Thanksgiving Tale of Two Business Partners

thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, I have been contemplating my observations of two business partners. Neither of them are my clients, so I am not at liberty to guide or help either one of them. But, I can (anonymously) share with you my findings and you can benefit.

Thanksgiving: What’s Business Got to Do with It?

Both partners share and operate a business together, and both of them have separate business interests outside of the partnership.

One business owner has a mantra that goes like this: I can’t afford that! That’s too much money! I just can’t do it! This mantra is repeated regularly, with great enthusiasm.

The other business owner has a mantra that goes like this: This is fun! I enjoy this! Everything is working out great! This mantra is repeated regularly, with great enthusiasm.

I’m betting that even brand new students of Law of Attraction can easily guess what happens next with these business partners.

No matter how often the first business owner makes more money, in his mind he never has enough. He cuts costs and corners at every opportunity, and even disregards his business agreements, creating disharmony and struggle every where he goes, in pursuit of the elusive *more*. However, because his mantra is on auto-pilot (literally and virtually), he doesn’t even consciously notice the flow of money coming into him…nor does he appreciate it. What he fails to appreciate, depreciates.

Appreciation Appreciates

That’s true for all of us, actually. The more we appreciate and see the blessings in every experience, including our business transactions, the more open our conscious and subconscious mind brings the opportunities to our attention.

When we’re either observing shortfalls, and constantly reliving them in our mind, or imagining pending doom and hardship before it’s happened, we’re not focusing on appreciation. We can’t complain and appreciate at the same time. We all must choose one master to serve.

I bet you’ve already guessed what is happening with the second business partner. Yep: Outsiders are convinced he’s got the midas touch. His expenses are often much higher than the first business owner, yet in his mind he’s always got plenty, he’s having fun, enjoying the process, and everything seems to work out well for him. When things don’t work out as he’d hoped, he looks for opportunities in the situation.

The second business owner is upbeat, happy, and appreciative. His appreciation for the employees, contractors, customers, and others involved with the business is obvious. The more he appreciates, the more his investment in the business appreciates.

Same business, two very different experiences. One partner never has enough and gets little value from his involvement in the business. The other partner is having fun, enjoying the process, and reaping the rewards. Their mantras explain the difference.

This Thanksgiving, I ask you to consider…if this was your business, which business partner would you be? Is it the business person you would choose to be?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Image credit:
Barry-Jansson & Associates

with primary image from Gajus

Believing in the Power of Possibilities

possibilities [This article was previously published on AffirmingSpirit.com. It has been revised and updated for the enjoyment of blog-readers.]

Possibilities for Improvement

Whenever someone wants to create change in their life, whether it be to their body, their home, their relationships, their career, their income, or all of the above, they first have to be able to develop a positive concept of “what is possible”. It is from that place of positive possibilities that they can determine what the next steps will be, for otherwise they would not know where to start.

What IS Possible?

The answer to that question depends entirely on who you ask! What’s interesting about ‘what is possible?’ is that the answer is not a one-size-fits-all solution as some experts would claim. It is really a range of answers, a realm if you will, from the easiest to more difficult, from the very small to the grandest of grand to that which has never been considered…and the answer is constantly changing as the universe evolves!

Every person’s realm of possibility is the unique intersection between what they have heard others accomplishing and what they can currently imagine is possible in their minds.

Why is this so important? People act on what they believe is possible for them. If they don’t believe they can do better, they rarely try. Plus, each person is going to have a realm of possibility that is slightly different from others, pre-set by what they learned was possible in their youth, and based on life experiences. Someone growing up poor being told ‘you can’t have what you want’ has a much different pre-set realm of possibility than one who grew up wealthy being told ‘you can have anything you desire, and you deserve the best that life has to offer’. Furthermore, if as an adult you’ve received additional feedback about ‘what is possible for you’, that also goes into the realm of possibilities.

Are you getting a picture of how complicated this can be?

Can you see that how you were raised may be slightly less important that the kinds of personalities support you as an adult?

Can you see how co-creation is more difficult between parties who have opposing realms of possibility?

