April 29, 2018

Today’s lightly-edited post was originally published two years ago.  Many of my current coaching clients have never read it and it is SO critical, I wanted to be able to share it with them.  I hope my faithful longtime readers will use it as a reminder to keep your communication manners impeccable, because they really DO have an impact on the quality of your relationships and therefore, your success.

May 22, 2016

“As I grow older, I pay less attention to what people say. I just watch what they do.” – Andrew Carnegie

Honest, thoughtful, effective communication creates the foundation for fulfilling, lasting personal and business relationships.  Those relationships, in turn, become the foundation for our success in life. And whether you realize it or not, people really DO notice how you behave when you communicate (or don’t) and judge you by your actions.

Over my nearly 14 years of coaching, I have witnessed a number of less-than-optimal communication practices among my clients that I know can limit their success. So want to share with you, too, a few practical tips for making your own communication habits more effective, successful and enjoyable:

  • Give them your undivided attention. When I coach, I sit at my desk, listening intently and taking notes about what my clients are saying, occasionally taking a sip of water (as quietly as possible) when my throat gets dry. Most of them give me their undivided attention, too.  But over the years, I have heard some banging pots and pans, running water, dragging furniture, chewing gum (or food) and slurping beverages. I often wonder if they do the same things while talking to their customers, colleagues and loved ones. The message this sends to your conversation partner is that “You are not important enough to me to give you my undivided attention.”  So please don’t multi-task while you are on the phone. (And please don’t be looking at or on your phone in the presence of someone you are supposed to be paying attention to – including your kids!)
  • Don’t avoid a conversation. Many of my clients are used to texting or messaging their friends, customers and prospects. Rarely do they pick up the phone, even if the conversation is likely to have extended back and forth question and answers. If you want to speak to someone, CALL them and leave a voice message if they don’t pick up.  In this text-happy world, leaving a voice message conveys to your listener that they matter SO much to you that you actually wanted to have a real conversation them! One of my clients who took my advice to call her prospects reported that the ratio of replies she got was triple what her texts had garnered.
  • Respond to your messages promptly. Do unto others what you would have them do unto you. If you want your teammates, customers, prospects and loved ones to return YOUR messages, ask yourself how promptly YOU respond to emails, texts and voice mails. Many of my clients complain about lack of response from others, but when I send them a critical email, I have learned to put PLEASE RESPOND in capital letters in the subject line – and some of them still never answer. Often, I have to resort to texting to make sure they got my email!  Causing other people to wonder and worry about whether you got their message or whether something is wrong between you will not make them enjoy communicating with you. Is your voice mailbox full?  Do you have a week’s worth of emails or 20 texts you haven’t looked at?  If you don’t respond to others in a timely manner, the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) says YOU will attract plenty of people who will frustrate you by not responding.
  • Keep your word. This is the #1 MUST for effective communication.  If you made an appointment to meet someone at Starbucks and then just didn’t show up, you can imagine how they will react!  Why is it any less of an affront if you stand them up for a phone appointment they planned on and made time for? As soon as you realize that you are running late or can’t make it, text or leave a voice mail.  They will forgive you if you apologize and give a BRIEF explanation (not a rambling, self-serving excuse). But if they call and you are just not there, they will get the message loud and clear that they don’t matter much to you.
  • When you mess up, fess up. One of my past clients used to complain that some team members in her organization purposely cut her out of the loop on communications. I was stumped why they would do this to such a nice person — until I discovered that she is rather infamous for standing them up on set appointment calls, often when they have a business prospect on the line with them. Hey, we are all human.  If you mess up, you will be forgiven, as long as you explain briefly, take full responsibility and sincerely apologize for the impact your slip up had on the other person. A perfect example happened this week, when one of my longtime clients called over an hour late for our appointment to apologize with this brief message: “I am so sorry. I got engrossed in writing a report for work and completely lost track of the time.  I value your time and I take full responsibility for missing our session.”  That was all we needed to get our relationship back on good terms.

I hope these tips will help you create fulfilling relationships built on mutual trust, honesty and respect. Those are the kind that last and will bring you rich rewards!

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking next Sunday off.  Look for your next Cup of Caroll to arrive on Sunday, May 13.  

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top. 

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  

 To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” – William Feather

I hadn’t planned on reprinting yet another blog written by my wonderful former fitness trainer, Rose Zahnn, who owns a great fitness studio in downtown Sacramento, CA called Healthy Habits (www.HealthyHabitsStudio.com).  But darn it, once again, she’s identified a formula for success that is SO simple, SO true and SO helpful, I just had to share it with you!

