Category

General Biz

3 signs you are entering your zone of genuis

By | General Biz, Leadership, Success Mindset | 7 Comments

One of my favorite books in the world is The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks – especially the part where he talks about the distinction between Zone of Excellence and Zone of Genius.
But the part that has always confused me is – how do I know what my zone of genius is? I’ve finally got that part figured out (yay!) and wanted to share with you the 3 signs that you are bumping up into your zone of genius in today’s new video.

 

3 Steps Ahead (a mini-article)

By | General Biz, Leadership, Success Mindset | No Comments

I was thinking recently about something I learned from Thomas Leonard (founder of the coaching industry) at a coaching conference in 2002.

We do our best work when we are 3 steps ahead of those we are meant to serve.

If we are 10 steps ahead of someone then we may not be able to connect as deeply with who they are and what they need (and I dare say we may no longer desire to support them in the way they need – I know boredom kicks in for me here.)

If we are only 1 step ahead we may not yet have integrated our learning enough to be able to provide a deeper level of support. (Folks who learn something and teach it before they’ve actually lived it fall into this category – and we all know how annoying that is!)

3 steps ahead is the sweet spot – not too close, not too far.

If we embrace this concept then the truth is – we aren’t necessarily meant to do the same thing forever. If you are working to grow and evolve yourself this means you will be called to grow and evolve your business at some point as well (different clients, different offerings, etc)

It also means that we have to be willing to let go of the things that we have outgrown – the spaces where we are more than 3 steps ahead. I find something especially beautiful here – every time I am willing to let go it frees up space for someone else to step in to the place they are meant to serve.

For me this happens about every 3 years – I find myself in an up leveling cycle that requires me to make some changes. Sometimes the changes are big – sometimes they are subtle, but they always lead me to a greater expression of what I am meant to do.

I’m just coming out of my most recent up-leveling cycle and although it’s been tough – I am blessed to be on the other side and embracing my next 3 steps ahead mission. I know some of you are traveling this path right now – I am sending love and courage your way!

The Dark Night of the BUSINESS Soul

By | General Biz, Leadership, Success Mindset | No Comments

I’ve been going through an interesting journey the past couple of years and I’m curious if you can relate…

It starts with a hint of dissatisfaction.

“It wasn’t supposed to be this way”

“Why aren’t I happy?”

“If this isn’t ‘IT’ then what is?”

That quiet voice in the night – saying things that you would rather not hear.

After all, you’ve been working your butt off to get this far. You’ve achieved what you set out to achieve. And it’s working.

You’ve created a business doing what you are good at.

You are making a comfortable amount of money.

You do great work and your clients love you.

Put simply, you are where you wanted to be and you still don’t feel like you’ve arrived.

After all this work, you still aren’t satisfied. It doesn’t feel like enough.

Another little voice kicks in now:

Read More

Are you a starter, finisher or maintainer?

By | CEO Tips, General Biz, Team & Outsourcing | 6 Comments

Originally posted on Feb. 25th 2016.

When I used to do corporate recruiting back in the day, one of the questions we always asked people was:

“Are you a starter, finisher or maintainer?”

I love this question and have continued to use it in my business – with team & clients. It’s important to understand this distinction for ourselves, as well as for the people we work with.

A starter likes to get the ball rolling – you are a visionary. You see the world through a lens of opportunity and how things can be changed for the better. You are passionate and driven by your ideas – nothing gives you more pleasure than a great (new) idea and the possibility it creates.

A finisher likes to get stuff done – you love to plug into someone else’s ideas and help bring them to life. You naturally see what it will take to accomplish a goal – the steps, resources and timeline – and don’t feel satisfied until measurable progress is being made.

A maintainer likes to keep the engine running – you are driven by stability – chaos, messes and surprises drive you crazy! You have an eye for detail and a heart of service, knowing that a strong foundation is what keeps the vision (ideas) alive. You are satisfied when everything is running as it should, on a daily basis, with excellence.

