Are You A Merchant?

Are you a Merchant?
Are you a Merchant?

Do you love helping people and always have great ideas?

Do you get energized being around others and inspiring them?

Have you ever felt like you didn’t fit in the corporate world?

Then you may be a Merchant in the Core Values Index (CVI) personality assessment. Click here to take the assessment.

The Importance of Your Personality Type

When you understand your greatest strengths and what energizes you most at work, you learn how to leverage that in every aspect of your life.

Your confidence increases and you know how to talk about yourself more effectively and what you bring to the table.

When read my CVI results, I felt understood for the first time. Even though I knew some of my strengths, to see them on paper was extremely validating.

It gave me the confidence to step into them and acknowledge that I am really good at those things.

Many of my clients have told me that it has helped them speak up at work, about what they will and won’t do, and has empowered them to be more discerning in job and client interviews.

Why should you read this if you’re not a Merchant?

Because you probably know someone who is one; it may be a family member, a work colleague, an employee or a client.

When you understand how someone is wired, you have more compassion for them, and know how to deal with them more effectively.

When I got certified in the CVI, my whole family took it. It was interesting to watch my kids listen to their results video. I could see them both sitting up taller when they heard about their strengths.

When my daughter Naomi discovered she was a Builder/Merchant, she learned she’s a leader. Having always been the smallest in her class, she never thought of herself that way. But after reading her results, she realized that she is a natural leader. And it boosted her confidence!

Merchants

First, we will do an overview of Merchants, what their biggest challenges are, strategies to overcome their challenges and tips for working with them. Then we’ll review the three types: Merchant/Innovators, Merchant/Builders and Merchant/Bankers.

Who They Are

  • Merchants build relationships and are highly intuitive visionaries.
  • They see the big picture and possibilities for the future that others can’t and are good at motivating people toward opportunities.
  • They excel at selling and nurturing long term client relationships.
  • They’re good at creating and being open to new ideas, and aren’t afraid to take risks.
  • They are enthusiastic leaders who naturally attract people to them and like being in charge of others’ lives.
  • Being valued and recognized for their work is very important to them.
  • They love to talk and learn well in groups by exchanging ideas with others.
  • The corporate world can be challenging unless they have a lot of freedom to be creative or if they’re in a really positive work environment.

Three Types of Merchants

Let’s go over the three types of Merchants: Merchant/Innovators, Merchant/Builders, and Merchant/Bankers. See if you can identify anyone in your life who may be one of these types.

Merchant/Innovators

  • Many entrepreneurs are Merchant/Innovators because they love helping people and are highly creative.
  • They lead with vision combined with creative solutions and love to build teams and systems.
  • They can sell anything because they build long term relationships and understand their customers’ needs.
  • Merchant/innovators like appreciation and recognition for their humanity and solutions. They are charming and naturally attract people to them.
  • Merchant/innovators thrive in a positive team environment. They are excellent teachers and can create a motivating learning environment.
  • Good accountability partners for them are builders who will push them to “get it done,” and bankers who will vet their ideas for risk.

Biggest challenges of Merchant/Innovators:

  1. Saying no- They don’t like hurting people’s feelings or letting anyone down so they end up overcommitting and having no time for themselves. As a result, they will sacrifice their own well-being for people they love.
  2. Their emotions can easily influence them
  3. New ideas distract them- they want to move on to new projects instead of finishing ones they’ve started.
  4. They dislike doing detail-oriented work– They may put off this type of work to the last minute.

Strategies for Merchant/Innovators:

  1. Learn to say no before committing to things. Even telling someone “Let me think about that and get back to you” can save them from overcommitting.
  2. Create clear boundaries around their time. Schedule the most important things for their own self-care first and honor their calendar. Put their needs first and be self-considerate.
  3. Give themselves time before making big decisions- They can make hasty decisions, especially if they’re in a big inspiring group. They need a day to sleep on it before committing to something big.
  4. Schedule everything and honor their commitments. If it’s not scheduled, it won’t get done. With detail-oriented tasks, they may have a strong urge to put it off because they dislike that type of work.
  5. Hire help. As a small business owner, they should hire people to do detail-oriented work like a bookkeeper or a virtual assistant.

