How to Take Advantage of Opportunities

How to Take Advantage of Opportunities

I was driving to my children’s school to pick them up one afternoon. I had left the house a few minutes later than usual so I was kind of in a hurry to make up for lost time. I then made a quick decision to take a route with no traffic lights. It wasn’t a very long road so I still had to come out of it to join the main road at some point. As I got to the end of my no-traffic-light road, I had to wait behind the double white line until a kind-hearted driver allowed me to join the slowly growing queue of cars. I had my attention so focused on ‘catching’ the eye of the next driver to see if he/she would allow me enter the road (I wear glasses, so I had to focus more), so much so that I forgot to move my gear stick from 3 to 1. Suddenly someone stopped and boy was I glad. I looked on to ‘catch’ his eye, just to be sure he’d really let me go. As soon as I ‘caught’ his eye, he gave me a nod and a wave of hand to let me know that I could go in front of him.

The moment I stepped on the gas to go, the car jerked. I quickly looked down the gear and realised I was still on gear 3 instead of 1. Almost immediately, the car stopped and I felt a bit silly. Here was the kind hearted driver I had been hoping would turn up and allow me cut in front of him and here I was not able to move because I had broken the first basic rule of moving: preparation.

So there I was a bit flushed and embarrassed that my car had stopped. I could imagine him thinking: “move it woman! I haven’t got all day”. I wouldn’t have blamed him if he had moved and blocked me from entering to be honest. He did the decent thing by waiting and it was me who didn’t take advantage of that window of opportunity.

You could argue that it was no big deal for him to wait but it wasn’t just himself and myself that were involved in this situation, there were other cars behind him. These other cars could have noisily honked their horn for him in frustration. Plus, who knows what emergencies one or more of those cars might need to get to.

Anyway, I started my car quickly and thankfully; he waited. I moved noisily as I pressed hard on my accelerator because I didn’t want any excuse for the car to go off. Once I took my place on the line with other drivers, I signalled to express my gratitude to the driver who let me in.

This kind of scenario is not uncommon in our everyday life. At home, business, school and really…life in general; there are windows of opportunities that present themselves to us at different times. These windows of opportunities sadly only stay open for a short time, long enough for us to take advantage of it before it passes. Some of these windows require you to get in and move along with the flow. While others require you to get in and get out as quickly as possible. Whatever form the opportunity might take, one thing is paramount: be prepared.

In this traffic case, I was lucky to have someone patiently wait for me to get my act together. In life issues however, one might not get that chance. Once you figure out what it is you want to do or achieve, don’t wait until the opportunity presents itself before you get prepared because you most likely will get passed. Make sure that you get your act together by preparing yourself before hand for when that opportunity presents itself.

If you’ve ever wondered why some people just sometimes seem to get all the good openings, preparation is probably why. These seemingly ‘fairy-dust-covered’ people have prepared ahead of time and all they are waiting for, is for that window of opportunity to open so that they can readily leap in.

As you begin to tidy up all loose ends and review this passing year, spare some thoughts for the coming year. Start thinking about what you’d want to accomplish in the coming year and start making plans for yourself and for your environment.

I strongly advice that you do this one thing towards your growth and success for the coming year: make preparation a key thing.

“Opportunities will come, they always do but you can only recognise it and take advantage of it if you have prepared yourself for its arrival”.

 

Stay Blessed and Prepared.

 

Belinda

Productivity Decline? Try this…

Productivity Decline? Try this…

Have you been experiencing dry spells recently? Does it seem like your creativity is slowly deteriorating? Is it becoming increasingly difficult to reproduce previous successes? Are the results you’re producing desired results or more of a hit and miss? Do you feel tired all the time? frustrated? stuck? ineffective or even empty? If you find yourself in one or more of these situations–or any other closely related situation–then you my friend, are in a period of drought.
What exactly do I mean by a drought?
I’m talking about a period of dryness. A time when nothing substantial is happening. An interval devoid of excitement. Tiny moments that slowly add up to a rather large space in time when nothing tangible or profitable has been achieved. I’m referring to nothingness. I’m talking about a period of No-Flow; a period where nothing seems to flow through you. A time characterised by little, insignificant movements. Times of not good, not bad, just…nothing.
For those of you leaders who cultivate your creativity for different productive purposes, you most certainly understand what I’m talking about. My guess is that you’ve had periods when your creative juices just didn’t seem to flow as they normally would. Or maybe you’ve had periods characterised by disengagement or disconnection from the things you’d normally be happy doing.

