Monday, December 23, 2013

Time For Some Self Care



Activities are starting to wind up for That Time Of Year. The end of the year sets the signal for shopping, and  thoughts of holidays and presents and eating too much, sitting too much, and indulging in activities that may take the rest of the next year from which to recover.  Too much money spent on stuff that has little value, too much food and drink. Too much added to the credit card.

Of course not everyone has the same need to do the social thing. Many are alone at this time of year and that family that was so big just a few years ago can be shrinking in ways that you never imagined might happen. Parents die, family members move - or we do. Relationships finish. Children leave home and move away. And suddenly that large circle of relatives and people you don't see any other time of the year, has contracted and become quite small, or evaporated completely.

So what do you do when you're not surrounded by hordes of family and friends during these times? Consider how you might use this time to reflect on the year that's gone and review how that's been for you.

Where have you been successful at what you set out to achieve?
Where did your results not get where you wanted them to be?
Map out where a change in methods might have made the difference.

Self Care - Nurturing. 

We often think in terms of how to help others. How to do something nice for others. Now is the time to think about doing something nice for you.

Go easy on the alcohol. An alcohol induced fog doesn't improve anything. Make the holidays a time of conscious relaxation. Spend the time practicing mindfulness.

Review your appearance.  

Try a new 'look'!  Is it time for a change from that haircut that you've had for so long? What do you need to improve your appearance and feel more confident? Is it time to lift your game when it comes to personal grooming?  This can be a time to attend to those personal appearance issues that you have been too busy to get to through the year. Book in for a good cut, or a wax and polish. Get rid of those stray hairs that have sprouted in places no hair should grow. Have a day at the spa or book in for a massage and some pampering that you've never done before.

Book an appointment with a stylist and have your colours done so that you are buying the shades that work best for you. Learn how to dress to be noticed for your classic look that makes the most of your style. This can increase your feeling of confidence and be good for your career too! And definitely will help with dating.

Clean out your closet and pitch out those clothes you are keeping for 'just one more wear'. Ditch everything that doesn't fit, whether it is too small or too big, if it doesn't fit you now, get rid of it. Donate it if it is in good repair, or just toss it out. Those things that have been hanging in your wardrobe since 1990 - it's time to go.  Old shoes that you never wear because they pinch your feet, those belts that are in shocking colours or don't fit any more get rid of those too. Old handbags or briefcases that have seen better days, out.

Look classy! Now you have made some room, think about some basic classic pieces that will improve your wardrobe and  help you look your best. Pick pieces that will stay in fashion long after the latest fad is over.  Replace old underwear, odd socks and stock up on new socks or hosiery so you're not running out at the wrong time.  Take any shoes that need mending or polishing and have them put in order.

Me-Time

Review your goals. What do you want to happen in the year ahead? Start writing them down and exploring some wishes that you've had but never committed to achieving. You can find more here to help with beliefs and goals.

Watch some movies you've missed. This is your time to pamper yourself so settle back and catch up on some movies you wanted to see but didn't get around to, or revisit some old favourites.

Read something you love. If you have that pile of books in your home that you've been meaning to read sometime, now is your chance. Find something to suit your mood and just waste as much time as you like doing nothing more than reading or playing at a hobby you've let go.

Make some phone calls. Yes the telephone still works for talking and this is a good time for you to make some calls and reconnect with people you have not spoken to for a long time. Let them know you are still alive and are interested in their life.

Learn to cook. Too many people fall into relationships because they don't know how to look after themselves.  This is especially true for men. That's a terrible reason to be in a relationship so make it your business to start cooking for yourself. If the thought of that scares you because you don't know how, then make a list of the things you would like to eat and then you can track down the way to do it. There are many great tutorial videos and websites now to learn just about anything you could imagine, so there is no excuse for being limited in this way.  Good eating is at the heart of your good health and self-nurturing means looking after your body.

Start a physical exercise program. This might be just to start walking, or riding your bicycle or going to the gym. Pick something that you can do easily and without a bunch of equipment to buy or other obstacles that can become excuses for not doing it, and pick an activity that you will be able to continue for the whole year. Make that a priority and dedicate some time each day for this activity, even if it is just 20 minutes a day.

Go for a hike. Take the camera and do a photo-walk of where you go. Be that a hiking trail, or a trip to a city that you see every day but have never looked at with a tourist's eye. Discover new sights in old places. Or visit a new place and photograph the images that makes it unique.

Here's The Sneaky Bit

You don't even have to wait until the holiday season. You can do this any time. Pick a weekend. Pick  two weekends a year  to mark on your calendar and make it your special time for you.


Related Life Coaching Articles 

How to set goals you can reach

What will you achieve in the next four years?

How To Set Goals - And Reach Them

The Dirty Secrets Business Needs To Know About Social Media

Why You Need To Build Your Mailing List And How To Do It

How To Get Your Local Business Found Online

Are you lousy at self promotion too? 




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 Lindy Asimus 
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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Unconscious Strategies You Didn't Know You Had And How To Make Them Work For You


"I don't use a strategy in my personal life. I don't have any plans."