Strategies for Working with Merchant/Innovators:

  1. Give them deadlines. They will honor them because they don’t want to disappoint anyone.
  2. Establish clear working hours and how you want to communicate with them. Merchant/Innovators come up with ideas in the middle of the night and will want it started immediately. Create clear boundaries and expectations around your time and availability.
  3. Follow up on large projects. They will be excited in the beginning of a project, then they may fall off track. Have regular check-ins with them to make sure they stay on task. Use a platform like Trello to keep in contact with them regularly to update them on your progress, and you can assign them their tasks and deadlines as well.
  4. Show your appreciation for them. A kind word, email or a thank you will go a long way in building and maintaining your relationship with them.

Merchant/Builders

  • Merchant/builders are high energy leaders who are highly capable of developing teams and getting people to take action.
  • They act on their instincts and have an incredible faith in their abilities to get things done.
  • Aligning their vision with taking action and building solid relationships makes them powerful. They generate bottom line results.
  • Merchant/builders need to have people around to share their vision with and people to direct. They are also great at teaching and delivering an inspiring learning environment.
  • They are high risk takers, are generally pretty confident and aren’t afraid to talk in front of crowds or be on video.
  • When you need someone who’s going to roll up their sleeves and get to work, a merchant/builder is the best person for the job.

Biggest challenges of Merchant/Builders:

  1. Working too hard- They don’t like saying no so they will do everything for everyone and can easily burn out.
  2. They can be very emotional- They can be really happy or easily upset and can have a hard time controlling or hiding their emotions.
  3. Being impatient and easily frustrated- When things take too long to finish or when they don’t see results for themselves quickly.
  4. Making time for themselves- Getting everything done can make them overlook their own health and well-being.

Strategies for Merchant/Builders:

  1. Set a clear start and finish time to their work day and stick to it. They should not work past their set times, unless it’s a true emergency. Other people’s urgent tasks shouldn’t sway them. They need to remember their priorities and learn to say no.
  2. Have patience when working with others, especially creatives like Innovator-Merchants and Merchant-Innovators. Lighten their expectations on completion times and respect other people’s boundaries around their personal time.
  3. Schedule their self-care time first, and honor their commitment to themselves. Prioritizing their own well-being is as important as getting the job done. Then they will show up as the best version of themselves which benefits them and everyone else in their lives.

Strategies for working with Merchant Builders:

  1. Don’t be late for deadlines. Be on time and communicate.
  2. If you make a mistake, own up to it and and fix the problem. Don’t make a bunch of excuses.
  3. Set clear boundaries around when you’re available. They can want things done immediately. Clearly establish your working hours from the start.

Merchant/Bankers

  • Merchant/bankers are highly visionary and have a good balance of taking risks and measuring how to protect against risk. They like having data and information for safety and to prevent losing their resources.
  • Team building, handling small details and following through are where they excel.
  • They provide detailed knowledge, especially in risky situations where follow-through is essential. 
  • Merchant/bankers are good at dreaming and heading toward a brighter future, and are constantly looking for ways to assure longevity and cash strength, which can make them successful entrepreneurs.
  •  They can keep a lot of balls in the air and can go after more opportunities and have something to show for it in the long haul.
  • When long-term relationships and long-term results are the desired outcome, a merchant/banker can provide a positive outcome.

Biggest challenges of Merchant/Bankers

  1. Being impatient- they always have great ideas that they want to implement right away and sometimes don’t want to wait
  2. Self-sabotaging their ideas- Sometimes they end up doubting their creative ideas and playing devil’s advocate against themselves
  3. Having mood swings- they can feel inspired and fired up one day and then quickly switch to being frustrated and indecisive

Strategies for Merchant/Bankers

  1. Find an accountability partner who’s an Innovator who you can bounce ideas off of
  2. Do a morning practice with affirmations
  3. Have a mastermind group with a good mix of people with different personality types

Strategies for working with Merchant Bankers

  1. Have open communication with them
  2. If you make a mistake, just own up to it and fix the problem. Don’t make excuses.
  3. Recognize their work and show your appreciation of them.
  4. Give them facts and data, and don’t take too long.

Conclusion

If you are a Merchant, your gift is building relationships and creating solutions and opportunities for the future.

You are a natural leader and attract others to you, and have the ability to inspire and motivate people to action.

Your challenges are putting yourself first and making time for yourself. Be sure and schedule time for your self-care every day first before anything else, and honor your calendar.

