Make the Days count with Opportunity Thinking

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One of the things that fascinates me as a coach and a people watcher, is the remarkable achievements people make, even when faced with a mountain to climb.

I’ve just finished reading a book about Katie Piper, a beautiful TV presenter, who had acid thrown in her face by an ex boyfriend. The agony, pain, fear and then the realisation, acceptance, joy was an engrossing read.  The destination reached was because she never gave up and grabbed every opportunity to make her life better and of those who also suffered burns and acid attacks.

I would go as far as to say that she turned a tragedy into a personal triumph,

Opportunity thinking requires spotting them in the first place, being open to new ideas, courage to take them, welcoming the challenges and evaluating often.

The opposite to opportunity thinkers are those who don’t like to hope in case they are disappointed, who wear the black hat to think about how it all might fail (useful in a team but not the way to live life to the full). They are full of fear and pessimism.

And the most successful people are optimistic.

The first step towards becoming more confident and bold, and therefore more likely to be an opportunity taker, is to achieve the goals you have already set yourself – and then set some more. Constant learning and personal development is a fun and rewarding way to live a life and i also have a theory that mother nature appreciates a being that doesn’t stand still rather than a being that just carries out the same things day in day out, never growing, expanding or changing.

Work backwards from the dreams you want and break down the actions required. Make sure you understand the consequences of your decisions, thinking of all the stakeholders involved.

If your mind isn’t aligned it with your values and the people you care about, aims and goals are far less likely to happen.

Know your ‘Why’ – this is a biggy.

What are the daily, weekly, monthly commitments to this action – what can you delegate or where can you ask for help? From whom?

What are the risks and what are the acceptable levels? Where are the real opportunities?

Think about when convenience is chosen over difficult action or decisions – take my 10/10/10 test, which is:

How does this decision affect the next 10 days,  10 weeks,  10 months etc. Sometimes short term thinking is valid, sometimes long term solutions are more desirable.

Be the Captain of your Own Ship. Set sail but don’t ignore other horizons.

And if there are barriers or challenges, see them as pirates that you need to throw off your ship. Pirate Procrastination being the first one to throw overboard, followed by Pirate Pessism!

And if you want to get there even faster – hire a coach, like me!

Business Season Cycles

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When December approaches I often find myself reflecting on the year just passing and thinking of the aims I had at the beginning of the year.

I tend to have ‘themes’ for each year which guide where i am going to concentrate my efforts and invariably find Winter the season for cutting back, eliminating and letting go.

As business owners we all try to do too much, start new things without finishing them and procrastinate on our goals.

I see Spring as the season to think about new products and services, new ways to wow our customers, The Summer for making new contacts and getting those products out – so much nicer to network when the sun is shining! – and Autumn for nurturing all our relationships, cementing joint ventures.

Winter reflection is very important to me – its not something I do overnight. Good incisive questions like;

What was it that I did so well, that I should do more of it because it made the biggest difference to my business?

What’s the next thing and how does it help achieve my overall long term goal?

What did I enjoy, what didn’t I enjoy, what else can I delegate? Was i bold enough?

What’s my main theme for the year to help my own personal development?

These and many more need answering before any new goals are considered. It might just be a question of reviewing and updating current ones.

 

Increase Your Self Esteem

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Whether you work for yourself or for other people, daily events and setbacks can diminish our self belief, confidence and motivation temporarily or even for longer periods.

It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I try to tell my clients that these challenges can be a blessing in disguise, there are times when we feel depleted of all energy and focus.

The best way to combat this is to ask some really good questions and learn how to identify and challenge negative beliefs.

Write down all those limiting beliefs and try to challenge them by finding evidence to the contrary. Focus on the positive things and write those down too. aim to have at list 30 things you like about yourself – ask your friends and family too.

Try mindfulness techniques which is simply about bringing yourself and paying attention to the present moment. This will make you more aware of all the chatter that goes on in your head. Being self aware is half the battle.

Do activities that you enjoy and are good at – this should help you overcome the disappointments you feel and spend time with positive people.

