Tag Archives: internal struggles

Ten Good Reasons to Clean Off My Desk

3 Sep

10 Good Reasons to Clean Off Your Desk As a solopreneur who works at home, I usually have a cluttered desk. While I know it’s not good, it’s easy to let it stay that way. Here are the reasons I’ve used to convince my mind to declutter this desk and, most importantly, to keep it that way.

10. Save time

I save time because I have what I need at hand.

This was the last straw for me as I got ready for a trip and was rushing around at the last-minute because I couldn’t find something very important that I needed to take with me. Now that I have implemented my system and am keeping up with it, I find that I am much more effective and thorough.

9. Find lost items

I am able to find what I need to get my work done.

Once I removed the clutter, I could see exactly what I have done and what I need to do. I am less overwhelmed when there is order. As I removed layers of clutter, I found the charger for the video camera that I had lost. (Plus many other things that I was able to release.)

8. Share with others

I have had so much fun finding others to bless with my extra office supplies.

I was wasting money and time by buying supplies that were in my office somewhere. It’s a good feeling to help others as well especially as we get close to the start of school.

7. Make better decisions

As I get rid of what I don’t need, I hone my decision-making skills.

I held on to stuff for two reasons: 1)I might need it one day; 2)I can come up with a creative way to use it. I’ve given myself permission to give it away and buy the supplies later if I find I need them. It’s quite likely that day will never come. Every time I make a decision, I feel stronger and more capable. It may sound silly, yet I know this will help me in the days ahead.

6.Delegate effectively

I can decide how others can help me.

When I am overwhelmed, I can feel like no one can help me get out of this hole. Now I am beginning to make a list of how others can help me. I am ready to delegate and am looking for a Virtual Assistant.

5. Get your work done

I give myself permission to ignore my desk while working on a project.

My new habit is simply to clean up as I wrap up my work day. That, in itself, requires discipline.

4.Maintain easily

I maintain a cleared desk by putting my things away each evening.

This saves me time because I no longer have to dedicate a day (or week) to going through things.

3. Promote life balance

I now clean up my work project before starting on my personal ones.

When you work from home your work and personal life often blend together. While the flexibility is is nice it can lead to being overwhelmed and afraid to take time off.

2. Multiplied energy and enthusiasm

Walking into my clutter-free office makes me smile.

When I smile I have more energy and enthusiasm to focus on all that I want to carry out today.

1. Sense of freedom and happiness

As I have everything that I need (and want) I am free to accomplish my purpose.

I am not sidetracked by ‘stuff.’ A clean desk is more a sign that I am free because I no longer have the need to hang on to things that I’m not using.

Let me know the progress you make in your quest to keep a clean desk. Also, did any of these reasons resonate with your situation?

Karen Sebastian is a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed in your business. She is a certified facilitator with Kauffman Foundation’s FastTrac. 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 to accelerate your personal and professional growth.

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.

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.

Bloggers ~ Taking Time to Focus

8 May

Taking time to focusOne of the reasons I like my Canon DSLR camera so much is that it has an ‘auto-focus’ feature. I turn the camera toward the subject of my picture, press half-way down on the button and it comes in to focus. It doesn’t take a long time and is easy enough for a child to use (which I appreciate). I want to apply this principle to my business.

A well-managed blog is one of the most important pieces of your online networking. I’m normally an enthusiastic person who tackles projects with energy without considering a great deal of strategy. I’ve made a commitment to write a blog yet struggle to come up with topics. That’s where strategic focus becomes important.

First of all, I need to talk about how challenging and exciting it is to come up with topics for my blogs and not dread the writer’s block that can set in when I wait until the last-minute. Secondly, I need to consider my audience and focus on their needs. Take time to get to learn about their interests. Engage them and set up relationships. Ask them for topics they would like to see covered. Pick a general topic and explore different parts of it. As you write the blog, focus on each part briefly and move on.

