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Daily Inspiration Slide Share

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Daily Inspiration Slide Share

  1. 1. The rocket fuel for your business is ‘Inspiration’. Nothing happens without it. Every working day morning, I want to give you an opportunity to be inspired and close the gap from where you are now to where you want to be. Each day will give you a key thought or idea for you to consider or an important action to take. I look forward to being your guide on your exciting journey as a business owner.
  2. 2. Many of us will shy away from a ‘fierce conversation’. Often, however, the very reason for having that conversation is because we genuinely care about the achievements of others, as there is a need for them to do something differently. Whilst being NICE is comfortable, real change, which is so frequently necessary for greater success, requires ‘thoughtful and considered honesty’. Are you being too nice to your team or are you supporting them to genuinely grow?
  3. 3. We get one chance at life. The question is, what steps can we take to ensure that it is a great one? The quality of our lives is a chain reaction. The people we work with, the beliefs and values we have and the knowledge we learn are the foundation stones in driving the decisions and results we achieve. What are you doing to actively surround yourself with great people and great ideas. There is no-one so powerful as all of us!
  4. 4. Life can give us many hard lessons. It can also be a great reflector of what is actually the case. We all have dreams which we aspire to, but dreams often begin with knowing where you really are. What is your life currently telling you and what needs to change as a result? When you look in the mirror, what are you determined to remove? Make a commitment to yourself today to improve one thing about ‘life’s reflection’.
  5. 5. Fear is a very important part of our biological programming. As a key safety mechanism, however, it is also, potentially, a very significant brake on our journey to success. Our imaginations as to what ‘the dark’ contains can also magnify these fears to the extent that we convince ourselves that something is actually worse than it really is. What fears do you have that you are potentially exaggerating and are therefore holding you back?
  6. 6. The most primitive part of our brain is designed to protect us. However, in seeking to achieve this protection it also encourages us to not move beyond what we are comfortable with. Not only does this protect us physically but it is also designed to guard our own self esteem – feeling like a failure. Sub-consciously, we can deliberately set ourselves up to fail so keeping us within our comfort zone. Search your feelings deeply on this one!
  7. 7. How do you eat an elephant? The simple answer is one bite at a time. However, is the thought of your business’ success so big that it seems impossible? Don’t focus on the top of the mountain but simply in taking the next step. Not only will this give you a greater sense of accomplishment because you are focusing on what you have achieved but you will also be more likely to stay the course and not give up because the task seems too great.
  8. 8. Are you living the same year over and over again or do you have a plan for making this year your best year yet? As humans we are designed to grow and develop but sometimes life and our wish to stay in our comfort zones leads us to stay in the same place. What promise did you make to yourself at the start of the year and are you still on course? If not, it is never too late. Treat yourself as you treat others and keep your promises to the most important person in your life – you.
  9. 9. To a large degree we have been conditioned to think small and dream small. One person who did not think small was Steve Jobs. He wanted to ‘ding the universe’. A grand goal if ever there was one. Another more current entrepreneur who is seeking to colonise Mars is Elon Musk. The question is, what are you denying to others, and yourself, because your dreams are too small?
  10. 10. Business is a challenge, and often a struggle. Sacrifices are almost always made along the way, in order to be able to achieve the goal of creating a business that can work without you. Are you planning for this event and taking active steps to slowly remove yourself from the organisation, in order to spend more time with those people that are closest to you? To maintain the same level of control as when you were a start-up may not be giving your family or your team the chance to develop.
  11. 11. We have a strong tendency to focus on the things that we want to have and we perhaps spend a lot of time dreaming about these. However, we often spend less time thinking about what we have to do, to have these things, and we devote even less time to considering who we need to be in order to do the things we need to do and so have the things we want to have. Spend more time planning your ‘Be’ and ‘Do’ and ‘Have’ should look after itself.
  12. 12. The person we are, who is seen and heard by others, represents the tip of the iceberg. Other people will see our actions, decisions and behaviours, but they will not be able to really see what underpins these; our values, skills, beliefs and identity. Our environment is also a key reason as to why we do what we do. It is only by working on those things below the surface that actions will really change. Consider one thing that you need to change below the surface to create a better result above, that others will see and hear.
  13. 13. We all slide ‘below the line’ at times and blame others or excuse ourselves for our misfortune. We can also deny that there is even a problem and so we put our heads in the sand. However, genuine success always finds itself partnered with a willingness to own a problem, the responsibility to take action and the acceptance of the need to be held to account by others. When you find yourself complaining about others or moaning to yourself, ask yourself the simple question; am I above or below the line?
