Archive for the ‘Life Balance’ Category
As a business owner, every year I have new goals that I am aiming to achieve. This year is no different from any other. I have taken stock of 2014 and set my goals in place. I have personally never made a New Year’s resolution. I believe that resolutions are so easily broken. Instead, I choose to develop habits which to me is a more personal and sustainable way of incorporating new things into your daily life.
When you make a resolution, you start off with a rush of excitement to take on something new. Then, there comes the middle lull, when your willpower is tested to see it through. Finally, you either have conquered the thing or given up. On the other hand, when you incorporate something as a daily habit it does not test your willpower but instead becomes a part of what makes you powerful.
Habits are safer than rules; you don’t have to watch them. And you don’t have to keep them, either. They keep you. ~Frank Crane
Internal Awareness Breeds External Success
If you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig. The same goes for us humans. If your inside is not whole, no amount of lipstick can dress up your life. Success of any kind starts with who you are on the inside. For your life to thrive you must clean it up, feed and water it with daily habits that will draw positivity to your life.
A habit can be either good or bad. Commit to things that are meaningful to you. Take the time to do a sincere audit of your life, personal and professional. Dig deep; ask yourself what are the habits you need to develop to move closer to being your best self. Stay away from superficial things that won’t really change who you are on the inside. Focus on the things that will change ‘you’ and by changing you; you will change the environment around you.
Here’s a list of the habits I have committed to incorporate to breed success in my life
- More time with God – When you know the source, you know yourself.
- Forgive and seek forgiveness – When you take the power of pain and anger away, you will see your life thrive.
- Stop competing – There’s no greater validation of confidence in your self.
- Strengthen relationships – Your personal and professional circle should think, act, and believe like you. Your paths may differ, but your goals should be the same.
- Stop judging others – Everyone has their own story. Listen and learn about people. Be human and agree to disagree in peace.
- Travel more – It’s easy to have an idea of the world. It’s better to see it and know the truth.
- Read more (keep learning) – Books are a form of mental and spiritual travel. Absorb languages, cultures and facts about the world around you.
- Be healthier (mind, body & soul) – Be aware of the foods you eat. Are they a good source for your body? Be more positive and self motivating. Feed your mind and soul the things that will help you grow.
- Take risk – Leave your comfort zone daily. Explore the things you want without hesitation. Allow your ‘gut’ to lead you on a path your mind is afraid of.
- Give – The only way to acquire wealth, peace, love and success is to give it away. How much you have in life is always reflected in how much you have given.
Truth is a point of view, but authenticity can’t be faked. ~ Peter Guber
We now live in a society where ‘realness’ has become a requirement in every aspect of life. We demand it from our government, business leaders, community leaders, and even social media. It’s believed that you can’t be successful if people don’t feel like you’re presenting a true sense of who you really are.
Authenticity is needed today for everyone regardless of the situation. From the least to the greatest, self-awareness makes it easier to see life choices more clearly and brings our values more into focus. When we are authentic, we align our actions with our beliefs, values, strengths and weaknesses as one.
To Be Authentic You Must Conquer Two Things:
1. Clarification of Who You Are
For most people, this is not a problem. I personally embrace authenticity, and regularly reap the benefits of it. But there are some who find it hard to be so open about who they really are. This makes it difficult for some to reach the full level of success in business and in their personal lives. In most cases, lack of authenticity is not because a person is deliberately being dishonest. Lack of authenticity can also come from not truly knowing who you authentically are; therefore unable to authentically express it. If you want to be relevant in today’s society, you must first clarify who you are and incorporate that authenticity into everything you do. To bring clarity to who you are, start asking yourself some specific questions. These honest answers will get you started on a path of defining yourself. What are your core values? What is your life vision?
2. Consistency at Being You
Do you constantly hide behind a mask so that you will blend in? Take note; it’s perfectly fine to have an opinion and profess your personal likes and dislikes. “Be yourself” is possibly the most commonly used phrase in history and yet so many people still find it hard to do. To be yourself simply means to define yourself on your terms. To be consistently authentic you have to stop caring about how other people perceive you. Doing specific things every day is easier to maintain than dropping things and picking them up over and over again. Consistency is not about seeing and reaching a finish line. Consistency is about doing (or being) the same with no timescale. You are authentic, irreplaceable and unique. Your authentic self supports your purpose in life. For example: Carpenters are naturally gifted to use their hands to create things. Successful public relations professionals have a naturally gift of great communication.
