Lessons from Olympic Star Shaun White: Commit from the beginning

February 20, 2010

The athlete  talked about visualizing his success and believing in himself:  “I know I can do this,” he said when he was a 6-year old kid snow boarding before it was an Olympic sport  and before there was any chance of money to be made.  He had talent, passion, a vision, and he had the support of his parents.

The gold medal snow boarder, Shaun White, also known as the flying tomato and king of the halfpipe, said of perfecting the Double McTwist 1260, “I make a commitment from the beginning.” 

How profound. 

This is another way to say, “I am going out fully for what I intend to accomplish. I will not doubt, sit on the fence, or make exceptions.  I will trust my intention and I am willing to accept the outcome even though there are no guarantees.”

This is an example of showing your faith through your actions instead of giving lip service and abdicating responsibility.

What could be possible for you if you had commitment from the beginning?

Shaun White has a lot to teach all of us.

Whether you  want to excell in business or become excellent in any area of life: Live from your passion, visualize your success, trust yourself, love what you do and get support.  Have so much faith that the work itself is the reward.

And…don’t forget a most important ingredient for success: Commit from the beginning.

I hope you will commit to joining me during Stop Your Drama Month. Register to get free resources!


Unworthiness: 4 Signs to Watch Out For

January 19, 2010

Everyone has drama, when you consider the definition, (obstacle to your peace or prosperity.) The things we do to manage our drama, such as being a workaholic, obsessing about success, being overly competitive, when taken to the extreme, is often just another manifestation of the drama of proving your worth.

In any obsession, pattern or drama, there is always a root factor somewhere, which needs to be identified and pulled up.  Here is how the drama of unworthiness can manifest.  See if any ring true for you. Then, ask yourself the questions to see what you learn about yourself.

Successaholic

Those addicted to achievement and success have a dirty secret: Inside they never quite feel like they are “there.” No matter how much approval, or how many awards they get, there is an empty feeling once the initial high is over. Much of the journey is driven by fear instead of joy. On the outside it looks good. The inside journey is another story. The real question is this: What if you were already successful enough?

Busy Bee

Being busy feels good and makes you feel important. Being too busy is also the best excuse for avoiding intimacy and keeping yourself protected. You don’t have to risk vulnerability, and most of all, everyone buys into the story of “I don’t have time.” It’the easiest way to say “no” without risking judgment from others. The real question is this: What would you do if you really did have the time?

Wall Flower

You wait to be invited but never do the inviting. You have a story about being too shy, or you believe you are so polite that you don’t want to bother others with your requests. Or you believe the story that others don’t have the time. The truth of the matter is you are too afraid to risk rejection so you wait, and wait and wait and live a very disempowered life. The real question is this: What could be possible for you if you took some initiative?

Competitor

If you need to prove every point, win every argument and every game there’s a reason.

Perhaps you fear judgment. Maybe being right makes you feel more worthy. The real question is this: What would your relationships be like if you didn’t need to win?

I used to worry about my level of success, until I started going deeper. The question that helped me to move past the drama of needing to be more, was this: What if Success is a Given?  In other words, what if that question didn’t have to be answered any more? What if I was driven more by purpose and less by approval?

What if I was already enough and had nothing else to prove? Then, who would I be in this world? That question lead to my freedom.

This question also lead to the title of  book, Success is a Given.

I recommend it to anyone who is going through change, or using business, achievement, approval or competitiveness to fill the void.


The 4 Deadly Habits that Give MLM a Bad Name

March 23, 2009

Many who are in a stage of reinvention decide to get involved with network marketing as their transition business. The business model is sound. It is a method of offering a quality product, while building a client base, and recruiting a  team to leverage income. In addition the training offered is a benefit to people new to business.

There are conflicting statistics about the success or failure rate where variables such as prior experience, time dedicated to learning the systems or commitment to earning a living.

All variables and disagreements aside, my purpose here it so share what I believe to be the 4 bad habits that give MLM or network marketing a bad name and why so many new network marketing people get off to such a bad start.

1. Hidden agendas

2. Product versus people

3. Lack of awareness

4. One-up-man-ship

Hidden Agendas

When I was green and starting my speaking business I can’t tell you the number of times a multi-level-marketer invited me to lunch to meet someone who could take my speaking career to the next level. The promise was delivered in various ways: “I think I can introduce you to a company that could use your training,” or “I can show you how you can be speaking in front of thousands in just a few years.”

Once I got to the luncheon it turned into a presentation about the MLM Company and how once I signed up and recruited my people, I would then have my audience whom I could train. Then it was followed up by a promise that once I made X amount of money the national headquarters would surely want me to be their keynote that year.