That's what most of us probably see as a true statement.

In fact it is probably not true at all. We are creatures of habit and that habitual behaviour, if you were to study it would reveal patterns that repeat over and over.

How we buy things, is a great example of our unconscious patterns of strategy at work. What is really interesting is that companies are now using technology and neuromarketing techniques to track our spending patterns across the web and use this to sell us more junk. Yet we are largely unaware still, of our own patterns. There is something that strikes me as wrong with that arrangement.

An unconscious strategy is an internal process around an action that we take. It may start with an action to be taken, incorporate a feeling that we have about that and the action that we take next will pass through a series of filters that will affect when we do it (now or procrastinate), what we feel about doing it, what other actions we need to take on the way to doing it and the order in which we do these things. For example if you are leaving the house, it makes sense to check that you have your keys in your hand before you pull the door shut - and not after.

An example of an unconscious strategy might be the one we use for buying things. Buying strategy for a big item like a car might look something like this:



For others, they have a different set of conditions as their criterion that must be met before they will buy.


Sometimes the strategy that we use already for certain things works perfectly. Other times we may be using strategies that are not helping us and may be causing us problems and getting us results that are not working for us very well at all and giving us results that we don't want.

Knowing that these strategies exist mean that we have options now, to review and revise and even borrow strategies from others who are really good at doing those things that we are not so good at.

And that's a fantastic strategy!






Related articles on Goals


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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

How Your Business Just Became An Online Publisher And Why It Is A Productivity Issue



Like It Or Not - Your Business Is Now In Publishing.  

The channel you create to engage with people who can be your customer is the new face of what circulation numbers once were for the newspapers.

Content is King on search engines and now you can add to that Context. Well, it should always have been part of the equation, but now it is official.

 “Without relevant content, how will our customers trust that we know how to solve their issues?  They won’t and we know that.  As marketers, we must facilitate discussions that add value and build trust over time.”  Dominic Pontrelli, Sr. VP of Marketing at Ricoh America

Kevin Jorgensen describes Context in marketing in this way -

“Context marketing is a set of best practices designed to amplify the value of your content to your prospects and customers. More specifically it’s about using known qualities of your prospect to either present your content in a frame of reference so that its presence makes it natural, noteworthy and useful or to juxtapose your content so that it creates dissonance." 

Cognitive dissonance is that feeling you get when you see something that is 'just not right' with the picture in front of you.

So what does this mean to you in your business? Well it means that you cannot think that your advertising and pushing promotions is the way to use social media and promote your business to customers any more.

It means you need some things you may have but never used before. Here are just some of the new jobs that need to be happening in your business...

Identifying and understanding of your ideal customer demographic and psychographic profile.  It might seem that we know all we need to know about customers but the reality is there is rarely a business that has objectively analyzed their customers to determine their characteristics in detail.

Stories. You need stories and a way to tell your stories in a way that prospective customers will find valuable.

Honesty. Your customers don’t want to be lied to and they can find out very fast if you have misled them and treated them like mugs.  Don’t be That Guy.

A Publishing Space.  You want to get your message out then you need to build a following of people who are prepared to receive information from you and your business.  Search can help people find your products but your publishing will help them to find you.  Those who find you, you want to be able to continue to engage with and have them return to you and be open to your information over time. Building your following is a new job to be done.

Content. Creating packages of your stories and information means getting the stories out in different formats and different ways to gain attention and retention of your message.

Context. Tying your stories to real situations that your target prospects can easily relate to in their lives and that helps them join the dots from their problem to your solution.

Think of this as building your own personal channel to present to people who are or will be able to be your customer.  

This can become your business’s media hub and interface to engage and communicate with customers. So important is this that it could be the only interaction that you have with some customers who may choose to buy from you without ever meeting you in person.  It may be your source of new employees, new joint venture partners, new suppliers and new business partners, or even a buyer for your business as well as new customers. This could be your major source of new business in the years to come.

This can look like a lot of work that doesn’t relate to what your core business is about. 

If you are thinking that, you’re wrong. 

This is directly related to your core business and your ability to generate sales. Your ability to create your own channel through which you can be visible, credible and accessible as you engage with your customer segment is what will show your business to be relevant and important to those who will become your customers, and give confirmation to your existing customers that they made a good choice and your business is worth buying from. 

This is a business productivity issue. Your business needs to get this right. So you have to make it happen.

And there is no more time to waste.





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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Your Keywords Vs What Customers Look For Online


"Everyone says keywords on Google don't count any more, but I think they do." Said someone on a group I'm in this week.

They went on to give an explanation of how they had been comparing their site to that of others in their industry.

What was useful to me in this encounter was to see unfold the process that this person was gong through to work out how to make these key words work for him on his website but missing some basic understanding of how online search works in a practical way.

That is to say - what we think are our keywords to be using on our website, need to also match with the key words and phrases that someone searching for what we do in the location that we service, would use when they search.

Now it may be that the words that we think are so important and good - are not understood by others or don't connect with them in any way that might matter.

