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Small Business Revitalization Blog

Small Business Coaching: Revive Your Profits, Revitalise Your Perspectives, Reinvigorate Your People

Is Tradition Your Fall-Back Position?




Business is unpredictable.  You can try to make it predictable (good luck!) or you can ride the waves of possibilities.

What is it that you have been trying diligently to make work, that just isn’t working? Forcing outcomes doesn't work anymore. Traditional ways of operating a business are the fall-back position that is becoming less and less effective.  

If we are on a frontier of new ways of working and doing business, where does the savvy business owner start?

Question everything!  A business coaching client recently asked for mentoring in creating her services mix and expressing it in the world.  She is different.  Brilliant. Fun. Dynamic. Creative.  

And yet... she was talking about what she would like to create from a space of resisting the past and refusing to embrace a new future where her difference would shine.  It’s the perfect conflictual paradigm to keep going nowhere and I see it too often.

What are the fall-back positions that you are operating from?  Are they serving you or are you a blind slave to a reality that is no longer true or relevant?  

I asked my client to ask her questions from a different space, where it wasn't all about her.  (It's never about us... even though we'd love to think so!)  Instead of ‘How do I find people who will recognise how different I am?’  I suggested she ask: ‘Who would love to work with me and what could I offer that is easy for me and exactly what they are asking for?’

Turning every dilemma into its opposite is one way to discover new paths.  What question are you not asking, that if you did ask it, would create new and different possibilities for your business with far more ease?

Here are a couple of my current favourite questions...

“How can I handle this in a totally different way?”

“What would my business be like if I was willing to create my own reality?”

“What am I not getting about what needs to change here?”

When you ask these questions, you may or may not come up with an immediate answer.  Just asking the question allows something different to show up because now, you are seeking a different possibility to just a few minutes ago.  

Have you ever noticed how we don’t perceive anything that doesn’t match our beliefs or expectations about business?  What if that stops now and you start to ask for the possibilities you have never noticed before! 

This is the start of creating a different way of being and doing business.  I hope you have fun playing with possibilities... we haven’t scratched the surface yet!


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The Breakthrough Moment



The breakthrough moment... is that moment when you come up against everything that IS possible... and you either choose it (even if it is REALLY uncomfortable) or you back away, hiding amongst the excuses that have kept you from going beyond it in the past.

How many times have you almost got there, only to stop yourself?  Is it time to stop it... or do you love stopping you?

Are any of these scenarios familiar to you?

“I know I can do this, but before I do, I just need to.....(insert big thing that is your current ‘unsolvable obstacle’ here).....”

“I would love to do this, but I’m just going to..... (insert small, unimportant list of busy work here).....”

“I am procrastinating because I am not ready, I need to learn..... (insert your personal ‘less than’ comparison to as many guru’s in your industry as you can find here).....”

“I know this is really important, but I have to do my client work first... (insert long list of client work and excuses for not working ON your business here).....”

“I can’t. I am afraid of..... (insert your favourite set of fears and doubts that you use to distract yourself from moving forward here).....”

I have coached hundreds of people in getting over the personal limitation that is stopping them from breaking through to creating what they truly desire - in business and beyond.

And here’s the thing... it's never about needing more, learning more or doing more or waiting for something else to show up first. It's always about BEING more! 

Sound crazy?  Here’s how it works. How many people do you know who are ‘wasting their potential’?  You know it, everyone around them knows it, in most cases they know it too.  And they are as frustrated as hell about it.

If this is you, there is a really simple solution.  You make the demand of yourself that this changes NOW.  That you aren’t going to listen to your brilliant but oh so limiting excuses anymore.  You are going to take the action that will move you forward in leaps and bounds, rather than going round in circles. 

And then you do it.  Not from the space of doubt, lack or fear; but from the space of “I’m kick-ass and I’m going to rock this!  What do I need to be or do different that will allow me to create this with ease?” Notice that being this energy puts a totally different spin on what’s possible?

That’s what I’m talking about when I say BE more.  The truth is, you don’t need to be anything other than what you truly be.  If you stop ‘wasting your potential’ you’ll make a much greater demand of yourself to deliver beyond your excuses.  

