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Happy Selfie Day

21 Jun

Happy Selfie Day

One of the biggest challenges of entrepreneurship is feeling alone.

I want to challenge you today to do more than take a selfie. Today is a great opportunity to connect and reward your customers.

Here are some initial ideas:

  • Get out to see as many of your customers as you can and take a selfie with them.
  • Pull up some selfies from the past and honor those who are there with you.
  • As you take the time to take selfies remember those who are most important in their lives by sending a text or calling them.
  • Post your selfies on your social media and ask others to do the same.
  • Connect, connect, connect!

What ideas are you going to implement today and the rest of the summer?

You are never alone when you reach out to help others. The rewards are amazing. The lifestyle you are building is your own. Keep up the good work. Implement new ideas that make others the hero.

Karen Sebastian is an author, blogger, corporate trainer and gifted speaker who transparently shares the hope she has found in the darkest times of her life.  She is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded HOPEpreneurs, a consulting firm dedicated to helping women succeed personally and professionally. Karen is known as The Hope Lady because she  takes every opportunity to inspire hope by sharing her rich life experience with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world.

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Learning from It All

14 Jun

failuresteach2

This is a hard one. It sounds really good in theory but when it comes down to it, I don’t like to think about areas where I have failed. I would rather close the book on them and move forward.

Slow down for a minute and take an inventory of lessons learned, stories to be retold and principles of life that make you who you are.

Here’s my example. Almost two years ago I was fired. For the first time in my career, I was asked to step down from a dream job. It stung! I was angry and frustrated with the whole situation. I had a choice: blame everyone else in anger or learn all I could from this difficult situation.

Here are a few of the lessons I learned:

Use the setback as a reset button

I was working very hard at fulfilling the vision of someone else. I was exhausted at the end of the day and had to time work on my next book. I focused on finishing up my book The Power of Hope in Mourning. It is possible that I would not have ever found the time to do so if I had continued working that job.

Address your beliefs about yourself

I grew exponentially during this time because I began to see that my mistakes did not have be magnified as long as I learned from them. I started treating myself more kindly as I was able to gain God’s perspective on the situation. Initially I was angry at the people involved and at myself for allowing myself to get into this situation. I chose to release the anger and embraced the lessons. This decision made my others did not make me a failure.

Move forward

The main lesson that I learned is that I am resourceful and able to get back up to move forward to do what only I can do. I have a bright future and true success is in my reach. I continue to journal on lessons learned and am so grateful for all the experiences of my life.

Have you ever had a setback like mine? How did you get through it? What did you learn from it?

Karen Sebastian is an author, blogger, corporate trainer and gifted speaker who transparently shares the hope she has found in the darkest times of her life.  She is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded HOPEpreneurs, a consulting firm dedicated to helping women succeed personally and professionally. Karen is known as The Hope Lady because she  takes every opportunity to inspire hope by sharing her rich life experience with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. 

Discovering the Secrets of Organized People

2 Mar

Secrets to Super Organized People

I’ve always wished I was more organized. As I look around my desk right now I see the notes for all the projects I’ve been working on in disarray on my desk. On the other hand, I also love being creative. Here are a few secrets I have learned from the super organized folks I’m around.

Don’t keep so much stuff

Paper is my main weakness. As an educator, I love books, notebooks and the notes I have taken. I am in the process of cleaning out my notebooks. I plan to scan certain ones so I can refer to them in the future. What can you get rid of in order to declutter your work space?

Identify your work style

Many times I have felt that something was wrong with me because I tend to spread out all the papers on my desk when working on a project. That seems to be part of my creative process and work style. That is fine as long as I come back and rearrange it periodically. Have you given yourself permission to work the way that is best for you?

Keep projects separated

You may mentally shift gears quickly but your paperwork will not move as quickly. Have a system so you can separate the items you need for specific projects. It can be as simple as a file folder. In fact, don’t make it to complicated. As you get ideas, put your notes all in one place. This will save you lots of time in the end and keep the amount of papers manageable. Where are you going to place the notes, etc. for each project?

Focus on keeping file folders on your computer

Despite what my desk looks like, I learned a long time ago to be very careful to create file folders and keep my electronic files where I could easily access them. If you are saving everything to your Desktop, it’s time to take a few hours to set up file folders and transfer the most important files to where you can easily find them. What electronic filing system do you have set up?

Schedule specific cues to stop and straighten up the clutter

One of the challenges of working from home is that work and pleasure at my computer tend to merge. I set an alarm to take a break in between. Before I can start my evening routine I clean off my desk in the same way I did when I worked at an office outside my home. What cues are you going to set up in order to know when to transition to personal time?

