There is NO Plan B

There is No Plan B

I was recently talking to a friend about people having a Plan B.  You are always hearing about having your Plan B.  In fact I think every Network Marketing company talks about having a Plan B.

He pointed out something to me

There is NO Plan B

There is no Plan B if you expect to reach your potential and become an elite player, living an extraordinary life. Plan B is a Backup Plan putting you in perpetual Backup Mode.
You won’t push through the obstacles and challenges when you know you have a Backup Plan. You will never be “All In”, fully committed to The Plan. To fly at your potential altitude, you must scrap all references to Plan B.
Jim Gardner

This really bought something home to me, if you truly want to succeed you need to have your goal in mind and go for it.

Now your goal doesn’t have to be restricted to just one thing.  Your goals and hence your Plan is a mixture of personal and professional goals.

If you have a Plan B or what you are calling a Plan B, see how you can weave that Plan B into your Plan A and create your Master Plan.

Malcolm Gladwell said you need to spend 10,000 hours studying your trade to become an expert,  regardless of your chosen profession.  In his book he gives plenty of examples.  The point being if you are working on something as a “Plan B” and are focusing very little energy on it you will never become an expert.

Work from home opportunities are always sold as “Plan B” when really they are just another part of your Master Plan.  You can learn new skills, earn while you learn and as you become successful you can adapt your Master Plan and maybe your Work from Home Opportunity becomes your primary income.

The reason it is a Plan B is it is another source of income, ideally you don’t want to be dependent on one source of income, if that goes away you have a problem.  Having multiple sources of income is always a good idea, just like when you invest your money you spread it across different investments to reduce the risk of a problem if one investment goes bad.

If you are looking for a way to achieve Multiple Streams of Income as part of your Master Plan you should check out Networking Superstars.

How ever your Master Plan unfolds remember to make sure it is balanced between your work and personal life.  Make sure you spend enough time with the others who are important in your life, your spouse, the kids, the extended family or the dog as examples.

I hope you have enjoyed this article, what are your thoughts on a Plan A v Plan B, leave me a comment.  If you enjoyed the article please share it on your Social Media channels.

Love What You Do

I was watching the Steve Jobs commencement speech at Stanford University back in 2005. It was a great speech and he talked about some stories form his life.

The biggest thing that struck me was his comments about doing what you love.

Give the video a watch.

 So Do what you love

In his speech Steve talks about find what you love.

You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. – Steve Jobs

This concept runs through a lot of the latest research to be your most successful, not only do you need to do what you love, you need to be Happy in what you do.

As my direction switches due to life events I am now in a position to do what I love.  Maybe I won’t do what Steve Jobs did but I will be able to change people’s lives for the better.

 






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Beat Procrastination

Beat Procrastination

So do you suffer from procrastination, you know putting things off, using the someday I’ll….. phrase?

Do you feel overwhelmed, guilty, frustrated, embarrassed, depressed, drained of energy, anxious, fearful all of these negative factors and words are associated with procrastination.

When you procrastinate about something in one area of your life it tends to affect other areas of your life. So as we get to the end of 2013 and get ready to begin 2014 its time to beat procrastination.

Why is procrastination part of our lives?

When you think about your dreams and goals these are positive things and so are not associated with the day to day.  So why do we procrastinate?  It comes down to fear of certain things, in an early blog post I talked about Who moved my Cheese, this is fear of change.beat procrastination

Fear of Looking Bad

You simply fear looking bad. That starts with, “I don’t want to show up with a stain on my shirt” and goes all the way to “I don’t want to be denounced in my circle of friends.” But this goes deeper as, the fear of failure and rejection also link into this category.  I don’t want to go do this new business as I will look bad if I don’t succeed.I don’t want to make that phone call as I might get rejection, again it comes full circle back to some form of fear of looking bad.  Therefore the procrastination sets in and you don’t take those actions.

Fear of Change or Losing Something

I have talked about Fear of Change  and Why People Fear Change before but this is a huge sub-conscience driver in procrastination.  I am in my comfort zone and know what I am doing where everything is at.  When you go through change you enter the unknown and then the fear will kick in.  So what happens you procrastinate and stay where you are, regardless of the fact you are unhappy about the situation.

How do you Beat Procrastination?