You are ready.  There is no better time.  You know enough.  You are more than enough. Go be everything you can be!  Your life (and business) will have so much more ease when you embrace and acknowledge your true capacities rather than pretending they don’t exist.  What could you play with today, that would change all possibilities with ease?  It takes courage.  And it's SO worth it!

How do I know what to do with this particular entrepreneurs dilemma?  I’ve been there - stopping myself by most of the options above and then some... and I’m not allowing myself to be pathetic or side-tracked anymore.  Just so you know... You’re not alone here.  AND also know there is a greater possibility available! Are you demanding it?

If you’d like some more tools for going beyond your breakthrough moment, you can contact Lisa Murray for a personal Breakthrough Session or listen in to her free New Energies of Business show on Blog Talk Radio. 

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Creating Your Business Out of Control

How much energy do we use trying to never be 'out of control'?  And what if it is the energy of 'out of control' that actually allows us to create dynamically?

Join Lisa Murray for an intriguing exploration of what 'out of control' actually is... and how you can use it creatively in business and life.  What if 'out of control' could be the best thing that ever happened to you?

Listen below:



Traditional business is about control. There is this assumption that if everything is under control then everything will be okay. But what if it's not? What if this idea of control is actually the energy that is limiting the possibilities in your business?  When we start to operate from awareness rather than control, doors open where there were only walls.  Creativity and innovation become the norm!

Listen to the show and then take this week's business coaching challenge.  Find the area of your business that is the most tightly controlled.  Ask: What could show up if I stopped controlling this?  What else could be possible if I remove the controls? What contribution could it be to take this area out of control?

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What's Missing In Your Business?

You know that feeling you get when you know something is missing, but you just don't know what it is?  You 'should' be making way more money, but you're not.  You 'should' be moving forward faster with your projects, but you're not.  You 'should' be engaging with way more people, but you're not!  

When I looked underneath all of the 'shoulds' in one of my businesses it came down to one thing.  Consistency. I was great at doing lots of the things that were needed to make it work. Occasionally. Randomly. When I felt inspired. When I remembered. When I wasn't distracted with client projects. And when I looked at the times the business had worked really well, it was when I was doing the business generating and expanding activities CONSISTENTLY!

Most of us have some idea of what to do to create growth in our business.  When we first started we figured it out - because it was get it to work or go back to the JOB.  Motivation comes from interesting places!  And once we had it figured out and the business was moving forward, we got busy with other activities.  The actions that sound important, the actions that are required to service our customers. The actions that took us away from the genuinely essential actions.

These are the actions that keep a business running...  Somewhere in your business there are some actions missing that make the difference between a thriving business and a surviving business.  What are they?  It's different for every business.  You know your business model and you know what it takes to keep the engine humming.  And if you aren't sure, that's your first action - find out!!

If you know what it is, how much attention are you giving to the daily, weekly or monthly actions that keep the engine in tune and humming along effortlessly?  If a few things have fallen off the consistency wagon, now is the time to change that.

I know what you are thinking.  "If it was easy for me to be consistent with these things I'd be doing it!"  Yes, I hear you! Consistency not natural for me either - I much prefer to play with new ideas!!  And I'm inviting you to find a way to make it work for you - because you know and I know that when you do these things consistently, your business will grow!

Here are three ways I get myself in the energy of being consistent:
1)  Produce in blocks.  For example, instead of writing random blog posts because I haven't posted lately and I need to show up, I'll write 10 - 15 posts at a time and schedule them in advance.  Faster and easier and everyone feels the love!

2)  Delegate.  There are just some things you'll never get to.  Find someone who is better than you at the task in hand and make it their job to deliver regularly.  Make a diary note so you can check the task is being completed.

3)  Power Hours.  I've talked about these before.  They are one of my favourite things.  Make a list of all those small things that need doing regularly that you just have to do and set aside a daily or weekly power hour.  It might be making client appointments, paying your team.  Whatever it is that will create more space and more possibilities for the future, schedule it!  Some weeks I even have two!  Because I know that an hour of priorities each week saves me many more hours down the track.  And we'd all like to work less right?

