New Ideas Need Gestation

April 20, 2010 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Play by Play 

I seem to go through different cycles of the type of reading or things I pay attention to, or perhaps it is the Law of Attraction at work giving me the things I need to hear and read.  Recently my attention has been centered more on spirituality.  I have been listening to a really great series put on by Feminine Power called Women on the Edge of Evolution.  The speakers they have for this are just great and they are all free and downloadable for play.  (Click here to register and access the recordings!

Today I heard a piece that really made me think.  It made me think – because of the space I find myself in right now.  If you know me or are following the blog you know that I set out on a path 8 months ago to move away from the corporate world.  In that, I became very excited about one opportunity that I am involved with.  This opportunity led me down a road of education.  LOTS of internet marketing and Web 2.0 education. And it has been a blast.  I have loved doing this.  It also led to reading several books one of which (EMyth) took me deeper into thought around the exact business that I was going to start. (Here is my review of The EMyth Revisited and the review of The EMyth Enterprise.)  After reading these books and moving through the education, I have created a slight modification of what I had been originally looking at doing – both in my mind and on paper.  Then I hit a vacation, a couple projects at the J.O.B. and another week off and to my surprise and dismay – no real movement forward on my business. I spent my vacations totally unplugged.  (Many have said this is a good thing – however – there is a voice inside me saying if I want to start a business then I need to spend some time on it.)  I have been vacillating between beating myself up and telling myself all is as it should be.  The recording I heard that impacted me so much on this subject was the teleseminar with Mary Manin Morrissey. 

The conversation was focused on having ideas, passions and feelings of purpose and the feelings of impatience around this, that can settle in when working towards something new.  She said something that made an impact on me and resonated with me.  She indicated that every idea, every change, has an evolution.  Like everything in our universe – everything has a path that it follows from creation to birth, whether it is a seed that is planted in the ground or a baby growing in a mommy’s tummy.  There is a period of time that things go through gestation.  This is the time that something sits and prepares to be born.  Trees, babies, and yes, even ideas.  So, we come down again to patience. Patience has never been easy — I remember hearing  “Patience (Patients) are for doctors!”  Through this way of thinking about it, I am reminding myself that things take time, not everything can be rushed (to spite how the world pushes everything) and to give myself the ok for this break.  When this is ready to be born, things will activate again.  I need to focus on what matters and be grateful for all that I have in my life today.  Remember the power of NOW!

Would love to hear anyone else’s ideas on how they remain patient waiting for things to take their own time.

Review: The EMyth Enterprise

April 14, 2010 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Book Reviews 

“An e-myth enterprise is a business that takes personal responsibility for the condition of the world it finds itself in; for the condition of the people with whom it interacts; for the condition of their children and their children’s children; for the condition of the very quality of life itself.”

 

This is the second book I have read by Michael E. Gerber. I can say that reading his books makes me want to meet him and buy him dinner so that I could have some time to hear his thoughts on how I might do what I am doing better. He is very accomplished and as I read his words; I feel myself becoming hypnotized or mesmerized by his words and writing. The way he writes pulls you in, it entertains, it builds a picture, it brings feelings to the surface, it brings questions to the forefront. I have gone through the process of re-evaluating what I am doing based on what I have read within the pages of Michael’s books.

Michael is founder of E-Myth Worldwide. E-Myth Worldwide was created in 1977 as a coaching, training and education company. It is now in its 32nd year and has helped more than 65,000 businesses in over 145 countries. His program is used in 118 universities in the world. He has authored 13 business books and founded 11 new ventures in the last four years. Michael is writing from a place of experience and from a place of caring about us making it work so that we can make the world a better place.

In this book he describes what an E-Myth Enterprise is; the essential ingredients. There are four; the visual, emotional, functional, and financial. These four ingredients work together to create an exceptional business. The first thing to realize is that a business exists only as others observe it. A business can not be without employees, customers, suppliers and lenders and they all have perceptions. Their perceptions count and Michael explains that businesses need to step up and DO MORE. They need to be cognizant of these four distinct group of interactions – the employees, the customers, the suppliers and the lenders all play a large role in how successful the company will be. A business needs to understand that these four groups have essential needs, perceived preferences, and unconscious expectations and the business must DO MORE to satisfy these. They satisfy them by paying attention to the visual, emotional, functional and financial ingredients. They need to have 5 basic skills in order to satisfy these ideals.

