As an owner and entrepreneur, I am constantly trying to juggle the needs of my business against my available resources, such as my time, money and other things I value. As my business grows, I know that I will be required to “spend” more of my resources to achieve my desired end result. I base the “spending” of my resources on my perceived value of what I am trying to accomplish. When resources are limited, however, giving up those things I value becomes a real challenge between doing what I know will be most efficient and effective and get me to my goal faster, or taking a short cut in the hopes that what I save will offset any inconveniences that may arise.
Here is a short story to illustrate my point. Last weekend my dad and I were taking some valuables to a donation site. One of the items was a 7ft pre-lit Christmas tree that was used for only 1 year. The second-hand store would not take the tree since it was past the season and did not want to hold on to it for a year. Understandable.
We didn’t want to return the box to the garage before finishing our errands and I laughed as I said to my dad,” how about we carry it around with us during our errands and possibly someone might take it from the back of the trailer.” We both laughed. Returning from our first stop, the box was still in the trailer. Jokingly, we marked “$49 or best offer” on the box and continued on with the errands. Wouldn’t you know it, when we returned to the car from our second stop the box, tree and all was gone. Just like that!
This is the perfect example of when convenience (the tree was right there in plain sight, easily accessible) meets perceived value (it’s worth at least $49 but we can get it for FREE!) While this example is in the extreme, (and I certainly don’t condone the idea of stealing, but you get the point), in our world today there is so much offered to us for free. Free gifts. Free training. Thirty day free trials. Free shipping. Kids eat free. Free. Free. Free. All in the name of “try me first, I’m bigger, I’m better, I will meet your needs!”
There is much offered out there for free. Webinars, tools, etc. Good tools. Not so good tools. Information galore; good, bad and indifferent. And, while I too, look for free; I am also cognizant of the proverbial sayings…
…You get what you pay for
Nothing good in life is free…
…What you put in is what you get out
What happens if your FREE item isn’t quite what you envisioned or doesn’t work quite the way you wanted, how invested would you be in spending your time and your energy into make changes or improvements in your item to make it meet your expectations and your needs?
I would bet that the person that took our Christmas tree felt he was getting a good deal because he felt there was value in what he got and he didn’t have any “skin in the game,” he didn’t have to spend any of his valuable resources to acquire the item. However, when he plugs the tree in and finds the lights don’t work as expected, he will probably not be spending his time to improve what he has. He will go and seek another opportunity for another FREE tree.
The point here is this, while Free is not always bad, it’s not always good either, especially when it comes to business success. If you are looking to create new and lasting relationships or build something entirely new or create something fresh from something that already exists, you must invest something of personal value and worth, tangible or intangible in the creation. If you have little invested, you have little to lose, and it’s hard to stay motivated and on task if you can’t be bothered to commit-and risk losing- specifically something you value, in the name of the thing that you want. This is where “perceived value” and “skin in the game meet.”
Morale of the story: If you rely on FREE and don’t bother to invest something of yourself in what you expect as an outcome, you will likely experience a delay or possibly not achieve your desired end result.
That being said, ask yourself, “How invested am I in my personal or business success?” In order to achieve your desired end result, are you willing to invest of yourself and your resources to ensure a profitable outcome or are you willing to take chances on what others have to offer for FREE. There are no guarantees in life, but there is a much greater potential for that success when you have “skin in the game.”
Footnote: This Blog Post is the result of a collaborative effort of Coach Gibbs and Coach Sherry. It proves the quote from Brian Tracy, “Teamwork is so important that it is virtually impossible for you to reach the heights of your capabilities or make the money that you want without being very good at it.”
The steps to achieve visions or goals are simple. If that is so, then why does it seem that achieving success takes so much longer than anticipated?
The application, consistency and persistency of the following four steps are what it takes to achieve success. The lack of any one or more of these items at any given time, may slow down, stifle or bring to a dead stop – your desired success.
4 steps to achieve success.
