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documented business systems and process

What’s Really Happening In The Culture Of Your Company?

Surviving the early days in your business can open significant opportunities for growth if you manage to establish a viable profit model and get some quality hands on deck to help out. From this business growth comes scaling, where processes and procedures need to be bedded down to create the cookie cutter systems required to multiply your business and create exponential growth. In these times, it’s common for business owners and staff members alike to develop feelings of isolation and disconnect. When the focus of the work is on standardising and duplicating operations, it is important to ensure your staff know just how important they are to you, and to the fulfillment of the company mission.

documented business systems and process

“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.” Simon Sinek, Start with Why

The number one reason employees choose to leave their employer for good is because they don’t feel acknowledged for their contributions. Studies show a whopping 79% of people who quit leave for this reason. Here are five things you and your managers can look out for to keep your finger on the pulse of how your team actually feel about their work:

HOW THEY SHOW UP

First of all, take a look at how your people show up each day. An actively engaged team will have low rates of absenteeism because they enjoy coming to work. They will start work on time, and should be encouraged to finish work on time to prevent burnout. You will notice that they arrive ready to go, fresh, motivated, and prepared with the equipment they need. Pride in their work will be reflected in how they dress, and how they manage their workspace.

LANGUAGE THEY USE

The way people speak at work also reveals their attitudes and motivations. People invested in your business growth will use encouraging, uplifting and productive language. They will focus on solving problems to achieve outcomes, and their conversations will foster a culture of collaboration, encouragement and support at work. Discussions marked by resentment, complaining, objections and gossip reflect you have people who may not be there for long.

ATTITUDE TO CHANGE

The response your employees have to change is a very clear indicator of their engagement in your company mission. When people are really invested in making a significant impact through your business they will appreciate the need for change, and they will embrace those seasons of change when they come. Whether the change is as simple as a new administrative routine, or a more comprehensive restructure, their response will tell you a lot about where they’re really at.

GENERATING IMPROVEMENT

If your team is genuinely invested in change, your company will be able to move with the times in responsive, proactive agility. Staff who embrace change will look for ways to expand into new areas of opportunity with a creative, innovative outlook. They will be free to generate and implement ideas for improvement at work, because they will pride themselves on being action focused problem solvers. Engagement like this will take you all to the top of your field together.

ACHIEVEMENT LEVELS

The achievement levels of your staff over time indicate very clearly just how positive your company culture really is. Setting up routines to monitor performance is the only way you and your leadership team will be able to ensure your staff achieve what is required to scale the business. Engaged staff meet and even exceed their KPIs, and set their own goals for advancement. Positive attitudes result in positive actions you can acknowledge and reward.

 

Business building can be so demanding it puts your team spirit at risk. When you are focussed on increasing revenue, lowering your expenses, rolling out new products and launching new advertising campaigns it can be hard to find time to attend to the needs of your people. These five tips will help you focus quickly on how things are really going as you scale your business.

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If this article has struck a chord with you, please go right ahead and message me. I would love to hear more about what you do, and how I might be able to help you transform your business into the Freedom Machine you have wanted all along. Let’s establish a proven system in your business to create team certainty and sustainable expansion which open pathways to the lifestyle choices you’ve worked so hard for. No matter where you are, I am only a message away. And to make things really easy, contact me here https://www.kerryannenelson.com/enquire-now/

Hidden Costs Of Poor Business Management

As they say, if a business is not growing it is dying. Business growth is always the aim for the entrepreneur but often you can find yourself in a plateau that is difficult to pull yourself out of. As you go about the day to day of management of your business, you will see the things that you’re spending money on, the performance of your staff, customer responses, and engagement to advertising.

Often we measure what IS happening in our business but we overlook what IS not happening. If you don’t manage your human operations well, you may find yourself off the beaten track of business growth. There will be five key things that you won’t be seeing in your business:

business process mapping melbourne

CUSTOMERS

The first thing you won’t be seeing is returning customers, which is a devastating hidden cost for the business owner seeking growth. If you don’t have systems in place to guarantee that your customers will experience an overwhelmingly positive experience every single time, you may well find that many simply won’t come back. You will miss out on their business, their referrals, their testimonials and their rave reviews. If you are trading online you will also pay the price with Google when you lose their visits to your website.

CASHFLOW

A decline in customers will of course lead declining revenue, and if you mix this challenge with poorly managed expenses you could land yourself in hot water with your cashflow. Poor management is expensive. If you’re running too much stock, too many staff, exorbitantly expensive advertising or training, or if you or your team are doing poorly with controlling regular the costs overheads, you’ll find cash flow will take a nosedive, and you will miss out on the profitable cash flow you need to grow your business.

