Dealing with Change in 5 Easy Steps

Dealing with Change in 5 Easy Steps

Dealing with change is not always an easy thing to do for most people but without this necessary ‘evolution’ in our lives, how would we improve? Our aversion to changing many things in our lives stems from a natural fear of the unknown and it’s this fear that may be holding you back from experiencing MORE in many aspects of your life! The first step in dealing with an otherwise ‘traumatic’ shift in how we live, work or love is to recognize that change can be good and doesn’t need to be feared! Getting over our natural reluctance to make or accept changes is what we’re talking about here today!

To help ‘ease’ the discomfort associated with embracing changes in our lives, here are 5 simple steps to help you transition to something new and different! Remember, it’s usually for the better…

Seek Advice

Discuss with others your reluctance and listen to their objective feedback as to WHY you should consider changes! Listening to others helps introduce a degree of objectivity into your thinking and can even help you overcome your fear of the unknown, especially when others have already ventured into the ‘unknown’ and benefited! This is especially important since this fear is usually what is holding you back!

Look to the Positive

If you’re seeking change, there must be a reason, so emphasize the positive of what making any changes can do for you! It tends to be human nature to focus more on the negatives when making changes because, once again, we’re not really sure how these changes will affect us! As much as making things better is appealing, to anybody, it’s hard to escape the concern of what would the negative effects of any changes may be! Again, our feelings of fear and dread tend to dominate our thinking so be aware of this and control your thinking!

Let Go the Past

Perhaps the change you seek is to explore an alternate path from the one you’ve been on, and for possibly quite a while! It may be difficult to change your course due to the time and effort you’ve already invested and you just don’t want to simply walk away from it! Your commitment to your previous path although admirable, may be holding you back from making further progress or even reaching your goals! Let go of the past and focus only on the present and future because you can’t change what has already happened, you can only learn from it!

Take Action

Often times it is simply that first step that is the most difficult to take so be proactive when considering any changes! Once you’ve done your due diligence and determined the ‘new’ path you’re considering to be viable and an improvement over the path you’re currently taking, take action! By understanding that your new choice is the right choice for you, and of course that change can be good, go for it! Much like quickly removing a band-aid to minimize the discomfort, take swift and immediate action on changes you’re considering and before you know it, you’ll be glad you did!

Get Out of Your Own Way

Be aware of any self-doubt that lingers in your head and don’t let these feelings keep you from doing what you need to make improvements! Remember making changes is typically planned improvements from previous courses of action you had been taking so embrace it as such and move on, but don’t let your own self doubt sabotage your efforts to initiate any new plans! We all have internal conversations with ourselves, at least I do, it’s called self-talk and this ‘voice’ in our heads can be very critical at times! Don’t let your own self-talk, tempered by fear and/or doubt, to continue holding you back from taking chances or making decisions that could improve your circumstances or your life!

Dealing with change in any aspect of your life can be difficult simply because most people share a common fear of the unknown! Although this fear is understandable it can also be holding you back from developing further as a person or making other adjustments that may improve your current situation, be it personal or professional! Working through these fears does NOT have to be difficult and the 5 tactics discussed above will certainly help when you’re reluctant to making changes! The bottom line is this, although changes do represent the unknown, remember, change can be good, which is WHY you may be considering them in the first place! For things to change so must you otherwise expect and accept that things will remain as there are!

5 Common Challenges Most Successful Entrepreneurs Face

5 Common Challenges Most Successful Entrepreneurs Face

Most successful entrepreneurs can attribute what they’ve accomplished to a strong desire and a laser like focus on the goals they’ve set! This is NOT to say that you won’t have challenges to overcome as you pursue your entrepreneurial dreams but rather that with persistence and a keen focus you can be successful as well! The key to your success will be found primarily in how well you maintain a healthy balance in your life, which will be essential, especially because you will be mostly working by yourself! Nobody to share your daily ups and downs with or to get feedback or opinions from can make your existence a lonely one and this can easily lead to some very common pitfalls you MUST avoid!

Following are 5 common obstacles entrepreneurs must be mindful of, especially when working by yourself, if you want to reach your goals!

Negative Thinking

One of the biggest challenges to overcome when working by yourself is negative thinking which occurs when you begin to doubt your abilities or what you’re doing! Without others around to lend encouragement or advice it is extremely easy to become frustrated and the longer you remain so, the more ‘negative self-talk’ or thinking you’re likely to do! Simply having others around who can offer different perspectives or insights helps keep you better balanced and not as likely to take on a perspective of doom and gloom!

