Just Change ONE Thing

Posted in: Motivation- May 11, 2016 No Comments

Sometimes it seems like nothing works the way it should. If you’re a human, you have probably hit that point where work is no fun, relationship is a struggle and you don’t even feel comfortable in your body.

At times like these, changing your life can seem overwhelming. There’s so much to do…where do you even start?

It’s quite simple, really…just change ONE thing.

Read a magazine article you would never typically even consider. Try a new type of restaurant. Take a different route to work. Any simple change of scenery can shift your perspective, and has the potential to drastically transform your life.

Brainstorm new product ideas for your business. Try networking. Create a Master Mind group or maybe you need to get a new accountant or pay for skilled employees who will help grow the business.

It’s like a ship at sea…if it changes course even one degree, 100 miles later it’s in completely new waters.

Of course, the most profound shifts are the ones you make on the inside. Annoyance can easily be turned into fascination. Frustration can be flipped to become gratitude. Even anger can be transformed if you simply turn it into a song.

You don’t have to tackle the whole enchilada, just make one simple shift.

And the best part is…it’s all experimentation. If you don’t like your new perspective, you can always go back to your old one.

What “one-degree” shift can YOU make TODAY?

What Are Real Goals?

Posted in: Vision and Goals- Mar 30, 2016 No Comments
Goals for life and your business are important. Everyone knows this. That’s why there are goal-setting retreats, workshops, seminars and journals. If you never pick a point on the horizon, how do you know which direction to walk?

However, most people’s goals and even many business’s goals aren’t really their goals. Many people set goals in reaction to the responsibilities, expectations and demands they face in their life. Maybe your goal is to make six figures this year, but you are motivated to make that money because you have bills to pay and mouths to feed. Maybe your goal is to finish writing your book, but it’s not because you care about the book…you just want the approval of those who’ve said, “Hey, you should write a book!” 

Maybe you are striving to get that advanced degree, but it’s only to satisfy the prodding of your parents or you think it will give you more credibility as an entrepreneur and business owner.

Real goals are the ones that YOU actually care about. They light you up, give you energy and make you feel excited. They make you want to jump at 5 am so that you can get into your office as soon as possible to start working on an innovative business idea or start putting systems and processes in place. Real goals have nothing to do with expectation or obligation, and everything to do with what matters most to YOU. You know it is a real goal because the very thought of it excites you and brings a great big smile to your face at the very thought of accomplishing it. 

Of course, we’re bombarded every day with expectation and obligation. We have to react to a constant barrage of requests, demands and last-minute emergencies. And when those are handled, it’s time to rest so we can get up and do it all again tomorrow.

Well, I say that it’s time to break the cycle. It’s time to dream.

In order to get in touch with the things that will make your life amazing, you need to take quiet time to reflect on and listen to what it is you REALLY want. What is it that you really, really want for your life and for your business? 

Leaving your family and responsibilities for a long weekend to venture into the woods for a journey of self-exploration may not be feasible.  But you can start with a simple “sit-down”.  A “sit-down” is a five-minute meditation followed by 20 minutes of journaling. Ask yourself, “What do I really want?” The real answers will feel thrilling. Write them down. Circle the most exciting ones, put realistic deadlines next to them, and create your action plan.

Often our dreams feel far away, impossible to achieve, or unreachable for a variety of reasons we’ve made up in our minds, or others have told us.  But MANY goals are achievable when we think them through, plan them out in simple steps, and consistently allocate time to them. 

Life is too short to spend it chasing someone else’s goals or dismissing your own because someone else said it’s not possible.  Don’t’ wait another moment – pursue your real goals today.

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30 March 2016

Success Step 1: Set a Goal!

Posted in: Vision and Goals- Mar 20, 2016 No Comments

There are so many tips and tricks out there on how to best set and manage your goals, and at times it can all seem a bit… overwhelming.

The most important tip anyone can ever give you on goal-setting is this: Just set a goal.

