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I get very uncomfortable really quickly if I sense that I have wasted someone’s time. As a result, I try really hard to show respect for other people’s time. Time is valuable, in fact most of us would agree that Time is far more valuable than Money.
With that in mind, have you ever thought about how most of our expressions regarding time are the same ones that we use for money?
I am very conscious of the value of my audience’s time whenever I prepare a presentation. When someone “SPENDS” their time “PAYING” attention to something I have created, I want it to be worth the time they have “INVESTED”. I really want them to feel like I have respected their time.
But is time really so precious? Notice these quotes about how time spent with a child is far more valuable than any gift that money can buy.
“Your children need your presence more than your presents.” — Jesse Jackson
“Kids spell love T-I-M-E.” – John Crudele
“The best thing to spend on your children is your time” – Anonymous
Before I start singing the “Cat’s in the Cradle” I will move on. However, if that does not convince you of the true value of time nothing will.
So, what does this mean? How should it affect the content we create and share with others?
Does it mean that each and every presentation you create must be a life changing, award winning masterpiece?
No, what it means is that you approach each piece of material you create with an honest respect for your audience’s time. It means that you will work on it to the point where you truly feel that you have given it your best. It means that you don’t just put up content for the sake up putting up content. It means that you search a little harder to find that story or illustration or quote or example that really helps the material come alive.
It also means that you are convinced of the value of the information you are sharing. Before you finish writing your presentation ask yourself “Am I totally convinced that this information is valuable to my audience?” This is an important question; how can you convince others of the value of the information if you are not convinced yourself?
When your audience senses that you are really convinced of the value of the material you are sharing, and that you truly respect their time, they will be glad they “spent” their time with you.
I will keep this short so that you will hopefully have a few extra minutes for the kids. Thank you very much for your time!
If you have a minute to spend I would love to hear your feedback. Thanks!
P.S. On a different note, I think this also applies to content that you ”Share” with others online. If you really respect other people’s time you will not share something you have not read. You also will not share something unless you are really convinced that it will be valuable to those you share it with. So, please share this only with those who you think will benefit from it. Thanks!
Recently I came across a quote from a very experienced business person whom I respect very much – Sir Richard Branson. In an interview for the show “Iconoclasts” he said “I’m not the sort of person who fears failure.”
Now at first I was very inspired when I heard that quote and I thought to myself “That describes me! I took the leap of faith to quit my corporate job and start my own business” but then I thought – “wait… I do fear failure.” So, I started to wonder “What does Sir Richard Branson have that that I don’t? What gives him the ability to not fear failure?”
Now, no offense to Sir Richard Branson but my first thought was “Oh yeah, he has a couple billion in the bank. I’d fear failure lot less if I had that sort of safety net.”
It’s true, as entrepreneurs we often fear failure because if we fail, the mortgage doesn’t get paid and the lights go out. Sometimes we literally have no safety net.
So, this raises the legitimate question: How can an entrepreneur really go about reducing their fear of failure?
I actually drew a little sketch as I was thinking about having no safety net because it made me think of a tightrope walker (now you know why I write and speak instead of draw!).
Then I remembered a movie that I had recently watched called “Man on Wire”.
It is a true story about someone who did something that would surely create a tremendous amount of fear of failure in anyone. He stretched a cable between the two World Trade Center towers and walked across it. With no safety net!
Now the interesting thing that I learned from watching that movie was that Philippe Petit did not lose his fear of failure, he was actually keenly aware that failure would be disastrous for him and those around him.
Instead, he did some very interesting things to cope with the fear of failure and to be successful despite it.
- He did not let the fear of failure stop him from doing what he loved.
- He was extremely focused on his goal.
- He diligently planned ahead for any problems.
- He realized he couldn’t do it all himself and be successful.
- He surrounded himself with supportive people who helped him to reach his goal.
And probably the most interesting thing of all was that when he finally got out there on that wire, he put away all thoughts of failure. He only let his mind focus on the joy of what he was doing and he did it with passion.
How can we apply those lessons so that fear of failure does not get in the way of our success?
Well, there is an acronym for fear that I think is very applicable. It is:
Now the interesting thing about a restraint is that it can be either a good thing or a bad thing.
