Category Archives for Winning Mindset

How to Thrive in Your Online Business Despite Unsupportive Family Members

Your first step in setting yourself free from the partner or other family members who trivialize your attempts to make money on the internet is to change your codependent mindset. If you care what they think, it means that their poorly formed opinions of what you do will affect your performance and the effort you put in. So, stop caring. Yes, this is easier said than done. But if you tend to lose sight of why their negative opinion isn’t worth acting on, then refer back to the reminders on why “it really is them and not you.

Here are a few tips for emotionally distancing from the stream of negativity from certain family members or a partner, which holds you back from being your best professional self and creating the business you want, on your own terms.

Recognize that they’re stealing your energy. You only have a finite amount of time during the course of your busy day, to put energy into what you love. If part of your personal effort involves trying to convince your disagreeing partner why they should encourage you in your business building efforts, then that’s a Sisyphean task. Perhaps your energy is better spent on actually growing your business?

Stop talking to them about it. One of the best ways to block out people who doubt you, don’t understand, and don’t appreciate that you want to build a business so you can earn money on YOUR terms, is to stop communicating with them about it. For some reason, people feel more satisfied in thinking that a person “doesn’t work” than to think that they’re growing a business doing what they love. If they want to think this, let them. You have plans to make, people to meet and profits to start earning!

Make better use of your time. Talking to disbelievers is a counterproductive waste of everybody’s time. You’re not here to explain yourself or justify your behaviour. Everyone is entitled to pursue what makes them happy, especially if it could mean creating a new stream of income. So if they don’t get it, or if they ask you what you’re up to professionally with that hint of a frown coming around, just change the subject, politely cut the conversation short, and keep on smiling.

Make your own space. The prior point leads into this one. How can you put a stop to the constant negative feedback if they can see what you’re doing in order to comment on it? One solution is to become mobile. Surely your husband or wife has their own plans to attend to. While they’re up to their own pursuits, you can be off on the laptop somewhere, maybe an internet cafe, maybe the library, maybe holed off in the attic of your own home, where you can be away from their soul-killing commentary and instead using the internet to make mad money! Additionally, if you’re “LinkedIn” to family members who don’t support you professionally, drop them from your list. You’re on LinkedIn to business network, not stoke the fires of potential family gossip. The same goes for Facebook.

Seek out support. There are many wonderful, creative and enterprising people out there who share your enthusiasm for building an online business or earning money offering up your expert knowledge. If you go to bed at night feeling sapped, wake up to a network of loving and supportive individuals who can cheer you on, offer valuable tips, and help you build something amazing. Just having a group of like-minded spirits to cheer you on and vice versa, can help you move past the negative cycles that slow your professional growth.

Acknowledge that they don’t understand, and that’s okay. It’s hard to believe in something you can’t even comprehend. Maybe your husband, wife or other family members just can’t wrap their head around the idea of being your own boss… working really hard today, for a possible payout later in the years to come.

You could expend precious energy trying to convert them to your mindset, sure.

But if it’s going to be like pulling teeth, why bother? Maybe you can even recall scratching your own head at all those rah-rah gurus who somehow mysteriously make money using websites online. Picture trying to convince your former self of what you know now. It takes a long time to get it, doesn’t it!

If you want to be accountable to you, and have a business sounding board. Book in a call.

Kevin Arrow

Business & Your Unsupportive Family

Free Your Mind, Unburden Your Soul, Grow Your Dreams

I was at a family event when I first discovered that I had an unsupportive family. My uncle came over, started chatting and asked me how I was looking for a job. At this point, I’d just won a major business award for an outstanding green transport company and was in my 4th year of business.  I replied I wasn’t looking for a job, I ran my own company from home. My uncle was embarrassed. My dad, rather than say I had started my own business (and in my dad’s opinion it would fail) he’d told the family I was unemployed.

That explained a lot of the looks I’d been given over the years. Instead of them being proud that I was employing people and building a Brand that was known for bespoke deliveries, they thought I was doing nothing at home.

But it’s not just offline business owners that face family problems. Online business owners get it too. Sarah’s family think she spends all day on Facebook and is somehow paid to do that. They don’t see the hard work, and growing relationships. They see time being wasted. You should hear them talk about her Twitter following! And don’t get Sarah started on how one of the parents thinks that every blog post she ever writes is about them!

