Category Archives: Build Your Business

Talk with Tom: Episode #33 | TwT Motivational Minute: Face Your Fears

 

Any time you want to do something for the first time, there is probably some fear involved — especially if you are taking a risk in pursuing the want. Listen to a quick lesson from Tom Hart on how you can proceed while facing your fear(s).


Every month Tom shares topic after topic to Grow Your Life and Build Your Business. If you’re not already a subscriber, join us. Talk with Tom is 100% free, and there are special benefits available only to our subscribers, so be sure you subscribe yourself on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, and we look forward to seeing you right back here on the last Wednesday of every month with Talk with Tom.

Talk with Tom: Episode #32 | The Role Luck Plays In Our Success

 

The results of recent studies strongly suggest that luck and opportunity play an underappreciated role in determining the final level of individual success. Success may truly lie at the intersection of preparation meeting opportunity, however, that is not the entire story. As the researchers point out, since rewards and resources are usually given to those who are already highly rewarded, this often causes a lack of opportunities for those who are most talented (i.e., have the greatest potential to actually benefit from the resources), and it doesn’t take into account the important role of luck, which can emerge spontaneously throughout the creative process.


Every month Tom shares topic after topic to Grow Your Life and Build Your Business. If you’re not already a subscriber, join us. Talk with Tom is 100% free, and there are special benefits available only to our subscribers, so be sure you subscribe yourself on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, and we look forward to seeing you right back here on the last Wednesday of every month with Talk with Tom.

The Role Luck Plays In Our Success

 

#GrowYourLife  #BuildYourBusiness 

Life Area: Personal

Topic: The Role Luck Plays In Our Success


The Role Luck Plays In Our Success

 

I recently recorded a Talk with Tom podcast episode on the topic of the role luck plays in our success. You can listen to it [here]. For those of you who favor the written word, I offer up the fascinating findings from a number of studies I came across in my research.

The results of a recent Italian study conducted by researchers Alessando Pluchino and Alessio Biondo, dovetail with a growing number of other studies based on real-world data, which strongly suggest that luck and opportunity play an underappreciated role in determining the level of individual success. As the researchers point out, since rewards and resources are usually given to those who are already highly rewarded, this often causes a lack of opportunities for those who are most talented (i.e., have the greatest potential to actually benefit from the resources), and it doesn’t take into account the important role of luck, which can emerge spontaneously throughout the creative process.

What are the secrets of the most successful people?

 

Time and again things such as talent, skill, mental toughness, hard work, tenacity, optimism, growth mindset, and emotional intelligence have been cited.

Brendon Burchard from research for his recent book High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way identified six common habits:

 

Three Personal Habits including:

. Seek Clarity,

. Generate Energy, and

. Raise Necessity; and

 

Three Social Habits:

. Increase Productivity,

. Develop Influence, and

. Demonstrate Courage.

 

All these underlying assumptions influence how we distribute resources in society, from work opportunities to fame to government grants to public policy decisions. We tend to give out resources to those who have a track record of success, and tend to ignore those who have been unsuccessful, assuming that the most successful are also the most competent.

But are these assumptions correct?

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Talk with Tom: Episode #31 | TwT Motivational Minute: Optimism

 

Practicing optimism, the opposite of negative thoughts, creates a healthy environment for success.


Every month Tom shares topic after topic to Grow Your Life and Build Your Business. If you’re not already a subscriber, join us. Talk with Tom is 100% free, and there are special benefits available only to our subscribers, so be sure you subscribe yourself on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, and we look forward to seeing you right back here on the last Wednesday of every month with Talk with Tom.

Simple Strategies To Increase Workplace Productivity

 

workplace productivity

#GrowYourLife  #BuildYourBusiness 

Life Area: Professional

Topic: Workplace Productivity


Simple Strategies To Increase Workplace Productivity

 

Workplace productivity is top of mind for both business owners and employees/contractors. My business coaching clients know that the more efficient they can run their operations the more profitable the business will be. Employees and Independent Contractors know that the best measure of their value are their results. These two objectives merge at the sweet spot of workplace productivity with a win/win outcome. To encourage a more productive workday I offer to both business owners and employees four workplace productivity strategies:

 

MAKE YOUR WORKDAY SYNC WITH YOUR ENERGY  We are most productive in the first four and a half hours of the day, so arrange to tackle you most challenging or important task during this time. Don’t look at emails, answer phone calls or multitask. “One of the saddest mistakes in time management is the propensity of people to spend the most productive hours of their day on things that don’t require high cognitive capacity, like social media,” behavioral scientist Dan Ariely has said. “If we could salvage those precious hours, most of us would be much more successful in accomplishing what we truly want to.” As my friend, Brian Tracy says: “Eat that frog first!

 

RECHARGE YOUR BRAIN  If you try to concentrate on one piece of work without taking a break, your mind will wander. “The brain cycles from highest attention to lowest attention approximately every 90 minutes,” Jeff Stibel, brain scientist and author of Wired For Thought, has said. “You should hit the reset button about that often.” Going for a quick walk around the block will boost it. If you can’t get out or it’s raining, it helps to just take a break from your screen and sit in a different location, like a conference room to read printed material or make a phone call. I recommend using the pomodoro method of concentrated work for 50 minute stints then a 10 minute break and so on. Check out the app Pomodoro Time Pro to keep you on track.

 


 

When I’m conceptualizing a workshop or speech presentation slide deck, I edit out the obvious, the irrelevant and any repetition.

