If you’re feeling that life's a bit crazy right now, you’re not alone. Today I'm going to share seven different ways to keep your business and your life moving forward during the recent Coronavirus restrictions.
I'm going to provide you with some tools and strategies to get the most out of this time that we're in. There has been so much panic around Covid-19 and it’s starting to negatively impact all areas of our personal lives and our businesses.
I get it though. It’s hard not to panic when major newspapers like the New York Times quote things like, “This week, it's all gone to hell!” Granted it’s been a very tough week, but this negativity is not what we should be feeding our minds. Every time more cases are announced, our doom and gloom feelings also increase. And even on social media, we’re inundated with virus stats, presumptions, and unsubstantiated claims. People are panic buying and hoarding unnecessarily, and it’s taking food and supplies away from our most vulnerable. Yes, it’s all overwhelming.
To help balance the chaos and misinformation, today I’m going to share the seven ways to keep your business and your life going during this time:
1. Don’t panic. Change perspective
We have to change our perspective and really tap into how we're feeling right now. Even if you're not panicking, you need to tap into how you're feeling. If it's not a perspective that is supporting you, helping you, or keeping you in the right frame of mind, you need to pivot. Change it to a new perspective.
Instead of thinking to yourself, “I'm being restricted! I have to stay in my home. I have to isolate and I don't like this.” How could you change your perspective? You could say “I’m going to the cottage with my family and we’re going to play games, have fun, chill out, relax, and sleep in!” Doesn't that already sound much nicer?
Try on a bunch of perspectives and you get to choose which one you want to move forward with. Ask yourself what is your current perspective of the situation? What’s your new perspective? What are you going to choose going forward?
2. Don’t go out. Go inward
Don't look to outward things to bring you calm and to make you feel good. Going out to concerts, bars, restaurants, and parks are not going to serve you right now. Instead, go inward into yourself and really reflect on what you need right now.
Do you need meditation? Prayer? Sleep? Reading? What about a course you’ve been meaning to do? Maybe you want to spend time with yourself. Look inward to see what you really need because that's where a place of alignment is going to come from; where your inner strength is going to come from. This is what’s going to really support you when you move forward in life.
3. Don’t grumble, Show gratitude
Grumbling doesn't serve anyone. We all know those people who complain about the weather today, and something else tomorrow. All this attitude does is welcome more grumbling, more negativity, and more stress into your life. You are doing yourself a disservice by focusing on the negatives.
Instead, show gratitude:
4. Don’t focus on symptoms. Focus on systems
You might be listening to the news and then notice you have a little sniffle. Maybe you feel a bit tired or warm. You’re focusing too much on the possibility of those symptoms, when in fact you should be focusing on your systems.
By systems, I mean positive habits. What habits in your life do you want to change? What things in your business aren't going well? Focus on creating systems to change your habits and routines?
Do you need a system for your taxes? A system for your health? A system for eating better? A system for getting more clients? A system for your social media?
Now's the time to create those new practices and lock them in. Systems make the world and life business rules so much better. Focus on these systems and stop focusing on the symptoms.
Yes, you need to self-monitor. Yes, you need to check-in on yourself and your family. But once you've checked in, move on, move on to something else, something that's going to help you when we come out of this time.
5. Don’t lose your cool. Love on your family
Don't freak out people. Don't be rude online. Don't be the horder at the grocery store. Don't be snippy with people. Instead, focus on the love for your friends, family, and even strangers. Now is the time to show kindness. Now is the time to love on people and do things to show you care. Write some cards, call a friend, have a zoom date, or just do something that shows your love for others. One thing that I'm doing with my clients is I'm reaching out to them. And I'm checking in with them.
6. Don’t suffer. Ask how you can serve
Don't sit there and put yourself into this place of suffering. Don't just sit at home and not use this time wisely. Instead, turn it around and ask, “How can I serve?” Put that negative energy of suffering into action.
How can you serve others right now? Do your neighbours need you to grab groceries for them? Are there people online who need your services?
I really like live holding events, masterminds, and training and so many of them were live in-person because there's so much community and connection that is built when we meet face to face. Now I’m looking to move those in-person events online with video conferencing systems like Zoom.
7. Don’t be concerned. Get creative
Stop being concerned about every single thing that's happening. Watch the news, get your information and move on. Put your energy into being creative. Are you going to get creative in how you cook, in quilting, or in photography? Could you turn something you do normally in-person into an online course?
For example, I got creative when I had to cancel a live event in Ontario recently. I moved it to an online platform and opened it up to the world so more people could be a part of it. I gifted it to everyone! Why not? Why not bring the community together because when we feel part of a community, the stress and pain can go away.