REPUTATION

Your reputation is everything in business. So a decline in customers won’t only mean declining revenue and referrals, it will also open up the risk of them creating quite a nasty reputation for you in negative reviews and feedback online. Good news spreads fast, but bad news spreads like wildfire. You need to ensure you get the referrals and the testimonials you need to thrive, which will always come down to how you train your staff, how you delivering your products and services, and how you follow up to nurture your precious customers.

STAFF

You’ll find the next hidden cost of poor business management in your staffing. The investment most business owners make into their staff recruitment, onboarding, and management is often one of the biggest costs on the balance sheet. You need systems to facilitate a positive experience for them professionally, socially and emotionally, or you may find yourself spending too much money on training, wages or ongoing maintenance. If your staff are not productive and efficient, they will cost you too much in time and money.

TIME

The last hidden cost of poor business management is found in your time, and the time of the people in your team. Inefficiencies are expensive because all those tiny little micro-moments lost in poor management add up. You might explore how much time is lost in your business because people don’t know what to do, they can’t find what they need, or they stall over a cuppa or conversation because they’re not really motivated. That cost of time takes its toll, and it’s certainly a cost of poor management that most people simply don’t count.

Every business owner wants to deliver a really happy, wonderful, reliable experience for their staff and customers alike, where you’re solving problems and exceeding expectations You want to earn great word of mouth feedback to go out into the community for referrals and testimonials and it takes great systems to achieve that. When systems are bedded down and clear for everyone, you will be able to nail those goals every single time.

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If this article has struck a chord with you, please go right ahead and message me. I would love to hear more about what you do, and how I might be able to help you transform your business into the Freedom Machine you have wanted all along. Let’s establish a proven system in your business to create team certainty and sustainable expansion which open pathways to the lifestyle choices you’ve worked so hard for. No matter where you are, I am only a message away.

10 Steps To Reclaim Your Business

Quite some years ago you started out in your business, brimming with positive expectations dreams that you were going to make come true. You were excited about what your big idea could lead you to, and your passion carried you through your first few years. You didn’t know what you didn’t know and this ignorance was bliss. You took big risks and giant strides into the future that you were intent on making.

Now you are tied to it like a concrete block. You’re working far too hard and you don’t have enough to show for it. Yes, you do have sales, cashflow, leads and a robust client base, but you feel like you’re dying under the workload of serving it all. The love you used to have for your work is slowly suffocating at the hands of endless admin, frantic jobs, an uncontrollable inbox and relentless customers that always seem to want more than you can give. Lately you have become increasingly tempted to get a haircut and a real job. You started this business to follow your passion, and now it is literally pushing you to the brink.

The passion you had for your business can be rekindled with a specific plan to get you back there

What Did I Want? – Re-ignite Passion

The first step to reclaiming what you feel that your business has stolen from you is to remember what you started it all for in the first place. Once upon a time you loved your core business offering and you wanted to tell the world about it. You were dedicated to making it work and you envisioned where it would take you. Reignite the passion you once had for this work. It’s still in there and it can be rekindled to give you the resurgence of ambition you need to make things better.

What Do I Want Now? – Goal

With your first love reignited, it’s time to be honest, and ask yourself what you really want now. Your blissful ignorance is long gone, and now you know that the journey of getting your life back will be epic. You’re not in the same starting position you were in back then, so take a look at your new landscape. What has changed? What remains? What are your ideal outcomes from this point forward. Clarify these to create a realistic new benchmark for yourself.

What Could It Become? – Vision

Exchanging those old naive ideals for more realistic goals will help lighten the load, but don’t go so far as to lose the entrepreneurial spirit of the starry eyed adventurer. As you conceive these new pathways forward, allow yourself to imagine wild outcomes. In the best case scenario, what might still be possible from here? How far could you reach? How powerful could your impact be? The limitless possibilities make this process all worth it. Keep stoking the fire of your wildest new dreams.

What If? – Benefits

With your head somewhere between your realistic goals and those entrepreneurial visions, connect yourself to the benefits of continuing the pursuit. How does this business still serve you, and what could you gain from making it stronger? Is it the income that drives you? The lifestyle for you and your family? The difference you make? The autonomy? Or other perks along the way? We all have different sources of ambition and reward, but tapping into what you get out of this business will keep you hungry for more.

What If I Don’t? – Motivation

Similarly, acknowledging the potential costs of not pushing through will help you stay on the front foot of your motivation. There’s nothing like measuring the opportunity cost to get us really going. It’s one thing to chase the promise of reward, but truly another to be propelled to action by realising that without this surge, you may very well put your business, your family, your financial security or even your sense of identity at risk. A healthy balance of “What If I Do?” and “What If I Don’t?” will keep you on the right track.

What Do I Have? – Inventory

Now that you have your head in the game it’s time to get down to business and take an audit of what you already have to get this show on the road. You have physical resources like computers, phones, cars, shopfronts, stock, and office equipment that can be put to use straight away to begin reclaiming your business. When you combine these resources with the people in your circle, your years of professional experience, and the natural strengths you bring to the table, you’ll see there’s a lot you can do to create change now.

