8 Signs your Motivation is Unhealthy

Business Health & Wellness Leadership Personal Growth self development Uncategorized

In the article Is your Motivation Hurting you? I shared two important types of motivation that are inconsistent, stressful and unhealthy, and the ideal balance of motivational drivers to have to accomplish your goals in a healthy, consistent and sustainable way.

This is a quick check to see if your motivation is healthy or not.

Here are 8 signs that your unconscious motivation patterns are potentially unhealthy.

  1. You are very driven and your drive is causing you stress.
  2. You are frequently unclear about what you want. You tend to defer to what your supervisor or your clients want of you.
  3. You care far too much about what others think of you. Your benchmark of success depends on what they say about you.
  4. You tend to work in fits and starts, with confusion in between.
  5. Things like looming deadlines and negative consequences are incredibly motivating to you. And you usually don’t get started unless one of these is in place.
  6. Your momentum and productivity is inconsistent.
  7. If you were the only one in the office for a week, not much would get done.
  8. You are motivated on a regular basis by one or more of the following emotions: anxiety, dread, fear, anger, revenge, terror, rage.

If you said yes to 3 or more of these signs, then you likely have some unhealthy motivation patterns running.  Either you are too extrinsically motivated or you are too avoidance/away-from motivated, or both.  

When you are too extrinsically motivated you are giving away control over how you measure your success and self-worth to others. You’re letting something or someone outside of yourself dictate how you feel about yourself. 

When you’re too avoidance motivated, you’re going through life focusing on what you don’t want.  That will just bring more of what you don’t want into your experience. What you resists persists.

Have a look as some of my coaching programs if you’d like to do something about this. 

Leave a comment below and let me know what motivates you and what you learned from this post.

How to Know if your Stuck

How to Know if your Stuck

Business Leadership Personal Growth self development

How do you know if you’re stuck? In our hyper-active, multi-tasking society, it can be difficult to find an accurate barometer for ‘stuck’.  What could be considered a slower pace today, might have been overdrive a generation ago.

First let’s get clear on how NOT to know if you’re stuck.

Don’t try to figure out if you stuck by…

…comparing your progress to that of other people

…measuring yourself against what society says you should be accomplishing

…considering what your friends and loved ones say you should be doing

We live in the age of everyone knows best, but when it comes to determining if you’re stuck, only you will know.

It’s time to tune in to the wisdom within you. Take a deep breath and bring your attention into your centre. Notice what emotions you are feeling. And keeping your focus there, read on.

Here are some of the common signs that indicate you’re stuck.

  • You’ve lost your joy. There’s a dark cloud that’s set in and you’re unable to find your enthusiasm for life and your passions no longer spark you.
  • You are not taking action. You are either doing absolutely nothing or you are distracting yourself from the right action with unproductive activity. Exception: If you are on vacation or sabbatical or a much-needed rest, then lack of action is not a sign of stuckness.
  • Everything feels hard. It seems that everything is a struggle and you feel blocked at every turn.
  • You keep getting the same (unwanted) results. You are taking action, but it’s not producing the desired result.
  • Your outlook has turned negative. You’re feeling overwhelmed, drained, despair and/or you want to give up.
  • Your belief in yourself is waning. Your confidence has taken a hit and you’re unsure what you’re capable of anymore.

If after considering all this you’re pretty sure you’re stuck, then you might like my complimentary From Stuck to Momentum Guide available here.

Congratulations!  You’ve determined whether or not you are stuck and can now take action appropriately.  Either get some new resources if you’re stuck, or keep on keeping on if you’re not!

Until next time, be free… and wild!

Sue

Invite Your Soul on to the Board

Invite Your Soul on to the Board

Business Leadership

Whether you are a business leader or a business owner, there’s an important team member that needs an invitation to the board meetings of Me, Inc.  That wildcard who must have a seat at the table is your soul. It’s the difference between chasing fulfillment and realizing it, throughout your life.

