Tag Archives: business

4 Helpful Ways to Support a Friend and Authentic Entrepreneur

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It’s always inspiring when see friends doing work they absolutely love. The passion for what they do has a type of magnetic energy that radiates off of them. Their genuine commitment to create meaning and impact lifts up the heart.  You’ve felt that right?

Whether they’re fighting for a cause, solving problems for others or contributing to the local community the work they do is special. We may even feel pulled to help, but how do we do this? We can’t buy from every friend who’s doing something amazing. And they can’t all be selling something I want or need. So how can I show my support?

First, as a husband, father and Entrepreneur myself I understand that it’s difficult to even consider what more we can put on our calendar.  But, the more I meet truly authentic colleagues, friends, and fellow entrepreneur the more I want to show how I support what they’re doing.  More importantly, how I want to see them succeed.

I also know that I’ll need (and hope for) consistent support myself as I grow in my business. How do we create this synergistic support?  I’ve found four helpful ways with examples below. What’s great is that you don’t need to spend a ton of time or money in committing support.

SUPPORT THEM PASSIVELY

Like, share, and comment on their social media. Support does not mean a big time commitment.  It can literally take seconds to show you care for their pursuits.  A quick social media like, share or comment can go a long way for your friend.

If you know this is a person of high integrity and their insight is valuable click like, make a brief comment or share. For online entrepreneurs, every like, share, and comment matters no matter what social media platform you’re on.  You don’t have to endorse anything they’re selling.  Instead, make a brief comment about the type of person or professional they are.

Maybe their content isn’t the best thing to share in your Facebook feed.  Don’t dismiss it.  Would it be great for LinkedIN, Google+ or a topic specific Group.  Share it where it will benefit others.  Organic growth via social media is very difficult and any support is not only simple, but helpful.

Plug them into your network. The previous point was all about reaching more people and how their stuff could help others. Although potential customers are very important to the entrepreneur we don’t want to limit our thinking to only potential customers.

We also have plenty of friends, family and colleagues who have their own interests.  Which ones just might be aligned with what your friend is offering? Take a few moments to think about who’s in your network, has similar interests and connect them.

If I wasn’t given these opportunities myself, I would’ve missed out on not only clients, but partnerships and job specific skills. I gain a lot from these (and others) from being plugged into someone else’s network. A quick e-mail or phone introduction just may be the beginning of a long term, rewarding work relationship. That’s powerful support.

Support them with your other resources. Just like you, entrepreneurs are loaded with responsibilities and time is of the essence. What other resources do you have that could help them learn, improve and grow faster. We all have experts we look up to, podcasts we listen to and authors we recommend. It might be a video you see or a conference you hear about that they’ll enjoy.

You never know what resource at what time will create the shift they need.  Many of the events, programs, books or coaches I’ve bought were recommended to me by friends and colleagues. It could be a simple direct message, email, or social media share when you stumble upon an article, app or product.

Anything that can shorten the learning curve is always appreciated.  These little supportive gestures can keep motivation up because they know someone else cares about them and their cause.

SUPPORT THEM ACTIVELY

Give them your attention and honest feedback. Feedback is invaluable for entrepreneurs. It helps provide perspective to mistakes, weaknesses and blind spots.  What they may not catch themselves may be an area of need you have experience in.

Ask them how you can help or simply offer to look over marketing materials or proofread a blog.  Feedback from a trusted friend or colleague allows them to ask deeper questions they don’t often get the opportunity for. You’d be surprised at how helpful a few minutes of your time can be.

Your help could save them extra time, money and embarrassment. Catching a few content mistakes could help them acquire new subscribers. A couple quick suggestions on their sales pitch could generate a new client. Any gift of time and feedback could be potentially game changing for them.

Read, listen and watch their Social Media posts. If you know the dynamics of social media for business then you know just how much of a pain it can be to gain traction and grow organically. Any increase in engagement, such as clicks, likes, views, shares and comments, on social media could have many good residual effects (that’s a whole book in itself and ever-changing) for their business.

