Simply Social

The official blog for www.sociallyyours.ca


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Overcoming Fear of Failure in Business

Fear of Failure

One of the biggest obstacles in life generally speaking is FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real).  It is also one of the biggest obstacles in business.  I recently came across this article and I’d like to share a few points from it.

“I’d like to start a small business but…”

 Does this describe you at this point?

 What’s holding you back?

 When I get the chance to ask people this question in person, often they respond that they’re afraid of failing – not in so many words, mind you, but that’s what it boils down to.

 They say things such as “I’d like to start a small business but I don’t know if enough people would be interested in buying this product.” Or “I’d like to start a small business but I’m not very good at selling.” Or even “I’d like to start a small business but I don’t know if I could make enough money to live on.”

 See? The obstacle to starting a small business is not actually about products or selling or money – it’s fear.

 Now fear that saves you from physical harm, such as the fear you feel when you see a huge slavering dog standing in your path or the fear that prevents most of us from shooting over Niagara Falls in a barrel, is a healthy thing. But the kind of fear that prevents you from doing things that you want to do that will enrich you is not.

 If fear of failure is what is preventing you from starting a small business, you have to get around it and forge ahead.

 How can you break your paralysis and do this? You have to do two things:

  1. Prepare to succeed
  2. Change your attitude to failure

1) Prepare to Succeed

The first thing you need to do to prepare to succeed is to learn how to do it. You already know how to fail. You can fail by doing nothing or you can fail by doing stupid things. But how do you succeed? By finding out exactly what you would need to be successful and ensuring that those needs are met.

For instance, suppose that I want to start a small business selling herbal soaps and bath products. For this business to be successful, I need to have essentially three things:

  1. Enough people who want to buy the soaps and bath products I’m selling
  2. A product whose quality and price is competitive enough that people want to buy it
  3. A way to bring the two of these (people and product) together

 

So there are the basic needs. Now all I have to do is figure out how to meet these needs. The best way to do this is to work through a business plan. The Business Plan Outline will lead you through the process of writing a business plan of your own. Working through a business plan will fill in the gaps in your knowledge and provide the details of how you’re going to do what needs to be done to start and run a particular small business successfully. Your business plan will be, in effect, your blueprint for success.

2) Change Your Attitude towards Failure

Why are you afraid of failure?

Most people fear failure for one of these two reasons:

  1. Failure makes you a bad person, a “loser” that others look down on.
  2. You could lose all or most of your money and/or your possessions.

Both of these are misconceptions. Failure doesn’t change your genes or your personality. It affects some people’s actions negatively, but it’s not negative in itself. Will you be a “loser” if you fail? Well only if you allow yourself to be. “It’s not being down; it’s staying down” that makes you a loser.

Will others look down on you? Some people might. You can’t control the thoughts or actions of other people – so why lose sleep over them?

My point is that failure can be uncomfortable and unpleasant, but is not life-threatening. And failure is always an opportunity of one kind or another – an opportunity to stretch beyond our usual boundaries, to learn something valuable, or to make previously undreamed-of connections. Remembering this positive face of failure and focusing on it will go a long way towards changing your attitude about it.

Starting and running your own small business could be one of the most enriching experiences of your life. Don’t let your fear of failure make you miss out.

You are not going to be able to outrun your fear. But eventually, once you build on enough successes, you will be able to tame it. Why not start now?


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I found a great article on how shifting your thinking can make any business successful.  It was written three years ago.  Please enjoy would love to hear your feed back.

September 17th, 2010

BOSTON, MA — September 15, 2010
Earlier this year, The Collaborative released its S.H.I.F.T Model for Success™, which has been embedded into the curriculum for Suffolk University’s Leadership and Social Responsibility class for the fall semester. According to Beverly Flaxington, Collaborative Principal, after two decades of working with organizations and individuals it was apparent the time had come for a “shift” in the traditional thought processes.

