Here are some proven methods to make 2018 your best year ever — these are the tenets I share with my clients to help them knock it out of the park every month.
We all encounter 'bad' stuff that we have to do in our lives. Make the hard phone call, visit the recalcitrant client, tell your vendor bad news. We all have that terrible interaction we all hate to do. You might have to ask for a late payment, a raise/promotion, or tell a client that a project will be late. You might have to reach out to a prospective employer who might want to hire you.
So what do we do? We procrastinate — we put off — we do anything else except that one hard thing.
And it festers. It grows. And it takes on a life of it's own. Just like the 50's movie 'The Blob' with Steve McQueen, the longer we let it roll around, the faster it grows and starts killing people. Just kidding - but it was a scary movie when I was a kid.
Here's how I train my clients to do the hard things in life — we have to treat it like we're going to run a 10k race. What are the four things we need to do to prepare for a long race?
1. Practice — You can't just run a 10k — you have to practice and prepare incrementally to do your best. You need to practice what you're going to say and do. Develop a series of bullet talking-points to guide you. Refine them — less is more. Then practice them until they roll off your tongue. Run them by someone you trust until you have the right mix of intensity and empathy to get your point across and get the intended result.
2. Fuel — You have to eat the right foods to fuel your body. It's now time to feed the motivation part of your brain. Figure out the one thing you do to get yourself in the right state of mind with a heavy dose of mental momentum. Listen to your favorite workout song, read motivational quotes/books, call a friend who energizes you, or even workout. Do something that will instantly build your confidence and get you ready to make that connection.
3. Stretch — Right before a race, everyone stretches their muscles and joint to get them ready for the 10k. I want you to do the same thing — once you build up your confidence, I want you to center yourself and focus solely on the task at hand. Meditate, close your eyes and focus.
4. Explode — Get on the starting line, the gun goes off, and you explode forward with hundreds of other runners all vying for position. I also want you to explode — after practicing, fueling, and stretching — I want you to go right up to your phone, dial the number and make that call. Don't procrastinate and don't tell yourself you're not ready — you know you are. Just do it.
When you finally do it — everyone — and I mean everyone — says that it wasn't as hard as they thought. In fact, they say it's pretty easy. Now it's time to make that second call. And the third. And so on. Good Luck!
Let's get right into it — You need to join/start a mastermind group. Here are the facts: WHAT is a mastermind group?
Four to seven people in the trenches just like you, who work on their business/career, and who want to learn and grow. Each member offers their current resources, tactics and tools that work for them — plus they give you support when you need it.
WHY start a mastermind group?
It's a structure that will literally pull your business forward:
- You don't get sidelined when bad things happen.
- You don't get distracted, because you’re building a critical support system.
- You have a comfort zone of success you’re accustomed to and can measure your performance.
- As you break through each ceiling, you'll need partners to pull you up.
WHO should be in your mastermind group?
Optimally, you play better tennis with people who play better than you. But I feel that diversity is the real power of your mastermind — get members from many areas/industries, age groups, etc. Surprisingly, you will all have the same issues, with subtle filters personalizing them to your business/career.
WHEN should you meet?
Usually you meet on a strict, regular schedule — bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Attendance should be mandatory — your mastermind will only work if everyone is invested in its success. They run 3-8 hours, depending on the number of members, frequency of meetings, and the general 'antsyness' of each attendee.
FACILITATOR - Yes or No?
Yes — if you find your mastermind strays off course frequently and resembles a coffee klatch. The minute it becomes disorganized, unruly or off-course, you need a facilitator. I can help.
No — if you have dedicated members who recognize the power of your group, stay focused, and share in the responsibility of facilitating, developing topics to discuss, etc.
WHAT is the PAYOFF of a mastermind group?
- Exclusive Community — it involves dedication, communication, and a true willingness to succeed.
- Not On Your Own — the feeling of being alone goes away. You get committed business/career advisors.
- Grow Your Network — you get to connect with people you never knew existed.
- Learn — bring your skills & experience to the group. Other members will have a solution for you.
- Refer — once you are true colleagues, it's easy to refer business to one another.
- Unbelievable — masterminds infinitely impact your morale, business and career.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
We think our business/career security comes from making a lot of money, having a big title, or a checklist of major clients, but we're wrong. The greatest source of our security comes from close relationships with trusted friends.
I came upon a great quote from the Dalai Lama — "There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do, and mostly live."
How often do we feel disappointed/guilty about yesterday and anxious/fearful about tomorrow? Probably a lot.