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Becareful lest you let other people spend it for you – Carl Sandburg, American poet

The first and most important thing is that someday is not a day of the week!  So stop using the “someday” phrase.  It is all about time and how you use your time and what you are going to prioritize.

There will always be some fear in anything you do, realize this and embrace it. You need to take action what ever that might be.  If you are unhappy where you are nothing will happen until you take action.

Also be careful, you cannot say Yes to everything, there are not enough hours in the day.

Beating Procrastination Tips:

  1. Understand the amount of time you have available
  2. Prioritize what you are going to do on any particular day, probably no more than 12 tasks
  3. Forecast accurately the time taken for each  task and make sure they fit in the time available
  4. At the end of the day review what you achieved and how long each task took.

If you achieve most of those tasks you have been successful.  It is important to get into the rhyem everyday, you can’t just do it on  Monday’s. Remember you will only Beat Procrastination if you take action.

Further Actions

A great audio on beating procrastination by Ray Higdon is available and a book by Lauren Midgley – Successfully Failing at Procrastination can be found on my book page

Who Moved Your Cheese a Story of Change

I haven’t read Who Moved My Cheese by Dr Spencer Johnson for about 15 years, but it addresses dealing with change in a great way. I came across this book while I was involved in organizational development for a global organization I was responsible for.  At that time we were needing to Managing Changes in the company after the internet bubble had burst.

change

The Human Condition

The book is about change and how you deal with it.  The human condition basically gets comfortable with the status quo and doesn’t like change.  In the story, the mice live in a maze and getting cheese makes them happy.

So the mice keep going to the same cheese station but when there is no cheese, eventually one of the mice overcomes his fear and goes looking for new cheese stations and the other doesn’t!

Taking this into your own world and the cheese disappearing metaphor can mean many thinks, from jobs to relationships to financial situations.  If you carry on doing what you are doing you will never succeed or improve your current situation.  By identifying your need to adapt you can then start the process of improving your life.

It is all too easy to go back to what is comfortable rather than take on the challenge of change, change is actually good for you but you have to overcome that built in Fear of the Unknown.

Move Beyond Your Fear

When you alter your mind set and begin to trust what lays ahead and not dwell on the past you will get a sense of freedom.  You are not weighed down by the negative things that got you to where you are today.

fear

As an example you are in a job that makes you unhappy, you turn up for work everyday and do what you have to do.  Until you overcome that fear of the unknown and do something about it you will continue to be unhappy.

If you are unhappy at work, guess what you will be unhappy when you get home.  It is not an emotion you can turn on and off. That is why it is important to fix the problem that is causing the unhappiness otherwise it will dominate your life.

As Jim Rohn said

If you don’t like how things are, change it, you’re not a tree

Once you realize why you are being held back you can decide how to make the change. Once you go in a new direction you will have a new spring in your step, you will do things with a new purpose, but this is something that you need to take control of and make the necessary adjustments to your life.

The quicker you can let go of the old habits, the old job, the old relationship, or whatever is holding you prisoner the quicker you can move on to newer better things.

If you don’t alter your behaviors you will continue to do the same old things and will not move forward and improve your own life. Studies have shown that it takes 21 days to change a habit.  That is why if you do a cleanse or a detox they typically have a  21 day program as they are trying to alter your eating habits so you don’t just go back to your old ways when you are finished.

The Writing on the Wall

Change always happens in someway or another, you can be involved in that process or you can just be a passenger regardless of if it is good or bad for you.

change

You always hear people talk about having Your Plan B.  This is all part of anticipating change, don’t be a consequence  like Hem in the book.  Even once change has happened don’t get comfortable as there is always more to come.  Keep your ears and eyes open and take the necessary steps to adapt.  Remain agile! Contact me if you wish to discuss options for Plan B so you can be prepared or make that change.

As with all things in your life and business you want to learn to adapt quickly, the quicker you adapt the better off and happier you will be.  Just be ready to make the changes to meet new challenges and don’t be tempted to go back to the old ways just because you believed they felt comfortable.

I would encourage anyone to read the book, it is about $4 or less from Amazon, then leave a comment to this post about which character you think you align with, Hem, Haw, Sniff or Scurry?  And tell me how you relate to these characters as you have gone through your own changes or overcome a fear?

