SeanCarroll

Stay In Your Lane!

authentic stamp bron

Today the Universe just blew my mind.I signed up a new VIP client in my coaching business this morning, but that’s not what was mind blowing.

What blew my mind was how it happened.

Recently when I told you all that the reason for my success in business I believe is that I am 100% committed to being real, vulnerable and authentic. NO MATTER WHAT.

Today, this prospect told me what they needed with their business, and I realized that helping them what they described was not my “gift”. Sure, I could take them on, and I have taken on clients in the past who needed this service because of the money.

Sure, I still like making money, especially when it comes from VIP clients because it usually comes in chunks. Chunks of cash are good for business.

Today however, I remembered my commitment to myself to stay in my authentic power, and live what I teach. I told her I couldn’t take her on as a client.

What happened next was cool. She was so appreciative and so impressed that I would tell her the truth, and was so confident in what I did, she actually ASKED ME how we COULD work together.

We spoke for another 20 minutes, and at the end of the call she had signed up, and told me that the moment I told her that I couldn’t take her on as a client, she was so impressed and felt like I was a person of high integrity.

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She felt drawn to me. It was almost like she couldn’t NOT hire me because my authenticity was like a magnet.

Whoa.

I am sharing this not to brag, but to inspire you to show up today and just BE WHO YOU ARE.

No excuses. No whining, no complaining. No nonsense.

Being truly raw and authentic is vulnerable, and there is risk. Today though, the Universe showed me that with great risk, can come great reward. It’s not about the money I made today, it’s about how just being me attracted an amazing new person in my life.

Today, by staying in my "lane" and sticking to what I'm best at, I actually was able to attract an absolutely ideal client.

If I had behaved like I did in the past, I would have still had the client, but we would have been working on an entirely different subject during our coaching. I would have been less effective, less happy, and she would have experienced less powerful results.

Stay in your lane. That's where you were BORN to serve!

Go…..Set….Ready….

runners
 

I wanted to use “ready, fire aim”, but I think that’s a little played out, so since I just completed my 2nd Marathon in Los Angeles, I thought a running analogy would be a perfect fit for this blog.

When I ran my first marathon in December, I had trained and planned for almost 6 months. I was supposed to run in New York, but that got canceled due to Hurricane Sandy, so I had another month to wait and train before participating in the Delaware Marathon.

This length of training really made the race almost easy. (ALMOST). I had planned and practiced my pace, my strategy and my technique for almost 6 months, but the beauty of this training is that I was running the entire time.

The preparation and training was 98% running on the road (or rest days), and 2% off the road (reading articles, reaching out to my support groups, etc.)

Almost immediately, I signed up for my 2nd marathon in just 3 short months, and ran L.A. a few Sundays ago.

Wow. This was a totally different experience. It was a hilly course, not flat. There were 25,000 people instead of 800, it was 70 degrees instead of 45, and I had flown cross country 2 nights before, instead of sleeping in my own bed like I did for the previous marathon.

What happened at mile 21, I will never forget. I had already pushed through “the wall”, but my legs and feet were in so much pain, I had to make a decision to abandon my time goal, and just make the goal to FINISH!

And finish I did! I crossed the line in just over 5 hours, and met my beautiful wife on the other side who hugged me as I cried tears of joy (ok…and tears of pain)

After the race, I dissected the experience and asked myself what I learned and what I’d change for next time. I had a list of things I would do differently, and plan to implement those immediately. I also decided NOT to run a spring marathon and instead will focus on strength training so that when I run my fall marathons, I will be stronger and more fit, which means more FUN!

So what does this have to do with business? Well, did you notice in both cases how I learned what to do next time? I RAN. During the training, I RAN.

I FINISHED a marathon, and used that as my data for course correcting next time.

This is how I roll in business as well.

I start running, and then course correct. Always have…always will. I launch a program and sell it, THEN I build it. I pre-sell a product, THEN I create it.

