I'm Struggling ...
Given all the angst and anxiety in the country and world, how do I remain focused and keep my head in the game? I wish I had “THE” answer to that question as well as all the ancillary questions; how does one live in a chaotic world? How do we establish peace amongst nations? What is the best way to combat terrorism? Just to name a few. What I can offer are some tips that have helped ground me while the earth shakes, as it always does, sometimes more violently than usual. Let’s be mindful that this is the same world that Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Venus and Serena Williams live in. And recently, Roger and Serena WON the Australian Open.
Perhaps simplistic, here are 6 ways that can you deal with uncertainty in an ever-changing world.
- Immediately, begin a meditation or mindfulness practice first thing in the morning. Lots of great books/ tapes to assist; I like, The Relaxation Response by Dr. Herbert Benson. Simply quieting the mind while setting positive and productive intentions for 15 minutes creates a powerful landscape on which to imprint our day.
- Journal daily. Thoughts, fears, questions, gratitude, anger, successes, failures. Facing these written demons and angels allows us to distinguish between negative or disempowering beliefs and thinking patterns and those that are more life affirming and empowering. When we “know thyself” and become more self-aware. we can then actively avoid certain triggers that cause angst.
- Be amongst nature. See, smell and feel the trees, beach, mountains, animals. They were here first and hold many answers to our questions if we simply take the time and find the quiet to really listen.
- Hold emotions in check. Emoting rarely solves critical problems. Read all sides, all opinions, fact check, ask questions. “Is that comment based on fact or just your opinion?” “How do you know that to be true?” “From what source did you learn that?”
- Avoid arguing opinion and beliefs. That’s a zero-sum game. Seek first to understand; debate facts and figures. Agreement is not necessary; respect, absolutely.
- Stay true to personal goals and objectives. Remember, Nietzche, “He who has a ‘why’ to live for can bear almost any ‘how.’” What is our “why?" What is important about achieving what we want? And finally, as with Roger and Serena, are we willing TO DO what we must in order to get what we say we want?
They were. They did. They won. Same worldly, chaotic existance.
Therefore, we can.
Can you imagine what today looks like for Lester Holt, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump? Do you think they are currently practicing and rehearsing their talking points? Do you think they have been role playing in front of adversarial surrogates? Do you think they have been coached by their strategists, stylists and other multiple consultants? Do you think they will be EXTREMELY prepared, mentally, physically, emotionally by 6:00 pm PST tonight for what many consider to be the Presidential “at stake” debate? Yes! The stakes are extremely high for all three individuals ... high enough that their futures and reputations are on the line (Not to mention the country’s!).
Now, think about your most recent listing appointment. How would you compare your preparatory process to these individuals? Did you practice and rehearse your talking points? Did you role play your objection handlers and closing techniques? What did you do to prepare mentally, physically and emotionally to tackle a high financial stake presentation? The “connect the dots” analogy here: Do you take your appointments as seriously as the Presidential candidates take their debates?
Having spent the summer lounging, reading, beaching, barbecuing, partying, picnicking, concerting and vacationing, September represents the month of change, where we transition back to business “as usual,” yet with renewed energy and commitment!
September offers us opportunity to recalibrate, prepare and plan for the final quarter of the year.
What makes this month so critical? How we treat September directly affects both the energy and momentum we bring to the months of October, November and December; those pivotal months, in turn, directly affect the manner in which we launch into the upcoming January. Imagine beginning the new year with solid leads and sales in the pipeline; all readily achievable, provided we take action now!
Here are a few tips to help regain your equilibrium in September so you can make the most of your final quarter:
- It's not too late to plan. Create, revisit, or recreate a simple, realistic and achievable 90-day set of both personal and business goals you wish to achieve by year end. Identify in writing 2-3 specific activities per goal you intend to undertake in order transform that desire into reality.
- Revise your daily and weekly schedule. Parents, put all the kids’ school events and holidays on your calendar first. Then, create your business schedule around your kids’ so you’re not caught off guard and you can better choose when to take time off to be with them. Once you’ve identified your work days, post this calendar in a common, viewable place so the family can see when you will NOT be available to them.
- Master your time. Time block your most critical business activities in your daily and weekly schedule. These are those precious, vital few activities that deliver the biggest outcomes and rewards. In most businesses, generating new leads, following up with already existing leads for the purpose of setting appointments and solidifying relationships are the highest income generating activities.
- Remain patiently impatient. All industries experience a sales cycle. Understand yours as well as your own personal business cycle. Acknowledge the ebbs and flows; don’t sweat it. Rather, use a lull to rethink, readjust, reorganize, re-strategize, remarket and reconnect with others when you are usually too busy to do so. Interesting to note that often by letting go, not pushing so hard, business appears. Also, recognize and accept the lag time from initial lead introduction to conversion into booked business. Continue to persevere.