6 Tips for Attending a Networking Event

networkingHere are a few tips to guide you through the face to face networking maze. Gaining Networking Skills is like anything an education that needs practicing but the opportunity to grow your network is huge.  These events are not a one shot wonder, you need to be consistent and attend regularly.

You go to a Networking Meeting to Give, Not Get

All too often, new entrepreneurs and people new to networking go into a Business Networking meeting thinking it’s their one shot to get someone at the meeting to become their prospect. If you set the stakes to high, you take away all the fun out of the event and put a huge amount of pressure on yourself.

Stop and rethink your mindset. You’re not there to get, you’re there to contribute to the meeting and give value.  You ned to help others or just learn what other professionals are doing.

This little change in thinking will boost your sense of purpose and self-worth and erase that overwhelming pressure. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself having a good time, developing strong relationships and attracting loads of referrals.

Don’t Appear Desperate

For people at a networking event, the appearance of desperation or neediness is a major turn-off. When your main purpose is getting something from the event, you send the message that you’re deprived of something and you’re looking to the person you’re meeting to save you. So no matter how badly you need a new client, you’ve got to set that aside when interacting with others.

Have Real Conversations to get Referralsreferrals

There’s a lot of jargon out there, and these buzzwords block any kind of meaningful conversation or relationship. Yes, you should prepare and practice answers to expected questions like “So what do you do?” But these answers should be simple, natural and in plain English. Your goal is for anyone (not just those in your industry circle) to understand and connect with what you’re saying.

Remember you have to share so you wnat to make sure you learn about other busienss and they will be happy to learn about your business.

Ask Open-Ended Questions

This is a great skill for anyone who can’t stand all the repetitive small talk associated with meeting people the first time. The goal here is to always ask people questions that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no.

Pick questions that demand a real answer, like, “How have your marketing challenges changed in the past 5 years?” “What are your customers asking for the most?” and “Why do you think that is?” As a general rule of thumb, “why” questions generate the most interesting answers and conversations.

Limit Your Drinking

You might think that a few  drinks will help you relax and mingle. There’s nothing wrong with a drink or two, but know your limit. When talking with potential clients or referrals, you want to be as sharp, clear and on top of your game as possible, and alcohol doesn’t  help in these areas, people don’t want to talk to someone slurrying their words. Remember, you want to portray yourself as someone others want to work with, not necessarily drink with.

Connect With the Speaker and the Organizer

When you go to a networking event with a speaker.  Get to know the speaker, there is nothing more powerful than an endorsement from the speaker at any networking event.  Get to know the organizer, the organizer knows most people at the event and will be able the best people to network with and the best to get referrals from.

For more information on how to networking groups you can use such service as meetup.com and to find out more about the Author CLICK HERE

 

Building Trust to Grow Your Business

I was looking through my library of business personal development books the other day and came across “The Trusted Advisor” by David Maister, Charles Green and Robert Galford.  I have not read this book since my days working for a software company in their services division.  Although printed in 2002 the concepts are all very valid and apply as much today as they did when the book was written.  Perhaps more so now if you want to differentiate yourself from the crowd.

trust

The book talks about what is needed to build trust with customers and potential clients.  Regardless if that client or customer is in another company , an individual or another department within the company you work for without Trust you have nothing.

This book gives some fundamentals on how to build trust with your client or customer regardless of what role you are in.Why mention in here, well it has some very valid points on building Trust and in any business building trust is paramount. In the book there is a five stage process to build trust.

It is very similar to Attraction Marketing Techniques and having the mindset to focus on the other person, understand their problem and offer them solutions and not just try pitch them your product or service.  With Attraction Marketing you want people to come to you first, as they trust you and they know you can help them find a solution.

Importance of Mindset in Build Trust

Before we discuss the 5 steps to in building trust lets quickly look at the mindset that is needed.  Firstly you need to focus on the other person.

You’ll have more fun and success by focusing on helping other people achieve their goals than you will by focusing on your own goals

Some people think this sounds strange, but if the customer gets what they want the chances are you will get what you want.

You need to be self-confident in your interactions and have the strength not to jump to the answer (sales pitch) too quickly.

You cannot get embroiled in the culture of taking credit and giving blame but rather be focused on the matter at hand and getting the results that are needed, the book describes this as Ego-Strength.

The trait of curiosity is all important, without curiosity you will never fully understand your clients problems or needs.

The final piece of mindset is professionalism and I don’t mean wearing a suit and looking professional but by aligning yourself with your client to improve their situation.

