Change Your Life with Just 3 Words

Vasavi KumarOn my own journey of figuring out “how to become what I really wanted to be” – there were specific steps, both in my mind and in my actions to get there.

Although the equation is quite simple, moving through the process of getting to the peace of mind and pure joy that comes with doing what you love and having relationships that feel good can be challenging for a lot of people.  But I know it’s possible because I’ve done it myself.

I recently chatted with transformational coach, Vasavi Kumar who is not only someone I trust, she’s also someone who keeps it real.  She generously shared the secret formula behind her success. It’s based on a foundational principle that is inside of all of us.  She calls it S.O.U.R.C.E.

As Vasavi describes it, the S.O.U.R.C.E. principle is a universal truth that, when nurtured and exposed, can take anyone from a mediocre to an absolutely breathtaking life. She told me that I could share it with you, so here it is:

S = Spirit Connection
O = Ownership of Who You Are
U = Understanding Your Purpose
R = Redefine, Realize, and Realign Your Vision
C = Consciously Create
E = Energy of Everything

She also blew my mind with 3 words that she uses in every single decision she ponders in her life and business.  These 3 simple words, paired with the mastery of the S.O.U.R.C.E. – is the key to an epic, breathtaking life.

Because of what I learned, I am so excited to share that Vasavi herself is conducting a complimentary tele-class on June 6 where she will reveal those 3 simple words, and dive deep into what each component of S.O.U.R.C.E means to you and me.  That’s why I highly recommend you joining us.  There’s no cost and Vasavi is going to pour all of her knowledge, passion and energy into the tele-class.

If you’re interested, here is the link to sign up for her complimentary tele-class.

Hope to see you on the call, I know you’ll enjoy it!

Using Hashtags For Your Business

HashtagHashtags are everywhere…you see them for TV shows, movies, restaurants, major events, etc. We are surrounded by hashtags and the prediction is it’s only going to grow!

If you’re not familiar with hashtags, they are an easy way to group updates on social media. You can search for things and people with a common interest and follow specific topics such as #smallbiz or #socialmedia. Hashtags have been around for a while on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and now Facebook has started using them. Are you using them in your social media? They can increase the visibility of your business and connect you with potential customers!

Hashtags can play an important role in your online marketing strategy. The key is to use them correctly, and not to overuse them. Social Caffeine recently published a great guide that will help you learn more about them and how to use them for your business.  It’s called The Only Hashtag Guide You’ll Ever Need and I highly recommend clicking the link and reading it.

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Where Do You Spend Most of Your Time?

Written by: Melanie Yost, LCSW
Author, Speaker and Business Mentor
 

I recently read The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks.  It was a fantastic book and I’ve done something a rarely do with a book – I’m reading it a second time.  It’s not that what he shared was new information for me, it’s that it pulled information that I know together in a different and very helpful way.  I’d like to share some of the wisdom I gleaned from Hendricks and add my own perspective to it.

Our skills, abilities and knowledge fall into 4 different categories which Hendricks refers to as zones.  These zones are Incompetence, Competence, Excellence and Genius/Brilliance.  Let’s look at these zones and how they show up in your business.

The Zone of Incompetence describes the knowledge, skills and abilities that we don’t have.  It makes sense that when we encounter things within this zone, we would hand them over to someone who does have the knowledge, skills and abilities to handle them quickly and easily, right?  You would think so . . . . but let me ask you this question.  How many times have you spent hours trying to figure something out or make something happen only to end up frustrated or discouraged?

I did that when I was first starting to get my business online.  I knew I needed a newsletter so I hired a graphic designer to create the template, picked an auto-responder, wrote my content and then spend about 10 hours looking at html code and trying to successfully load my newsletter into the auto-responder.  10 HOURS!  Finally when I realized I was on the brink of throwing my computer out the window and abandoning my dreams of taking my business online, I reached out for help.  It took someone else 10 minutes to do what I had struggled 10 hours to do and failed.  I was definitely operating in my zone of incompetence.

So many business owners spend way too much time in their zone of incompetence because they have a limited budget and they think they are saving money by learning how to do it themselves.  When I calculate how much money I wasted by spending 10 hours fooling around with that newsletter compared to the amount I spend on hiring an assistant who had those skills to do it, I am mortified.

The Zone of Competence is where you have the knowledge, skills and abilities to complete a task or do the job, but it’s not how you enjoy spending your time.  It’s a “should do” not an “I get to do”.  This is another area where, for financial reasons, many business owners spend too much time.  They can do the task and so to save money, they do it themselves.

Here’s the thing, just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should do it.  When you are doing things that you are capable of doing but don’t like to do, you tend to procrastinate.  You either procrastinate doing the thing you don’t like doing, moving it from one to do list to another; or you use the task as an excuse not to do the important things in your business like marketing, networking and talking to prospective clients because you are “too busy”.

I just had a conversation this week with one of my clients who hates doing bookkeeping tasks.  She is capable of doing them and her reason for not hiring a book keeper is that it is easier to do it herself than to explain it to someone else.  She doesn’t like doing the data entry in to QuickBooks and as a result, she puts it off and then floats from month to month not knowing what her business finances really are.

