Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Play to Your Strengths!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you’ve had a great April. Here we are and tomorrow is May 1st. How time flies!

I was recently asked to write an article for someone in business and after giving it some thought decided to write about how we use what we have and yet we’re often struggling to increase those parts of us that are not so strong. I thought I’d put a few lines down in the blog this week to give everyone the opportunity to focus on the strengths I’m sure you all have.

We all have strengths and weaknesses, whether in business or in life and people will more often than not attempt to bring their weakest areas up to the same level as the strengths they have. I really don’t encourage this; it’s not the best way to go!

When we focus on the areas that we consider to be our weakest, we often end up diluting our ability to play to the strengths, making it more challenging to achieve our goals and desires in life. Concentrate on playing to your strengths.

As a business and life coach it’s often my job to brainstorm with clients to find out why they are not where they want to be, whether it’s professionally or personally. I often have people do a simple exercise so they can really see what they need to concentrate on.

Take a sheet of paper and divide into two columns. Head one column: My Strengths and the other column My Weakest Areas.

Don’t ask anyone else their opinion about your strengths, it’s important to be honest with yourself, after all you know yourself better than anyone else.

When you’ve completed both lists write down how many times each day you only play to your strengths. And, how many times you hold yourself back or it takes more time to do something because you want to do it all!

One of my strengths is patience and seeing that there is a solution in any situation. One of my weaknesses is I don’t have great computer skills. I hand off everything I am not comfortable doing on the computer and focus on teaching people how to achieve what they want in life.

Once you can see these two areas fully, you have a choice. You can of course always move forward doing what you’ve always done, your path being a little rocky and perhaps even unfulfilling or you can start to really focus on all your strengths and delegate your weakest areas to others who have those characteristics as their strength. This way everyone wins.

Absolutely everything is a mindset. Every result you create in life comes from the way you think. You have a thought it creates a feeling, which creates an action that equals the result.

When we change our thinking we change our lives. Always remember change is inevitable, transformation is a choice.

Have a fantastic week. ‘Til next time
To Your Success and Brilliance

PS. If you haven’t already, sign up for my Free 6 lesson E-course, The Astonishing Power of You and also receive the weekly Monday Motivator Quotes.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Is Entitlement Important?

Sometimes I write about topics that may not seem relevant to business or even to life. However entitlement can create real challenges without people even realizing. Let me first say, this is written without judgment or criticism.

What do I mean when I say entitled? The word entitle in the dictionary states that it means to have the right or claim. People who have entitlement issues are usually more self absorbed and also have more feelings of self importance making them think that they don’t have to respect other people in the same way they want to be respected. Talking the talk is not the same as walking it.

Have you ever received an email or call from someone and decided that you don’t have to reply because you don’t have time, after all you have so many more important things to do, or some kind of thinking along those lines? Are you always late for appointments and always find an excuse for being late and justify it to yourself as a ‘so what,’ everyone knows I’m always late so it’s not important?

I have learned that not returning a call or email within 24-48 hours, however busy you are, lacks integrity and also conveys lack of respect. The same applies to punctuality. Five minutes early or 5-7 minutes late is acceptable. If you are mostly 10-20 minutes late for appointments, whether it’s business or social, it conveys the message that the other person is not important and somewhere deep down you are feeling that you, for whatever reason, are entitled to act this way.

Men are often heard to say about their wife, girlfriend or partner, “she always keeps me waiting she’s never ready on time.” Why is this? Don’t tell me it’s because it takes you longer to get ready. Start earlier, you’d be surprised what a difference it makes to how the other person feels when you’re ready on time.

Many, many years ago, I would say I had entitlement issues. On some level I needed to believe that I was more important than other people so it was OK not to return a call, not to reply to a note and to be late for nearly everything. This came from a deeper feeling of not having enough self worth.

Although I’m certainly not perfect, far from it I suspect :), when someone takes the time to send me a note of appreciation for something and sometimes I receive quite a few, doesn’t matter how busy I am, I always take the time to reply personally to each one. So what if it takes an extra few minutes out of my day. People are always so delighted when they receive a thank you.

