Need a Coach?

Are you going to start your business off with a bang or will it bust? Most people have dreams that they will be a success, but if you don’t have a mentor you could be headed for trouble. Why would you want one? They’re your guide through the choppy waters of a new start up. Someone who can lead by example, and teach you what you need to know. Why fly blind when you can have someone fly with you that knows the route? Flying by the seat of your pants can seem like a good idea at the time, but if the wind changes, you could lose your pants.

If you don’t possess the proper people skills in today’s business environment, it’s going to be a rough ride. Are you familiar with the acronym FORM? It could make or break your business. It stands for Family, Occupation, Recreation and Message. When you use FORM to get to know your potential clients, it really opens doors. And, it helps to take the pressure off when you’re introducing a product or service by not making it the sole reason for talking to a person. A blog can only introduce you to the concept, training is necessary if you want to master it. I actually offer coaching on this very skill. For more information just contact me, I’d love to help you.

That’s just one of the many skill sets that you need to master to have a successful business. Are you an influencer or manipulator? There is an important distinction. One is out to help others benefit, the other is out to benefit self. Which one are you? It will show up in your business practices. Millionaires and Billionaires are master influencers. They understand that it takes a team to win. No one ever got to the top by themselves. They give credit where credit is due, and are constantly improving themselves and their environment.

They bring out the best in people, and don’t undermine to keep them from achieving personal success. They have an abundance mentality, not a scarcity one. The difference? One is energized and excited by other people’s success. The other sees others success as a personal threat to their own. It’s about leveling the playing field so that everyone gets a chance. It’s the “we’re all in this together” winning  attitude that makes the influencer stand out.

Are you a friend or cash hound? Don’t kid yourself on this one. Most people can tell when you’re just out for their money and not really interested in serving them. Try as you might, there is a vibe that you send out when you are money grubbing. A gold digger is a gold digger whether you’re in business or not. Whether you like it or not, you’re in the people business. You must build relationships. Friends first. If you’re not good with this, get help. It can cost you lost revenue when people don’t like or trust you.

Are you interested in people? I’m curious by nature, so I love to ask people about themselves. That means I ask lots of questions. People love to talk about themselves, and so often feel unimportant. Questions change that. When you ask a person about themselves ( unless of course they have something to hide ) they tend to open up and share. Asking the right questions builds relationships that can turn into referrals that you don’t even have to ask for. Why? Because if they like you, they want to work with you. And, they’ll trust you enough to send the people they know and care about your way. This makes you more interesting. It seems backwards, but it’s true. The more interested I am in you the more you like me.

Are you able to be coached? If you are the type that only listens to yourself, then you’ll be in big trouble if you’ve never owned a business before. There’s nothing worse than a hard headed, stubborn, my way or the highway business owner. Not only are they their own worse enemy, but they also are a pill to work with. Because the business is all about them, they don’t have the success that they are seeking. Ever ready to blame something or someone other than themselves, they think that the problem is with the everything but themselves. You have to be open to the one thing that most people aren’t: correction. It’s not a bad word. But if your ego gets bruised easily, or you’re super sensitive, then don’t expect to be successful.

It’s a coaches job to help you become better, that may mean to make some changes that you are resistant too. Prioritize your goals and clarify your vision. To provide solutions and support. Encourage, inspire and motivate you. Keep you in the game when things get hard. Get you to see yourself as a champion, and get prepared for the next round after a defeat. A coach’s job is to help take you to the next level. This involves facing things as they are, not as you perceive them to be. A real coach will call you out on your deficiencies. They won’t stroke your ego. Or, tell you what you want to hear, they tell you what you need to hear. Smoothing out your rough edges, and pointing out blind spots. Problem solving, and pushing you to be your best is their specialty. Are you ready for a coach?

 

 

 

Changes…

There’s nothing better in life than the right kind of change. Change can bring some of the best situations to life. I love change. To be truthful, I thrive on it. It makes life interesting, keeps my mind sharp, lets me meet new people, and takes me to new places. Best of all, it can make a situation turn in a minute. In my case, for the best.