The 5 Steps to Build Trust

So the 5 steps to building trust are detailed below and I have seen these in many guises but fundamentally this is where you need to be to have a customer Know, Like and Trust you.

business

Engage – By engaging you need to ensure you customer is willing to talk and has an issue that is important for them to solve right now.  You can talk all day long but they need to have the motivation to take action.

Listen – You have 2 ears and 1 mouth use them in no more than that proportion, you need to listen and understand what your customer needs and understand their pain.

Frame – By framing the problem, the problem or issue is defined which helps build trust and allows you to understand how you can help or propose solutions.

Envision – This is not providing a solution but understanding the end goal and what the solutions should look like.  This is a collaborative process with your customer.

Commit – During this phase you and the customer are understanding exactly what is going to be needed to be done to achieve that goal.

This provides a trust driven process to solving the customers problem and will lead you to achieving the goal of providing a solution for the customer.

Finally..

Regardless of the Business Opportunities you are pursuing from Corporate America down to the home based business there are great nuggets in this book and I would recommend anybody to give it a read.

To be successful you need to be aligned with your customer and they need to Know Like and Trust you.  Without these you are never going to grow your business with a client.  You will be far more successful in your business if you follow these ideas, regardless of what badge you put on it!

 

 

Networking – You Get Out of It What You Put In

Lets get this straight a networking group is formed to meet the needs of both parties and is not just a love fest.  You get out of a networking group what you put into it. You network with friends because you like them, but you cant just do business with people you like, otherwise your business won’t last.

Professional NetworkingPBN

Professional Networking meetings allow you to meet fellow business owners and entrepreneurs, share your knowledge and show your leadership as an expert in your field. Through these groups you can explore Business Opportunities that you might not otherwise come across. Most groups have their rules and exclusivity so you need to understand how each group works. You should meet with the leader and understand how the group works.

How to Get Business Referrals

The heart of any Professional Networking group is the art of giving and receiving referrals.  For people to give referrals they need to know like and trust you.  So you can’t just go and pitch your product and service to each member there, they need to see you bring value.

networking

Part of Professional Business Networking is having one-on-ones with individual members of the group.  This allows you to get to know people, they will know what you are looking for, and you will know what they are looking for.  This means you will know the type of people you should refer to that person.  It is a great idea to keep a journal to keep  pertinent information  about each person you meet so you know their business and what they need from a referral.

Don’t go to a networking meeting and try sell everyone in the room your product and service.  Be consistent, turn up to the meeting regularly and show value.  With consistency you will build the trust and people will get to know & like you.  By building these Networking Skills the referrals will begin to flow and your business will grow.

Finally, when you decide to attend networking meeting don’t try and do too many meeting in a week otherwise you will spend more time at networking meetings than closing business.

Make a Living By Being Authentic

Trustworthy personTrying to be what your not eventually will never work, so you should always be yourself and be authentic.  This is how you are going to attract people to you and be successful in anything you do.  Our experiences in life are based on what we sense and how we interpret them from childhood onwards.

Why are we not being an Honest Person with ourselves?

Our experiences of life, our jobs, government, products we buy, services we use are filled with disappointments.  Therefore we get conditioned that life is not predictable and is not being trustworthy. This makes it harder to create the know, like and trust that you need to be successful. Most people are bought up to believe that others might have a better interpretation of the world than you do. But this is not true, just conditioning and it leads us not to trust our own instincts.

How do we break this cycle that we are programed with?

It is within ourselves to make this change, we have to listen to ourselves and trust our instincts. You need to be honest with yourself, make decisions and choices consciously  and explicitly.  You need to avoid being swept along by events and be in control of your actions.  Not that this is easy after years of conditioning  but once you make that leap it will be harder to be dishonest!

You need to make a shift and start being honest with yourself, by being honest with yourself you can start to trust yourself.  By trusting yourself you can become more confident in your actions and more confident in the situations you encounter.  By being confident you can become your Authentic Self.  By being authentic you are living your life and being your own true person.

Be Authentic in your Life

As Jim Rohn said

If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not Much?

Live your life by being yourself, make your own decisions and don’t be swept along by the masses, this how entrepreneurs work and why they are successful.

As a last thought, like types normally attract so if you are honest you will attract Trustworthy People!