Archive for the ‘Goals’ Category

How Good Are You At Juggling?

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
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Last week I noticed that one of my Facebook friends commented that she was juggling a lot of balls in the air. Can you picture yourself there? I certainly can. At any given time I have editorial duties for the magazine, content to write or deliver related to IAPQ, new orders to fill, lectures to prepare for Quilt Market, coaching calls with clients, not to mention the various balls I’m juggling as a wife, sister, aunt, friend, and homeowner or any other volunteer position I might have. It could truly make you dizzy.
 
And, I know your life isn’t any different than mine. How do I – and you – manage to juggle these responsibilities and not succumb to the falling balls? Here are a few tips:
 
1. Start with a list of our your responsibilities and relationships. For example, your work and what it entails; your family duties; your personal care needs, such as that massage or exercise; outside activities, such as church or your guild.
 
2. Write down everything you need to do currently. If you can get it out of your head and onto one list, you can get some control.
 
3. Once you’ve got your list, get the tasks into your calendar.
 
4. Set a deadline and set to work on completing the tasks. This lets you be in control.
 
5. Learn to set priorities. Not everything on your list needs to be done, does it? Be ruthless about what is really important and what is not. And be ruthless about which responsibilities and relationships are most important and when.
 
When I start to feel overwhelmed by all the juggling I have going on, I remember an interview I watched with news anchor, Diane Sawyer. She talked about how life is like juggling. We are juggling glass balls (family and health being two examples) and plastic balls (some of the less important stuff). She emphasized to make sure we didn’t drop the glass balls. The plastic ones could drop and not cause too much trouble. But the glass ones are a different story.

 

Please share your thoughts on juggling on the blog 

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Morna McEver Golletz is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Professional Quilters, an association to help quilters, fiber artists and other creative arts entrepreneurs build business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a F.R.E.E. subscription at http://www.professionalquilter.com.
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Are You Aiming Too Low?

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

stretch goalI had a conversation with a friend last week about growing our respective businesses. It was about how big we wanted to get. The conversation centered not on making lots and lots more money, not to say that making a good income should be ignored. It centered on how many people we could impact, whether that was the initial person we worked with, or the people that person influenced, or further down the line. You know, the ripple effect.

So, I ask you, are you thinking beyond the person you are helping right now? Are you thinking about how big of an impact you have beyond that?

If not, go back and look at those goals you wrote. They are written, right? Look at how you can reach more people and create more value. And when you do this, you change the lives of those people and the people in their lives.

I start each day with a list of questions for myself, and, yes, some are revenue based. Beyond that is, “What is your stretch goal for today?”

Funny thing, once I started thinking about my impact in a broader sense, my business was more challenging, more fun and more rewarding.

Here are a couple of favorite quotes about human potential:

“The potential of the average person is like a huge ocean unsailed, a
new continent unexplored, a world of possibilities waiting to be
released and channeled toward some great good.”
Brian Tracy

“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is – infinite.”

William Blake

 

Please share your thoughts and experiences below.  

 

Do You Pay Yourself?

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

MP900403063I know we always hear we should do this; yet, how many really do? I know I hear people say, “Wait, I’ll take extra out at the end of the month.” This is particularly true for those who are just starting their business and who aren’t relying on their business to support the household. The thought is to wait until you get some experience and cash flowing in.

What’s the problem? You get to the end of the month, the next month starts, and you promise to do it then. And on, and on. Maybe once in a while you do take money out as a “salary.” Maybe at the end of the year, you look and decide to take some money out. And maybe you don’t.

So what’s wrong with leaving all the money in your business checking account to build the business? I think it says you don’t value yourself or your business the way you should. If you stick with that approach, it’s also easy to get to burnout. Again, I think it’s related to not truly valuing yourself as a business person. It’s so easy to decide you don’t need to pay yourself.

What should you do? Set aside a certain amount each month to pay yourself. It doesn’t matter how much. Perhaps you decide to pay yourself 10%. If you make $100, then you pay yourself $10; if you make $1,000; you pay yourself $100; if you make $10,000, you pay yourself, $1,000. It really doesn’t matter if you pick 10% or $100. It just matters that you do.

Make it easy on yourself and set up a savings account attached to your checking account and have the funds automatically transferred once a month. I think you’ll be surprised that you’ll always be able to pay yourself.

My question is, do you pay yourself first?

Please share your thoughts on support systems below.

How Supportive is Your Support System?

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Over the past few years I’ve talked with several clients about a lack of support or encouragement from their friends and even family members. Actually, it’s more that their friends don’t really understand why they want to have a business when they can just quilt or make art. Or, why they should expect to make a living from something others can share. Or, why they don’t just enjoy retirement instead of starting up that new business.

