Category

Leadership

How to Write in a Way That Transforms Lives

By | General Biz, Leadership | 2 Comments

Guest article by Graham White of Effective Ethical Marketing

inspirepeople

In a recent interview with Tina Forsyth (on Facebook), she asked about the “New Rules” of having successful transformational business.

Writing one’s story of overcoming adversity or achieving a unique result is a great way to make a connection, but today the standards for how we share this have risen to an incredibly high standard of authenticity. Here’s a few tips of how to hit that level of candor and connection:

1. “Write drunk – edit sober.” Hemingway

WRITE DRUNK

What this means is writing without any kind of filter about what people might think about what you’re sharing, but don’t publish it until your editor has gone through it.

Write as though you’re writing just to yourself in your journal and no one is ever going to see it, so you don’t have to filter your thoughts. Let it flow through spirit or let it pour out through emotion. Don’t let your head in to filter and edit.

If the idea of people reading and reacting to what you’ve just let out doesn’t make you uncomfortable, you probably left some form of filter on.

Many of the most viral pieces come from a place like this where the author was simply writing something for them self, and then for whatever reason they posted it and went to sleep.

EDIT SOBER

If you’re an experienced writer, you can do much of the editing process yourself. I have written thousands of articles over the past 5 years, but only posted a few hundred of them.

Even with all this experience I still use another editor that I trust to go through pieces before they’re posted. I choose someone knows me, knows my audience and has written hundreds of articles and had pieces that have gone viral and can feel what the intended audience feels.

A good editor will make sure that both you the writer and your audience are safe, while pushing you to dig into the deepest kind of connection you’re capable of.

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TRANSFORMATION vs. EMOTIONAL

2. “Write from the scar, not the wound.” Unknown

There is a fine line between authenticity and over sharing. The difference in those two energies is the key to being able to affect a difference.

It’s when we’re still actually living in that part of our story that the emotion is too raw – the difference between an ‘Honest cry’ and the ‘Ugly cry’ is a good example. One is irresistible, the other makes us feel like we’re being assaulted by emotion.

Authenticity is critical to social media platform as the past 7 odd years we have literally been trained to spot the difference between people who want something FROM us vs those who want something FOR us.

There’s a third category as well, and that’s people who are using the process of sharing to heal their own wound. While they are being authentic in the sharing of the story, the energy felt by the reader is uncomfortable because their is still unresolved pain or bitterness in how they write.

To change someone’s life, there must be a wisdom or result we have gained that others are looking for. That is accomplished by having a unique ability that gives us an advantage, or having gone through something challenging and made it through the fire to the other side.

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THE MOST POWERFUL WRITING IS CHANNELED

My most viral writing pours out of me without me feeling like *I* am writing it. I often come across these pieces on other pages and don’t recognize it as my writing until I see my name at the end because it was my gift that wrote it, not me.

That gift is something that I feel is separate from me, but resides in me. I feel that Graham the person is responsible for living my life in a way that the gift has the greatest opportunity to be triggered and flow through. (This piece, for example is part gift, part Graham. I’m feeling it, but it’s still running out through my head.)

The download is generally triggered either by a personal experience, or something that I read. In the case of this piece, it was inspired by speaking with Tina in our interview and realizing there are things I do intuitively in my writing and with my clients that create virality that I haven’t put into words before.

There are likely many other pieces that I do at an intuitive level that haven’t come out of my head yet. If you’re a writer who’s looking for that viral piece to click and wants some support, send me your question and maybe you’ll be trigger another piece to download.

Graham White is the former Head Coach for Harv Eker and works as a branding and marketing strategist for transformational catalysts. His natural ability to understand people’s innate gifts have been instrumental in connecting six, seven and eight figure authors, speakers and trainers to audiences who can’t wait to consume their brand. His passion is supporting people with a gift that they choose to change lives with and leave the world a better place than when they arrived.

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 truth of what’s been going on in my business

By | Leadership, Success Mindset | No Comments

In my last blog post I opened up a can of worms, chronicling about the Dark Night of the Business Soul.

Today, though, I want to share with you about my own journey…

It started a couple of years ago. I had hit the point of success in my business that I had always wanted.

  • I was making great money
  • Doing work I enjoyed with great clients
  • Had an awesome team
  • Working about 30 hours per week – no weekends!

I had accomplished what I set out to accomplish and it was good… but something was off. Something was missing and I couldn’t put my finger on it.

Despite my success, I wasn’t truly happy. And those sneaky little thoughts crept in:

“It wasn’t supposed to feel this way”

“Why aren’t I happy?”

“If this isn’t ‘IT’ then what is?”

I had everything that I wanted from my business – an amazing team, good money and plenty of free time. And I was feeling this way? Read More

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

4 Questions to Ask Yourself When You Are Too Busy

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Systems & How-Tos, Team & Outsourcing | 3 Comments

“Help me Tina! I’m too busy and something needs to change…”

Young overworked business woman sleeping on floorYou are right – it does. Being too busy isn’t sustainable and doesn’t serve you or your clients. The good news? It’s fixable, so grab your to-do list and ask yourself the following questions.

