Make the Days count with Opportunity Thinking

Standard

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!

Increase Your Self Esteem

Standard

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.

What is Self Confidence?

Standard

Confidence is vital attribute which has made individuals win competitions and games, helped people to do what seems impossible and it has also helped men and women make history. It is required by everyone be it at marriage, in school, at work, in positions of leadership and generally in your daily life.

“Self-confidence gives you the freedom to make mistakes and cope with failure without feeling that your world has come to an end or that you are a worthless person.” – Anon

Self confidence refers to the trust or confidence in self. It is the belief that you (or the person or entity you are acting for) will emerge victorious and successful in the task you want to undertake.  With self confidence, you are able to meet most of the challenges in life. It will also help you do what people believe is impossible or difficult to do.

Most people lack self confidence and this causes them to miss many opportunities. You have to interact, talk and communicate with people if you are to progress.

You have to know how to talk to the public.  All well known and respected public speakers have self confidence. Self confidence at the work place will make you discharge your daily duties and obligations confidently while you are sure that everything is going on well as required.

Self confidence can be built; you can train yourself.  Like any other building activity, you have to mix several things so as to build self confidence.

If you build enough self confidence, you will have built a link to success and creating your ideal life style.  Confidence is the pathway to success it will make you achieve what you what. It will make you a role model which inspires most people.

You also need to have positive self esteem and self efficacy. You need to possess several attributes in order to trust yourself.  If you were not born naturally self confident as is the case with most people, then you will be required to work so as to achieve this vital attribute.

There are two main components of self-confidence namely self esteem and self-efficacy.

These two factors (self esteem and self efficacy) are very important in the life of an individual.

Self efficacy is the belief that you are up to certain task or challenge. It is the belief that you are not disadvantaged; that you are proud of who you are and what you can do. It is the capacity to motivate yourself when you fail.

Self esteem on the other hand is the belief that you are a person of worth and that you are capable of doing something positive. If you lack either self efficacy or self esteem you cannot create your ideal lifestyle by realising your full potential through confidence.

Over the next few posts I will talk more about how you can improve your confidence but there is no quicker way than hiring a confidence coach.

Take a look at my website to find out more and read my testimonials

Doesn’t matter where you live, we can skype, take a phone call or face to face, or a mixture of all. Each has its own merits and work well.

I can create confidence in your future

How To make the right decisions

Standard

Sometimes in life we are presented with dilemmas.

This is not the same as options, which I prefer to have plenty of when making a decision. This is more about the times when we have a couple of choices, neither being the perfect scenario.

But whether it’s choices or dilemmas my first question is in my 10/10/10 rule and that is:

What do each of these options give me in 10 days, 10 months, 10 years? It will help you to decide whether a long term view is a better one or whether this is about a quick win or even a life changing decision.

Then please take time to ask yourself some good questions to get the ball rolling and try to look at things from all angles.

Each perspective requires a different ‘Thinking Hat’ and relevant questions to ask yourself at the beginning, middle and end.

  • White Hat:
    With this thinking hat you focus on the all the information available.

What is happening now that could be better?

What do you want more of, less of?

What do you really want? What is your overall strategy for this part of your life?

What can you learn from the past about this?

  • Red Hat:
    ‘Wearing’ the red hat, you look at problems using intuition, gut reaction, and emotion.

If you can stop the chatter in your head long enough to feel the vibes in your gut, you will find intuition is hardly ever wrong. What is yours telling you about this and are you listening? Also try to think how other people, with a vested interest, will react.

  • Black Hat:
    Using black hat thinking, look at all the riskier angles of the decision. Look at it cautiously and defensively.

Why might it not work? This is important because it allows you to eliminate, alter , or prepare contingency plans for weaknesses.

Where could this be sabotaged and by whom or what?

  • Yellow Hat:
    The yellow hat helps you to think positively. It is the optimistic viewpoint that helps you to see all the benefits of the decision and the value in it.

What will doing this give you and why do you want it?

  • Green Hat:
    The Green Hat stands for creativity. This is where you can develop creative solutions to a problem.

What else can you do? What is the opposite of what you are doing and what other ideas can you get from that?