 


 

USE LESS WORDS  The world-famous TED Talks are limited to 18 minutes, and there’s a good reason why. Research shows that too much information prevents the successful transmission of ideas. In presentations, nobody wants death by PowerPoint! A picture can speak volumes. Also, don’t expect your audience to read your slides while listening to you. When I’m conceptualizing a workshop or speech presentation slide deck, I edit out the obvious, the irrelevant and any repetition. Whatever the task, I try to find the shortest route to convey my message.

 

HAVE FEWER MEETINGS  How many real decisions are made in meetings? They’re usually made beforehand and the meetings simple sign off on them. The ratio of time versus value for a typical meeting is rarely justified. Remember, less is more. If you’re running the meeting, include as few people as possible. Set a clear, short agenda and a time limit – and stick to it! If a problem must be solved, deal with it first. If you’re an attendee, ask for the agenda in advance. If other issues arise that threaten to get in the way of decision-making, suggest firmly but politely that they be dealt with at a later date. And, speaking of TED Talks, check out this 6-minute TED Talk by David Grady entitled “How To Save The World (or at least yourself) From Bad Meetings.


Please share this post with your family and friends. 

My mission is to inspire people and organizations to live their highest vision.

I am a Success Strategist and Master Coach. I provide transformational coaching and training for individuals and organizations to help you Grow Your Life and Build Your Business by getting clear and focused on what you want, why you want it, and how to create it. Learn more about me at SuccessSeriesLLC.com.

There is no better endorsement than that of a friend, so if you like what you’re reading or are using my many FREE resources, tell a friend to join the Tom Hart Success Series Community, to receive email notifications of new blog posts and Talk with Tom podcast episodes, learn of upcoming events, and other news, by visiting my website  and clicking on the offer to receive my FREE monthly resource by leaving their email address OR forward this to them and have them simply click here (we respect your privacy and do not tolerate spam and will never sell, rent, lease or give away your information to any third party).

Talk with Tom: Episode #30 | Creating Successful Relationships

 

On today’s episode of Talk with Tom, we continue with our February theme of “Relationships” with a discussion of Part IV (Create Successful Relationships) of Jack Canfield’s best selling book The Success Principles.

You will hear best practices for team and family communications to gain better clarity, make win/win agreements and optimize your listening skills.


Every month Tom shares topic after topic to Grow Your Life and Build Your Business. If you’re not already a subscriber, join us. Talk with Tom is 100% free, and there are special benefits available only to our subscribers, so be sure you subscribe yourself on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, and we look forward to seeing you right back here on the last Wednesday of every month with Talk with Tom.

Talk with Tom: Episode #28 | 5 Cash Flow Goals Every Small Business Should Have

 

business cash flow

On today’s episode of Talk with Tom, we continue with our January theme of goal setting but this time we turn it from personal goals to business goals…from Growing Your Life to Building Your Business. Today’s topic is the 5 Cash Flow Goals Every Small Business Should Have:

  1. Pay attention to margins
  2. Pay yourself a salary
  3. Have finances in reserve
  4. Avoid debt
  5. Save for growth

Be realistic about your goals. Aiming for super high margins, an unrealistic salary, or endless cash reserves can be detrimental to your business. Think about each of the above steps and prioritize each based on what’s realistic and achievable for your industry, fiscal state, and wider business goals. Start by revisiting your business plan, talking to your accountant, and then go from there.


Every month Tom shares topic after topic to Grow Your Life and Build Your Business. If you’re not already a subscriber, join us. Talk with Tom is 100% free, and there are special benefits available only to our subscribers, so be sure you subscribe yourself on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, and we look forward to seeing you right back here on the last Wednesday of every month with Talk with Tom.

Goals Series #3: Three Ways To Stay Motivated To Reach Your Goals

 

#GrowYourLife  #BuildYourBusiness

Life Area: Personal

Topic: Goals Achievement

When I was engaged by yoga and athletic apparel company Lululemon to train their Denver area sales people on Goals Achievement I was asked multiple times from the workshop participants, “How can I stay motivated to reach my goals?”  We’re all capable of improving, regardless of what natural abilities we were born with or without. It’s important then to acknowledge our successes or failures and remind ourselves that they are a direct result of our own effort or lack thereof, not of factors outside our control.

It’s the difference between having a “fixed mindset” or a “growth mindset”. Download this FREE infographic – Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset – from my FREE Resources page on my website to learn more.

growth mindset vs fixed mindsetA “fixed mindset” assumes that our abilities can’t be changed in any meaningful way, and success or failure is the reinforcement of the traits we were “born” with. On the other hand, when we have a “growth mindset,” we see obstacles and challenges as opportunities for growth beyond our existing abilities.

These two mindsets spur a great deal of our behavior so it’s essential to recognize if you tend toward a fixed mindset and try to shift your thinking toward a growth mindset.


A growth mindset will keep you trying when you hit obstacles.


When we are hungry, cold, or feel in danger, we have no trouble finding the “motivation” to eat, stay warm, or get somewhere safe. But when comes to everyday situations that don’t hold a life or death outcome, we suddenly find ourselves searching for the “motivation” to make it happen. This happens all too often when it comes to setting and achieving our goals.

Here is this third of a three-part blog Goals Series, I offer up 3 ways to stay motivated to reach your goals:

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

 

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as devised by Abraham Maslow, once basic needs such as food, water, and safety are satisfied, humans are naturally motivated to embark on an ongoing quest to reach our full potential.

So is it really the problem of lack of motivation? Or are we just having trouble following through?

Often the problem is our misguided concept of motivation itself. Read on to learn three ways to think about motivation differently in order to achieve your goals >>>


Download my FREE 7-Day Goal Setting Challenge – A Guide to Help You Set Your Goals, Create a Plan of Action and Begin Achieving Them IN ONLY A WEEK! I describe it in detail in this Talk with Tom podcast episode on the subject [here].