For example, a restraint in the form of a seat belt provides protection for you in dangerous situations. However, a straitjacket is a bad form of restraint. Why? Because it robs you of freedom and it severely restricts your movement.
So how do we take off that straitjacket of fear and put on a seat belt?
Well, we can do this by doing the same things that Philippe did to prepare to walk across that small cable between the World Trade Center towers.
- We must focus on what we need our business to achieve. We must set goals.
- We needed diligently plan for success and for the inevitable challenges that will arise.
- We need to realize that we can’t do it all alone.
- We need to surround ourselves with supportive and helpful people.
- The most important thing is to not allow fear to stop us from doing what we love.
If we do these five things, we give ourselves the best chance possible to succeed as entrepreneurs and overcome our fear of failure.
Now, one of the obstacles we often face as entrepreneurs is finding someone we can talk to about our businesses and our goals. If you feel like you have no one to talk to about your business and you need some help please feel free to contact me. I would love to talk to you!
Here’s wishing you a very successful and FearLESS week!
Please share your thoughts on how you overcame the fear of failure.
One of the biggest Time Management challenges for Entrepreneurs is deciding which projects to work on or pursue.
Should I write a book? Should I create a product? Should I spend more time on Facebook? Should I take this course? Should I…….?
I have been plagued with this same dilemma many times. Am I really spending my time in the right place? I must need a better Time Management system so that I can just do it all right now.
However, I have finally realized that this is not really a Time Management issue. It is a Fear issue. Underlying all of the choices and indecision is the Fear of Failure.
If you are struggling with those questions most likely you are an Entrepreneur who has failed in the past or your current project is not succeeding as fast as you had hoped it would.
If success was flying at you it would be easy to decide what needs your attention. There would be no challenge in deciding what to do next, except maybe where you would like to vacation, Aspen or Fiji?
It is when you are at that place where you know success is possible but you are wondering ‘what is the key to making this all work?’ That is when you really start to agonize over all of the myriads of options for how to use your time.
In my case I had a number of Entrepreneurial endeavors that had not turned out the way I had hoped (both offline and online). Not that they were complete failures, just that I had high hopes for them and they had not produced the spectacular results in the short period of time I expected them to achieve those results, so I moved on to the next project and the same thing happened.
So, now I find myself in a place where I am trying to protect myself from mediocre results. The next project must be the breakthrough that will let me finally feel good about all of the time and money I have spent on this Entrepreneurial journey.
And there it is, the insidious Fear of Failure. The unspoken pressure builds and every decision becomes incredibly important. To fight the Fear I developed a couple of incredibly unhelpful strategies.
- Stalling – I must analyze every option carefully so that I do not make a mistake. I must make the perfect decision this time.
- Hoarding – I collect a dozen different ‘Sure to Succeed’ ideas. Instead of creating one thing that fails I will create a dozen things all at the same time and surely one (or probably all) of them will succeed. I can then ride the wild success of that project and not have to worry about the others. However, I end up totally overwhelmed with all of the work I now have to do to get a dozen projects off the ground at the same time and of course they all must be perfect….. Back to #1.
- Create a Mental Bank Account – Since I have a dozen sure fire winners in the pipeline I do not really have to worry about the future. At the very minimum one of those will be a hit and solve all of my financial worries. I just have to figure out which one to do first….. Back to #1.
- Constant Learning – I must consume every bit of new information and I must purchase the latest course with the latest back door secret to success. Now, how to get the time to study all of this, must pick the right one to study first….. Back to #1. Note, this is not to say that courses are bad, I have taken a lot of really great ones that have helped me tremendously, this is just to say ‘do not use them as an excuse for not getting started’
So, how much work actually gets done by adopting the above strategies? None to very little. I probably just need to learn some more…
All of these symptoms are part of the Black Hole of the Fear of Failure. In fact I have discovered that there is no Time Management system ever created that can effectively deal with the above mentioned strategies. That is the thing about Black Holes, they are never filled, they just keep consuming.
The only way to get out of this cycle of Fear and Stalling is to accept that you must ‘Start’ and you may fail.
I really wish there were a better answer, I really wish you could just go out and buy a “Get out of Fail Free” card. But you can’t.