It’s a difficult place to be. We want our friends and family to support us. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. I read a quote from the late motivational speaker Jim Rohn: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If the five people we spend the most time with are those that don’t support us, what does that do to our business? It certainly doesn’t help us grow our business easily.

What can you do to change the situation? First, identify who is not in your camp, support-wise. Then make a decision that you need to remove them from your life or limit the time you spend with them. I get that this is not always easy, particularly if it’s a family member. Hopefully, some of these people will get on board when they experience your passion at what you are doing. Next, look for people you can add to your circle that will be supportive. Of course, you may first need to identify what you actually need from people. Look for ways that you can be around these supportive people.

If we really are the average of those five people, don’t you want to be average with people who support you?

Here’s another quote to remember if you struggle with this,

If you hang out with chickens, you’re going to cluck; and if you hang out with eagles, you’re going to fly.
Steve Maraboli

Please share your thoughts on support systems below.

Do You Zappos

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

I’m sure many of you have purchased from Zappos? They have great customer service, free shipping, 365-day return policy, someone to answer your questions 24/7/365. Plus all those shoes! What’s not to like?

Have you looked at the service you offer your customers? Shoes aside, how does it stack up to Zappos?

One of my private coaching clients has set an intention for the year to Zappos! She is aiming for 100% customer satisfaction. To do that she is going back over all her processes, and she is creating written standards and checklists to be sure that every product she offers can be a 100% satisfaction for her customers.

Is this one of your goals? Here are some tips:

1. Customer satisfaction begins from the first time someone is aware of your existence. People will draw conclusions about you and your product from the first time they are aware you exist. They also draw conclusions based on anything and everything. For example, if you fly on an airplane and the trays are dirty, you might think that if the company doesn’t care about the cleanliness of the plane, they aren’t maintaining the engines. That could be extreme, but look at it in relation to your business. If you consistently have mistakes in your pattern directions, that leaves a negative impression on your customers.

2. Take time to write what your standards are and communicate them to your team and your customers. You can include on your website, if appropriate.

3. How do you let your customers know that you value them? It could be extra help on a project, following up personally on their experience, or offering a special gift with a purchase.

4. While your goal is 100%, you may not get there right away. You need to have a process for measuring your results and making adjustments.

What are your customer service standards? How do you measure your results and make adjustments? Please share your thoughts below.

 

Look At All You Have Accomplished

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Step off the achievement bandwagon for just a moment. You know that I am all about action. Nothing happens unless you take action.

I know last week I shared about the intention I set for my year ahead. Last week we had our annual goal-setting call in which we talked about making stretch goals and all that you could accomplish in 2013.

For those of you who haven’t listened to the call, I also shared an assignment that I gave to a number of my private coaching clients. I asked them to list 100 accomplishments from 2012. “Whoa,” you say. “One hundred! How could someone come up with that many? And, what’s the point?”

The point is that as creative entrepreneurs many of us are onto the next big thing on our list. We check off each item on the list. Ta-da – that’s done. What’s next? We rarely take the time to look back at what we accomplished. Some of also think we didn’t accomplish enough or we missed the mark on the really big thing on our list. Not so. I bet everyone of you accomplished more than you think, so don’t let that inner critic out.

So, go back and write down those accomplishments. Writing it down is key and the list is much bigger when you get it out of your head. I promise. You can aim for 100. After all, it’s just two accomplishments a week, and nobody said they had to be monumental accomplishments. When you get done, go back and look at that list. It will be a good confidence booster. And, as you go through the year and feel like you’ve hit a stumbling block, whip out that list and looked at what you managed to do.

I’d love for you to share some of your favorites over on the blog.

 

Book Review: Cultivating Your Creative Life

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

Cultivating Your Creative Life

Cultivating Your Creative Life     
Alena Hennessy
Quarry Books; $24.99

Ending one year and starting another is often a time for reflection. Here’s another book I think you’ll find valuable, particularly if you are trying to create a new direction. Designed by an artist and healing arts practitioner, the book’s focus is on self-inquiry, dreaming and creating. It includes exercises, space for writing your reflections or drawing. You can either use the book or jump over to your own journal and use that. She also incorporates yoga, breathing, nature and herbs to help you live a more balanced life as you work towards your goals.
Look for the book at your favorite quilt or book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.
Rule

Intentions Not Resolutions

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Are you a New Year’s resolution maker? I used to be, and I probably made some of the same ones you made or are still making. You know, lose weight, eat more healthfully, clear up the clutter.