Question 1: Does this really need to be done? (If yes, now or later?)

We often have things on our to-do lists that either:

  1. don’t need to be done at all – they are ideas, maybes or “wouldn’t it be nice ifs”. They are things we are thinking about, but that we haven’t actually made a firm decision on yet. Ideas are not to-dos – create a separate idea list and get those things off your to-do list!
  2. don’t need to be done now – if you aren’t strategic about planning ahead, then as a default everything on your to-do list feels like it needs to be done NOW. Work through each item and ask yourself – when does this really need to be done? Could it be put off until next week? Maybe even next month? Take your list and put realistic due dates beside each item.

You should be left with a list of things that are actually do in the next week or so – and a list of things that aren’t due yet (or are ideas and are no longer on the list!)

Question 2: Do I need to be the one to do this?

If you are anything like I was for years, as a default you feel like you must do everything. You are good at what you do. You are used to being the one to get it all done, but now things are starting to fall behind and slip through the cracks.

Run through your list again and ask yourself – could someone else do this for me? Be aware of the following when you answer:

  • “Well yes, someone else could do this for me but it’s only me so I have to” If you don’t have anyone working with you right now this could be true, and you also have the power to change. Growth dictates that you will need to hire help at some point – when you do it is up to you.
  • “But no one can do it as well as me – so I have to be the one to do it” This is a dangerous spot to get stuck in, because as long as you believe it to be true, it is… and it could be the thing sucks the life right out of you. Yes, you may be the best at doing something but that doesn’t mean you can’t train another person to be as good as you (or at least close enough 😉 or find someone who does it already and bring them on board.

The goal here is simple – identify the things that others could do for you. It doesn’t mean you have to hire a bunch of people tomorrow, but at the very least you can look to give more to the people you have already and plan ahead for getting more support (which becomes a light at the end of the busy tunnel!)

This second question can be a doozy as it brings up all kinds of stuff for many of us – it can have our inner control freak kicking and screaming! I highly recommend getting the support of a coach or OBM to help you here if you go through your list and still have your name beside every task. An outside eye can often see what you can’t.

Question 3: How can I create more space?

At this point you should have a realistic list of what needs to be done in the next week or so. Now you want to ensure you have the space and time to get it done. Here are two of my favorite tips:

  • Plan ahead –book the time in your schedule to get stuff done. You might book in specific tasks, or you might book in time for types of tasks (ie: writing time, client time).
  • Set boundaries – distraction is the death of productivity. Be it team, clients, family or social media – every time you get distracted it takes you off track, and for many people it happens all day long! Close your door. Turn off your phone and email. Let people know when you aren’t available and when you are. And get really good at saying no (because they will test your boundaries!)

Question 4: Do I need to renegotiate any deadlines?

If you are truly in over your head and can’t get everything done, then you need to revise your deadlines. I get that this sucks and you may hate having to do it, but it’s better for you to own up to something ahead of time vs. having people get upset with you because they are waiting/asking. To simply say to someone “Hey, I got in over my head here and that’s on me. I won’t be able to get X to you until next Monday and wanted to let you know.” Yes, you might need to make concessions for being late if this affects their timelines.

Even if they are frustrated, people will respect you for stepping up and being real with what is going on – and quite often they are OK with adjusted timelines if they know ahead of time.

The beauty of these 4 questions is that you can use them over and again. Every time you find yourself too busy work through this process, and ideally overtime you won’t need to anymore.

Let me know how it goes k?

The Top 3 Reasons Why You Are Too Busy

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Team & Outsourcing | No Comments

Many of my clients come to me because they are too busy.

They are working too many hours.
They spend most of their time putting out fires and trying to keep up with everything.
They are having to say no to opportunities because there literally isn’t anymore time to do more work.
Their family members are mad at them for working too much.
They are tired, frustrated and demotivated because they can’t see a way to change it.

Before you can make a change it’s important to first recognize this simple truth.

Being too busy is the result of our choices, it’s not the cause of our problems.

It’s easy to think that being too busy is the problem, but it’s actually the symptom of the underlying causes that need to change. The good news? It’s fixable! The bad news? We are the only ones who can fix it. 😉

The first step to fixing it is understanding the top 3 reasons why business owners are too busy.

1) Saying yes more than you say no

The Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, states that 20% of our efforts lead to 80% of our results. This also means that 80% of our efforts contribute to only 20% of our results.

In other words, we may be spending up to 80% of our time on things that don’t really matter. Ouch!

essentialismThis happens when we default to saying yes to everything that comes our way. Yes to every new project. Every new client. Every new idea.

Every time we say yes to something there is less of us to go around. We end up making small progress in many areas, vs. measurable  progress where it matters the most.

Greg McKeown summarizes this beautifully in his book Essentialism.

“Once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone [and everything], you can make your highest contirbution towards the things that really matter.”