Once your goal is set (and hopefully written down), it becomes a real thing. Before that, it is just a dream, an idea…something intangible in your mind. Once you state it clearly and write it down, your play is set in motion.

Setting your goal is the first step toward success, and thus the most important one. After that, the universe will align and conspire to assist you. Doors will open, opportunities will arise and things will start to fall into place. Before you know it momentum will be carrying you forward.

Of course, after you get started you can refine your goal, strategize how you will keep moving down the field, and fine tune how you handle the challenges you’ll encounter along the way. But you don’t need to know all these things to call the first play…just call it and get started.

As the old saying goes, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”

What goals will YOU kick off TODAY?

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20 March 2016

What Does Being the HERO in Your Life Mean?

Posted in: Motivation- Mar 10, 2016 No Comments
  • “I don’t have enough time in one day”
  • “There isn’t enough money.”
  • “I don’t have enough resources.”
  • “It’s just too complicated”
  • “My partner always expects me to understand”
  • “Why can’t he do it?”

I am sure you have found yourself using one or more of these complaints in a week. Complaining never seems to serve us. It does not solve the problem and it just leaves us felling more helpless than ever!

So why do we complain?

I have a theory…

Our complaints are our way of excusing ourselves from taking risks and moving forward. We justify our excuses for not taking action by means of so called believable complaints. However, no matter what, at the end of the day after all that complaining, you are still in the same position as you were before the seemingly valid ‘complaints’. If you unpack each of the complaints mentioned above and all the others in your life, you will discover that, although, they do represent difficulties, they are not truthfully valid reasons for not doing something. 

There is always a way around most complaints or difficulties, whether big or small. So the first step in moving forward is to recognize if your complaints are in fact excuses for you not living the life you want and for not running the successful business you dream of.

…What’s YOUR reason for complaining?

Are you willing to stop complaining and instead make the decision to be the HERO in your life?

Be different, stop complaining, stop making excuses and take charge of your destiny!

Commit to winning at work and succeeding at life. Strive to grow, improve, progress and reach your potential and in this way you will create a lasting impact in your life and leave a lasting impact on your world.

You can! You have come this far and I am sure you can go a little or a lot farther. 

In Love and Light

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10 March 2016

Top 10 Ways to Lead by Example

Posted in: Leadership- Mar 09, 2016 No Comments

Good leaders must lead by example. Through their actions, which are aligned with what they say, they become a person others want to follow. When leaders say one thing but do another, they erode trust, a critical element of productive leadership. Here are 10 of the dozens of ways to lead by example.

  • Take responsibility. Blame costs you your credibility, keeps team members on the defensive and ultimately sabotages real growth.
  • Be truthful. Inaccurate representation affects everyone. Show that honesty really IS the best policy.
  • Be courageous. Walk through fire (a crisis) first. Take calculated risks that demonstrate commitment to a larger purpose.
  • Acknowledge failure. It makes it OK for your team to do the same and defines failure as part of the process of becoming extraordinary.
  • Be persistent. Try, try again. Go over, under or around any hurdles to show that obstacles don’t define your company or team.
  • Create solutions. Don’t dwell on problems; instead be the first to offer solutions and then ask your team for more.
  • Listen. Ask questions. Seek to understand. You’ll receive valuable insights and set a tone that encourages healthy dialogue.
  • Delegate liberally. Encourage an atmosphere in which people can focus on their core strengths.
  • Take care of yourself. Exercise, don’t overwork and take a break. A balanced team, mentally and physically, is a successful team. Model it, encourage it, support it!
  • Roll up your sleeves. Like Alexander the Great leading his men into battle, you’ll inspire greatness in your company.

Good leaders achieve success because they encourage their people to progress and move forward with inspiration, motivation, excitement, trust, and a purposeful vision of the future and because … they lead by example. What they say and what they do match up. 

How do you measure as a leader in your personal life and in your business? 

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9 March 2016

Venturing Into The Unknown

Posted in: Motivation- Mar 03, 2016 2 Comments

What is familiar and known is comfortable. We know what to expect. We know how the story goes. And we know how we will respond. This applies to our lives and our businesses. 