What if you could radically and positively transform your life in EVERY ONE of the 7 Life Areas (Personal, Physical, Professional, Financial, Relational, Spiritual, and Philanthropical)?

That’s right, your relationships, your health, your career, your finances, your fun and leisure, and even your level of contribution to the world? My FREE 7-Day Goal Setting Challenge will help you determine where you are, where you want to be, and what you want, to create the life you want, IN ONLY A WEEK! Download it for FREE [here].


Continue reading

Goals Series #2: How To Reach Your Goals

 

How To Reach Your Goals in 2018#GrowYourLife  #BuildYourBusiness

Life Area: Personal

Topic: Goal Achievement

Do you want to make this year your best year ever? Keep reading and I will give you 4 key tips for how to do it.

One of your most valuable financial assets is your earning power. They call it your human capital. To earn more you have to constantly increase your value. The only way you can create more value for yourself this year is to learn and apply new skills that allow you to get better results.

Imagine climbing a mountain. Base camp is when you first start your career. Perhaps you’ve just graduated college and you’re now going out into the world seeking a first job that best fits your newly acquired education with your passion and desires. When you start at the bottom of mountain (Base Camp), most people have no earning ability, but after 10 or 20 years some are earning 20 to 50 times more than others! Even though they started out in the same place.

What’s Their Secret?

 

The difference is that the top performers, continually learn new skills as they go through their careers —  be it corporate America, musician, or entrepreneur. Like climbing a mountain, every new skill brings you to Camp 2 then Camp 3, another step closer to the summit. As you scale the mountain, you increase the value of your contribution. This, in turn, increases your ability to earn more money. If one of your goals is to earn more money this year, then create more value. It’s as simple as that.

Focus on these 4 skills to continue your trek up the mountain and make this year your best year ever:

 

Tip 1:    Write Better Goals

 

how to reach your goals in 2018Some people don’t know where to start and wonder how to write goals. Ask yourself this question:

“Where do I want to be in 12 months?”

Write down one major goal for each of your 7 Life Areas (Physical, Financial, Professional, Spiritual, Relational, Personal, and Philanthropical) that you want to accomplish in the next 12 months using the SMART goals definition. Look at your goals that you have written down and think to yourself, “If I could wave a magic wand, which one goal would have the greatest impact on my life … would most move the needle?”  As Gary Keller puts it in his bestselling book The One Thing,

 

“What’s the One Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

 

For most of us, it’s a financial goal. For some of us it might be a fitness goal, a relationship goal, or a business goal, but for most of us it is a financial goal. You can still use these tips on any goal.

 

Tip 2:   Focus On One Skill At a Time

 

 Write down that One Thing very clearly and set a date for its attainment. Then make a list of everything that you can do to achieve this goal using my friend and mentor Brian Tracy’s ABC Method. Then, the next question you want to ask yourself is:

 

“What one skill will help me the most to achieve this goal?”

 

Think about all of the skills that you have and if you determine you don’t have the skill(s) that it would take to achieve that goal then focus on learning one skill that can help you achieve that most important goal.

This formula is the reason why people go from the bottom to the top of the mountain. The most successful people are very clear on where they are and where they want to be.

You must have very clear goals. Then you must be very clear about the skills you must acquire that will get you to each result/outcome you desire. When you acquire new skills, it helps you climb the mountain, every step (skill) increases your value. When you increase your value, you open up new opportunities for yourself. Keep adding new skills and keep growing to achieve your goals.


Download my FREE 7-Day Goal Setting Challenge – A Guide to Help You Set Your Goals, Create a Plan of Action and Begin Achieving Them IN ONLY A WEEK! I describe it in detail in this Talk with Tom podcast episode on the subject [here].

What if you could radically and positively transform your life in EVERY ONE of the 7 Life Areas (Personal, Physical, Professional, Financial, Relational, Spiritual, and Philanthropical)?

That’s right, your relationships, your health, your career, your finances, your fun and leisure, and even your level of contribution to the world? My FREE 7-Day Goal Setting Challenge will help you determine where you are, where you want to be, and what you want, to create the life you want, IN ONLY A WEEK! Download it for FREE [here].


 

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Goals Series #1: 5 Cash Flow Goals Every Small Business Should Have

 

5 small business cash flow goals#BuildYourBusiness

Life Area: Professional

Maintaining cash flow positive is something that many small businesses struggle with. After all, it only takes one or two late net 90 clients and you may find yourself among the 90 percent of small businesses who fail every year due to cash flow problems.

Setting goals for cash flow management can help make sure you have a profitable business and enough cash to offset your monthly expenses. Here are five cash flow goals that every small business should aim for:

 

5 Small Business Cash Flow Goals

 

1) Pay attention to margins

By “margins”, I mean both gross margin and net profit. Gross profits are what are left over once you subtract the cost of goods sold. Margins vary by industry, but there are some things you can do to ensure yours are healthy. That includes controlling the cost of materials, labor, and setting the right price point.

Don’t forget your net profit margins (before taxes are paid). This is what’s left from your gross margins after your expenses have been paid. If your net margins are below 10 percent, you should reassess all the above. A good goal is a minimum 10-20 percent. Grocery stores run 3-4%, home builders 8-10%, and suppliers can run as much as 25-50%, so be sure to compare yours to the relevance of your industry.

 

2) Pay yourself a salary

It’s not uncommon for new business owners to work uncompensated. However, many continue doing so even when they start turning a profit. It’s believed that as many as 90 percent of small business owners underpay themselves.

