Mastering Delegation: 4 Words That Lead to More Freedom

Published on Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Today I heard four words that almost made me weep tears of joy.

We were having a bit of a challenge with some online technology. We have this fancy form that we are asking people to fill out in order to get a Jump Start session with one of my coaches. Hopefully by the time you read this it will be working: http://www.successconnections.com/jumpstart/

And every 2 or 3 times someone filled it out something wouldn’t work. Argh!

My team had tried very hard to handle it without me. But alas, someone found me on a site and said, “Help, I can’t get this form to work!”

So being the diligent problem solver that I am, I started to troubleshoot and test the system to see what the problem was.

I called my Marketing Manager, explained the problem and said, “OK I’ll call [my virtual assistant] and see what needs to happen.” 

My Marketing Manager uttered these four words that almost made me weep… 

“I’ll take care of it!” Ahhh…..the relief in knowing that someone else is in charge. 

As a visionary, creative and leader of my empire, the last thing I need to be doing is solving technology problems. Thank goodness my team has been trained well in “owning” the problem and keeping me out of the middle. 

It’s what I call the grown up business model. It’s one where I do what I do best and leave the rest to the experts on my team. And this is the strategy that separates the “empire builders” from the rest – being able to let go and let others take charge. 

So what’s your gig – where do you get caught up in solving problems that suck your time and energy away from what you really should be doing? Love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.


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Is hitting the bottom essential to big success?

Published on Friday, September 19th, 2008

I received an interesting question from one of my Fast-Track to 6 & 7 Figure Lifestyle Business Mastermind members the other day. I thought I’d share it as I’m sure many of you have an opinion or personal experience to share here.

I just listened to the interview you had with Murray [Marder]. Great call.

Actually while listening to your story I thought about the following and I would love to hear your point of view:

You mentioned that you weren’t doing so well in the beginning, you were making less than 1000/month but this got you the kick to create something that is bigger than you ever thought it would be. And you know a lot of these successful entrepreneurs that have started from below zero and created a very successful business.

What do you think, is it necessary to been “down” there to be able to create something SO successful? Do you have to have been there to really know what it means to be an entrepreneur and have the energy to come out of the crisis and rise higher and higher?

I’d be really interested to know what you think about that. When I listen to all these entrepreneurs, then I hear that most of them started from no where or they were quite successful and then lost everything.

What if you haven’t been there and you don’t really know what it means not to know how to pay the bills etc? Do you think they don’t have it in them to succeed the same way?

looking forward to hearing from you.

Actually, I don’t believe that it is essential to fall apart, hit the bottom and go bankrupt to be a huge success. There are many people who have huge successes by simply applying a proven process and surrounding themselves with the right people, team, resources, etc.

The reason why I think we hear so much about the “breakdown-breakthrough to success” process is because typically humans are motivated more by moving away from pain than they are by pursuing pleasure. I think that is partly why those of us that hit bottom go so much higher — we can’t wait to get away from that feeling of falling apart.

What I ‘ve noticed in my eight years of coaching is that many entrepreneurs, service professionals and small business owners are not WILLING to make themselves uncomfortable to grow quickly. And playing in a comfortable place usually means limited growth. So if you haven’t gotten into a bad place, you may not have that same level of motivation.

By being at the bottom, you only have one direction to go — up!  Life in general is made up of a myriad of challenges to move through. People who are in the personal development world typically find themselves addressing their own stuff then later finding a passion to give it back to the world. So, hence, we have been to the “bottom” before we can be successful and teach/mentor/guide others.

I guess I don’t believe that you have to fall apart before you can be successful. By learning, studying and following the tools & resources from people like me you can save yourself a ton of time, money and energy by learning what works (aka I did all the heavy lifting for you.) However you may find that tough times give you more momentum — there is something bigger at stake!

I’m curious to hear other people’s thoughts?


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Making Tough Decisions as a Business Owner

Published on Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

This week I had a lot of tough decisions to make. In my Platinum Inner Circle program we call this “putting your big girl panties on.” (Sorry guys, it was on a magnet that someone gave me and it just stuck.) As a business and lifestyle coach, I see it as my main duty to follow the advice I give my clients.

I realized that there were some things piling up that were starting to get toxic and very distracting. Constantly I was ruminating in my head how to handle the situation. And yes, I even was a bit concerned about some of the decisions from a financial perspective — if I do this, will I lose this client — kinda thing.

