Posts Tagged ‘Inspiration’

Imagine the following scenario. It’s Wednesday afternoon. You and a friend are having lunch at your favourite restaurant. After lunch you might go for a stroll, visit a local attraction, or just go home and read. It doesn’t matter which. Your phone and email are switched off, work is the farthest thing from your mind, and you’re committed to nothing more than simply relaxing. You return to the office the next morning, guilt-free and feeling rather energetic.

This is what Strategic Coach Dan Sullivan describes as a Free Day, a 24-hour period completely free from work-related problem-solving, communication, and action.

It’s not so easy to imagine, is it? For most business owners, the whole notion of free time, particularly midweek, is nothing less than far-fetched. How can you possibly take free time when there’s so much work to be done, money to make, commitments to be kept?

Most people think of Free Days as a reward for hard work. I don’t. Now I see Free Days as an essential precondition for achieving success and optimum productivity. The key to free days is recognizing that it means booking time to rejuvenate before — not after — your productive periods. Several years ago I started to notice that many of the successful business owners I admired talked about the importance of ‘downtime’ and blocking out periods of time where they did absolutely nothing.

Because I was interested in replicating their results, I paid attention and started to wonder how I could incorporate ‘free days’ into my own schedule. It wasn’t easy at first. On any given day, most business owners would consider themselves extraordinarily lucky (or seriously pressured) to be able to squeeze in a bit of free time, let alone a whole day. It happens only IF they can first get “a few things” done, IF there are no unexpected crises, and IF they can just clean up a few “little messes” around the office. Not surprisingly, this seldom, if ever, happens.

But if you want to improve the quality of both your work and personal life, you need ‘Free Days’. So how can you incorporate free days into YOUR schedule?

Right now, most of us figure out how much time we need to work and make money. Then, if there’s anything left over, we devote it to free time. But this concept doesn’t work for time any more than it works for money.

Successful savers know that you have to work out what you want to save, take it off the top of your income, and live on the rest. If you don’t, you’ll get to the end of the month and find there is nothing left. Free time is just like savings: it has to come off the top. So you need to plan your Free Days first, and then work everything else around them.

It won’t come easy at first. You’re not used to it. Like anything else, Free Days take time and practice. But it gets easier when you see free days as a necessity, rather than a luxury. When you’re running a business YOU are the most important asset. In the words of Coachville founder Thomas Leonard ‘Without you, there is nothing.’ So you need to make taking time out for relaxation, rejuvenation and what Stephen Covey calls ‘sharpening the saw’ a priority.

How should you use a Free Day? Well that all depends upon YOU. Some people are rejuvenated by engaging in highly energetic activities. They need to be out and about, on the go all the time. Others (like me) are just the opposite. They just want to relax, curl up with a book, listen to music, get a massage, lie on a beach, or have a good conversation. Whatever you choose, your Free Day should allow you to be in a different world, away from responsibilities, concerns, worries, and goals.

Start NOW. Don’t let this be a ‘good idea’ that you’ll get around to ‘when you have time’. Take out your calendar and mark out your next ‘free day’. Keep it sacred! If a whole day seems like too much to start with, then start with an afternoon. I promise that when you make a habit of ‘free days’ and you notice your creativity and productivity soar as a result, you’ll be hooked. So start TODAY.

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Imagine this: You receive word that a special event, hosted by a world-renowned expert, is being offered.   This grabs your attention because you've been wanting, for a long while, to expand this area of your business.   You'll need to pay to fly to the far-away city; pay for lodging, meals, cab fares…plus, of course, the enrollment fee for the workshop.

YOUIn all, you tally that the total cost will come out to about $10,000:   a lot of money; a real leap of faith, you think.

Nevertheless, you reserve your spot, buy your plane ticket, and book your hotel.   Once you arrive in the booming metropolis that's hosting this grand event, you have about ten bucks in your pocket – not even enough to score a cab ride to your hotel.   So, you end up on the bus, shoulder-to-shoulder with other down-trodden individuals, lamenting your choice and knowing that you'll be taking full advantage of the buffet breakfasts at the hotel and the lunches at the training program (because there won't be any money for nice dinners).

You've gotten yourself into a tough spot, right?   You've spent what's practically your last dollar on something that may or may not work to boost your business.