How do we live in 'today' increments? How do we focus on what needs to happen right now without letting the past and future hold us back?
I use a simple acronym - P M R:
P = Plan — Take 5 minutes to Plan your day. Get real, assess exactly what needs to get accomplished, and write it down. Just the stuff that needs to be done today. Add time increments to estimate how long each will take, prioritize each one, and then plug them into your day calendar.
M = Meditate — Take 5 minutes to Meditate. Clean the cobwebs! Sit back, close your eyes, and clear your thoughts. Start by taking a few deep breaths then use the exhalation to sigh and release the tension. Do it again. And again. I promise you will feel better and energized.
R = Reflect — Take 5 minutes to Reflect on all the good things in your life. Gratitude is an important part of staying in the present. We tend to focus and think of all the bad things, worry, forget, and then start the whole process again. Try to focus on the positive this time — your accomplishments, your family, etc.
Take the rest of the time and get stuff done! Don't be afraid of diving in and accomplishing your action items — in fact, you will feel invigorated. Trust me!
*Just found out there is a disease with the same acronym (there always is) - I do not have it nor am I at all using the acronym lightly.
When I start with clients who are in-transition, we meet at my office in Stamford and I cover the Five Behaviors Of Successful People. I do this to help them focus, get out of a mental 'rut', and move forward with enthusiasm, passion, and determination.
In retrospect, I actually cover these five areas with all of my clients, but I do it differently — I'm a bit more subtle:
TRACK & PLAN You need to know where you've been, where you are, and where you're going at ALL TIMES. This means tracking your time (schedule) minute by minute and accounting for all of your time and energy. You should be sticking to a plan, taking discrete steps each day, and taking it to its natural conclusion.
FAIL: If you're just winging your calendar or making large swaths of time blocks, you're not tracking effectively. If you don't have a plan (try setting up 90-day plans — they're manageable), you will fail.
BE BOLD One of the original taglines for my coaching practice was "Be Bold In Life". I still love it because it embodies the swashbuckler spirit that we all need to be successful in business. You need to take chances, uncover opportunities, and most of all, you need to be BOLD in your thinking.
FAIL: Just keep saying "I can't do that!". Or constantly ask for permission to do things instead of just doing them. Or not doing them because you know they're going to fail.
THINK & ACT This is the cornerstone of my coaching philosophy — figure out what needs to be done and DO IT. Don't second guess yourself and get caught up in analysis-paralysis. Look at your options, make a decision, and take action. Worst case, if your wrong, step back, reassess, and take action.
FAIL: Procrastinate, contemplate forever and try to come up with every permutation. Push for perfection.
CHALLENGE Life is a series of challenges you must overcome to keep moving and stay happy. Work, relationships, kids, etc. are all made up of small and large challenges that we must deal with. Here's the secret — embrace each challenge with enthusiasm and vigor or you will go through life with a glass half-empty existence.
FAIL: Moan, complain, and run away from your problems. The faster you come up with a plan and deal with your challenge, the faster you will get on with your life.
OPEN UP You can spend your life closed down and not interacting with anyone or you can open your heart to the world and make a lot of new friends. Try to make a new friend every day — an acquaintance, a connection — take an avid interest in your fellow man. Most of all — SMILE!!!
FAIL: Stay home, watch TV, cocoon, close your office door, keep your head down and let your voicemail/email take over all of your connections. Oh yes — forget to smile.
One of my clients had a grand opening this weekend — and I made it a point to be there to help out with the crowds. It's a state-of-the-art fitness complex — the first of it's kind in Oxford — and by the size of the reception, it's going to be a huge success. As a small present, I designed and printed a banner of Greg Plitt with one of his favorite quotes:
"There are two types of pain, the one that breaks you and the one that changes you. In the gym, pain is felt as a result of weakness leaving the body. Physical pain is the glue of transformation and the pain of progress. The more you endure the harder it gets to accept the thought of failure."
What a great quote. I read it every time I'm in his studio and he pushes me past my physical limits (ouch). What happens if we apply this quote to our business/career?
"There are two types of challenges, the ones that break you and the ones that change you."
How often are you really broken down? Of course, we lose our job, we lose major clients, get yelled at by our boss or we might make a terrible decision that cost us lots of money.
But are you really 'broken' — or just powered-down for the time being?
"In business, loss is felt as a result of weakness leaving the body."
Too often, we tend to hang onto loss — we dwell on it — we make it a scar that we feel everyday. It keeps us from taking additional chances and bold decisions. We get gun-shy — we are afraid of making the same mistake again.
