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Category: Business Development
Go Ahead…Look Back!
Randell Mark Olson | September 25, 2012 | 3:00 pm | Action, Attitude, Business Development, Entrepreneurship, Personal Development | 3 Comments

Last week I posted a blog about not getting caught up in your past, not letting your past failures keep you from moving forward…I actually said “the past doesn’t even exist”. But maybe we should look back from time to time, after all, there can be a lot of value in retracing  parts of our story.

When Should we Look Back?

I can think of three good reasons to look back in our history:

  1. When we can Learn Something
  2. For Motivation
  3. To Build Confidence

Let’s take a closer look at each one and see if we can leverage our history to propel our future success.

Look Back to Learn Something:

Some of our greatest learning opportunities come from some of our most difficult times. Several years ago I was in the residential construction business and occasionally we would have a project that wasn’t very profitable, in fact, some we actually lost money. I would spend hours looking back at what went wrong.

I would ask questions like: did we order too much material, did we source our material from the wrong vendor, did we have more labor hours than we anticipated, were we encumbered by poor site conditions, or was the weather a major factor?…Then the big question, How can we prevent this from happening again?

The key point is, not to let prior mistakes, or poor judgement keep you from moving forward. Look back to learn, then proceed forward with more knowledge.

Look Back For Motivation!

There is just something about looking back at past success and past failures to motivate us to even better future results. I have used some of my earlier speaking presentations to motivate me to improve my presentation skills in order to have greater impact on y audience.

What’s interesting is that I have been motivated by poor performances because I didn’t want to feel that sense of failure again, and I’ve been motivated by some pretty good presentations because I loved the results and wanted to experience those results more consistently.

Look for past experiences that will motivate you to experience better results.

To Build Confidence.

There are two great ways to build confidence:  The first is to take action and do it well, and the other actually makes the first easier…look back at times when you were victorious over difficult circumstances. Take some time to remember overcoming obstacles to experience great results.

If you look back through your life, you will be amazed at some of the things you’ve been able to accomplish despite challenging circumstances. Go ahead and be a little impressed with yourself from time to time…people love to do business with confident people, not arrogant, but confident. We need to seek humility, but there is nothing wrong with allowing past successes help propel future achievements.

Looking Back Can Create Forward Momentum!

Take a few minutes and look back to Learn, Be Motivated, and to gain Confidence, it’s a great step forward in being more Intentional About Our Legacy!

Blessings,

Randell

Do You Need a Longer Rope?
Randell Mark Olson | August 14, 2012 | 11:25 am | Action, Business Development, Calling, Entrepreneurship, Inspiration, Legacy, Personal Development | No comments

Are You At The End Of Your Rope?

If you are at the end of your rope in your work or your business, a longer rope may help for a while but it is definitely not the answer. A longer rope, such as a promotion, a few days off, a special project, or a raise in pay, may rejuvenate you for a while, but ultimately a longer rope would just serve as a diversion, and soon you will find yourself at the end of it once again.

My Finger Prints Are Embedded At The End Of The Rope!

I have dangled at the end of many ropes myself. I have stretched ropes by creating new ideas, going after new emerging markets, and chasing the next big thing, only to find myself in that familiar place once again, at the end of the rope. Stretching the rope buys you a little more time, but each time you stretch the rope it gets a little thinner and harder to hold onto, eventually something is going to give.

I was climbing the wrong rope!

When I finally found the right rope it made all the difference for me. Don’t get me wrong the climb is still hard, it still takes determination, persistence, personal development, and an investment of time, but it is worth it all because of “one thing”…Vision!

What’s at the other end of the rope?

You see, there must be a worthy goal at the other end of the rope, something that means more to you than almost anything else, it’s the one thing that you must see come to realization in your life. It is a goal that you can put your whole heart behind, it is what you go to bed thinking about and what you wake up thinking about, it’s the smile on your face and at the same time it’s a concerned look in your eye. It is in fact your Vision, and until you identify it, you will find yourself at the end of the rope over and over again.

Vision is fuel for successful living!

The Bible says” without vision the people perish” Proverbs 29:18.

Use these three simple exercises to gain clarity on your Vision.

  1. Identify Your Values…What do you care about?,  What do you believe in wholeheartedly ?, What moves you to action?
  2. What desires has God placed in your heart? …What accomplishments of others cause you to celebrate?  Make a list of things that make you smile. Who do you admire  for their impact on history?
  3. Think about the perfect day… What would your perfect day look like?  Where would you be?  Who would be with you? What would you be celebrating?  What would you be most grateful for?

Pondering these thoughts will go a long way towards helping you identify the Vision you have for your Career, Business, and Life. Defining and drawing your Vision is one of the first steps of being Intentional about your Legacy!!!