If you are a work from home parent who happens to be your own boss you’ve hit the jackpot when it comes to unsupportive families!

Why Doesn’t My Family Understand How Important My Online Business is to Me?

The family member who frowns upon your attempts to use the internet to build a business or monetize a hobby, probably has a few personal issues that should be addressed upfront.

Just knowing that these issues exist can make the world of difference and emotionally set you free from the blocks that derail you from being as successful as you want to be. This means less confusion, and more room for clarity and purpose in your business activities.

Surely you’ve been that busy entrepreneur, devoting hours of your precious energy to creating something that you just know is going to take off, only to have your husband or wife stroll on through and crush your enthusiasm with one carelessly placed remark or gesture. Then, one comment rolls into another, and before you know it you’re cringing every time they come into the room to have a go at you for spending hours on the computer.

If you want to move past the family dynamics that clog up your mind and keep you from being at your productive best, then it’s worth considering the reason why other people behave and react the way they do. Once we acknowledge, we can let go and move on. Some possibilities…

They lack an open-minded approach to life and business. For some people, “my way” is the only way, and it’s extremely difficult to break them out of these negative thought patterns. If a loved one has always held a 9 to 5 job, or worked for the government, or went to university and followed a set career path, then that, to them, maybe the only path… even if you know in your heart that you are capable of making your own way in a creative or online career.

They harbour firmly ingrained beliefs stemming from their own experiences. Maybe your wife or husband once tried to start a business but it didn’t work. Maybe they were wildly successful in some other area, and they can’t imagine that your approach which isn’t like their own, could work. Honestly, it’s not your job to convince them otherwise. But it IS your job to protect your own best interests, and be selective in what to share so as not to let other people crush your dreams!

They fear the unknown. Fear of the unknown is fairly rampant throughout society. People often imagine the worst when things get out of their realm of personal control. Have you ever accepted freelance work for pay? Could you ever have imagined yourself doing that, until you actually DID it? Everybody has some measure of fear and hesitation when embarking on a new venture. This is because there’s always risk. But remember that there’s risk in everything. Knowing that nothing is certain is a good way to break out of the naysaying mindset when family members are bringing you down!

They’re held back by perceptions of “how things are” or “how things should be”. These perceptions may come from parents, even generations past, of “this is how things are done in our family” or “this is the right way to live. Sometimes the best way to break people free of their limiting thoughts is to lead by example! Find a role model. Find a mentor. Find a business venting buddy where you can talk freely about business struggles and not be judged.

They lack confidence in their own life. Some people feel as though life is a game of control. “If I don’t control you, you’re going to try and control me.” This is a confidence thing. It leads to a needless back-and-forth game that could be spent far more productively and for far more positive results! If the person you married is like this, just remember that it’s a mindset that someone in their former life imprinted on them, and it has nothing to do with you. Just don’t get stuck in the endless cycle if you can help it at all. That may mean walking away in the middle of a conversation, but keeping your cool always wins in the end.

They have too much free time on their hands. People who enjoy pointing out perceived weaknesses in others, or tell them “they can’t” when really they can, probably don’t have enough occupying their time.

If family members begin to meddle in your affairs and say discouraging things about the work you do, disarm them with some busywork. You can either saddle them with a project, (“Here, help me create this family album of old photos!”) or find ways to delegate chores. At the very least, the prospect of them suddenly having to perform a task will get them out of the house and out of your hair so you can work on building your dreams in peace!

They need to feel better about themselves. Take comfort in knowing that a family member who tries to dissuade you from doing what you love probably has some self-esteem issues. Rather than making a person who already feels badly about themselves feel even worse, just sit quietly in the awareness that this is taking place. This simple knowing is often powerful enough to carry you through those tough times when their thoughtless remarks could potentially distract you from accomplishing what you set out to do. And knowing that they feel badly inside may even inspire you to help them move into a higher realm of awareness.

