Time Management Fundamentals

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Coaching, Discovery, Goals, Growth, Leadership, Personal, Personal Identity, Personal Value, Self Reflection, Time Management

Years ago, I had a young guy working on one of my teams who just was not cutting it.  His excuse for all his missed deadlines?  “I didn’t have time.”  I remember telling him, “Everyone in this world, from the President of the United States to a homeless guy on the street, has the exact same amount of time in the day and decides how to use that time.”  He didn’t get it.  And he didn’t make it on my team.

It’s one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves, “I didn’t have time.” This is a fundamental problem that has worked its way into our culture and we have the responsibility to keep it from taking hold of us.  The problem: we feel busier than we ever have while accomplishing less and feeling less satisfied by all we’re doing.  So, what’s the solution? How can we change our way of thinking?  Here are three questions you can answer to help you manage your time better.

  1. When am I most energized? All hours of the day are not created equal.  Have you noticed sometimes you get incredible work accomplished and sometimes it’s like you’re pushing against a brick wall?  What’s the difference?  Well, it may have to do with the type of work you’re doing, but it probably has much more to do with when you’re doing it.  Are you taking advantage of your natural rhythms or fighting against them?  Are you a morning person?  Are you an evening person?  Does the afternoon feel like a burst of energy or a crash?  It helps to figure out these types of questions, and know how you best function during the day.  If you know you have a time of day that is going to be ultra-productive, try to schedule your most important tasks during that time.   If you know what time of day is going to be sluggish, why not do the mindless or menial tasks then?  Don’t just plug tasks into any ole time of the day.  Know your personal rhythms during your day and plan accordingly.
  2. What am I doing with my downtime? You have way more natural downtime than you think. What do you do during the two hours before work?  Is sleep the answer?  What about the four hours after work?  Is that your “veg-out” time?  That’s great if your goal is to be a vegetable.  But, if your goal is to live up to your potential and accomplish your dreams, you must look at your downtime as opportunity time.  We’re talking about hours each day that you’re just giving up because you’ve told yourself you need all that downtime.  The truth is you need some, but probably not as much as you’re taking.  Examine your patterns and make some changes.  Plug in productive work into some of that excess downtime.  There are many people who have started profitable businesses in their downtime.  It’s not a myth.  It’s about intentional discipline.
  3. How might I be wasting time every week? How much television do you watch?  How much time do you spend on social media?  How many YouTube videos do you watch each week?  These questions could go on and on and the answers, for most of us, are embarrassing.  The point is, you are wasting a tremendous amount of time during any given week.  What if you were intentional with 30% of that wasted time?  Identify it and schedule it.  The results may surprise you!

You manage your money carefully.  Your time is a way more valuable commodity.  Why not manage it too?  If you’re ready to get started now, one of our coaches will help you build your time management plan.  Just click here to get started.  When you’re ready, we’ll be ready to help you get there.

 

The Process of Sharing YOUR Value

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Coaching, Discovery, Goals, Growth, Leadership, Personal, Personal Identity, Personal Value, Self Reflection

Over the last couple months, we’ve explored how you know what you can offer the rest of the world and why you would want to share it.  If you don’t think you have much to offer or you don’t know what those things are, go back and read this article. But this month, let’s explore the next level to this question.  How do you share your value with others?

Just because you have a gift, talent, or message that could benefit others, and even when recognize the value of sharing it, you still must figure out how to release that for the benefit of others.  So, while identifying is good, you must go a step further and release what you’ve found.  This will require building and executing a plan.  For some, this is an exhilarating prospect, for others it’s paralyzing.  Whether you’re in the camp of the former or the latter, or somewhere in between, let me offer you three simple steps to share your value with others.

Step 1: Write down a plan of action.

If you think it and never write it down, it’s not a plan.  It’s wishful thinking and not much will come of it. For you to truly share your value with others, you’ll need a written plan to follow.  Your plan should include answers to questions like, “What will I offer?,” “Who will I offer it to?,” “How will I deliver it?,” and “When will I deliver it?”  I have a good friend who discovered she had a message she wanted to share with other women. She decided to get serious about her message and came up with a plan.  She knew of a women’s conference that was taking applications for breakout speakers.  She had never done any public speaking, but she knew she had a message to share. So, she applied to be one of those speakers.  Speaking at that conference was her plan to share the value she had to offer.