Unrealistic Goals

Possessing lots of ambition is typical of any aspiring entrepreneur HOWEVER do not allow your strong drive to make less than realistic decisions! Although ambition is great to have, it can also lead to you ‘overestimating’ your resources and/or abilities when establishing your goals! You MUST be realistic when goal setting otherwise you are literally setting yourself up for failure! On the other hand having available to you the objective opinions of others will help keep your goals attainable and your efforts more effective!

Take Action

For many, it can be very difficult to STOP the ‘learning process’ and simply take action especially since the internet is a 24/7 incubator for new information! We’ve all heard of analysis paralysis which typically results from information overload and when working by yourself it becomes more difficult to recognize you’re caught up in this cycle! Learning is great and absolutely encouraged however if this knowledge is NOT put to use, what is the sense? Remember, nothing gets done until you take action!

When to Say When

Although having a strong work ethic is admirable, it is also critical to take the time to step away from your work! Being self-employed can be a very liberating feeling however without the proper balance in your life, your work can completely consume you! Recognize you’re only human and therefore subject to fatigue so it’s important to take breaks and to learn NOT to constantly be burning the midnight candle! Fatigue is a breeding ground for judgment lapses and other ‘types’ of errors which require additional effort just to correct! As a solo-preneur, do you really want to create MORE work for yourself thereby delaying your achievements? Of course not, so if you’re tired just step away until such time that you are properly rested, less distracted and ready to produce without making errors!

All Work and No Play…

Above we’ve spoken about taking regularly scheduled breaks from your daily work schedule but what about taking an extended leave? Spending time away enjoying family, friends, traveling or various outdoor activities is your WHY when it comes to the reason you’ve become an ‘independent’ business-person! When working by yourself it’s easy to become consumed by what you do therefore you DO need some balance in your life that reminds you why you work so hard and rewards you for doing so! Think in terms of what is more important to you, your work or your life!

Knowing most successful entrepreneurs have had the same challenges to overcome as you do serves as proof that your own goals can also be achieved! Perhaps the most difficult aspect of being an entrepreneur is that you are mostly working by yourself with no outside support or encouragement! For the reason alone it is critical for you as an entrepreneur to maintain a healthy balance in your life while in pursuit of your business goals! This will help you keep things in perspective, avoid burnout and of course, make the best decisions possible concerning your professional or personal interests! Simply be more mindful of those challenges of which we spoke of above so that they don’t overwhelm you!

Be More Productive By How You Think

Be More Productive By How You Think

Devising strategies, tactics or techniques to help you be more productive during the summer months is a challenge that faces most entrepreneurs! With all the temptations and/or distractions that accompany the summer months it can be very challenging to keep your focus on the business you’re building! On the other hand having the proper mindset along with a can do attitude can help you get more done despite all the distractions surrounding you! Remember how you think is a STRONG indication of the actions you may take!

Below are 7 different ways having the proper mindset will keep you productive during the summer months even with all the distractions the season brings!

Think Objectively

Leave all your emotional baggage and biases behind as you ‘venture’ into your day and learned to view things objectively! This type of clarity helps you keep your focus on what it is you’re actually seeing or experiencing so that you can assess situations for what they are and NOT what your personal prejudices or ‘filters’ perceive!

Think Routine

Develop and stick to some type of schedule or routine to help you keep your focus on what you need or intend to accomplish! Of course a large part of establishing any routine is taking the time to identify your objectives and than devising a plan that will enable you to reach these objectives! It has been said and I totally agree, that routines bring results! Remember, a disorganized genius is no match for the average person with a daily routine!

Think Positive

The power of positive thinking not only strengthens your motivation but it also lowers your stress and any negative ‘self talk’ that may be holding you back! Instead of avoiding challenges embrace them with a can do attitude that will surely help boost your confidence while increasing your pool of knowledge! Additionally having the proper mindset where your thoughts are positive and proactive will also help you work through difficult challenges and NOT be demoralized when encountering any setbacks! When you are upbeat challenges are no longer overwhelming but rather tend to be more of a test that you’re confident you can overcome, and with a smile on your face!

Think Comprehensively (Big Picture)

What is your ultimate goal? Determine what you want, what is your vision, than develop a plan that will take into consideration ALL you need to do to make it happen! Think of your vision in terms of it being your destination on a map and than plot the route, or make a plan, that will help get you there! Without a plan or map you’re bound to get lost, so having a vision along with a plan will serve to keep your focus ONLY on what you need to do and not all the little distractions that pop up along the way!

