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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's Missing In Your Business?

You know that feeling you get when you know something is missing, but you just don't know what it is?  You 'should' be making way more money, but you're not.  You 'should' be moving forward faster with your projects, but you're not.  You 'should' be engaging with way more people, but you're not!  

When I looked underneath all of the 'shoulds' in one of my businesses it came down to one thing.  Consistency. I was great at doing lots of the things that were needed to make it work. Occasionally. Randomly. When I felt inspired. When I remembered. When I wasn't distracted with client projects. And when I looked at the times the business had worked really well, it was when I was doing the business generating and expanding activities CONSISTENTLY!

Most of us have some idea of what to do to create growth in our business.  When we first started we figured it out - because it was get it to work or go back to the JOB.  Motivation comes from interesting places!  And once we had it figured out and the business was moving forward, we got busy with other activities.  The actions that sound important, the actions that are required to service our customers. The actions that took us away from the genuinely essential actions.

These are the actions that keep a business running...  Somewhere in your business there are some actions missing that make the difference between a thriving business and a surviving business.  What are they?  It's different for every business.  You know your business model and you know what it takes to keep the engine humming.  And if you aren't sure, that's your first action - find out!!

If you know what it is, how much attention are you giving to the daily, weekly or monthly actions that keep the engine in tune and humming along effortlessly?  If a few things have fallen off the consistency wagon, now is the time to change that.

I know what you are thinking.  "If it was easy for me to be consistent with these things I'd be doing it!"  Yes, I hear you! Consistency not natural for me either - I much prefer to play with new ideas!!  And I'm inviting you to find a way to make it work for you - because you know and I know that when you do these things consistently, your business will grow!

Here are three ways I get myself in the energy of being consistent:
1)  Produce in blocks.  For example, instead of writing random blog posts because I haven't posted lately and I need to show up, I'll write 10 - 15 posts at a time and schedule them in advance.  Faster and easier and everyone feels the love!

2)  Delegate.  There are just some things you'll never get to.  Find someone who is better than you at the task in hand and make it their job to deliver regularly.  Make a diary note so you can check the task is being completed.

3)  Power Hours.  I've talked about these before.  They are one of my favourite things.  Make a list of all those small things that need doing regularly that you just have to do and set aside a daily or weekly power hour.  It might be making client appointments, paying your team.  Whatever it is that will create more space and more possibilities for the future, schedule it!  Some weeks I even have two!  Because I know that an hour of priorities each week saves me many more hours down the track.  And we'd all like to work less right?

So, this week's business coaching challenge is to identify at least two things that would make a difference to your business if you did them consistently, and set up a system for getting them done!  You don't need to be the source, you just need a system that works!

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Unconventional Capacities?


 In the ever-expanding adventure that is my life, a 92 year old ex-horse breeder and his trainer have started teaching me to ride a horse.  Brave move on their part - the last time I was on a horse was 25 years ago, and I’ve pretty much fallen off every horse I’ve ever been on!  

On my fourth lesson they had forgotten to get Blaze (the gorgeous horse above) up from the paddock.  Bright-eyed and ever-enthusiastic, I volunteered to go get him.  They agreed, although I figured from the looks on their faces they did not expect me to come back with him any time soon.  

Ten minutes later I emerged from the far paddock with Blaze - bridled up and walking happily beside me.  And no, it wasn’t a fluke - I managed to repeat this stellar performance the following day too!  I have to admit I receive a lot of pleasure from confounding people’s expectations!!

So what has this got to do with business?  The adorable Blaze and your business have way more in common than you imagine. If you know what questions to ask, when to sweet-talk, how to listen when it’s giving you information, when to feed it carrots and when a firm hand is required, you can create your business exactly the way you would like it to be!

One of the capacities I work on expanding daily is that extra-sensory awareness that allows me to know exactly what is required and when in a business.  I was able to get Blaze to do exactly what I required by using the same tools I use in business... asking questions and following the energy and my awareness of what’s possible.  

Because I asked him to, in language he knows, Blaze trotted up to me and put his head down so I could slip the bridle flow and absolutely no swearing involved! He doesn’t do that for his trainer, and given his size and my height, there would have been no bridling up without his contribution!  YES!!  My unconventional strategy worked! (***happy dance***)  

What unconventional capacities do you have in business that you don’t use or recognize? Most of us have things we do naturally, that are easy and fun, that we totally forget to apply in business, because we are so busy doing business how you ‘should’ do business.  What if the rules don’t apply anymore?  Could you do business your way with a lot more ease, joy and abundance?

