Archives for August 2010

Why I don’t bother setting goals all the time

I know I know,

Here I am writing a personal development blog and don’t believe in setting goals. Ah!  Perhaps I don’t know anything about Personal development.  If I did then I would be a big fan of goal setting?

Well no.  I am not.

I should probably say, before I am laughed out of the blogsphere, that I do goal set. But only now and again.

You know as well as I do that almost every Personal development book, self help CD and guru you have listened to on CD or watch on youtube says that you need to set goals.  So why am I saying don’t bother?

Because for most people, including me, doing that doesn’t work.

WASTE OF TIME

Yeah I said it, waste of time.

This blog was always about giving you Personal Development tips and advice that work and don’t take a long time to do.  I have always believed in simplicity and doing things that actually give you results.  When I started reading personal development books and listening to CD’s etc what I noticed was how complex most of the advice was.

Don’t get me wrong, it was great advice.  But wow, was it complicated.  I mean how many ways are there to set a goal?  It was almost like each one of these Personal Development guru’s wanted to be the smartest at goal setting. So they created complex ways to do it.

“First you need to do this, then you need to do that, then you need to visualise, then write down your goals, then set some dates, then, work out what you want then….”

And all you have to do is do this everyday for 6 months and you will have your goals!

Seriously that is how complex some of the goals settings methodologies are.

The challenge with this?  You never use them!  You might start with interest that you are learning a cool new way to set goals but after a week you are no further towards your goal and you are getting tired of doing the exercises.

Now if you are reading this and disagree, great.  You have probably found a way to set goals that works for you.  But can I ask you this? How much time each day to you spend on actually trying to get your goals?  I mean time doing things that will get them?

Again this is the problem with most goal setting methods.  They are complex, require too much time and most people spend more time doing them than actually working towards the goals.

Come on, you know this is true.  Most of my clients think I am mad when I talk to them about this.  They think I don’t know what I am talking about.  But then they start to see the logic in it.  Rather than mess around with your goal setting just pick a goal you think you want to achieve and go for it.

Yes I know.  I know that this could potentially dive you down a way that you don’t want to be.  But better to be moving right than thinking?

So what do I do when goal setting?

Well I believe that we all think about our goals and dreams enough to know what we really want.  The challenge is that we don’t dare to dream enough or block these out.

Well firstly I use my Magic Little Goal Tip.

The once I know what I want I just do it!  Everyday I make sure I am doing something towards my goals.

Sounds simple right?  It is.

Give it a go and see what you achieve in a month.

Matt

Love animals? Don’t eat them!

Hi,

If you have been reading this blog for a couple of years you might know that I have become a Vegan, well Vegetarian.  I am trying to be Vegan but just can’t stop when there is cheese to be had!

(Just to mention – this is not a bash at all you meat lovers out there, I used to be one too)

What this is though is a comment on how I now see eating meat.  This blog is about Personal Development and I see my choice of diet part of that.  Personal Development isn’t just about reading books by the great names, it is about applying the information and changing your life.

So here is the thing.  I am an absolute animal lover.  I mean I really love animals.  I always have even as a kid but didn’t really realise it.  We had pets when I grew up and they were great fun but it never really clicked with me that I was an animal lover.

We had a dog called Esta.  She was a rescue English Bull Terrier.  She was great fun.  Clearly she had been abused but once she got into the house and felt comfortable she was a great dog.  She and I had a really good relationship and she always wanted to be with me.

So why did I also eat meat?

This is what I can’t work out.

If I loved animals so much then why did I eat them?  Weird isn’t it?

I mean I wouldn’t eat Esta.  That would be very weird.  So why did I eat Cows, Chickens and Pigs.  Without even thinking about it?

Obviously I do have an answer for this otherwise I wouldn’t have written this post.  Nothing worse than a blogger posting a post that has no reason to it!

It is absolutely craziness to me now that I used to eat meat.  But I know why I did it.  It is because most of us (and yes I do mean you) have no idea where your meat comes from or what they have to go through to get into your dinner.

I didn’t and a lot of people don’t.  You wouldn’t put your pets through what farm animals have to go through.

Yes yes, I know there is the argument about we have power over animals and we have always eaten them.  That all might be true but if you wouldn’t eat your cat or dog then why would you eat a cow?  A chicken?  Did you know a pig is believed to have more intelligence than a dog?

They feel pain, fear, sadness.  Just like when you shout at your dog.

So what am I really saying here?

Just that once I became a Vegetarian I realised what I had been doing all along.  It was congruent with my core values as a person.  Ahh the real reason for this post!

Yes.

My actions were out of line with my core values and that was affecting me.  Now I feel much better about my diet.  Not just the health benefits but also that I am in line with my values.

That is so important.  Busy lives make us miss our core values.  I am so guilty of this.  That is why i have to make myself work at making sure I am inline.

What about you?  Are you in line?

Speak soon.

M

An easy way to get more customers for your small business

It would be great if all you had to do was open a shop, website or business and new customers would just walk in the door (or website). But alas it doesn’t work like that!

Oh how we wish it would!

Ok, so there are a few times when you just put up a website and someone just happens to see it and buy something from it. But how many times have a I have that happen? None. You might have.

This is one of the biggest challenges any small business owner faces. How to get people in the shop to buy.

If you have opened an actual retail store then this can be an expensive way to go. If you have built a website then at least that is pretty much your only expense. Just having a web business gives you the opportunity to try things out and not spend all your money. That said when I was selling software some of the companies I sold to would spend £Millions getting their websites right.

