802.560.5611 lisa@lisadanforth.com

3 Action Steps to Combat the Comparison Trap

When entrepreneurs get caught in the comparison game, there is a choice. Sit there, stuck, and wallow in it or take action.

Why is Their Grass Greener?

As an entrepreneur, do you ever secretly wonder if you have what it takes …and all the other entrepreneurs know something you don’t?

It’s like they’ve got this whole owning your own business thang dialed in with a thriving business, weekends off, joyful family time AND they actually visit their hair stylist more than twice a year. And here you sit, struggling to finish last week’s to-do list!

I know I’ve felt like this over the years, more often than I care to admit. It’s a bit of a “yucky” feeling, to say the least.

It’s dangerous when we compare ourselves to others.

As Theodore Roosevelt said,

“Shoulding” Leads to Doubt and Isolation

After working with dozens of high-aspiring entrepreneurs, I know this: when we feel we should be further along in our business, that we should be making more money, should have a team of ten supporting us by now, or just generally shoulding all over ourselves, it keeps us locked in judgement … and shame. And stuck.

When we judge what or how we’re doing in business, we’re even more guarded about sharing, or exposing, the discomfort of what’s really going on for us.

We stay quiet, pretending everything is moving along like a well-oiled machine, perfect, going great, couldn’t be better!

This keeps us in a cycle of wanting, actually needing, change, yet not willing to raise our hand and ask for the help we so desperately need, be it personally or professionally.

So, we stay the same, settle for more of the same, and sit in silence wondering how the hell we’re going to make a go of it.

This keeps us from connecting—the very thing that often helps us attract the people we’re meant to serve.

Start with Compassionate Curiosity and Make a Plan

If you see yourself in this, even just a little bit, take notice. Become curious about exploring this. Know that every entrepreneur struggles at each level of their business.

The key to success is consistency in the day to day fundamentals of running a business.

It’s having a plan for your business success, creating goals to achieve that success, and consistently showing up …even when you REALLY don’t want to.

When we’re struggling, it can feel like we need to do something BIG to get ourselves out of the spinning cycle.

We don’t.

Something big can be good, but let’s admit it, when we’re struggling, a big idea or project has an amazing amount of potential to become overwhelming, and yet again, we’re stuck in the spin cycle.

3 Success Action Steps

Instead of becoming overwhelmed by a big idea or project, try these three simple tips to move you forward:

1. Be honest with yourself about where you are and what’s truly going on in your business. Approaching what needs to be “fixed” from a place of judgement will only give you more of the same. When you have a better awareness of where you are, you’ll make better choices. Better choices lead to better results. Better results bring the financial abundance and freedom you desire.

2. Get an accountability partner … someone you trust and someone who will not just let you bitch. I always say, when you come to me with a problem, also come to me with 3 ideas on what to do about that problem, then we’ll brainstorm, together. If you don’t have someone in your circle you feel comfortable talking to, expand your circle. Reach out to your local Small Business Association, local networking or business collaboratives, a Meetup group of women entrepreneurs, or a coach. All are great resources for support.

3. Ask yourself and commit to one simple action step that, when taken consistently, would move you closer to your goals. State it, write it down, commit to it, and enlist your accountability partner to support your consistency.

Simple action steps could include:

  • Taking an hour every Sunday evening to plan your week in advance. What gets scheduled gets done!
  • Committing to finding a Virtual Assistant or other support person to take some of the tasks off your list and weight off your shoulders.
  • Find and establish a routine check in with an accountability partner.
  • Or something as simple as starting each day by thinking about your long-term vision for your business. Long-term thinking guides short-term decision-making.

Keep Moving Forward

Taking action, however simple or small, is movement in the right direction. Movement toward your business goals. Movement toward success. Celebrate it and keep moving.

If I can support you to create an action plan for your success click here to book a conversation with me.  I’d love the opportunity to support you and guide you further along your success journey.