Have you ever had to live in a situation that was slowly killing your spirit? One that once it was over, you weren’t just relieved when it was finally over: you could get closure, heal, and move on? It’s strange, but most people don’t know how to move on. They don’t like change, and they certainly don’t want you to. It’s even better, when you can leave your past behind, and really look forward to your future.

I believe that everyone should be able to thrive no matter what the situation. Thriving is so much better than, surviving, and being desperate. The mindset of a “Thriver” is a limitless person. It’s the limits that cause us to want to get out of a situation that really is designed to facilitate growth. When we run, we don’t grow. We also don’t get the lesson that we were supposed to learn. It’s easy to miss it. Life is full of hard lessons, but it also is about learning from the things put in front of us. Lessons are hard for a reason, they teach of what we need to learn for the future.

Why waste your time running, when you can learn the lessons and become stronger? Lessons happen for a reason, and the reason is good. Whatever you learn, will help you to do better, and benefit others along the way. When you come out stronger for all of your trouble, you have more to give to those around you. People sense the changes in you, and want to be a part of it. The ones that don’t belong, don’t belong. Period. And, it’s good to let them go their way. Some will never return, and believe it or not, that’s a blessing. So count those blessings for what they are.

Once you leave a situation don’t go back to it the same, why? The dynamics have changed, and so have you. When you have outgrown a situation due to change, it’s important not to regress. Those who have an investment in you remaining the same really need to go to a new hunting ground. People who thrive on drama, hate change. Drama is a cycle that repeats. Wash, rinse, repeat. Change flushes drama out where it belongs. Away from you.

Not all changes are good. Change in haste, from incompetent decisions, or immaturity will come back to bite you in the butt. But, that’s a lesson too. So learn from you mistakes, before they take on a life of their own. It’s simple to do, and most people won’t do it. When you don’t, you will repeat it over and over again until you do. Change is worth it, but not after hitting your head against the wall time after time. So, learn early, and learn fast.

 

 

 

 

 

New to A Homebased Business?

So you’re thinking about a home-based business? Tired of dreaming about it, and you’re going to take the plunge. You’ve picked what you want to do, where you’re going to do it, and when you’re going to do it. Now what? Don’t let fear of the unknown stop you from enjoying the process. Here are some things you need to know about running a business from home.

Network marketing business? There are several types and different ways to run them. Be sure to get as much help from the company as you can. You basically are a promoter and marketer, so don’t reinvent the wheel. They’ve been there, done that so to speak, so let them guide you. Try to find out who’s rocking their business and pick their brains. Truly successful people love to share how they got there, and love to mentor. It’s their way of giving back.

Don’t miss any event offered if possible. They provide training for a reason, get as much as you can. Take time out to go to seminars on your own, this will provide a fresh prospective. There are certain things that all business people have in common, and are universal. Invest in your business and in yourself.

Selling a product or service? Get to know your local Chamber of Commerce. Become a member, and network. Business cards are a must, and don’t have to be expensive. They provide credibility. If you don’t have a website, it’s time to come into the 21st century. People are on search engines all the time looking for products, it’s a passive form of advertising, but it works. Promote yourself and your product whenever possible. It’s hard to run a business that no one knows about.

Get to know social media intimately. There are new sites coming up daily, so stay aware. Don’t forget free samples whenever possible, this works. Letting people experience your products is tangible and will peak interest at the very least. For services, how about offering the first session for free? This will help you build a list of clients to choose from and referrals.

Working directly out of your home? Designate space. Really, people don’t do this, and it will hurt your bottom line. Your home office, is your home office period. Even if it’s only a small little nook in a closet, or a small table with a laptop somewhere. Let it be for business purposes only. There’s nothing worse than trying to work on business related things, and you can’t find what you need. Find out tax-wise how much of your home can be written off as a business expense.

