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Stop doing, shake your globe, ponder, dream, start reaching your full potential – live on purpose and do it with a smile!

Archive for the tag “strategic planning”

Discover the toughest thing for entrepreneurs to let go of


Discover the toughest thing for entrepreneurs to let go of 

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

It comes down to adapting to change and letting go of what you knew worked best when you started up your company. I have observed in many a friendly business and even I have been resistant from time to time abandoning a success recipe. After all, that is what got you this far. Challenge is that a business has stages very similar to human life. When maturity hits and we need to hire more people and build up a lot of infrastructure it is tough letting go of the figment our imagination that we call control. We should be hiring people that are much smarter and better equipped than us. We should be delegating and letting middle management take over control over most if not all important parts of our businesses. The one thing that keeps us from moving on is fear.

Fear is one of the most powerful emotions we have. Take for instance the fear of loss. No one wants to lose anything that we have an emotional attachment to. That applies to things, relationships, feelings, etc. Very often we may not even necessarily know if what we are attached to is good for us. What if letting go is the best thing that could happen to us? In this particular case we are afraid to lose our business if we changed the tried and true original business model. Don’t take my word for it. Here is a link to a fabulous book by friend Craig Hughes “The Self-Driving Company: How Getting Out of the Way Enabled My Business to Thrive”. This is the book to read when your start up business is stalling, you have employee turn over issues, you find yourself totally exhausted because you feel like you have to do everything, etc.

A good analogy to being held back by your old beliefs and the things that you are intensely focused on is the way how some monkeys are being caught in Africa. Food or other similarly interest sparking materials are being placed in a space the monkey is surely going to notice. That is typical a hole dug into the ground or an existing cavity in rock formations. When the monkey reaches into the hole grabbing the “bait” his hand no longer fits through the opening of the cavity. The catcher now fast approaches the monkey with the intention to scare him. The monkey stays caught because he does not want to lose the precious things he is holding in his hand (Discover this in action). The more he panics, the tighter he holds on to the loot.

Isn’t that a little like our entrepreneurial situation? The tighter we hold on, the more we get stuck and we get caught. So here is my call to action: Whenever you feel you have run out of options and you do not want to lose what you are attached to, please let mentally go of this attachment. Watch how liberating a feeling it is to look AT your situation and not FROM the middle of it. Ponder if letting go of the old isn’t the best thing that you should do.

Ralf

 

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9 items that help define what success means to you


9 items that help define what success means to you 

Success. There are so many questionable definitions and ideals about it bombarding us every day from early childhood on. Very often it is being portrayed as something that has to do only with status, number and type of friends, vacations, appearance, money, happiness, education, family size, heritage, size of home, expensive hobbies, type and number of cars, etc. The more, the better. Right? Well, perhaps.

Good news is that each one of us can and should define success on an individual basis. Tough part of this is deciding what success means to you. Here are 9 ways of looking at it and I invite you to ponder this list in peace and quiet. Yes, this means that you will need to spend some time to do this, but it allows for you getting closer to living on purpose – your specific purpose.

Ponder the following 9 questions. Reflect upon which one(s) light you up the most. How is your current life aligned with your answer? You are getting closer to defining your purpose.

  • The Mind: When you are done here on Earth do you want for more truth, knowledge and wisdom to exist because you were here? Your purpose is aligned with the realm of the mind.
  • The Body: When you are done here on Earth do you want there to be more fitness, wholeness, a better way to feed and clothe the hungry and poor? Do you want to build the strength and vitality of the body? Your purpose is aligned with the realm of the body.
  • The Senses: When you are done here on Earth do you want there to be more beauty? Do you want to create something for all the senses to enjoy a sense of beauty and sustainability? Your purpose is aligned with the realm of the senses.
  • The Will and Conscience: When you are done here on Earth do you want here to be more justice, morality, honesty, righteousness? Your purpose is aligned with the realm of the will and your conscience.
  • The Spirit: When you are done here on Earth do you want for there to be more spirituality, compassion, empathy, wholeness of family, forgiveness, and faith in the world? How about a better and deeper connection with God? Your purpose is aligned with the realm of the spirit.
  • Entertainment: When you are done here on Earth do you want for there to be more laughter, joy, perspective, lightening of people’s hearts and spirit? Your purpose is aligned with the realm of entertainment.
  • Possessions: When you are done here on Earth do you want for there to be a better way of sustaining ourselves here, a better handling of our possessions, a clearer picture of what is enough versus more is better? Your purpose is aligned with the realm of possessions.
  • The Earth: When you are done here on Earth do you want for there to be a more sustainable way to live on our planet, more exploration (not exploitation) of our Earth and Universe? Do you want to find a better way to deal with finding future sources of energy, clean water, clean air, land for everyone to enjoy? Your purpose is aligned with the realm of the Earth.