Although her coaching specialty is helping her clients get fit and healthy, I am sure you can see that the success secret shared in this blog applies to ANY Big Goal you are pursuing in your life – business, relationship, career, financial, you name it.

The one thing you’re missing . . .

By Rose Zahnn

“There is one reason why most people haven’t yet reached their goals, and it’s a simple one. It’s something that I’ve struggled with in the past, and it just may be the one thing that’s holding you back from your big breakthrough.

That one thing is consistency.

Think about it. The difference that separates a fitness lifestyle person from a couch potato is the consistency with which the former applies to their diet and exercise routine. That’s it!

Look, I know you can exercise and eat right. You’ve done it before! But a fitness plan only works when you consistently stay with it. You start, stop, start again, take a few days off, then get back on track. This haphazard effort will never lead to a dramatic body transformation!

What if I told you that you’re 5 feet from gold? That if you simply dug in a little deeper, and stuck with the program with consistency, you’d finally achieve the big results that you’ve been hoping for all along.

You are 5 feet from gold; don’t stop now!

The fact is that anyone can stick with a fitness and diet plan for a little while. Anyone can complete a challenge. Anyone can finish a 30-day program. Anyone can put in 2 weeks of solid effort.

It’s those who click into consistency that see the big changes and experience the joy and triumph of real accomplishment.

I want this for you.

I know that you see how valuable consistency is, and you want to do it, BUT you get off track time and time again. How do you tap into the consistency you need to make a real improvement in your life?

Use these three steps…

See it: Define exactly what it is you want to be consistent on. For example instead of saying that “I’ll start exercising,” say, “I’ll do the 7am session on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.” And instead of, “I’ll start eating healthy,” say, “I’ll eat XX number of calories per day divided into 5 small meals.” The more specific the better!

Keep in mind that you are defining your actions – not your outcome. Don’t use this step to determine what size jeans you want to fit into. That outcome is a byproduct of you consistently doing the actions. Just clearly define the actions that you need to be consistent on.

Feel it: Now that you’ve determined the actions needed, let’s think about that outcome and clearly define it. Be specific! What will you look like? What will that new body feel like? How will your friends and family respond to the new you?

It’s time to get your emotions all tied up in your quest. Daydream about getting to that outcome, feel it, emotionally take ownership of the idea of owning it. FEEL the happy, excited, proud emotions as if it’s already happened!

Do it: You’re clear about what you want. You feel invested in getting the results. Now go about the business of taking consistent action toward your goals.

Yes, this sounds simple, and it is simple.

Be consistent and you’ll soon strike gold.”

Yep. Rose nailed it. The three steps to setting yourself up to reach any Big Goal: See it, feel it and DO it.  Get clear on what you must do, visualize and FEEL what it will be like when you have exactly what you have dreamed about.  Don’t let yourself be distracted by how close or far you are from your goal.  Just keep on executing your daily plan of action with clockwork consistency — and know in your heart that you are just 5 feet from striking gold!

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

*************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ******************

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

March 11, 2018

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

The last blog, which was a reprint of one written by my awesome former personal trainer, Rose Zahnn, owner of a fitness studio in Sacramento, California (www.HealthyHabitsStudio.com), got a BIG thumbs up from my readers!

If you missed it, be sure to go to my website’s blog archives (Today is a Big Deal – Blog 296) because it delivers some sage advice about what it REALLY takes to reach any Big Goal.  Rose said, “At the end of the day, the sum of your [little moment-by-moment] choices pushes you in a direction” — either toward accomplishment or defeat.  Success is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. You have to pace yourself to keep moving in the direction of your dreams, one step at a time.

I can’t resist sharing with you one more follow-on blog by Rose that offers more helpful perspective on the topic of goal setting and fulfillment.  Of course, her particular focus is on health and fitness, but I’m sure you will recognize that these same principles apply to business, school, finances, relationships – any area of life, really.

“Have a goal? Here’s how to meet it.

By Rose Zahnn

Do you have a specific fitness goal you are hoping to achieve?  This goal could be a number on the scale or a clothing size.  Or maybe you are hoping to wear a certain cut or style of clothes like strappy tank tops, shorts or a bathing suit.

While having this goal is great, it will NOT guarantee success.

You knew that, though, because this isn’t the first time that you’ve had a fitness goal… a goal that you didn’t meet.  In fact, you probably know dozens of other people who also have struggled to meet their fitness goals.

Here’s the typical scenario: You get all pumped up to lose weight and get into shape by starting out completely gung-ho.  Your enthusiasm lasts about two weeks, before old habits and routine slide back into place, cutting your results off before reaching your goal.  Then your goal begins to fade from your mind and life goes on….

