typically thank me for it.”  This is the best summary that I have been able to come up with to describe my coaching.  When I work with my clients, my role is to push them to understand themselves and their opportunities by asking them questions they might not want to answer.  Then I call them out when their answers are excuses or are inconsistent with their goals.

I have a great client who’ve I’ve known for years.  She is a powerful business owner who succeeds in a business where most fail.  She has earned consistent earnings while the majority in her industry have been declining.  One of her significant goals is to get new customers and shift her business to being more online.  Our recent recession got a bit heated because I challenged her.  I told her that her plan was not sufficient to achieve her goals.  As the owner of her own business and a successful one at that, no one has told her “no” in years.  No one has said that her plans were not sufficient.  She didn’t like it.  She didn’t like it at all but it was necessary.

What would have happened if I hadn’t asked her those uncomfortable questions and told her those unpleasant truths?  She would have been fine.  As I said, she is a powerful business owner.  She would have maintained her base of business.  She would have even made some inroads towards new customers and shifting her business online but not nearly at the rate she needs to realize her goals.  In a few months, she would have started to realize that her tactics were not achieving her goals and she would have started making adjustments then.

By me pushing her, she has saved herself three to six months.  She can start to adjust her plans now so that six months from now, she’ll be much farther along toward her goal.  That is what I do.  That is one of the benefits I offer my clients.  I am an asker of uncomfortable questions and teller of unpleasant truths and my clients thank me for it.

Striving for mediocre is a poor way to achieve greatness

In my career, both in corporate American and as a Business Coach, I’ve frequently heard otherwise good capable people state a goal to become just like everyone else.  That’s not how it is said, of course.  It is always couched in phrases like, “Best practices are . . . .” or “Both my brothers were able to . . . .” or “The competition typically . . . .”  What follows next is usually a recommendation to achieve the banal, the commonplace and the typical.  People and companies who achieve these bland goals are frequently surprised when they stop, look around and realize that they haven’t achieved any level of greatness.

Yes, it is ok to have “good enough” levels for lower priority goals.  Life is a trade off.  You have enough time and resources to do anything.  You don’t have enough time and resources to do everything.  Manage your resources by identifying your one or two primary overpowering goals.  Divest in all other goals.

Your goal, that is your one primary overpowering goal, needs to be something special.  It needs to motivate and drive you.  Take to heart W. Clement Stone’s wisdom, “Aim for the moon.  If you miss, you may hit a star.”  Strive for more.  Reach for the seemingly unachievable.  Move.  Act.  Now.