Looking back, how many of these seven things have you already implemented in your life or business? Which one(s) will you move forward with? Even if you can only pick one right now, how much better would your life be?
If you have more ideas of what you can do to stay positive and productive during this time in our lives, let me know in the comments or send me an email. We can share the love and share the ideas more freely with everyone else.
If you need a little help right now, I’m gifting strategy and coaching sessions right now if you email me at email@example.com.
So until next time, make sure you're staying safe, and stay dynamic!
Last week we looked at the most common way to get more done in your business without working harder. Hiring employees is great, but I know it’s not for everyone. Want to learn more about it? Read more hacks about hiring the right employees the first time.
Today I’m going to share ways two through five to get more done in your business.
2. Use Contractors
The second way that you can get more done in your business without being the one doing it is to hire someone on contract. This gives you help for a shorter period of time, and they can be focused on just one project.
This is a great way to try someone out too! Imagine that you’re a little behind on your finance processes and you know you need to hire a bookkeeper, but you don’t know how to find the right fit for your company. You could just say, “Hey, I've got some bookkeeping work for the next couple of weeks. Would you like to come in on a contract to help me with it?”
When the contractor is hired, you can suss out their suitability for long-term work. When hiring them, be sure to reference your organizational chart to define clear roles and responsibilities for this person’s work.
3. Hire Freelancers
The third tactic for you to get more done without doing it yourself is to work with freelancers. I love doing this, especially for little projects or one-offs that I could do, but don’t need to do myself.
For me, working with freelancers has been fantastic. I’ve worked with freelance designers on my book covers, magazine ads, press releases, sales sheets, podcast intros, social media graphics, and online course graphics, to name a few.
Freelancers are often project-based and the more you like working with them, the more you can hire them for future or on-going projects. I've hired the same people over and over again because we know how to work together now (aka the learning curve is over).
While I usually support hiring local, as a start-up this may not always work for your budget. Look at hiring a freelancer from another country. You may pay less than a local freelancer, and the overseas freelancer is still getting paid well for their work based on their local standards.
Look at sites like Upwork to find freelancers. When you hire someone from those sites, your money goes into escrow until the freelancer has completed your work to your specifications. This makes it safer for you and for them.
4. Acquire Vendors
The fourth way is to acquire vendors. You could have a trusted vendor who is your print broker. Perhaps you have someone that does your merchandise or promotional materials or can work on your website.
Vendors really want to keep your business so they’re going to work really hard for you. All you need to do is reach out and say I need this done, or I need that done. I don't know how much time I've saved by using my print broker to find the best deal – but I imagine it’s a lot. I’ve worked with her long enough to know that she will always find the best quality for the best price.
Think about where you can save time and/or money by working with vendors. To give you an idea I work with vendors to post and write my blogs, to produce my podcast, to turn my podcast into a blog post and to post to my social media. This is how I can produce so much content and be omnipresent around my business…because I’ve hired trusted experts and vendors to do it for me!
5. Hire an Intern
Finally, the fifth way is to bring in an intern. Interns are often lower cost. Sometimes you don’t have to pay them at all because of the opportunity you’re giving them. Interns are new, eager, and willing to learn. Just make sure you are willing and able to mentor then. They're students looking for that real-world experience and may even hope to eventually continue working with you, or at least get a really great recommendation from you so that they can get employment somewhere else.
Interns also often have a fresh outlook. They might have learned some new things, based on their newness and freshness. They probably even have a thing or two they can teach you!
Think of hiring an intern as being like a kind of probationary period at a much lower cost, with no long-term obligation. Bringing in an intern can be a really great opportunity for a business owner in the short and long term.
How you can start delegating
Today, I'm smart about where and how I delegate. I've made a lot of mistakes by delegating to the wrong people. Working with contractors, freelancers, vendors, or interns is a really great way to build that trust to test people out before you hire them full-time.
So, now you have the 5 different tactics that you can use to get more done in your business without you doing it. I also encourage you to think about delegating in other areas of your life. Have others do your laundry, your meal prep, grocery shopping, ironing, gardening, and car care and maintenance. Whatever it may be, consider whether these things are worth an hour of your time and your highest rate.
For me, I have more important priorities like hanging out with my kids, having some downtime, and spending time with my hubby. Those are important things I can’t delegate.
Don’t you want to get more done in your business without doing it yourself so you can actually enjoy life? That's what it all comes down to.
Delegating is going to create more freedom. Take these steps and start delegating today so you can really live the life you were born to live.
Until next time, stay dynamic!
I know you have lots to get done in your life and business. That’s why today we’re talking about the five tactics you need to get more done in your business without working more.