If your using your home as a place to meet with customers, research the zoning laws in your area. Too many cars can spell trouble if you aren’t zoned for it. Your neighbors might not like you using the street as your own personal parking lot. The same holds true with your living space. If you’re going to bring home clients, you may not want them rooming around your home. Pick which restroom is available, and rooms where the clients have access to.

Will you be working primarily outside  of your home? Reliable transportation is a must. Will you be using your vehicle to advertise? Keep it clean with business related materials available at all times. You never know who’s going to be interested. Having a brochure, business card, or sample is a great opportunity to meet new clients and get referrals. Do you know where you’ll be meeting? This is a big one. If you do business causally then a coffee shop or trendy eatery will do. Breakfast and/or lunch meetings should be at nice restaurants where there are table clothes and real silverware.

Impressions are everything, so make a good one from the start. Will you be using Wifi? Make sure you have a Hotspot or any other device that will give you internet access anytime, anywhere. A data plan can be a write off, so check with your provider. Will you be using a laptop, iPad, or Notebook? If you have kids, make sure you have one that use for business purposes only. There’s nothing more unprofessional than having one of your kids crazy pictures come up during a presentation or while you’re trying to help a customer with an order. Finding places to meet that are both professional and relaxing should be researched thoroughly. Consider price and location when choosing.

Is your family or significant other on board? This is something that you need to consider. Many businesses fail because of a lack of support from those closest to you. They have some skin in the game, but if they’re against it, that’s the first hurdle you need to jump. Many spouses feel threatened by a new business. Why? Because it excites you and takes away time and attention. If they don’t want to be a part of your vision, don’t give up. Ask them what they would need from you while you’re launching. Solid communication will help you with this.

A spouse that’s adamant about you not starting a business may have a hidden fear that you’ll want a more successful person. Or, may fear your success will make them look bad. Reassure them that you’re doing this for everyone involved, and that you want to improve the family’s lifestyle. An insecure spouse just need to to know that you are going to be there for them. It may take a while, but if they can see that you aren’t going anywhere,  most will come around. There are the rare few that don’t, but that’s almost assuredly a deeper issue on their part.

An immature or selfish spouse won’t come around, so just keep on working. Either they’re in, or they’re out. Don’t let them stop you from working towards success. If the money, a better lifestyle,  successful spouse and more freedom doesn’t win them over in the end, nothing will.

Are you making sure you’re learning constantly? A business can come and go, or come and grow. It’s all up to you. No one knows everything, so you might as well learn all you can whenever you can. Technology is always moving and changing. People have the attention spans of 5 year olds. You have to be be consistent in a constantly changing world. Some things will stay static, and others will turn on a dime.

Read materials from successful people daily. Watch podcasts from the best in the business. Seminars, webinars, conference calls can be done on your own time. Conventions, groups, coaches, whatever and whomever you can learn from. Don’t stop. It’s a process and a journey. If you fail, read books on people who failed and come back. Receive emails with messages from the best. You’d be surprised how much information comes in the emails that you ignore, and for the most part it’s free. Good advice is good advice, no matter what the source.

Do you have the right mindset? No matter what anyone tells you, there is a certain amount of mental fortitude that you have to have to run a business. You have to be mentally strong. Be an optimist in the face of adversity, mocking, sabotage, and failure. If you can’t stick to something, this is the time you will have no choice but to learn. For every opportunity there is a chance to succeed. From every failure a chance to grow, and you will be forced to grow. Setbacks are the norm and will happen. Opportunities present themselves constantly, so you have to be willing to switch gears.

People will be obstacles or open doors, so you have to be able to discern which is which. Quick decisions may bring more success or failure. You’ll have to take chances. Risk is part of the game, are you up to the challenge? If you’re a people pleaser, you may have to get used to certain people not being happy with you. All part of the process. Are you making sure you’re in the right frame of mind? Some people will be on board with your vision. Others may try to talk you out of it. Are you ready to take a stand?

