Kiss goodbye to scraping by

Kiss goodbye to scraping by

The successful entrepreneur has the same number of hours in the day as the not-so-successful entrepreneur.

The difference being a successful entrepreneur maximises those hours and works less overall by being laser focused.

She knows her peak energy times, her routines, and the productivity tools that work best for her in order to create her own plan for success.

The importance of scheduling

Managing time is the biggest struggle an entrepreneur has to face.

Studies show it takes your brain approximately 20 minutes to get back to where it was before an interruption.

If you’re faced with frequent interruptions and urgent last-minute tasks, you can easily be busy all day without making any progress on high-priority projects and goals.

The successful entrepreneur schedules her time properly and avoids being constantly interrupted.

She makes time for her professional and her personal goals so her work-life balance doesn’t suffer.

A coherent business marketing strategy

The successful entrepreneur knows her skills and her abilities are her most valuable assets.

She is a specialist, not a generalist.

She has a clear understanding of the people for whom she can produce the best results, and she is fully aware of their greatest needs and desires.

She works hard to establish a unique image and market positioning that differentiates her from the other players in her market, and she markets only to those who fit her stringent criteria.

Confidence has no competition

The successful entrepreneurial woman is confident and authentic.

She doesn’t shy away from self promotion.

She knows that business won’t come to her, that she has to go out and get it.

She has an opinion and she is willing to stand tall and put herself in the game.

She is excited about spreading her message to the marketplace in a way that’s compelling, focused and makes total sense.

She joyfully steps out into the world exactly as she is and she knows how to connect with the right type of people.

Are you ready to kiss goodbye to just getting by?

All of us are capable of becoming a woman who is clear and confident in her message, fully set up to attract and receive ideal clients and be laser focused in her work day.

We have to dig deep and realise that we are deserving of the abundance we crave.

We are entitled to be well rewarded for our efforts.

It’s up to us to step into our inner power and worthiness and create the life we know we deserve.

Why are the smartest people not the most successful?

Why are the smartest people not the most successful?

The smartest people in the world tend not to be so successful when it comes to business.

Why is that?

Because they overthink things

They spend a lot of their time immersed in thought and that is the reason they hardly ever get much work done.

They analyse rather than problem solve.

They’re continually searching for a better solution, when a ‘good enough’ solution would have done.

They end up knowing so much that they don’t know where to begin.

Entrepreneurs are solution obsessed.

Entrepreneurs prefer to spend their time experimenting with solutions and measuring outcomes.

They overvalue qualifications and degrees

Education can be a valuable tool that allows you to focus on the right things when undertaking a new venture.

But you don’t need a degree to get ahead in life as an entrepreneur.

Resilience and self-belief are an entrepreneur’s most precious commodities.

Your customers don’t care about how many qualifications you have.

They care only about the results you can help them achieve.

They avoid risk

Academics move slowly, deliberately and cautiously.

They are used to working within an environment of shrinking resources and a culture of constraint.

They seldom venture outside the scope of their duties.

Whereas entrepreneurs move fast.

They thrive on risk and consider all the possibilities.

They’re willing to get down in the trenches and do whatever it takes.

They focus on patterns

Smart people observe patterns and calculate probabilities as part of their research.

If most businesses fail, the probability is high that theirs will fail, so why bother trying?

Entrepreneurs concentrate on the small percentage of businesses that are highly successful, and they focus on how to be one of the few who succeed.

They loathe promotion

Smart people believe they should quietly do good work, submit to the review of others, and let that work speak for itself.

Entrepreneurs love the solutions they offer.

They’re constantly promoting their programs because of the transformations that occur as a result.

There is no shame in their game!

Do you have an academic or an entrepreneurial mindset?

Are you able to move quickly, experiment without prior analysis, create without constraint, and love the idea of promotion?

How do you avoid burnout?

How do you avoid burnout?

Entrepreneurship can be a rich and rewarding experience.

Having the freedom to set your own schedule and create your own rules makes you feel confident and in control of your life.

Most entrepreneurs I know are creative individuals with a huge appetite for productivity.

They’re ready and willing to go the extra mile to keep their clients happy, to help them get the results they truly want.

But after months or years of continuous effort it’s only natural for you to find yourself feeling exhausted, even frustrated.

The sacrifices and the commitment needed to turn a dream into a reality makes the entrepreneur a prime candidate for burnout.

So, how do you avoid burnout?