When these situations arise, what do you do?
How do you get your drive back?
How do you carry on being productive?
My answer? Here it is:
1. Time-out
2. Time-out
3. Time-out

Time-out is my answer to getting your energy/mojo/drive–or whatever else you choose to call it–back and I’ve written it 3 times to make sure you don’t miss it.
You need some time away, end of. Whether it be from the desk, the laptop, the tablet, the meeting room, the writing table, the brain storming sessions, the classroom, the baby cot, the kitchen, the pulpit, the lecture room, the laboratory, the theatre, etc., you need to take T-I-M-E – O-U-T! There is no getting round this one if you want to function well, retain your sanity and stay productive.
Your time-out should be a period to rest, refuel or reconnect; or maybe all three.
No one ever remains productive without taking out time to rest and be refreshed. The reason you’re irate, frustrated, experiencing a mental block or being a right ol’ pain in the back side is probably because you’ve not had any time-out recently.
When you notice that the things which used to give you joy and cause you to experience fulfillment now make you angry or frustrate you; it’s probably time for a time-out. Your creative mind will only function well when the principle of time-out and common sense is applied.

As the year draws to a close, evaluate yourself and figure out if you’re due a time-out. Maybe you need a rest; then schedule some time to do so and arrange for someone to cover your duties.
Maybe you need to refuel; then find people who are achieving the kind of things you want to achieve and receive valuable knowledge from them.
Maybe you need to reconnect; then dig deep and stir up that passion that motivated you to land a role as CEO, manager, team leader, mother, father, teacher, entrepreneur, doctor, author, accountant, minister, coach, mentor, consultant, artist, chef, etc.
If you need to join a network, association or support group to help you refuel and reconnect; then do so. If you need to take a course, be mentored or coached; then please do so.
Don’t let your self go to waste by becoming unproductive. Don’t buy your own narrow narrative of being stale.
The problem is not with your passion, your purpose or even you per se; the problem is that you’re drained.
And here’s the solution: take T-I-M-E O-U-T.

 

Lead right and Live light;

 

Belinda

“Are You Congruent?”

“Are You Congruent?”

It’s a funny question, isn’t it?  Congruent.  Now, I’m not talking geometry here. I’m talking about a concept that originally came from NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programing). 

In NLP, congruence is a name for that state in which every fiber of your being is in agreement.

According to Merriam-Webster, another definition of congruent is “being in agreement, harmony, or correspondence.”  

The way I use the word congruent, with clients, is to ask:

When you look at your day-to-day life, are you allocating your time and energy in a way that is congruent with your deepest priorities and values?

Too often, we “say” that certain things are important to us – and perhaps they truly are – but when we look, we find we spend countless hours and significant effort in arenas that are not the essential ones, often neglecting the exact areas that we claim are most vital!

Take, for example:

• The Entrepreneur who is so burdened with “doing it all” that she hasn’t read a book, or picked up her violin, or made a date to visit Dad in months…

• The Consultant and Mother who, between juggling clients, cooking dinner, helping with homework, and keeping the house just can’t squeeze in any extra time for exercise…

• The Executive who claims that quality time with his wife and children is his greatest joy, but who spends countless hours at the office, regularly encroaching on evening and weekend time…

It is so easy to lose sight of our own priorities. It feels like we must rush from this to that or else something terribly significant will fall through the cracks.  I call this the “tyranny of the seemingly urgent.” 

Granted, life is often busy and some things are truly urgent and critical. But there are also those seductive time-stealers that seem urgent, but are actually relatively unimportant, that is, they rob us of the time to attend to our more heartfelt values.

 

When we live from the position of “as soon as” – 

“As soon as I finish all the things on my list, then I’ll find time to …” 

– we ensure our own failure!  “As soon as” never comes.

So… if you were on your deathbed, looking back at your life, would you say that you are living in congruence with what was most deeply important to you?  What will you wish you had attended to, made time for, learned, accomplished?

It’s time to stop. Reassess.  Take your life by the reins.  Say no.  Say yes.  All in service to being congruent. 

I invite you to just move into an “observer” mode.  For a few weeks, just watch.  How are you spending your time?  Allocating your energy?  If life were over tomorrow, would you say that you had been living congruently with your highest priorities and values?   

If not, begin making change.  Start with one simple adjustment each week until the new “balance” is set… and just watch the rewards!

Business Coach & Mentor Barb Wade specializes in teaching entrepreneurs how to make more money more easily while enjoying a business and lifestyle that reflects their priorities. Download Barb’s “Word-for-Word Scripts To Overcome Objections” and book more high-paying clients now at www.BarbWade.com.

Today’s blog post is from Barb Wade, a business coach and mentor. As a business leader who wants to move your business forward while enjoying a balanced lifestyle; Barb Wade is your go-to person. Visit her website at http://www.BarbWade.com
Moving with the Times?

Moving with the Times?

What exactly does this even mean when applied to leadership? How do you move with the times without dis-stabilising the very foundation and essence of your leadership?

For those who do not have depth in their leadership, this might not make much sense to you but for those leaders who do have depth and a stable foundation upon which they have built their leadership on, this will make truckloads of sense to you.