A home-based business gives you quite a bit of control over your own life. You will have to make the necessary sacrifices, and it will take some time to get launched. If you have the drive, initiative, patience, open mind, flexibility, support and encouragement you already have what it takes. A home-based business can help your family become closer as a result if they are willing to support and help you with your business. It will grow with time and thrive. Believe in yourself, stay positive, and work hard. Making money from home has never been more accessible with the internet and other resources available. So take the plunge and go for it.

 

 

 

 

Post-Traumatic Growth

There is the most interesting article in Success magazine ( July 2016 ): “Post-Traumatic Growth, The worst of times can lead to the best of times”. Post-traumatic growth is about rebounding after some devastating life changing event. Because I’d never heard of this term before, I was intrigued to say the least. The article didn’t disappoint. Success magazine has great articles all the time, but this one is definitely worth the read.

There were 3 stories shared about 3 incredible people that had faced some of the worst traumas imaginable. An accident resulting in paralysis. The death of one’s mother and sister, in a car crash that resulted in and having to raise a permanently disabled child. As well as,  a divorce in the midst of a health crisis. All 3 people had a reason to give up, but due to the way they handled it, the trauma changed their lives for the better.

Richard G. Tedeschi and Lawrence G. Calhoun of the University of North Carolina, Charlotte coined the term itself. It’s definition: A positive change experienced as a result of the struggle with a major life crisis or a traumatic event. According to both Tedeschi and Calhoun, it doesn’t happen in the absence of Post Traumatic Stress, but it makes it more tolerable. People who suffer trauma and experience this know that there’s more to the story, and the outcome doesn’t have to end badly.

It was interesting how they explained in this situation the way people changed. Having a sense that new opportunities will open up. Closer relationships with others who have suffered with a new sense of connection. Increased awareness of one’s own personal growth. Life in general is appreciated more, and change or deepening of spiritual beliefs. This subject is talked about more in the book, “The New Science of Post-Traumatic Growth”, by Jim Rendon.

According to Rendon’s research, he was surprised to find that many people who had experienced unspeakable traumas said, “If I had to do it all over again, I would.”, or “I’m thankful for this thing that happened to me.” Numerous studies had shown that about half or more of trauma survivors have reported some kind of positive change as a result. Their lives not only improved, but thrived.

Further, going into: how leaning on others, thinking things through, self-expression, faith and optimism, and recovering joy all played a part in being able to make it through. All of these things are components in the outcome, and it’s dependent on how you handle the crisis. A positive mindset is key, but it’s a process that you have to allow yourself to experience. This process is essential and necessary. They let it propel them to extraordinary lives. With the right support, encouragement, and inner strength their passion for a better, richer life grew.

Giving back was also crucial in their success. They wanted to give back to others that had experienced traumas, obstacles and difficulties as well. It actually gave their lives more meaning. Being able to empathize and therefore help others in similar situations. Eventually, they felt what they went through actually helped them to lead more authentic and happier lives. Hence, motivated to do more, and be more.

The changes made benefited others as well as themselves. A nobler cause helped them to be the best versions of themselves. And, it didn’t stop there, they continued to strive to help others with their own personal achievements as well. Trusting themselves and the process in the midst of their trauma.

These people and others like them were able to re-frame their situations. Instead of giving up and excepting their fates, they made the decision to step up and make the best of what had happened to them. No wallowing, complaining, or blaming. Just taking personal responsibility, holding themselves accountable, looking at new opportunities, finding solutions, and doing the work necessary on themselves to see it through. Seeing the bigger picture and deciding to move towards it. Proving that it doesn’t matter what happens to you, it only matters how you handle it.

 

You Are Your Thoughts, Seriously…

Have you ever been around someone that is consistently up? They really have a way about them don’t they? They light up a room, just by being in it. They shine even when it’s dark or raining. These people live out their thoughts. Positive people make life a lot better for those around them. You can tell a genuine positive person: they bring out the best in everyone around them. They lift you up, and don’t bring you down. No matter who you are, or how you treat them. It’s just their nature to want to be a good person. No matter what.