By understanding your greatest strengths and what inspires you most at work, you will start to live a life of purpose and creating the most value of your gifts with the world.

Are You Being Selfish or Self-Considerate?

Do you have a hard time saying no to others?

The Definition of Selfish

Remember the movie A Christmas Carol? It was based on the story by Charles Dickens about Ebenezer Scrooge, who is a rich, selfish old miser who doesn’t share anything, including love. The spirit of Christmas Future shows Scrooge his future of having no one who cares about him, even at his death. Upon seeing this, he realizes the error of his ways and becomes a changed man. He goes on to make a large donation to a charity, gives his employee Bob Cratchit a raise, and spends the afternoon with his estranged family.

It doesn’t paint a pretty picture of being selfish, does it?

The definition of selfish is: lacking consideration for others; being concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.

It’s probably safe to say that being selfish has a negative connotation to it. We call children selfish if they don’t want to share their toys or our partner if they won’t share a bite of their favorite dessert.

But is it being selfish if you don’t want to share your time? Is there a word that describes when someone chooses to say no to a commitment or an opportunity because they value their own time more? Or when someone has clear boundaries around themselves and sticks to it? Unfortunately, there isn’t a word for that. Therefore I’d like to suggest that we use the word “self-considerate” until someone comes up with one.

The Definition of Self-Considerate

Being self-considerate means to put yourself first before the needs of others. This makes many people feel uncomfortable. As a result, they end up putting themselves last, and doing things for everyone else instead. This leads to overcommitment, feeling overwhelmed, having no time for themselves and many other problems in their personal lives: their health, relationships with their partner or family, and a general unhappiness with life.

Being self-considerate means to put yourself first before the needs of others.

What happens when we’re not being self-considerate?

  • We say yes to things that we don’t really want to do
  • The most important things in our business get delayed
  • We overcommit when we’re already very busy
  • Our health, self-care personal relationships get neglected
  • We feel resentful towards others and regret our choices
  • We feel stressed and overwhelmed
  • Our health, relationships and happiness begin to decline

Now that we know all the possible consequences, how can we let go of this stigma that it’s not okay to be self-considerate and start putting ourselves first?

We can start by looking at all the benefits we’ll see when we are self-considerate.

The Benefits to Being Self-Considerate

Warren Buffett once said, “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” I agree with this statement when we’re referring to all the little tasks and non-essential commitments that distract us from the really important things we need to get done. We need to become experts in prioritizing the most important things we need to do daily and weekly in our personal lives and in our business that give us the most return.

What this does NOT refer to is saying no to things that scare you. Those are usually the things where the magic happens. I’ve learned that if it scares me, it probably means I really need to do it. Consequently it usually ends up being less scary than I thought, and leads to a huge return in the end.

Being self-considerate is like putting on your own oxygen mask first.

It’s creating boundaries around your most valuable asset- your time. As a result, you’ll learn how to prioritize the most important things in your life.

Here are some benefits to being self-considerate:

  • Increased traction in your work or business
  • More time to enjoy life
  • Time for taking care of your mental, physical and spiritual health
  • Improved relationships
  • Increased confidence
  • Feeling happier and greater life satisfaction
  • Overall increased success at work and in life

It seems like a no brainer that’s it’s good to be self-considerate, right?

The challenging part is training ourselves to put this into practice every day, and to learn the skills to say no politely and firmly. Once you learn how and start applying it, you’ll see the benefits in your life which will reinforce the positive results for being self-considerate.

How Is It Serving You?

A great strategy to start becoming more self-considerate is to look at your current commitments and ask yourself, “How is it serving you?”

When you ask yourself this question, you should take a few things into consideration. Look at the value you get in return from the following aspects:

Financial– Does this commitment lead to financial gain in the future, in the form of actual leads or creating worthwhile connections? How much are the monthly dues and how much time are you putting in monthly versus the income you’ve gained on average per month? If you’re not netting a positive number for the year, it’s time to rethink your commitment

Emotional/Mental– Does being in the group uplift or inspire you? Do you learn new things and get great information that helps your personal or business development?

Relational– Have you formed fulfilling or important relationships for yourself or your family? Have you made wonderful friends?

Spiritual– Does it fill a spiritual need for you?