The problem was your initial focus on the result, rather than a sustained focus on the process.  Let’s break this down:

Fitness success is about focusing on your goals.  But even more important is focusing on the habits to make your healthier new lifestyle stick.

Of course, once you’ve gotten your fit lifestyle to stick, you’ll eventually meet your end goal.

The number that you’re hoping to magically weigh one day doesn’t matter one bit, and here’s why….

It’s about living in the Momentum.

Can you remember how it felt the last time that you ate super clean, exercised hard and got adequate sleep for a few consecutive days?  A feeling of momentum came over you, didn’t it?

There was a buzzing in your cells and a hop in your step.  You felt alive and empowered.  Never mind that you weren’t yet at your goal number; you were headed there!

Getting down to your goal weight and fitting into your size is the direct result of living in that state of momentum for an extended period of time.  You see, the momentum can be felt immediately, once you start eating clean, exercising hard and taking care of your health, whereas the “goal number” simply can’t be felt until it is achieved, and so it’s not as powerful a motivator.

My challenge and advice to you is to find the joy of living in the momentum, and keep that momentum going until your goal number is achieved.  Focus more on the momentum, less on the end goal.

Fitness is a way of life. Being lean is a lifestyle.  Neither of which can be had by going about it halfheartedly.

You have to create and re-create the momentum every day.”

If you don’t remember anything else from Rose’s wonderful column, I hope you will live by these powerful words, because they apply to EVERY Big Goal you have: “Find the joy of living in the momentum, and keep that momentum going until your goal is achieved.” 

Get into your groove.  Maintain a consistent pace …. one minute, one hour, one day at a time.  Don’t worry about how close or how far you are from your Big Goal at this moment.  Just keep living in the momentum and find joy in knowing you ARE on track to succeed — all you have to do is get up, suit up and “re-create the momentum every day”!

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

*************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ******************

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

January 21, 2018

“Today is unique!  It has never occurred before, and it will never be repeated.  At midnight, it will end, quietly, suddenly, totally. Forever.  But the hours between now and then are opportunities with eternal possibilities.” – Charles R. Swindoll

 I hope you have had a chance to complete your 2017 and create a vision for the brand new year that lies before you. If not, there is still time!  Go to my blog archives at www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and use the past two blogs to guide you in these important steps to lay the foundation for a happy and successful New Year.

If you have completed these two steps, there is one remaining step for you to get your year off to a successful start and maintain order and ease throughout the year ahead – getting organized. If you practice using the plan I am about to share with you, I can promise your 2018 will be filled with more internal peace and ease and more external efficiency and productivity.

(What follows is a lightly-edited post I published in June, 2015 that is definitely worth reviewing to get your year off to a great start!)

One of the biggest challenges my coaching clients seem to face is how to sort out multiple priorities among all the important tasks and projects they want to accomplish each day. With a demanding full-time job and a side business to manage, along with a family that needs their time and attention, how on earth are they supposed to find time for their own personal needs like daily exercise and Personal Development time? Where is that elusive “life balance” everyone wants?

I show them how to prioritize and manage their many accountabilities with ease, using a simple system I learned years ago.  I call it the “Big Rocks” weekly scheduling system, after a memorable demonstration by a time management/efficiency expert.

First, he placed a big glass jar on a table.  Next to it, he placed four glass jars containing rocks, pebbles, sand and water. He asked the audience in which order he should put the four substances into the jar so that ALL of them would fit.  Looking at the four containers separately, it seemed unlikely that the rocks, pebbles, sand and water could ALL fit into the one big jar, but he promised they would IF they were put in the right order.

Finally, someone got it: Put the BIG rocks in first, followed by the pebbles (which filled in the open spaces between the rocks), then the sand that sifted down into the cracks between the pebbles, and finally the water, which seeped down between everything, filling the jar to the top.  Yes, all four items DID fit into the available space, even though it looked impossible when you considered them separately.

The point he was making is that if you take care of your most important tasks (the “Big Rocks”) FIRST, all your other tasks can be managed with ease.  But if you eat up most of your day checking off a long list of meaningless “little stuff” – or worse, spinning your wheels trying to figure out what to tackle first — you won’t have enough time and energy left to accomplish the truly IMPORTANT things that will make the biggest difference for you.

In addition to this great prioritizing insight, I also learned another key principle of productivity from the book “Master Your Workday Now!” by Michael Linenberger. He asserts that, while you may like to think you attend to the most “important” tasks first, the truth is, we all invariably do the most URGENT tasks first, whether or not they are the most IMPORTANT to us.  These may or may not be your personal priorities, but they are tasks with a short deadline that your boss, church committee, spouse, kid’s teacher, Team members or customers say they MUST have your help with right NOW.  You will put out these annoying little fires first because alleviating the internal pressure caused by the feeling of urgency trumps all.

