From the end of a relationship to the death of a loved one, difficult life events can often throw you for a loop and make you less productive at work. Hardships like this are simply inevitable.
My answer is #10 – I hope you get value from it!
From the end of a relationship to the death of a loved one, difficult life events can often throw you for a loop and make you less productive at work. Hardships like this are simply inevitable.
My answer is #10 – I hope you get value from it!
Burned-out employees are becoming the norm rather than the exception. According to a report by Harvard Business Review, psychological and physical problems of burned-out employees cost an estimated $125 to $190 billion a year in health care spending in the U.S. alone.
My answer is #10 – I hope you get value from it!
Read more HERE
Whether it’s positive or negative, formal or informal, any type of feedback from a supervisor or colleague can clue an employee in on where they stand performance-wise. And the right feedback can help them improve significantly.
So how can you provide good and constructive feedback without making the recipient feel personally attacked?
Fifteen members of Forbes Coaches Council each share one key communication strategy that results in useful, constructive feedback, rather than useless or harmful criticism. My answer is #14 – I hope you get value from it.
When clients admit to procrastinating on an action in session, they are usually shrouded in shame and embarrassment. As if somehow they are a failure, because they’ve been procrastinating.
Does this sound familiar:
It feels like there’s a part of you that knows you “should” be doing this action and that part even wants to be doing it. But there’s another part of you that’s like a whiny 3 year old, stomping your foot, saying, “I don’t WANNA!” You beg and plead with that 3 year old inside of you, but you just can’t get into action. And the more you push against it, the stronger the resistance.
Some of my clients think that, as their coach, I can fix them, force them, make them take action. But here’s the thing – they’re not broken and neither are you. And the more you push against resistance the stronger and more powerful it becomes.
Procrastination is a symptom of something. It’s not evidence that you’re broken. It’s evidence that your unconscious is staging a rebellion. And in order to bring your unconscious back into alignment with your conscious mind – you have to understand what is causing the rebellion.
Imagine if you went to a doctor and told him you have a sore throat. And instead of the doctor examining you and running tests and prescribing treatment, instead, he told you that you were bad and wrong for having a sore throat.
Would that fix your sore throat?
Wouldn’t you just feel bad about yourself and still have a sore throat? And yet, that’s exactly what you’re doing every time you beat up on yourself for procrastinating. It doesn’t work. Cut it out!
Procrastination is the key to finding out what your unconscious is trying to tell you. So instead of shaming yourself – start investigating. Become Dr. House and investigate what is causing your procrastination. Get curious.
What is the root cause of your procrastination?
There are many different reasons for procrastination. And if you tend to procrastinate on a lot of different things – you may have different reasons for each thing. Here is a list of common causes and some suggestions to counter them:
Get clear on your goals – what specific goal does this action serve?
Find someone who can show you how. Take a class to learn how. Google it! Take the action and be willing to do it badly while you’re learning.
Break it down and get specific.
Make a list and knock them out one at a time – if they are truly of equal priority, just pick ANY one. Learn how to manage conflicting priorities.
Celebrate each accomplishment, each baby step. Make sure you take breaks to play, exercise, just breathe. Not allowing yourself to celebrate is a recipe for burnout. This is critical!
First ask yourself, “Is this true?” In other words, is it really the risk you think it is? You may find that your fear of the risk is making it seem bigger. Get support or coaching around overcoming your fear.
Just do it for 15 minutes – you can stop after 15 minutes. Put on some really great music. Reward yourself for having done it by doing something really fun next.
Very often the next step will become clear when this step is done. And you don’t have to do it alone. Work with a coach to help you through the scary stuff and figure out what’s next. And remember – just focus on the action in front of you – the next action will be dealt with when it’s time to deal with it!
Do some of the above suggestions ring true for you? Here are a few more questions that might help you uncover the underlying cause of your hesitation and/or resistance. First, don’t ask “why”! “Why” just gives you reasons to procrastinate more!
Sometimes simply asking some of these questions can actually clear you enough to get into action.
Procrastination can fundamentally undermine all of your time management systems. So figuring out what is causing you to procrastinate is a critical first step in managing your time well.
What are you procrastinating? Share what you discover about your own procrastination in the comments, or ask for help figuring it out!
In my fifteen years as a business coach for the professionally creative and creative entrepreneurs, I’ve seen a lot of incredibly smart, very talented people struggle to bring their dreams to fruition.
When I first started – I believed that this was largely due to a lack of knowledge in business fundamentals and business skills. Which is why I created the Artists Marketing & Business Academy – to help you close that knowledge gap.