Stop looking at what everyone else is doing and get going (for procrastinators). One of the best things about posting a blog is that you can make corrections if you see the need to do so (for perfectionists). Select a topic and focus on the different facets. The best part of all is that you will grow personally and your business will develop a stronger foundation.

What do you plan to focus on this week? The few minutes you spend will pay off in the end.

Image from Dreamstime.

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.

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.

10 Tips to Overcoming Procrastination

1 Apr

This is the first year – EVER – that I am not dreading April. Usually when we hit April 1st, I am less concerned about pranks and more disturbed by the fact that in 15 days I will be turning in my taxes. This year I finished them on March 15th (Number 1 on the 10 Tips to Overcoming Procrastination list). It worked for me. It looks like there is hope for me yet.

Most of us procrastinate in one or more areas of our lives. There are those who are right on top of all their business related activities but fall behind on the personal. Others, procrastinate on certain aspects of their work that they do not enjoy – such as the detailed part such as accounting or taxes.

Here are ten ways to overcome procrastination

10. Write down a list of all the projects you have put off.

9.    Prioritize them by date you need to have them completed.

8.    Decide what needs to be done first and DO it!

7.   Divide a big project into manageable parts and tackle one a day.

6.   Get a timer and set it for 15 minutes. Focus on that one part without allowing yourself to get distracted.

5.   Get someone to help you get started.

4.   Find an accountability partner and report your progress.

3.   Make a game out of it and have fun!

2.   Celebrate progress and keep going.

1.   Set a fake deadline before the real one.

I set a fake deadline for my taxes and have enjoyed a sense of smug accomplishment for the last two weeks. Good luck with your deadlines and remember, be kind to yourself!

What tips can you add? What are your secrets to avoid procrastination?

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.

5 Crazy Ways to Get Unstuck

7 Mar

Have you ever been stuck? Your plans were all laid out perfectly and you just knew that by this time you would have been at your destination (with time to spare). Instead, you are stuck in a mire of paperwork and nowhere near your projected timeline. You just want to give up. What can you do? Here are a few of my favorite ways to start moving in the right direction again:

5 Crazy Ways to Get Unstuck

1.  Get up and do some jumping jacks.

Nothing gets the juices going better than to start moving. Walk around the block. Make this part of your routine. Instead of putting your head in your hands, jump up and down a few times. However, be aware of those around you, as they will have proof of your insanity.

2.  Smile for no obvious reason

Smiling will drive people absolutely crazy and they will want to know what you are up to. Keep them guessing. The interesting part about facial expressions is that they telegraph your body that you are okay. I smile a lot when traveling because it is what I can control. When I get on an airplane, once I get to my seat I sit back and relax. I will close my eyes and encourage the corners of my mouth to go up in a smile. It works for me!

3.  Do the opposite of what you’ve been doing

This can be very scary because you love your rut. You’ve grown comfortable in doing things this way. Well, it’s not working. Shake things up a bit. What do you have to lose? Stop playing it safe. Stop doing what those around you are doing. Put a different spin on it. You know you’re doing what needs to be done if you feel uncomfortable. The point is to get out of your comfort zone.

4.  Create a mindmap

I can feel overwhelmed when I think about all I have to do. I start too many projects at once and have too much rattling around in my head. That’s when I need to get it down on paper. I get my timer and set it for 5 minutes. Then, I draw a circle in the middle of the sheet of paper and start drawing lines out from it. There’s no right or wrong way to do this. I just need to get it out of my head and in a place where I can look at it. This works for me every time.

5.  Start laughing

What do you do when feeling pressure? I like to laugh. The quicker you find humor in difficult situations, the sooner you will make progress. I am always looking for stories for my speaking engagements and blogs. I look for parallels, remember past struggles and rejoice in ways I’ve overcome. If nothing else, I say to myself, “This is going to be a great story one day.” And it always is just that.

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 receive one-on-one coaching. Subscribe to this blog for more inspiration on how to become a HOPEpreneur.

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