Category Archives: Lifestyle

Why you need to complete this survey on gender diversity in cyber security – seriously!

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Gender diversity survey for cybersecurity

Gender diversity survey for cybersecurity

This is probably going to be one of the shortest blogs I’ve published. You see, I’m on a mission, and time is of the essence. In case you’re unaware, I’m writing a book about women in cyber security and what we can do to increase the numbers.

And, I’ll let you in on a secret.

Up until the beginning of this year, I had no idea that I’d be doing this. However, in November 2015, something stopped me in my tracks and changed my direction – slightly.

I read an (ISC)² study, entitled Women in Security: Wisely Positioned for the Future of InfoSec,’ which reported on the global information security workforce and the decreasing numbers of women within it. Shocked into writing, my blog, ‘The Future of Women in Cyber Security. How do we Increase the Numbers?’ went viral (figuratively speaking). Ironically, I had no agenda, other than to be a voice, but when people started to reach out to me, to tell me their stories, I knew I had to do more.

During the Christmas holidays, I did what most people don’t do. I wrote a 15,000 word report on the global state of gender diversity within cyber security. I laid out five challenges that I believed needed to be fixed, along with solutions. Although I’d planned to publish the report on LinkedIn, I suddenly thought, “It’s half a book. What if I interviewed women and men, and added their stories? That would be more far more interesting, and would offer more value.”

So, I messaged my publisher, and when she responded with, “You’d be mad not to,” I knew I had to take action. In April, in need of publishing funds, I started a Kickstarter project. I was adamant that I was going to succeed. I had conviction, played full-out and worked damn hard at pitching. It was easy to do – to be courageous, to put myself in front of people and companies and ask for the money, for this initiative was not about me or my business – it was for the industry. It actually stood for more than that – for society – for when we do our job effectively – we’re protecting people, countries, economies and businesses. That matters.

Within five days I’d reached my goal. I was ecstatic and proud that our community had come together to fund it. I then set another – a stretch goal – and within days had reached that too. By the end of April I’d raised £10,614.

Right now I’m spending much of my time interviewing professionals from around the world. The insights that I’ve gained have been fascinating and my work is incredibly fulfilling. Every evening and weekend I’m writing these up and researching solutions so we can address the issue. However, there’s more work to be done. Rather than drawing on data from other professions, I need fresh data, from ours. That way I can test some theories that have come about from my research. And, this is where you can help.

If you’ve not completed my survey, please do. There are only 10-questions, and they’re very straightforward. There are also boxes for you to comment in, if you so desire.

Finally, I want to explain why I’m concentrating on gender diversity. Although I fervently believe in equality and would have liked to have tackled diversity as a whole, the topic is too big. There are also other problems with it.

I recently learnt that you can’t get statistics on race or religion in France, as you’ve been forbidden to ask questions on either since 1942. Furthermore, there are 79 countries globally, where you can’t get statistics on a persons sexual orientation, as being anything other than heterosexual is illegal.

By concentrating on gender diversity, there’s existing data to draw upon. Additionally, gender diversity is the one thing that you can measure across the world. It can therefore lead the way for all diversity and inclusion opportunities.

There are countless studies that report on the economic benefits of gender diversity. For example, McKinsey and Co. have stated that we’d add another 26% or $28Tn to GGDP if we achieved gender parity by 2025. When women are in business, there’s more innovation, the likelihood for projects to stay on budget increases and profits rise. When women are in leadership positions, there’s more diversity in the workforce, more contributions are made to charities and more goods are bought locally. And, when women are politically and economically empowered societies are more stable.

Now, when women are in cyber security we benefit from greater perspective of thinking, for women do think differently to men. And, any time you have uniformity of thinking, you miss out on the most creative solutions or tactics, which can help us beat the threat actors.

But, aside from all of these reasons to employ more women in our profession, it’s just simply the right thing to do, and a lot more fun!

Now I want you to take action

  • Please complete the survey.
  • Please share it. If we work together we can achieve more!

Mercedes Maidana on manifesting your dreams

By | business start ups, Established business, Lifestyle, Mindset | No Comments

An interview with Mercedes Maidana

Mercedes Maidana Interview With Jane FranklandMercedes Maidana is a force to be reckoned with. If you’ve never heard of her, let me explain. Mercedes Maidana helps people live their dreams and an abundant life. By abundant, she means: happy, joyful, passionate and fulfilled. You see she believes (and can prove) that once you fill yourself from the inside out, all areas of your life will be aligned into more abundance.

