SO HERE IT IS – DECEMBER AGAIN

Another Festive Season (for some not all) is upon us which means the End of Another Year. How does that make you feel? Are you happy with the progress you’ve made over the past 12 months? Or are you rather frustrated and disappointed with yourself?

REACHING THE FINISH LINE

When we kick off the race at the beginning of a year, we usually are full of beans and very excited. Our motivation is on high alert and many times we hardly lack any confidence. After all, it is the beginning of something new.

Then time flies by quickly and before we know it, we are staring the finishing line in the face. All of a sudden it is time to Take Stock and Evaluate the 12 months gone by. This situation can cause as much stress as delivering all the food, at the right temperature, to the table for Christmas Lunch.

Like it is in the world of cooking, I believe the proof lies in the eating. Therefore, may I invite you to my 2017-Lunch?

MY 2017 ACHIEVEMENTS

As you may know, I am a great believer in Setting Goals at the start of a new year. Seeing them in black on white is much better than visualising them in one’s mind. Of course, this year has been no exception. Here is a breakdown of my Goals (set within 3 sections) achieved:

  • Entrepreneurship Development
  1. Mentoring Startup Business owners locally proved successful and very satisfying.
  2. Education continued via Online Courses and reading 5+ Inspirational Books.
  3. Landed a Work Opportunity abroad.
  4. Completed my detailed Research successfully for another Business Venture.
  5. Accumulated suppliers via local Business Exhibitions. 

  • Business Development
  1. Social Media sites received a mini Re-brand.
  2. New Updated Logo was implemented.
  3. Branding completed for the new Business Venture.
  4. Social Media activities and engagement increased as set out.
  5. Strategies for Online Reputation was adhered and stuck to.
  • Personal Development
  1. Creativity increased via Design and Photography.
  2. Health and Fitness increased dramatically.
  3. Managing my Thought Process was tough, but I kept it positive 90% of the time.
  4. Building New Relationships took a massive Positive turn.
  5. Even though not all locations on my Travel List were visited, a brand new summer location, El Masnou, was discovered; a repeat weeklong visit to my favourite Balearic Island, Menorca, took place and, of course, Barcelona (a top favourite city) was visited again for a week.
  6. Learning a new foreign language and adding a tattoo to my collection were unfortunately not achieved.

MY 2017 SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT

As mentioned, I set out to connect and engaged more with people via Social Media platforms. This has turned out to have an incredible Impact on both my Business and Personal Development.

Reaching out to other likeminded individuals has not only provided me with stimulating Mentoring Advice, but also cause my Confidence to rise quite a few levels. Conversing with people like Ryan Foland, Clinton Senkow, Cherie Aimée, Dennis Brown, Zach McArthur, Harry Petsanis, John Lim, Winnie Sun, Susie Ippolito, Jeremy Slate to mention a few, is proof that Social Media is a great platform if used appropriately. All it takes is to be social – after all, these sites are exactly what it says on the tin.

MY 2017 GRATITUDE

It is with great Happiness and Thanks that I end this year. I am fortunate to have received many audience responses on my sites and blogposts. At the end of the day the proof really lies within the eating. Many Thanks to all of you for your likes and comments. You have made my year!

MY 2018 OUTLOOK

Ending the year on such a high, has already given me energy to start thinking about next year. My thinking cap is on and quite a few Goals are already being set out to tackle another 12 months.

Nothing beats having a structure in life, work and beyond. Once you have set out what you want to achieve, all that is left is to Focus on your Future.

Here’s to another year, another set of Goals and another bunch of Achievements. And to be honest, I cannot wait to tackle 2018 by the horns and Get Going.

Here’s wishing those that celebrate the end of the year with a Festive Season, a Very Merry Christmas

THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR LIFE

Here’s a question of you: how happy are you? Not only at this exact moment in time, but overall and in general. Now, there are as many people that can answer in a positive manner than what there are who are totally taken aback by the question.  

If you have to think about the answer, then that says a lot. It doesn’t necessarily mean your life is bad, but hesitating most likely suggests there are certain parts that may not be as you would prefer it to be.

ONE’S HAPPINESS LEVEL

Maybe you think why fix it if it’s not broken and to a degree I agree. But, if you then think about it, in all seriousness, and then be brave enough to admit that the negatives overshadow the positives, something should be done, I believe.

We all have so many tasks to do per day that when I came across an article by Dennis Brown in HUFFPOST it made me stop for a moment and make an inventory check. Dennis points out 7 ways for us to get back on the happy trail of life. 

HAPPINESS CHECKLIST

The article highlights points in life that are very easy to overlook in today’s world. Since I can resonate with all the points in the article I am happy to share with you:

Firstly, my version of the checklist…

  • Look After Number 1
  • Take A Break
  • Practise Gratitude
  • Communicate
  • Return The Favour
  • Take a Friendventory
  • Be Positive

… and secondly, my suggestions of dealing with the tasks:

You are the most important person in your life. So Take Care of Yourself by allocating a few minutes a day to learning, improving your mindset and do some exercising.

With electronic platforms being such a predominant feature in our lives, I do myself a favour and literally Ignore My Devices for a period of time each day. Give it a try, you will be amazed at how good it makes you feel.

Take note of what you have in life and Be Thankful for it all. Even if I think I don’t have that much, I remind myself that millions out there have far less than me.

Make time on a regular basis to Be In Touch with the people in your life. Even a small gesture will be much appreciated – plus I enjoy the act of selflessness within me for remembering others.

Share With Others your time, knowledge and love. Even though it can be tough, I work hard to do it unconditionally.  That way you will most likely get it back tenfold. 

Leave The Haters behind and stick to those who show compassion and love for you. Negative people obviously drains me from energy and joy in life.

Stand Firm when self-doubt rears its head.  Believe you are a great human and that you can achieve whatever you put your mind to.  Practising self-belief is a daily exercise for my mind. 

CONCLUSION

Life is much, much shorter than what we think and believe it is. Therefore, make the most of it. Don’t just count every single day, but count every single second. We have no idea what lies around the corner, so don’t let Life gives you a nasty surprise.

Set out on a daily basis to take full advantage of what you are being given. Yes, that is a tall order, but do it in any case. I guarantee you will be more than pleasantly surprised by the outcome of your actions.

Do not wait for others to grant you happiness and fulfilment. Do it for yourself. What will happen is that those around you will be affected in such a positive manner that they will look up to you for inspiration and motivation.

The bottom line is… Make. Every. Day. Counts. Fall asleep every night knowing that you did the best you possibly can today. And most of all, that You Are Happy.

Feel free to share, comment or send me a message if you can relate to this post. As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach me here, on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.

SPEAK NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE

Here’s a question for you: in society, what is considered the first sign of madness? Don’t think too much about it, just say out loud what first comes to your mind. How I wish I could’ve heard your answer. Actually, the fact that You Answered Out Loud is enough.

Scientists have studied the phenomenon of talking to yourself for ages. In the best parts of our society it is believed that this is the first sign of madness. That in itself shouts negativity. The one who utters such a phrase to someone is immediately suggesting the person spoken to has a mental issue.

Luckily it has been proven over and over again that Talking To Yourself makes You Smarter. Reading a post from Grant Cardone on cnbc.com highlights the smartness of having a conversation with yourself. As a NY Times Best Selling Author, recognized International Sales Training Expert and a motivational Speaker on finance, sales and business, Grant mentions 3 ways how Self Talk can improve You, Your Life and Your Success.

PERSONAL POV

This confirmation from such an Influencer was great news. For many a year (and still going strong) Self Talk has been a part of my life. Within moments of solitude a lot are accomplished - like next steps to a goal or even issues are put right. The thinking process resolves around exactly the 3 points highlighted in the CNBC post:

  • Your Thoughts
  • Your Words
  • Your Actions

ABOLISH NEGATIVITY

To enrich your self-esteem, be more productive and build better relationships, one needs the right approach to life – aka Attitude. You can achieve this by simply focus on Positive Thoughts. It is so easy to get drowned by negative thoughts. However, it is not only much easier but far more satisfying when you concentrate on being Positive.

