As I sit here looking at the remnants of yesterday’s Christmas celebration – the stray piece of wrapping paper, a few cookie crumbs, and Christmas cards from friends and family, I am overwhelmed as I think how much I have to be thankful for…it’s beyond measure.
And this thankfulness I’m feeling has me pondering about a word that maybe we don’t use too often…abundance.
And do you know what I realized? This feeling I have right now is a matter of mindset. I have chosen to receive abundance into my life – and going forward, I want to have this feeling in ALL aspects of my life – work included.
How about you? Are you ready to receive abundance when it comes to your business?
Stephen Covey talked about the “abundance mentality” in his best-selling book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and he said that people need to remember there is more than enough success to go around – that you don’t have to see the success of others as a loss for yourself. High fives to Stephen Covey! Because we should definitely be celebrating the successes of one another!
But what do you need to do if YOU want to receive abundance into your business?
Covey’s first three habits are as good a place as any to start! He says:
I like these because they seem to be pointing to the big picture of receiving abundance for your business – for setting yourself up for success. And with 2021 rushing towards us, it’s definitely time to put the plans in place to make it the best year ever! (And these tie in so perfectly with the upcoming Battle Board Workshop on January 5th!)
Of course, there are smaller steps to receiving abundance. These are the things you do day in and day out to attract abundance to your business – and your life – and to just feel good.
Success shared “11 Ways to Attract Abundance in Your Life” that really capture the things we should be thinking about often to do just that – and they’re all fantastic. While you aren’t going to focus on each of these 11 ways every day – perhaps you can choose 1 to bring to the forefront of your mind each week.
This week I’m choosing “Make the most of the infinite possibilities ahead of you.” Doesn’t that sound like a great way to start 2021?
How about you? Where are you going to put your focus to receive abundance? Are you going big picture or small picture this week?
Please comment below. I would love to hear from you.
So many people have told us that due to the pandemic, we should use our time for innovating, creating new opportunities, embracing change, and making plans. We’ve heard it from many of the guests during my “What Businesses Need to Know Right Now” interviews. You’ve probably read it in multiple articles and blogs.
But are you doing it? REALLY doing it? Do you have a plan? And are you implementing your plan consistently?
And not just any plan… but do you have a plan with actions attached to it that will have you moving forward instead of backwards? And does the plan give you the ability to adjust as needed? (Because if 2020 taught us anything – it’s that we need to be able to adjust.)
If you’re sitting there shaking your head no, it’s not too late to create plans that are going to help you achieve your big goals – you just need to take the first step – and I want to help.
That’s why I’ve decided to start 2021 out with my Battle Board Workshop.
If you’re asking yourself, “What’s a Battle Board?” – the short answer is that it’s your action plan! But it’s more than that! Check out this video to learn more: Create a Battle Board with Brendan Burchard
In this LIVE workshop, you’ll use the principles of Momentum Accountability to:
Does this sound like what you need to kick off 2021 and solidify a plan for your business with action steps you’ll take? Then you MUST join us!
I’ll be sharing MY Battle Board worksheets with you so that you can save time and take a shortcut to your success. You’ll also receive additional resources to ensure your victory over the course of the year.
This is a roll-up-your-sleeves and take action kind of workshop. So come with your:
Are you in? I hope so! It’s going to be a great ½ day that will have you roaring and ready to go in 2021! Register today!
It’s time to make 2021 a fantastic year!
Please comment below. I would love to hear from you.
Productivity during a pandemic is definitely a unique challenge. With companies being thrust into new ways of doing business, it’s only natural that there are challenges to productivity and business itself. Andrew Mellen is a keynote speaker, executive coach, and productivity and organizational expert who is tackling what businesses need to know right now about productivity.
What do we need to know about moving our work from the workplace to home or even back into the workplace after being home?You need to adjust your mindset to adapting – adapting to the fact that nothing is going to be predictable.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks that people are struggling with is the idea that this is a temporary situation and that things are going to reset themselves back to normal. And when things don’t go back to “normal,” – people get thrown for an emotional, psychological, and even physical loop. The sooner you can let go of this need for things to reset and walk forward with a certain amount of grace and appreciation for the unpredictable, the easier it will be for you to adapt to the next thing that happens.