Without giving too much away, her story can be told as follows…

Raised as a city girl in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she travelled to Brazil after having her heart broken by the man she loved. There she discovered surfing and a new passion arose.

At age 26, five years after having started surfing, she decided she wanted to go for her next big dream: to become one of the best female big wave surfers in the world and to get paid to travel by chasing huge waves. And yes, you guessed it, she pulled it off….and more!

Mercedes Maidana uses all the manifesting techniques that she’s learned throughout the years, and today she’s living her dream!

Here are some of her achievements through manifestations:

  • Sponsorship with the kick ass clothing company Patagonia.
  • Travels the world surfing big and small waves, whenever she wants, wherever she wants.
  • Six years after she started surfing she was nominated at the XXL Big Wave Awards as one of the three best women big wave surfers in the world.
  • Nominated again in 2010 and 2011. If you know anything about big wave surfing you’ll know this is extraordinary!
  • Lives in her dream home on the beach in what she considers the best place in the world: the North Shore of Oahu.

In the interview Mercedes Maidana answers these five questions:

1. How did it all start?
2. How do you distinguish fear from intuition?
3. How do you bring joy into your business?
4. What tips can you give us on abundance?
5. What are Hell Yeahs & how did they come about?

Watch the video now

If you’re interested in:

  • Making lots of money
  • Finding true love and obtaining loving relationships
  • Having your health aligned with your self worth
  • Having a career that’s joyful and creative
  • Having solid spiritual foundations to live on

..then you need to seek Mercedes out! To work with Mercedes Maidana, please visit her website and mention you came through me.

Now I want to hear from you…

Tell me if you’ve used manifestations as recommended by Mercedes Maidana to attract abundance and realise your dreams. If so, what’s your biggest tip and how has your life transformed? Share your stories and experience here and if you’ve got a question, just pop it down here.

Thanks for participating!

With love and gratitude – as always,

P.S.

Finally, if you know someone who’d LOVE the insight from this Mercedes Maidana post, please send them a link. You’ll find solo entrepreneurs, consultants and yes, even sales and marketing managers who manage people who’ll be interested to hear about this.

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P.P. S.

If you want to learn more about how to get more client, sell without selling plus more time management tips, then my brand new program, TheDailyWins is closing at midnight 3 November. Get on the list if you want in on the action.

Are you doing everything yourself? [Don’t read this if it’s yes]

By | Established business, Lifestyle, New business | One Comment

Stop! You’re under attack!

Outsourcing and delegation to solve productivity with Jane FranklandToday’s post is all about outsourcing and developing systems and processes for your business. But, before I get into that I HAVE to ask you this. Who’s the biggest threat to your business? Who’s going to steal it all away from you? Well chances are it’s no online hacker, that’s for sure. I hope you’re ready for the answer…

It’s actually you!

I know this may be resonating with you. You’re very busy, right?

So was I when I first started my business. You see when you start a business it’s usually when you’ve just left a job. You’re on your own and having to do everything yourself.  Or, at least that’s what you think you should be doing – even things that you probably know you stink at!

Yes the truth hurts sometimes but you know where I’m coming from.

Let’s get specific here. I’m going to bring up one of my pet favourites. And yes, it’s websites. This is the one thing I see entrepreneurs (new and old) do all the blinking time – they design and build their own websites. Now, I’m absolutely fine with this if money is genuinely an issue but for most of you it’s not! The last one I worked with actually had a $5m business and it was pants (their website attempt that is)!

So things like building your own website, compiling your brochures, doing your accounting, processing your orders, personally responding to your prospects and clients emails and social media messages, organising the deliveries,  writing blogs and copy, and may be even the sales are things you CAN and SHOULD outsource!

I’m being serious.

I can see you now – running around like the proverbial headless chicken! I did this too. And I can tell you what will happen if you continue with this.

The reason you started your business – for the love of your work – will slowly disappear . You’ll get drowned in a flood of administrative trivia and one morning you’ll wake up and you’ll feel burnt out. You’ll want to hide away from the world, under the douvet – all day. And, you’ll have lost all the creative energy you had when you first started your business.