  • Concentration: Provides energy and attention needed for the right action to take place.
  • Discrimination: Provides us with intention and standards that help us know which action needs to be taken.
  • Organization: Important to realize that people can not be organized; time, space and work are the things that can be organized. Organization provides room for the right action to take place.  Time is the utilization of energy; Space is having the right tools in place in the right quantity to support the right action; Work identifies the natural way to take action, and the relationships between functions and the coordination of action and functions.
  • Innovation: Is about effectiveness. Doing things faster, cheaper, smoother and softer. Watch the child – they do it all the time.
  • Communication: Channel through which life is conveyed. Ideas and the energy of ideas are transmitted and how mind, spirit and body converge into a force for the right action.

I loved how he describes the process of getting more life in a business. The process starts with the development of standards and that develops discipline which results in the development of patience which leads to development of vision, which gives insight, which inevitably leads to the development of conviction, which leads to awareness, where you can’t help but develop empathy, which obviously creates deeper and real relationships which – the ultimate end of having more life.

The ideals by which to create the E-myth Enterprise are the ingredients to a successful idea and business.

Visual: Our first impressions are made visually. It is important that a business pay attention to leaving a good first impression; customers, employees, suppliers and lenders will create a perception based on what they see of your business thereby affecting the resulting relationship. Pay attention to your logos, your colors, scale, order, and consistency. Ensure that information is being transmitted visually.

Emotional: It is important to connect to the emotional side of people, to leave a mark. People need order, to feel heard, connected to something bigger than themselves, a purpose, to feel that what they do has moral weight and is important and that people they associate with love them. In order to reach the emotional side of people it is important to always ask questions – be like a child. A child always challenges the boundaries and asks questions and they keep going. If they get a no or fall down, they keep going, they keep asking.

Functional: As I read on what the functional ideal is, it reminded me of what I learned in Emyth Revisited (LINK TO THIS POST). For a company to be functional it needs to act great and to act great it must think completely different about what it does and how it does what it does. They need to focus on processes rather than the people. If great processes are put together than you don’t need to hire (and pay for) the best. Analyze what employees, customers, suppliers and lenders want the business to do and whether it makes sense to try and incorporate that in the way the business operates. Try and find out the most frustrating thing to these key stakeholders and then see if you can guarantee that this most frustrating thing will not occur.

Financial: Michael insists that you do need to worry about money, that it isn’t all about doing what you love and letting the money come. He writes that money has no meaning without people, that you must take care of it because it will not take care of itself and he stresses that you must have integrity when it comes to money.

The final chapter of the book will challenge your thinking and will test your defensiveness. I found myself having to read this chapter a couple of times in order to really GET what he is working to say here. To me, what I feel he is trying to get across is that we have fallen into a trap because we often forget to think. Actually, really, truly THINK. We fall into doing things, wanting things, that are the newest trends or hot new tools to improve our lives. He gives advice on how to get out of this – he says that we need to

  • Admit to the fact that we have fallen into a programmed trap
  • Be more interested in far more than just business; we must be interested in the dignity of ones own life and those lives around us; must set very high standards;
  • Be interested in how things look and how things feel and how things work and then finally in the money.
  • Realize that the economic model is a myth
  • Pay attention to people; what is imprisoning them, what is frustrating them, what is inhibiting them, what is restraining them, what is depriving them of a rich forceful life.
  • Be conscious of oneself
  • Be honest with oneself
  • Continually watch oneself

I highly recommend reading this book; it will make you really think hard about what you are working to achieve in your endeavor.

Rework – A New Release

April 7, 2010 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Book Reviews 

 

Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

This new release that is for anyone who wants to be in business for themselves.
Seth Godin reviews it:

This book will make you uncomfortable.
Depending on what you do all day, it might make you extremely uncomfortable.
That’s a very good thing, because you deserve it. We all do.
Jason and David have broken all the rules and won. Again and again they’ve demonstrated that the regular way isn’t necessarily the right way. They just don’t say it, they do it. And they do it better than just about anyone has any right to expect.
This book is short, fast, sharp and ready to make a difference. It takes no prisoners, spares no quarter, and gives you no place to hide, all at the same time.
There, my review is almost as long as the first chapter of the book. I can’t imagine what possible excuse you can dream up for not buying this book for every single person you work with, right now.
Stop reading the review. Buy the book.–Seth Godin

E-Myth Revisited

February 1, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Book Reviews 

 

I had someone that I admire recommend reading this book and I picked it up without knowing exactly what to expect. I had heard it mentioned before, but beyond that had not understood what it was about.