If you would like to know more about how this magic could be possible for you in business and beyond, there’s lots to discover at Creativity Lab LIVE! (16-18 November) and the ‘5 Days of Change’ live-stream program which I am hosting on the Sunshine Coast (8 - 12 November).

And if you aren’t sure, I have been playing with a new question for making choices lately:  “If I choose this, will my life be more expansive or less expansive in 5 years?”   When I get the energy of the future, making choices becomes simple and fast!  (And it stops me making it about the money or the time – excuses be gone!) 

What are your unconventional business strategies?  I would love to know!

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Are You Solving Problems Or Out-Creating?


I have a mentor who sees the world totally different to almost anyone on the planet.  His unique views on business make a lot of sense and he creates his businesses from an energy that is all about out-creating rather than problem-solving.  Why?  Because it works!

“Problem-solver” is a label much touted as a good thing in most businesses. The funny thing is, if you are a problem-solver, then you are always going to be creating problems to solve.  Oops!!  How is that working for your business?  Are you a little tired of fixing the problems in your business that you are creating? (Truly, if they are there, you are creating them somehow!)  Is it time to create a greater possibility?  One that could be fun for you?

A business truly focused on growth will create from an energy of out-creating, rather than problem-solving.  Look at how Apple began – they weren’t solving a problem, they were creating something totally different.  Richard Branson doesn’t solve problems; he out-creates the really average stuff that is on offer by his ‘competition’.

Two weeks ago I asked my mentor a few questions about people copying me (there seemed to be a  trend on that!) and he showed me an energy of out-creation that was far beyond what I have been playing with.  Out-creation is ALWAYS a more generative strategy than copying or competing (just in case you were wondering!!)

This week I came up with a new business model for one of my businesses that has the potential to make it into everything I have been asking it to be!  On a much larger scale… with a lot less of my time… that no-one else is doing… and in a way that would be way more fun for me!  How does it get better than that?

Here’s how it gets even better… I come up with another 10 business models that are game changers.  It really is that simple.  I became aware that the only ‘problem’ I had been creating in this business was not allowing it to be big enough… or amazing enough... or creative enough… or DIFFERENT enough!  Cute… not bright.  Changes are afoot!  

So, you could ask your business this question… and be willing for inspiration to come from anywhere…

“What could I be or do today that would allow me to outcreate myself right away?”

 And if you would like to know more about how to create a whole lot of this in your business, here are some choices:

If you have been thinking too small, now is the time to outcreate everything you have ever dreamed of.  Go Play!

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Conscious Business: Are You Moving Forward?

I woke up obsessed with taking a walk through Noosa National Park to Hells Gate.  When I got into the car it was raining (again!)  By the time I was halfway there the rain was coming down in sheets and visibility was pretty much zero.

I almost turned around, but I really, really, really wanted that walk! I could see the tiniest piece of blue sky to the south and I wasn’t allowing a bit of water to stop me.   Arriving at the National Park the rain stopped and midway to Hells Gate it was sunny again! I truly was one excited little bunny!

So what's a walk in the rain got to do with doing business consciously? 

Have you noticed how often we are tempted to give up when we are just a few moments from the thing we truly desire?  What is it you are almost about to give up on, that if you would keep going, would come to fruition faster and sooner than you can imagine?

It’s easy to give up in business.  Sometimes so much has to change beneath the surface before we can see our creations come to life…  That wait can be longer and harder than we desire if we are trying to force something into existence.  If, on the other hand, we go with the flow on the projects that are moving forward and we keep creating and generating lots of different possibilities, our choices expand exponentially.

If I had gone home this morning, I would have spent the whole day looking out the window, wishing I’d been for that walk.  Instead, my willingness to go with my instincts (despite gloomy surface appearances) gave my body some much needed creative impetus and I’m settling in to write for a while!  

And that’s the other part of moving forward to be conscious of… I’m once again working on my book The Mojo of Flow – which I thought would be out last year… but sometimes the flow just isn’t there… so I’ve done a few other projects in the meantime and the last pieces of information that I was ‘waiting’ for have shown up this week – how does it get better than that??

I could have beaten myself up for not finishing when I said I would… but really I always know there is a reason if something isn’t moving forward in the way I would like.  This last chapter will make it the book I knew it could be… that it wasn’t… until this topic came into my conscious awareness!! I am so grateful for consciously allowing the joy which made it all flow with ease (rather than going into the wrongness of me)!

So, let’s do something together…  Would you be willing to stop beating yourself up for anything that’s not working in your business right now… and start playing with whatever has some energy and some momentum? 

