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Small Business Revitalization Blog

Small Business Coaching: Revive Your Profits, Revitalise Your Perspectives, Reinvigorate Your People

The Breakthrough Moment



The breakthrough moment... is that moment when you come up against everything that IS possible... and you either choose it (even if it is REALLY uncomfortable) or you back away, hiding amongst the excuses that have kept you from going beyond it in the past.

How many times have you almost got there, only to stop yourself?  Is it time to stop it... or do you love stopping you?

Are any of these scenarios familiar to you?

“I know I can do this, but before I do, I just need to.....(insert big thing that is your current ‘unsolvable obstacle’ here).....”

“I would love to do this, but I’m just going to..... (insert small, unimportant list of busy work here).....”

“I am procrastinating because I am not ready, I need to learn..... (insert your personal ‘less than’ comparison to as many guru’s in your industry as you can find here).....”

“I know this is really important, but I have to do my client work first... (insert long list of client work and excuses for not working ON your business here).....”

“I can’t. I am afraid of..... (insert your favourite set of fears and doubts that you use to distract yourself from moving forward here).....”

I have coached hundreds of people in getting over the personal limitation that is stopping them from breaking through to creating what they truly desire - in business and beyond.

And here’s the thing... it's never about needing more, learning more or doing more or waiting for something else to show up first. It's always about BEING more! 

Sound crazy?  Here’s how it works. How many people do you know who are ‘wasting their potential’?  You know it, everyone around them knows it, in most cases they know it too.  And they are as frustrated as hell about it.

If this is you, there is a really simple solution.  You make the demand of yourself that this changes NOW.  That you aren’t going to listen to your brilliant but oh so limiting excuses anymore.  You are going to take the action that will move you forward in leaps and bounds, rather than going round in circles. 

And then you do it.  Not from the space of doubt, lack or fear; but from the space of “I’m kick-ass and I’m going to rock this!  What do I need to be or do different that will allow me to create this with ease?” Notice that being this energy puts a totally different spin on what’s possible?

That’s what I’m talking about when I say BE more.  The truth is, you don’t need to be anything other than what you truly be.  If you stop ‘wasting your potential’ you’ll make a much greater demand of yourself to deliver beyond your excuses.  

You are ready.  There is no better time.  You know enough.  You are more than enough. Go be everything you can be!  Your life (and business) will have so much more ease when you embrace and acknowledge your true capacities rather than pretending they don’t exist.  What could you play with today, that would change all possibilities with ease?  It takes courage.  And it's SO worth it!

How do I know what to do with this particular entrepreneurs dilemma?  I’ve been there - stopping myself by most of the options above and then some... and I’m not allowing myself to be pathetic or side-tracked anymore.  Just so you know... You’re not alone here.  AND also know there is a greater possibility available! Are you demanding it?

If you’d like some more tools for going beyond your breakthrough moment, you can contact Lisa Murray for a personal Breakthrough Session or listen in to her free New Energies of Business show on Blog Talk Radio. 

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What Is Beyond Meditation?

 

Do you meditate to keep yourself on track?  For many years whenever I negotiated my job conditions with a new employer, I also negotiated time to go to my weekly personal meditation session with my then mentor.  A lot of employers found it a little strange, but I never had anyone say no!!!

The funny thing was, despite my commitment to the meditation cause, meditation didn’t really ever work for me in the ways I hoped.  I spent hours a day meditating for many years and there was very little to show for it – I was still the world’s most incredible over-thinker… and I still did not have the space and peace that I desired.  

The Huffington Post talks about the daily habits of wealthy successful business leaders who use meditation and mindfulness techniques to superpower their capacities… that was my target with meditation too– until I became aware of even more creative, generative possibilities that took a lot less time and gave me a lot more ease.

Here’s the thing… meditation is designed to give your brain space.  To stop you thinking.  To have you just BE.  We have been presented with one basic way to meditate – sit still and empty your mind.  And while there are lots of variations to that theme, it just doesn’t work for some people.

Now I use other tools to create total space in my brain… and in my body… and these tools exponentialize my awareness far beyond anything I experienced with meditation.  I am happier, healthier and way more creative than I ever was when I was meditating.  Here’s why…     

  • I let go of having to use the ‘right’ process… and started to use what was actually working for me.
  • I found other variations of meditation that the purists would judge as ‘wrong’ – and yet they create a greater result for me.  I have more space, ease and peace now than I have ever had!
  • In discovering over 20 ways to create that space, I can have it wherever I am, whenever I need, without having to do something ‘significant’ to create it.  

