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Secrets to Success in the New Year #2

9 Dec

success-secret-2

TODAY, I enjoy eating healthy food!

So many people believe diet is a bad word! They go on a diet so they can lose weight and then enjoy that ice cream sunday. Success means that on a consistent basis I choose healthy food and enjoy the benefits of health and energy. I change my eating habits and my desires so that I crave frozen berries that are loaded with antioxidants. I enjoy green smoothies and the taste of the beet, carrot, apple juice that I drink every day.

Successful people make consistent choices to do what is good for them. Rather than complaining about what they cannot have, they fully enjoy the abundance of food that makes them stronger and healthier.

Your choices make you powerful. Make healthy choices today in the area of your eating. Bolster your immune system, charge up your metabolism and gain energy and stamina for the awesome days ahead in the new year. The added bonus is that you won’t be worried about how much you weigh.

What is your favorite healthy snack? Mine is hummus.

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 experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. 

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Create a Special Day

17 Jul

Nat'l Ice Cream Day

I love ICE CREAM! It evokes childhood memories in a hot, tropical place — Managua, Nicaragua. I was only 5 years old when we moved there. About once a week we would set out on an adventure to make homemade ice cream. Throughout the entire process we would sing – “I scream – You scream – We all scream for ICE CREAM!”

While my mom whipped up the recipe for the creamy delight I would go with my dad to get a block of ice. We had to chip it with an ice pick. I got to help him pack the ice around the metal cylinder – alternating rock salt with the big chunks of ice. We would put the paddle in the middle and I got to hold it while my mom poured in the yummy mix.

Then I got to take a turn moving the handle round and round until it got tough. At that point, my brother and dad would give it the final spins. The reward was in getting to take one of the first tastes off the top.

I commend the entrepreneurs who provide ice cream to their happy clients for setting up a special day or at least taking advantage of its existence. What is your product? Is there a special national or international day highlighting that niche? If not, find out how to set up a special day for your product/service.

What are you doing to promote your business? How are you developing your brand? While I’m at it, what’s your favorite ice cream memory? Or, at least, what’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? Mine is Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla. It really does taste like my childhood memory. Now that is powerful! But then again, Hope-Filled Memories are powerful!

 

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. 

5 Keys to Success for Women Entrepreneurs

30 Apr

Women entrepreneurs in Botucatu, BrazilI had the honor of traveling to Brazil to speak to women entrepreneurs who live in Botucatu, a city that is a three hour drive from Sao Paolo. Silvia Sasaoka, founded Instituto Botucatu a place where women can learn design skills and gain business acumen. The women in this training program were chosen because they are serious about the success of their endeavors and came eagerly to learn and network with potential mentors. They enthusiastically embraced the following keys to success:

 

Believe in your dreams

You start a business because you have a dream that excites and motivates you. Too many women tell everyone in the early stages about their dreams. Many do not understand and may even try to talk you out of your idea. There is a time to get realistic input about the challenges ahead and we will address that in a moment. Now is the time to believe in yourself and what you want to accomplish.

Write down a clear vision

This is the stage where you gain clarity around the implementation of your dream. What does it look like in the near future? What does it look three years from now? What are the next steps that you need to take to get traction and movement in the right direction? In a sense you put feet to your ideas and begin to work it out.

Take risks

Too many women hesitate when it comes to taking calculated risks in their businesses. Often there is the fear that the risk will be too high. To succeed you need to be willing to move forward consistently. Don’t let your business take the back seat in your life. Get the funding you need to take your venture to the next level. Begin to look at risks as opportunities to expand and grow your business.

Ask for help

One of the greatest hindrances that women face as entrepreneurs is the lack of examples and mentors. One of the exciting part of the session in Brazil is that potential mentors attended the networking breakfast and the keynote. During the workshop that afternoon, I had the women who are starting the training program think about specific areas where they needed help. A strong network is essential to growing a thriving business endeavor. You need to reach out of your comfortable network to expand and grow connections.