I love to be around these people. I have a friend named Sheronda that is always up, nothing gets her down. She is full of life and energy. She has helped me to see the bright side of things, even when my world is full of darkness. She has an inner light and strength that are the epitome of a person living out her thoughts. She isn’t happy, she has joy. Big difference. She taught me that happiness is a feeling, but joy is a state of being. Happiness depends on external forces, joy internal ones. I love her for reminding me that joy brings both peace and happiness. There’s no room for bitterness when your thoughts are good ones.

When your thoughts are off, you feel restless. This leads to anxiety, which leads to feelings of wanting to escape. So, therefore you need a distraction. But, here’s the rub, when you get distracted you’re not thinking clearly. You have to be clear headed to be in a good place. Also, you have to guard your thoughts. There are people out there that can sense confusion. Then you can be easily manipulated due to what you think and say. Influences are all around you. So beware of fast friends, they become even faster enemies.

So what do you think about on a regular basis? Are you thinking about what you want, or what you don’t want? I’ve learned that thinking about what you don’t want brings it on fast. The very thing that you dread is waiting for you to spend all your time and energy powering it up. So, why not put all that energy into what you want? It works the same way. Instead of saying, “I want to be debt-free”, re-frame it to, “I want to travel the world for a month and not have to worry about how much it’s going to cost.” Do you see the difference? One focuses on the what you don’t want, the other what you do.

Are you growing as a person? There are all sorts of things you can do to grow, but the most important one is: guarding your thoughts. I had some people in my life for years that were constantly putting me down. To be honest, they were only using me to build themselves up. My life is changing for the better. Not having their input has helped improve my thoughts. That’s right, their influence was causing me to see me as they saw me, and not how I really am. Now, my thoughts are the right ones, and not the ones that they planted. I was being stifled so that someone else could feel good about themselves. The cage I was living in is now open, and guess what? I high tailed it out as fast as I could. I feel like the Phoenix rising from the ashes. It’s slow going, but its going.

Are your thoughts helping you to become a better person? Look the past is in the past, but have you done some things that you need to make right? Then do it. When you don’t do the right thing, your thoughts will constantly bring you back to it. You can’t escape it, that’s how it works. In your quiet moments,  your personal demons will come back to haunt you. They cloud your thoughts, rob you of your peace, and torment you. Why not face them head on? They can no longer haunt you when you make things right. So do it now, don’t let them keep you up at night. Your past will haunt you only as long as you let it. Everyone makes mistakes, but some mistakes will haunt your thoughts until you make amends. Take the high road at all times. Maturity comes with being able to admit you’ve made a mistake, and so does peace. Quit running, take a stand to be better.

Your thought life is your own, and only you know what you’re really thinking. No one else can get inside your head. And, you really can’t get into anyone else’s so you really don’t know what they’re thinking either. If thoughts are truly things, as author Napoleon Hill has stated, then you need to guard them, cultivate them, and keep them positive. You can either rule your thoughts, or they can rule you.

 

Business Bumps

No one ever said that starting a business would be easy. There’s so much to learn. Technology is constantly changing, and so are people’s way of doing business. With everything that has to go into a business these days, it’s no wonder people who are constantly growing become successful. They understand that things change, and that they have to roll with the punches. If you want to be in business, you better like change.

Owning a business can be one of the most rewarding things that anyone can ever undertake, but beware: it’s not for everyone. You can’t just jump in and hope for the best. But, that’s how most people do it. Planning, timing, and being quick on your feet are everything. You have to be willing to sacrifice, and be willing to fail. If not, don’t even start. Failure is part of the learning curve, and there will be many curves along the way.

Do you have a mentor? You know that person that has done it before you? The one that can warn you of potential pitfalls? The been there, done that guy or gal? If not, then find one before you start. Get the skinny on what it’s really like. Dreams are one thing, reality is a morale buster if not anticipated. Notice I didn’t say “prepared for”. You can’t really prepare for failure, but you can try to minimize it.