Will you REALLY make the same mistake again? Or are you coming up with excuses not to try something new that will take you out of your comfort zone?
"Business/Career loss is the glue of transformation and the pain of progress."
The bedrock of any business/career is TRANSFORMATION. You can't stand still — you have to innovate constantly to stay ahead of the competition. If you don't — you're taken off the main endcap shelf and tossed in the bargain bin.
"The more you endure the harder it gets to accept the thought of failure."
As you know, I regularly listen to 'How I Built This' — an NPR podcast where they interview successful business owners and how they got there. What's the one consistent theme I hear in every interview? FAILURE - LOSS - TRYING AGAIN.
If you grow a thicker skin when exposed to failure — it's easier to take bolder chances. Try it — it's fun.
What would you do if your website burnt down? Not literally, but if some catastrophic purge happened and you lost your entire website — all the copy, images, blog posts, testimonials — everything? You'd have to start FRESH. From the beginning. It would be a lot of work — but you'd get it done. And guess what — it would be better. Fresher. Newer. And it would probably bring in more clients.
Sometimes our career or business tends to get clogged up like an old set of drain pipes. Early on, water flowed through them perfectly — but as time wore on, they got gummed up with tired old slogans, artwork, and promotions.
Why? Because we don't see outside of our bubble.
- "It's good enough."
- "It says what I want it to say — even though I wrote it years ago."
- "That old business card still works — don't change it."
- "Everyone loves my holiday cards — I send the same one every year."
- "I have the perfect sales close — it works every time!"
FACT: If you don't change — you might go out of business or lose your job.
We have to tear down to rebuild. To start anew on a firmer foundation — to reach new customers and clients. To boldly go where no one has gone before.
Spring/Summer is here and it's time to clean house:
- Maybe a new logo is in order. A new font, shape, graphic might add energy to catch people's eyes.
- New coloration for your branding/signage. The wrong color/shade can date your company so quickly.
- A more responsive and attractive website that says less and does more. People don't have time to read pages of copy. Less is more - get right to the point and tell them what they need to know.
- Develop a new filing system for your desk. Make yourself more efficient and clear the decks.
- Clean your systems. Clean/replace your laptop, phone, etc.
- A new wardrobe, hairstyle, glasses, body. Stand back and be critical — maybe that hairstyle from the 80's isn't working anymore (I don't have that issue).
Every company and executive needs to update their image. If you don't, first impressions might turn potential clients and opportunities in the opposite direction. Yikes!
I run into so many people who complain how they can't find a job, or get a promotion, or find new, great clients (Group 'A'). I also run into people who find a job quickly, get that promotion, and regularly find great clients (Group 'B').
What is the difference between Groups 'A' & 'B'?
- Group 'A' has developed the most perfectly formed excuse structure holding them back from success.
- Group 'B' fights their big fears every day, dismisses the weak ones, and gets shit done.
What do they do?
- Group 'A' blames their weaknesses, the market, their age, other people, and how customers demand so much more. They moan about their bad luck, how no one wants them, and how other forces are impacting their success.
- Group 'B' doesn't play that game. There is no time for blaming. They figure out what needs to be done and they do it. They realize it's going to be hard, they will be tested, and they will have to push themselves harder than ever before.
What happens in the end?
- Group 'A' plays the same broken record every day and suddenly find that half of 2017 has passed them by. They're still without a job, with no promotional opportunities (and their current position on the chopping block), and clients disappearing at an alarming rate.
- Group 'B' gets the interview and offer. They get the promotion and raise they asked about. They go after and get even bigger clients - bigger than they ever dreamed.
Which group are you currently in? What group do you want to be in?
Extra Credit . . . How To Be In Group 'B':
- Stop looking and finding excuses for your situation. You're a smart boy/girl — you know exactly what the problem is. Get out there and take action.
- Be Bold In Life - Start taking chances — not wild-ass ones, think about your next steps and then move!
- Ask for forgiveness, not permission — this is my mantra — reach out to that unreachable person, ask for that raise, go after that affluent client.
- Do It NOW - Don't wait for 'the right time'. There's no time like the present. "Action expresses priorities." - Gandhi
- Stop procrastinating because you're 'afraid'. This is a No Whining Zone — no one is going to change your diaper.
Today I'm going to rant. Sorry. I started my practice 10 years ago. And every day, I receive multiple "Get Rich Quick" schemes in my inbox.