Own your future

Ultimately, you need to own your future and how you implement your dream. Taking full responsibility to move forward consistently empowers you to overcome barriers and view them as challenges. This is no time to put your plans on the back burner. Take steps every day toward making the vision of your dream a reality. Ask for help as you take calculated risks. If you don’t believe in your dream, who will?

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.

Implementing a Hope Strategy

23 Mar

Never lose hope that your dreams will come trueLately I’ve heard several people say not to use hope as a strategy. This gave me pause to reflect about the name of my company – HOPEpreneurs. Is it a mistake to embrace hope as a you implement your business plan?

Redefine your words

Your words establish your atmosphere. Many use the hope as a desperate, helpless approach to the unattainable. What if, instead, you begin to put action and strategy behind the deepest hopes and dreams in your heart. In that context, you will become much more focused to reach what others may not be able to accomplish because of their negative belief system. The HOPEpreneurs slogan is “Where passion meets purpose.” When I had the inspiration for the name of my company I began to research HOPE and the possibilities of a HOPE Strategy for success. Many start with a strong passion for what they want to do but then give up when delays and difficulties crop up.

Clarify your thought process

“My experience has been that almost every defeat I’ve been through starts in my mind, i.e. how I think. I believe people can’t succeed without hope. But not the weak, wimpy way we use the word – I hope this happens or I hope this other thing doesn’t happen. The word ‘wish’ might be more appropriate in that context because there is no belief or faith being applied to the situation. True hope means a faith or belief in something or someone. Your basis for action is grounded in and propelled by that belief.” Janis Sizemore (A HOPEpreneur)

Crystallize your vision

Where are you headed and what do you want to see in the future? You shorten the road to success when you nurture the sense of a positive future outcome. Even more importantly is having a firm conviction that your choices today are taking you in the right direction to accomplish what you have set out to do.

Reframe the problem

When you focus on the positive outcomes from difficulties and problems, something shifts in your brain. You can begin to come up with creative solutions rather than dire predictions of failure. Many of the most popular products on the market were invented as a solution to a problem the inventor was experiencing. Find something to be grateful for in the even before the problem is solved. This one shift will keep you going and make you stronger.

Take action

It’s very important to do something every day toward your goals for your business. Consistent small steps taken in the right direction are more effective than occasional attempts to leap forward. If you are feeling overwhelmed, prioritize the goals and take action accordingly.

Celebrate progress

As you reach a goal, be sure to take the time to acknowledge its completion and to celebrate with your team or family. This process of honoring yourself those who helped you accomplish a milestone makes the effort seem more worthwhile. Part of the strategy could be to plan ahead of time how you will celebrate. This one approach will increase performance because the next time you are feeling like you are not making progress you will look forward to the celebration.
Karen Sebastian - #thehopelady
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.

Keep Going

11 Nov

Celebrate Progress rather than Perfection

As a woman entrepreneur it’s important to remain focused on where you are headed. Our lives can become very complicated and busy. In the midst of that hustle and bustle, take a few minutes every day to get quiet. Think about your goals and determine what you can do that day to move closer to that goal. Here are a few tips to help keep focused.

Capture your thoughts on paper.

You can feel overwhelmed by all that you have to do when it’s all floating in your head. Set aside 15 – 20 minutes to write down everything that you have to do. Don’t categorize this as personal or business. Your thoughts are random so get them on paper. Once they are written down you can put them in categories.

Get a picture of what you want to accomplish.

We process our thoughts in pictures. How do you see success? What do you want your business to accomplish? Why do you want to have a thriving business? The more crystal clear this ‘vision’ becomes the more you become willing to do the hard things to make it a reality.

Put words around the picture you’ve just seen.

Most of you have heard Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech, “I Have a Dream.” He described his picture of racial equality in such a way that others felt the compelling desire to join this dream and make it a reality.

Share your vision cautiously.

Many will not understand what you want to accomplish until you reach the point where you gaining traction. Often it is those closest to you who will try to talk you out of the ‘crazy’ idea. Find those who ‘get’ what you’re talking about and start taking steps in that direction.

Whatever you do, don’t give up. Keep going in the right direction. You can do this.

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.

