What is Success?

November 5, 2010

How do we move from where we are to where we want to be?

How do we know that where we want to be is where we should be?

And if it is not, what do we do then?

Are we hiding from who we are because we fear the consequences of being who we are?

Do we even know who we are?

Are we afraid of the work that is going to be required to become who we are?

And if we’ve been denying our self and know it, and can’t look in the mirror and do it anymore, how are we going to connect the dots between the person we are in the flesh and who we are to become?

How do we connect?

How do we persist against adversity?

How do we make our connection?

How do we change?

This is not about management; it is about surrendering to who we really are.

This is about becoming who we really are.

The answers to “how to do” something is all about technique.  “How to” can be learned.  The commitment has to be born and we have to birth it.

We achieve the outcome by seeing it before it is here, and walking, running, pushing, meditating, cajoling, fighting, driving, diving our way through our imagination to its reality.  And if we are doing that, if we are on that path, at that moment in time, we are successful.

Chuck Markham

11/5/10

http://www.businesscoachchuck.com

Independent Business People

October 21, 2010

Independent businesses contribute tremendous value.

The environment required in order for us to continue being able to do that is threatened every day – threatened by government and by big business.  We need level the playing field so that we are able to reach the public with our message and provide our products and services and show and tell and do what we do best: provide quality service and products at a great value.

What are you doing to elevate the visibility and educate the public of the value of the independent business person?

Chuck

chuck@businesscoachchuck.com

http://www.businesscoachchuck.com

 

Often times when people see me that haven’t seen me in a while, they say, “hey, Chuck, you look great! What have you been doing?”  Not wanting to bore people who have know interest, I simply say, “I’ve been on a diet.”

Frequently, the response is something like, “diets don’t work for me, I find that if I just eat a balanced diet, that is the best thing.”  My judgment of their statement, for them, honestly, is based upon my unspoken value judgment of how it seems to be work for them.  One guy in my neighborhood has not only lost weight and kept it off with the, “just eat a balanced diet and walk a lot,” diet.  That is great for him, and frankly, he is a power of example for me.  But, he is not an example of what I can do.  Because, what I know to be true is that for 25 years I tried the eat balanced and walk a lot diet and failed miserably on all counts.  So, it has been necessary for me to eat an imbalanced diet that has as its primary goal, the loss of fat.  That is just what I’ve had to do.

This is something I blog about, because one of the judgmental voices in my head is – “oh come on Chuck, what’s the big deal, why don’t you just man up, eat balanced and walk a lot,” and I’m writing this to remind me that I tried that for a very long time and it was something I personally was not able to be successful at doing.

Interestingly enough, now that I have been successful at knocking off some pounds, I’m becoming more successful at walking a lot and have thrown swimming in there of late as well.  In fact, my increased activity may be accounting for some of the slowdown in my weight loss as muscle starts to form.

The answer for me, once the diet ends, is going to be another lifetime program – such as the Zone diet or something that the nutritionist creates for me because left to my own devices, I must admit, I really don’t make great food choices!!

Chuck

chuck@businesscoachchuck.com

http://www.businesscoachchuck.com

In April, when my weight loss started, until the middle of August, it was a sprint.  Boom, boom, boom – the weight came off.  Sure there were a few issues (constipation, for instance) but I felt energetic and the diet was working.  Then came a week when my weight didn’t go down.  Let me just tell you, there is the money I’m spending on the diet, the time the … and the internal chatter begins:  The next week, up another ¾ of a pound.

During the previous week, I’d already made some obvious changes that pertain to my specific diet that may have been pushing the envelope.  Now it was time to take a look at some of the other areas where I thought things were okay but in fact were not ok.  For instance, the issue of constipation needed to be dealt with.  This blog is not intended to be a medical blog and what I do may not work for anyone else, so I won’t get into specifics, but suffice it to say that I consulted a nutritionist about that.  Over the weekend was a wedding with lots of my favorite foods.  That presented challenges.  And then Saturday night we went out and the salad I ordered came different than I thought it was going to.