What suggestions do you have for me?

Author, speaker, corporate trainer and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. To increase hope and make difference in your business, click here.

 

 

3 Easy Steps to Overcome Excuses that Kill Your Dreams

16 May


I am very excited to have a guest blogger for this post. Stacie Walker is an inspiration to anyone who might be ready to give up on building a successful business.

You can rise above the excuses that keep you from improving your life.

Excuses are the number one reason people fail at building a successful business. During the early stages of building my business, I spent days riding the city bus to work at the public library because my electric and digital services were turned off. I could have used this temporary setback as an excuse to not take the necessary actions to create a thriving online business. That did not stop me from continuing with my plan and working my business. If a majority of people were in my shoes, they would have used this situation as an excuse not to continue to pursue their goals and dreams.

During my first marriage, my ex and I were homeless for two weeks because we could not make ends meet, no matter how hard we tried to keep a roof over our head. I was scared about where I was going to rest my head everyday for 15 days but that did not stop me from continuing to build my business.

Maybe you have been through a similar situation, maybe worse, maybe not. The point is that excuses kill your dreams and allow you to continue to live a life full of mediocrity. You deserve the things you long for and dream about, so it is important to overcome excuses and press on to carry out your deepest desires.

Don’t be the majority that remains unhappy and tolerates a life they dread. Stand up for yourself and rise above the excuses that keep you from changing your life for the better.

The way for you to defeat your excuses is to take action by following three steps below.

How Do You Triumph Over the Excuses that Destroy Your Ambitions?

1.     Create a solid plan and write down what you want

Sometimes we forget that brilliant ideas are born with a single thought. If you don’t write down what you want, then it is just wishful thinking.

Here is an excellent quote by Napoleon Hill:

“First you give life, action and guidance to ideas, and then they take on a power of their own and sweep aside all opposition.”

The very first step in keeping your dreams alive is to write down exactly what you want to carry out.

All successful people, no matter their field of expertise, write down an organized plan to transform their goals, dreams, and desires into reality.

2.    Develop the right mindset by constructing a library of materials that motivate and inspire you on a daily basis.

I am aware that life can be busy and you may not be able to work on your personal development every hour throughout the day.

Use technology to your advantage!

Collect an arsenal of books, magazines, audio recordings, and video recordings to keep you in the correct frame of mind.

A good strategy is to always schedule a set time to access your personal development materials. It is best to invest in your personal development before you get started for the day and then at night right before you go to sleep.

I love to read books daily but when I wind down at night, I listen to an inspirational audio book. If you are not fond of reading, then you can listen to audio recordings or watch video recordings.

Mix up your library of inspirational and motivational materials because they will help keep your excuses from slaying your dreams.

3.    Stay focused on your goals by surrounding yourself with positive and successful people.

Healthy associations are an important key to warding off the excuse “monster”.

If you have not learned much from my past struggles, then take a look around. All across the globe, there are an abundance of successful people to inspire you.  With the invention of the internet, it is easy to find positive and successful mentors.

“Birds of a feather flock together.”

People who have been slung through the dirt and have experienced the nightmares of life continue to press on and go after their dreams.

They can be people from the past, people you have not personally met, or people in your local community.

Excuses are your enemy!

Make the decision right now to take action and put any and all excuses behind you once and for all!

Follow these three easy steps every single day.

Whatever daily actions you perform, big or small will bring you closer to completing your goals.

It is so easy to tell yourself, “Now is not the time to focus on ­­____ because…”

It really does not matter what you say after the “because”. You have already convinced yourself of an excuse to kill your dreams and deepest desires.

Please do NOT give up and consistently take action by writing down what you want, access materials that motivate and inspire you, and surround yourself around positive people.

The more challenges you encounter probably means you are extremely close to a significant breakthrough.

Author Bio:

Known as a success-driven entrepreneur, Stacie Walker adores working with professional leaders and entrepreneurs in the small business, home business, and online business industries.

As the founder of Woman in Leadership, Stacie offers valuable business building advice, marketing strategies, featured success stories, financial education, and personal development advice to help improve the skill set of entrepreneurs in any industry.

Eliminating Excuses Caused by Perfectionism

24 Apr

Celebrate Progress rather than Perfection

“What’s wrong with perfectionism? Shouldn’t I set high standards,” you might be thinking. In my own experience, perfectionism has done me more harm than good. When facing new situations, I feel uncomfortable and unwilling to look like a fool or ask for help. Here are some of the ways where seeking to get it ‘perfect’ has hindered my success (along with the HOPE Antidote – of course):

Too hard

When facing a new challenge, it can seem like an insurmountable situation. Every time you try something new it will seem hard at first. If you are a perfectionist,  you  may resist moving forward when you are not sure of yourself.

