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Keeping Motivated – Overcoming Negative Self-Talk

Today’s post is about a hack for keeping motivated and getting over negative self talk.

Over the last three or four weeks, I’ve slept really badly. So I’ve been waking up very tired after not sleeping enough, and Yesterday morning I woke up and felt really unmotivated.

Now I normally get up a quarter past five in the morning, and go out and do an hour’s exercise. And that really gives me a lift. Yesterday morning however, it caught up with me.

I’m laying there in bed when the alarm had gone off, and that little voice in your head that comes around those times, was saying to me,

“Im too tired.”

“I haven’t had enough sleep.”

I just want to curl up and go back to sleep and have a little more time in a warm bed.”

I don’t know about you, but mine is a really whiny voice. And it really pisses me off sometimes.

So this is the hack I use to overcome it. Now it may or may not work for you, but I thought I’d at least share it.

I’ve learned over time that I can’t fight that voice directly. So when it appears and comes into into my mind and says “I’m tired”, I I genuinely do feel tired. When it says “I ache”, I bloody ache.

So one of the ways I’ve managed to deal with it successfully, is to let it have its say for 5 or 10 minutes, and turn it into a bit of a spectator sport.

I just listen to what it’s saying to me and take on board how it’s feeling.

And then after five or 10 minutes, I literally just say (out loud at times), “right! bollocks to that- I’ve got shit to get on with”

And get up and get on with it.

I can hear the voice starting to scream and shout in my head going “No, no, get back to bed – don’t do that, Don’t do that!”.

But at that point, it’s too late. I’m done. I’m up. I’m starting to do stuff. And yesterday morning particularly, I really was tired. But after I got up, I went out (in the dark – already) to go and do some exercise.

Then within 5 or 10 minutes of being outside around nature and the sounds of the early morning before dawn, I feel inspired again.

It just gives me a whole load of new ideas and thoughts for work and business. And by the time I got back home an hour later, I was feeling re-energised, full of the joys of spring and ready to hit the day as it was needed to be hit – with gusto!.

And that drive for getting on with things is back at full speed which then makes getting on with the day good fun. I

So anyway, just a very quick one to share on this lovely morning on how I kept myself motivated in the morning sometimes when the negative self-talk tries to pull you down.

And maybe it’s something that might work for you. Give it a shot.

Love to hear how you keep yourself fired up – drop a note or comment below.

Take care.

G

Why I Started My Own Business

Good morning and welcome to going live 365.

It’s a new experiment that I’m starting after talking to a number of people, they were talking about doing Facebook Lives. And were a little bit reticent in getting involved in doing them because they ran out of subjects really quickly and what they were going to talk about.

So what I decided to do was setting up a channel here and a group and I’m going to come on, or I’m planning to come on over the next 365 days. Talking about a different subject related to both business and personal and just to get that the confidence up on actually doing lives and also give a subject or share a subject or subject, share a subject that please You know, if you to take it away and use it yourself then it gives you some stuff to actually use and some ideas to take forward and use for your own stuff to talk about.

So I’m, this morning going to talk aboutwhy I started my own business.

And in in simple terms, I had been working in a number of sales positions, and was working for a large corporates, and over a period of about 12 months working in a large sales team. I put forward a number of ideas to actually improve the way that sales we’re working the process that we were doing and we can find more clients etc, etc. And one day, our boss said that they were having some consultants come in. So they came in the consultants basically polled everybody that was in involved in that department. They Took her ideas and like presented them back to management. And nothing was really heard for a few weeks. And then interestingly, the very ideas that we had all pulled together and we had been trying to push through to management were handed back to us, as the consultant companies ideas, after talking to us on ways to improve on what we’re doing, and so our own ideas were given back to us and we were told to implement them in half the time that we said that we could do it

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originally.