1. Ask specifically for what you want and write it down.
2. Eliminate the conditions.
3. Focus on plan A.
4. Just do it!
Step one. Declare specifically your vision or goals and better yet; write them down. Understand the difference between vision and goal setting. Look at your Vision as your road map and your goals as the sign posts along the way. By taking the time to write out and declare verbally your intentions; increased clarity is developed, inspiration and motivation is deepened. Be certain your vision is supported by your values and your personal strengths. For the most well-rounded results, develop goals around your vision in the 5 most important roles in your life; faith, family, friends, financial and personal. This will prevent you from forging ahead in one role in your life while leaving the other roles behind.
Step Two. Eliminate the conditions. There is never enough time in the day. There is never enough money. There is always a holiday or some sensational event coming around the corner. Conditions are a set up for failure, a reason to procrastinate and conditions can often be limiting beliefs or fear based. It seems here in Minnesota, our summers are too short. Work weeks are shortened; weekends are packed with vacations and other fun activities. Holidays, especially during the late fall and winter months are often used as an excuse for why we don’t accomplish what we need to accomplish. Allowing conditions to get in the way of moving forward is the perfect recipe for limiting success. BIG MISTAKE. Forging ahead with a plan in-spite of the “conditions” is a much better approach to staying in front of the curve ball and offering less chance for losing momentum. Expect conditions and plan in advance a strategy to overcome the delays.
Step Three. Do away with Plan B! Focus. Focus. Focus. Do not become an expert in distraction. Having a fall-back Plan B automatically suggests failure to your primary focus or Plan A. You can’t have one foot in the door and one foot out the door. That lacks focus. You can’t take your eye off the ball without getting smacked in the head. You must have focus. Unless you have a proven record of success, you must remain focused on a primary Plan A. Don’t get this confused with a second stream of income. Focus may not be compromised as long as the second stream of income compliments or supports your Plan A. Plan in advance for those days where a lack of motivation or inspiration is not readily available. Know where to turn, what to do or who to talk too in an effort to regain your focus on Plan A.
Step Four. This step seems the most simple, yet is often the most difficult. Step four – Just do it! Roll up your sleeves and get it done. Take action every day. Accomplish at least 3 action items per day. Small steps, large steps, large and small steps. Just implement. Don’t let what you don’t know, prevent you from just doing. There is truth in the saying, doing something is better than doing nothing. When you are overwhelmed, remind yourself that you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time. Just do it. One action at a time. Be grateful for what you have. Be grateful for the mistakes you make. The more grateful you are, the more you will be allowed. Think with a creative spirit as opposed to a competitive spirit. No one can do the job the way you can. There is only one YOU to do YOUR job! Just do it!
Those days where success seems impossible these 4 simple steps when practiced consistently and persistently, will turn your thinking to I’m possible!
1. A restricting, limiting, or modifying circumstance: It can happen only under certain conditions.
2. A circumstance indispensable to some result; prerequisite; that on which something else is
contingent: conditions of acceptance.
Conditions may mean death to your
business. If you are waiting for the perfect time, the money to come in,
worrying how the holidays will make an impact, whether the sun shines or not,
you are setting limiting conditions that can have a dramatic impact to your
Conditions are a set up for failure
Conditions are a reason to procrastinate
Conditions are masked behind procrastination
Conditions are fear based
Masterminds and Mentors helps you
see through those limiting conditions allowing you to move your business
forward regardless of the date, the time, the weather or any other condition
you put in front of your success.
Join one of the groups expertly
facilitated by Coach Gibbs, Coach Sherry, Coach Terri or Coach Michele.
Check the website for other Masterminds and Mentors groups scheduled to begin this
summer. Or call 763.442.1980 for more details!
The time to do it is NOW!
The change of seasons means so much. Springtime for me means a renewed spirit. Different outdoor and indoor activities to consider. A new focus on how to spend my time.