Imagine for a moment that an aspect of you had a grand plan for your life before you were born. There was a desire to have certain experiences and grow as a person in specific ways.  We might call this your soul theme. And you, whether you’re consciously aware of it or not, created it and are now living it out.

Of course there’s free will
and chance, choices and serendipity, but deep down,
your soul is on a mission.

For one person, their soul theme might be about confidence and empowerment, for another it could be compassion or forgiveness, and for still another, a soul theme could be about power and authority.

It’s useful to know your soul theme, because you’ll be working layers of it all your life.  You will be experiencing the opposite of it first, each time you transform and grow into a new version of that theme.  In fact, your soul is relishing in the process every time you work yourself through another layer… whoop!!  Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel very good while you’re in it and just before you break through. But on the other side? Glorious!  And then life goes on and encounter the next edge of the theme to work through.

In our career and business planning, it behooves us to have our soul at the boardroom table.

Here are some of the questions you might like to engage your soul-level-deeper-knowing about:

  1. What is the pattern of the challenges that have been running in my work life?
  2. How is this affecting me personally?
  3. What is it that I really want instead?
  4. How can I create what I want and still have the satisfaction of progressing on my soul theme work?

It’s always easier to have these discussions with someone else, whether that is with a loved one, friend or a professional. When looking for answers from the soul, it helps to find a quiet place where you can really tune in to your body, your emotions, and your memories. The wisdom is all there within you.

Ultimately your happiness and satisfaction depend on getting your soul’s input as you move forward. So go ahead, call a board meeting for Me, Inc. and give your soul a seat at the table.

Until next time,

Sue

5 Keys to Leading from Heart Consciousness

5 Keys to Leading from Heart Consciousness

Business Leadership self development

I believe that every person is a leader, regardless of title, rank or position. You are certainly a leader of your life, within your family, and among colleagues and peers, if not formally in your role at work. And there comes a time in a leader’s life when they must ask themselves, “Am I leading from the highest possible consciousness level?”

As we evolve into a more awakened species (yes, believe it or not, we are on track with this!), we are experiencing even greater polarity between the light and the dark consciousness on the planet. It’s not that there is necessarily more war, violence, terror and evil than at other times in history, it’s that we have more contrast now, and more instant media exposure.

So what’s a leader to do?

Practice more Heart Conscious Leadership.

I firmly believe one of the best ways to make a positive contribution in the world is to evolve yourself. As the famous quote goes, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” As you grow, learn, transmute and transform, you become a model for others to do the same… you call others forth into the next best version of themselves.  And you are creating an energetic ripple, like a pebble in a pond, which emanates to others you may not even come into contact with. As you grow yourself personally and professionally, you are raising the collective energetic… it’s quantum physics.

Heart-conscious leadership is connecting, perceiving and making decisions from the heart, rather than solely from the mind.

Leading from heart consciousness results in being more centred in one’s own skin (and truth), a feeling of being more fulfilled, and a greater connection with oneself and world.

Here are 5 ways to lead from heart consciousness:

