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Archive for August, 2009

Key Number One to Successful Self-Marketing

istock_000009218077smallMarketing always seems to be one of the more difficult tasks, and marketing ones self, for many, often becomes insurmountable.  This does not have to be true for you! Learning to market yourself comfortably will go a long way in your life whether you are marketing yourself for a new career, a promotion in your current place of business or to sell your business services.

Key Number ONE is: Learning to Overcome Rejection

I. Overcoming rejection, the ages old concept of rejection and how to overcome that down in the belly negative feeling that comes when you put your talents on the line and they are rejected.

What is actually being rejected?

Try this vision: What is real…At this moment I am OK. I have certain talents and abilities, hopes and dreams, needs and values. I have family and friends that care about me. I have accomplished many things in my life; be it my schooling at what ever level, my employment history and my ability to be a team player and many other learned talents along the way.  The concrete evidence of my existence thus far proves I am capable of tackling the world and what it has handed me. I am O.K.!

You take one small action of opening your email and you discover your business proposal was rejected. What happens?  The air is knocked out of you, you get that lead feeling in your gut, suddenly, the act of reading one email has changed “I am OK” into “I am not good enough”!

Look back a moment…has anything actually changed from the information above? NO, you are still all of those very capable things.  What has changed is your attitude. You have allowed yourself to take the rejection personally. All of a sudden it is about you not being good enough, when moments before you were just fine.  You have given your power away because of someone else’s action. In reality what happened is another person had a stronger set of tools for this particular situation, or perhaps there was a personal contact that was selected or the person making the decision had a bad day the day of your proposal, we will never know.

Getting Over it! We meet rejection every day, whether it is of our dreams, of a new job or a promotion or a sale we have endeavored to close. There are 3 important rules to dealing with rejection successfully: a. Don’t take it personally. b. Use it as a learning tool. c. Quickly take appropriate actions to move on to the next challenge.

The first rule of dealing with rejection is: Don’t take it personally! It is rarely about us, even though our egos seem to try to tell us it is.  Our minds are very creative and energetic and if left alone, are masters at the negative.  I call it my “Itty Bitty Pity Committee”. Replace your old committee with a sensible group of voices: which include your intuition, your heart, your intelligence, your curiosity, your passion, your spirit and your experience.

Your new “Success Committee”, will help you deal with rejection as a learning tool. Which is the second rule of dealing with rejection: Use rejection as a Learning tool. Ask questions when you receive a no.  What did not meet your needs?  What was missing so I might improve? Rarely is a person reluctant to help another improve. Then set up an appropriate action plan to carry out what you have discovered. Choose to learn from the rejection and move on to the next with a greater arsenal of tools for your future success.

The third rule of dealing with rejection: Quickly take appropriate actions to move on to the next challenge.  Take the learning and grow your knowledge base and tool kit.  Create a plan of action to move past the rejection and on to the next challenge. Think of rejection as a tool for learning and improvement and you will soon move beyond it to the realm of success.

Want to see Overcoming rejection in action? Look up the story of author J.K. Rowling of the Harry Potter novels. She was rejected by the best of the best printers over 100 times! Aren’t we all glad she kept believing in herself?

Posted in: Marketing & Promotion

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Living in Delicious Fear

istock_000003561487smallCan you remember the first time you did something that was scary to you? Was it learning to ride a bike, or perhaps to swim, or a first day at a new job or at a new school? The amazing part of these moments is that as soon as we push past our fears and give it a try, succeed or fail, we learn something about our abilities and ourselves. We also gain valuable knowledge and understanding of the challenge that faces us, and the tools required to succeed in the face of that challenge. Our brain, our spirit and our bodies are incredible tools.  Each grows proportionately with the risks and trials we encounter. Like exercising a muscle, as we practice and increase our repetitions the muscle grows in strength and facility.

That is what I call “living in delicious fear”.  It is that place when you are out of your comfort zone and teetering on the verge of stepping backwards, but you just gently lean forward and move ahead. This is the discovery and learning zone: “Wow! I can do that, it wasn’t as scary as I thought.” Perhaps: ” I survived, I will do this part differently next time, or “I did OK, if I practice, I will become great at this!” The first step out of comfort and into “delicious fear” is the hardest and also the most exhilarating. Your senses are at their peak and your brain is working its hardest to master the skills required and still maintain control, your emotions are working overtime and you are a mass of nerves and then you’ve done it! Everything lets go all at once and your whole body goes into “I did it!” mode! Then the learning and understanding sets in and our wonderful minds take over. We get better and better at it as we practice and build our muscles of trying new things. Our spirit grows as we discover new talents or polish unused ones and we become more empowered to try again and possibly attempt even more difficult challenges.