Whatever the challenge you are facing might be, if you can approach it with a sense of, “This is not surprising…” – the better off you will be. For example, you may find the micro facts are surprising, but the overarching fact that “something has changed” and you couldn’t predict it is no longer surprising – that will help you immensely.
Suzy Kassem, an American writer and poet, said, “Life is no different than the weather. Not only is it unpredictable, but it shows us a new perspective of the world every day.” And while many people thrive on predictability, are you ready to change your expectation that things are going to be unpredictable for a while?
What are the things that business owners need to know or focus on that they can control?
My suggestion is to control the things you can control. Here are some examples of things you can control:
· What time you show up for work
· How you work
· How you stay focused
These are things you have complete control of. Turn the attention back on yourself and your environment to help you face the more unpredictable portions of your life.
And then, once you’ve helped yourself, it’s time to look at your business. Start with some of the big things.
· If you are going to be working remotely, do you still need an office?
· If you still have an office, are you going back to the office?
· What does the office need to look like?
· If most of your people are going to be telecommuting, how do you support that transition?
· What long-term protocols and standard operating procedures need to be established for doing business?
· How are we going to share digital assets?
Answering these questions and having everyone aware and on the same page means that there will be less friction when the things we can’t control crop up.
Businesses that have really good systems in place are easily adapting to the changes. Businesses that are lacking in good systems and communication are struggling during this time. If you find that your business is struggling, now may be the time to get your systems and processes in place to not only help you now but moving forward also.
Is there a blind spot that businesses are experiencing right now?
It goes back to mindset again and seeing this as an opportunity. Not an opportunity to exploit financially, but as an opportunity to take inventory of your business. Use this time as a chance to improve the things you want or need to improve. Don’t procrastinate. Make a choice to meet your obstacles head-on.
When was the last time you took a hard look at your business? Taking inventory of your business is the first step to improving it – and it can be done during difficult times.
3 Action Steps
1. Adjust your mindset to the fact that nothing is going to be predictable and that you are going to need to adapt to change.
2. Focus on the things you can control – both for yourself and for your business.
3. Use this time as an opportunity to improve your business by taking a hard look at what you are doing.
Connect with Andrew Mellen at https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewmellen/
Please comment below. I would love to hear from you.
Creating Joy In Your Business
The dictionary defines joy as:
Joy seems to be everywhere.
But do you create joy in your business?
“Oh, Nettie…I don’t want to think about creating joy in my business right now. I want cookies, eggnog, and my pajama pants.”
I hear you…really I do. But if you’re working so hard to bring joy to your life outside of work – why shouldn’t you have it with your business, too?
Yes, business is hard work. And at times, you’re probably going “Mach 2 with your hair on fire.” (Can you name the movie that quote is from?) And it’s stressful and, dare I say it…probably not much fun – let alone joyous.
But it can be.
If we make it that way.
I was reading an article in Success entitled: 13 Practical Ways to Find Joy in Your Work, and the list has some crucial things that we need to remind ourselves of – especially as we get ready to say goodbye to 2020 and all of the challenges it brought.
I particularly like #11 on the list – “List 5 Big Wins.” And I want to share my five with you – and hope you’ll do the same.
So, how about it? 5 Big wins from 2020? What are they? (hit reply and let me know!)
Do you know what’s easy to do? Complain.
It’s so easy to rattle off a list of complaints a mile long and not think twice about it.
And I’ll admit it…I have those times when I just need to get it off my chest and let it out. We all do, am I right? (The New York Times even wrote an article entitled: Go Ahead and Complain. It Might Do You Good – so that’s good, isn’t it? It certainly made me feel a touch better about my complaining.)
But after a bit of time has passed, I often find myself sitting back and saying, “Why did I even waste my time and energy complaining?” Because really…what does it get you? A momentary release of frustration? Sure. (And as I said, sometimes that’s all we need! I’m not sure how many more times my kids can interrupt me during a coaching call before I completely lose my cool!) But did you resolve anything? Probably not.
And while complaining is easy, do you know what’s hard? Expressing gratitude.