For example. Say you are an artist with a particular style of work. You are looking for work doing this commercially and want people to find you.

Now you might think that the name of your style of work is the critical factor. In reality, this is only the case if the person searching the internet knows that this is a style and already know that this is what they want.

In many cases, we start searching on the internet with only a vague idea what we are looking for and we are hoping to find ideas that will be a fit for what we want to do but we may not know exactly what it is that will be just the thing that we want. This is especially so in cases where your product is a small niche.  If it is small, you will be doubly challenged to get in front of your target audience and you will need to go where they are in some numbers.

Fine targeting of key category is fine - but what else can you do?

Get helpful.

Many people who could use what you do don't know.
If you want to make your products or service available to more people, help them identify themselves as a potential customer for you.

Give them a clue to finding you.



Action:

If your art specialty is related to custom images of people for example, think - where might this be fun for people to have you there?

I can think of a few off the top of my head.

Corporate clients and events
Retirement parties
Businesses
Christmas parties
Birthday parties
Weddings, Showers and Engagement Parties
Fetes and markets

Now it may be that your art is just the thing that would make the event something special and allow for some great keepsakes for those attending. It's up to you to plant that seed or you will wait forever for them to think of it themselves.

I use the example of the artist but this applies no matter what niche you are working.

Do some research. Get some help from someone who is not in love with your favourite keywords and phrases.  Understand that making online work for you is not just about technical issues and what Google is doing. It is developing your insight into how your prospective customers think. If they think of what you do as being something other than you do - they are still right. And our real challenge is the same online or offline - that is -  learning to think like a customer.




Related articles on Goals




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Monday, November 25, 2013

Explaining Leonard Cohen



“I want you to explain Leonard Cohen”

And so begins the simple but impossible task. Many have tried and even those who know him perhaps don’t know him enough to do justice to the response.



But here’s my take from a hundred thousand lifetimes away.

For me the great fascination began at Bimbadgen in 2009 when I attended as a concert buddy for a friend – I was keen to go but happy for him to give the ticket to someone else if he got a better offer. I had always liked Leonard Cohen but his voice in his younger days never quite got to the tonality that really did it for me.  It does now.  ;-)

What was astonishing  at the event was the spread of people in the audience, and technically the good sound and performance and the reverence the audience had for him.

But what really impressed me in many ways that I have perhaps not even come to analyse yet is the Grace of the man.  Here he stood, in this business of performing where so many spend such time and money to not show a sign of their age and Leonard was there naked. The cameras panning in for extreme close ups that do not allow for any vestige of modesty revealing starkly the age of this man and his new challenge that neither he nor any of us can win – that of mortality.

He sang the songs he had written 40 years before as a young man, but now as an old man. And in singing them they linked us with the past and the younger people we all were then… but in doing so he presented them as a man in his then middle 70s.   There is a fine skill to that and it reveals the facility of the writing that to deliver these songs of a young man as an old one – has great potential for being really creepy.

Leonard manages to make aging respectable.  He does it in a way that is dignified and offers us a look at a view of advancing age that we don’t often see.  We see that the young version of ourselves is never far away, even as the years write upon our skin and fail to fool the mirrors.

His nakedness is manifest too in sharing with us his work for all those long years.  The work he recognizes needs an audience to remain alive and vital he acknowledges and in so doing we have in our way become stewards.  These fruits of the garden, that he has tended for more than 40 years and done so because it is what he chose to do.  He has tended his garden – created his life’s work in a way that pleased him to do so – even if it pleased nobody else.

Imagine … what you will show - what will any of us have to display for judgment when the time has almost run out.  What will you have to show others for your life’s work when you are in your old age? That’s the fundamental question that comes up for me in bearing witness to Leonard Cohen.

That life observed in the unfolding that stays true to an internal concept of correct-for-me is what really impresses me with Leonard. That and the impeccable manner that he brings to bear on whatever he does.  Simple. Classic. Unapologetic.

There is no ‘sloppy’ with Leonard’s writing, his personal presentation or performing and he really does give it all he’s got.  No ostentation, no artifice, no fakery.   Like it or leave it – there is no pretense to be something other than it is. The quality of the technical aspects of the show he takes personal interest in and nothing is just ‘good enough’.

And never a whiny call to self pity.  No Loser lyrics for Leonard.

In a way Leonard Cohen is Everyman. He is anyone who has ever suffered, ever longed for something always just out of his grasp, and every woman’s perfect man – made more so because he is unobtainable – but not just to them.  Men it should be said, can be just as taken with his charm and may feel that he expresses in his songs the feelings for which they have no words.

His lyrics which seem so personal are also sufficiently and artfully vague that we can pass them though our own internal filters and find that they fit our own experience perfectly. In this seeming complexity, they are simple, precise and as spare as the Master wordsmith can tailor them.

He is said to be, by those who do not really know his work beyond a line from The Young Ones “Nobody ever listens to me – I might as well be a Leonard Cohen record” – ‘depressing’. Despite having suffered with depression for most of his life, in fact his message is really more one of Surviving. No matter the trials that we face we can survive. Despite everything... there is hope.