Which topic excites you the most? How does your heart, mind, and instinct respond to each point? What challenge within that topic would you want to tackle? Which invokes the most passionate response within you? Which one are you drawn to the most?

I leave you with my favorite poem trying to define success:

What is success?

To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people

and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics

and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty;

To find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by

a healthy child, a garden patch

or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed

easier because you have lived;

This is to have succeeded.

Bessie Anderson Stanley (traditionally attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Remember that the simple things in life are typically the best, and they are the toughest to discern as they typically reside right before our eyes and we can often not see them. Happy pondering!

If you want to explore this further there is a terrific resource for that in the book “What color is your parachute?” by Richard N Bolles.

Ralf

3 tips for how not to tick new potential customers off


3 tips for how not to tick new potential customers off 

There are still some sales folks around who will explosion vomit their solutions all over their potential customers followed by asking all but immediately for more business. You are exposed to this at networking events, connection requests on LinkedIn, casual meetings, etc. Sales people whom you just met are trying to immediately sell you stuff. Wow. Good luck with that approach. If I do not know you, I do not trust you – yet. Customers want to buy, but they do not want to be sold to. This is all about relationship building.

Patience and competency are needed in copious amounts in order for you to be offered an open ear. In the worst case scenario you will get a firm maybe, and in the best case you will be invited back. Deliver on your promises and here are three pointers leading you down the correct, or at least, better path to establish a trusting relationship.

  • Willingness to give before asking for anything. Honestly, do you really think that asking for favors the first time you meet someone will get you anywhere? You may luck out guilt tripping someone into giving you something, but is that sustainable in the long run? Approaching anyone with an open heart, soul, and your intellect / mind and making sure that you are willing to give your talents away helping someone else is the best way to start your networking process.
  • Invest your time smartly – but please make sure that you do spend time with your newfound friend. Only when you get to spend some significant quality time together will you really get to appreciate new folks and old alike. When people see and get to experience first-hand that you are the real deal you make a deeper connection that is trust based. That is the essence of relationship building.
  • Make sure you are genuine and sincere. Be genuinely compassionate with everybody. Compassion means that you are suffering with someone else. That is what it is all about. When you care enough to stop noticing what the real issue is that someone has, only then will you be able creating a much more genuine relationship. Listening and truly understanding where someone is coming from is essential for applying the correct technology / method to solving issues.

If you have to ask, ask for perhaps another connection within your client’s company. Your contacts owe you nothing, certainly not respect or their time. Earn their attention and trust by working hard connecting them with new people, ideas, concepts, products, and services.

Ralf

Do you like miracles? 2 ways initiating your own predictable miracles


Do you like miracles? 2 ways initiating your own predictable miracles 

Miracles occur when needs and solutions converge seemingly serendipitously. Convention says that miracles happen coincidentally. Is there such a thing as coincidence though? Most people just accept a matter as coincidence and do not think twice about it. Really smart folks dig a little deeper and follow up with the people involved. There are an increasing number of people who believe that it may even be possible creating circumstances leading to predictable miracles. Here are two ideas of how you can initiate them.

  1. In order to be able to creating a conduit for needs and solutions to emerge in front of you and still maintaining the element of coincidence (this is truly organic growth), you will first and foremost need to ponder what your purpose is. The moment you ask yourself this question, you will be on the path to a better and brighter future.
    Imagine what gives you energy and what you really want to be and do. Think about your future needs that will help pave the way to get there. Journal about this daily and reflect upon this list frequently. Develop a mental picture what the final result might look like in 9-12 months from now.
  2. Now comes the part that you need to feel comfortable with: Share this picture with acquaintances, friends, co-workers, family, etc. Do this freely. The more you think and talk about it, the more you think and solidify your own mental picture. You become intensely focused on what truly matters to you.
    Make a list of 9-18 people you look up to. Meet with these folks for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Do not ask for favors; ask for them to listen to you and to be candid with their feedback. Share your vision and mission, your purpose freely. Bring the future into the present by bringing it alive. Keep your journal up to date.

Now you have tilled the ground and sowed the seed of synchronicity – that is coincidence at its best. Because you know your intentions and you have shared them, people and opportunities will start crossing your path. This may not happen immediately, but in the long run this is a recipe that you can follow with almost guaranteed success.

What are you waiting for? Give it a go, you cannot lose here and how cool is it to create your own predictable miracles?

Ralf

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