“Business Owner”, is such a proud and noble title. A cornerstone, symbolizing your vision and commitment to independence and financial success.
Tomorrow is Labor Day and usually a good time to sit back and think about your business, career and/or job. I would be willing bet that you had the best of intentions for yourself, your family, and your community when you started your business. You harbored personal dreams of achieving greater freedom, fortune, and fulfillment. You made promises to your family and friends of your eventual success, ultimately resulting in a better quality of life, more financial freedom, and perhaps most importantly more free time.
Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, your life has become part of your business rather than your business becoming part of your life. Your time with your family, friends, and other activities that are supposed to be the embodiment of your life have diminished. The fortune that your business was supposed to produce may not have come to fruition, or it has begun to seem that the financial success you have attained may not be worth the drain on your life.
Did I write this piece to try and scare you with all the ugly statistics I know, telling you the percentage of businesses that don’t make it to their five or ten year anniversaries? Would I do that? Those of you that know me understand my passion for helping people and know my style of coaching. None of us really got into business for ourselves per se; we got into business for what it could give back to us. Instead of scaring you with the statistics, I want to begin to share with you a couple of key ingredients for not becoming one. Are you up for that? I hope so, because these tips could not only save your business, but also rekindle those dreams you have for your ideal life. The steps I am going to walk you through are going to adjust the focus of your business, back to what is most important to you and to what business practices offer the best quality for the trade of time, money, and energy you put into them.
Always remember that the intended purpose of your business is essentially to give you more life. That being said, the key component of creating and sustaining a successful business is leadership, provided by a strategic business owner/manager that knows how to work “on” their business and not strictly “in” their business. Another is a good dose of luck, but we will concentrate on the part that you can control! Business isn’t Vegas!
Let’s start this life lesson by clearly defining how a Strategic Business Owner/Manager functions:
If you already know and understand all the above and put it into practice on a regular basis, I want to congratulate you. You are in the minority.
On the other hand, if you read the above and realize you are not currently practicing Strategic Business Management skills, I’ve got some good and bad news. Let’s go ahead and start with the bad news. You may have wasted time, money, and other resources building your business. You may currently feel deep down like you’ve failed. You could potentially be on your way out of business. But here is the hook, just listen to the good news! Chances are you’re not alone-as I stated previously, only a small minority of us are Strategic Business Owners/Managers! The best news of all may be that, if you are ready for a change, you can in fact get the help you need. Are you ready for assistance?
I believe that B.C. Forbes may have stated it best when he said, “Don’t forget until too late that the business of life is not about business, but about living.”
Need help? Give me a call!
Dave Ferguson is an internationally recognized executive coach, mentor, speaker, trainer, and author in the areas of leadership and personal development. Dave helps business owners, executives, top management leaders, and political leaders transform how they communicate, connect, and grow as leaders. He equips individuals, thought leaders, and organizations with high performance solutions to ensure continuous improvement in personal growth and business results. Reach Dave at 704-907-0171 or Dave@LivingToLead.com
There is no doubt, that these are trying times for many leaders. With uncertainties all around us as business owners, executives, and managers; how we remain cool and successful amid the madness going on, is critical (not only to our business but our health, as well). If you are struggling with remaining calm under pressure, cool off with some of these practices:
Try some of these out and let me know how they work. Have a great week and I’d love to hear about how you’re keeping your cool!
Live to Lead!
Over the past few months, we’ve talked about how we are going to tackle our goals and dreams drastically differently in 2014. We’ve also talked about a process I call RPM to help you identify and build a plan to hit your goals. Now, let’s talk about why some people fail to achieve their goals (so it doesn’t happen to you).
I have found these 7 common reasons people fail to achieve their goals:
1. The goals are too many and too big. Yes, it is possible to set too lofty and too many goals for yourself! Some goals can take months and even years to achieve. If you have too many of these, you will probably stretch yourself too thin. Ideally, you should only have a few big lofty goals at one time. You need to ensure you have the time and energy to work on them, so don’t overdo it. A good suggestion is a few killer goals and a half-dozen small goals.
2. They fail to write the goals down. I am amazed at the number of people I ask to show me their goals and they can’t produce anything. Usually, they tell me the goals are in their head and that they don’t need to write them down. I usually answer with some statistics that show it’s much more effective to write your goals down. Folks, use the RPM process we discussed last week…write them down…on paper, in your journal, on a white board, or on your bathroom mirror…just get them down somewhere other than in your head. I carry mine with me all the time!