  1. Inner Alignment.  You are aware of your deepest drivers of behaviour: your core values, beliefs and needs, and you honour those essential drivers by taking action that is aligned with them.  Your choices, decisions, and words reflect your values and beliefs to those around you.  When you are aligned and congruent, you model your values to your friends and colleagues through your behaviour.
  2. Serving the Common Good. Competition, scarcity and lack are aspects of fear-based consciousness. Your efforts are focused on cooperation. You see the win-win-win solutions and work to create more balance and harmony between people and between humanity and nature.  When you’re focused on the common good, you recognize that there is enough for everyone when the resources are distributed in a more balanced way.  You engage in initiatives that impact the good of all, rather than being beneficial to the few.
  3. Trusting the Flow of Life. You operate with an underlying trust and empowerment that allows you to be at ease with uncertainty. You have developed strong mental and emotional health, so that you’re not easily ruffled by unexpected events.  You know how to control your thinking so that in a crisis, you avoid being overcome by negative thoughts or feelings.  You have nurtured a faith in yourself and in life so that lead with joy, purpose and grace, no matter what arises.
  4. Connecting to Inspire. You are able to genuinely engage with anyone, building relationships and deepening trust.  You adapt your communication approach to match the preferred learning style of the other person, which results in inspiring, compelling and persuasive conversations.  Heart-Conscious Leaders use their advanced connection skills to build cohesive teams and inspire others to join the cause.
  5. Collaborating and co-creating. As a Heart-Conscious Leader, you build networks based on shared values and triad relationships.  Connecting people based on shared interests, missions and values, you recognize that your mission is too large to accomplish alone, and that the strongest teams and communities are based on the three-legged extended net.  The triad net, the strongest, most powerful human system, has very little, if any, hierarchy.

We are living in chaotic and disturbing times, and what’s being called for now is for us to step up and into the next best leadership consciousness possible. It is time for Heart-Conscious Leadership.

Until next time,

Sue

My life is awesome… why am I not happy?

My life is awesome… why am I not happy?

Business Leadership life balance Personal Growth self development

If you’re reading this line, then something struck a chord with that headline. Why aren’t you happy? There’s something amiss, and only the deepest part of you knows what it is.

You’re living an amazing life. Career, family, home, social, travel… This is the stuff dreams are made of. It doesn’t get any better than this, they say. You’re living large and working hard. There’s lots of love, laughter and people in your life.  You’re driving a nice car and proud of the neighbourhood you live in. You’re a success at work and continue to grow your net worth.

So what’s the problem?

You’re feeling disconnected and antsy. There’s a part of you that is dying inside because it’s not being heard. You’re longing for more meaning in what you do, for deeper connections with others, for a greater purpose in your actions.  It’s not enough anymore to fit in, catch up, or win against others. That yardstick isn’t important anymore.

It’s time to listen to you soul… your wildfire within.

Whose definition of an awesome life have you been living? You were probably doing what you were expected to do. And now you’re here, but this dream didn’t originate from you. You need to question the cultural norms and beliefs you’ve adopted and create your own definition of ‘awesome’.

Usually what’s missing is more meaning, in one of these ways:

  • Feeling you belong
  • Knowing you’re doing your part and truly making things better
  • Feeling a sense of purpose, or deeper meaning to your existence

Finding purpose and meaning is a life-long quest. So start now.

Life is a much more exciting adventure when we’re seeking answers to these deeper mysteries.

And along the way on your quest, it’s important to know that you can be happy at any time, in any circumstances, with the right skills. I call this the happy-anyway strategy and it relies on a practice of conscious focus on your thoughts, as well as mind-body state management techniques.

It is incredibly empowering when you realize that you can assign ANY meaning to ANY situation, simply by choice. When you master your thoughts, you master your emotions.

And this is the paradox of life:  Accepting what is, while simultaneously wanting something more.  You might as well be happy while you’re working it!

Why Do You Want Money?

Why Do You Want Money?

Business Health & Wellness Leadership life balance Lifestyle Personal Growth Profitability self development Uncategorized

Why do you want money?!?  Sounds like a silly question, right? Like, duh! I want money because…

How did that sentence end for you? What was your first thought?  To be happy?  To relax? To buy X? To do Y?

The fascinating thing about money is that everyone wants it, but most people don’t know truly why, or are unclear as to what it will actually get them.

Money makes the world go round

Money happens to be the vehicle of exchange in our society, and is required in order to pay for shelter, goods and services. And so, while many of us might wish that we didn’t have to deal with money, that fact is, is that it’s a necessity.

In my experience working with clients on success and fulfillment, many people are chasing more and more money believing it will make them happy, but this is a trap. Research has shown that once a person has their basic needs met, there is no correlation between more money and more happiness.

