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Motivation – the Start, the Finish and Everything in Between!

runningIf you’ve ever participated in a race of any kind, or a big or long term project, you’ve probably experienced the motivation effect. That’s when at the start of the race your adrenaline is pumping, the starting gun fires and off you go! Typically, you go as fast as you can and sometimes too fast because you are so excited and pumped up!

After a while, you start to get tired, your energy lags, maybe your legs start to cramp.  It gets harder and harder to keep going!  You just want to sit down.  Your inner thoughts start to spin, “What was I thinking?” “Why did I ever sign up for this?”

Then you see it!  The finish line is just up ahead!  Your adrenaline starts pumping again and your energy comes back.  You pick up the pace as the cramps start to subside and the fatigue fades away!  You cross the finish line moving just as fast as when you started!  Woohoo!

The start and the finish are almost always great.  We’re moving well and fast, gettin’ it done!  The problem is the stuff in between.  That time when our energy lags and we slow down is what pulls our performance down more than we realize.  And it’s exactly that time we often can pay attention to for the best opportunity to optimize performance.  If we can keep our energy up and maintain a more consistent pace, our overall performance will be much better…faster finish time, less cost, fewer mistakes, improved customer satisfaction.

Keep your motivation and energy up with sub-goals…don’t just run a 5K race but pay attention to how you run each mile.  Add rewards along the way…get a massage after each month of back-breaking labor for that huge construction project.  Visualize the end…bring the sense of accomplishment from being ahead of schedule and below budget from way out there to the here and now!  Woohoo!

Tell me…how do you keep your motivation up?
Rock on! – E

Building Trust Through Systems

How do you build trust?  The simple answer is “Do what you say you are going to do,” and then keep doing it.  In business, consistency is key to building that trust but finding consistency amongst a number of employees or across departmental boundaries can be difficult.

Customers and employees alike don’t like surprises.  We like things to work smoothly, efficiently and effectively every time.  That’s one reason the fast food industry works so well…supposed to at least.  A Big Mac is pretty much the same in every McD’s across the country.  What makes that possible are the numerous systems that are in place to do everything from making those addictive french fries to taking out the trash to actually making a Big Mac.

Systems allow us to complete tasks and provide products and services in a consistent and (hopefully) cost-effective manner.  When we create and follow the systems, employees and customers can “do what they say they are going to do,” and thus no surprises…we get our needs met and everyone is happy.  Every time the system is used and works, we build trust in each other, in the organization, and in the brand.

Some systems are more important for building trust than others, i.e. receiving a pay check on time and accurate would be higher priority for most people than managing the recycling in the company lunch room.  If you are having trust issues, take a look at the systems you have, or don’t have, in place and whether they are working properly…it just might make a difference!

What systems do you feel are important for building trust?

Rock on!

When You Are Ready…

blog2When you are ready to see the whole picture, the pieces of the puzzle will fall into place…

Business will be good.

Your relationships will grow.

You will be strong.

Take a step back to see what you do not see…

Step Back

Rock on! – E

Expand Your Network, Super Charge Your Opportunities!

We all know the fundamental principle that building your network is good for business.  The greater your reach, the more opportunities come your way.  What’s really cool is that you don’t necessarily need to expand your network all that much to find significantly more opportunities.  Here’s an interesting way to look at it…

Imagine your network as a sphere made of people and opportunities circling all around you, i.e. the phrase sphere of influence.  Mathematically speaking, the volume of that sphere (the people and the opportunities) is:

V = ⁴⁄₃π r³

The “V” stands for volume and “r” stands for radius of the sphere.  If the radius of your sphere or your reach, is 1, then V = ⁴⁄₃π 1³= 4.18

Now, imagine you extend your reach to 2, then V = ⁴⁄₃π 2³= 33.41….and that’s a big difference…8 times bigger!  If your reach is 3, you get 27 times bigger and so on!

Expand your reach by just a little bit and your network and the opportunities that come with it grows exponentially!

So, get out there and go to that networking meeting, meet that new person, and build those relationships!

Tell me…how do you build your network?

Don’t forget to subscribe for future posts!  Rock on!

Stop Spinning, Start Doing!

Business is tough.  Sometimes, we make it tougher by getting down on ourselves and saying “shoulda, woulda, coulda” and dwelling on the past, or saying “what if” and worrying about the future.  If we do this on a regular basis, we’re doing what is called spinning…telling ourselves negative stories that continually brings us down and into a negative spiral.  Then every time something doesn’t go our way, we spin even more…we’re already in a bad mood…then we step in something yucky and we tell ourselves we deserved it…then we make a costly mistake and tell ourselves we’ll never make it!…and on and on.

