Kindness Should Never Be in Short Supply But It May Be a Corona Casualty

I took Joan to the doctor early the other morning – annual check up.

With the new normal firmly in place I was not allowed to sit in the waiting room with her so I sat in the parking lot for a few minutes, proceeded to get restless and started driving around.

Thank goodness for smart phones! Sent her a quick text – “Lemme know when you’re done. I’m driving around.”

I was sitting at a stop light when I saw a woman sitting on the steps of a boarded up building. Here’s the short version: She didn’t appear to be feeling well because every few seconds she’d lean over and wretch for a few seconds.

Not a pretty picture. I’m sorry if it’s TMI but I am gonna make a point here.

Pre-Corona-19 John would have pulled around the corner and tried to give her some assistance. Maybe called 911, maybe gave her a ride home. It’s hard to say WHY she was ill but Corona-19 John wasn’t about to take any chances. I made sure my face mask was on tight and my sanitizer was in the cup holder and as quickly as the light changed green I got the Eff out of there. I may have even been sweating.

And I felt bad. Really bad.

The Virus as we’ve come to call it won’t be here forever but I wonder, if slowly over time, our compassion and kindness will slowly disapate and be replaced by self survuval, no questions asked.

I hope not. I feel bad enough as it is.

Every Morning is a Page Turner

I was restless this morning.

I was impatient this morning and my impatience led to distraction which led to frustration which led to anger.

“And meditation is supposed to help ground me for my day. This one is gonna be quite the S**t Show!

It took a few minutes of emotional searching but I finally found a place to rest and just sorta go with it. I wanted it to be over. I kept leaning forward a bit and that voice was telling me “Okay that’s enough, you can quit now.”

But I didn’t.

Let me tell you a quick story. I promise I’ll be quick. I know it’s early for some of you.

Years ago I met a man. He was standing on a street corner in a brightly colored robe. His side kick was sitting cross legged playing a sitar.

I was waiting for the light to change.

He approached me smiled and bowed.

“Where you are, is where you should be, right now!”

Then, he danced away.

It took me a long time to understand what he was saying and this morning I breathed deep and saw him dancing in front of me, smiling all the while.

“Where you are, is where you should be, right now!”

Every morning is a page turner. Some days I like the story. Some days the story sucks.

Every day, though, I am where I’m supposed to be, right now. What I do with this day is entirely up to me

Namsate.

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I am going to be writing these short posts every morning for the immediate future with the exception of most Tuesday’s when I post my coaching blog. Please feel free, to like, follow and share.

We are all just beginners

It sorta bothered me.

A friend was telling me about her meditation practice and how much she was enjoying the benefits.

I asked her to share.

She paused and said “Oh you wouldn’t be interested. You’re way to advanced for something this simple. I’m just a beginner!

Truth be told my ego took a a gigantic leap. It was like a balloon in a parade. – Larger than life. I had this vision of being on the mountain top with all the meditative greats. “Hmmm I wonder what my robe will look like.

Anyways………..

This morning during my meditation time a thought drifted through my mind. It was gentle and soft. It almost was whisper. “We are all just beginners.”

I let it linger for awhile and the more I repeated it the more of a mantra it became for me.

Yup, we are all just beginners. Every morning gives us a chance to begin again, to start with a new thread and to share the unique energy we’ve been gifted with while we are on this planet.

So, no matter how long you’ve been trying to contort yourself into the lotus position and no matter how many times your ticket has been punched to nirvana, remember, in the grand scheme of thing We Are All Just Beginners.

A good thought on this quarantined Sunday.

Doing These 3 Things Before You Get Started Can Help You Create A Successful Business

I’ve been working with new entrepreneurs for over twenty years.

I’ve watched them sore to heights that they never imagined. I’ve shared the heart ache as their dreams slipped away and left them disillusioned. – And broke.

I learned a lot.

The most valuable stuff I learned wasn’t from the rip roaring successes. It was from the crash and burn failures.

I’d like to share some thoughts that can help you decide whether if this is the right time for you to begin your entrepreneurial journey.

I have worked with and watched fledgling entrepreneurs implode because they didn’t do three important things that might have made the difference between success and failure.

What’s the investment you need to make in starting your business?

Many of us have periodic bouts of Shiny Object Syndrome.

Have you ever been shopping and saw something that caught your eye? It glowed and glittered and you didn’t know what the heck it was but you knew, in your heart of hearts, that you just had to have it. Never mind that you didn’t have a use for it right now; some guru told you that if you wanted a gold plated invitation to the cool kids lunch table you needed to have it. So you opened your wallet and purchased it.