To actively change your mindset to a more uplifting, positive frame, can take time for some. Perhaps it is not your norm for various reasons. In such a case it is particularly necessary to make a definite change in your thought process. Practise, practise and more practise until you see results. Because at the end of the day, You Will See Results for The Better.

UPGRADE YOUR LANGUAGE

So you are making progress because you have started to change your way of thinking. No stopping now, so let’s proceed to the next step.

For people in general it is easy to speak or talk. Words come and flow easily. In a lot of cases this is where there could be an issue. At the end of the day it depends what you say that will make a massive impact on your Self Talk.

The theme of negativity continues… Verbalising negative words will have an impact on your thoughts. So think about it, if you have just started to overcome thoughts that will not uplift you, then why break that process by speaking with a negative tongue? So, change your vocabulary and use words or phrases that are optimistic.

KEEP BUSY

To complete an exercise of Self Talk, be active. Not much is achieved by slumping and vegetating. Being non-active breeds negativity which in turn leads to low energy levels which produce an unhealthy outcome. If you have been working on the first two steps by now, Don’t Stop Here.

Being active can takes many forms - from physical exercise (in any shape and form) to actually generating tasks. Even completing small, mundane tasks can lift your spirits to another level. I am sure in your life there are things like paying bills, making calls or checking something that you feel is boring or tedious. However, once you completed such tasks you will experience a boost in your attitude. Therefore, tell Yourself to Get Up and Get Going. Better still (a typical saying to myself), lets Tick That Box.

CONCLUSION

Many years ago when I was a young child and whilst playing on my own, an adult asked me: “Why are you talking to yourself? Haven’t you got any friends to play and talk to?” At the time it didn’t make such a bad impression, however over the years thereafter it had an immense influence on me and my self-esteem. Those questions made me to believe that I was crazy. Before I know it, I had a very low estimate of myself. I believed I cannot achieve much as a crazy person. The stigma stuck and caused a lot of anger and pain when it comes to relationships and success. It took time, patience and perseverance to better myself.

Thank god I made the effort to change. I set out to change the way I think and continue to talk to myself. For many years now I am a very positive person. Even within the most awful situations, I can find the positive side. It is also much easier to be positive in life than negative. The outcome is uplifting and encouraging to move on and be better today than yesterday.

If there is one thing in the world I would recommend to anyone then it is to change your attitude towards yourself, your life and your future. It has, it will and it does bring success. No matter what others say about you, they cannot take away your stern believe in You Being You.

Feel free to share, comment or send me a message if you can relate to his read. As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach me here, on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook

 

HOW BEING A CREATURE OF HABITS MAY COST YOU

It’s so easy. Over time you adopted certain ways here and there that you feel comfortable with. It seems it is making life just that bit easier, right? Well, apologies to burst your bubble, but have I got news for you.  

When one of your goals is to become a successful Entrepreneur, please spare me a moment to explain. For starters, don’t feel offended. You are not the only human on earth that has got not such good habits. Trust me, apart from millions of others, I have them too. Or actually, I am daily working hard on chancing them.

Success.com opened my eyes when I read their article on Harmless Habits. They got 10 Successful Business Owners to point out one habit each that can stand between You and Success.

THE WHAT & WHY

So, why do we have habits? As mentioned at the beginning, together with the explanation in the dictionary, it is a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. As humans it is easy for us to fall into a rut. Especially if people constantly advice you to have a structure in work and life. You can argue that a habit is part of your structure – you’re doing something in a certain way consistently.

That sounds like it could work, but we fool ourselves. So what should we do? The bit that is not easy to see is that a habitual work ethic works only in the short term. What we should be focussing on is the long term effect - specially when it comes to entrepreneurship. Carving our path to success should be built around longevity. We should not put in all the effort, time and energy for it to be over and done with after a few months from now. Definitely not. We should be in it for the long haul.

THE CHANGE

As I said earlier, to reshape habits is a daily exercise. Adapting to new rituals doesn’t come easily and most of all is not at all easy to stick to. The main part of making changes is the determination to be better at it today than yesterday. Let’s look at those habits that need to be adhere to for the better:

This article is also available as an eBook Download (Free Of Charge) via the link after the final paragraph.

  • The Yes-Man Scenario

Gaining or Keeping a Client is essential – however, at a cost to your own business it is not going to work in the long run.

Especially at Startup I thought one should never say No. Big mistake.  Make sure to weigh up the pros and cons before making a commitment. Saying No can work in your favour. Clients hire you for a reason: they usually don’t know what they want and are therefore are indecisive on many occasions. 

  • Sticking with The Crowd

Your First Employee/Freelancer has been with you for yonks. He/She is being with you through thick and thin. They have to stay put.

Nope. No Way. Unless they have The Vision you have. If they don’t they will become like a bad smell. Clear the air and find appropriate help.

  • Lunch at The Desk

Time is of essence, of course. Your To-Do list is as long as your arm. Better knuckle down and have a bite whilst you’re typing away like crazy. Emails, messages, social networking, busy, busy, busy.

If you don’t want to do Yourself a favour, please do Your Mind a favour. Give your brain a break. Actually, Give Yourself a Break. Trust me, you’ll have much better focus after having your lunch away from the keyboard and monitor.

  • Too Busy to Workout

Definitely haven’t got a minute to spare or as the saying goes to scratch my backside (to put it politely) leave alone doing exercise. No efficient business owner has got time for that malarkey.

Wrong on both accounts. For the busy Entrepreneur exercise is more about the Mind than the Body. Luckily the body gains a lot by letting the Mind take most of the focus. I can’t stress enough how regular exercise will elevate your energy levels, mindset and wellbeing. You’ll be supercharged and ready to take on any issue.

  • Doing Everything at Once

Many in particular are like: "I can multitask. Check me out".

Yes, we will look at you being: all over the place… making mistakes everywhere… not in much control of any project or team… lacking a lot of information… missing deadlines, etcetera. Concentrate on one task at a time. Complete it in full and then move to the next. Your productivity level will go through the roof.

  • Touching Base

The need to quickly drop your favourite client a "Hi. You OK?" email. It is good practice to stay in touch, right?

Yes, but only when you have a reason. A flimsy email for no rhyme or reason is just clogging your client’s inbox even more than what it is already. At the end of the last project you both left on good speaking terms. Trying the buddy-buddy approach is not only old fashioned it is plain irritating for your client.

  • Flawless Execution

It can’t be send out in its current form. The logo is 0.5 mm to far left. 

And there by fixing the minute error you miss the deadline. Oh dear. Many times only You see that error, if we can call it that. It took me a long time to realise that a tiny mistake in my eyes, are not even visible to others. Save yourself the stress. If you really insist, fix something tiny later when no one is looking. 

  • Take Time Out

Clients, your team, the canteen worker, etc. must always come first. That’s how you operate and living your life. Your needs always are second.

Nothing spells Burn Out like this attitude. You may think it makes you an amazing person. Believe me, when you’re sitting in a corner sobbing because your world has crumbled beneath your feet, You Will Be Sitting Alone. Learn to be positively selfish. Everyone will admire you more for being like that. There is a time and a place for everyone.

  • Reply Now

Ping! Yes, another notification. You’ve Got Mail.

Dropping whatever you’re doing to start typing a reply ferociously is a waste of time and energy. You, the client, everyone is busy. No one expects an immediate reply – unless it’s a matter of life or death which most of the time it isn’t. Rank first and reply in due course.

  • The Daily Schedule

Nothing is much more impressive than a laid out To-Do List with tasks and times. Perhaps even colour coded for necessity. Only to reach the end of the day and 75% of Today’s Tasks are copied and pasted in tomorrow’s list.

One word is order of the day, Prioritize. We all have different methods to complete tasks. Figure out what works for you and stick to it. Personally, the mundane tasks have to be eliminated asap. Then the focus and energy can be spent on important issues. Others find it the other way round. Whatever Makes Your Day do it Your Way. 

