Assignment #1: Introduce Yourself

Using your phone, create a 1 minute selfie video and post to the Slack #assignments channel.

In this video:

  • Introduce yourself to the group
  • Share who you are passionate about impacting, and
  • Your why for being in this program

This assignment is designed to ensure you know,

  • How to do a video selfie
  • How to upload assignments to slack

Pro Tip: Take about 90 seconds to reflect on each bullet to be covered. Smile, press record, and have fun!

Video Conferencing: Zoom


Getting Started on zoom

  • Clicking the link is the fastest way to join a meeting hosted by another person
  • It is a robust application and you will find it useful throughout this program
  • here are a number of resource videos create by Zoom to assist you to get the most out of Zoom

Click here for access to a host of Zoom Video Tutorials, including:

  • Join a Meeting
  • Scheduling a Meeting
  • Meeting Controls
  • Breakout Rooms
  • Audio, Video, & Sharing

Assignment #1: Introduce Yourself

Using your phone, create a 1 minute selfie video and post to the Slack #assignments channel.

In this video:

  • Introduce yourself to the group
  • Share who you are passionate about impacting, and
  • Your why for being in this program

This assignment is designed to ensure you know,

  • How to do a video selfie
  • How to upload assignments to slack

Pro Tip: Take about 90 seconds to reflect on each bullet to be covered. Smile, press record, and have fun!

Lesson from Peru: When a five star rain poncho just won’t cut it!

We have seen some real power from the elements recently on this planet. We had our own brush while on the Amazon River in September. What started as a leisurely skiff ride down some tributaries, turned life altering when a storm surprised us.

Later, while sipping Pisco Sours back aboard the river boat, we realized we had quite the story to tell.

 

 

Later, while sipping Pisco Sours back aboard the river boat, we realized we had quite the story to tell.

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‘But I don’t feel ready!’ you say

My deepest apologies for yelling but – YOU will NEVER FEEL ready!

Can I be real with you? Can I just lay it all on the table and ask the tough questions?

How many times have you let opportunities drift away while you were waiting for that uneasy, uncomfortable-tummy-flip-feeling to go away? Waiting to ‘Get all your ducks in a row’. Or my favourite – ‘Get your poop in a group’

I want to let you off the hook and share with you what the tummy-flip is, what to do about it and… how to turn it off.
Because, then you will be able to move forward, towards your goals and life you really want to create. The one you deserve to create.

What is that Tummy-Flip?

Here it is – it’s not possible for your body to ‘feel’ anything different. That feeling you are having is a physiological response to something that is new. Your brain is alerting you to pay attention and be safe. When you are walking in a strange alley or if you come across a stray sabre tooth tiger, you will be so glad your brain still delivers this response. However it is not reliable in a way that makes for great decision making.

Decision making requires an external measure. Your body’s response can certainly be used as data. Here is an example;

I received an invitation to travel to Edmonton Alberta with our Designing Your Destiny:Leadership & Empowerment Weekend Training. This would be the first time we traveled with the event. There were unknowns and my body responded with a huge tummy flip. Jeff and I compared our business goals to the opportunity. In the end we decided that what we would learn from the experience itself would increase our pace towards our goals. We were rewarded with so much more than just successful event from that experience. 

If we had just gone based on our body’s response we would never have touched a foot in the airport let alone Edmonton.

When you have a goal, a true goal – one that requires you to grow and become more than you are today by achieving it – that means you have to step outside of what you are familiar with at more than one point along the way. Each time you do your body will register that as NEW! Which means you get that physiological response – the tummy flip. Celebrate it.

Here’s what to do when it happens to you:

  • Will this take me closer or further from my goals? When an opportunity presents itself and you get the tummy flip, the only job you have is to ask yourself whether or not it will take you closer to your goals and dreams.
  • Get off the fence! The fence is a toxic place to be – make a decision. If the opportunity takes you closer to your goals then jump on it before it gets away.
  • Celebrate it! Yeah your body is operating within normal parameters. Use it to know this opportunity will help you grow so you can handle even more with grace and ease as you move forward.

Here’s how to shut it off

Take Action – seriously. As soon as you take a step in the new way…it’s no longer new! You can imagine your body saying ‘oh Never mind, false alarm’.

So what is in front of you now? What piece of fruit is hanging within reach that you have been wondering if it’s really for you? You have been asking for change, you have been dreaming of change. Here is the secret…

If it’s in front of you – you ARE ready.

Measure your success with external evidence

Success? Failure? What was your evidence?

I was a great baker – Why did I forget everything Granny ever taught me?

Too often as entrepreneurs we flog ourselves for failure when there isn’t any measure of our progress towards success. Heck, was the success even defined in the first place?