You got it home, looked at it and all of a sudden it didn’t seem so glittery and glowing. As a matter of fact you didn’t know what you were going to use it for. So, you opened a closet and stacked it neatly beside all of those other things you just “had to have,” and went on your merry way until one morning you woke up and you noticed you had no electricity, gas, or water.

You hadn’t paid the bill and those services were shut off. You opened the closet where you kept those things you “just had to have,” and realized they would neither feed you or keep you warm! That’s when reality set in.

You crafted a yard sale sign, plopped it in the front yard and sold all the stuff you “had to have” just so you could survive.

Am I exaggerating? Not really.

First and foremost, take a deep breath, put on blinders and noise reducing ear buds and come to the realization that planning and launching your business is going to be 1% sexy and 99% hard work on your part. You’ll will not find a shortage of good intentioned people who will give you all sorts of good intentioned advice .

What came first, the chicken or the egg? Short answer – The chicken. Without the chicken there is no egg. Seriously. I am not pulling your leg. I see so many people decide, without any empirical evidence that they are the most special of the special and none of the tried and true methods of preparing to start up your business will work for them. You see, they’re different.

And often broke, very quickly.

It’s really easy to get sucked in by the all of the marketing strategies. It’s like they are speaking to your heart. They have been there. They have suffered. They have come close to breaking down.

Repeat after me: They are speaking to my wallet. My wallet cannot think or feel. I spend on what I need, which is not always what I want.

Some of us have to chant it daily.

First, figure out how much you have to spend.

Second, make a priority list. What things do you absolutely have to have in order to get going on making your dream a reality. Before you bake a cake you have to have all the right ingredients.

Getting things off the ground is going to involve more time than you think. Before you turn in your two weeks notice, or start handing out business cards take some time to look at the investment you are going to have to make to start your business.

Start Building Your Network – NOW

Every investment has a cost. Let that sink in.

Find a networking group, find out its requirements and become a faithful member. (Notice how faithful is in bold and underlined!)

It is going to take you at least six months of regular attendance in building up contacts before someone buys. Its focus is building relationships with other people and learning to trust them while they are learning to trust you.

Now I know you believe you are honest and wonderful and ready to serve and create for your clients, but if they just met you last week they don’t know that. Relationships take time. Getting to know someone takes time.

Is it an investment of time? Yes it is.

But…………………in my humble opinion nothing helps a new business any better than word of mouth advertising. Share you dream and your ideas with people may never be potential customers but have a network of people who may be. When you are ready to launch people already know who you are, what you stand for, and that you are, the real deal!

The secret sauce in networking is building relationships

There are three types of people that attend networking events:

People who are there because their boss told them to go.

People who use networking as a social tool, to connect with their friends.

Finally, YOU, the person who see’s networking for what it is: An opportunity to make connections and begin to develop an picture of who your ideal client may be.

You’re not going to know who your ideal client is until you actually meet them.

I’m not sure where we would be without John. Most likely, we’d still be stumbling over our own feet trying to determine how to launch our business idea. His guidance has helped open doors (and our own eyes) so that we are set up for success. When we were first introduced to him to discuss the possibility of working together, I remember seeing a light spark on his face as he immediately began formulating plans for how to help us…and that spark never faded during our entire working relationship. His enthusiasm, innovation, and sincere interest in our success has kept us motivated in our endeavor. I can’t recommend him high enough to anyone needing advice on how to get moving in the right business direction. And I also can’t thank him enough for what he’s done for us. April N.

That two year relationship came from someone approaching me after a networking event and asking if I’d be willing to meet with them to talk about a business idea they’d been working on. .

When you begin creating those connections you want to block out all of the noise and have a 1-2-1 conversation with them. It’s where trust is built. Arrange for a place, date and time.

Follow up with an email a few days before you’re supposed to meet as a reminder and send a text message the morning of our meeting.

This is a great way to begin creating connections, and getting confident in talking about your business. The more people I meet the more valuable I become. It means if someone is looking for a graphic artist I can usually say “I know someone….”

When you help someone else with no strings attached they will not forget you and if they do forget you, do you really want them in your circle?

I love this quote by Dr. Ivan Misner the founder of Business Networking International “Networking is more about farming than it is about hunting.”

You are who you hang around with – Develop an entrepreneurs mindset.

When I left my 9 to 5 in 1999 I really didn’t know a whole lot about a whole lot. Back then, a blog was something you scraped off of your shoes. Mostly I knocked on doors – Lots of doors. I signed a client to do some supervisor training and coaching. I was sitting in their conference room one afternoon and their VP of sales stuck his head in the doorway.