Step 2:  Put in the work it takes to deliver real value.

Just because you have a message or a God-given gift to share, does not mean you’re ready to share it.  To be ready to share what you’ve got with anyone in a meaningful way, you’ll need to put in some serious work.  Back to my friend.  She applied to speak at the conference and she was accepted.  That was the first part of her plan. The second part was putting in a lot of hard work and dedication into her message so she would be ready when the time came for her to speak. Since she had not done any public speaking, she found someone to coach her through the process of building her message and preparing to deliver it.  This was a process that took place over a couple of months with dozens of hours of preparation.  It was not easy work. But she had to consider her audience and the impact she was hoping to have on them.  Imagine if she would have shown up unprepared.  What a wasted opportunity that would have been.  As you build your plan, don’t skip the hard work needed to truly ready to give your best.

Step 3:  Follow through, despite your fears.

This is all about accountability.  I can assure you that if you build a plan and get yourself prepared, when it comes down to sharing what you have with others, you’ll feel incredible fear.   That’s why you must build accountability into your plan.  One last check-in with my friend.  She had a good plan and she prepared well.  That did not exempt her from fear.  Part of the preparation she put together with her coach was to rehearse her message out loud in front of others.  The day before, she gave her speech to a friend. The night before her speaking engagement, she delivered her message to her husband. Her friend and husband both gave honest and constructive feedback.  One of the pieces that helped her follow through with her plan was she had set up accountability.  She told her coach she would share it live before the big day.  Plus, her name was already printed on the schedule for the conference. There was no turning back, she was committed. It’s easy to make plans when emotions are high and you’re fired up.  It’s also easy to abandon your plans when you’re accountable to only yourself. How many of us have turned back in the face of fear, simply because we could?  Don’t make this mistake.  Build accountability into your plan so you will follow through, despite the fear that certainly will come.

Just like my friend, you too have incredible value to share with others.  She saw dozens of women impacted by the message she shared.  Several even asked her to mentor them, as a result.  What kind of value could you bring to people?  You’ll never know until you build and execute a plan to share it.

If you’re ready to get started now, one of our coaches could help you begin building that plan by utilizing some of the highly effective coaching tools we have at our disposal.  Just click here to get started on your journey to living out your dreams and bringing great value to others.  When you’re ready, we’re here to help you get there.

 

 

 

Creating Value for Others

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Coaching, Discovery, Dreams, Goals, Growth, Leadership, Personal, Relationships, Self Reflection

Ok, let’s get back to a question we started to answer last month. How do you determine your personal value and share it? Previously, we explored how you might know what you can offer the rest of the world. We explored 4 questions you can answer to determine what you do have to offer. If you don’t think you have much to offer or you don’t know what those things are, go back and read last month’s article. This month, let’s explore a new question. How do you create value for others?

Let’s answer an even more fundamental question first. This is a question that gets to the heart of your vision for your life. Why would you want to create value for others? Well, the short answer is because you were made to do just that. If you’re not careful, our culture will fool you into thinking your goal ought to be creating maximum channels of inflow for yourself. Make more money, have better relationships that make you feel good, move up the corporate ladder, drive a better car, live in a bigger house . . . you know the drill. Nothing wrong with any of those goals or desires, provided they’re not all you have going on in your life. In this scenario, everything is flowing one way – toward you. You might think you want that, but you don’t.

Think of the air conditioning system in your home. You turn it on and it blows out cold air and your house cools down, right? Not exactly. If all it did was just blow cold air, it would be very ineffective. While I’m sure you’ve noticed the vents in the ceiling or floor that blow the cold air, take a closer look at the complete system. You’ll find some larger vents in the ceiling or walls that don’t blow any air out at all. These vents are called return air vents. They take the stuffy, warm air and pull it out of your rooms and into the air conditioning system to cool it down. So, your cold air vents blowing cold air toward you work in tandem with your return air vents that pull the warm air away from you. It’s an outflow and inflow system that only works – only creates satisfactory results – when the inflow and outflow are working together.

Your life is the same way. Sure, you’re working hard to attain your goals and provide for yourself and your family. Those are inflows. But, you’ve been given gifts and talents that are specifically for the benefit of other people (see last month’s article). Using those are the outflow. The health and fulfillment in your life comes when the inflow and outflow are working in tandem.