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So after much gnashing of teeth and the usual, not happy about that situation, we cracked down with it anyway. And about six months later, we had another set of consultants come in and looking at time and motion studies effort profitability, and again, we got polled taken away nothing for two or three weeks, and then our Ideas are sent back to us. And again, asked to implement in half the time that we thought was realistic. Now, this fundamentally ended up happening three times a year. And after that happened for the third time, I sat back and thought these guys are getting paid five times as much as we are. They’re not actually coming up with any ideas of their own. They’re just reflecting our thoughts and ideas from inside the organisation and presenting them back to management. And the management seem to be taking their ideas because they’re paying for them as an external consultancy. And, and then and then impact to us again, which was an interesting approach. But thinking about it, I then understood why because of the way that the corporate environments worked, by taking these ideas from an external consultancy, if They went well, the director of our particular area could take the credit for coming up with ideas and and bringing on the external consultancy, to help come up with some new strategies and new approaches. And on the flip side, if they didn’t go well, and it didn’t work, they could blame the consultancy and say we’ll never use them again. And believe me, that does happen. And it happened on numerous occasions that I’ve seen and been involved in anyway, that was the catalyst for me, like I mentioned earlier on to say, Well, hold on, these guys are getting paid in five times as much as we are to be consultants to tell our management what we as the employees at the time, were telling them what the best way to to help move the company forward and we thought said this for game soldiers. I’m gonna go out and be a consultant and not only hold the people that are involved in the organisation, but when they’re presented back, present back the ideas as well. That the people that they’ve come from, and credit them with those ideas and the implementations and the way of actually getting some movement and getting those things happen. So that it was a two pronged approach rather than just the the guerrilla tactic of running, take a bunch of money sawed off and just leave a presentation document was going and actually genuinely help and work out whether those ideas are implementable or not. And make that part of the consulting package rather than just actually the the straightforward approach of here’s my ideas, here’s some documentation and we’re off and

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That’s what I did.

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I literally woke up one morning

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and said, Sunday through game soldiers, I’m going to go out on my own. Now, obviously, the drives and the reasons behind wanting to do it at the time was I wanted to earn more money. And I wanted to have more time freedom, as well, but also to, to have ideas and inputs into organisations and businesses, that people would actually take on board and use. Because it seemed pretty pointless to me. Just doing the, the, here’s the ideas. Here’s what you get paid for. And that’s the end of it. If there’s no follow on if there’s no implementation, and no result at the end of it. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m aware that I can’t control that directly on the client because of a number of many different things. The they may or may not decide to do with ideas and consulting inputs. But from my perspective, I had a vested interest to ensure that what I said we could do was doable, and I could help to do it. So that was the initial reason for me moving from from being an employee to actually starting up on my own was I wanted to do things differently and better and earn a lot more money at the time. And it was a an interesting move.

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And very scary.

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But that was over 20 years ago. I’m still enjoying running my own business and working for myself. And this was just a very quick intro this morning. into a subject, which was why I started my own business. So in nutshell, I’ve just gone through that. And if it’s something that resonates from, from what I’ve said, and one of the reasons that you’ve looked at starting your own business, please just drop a comment or a note below with a few things about why you started your own business. And if it’s a subject that you like to use as well on doing live streaming, then by all means, please take it. It’s a good one. I think it’s important to know and the next one I’m going to do because this is just a brief intro one. The next one I’m going to do is the story of what happened on the first day of my first piece of consultancy work, which was it’s, it’s a funny story, but I’ll save that for the time being until tomorrow. I just want to say thanks for joining. Lovely to have you around. I’ll speak to you soon and don’t forget to leave your comments below. Speak to you later. Bye for now.

Good Enough is Good Enough

Good enough is good enough.

One of the most powerful lessons I learned from my stepfather, was not one that he taught me directly but one that I learned from observation.

You see, my stepfather was a perfectionist.

I used to hear mum talk about it, his work colleagues and his friends talk about it. Growing up it was banded around like it was a badge of honour.

I was made to feel that I should mirror this trait as a measure of a “good man”, that being a perfectionist was somehow a high accolade to could be proud of. A revered position that those around you would hold you in high esteem for.

This was reinforced when he would comment on, or inspect any of the work that I did for school, things I’d make, or when I was learning to play a musical instrument.