Gotta minute

Sure

This is it, I thought. They’re going to get rid of me.

Walking down the hall, I started reviewing every dumb thing I’d ever done.

He looked across his desk and said You know absolutely nothing about sales, do you?

Guilty as charged

My background was in operations, training and human resource management. Sales? Uhm, no!!

His company was a client of mine for close to five years. We have lunch twice a year to this day and he taught me the most valuable lesson I’ve learned as an entrepreneur. – It’s never about you! It’s always about the client.

He taught me that in order to get you have to give and sometimes what you give, you don’t send an invoice for. You prove your value and your worth with your integrity and character. It’s helping someone out. Rinse and repeat.

I spend my time with those people. They exude positive energy.

You are, who you hang around with. Start that practice long before you sign your first contract.

Always Give More Than Promised

The title of this blog suggested you’d learn three things you should consider before you begin your entrepreneurial journey. Yet, here I am getting ready to give you a fourth.

A few years ago I wrote an eBook called These 3 Things: A Guide to Success and Happiness.

I am going to give you a copy free. It talks about three of the things I believe will help you live a happy and successful life. One thing I’ve learned for sure is that no matter how smart, talented or prepared you are you won’t succeed in the long run if your life is not happy and balanced.

This offer will be available for a limited time. Beginning Monday April 14, 2020 until Friday April 17, 2020 you'll be able receive it at no charge. Click on the link and follow the instructions.

Until next time. Stay safe.

3 Tips to Use in Avoiding the Guru Syndrome.

I am not a guru hater. I genuinely respect the folks who have worked long and hard to build a business for themselves so they can enjoy the life they set out to enjoy and be recognized as the very best in their field.

My problem has never been with the guru’s. As a matter of fact, most folks we refer to as guru’s run like holy hell from the title. In it’s place, they talk about hard work, long hours, ups and downs and how there was more than once they were ready to throw in the towel. The “guru’s” I’ve met are caring people who willingly help other people and really don’t care for the title. They see themselves learning about every facet of life just like you and I.

They have an insatiable thirst to get it right right and always remind us that just because it worked for them………….

Yeah, we don’t wanna hear that, do we?

The problem, my dear grasshopper, is not them. It’s us.

We don’t read past the headlines. We turn a deaf ear to “No guarantees it will work for you just because it worked for me.”We are still looking to click our heels three times and be in the mystical and magical land where everyone hangs on our every word, writes us massive checks and lets us perform with the favorite artist of our choice. ( I always wanted to sing with Sinatra.)

And that’s okay.

It’s okay as long as we separate the reality of our lives from the reality of their lives.

Lemme share for a few if I may.

When I can’t sleep at night, I close my eyes, and I conjure up a fantasy I’ve had since I was 10 years old. I am a pitcher for a major league baseball team and not only am I amazingly successful, there are whispers that I am the G.O.A.T. – Greatest of all time. People love me, they adore me and when I face a batter I conjure up an image of facing a super star I never really liked. A No-Good-Nick, a villain.

I strike him out. Not only do I strike him out but I make him look terrible when he swings and falls in the dirt. Oh yeah, my average fast ball speed if about 110 mph. Everybody wants me.

I am heading towards 67. I never could get the ball to travel the distance to reach home plate and I am terminally uncoordinated. But I gotta tell ya, when I hear that siren song, the call from the mists that suggests it’s not to late, there is a tug inside of me I have to resist.

Maybe I could…………..

I am quite sure someone out there would try to convince me that I still could reach my goal and if I made a pittance of an investment, with them, I COULD get to the Hall of Fame. I mean just read the testimonials! Aging and deluded males everywhere are salivating at that one, last, chance at greatness. The one that escaped us so often in our youth. A chance at redemption. We see the faces of all those naysayers and people who sneered at us, and we open out hearts, minds and most importantly our wallets. Field of Dreams, The Rookie…….

Damn! I almost convinced myself.

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret.

It’s called marketing. It’s is not a dirty word or evil practice. It was not created by Satan himself. Marketing, my dear ones, is the way we make money, Dough-Re-Me. The stuff we pay our bills with and enjoy our lives with.

You know!!

I’m going to share some tips on navigating the mine field, because if you’re like me, you have fallen prey to dumping a bunch of cash in the hopes that it will lead to the promised land and instead you get a bunch of YouTube videos and a concierge who hosts a monthly get together that’s usually titled a master mind or group coaching. Often those aren’t live. You feel cheated and robbed and you are no closer to getting what you want then you were before your credit card provider is asking you if you’d like to increase your credit limit.