And while I still believe that’s part of the problem, I’ve come to the conclusion that you could have all the knowledge and skill training and still struggle.
Because there’s a piece missing – and that’s ACTION!
Much to my surprise – it turns out action is a pretty complex word with many different meanings. But here are the ones I think are most useful for this conversation:
1a: thing done, a deed
b: the accomplishment of a thing usually over a period of time, in stages, or with the possibility of repetition
c: behavior, conduct
d: initiative, enterprise
2: an act of will
So, its what you do, right? Not what you say, not what you think, not what you wish, but what you actually DO.
You may remember a movie that came out several years ago — The Secret — which showed this guy sitting on his couch dreaming about a car – and then magically that car appears. I’ve always found that to be a misleading and possibly destructive portrayal of the Law of Attraction. Which led me to begin tweeting this:
The Law of Attraction without action is just the Law of Attr! Put the Action BACK!
It seems so simple – then why do we struggle so much with getting into action, staying in action, and choosing which actions to focus on?
And why is it that some people seem to be completely stuck and stopped by these obstacles and others appear (at least from the outside) to be unstoppable?
You might think, “Well it’s just a difference in personality.”
Or, “It’s just easier for them than it is for me – they don’t have this problem with resistance or procrastination.”
Perhaps you even think, “I’m just … broken.”
Poppycock! I say! Utter HOGWASH!
Okay – you might notice that this is a pet peeve of mine – you’re not broken. They’re not better than you. And it’s not some character flaw that you have no choice in!
What stops us is a bit different in each person.
And it’s a useful exercise to examine what that dynamic is for you.
How do you know its time to stop? How do you know its the right time for some procrastination? (Wonder who’s tagged me on Facebook…) Understanding what your triggers are that begin this spiral into inertia or active resistance can help you disrupt that pattern. But understanding the pattern isn’t enough – you have to then have the tools to shift out of the pattern into something more productive.
I believe that the primary difference between the folks that get stopped and the ones that seem to be unstoppable in their action is in their response to that stimulus. It’s not that they don’t get overwhelmed or experience fear. It’s not that they never question their choices or play the “Yeah, but…” game.
It’s that their response to that happening is to move forward into action.
You can think of it as simply rocking backwards and putting your weight in your heels. Or rocking forward and putting your weight on your toes. Try it – stand up and rock your weight backward just enough to sink into your heels. Then rock your weight forward to just slightly come up on your toes. Can you feel the difference? Can you feel the need, the desire, the irresistible urge to step forward when you rock forward?
So, when something seems to knock you off balance. When you feel stuck or stopped or resistant. When you are overwhelmed or stuck in perfectionism. Stand up and lean in.
Do you struggle with procrastination?
Are you overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff to do – so much you are frozen by it?
Or are you really busy – but lack confidence that you’re doing the right things to create success?
Action is required to bring any goal to fruition.
Without action, inspiration and ambition are merely cool ideas.
Without action, your creativity stagnates, opportunities evaporate and despair gains fertile ground to root in.
LIVE ENCORE May 4th, 2017
7:00 PM EST
It seems so simple, right? Just start moving, start doing, right? But very often, because of the power of inertia, starting can seem overwhelmingly difficult. So, we just do the things that seem easiest, but we can call them action – like going through email or doing the dishes.
And while something is certainly better than nothing – without results, we lose momentum and fall back into inertia. Because we’re not doing the RIGHT things.
If you are serious about your goals, about your career/business, about the impact you intend to make in the world – you must take action. And not just any action – but the right actions that will invigorate your desire and manifest your dreams.
In this free webinar, Debra Russell, certified business coach, speaker, and master practitioner in NLP and Hypnosis, will give you three pillars of successful action. With this guidance you can create sustainable and impactful action that will move you to your goals.
This webinar is completely free – and if you can’t make the live date – a replay will be made available to all those who register. Take action!
Every year, people make New Year’s Resolutions – losing weight, exercising more, swearing less – all different kinds of resolutions. And usually, by about 3-4 weeks into the year, those resolutions have fallen by the wayside, to be chalked up as “Oh, well, better luck next year” (if you’re an optimist) or as proof of failure (if you struggle with that inner critic). It’s 2 weeks into the New Year – how are you doing so far?
Too much change, too fast is a recipe for failure.
As human beings we resist change and we especially resist radical change. Smaller, more incremental change can short circuit this resistance. So limit yourself to 3 specific behaviors that you think would make a significant difference, but make them smaller in scope.