Continue reading

FREE 2018 Success Planner

 

2018 success planner

#GrowYourLife #BuildYourBusiness

Life Area: Personal

I hope that you’re having a terrific holiday season with your family, friends, and loved ones. Now that 2018 is here, I’d like to know, how are you planning your year ahead?

What big goals are you planning to achieve in 2018? Take a moment to think about it, because we’ll come back to this in a second.

As for me today, New Year’s Day, I will get out my goals list and Master Calendar for the year ahead and finalize them, especially as it relates to the first quarter. I suggest you do the same today or sometime over the week ahead. Plan out what it is you really want to accomplish in 2018 and translate its milestones to your Master Calendar. What gets calendared, gets done.

Set a New Year’s goal with a specific date attached to it. Ask yourself “How much, by when?” and be sure your goal is specific, measurable, actionable, and has a deadline attached to it. Read on to receive my FREE holiday gift for you >>>

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FREE Resource – Year End Assessment Tool

 

#GrowYourLife #BuildYourBusiness

Life Area: Personal

 

FREE Resource – Year End Assessment Tool

 

I just wanted to send you a quick boost of encouragement and motivation as we head into 2018. You and I both know that these last few days of the year present a major opportunity. There’s no better time than now to take a look at your life and work and assess some areas that are ripe for improvement. Invest your time away from the office in personal growth.

I suggest taking a hard look at the last year and asking yourself a few very important questions:

  • What is a goal you set this year that you haven’t yet achieved?
  • What did you make more important than achieving that goal?
  • Who helped you the most, and how can you be a greater resource to them?
  • What’s still important to achieve?

Take time for yourself to do YOUR Annual Review. Download my FREE Year End Assessment Tool to help you through those and other questions which will springboard you into 2018.


tom hart success series year end assessment Download my FREE Year-End Assessment Tool [here]. As you look to the new year, it’s important to step back and take a look at the year just finished – to take inventory, add it all up and see how you did. What were your successes, and where did you come up short? What worked? What didn’t? Download my FREE Year-End Assessment Tool [here] to help you do just that. My FREE Year-End Assessment Tool is a guide to help you assess the progress you made toward achieving your goals this past year and set you up for success in 2018. Download this valuable FREE resource [here] and get started today!


Please share this FREE Resource with your family and friends.

My mission is to inspire people and organizations to live their highest vision.

I am a Success Strategist and Master Coach. I provide transformational coaching and training for individuals and organizations to help you Grow Your Life and Build Your Business by getting clear and focused on what you want, why you want it, and how to create it. Learn more about me at SuccessSeriesLLC.com.

There is no better endorsement than that of a friend, so if you like what you’re reading or are using my many FREE resources, tell a friend to join the Tom Hart Success Series Community, to receive email notifications of new blog posts and Talk with Tom podcast episodes, learn of upcoming events, and other news, by visiting my website and clicking on the offer to receive my FREE monthly resource by leaving their email address OR forward this to them and have them simply click here (we respect your privacy and do not tolerate spam and will never sell, rent, lease or give away your information to any third party).

Talk with Tom: Episode #26 | My Ultimate Goal Setting System

 

ultimate goal setting system

It’s that stereotypical time of year when we all set our goals for the coming year and on today’s episode of Talk with Tom, Tom will be giving us his Ultimate Goal Setting System. Tom will walk us through his step-by-step goal setting system to guide you from your Grand Vision to your daily action steps.


tom hart success series year end assessment Download my FREE Year-End Assessment Tool [here]. As you look to the new year, it’s important to step back and take a look at the year just finished – to take inventory, add it all up and see how you did. What were your successes, and where did you come up short? What worked? What didn’t? Download my FREE Year-End Assessment Tool [here] to help you do just that. My FREE Year-End Assessment Tool is a guide to help you assess the progress you made toward achieving your goals this past year and set you up for success in 2018. Download this valuable FREE resource [here] and get started today!


Every month Tom shares topic after topic to Grow Your Life and Build Your Business. If you’re not already a subscriber, join us. Talk with Tom is 100% free, and there are special benefits available only to our subscribers, so be sure you subscribe yourself on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, and we look forward to seeing you right back here on the last Wednesday of every month with Talk with Tom.

4 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Business Coach

 

#BuildYourBusiness

Life Area: Professional

So, you made the leap from being an employee to owning a business. Congratulations! You’ll soon realize that you can only take yourself so far before you need to raise capital, form a team and yes … find someone who has gone down this road before you. Enter the business coach.

4 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Business Coach

 

There isn’t anything else that you receive 100 percent dedicated attention to you. A business coach is somebody who helps you move from where you are to where you want to be, and does so by solely focusing on your goals.

If you are not clear on your vision, then every single opportunity will distract you and impede your progress. After all, you’ll never really know what you’re capable of until there’s someone to push you outside your comfort zone. Just ask any professional athlete.

If a business coach is something you’ve thought about recently but aren’t quite sold on getting one yet, here are four reasons why you should:

1. To brainstorm brilliance

There’s a common saying that goes, “nobody is smarter than all of us.” In other words, the collective power of many is far superior to the single power of one, which speaks to the value a coach brings in brainstorming new ideas. However, doing so is both an art and a science.

Anybody can go online and find brainstorming software for free with the goal to generate genius — that’s the science part. The “art” part, however, is excavating personal values and beliefs that you never knew existed and linking them to your desires and intentions. Sometimes it takes a new perspective to see an existing connection.