And, then it will hit you. You’ll realise that you’ll never be able to make the kind of money that you wanted to by doing these types of tasks and working in this way.

How do I know? Because I’ve been there too. I’ve done it and got the T-Shirt sistaaaa!!!

Now, even if you like doing some of these tasks you’ll never make it.

Picture this. When I started my first 7-figure business there were two of us. It was easy. We were extremely focused and held each other accountable. We got an office as soon as we could. Now, this actually was a very smart thing to do as it made us get super disciplined right from the very start. I even remember turning up to work dressed in a suit just so I could get in the mood for being a professional and working as one. Nowadays it makes no difference to me. I can work as a professional even dressed in my PJs! Yes, I do that regularly! 😉

So my advice to you is this: decide what to outsource as soon as you can.

How to know what to outsource

Get a piece of paper or do it online and write 3 columns.

  • Make a list of things you don’t like doing. Chris Ducker calls these tasks the “vomit in your mouth rather than do tasks.”  Amusing! I know where he’s coming from! Anyway, these typically are the things you procrastinate over.
  • Make a list of things you like doing but are not good at.
  • Make a list of things you can’t do yourself. Yes you really can’t do everything yourself!  I hate to break it to you but many people out there are just far more talented than you.

[box]”Great leaders recognise their strengths and weaknesses early on and delegate them to others who are far more capable” – Jane Frankland TWEET THIS[/box]

As soon as you have this you should now be clear on what you can outsource. Make a list and if you’re still not sure of the things you feel you shouldn’t be doing just ask yourself this question: how can you be spending your time better? What one thing would make a big difference to your working day?

Once you’ve done this you can post a job description for help. This usually manifests itself as a VA.

Virtual Assistants (VAs)

VAs are a life saver. No joke!

They are freelancers – usually women. They’re independent and usually work on an “as needed” basis from their own homes or offices. This is brilliant as it saves you the costs and headache of hiring a regular full-time or even part-time assistant. This is how I got started and how I coach my students to take their businesses to the next level.

One of the first things I say to someone I’m coaching is what have your outsourced? The response I get back is usually I’ll do it when I get some money in.

STOP!

You have to sort this out now! The advice I’m about to give you is so powerful. You don’t need to break the bank but you need to get started. You can grow your business to 6 or even 7-figures without employees, but only if you use VAs and outsource. You have to learn to love delegating and become good at it. Otherwise you’ll hold yourself back (biggest threat remember)! This is the time to move out of your own way; to feel the fear and to do it anyway. Start small but build big. The key is to get into the habit of this – even if it’s only 5 hours a month. Get support or coaching with this if you need to BUT do it!

Hire a VA and do it per task or role. Set out the expectations and outline in detail what the job involves. There are lots of different VAs to chose from, so be specific – mobile app developers, SEO, marketing etc. As a minimum get a General VA (GVA) so someone who can deal wit your emails and booking meetings/appointments.

What could you delegate to a VA?

If you’re not sure what to delegate to a VA, just keep a log of what you do on a daily and weekly basis. I recommend doing this for at least 7-days. I blogged about it last week – outsourcing: increase productivity vs. life gets in the way and other excuses. Once you’ve done this sit down and review it. Decide which activities are ones only you have to do and which ones you can delegate. For example, many of my clients use a VA as they find that they’re spending a lot of time scheduling appointments. Obviously this is something that can be done by a VA. Consulting and coaching with the client is something completely different and something that only they can do.

Here are some of the first tasks that I first delegated to a VA:

  • Website/membership site
  • Sales Pages
  • Transcriptions for videos
  • Writing comments on blogs
  • SEO
  • Filtering my emails and responding to customer emails
  • Scheduling business interviews and meetings
  • PR

Now I want to hear from you…

Tell me how you’ve got on outsourcing – all the good and bad stories. I also want to know what activities you’re not delegating and what it is that holds you back from doing so.

Thanks for participating!

With love and gratitude – as always,

 

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Guilty as charged for poor time management

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Time to make time management sexy

Jane_Frankland_on_Time_ManagementI’m a sinner, I’m a saint, as Alanis Morisette sang AND I’m guilty as charged for poor time management and not valuing my time. Sound familiar? This week, however, the penny dropped. If I didn’t change my wayward ways with time management and value my time – MORE – I wasn’t going to get anywhere with my business.