For instance, their content is viewed as more valuable by search engines and social media platforms alike. This leads to greater reach as we spoke of, but potentially leading to more subscribers, leads, revenue and profits. Reading, listening and watching will take a little more time investment on your end, but also gives you the opportunity to give more valuable feedback that we just talked about.

If you create content yourself then it can also help you create ideas for content, share valuable perspectives with your audience or ‘partner” by sharing their insights or endorsing them publicly. I’m sure your help will be much appreciated and reciprocated.

Subscribe to their stuff. What we get to see on social media is not fully in our control, so subscribing to your friends groups, newsletter and e-mail list can make it much more convenient, especially if you like what they offer. Most of what’s shared on social media is content already sent to subscribers so it should also make it easier for you to like, comment and share their social media content when you see it.

I know the thought of more email seems like a crazy idea, but wouldn’t it be nice to get something other than mail we dread in our inbox? If you’re not going to read it then by all means don’t subscribe or direct it to a folder that you’ll read when you get some free time. Or simply create a “support” folder for those you choose to support, but only read an e-mail occasionally to catch up on their business.  If you’re a subscriber then it’s easy for them to see that you’re supporting them.

Write or record a testimonial. Social proof is big in business and taking a quick minute to write a genuine testimony is not only an excellent way to support a friend, but to let a friend know how they’ve impacted you and others. Endorse them as a professional or the products and services they provide.

Your words can be used in a variety of ways in their business or shared across their platforms helping increase their credibility in the marketplace as well as showcasing their specific individual talents.  This is a very powerful position of support

Help them out on a big day.  Entrepreneurs could always use extra hands and skills on event day. See when, where and how you can help out. Whether it’s behind the scenes or in the midst of the action your help will be much needed and appreciated. Work the registration table, set up or break down or take detailed process notes or data tracking. All of it and more will be needed.

There are more ways to help than you can think of, or that they can probably think of themselves. The more minds and hands the more complete the event they can provide and the more value they can provide their audience.

Think about what skills you or your network can offer and ask or tell them you want to help. Everyone will be able to provide valuable feedback and perspective before and after the event that can later be improved and refined for future events.

SUPPORT THEM EMOTIONALLY

Understand their commitment to authentic purpose. Entrepreneurs are often criticized for their selfish pursuit of independence, autonomy and financial freedom; many times by those closest to us…family, friends and colleagues. Before you jump on them, ask and listen to why this pursuit is important to them.

For most of them, it’s their calling.  This path is genuinely something they find fun, interesting and meaningful. There is a purpose behind it, they’re good at it and they’re committed to making a dent in this arena. It’s almost like play to them, they can get lost in it for hours and not think twice about it.

Value the rare find of having a friend who is committed to not just finding their passion, but creating a life of fulfillment, even a lasting legacy, through purposeful actions.

Celebrate Their Successes. Wins are few and far between for entrepreneurs. Any win is huge, especially early on. If you see or hear of one of their wins then let them know about it, tell them congratulations and share it with others.

Let them know how proud you are of them sticking to it and pushing through all the ups and downs. The more they know that people are in their corner the easier it is to carry the burden of tough times as a start-up or during a hefty project.

Comfort Their Emotional Needs. Success can switch to struggle in an instant in business. The workload can be new, heavy and stretching all at once, even altogether overwhelming. The average day is rarely what we expect it to be…technology can crash at the most inopportune time, we may get “crickets” on our live stream, a potential or current client could say “no”, and our monthly webinar may only get three registrants.

As stressful as it is when things don’t go as planned we can be crushed when things go well, but go unnoticed. In both instances, your friend may need a high five, a hug or a shoulder to lean on. Whatever their struggle entails having support can give them a lift emotionally.

SUPPORT THEM FINANCIALLY

Refer them to potential clients. Financial support is always a bonus, but as you can see there is so much more you can provide other than your money. By supporting in any or all of the ways above you are able to understand your friend’s universe even more and perhaps see just how much love, effort and work it takes.

You’ll probably also be able to see just how much they care, support and work to truly make a difference for their audience and clients. Once you do referring their services will seem like nothing, but to them will mean the world. It may take a few seconds to a few minutes to endorse your friend to a potential client and they’ll be forever grateful.