Many people, if they haven’t heard of others doing something will conclude that it simply cannot be done (which is rarely true) and will not even try. If they are surrounded by people who do not support their desires to be better and do better, they might give up. However, if they have the support of those around them and a creative sense or internal vision of the possibility, they will make an effort…some even feel compelled to try. This is how inventors come up with stuff the rest of us say, “Brilliant idea…why didn’t I think of that?” Engineers who find break-through solutions have done so from an expanded viewpoint of what’s possible. Inventors are willing to open their minds to a greater realm of ‘what is possible?’. Scientists who make great breakthroughs, artists who create new mediums, all of the people who go beyond the barrier of ‘what is possible’ have the same thing in common: A willingness to challenge preconceived ideas and allow themselves to imagine a better way.

Extreme Makeovers: Who Holds the Vision for Improvement?

Extreme makeovers on TV are very popular. Unless you have permanently unplugged your TV, or never owned one, you have likely seen one of the many makeover shows on TV. There have been makeover shows on virtually every theme possible: losing weight, improving wardrobes, decorating or renovating new rooms and/or entire homes, improving physical features or looks…you name it.

I often wonder: What happens to the ‘made over’ after the cameras are gone? How does someone, who has a low opinion of themselves, move forward when others have shown them the possibilities to do and be better? Some follow-up shows have revealed that the inner work needed for change was lacking in these shows, so the recipients went right back to their old way of being. The way of being they knew and were comfortable with experiencing.

A while back, I saw a makeover show on Food Network where an award-winning chef and interior designer came into a run-down restaurant to help the owner improve their business by making over the entire restaurant. New menu and new restaurant decor. The restaurant had been successful once, but started going downhill and never recovered.

Apparently, anyone walking into the restaurant could see (and smell, according to the chef) and probably taste, too, why the restaurant was suffering…anyone, that is, except the owner and his family. They were used to the sights and smells, and had developed a mind-set that it was too hard to change. They no longer saw the possibilities for improvement. They needed outside help to change.

It was also very clear to see that the award-winning experts had a much grander vision of what was possible than the failing restaurant owner. The owner was so stuck in the negativity surrounding the failing of his business that he had a hard time accepting the suggestions of the chef and interior designer. He had not been able (or willing) to see their vision and was highly critical of their efforts until the restaurant makeover was complete. Once he actually stepped into the new vision for his restaurant, and sat down to taste the new menu items, then he was able to grasp what was possible. As a result, he’s kept up with the improvements, and the restaurant is now much more successful than ever before.

That episode of Restaurant Makeover illustrates why so many people stay stuck when they are spirally downward, unable to correct the problems and change course. On one level, they do want improvements, to change their course, shift their experience—but they are so mired in the “what is” that they are unable to envision something greater, something better, something beyond. They absolutely need someone who can see more options, who isn’t mired in “what is”, and can create the space for greater possibility where none existed before. And they must be able to listen without judgement to suggestions that are offered. For many people, that is really hard to do! But, it’s not impossible.

Making Big Changes
So, what do you do when you know big changes need to happen, but you aren’t quite sure change is possible? Here are some suggestions that have worked for me:

Step 1: Decide It starts with deciding that you are ready and want to make big changes. Whatever change you are envisioning will require stepping outside of your comfort zone, and believing something greater is possible. It absolutely cannot be done unless you are committed to the process.

Now, deciding doesn’t guarantee you will know HOW, in that moment, to proceed. However, the power of deciding will set you on the journey of discovering how.

Step 2: Seek help Can you do this on your own? Most people cannot make big changes without the assistance of someone else. We need someone who isn’t emotionally involved in our life to show us other possibilities. Seek an advisor, mentor, coach or counselor who will hold you accountable and help you shift out of your pre-set preconceptions about what is possible for you. Most people choose a coach or counselor because they are readily available, ready to start immediately, and already experienced in helping others.

Step 3: Raise your vibration Allow your subconscious to connect the dots for you. Meanwhile, go do some fun things…go for a walk in the sunshine, play with your pets, visit friends, spend time with loved-ones, meditate, journal, watch an uplifting movie, or whatever you identify as fun for you. Use this time to life yourself vibrationally, and refresh yourself mentally and emotionally.