The  dishonesty was  justified with, “I just thought once I had your attention and you saw the value you would thank me for opening this door.”

The intention might have been good but the reality is this: There is no justification to lying to someone to trick them into your down-line.

The solution: Be transparent about why you want to meet and quit making assumptions about how someone else needs to build their practices. Never make promises that you cannot fulfill.

Lack of Awareness

It’s great to be passionate about your product, but listening to a one-man show of someone talking about how I should sell their vitamin and how it would changes the world, is a huge turn off, especially when I have my own product to sell.

Several times I’ve been a keynote speaker at a small business event and a network marketer will approach me with ideas about how I can make a fortune selling his product because of my large mailing list. The conversation is always one-sided, over-bearing and without any awareness, the marketer is at the front of the line talking about his product while people are in line waiting to buy my book. Hello??

Solution: Take into consideration the agenda of the other people in your presence. Listen more than you talk. Ask a question instead of spouting out statistics about how your product cures cancer, reduces wrinkles or saves you thousands in legal fees.

Product versus People

The great thing about MLM companies is the training and support they provide. You can’t get this kind of training without paying big bucks if you start from scratch. Yes, the systems are in place, and the tried and true methods work. There’s just one big problem: not everyone is as interested in your product as you are.

There are a couple of products I purchase as a distributor. As much as I love the product, I hate to hear from the person who introduced me to the product.

Every question they ask feels like it’s the opening to a sales pitch or just waiting to share a new statistic. No matter what my answer, they are offering me an upgrade or a new product promising to make my life better. (Let me own that it may just be my perception.) Nonetheless, we never have a conversation that isn’t primarily about how her product can make my life better.

In the end, it’s about your vitamins. It’s not about your pots and pans. It’s not about your cosmetics. It’s about relationships.

The Solution: Strive to be interested in the other before making a sales pitch. Master your energy and slow down your enthusiasm until you make a connection. Find ways to help this person first then they will be more open to listening to you about your product.

One-up-man-ship

This is the very worst habit that I have seen with almost every network marketer. Their product is from heaven and their competitor’s product is evil. The reason many people dread talking to the  multi-level-marketer is that no matter what cosmetic, what vitamin or what juice they are drinking, the network marketer tells them their product  is inferior to the one they represent and they can back it up with “research.”

There’s always a Swiss scientist, a Japanese inventor, a neuron-surgeon or Nobel-prize winner who has done research proving why you are an idiot if you don’t switch products. It is exhausting and off-putting to anyone who has to stand hostage to this kind of conversation.

The solution: Quit trying to prove others wrong and quit talking about how other products are inferior. You only create resistance on the part of your potential client. Simply acknowledge that there are many great products and the reason you switched or went with the one you represent. Then put your tongue in the top of your mouth and avoid the need to argue should they disagree.

All things considered, your expertise, your willingness to work, your commitment to being successful, if you will avoid these four deadly habits I’ll bet you will be a top leader in your network marketing company much quicker than the others who have hidden agendas, talk too much, put product over people, and try to prove everyone else wrong.


Stop the Spiral Down Drama

January 27, 2009

When you start to “spiral down” no matter what the reason it is a sign.  Something is out of whack. You don’t feel hopeful about your relationship, the economy, or your career. You see others who seem to have it all figured out and you secretly envy them. Your projects overwhelm you and your surroundings are full of clutter. All of the sudden you have a case of “stinkin thinkin’” but knowing it doesn’t help you spiral back up. Even though an occasional dip is normal, it doesn’t mean you have to stay there for long. Here are four ways to move through the valley and back up the mountain.

1. Slow Down
2. Clear the Clutter
3. Reconnect
4. Reassess

Slow Down

Right before the spiral notice the tendency to overexert. You are acting out of fear. Fear that there aren’t enough opportunities. Fear that you are running out of time. Fear that you aren’t keeping up. Fear that you are running out of money. The tendency is to get distracted with opportunities or “doing” so that you don’t feel those fears. The illusion is that you are going to find the magic formula if you just “do” one more thing. The reality is you will never create success when you are feeling frustration and failure. It isn’t possible to be in “drama” during the journey and arrive at the island called Nirvana.
You must recognize the urge to do more as an addiction, and you must consciously decide to be in charge of your compulsion and slow down or even stop for one day.

Clear the Clutter

Clutter manifests because you didn’t see the signs. You added one more thing to your unfinished projects. You didn’t slow down and now you are overwhelmed with a list of tasks that are not attached to a plan. Signs of clutter are an e-mail in box with 2000 emails, stacks of magazines you intend to read, piles of junk you keep promising you will sell on e-bay. Clutter only reminds you of all you haven’t done and promises you haven’t kept. On your “slow down” day, instead of working on another project or coming up with yet another idea, clean the clutter.

