The Art of Reinventing Yourself

Madonna, Justin Bieber, Bill Clinton, Howie Mandel; these celebs and many more have embraced the art of personal reinvention.  You and I get to witness their transformative behavior in the media. 

However, real transformation, real reinvention of self is happening every day with good souls all around you.  The divorcee, the widow or widower, the empty nester, the bankrupt businessman, unhealthy people, and more are engaged in a journey of reinvention.

I don’t believe you have to experience a life-altering event to engage in a transformation or reinvention of yourself.  In fact, I believe reinvention takes place every day. It happens at a mental and emotional level and of course at a physical level. It happens at a cellular level every moment.  In fact, it is inevitable.

More of what it really takes:

Proactivity.  The true reinvention artist is always in search for a refinement to make a difference in their life.  There is an insatiable curiosity about the possibilities of what looms in the future for oneself.  Reinvention does not necessarily have to come as a result of a traumatic event.  In fact the best reinventions can be voluntary.  One simply decides that it is time to take a different road to get the most flavors from the meal of life.   Get training, coaching, mentoring or hang out with those who will hold you accountable for your new self.

Vulnerability.  I have learned from personal experience (of at least six colossal and pivotal events in my life thus far) that I had to be completely raw and open with the experience.  That doesn’t mean that I handled it well.  It just means that rawness, vulnerability, and wounds were exposed for what they were.  From this place of susceptibility came understanding.  Resistance to being candid with oneself creates additional emotional walls that prevent you from breaking through to the freedom of reinvention.Reinvent-yourselfVisionary. When you are clear there are tremendous growth benefits on the other side of the transformation, your reinvention is more palatable.  Perhaps a new body shape looms for you, or the lover of your dreams is around the corner.  Possibly an expansion in your business or the ability to finally work with your passions is your reward.  Peace of mind, depth of relationships, fitness, hidden talents or some new level of contribution could be your reward.  It is important to keep the pay-off foremost in your vision.

Perspective.  Reinvention is a chapter. It is a chapter in the book of your life.  Any discomfort during the process of alteration will pass in its due time.  A new set of beliefs, emotional muscles and neurological signals are wired into your soul.  The end result of your reinvention does not define you.  To reinvent or transform yourself in any genre takes courage, immense courage.  It takes bravado.  It takes commitment and it takes a deep willingness to roll with the punches and stand strong in your determination to change.

One more thought.  Reinvention does not mean you have discarded any part of you.  To me, it means you have taken all of the experiences in your life up to this point, poured them in a pot, stirred them up and created a new dish.  Same ingredients.  New dish.

What is your next reinvention?  Write me and share.

 

A Rant about the Five Myths of Women in Business..

As a Serial Entrepreneur, I think about stuff at a prosperous level…a level beyond the prejudices of common society.  Here’s an example:

I recently read an article at Forbes website.  These five myths about women in business are just plain old stupid if you ask me.  I’m glad they are classified as myths because I have personally found in all of the businesses that I have owned and operated,  those businesses would have been colossal flops if it were just left up to a bunch of men.

Myth 1.  Women belong barefoot and pregnant.  This phrasing alone is outdated and offensive.  The notion that a woman cannot operate smoothly as an entrepreneur because she also has family and household responsibilities is Neanderthal at best.  Men have as much responsibility in the family and household, yet they are not required to remain sweaty and in the garage.

Myth 2.  You can’t be cute and smart:   Let’s be candid.  Pretty people get in the door a bit quicker.  Research after research demonstrates that good looking people frequently get more opportunities than not.  And then when you open your mouth to contribute an idea, the rubber meets the road.  Smart people, savvy thinkers, creative minds, problem solvers and relationship builders sustain your business long after the lipstick wears off.  I don’t know one single successful entrepreneur who has built their business strictly on the way their people look (except maybe Playboy Inc.)   By the way, cute is as cute does.  Cuteness, beauty and attractiveness are much deeper than skin anyway.

Myth 3.  No girls allowed.  Business is for boys: Jessica Alba, Oprah Winfrey, Ginni Rometty (IBM), Sheryl Sandberg (FB), Rachael Ray, Martha Stewart, Venus and Serena Williams…need I go on?  That pretty much handles that myth.

Myth 4.  There’s no crying in business.  Here’s a news flash…women can be more emotional that men.  Well the real truth is that women tend to express their emotions more freely than men, especially in the Western culture.  They tend to lay their emotions out on the table much sooner than men.  It happens in their home life, their family life, their friendships, and guess what…in business too.  That does not make them weak, cry babies or inferior.  It just makes women more in touch with the way they feel about things.  Of the women that have been in my businesses, most were strong willed, determined and very expressive about the way things could be done in my companies.  I would welcome that sort of feedback.