“Most individuals and organizations overlook the key component to achieving success.  This is the “I” in the model – ‘Identify the human element.’   Human emotions, relationships, stakeholders, etc. come into play in every situation and most models overlook their impact entirely. I ask that people and organizations Specify their goals (S),highlight and categorize their obstacles (H) and then identify the human factor (I) before they go into brainstorming alternatives and finding their options (F). Then, at the end of the process it’s common to just set an overall goal instead of taking disciplined action (T) as my model outlines,” Flaxington said.“ We’ve successfully used this model with individuals, start-ups and established organizations with great success.”  According to Flaxington, having the specific steps outlined significantly increases the chances of goal achievement.

This was apparent to the administration of Suffolk University where Flaxington serves as a part-time lecturer of management and entrepreneurship.   The course Flaxington helps teach is taken by all undergraduate business students.  It was created out of a desire to teach students that not-for-profits are run by leaders who need solid business skills to handle the many resource constraints their organizations face. They learn about the importance of networking and strategic partnerships.

A representative from a Boston-area not-for-profit speaks to the class about challenges and obstacles the organization faces. The students are then charged with finding solutions and creating a plan for the not-for-profit to implement.” It’s exciting to have the model used in such an important endeavor – a class where students are learning about how to offer real help to a not-for-profit and use a proven model to provide this help”, says Flaxington.

According to Laurie Levesque, Associate Dean in Suffolk’s Sawyer Business School, “This model assists people move effectively through the phases of problem definition, idea generation, and solution planning. It has provided students with structure for problem-solving while simultaneously encouraging their creativity.”

 


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Tips on Enjoying Summer

Summer has just begun and if you’re stuck on what to do this season, here are a few tips by Monica Resinger of Creative Home and Gardening:

  1. Brew a pot of sun tea. Put desired amount of tea
    bags in a sun tea jar or other glass jar, fill with water
    and set in the sun. Add fresh herbs at this point if you
    wish. Let sit in the sun until tea has reached color
    you desire. Sweeten to taste, chill and serve over ice.
  1. Cook on the grill whenever possible. Not only is
    this a pleasant way to cook but you don’t heat up your
    kitchen and the food is delicious.
  1. Lay in the sun and read a good book. Be sure to put your sunscreen on!
  1. Take a drive to the country, the mountains, the
    ocean, the desert or other place of nature. Pack a
    picnic if you wish or stop to get hamburgers at a
    small-town hamburger shop. The burgers are much better than city fast food!
  1. Take a bike ride around your neighbourhood. Look for ideas people have used to decorate their yards and
    use them yourself. Enjoy the blooming flowers and nature.
  1. Play outdoor games. Frisbee and badminton are great if it’s just your family. If you can get a group together, try volleyball or baseball.
  1. Pack a picnic and go fishing. This is fun with or
    without a boat. Be sure to bring sunscreen.
  2. Go yard saling. What a great way to have fun and
    find many bargains! A lot of local and freebie papers
    have yard sale directories to help you map out a plan
    of action.
  1. Have a yard sale. Get rid of clutter and earn some
    cash. Fill a cooler with pop and sell individual cans<BR>
    or have the kids sell lemonade. Enjoy Summer
  1. Play in the water at the local pool, WaterPark or
    lake.

    Above all be sure you take advantage of the warm
    summer months and enjoy as much as possible!


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Having Fun as a Business Owner

Having fun as business ownerIf you’re a business owner like me, having fun can sometimes seem impossible to do.  Here are some tips from “Start Up My Website: Internet Marketing Strategies” that will show you why it is important to have fun regardless of what business your in.

Sometimes we get so bogged down with the busy work of running our businesses that we forget the initial excitement and inspiration that drove to take that leap into business-ownership!  Sometimes with all the stresses, the to-do lists and the monotony we simply forget HOW to have fun.

This is not only sad and a waste, it should also be a lesson for all of us.  Life is too short not to enjoy what one does 8, 10, 12 or more hours a day.