Linenberger believes that, as a rule, we can handle a maximum THREE urgent matters each day. When more than three urgent tasks are competing for your attention at one time, your brain loses the ability to prioritize and accomplish them. Most of the time, attempting to accomplish more than three urgent “Big Rocks” causes your brain to shut down and not finish some or all of them, or makes you to try to get them done in a slap-dash way that produces poor results.

What is the best way to accomplish your most urgent and important Big Rocks tasks each day?  Rule #1 is DO NOT schedule yourself for more than THREE Big Rocks per day. These are defined as tasks that must be done by YOU (meaning you cannot delegate them to someone else) AND must be done or worked on TODAY.  If it can be delegated, ask for help!  If it can be put off to a later time and still be done properly, schedule it as one of your “Big Rocks” for another day.

All this talk of urgency probably doesn’t sound very easeful, does it? So how do you accomplish three Big Rocks, along with the rest of your To-Dos every day with a feeling of ease and control?  Simply PLAN your Big Rocks in advance! Here’s how Mr. Linenberger’s book taught me to do it:

  • For 20-30 minutes each weekend, sit quietly with your long To-Do list of upcoming tasks and projects and your day planner calendar open to the coming week. Study your To-Do list carefully and decide which tasks are going to be your Big Rocks to accomplish during the coming week.
  • Schedule a maximum of THREE Big Rocks tasks per day into your weekly planner/calendar at the TIMES of day you think they should be done. Some Big Rocks will be appointments at set times, such as a conference call with a potential business partner at 10am on Tuesday, a dentist appointment at 3pm on Friday, getting your car’s oil changed on Thursday morning, going to your kid’s soccer tournament Thursday at 4pm, etc. Other daily Big Rocks will be projects and tasks that you must choose the best day and time for YOU to work on. In that case, you will be blocking out times on your appointment calendar that you feel are optimal for you and the results you want, such as making prospecting calls from 10am to 11am each day, writing a report that’s due by the end of the week from 2pm to 5pm on Tuesday, practicing the cello each day from 5 to 6pm, in preparation for a recital in two weeks, etc.
  • IF a conflict arises between a previously-set appointment (which, of course, you wrote in your planner the minute you set it) and a Big Rock task or event that came up later, your weekly planning time alerts you to either change the current appointment OR negotiate a time change for the task or event. Being in integrity requires that you notify anyone else who will be affected by such changes, just as soon as you become aware of them. If another’s expectations are not going to be met, alerting them ASAP allows them time to either get someone else to fill in for you or to negotiate a new time for you to accomplish it.
  • After scheduling the three Big Rock tasks and appointments for each day of the coming week, you then can fill in the rest of the open times with your “Pebble Tasks.” These are not as important as the Big Rocks and/or they can be done at flexible times, so you can fit them in after you see what the Big Rocks schedule looks like each day.
  • Next, come the “Sand” and “Water” items, such as errands. If these small items don’t get done today, it’s not a big deal; you can still fit them amongst the Big Rocks and Pebbles another day. Try to be efficient by looking at your To-Do list for multiple errands that can be done in the same trip and block those out for 30 minutes or an hour in a given day.  TIP: Always have something useful to read or listen to while you commute or are stuck waiting somewhere for a few minutes.  Don’t waste precious time playing games on your smart phone when you could be reading a good book or improving your skills via a recorded training call.

IMPORTANT CAVEATS: In order for this system to work:

  • You absolutely MUST keep a daily/weekly planner that has slots of at least 30 minutes for each day. (My coaching appointment calendar has 15-minute time slots from 8am to 8pm each day.)

AND

  • You must keep ALL of your appointments – business, personal, doctors, kids’ sports, social engagements, etc. on the SAME planner/calendar.  If you have multiple calendars going for different areas of life, you will inevitably double-book yourself for something important and tears will flow.

My clients who faithfully use this simple “Big Rocks” weekly scheduling system report that it really works!  They have a greater sense of control over their time and no more stress and guilt from double-bookings or forgotten appointments. And they have a real sense of accomplishment at the end of they day because they were able to complete the things that really mattered to them, instead of just checking off a bunch of little tasks that can’t help them reach their Big Goals.

Is setting aside time each weekend to plan your week ahead worth the sacrifice of 30 minutes of precious me time or family time? I promise that, in return, you will gain a greater sense of personal control, lower your stress level, and begin to create that “life balance” we all crave. Seems totally worth it, doesn’t it?