Then we’re ashamed. We’re supposed to know it all, supposed to avoid those traps, those get-there-overnight pitches. It’s a terrible feeling. We fell prey and worst of all it “Ain’t their fault.” It’s ours. We drank the Kool Aide.

End of sermon.

Here are three things that can help all of us begin to break that cycle of compulsion and make better use of the resource we have available to us.

Nothing in the realm of your business or practice requires an immediate decision. Well maybe if someone has a gun pointed at your head but otherwise you’re being what’s called “squeezed.” Those offers are designed to raise your pulse and blood pressure a bit and make you decide it is now or never. Some of them even have a doomsday counter. It’s a digital counter that tells you that there is only a precious bit of time left before this once-in-a-lifetime offer expires. After that you’ll pay a king or queens ransom. Take a step back, breathe and put some space between the hype and your needs.

I’ll use an old school term sleep on it. If it still sounds good in the morning……… That takes me to tip two

Listen to your intuition. I worked with someone years ago who told me, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck it’s probably a duck. If it feels right for you, investigate further. If it just doesn’t resonate with you ask yourself WHY? Everything and I mean everything is not for all of us. That’s where you’ll hear the term ideal client. There are some folks who’d like you and I to believe that everyone created from the beginning of time is their ideal client. They can contort their process to fit your needs. It’s not a lie. They paint with a broad brush and suggest you and I fill in the blanks and often we are stuck with nothing more than we walked through the door with. Listen to your soul. The cool kids lunch table is not all it’s cracked up to be anyway.

Check them out – Make sure they can deliver what they are promising to deliver. I could sit here all day telling you horror stories both personal and ones I’ve heard over the years.

The internet provides us with great opportunities. We can work with people we otherwise wouldn’t have come in contact with. The internet has turned the corner market into a grocery store on steroids. – So many choices. And then, there is the down side.

Then there are the people that take our money and either woefully under deliver or we never hear from them again. They label themselves as experts and guru’s and leaders in their field, they send us a two page PDF, get our email address and proceed to barrage us with the good old once-in-a-lifetime offers. It’s marketing by attrition.

For every 1000 names we add to our list, 100 of those people will open and read our email. Of those 100 roughly 10 people will click through. That means, they’ll go to the next page or link. Of those 10 people only 1 person MAY take advantage of your offer. It sets up like this 1000-100-10-1. It’s the internet marketing version of the advertising we get in our snail mail. – Mass marketing.

Question for you: What do you do with most of the stuff that you retrieve from your mailbox? Yeah, me too.

Okay I’m going off on an uber tangent here but I thought you should know. Ya know?

Where was I?

If I see something that perks my interest I start asking around. I do research. If you are a provider worth your salt, Google has your entire life on file, including the good, the bad, and the ugly. As far as testimonial’s go, I try to avoid them. I ask every client I work with to provide me with a testimonial at the end of our time together. I put it in the coaching agreement.

Lemme ask you something? If you send you a testimonial and it says You stink do you really think I am going to publish it? Seriously. What we see are filtered.

Okay Mr Bright Eyes what should I do? Glad you asked.

I send an email with at least three questions about their offering. The one question I always include is a request for analytics. I want to know what percentage of their clients benefited from working with them or studying their material.

I’ll give you an example:

I still do resumes for people. Many years ago I began tracking how many of those resumes resulted in a person getting an initial interview. 91.6% of the resumes I created resulted in an initial interview. I offered empirical proof.

I ask the question: Who do you know that I know? Then I reach out to mutual connections asking what their experience was.

Okay you get my point.

You may have tips of your own and if you’d do I’d live to hear from you. We’re all in this together.

Oh yeah, in case you’re wondering my email list is way less than 1000 people. when I send out a posting, according to MailChimp the open rate is roughly 35%. The alleged average for my profession, coaching and consulting is 12.9%. My click through rate is at 10%. I keep my list manageable.

One last thing: I have not posted for a few weeks mostly because of a personal illness – our grandson gave us a new years gift of Day Care Disease and we had a death in our extended family. I thought you’d like to know

Namsate

You Believe You Are the Best, Right?

The first part of this blog came from a posting I made on social media earlier this week

Well arent you?

Stop and think about it for a minute. I did the other day and I didn’t like what I came up with.

Here I am, asking people to invest their time and money in working with me, to help them reach their life and business goals and I don’t always believe I am the very best there is in my field. I’m telling them that since they don’t deserve the best they might as well settle for me.

