Tag Archives: helping others succeed

3 Surefire Ways to Beat the Fear of Writing

24 Jun

3 Surefire Ways to Beat the Fear of Writing“Why does this business writing class have to be so long?” the man asked as he entered the classroom. I was welcoming him to a mandatory training to help supervisors/managers improve their documentation skills. As I began to ask questions, I listened carefully to his words and demeanor.  Before long he confessed that he was very nervous about his writing skills because this was one of his weak areas. Fortunately, by the end of the training session he was equipped with tools to overcome these barriers. For many people, the fear of writing ranks right up there with their fear of public speaking. Many of us experience writer’s block and postpone writing as long as possible. This blog explores three ways to face and beat the fear of writing.

Fear of failing.

For many of us, the fear of writing was instilled in school. I know I’ve cringed at all the red ink on the assignments I turned in. It made me want to just throw my hands up in despair. One of my daughters, spent the summer before going into high school writing stories and poems. It was a joy to see her give place to creative expression. Something happened early on in her English class. She had a teacher that was a harsh critic of every assignment she turned in. She came close to failing that class and I stepped in to help with the dreaded term paper so she wouldn’t fail the class. It was like the light had dimmed. She felt that there was no reason to even try because she could not succeed. There is something final about printed words and the way others can judge them.

HOPE Antidote

The best way to overcome past writing failures is to follow the old adage: “You have to get back on the horse that threw you.” Set aside the first few minutes of the day to write something. Turn off your inner critic and get it down on paper (or in the computer). There are many opportunities to start small by writing a blog or posting encouraging comments about what others have written. Join a writing club where others can give you feedback. Remember that writing is a skill not a dreaded assignment. When you run into those who criticize what you’ve written, check to see if there is merit to their advice. Adapt and move on. You’ll improve as you keep writing and learning.

Fear of making decisions.

I consider myself a creative person. That should make writing easier but it does not because my mind gets overloaded with the ways I could spin a topic. Have you ever noticed how much work goes into deciding what you are going to write about? It is the very nature of the way your mind works and all the connections you make as you begin to speculate on topics to write about. This decision-making process is what makes writing so challenging and tiring. Another term for this is decision fatigue.

HOPE Antidote

Mind-mapping is a wonderful tool to help you record your ideas on paper before making the commitment of writing the actual words. Our minds work in a broad, circular fashion as we freely associate seemingly unrelated thoughts. The writing process takes a more linear approach. Keep a running list of topics that relate to your blog theme. When inspiration strikes write it down.  Ideas for topics surround you. Also, here’s a link to a previous post that might help: Finding Topics.

Fear of making mistakes.

This hurdle is closely tied to both of the topics already mentioned in this blog. The technical mistakes can create major hurdles in setting up a blog. Ask for help if you need it and continue to keep writing because once you start, you will want to establish a consistent schedule. Everyone makes mistakes so set aside your perfectionism and get going.

HOPE Antidote

When you experience writer’s block, start typing something else to get the flow going. I like to start typing a quote about the topic I want to develop. Another tool I use is to look up key words in the Thesaurus. I write them down and that gets the creative juices going. The greatest hope antidote for the fear of making mistakes is to give yourself permission to make them and correct them as quickly as you can. In fact, I’ve made 7 mistakes already and so I know I’m making progress. Also, one of the wonderful things about a blog is that as soon as you spot that typo, you can go in and correct it immediately.

What other tips do you have for beating the fear of writing? What works for you?

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

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.

10 Tips for Embracing Change

9 Apr

How are you adjusting to the mandatory timeline on your Facebook page? I found it interesting to see the various ways that people handled it. There were two distinct extremes – those who jumped right in and those who resisted until the very end. Most of us fell somewhere in the middle. Let’s face it, we get in our comfort zone and like for things to stay the same. Here are 10 tips for embracing change (of any kind) since it’s clear that changes will continue to accelerate in the future especially in the technical arena.

Look for possibilities

1. Stay open

How do you respond when you facing change? Do you retreat and close yourself off or do you stay open and ready to move forward.

2.  Research reasons for change

This can be a tough one because often we are not given the reasons for a change. When possible, ask the question. When leading through change keep in mind that research shows that letting others know the “because” of why something is happening increases their cooperation from 60 – 94 percent. (Ellen Langer)

3. Resist complaining about the negatives

Now this is really a tough one. We are always looking for ways to connect. With how many strangers have you talked about the awful weather? Avoid connecting on the negative implications of the change because that starts a pessimistic, hopeless way of thinking.

4. Explore benefits of change

Open your mind to the possibilities that may be hiding behind the inconvenience of change. If nothing else, you are remaining flexible as you find out more details about the change.

5. Find workarounds for the negatives

Creativity flows from solving problems. Take a step back and look at the negatives. See if others have come up with a workaround and if there isn’t, figure one out.

6. Share the benefits with others

Begin to share the benefits of the change. Be known for your positive approach to changes and not the outspoken critic of anything new.

7. Make the change before you have to

Stop procrastinating and dreading the change. Go ahead with it. It’s never as bad as you think it will be.

8. Show someone else how to do it

Once you’ve made the change, look around to see if there is someone who was where you were just a few days ago. Encourage them to make the change or, better yet, show them how easy it is to do.

9.  Adjust to the new ‘normal’

In the first few days, the change will seem unfamiliar and awkward. Resist the urge to complain. It won’t take you long to get used to it.