If you know more about me, you know I’ve got my two kids and I try to stay healthy, keep my marriage alive, and run a business. I have a lot I want/need to get done in my life!
Here are my top five different ways you can get more done, why you should use them, and how you can get started. Ready?
Be forewarned, these all involve delegating! If you have any concerns or preconceived notions about that, put them aside for a moment while we go over these tactics. Trust me, it will be worth your while!
Today we’re going to go in-depth on the first one, the next blog will have the rest:
1. Hiring Employees
The first, most common way, is to hire an employee. To clarify what you need an employee for, first look at your organizational chart. Go and grab a basic business organizational chart from the internet and fill in all the different departments/areas of your business.
You may have an HR department, Finance department, Marketing department, Research and Development department, or something else unique to your business. Fill in the names of any employees, contractors, vendors, or people who are filling these roles right now. Even if you’re the ONLY one working on your business, put your name under each slot for now.
If you’re NOT a business owner but an employee of another business, you can still do this chart for you and your co-workers. Even though you might not have the power to hire an employee, you're going to see if you're perhaps doing more than your job description.
Delegate roles on your chart
Take a look at your completed organizational chart and think, “Which area of my work do I want to get rid of the fastest?” Is it bookkeeping? Is it your social media? Is it hiring? Decide which roles you need and can take your name off of and make a plan for replacing them.
For example, you could say that in six-months from now, you’re going to hire a bookkeeper. In three-months you want to outsource your social media. Then you can plan accordingly and make sure your finances match up with this plan.
Then, starting with the areas you want to delegate first, begin by setting (aka writing down) some clear roles and responsibilities. Why? Because you want to know what you're hiring for so you can write a suitable job description. Then, when they are hired, the new hire knows what’s expected of them…and you do too!
Delegate candidate interviews
In the spirit of delegating, get help to hire someone. It could be a friend or a trusted business advisor. I often have someone else do interviews with me. Why? Well, while you're sitting there thinking of your next question, they can ask a question. Also, you have someone to discuss the candidate with to see if your feelings about the person align with theirs.
Also, if you have more awkward questions to ask you could get them to help. For example, they might say to the candidate: “Diane is a very creative person. She might have ideas that come out-of-the-blue or last minute that need to be implemented. Are you okay with working like that?” That might be something odd for me to ask (referring to myself), but I could ask the other person to bring it up for me.
The same goes for financial questions if it makes you uncomfortable. Have your colleague ask what the candidate’s expected pay is.
Other hiring tips
Here are some other great tips for hiring employees:
Next week I’ll share the last 4 tactics to do more by doing less in your business.
Until next time, stay dynamic!
Last time I shared the story of when my (then) boyfriend and I uprooted our lives in Ontario and moved to Vancouver. It was a huge choice and I shared how I decided to take a chance. For me, it all boiled down to taking a chance on love.
Today I want to talk about the price we pay to get what we want. Moving to Vancouver gave me so many amazingly wonderful things, but they came with a price.
When I moved to Vancouver, I didn't realize that I would be sacrificing so many other things that I wanted. I was young and carefree and just wanted to move with my boyfriend. I said that I’d give BC 5 years…and 12 years later we’re still here (now married) and still living in Vancouver. But I am conscious of what I gave up to live the life I have today.
What I sacrificed
I really miss my family and friends back in Ontario. I miss Sunday dinners with my parents, popping by friends’ houses in my hometown, grocery shopping with my mom, and my kids getting more quality time with their grandparents.
Family is always my biggest value. I remember growing up how jealous I was of my Italian best friend who grew up with her extended family around her. My grandparents lived in England, so we didn’t see them very often. I imagine I felt like my children do now with their grandparents living across the country.
I go back to Ontario about 3-4 times a year and bring my kids with me every time so they can get the quality time with their extended family that I missed out on as a child. The experience of watching my children spend this quality time with family, always makes me shed a few tears.
Are you paying the price for a decision you made?
Are you torn between two things that you really want? What decisions are you facing right now? Is there somewhere else you want or need to be?
Here are some examples of being torn between two things:
How to decide at a cross roads
It’s virtually impossible to have complete opposites. For example, I can’t have my primary residence in both Ontario with my extended family and in BC with my friends and immediate family. You can’t have a 9-5 job, and work on your own business all day. You can’t marry a man who doesn’t want kids, and then have kids.
So what's the solution? It involves doing three things:
.For me, I always dreamed of having a big house with a yard. But I enjoy my city with the support system, so I needed change my perspective of my home. It’s not what I originally dreamed I wanted. I know that I could sell my home for a million dollars today and move into a bigger home somewhere else with a pool, 2-car garage, a cul-de-sac, and the big yard, but I would have to sacrifice Friday night impromptu trips up Cypress Mountain to go skiing.