Which one do you identify with the most?

Could be more than one – I’m both a starter & a finisher, but I am NOT a maintainer.

I am great at coming up with big ideas – solving big problems – and I love to bring them to life. (My business is built on programs we’ve created to solve big problems – Certified Online Business Manager and CEO Business School to name our biggies)

Once the programs are created and serving where they are meant to serve, then I start to disengage. Once the creation is live my natural inclination is to move onto the next thing.

This is who I am but I fought this for YEARS! I thought that I should want to keep focused on the same thing – I created it, this is my baby, how could I possibly be ready to move on? (Or dare I say, bored!) I beat myself up because I thought something was wrong with me.

It’s only in recent years I’ve come to accept that I’m not a maintainer, and because of this I need strong maintainers on my team. Because of this I have structured my business to allow my starter/finisher nature to play while building on the success of past creations <– this took me a LONG time to figure out.

How can your team compliment your nature? If you are a starter you need strong finishers around you (our OBMs are GREAT at this). If you are a finisher you need to connect with powerful starters. If you are a maintainer you are needed to keep the success engine running!

Know yourself. Honor yourself. Let go of what isn’t true for you. That is where real success is found.

How to not lose your mind while running both a business and a household

By | CEO Tips, General Biz, Success Mindset | 4 Comments

I was joking today with my Program Manager Ashley that there are days I’m lucky that I haven’t lost my mind.

Because let’s be real – my life is pretty nutty. I’m a single mom of 2 young girls (8 & 10) and am running a business that is the sole provider for our family. It’s a busy life, to say the least.

Here’s what I find helpful when it comes to juggling everything and keeping myself sane:

Delegate at Home Too!

Wednesdays are my favorite day of the week. Why? It’s the day my cleaning lady Patty comes over, and there is a brief window of about an hour where my house is gloriously clean (then my kids get home from school…) As business owners we talk a lot about the importance of delegation, but what about our lives?

I’d like to challenge you at home with the same question I would in your business – What are the things that you can do, but that others can do just as well as you? Could be cleaning. Cooking. Laundry. Yard Work. Shoveling. And what would it look like to get help in those areas?

Put Your Self Care First

Last year was a tough year for me. There were a lot of challenges I was dealing with and I found myself feeling surprisingly blah on a very regular basis. After reading Dan Harris’s book 10% Happier (which I highly recommend!) I decided to give meditation a try. Just 15 minutes in the morning – sitting quietly and being mindful, nothing fancy. In a matter of days my energy and mood changed dramatically, and to be honest I was surprised that such a simple thing made such a difference! And on the days I don’t do it I can feel myself slipping back into the blahs.

Self care comes in many forms. What are you doing to put yourself first on a DAILY basis?

Rely on the Power of 3

I have a little mind-trick that I like to use whenever I feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stuff that needs to get done both on the home-front and in the business. I call it ‘the next 3 things’. Whenever I feel that ARGHH moment of too much on my plate, I pause and ask myself:

What are the next 3 things I need to do?

Then I focus on doing only those 3 things and forget the rest. For example, last night I could feel one of those ARG moments coming on so I paused, asked myself that question and decided that all I had to do was 1) Make the kids lunch for tomorrow, 2) Clean the litter boxes and 3) Pack Lexi’s bag for gymnastics. I did those things, felt accomplished and avoided a potentially grumpy night for me and the girls (You know what they say… if momma ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy!)

Unplug baby!

My friend Tara has been my bestie now for 39 years. When I need an evening of ‘whine &  wine’ she’s my gal. We have a lifetime of inside jokes in our arsenal, so that all it takes is a quick comment or sideways glance to get us laughing. And laughing. And laughing. (From the outside looking in I’m sure people think we are crazy. 😉

Unplugging is necessary for our sanity. I need to unplug from being mom every once in a while, as much as I need to unplug from being CEO. Go out for dinner. Get to the gym. See a movie. Give yourself permission to unplug from the responsibilities of your life at least once a week, so that you can bring the best of who you are the rest of the time!

