“But they meant well,” isn’t a credential

I was speaking to a colleague recently with an all too common conundrum. Once you share the news you’re looking to start your own business, suddenly everyone has advice for you. Whether they’re qualified to advise you or not.

For the record, having an opinion is not the same as having expertise. 

It may be hard to decide who to listen too.  You don’t want to upset those you care about nor do you want to waste your time and resources following poor advice. What do you do?

Tell them how much you appreciate their support and move along. Yes, it can be that simple.

That’s all for now. 

What do guns, gymnastics and business have in common?

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses'”
-Henry Ford


In watching the news headlines this morning two stories stood out. Olympic Champion Aly Raisman filed a lawsuit against the USOC to keep the pressure for accountability and change on track. 

The second story is the ongoing and sweeping pressure for common sense gun laws to be enacted immediately. 

Regardless of how you feel about either of these issues, They both represent the challenge to the status quo. The status quo of abuse that went unchecked against young female gymnasts for years or the wanton violence that was allowed to grow to epidemic proportions in the name of preserving individual liberty.

One of the primary responsibilities of the entrepreneur is to innovate by challenging the status quo. You saw this in the auto industry and especially in the computer industries.

Changes in the business space can and have dramatically changed the way we live our lives. Social changes, changes in mindset like those mentioned earlier change the way we see ourselves, the way we value each other, and what becomes important to us as human beings.

I think of being an entrepreneur as much bigger than providing a service or turning a profit. I see it as an opportunity to impact lives, not in terms of transactions, but in terms of creating a legacy, that outlasts the business itself.

It’s that level of purpose that gets me out of bed every morning, keeps me moving no matter how tough things get. Because it’s not about me, it’s about the change that must be made to challenge the status quo and remind the people I serve that life can and will continue to get better.

That’s all for now.

How to keep moving when you just want to stop

This is a useful follow up to our conversation yesterday about resilience (read it here if you missed it).

Have you ever had a life experience blindside you in such a way you felt incapable of or simply not wanting to engage life?

I experienced it when I was diagnosed with cancer at 18 yrs old. I experienced it again when my ex-wife walked out on me and my three young sons. 

Over the past few days, I’ve guided a family I work with in managing the sudden death of a family pet. If you are very emotionally attached to an animal you understand how painful a loss this can be.

The oldest daughter (age 15) was taking this loss particularly hard and wanted to opt out of school for the rest of the week.

She’d convinced herself she couldn’t handle school and needed to stay home in her room. 

My responsibility as her coach is to help her tap into her inner reservoir of strength to increase her ability to cope. 

Not to deny her grief, but to engage life while grieving. There will be times in life when you’re kicked hard but must keep moving.

Of course, there are exceptions, those aren’t the subject here though.   

The first thing was to help her realize she had such a reservoir. It can be difficult to remember you’ve bounced forward in the past when you feel knocked down now. 

We discussed how she made it through which reminded her she had a path from grief to happiness. 

By the end of our conversation, she had a plan for getting support at school if she felt overwhelmed by emotion. 

She moved from “I can’t go to school because I’ll fall apart, I just want to stay in my room,” to “I’ll go to school and this is what I’ll do and who to reach out to if I need to.” 

We accomplished this in 30 minutes through texting. Pretty cool huh? 

But the loss of a cat is different than the death of a spouse, right? Of course, it is. But the greatest inner reserves are built brick by brick. 

They start with giving up your pacifier as a toddler, losses of friendships, the loss of a pet and on and on.

You build your capacity by having the experience and doing the work to move through it. NOT by stuffing it down so you don’t have to feel it. NOT by shutting yourself away from the very support you need to remember you aren’t alone. 

This is as an important a lesson for business as it is for life. 

You won’t last as an entrepreneur if you aren’t equipped to ride setbacks like a surfer on a board. A board you often get knocked off but must find a way to get back on because the waves won’t stop for you. 

It’s great if you can avoid the tough times. It’s wise to have a plan for moving through and moving forward when they happen. 

That’s all for now.

How to be more mentally resilient

I’ve seen the term “mental toughness” being tossed around and written about for years but hadn’t looked into it at length. A cursory overview showed that the word “tough” was being used instead of or synonymously with the word “resilient.” THAT’S a word that resonates with me. Let’s go with that.

Darwin is often misquoted as believing that “only the strong survive” or in “survival of the fittest.” These statements have been perverted into a belief in the supremacy of physical toughness or strength. Where are those dinosaurs again?  

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin 

Responsiveness to change results from resourcefulness, flexibility and adaptability on your part. It requires the desire to question, learn and grow. 

How are you doing with this?