You can, in fact, train your brain to be joyful and happy regardless of your money circumstances, but that’s a blog for another time.

Joy and happiness can come indirectly from what money can help you do, be or have, but if you are not clear on what those specifics are, then happiness will elude you.  In fact, if you are chasing money for money’s sake, you will never have enough. The acquisition of the money will feel empty, without some meaningful outcome that will bring you happiness.

Now, there are always money stories that we’re carrying that are not serving us.  These need to be released and healed.

And there are always fears and doubts around money, no matter if it’s about having too much or too little.  These need to be released and healed.

Regardless of whether you are wealthy or poor, whether you have an abundance mentality or a scarcity mentality, whether your money situation is up and down like a yo-yo… unraveling your relationship with money in order to create a healthier one is life-long work; the layers run that deep.

The first task is to get clear on the impact that money will have on you. And to understand what you want to do with it to improve your life and create happiness.

What’s important to you about money?

The key question to uncover the meaning of money for you is:  What’s important to you about money?  When you uncover the deeper nuances of this question, you will know precisely what you want to create in your life with money in order to reach optimal levels of happiness and joy.

So, go ahead… Find your money-happy!

If you’d like to explore this further with us, our Money and Meaning Mastermind group starts in Aurora, Ontario on February 8th, 2016. Contact us to see if it’s a fit for you now.

And leave a comment to let me know what you find out about yourself.  What did this bring up for you?

Until then, be free… and wild,

Sue

Who Are You When You Retire?

Who Are You When You Retire?

Business Lifestyle Retirement self development

Well it was bound to happen. The boomers are booming. Statistics Canada reports that a full one third of working Canadians will retire in the next 5 years. More and more of the business owners I meet are wanting to plan how they are going to exit their business as their retirement approaches, and they are wise to be planning ahead!

The main question for a business owner is, “Do I want to sell it, close it, or pass it on to a family member?” And the decisions and action plans are different depending on this overall objective.

Yet the bigger issue that would-be retirees face is what they are going to do, or be, once they retire. Because our identity is so connected to our work or business, it can be difficult to feel confident in our own skin when we are no longer in the work world.

Who am I when I’m not working?

Planning for retirement has traditionally involved financial and lifestyle changes, however there are other self-awareness and psychological issues to address as well.

Here are 4 important issues that need attention as you approach retirement…

Connections, Groups and Affiliations

It’s important to have communities and interests that you love outside the home BEFORE you retire, so that the sudden abundance of time can be filled in part, with things and people you are passionate about.  If you’ve been working so hard you’ve forgotten what you’re passionate about, then you have more self-exploration to do in preparation for retirement.

Productivity and Impact

Knowing how you want to make a ripple in the world after your work life ends is also important.  We can fill our retirement days with fun and leisure but at some point, we’re going to feel the itch to be productive.  This might be in the creative arts, or it could be through volunteering, or perhaps it’s the legacy you leave by being a caregiving influence in your grandchildren’s lives.

Align your Intimate Relationship

Long before you reach retirement you will need to create a shared vision with your spouse or partner. Inevitably your individual dreams are going to differ, and, there is always a way, if you’re willing to find it, to have those dreams to harmonize into a joint future that you can build together.

Freedom to Be Whoever you Want to Be

When the expectations of the work world are behind you, and you’re facing the final phase of life we call elderhood, what is it that you need to give yourself permission to do, be or have, that you never allowed yourself before?!  Will you be that eccentric renaissance man, or that cheeky, tell-it-like-it-is hip grandma, or will you simply wear something previously considered ‘outrageous’ and walk around town not caring two hoots what anyone else thinks?  Why would you do this?!  For the sheer joy and freedom of expressing your true nature!  And because we live most of our lives conforming to other people’s rules about right and wrong, and the final third of our lives is the last chance to shed all that and finally be who we really are!

So, dear Wild Ones, I ask you this:

What is it that you need to let go of in order to be free to enjoy your retirement?