Leonard Cohen in concert is phenomenal but the true magic is in the change work that it does for all of us who will take up the challenge. Learn from his experience and come to the point of letting go of our own pretenses, excuses and self pity and go lovingly to tend our own garden.

On Saturday it was back to Bimbadgen for the 23 November 2013 concert - for what was now my fifth Leonard Cohen gathering. This tour, as his 2012 tour with a few changes to the band and introducing a more refined rendering of his songs with a most excellent violin in the lineup. His performance at each a little different in some nuance or set list but always always, giving us much more value than the price of the tickets and the financial and geographical inconvenience.

Leonard Cohen is currently on Tour in Australia


"Song operates on so many levels. It operates on the level you just spoke of where it addresses the heart in its ordeals and its defeats but it also is useful in getting the dishes done or cleaning the house. It's also useful as a background to courting." - Leonard Cohen 2012


Keeping The Learnings - Further To Explaining Leonard Cohen



Like to discuss your business? Lindy Asimus Design Business Engineering Get Help For Your Business Download your free 24 Page Action Plan Marketing Workbook! Subscribe to Actionbites Blog

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Marketing Without Spamming



 There's a lot to learn about being online!

Today a friend on Twitter posed the question

"How can businesses be online marketing without spamming?"

Really for me it goes back to the fundamental question:

What are your activities online meant to achieve?
And remembering some good manners.

Let me unpack that a little.

My guess is that most people go online with a hope that doing so will result in benefits for their business and not to put too fine a point on it - they will profit from it somehow.

That's a fine sentiment but profiting from online activity is something that few know how to analyse and many don't understand how the process works.

"I Can See You"

The first and most obvious avenue for benefit to a business is more sales. But there are others too, and chief among them in local business, is to be visible to those who have the need to use your products and services and the money and inclination to do so. Being thought of when someone is wanting to buy happens long before a sale is made, but without it the chances are zero.

You want to make more sales - so you need to be visible to the people who can buy from you.

There is a school of thought that some people ascribe to that "any publicity is good publicity" and you like me might conclude that spamming a network is an example of that in action. I think many business owners in their excitement lose track of what would be obvious if it was happening on the street. For example, can you imagine if you went to a networking event and walked up to people and started yelling at them with your business pitch?

Likewise online, nobody online follows you so you can just send them spam.

So what is spam really? In the world of social marketing it is anything that is sent unsolicited to people who have not expressed a request for your products or information.

So what does this look like in play?
  • Automated DMs in Twitter with links to your products when you have never been asked.
  • Posting your link to your products, uninvited,  on the walls of people friends or other business Pages you follow.
  • Sending advertisements to your contacts on Twitter.
  • Posting self promotional pieces to the discussion threads on Linkedin
  • Commenting on people's blog posts and ignoring the post and just adding your information and links.
  • And let's not forget this one which is more and more common and extremely annoying ...
  • Adding people you just met to your mailing list without permission.
  • Confusing a connection with someone on Linkedin, as being permission to put them on a mailing list. It is not. 

Anything that resembles this, that is self serving and providing nothing of value is, by extention, spam.

If you think it might be considered spam. It probably is.

Creating Useful Online Content Is Where You Bring Value

So what do you post instead?

First and foremost it is essential to understand that social marketing is not like pushing out ads as you would in traditional advertising. It is not a broadcast medium it is a social medium and while you can post topics that demonstrate your expertise in certain areas, this is a two way enviroment and for people be interested in you they need to see that you have more to say than just posting ads.

Think before you post - how does this fit with what I want people to think about my business? Post in alignment with your values.

Connect with people who are in the location your business serves. So if you have a local business, connect with local people. If your business serves customers across the world then focus on the demographics of the sector to whom your offering appeals. It may be work at home mothers, or people who like to travel, or whatever.

That's really an important element to consider.

What are the characteristics of your existing customers - and where do people like them spend time online?

When you know that, then you can connect and you have a key to your next element to consider...

What are these people interested in and how can I add value through posting content that will be useful/entertaining/of value to them?
Understanding what your business offers - what people want from it - and what gains their interest is a foundation to what will become a framework for your social marketing.

Social marketing is about being visible to potential customers, expanding your chances to make new sales and to build on existing relationships but it is not for amateurs. Get trained, get help to understand the landscape online, the etiquette of online communications and understand where your risk points are. Your reputation is valuable and the better you understand how to use the online tools and platforms - and what to never do online - the greater your chance of success.

More followers.
More engagement.
More sales.


Where Is Your Content Located?

Do you have a blog?
Is your website being updated regularly?
Do you have coupons for special offers?

These are the obvious places to be adding quality content on your special topic. Showcasing your knowledge of your industry and building a presence online where people can find your bank of articles. These will be the content that sets your business apart and is unique. You can use this to post links to your networks, use in your email marketing (permssion based, of course) and to repackage into other forms for use as appropriate.