  14. 14. Newtons first law of motion states that an object will remain at rest or in uniform motion unless acted upon by an external force. Business will sometimes feel like we are trying to move an immovable object. The necessity for 100% participation, of everyone in the business, is a pre-requisite for movement. The easier question to answer is, who is not giving 100%. The harder question to answer is, why? Are you above or below the line now?
  15. 15. “Books are what you step on to take you to a higher shelf. The higher your stack of books, the higher the shelf you can reach. Want to reach higher? Stack some more books under your feet! Reading is what brings us to new knowledge. It opens new doors. It helps us understand mysteries. It lets us hear from successful people. Reading is what takes us down the road in our journey. Everything you need for a better future and success has already been written.” – Jim Rohn. What book are you reading at the moment?
  16. 16. Teenagers will not hesitate to say, ‘I know’, usually to their parents when presented with something they have heard before. How many adults though will stop listening to someone, because they perceive they have heard it before? In so doing they close themselves off to potential new learnings and insights. Be greedy and grab the thoughts of as many people as you can. Replace ‘I Know’ with the thought, ‘Isn’t that interesting’ to keep your mind open.
  17. 17. A blinding flash of the obvious can come at any moment, however, it usually requires a spade to find one! One word can be the key to digging deeper and finding the real reason; the buried cause for a situation. That word is ‘Why’! When faced with a challenge, use this simple word to get to the heart of the issue. The BFO that results could be critical in building your business and improving your life. Make ‘Why’ your favourite word and use it at least once today.
  18. 18. Memory and Fun are intimately connected. How easily do you remember a really fun event and how quickly do you seek to forget a dull one? As an adult we sometimes perceive that learning shouldn’t be fun. It needs to be serious because business is serious. The question is, does your team feel the same way and to what extent is this lack of fun holding your business back? At the end of the next training session you have, ask the question to your team; how much fun was that? The answer may be quite sobering.
  19. 19. The brain loves a problem to solve. When was the last time you walked away from a puzzle with the last piece still to be placed? The left side of the brain enjoys the logical challenge, whilst the right side is drawn to creating something whole. Left is numbers and words, right is colour and emotion. Look for learning experiences and training that engage both parts of the brain and create experiences for your team that really engage them.
  20. 20. In order to learn we need to blend all of our senses; sight hearing and touch! However, generally speaking we have a preference. Your best subject at school is probably an indication. Was it the practical, kinaesthetic learning of Drama or Technology, the visual challenge of Maths or History or the auditory requirement of languages that you most gravitated to? Don’t put square pegs in round holes. Uncover your learning preferences and then utilise these insights to accelerate your growth. Will you listen to or read a book today?
  21. 21. Jim Rohn stated – “Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals”. The reading list today contains those fundamentals and much more. It represents many of the best books on personal and business development ever written. Start where you have a challenge and get inspired.
  22. 22. Dr Aziz Gazipura in ‘The Art of Extraordinary Confidence’ says that, “The more we try to avoid short term discomfort and pain the more we experience long term discomfort and pain”. Better to grasp a nettle now than wait for something to build up and cause even more problems later. Identify one pain today that you are not dealing with and are therefore storing up to give you greater problems later. What actions do you need to take today to deal with it and save yourself even more problems in the long term?
  23. 23. Your subconscious mind is like a huge memory bank. Its capacity is virtually unlimited and it permanently stores everything that ever happens to you. By the time you reach the age of 21, you’ve already permanently stored more than one hundred times the contents of the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica. Under hypnosis, older people can often remember, with perfect clarity, events from fifty years before. Your unconscious memory is virtually perfect. It is your conscious recall that is suspect. So, what is a tap on the shoulder or that ‘nagging feeling’? It is your sub-conscious mind encouraging you to do something that you are unaware of. Are you listening and what action does it inspire you to take today?
  24. 24. What is your level of self-respect and your level of respect for others? Where it is low, in both instances we can almost deliberately go out of our way to set up outcomes where both sides lose, to spite ourselves and may be to hurt others. Also, again perhaps more unusually we set up situations to ensure that we lose while someone else wins, perhaps out of a need to reinforce a negative self-image. More often, we perceive that in order for us to win, others need to lose. Whilst this approach can provide short-term gain, it does not develop long term relationships. Do you find yourself slipping into any of these mindsets and what do you need to do if you are?