Myth 5.  Math is hard for girls:  I’m not certain what the Forbes article meant by this.  However, in terms of intelligence, women and men bring their own brand of intellect to each task.  As an entrepreneur, I’m always in search for the best fit, the best person, with the best skill set and experience for the job at hand.  I am also in search for the individual who has the most motivation to get the job done.  A person’s intelligence quotient is only a portion of the requirement.  How about their emotional intelligence quotient?  How about their rapport with people they will work with on the job and with clients?  How about their creative quotient?  How about their integrity and honest quotient?

As you have probably determined, I have had very good experiences with women working in my companies.  Congratulations ladies.  Press on.

paulsig

 

 

 

 

 

 

The “F” Word In Business…

The many masks of feelings.

It is the most underused word in the realm of business language.  The “F” word can be harsh, intimidating, seemingly inappropriate and even disclose gaping vulnerability.

However, once implemented correctly…

“The “F” word will get you what you want.”

This “F” word I speak of does not rhyme with truck. In fact, I am referring to “FEELINGS”  For you business dudes, “feelings” is a particularly misunderstood word. I give credit to business dudettes for grasping the impact of this dynamic word.

You can over “anal” “ize” (analyze) your business to the point of stagnation. What that leaves are the feelings of…..well “feelings”.

Tips to tap into your feelings in your business:

  • Notice visceral changes in your gut.  Anytime you are experiencing a change in your mood due to a business situation, notice what transpires.  Was that feeling of sickness a result of the action or was there a queasy feeling about the situation initially?  Have you ever said, “I should have gone with my gut in the first place.”  Well, you should have.  Those were feelings.
  • Anchor in good vibrations when good things happen.  It works both ways.  Good feelings, good gut reactions produce good results.  When this takes place, feel free to celebrate and anchor in those good feelings.  This builds inner confidence in your future gut reactions.  Of course you need digital information to make decisions.  However, you rarely begin the information gathering process in the first place unless your gut told you it was at least a decent idea. So, reinforce the positive results of your experience.
  • Have an awareness that every once of energy you give out will produce corresponding results.  If you are going to give effort in business anyway, you may as well send out highly positive energy.  For example, if you FEEL that the big deal you just sold will be sabotaged before it closes, guess what will happen?  If you FEEL that your employees are going to screw you over, what is sure to take place?  If you FEEL that business is a fierce battlefield which results in leaving behind dead carcasses, what do you think your business relationships will look like?  On the other hand, if you FEEL that your business is going to thrive and that your associates and employees are productive and working toward the same harmonious goal, you stand a much better chance of that happening.
  • Give out good vibes and get good results.  It may seem PolyAnna, but just try it for three days.  In every business situation you anticipate, collect a bunch of really good thoughts and FEELINGS about those situations and see what happens.  Understand that you may not be an expert yet in FEELING your way through your business, but just test it for the hell of it.  What’s the worst that can happen?  You get what you’ve got now?  Or perhaps you may even get some great results?  Heaven forbid.
  • Walk in an uplifting gait.  It is the age old concept of act positive and get positive.  Walk into your office as though you are elated to be there.   Walk into that next business meeting like you are about to run the 100 meter dash in the Olympics.  Notice how the energy in the room or in the meeting changes immediately.
  • Notice your thought patterns about potential outcomes.  Take one simple situation this week and test it.  Let’s say you want to meet a prospective client at Starbucks for an introductory meeting, just to shake hands and build rapport.  However, you have been hesitant, likely because you don’t want the rejection or the potential failure.  Get really clear about your positive feelings down deep in your gut.  Place yourself mentally in a very uplifting, successful conversation with this business contact at Starbucks.  See it and believe it.  Then make the call.  At the meeting, continue to FEEL the success of the meeting. Let me know what happens.
  • Anticipate the best in every situation.  If there is even a shred of negativity or doubt about a business situation, you will be fighting an uphill battle.  You could potentially get what you want, however you’ll have many more obstacles along the way.  This is not to say that you will never encounter hurdles.  In fact, you may.  Those hurdles are also a sign of your feelings.  So just FEEL your way through those challenges as well.  When you set out to accomplish a thing, see and FEEL the very best happening in the situation.
  • Understand that everything you do has a consequence. Those consequences began with a FEELING. You had a FEELING that you would succeed. Or you had a FEELING that you would fail. The energy you give out is what you get back. Your internal thoughts AND FEELINGS become your external realities.