Mind Mapping for Success

Do you ever feel like you’re running all week long but when Friday arrives you haven’t accomplished even half of your to-do list…and you’re not quite sure what it is you did all week?

Are there times you’re so darn busy getting things done, you don’t even see what needs to get done?  You feel like you don’t even have time to lift your head to make sure you’re on the right path or totally in left field?

A clear vision of the business AND lifestyle we want is the first step in owning our day and getting out of the day to day chaos that keeps us spinning our wheels.

Having clarity around our vision and our goals is what helps us create strategy, set up systems to our day and to structure our week so that we know what we need to do each day with confidence and intention to create the business AND lifestyle we want.

In today’s video blog I’m sharing 3 tips on how to regain control of your day and your week, so that you can move out of the overwhelm and into action.

 

I’m going to add one more tip… get an accountability partner, say it out loud, commit to it.  Don’t let fear of failure get in your way, fear being in the exact same next year as you are today.

I’d love to hear from you.  What’s worked for you to regain control of your day? Post in the comments below and let me know your thoughts.

Are you ready to take control of your day, week and your success?  Could you use someone who will hold your hand AND kick your butt? Click Here to apply for a complementary Clarity Call to get you moving forward with confidence and intention.

To your success!

Goals Not Clear? Reverse Engineer

I’ve been talking with a lot of women lately about their vision for their business and what their long term goals are… and the answer I’ve been getting more often than not is,  ‘I don’t know’.

As a business strategist, one of the first questions I ask is “what are your goals for your business AND for your lifestyle?” (because let’s admit, they are not mutually exclusive).

If we don’t know what it is we want, how do we create a roadmap to get there?  Success will continue to elude us if we don’t know what it is we need to do each day to move our business forward with confidence and intention.

One trick I use with clients when they get stuck in the ‘I just don’t know’ is to reverse engineer.  They’re usually pretty clear on what they DON’T want, so we write that list, then flip it around.  For example, change:

I’m so tired of being financially strapped to: I want financial stability (then we look at what financial stability means like to them).

I’m tired of working 8-10 hours a day and not moving my business forward to: I want set up structures and systems in my day that support me in getting things done in my business so that I feel successful at the end of the week.

I really hate how little time I spend with my kids and spouse to: I want to create more quality time with my family.

I’m tired of my clothes not fitting to: I’d like to schedule more self-care in my week so I’m able to feel better, be more effective in my workday AND have energy at the end of the day.

I’m tired of always putting others needs ahead of mine and not doing what I need in my business to: I want to set clear and respectful boundaries that support me and the growth of my business.

So tell me, what’s your vision for your business? What goals do you want to achieve?  Don’t know, can’t remember…have no idea how to start?  Reverse engineer to design your roadmap and set your GPS

Vision: The Glue That Binds

Having a clear VISION for what we want our Business AND Lifestyle to ‘look like’ (because they are not mutually exclusive) is the key in achieving our goals. It truly is the magnetic pull that creates a resistance to not be moving towards our dreams.

Without a vision for what it is we want to be, do and have, how can we create a strategy and an action plan to get there?

When we don’t have clear vision of what we want our business to be, procrastination and shiny object syndrome can easily can grab us by the ankles and keep us stuck spinning in circles.  Very. Busy. Circles. (Read more about procrastination here.)

Unfortunately, it’s so damn easy to get bogged down in day to day chaos and overwhelm that can come with running a business (or family, or team, or…fill in the blank) that we lose sight of what it is we wanted in the first place.  We get thrown off course and lack the clarity of where and how to go to get back on track.

It’s not always so easy to slow down, stop the train so we can focus in on what it is we want your life as a business woman to be.  

Far too often when I work with a client for the first time, it takes an hour or two of digging deep before she’ll even admit what her dreams are…she’s not comfortable stating them out loud and putting a stake in the ground that declares ‘this is what I want’.

In the video below I share 3 tips to get started on creating a clear vision and start making it a reality.