How about you? I’m curious what keeps you sane in the craziness of running a business and running your life – post your tips in the comments.

3 Ways to Make Planning Palatable (Maybe Even Enjoyable?)

By | CEO Tips, General Biz, Leadership, Success Mindset | No Comments

MANY business owners I know hate planning. They find it annoying. They don’t know how to do it. They start a plan only to find themselves mired in the details of ‘who needs to do what’ and give up out of frustration.

Or they just simply prefer to go with the flow and see what life brings.

I get it – there are times I wish I didn’t have to plan either! But I know the benefit it brings to me and my biz so I’m willing to do it even when I  don’t feel like it. 😉

Here are a few things to consider to make planning palatable (maybe even enjoyable?)

If you’re thinking “I need your help, Tina, to create a solid plan!” then check out my upcoming 3 hour virtual “Planning Made Simple” workshop

Planning Made Simple Workshop1) Planning is about committing to your DESIRES

The heart of planning is simply about saying ‘here’s what I want in the next year’ and then getting clear on what it will take to get there. It is  saying to the world that you are ready, willing and able to do what it takes to create what you want.

This of course means you need to know what it is you really want. Sometimes a reluctance to plan can be masking a deeper fear or resistance  to what it is you really want to create. Embrace the truth of what you want and allow yourself the freedom to lay a path to creating it.

2) Planning means LESS WORK for you every day

Each day will start one of two ways – you are either waking up clear on what you need to do that day. Or you are flying by the seat of your pants and making it up as you go.

The first option allows you to get the right stuff done first, so that you have the rest of your day open to spend as you please. The second  option requires that you waste valuable time and energy trying to decide what to do, when and how… often leaving you feeling like you’ve been busy all day but never actually accomplished anything.

It’s time to get that plan in place so you can stop working so hard!  Say to another few weeks/months/years of exhaustion and overwhelm. Build in the 3 x 3 Planning Habits I share in the “Planning Made Simple” workshop into your business and you (and everyone around you) will know EXACTLY what to do each and every day (no more doing it all yourself).

3) Planning allows others to SUPPORT you

Be it an assistant or a team of 20, if you don’t plan ahead I guarantee that you will always struggle getting the support you need. The most  successful teams are the ones where each person is clear on what they need to do, when it is due and is empowered to do great work. Last minute requests and constant changes will suck the life out of a team faster than anything else – and leave you feeling frustrated.

If you are unwilling to plan you will never find the support you crave.

The bottom line is this – you don’t have to love planning. You just need to love what it allows you to create. In the same way you don’t have to love flossing your teeth, but you do it because you know it keeps you healthy.

I created my Planning Made Simple workshop with this in mind – to give you a simple and, I daresay, fun process to laying a path towards getting what you want next year.

You are invited to join me LIVE on December 15th.  Here’s where to find out more:  www.tinaforsyth.com/planning

You may not like it (wink) but I assure you that – if you do the work – you will feel clear and empowered as we head into the
new year.

I know you’re tired.  If you think about this for too long, you may just end up having another like this last year.  Join me December 15th and put a solid plan together in just a few hours www.tinaforsyth.com/planning. 

 

The 3 Dangers of Playing Big

By | CEO Tips, General Biz, Leadership | 4 Comments

Reach for the starsIn the entrepreneurial world we are constantly bombarded with the message to ‘play a bigger game’. Or variations on that message, such as ‘shoot for the stars!’ or ‘if you aren’t growing you are dying!’ And I can’t help but wonder…

What if, instead of trying to play a ‘bigger game’, we aimed to play a ‘right sized game’ instead?

Striving to ‘play bigger’ has taken me off course many times in my 17 year journey as a business owner. When I look back on the times where I struggled the most and lost the most – it was when I was trying to play bigger and chase the elusive promise of ‘more will fix everything’.