In my opinion, the idea of even creating ‘the times’ is in order to keep things new and fresh; the reason why one thing is in season today and then becomes obsolete the next is because things need to be kept appealing and less complex. The issue with this when applied to leadership is this: It gets tiring when you have to keep changing just to fit into a mould of what’s in and what’s not in, at different times. So, does this then mean that you never upgrade or update? Absolutely not! Skills, marketing styles, sales channels and operational techniques might require an upgrade at one time or another but even when this happens, make sure it’s for the purpose of making your life and/or job easier and making your business more profitable. Otherwise, it would be classified under waste and loss.

What I am saying is this: never trade your depth and stability for constantly moving trends and ever changing times. Your depth and stability is what has brought you to the point you are at now; those hardly change with the times. Your character and values are NOT subject to trends. I do not suppose it makes sense to change from being an honest person to becoming a chancer, a thief or one who indulges in embezzlement or chicanery simply because times have changed and you have to move with it.

Here’s the point I’m making: when you are moving with the times, weigh the cost against your stability and your reputation. Consider if it is a worthy investment or not.
Do not short-change yourself by trading in both the long-term and the short-term for seasonal trends.

Remember this: Trends only last for a season!

Lead right and Live light

Belinda

Resourcefulness: What it really means!

Resourcefulness: What it really means!

Resourcefulness is the ability to deal with situations and complexities (old and/or new) with Readiness, Alertness and Skill; on a regular basis.

A brief look at Readiness, Alertness and Skill.

  • Readiness: A willingness and a preparedness to perform towards an agreed purpose, both on your own and with support from others.
  • Alertness: A state of awareness and an attitude of caution, while staying attentive and acting swiftly. In order to be alert, your state (mental & physical) and your attitude must be involved.
  • Skill: The ability to do something well as a result of experience gained, knowledge acquired, training received and most importantly; constant application.

Excerpt from my upcoming book: Leadership Maxims……..Sound Principles for Leadership Excellence

Lead right and Live light

Belinda

2 Fundamental Elements to Becoming and Staying Prosperous

2 Fundamental Elements to Becoming and Staying Prosperous

Prosperity is an unspoken but deep desire of leaders. Every leader wants to flourish, do well, succeed, thrive and be profitable.

But here’s the thing; leaders work in different environments, they occupy diverse positions and carry out various functions. This could make it a bit tricky to actually come up with a ‘blue print’ for all leaders that will ensure their prosperity–or could it? Rather than go through every individual industry, business, institution, character model and what-nots; I’ll give you 2 fundamentals that any leader can apply in any environment in order to do well, succeed, thrive, flourish and be profitable. They are:

1. Prioritise – Make your values, principles and precepts your top priority and always keep them within reach. Let them be a reference mark and a filter point that helps to determine the kind of information you let in and the actions you take. Apply your mind to acquire information that aligns with your values, principles and precepts. Learn to prioritise your goals, your tasks and your daily activities. Prioritising helps you to function efficiently, gives more clarity and provides a well-defined structure for operation. Whatever your functions are as a leader, prioritising is your first step to being prosperous.

2. Ponder – Keep your values, principles, precepts and goals in your mind. Think about them carefully, consider them thoughtfully and weigh them thoroughly. Everything you are and now have, first existed in the mind: your behaviour, your organisation, your family, your business, your property, your products, your services, etc. The more you meditate on something, the more real it becomes. Pondering on who you want to become and what you want to achieve is a sure-fire way to become prosperous.

Start applying these fundamental elements in your personal and professional life today so that you can start to flourish, thrive and become more profitable with every passing day!

Lead right and Live light

Belinda

Sift and Shift!

Sift and Shift!

Hello and welcome back from what I hope was a worthwhile weekend.

I started on information last week and I’ll be talking a bit more about it today. Let’s dive straight in!

The information you receive is guided by two factors; values and purpose. These two factors determine the ‘weight’ of the information you receive and its relevance to you.

Values and purpose act like a sift and shift process. Your values sifts the information that you receive, while your purposes shifts what is not relevant and retains what is relevant.

Purpose: The very reason you take in information is because there is a reason you need that information. This could be because of your current situation, condition position or role; past experiences you need to address/deal with; and an ongoing situation, condition, position or role. It could be for personal development reasons, educational purposes, entertainment needs or just purely for fun. Whatever your reason is for taking in and using information, you must realise that information plays a huge role in forming who you are and who you become. You are ultimately a result of the information you have taken in over the years and you’ll keep evolving, stagnating, improving or declining as a result of the information you will consistently expose yourself to; and retain.

Values: It acts as a filter to sift the information you receive. The soundness of your values will determine the soundness of the information that remains with you after the sifting process.

Your ability to sift and shift the information you receive will save you precious time in the long run plus you’ll also improve your communication, decision-making and conflict resolution skills.

Caution:

Never take information for granted, it could mean the make or beak of some really crucial aspect of your personal and/or professional life.
Be sure to receive and retain information that clearly has a role to play in your life and that is relevant for your improvement and advancement.
Don’t be deceived, the information you receive and retain will either cause you to improve and advance or it will cause you to decline and stagnate!

 

 

Lead right and Live light

Belinda