Tag Archives: how-to’s

Zigzags, Progress, and Quiet Success

TL;DR: Sometimes, “aiming high” can unintentionally set you up to fail.  Setting the bar low and hitting it consistently can help you achieve more at a more realistic pace, and one you can sustain.

Background context:
Mass media and social media show the extremes because that gets the most attention. On one platform, bad news makes the news. On the other, you get highlight reels and pictures from the lives of friends, family, and the people you follow.  In both cases, you get the edited, minute versions of events, and miss the things that happen off-screen or behind-the-scenes. You only get the parts of the story they want you to see, not the whole picture.

The effect of regularly seeing highlight — or lowlight, as  in the case of the news — reels creates a false impressions of how things are, and how things ‘should’ be. In the case of doing business, for example, you’re pushed to be on your top game all the time, and to do so you have to follow a certain formula, follow a set of actions, or go for the ‘right’ kind of exposure to succeed. Anything else wouldn’t be worth the effort, and also beneath you. Go big or go home.

And if you don’t make it big, it’s all on you — because “if these people did it, you should be able to.” Highlight reels, right? That’s why it can be so unnecessarily pressure-filled to work towards your goals. Comparison is too easy. There’s tons of how-to’s and guides on sale to show you the way to greatness — you have no excuse to fail (Hah!)  Plus, if the nebulous ‘They’ did it, why can’t you? And when you can’t, the failures wears at you even  more.

Have you ever thought that instead of flying high, you could go low and slow, and still accomplish what you want to do?
Continue reading Zigzags, Progress, and Quiet Success

Getting ‘Pumped’: Productivity for Entrepreneurs

What does “priming the pump” mean to you?

A quick search would show that the idiom describes the act of putting in a little energy of your own to get the action started. You get the ball rolling, starting the momentum, by making the initial moves and investing some of your labor, by making a sincere effort to jump-start something into working, and do it well.

In an entrepreneur’s life,  priming the pump makes for good habits in the following ways: Going back to water, a suction pump– those old-fashioned types with the handle you had to pump out and down — required that you pour water down the pump to get the air out, restore the pressure, and form the vacuum necessary to start pulling up the water when you pump the handle.

In your case, it  means doing a little something before-hand to make it easy to start something bigger: whether it’s starting on a project, continuing with something you left off yesterday, or starting the work-day properly.

Priming the pump can mean many different kinds of actions, but basically boil down to you preparing the stage to take the next step in your work:

  • You clean up after you’re finished so you can start with a clean, neat work space the next day.
  • You take good, orderly notes and organize your actionables into logical batches so you’re not all over the place attending to them.
  • You devote a block of time solely for making cold calls, or research, or deep thinking about where you want to bring your business.
  • You ensure that you are not bothered by distraction, and so on.

 

How can this help you:
Priming the pump aims to serve a particular purpose. In the field of economics, the phrase “priming the pump” means to provide stimulus for the economy to function properly. And when we use it right, it works the same for  us. We do things to  push our chosen activities work properly. We become more productive at the things that matter to us, and get more value out of the work that we do. Continue reading Getting ‘Pumped’: Productivity for Entrepreneurs

The First 3 Steps To Starting An Online Business

One of the biggest obstacles to starting your own internet venture is the inability to get started. You very likely have a clear financial target in mind: You want to make money with this business, and to a secondary extent, you don’t want to lose all the money you currently have trying to get it up and running.

What can really gum up the works are all the possible solutions you can come up with as to how, what, where and why the business will succeed. The choices are endless, and their possible combinations, near-infinite. You can’t quite settle on just one or two choices to consider, you keep rating and ranking and comparing choices —right into paralysis. Why?

Because it’s easy to dream big. Dreaming is free. Joint ventures. Teleseminars. Blogging, maybe, hopefully, towards an eventual book deal. Money, fame, authority.

The images are so seductive, so shiny, that we can spend hours immersed in what-will-happen-when-I-get-rich. In the blink of an eye, we’re at the grand finish. We have a thriving, successful e-business.

And without any solid, real plans to explain how we got it.

Dreaming is free, and the problem is when you come up against the reality of the things you need to do to actually start. Faced with too many choices, we can fall into the trap of endless comparisons, cost-to-benefits ratios, etc. and never really start.

So here’s a simple plan to start an on-line business: Continue reading The First 3 Steps To Starting An Online Business

When Taking Action Threatens the Status Quo – Don’t Default

07 October 2011, by A. Cedilla

Status quo :

“The state of things; the way things are, as opposed to the way they could be; the existing state of affairs.”

“Status quo” is a different animal from “comfort zone”, although it’s very easy to take one for the other. You both get used to them, and they can help make you feel safe and stable. Just as you know the boundaries of your comfort zones, you know what keeps the status quo, and in both case your general approach is usually this: Don’t rock the boat. Just keep quo-ing.

You may have also heard this one quote about the definition of insanity : doing the same thing each time and expecting a different result. Repetition with the intent to change just isn’t possible; You give the same-old, same-old, you get the same-old, same-old. Period.