You’ve probably gotten better at it. But gratitude can be hard…and 2020 didn’t make it any easier.
This year was difficult for many. Many people had to make some tough choices about their business and how to keep it going. Serious cuts needed to be made to operating expenses. And the pandemic has had serious effects on our mental, emotional, and physical health – which all spills over into our businesses.
But practicing gratitude is essential for your business – and during difficult times, it may be even more crucial. Enterprise League shared 3 reasons why expressing gratitude in business is important:
1) Gratitude brings improvement.
When you show gratitude towards your employees, your employees will be more likely to adopt this same attitude. And when they feel appreciated and valued – performance improves.
2) Gratitude cements bonds.
When you show gratitude to your clients, you build a bond. Know that gratitude is a non-negotiable part of the business-client relationship.
3) Gratitude builds partnerships.
Even if you are a one-person show, no one can do their job alone. We all need to connect with others, and by expressing gratitude, you can build that connection.
Now, you may be thinking, “Oh, wow! Have I been doing these things?” And the answer is: Yes, you probably have. Have you:
· Thanked your VA for finishing a project early?
· Sent your client a thank you for continuing to work with you this year?
· Commented on a blog and said how helpful it was?
These things – and so many other things you do on a daily basis – are the perfect little ways to express gratitude – and keep us off the Complain Train. (Hey – if you’re still on the Complain Train – try getting off at the next stop! You’ll be happy you did!)
Of course, if you’re looking for another way, I want to invite you to join The Global Gratitude Jar (Facebook Group). Geoffrey Blake, the founder of The Global Gratitude Jar, explains in his own words:
This group was created to give the gift that I received years ago, when I started my daily gratitude practice. It started with a journal and a mechanical pencil. Then I had a jar and small slips of paper that I wrote my daily gratitude on. Jars don’t travel very well, and I love to travel, and that’s where the idea for this group came from.
Since storing all of your grateful and loving feelings inside of a jar doesn’t do any good for anyone else, it made sense to create this virtual jar. A safe space, free of judgment, filled with your grateful peers from all over the world.
Doesn’t that sound great?!
Every day you can stop in and post what you’re grateful for – from the big things (like building a strong team to help you) to the little things (like your favorite barista giving you an extra shot of espresso on a Monday morning). There’s nothing too big or too small to be thankful for – and this is the perfect time of year to start practicing gratitude. (And if you want a little extra motivation for expressing gratitude daily, The Global Gratitude Jar keeps track of how many days in a row you post! If you have teens who participate in Snapchat Streaks – it’s a bit like that – but SOOOOO much better!)
I challenge you to practice gratitude! Share it with those around you! Share it with me! (Yes, I’d LOVE to hear what you’re grateful for! Just hit reply and share away!) Just share it!
What do Businesses Need to Know Right Now About Socially Responsible Investing?
Jason Howell is the owner and president of the Jason Howell Company. His company assists Gen X families who have earned or saved more money than they ever expected and want to do something special with their money.
But, as a business, how does this pertain to you? Jason shares what businesses need to know about socially responsible investing and proactive giving.
How is Socially Responsible Investing different from regular investing?Socially Responsible Investing is a really old concept – which many people don’t realize. It’s interesting because people in the financial advising community don’t even realize how old it actually is. Socially Responsible Investing goes back at least as far as the Quakers in the 18th century. At that time, the Quakers decided that they weren’t going to do business with slave owners in the South. That was Socially Responsible Investing during those times.
Initially, Socially Responsible Investing did start as a negative screen. For several centuries, just as the Quakers did, people would decide that you were a bad company or they didn’t like your practices, and they wouldn’t do business with you.
Apartheid in South Africa is another example. If companies weren’t supporting the shift that was happening there, people started boycotting the businesses.
Recently, things have shifted again. Instead of just saying these are bad companies or good companies, companies are being asked to share data voluntarily, and people are asking: What are our concerns about these companies? Do we want to invest in any of these companies? Are you doing the right kinds of things? And, while typically, you would just look at financials, now companies are providing their governance information, their environmental impact information, their social information, how they deal with employees, and how they deal with cybersecurity. People aren’t strictly concerned about your financial data when deciding to invest in you; they want to know about your ESG Integration.