If you need an even more life and death example, think of your own physical body. The normal and healthy state of things is that you inhale air and you exhale air in a one-to-one ratio. Take a deep breath. Now take another deep breath. Don’t exhale. Now take another deep breath. You see what happens. Continuing the inhale begins to choke your lungs. It can’t be sustained. Although it happens more slowly, and is harder to perceive, the same effect happens in you (emotionally, relationally, and spiritually) when you have all inflow and no outflow.

If you’re not yet at the stage of writing down a plan of action, that’s okay. But, I hope this helps you begin to think about building your vision for your life. A vision for you to create avenues so you can share your unique abilities, gifts, and talents with those in your current circles and even beyond. Next month, we’ll get more specific about how you can build a strategy and a plan to create that value in others.

You may not want to wait until next month to build your strategy and plan of action . If you’re ready to get started now, one of our coaches will help you begin building your plan by utilizing several highly effective coaching tools we have at our disposal. Just click here to get started on your journey to living out your dreams. When you’re ready, we’ll be ready to help you get there.

 

What Do I Have to Offer?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Business, Coaching, Discovery, Dreams, Goals, Growth, Personal Identity, Self Reflection

Over the last few months, we’ve talked about getting clear about what you want and getting the right people around you to make that happen.  Now let’s shift from looking at who you have around you to simply looking at yourself.  The big question you can work on answering next is, how do you determine your personal value and share it?  While that’s a great question to answer, it’s a mouthful, so for now, let’s simplify and simply ask and begin to answer, “What do I have to offer?”

So, what do you have to offer?  If you’re like most of us, you shy away from questions like this.  We all tend to underestimate what we have to offer.  That may be because we’re overly-modest, we lack confidence, or we simply haven’t done the work to identify it.  Whatever the reason, there are two very big problems with you failing to identify what you have to offer this world.  One is that if you don’t identify and operate in whatever “it” is for you, you’ll never be fulfilled.  There will always be an empty feeling inside you that feels like something is missing.  Second, if you don’t identify your “it”, other people (who need “it” very badly) will miss out.  So, you failing to identify what you have to offer is a lose, lose.  But, when you do identify what you have to offer, it’s a win, win.  Let’s talk about how you can shift to the win, win scenario.

4 questions to help you answer, “What do I have to offer?”

  1. What do you enjoy? What energizes you?  What gives you that feeling that says, “I was made to do this”?  You may or may not know the answer to this question right off the bat.  If you do, that’s a great start.  If not, you may have some work to do to identify some of the things you enjoy and energize you.  It’s worth all the work it requires.
  2. What do you believe you’re good at? Again, this is something you may shy away from, but if you allow yourself to be honest, you can probably identify some things you know you’re good at.  They may be current or they may have laid dormant for quite some time.  Take some time today to think and even write down some of those things you believe you’re truly good at.
  3. What do other people tell you you’re good at? This is a good test.  We can fool ourselves, but it’s difficult to fool those closest to us.  If someone tells you you’re good, you probably are.  Once again, take some time and jot down some of those things others have affirmed in you.  You may have even dismissed them, but it’s important to gather those back to the top of your mind.
  4. If money were no object, what would you do with most of your time? This isn’t a question about leisure time or early retirement.  It’s about what brings you energy and life.  If you had trouble answering #1 above, this may be tough, too.  But to spin the question in these kinds of limitless terms might be just the help you need.  If you don’t know the answer now, can you at least write down a few possibilities?

While these questions are a great start, you may only get so far on your own.  One of our coaches could help you dig deeper into these questions by utilizing several highly effective coaching tools we have at our disposal.  Just click here to get started on your journey to living out your dreams.  When you’re ready, we’ll be ready to help you get there.

 

 

Current Relationships

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Coaching, Discovery, Dreams, Goals, Growth, Leadership, Relationships

Where you focus most of your energy is where you’ll see most of your return. 

You must learn to sow where you want to go. 

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. 

All true statements.  I doubt you’ll push back against those much.  But, I would wager that you may push back against the implications those statements carry for you.  Easier said than done, right?

Let’s re-focus.  We’re talking about you.  You’re a leader.  You’re a dreamer.  You’ve got a picture, in your mind’s eye, of a preferred future.  So, that leaves you with a big decision to make.  Who are the people you will invite into your life and who are the people you may need to give limited access to?  More than any other single factor, the people you choose to spend most of your time with will affect your current and future success or lack thereof.