There is nothing wrong with being comfortable and content. It is nice and important to be able to rest up and enjoy what we have created and worked hard for, but the trouble sets in when we become too comfortable for too long periods of time. Why? Well when we are too comfortable we actually get bored, we become stagnant and although we know we need a change, by this stage we have become lazy, complacent and also to fearful to make a change; fearful of losing what we have.  

So, there are times throughout our lives when we must leave what we know, and venture into the unknown if we are to grow and progress. All the entrepreneurs I have ever met do want to improve, progress and move forward. Although there is no map for this vast wilderness, one is not wholly unprepared. You always have a guide to turn to namely your intuition.

Instead of relying on a map to guide you, you learn to “follow your instincts.” And those instincts lead you on a journey that is all your own. And what you discover along the way is who you really are and what you really love. Unrefined and un-mapped, the wilderness of your intuition leads you to discoveries and experiences you never would have had if you stayed where you were comfortable. 

In which areas of your life have you become too staid, rigid or stuck? What about your business? For how long have you been doing business the same way? Have you thought of the fact that if you introduced new systems, new processes, a new sales or marketing technique that it may actually increase your turnover and profits by a whole lot more.

Is it time that you go into the wilderness? What journey will you take that leads you to new discoveries and opportunities? Imagine what’s out there for you if you venture away from what’s familiar and comfortable and follow your intuition into the vast unknown.

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3 March 2016

Accessing the Power of Gratitude

Posted in: Motivation- Dec 26, 2015 No Comments

The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.

But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a word of thanks

We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.

That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.

Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.

There are many things to be grateful for: the beautiful seasons, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, courage, life partners, lifestyles, creative business, warm jackets, white beaches, the ability to read, travel, our health, pets. What’s on your list?

Some Ways to Practice Gratitude

  • Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.
  • Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.
  • Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your night-time routine.
  • Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.
  • When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.
  • Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, express thanks for gratitude.

As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work.

My best wishes for days, months and years full of gratitude that will change your life and your business just by the sheer practice of acknowledging and giving thanks for all that is right and working for you!

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26 December 2015

 

Attention All Leaders!

Posted in: Leadership- Dec 16, 2015 No Comments

What’s the glue for a successful sustainable and profitable business? There are  many possible answers and I am sure that they would all be correct to varying degrees, but one stands above the rest and that is good leadership. Without good leadership you could find yourself with a directionless business and with disillusioned and disappointed employees. Poor leadership can quickly cause a solid dream to become a fairy-tale on shaky ground. Leadership is a very serious topic for all aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners whether it be of small or very large-sized companies.

So what can you do to ensure that your employees have a great leader to believe in and to make them want to be part of something that they can be proud of and in the process become your best fans and supporters. If you are not a natural born leader it is no reason to squirm away from the idea. There is a lot you can do to learn the skills of leadership and practice yourself into a ‘natural born leader’ and it cannot be ignored because the truth is that employees need to be led and not only managed. Leaders are there to create the vision, provide direction, motivate and inspire employees and in essence encourage and bring about the change needed to succeed.

There are different kinds of leaders just as there are different kinds of managers. Whichever kind of leader you are or want to be it is important to understand what is required to be a great leader. Dr. Mark Manley in his book The Leadership says that effective leaders “… have a high concern for efficacy while pursuing meaningful progress.” A leader’s main objective is to bring about change by having or creating a vision and apply strategies to achieve the vision.

Some of the most important key essentials for a great leader are: Vision, passion, communication, influence, consistency and self-control or self-mastery. Leaders walk the talk. Great leaders can be compared to the captain of a ship who has a destination to reach and keeps the ship on course. He does this by applying the skills mentioned above with integrity and with a very strong sense of mission and purpose.

The path of leadership can be a terrifying one. A business never remains static.  A company could go through many high and lows in its lifetime and although true leaders have much influence they cannot always navigate or control external circumstances such as politics, economics, social change, technology, environment and legal factors (PESTEL). And so it is essential that leaders understand their personal strengths and weaknesses, the nature of their industry and all the elements needed to build and grow their business.

