Archive for March, 2016

3 Reasons Why Gratitude is an Essential Trait of a Successful Entrepreneur

3 Reasons Why Gratitude is an Essential Trait of a Successful Entrepreneur

thanks  Entrepreneurs are seen as adventurous, brave, risk takers, but for many people entrepreneurship comes from desperation, disappointment, frustration   and anger. Maybe it is even seen as the last possible alternative to being entrenched in a quagmire of professional unfulfillment and unhappiness.  However you arrive at brand “You”, one thing is for sure, you will have to work hard at it every day, if you want to be successful.

The blissful idyllic dreams of working from a thatched cabana on a sun kissed, white beach and an azure blue sea just a few feet away, are usually a long way from reality.  A truer picture is a cluttered spare bedroom, overloaded kitchen/dining room table, or even your garage, but no matter where your acorn is based for it to grow into a sturdy business oak over time you will need help, support and guidance.  Do not underestimate the value of those around you, an entrepreneur cannot travel their growth journey alone.  

Gratitude to family and friends, these will usually be your first testers, critics, odd job/free labour and very often customers; without them, it would be a very difficult start for any entrepreneur, their understanding, patience and encouragement (even if they are a doubting Thomas)  will spur you on and help keep you focused.  As your business grows they are often your loudest promoters, how proud they are of you.

Gratitude to peers, networking is a huge part of entrepreneurship, meeting like minded people and others travelling the same road, helps make the journey so very much more enjoyable.  Sometimes it is seems tedious repeatedly going to groups or keeping up contact on Social Media, but every single one will bring its own rewards and powerful connections.  Interacting with others, means you can help them and be helped, saving time, money, heartache and dispelling a lot of bewilderment of what to do/go next.  There is always somebody one or five steps in front of you and behind you, great way to practice your business ideas on professional people at a minimum of cost.

Gratitude to mentors, although many entrepreneurs see this as an unnecessary outlay especially at the outset, it is probably the one area that should be a priority.  Being bombarded by wonderful, amazing, miracle offers from all directions your mentor will keep you focused on your business and your needs.  Being teachable is probably the one major characteristic that many entrepreneurs overlook, and very often they pay very dearly for it, emotionally and financially.  A good mentor will take years off your development journey and launch your business into upper leagues much sooner than struggling along on your own.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks for any entrepreneur of any age, or experience is self belief, on the rocky days (we all have them) having family, friends, peers and mentors around you, will get you through because the biggest inputs require from you for success are consistency, constancy, dedication and determination; be thankful to all of them, quote them and share their input.  It will help others treading the same path, to know “it is not just me, that…..”

Sometimes a “thank you” seems like so little, for so much; but it means so very much to your supporters that you are achieving, that is all they need.  Unless you are Oprah and hire a massive cruise ship to take all of your peeps on an all expensive paid  Mediterranean cruise for a week!  – Well, you just never know, the next one could be you and yours!

Born Free, now I know what it really means

Born Free, now I know what it really means

Have you had wonderful event as a child that has indelibly imprinted something special into your mind, heart and soul? Just the first few notes of the Born Free melody even before the dulcet tones of Matt Monro even burst through, still gives me tingles up my spine, a smile on my face and a warm, happy feeling inside.  As a small child a super outing for me was with my wonderfully loving mum to the cinema, I felt special just being with her as we snuggled down in the seats with chocolate and popcorn in hand, the curtains opened and that music surrounded us, the story of Elsa and my fascination for the big cats was to be part of my imagination for the rest of my life.

I always had the idea “someday” I will go and see for myself, but you know what life is like; responsibilities here, making a living there, being a wife, mother, entrepreneur, all seemed to get a better rating than my South African visit.  That is how it was, until November 2015 when I made the decision, just do it!  Within a day, I booked my flights to Cape  Town and started planning all the itinerary to fill my days.  There was so much to choose from and so much to see, top of my list Lions in the wild!

16th March, 2o16 – D Day; up with the lark, two hours drive through the most incredible scenery produced by Mother Nature, still totally untouched by man (except for the road through) Lead me to Aquilla Game Reserve,  a great champers greeting, but I was too excited to worry about the extensive breakfast being served, instead all I could do was look out over the land, just thinking at least one of Elsa’s relatives could be there hidden by the rocks or scrub.

We started out on the safari with a tarp covered lorry, bumping and bouncing about over the terrain, Kensington with his huge brilliant white smile set in an ebony face, was friendly, knowledgeable and funny.  All the while my brain was screaming out “where are the lions?”  We made our way and saw, elephants, buffalo, giraffes, zebras, rhinos with their babies, springbox, wilderbeasts, ostriches  and baboons , where are the lions, cheetahs, leopards???????