I remember learning to ride my first two-wheeled bike.  My sister was the one to teach me, Mom was too worried and Dad didn’t have the patience.  So Barb helped me learn.  She held the back of the bike seat to stabilize me as I struggled to gain the necessary balance to master the task. I was sweating so hard from fear and struggle, my eyes stung from the salt. I kept yelling, “don’t let go, I’m not ready!” Then I realized I was moving way too fast for her to keep up I was doing it!  Then Barb screamed and I fell off!  I yelled what’s the matter? As she ran up to see if I was all right, she looked worried and thrilled all together, as I bled from both knees.  What’s wrong, I cried? “You did it, you did it, you rode all by yourself!” You see, there were two of us living in delicious fear that day.  Barb was terrified that she would not be up to the task of teaching me and that I would fail, she stepped way out of her comfort zone for me.  I must say I was most proud of those scrapes and became a daredevil bike rider! Barb discovered she was a great teacher!

Of course there are set backs, embarrassment, scraped knees, a lost possibility but more often than not they are endurable set backs.  Delicious fear is a wake up call to use your brain, focus and approach the challenge with all of your capabilities and full consciousness. We are not speaking of ignoring your fears, but consciously and thoughtfully moving past them.  Using your skills and knowledge in a way that allows you to “Just do it”.    It is what makes many of us successful business owners or managers or CEOs.  Have you stepped out lately?  We often get too comfortable and settled in our worlds to remind ourselves to step out, take a new responsibility, or a challenge.

Whatever the step is for you, remember the discovery and learning zone is where we as human beings grow best.  Once the challenge has been met and we are delivered to the other side is when our real work begins.  We then can take the time to celebrate our successes and evaluate and learn from mistakes, strategize on how to better meet the task in the future, gather more knowledge or skills we discovered were lacking, get help from others if required. Each challenge is an opportunity to grow.  Each success empowers us to try again. Each mistake or failure is packed with learning to do it better the next time.

You say the fear is too big!  The fear is not worth it! Then try taking smaller steps. That is why training wheels were invented.  My challenge to you is to step out into delicious fear this week, go create a new product for your business, invite your most dissatisfied customer to lunch, speak to someone about a raise or a promotion, learn to ride the bike of your dreams!

Posted in: Professional Development

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Spend Wisely…Take Back Your Time

“You will never find time. You must make it.” —Charles Burton

administrative

The two excuses I hear most from my coaching clients for not accomplishing more and greater things and having a life and business that they love are: “I don’t have time, I’m too busy”. We all get the same amount of hours in a day: 24. We all get the same number of hours in a week: 168. Why do some people have what looks like “it ALL”?

A Scenario:

If you sleep a healthy 8 hours a night you have 112 left.

If you take 30 minutes a day for breakfast and an hour each for lunch and dinner you now have 94.5 left

If you drive 30 minutes to and from work, you now have 89.5 left.

If you work 45 hours a week you have 44.5 left in your week to take care of yourself, your family, your health and your spirit.

The problem is not the time. The problem is what we are doing with it. If you spend from 8pm to 10pm watching TV, you now have just 30 hours left. What could you have done with those precious hours? How much of your day and week is being spent on things that help you grow: in your business, your relationships, with your significant other or children, in knowledge, in fun, in health or in spirit?

Take a look at with whom you are spending your time.  Are they people that are supportive and energizing, or do you feel drained at the end of your time with them? Are they people you are striving to emulate and can bring out your best?

Our time is the one commodity we each get a fixed amount of. We do not even know exactly what that fixed amount is.  It makes sense to use it with wisdom, joy and for the growth of ourselves and those around us.  To Life!

COACH’S CHALLENGE: Look at where you spend your time and evaluate if it is truly being well spent on what you consider priorities for your life and your families or are you giving it away unnecessarily?  This month review who you give your time to and how you are using it. Make one change that will take back time from the mundane and help you grow where you believe it will truly count!

Posted in: Business Operations, Time Management

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