All of the sudden, this sprint is turning into a Marathon.  Today, I feel like I’m settling into the Marathon stride.  It is really testing a muscle of mine that needs to be tested. I’m a person with infinite interests, my mind is like a flywheel, spinning from one thought to the next.  In the type of work I do, counseling and coaching, every hour is a different set of issues.  This requires staying power.

Chuck

chuck@businesscoachchuck.com

http://www.businesscoachchuck.com

Whether we follow our gut or a well structured plan actually depends upon how well we have practiced successfully what we have a hunch about.  If we have successfully gotten the result we want in something we have a hunch to do, then there is a good chance that following our “gut” is a good idea.  What we are actually following here, however, is muscle memory.  We are following a well structured plan that we have practiced so much it has become a hunch.

Even in cases where we have had great success, however, the caveat to following our hunch is to be observant of reality.  One guy had a great investment strategy that had worked well for him. Then, he bought six stocks in a row that went against him.  He became stubborn because of his previous success and did not recognize that the experience he was having with the six bad trades, was a foreshadowing of a changed market.  Consequently, he lost a lot of money.  So, no matter how good we have been, be open to reevaluating the facts in light of new information.

In summary, if you are in the zone, stay in the zone, but when results begin to vary, adjust quickly, let go of the hunch to move on to something new or different.

Coach Chuck

chuck@businesscoachchuck.com

Business Coach Chuck @ 973-670-7215

What is a business coach?  What is the process and what could you expect were you to hire a business coach?  Frankly, that is a question that you are going to need to ask the individual coach.  There are many different backgrounds and educations for coaches.  Some have coaching accreditation.  As for myself, my educational background is in psychology and counseling.  This combined with my extensive business experience informs and has helped me to create an effective and individualized coaching strategy.

I have a masters in clinical psychology/counseling where I was educated in both the theory and the practice of assessing human behavior as well as how to aide people to achieve desired results.  My experience in mental health is very broad and is combined with 19 years business experience in the financial markets. The specific experience in mental health that informs my methods more than any others is experience is working with families.  The family is the basic social unit.  The dynamics that occur in families form the basic components of in the rest of our social life, especially in our work life.  Additionally, small businesses are often family owned.  Even if they are not family owned, the personal lives of the owners and the work life of these owners are inescapably entwined.

My coaching method would begin with an understanding of where you see yourself right now. This sounds simple enough and sometimes it is. Most of the time, however, it is not.  Were it simple you would not be seeking a business coach. Your business life does not stand in isolation from the rest of your life, so when we are assessing the starting point, we get a thorough understanding of the rich context of your current situation.

Next, we’d like to look at where you would like to end up.  This is broken down into a few areas.  First of all, we look at how you think things should be right now, but aren’t.  This is not long term at all.  In fact, you might be gasping for air right now and before any planning can be done, we need to address the current situation.  Dealing with current situation may or may not be a significant issue. It almost always takes longer than the business owner originally anticipates.  But, laying the foundation is key to moving forward.

From this foundation, a vision for the business has the where-with-all to emerge.  And, emerge it must. A vision is more than just figuring out what the business should do.  We dig deep.  Business is hard. Things happen.  Economy happens. Employees happen. All kinds of things happen.  Imagine coming home from the beach on a summer Sunday evening.  The traffic is insane.  Imagine it comes to a stop.  There has been a disaster.  No one is going anywhere.  What do you want to do then?  Most people at that point just want to get home.  I’ve never heard of any one in a situation like this simply saying, “Ah screw it!  Traffic is really bad.  I’m not going home.  That would be too hard?”  Can you imagine?

We attempt to tap into and encourage your organic and natural vision.  In order to get through the traffic jams of business life, your vision must be as certain to you as your home is.

And then, we look at the obstacles between now and your vision.  And then we devise strategies to succeed.

In actual practice, this is certainly not a straight line.  Each of the areas described above influences each of the other areas.  You are never completely in one stage or the other.

Something we are doing concurrently to the above process is graphically depicting your business pipeline.  How do customers find out about you?  How do you (Your business) and your client connect?  How is the client treated? What services or products do you provide the client?  How, exactly, is that done?  How do you get paid?  What happens to the money?

If you are providing a product, the same process is done with the product.