And would you put the 'stuck' or 'stopped' projects aside and keep contributing your energy to them, without a point of view as to what will happen next?  What if they could create and generate themselves with an ease you haven't experienced before?

As you do this, ask each project to let you know when it is time for you to play with it again… and know that everything happens with perfect timing.  

I see this ease of moving forward show up over and over with my business coaching clients.  We talk about a strategy, there’s no action, then all of a sudden everything falls magically into place, with an ease that is still astonishing each time it happens!  When we let go of our expectations and just keep moving forward, so much more becomes possible.

Are you willing to operate your business consciously?  Or would you rather do it by force?  How is that working for you?

Have you ever experienced how this flow creates such ease? Tell us about it below!  Or if you are wondering what the hell I am talking about... feel free to ask a question!! 

 Love your work! xox Lisa

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What does it take to outcreate YOU?

For most of 2011 I found time and I to be on totally different calendars.  Time disappeared faster than I could keep up and I found that more than a little frustrating!  2012 dawned and I had the awareness I needed to create a different possibility – or I would be forever feeling ‘behind’ on everything.

When a challenge shows up, do you do what you have always done, go into ‘fix it’ mode, or do you take it as an invitation to create something way beyond what you’ve ever done before?  

What if your challenges are designed to stimulate you to a greater level of awareness of new possibilities?  What if you approached your challenges with a sense of curiosity and adventure instead of the usual sense of dread or despair?

This is how I’m playing with time right now… and I’m the most productive I’ve ever been – with more joy in my work than I’ve ever had!

So what has changed?
  • I am having more time off to play which is creating space and clarity.
  • I am only doing that which is bringing me joy.  No joy = later (or not at all!!)
  • I am being way more creative.  The massive changes I have embraced in being more of me over the last few weeks are allowing solutions to show up faster and more intuitively.
  • I am moving with what is moving – projects that feel stuck have been put aside for the moment (it’s that Mojo of Flow thing I like to talk about!)
  • I am working in shorter, more intense and spontaneous bursts – more 20 minute blocks than 3 hours of being blocked!
  • When I’m done, I’m done!  No suffering, no sticking it out just a little bit longer, nothing except the question ‘what else would be fun to play with right now?’ – And that is creating a sense of ease and speed across all of my businesses.
  • I’m willing to change anything and everything… even approaches that have worked in the past… there are no sacred cows!!
  • I’m saying YES to more and creating far more!  Strange how this works… but work it does!!
And in case you’re wondering… I’m running three businesses as well as producing a lot of specialist writing for a client.  So everywhere that you have decided you don’t have enough time, would you be willing to know that you can change it?  In an instant?  Just by making a different choice or discovering a different perspective??

I know it sounds way too simple… but sometimes the simplest solutions make the biggest difference!!

What if you could outcreate you?  What would that look like for your particular business challenge?

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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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The Cult of Done

I have a co-mentoring arrangement with another coach and we have a quick session by phone every Friday.  One of the things that makes us giggle are the multiple and creative avoidance mechanisms we have for (not) getting things done.

Whilst lots of progress is made, it's often not on whatever we've discussed the previous week... so when I came across this I knew it would make lots of small business owners feel infinitely better immediately!  Read this and you could probably take a long weekend or two starting right now ;-)

So here it is... the cult of done manifesto... a great recipe for overcoming overwhelm (momentarily at least!)

(via The Manifesto Project)

Yes, it's slightly tongue in cheek, but there were a couple of tips in there I'm really tempted to play with!  And I loved 'Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.'  That sorts out quite a few projects that I was getting back to later... (of course, failure doesn't really exist, it's just a big hint from the universe to change something!!)

What are your biggest challenges in getting stuff done?
  I'm a great starter... and I'm working on the 'done' bit with my awesome co-mentor!!  Do you have any other ideas you would add to the above manifesto?  Share in the comments below...

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Overcome Procrastination - Harness The BIG Idea!

This week I’ve been hot on the trail of creating #TopSecretProject
(soon to be revealed!!) with two colleagues who share some common frustrations around networking, workshops and business!  It’s been fascinating seeing just how much action is being taken since we came up with the ‘BIG Idea’ in just 3 hours on Tuesday!

Do you find you take way more action when you have a big, inspiring idea that you want to create?  When was the last time you chose to follow your instincts and create an awesome idea that really had your attention?

As small business owners, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the daily doo-doo, procrastinating on all the stuff we 'should do',  rather than asking:
  • What would be a game-changer here? 
  • What would boost my business beyond what I can imagine?
  • What would give my clients massive results? 
  • What one strategy could move my business into the stratosphere?
Instead we play small.  Get stuck in doing the little things that make us feel like we are moving forward, but which are so slow and so incremental that nothing amazing ever really shows up!  Is this enough for you and your business?  Do you really want to creep slowly forward or would you be willing to leap tall buildings with a single step?