For example, if your goal is to improve your fitness:
These are 3 simple, small steps that will improve your fitness level without changing everything all at once. And notice, each choice was clear, specific and measurable. You may find that the 10 minutes expands naturally. Let it – that’s OK – but don’t mandate a huge chunk of time that you won’t be able to live up to.
This seems pretty self-explanatory on the surface – so why do we have so much trouble with it? For example – do you have the words “less”, “more”, “longer”, etc. in your resolution? Those are comparative words and are inherently NOT specific.
To make a resolution specific, use a measure that you know you’ve either done or not done. For example, instead of “Exercise more,” how about “Exercise 3 times/week.” Can you feel the difference between those two things?
If you’re not sure if your resolution is clear or specific enough – give it the success test. Will you know on any given day if you were successful in fulfilling a resolution? If not – get more specific.
In Goals and Actions and Strategies, Oh My! I clarified the difference between those terms. You may find it helpful to read that post as well before crafting your Resolutions.
an action or method that is planned and used to achieve a particular goal
So to be clear – a resolution is not an objective or end result. It is the action or methodology that you believe will put you on the path towards your goals. So take a look at your resolutions – are they in alignment with a goal or goals? Will they move you forward towards what you want in your life for this year?
Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps. You’ve chosen 3 (or fewer) simple actions or behaviors. You’ve made them clear, specific and measurable. You’ve clarified that they will indeed lead you in the direction of your goals for this year. Now what?!?
Whatever day today is. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first or the 15th. It doesn’t matter if it’s June!!! Today is the first day of the rest of your life, right? Isn’t that how the saying goes? Start today.
If you choose not to keep your resolution one day. Or maybe you forget. Or you only get to part of it. That’s OK – forgive yourself. If you use that as an excuse to stop, if you use “doing it perfectly,” as a reason to not do it at all, then you are not going to reach your goals.
Are you willing to not reach your goals?!?
Instead, say the following, “I recommit to doing this resolution now. I’m starting again, now.”
I heard somewhere (I wish I could remember where), a story about how this person quit smoking cigarettes. At first he decided to quit once a week. On Monday. “OK – It’s Monday, I’ve quit smoking!”
At first, it only lasted one day. He was smoking again by Tuesday. But after a few months or so of quitting every Monday, he had gotten up to 7 days without a cigarette. So that next Monday, he quit again… Pretty soon, he was only having to quit on the first of the month. Then, the first of the new year. Then he stopped thinking about it all together – because he didn’t smoke anymore.
So, just keep choosing the action or tactic. There is no failure. This next moment is another opportunity to choose.
But also – you can think of each resolution as an experiment. You choose a particular resolution because you think it will have a particular impact on your life. But what if you’re wrong?
This year, I made a goal to read 1 book a month that is not strictly entertainment – they can be self-improvement or inspirational or skill building books. They could be biographies or histories or science books. But not mysteries or romance or science fiction!
Then, I resolved to read these books on my lunch break. (Notice the difference between the goal and the resolution)
But here’s the thing – I don’t want to read stuff that’s “good for me” on my lunch break. On my lunch break, I want to be ON A BREAK!! And so the resolution lasted about a week and the second week, I just couldn’t get myself to do it. Does that mean I’m a failure? Should I give up on that goal? No, I need to choose a different tactic. Find time slots that are not break times to do that reading. I didn’t fail – I just chose the wrong tactic. A different method can still get me to my goal. But if I look at it as a failure, if I judge myself harshly – then I won’t even try a different tactic. The key is to think of it as an experiment – if it doesn’t work, try something else!
So please share with me in the comments – what actions or tactics are you choosing to make this your best year ever? And come back and tell me how it goes!
Do you know what your boundaries are? Most of us have some vague notion of what a boundary is and how it feels when someone has crossed our boundaries. But what are they really?
Boundary – Something that indicates bounds or limits; a limiting or bounding line.
In the context of time management, your boundaries can have many references. It could refer to:
All of these are critical concepts when it comes to your ability to manage your time well. Understanding what your boundaries are can help you prioritize, make decisions and create a sustainable business. Burnout is generally caused from insufficient boundaries. (For example, working too much or putting other people’s needs/demands over your own needs)
If you don’t know your boundaries – how can you defend them? The simplest method of creating clear boundaries around your activities is working with a schedule or Time Map that has clearly defined time blocks in it. This is different than a task list. This is an organization of your time in which you have decided what category or area of your life you will be focused on during a specific block of time. I go into more detail about exactly how to do this in The Artists Marketing & Business Academy – Track 3B Classes.