THE CONCLUSION

Sometimes we’re too stubborn to make changes, leave alone realise we need changes. It took me a long time to discard the 10 commandments above and adapt to a better work regime. The focus should be on the outcome of your actions.

Don’t get me wrong. Having habits can be a very good attribute in one’s life. The secret is to learn and maintain healthy habits. Having a new found attitude to being productive in a positive manner cause such pleasure it honestly is worth it.

Make time and have a good look at how you operate within both Life and Work specially if you feel you’re not achieving as much as you would like to. Working your fingers to the bone, will in the long run, only give you bony-fingers. Not much else.

As always, please feel free to share, comment or send me a message if you have any questions and/or if you felt some affinity towards this topic.

You can reach me here, or on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.

And most of all… Thank You very much for reading.

If interested in having this article as an eBook, you can Download it Free Of Charge here.

HOW TO GET YOUR MOJO BACK

It’s one of those networking events. To my left a conversation is taking place that is obviously going well. Over there a couple of people are positively scribbling drawings furiously on pieces of paper. Behind me is a well-known Entrepreneur complimenting a Start Up company for the excellent work they are doing. And here I am. Standing alone and sticking out like a sore thumb. I can’t think of anything to say to anyone. I am totally useless. Not worth being here. To top it all, it’s only 9 minutes into the event – another hour and 51 minutes to go. 

TYPICAL SCENARIO

I guess the above situation is not unusual for many – actually, all of us (hopefully). Reading an article by Mark Schaefer about Crushing Self-Doubt it swung windows wide open for me. Moments of feeling that you’re going absolutely nowhere, stuck in a rut or even worse, the feeling of giving up, still pops up after all these years.

In today’s social society is it easy to come across many people that stand out as Influencers, Entrepreneurs and Self Made Millionaires. Start reading their blogs or listening to their podcasts it is obvious why they are who they are. They seem to have the know-how. They have the answers. Therefore, they are at the forefront of their niche. You only need to look at any of their social media feeds and the evidence is there – their careers are just perfect.

PROCEED WITH CAUTION

To make it even worse for you, these amazing people follow you back. They sometimes even like and/or comment on your posts. Even if you’re steadily building up a good bunch of followers it could mean being down and out from time to time.

First and foremost, you have to immediately stop comparing yourself to others. At first glance it will come across that these amazing people are breezing through life. They always look amazing in their live social stories. The words come out of their mouths like water of a ducks back. The truth is that they all, yes, each and every one of them had to start at some point – exactly like you. They have been where you are now. Albeit it be quite a few years ago now, but they really were in the same boat as you right now.

IT HAS A NAME

Ann Handley, a super successful author and business leader, has tackled this topic a few times. Imposter Syndrome is the feeling of being worth nothing, not a penny. Of feeling so bad at what you’re doing that perhaps you should just go home and get back into bed – for ages. She said that it doesn’t matter how good you are at whatever, there is a time and place for Self-Doubt. In Mark’s article Ann highlights how to crush that feeling. She points out that the best way to overcome such feelings is to embrace them. 

TACKLE IT HEAD ON

Now, that is what I call taking the bull by the horns and get a good grip. Yes, turn the tables on low self-esteem and negative thoughts. Use such a moment as an opportunity to work through such an issue. In other words, when it strikes don’t let it get to you. As Ann puts it:

  • It’s evidence you’re still developing as a person
  • It’s evidence you’re not full of yourself
  • It’s useful to determine your life path

The difficult part of dealing with inner emotions is usually the unknown. You have no idea what to do about it. So how can someone tell you to do something about it. Well, now it’s a different case, right? You now know two things:

  • It’s not uncommon to have low self esteem
  • It can easily be overcome

WHAT, HOW & WHEN

To progress and proceed on the path of an Entrepreneur or Successful business owner, one must take up exercise in various formats. There are mainly two areas in which you can develop a stronger You: the physical and the mental.

The first is quite obvious. Get yourself out of bed as early as possible every day and work the body. This does not necessarily mean trotting off to a gym and lift weights until you collapse. There are many ways of working out in the comfort of your own home. It also doesn’t mean you need to spend hours on end doing sit-ups or squats. As long as you can perform some exercises regularly it should do the trick. Head over to YouTube or Google and you will find plenty of examples for the level you’re at. Lesson to learn here is that you should do some physical movement regularly. It will not only do your body good, but your energy levels will shoot up drastically.

Secondly, work the mind. To prohibit Self-Doubt knocking on your door regularly get your headspace in order. Daily confirmations to oneself is the place to start and to continue with. Tell yourself: ‘I can do it. I am terrific’. Personally I live by various mantras however the one that stands out is ‘I can. And I will. Watch me.’  There are many of these sayings on offer. One secret though... when you Say It, Mean It.

Also, grab a book from someone like Brendan Burchard (The Motivation Manifesto), Norman Vincent Peale (The Power of Positive Thinking) etc. and get reading. There are also many blogs out there that will give you inspiration. Brian D Evans and Leonard Kim to mention a couple of my favourites. Reading is to the Mind what Exercise is to the Body.

CONCLUSION

Most important note is that you do something about bashing those horrible, negative feelings. As said, they will come knocking. They will pop up when you least expect it. Especially when your guard is down – they have a tendency to know that and strike fiercely then.

You are in control of Your Life. No one can do the fighting for you. It’s 100% up to you. And why would you want someone/something to take control of You. Be the Boss. Be Yourself. Live Your Life the way You Want To.

If you can resonate with the above, please feel free to leave a comment and/or share with others. We never know who might right now want some guidance. On the other hand, if it is You that want to reach out for advice, get in touch and let’s talk. 

BEING A BRAND GUARDIAN

Are you concerned about how your Brand is being executed? Of course you are. After all, your Brand is the core of your existence as a professional operator within your niche. The question actually should be: ‘Is your Brand safeguarded?’. 

WHAT IS A BRAND GUARDIAN

Even though I had a very good understanding of the role it became even more clear once I read Andrew Vesey’s post in Brand Quarterly. In todays very busy digital market (in particular) it is imperative to make sure your Brand is in line at all times with what your company stands for. This is where a Guardian steps in to make sure all aspects of your Brand are consistent wherever it is represented.

There is no need to stress how tough the competition is out there.  So you better make sure you’re protected. After all, you have insurance for your family, home and even business - why not for your Brand?

WHO NEEDS A BRAND GUARDIAN

In general, companies or SMEs and even individuals are so focussed on starting up and/or running a business that something like their Branding can easily be jeopardised. Therefore your Brand needs to be looked after properly.  Not because you don’t want to do that, but because there are usually a million and one other things that need your attention constantly. 

Take for instance your next upcoming marketing campaign… You most likely are outsourcing all creative elements. Or even if you’re relying on your internal marketing team there will be an element of mishaps or misunderstandings due to the amount of people working on your project. It’s here where you are in need of a Brand Guardian.

WHAT WILL A BRAND GUARDIAN DO

It is someone that will be able to oversee and guide all those involved in your campaign to stay within the parameters of your Brand. To make sure that there is consistency whenever aspects like your logo, your colours, your company’s mission statement, etc. is being used. The importance of stability across a campaign cannot be stressed enough. Your audience needs to able to recognise your Brand at all times.

A Brand Guardian will take care of all visual requirements. Many times external agencies you use undergo changes and even internal teams/freelancers could steer away from being in line purely because of the workload they are expected to deliver. Taking on board a Guardian eliminates this once and for all.

CONSLUSION

What makes an exceptional Brand Guardian, you may ask. Speaking from experience, first and foremost it is the value that will be brought to your table. This is comprised out of: 

  • putting oneself in the client’s shoes

  • extraordinary eye for detail

  • positive frame of mind

  • proven outstanding management skills

  • delivers successful end results

Followed closely by: a high level of effective Solutions to fulfil your expectations, being known for a People’s Person to make sure everybody is up-to-date with the latest developments, creating you a Brand Book with guidelines and instructions.  Ultimately, someone to Enhance and Secure your Brand. 