It was just never quite good enough. Know what I mean?

But, and this is a big but, I realised as time went by, that being a perfectionist had consequences. And those consequences were all too clear when he became seriously ill.

He was broke.

He was diagnosed with cancer and the aggressive treatments he underwent meant he was not able to work.

We always thought (and he always said), that he would “work until the day I dropped”, never thinking he would be affected by age or illness.

Growing up under this philosophy appeared strong and noble, but strong and noble didn’t pay the bills and left mum in a very difficult situation.

In some uncomfortable family conversations, it turns out there were dozens of examples where his attitude of “the work was never good enough”, and it had to be done “properly”, had cost him dearly over the years.

As an architect looking to grow his practice, he would hire other architects to take on additional pieces of the work.

The problem was, as a perfectionist another architect would spend 4 to 6 weeks doing a piece of work that “wasn’t up to his standards”, so he then spent another 4 to 6 weeks doing it “right” – and so the cycle continued.

The realisations were heart-wrenching.

I’d always seen him as someone who was doing well in comparison with the norm, but a few enlightening discoveries showed why after 40 years of work, there was precious little to show for it.

The thing that makes the difference (as the great Dan Kennedy refers to it), is the “GE” spot. The GE spot is the “good enough” spot.

The point at which the law of diminishing returns kicks in. You can improve something to the level of excellence, but until it’s ‘out in the world, you have no idea how good it is.

Dad was very talented, but I eventually realised his perfectionism was a symptom of a deep lack of self-confidence and a fear of being judged.

Good enough is good enough to get things started.

Excellence can be continually added in the execution.

Best,

G.

Are Your Clients Ready To Buy?

Successful sales conversations pivot on 2 things –

1. Where your client is
2. Their trust in your ability to help them

In this post I’d like to look the first of these, as I’ve witnessed many lost sales because the client is not in the the right place to make a commitment or decision.

Discerning when to engage in a sales conversation is as important as knowing how.

If you attempt a conversation with a client at the wrong time in their buying process, they may politely accept but are not fully engaged and get spooked!

This often shows up as objections like “I need to think about it”, “I can’t afford it” or “I need to speak to my partner” etc.

(I’ll cover dealing with those type of objections in a separate post, as these should be handled and framed at the beginning of a conversation, not at the end.)

So timing is a key part of making sales easier and why focusing on the ‘goldilocks zone’ of readiness, is the easiest, least stressful place to engage clients.

In my experience, there are 6 levels that people progress through when it comes to fixing problems –

1. Ignore it
This is where it’s shrugged off, often with language like “no biggie” or “it’s just one of those things”. This can continue for months or years.

2. Redirect
Next is a low level recognition there’s a problem, but doesn’t want to take responsibility for it, so blames external influences. Phrases like “It’s the economy”, “I just can’t find the time/right type of clients” or ” If only I had more of ‘X’ it’d be fine”.

3. Accept
At level 3, real acceptance surfaces there’s a problem and something needs to be done about it. However, this level can be held on to for months or years – don’t be fooled by perceiving it as the next level! Typical phrases are “I must get round to it” and “I know, it’s a problem but…”
*This is where we strategically hang out to be able to help at level 4

4. Motivated (Goldilocks Zone)
Hands up time. The hit of not doing something about the problem is clear and present. Your client is actively looking for your solution, and you can recognise it’s the right time to engage them in a sales conversation.

5. Imperative (Goldilocks zone)
The stuff has hit the fan. Something has to be done NOW. This is the fastest sales conversation you’re ever likely to have 🙂
There needs caution here, though. you still need to ensure it’s a good match and you’re not getting pulled unknowingly into level 6

6. Remedial.
From a financial perspective, this level offers very high return.
However, the impact of the problem has gone way past the point of of being fixed ‘cleanly’ (pre-emptively), and often the client doesn’t want to deal with the fallout themselves, they want someone else to do it for them.

So, from a strategic approach, we want to focus our efforts on the people at levels 3,4 and 5 for both the fastest results, and the highest impact.