What Do I Do? – Strategy

This evaluation process may have inspired some strokes of genius about moving forward. To create real change, these ideas need to become specific action steps. It’s not enough to write down your general direction or ideal outcome. Reclaiming your business can only be guaranteed when you have a step by step plan to follow. Ambiguity makes positive change fall victim to tiredness, confusion, dismay, frustration, or the next urgent crisis. Writing down every single step of the strategy puts this change into autopilot.

What Do I Need? – Resources

There will be some steps that you won’t be able to take without acquiring some new things. You might need to buy new equipment or upgrade what you have now. It might be as simple as installing new apps or software, or subscribing to a new service. You could enrol in a short course to expand your knowledge or do some online training … If you are really committed to making this new mission stick, you might invest in some new social connections, and dare I say it, redefine some of your less beneficial relationships.

What Do I Do Now? – Schedule

Now you have everything you need to reclaim your business … The only thing separating you from change is your planning. Your business will return to you when you turn your strategy into a schedule in your calendar. Timeframes, appointments and deadlines will let you draw a line in the sand. To keep you and your staff on the straight and narrow, document everything to make that autopilot work for you. Checklists, diagrams, instructions and procedures will take the gamble and guess work out of this transformation.

What Have I Achieved? – Evaluate

No transformation is complete without evidence … even if it were, how could you truly know that you made it? The most vital part of the business reclaim journey is to measure your progress. Your measurements will reflect your initial goals. Were you seeking more time? Revenue? Profit? Sales? Clients? The list of areas you could have targeted in your business reclaim is endless, but across every area is the need for data to prove your progress and inform future steps. Evaluation is the lifeblood of every healthy business, and when these processes become central to your operation, you’ll find that your business can never hold you hostage again.

Follow The Leader

I’ve been thinking a lot about business leadership lately. As my small business continues to grow and my vision continues to expand and refine I have considered the nature of leadership deeply. I have always thought of myself a leader. With this big personality and my love of people I slip into leadership roles naturally. I’m always looking for new ways to grow and to take as many others with me as possible.

Leadership has been a familiar friend for as long as I can remember. I’m the oldest of five so I took care of lots of things around our family home growing up. I also served in various school leadership roles through primary and high school. Leaving home saw me leading in church, and then leaving my first husband saw me taking up a business leadership mantle that I still carry to this day. I love the journey of change and evolution that all of us enjoy as small business owners. The task of managing business processes through from development to execution is what I love most.

“Leadership is taken, not given,” Kathrine Durham

Kerry Anne Nelson Speaker, Author, Business Process Genius. Business Like A Boss Workshops

To rise in leadership is to lead yourself in the business management processes you need for growth

Lead Yourself First

To be an effective manager of your time, money and other resources in your small business is to first become an effective manager of your self. As the owner of your business it is you who chooses what, when, how and with whom in every circumstance. Your actions drive every step, and your thoughts drive every action. There are a lot of things riding on your ability to lead yourself. Your family are counting on you, along with your clients, staff and service providers. Most of all though, you are counting on yourself.

From the moment you rise till the moment you retire for the day you are responsible for you. You are the leader of your actions, thoughts, even feelings. You make decisions about every aspect of your small business management, and these decisions come from the core of who you are as a unique person. If you are tired or flat, you are the one who must pick yourself up in motivation and dedication. If you are overwhelmed or confused, you need to manage yourself towards getting the help you need. The successful small business owner is one who can always rely on themselves to operate with determination, creativity, integrity and maturity.

Step Up To The Plate

I love that there are so many sources of support for us in our business growth journey. YouTube gives us endless motivation and instruction, and there is an overflowing abundance of seminars, classes, courses and coaches to keep us pumped and focused, and ready to take on the world. I realise the central role that all these services play in our business leadership, but I must say that I believe there comes a point where we need to remove ourselves from the seminar circuit and get down and dirty with who we actually are as business leaders.

How many conferences will you attend to learn about your potential before you step out to fulfil that potential? How many speakers will tell you that you have a powerful story before you stand up to tell your story to the ones who need to hear it? How many investment gurus will you learn from before you put your money where your mouth is to make that game changing investment? The list is endless but it all starts and ends with the same thing. If you have any desire to make an impact in your business you are like me, and this year, I am saying the buck has to stop with us!

Draw A Line In The Sand

No more productive procrastination with courses you don’t need or coaches who keep you in a loop of dependency. No more doubting our education, experience, ability or passion. No more seeking the validation of others and no more undermining our own expert authority. No more dreaming without planning, wishing without doing, hoping without action. It is time that we hold our head high as leaders and back ourselves. We know what we want, we know what we need. We don’t need to look outward to leaders in the world around us as much as we need to lead ourselves courageously from the inside.

