Are you an entrepreneur? Are you stressed? Take the Entrepreneur Stress Test

Then work on reducing your score to 3 or below to bring your stress level in line. Print the test here, if you prefer. (http://www.moneymeaningandbeyond.com/pdf/entrepreneurstresspdf.pdf)

Instructions: Please place a check mark next to each true statement. Add up the number of boxes checked.

___  I am impatient with others at least several times a week.

___  I worry about the sustainability of my company’s revenue streams.

___  I have business debt that is more than 20% of my annual revenues.

___  My spouse (or employees) just don’t get how big a job this is.

___   Given the effort I’m putting in, my net income is nowhere near high enough.

___   If I wasn’t here, the place would fall apart within a month.

___   I can’t seem to attract – or keep – the right staff.

___   I’m doing tasks that I do not like or am not very good at.

___   I am working more than 10 hours a day.

___   I am running faster and harder than I probably should be.

 

If you scored 9 or 10, please take a moment and stop. Take a good hard look at how your behavior is running you.  You may not feel like you have a choice, but you do. Thousands of entrepreneurs have broken free from their stress and watched profits improve. What’s one thing you can do to reduce your stress today?

If you scored 5 or more, you would benefit from paying attention to your stress, and actively work to reduce it. Productivity shrivels under highly stressful conditions.

If you scored 3 or more, you have the opportunity to increase your profits further by addressing the stressful elements in your life. Less stress equals more profit.

Please share your thoughts below.

 

© Graduate School of Coaching, CoachVille and Best of Thomas.

Coaching The Client Who Is Frustrating You | Excerpted from ‘How to Coach Anyone’ Lesson 20

Instances that get coaches frustrated with their clients, what you should know about each one, and how to handle them.

1.  The client is making very slow, if any, progress

Many clients won’t be as quick to learn and implement what they are learning from you, so they’ll seem slow, relative to you.  Remember it took YOU time to absorb and learn key principles and strategies; give them this time.

2.  The client doesn’t do what they said they’d do

Well, that’s why they are clients!  Seriously, this happens a lot.  It can be frustrating to the coach because you believed your client.  First step for you is to stop believing your clients until they’ve proven that they are the type of person to keep their word.  Do an internal check before accepting their promise; if you take a moment, you can usually fell how serious they are.

3.  The client misses calls, is flakey about being on time

Sorry, but if you’re getting upset about this, that’s your doing, not the client’s.  Why?  Because it all comes down to having policies about this sort of thing and making sure that your clients are fully aware of any consequences if they are late or miss a call.

4.  The client complains a lot

Some people are just complainers by nature.  I ask them if they know they are complaining a lot about things, life, relationships, situations, themselves, me, the coaching etc.  Most have NO idea how negative they are.  They are usually grateful to you for pointing this out.

5.  The client is demanding too much of your energy/time

Some clients need/want your personal energy, not just your intelligence, wisdom or expertise.  The moment you pick up the phone when this type of client calls in you can feel a whooooosh of energy flow from you to them.  I used to think this was a bad thing, but then I realized that it wasn’t a problem for me because what was depleting me wasn’t the fact that they were ‘taking’ my energy, but that I was feeling responsible for their success.

As most coaches come to realize at some point in their development, any reaction/frustration you’re having relative to clients is 100% about you and virtually never about the client.

Environments – The Elements of an Ecosystem (Excerpted from the 15 Coaching Proficiencies Book – by Thomas Leonard)

Success becomes sustainable when there are environments and fail safe structures which support it. After all, who wants to rely on fortitude and willpower to get things done or to develop oneself?

Designing and installing these environments results in an entrepreneurial ecosystem that sustains your thought leadership for the long term.

Within a given ecosystem, there are many sub-elements which we can call environments which we can design.

Thomas Leonard taught intensively about designing supportive environments in a way that’s very useful for thought leaders.

Key Points/Topics:

1. Environment as partners.

This is a paradigm shift for most people. Your environments can be designed to make things easier for you, to automate processes – whether it be actions, mental processes, or personal habits. Being deliberate about your environments creates a relationship with them – which allows them to support and sustain you in reaching your goals. By creating a relationship with your environments they become much more then tools.

2. Almost anything can be an environment.

You might have to introduce this notion slowly since not many people think actively about their many environments. For example, people, technological systems, the television, office space, pets, the Wealthy Leader training, special interest groups, etc.

3. Environments vs. Self-Reliance.

Relying on willpower to get things done can be done – often at the cost of physical or mental strain and stress if relied on too long. Environments, on the other hand, reduce the stress by setting things up to get done more easily, with less effort.