Are you curious yet?  What if you had a toolbox that would allow you to create far beyond what most people imagine possible?  Here’s three things you can play with to see what works for you!!

  1. Move your body rhythmically – whether it be a run at lunchtime, a walk and talk meeting, or some stretches in a park.  Allowing your body to move and being totally present with your body will free up your mind!
  2. Ask questions.  My current  favourites are “What space can I be right now?  How much space can I be here?”  And you don’t even have to ask out loud – ask quietly in your head while everyone around you is losing theirs and you may be surprised at what shows up!!!
  3. BE present.  When we are present with what is, rather than what ‘should’ be, we tap into an awareness that is different to the busyness in our head.  What if you BE with what is and stop judging it?  Have you noticed how much head chatter is actually judgment of what is right or wrong?  What if it just is?  And what if you can contribute your presence and energy to creating something different… IF that is what you desire?

And know this… whatever works for you works for you… please stop trying to fit into other people’s realities around what works for them!   So many well-meaning people tell me I need to meditate.  I am grateful for their point of view.  AND I’m not going to buy it… what works for me right now is what works for me!!

Do you do something different than the ‘norm’ to create space, ease and peace?  What unexpected thing is it that superpowers your possibilities in business?  I would love to know!|

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10 Ways to Give Your Mojo a Boost

 

Many successful people come to a stage where they feel tired, unmotivated and missing that energy that made them successful in the first place.  Sometimes it is a result of a specific incident, more often it shows up out of the blue - the combination of a thousand small moments that weren't quite what our inner being truly desired!

Sound familiar?  Here's 10 quick, easy changes you can make that will give your mojo a boost:

  1. Do your work differently.  Look at it as if you have never done this task before and ask yourself how else could you do this to create a greater possibility?
  2. Start in the middle of a project instead of the beginning and see where it leads.  (Sometimes the unplanned leads to the greater possibility!!)
  3. Re-energise by having fun in your 10 minute breaks.  If you can't remember what is fun for you, the first thing to do is make a list of possibilities... add at least 3 things in each break until you have 50 ways to enjoy yourself in the moment.  (Hint:  more work should not be on the list!)
  4. Pretend you are six and see what you are doing as a six year old would - what could be different?
  5. Be or do something unexpected every day, so that the people around you get to see another side of you.  It keep's them on their toes (and keeps you entertained!)
  6. Stop meeting people's expectations unless it is joyful for you to make this contribution.
  7. See everything as an interesting point of view (rather than buying people's ideas as facts) and look at what YOU would like to choose.
  8. Ask the universe to show you catalysts for creating your work anew.
  9. Talk to people in different industries that inspire you.
  10. Be you!  So often we lose our mojo when we are busy being everything to everyone.  When you start to choose for you the magic can show up more often!

Having been through burnout a couple too many times, I am an expert in helping people get their mojo back...the ideas above represent some options on the practical side.  Each person is different and  I can also work with your energy. If you need a one-off energy-based session to get you aback on track please contact me!   By phone, skype or in person... depending on where you are!

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The Confidence Factor: Feeling Like a Fraud?



Many startup business owners confide in me that they feel like a fraud.  They feel like they are pretending in this game of business and one of their motivations for having a business coach is to get more confident in knowing what they are doing.

Then there are other people who take the ‘fake it til you make it’ approach.  Often jumping from strategy to strategy, idea to idea, shiny object to shiny object… hoping desperately that something will work and they’ll become the highly successful business owner they fantasize is possible.

I was enjoying a great conversation on Facebook this week about the differences between ‘acting’ and ‘acting as if’ in business and when it’s okay to fake it.  To me they are two different energies. 

When we act we are being an energy – we are inhabiting a presence that comes from somewhere deep inside of us.  We are being the energy required to have a successful business, even if it feels a little different to our usual persona.  Just like a great actor does in a movie… when you really believe it could be true, that is acting!

When we are ‘acting as if’ we have started on the journey towards acting, but we are still in the zone of pretending we know what we are doing.  Underneath our ‘acting as if’ we still feel a bit like a fraud, we are still feeling like someone is going to find out we don’t have a clue any moment now…  the self-doubt comes to the fore. That’s more like being a C grade actor… everyone knows you are pretending!!