  • Blue Hat:
    The Blue Hat stands for control and constant review. It’s about taking a helicopter view of the situation.

What is happening and do you need anyone else or to do anything else? Do you need any other contingency plans?

 

 

When you discover the right answers follow up with bold action trusting that you have everything within you to make it happen.

How to Focus on Your Ideal Customers

Standard

In this post we will cover:

  • The 80/20 rule in your business
  • How to figure out who your ideal customers are
  • How to figure out what your ideal customers want

The majority of your revenue comes from your ideal customers. This is great news!

I’ve described the 80/20 rule of business before, but it’s the premise for this whole post.

80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your clients, and
those 20% are your ideal customers.

Generally, these customers are loyal, spend a lot and spend often. They may be demanding, or ask you to stretch a little bit further, but they’re fair and they’re profitable. You make a substantial amount of money from them. You want to keep these customers in your business, and keep them exceptionally happy.

The rest of your customers can be organised on a sliding scale all the way down to your c-list, or unprofitable customers. These are the people who waste your time, energy and resources. They’re never satisfied, and nearly always cost you more to serve than they actually spend in your business.

The most profitable – and enjoyable to work in – businesses know how to spot and cater to their 20%, as well as how to spot and fire the difficult customers.

This post is about optimising your customer base so you can

a. serve happy, pleasant customers
b. see more repeat business
c. have happier staff
d. make more money

To identify the bad apples, you’ll have to first make a list of your ideal customers.

Go through your database of customers and make a list of the customers that make you answer yes to the following questions:

  • Has the customer purchased from you on several occasions?
  • Is the customer profitable?
  • Is the customer strategically important to your business?
  • Has the customer spent a significant amount of money in your business?

While you do this, you may also wish to make a list of customers who made you answer no to one or several of those questions. Those customers could potentially be unprofitable, or undesirable ones that you need to review.

When you are trying to establish how profitable a customer is, think about how much they spend, how often they spend, and what they buy. Do they buy high-margin or low-margin items? Have they referred other customers to you? Do they pay on time? Do they buy products or services at full price? Each business will have a different set of criteria to evaluate this, but use those questions as guidelines.

Your ideal customers are those that are highly profitable, and a dream to deal with. You’re more than happy to accommodate their requests, and go above and beyond their expectations. These are the customers you will want to cultivate more of in your business.

Your ideal customers are the ones that:

  • Ask you for the products and services that fall within your expertise or speciality.
  • Value your products and services, as well as you and your staff.
  • Pay a fair market price.
  • Challenge you to be better at what you do.
  • Support your continued business and professional growth.
  • Help you move in new strategic directions.

Once you know who your top clients are, ask them what they want and value in your business so you can continue to provide great service.

Why do your ideal customers buy from you? And what more can you do to encourage their business?

Consider sending a survey out to your A-list customers, and provide an incentive for them to complete and return it. Craft the questions to elicit a true picture of your strengths and weaknesses, and include a combination of multiple choice, ranking and open ended questions.

Ask your ideal customers questions about:

  • The products or services they love or would love to see.
  • Customer service elements that are important to them.
  • Why they chose your business?
  • How your business could improve?
  • How could you do more business with them?

You may also wish to create a survey for your staff to identify anything in your business that they feel could be improved. They work there everyday too, so they’re a great resource pool for ideas and enhancements.

Take the information you collect from these surveys, and use it to genuinely improve your business. Fix any problems, and eliminate any activities or services that weren’t identified as valuable. Maximise the activities and services that were identified as valuable.

 

 

How I help you to be Confident and what is NLP?

Standard

I am asked on a regular basis about how I can make people more confident, what do I do and how does NLP work?

There is no quick answer to this so it’s not often I get to give the long answer.  I thought I would take the time to give more of an explanation.

My one to one clients are different from the bespoke programmes that I offer small business owners but eventually all will confide in me on both personal and business issues because I take a holistic view of their lives and check where they may need help.

Often people will come to me with what they think is the problem, when in fact it is a sympton of the real problem. I have been told many times that I unravel this in an uncannily speedy time! I think I’m just great at trusting my intuition, and often hear what is NOT being said.