Are you excited about what you’re doing? It’s one thing to dream about it, it’s quite another to put it into action. The day to day grind of a business can be both fun, and exciting. But that’s not enough. There will be days when you don’t feel like working, customers and clients complain, the whole day is a bust, the stars aren’t aligned… Whatever. Just be prepared for the downside of a business. Not all of it is fun, much of it can be tedious, and if the business fails: it’s your fault. Period. You can’t blame anyone but yourself. Why? Because ultimately you are responsible for the outcome. Whether it’s a hit, or it bombs.

Do you have a back up plan? If the business doesn’t work out, don’t give up. You may need to re-frame, revamp, or just go in another direction. Is it going to be easy? No. Will it worth it? Yes. All businesses have ups and downs, no matter how successful. So beware that there will be changes over the horizon. If you don’t like change, you need to rethink being in business. Being stuck on a idea, a way of doing things, or because you’ve put so much into it, can spell disaster.

Are you listening to the people who encourage, respect and believe in you? This is a big one. I tried several businesses in the past, and I had one person in my life in particular that was highly invested in seeing me fail. They’re gone now, but there’s always someone to take their place. You have to be your biggest cheerleader, but if you have people in your corner constantly pointing out everything you do wrong, sabotaging, and otherwise making it painful for you to succeed it’s going to be difficult. If that person is a significant other, it’s going to be damn near impossible. They will stop at nothing to undermine you and your business. Find people on the outside that will take up the slack, you can confide in, and get advice from them. Let them be your power partners, and success buddies.

Are you really a business person? Successful business people have a see it through attitude. If you are used to chucking things for whatever reason, then business is not for you. People who have a hard time with failure, disappointment, who blame others by not taking personal responsibility, refuse to be held accountable for anything negative, and aren’t good with finding solutions are not a good fit for business. You just can’t quit when the going gets tough, that might be the very time you need to buckle down and really get to work. It’s also  expensive, you’ll lose your investment. If something isn’t working, you need to start by looking at what you are doing. If you’re not an introspective person, your dream business will become your worst nightmare. A failed business is a public humiliation on top of everything else. Can you survive that if it happens? If the answer is no, then you need to rethink if going into business is truly for you. You are completely responsible for 100% of it’s success and 100% of it’s failure.

Owning a business will really show you what you’re made of. Highly successful business people know this. Being in business for yourself is a calling that not many are called to do. Many try, and many fail. But for those that succeed, there’s a feeling of satisfaction that you just won’t believe. They understand that their business is run by several bosses: customers and clients. If your bosses aren’t happy, then you’ll be out of business. Fast. They are the ones in control of your business whether you want to believe that or not. You’re not in the business of selling a product or service: you’re in the people business. People have the money, and they run the show. You just add value and they’ll keep coming back for more. Never forget that.

 

 

 

 

Happiness Is An Inside Job

Are you happy? I mean truly happy? Not just the emotional happiness that most people strive for, but have the sense of well-being that all is right with your world? It’s an amazing feeling to feel good despite your circumstances. That is real peace. When you can look at your situation and still be in a good place, there’s nothing like that feeling. That’s why another person can’t be responsible for your happiness, they fall short. Why? Because external happiness is a short lived thing, and comes at a high price. Being happy on the inside? That’s priceless. It’s also a choice. What are you choosing?

Today, I’m feeling really happy. I got closure yesterday on a chapter in my life that needed to finally be closed. That’s liberating. How many people get that these days? Unfortunately, not many. I knew that I was doing the right thing, because it felt good on the inside. And today, I feel even better about it. That’s when you know you have closure. You’re at peace with a decision, you don’t have to keep looking back, and there’s no second guessing. You just know it’s right. I don’t need for that chapter to be reread, because it’s closed. So, I can move on to the next chapter finally in peace. What a great feeling.