Yes, we will still seek help. Yes, we will still share the journey. Yes, we will give and receive support to others. But this year, it is time to step up to the plate. The Giant Within has already been awakened. The Friends have been won and the Influence is there for the taking. The Seven Habits are known and now they simply need to be put into practice daily. I would love you to join me in making this year the year that you said Yes to making your daily routines into small business leadership practices. This is the year we Follow The Leader inside us.

A Message From Kerry

For the last couple of years I have been helping people to follow their passion by inspiring and motivating them with my talk and my social media posts, by coaching them, and by sharing my own unfolding story. It has been thoroughly enjoyable and I have been told frequently that I give people hope. This is an opportunity I will always be grateful for.

There has been a change coming though. Over the course of 2017, people have been indicating what they need to follow their passion by asking me this one question, again and again and again …

“How?”

“How do I follow my passion?”

I have come to realise that it’s one thing to KNOW your passion, but another thing entirely to know what you actually NEED TO DO to follow it and activate it in a transforming way, day to day. The penny dropped for me recently when I saw it clear as day. I know how I have followed my passion, and I can teach people how to follow theirs the same way.

I still help people to follow their passion, but now I teach them how I’ve done it myself. I create manuals for everything and then use these manuals to inform my daily activities. All of the steps in these manuals have managed my emails, my social media, my administrative work, accounting and superannuation, site management, event organisation, networking activities, speaking engagements, filing and data management, email campaigns, publishing my book, and all sorts of projects on the run. The steps in the manuals are turned into action by scheduling tasks in my calendar, setting reminders in my phone, and managing my work flow with project management software. The steps are customised. They are unique for what only I need in my business, and they document everything that I need to do to transform my personal passions into my actual dream life.

 

 

Kerry Anne Nelson Business Process Genius: "A Message From Kerry Blog" 0412 898 363

This year I have changed tack. Instead of simply telling people they can fly, now I show them how

These manuals also allow me to manage my team. Whether they are full time, part time, casual or volunteer support, each of them have their tasks clearly communicated in manuals just like these. It is the set and forget method that literally shoots me through my business growth journey faster than a speeding bullet. It is THE answer to the “How?” question that people keep asking me.

I am a born organiser with a highly strategic approach to bringing my passion to life. I have used these methods to do some amazing things … I still pinch myself some days when I stop to realise that it’s all true. Since May 2014 I have systemised my progress to:

  • manage all of the horrible jobs of my late husband’s passing
  • restructure the website business I used to share with him
  • establish pricing rules to increase the amount our clients spent on our website by 10%
  • rebuild warehouse processes of stock management, inventory control, order fulfilment, workflow
  • train new staff members from scratch in brand new business software and systems  
  • get that old business out of debt and sell it for a profit
  • establish myself as an inspiring speaker and social leader
  • write my book and publish it myself
  • open and manage an event venue called Our Place Melbourne in Camberwell
  • launch Melbourne Inner East Business in Heels branch  
  • launch several different programs and business building sessions
  • launch a business meetup group and attract strong support from members and sponsors alike
  • triple the connections across my social media networks in 6 months
  • create a full, comprehensive site management manual
  • train new on site staff and my remote assistant in different new systems, software and processes
  • mentor business clients through the creation of their own business building systems

I am a trained teacher with 8 years of classroom experience in primary, secondary, tertiary and special education settings. I have nearly 20 years of experience in business, having built businesses from scratch in service and retail industries across online settings as well as traditional bricks and mortar shopfronts. I love nothing more than to work alongside people to teach them how to empower themselves to build the structures they need for their own personal and professional growth.

Please message me today if you would like me to help you create a total business transformation. We are not talking about small tweaks or adjustments here. Together, we will conduct a complete overhaul. We will redefine how you do things to create entirely new routines, experiences and outcomes. When we do this, you will have choices that all stem from having more time. You might choose to add more team members, begin a new business project, or scale your business to new growth. You could choose to sell your business now, because you will have the support documents that you need to demonstrate its worth, and facilitate the handover to the new owners. You might simply choose to go home on time, reclaim your weekend, or even enjoy a long overdue holiday.  Your business will never be the same again.

Food for thought, right? What if it could be different? What if we could make it better, together? What if it worked? …

I know this works. It worked for me, and it will work for you.

Message me today to get started.

Not Everything We Touch Turns To Gold

Everything He Touched Turned To Gold

The only way Output Goals can be achieved is by setting and fulfilling Input Goals first. I keep learning that it’s true, but one of my earliest experiences with this lesson makes me smile every time I remember it.

Stepping Out Into The Wide Blue Yonder

Alec and I started out in business together as vacuum cleaner sales people. We then turned our work into a Godfrey’s franchise, which we changed again a few years later to open an appliance repair center. Soon after that, we took our work online, first selling vacuum spares on eBay, then opening our own website in 2004. We proudly called our online business ‘Nelson Vacuums’. This was a massive step into the unknown for us. We made it a little more manageable by buying a standardised “off the shelf” e-commerce store rather than building a website from scratch. It worked through a subscription which gave us empty website templates to populate with our logo, business blurb, images and product descriptions, and account details for payment. It was a fun toy that Alec loved playing with.

