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How to Create a Balanced, Successful and Fulfilling Life

Do you know what it takes to live a balanced, successful and fulfilling life? If not, you may find that your life feels like it is spinning out of control with all the chaos and turbulence that we have been experiencing lately in the world in the form of hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires and politics.

This is the perfect time to refocus your attention on the things that you can control and restore balance back to your life. Don’t let others dictate what you should focus on. Invest some personal time on self-discovery to create your own energy focus for the key areas of your life.

Staying fulfilled and successful is a continuous balancing act. Things are in a constant state of fluxchanging and transforming from one state to another. Whenever you are feeling overwhelmed and out of balance it is time to reassess how you are spending your time and refocus your attention on the things that matter most to you. Remember…

There is no guarantee of tomorrow, so live more fully today.

3 Steps to Create a Balanced, Successful and Fulfilling Life 

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Creating Work/Life Balance

Grinnell Glacier, Glacier National Park

How well have you done with work/life balance this summer? Our minds and bodies need time off from work to de-stress and recharge. Ironically, creating time off decreases our level of stress and increases our work productivity. It may seem counter-intuitive but it’s medically proven to be true.

 

Like you, sometimes it’s difficult to achieve the balance that I desire. Just this morning my wife, Lyn, and I wrestled with how to focus our attention today while staying near majestic Yellowstone National Park. How do we balance completing our business work so we can enjoy the beauty of America’s first national park. As a result, here I am completing this article before we set off to soak in the beauty of nature and recharge our souls. Lyn is wrapping up her tasks as well.

 

For more than 10 years, Lyn and I have operated our businesses as we have traveled throughout North America in our mobile office and home. We both have businesses that require consistent attention. It has been a continuing discovery process of figuring out how to live and work while full-time RVing. Our desire for work/life balance has enabled us to experience some of the most incredibly beautiful sights on the planet, stay connected with friends and family, while continuing to serve our wonderful clients as we roll.

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Refresh Your Business

Business Energizers Logo, copyright Business Energizers, a division of Lynray Inc.

Branding and marketing matters for how your customers view you and your business. How long has it been since you took a fresh look at your business presence?

I was meeting with a marketing friend, named Bill, the end of last year. He looked at some of my branding and marketing materials and asked when they were created. “Some of it is over 10 years old,” I said. “They look it,” he said. Ouch!

That began our refreshment adventure. Nine months later (about the same time to birth a baby) we have created a new branding look, updated copy, website, and marketing materials. It was an enlightening, clarifying process that helped me to better understand the value we offer to our customers. Well worth the investment of time and money.

Here’s the process Bill guided me through:

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Why Disneyland is the Happiest Place on Earth

Disneyland Splash Mountain

Are you planning a family vacation to Disneyland this summer? If so, notice how they attend to the details of what makes you happy.

Disney understands what you, the customer, wants before you do.

Several years ago I attended a Disney seminar for leaders and was amazed at their organization’s attention to their customer’s needs and desires.

Disney employees exemplify what I call “The Diamond Rule: Strive honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.”

 

Here are some ways they understand you, their customer, intimately:

  • They minimize distractions and expedite check in at their hotels because they know your family’s nerves are frazzled from the long, exhausting trip to get there. They know the last thing you need is more stimulation at that moment.
  • You won’t find an outside newspaper for sale anywhere on their property because they know you have come there to escape the real world.
  • Every employee knows where the nearest restroom is because they know you have pushed your bladder to its limits and will need to make a mad dash to get there in time.
  • Trash receptacles are placed no more than 30 steps apart because they know just how long you are willing to hold onto your trash before dropping it.
  • Lines at each attraction twist and turn with their own suspenseful entertainment as you wait with anticipation so that you don’t mind very much how long it’s taking.
  • Disney employees are called “Cast Members” to remind them that when they enter the property “It’s show time!” and your family is their most important audience.

Disney’s philosophy in their own words (excerpts from the Disney Institute website)… Read more

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Spring Forth with Renewed Energy

Circle of Growth

Spring is a time of releasing old burdens and planting something new and exciting that make your Spirit soar—both personally and as an organization. What could you plant now that will lead to a bountiful harvest this Fall?

Consider growing your company as you would grow a plentiful garden on fertile ground. During our strategic planning and training sessions with Native American communities and their enterprises, a good Hopi friend and business associate of mine, Perci Ami, often shares about the circle of growth and how it relates to the four directions of the medicine wheel. This cycle has proven valuable for understanding the natural order and balance necessary to yield a successful harvest in life as well as in organizations.

1. Cultivate Your Garden

Every organization is unique like each seed of every plant. What works for one may not work for another. Does your organization have a strategic plan that clearly identifies your unique seeds to success? The strategic planning process naturally reveals and cultivates what to focus your precious resources upon so that your organization is aligned with your desired vision for the future. This alignment will result in an organization that will stand the test of time.

The process also helps to differentiate the uniqueness of your organization compared to that of your competition. It is a great way to determine or reconfirm the core purpose, core values, vision, goals and action plans for an organization.

Successful companies that stand the test of time even during tough times are built upon a solid foundation of core purpose and core values while adjusting their vision, goals and action plans to adjust to the ever-changing external economic and political environment. In other words, their core values and purpose are etched in stone; their vision, goals and action plans are molded of clay.

The process, done right, draws from the collective wisdom of the leaders and employees throughout the different levels of the organization. The result is widespread involvement, buy-in and accountability for the success of the organization. The strategic planning process will illuminate your path toward a bright, prosperous future.