Client Story

I had a client who was extremely overwhelmed with her small business. She was working crazy hours at night and on weekends, then had to spend her waking hours working on her business. As a result, she was burning the candle at both ends and was desperate for help to get her life back.

On one of our calls, I asked her how many committees she was serving on. She was currently on six, and had been asked to be on the leadership team for one of them. She said even though she was good at leadership, it was very time consuming, and she always felt guilty for saying no.

I asked her how each of the committees was serving her. She thought about it and realized that most of them didn’t have a good return and took up a lot of her time. She ended up letting go of three of the committees immediately, and declining the leadership position as well. In doing so, she got back so much time in her schedule, she started doing a morning practice devoted just to herself. She started reading books for pleasure again. As a result, she reported that not only was she a lot happier, but her relationship with her husband improved as well because she had more time to spend with him.

Who Loses When You’re Not Self-Considerate?

Many people who are “people pleasers” think that by helping everyone else, that makes them a good person. They believe that the only person who suffers when they overcommit is themselves. But in reality, everyone in their life is affected. When you put others’ needs before your own, you’re not left with any time or energy for yourself or the people closest to you. Your patience is lowered and your stress level is higher. As a result, your business, your health and your relationships begin to suffer. All this trickles down to everyone you interact with, and usually results in you not acting as your best self. In the end, you feel guilty and try to make up for it, which leads to even less time for yourself.

Who Benefits When You’re Self-Considerate

The largest beneficiary of being self-considerate is you. Not only will you feel happier because you’re not committing to things you don’t want to do, but you have more time and energy to take care of yourself and your business. As a result, you feel better and become happier. This leads to you being more productive and efficient. Then, you start showing up as the BEST version of yourself to your loved ones, your coworkers, your employees and your potential clients. Everyone wins!

How To Say No Nicely

If you’ve taken the CVI personality assessment and you’re a Merchant, one of the hardest things for your personality type is saying no. I used to have a big problem with this, but I’ve learned some strategies that have made it easier. Make sure it’s clear that it’s a forever no. If not, you may be leaving the door open for them to ask you again.  So, if someone asks you to do something that you’d rather not do, here are some polite yet firm responses.

One of the biggest problems for Merchants is our desire to make people like us, so we often agree to things before thinking it over.

If you are asked in person to commit to something, respond with, “Let me think about it and get back to you.”

That buys you some time to think before your immediate impulse to say yes. If they follow up, you can answer them by email with the following strategy.

  • First, say something positive about what they are trying to enlist your help for.
  • Then, politely decline without leaving the door open for coming back and asking you again.

For example: “That’s so wonderful that you’re the chair for the welcome committee again this year! Thank you so much for asking me to join. Unfortunately, due to my other commitments, I’m going to have to decline.”

That’s it. Don’t add anything else like, “But maybe next time” or make up a story why you can’t do it. In doing this you’re making it easier for them to move on and not keep hope alive that you’ll change your mind. You’re giving both of you the greatest gift of a clear NO. You’ll feel like a huge weight has been lifted off you! And you won’t regret it when you hear how they had to stay until midnight doing the place cards and you were treating yourself to some much-needed downtime!

Conclusion

When you become self-considerate, all aspects of your life will start to improve.

Even though it’s a little uncomfortable to do at first, when you become disciplined about doing it, you’ll see how much more time you have to focus on the most important things in your business and your life. Consequently, your health and relationships will improve, your business will get more traction and your overall life happiness will rise.

Take the first step to being self-considerate and see how it improves your life!

Is Your Personality Type Helping or Hurting You?

Is your personality helping or hurting you?
Are you leveraging your strengths, or are you derailing your success?

How well do you know your personality type?

Are you the person who’s a dreamer? The one who always has a lot of great ideas, but has trouble putting them into action?

Do you talk about the big project you’re working on that’s always getting delayed because you want it to be perfect?

Maybe you’re a workaholic who works nonstop and never takes time for themselves?

Perhaps you’re the person who is so scared to take risks that they’ve been in the same role for years, even though you don’t enjoy your job anymore?

If any of these descriptions resonate with you, chances are you may not be aware of how your personality type could be holding you back.

How well do you know yourself?

When I was asked this in the past, I didn’t have a good answer. I had a general idea that I was good at making connections and that I had a knack for reading people. I’d taken some personality tests in the past like Myers Briggs, but my results seemed to change every time so they didn’t seem accurate.