The Midas Touch

Alec always described himself as being like Uncle Scrooge. You know the Donald Duck character who used to love rolling around in monstrous stacks of gold coins? Alec had a Midas touch when it came to sales, and he loved the idea of rolling around in piles of money. He was the master of positivity and optimism, and honestly expected that everything he touched would turn to gold.

On the day he listed our first product on our brand new Nelson Vacuums website, he was like a kid in a candy store. Pure glee poured out of him. We’d not sold anything yet, but the POTENTIAL was there. That was all he needed to expect those golden outcomes he was so used to.

Waiting Game

When the listing was up, he waited in excited anticipation for our first sale. He got up, made a cuppa and came back to refresh the screen. Then he checked his emails for the notification that he was sure would come through any minute now. Then he refreshed again … and he waited some more. Then he did a test transaction to make sure it was all working properly, then he refreshed to check again. He switched back to his emails to check there again too … nothing yet, but there would be soon, without doubt!

This routine went on in 5 minute intervals for a couple of hours. Literally! Alec was absolutely convinced that with the website up and that one single product available for purchase, he would see our first sale come through fast. Super quick. Really, he expected that it would happen instantaneously. With every passing minute it became clear that this was not going to happen.

And The Heavens Opened

Well … this story ends that after that first little window, Alec got busy listing more products, and amazingly he did see our first sale come through by the end of the day. It was miraculous in so many ways. I think it shows just how young online retail was back then, and how little competition we had in our niche. The sales trickled in over the next few days, one at a time. Over the following weeks and months we continued to populate the website with more product listings which kept sales ticking along. More importantly we learned about how to succeed in online retail, and the more we learned the more we realised how naive we were in those early days.

The Penny Drops

The more we learned the more we realised that Alec’s early expectations had been absurd. We worked hard to optimise our website, create back links with blogs, guest posts, and you tube videos, and we embarked on our first ever Google Adwords campaign. We were dedicated to the mission of making this website successful, and we had set a goal that it would generate a small income by the year’s end.

Goal setting has to be about what we put in, before we measure what we take out. Alec’s outlook at the start was comparable to the person who weighs themselves, then runs around the block, then wonders why the scales haven’t changed on their return. Goal setting doesn’t work like this. You know it, and I know it, and yet still we continue to pursue aims that focus on output rather than input.

This is important in all areas of our lives, but understanding how this works in our business can make the defining difference to our progress. When we are setting any of our goals for growth we must do this in such a way that prioritises the actions we need to perform to achieve the goal, rather than simply ‘putting it out there’ and hoping that we make it somehow. Our driving goals must be for consistent daily action.

Output goals for increased revenue need input goals for more sales or a sustainable price rise. Output goals for more profits need input goals for better supplier deals, lower overheads, or greater sales. Output goals for more sales need input goals for more sales calls, better staff training, and possibly better products or services. The same approach goes for the productivity of our staff, expansion into new offerings, promoting events and special offers, and reducing our expenditure. All of our business goals must be anchored into what must be done to achieve them.

IN SHORT:

  1. Simply “putting your goals out there” is an ineffective success strategy
  2. Goals which measure output cannot drive progress as much as goals which measure input.
  3. Goals must be clearly defined and pursued with a specific daily action plan.

 

 

Cancelled

With half an hour to go before the scheduled Facebook live broadcast, I message my guest to say good morning and confirm that we are good to go at 8AM.

“I’m ready for you at 10,” he says.

I message back, my heart beating just a little bit faster, “um … no … you mean 8 right?”

“No,” he sends his reply message straight back. “I have 10 in my phone.”

Then he calls, and with 30 minutes until the broadcast he explains his father has fallen drastically ill and he had the wrong time scheduled.

Right now, he cannot make our 8 o’clock interview. He had to go to the hospital.

LIFE HAPPENS! WHAT CAN I SAY?

I’m sure I’m not the first mouse or man (or woman) whose best laid plans have gone awry. I had a plan, it was confirmed, and then it changed. It was completely understandable. A mistake mixed with a family crisis. But I was left with no-one to interview and a group that was waiting.

This interview program was only a few weeks old. I had started it simply to add value to the Facebook group I created earlier this year. The program was called #tuesdaytactics to go with Tuesday’s hashtag theme in our Facebook Group, Personal Development in Business. My intention with these sessions was to promote key members of my group through the weekly Live Interviews in Facebook, and showcase their professional knowledge and expertise for the rest of our members. Through this I had hoped to increase engagement in the group which would hopefully create greater member connection, and growth.

