Tag Archives: successful entrepreneurs

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.

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.

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.

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.

Replacing Ten Negativity Traps That Can Sabotage Success

22 Feb

What’s standing in the way of your success? Often, our doubts and self-talk become our greatest hindrances. I have needed to overcome negative ways of thinking as an entrepreneur. Unfortunately, when we sit and think about the negative side of things, we begin to speak from that place and sabotage our own success. Negativity becomes a poison that drains our initiative and energy. If you are struggling with any of these thoughts, use these Hope Antidotes like a rope to climb out of the pit of despair.

What people think

  1. This looks too complicated (hard).

    Hope Antidote: The first time you start learning how to do anything, it may seem difficult, uncomfortable and overwhelming. To move forward, break it down into smaller steps and ease into it gradually. OR, be like me and jump in to the deep end. Whichever way you choose to move forward, the key is to do just that.
  2. What will people think?

    Hope Antidote: “We would worry less about what people think about us if we realized how seldom they do.” Ethel Barrett I love this saying because it makes me realize that I do not have to waste any valuable energy and time on what others will think. It’s been my experience that when I am moving forward the ones that really matter in my life are cheering me on.  
  3. I don’t have enough _______ (time, money, talent, etc.).

    Hope Antidote: Take stock in what you DO have and not what you lack. Ask those around you to help. Share what you have with others and create a hope chain of resources. That’s my vision for women entrepreneurs: helping each other to succeed and creating hope in future generations successful business owners.
  4. I hate change.

    Hope Antidote: First of all, cut the word ‘hate’ from your vocabulary. Most of us feel uncomfortable, uneasy or uncertain as we start something new. The amazing principle is that the more you stretch the boundaries of your comfort zone, the more quickly  you will get used to what I like to call the ‘new normal.’
  5. I can’t handle all the ___________ (pressure, work load, etc.).

    Hope Antidote: Take a look back at all the challenges you’ve faced in your life so far. When we look ahead and project the difficulties they can start to grow. Instead, move forward and deal with each issue (aka problem) as it arises. You have a great track record or you wouldn’t be reading this blog.
  6. It’s not good enough.

    Hope Antidote: Who sets the standards? You do. Imperfect progress is better than perfect planning. I’m all for having a plan in place, yet you need to take some steps forward, adjust and learn as you go.
  7. I don’t want to leave others behind.

    Hope Antidote: Sometimes those closest to us do not support what we are doing. If you are passionate about making your ideas a reality, continue to move forward even if others do not follow immediately. Remember, they do not see the vision that you see. Sometimes the best way to get them on your side is to show them that you can carry out what you’ve set out to do.
  8. I could never do _________.

    Hope Antidote: Challenge your doubts. Set you fears aside. Go for it! The main reasons we don’t think we can do something is because of the limits we put on ourselves. What’s the worst that can happen? You don’t try it.
  9. Last time I tried something like this, it didn’t work.

    Hope Antidote: The difference between failure and success lies in the way you approach your obstacles and failures. Successful business owners use these as ways to learn, adjust and improve.
  10. If it’s supposed to happen, it will.

    Hope Antidote: Sometimes when we look at others who are where we want to be, we can believe they were just lucky. They worked hard to get where they are. You can do it too, if you just don’t give up.

Do you relate to any of these barriers? What are yours? What about the Hope Antidotes? Are there any that have pulled you out of a negativity trap?

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.

Copyright (c) 2012 Picture Hope International, Inc.

Image Dreamstime Free

Ten Ways to Increase Enthusiasm

12 Feb
Successful entrepreneurs maintain a high level of enthusiasm and energy. When you meet people and share your passion you will begin to see doors open in unexpected ways. Here are ten ways to increase your level of enthusiasm:Enthusiasm-Regain energy by someone else succeed.
  1. Get moving because activity will get the creative juices going.
  2. Revisit your convictions so that you can get back on the path to fulfilling your vision.
  3. Regain energy by helping someone else succeed.
  4. Start talking to someone about why you love what you do or you want to start your business.
  5. Laugh – really laugh until your sides shake and you can’t breathe
  6. Set your doubts aside and move forward anyway.
  7. Get involved in finding creative solutions to problems that arise.
  8. Get up early enough to enjoy a sunrise and start the day with fresh exhiliration.
  9. Write about three things that bring you joy.
  10. Relish the warmth of spending time with family and friends because they are who really matters.

Which is your favorite? Do you have other ways to increase your enthusiasm?

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.

Ten Ways to Embrace Change

7 Feb

The current fast-paced changes in our world can leave us feeling overwhelmed. Here are ten things you can do right now to embrace the changes in your life.

Transform your approach to change and enjoy the ride.

  1. Adjust quickly to the “new normal.”
  2. Prepare in advance when you see change coming
  3. Take a break from your routine. Step back and gain perspective.
  4. Revise your goals to incorporate the change.
  5. Shift your priorities to allow time for the change to sink in.
  6. Transform your conversation around the change.
  7. Turn the negatives into positives.
  8. Transition quickly personally, yet give others some lead time to adjust.
  9. Add training to your schedule so you can have someone show you how to take shortcuts.
  10. Transform your approach to change and enjoy the ride.

Which one resonates?

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.

Image from dreamstimefree.

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