We all have days here and there where we feel like stress and fear is overtaking us, and all we can see are problems, we feel like there is no escape, no light at the end of the tunnel.
On days like that, we have to interrupt the pattern, we have to change up a gear and get out of our routine.
What I recommend to my clients on days like this is what I call the Five R’s to a great day.
1. REVIEW your day. (What went well, what are you grateful for?) Always end your day on a positive note!
2. REALISE that you have done the best that you could have. (If there were things to improve on; well, now you know what they are) We all make mistakes or have things that just don’t go as planned, take a few deep breaths and move on, we cannot always control everything that comes up in our lives.
3. RECOGNISE that you are making a difference to others. (Think about the ways you help others every day, and make a difference in the world) Sometimes we need to remind ourselves the value we bring to others. Even during those stressed filled times, we can be an example to those who are watching how we handle these times.
4. RECONCILE anything that you felt was negative. (Learn from it. What could have been done better or different?) Identifying the problem, challenge, negative attitude, whatever it is, that’s half the battle. Now that we have identified the issue, we can reconcile it, adjust, problem solve and overcome.
5. RELAX – Spend time breathing, go for a walk, take a break in your day for a period of time to ease any tensions. Make sure to take time out for yourself, doing what makes you feel great. This way you can be at your best. (Relaxation= Rejuvenation and Refuelling) This helps to make you strong, reinvigorated and you actually think clearer when you take the time to step back and take a break.
I was at an ABC Networks meeting last week when a guest came marching up to the host of the event and launched into a tirade about how difficult it was to find the venue.
The host, a very experienced host and well respected lady in the local business community was humble and did everything possible to calm and placate the guest without success. The guest continued to be curt and disrespectful and finished by saying “There are not enough people in the room, so I would be wasting my time being here!”Then marched out!
Imagine the message this conveyed to the people that were in the room.
It doesn’t end there…
Later that day I received an email from person in question. They complained about how difficult the venue was to find and how rude and unhelpful the host had been. Interesting!
They clearly didn’t realise I was there and witnessed the whole episode along with all of the other attendees and my version of events was very different to theirs.
I explained to the person that the AA road signs were clearly marked in every direction from all of the major roads and the exact venue details were on the ABC website. That’s not mentioning the name of the venue in massive letters on the outside of the building and ABC banners inside the building.
I also pointed out that the ethos of the ABC network is to build long term relationships and not to sell to the room. Quality over quantity. The suggestion was that if they wanted to put a sales pitch to the room, then ABC was probably not for them.
Now this throws up some really interesting points for me regarding this person’s take on networking…
Does this attitude work?
Is this transactional or relationship based?
What return on investment are they getting on any other networking?
Had they planned the journey? (Considering they had a 7o mile round trip.)
So, all things being equal, people do business with people they like and if they don’t like you, even if you are the only person with the product or service in the room, the chances are they will NOT buy from you.
Did this person enhance his chances of people liking him at that network meeting? Probably not!
Here are 5 of my top tips for networking;
It’s not about you! If you go to a network meeting with the view of what you are going to get out of it, you probably won’t be very successful. If you go with the view of how can I help someone or how can I connect someone, then they are more likely to remember you. The more you give, the more you gain! Perhaps give because you can and don’t keep score!
Networking is NOT selling! Networking is about building relationships, getting to know, like and trust others. By all means, talk about your products or services, as you are there to raise the profile of your business. Have the attitude of turning strangers into friends and friends into clients!
Never judge the room! You don’t know who is in the room and more importantly, who they know. Most people have a circle of influence of about 250 people and it’s these people that you ultimately could have access to. If you have judged the person in the room you will never get the opportunity to be introduced to their circle of influence who might just want your product or service.
Adjust your attitude! Our attitude is everything, if you turn up to the network meeting in a bad mood, miserable or aggressive, people will sense it and not want to talk to you for any longer than necessary. So be aware of your state and how you may be coming across to others. A positive attitude can lead to positive behaviour and create success. An upbeat, positive person draws other people like a magnet. After all, who would you rather be around-someone who is strong and motivated, with the confidence to keep moving forward, or someone who stays stuck in one place, thinking of reasons why things don’t seem to happen?