So, this week's business coaching challenge is to identify at least two things that would make a difference to your business if you did them consistently, and set up a system for getting them done!  You don't need to be the source, you just need a system that works!

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You Don't Have To Be Tired!



If you are finding yourself saying ‘I am sick and tired of.....’ a lot, have you noticed that you are getting sicker and tireder... that those symptoms aren’t disappearing the more you say it?  That’s because when we say ‘I am sick and tired of.....’ that’s what we are creating.  More of the same!  


Or maybe your favourite phrase is ‘I’m too tired to....’  Whatever it is, you can be sure that if you are talking about being tired, that’s what you are creating.

Why am I writing about this?  Because two clients have asked me in the last 24 hours: ‘How is it you don’t get tired when you work with lots of people?’  At the end of my three-day Creativity Lab LIVE! event, I was still like the energizer bunny!  And I am an introvert, so technically this should not be possible, except that it is!!

So, here are a few of my secrets...  I work a lot.  I love it.  And there are moments when I’m tired.  Moments, and sometimes an hour or so.  Not days, or weeks or months.  I used to have burnout.  I know exactly what intensive tiredness feels like.  And I know what exhaustion is too.  And I’m just not willing to have that be part of my life anymore.  So I work in a flow that not only works for me mentally, but physically as well.

Get Enough Sleep

Note I am not saying ‘get 8 hours of sleep’.  It says get ENOUGH sleep.  I can go for weeks or months on 4 - 5 hours sleep a night.  With ease.  And right now, my body needs about 9 - 10 hours a night to feel good.  The number of hours is always changing.  When my body tells me it’s different, my sleep patterns change.  

What is different about this from me to most people is that I don’t have a number that is ‘right’.  The number of hours of sleep that is right for me is the number that makes me feel great.  Today.  It’s not a number that is relevant to any research or any study.  How could anyone else possibly know my body better than me?  And when I choose to go with what my body tells me, we are both happy.  And there’s lots of energy to play with!


Quit With The Expectations


Have you noticed that the more you (or others) expect of you, the more you feel you need to deliver and the tireder you become?  When you remove the expectations and just be with ‘what is’ you can start to unravel what’s actually possible.


Many times in my career I given my bosses some variation of choice that would work for me:  “You can have this or this... or all of it with more time, what would you like to choose?”  Allow someone else to assist with the priorities.  And if you work for yourself, find a good sounding board.

Know What Energises You

For me, sitting in the sun for a while pours lots of vitamin D goodness in where it’s needed.  When I add a little time playing with horses or watching clouds go by, I receive even more space. It can also be laughing with friends, a house-cleaner, or a few nutritious meals in the freezer... anything that makes your life easier and gives you energy! 

What is it that creates space and energy for you?  Those are the elements you need to make a priority.  And sometimes you just have to take a ‘joyful living’ day - some people call them mental health days... I prefer to allow myself to have a really really good time on those days.  Guilt-free time off from your business is essential!


Can you imagine how much more would be possible if you weren't tired anymore?


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Does Size Matter?

I ask a lot of questions about my businesses every single day.  It’s part of having a constantly generative, creative, expansive energy running through everything I do.  One thing that has come up in my awareness this week is the question of size.

Does size matter?  For me, apparently it does!  I was looking at what wasn’t moving forward quickly and I realised that most of those things weren’t big enough - they were boring me with their smallness! 



The more I explored the more I could see how the size of a project becomes an inspiration to me.  Which is one of the reasons I still do occasional consulting work for large businesses - it's that enticement of having a much bigger playground to apply my creativity and capacities to.  


The obvious conclusion from this is - "I need to make my businesses way larger."  And that's where most people stop.  Not me!  

Something didn't feel correct. I asked more questions.  "What is it about BIG that I love?"  It's about having bigger budgets, more resources for creating faster, more engagement with talented brilliant people, more flexibility to experiment, more possibilities showing up by being more visible, more toys to play with…

  

"How could I create that?" came next.  And I realised that I am very very close to having all of the energies I love in my businesses right now.  With a few tweaks, all of that could be put into place over the next couple of months with ease.

