Posts Tagged ‘business srategy’

Lessons from your closets: What do you need to let go of to move forward in your business?

March 9th, 2011

Take a minute and think about what you have in your closets and what you have in your drawers. Are they are stuffed full of things you don’t wear, or think or hope one day you’ll fit back into, or things you think you might need, someday. If they are super jammed packed, then there is likely no room to add anything to it.

Now, we can look around and start to see the patterns of our thinking reflected in our belongings. Look at your bookshelves, your garage, your car, your office, your kitchen cupboards. What are they saying about your ability to let go and create space for something new to evolve? Now take a minute and look at other areas of your life. Your email inbox (eek), your calendar, your to-do lists, your community commitments, your schedule, your child’s schedule. What does that look like? Is that crammed filled with activity, stuff, commitments?

Now take a minute and turn that energy inward. Are there unresolved grievances, anger, sadness, that are lingering. Is there blame, shame, and fear, self-doubt cluttering up your inner landscape. Do you have swirling thoughts, and critical chatter of critics and ‘shoulds”? Is your inner world packed and overflowing?

We as healers and helpers know that the outer world is just a reflection of the inner, that our closets are a reflection of our inner being.

It is so easy to step on the speed treadmill of “doing” and stay endlessly distracted with busyness and neglect to tend to our closets, garage, email inbox, inner mind and soul. No need to become critical with this awareness, instead lean into the awareness as an opportunity to explore what’s really going on with your closets, yourself, and your business.

You may want to ask yourself these questions and use some art to explore your responses:

  1. Why all the busyness? What’s the purpose of it? Decide what’s a priority, and let go of what’s not.
  2. Decide what you REALLY want. I ask those I speak with to tell me about how their days and weeks would look if they were doing what they loved. Most have never taken the time to get very specific on what they want, and instead they react, stay busy answering emails and phone calls randomly, responding to what comes up, rather than making a firm commitment towards their vision. If you don’t have a vision of what you are creating, then that’s the initial area you need to clear up some space and time to explore. Use some art materials and listen to you inner voice for guidance.
  3. What do you need to let go of? In order to create the space in the closet for all the new goodies you are adding you’ve go to let go of those leather pants you swore you’d someday fit into again. In your life there are some commitments and obligations that can be delegated or ditched, and some commitments no longer fit. Internally, there are some beliefs that no longer fit, such as your need to do it all by yourself, your need to know how before you act, your belief it needs to be perfect, your need to have a pretty website and brochure before you start to see more clients. These are hanging out like bad gold lame, it’s time to let go.

So pick one thing that you will focus on for this whole week; just one thing that you will let go of what no longer serves you (it can be personally or in business). Allow yourself to feel the fullness of what it means to let go of that and what might be triggered in the process.

Now before your brain launches into a story about, “Now I need to get this done”, or “I don’t even know where to start” or “See, I’m not good enough” or “I don’t have the time”, lovingly drop the story.

The Story…

There, you have just let go of what no longer fits.

Letting go creates space for what’s new to grow. Are you ready to learn how to transform your vision of helping more people into a passionate powerful and profitable business you LOVE?

The Miracle Question for Your Business…

February 9th, 2011

I’m a huge raving fan of the miracle question. If you are familiar with solution-focused therapy, the you’ve likely used the miracle question. Here’s a common version of it:

“Suppose our meeting is over, you go home, do whatever you planned to do for the rest of the day. And then, some time in the evening, you get tired and go to sleep. And in the middle of the night, when you are fast asleep, a miracle happens and all the problems that brought you here today are solved just like that. But since the miracle happened overnight nobody is telling you that the miracle happened. When you wake up the next morning, how are you going to start discovering that the miracle happened? … What else are you going to notice? What else?”

As a true Creativity Queen I’ve been known to pull out a wand and have practice-building clients playfully embrace the role of playing “what if” in their business. It allows for some expansive ideas of what’s possible in the work you do, like creating a book you always desired, or offering a workshop or presentation of your creative ideas.

There are several stages that businesses go through as they grow and expand, and the miracle question allows you to explore what you desire to create. Let’s look at the different stages of business, so you can see what’s next for you (and perhaps see that the miracle is not that far from where you are).