So really pay attention to how you FEEL  about things happening in your business.

See, the “F” word CAN be used in business.

Namaste.

paulsig

Turn the Mundane into the Sacred

Phil Jackson's Eleven Rings

Phil Jackson’s Eleven Rings

One of the books I am reading this week is Phil Jackson’s “Eleven Rings”. In his book he speaks of…

“Turning the Mundane into the Sacred.”

Jackson specifically applies it to the basketball court.  However, I started thinking about this principle in terms of everyday business and life.  Your business (and your life for that matter) may at times turn into a routine, almost primitive set of soul numbing behaviors. Bear in mind it doesn’t have to, but sometimes it just happens.

Be keenly aware of how you move through your day with these tips:

Say hello to everyone you see.  This simple act creates a great deal of variety in that you never know what kind of response you are going to receive.  It breaks the monotony of focusing only on yourself and/or your problems.

• Smile as you greet people and look them in the eyes.  Here’s a novel idea…smile.  It takes 26 muscles to smile and 62 muscles to frown.  Less effort, better results.  Who doesn’t want that?

Have an uplifting tone in your voice on phone calls.  The tone of your voice can make or break a conversation over the phone.  The minute you pick up the phone, body language disappears, and your tone of voice and the words you use become the entire story.

• Say thank you to every customer, prospect or co-worker.  This simple act of appreciation allows your work to be sacred and and turns your day into an adventure.  Do you realize how surprised people are when you genuinely express appreciation?

• Listen intently for 30 seconds to the other person in your conversations before you ever utter a word.  Focus exclusively on what the other person is saying in your conversation.  Imagine you have a blank canvas in your mind and you are having it painted only by the other person’s words.  Avoid the rebuttal mentality.  In other words, don’t think about what you are going to say next.  Just listen.

• Ask someone how they are doing…and mean it.  Has anyone ever asked you how you are doing and once you tell them, they proceed with telling you all about their plight in life?  It happens all the time.  If you are going to ask the question, expect to respond to the answer of the other person.

• Step outside of your routine today and do something slightly different.  Eat at a different sandwich shoppe.  Drive to work on a different route.  Don’t Facebook as much, or Facebook a little bit more.  Just do something different to experience the variety of life.

• Send one “Hey, what’s up?” email to an acquaintance for no reason at all.  Surprise yourself and someone else by sending them an email or text out of the blue.  Ask how they are doing and then apply that bullet point above.

• Listen to some baroque music…click here for a sample.  This one will challenge most of you, especially if you are a fan of Pit Bull, Metallica, or Tobey Keith.  Research it.  You will find that baroque music has stimulus effect on the mind, allowing more creative thought processes.

Understand that everything you do has a consequence. The energy we give out is what we get back. Your internal thoughts become your external realities.  Every action that you take is a result of a deep seated thought process you regularly engage in.  If you are experiencing success and happiness, that is because you believe you earned it.  If you are experiencing frustration, it is because you deeply believe you deserve it.  Don’t be a victim.  Take control of your own destiny by managing your thought patterns.

The actions listed above help set into motion an energy of good thought patterns.  They turn the mundane into the sacred.

It is all sacred. It is all WHO YOU ARE.

Wishing you sacredness today,

Namaste

paulsig

 

Ps.  Other books I am reading right now include:

Wishes Fulfilled by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay

The Bible by The Universe (well specifically the book of John)

 

Are you Branded as a Leader?

In my Get-a-Grip Business Radio show tomorrow, you will find out what branding is really all about.  Watch this short video to get a glimpse into the show.

Also, my co-host, Heather Vale Goss has a special set of questions to ask our guest, Michelle Van Otten about women in business as leaders and influencers.

FIRST TEN COMMENTS TO THIS BLOG GET A FREE 30-MINUTE EVALUATION FROM MICHELLE.

Here is Michelle’s top 10 list of why you should review your brand.