Don’t compare your situation with anyone else – we are all unique and do not know everything that is going on in other people’s lives and businesses.

Be assertive and say no when you really don’t want to do something but also be helpful and considerate to others.

Get into the habit of saying positive things about yourself and other people and just don’t sweat the small stuff

Get yourself a coach – I can normally change round a persons confidence and performance levels in a matter of hours, over an average of 4-6 weeks weekly sessions.

How to motivate and incentivise your team

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Offer your employees rewards for a job well done. Use both verbal and financial motivators and incentives.

A big challenge in team building is coming up with new ways to foster and maintain a high level of motivation. How do you keep teams of people excited and driven to succeed over long periods of time? How do you keep your team motivated to improve their performance, and increase their achievements?

It is important to note that we’re not just talking about individuals, but teams of people working together. It is fairly simple to motivate a single person, but an entire team of motivated people will generate significantly higher results.

The key here is to give incentives for individual and team accomplishments. Incentives that reward based on collective achievement require people to work together and motivate each other to succeed.

Before we start talking about monetary and incentive-based rewards, it’s important to look at motivational factors that are not incentive-driven.

a. Make sure to display clear confidence in your staff’s ability, and give them room to work unsupervised where possible.

Employees who feel their managers and supervisors believe and trust in their abilities are happier and will always perform at a higher level than those who do not. They are motivated to “prove them right” and feel supported in their efforts.

Micromanagement quickly reduces morale. It is essential that you and your managers clearly express confidence in your team members. You hired them to do a job, perform a role, so you must ensure they have the space to do so.

b. Set up a system that rewards performance, and provides incentives for reaching milestones or targets.

Incentives are great motivators. An incentive is a reason to perform or act in a certain way. For example, if your team increases sales by 40% by month’s end, they will be treated to an expensive dinner.

Incentives need to be specific and have deadlines in order to be effective. In the example above, sales need to increase by 40% by the end of the month in order for the team to receive their dinner. If sales only increase by 30%, or if they increase by 40% at the end of the second month, the team does not earn their reward.

Time-specific incentives increase the sense of urgency, and encourage staff to work harder to achieve the objective. If the incentive is not time-bound, there is no reason to work faster or harder, since staff will assume they will reach their milestone “eventually.”

It’s up to you how you choose to structure your monetary incentives, based on your budget and resources. Remember to ensure that the terms of each incentive are clearly outlined, and that both parties (you and your employee) understand the agreement.

Monetary Incentives

  • Commissions
  • Bonuses for completing a challenging project, or hitting a target
  • Rewards for highest producing employee
  • Salary increases based on met targets

Gift rewards

  • Spa Gift Certificates
  • Books – consider motivational or business-related topics
  • CDs or DVDs
  • Meals – lunch or breakfast
  • Other gift certificates – gas, food, meals, local shops
  • Movie or theatre tickets
  • Weekend getaway – hotel, meals, etc.
  • Flowers
  • Gym Membership

Don’t overlook the value of company time spent enhancing your employees working environment, or their relationships with each other.

Team building is the final piece of the human resources puzzle – including recruitment, staff training, retention and professional development.

Happy employees will work hard and be loyal to your business, which translates into more capital in your bottom line. You can achieve this many ways – as I’ve described in this E-Class – and it doesn’t have to cost you any money at all.

A huge part of your success as a business owner lies in your ability to manage and support the people who work for you. If this is difficult for you (and it is for many entrepreneurs!), make sure that you surround yourself with strong managers and motivators who can help cultivate a profitable team.

Brian Tracy e-Book Blowout Sales – Save 30-50%!

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Those of you who follow me know how much I love Brian Tracy

 

Well..

This is new… and exciting!

Brian Tracy, Success Expert, and Best-Selling Author is having an e-Book blowout sale.

His best-selling books have never been on sale before, so this is a rare opportunity to get a library of knowledge on personal development, business growth, time management techniques, and more.

For just seven days from today, through August 31st, 2015, Brian Tracy is having a blowout sale on his top 20 ebooks!

You can buy any individual ebook included in the offer for 30% off OR, you can get all 20 of them for 50% off!