However, there are things you can do to soften the blow of the inevitable beating you will take (both self-inflicted and from others) as an Entrepreneur. What do I mean? Well, what does an NFL player do before a game? He knows that in order to succeed he is going to have to take a beating. So, he does two things:
- Gets mentally prepared to take a beating. Plain and simple, he knows it’s coming and that makes it easier to handle when it happens. How successful would an NFL player be if he started each game saying to himself “Boy, I sure hope I don’t get tackled in this game”?
- Suits up to pad himself as much as possible from the blows. Helmet, pads, bite guard, and more. Not one piece is missing before he heads out onto the field. He takes all the practical steps that he can to soften the inevitable blows he will take on the path to success.
After that, he heads into the game knowing full well that he will get banged up despite his best efforts to prepare. I think that is the same mindset that we need as Entrepreneurs.
The next post will look at practical ways that you can get mentally prepared and pad yourself up for the bumps and bruises you will get on your path to success.
Internal Dialog – “Who am I kidding, no one will read this post and if they do they will think it’s dumb. I am the only person in the world who feels this way. Just press “Delete”. It is just not worth the risk. Someone will probably leave a negative comment and I can’t handle that right now………. – JUST START – (Click Publish)
Do you agree? Please share your thoughts and experiences.
Here is an excellent article I came across in Psychology Today. Those who are quiet or timid by nature often have the greatest fear of public speaking. If that describes you, you will want to read this article.
http://www.psychologytoday.comThu, 18 Apr 2013 21:12:18 GMT
The work isn’t that hard and can be extremely rewarding. By Victor Lipman…
This article also has some very interesting research on how we can fight our fears of public speaking.
Fool Yourself out of Your Fear of Public Speaking
“You’re on a stage, lights hot and glaring, watching the large audience you’ll soon be addressing file in. How is your body reacting? You’re most likely jittery, your heart pounding through your rib cage and your breath quickening. Your legs may very well be able to run a marathon at this moment. And—oh great—your mouth just became super dry.
These reactions are not exactly conducive to standing in place and addressing a crowd, right? You’re not alone. Fear of public speaking, or glossophobia, is estimated to affect 75 percent of adults.
But such reactions, as it turns out, are the body’s natural way of helping us cope with stressful situations. According to a new study published in Clinical Psychological Science, rethinking the way we perceive stress may actually improve our physical and mental performance.
Read the rest of the article at : http://bodyodd.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/19/17815273-fool-yourself-out-of-your-fear-of-public-speaking
I hope you find these articles helpful. Please let me know what you do to lower the stress you feel when giving a presentation.
Successful people seem to get so much done in a small amount of time. They are able to do this because they follow some basic time management strategies that help them to stay focused and make the most of every minute they are at work. Here are 5 simple but proven time management strategies that can help you be more productive too.
#1 – Make Scheduling Your Work a Priority
Whether you are working on your business full time, part time, or sporadically, make sure you set aside specific time each day or week to focus on your business. Put your personal life into a separate schedule and do your best to never mix the two. You cannot hit a target you have not set. Set goals for what you would like to accomplish and set a time frame for them.
#2 -Break Down Big Projects Into Smaller Ones
Break down big projects into smaller tasks and priorities for each day. You should identify 3 key things you want to accomplish that day, plus minor tasks that are related.
#3 – Set a Time Limit for Each Task
It’s amazing how much faster you can work if you know you have a time limit. Allow yourself about 20 to 30 minutes to complete a specific task. Then use a timer to keep yourself focused. You will spend less time perfecting every little detail and more time actually getting everything done. A kitchen timer works perfectly, or you can use a timer app or alarm on your smart phone or computer.
#4 – When at Work, Focus on Work
Put on the blinders and block out everything except the task you need to get done. Shut down or close any other windows or applications except the one you’re working on. Turn of e-mail and social media notifications. The elimination of distractions alone will help you get more done in a short space of time.
#5 – Work With Your Energy Cycles & Keep Your Momentum
Most people have a specific time of day when they are the most focused and productive. Take advantage of your best time of day and schedule the work that requires your highest concentration during that time. Save tasks of lower importance for times when you are less focused and productive.
Give each one a try for a week and see how it works for you, some will fit your style and personality better than others.
Please leave a comment with your best time management strategies. I would love to hear what works for you.