The rubber now meets the road.  What does this mean for you?  Well, it means just what you may suspect, or even fear, it means.  You must get strategic about the relationships in your life.  Let me suggest three great questions you can use a filter to be that strategic leader you so badly want to be.

  1. Who are the current people in my life who are helping move my dream forward? Your life consists of many relationships, but they are not all created equally.  If you’re moving toward that dream or desire in your life, you must become discerning about which relationships are moving you in the right direction and which ones are not.  The good news is that you probably already have some people in your life who are helping move your dream forward. Take a mental inventory of your relationships.  Who is excited about your dreams?  Who believes in you?  Who is a step or two ahead of you on a similar path?  These are the questions you can ask to figure out who may already be in your life that you may want to lean into more, as time goes on.
  2. Are there relationships I have that need to be pulled back or stopped? Doesn’t this hurt, just thinking about it?  I would think there are pretty good odds that a person or two just popped into your mind the instant you read this question.  Just like you need to identify and lean into those who believe in you and are going the direction you want to go; you also must identify and pull away from those who are moving in the opposite direction.  Some of these might be easy to pull away from, but the closer these relationships are, the more delicate and potentially awkward these moves will be.  I would encourage you to get some perspective from someone you trust on this before you pull away or shut down any long-standing or close relationships.  It’s ok to move slowly and carefully, but you must move deliberately.
  3. Are there relationships that need to be cultivated? In #1 above I mentioned identifying and leaning into key relationships. Cultivating is a step above.  More than just leaning into the right relationships, you must identify new ones and learn to add value.  The more you get into relationships with people who are going places, the more discerning those people will be about who they spend their time with.  It’s not enough for you to just ask to spend time with people a step ahead of you.  As you get that time with them, you must add value to the relationship.  Any relationship is a two-way street and if all the energy is coming your way, it won’t be long until your new friend identifies YOU and someone in the #2 category above.  Cultivation is all about adding value.

So, if you are really the average of the five people you spend the most time with (and you are), then you moving toward your dream demands honest answers to the questions above.  It also demands that you face the implications of those answers and begin to make relational moves accordingly.  These kinds of moves may be just the type that a good coach could help you navigate.  Click HERE to get started, and one of our excellent coaches can help you today!

5 Crucial Relationships You Need

Posted on 4 CommentsPosted in Business, Coaching, Discovery, Dreams, Growth, Leadership, Personal, Relationships, Spiritual

Previously, we talked about the truth that you are the average of the people you spend the most time with. There are some relationships you’ll need to cultivate, some you’ll need to pull away from and some you’ll need to create. Whatever your current situation, you cannot attain God’s dream for you alone. Today, we’ll talk about the five crucial relationships you’ll need in place to see your dream take flight.

 

  1. Experts. These are people working and living out a dream similar to the dream you are called to. We all need models and mentors and you may need to do some research to find who some of these experts are. Remember, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Most of us will need to see and even learn a model before we can adapt it. As you begin to research who some of these experts are, reach out to them and see how you can learn from afar and even close. You may be surprised how accessible some people will be if you just ask. Overall, chemistry is key. Look for experts and then lean into the relationships with those you feel you click with best.
  2. Supporters. These are people who believe in you, who encourage you and would pray for you if you asked. Supporter are like a spider web. The tensile strength of a spider’s silk is greater than that of the same weight of steel. Further, it has greater elasticity, because of its many points of connection. Who are the people who will hold you up as you move God’s dream forward for your life?
  3. Challengers. These are the ones who typically tell it like it is. They are very direct and straight-forward. We all need these people who will challenge and push us to reach higher and get better. They will challenge you both by the example of their lives and by the words they speak. They may not know much about your dream, but they are for you and could play this role if asked. Caution, these people may threaten you. You may need some thick skin to gain the valuable perspective a challenger will bring to you.
  4. Resourcers. These will share and sponsor you into their networks and relationships. Supporters will help you with your dream by providing knowledge, experiences and even financial resources. Again, chemistry is key, but can you think of some people who deeply care about you and might want to help you pursue your dream by being resourcers? A word of caution. These won’t always be the people you would expect most. Just because they’ve been a supporter does not mean they will become a resourcer.
  5. Balancers. These are the ones who will help you live a healthy and balanced life. Once you discover God’s dream for your life, it’s easy to pursue it full-throttle, often to the detriment of other vital aspects and people in your life. We all know people who have burned out doing too much of what they love or have neglected some priorities and have lost valuable parts of their life along the way. Hear this and hear it well. You can’t afford to lose your health or relationships that matter most. Think of people you know that model emotional, physical, relational, intellectual and spiritual health. Who would push you to take time for leisure activities or hobbies? You may not know one person who will bring all those traits, but you know some people who can bring some of them.