  1. Your brand is critical for your success in everything you do and build, and in how you show up everywhere you do business.
  2. You have 1/20th of a second (not 7 seconds!) to make your best first impression based on the visual image presented to your market or ideal client.
  3. People buy YOU first before they even think of buying your products or services. The brand of you is the make it or break it difference between success and failure.
  4. You are your company…you are your number one asset and CEO of You, Inc. You are worth investing in!
  5. Your people care about 2 things: the energy you give off and the experience you create for them. Period.
  6. You are the message and the reflection of your mission and the way you communicate the right language matters most to convey value and worth.
  7. You brand needs to be designed and developed to speak to your brand archetype and your client avatar.
  8. Change is crucial for growth…Sometimes we resist and hold on to what isn’t serving our clients or us.
  9. You can learn how to enter a room, a meeting or networking situation and literally light it up with the magnetism and “It Factor” that draws your clients to you.
  10. With increased competition you must learn how to position your brand today!

FIRST TEN COMMENTS TO THIS BLOG GET A FREE 30-MINUTE EVALUATION FROM MICHELLE.

Tune in Friday May 3 at 2:00pm PDT live from Las Vegas at www.PaulMontelongoLive.com.

Take great care,

paulsig

Prostitutes and the Priesthood…

What the heck does “Prostitutes and the Priesthood” have to do with anything in business?  Unless of course you are in that kind of business.

In this video I discuss the importance of “Prostitutes and the Priesthood” subject line.  I lay out four strategies for how to best use social media for your business.

Also, I introduce my guest this week, Warren Whitlock, for the Paul Montelongo Business Show.

Block out Friday afternoon, April 26 at 2:00pm PDT to join me live from Las Vegas as I interview Warren on the importance of Social Media in your business and how to best use its power.

www.PaulMontelongoLive.com at 2:00pm PDT, Friday April 26.

To your success.

paulsig

Social Media Business 101

Just had a hardcore business conversation with my guest for this week.  Warren Whitlock is an expert on the impact of Social Media in business…Here are some thoughts from that conversation.

The historical progression of business sounds a little like this:

  1. Get on your horse and travel from town to town letting people know you sell gun holsters.
  2. Paint a sign on your store front that you are a barber.
  3. Pick up the landline phone and call prospects.
  4. Send out a flyer in the mail and get .003% return.
  5. Create a promotional cassette recording.

You get the point….The way we promote business and products today is highly influenced by all aspects of social media, i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Websites, YouTube, etc.

In order to get new clients in 2013, you MUST:

  1. Actually have a presence in social media.  The basics include Facebook, Website, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn.
  2. Engage your friends and followers with meaningful content.  Include tips, strategies, concepts that will actually benefit them in their business or life.  Note: “Woke up this morning and discovered I was out of toilet paper”…is not meaningful content.
  3. Encourage them to interact with you by asking questions and communicating back with them.
  4. Empower them to share your thoughts with their friends and fans.  Meaningful content accomplishes this.  For example, if your restuarant has happy hour each evening, let followers know to bring a friend to share drinks.
  5. Follow up with personal messages, posts, tweets and emails.  When a follower reaches out and takes advantage of your offer, he/she is a consumer wanting more of what you have.  Business 101….follow up.

I find it interesting that business owners want to complicate their marketing with the latest greatest whiz bang social media tools.  Tools are only as good as the way you use them.  The fundamentals of business remain in tact.

  • Communicate with prospects and build a trusting relationship.
  • Offer something of value.
  • Stay connected with them to foster the relationship.
  • Follow up with good customer service.

What’s so difficult about that?

Listen to the show at www.PaulMontelongoLive.com on Friday April 26, at 2:00pm PDT.

To your success,

paulsig

Afraid of fear?

So what’s the big deal about fear?  General Patton said, “There is a time to take counsel of your fears, and there is a time to never listen to your fear.”  Fear is a healthy, normal human emotion.  Success is born from your proper management of fear.

Consider these tools for fear management:

Take a moment and breathe deeply.

The simple act of pausing to inhale and exhale for one minute can calm the nerves to allow you to think clearly about the situation in front of you.  The feeling of fear can restrict blood and oxygen flow to the brain.  Deep breathing puts your physiology back in balance quickly.

Assess the reality of the moment.

What is really going on?  What is generating the feeling of fear?  Is the picture in your mind bigger than it needs to be?  Are other people around you perpetuating a fearful feeling in you?  Have you had other similar experiences that have proven successful in spite of a moment of fear?  A simple reality check is worth it.

Ask, “What’s the worst that could happen?”

Back to that picture in your mind…frequently the scenario we play out in our head is much worse than what really will happen.  “So what”, if the client says no to your sales pitch…NEXT.  The audience is not really going to throw rotten tomatoes at you during that speech you are giving.  Your children will be just fine in the future if they don’t make straight “A’s” this semester (as long as you teach them the life lesson that goes along with that).  You get the point.  The images in your mind of doomsday events typically are over magnified.