I’d never sat down to evaluate my greatest strengths until my coaching certification training.  We had to take several different personality tests and two tests in particular- the Core Values Index and Strengths Finder helped me see myself in an entirely different light. When you see your strengths clearly outlined on paper, it’s like a lightbulb goes off. You think, “Oh yeah! I AM really good at that!” When I learned about my personality type, the clearer it became to me how to focus on doing the things I’m best at to grow my business more effectively. The best part is that it led to greater work life balance because I learned to stop doing the things I wasn’t good at or didn’t like to do.

When you see your strengths clearly outlined on paper, it’s like a lightbulb goes off. You think, “Oh yeah! I AM really good at that!”

The Core Values Index Assessment (the CVI)

The CVI Assessment was originally designed for companies to give their employees to make sure they were in the right seats at work based on their personality type. It shows what people’s greatest strengths are, and what energizes and motivates them most at work. By understanding this, employers could make sure they were leveraging each employees’ talents to the greatest of their abilities. They would know what types of tasks each employee should focus on that they were best at and enjoyed doing. This led to higher productivity and efficiency, greater engagement and increased fulfillment at work. As a result, businesses could see increased bottom lines and fewer missed days of work.

How the CVI can help you feel understood

After taking the CVI assessment, it was the first time I felt understood. I finally realized why I’d never fit in the corporate world and why I’d never felt happy in the typical 9 to 5 workday. I’d always thought there was something wrong with me. Now I know my personality type and that I’m born to be an entrepreneur. Not only have I found a career in coaching that I absolutely love, but I’ve had greater success in this job than in any other I’ve had in the past.

Take the CVI here to uncover your greatest strengths.

When you truly understand your strengths, you can leverage them to become your biggest moneymaker.

The Four Core Value Types

There are four main core value personality types: Merchant, Innovator, Builder and Banker.

The CVI assessment will tell you your two top core value types. Every person is a blend of the four different types. The degree to which you exhibit each type is shown in your results as a series of four colored areas. If one area is very large, that means you are in alignment with that type the majority of the time and find it energizing. If an area is very small, then it takes a lot of effort and you will find it de-motivating to do those types of activities because they drain you. Let’s review the four different personality types and highlight what their greatest strengths are. You can also watch my Facebook live here where I go over the CVI.

MERCHANTS

Merchants are driven to make connections and build relationships. They can see opportunities for the future that others can’t, and they have the ability to see the truth. This combination makes them inspired to help and motivate people. They are driven to build communities and love to share their ideas with others. They naturally attract others to them and thrive on appreciation and recognition from others. They are generally extroverted and act on their intuition. Many Merchants become entrepreneurs. Their greatest contribution to the world is relationships and vision.

The greatest challenges of a Merchant

  • Being driven by their emotions
  • Having a hard time saying no
  • Getting easily distracted by new ideas (squirrel syndrome)
  • Not wanting to “get into the weeds” to finish projects they’ve started
  • Being self-motivated to consistently do the less enjoyable tasks (Banker or Builder type tasks)

Strategies for a Merchant

If you’re a merchant and you find that you don’t have any time for your business, take a look at your last week and evaluate the following:

  • What did you say yes to that you shouldn’t have?
  • What three things do you need to accomplish this week to move your business forward?
  • How can you commit to doing them no matter what?
  • Don’t take on any new projects unless you complete those three things.

Merchants need to remember: When you say no to something, you’re saying YES to a higher priority.

INNOVATORS

Innovators are strategic thinkers and problem solvers. They love making systems and processes better and helping people and things to function well together. They don’t give up easily and will stick with people or a problem until it’s solved. They’re more introverted and rely on their mental abilities instead of their intuition. Innovators do well in situations where they’re spending the majority of their time solving problems, or creating things like writing, art, photography etc.

Their highest contribution to the world is assessment and creating solutions.

The greatest challenges of an Innovator

  • Perfectionism and not putting things out into the world before they’re ready.
  • Overanalyzing
  • Taking too long to make a decision
  • Doubting themselves and being their own worst critic

Innovators will keep working on things and keep trying to perfect them because they think it can always be better which leads to delays, even if it’s ready.