Set realistic expectations

Many entrepreneurs set super high expectations because we idealise the ‘perfect’ outcome.

We assume that the expectations we set for ourselves and our businesses are reasonable and easily attainable.

Yet many of them are anything but.

It’s unrealistic to expect ourselves day after day to have the same level of high energy that’s needed to meet lofty goals.

We cannot expect ourselves to always be fearless and deal with difficult times like a to-do list.

There are bound to be times when for some reason or another we feel below par, even uninspired.

Times when we are sent on a course or in a direction different from the planned or intended one.

A strong work ethic and a sense of urgency is ideal, but we must learn to cut ourselves some slack.

One way of achieving this is to take our big goals and break them down into bite-sized steps.

That way we’ll know, even on those days when we’re moving more slowly than usual, that we’re still heading in the right direction and, if we stay on track, we will eventually get there.

Create a daily routine that works best for you

When I first started out in business I committed myself to mimicking the standard workday as much as possible.

I took an hour for lunch at midday and continued to work through any creative blocks until the clock hit 5.

Mornings were never ideal for me.

I knew I put in my best work when the sun was over the yardarm.

So I decided to experiment.

I began to schedule my day around my natural creative flow.

I found I was more productive.

And as a result, more successful.

I believe your individual success depends on finding the custom-fitted daily routine that works best for you.

When do you operate at your best – early in the day, in the afternoon or evening, or maybe you’re a night owl?

For best results match your patterns of activity to your individual circadian rhythms, ie. your internal biological clock.

Don’t make the mistake of chasing the wrong resource: hours in the day.

Working more is never the answer.

Schedule some “Me” time

Every high-achieving woman I have ever met has had one thing in common – a passion.

Being passionate about your work and committed to your goals can suck you into a culture that forces you to work far too many hours a day and too many days a week.

Generally women find it easy to switch mental focus when doing simple tasks, allowing them to do multiple things at once.

And that’s great, but the downside is the brain’s ability to make multiple decisions can easily tire it out, making it a less-effective decision maker.

Try not to take on too much.

Don’t spread yourself too thin.

Be sure to take breaks away from your work and other responsibilities by spending time relaxing on your own to reduce stress and restore your energy.

Don’t let fear-based thoughts hold you back from achieving your dreams

Don’t let fear-based thoughts hold you back from achieving your dreams

Successful entrepreneurial women commit wholeheartedly to their mission, vision, and purpose.

They never, ever give up.

For them the pain of living a life of regrets would be harder to endure than chasing after their dream and failing.

Learn to accept failure

The road to success is paved with potholes and setbacks.

At times you’re going to feel frustrated, overwhelmed, exhausted.

You’d better steel yourself for rejection, criticism, and failure.

Failure is delay, not defeat.

It’s a temporary detour, not a dead end.

Your failure does not define you.

Your response does.

Sometimes setbacks are opportunities in disguise.

They are your best teachers!

Don’t make speed the name of the game.

Don’t become so focused on the finish line that you fail to find joy in the journey.

Tame your inner critic

You know that nagging voice inside your head that acts as judge and executioner when doubt creeps in?

If you let her, she will cloud your judgement, create limiting beliefs and try to throw you off course.

All top performers hear mental chatter but what separates them from the rest is their ability to deal with it.

Become mindful of her existence.

Give the bitch a name and tell her who’s in charge before she starts wailing like a banshee.

Stop judging yourself for having fear – it’s normal!

Successful women know the importance of taking calculated risks, but they are not fearless.

They look at their fear through rational eyes.

They’ve trained themselves to take action in spite of their fear.

Don’t let your fear get in the way of your dreams.

Instead use your fear to propel yourself forward, to help you step outside what is familiar, cosy and comfortable.

Outside your comfort zone is where the magic happens.

Start by taking baby steps.

You’ll find the more steps you take, the smaller your feeling of fear will become.

Take Action!

  • Don’t overthink
  • Don’t overanalyse
  • Get out of your own head and just do it!

 

You need more drama in your life, truly!

You need more drama in your life, truly!

I don’t know about you, but when life is coasting along smoothly I tend to get a little complacent.

A bit of drama every now and then shakes things up, in a good way.

It puts me on my toes.

Gives me the edge I’m looking for.

Some of my most creative moments have come to me in the middle of a crisis.

Have you noticed how the human spirit thrives on drama?

We often hear people saying they don’t need that sort of drama in their lives, yet regularly they tune into soppy soap operas with tragic cliffhangers and enjoy watching movies filled with crime, suspense and horror.