Both of my grandmothers baked. My Dad’s Mom, my Granny, was a prolific baker. She supported the church bake sales, the neighbourhood events, and of course her own baking cupboard. It was always full of at least three different kinds of cookies, a loaf of some kind and at Christmas, a fruit cake that was not only edible but yummy beyond belief. Not a single one was ever used as a door stop.

I loved to bake with her. It was my job to measure, exactly, the sugar, nuts, flour, baking soda. She taught me how important it was that we measured along the way – all the ingredients. Now that doesn’t mean a few more chocolate chips didn’t go in for good measure.

The biggest test always came near the end. Even with the care we took along the way, we never knew if they were going to taste as good as last time until they were done! We also didn’t want to burn them – that would not have been good after all that work.

Granny always set the timer for a few minutes before she expected them to be done. Once the timer went off we would open the oven, pull out the rack and she would stick her long wooden skewer into the center. I watched with anticipation to see whether it would come out clean. If it did then I knew the countdown was on for the baking to cool so I could taste it. If the skewer didn’t come out clean then back it went into the oven.

She was diligent about getting the cooking time just right; regardless of my assurances that it must be ready because my tummy said so.

Once she was convinced the baking was done, then it would come out to cool. The tasting was the final evidence of our success. It was so much fun to share our baking success with everyone.

Early on as an entrepreneur I seemed to have forgotten every lesson my Granny taught me about success.

Not once did Granny ever decide the cookies were a success because she thought so, or felt so. She measured. She knew in advance what success looked like and was diligent about waiting for it and actioning in the moment to ensure it happened.

It took a trusted and experienced adviser to point this out to us. It wasn’t something we saw from the inside. We just knew that our business ‘felt’ like it was succeeding or failing. When she asked us for our numbers we stood there with a blank look on our faces. When we were asked what we were planning on achieving at an upcoming conference we were attending we couldn’t answer the question.

She laughed, shook her head, and proceeded to explain to us about how leaders always use an External Evidence Procedure so they know what progress they are making. It was immediately familiar because of my time with Granny in her kitchen and after I stopped kicking myself uselessly, I found so many ideas on how we could implement this for us.

What a difference!

  • We set goals for each month and the quarter that are based on our annual revenue goals
  • The goals have been chunked down to activities that can be measured – I know how many people I need to chat with to find those with a need for my service.
  • Whether we feel things are going well or not, we go to the numbers to check on progress
  • We measure often and make course corrections
  • As goals are achieved we celebrate. When we learn from our experiences and understand why we didn’t achieve our goal – we celebrate. (Richard Branson agrees – link to his blog)

Summary

  1. When you have a vision you will not always know what the journey will be like.
  2. Set appropriate goals along the way and measure against them
  3. Measure your progress often
  4. Celebrate when you are on track
  5. Celebrate getting back on track

Success or Failure? What was your evidence?
How do you, or will you now, tell the difference between how you feel about your progress and your actual progress?

Learning comes in many forms

Book worm or 2 x 4 learner?

Learning comes in many forms but two main categories:

Academic and Experience

Academic learning includes lectures, reading books, webinars, articles, blogs, and reading instructions. Any learning that comes to you by taking information in. When you only focus on this category, you end up ‘knowing’ a lot but when put to the test the results are hit and/or miss.

Experience, conversely is any learning you receive by ‘doing’. This method builds muscle memory, and neurology that is very visceral. Although very important, when your focus is here only, then it’s kind of like learning with a chunk of 2×4 lumber. Often you learn the ‘hard way’ and this can take a long time to build the level of knowledge required to see the easier path for you and your client.

It might seem like one might be better than the other and I am here to tell you that it’s the blending of the two that makes you an expert.

Synergizing Academic and Experience will make the learning personally yours in a much shorter time. It also builds the all-important wisdom – the ability to make excellent educated guesses when you are confronted with something new in your field.

As an expert it is expected that you will have both academic and experience learning. Together these are what your clients do not have and do not want to invest the time to achieve. They invest their dollars instead. It’s up to you to deliver the experience for them.

To stay at the head of the pack, ahead of the other experts in your field, make a commitment to your ongoing learning. When investing your time and money on additional training and learning that keeps you at the head of the pack, look for opportunities that include both academic and experiential elements. This will be the best investment of your time and money.

A great learning plan includes:

  • Decision about where you need to grow to meet your business goals
  • Budget to invest in your training
  • Learning in your core field
  • Learning in an associate field to synergize and keep your edge fresh

Pull it all together and you will be the leader of every expert in your field.
What was your favourite learning that included both academic and experiential elements? Share with the rest of us!

To your magnificence
Karen

Image credit: andresr / 123RF Stock Photo

3 Easy Steps to Snap You Out of Overwhelm

Entrepreneurs are responsible for everything from strategic financing to paper clips. Moving from the abstract ideas to the specific details and back again is a skill that not every entrepreneur has developed yet.