Listen to understand not respond! Once in a conversation, listen to others and show interest. Do not start looking around the room at others trying to spot someone more interesting. This will only get you a reputation of being rude and ignorant. Prepare a set of great questions and get used to adapting them to suit the person in front of you. Listen to them exactly how you would like them to listen to you. By listening and helping others, they are more likely to help you. Listen to understand what they are saying rather than respond with your take on things.
Back to the subject person… The Psychologists view!
With a negative attitude it is very unlikely that they will be getting a great return on the networking. It would appear that they are not the best planner in the world and probably very reactionary. They probably talk about building relationships; however, the relationship would be based on transactions. (If you do this for me, I’ll do something for you.)
Remember, “It’s not about you!” and “Giving begins the receiving process!”
As someone who loves watching human behaviour patterns it fascinates me why a lot of people keep repeating the same fundamental actions and wonder why they don’t get a different result.
So here are a few actions that you may be taking, that, if you stopped, might just make a big difference to your life!
1. Criticising everyone and everything.
Life isn’t perfect. People make mistakes. Let go of unfair expectations. Stop criticising yourself and others for being human. If you feel like everyone is judging you all the time, realise that human beings often feel this way when they are too busy judging themselves.
It’s far easier to be critical than correct, just as it’s easier to see why something is lacking rather than why it is good. If you meet someone for the first time and you decide, “This is a person I don’t like,” you can basically take every one of their characteristics and find the obvious flaw. What’s hard to do is describe what you like about them, despite their incompatibility with your ideals.
Everyone is unique: not better, not worse, just unique in their own way. Appreciate the differences instead of criticising the shortcomings and you’ll see people – and yourself – in a far better light.
2. Believing that you have all the answers.
Criticising has a big brother: the know-it-all-syndrome. The older you grow, the higher you rise in your chosen field, and the more you achieve, the more likely you are to think you know it all. When you catch yourself thinking and speaking with intense finality and little tolerance for new ideas, stop yourself and take a deep breath. If you do not, you will alienate the world around you and become more and more disconnected from reality with each passing day. Few things are sadder and leave a person unhappier.
Remember, it isn’t someone who proves you wrong that hurts you; it is choosing to continue your self-deception and ignorance that eventually conquers you entirely.
The measure of your intelligence and success in life will be in direct proportion to your ability to change your mind and let it expand. If someone is able to show you that what you think or do is not right, thank them and happily adjust. Seek the truth. Never stop learning.
3. Trying to control everything.
Craving control leads to anger and unhappiness. Life is to be lived, not controlled. Powerful, positive change will occur in your life when you decide to take control of yourself instead of craving control over everyone and everything else.
Imagine that you’re driving in your car and you get stuck in rush hour traffic. The traffic situation is out of your control and simply requires your patience. However, this doesn’t stop you from switching lanes, trying to cut in front of other cars, or even leaving the road you’re on to try alternate routes – all desperate efforts to gain control. Sadly, these efforts just lead to further stress and unhappiness when they are unsuccessful – when control is again obstructed.
Quite simply, the reason you are often miserable and stressed is because of an unhealthy attachment to certain things you have no control over. So let go. Release the tension and stress. Realise you haven’t lost anything; you were never in control of the uncontrollable to begin with.
4. Dwelling on what used to be.
When something negative happens, view this circumstance as a chance to learn something you didn’t know. Don’t wish it never happened. Don’t try to step back in time. Take the lessons learned and step forward. You have to tell yourself, “It’s OK. You’re doing OK!” You need to know that it’s better to cross new lines and suffer the consequences of a lesson learned from time to time, than to just stare at the lines for the rest of your life and always wonder.
The past is valuable. It provides a solid foundation for everything you’re doing now. Learn from it – the mistakes and the successes – and then let it go. This process might seem easier said than done, but it depends on your focus. The past is just training; it doesn’t define you in this moment. Think about what went wrong, but only in terms of how you will help you make things right.
The bottom line is that if nothing ever changed – if no chances were ever taken and no mistakes were ever made – there would be no sunrise the next morning. Most of us are comfortable where we are even though the whole universe is constantly changing around us. Learning to accept this change is vital to our happiness and general self-improvement. Because only when we let go of what used to be, do we grow and begin to see a world we never knew was possible.
5. Wanting everything you don’t have.
Life is NOT short if you spend every waking moment appreciating it. It’s just that by the time most of us catch up to appreciating what we have, we’ve already squandered our time and left life at least halfway behind us.