Ok, I’ll admit to my sick, shameful soap opera addiction.

I’ve been obsessively devouring episodes of “The Bold and the Beautiful” since it first went to air in 1987.

People function at their best in the midst of a dramatic situation

For those of you who live in Australia, like me, you know we experience a range of natural disasters including bushfires, floods, and severe storms.

These events cause great financial hardship for individuals and communities and can result in loss of life.

I was an insurance investigator involved in the assessment of property losses in the aftermath of the Ash Wednesday bushfires that swept across Victoria (and South Australia) in 1983 – the deadliest in Australian history until Black Saturday in 2009.

We lost 21 lives that Wednesday night.

A dozen volunteer firefighters were among those killed.

In near 40 degrees Celsius heat and strong winds, strangers rallied together offering hugs and rugs, prayers and shelter, even the shirts off their backs to help others who’d lost everything including the clothes they stood up in.

There was no competition.

No jealousy.

No comparison.

No judgment.

Just an unbiased willingness to get to work and do something awesome.

As a human race, we do drama really well.

Have you noticed how well you manage when there’s a lot going on?

I remember when my livelihood depended on closing a substantial property deal some 1,700 kms away from home.

I had to get up at 3:00 am with next to no sleep the night before, pack a travel bag, prepare school lunches, get my daughters up, dressed and breakfasted (my youngest whinging and resisting all the way), summon a taxi, do the before-school-hours-drop-off and get to the airport through heavy traffic in pouring rain, then sit in a stuffy plane on the tarmac for an unstated amount of time due to a weather delay, knowing full well I stood little chance of making it to my appointment on time.

It almost did my head in.

Finally, when I met up with my client at a coffee shop in Broadbeach on the Gold Coast, I was surprised with how cool and relaxed I was and how well I had my shit together.

Sure, I was late.

I was wet.

But he was later.

And he was wetter.

The two of us?

We totally hit it off!

It was a business match made in heaven.

The transaction was a lay down misère.

When faced with a seemingly impossible deadline did you manage to meet your target?

You know that feeling – you’re utterly exhausted yet amazingly exhilarated because, against all odds, you finished your project not only ahead of schedule but within budget?

On those occasions when you’ve had to deal with something painful, like an illness or injury to a loved one, did you suddenly feel like your priorities were snapped into perspective?

Did you see the best of yourself come out?

As I see it, we actually need drama in our lives

People, we are made for drama!

We function well in stressful situations.

We do brilliant stuff under pressure.

It brings out the absolute best in us.

Lack of drama can bring out the worst in us.

The problem is when there’s no drama going on, when our lives are stale, comfortable, boring even, we feel the need to create some drama.

Unfortunately, that can bring out the worst in us.

Before we know it we’re making mountains out of molehills.

We’re picking fights with loved ones for no good reason.

We’re adopting self-sabotaging behaviours, like getting ourselves well and truly stuck in the compare and despair trap where jealousy rears its fiercely ugly head.

Our mean girl shows up for her finest hour, taking centre stage and hurling her best ever insults, like …

“You are a complete fraud. You know it. Your customers know it. The whole world knows it!  You and your miserable business are doomed to failure.”

Whoa!

We’ve got to stop throwing ourselves under the bus, just because life is too damned boring and we crave a bit of excitement!

The solution?

Don’t allow your life to get to the stage where it becomes samey.

Switch gears often.

Dare yourself to do something daring.

That’s right.

Not just different, but D-A-R-I-N-G!

Take on a new hobby or interest outside of your business.

Practice self-love, self-acceptance.

Most of all, get out of your head and start focusing on the happiness of others through random acts of kindness.

When a woman believes in herself she has the first secret of success

When a woman believes in herself she has the first secret of success

A truly confident woman is tuned into her intuition.

She allows her gut instinct to guide her.

She takes calculated risks and accepts full responsibility for her behaviour and her decisions.

She celebrates her individuality and lives her life on purpose without fear of judgement or rejection.

Build emotional resilience

Life is full of unpredictable events.

Sooner or later we are going to get thrown a curveball.

No matter how prepared we think we are, misfortune and setbacks will test our ability to respond proactively and resourcefully to change or adversity.

To build emotional resilience we need to be aware of how we react in difficult situations.

Worrying won’t change anything.

By focusing on solutions rather than problems we will feel more in control, which brings less stress.