I remember that I’m grateful to have a home. I’m grateful to not deal with real estate bidding wars trying to buy a home. I’m grateful and at peace with where I live right now because I was open to a new way of doing things.
Going back to my story of my Ontario vs. Vancouver dilemma, I know I want my kids to grow up with their grandparents (something I missed out on), but I also want to live in Vancouver. I want to honour my husband’s (and now my own) passions for the mountains, mountain biking, skiing, and snowboarding. I want the freedom of going to the beach anytime I want.
My solution was to create a bi-coastal business, one where my business pays for me to fly back to Ontario several times year. Now, I know I said you can’t have opposites, but you can if you consider a new way of doing things.
I know I can’t have two primary residences because my husband’s job just doesn’t accommodate for that amount of travel. I know I’m not having dinner with my parents every week, but I’m there for several weeks at a time instead. This lifestyle we created allows me to spend a lot of time with my extended family when I visit.
My non-negotiable is that my kids come with me each time I go back. Yes, it means the kids miss a couple weeks of school every year, but family time is non-negotiable, and we make it work.
You must make peace with what you can have. I recognize that many people don’t have jobs that allow them this freedom to get away for a few weeks every quarter. I recognize that in order to visit our Ontario family as often as we do, we don’t get as many family vacations to other places, which is a bummer, but we’re ok with it. Last time we went to Ontario, Adriel and I took a few days off on our own and visited Montreal, and we even took the kids to Canada’s Wonderland for the day.
Focusing on quality, not quantity
We focus on quality not quantity. It’s ok that we don’t visit our extended family every week for Sunday dinners and it’s ok that we don’t go on more family vacations, because when we do, we focus on making the experiences memorable.
I had to change my perspective on what missing family dinners really meant to me. What I discovered is that it means I value having a family support system. That’s what I was missing! So, I created a family-like support network here in Vancouver. This became my non-negotiable, but I had to be open to a different way of doing things.
I don’t have my mom and dad in town, but my Vancouver family are the moms from my children’s school. They are my neighbours. It’s paying for daycare and house cleaners. It means getting creative and swapping childcare with other parents.
Think about your life right now. Where are you in a tight space that you can't decide on? Are you paying a price for your decisions? I would love to hear where you’re struggling, so I can offer some coaching or advice. Feel free to comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, stay dynamic.
Last week we looked at the assets we have in our life or business that we can use to reach expert status or be #1 in what we do. That’s just one part of how using your #1 or expert status to grow your business. You also need to show up with the right attitude and mindset!
Today, we’re going to look at how being unforgettable can help you boost your business. This starts with getting clarity around your point of view.
What’s Your Point of View?
Let’s say you own a dog food company. What is your point of view about dog food?
I'm sure you've seen the commercials where they compare two brands of dog food: the cheaper brand in a larger “Costco-sized” bag and the smaller more expensive bag with higher quality ingredients. One advertiser’s point of view is that dog food should only contain high-quality ingredients that a human would eat. The other food company believes the convenience of buying larger bags for cheaper is more important. One believes our pets’ needs are more important than their owners, and the other believes the opposite.
I won’t get into the debate over who is right. That’s not why I brought up this example. It’s just to illustrate distinct points of view.
Making Your Point of View Memorable
The question you need to ask yourself is, “Is your point of view is important and memorable enough that magazines, newspapers, radio, and bloggers would pick up your story?”
When you share your point of view with the world, are you using words that everyone else is using? On one hand, using the same words is great because you know it’s something people are already searching for in your niche, but what can you add to your messaging and point of view to be memorable?
For example, everyone “universally” believes that “Goal setting is good”. If I was being interviewed about goal setting and I just regurgitated what other experts said, without adding my own spin or point of view, would that make me memorable? Nope!
Instead, what if I said, “Having goals is a waste of time”? You might hear me and think, “Oh, why are you saying that Diane? You’re a coach and you should know better!”
I said something that made you curious. If that was a title of a blog or a podcast, you'd be like, “Yeah right! Then prove it Diane!” I would then need to back-up my point of view.
This unique perspective made people stop and think. That's more interesting. It's more memorable than saying the exact same thing as someone else.
What if I said, “Having success in life is not important?” Hmm… if you heard this come out of my mouth you’d probably wonder, “What? So, what is important then?”
Even Be Memorable as an Interviewer
Let’s relate this back to being #1. You need to be memorable to be #1. When you go into an interview, or when you're doing your social media content, this is where you can stand out. And even if you're interviewing others, you still need to make sure you stand out in some way. Otherwise you're going to become the invisible host. When we look at people like David Letterman, Jay Leno, Ellen DeGeneres, and Oprah, they are hosts that we remember – because of their unique and often bold perspective.