Eight Irresistible Principles of Having Fun

  1. Stop hiding who you really are.
  2. Start being intensely selfish.
  3. Stop following the rules.
  4. Start scaring yourself.
  5. Stop taking it all so damn seriously.
  6. Start getting rid of the crap.
  7. Stop being busy.
  8. Start something.

What the ROI (Return on Investment) on having Fun?

What if the unit of currency was fun instead of dollars? What if we used that fun currency to buy and sell things?  As they say, “Do what you love, and the money will follow“.  Once you start having fun in your business, the results start coming.

  1. Get back to doing the things you love to do!  You remember …  the skills and talents that your clients pay you for!   Delegate the daily tasks and mundane work that anyone can do to others.  You’ll start having fun again and revitalize the passion and drive you had when you began.
  2. Take a Break!  I say this a lot but I’ll say it again:  the best way to start having fun in your business is to walk away from it for awhile.  Recharge and get rejuvenated. Take a day off from work, and get a fresh perspective outside of your office or workspace.  When you return, you’ll feel energized, have new ideas and a new sense of motivation.
  3. Remove the Clutter!  As per the video above, clutter can be physical but it also can be emotional.  A clean, organized workspace lends itself to an uncluttered, more productive mind.  And a positive outlook and a healthy dose of self-confidence lends itself to limitless potential.  Get rid of the self-doubt, emotional baggage, and negative thoughts.
  1. Remove the Naysayers!  This is similar to removing emotional clutter, but just as beneficial.  Take a hard look at the people in your lives … are those close to you and your company (co-workers, clients, employees, vendors) supportive of your business, creative, fun and POSITIVE?  If not, it may be time to clean out the Rolodex as well as your desktop.
  1. Take a chance! It’s okay to be scared of the unknown, but years of monotony and unfulfilled dreams is the real nightmare and could prove fatal to your business.  Realize your potential, be an innovator in your industry, allow your business plan to grow and evolve, and be creative.  Fun ignites creativity which fuels innovation, the cornerstone of building a business.

 

 

 

 


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Having a Work Life Balance as an Entrepreneur – Taken from The Pitch Clinic

 

It’s definitely not easy to be a business owner.  What sometimes makes it even more challenging is trying to manage a family at the same time.  The following is an article I found that helps to shed light on this situation:

As an up and coming business owner, have you ever thought, “When do I have time to take a break let alone a vacation?”. This seems to be a main question when it comes to running your own business. Here’s an article I found interesting that talks about just that. It’s taken from The Pitch Clinc:

Bunker Hunt once said

To be successful, you must decide exactly what you want to accomplish, then resolve to pay the price to get it.”

For some, this philosophy flies in the face of entrepreneurs being able to enjoy a work life balance.

After having spent 15 years as an attorney working with other attorneys and 10 years working as an entrepreneur with entrepreneurs, I believe that the joy of a work life balance is a sacrifice that most entrepreneurs will have to make (at least, in the early years), if they want to achieve success in their entrepreneurial life

While, as some have recently commented, it’s essential that an entrepreneur retain their physical and mental health (though a degree of craziness can be beneficial ), that is not the same as saying entrepreneurs must strive to achieve a work life balance.

Every successful attorney or entrepreneur I have come across has spent a considerable period of their working life being obsessed with their work, working insane hours and neglecting their family and friends. These are not ‘badges of honor’, but the price that entrepreneurs pay.

There seems to be a relationship between the greater the sacrifice the greater the level of success as an entrepreneur.  This is a generalization based on my own observations rather than a statistical analysis, but a view I know many entrepreneurs share. Clearly, it is for each entrepreneur to decide what price they are willing to pay.

Perhaps Seneca had entrepreneurs in mind when he said

It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness.

The key drivers for entrepreneurs are independence in every sense, leaving their mark on the world and personal satisfaction. Rewards that are difficult, if not impossible to achieve in most 9-5 employed jobs.

So perhaps the last word should be left to Leon J. Suenes who said

Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.“Businss Ownership and Family Balance


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Why Perfectionism and Business Don’t Mix

 

Are you a perfectionist?
If so, then the following information is definitely for you.  I found this great article on “Living Moxie” it’s deep and I wanted to share it with you. So here it goes.