Their poor listening skills can lead to poor understanding. Both men and women can be poor listeners. So don’t think this is entirely about husbands, though it is far more common to hear “My husband doesn’t listen to me” than the converse. One way to get a male to listen more is to ONLY talk to him about Very Important Things That Need Attention, and leave the rest out. Let’s face it, in this day and age we have plenty of alternate means of communication. So if you feel the need to get some adult feedback and you know you won’t get it from your spouse, then take it online or meet up with a friend who you connect with instead. Good friends are a true blessing when husbands or wives don’t measure up in the listening department!

They take you for granted because they don’t know any better. If you feel unappreciated in your relationship, you can come to terms with the emotions and then move past them and onto more productive and positive pursuits. This will probably happen in cycles, but at least when it does you can be aware and rest easy knowing the challenge will soon be over.

Sometimes the things we need don’t always come from the people whom we expect them to come from, and that’s okay.

Talking with a coach or counsellor, telling your troubles to a friend… these are great ways to get the understanding and appreciation you’ve been craving. You can walk away from the chat “full up” on friend love, fueled by supportive colleagues, and ready once again to face a new day full of challenges!

They simply lack understanding of what it takes to be successful. Particularly for those who have never attempted to build a business from nothing… some people don’t realize that “get rich quick” schemes simply don’t work, and that it will take possibly years of dedicated effort to communicate, network, build systems and go through a series of trial and error before hitting upon the exact formula for your own personal success.

If they see that you’ve been busily working for 3 whole months with no results to show for it… well, that’s not a very long time at all, considering the life of a viable business.

Besides: why shouldn’t slow-and-steady be your model for personal excellence, especially if you’re challenged with having to balance work and home life, and the internet is so favourable for slow growth? The best way to break free from naysaying family members is to realize that “they just don’t get it” and that’s not your fault.

You can do this. Yes, it would be fantastic to have a supportive family but you cannot change who they are. You can only change how you react to them.

If you want to see how working with someone like me can help keep your dreams alive and your sanity intact then book in a call.

Kevin Arrow

 

How to set up your home office when you’ve never worked from home before


If you’re new to working from home, the home office can be your sanctuary; your peaceful workspace or it can be a prison where you feel unhappy and miserable. The good news? You get to choose which one it will be.

In this article, you’ll discover some of the best ways to set up a work from home office and the key things to consider. This article is based on my 20+ years of experience working from a home office.

How long you’ll be working from home?

The first thing you need to think about is how long you’ll be working from home. If it’s only a very short period of time, it would be pointless investing in an entire home office set up. In this situation, it would be better to invest in just the essentials.

However, if you have the budget it could be worth setting up a permanent home office. That way, you’ll always have somewhere set up to work at home if needed.

Making the Room

If you have a spare room, or an empty bedroom then you have the perfect space for your home office. My first home office was the dining room, and my first desk was the dining table.  If this is the space you have then great.

What if you have no room for your home office? Then it’s time to look outside the home for a moment. Do you have a garage you can clear down? A shed? When my transport business was in its early days we had no spare bedrooms and no dining room. The office was a desk in the master bedroom and that clearly didn’t work. So we cleared the garage and put two desks there. Garages often have power points so setting up computers isn’t hard. We always worked with the garage door open – rain or shine and it was quite secure.

In another house, the office was the conservatory. This house actually had a spare room (or study)  but it was 6 foot x 6 foot and the desk didn’t fit. This room became the paper room where the business filing cabinets were stored.

I mentioned earlier that we had a desk in the bedroom. Avoid this at all costs. If you keep your desk in your bedroom then you will always feel you are working. A space at the dining table and clear last box to store your working equipment is far better than working in your sleeping area.

Some people have been known to use their ironing board as a stand-up desk. I’ve not tried this.

Make sure you have the right equipment

At the very least, you’re going to need a laptop or desktop computer and a desk. If you don’t have a desk then the dining table is a good option. The downside to the dining table is you have a lot of space to spread things out… And you will. Working from the dining table can quickly lead to chaos so keep this in mind when working here.

Get a decent chair. You probably take your office chair for granted. But a good chair makes all the difference. In our current home office we have gaming chairs. These are comfortable and are built to be sat on. They have excellent back support. You want to be able to sit comfortably and not fidget. So choose your chair wisely.

