Find a Good Support System

“No man is an island.” That’s an understatement. Isn’t it a shame that the people closest to you, or even relatives don’t support you in your business? Why? There are several reasons, too many to mention. There are just some people that don’t want to see you succeed. It’s makes them look bad. No one wants to look bad. And, there are people in your inner circle that feel this way. Yikes! What do you do? Get a support system outside your inner circle. In other words: separate your circles with a new network.

This is essential if you have family members that are your biggest critics. It may hurt to not have them in your corner. Truthfully, are you going to give up just because they have no vision? Or, they don’t believe in you? How about, they don’t think that you can do it? That’s their opinion. You’d be surprised at how many people that are related to you, or live in your own home are envious and jealous of you. It does take confidence and self respect to be able to do something that others don’t believe that you can do. Or, know that they themselves can’t. This is where having a good support system comes in.

When your biggest critics live with and/or are close to you, you’ll have to create a circle of people on the outside that will support you. A word of caution: unsuccessful people will also support you into the poor house, watch your circle. You need a plan, and you don’t want to jump into anything headfirst just because someone is stroking your ego, or worse pumping up your pride. That’s a disaster of epic proportions. You need a mentor who encourages and inspires you, not a cheerleader. Cheerleaders also cheer at games where their team loses: don’t forget that.

Coaching is important as well. No one knows it all, so why not teach your kids and others that very principle. Only people with big egos think that they’ll be successful without a real track record. People fail in business everyday because of this. You’ll need help to be successful, lots of it. You’ll need a network, and supporters that will help you when things get tough. You’ll also need people in your corner that can lead you in the right direction. It takes  humility and maturity to do things with others that may challenge you and your ideas. Is it worth it? Of course.

Resources that you were unaware of are also a great reason to tap into these a support system. Where will the money come from? Cardinal rule #1: use other people’s money. How will you do that? Ask your coach or mentor. Using your money is not only risky, it’s unnecessary. Besides, not many people have a whole year’s salary saved up in case the business fails. It’s a fact. The road the Hell is paved with good intentions.

Most will fail within the 1st 2 years. Are you going to be a statistic? Not if your mentor/coach has anything to do with it. They can see around corners, and see blind spots. Let them help you, for your own sake. They are there to help you succeed. They’re not investing in failure, they invested in success. Especially yours. Pick their brains, and let them lead you to the right resources. The fortune is really in the follow up. They know how to follow up. Your mentor is going to make sure you get what you need. A coach will challenge you to get there, and keep you on task.

 

The Point of No Return

Dale Carnegie says, “Remember that unjust criticism is often a disguised compliment.” It may not seem like it at the time, but it can help you gain some valuable insight. Most people only know how to: criticize, condemn or complain. The want to feel important. Selfishness is rampant these days, and people actually feel justified in living this way. This makes interactions with them almost impossible. People who don’t like themselves hate to see others happy, and will do just about anything to make that person’s life a living Hell. Some people you can ignore, others you’re forced to deal with. So how do you deal with someone that clearly doesn’t have your best interests at heart? Let them burn the bridge. 

There really are some individuals that you should just let burn the bridge. I’m a firm believer that if you give a person enough rope and room: they really will hang themselves. Social Media is being used like a lethal weapon in a sinister way. And, it’s also the best place to let them burn their bridges in public for all to see. There’s nothing crazier than watching someone make a complete fool of themselves in the public eye. Social media is also a stage where people desperate for attention display their lies, I mean lives, on a public forum. Now that’s really the best place to learn how people burn bridges. You really can’t deny what you’ve done when the world is watching.

Another way to let people burn their own bridges is to completely take yourself out of the picture. People who shun accountability love to blame others for anything that they don’t like about and/or can’t accept in themselves. You’d be amazed at how much time a bridge burner will spend trying to provoke you into paying attention to them. Case in point, a customer that refuses to be satisfied is such a person. They make a huge commotion in the establishment, and then… They leave having purchased nothing. All eyes were on them, but they wasted everyone’s time with the show. Were they really there to buy something? No, but they sure did give the sales person a run for the money. If they come back, rest assured they won’t get good service. And, possibly escorted out by management and/or the police. Uh oh.

As long as you are not the one burning the bridge, you really will come out on top. Why? Only someone that thinks that they will never need to cross a bridge again is crazy enough to burn it. Some even take it as far as polluting the waters as well. Now that’s truly a disastrous mistake. It’s one thing to burn a bridge, it’s quite another to pollute the waters. That is the point of no return. I’m pretty sure there were many resignations when Steve Jobs bought back the company that fired him. And, Jennifer Aniston is probably not feeling too bad about the “Brangelina” divorce right about now. There are countless other examples of burned bridges that others have had to come to face to face with when it was all over.

How can you avoid burning a bridge? Dale Carnegie has 3 solid principles to live by: become a friendlier person, win people to your way of thinking, and be a leader. All of those things require you to start with the other person. In other words, only truly selfish, entitled, immature people burn bridges. They don’t respect themselves and they don’t respect others. So burning a bridge to them is just another step on the path to their own destruction. You don’t have to burn bridges to get on with your life. Quite the opposite: build strong ones. If you ever have to cross that path again, you’ll know it’s a safe one. Burning bridges should only be used when you know you won’t have to deal with an individual again. Once you’ve burned it: you have no right to ask them to rebuild it for you, or give you the materials to do so. Just don’t be the one to burn the bridge. Successful people don’t burn bridges.

