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Month October 2015

The Magic Number

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A wise man once said, ‘any fool can complicate things, it takes a genius to simplify them.’

 

Yesterday Mary shared a touch of genius with our staff. Simply put, the massive benefits to be had when you focus on increasing your income by only 10% while at the same time decreasing your expenses by the same 10%. Can you imagine the benefits? With cash flow the life blood of any family and business it’s gonna make a massive difference.

 

But the genius didn’t stop there. How do you decrease your expenses by 10%? Well there’s all the regular ways of shopping around, going without, making different choices, being happy with less. And then there’s Mary’s way… she simply asks the question. Magic thing is when she puts her focus into reducing expenses people often respond with more than a 10% reduction. Yesterday she achieved a whopping 30%.

 

The thing is we can and do make things complicated. Why is it we’re afraid to ask for the things we need, the things we want. In our relationships, in our finances, in our work. What I’ve come to realise is how well people respond when we have an open and honest discussion about what we need or want and ask them for their help in achieving it. Straight shooting.

 

But why stop just with the money? How would a 10% increase in time in your day with a 10% decrease in work make a difference in your life? Or how would a 10% increase in fun with a 10% decrease in stress affect your health and happiness?

 

A 10% shift isn’t much. But when it’s a 10% drop in the negative stuff with a 10% gain in the stuff you love, it’s going to make one hell of a difference to your life.

 

Small shift. Big gains.

 

So where can you grow by 10%?

How will you reduce those demands and expenses?

Adapt or Parish

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Juicy Fruit®, Doublemint®, Spearment® ring a bell? We’ve all chewed them. Wrigley’s gums are a part of almost everybody’s childhood. And the story of William Wrigley Jr is nothing short of inspiring.

What budding entrepreneur hasn’t been bored at school? Expelled at a tender age, Wrigley Jr went to work in his father’s soap factory. But with a flare for sales, it wasn’t too long before Wrigley Jr went out on his own, starting his own company selling soap. With a stroke of entrepreneurial genius, he did something different to dad and added a bonus freebie of baking powder to every sale. And sales boomed. But once he realised the baking powder was more popular than the soap, he switched to selling baking powder with a different freebie thrown in. You guessed it. A stick of gum with every sale. Very soon he noticed the gum sales out did the baking powder and so he switched track again to producing his own line of gums.

The thing is Wrigley Jr never started out selling gum. But as he saw new opportunities he grabbed them. Through times of economic depression and war, Wrigley continued to adapt and reinvent his products. Taking calculated risks with marketing while his competitors pulled in the belt. And they paid off. Where other company’s sales dropped, Wrigley’s thrived.

Adaptable and tuned in to the wants of his market Wrigley Jr’s success as an entrepreneur means that his gums are still available today. Over 120 years later.

Adapt or perish. And it’s as true in business as it is in other areas of life. Wrigley Jr was a genius at it. Kodak stuffed it. And Australia Post – well time will tell. The thing is as times change, new markets open and old markets close, technology jumps ahead at lightening speed and the traditional ways of doing business become a thing of the past, we must adapt in order to survive. I’ve heard it said it’s like turning a big ship around. First you’ve got to be looking ahead and see the need. Then you’ve got to take action. Then you’ve got to be patient while it all comes together. Sometimes easier said than done.

One thing is for sure. Change happens. And there will always be upturns and downturns.

Will your business survive?

How can you adapt and thrive?

Flash of Brilliance

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Julz and I spent a fantastic two days in Sydney this week. We had the chance to attend someone else’s gig and so we did. But as things go what we thought we’d get out of the two days just didn’t happen.

We got something even better.

Bucket loads of inspiration as our brains got a chance to enjoy time out from all the usual day to day stuff. And while most of the information was not new, hearing it again meant an opportunity to do something different with it, something we hadn’t thought of before. Something pretty damn awesome.

The thing is inspiration, innovation, those brilliant flashes of insight happen when we combine ideas. When thoughts come together in new ways. The aha or eureka moment when we really ‘get’ something in a new and different way. And it’s exciting, isn’t it. Because when that happens a whole world of possibility opens. New potentials and new opportunities are created in a flash.