I always see a bigger picture…

In the grand scheme of things, the plan was to continue to invest into the growth of a strong healthy group. I wanted to give my community genuine reasons to participate, with offerings that allow them to enjoy huge value every time they check in with us. People who belong to a group like this are much more likely to come along to our monthly events, and they might even connect with me further when they are ready to develop new systems for their own business growth.

I am convinced you can give your way to business growth.

The success of any business activity is built on consistency. None of these outcomes could occur if I didn’t get an interview up today. Not only is it embarrassing to fail publicly, but worse … it reflects instability, uncertainty, and a lack of reliability. These are not the attributes of a successful business leader. For all of us, success relies on us being consistent and dependable for the people we serve. Like I always said to my children growing up:

NO, IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT, BUT IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY

I am the Queen of the back against the wall moment. That rising surge of tenacity which never says die is a familiar friend of mine. When adverse changes happen, something raw (and almost primal) takes over. I refuse to accept that this undesirable outcome will be the end of the story. In business and in life

When changes happen, we must happen right back.

It would have been easy for me to pat myself on the back and tell myself I’d tried. I might have even thought I was a good person because I felt sorry for my guest whose dad was unwell. It’s amazing, the sorts of excuses we can hang our hat on. Yes, it was sad that he was sick, but that has nothing to do with the commitment I’d made. The best outcome could only occur if I saw it through. In one lightening fast moment I had gone from having a solid business building plan to facing failure, and I said NO!

I scrolled (like the Dead Sea but faster) through my Facebook friends list,   to find a new #tuesdaytactics Live Interview guest. My fingers were a blur across the keyboard as I typed fast. Copy message … Check the name is right. Read it back to make sure it suits the person. … and Send! Paste to a new friend. Paste again. Surely there would be someone online right now who would be up for a spontaneous promo interview?

Kerry Anne Nelson Melbourne based Speaker, Author, Business Process Genius

Business leaders you can depend on invest into business growth with a defining commitment to generously add value

TURN HALF AN HOUR OF HUSTLE INTO A WHIRLWIND OF SUCCESS

Not only did I find my dear, dear friend Andrea Dix to share her inspiring message from her new book Permission To Shine, but I also managed to book up five more Interviews that would see me through into next month. Andrea and I had a wonderful talk that morning and continued to chat for a while after the #tuesdaytactics Live Interview was done.

I could have seen this moment in many ways. It could have been the moment I took to console my friend whose dad was sick, and in that moment I would have felt lovely about myself and written his sadness into my own identity story. It could have been the moment I let slide because it was too late to do anything now and I could just pick it up next week. It could have been the moment that I walked away from the plan altogether. It had only been running for a few weeks, so there really wasn’t much to lose.

But I saw this moment as a defining one

I am the captain of my ship and the maker of my opportunities. In that moment, I rallied my resources of time, social connections and technology to create a new outcome from the one that my circumstance proposed.

HOW DO YOU USE WHAT YOU’VE GOT?

Tips for the Day:
  1. Build a strong community of support by always giving more than you get. You never know when you will need to cash in those credits.
  2. Stand strong and firm in leadership, in business, in relationship, in yourself
  3. Never give up. Never, never, never give up (Churchill was really onto something).

What If … ?

What if I can’t … ?

What if they don’t … ?

What if they won’t … ?

What if it doesn’t work … ?

Life is full of crossroad moments. We make decisions every day about the direction of our lives, but some of these choices are more significant than others. Every time we face an important choice or a change we are instantly confronted with questions and cautions. Making the right decision is always a priority, but sometimes we put a lot of pressure on trying to guarantee success. Often, our ability to choose the best pathway will give us rewards in our health, finances, relationships, business, family, career, schedule and lifestyle. These choices matter.

Over the past few years I have encountered change after change after change. Each of these moments have brought me to the point where I simply had to respond. When my husband died, I had to make choices about his funeral, our business, his personal items, where I lived. In some of these areas, I struggled to make any choice at all. Admitting that this monumental change had happened, and then responding to it positively was gut-wrenching. Alec’s coffee mug sat right alongside his other desk items for weeks, completely untouched. It was only the developing mould that finally pushed me to make the choice to remove it.

Resisting Change

It is completely understandable that when life throws an unexpected spanner in the works, we struggle to make choices. We are human. We are sensitive, vulnerable and delicate. We look for ways to avoid hurt, loss, and uncertainty. We are drawn to the familiar and to the path of least resistance. Our brain directs us to do whatever we can to maintain safety, security and comfort. All of us have an involuntary, instinctive drive towards self-preservation. This motivation is meant to keep us safe and sound. It maintains the status quo, and steadies us in places we already know and understand.

From the ease of the familiar, change is not desirable. In fact, when our agenda is to continue safely as we always have, change is the enemy. When unexpected change comes at us out of the blue, it rocks our world so hard that we think we might be buried under the rubble of the earthquake. We seriously doubt we will make it.