Think WHY (Motivation)

Occasionally we all have a need to remind ourselves WHY we do what we do? This will help ‘refresh’ and strengthen your motivation thereby compelling you to keep your focus on the ‘process’ involved in helping you reach your goals! When reflecting back on your reason(s) as to why your trying to achieve particular goals it is recommended to focus on the benefits your successful accomplishments bring you! In the end, if there is no benefits to be had or experienced from all your efforts than there’s little reason to put forth the effort! On the other hand, if you stand to benefit, than this is your WHY and therefore your motivation!

Think Early Bird Gets the Worm

When speaking about productivity it is always recommended to start your day early when you’re fully rested both physically and mentally! Being well rested, as you should be once you’ve awaken to start your day, will help you to keep your focus longer so that you can get more done! Also, the early morning hours are typically peaceful since the ‘events’ of the day have yet to unfold thereby giving you a more tranquil environment in which to work! For those of you who are night owls, perhaps it’s time to rethink and reschedule your waking hours so that you can rise from bed earlier to start your day!

Think Outside the Box

When challenges arise obvious solutions may not always be apparent but never despair! When you possess a can do attitude, finding solutions to problems that face you is typically not a big deal! The determination you have tends to make you more creative simply because quitting for you is not an option! Even though you may not identify obvious answers to challenges that face you, your creative intelligence can find other ‘non-typical’ options available to get the job done! Remember, your mind is as complex, if not more so, than a computer, so don’t to afraid to tap into that amazing brain of yours!

What entrepreneur does NOT want to be more productive than they typically are during the ‘lazy’ months of summers? With all the distractions of having more to do, people to see and not to mention vacations, it can be extremely difficult just to keep your focus on your business! Having the proper mindset along with a can do attitude however, as discussed above, helps you focus on what you need to do so your business continues to grow as you also enjoy the summer-time festivities!

5 Challenges of Content Marketing You Must Overcome

5 Challenges of Content Marketing You Must Overcome

For many the challenges of content marketing stem from trying to frequently publish something new, exciting or worthy of going viral! The problem is the use of content is SO intense these days on the internet that it is difficult to stand out! This results in many marketers focusing more time on trying to find topics of interest that are trending and /or relevant to their needs, or both! If you’re online promoting a business or cause, spending too much time on content creation will only hold you back! It therefore stands to reason to identify these challenges so you can avoid or address them before they sabotage your efforts or undermine your intentions!

Here are 5 common obstacles facing content marketers that you NEED to know so you can plan accordingly to work around or through them!

Lacking Ideas

Ever hear of writers’ block? Well if you rely upon the use of content to gain exposure online or to promote a product or cause you have no doubt experienced the feeling of frustration writers’ block can give you! The key to any great piece of content is to base it upon topics of interest your audience may have however finding these topics or what to write about them can sometimes be daunting! This is a very common barrier facing many marketers on the internet today! The key to overcoming this barrier is to have many available options from which you can find or generate ideas upon which you can base your next piece of stellar content!

Too Much Working ‘In’ the Business

Creating content takes time and research and trying to constantly publish something new is a ‘cycle’ that marketers must try to avoid! Why? Because there are other areas of your business you can NOT afford to ignore! Since the use of content is such a BIG part of your marketing efforts it’s easy to understand how people can inadvertently be caught up in this process! It is important to realize how your ‘obsession’ with trying to create and publish something new on a frequent basis can hold you back from other aspects of your business! Suggested solutions to this dilemma would be to either outsource your creation efforts or stick to a strict schedule that allows for time to address other areas of your business!

Quantity Over Quality

As mentioned above many marketers feel overly compelled to publish as often as possible but this can easily lead to problems! As the saying goes ‘haste makes waste’ and when trying to ‘rush’ the process of creation it is typical that the first thing that suffers is the quality of your efforts! In this case your ‘haste’ can easily hold you back from getting better results from the content you create and distribute! To avoid this simply focus on quality and forget about publishing frequently! Why? Because quality is what gets you noticed while publishing frequently could be a waste of your time considering the ‘lack’ of results you may get from a lesser quality effort!

Striving for Perfection

Now understand there is a big difference between quality and perfection! Forget about it if you’re looking to be perfect all the time when creating content because this is an unrealistic expectation! Always being original, never having grammar issues or simply trying to create something that will go viral will find you wasting a lot of time because achieving perfection is like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow! It likely will NOT happen and besides, your viewers don’t expect perfection, they just want you to be you, which is why they view and viewed what you have published previously! Give them more of the same quality they’re used to and don’t allow ‘perfection’ to hold you back from publishing more often! Having a ‘hang up’ like trying to be perfect will only slow you down which is something you don’t want on the fast paced internet!