10.  Look for business opportunities

There are hidden opportunities that those who are resistant to change will ignore. What changes are happening in your industry or world? If  you follow these steps you will quickly become an expert and authority. It’s not that hard, yet you will need to get out of your comfort zone. That’s what successful entrepreneurs do well.

What changes are you going to embrace this week?

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.

Five Secrets Used by Master Networkers

28 Dec

We all know that networking is a key to get us the job that we want or to promote our business. Are your networking efforts paying off? Here are some secrets gleaned from master networkers:

Networking connects you with many different types of people1. Always carry your business cards

Be on the lookout for interesting connections. They may come from unexpected places and venues. Be ready to succinctly communicate your passion and leave your card. For this reason, you must also remember that YOU are your brand.

2. Show interest in others

The purpose of networking is to promote your business yet, at the same time,  be careful to not come across as someone who is always self-promoting. You want to be memorable and the best way to do that is to be willing to help others meet their goals.  Once you have finished speaking with the new contact, write down a detail or two about them before you forget.

3. Listen carefully

This networking secret is possibly the most important.  It’s far too easy get distracted in group settings. Once you connect with the new contact, use your entire communication process of body language, tone of voice and words to convey your interest in what they have to say.

4. Follow up immediately

What are you going to do after you gather your business cards? Many people simply collect them and hope for the best. You need to select two or three and follow-up. Networking is about establishing mutually beneficial relationships. Send them an email or give them a call to thank them for their time.

5. Schedule the meetings

How many times have you said, “Let’s get together soon.” Instead, suggest the best time for you and even suggest a place. The sooner you schedule the next meeting, the more likely it is that you have a networking connection that is going to work.

Networking is a skill that takes practice and time. Go after it diligently and you will begin to reap the results in increased opportunities and added valuable connections.

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.

Copyright © 2011 Picture Hope International, Inc.

Should I join a networking group?

14 Dec

Karen Sebastian and Janet Uszynski at Orchid Christmas luncheonA great way to quickly increase your number of qualified contacts for your business is to join a networking group. There are many groups out there and it’s important to find one that will work for you. A great way to do that is to find out about how it got started. Our guest blogger today is Janet Uszynski who is the founder and director of Orchid a Faith – based networking group for women in North Texas. I met her a few months back and appreciate her follow-through and commitment to help women succeed.

HOPEpreneurs: When did you discover that you were a good networker?

Janet:

Looking back on my childhood I was what some would call a “social butterfly.” One day my Mom summoned me and sternly said, “Janet, I think you’re going to have to go work for the phone company in order to pay for this high phone bill. All you ever do is talk and talk and talk to your friends.”

She was right. I love sharing ideas and hearing that others are thinking. I want to be involved with others and help when I can. As I got older one of my favorite things to do was have dinner parties and BBQ’s to introduce and connect all my friends. I was the one who would invite that person others might exclude and I would make sure they felt welcome and accepted.

HOPEpreneurs: Why did you start Orchid?

Janet: 

I started Orchid because I wanted to offer a vehicle for Christian women to connect to learn from each other, share ideas, request prayer support and use their God-given gifts to help others.

HOPEpreneurs: Why would a woman want to join Orchid?

There is a powerful energy when women connect with other like-minded, goal-oriented women who share the desire to excel at what they are doing. Orchid is non-competitive and puts no limits on categories or professions like most other networking groups. We offer many opportunities for women to promote their Product, Passion or Self in a safe networking environment. We are seeing incredible connections in this diverse group. Ministries and businesses are helping each other along with many other great opportunities.

HOPEpreneurs: What do you want to see happen?

Janet: 

I want to help other women understand that to give is more powerful then to receive.  An amazing circle of giving starts when we give freely to others with no strings attached. God wants everyone to succeed, make money and achieve their dreams. My goal is to set an atmosphere where this can happen.

You may contact Janet at: info@itsorchid.com. Visit Orchid’s website at: http://www.itsorchid.com.

Takeaways from this interview:

  1. Find a networking group where you feel comfortable. Visit several before you commit to becoming a member. Orchid is a great example of a faith-based group that strives to make others feel comfortable and gives opportunities to flourish.
  2. Learn from great networkers. One of the reasons I asked Janet for this interview is that she is truly a gifted networker. At the root of her success is her sincere desire to help others. She is happiest promoting and connecting others. The next time you go to a networking event, reach out to help someone else. It will come back to you multiplied many times over.
  3. Be interested in others. When you go to a networking event, make sure you meet at least one new person. Follow up with them and establish a strong connection. Janet will share more of her tips for networking success in the next blog.

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.

Do I have to stop networking during the holiday season?

8 Dec

We are in the time of the year when it’s tempting to give ourselves the excuse that we are all too busy to keep networking. Whatever you do, don’t stop networking. Once you lose momentum it can be harder to get started again after the first of the year. Instead, shift your focus a little. It’s actually a perfect time to check out some new networking circles, make a few extra calls and set up some appointments.

Expand your networking circle by attending seasonal events.

Many times there are groups that will extend an invitation to non-members. Go and test the waters. Be prepared to meet some brand new contacts and follow up with them.

Take the lead to set up a definite time to meet.

Check through your contacts to see if there are any open loops. Take the initiative to email or call that person to set up a definite time to meet. The whole approach of “Let’s get together soon” usually doesn’t work because people are so busy.

Flex your meeting times.

Expect a positive result because often people take a more relaxed approach toward work during this season. You may have to be more flexible and plan to meet around 4:30 pm instead of having lunch.

Have fun.

Enjoy your opportunities to meet others. Be ready to give your input and lend a helping hand. It will come back to you in surprising ways.

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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