From knowledge, being at hand as a Guardian has been proven to cause much more help than hinder.  As a mentor and coach many opportunities have risen to assist, help and guide clients to have a consistent Brand. The strong believe here is that your Brand should be fully in order whenever you step out into the world

As always, please feel free to share, comment or send me a message if you have any questions and/or can relate to this post. 

You can reach me here, and on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Instagram

And most of all… Thank You for reading. 

PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD

To quote writer JK Rowling… ‘A Good First Impression can Work Wonders’. 

That says it all. Have you ever wondered why a networking event wasn’t as successful as you anticipated it will be? Perhaps a meeting didn’t work out as well as you wanted it to? These questions and many more related to the outcome can be directly associated with You presenting Yourself to Your audience. 

As a great believer in the importance of looking after numero uno (You!) in one’s life, the article http://bit.ly/Great1stImpression by Rhydian Fairfax echoes my sentiments exactly. If you do not like and love yourself, how is it possible that others will show you such empathy. The 4 techniques Rhydian highlights on how you can better yourself so your audience can experience the real, authentic you are: 

  • Elevator Pitch
  • Speak for Yourself
  • Treat Everyone like the Gatekeeper to Your Destiny
  • Body Language and Attitude

With these in mind let’s take a closer look and find a way to implement them in your life.

YOUR 30 SECONDS

Make time to sit down and write down who you are and what your business is all about. Once you are happy with the content, edit it to around 30 seconds in total. Not much shorter and most certainly not much longer. This important speech should become your verbal business card - in other words the next step after any initial business introduction. Within this short period of time any new person you meet will be able to get a good understanding of you.  Therefore it is very important to be short, sharp and to the point. No mucking about.

YOUR VOICE

Most introductions to other people in life are via someone else. Thanks heavens for that though. Just take note that it’s not up to that person to tell others about you. Take control immediately and let your own words do the talking. Others may think they know you well, but at the end of the day you are the best megaphone for yourself.  At this point your new acquaintance will be able to sense who is the boss - and it is (and should be) you. 

YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND

Don’t ever brush a new person aside for whatever reason. We never know how they and their minds work. It also isn’t fair on that person if you make assumptions and then decide to walk away without any rhyme or reason. For all you know this person could be exactly what your business needs. Give them the benefit of the doubt. What if they are at that point in time where they need someone like you to propel their business to the next level? Just imagine how disappointing it will be if a few weeks later you hear that they hired a competitor of yours (which they also met at the same event you met each other) only because you never ended up having a proper conversation with them - but your competitor did. A few minutes of conversing won’t kill you. In any case, that’s why you’re there, right?

YOUR IMAGE

You are what you wear. We hear that a lot - and it’s very true. The way you look and feel when you meet people for the first time is utterly important. Of course your environment counts so be sure to do a bit of research if you are going to attend a meeting with clients from a genre you’re not au fait with. Looking your best says a lot about yourself. Taking care of yourself will give you confidence and that in turn will make someone remembers you. Stand, walk and talk with authority. After all you are part of your business so the selling of your business includes yourself. You have put in a lot of hard work to get where you are now so Be Proud Of Yourself

CONCLUSION

I am fully aware it is not always as easy as it sounds. Still, to this day, events like networking is not a preferred favourite of mine. Meeting new people can still be daunting. Luckily I am much better at it now than years ago. My elevator pitch is engraved on my mind. I have always taken care of how I look so that (fortunately) comes natural to me. However, when I started out the points above were tough. It was actually very hard work, but I learned that in the end it pays off. 

However daunting it may sound to you right now, remember that It Is Possible to accomplish this. Many, many people have adopted these rules and are very victorious today. All of us have to start somewhere. So go on, take action and Make That First Impression Lasts

As always, get in touch to share your experiences and/or thoughts. Maybe, just maybe, together we can help someone today. On the other hand, simply just ask if help is what you need right now.  

WHAT IS THE KEY TO BE PRODUCTIVE?

Perhaps you have an idea of what being productive is about - or maybe you are right in the midst of trying to figure it out. Either way, I came across a very informative blogpost that can be of benefit to all. After reading the article by Dan Kennedy on Work Smarter Not Harder my thoughts, believes and attitude were confirmed: it comes down to one word and one word only… Discipline

I strongly recommend reading this post. In it Dan covers the following qualities that will strike a cord with likeminded Entrepreneurs: 

  • Start Early
  • Don’t Multi-task
  • Be Fearless
  • Business means Business
  • Focus on Your Business
  • Delegate
  • Streamline Your Time

A CREATURE OF HABIT

Ever since I made the decision to start doing what I am doing for a living my focus point was to be Productive - and (hopefully) successful in the end. To get to the end of a day and many boxes have been ticked makes for a great feeling of satisfaction. This causes even more drive for the next day, the next task and the next milestone. As I related to this post so much I want to give you an insight into how it works for me. 

THE EARLY BIRD CATCHES THE WORM

Hitting that snooze button and turning over was my downfall. Even though this could be a temptation at the best of times, I deliberately choose not to fall into this trap anymore. Nothing beats catching the sunrise when the day smells fresh and clean. I can’t bear missing the best part of the day.

ONE STEP AT A TIME

My daily to-do list is as long as my arm hence I tackle them one by one. For me getting the most mundane/tedious tasks out of the way is best. Then the concentration can be implemented to the tough and serious topics on the list.

KEEP THE FAITH

It happens quite often. I planned it all and then boom! the goal posts are moved. I learned a lesson ages ago not to despair and get negative. As a matter of fact when a brick wall faces me it’s best to take time out and walk away (literally) from the issue. After a few minutes I will have a new perspective on the situation. Many times I find the positive within a negative situation. Not much beats the feeling of content when I overturn the moment to my advantage and walk away as the winner.

GET ORGANISED

As incredible as it is to be your own boss there is nothing more frustrating to end up feeling you are working all the hours god send and still not accomplish much due to distractions. It is bound to happen so I plan and manage people’s expectations constantly.  As the saying goes: there is a time and place for everything which I apply to all aspects of work. Once clients (and family/friends) are aware what I do and when I find myself to be far more productive than ever before. 

ME TIME

Every working day I schedule time for myself.  I take time out to tune into webinars, read inspirational books, find images/settings to photograph, etc. or just sit down, have a coffee and contemplate my next move.  I found that if I run around all the time everyone but me gets the attention. Take Note: the most important person in your life is You. Once you have taken care of yourself it is much easier to look after others. 

WATCH OUT

At the startup stage it is inevitable that you end up doing almost everything yourself. Within my environment it was obvious that I will source the best website platform and template, be instrumental in creating the logo, seeking the colours etc. etc. Money is not always in abundance so I got my hands dirty and got on with it - and still do from time to time!

However, I take great caution not to get use to such a regime. Burnout is not an option for me. I don’t want to end up with my face flat on the ground. Wherever I can I seek help with smaller tasks at hand. Then I can concentrate on the bigger picture that will improve the state of my venture.

BE CLEVER

This brings me right back to the title of Dan’s post: Work Smarter not Harder. I constantly take a good look at what needs to be done to create a successful brand. I then zoom into that and tunnel my energy towards it. Only when all the ground work was done and I started to look months ahead, instead of days, I got the taste of what Entrepreneurship is all about.

THE CONCLUSION

I am happy to be content with discipline in my work and life. I know it pays off each and every time. It is a thrill to focus on, be positive about what lies ahead and what needs to be done to get there. It is all too exciting to mess it up.

I am convinced you can experience such excitement too. Best solution is to give it a go, work at it and end up feeling happy. My daily motto is I can. And I will. Watch Me - why not give it a go yourself!

Please share your work ethnics and/or struggles. If any questions are hanging around then let me know. As always, who knows, maybe I have a suggestion that can be of help.

KICK START THE 2017 KICK-OFF

Only 2 weeks into the new year and the festive period feels like many moons ago. If that is not an indication of how quickly time moves then I don’t know what is. So how is this new year shaping up for you? 

THE SET UP

You’ve turned the page. You’re facing a clean, blank space. Now what? Or are you one of the lucky ones that knows exactly what should happen now?