3. They don’t personalize their goals. Why do you want to accomplish the goal? How will you feel when you achieve the goal? What will it mean for you to achieve your goal? If you don’t have clear answers to these questions, chances are you don’t want to achieve the goal badly enough. You won’t be able to sustain the drive to achieve the goal. You need to be clear about the significance of your goals…crystal clear!
4. They don’t look at their goals often enough. We humans can be forgetful, can’t we? If you don’t physically write down and keep your goals in a place where you can see them every day, chances are you’ll forget about them. “Out of sight, out of mind.” I give my clients a neat little planner they can carry in their pocket or purse. They can carry it with them wherever they go…okay, not in the pool or lake, but it certainly can sit in the beach bag.
5. They don’t review and adjust the goals. Things change, people get off track, and sometimes people set goals way above their abilities. If you are checking in on your goals often enough, you can adjust and change them where necessary. It also gives you a chance to review your effort and plan. Are you really attacking the goals like you planned?
6. They keep the goals to themselves. These are the chickens. They are scared to share their goals with anyone as they fear failure and humiliation. How many times did Thomas Edison fail before he got the light bulb working? Once you have written down your goals, I highly recommend you publicize them. Yes, announce them to everyone you know; family, friends, enemies, co-workers, etc. Post them on your website and on Facebook. It may make you feel a bit uncomfortable but you know what I say about that. “To change, you have to get uncomfortable”. Put yourself out there this year…put it all on the line! You will get to read mine next week.
7. They don’t have a support network. While they are your goals, you don’t have to be out there on an island. This is where a good coach can really assist you. Accountability and follow-up is imperative in the goal process.
Now that you know the many pitfalls, it’s up to you to put yourself in the position to achieve them. Don’t fall victim to these seven common mistakes. If you’re reading this column, chances are you aren’t common. I challenge you to hit it out of the ballpark in 2014! Call me, and I will gladly help you.
I have one more gift for you this year! Each year, late in the month of December and over much of January, many people approach me and ask for advice on fitness, diet, and overall health. As we all know, many people start of each year with some health resolutions. While I am primarily a business coach, I do quite a bit of life coaching along the way. While today’s topic may appear to be a non-business subject, don’t be fooled. Just as business people read this column to assist in their business, there is no reason why health shouldn’t be just as important. Your health is absolutely critical to not only your personal success but also to the overall success of your business, whether you are a business owner, or not.
Today, record numbers of people are losing their lives to cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stress and more. The latest statistic I could find on diabetes is a staggering one. It states that, “one in three children born today will contract diabetes, primarily due to obesity, which is caused mainly by poor diet and lack of exercise.” In addition, the “highly acidic” lifestyles many of us live, which creates massive amounts of toxins in our bodies, is thought by many to be the leading cause of cancer. Can we effectively run a business when we are living lifestyles that destine us for these diseases?
Regardless of the physical or emotional shape we are in, we can always improve it. With good physical health comes energy, which is vital to our success. All the experts tell us that if we truly want to make a change in our life we should find a mentor to help us. In essence, we should find someone who has already made the changes we want to make and model them. Today, if you’ll let me, I’d like to be your mentor for physical health. Without going into too much detail (I save that for my one-on-one clients) I want you to know that this past year I let “things” get in the way, and I lost control of my diet and didn’t take good care of myself physically. I’m taking steps I will discuss with you today to get back on a healthy track. You will not believe the amount of energy and creativity you’ll gain by practicing these habits. I’m excited!
1. Reduce the amount of these you put in your body:
2. Drastically reduce or eliminate your dependence and consumption of these acid additions:
3. Eat a diet that consists of water rich foods:
4. Make Aerobic training a priority:
5. Include supplements in your daily plan: I will gladly discuss the many options with anyone who contacts me.
6. Exercise daily.That’s right every day. All you need is 25 minutes per day. A mix of strength and cardio exercises is recommended.
While making these changes in your lifestyle are difficult, I can tell you from personal experience, that you will indulge in life much more when you have the energy, vibrancy, and clearness that these healthy habits afford you. You will think, act, and feel at a different level, and your business will follow. Join me! If you need any assistance or if I can answer any questions for you, please do not hesitate to email or call me.
I will close with a quote from the great Zig Ziglar: “Discipline yourself to do the things you need to do when you need to do them, and the day will come when you will be able to do the things you want to do when you want to do them!”
Happy Holidays, and Awesome Health!
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