That felt bad. That caused me pain and when something causes me enough pain, what do you do? You take action!

Something just clicked in my head.

So what did I do? Well I started to say no more often! And, whilst it was hard to do, it also felt great!

What help me? I heard a story….

Cue story…

The story involves Megan. She’s a mum and bringing up 2 kids on her own. She’s always been financially independent and successful in business. However, recently she decided to use her heart as her compass and follow her passion to be a coach. I’m sure this sounds familiar.

Perhaps not this bit though.

She did something that some people find either crazy or courageous… she quit her 6-figure job, that was making her ‘soul dead’, without many savings.

Now Megan has a wealth of experience in business and people have been flocking to her for advice and training, which she’s been giving away freely without a thought. She’s even been meeting up with them in person. However, this has been at a cost to her business as she hasn’t been able to reuse that time. Unfortunately too, the people she’s been having meetings with were unqualified prospects and therefore mostly filled by free loaders, not prospective clients. It was more luck if they turned into clients.

Eventually she started to think about what she was doing. If she was charging herself out at $150/hour, whenever she gave up her time, it was costing her that. When she went through her days, she was horrified at how much money she’d lost!

So, it was this simple exercise that made it crystal clear for her (along with the bills that were mounting up!). As a result, she started to consider more fully what she was saying yes to, and she started to say no more often. She began asking for agendas before requested meetings and letting prospects know that some things were going to be chargeable exercises.

She found this sorted the wheat out from the chaff.

She also discovered that she’d subconsciously started to value herself more and as a consequence had attracted the sort of clients she wanted to work with.

Time is a statement of priority

Time is a statement of priority. Never forget that. We all have 24 hours in our day. We’re all on a level playing field in this respect. It’s how we chose to spend it that makes the difference.

Time is one of our most precious assets. We’re all trading it. We can never get it back. So, what you say yes to undeniably means that you’ll have to say no to something else. [Bummer!]

Whenever someone says I don’t have time, what they really mean is “I don’t value this as a priority.” And that’s ok so long as you know. Incidentally there’s more on dealing with a time management objection here.

Now, I want to hear from you…

Do you suffer from saying yes too often? Do you ever think you might be sabotaging your own business for the sake of others (subconsciously)? Have you ever performed an exercise like the one Megan did? Let me know your time management story in the comments below.

With love and gratitude – as always,

 

 

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Goal setting checklist

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Here’s a check list for setting your goals

This post follows on from the last one I wrote on goal setting – Guilty as charged: for not setting my goals. Anyway, I love goal setting and really value it as an incredibly powerful tool both in terms of my own self development and my company’s.  And this is why I’m sharing just one more post with you right now. When goal setting is used effectively it can greatly enhance your skill as an effective and motivating leader. Throughout history strong leaders and organizations have used goals to shape and influence the destinies of millions. And this is why they’re so vital. You see, you and your company can leave such an imprint on the lives of others by setting worthwhile goals and committing to their achievement.

With a mindset of a successful leader you must refuse to sit by passively and leave your future to chance or to the choices of others. You have to dare to make your own decisions and to direct your company toward success. Through goals you can create the confidence that comes from knowing where you and your team are going, and how you intend to get there. Goals provide you with a sense of direction to keep you focused on what’s important. They bring to life a sense of order and purpose that sustains desire and motivation over a long period of time! Yay!

So here’s a check list to ensure you’ve got your goals in place. By applying the principles here – writing them down you’re already 80% more likely to ensure they succeed.
How to plan and set goals with Jane Frankland

 

Please let me know how you’ll use this and, also the goal setting you’re planning. Until then….With love and gratitude – as always,

 

 

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Guilty as charged for not setting my goals

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New Year, new start, new goals!

Jane_Frankland_Setting_GoalsDid you know that your chances of attaining your dreams or goals become higher if you commit to them on paper or online or verbally? Well even though I did, I’m owning up. Yes, hands up I’m guilty as charged or not setting my goals at the start of the New Year. Argh! Quite honestly I’ve never done it and I have to say as I write this blog and think upon it, I’m quite embarrassed. I’m not saying I haven’t ever set goals, or written business plans – I’ve done plenty of those, it’s just that I’ve never done it at the start of the calendar year.