In the next post, I’ll look at the second element, trust.

This is based on my experience and understanding of selling professional services, coaching and consulting over 20 years. I hope it gives you food for thought, and I encourage you to take what makes sense and validate it for yourself.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments below.

G. See less

Surprise

Just getting started on David Eagleman’s book ” The Runaway Species”, and was interested to see how modern Neuroscience is often scientifically validating older philosophy.

This particular reference to the need for “surprise” in our lives. Firstly, Davide Eagleman –

“So there’s something appealing (and useful) about predictability. But if our brains are going to all this effort to make the world predictable, that begs the question: if we love predictability so much, why don’t we, for example, just replace our televisions with machines that emit a rhythmic beep twenty-four hours a day, predictably?

The answer is that there’s a problem with a lack of surprise.

The better we understand something, the less effort we put into thinking about it. Familiarity breeds indifference. Repetition suppression sets in and our attention wanes. This is why marriage needs to be constantly rekindled.

This is why you’ll only laugh so many times at the same joke. This is why – no matter how much you enjoyed watching the World Series – you aren’t going to be satisfied watching that same game over and over. Although predictability is reassuring, the brain strives to incorporate new facts into its model of the world.”

And 50 years ago from our Friend Alan Watts –

“So then, let’s suppose that you were able every night to dream any dream you wanted to dream, and that you could, for example, have the power within one night to dream 75 years of time, or any length of time you wanted to have.

And you would, naturally, as you began on this adventure of dreams, you would fulfill all your wishes. You would have every kind of pleasure you could conceive.

And after several nights of 75 years of total pleasure each you would say “Well that was pretty great. But now let’s have a surprise, let’s have a dream which isn’t under control, where something is gonna happen to me that I don’t know what it’s gonna be.

And you would dig that and would come out of that and you would say “Wow that was a close shave, wasn’t it?”. Then you would get more and more adventurous and you would make further- and further-out gambles what you would dream.

And finally, you would dream where you are now. You would dream the dream of living the life that you are actually living today.”

G.

The Only Opinion That Matters

However good the idea sounds.

However many family and friends agree.

The only true validator is the market itself.

It’s stomach churning to see so many appear on Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den, who’ve invested life savings or remortgaged their homes to invest in their idea – to boldly admit they haven’t even asked the market if it wants what they’re offering.

Forgetting their business isn’t about them, they’ve sadly found the fastest way to fail.

What Card Counting Blackjack Taught Me About Business

Only Professionals win.

Start with a proven approach.

Focus on the process .

Manage your money.

Discipline your thinking.

Be consistent in your execution.

Play the long game.

It’s bloody hard work.

People Are No Longer Buying Products And Services

Because products and services are becoming ever more commoditised and automated, they’re looking for the ingredient that makes a difference.

People are buying Ethos. Your ethos, your company ethos. Your employee’s ethos.

An ethos of empowerment

Hard work

Emotional Intelligence

Drive for results

Co-creation

Partnership

Accountability

Agility

Creativity

Story

Positivity

Care

And most of all, Humanity.

These are the things now being valued and actively sought out by clients.

Falling On Deaf Ears

As I returned from shopping on Saturday, I got out of the car a felt a strong surge of puzzlement.

I couldn’t make out why, but carried on unloading the car.

And then I realised.

There was an Owl hooting above me.

I looked up to see a small Tawny owl sitting high in a tree, happily calling out to affirm his territory. “At lunchtime?”.

Being nocturnal of course, all the other owls were asleep. His call was beautiful, but none of them were listening.

I laughed out loud and thought, “How many times have I done the same thing when looking for new clients…?”

Sales ‘Conversion’ or Sales ‘Convergence’?

If you think about sales as a client ‘conversion’ process, the implication is of a master/servant relationship, with the primary beneficiary being you.

If you think about sales as a client ‘convergence’ process, the implication is of a partnership, with both sides benefitting.

If you’re in it for the long haul, the convergence approach yields measurably better results.

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