Not everybody is inclined to set goals for the next months ahead. Many people throw a few ideas around in their head and think job done - I am sorted. Personally, that approached is not for me. Tried and tested that to major failure.  To be honest, to write down the goals you’re aiming for is not only a great act of discipline, but also the best way to measure your results. It is a fact that you will accomplish more if you follow this simple, yet effective method. 

A straight-forward Excel sheet / table in Word (Numbers and Pages for us Apple users) will do the trick: 4 columns with headings such as Goal. Action, Time Scale and Result. Add 2 - 3 Row Headings e.g. Business Development and Personal Development. In general that is all it takes. Now your blank sheet has got meaning and gives you a great indication of how to proceed. Done and dusted. Those of us whom are fairly Branded orientated will obviously spend a bit more time on creating this important document (the look&feel has to be on par, right?).

THE ACTIVITY

Hopefully the most exciting part for you starts here with Column 1. It’s all action and go from here. 

Take some time and figure out what you want to accomplish by the end of your 12 month period. Be realistic, yet not outrages. There is no need to write down a list of goals as long as your arm. Besides that, writing down aims that is clearly not achievable are not going to work either. To set yourself over the top benchmarks will leave you eventually disappointed or even let you give up before you started. 

If goal setting is new to you aim for about 3 to 5 goals maximum. Be authentic and most of all, make them specific. After all, this is about you, your business and your future. Once you see them black on white, take time to ponder over them until you are happy with what you’re aiming for. 

THE SEQUENCE

Onto the next column. This section is of utter importance and should be tackled with a clear mind. Now you have to figure out what the time scale is for each goal. How long should it take you to reach this milestone? Again, no point in setting ridiculous end times. If you feel you can master a particular goal within a short amount of time, then good. On the other hand, give yourself ample time rather than set yourself up for disappointment by not fulfilling your goal since you overestimated yourself. 

To reach a goal within a shorter period of time than originally aimed for is very exciting. That feeling of getting there before you’re suppose to is exhilarating beyond believe. It will also give you a great indication that although being cautious you can push the boat out a bit further next time. Rather be safe than sorry the saying goes and it’s true. Don’t get desponded because you have underestimated yourself.  Remember you aimed for something you had no idea if it will work or not. But guess what? It did work and very well indeed. Kudos to yourself in such a situation.

THE OUTCOME

Column 4 and now we’re talking bolts and nuts. This section will be visited by the end period of your goal exercise. By the time you reach this part of your year months would’ve passed. Many hours of labour, sweat and who knows, even tears will have been shed. Now is the time for your results.

Allocate enough time in your diary to complete this section. You now have to look back over the months and face facts. More so, you now have to be very honest and brutal with yourself. The time has come to assess you’re goals and the milestones you set out for yourself. 

Take each goal one by one. Cast your mind back and write down exactly what happened about this particular aim you had. If you have accomplished it, then great. Pat yourself on the back and reveal exactly how, when and what you did to make this goal a reality. I can guarantee you there will be a massive smile on your face in such a case. Better still if you can complete this section for each goal with positive remarks and outcomes. Amazing. Just brilliantly amazing. Well done! You did what you envisaged for yourself. You proved you had vision, dreams and passion. You had the right idea all those months ago. You Did It.

THE CONCLUSION

The hope within me is that you will realise it was a great exercise. To not only visualise your future, but to put it down in words were one of the best parts of your year - perhaps even your business too. 

However, what about not reaching goal/s entirely, I hear you ask? Don’t stress. It is not the end of the world, so to speak. More importantly is the fact that you had the vision months ago and you tried. We all have failures in life and business. Learn from them. Look back and figure out where you went wrong whilst trying to accomplish this specific goal. Maybe even add it to your list for the next year. Try again, and who knows, you could quite possibly crush it perhaps even well before the end date. 

One other system that I find works well is to revisit your goals about 3 times (every quarter) per 12 month period. Set a reminder in your diary and spend about an hour or so checking exactly what you proposed for yourself at the beginning of your goal setting exercise. You may find that you can even complete column 4 since the goal/s are done. A revisit will also keep your mind focussed on what needs to be done by when. It will also help with your final appraisal at the end of your 12 months since quite a few facts/figures will already be entered and therefore make the whole process that much easier and smoother.

Reach out and shout if there is anything that you’re not sure about or need help with.  And remember… You Can Do It. The only criteria is that You Take Action.

All the best with setting your milestones for this year. More so, good luck with putting your shoulder to the wheel to make them all come true.

GOODBYE 2016

Can you believe it? 12 months are almost done and dusted. How time flies. There is the saying… time flies when you’re having fun. Can you describe the past year as fun? 

THE ACHIEVEMENT

We are all aware fun comes in all shapes and sizes. Yes, maybe it has been an excellent year within your business so the fun could well be your business’ Christmas party. On the other hand, maybe you’re sitting right now wishing it could’ve been so much better - not being able to convince yourself there were much fun this year. Whichever way we look at it the mere fact that you and your business have lived through the last 12 months should be seen as a great achievement. The level of your survival is of course important, but whatever that level ended up to be should in some way be celebrated. 

THE ASSESSMENT

The important fact is that steps were taken. It is always very beneficial if the steps were moving you forward and ahead of where you were last year this time, but if you moved backwards, one should address the situation in the same positive manner. Getting to this point in a year it is good to asses both sides of your story. There are reasons for you being where you are right now. Look at where you’re standing today and question yourself on how you got here. Through detangling the hows and whys you are able to learn and gain information. Only then the situation will make sense - a lot of sense.

THE OUTCOME

Personally, this year could really have been much better financially. On the other hand, it was a great year filled with education and experience. Even though the money didn’t roll in there is a distinct feeling that one is much richer this time round than last year. Even though on paper it doesn’t look that great, honestly, there is a feeling of being far better off now then last year which is causing a tremendous emotion of achievement. The information gathered over the past few months alone can only be good for the mind, body and soul.  The time has come to draw the curtain on this year and get ready for a brand, new chapter in life and work. 

So there will be celebrations and the joining in of the festivities. The immediate surroundings have been decorated with true Christmas spirit and a feast is being planned for Christmas day. Even a few gifts have been obtained which is about to be wrapped and will be handed over with a smile.  

Goals that were set up 11 months and 17 days ago has been revisited and one can confirm that 99% have been reached. That 99% refers to the very important ones. The odd goal not completely achieved is not the end of the world. Plans are already in place for next year. So all that is left to say is…

THE CONCLUSION 

Thanks for the support received this year. Thank You for reading. Thank You for commenting and ‘liking’ on social sites. Thank You for the reassurance that the chosen path is the right choice made. One feels Blessed and Fortunate. And very Happy and Excited.

YOU CAN DO IT. WHOEVER YOU ARE.

Does that feeling of I won’t be able to be my own boss. It’s not for me ever crosses your mind? Do you think you’re not bold enough? Think again and read this blogspot - it truly is an eyeopener. I promise you.

THE THOUGHT

On face value it is more than often believed that one needs that special personality to start a company or business. We look around us and see many people that made an executive decision in their lives and branched out on their own. One easily admire them from afar with a touch of jealousy and envy thinking: if only I could. And then the doubt and insecurity steps in and poof! the dream is over (even before it really began). 

THE DREAM

Yes, it is true that many owners of businesses are bold, brass and brave. They tackle clients and work ethnics without hesitation. They grab opportunities with both hands and nail yet another successful deal in a flash. However, there is a surprise install for many that look up to entrepreneurs and self made millionaires dreaming that they wish they were one of those… Reading that blogpost by Kim Wills was a revelation. In astonishment one sat there going really? seriously? I don’t believe this!

Starting out on your own is daunting. Of course self doubt will rises it’s head many times. So if you’re not the world’s most outspoken and brassy person it is even easier to give up long, long before you really start out. The good news is that it does not matter if you’re an introvert. From the post you’ll see that a huge amount of successful people (in business and entertainment sectors) are just that: introverts. We may not know the exact ins and outs of being one, but in general we are au fait with that kind of personality. So there you sit knowingly that you fall into that category - hence the I can’t or I won’t be able to crosses your mind. To be totally brutal here with you: stop right there. Because you are wrong. You. Really. Are. Wrong! 