You can post these links in moderation between other posts of a general nature and discussions that you may engage in on your networks. How often? Well that depends on so much but since you are going to be creating quality content to post, this will limit how much you can post of your own promotions.  Get started on building that bank of good content from which you can draw.

Customers Are Online ... But Not All Of Them!

Remember

Not all customer groups spend a lot of time online. Some may never use social networks and yet even for these industries, having a full and engaging social presence online has a value. It makes finding you on search easier but also it builds a picture in the the client's mind that they can feel reassured about you. Suddenly you are not some faceless business, you have roots in the community, people they know are connected with you and this brings with it great peace of mind and credibility for you and your business, so guard it well.

Building a good reputation online takes time just as it does anywhere. And just like offline, it can be ruined with lightning speed.
















Action plan:

Research your market.
Build a model of your best customers so you can find more like them.
Devise your strategy to build your online presence.
Write your social marketing plan and schedule.
Create a bank of content to start.
Add value to your networkby sharing general items of interest to them that they are unlikely to have seen.

Above all, respect the people in your network and never take the people who follow you for granted.


See Also:
Check Your Website For Roadworthiness
Think Social Media Is No Use For Your Business? Think Again.
How To Get Your Local Business Noticed Online
Purpose Then Strategy - Case Study Starting Your Website
Related:
Remember to build your mailing list
What to do next when you feel like giving up
Send cards for marketing and friends automatically using this Cloud app
Step up in your business - Here's how to improve performance





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Friday, November 08, 2013

Another Four Years To Achieve A New Set Of Goals

Another four years to achieve a new set of goals. blog post banner

So in 2012 we had another election result in the USA election. During the lead up to the voting there had been all kinds of postings on the internet from both sides of the  political divide complaining that the President had "disappointed me", "not done enough", "not done anything!", and more of that nature but less polite. 

With the election concluded we know that there is another period of four years to follow this last period of four years. So I thought to myself - is it true? Has the President not done much in the past four years? What has he done?  This is what I found in 2012. According to Washington Monthly, here are a few:

  • Passed Health Care Reform
  • Pushed Broadband Coverage
  • Expanded Health Coverage for Children 
  • Passed Wall Street Reform
  • Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
  • Reversed Bush Torture Policies
  • Kicked Banks Out of Federal Student Loan Program, 
  • Expanded Pell Grant Spending
  •  Increased Support for Veterans
  •  Passed Credit Card Reforms: 
  • Gave the FDA Power to Regulate Tobacco
  • Brokered Agreement for Speedy Compensation to Victims of Gulf Oil Spill
  • Created Recovery.gov
  • Recognized the Dangers of Carbon Dioxide 
  • Expanded Stem Cell Research

You can find the complete list here 

To me, that looks like a fair bit to have accomplished. In any circumstances. And yet I am more interested in your results.

So What Does The Average Person Accomplish In Four Years?

And it got me to wondering. It's easy to be critical of others in the public eye. Just point and complain, and some do that without even checking out what has been done.  Certainly, I have not achieved anything of such importance in the same 4 year period.  I had not brought in a big public policy, or implemented some social justice program. Nothing like it. 

I wonder for those who are reporting being disappointed, what their own report card on the past four years would read like. 

We are quick to make judgments about others without relating that back to our own performance. What would be 'enough' for the President to achieve in a term. What measure are we holding ourselves to when we look at life in 4 year intervals?

Four years is a good chunk of time. It is enough time to do a great many things. Have you accomplished all that you set out to achieve during the past 4 years?  Did you start with some goals to achieve, because many didn't even get that far. 

What Will Achievement Of Your Goals Mean To You?

Are you happy with what you achieved during this last 4 years?  What stands out for you during this time?

What about the next four years... will you set out to achieve something specific that you'll commit to do in the next four years?

"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." - Jim Rohn

While the President started a new period during which he will be closely watched and his achievements monitored and reported, and any failings reported even more widely,  perhaps it is a good time for us to set out some performance standards that we want to meet in the next four years too.

Setting Goals 

I like to look at goals with clients for the next 12 months and for a 5 year span. A 4 year span would do well too and if we segment these four year intervals to coincide with elections, that could be a good way to piggy-back our own goals so that we can do our own audit of progress while we compare that with that our governments have achieved over the same period. That makes some kind of sense as it is a built-in measure of time.

Politicians come and go. What's critically important to us all - is what we do about the things over which we have control. That's our life. We are the President of that. Make it a job we can be proud of having done well.

Action

Review the past 4 years and honestly report on your performance.
Take some time out and commit to some goals that you will reach in the next 4 years. 

What will you be able to say, in four years time, that you achieved in this term? 

Edited: This post updated in November 2013

Related posts
How to set goals you can reach
More on Goals 




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Lindy Asimus Business Coaching
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Thursday, November 07, 2013

"Comfortable" The Hidden Disease

I wrote this way back in 2006. I think it still stacks up.