PLEASE NOTE: The blog will be taking the next two weekends off for taxes (Ugh!) and Super Bowl Sunday (Yay!).  A brand new Cup of Caroll will appear in your in-box on Sunday, February 11th.

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching!  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached!  And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com and request a complimentary session.

August 20, 2017

“Dream big dreams, but never forget that realistic short-term goals are the keys to your success.” — Mac Anderson

As the first annual Prosperity Summer Camp webinar completes this week, this lightly-edited blog from spring 2015 provides a very timely message for all the “Happy Campers” taking part, as well as anyone who longs to make their Big Dreams come true more quickly and easily.  I hope you enjoy it (or enjoy it again)!

March 15, 2015

“Keep on going and the chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it.  I have never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down.” – Charles Kettering

 I believe that any Big Goal is possible to achieve, no matter what anyone else says or how improbably short the time frame may seem.  However, if you want to harness the power of the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) to help you reach your goals with greater speed and ease, you must learn to distinguish empowering “Possibility Thinking” from mere “Pie in the Sky” wishful daydreaming.

Are Your Beliefs Limiting You?

A vital aspect of Practical Prosperity Coaching ™ is helping my clients to recognize when they are holding unconscious Limiting Beliefs about their Big Goal. A Limiting Belief is a limitation we automatically, unconsciously place on what we think is possible to achieve.  We must remember that our beliefs are not the “truth,” but simply our interpretation of the facts, based on our own past experience or someone else’s. A Limiting Belief holds you back from pursuing a Big Goal, while an Empowering Belief encourages you to go after it with gusto.

Working daily with the Law of Attraction over the past 13 years to manifest my own Big Goals and help over 650 coaching clients manifest theirs, I have come to believe that Big Goals ARE possible to achieve, provided you are willing to do three things in order to put the Law of Attraction into action to make the seemingly “impossible” possible.  Unless you are willing to follow these three “Keys to Success, you are simply fantasizing that your Big Goal is going to magically drop from the heavens into your lap.

Don’t Buy Others’ Limiting Beliefs about Your Goal

One of my past clients demonstrated in textbook fashion how following these three Keys to Success can help you manifest any Big Goal in record time.  “Dorothy” was a young professional with a high-paying day job who dreamed of turning her part-time business into a full-time career.  Her compelling “Why” for pursuing this Big Goal was a strong desire to spend more time with her new husband than her intense day job allowed, while still maintaining a good income.

After analyzing her Network Marketing company’s pay plan, she determined that reaching the Director Level would enable her to quit her day job and start living the life she dreamed of.  When we began coaching, she had just 30 days left to reach Director by the fastest, easiest route. After that, the requirements became much tougher, so she decided to go for it that month with everything she had.

Her well-meaning upline Leaders told her that “statistically” she would have to talk to 100 people about the products and/or the business opportunity in order to reach her Big Goal.  She knew she could not realistically expect to do her 50-60 hour a week job AND talk to 100 prospects in 30 days.

So, I asked her to challenge the Limiting Belief that she absolutely MUST talk to 100 people in order to recruit the business partners and do the product sales volume required to reach Director. I reminded her that this statistic was simply an “average” of what it had taken other consultants to reach this goal.  I asked her whether she thought it was possible for one individual to do better than “average” and she said, “Yes.”  Then if it is possible, did she believe that she could actually do it?  “Of course!” she replied.  Supported by her new Empowering Belief that she was capable of producing results that were far above average, she set out to fulfill each of the three Keys to Success for reaching a Big Goal in record time.

The Three Keys to Success in Manifesting

Success Key #1:  Use ALL available tools to their full advantage. We created her personalized Daily Success Script ™ and she began repeating it aloud twice a day for about 10 minutes each.  She understood that the purpose of the Success Script was to build her belief that she could do it, give her the right energy to attract the right prospects to her, and open her subconscious mind to come up with inspired new shortcuts to lead her to her goal.  She did her Success Script twice each day like clockwork, never making an excuse that she had forgotten or fallen asleep or didn’t have it with her when she needed it. She recognized that success requires Integrity and she kept her word that she would use every tool I provided to help her reach her Big Goal.

Success Key #2: Be Strategic.  You do not need to know HOW you are going to reach your Big Goal before you can begin to pursue it.  But you do have to take any and all Action Steps that you can right NOW, trusting that more guidance will be provided as you move forward. Taking massive action demonstrates that you really ARE committed to manifesting your Big Goal. That commitment energy attracts the ideal resources, people and serendipitous opportunities that will help guide you to it.