The key thing to remember is that even when you are the interviewer, you need to make sure that you stand it with your own unique point of view. This is going to make you a present, non-invisible host that people remember and love.
Now think back to your life or business. Are you memorable when you attend parties or events? When you’re interviewed somewhere? When people meet you? What is it that they remember about you?
The fact of the matter is that if they don't remember you, they can't do business with you. They can't call you up when they need someone in that industry, because they don't remember you.
So how can you make yourself memorable? It doesn’t have to be complicated.
Be Unique in Your First Impression
The first thing you can do is have a solid handshake. Then focus on how you can be magnetic at that event (being magnetic is one of the nine pillars of being a Dynamic Woman). This means that when you meet someone, you say their name back to them. When you say things like, “It’s lovely to meet you,” does your face genuinely light up? How can you be unique in that moment or how can you make them feel like they're the most important person in the world?
Is it going to be your humor, your kindness, your calming demeanor, the poignant things you’ve said? Are you a great listener or did you say something memorable in the moment?
This doesn’t mean you have to be an extrovert if that’s not who you are. It doesn't mean you need to be the smartest or most powerful person in the room. It just means that you look for ways to make others feel special in the moment.
What makes you memorable could be something about your wardrobe or hair? Maybe your business card is unique? This is so important because you want them to think of you when they need your product or service. You also want them to think of you when someone they know is asking for your product or service. And when they think of your industry, they think of you because you are the best. You are number one.
Use the Word “THE”
Want another easy thing you can do to be memorable? No matter what industry you're in, no matter if you have a product or service. Start using the word “THE” before you introduce what you’re an expert in.
Now you're not going to say you are “the expert at sales” because that kind of sounds like you’re claiming to be best in the world at this (which you may not actually be). Instead, make it a little more specific. For example, if sales is your expertise, be more specific about the type of sales: online sales, direct sales, sales to groups, high end sales, or home sales. Pick one and just add “the expert at” to the beginning.
Now, obviously you should do it with integrity, so if you say you are the best at something, you need to be able to back this up with examples, results, or testimonials. When you make it specific to your unique talent or your unique skill, you will stand out and be memorable. And when you stand out people know how to buy from you and you are top of mind for opportunities.
If you don’t have any way to back up a #1 or “best at” claim (you haven’t won any awards or recognition), you could say things like “one of the leading…” or “one of the best…”
Alternatively, you could say “I do [this] in my business” or “I do [insert product/service here].”
Hi, I’m Diane Rolston and I’m “the expert at helping women to be dynamic” or I’m “the expert at leading a dynamic life.” How do I know this? I am coach, an author, a podcaster, speaker, and I lead a women's community. All these things are under the theme of being a dynamic woman, the theme of leading a dynamic life, the theme of empowering women to be dynamic, so I can say that I’m an expert at it and still be in integrity.
So what are you an expert at?
Use your expertise to be memorable and have a specific point of view, so that you stand out and use your assets to help you attain all of this.
At the end of the day, this works no matter where you are in your business journey: whether you're just starting out, looking to scale, planning to sell, or seeking for a promotion at work. It’s important to move ahead in a way that's highly successful.
Now get out there and make yourself memorable!
What makes you #1? What are you the best at?
Think about your work, career, or business.
Think about at home. Perhaps #1 in baking? What about #1 in dog grooming? Or maybe #1 in gardening?
You can be #1 in anything you excel at, that you’re the best at, or that you’re a high achiever in.
How to Stay At #1
Today I’m going to share with you how you can stay “on top” in whatever achievement or skill you have. Whether you want a successful business, to be the best in your area of expertise, or even #1 in your health, knowing how to get to the top and how to stay there is important.
Part of this is learning how to work smarter, not harder. It’s also about getting clarity on your biggest assets and knowing how to use it to be memorable and implement a plan to stand out and design the best way to attract those you want to work with.
So, for the sake of focus, pick one thing that you are (or you want to be) #1 at. Got it? Great, now keep reading to learn how to reach #1 by using your ASSETS!
Identify Your Assets
Think about your biggest asset. I'm not talking about your house, or your car, or a boat, or a big bank account. In this case, I mean an asset that can you can utilize to help you become #1.
If you wanted to be #1 in something business or career related, maybe your asset is your large email list. Maybe it’s a product? Is it an ability or skill? Is it your network? Your employees? Maybe you have another asset. Identify these and pick your biggest one or two.
While doing this exercise it’s possible you’ll discover that your asset is the thing that sets you apart from your competitors and helps you get ahead.