Great leaders do not rest on their laurels; they do not rely on what they already know or sweep their weaknesses under the carpet. They really understand what is required of them, they use their natural abilities well and upskill themselves where they need to and they make sure they are always in the know of the environment they are operating in.

Are you that leader? Are you up for the challenge? If not, I would suggest that you hand the reins over to someone who is so that your business can thrive and succeed. But if you are, and I am guessing that by reading this article you are, the more time you spend with your employees and practice true leadership, you will find that your base of loyal followers will grow with much enthusiasm and this will help facilitate the positive and focused growth that you envision for your business and for each and every one of your employees ultimately creating a lasting legacy you can be proud of.  

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16 December 2015

What Does Playing Bigger In Your Business Look Like?

Posted in: What is Entrepreneur?- Dec 06, 2015 No Comments

If you keep trying to just get by, that is what you’re going to get! You’ll always manage to just pay the bills, just have enough clients and just about earn yourself a salary from the business. You’ll never get to a place where you can count on the business to provide a lifestyle for you that you dreamed of when you started out to create a profitable, sustainable and ever-growing business.

If this is you, just face it! It’s time to play bigger, think bigger, do bigger and be bigger…and it has to start right now if you really mean business.

Too many entrepreneurs with small to medium-sized businesses get too “comfortable” with just making it and they get into the habit of  “wishing” and “hoping” that somehow one day it will all turn around.  

However, this habit of sticking your head in the sand and just hoping that you will wake up to a booming business doesn’t help you. 

It is time to get real, let go of hoping, wishing and wanting and be bigger than you currently are. It is time to get out there and create the business and the life you desire.  

When you think big, play big, do big you get big results…

So why not start playing big now?

In many entrepreneurs minds, having a business means not being an employee and not having to clock in and out of work. Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but the fact of the matter is you may be an employee in your business and you are worse off than when you had a job because you work around the clock and don’t earn a salary even close to what you earned when you had a job. 

I often get feedback from business owners who complain about not being able to grow their business because there is no time for it. The challenge is that they are stuck in doing the technical work required. An example I will use in this article is an expert ‘baker; who gets stuck in the baking of cakes day in, day out instead of working on the needs of the business. It is true that the entrepreneur is great and maybe even the best at what he or she does and that is why they started the business in the first place, but then they get stuck in baking because that is what they know how to do and are comfortable doing. They think of themselves as the ‘baker’ and not as thriving owner of a baking business.

If you keep ‘baking’ that’s exactly what you are going to be – an expert baker! Your business will only be able to earn a minimum income and will never be able grow so that you can earn your real freedom from a ‘job’ and create wealth for both your business and your life.

If you are that ‘baker’ isn’t it time to start thinking big now?  

Take an honest look at your business. Is it where you dreamed it would be right now? If not, don’t wait a single moment longer. What are you waiting for? Jeepers! If what you have been doing by playing small has not gotten you where you want to be playing, the chances are that nothing is going to change unless YOU change the way you are thinking. 

I’m not here to dispute the very bold moves you have taken by stepping into a world where courage is a necessity, but you cannot afford to rest on those moves any longer. You are reading this because you had bigger dreams for yourself when you left your job and started your own business.

So play big! Invest in the business by employing the best baker, and get out there and find more customers so that you can pay their salary and then some.

Stop playing around with small change. Play bigger. Think bigger. Do bigger. Be bigger. Make sure your ‘bakery’ is different and speaks to the ‘bigness’ in your life and then witness your customers wanting more of what you have to offer.

Get yourself and your business in front of a lot of people, ‘bake’ what you need to bake, show your customers why you are the best and make them want more of what you’ve got to offer them. Make them want your big life, your big heart, you big business.

How do you think I would feel if I walked into your bakery where there were a limited variety of muffins to buy and only 1 or 2 customers drinking coffee? Not so great right? So ask yourself “What the heck is wrong here? I don’t want only 3 kinds of muffins on display and I don’t want 1 or 2 customers sitting at my tables. I want 7 muffin varieties. I want a queue of customers hoping to be lucky enough to get a table.”