Why on earth would I do this? Well because I want the market to tell me what IT needs. I want to learn from DOING instead of THINKING. I want RESULTS while I’m planning. I want income TODAY, while planning for tomorrow

Too many solopreneurs get caught in this trap of planning, perfecting, tweaking and NEVER RUNNING!

Get on the road. Get into the game! Ask for some business. Make some sales. I promise you, it’s the ONLY way to grow and grow rapidly.

People have told me I’m “lucky”. That may be true, but ya know what? There’s nothing like creating your own luck by getting to work.

So, I look forward to starting my strength training, and then learning what I need to tweak. Sure, I’ve ready articles and have a plan, but I’m going to start executing the plan before getting locked into full time research.

Risky? Maybe. But it’s all calculated. I’m willing to risk failure or imperfection, if it means I can generate momentum.

Thanks for reading, comments are of course welcome!

Why New Years Resolutions Don’t Work

Strategy Newspaper Headline
 

So the calendar has turned to a new year, and with it comes much optimism. I love New Year’s Eve, not because I love to party like a maniac (those days are over) – but because of the fresh hope it brings for what’s to come in the New Year.

One thing really ticks me off though about the coming of the New Year. It’s this idea that we should completely blow up our plans and make DRASTIC changes in our lives and in our businesses simply because the calendar changes to a new year. 

Time is not real. Humans invented it as a way to measure events and to help us define things like days, nights, and seasons. The only thing that’s real is the present. The NOW.

I understand wanting to start fresh, and certainly we should make changes in our business if we feel there are changes to be made to get us better results, but I don’t suggest making massive shifts in your life all at once, simply because the calendar we invented tells us we SHOULD.

Instead, take this first week of the New Year to reflect on what’s working well, and how you can build on that. Look at where your sales came from last year. How can you enhance what’s already working.

THEN. Look at what isn’t working, and what’s keeping you from hitting the goals you have set for yourself. Once you’ve identified the areas you do want to make change, start with ONE thing, and make a commitment to change that one habit or ritual every day for the next 30 days. Then add another, then another, and then another. This is called MOMENTUM.

Don’t just take massive action without the correct strategy. There is a famous quote that says “There is nothing worse than moving in the wrong direction enthusiastically”

Take some time, evaluate your business, and then yes. Take massive freakin’ action. I’m all about that. 

Don’t fall into the societal trap though of blowing up the ship and making massive changes that are unsustainable, without a plan. Your chances of success are much smaller. Just look at gym memberships this time of year. The people who start and stay are the ones that have a plan of action, and a real goal with real measurable objectives. 

The one’s that quit, usually come in with massive fire, and then sputter out because what they’re doing is unsustainable, has no real strategy behind it, and no clear goal.

Happy New Year! May 2013 be your best year yet in business!

 

How to Become an Overnight Success

Bigstock_Success_314841

Ok, so I got your attention.

Why is our society obsessed with people who seemingly become overnight successes? You'll see their stories in magazines, on TV newscasts, or business documentaries. Almost always, there is some headline about how they became an "instant hit"

Sorry to burst your bubble folks, but this is complete B.S.

There is no such thing as an overnight success.

Let's take a look at a few examples. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook burst onto the scene a few years back when his idea spread to millions from it's humble beginnings in a Harvard dorm room.

The media covers this man as if he is some kind of sensation. 

Yes, he is a brilliant entrepreneur, and yes he created something that exploded in a relatively short period of time.

What the media spends LESS time covering are the all nighters he likely pulled while programming the site, the countless bugs, glitches, problems, (and yes, lawsuits) that stood in his way before becoming an overnight success.

There were months, and years of work, experimentation, and even failures before his invention hit the tipping point and became part of main stream culture. That is a far less sexy story than covering his rise to stardom in a 60 minute documentary or in a 2 hour feature film.

Let's take another example from the literary world. Ever heard of Harry Potter? Of course you have. The author, J.K. Rowling appeared seemingly out of nowhere in 1998 when the first book in this series started winning critical acclaim and selling millions of copies worldwide.

