Tag Archives: success

Winston Churchill on Action

I never worry about action, but only inaction – Winston Churchill

Inaction is a choice to do nothing. You do take an action by doing nothing – you watch possibilities pass by.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Maybe it feels less risky to do nothing. Well, you have minimized the risk from taking action. But you have increased any risks that come from the inaction. It can be risky to do nothing – inertia sets in, problems become larger, opportunities become more distant.

It’s easier to course correct than to get started. That’s why I love Churchill’s quote. With action, you’re in motion and you can tweak, adjust, refine as needed. With inaction, you have to amass the momentous energy to lift off and start from nothing.

What action can you take today?

Ayn Rand on Permission v. Persistence

The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me — Ayn Rand

Do you wait for permission or do you just start and persist till you feel like doing otherwise?

In what area of life do you feel confident and creative? Maybe it’s in your volunteer role, where you have no problems coming up with ideas or raising your hand for the next project.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn what area of life do you want more confidence? Maybe it’s your job, where you haven’t asked for that raise you feel you deserve.

How can you bring more of the strengths you already have in one area of your life to another? Pretend that your boss is the head of development. Script your raise request with the energy you propose new fundraising ideas. Draw parallels between your volunteer work and your paid work until you can see how similar they are and you feel more comfortable applying your confidence across the board.

Remind yourself that you are unstoppable.

George Addair on Fear

Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear – George Addair

If you are longing for something, whether it’s a different career, a new relationship, improved fitness, more money…there is fear standing in your way, otherwise you would have achieved it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMaybe you’re working towards it, which is great, but you need to make a push or try a different strategy. Extending yourself might trigger fear. Trying something new might trigger fear. Or you might fear admitting that your efforts aren’t working.

Where are you stuck in achieving a goal?

How might fear be holding you back?

Take a quiet moment and visualize yourself making a push or trying something new. Don’t even try to change your behavior yet – just visualize. Picture yourself in your new behavior or strategy till it seems more familiar and less scary. Then give it a try.

Peter Block on Living

The goal is to balance a life that works with a life that counts. —  Peter Block

Is your life working for you?

Do you feel joy enough times during the day?

Are you getting enough rest?

Do you spend time with people you love?

Does your life count?

Are you fulfilling your commitments?

Are you sharing your potential?

Are you working towards something that yields benefits outside of yourself?

Rebecca Matthias on Business Success

Think big.  Focus.  Never give up.  That’s your mantra.  Everything else will fall into place. – Rebecca Matthias

Rebecca Matthias is CEO of Mothers Work (retail outlets include Mimi Maternity, Pea in the Pod, and Motherhood). This quote is from her book, Mothers Work, one of my favorite business books — an inspirational and informative biography detailing how a 28-year old new mother took $10,000 and built a multimillion-dollar retail company.

Are you thinking big enough?

Are you focusing your attention on your most important priorities?

Are you persisting?

Jane Addams on the Danger of Giving Up Too Soon

Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world – Jane Addams 

Some people are held back by fear – fear of failure, fear of success. Addams points out fear can propel us forward: we might instead fear not doing enough, not making a valuable contribution.

This Addams quote also calls on each of us to save the world. Our contribution might be the tipping point. We MUST continue sharing our gifts.

Where are you holding back?

For what dream can you expend an additional push, more inspired effort?

How would you act if you knew your efforts might save the world?

How to Be a More Nimble Entrepreneur – Purple Clover

In my business advice post for Purple Clover, I share tips for the executive-to-entrepreneur career change. There are habits, beliefs and behaviors from your corporate days that you do not want to carry over when you launch your business:

Most people recognize that traditional employment and entrepreneurship are different and therefore require different skills and temperaments. But surely, the corporate experience helps, right? You have extensive networks — you might even be able to sell into your former employers. You have skills and expertise — these could be your first offerings. You have the savvy that comes with navigating different environments — and therefore the savvy to navigate the different clients you might call on. However, there are also behaviors and beliefs that might be a holdover from your corporate days that no longer serve you when you strike out on your own.

“Sales is someone else’s job”

A former corporate colleague of mine who went into business for herself proclaimed assertively, “I don’t sell.” When I asked how she expected to get clients, she mentioned that she knew enough people from her corporate networks to keep her busy. That worked for a few months. Last I heard, she hired a copywriter for her site and was figuring out how to explain what she does.

In corporate America, you could focus on what you did best, and someone else was selling. If you were in sales, you could focus on that while someone else took care of marketing, finance, operations, etc. When you’re in business for yourself, you take on all jobs, especially sales. Even when you expand your team and can outsource functions, you still have to know enough about each area and be active enough in each to maintain oversight and quality control. Even when you can bring on a salesperson, you will still be the backstop in selling as no one will advocate for your business like you will. Whatever business you launch, you are in sales.

Read more Big Corporate behaviors and beliefs to avoid at Purple Clover: How to Be a More Nimble Entrepreneur.

How To Stop Attracting Deadbeat Clients – Purple Clover

In this business advice post for Purple Clover, I share three strategies for consultants, freelancers, and entrepreneurs to get clients who pay:

A Bureau of Labor statistic shows that by 2020, 40% of the workforce will be temporary. You probably already know someone who is a consultant or freelancer, and you may be one yourself. When you earn your salary project-by-project, it is critical that you get paid what you are owed in a timely manner. If you’re finding it difficult to collect, here are three strategies to follow:

Make collection a part of the process from the beginning.

Ask for a deposit. Charge a registration fee. The easiest way to avoid late payments is to make payment the first step in working with you. If you need to get started before money changes hands, ask early and ask often about getting paid. If you work onsite at the client’s office, ask to meet with accounts payable when you’re introduced to everyone else. Don’t wait till the end of a project before collecting on your fee.

Read two more strategies at Purple Clover: How To Stop Attracting Deadbeat Clients.

What Is The Better Metric: Feelings Or Numbers

What gets measured gets managed – Peter Drucker

I’m with Drucker on this one so I track things quantitatively:

  • revenues by client;
  • revenues by date (lots of businesses have seasons);
  • revenues by type of offering (sometimes ideas don’t do as well as you think they will!);
  • revenues by historical comparison (it’s helpful to understand exactly how you’re growing);
  • costs – whether recurring or one-time;
  • costs – whether fixed or variable.

On the personal side, I track my spending and my time (so I know whether or not I exercise as much as I intend to!).

…people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou

That said, sometimes feelings are the better metric. I’m not as good at this one, so I think of this quote often. If you prove a point but at the expense of the other person’s feelings, you probably still won’t get anywhere.

Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. —  Albert Einstein 

Einstein has it exactly right. There is no one suitable metric for everything. You have to run the numbers and understand your data. But not everything can be boiled down to numbers, nor should it.

What do you measure in your business and in your personal life? How do you measure it?