In business and in life we get sidetracked. Bumps in the road. Circumstances beyond our control. Unexpected opportunities and better yet, pleasures that seem to come just when needed. But when we recognize that being sidetracked becomes a habit rather than an occasional daydream, or excuse for not accomplishing your goals, it’s time to take action and get back on track.

Here are 5 easy ways to Stay in the Bowling Lane:

1)      Before you go to bed at night write 5 things (rocks) that you need to work on the next day. Keep this list in a place where you’ll see it. These rocks are important to your progress.  Start working on them, and you’ve got motion.  Inspired action.  All good.

2)      Find a colleague, friend or mentor who can serve as your accountability partner.  If you have to report to them on your progress, and they to you, there’s less chance that either of you will jump lanes. Make a commitment to each other. Make a rule, no man or woman in the next lane!

3)      Create a No Drama Zone – one of my favorites. To each of us, a “No Drama Zone” is different. Limit unpleasant interaction, especially during work hours. Strengthen your boundaries. I often tell clients that you can be responsible to people, not for them. Be strong. Focus on where you need to be, not where someone wants to lead you. Stay in your Bowling Lane.

4)      Keep your workspace clean. Piles of paper, stacks of unpaid bills, unfinished “to do lists” can cause anxiety. I don’t know anyone who needs more anxiety. Do you?

5)      Buy a special notebook, one you love, and draw a “timeline” of your accomplishments — from the beginning of the year, to the end. You’ll be surprised. A timeline is visual. Drawing your progress on paper is wonderful. Your mind just forgets all that you’ve done.

My million dollar tip today is simple, and doable.

Stay in your Bowling Lane and out of the gutter. You’ll score every time.

In case you haven’t noticed, I love to be inspired.

This morning, just before sunrise I received this wonderful quote from Paul Martinelli.

A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer,
it sings because it has a song.

I’ll pass it along because it’s really all about shining.

Being in the moment of who you are. All that you are meant to be. And, celebrating that in whatever way you choose.

Today, allow yourself the time and space to celebrate.

Give yourself permission to be grand.

Sometimes you’re unaware of the gifts you’ve been given, or the potential of who you are to become (but don’t know that yet) and the possibilities of an eye, other than your own, to notice greatness busting at the seam.

I’m up in Maine for my last few days of skiing this season, and had the pleasure of meeting a new friend, Eric, who is one of the most compassionate and humble men I have ever met.

Eric has devoted most of his adult life to working with children in private school and also has a passion for sports. Currently, he is a professional umpire for baseball, soccer and basketball – and particularly loves “umping” the middle age school group. “They’re open, eager, and willing to listen”, he told me, and I believe they bring him great joy.

Last night, Eric told me stories that would warm anyone’s heart about his love of sports, but also stories about kids “on the field” and his involvement in their lives during his umpiring career.

While we relaxed, we talked about his life, and possible next steps for his life in transition. I asked if he liked to write. “I don’t”, he said. “That’s not the question”, I commented. “Do you like to write?” “I like it very much,” was his final answer, “but, it’s been years.”

What followed next between a humble umpire and a new friend/professional coach was an energetic connection of possibility and reaffirmation of potential using the gifts, experience, talent and blessings of a wonderful man, with a heart and message that would make an impact to children and parents across the globe. Teaching moments told from the point of a friend, umpire, observer and life expert.

I suggested that Eric may want to write a book for the children he loved. He was already a Dad with two grown boys. But, it was clear – totally clear to me –  that this man had something to say about his passion of sports which was his “passion,” but also about integrity, follow through, intention and The Golden Rule. Perhaps he could write about how the “game on the field” interacts, and is ruled by the “inner game.”

Eric gave me a big hug when he finished our talk. His life right now is isn’t the way he imagined it to be, but we often limit our imagination by “staying in the in-field”, because it’s where we need to be at the time, or we’re there because life has somehow chipped away at our dreams.

My advice to Eric? What about your Field of Dreams? Hit it out of the park, my friend.

You’ve got a best seller in the dugout, but – only you can dig it out.

I’d like to stand as a witness and mentor for his growth, and yours.

There’s no doubt in my mind that when I start a new project or work with a client —  that I’m not going to succeed.

Success has a different meaning for all of us.  To me, it means learning something (perhaps a giant lesson, a new skill, or a new way to approach a situation). Or making something better. (In our business, life, or the pursuit of happiness). Or helping someone see something more clearly, so that they in turn can use that bit of information to move forward. (Like concentrate on the big rocks, and the pebbles will take care of themselves).

As I write this, from my MakeMoneyMonday coffee shop (and stop), I see success as moving forward, and getting closer to what my goals are, in business and life. Both include freedom, flexibility, choice and opportunity.