Post a comment here and let me know your answer. Or contact me for a conversation about how I can help you create more Meaning and Fulfillment.

Until next time, be free and wild,

Sue

How Do You Grow: Part 2 of the Traps of Scaling Business

How Do You Grow: Part 2 of the Traps of Scaling Business

Business Culture Leadership Profitability

In Part 1 of this blog, we introduced the scenario that many business owners face once they are through the initial start-up phase and are generating momentum… and that challenge is scaling business effectively and sustainably.

We’ve addressed the first two traps to scaling: neglecting profitability and neglecting culture.  Let’s look at the other 3 common pitfalls of the rapid growth phase of business.

Adjusting to Market Changes

The marketplace has changed since you successfully launched with your unique proposition. Customers are more savvy and demanding, and your customers have innovated to bring new features and services that rival yours. When Yellow Tail wine was introduced in 2001, it was the first blended wine to offer a more complex flavour experience that was still pleasing to most, an economical and everyday wine experience. It enjoyed tremendous success until competing products of equal value joined the offering, and Yellow Tail needed a new strategy to continue to compete.

Question to Action: What is your next move to reclaim your competitive advantage while meeting customers’ needs in a unique way?

Different Strengths are required from your Management Team

Your management team includes you, as the CEO and Founder, and one of the most common pitfalls of rapidly growing businesses is the loss of control.  As you build out your extended team in the business, you and your managers need different competencies and strengths than when you launched. You will need to be effective at delegating, coaching and holding accountability in order to ensure you are aware of action and progress, and your direct reports are clear on their responsibilities.  You will also need to increase your capacity for complexity, removing yourself from detailed hands on activity, and overseeing more diverse activity, and provide more of a visionary role in anticipating future needs and mobilizing resources to address these. You and your management team may grow with the business, or you may not.  It might be time to make changes in the team now so that management capacity will carry your business successfully into the future.

Question for Action: What leadership strength gap in you or your team is hurting the business right now?

Business Operations cannot handle the Volume or the Complexity

Operations and systems is what most people think of when thinking of scalability challenges. You may reach the limit of the capacity of your manufacturing equipment, or your labour hours, or your processes and IT systems cannot handle the load as business grows.  Perhaps you need to finance the purchase of new capital, or you need a larger facility, or your distribution channels need to be expanded.  Or possibly you need to do a hiring blitz, revamp the process flow of documents through the office, or make improvements for efficiency. You took great care in choosing your operating model before you launched, and it’s important to revisit that regularly to keep it working optimally.  Often the biggest problem is not knowing where the true problem lies.  You may need to call in the expert team such as an Advisory Board to troubleshoot for you and develop the best solutions. Talk to us to find out how our Expert Advisory & Implementation Team can help.

Questions for Action: What one thing, when resolved, would have the greatest impact on your business’ ability to grow?

There is nothing more rewarding than building a business from the nothing, into a thriving and profitable workplace, making a positive difference in the world. And we want you to be aware of the potential pitfalls so you can maximize your chances of success.

How are you navigating these scaling challenges in your business? We’d love to hear from you so leave us a comment below to join the dialogue.

Until next time, be free… and wild,

Sue

The 5 Traps of Scaling Up Your Business

The 5 Traps of Scaling Up Your Business

Business Culture Leadership Profitability

As a business owner, you know that change is inevitable… especially when you’re scaling up a business.  You built your business with passion, blood, sweat and tears, and while your start-up challenges may be behind you, there’s a whole set of new issues to face on the horizon.

These are the growing pains of the SME entrepreneur.  Is my initial objective to build to sell still what has meaning for me? Do I have the right people on the bus for growth rather than launch activities? How do our financial targets need to change to reach a profitability that is sustainable?

Over 95% of new businesses never grow beyond $1 million in revenue.