Springtime for me, outside of these annoying allergies, means more energy. Energy to apply to the many activities that not only do I let go over the winter but all of those terrific activites that I can now do outdoors. The bright sun shows me what I let go indoors over the long winter season and must take care of inside the house. Crazy how I don’t see some of that dirt all winter long. LOL. Suddenly when the front door opens … where on earth did that, that, that dirt come from?! OK, great. I can take care of this stuff in the early part of the day so that as it warms, I can be outdoors.
Outdoors. The frogs are croaking and I can hear as the birds return to the woods behind the house. Good thing I put new bird seed out there because if I am not mistaken, the Rose Breasted Grosebeek made it’s return sometime over night. The Wren’s too, I heard them for the first time this spring; this morning. I have heard from others that the Hummingbirds are back, but I haven’t seen one. Today I must get their red drink out for them. I just bought some oranges for the Baltimore Oriels, they can’t be far behind. Food for everyone!
Flowers. It is Mother’s Day weekend so I will be treating myself to a lovey assortment of beautiful and colorful flowers. I LOVE THIS! I can’t wait to get outside and participate in the dirt and the subsequent lovely brilliant blooms of flower life. And let’s not forget, nectar for those crazy birds.
What does all of this energy do to my business?
One thing is for sure. Saturday mornings past were to get up and spend hours working on the business tasks that I delight in doing for my customers and the people that I work closely with. While I still spend some time doing that, it pales by comparison to what I was able to do just three or four short weeks ago. Sunday mornings from time to time, included some level of business if for no other reason than to keep up the momentum. Keep moving forward. Sunday morning business momentum, well; I don’t see business sneaking in to these upcoming spring and summer days very much at all.
So if I am reducing Saturdays and eliminating Sunday’s business activities for a couple of short months, will I accomplish as much business? I will go out on a limb and say….YES!
If I am feeling energized about myself in the spring, there are so many others out there who are equally jazzed to make some changes and quite possibly; others who are even more whipped up and excited than I! I think this is where the saying comes in, work hard and play harder. This quote must have been coined in MN in the springtime. LOL.
My business of assisting others in moving forward in their business and their professional lives is so very exciting; for those who participate in the Masterminds and Mentors groups and for me. Small business owners or solopreneurs will work very hard during the week to better their business; overcome personal barriers which will directly better their bottom line. Masterminds Advantage focuses those who want a deeper level of accountability and want to accomplish “impossible” things! I get the privilege of working with those who believe in the “work hard play harder” mentality. And considering currently all of the Masterminds and Mentors activity is located in Minnesota, I am betting we all spend more time working ON ourselves and our business during the week and ON our personal lives on the weekends.
So why am I sitting here writing all of this when there are so many exciting things to do today?
I had heard of Mastermind groups but had never had any personal experience with one. I was having coffee with a friend from a
networking group and he said to me, “I have to introduce you to Coach Gibbs,
the two of you think a lot alike.” He
was participating in a Mastermind group, with Coach Gibbs as the facilitator,
and he started telling me about the positive experiences he had had since
participating in the group. Intrigued, I
encouraged him to ask Coach Gibbs to give me a call.
I have been around the block enough times to have a healthy skepticism about some of the
“self improvement” programs out there.
Since I had not personally experienced a Mastermind and Mentors program,
I kept an open mind when Coach Gibbs called me but I was not an immediate
convert to the Mastermind concept.
After some discussion with Coach Gibbs about her Masterminds and Mentors program, I was
interested enough to participate in a small seminar called Momentum. Momentum is a 3 to 4 hour seminar that gives
you a glimpse into the Masterminds and Mentors process and how effective it can
be for achieving your vision. After the
seminar, I was convinced that a Masterminds and Mentors program would be very
beneficial to me in my exploration of where I was trying to go with my
On my journey of discovery, through a Masterminds and Mentors program, I realized
that the real value of a good mastermind group is not the helpful tools and
incredible ideas you receive when working with other like minded people, but
the satisfaction of reaching your end goal in a successful manner. My end
goal was to clarify the vision of my business and implement a process for
success. My personal experience in the
Masterminds and Mentors program helped me achieve my goal, with a surprising
As I said, I started the 6 month M & M program to help me achieve clarity around my
business vision and to develop a program to be successful in attaining that
vision. I was starting a new business in
an industry that I was very knowledgeable and skilled in but was feeling a very
low level of satisfaction with. I am
pleased to say that at the end of the 6 month program, I had achieved my
goal. I now have a very clear vision of
my business and a definite path to reach success in my chosen field.