But at the end of the day, I had to do what was best for me, my clients and the world around us. I call it the win-win-win decisions. If one person is losing in that equation then on some level we are all losing.

What I realized throughout this process was that I’m a business owner and every day I’m going to be faced with challenges. How I DECIDE to handle the challenges will dictate my experience. If I ruminate and worry, I’ll feel bad and my energy will go down the drain. If I “buck up” and make the best decision I can from a place of love, compassion and integrity while doing what I need for my business, then everyone wins — whether they realize it or not.

So far I’m through 5 of the 8 big decisions. I’ve got a few more to go. I choose to handle a few of the yucky ones first to get them handled and clear the energy. I’ve got another yucky conversation tomorrow and then a couple of scary-exciting decisions as I add someone to my team to manage my business development and map out some really big financial incentives for this role.

Interestingly enough as I have tackled these “yucky” situations I feel like someone is lifting rocks off my head. The pressure of what could happen is being replaced with victorious wins for both parties. Not once did someone yell at me or even feel angry but rather all concerned felt relieved and excited about the decisions.

It’s amazing what we make up in our head and project about what could happen vs. staying present to what is real.

I call this being a grown up business owner. We have to be willing to make the tough choices that continually align us with our desired outcomes and release the people, situations and opportunities that are not in alignment. Even when you want to run and hide…tackling the decision head on actually gives you more energy and power.

Here are a few questions that might help you make the decision:

  • What is it costing you to keep this situation/person in your life? Money? Time? Energy? Lost opportunities?
  • What is the worst case scenario? Best case scenario?
  • What are the pros and cons of the situation? Are you willing to live with the cons in order to have the pros?
  • If you had a million dollars, what decision would you make today?
  • What would your [mentor/coach/role model] do to solve this problem?

So what tough decision do you need to make that will free up some energy and momentum? Would love have you share it here…


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The Problem With Information Products

Published on Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Not to long ago I signed up for a 9 week course that a friend of mine was putting on. I had all the best intentions to download the course and follow along…but I didn’t. Over the weekend I finally finished downloading all the materials …and…then nothing. I got sidetracked again.

I realized this wasn’t the first time for me. I did the same thing with Mark Joyner’s Simpleology. I also never finished listening to all the CDs from Nido Quebin (they got kind of boring so that’s my story on that one.) And I’m sure there are a few more somewhere that got started and never finished. And its not like this is a $25 book I buy from Barnes & Nobles on a whim that never gets read. These programs can be quite a chunk of change!

And then it occurred to me.

This is what happens to 90% of people who invest in some kind of self-study or virtual learning. We invest with all the right intentions but then we get busy with life and forget to follow through. 17 binders of information products later, they sit, stacked on a shelf or in boxes in a corner of our office, waiting for that day when we actually have time to do something with it.

The funniest story I ever heard was from a woman who had invested in my Virtual Team Building program. She was feeling “buyers remorse” with yet another purchase. She explained that she had invested in over $20k worth of programs in the last 2 years and recently just put them all on ebay and sold them. After helping her see some ways to break that pattern by actually implementing our program…she agreed not to put mine on ebay. =-)

Why do people invest in programs they never use? What is this compulsion we have to learn more stuff? What keeps people from following through on their commitments in an online program?

What I realized is that most self study type programs are not designed to keep people engaged. When you consider the avalanche of emails that we receive daily to the constant fires that we encounter that must be handled immediately, spending time on a self guided program tends to fall by the way side.

So what can you do as a participant to keep yourself engaged so you actually get a good return on your investment? Here are 4 insights I discovered by running my own experiment:

  1. Get reconnected to the why. Why did you originally invest in it? What was the problem you wanted solved? I’m sure that didn’t go away magically.
  2. Create a schedule to complete the program. If you paid $10k for an MBA would you not go to class? Well, if you went to San Diego State you might not but that’s not the point. Treat it like a class you have to attend live every week in order to “pass” and you’ll create a stronger connection to completing it.
  3. Set up accountability. Too often the program shows up in the mail but there is no guidance or support for it. Get a business or success coach to hold you accountable or get a buddy to support you with weekly commitments. One of the ways we support our clients is we include a membership in our coaching community so they can get access to live support.
  4. Delegate it. Just because you bought it doesn’t mean you have to learn it. I’ve given members of my team different programs that I want them to learn. If they are responsible for the strategy they might as well benefit from your investment too.

The most important thing is to not let too much time go by. The more time that passes the less painful the cost of not completing it. Its too easy to forget that you wasted that money. MAs the Nike commerical says, “Just do it!” Get going. Take yourself to coffee for an hour and just start the program. You’ll be glad you did later.