Do you want to be the person with the business that has no faults, blemishes and pimples?

Does the thought of anyone picking holes in what you’re doing, disagreeing with or not liking your ‘stuff’ whisk you up into a cold sweat?

Do you think your perfectionism is actually a strive for excellence in your business?

Yes? Keep reading.
No? Go and do something else. (LOL)

Why Business and Perfectionism Don’t Mix

1. It can stop you ‘being yourself’, and people i.e. your potential customers/clients/prospects need to know who they are doing business with
2. It can prevent you taking a calculated risk, accepting a challenge and stepping up.
3. It can kill your creativity and imagination because you spend the time defending yourself and observing your own success.
4. It’s frustrating; it’s stressful and causes anxiety.
5. It wastes time. So much time

I’m in recovery from perfectionism. Yeah, we’re all in recovery for something. This was (one of) mine. And I use the word recovery, because I’m not going to say to you that one day I woke up and I was completely cured from my affliction. Weird, you’d expect an (ex) perfectionist to be perfectly healed, huh? There are occasions when the battle continues.

It could be a new idea for a project, a workshop, a blog post, a piece of writing, a comment made on someone else’s blog, a graphic, a header, geez even a Facebook update or a tweet, sometimes the perfectionism lurgy can raise it’s head.

Recovery means that it’s a journey: most of the time (now) it’s not an issue, but some days I can fall back into the perfectionists behaviours, including the occasional negative mental chitchat that perfectionism feeds and thrives on. I’m not sure if a complete cure will ever be achieved. But at least the perfectionist days are well outnumbered. Mainly using the tips I’m going to share with you below.

But first.

Excellence and Perfectionism Are Not One and The Same

Here’s a gift for you…

Perfectionism is setting your own standards too high. If you don’t ‘make it’ then you come down harsh on yourself.

The strive for excellence is the setting of high standards and to accept that mistakes and errors will be made. No harshness, just learning.

See, BIG difference. I’d say a strive for excellence even sounds better!

A Little Psychology…

According to Hamchek  there are two types of perfectionism ‘normal’ and ‘neurotic’.

Hamchek says normal perfectionists are always striving to do their best, they get a (healthy) kick out of putting in the slog to be near darned perfect. Neurotic perfectionists never obtain satisfaction in what they are doing because in their eyes they will never be good enough.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think any type of perfectionism is healthy (now). I can’t put together ‘healthy’ and ‘perfectionism’ in the same sentence any more. Mainly because of the stress and ill health it creates.

How To Know if Perfectionism is Screwing You and Your Business Up…

Try these…

1. How do you feel when you have made a mistake and it’s been seen by others?

Perfectionists answer: awful, embarrassed, shamed, I must retreat for a few days!

Non perfectionist answer: ah well, oops, live and learn!

2. When have you held back because what you were working on wasn’t ‘quite right’?

Perfectionist answer: em, well, it wasn’t right.

Non perfectionist answer: em, much better out there and seen, rather than on my desktop.

3. Growing up, did anyone have extremely high expectations of you? Do you ask them of others?

4. Do you get frustrated when things don’t go to plan, even though it wasn’t your fault?

5. Do you stop expressing how you really feel?

6. Are you a time waster?

Seemingly procrastination and perfectionism aren’t related. Perfectionism wastes time, because of the strive for no errors, mistakes, opportunities for people to judge. Perfectionists get a lot done, but never to the standard they are happy with.

7 1/2 Tips to Ditching Perfectionism to Save Your Sanity

1. Hang out with people that will slap you…

Okay, not physical violence, that’s just wrong.

I mean, hang out with people that will be able to help you put a sudden end to perfectionism.

People that you trust, people who are good for you. People who are on the same wavelengths. People who you can send a quick email, pick the phone, have a call on Skype. Tell them you have the case of the perfectionisms! They will ‘slap’ it. Even better is to tell someone what to do before the call ever takes place (see No 5 below).