  25. 25. Yesterday, we spoke of versions of loss in business and in our personal lives; lose-lose, lose-win and win-lose. We have all confronted each one of these situations in negotiation, some more often than others, depending on your personality. It is a business fact, however, that great businesses are built on great relationships. Often these relationships have a win-win foundation to them. I want to win but I want you to win as well so we can both prosper. Seek to find ways to enable your customers, suppliers and team members to win. Your business will be much stronger as a result.
  26. 26. We can find that being outside of our comfort zone can lead to higher levels of stress and anxiety. Why do we feel fired up then, in attending a workshop, only to find that on returning to the business nothing changes? The answer is that change usually takes time and the approval of others and if you have not created more time to make change happen or persuaded others of what you want to do, the decision to avoid stress will unfortunately be too easy to make. How are you creating more time for yourself or encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone to create the change you want in your business?
  27. 27. When we go to the gym in our goal of seeking to get fitter, we can often find that our muscles for the next few days are sore. The reason for this is that in building them to lift heavier weights or work harder, we need to break them down first in order to become stronger. In effect we are adding something to an existing situation to create a different outcome. The definition of perturbation is a ‘reaction to a sudden unexpected outside force or movement’. When we seek to change, there will be often be an uncomfortable reaction as we adjust to a new situation. Are you willing to be ‘perturbed’ every day in order to grow and are you willing to ensure that your team is ‘perturbed’ as well?
  28. 28. How many times have we heard someone say; ‘it was the best thing that could have happened to me’, when describing something unpleasant which happened to them? When we make a break-through in our lives we will almost always find that we overcame a challenge to break through to a better place. To what extent do you have someone confronting you to face the unpleasant, and giving you strategies to deal with it, in order to come out the other side, stronger and fitter. To what extent does your leadership team challenge you, and to what extent do you challenge them? Break-throughs will only come from challenging and being challenged!
  29. 29. Over the last few days I have spoken a lot about overcoming challenge. I want you to think of your life as a dartboard with the bullseye section being your comfort zone. When we are children, our comfort zone is small. Anything out of the ordinary is difficult to deal with but as we get older, our comfort zone/bullseye expands. We should all be seeking to expand our comfort zone by moving into the ‘Zone of Proximal Development’. When we find ourselves in this new place, in the ZPD around the bullseye, we feel uncomfortable, but very soon things become easier and our comfort zone is expanded. We have grown as a person! To what extent are you actively seeking to expand your comfort zone so that others say; how on earth do they do that or make that look so easy?
  30. 30. Over 30 years ago, Carol Dweck and her colleagues became interested in students' attitudes about failure. They noticed that some students rebounded while other students were upset by even the smallest setbacks. After studying the behaviour of thousands of children, Dr Dweck coined the terms fixed mindset and growth mindset to describe the underlying beliefs people have about their own learning and intelligence. When people believe they can get smarter, they understand that effort makes them stronger. Therefore, they put in extra time and effort, and that leads to higher achievement. What are your underlying beliefs about your potential?
  31. 31. A “fixed mindset” assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static and that we can’t change these in any meaningful way. Therefore, our level of our success is determined by this. Striving for success and avoiding failure at all costs becomes a way of maintaining our sense that we are smart or skilled. A “growth mindset,” on the other hand, thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of inability but as a springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities. Do you believe that you can be better, because until you do your business is unlikely to achieve significantly more?
  32. 32. We go through life with people attaching certain personality labels to us - extravert, pessimistic, strong but silent etc. But what about your left-brain or right- brain preference? The balance between our left and right brain hemispheres can impact our personality and the decisions we make. For example, left-brain people are more organized and systematic in their thinking. Right-brain people are more creative and intuitive. So which side of your brain impacts the business decisions you make and do you have people in your team who compensate for your preference?
  33. 33. To what extent are you REALLY living your life with intention? Have you identified your dreams and worked out the cost of achieving each one in order to develop very specific goals within a given time-frame? What plans have you put in place to achieve the personal goals which you want to accomplish in the next year? However, what separates the achievers from the also-rans is action. Are you letting procrastination get in the way or are you stepping out of your comfort zone to make life happen?
  34. 34. How comprehensive is your business planning process? Does it stretch out for at least three years and cover the following; Turnover, profit, people, products and services, markets, customers, geographic spread, operational, marketing and funding issues? If it does and it is kept up to date your business orbit is predictable and steady. If you are not clear on these things you run the risk of spinning off into space. The consequences could be catastrophic!