How can you become more consistent at being you?
- First, Make a commitment to define your personal values.
- Create business and personal relationships that allow you to be authentic. (Practice makes perfect)
- Be aware, authenticity means some people will not like or agree with you.
- Don’t be afraid to disagree with things that do not agree with your values and beliefs.
- Identify and embrace your weaknesses.
- Identify and articulate your strengths.
- Be sure that everyday your actions mirror your values and beliefs. (Walk what you talk)
Prosperity and fulfillment flows free for those who have taken time to ‘do the work’, get real with themselves and discover what makes ‘You’ you. Surround yourself with people who clearly now who they are and is committed to being consistent to their true self. People (family, friends, colleagues & customers) will not support what they don’t believe.
Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion. – Jim Rohn
When you’re motivated and inspired, you are capable of achieving almost anything. Thinking positively about your work and life is the foundation of the success we seek. There comes a time when we all need a little extra push – the normal process is to seek encouragement from outside, but as an entrepreneur, the voice you must consistently hear is your own. When you’re going through the a rough patch in your entrepreneurial life, learn to look inward for motivation and inspiration. Here are 10 affirmations you can say to encourage yourself.
10 Daily Affirmations for the Entrepreneur’s Life
1. Start each day remembering the why – “I am an entrepreneur because____.”
2. I visualize my success. I attract success and prosperity with my ideas.
3. Every obstacle I face is molding me into the person I need to be.
4. Everyday I will achieve a goal and make a new one.
5. I am aware and confident in my self-worth. Others do not dictate my value.
6. I will listen to and trust my gut instincts. Negative outsiders will not affect my vision.
7. I will move forward no matter what choosing positive actions in the face of fear.
8. My reputation will precede me, my hard work and diligence will speak for itself.
9. I am successful because of my intelligence and skills. I produce what I promise.
10. I am conscientious and present in every aspect of my business success.
If you’re looking to maximize your enjoyment while have the freedom and security that comes with knowing you have full control of your life, then a lifestyle business may be exactly what you need. – Sean Ogle
As the owner of my financial consulting company, I wear a lot of hats and do the majority of the work myself. The one thing I want to achieve everyday is the satisfaction of waking up and doing what I love. Because it’s my business my priority is to serve my clients by going above and beyond their expectations. But, I also understand that my business must serve me as well.
Some might say designing your business around your lifestyle is unrealistic. But, I say it’s unrealistic to believe you will be successful in business if your lifestyle suffers.As a business owner we know that our day rarely ends at 5 o’clock. It’s up to us to decide how much of our lifestyle is affected when balancing it all. Ask yourself what is important you, and take the steps to make sure these things are accomplished by designing your business to fit your lifestyle.
Start by asking questions that define your business
- What do you want to achieve in your business?
- Do you want to work alone or with a team?
- How fast or slow do you want your business to grow?
- What type of relationships do you want with customers?
- What sort of impact do you want to make in your industry?
Ask questions that define your unique lifestyle
- How much revenue do you want to generate?
- Do you want to work from home or an outside office?
- Do you want to travel? How much or how little?
- Do you like want to work year around or have certain seasons off?
- Do you want to build relationships with customers?
To successfully combine business and lifestyle, you must spend more time working on your businesses, not in it. Decide exactly how you will execute your daily task. Identify what is important to your customers and apply an extra touch that makes you unique. The most important thing with business and lifestyle is mindfulness of time. When I worked full-time in corporate banking, there never seemed to be enough free time. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of carrying their work schedule from their job into their business. Outsource or delegate task you do not specialize in. Creating time to enjoy your desired lifestyle will keep you enthusiastic and creative about your business, which ensures unlimited success.
Some benefits of building your business around your lifestyle
- Fast profit – When you work for yourself, your overhead is lower.