What have I learned since I first wrote this? I think we can have a very poor understanding of our feelings and what we tend to assume is comfortable is not the deep, sink in and feel wonderful and cosy feeling that is really comfortable, but just a dry, dull absence of real pain. We can wander about with this 'feel nothing' feeling and not even know that this is less than the good feelings we could be enjoying every day. Much like the difference between being truly happy, and being not unhappy.

Why You Should Be Uncomfortable About Being Comfortable 

When Self Deception Masquerades As Comfort

Seldom do we consciously realize there is a little voice that resides in our mind. It whispers to us, when an opportunity presents to us, saying that “we should not take the risk”. The voice just like our parents used when they talked to us, when we were tiny tots. It reminds us that we should keep doing what we’ve always done, because that’s where we are comfortable. Safe. Keeping to a known quantity, where we know what to expect. Familiar territory.

We listen to that voice as we are growing up. Eventually it becomes so much a part of our experience, that we internalize those instructions to the point where we no longer need someone “outside” to tell us – because now we’ve incorporated it into our internal landscape. It’s where we learn to know to verify what we know and convinces us what we should do. It’s where we know how to get what we get. It’s the voice that has kept us doing those things that are comfortable and sometimes it shares the space in our head with other voices, When you bring them to mind, you may recognize when you think about it, that those voices belong to someone from your past. Perhaps a mother, or a father, or a grandparent. Bring the voices to mind now and see if you can locate who the voices remind you of... both in the tonality of how they sound, and in the kinds of things that those voices say to you. Is it someone you know? Is it your own voice you hear when you listen?

What those voices have in common is that they share a single intent, Simply, the intention is to keep you safe.

They all want to save you from disappointment, or accident, or harm. Just like they looked after us when we were a small child with little experience, and fewer resources in both emotional, intellectual, education and personal skills than we have now as adults.

So how do you know when to trust those voices, which whisper to us and urge us to keep to the safe, the known path; those little voices that want only to keep us safe, the only way they know how? Learning to respond now with all the resources you have as an adult, and not as the child that you once were - vulnerable and with limited choices - is the beginning of personal growth and the start of living a self-determined life.

Now what I'd like to ask here is what you do in your own life to visit some of the assumptions that we make on 'Automatic'.

Have you begun yet, to question those things that you just know you know?




Lindy Asimus
Business Coach
Mobile: 0403 365855
lindyasimus@gmail.com
www.lindyasimus.com

www.designbusinessengineering.com

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Actionbites Blog Life Coaching Is...



Sunday, November 03, 2013

Story Of A Sign. Compassion In Action

Here's a short film that really should be seen by everyone.
I have seen some imitations of this but this is the real deal.

Cannes short film award winner.

History Of Words

Story Of A Sign.








Words do matter.

Powerful ideas expressed with few words.

How marvellous, when our actions match our values, and create magic!

Do post your comments and
do pass it on for others to share.


And do share your thoughts on the film.



Thinking Of Getting A Business Coach?
Lindy Asimus
Design Business Engineering

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How To Step-Up In Your Business.



Accepting personal responsibility for our actions and our performance in the roles we undertake is a sign of our maturity and character.

Performance is something we can judge in others and conveniently miss when it comes to our own.Often the topics of business issues come up and there is a rash of activity and articles posted online and in books about marketing and ways to move things around in business. Working with business owners on many of these issues, it is clear that they all tend to resolve back to the same issue.

It all comes back to the actions, skills and attitude of the business owner.

Perhaps not surprisingly, we can end up in business without preparation and training in the particular skills that will enable us to perform excellently in our new role as CEO of our business. Sometimes we just start doing what we love and before we know it, our doing-what-we-love activity has become a real life business and suddenly we’re faced with employees, compliance issues, customers to serve, and a need to keep the rent paid and feed all the mouths that are depending on us. Meanwhile the world has changed, and the way that we always knew how to do what we do, have changed too.

Now we have to contend with competition from big operators with vast budgets for marketing and advertising and a willingness to sell under our cost of goods, just to squeeze out the local operators. We have a changing marketplace where customers expect access 24/7 to our business and will spend their money elsewhere if we don’t make provision for them in a way that suits them best. Higher expectations and access to an internet full of alternatives makes it important that we keep up with the new changes, but often we can be so busy just ‘putting out fires’ that we don’t even notice how much is changed – or that those changes can also bring us opportunity, along with threats to the status quo.

So how do we grow into the role that our business needs us to assume?

How do we move from the harried business owner, to the calm, in control CEO who runs the business as a business, and maintains a standard of service and product that can compete in this new environment?

Here are some areas to focus on that can help you be that person.



Review Your Current Position

Think about it ... What commitment you are going to make to yourself and the contract you’re willing to enter with YOU to perform at the level the CEO of any business, should deliver. Commit to deliver for your business. Write it out and sign off on it. Get it witnessed!