Blessings,

Randell Mark

The Currency Of Time
Randell Mark Olson | August 7, 2012 | 11:05 am | Business Development, Change, Personal Development, Public Speaking, Smarter Business | No comments

Have you ever thought of time as currency? In many ways that is exactly what it is, especially if you are paid by how much time you spend working. If you are trading your time for money then in a very real sense time is currency.  The reality is that you are actually purchasing dollars with your time. The problem with this arrangement is that you only have just so much time, obviously when you run out of time your opportunity to purchase more money then vanishes as well.

Following this logic, is wealth measured in time then or measured in dollars… I would suggest neither is an appropriate measurement of wealth. Wealth can be best measured by the value your time creates for you or someone else. For example:   If I am hired to give a speech for $1100, and I invest 10 hours researching and writing my speech, and one hour actually delivering my speech, you could say I just earned $100 per hour. However the wealth does not stop there, assuming the content of my speech added value to those listening, the potential wealth continues on with each person in attendance. To take this one step further, if I take that same speech and put it on a CD and offer it for sale, the potential income for me and the potential added value for anyone who purchased the CD for all practical purposes is infinite.

At the beginning of each year, at the beginning of each month, at the beginning of each week, and at the beginning of each day, we all start with the same amount of time. Each of us has a choice whether to spend our time purchasing dollars, or invest our time creating value for ourselves and others.

By investing our time in Personal Development and People Development we can change our world and be more Intentional about our Legacy.

~Randell Mark Olson

Get Your Head Right
Randell Mark Olson | February 25, 2012 | 11:09 am | Attitude, Business Development, Calling, Entrepreneurship, Personalities, Smarter Business, Uniqueness | 10 Comments

The very first thing the frustrated, discouraged, overwhelmed, burned out, and beat up entrepreneur needs to do before moving forward to a place of freedom is Get Your Head Right!!!

You need to realize that “YOU” are more than your business. “YOU” were “YOU” long before you went into business, and that your business doesn’t define who “YOU” are, or what your true value is.

What many struggling entrepreneurs tend to do is let every difficulty, failure, bad decision, and unmet goal in business reflect who they are as a person, I know because I do it myself. This behavior will not only sabotage your business, it will cut the legs right out from underneath your own self image making everyday tougher than the day before.

When we personalize every business mistake it becomes impossible to learn from those mistakes because we take the blame as who we are rather than what we did to cause the mistake, and this is a huge distinction. When we see a mistake as an incorrect action, we can learn from it, make the necessary changes to avoid making the same mistake again and ultimately have greater opportunity for success.

On The Other Hand

On the other hand, if we see the mistake as a reflection of who we are we blow huge holes in our confidence, and create doubt in our ability to make wise decisions in the future. When we can’t make decisions with confidence we become paralyzed, and difficulties in our business only become worse, which compounds the situation even more, and creates a perpetual cycle of lack of confidence, fear, and paralysis…over and over and over, and eventually we come to a point where we believe we’re failures, and we failed because of who we are.

Not True

Photo from ideavist.com

Failing, and being a failure are not the same thing. We need to understand that we sometimes fail because of something we did, not because of who we are…the “Who We Are” is best displayed by how we react to our failures. We can beat ourselves up and feel worthless and stupid, or we can look at the facts, make corrections and move forward with confidence knowing we’ve got something of real value to offer, just because of who we are.

If You’re At Your Wit’s End In Your Business

The first thing you need to do is look in the mirror a say “I Am Valuable, I am here for a reason, and my Creator didn’t make any junk” Realize that you have skills and abilities, a personality suited for success, and passions, values, and dreams that are part of your mission.

Go For It With Confidence!!!

“Randell Mark” Olson

Just From Experience
Randell Mark Olson | November 10, 2011 | 7:20 am | Action, Business Development, Calling, Entrepreneurship, Integrity, Legacy, Smarter Business | No comments

A couple of weeks ago Ivan Bickett asked if I would offer my “One Thing” suggestion for his website.  Ivan asked if there was only  ”One Thing” I could tell someone just starting out in their own new business, what would that “One Thing” be.  This was my response:

FEED THE FARMER B4 THE ANIMALS

If I could only share “one Thing” with someone just going into business, it would be this…”Feed The Farmer B4 The Animals”. Using the metaphor of you as the farmer, and the animals as your business, you need to be “well” in order to grow a healthy business.

Our Family During The Early Business Years

This has not always been my philosophy, but I wish it would have been.  In 1997 I walked away from a job with great pay, great benefits, and tons of flexibility to pursue the dream of self employment.  My wife and I had four kids, our oldest was 13 at the time, and the youngest was 4, yes we were just entering the most expensive years of raising a family…what was I thinking?

The way I had it figured was, if we don’t feed the business first, then it will not be able to provide for us, which makes perfect sense, and carries an element of truth, but is fundamentally way off. If you travel this path long enough you will probably end up frustrated at home, and blaming your business for it…after all it gets everything first.  I made the same mistake that many business owners make, of always paying themselves last.

The business bills always came first, the electric bill, gas bill, advertising bills, job material bills, while bills at home went unpaid, or paid at the last possible minute, including our mortgage.

