Fear-Based Decisions Are Bad for Business (and Life)

At one point, every business owner will find themselves in a troubling situation. Revenue is down. New clients are scarce. Profits are falling, and a peek at the financials is enough to bring on intense fear and even a full-fledged anxiety attack.

Unless you have a million-dollar nest egg or trust fund waiting in the wings, chances are you’ve experienced that sinking feeling of a business that’s trending downward, too. But how you handle it can mean the difference between continued success and business-killing burnout.

Here’s where a lot of business owners get it wrong. They start to worry about money, and that worry leads to poor decisions that ultimately have a negative impact not just on finances, but—maybe more importantly—on morale, too. Maybe you know what I’m talking about. Here are two things you should avoid in this situation and what to do instead.

You Take On The Wrong Client

When business is down, it can be tough to keep your ideal client avatar in mind. Instead, you jump at the chance to work with anyone who comes along. The trouble with this scenario is you can find yourself with a roster full of clients who:

  • Aren’t willing or able to do the work required
  • Spend all their time telling you why your ideas and advice won’t work
  • Drain your energy and make you dread your office

Instead, keep doing what you know how to do – marketing, advertising, networking. Whatever you do to bring in new clients, keep doing that. Don’t stretch yourself so thin by taking on too many clients to try to make up for the loss you’re currently feeling. The abundance will return, you just need to keep going! If you have trouble believing that, check out The Abundance Journal for Wildly Creative Entrepreneurs. It can help get your mind back on track and bring in the prosperity that’s waiting for you!

You Stop Creating

And who can blame you? With profits down, you have to pull back. You can’t afford to spend time and money creating new programs, so you recycle the ones you’ve already produced. Your fearful self is saying, “Just re-release this same product again. It doesn’t matter that I don’t have to have new sales copy written or record new videos.” While this might help bring in a bit of cash short-term, it won’t do anything for your reputation or your self-esteem.

Instead, repurpose with positive intent. For example, you can turn your ebook into a group coaching course. Just be sure you do it the right way with new sales copy and whatever new items you need to make it into a successful coaching course.

 

A fear-based mindset can cause you to make rash decisions and rush into things. Do your best to take your time and think about your situation calmly and rationally so you can pull yourself out of your current position and get back on track to building a successful business!

How to Live Your Life with Intense Purpose

Wandering around aimlessly from day to day provides absolutely no benefit to you or those around you. An unspecified purpose leaves you frustrated and lacking direction with everything you do. If you don’t already know your purpose in life, take some time to reflect on what it may be (see below). Then make sure everything you do lines up with this purpose.

Discover Your Purpose

In order to find your purpose, look at the things you love to do and what makes you tick. The trick is to figure out where you draw your internal energy from and where your gifts and talents are best used.

What do you do to recharge your batteries? What do you absolutely love to do? Take a little time to figure this out and then focus on it. If you need more help discovering your purpose, our course Brain Training for Success can help!

Choose Activities That Fulfill Your Purpose

Once you identify your purpose, look at the things you do on a day-to-day basis. Do these activities add to your purpose or take away from it? Everything you say, do, think and act on should complement your purpose and help fulfill you. If it isn’t doing this, either drop the activity or delegate it to someone else.

An example of a purpose you might have is to provide a healthy and comfortable life for your partner and children. What types of activities do you think fall in line with this purpose? Let’s look at a few and see how they line up with your personal life purpose.

  • Cooking. Cooking your own food allows you to be the top chef. You get to choose the ingredients in your food, rather than relying on some other person or company. You can take out the salt, add flavor with herbs and spices, and reduce your portions to create something that fits within your family’s healthy lifestyle. Plus you’re saving money, which can be used for your children’s education or a family retreat.
  • Cleaning. Keeping a clean house fulfills both the healthy and comfortable parts of your purpose. By doing things like dusting, washing dishes, and taking out the garbage, you’re staying healthy. Removing the clutter creates a more comfortable environment.
  • Exercise. Exercising, along with activities like yoga and meditation, helps keep your mind and body healthy and comfortable. These activities keep your weight down and make you feel better inside and out, which will also keep you strong for your family.

As you can see, each one of these activities adds to your purpose. Things that distract you from your purpose might include eating out excessively, living beyond your means, and even sitting around doing nothing all day. Negative or unfulfilling activities can be exchanged for the ones that supercharge both you and your life purpose.

Live With Purpose at Work, Too

For your professional purpose, you might have a passion to plan social events for you and your coworkers. You can accomplish this by volunteering for your company’s activities committee or being on a board that plans events and meetings. You can also start your own activity group and get things together for employee birthday parties in the office.

You can see how these ideas and actions fall directly in line with your passion and purpose. Obviously, you still have to get your job done, but you can certainly use your free time to fulfill your purpose.

Once you’ve identified your purpose, I challenge you to live your life with intensity toward that purpose. Do everything you can to focus on your calling with the things you say, think and do. If it isn’t necessary or doesn’t align with your goals, let it go.

 

Living your life with intense purpose renews your passion for life and enables you to be the best you can be. It strengthens your self-confidence and, best of all, brings self-fulfillment. Find your purpose today, and give it all you’ve got!

The Two Most Effective Ways to Increase Your Productivity

For some people – perhaps even for you – increasing productivity is akin to finding the Holy Grail. Why has upping productivity taken on such mythical proportions?

Simply put, increasing productivity means increasing earning potential. If you own a business where you provide any type of service, taking steps to increase your ability to deliver the service in less time will allow you to take on more clients and earn more money.