There are 3 dangers to blindly following the ‘play bigger’ path that business owners need to be aware of.

Danger #1 – What works for them may not work for you

There are no end to programs and coaches who will promise you that ‘if you follow this simple formula you too can achieve the same success that I have enjoyed.’ If I’ve learned anything in my experience as a business owner it is this:

There is NO one size fits all solution to success.

The business model that works best for me may not work for you. The marketing strategy that works best for you may not work for the next person. I know I’m not alone in having spent thousands of dollars and countless hours of time following a formula that simply wasn’t a fit for me.

Our job is to know ourselves – to know our greatest gifts so that we can choose a business aligned with our strengths (and stop trying to be something we aren’t!). To know what we really want so we can set goals that match our true desires (and stop trying to keep up with the Joneses). And to learn from the right people who are simply ahead of us on a similar path to success (and won’t try to talk us into something that isn’t a fit.)

Danger #2 – Playing bigger generally brings bigger costs

“It costs money to make money”. I’m sure you’ve heard this before and for the most part it is true. But where business owners get themselves in trouble is spending ALL of their current money for the promise of FUTURE money.

They invest everything they have in the moment for the potential return of something in the future – which may or may not happen. And if it does happen they do it all over again, spending more and more money but never actually getting to keep much (or any!) of it. I spent years in this cycle and it was a lesson I had to learn the hard way.

The goal is not to make more money – it’s to keep more money. And this can happen regardless of how much money you are making right now. Get clear on your financial goals and commit to how much you want to keep The key is to balance spending with saving, so that every dollar you make contributes to your long term financial freedom.

Danger #3 – Striving to play bigger can trump your why

There is nothing worse than working your buns off to reach a goal, only to find it hollow and meaningless. I’ve seen many business owners reach amazing financial goals, only to find themselves burnout, tired and disillusioned. And in some cases they’ve lost their health and relationships in the constant pursuit of more.

There is no faster path to burnout than to keep doing work that isn’t aligned with your why. To blindly follow what you see others doing thinking that you should be doing the same thing. To make decisions from a place of ‘well everyone else is doing it so I may as well too’.

Your why is the fuel that will sustain you on your journey to success. If you lose track of your why you may lost yourself in the process.

The bottom line is this – more for more’s sake will never be enough. It is a game that you will never win because ‘more’ doesn’t have a finish line.

You need to want more for the right reasons. The reasons that are aligned with who you are and what you (really) want – not what other people want for you or from you. You need to be specific on the exact amount that fits your financial & freedom goals, and that allows you to do the right work to get there. You need to know how much time and effort you are willing to put in so as to allow you to enjoy the life you have right now (not the life you may have in the future.)

I want to acknowledge that this is tough. It is hard to step outside of the pressure to ‘play a bigger game’. It’s hard to resist the siren’s call of ‘more makes it all better’. To simply say no to the people who say ‘but you could be doing so much more!’

It takes courage to claim your space and say – this is who I am, this is what I want and it is enough.

I applaud your courage to play the right game, and I’m right here with you.

3 Paths to Creating New Revenue Streams

By | General Biz | No Comments

Originally published March 2014

Curious what kind of revenue streams could be created from what you do already? Let’s look at how you can leverage your talent, experience and desire into your next level of success.

Want to learn more about how to ‘clone yourself’ via the Team-Based Business Model? Join us for a free training: The 3 Biggest Mistakes Team-Based Business Owners Make That Keep Them Struggling to Find  the Right People and Make a Profit

 

How Positive Thinking Might be Killing your Business

By | General Biz, Leadership, Success Mindset | 11 Comments

In the book Good to Great by Jim Collins he shares the story of Admiral Jim Stockdale, who was the highest ranking US military officer in the “Hanoi Hilton” POW camp during the Vietman War. During his eight year imprisonment Stockdale was tortured regularly before his release in February 1973.

How did Stockdale manage to survive an experience where many others perished?

