We’ve all had down days. Days where it’s hard to get motivated; days where you just can't seem to get anything done. As luck would have it, your motivation often starts drying up right around the time something big is scheduled to happen at work or in your business. You’re launching a new program or your nonprofit has a huge capital campaign coming up...but, life is overwhelming you. Your child is sick, there are troubles at home, you were in a car accident, or a family member is struggling financially.
Do the important things first? In my last post, I told you not to worry about the most important things. I just want you to start doing ANYTHING and start crossing things off of your list. Working on feeling accomplished and creating momentum is key to getting things done. However, there are some IMPORTANT things you should do first.
Let me define important...
Important is NOT that project you've been putting off; it's not checking your email to make sure you don't have any fires to put out today. Important is any activity or task that creates energy for you rather than draining it. Energy creating activities include drinking water, taking herbs, stretching, exercising, meditation, making art, journaling, brainstorming, or anything else that raises your vibration. Meeting a colleague or friend for coffee, going for a challenging hike, taking a long hot shower... These are the MOST IMPORTANT things to do first. It just takes a simple shift and a tweak.
3 Things You Must Do When Managing a Crisis
When we plan, whether it's for personal, small business, or non-profit development planning, the assumption is a successful outcome. We work hard to make sure the plan will lead us to profitability. But, many things cause delays or derail us from our end game. Most plans do not have a crisis component built into it, which is a mistake. ANYTHING could go wrong. I've seen some of the best-laid plans fail miserably because something went wrong.
When a crisis occurs, you might be able to manage it internally without news leaking to the public. However, more often than not, the public finds out. So, plan for the fail, for a crisis, and for news going public.
Here are 3 things you must do when managing this kind of crisis...
By the time Friday afternoon rolls around, I feel like I've hit a wall. My focus starts to go onto other things like baking, sewing, house shopping, hiking, getting the garden ready....anything but business-related tasks. Though I'd LOVE to dive into these more meditative projects, there is an endless list of things I need to address for my company. Apparently, we're supposed to work until 5 pm, AT LEAST, if we want to advance our careers. Or so we are told in "Lean In" according to Sheryl Sandberg COO of Facebook. But, all I want to lean into are the red forest cupcakes that I'm dying to make!...
I'm often asked, "Rubina, what is the one thing I can do to get clients." Or "What is the one thing I can do to get people to donate to our organization." My answer is always, "There's no ONE thing." Many people don't want to hear this, but it's true.
We are all regularly and constantly consuming massive amounts of information from a variety of sources. Rarely do we run out and buy something or get compelled to give right when we consume that information. It's when we are ready to buy something or ready to give to a cause or organization. One or two brands or messages will actually stand out.
We can recall these specific brands or images more easily. Why? Because we saw the brand and/or message enough times through various channels and they stuck with us. This is called accomplishing top of mind status. If you did just one thing it would be very hard to achieve this status. Therefore, a variety of methods are recommended, even if you are a small business or organization...
I have the book The Creative Habit, by Twyla Tharp, very near me in my office at all times. It has offered me inspiration on several occasions. Mostly, it has provided me with specific actions to take to transform my way of thinking and being, allowing me to step away from doing things the way I always do them, therefore opening up my mind to try something new. These actions have helped me get through proposals to potential clients, problem-solving marketing issues for current clients, and even coming up with ideas for growing my own business. Because I have found this book to be an invaluable resource over the years, I am compelled to share with you one of my favorite passages from this book. So, I ask you to "Give Yourself a Little Challenge"...
If the breakdown is inevitable and you just can't avoid it, (read about avoiding a breakdown by clicking here) find the immense opportunity in it. I know...when you are down, destroyed, and lying on the side of the road smoking (a reference to my car) there IS an opportunity. Don't roll your eyes. I know this sounds woo woo, but maybe Deepak can change your mind.
Deepak Chopra, who I greatly admire, tells us, in every problem we face there is an opportunity that awaits. It's your choice, whether you seize it or not. To seize it, you must recognize that the opportunity exists.
When you recognize the problem, you gain the chance to rebuild. Even in the wake of complete annihilation, you can pick yourself up, or even your business or your car up and start again...
Breakdowns. It can happen. In fact, it happened to me, or shall I say, it happened to my car. But, it feels like a personal breakdown too. So why did this breakdown occur and what can I learn from it? Well to start, a key gauge in the car made it look like everything was fine. No lights were flashing, no check engine alerts. From where I was sitting, all seemed fine. Then yesterday, I heard this horrible knocking sound coming from the engine. Today, it broke down.
Personal breakdowns are similar to this. From the outside, everything looks good, or at least this is how you present yourself to others. That you've got it all under control. In fact people always say how in control you always are. You are smiling at everyone you meet, no one knows that secretly things are being neglected in your life and you are approaching or are on the brink of a breakdown....
My first blog of the New Year, WOOHOO! What's it about? Not giving up. Yes, I know it's still a little early to give up. Various articles on the web site statistics that people give up on their resolutions within weeks of setting them. Here it is just 7 days into the year and I would bet that many of us are already slacking a bit. I'm here to tell you that it's okay to slack, but don't give up.
You see, sometimes we slack because something internally is off. We either need a break from the rigidity, or our body just wanted to head down a different path one day. Other times, starting something at the beginning of the year is too much pressure so you are stressed out about your resolution. You are making it too hard on yourself. And then there are instances where the way you are approaching or have acted on your resolution might not be the right way to go about it. In other words, there are many reasons why the majority of us don't find sticking to resolutions a walk in the park. Even getting out to the park on these blistery winter days in Santa Fe are hard!...
I know, I know. You are already so busy working in your business. And you know you have to work ON your business too. But time keeps passing by and you're just not doing all that you'd like to be doing, especially when it comes to marketing.
Ugh..marketing isn't even your strong point. And, honestly, word of mouth is your main source for leads, so why even bother? This kind of thinking may make sense to you now, but in the long run, you will feel the aches and pains of having relied on one very uncontrollable marketing strategy. Businesses and organizations don't thrive and grow under limited thinking...