Get Help: See What’s Hiding In Your Blind-spot

You know the signs on the trucks when you’re driving “if you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you”. The same is true in business, and while we are looking the issues that are right in front of us, we are in danger of not seeing those things that might be causing some of our problems, or those things that can blindside us and wipe us out fast, or just cause a slow and miserable death. What is in that blind-spot can be leading to money bleeding from the business, preventing money coming into the business, or creating an environment that is stressful and bad for business and everyone in the business, and customers who would willingly spend money ‘if only’.

You get a different perspective when you can share what you see, with someone who can see the same thing from an outside perspective. This value of this can be immeasurable. Make sure what you think you are seeing is really what’s there and get an external viewpoint from someone who can not only see, but understand how to analyse what they are seeing.


Consider Your Business Vision

Nobody can build anything well, if they don’t know what it is supposed to look like. Try putting that furniture together if you don’t know what goes where. It is too hard! And it doesn’t need to be. Pick what YOU want your business to be like.

Understand if the business doesn’t look like you thought it would – or would like it to – then it is up to you to recalibrate, retool if necessary, and revamp to create the vision that you DO want.

And you need people to help you, so you need to engage your employees, and others who will help you achieve bring your vision to life, so they know what it is, and you all know when you have arrived and can keep it flourishing.


Create A Blueprint

Just as you need to know what something should look like, before you can build it, you need some guidelines to make sure that you put it together the way that can get you to the final result for which you are aiming. Your blueprint is your working document to show you what, how and where everything goes and when it will be done.


Follow Through

This is blueprint is worthless unless you make the commitment to yourself and to the project to do what you say you will do those actions that need to happen in order for it to be done now. If you don’t know HOW to do it, or to do some part of it, then that’s okay. Just find out! Yes you can find out anything you need to know, and you can find it inside the business, or you can find it outside the business if you don’t have what you need to do it. Finding the help you need, well that’s part of your commitment. No excuses.


Make Yourself Accountable To Someone

One of the great things in business is that we often get to make the decisions. One of the terrible things in business is we often get to make the decisions, and not be accountable for the results. That’s bad for the business and while it sometimes feels like a good thing... it is bad for us too.

This is where ‘the rubber hits the road’ and this is where we find out if you are really Stepping Up in your business. It can be scary, here on what can seem like the ‘bleeding edge’ but is just doing what we should be doing from the outset.

Push through that barrier, and you’ll find your better self on the other side.


Related:
A Five Year Plan For Your Goals Or Business Vision - Here's How!


Lindy Asimus
Business Coach
Mobile: 0403 365855
lindyasimus@gmail.com
www.lindyasimus.com


If you'd like to know more about me, visit
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Actionbites Blog How To Set Goals You Can Reach



Saturday, October 19, 2013

Beliefs & Goals



Beliefs. They can be funny things.We all have them. Whether we know it or not.

Some beliefs work in our favour. Others get in the way of achieving all that we can. Beliefs can get in the way of achieving all that we want.

Most people are not conscious of the vast majority of things they believe. But what they believe is present in opinions they form about things, in decisions they make about what they buy or what they do. They are present in the choices not made and decisions not taken.

When it comes to setting goals, it is useful to understand our underlying beliefs.  Setting goals that allow us to achieve those results that are most meaningful and of high value to us should be an easy choice. But we know that isn't the case, since so many goals are never carried out.

Every time we make a decision we make a choice based at some level on a belief.  When there is a decision to be made, doing nothing is a decision. And there's a good chance that there is a belief behind that too.

Let's look at an example.

Sandy wants to "stop procrastinating and become more productive".

But when Sandy sets goals, they don't happen. Instead of taking the actions that will mean that the goal can be reached, Sandy is off being distracted by anything and everything instead of applying the time and attention to those activities that will lead to their goal being completed.

It would be easy to blame procrastination as the culprit.  In reality, procrastination is an activity. We do it.  We do it. Procrastination isn't some being that jumps on us and drags us away.  It is a choice that we make to not do those things that we have to do.

In this case I'd be inclined to think that Sandy has set goals that are not meaningful and it could be that the goals are not really goals, but actions on a to-do list that are not getting done.

An item on a to-do list is not a goal.
It is an item.

It may be an item that needs an action and a good way to approach items that need action is to have  a good strategy for writing these down in specific language with time frames. You can find more on time management on my blog here

A goal, if it is to be useful, should be something important. Not just some vague thing you want to do. It should have some purpose that is worthwhile to you and lead you to a better place than you are now. You can find more on setting goals you can achieve here 

When we set half-assed goals and don't achieve them, we prime ourselves to believe things like:

"Goals don't work."
"I can't do it."
"I'm not as good as others who can make their goals happen"
"Other people get what they want because they are lucky"
"I'm not lucky"
or even
"I don't deserve it"

We can then retreat and find other things to blame for why our life is not the way we would prefer. Blaming other factors is always easier than the uncomfortable feeling that may happen when we consider what our own part in not achieving our goals might be.

When we set goals that we don't do any work to achieve, we may have a secondary payoff. We don't have to do anything different. We don't challenge ourselves, therefor we don't risk trying and then not make it.

Trying and failing, is just trying and failing. It is not failure.

For some, "not trying", means "not failing".

Of course, this is a fallacy.