 

We hope this list is helpful to you as you pursue God’s dream for your life and try and decide which relationships you need in your life. Don’t know where to start? We are here to help you discover and establish some of these crucial relationships in your life. Let’s get started today!

 

 

It’s Your Life. It’s Your Dream. It’s Your Time.

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Business, Coaching, Discovery, Dreams, Goals, Growth, Personal, Relationships

There’s a principle to live by. You’re intelligent and you’ve been around the block a time or two. I’m sure you know it well. If you’re a person of faith, you might call it the law of sowing and reaping. If not, you might call it karma. Whatever you name it, the behavior of the principle remains true. Where you focus most of your energy is where you’ll see most of your return. “Learn to sow where you want to go”, a friend and mentor of mine used to say. There may be no truer arena for this principle to take hold than that of whom we choose to associate with and whom we do not. The simple fact is, more than any other single factor, the people you choose to spend most of your time with will affect your current and future success or lack thereof.

You’re a leader. You’re a dreamer. You’ve got a picture, in your mind’s eye, of a preferred future. So, that leaves you with a big decision to make. Who are the people you will invite into your life and who are the people you may need to give limited access to? But, wait. We’re getting ahead of ourselves. Before we start deciding whom we may want in our lives and whom we may need to find a way to pull away from, there’s an even more fundamental question to answer. What are my personal desires?

What are your personal desires? Ask yourself this question and spend plenty of time there to make sure you are clear. You may know right off the top of your head or you may need to take some extended time to consider this question. Either way, it’s the baseline question to answer before you consider which relationships are going to be key for you to cultivate and which ones will not be.

To get ultra-practical, if your greatest personal desire is to take your organization to the next level, you’ll want to spend time with those who have done just that. Just because your best friend from college is a great guy and you have years of history together does not mean he or she is going to help you see your personal desires come to pass. Am I saying you need to shut down all your relationships with all your old friends? Certainly not. What I am saying is that until you are very clear about your personal desires, you will have no idea what type of people to be around. Jim Rohn has said, famously, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Don’t you think you should know what kind of people you want to be with before you start giving away the most precious resource you possess?

Some time ago, I got very clear about my personal desire to help organizations, especially churches, in the area of strategic planning. It was this clarity of desire that informed my decision about some new relationships to begin. We’ll talk more about how to choose the right current and future relationships in the next couple posts, but it’s worth saying my clarity of desire back then brought me to many of the relationships I enjoy today.

It’s your life. It’s your dream. It’s your time. Don’t you think you should get clear about your personal desires before you give yourself away to people who may not get you any closer to them? If you’re not sure about your personal desires or you don’t know how to get started, I know one of our excellent coaches can help you get started on that journey.

The Dream Inside You

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Coaching, Discovery, Dreams, Goals, Growth, Leadership, Personal, Spiritual

Do you remember what you wanted to be when you grew up? What about the dreams and ideas you had for yourself when you were in your twenties?

When I was in my early twenties, I knew my life would be about helping others to discover their God-given dreams. At first, I wasn’t sure how that was going to take place. But I knew that, one day, God would show me. I began to realize that, in order to discover our God-given dream, we have to look to our life’s story. See, I believe our life story is the most important thing about us.

So what is your story? What is your dream? How do you want to accomplish this dream and make it your reality?

In order for me to begin living out my own God-given dream, I had to stop and listen and then chase after it. That’s what I want to help you do as you find not only what your dreams are, but then how to put them into action. Some people aren’t even sure they have a dream. But I believe everyone has a God-given dream. It’s that thing you’re so passionate about that it runs deep within your soul.

Let’s discover that dream and passion together and begin moving you forward to living your life to the fullest.

When I found my passions and realized how my story played a major role in developing my dreams, I knew this was what I would give my life for. And I have for the last twenty years.

Your God-given dream is already inside you; we just have to find it. To take the next step toward discovering your dreams and processing your story, click the link below. I look forward to sharing this journey with you.

Click Here to Get Started