If you are really struggling, taking a nap to release stress can be very beneficial. You might need to repeat this step many times between the other steps to keep your mind relaxed. A stressed mind will not be helpful, as it is more likely to direct you to vibrationally-equivalent stress-filled ideas and stressful outcomes.

Step 4: Research Find out what the most successful people in the related industry are doing. If you want to lose weight, find out what the experts suggest for diet, exercise, and supporting therapies. These days, the web is a great place to begin searching. Refrain from pre-judging what you read about or deciding that you don’t have the money or resources to do what others have done. Just concentrate on finding out what others have done as it might spur other ideas.

Step 5: Brainstorm Then, it’s time to ask your imagination to provide solutions: Brainstorm ideas, and withhold judgment of any single idea until later. Just let the ideas flow forth. Write down whatever ideas come to you. The more you try this technique, the more ideas will flow. You can even ask the person assisting you to brainstorm with you, if they are willing. Ask first. Most mentors and coaches will do this, but I am not sure about all counselors as different kinds of therapies have different approaches.

Step 6: Take a break before reviewing Remember to rest your mind regularly during this process, and allow yourself to have fun doing things that feel good. Once you feel you have completed your research and brainstorming, set the information aside, and again, go do some fun things. Let your mind relax, while the subconscious works out some solutions. When you are relaxed and feeling good, review your compiled list of ideas. Notice which ideas feel good, even if you are unsure about how to do it, or fear you don’t have the resources/time/money/whatever to go that route. The ones that feel good are the best options for you. This is where a coach or counselor can really help you believe in yourself. Also, notice what new ideas come to mind that might be better options for you. For instance, if you’ve always wanted to learn to dance, consider taking lessons as a way to learn AND get aerobic exercise.

Step 7: Pay attention for right action Right action is the action that is, deep in your heart, right for you. Once your subconscious mind begins to work on these ideas of what’s possible, and you’ve reviewed your research and brainstorming, you may begin noticing opportunities. New information may be sent to you. New ideas will pop into your awareness. Hybrid ideas—a combination of what has been and done what really appeals to you—may bubble up. Be willing to consider ideas that may have seemed out of reach. Pay attention to everything that shows up or comes to mind, and how you feel about each idea.

Follow and take action on everything that feels good to you! The way you feel is guidance for what is best for you…your right action. When you feel sure about a certain action, take it. When you feel unsure or doubtful, go do something else. Often, when we are in a relaxed state, we’ll know exactly what steps are best for us.

A good advisor, mentor, coach or counselor can also support you in weeding out the unhelpful energy, so you can discover the right choices for you.

Is there something in your life that you are now committed to changing? Share below what possibilities you are choosing to believe in….

Image credit: nexusplexus

 

Effective Solopreneur: Open for Possibilities

Yesterday, I was checking out the database for this blog, and single-handedly brought this site down just minutes before leading a Quantum MasterMind call. A glaring ERROR MESSAGE greeted visitors. Knowing that I didn’t have time to fix the blog prior to the call, especially since I did not know exactly what I did to bring down the blog, I made a decision. I took a deep breath and said, “OK, I’ll fix this after the call.”

Most people I know would have been freaking out and upset. I was relaxed, calm, and focusing my energy on my upcoming group call. As I was walking to get some water prior to the call, I realized I had just created space for the possibility of an easy solution to a yet undefined problem.

Coaches and Mentors across the globe do this for their clients every day. When clients work with a coach, they’ve automatically got an ally who not only has their back, but one who also willingly believes in their possibilities are on their way to being a reality.

Holding the space open for possibilities is actually one of the reasons clients are much more likely to achieve greater success while working with a coach.

My question to you: How often do you hold the space for unseen solutions to appear in your business?

I am a business mentor, but this question was an epiphany for me, too!

I realized that I rarely do this for other parts of my business, but I was easily able to do it for the technical aspects. Having lived and worked in Silicon Valley for more than 25 years might have something to do with my technical confidence. Still, I know lots of people (especially women) in this area who don’t feel the same trust that they can solve their technical problems.