Become a lifelong learner

Successful people believe that education and learning never ends, that nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it.

They focus on self -improvement instead of worrying about how smart they are.

In this ever-changing world it’s important to stay current, competitive and up to date.

Make sure you set time aside on a regular basis to educate yourself on new concepts and ideas.

Take charge of your life

Live your life by design, don’t leave it to chance.

Write a life plan.

Display images and text of all your hopes and dreams for your future on a vision board or better still, on an action board.

This will inspire and encourage you to keep moving forwards. It will give you the energy to get things done when the going gets tough.

Set bold but realistic goals

Think BIG but don’t set unrealistically high goals for yourself.

If you fail to achieve them your self-belief will plummet.

Demanding too much, too fast, is how goals, especially big audacious ones, die.

Break down your goals into bite-size pieces and set daily tasks and routines so they become more easily achievable.

Celebrate each milestone, then set an even higher goal and push yourself further.

The whole process is incremental. You gradually aim higher, and with each step forward you become more confident and sure of your actions.

The most important thing a woman wears is her confidence

The most important thing a woman wears is her confidence

Women are more risk averse than men.

 

It may come as no surprise to learn that women are genetically wired to be risk averse and, as a rule, we tend to shy away from boasting about our achievements and abilities.

Also, we are inclined to be perfectionists, and highly self-critical.

The good news is that with work, confidence can be acquired.

We can learn to become good self-promoters.

Traits of a confident woman

A confident woman feels positive about what she can do.

She doesn’t worry about what she cannot do because she is open to learning.

She doesn’t waste her time concentrating on her weaknesses.

Instead she focuses on developing and maximising her strengths.

A confident woman refuses to live in fear.

She doesn’t waste time comparing herself to others, or pondering on “if onlys” and “what ifs”.

She is happy to stretch herself, to step out of her comfort zone.

To break away from other people’s expectations.

Above all else a confident woman is bold, honest and forthright in her dealings with people.

She has an opinion, and she is never afraid to let her true feelings be known.

She learns to cope with criticism and to not take it personally.

Hormones have many important effects on a woman’s health

Of course hormones play a crucial role in the health and well-being of a woman throughout her life, and when levels fluctuate this can impact on our mood, our energy levels and our self-esteem, with sometimes devastating effects.

To be our absolute best self and achieve sustainable success we need a good head, a good heart, and we must develop a holistic approach to take care of our entire well-being, encompassing mind, body, and spirit.

Take care of your biggest asset, YOU

You owe it to yourself, your family, your friends, your clients and your customers to take care of your biggest asset, YOU.

Looking after yourself will allow you to better care for others.

These are exciting times

Women are leaping into entrepreneurialism and business ownership like never before.

It is reported that women today own more than a third of Australia’s small businesses, amounting to a 46 per cent increase in the number of female business operators in the country over the past two decades, while globally women run just over 30 per cent of all small businesses.

How to succeed as a woman entrepreneur

How to succeed as a woman entrepreneur

An important key to success is self-confidence.

You must be confident in yourself and in your ability to succeed.

You owe it to yourself, your business, your loved ones, your clients, to work on your biggest asset … YOU.

It may come as no surprise to learn that studies reveal men and women act and make decisions differently.

That men are genetically wired to be more confident, more risk taking, whereas women are more risk averse.

That men tend to overestimate their abilities and performance, whereas women tend to underestimate both, even though essentially there is no difference in the quality of their performances.

Of course men do doubt themselves sometimes, but they don’t let their doubts stop them as often as women do.
That’s the bad news for women in the gender stakes.

The good news is that with work, confidence can be acquired.

Here are some strategies you can employ straightaway to help you not just build, but radiate warmth and self-confidence.

Think positive

Your outlook towards the world colours your thinking.

Negative thoughts damage your self-esteem.

Feeling badly about yourself places you at greater risk of being depressed and dissatisfied with your life.

If you are experiencing frustration you need to convert that negative energy into positive determination.

Understand YOU

Get to know who you are as a person.

Become aware of your strengths and your weaknesses.

That way you can focus on those areas that need the most attention.

Manage your fear and anxiety of the unknown

Almost everybody worries about what will happen in the future.

The prospect of not knowing if something good or bad will happen to you can produce a lot of fear and anxiety.

A lack of self-confidence is simply a surplus of fear.

You don’t feel confident in your abilities because you fear the outcome.