So, what would it take to implement a BIG Idea in your business today?
1.   Gather a small team of people who are willing to have massive change show up with ease.
2.   Discuss the resources, talents and abilities available, the common challenges and what you’d like to see instead.
3.   Come up with a BIG Idea that has the capacity to be a game-changer for your business and your customers.
4.   Take massive action very quickly.  What can you get ready within a week?  How soon can you launch?
5.   Ensure you create a support plan for leveraging the game-changer over the long term.  Know why you are instituting your BIG Idea, what you hope to achieve and what happens after the launch.

If you are tired of being the only motivating force in your business, play with a different model!  Find people with similar values who are willing to contribute to the possibilities of a BIG Idea.  And act quickly.  Work out if the idea has legs and start running!!

You can do this with an internal team or as a strategic alliance.  I am working with two other business people whose values match mine.  We are geographically dispersed but have kept the momentum going daily via Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and Dropbox (great for file-sharing!). 

Share your experiences below in the comments section...
have you ever used a BIG Idea to get yourself moving?  Would you like to but something is stopping you?  What support do you need to give your business a boom?

Image courtesy Flickr user Gene Hunt, via CC

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How to deal with massive change

First it was the GFC, now it’s a spate of floods, cyclones, earthquakes, snowstorms and political uprisings… our world is in turmoil and these events impact our businesses whether they are personal to us or not.  

You may have noticed customers are slow to make decisions… are spending less than usual… that business has unexpectedly ground to a halt. There is a reason for this.  It is time to look closely at everything we are doing and to see what still serves us and what needs to change.

Anytime we can’t ‘feel the buzz’ in our business we can either choose to look outwards with blame, or inwards by choosing to create exactly what we desire.  Change is inevitable; it is how we move forward that creates our destiny!

A few days ago I wrote myself a rather long message from a ‘future me’…   One of the questions I asked my future self was ‘What can I change here that would create more ease?’   

Here are a few of the insights I received:
•   Finish or clear out everything that feels like it is grinding me to a halt.
•   Write up my plans coherently and create simple strategies for getting started.
•   Collate the insights and information for each of the new toolkits I am developing for my business coaching clients (systemize what’s in my brain!!)
•   Give the flat, weird, anxious bits no attention or energy IF they are out of my control.
•   Create a physical space that is supportive and creative.
•   Keep asking ‘What else is possible?’

So what’s changed?  After my ‘self to self’ pep talk, I chose to take massive action!  
•   I cleared out my office and made space on my desk (now showing just one project at a time!)
•   I collated all those ideas and bits of paper into coherent piles!
•   I developed a creative new business plan template that feels really joyful (and developed a new business plan with ease – very clear on my actions now!!)
•   I started to realign and fine-tune my website content.
•   I reinvented one program that just wasn’t delivering results for the time I was investing.
•   I connected with my accountability buddy for the first time and we gave each other lots of encouragement for the changes we are making!
•   I became a lot more focused on the ‘maintenance’ tasks required for my business to succeed on a massive level.
•   I unleashed my energy by completing lots of small ‘incomplete’ commitments – to myself and others.   Doing the maintenance rocks!

What are the results so far?  My business has become effortless again!
•   I connected with some great people around my new lead generation strategies.
•   There has been a lot more space for nurturing me – I’m breathing easier and deeper.
•    I received unexpected support around my spaces of anxiety (a couple of tools generously shared and the grinding anxiety has disappeared!!)
•   I have started implementing my new business plan, focusing on the foundations!
•   Lots of the resources I need to realize my plan have showed up unexpectedly and with perfect timing!

What didn’t I do?
•   Think small because what I desire isn’t showing up in this 10 seconds.  
•   Become overwhelmed.

This beautiful quote by Deepak Chopra captures the essence of my blissful business process this week:
“The heart is intuitive, holistic, contextual, relational. It doesn't have a win-lose orientation. It taps into the field of pure potentiality, pure knowledge and infinite organizing power- and takes everything into account.”

It’s been a week full of long deep breaths… feeling into what’s possible and what I desire to change.
If you are wondering what it will take for everything you desire to change, ask your body, your business and your higher self (or future self) to tell you exactly what you need to know!

What are you choosing to change in your business right now?  Please share in the comments section below!

(PS The new business plan template will be available for you all very soon!  I really do bring the bliss back into business!)

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