Stop Making Excuses

Stop blaming othersPlease stop making excuses or blaming others if you’re not enjoying the success you had hoped to achieve at this point in your life.

I know from personal experience that it is all too easy to blame someone else for our misfortune, shortcomings, failures, or the lack of achievement in fulfilling our goals, dreams and hopes for the future.

The blame game is as old as humanity itself – since Adam & Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden and Eden.

But the truth is this:

Our lack of achievement is our fault.  

Actually, it’s our choice.

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Stop Waiting for Permission

take permission, take actionI hereby give you permission to stop waiting for someone else to give you permission.  

Go ahead.  Start that business you’ve always wanted.  Complete that project you’ve been waiting to do.  Make your next move.

Most of us, for most of our lives, have been waiting on someone else to give us permission to act.  To tell us we’ve got what it takes.  To affirm that we’re worthy to achieve and succeed.

It begins innocently enough when we’re children who are dependent upon our parents.  But for many, it continues on long into adulthood.  They wait for their boss to give them permission.  Or their spouse.  Or still…their parents.

I’ve observed recently that few successful people wait for permission.  They take permission. [Read more…]

7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Number 1: Be Proactive

7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Habit 1:  Be ProactiveLast time, I shared a tribute to Stephen Covey, author of the worldwide bestselling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  Covey’s recent death prompted me to re-read and re-apply each of the 7 Habits in my life.

Today I’ll share my thoughts on Stephen Covey’s Habit 1:  Be Proactive. This Habit illustrates one of life’s greatest truths and hardest lessons:  Everything is a choice.

I believe that being proactive is the first and most important habit of highly successful people because true success begins with the realization that we have the power to choose the life we want to live.

We can live life on purpose instead of being a victim of circumstance.  We can make life happen for us instead of letting it happen to us. [Read more…]

Are You Dreaming Small Enough?

Dream Small to Achieve Big Dreams

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People who know me know I’m a big dreamer. I can dream big all day long and dream up hundreds of ideas about things that could be. But one thing I’ve learned is that if you want to achieve your big ideas and big dreams, you eventually have to dream small and think small.

Here’s what I mean.

If you only think big and dream big, then your dreams typically end up staying just that – dreams.

I’ve discovered that if you want to make your big dreams a reality, you need to break them down into smaller dream and smaller steps. In other words, you need dozens of small dreams and small steps to make big dreams come true.

Two weeks ago, a new $15 million venture capital fund, Start Garden, was launched in my community to help start hundreds of small businesses across our state. Start Garden’s premise is this:

“Too many ideas never become real because we don’t think small enough.”

Start Garden will invest $5,000 into two ideas each week to get those new ideas into the market to discover if they’re businesses. One of the ideas will be chosen by the Start Garden staff, the other idea will be chosen by the public. If any of these ideas truly have business potential, then Start Garden will invest additional dollars to help the idea get to the next step, up to a total of $500,000 per idea.

Start Garden is such an awesome concept to help get ideas flowing, and to help people think small and get their idea launched. And our community is blessed to have extremely generous people to help launch ideas and make things happen.

So, my question to you is this:  Have you had a big dream or idea that you haven’t really done anything with because it’s so big and you haven’t had the time or energy or money to get it all going?  If so, take time this week to break that big idea or dream into some smaller steps.  Then take action on one of those steps.  When you do that, your big dream is no longer just a dream.  You’re on your way to making it a reality.

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Achieving Goals in 2012

In late December and early January, many of us reflect on what happened in our lives over the past year and start thinking about what we’d like to see happen in the new one.  I know I have.

This retrospection can cause feelings of disappointment if we haven’t accomplished some of the key goals we had hoped to do over the previous year, and discouragement if we don’t know how to make these things happen in the new year.

I read something recently which really got me thinking about how to put the dissapointments of the past into perspective while moving forward into the future to achieve our goals in a more clear and focused way.

It’s from The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, an excellent book that I’ve been reading each week with my teenage sons:

One of the quickest and most direct routes to getting yourself up and onto the success curve is to get out of the past. Review the past, but only for the purpose of making a better plan. Review it, understand and take responsibility for the errors you’ve made, and use it as a tool to do differently in the future. And don’t spend a great deal of time doing even that! – the future is a far better tool than the past. The future is your most powerful tool and your best friend. Devote some serious, focused time and effort into designing a crystal-clear picture of where you’re going.[Read more…]

Are You Sitting on a Million Dollar Idea?

What's your million dollar idea?I believe everyone has a million-dollar idea inside of them that could change the world and earn them a significant income.

Have you found your idea yet?

Thomas Edison said “Ideas are waiting to be discovered.”

And speaking of idea discovery, Albert Szent-Gyorgi explains that “Discovery lies in seeing what everyone sees, but thinking what no one else has thought.”

Don’t think you have to have an original idea, or that you can’t do something because someone else has already thought of it or is doing it.

No one else has your thoughts about the subject, or your unique experiences that can be brought to bear on the idea.

And chances are good that no one else is taking action on the idea anyway, or at least in the way you’d do it yourself.

Few people take real and sustained action on their ideas, to see them through from start to profit, causing one observer to say: “The capacity to do something with an idea is what distinguishes a leader from others.”

Everyone’s got an idea. Few make it personal. Fewer make it happen.

What will you do with your idea? What’s one step you can take this week to make it a reality?

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