If you find yourself spinning, a simple method to get back into a positive frame of mind is simply to get busy.  When we are idle and have nothing to do, we tend to spin…and spin negative!  If we get our hands and feet doing something, we have to think about the task and stay focused which means less opportunity to think about the past or the future, i.e. less spinning.  Completing our task also leads to a sense of accomplishment and positivity…staying busy gets us on a positive spiral…a much better place to be…and typically, when we’re in a good place, better results follow!

What we get busy with can be work related or something else.  It might be going for a walk, tackling that big project we’ve been putting off forever, mowing the lawn (yes, ice cream would be better!)…whatever works for you.  :)

Stop spinning, start doing!

Tell me, how do you catch yourself spinning…and what do you do to get back on a positive spiral?  Thanks for sharing!

And, don’t forget to subscribe…if you have a blog, be sure to send me a link!  Rock on!

“What’s going to give us the most bang for our buck?”

There’s a segment of mathematics that focuses on finding the optimum formula for a task or series of tasks. It’s called, simply enough, optimization techniques. I like to call it, “What’s going to give us the most bang for our buck?” And, simply enough, asking this question can help us to set priorities, make better decisions, and positively impact our bottom line.

For most of us, we don’t need a lot of complicated math formulas to think optimization for business. It’s fun stuff for math majors but not really practical for the small business owner. Here are a few ways to think through and find ways to optimize your business:

1.  There are usually multiple ways to complete a task. Define each series of steps to completion. Set your measurement criteria, i.e. time, energy or money. The series of steps that lead to the best outcome, i.e. less time, less energy, or less money spent is the optimum approach and the approach you should be using to maximize your resources.

2.  Don’t assume the way you are doing things now is optimum. Very often, we do what’s comfortable or what everyone else is doing or what someone told us we should do twenty years ago. We assume it’s the best way…don’t assume…check it out!

3.  Upgrade! Changes in technology, information, knowledge, and the market makes it important to stay current. You probably don’t need to get the newest cell phone or computer every 6 months but if your technology, information, knowledge or understanding of your market is outdated…it’s costing you money and opportunity!

Let me know…how do you optimize your resources and get the most bang for your buck?

Tend to Others to Find Success

When you want to climb the corporate ladder, work as if you are an owner for the owner tends to his employees so they can do their best.

When you want to connect better with a group on a social level, act as the host for the host tends to her guests so they feel welcome.

When you want to change your life and get better results, tend to others for it is in giving where you will find your true self and success.

And you just might find happiness along the way… :-)

How to Be In the Top 3 Percent!

We all want to be good, better, great…the top tier!  The question is, “How do we get there?”  Work hard, work smart and be passionate about what we do are obvious answers.  These things will help us be good and better but how do we get to great…the top 3 percent?  Sometimes, it’s the systems and tools we use, or don’t use, that make the difference.   Sometimes, it’s the little things.  The difference between top performers and average performers is often only a fraction more, a tiny bit…

Write Them Down!   It has been shown that people who write out their goals are more likely to achieve their goals and achieve them more frequently.  It’s estimated that 97% of people won’t write out their goals because they feel it won’t make a difference but 3% do.  Which group are you in?

Develop Your “Winning Edge Mentality”   The horse that wins the race by a nose wins ten times more prize money than the next horse….and it only had to win by a nose.  That little extra effort to learn something, to get a little more done before you leave the office, to make a difference in someone’s day can be all the difference between 1st place and everybody else.

Display Your Mantra!  Having the right mind set is immensely important but everyday stuff can get in the way.  Too many things to do, terrible events in the news, or maybe making a mistake can all put us in a negative state.  That negativity becomes the wrong path and a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Stay off that path by keeping your mantra, your go-to phrase for positive action; “I am a rock,” or “Run steady,” in front of you at all times.

Write these things down on a sticky note (sticky note magic!) and make several copies.  Include your goals, your mantra, and that one little extra thing to do today.  Place them on your bathroom mirror, next to your desk…everywhere.  Every time you see these sticky notes, recite your mantra, review your goals, and do that little bit extra that will put you in the right place!

Let me know what you think…how do you get to good, better, great?  Happy Holidays!

Trust Yourself!

Trust your knowledge.

Trust your skills.

Trust your passion…trust yourself!

Very often people wonder if they have enough education, skills, or credentials.  They get stuck worrying about whether they have enough credibility.  When we delve into it though, they usually have a degree or two (or three) and 5, 10, or even 20 years of experience.  Occasionally, we find they need a little more education or a certification or an additional skill set to round out the package.  But more often, what we find is that what they really need is confidence…in themselves.

If you have a great skill set, a good product or service, and knowledge and experience in your field whether it be 20 years, or 10 or even just 1, trust in that.  If you need more, get it.  Otherwise, get moving, start your business, and put yourself out there.  Trust yourself because you have what you need to succeed!

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