2. To bounce ideas off

Nowhere else can you find somebody solely dedicated to acting as your own personal sounding board. A coach — well, a good coach — asks powerful questions that unearth deeply rooted values otherwise firmly planted, with zero judgment. Unlike the local rumor mill in your neighborhood or office, it’s not a coach’s responsibility to opine about your position, but rather to suspend judgment in such a way that guides you toward your own goals.

3. To be accountable

Isn’t it strange how easy it is to break the promises we make to ourselves, but less so when we involve other people? A coach serves as an accountability partner who challenges you to strategize and develop your goals while aligning your efforts toward achieving them.


tom hart success series year end assessment Download my FREE Year-End Assessment Tool [here]. As you look to the new year, it’s important to step back and take a look at the year just finished – to take inventory, add it all up and see how you did. What were your successes, and where did you come up short? What worked? What didn’t? Download my FREE Year-End Assessment Tool [here] to help you do just that. My FREE Year-End Assessment Tool is a guide to help you assess the progress you made toward achieving your goals this past year and set you up for success in 2018. Download this valuable FREE resource [here] and get started today!


Continue reading

Talk with Tom: Episode #25 | 10 Basics of Personal Finance

 

success series personal finance

On today’s episode of Talk with Tom, Tom gives us the 10 Basics of Personal Finance including:

  • Have a reason why money and financial freedom is important
  • Create a Prosperity Mindset
  • Decide what you want
  • Assess where you are
  • And more!

FREE Download PDF – Year-End Assessment Tool

Download Tom’s FREE Year-End Assessment Tool – A Guide to Help You Assess the Progress You Made Toward Achieving Your Goals. This valuable FREE resource can be downloaded for FREE at: SuccessSeriesLLC.com/wordpress/resources. After all, it is the end of November, so get your FREE downloadable Year End Assessment Tool today!

Every month Tom shares topic after topic to Grow Your Life and Build Your Business. If you’re not already a subscriber, join us. Talk with Tom is 100% free, and there are special benefits available only to our subscribers, so be sure you subscribe yourself on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, and we look forward to seeing you right back here on the last Wednesday of every month with Talk with Tom.

5 Tips to Minimize Stress

 

5 Tips to Minimize Stress

#GrowYourLife #BuildYourBusiness

Life Area: Personal

Stress is a normal and natural part of human life — you can’t avoid it, so how do you manage it?

 

5 Tips to Minimize Stress

We encounter stress every day: in driving through traffic, falling behind schedule and managing big projects. We must learn to how to deal with stress in order to lead a more productive, happy life.

Today I’m going to share a few ways that I manage the stress in my life, and I know these will work for you as well.

Here are 5 tips to minimize stress:

1) Plan Your Day

Plan every aspect of your day and plan your activities in advance, especially if you are going through a difficult time in your life. Having a plan for your day will make you feel more in control. You won’t have to think about or make a decision on what to do next. Becoming an expert in time management will reduce your stress levels enormously. Breaking down every task and activity in your day or week will make the big picture a lot less intimidating.

2) Focus on Your Most Important Task

When you are experiencing a lot of stress, only work on the tasks that are the most important to improving your life. You can use tools that we’ve discussed in the past, like the 80/20 Rule, to make setting and choosing your goals easier. Setting clear priorities for your work each day, before you begin, will relieve much of your stress immediately. Then, discipline yourself to start on your most important task and work on it until it is complete.

3) Get More Rest

It’s amazing how many people suffer greater stress from the same event because they are just tired. Fatigue causes you to experience stress at much higher levels for much longer periods of time. A body well taken care of will serve you much better in the long-run, and will reduce your stress naturally. If you are planning your day properly, then planning for more sleep shouldn’t be a problem.

Read on to learn two more ways to help you deal with stress >>>>>

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Talk with Tom: Episode #24 | The Ultimate 7 Habits Guide

 

ultimate 7 habits

On today’s episode of Talk with Tom, Tom will be giving us the ultimate 7 habits guide including:

  • 7 great habits of the most successful people;
  • 7 simple habits to keep you consistently happy every day;
  • 7 money habits of the wealthy we can all adopt;
  • 7 habits of people who build extraordinary relationships;
  • And more!

Every month Tom shares topic after topic to Grow Your Life and Build Your Business. If you’re not already a subscriber, join us. Talk with Tom is 100% free, and there are special benefits available only to our subscribers, so be sure you subscribe yourself on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, and we look forward to seeing you right back here on the last Wednesday of every month with Talk with Tom.

The Purpose of Your Business Plan

 

the purpose of a business plan

#BuildYourBusiness

Life Area: Professional

 

Many of my business coaching clients first come to me asking me to help them write a business plan. Whether they were just a start-up or had been in business for a number of years and were then seeking a capital investor for the first time, they found themselves, as many entrepreneurs do, unable to describe to outside third-parties the who, what , where, why, when and how of their business.

How To Write A Business Plan

 

Providing an overview of your business can be tricky, especially when you’re still in the early planning stages. If you already own an existing business, summarizing your current operation should be relatively easy; it can be a lot harder to explain what you plan to become.

What I advise them is to project out into the future and reverse engineer.

Think about what products and services you will provide, how you will provide those items, what you need to have in order to provide those items, exactly who will provide those items… and most importantly, whom you will provide those items to.

Sound like a lot? It boils down to:

  • What you will provide
  • What you need to run your business
  • Who will service your customers, and
  • Who your customers are

If you open a restaurant, what you plan to serve will in some ways determine your labor needs, the location you choose, the equipment you need to purchase… and most importantly will help define your customer. Changing any one element may change other elements; if you cannot afford to purchase expensive kitchen equipment, you may need to adapt your menu accordingly. If you hope to attract an upscale clientele, you may need to invest more in rent at a prime location and creating an appealing ambience.