2. See it as the enemy, not your work

Today you can only do your best, and tomorrow your best will be better, and the day after that even better still.

Acknowledge that you’re ‘just being a perfectionist‘, one of the keys to any change is admitting it’s there in the first place.

3. Question your own beliefs

Perfectionism isn’t ‘out there’, it resides within you. It can only appear because of the beliefs you have. Revisit the people ‘mentally’ who put high expectations on you or who help you form your beliefs around perfectionism.

4. Set your own rules/boundaries

Start by saying ‘my best, right now, is good enough‘. You can only get better, the more you grown, learn, age, experience. Of course what you are doing right now may not your best in a few years time, that’s okay. That’s business!

Heck, that’s the core of business to be good at what you do and get better. That’s excellence in action. The perfectionist doesn’t ‘see’ this. They expect it all to be perfect now. I’d recommend you have a set of rules in place. Know what you will do when perfectionism is creeping in.

5. Know your own triggers

There is a great tool that called WRAP, wellness recovering action planning.   One of the parts of the tool is to identify what you will do BEFORE the unwanted behaviour starts to occur, so you can nip it in the bud before it takes root. So for instance, I know that procrastination was a symptom of my perfectionism.

I had identified that ‘trigger’. That meant that I could nip it in the bud quicker.

6. Acknowledge your mistakes, get help on your weaknesses

Yes. That means saying ‘whoops I screwed up’ every now and then. Seriously, do you honestly believe people will not forgive you for making a mistake? Go back to No 3. This is a belief that just isn’t true.

7. Set realistic goals

That means goals that are within your reach and not out of sight. Sure, have the HUGG ones, (Huge Unbelievable Gigantic Goals) they are there to motivate and inspire. Internal motivation comes from acknowledging small goals every step of the way.

7 1/2. Put on the back burner the ideas and projects that you aren’t ready for, yet.

Oh, this is a biggie, but your business and sanity I do hope you ‘get’ what I mean. I’m not saying give up or don’t start. As a solo business owner you have that entrepreneurial ‘streak’ within you, and you’ll have the ideas, no doubt about it.

Get one thing done to completion, have it 95% to your liking and get it out there. You can tweak as you go. You probably also have ideas for projects, ask yourself honestly ‘can I do this now?’, do you have all the resources? Solo biz owners (in my experience) try to do everything all at once.

The door to burnout is aiming for perfection in every area.

 

eggs-in-basket-final


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Five Reasons why Business Owners Need to Work Out

 

I absolutely hate to exercise.  Sweating, breathing, inhaling in and out… I hate all of it.  But however much I hate it, exercise is necessary not only for your body but also for your mind.  The following is a great article I found by Margie Claymen.  In it she outlines five important reasons why business owners need to exercise and the benefits of doing so:

 

  1. Stress Relief – Exercise has a way of taking your mind off of what might be stressing you out. Yoga can add an element of meditation; while more aerobic exercise helps you work off that extra energy.

 

  1. Endorphins – Exercise releases endorphins, which we all need in our brains to trigger happy thoughts. Some might call this an “exercise high”.Exercise and Business Owners

 

  1. Away from the computer – It’s easy to stay seated all day long, especially in front of a computer, when you have a lot of work to do. Working some exercise into your routine ensures that your eyes, shoulders, and neck get a break and that your legs get a work-out!

 

  1. Sitting all day may kill you – No, really check this out July 2012 article from CNN so why risk it?

 

  1. Alone Time – Exercising ensures you a little bit of time to yourself. Walking, jogging, the elliptical, or the treadmill are all great places to plug in your favourite music or podcast and take your mind off of what might be on your plate. Exercise can get you out of the office, away from your email, and away from your phone (no one wants to talk to someone who’s panting)

 

Of course the most obvious reason to build some exercise time into your schedule is that you will feel incredibly rewarded as you go along.  Why is that? You are showing a commitment to yourself and you are prioritizing yourself, even if it’s for just a tiny block of time during your workday.