On a Scale of 1 to 10

On a scale of 1 to 10I must confess there are times when I find myself doing things of questionable value in my business…. or even worse, engaging in tasks I’d be better off not doing at all!

I’m talking about what’s more commonly known as ‘faffing around’, like when you find yourself agonising over the minutest details: this font in this colour or that font in that colour? Or how about THIS font in THAT colour?

You get the picture!

Lost in the detail

Fortunately, I’ve now learned that these things are a pretty sure sign that I’ve inadvertently ended up lost in the detail – something which can easily happen when you’re immersed in running a business!

And if you are a business owner yourself, you’ll know that when you DO end up in this situation, it’s very easy for half-formed ideas to scatter your focus in a hundred different directions and for you to find yourself under threat of the biggest clarity killer of them all…. yes, our good friend analysis paralysis!

How to see the big picture

When we get caught up in the small stuff, we run the risk of finding ourselves way off course unless we stop, get our bearings and make necessary adjustments. And that’s exactly what I urge my clients to do when they get lost in the detail – to look up, get their bearings and reconnect with the big picture.

To do this, I call on the power of my visual coaching tool: the Magic Map.  Quite simply, it is the quickest, most effective way I know of stepping out of the detail and seeing things from a clear new perspective. And it uses a scale of 1 to 10 as it’s starting point.

Calibrate to clarify

The principle is very simple. If I was to ask you how satisfied you are with your business right now, it’s quite likely your response will be something along the lines of ‘fine’ or ‘could be better’.

But if you had to rate your current business satisfaction right now on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the WORST imaginable and 10 being the BEST, what would it be?

A 3 is obviously very different from a 9, but no matter WHAT number you selected, that number gives an instant sense of how things stand in your eyes. As soon as you ‘calibrate’ using a scale of 1 to 10 you can then start to evaluate, clarify and most importantly….make decisions.

No matter WHERE you sit on the scale, this number will help you to:

Get your bearings

‘Know to grow’ is a sentiment I wholeheartedly embrace – you can only make the ‘right’ decisions for you from a position of awareness and using the 1 to 10 scale is a quick way to bring that awareness into the open.

It enables you to put a marker in the sand and say ‘here’s where I stand right now!’ Even if you’re on a ‘low’ score it’s always worth acknowledging the positives of what has helped you get to this point as well a the less-than-positive aspects and the things you perhaps HAVEN’T done.

Explore the ‘gap’

The ‘gap’ is the area which lies between your current position on the scale and a 10. This is a really juicy, fertile area to explore because THIS is where new ideas are hatched and new decisions are made.

So think about what possibilities & opportunities you can identify in the gap by asking yourself:

What would things look like for you as a 10?  What would you be doing differently? What new things would you implement? What would you let go of that no longer serves you?What new choices would you make for you to rate things a 10?  If a 10 feels like too far a stretch, start by asking what you can do to move just one or two steps higher up the scale.

Get intentional

And NOW, armed with ALL this, you are in a fantastic position to decide on THE thing that will make the biggest difference to you and your business in the next 30 days….THE thing that will be your main priority and focus. It’s powerful stuff!

So when you next find yourself ‘faffing around’ because you’ve become well and truly lost in the detail, try using the scale of one to ten to help you get your bearings and bring an invigorating shot of inspiration, focus and energy back into your business.

Over to you now!

Do you sometimes get ‘lost in the detail’? Have you found ways to stop yourself from ‘faffing around’ and move out of analysis paralysis? Please share your tips in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

P.S. If you want a simple, powerful shot of clarity and focus to catapult you into wholehearted action, using a scale of 1 to 10 as it’s starting point, check out details of my Magic Map process.

How to Clear the Obstacles Blocking Your Path

Challenges and obstacles are part and parcel of running a business, just as they are part and parcel of anything worth doing! To quote a man called Frank Clark, “If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.”

The journey is never going to be totally without blocks and bumps in the road and you’re bound to come up against obstacles along the way. Some will be minor potholes that you can step over with a bit of a stretch…. and some will be large enough to temporarily block your path completely.

Obstacles of the larger variety are often the focus of the Clarity Calls I have with clients. These obstacles can be anything – money, knowledge, experience, confidence, strategies, tools and websites – each one causing someone’s dream to come to a sudden halt.

STOP: Obstacles Ahead!

Perhaps you can identify with some of the recent ones:

Obstacle Ahead• Turning a passion into a business without lots of money to invest.

• Trying to work on a new business when your job takes up most of your time and energy.

• Creating a new website but at a complete loss as to what to actually say on it.

• Having multiple ideas and not knowing which one to progress.

At the time, each of these things represented a barrier blocking the way forward and impeding all progress. And of course, what happens when we find ourselves stuck in this type of situation? Our pesky ‘friends’ Doubt and Fear arrive on the scene making the obstacle appear even bigger and further undermining our confidence in our ability to get over it!