I encourage you to be honest with yourself. Do you feel that you are ‘entitled’ to be late, not reply to a call or email, that this is just who you are? Or, this is not using my time productively or effectively. That to me is a total cop-out and means that deep down you really do feel you are more important than other people. Everyone is special and everyone deserves respect. You may not agree with me, however give it a try. It certainly makes you more attractive to the Universe. Whether professionally or personally letting others feel that you respect them and that they are important, shows that you have integrity.

‘Til Next Time
To Your Success & Brilliance


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

What’s the real reason?

What’s the real reason people don’t get where they want in life? Why do some people become really successful and some people just don’t quite make it. They get to the edge and stop, often just as they are about to achieve the success they want.

They are afraid to believe in themselves and their own ability. There’s that word fear again! You know what, the only thing you need to do is make a decision that you are not going to let that feeling hold you back. You don’t need to break a board, walk on hot coals, bunji jump or anything else if you don’t want to.

You don’t have to let fear take over and control you. Believe it or not, unless you are being stalked by a tiger, or are in other dangerous situations, fear is not even real. I know it feels real, yet it’s just a thought. It’s what we call in psychology, “false evidence appearing real.” You have the ability, the choice and power to change your thinking so that fear and doubt doesn’t stop you from achieving what you want.

Ask yourself how long you’ve been saying “I want to ………., I’m going to……… and yet you keep doing the same thing over and over. You’ve probably heard that old quote that goes something like this, “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results will make you crazy.”

Whether it’s professional, relationships or life in general, if you’re not where you want to be, get honest with yourself. Are you holding yourself back because you’re afraid? Write down 3 successes you’ve had in life. It doesn’t matter what they are just something you consider was a success. Now, ask yourself what you were thinking and what action you took to make those things happen. If you’ve done it once, you can do it again.

You’re an incredible human being, don’t let old messages steal your dreams and don’t let fear take away your power. What’s the worst that can happen if you take a risk? What’s the best that can happen? When you answer these questions for yourself, I think you might see that nothing really catastrophic can happen if you take the leap of faith. Go for it.

To Your success and brilliance
‘til next time

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


The question asked that resulted in the following answer was: What would happen to your business and life if you were hit by a bus or had a personal crisis? A medical emergency? Or, needed to take time off to care for a loved one?

I didn't get hit by a bus :) However, I did have a situation that meant I had to change how I was working in my business. At the end of 2003 I found out that my Mother in the UK had cancer and I live in Los Angeles. So that my sister didn't have to carry the whole burden of taking care of the situation, I made a decision to be available whenever and however I was needed which meant putting all my goals for the next couple of years on hold.

After the first time I had to cancel a speaking engagement at the last minute because I received a call to come to London immediately, I put all speaking on hold. I explained the situation to my clients, who were very understanding and willing to work with me. When I was in London, if it was only for a week or ten days, clients sessions were sometimes put on hold or if that wasn't possible I coached via email.

I knew that if I was going to be able to effectively help and be available, for my own peace of mind, it would really be necessary to put all other aspects of my business on hold.

Although it was a challenging decision for me to make, that's what I decided to do. During 2004-2006, other than working with a few clients my business came to a stand still. When my Mother passed in 2006, I basically had to start over.

In mid-2006 I started working with a coach to get back on track. The choice I made definitely affected me financially from the stand point of not making the kind of money I had intended from my business. Although I didn't achieve what I wanted in my original time frame, things are well on track since the end of 2006 and moving forward. Everything is about choice, I decided what I 'wanted' to do, didn't let it stress me out and have never regretted the decision to spend the last 2 years of her life with my Mother.

I was very lucky to be in a place where I had another small income coming in, however had this not been the case, I would not have been able to make the choice I did.

I learned a very valuable lesson when this situation occurred. I encourage all solo-business owners to have a back up of some kind in place. There are unexpected things that happen to all of us in life at some time or another.

I think it's very important to have at least 6 months income in the bank to take care of mortgage, rent, expenses etc. should you, for any reason, need to take a break longer than a couple of weeks. Budget this into monthly savings so that it goes automatically into an emergency fund.

Depending on your business, if you have an assistant, make sure that you have enough copy written to cover absences. You need to still have a presence so that people remember who you are. Even if that means a monthly tip to stay in touch.

Everything in life is a choice so choose to have a plan in place rather than winging it.

To your success and brilliance,