  35. 35. We are all familiar with the importance of establishing goals - the more carefully we define our goals, the more likely we are to do the right things and achieve what we want to accomplish. However, life has a habit of getting in the way of this important but non-urgent task and we don’t put the time into it that we should. The consequence is that we end up reacting to life, and we then complain about it. Are you revisiting your goals every day in order to stay on track and keep to the plan, or are you being controlled by the goals of others? If you want to feel more in control of your life so business is fun, look here first.
  36. 36. Top-level athletes, successful businesspeople and achievers in all fields set, and aspire towards, goals. Goals give you long-term vision and short- term motivation . They focus you on what needs to be learned in order to have the things that you want to have. They help you to organize your time and your resources so that you can become the person you need to be. However, there is an enemy lurking. Believe it or not, that enemy is you. There is a part of you which is determined not to achieve your goals because goals involve change and change involves moving outside of your comfort zone which and that creates potential risk and danger. The question is, which side is winning in this never-ending contest?
  37. 37. How can I set goals for my business, you might ask, when so much that is out of my control can change? Is it not better to just go with the flow? You may be surprised to learn that in the recent recession, a significant number of banks did very well as well as supermarkets and value chain stores. Also, businesses offering a fun experience prospered as people eventually got ‘fed up with being fed up’. One of the common denominators here was moving with intention and setting specific targets to navigate these choppy waters. If you know where you want to go and you tell others, who can help, you stand a much better chance of getting there.
  38. 38. We are often told that we should write goals down, however, what we are not often told, is why? You have a very powerful ally when it comes to achieving the things you want and that ally is your ‘reticular activating system’. Another name for it is your sub-conscious. We are only conscious of 5% of what is happening around us. Our sub-conscious deals with the other 95%. Unless you tell the sub- conscious what to look out for by reminding it (writing it down) it will never do what it is designed for, which is to continually scan the environment for the things you want. When it sees what you want it taps your conscious self on the shoulder. What opportunities are you missing because you are not being bossy enough with your sub- conscious self?
  39. 39. The desire to move away from something that is causing us pain is significant and it can motivate us to do great things. However, this type of movement is generally reactive and unplanned. When we seek to move towards something then goals must be set and plans to get there put in place. The greater the level of challenge, the more refined these goals and plans need to be. If these goals feel uncomfortable then you are moving outside of your comfort zone and ‘challenging up’. You will never be the same person again. Are your goals challenging you sufficiently?
  40. 40. The notion of setting yourself SMART goals has been around for some time and has now become something of a truism when setting goals. SMART appeals to our logical, rational selves, however, something more is needed if we are really going to achieve great things, Goals should also be Inspiring and Emotional in order for us to be sufficiently motivated to step outside of our comfort zone and change. Without inspiration and emotion in the goals we set we may ask ourselves ‘so what’. Are your goals sufficiently inspiring and emotional? If not, they may need to be bigger or you may need a rethink.
  41. 41. In one of the most watched Ted Talks of all time, Simon Sinek explains that great leaders inspire others to take action as they ‘Start with Why’. If you have not watched this amazing video you must. I will let Simon explain further, however, I would ask you this simple question. What is your ‘Why’ and to what extent have others bought into it? If you don’t know why you do what you do, then why would anyone else really follow you?
  42. 42. Most of us are not very good at making detailed plans. If you were to ask most business owners whether they had a detailed plan for the next 90 days, I would estimate that 90% would say that they didn’t. Now that may be because they don’t know how to write a detailed plan or it may be because they don’t have the time. The only way that our businesses improve is if we improve as leaders and managers! What steps can you take to put a 90 Day Plan in place for your business?
  43. 43. Napoleon Hill in his fantastic book, ‘Think and Grow Rich’, published in 1937, introduced us to the idea that if we can think it then we can make it happen in our own lives. Idealisation encourages us to think of what we want our own lives to look like. Visualisation then asks us to create that picture in our minds eye and keep doing so once or twice a day. Verbalisation then requires us to voice out loud what we see, usually in the form of ‘I am’ statements. In putting the future into the present this challenges our sub-conscious self to make it happen and so we have Materialisation. With over 700 five-star reviews on Amazon, Napoleon Hill must be on to something.
  44. 44. Yesterday in the Daily Inspiration I introduced you to the idea of Idealisation, Visualisation, Verbalisation and Materialisation. Over the next four days I want to focus a little more on each one of these, starting today with Idealisation. The challenge to begin with is to identify what it is that you keenly desire. Now, this may seem easy enough but most people find this difficult as there is a critical need to be specific. What is it that you precisely want and when? Spend some time reflecting on this ideal future. The plans for putting it in place come next.