I asked Dorothy which people on her prospect list she thought had the BEST chance of saying “Yes” quickly.  She replied, “The ones I’ve already talked to at least once. The time wasn’t right for them before, but it might be NOW.” She decided to call them again and simply ask, “Is NOW a good time for you to try the products risk-free and/or to join me in the business?”

This strategy worked very well. When she told her friends about her Big Goal, quite a few were willing to help her by placing an order right then.  A few even decided to jump into the business at last.  She got through her “follow up” list much faster than she would have by making initial calls and having to explain the products or the business from scratch. She strategically went after the “low hanging fruit” and it paid off.

Success Key #3: Use your available time wisely.  Especially when pursuing a goal with a tight time frame, it’s critical to get into action quickly and work smart throughout.  Dorothy didn’t have a lot of hours available, but she made every minute count.  She talked to coworkers and made calls on her lunch hour, made more calls in the evenings, and asked several friends to host two or three home presentations on the weekends and invite their friends to come. And when she did those presentations, she was amazed at the unusually HIGH percentage of guests who approached her afterward to ask how they could get into the business.

Just before midnight on the last day of the month, Dorothy signed up her final business builder and placed her final order and was promoted to Director. When she ran her stats, she discovered that her personal success ratio for prospecting that month turned out to be much better than either the company “average” or her own past experience.

At her company’s annual convention, Dorothy received a special award for reaching Director Level faster than anyone else in her entire region that year. Soon, she quit her day job and continues to enjoy building her business and spending lots of time with her husband.

So what approach will YOU take to pursue your own Big Goals — Pie or Possibility?

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking the next two weeks off so my wonderful husband Rick and I can enjoy the last precious days of a Southern California Summer! A Cup of Caroll will return with an all-new blog on Sunday September 10.  Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend!

If you or your friends would like a free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top. 

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching!  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached!  And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.

 

“If you only did the things you don’t want to do, you’d have everything you want.” – Mel Robbins

What important task are you dragging your feet about doing right now because you just don’t “feel” like it?

I have to be honest, for me today, Number One is writing this blog. I love to write, but I have a lot of things I’d prefer to do on a beautiful Spring day, rather than sit in front of my computer trying to come up with a topic that can inspire my readers to be more efficient, successful and fulfilled in their lives.

No matter how much you value keeping your word to yourself and others, I am sure you, too, know exactly what it’s like to want to avoid doing something that you know will benefit you or someone else.

The human Ego much prefers sitting on the couch, safe and comfy, avoiding anything that will challenge the status quo in your life.  Pursuing your Big Goals usually requires sustained effort, self-discipline, risk and emotional or physical discomfort.

Of course, Life Coach Mel Robbins is 100% right. Instead of sharpening pencils, cleaning out the junk drawer, procrastisnacking, re-arranging your lists, perusing (and envying) others’ Facebook posts and binge-watching just one more episode of your favorite show –  consider where you could be if you had just plunged in and finished the very task you DON’T want to do: Make the call, go to the gym, update your resume, apply for the job you really want, apply for a business loan, join an online dating service, call your loved one and apologize for the fight you had?

What would your life look like right now?

One of my clients recently made me laugh the when she blurted out, “I didn’t read your blog this week.  I HATE reading blogs.”

Really?  You “hate” getting tips that can help you succeed?  Being challenged and inspired?  Developing your character?  Learning how others have overcome the same challenges you are facing? Stretching your belief in what is possible for you?

I was tempted to reply, “Well, sometimes I hate WRITING the blog!”  But that’s not true.  I actually love writing – or I would not have put in the thousands of hours of effort over my lifetime in order to develop that skill.

But do I love being 100% accountable for producing a blog that consumes half of my Saturday three times a month?  Heck NO! I would much prefer to be in my backyard right now, stretched out on the chaise lounge with an iced tea and a good book.  That would be nice for ME, but what about my readers, who read the blog and write comments such as, “This is exactly what I needed to hear today.”  Or “I felt so relieved to read that – Now I know I’m not alone.” They are what keeps me accountable.

Not everything we do is for someone else’s benefit, of course.  Many of the tasks we avoid doing are uncomfortable things we don’t want to do but which we know will bring us the results we say we want to have.

In her wonderful, tell-it-like-it-is book, Get Over Your Damn Self, direct sales Superstar Romi Neustadt admits that even SHE doesn’t want to be accountable for doing the daily activities that have made her a multi-millionaire in a few short years.