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Take Your Productivity To A New Level

 

#GrowYourLife and BuildYourBusiness

Life Area: Personal and Professional

You’ve heard me talk here about Michael Hyatt’s Productivity Assessment, well here’s another heads-up that I want to send your way.

Hopefully you took me up on the advice to go take your FREE Productivity Assessment and learned what areas of your personal and professional life required more focus. From having done that you may want to enroll in Michael’s online course Free To Focus, registration closes tonight at 11:59pm PT.

For just a few more hours, you can still sneak into registration here:

http://freetofocus.com/WLPROG/2017f2fsales

There’s not a more efficient way to reclaim your time and energy — to invest in the high-leverage and most important things in life.

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I am a Success Strategist and Master Coach. I provide transformational coaching and training for individuals and organizations to help you Grow Your Life and Build Your Business by getting clear and focused on what you want, why you want it, and how to create it. Learn more about me at SuccessSeriesLLC.com.

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How To Do Your Weekly Review

 

how to do your weekly review

#GrowYourLife

Life Area: Personal

 

You probably notice on my Ideal Week Sample that I do a Weekly Review every Sunday evening…well, not EVERY Sunday evening, but that would be my ideal 🙂 Anyway, I’m often asked, “How do you do a weekly review?”

A Harvard study found that practicing reflection makes what we’ve learned stick in our minds better, as well as improving our performance. In fact, they proved that we reach a point in our work or training when we’ve learned enough such that reflecting on our experience can actually boost our performance more than further practice.

Reflecting is good for us, whether tracking our progress on goals or taking note of what we’ve learned, reflecting regularly helps us refocus and re-motivate. The weekly review is a chance to tie up loos ends, prepare for the week ahead and monitor short-term goals progress.

How To Do A Weekly Review

 

If you’re just getting started with your own weekly review you’ll probably go through a phase of trial and error to find your sweet spot as to what works for you. What I share here is what I do and it may be a place for you to get started.

Step 1: Sort through paperwork. Some will need to be scanned and digitally filed, some may need action, and others simply tossed.

Step 2: Review meeting notes from the week. When I take notes I use various symbols to depict a personal action item, a delegated item, an in-progress item, etc. During my Weekly Review, I review my notes and find those items that need further action or follow-up next week.

Step 3: Review last week’s Weekly Task List and calendar. As mentioned here before, you all know I keep, and advise you keep, a simple task management system in Evernote which includes a Master Task List, a Weekly Task List, and a ToDo Today list. During my Weekly Review, I review my Weekly Task List and my calendar to cross off items accomplished and find any items needing follow-up…ok, true confession, I don’t wait for my weekly review to check-off items accomplished, I usually do it immediately (and yes, if the item is not on my Weekly Task List, I add it and then check it off!).

Step 4: Review goals. Doing this at this point grounds me in my priorities for the week ahead. Inevitably we get pulled away from our visions by the day-to-day mundane. By looking at my goals before establishing my week ahead reminds me what to prioritize. Continue reading

7 Tips On How To Best End Your Workday

 

how to best end your workday

#BuildYourBusiness

 

Life Area: Professional

I do a ton of reading. These days I listen to about an audio book a week using Audible while I workout or commute. On top of that, I read hardcover books, magazines and other periodicals, and targeted, personalized, responsive online magazines and articles using apps such as Flipboard and Feedly. If I can’t read something I’ve come across online until later, I save it in Pocket. In putting together today’s blog post I used a number of those different resources to compile today’s content:

 

7 Tips On How To Best End Your Workday

 

Do you often find yourself running out of workday before you run out of work? I do! And I find that if I can remember to implement many, if not all, of these 7 tips I find myself able to end the day on a high note and be prepared to hit the ground running tomorrow:

 

Tip #1: Prepare for tomorrow’s workday. Many sources recommend ending your workday by preparing for tomorrow’s. From Forbes.com we learn: be sure to check-off all you accomplished today and set a clear plan for tomorrow’s tasks. Use a task management app such as Todoist or simply a task list in Evernote to organize your ideas, tasks and goals in one place.

Tip #2: Move end-of-day meetings to tomorrow. We are all running out of energy at day’s end. Meetings held late in the day can be unproductive as people’s energy levels wane. In the Huffington Post it was recommended to schedule time to catch-up the next day instead, and explain you’d like to give it your full energy and attention. Often times they will feel relieved themselves.

Tip #3: Say a proper goodbye. We learn on BusinessInsider.com that a friendly goodbye to your team helps build rapport as well as signal that you are gone for the day. Say goodbye once to those around you to minimize distractions for those still at work.

Tip #4: Organize your desk. One of the world’s foremost authorities on time management is my friend and mentor Brian Tracy. Brian tells us, “50% of time is wasted on low-value activities like looking for information. Having an organized desk helps you think clearly and effectively.” I would add: have only on your desk those things that you need for the task at hand; file everything else away to do away with distraction. Continue reading

The 5 Levels of Delegation

 

5 levels delegation

#BuildYourBusiness

 

Life Area: Professional

So many of my clients and seminar attendees are entrepreneurs and small business owners susceptible to falling into the habit of doing everything themselves and finding it very difficult to delegate even the most trivial of things to others. That was me too! It was hard for me to hand over something to another when I felt like it wouldn’t be done as good or that it would take me longer to explain to them how to do it than it would take for me to just do it myself!

 

To assist them, and you, I offer up here the starting point of how I began to delegate. There are five levels of delegation and as you work your way up the levels you exercise your delegation muscle more and more. My mantra for last year is applicable here… “Business moves at the speed of trust.” What I found is that I became more and more trusting as my delegates succeeded. Soon you too will find that you have off-loaded quite a bit, leaving you more able to focus on those things that require your unique core competencies.