So, this year I’m changing all of that. I’m conscious that I need to work on my business and not just in it. I’m conscious that I need to be able to make effective use of my resources, and time is a big feature of these. I’m on a mission (as many of you know) and I’ve plenty of people to help. That’s why I’m writing a post for you on goal setting and changing my ways to enable a successful year ahead.

Being at the start of the New Year, I’ve already spent about two days thinking about my objectives for the year ahead and planning my activities strategically. I’ve also been scheduling activities to ensure they happen and I’m even writing a business plan to focus my mind some more. I’m excited and want to get you revved up about the whole thing too! I want to make sure you’re set up for success!

You see, we all dream about what we want in life and where we want to go, but how many of us produce a plan of how we’re going to get there? How many of us set goals? I imagine the answer is very few, and that’s a shame. Planning for our future is very important even if those plans change.

One of my favourite sayings is:

[box]“Man plans, God laughs.” – old Yiddish proverb TWEET THIS[/box]

Whilst I know only too well that life may not always go as planned, setting goals helps. Goals may be either short or long term and they can cover all aspects of our lives – financial, health, family, work, love, leisure and spiritual. Most of us are actually very good at setting short-term goals for we plan what we want to accomplish that day or week regularly.

The secret to accomplishing all goals – short-term and long-term though is by setting them. Now you can either opt for a written statement, or a visual statement, or both!

Before I go into either of those methods, I want to share with you one bit of advice I read by Danielle laPorte in her fantastic book, The Fire Starter Sessions. I found it challenged my approach to this exercise entirely. Danielle said to set goals based on how you want to feel. Forget the ‘bucket list’ as she calls it, for this is not what drives us. Often when we set milestones and then reach them we feel dissatisfied. We then discover that the achievement isn’t all that we made it out to be. Ironically (somewhat), all of our aspirations are driven by an innate desire to feel a certain way. So when we’re clear on what we want to feel, our decision making gets to the hear of the matter. So get clear on how you want to feel and then do the ‘stuff’ that makes you feel that way. SIMPLE!

Written goals

If you’re going for written goals, make them SMART goals as this works. SMART goals may not be ‘sexy’ and to some may seem old fashioned or very corporate, but they work. So don’t reinvent the wheel – use them!

Specific: Your goals must be specific and by this I mean you can’t just say, “I want to be successful.” You need to define them specifically and in this example, what success looks like to you. For your financial goals, think about how much income you’d like for this year and set it.

Measurable: You must be able to measure the outcome of your goals. When you set a goal you must include a time frame for achieving it. You can also specify amounts, and business plans are great for this when it comes to your business.

Attainable: Your goals need to be realistic and attainable. You need to think about how they can be accomplished. You’ll want to make sure your goals are neither out of reach nor below standard performance, otherwise they’ll be considered meaningless. You must attach an action to each goal too.

Relevant: As obvious as it seems, only choose goals that matter. Make sure you have the ability and skills necessary to reach them and acquire new skills if you don’t. Relevant goals (when met) drive your business, team forward. So ask, does this seem worthwhile? Is this the right time? Does this match our other efforts/needs? Are you the right person?

Timeframe: You must set a timeframe for your goals but always make your goals reachable within your time frame so you’re not setting yourself up to fail. Remember, you’ll do better if you take baby steps rather than one big giant step.

Negativity: Don’t be negative. Make sure your goal is something you want rather than something you want to avoid.

Flexible: Remember to be flexible. If you encounter obstacles along the way, don’t quit and give up on your goals. Instead, modify them to meet your current situation. If a particular goal becomes something that is no longer important to you, then you should be open to letting it go. That will allow you to put your energy into pursuing goals that are important to you.

Visual goals

There are various ways to do these but my favourite is by doing a vision board (dream board, treasure map or a visual explorer or creativity collage) and that’s probably because I’m a very visual, creative person. Anyway, they’re typically a poster board on which you paste or collage images that you’ve torn out from various magazines. They are so simple to make and loads of fun. The idea behind them is that when you surround yourself with images of who you want to become, the life you want to lead, where you want to live, or where you want to go on holiday and so on, your life changes to match those images and those desires. It sounds far fetched but they work! Remember too that you can do these for so many aspects. For example, with your team at work, your children, and I once suggested to a teaching friend of mine to do one with her class of 11yr old boys, and they loved it!