The truth is, not trying ensures automatic failure. That which we don't even attempt, we cannot complete.

A more healthy and useful approach might be, to do this instead... If it doesn't work exactly the way you want the first time, then you try again. You build on your capacity and you keep trying until you get to where you want to be.  Every attempt brings you closer.  Every bit you learn along the way, brings you a better understanding and a knowledge that you didn't have when you started.

This is the nature of building good habits.

This is also how you build better beliefs. Beliefs that support you and allow you to grow as a person and increase your resilience and your life skills.

Getting to the bottom of our beliefs can be tricky.  Getting help to identify these deeply-held yet invisible beliefs can really expedite matters.

Action

Grab some paper and spend some time considering your beliefs in these areas. Write them down. Don't censor them, just write down the things that come to mind when you think about these topics.

This is what I believe about goals:____________________________

This is what I believe about eating::___________________________

This is what I believe about health:___________________________

This is what I believe about money:___________________________

This is what I believe about family:____________________________

This is what I believe about relationships:_______________________

This is what I believe about me:______________________________


If you'd like to talk to me about what you learn, I'm interested in your feedback.


Related articles on Goals






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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Brain Plasticity - Use It Or Lose It



UPDATES:

Some cool brain facts and myths! Read here 

I just caught up with a friend I've not seen in many many years and he's recently lived through his son being involved in a car smash that's left him with a brain injury. Lately it seems I'm seeing many people whose lives have been touched by brain injury. Assaults, road crashes. We hear about the deaths on the road but rarely consider how many survive motor vehicle accidents and assaults, who live  but whose life and the lives of their family members is never the same again.

This video on brain plasticity reminds us to never give up. We can improve even bad situations, but it takes a lot of effort to stick with it.  

A recent video from ABC TV Fora brings us a piece by Norman Doidge with the good news that aging doesn't need to mean an inevitable slide into loss of our mental faculties.

Good news!


Norman Doidge On The Brain That Changes Itself -, 18 September 2009 10:00

The cliche that you can't teach an old dog new tricks may soon be obsolete. The more we learn about the human brain, the more we understand the potential that it has to change, adapt and grow. Traditionally the brain was seen as being like a machine, its neural pathways set in stone from childhood. But new studies have shown that the brain can be trained to recover from strokes or paralysis, lifelong habits can be broken, and aging brains be rejuvenated. Through new experiences and brain exercises we can alter our brain's anatomy to improve cognition, perception, memory and intelligence. In this enlightening session at the Sydney Writers Festival, Norman Doidge talks about the remarkable plasticity of the brain, and shares some examples of how we can open it up to new realms of possibilities.

Norman Doidge is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. He is on the research faculty at Columbia University's Centre for Psychoanalytic Training and Research and his recent book, "The Brain That Changes Itself"




Have you thought about learning new skills and disciplines to keep your brain active?

Love to see your ideas on what you might choose. Perhaps a language and music would be a good way to go.


What do you think?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Business Coaching Articles Catch Up



Looking at this blog I can see it looks like I  have been quite remiss in updating the posts. Truth is I have been writing some for another blog in the UK to which I contribute so here is a quick way to catch up if you would like to read more business articles. 


I will get back to posting here but for now check out these articles which have been on topics that have been figuring large in the real space lately, for business clients. Feedback welcome as always. 


Articles are on business topics ranging from managing your business through online marketing and managing your stress through focus on the things you can change.


Top 4 Online Marketing Myths

There is a growing trend for small businesses to be turning up on Facebook and Twitter and making an effort towards building numbers of followers.  Social Media we are told is ‘where it is at’ and you need to be there. There is also a growing trend …Read more

Resolve Versus Wishful Thinking

How are those resolutions going that you set at the start of the year? Time to revisit your resolutions and see what worked and what didn't. Or make some fresh goals and reach them. Sometimes we set resolutions without any real resolve at all and …Read more

How To Grow Your Sales Channels 

Many a business that is in wholesale and maybe retail too, is plodding along doing a nice trade. Things are working pretty smoothly and money is coming in every month.  Some may be worrying about the economy or other issues that are not in their …  Read more 

Good Businesses Manage This First

Every day it seems we have the media intent on stirring up issues just to sell newspapers or a point of view. But as I watch articles posted on business websites showing the latest businesses to go bust it is clear that the articles showing the … Read more

9 Ways Your Website Can Help Visitors

“I don’t do any marketing because my business comes from word-of-mouth so I don’t really have anything on my website” This was the proposition put to me recently by a professional after confessing their website was really just their 'business card …Read more

Content Marketing For Local Business

Anyone searching online for marketing information will have seen that Content Marketing is the hot topic now. But what does it mean? Content Marketing is a term that covers creation of worthwhile information and ideas to share for the purpose of …Read more

Go From Faking It To Making It

Have you ever felt like an impostor? You’re off to work and you’re doing your thing you have done a thousand times but that little voice is whispering “someone’s going to find you out soon as the fake you are”. Psychologists, who rather like to … Read more



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