Likewise, if you sell a product, finding a way to make or deliver that product faster will enable you to serve more customers, once again, making more money.

When you find ways to do the same thing in less time, you’re being more efficient. Efficiency and productivity go hand in hand.

Undoubtedly, the more efficient you can make the process of completing any task, the more productive you’ll be.

Use these strategies to increase your efficiency so you can be more productive:

  1. Create a prioritized schedule for your work. Whether using a post-it note, a Microsoft Word file, or an online task management tool (such as Toodledo or Remember the Milk), almost everyone has some type of system for creating and editing the classic “to-do” list. These lists are sometimes a hodgepodge of ideas and tasks that need to be completed in the future and not-so-distant future.

    There is nothing wrong with maintaining a to-do list, as it can make the difference between getting stuff done and going crazy trying to keep everything organized in your head. Still, the typical to-do list leaves much to be desired. Unlike a conventional to-do list, having a prioritized schedule takes things a step further, allowing you to increase efficiency and productivity. This is because prioritizing all of the tasks that you have in front of you while keeping track of a longer-term picture of your schedule for weeks to come, will allow you to really figure out what is the most important thing that needs to be done right now.

    If you are creating a prioritized schedule and realize that you have a best friend’s wedding in two months, you’ll be able to bump getting a dress or tux way down the list, while still making sure to place it somewhere on your schedule. A prioritized schedule essentially puts things into perspective, allowing you to figure out what truly needs to get done this very moment and focus on that.

  1. Seek out and accept specialized help. Whether you run your own business or are a stay-at-home parent, it will save you lots of time and energy at the start if you’re open to collaborating with others.

    Bill Gates may be quite capable of developing all of the new programs needed to advance Microsoft as a company while working with prospective clients in addition to handling customer service and PR. However, Mr. Gates and most other successful individuals would never be caught doing this. No matter how much you can do by yourself, your resources are finitely limited by one single factor that trumps all others… time. So, rather than spend 8 hours a day answering phone calls, working on new products, shopping for groceries, and cutting your own hair, it may be a more productive use of your time to zero in on the one or two things that give you the most results for the amount of energy that you put into them. For example, if developing a new product will eventually double the size of your business by being able to cater to an additional market or consumer demographic, then this is time well spent.

Paying someone else to answer phones, freeing up your time to be devoted towards projects that will give you more returns for your time invested is the sure sign of a future Fortune 500 executive at work. (Check out this article from our parent company on how to find and Combining this strategy with using a prioritized schedule will enable you to focus on what’s most important for you and get it done. Your productivity will soar!

Finding Your Inner Strength When the Going Gets Tough

Experiencing challenging phases in life can really test your mettle. When you encounter those bumps in the road, how do you react? Are you able to deal effectively with these challenges without going to pieces? Could you use some help in finding your inner strength?

Try these ideas to tap into your personal reserves whenever the going gets tough:

  1. Take some time to ponder the present dilemma. What do you see as the real issue? Are you making a mountain out of a mole-hill? How can you focus your efforts on the current event that’s troubling you?
  2. Acknowledge your fears about the vexing situation. Before you can show resilience to move forward, it’s important to recognize any fears that have a bearing on your current circumstances. Ignoring them will only serve to thwart you from confronting the issue.
  3. Consider every option. Writing down your options for overcoming your challenge will help you see the situation from all angles.
  • Brainstorming as many solutions as you can is a great start to finding a workable option.
  • Be open-minded. Sometimes you have to remind yourself to not automatically screen out possible solutions to a sticky wicket. Every viable possibility should be considered.
  • Considering every possible solution indicates you have the resilience to succeed.
  1. Approach the challenge with positivity. It may sound over-simplified, but you can either approach a stumbling block thinking, “I don’t think I’m going to survive it” or “I’m going to do my best and make my way through this situation.” Taking a positive outlook will compel you to move forward through the crisis. Be optimistic!
  2. Avoid looking too far ahead. Focus on what’s going on in this moment. Sometimes, it helps to make it through 1 hour at a time.
  • Concentrate your energy on what you can do in the here and now.
  1. Draw from your religious faith to help you through. Spirituality regularly assists millions of people to live consistently healthy, happy lives. Perhaps finding faith would bring you the inner strength you desire.
  2. Seek emotional support from those you love. Any troubling event is easier to navigate through when you feel the love and support from someone close to you. Bolster your “resilience reserves” by getting a little help from your friends and family members.
  • Although it might be difficult for you to reach out and say, “I’m struggling,” look at it this way: your loved ones will feel better if you give them opportunities to be there for you. Accept the loving and supportive care that your loved ones are so willing to provide. You’ll likely have a chance in the future to reciprocate.
  1. Soothe your spirit. What calms you down, makes you feel peace, and brings you simple joy? Take time to participate in your favorite activities to soothe your frayed emotions.
  • Taking a walk in the woods, swimming a few laps at the pool, or doing a handcraft or hobby at home can be some of the most self-soothing things you can do when you’re experiencing a tricky life phase.
  1. Embrace your strength. Remember that your strength has pulled you through many crises in the past. Have confidence that it can continue to bolster you through many more.

Life can be exhilarating, interesting, and challenging. When you encounter a block in your path, allow your resilience to shine through. These strategies can help you draw on your inner strength to live a meaningful, enriched existence, no matter what type of challenge you encounter.

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And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men; Colossians 3:23 AKJV