But let's consider the rest of the story:

The information that you gather in the three days you spend at the seminar enliven your spirits; you fly back home knowing exactly how you'll tackle your next hurdle; you have a plan for boosting profits; the professional advice you've gotten is unlike anything you could have anticipated.   Specifically, you leave knowing exactly how to offer high-end coaching programs.   You'd wanted to tackle this for a long time, but hadn't the knowledge or the confidence to do so.

One year after the workshop, following the launch of your new high-end coaching program, you tally your profits from the coaching portion of your business at over $300,000.   Suddenly, riding the bus, skipping dinner, and fretting over the "mistake" you'd made seem silly.   What's $10,000 compared to $300,000?   A drop in the bucket, to say the least.

This specific scenario is only a hypothetical, but I have heard similar stories in real life.   Here's what you can learn about investment versus cost:

Firstly, don't think in terms of cost. As long as you can afford to lose the initial investment, and the investment is something that has the potential to boost your business, push the initial dollar amount out of your mind.

Secondly, concentrate on the investment's potential. Sure, the cost might be significant, but what future earning potential will it uncover?   Do you anticipate a return on your money, and if you do, how many times over will you cover the initial cost?

Thirdly, and in summary, when you make an investment in YOU, the cash is never lost…it's simply redirected. The money might have moved to a different sector of the economy, but it's not gone.   You will always be able to identify what the money earned for you:   experience, hindsight, and knowledge with which to move forward to the next investment opportunity.

In order to grab and hold onto a millionaire mindset, you must open your mind to investment possibilities.   Next time you're faced with a decision to invest, rather than saying "It's too much," consider asking yourself, "What's it worth?"

If the answer outshines the question, then don't hesitate to invest in your most valuable commodity:   YOURSELF!

Bernadette Doyle is a marketing specialist who helps entrepreneurs become client magnets and attract a steady stream of their ideal clients. If you’d like to receive invaluable tips and advice on how to attract clients with ease, register at

Do you realize just how much your knowledge is worth? You are the first and most important part of your business. Do you realize just how unique you are? If we were to sit down to chat and I asked you about your life and business experience I doubt it will be a carbon copy of what someone else has shared with me. You are absolutely unique, I'm certain of that. Perhaps the issue is not whether you can charge a certain amount for your services or products. It is rather just how much faith do you have in your uniqueness?

A while back, on one of my teleseminar calls, I invited some clients to share their stories.   They had attended my information empire workshop and had implemented specific strategies as a result.   If you were on that call, you would have heard me speak with one of my clients, Gail.   During the interview, Gail revealed something very interesting. She said that it was some of the little things that actually highlighted how she valued herself (or under-valued herself).

Gail is a life coach who works with professional and amateur golfers. She helps them to improve their mental game. One of the things Gail realised in coming on the workshop was how many little things she was doing to please clients and other people. She wouldn't think twice of driving out to clients or travelling to a seminar. It wasn't that those were bad things. But when she heard me talking about doing business on my terms, that I ran the workshop in my home town because it was convenient for me, she wondered why she'd never considered that for her business. Gail realised that she had personal beliefs that were undervaluing her business as a result.   She realised it was possible for her to work on her terms. She just needed to value her uniqueness and what she was offering her clients.

LOrealBecauseYourWorthItScr-300x224I love the tag line in the Loreal adverts that say €˜Because I'm worth it!’ That's what you need to be saying to yourself. Have more faith in your uniqueness.

Developing Faith in your Uniqueness

•      Are you pricing your products low because you think that will attract more clients? Is that their true value? Or should they really be at a much higher price level?
•      Do you find yourself bending over backwards to accommodate clients? Is that really beneficial to your business or could you be doing things some other way?
•      Do you question why people would want to pay to listen to you or buy your products? If that is the case it's a sure sign that you don't have much faith in your uniqueness.
•      Do your personal beliefs sometimes make you hesitate to take a step forward in business?
•      Is there a mentor or coach you could work with that can help you find your true value as part of your business? Sometimes changing the small things can make a big impact on the way you do business.

You are the first essential element in building your business to greater heights. Your knowledge is unique to you and because of that it has a value. If you question what to charge or if you can really set certain systems in place then maybe it's your beliefs that need changing. Have more faith in your uniqueness. It is on that that you will build the value of your business.

Bernadette Doyle is a marketing specialist who helps entrepreneurs become client magnets and attract a steady stream of their ideal clients. If you’d like to receive invaluable tips and advice on how to attract clients with ease, register at

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