Answer that question honestly.

You are not going to die.  You are not going to live an existence of poverty.  You are not going to lose all self respect.  You are not going to be abandoned by friends and family.  You are not going to go broke.  You are not going to end up in jail or in the hospital.  However, let’s imagine for a moment that any one of the above could happen.  Short of death, all of the above are only temporary conditions, if you choose.  And even the idea of death may not be the worst that can happen, based on your spiritual beliefs.  The point is for you to be forthright with yourself about potential consequences of allowing fear to immobilize you.

Believe that every decision is a learning experience.

This may be the best thing that you can possibly believe with regard to fear.  Every moment, every decision, every choice, every situation can result in a positive learning experience.  You learn what to do and what not to do with each experience.  And though the emotional intensity is deep sometimes, the outcome after an event tends to temper the depth of long-term emotion.

Get ample information.

This tip is tricky.  Why?  Because gathering information can get the point that it may freeze you in your fear.  Information gathering is done for the expressed purpose of knowing how to move forward.  Information overload can result in procrastination.  Get the facts and make a quick decision based on those facts without over-Anal-izing the situation.

Embrace the moment of choice.

“Give me the ball.”  This sports analogy says volumes about embracing any potentially fearful event.   The simple act of deciding to face a challenge can give you so much personal power that fear will fade into the background of your psyche. When you decide to accept the moment, all other options of failure shrink to a miniscule thought.

Mentally convert the idea of fear to excitement.

When you actually use the word fear, you will experience more fear.  Language switching can be very useful.  Fear will become excitement. Fear can become anticipation.  Fear can become an experience.  Fear can convert to challenge.  Fear can be switched to joy, cheerfulness, craziness, etc.  Use transformational words that work for you in lieu of the word fear.

Be in love with the idea that you feel something.

Heaven forbid if you actually have feelings like a real human being.       Own the feelings you are having.  They are normal.  After owning the feeling, manage it with any of the above strategies.  Each time you manage your fears efficiently and successfully, you build a strong emotional fear-management muscle.

To your success,

Paul Montelongo

Ps.  Watch last week’s show here.  A fantastic interview about negotiation, lying and winning more sales.

 

The E’s and R’s of Creating a Strategic Promotional Plan

My parents raised 8 “fairly” well balanced productive children on a very simple philosophy. Dad used to say, “The only thing that matters is the E’s and the R’s.”

I will tell you what the E’s and the R’s represent at the end of this Article. In the mean time, see if you can guess what it might be as you read through the following principles.

If you have been with me any length of time, either by email, in my seminars or on telephone coaching calls, or in this column you know that I preach the simplicity of marketing and I believe this with all of my internal fiber.

The challenge with most business owners is they believe that effective marketing plans cost way too much money and yield too few results. Oh, to the contrary.

Let’s keep it simple in this column. Here are three very basic principles for staying ahead of the marketing game. Regardless of the specific strategy you employ, these principles must apply for you to have any measure of marketing effectiveness.

1. Chunk down your strategic plan. While you must have a long term vision for your marketing plan, you must break it down to bite size chunks. First, see your plan as an annual project, then chunk it down to how you will implement it on a monthly basis. Looking at a big project in twelve little nuggets will help you keep focused and on-task with your big marketing picture. Create and do at least one specific strategy every 30 days.

Here is a resource that you should get to fully understand what I mean. “Growing Your Business” by Mark Leblanc is a book that I have read and studied at least four times. I have notes in the margins of almost every page of my copy. The book is only 77 pages long and takes about forty five minutes to read and it is about $8. But I think this guy should sell it for $800. It is worth it.

2. Change your identity. No matter what business you think you are in, I will bet you a Starbucks Vente’ Caramel Macchiato that you aren’t really in that business. You are not a contractor, a supplier, a vendor, a CPA, a plumber or anything close. You are in the marketing business. That person that looks back at you in the morning in the mirror should say, “How is the world’s greatest marketer today?”

The moment you assume the identity that you are in the marketing and promotional business, your contracting business will explode through the roof. This requires a change of personal identity. Here is my 10-day challenge to you. For the next 10 days, every time someone ask you what you do, say…”I am in the marketing and promotion business.” Say it with total conviction and assertiveness. You will experience a change in your mentality that will transform your business.

(By the way, if you decide to accept my challenge and actually do it, you will be able to treat yourself to your own Vente’ Caramel Macchiato. Really!)