Anyway, here’s how to do a vision board.

Step 1: Go through your magazines, and tear images or text that appeals to you from them. If you’ve got kids, you might want to do this with them – then you can get their buy in too. Then go through photos you have and allocate these. Anyway, have fun with it and make a big pile of images and phrases and words.

Step 2: Go through the images and begin to lay your favourites on the board. This step is where your intuition comes in and you can be as creative as you want in terms of layout. There’s no right or wrong way. This is your board so present it in the way you want to see it.

Step 3: Glue everything onto the board. Add writing if you want. You can paint on it, or write words with markers.

Step 4: Leave space in the very centre of the vision board for a fantastic photo of yourself where you look radiant and happy. Paste yourself in the centre of your board and include family photos too as these help to make it more real.

Step 5: Hang your vision board in a place where you will see it often. I have mine in my bedroom so I see it morning and night, at the very least.

Online dream boards

This works in the same way that a vision board works on paper, but it’s online. This one is called The Dream Timeline and has been developed by a couple of friends of mine.

So my question to you is have you set your goals for this year? Are you clear on what you want to achieve and how you’re going to get there? Did you base them on how you want to feel or just plan as we’ve been conditioned to? And finally, have you set goals, produced vision boards that have mostly come off as a result? Please share your tips, your vision boards, experiences and feedback in the comments below. I’d love to hear. Finally, thank you, as always for reading and contributing here. If you found this useful, please share it with your friends!

With love and gratitude – as always,

 

 

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Happy Christmas 2012!

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I am the master of my fate…

Happy holidays 2012 from Jane FranklandHappy Christmas 2012! As I write my first Christmas message to you, all I can think about is just what’s happened this year. Wow, what a year it’s been. Never in a million years could I have envisaged so much change, growth and lessons learned.

This year I’ve quit my six figure job in IT, started a new business, built my own website, gathered a following of over 4,000 awesome people, created a networking group, sold my own IT company (well that’s one way to put it) and invested in me – through books, online and offline courses – which has made a change from the norm!

It’s kind of sad when I read that line – “has made a change from the norm” but it’s true. Unfortunately, like so many mums out there, I got used to putting myself last. This year though I learned that I was actually worth something. And once I began to value myself I discovered that I was totally unfulfilled with what I was doing. The creativity I’d suppressed for so long was longing to surface. It was time to be true to myself. You see integrity is one of my core values and what I hadn’t realised was that I was being totally dishonest to myself.  I didn’t feel great about that once I found out, but as an action taker, what did I do? I took action! I resigned from my job at the end of June as it was sucking my soul dry. Urgh!

I then set about tackling fears and expanding comfort zones.  I went to work on video. It was a logical move for me as I recognised how important it was for business. It wasn’t easy as I used to hyperventilate at the very thought of video. However, I challenged myself to produce a video blog every week just to overcome it. And guess what? I now love video! I then went further and challenged myself to present in front of an audience. This was the ultimate challenge. It was my greatest fear. Anyway, in September I presented to a friendly group of about 50. I was on a high, and on a roll. Moving outside of my comfort zone had become a habit.

Anyway, like I said at the start of this post, it’s been an incredible year. Some may say I’ve been reckless, foolish and lost so much. To me though, all I’ve done is a bit of pruning. I’ve cut back the dead wood that was holding me back to make way for the new. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared about this – part of me is petrified especially as I know I still have more to do!  But I’m courageous so I’m going for it. What’s helping is my new found understanding of faith. I’m not talking about faith in a religious sense, but more so in a spiritual sense. You see, I learnt to believe in me, and in the ‘journey.’ For as Napoleon Hill said, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”

I’d love to know how you’ve got on this year. Has it been a hard year for you or an easy one? Has it been a year of change and growth or one of stability and prosperity? Please share your experiences and feedback in the comments below as I’d love to hear. Finally, thank you, as always for reading and contributing here, and for being part of my journey. I feel so fortunate to have met you, and enjoy every engagement.

Finally, MERRY CHRISTMAS and a fortuitous New Year to you! May this day be filled with joy. Enjoy the time spent with your family for they are by far the greatest gift.