Hope Antidote

My hope antidote for this excuse is to think back on other times when I felt like something was overwhelming. With time, I became comfortable with the new skill and encouraged others to try it. Why should this situation be any different? It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay if you’re unsure. The key is to move forward and take action.

Take too much of my time

This excuse can become a self-fulfilling prophecy because at times, when I’ve tackled a new project, I’ve lost sight of all the other things that I need to do. This ‘all-or-nothing’ thinking  is confining and holds me back.

Hope Antidote

The best way to eliminate this excuse is to schedule my time and move forward systematically and not compulsively. Darren Rowse in Problogger writes about how perfectionism itself is a ‘time drain.’ He’s right about that. Determine how much time you are willing to spend and reward yourself when you stick to it.

Too complicated

I have to face that, most often, I am the one making it complicated. This goes back to the saying, “If it’s worth doing, then it’s worth doing it right.” The flip side of that statement is that I’d rather not even start the project because it looks too daunting.

Hope Antidote

The battle is in my mind. What I believe becomes my reality. In other words, if I keep believing that it is too complicated, I will indeed be paralyzed by my perfectionism. On the other hand, I will move forwards if I create a mind map or a list of next steps and tackle each one consistently. It’s my choice. My new saying will be, “If it’s worth doing, I will take steps in that direction.”

Set a simple plan in place. Take a few steps. Laugh when you trip. Learn from your mistakes.  Cheer yourself on as you tackle big projects. If you do this on a consistent basis you will be much better off. Experience the joy of forward progress instead of beating yourself up because it’s not perfect.

What hope antidotes to perfectionism can you share? I would love to celebrate with you.

Karen Sebastian is a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed in your business. Please email her at hopepreneurs@gmail.com if you would like to book her as a speaker or want one-on-one coaching. Subscribe to this blog for more inspiration on how to become a HOPEpreneur.

How can I overcome my fear and just go for success?

12 Dec

I recently asked a question on the HOPEpreneurs Facebook page about the biggest challenges women faced when starting a business. You get to add more options and someone entered fear. This started me thinking about what fears have prevented me from being successful in my business. Often these internal struggles become my biggest barrier to success. Now that I have HOPE – confidence in taking the next step – my fears are not paralyzing me.

Failure

A lot of times I would project what I wanted to see happen. I’m not talking here about a vision for the future because that is important to have. What I mean is the step-by-step play book where others would respond exactly like I anticipated and I would quickly reach my goals. I would get discouraged and consider myself a failure.

HOPE Antidote

I now tell myself that no matter what happens, I have not failed if I change as a result of the experience. When I take a step back and look at the chain of events, I can have a different perspective of what did not work and try different approaches. What did you change this week?

What others will think

I used to discuss my entrepreneurial ideas with anyone who would listen. I am an idea person and love brainstorming. Unfortunately, I did not choose my listeners wisely. As I would jump from one idea to the next their eyes would glaze over. When I asked, “What do you think?” I would get anywhere from a lukewarm, “Sounds interesting,” to a “I’m not following you.” I would feel deflated and wanted to give up on the seed of my idea even before it had a chance.

HOPE Antidote

Share selectively. Start the conversation with: “I’m in brainstorming mode about an idea for a business. Would you please be a sounding board?” When they give their comments consider that you asked for it. Ask clarifying questions and improve on your idea.

Success

As strange as it may sound, I have found that I have hesitated to fully commit to a new venture because of what it would take to make it successful. What can make this worse is when we receive negative feedback from significant people in our lives who have good intentions because they don’t want to see us get hurt by ‘getting our hopes up.’  Many women, in particular, fear being lonely if they are successful. Other times we see people who act like jerks because they let their success go to their heads. We promise ourselves that we will never be like that.

HOPE Antidote

Make steady progress toward your goal through small wins that get you going in the right direction. Take a look at what will happen as you succeed in your business venture. Keep in mind that success will not change you if you stay grounded and surround yourself with those who will speak truth into your life. In fact, you can do a lot of good with your success. Take others with you on your journey.

Let me know how it goes this week as you face your fear and make forward movement to overcome the barriers and obstacles that stand in your way. I would love to hear from you in the comment section of this blog. Let’s make forward progress this week as HOPEpreneurs!

Karen Sebastian is a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed in your business. Subscribe to this blog for more inspiration on how to become a HOPEpreneur.

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