In his own words, he refused to become an optimist.

“The optimists were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again.

And they died of a broken heart.”

Put simply, every time they hoped for the best – kept positive – and then had their hopes dashed they lost faith in their survival. And this loss of faith impacted their ability to survive the harsh challenges of their reality.

Thus was born Stockdale’s Paradox, which states:

“You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

When I read this story the other day it gave me pause and made me wonder – could positive thinking be killing our success?

The promise of positive thinking is two fold: Read More

Is it a test or a sign?

By | General Biz, Leadership | 2 Comments

Business woman pushing a big problem to the sideYou have decided to take a big step in your business. Maybe you are hiring a new team member. Moving into an office space. Investing in coaching or training. Launching a new program. Letting go of an old program.

Then BAM! As soon as you make that decision something pops up to try and stop you.

It might be something in the business – losing a client or team member, a sudden drop in sales or your website gets hacked.

It might be something in your personal life – you get sick or injured, get into a car accident or have a family emergency.

The default response when this happens is to question your decision:

“Is this a sign that I shouldn’t do X?”

We start to worry and wonder…

  • Is now the right time for his?
  • Maybe I’m not ready for this after all?
  • There’s no way I can do this now that I have this problem to deal with!

Could it be a sign? Maybe, but it’s more likely to be a test.

In the book The Big Leap, author Gay Hendricks defines this as the Upper Limit Problem.

Each of has an internal thermometer for how much success, wealth, happiness, love, and intimacy we’ll let ourselves experience. That’s our upper limit setting – our personal ‘success comfort zone’.

When we make a decision to go beyond that upper limit setting – to pursue our next level of success and happiness – our subconscious will try to stop us, creating problems that seem HUGE, inviting us to drop back to the old, familiar place where we feel in control (and safe!)

For example, a client of mine shared this in an email just this morning:

“I swear I am having some kind of upper limit issue right now. I was ready to make some bold changes in my business and my life in general – then had a bike wreck and got stitches – got sick after that and got diagnosed with pneumonia this week.  Apparently getting unstuck and having breakthroughs is scarier than I knew!”

Put simply – the problem may look like a ‘good’ reason to stop, but it’s probably your Upper Limit Problem kicking in.

So how do you know whether or not this is a SIGN to stop or this is a TEST to work through?

There is a simple question to ask yourself:

“Do I really want X?

Do I really want to hire that person so that I can clear my plate of the stuff I don’t want to do? Do I want to get into that office space? Do I want to work with that coach to shift my business? Do I really want to work with this new type of client? Offer this new program?

OR is it something that is a could/should/would? Is it something that other people want from you or for you, but that you don’t really want for yourself?

If you DO want it then this is a TEST. And your only decision at this point is:

Am I going to let it stop me or not?

Whenever we decide we want MORE, God will check us on our desires. I look at this moment as God simply saying:

“Alright Tina, you are telling me you want X and I’m here to support you with that. But I need to know you are serious and committed so let me throw a little something at you to see if it will stop you…”

Most problems are finite. They have an end date. We work through them and move on from them. In this moment it might seem HUGE and all-encompassing, but this too shall pass.

If we let the test stop us – if we backtrack on our desires – then the problem doesn’t go away. It just shows up again next time, maybe a bit bigger and louder. This can turn into a destructive cycle of one step forward, two steps back every time you let the problem win.

If you really want X then you need to pass the test. Keep going. Have faith. Fight through it kicking and screaming if need be, knowing that every test you take makes you stronger. Every time you step into your fear it gets you ready for that next level of success.

What if you don’t really want X? Then yes, it could be a sign to stop… but in my experience the big problems don’t show up as a sign, they show up as a test. Be careful that you don’t mistake apathy for a lack of desire. That you don’t allow your fear to mislead you into thinking that you don’t really want X anyhow.

If it’s big enough for God to send the test, then it’s showing up for a reason.

Now is the time, if you let it be.

 

//