So what’s your strategy?  Are you going to ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ or are you ready to embody a presence that makes people sit up straight and take notice of what you are doing?  If you are choosing to have presence, you need an underpinning of knowing (rather than knowledge!).  

This is that sense within yourself that you know intuitively what is right for your business and you are willing to move forward with confidence.  You may not have all of the specific knowledge required (that is where a business coach or mentor comes in), but you do have an innate knowing that you have what it takes and your business is positioned to succeed.

This doesn’t mean you won’t take a few detours along the way – these often take us to places not imagined, but useful in an unexpected way!  There will be tweaks and about turns… new paths and the occasional crash to a stop… None of these things mean you are faking it! Discovery and growth is part of the adventure of being in business!  What will keep you going is that underlying presence that you bring to your adventures.  When you are clear and calm within yourself, so much more is possible!

So would you like to explore the essence of having more presence?  Join us at New Energies of BusinessTM – we are including some coaching hotspots this time… so a great opportunity to ask your questions of people who really understand presence! Bookings and more info at www.NewEnergiesOfBusiness.com 

Upcoming dates:  30 November 2011 in Brisbane and February 2012 on the Sunshine Coast.

(Image: Pinterest)


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Do Less. Raise The Bar.



When in need of inspiration, I often randomly open books.  Today two ideas arrived within seconds of each other.  Seth Godin suggests we need to Raise The Bar – as that is where great progress occurs.  Jason Fried from Rework is adamant we need to Do Less.

Putting these two ideas together sounds incongruous, until we see that in doing less, we create the space for seeing where exactly we should raise the bar (and how high!) if we really want to create profitable change in our business.

When I look at my project list for my businesses, I can see the two or three projects that totally raise the bar.  That make everything else I do look, well, not so important.  I can see the 30 or so projects that would be nice to do, if I had the time, resources or inclination… and I can see the 10 projects that need to be taken off the list right now because I already know that they won’t deliver the world-changing impact I require when I invest my full energy into a project!

What could you do less of that would allow you to have more impact? 
You don’t need to spread yourself thinner, you just need to make the hard choices that allow you to be phenomenal!  We get caught up in being nice and saying yes when really we mean no.  What if you saying no gives that opportunity to someone else who does have the energy to invest – would that allow them to raise the bar in their own unique way?  Could the world be a better place for that?

This is one simple tool for looking at everything you have in front of you and seeing what is truly important.  What will make the biggest difference?  What raises the bar and makes your business more enticing and more enchanting for the people you serve?  Choose that one thing.  And do it with everything you’ve got!  

Less is More.  LEAP forward, don’t crawl!

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Are Your Foundations Firmly In Place?



Building a business happens with ease when our foundations are in place, but can be a struggle when we are missing the basics.  When did you last sit back and take a good look at the castle you have built?  Did you check out the foundations while you were at it or did you just admire the shiny turrets and gorgeous environment you have built?  Did you look to see if it is getting a little top heavy... are some bits quietly falling over?

As business people, we are often full of ideas and there is always the temptation to build castles in the air.  In fact, many a great business starts off this way – with the outward facing structures.  Sooner or later you will need to ensure your foundations are up to the job!  Sometimes a little renovation is required!

A simple place to start is to look at where your business is right now and look at where the structures are crumbling, and where they are holding firm and contributing to your vision.  

Sometimes it’s not easy to see that the marketing manager who was your answer to everything really isn’t working out because of their vile personality…. Or that much as you detest systems and processes, without them you just have a different variety of chaos everyday (entertaining for some, stress inducing for most!).  And it’s even harder to acknowledge that just maybe it is you that is the bottleneck between your dream and the current reality.

2011 is a foundational year… what you set in place now will provide the base for your future growth.  Are you standing on solid ground or do you still have a few castles floating about, waiting to be tethered and grounded in some sort of practical reality that will allow your business to grow?  If something's not right in your business, take a good hard look at the foundations.  When you have the fundamentals in order, all else will follow with far more ease.

If your current essentials are in great order, imagine your business doubling in size and ask:  ‘What foundations are required here for everything to flow with ease?’  Systems that work right now may not hold up under the pressure of growth.  Now is the time to create new possibilities.  In looking at your business in new ways, you open up doors for further growth.  

Think of it like an upward spiral… you create an idea, generate the energy that moves it forward and then you institute the practicalities that allow it to flow with ease.  If you keep all three processes in balance, your business grows up in an ever bigger spiral.  If you miss one, it always feels like you are starting at the beginning – no growth is possible!