3. Consistency is the key. A regular strategic plan must be done on a regular basis. Your prospective clients must be continually exposed to your marketing efforts. They may not buy today or tomorrow, but when they are ready to buy, your name will pop into their brain immediately.

If you consistently sow the seeds of your advertising, you will reap rich rewards. It takes commitment and regularity. It also takes dedication and persistence.

Walt Disney said, “Get a good idea and stick to it. Dog it until it is right.”

And with Walt’s words, I will return to the E’s and the R’s. Dad still says the only thing that matters is not giving Excuses, just produce Results.

Develop Your Personal Excellence Transform your life and your business

There is a powerful shift taking place in this country regarding the long-term success of business. The traditional mindset of focusing only on increasing the size of your bank account is being counterbalanced with the importance of developing Personal Excellence. The premise: In order for your long-term business success to have a chance, your personal life skills must be in good shape. In the construction business, this area is often neglected. Your personal foundation must be as strong as the foundations that support the buildings and homes you build. Personal excellence is attained with your dedication to constant and never ending improvement in every area of life. It involves a resolution to search out new and advanced ways to expand your individual identity and refine your personal skills. Dedicating time to be in the Personal Excellence Gymnasium will have a transforming effect on your life and your business. The most successful individuals in society are those living a balanced life. Here are the three primary areas on which to focus in the pursuit of personal excellence.

Personal Balance

Balance must be attained with the condition of your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health. The balancing act can be tricky. These areas are so closely related to each other that when one is out of balance, all are effected. Scientific research is overwhelming when it comes to the connection between the mind and the body. Add to this the fact that events in life occur that create imbalance. This is part of the natural ebb and flow of life. The commitment to Personal Excellence requires an ongoing awareness of what is working and what areas need help.

You probably already have a good idea of what works for you in your life in order to have personal balance. The question is…Are you doing what it takes to balance your life? There is no need to wait until the agony of being out of balance forces you to take action. If one area of your life is out of whack, it may require some concentrated effort to bring it up to the level of the other areas. I recommend that you get life coaching or private counseling from someone who excels in the area in which you are lacking. Consider this an investment in your personal balance.

Communication Skills

Your ability to effectively communicate and build lasting rapport with people will transform your life and your business. Do you want to get full price for your service or product? Demonstrate that you are honest, trustworthy and that you are serving the needs of your client. Communicate to your client that there is enormous value in your service. They will pay full price and they will also reward you with repeat business and direct referral leads for new customers.

You would think this is a no-brainer. However, a lack of quality communication continues to be the most common reason for customer challenges in the construction industry. Having good communication skills relates to personal balance. When your life is out of balance, you tend to bring that baggage to work. It adversely affects your employees and clients. Instead of listening to the needs of your employees and clients, you may be using them for your personal therapy. A tough statement, I know, but check it out for yourself. If you frequently have challenges with people, take a close look at your style of communication. Acquiring personal balance allows you to focus on the needs and desires of those with whom you interact. Listening to, and acknowledging the other person validates their worth. It puts you in control of the outcome and sets you both up for an “everyone wins” transaction.

Invest In Yourself

In order to have personal balance and exquisite communication skills, you must invest in yourself. Your excellence expands every time you invest in your personal development. There are many ways to do this. Attend a personal development seminar. Listen to a communication skills cassette tape or CD. Read an autobiography of a successful person. Watch an inspirational videotape. Create or join a mastermind group. Hire a personal or professional “life coach”. Volunteer your time and expertise to a worthy cause for those less fortunate in our society. The point is to do something and do it on a regular basis. Continually investing in your personal worth will pay huge dividends in your personal life and in your business. Make a commitment today to put yourself in the Personal Excellence Gymnasium on a regular basis.

This is an area about which I am most passionate. My articles and audio-tape series, “Become the Contractor of Choice” emphasize business success strategies for today’s contractor. In addition, I am certain that all of the business strategies in the world don’t mean a thing if your life is a mess. I believe that your long-term business success is directly related to your commitment to Personal Excellence. There is no separation of the two. It may be challenging at times. It may not seem as though one relates to the other. It may mean taking an honest look at yourself. It may not seem like you are making progress at times. However, when you make a decision to put yourself in the Personal Excellence Gymnasium and work at it consistently, the muscles get stronger and more defined. I also believe that anything you set your mind to will take place, if you just allow it.

Until we have the honor to meet in person, remember, “Success is YOUR choice, choose well.”