Check out all the Ebooks on sale here.

This sale includes the ebook version of some of the best books Brian has ever written — ones that have changed millions of lives, and gotten him the notoriety and success he has today, such as:

  • Eat That Frog! 2nd Edition
  • No Excuses – The Power of Self-Discipline
  • Million Dollar Habits
  • Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life
  • Goals! 2nd Edition
  • And so many more!

Ebooks are available to you IMMEDIATELY after purchase. You can access them from your computer, mobile phone, tablet or iPad.

Here’s a sneak peek:



Remember, this sale is only good through August 31st, 2015.

To your success,

 

The Hydration Must

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Water is one of the few crucial things that we need to live and an important part of staying healthy and focused.

This week we’ve seen news that many older people are de-hydrated, especially in some care homes. This is so sad, as water can be so re-vitalising and essential for a clear mind.

Whether I’m coaching individuals, business owners or young people, I like to check on their health too.

This is such an easy and cheap way to help your skin, body and mind! As my friend and colleague Allen Jesson says:

YOU are actually 60% water. So how much water do you need to drink on a daily basis to keep YOU going? 

Well, that is going to vary by person to person, by your diet, where you live etc. etc. 
As a rough rule of thumb, you should drink somewhere between 2 and 4 litres per day. 
But there are a couple of quick tricks that you can use to know whether 
you are getting enough fluid on a daily basis 
1.If you're feeling tired or lethargic, drink a pint of water. If you feel better 
within 5 or 10 minutes, then you were probably dehydrated.

2.Check the colour of your urine. Assuming that you haven't been eating beetroot
or the like, then your urine should be a clear, water like colour. If it is yellow or darker 
then you are probably dehydrated.

3.Try drinking 4 litres per day and see if it makes a difference to your energy levels and your overall 
sense of well being.

By the way, if you eat a healthy diet, you will get a lot of water from the fruit and vegetables. 
Soup is obviously good in this respect too. The good news for tea and coffee drinkers is that most 
studies have found that in moderate amounts, caffeine has only mild diuretic effects -- much like water. 

However, I'll finish with one last word of warning: Generally, alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it 
increases urination and flushes water (and other good stuff) from the body.

So, for hydration purposes, tea, coffee, water, fruit juice all good. Alcohol bad. Got it?

Further than Yesterday!

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I have long reached my goals by taking small but sure steps towards them, reviewing as I go along. I call it Kaizen planning. The following is an article by my colleague Allan Jesson, who has been doing the same thing but with a small twist. He calls it FTY – further than yesterday!

‘When I started my marathon training I couldn’t run a mile. The simple principle I came up with was to go ‘Further Than Yesterday’. I did this for 6 months culminating in my completing the London Marathon in 2007. But this ‘Further Than Yesterday’ can be applied to many aspects of everyday life and I would like to discuss just a few of them here. Let’s say you’re in business or you work in a job. ‘Further Than Yesterday’ could apply to your sales or revenue targets, your position within the company, your happiness in the job, the good you do for other employees and so on. It’s quite a big list when you set your mind to it. Think of it as an ever raising bar in your life, until you reach your identified goal or milestone. That leads me to a few important points:

1.It’s great to go ‘Further Than Yesterday’ but you do NOT want to create a hamster wheel that you are forever on.

2.That’s why it’s important to set milestones and targets so you know when you’re arrived.

3.It’s also important to celebrate and acknowledge your achievements as you go ‘Further Than Yesterday’

4.This concept becomes increasingly magnified if you commit publicly to your eventual goals and map or chart your progress. I think it’s quite a natural state to stop testing boundaries but I think many fall way too short of their potential.

Is there part of you that is unhappy or unfulfilled because you haven’t challenged your future? Have you stopped an endeavour, when it all become too hard? Have you ever tried to run before you could walk? Do you have some BIG goals that you would like to have a go at? If you answered “yes”, or even “maybe” to any of these questions, then Further Than Yesterday may just be the strategy you have been looking for.

Some final tips:

1.Always begin with the end in mind. But choose a target that is reachable (with determination and a stretch, don’t aim too low).