Make April the month where you strengthen your foundations.  It will mean that May, June, July…. will all show up with greater ease and more capacity for profitability.  Not sure what to do or what to look at?  Arrange a free 30 minute business coaching session with Lisa Murray Seeing what you aren’t seeing comes naturally to Lisa!




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Are You Leading Intuitively?


My business coaching clients often ask how they can be better leaders… of staff, suppliers, partners, in the community and with their family.   

There are many leadership theories that could keep you enthralled for at least a couple of minutes, until you realize that in these times of extraordinary change these models are incredibly challenging to use effectively and rarely create the visionary results you are looking for!

Look around.  There’s traditional command and control leaders, servant leaders, transformational leaders, charismatic leaders - the list goes on...   Traditional leadership styles mostly rely on various forms of force, exclusion, competition and separation - managing and shaping people in ways that inadvertently limit their contributions and stop the business from being extraordinary.

Traditional leaders almost always work from a paradigm where their experience gives them many past reference points, which leads to a habit of triangulating their beliefs, expectations, judgments, projections and obligations so that they can ‘make sense’ of their world.

This approach creates a set of decisions and conclusions which paint the leader into a fixed position where they become vested in a specific outcome and then they are faced with layer after layer of limitations instead of new possibilities, creativity and innovation!  Does this really sound like something you would like to have in leading your business?  What if there was another choice?

Conscious leadership allows maximum creativity, contribution, collaboration and flow.  Conscious leadership allows leaders to be expansive, to use their full capacities, to approach business with ease, joy and a sense of abundance.  

When you are leading consciously, you have the ability to perceive what’s possible, to know where change can create and generate more expansion and ease, to be the greatness of who you truly are, and to receive and actualize the unlimited possibilities that the universe offers up anew in every moment!  

Conscious leaders have insight, energy, vision, creativity, joy, caring, spontaneity and the ability to dissolve conflict with ease.  When you connect what is happening right now with the infinite possibilities the universe offers, you are leading consciously.

Conscious leaders create results through the power of their presence, their choices and their personal actions. They expand possibilities rather than contract them.  They BE the change they desire to see in the organization, first, whether anyone else follows or not!

Would you be willing to claim, own and acknowledge your infinite capacity to be a conscious leader?  We can all be conscious leaders – even children can lead consciously - it is just a choice!    You can start right now:  for every choice you need to make today, ask yourself:  “Will this expand or contract the possibilities for this business?”  The path has already opened for you!

Questions or comments on conscious leadership?  Please share below!

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The Secret to Keeping Your 2011 New Year Resolutions




It is January 10 already and business owners everywhere are getting back to work and hoping that 2011 will be way more profitable and generative than 2010!!  Most of us have made the odd New Year resolution or ten for our businesses and are now wondering what it’s going to take for it all to fall into place with ease!

The single biggest mistake I see people make when setting targets is to make a decision that there is only one acceptable outcome.  What if there were hundreds of fantastic possibilities that you just haven’t become aware of yet?  Would you be willing to have any of those instead of, or as well as what you have in mind?

When I make a target (New Year or otherwise!) I set it with the intention that I’m willing to have something much greater, something I haven’t thought of yet or something that will lead my business into places that set me up for an even more phenomenal future, despite what may sometimes look like ‘failure’ on the surface!

When I worked in corporate, so much importance was vested in the strategic plan. How much of that is a traditional point of view we have bought as real when maybe the current truth about success in business is something else?  Strategic planning has been around for a long time and comes from a time when the world moved at one zillionth of the speed it does now.  If we stick to our plan, then we fail to factor in all of the new choices and possibilities that are always coming our way!

In my experience, it is much more effective to get your projects up and running as quickly and cost-efficiently as possible so that you can see clearly what needs to change!  The most successful people and businesses are not caught up in doing exactly what they said they would in their plan – they are focused on regular reassessment, realignment and adjustment so that they can attain the best results possible given all of the possibilities.

January is a time to put lots of energy into getting everything you can set up, for setting a solid foundation for what you desire to have in your business in 2011, and most importantly for working out quickly what strategies are going to deliver your vision with ease and what ideas need a tiny tweak or a total reinvention!!

Think of your business like surfing… you paddle out, you choose a wave, you paddle like crazy… you catch the wave (or not!), ride it until it stops flowing for you and then do the same again… and each time the wave is different, the conditions are different, you create new possibilities and have different choices.  Time to lose the blinkers!! 