As a small business owner it is easy to spend £10,000 before you even know where it has gone! The truth is you don’t have to if you know what you are doing.

So let’s just look at the online area of this.

Let’s say you have a website, you have paid a development company and designer to create something fantastic. All your friends and family say it looks nice and you are pretty pleased with yourself. [Read more…]

Should I start a business? It’s a way to go

This is a great question!

I can answer that for you.  No.

If you are unsure about starting a business then I would say don’t.  I know that is a direct way to answer but if you are thinking about starting a business and not sure then you probably don’t want to.

Shock!  Someone speaking their mind and speaking the truth.  Well maybe, or perhaps you think I am wrong?  Either way I knew that when I was working for someone else I wanted to be my own boss.

I didn’t really care what business to get involved in, I just knew I had to be involved in a business where I didn’t have a boss.

For the last 5 years I have worked for myself.  I have lost money and made some money but it has been without a boss telling me what to do.

FREEDOM!

Well not quite, I still have clients and do work when I would rather be cycling but you get message.

The thing is if you don’t already know if you should start a business then really do you want to?  I mean do you really have a reason to start one?

If you are asking that question then I would like to say that you need a reason first.

Starting a business isn’t about getting all the detail things right, it’s about getting the why first.

However, often the WHY isn’t that clear and you have to work it out.  I understand that!  Sometimes I sit here and think “why am I doing this”.  But even if I have had a crap day I know that it is not as bad as having a boss.

Don’t get me wrong!  There are many people who have a boss, make more money than me and are very pleased with this.  They would never want to be their boss.  That is wonderful.  But not for me.

So if you want to know if you should start a business, think hard then make a decision.

Matt

The 7 things you need to do when starting a franchise

I am working with a couple of business owners who are looking to take their businesses to the next step.  They asked me to look at Sales and Marketing but as these things normally go I get involved strategically.

What I noticed is that they hadn’t realised that their business wasn’t systemised.  It isn’t able to scale and will require them to be working it if they wanted it to go bigger.  The challenge is that they are already working as much as they can on it.

Franchise came to mind….

They hadn’t thought about that in terms of using this as a way to get them more time.  They are not alone, many think that doing this creates more work. But, the whole thought process behind setting up a franchise is that you create a business that can work without you!

I thought I would outline the 7 things you need to know before starting a franchise.  If you have a business that you think could be a franchise then you should look at these first: –

  1. Be absolutely clear what your business is about before you even start to do the work.  You should be able to explain this to someone else.
  2. Can your business be franchised?  Is it something that would work?  If you don’t know you can use a company that will be able to give you the advice. www.instant-sales-solutions.com This is my consulting business.
  3. Create a flat packed version of your business that will be the basis of the template
  4. Test these template versions of your franchises.  If these don’t work you need to start again
  5. Know that you are now the owner of a franchise and not a business that you need to be working in
  6. Give the franchisee great help.  Customer support is now your business!
  7. Multiply!  Go for it…if it works don’t be afraid to do it

If you want some help with this and you are in the UK or California you can ask my consulting company to help.  www.instant-sales-solutions.com

Dr Shad Helmstetter talks about using Self Talk

When I first heard about self talking I thought it was mad rubbish.

The more I learnt the more I realised what I was saying to myself was holding me back.  On the one hand I was reading and listening to good personal development information and on the other hand I was saying negative things to myself.

“You can’t do that”

“I’m not very good at at”

“I’m an idiot”

I was saying all these bad things and I didn’t even realise it!

Well then a book went onto my personal development book list.  I don’t actually remember how but there it was.  Anyway it really made me look at the things I said to myself.

We all do it so why not change the way you talk to yourself so that it changes you in a positive way?  Anyway this was a book by a guy called Shad Helmstetter. The book was called What to say when you talk to yourself.

This is an amazing read!  This video is of Dr Helmstetter talking about self talk

Naturnal Instinct – Hypo Birthing St Albans

I am almost a little embarrassed that I have not posted this on my blog before.  Why?

Well my best friend and his partner are brilliant people and they have a business called Naturnal Instinct.  They teach Hypobirthing in St Albans and also “Breathing to a better birth”.  I get a lot of people reading this blog so I should have done this before.  Please note neither of them suggested I do this.

Now I have not been pregnant so I can’t say if this feels better but what I do know is that when Gwendoline had Archie (I am his Guardian) she had a completely natural birth.

Oh and before you think it is weird it is more natural than anything else.  This is what I learnt from both of them.  I am not putting down having a birth in a hospital at all.  All I am saying is that whilst Gwendoline was pregnant I learn so much from her in terms of her attitude to being pregnant and her birth.

They had Archie at home in a birthing pool.  Mike was there playing music and doing all the stuff like getting towels etc.

I think Gwendoline even had some Champagne!

The point is she changed the way I think about birth completely.  She made me see that it is natural and not something to be stressed about.  The more calm the birth the more calm the baby.  And believe me!  Archie is cool!

We went camping with them in France and Archie was cool all the time!

Anyway, I wanted to blog about this as they are helping people have better birth’s by learning to breath and relax.  If you are interested to speak with them go to their site Naturnal Instinct

Matt

Why does my Personal Development work?

I wrote and article on this blog last week about putting bad seed into your head.  It was liked by a lot of people so I guess it had content that you assocaited with.

The main concept was about looking at what goes into your brain.  If you are reading lots of personal development books and then also putting bad things in your head then you are not going to get the benefit of those books.

I wanted to do a video to be more specific about it.  So here it is!  This video is called “My Personal Development Won’t work”