This dreadful feeling of overwhelm is a crisis is absolutely horrible, but what about when we meet an opportunity to CREATE changes? After the crisis has hit, we are presented with the need to refocus, redefine, redirect, rebuild. How things go now is completely up to us. This is really tough going. Our brain is naturally resistant to change, so it’s common for us to approach these times wishing that everything would just return to the way it was. But this vain hope is not reality, and if we continue to cling to it, we face the very real threat of going under.

There Is Loss

Yes, there is a time for sadness, grieving, loss, devastation, mourning, licking our wounds. It is vital that we invest into letting the full impact of the loss really hit us. Whether you have lost a partner like me, or a child or other loved one, or even if you have watched a relationship fall apart, or a business fold, these changes pack a powerful punch to our emotions. The loss hurts. Deeply. Feeling that pain is central to our ability to move through it.

And There Is More

But I know from experience that there is more. Even when the pain is still throbbing, the tears are still flowing, and our heart is still racing in terror, there is more contained in this season. Your future hangs right there in the balance of your choices. In this season you are the only one with the power to make the decisions that will change your outcome. Even at this moment in time, you can embrace change. You can harness the opportunity amidst the crisis.

Hope lives while we still have breath in our lungs

Dec 17 2014. The day I moved out of our warehouse: I had a lonely sense of hoping against hope that my plans would work. I was exhausted and terrified … but I persisted … “What if I could make it?”

From where you’re sitting now, this might seem absurd. This response goes against your instinctive reaction to protect, defend, hide, retreat. To imagine that you are powerful at this time, and that there are opportunities hidden amidst the loss almost seems irreverent, cold, heartless. This mindset presses all of the buttons of our doubt, fear and discomfort. We look for a way out. We shrink back behind guilt, and retreat to the position of victim. We throw our hands up in the air and we call it quits. We ask all of the “What If … ?” questions at the top of this blog. We concede defeat and, we dress up our surrender for a worthy parade. In the honourable name of ‘mourning’, we settle for our miserable outcome.

I know how you feel. To this day I still pinch myself that I was able to clean out Alec’s wardrobe, move away from the home that we had built together, sell the business that he loved. Yes, I faced pangs of guilt and shame and sheer disbelief at the steps that I took. Honestly, I still do at times. It does seem crude and confronting that life would go on.

But it does. And for two minutes here, I hope we can all come to an acceptance of the fact that when life thrusts you into disaster, it hurts. And when it hurts we find it harder to stand up and make choices in our lives. And we ask ourselves questions to justify that hardship. Those questions highlight the risk of failure, the potential for loss, the uncertainty of the outcome. And we use the answers to justify our retreat. Despondence. Disillusionment. Disengagement.

But we are still alive. We are the survivors of the depression, the bankruptcy, the breakup, the death of our loved one. Our heart still beats out a rhythm and our breath still whispers life. It is lovely, precious and endearing that we want to protect ourselves from additional pain. But this is not always beneficial, and it certainly doesn’t allow us to build pathways towards growth and freedom when we need to recover what we can from a devastating crisis.

So, instead of asking “What If … ?” questions that enliven fear, let’s start asking the questions that enliven faith. “What if …” we could ask questions that shine a spotlight on opportunity? We could make this entire situation into something new. We could bring honour to the season of loss. We could show ourselves and others that all is not lost. People are kind, the world is good, and life is worth living. We could dare to search for something good amidst the bad, and we could actually find it!

What if I tried?

What if I could?

What if it worked?

What if I don’t?

How You See Determines What You See

If changing seasons have taught me anything at all it is this:

Our words are our greatest power in defining our outlook, and so our future.

While it might seem that I have oversimplified this idea, I know from experience that William Golding was right in the Lord of the Flies: “The greatest ideas are the simplest.” The truth of this concept is such a foundational part of who I am that the sparkle of its thread is easily identified in everything I do, think and say. I continue to invest into my own empowerment, and the empowerment of those around me, by exploring and clarifying how words can produce the best possible outcome in any and every situation.

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Even on a cloudy day the sun still shines above

Most of us don’t think much about the words we use. We think about the things we want, the things we do, the things we have, but do we ever listen to ourselves so that we know what we are saying to ourselves and those around us? Do we ever consider what we are creating with the words we repeat to ourselves?

It’s been said that words are thoughts, and without them we can’t think.  We have around 50,000 thoughts per day, some say 70,000, but did you know that 95% of those thoughts are simply  old ones on repeat? Only 5% of our thoughts are hot off our mental press, meaning that the words filling our mind today are almost identical to the ones that were there yesterday. Our brain is the best autopilot around, but this repeat cycle does nothing for us when we want to change, or respond to a change that came at us out of the blue.