This concept of Socially Responsible Investing has been around for centuries, although we may not have called it that. Have you made this a part of your investment strategy, or are you still only looking at financials? Or, have you thought about the impact it could have on potential investors for your business as you scale?
What is ESG Integration?ESG is Environmental Social Governance Integration.
When you are looking at a company, you want to look at the whole picture – including its ESG Integration. For example, let’s look at the coal industry. When it comes to being socially responsible, you immediately say, “They’re out.” But instead, look deeper. Is this industry looking for alternative energy sources? That could raise their score. You’re thinking should change and you might be saying, “Well, for the coal industry, what should this firm be doing? Are they looking forward to other types of alternative energies?” If they are, they get a good score for that and some consideration for investing.
For example, with Equifax, if they’re a data collection company, and they’re actually pulling my information, what’s their score on cybersecurity? After all, if they have all of your financial information, cybersecurity is an important factor – not just their financial statements. A year and a half before Equifax had their problem, they were marked as a firm with a zero out of 10 on cybersecurity. Even with that ranking, for the next year, the stock went up and up and up – until it tanked.
The reality is a lot of people, even within my profession, think this concept of socially responsible investing is just do-gooder stuff. Are you dumping in the river? Do you have a bad carbon footprint? Well, no one cared about those things with Equifax before we really started looking at ESG integration. So, if your advisor was advising you based on ESG, you might have seen those things in a company like Equifax.
ESG Integration has us looking at all the data that’s being collected. And then, we take this information and do a better fundamental analysis than we’ve ever done before.
What about your own company? Where do you stand on ESG Integration? Would you be happy to share the things your company is doing on the environmental and social side of things? Investors are now going to be asking for all sorts of different data – and you need to be prepared to share.
What is proactive philanthropy?2020 has been this miraculous year. More and more people are giving, and the IRS is trying to make it easier. The new $300 deduction from the CARES Act is specifically for those who don’t itemize their deductions and would typically not get any tax benefit for donations. Since it’s considered an above-the-line deduction, it reduces your income prior to determining your adjusted gross income – so that’s a good thing for a lot of people.
In general, more and more people are saying, “I’d love to do more. How can I do more?” This is where we try to help. We say, “All right, we figured out your retirement plan, and we see that you’re going to have a significant amount of money leftover at the end of life, besides maybe passing that to your children. Is there anything that you want to do with those resources? What do you care about? And would you rather do it during your life work versus the end of your life?”
And remember, philanthropy doesn’t have to begin at the a high investment level. It can be very intentional and done with an annual bonus. Think about it as an investment bucket. Where do I want to distribute this across a number of different non-profit organizations? This is not necessarily limited to the wealthy.
If you’ve been inspired by 2020, as my firm has been, and as I have been personally, we switch to this area of investing so that people can do “good while doing well.” If you’ve found that you’ve been a sporadic investor or giver to different causes, it may be time to think about the causes that you do care about and do want to support. Ask yourself, “How can I do that on a consistent basis?” and choose the non-profit associations you want to support and make it part of your budget now.
While 2020 was a difficult year for many, it also seems to have brought out the best in many people as they search for ways to help. Did you find yourself giving more this year when you could? Did you have a plan for your giving? Or do you find yourself in need of a strategy that can help make your giving more effective and more closely aligned with the things you care about?
3 Action Steps
How to Keep Your Energy Up
So, how are you doing?
No…really. HOW are you doing?
Are you plodding along and doing okay?
Or are you feeling exhausted and lacking energy?
Or does it depend on the day? (That’s probably more like it.)
Between a pandemic, the holidays, a crazy election, your business, and a million other little things pulling at you right now, keeping your energy up may seem like a chore.
I was feeling the drain myself, and it makes a lot of sense. (Check out this article in Medium for more on why)
Our brains are literally overwhelmed as they try to process everything. It really makes perfect sense why our energy is disappearing.
And yet, we are entrepreneurs. We are ALWAYS thinking of new ideas, new solutions, new…well, you name it! Consistency for us IS change!
But change takes energy.