About six years ago I decided to try something new. I picked a word or two to choose as my intention or focus for the year. I actually started this practice in my yoga class. Kathy, the owner of the yoga studio, passed around a basket and we each picked a word. I picked openness. Well, I was not enamored with that word. The woman next to me picked love, a word I liked much better. I asked if I could pick another word and Kathy told me that I hadn’t picked the word, the word had picked me. Well, I stuck the word on the computer screen and looked for openness. Funny thing, I found lots of opportunities. I’ve had lots of words since then: joy, abundance, challenge. This past year I decided to choose those two words again: openness and opportunities, and I can look back and see magic in what I experienced in those areas.

It’s that time again and I spent some time over the Christmas holiday thinking about what word or words would be my theme for the year and how they will fit with the goals I’ve set for 2013. First, my word is conscious or consciousness, as in being fully aware or deliberate. I put it with living, as in conscious living. It’s very easy for me to get caught up in the doing, and letting the getting it – whatever it is – done be the important part, and not be fully engaged in what I’m doing. As I made a wall quilt in December, I could see how conscious or attentive I was during the design phase, and it was wonderful to see what it brought to me. I can see this as being important in all aspects of my life. One example includes, being fully present when I engage with other individuals. If I approach sharing my knowledge with authenticity and self-awareness, I will expand my reach, which is one of my goals. Another example, being fully present or conscious with my own self. If self-care is one of my goals, and it is, I need to be conscious that I can only be responsible for myself and that I need to be aware and attend to that. A third example, making conscious business and financial decisions. If you aren’t attentive to what’s going on with your business, it will run itself by default – and you may not like the default position.

I know living fully conscious will open more opportunities. Whoops, did you catch open and opportunities? I really think those are my words of the decade.

How am I going to get support for that theme. I’ve got two ideas. One is that I’ve got the words Conscious Living on a Post-it® note on the computer. It’s also on the front of a journal. Those are my reminders. Second, I found a book called A Year of Living Consciously by Gay Hendricks. It includes a quote, a short essay and a conscious living practice for each day of the year.

So, I’m asking you some questions:

1.  Do you have a word or theme for the year and how will you stay focused on it?

2.  If not, would you like to join me for a year of conscious living?

Please share your thoughts below.

 

Book Review: Your Best Year Yet!

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

You Best Year Yet

Your Best Year Yet! by Jinny Ditzler

Grand Central Publishing; $13.95

Yes, I’ve reviewed this book in the past. It’s that good that I think it deserves another look. It’s one of my favorite planning resources. I’ve been using this little book for years and recommend it widely, and I often hear from those who end up getting it about how valuable it is. The book offers a framework to define your personal values, identify the various roles you play and create goals for those roles. Here are some of Jinny’s questions plus a couple of my own:

1.    What did I accomplish?
2.    What were my biggest disappointments?
3.    What did I learn?
4.    How do I limit myself and how can I stop?
5.    What are my goals for next year?
6.    Where do I need to find education or support to get there?
7.    How can I make sure I achieve my top goals?

I find one of the most empowering aspects of Jinny’s system is the look at the successes of the year. It let’s you focus on your successes and not get weighed down by what didn’t work. It also lets you get off the treadmill of working on your business to see if you really are on course.Here’s a quote from the book I particularly like: “We must prepare our soil before we’re ready to plant the seeds we want to grow in the new year.”Look for the book at your favorite quilt or book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

Are your priorities in line with your values?

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Many of us struggle with aligning our priorities with our actions. I recently had a conversation with one of my private coaching clients. She said her family was her priority, yet she was barely fitting them in around her business, rather than the other way around. Our priorities are really defined by how and where we spend our time, and, by that definition, family was not her number one priority.

To get clearer on your priorities, during the next month develop a list of your needs, wants and values. “What’s the difference?” you ask. A need is something you must have in order to be your best, such as time, space, money, love, information, food, etc. A want is something that you relate to by trying to acquire or experience it, such as a car, a vacation, a house, a new sewing machine, etc. Values are behaviors or preferences that you naturally gravitate to or that are prompted from within and not by needs or wants. An example might be security or adventure or creativity. The same thing can be a need, want or value for different people or for the same person at different times. Here are some guidelines:

* If there is urgency, it’s probably a need.
* If there’s a craving or desire, it’s probably a want.
* If there is a natural and uncomplicated pull, it’s probably a value.

Next, complete a “calendar audit.” Look at your calendar for the last couple of months. Take every bit of time, personal as well as business, and compare your expenditure of time with your needs, wants and values. What did you learn?

Last, create objectives and action plans to better align your words and your actions. The most fulfilling goals are those that align with your values.

Please share your thoughts below.