Posts Tagged 'process of change'

Looking at Things Differently?

My first business mentor, Patti, made an interesting comment during one of our early conversations.

“Some people take a Ropes Course to challenge themselves. We choose to open our own business!”

Fourteen years later, I still agree with that assessment.  Owning your own business is an amazing vehicle for personal evaluation and development.  Areas of your life that were not an issue suddenly become very visible to everyone, including yourself!  Whether you are a sole proprietor, managing employees, or recruiting others into your business, you are undoubtedly looking at things differently than when you were an employee.

Although I discovered there is a continual flow of decisions that a business owner must make- marketing, vendor choices, best use of work time, family time, ROI- my biggest challenge in being a business owner is coming to grips with who I am as a person: fine-tuning character qualities that seemed to be OK, until they were put into the daily context of dealing with customers and making business decisions.

Dr. Robert Rohm of Personality Insights, a psychologist and corporate trainer from Atlanta, GA, and a speaker at a recent conference I attended, addressed ten components of LEADERSHIP. One of those qualities was integrity. He reminded me that integrity is doing the right thing even when it is inconvenient or doesn’t make sense to anyone else.

I never thought much about this issue of integrity until I became a business owner.  I had already been a teacher, a successful coach, a pastor’s wife, a mom,  a friend.  I figured I had done an OK job of doing what I said I was going to do.  If I didn’t do it right away, no one seemed to notice, including me.  I didn’t get called on it.  There didn’t seem to be any big consequences if I didn’t follow through in a timely way.  Maybe you can identify.

Then I started my business.  I dealt with customers, with corporate deadlines, with other people’s expectations.  Gradually it occurred to me that I could not continue to be inconsistent with what I said and what I did. In fact, I realized that sometimes when I didn’t follow through, it cost me a customer, or money- or both!  But there was a subtle personal cost. My actions were not in alignment with my values, and the more times I acted without integrity, the further I drifted from who I was or thought I was or wanted to be. The results were internal chaos and business paralysis.

I had to realize that my word is my reputation.Integrity is as important in business as it is in friendship and family.  Integrity is a personal quality that is crucial in life.

Consequently I have become much more conscious of being consistent with my words and deeds.

However, I confess I can still get tempted to fudge on commitments with a variety of excuses. For example, I have said ‘yes’ to attending a meet-up meeting, a club meeting, a social, even posted it online that I am attending.  But when the time comes to get ready to be there, I re-evaluate. Any, or all, of these thoughts may cross my mind: it won’t make any difference if I’m there or not- I don’t have a meeting responsibility. Nobody will notice if I’m not there. It looks like I’ll be late.  I’ve heard that topic before.  I don’t know anyone who is going to be there.  (Add your own rationale!)

Then the still small voice kicks in: You said you were going to

And I am on my way.

What about you? Have you said you were going to call someone- and then neglected to do so? Have you said you were going to send someone a piece of information- and let it slip right out of your mind? Have you committed to a meeting or an appointment and let a minor distraction derail you?

Here’s my suggestion: Get back on track. Let your yes be yes, and your no, no.  That directive is not original: it’s from Matthew 5:37.  Apparently there is a universal need for a reminder to be honest with our words!

What are your thoughts? Please leave your comments below.


Emotions of Change

When I find an article that is valuable to my readers, I like to share the link.  As a follow-up to my last post, here is a link to an article by Jim Rohn (you’ve probably guessed he’s my most valued business mentor by the number of times I quote him on this site: check out Biz  tips tab).  Jim writes about Allowing Emotions to Fuel Your Desires. 

Amidst the crowded schedules of December, some are going through the motions of activity but are in quiet desperation of wanting/needing to do something drastically different in their lives: they know it is insanity to continue doing the same thing and expect different results.

If you are one of those in need of change, please take the time to read this article.   Jim’s thoughts could play a major role in giving you the courage to change direction so that in 2012 you get closer to achieving your goals.

If there is anything I can do for you, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Motivation for Change

“We generally change ourselves for one of two reasons: inspiration or desperation.” Jim Rohn.

In today’s economy, it certainly seems that many people are considering change because of the desperate nature of their circumstances. You may be one of those people.

It’s December.  2011 was perhaps not stellar for you and your family.  You don’t want 2012 to be a repeat!

Referring to the above quote, desperation may get you jump-started to consider change and you might even make an attempt to do something different, but I have not observed it to provide lasting motivation for change.