While a cup of coffee might help you get through holiday shopping and Christmas merrymaking, it’s probably not going to give you enough energy to help you with your business.
In years past, I would have embraced a push at the end of the year. This year I am returning to fail-safe systems and small steps that I know I can successfully implement.
Because guess what? There will be time in the next year for new projects and growth, and I need to feel good right now – and you do, too! And small victories are the answer!
So, here’s what I’m doing:
All of these things give you focus and help you create energy. Are you willing to give these things a try with me as we trudge through these last few weeks?
And if the answer is no and you’ve said, “To heck with it! Let the holidays begin! Bring on the cookies, champagne, and my comfy clothes! Business can wait until 2021!” – I’ve got your back! And I’ll be here for you in January.
Smile and hang in there!
Have You Tried LucidChart?
I’m a realist. I know that most businesses cringe when the topic of creating systems comes up. And the number one reason they feel this way? Sorting out a system can feel overwhelming. And who needs more of that in their lives? (Overwhelm is kind of like your Uncle who always wants to talk politics or the house guest who’s stayed too long – it’s something you want to say goodbye to!)
But there are some ways to make it easier to get your systems in place – to work through all of their intricacies.
My favorite way is to use LucidChart. Have you used it? I got hooked last year after watching their super silly videos. (Please take a much-needed break to watch them: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUoebdZqEHTygG_DML0kNfbjnkv-MLnwi. I can now honestly say that I understand what my middle-school-aged kiddos are saying!)
Now that you’ve had a giggle, let’s get back to business. Creating a visual representation of your systems ensures that there are no gaps in your process and enables you to delegate steps of the process to your team. (And don’t forget – delegation is a good thing! It allows you to put your efforts where they need to be!)
Within the Momentum Programs, I use LucidChart to map out Productive Profits System (the way for experts to create an additional six-figure revenue stream working only 12 hours a week for each participant.
You can see the original diagram here.
(And feel free to copy this template and edit it for yourself. Let my obsession with LucidChart help you!)
It’s been SOOOOO helpful for me when I need to visualize something, and it has lots of other great things to love, too:
So yeah, we’re talking about processes, but really, I just wanted to share my love for LucidChart with you.
What are your favorite tools for visualizing? Are you using LucidChart?
Keith Daw places his focus and energy on amplifying professionals, teams, and organizations in the area of leadership, sales, strategic customer care, and, perhaps most importantly, human communication. During these times, human communication may be the most important thing, as some are doing it well right now, and others are struggling. Keith has so much to share, but let’s dive into what do businesses need to know right now about blind spots.
What are blind spots, and why do businesses need to start turning towards them?
When it comes to the idea of blind spots, there’s a saying, “What you don’t know can you kill you,” and that’s very applicable to business. There are lots of business owners of various sizes that know what they do well, and they do a lot of it. Yet sometimes, as a business goes along, things are just kind of “created” in the moment and it’s a bit like creating an airplane in the air. While it may be working at the moment, is it really working to its full potential? It’s helpful to have a third party to look at what you’re doing and bounce ideas around. Because there may be some gaps in there – some blind spots.
Whether it’s with their people, their processes, or any of the metrics that a business may be measuring to achieve milestones and make adjustments, they may still experience blind spots. Perhaps you think your business is going well, but when a third-party reviews it and looks at all of your metrics, they may find that you’re maybe at 80% – and you don’t know what it takes to get to that 100%. What’s it going to take to get that last 20%?
To have that outside perspective that can audit your blind spots and provide some validation on what you’re doing well is a great benefit to a business. It could be the needed push to get your business to the 100% level – and that’s why you need to turn towards them.
There may be some fear in having an outsider look at your business and provide you with an unbiased critique; after all, you’ve worked hard to create your business. But know that the benefits can be enormous and bring light to those blind spots that you’ve not seen or ignored.
How often should you get an outsider’s perspective on your business?
There is no simple answer to this question. Let’s take a look at a couple of professions. If you’re a CPA, a third party might be evaluating numbers quarterly. And if you’re a lawyer with your own firm, you may automatically be doing a review with each contract that’s put into place. But when it comes to the areas of business that involve people and processes and things such as sales, leadership, etc. – usually what happens is that help is sought when there’s a problem or when there’s a hiccup. At this time, a third party would be an asset to see what needs to be tweaked in a business to avoid problems in the future. And this may be reactive in nature to the current situation a business is facing or proactive in looking to the future to avoid problems.
