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Redefining Hope

14 Jan

The word HOPE has lost it’s oomph! I believe that it goes back to being told to be careful about “Getting your hopes up.”

Think about the last time you used the word HOPE. It might have gone something like this:

“I sure hope I get the funding for my business. I mean you never know about these things. I’ve heard it’s really tough and I want to be sure I don’t expect too much. After all, I am just a start-up. So keep your fingers crossed.”

So what is wrong with that dialogue? Several things. While you may be saying all of this because you want to avoid disappointment you are actually sabotaging your own efforts with a false concept of hope.

Confidence

It’s hard to start your own business. It takes lots of hard work. You are good at that part. Then have confidence in what you have done. Stand up tall and promote what you have done. You have not arrived yet but you are on the way. Others have no idea what you are about but will read your body language. This is not about false bravado to mask your insecurities. This is believing that you can make this happen. It will come through your words, your expressions and your position.

Expectation

As you move forward, you can not lose. The problem comes when you begin to see a course of action as the way things have to go. The expectation gets cemented and solidifies as the chosen course of action. The challenge comes when things fall apart and you are left picking up the pieces. So the hope outlook is that detours are good and part of the process. This creates a resilience that strengthens your resolve.

Good lessons

The best lessons often come from disappointments and what did NOT work. Still, we pick ourselves back up and adapt so that the next time we have included the improvements and insights gained from what did not work before. Besides, our best stories come from the struggles and second chances.

Excellent outcome

As you begin to apply a different definition of HOPE you can have the confident expectation of an excellent outcome. Someone has said that it’s interesting those who work hard seem to be really lucky. It is not luck. It’s confidence in the process and the ability to affect that outcome.  Here’s a HOPE declaration:

“I have diligently worked on putting together a great presentation in order to fund my business. I look forward to the process and meeting the decision makers in order to adapt our numbers. As a start-up we have a lot to learn and are excited about the future.”

Karen Sebastian (AKA The Hope Lady) is an author, speaker, corporate trainer and Hope Catalyst who delights in 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.

 

 

 

7 Inspiring Ways to Choose Hope

13 Jan

You can chooseThere are many signs that people are losing hope. All you have to do is talk to young people for a short while to realize that dreamers are discouraged these days. I say it’s time to rekindle some hope with these seven strategies.

Redefine HOPE

Hope is in short supply these days. In fact, the very use of the word hope is now used in a very hope draining way. When someone says, “I hope that everything will work out okay,” they usually mean that they have no assurance that it will be okay. They feel powerless because the circumstances are out of their control. Here’s my definition of HOPE – A confident expectation of good results regardless of the circumstances.” You determine your own hope quotient.

Realize you always have a choice

Your situation may seem dark right now, yet you get to choose your perspective. We are surrounded by negativity. Just turn on the news and you will see just how dark the world can appear. Each morning as you wake up you get to decide what your outlook for that day will be. I have learned to start and end each day with gratitude for exactly what is happening in my life. You may not be able to change the outlook of others but you own your choice to look on the hope side of life. You can choose hope every day.

Remember hard times

You may wonder how remembering the difficult periods of your life can inspire hope. Did you survive? Are you stronger? As I look over the panorama of my life, the times when I struggled are my best stories to inspire others to keep moving toward their goal and purpose in life. Memories of the strength found in caring for my precious late husband make me realize what a treasure our family has in his loving legacy. You are stronger than you realize.

Reflect on good times

Pleasant memories are like a fire on a cold day. They can warm your heart and inspire you to choose to do the things that only you can do. Some of the things that create the best memories are: spending time with family, writing your memoirs, creating an honoring slide show for someone you love, explaining why your family has the crazy traditions each holiday, etc. Pull out the pictures and tell the stories of how you ended up where you are today. You are richer than you think.

Recognize current challenges

A hope perspective does NOT mean that you ignore the challenges you face today. Instead, it means facing the difficult and trying details of your life today. Hope says that you can confidently look the ‘enemy’ in the eye and determine a strategy to overcome. You ask others you can trust to help you get through the trials. You look for solutions that can, in turn, help others. You are more creative than you were before this happened.

Respond with confidence

You will be paralyzed if you wait until you are no longer afraid. It is time to stop asking everyone else what they think you should do and take action. Be firm, bold and courageous. You will get the “butterflies in your stomach” feeling. That’s okay. Take a deep breath and get them to “fly in formation.” You have solutions that others need. Do your homework and ask for the funding for your dreams. You are more confident than those who shrink back.

Recommit to forward movement

This is more than just a pie-in-the-sky exercise. There is something to be said for passion in your life. When you look forward to something you act differently. Move forward and learn from any mistakes you make. You do not have to wait until you have a perfect plan to launch your start-up. Use what you have in your hands right now. Take a step at a time. Celebrate forward movement. You are moving forward every day.

Speak these affirming words every day to increase our HOPE Quotient.

Karen Sebastian (AKA The Hope Lady) is an author, speaker, corporate trainer and Hope Catalyst who delights in 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.

Entrepreneurship Redefined

30 Sep

Discover your passion and you will always be motivated - quote from Karen Sebastian of HOPEpreneurs.

One of the hardest things to maintain as an entrepreneur is why we started our business. What is your purpose in being an entrepreneur. Sometimes the details and pressures of running a business can get in the way. Take a few minutes today to revisit your vision statement. As you start the fourth quarter of the year look again at the goals you set out on January 1st. Revamp and rearrange them. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect in order to work.

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.

The Rise of the Woman Entrepreneur

26 Aug

There is an increase of women entrepreneurs all over the world. There are many qualities that women bring to the table that can set them up for success in this arena. What do you think is the greatest advantage that women entrepreneurs have as they start their businesses?

Believing in Your Dream

5 May

Believe in your dream

When you close your eyes and think of a perfect life – what do you see? I’m not talking about a fantasy where you have more money than Bill Gates and the body of your favorite actress? This is your own picture of what you want your life to become. What do you want your life to look like?

Dreams start with possibilities and opportunities that are currently before you. It may be the seed of an idea inspired by what others are doing. Women are starting businesses every day. Many start strong yet do not succeed because they put that dream on the back burner to take care of everyone else.

Dreams are important because they motivate and set apart our efforts. In fact, while working on certain projects you lose track of time and the effort that you are putting forth. You can get in the ‘zone.’ This is a wonderful place to be.

When you believe in your dream you are basically believing in yourself. Keep believing no matter how long it takes to reach your dream. Don’t let anyone rob you of that dream. Hold on to it and adapt it to the current season of your life. Describe it fully and picture it vividly. And also guard it carefully because there are those who will want to help you stay in touch with reality. There is always time for that as you move to the next step to success which is to write down a clear vision.

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.

Taking Steps to Build Community

26 Jan

Building Community

Build your community

One of the most difficult areas of entrepreneurship is finding those who will help you move ahead. Often, those who are closest to you do not understand why you want to do the things that you do. It may feel that they are trying to get you to ‘settle’ for less than you know you can accomplish in life. Seek out those who will encourage and mentor you.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Look around for successful business women and set up a time to meet for coffee or lunch
  • Prepare your list of questions to ask before you meet
  • Connect with business owners online
  • Remember etiquette – send a thank you note and keep in touch
  • Expand your network every week

What suggestions do you have to build a strong community of Hopepreneurs? What help do you need to succeed in your business?

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.

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