Sunday, August 9, 2015

A Story of True Courage - 4 Ways to overcome challenges in the boxing ring of life...

Good Morning,

I wanted to share a story with you today of true courage that I'm sure will resonate with many of you who have experienced challenges and adversity in your lives.  For the past ten years the woman in this photo has been battling a non-malignant brain tumor that has taken her to various providers, through many surgeries, bouts of treatment, and has taken part of her physically.  During these difficulties she has remained a picture of strength, showed kindness for others, and looked for ways to reach out to inspire people in their own personal battles.

This beautiful lady (my wife) has shown me how to be a true fighter, and to learn how to break through barriers in our lives.  This journey has been difficult, but has provided the opportunity to grow by clarifying what matters in life.  

4 ways that I've learned from her to break through the barriers in the boxing ring of  life

Be Agile - When life is throwing punches your direction you have to know how to bob and weave, duck, and move around the ring.  Having the ability to change with the various challenges is vital to surviving.  Throughout the years I've seen my wife deal gracefully with being treated poorly at times, staying positive when answers were no where to be found, and continue standing after being hit by a sucker punch that her tumor was back with a vengeance.  Agility is a key component of overcoming the challenges faced when you've stepped into life's boxing ring.

Be Positive - Obstacles will enter into our lives without warning, and we must look at the situation with a hopeful perspective.  It's not an easy task, but holding firm to thoughts that there is the possibility things can change for the better will prevent a defeatist attitude.  During tough times make a list of the positive things in your life, and reflect on how great it is to have these passions, people, and purposes in your life.  When you look through a positive prism it quickly diminishes the size of the obstacle your facing, and you can get off the stool in the corner of the ring and continue fighting.

Be Generous - Meeting the needs of others is an effective way to minimize the negative introspection that can occur when facing difficulties in life that seem overwhelming.  By looking for opportunities to brighten another's day you can gain more than you give.  Generosity will mitigate feelings of sadness, and help to build your confidence that you still have something meaningful to contribute others.  What you have to give may be your talents, a trinket, or your time can create that fan base necessary you need to be successful in the challenges faced in the boxing ring of life.  By putting these valuable resources to use for others you'll be able to go the distance in the prize fight of your life.

Be Victorious - It's the final round, and you must come out swinging to win the fight.  Thinking like a winner will provide the energy necessary to throw the blows needed to knock out the challenges you're facing.  Having the right mindset is essential for becoming a victor.  The next time you face that difficult opponent (challenge) in your life you have to remember the strengths you bring into the Ring of Life.  If someone asked you about yourself could you tell them what makes you special?  To be a victor you have to know with confidence that you're a special person with something to offer this world.  When you step into the ring and can duck when needed, remember the past fights you've won, and believe in the strength you possess then you'll overcome the challenges facing you in boxing ring of life.

“Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.” 
― Christian D. LarsonYour Forces and How to Use Them

A Journey of Learning - The 5 P's You Need to Avoid Being the Next Failed Venture...

I wanted to re post this blog as a good reminder for me.  As you can see I took off a few months from writing to deal with some personal health challenges my family was facing.  During this time I also struggled with getting back on the horse.  Therefore, I thought it was good timing to remind myself about moving forward as I look to starting a new adventure tomorrow.  Have an amazing day, and I hope you can find something that is beneficial in this blog post.  Take care, Dave.

Have you ever been through an experience in life that stretched you to the point you wondered if you were a 70's icon toy like the "Slinky".  There are few journeys in life that have the ability to cause both rapid personal and professional growth like starting a business.  It's a self-discovery pathway that according to the current statistics has the high likelihood of ending in despair and failure. Why would anyone go down this path when there is so much negative data that supports the real possibility it may end in failure?   Reasons may vary, but for most it has something to do with solving a problem they've identified that can make a significant contribution to the world, provide more control over their life, or is just the best fit for their abilities and skills.

In order to avoid being that next failed venture there are 5 Keys to creating the possibility of success:

Plan - It seems like an obvious statement that you would want to plan if you were starting a business, but it's easy to get sidetracked and look at the shiny objects rather than sticking to the task at hand. Having a business plan built on market research is the first essential step if you have any chance of succeeding.  That means taking the time to ensure you have chosen a pathway that will solve someones pain or problem.  Once you have that in place you can begin the process of embarking on your journey of how you're going to ensure they know you have the answer to their problem.

Provisions - Sadly you're not going to get very far on your journey without that figurative gas in your tank (provisions).  When starting a business it's challenging to know all the financial obstacles that you need to plan for to be successful, but if you don't take the time to list out all your needs then the car isn't even going to start.  Therefore, enlist the help of a mentor, business coach, or financial analyst that can help you forecast your financial needs to both run the business, and survive yourself. Without both needs being met your journey will be extremely short.  This should be embedded into your business plan in as much detail as possible.  It also provides the ability to be more appealing to possible investors or qualify for lending for your start-up.

Promotion -  I had a very wise business woman recently tell me, "You can have the greatest product or solution in the world, but if no one knows about it then it doesn't matter".  Marketing and promotion is crucial to getting off the ground, so many new entrepreneurs try to do DIY (do it yourself) marketing, and often fail because they may not have the complete understanding of how to effectively reach their customer.  When starting out it's crucial to your success to hire a marketing consultant or firm that create a plan for your business.  Ensure that their plan encompasses all the pathways that are needed to promote your product to the masses.  One way you can save money is to try to find someone who can give you a package deal, and has the background to function in various aspects of marketing your product.  If you have other small business owners in your network, ask them for a referral to someone who is legitimate and trustworthy.

Patronage - I think one of the biggest challenges new business owners may agree upon is that a start up can be a lonely gig.  When you decide to go down this road you'll need to ensure that you have a supportive network that can provide both feedback and support.  It doesn't necessarily have to be your family and friends because realistically they are often the one's who want you to go back to punching the clock.  In most cities there are great chambers or small business networking groups that can provide this support, and completely understand your journey.  It is an important way to have access to great advice, and also keep your tank fueled when you feel like you're on empty.

Perseverance - Feeling like you're on empty happens to every new business owner.  The passion may fade as you struggle to get things moving, or you realize your finances are quickly drying up.  The road is a challenge, and therefore requires that you continually keep your head in the game so you can persevere.  It's easy to work all hours of the day, and be focused only on the business when you're first starting out.  Somehow you have to manage your schedule, so you have time to care for your body and mind.  If you don't get enough rest, exercise, or interaction with the important people in your life you may fall prey to the possibility of burnout, apathy, and ultimately becoming the next statistic in an annual economic report.

These 5 P's are my take on what is needed to help you with creating the possibility of succeeding in the first year of business when many others will go down in flames.  If you find that you've become one of the statistics take some time to complete a post-mortem investigation on your dead business. Don't forget that numerous successful people have already been done this road, but didn't let the failure be the end of their dream.  Therefore, do what you can to be vigilant and smart, and learn from the experience so you can have a successful venture the next time out.  I wish you all the best as you strive to make a life for yourself by meeting an unmet need the world wants to solve, and where you can control the flexibility and choice in your life.  Take care, and best wishes for much success.