Here’s why…

Too Little Attention to Bottom Line Targets

During the start-up phase, it’s all about making sure there’s enough cash coming in to cover the expenses and payroll going out. And all too often, there isn’t, which is why start-ups often rely on personal, private or public financing. Once the demand and the supply are established, however, it’s time for the business to start focusing on gross margins and profit.  Entrepreneurs assume that in order to increase profit, they need to increase sales, but that’s not necessarily the best, or easiest, way to do it.  All expenses (fixed, variable, and payroll) need to be re-assessed in order to create and sustain a profitable business early in the growth phase. The inability to become profitable is the number one reason businesses fail.

Questions to Action: What is the monthly $$ we would have needed last month to make a profit AFTER paying expenses, payroll, owner’s pay and pay down debt?  What would it take to reduce our cash outflows by that much next month?

Culture is Neglected

Without deliberately cultivating the culture of your company as you grow, it will run amok like a class full of teenagers when the teacher doesn’t show up. Your business culture includes the values and beliefs of all the staff, and the way they behave at work.  As the entrepreneur, if your company values are not communicated and expected behaviours are not made clear, then you’ll lose the unique strength that made your business successful at launch and you’ll see declines in cohesion, trust and productivity.

Question to Action: What do we stand for and how does that show up in our day to day actions?

In part 2 of this blog, we explore the next 3 traps of scaling business, and what you can do about them.

As the CEO, what are your business growing pains?  Leave a comment below to join the discussion.

Until next time, be free… and wild.

Sue

Which Fears are in Your Way?

Which Fears are in Your Way?

Business Leadership Personal Growth self development

In Part 1, the first blog in this series, I shared with you two ways to know if you are getting in our own way – one is recurring problems that are actually patterns for you, and the other is unconscious programming that is running your behaviour without you being aware of it.

Now let’s look at the third way to know if you’re getting in your own way.

3. Your doubts and fears are causing you to second guess yourself

Everyone has dragons to face. As a successful business owner, you’re no different.  In fact, most of us have become quite adept at masking those dragons with compensating or offsetting habits, rather than facing them head on.  But they are still there, those doubts and fears, in the deepest undercurrent of our being, and they are consuming valuable energy that would serve you much better if it were released!

A Harvard Business Review article exposes the top fears of CEO’s and it can make your hair curl. It’s both shocking and a relief to a) learn that high-powered executives are, after all human, and b) that we’re not the only one with dragons under our beds. Take a look at what CEO’s are most afraid of, in rank order below. I have added the limiting belief system that underlies each fear, and adapted the resulting effects from the HBR article, so that you can check-in with yourself to see which of these dragons is running your show.

FEAR

LIMITING

BELIEF

EFFECT

1

Being found out to be incompetent I am an imposter

Reduced confidence; undermine relationships; silo thinking

2

Underachieving I am a failure

Take bad risks; lack of ownership and follow-through

3

Appearing too vulnerable I am weak Avoid honest conversations; inauthentic; hiding parts of oneself

4

Being politically attached by colleagues I am not safe

Mistrustful and overcautious; too much political game-playing

5 Appearing foolish I am a fool

Avoid speaking up; avoid honest conversations; tolerating bad behaviour

Notice your inner reactions to the statements in the chart. Your conscious mind will attempt to argue with you that that fear or belief is not true, but deep down you will know that you know that it’s running at your core… you will feel the familiarity, feel the resonance, feel the truth of it.

Every single fear is driven by a limiting belief, which when changed, will eliminate the fear. Your natural state of being is love, not fear.  Fear is never truth. And it wreaks havoc with our confidence and self-esteem. So let’s release the veil of fear shall we?

Do some self reflection. List your greatest fears. Then let’s get together and transmute them into success-driving programming so you can get on with creating the success you dream of.  Now that’s Wildfire Alchemy!

So, are you getting in your own way?

If any of these scenarios is describing you, then it’s time to up-level your personal leadership mastery.  Contact me today to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Until next time, be free… and wild.

Sue