What is often NOT reported is that just 5 years earlier, Rowling was diagnosed with clinical depression. Her marriage had just ended and she considered herself to be "The biggest failure I knew" in her own words. 

Later, Rowling would admit that some of her ideas for her books came from this dark period in her life when she was struggling against her own demons.

In 1995, when she finished the manuscript for the first Harry Potter book, she was rejected by 12 publishing houses before finally getting her "huge break" and a whopping 1500 pound advance. That's it. 1500 pounds. The equivalent of about $3000 in 1995. Not exactly life changing money.

The publisher advised Rowling that she should probably get a "day job" because she was unlikely to make much money selling books.

Finally, in 1998, the book took off in popularity. 

Does this sound like an overnight success to you? I think not.

I realize you probably know this intuitively, but it's easy to get misled by the media, and pop culture into thinking that if you just come up with the next big idea, you can get rich overnight and retire to some island some place. It ain't gonna happen.

Ask Mark Zuckerberg if his goal was to get rich and retire. He still shows up to work everyday and is working harder than ever because he loves his work. As for Rowling, she kept writing books long after she probably needed to.

So, how do you become an overnight success? Very simple.

Get off your a$$ and get to work, ONE DAY AT A TIME. 

Comments always welcome.. ;)

 

Addiction to Procrastination

Get Busy Living Forever Is Over Too Soon

It's starting early this year. Even earlier than last year, and certainly earlier than when I was younger. No, I'm not talking about the Christmas decorations in the shopping malls, although that seems to happen as soon as we leave our halloween parties.

I'm talking about what I like to call the "After the Holidays" syndrome, which is a symptom of the underlying disease of addiction to procrastination.

I've hosted numerous webinars and workshops about the dangers of waiting to take action until we perceive we have "less going on" in our life.

This year, I met with several prospects, and had discussions with several clients in October, and the first week of November which led to decisions on their part to wait until January to get started on something, whether it be with my services, or with something they wanted to do in their own life or business.

While they didn't actually say they wanted to wait until "after the holidays", most did say they would  "really get started in January" because it was a new year and a fresh start.

My response to that is always the same. I ask, "When do you want the results to appear? Do you want the results in the new year? If the answer is yes, then you must get started on the work and the planning now, so that the fruits of your labor will appear in January. If you wait until January to get started, you will see results in March or April, and well, I suspect then that's cutting it awfully close to summer, which gives you another reason not to take action until "after Labor Day"

Look, I'm very understanding of the fact that sometimes you DO need to wait, and gather more information, save more money, or legitimately just have too much going on right now to add more to your plate. In these cases, it may be prudent to wait, and follow your instincts.

I'm talking about the times when we (myself included sometimes), seem to just default to procrastinating until some predetermined date in the future, when we know full well that when that date comes, we probably won't take action either.

This idea that someday in the future we will somehow have "less going on" in our life is also false. How can we possibly predict that? The only time we can be certain about is now. The fact is that we will always have "stuff" going on. There will always be ups, downs, challenges, setbacks, new opportunities, and projects that start and end.

So, why not just be clear on what we'd like to manifest in our life, and make it happen now, instead of staying in old habits which are preventing us from taking action?

Why are we sometimes addicted to procrastination? I have lots of theories on that, and it's probably a subject for another blog. The biggest reason however is usually fear. It could be a fear that we are going to lose something we have, or not get something we want. Or, fear of failure or even fear of success. 

My challenge to you is this…If you find yourself needing to make a decision, no matter how minor, make it today. If that decision is to wait, because you have a legitimate reason to wait, then fine. I am certainly not going to tell you that you don't know what's best for your family, but whatever you do, take action today on something that is going to advance your personal or professional life.

If you catch yourself putting it off until "after the holidays", ask yourself why. How come you need to wait? Is the reason real? Or is it based in fear? Be hard on yourself when making these evaluations, because I promise you if you break the pattern of procrastination, and end this terrible addiction, you will accomplish far more of your goals, and experience more of what makes you happy.

I welcome your comments. Either write them in below, or if you are reading this in an email feed, CLICK HERE to view this in my blog.