Structure = Freedom

What comes up for you when you hear the word structure?  Does it give you a warm fuzzy feeling?  Maybe you bristle and want to run the other way?  Is the first word that comes to mind freedom?    Probably not.

When I say the word structure to my clients, they almost always get a bit uncomfortable, look around the room and say ‘umm, that feels so boxed in’.

The word doesn’t feel so open and expansive…in fact, it can feel quite restricting.

Many of us started our businesses so that we could have the freedom to control our schedule (as well as our income) and not be confined by all the structure, rules, & confines found in the corporate world.

Yet, let’s be honest here, lack of structure more often than not leads to lack of success in our business.

Most business owners can easily get caught up in the day to day chaos of survival that they actually forget to look at how they’re building their business, what it is they need to do each day/week to move their business forward and reach their goals

When we go about our day without a plan, without a strategy, without some structure, we really do leave success to chance.  And, I don’t know about you but, left to my own devices isn’t always so, shall we say, ‘productive’.

Knowing what each day holds means if needed you can move your work around so by the end of the week you know whether you’ve moved closer to your goals, or further away from them.

In today’s video blog you’ll learn some tips and tools you can start implementing today to set yourself up for success…and a sense of freedom.

 

As you set up structure around your work day, knowing what you need to do each day, each week, each month so that you can move your business forward with confidence and intention, you’ll start to ENJOY THE FREEDOM STRUCTURE BRINGS.

As an entrepreneur for 26+ years I can honestly say the times where I’ve ‘fallen down’ in my businesses…when overwhelm consumed me, chaos kicked in, and procrastination owned me (more about procrastination here) was when I didn’t have the structures in place, with a plan, to support me in achieving my goals.

Could you use some support (and accountability…) with setting your goals and establishing some structure so that you know what it is you need to do each day to move your business forward and create the thriving successful business you want?   Give me a shout and let’s look at creating some freedom to your day.  Click Here to et up your Complimentary Clarity Call.

Procrastination: The Universal Inhibitor

Procrastination.

Have you ever had days where you just can’t seem to get out of your own way? You’ve got a mile long to do list (one that you keep adding to each day, ugh), but everything else seems so much more important to get to instead of the things that actually need to get done for your business to grow.

Do you go through your week with your head down, blinders on, working like a mad woman, than when Friday hits you think, ‘Damn, I’ve been crazy busy…how could I have not chipped more off my to do list?’.

In talking with women, whether it be in my live workshops, my one-on-one coaching, or simply standing in line at the grocery store, procrastination is a theme that keeps popping up as a roadblock for many of them and stands in the way of their success.

One woman referred to it recently as ‘Squirrel Syndrome.’..which, may I say, hit close to home as my nickname used to be ‘The Squirrel’.  No longer, phew!

Scurrying around throughout our days from one thing to another avoiding the calendar or our to-do list for our business; instead it’s “must do this, and now this, oh, can’t forget that . . .” and the next thing you know it’s the end of the day and the goals you came up with while you were brushing your teeth in the morning somehow never even made it out of the gate…another day is gone and you’re standing there wondering what happened, once again.

Sound familiar?  Yes?  You’re not alone.   Procrastination is universal, and as such, is the “Universal Inhibitor” to reaching our goals AND our potential in business and life.

Webster’s defines procrastination as “to be slow or late about doing something that should be done.”  Procrastination can show up to your party uninvited (with its party shoes on!) in a whole host of ways.

There are three main ways procrastination rears its ugly head:

The first, and perhaps most prevalent for us as women, is allowing our boundaries to be optional.

So often we have children, a spouse, or family members who are demanding of our time and often this can be especially difficult to maneuver.  We’re raised in a culture where we’re taught to be caregivers; to put others needs ahead of our own.

For many of us, it’s second nature to take care of others…we often don’t even recognize when we back-burner our own needs.  The fallout of this is: we then have no idea where our boundaries are, or where they went, so how can others know where they are, let alone that we may have any?