As we turned off of a windy, dusty, rocky track an extensive wire fence intruded into our viewfinders, the lorry juddered to a stop and Kensington gave us strict instructions to keep all arms, hands, elbows and feet inside the truck, we were entering into the cat area.  I was almost bouncing on my seat like a young child at Christmas, scouring the mountainous area for the glimpse of a feline.  Then my heart nearly exploded as the shout went up, lions on the left, it took me a few seconds to focus on the magnificence of the male with his mane of honey coloured fur lounging on a large rock.  Just beneath him to his left and right in a more shaded area, were his two lionesses, laying quietly but acutely alert and ready to defend their king of the beasts.

Capet 121

Nothing prepared me for their magnificence, their controlled power, their elegance and their size.  My dream had come true in the most amazing style possible.  A truly magic moment for me,  that had only taken five decades to achieve!  There were leopards but they chose not to reveal their resting place, hey ho nothing could deflate me now.

No matter how long you wait, if your why is big enough, you will find a way.  Keep your dreams and goals alive, then one day magic will happen.

You Have a C.H.O.I.C.E

Choice, is something you often forget you have, there are so many ingrained beliefs and habits, that make you feel, this is who I am, this is just the way I do things.  Were you brought up with “life is a struggle,” for previous generations living through World Wars, rationing and real fear of life and death, was a struggle, but thankfully people nowadays live more with created fears than real ones; that is not to say that they feel any less real than when bombs were falling around people on a daily basis.

Over many years of personal struggle and supporting thousands of others in many countries in their quest to leave struggling behind them to find a more happy and stable life, no matter what age, colour, creed, gender or social standing changing your choice comes down to:

C – Core beliefs

H – Habits

O – Ownership

I – Investment in self

C – Change

E – Excuses

C – Core beliefs, this takes times to look at your fundamental beliefs and I am not talking religion, beliefs about yourself and your worthiness of a happy life.  Many of you have been taught that thinking of yourself first is selfish, but if you are the mainstay of your family or you business, what happens to everyone else, if you are not there?  Especially as an entrepreneur it is vital that your priority is you.  Not in a dictatorial way, but  a reasonable and planed basis.

H – Habits, are a like breathing you do not wake up in the morning and think I must remember to breathe, nor do you think I must remember to be forgetful, or clumsy or only do tasks in a certain way, because that is my way and that is how it is always been done.  Habits, all habits are learnt, good and bad, so thankfully they can be unlearnt and changed for the better.  Just think of a new born baby, it does not have any concepts except its basic needs, everything is learnt by time and conditioning.

O – Ownership of outdated or unhelpful beliefs, it is easy to blame your parents, the teacher, the coach, the school/college/university, your boss/colleagues, the government; hey they are millions of “others.”  At the final line, it is your life, is existing enough or do you want your life?

I – Invest in yourself, this is not just financial, time, is just as important and you will function much better when you incorporate “MAX” (my activity x) into your daily diary.

Though I do deeply believe the quickest way to move forward is with a mentor/coach, in the long run they save you a lot of tears, heartache and financial outlay.  Two things you should never stop is promotion and development for yourself or your business, Lifelong learning should be a written policy in your personal and business plan.

C –  Change, one thing on life is guaranteed, change happens; so why are you scared or reluctant to change?  It is the door of opportunity, new horizons and new outcomes. One thing is certain, if you are not happy with any element of your life at the moment and you make no change there (that also is a choice) then expecting anything different to happen is a waste of your time and energy.  A bit like trying to hold the tide back.

E –Excuses – Yes, there are trillions, not the right time, I try but it does not work, tomorrow, next week, next year, when the kids have grown, when I have money in the bank, when, when, when, your excuses are the only limitation to your potential. Kick it into touch and say NOW! TODAY! Enough is enough.

Just think for one moment about planning a wedding, journey or event, most people put more time and effort into the panning of one event, than of any planning of their life.  If you are not holding the reins how can you possibly control the direction in which your life is going?

Travel Broadens the Mind

Travel Broadens the Mind

Many, many people are avid travelers, myself included, but often I wish that we could be beamed up and set down.  Thursday evening I set out on my trip to Riyadh airport, boarded the plane for Jeddah, sat out the five and a half hours (all night) in the almost nonexistent lounge to board the next flight to Johannesburg.  They had changed the plane and upgraded me to business class, woo hoo! Slinking back in the declinable,  bedlike chair, head set on….. away with the fairies.

Then, arrive in Joburg slightly delayed about 35mins, to be told I have been offloaded from the next flight to Cape Town to have a three hour wait, min you that did take me 6 people and four different areas, to get the information. Tension and blood pressure had risen, by which time I was ready for a wine or two!  Hey ho, got some dinner, (not just liquid) and settled in for a couple of hours.