However, if you are committed to personal development, inspiration enters the change-scene. You can discover why you want to change (typically it needs to be more than money!). You can then discover how to change. Inspirational motivation could lead you to then inspire family and friends.  Don’t you want to be involved in that process?

It may be that although it is one situation/emotion/passion that gets you started on a path that is actually a change (a new business, a new lifestyle, a new relationship, a new location), you may have to discover something else that keeps you motivated…keeps you moving down that path toward your  bigger dream/your goal.

As a student and then a teacher, I had not thought very deeply about why I was doing a particular thing.  Whatever I was doing just seemed like the right thing to do…it was logical.

However, over the years of owning a business, I’ve had to discover my ‘why.’  Others who started this venture with me had fallen by the wayside.  I kept going. Why?

For me it had to be more than making money, more than the fantastic incentive trips, more than the friendships of business associates and customers, and even more than making a difference in people’s lives—all of which happen in my business by the way.

Two factors continue to surface whenever I examine my motivation for persevering with business: freedom in determining my schedule, and time with family.  The two have become almost inseparable because we are separated from our entire family living here in Columbus.

Geographically, we have family in AZ, TN, IL, SC.  We’re not exactly clustered!

Right now, when I have opportunity, there is a very strong pull toward Phoenix because of these two little boys. Imagine that!


Discovery of a new train

'devoted to one another in brotherly love'

What’s your motivation for change? What is your WHY that keeps you headed in the direction of your dreams?

I’d love to read your comments below.

Keep the Appointment

Today in our ToastMasters Club ™, one of our members shared a tip that I believe is worth passing on to you who are committed to regular activity as part of your lifestyle. This tip may be especially helpful if you are in the beginning stages of change.

The suggestion for activity is typically 3-5 days of at least 30  (preferably 45) minutes of activity.

First: Make a commitment to yourself that you will do it a certain number of days per week.

Second: Record your exercise time as an appointment. There is evidence you will be less likely to break (or forget) an appointment  that you have written down.

And now, PK’s suggestion: Keep the appointment regardless of how the circumstances flow. If you are running late, keep the appointment. If something emotional upsets you, keep the appointment (exercise could be just what you need). Keeping the appointment, even if you have to cut down the time, is helping you to establish the habit.

I agree.

Keep the appointment!

What has been your experience? Would you share a comment?

My Answer to the Question Why?

Five years ago, our family traveled out to Modesto, CA, as our oldest son Daniel married Erin. What a joyous time! Ed, our 20 yr old son Nathan, and I had planned an extended time after the wedding to drive south and explore Joshua Tree NP, east of San Diego. We started our drive-through of the park. When we chose to, we stopped, got out of the car and climbed on the huge outcroppings near the road. It was a beautiful, sunny, warm day. I was with my family. We were healthy and able to be active. We took photos of us climbing and hiking.  We had no time constraints. We had just married off Daniel and gained a daughter.  Our family was growing!  All of a sudden it hit me. I KNEW WHY I WANTED TO BE HEALTHY AND LIVE OUTSIDE THE RESTRAINTS OF A JOB. I wanted to be able to climb on the boulders with my GRANDKIDS whom I knew were coming someday. I did not want to be stuck at the bottom taking photos because I couldn’t physically climb with them, or worse yet, be looking at photos of them climbing with someone else because I couldn’t be there because I was working. This was a defining moment for me. I had discovered a new level of motivation for success with my business and with the choices I would have to make on a daily basis.  I had to have optimal health and strong business success so that I could romp around with my grandkids the way I wanted to in the future. I found my deeper why.

What about you? Perhaps you know that you have to make a job or even a career change. Perhaps you know that you need to make some personal lifestyle changes to improve your health. Perhaps you know you need to make some difficult financial decisions that will change your lifestyle.

 Whatever your change, your primary reason for it may have a spiritual, practical, financial, intellectual, or emotional dimension to it.   I believe that if you take the time to explore why you need to make the change and then write down your discoveries, you will work through the change with more determination and better results than you have experienced previously.

My defining moment 5 years ago will take on flesh and blood this July as we welcome our first grandson to the family. How exciting to have stayed the course with both business and personal choices so that we can travel out to Phoenix and enjoy this new little one who is going to add another dimension to all of our lives.

Do you need to make a change that lasts? Be sure to ask yourself enough questions so that you can answer this question: Why am I doing this?