With love and gratitude – as always,

 

Guilty as charged: working too hard!

By | Established business, Lifestyle, New business | 7 Comments

Working too hard: all work and no play!

Why_working_too_hard_is_a_bad_thingUhummm. Yes, hands up, you caught me….I’m guilty as charged! This time it’s for working too hard and not taking enough time out to rest and play. And that’s a BAD thing! And I know better. Doh!

I’m going to explain by starting right at the beginning. We’ve all heard the old adage “Work hard – play hard”. But what does it mean to you? And do you really know how to do apply it, especially when you’re an entrepreneur or even worse an entrepreneur starting out in business?

[box]“You’ll never succeed in idealizing hard work. Before you can dig mother earth you’ve got to take off your ideal jacket. The harder a man works, at brute labor, the thinner becomes his idealism, the darker his mind” – D H Lawrence TWEET THIS[/box]

Imagine if you could get a lot more done at work, a lot better. Imagine if you could really relax every day and then be rearing to go to work the next day with your ‘batteries’ fully charged and your brain fully focused. Imagine not working too hard!

Two years ago I read an incredible book by Jim Loer and Tony Schwartz, “The Power of Full Engagement.” I was on my way to Johannesburg to meet my new team and I felt I needed to be even more bright and perky. Anyway, the book is amazing in so many ways, but the most memorable lesson for me is that we need to fully engage in both work and play to get the most out of our focus and lives.

Jim and Tony examined the way we lived in digital time. They observed that our pace is rushed; it’s rapid fire and relentless. Facing crushing workloads, we try to cram as much as possible into every day. We’re wired up, but we’re melting down. They found that time management as a solution was not viable. Instead, by researching peak performing athletes and then C-Level executives, they found that managing energy was the way to enduring high performance – as well as to health, happiness and life balance.

Anyway, getting back. Let me explain exactly what I mean about the detriments of working too hard.

Have you ever worked hard for the whole day? You’ve got a million things done. You’ve put in a day’s work, spoken to prospects and clients, sorted out the kids (done the school runs, homework, form filling, fed them, washed their clothes, washed them, and split up the sibling fights) and the housework, and it’s 8 pm and you can’t even think straight anymore.

So you’ve sat down in front of the TV, with the kids to watch your favourite program, and it’s downtime – or so you think. Unfortunately, however, your conscious/thinking brain has other ideas. It steps in and wisely advises you, during the commercial break, that despite being fully deserving of this ‘couch potato’ moment you’ve forgotten to do something that’s super critical for your business.

Of course, in most cases nothing is required. What is needed is method for learning how to fully disengage from work.

When you don’t disengage, you live in the grey zone – the zone between engaged and disengaged; a zone when you’re NOT focused and are least productive. You end up neither fully rested, nor fully satisfied with your day’s work. You end up going to bed and feeling dissatisfied with being an entrepreneur, like this work thing is never-ending and that perhaps it was better being an employee!

So what’s the solution?

Well in theory, it’s easy, but in practical terms it’s hard to implement. Here are three tips to help you though.

Step 1: Awareness

You can’t even begin to fix something, if you don’t know it’s happening. So check yourself, become aware. Every time you rest make sure you really are. Every time you work do the same. Be present in the moment and stop working too hard.

Step 1: Preparation

When you catch yourself in the grey zone be prepared to check yourself. The easiest way to do this is with language. Give your behaviour a trigger name, something that’s memorable and brief. That way your brain has easy access to the solution – fast.

Step 3: Action

As soon as you notice what you’re doing i.e. the problem – take action to correct it. Take action right away. RIGHT AWAY. Yes – not in two minutes time, but immediately! By doing this you’ll begin to treat the issue consciously and then it will become an automatic response to make sure all distractions are cleared.

So I wish you well with this very normal issue for entrepreneurs. Please let me know what are your thoughts on this? What does “work hard – play hard” means to you? And how you cope with it? Are you guilty like me of working too hard and not being present in the moment for much of the time or have you found a way to accomplish this? Please share your experiences and feedback in the comments below as I’d love to hear. Finally, thank you, as always for reading and contributing here. If you found this useful, please share it with your friends!

With love and gratitude – as always,

 

 

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