THE GET GOING

From a personal point of view I can tell you that deciding to take the redundancy money and run (out of the building… out of the corporate environment) was first easy, then worrying and finally exciting. Still being very much at a start up level, reading confirmations like this from Kim cement believes within oneself. This post will be a mantra to return to whenever the feeling of failure comes to the surface in the future. The link has been saved to my home screen for easy access. Certain sections are highlighted for quick reference. At the end of the day one is not going to live life without it anymore. Ok, so it sounds quite dramatic, granted. And whilst in this mode, let’s share with you that the contents of the post will not only be applied within a work environment - oh no. It will be taken to a total different level: life in general. 

From this read we can see that whatever type of personality you have, you can do it. You can be who you want to be. You can do what you want to do. From now on when you read about influential people who are successful and branching out more and more everyday, count yourself amongst them. Tackle the proverbial bull by the horns and get going. Stop being held a prisoner by negativity. At the end of the day it’s all only in your mind. So what if you perhaps need to do some extra work or input. The guarantee is there that even those that find business ideas come easily, will have something somewhere within them that will throw a spanner in the wheels. All of us can benefit from Kim’s advice. 

CONCLUSION

So let’s take his words onboard. Start building the who you want to be. Today is as a good day as any other day. Upwards and Forwards. With so many news bulletins about people being taken away from life it’s obvious time is of essence. We need to Take Action. It’s not a situation of now or never. There is only ONE situation: NOW.

Please share, comment and get in touch if there is anything you can contribute. Perhaps there are even issues we can work out together. 

DOn’t quIT

LET’S DO IT LIVE

Ever felt like extending your brand? There are many ways to enhance your professional identity. One way in particular is to lend a hand at Live Events. There is something very exciting about events. Most probably because when it all kicks off it is Live. From then until the end anything can happen. Of course fingers are crossed all along for everything to go as planned without any gremlins jumping in and course havoc.

Very recently the opportunity came about to assist with a Charity Ball in London. Without a nano second of hesitation it was agreed to add the brand development touch to this event.

THE VENUE

The location was in one of London’s superb landmarks: The Savoy Hotel on the North Bank of the Thames River. With areas like Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square a stone throw away it basically is in the heart of London.

This venue is nothing new since a fair amount of events have been arranged and/or attended there in the past. However, it is always great to step into the splendour of this establishment. From the exterior through the revolving doors into the plush interior one feels almost elevated. There is the feeling of being transferred into another world even if it means the world you step into is that of the rich and famous. Walls are plastered with stunning black and white photographs of legends like film stars and politicians. These date back decades. Just an indication that this iconic venue has seen it all. And will most certainly see more in the times to come.

THE SET UP

The hotel’s Ball Room was the chosen area for the night. It all started early in the morning with equipment arriving and crews starting to set up. There was going to be a live show with famous talent at the end of the evening. Quite a bunch of very friendly, professional and organised people started to set up the stage, plug this that and the other cables into big, electronic machinery. Microphones were being set up, tested and adjusted. Instruments were placed in precise spots on the stage and before you know it the stage was set. The only missing ingredients were musicians, backing vocals and of course the star of the show.

Setting up the entertainment side of the event is obviously only one part of the day’s procedures. While that was happening a total of 32 round tables were being prepared. Each will hold 10 guests which needed every possible piece of cutlery, crockery and glasses. Sparkling white, starched table cloths and napkins were placed perfectly and was accompanied by buffed silverware, glassware and shiny porcelain. There is always the need for a centre piece - and for this event there was no exception.  Flower arrangements were going to be the pièce de résistance on the night. Nothing outrageous and too big, but elegant enough to make an impact and still let guests see each other across the table and talk the night away. Obviously the colour scheme of the charity's brand was extended into the chosen flora. 

Behind the scenes, or more appropriately called The Kitchen, chefs and staff were busy with preparations for a delightful meal. There was a lot of chopping, stirring and trays going in and coming out of ovens. The activities were in full swing to feed a few hundred people. The menu was tasted and agreed on before hand so all that was left to do is prepare and eventually serve up. 

THE EVENT

Before you knew it, the doors opened to welcome elegant guests. Men in Black Tie and women sporting Ball Gowns were order of the night. Soon the room was filled with people, laughter and a great atmosphere. The serious side of the night, an auction, was taking place in between the servings of delicious food. The main point of the event was to raise money for the charity. Left, right and centre people dug deep into their wallets and a phenomenal amount of money was raised. Once the singer/songwriter performed his last song while all the guests were standing and dancing, it was revealed that the immediate amount raised extended well into 6 figures. All in all a major successful evening. 

AND THEN... GOOD NIGHT

Not bad for a day’s work. Fairly exhausted, but happy, one flops down on a plush hotel room bed in the early hours of the morning.  A good night’s sleep is now on the cards. Nothing is more exciting knowing that once again the client is happy. Not only with the amount of money raised, but with the execution of their event too. 

Back home, it’s time now to write that follow up email. Perhaps the reply will include another date for another event… fingers crossed.

 

THEY HAVE THEIR MOMENTS

Have you ever struggled to deal with the backbone of your business? Referring to none other than your clients. Those who keep your business alive - and kicking. 

To say they can be fickle is an understatement. As we all know, they want, they need and they command. Most of all, they make what your business is and stands for. Therefore, without a doubt, it is the most important relationship you can cultivate. 

THE FIRST IMPRESSION

Everything has a beginning. There is the moment in time where you spot that particular person. You lock eyes. Perhaps a faint smile and then boom a move is made. Yes, forming a relationship with a new client is like anticipating to date that special person. However, the client relationship is platonic. Obviously. No hanky-panky is on the cards. Well, not the physical type anyway. 

To woe a newcomer to your business is a tricky situation. You need to tread carefully not to overstep the mark or step on some toes. First impressions always count the most. Hence being on your best behaviour is a must. Be prepared and ready. Remember, your brand is not only what your business provide, it also is who and what you are. In other words, you definitely have to look the part. You are an extension of your company’s brand. Show it. Make it work. And let your confidence speaks loudly. After all, you’re about to take the first step and make a move.

THE COURTING

It is essential to adopt a strategy whereas you see the situation from their point of view. To put yourself in the clients’ shoes is critical. Only then you can visualise what is possible. This part is not easy and demand practice. The more you set out to figure out how to deal with the situation the better you will get at it. Like personal relationships, the successful business relationship takes effort and careful planning. To dive right in does occasionally work for some, however to take the slow approach is guaranteed to bring longterm satisfaction. Just like there is little need to be over tactful during a personal date, likewise should be implemented with clients. Remember, this is your first time together so use your time wisely. Listen and learn. Make the meeting a 2-way conversation. It is important to collect as much info from your client (regarding their company and needs) since it may be the only moment you get to impress them.

THE NEXT MOVE

Once you have a client hooked on you, the time has come to put your money where you mouth is. Time to present and show them what you are made of. Still not necessary to go over the top with your achievements, but certainly time to make sure the client realises they are in trusted company. Convince them they are in good, safe hands. Build on what you learned about them so far. This will show them that you took note of their needs and what they want to achieve. Remember the bit about seeing it from their point of view - not only is this important now, it will be relevant throughout the time spend together. 

To accept the need for compromise will make the meeting so much more effective. Yes, the client is talking to you as they are in need of help and guidance. However, it is important to remember that it’s not about you and what you really want. Your desires and plans can come to life, but only with support from them. The best way to achieve this is by putting value on the table first and foremost. Once they can see and believe you intentions are genuine you stand a good chance of successfully let them eat out of your hand.

