Tag Archives: step in the right direction

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.

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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.

Overcoming 3 Barriers to Success

4 Sep

Learn as you go - make progressIt’s hard to reach new levels of accomplishment both as an individual and as an entrepreneur. As we expand out of our self-imposed ‘comfort zone’ we can often find the greatest resistance in our minds. Recently, I took a challenge to record and post a video every day for 30 days.  I’m thrilled to have made several videos despite the following three barriers that threatened to hold me back. Any one of these can slow you down and, when stuck in all three, you become paralyzed.

  • Procrastination – putting off critical decisions until later
  • People pleasing – looking for the approval of others
  • Perfectionism – waiting until everything is perfect before taking another step

Procrastination

I immediately started researching and looking for the best practices of producing videos. I started asking others for advice and planning what I would put together. My form of procrastination is not about being unwilling to work because I can get incredibly busy with a flurry of unproductive activities. Instead, it’s in planning and talking about what I want to do. And that’s where it can stop with no forward progress.

Hope Antidote

I overcome my fear of making critical decisions by moving forward and not waiting. I learn as I go because I make good decisions. Confidence in taking the next step eliminates procrastination and encourages others to come along.

Pleasing People

It’s important to be aware of others. At the same time, it’s impossible to please everyone. In fact, if I’m not careful that can become my full-time job. When it came to recording the videos, I took the equipment that I had and started. The great part was I actually got great advice from others and most of it was positive.

Hope Antidote

I care about what others think, yet do not let their opinions paralyze me and keep me from moving forward. Feedback from others helps to guide me in the right direction but does not set my course.

Perfectionism

Perfection is overrated. It’s a fictional state of being that can never be found because you can always find another reason why the project is not perfect.

Hope Antidote

My satisfaction comes from progress and I learn as I go.

I posted seven videos on my 30-day video challenge. That’s seven more than I would have created before I started. I had fun! I met some wonderful people who inspired and encouraged me. I’m glad I set aside my pathological procrastination, people-pleasing perfectionism. It’s thrilling to make progress.

How about you? What project is laying on the side of the road due to this trilogy of barriers to your success? Go back and pick it up again. Dust it off and start heading in the right direction.

Karen Sebastian is a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed in your business. She is a certified facilitator with Kauffman Foundation’sFastTrac. 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.

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 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.

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