"Just do this (spend money) and gold coins will fall from the sky." A large part of the digital marketing universe is leading on growing businesses with crazy incremental upsells that make me want to scream when I look at them.
And unfortunately, it's catching too many businesspeople in its cross-hairs.
They're quickly getting burned out, constantly feeling confused, doubting themselves, and secretly wondering if maybe they don't have what it takes to live their dream of a successful business.
The Truth: You have the power. You have the knowledge. You have the ability.
Here are the three things you need to know how to run a successful business:
1. Work Hard — I'm not saying that you have to kill yourself. But you do have to work harder than you ever did in a corporate job. This is YOUR company — you have to put in the hours and focus to get things done. No goofing around — no surfing, no taking the day off, no long lunches with friends — you should be focusing on your prospects, clients, and product.
2. Be Consistent — Too many people try something and then they get distracted. It doesn't work at first and then they give up. I've been writing articles for 8 years and have 750+ articles to my name. I've been attending a professional business group for over 10 years and I almost never miss a meeting (even though I have an hour's commute and it starts at 7 AM). If you have a good idea or innovative strategy, keep at it — people will notice.
3. Stay away from the "Get Rich Quick" people — if they are so foolproof and powerful, why are those people using them to become multi-millionaires? I love the photo, law, or insurance 'experts' who can help you make seven figures in your first year. If they're so good at what they do — why aren't they still practicing what they preach and raking in the big bucks? Because they failed at photography, law, or insurance and now hawk antiquated systems to novice professionals.
Don't fall for it.
Ever have a REALLY bad day? Here's how to get up and get GOING.
There are so many books, seminars, and articles about how to motivate (yes I know, this is one too!). But I think they miss something big: To be successful in business and life, you need to build a motivational foundation inside YOU.
1. FOCUS & MEDITATE
Do you spend hours doing nothing? Do you play online games? Too much Youtube/News Sites? You are not alone — and the first thing to stop these destructive behaviors is finding a purpose, a goal to focus your energies. How do I do this? I listen to John & Julianne.
I have done a lot of meditation throughout my life and John and Julianne from Profound Life Wellness are the BEST. Relax, take deep breaths and allow your mind to float. Think of things that make you happy, think of things that get you excited about life. They will come to you in relaxation.
If you’ve never tried meditation — today’s the day.
2. MOVE YOUR BODY
A good solid 20-minute walk will do more for a depressed person than any medication. Exercise makes you feel better, look better and perform better in life. It chases away all those negative thoughts that creep in during the day.
If you’re really committed and live in the Oxford CT area, my personal trainer (THE BEST) just opened a new studio — check it out here.
3. MEET LOTS OF PEOPLE
So now you have desire and purpose, you feel good, you look good, but you don't feel that happiness I've been talking about.
YOU NEED TO START TALKING TO EVERYONE. There is an art to a good conversation and coupled with that a skill to overcoming shyness. When you were first learning how to add, it was hard. Looking back, it seems 21+18 is a joke equation compared to f(x) is (-ia)ng(a).
The art of conversation is the same. We learn the basics of conversation, but not the skills needed to carry a great one as an adult. I want you to think of someone you love talking to — what is it about the conversation that makes it fun, lively, and memorable?
Learn this skill — it will land you a great job, build your business, and attract the best friends you'll ever have.
4. MAKE PEOPLE WANT TO TALK TO YOU
Who wants to be a hit at parties? YOU DO! Memorize these psychological quizzes (everyone loves them and they’re easy to learn):
- Super Power - Flying or X-Ray vision (their real personality)
- Favorite Animal (how they view themselves)
- Second Favorite Animal (their ideal partner)
- Describe a Tree on top of a hill (their view on life)
- Room with no doors, windows, black except for candle how do you feel? (Their thoughts and feelings on death)
Try this to any group of people and they will love it. Learn the art of making every conversation exciting and fun for both you and your 'verbal judo' sparring partner.
5. BE GRATEFUL
Now things are going well — and they will keep going well as long as you don't take what you have, what you’ve learned and what you gained FOR GRANTED.
To keep that joy, motivation, and happiness flowing you need GRATITUDE. Here’s a great tool to do this every day.
The Five Minute Journal will help train your mind to appreciate what you have and to be happier with it.
MAKE IT HAPPEN
I hope you enjoyed these tips — now go dance your happy dance because dancing is incredibly awesome. I do it every day.
Most of the time we think small. It's normal. Why do we think small? We're usually trying to closely track many of the details of our work.
The phone calls, the email follow-ups, the elements of the project, or cleaning up after other people.