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A Guaranteed Formula to Lose Me as a Client

Published on Thursday, May 8th, 2008

For a few months now I’ve been musing over what’s happened at my chiropractor’s office. He has finally lost me as a client and I thought I’d capture the “lesson learned” so we all know exactly what to do if you want to chase clients away.

I should first say that I was an absolute raving fan. This guy is very personable, had completely reasonable prices and I believed his values were truly aligned with making a difference. He also had a great office staff that kept him on time and organized.

Within a two month period I probably referred him to over 20 people. So what went wrong?

First, within a two week period a ton of changes happened. He changed his front office staff to someone really wacky. She scared me and made me feel uncomfortable. Plus she made a ton of mistakes with scheduling. One day I was on a coaching call and she called my cell and home 7 times in a row. I felt like I was being stalked.

Lesson: Always make sure your team is an excellent representation of who you are.

Second, he set up a client mill. He went for the temptation to move more clients through his already very quick adjustment process in record time. One day I walked in and there was just one big adjusting room. He told us that he wanted all the patients to be able to hear what he consulted the other’s on. Yikes! How totally inappropriate.

When we asked for a private room, scary desk lady gave us weird, condescending looks. Double yikes! Note to self, don’t tell her about how scary she is, you never know what could happen.

Lesson: What’s good for your bottom line isn’t always good for your centers of influence and best clients. Remember how to give the VIP treatment for those who you love to work with that don’t fit your “normal” model.

Third, he raised his prices by almost three times. Now, I’m a big proponent of giving yourself a raise. And to be quite honest, he really did undercharge. But there was something that just didn’t seem to add up with a conversation we had about why his prices were so low to begin with.

He told me this long story about a chiropractor who saved his mother’s life when he was a child and how they had no money and that he never wanted ANYONE to ever not get chiropractic support because of money. Then HUGE price increase follows 30 days later.  Hmmmmm…..

Lesson: Be clear and honest with clients at all times so your authentic self shines through.

Last, and this was the cardinal sin for me. He approved a non-traditional office visit time then forgot the appointment. When I asked him about it he blamed his office staff for not reminding him. “OMG!!! He didn’t just blame his staff did he?” Yep, he did. Now granted, they may have made a mistake but I was pissed off that I squeezed in an appointment and took 60 minutes away from him HIGH PAYOFF activities to come meet him and he didn’t have his system in place.

Lesson: Always have systems in place to handle non-routine activities. And NEVER blame your staff. Just own it and ask how you can make it right.

I probably would have been willing to over look many of the issues had he handled that forgotten appointment with integrity. But it was like I got a window into his soul — he’s not in alignment with his truth. He’s scrambling to handle some kind of major “thing” and he’s not on top of his business growth.

Decided to go searching for new chiropractor …again…argh.


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Lifestyle Choices That Can Make or Break You

Published on Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

As entrepreneurs and business owners, we make a serious of choices every day that can make or break our success. As a business coach for many years now, I’ve learned that it’s often not even the big things that have the greatest impact… 

It’s the small, almost unconscious decisions we make that can influence the shape our life takes. 

The other day one of the Success Connections team coaches, Therese Skelly, said, “I was just talking to one of the Gold Plus members about how you take time off for self-care.” 

She was talking about how I always prepare for (or recover from) my trips with a massage. This last week I was feeling just a bit on the stressed side so I booked a facial/massage Monday afternoon. Even though I probably could have made the case to squeeze in some work since I’ll be traveling  this week, I knew that taking care of myself first would make for better stamina. 

I’ve also found that choosing to upgrade to my Platinum Business AmExp card allows me access to the airport lounges. I could have convinced myself to choose a less expensive credit card, but when I evaluate what I gain by feeling relaxed in the lounge vs. what I lose in the frenzied chaos at the gate, it’s obviously another great choice to take care of myself and my most precious commodity – my energy. 

A new decision I made for this trip is the “car service.” 

Because I have to facilitate the Virtual Team Building Telebootcamp on Weds morning before I leave for my event, I have to take a later flight than I’d like. Which puts me in to

Nashville around 10:40 pm (assuming all goes well and there are no flight delays.) 

In my head I’m thinking this through and I was getting overwhelmed with getting my bags, schlepping through a new airport to find the shuttle area, finding the shuttle, etc, etc. So I thought, “What does a billionaire do? Get a car service.” 