Another way to feel happy is to forgive those who have wronged you. That brings inner peace. It releases you from the burden of what others have done to you. And, it will help you to become a better person. Extending grace is the best way to do this. The person who hurts you the most is probably the one person you will never get an apology from, so don’t expect it. Just forgive them and move on. I once heard a man say, “To forgive someone, is to know what it is to be forgiven.” I believe that he was right, and once you forgive you feel better as well. It releases all the negative energy that comes with it. It also helps you to see that harboring it, only hurts you. Resentment carries too much pain, and that can weigh you down. Forgiveness releases it, and sets you free.

Serving others will also provide happiness, only if, you do it with the right intent. What’s in it for me is the last reason to serve another person. That’s not from the heart, it’s from a place of greed and need. It’s also not authentic. Serving people is supposed to help them, not you. You get a sense of satisfaction, that’s true, but it supposed to be focused on the other person. Don’t you get tired of these people that are always fishing for compliments, just because they helped someone? Nauseating isn’t it? They are just doing it for attention. That’s not the right motivation. It’s based on them getting a reward, not doing something purely for someone else.

Happy people don’t need constant stimulation either. They are happy just because. They don’t need anyone else to validate, admire, or even acknowledge their existence. Knowing that they matter is enough. Self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth don’t come from other people. If you don’t have them within to begin with, your search for them will be futile. Forever chasing, but never quite catching.

If you want to be happy, start with what makes you happy when you’re alone. If you don’t like to be alone, there’s the problem: you don’t like you. Happy people are good with their own company, and therefore will be happy no matter what. I’m really happy these days. I have my kids, my health, good friends, and a bright future. I’m free of the people who made my life miserable. So, I’m choosing to be happy, because I like me and who I am. Do you?

 

 

Whose Point of View Are You Looking From?

Do you try to see things from other people’s point of view? Are you even concerned with the other person? Have you ever tried to talk to someone that refuses to even look at yours? Isn’t it frustrating when you’re trying to get something accomplished and the other person won’t even try to understand what you’re trying to do? And vice versa? When you try to honestly see something from the view point of someone else, communication gets easier.

I love the book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, by Dale Carnegie. He said, if you learn nothing else from this book, it’s the only take away you need. And guess what? He’s right. When you can look at things from the other person’s point of view, you have a better understanding of what that person is trying to convey. It works in business, relationships, families, on the job,  and with whomever you meet. It’s something that most people don’t even concern themselves with. Why? It’s all about me, and my wants and needs. Yep, good old fashioned selfishness.

The principle is simple, before you approach someone, look at things they way they would see it. People have a horrible habit of “telling” people who they are, and what they’re like. And, new flash: they don’t have a clue. How many times has someone told you, “I know you’, and was basing it off of their own assumptions or preconceived notions? It happens all the time, no wonder people can’t get along.

If you want to get someone to do something for you, you have to first find a way to get them to cooperate. In other words, think of how you would want to be approached. Would you want someone to approach from a point of understanding? Of course. People just don’t take the time to study people like they should. You can learn a lot just by watching people with an open mind. Close minded individuals love authority, they abuse it. They think it’s their way or the highway. Then, they’re shocked when people take the highway. Difficult people never seem to see themselves as the problem.

People want to feel important and validated. So start with that in mind. You don’t know what another person is thinking, so you really need to ask them. And then, go from there. If you want to make a good impression, think about the other person and what they want and need first. Not only will you get and keep their attention, you’ll earn their admiration and respect as well.

 

Compliments Versus Flattery

Do you know the difference between compliments and flattery? Intent. The difference between someone who compliments you and and someone who flatters you: one is giving you something, the other wants something from you. So how do you tell the difference? Easy: Were you expected to give something in return? The key word is: expected. Flattery comes with expectations, whereas compliments do not.

With so many people out there for themselves these days, it’s easy to get fleeced. Literally. A compliment costs nothing, and is something that will make someone’s day just because. Flattery on the other hand comes with a price tag. You have give up something to get something. Period. It’s not mutual. It may feel that way, at first. But, with flattery there’s always this gnawing feeling that if you don’t do something you won’t get anything in return. It’s pretty simple really. It’s based on a business transaction mentality. You do for me, and I’ll do for you. There’s nothing selfless about it. There’s also a serpentine quality about someone who flatters. They don’t call them snakes for no reason.