2) Still seeing yourself as doer vs. leader

For the first 10 years of my business it was just me. I was a soloprenuer working 1-1 with my clients was able to handle all the work on my own. 2009 was the year that I shifted to a leveraged business model and began to focus on growth. It was the year my business officially became bigger than me and I quickly started to feel the pressure of getting it all done.

The simple truth was that there was more work to do, and I could no longer handle it all on my own. Something had to change, and it started with redefining my role.

All activities in business can be categorized into doing, managing or leading. The more time & energy you spend in doing, the less time you have for managing and leading.

Doing is a habit. If you are anything like I was, you are simply used to being the doer because you’ve done it for so long. You may take pride in the fact that you are a doer and can ‘get it all done’! If you continue to identify as the ‘doer’ you will always be too busy, for the simple fact that you won’t be willing to let it go.

3) Not building a strong foundation of team & systems

You’ve embraced your role as leader and are ready to let go of the doing – great! Next step is to bring in the right people to do the work and build a strong foundation of systems for everyone to work from.

It’s not rocket science to say that you need to hire a team – I’m sure you’ve heard it before! And yet many people struggle here when they don’t know who they need, where to find them and how to lead them to success.

Most of us aren’t naturals – finding, hiring and leading a team is a learned skill. If you are committed to getting out of the ‘too busy’ cycle you need to be willing to invest in your own leadership skills & development. You need to be willing to invest in hiring great people who can help you take your business to where you want to be.

If you are too busy I invite you to explore these 3 areas and let me know which of them you are going to work on next. I assure you that even small changes in any of these 3 areas can make a measurable difference.

Here’s to your freedom!

You can’t help a client who is missing this…

By | Leadership, Success Mindset | 11 Comments

I’m at the point where I won’t work with a client who doesn’t have urgency behind their desire.

There is a big difference between:

“I’d love to have this but if it doesn’t work out, oh well”

VS

“I have no choice but to create this because if I don’t there are real consequences.”

without-a-sense-of-urgency-desire-loses-its-value-quote-1If we don’t have urgency we won’t do what it takes. We will take the easier path. We will put things off.

If there aren’t any consequences attached to the things we want then we simply won’t stretch ourselves to the place we need to go to create success (anything new does require stretching!)

This isn’t a reflection on the person – it’s simply human nature and we are all wired this way! (It’s easy to say that I’d love to lose 20 pounds but truthfully it’s not that urgent – so I don’t do what it takes to make it happen.)

Always explore urgency with a potential client! Ask them why they want to make the change they are making now. Ask them what the cost is if they don’t make this change now? What if they did nothing and were in the same place next year – how would they feel?

Pay attention to their answers – look to hear and feel the urgency. If they don’t really want it or it’s not really that important you need to be willing to say no to them (even if they want to work with you!)

You can’t want it more for them than they want it for themselves. I see this happen all the time, and it simply doesn’t work. People say they want something and you decide to work with them, but there is no urgency so one of two things happens:

1) They don’t take any action, which leaves you both frustrated (and you feeling totally disempowered because you really want to help!)

2) They blame you or the program for not working, which again leaves you both feeling frustrated (and could have you questioning your value!)

Bottom line is – if there is no urgency have the courage to say no to that client, even if they are willing to spend the money.

If you want something but can never seem to make it happen – explore your urgency. Be honest with yourself – are there any consequences if you don’t create what you want? Do you have an exit door or safety net of some kind that makes it OK if it doesn’t happen?

If something is important enough you may need to create your own urgency:

  • Fire a client who no longer serves you, so you can create space for the client who will.
  • Make an investment that goes beyond your comfort level – spending money you can’t afford to lose. <– I did this just last week!
  • Presell something so that you have no choice but to create it, because people have paid and are waiting for it! <– One of my favorite strategies

Yes, urgency is uncomfortable and that is where the magic happens… for us and our clients.

I’m curious how you’ve seen this play out for your clients? And yourself? Comment below and let me know…

The 3 Key Elements of a Strong, Trusted Team (without all 3 it falls apart!)

By | Leadership, Team & Outsourcing | No Comments

I’ve had a handful of conversations lately with business owners who are struggling – they have a team of people working with them and it’s going “OK”, but they aren’t sure if it’s actually working or not? They are starting to question if they have the right people in place?

I recorded a NEW video for you today re: the 3 Key Elements of a Strong, Trusted Team. If you are missing any one of these elements you (and your team!) will struggle.

The 3 Types of Faith Required for Business Success

By | Leadership, Success Mindset | 4 Comments

Success is part action & part faith.

We talk about the first part alot – about what we need to do, when to do it and how. But action doesn’t come with a guarantee of success. We can do all the ‘right’ things and still not create the success we are looking for.

This is where faith kicks in – where we believe in the unseen. Where we trust in a future that we desire but that hasn’t happened yet. Where we KNOW that everything is happening for a reason, even when we don’t like what we are seeing.

In today’s new video I share 3 areas in business where faith becomes an important ally in your success journey.

 

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