You’ll need a good internet connection. So when choosing your workspace ensure you can get online where your desk is. If you don’t have a strong internet signal you will need a range extender. These can be purchased on Amazon and cost anything from 20-100.

You will also find a keyboard riser useful. These lift and tilt your keyboard so you don’t have as much strain on your wrists.

Consider a silent keyboard. Typing is noisy. And you will soon irritate your family when you’re pounding out a report or article.

Ensure your workspace has plenty of natural sunlight

When you’re stuck indoors, you won’t be getting as much natural sunlight as you usually would. This can have an impact on how productive and motivated you are. Numerous studies have revealed the damaging impact limited natural daylight can have on worker’s in an office setting and the same applies to your home office.

Make sure you’re going to be working in a part of the home which benefits from a lot of daylight. If there isn’t a space available, you might want to consider investing in a daylight bulb. These are designed to replicate natural daylight. This is what we used when the garage was our office. We still have one in our current home office.

Windows can be a distraction if you are not used to working next to one. In the past, we’ve placed a stained glass window pattern on the glass to block some of what was happening outside.

Focus on comfort

Your home office should be a comfortable place you can work in. This means, providing good support for your back if you’re working at a desk for example. Your ergonomic, silent keyboard and daylight.

If you aren’t comfortable, you’re not going to get much work completed. You’ll also find it beneficial to surround yourself with things that make you smile. I have photos of my wife and daughters on my desk, and a quote saying “this is the start of something wonderful” hangs from my bookshelf. The office curtains are brightly coloured.

Consider noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs. If you have family at home you are “invading” their space. They have a routine and they do things a certain way. You’re not used to this, so you have to slot into their routine or chaos will reign!

Your final piece of home office equipment is the timer. You need to set a timer on your desk to get up and move every 30 minutes. You need to schedule your movement. You will also find that you can work well with using the Pomodoro technique (25-minute working blocks).

These are some of the basics you to consider when setting up a home office. Whether you’re setting up a permanent or temporary office space, you need to ensure it has everything you need and it’s quiet and comfortable to work in.

Other things to consider

Will you be making calls? If so, you need a home office space with a door or you will spend all your time making calls from your car.

If you are attending virtual meetings you will have the dog barking, the children wanting to climb on your lap and other things happening. So will the other people on your call. You can let your family know you’re going on a call but expect that things won’t go as well as you’d like.

Working from home takes some getting used to. The good news is that once you start your working from home journey you won’t want to go back to a noisy, unproductive office. Because without all the distractions of the workplace, you’ll find you are very productive in your home office.

Kevin Arrow

How To Overcome Goal Setting Obstacles

Are you getting in the way of goal setting success? Some of the most common barriers to goals setting involve fear and lack of self belief. Some individuals don’t even have enough self-belief to set a goal, let alone following them until they start to beome their reality

If you’re struggling to set goals, yet you see the benefit of them, then this article is just for you.

You Don’t Want What You Think You Want

Some goals are set because other people want them for you. I know both Sarah and I have done things in the past in order to help someone else achieve their dreams. A specific example of this was Sarah learning to blog so that we could attract clients to the transport business. I set up a building company because my dream was to be my own boss, although being a builder wasn’t my own dream career, it was suggested to me by a friend.

If you don’t really want what you say you want, it will be very difficult to set a goal and achieve it. Be sure that you’ve set the goals for the right reasons and that it’s something you truly want.  If it helps, write down the pros and cons of any goal and know why you want to achieve that result before setting it in stone.

You Don’t Truly Understand the Importance of Goal Setting

I think I’m the only goal setter in my family. I know Sarah’s the only one in hers. Many people think goal setting is just wishful thinking and doesn’t really work. If you don’t really understand the power behind appropriate goal setting, it can be hard to take the time out of your day to truly set a goal and then achieve it.

Research has shown that 5% of the population actually write down goals, and achieve them. The other 95% don’t bother and don’t achieve them. You’ll find that the Dream Catchers in the world set realistic goals, and then work that goal into their schedule every single day. Even people who experience “overnight success” didn’t really achieve everything overnight. It was many nights of following a plan that brought them the results that made you sit up and take notice of them.