Now, think about your top asset and ask yourself, “How can I optimize this to reach #1?” For example, if you said your extensive business network was your asset, how can you use your network to help you to step forward?
Well, you can use it to reach more people. Can you have people on social media support you, tag you, share your posts, invite their people to your events, invite them to your open houses, to product launches, to your store? For sure!
If your asset is your amazing product and strong list, can you offer referrals to your contacts? Can you use your assets to engage your audience more?
I challenge you for the next week to think about your assets and how they serve you. Which ones do you think are your most powerful assets that you can use to increase your authority or expertise?
Next week, we’re going to look at how to develop your unique and memorable point of view to show the world you are #1.
Until then, stay dynamic!
Last week we started talking about what you should be doing to get the most out of your mentorship relationship. Today, I’m sharing last 2 things you should ask from your mentor:
1. Making Connections
The next thing that you should look for from a mentor is connections. Your mentor maybe able to open doors to people you couldn’t have opened yourself. They could make that very important recommendation or introduction to these connections
Look at your mentor’s connections on LinkedIn and see if those are people you should be connected with. Check their other social media accounts too to see who they are already networking with.
A recent colleague of mine recently connected with somebody that I really, really want to do business with. I’m going to keep this in mind and when the time is right, I'll be asking them for an introduction.
Most mentors would be happy to make these connections for you, as long as it’s the right time and for the right reasons. Don't ask for these referrals on the first date with your mentor. Build the relationship with your mentor so they really get to know and trust you.
Connections are huge and you NEED to earn that trust. Perhaps your first step could be to ask your mentor about this person and what they’re like. They might even turn around and say, “You know what? Let me introduce you to them right now.”
You will most often need to earn this trust first by showing up to your mentor sessions on time, doing what you say you'll do, sending the agendas in, implementing what you've talked about, having that positive attitude and living according to your values. Then they'll be happy to introduce you to their connections.
2. Asking for Stories
When your mentor shares a strategy or point of view, ask them for a story that relates to the topic. Stories will help the idea or strategy sink in better for you and will really help you to see how to implement what they're talking about. Stories help make the strategy or idea more tangible or real.
A colleague of mine was sharing a point of view and told me a story about a conversation she had with Richard Branson on Necker Island! That helped create a picture in my mind and to really comprehend the point she was making.
Don't be afraid to ask, “Hey, did that actually happen to you?” or “Do you have a story that could explain that?”
Or when you first meet with mentor, ask if they can share some stories! Of course, some stories they can't share based on confidentiality with their clients or their business. You could say, “I’d love to hear stories of how these things have affected you, how they've influenced you, or how you've done certain things.”
Ask for stories to back up the points that they're making. And when you have a great mentor that tells great stories, oh my goodness, those things are going to stick in you!
If you don't already have a mentor, a coach, a consultant, someone that you can go to for advice or support, I suggest you go find one. You could start by browsing my website to see if our values align. If they do, let’s have a conversation about me being your mentor or coach.
No matter who you choose, find a mentor who inspires you and when you get started, show up looking to also inspire them. Have a very clear agenda of questions and topics you need advice on. Accept their strategies and be open to different points of view. Build that trust so they'll open up their Rolodex to you when you need it. And ask them to share their stories with you! Doing these five things will help get the most out of any mentorship in your life.
If you already have a mentor, think about these five things and ask yourself, “Am I really getting the best value from this mentorship opportunity? What do I need to do differently to get more out of it?”
A mentor can help you up-level any or all areas of your life! It is never too late or early to have someone in your life.
Do you have a mentor? Let me rephrase that…Do you have a GREAT mentor? The mentor-mentee relationship can provide you with so many great benefits, if you find the right person, and are dedicated to getting the most out of the opportunity.
But there lies the challenge. What should you look for in a mentor to make sure you’re getting the value you need from the relationship?
Who can be a mentor?
In a traditional sense, many mentors are actually volunteers. They are just supporting you and helping you and are NOT there to give away all their ideas and knowledge.
A mentor is there to help and guide you through whatever you're going through.
Your mentor could be a networking colleague, someone from a mastermind group, or even a cool aunt, a neighbour, or other person in your life who is doing really well in life or business.
There are also opportunities for paid mentorship where you pay to connect with someone. These people may call themselves consultants, coaches, or can be someone referred from a mentoring agency or organization.
So a “mentor” can come in the form of a colleague, coach, consultant, or advisor, as long as you define the relationship.
Here are the first three of five things you should be doing or considering in any mentorship arrangement:
1. Getting Inspired
Look for a mentor who can inspire you. We’re often siloed in our business or life. In our own little box, our own tiny fish bowl, under our own glass ceiling with own limiting beliefs and boundaries.
