I've heard life compared to driving a car. From the drivers seat I can either view the road through the rear-view mirror or the front windshield. Anyone who drives knows that intently focusing in the rear-view mirror while attempting to drive forward would cause an accident, or at best a slow and swervy drive. If I want to drive well and arrive at a specific destination then I better be looking out the BIG front windshield.Read More
wife, mom, coach, & entrepreneur
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Problems. Conflict. Issues. What do you do with these? I have had a variety of responses to problems throughout my life. I have avoided conflict completely, attempted to make peace at all costs, and everything in between.
What is your first thought when you discover a problem or conflict in your office, between your children, with your spouse, parents, or a neighbor? Avoid? Make peace? Call a friend and tell them? Stress? Panic? Anger? Eye roll and a long sigh? Annoyed? ______?
Now that you have that answer and feeling in your mind, I have another question before you continue: Do you want to live an extraordinary life? If the answer is no that's fine, but you don't need to finish reading this post. If the answer is yes, then consider with me a new (or renewed) view of the problems in your life and business.
First, if you are living an extraordinary life, there better be problems.
I've heard this phrase said a number of different ways, but my favorite is by Brian Klemmer, "Great leaders eat problems for breakfast!" What does that mean? It means that extraordinary people (aka leaders) go after problems. The extraordinary move towards problems. The extraordinary wake up ready to tackle the problems and challenges of the day. The extraordinary are willing to develop and practice the skills to solve big problems. The more extraordinary, the better the skills, and the bigger the problems. Problems grow us and when we take them head on we become the people better able to handle the bigger problems in the future.
Avoidance of problems = Avoidance of progress
If you think that your business is good or your relationships are good because there are no problems, I encourage you to look again. This is not about creating problems, but facing conflict as it comes up. I have had this opportunity with one of my kids. This child and I went through a season of "peace". This peace was really an avoidance of conflict. It seemed easier to avoid than to go through the mess of getting to the source of the problem. Who wants to hear their child say how they are not measuring up as a parent? I didn't want to hear it and the false peace was better to this child than having to say it. We had no "problems" and we made no progress in our relationship until I was willing to go after and move toward the problem. Through the process I developed more skills to help me better handle more problems.
It actually takes more energy to avoid problems than it does to solve them. I can find an answer to most problems I face if I simply take fifteen quiet minutes to brainstorm the solution. Sometimes this requires the counsel of my husband, coach, or mastermind team, but the point is that I have the energy for the solution if I don't waste that energy trying to avoid the problem.
What about you? Are you eating problems for breakfast? Is there a work problem that you need to eat for breakfast? Do you need to snack on a solution for a conflict in your family? Would it serve you to seek council and find a solution for a long-term, unresolved issue?
Know problems . . . Know progress!
It's not always easy, but it is always worth it.
"Always stay focused, keep moving forward, and never, ever consider quitting." I cut this quote out of USANA's quarterly magazine several years ago and taped it to the edge of my computer monitor. I don't even remember how long ago or who said these inspiring words. The small piece of paper has endured new computers and a cross-country move. The words are a timeless reminder for those moments and seasons when my dreams are out of focus, I am stuck, and I feel like quitting.
Always stay focused. Focus is not always the problem, but the object of my focus can either move me closer or lead me further from my goals and dream. I must keep my goal in focus. I write down goals down - 30, 60, and 90 day goals which each point toward my larger six month and one year goals. Every goal is in alignment so that I stay focused on the path that leads to my dreams.
Keep moving forward. The only way to create momentum is to move, and the most difficult place to move from is a stationary position. It is like a large train sitting still on the tracks. It takes a large amount of force and energy to get the train in motion; however, once it starts moving and picking up speed it moves with very little force. I am noticing the same thing with my business. I am my own boss and it is up to me to get in motion. I get the ball rolling by picking up the phone, initiating a conversation, or responding to a need. These are also the things I choose to keep doing so that I can maintain momentum and encourage others.
Never, ever consider quitting. Take quit out of the vocabulary. I can honestly say that the only people I have seen fail in my line of work are the people who quit and the people who continually consider quitting. Let me illustrate with a non-business illustration:
Many of you know that Joe and I dated for a long time before we were married (17 years ago!). During our first 2 years of college (after dating 2+ years in high school) we dated "off and on." I couldn't even tell you why we broke up so much except for the fact that I allowed uncertainty to stay in my mind. This may sound silly, but I remember during the fall of my sophomore year of college recognizing my flakiness and making a decision that if Joe and I ever got back together that it would be for good. We were dating again within a few months and stayed together until we were married three years later. And in our marriage relationship divorce is off the table because we will never, ever consider quitting!