Jumped on the flight for Cape Town, snoozed a bit and two hours flew (so to speak) as we were coming into decent over Cape Town a magical view below, like a spun gold cloth laid out below.  On landing it went a bit smoother, right through to the car hire and an easy drive to Camps Bay, not much to see at night, arrived at the hotel tired and dirty.

Shower and bed, could hear a pounding in the distance did not think much of it.  The next morning….. Opening the curtains, wow, wow, wow  sea, sand and people.  May not seem much but coming from Saudi it this “normal life.” Then I realized how much you miss things without realizing it.  Pushing things to the back of our minds is a coping mechanism, then wham in your face!Cape Town Day 1 002

Than spending the day with penguins, deer, baboons, antelopes, geese, seals and an eagle all in their natural habitat, under a lovely sun with a gentle breeze made me realize how incredibly lucky I am. Sitting watching the pounding of the surf in  Cape  Hope is a far flung place from the tiny British village of Wainscott where I grew up.  The cacophony of languages and smiling, faces showed a clear appreciation of new surroundings for many people.

Cape Town Day 1 173

Travel, is it easy? Not always.   Is it worth it – Yes, always.  Where would you like to be???????

The Power in Your Beliefs

The Power in Your Beliefs

Your beliefs are the compass and the maps that guide you towards your
goals. Perhaps, you can use them a bit more effectively to help get you
where we want to go.

Do you realise how important your beliefs are? There is no more
powerful directing force in human behaviour than belief. The people
who have changed history – Columbus, Copernicus, Einstein, Edison,
Christ, Mohammed, Gandhi, Mandela and others like them – have been the
people who have changed our beliefs. In many ways, the power that
beliefs have over our lives defies the logical models most of us have.
However, it is clear that powerful beliefs can affect us in equally
powerful ways.

Most of your beliefs are planted at a young age and nurtured, as
thought and ideas get repeated and repeated over time, they become
engrained as “the truth.”  Fortunately “the truth,” is our perception
or reality.  Just like a computer whatever is programmed in, will be
the default setting, we can try to override information, but when
there is a breakdown, rebooting goes back to original programming.

If you have a parent terrified of spiders, you learn by seeing and
hearing that spiders are awful and scary to be around, they are
harmful and dangerous, so your natural reaction is to run away,
scream, cry, shake and panic.  If on the other hand your parents had
no such fears, spiders never posed a threat, just maybe a slight
inconvenience of getting a newspaper, letting them hop on and then
putting them outside again.  The trigger – ie. the spider is the same
for everyone, but our beliefs command our emotions and our behavior.

By the time adulthood arrives your beliefs in many things have become
like breathing, not even a thought to their value and effect on your
life; they are mostly assumed as “this is how I am.”  That is an easy
way to relinquish your responsibility for yourself, each and every one
of your thoughts, beliefs, habits; actions and words are part of you.
How much of that control you give away is also your choice, though it
is much easier to blame others.

Taking time to clean out your beliefs, choose only the helpful ones
and take them forward on your journey, leaving all the rest for the
rubbish collectors to dispose of them.

What are You Worth?

Next time you check-in at an airport with your carefully prepared and pre weighed luggage,  how would you feel if you were then  told,  you have to pay excess baggage on your over load of emotional baggage?   Lugging all those fears, phobias, guilts, habits and responsibilities around with you on a daily basis takes its toll.

Plus, a lot of them are  outdated and unhelpful, to your present life. If you could just carry around with you the helpful habits and choose your responsibilities how much lighter would your life be?  In fact, you can; making the choice is up to you, except you are usually so far down your list, that you never get that far!

Every morning you jump in the shower and say to yourself, “today is the day, I am going to” start the diet, learn a new skill, make time for me, look for a job, whatever it is you promise yourself; the morning starts well and you feel empowered, then a friend comes along, let’s go to lunch, go shopping, do anything, except what you had planned to do, do you stand your ground and say “No, sorry I am planning to…..” or do you feel guilty about letting them down, or upsetting them, you give in and break your promise to yourself.    You console yourself with, I will start tomorrow, but tomorrow  what comes along?

Your promises to yourself are the most important, but they are the ones easiest to break, if you do not treat yourself as important and worthy of your promises, why would anyone else think you are? Why allow your goals, plans and ambitions to be side tracked on a regular basis, when they could possibly make all the difference to you and the people around you.

It is not selfish, uncaring or irrational to want to be yourself and achieve things for yourself, even if you are wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend or lover.  You will bring much more to all of your relationships if you are the person you want to be, aching and doing the things you want to do.

You cannot change for other, or change somebody else, but you can choose to change for you and see how everything and others around you change in their relationships with you.  Respect yourself and others will too.