 

SBA and SCORE: What They Can Do For You.

Do you want to be an entrepreneur? Have you ever dreamed about what it would be like to work for yourself? Do you have any idea where to start? Are you around others who have started a business that was successful? Are you ready to get the help you need to get started? Are you really? How about contacting your local SBA office and getting a SCORE mentor to help you start and see it through. Their services are free. www.score.org and www.sba.gov

Have you ever considered the services that they provide? From start to finish the services of both organizations are there to give you the resources, and skill sets needed to be in business. Whatever type you choose. Support is what is needed when you are getting started. By trying to do things on your own without any help? Don’t let enthusiasm get the best of you, go to those who have done it before you.

A success partner is the best investment that you can make when starting a business. These organizations have business owners and those who have retired that are willing to share what they know. And, they want to see you succeed. Success breeds success. They can give you help with everything from business plans, raising capitol, finding legal and financial services, etc… There are  fantastic opportunities to grow ( seminars, webinars, courses, and one on one coaching ), practical solutions, goal setting activities, and help in crafting your vision for your company. You might not even know where to start, and they can help you with that as well.

How  would you like to have a mentor free of charge? SCORE mentors are there through the SBA just for this purpose. They are there for you, and for as long as you need them. Whether your business is flourishing or failing, they’re there for you. They want to help you succeed and have the know how to do it.

From start to finish they can not only help you launch, but foresee any problems that may arise before you do. Why? Because they’ve been there. Things that are new to you, aren’t new to them. They have really been there done that. So, why not learn from their mistakes? It will save you time and money. Money you can recover, time you can not. That’s a sobering thought.

If you’re really ready to get a business off the ground, then I challenge you to start with these 2 organizations. That’s what they’re there for. Why waste time trying to learn all the ropes, when someone can hand them to you? And help you to use them, the right way. If you can get the help without having to send out a search party, do it.

Happy Endings

Have you ever wondered why you sometimes can’t make things happen the way you want to? The disappointment, the frustration and the will to move just aren’t there. You can’t seem to get things rolling in a way that will work for you. Worse, it seems to work against you. You get bogged down, and exhausted and it just doesn’t seem to have an end in sight? Welcome to the world of being stuck. Being stuck is like trying to run in quicksand: the faster you run, the quicker you sink. But does it have to be that way? No. How do you avoid getting stuck? Keep it moving: re-frame it.

People don’t like to admit to being stuck. It really is seen as something negative. And, truthfully, it is. But, if you re-frame it, it can propel you to your greatest achievements. Being stuck can actually be a launching pad for doing better and greater things. If you let it.

It can make you sick and tired of being sick and tired. Nothing motivates a person more than having had enough, and wanting to do something about it. Going down the wrong road, can cause you to re-evaluate your life. Whether it’s staring the wrong business, being in the wrong relationship, hanging around the wrong people, starting something new that’s clearly not working, or just plan not facing past mistakes, whatever. That can all change the minute you get sick and tired of it all. By taking action to rectify it, going back to beginning, or going back to the path you should have never left to begin with can change and usually does change your situation.

It can make you start to see the positives of the past that you took for granted. Hindsight really is 20/20. Looking back a former life and seeing what you didn’t want to see ( be it positive or negative ) will help you to move forward. If you were kidding yourself about your past being better than it was: own it. It the opposite is true, that is worse than it was: claim it. There’s not a person alive today that’s had a perfect past, but there are some that had a good one, and didn’t appreciate it. Whatever the case, you need to make peace with it, and if possible amends. Swallow your pride and get it done. You can’t move forward with the regrets of the past holding you hostage.

It can make you stay on the wrong road to save face. Nothing is worse than an ego that can’t move out of the way. Ego’s have ruined more lives than all the wars on the planet. They destroy things when left unchecked. And worse, they cause people to not do the right thing just to save face. What’s more important: letting your ego run the show and ruin your life, or getting a grip and doing what you know is right? Even if it means risking: rejection, embarrassment, humiliation, and public ridicule. It’s still the right thing, and you’ll be able to sleep at night. The truth is, you aren’t fooling anyone, especially yourself. Saving face may make you feel good in the short term, but you will be found out eventually. Damage control only works for so long, then the real damage is done. And, usually permanently.

Being stuck is a choice that many people won’t admit to making, but live out daily. It keeps your from enjoying your life. Being there for those that you love. Creates drama, conflict, strife and hard feelings where there should be none. Lastly, it violates trust. If you can’t move forward on your own, how can anyone trust that you will move forward with them? Think on that one for a minute. Being stuck is the easy way out, you can blame others for your plight. Why give away your personal power? People can only do what you allow, so don’t allow them to keep you stuck. Move on, and take charge of your life. For your own sake. You deserve to live your life the way it was meant to be lived. Being stuck wasn’t part of the plan.