The nature of our position makes us forget to see the ENTIRE forest because we are focused on every single tree.
The problem is — if we don't start thinking BIG, we usually get used to thinking small. Not that it's a bad thing — but thinking BIG is a prerequisite for GROWING.
Growing your position, growing your business, getting the RIGHT people to stand up and notice you and what you can really do.
Of course, you can just go along and do what you've always been doing — you make the cash, you have the stability, you get comfortable with that reality.
But someday, reality is going to come knocking at your door. And you're going to have to answer it.
So here are three ways to start thinking BIG:
1. What is your COMPETITION doing?
If you work for an organization, think of your best performing peers. If you run your own business, who is the best in your industry?
Big thinking organizations make strategic decisions that take them out of their comfort zone — Apple, Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, Google — sometimes they fail, but if it takes hold, they're going to upset many industries along the way.
2. Where is your INDUSTRY going?
Again, we tend to never step back and see where our industry is headed — sometimes we are working too hard and forget — sometimes we stick our head in the sand and try not to look. Whichever one you are, you need to keep your eye on the prize. Is it growing or shrinking? Is it changing — for the better or worse? Can you chart a course for your career along that new trajectory? Or should you start making your way to the lifeboats and don your lifejacket?
Thinking big is staying current with what is happening to your industry. And taking 1-2 steps ahead — anticipate the curve.
3. What would your 'BEST YOU' do?
This is a great practice to get you out of your safe, fuzzy and warm bubble and to start thinking BIG. Don't think of your current self or your current situation. Begin to think of an alternate universe where your 'best self' lives — what would they be doing right now? What is their position? What projects would they be working on? Who would they be talking to, accessing, and leveraging to get things done.
This is a great exercise for you to start thinking about YOUR abilities — how far you can push yourself.
If you want to be BIG — you have to start thinking BIG — Right Now.
P.S. Got this idea from my good friend Margo Meeker, therapist/life coach extrodinarire - her motto is 'be your best self'. Thank you Margo!
In my last post, You’re Not Charging Enough For Your Services, I gave an actual example how other companies have the chutzpah to charge 50 times the price for a service because they can (and do it). They were charging almost $400K to build a website that could easily be built for $8-10K. So you can say this is 'Part Two'. I received a huge response for the post (and a lot of texts/emails/calls from readers - thank you!) who requested a number of techniques to help them raise their pricing. Here's the best part — increasing your price can positively affect people’s perceived value of your product/service.
1. Increase your fees for every new client — I recommend this strategy frequently to my clients. It's the easiest of the bunch — no pressure, no hassle for your existing clients. You don't have to go crazy, but you can jump your pricing by 10-25% and the new client will never know. This works with service-oriented practices where one client will never know your fees for another. Of course, will not work with established or advertised prices.
2. Increase your fees based upon their apparent wealth — This is an oldie, but goodie. If you find out their income, their home/location, their car, or their company/position, you can modify your fees accordingly by upwards of 25%-50%-100%. Trust me, it's done all the time. I know it might be a bit unfair, but if a service-person is standing in front of a 10,000 square foot mansion with three Bentleys in the driveway, they will certainly charge more than the person with a used car in a duplex.
3. Increase your fees by a small percent at a key time in the year — This one is a little harder than the rest, but it is equitable across your entire client list. Bump up your pricing at a certain time of the year and most people either won't notice, acknowledge the increase, question the rise and acquiesce, or defect. If it's a small increase 5-10% and it's done in a personal or professional manner, clients most often never defect. The ones that do leave don't value your services and are looking for the biggest bang for their buck. You probably don't want them as clients.
4. Extend: Provide an extra service — Your prices should be commensurate with the value you are providing. But there might be an additional service or product you can provide where your client will acknowledge the price change but won't care because of the extra service. The product or service might not cost you a lot, but over the long run, the up-charge on services will bring in mucho dollars.
5. Streamline: Reduce your service. Review the entire client/customer interaction from beginning to end. List out every step and deliverable — be very specific and granular. Stack rank each one from most important to least important to the client. Take the bottom step/deliverable and eliminate it. Or if you're a bit queasy about doing that, ask a few clients if they really need or want that deliverable. Most of the time, they don't even know it exists. If you cut out specific steps or deliverables and your clients see no diminution in their service, you are streamlining your product AND saving time and money.