"What else is there to know about this?"  I have this way of popping into social media just when the exact piece of information I require is available.  Yesterday someone wrote something like "the universe has no point of view about size - creating something small or large is just as easy, so why not start with large?"   

And that fired my imagination some more.  "If I stop making it all about size, what else could be possible?  What would I ask for that I have never asked for before because it was too big or too small?"  Yeah, you can hear my ideas going off like popcorn right now!!

Imagine if we took away all of our judgements about size and asked for the elements of what we would like to create instead?  Would that create a different future for your business? It is for mine!


(In case you are wondering, this is what business coaching with Lisa Murray is like... a series of ever-expanding conversations and questions that create and outcreate and create some more! I was just doing my thing on myself...as a follow-on from a conversation I had with my mentor about how I could have everything move forward faster.)


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What Is Beyond Meditation?

 

Do you meditate to keep yourself on track?  For many years whenever I negotiated my job conditions with a new employer, I also negotiated time to go to my weekly personal meditation session with my then mentor.  A lot of employers found it a little strange, but I never had anyone say no!!!

The funny thing was, despite my commitment to the meditation cause, meditation didn’t really ever work for me in the ways I hoped.  I spent hours a day meditating for many years and there was very little to show for it – I was still the world’s most incredible over-thinker… and I still did not have the space and peace that I desired.  

The Huffington Post talks about the daily habits of wealthy successful business leaders who use meditation and mindfulness techniques to superpower their capacities… that was my target with meditation too– until I became aware of even more creative, generative possibilities that took a lot less time and gave me a lot more ease.

Here’s the thing… meditation is designed to give your brain space.  To stop you thinking.  To have you just BE.  We have been presented with one basic way to meditate – sit still and empty your mind.  And while there are lots of variations to that theme, it just doesn’t work for some people.

Now I use other tools to create total space in my brain… and in my body… and these tools exponentialize my awareness far beyond anything I experienced with meditation.  I am happier, healthier and way more creative than I ever was when I was meditating.  Here’s why…     

  • I let go of having to use the ‘right’ process… and started to use what was actually working for me.
  • I found other variations of meditation that the purists would judge as ‘wrong’ – and yet they create a greater result for me.  I have more space, ease and peace now than I have ever had!
  • In discovering over 20 ways to create that space, I can have it wherever I am, whenever I need, without having to do something ‘significant’ to create it.  

Are you curious yet?  What if you had a toolbox that would allow you to create far beyond what most people imagine possible?  Here’s three things you can play with to see what works for you!!

  1. Move your body rhythmically – whether it be a run at lunchtime, a walk and talk meeting, or some stretches in a park.  Allowing your body to move and being totally present with your body will free up your mind!
  2. Ask questions.  My current  favourites are “What space can I be right now?  How much space can I be here?”  And you don’t even have to ask out loud – ask quietly in your head while everyone around you is losing theirs and you may be surprised at what shows up!!!
  3. BE present.  When we are present with what is, rather than what ‘should’ be, we tap into an awareness that is different to the busyness in our head.  What if you BE with what is and stop judging it?  Have you noticed how much head chatter is actually judgment of what is right or wrong?  What if it just is?  And what if you can contribute your presence and energy to creating something different… IF that is what you desire?

And know this… whatever works for you works for you… please stop trying to fit into other people’s realities around what works for them!   So many well-meaning people tell me I need to meditate.  I am grateful for their point of view.  AND I’m not going to buy it… what works for me right now is what works for me!!

Do you do something different than the ‘norm’ to create space, ease and peace?  What unexpected thing is it that superpowers your possibilities in business?  I would love to know!|

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It's a New Financial Year - What's New For You

It's a new financial year... and it's a great idea to look at what you'd like to be new or different for your business over the next 12 months.    If you would like a new financial future, you need to do things different.

In my 'New Energies of Business' Blog Talk Radio shows I have recently talked about some very different approaches to money - here are two gifts for you:

 

"Creating Money Flows or 'Money Just Goes'!" 

Listen to internet radio with New Energies of Business on BlogTalkRadio

 

Have you noticed how creating money flows isn't working like it used to?  The sharemarket is in flux, property markets in Australia aren't doing much, clients aren't showing up in response to the promotions and advertising that always worked before...are you wondering what else is possible?