After reading this book, I have quite a few ah ha’s — and this, along with going through a Goals Development Program by Darren Hardy and success.com, I am now looking at my business in a different way. This book is a must read for anyone going into their own business. The book was written michaelgerberby Michael E. Gerber, who is the founder of E-Myth Worldwide. E-Myth Worldwide was created in 1977 as a coaching, training and education company. It is now in its 32nd year (if that isn’t something amazing to anyone trying to start their own business then nothing is!) and has helped more than 65,000 businesses in over 145 countries. His program is used in 118 universities in the world. He has authored 13 business books and founded 11 new ventures in the last four years. I have ordered his most recent book; however this one was absolutely awesome.

The most impacting realization I took away from this book is that all Entrepreneurs have started a business due chaosto the chaotic world we are living in. They are looking for order. Our world is a place of constant change and our corporations and larger companies (and smaller companies) are doing their best to keep up with all the changes; however they are failing miserably (80% of new businesses fail within 5 years). Due to the chaos and never ending change, the individuals working in companies are feeling discomfort; they feel no order, no real reason for being and they feel they are working hard for companies without any real satisfaction. The realization that this book led me to is that the reason that these businesses are failing are because we are bringing the chaos from the world and our companies with us and opening up businesses that result being ran on the basis of chaos. What Michael Gerber is teaching in this book is that we need to change ourselves in order to not only run a successful business, but to also help the world start to run without the state of chaos we seem to be in constantly.

multiple personalitiesThe other thing that the book points out is that each of us is a person with multiple personalities. For instance, we all have a skinny personality and fat personality. The skinny person gets motivated to exercise and diet to get healthy; the fat person is comfortable hitting the snooze button and going back to sleep or opening the fridge for that second helping of ice cream. We also have three personalities that come into play when starting a business; a technician, a manager and an entrepreneur. The technician likes doing the work; they are good at the work and they like being left alone. The manager likes order and process and tries to minimize as much change as possible. The entrepreneur thrives on chaos and constant change. Each of these personalities needs a chance to survive and thrive. If any one of these personalities takes over, the business will die.

Most small businesses have been started by the technician in us. The person who knows they can start a business doing what they know best and they feel they can do it so much better than the company they are working for. The entrepreneur steps in momentarily (in what the book calls an “entrepreneur seizure”) and the person is off to start their business. The problem then becomes that the technician steps back in and neither the manager nor the entrepreneur steps back in to balance the business out.

The book discussed 3 stages: infancy, adolescence and maturity. Infancy is the technician stage – it isn’t looking for growth and change, it is a time for work, work, and more work. Infancy ends when the owner realizes a change is needed and it is at this point that many businesses fail. This is where the entrepreneur and manager must be allowed in to move the business into the next stage and if this doesn’t happen the technician decides to either close its doors, goes for broke (hires people but doesn’t manage) or succeed in spite of it all (and will work until they literally can’t any longer). Adolescence needs a manager. A small business will stay in adolescence until the owner can’t work the business any longer or if it had been planned correctly enters maturity. Every business reaches a point where it goes beyond the owners comfort zone. Mature companies typically start out as a mature company; it is the owner that goes through infancy and adolescence to enter maturity. It is important to prepare yourself and your business for growth; by continuing to educate yourself so that your business can grow.

mcdonaldsThe turnkey revolution is what we saw when companies began to be ran like McDonald’s is ran. It was the start of the franchise. A franchise is either a trade name franchise or a business format franchise. The business format franchise runs by a system, the product is the system not the actual consumable good. This is where the owner works ON the business not IN the business.

The rest of the book discusses how an owner needs to innovate, quantify and orchestrate. These three things dance together in order to create a successful business. The business development program includes contemplating your primary aim, the strategic objective and strategies for the organization, management, people, marketing and systems. The book discusses the process of prototyping each position that will be done, or could be done within the business. Management development is discussed and how the system becomes your solution. They go through people management and discuss how to get employees motivated – it makes a point on how the owner creates the environment where the employees WANT to work for the company. Lastly the systems strategy is discussed – how to bring the hard systems, soft systems and information systems together.

I loved this book for what it has done to the thoughts for my own business; however I am feeling a bit cheated. I am looking for more thorough details and examples of the business development process; however there is enough information included that with a bit of research and time the details should become accessible.  To spite feeling cheated, I highly recommend reading this book if you are looking to be in business for yourself or if you are in business for yourself!

Do You Have a Million Dollar Idea?