Someone who flatters knows to tell you exactly what you want to hear, is critical. They also know that telling you exactly what you already think of yourself is key to making sure they get what they want, when they want, whenever they want. Every time. It’s crucial that you think that they really want what’s best for you. They don’t, they’re only concerned with what you can do for them. So, they keep you focused on how: great you are, easy you are to talk to, special, smart… Whatever. It’s all a ruse to keep you on the hook. There’s something unauthentic about it. And, deep down, you know it’s not true. Even though it’s really nice to hear it. It’s also based on exaggerations and distortions as well.

People who compliment however, tell you the truth. They look for the positive and don’t exploit it for personal gain. They really are in your corner, and will find ways to help you. They don’t do it get something, they do it to give something. A compliment is meant to uplift, and doesn’t have to be exchanged for anything. Compliments are free, there are no price tags. And, they aren’t used to barter. When someone compliments you, don’t you feel the sincerity? You don’t feel uncomfortable. No nagging feelings that it may not necessarily be true. It feels right, and you believe them.

Compliments help people to want to become better. When people feel good about themselves, not only do they do better, they help others become better as well. There’s a positive vibe that comes with a compliment. You stand taller, smile more, and want to find the good in others. Confidence soars, and self respect becomes evident. You feel like you matter, and validation is confirmed. Compliments bring out the best in people. There’s no stress attached, most of the time they’re earned. Flattery is all over the place theses days. But a sincere compliment? Now, that’s something to get excited about.

Trust Your Gut

I don’t know how many times I’ve been told that I over think things. Do you? Overthinking things can really get you into trouble. Using your head is good, but what happens when you leave your heart out of the equation? I’m not saying that you should lead your life by your feelings. That would be, well, stupid. Intuition, or your gut is your heart and more importantly your spirit talking to you. But do you trust it?

For years I stopped trusting my gut. I had a lot of help in that department. I had people in my life that were really good at getting me to second guess myself. Guess what? I was often right with what my gut was telling me. I went through a lot of headache trying to get headway with these people, but it didn’t work. So, I let them go their own way. Now, I’m free to trust my gut again, and I’m happy to say that it’s spot on.

Do you trust your gut? There will be times when you’ll have to go against the grain. Why? Because there are many people out there that don’t trust themselves, let alone you. These people will do whatever it takes to make themselves feel safe. Even in the face of something destructive. They think they’re following their gut, but in reality, they’re listening to their fears. And, more often than not others that feed it.

People will do whatever it takes to have influence over others, especially when the other person is needy, has low self-esteem, and no self-confidence. These types trust other peoples’ guts and get into a world of trouble. Think kids who want to be accepted at whatever the cost. They listen to others who tell them exactly what they want to hear, only to find out too late, that they aren’t what they seem. Or worse, misery loves company, and they wanted more miserable kids in the “clique”.

You have gut feelings for a reason. They can either warn you, or lead you to something great. But, if you’re not listening, you can lose something very special. Far too many people go full steam ahead, especially when their gut is telling them not to. Regret, shame, and guilt follow when you know you should have listened. You’d be surprised how many people are forced to watch others follow their gut to find happiness, fulfillment, and purpose for their lives; while they end up wallowing in the misery they’ve created. All because they listened to everything and everyone else, and not their gut.

I learned to love my gut. More often than not it has lead me to good things, kept me out of danger, and helped me to find the people the mean the most to me. I now trust it all the time, and because I do, I have been blessed with people in my life that are good to and for me. I have doors opening, and opportunities that I’d never seen before I’d stopped trusting it. The positives are out weighing the negatives, and I’m more open minded these days. I also have an open heart, which is really important if you want to trust your gut. Knowing how you feel, where the feelings are coming from, and why you feel the way you do helps tremendously. I love people again. All because I allowed myself to trust my gut. Again.