But whether I have technical knowledge or not really makes no difference.

Everyday, people across the globe find previously unknown solutions just by being open to that possibility. History is filled with names of amateurs who solved problems the experts believed was impossible to solve. When you decide something is too difficult…or can’t be done…or is impossible…you are shutting the door on that possibility AND you are often shutting the door on related future possibilities.

The bottom line is this: If we don’t hold the space for possible solutions to appear, then in most cases we won’t even try.

I held the space for a solution to appear, and it did. Obviously, you can see my blog is up and working. If you are familiar with the Law of Attraction, you can see that I held the space and kept the door open for the possibility of a solution. I believed a solution was right around the corner…and, therefore, it was!

How often do you hold the door open for unseen solutions before they arise? Share your thoughts below…

Effective Solopreneur: Getting Personal with Your Business

Getting Personal with BusinessWhen I was a kid, one of the most common phrases I heard was, “It’s not personal, it’s business!” Of course, like any kid, I soaked up that message in the media and movies, believing that somehow business relationships were vastly *different* than, and separate from, personal relationships. The message was that to be successful in growing a business, one must also be cold, ruthless, and uninvolved.

Then, I started my own businesses and realized that concept was way off the mark!

In every single business, what has brought the fastest and most sustainable success has been developing and nurturing *the relationships*. Relationships with new and existing clients. Relationships with potential clients. Relationships with vendors. Relationships with fellow service providers. Relationships with providers of complimentary services. Relationships with fellow associates and networkers.

Running and growing a successful business is pretty much ONE BIG relationship-fest, all of which is very personal!

Clients do not hire unless they feel you will deliver on your promises. Vendors do not support your business unless they feel you will deliver on your promises. Associates do not refer you to others unless they feel you will deliver on your promises.

Realize that you are also a client, a vendor and an associate to other business owners. Yes, healthy and successful business relationships are a two-way street.

When clients feel heard, treated with respect and appreciated, they want to do business with you. When vendors feel heard, treated with respect and appreciated, they want to do business with you. When associates feel heard, treated with respect and appreciated, they want to do business with you.

Is that really different from any other relationship? Don’t we all want to feel heard, treated with respect and appreciated?

Along the way, I’ve heard a lot of advice regarding business relationships. One of the most helpful was actually focused on human relationships in general, and I applied it to business: Jack Canfield said that it’s unrealistic to expect everyone to appreciate you. Holding that expectation sets us up for disappointment and resentment which poison our relationships with others.

However, he also said…

When you walk into any room: Approximately 25% of the people in the room will like you immediately before you even speak. Approximately 25% of the people in the room will dislike you immediately before you even speak. And, the remaining 50% of the people in the room could care less, either way.

Applying Jack’s point to business, I realized this: Give your attention and energy to the clients (potential, new and existing), vendors, and associates who naturally appreciate you and your services.

Stop trying to impress the unimpressable. Release the need-to-please the unpleasable. Let the unhappy ones go about finding those service providers with whom they naturally connect so they have a chance of being happier.

Set your intention to work with clients who appreciate and value your products and services.
Let it be OK that it’s not 100% of the people and businesses on the planet. Trust me, with 25% of the businesses appreciating you, you will do very well! Plus, because you are happier, those 25% will hire you more and refer you more to like-minded business owners.

If you’ve got existing clients who never seem happy, who are always complaining, it’s time to have a talk with them. If you have had a happy client suddenly shift into an unhappy one, take the time to find out if it’s a temporary or permanent issue. If there is no way to fully support the client in a way that’s enjoyable for you, it’s OK to encourage them to find another resource. That’s my diplomatic way of saying fire the client. Someday, they’ll thank you!

Following this process of focusing only on the clients who truly appreciate you, and letting go of those who don’t, allows you to savor the happy relationships with clients, vendors, and associations while having more fun in your day-to-day business! Successful and happy business owners take the time to get to know and support their clients, vendors and fellow associates. They also appreciate clients, vendors, and associates who support them. Are you one of those clients, vendors and associates?

It’s your turn to share your stories and thoughts in the comments below. What is one step you can take today to focus on the clients who appreciate and value you?

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