Here I am acting like I wanted to take Jim Nabors spot on Gomer Pyle Oh, gee, golly gosh. I’m not THAT good.

Somewhere, somehow, we’ve morphed into a place and time where championing your ability to be excellent at what you do ends up getting a finger shook in your face sorta like Nancy Pelosi shaking her finger at Donald Trump awhile back.

Imagine getting ready to have major surgery and the doctor looks down at you and says I’m gonna do my best. Hopefully you’ll live through the surgery. Don’t worry. I’m pretty good at what I do.

I am not talking about the “You-rah-rah” BS. I am talking about you! You, the person that has worked and studied and sweated and banged your hands in frustration, shed some tears and wondered if you don’t belong locked up somewhere because it doesn’t seem like anyone is ever listening to you. You’ve invested a lot of time and effort to become the expert that you are. Why shouldn’t the rest of us see you as well.

You have put in the sweat equity. You deserve to claim the title “Best of the Best” in what you do!

The secret to your excellence? It’s really simple. You do what you do because you love what you do. You do what you do because you cannot see yourself doing anything else and when you have a string of failures and people start suggesting you might wanna move on to something else you look at them like they’re speaking Klingon. They don’t get it.

Want to know how I know? There is only of you and there will only be one of you. There a trillion of “everyone else’s,” but there is only one of you. There are a group of people who will follow you to the end of the earth because of who you are and what you believe not only about yourself but about the ability to be great at what you do. In a word you resonate with them.

That, is, so, cool! (I put the comma’s in there for emphasis.)

I am spending more time making sure my core values – honesty, integrity and only delivering what I know I can deliver remain intact despite the siren song that tugs at me every now and then to just be like everyone else . I am a what-you-see-is-what-you-get-sorta-guy.

I care about the people I work with. I know that violates one of them-there coaching rules that you are supposed to be objective otherwise you cant guide them. I care that they find success and happiness.

I am learning that each of you is a unique human being, special in each and every way that I am special and that your needs are as unique as mine. So I won’t ever hand you a sheet a paper, tell you to follow instructions, take three Ibuprofen and call me in the morning.

I am learning to listen with my heart and soul. To dig deeply as I listen and ask myself what I’m really hearing.

I have embraced the motto To they own self be true, not to the latest fad or practice.

I am the best mindset-life-business coach I know.

What about you?

If you wait until you are ready…… (you will never be ready!)

I grew up with the mantra Fail to plan, plan to fail resounding in my ears. It was everywhere. Throw a bucket of water on me in the middle of the night and I’d sit up and shout Fail to plan, plan to fail.

Tattoed on my inner arm was Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance

Except, when it became an excuse to move forward.

Plan. Then plan some more. Than dive really deep and plan on a micro level. Waste time, resource, energy and arrive at convincing yourself that whatever it is you are contemplating doing ain’t gonna work anyways or your hesitant about trying so you keep it in”the planning stage.”

Why even try! You have planned it all out and the evidence shows you just need to close the doors and windows and play it safe.

Or, maybe plan a little better.

Maybe the project was larger than you imagined.

Time for a feasibility study or researching the empirical knowledge.

Ooo, Ooo I know, go to a five day workshop that has nothing to do with your project but the speaker is the guru’s to end all guru’s and if you don’t attend you’ll fall behind and you won’t be welcome at the cool kids lunch table any longer.

I mean who passes up on opportunities like that? Know what I mean, Vern?

BTW: You are really stressed and over committed and you wouldn’t have had time to implement your project anyways. Right?

When we operate from that mind set, we might as well not invest the time to begin with. You might even argue that it’s not an investment of time but rather a waste of time. It’s the old tug back and forth: feeling we have to rather than wanting to. A dog chasing its tail round and round until the end result is that we are angry, frustrated and depressed.

See, our inner critic proclaims. I told ya you’d fail.

Okay, lets climb down off the bridge.

There is a simple solution. Simple but not easy.

Find someone to hold you accountable for what you’re working on. Once a week, connect and review where you’re at and what you’re doing and how much progress you’re making on the project or goal. You don’t have to schedule a five course meal. You can do it via text or email, Skype, Zoom or phone.

Find someone you can trust and someone that will hold you accountable to what you commit to doing.

It requires self discipline and commitment on both parts.

Simple, just not easy but I can tell you it may help reduce your stress level, and give the old confidence a needed boost.

There ya go, problem solved

You’re welcome. It’s what I’m here for!

See ya next week.