You’re Not Really Sure How to Set a Reasonable Goal

Learn Mandarin before the end of the week? If you’ve actually tried to set a goal before but didn’t experience results, it’s probably because you just don’t know how to set a goal. It’s not as easy as just writing down your dreams and crossing your fingers. Goals are dreams with plans. They are realistic, specific, achievable end results that you want to see. Take the time to learn the best goal setting techniques in order to experience goal setting success.

You’re Scared of Failure

Perhaps you’re one of the people do not bother setting goals because they have a self-limiting belief that they’ll fail anyway. Therefore, if they do not set a goal, they don’t have to be a failure. But remember that the idea of planning to succeed over planning to fail is realistic. No goal setting is a recipe for failure; goal setting is a recipe for success. When you accept this you can only achieve real success through goal setting, you’ll overcome this obstacle. Failing and failing fast is the secret to knowing what you need to do in order to grow your business.

You’re Afraid of Judgment

Perhaps you’re scared to set a goal for something because you see it as outrageous. For instance, let’s say that you want to go back to university to get a Master’s degree, or you want to start your own business. You fear that if you set that goal, and other people know about the goal they’ll judge you harshly for wanting it. You worry that they may think you’ve become too big for your boots. If you are worried about what others think of you, it’s time to dig deep inside yourself and remember what other people think of you is none of your business. The truth is, what you think of yourself is more important than anything else.

When you stop judging yourself, you’ll stop worrying about the judgment of others.

You’re Afraid of Success

Believe it or not, some people are afraid of success and being more visible. They feel too much pressure surrounding success to actually make goals to be successful. They are more comfortable in their role as someone who is not successful or who is “normal” instead of as someone who sets a goal, works toward achieving it, and is seen as a success.

The truth is, there will always be people who want to tear you down once you achieve some success. I’ve lost count of the number of nights Sarah has cried over someone attacking her for daring to be more than the label they’ve given her. The answer? Find like-minded Dream Catchers. You can find your tribe of people to help you deal with becoming more visible, or a coach that will help you overcome blocks surrounding this.

The saddest thing in life is regretting not doing something. Most people regret the things they did not do, more than the things they did do – right or wrong.Don’t live a life filled with regret; you’re worth more than that.

You Secretly Don’t Think You’re Worth It

This is where the way you see yourself is important, because if you see yourself as someone who doesn’t follow through, who doesn’t succeed and who can’t change their life, you’ll avoid goal setting like the plague.

You’re the only person on Earth who can control your actions, you are the person in chrage of your destiny so it makes sense that you’re the only one who can set the goals for you.

As hard as it is to believe you’re also the only one who can make yourself feel worth it.

You Don’t Really Believe It’s Possible

People avoid goal setting because they simply do not see the vision of what can be. They don’t believe. They don’t picture themselves fully at the point of success, experiencing success. Since they think it can’t happen, they don’t try. But, the truth is, you can’t know for sure about anything unless you follow the steps necessary to reach a goal.

You can dream big, and reach for the stars. Trying is more important in most circles than actually making it. And, chances are that if you really try, you will make it after all.

Goal setting is what separates the wannables from the actuallys. If you want to truly see all your dreams and visions come to fruition then set some goals – start small.

It doesn’t matter if it’s business oriented or personal – set a realistic and achievable goal, and then working toward realising that goal on a daily basis does amazing things not only to your confidence, but those around you. All you just have to do the work.

Kevin

By Ignoring This Your Business WILL Struggle

As a small business owner we have to learn or at least have a good understanding of so many things in business but one thing that often people struggle with is around thinking creatively throughout their business. I hear all the time so an so is the creative one, I don’t have a creative bone in my body or creativity only comes to me now and again when I don’t have time to act upon it… all excuses for not being creative.

The truth is, most of the time the creative process is not really as spontaneous as some people might think it was. You can’t just sit around and wait for creativity to suddenly strike. Creativity takes a little work and planning and can be taught

Let’s explore a few things we can do no matter how creative you think you are that can spark off those creative juices.