  45. 45. Yesterday, in the Daily Inspiration I explained more about Idealisation as part of the IVVM process of achieving our dreams. Today, I want to think about the next step; Visualisation. Interestingly, the brain is unable to distinguish between dreams and reality. If we create a clear enough picture the sub- conscious actually believes that this is really happening which in turn affects our behaviours. We start to act as if it were indeed real and so we make it more likely to happen through our behaviour. Strong visualisation does require hard work and practice. However, if you don’t believe me, ask yourself the question, why did Usain Bolt have his eyes closed immediately before a race started? And it wasn’t because he was tired.
  46. 46. The next step in the IVVM process is having established what it is that you do want in the idealisation and visualisation stages, make a list of 20 “I AM” statements about who you need to be, to have the things you have visualised. These are statements in the present tense. Describe the traits you want to build on or, more specifically, who you will need to become in order to do the things you need to do, to have and experience all you want to have. State these out aloud every single day at least twice with as much passion, volume and desire as you possibly can. In describing who you are in the present tense gets you behaving in the right way as your sub-conscious will start working to make it so.
  47. 47. Over the last three days I have been encouraging you to plant seeds. Each of the three steps; Idealisation, Visualisation and Verbalisation are a means of encouraging and bringing about the things you most want to have. The result is materialisation. The key to all of this is ‘burning desire’ as Napoleon Hill states. To simply go through the motions will not work. What you want and who you want to be must be felt in every part of you. Once you work out what is really driving you, use the IVV process to make it happen. You are what you think.
  48. 48. Most business owners don’t have a business. In reality they have a job. The job may be well paid in comparison to many other jobs and they may have a little more freedom. However, if your business requires you to be there to make it run, then you have a job. Make a decision to decide how many months it will be before your business can run smoothly without you having to be there. Write this date up on the wall and look at it every day. It will completely change the way that you think about business development.
  49. 49. Where are you choosing to focus your attention? It is very easy to spend too much time in the past, reliving the negative things that have happened to us. However, these past negative events can be anchors, weighing us down emotionally. In focusing on the negative past, we can also make negative events more likely to happen again in the future. The sub-conscious brain cannot distinguish between what we do want and what we don’t want. If we present it with a picture it assumes that is what we want and it goes to work to make it happen. We should look to learn from the past and then move on. What can you learn from in the last 90 days and then put to one side?
  50. 50. A strong business is built on firm foundations. It is also built on an acceptance of what things are really like. What score out of 10 (with 10 being positive excellence) would you give each of the six areas, in determining the strengths or areas for development in your business? If chaos has not been eliminated (less than 10) this is where you need to focus your efforts to begin with.
  51. 51. Whilst you may do everything to ensure the customer does not experience problems, the question is, do you always feel in control and are you able to plan proactively for the growth and development of the business? If the answer is no, you should buy a copy of the E-Myth Re-visited by Michael Gerber. The insights you gain will be tremendous.
  52. 52. What is the value of your time? Calculate how much you pay yourself a week and from this, work out your hourly rate? To what extent are you doing activities in your business which are below your pay grade? Where lower paid tasks could be delegated to others you have the beginnings of team growth plan.
  53. 53. The correlation between business success and planning is stark. The vast majority of the strongest businesses have detailed and comprehensive business plans. They know exactly where they are going and what they are seeking to achieve. The 80/20 rule applies here as it does to so many other things. If 20% of UK businesses produce 80% of the revenue and 20% of UK GDP is produced by 80% of UK businesses, which side of the fence do you want to be on? The good thing is, now you know what you have got to do to get there.
  54. 54. The business owner may clearly see their picture for the future. Unfortunately, the mistake that too many make, is they think everyone else in the business also sees it. In most cases they don’t and as a result the owner ends up frustrated and the team members end up uncertain. The result is that the destination that was so promising is left unrealised. If you are able to clarify your destination to yourself and the team, this will enable you to make better decisions in all areas of your business.
  55. 55. With the day to day challenges of running a business, it can be hard to see beyond the immediate priorities for the business. Few businesses look beyond a few years in their planning and even fewer aspire to an objective more distant. There are precious few that consider what the business should look like far beyond their own lifetime. However, the owner of any successful business is a steward before it is handed to another. What aspirations do you have for your business creation that stretch beyond your retirement and how can you enlist others in aspiring to achieve this?