The Zone of Excellence is the place where you have expert knowledge, specialized skills and top notch abilities.  You are really good at operating in this arena and you usually receive significant rewards (validation, praise, money, recognition) for your work.  This sounds like a great place to hang out . . . doing good work, getting praise, recognition, validation and money for doing something you like . . . . what’s not to like?  It is a nice, comfortable place and many business owners spend their entire life in the zone of excellence.

The risk of staying in excellence is that you can begin to feel stagnant and burned out.  Even though you are really good at what you do, you begin to lose your passion and excitement for it.  It becomes harder and harder to stay motivated and engaged.

The Zone of Genius is your sweet spot.  It is the knowledge, skills and abilities you have that give you tremendous passion and make you want to get out of bed every day just so that you get to do them.  They are the things make you lose track of time and you would do them even if you didn’t get paid.  Often, they are special interests or specific aspects of what you do in your zone of excellence.

To keep the passion alive in your business, it is important to keep digging and discovering your genius and implementing your brilliance into your business.  I have recently discovered my genius and it has made all the difference in how I feel about my business and the clients I am attracting to it.

What to do with this information:

  1. Let go of the tasks that fall into your zone of incompetence as soon as possible.  I know that may feel scary, but I promise you that the relief you feel will be immediate and worth every penny you spend to hire someone else to do it.
  2. Make a list of the tasks that are in your zone of competence that you don’t like to do or regularly procrastinate doing.  Make a plan to get them off your plate as soon as possible so that you can spend the majority of your time operating in you zones of excellence and genius.
  3. Begin looking for your areas of genius and brilliance.  When you find them, incorporate them into your business as much as possible.  You will be amazed at the opportunities that open up for you as a result.

Melanie Yost LCSW is an Author, Speaker, and Business Mentor for motivated business owners ready to break through to the next level.  She teaches them how to integrate their unique skills, natural abilities and lifestyle priorities into their business planning and marketing strategies so that they can make more money than they ever thought possible and have fun doing it.  A psychotherapist for 20 years, Melanie combines a wealth of effective and creative tools that empower her clients to transform their lives, their situations, and most importantly, their outcomes. When people are looking for an opportunity to create a 180 degree turn in their finances, beliefs, business and lives, they seek Melanie’s acute wisdom and trusted advice. To learn more about Melanie and the products and services she offers, go to www.awakenyourentrepreneur.com.

 

Do You Know What is Draining the Life Out of Your Business?

Written by: Melanie Yost, LCSW
Business Mentor for Helping Professionals

Staying focused is often one of the most difficult parts of being an entrepreneur. It is up to us to keep on track, stay motivated and hold ourselves accountable. In order to get more clients, make more money and grow your business, you have to create the time to work on your business as well as in it.

Working on your business means doing all the things that make your business run so that you can get more clients and make more money. In order to grow your business and keep attracting new clients to you, you have to spend at least 2 hours a day marketing and working on your business. Yes, you read that correctly, 2 hours a day. If you are freaking out and wondering where you will find the time, it is important to be honest and look at what is draining your time and energy.

We all have obligations outside of our business. We are parents, spouses, children, and volunteers. That’s what makes us whole and balanced people. Some people get so wrapped up in the outside obligations that they allow themselves to be pulled away from their business. Your business is like a child. It won’t grow and thrive without your attention, care and nurturing. Take an honest look at how you are spending your time and whether or not you are spreading yourself too thin.

Next, we all have emotional drains that zap our energy and eat up our time. You know, the needy friend, the dysfunctional relationship, the draining client or the dependent adult child. Unresolved issues that causes regret, a secret that you don’t want exposed or an unresolved money issue are also emotional drains that can paralyze you and keep you stuck in your business.

Finally, we all have time wasters. When stressed and overwhelmed, we have our behaviors and coping mechanisms that we use to avoid reality and deal with overwhelm. These can include obvious time wasters such as playing video games, watching TV, or calling friends. But they can also include things that can be productive but the amount to time we devote to them make them an avoidance tactic and a time waster. These include surfing the internet, checking email, daydreaming, reading or cleaning/organizing.

Take an honest look at how you are spending your time and what takes your emotional energy. In order to find the time to spend working on your business, you have to start setting boundaries around your time and energy. That means saying “no” more often, delegating some of your responsibilities and making yourself less available to needy people in your life. Setting boundaries will allow you to easily find time you need to work on your business so you can get more clients and make more money.

You are the CEO of your company and are responsible for structuring your time, setting the work standard and developing the discipline to sticking with it. No one else will do it for you. If you do not take control of your time and make your business a top priority, your business will not grow.

Melanie Yost has been called a “miracle worker”. She has the ability to take negative situations and create lasting positive results. A therapist for 20 years and now a business development coach, she has successfully worked with individuals to transform their lives, their situations, and most importantly, their outcomes. When people are looking for an opportunity to create a 180 degree turn in their finances, beliefs, business and lives, they seek Melanie’s acute wisdom and compassionate touch. To learn more about Melanie and the products and services she offers, go to www.awakenyourentrepreneur.com.