Inspiration can come from anywhere. It might be someone you know. It might be something that’s said. It might be something you see or feel or experience. But you’ve got to stay open. And you’ve got to be willing to take time out and do something different. Because when you’re stuck on autopilot you’re just firing the same old neurons. And when you’re doing that it’s a sure thing that nothing’s going to change.

So if you want to create something different in your life, you’ve got to shake things up a little. Rather than just going through the motions, any moron can do that. To make changes you’ve got to get out of your daily routine and give yourself the space to see things differently. To enable your inner genius to come out and play.

And while things might not always happen as you expect them too, stay open to the possibilities. Because it just might be there’s something better up for grabs – if you’re open to it.

How will you shake things up a little?

Getting Comfortable

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Have you taken a moment lately to realise how privileged we are? Living in a place where we don’t just have to focus on survival. Instead we actually get the chance to thrive. The opportunity to see what’s not working in our lives and take steps to change it. Of course, there’s always the choice to continue living on autopilot. But for those people who want to take control of their lives and actually create their own future, consciously and deliberately, as humans we have the mental tools that enable us to do just that. How good is that!

 

This week we received the most awesome letter from a woman who’s been coaching with us and one our great coaches for the last couple of years. And she has made the most incredible changes in her life. Financially and personally. Which makes sense when you realise one is simply a reflection of the other.

But the thing that really sticks out in her letter is how she became comfortable with being uncomfortable. Because learning to do something different, learning to be someone different, really is uncomfortable. All credit to her.

 

As I’ve said before, change is like learning to drive a car. The first time you do it you can’t concentrate on anything else. You have to be fully focussed. You can’t talk to the person in the passenger seat or listen to music at the same time as concentrating on the road and all those dials and pedals. And talk about having to have eyes in the back of your head. Everything is new and it all feels wrong. And that’s because it’s unfamiliar. You haven’t got the wiring in place yet. But as you practise it all becomes easier. Much easier. How many of you have driven somewhere and got there without realising how you did it?

 

Change IS uncomfortable. And that’s because we’re turning our back on old familiar habits in order to create something better. But the problem is many people give up when they feel uncomfortable choosing instead to stay stuck in old patterns. Because it feels easier to stay stuck with what’s familiar. And even if we don’t like it very much we’ve learned how to do life that way. But when we realise that discomfort is actually an awesome sign that you’re now doing something new, it makes it easier to stick with it. To do it again and again until it becomes automatic. Because the discomfort means you’ve broken away from the old habits and now anything and everything is possible.

 

So the next time you make a change just notice how uncomfortable you feel. And celebrate.

 

What will you change?

 

 

We get to choose

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We had a great coaching telelcass last week. It was all about how our food cravings have nothing to do with food. We learned heaps about how it’s really our emotions driving those cravings – and what we can do to change that – and there were some real gems that came up that stretched our thinking in other directions too.

They always do.

One of those gems was all about how we approach all the things we have to do in our lives. You know, the stuff we don’t really want to do. There’s tons of it isn’t there. But how we think about it has a huge impact on how we feel. And really it all boils down to our self-talk. What we say to ourselves about the things that need to be done. Because we can either feel like we HAVE to do something – which can make us feel resentful or miserable or angry (or… you name it) – or we can instead CHOOSE to do the very same task which gives us back control and with it the opportunity to feel something more uplifting.

One of the best examples I can think of is Mary’s Mum Lou. She lived with us for many years and one of her ways of loving us was to do the ironing. A pretty dull job in anyone’s book. But Lou turned it into something else. She would whistle while she ironed turning this boring chore into something joyful. Or she’d listen to her favourite country music. It was always done as a labour of love. Seen as a privilege, not with resignation. And she was like that with all the housework. All of us felt that joy with her and in the same way we all learn things from our parents Lou has passed that gift on.

The thing is we get to choose how we look at the world. We can judge stuff we have to do as bad and make ourselves feel like crap. Or we can choose not to judge, and just approach everything we have to do as an opportunity to create something more uplifting or joyful or peaceful or happy for ourselves.

You get to choose.

Now that’s powerful.

So where will you choose differently?