Photo Credit: Katpreston

Yes…There’s Work Involved

There are no shortcuts to success.

Works in Progress

Don't let the media fool you. "Overnight Success" as a headline sells more newspapers than "Hardworking business owner puts in countless productive hours creating products, systems and processes that lead to steady business growth"

We are a “right now” society. Thanks to many of the wonderful innovations in technology over the past decade, we no longer have to wait until 6pm to get our news, or miss phone calls because we are not “in the office”. We no longer have to wait for a check to come “in the mail” because chances are we can pay online immediately.

While this technology is an excellent tool to increase our productivity, it has also helped fuel a similar “right now” thinking as business owners. Because we can get so many things immediately, it is often easy to forget that certain things just can’t be rushed. Certain things just take time, and also take work.

When we’re looking to increase productivity in our business, we can’t expect to go from $2 Million in sales to $5 Million in 2 weeks. Is it possible? Sure! But unlikely! When we need to pay off $50,000 in credit card debt, can we get it done in 3 days? Maybe if we hit the lottery, or find a few gold bars buried in our yard. No, the best way to get there is step by step and with good, old fashioned work.

Maybe we need to create or improve our systems. Maybe we need to improve our product. Maybe we need to attend that extra networking event. Or maybe we need to manage our time and energy better.

Whatever the solution is, it won’t happen overnight. If it does, may I suggest that you make sure you have systems in place to sustain that growth. When we try to make it happen overnight, instead of in its proper sequence, we set ourselves up for a crash. We cannot build a skyscraper on a foundation of loose sand. It needs to be supported upon bedrocks of solid habits, systems, and a commitment to excellence.

Beware of anyone who is ready to sell you the magic bullet to success. There isn’t one. The solution to long term prosperity in business, personal health, or personal relationships is always the same. Work. I know this doesn’t sound flashy or even fun, but I promise you the rewards are tremendous!

Thanks for reading!

Please comment by clicking the small "comment" link below this article.

 Photo Credit: koalazymonkey

3 Tips to Finish 2010 Strong

"Success is simple. Do what's right, the right way, at the right time"
 - Arnold Glasgow 

Finish Line

Believe it or not, as I write this blog, there only 17 days left in 2010. I truly hope you've had an incredible year, but remember that the year isn't over yet. In fact, I would argue that the work we do now in business and other areas will not only help us finish this year strong, but also lay the foundation for a fantastic start to 2011.

Professionally speaking, we should strive use the last few weeks of the year wisely, with a good balance of running, reflection, and rest. If we do, we will be far ahead of our competitors who will spend too much time doing 1 or 2 of these things, instead of striving for the proper balance.

Here are some ideas about how to incorporate these three R's into your life for the final 24 days of 2010 and beyond. 

1. Run

You may be surprised to hear this coming from me, but one thing I always share is that we have to be willing to work at our peak level at the right time. 

Running for most of us means we feel like the proverbial chicken without a head this time of year. We have lots of demands on our time, no doubt. What I am suggesting is that we run towards our goals.

Think of December as a 100 yard dash, not a marathon. Put forth an amazing focused effort towards your highest priorities, not always towards whatever demands urgent attention.

Imagine if a 100 yard sprinter just started running towards every person who called his name, instead of staying focused on the finish line. That's what this time of year can be like if we're not focused. But make no mistake about it, we still need to be pushing ourselves to the finish line, so that when we accomplish our goals we can move to the 2nd R…

 2. Rest

Seems so simple, yet often so difficult to do. Rest takes practice for me. For me to be resting properly, I need to schedule this time into my days and weeks.

This means that we should be especially mindful of our bedtime and wake times, and build in enough time during the week so we can take one of our 1552 Vacations that I speak about so often.

3. Rejuvenate

This is different than rest. Rejuvenation is the recharging period. Think of the analogy to a cell phone battery. Your phone is resting when you turn it off, and rejuvenating when you plug it in to charge it.