If you fall down, you get up, have a look at what happened, develop a new balance and have another go, all the while looking out for the next great wave rather than lamenting the one you missed… that’s what distinguishes successful businesses from failures!!  What would it take for you to catch a whole lot of waves this month?

This simple strategy is the first step in ‘keeping’ your New Year resolutions!  What are the infinite possibilities of 2011 being so much more than your New Year resolutions and your plans?  What abundant surprises would you be willing to receive and enjoy in your life and your business this year?


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Creating New Business Possibilities

Staying positive in business is about getting and staying unstuck! The easiest way to get unstuck is to create change in the area of “stuckness” – it doesn’t have to be the ‘right’ and perfect change… just enough change for us to see the situation differently!  At that point magic can happen!

When I’m stuck (yes it still happens occasionally!!) I like to ask… ‘What other possibilities could I consider here?’ and list at least ten.  If we are willing to have ease in our life and business, our choice can always be for change rather than challenge!

When you are choosing which of these new possibilities to play with, always go with the one that feels the lightest – it will have the most potential for creative change.  When something feels heavy it is usually a less than joyful choice for us.  So what would it take for you to choose to shift the energy of your business just by making different choices?  

Sometimes these choices look tiny but can swing big possibilities!  Sometimes choices that feel really big actually make little discernable difference.  (This is one time when size doesn’t matter!!!)  Be brave – when everything changes, you can change everything!!

Ask which choice will create the most possibilities for bliss and head in that direction.  It may look like a detour, but sometimes those less-travelled routes are far more scenic and enjoyable than we can ever imagine at the start of the journey.  

Here’s a few other questions that can create more possibilities in your life and business…

•   What would it take to change this?
•   What else is possible that I haven’t thought of yet?
•   Who can help me change this?
•   What would I change if I could change anything in the universe?
•   What possibilities have I not thought of yet?  What would it take to see these possibilities with clarity?

Scientist have proven that when a butterfly flaps its wings the changes are felt on the other side of the world… what are you willing to create and change today that can change your world?  It’s just a choice you know!!

(Sometimes it takes someone else to help us see these possibilities – if you want to harness some group energy in creating change – come play with us on the Gold Coast on October 19th – we’re creating a whole lot of new possibilities for all who attend!!)

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What if I am WRONG?



Today’s Small Business blog post answers a business mindset question from Caroline in the UK, who posted this question at www.AskLisaMurray.com:

“I am relatively new into running my own business, having worked in a large corporate previously. How do you overcome the mental challenge of that little voice that says - you aren't good enough or - what if you advise someone and you get it wrong etc!”

Great question, and one that all of us who make the transition from employee to business owner ask ourselves more than once!!  Here are a couple of simple strategies for overcoming the anxiety monkey that sits on your shoulder just waiting for you to make a mistake…

Most of us have been raised to believe we have to be good enough… we have to deserve… we have to perform… we have to deliver… we have to continually prove ourselves... we have to…………. (the list is never ending!).  

So the first step is to recognize that the little voice inside our head probably did not originally belong to us.  I use a simple tool of sending all of those niggling negative thoughts back to wherever they came from (with consciousness attached).  If you do that every time you have some doubts, that little voice has absolutely no power and you’ll find those thoughts will disappear.  You don't have to know who gave them to you, but you do need to be willing to choose another reality!

The second strategy I use is to ask some questions that change the energy of these thoughts and create new realities…

What if you didn’t have to prove anything to anybody in relation to your business?  Who would you be?  How would you conduct your business?  What choices would you make?  What other possibilities could you create and generate which go way beyond what you can imagine right now…?  

What if there was no right or wrong?  I see business as a series of choices… it is my job to offer my clients a range of possibilities they may not have thought of yet… and it is my clients job to make the choice that will work best for them.  I may guide them towards an effective model for making a choice, but I don’t make the choice for them.  Ultimately, all clients are responsible for their own business decisions and your contract and insurances should cover that clearly. 

If they are into judgment and making you (as the consultant or coach) into their scapegoat it’s worth asking if they really are your ideal client!!  Of course, if you have made a mistake, do whatever is required to resolve the issue fairly - your reputation rests upon it!  Most people will be very decent if you are proactive and committed to finding a solution that works for the client.

Got a small business question?  Ask it at www.AskLisaMurray.com

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