  56. 56. We all appreciate the need for a company vision and recognise that without one, a business can be something of a rudderless ship. Whilst business profit is a great motivator, it will not motivate everyone. The question is; how can you enrol and inspire your team in a vision for the future? One of the keys for achieving this is to ensure that the values of the business are aligned with the vision. These values; how we do things here, need to be the centrepiece of the day to day communications of the business. If you as the leader enact the values that your team have participated in forming you are far more likely to enrol and inspire them in supporting you to achieve the longer-term goal.
  57. 57. The very successful businesses often have a vision that is so big, that it cannot help but enrol and inspire others, simply because it speaks to something very deep within them. While we are not all looking to colonise Mars, like Elon Musk or ‘Ding the Universe’ like Steve Jobs we can and should look to create something which can create a legacy and in some small way make the world a better and happier place. What could your business look like in 100 years and what service could it perform that leaves a footprint that future generations benefit from?
  58. 58. To a greater or lesser extent, we all suffer from the blight of procrastination. Taking action with care and due consideration is one thing but not taking action out of fear and finding refuge in over- analysis is quite another. It could be argued that excessive planning is a form of procrastination. Whilst someone is planning, they are not having to take action. ‘Good enough’ planning is what you should be aiming for. A plan will never be perfect and will never cover all eventualities. A key feature of planning mastery is to recognise that the plan in place is simple enough and ‘good enough’. It is then that we should take action and start moving forwards.
  59. 59. If you had to plot a sea voyage that took you around the world, I would not hesitate to say that everyone would plan for the ports they would stop at, in order to make it all the way around. The risks of not planning the journey in advance are so great that to not do this would be regarded as reckless at best and stupid at worst. I appreciate that unlike a sea voyage, the ports are not guaranteed to be there in your business journey. For this reason, so many do not plan their business journey and simply trust to luck and a fair wind. However, what if you were to plan with the assumption that certain things would happen. If you did, you would be more likely to achieve each stage on the way as you would be absolutely focused in doing so.
  60. 60. I spoke yesterday of the need for a business plan. Today I want to expand on what a business plan is. Effectively, a business plan is a compass. It tells you the direction of ‘true north’ and where you are headed. You don’t know precisely what obstacles you will face along, the way, although, if you know the direction, you can anticipate and plan for these. The compass keeps you on track and prevents diversions. There will be many things that will tempt you to alter course along the way. The compass will encourage you to keep focused. Finally, the compass will enable you to stop and see how far you have come and what needs to happen next. Without a compass you could be going around in circles.
  61. 61. How do you know what to do when you are faced with a decision? As business owners we all have a number of reference points for making a decision and one of the most important benchmarks are the values you hold. For example, if one of your core values is to ensure that the quality of the product you send out is consistently excellent, it will be an easy decision to eliminate any that are of just a satisfactory standard. Where there are no shared values in the business, the profit motive may be the only source of reference and whilst a decision made on this basis could have short term benefits, the possibility is that it could hurt you in the long term. What are the touchstones for your decisions?
  62. 62. Yesterday, in the Daily Inspiration, I spoke of the importance of values in the decision-making process. That will be important for you in making decisions, however, it will be the case that your team also will regularly make decisions and if you are someone who does not believe in micro- managing, you need to feel confident that your team have a common frame of reference. The key again is to establish a set of values, but this time the creation of these values needs to be a genuine team effort where you all have a part to play in shaping what the business believes. Whilst it takes time and patience in the short term, the long-term gains far outweigh the time initially spent.
  63. 63. What does it take to be the master in your business? You may be surprised to know that whilst the real business masters are prolific profit generators, they are also people that are driven by something more. They have dreams for others as well as themselves and they are enacting these ambitions for others in the businesses they create. As such they have a very strong sense of direction. Their map and compass points to true north and they are not easily side tracked. They are almost ‘zen-like’ in their focus. They are business masters. What do you need to do today to begin the path to enlightenment?
  64. 64. In ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’, Stephen Covey highlighted the third habit of ‘Put first things first’. This can mean many things, however, in a business context, the foundation of success is the quality of the service or product that you offer. Within this third habit he also talks about having the discipline to prioritize our day-to-day actions based on what is most important, not what is most urgent. It is easy to sacrifice quality for short term gain. Do you know what qualities you have in your business and do you keep quality at the centre of all you do?
  65. 65. Whilst the immediate answer to the question; why does my business exist, might generate a short answer I.e. to make a profit, that answer is unlikely to generate serious ‘buy in’ from your team members. The purpose of every business in some way is to serve. Without the concept of service underpinning a business, why would anyone want what you have to sell. The sooner you establish what you stand for, the quicker you build a movement of like-minded others. What gets you up in the morning and is ‘your why’ sufficiently motivational for the team?