I receive great satisfaction in my business now and I have a roadmap for success, because
of the strong support, great tools, honest feedback and creative ideas from my
M & M team. And, as I said, the
results of participating in the M & M program produced some surprising and
unexpected results regarding my business.
I am now a Masterminds and Mentors Coach and Facilitator.
I found that my dissatisfaction came from the fact that I was in the wrong business,
for me. I was already doing the business
coaching and I had clients that were already coming to me for business
consulting. I was trying to make a
business model fit into something it wasn’t made to do. Through M & M I am able to use the skills
I have been using all along. Since becoming a facilitator, I have learned new
tools to help businesses succeed as well.
My goal, as a Masterminds and Mentors facilitator is to create a
successful learning and discovery environment for every M & M participant. My passion is to help each person who
participates in my M & M programs to be as excited and as satisfied with
their results as I am.
Now, I am not saying that everyone that goes through a M & M program will achieve the
same caliber of results that I did. To
reach your goal takes hard work in a M & M program. It also takes dedication, constant
reassessment to ensure that the goal is kept in sight and being accountable to
complete the work that is needed to achieve the desired outcome.
I challenge you to be all that you can be by participating in a Masterminds and Mentors
program. Whether you are new in
business, have been in business for awhile or are searching to find your own
business niche, join me in my next Masterminds and Mentors program on your own
journey of discovery. I look forward to
seeing you as we explore the possibilities together.
Coach and Facilitator
Masterminds and Mentors
Coach Cindy Gibbs
Is proud to announce the
January 13th – 1pm
January 20th – 10am
January 25th – 10am
January 26th – 3pm
February 7th – 1pm
February 10th – 9:30am
February 16th – 9:30pm
February 17th – 3pm
* Must have group of 4 participants to begin and group size is limited to 6
* Times may change based on group participants
* Locations to be determined and based on group participants and their locations
MOMENTUM Seminar Dates
January 24th – 10am
February 9th – 10am
March 9th – 10am
*Locations to be determined and announced closer to the date
Often times goals are set based on what people think they can accomplish in terms of turnaround time or quality. More often than not, the goals that are set are easily accomplishable and are set based on what people think or want to accomplish during a given time frame, and that includes quality.
There is nothing wrong with setting goals this way. Often that seems to be considered the norm. Expecting the “norm” is often considered a good thing; possibly even a great thing. We have been trained to appreciate the norm.
But what would happen if a person or a business bumped it up a notch? What would happen if goals were set on what a client or customer actually wanted for turnaround time or quality? What a concept…give the customer what they want as opposed to what we; as the vendor can provide!
All too often, setting goals based on what the customer wants is considered too difficult to achieve or an opportunity to be too easily set up for failure.
My belief system is that as a general rule, people are pleasers. They want to go above and beyond. At first when the challenge is presented often the change is resisted. Resistance for reasons of failure, having to “work too hard”, change to the existing system or process and there are probably a whole host of other reasons to resist.
But with a little time, tracking, reporting and whole lot of encouragement, the resistance turns in to acceptance and before you know it…the goals have been bumped up a notch. Customer expectations are not only being met but exceeded. Out with the norm; in with what absolutely delights the customer!
What a terrific reason to celebrate!
Bumping it up a notch sets us apart from the competition. Setting ourselves apart from the competition means more business, better business, credibility, respect and more and more and more.
How about you and your business or your interactions with others….do you bump it up a notch? Or better yet, will you consider bumping it up a notch going forward?