- Take action. Start. Now.
Top producers know that a robust January and February is directly proportional to the momentum resulting from diligent attention to and application of their key activities from October through December. So, use September to mentally and physically prepare and brace for the final intense year end push. Experiencing results early next year, you’ll be grateful you used this month wisely!
The 2016 Olympics have begun, and athletes from around the world are striving to perform at top level to make their country proud. Team USA has earned 38 medals thus far and the games are far from over! These Olympians have been training endlessly and sacrificing so much for this shot at success. Are you an Olympian in your business? Ask yourself these questions:
- Am I putting in all the hours I can?
- Am I fully focused on bettering my technique?
- Am I dedicating myself to reaching my max potential?
- What can I do to be better?
Consider these eight tips from Olympic coaches and athletes:
- VISUALIZE SUCCESS: The vast majority of athletes and coaches say that picturing the process, not just the end result, is key. "When you close your eyes and paint the full sensory picture (see, smell, feel, etc.) of you achieving your goal, it’s like giving your brain a practice round. Not only does it make your goal tangible and thus more motivating, but it stimulates the same part of the brain as actually doing it," says Jason Rogers, a former U.S. Olympic fencer.
- REVIEW YOUR PROGRESS: We know daily routines and systems are crucial to the success of your business; as it turns out, athletes can also offer inspiring insight about the best way to start and end your day. Olympic swimmer and seven-time gold medalist James Magnussen says his daily routine helps him stay on track to achieve his goals. "I think about my goals when I wake up and what I have to do that day. Then, at the end of the day, I do a recap and think about what I did well and what I could have improved," he says. "Athletes can become solely focused on long-term goals and lose sight of what they have to do each day in order to achieve those goals."
- FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL: If you tend to compare yourself to high-achieving colleagues, you're making a common mistake. Shannon Miller, the most decorated gymnast in American history and a seven-time Olympic medalist, says "I was very focused as an athlete. I didn’t watch the other athletes ... what mattered to me was going up and hitting my routines, giving it 100% every time out. That’s what I could control, so that’s what I focused on."
- DEVELOP A STRESS RITUAL: The moment before you meet with clients can be terrifying; your heart is pounding and your nervousness is at a peak. Take a moment to steady yourself. Rogers, who believes performance is about finding the right headspace, says "I found that if I could remind myself of certain principles before a competition or match, it was easier for me to find the ‘zone.'"
- DETAIL SHORT TERM PLANS: Australian Olympic swim team coach Lach Falvey says there's one habit that can derail their success. "It's easy for athletes to get tunnel vision and get caught up on the end goal without paying attention to the process along the way," he says, noting that small daily plans are key to stay focused. "I find those [who] lose sight of the small steps and processes are those [who] lose motivation when things aren't going as planned." Remember success is a system and when the going gets tough, you need to know where you are going.
- MAINTAIN PASSION: If you're struggling with waning motivation, coaches and athletes agree that the secret is recalling why you've chosen your profession. "I think it’s easy to lose motivation when you forget why you are doing the sport in the first place," says Miller. "If you lose that spark, that passion, it’s easy to move through a workout without truly giving it your all. You have to want it." Similarly, Falvey says he prompts his Olympic team to recall why they love the sport, to maintain passion. "I never want to just tick the box or go through the motions, as I think that is one of the most disadvantageous things in life. Coaching is what I love and care about and it's that passion that motivates me." Keep your WHY in the forefront at all time!
- BUILD A STRONG SUPPORT NETWORK: "The two most common mistakes athletes make are listening to too many people or not listening at all," says Olympic track and field coach James Fitzgerald. He says his role it to remind athletes to focus and build a network of people they can trust. "Some athletes will take on too many options and begin to question themselves. [Others] will isolate themselves and forget that informed decisions and choices got them to this point. A good coach will know when to act in both situations and refocus their athlete," he says. The take home? In stressful situations, call on people you know and trust, like valued colleagues or mentors. Listen to the right people to regain your focus.
- VALUE PATIENCE: Ambition is crucial in achieving your goals, but don't underestimate the importance of patience during the process. Olympic swimmer Georgia Bohl says her career motto has helped her stay calm and focused in the lead-up to the games. "My mantra is 'life's too short to be upset or angry. Make the most of every situation you are in and don't be too hard on yourself. Everything happens in due time, you just have to be patient and be willing to do what it takes to get you there."
You don't have to be an Olympian to take the gold medal! Focus on what you can do NOW that will make you a champion in your business.