But obstacles such as these need not halt your progress for long when you know a way to get around them. So I wanted to share a technique I learned from Barbara Sher that gives you a very simple way of re-framing your challenge to help you get around it.

State your challenge in a wish/obstacle format:


Overcoming obstaclesMy wish is: [name your idea, dream, project or goal in one or two sentences] and my obstacle is: [state as specifically as possible what’s getting in the way for you]”

For example:

My wish is to write for Psychologies magazine and my obstacle is that I don’t have any contacts to help me get in there.”

My wish is to sell products from my website and my obstacle is that I only get 10 visitors a day”

The human brain is a problem solving machine when we allow it to be and this particular way of framing a problem seems to unlock our problem solving creativity in a way that the more usual kind of “How can I do X or Y?” question doesn’t.

I’ve seen it work best as a brainstorming technique where you present your wish and obstacle to a group and ask for their solutions but sometimes, just phrasing your challenge in this form results in your own answer dropping out of nowhere, clearing the way ahead along with a boost of energy and creativity you need to move forward and bring your idea life.

So now, over to you…

What do you do when faced with a challenging obstacle? The Wish-Obstacle technique is just one of many – it’s all about finding something that works for you, so please feel free to share in the comments below.

 

Want some help to clear an obstacle that’s keeping you stuck?

Go here now and apply for one of the limited number of complimentary Clarity Calls I offer each month.The session is completely free of charge and without obligation and is the perfect place to clear the current obstacle blocking your path!

 

How to Beat the January Blues & Make a Positive Start to 2017

January 2017I’m not really a big fan of January, in fact it’s my least favourite month. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE the palpable feeling of optimism and possibility that accompanies the start of a year but all the ‘new year, new you’ stuff that gets churned out every January leaves me cold.

The thing I dislike most about it is the way January is presented as the starting line of the race for the year ahead….

On your marks, get set, GO!

Trouble is, many of us find ourselves in no fit state to ‘GO’ anywhere in January! And what then? Do we simply give a resigned shrug of the shoulders and say, ‘Oh well, that’s it then… it’s all too late…. there’s no point in even entering the race now!

Or do we heave our weary bones up to the starting line regardless and risk falling at the first hurdle… or maybe even worse, come March, realise that this isn’t even the race we really wanted to run anyway?

There are many industries – like the diet, fitness and self help industries, to name just a few – for whom New Year is regarded as a key time to motivate people into action, but what I’ve learned from a over a decade of working in the coaching and personal development arena, is that change – ANY change – is first and foremost an inside job and it’s simply not possible to bypass or ignore this….. at New Year or any other time! Unless we’re fully aligned, clear and committed to the programme/solution on offer, our results are likely to be short lived and disappointing.

Aligned, clear and committed

Aligned, clear and committed This is exactly the state of readiness most of us would love to be in at the start of a brand new year – aligned, clear and committed but very often we find it all a bit of a struggle because, let’s be honest, January is a gloomy old month and it’s little wonder we’re attracted to ‘solutions’ which promise us a brighter future!

In reality, January is a natural time to take stock, regroup and transition into the year. It really ISN’T the best time to be forging ahead with new plans but that’s OK because there are still things we can work on – and one place to start is…writing.

For me, the start of a new year is a great time to renew my journaling practice to help me get positioned for the year ahead. Quite simply, writing helps me make sense of things; it’s the space where I can process my thoughts and emotions and where I find clarity, insights and motivation.

I first started doing this a few years ago when I participated in a group for 12 weeks using Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way as a guide. The idea is to write three pages a day, in longhand, first thing in the morning, about anything and everything that comes to mind without self censorship. She calls it your ‘Morning Pages’.

It’s a powerful daily practice that…

  • helps you cut through the ‘monkey chatter’ that can so often hold you back
  • allows your subconscious to ‘tune in’ and start working on ideas
  • triggers new ideas and connections and reveals new possibilities
  • helps you clear and sort your mental ‘clutter’ into coherent plans
  • helps you find a different perspective
  • offers a safe place to work through your struggles
  • helps you explore your dreams and bring them to fruition

 

Start where you are

So if you’re looking for something gentle and easy to help make 2017 a fantastic year for you, I wholeheartedly encourage you to simply start writing – you’ve absolutely nothing to lose and SUCH a lot to gain. Allow some time for the magic to work and for the pearls of wisdom and sense of direction to reveal themselves on the page but rest assured, they WILL emerge. But for now, all you need do is this: get started.

Call to action:

Try writing every 3 pages every morning for a week and let me know how you get on. Has it helped you in any way? Has it provided clarity, understanding or direction for you?  Has it been a valuable experience?

Or maybe you’re already a ‘Morning Pages’ convert? Share your thoughts in the comments below – I look forward to reading them!