Don’t Accept Their “Family & Friends” Discount. Insist on paying their full price. If you like their stuff don’t look for a discount. This will not only help you truly value their work, but it also creates a lasting moment of creative and emotional validation about the value they provide for others. It’s a true confidence boost.

Paying less can devalue their work, and even worse they could be taking a financial loss. This could lead them to physical and emotional burnout and a dip in morale and service; which is just bad for everyone involved. Paying them what they’re worth limits what I call “impulse promotion”. That type of promotion driven by excitement or regret of “getting a steal”.

These types of promotions have minimal effect in that it had nothing to do with the product or service provided. Any integrity based entrepreneur will want honest feedback and you paying in full will only assist you in giving feedback that will truly help them.

Gift others with their stuff. If you don’t like their stuff for yourself then maybe you know someone who would benefit from it, but they won’t make the investment themselves or can’t make the investment. Purchase your friend’s stuff for them and gift it to them. Talk about a win-win across the board. That’s a relationship deposit for both friends, a gift for one and support for another. Now that’s a lesson in supporting friends.

Be a low cost supporter. Maybe it’s a product or event ticket, maybe it’s supplies or a needed tool, maybe it’s sharing your staff, assist or storage space. Maybe it’s sponsoring a portion of continued education. There are many ways you can offer support for little to no cost to you that may be useful and cost effective for your friend? Entrepreneurs need all the support they can get. Ask and offer them early and often if possible.

Support is something we all want to get and give, but it’s not always possible. Share how you’d like to help and can help as well as what you won’t or don’t want to commit to. Be clear and up front so they are clear. Believe me entrepreneurs would rather not waste time and energy asking people who would rather not (or don’t show up when they said they would).

Ask them to be specific about what they need so that you it goes both ways. Supporting your colleague’s, friends’ and family’s business ventures can be easy and rewarding. Utilize these keys to make it beneficial for all parties involved.

How do you support your business focused friends? Will you be one the people they’ll never forget when their dream comes true? Are you a fellow entrepreneur or business professional? How would you like to be supported by your family, friends and colleagues? Tell us in the comments.

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3 Simple Steps to Starting a Business While Still Working

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Starting a business is never an easy road; especially if you’re already working full-time. There are many debts to pay as an entrepreneur and if you have commitments to family, friends and others you may be thinking to yourself, “When am I going to have time to start a business?” This was me less than three years ago.

My wife and I had just moved in together, we had our first born on the way and I was overworked, underappreciated, and not to mention uninspired (and underpaid) at my job. Despite a loaded 50-60 hour a week work schedule my internal cry for meaningful work, contribution and freedom tugged at my heart. It was time to make the leap.

Scared, tired and insecure I made up my mind to commit no matter what. Here’s how I jumpstarted my confidence, built momentum and eventually made the switch to a full-time entrepreneur:

1. Learn from Your Calendar– This may sound cliche, however the number one excuse I hear from aspiring entrepreneurs is, “I’m too busy to start a business” or “I don’t have time for starting a business”. I get it, we’re all very busy and I can empathize with your situation.  But, I challenge you to really “get intimate” with your calendar. Stay with me here…

What does your calendar say about you? How much time do you spend on e-mail? Is it efficient? How many hours are you spending engaged in vague plans or organizing meetings? With both colleagues and friends. What are the benefits of these? How much are you accomplishing?  How long has that weekend home improvement project been on your to do list? Have you made any leeway or started at all? How often do you find yourself “half committed” or procrastinating?

If we wanted to, we could have an endless lists of things to do. Learn exactly where you’re spending your time.  Gain a better understanding of what you do with it.  Then ask yourself, “Is this helping me get closer to my goal?”  If not, what’s taking up (wasting) your time?  Track how long things really take (to the minute), what zaps your energy, and where you’re distracted.

I can almost guarantee you will find at least an hour a day that is wasted on busy work, multi-tasking or procrastination. If you’re serious about doing work you love then you will make the time to take control your calendar.