  66. 66. How strong is your vision for the future? How clearly can you see this in your minds eye and to what extent is it directing the decisions you make now? Then consider, how clear is your purpose and what are your reasons for wanting to make this vision a reality? How far does the vision serve the needs of others in building a stronger community? Finally, consider your values. When making a decision, what is your code? What lines are you not prepared to cross and do your values resonate with others in your team. If you have clarity and consistency in all three areas you will be achieving something that so many cannot. Your success is far more likely.
  67. 67. Which way is north? Where are you going? If you don’t know, you are almost certain to get lost. Your mission statement for the business acts as a compass and guide. Every day you will be faced with decisions, and one of the first considerations in resolving the action to take should be; what decision should I take that will enable me to complete my mission? If I take decision A or decision B which one will bring me closer to my end goal? Whilst a mission statement may only be a few sentences, they could be the most important words you and your team ever write.
  68. 68. Yesterday in the Daily Inspiration I spoke about the importance of a business having a mission statement. Today I want to encourage you to think a little deeper and consider four fundamental questions. Many businesses do not have clear answers to these questions and as a result their team and customers can be confused. Decisions made can also lack clarity and be inconsistent as there is no touchstone. Can you clearly answer all four questions, and if you can’t, what do you need to do about it?
  69. 69. Great time management is about making great choices and then consistently and rigorously sticking to these, until they become ingrained habits. It is about being honest with yourself about how you are spending your time. Are the activities you are currently doing really moving you towards your end goals? Whilst in today’s frantic world we are all busy, not all ‘busy activities’ are made the same. 80% of your results will come from just 20% of your activities. The challenge is to find these twenty percenters and then do more of these.
  70. 70. We can all be very efficient in doing the wrong things at the wrong time. The challenge is to do the right things at the right time. Whilst easy to say, this can be very difficult to do. Today I want to challenge you to start to consider how you can manage yourself within the time you have available to you. The zone many of us spend least time in is the one that is most important. The Important but not urgent activities will take us closer to our goals and dreams. How hard are you working to put yourself in this zone as often as possible for as long as possible?
  71. 71. Does time control you or do you control your time? It is a fundamental question and one which we can often overlook. Before you know it, you can reach the end of the day and feel like you have got nothing done – at least nothing that you wanted to do. A default diary can change all of that. What are the important things that you need to do. Once you have these noted down, identify a time slot for these in your week. The urgent stuff will happen but this will ideally fit around the important, as you have made the commitment to yourself to get it done.
  72. 72. A great business is built on a series of great decisions taken day after day. If the oxygen for business is money, then tracking your numbers is of huge importance. Many business owners however, have not had formal financial training and this part of the business can feel daunting. However, it doesn’t have to be. Taking the steps to track the key numbers in your business over time can be hugely liberating. It can also put a lot more sleep back into your nights. What single action could you take today to feel like you know the numbers in your business better?
  73. 73. Whilst there are many different numbers that can be tracked in a business, often these numbers fall into certain categories. What are the important break-even numbers for you to know e.g. Daily, weekly and monthly? What are the four or five key numbers in the business which really define how strongly the business is performing (KPIs)? Are you tracking your cashflow on a daily, weekly and monthly basis and what are the cashflow forecasts telling you? Have you established a budget – a tool to manage your spending? How quickly can you get your hands on these key numbers? If the answer is not very easily, what do you need to do today to make change happen?
  74. 74. Much has been written about entrepreneurship and what it takes to be a great entrepreneur. Whilst we tend to associate entrepreneurialism with wealth, I would say that this shouldn’t be the only standard by which we judge whether someone is a great entrepreneur. It is more to do with a conversion process. What am I putting in that results in money coming out of the other end? If the answer is time, applied knowledge and your creativity and this is resulting in customers wanting what you offer then you are a true entrepreneur. Indeed, you may be more of an entrepreneur than someone who is earning ten times as much. Entrepreneurs solve problems for people. Can you solve even bigger problems in your business which enrich you and your community?
  75. 75. We are all familiar with the concept of margins in business. If I sell something for x, what amount of profit do I make after I have paid for all expenses – my profit margin? However, one of the expenses that we often overlook is our time. How much is your time worth on a project? What is your hourly rate? If it takes too many hours to deliver a service or product and this is time that you could be better spending on other things then you have begun to consider the value of an opportunity. Not all opportunities are created equal when your time is involved.