Reconnect

When you spiral down you often feel old patterns surfacing. You feel self-doubt, unworthiness or envy. All you need to do is reconnect. Reconnect spiritually and relationally. Spend some time in prayer, journaling or meditation. To paraphrase Wayne Dyer, “it’s always between you and God anyway.” Reconnecting spiritually will remind you that your depression, fear or overwhelm is not about your situation or other people it is because you have lost connection. Reconnecting with others can also give you a huge boost of energy if you do so from a pure intention. Don’t look at others as a means to an end, such as hoping they will purchase something from you or give you a good lead. Just enjoy their company, see the value in them as a person and you will be surprised how easily it is to get recharged.

Reassess

Most of what you believe to be true is just a story you are making up. You see someone else and believe they have it made because they are wealthy, famous, beautiful or all three. In reality you can never know what someone else is going through. Everyone has challenges and every person has his own demons to face. So many times people have been in admiration of me when I was going through my own private world of despair.

Instead of automatically believing every thought that pops into your head, select the thought offering you the highest and best truth while still allowing you to change or improve what is necessary.

We will be talking about these kinds of things in the new Signature Series Calls.


Reinvent Your Story

January 12, 2009

So here I was…. I had left a blue collar job where I had worked for over 20 years. I reinvented my life and in a few short years I had delivered speaking engagements to NASA, Sprint, McDonalds and had been the keynote speaker for various professional associations. I developed products purchased by The Detroit Free Press and DTE Energy. Yet, I still felt “unsuccessful.” I hadn’t published a book yet.

The book became the “next island.” The next place to arrive. I compared myself with anyone else who had published.

Everyone Has Challenges

In addition, I was certain this “mind drama” was unique to me. I was sure the most “successful people” never discounted themselves or wondered about their happiness or success. (See how a good story always makes you feel special, different, misunderstood?)

Thank goodness for those highly successful role models willing to share their challenges so we know we are not alone. Just a few weeks ago Oprah talked about the distress she felt because of her weight gain.

Oprah is a role model for society; an example of what is possible. She’s the first African-American billionaire. In 2006 she gave everyone in her studio audience a car and recently donated over 40 million to start the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in South Africa for low income girls.

She’s wealthy, generous, popular, brilliant and connected. Oprah’s show airs in over 117 countries in the world. She was reading by age 2 and at age 6 she advanced to third grade. No one can argue about Oprah’s success, yet Oprah sometimes judges herself.

In one of her shows she said, “” All my money and success means nothing if I can’t even control my body.”  (I’m paraphrasing.)

Seek a Higher Truth

Maybe that “feels” true in the midst of a personal failure. Let’s now look for a higher truth to eliminate the judgment and the story.

Money and resources do matter. Isn’t it better to have access to money and success to help you handle the problems? And isn’t it a blessing to be able to share your message to empower millions who falsely believe they are alone?

This is not to criticize Oprah. She is my favorite role model…a light in this world. The point here is even spiritual and conscious people doing great things in the world sometimes are susceptible to “the story” and fail to look for a higher truth.

My challenge to you is to examine the places where you beat yourself up and discount your own brilliance, beauty and successes just because you have had a setback. Be careful about justifying your story by saying, “It’s the truth.”

Stories can be quite powerful. In every story, there is a kernel of truth. The challenge is to seek the higher truth so the story loses power and you reclaim yours.

Want to see more about the signature process?


What to Do When You Are Out of the Flow

December 9, 2008

I often talk about “reading the signs” and what I mean by that is not “woo woo” but about increased levels of awareness. With increased levels of awareness or (consciousness) you can make simple shifts to bring you more into that good feeling flow.

Recently I’ve been hearing a lot of themes emerging from those who feel out of sync…out of the flow…a bit hopeless or depressed.

I even found myself feeling that way recently and was surprised at an old pattern resurfacing. I thought I had mastered the “inner game.”

After all, in the end it’s all about alignment; your inner game and feeling of connectedness.

I’ve “read the signs” for myself about WHY I get out of the flow and thought these five signs might be of help to you too.
1. I’m  not telling myself the complete truth
2. I’m not meeting my basic needs
3. I have traded “virtual” reality for “physical reality.”
4. My attitude has slipped into negativity
5. My habits are becoming my master instead of my servant

Telling the truth

It’s so easy to put a smiley face on an empty gas tank.  I think most of us are afraid to tell ourselves the truth when we feel lousy, but staying in denial only prolongs it.  When you feel bad, just admit it and go right to non-resistance. Then  you open the “portal” for change.