Some ideas for rejuvenation might be a trip to the spa, a good novel, a great movie, or going to a religious or spiritual activity that inspires you. These activities are the juice that we draw on when we are sprinting. Think of it as putting gas in your tank. Rest alone is great, but without recharging the batteries, we'll just have a cell phone that still has a low battery life.

The proper balance of these ideas is critical. Too much running, and we burn out and become angry or even sick. Too much resting and rejuvenating can lower our energy too far and make it extremely difficult to get back to work or stay productive. Listen to your body. It will tell you where you stand.

Thanks for reading!

I welcome your comments by clicking the small "comments" link below.

Photo Credit: jayneandd

Your Best Investment is YOU

"If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest." – Benjamin Franklin

Keys To Community: Ben Franklin and flag

This recession has raised a lot of talk about investments, and triggered discussions about the best place to invest your money. One thing I've noticed about successful people, and great businesses during this recession is that they always invest in themselves.

Investing in yourself is absolutely the best investment you can make during any economic times, but especially during difficult times. I know many people who have lost their jobs, and have since committed themselves to learning new skills, and even starting new businesses, because they believe in what Ben Franklin said. No matter what happens, no one can take away your knowledge, your ambition, and your determination.

Investing Still Requires Work

I don't think Ben Franklin was implying that if you just paid a lot of money for books and workshops or college degrees, that you would be guaranteed a successful life. You can't buy success. Investing in yourself means that you actually have to read the books, and apply the knowledge. Or, hire the coach, and take their advice. Or start that business, but work consistently to grow.

Too often, seminars are filled with people who come home with a book full of knowledge and ideas, but never act on them. This would be the equivalent of going to the doctor when you are sick, and not taking the medication he/she prescribed. If your life depended on that medication, or that exercise program, I'll bet you'd follow the program. Why not apply this same principle to your business, or any area of your life that you'd like to improve or grow.

Limitless Returns

My business mentor shared this analogy with me: Imagine you could invest in a company that had tremendous growth potential, had a product or service that nobody else had, and was currently undervalued. Suppose you knew facts about this company that the market place didn't know, or didn't believe. You would buy!

This is exactly what you are! No one can offer what you can offer. No one can grow like you can grow. And there is absolutely no limit on how much return you can get on your investment of time, energy and money, when you commit to believing in yourself, and buying!

Thanks for reading.

Photo Credit: jepsculpture

What Does Your Business Do “When No One Is Looking”

Lincoln Memorial

Any business can sell goods or services. The truly great businesses combine quality products, excellent service, and the intangible ingredients called character, and integrity.

It's Not Always About The Sale


Unfortunately many businesses make the mistake of thinking that they need to show integrity when dealing with customers, but what happens "behind the scenes" in their operations departments, team meetings, and with their suppliers 'doesn't count' as much on the bottom line. The result? Cut throat competition among salespeople, hurt feelings, resentments, and of course everyone's friend…DRAMA!

To illustrate this point, I wrote the blog about leadership  this week. It tells the story of Roy Halladay, the Major League Baseball pitcher who threw a "no-hitter" for the Philadelphia Phillies this past week and became only the second player in big league history to pitch a no-hitter in the playoffs.

While lots of players say the right things, and Halladay certainly did after the game,  he also does the right things, as evidenced by how many of his teammates rushed the mound to congratulate him with huge smiles on their faces.

For Better or for Worse

If he were not genuine about his belief that the team comes before his own achievements, and didn't back it up in the clubhouse every day,  I am willing to bet that the reception would not have been quite as boisterous!  Roy Halladay pitched in over 36 games this season. How would his teammates have reacted if he was only interested in them after the no hitter, and not after the 10 games he lost?
 
It may be easy to overlook how we are interacting with our co-workers, team members and colleagues, but remember that how we treat someone when no one else is looking is the true measure of character and our level of integrity. If we are quick to be polite and supportive when the sale is on the line, but then treat our vendors and colleagues like they are second class citizens, how successful are we really?

Thanks for reading

Photo Credit: Chadh