THE LONGTERM PLAN

Now that the ball is in your court, play it well. Be the gentleman in the relationship. Show passion and respect. Be forceful within reason. It is still early days and you have to be on your guard. To assume it’s plain sailing from now on is dangerous. One small step in the wrong direction and it’s all over and done with. You may think that they’re loosing out - trust me, the only one really loosing is you. Clients have the knack of moving on very swiftly. There is a long line of people behind you so they can easily turn to the next possibility. Remember, they are fickle. And most of the time high maintenance. Don’t be scared by this. So far so good. Just don’t mess it up right now.

Your attitude should be that of in it for the long haul. There is a very satisfying aspect to clients that came on board and then come back again and again. This kind of situation is great since they will keep you on your toes at all times. You will have to step up your game and provide new and fresh ideas for each project that follows. In the long run this will only be good for both your business and you - the complete brand package you live by. Visualise the big picture and broaden your horizon. Now is not the time to be small and narrow minded. 

THE CONCLUSION

To obtain a special relationship is exactly that: special. Even if you’re still within the first project and therefore within the honeymoon period, there is a strong possibility that prospects are looking up. The time has come to cement the trust and believe you have in each other. It is here where the hard work starts. Now is the time to build on the foundation you’ve laid within the first few days/weeks. Make sure that all the conversations weren’t a waste of time. You have made true promises. You need to deliver and stand tall. Don’t fall prey to what so many businesses do - they go stale. There is no need to end the relationship. In other words, to call it a day. That will be far too easy. So for those who enjoy a challenge and are up for it, go for it. Show your commitment and the thirst you have to build a satisfying marriage. Many people will believe that opportunities are far and few in between. Rightly so too. Therefore take the bull by the horns and keep going. 

If coaching and mentoring is what you need help with to deal with your client relationships, get in touch. What have you got to loose? On second thoughts, don’t answer that. Let’s rather talk and figure out how we can together solve any issues you have.  Solutions are on hand. 

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

Have you got the thirst for learning? Is gaining information something that inspires you? If like me, you most certainly would answer yes and agree with the subject line (a quote from Francis Bacon). Those 3 wise words speak volumes.

WHY LEARN MORE

When the decision was taken to give Entrepreneurship a go the first thing that came to mind was to educate myself more about my choice of ventures. The need was there for tools to take on this mission of being my own boss. The only way forward seemed to seek knowledge which in return should (hopefully!) pay off.

WHERE TO LEARN

To further your schooling career and life as a university or college student the next platform is not far away at all. With the brilliance of the Internet at our fingertips nowadays it actually isn’t that difficult - or expensive - to gain guidance. No need to sign your life away committing to a bundle of years at institutions. As someone who did the whole further education bit years ago, this discovery was more than an eye opener. It is obvious that the world wide web has incredible information to offer and just how much can be gained for free was astonishing.

WHAT LEARNING IS AVAILABLE

The variety of teaching on the web is quite overwhelming - understandably so. Millions out there offer to share their knowledge with those of us who seek it. And why not? At the end of the day for some it is a very lucrative business. On the other hand many gain satisfaction purely by sharing what they’ve learned. One platform that can offer such learning is that of Webinars. The fascinating world of webinars is exactly that - fascinating. Topics on offer spread oceans wide. You can literally sign up to learn about almost anything in the world. What remains for you to do is to be… selective.

WHICH LEARNING SOLUTION

As a person with the tendency for a short attention span the need to gain information quickly is order of the day, The discovery of webinars was great. This platform offers most of the time a 60 minute window of opportunity to learn. 

There are mainly 2 different webinars. Those who aim to tease you with a few facts only to offer you their solution to the topic at a price towards the end of the session. The other, a far more impressive and satisfying route, is where successful individuals are happy to share at no cost what they have learned. They are delighted to show you how to avoid potholes and overcome hurdles during your new journey. Also what they did to penetrate obstacles - like the proverbial brick wall.

Such webinars, as far as one has learned, are far and few in-between. One institution that so far stands out is Entrepreneur. Combining visuals/slides with a live webcam (most of the time) showing the presenter of the session make a great platform to learn from. It is also known for keeping it short and sweet which means come 60 minutes it’s over and done with. Jill Schiefelbein and Ryan Bilello  are another two favourites. They share their knowledge and expertise casually not pushing the sales pitch as such. Plain honesty and to the point. Exactly what ticks the box for me.

FINALLY 

There is nothing wrong with offering a paid programme/course to those whom are logging in online - it is after all your business, your rules, your time. We all need to make money to survive. Personally, the point is that as a startup funds are limited - very limited to be honest. Therefore it is great to get the opportunity to learn and be educated how to progress without having to fork out handfuls of money to move forward. 

As an ardent webinar attendee the most satisfaction is gained by being selective to whom you tune into. The more webinars you attend the easier it is to realise within the first few minutes if this presenter is going to spend as much if not more time on selling his/her product rather than focus on educating you. 

There are obvious many platforms out there that provide learning with no price tag at all. If anyone is happy to share their knowledge of institutions/individuals that go along this route of sharing info, please get in touch. It will be great to discover and connect with more such like-minded people. 

After all, one cannot learn enough. Expertise is a combination of learning and doing. And of course included are a substantial amount of failing… don’t let it scare you - the best part about failing is to learn from your mistakes. 

 

THE ROAD AHEAD

Where is your business heading? Now that you’ve started what are you going to do with it all? Here is some guidance from Bob Proctor: “A proper Goal provides the necessary incentive to grow in awareness - and every aspect of your life is a reflection of your level of awareness”.

What strikes me within these wise words are: Goal, Grow and Awareness. 3 very powerful points to take note of to make progress.

Personally, a lot has been picked up from working in a corporate environment for many years. One that stands out like the proverbial sore thumb is Goal Setting. It was great to be introduced to it years ago. Something that comes natural and are done religiously at the start of every new year. Taking a couple of days for the New Years celebrations to wear of and by January 3rd thoughts are arranged into at least 3 Development sections: Trading, Business and Personal. Setting out a strategy for each part of life as a professional working individual is order of every new year. 

SET UP GOALS

To sit down and calmly spend time making decisions for the next 12 months at least is one of the most satisfying exercises one can do. It puts the future into perspective and creates a track that encourage the mindset to work systematically forward. 

A golden rule to follow is that of creating SMART Goals. Setting massive, almost out-of-bound Goals are, from a personal point of view, not that productive. It is good to be ambitious, however being realistic is a much better route to follow. Over-the-top Goals can easily lead to disappointment and discouragement. One can feel a failure and that easily leads to negativity in thought and mind - something that should be avoided at all costs since being positive is a much easier way to live life and being successful. So, be SMART about your Goals. 

No need to agree on a huge list of Goals either. The list can rather be short and sweet than long, tedious and impossible. Aim for around 3 to 5 per section.

CREATE GOALS

Here we are talking literal as in creating the document which will lay out each Goal that will encourage you over the next 12 months to move forward and make progress - in both business and personal growth. 

Keep it plain and simple. A 3-pager landscape-layout with 4 columns each should do the trick. Give each page a heading that clearly describes what your plans are. Then head up each column too. The following column headers makes a lot of sense: Goal, Actions, Timescale and Result. 

Take each page at a time. Write a Goal and follow on to the 2nd column and then the 3rd. The 4th will be visited throughout the year and completed by the end of your 12 month period. Do this for each page you created and very soon you will look at a great lots of words that stare you in the face. It is so much easier to visualise what needs to be done by when once you see it with your own eyes. People do tend to say why should I create a document? It’s all in my head in any case - trust me, seeing it in black on white cement it in your head and give your mindset a real good boost. 

To finish off this very important document it is imperative to Brand it. Add your logo. Use your company colours. Definitely use your company font. Make it your own. It is YOUR Goals for YOUR company. Once again, each time you visit this document it will give you a sense of ownership. After all, it belongs to you! 

VISIT GOALS

There are people who (unfortunately) think that once they created their Goals it can stay in a folder somewhere on their computer. Their attitude of I am going to complete it only in 12 months from now is defeating the purpose. A regular visit to this document will not only refresh your memory it will also make it clear where you are with those Goals as the year go by.

