Creating Your Vision – Time to Break It Down

Now that you have defined the area of your life you want to focus on and the time frame that you want to accomplish it in, it is time to get down to some details.

I find it helpful to look at the various aspects of my life as opposed to the data in my life.  My life’s data consists of things like income, number of vacation days, where I live, how long I have been working, etc.

When moving ahead in constructing your vision, ask yourself the following questions to help you to see what is important to you, what you want to carry forward, what you want to leave behind, and what you want to create anew.

Define What’s Working

Take some time to realize those aspects of your life that are working for you now.  What brings you joy?  What excites you and inspires you to put effort and energy into actions around that part of your life?
  • List what is working.
  • Describe why it works for you and why it works now.
  • Describe how you feel when this part of your life is engaged.
  • How important is this part of your life?
  • Will this aspect of your life work for you in the future?
  • Do you want to take what is working and bring it with you into the future?

 Define What is not Working

Take some time to identify those aspects of your life that are not working for you now.  What feels like drudgery?  What do you put off?
  • List those things that you would like to not have in your life.
  • Describe why they don’t work for you.
  • Is a future life possible without this aspect of your life?
  • How important is this piece of your life?
  • What effect does this part of your life have on other parts of your life?
  • For those parts that are important, create a statement that describes your future life without this negative aspect.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATake your time with this exercise.  You may have to contemplate this over several days or even longer.  Be aware of how you feel and how you are affected as things happen in your day to day life.  Give it a try, play with it, and observe your level of joy and enthusiasm while considering various parts of your life to come.

Creating Your Vision – Step 2

This process of creating a compelling vision can be overwhelming.  In previous blog postings I talked about taking it one step at a time.

The first step was to focus on what part of your life you want to focus on.

The second step is to choose a timeframe to focus on.

First, take a look at how far out in time you would like to imagine.  When would you like to have your life look like your vision?  Of course it would be great if you could have that right now, but there is an element of reality that only you can define.  Make the timeframe too short and you will not believe that you can meet your goals.  Make it too long and you will not be inspired to take the actions needed to get you what you want.

Clock - what everTake a good look at the factors you see limiting your progress.  Some of these limitations are real:  kids graduating from college, Social Security kicks in at age 62, 100 pounds does not go away in a month, there are 3 more years until full pension kicks in.  These help you to set time boundaries and can be helpful.

Some limiting factors are just small thinking.  They may seem like they are not moveable or flexible, but some creative thinking will show that there is at least a possibility that the limitation can be changed.  For instance:  I will need to work 5 years to save $50,000 to invest in my new business.  Other options could be to borrow the money, to bring in investors, or to start smaller with less investment.  The important point is that you recognize which factors are true limitations and which ones are just challenges.

When choosing your timeframe be realistic but also stretch your boundary of comfort.  If you really want to live the life you envision, see how close you can bring your timeframe.  A bit of discomfort is challenging.  Too much discomfort is discouraging.

So by now, you have created boundaries for your vision so that you have an aspect of your life to focus on as well as having a target timeframe to achieve it.  Hopefully you will feel some of the overwhelm starting to ease up so that you can start to be inspired.

 

The Big Picture

Since the beginning of 2013, it seems as if there are just tons of new ideas and concepts coming into my awareness.  They have probably been in the marketplace for years now, but for me they are new.  It is so easy to get excited about the prospect of a powerful way to market your product or a new tablet that can help you to connect better with your clients.

Then comes “overwhelm”.  Yes, so much information and so many bits and pieces to help you, but where do you begin and how does it all fit into what you are trying to accomplish?

This is when I remember to go back to the Big Picture.  What are you really trying to accomplish with your business?  What are the boundaries that you have set up for yourself at this point in time?  Is it wise to stay within them or is it time to stretch them?  Will diving into something new distract you from accomplishing goals that you are working on, or is it just the thing to get you closer to them?