The good news is that we can choose the words we say to ourselves, so we can actually start to put this mental repetition to work for us. As we start to explore who we are by examining the words we think and say, we enter the inner part of ourselves that can be changed by choosing new words. It’s important to notice the script that is already there, because this will need to be actively discarded and replaced by the new words you choose.

I went through a very humbling journey recently as I listened to the default response I gave when people asked, “How are you?” Without missing a beat I would say I was doing well, only to follow up with how hard I had been working and how many trials I was trying to overcome. This response must have been created at some stage of my working class background, in a society that wears hardship like a badge of honour. But, as an adult powerful to choose my own outlook, this sounded ugly to me. It was like I heard myself for the first time that day. In a strange combination of shame at what I had found, and excitement of what was to come, I decided to change the way I spoke. I was keen to alter those discouraging, defeated words to make them more positive and uplifting, and then delete the old words from my identity script, forever. I always want to choose words that create encouragement, success and advancement.

Now I respond by telling people I am well, and I say something wonderful that has happened for me lately. Then, I ask how they are, and typically I receive a reply like my own, because my words have set a different pace for the conversation. Everybody wins! There are no excuses for complaining that life is too hard. Even in my hardest days my friends are kind, the world is genuinely beautiful, and opportunity awaits. The sun is always shining above the darkest storm. If I say it’s not impossible, then it never is.

You are the only person in the entire world who can master the power of your thoughts and language. Only you can choose the words that make a positive shift in your life. To use our words with creative power, we all need to deliberately, strategically break into who we are to change what we find. We need to unlock the things that we think and the things that we say to transform how we see the world. Because How you see determines What you see.

Perspective Hacking

Perspective_Blog_Post_Photo-1The word ‘Perspective’ is a noun, meaning that its job in the English language is to name something.  I am convinced that this particular “something” is so important that I have dedicated my life to studying it, and teaching people about it.  In fact, research shows that it is at the very heart of our ability to live a rewarding, fulfilled life, ignited with purpose and fulfilment, especially when facing adversity.  I define the word perspective this way:

Perspective: (noun)

an outlook, a point of view, a mindset, or a worldview.  The lens through which we understand. The dynamic, flexible product of our unique meaning-making journey. The result of the personal, subjective process we go through to navigate our course through the world. The evolving, changing way that we see ourselves and our world.

Our perspective is man-made.  Actually, it is us made.  Each of us have created our own perspective by combining the ingredients of temperament, thoughts and feelings with our moment-by-moment experiences.  And as the sole license-holding creator of your perspective, you are the only one with the right to make changes.  Your ‘edit and review’ process might have been largely happening by accident up to now, but from here on in you are armed with this new knowledge:  You have an exclusive power to transform your perspective into anything you want it to be.

The word ‘Hack’ is a verb, meaning that it’s the type of word we use in the English language to label an action.  It is a doing word.  ‘Hacking’ has earned itself a “Buzz word” status lately, and I have decided to jump on the bandwagon, because this word best conveys how we can successfully reconstruct our perspectives to serve our best interests.  I define the act of hacking like this:

Hacking: (verb)

The strategic act of unlocking, with the intention of making changes from the inside.  To deliberately break into something that was previously restricted in order to modify the found state.  To knowingly obtain access by dismantling or disarming the barriers that were intended to keep you out, so that new structures can be implemented.  

As I go about my days, making, building, helping, training, loving, serving, I dedicate myself to the process of hacking into my inner perspectives to continually refine what’s in there.  I call it Perspective Hacking. When I narrate my stories and memories, when I share my goals and dreams, and when I communicate my professional insights, my aim is to expose the power each of us has to tactically reconstruct our outlook, which then flows through to transform what we think, say and do. I have defined Perspective Hacking this way:

Perspective Hacking: (verb)

The process of strategically dismantling the barriers of old mindsets to break into unstoppable freedom.  A journey of personal empowerment that unlocks new ways of seeing yourself and your world so that even amidst the most overwhelming change, opportunities for personal growth and gain can be recognised and exploited.  Perspective hacking allows us to define the priorities, motives and goals that stem from our unique identity, and then reframe the way we view our circumstances so that we are liberated to fulfil those aims.  In this way, perspective hacking allows us to possess our own tailor-made success, and fulfil our own unique purpose.

In everything I do, I craft my show and tell in the hope that you are inspired to reinvent your outlook, one thought at a time. Because changing how you see changes what you see.  Even more than that, it changes who you are, from the inside out, creating a brand new self for your brand new world. As a Perspective Hacker, you get to be a person of your own making, and you get to live in a world that serves up only opportunities that you want to invest in. Perspective Hacking installs an optimism in your life that automatically responds to even the most gruelling challenge with an expectation of mind-blowing success.  As a Perspective Hacker, you experience true freedom because you are empowered to define yourself, your goals, your strengths, and your actions.  You are no longer bound by the effects of adverse circumstances, negative people, or even your own limitations.