For me when I worked for someone else, I was responsible for specific staff, specific deliverables, and specific reporting. There were whole departments who handled HR, Finances, Technology, and Legal. They were just concepts to me. When I needed to know more, I didn’t need to know much more than whom to call and ask. This was an important part of how I could focus on what I was paid to do and do it really well.  

As an entrepreneur, that all changed. You and I, both, are responsible for all of these ‘concepts’ in a much more concrete way.

So suddenly, it was my job not only care about the things I loved to do and was good at, but also to consider how that fit into the overall strategic plan, what assistance I would need from other professionals, namely HR, Finances, IT, Legal, and on and on.

I experienced that sense of overwhelm almost immediately. I was missing something. It was such a relief to find the solution.

Overwhelm happens when you get stuck in the abstract.

You might be in Overwhelm if:

  • There is so much to worry about but nothing is actually being accomplished
  • You often don’t know where to start
  • Fear is a companion as you find your mind wandering to worst case scenarios

We call this a ‘Chunk Up’ problem.

When a person gets stuck in the abstract and can’t find the path down to anything actionable a slow spin starts, making it more difficult to find anything tangible to hold onto. Without a solution this can lead to increasing levels of stress, sleep deprivations, and left unchecked – bankruptcy.

Good news, once you know exactly how the problem is constructed, we can design the best solution.

Solution to Overwhelm

Putting a stop to overwhelm is all about getting grounded in reality. 3 easy steps to snap you out of overwhelm:

  1. Get a grip: Grab a cup of your favourite beverage, a pen, a pad of paper, and take three deep breaths to create a centre of calmness to work from.
  2. Brainstorm: Write down all of the things in your business that feels out of your reach. Notice how large the items on your list are – sales, marketing, social media – all these things are very large chunks of your business.
  3. Chunk Down: Select one at a time and ask yourself ‘What specifically needs to happen to start moving forward?’ Ask the question over and over until you have a tangible action list that you can complete.

Example:

Chunk down by asking "How specifically?'

Chunk down by asking “How specifically?’

Once you are grounded, that feeling of overwhelm will leave and your right-thinking mind will wake up to help you pull a plan of action together. Make this process your go-to process. . . every time.

To your magnificence

Karen

Website traps and pitfalls

Caught in the Web – Three pitfalls new entrepreneurs make with their website

When you decide to start your own business, you can find advice everywhere. I mean EVERYWHERE. A quick search on Google will turn up thousands of lists of the basic things a business must have. What you really need depends on what your products and services are. These days, one of those items for you is likely a website.

Successfully launching a website can turn out to be a real hazard for entrepreneurs. There are so many elements and each can create a drain on your time, money, and energy.

Over the course of evolving our business and web presence along with the experiences of those who attend our Build Your Website Workshop, there are common traps. Read on to find three of the most costly and the solutions you are looking for.

What traps have you or someone you know fallen into? Please comment below and bring the traps into our awareness.

Trap #1 – Handing Over Control

You want your website; you aren’t as tech savvy as you need to be to create it yourself. Even with today’s simple tools like WordPress, the whole process can be confusing and complex. However, you find a savior. He or she is a web developer and is going to help you out. Sounds great right? Well, that depends. The trap is your savior also holds the keys to your website. They go out and purchase your domain and control it. If you want to own it, they may charge you a premium for it. I just purchased two new domains. They cost $9.95 each.

They also create your website. Regardless of what platform they use, you do not have the login and password for it. If you want changes, you have to go to them. You have to pay them.

What is the solution? Simple. Buy your domain and hosting. Then, when you hire your web developer, you have control and can take action if things are not going the right way.

Trap #2 – Too Much Too Soon

The trap is spending lots of money when you first start. You can spend thousands of dollars on a site in areas of copywriting, graphics design, web development, and search engine optimization. As you develop your ideas and identify who you want to serve, you may think you have it nailed. You have found the people you want to serve forever. For some, that might be true. As you start to have customers come through your business, who you actually want to serve will evolve. You, like us, might look back after three years and realize that who you thought your clients were going to be in the beginning have little in common with who your clients are now.

Solution: Although there will eventually be a place for all of these in regards to your website, the time to do it is after you have clear and concise focus on who your tribe is and you have already set aside the money to invest in a more robust web presence.

Click here and download my one page document to keep track of all your components to your web presence.

Trap #3 – Lost in Perfection

When someone asks, “Do you have a website?” and you keep responding, “I’m still working on it”. First off, perfection is a trap. Yes, you can tweak and tweak until you die. There is no end. Unfortunately, while you tweak, you are not out there talking to your tribe and making money. So in reality, the trap is twofold. You are working towards something that is impossible to achieve, and you are hiding and going broke.

Solution: Keep it simple and professional. Just put it out there. It’s about progression. As you talk to your tribe, your will hear their words. Then you tweak it and talk to your tribe again.

Focus on the people. Focus on serving the people and you will thrive.

Image credit: iqoncept / 123RF Stock Photo