Meeting basic needs

When I skip sleep, exercise or good nutrition, it’s just a matter of time before I start feeling a little disconnected.  The biggest victim story that I hear over and over is “I don’t have time.”  I used to “lie” to myself about that too.  Now I know what Stephen Covey (7 Habits of Highly Effective People) says is true: It’s about sharpening the saw. To skip out on “sawing logs” will have you sawing logs with a rusty dull saw.

Virtual reality versus physical reality

I love the Internet and the connections and friends I make on Face Book, Ning, and WordPress but when I forget to get out there in public and mix and mingle, or even call a friend on the phone I get completely out of touch with life.  When I’m feeling depressed I always cheer up to go to a networking meeting or social event.

Attitude

What you think about expands. Attitude is everything but trust me, you simply can’t keep your attitude in check when you are exhausted and your body is full of fat and sugar.  When the little gremlins start taking over the conversation in your head, go backwards and see if you have made the errors already talked about in the previous steps:  You aren’t being honest about  your situation, you are  not meeting your basic needs and you are addicted to your computer and sacrificing your physical, real-life relationships.

Habits: Master or Servant

I can just visualize it…your five year old comes and says “let’s Play” and you say, “be quiet, I’m trying to build relationships…”  Why do we forget that technology should be our servant instead of our master?

I’m as guilty as the next person. There’s always one more thing to learn. There’s Twitter, Squidoo, Animoto, Mind Movies, Face Book, Ning and the list continues to grow. Let’s face it we will never keep up with all of it.  Learning is fun but when it becomes a compulsion it’s a problem.

In the end it’s all about the inner game and we teach what we need to learn.  Living the “Stop  Your Drama” methodology keeps me honest and in alignment.


Skills for a Successful and Happy Life

October 24, 2008

From my experience as a speaker and consultant, it seems that striving for success creates much unnecessary drama. The image that comes to mind for me is rowing with all of your might to get to an island that never appears. When do I get there? How do I get there faster? What if someone else gets there first? If there is drama in the boat, getting to the island isn’t going to be much better.

With that in mind, here are five skills that will make your success journey one worth savoring.

1. Define success
2. Seek and experience joy
3. Take care of yourself
4. Master your beliefs
5. Own your choices

Define success
One of my favorite authors, Eckhart Tolle has some great insights about success. He says, “Don’t let a mad world tell you success is anything other than a successful present moment.”  One of his most profound teachings is the concept that you cannot become successful, you can only “be” successful. What if you take the success question off the table and you declare that you are already successful? When you are free to “be” you start living in the flow and you can really experience success versus strive for it.

Seek and experience joy

No matter what your accomplishments or achievements, you can’t experience success if you are unhappy. For two years I have researched happiness and success and I ask the question “what is heaven on earth?”   It is surprising that the number one answer (over 70% of all people surveyed) say time with family and friends is heaven on earth. Vacations is a close second and third on the list with over 50 percent say reading a good book or eating a good meal. The fact is, you can create a little heaven on earth every single day.

Take care of yourself

If you aren’t healthy and happy you can’t contribute at work or at home. When you travel by air, the air, the attendants always tell you “In case of emergency put your own oxygen mask on first before helping anyone else.” It seems counterproductive in our fast paced world, but taking regular breaks including taking a lunch away from your desk promotes productivity. According to Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz in their business book, “The Power of Full Engagement” the body requires rest and recovery every 90 minutes. If you are skipping regular breaks you are not doing anyone any favors. In addition workaholism is an addictive habit that gets you hooked on adrenaline overload which contributes to a reduced immune system and illness.

Master Your Beliefs

The reason you may be working without breaks is because you are listening to the lies you tell yourself.  You have habitually allowed thoughts like, “I don’t have time to take a break, “or “If I don’t do it, it won’t get done”  While there might be a kernel of truth (as there is in every victim story) the reality is, if you died tomorrow the world would go on.

The reality is you need to learn how to say “no” and you might need to delegate. One thing is for certain, if you master your beliefs you can catch yourself when you get sucked into the tribal mentality of “there’s no time” or ” no one will help me.”

Own Your Choices

The best way to “be” successful is to become completely responsible for your choices. This means no complaining, no blaming, no manipulation and no explaining. This means you must be willing to give up a few things. You must be willing to give up the need for others to always agree or understand. You must be willing to quit explaining why you didn’t step up or why something isn’t working. You must also be willing to stop saying and doing things just to get approval.

When you become the master at these five skills you will have plugged the leak, stopped the drama and you will be in the flow and loving your successful life.  Get your copy of Success is a Given Here.