To build self-confidence you need to pinpoint exactly what it is you fear.

With this knowledge you can begin the process of overcoming it.

Preparation is key

Insecurity arises from being unprepared.

Don’t waste time talking yourself into “feeling” confident.

Instead be more productive.

Get busy getting prepared.

The better you know your stuff, the more confident you will feel.

Set aside time to think through all the possible things that could happen and how you would respond to them.

It’s a matter of directing your attention away from anxiety and toward the actions you need to take.

Take action!

Doing nothing and just thinking about it will only make things worse.

You have to actually get up, go out there and do something.

Expand your comfort zone and try to take things one step at a time.

Practice present-moment gratitude

As you move through your day, pause every now and then to reflect on what you have achieved so far.

If you fall short of your deadlines resist the urge to pick out your flaws.

Do not beat yourself up.

Accept the fact that you are only human, and in being human you are bound to make mistakes.

Don’t fear failure

Failure is a natural part of life.

Life is too short to let fear make big decisions for you.

It is not easy to overcome the fear of failure, but once you build up the confidence to not let fear hold you back, you will achieve so much more.

Becoming a lifelong student of personal development has helped me to overcome many of life’s challenges.

You have to fail to succeed

You have to fail to succeed

I’ll say it again … You have to fail to succeed.

When you read that phrase does your mind conjure up the idea of failure as the end result?

Or do you look upon failure as a means to success?

If you want to overcome the fear of making mistakes you need to …

View failure as the path to success

Having some fear of making mistakes can be a good thing.

It can help to improve your performance.

But excessive fear can cause problems.

I am an ex-convent school girl (yes, I’ve heard all the jokes).

When I was young, making a mistake was considered a sin.

Let’s face it If you treat your mistakes like sins, what chance do you have of achieving success?

And like many people who fear making mistakes, I had a tendency towards perfectionism.

That’s either a blessing or a curse, depending upon your point of view.

So for me failure was not an option.

When it happened, it felt like the end of the world.

I remember sitting up in bed with my schoolbooks at night-time and rewriting my homework until it was picture perfect at gone 3 in the morning (my mother still reminds me to this day).

Nuns ran our school and they blasted us with religion but we did get an insanely good education.

I have a lot to be grateful for.

I learned heaps about self-discipline and self-control.

But as I grew up overcoming the fear of failure didn’t come easily.

I was a work in progress for a quite a while.

The good news is when I went into business for myself, I learned there is an upside of being a perfectionist.

I found I had no problem in over-delivering on value because of the incredibly high standards I set for myself.

Ok, I call myself a “perfectionist”, but in a light-hearted, positive manner.

Fortunately for me it’s no longer an obsession.

I don’t drive myself crazy trying to always reach an unattainable goal.

I’ve learned to accept that sometimes good enough really is good enough.

The cold, hard truth about making mistakes

You have to make mistakes if you’re going to get ahead in business.

You need to be always experimenting with different ideas and strategies to see what works and what doesn’t.

If you don’t make mistakes you’re just not making as much progress as you could.

Building a business is a fascinating journey.

You get to learn so much about yourself.

The dawning of each day brings new challenges to deal with, new technology to learn, and new boundaries to burn.

You have to accept that doing your best is the best you can do.

When you make a mistake, be prepared to take accountability for it.

Owning your mistakes will make you powerful.

 

What is the key to your success?

What is the key to your success?

According to research, happiness is the key to success.

Happiness is not a “feelgood” luxury, but is essential to our well-being.

Being happier is more likely to make you financially better off, reduce stress levels and increase life expectancy.

Happiness comes from having a healthy, positive state of mind, and from spending your time doing what you enjoy doing most.

Doing well in business comes from being particularly good at what you enjoy doing most.

The key to success in business is to understand where your greatest talent lies, and figure out how to build a business around it.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel (unless you want to!)

Just look for ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

But more than anything else make sure that you and your business idea are a match made in heaven.

If not, you probably won’t make a success of it even if the idea proves to be financially viable.

That’s because following your passion has been scientifically proven to make you happier.

Passion produces positive energy.

And positive energy attracts wealth.

Wealth – like happiness, confidence and love – starts from within.

Integrating your passion with your business provides sustainable motivation and the grit to weather the inevitable ups and downs of your entrepreneurial journey.

Just like life, business is a journey, not a destination.

You want to enjoy your journey, not waste your time and money building something that might not work out for you.