After battling this for years, I finally realized that I needed to pay myself first.  Just as the farmer cannot properly care for his animals if he is not strong and healthy, we as business owners cannot give our business the attention it needs if our own core needs are not being met. For instance, how can we possibly have the energy to focus on our business if we are worried that our electricity will be turned off at home, if we can’t afford groceries for our family, or if we’re avoiding phone calls from bill collectors.  These distractions steal our energy, rob us of our creativity, cause pain in our relationships, and shoot huge holes in our confidence.

Our Family All These Years Later

To build a strong and healthy business, we as business owners need to be giving our best self…we need to be “whole”.  Here is a quick example of how to prioritize the finances of your new business:

  1. Pay your Taxes First…do not pay anything until you pay your taxes. Despite what you may have read, the IRS is not that friendly.  If you don’t pay your taxes, they will visit you, usually without an appointment, and at the worst possible moment.
  2. Take care of your Family’s Core Needs.  Pay yourself enough to cover Food, Shelter, Utilities, and Clothing. Once these basic needs are met, it is a lot easier to focus on growing your business.
  3. Pay business bills.
  4. At this point it comes down to Values. Invest in family fun, and business growth as you see fit.

If you will practice these principles you can avoid much of the stress and pain of starting and growing a business that will leave a Legacy for years to come.

“Randell Mark” Olson,  The Intentional Legacy Group, LLC

Wanna Run From Your Business?…Sorry It Won’t Work!

You Can’t Outrun It Anyhow!

Have you ever watched a cartoon chase? You know the ones I’m talking about, where one character is chasing the other, and the first one goes around a corner and quickly slips, unnoticed  into a doorway while the chaser dashes past and keeps running down the hall.  You can almost sense the first ones relief while he sits there trying to catch his breath, and planning his next move.

As a small business owner, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to just run away from my business, or at least hide from it long enough to plan my next move.  I would think to myself…if I could just get far enough ahead to Think, to Breath, to Rest, and figure out what to do next.

The business I thought was my Dream, was now more like a Prison. It wasn’t like being between a rock and a hard place, at least there you know where you’re at.  This was worse, because it was like being nowhere at all.  Sounds kind of strange, but the fact is that I didn’t know where I was going, and really didn’t know how I even ended up where I was.

If You’re Still Reading This, You’ve Been There Too

The problem is,  if we don’t address it, we’ll sabotage our business, and likely ourselves as well. I fought this battle on and off for years, only to realize that the business itself wasn’t really the problem, it had more to do with me.  I had to face the fact that I needed to take a good hard look inside of myself, and it was the best thing I’ve ever done.

The Path To Getting Your Life Back

The first step towards living completely alive is getting to know yourself.  You have to ask yourself why you went into this business in the first place.  Was it just to make an income, or did you have a dream that was bigger than just money.

If you had a dream that was bigger than money, chances are you can recapture that vision,  re-ignite that passion, and begin to experience real joy in your business again.

However, if money was the driving force for  your business start up, it is also probably what is driving your frustration.  You see to stay the course through thick and thin it takes a stronger passion than money. You may discover that you have no passion for your business at all, and it’s time to make a change, remember it starts by looking inward to clarify your strongest passions, and deepest desires.

If you can start your business from there, you will change your world and leave a Legacy of Greatness!

Lessons From the Private “I”

Have you ever had the opportunity to watch yourself, when you didn’t know you were looking? That’s sounds kind of creepy I know…let me try to explain what I mean.

Last weekend, my wife Karen and I were at a graduation open house, where someone was walking around with a video camera catching some live footage of this special day. The interesting thing is, that I was completely unaware of this video camera until I was shown a copy of it later.

As I watched myself on video, I found it strange to know that at the time I had no idea that I was being watched. It was a rare opportunity to see myself as the world sees me.

The first thing I noticed was that I am shorter and wider than I thought…my hair is grayer than I thought as well. But what really got my attention was how my approach and response to various people was so vastly different.

Some people I would approach rather aggressively with a big hug, a slap on the back, and lots of laughter, while others I would address slowly with a gentle embrace, and a tender word, or a handshake with a smile.

Why The Difference?

I felt like a private investigator as I watched myself interact with family, friends, and acquaintances. I couldn’t help but notice that I seemed to know how to approach each person in a way that would be most acceptable to them.

Could There Be A Business Lesson Here?

I think so. The reason I was able to give the proper greeting and response to so many people at this open house, was because I understood how most of them want to interact…you might say “I know how they’re wired”, and their response can be quite predictable.

In business our customers and clients are all wired differently as well, and if we take the time to understand them better the results can be staggering. Just think how much better you can serve your customer  if you have a clearer sense of their unique perspective and what they would see as the perfect outcome.

We’ve all heard it said that “People do Business with people they Know, Like, and Trust” and there is no better way to earn that than to show them that you care, by getting to know them better.  It’s all part of being more Intentional about our Legacy.