6. Position differently. Add tiers. This is a bit harder than the rest, but the benefit is powerful. Take your offerings/products and re-package them. Add services, combine services, reduce services, move pricing around to sound advantageous and more specialized to the customer, while you save money (or increase fees). This strategy is frequently performed by many service industries in food and merchandise.
7. Change the packaging. A mainstay by manufacturers who dabble with size, weight, quantity, box, etc. Like positioning, you are altering the deliverable in some way to seem bigger, but in reality, it's less (or streamlined). Take a look at your product(s) and investigate how you can alter the packaging to give the appearance of delivering more to the customer.
Some of these suggestions are just suggestions — I'm not here advocating one over the other. Some are 'morally' better than others, but in the end, they're all viable alternatives to going out of business. In my 20+ years in marketing and advertising, these seven strategies are the most employed in the marketplace. Pick the one best for your business and charge more!
Can you think of any other one? I'd love to hear from YOU.
The other day, I came across an old contract when I worked at <confidential> from a famous consultancy called <confidential> in NYC. The contract was signed prior to my employment and after 2 months, I fired the consultancy based on their incompetence with the project. I was amazed with the short and cavalier agreement and the associated fees for each service:
- Project Management: $39,800
- Creative Development: $45,025
- Website Development: $57,350
- Audio Production: $8,550
- Testing & Delivery: $27,350
- On-Site Production: $98,580
- Electronic Mail Campaign & Fulfillment: $5,875
- Recording Studio & Equipment Rental: $15,885
The Grand Total? $298,415 for approximately 2 months work building a simple web site with six hour-long webcasts. Oh by the way, the price doesn't include any changes/additions, overtime, hosting, travel expenses, or technology. That's extra. (I get the feeling they came up with the number and worked the financials back into logical groupings — again just a feeling)
Three-Hundred-Thousand-Dollars. Granted, the agreement was dated 2000, so in today's dollars, we're talking over $400K to build a simple site.
But I present this contract to you to illustrate one simple fact:
MOST PEOPLE DO NOT CHARGE ENOUGH FOR THEIR SERVICES.
Why? You're afraid of losing clients and scaring away any potential prospects.
Guess what? GOOD! You don't need to work with them! It's time for you to fully understand the value of your services and to get a better idea what the market will bear. What would happen if you increased your fees by 50%? 75%? or 100%? I know what would happen . . . it happened to me:
- You would have less clients. You can then spend more quality time with your current client base.
- You would have higher paying clients. People who are probably more successful.
- You would have clients who are serious about working with you. You will be working with people who play better tennis, so you'll have to bring your 'A' game.
- You would have clients you really want to work with. Charging more allows you to be picky and not just take anyone.
- You would begin to build a long list of clients who demand your services.
Are there lines around the door when HTC releases a new phone? No. How about Apple? Absolutely. You need to be the Apple of your industry.
At first it's scary. Clients will bolt, they will complain. But new clients will appear and start telling their friends.
As an example, I have a client who was charging some of her clients $100-$125 per session. After much prodding on my part, she is now charging $200 per session, and her clients are telling their friends — and her appointment book is overflowing with new clients. (By the way, she just hit her all-time yearly revenue goal in 2016!)
I also coached another client who was feeling unappreciated in their current role. They have been delivering key improvements to the company for over five years (most making the annual report). But for some reason, they received no raise, promotion, or accolade from management. They tried to inquire, but were rebuffed time and time again. Ultimately, I had them look outside of the company and within a month, they had a brand new position at a bigger firm with an increase in pay of 20%.
Raise your prices with chutzpah and the clients will line up at your door.
P.S. I'm not a hard-liner on this. I do coach two pro-bono clients every month. So there.
Face it - we all procrastinate in one form or another. It might be at work. It might be at home. It might be at work and at home. During my 10 years of coaching executives, I've found that procrastination can be simplified into four 'obstacles':
"Your mind is not a warehouse, it's a factory." So many people (me included), tend to use their mind as a warehouse. We keep arcane facts, appointments, commitments, to-do's, worries, plans, and passions all whirling around in our heads.
We think we are more productive when we have the ability to instantly 'touch' each of these items if we need to. Unfortunately, all of these items tend to get in the way when you want to do serious work or thinking.
We tend to focus on the urgent and put the important on the back burner. And when the mental whirlwind causes you to forget something or procrastinate on an important task, your mental Jenga stack of blocks fall apart.
Stop being a warehouse — try to delegate/outsource all of these items to paper, planners, and assistants so they can help you focus on the important and not only the urgent.
Start being a factory — where great ideas and plans come in, are addressed and executed, and are shipped out to your clients.