A healthy suggestion is to add at least 4 reminder dates to your calendar. Every 3 months is good timing. This will give you enough time to get on with business in general and easily let you cast your mind back to what you have achieved and where you are in making progress. Here is where column 4 gets the action. Note down the date your visit takes place and next to it whether you have already accomplished, slightly progressed or still have to start on the particular goal. Quarterly visits will also help a lot at the end of your 12 month cycle to see the full picture with no need to open your diary searching for accomplishments or wreck your mind when you actually demolished a goal. 

FINALIZE GOALS

Time flies by so quickly and before you know it a year would’ve past. The moment of truth will be facing you. The last Goal visit of the year will be upon you and you will need to be honest about what you wrote months ago. 

The possibility exists that certain sections of your Goal Setting document will still not be completed. Don’t stress about this. Circumstances change all the time. There could be a very good reason (lets hope so) for a Goal to be still outstanding. If it is still relevant to your development don’t feel ashamed to add it to the next bunch for the year to come.

CONCLUSION

All of this may sound easy, but it is not always like that. Every year Goals’ intensity will increase. Your aim will be higher than before. You will most likely put a bigger demand on yourself and your business. Don’t let it deter you. As mentioned before, there is nothing wrong with being ambitious. Nothing prohibits you from setting the bar a notch higher than last year (actually, it is a very healthy approach). The important thing is to continue to set Goals. Continue to visit them regularly and be strict about them. At the end of the day it’s up to you, but having these milestones set out loud and clear will help you with you strategy towards success.

Even though we are in the middle of the year right now and you may realise there is no such document called Goal Setting 2016 don’t wait until the start of 2017. Get going right now and set out milestones for the next few months at least. Or if you prefer, start a 12 month cycle now. No one but yourself can decide when to start. Now is as a good time as any other time.

Good luck with your Goals! It will be worth it every time - promise you that! 

 

SHOW YOUR TRUE COLOURS

Take a look around you - what do you see? Well, a multiple of objects I reckon. Most importantly, even without taking much notice, you see colours. An abundance of them everywhere. 

How do you go about choosing which colours to use for your business? Do you settle on some because they are your favourites? Or because someone suggested particular ones since you always wear it or it forms part of your home decorations? The important fact here is to take note that there are much more than colours than only liking them.

EMOTION

It’s long been know that certain colours evoke certain emotions within us. When we do find ourselves in surroundings that is predominantly one colour we do feel somehow different. We may not realise it there and then, but when you leave that place a certain emotion could easily hang around and influence you - or rather your subconscious. From spending time being surrounded by i.e. the colour orange, you could easily walk away feeling happy and cheerful. 

REACTION

There are also times that you wear a specific colour and feel that others around you treat you slightly different this time. Even though it is your trusted circle of friends/family, there is a notion within you that something is slightly different today. Similarly when you attend a function or event - perhaps all the officials at the event are wearing red shirts. From the moment you entered the room and was greeted by someone in red, you seem to have energy and being excited (more than expected) to attend. As you are confronted by a sea of red your energy level rises to an extend that you walk away praising the event and even promise to return next year. 

FAMILIARITY

You do have a favourite colour, don’t you? So why is it your favourite? Purely because since childhood/teenage years your bedroom walls were covered in it? Could it be that the specific colour evoke the feeling of comfort and ease? Quite possibly because you can relate to it. Even if you are quite a few years older by now you may still feel affinity towards your childhood favourite albeit the tone has changed a lot since you’re more grown up by now. Still, the basic colour is the same though. I bet my 13 year old god daughter will still have a passion for reddish colours years from now. It will remind her of exciting times spend in her red bedroom as a child.

YOUR BUSINESS - YOUR MESSAGE

When it comes to business the above mentioned topics should be your guideline in how you want to be portrait by customers and clients alike. Hence the reason it is very important to think clearly and objectively about which colours to use in your profession. Colours will say a lot about not only your business etiquette, but also the identity of your brand. 

Be very clever in making this choice. Have a good understanding of your brand before you start the process of creating a logo or adding colour to your font/typeface. You need to figure out what emotion you want to wake up in potential customers. Make sure you know how you want your clients to react when they enter your showroom/saw your logo. Very importantly you need to research your audience/market and make them feel comfortable when dealing with your service or using your product. 

At the end of the day the colours you decide on should create a feeling within potential customers and clients that make them notice your business. To stand out from a crowd nowadays is not an easy task, but you need to push hard so that you do get noticed. Link your tagline to the subconscious signals your colours send to clients. Bring it all together and form a strong bond with those that you want to attract to your business. And one of the best ways to do this is to pick 2 or 3 emotions from the colour emotion chart above that represent your business attitude and I’m sure you’ll be well on your way to attract the correct crowd. 

 

BEING A WINNER

How does one become a winner? What does it take to be successful? Many people see it as being lucky in life. Others put it down to pure hard work. But what really is needed for one to come out on top and walk away with the trophy?

THE OPPORTUNITY

Within the last 24 hours another major sporting event took place in Paris, France. To say that it was nail biting and exhilarating are understatements. Apart from the outcome (which caused much personal happiness) the fascinating part was watching the two men play tennis to a top standard. Since it was the world’s #1 and #2 their tennis skills were of the highest possible. That is obvious if one reach that level in the world ranking. However, there were much more than skills evident during the match. Watching both players walking out on a court at Roland Gross it was clear that both were here to win. Needless to say only one could achieve that. But which one will it be, was on everyone’s mind.  

THE BEGINNING

It started out with one player taking the upper hand and making use of opportunities to claim the first set in his favour. If we as spectators thought he’s onto a winning streak we could not have been more wrong. What happened over the next 2+ hours was incredible - not only as a sporting event, but as a display of human ability par excellence.

THE MIDDLE

Not that there was much of a surprise in the one player taking control, but how he took control. The difference between the two players was phenomenal. It became clear why the world’s #1 player is number one. And to be honest, it wasn’t down to his tennis skills alone.

THE END

Once the #2 player had his serve broken it was downhill from there onwards. His shoulders slumped multiple times after faults. He didn’t control his emotions much. Winning the odd point ended in over the top outbursts of joy. Every time he made an error one could see how it effected him in a negative way. His confidence went out the window in no time. It was actually embarrassing to see him fall apart. He was behaving like a yo-yo. After all he is the world’s #2 player and it became apparent why he is only #2. He has the skills, but doesn’t have the mindset of a winner. He was not determent enough to fight for the title. All in all a shocking performance.

His opponent was in utter contrast. He was consistent across all aspects of his game. There was undeniable evidence of him eliminating emotion throughout. Even if he occasionally showed some frustration the majority of the time he was cool, calm and collected. His body language was on par with that of someone in control of not only of the game, but of himself. The shoulders never slumped - even when he lost a point. His head never fell down when he made a mistake. There was hardly an outburst of the verbal kind. It was clear that this man had a demeanour of a winner. And so he did. No surprise there.

THE LESSON

In business (and also life) there is a great message here.  Even if you have the skills to be great at what you’re doing, you need a lot more than that. Determination is the emotion you need to bring to the table (not schoolboy playground frustration). Show the world (or the client sitting across from you) the confidence and the believe you have in yourself. Lay bare your positivity and outlook. Be consistent in delivering your skills and your message as if you’ve nailed the proposal already (even if it’s only the start of the presentation). Most of all, show you have the mindset of a winner. 

From this tennis final it is clear that success is down to skill and determination plus mindset. These three goes hand in hand.  Step up your game and walk away with the prize. It is possible. 

Live, eat and sleep by... 

EVERY DAY YOU LEARN SOMETHING NEW

Do you like a bit of arm candy? Do you always stick to your usual look and type? Maybe the time has come for a change.

The Usual Suspects

There is arm candy and then there is arm candy. 

It is important when getting ready for the day ahead to stay in line and be consistent with your personal brand. After all, once you step outside there is the argument that you should make a point - a statement - something to be remembered by.  The fact is: what people say about you once you left the room is what matters. 

It is easy to stick to brands one knows and is comfortable with.  There is a distinct feel of trust involved. Maybe it’s the quality that inspires you - or maybe it’s because it always has the latest trend on the streets