You should be inspired every time you talk to your mentor. When you’re inspired, you're often more motivated to go for the things you want. When you're inspired, you can get more done. You get into action faster and then to stay dedicated to that action.
Being inspired by a mentor, helps you get into resonance and resonance is energy flow.
On the flip side, your mentor should also be inspired by you! You may think, “Well, what could I teach them?” It's not about teaching. It's about showing up with positive energy, Gusto, with a can-do attitude and then actually doing the stuff and implementing it.
Your mentor can be inspired by your hustle or your positivity. Think about how you can inspire them. Just ask yourself, “How can I get inspired by them and how can I inspire them as well?”
Also look to be inspired, and learn, from their strategies! Great mentors share great strategies, helping you to strategize about whatever it is you’re struggling with or wanting to accomplish.
Mentors should be ahead of you in some way. Even if they are in a different industry, their experience can help you figure out a plan. To get the most value from your relationship, make sure you come prepared to every meeting…which is #2 below:
2. Creating Agendas
Come prepared to every mentor meeting with an agenda that includes the things that you are wanting to learn or get mentoring on.
Give your mentor your agenda in advance so that they can pre-think on the topics that you want to talk about. I do this with my clients. They send me a prep form before each session with everything they want to work on together. Then I know where they want to go, so I can help provide clarity and insight on exactly what they need.
In your agenda, be clear about the type of support you want and then use that word, ask them specifically, “Can you help me brainstorm ideas/give me feedback/choose the best option/see if I’m missing anything?”
Ask to strategize together. Strategize is another word for brainstorming. When you're open to talking through different strategies, you might find the one that works for you.
3. Being Open to Different Points of View
Everyone has their own unique set of experiences and knowledge, which leads to a unique point of view. We’re often in that fishbowl and don’t stop to consider, or even know, there are other ways to look at a situation because we are so consumed by the moment and our personal experience. This is often referred to as having limiting beliefs.
Being open to different points of view can create a perspective shift, which can help you break past barriers or obstacles. A new perspective you may never have thought of on your own, but one that comes from your mentor and their view of the world can be HUGE for you!
It could help you to make a quicker decision on something, help motivate you, or help you make more money.
Make sure you choose a mentor whose values are in alignment with yours. This way, when they share their perspectives with you, they are more likely to be in align with your values too.
Next week I’ll share the last 2 things you should be asking of your mentor.
When we overthink we can’t sleep. Then we experience more self-doubt or we get into a kind of paralysis where we’re not present anymore for the ones we love.
Last week we talked about overthinking, and what the studies (and our Dynamic Women® community) say about how long we should spend in focused decision-making time. Now let’s talk a bit about some ways to help us stop overthinking.
Here are a few ways you can encourage yourself to make the decision faster:
Here comes what my clients call a “Diane-ism!” Everything is figureoutable! (And how timely that it’s even in Marie Forleo’s latest book.)
It is the truth! You can figure this out. Keep focusing on active problem solving. Don't dwell on the problem. Don't dwell on the fact that you can't make a decision on this. Ask yourself, what steps can I take? What
can I do next to move me forward? Is this really the first question I need to be asking myself?
If right now truly isn’t the right time to make this decision, get some exercise. Go for a walk and be in nature or sleep on it. Know that everything is figureoutable and that you will be able to make a good decision. And if fear comes in, ask yourself if this will matter in five years or even five weeks.
Overthinking it takes your time. It takes your money. It takes convenience. It takes away balance and it gives you so many negative things. So why did we do it?
I implore you, don't do it anymore. Focus on the decision making and make small decisions as quickly as possible.
What is this is going to do? It's going to build your decision-making muscle. I mean, what's the worst that can happen from a bad decision? You're going to learn from it and you're going to know what decision to make the next time.
Don't take yourself so seriously. Get out there and make some decisions!
And I'd love to hear how this article has impacted you in your decision making and how you have made an awesome dynamic decision.
Are you a quick decision maker, or do you ponder a bit too long and overthink it?
This year for my 40th, I really want to have a big fun birthday, like going away to a beach somewhere so I put it out there in the universe. A friend ended up inviting me to Maui with her and a couple of her friends to celebrate her birthday. This was about four months before my own birthday. I thought about it quite a bit. I ended up humming and hawing.
Eventually I said to my husband, “Um, what do you think? All I'd have to cover is my flight. And my friends would be splitting the food, drinks, and the car.”
In retrospect it seemed like a pretty awesome deal and a great opportunity, right?
Yet, I couldn't say yes, but I also couldn't say no. I was overthinking it.
It wasn’t until my husband said, “You know, why not go for it? Why aren't you doing this? You can take the time off. It's obviously a fun trip to have. So just go.”
