Toastmasters Speech #4 – Life is What You Make It
Let me explain – only you can change your own life for the better with the decision that you make. BUT having a business coach can have a dramatic impact on the direction that you take your life in, and the results that you get from your business and your life.
I was inspired to write this post because I have been working with a business coach, Garry Carlson, since late March, and the past three months for me have been transformational, to say the least.
What you can gain from a business coach:
- Accountability. It is a literally coach’s job to care about your business and ensure that you keep the promises you make to yourself. Having weekly coaching calls helps you stay on top of your goal list. You will report back every week with an overview of what you have and haven’t accomplished based on your long term goals and your action items for the previous week. This alone change dramatically improve your personal productivity.
- Experience and wisdom. A business coach works and has worked with many other business owners, and understands the financial, psychological, and emotional struggles that entrepreneurs face. He or she has dealt with them many times, and has helped many of his or her clients get over them. A coach’s wisdom can also stop you from wasting months or years (or thousands of dollars) working in the wrong direction, and can provide incredible guidance when setting your goals and developing your strategy.
- Bigger and clearer goals. Having a coach by your side will empower you to set bigger and more defined goals for yourself and your business, because you know you will have someone to help guide you towards those goals. Additionally, a coach may often believe in you more than you believe in yourself in the early stages, and will encourage you to set greater goals for yourself.
- A process to the madness. Entrepreneurship can be tough, crazy, and disorganized, especially when you are primarily working solo. Having a coach helps you add a structured, guided process to ensure success in your venture, not to mention overall better organization in your life and business, especially when it comes to time management.
- Balance. I don’t know about other coaches, but my coach Garry has helped me find greater balance in my life, helping me not only grow my business financially, but also develop it in such a way that it helps me attain the lifestyle that I want to create for myself. He encourages the business FUNdamentals, teaching that it is difficult to succeed at something that you can’t have fun at!
- Encouragement. If you struggle with self-doubt, as many entrepreneurs do especially in the early stages (I know I did), a good great will help you replace that self-doubt with a rock solid self-confidence. This confidence will be the result of not only a changed emotional state, but also assurance in the fact that you have a plan, are achieving improved results, and have greater clarity in everything you do.
For me personally, working with Garry has been a significant factor in my ability to start my business on a full-time basis after graduation. Not only is my business profitable now and has incredible prospects for the near future, I have also been able to significantly improve my lifestyle and general happiness. I take more time for what I love, like playing tennis with my friends, spending quality time with my girlfriend Ally, learning new things (currently teaching myself Spanish), and traveling to new places (just came back from Aruba two weeks ago, currently writing this post in Vermont, and have a lot of travel plans in the coming months).
If you are a business owner looking to grow your current business, or an entrepreneur looking to start a business, I strongly encourage you to get in touch with a coach. Some offer a 15 minute free coaching session… I know Garry does so, you can fill out his form here to get your free session.
If you are a business owner (including network marketing or any other home business!), I hope this post gave you insight into growing your business. If you have had any experience with a coach, please comment below!
Often times in my discussions and debates with people about creating change in the world (or in their personal lives), we run across the topic of inner-work and meditation as action in itself. The concept presented to me is this: with our positive thought patterns, we are co-creating a new and more positive reality for ourselves and for the world; recognizing negative circumstances only perpetuates them, so we should focus our minds on the positive.
While this approach may sound appealing and even virtuous, it is actually somewhat selfish and short-sighted. To stand by and close your eyes to evils will not eliminate them; and to open your awareness and raise others’ awareness will do anything but perpetuate the evils. Recognizing an issue is required to be able to act on that recognition. And while thoughts are important (thoughts are the basis for all actions and decisions), it is the actions and decisions that change the world, not just the thoughts that stimulated them.
I was reading Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh this morning and came across a very powerful passage that touches on this very concept:
Must Be Engaged
“When I was in Vietnam, so many of our villages were being bombed. Along with my monastic brothers and sisters, I had to decide what to do. Should we continue to practice in our monasteries, or should we leave the meditation halls in order to help the people who were suffering under the bombs? After careful reflection, we decided to do both – to go out and help people and to do so in mindfulness. We called it engaged Buddhism. Mindfulness must be engaged. Once there is seeing, there must be acting. Otherwise, what is the use of seeing?
We must be aware of the real problems of the world. Then, with mindfulness, we will know what to do and what not to do to be of help. If we maintain awareness of our breathing and continue to practice smiling, even in difficult situations, many people, animals, and plants will benefit from our way of doing things.”
Neither I nor Thich Nhat Hanh suggest that meditation might not be useful. On the contrary, meditation and mindfulness is necessary to become fully aware of an issue, to better understand the suffering of the issue’s victims; only then can appropriate action be taken. But you cannot meditate away a real problem… not in your personal life, and not in the world around us. We certainly are co-creators of our collective reality, but creation on our end takes more than just meditation and the proper thoughts, it also takes appropriate decision making and actions in the physical world.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke, Philosopher and Politician, 1729 – 1797
I encourage you to read Peace Is Every step … it is actually free as an ebook on Amazon. Just click on the image on the Amazon page.
WHY are you doing what you do? What drives you? What’s your purpose?
Until you determine your inner WHY… your CORE VALUES… forget the how, and especially the what. Find your inspiration first … then work towards creating a plan around it and executing that plan.
Last week, I had the chance to spend a week at the home of a great leader (Robert E. Staub II) in business, spirituality, and family. The following post is a summary of one of his exercises from his book entitled The 7 Acts of Courage, and focuses on helping you develop a personal vision by which to live your life.
Define Your Personal Vision
- List your goals and aspirations on paper.
- Find an underlying theme running through your list. Summarize this theme in two sentences. Take note of how you feel about these sentences.
- Arrange the two sentences into a vision statement that speaks to your heart even more than to your head. Make sure it captures how you would like to experience your life, how you would like to relate to others, and what you would like to achieve. Take note of the feelings your statement evokes.
- Read it in front of a mirror looking yourself in the eyes, noticing your feelings and observing any doubts. Believe in the importance of your vision, even if your mind says it can’t be realized. Consciously choose your vision: Say to yourself, “I choose this vision. I choose to believe in it, in spite of any doubts.”
- Share this vision with your loved ones, and ask for their support.
Consciously Focusing on Your Vision
- Write your vision statement on several index cards. Post them in highly visible places, such as your refrigerator, car visor, bathroom mirror, desk, inside your planner, etc … be sure to carry one with your inside your purse, wallet, or pocket.
- Repeat your vision statement to yourself first thing in the morning, last thing before bed, and many times throughout the day. Remind yourself about what you most desire and your aspirations.
- Find opportunities to discuss your vision with others. Notice your interaction with others; consciously watch what actions bring you closer to your vision, and which may be working against the realization of your vision.
After diligently doing this exercise, I came to my own personal vision statement:
“I am creating a life of freedom, passion, and purpose. My purpose is to empower others to improve their own lives and the world. I trust myself and live with joy.”
This personal vision statement, dear to my heart, will also be the primary focus of my blog, teachings, and business philosophy moving forward.
I encourage you to develop your own unique Personal Vision Statement that calls to your heart and mind. If you need any guidance in the process, please do not hesitate to contact me.
To learn more about Robert E. Staub’s works, visit him at www.StaubLeadership.com
To get your copy of The 7 Acts of Courage: Bold Leadership for a Wholehearted Life…