October 23, 2009 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Book Reviews 

Before You Quit Your Job; 10 Real Life Lessons Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Building a Multimillion-Dollar BusinessBy Robert T. Kiyosaki (and Sharon L. Lechter)

I usually start my reviews with a summary of who the author is and what they have done. In the case of Robert Kiyosaki, most people have heard about him. Robert Kiyosaki is just about a household name, and if by chance you have not heard of him, you have more than likely heard of Rich Dad, Poor Dad. This was his first book and is what his business has been built on. As I have been working through my own moving from my corporate job to my own business the title of the book attracted me. Robert Kiyosaki has had a life that gives him the knowledge and an authority on this subject. He was in the Marines; he worked at Xerox, started a business that hit a level of high success and then within a short time failed. He started another business that was successful in promotional material for Rock Bands and radio stations, taught business seminars and then most recently and very successfully started the Rich Dad, Poor Dad company work where he teaches millions of people about money through his lectures, books and also through the CASHFLOW 101 game.

This book, Before You Quit Your Job; 10 Real Life Lessons Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Building a Multimillion-Dollar Business; goes over 10 lessons about starting a business. I was attracted to the title as I am working through a change in my own career of moving from a corporate job into my own business. This book definitely had some pearls of wisdom and it did create some self-talk within myself questioning whether I was really ready to take on this transition. In the beginning of the book Robert discusses some of the traits that are required for an individual who is moving from a corporate job to that of entrepreneur. The following is what he laid out – indicating that in order to make the transition an individual must have the following specific traits

1. Ability to change philosophy from security to freedom
2. Ability to operate without money
3. Ability to operate without security
4. Ability to focus on opportunity rather than resources
5. Having a different management style to manage different people
6. Ability to manage people and resources they do not control
7. Team and value oriented rather than pay or promotion oriented
8. Active learner – no graduation day
9. Generalized education rather than specialized
10. Courage to be responsible for the entire business

The rest of the book then wove these traits into 10 lessons that Robert teaches by utilizing the story around all of the steps he went through in his life, starting in high school and moving to his current success. Each lesson incorporates his examples and word of advice. Each lesson also pointed out 5 areas that one should have covered either within themselves or with partners or paid consultants. The 5 areas are product, legal, systems, communications and cash flow.

Lesson 1 A successful business is created before there is a business
Lesson 2 Learn how to turn bad luck into good luck
Lesson 3 Know the difference between your job and your work
Lesson 4 Success reveals your failures
Lesson 5 The process is more important than the goal
Lesson 6 The best answers are found in your heart…not your head
Lesson 7 The scope of the mission determines the product
Lesson 8 Design a business that can do something that no other business can do
Lesson 9 Don’t fight for the bargain basement
Lesson 10 Know when to quit

Something that is really great about this book is that Sharon Lechter, one of Robert’s partners finishes each lesson with some words of advice around the same lesson. Having a different perspective from a different point of view, helps teach the lesson in a different way – which can help reaffirm the lesson.

Some of the information is repetitive (quadrant and B/I Triangle) and I would say there is A LOT of tidbits of very useful information throughout the entire book. It is one to read, highlight and then pull that information out for future use. The information in the book showed me some reality around starting a business but was more than that as well. There were suggestions on how to start the business and what a business needs to have in order to be successful. It opened my eyes to some of the hard work and some of the gaps in my own knowledge and expertise and was also helpful in shining some light on reality. The only thing I can think of that would have been nice was to have some more suggestions on what to do in the certain areas if you weren’t strong enough.

Week Two – My Real Discovery Starts

September 2, 2009 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Play by Play 

This post continues my written journey as I began seriously working on my purpose and passion.

Week Two has been packed full of stuff. I found that this week I was extremely motivated and excited about my moving from the corporate world into owning my own Lifepath Unlimited business. In my journaling this week I commented that my life is so blessed…so many things occur daily that are very positive. This week the weather was gorgeous, I spent time with my family – both my husband and daughter and also with my father. I was extremely pleased and relieved that after discussing further with my husband he was still 100% supportive of my new endeavor.

This week I also had contact with my up line representatives. I had a call every day this week. Most of the calls consisted of about 30-45 minutes and my coach would focus my attention on how I was feeling, where I was with Discovery, and some short training around something around the business. He gave me access to the training that they have put together online. The first of these meetings was longer and we went over what he referred to as a business plan. Because I come from the corporate world, I would not have called it a business plan. It was helpful; however it was more of an exercise of going through what I wanted, a reminder of what the top earners do, discussion about what goals should look like, another review of the compensation plan and then a reiteration on what and why someone should position their selves properly in the business. He then put me in touch with a marketing person who was in his up lines organization to whom I paid to get additional marketing training from. He then had me register for his four week online training program. I called and spoke to the Marketing contact – she was very friendly and giving. She was so willing to help. Everyone I speak to continues to re-confirm my commitment to making this business work.