  76. 76. Is there a good fit between every one of your customers and your business? For whatever reason, some customers may not fit your business. Either they don’t pay on time or the kind of work you are doing for them produces poor margins. Perhaps you are creating such a personalised service that it is taking up too much of your time and is at the expense of other better customers? The best solution may be to refer them to a competitor. They may provide the service the customer needs in a way you cannot or are not willing to do. You also might gain a better customer coming the other way. It could be a WIN:WIN:WIN.
  77. 77. How much is your time worth per hour and to what extent are you jealously guarding this time from activities which are worth less than this amount? It is easy for all of us to get sucked into activities that are worth very little. Sometimes we even look to become involved in these activities as they give us the sense that we are busy whilst enabling us to avoid other more challenging tasks. The Key Performance Indicator here is ‘Hours of Genuine Productivity’. Keep an eye on this one and watch your profits rise.
  78. 78. Yesterday, in the Daily Inspiration I spoke about the importance of jealously guarding your time from activities that are not productive. Today, I want to encourage you to put a number on your time. Follow the simple equation on the slide and continually track this number. The aim of course is to increase it and as your worth increases, so too does your sense of self-worth.
  79. 79. Today in the Daily Inspiration, I want to give you a slightly different take on targets. We are, of course, all aware of the importance of setting revenue targets, however, some less obvious targets relate to your personal use of time and your personal earning power. Setting targets in these areas can generate some very interesting ideas about how these targets will be reached and what the business and team needs to do in order for you to achieve them.
  80. 80. We cannot control time. It is simply there, moving forwards inexorably. However, what we can control is what we do with the time available to us. Over the last few days in the Daily Inspiration, I have spoken about the value of your time and the importance of increasing this value. Time Mastery is about how we can gain the most from the time we have. Three keys to mastery are Planning, Delegation and Self Mastery. In their own way, each one can give us more time to do the important things, which in turn increases our choices. We spend a lot of effort focusing on how we can increase profits, however, we often spend little time on the real lever of these profits; how can I spend my minutes more valuably. Increase your time productivity and the pounds will look after themselves.
  81. 81. We hear about the importance of time management on a frequent basis. The reality is however, that we cannot manage time. We are only able to manage ourselves and how we use the time that we have available to us. Self-Mastery is arguably the most difficult thing that we have to do in our lives. Most of the time we know what needs to be done but for a whole variety of reasons we choose not to do them. Dealing and preparing for the important rather than the urgent is just one feature of this. What important task needs to be done today and are you going to commit to doing it?
  82. 82. Yesterday, in the Daily Inspiration I spoke about the general importance of Self Mastery. Today, I would like to give you a daily formula that you can use to really gain some clarity on those important things which are so vital in moving the business forwards. At the end of the working day, write down a list of all the things which needs to be done the next day. Once you have completed this brainstorming activity, break the list into A, B and C activities. Which activities are directly related to your goals and therefore need to be actioned tomorrow (A). Which activities could be left until another time (B) and which ones could be delegated to others (C). The more you are disciplined with this, the greater will be the impact on your business.
  83. 83. Are you asking yourself at the end of each day; how well did we do? Michael Gerber in the E-Myth Revisited states that every day should be devoted to business development rather than simply ‘doing business’. How must the business work for the business system to produce the results that it does? This requires a focus on what is important, rather than on what is urgent. You would not enter the Le Mans 24 Hour race in a car that had not been designed to compete and which had not been prepared for this gruelling race. Why should your business be any different? Design and build your business like you would a sports car and it will take you far.
  84. 84. Two days ago in the Daily Inspiration I spoke about the ‘To Do’ list for the next day as being the last item to do in the working day. Business planning comes in many different shapes and there is no one right way to do things. Planning approaches will depend on your personal preferences and those of your team. Ultimately, you will need to find an approach which works for you. Talk this through with your team and gain some consensus. Whilst the eventual outcome may not be quite what you want, their buy in to the planning process and executing this will be more important in enabling the business to move forwards.
  85. 85. Are you practicing genuine delegation or are you simply abdicating responsibility when you hand on a task to someone else? Unfortunately, I see far too many instances of abdication where someone just wants an issue off their desk. When the result comes back and it isn’t quite what they wanted, they complain. However, if they had delegated the task properly in the first place they would not have the problem. Delegation is not black or white. It is a shade of grey. How much control are you prepared to relinquish and have you been explicit in providing direction for others in the task you have delegated?