 

Damaged Goods

Damaged people, damage people. It’s a true statement. These are the people that make others lives a living Hell. All while making bad choices, poor decisions, with reckless and irresponsible behaviors, driving people away. And worse, continue to do the things that cause them to despise them. Choosing to do the things that hurt instead of heal, all for the pursuit of external happiness that doesn’t exist. They lack awareness of anything other than themselves ( even that’s questionable ). Causing more of what they don’t want, and not getting any of what they do. Why? They live with the root of rejection.

Rejection will make even the strongest person feel worthless. But, what happens when it’s at the root of all of your deepest fears? You do whatever you can to make it go away. Usually, by hurting others so that you won’t be hurt. Rejection makes you see yourself as if you have no value. When you feel like you have no value, you treats others as if they don’t either. Things that don’t reflect your true self are taken at face value. The line of thinking is: if you don’t agree with me, you are rejecting me as a person. What a way to live.

So what do I do? I go find people that agree with me to make me feel worthwhile. Even to my own detriment, and worse to everyone else around me. I spread pain, and misery because I want to feel better at all costs. I’ll use people, and let them use me to alleviate the pain. I’ll be selfish, self centered, immature, and enlist others to validate me and justify what I’m doing. This way I can feel valuable, even if it does irreparable damage to those involved.

Rejection makes damaged people go through life constantly trying to ease the suffering and the pain that they can’t understand. A pain that they if it was faced, would be allievated and end their suffering. But, because the fear is too great, they continue to suffer for no greater reason than: it’s all they know. Better to deal with the devil you know then the devil you don’t know. But it’s those inner demons that do the most damage. The ones that are left to run amok are the ones that do the most damage. Left unchecked they do more damage to those around them, then to the ones they live inside.

Unfortunately, people who suffer from the root of rejection won’t be able to get over it if they aren’t willing to face it. You can’t fix what you won’t admit exists. Once you acknowledge you have this problem, then you can move on with your life. The reason being, you can start to change how you view the world. The lens of rejection is murky, filthy, and more importantly distorted. You can’t see the truth if you there is dirt in your way.

If you suffer from this debilitating issue, ask yourself when was the first time you felt rejected? Every time you feel rejected you get transported back in time emotionally to that place. So why not confront it once and for all? If you don’t, everyone that you feels comes against you will become an immediate threat. Who wants to go through live feeling threatened all the time? It’s not healthy, and it doesn’t win you any friends or respect. Remember it, deal with the initial pain, and them move on. Once you realize it’s the past that’s the issue, and not the present, you’ll handle things differently. You may even see a past adversary as a friend instead of an enemy. What have you got to lose?

 

 

Wasted Time

I wasted 20 years of my life on something that I have nothing to show for. There are only 3 good things that have come out of it, but the rest of the time spent was a total waste. Why is it a waste? I have nothing to show for the: time, effort, emotions, sacrifice, or the energy put forth. There has been no show of appreciation, no gratitude, and no apology. Has this ever happened to you? What do you do? Look forward to what’s next and believe that something good can come of it. Moving forward and striving for better, can pave the way for a better more exciting future.

I missed out on some extremely important things: support, compromise, connection, give and take, encouragement, inspiration, appreciation and gratitude, genuine friendship, apologies for wrong doing, trust and benefit of the doubt, honesty, mutual respect, loving kindness, common courtesy, empathy and compassion, accountability, and above all else: loyalty. All these things were absent for 20 years. Things that have been sorely missed.  Hindsight really is 20/20. However, restoration can be achieved, from a different source, through different avenues. I know that what’s coming is going to be even better.

These days, I’m really careful who I will spend my time with. I realize if things were different, nothing would have changed. And, I would still have ended up in this place. With everything taken and nothing given in return. I’m grateful that things weren’t worse. The future is on the horizon and it promises much better than the past. Things that weren’t in sight before are now clear. New opportunities are arising daily, with more positive outcomes. The light at the end of the tunnel really isn’t a train, it’s just the sun and it’s brighter than ever.

Time is your most precious commodity. Whether it’s the wrong relationship, a bad friendship, family members that reject and don’t support you, a failing business, or a career with no future: don’t waste your time. It’s the only thing you can’t get back. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Starting over is rough, and no one wants to have to start from rock bottom. And, it’s not the ideal place to start from. Although, many have skyrocketed to success from that place. It is important to realize that no one, and I mean no one wants to start from there. Especially, if they don’t have to. There does come a time, when you have to move on. Don’t worry, you’ll have enough time to be able to start again. Time really can be managed.

So, look to the future, forgive and forget the past. Change your circle, and look towards those who have your best interest in mind. Everyone has an agenda, and theirs should fit yours. If not, don’t waste your time trying to identify, let alone work with theirs. If the agenda doesn’t include anything that is of a mutual benefit, then walk away and don’t look back. It’s a small price to pay for success, peace, love, and a real future. What you lost, may lead you to something much more fulfilling that would not have been found had you stuck around. Don’t waste your time hoping for change. Being incapable of it is one thing, a flat out refusal to is quite another. Your time is valuable, don’t waste it on those things and/or people that don’t deserve it.