2. Start with an Hour a Day– Building a business is a process and it’s known to be one wild roller coaster ride. Although, much of our culture is hooked on instant gratification, I advise not getting caught in that when starting a business. It’s important to maintain a good energy and an overdrive for instant results can leave you stressed, fatigued and frustrated.

Overcome procrastination by taking small, focused steps. Utilize the habit of consistency to build momentum, increase efficiency and the discipline to knockout bigger and tougher responsibilities. Remove bad habits that are keeping you “too busy”.

Shoot for getting in 5-6 hours of work a week. That’s only one hour a day Monday through Friday. This probably doesn’t seem like enough time, however after a few months you’ll be surprised at how much you learned and accomplished.

3. Filter Out Low Value Activities– Small steps will turn into a groove and you’ll feel an emerging excitement.  You’re building momentum! You may also feel the pressure of being too “busy” again.  Don’t worry, this is a sign that you may be ready for the next step.

Begin progressing by filtering out other low value activities. This may seem tough at first, everything seems important. Do an honest review of what’s really moving you forward, learn which tasks you’re under-appreciating and which ones to cut back on. Minimize, get rid of or, if possible, outsource any (if not all) activities that take up your time and energy.

Next, now fill your new free time with high value responsibilities.  Choose activities that improve how you think and feel about your life. Take action on tasks and projects that get you closer to the comfort and revenue you need to leave your day job.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” -Abraham Lincoln

Your dream of starting an online business doesn’t mean you have to quit your job…yet. The great thing about business today is you can start it from anywhere. With the advancements of technology and the access internet provides you can begin starting a business online from your home, in a coffee shop and while traveling for work. Begin the transition today.

No matter which approach you decide the easiest way to make a smooth segue into your own business begins with you. Commit to making your dream the routine and become the person who can fulfill it. Daily. The distance between you and freedom lies in your ability to meet the demands of your vision and create the life you want.  It starts now.

What’s your current most difficult obstacle in starting a business while you still work? You can start or join the conversation by leaving a comment below or on our social media outlets. 

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5 Ways to Improve Your Online Business by Connecting with Your Audience

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When growing an online business (or any business), especially a start-up, there is so much going on it’s hard to know what deserves priority. I’ve found thinking about building your online business like you do building a friendship to be a very helpful. Let me quickly explain, when you initially meet someone the relationship is a little awkward, until you find something that you both have in common or connect on.

Business is similar, however I recommend you be a little more strategic.  Start with a some deep introspection to better clarify what your unique talents are. Then you can think about that all important connection point where your unique talents insect with a very specific type of person who would be interested in learning what you know.  It’s this intersection point that kicks off the initial first impression and you work to build the relationship from there.

Sounds fairly simple right? Then why do we have such a difficult time acquiring new business? 80% of entrepreneurs fail…yes, four out of every five.  I don’t want you to end up like this so it’s important to understand you can’t attract the attention, interest and desire for your services without building an audience.  More importantly, relevant, engaged, and valued relationships with them.  Here are 5 steps to improving your business through connecting with your audience:

1. Share Good Stuff- When we first meet a potential friend it’s almost a natural instinct to impress so we share our most interesting or funny stories. We want them to feel excited to connect, welcome, and with a desire to learn more about us.

This is a great place to start with your content.  Share some (a lot is better) of your best inspirational and educational material.  Think about what would resonate with them the most.  What do you know well enough to help solve their current most pressing problem? What insight can you share to inspire them to take the next step? What content format would they most likely use to absorb it and help increase your credibility?

2. Listen to Your Audience- As you continue to share with your audience it’s time to shift your focus a bit.  It’s time for you to get to know them better.  You’ve done a good job gaining their attention, but now it’s important to create further engagement.  The best way is to listen and gather information they share.

You can continue to keep this process informal by asking powerful questions within your webinar or at the end of a blog or video.  Do this with a clear call-to-action to leave replies to in your comments section.  It’s then up to you to sift through the comments they leave on your blogs, social media posts or within forums.

You can also create a formal short survey and follow the above process or send it to your e-mail community & private groups.  I recommend keep it short (less than 10 questions) and simple and only ask what you believe will help bring more value to your audience in the future.  With good, engaging content your audience will often tell you what they want or wish they had before without even asking, however you have to have an open ear.  Listen to for your audiences frequently asked questions.