This is a subject explored over and over on deeper levels in my client coaching groups, but for you and I, here, I’ll keep it short and sweet.  

Regardless of what life throws at you, your ability to outlast and attain even greater resilience, in the end, requires a minimum of these three ingredients.

1. You got through it (whether you got past it is another story). 

Recognize that you have experienced challenges before. During which you may have declared, “I don’t know how I’m going to get through this. But somehow you did. Give yourself credit for those successes. 

2. You found happiness again.

You found your way back to a smile again. You allowed yourself to enjoy
life. The lotus must climb through and above the mud to reach the sun.

3. You did it with the support of other people. 

You must realize and accept that the cultural belief in “doing it by yourself” 
can be very harmful in this instance. It robs you of resources.  

We learn best through experience tempered by the wisdom of those who have
gone before us an succeeded. There’s no reward for reinventing the wheel
when you could lean on others and cut your suffering time substantially.  

I recorded a video on these three ingredients if you want to watch it here.  

That’s all for now.

What am I supposed to be learning right now?

When you’re going through a rough patch, What’s the first thing you tell yourself about what it means?

The past week has been rough for me healthwise. I fear my MS Is progressing more rapidly than I would like. This is despite my efforts to exercise daily and radically improve my diet.
 
I’m a little frightened and feeling discouraged. I realize, however, that staying in this place doesn’t produce the kind of thinking I want to live in. 

While listening to a conversation this morning between colleagues. I heard this question posed, “It’s important to ask yourself during difficult times, ‘What am I supposed to be learning right now?'”

It’s an important reminder that regardless of how difficult your experience is. You can see those difficulties as perpetual punishment or perpetual preparation. Preparation for what, you might ask?

 
Preparation to be an even greater service to those watching you live your life. You don’t live in a vacuum my friend, you live in a family and a community. Regardless of how easy it is to get sucked into your own stuff. 

Try to remember it’s not only about you. It’s also about those who live their lives as part of yours.
 
Choose a path that’s good for all considered. It’s the simple everyday choices to live the best life you can, regardless of the circumstances. That makes all the difference.

Thoughts on this?

Don’t be realistic about things, here’s why

What many claim as being “realistic” is usually a belief in limitations that don’t exist and disbelief in opportunities that do.

Why does this happen? It’s caused by what you allow yourself to envision.

By envisioning limitations you give yourself permission to play it safe and take fewer risks. 

When you don’t believe certain opportunities are available to you, you’re declaring yourself unworthy of them. A “People like me don’t get breaks like that” way of thinking. 

What’s the solution?

Set aside time each day to allow your imagination to run wild. Allow yourself to dream big. When you get used to feeling the exhilaration of what’s possible you’ll begin to ask yourself “HOW” to create it.

Give it a go.

Why people should do business with YOU!

I shared a story with one of my mastermind groups, about a woman that so set herself apart when interacting with customers is resulted in a boost in sales that caught the attention of the CEO.

Watch to learn what she did and how you can model it to improve your own results.

Don’t be fooled by what you think you know

“You can’t solve a problem with the same thinking that got you into it.” 
​- Albert Einstein

 

In business as in life, you MUST learn from those who have gone before you and those who are already experiencing the results you want.

There continues to be a myth perpetuated in this world that there’s such a thing as “self-made.” There’s no such thing. 

You are raised in a context of family, community, country and culture. Like a fish in water you’re largely unaware of just how much you’re influenced by the people and events around you. 

Just this past Halloween a muslim couple was walking around taking pictures of the children in costume. When they arrived at our door my wife remarked about how cute the costumes were. 

The Muslim woman replied, “This is amazing to watch, we’ve never seen Halloween before.” 

Think back to an epiphany you had that changed your way of thinking. What was its source? Was it upon hearing a quote, reading a passage from a book? Perhaps it came some time later after your subconscious had time to process it. ​​​​​​ ​​​​
 
You don’t already have what you need between your ears to get where you want to be, if you did you’d be there already. It’s an entrepreneurial must to keep learning. ​​

The point is clear, trying to go it alone is inviting unneeded frustration and doubles the time it’ll take you to get from here to where you want to be. ​​

Have some humility and ask for guidance instead of believing there’s something righteous about success in isolation.

It takes courage to be responsible

One of the most courageous acts is to take 100% responsibility for your life. It’s the difference between being part of the problem or the solution.

Today’s video explores the power in the opportunities you have daily to be the change you wish to see in the world. 

Don’t let a temporary feeling define your day

Ever say to yourself, “I feel tired today” or “I’m having a hard time focusing today.” In this video, I explain why those statements cause you more difficulty than you realize. 

More importantly, I share a single shift in your thinking that can open the door to an entirely different experience.