- Location flexibility – You can choose to work from home an office space.
- Less stress – Though there’s a lot of pains when you’re a business owner, it’s less stressful when you’re not working somewhere for someone who you don’t want to.
- Flexible projects – You can stick to one thing or expand into as many different things you want.
What’s unique about all successful businessmen and businesswomen is that they have built their work around their lifestyle. Don’t force things that don’t come naturally for you. This almost always leads to frustrations and disappointment. If you have chosen to start your own business, take the time to build an action plan that supports your unique lifestyle.
Entrepreneurship can get pretty tricky when your business crosses the threshold of humble beginning to success. Keeping your personal values and morals in check can be the most difficult thing you do everyday. While it’s important to separate your business life from your personal life, it’s even more important that you don’t become someone you’re not in order to obtain or maintain success. The foundation that supports authentic business leadership is based on your own personal beliefs and convictions.
One detour we take from authenticity is paying too much attention to the “noise” around us. Be sure to keep personal views and what others think in balance. The opinions of others represent the person giving them. Value your self and your choices enough that you are able to entertain them without being overly influenced. Remember to set professional boundaries.Don’t allow outsiders to get too involved in your business decisions. It’s OK to listen and hear other views but it’s critical to your authenticity that you have limits to the information others are privy to. Discuss business matters with a team member or a mentor.
Be true to yourself, your business and your customers by taking the time to build working relationships that allow who you “really” are come through. Do not hide behind an imitation of another successful brand. Be a living description of what you represent. Authentic leadership is who “you” are translated into.
As you ponder on authenticity, take a moment to ask yourself these questions and decide if you are on the right path to achieve the business success you want while remaining true to yourself.
- What are your most deeply felt values? Have your values changed since starting your business?
- Who are your team members? Is your team made of diverse members who support your values?
- Do you have Work/Life balance? Are you able to be yourself at home, work and within your community?
- What is your true motivation? Are you motivated by your own true passion for business or the success & passion you see in someone else?
- Is being authentic a priority in your life? Are you willing to pay the price as a business leader to stay true to yourself?iving a life from a place of who we really are and to allows others to be authentic as well.
Living our professional and business life from a genuine, authentic place of who we really are brings honest results to what we do. It also opens the door and allows others we encounter to be authentic with us as well.
People throw away what they could have by insisting on perfection, which they cannot have, and looking for it where they will never find it. – Edith Schaeffer
For the majority of us the struggle to achieve work-life balance is a constant one. Even with all of the technology we have at our fingertips, we seem to rush through life at an even faster paste. More now than ever the hectic day-to-day life of most Americans is filled with fifty percent work, forty percent family and ten percent self.
It’s hard to conclude if the true struggle is in finding the balance or defining it. Being the diverse individuals that we are, cultural and geographical upbringing plays a large part in what our image of perfection is. One thing for sure no matter what part of the world you are from, American culture has its own myths of what perfection is or should be. We are fed the dream of obtaining the perfect job, the perfect house and the perfect family. We live the majority of our lives chasing this perfection and carrying the guilt as we run the race. Perhaps we should open ourselves to seeking a more guilt-free life and allow more choices of what perfection is. One of the best ways to do this is to stop seeking perfection and seek happiness.
Happiness over Perfection
In an ideal world perfection would equal happiness. Yet it’s ironic that to be truly happy we must learn to let go of perfection. There are many stages to letting go. It’s important that you conquer each one as they come. Here are five steps you can take to get you started.
1. Know your self-worth: You are good enough just the way you are. Your opinion of yourself is the only opinion that matters. When we are happy with ourselves others are happy with us. Make a list of all the things you like about yourself. Spend more time focusing on the qualities about yourself that you like and less on the ones that you dislike. Your very existence is the proof of your value. Life has no price tag and appreciation of your life starts with you.
2. Don’t compare: The first that we must do is redirect our focus inward instead of outward. Keeping up with the Jones’ drives the focus to someone else, who may very well have the perfection you seek, but not happiness. Focusing inwardly will abort the competing and the feeling that you’re inferior to anyone else. Appreciate yourself and focus what you have done and are doing.