The last thing you want is to spend your days slogging away at something you don’t like just to make ends meet.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of people out there who have been wildly successful in business, even though they have spent a lifetime of misery from having played it safe, rather than taking the chance to do something that makes their heart sing!

(I’ve come across quite a few of those miserable sods along my journey.)

Don’t be that person.

What is it that makes you truly happy?

Ask yourself what is it that motivates you?

In what way do you want to contribute to make things better?

What do you want to achieve for yourself and your loved ones?

What do you value most, spiritually, emotionally and materially?

How to control your fear of rejection

How to control your fear of rejection

The desire to be liked, whether right or wrong, will not get you ahead in business.

Having self-confidence, being assertive and asking directly for what you want are the qualities that will make you successful.

The bitter truth is that no matter how hard you try, there will always be people out there who do not like you.

You may as well get comfortable with ruffling feathers and rattling cages because rejection is predictable.

Whatever you do, try not to take rejection personally because it’s not personal, it’s just business.

Patterns of self-talk

I’ve learned that the way I react to things, whether appropriate or inappropriate, is directly linked to the things I tell myself.

While rejection is often highly inconvenient and annoying, it’s my self-talk that creates either a positive, a neutral or a negative reaction.

When I first started out in business I was young and naive.

I was still trying to figure out who I was and how I fitted into the grand scheme of things.

Even so I was persistent and determined to succeed.

Unfortunately disapproval was all around me and it was a difficult pill to swallow.

In private I’d well up with tears, anger and hostility if my carefully thought out ideas and proposals got rejected.

It would eat away at me and sometimes ruin the rest of my day.

I knew I had to figure out a better way of coping or I’d go nuts.

So I read a lot of self-improvement books and I learned to change my self-talk.

Instead of telling myself I was worthless and it was the end of the world if others disapproved of me, I thanked the universe for giving me a sign that my prospect was not a good fit.

That we were not meant to do business together.

That there were plenty more fish in the sea.

The effect was liberating.

I found myself taking on a devil may care attitude towards my prospecting.

I enjoyed the process more and stopped worrying about the outcome.

I treated meetings as an opportunity to get to know each other rather than “You have to buy from me NOW or else!”

Above all I appreciated the importance of making a lasting impression, of leaving the door wide open long after I’d closed it behind me.

How did I change my thinking?

Well, it was a process.

Not something I was able to achieve overnight.

But, with practice, I was able to think negative irrational beliefs with less intensity and to experience them as a fleeting thought, rather than a continuous one.

By disputing my negative thoughts vigorously and repeatedly I began to see how foolish and self-defeating they were and, as a result, I became less affected by them.

When I stopped creating unnecessary emotional turmoil with “over-awfulisations” I noticed a more neutral viewpoint beginning to develop.

Every now and then I am guilty of slipping back into my old ways of thinking, but at least I have the tools to help me quickly change my emotional response.

Are you able to instantly put your life and problems into perspective?

If so, well done!

If not, I hope you found this story somewhat insightful or at least entertaining.

Am I expert enough?

Am I expert enough?

Do you find yourself finally deciding what it is you want to share with the world and then, just as you are about to muster up the courage to step out into the arena, self-doubt begins to rear its ugly head?

Do you start looking around and comparing yourself, your background and your experience with others in your field and decide that you just don’t quite measure up?

Then you find yourself sinking back into what feels safe and familiar and end up ditching that brilliant idea of yours because you feel that your background and experience just doesn’t add up?

The consequences of comparison

We’re all guilty at some time or another of comparing ourselves to others who are more accomplished than we are, of using their success as a measuring stick.

I think it boils down to the fact that, deep down, we’re all a bit insecure about our own worth and so we look around us for a frame of reference to assess how well we’re doing.

While this can be helpful in motivating us to stretch and improve ourselves, it often leaves us feeling like we’re just not good enough.

Avoid the pitfalls of comparison

If we are ever to experience the sweet taste of success we must stop engaging in such futile acts of self-sabotage.

Accept that everyone is at a different stage in their entrepreneurial journey.

Some are starting out.

Some are on the road.

Some are reaching their destination.

As long as you have the experience or the knowledge with what you are trying to do or teach, you are at least one step ahead of your prospective customers, and you have a solution to their problem, you’re good to go.

Once you’ve done the groundwork, step out.

Be brave!

Strengthen your success muscles

Strengthen your success muscles

In today’s business world you cannot afford to play it safe if you want to be successful.

You have to be willing to take risks.