3. Find Their Attention Triggers- With an open ear you’ll probably recognize some consistencies as in your audiences problems, demographics and psycho-graphics.  If not, look for overarching themes related to their physical, emotional, social and logical desires. Themes can help you better pinpoint where and what is keeping their attention.

If you’re hungry to make a difference then you’ll want to target the same places they spend their time and money.  These places have either a large number of potential customers or a very targeted group with a specific desire you know you can support.  Where is your audience spending their time online? Is it Instagram, an industry forum, LinkedIn, etc.? How are they getting answers to their problems or finding inspiration now? What mediums do they consume their information?

4. Choose an Intersection Point- The better you understand your audience the more clear you’ll become on where and what you can do to inspire and assist them.  The greatest point of connection will occur when you have a detailed solution to their specific struggle. This is typically the point where your best talent or skill intersects their current need.  This intersection point is a big bridge builder between you and your audience.

If you can deliver (over deliver is better) a simple, but effective solution to a nagging frustration then you and your brand just increased in value in their eyes.  At minimum, help them feel more confident and sense of progress and they’ll look into a further relationship with you.  Simply shoot to change the troubling emotional state that’s been bothering them and they’ll trust you more. Where do your talents help “close the loop” for your audience? When do they need this solution most?

5. Get Personal- If you want an audience to stick around for a long time then it’s important to get them to “plant roots” in your community.  Continue to add value, grow your relationship, and now find the way to their heart. In essence, be authentic and consciously, yet carefully share your personality with them.

Be the professional in their circle who they know, like and trust better than the rest.  By strategically sharing your values and beliefs, stories of struggle, how you’ve conquered goals, helpful insights along the journey and more you can help your audience better understand what you stand for.  Decide early what you’re going to share with your listeners, subscribers and customers.

Although getting your audience’s attention is very important, it’s even better if you can be the one who captures their heart.  Create a community they want to grow in and they will keep them coming back.  What’s an important value that will ring true with the majority of your audience? What story of struggle will help them better relate with you?

Moving Forward

A great business helps to make a difference in the community while sustaining a profit for continued growth and impact.  However, it’s extremely difficult to do so without having an audience that enjoys listening and learning from you.  That’s why building and connecting with your audience must be one, if not your primary focus when trying to improve the bottom line of your online business.

Many entrepreneurs succumb to fear, self-sabotage or a simply a lack of productivity.  Don’t be an entrepreneur treading water.  If you want to be and stay relevant then you must keep your online business moving forward. The truth is, if you’re not connecting with your audience in today’s fast paced market then you’re treading water and actually going backwards.

What do you do to keep you and your online business moving forward? You can start or join the conversation by leaving a comment below or on our social media outlets.

 

 

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4 Benefits of Stepping into Your Fear

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The things we love most come with the greatest amount of fear. It’s because you love it so much that fear intensifies. When putting your heart and soul into something you don’t want it to fail. You don’t want to think you can’t succeed doing what you love.

When you choose a path of purpose fear gives you direction, it’s like your inner compass. Fear is good. The unpleasant emotion we feel is when we are threatened or perceive a threat, however in today’s world real, true threats are becoming less and less. When’s the last time you stepped out of your car to find a tiger staring you down?

We live most of our lives avoiding “threats” in our comfort zone. Our brains natural instincts are to keep us out of harm’s way, to keep us feeling comfortable and safe. But, it’s outside our comfort zone that we find a life of happiness and purpose.

Applying all of our gifts to something significant is fulfilling and where we find meaning in our lives. We want to be a part of something bigger and show others what IS possible. Whether you are BEING the change, creating change in others or making a bigger difference in the world it’s how you apply fear that can be the deciding factor between you achieving success or living life comfortably content.