3. Keep your environment realistic: Perfectionism is contagious. Don’t allow the beliefs of others persuade you to live a life you are not at peace with. Surround yourself with family and friends who focus on living their best life and encourage you to do the same. Minimize your contact with all of outside deterrents that encourage the environment of perfection.
4. Accept the nature of mistakes: Making mistakes is how we learn. It’s the law of nature. It’s how birds fly and how babies walk. By nature no one is perfect all of the time at everything. Accepting that we will make mistakes opens our eyes to weaknesses and gives us the opportunity to strengthen. It’s not our mistakes that define us but it’s how we recover from them.
5. There are no failures only lessons: We only fail when we do not learn from adversity. When something doesn’t go the way we planned, there a lesson to be learned. Face your failures head on and apply them when you come up against a similar situation. Instead of aiming for perfection, aim for wisdom and internal growth.
Perfection means different things to different people, therefore it can not be defined for you. If you’re focusing on someone else’s’ definition of perfect, you may never obtain it. If you focus on what brings joy and happiness to your life, not only will you define perfection for yourself but you will have obtained it.
When we set out to do things that haven’t been done before, healthy tension will always shadow us. ~ Amy Jo Martin
If you never dare to fail you are guaranteed never to see success. It’s very common for someone embarking on a new endeavor to feel fear and tension as they get closer to their plans actually becoming a reality. It’s even more common for fifty percent of those people to abandon the idea due to the fear and tension of possible failure. Entrepreneurs find it hard to walk away from the opportunity to see their dreams become a reality. They are not immune to the tension that comes with fear of failure, but they do not underestimate their ability to recover from failure, allowing them to move forward with opportunities.
Take the power out fear by understanding how it affects you. Walking into the unknown is the major source of fear. There is no way to know what the outcome of an endeavor will be, so analyze ways that you can control the tension that comes with it. Seeing the whole picture will help you see through the fear make the logical decision to keep going.
The Endeavors You May Be Facing:
Tension appears every time something changes in our life. When we have to adapt to a new situation we have the choice of seeing it as positive or negative. Some life situations that we face:
- Starting a new business, Going into a partnership, Taking on a big client, Taking your business global, Giving a speech, Quitting a job, Learning a new skill, Changing career paths, Moving to a new state/country, Traveling alone.
The Tension That Comes With It:
Immediately following the emotional feeling of tension are the thoughts that drive how we react. In most cases we sift through the negative before we allow the positive to penetrate. Some of the thoughts that feed tension:
- Failure, Not being understood, Not being heard , Not knowing enough, Your moving too fast, Your moving too slow, Too young, Too old, It’s never been done, It’s already been done, Too out dated, Too innovative.
Control The Tension:
I am the master of my fate. Famous words but true. We have the power within ourselves to boldly face new endeavors and turn the usual negative tension that comes with it into positive nuggets that give us more strength to follow through. Some things we can do to control tension:
Gratitude. Whenever you feel fear, switch it over to what you are grateful for instead.
Keep A Journal. Getting your fears out of your head and down on paper releases you from constantly thinking of them.
Communicate. Don’t throw a pity party, but find a friend or family member who you can share what your feeling with.
Perspective. Put negative thoughts in perspective. Focusing on the negative will block out any positives that are present.
Pray/ Meditate. Seek inward guidance to overcome your fear and tension. Hear the inner voice that speaks positive truths.
More Sleep. A well rested mind and body is clear of the fogginess and better able to challenge tension.
Try Yoga. Fear, tension or any negative energy can get trapped in your body. Yoga allows you to breathe and mentally release it.
Try a Getaway. Give yourself time away from the situation. Spend a few days in an atmosphere far outside endeavor.
Using tension as a positive, rather than viewing it as negative is the ultimate secret weapon of entrepreneurs and people who carry out their dreams. Used to your advantage, tension produces the best problem-solving and clear decision-making at the most fearful times in your life. Commit to understanding tension and taking on the unique perspective of controlling a negative emotion . The benefits of mastering tension will be seen in the success of every endeavor you face head on and conquer.