The key is being thankful for what you have NOW.
No, not all the puzzle pieces of life will seem to fit together at first, but in time you’ll realise they do, perfectly. So thank the situations that didn’t work out for you, because they just made room for the situations that will. And thank the people who walked away from you, because they just made room for the ones who won’t.
No matter how good or bad you think you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, think about what you have that everyone else is missing. Think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive in your own shoes – to breathe a fresh breath, to think another thought, to enjoy a new moment, to have options – then go out and make the day count.
6. Whinging & Whining and doing nothing about it.
Complaining does not work as a strategy. Those who complain the most, accomplish the least positive results. When you spend time fretting and complaining, you’re simply using your imagination to create things you don’t want.
Don’t talk about what’s wrong. Harping on your problems makes you feel worse, not better. Unless you want to complain about it forever, eventually you’ll have to DO something. If you took a fraction of the energy you put into complaining and applied it to solving your problem, you’d likely be stunned by how well things can work out. Start talking about how you’ll improve things, even if the conversation is only with yourself, and then focus on the next positive step. Refocus your energy into making your situation better.
Say what you do, do what you say!! Really? Recently I’ve been out visiting different network groups, mainly to see how other people do it and if necessary bring ABC Networks up to scratch. One of the main things I’ve noticed and quite frankly has shocked me is the number of people that make promises that they don’t keep.
Why would they say one thing and do something different? It appears to me that this phenomenon is endemic among small business owners.
Now, I say to myself, there is no such thing as coincidence, so where else is this showing up in their lives? It can’t just be a one off!
When we don’t follow through on things that we promise to do, it not only shows disrespect but also destroys trust. Who wants to do business with someone they don’t trust, and more to the point in the context of networking would you refer someone you don’t trust?
What is it that makes them over promise and under deliver? Is it the fact that they want us to have a positive and favourable opinion of them? This seems to be a pointless exercise as after all, we will find out at a later time that they don’t deliver on their promises.
Ash’s first rule of life and business…‚ “Say what you do, do what you say.” If you can’t follow through with the action, don’t make the promise.
Your mission for this week is to see where you are following through on your promises, how ever small they may be.
As Yoda once said “Either do or do not, there is no try!”
People may spend a lot of time and energy proving a point about something. You can never prove you are right to someone else’ The harder you try to prove it to them, the more stubborn both you and they become, often to the point that whoever is wrong, even if it’s you, will never admit it.
The only person who is important in determining whether you’re right is YOU. How you see a situation is your view alone. Your beliefs and opinions belong to you, nobody else. Your thoughts about a situation, with respect to yourself, is what counts. Everyone sees things with a different set of eyes. Each has the right to their views or opinions.
There’s a big difference between believing a viewpoint or opinion to be right, and whether it’s objectively and factual, accurate or correct. People often do things or have ideas that are inaccurate or incorrect. But facts don’t have to be proven to others. People in relationships, such as parents, spouses, bosses, have both the right and the responsibility to point out errors of fact to others. Recognise the difference between opinion and fact. It can prevent you from falling into a trap of having to prove yourself to someone else. Facts are objective and true, you don’t need to prove them to others. The facts do that on their own. If you tell someone that a bus leaves at 8am, you don’t have to prove it. If the person arrives at 8:10, the bus will be gone! Recognise when others draw you into a trap of trying to “prove” yourself or prove your point. Extended families often try this trick especially on newcomers like son-in-laws and daughter-in-laws. These newcomers are often baited by opinionated statements, and end up trying to prove a point in defence of themselves or others. You’ll never prove a point to someone else who holds an opinion or a value quite different from yours. You’ll only escalate tempers and emotions and create hard feelings between you and them. YOU KNOW if your opinions, views, ideas and values are right for you. That’s all you need. Don’t get caught in a never-ending circular trap of trying to prove you’re points or views are right to others.
Equally, don’t react to baited comments from others. Don’t think you have to prove you’re right, and they’re wrong. You’ll just wear yourself down, or work yourself into such an anger that you may do things that you seriously regret and feel badly about later. “The proof of the pudding is in the eating”. The proof of your views, opinions and ideas, is in your confidence with yourself. This can’t be forced on others despite how great you feel that proof is.