As business owners we have got to start putting our needs first or our business will not succeed, at least not at the rate we’d like (or need) it to.

If we do put ourselves first, or the needs of our business ahead of others, we’re often told we’re ‘selfish’, or a ‘bitch’…which tends to piss us off and then we very well may live into some of these descriptions because our boundaries are being stepped on or ignored (read more about boundaries here). This happens mainly because we haven’t been taught to confidently set boundaries around OUR TIME and OUR BUSINESS.

As business women, we need to set boundaries around our time and equally important, we need to be vigilant about keeping them, or we will be leaving our success to chance. And that rarely works out well.

The next procrastination rabbit hole is ‘this before that’, the belief that I have to have ‘THIS’: another degree or certification/class/credential, or a beautiful website …before I can  have ‘THAT’: hanging out my shingle, feeling credible or smart enough, being able to charge my worth, feeling like real businesswoman, a real . . .   (fill in the blank).

It can even be something a simple as, ‘I have to clean my desk before I can work’ or ‘I need to get a planner before I can start working.’  Does this pop-up for any of you?  I know I’ve had to do get to the pile of laundry before I could sit down to do the work I needed to get to (really?).  And I can almost always tie it back to needing to do work that I didn’t feel competent about, or when I feared putting myself out there…this is when procrastination really hits for me.

Trust me, you’re not alone!  Many women fall into this trap because we often feel we’re not enough…not smart enough, old enough, young enough, skinny enough, strong enough, sexy enough, so we continually second guess our choices and decisions.

You are enough today.  Brene Brown says, “What we know matters but who we are matters more.”   Bravo Brene, you couldn’t be more spot-on.

The third way we often get tangled up in the procrastination loop is a big one, fear.  Statistics show 85% of people allow the fear of failure get in the way of their success (and I bet it’s higher for women).

It can be fear of what others will think of us, fear of embarrassing ourselves, fear we really don’t know what the hell we’re doing (trust me, you do!).   Or it can simply be the ‘unknown’ (well, not so simply if it’s what you fear..more on simple vs. easy here).  Why is it that the pain of the know is so much more ‘comfortable’ than the pain of the unknown?

Fear can run rampant in our minds if we allow it to, and it stops us from taking action far too often.

Learning to name what our fear is can be incredibly helpful in moving beyond procrastination and towards action.   Name your fear and look it in the face every morning as you give it the finger (literally).

So, how can you kick procrastination’s ass and start doing what it takes to move your business forward, consistently and confidently (and without *bleeping* apology!)?

For me, as an entrepreneur for the last 26 years, structure has been the backbone of my success.  Knowing what my vision and goals are for my business has allowed me to create structure and strategy around the steps I need to take, each day, each week, each month and each year in order to move out of procrastination and achieve the success I desire.

For my clients as well, structure has been the key piece in the puzzle to creating the business AND lifestyle they want.

STRUCTURE = FREEDOM

Trust me on this!

If you start out each week knowing what each days entails, you’ll have the freedom to move and shift things when life throws you a curve ball…and let’s admit it ladies, life will wing an occasional curve ball at us.

If you go through your day with no plan, leaving business, and therefore successs, to chance, you’re more likely to flounder through your day…then you realize it’s already noon before you’ve even started on a project, and you have an hour or maybe two before you need to leave to pick up the kids.

Structure will help support you and keep your business moving in a forward direction.

To combat procrastination, know what your vision and your goals are for your business.  Know that each step/choice you make is either moving you closer to your goal, or further away from it.

Take some time to think about your vision and goals for your business and for your life.  What are your:

Lifetime Goals

3 Year Goals

1 Year Goals

You can then start working on a strategy by backing out of your goals and defining what steps you need to take to move you closer to what your goals are.

Would some structures and strategies to your day help you avoid procrastination and grow your business?  Give me a shout and let’s set up a Clarity Call to get clear on what may be getting in the way of your success.  Click Here to schedule a call with me, let’s get you building the business of your dreams!