Once you’ve created a schedule that allows for balance and clear beginnings and endings, then you can practice maintaining those boundaries for yourself. Also, when someone comes to you with a request for your time, you will be very clear on your availability. And if you choose to say “no” to their request (see #2), you don’t have to tell them it’s because you scheduled to do laundry during that time. You can just say, “I’m sorry, I’m not available.” (Practice that answer by yourself over and over if this is difficult for you!)
It is human nature to want to say “yes” to the people we care about, to the people we want to think well of us, really to most everyone. Saying “no” is not a skill we’re taught as children. In fact, quite the opposite, we’re taught that saying “yes” is rewarded and saying “no” is punished. This is a skill you MUST learn as an adult.
As small business owners and solopreneurs, particularly those of us who work from home, we often receive requests for our time.
It is easy to say “no” to the stuff you don’t want, those are not the “no’s” we are talking about. We are talking about the challenging “no’s”, the ones that come when you have to say “no” to something you DO want, or to someone you care about, or want to help.
But if you know your schedule (see #1) and you’re clear on what your goals are and WHY you created that schedule and want those goals, then saying “no” becomes easier. As Indrani taught me, when you say “yes” to one thing, you are saying “no” to everything else. So, you better be clear on what you are saying “no” to when you say “yes”. Here’s what I recommend when someone asks you for something that will take your time away from your goals (even when it’s something fun and fabulous):
Then end the conversation WITHOUT GIVING THEM AN ANSWER. Promise you’ll get them an answer before their deadline and walk away (or hang up the phone). Give yourself time to think, time to make the decision away from them.
In order to make this decision, ask yourself:
These questions should help you come to a decision that enables you to honor your boundaries.
Our tendency, particularly if you are a new or struggling business owner, is to promise your prospective clients the moon. This can damage both your own life as well as your business. Because you promise more than you can realistically achieve within the time allotted, you will either kill yourself to keep your promise, or break your promise and kill your reputation.
There is a saying, “Under promise and over deliver.” I actually recommend, under promise and deliver on your promise with excellence. That doesn’t necessarily mean over deliver. It just simply means, promise only what you’re absolutely sure you can deliver and then deliver it with excellence.
Setting clear time boundaries is another important aspect of managing other people’s expectations. For example, if someone calls you and asks if you have a minute – you know that they’re asking for more than a minute. But you can respond with, “I can give you 5 minutes.” And when that 5 minute period has ended, you can say, without guilt, “I have to go now.” and hang up. Because you managed their expectations at the beginning of the conversation, ending that call becomes much easier. I often do this when calling for technical support. I start the call with, “I have a client in 15 minutes.” And it’s amazing how much less time I now spend on these calls!
But you also need to manage your own expectations. For example, creating a To Do List for today that has 16 hours of work, but you only have 4 hours available is a habit that can kill your self-esteem. You will never get all of those things done, and every time you don’t, you feel like you’ve failed. Have a master To Do list (ideally organized by category, see #1). And then put on today’s task list ONLY what you are confident you can accomplish in the time available. Hey, having to go back to the master list because you finished faster is a happy problem, right?
So how are you doing with your time management boundaries? Let me know in the comments what new insights you got and any questions you have.
I recently had a very interesting conversation with a client who called for some in-between-session support.
He called because he was feeling completely stuck. He was swamped with having so much to do, so many opportunities he could be taking advantage of, and he felt completely overwhelmed. He had no idea how to prioritize all the multiple options of actions he could take.
As a result he was paralyzed and unable to pick any of the multiple possible actions to take or any of the many opportunities to pursue. And he also felt panicky because he believed he was in danger of missing out on opportunities because of being so totally stuck.
Does this sound familiar to you?
I know it did to me. In the past, I’ve gone for weeks feeling completely powerless to take action because I couldn’t figure out which action to take first.
I suggested two solutions to this problem, a short-term right-now band-aid and a long-term more permanent fix. Hopefully you’ll find them helpful as well.
One of my teachers, Johnnie Cass, gave a brilliant bit of advice, which he shared in an off-the-cuff remark during my NLP training. It’s stayed with me all these years, “When you’re feeling overwhelmed, narrow your focus.” I love that and have used it often — just pay attention to the thing right in front of you.
And that’s usually really helpful, but when you’re overwhelmed by opportunities, how do you pick which opportunity is the right opportunity to focus on right now?
Here are a few re-frames that might help:
First, when confronted by too many opportunities, take a moment to be grateful. Too many opportunities is a happy problem!
So much better than too few, no? So, take a moment, to just breathe in gratitude for the abundance of the Universe!
Great, now that you’re in an appreciative state of mind ask yourself these clarifying questions:
The first question has to do with the low-hanging fruit, the short-term funds that will help you pay the rent immediately. There’s no shame in pursuing the low hanging fruit, in fact it can be vital to your business’ survival.