SEO

Back ‘in the day’ it was all about properly optimizing your content, be it the title, text, alt tags or images but times have changed! These ‘technical’ tactics were time-consuming and actually succeeded in helping to lower the ‘quality’ of the content by focusing more on optimization strategies and less on creating information of value! Search engines have now started to focus on the quality and relevance of what is being published and use this as a way to ‘award’ marketers with higher rankings! Remember to simply write for the people and NOT the search engines! People will enjoy your work all the more and search engines will notice this by the number of views your efforts get and rank you higher as a result!

The challenges of content marketing typically stem from trying to publish something that stands out or goes viral on a frequent basis! This ends up resulting in marketers spending possibly TOO much time trying to find the exact ‘right’ topics of interest or simply trying to ‘perfect’ and/or optimize what they are creating! Although the use of content is important and plays a vital role in marketing online you can NOT allow that to hold you back from addressing other aspects of your business or cause! By identifying the challenges such as those reviewed above, gives you the opportunity to either avoid them or develop a strategy that enables you to work around or through them!

5 Reasons Social Media Use is Addicting

5 Reasons Social Media Use is Addicting

Have you noticed that your social media use seems to have taken control of your life? Social media today tends to dominate the consciousness of many young adults even when they’re in the company of family and/or friends! For goodness sake, otherwise sensible people are being found taking ‘death’ defying selfies just for the sake of posting these pictures to their social accounts just to get more likes, shares or followers! Yup, our obsession with these online social sites can NOT be denied, but why are they so addicting?

Here, in my opinion, are 5 reasons that we as citizens of the internet have found ourselves addicted to social media today…

Convenient Access (24/7)

It’s all about availability! Online social sites are easily accessible at any time of the day or night and can be accessed using any number of mobile devices or going old school by using a computer! This convenient access tends to increase the number of times you may log-in to your account which in turn develops into a habit and yup, an addiction if you’re not careful! These sites were originally developed for our use to enjoy and to connect with other like-minded people but 24/7 access has made it very difficult to resist its addictive nature!

No Personality, No Problem

With all the filters and remoteness associated with using social media today, anybody can easily ‘reinvent’ themselves to be more exciting! Lacking in inter-personal skills is NOT a deterrent for anyone wanting to partake in any of the many online social sites available! Conversations are not always in ‘real’ time so spontaneity is NOT required therefore people lacking a spunky personality can still easily and comfortably slide in and out of conversations with other site members! Having time to ‘prepare’ any response is HUGE for anyone who may have anxiety issues when it comes to socializing with others!

Fuels Confidence

Having an increase in confidence is a great feeling to experience, no matter who you are or what you’ve accomplished! It is a ‘comfort’ zone in which you feel you’re in total control and using social media today is something that definitely fosters the feeling of confidence! As mentioned above you’re able to ‘prepare’ your responses as well as choose topics to talk about with which you are familiar and knowledgeable! For people feeling socially awkward, the remoteness and lack of required spontaneity associated with online social sites is just what they need to help them comfortably engage with others!

Meeting New ‘Friends’

For those folks who are not overly outgoing or who don’t have much contact with others, social media today offers the chance to overcome your shyness and to meet new people! Now I’m not going to ‘push’ the notion that all the ‘friends’ you make on these sites are in fact people who really know you and feel a strong bond since that’s not true! What is true is some of these new acquaintances may develop into friends however just being able to talk to others about things of interest to you is a big plus, especially for those who are otherwise socially remote!

Validation

Just by simply being involved in the social media madness tends to ‘validate’ you with your peers as well as family. The sense or feeling of being involved or ‘in the know’ is uplifting and hard to resist because we as humans tend to prefer being part of something! In fact, many people use their contacts, likes, shares and/or followers as a form of validation of their popularity or as strange as it sounds, their worth! As sad as it may be our ‘popularity’ on social media today is often tied to our self-worth which is a perfect example of how the internet has actually made changes to our value systems! For those lacking in self-worth, using social sites to build up followers or be otherwise recognized in the community is their best bet to feel better about themselves!

Has your social media use taken control of your life so much so that you find yourself constantly checking your status, even when in the company of others? Well, you’re NOT alone because social media today, for very many and especially young adults, has become very addicting. We use these online social sites as a way of ‘meeting’ new people, posting pictures (to impress) and even to check on the news! Make no mistake social media has gone mainstream and it does serve some very good purposes, however, like anything else ‘too much of a good thing’ can turn sour! The point here is you must take back control of your life if you find yourself obsessing too much about your social media accounts! Start today by spending more time with friends and family, you can always check your status online but learn to limit your access!