According to Romi, “You’ve got to figure out what it is you really want that you don’t already have.  Whatever it is, it’s got to be important enough to get you to do something with commitment and consistency.  It’s got to be important enough to get you up, to make one more phone call, to reach out to one more person….even when you are bone-ass weary.  Because if we want something bad enough in this life, we make it happen.  It’s just that simple.”

Here’s Romi’s great method for overcoming the Ego’s natural preference for avoiding all uncomfortable tasks: At the start of her business, she wrote down her WHY in vivid detail, including both the carrot and the stick. She listed all the great things having a successful direct sales business could produce for her and her family AND all the tragic disappointments that would occur if she didn’t do the things necessary to succeed.

She kept that piece of paper by her bed and read it first thing every morning before her feet hit the floor. She used it as leverage to make herself get up every day and do the tasks she didn’t want to do, but knew she must do, in order to get her WHY.

Mel Robbins has her own simple, foolproof method to counteract the Ego’s desire for inertia. She calls it “The Five Second Rule.”  Most of my coaching clients have watched Mel’s short TED Talk about this.

I urge you to spend 20 memorable minutes being entertained and confronted with the reality that you have just five seconds to do what you promised yourself to do when the time comes to do it.  If you wait longer than five seconds, like a skilled courtroom litigator, your wily Ego will make a compelling argument for why it would be better to “wait until tomorrow” to carry out the task.

Guess what the outcome will be if you listen to that voice inside your head instead of keeping your promise and taking action right NOW?

That’s right. You will never get your WHY. Instead, you will earn a comfortable seat on the sidelines, watching as others get their WHYs.

So what’s it going to be for YOU?  You have five seconds to decide.

Here’s Mel Robbins TED talk “Stop Screwing Yourself Over” about the Five Second Rule: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp7E973zozc

Next Sunday the blog will be taking the day off so that I can spend Easter with my family.  A Cup of Caroll will return on Sunday, April 23.

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for a while, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com  or toll free 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.   

 

“If there is any secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as your own.” – Henry Ford 

My job, first and foremost, is to provide “safe space” for my coaching clients to be 100% themselves.   They know that in our conversations, they have complete confidentiality and freedom to speak their truth without fear of being judged or made wrong. I may not always agree with their point of view, but I strive to be respectful of it and to keep asking objective questions until I feel that I thoroughly understand it. Only when I understand their point of view can I suggest other possible approaches they might consider before speaking or acting in ways that could have unintended repercussions.

Yet, despite near-daily practice with hundreds of clients for almost 11 years, I still slip up from time to time. When I’ve had a particularly long or hectic day and my mental and emotional energy “tanks” are depleted, I can sometimes forget to put myself in the other person’s shoes. I may get attached to my own point of view or jump to conclusions. I might even hurt some else’s feelings by a poor choice of words or tone. In short, just like you, I sometimes say things I later regret.

For effective communication, there is nothing more vitally important than following the Golden Rule. If we want to build positive, lasting relationships, we must treat others as we want to be treated. The key, as St. Francis of Assisi said, is to “Seek first to understand; then to be understood.” 

I had a painful lesson in the consequences of NOT doing this just the other evening. It came at the end of a long and hectic day spent trying to balance focused coaching with fielding a barrage of eager emailed requests for free coaching sessions (YES, this is a GREAT “problem” to have!). In the evening, I felt physically tired and emotionally depleted. In fact, I felt downright cranky.

Sitting numbly on the couch in front of the television, I heard the ding of an incoming email on my phone. I knew that I should wait until morning, and give myself a chance to relax and replenish my patience stores. Instead, I peeked at it and discovered a very upset message from one of my clients, describing something unfair she felt another of my clients had done to her.

Once again, my better judgment whispered to just leave it alone until I had a clearer head in the morning, but instead I inserted myself into the disagreement, which I had no business doing. My client fired off the email to me simply to vent her frustration; she never asked me to get involved! Nevertheless, armed with only the bare-bones “facts” presented from her point of view, my own tired, cranky Ego made a snap decision to jump headlong into a delicate, complex situation.

Over the years, I have recognized that my Inner Wisdom/Intuition almost always tries to stop me from acting impulsively. Whenever I listen to that wise inner voice, I invariably feel relieved that I didn’t take the bait and speak or react impetuously during a stressful moment. Whenever you feel gripped by a strong negative emotion that is urging you to fire off a biting, angry or snarky response to a perceived wrong, I recommend listening instead to that wise inner voice, which is undoubtedly urging you to STOP and cool off before you respond.