The achievement of my dreams demands that I "always stay focused, keep moving forward, and never, ever consider quitting." Where are you with your dreams? Which of these areas is keeping you from getting where you want to go?
The journey isn't always easy, but it's always worth it.
My life purpose is to enrich the lives of others through compassion, generosity, and extraordinary living. When is the last time you sat down and considered the purpose and direction of your life, business, health or family? Having a specific purpose in any endeavor gives parameters and direction to all the little choices connected to that endeavor. So often I am caught up with the daily grind that I don't take time to really consider whether I am even on the path that leads toward my goals and dreams. In the chaos and mundane routines, it is easy to lose site of these goals and dreams. This weekend I took a much-needed night away to refocus, and strategize the direction of my business. (I am so thankful for a spouse who sees the value of this time and even made sure it happened!) In a few short hours I recalled and clarified what I do: I am a coach. I teach people how to earn full-time income while working part-time from home. That seems rather simple and also sounds a little over-kill to take a night away to get this kind of amazing clarity.
This clarity arrived in the first hour, but the hours since then have been just as crucial. I mapped out how everything I tried to do to build my business now has a purpose and focus. If I post on Facebook or any other form of social media, and I hope to see a direct impact in my business then I better know where I'm headed. There is no way for anyone to follow me if I do not know where I am going. This is true for any goal in life, business, health, or family.
What is your purpose? for your life? for your family? for your future? for your health? for your business? What area of your life could use some serious consideration about the direction and path you will take?
"Give your heart a reason to keep beating." This piece of advice was part of 'three tips for life' given by Dr. Oz at USANA Health Science's International Convention this past year. I love the imagery. When someone, myself included, joins USANA they are asked to consider and articulate their why. Why do they want to do this business? What do they hope to gain - improved health? Financial Independence? Time Freedom?
Over the years I have fine-tuned, expanded, reworded and adjusted my why. Every goal I set, in any area of my life, is more easily achieved when I clearly understand why I am working towards that goal.
A solid why is deep.
A solid why moves you to tears - it touches your heart.
A solid why gets you out of bed in the morning.
A solid why will "give your heart a reason to keep beating."
Why do I work with USANA? I am thankful for the improved health USANA products offer. I am pursuing financial independence. I love the freedom of time to travel and to be with my husband and kids. All of these things are great, but there is something deeper that gets me up in the morning, something stronger that helps me make phone calls, invest in my team, and grow my business.
My solid why.
I want my kids to see and know that dreams are possible. I want my kids to set goals, go after them and see them accomplished. I choose to be the living example for my kids that dreams can and do become a reality. Does it take hard work? Yes! Does it require sacrifice? Yes! Is it worth it? Yes!
I would love to hear from you in the chat box. Do you have a goal? What moves you to accomplish that goal? What inspires you to do the work, step out of your comfort zone and create change in your life? What gives your heart reason to keep beating?
I love summer - sunshine, long days, late nights, campfires, kids riding bikes and, now that we live in Michigan, thunderstorms. One thing that does not seem to exist, in the beautiful and lazy days of summer, is routine. I wouldn't trade these summer days, but there does come a time when I start to crave routine. Our family has always lived in an area where school begins the day or two after Labor Day and by the start of school, I have a heavy dose of routine-cravings going on.
One of the challenges of having a home-based business is maintaining a consistent routine. Recently, I realized that the spontaneity I enjoy in having my own business is both a blessing and a curse. For years I have run my business more like a hobby, fitting it in where and when I can. However, running a business like a hobby produces the results of a hobby. I make a good income, but have plateaued as I became complacent, even lazy, about my business routines. Now that I want more - the full results of the powerful, residual, life-changing business that I have - I must take on the routines necessary to achieve those results.
These realities bring me back to the value of setting goal-driven, intentional routines. As school gets underway so do the routines, habits and disciplines that move me closer to my extraordinary dreams. Will it be challenging? Absolutely! Will it be worth it? Most definitely!
What routines will you embrace that will move you closer to your extraordinary dreams? List them in the comments.