If you can’t see the Big Picture or you can’t remember how your goals fit into it, then maybe it is time to dedicate some time to getting more clarity around your business.  It doesn’t have to be a week-long process with charts and numbers and vision boards.  Half a day, with the right focus can give you a clear picture of your business structure and where you want to take your business.

I am always striving for simplicity and clarity in my life and in my business.  Remembering the bigger picture and my purpose help me to keep the chaos at bay.  How about you?

It’s Christmas Time

It’s Friday before Christmas and small businesses are in various states of activity.  Some, like mine, are winding down, getting ready for the next year.  Many are in a state of hyper activity, providing products and services that help others to celebrate the season.

Your perception of the holiday season and how your business contributes to it can make the difference between joy and exhaustion.  If you and your employees are super busy providing gift baskets, specialty foods, decorations or the like, how is your attitude?  Are you complaining that you are just too busy?  Sounds like a silly question (because who would complain about having a lot of business?), but take a moment to notice the words that you are using.  Do you say things like “I will be glad when the holidays are over”, or “It is just too crazy”?  Are your employees bemoaning how hard they are working?

Instilling an atmosphere of joy can make all of the difference in the world.  How do you do that?  Remember and remind your employees of the purpose of your business, especially at this time of year.  When we know that we are contributing to the joy of others, making their lives easier, and touching their lives in a big or even small way, we look forward to going to work and being a part of the excitement.  We naturally extend enthusiasm and gratitude when we are in a state of contributing to others.  It makes their experience with our business more pleasurable, which translates into future business and more income.  Not to mention that everyone around us is happier!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.  It is a wonderful time to remember the joy in our hearts and how easy it is to share that joy with all of those around us.

With great Joy,

Beth

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Enthusiasm! What is that all about?

A few years back I created my tag line, “Move your organization forward with clarity, confidence, and enthusiasm”.  I have gotten some flack about using the word ‘enthusiasm’ mainly because it is difficult to quantify.  But, something in me said that it was the right word.  As many times as I tried to replace it, ‘enthusiasm’ kept coming back.

Today I read something about enthusiasm that was new to me.  Apparently, the root of the word comes from the Greek word ‘entheos’, meaning ‘to be filled with God’.  I stopped dead in my tracks.  Is this what I was feeling when I chose the word?  Is it really more than just being excited and all jazzed up about what we are doing for a living?

We all have our own meaning of ‘God’ and you may have another word that fits better for you.  (I am just telling you what the Greeks said).  What is more important is the concept.  Can we really run a business from within our True and Deeper self?  Can our business really have a larger purpose?  A business that helps us to express our “God given talents” (as my mother used to say)?

So, when I tell people I can help them to actually start to run their business with enthusiasm, yes, I do think about the great, light, joyous feeling that is possible.  But, now I am thinking…  maybe there is even more to it than that.

Wishing you a most ENTHUSIASTIC of days!

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Don’t Like to Work?

I received an email yesterday from a very successful entrepreneur and the title was “I Hate Work”.  It was an email that I felt compelled to open because I wanted to see what the ‘hook’ was.  You know, where they tell you that they really don’t hate work, or they tell you how they used to hate it but this is how they got out of their funk.

Much to my surprise, he was serious!  This poor guy was in such a funk that he could not get any of his projects completed nor did he want to wake up in the morning and work on his business.  He was actually calling out for help to his clients.  He just did not understand why he was not enthusiastic about his work anymore.

 So here is the lesson as I see it…

We see many, many emails from guys who have ‘figured out’ the formula to getting in lots of clients and money and they are willing to share it with us (for a fair price, of course).  They have figured out how to get passive income.

Why do some of these businesses continue to grow and succeed and others just fall apart?  I see it as a lack of purpose.

If this guy really knew what the difference is that he is trying to make in the world, then he would be able to have that sense of purpose guide all that he does.  I tell my clients all the time that if their only purpose is to make money, they are going to have a bumpy ride.  Your purpose gets you through the tough times and grounds your work.

I was quite pleased to see so many responses to this flailing entrepreneur that indicated he needed to find his purpose.  Lots of people get it.  How are you doing with it?

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