Stage 1: You are in the set-up stage and you are either just about to launch your business, or you recently have launched. During this phase your miracle question likely will be about reaching new clients and welcoming them into your business. During this stage you are working on the basics for your business, such as setting up your space, making sure you have all the necessary legal paperwork as a business entity, and building referral resources. You may have created some business cards and brochures, and you’re looking at creating a website sometime soon.

Here’s what is essential during this stage: getting clear on who you help and how you help them, so you know where to best target your marketing efforts and begin creating referral connections. You’ll also be building systems at this time, so you have paperwork in place and a system on how you connect with clients when they call you. Your “miracle” likely involves having a full (or pretty full) client load and you are investing in getting clear on your client-centered message, and creating marketing systems for your business.

Stage 2: You’ve gotten clear on who you work with, created referral connections, and you’re starting to create a name for yourself in your community. During this stage you’ve created a client-attracting website and added speaking, community teaching, or community workshops. Since you are seeing more clients and your time is getting limited, you’re looking to leverage your time, hire an assistant, and perhaps add some groups to see more people.

Your “miracle” will likely involve (if you are a therapist), “how do I stop paying insurance companies and still maintain the number of clients I see”? Your solution is to create a managed care exit plan and to find very clear ways to communicate the value of your services and your expertise of the work you offer.  No matter what helping/healing work you are in, you’re investing in systems to make your business operations run smoothly and creating a “signature system” unique to the work you do, maximizing the effectiveness of your website, and maintaining and building community relationships and referral partnerships.

Stage 3: You’ve been seeing folks for a while and you’re tired of the ebbs and flows during certain parts of the year. You’re well established in your community and your clients are mostly private pay. Your business is pretty busy, with back-to-back clients, and you are likely running from dusk to dawn.

Your “miracle” will likely involve how to shift from trading dollars for hours and stop working so hard in your business. You may be feeling a bit isolated if you work alone, and you wonder how you can free up sometime and help more people without working harder. You’re investing significantly in shifting your business model, hiring additional staff and support, or leveraging your time by creating products to help your clients and new ways to service them, such as online programs.

Stage 4: You’ve decided to play bigger and want to move beyond just seeing folks in your community. You are exploring online opportunities to share your work, offer programs online/offline, or possibly train others in the model you developed. You are looking to share your message with the world and reach 10,000’s of people.

Your “miracle” will likely involve helping more people and connecting with people in a big way online and growing your list in a big way. At this point you are investing significantly in learning how to leverage your message and reach more people, which may include writing a book, or creating online and offline programs.

Want to get creative? Create a visual compass of what stage you are in and what direction you desire to head in. Use some luscious art materials or collage images and get super clear on your current place, then design an image that captures your “miracle” (Feel free to post an image of your artwork and ah-ha’s on the blog!)

Now all business are not quite that orderly, and you may find yourself with some actions in Stage 2 and Stage 4. However, there are some basic things that need to be in place, otherwise moving to a new stage may not be at all what you expect!

If you need some help with getting clear on where you are at (and what you need to do next) then you are going to want to JUMP for joy! I’ve got 2 spots left for the complimentary “Shine Your Message Online” Strategy Sessions. For a limited time I’d like to invite you to take advantage of a special, “Shine Your Message Online” Strategy Session where we’ll work together to:

  • Create a crystal clear vision for your ‘ultimate business success’ and how you can transform your message into programs and services that will help many, many more people make changes in their lives
  • Uncover hidden challenges that may be sabotaging the growth of your business, keeping you working too many hours, and preventing you from sharing your brilliance work with more people beyond your office
  • Leave this session renewed, re-energized, and inspired to turn your ideas into a highly profitable business while helping many more people transform their lives…

If you’d like to take advantage of this very special, very limited, and totally FREE 30-minute “Shine Your Message Online” Strategy Session click  here.

I am only offering 7 complimentary “Shine Your Message Online” Strategy Sessions (there are only 2 spots left) for a select few who are ready to create massive transformations in your community and beyond, and help many more people by sharing your heart’s work.

If that’s you, click here to complete your strategy session request.