I’m not Mighty Mouse, (though I am under 5’2) and sure, there are moments when I second guess myself.  But, ultimately, I know I have the confidence, persistence, and smarts to reach my goals. I also have a vast resource of colleagues, friends – and get this—strangers, who will help, if I ask.

I Expect to Succeed, but I also Expect the Best. Both philosophies have served me well.

My world, my business, my life are all changing.  Just like yours.

Same book, different chapter.

A page turner. The ending, we never know.

How exciting.

Love this, from T. Harv Eker from Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

To get rich and stay rich, develop the following characteristics:

A positive attitude, integrity, trustworthiness, courage, persistence, a hardworking mentality, high energy… and be an expert in at least one area.

Celebrate your worthiness, and the coming of Spring!

A business colleague of mine owns a chain of fine wine stores in New England, and recently told me of his trip to Bordeaux buying wine futures, or as it’s known in French, En primeur. He explained that large wholesalers, buy wines early while a vintage is still in a barrel, offering customers the opportunity to invest in a particular wine before it is bottled. There was a lot of “spitting” on his journey, but also an opportunity to visit the vineyards that provide the products he sells in his successful business. Truth be told, he also confessed that he enjoyed some business with pleasure, an opportunity to visit the glorious French countryside, overnight stays at some very lovely chateaux, and – sigh, a few glorious meals prepared by Master Chefs.

When I heard more about it, besides sounding like a good time, it reminded me of the Stock Market, and betting on the “future” of what a stock may do. Obviously there are no guarantees in business, but as we all know, business is a calculated risk. No risk, no reward!

As entrepreneurs, we bet on ourselves every day. We bet on our future, and the vision we create. There are no roadblocks, only those that we allow.

Grapes, stocks and smarts. It’s what we do with it that counts. Calculated risk, knowing our products and services — and looking at tomorrow through our eyes today.

My friend may do quite well with those grapes. I wish him “bushels” of luck.

As a busy entrepreneur, running two businesses, and having a full life, I sometimes work till the wee hours of the morning, writing, planning, and listening to programs that my colleagues have presented. Kind of my own Continuing Education if you will.

This past Tuesday, I was in the zone and didn’t realize I had worked till 2 AM till I checked my kitchen clock. Late to bed and early to rise was the plan since I had a 9:30 AM appointment with a prospective client. A hockey advisor. The kind of man who invests time nurturing talented athletes across the country, and watches them grow and become NHL stars. Good thing I was meeting him at my favorite coffee shop (where I was also this past Monday for my Make Money Monday series).

Long story short.

I dropped a pen during the presentation, and looked down at my feet.

I was wearing two different shoes!

No one noticed but me. Both shoes were black – one with an open toe, the other a closed toe. LOL – the joke was on me.

What I love about this story is that it’s a great lesson that “if the shoe fits, wear it.” If you’re working at your optimum level, and making a great impression to a client, and know – deep down – that you are in your own zone of passion, truth, helping others and closing a sale – in your yoga pants, or mismatched shoes, does it really matter?

It’s your MESSAGE that counts. The MINDSET of Success. The power of all your MARKETING. Not the MIS-MATCH.

I’ve always believed that “variety is the spice of life”. Never thought it would include my shoes.

Thought this may make you smile.

Have a great weekend, and Happy Spring!

 

It’s my first Make Money Monday, and I’m in coffee shop not in my local area. How cool. Perfect opportunity to say hi, to business folks, entrepreneurs, and soloists working at perhaps “their” favorite coffee shop. Everyone has one, right?

So my million dollar tip, besides a million dollar smile, is to just get out there and take a risk. I’m working it, and feeling good about my life and my business.

“Nothing ventured nothing gained”, my entrepreneurial Dad would tell me. I’m showing up, fully present, reading the Money & Investing section of the Wall Street Journal for free, and agreeing with the trend of bankers to look at the person, their character, and centers of influence when they are making judgment about a loan. Going back to the “past”…in some instances.

I find it a good sign that banks are realizing that it’s people behind businesses, and that good people with character will work through their problems, with good intention. It’s small business owners all over the world, that help the economy get better, that give people a chance, and owners that take chances themselves – even when they may be feeling a little afraid.

Calculated risks , knowledge, visions of a better life for their families, and a good dose in faith that what they’re doing is right, for right now – cause that’s all we have. If we’re talking about investing — It’s not just about the Mega-Machine. I’m putting my dollars in Mega-Me. I know her pretty well.

Thanks to The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur Blog for featuring my post (#34) in their listing of Bucket List Ideas for Entrepreneurs

What’s one thing that I would love to put in my bucket list as an entrepreneur?

That’s easy. Buy a airline ticket around the world! You got it -Bucket shops in London sell them, and last time I checked, some major international airlines sold them.

Here’s the deal. You just have to go in one direction. That’s east to west, or west to east! You can make multiple stops in favorite cities along the way, and go right around the globe.

That would be a dream come true!