Interesting enough, the car service is actually LESS than the shuttle is. Works out great for me! And in the process, I’ve made some better choices to support my lifestyle of peacefulness and optimum energy. 

What lifestyle choices are you making today to support having the bandwidth for what’s important? Would love to hear your ideas. Post them here!


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How Does an Entrepreneur “Recharge” with Bob Proctor

Published on Monday, January 28th, 2008

This last weekend I attended an event called Miracle Mastery.

Now you may be asking yourself how on earth does that help me recharge? Hotels, lots of people, having to be away from home…

It’s simple. It’s called infusing my body, mind and soul with new learning.

I attended this event for a very special reason though…three people who inspire me were going to be in one room.

  • Dr. Michael Beckwith, Agape Community Leader who was featured in The Secret
  • Mary Manin Morrisey, author of Building Your Field of Dreams (and someone my family has known since I was 5 years old.)
  • Bob Proctor, featured in The Secret and coach to many people who I consider a huge success.

 Bob Proctor and me

Bob Proctor and me.

What I left the weekend with was a notepad full of notes, a spirit that has been rejuvinated, and new connections with people who filled my heart with inspiriation and joy. I decided to attend the event from a different place this time…just to be one of the participants. I paid the $75 to upgrade to their special lunch (I almost always get comp’ed to these.) I said hi to the speakers and got my picture taken with Bob Proctor. I listened with a new mind without saying to myself, “I know that!”

I talked with people I didn’t know who were discovering their new passion and purpose in life. I listened to them share their newly revealed goals with tons of excitement. And I uncovered my goal for 2008: It’s time for me to write my book!

In listening to Bob Proctor, one thing I feel has been affirmed again is that successful people continuously infuse new learning. I have a million things to do with my weekend but it was important for me to invest my money in learning from these powerful teachers. I also got to learn from new teachers — Mat Boggs (my friend and author of Project Everlasting), Shore Slocum and Kathy Buckley.

I’ve even committed more money to participate in a  program they were offering for coaching. Now I don’t have to do that…but I knew that I needed to be influenced by people who have created something I want in my life — more lifestyle, more power and more spiritual grounded decisions.

So how are you recharging? What kind of new information are you taking in? What will you do this year to take on a new challenge to grow your income, your results and your lifestyle? If you don’t know, I encourage you to check out our Fast-Track to a 6 & 7 Figure Lifestyle Business Mastermind program at www.fasttracktolifestylebusiness.com.


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How to Get a Six Figure Boost from your Mastermind

Published on Thursday, January 24th, 2008

We’ve had a few spots open in my VIP Level mastermind group which tends to generate a lot of questions about, you guessed it, why should I join your mastermind?

As I look back over the years that I’ve facilitated these high end groups, three reasons come to mind that cause a business owner to have a huge jump in income through mastermind participation.

First, being challenged. I remember when I worked for Motorola. The camaraderie of my workmates spurred me to accomplish as much as they did…or more. But when I went out on my own I lost that motivation factor. Being a part of a high level mastermind can do that for you. Just knowing that your partner is working on a seven figure marketing strategy will inspire you to look at those strategies for your business. Who wants to feel like they’ve been left behind? No one.

Second, collaborative thinking to uplevel your game. Solving problems in your own head poses a problem…it was your thinking that caused the problem in the first place. When you have access to many different people in a mastermind, you overcome that challenge and tap into collaboration. It allows you to access a solution generating energy that can only get created when multiple brain powers are present. You will have ideas revealed to you that you never even thought of before.

Third, access to the right resources. In my VIP Level group, there have been relationships forged that allow a member to catapult their results forward. Marketing expertise is shared, joint ventures created, accessing knowledge that would cost you thousands of dollars you get simply by asking for help. Again, participating in a high level mastermind causes you to shortcut your learning curve and costs as you move forward at lightening speed.

When someone tells you they’ve broken seven figures in their mastermind group, now you know why. This kind of success can only be replicated with the power of many successful minds coming together to support you in success. Now I have to admit I’m partial to facilitated groups like I run because you get the best of my coaching AND the mastermind. The important thing is: figure out what works for you and do it.

If you are ready to boost your business with a mastermind, check out www.fasttracktolifestylebusiness.com. Groups are filling up fast!


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What My Dog Is Teaching Me About My Business

Published on Friday, January 18th, 2008

So I’ve had my dog about a week and already he’s been a great mirror. Between our daily walks, a trip to the beach, playing ball and teaching him how to hang with me in my office while we coach (I’m sure Titus at some point will be able to mentor my clients), I’ve been learning a ton about dog training. 