10 Surefire Ways to Knock Out the Undesirables on Your To-Do List

22 Mar

Check off that to-do listThe first quarter of the year is rapidly drawing to a close along with the TO-DO list items that keep getting transferred every day. Here are great answers answers to the following question I put on the HOPEpreneurs Facebook page:

“I have some things on my TO-DO list that keep getting transferred over to the next day. This is mainly because I don’t like to do them. What advice do you have for me to get them done before the end of the year?”

1. Write down each on a separate piece of paper.

Fold it  and drop it in a bowl. Randomly draw one each day. Now, you only have one thing you don’t like on your list!

Jan Harrison – Speaker/Trainer/Conference facilitator

2.  Do one at the FIRST of each day.

Reward yourself (walk, yoga, manicure, coffee) when complete. Good luck!

Gloria Miele – President of Optimal Development Coaching

3.  Do shortest one first.

Glenna Smart Castle

4.  Delegate.

Juliann Nichols

5.  Take little bites.

Momentum builds momentum…

Wayne Parnell

6. Reward yourself.

There are “to do” things that I love, which do not necessarily need to be done soon, but always get done first. I reward myself with the “love to do” things after I have accomplished a “don’t like to do” thing

Nancy Denharder

7. Determine which ones can be handed off.

Get creative and trade, hire someone to do them or whatever else you need to do.
Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis

8. Dig in and get it done now.

Focus on what’s important to you. Stop procrastinating, because time and energy are needed for your Christmas duties. Besides, think of all the fun you’ll have once these tasks are behind you.
Larry Freeman

9. Set the timer.

Set aside a specific period of time to work on a big project. Stick with it until the timer goes off. You will be amazed at how much you get done.
Karen Sebastian – Founder of HOPEpreneurs

10. Get an accountability partner.

Find someone you can trust to hold you accountable. Make a plan and stick with it. Set dates to complete tasks and get them done.

Sharing, Learning and Growing

23 May

Close your eyes and imagine that it is three years from today. You are walking in the door of your business. What do you see and hear? What are people doing? What does your business look like?

The women sitting in front of me are business owners  from various countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is an eclectic group with a variety of business ventures ranging from textiles and chocolates to biotech benefiting the salmon industry.

Participants from Latin America - Listening to Your Business - FastTrac

They are here as part of the Women’s Entrepreneurship in the Americas (“WEAmericas”), an initiative that leverages public-private partnerships to increase women’s economic participation and addresses key barriers women face when starting and growing small and medium enterprises.

My role is to facilitate  Kauffman FastTrac’s Listening to Your Business  – a three-year visioning workshop. A hush settles over the lively group as they open their eyes and start writing what they envision in the near future. Time flies as we talk about the importance of establishing an intentional internal planning process through setting special goals and establishing success strategies. They begin to share resources to reach their business goals.

Sharing Challenges

During the workshop, each woman introduced herself and shared her biggest challenges. They roughly fell into the following four buckets: 1) Growth; 2) Marketing; 3 )Finances and 4) Transitions. The visioning exercise helped them to focus more clearly on the steps to move past the barriers to see the desired success. Michele Markey, Vice President of FastTrac says, “This type of activity is often hard for entrepreneurs because they end up spending most of their time with their heads down to get the business started and keep it going.”

Learning

The biggest “AHA” moment was the need to take the time to find strategic solutions to the different challenges presenting themselves in each stage of the growth of their business.  As they created a chart of their goals, management style, planning characteristics and red flags they were able to pinpoint specific ways to move ahead. For some, it was realizing that they needed to delegate more in order to step back from the day-to-day operations to gain the perspective in a larger context.

Growing

My life was enriched by this opportunity to meet these talented women and to help them advance their entrepreneurial aspirations. Their action plans and future strategic focus will have a positive impact on their own business endeavors and on the economy of their nations. Many spoke of returning to encourage other women to become entrepreneurs. By sharing what they learned, they will network more effectively and grow as they give to back to others.

What challenges do you face as an entrepreneur? What are you learning? In what areas do you need to grow?

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. Please email her at hopepreneurs@gmail.com if you would like to book her as a speaker or want one-on-one coaching.

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