4. Environments create safety.

Environments do this in two ways. First, they are based on fail-safe structures that provide certainty and reduce stress for the client. Second, by focusing on designing environments, it takes the pressure off us to have to be a certain way – changing the environment to fit them vs. changing themselves to fit the environment. This eliminates, or at least reduce, self-judgment.

You have a right to …

… perfect environments for you.

… to imagine your environments as you wish.

… to craft and recraft your environments.

Environments work as a …
… system so that you don’t have to do all the thinking and working.

… filter so that you can deal with smaller amounts of information or distractions.

… solution to the overwhelm of information you can experience.

Environments naturally …

… evolve you. They keep you responding and growing even when you don’t want to.

… develop. You will re-engineer your environments as your needs and capabilities change.

… support you. They help you do more work with less effort and attention.

Please share – which of these ecosystem elements will you integrate into your environment?

5 Ways to Add Value, For the Sheer Joy of It

by: Thomas Leonard

To make money in business, you need to add value to customers. And to have a very attractive life, adding value is, of course, key. In this Top 5 List, you’ll learn how to add value to others in ways that can also bring you joy.

In fact, the aspect of the practice of adding value which will make you most attractive is the joy that you experience in doing so, not the quantity or quality of the value you are adding. Big difference. The bees do it right.

They do their thing, going from flower to flower collecting pollen as they go. The byproduct/value being added? Pollination of the trees and flowers. Often, the best value is the byproduct to others of what you do for joy.

1. Find out what the other person places a high value on.

Everybody has their own opinion as to what adds value to their life. Take the time to ask and get to know what other people define as value.

You may not want to package or deliver what you have to fit their exact description, but the process of being open will add value to you because it will sensitize yourself to what matters to others. With this expanded perspective comes wisdom.

2. Discover what brings you joy and do lots of that.

Very few people know what brings them joy, but when they find out, they become more attractive to themselves. What does bring you joy? Is it intellectual pursuits? Giving to others? Solving problems? Designing something?

Usually when you’re expressing your values, you’ll feel joy. When you experience joy, you’re probably adding a lot of value to others at virtually no cost to yourself.

3. Find ways to broadcast/share what you have/know, without a cost to yourself.

Thanks to the Internet and electronic distribution of information, you can add lots of value to others, without it costing you any extra time or money. Set up a weekly e-newsletter, teach a TeleClass, trainer trainers/teachers, write a book, create audiotapes.

These are all ways to increase the distribution of what you know, which add value all along the way.

4. Stop trying to sell, convince, enroll or hype yourself or what you offer.

Part of the process of becoming more attractive is to stop pushing yourself or what you offer onto others. Adding value usually occurs least expensively to both parties when one party takes it from ‘your doorstep’ instead of you knocking on their door. It’s a pretty big change in style, but few people who are pushing hard experience joy.

So, stop, and find a better way to make your business work or reach your goals.

5. Help others create tremendous value from what you provide; instead of just giving them more value.

You can overwhelm your customers and potential customers with too much value, just as you can fill your mouth so full with food that it’s hard to chew. So, one way to add more value without adding a thing is to show your customers/potential customers how to make the most of what you’ve got.

Giving them instructions, coaching them, staying with them as they use your product or service, challenging them to invent new ways to use it, etc., are all ways for more value to be created without you having to give more product.

Which one of these points most resonates with you?  How do you personally add value in your business?  Please post your comments here.

Are You Giving Clients What They Really Want?

Does this describe you?

You offer coaching services, and you feel that you need to be the one in charge, the one with the plan- the one who helps the client get where he or she wants to go.

I mean, that’s what your client is paying you for, right?

If you feel this way (even a little) you’re not alone.

Many coaches believe that clients need them to dominate the conversation and forcefully plow through the thickets ahead.

There’s certainly a time and a place for that, but we as coaches also must be sensitive to our client’s needs to be heard.

Some of your client’s most profound shifts may come as a result of letting them walk through their own concerns, frustrations and roadblocks as you stand supportively by their side.

When asked what were the top things he wished he knew early on as a coach, Thomas Leonard replied:

  • All the client needs much of the time is to be ‘heard‘
  • It is OK to just be with the client for a while and say absolutely nothing.

Your value as a coach is not diminished by silence.

The appropriate time will come for you to interject and bring more clarity or guidance to the situation.

Action Plan:

When coaching, be still. Give your client a chance to talk. Let them hear, out of their own mouth, what’s holding them back or what they are still using as excuses.

Give them the assurance of knowing they can speak openly and honestly without the fear of dismissal or judgment.

What are your thoughts on allowing clients to be “heard”? Is this a struggle for you? Do you agree with Thomas on the importance of this? Please leave your insight in the comments section below.