Lots of people have been asking me questions about the financial contraction that they are aware of... so let's talk money!

What's different about creating money right now?  How do you create more money when nothing is working how it used to?  What change is possible for the future?

 

"Changing the Meanness in Business"

 On this show I interviewed Kerry Purcell - co-creator of a substantial and successful multi-million dollar business.  We didn't plan to talk a lot about money, but Kerry had some extraordinary stories to tell about how she has contributed to changing the reality with money in her business.  Totally worth listening to!

Listen to internet radio with New Energies of Business on BlogTalkRadio

 

Have a great week... and make some space for considering the future of your business. 

If what you have been doing isn't working as well as you'd like, it's time to make some changes!  We live in a changing world.  What if nothing ever worked the same as it did yesterday?  What would you create today?

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3 Strategies For When Your Plans Stop Working

"Help!  My plans for growing my business aren't working!"

Every entrepreneur has moments like these when no matter what you do, nothing seems to work and you are going round in circles.  You have two choices.  You can get frustrated.  Or you can start to create from a totally different space.  So many times when things haven't worked for me, I have realised that there were other possibilities that actually would create the business even more dynamically than I had imagined.  I just needed to be willing to be flexible and change my plans.

Here are three 'get moving fast' strategies to explore:

1.  WHAT is it EXACTLY that is not working?

We often assume that we know what it is that's not working.  And mostly the root cause is something else entirely.  Ask a lot of questions to discover what is actually going on.  Have you been trying to fix the 'wrong' problem?  For example: If you are not winning enough business, look at the entire process - where exactly is it not working? 

Ask questions of your sales team, your clients and potential clients.  What is the system, process or relationship that is not delivering the results you desire? (This is not a head-hunt for poor performing staff!!  In most cases there is another reason - that is just the lazy business owner's assumption.)

2.  WHAT could you do DIFFERENT that would create a different result?

 

What worked 2 or 5 or 20 years ago may no longer be relevant.  What has changed inside and outside of your business?  What do you need to change in response that would change the results you are creating?  What are the new possibilities that you haven't even considered yet?  When we take off the blinkers and start to be creative, new choices arrive. We must be willing to change.

In one of my businesses, I recently went from being fully booked for the next two months, to having almost nothing going on.  The causes were diverse and beyond my control.  I gave myself ten seconds to be frustrated and then I was asking 'what's next?'.  

I realised this situation had created the possibility for something new that I have desired to do for a long time, that I just never get to.  The new strategy will also create the future situation where it won't matter if people don't do what they say.  My revenue streams will be diversified enough to make their choices irrelevant!!    And what else is possible that I haven't imagined yet?

 3. Make your business FLEXIBLE!

Whatever systems, processes, products or services your business has, you need to be aware of how you can be flexible with what you have.  There is a lot of chaos in the world right now, and will be for the foreseeable future.  When you explore future scenarios for your business, take note of what can be changed quickly, and where you are locked in.  If you are agreeing to new contracts, look for the flexibility.  If you are employing staff, engage people who are flexible and willing to do whatever it takes.

I was called into a client's business to work out what was not working with their processes.  I had been there less than 5 minutes when the new office manager sat down (uninvited!) and told me how she was being asked to do things that weren't her job and that she wasn't going to do.  There was no willingness to contribute to the success of the business, there was no interest in being flexible. There was no interest in ensuring that clients were attended to quickly.  Her attitude was all about 'I'm not going to....'. She was first on my list of what needed to change.

So what is it that would make your business way more flexible and responsive to change than it is now?  Cross-skilling staff?  Space for a change in attitude?  Simpler processes and systems that people will actually be willing to follow? 

These three strategies can change things quickly.  Ask enough questions and you will become aware of exactly what else is needed for your business to move forward again.  Staying stuck is a choice. 

If you are really really really stuck, you can always ask an external coach or mentor to assist.  That independent point of view truly does bring a fresh perspective.

What can you change to make your business more profitable!  (What if you could enjoy making the changes??)