My client, though, had a valid concern – what if I’m pursuing “good” and sacrificing “great,” which is where the second question comes in. If you only have time today to take one action or pursue one opportunity, because you have other obligations, appointments, etc., then pursue the “right-now” money.
Keeping yourself solvent will empower you to pursue the “great”, visionary and long term opportunities when you have a bit more time. But in the meantime, you have to eat, right?
If you have more time today – see if you can split it in half – spend half of the time on the low hanging fruit/right-now money opportunities; and half on the longer term opportunities that are more long-term goal oriented. I’d recommend a minimum of 1 hour for each – so if you have less than 2 hours, pick the low-hanging fruit. (If you find you never have more than an hour, try taking turns alternating between low-hanging fruit and long-term goal oriented opportunities.)
If you have 2 hours or more, pick ONE for each category to pursue within that time frame. Just pick, flip a coin! Whatever you choose is going to move you forward and you will learn as long as you take action with an experimental mindset.
But if you can choose with your long-term goals in mind, your choices will be so much easier to make! And you will be much more likely to choose opportunities that will advance you toward your vision! This leads me to the more permanent fix (which you may want to choose as the long-term goal oriented action…)
Part of what caused the overwhelm for my client was the lack of a clear, specific long-term vision and a plan composed of milepost goals to guide his journey.
Without these strong roots in place, you are very much at the mercy of the winds.
And two things can happen. First of all, from a Law of Attraction standpoint – you have not placed a clear specific order with the Universe and while it’s doing its level best to send you great opportunities, without clear goals, the opportunities you’re attracting can tend to be pellmell and haphazard.
It’s like going into a restaurant and ordering cow – you just don’t know what you’ll get!
But secondly, and perhaps even more importantly, without a clear vision of where you want to get to, it’s so much harder to evaluate and prioritize the opportunities coming your way.
If you don’t know where you’re going, how can you gauge the effectiveness of one path over another? How can you decide which are the good opportunities and which is the one great opportunity that will thrust open the doors of success for you? Even enough to take a guess?
The sooner you design your long-term vision and plan, the easier it will be to switch from overwhelm into overdrive!
Both of these strategies have one thing in common – they shift you from:
And you always want to choose being Response-able over being Reaction-ary. When you can make choices from a grounded, centered and focused place, when you have cleared the noise so you can hear your inner, intuitive voice, you will be able to make powerful choices with ease.
And nothing clears the noise better than a strong vision, specific and measurable goals and a clear plan to achieve both.
Will this guarantee that the opportunity you choose to pursue will be great? Or even good? Will it guarantee success?
There are no guarantees – all you can do is make the best decision with the information you have – and having the courage to create your vision and goals will create a lot of clarity to inform your decisions.
Please share with me – what opportunity you will choose to pursue today? And let me know how it works out – OK? Just leave a comment below.
Oh, and if you’ve been thinking, “Yeah, but…” Please share your “yeah, buts” with me too!
In today’s DIY Music Business, many artists are looking to crowd funding to replace the financing that a record deal used to provide. But the success rates of crowd funding efforts in the music industry are not all Amanda F. Palmer stories. It’s not the get rich quick solution to your financial woes.
Luckily for us, Ariel Hyatt of Cyber PR has studied this question and is going to share a few of her Crowd Funding Success Secrets with the members of the Artists Marketing & Business Academy Professional Program.
In this Interview with an Expert you will learn:
Is Crowd Funding the right method at the right time for your next project? In this interview Ariel will give you the criteria for making a sound business decision for your career.
Enroll in the Artists Marketing & Business Academy Professional Program
to listen to this interview today ($49 per month Tuition):
Click Here to Enroll in the Artists Marketing & Business Academy Mastery Lab to access the transcript of this class today
Ariel Hyatt is the founder of Ariel Publicity & Cyber PR a New York based digital PR firm that connects artists, authors and filmmakers to blogs, podcasts, internet radio stations and social media sites. Over the past 13 years her firm has represented over 1,400 musicians of all genres.
Educating musicians is her passion and her philosophy is: combine social media with Internet marketing to help artists grow their fanbase and increase their income.
Several times a year, she leads sold-out workshops to musicians and music industry professionals looking to learn about Social media and online marketing. Her bi-weekly ezine and YouTube series “Sound Advice” has over 10,000 subscribers and she is a contributing blogger to Music Think Tank.
Ariel has written dozens of articles on how to navigate the “new” music business and her book: Music Success in Nine Weeks is available at Amazon.