Instead of listening to my wise inner voice, I impulsively picked up the phone just before 9:00 pm and called client number two, purportedly to get “her side of the story.”   But when she answered the phone, my words spilled out as though something had taken control of my vocal chords and was using them without my permission. I grilled her with a rapid-fire barrage of questions – first accusing and then judging her “guilty” of exactly what client number one THOUGHT she had done.

I could tell she was taken aback, but to her immense credit, she didn’t lash back or even act defensive. As she did all she could to field my accusatory questions as calmly and clearly as she could, it slowly began to dawn on me that there really were two sides to this story, as there always are. The indignant, self-righteous Ego voice screaming in my head subsided and I began to regain control of my thoughts and emotions.

As her side of the story emerged, it became clear that there were NO bad intentions on either side – just a misunderstanding caused by both of them making assumptions that turned out to be wrong. And then I fell into the same trap myself by assuming that what client number one had told me was 100% right and that my other client’s actions had to   be wrong.

Throughout the call, I could hear a bone-weariness in my client’s voice, but I just ignored it. Only later did I recall what she had shared with me only a few hours earlier about her own extremely hectic and emotionally difficult day. I am sure that she was feeling far more tired and emotionally drained than I was. Yet, she kept her cool when I lost mine.

After we hung up, I felt progressively worse, as I thought back over my lack of emotional control, harsh tone and judgmental manner on the call. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I needed to clean it up with her ASAP. It’s best to convey something like this by voice, rather than writing, because it is so hard to accurately interpret tone and intent in written messages. But it was too late in the evening to call her back and I didn’t want to leave her feeling disempowered, so I texted her.

I did my best to follow the integrity training I got from Landmark Education to avoid making excuses or making it about ME. As straightforwardly and sincerely as I could, I sent her this apology:

“I apologize for sounding upset. I am not mad at either of you wonderful women. You are two of the nicest, most giving people I know.   I am just frustrated that things went wrong for both of you through miscommunication. Nobody had bad intentions. Just another example of The Four Agreements and how hard we all have to work not to make assumptions. And I admit that somehow I took it personally [another of The Four Agreements]. I can’t even say why I would! I just introduced you to help you both. The rest is entirely none of my business. I let myself get emotionally involved and that was wrong. I apologize again if I offended you or made you feel wrong.   You had a very tough day and I entirely overlooked that, too. The last thing you needed is a call like that. Hope you will forgive me.” 

To her further credit, she responded magnanimously, “No apologies needed. I know you have the best intentions for me and all your clients. I felt bad about any frustration it caused you. Thank you for calling me to talk through the concerns. You pointed out some valid points.”

Wow. How KIND she was to me in response to how UNKIND I was to her! Whose energy do you think influenced the other’s more? Her powerful positive energy had a much greater impact on ME than my negative energy had on her. Positive energy is always stronger than negative energy. She demonstrated what it means to truly live the Golden Rule and it is a lesson I will strive to remember.

Ironically, just a few days before my self-inflicted drama, I coached another client about how important it was to think carefully before she responded to an injustice perpetrated on her two young children. The Vice Principal of the private school her kids attend called to tell her that they must serve 15 minutes of detention during the last week of school because they had been tardy to their first classes too many times. She was incensed because the school is way across town and their few late arrivals were due to heavy traffic.

After forwarding her an inspirational thought from minister Joel Osteen I had received that very morning, she was quickly able to regain a positive perspective and respond in a very effective way. Instead of dressing down the overly-strict Vice Principal, she wrote a calm, measured email to the Principal stating why she felt her children should not be punished for something they could not control. “It is perfectly OK if you want to fine us parents, but I cannot allow my children to be humiliated for something they didn’t do.” The Principal immediately wrote back, assuring her that they would waive any punishment and expressing appreciation for the strong support she and her family have shown the school over the years.

Here is the thought that helped my client express her position in a committed, but positive way that garnered a positive outcome.

Guard Your Mouth [by Joel and Victoria Osteen]

Today’s Scripture: “He who guards his mouth keeps his life, but he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” – Proverbs 13:3, AMP

We’ve all said things we wish we could take back. Scripture says that when we guard our mouth, we keep our life. That’s because our words determine the direction of our lives, and wrong words can get us off course very quickly. 

The Bible tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue. There’s no neutral ground. We are either sowing seeds of life and productivity with our words, or we are sowing seeds of ruin and destruction with our words. 

Today is a good day to take inventory of your words and make the decision to sow only good seeds. Sow seeds of life by speaking God’s Word over yourself and those around you.   Make the decision today that your words will bring glory to the Lord as you guard your mouth and keep your life!” 

May these words of wisdom remind us to think before saying and doing things we will wish we could take back!

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching! It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached! And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.