Lisa

 

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Right Timing - Does it Exist?

 

I’m not known for my patience, or a willingness to wait, and so have created many a business project that was before it’s time!

And you know what that often creates? Over-enthusiasm, a lot of people who are not exactly clear about what is being offered, or not in a position to engage with you, and often overwhelm, disappointment or disillusionment when it doesn’t work out as desired.

This comes from placing a significance upon the timing. Whether it is for goal-setting or strategic planning, we have been taught that timing is significant and that we must create as much as possible as quickly as possible, and no matter what, we must meet the timing set.  

Does this truly work?  Or is it a way of forcing ourselves into action prematurely, without the support of the many underlying energies that can actually allow us to create with ease.

For me personally, it’s now come to the space where I know that around 95% of the ideas I come up with are a little more than the world is ready for right now!  So, what to do with a dilemma like that?

Flexibility seems to be the word for the year. The timing on everything is shifting and changing rather dynamically for all of my projects and I am learning to surf those waves in surprising ways.

I’m becoming more willing to create things in their ‘right timing’ as I’ve seen how much time and energy goes into forcing an idea into existence before it is ready!

We always have a choice when timing shows up differently to what we expect.  We can force things to be how we have planned, or we can allow for a flow that may lead to something greater!  

I have been playing with the idea of working with ‘what is’ (ie what is available right now), rather than trying to make my ideas and plans fit the schedules I would like to create!  I am onto my 48th version of my travel schedule for this year, and only now am I seeing that mostly I can’t schedule more than a couple of months ahead - there is much that is yet to fall together for the ease and flow to show up!

Which raises the question of ‘right timing’.  Is there such a thing?  Here’s what I am discovering...  Right timing simply means that everything that is required is in place.  That there are no huge mountains blocking the way, no deep valley’s to plunge into, nothing that would make the project disappear or crash.  

The changes required in the universe have been made.  The connections required are set-up and will show up exactly as needed.  There is a sense of flow.  Right timing means the people that are required are available, the information you need is available, the energies that support the project coming to fruition are in place, there is an underlying sense of possibility that feels light and expansive.

Almost everything will flow with more ease if you are willing to wait for the point of right timing.  Sometimes you’ll receive an idea or start a project where you have already passed the point of right timing... so everything is available immediately. That’s why not everything has a sense of having to wait for ‘right timing’.  The timing arrived before you were even aware of the choices you could make!

Sometimes we become immobilized by the idea of ‘right timing’.  We’d like to do something but we’re not sure.  We become the bunny frozen in the headlights, wondering if we should turn right or left.  

What if it’s not procrastination?  What if it’s an awareness around timing?
  I have had so many moments of this and a little later discovered exactly the reasons I was hesitating.  Sometimes it was after I forced myself to act (leading to situations I did not have ease with), other times I was smart enough to wait and ask some more questions!

How do you know if you are waiting for ‘right timing’?  If you have an idea but it has a heaviness or a slowness to it, or it doesn’t have clarity, you’ll know that timing could be an issue.

And here’s the cool thing. Somewhere inside of us we always know.  So ask some questions... ‘Is now the time for this project?’  ‘Is there something else required for this project to come to fruition?’  ‘If I create this now, will it create a flow for something greater or will it be creating through force?’  Go with whatever feels light!

Once you have reached the point of ‘right timing’ the changes required have been made and all of the little bunnies are lined up ready to run,  your project has it’s green lights and the exact timing becomes a choice.

How much more ease could you have if you are willing to have an awareness of whether your project or idea is in it’s right timing?

So the other thing to know here is if you have tried something before, and it didn’t work, instead of going straight to the conclusion that the idea was wrong or that you were a failure, what if you ask ‘Was the timing incorrect?’.  And ask the universe to show you when the timing will work.  

What if your ideas are a lot more brilliant than you have ever given yourself credit for?   If you are wondering what I am talking about, read about Nikola Tesla... he’s a perfect example of bringing great ideas through in the ‘wrong’ timing.  What else would be possible if you were willing to allow ‘right timing’ to contribute to your business and your projects?

Photo Credit: h.koppdelaney via Compfight cc

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