Titus at Beach

 Titus and I at Malibu
Beach last weekend.

The other day we started our dog training. Now dog training isn’t as much for the dog as it is the owner. But there is some good for Titus at training. He gets lots of treats for instance. But most importantly, with a dog this size the most important thing is that we get him around a lot of new circumstances. But what I’ve been learning I realize has a direct parallel to my business too. Here a few of the nuggets:

  • Through repetition and consistency you get better results. In my coaching I often see people frustrated that results don’t come quickly but the truth is they’ve only tried it once or twice. My dog has taught me that when I’m consistent with my efforts he responds better.
  • In order to take on a new behavior or skill, positive reinforcement works best. How many times do we beat ourselves up because something wasn’t perfect? Titus really likes chicken best for his treats and I reward him every time he does things right. If he doesn’t well, I just redirect him again towards my desired outcome. A dog will develop behavior problems if you are negative or abusive. How come we don’t learn that about ourselves?
  • Bad habits can be transformed in an instant. By reinforcing a good habit, a bad habit can instantly disappear. It’s the same thing with us. Bad habits kill our success but most of us stay stuck in them.
  • My energy dictates Titus’ behavior. In other words, my inner game dictates my outer results. What goes on inside of our heads causes us to make certain choices that will either get the desired results or not. By being willing to practice a new internal dialogue and energy, we can bring about new results. Sounds simple, hey? Well it does take some practice but if Titus can do it, why can’t we?

I was a bit nervous at first about getting the dog but of course he is already capturing my heart. He is a real sweetie, the cats are starting to come around without any major problems and it looks as if Titus is going to teach me quite a bit about my business success along the way. I’m pretty happy all around. =-)

 

 


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My Top 5 Recommendations on Staying Focused (Part One)

Published on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

My Top 5 Recommendations on Staying Focused (Part One)

In today’s world we are bombarded with offers to learn how
to grow our business, tele-seminars and live events that
teach you how to make more money and a brain that is
constantly generating new ideas on how to get our message
out there.

The problem is that most of us don’t have the time to do it
all. So how do we stay focused in a world of
overwhelming distractions?

It all starts with having a plan.

This isn’t just any ol’ plan though. This is a Return on
Investment Plan. It’s something that most people keep in
their head or never make time to create. Running around like
a chicken, we spend all our waking hours in our business
just getting by. This is not a plan, this is suffering!

Here are my Top 5 Recommendations on Staying Focused
in 2008.

Have a Compelling Why

Have you ever wanted something so bad you would do anything
to get it? I’m remembering how my partner finally convinced
me to get a dog. After pining for a dog for 1 ½ years, I
finally gave in – with a list of conditions. Now these
conditions had been requests I had been making for over 2
years but my partner never had time. In a matter of one week
, these “projects” were completed. Hmmm…funny how
that works!

When you want something big, something that is so important
to you, you will do anything. The problem for most
entrepreneurs is we lose the connection to the bigger why
and just focus on the day-to-day minutia. Which isn’t
usually all that fun. Stay connected to your compelling why
by having a vision board or reading your vision statements.
When you remember why you started this in the first place
things usually fall into perspective and you will make
better choices for your time.

Know Your Priorities

This may seem oversimplified but I guarantee you that if you
are not staying focused then you are losing sight of your
priorities. Every day I review my month and week plan and
get crystal-clear about what has to get done to achieve my
goals. I use my “Top 3 High Payoff Activity” post-it notes
(you get these when you invest in one of our self-study
programs) to get clear about what must get done that day.

If I get off course, which I might, then I review my
priorities and ask myself, “Is doing this right now going to
help me accomplish my priorities today?”

Now some people don’t even know what should be a priority.
This was a big deal for a client of mine named Jason. Jason
would often find himself pursuing tasks for the non-profit
role, leaving his income producing business alone for weeks
at a time. I helped Jason create a plan to achieve his
revenue goals and highlighted his high-payoff priorities.
Then we created a weekly calendar where he would focus on
those activities.

I’ll be going more in-depth into the obstacles that get in
your way of success on the next Success Mastery Teleseminar
on January 17th at DATE. I’ll be unveiling my new program
designed to keep you focused on that call as well as coach
you LIVE on where you are getting stuck. Save your spot now
at http://www.successconnections.com/teleclass/.


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