Ash recently formed a joint venture with Daniel Priestley and his company Entrevo. As a result he has a number of complimentary tickets for the next event on the 17th October at the Mermaid theatre in London.
These one day seminars are fantastic value and are well worth a day of anyone’s time. As an added bonus for this particular event Vince Cable will also be speaking.
As an ABC member I am offering you an opportunity to grab one of these complimentary places.
Have a look at the event here! Please DO NOT BOOK on this link as you will be charged.
If you would like to attend with one of my complimentary tickets you can book here! Please complete all of the fields including your mobile number as they will call you to confirm the booking.
Please only book if you are going to attend as Ash will be charged the full fee for any of his guests not attending.
These are limited so first come, first served, please be quick.
It’s coming up to 5 years since the unexpected passing of my mum. This weekend I caught myself reflecting on the morning when I received the news, and how since, lots of people who I barely know came up to me over the subsequent days and gave me a pat on the back, a hug, or a genuine “I’m sorry!” More →
In life, the journey is more important than the destination.
Too many of us agonise over choices in things that don’t matter, and in the end maybe choose none of them.
This is a story for people who are forever putting things off until everything is just right, until they have checked all the options, until they have looked into every aspect, and who won’t decide between different options in case they pick the wrong one. More →
Here’s the great challenge of life – You can have more than you’ve got because you can become more than you are. Unless of course, you’re tossing it off!!
I have found that your income will rarely exceed your own personal development. Once in a while your income may take a lucky jump, but unless you grow out to where it is, it will come back to where you are.
Somebody once said if you took all the money in the world and divided it among everyone equally; it would soon be back in the same pockets. However, you can have more because you can become more.
If I got marooned on an island with 99 other people that all had one pair of shoes, it wouldn’t be long before I had more than one pair of shoes…
You see, here is how the other side of the coin looks – unless you change how you are, you will always have what you’ve got. The marketing plan won’t do it. It’s a good plan but it won’t work without you.
You’ve got to work at it. It is the human effort that counts. Wouldn’t it be great if someone came along and did it for you – wouldn’t that be lovely? The major thing that makes the difference is what YOU do.
In order to have more, you need to become more. The man says “If I had a good job I would really work harder, but I have this poxy job so I’ll just toss it off.” If that is your philosophy you are destined to stay there.
At one of my ABC meetings the other day I spoke to this man, he had told me a year ago that networking didn’t work so he wouldn’t be coming back, so you can imagine I was surprised to see him.
When I asked him what had happened to make him come back he told me he had read this book about networking and that “It wasn’t about what you know, it’s about who you know!” No shit Sherlock! The funny thing is that he repeated the behaviour that didn’t get him a result the first time round, i.e, sitting on his own and not engaging in any conversation with anyone. He did his 60 second pitch asking for help and that was it!
He was expecting THINGS to change, he didn’t realise that HE had to change!
Some people say “If I had a lot of money I would be really generous, but I don’t have much so I’m not generous.”
See, you’ve got to change that philosophy or you will never have “the lots of money”. Unless YOU change, IT won’t change. Amazingly, however, when we stop blaming all and sundry and take responsibility for everything in our lives – the difference is everything else will begin to change around us.
Over the years, likely without your conscious knowledge, you have adopted self-limiting beliefs that are quietly mucking up your best efforts for personal growth. If you pay close attention to your self-talk, these beliefs will reveal themselves in the form of excuses.
The truth is, if you really want something, you will find a way. If you don’t, you will find an excuse… and then you will live with that excuse every day of your life. This is precisely what makes so many of us unhappy.
I speak with hundreds of clients and blog subscribers (subscribe here) every month, and this one self-defeating behaviour always rears its ugly head eventually – excuses, excuses, excuses. And I’m not above the excuses either. I catch myself making them sometimes too. But that’s the key – we have to catch ourselves before our excuses become hopeless regrets.
So let this be your wake-up call.
Stop making excuses for why you can’t get it done and start focusing on all the reasons why you must make it happen.
NO more negativity. NO more laziness. NO more quick fixes. NO more blaming others. NO more “I’ll do it tomorrow.” NO MORE EXCUSES!