We come to understand the ratio requirements of each part of the pipeline to the other parts of the pipeline.  How do you generate revenues while at the same time meet new prospective clients?  This pipeline is a living, dynamic organism.  If you get twice the number of clients, it is not jus a matter of multiplying the rest of the pipeline by two.  Different methods of providing service need to be developed for differing volume numbers.  We don’t just manage the pipeline.  We inspire the pipeline. That is a matter of assessment and transformation all the time.

So, if you were to ask this coach, Coach Chuck, “what is a business coach and what might I expect form the business coaching process?”  You would get an answer similar to what I outlined above.

www.businesscoachchuck.com

chuck@businesscoachchuck.com

Coach Chuck

973-670-7215

The Business Pipeline

June 30, 2010

The definition of a successful business is a business that contributes significantly to the owner(s) happiness.

The reality:

  • Most business fail.
  • Most businesses that don’t fail create become weight on the back of the owner.

Owners often grow to hate the grueling treadmill their dream has become.
How does the business owner sidestep the grim reality that is the inside view of most small businesses? In the early stages and the middle stages of those who make it to the middle, the answer is, “when we get to (some pot of gold at the end of the rainbow) we are doing to do it right.” In the meantime, the attrition of hope and enthusiasm continues. It continues until the grim reality strikes that this monotonous grind is just going to continue and there is no pot at the end of the rainbow that is going to come along to allow them to “do it right.”

What is doing it right?

Doing it right is Visualizing your business as a Pipeline.

  • Reaching prospective customers/clients and then them becoming clients.
  • It involves the process of doing the business that you are in – be that providing product or service and all that entails.
  • It involves the profit, which is the back of the pipeline.

Define your pipeline precisely.

  • Define all of the tasks required in the pipeline, from start to finish.
  • Define exactly how you want each of those tasks performed.
  • Define exactly how the process of quality control.
  • Build rewards and consequences as part of the process.
  • Define how flexibility will be build into the process that is responsive to the market and to your vision.

When is a good time to do this?

  • Preferably before your doors every open.
  • But, if it is too late for that, then the best time is now.

Chuck@businesscoachchuck.com

www.businesscoachchuck.com

Coach Chuck

973-670-7215

Take the Next Step to Your Picture of SuccessGo To – http://www.businesscoachchuck.com/. – for details of Coach Chuck’s business coaching services and fees.Take a Test Drive – Call now for your FREE 30-minute exploratory consultation – Call 973-670-7215 and set up an appointment. There is never any pressure.Or e-mail me – chuck@businesscoachchuck.com. Please provide three dates and times that would be a good time to call you. I will return the e-mail with a confirmed appointment time.

©2007 Charles W. Markham MA. You may not copy, reproduce, post or forward this document in any format. For permission or joint venture opportunities contact Chuck Markham at chuck@businesscoachchuck.com.

“We are always successful.” – Maxwell Maltz

This means

  • we are successful at what we really see happening.

This means:

  • It is important to develop a vision rather than letting it happen.
  • Fear is our first reaction to change. The second reaction is our choice. Without activation of choice, fear, de facto, becomes vision.
  • We, with our powerful brain of our always have a vision.
  • Our brain knows where it is going.
  • The goal is to bring our whole self, including our brain, into alignment.
  • Bring your goals and your vision together.

If you want to make more money and to have a better relationship with your spouse and start the day knowing that things at work are a mess and old issues are suffocating your love life: it is going to be ugly.

On the other hand if you wake up knowing that today is going to be successful and that you have a loving relationship with another caring person, all kinds of doors will open. They may not be the ones you expect. Without the expectation of positive outcome the likelihood of seeing the open doors are remote and the likelihood of walking through them is remoter still.

Vision is the GPS (global positioning system) of your brain. Vision is how you know where to go. So, if you envision failure, your brain will, with all due obedience, open the door to all the opportunities that you need in order to fail. It is trained on that spot.
Vision is what you actually know is going to happen.

So, right now, you may know that if you don’t do x, y and z this terrible thing is going to happen. It is time to develop a new vision. Write it down. Shape it. As the song says, “Make it real or forget about it.”

One of the things that I do with clients is help them to get very clear about what they believe to be true and what they want.