 

The Five Levels of Delegation

 

Level 1: Do exactly what I have asked you to do. Don’t deviate from my instructions. I have already researched the options and determined what I want you to do.

 

Level 2: Research the topic and report back to me. We will discuss it, and then I will make the decision and tell you what I want you to do.

 

Level 3: Research the topic, outline the options, and make a recommendation. Give me the pros and cons of each option, but tell me what you think we should do. If I agree with your decision, I will authorize you to move forward.

 

Level 4: Make a decision and then tell me what you did. I trust you to do the research, make the best decision you can and then keep me in the loop. I don’t want to be surprised by someone else.

 

Level 5: Make whatever decision you think is best. No need to report back. I trust you completely. I know you will follow through. You have my full support.

 

There’s a big difference in authority between these levels. If you or your delegate are unclear about the scope, then clarify, clarify, clarify.

 

What to Delegate

To decide what to off-load, you must first do a quick self-assessment as to what you like to do and what you are competent to do. Ask yourself these three questions:

 

  1. What am I good at doing?
  2. What do I enjoy doing?, and
  3. Of all team members, what can only I do?

  Continue reading

Mid-Year Goals Check-in

 

#GrowYourLife and #BuildYourBusiness

Life Area: Personal

Nearly half the year has past to achieve your 2017 goals and I want you to ask yourself the following question: Are you on track to…

  • …make more money?
  • …spend more time with loved ones?
  • …travel as much as you want?
  • …live the life you dream of?

If your answers had you shaking your head or feeling disappointed, might I suggest taking action to get you back on track?

To help give you a little nudge, download my FREE 7-Day Goal Setting Challenge – A Guide to Help You Set Your Goals, Create a Plan of Action and Begin Achieving Them IN ONLY A WEEK!

 

7-Day Goal Setting Challenge

 

Continue reading

Try Time Blocking Instead of a To-Do List

 

ideal week sample time blocking#GrowYourLife and #BuildYourBusiness

Life Area: Professional

 

Many of you know my simple time management technique. You start with a brain-dump to create a Master Task List, then from that develop a Weekly Task List, with your Top Three becoming your Daily To Dos.

 

When combined with my Ideal Week time blocking method (found on my FREE Resources page) you may find it easier to manage your time and your tasks.

 

TIME BLOCKING

 

Time blocking is essentially assigning your tasks to different time slots of concentrated work throughout your week.

 

Why Time Block?

Organizing your tasks into time blocks helps you prioritize better. Assign your number 1 task to your number 1 time slot. Your number 1 time slot may not necessarily be your first time slot of the week…make it your best time slot based on the cycles I talk about below.

 

There is also a psychological reason why time-blocking makes more sense. In what is known as the Zeigarnik effect, which basically states that we remember what we haven’t done better than what we have done, an uncompleted task weighs on us, leading to stress and insomnia. However, when we have all of our tasks placed into a specific time slot, we sleep more soundly knowing everything that needs to get done is assigned a time to get done.

 

Cycles and Biorhythms

I’ve written here before about the Pomodoro productivity method which recommends at period of focused work, usually 50-60 minutes, followed by a brief break of say 10 minutes. In spite of having a three hour block of time, be sure to “break” it up.

 

Before you start calendaring your time slots, think about how your energy and work both flow. Are there work cycles that could affect how much uninterrupted time you will have? And what times of day do you have the most energy or are best suited to do the tasks you need to do? “Don’t schedule a hard task in a time of day where you typically lag, and don’t schedule a big task in a small amount of time. Wishful thinking can’t change the reality of your schedule,” Cal Newport adds in his new book Deep Work.

 

Here’s how it works: Remember this: your Master Task List may contain 100 items but you know from previous mentions here that the Paraeto Principle states that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your efforts. The same holds true for your tasks. They will break out like this: 10% will be your highest priorities at any given time (with 20% of those yield 80% of your results). The bottom 10% WILL NEVER GET DONE. And the 80% in the middle will slide up and down, be replaced, drop-off, etc. So here are the numbers from your brain-dump of 100: 10 will be of highest priority (2 will be game changers), 10 will never get done, and 80 will constantly be on the move to completion or deletion.

Continue reading

Seek Out a Mentor or Coach to Accelerate Your Results

 

 Seek a Mentor or Coach

#GrowYourLife and #BuildYourBusiness

Life Area: Professional

 

The Power of Mentors. Do you want to know how to cut twenty years off the learning curve in your career or business? It is to learn from people who are already where you want to be, or people who have done what you want to do.  A mentor is one of many ways to accomplish this.

Mentor

A mentor is a person who is interested in your success, happiness, well-being, and future, and wants to make a contribution. A mentor brings insight, feedback, integrity, a willingness to help, and genuine concern for the mentee. One mentor can accelerate your career and two can skyrocket it. I suggest you look through your contacts and see if you can find someone who can contribute to your career or business success, and ask him or her to meet with you. The key is to create a win-win relationship. If the person is at a distance, then call. A mentor/mentee relationship can be accomplished over the phone just as effectively.

Set up ground rules up front for each person’s roles, expectations, agendas, time use, accountability, and feedback.  The right mentor can save you time, energy, and money. He or she can challenge your thinking, hold you accountable, help you reach your goals, share in your successes and failures, and have fun in the process.  Find someone today who can help you further your career in this way.