The gem is that you don’t have to wait to get to that point. You can start now by just being bigger in the way you think and by the actions you take. Whatever you can do to play big, do that now! Do one thing to double your clients in one month or maybe even one week. Start a Facebook campaign, get into a magazine, write an article, offer something that will an attract customers to your ‘bakery’. Just do one thing that introduces your business to the community and showcases your value. Make a statement that says no matter what, you are not prepared to play small anymore.

Play bigger and don’t wait until it is too late!

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Kim Knight

6 December 2015

How to Turn Business Overwhelm into Business Results!

Posted in: Managing your Business- Nov 21, 2015 No Comments

In business today we have an unlimited amount of information at the push of a button!

If you want to learn how to get clients, market your business, capture your finances or start up or grow a business there are in effect …

thousands and thousands of pages of information, of programs, of courses and workshops, of conferences, special events

Right on your doorstep whenever you want just by going on your computer in the comfort of your home office.

The problem is, however, that not all the information applies to you, but when you are searching online the chances are that you do end up signing for some interesting “free tips & tools” or free “how to” emails,  videos or short courses.

Make no mistake, the information is great and you can’t seem to get enough of it!

…but before you know it you’ve subscribed yourself to an uncountable number of 

different experts sharing with you 100’s of ways on how to grow your business!

What happens?

  • There is an overload of information
  • You become overwhelmed
  • This leaves you more stuck than when you were before you started looking for information
  • You cannot decide on which direction to go
  • You suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) if you decide to choose just one expert’s idea
  • And so you try out many different things leaves you feeling exhausted and which costs you heavily in time, effort, and financial resources
  • In fact you find yourself in a position where you feel like you are drowning

But the problem does not lie with the amount of information…

The problem sits with us

We think we have to try every single thing possible to get more clients instead of (1) choosing one strategy (2) focus consistently, (3) follow through and then (4) measure the results after a reasonable period of time.

The reason WHY so many Business Owners never see results is because they do not give themselves enough time to apply, they do not follow through, and they hardly ever strategically measure the results of their approach

and so when you o not get the quick results you were hoping for you go onto to yet another expert’s call to action. There is no problem with the expert, but there is a problem with us wanting to try out everything and not mastering even 1 method, concept or strategy.  

So what’s lacking is not a need for more information, more courses or more eBooks.

What’s missing is a short supply of focus and accountability

When we focus on any one thing and hold ourselves accountable to stand a far greater chance of seeing real outcomes with positive results.

And this ‘law’ is the same for anything you want to accomplish in life.

With consistent focus and follow through of a chosen activity, strategy or method, you can achieve a lot in a short amount of time.

For example, you could learn to skateboard fairly quickly by practicing just 1 hr every day.

You could improve your Forex Trading skills by trading regularly and reading relevant trading news for a few hours every week.

You could learn how to live more in the present by dedicating only 10 min in your daily calendar to meditation.

However, without focus and without follow through, it is very easy to get distracted and to procrastinate

It is true that especially in the beginning stages of your business  you’ll be you’ll be doing the admin, you’ll be doing the finances, you’ll be running operations and you’ll be expected to be the sales & marketing guru as well as be responsible for the timely and quality driven delivery to your clients.

And so, it is even more important that you decide on your one approach and focus on that because new Business Owners fly solo and could do so for quite some time. This means that your time is limited and while fulfilling many different roles in the business there really is not much time left over to focus on more than one of anything for your business.

It is only when your clients start signing up CONSISTENTLY that you can entertain the idea of considering more and other ways of getting more clients.

In life, less is often more and this also true for your business.  Less tactics with concentrated focus & follow through leads to more clients

Very soon, if you stick to your plan, you will start reaping the rewards. You will get to experience that having the courage to focus on one rather than running after all the shiny objects along the way, will have paid off.

Until my next article!

-Kim Knight