My Fear

For a long time I resisted pursuing entrepreneurship despite my heart being pulled towards it. I allowed my fear to run me off, when instead I should have followed it as a sign. Here’s a quick list of some of the fears I experienced:

  • A fear of the unknown- I didn’t know what’s pulling me in this direction I’ve never explored, what’s to be expected?
  • A fear of what family, friends and girlfriends would think- if I took a leap without knowing what I was doing or getting myself into or even worse failed, how would they view me?
  • A fear of change- If I did this things will have to change and how much work will this be?
  • A fear of missing out- If it’s a lot of work what will I have to miss to sustain it?
  • A fear of rejection or not being good enough- If I do this I want to be excellent, but what if I can’t live up or what if they don’t like me?

10 years I ran from these and a variety of other fears only to see my dreams fall further away and my life crumble the farther they fell.

Step into Your Fear

It wasn’t until I became desperate enough and stepped into my fear that everything changed. And it was then that I learned fear is to be followed, it’s not a deterrent. Here are some of the rewards you can expect from your courage and stepping into your fear.

  1. Improved Self-Confidence– Confidence is a tricky mix of competence, courage and clarity. The great thing about stepping into your fear, there is no losing. Either you win or you grow in knowledge, wisdom, skill or clarity. This helps give you direction and builds greater confidence to take on bigger, stronger fears.
  2. Deeper Connections– We don’t want others recognizing our slight slip-ups, hidden blemishes, or the kinks in our armor. However, it’s in our adversity and vulnerability where we gain virtue and great respect. Sharing our struggles doesn’t show weakness, it reveals strength and it creates deeper bonds with others. People see character in crashing, crumbling and climbing back up. There’s courage in simply sharing truth no matter if it’s sunshine and rainbows or dark and stormy weather.
  3. Comfort in Change– No matter when, where or how you begin; the journey of change is rarely what you wished for. Like a ship at sea, no path is permanent; you’re ever-adjusting until you reach your destination. Sometimes there’s a trail and other times you’ll be called to blaze your own. It’s at this time you no longer stumble upon doubt, uncertainty and shame; instead you take pride, find flow and experience peace.
  4. Creative Freedom– When we’re not isolated by fear we begin think outside the box. We see new opportunities and explore unmeasured methods. We no longer believe in boundaries, rather we push for possibilities. In this sea of possibility you’ll find many of the hidden joys of life.

The majority of people succumb to fear each and every day, you don’t have to be one of them.

Dreams have a greater magnetic pull than fear. Yes, fear can overcome you if you allow it. But, you are strong. Find a reason greater than your excuses, a clear dream over procrastination or an ambition that ignites your inner fire, and you’ll conquer your fears.

Soon, you’ll look back on your struggle and understand it wasn’t that scary after all.

What would be possible in your life if you could run right through your fear today?

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Honest Communication Doesn’t Hurt

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You know the saying, “Truth Hurts”. After we look a little deeper into how honest communication affects us and others in our lives you may challenge the thought.

Have you ever pitched a project to client, received a “no thank you”, and wondered why? Wouldn’t it be great to know why you’ve failed? But why is it, when a friend points out that your presentation really was pretty terrible, or a colleague notices that your proposal pretty much killed any opportunity and tells you about it; we don’t want to hear it?

Like most, we’re looking for encouragement and positive motivation. Of course we all like a little coddling and cuddling. We enjoy when others give attention to our fantasized stories (You know, the I walked 10 miles up hill in a blizzard type work stories) and support our “I couldn’t be wrong” excuses and complaints.

We’ve all done this time and again. We’ve done it in failed projects, goals and relationships. We’ve done the same to friends, family members and coworkers. And, to be honest, we’ve probably done it sometime very recently. But, at what consequence?

Your Responsibility

I completely understand not wanting to come off as rude, inconsiderate and lacking empathy. Being blunt and disrespecting others or destroying relationships is the last thing we want to do. It IS important to use tact when communicating this way, however it’s equally important not to enable bad behavior by a lack of feedback or “sugar-coating” your message.

Are you truly helping yourself or others by being nice and withholding information?

Stephen M.R. Covey once said, “When we talk straight, we tell the truth and leave the right impression.” Despite some initial pain and discomfort, honesty builds a bridge of trust between you and others.