I was told “We become who we associate with. Be conscious, look at the people you associate with and consider cutting back time spent with people that hold you back.” After some time thinking about this there is truth to this, however I feel that the way I heard it in the beginning verses the way I feel about it now is worth mentioning. When I first heard this, I heard that we may want to start cutting out people that we care about because they don’t make money. (This is because he also asked me to analyze the average salary of the five people we spend the most time with, making an assumption that we would find that our salary would be very near this average). My gut felt something deeply wrong with this. Some time went by and I heard Tony Robins talk about how we can be SO happy and satisfied about where we are in our life that even though we want to do more, have more and be more – we tend to not follow through on our dreams because we don’t have things around us that give us that motivation. By being around people that are already successful we then, by default, end up positioning ourselves so we feel our backs against the wall. We will then – clearly have something we want; we will see something that we want. By being around people that have what we want, we become more driven in our goals. We believe it to be possible. Since we need to believe (REALLY believe) in order to be more then it is important that we not get stuck in our comfort zones. So, if we are conscious about whom we associate with and associate with others that happens to be in a place where we want to be we will naturally find ourselves more motivated to act. This does not mean we give up people we love. So although the way this was originally said did not resonate with me; the impetus behind it is to get us to a place where we are motivated to keep moving.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
Personal Development this week was great. I heard so many quotes that I just loved. Some of them follow:

* Be in the now; focus on the fun and truth
* Live in the moment and know that you are in control
* Life unfolds in the present
* We squander our precious time by not being in the present
* We fret about what needs to be done; we let our thoughts control us; ordinary thoughts course through our mind like a waterfall.. step away from the current and just be. This is where you get true to yourself.
* Intentional attention on the present moment. Be with your thoughts. Awaken to the experience of living your life.
* 1. Stop thinking about improving your performance 2. Savor the present 3. Focus on the present 4. Make the most of your time by losing track of it.
* The very moment is our best teacher.
* Know that you don’t already know; Embrace the unexpected.
* Apply principles every day; consistency is a by-product of focus.
* A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, he is only braver five minutes longer (Ralph W. Emerson)

SKILL LEARNED
One of the biggest things I started to learn this week was the training around what is referred to as Natural Selling. Because I have never considered myself a sales person taking the step to Direct Sales seemed a bit at odds with who I have been. (By moving in this direction I am hugely out of my comfort zone). This training has been great. It introduces a method of selling that I had never heard of. It uses the power of dialog, detaching from the outcome, and a model of conversation that allows the individuals you are speaking to know you care and for them to open up and reveal whether they even need what you have to offer them. It allows you to qualify them without the fear and pain of rejection. Very nice to learn that selling can be about being of service to others!

MAJOR DIFFICULTY OR SETBACK
The major difficulty for me this week surrounded my guilty feelings around how I felt about my J.O.B. I have always been the individual to work hard and go over and beyond in what I do. As mentioned in another blog, I am President of our Diversity group and this is keeping me busy and is actually becoming the main thing I spend my time at while at work. My guilt stems from this focused time and lack of time on the job that I am actually getting paid for. I have also had difficulty with the financial side of things. I have wanted to raise funds to become positioned in the best way possible, however for the time being I may have to compromise until sometime in the near future.

SUMMARY OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS
So, this week, I worked with and through my goals, I made firm decisions on starting this business (started actually paying money for things). I was able to secure funds for a large part of the positioning and expense part of running this business and am looking into other ways to raise additional funds to position the way I want to, I signed up for the four week training given by my up line coaches, I paid for additional marketing training, I had conversations with my family and friends about what I was doing and was able to do so from a place of certainty. I wrote how I would not let anything get in my way; how I trusted that everything would fall into place; wrote about building a successful team; how I always be able to do that, how I always attract great people; I wrote that the universe was on my side. Wrote how I would find a way to do this; wrote how I am amazing at solving challenges and that this was not different. This week there was also a bright light on recognition that this is taking A LOT of work. Not that I thought it would be a cake walk, but this is a decision that one should not take lightly and be ready to need support of your community or a team that will be there to cheer you on your way. If you find you don’t have it, you must create it yourself!