2.Map out the incremental steps you need to achieve your long term goal (for example, I knew I had to run a further 24 miles in one go in 6 months, so that was 4 extra miles a month, 1 extra mile a week, 1/5th of a mile ‘further than yesterday’ on each of my five training runs per week).

3.Things often and will probably not go to plan. Don’t get despondent, just adjust your plan and stretch the time line or decrease/increase the incremental steps if possible.

Whatever you do, don’t settle for less than your full potential. If there is life, you can still go ‘Further Than Yesterday’. Because if you don’t, the opposite becomes naturally true i.e. Less Than Yesterday. If that happens to you then your Glory Days will be forever that and your world (and your thinking) will gradually become smaller and smaller.’

I can help you with your goals – just call me for a no obligation chat – Lets get you there far quicker than you could imagine!  Call me on 01473 682760 and make 2015 your best yet..

Launch of My New product!

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As you know, my main focus of coaching is around confidence and performance, in business and life, helping business owners, their teams, individuals and young people to reach their absolute best and to feel confident giving their gift to the world – releasing their genius, as I call it.

Previously I would not coach anyone who had experienced a trauma, instead requesting that they receive counselling first before coming to me, as I was not trained in such things.

Now I have added a new skill and product to my services and you can find out more about this here at the Vitali-Chi site

This allows me to deal with the following:

Vitali-chi has given me another powerful tool in which to help my clients, such as:

Loss of confidence through trauma
Release hidden emotions and memories
Depression
Improve health and well being of both mind and body
Executive clarity and revitalisation
Relieve tensions and stresses

Goal Setting for Success in 2015

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Yesterday I delivered a workshop for Suffolk Chamber on the subject of success planning for next year.

This is not as simple as it seems and I only had 2 hours. I rarely do powerpoint presentations for my workshops, preferring to find out first what everyone in the room wants to achieve for the session and then adapting the tools and delivery accordingly. It can even change as the morning goes on, so that I ensure I give what each person needs as an individual as well as a group.

When the delegates are very receptive to Neuro linguistic programming tools, as they were yesterday, then the workshops can be outstanding for all of us involved. And so it was in this workshop.

The group were diverse, intelligent, inquisitive, co-operative and I loved every minute of it. There was a lot to take in but the process was embedded in a template for goal setting which I will summarise here:

Know what you want – what will you see, hear and feel as if it was already happening

Understand your ‘Why’ and what your motivations are. Make sure they are big enough.

Write it all down

What’s your starting point, what has already taken place towards this goal?

What are the barriers? – sometimes we need to be someone a little bit different from before in order to achieve, or it could be that we need some extra training, resource, time management.

Who can help and where is the support structure

Visualisation – use it to see, hear and feel that goal, every day and use positive language

Chunk down the bigger parts of the action to smaller parts – do an action plan

What’s the very first step – take it immediately after writing everything down.

Kaizen – Do something every day towards it, however small

 

This is it, in it’s simplest form – if you’d like to know more or would like me to deliver this for you in house – call me or email me

You won’t regret it!

 

 

 

Start thinking about Success for 2015

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The following shows details of my next workshop on behalf of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce. This isn’t just about goal setting, which can sound a bit dry. This will be an interactive, enlightening session to motivate you and focus on successful business and life outcomes.  And there’s a great breakfast thrown in too!

Goal Setting Workshop 7.30am, 20 November Holiday Inn Orwell, Ipswich

Join Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and Nadia Cenci of NAC Coaching Ltd as we help you set your goals for the year ahead.

This workshop is for those who want to learn how to write goals in a powerful and motivating way for personal or business reasons.

By the end this workshop attendees will:

  •  Have more clarity about what they want to achieve in life and business
  •  Have a long term vision as well as short term goals
  •  Understand the power of effective goal setting using Neuro Linguistic Programming tools
  •  Understand more about values and behaviour
  •  Set exciting, powerful and motivating goals for 2015
  •  Feel motivated and more confident in taking action towards successful performance

There will also be plenty of opportunities to network with local businesses, so don’t forget to bring plenty of business cards!