But if the status quo just isn’t doing it for you anymore and you’re desperate for a change, how do you get though without rocking the damn boat?

You don’t. Continue reading When Taking Action Threatens the Status Quo – Don’t Default

Five Psychic Tips to An Easier Morning

04 July 2011, by A. Cedilla

I’m going to tell you something you already know about making your mornings flow smoother. Ready?

To have an easy start to your day, create a system where you set up needed things the night before. This is the short, polite version of “Prior planning prevents piss-poor performance.”

Even in this economy, people’s lives have a way of establishing equilibrium. We’re hardy little survivors, we are, and life has a way of settling into a state of stability as we adjust to our new circumstances. And whether you’re a free-lance artist, a stay-at-home-parent, a line worker, an executive or an executive assistant, you have a work day: a time of day where you labor.

That equilibrium posits that you have a relatively steady life. For the most part, you can safely expect things to run on a certain schedule. You can assess and prep for the situations you expect, you can prepare the things you need for those events, and you have a hold on what’s going to happen in your regular workday and work week… that’s why you have routines.

Routines grow around things we need to do on a regular basis, everything from how you wake up and feed yourself in the morning, to the way you set up your office and desk, to the things you attend to first as you balance your workload, all the way down to your before-bed rituals.

You know what you’re going to do? Prepare the way for it to go smoothly.
You know what you want to happen? Set it up so it will.
You know what you need to do? Stop over-analyzing it and do it.
Continue reading Five Psychic Tips to An Easier Morning

How To Make Discipline A Habit

20 May 2011 , by A. Cedilla

Discipline is a habit that, like muscle, gets stronger the more often you use it.

Yeah, so that probably sounded all worn out and hokey, but it still stands. Aside from leaving you with a sense of accomplishment, discipline helps you grow: from “I don’t think that’s possible,” to “Well, yeah, I’ll try…” to “I did that? I did that. Whoa.”

Enough of this, you get a sense of strength you can’t get from just making plans, but from carrying them out to fruition.

Discipline builds self-confidence in your capability, your capacity to do things, and to get them done. You grow stronger in your good habits, and those habits stand stronger in their support of you. So how do you make discipline your strength? Continue reading How To Make Discipline A Habit

How To Create and Use A Compelling Goal

12 December 2010, by A. Cedilla

Compelling:

  • requiring urgent attention
  • forceful
  • convincing

Latin compellere, itself from com– ‘together’ + pellere ‘to drive.’ Read that little word out loud right now.

Feel those three syllables trip off your tongue: Compelling. Com-pel-ling. You just might find yourself tensing up, shoulders drawing high and closer to your ears. Compelling. Com-PELL. To be forced.

Forceful. Demanding attention. As if you don’t have enough demands for your time and attention and energy…you’re in charge here, by gum, you’re not falling for this frou-frou claptrap, like some namby-pamby statement on an insipid inspirational poster, one with that witless cat leering at you as it dangles from a tree branch.

A compelling goal? A COMPELLING GOAL? You have goals. You don’t need to be convinced.

…or DO you?
Continue reading How To Create and Use A Compelling Goal

How To Use Scheduled Reviews To Stay On Track With Your Goals

12 November 2010, by A. Cedilla

In previous articles here on the JRox.com blogs, we’ve mentioned the importance of goal-setting, and of using your priorities to reflect, guide and support the goals you make for yourself. Today, let’s talk about how to stay on track with your personal goals.

First of all, let ‘s start with the premise that all important goals are deeply personal.

Even if you work within a company, or live and function as part of an extended family, or have a nuclear family of your own, when you set goals that are important to you, it’s not just because these goals can help the company, or your family, or the other important people in your life.

The goals you set that you value are valuable precisely because they reflect dreams, desires and targets that you deem important. The fact that they also serve, say, the company or your loved ones, is a reflection of your priorities, and a very beneficial parallel.
Continue reading How To Use Scheduled Reviews To Stay On Track With Your Goals

How To Manage Impulsive Decisions

25 October 2010, by A. Cedilla

Generally speaking, hardly anyone has ever made it to the age of majority or moved past it without having made decision’s they’ve grown to regret.

For what it’s worth, the deep issue with making impulsive decisions does not just end with their results, which by themselves can’t be taken back, but lies with the control and discipline necessary to harness the impulses behind these decisions, and the willingness to learn from the aftermath.

Being able to control your impulses are tied in with you having important personal goals and a sense of direction…If you don’t know what you want, any old thing that catches your fancy can trip you up on you way to who knows where. And that’s sad.

Children and teens can get away with this to a certain extent because they’re still learning about themselves, and trying to find out how they fit in the world. Past a certain point, though, you just have to have learned enough to stand on your own and make an informed decision as to how and where your life will go. The great part of growing up is the mastery you can attain with every difficulty you conquer and every new skill you earn.

One important skill to master is to learn how to manage and control your impulses. But how?

Find the factors and environments that contribute to the most common impulsive decisions that keep tripping you up. Assess those factors. Then act to lessen their influence. Sounds simple, but in practice, it isn’t so easy. Continue reading How To Manage Impulsive Decisions