Getting our beliefs and our wants together as one is how we set our own GPS.
Develop effective goals.

Chuck@businesscoachchuck.com

www.businesscoachchuck.com

Coach Chuck

973-670-7215

To learn more go to www.businesscoachchuck.com.

Take a Test Drive – Call now for your FREE 30-minute exploratory consultation – Call 973-670-7215 and set up an appointment. There is never any pressure.

Or e-mail me – chuck@businesscoachchuck.com. Please provide three dates and times that would be a good time to call you. I will return the e-mail with a confirmed appointment time.

In order for business networking to be successful, it must be put to the same tests as any other business activity.  Before engaging in business networking, ask:

a)       What are my objectives in business networking?

b)      What strategies will I employ?

The answers given to these questions should be relatively simple to understand and easy to measure.

For instance, a business person’s objectives in networking might be to:

  1. Get clients.
  2. Build referral source relationships.

Or, for the job seeker, the goals of networking might be:

  1. To get in front of a person who can hire me for a job that I want.
  2. Build referral relationships with people who can get me in front of people who can hire me for a job that I want.

One Strategy for achieving this goal is to look at the process of getting:

From the point where we are now (certain number of clients) (unemployed) (in a job that we do not like)

To where we want to be (more clients) (employed in a job we want)

… as a process.  This process is something I call a pipeline.

To visualize this pipeline,  think of a big open funnel.  At the top of the pipeline we have a) prospective clients and b) prospective referral sources.  At the end of the pipeline we have clients.   In between, we have qualified prospective clients, qualified referral sources, referral sources and, finally, clients.

Open networking is the process of meeting lots of people from which we can feed the front of the pipeline.  How we qualify them and move them forward is how we are going to reach our goal.  This requires that we network with purpose.  Therefore, as people are met, we must make decisions along the way: how are we going to define a qualified referral source.  This is going to be important, because if we spend all of our time talking to people that are not qualified prospective clients or qualified referral sources then we will not have time to talk to people that are qualified.  The net result will be that our net result is random rather than what we want it to be.

Networking results, to be effective, need to be measured:  Measured means with numbers.  How many qualified referral sources and qualified prospects do I have?  How many prospective client meetings or interviews have resulted?  Is that ratio improving or declining?  If it is improving, keep doing what we are doing, if it is declining … step back and evaluate.  Going by feel is not good.  It may have felt good to have three meetings with people at Starbucks today, but if it did not move the pipeline forward, that feeling will evaporate along with the caffeine buzz.

The front end of the pipeline, finding people to network with in order to find prospective clients and prospective referral sources in much easier today than it once was.  Go to meetup.com or Linkedin and find out where groups are meeting that meet the general criteria of people that “could” meet your criteria.  Go there.  Meet them.

When you get home and you find that you have a stack of business cards, divide them into people that are prospective referral sources, prospective clients or neither.  Enter them into your data base.  I use Yahoo, but I’m not pushing them.  Use any data base that allows you to create categories for your contacts.  Have categories for each phase of your pipeline.  This pipeline should be dynamic.  No one should stay a prospective referral source forever.  Most of us are much too eager to have people like us.  What we want to find out from these people is: are they in a position to refer or hire us or not?  “Maybe” is NOT the answer we want. “No” is infinitely better than “Maybe.”  “Maybe” keeps us spinning our wheels.  Come up with your strategy on how to touch base and qualify your prospective referral sources and prospective clients. Then follow through with your strategy.  The pipeline keeps moving.  Your data base changes.  It is moving all the time.  New people coming in.  Old people going out.  Interviews and new prospects, new clients and job offers.  It is alive!  This is when networking is working.

Networking, then, is like any other business process.  It requires purpose, planning, strict definition, implementation, measurement of results and continual adjustments based upon outcome.  This is a process I’ve designed for the purpose of achieving personalized business results.

 

Coach Chuck

chuck@businesscoachchuck.com – email

https://coachchuck.wordpress.com/ – Blogs on different topics

http://www.squidoo.com/business-coach-chuck a fun site with some testimonials, book recommendations and stuff like that.

www.businesscoachchuck.com – my basic website – about us, packages etc….