Here are 7 common excuses that losers use…
1.”It’s too late.” – It’s never too late to live a life that makes you proud. If you don’t learn anything else from this post, learn that. We get one go at this life. There’s no age limit on changing your course, and to settle in and be stuck in a life that isn’t making you happy is a tragic waste. Honestly, it’s never too late or too early to be who you are capable of being. There’s no time limit – you can simply start and stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. You can make the best or the worst of it. It’s up to you, so make the best of it. Do things that shock you. Feel things you’ve never felt before. Spend time with people who help you grow. Live a life you’re proud of. And if you find that you’re not, have the courage to make a change.
2.”I’m not good enough yet.” – Rubbish! Do your best and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. If you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, and changing the world for the better. We can’t make anything valuable without making mistakes. Not a painting, not a relationship, not a career, not a life. If you wait until you have it all figured out to try, you will be waiting forever. Do It Now!
3.”I have way too much to lose.” – In the end, you will not regret the things you have done nearly as much as the things you haven’t done. It’s always better to be left with a few “oh wells,” than a bunch of “what ifs.” It’s better to have a lifetime full of experiences and mistakes you learned from, rather than a heart full of regrets and empty dreams. Someday you will want to look back at your life and say, “I can’t believe I did that!” instead of, ” What if I’d done this or that…”
4.”I have too much baggage from my past.” – There comes a time when you have to choose between turning the page and closing the book. Some stories need to end before new ones can begin. Life is too short to spend at war with yourself. Practice acceptance and forgiveness. Letting go of the past is your first step to happiness today. It’s said that as one door closes another opens, but if you are spending all of your time looking at the one that’s just closed you may well miss the one that’s opened!
5.”I’ve already lost too much.” – The truth is, everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end. We’ve all gone through some hard times, and you, personally, will likely go through more hard times in the future too. But it’s worth it. It builds character and teaches necessary lessons. I can trace some of the best stuff in my life right now to things that were really hard when I was going through them. So when things seem like they are impossible, or you feel like you are never going to feel better, just know that you will eventually look back in amazement at how far you have come. Yes, it’s going to be okay.
6.”No one understands me.” – Everyone has their own life to worry about; everybody is busy. At the end of the day, no one has the time or energy to figure anyone else out. If it really matters to you that someone understands you, simply communicate and make it easy for them to do so. Stop playing games and beating around the bush. Say what you do and do what you say. (And remember that it’s not necessary that everyone understands and agrees with you all the time.)
7.”I’m comfortable right now” – The most common and harmful addiction in the world is the draw of comfort. Why chase greatness when can sit and watch Eastenders? Just pass another biscuit and forget about your future plans. NO! The truth is, growth begins at the end of your comfort zone. Stepping outside of your comfort zone will put things into perspective from an angle you can’t grasp now, and open doors of opportunity that would otherwise not exist.
So no more excuses, the only thing that stops you having what you want is the excuse you have of why you can’t have it!
A strategy to stay aligned
Supporting your business forecasts combined
Avoid all unnecessary costs
You will not get your wires crossed
For knowing your fixed and variable figure
Will certainly not leave you feeling bitter.
Overheads and running rate
Do not EVER leave to fate
Remember to fully integrate
To help your figures grow and inflate
If overheads are dearer
Then this couldn’t be clearer
You may need to increase your charge
To see your bank balance enlarge.
What is your vision? Is it boutique or Scalable?
Use Capacity teachings and be able
To work out your figures by times table
To ensure your business looks attractive and saleable
Apply the 70/30 rule
This is truly an amazing tool
Do this to keep your cool
And turn your business into a jewel.
For a business that now runs more effectively
It will also allow you to increase productivity
And choose your projects and jobs selectively
So you and your business can run side by side, respectively.
Add capacity when and where its needed
And be the one who succeeded
To see the times you took hold and proceeded
To make change, adapted and acceded
At 70% you find a larger container
Treat your business like your its personal trainer
Implementing change, it couldn’t be plainer
FOLLOW ALL THIS AND BECOME A 70/30 CAMPAIGNER!
The result of great success is often pretty noisy – lots of people talking, writing and sharing stories about it. The actual process of achieving great success, on the other hand, is far more discreet. It’s this process that happens quietly, behind-the-scenes, that makes all the difference in the world.
I am fortunate enough to know a number of very successful people. Regardless of lifestyle, industry or profession, they all share many of the same quiet rituals. And that’s precisely what I want to show you here.
Here are ten things the most successful people I know do quietly and diligently: More →