If you want to achieve your biggest dreams and wildest ambitions you have to learn how to strengthen your success muscles, develop courage.

Stepping outside your comfort zone is going to cause you some anxiety, but it’s a great way to grow courage.

Doing something you don’t normally do, however small to start with, will help you cope with the unexpected, which is where fear often originates from.

Doubt and failure are ever present in business.

Dare to accept failure as part of your entrepreneurial journey because failure will be your greatest educator.

Through failure comes humility, and humility allows understanding and perspective.

Without failure, you cannot fully understand yourself or develop as a business person.

Embrace your fear and try not to hesitate.

The longer you give yourself to come up with excuses for not being courageous, the more likely it is that you will become paralysed and spend too much time worrying about hypothetical negative outcomes.

About taking risks …

In my early days, brimming with youthful enthusiasm, I took an “all or nothing” approach toward risk.

Sometimes things worked out in my favour.

Other times not so much.

I have to admit everything I did back then was based on gut instinct alone.

I still trust my gut first and foremost, but no longer do I put everything on the line and run the risk of going out in a blaze of attempted glory.

I learned the difference between being a risk taker and a calculated risk taker.

The difference between failure and success.

I learned how to balance the pros and cons and develop methods for taking smart risks to improve my business and to minimise my losses.

What is “the worst thing that could happen?”

I am comfortable with entertaining the possibility of failure.

In business failure is always an option.

I don’t expect failure but if things should go awry, I am prepared.

I always have a Plan B.

I’m only too willing to admit I still suffer the occasional setback.

That’s the nature of business.

I like to manage risk, not avoid it.

I love introducing new products and services into my business that make my life and the lives of my staff and clients easier and better.

Of course innovation carries risk.

There are rewards in risk, even if the reward is the exhilarating experience of the risk itself.

Is it time you stopped overthinking it, and starting risking it?

From secretary to sales star

From secretary to sales star

Growing up it was my dream to become a lawyer.

My father, however, was deadset against a university education for his daughter.

“What’s the point?” I remember him saying.

“A few years from now you’ll meet a man, get married, have kids, and that’ll be the end of you.”

Such an archaic attitude I thought in this era of women’s lib, cultural change and technological innovation.

I had big plans for my future and I was willing to work hard to make sure they happened.

But my pleas fell on deaf ears so I took the next best option and completed my formal education with a diploma from Melbourne’s leading secretarial college.

I settled as best I could into the role of PA to the GM of an international business machines manufacturer.

Even though I knew better things were out there waiting for me.

I created my own opportunity

The company had a showroom that fronted on to one of the busiest streets in the city of Melbourne.

At lunchtime people would stop to admire our display of newly released office equipment and electronic gadgetry from around the world.

Anyone who dared to come inside was quickly shooed away by receptionist Liz as all the sales reps and managers were at the local pub watching The Ashes and tucking into a barmy army parmy and a beer.

I knew how to use all of our products so I decided to try my hand at selling them.

Long boozy lunchtime meetings became a daily occurrence.

So, once the coast was clear, I took up my position in the showroom cleaning and rearranging the display and inviting people who stopped by to come on in and take a closer look.

I enlisted the help of Joey, an awkward teenage typewriter technician (just a couple of years younger than me actually) from the service department who was willing to do almost anything to gain favour.

On cue Joey would start asking me a repertoire of preprepared questions.

Questions I knew people wanted to know the answers to.

It wasn’t long before I gained an audience and I was doing demonstrations in front of a room and then a footpath full of interested customers.

I enjoyed interacting with people, it was fun, and I got really good at it.

Sales started to flow, including big ticket items.

The revenue I’d created was so impressive that the company placed me in charge of showroom sales on a full-time basis.

Dreams really do come true!

When I turned 21 I got promoted to the position of Regional Sales Manager.

No longer was I chained to a desk and a lifetime of taking dictation and typing correspondence.

I spent my days travelling around the state of Victoria by car and light plane visiting authorised dealers and their clients, demonstrating and selling office equipment.

I regularly exceeded my sales targets and before long I was manning trade show booths with famous sports stars and TV celebrities, and negotiating major contracts with key account customers over long boozy lunches at fancy restaurants.

The moral of my story?

Let no-one discourage your ambitious attitude.

You don’t need a fan club to achieve your goals.

Be your own motivation.

Don’t wait for the door of opportunity to open.

Break the damned door down and create your own opportunities.