Seek a Mentor or Coach

Business or Life Coach

An alternative to a mentor is a professional business or life coach. Do your research and find the best fit with your business or personality, define your objectives, and have an initial free phone consultation to determine if he/she is right for you. I have been a business coach and a life coach for over 17 years and am a Certified Master Coach and have provided transformational coaching and Continue reading

8 Ways To Maximize Your Meetings

 

Tom Hart Success Series 8 Ways To Maximize Your Meetings

#BuildYourBusiness

 

Are you, your company, your team or your employer susceptible to “death by meeting”? Absolutely! Here are 8 ways to maximize your meetings and minimize the pain:

8 Ways To Maximize Your Meetings

 

1. Circulate an agenda and supporting documents before the meeting. It always baffles me when I’m invited to attend a meeting and the only clue as to what the meeting is for is the topic in the subject line of an email invite. Respect people’s time by sending a meeting agenda and supporting documents ahead of time, and, ideally, mention the desired outcome you, as the meeting organizer, want.

2. Make sure key people are invited; don’t invite non-essential participants. You ever been in a meeting where the meeting organizer invited people who really didn’t need to be there and ended up contributing little to nothing? Often times, these people try to justify their presence by stating an opinion that ends up being nothing but a distraction. Remember the desired outcome you want and invite only those that are the relevant decision makers to that end. Continue reading

3-Step Guide To Meditation

 

3-Step Meditation

#GrowYourLife

 

As I mentioned in my last blog post, The 5 Reasons to Practice Mindfulness, meditation is now a key part of my ideal morning routine after, at first, being one of those individuals that used to poo-poo it saying, “I don’t have time to meditate.” Perhaps you’re like I was and yet…you’re curious.  You ask – “Would meditation reduce my stress, keep me centered, and help me achieve my goals?” You wonder – “Well…it probably wouldn’t hurt, but how do I start?” If that describes you, then this blog post is for you. Continue reading

5 Reasons to Practice Mindfulness

 

Tom Hart Success Series 5 Reasons to Practice Mindfulness

#GrowYourLife 

 

I, like you perhaps, used to be in the school of thought that I was too busy for meditation. I thought mindfulness, and its cousin meditation, were for folks who were “out there”, practicing some well-meaning but very time consuming, distracting and impractical practice. Boy, was I wrong. Once I was influenced by some successful business people around me, and encouraged to give it a try by my Talk with Tom host Aaron Wilker, I have found a mindfulness and mindful meditation practice to be a very key tool to my daily accomplishments and to manifesting my goals. I soon realized its popularity and that I was actually finally “getting with the program.” Its importance has now grown to a point where it is now part of my ideal morning routine and I am so impressed with my results that I will soon be releasing a 7-day guided mediation audio series FREE for you here on my website.

Of all the ancient and modern practices designed to enlighten us, why has the simple practice of Mindfulness and Mindfulness Meditation come to the fore-front? Why is Continue reading

Start Your New Year Strong

 

start-your-year-off-strong

#BuildYourBusiness

5 Things Entrepreneurs Should Do To Start The New Year Strong

Start the new year strong! I hope your 2016 was a prosperous year for your business. Regardless if it was a growth year or a static year for you, I think it’s key to your long-term success to spend intentional time reflecting on this past year and plan for the coming year and beyond.

Here are 5 things every entrepreneur should do now to start the new year off strong. Continue reading

Mastermind Group Invitation

 

mastermind-group

#GrowYourLife

 

Great News!  Tom Hart and Success Series LLC are once again accepting applications to join in a Mastermind Group guided by Success Strategist and Business and Life Coach Tom Hart!

An Invitation to join my exclusive, guided MASTERMIND GROUP

 

Almost every day someone asks to “pick my brain.” There are a lot of ways to do that already, including my podcast, book and blog, but now I am offering for a limited time to a select group, first hand personal guidance from me and a group of your peers, a place to meet, exchange best practices, and solicit advice on business and personal opportunities and challenges. Continue reading

Talk with Tom Episode #14: ENCORE EPISODE – Mastermind Group

 

mastermind group

#GrowYourLife

The Power of a Mastermind Group

Hello everyone, this is Tom Hart with Success Series and the Talk with Tom podcast. We had a new episode of Talk with Tom planned for December 2016, however, we have a lot of new things we’re launching in 2017 and frankly, we just got a bit overwhelmed at year end. Among the many things coming in the first quarter of 2017, we will be accepting applications to join a new mastermind group  http://successseriesllc.com/wordpress/2016/mastermind-group-invitation/ guided personally by me. Listen here as Talk with Tom host Aaron Wilker tells you more. You can request an application by linking from my blog post entitled Mastermind Group Invitation and then listen to this encore episode about the power of mastermind groups.

Talk with Tom Episode #13: 15 FREE Online Resources to Build Your Dream Business

 

Success Series FREE Online Resources

#BuildYourBusiness

Because Tom spends so much time researching and testing the many and varied products and services out there to start and grow your business, he has become quite a resource for his many Business Coaching clients http://successseriesllc.com/business-consulting.php. In this episode of Talk with Tom, Tom describes 15 of his favorite FREE online resources to Build Your Dream Business. Continue reading

15 FREE Online Resources to Build Your Dream Business

 

#BuildYourBusiness

 

Free online resources. Many of my Business Coaching clients are start-ups, small business entrepreneurs, and solopreneurs. Having founded over 19 companies and partnerships over the course of my 35 year business career, I know the importance of building a business properly, right from the start. The very thing the participants in my Build Your Dream Business course like most is that I go through each business area systematically one-by-one, one session at a time (ie: formation, capitalization, finance, marketing, sales, product development, manufacturing, legal, etc). Continue reading