Basically I use 4 main tools, although this is not the full tool kit;

A structure for the session including a main aim for the client in each one with action points to take away

The Wheel of Life in which to take that holistic view

Deep incisive questioning to make my clients more self aware and to answer stuff they have never thought of before

And Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)

NLP has, in the past, been viewed with scepticism but for me my licensed practitioner’s course was the best thing I’ve ever completed, for my own personal development as well as helping to exceed my client’s expectations (90% say they didn’t expect to have such great results in such a short space of time).

So what is it?

Neuro

The nervous system, including the brain and the five senses and how we interpret the information we receive via our filters

 Linguistic

The verbal & non-verbal language symbols with which we code & transmit meaning.

 Programming

The ability to structure our neurological and linguistic systems to achieve certain results.

 The Fundamentals

1. Know what you want (Outcome / Direction)

 2. Get the attention of the unconscious mind and become more self aware

 3. Know whether you’re getting what you want (Sensory Acuity)

4. Adjust what you’re doing accordingly (Behavioural Flexibility)

NLP makes some presuppositions as follows. These are not necessarily true but can be very useful for successful communication influence.

  • · The map is not the territory
  • · Each person is unique
  • · Having choice is better than not having choice.
  • · People make the best choice available to them at the time
  • · Every behaviour has a positive intention.
  • · There is no failure, only feedback
  • · The resources the individual needs are already within them.
  • · The meaning of a communication is the response you get
  • · There is a solution to every problem
  • ·· Mind and body are one system

So what sort of people come to me? I have coached barristers, politicians, accountants, managers, executives, nurses, teachers, students, construction workers, housewives, brides to be, sole traders, service providers, architects, bankers, web designers – you get the drift!

I have helped them to be confident in communicating, networking, speaking, presenting, interviews, managing people, managing personal relationships, focusing, being more successful, happy, reducing stress, releasing their creativity and genius, finding their feet again after a setback, marketing, getting rid of procrastination to take action, and much more.

I do this face to face as a one to one, telephone, skype, group coaching or deliver an interactive workshop or a combination of medias.

Confidence is key to so many things but that gives a flavour.

Please take a look at the testimonials on the home page or contact me for more information

5 Ways to be a Confident Networker

Standard

Groucho Marx once said ‘I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member’!

So my first tip is:

1) Value yourself and your time. Its easy to go to every lunch and breakfast meeting advertised and achieve very little. Work out the cost of your time on an hourly rate and use this when prioritising and planning your strategy for marketing, networking etc. Believe that you have something fantastic to offer to the right people or business.

If belief in your product, company or yourself is 8/10 or less, what would make it a 10/10?

2) ‘Me Ltd’

I do a whole workshop on this one. It isn’t about the branding of your company, I leave that to the experts, but about how you portray yourself to the world via social media and face to face. It needs to be consistent, authentic and have integrity. What makes you different? What is your USP? Make sure your target market knows who you are, what you do and how you do it. And if you can’t describe your target market, then that’s the first thing you need to do!

3) Get Confident

In my workshop ‘Confidently Smart Network’ I show you how to use Neuro Linguistic Programming to feel confident working the room and how to put together a brilliant elevator pitch to make you feel confident when standing up to speak or for first introductions My top tip here is to go to any networking event with the mindset that you are there to help others connect with each other and to build relationships. Think outwards rather than inwards. You will make far better relationships with this attitude than trying to get people to help you.

4) Make a list

Go back over old ground on this too. Who are your past clients and what could you offer them now? Friends, family, neighbours, school gates, hobbies – who do they know that fits your target market? Get introduced or go for coffee. Also think of companies that have the same target market as you. Consider joint ventures or being able to use their database with a special offer etc.

5) Blow Your Own Trumpet

Use testimonials in everything you do. Website, brochures, presentations, social media. Use LinkedIn to get recommendations. And change your ‘features’ to ‘benefits’ in all communications. Its not the F Word but the B Word!

6) An extra Tip

Come on my workshop or ask for in-house session at your company! Previously delivered by yours truly for Business Link, this is my most popular and highly praised workshop which I am delivering to East of England and via Suffolk Chamber soon.

And get more hints and tips about this and your marketing strategy here