I ended up going on the trip, but what did it cost me to overthink that decision? By the time I said yes, they had already booked their flights and when I went to book the same flights it cost me more money. A substantial amount more! I started overthinking again and when I went to book later in the day, guess what happened?
It not only cost me more money, but also robbed me of some vacation time. The only flight I could book got me to our condo after everyone was in bed. I missed out on the first night of fun. I also lost out on the convenience of sharing a car together (I had to take a shuttle, alone).
The trip was fantastic and I’m glad I made that decision, and even though it had a positive outcome, overthinking still cost me so much!
Why do we overthink?
What makes us overthink? Well, we have our schedules, goals, priorities, and important decisions to make every single day, every moment, right?
As you may already know, I have 2 kids and a business. There's always something to make a decision about in my life.
It's gotten pretty natural for busy women like us, but this tendency to overthink can totally hinder your progress. Perfectionism and procrastination are the two negative results of overthinking. I’ve heard women also say it makes them feel overwhelmed and paralyzed. Have you heard the expression “paralysis by analysis?”
What are some things that you overthink? Is it something about your kids? Is it related to life balance? What's for dinner? Big decisions like deciding if you should move or change jobs? Maybe you overthink about doing your taxes? Do you overthink marketing if you have a business? And do you overthink your choice of ice-cream?
Oh man, all of this overthinking takes up time!
What does overthinking actually do to you and others? Because we're doing it all the time, we obviously don't feel the pain or consequences strong enough.
Maybe you didn’t sleep last night. You laid awake most of the night because your brain wouldn’t shut off, thinking over every decision you made yesterday and thinking of every decision you need to make the next day.
The next morning, you went for coffee with a friend and were physically there with them, but your brain was overthinking a decision, or just not thinking clearly because you are lacking sleep.
How long SHOULD you spend making decisions?
After this whole situation with my Maui trip, my curious mind wondered how long it should take a person to make a decision. How long for small decisions? Like what are you going to have for dinner, what you’re going to order at the restaurant, what to wear today. Then what about more potentially life-changing decisions like, do I quit my job? Is it the right time to have children?
I did a bit of research and what I found was that small decisions should take you about 30 seconds and then the big decisions should take about 30 minutes. But, when I asked my community of Dynamic Women® at our live events, what I found was the answers range from a few hours to a few days, to a few weeks, to a few months to make those big decisions. They said the smaller decisions can be made in seconds, minutes, or even longer.
What is focused decision-making time?
Now you may be thinking, how can someone make a big decision, like what house to pick, in under 30 minutes?
Well, my research is referring to something called, Focused Decision-Making Time. Some actual, dedicated time you take to make your decision.
How does focused decision making work for small decisions? Let’s say you’re trying to pick your meal at a restaurant. You look and see the yummy sushi on page one, then you see a yummy chicken dish, and also a Cobb salad. You’ve now narrowed your choices to three. If you really focus on it (maybe even set a 30 second timer) it seems likely that you can make your choice without overthinking it.
Now, let's look at a bigger decision like buying a house. At this point, you've probably already seen a lot of houses. You can see what's good and what's bad about each home, even considering the price point, the neighborhood, and how much work you're going to have to do on it. You narrow your potential new homes to about three to four. What if you set a timer for 30 minutes. When that timer goes off, do you think you could have your decision? Very possible if it’s dedicated and focused decision-making time.
Focused decision making means you're not doing other things or multi-tasking. You're not letting it percolate. You are not just going about your day. You're actually sitting and looking to have a result of a decision by the end of the time.
Now you might say “Oh, Diane, I could never do that! It takes me forever to make decisions,” or “I like to honor the space and just kind of sleep on it or let it just sit there. I know that I'm gonna figure it out.” Or “I'll see a sign and so I'm just going to do other things and then come back to it later.”
In reality, so often when we put decisions like this on the back burner they never actually happen!
Take the Dynamic Women® Podcast, for example. A few years ago, I decided to wanted to start a podcast. I really wanted it. It wasn't that I was overthinking it, it was more so that I just didn't make the decision to commit to it. I felt other things were more important at the time. So, it's not necessarily that I was overthinking, but I definitely missed out on having it happen.
What if instead I started that timer? Gave myself three minutes, 30 minutes, 13 minutes, just some specific dedicated time to make a decision and decide a first step. I think I may have started my podcast back then, instead of letting it stew for years before I actually made the decision and commitment to do it.
So, I’ve shared a few stories of the consequences of my indecision and overthinking. What is something you’ve been overthinking lately?
Next week on the blog we’re going to look at the solutions to overcome what you may be overthinking right now and in the future.
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