Category Archives: Build Your Business

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

 

creating successful relationshipsOn 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].


 

Continue reading

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).