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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