1) Brainstorm on a Regular Basis

It’s really easy to get tied down with typical business activities once you have your business flowing. But, you don’t want to rest on your laurels; it’s important to choose a regular time to brainstorm new ideas. It could be at the end of the month, before a new quarter, or any time that makes sense to you. The important thing is to take the time out to brainstorm new ideas. In our business we do this two ways, on a Monday morning Sarah and I sit down to our weekly ‘board meeting’ where we add time in to think of ideas for our business development secondly as a family we make it fun, we use a variation of James Altuchers technique ‘the ten ideas’ to get our creativity as a family really flowing, this is done over our evening meal which adds a real sense of conversation to the evening. More of that in another post I think.

2) No Idea Is Silly

While you’re brainstorming, keep track of the ideas that come to mind, and take the stance that no idea is a stupid idea. Sure, some ideas are wacky and may not work, but even a truly ridiculous idea can become genius if given half a chance. During brainstorming nothing whatsoever is off limits. If you put blocks in your way and start classifying things as silly or wrong, you will not be able to let ideas flow freely. Some people keep an ideas pad on their bedside table, you can add an ideas folder on your desktop computer or just use your phones voice recorder to speak the ideas in whilst out and about the key is to record them somewhere then at a later time go back and look at them again

3) Conduct Research

Once you have some ideas, it’s time to narrow them down and start doing some research. It’s important that you handle this process on your own. Don’t turn over the research at this stage to someone else. Instead, learn about your idea, test your ideas, and get feedback from others before you turn it over to your team. You can use your email list to ask their views and for feedback. If you run a facebook group or have a page conduct a poll there to get valuable feedback at this stage all feedback can be useful to ensure the idea becomes a viable option.

4) Take Time Out to Learn Something New

The exciting fact about learning is that you can learn anything new and it will help you in all aspects of your life. What you choose to learn about today may have nothing whatsoever to do with your career or business, but it will open your mind to new possibilities. It’s important to always be involved in the learning process, whether it’s learning a new software program, or learning how to make a rock garden. For creativity to flow we need input to get those neurones firing on all cylinders by taking things in through books, TV programs courses or podcasts, for example, we are expanding our thinking.

5) Get Out of Your Bubble

It’s  easy to get caught up in our own bubble. This happens a lot to people who have their own business, and it also happens to company directors that employ people. If you’ve surrounded yourself with a team, sometimes the team can get lazy and maybe even fearful of disagreeing with you about anything that you say or do. Invite new people into the fold,  get out of your office by going to a conference or networking or a business mastermind group, something so that you can separate yourself from your inner circle enough to soak in new thoughts and ideas from a totally different perspective to those that are normally around you

6) Allow Yourself to Think Big

Dare to dream the big dreams about yourself and your business. If your mother did not tell you that you are capable of anything, then that’s too bad. Because, the truth is, your success or failure is down to you and you alone in the way you think, it has to do with the ability to dream and think big – outside of the world you currently live – and see the possibilities that are on the other side. To allow your mind to visualise those things that you may have in the past thought were out of your reach. The power of belief and self belief are enormous and will remove any creative blocks that may be popping into your head

7) Only Action Gets Results

Brainstorming, researching, learning and dreaming only go so far without actions. So, someplace in the creative process should be a plan in which to take action. Actual steps that you need to do to see something through to fruition. It’s like anything else you do in life – if you don’t take the steps necessary to make it to your destination, you will never get there. That goes with being healthier, starting a new business, and being more creative. You have to practice doing to get results.

8) Follow Through

It can be easy to get carried away doing everything and then when things aren’t going the way we want them to it’s easy to give up. It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. With any idea that you come up with that you want to succeed in accomplishing, you should be willing to spend the 10,000 hours needed to see it through. If you do that, you will not fail. You may think this is impossible and there pops in those limiting beliefs again but remember this, we create our own destiny, if we want to succeed its down to our commitment and work ethic that will see us get to that goal, if you are not willing to put the hours in you need to consider is this right for you? There is NO short cut to being excellent in business and any successful business owner will tell you but with the work comes the rewards.

Creativity isn’t a magic thing; it’s a thing that you plan to achieve. It’s the thing that will get you up every morning working your business so that you can experience the life that you dream of.

Do share with me how you get your creative juices flowing

To your success

Kevin

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