In the big picture, consistently telling the truth builds a bigger and stronger bridge between you and the other person. A well built bridge helps to grow relationships and can withstand time, great distances and the many other storms of miscommunication.

Far too often a lie (including little white ones), despite our good intent, is a lack of personal responsibility. We don’t want to deal with the consequences that come along with both telling the truth and accepting it from others. Being “brutally honest” is being responsible. And responsibility is a huge responsibility.

Below I share 4 opportunities to improve honest communication in your daily interactions:

  1. Find Reality. Be in touch with what is and how things are not what you hope, think, or wish things to be. The only thing that is real and that will be consistently is what is. Once you find reality, it will be easier for you to confront brutal honesty and the facts that are real…such as your faults, weaknesses, failures, etc. Are you lying to protect yourself or others?
  2. Be Mindful. Evaluate the conversations you have with yourself, be consciously aware of your language you use when speaking with others and reflect and review old discussions to see if you were telling the truth. Are you leading conversations with honesty or by your fear and mistrust?
  3. Include Others. Tell your family, friends, colleagues and clients you are trying to improve your communication with them and others. Inform them you would like them to provide clear, honest feedback. Surround yourself with others who care about your growth and success, but watch out for those who lead you to believe in a false reality. Are you allowing others to enable unproductive thoughts, actions and behaviors?
  4. Be Honest. Use tact in order to tell the truth so it cannot be misunderstood without disrespect or leaving false impressions. Don’t beat around the bush, use flattery or have hidden meanings when you talk to others. Represent the reality of the situation as best you can through good communication skills and even better judgement. Are you building trust by telling the truth?

Successful relationships, businesses and dreams are built upon communication, integrity and trust. There is a thin line between honesty and being a little too blunt, but I’ve never known anyone to hate another for telling them the truth. Yet, for many, it’s easier to avoid the “hurt” of being brutally honest by enabling ineffective and unproductive thoughts, actions and habits.

If you’re equally open to your reality and listening to the truth as you are for providing brutal honesty then you’ll never find yourself burdened by the weight of regret. Be a person known for honesty and you’ll find sturdy bridges of connection you when you need them most.

“The consequences of deceit are usually greater then the ones of the truth.” –Dr. Henry Cloud

Take a few moments after work or before you head to bed and write down a few examples to the above questions. Acknowledging these slip-ups will help to put you more in-touch with your reality.

Be Bold,

Brandon Sobotka

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How To Work Smarter and Enjoy More Time

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Hello and welcome back.  We’ve all heard the saying work smarter, not harder.  I’ve used it for years now, but recently it’s taken on a new meaning for me.

Do you ever worry about missing out?  I do.  Don’t we all wish we had more time?  We don’t want to miss out on the many festivities that come along with the summer time fun.  But this summer is a little different.

This past winter we welcomed a new baby girl into our world and the game changed.  For years I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t miss out on creating wonderful memories with my kids like my family missed when I was young.  After all, time is the only commodity that truly matters and investing it into those we love will show the greatest return.  Isn’t it true?

Here are four keys why studies are showing utilizing reflection just may be the smartest way to work:

  • Learning is more effective if you take the time to reflect on, meaning to synthesize or articulate, the important points.
  • Take 15 minutes at the end of a training, meeting or your day and reflect on the main things you learned.
  • Use a journal to deepen the reflection and your learning.  Write, document and track 2-4 key points through out your learning time.
  • Teach to enhance learning.  By sharing or teaching newly acquired skills or subject matter you are essentially reflecting on the material therefore enhancing learning and boosting performance.

Although you can’t stop or even manage time, you can increase productivity.  Completing tasks and responsibilities more effectively will help you do more work in less time.  Reflection is a smart way to “make it stick” to the brain and conquer important goals so that you can share more meaningful moments with your loved ones.

Whether your taking on a new project, mastering a new skill or going through some innovative change at work, if you want to learn faster grab a journal, note card, digital recorder and share what you’ve learned with others today.  Don’t hesitate, choose a method of reflection and implement it after your next meeting.

Which of the four areas are you finding to be most difficult for gaining more time?

Live inspired, Lead Bold,

Brandon Sobotka

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