An outside perspective can help you answer:
While the scheduling or timing of an outsider to come review your business may vary from business to business, the importance of it exists for every business.
What are some tools or resources that people can use to evaluate their business blind spots?
McDonnell Consulting Group has a complimentary benchmarking assessment that we share with business owners all the time. It’s a tool that makes people pause and truly look at their business, probably in ways that they don’t typically do. When they use this benchmark to assess their business, they may see that they’re in the 66th percentile – which is not bad. They can then really think about the areas where they’re perhaps focusing too much or too little of their time.
For example, I worked with a company that was growing extremely quickly. So quickly, in fact, that they had put people into leadership roles within the company that they may not have been prepared for. There was a lack of resources and personal and professional development for these leaders due to the fast growth of their business.
But then the company paused, and the owner said, “I don’t know from a personal and professional development standpoint who’s really slated to be an awesome leader.” The owner wanted to know what to give them to be able to execute and succeed.
We used an assessment that focuses on competencies and aptitudes in leadership. And we evaluated the entire company.
Why the entire company? Why not just the leaders? The owner believed it would be good to know the competencies and aptitudes for everyone in his company for many reasons. The assessment helped to answer:
The owner explained to the company the challenges that they were facing from a leadership standpoint. He addressed the importance of fixing them now rather than waiting, so that the struggles would not continue or grow worse – costing the company employees or clients.
Being proactive when looking for blind spots in your business may be one of the most beneficial things you can do for your business. Think of it like having a regular checkup with your doctor. You shouldn’t just go to the doctor when you’re sick. You should have those regular checkups to avoid serious health problems in the future. Getting an outside perspective on your business is a bit like preventative medicine.
3 Action Steps
Connect with Keith at https://www.linkedin.com/in/keithdaw/ if you’re interested in receiving his benchmark assessment for your business.
You have been working so hard this year.
First, you had the big plans that you made in January. Then you cleared the decks so you could focus and regroup when the pandemic struck the world. The gears started moving again in early summer and spring and you were feeling the possibility that you could finish strong for the year, maybe even hit your January goals; perhaps even do better. The finish line for 2020 is absolutely in sight with just under 4 weeks left but your energy to push through may be waning.
In reality, depending on the holidays you celebrate this time of year, you probably only have about two solid weeks left. What will you do?
Here are a few options:
1. Scrap the year, grab a bowl of popcorn and binge watch tv and movies until you can start over on January 1 (appealing but perhaps not the best strategy)
2. Set a BIG crazy goal, amp yourself up for it and then collapse in a heap in 4 weeks with a sad family that missed you while you persevered, pulling all nighters trying to get this dream of yours to work.
3. Review where you wanted to be with where you actually are, look at what is possible including a realistic estimate of how much time you actually have available to work. Set a stretch goal that is not impossible and plan for time off to celebrate.
I’m going with Option 3.
In reality, it will not be any easier or harder than Options 1 & 2 but I will come out on the other side with fewer bruises and a lot more smiles. Here is how I’ll be doing it.
First, I took a look at the time I have available and the resources.
Second, I look at the goal I would like to reach.
I pick 4 focus areas every month. 3 that pertain to work and 1 for personal/family. Instead of throwing these focus areas out, I align myself with them. Here they are:
Third, for each focus area I look at the Keystone Measure™, this is the consistent step that I can take that will actually move the needle on that focus area. The step has to take 15 minutes or less and I have to be able to perform it daily.
Fourth, I use the Momentum Planner every day in just 3-5 minutes daily to envision the outcome for the month and commit to a 15 minute daily action in each of the 4 areas.
While this year has been a whirlwind and this holiday season is very different than in years past it is possible to create a joyful experience that moves your business and your life forward in the way that you most desire.
Being an entrepreneur and business owner is hard! Once you have your business up and running it's not uncommon to hit a few snags: scalability, staff retention, launching growth projects, getting enough sleep!