2. Plant Your Seeds

Once your strategic plan is established and you have decided which seeds to plant, it is time for a reality check to assure that the seeds you plant will grow. Ask yourself, “What in our present situation aligns with our strategic plan? What does not?” Similar to weeding a garden, continue doing what aligns with your plan. Stop doing what does not.

Having the right people doing the right things in the right way will assure success. All policies, procedures, systems and processes should assist your employees to achieve what you have defined in the strategic plan. If there are employees who do not support your organization’s direction, they are like weeds that choke the life out of what you desire to grow. These people are probably your unhappy employees. Chances are they are also your least productive employees who demand a lot of your time and energy.

Great leaders do not manage people, they manage agreements with people. Consider having the leaders in your organization create with each employee they supervise a Declaration of Understanding that clearly spells out mutual desires and expectations. Employees will choose to live their agreements or not. As a result, leaders can simply manage the agreement without a clash of personalities. Employees who choose not to live by their agreements, even after extensive coaching, will probably be happier someplace else where they feel better alignment with their values.

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3 Things Customers Value Most

Understanding your customers’ needs and desires is vital to improving your bottom line.

All customers assess the value of your products and services (the stuff you provide) before making a buying decision by weighing the delicate balance of price, quality and service—3-legs of the stool. You must learn how to masterfully build and balance these three components.

Let’s look at all the components of the 3-legged stool as shown in the accompanying graphic:

  • Your products and services represent what’s placed on the seat
  • Price, quality and service are the three legs
  • The legs are supported and stabilized by a clearly defined strategic plan (i.e., core purpose, core values, mission, vision, goals, objectives, strategies, tactics and action plan).

In this article, we will focus on exploring the delicate balance of the three legs of the stool. At the bottom of this article, you will find links to other articles that I have written about the other components of the stool. Read more

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Celebrate Valentine’s Day in the Workplace-It’s All About Love!

What does love and Valentine’s Day have to do with business? In a nutshell, everything!

  • Customers and employees who feel loved are more loyal to your company.
  • Employees who love their bosses and their jobs perform better.
  • Customers and employees who feel loved share their experiences with others.

What if this is true: “It’s all about love!”?

Simply put: Love aspires. Love inspires. Love grows.

Let’s look at two extraordinary companies, both of which were launched in 1971—more than 45 years ago—operating with love as an essential core value.

Have you ever enjoyed a burger and a beer at a Hard Rock Café? Did you know that the company was founded by two hippies who chose love, peace, and rock-‘n-roll as their mantra? Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton were two shaggy-haired Americans who just wanted to find a good American burger while living in London. They built their first café on London’s Hyde Park corner as the first “classless” restaurant in the class-laden English society.

Today there are more than 175 Hard Rock locations, which include restaurants, hotels, casinos, and live music venues in 55 countries. Emblazoned on the wall of every property is, “Love All, Serve All.” It is the life—and business—success principle that Tigrett borrowed from his guru in India.

The Seminole Tribe acquired the Hard Rock companies in 2007, continuing to keep its love-based culture alive. Their mottos are still visible: “Love All, Serve All,” “Take Time to Be Kind,” “All Is One,” and “Save the Planet.” And how’s this for a core value: “Deliver kick-ass service.”

Southwest Airlines is another company that fearlessly embraces love (“LUV”) as a fundamental principle.

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Compass for Success in 2017

A strategic plan is both the roadmap and the compass for your organization. When your plan is done well, it enables you to get clear, get organized, get going, and get results as quickly as possible—so you can get on with operating your day-to-day business.

There are four phases of the process to create your strategic plan:

  • In the 1st Phase, you and your team get clear about the direction to take the organization and why to do it;
  • In the 2nd Phase, you will learn what will motivate your team to get organized and be on the same page, moving in the same direction, and why to do it;

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Creating Strategic Alignment

What I love about a well-done strategic planning process is that it accomplishes collaboration and cooperation throughout your organization. Having everyone participate in the process naturally creates enthusiastic buy-in and support all the way from the top tier of the organization to the frontline.

The Strategic Alignment Model shows what’s possible with respect to involving more and more people in the process as it unfolds. It is a natural, cascading effect—similar to water flowing down terraces in a mountain stream. Read more

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Jump Start 2017

With 2016 nearly wrapped up, I hope that you are taking a deep, contemplative breath and a little time for personal reflection.

Every year we weave a unique tapestry of adventures we have experienced, successes we have accomplished, and setbacks we have suffered.

Reflect on the Past Year

Part of my ritual this time of year is to list these significant events that have occurred in my life, both personally and professionally, so I can fully view and appreciate the tapestry I co-created. It includes projects completed, activities enjoyed, problems faced, milestones reached, unforeseen circumstances overcome, etc. Some within my control, some not. What I have grown to know is that each experience was necessary to bring me to the present moment.

Jump Start Your New Year

Whatever our past year’s tapestry looks like, the beauty of the dawn of a New Year, is that we get to envision a new tapestry. It is time to begin selecting some of the threads and colors, and identifying the themes we desire.

Our greatest opportunity for 2017 is to apply our talents, skills and abilities more fully to make the finest tapestry possible.

Personal goal setting and strategic planning are creative tools that enable us to design our personal and professional tapestry.

If you are a business owner, thinking of starting a new business, or are a leader in an organization this upcoming class will help you to jump start your strategic planning process and make your 2017 tapestry your best yet. It is my honor to partner again with Greater Phoenix SCORE to facilitate this engaging how-to class, A Strategic Planning Process that Energizes Your Business. Read more