Strategies for an Innovator

If you’re an innovator and you’re not seeing any traction in your business, take a look at your last week and evaluate the following:

  • What is something I’ve been working on for too long that will move my business forward?
  • What am I overanalyzing that’s causing me to not take action?
  • What thoughts am I having that may be preventing me from believing in myself?
  • Don’t take on any new projects until the ones you’ve started are completed.

A really important strategy for innovators is to set deadlines and stick to them. The shorter, the better.

Innovators need to remember: Done is better than perfect.

BUILDERS

Builders are people who take action and are natural leaders. They love getting things done now and seeing results from their action or leadership. They rely on their instincts, are high risk takers, and are highly self-motivated. Builders flourish in situations where they can take charge and not be micromanaged. Therefore they do well when they have a lot of room to make decisions and act. Their highest contribution to the world is action and results.

The greatest challenges of a Builder

  • Working too hard
  • Being impatient and getting frustrated easily if others around them aren’t competent or work hard
  • Making time for themselves and their own well-being

Builders tend to be workaholics. If they’re not careful, it can lead to burnout very quickly. For example, if they’re a Merchant Builder, they have a hard time saying no so they end up doing everything for everyone. Therefore, they need to have patience when working with others who aren’t builders and give people enough time to complete projects.

Strategies for a Builder

They need to set clear boundaries around their work and personal time and stick to it. They will do whatever it takes to get things done so they need to learn to put their health and mental and emotional well-being first.

Builders need to remember: It doesn’t all have to be done now.

BANKERS

Bankers are the least understood group. They are the people who protect us from risk. They love having all the facts and data and have the best knowledge. They are self-motivated and are good at doing detail-oriented work. They do not rely on their intuition- they rely solely on their mental abilities and on things that can be proven. They do well working in stable environments that have rules and procedures. Their highest contribution to the world is risk avoidance and information.

There aren’t too many entrepreneurs who are Bankers because they avoid risk, and what’s riskier than starting your own business?

The greatest challenges of a Banker

  • Being open to new ideas and opportunities
  • Reluctance to put themselves out there
  • Taking risks
  • Thinking outside the box

As a result, Bankers often times miss golden opportunities because they avoid risk at all costs, which can prevent them from having real success. They don’t believe anything unless it’s proven, and are reluctant to try anything new. This can cause them to not tap into their full potential.

Strategies for a Banker

Be open to opportunities and trying new things. Find an accountability partner like a Merchant or a Builder who can encourage you to take more risks. Challenge yourself to try one new thing per week to get out of your comfort zone.

Bankers need to remember: Take the risk or lose the chance.

Analyzing Your CVI Result

After you take the CVI, you’ll get a notification with a short video describing your personality type and an image of your results that will look something like this:

A typical CVI assessment result

In this example, this person is a Merchant Innovator. They are a very high Merchant, and will spend over 90% of their time exhibiting that type. In addition, their Innovator is also fairly high, so they will find acting as an Innovator energizing. On the other hand, they are very small in both the Builder and Banker areas, which means it takes a lot of effort to do those types of activities and they find them draining. It doesn’t mean they can’t do them, but it takes a lot more energy and it’s not something they enjoy doing.

Ideally you should be spending 80% of your time in the areas you’re highest in and limit the amount of time in the areas you’re lowest in for your personality type.

You should be spending 80% of your time using your greatest strengths.

Conclusion

Your personality type can be your greatest asset or your biggest liability. If you understand your greatest strengths, you’ll know what areas you should focus on and what things to be aware of that could derail your success.

As a result, you start to focus your energies in the areas you’re highest in, and you’ll become more productive, efficient and happier. After that, you’ll start to see more success in both your business and your personal life. And you’ll be contributing to the world as the best version of yourself, which is the ultimate path to happiness and fulfillment.

How To Create the Life You Want

How to Create the Life You Want
Words have the power to create the life you want
Words have the power to create the life you want

Do you ever wish you had a magic wand and could create the life you want? But instead, you feel like you’re repeating the same loop, over and over again, like the movie Groundhog Day?

You feel like you’re stuck and not getting any traction in your life or business. You’ve tried doing so many things, but nothing seems to work.

You aren’t alone. Many people feel frustrated because they’re working really hard but they’re still not getting the success they want.

In The Success Principles by Jack Canfield, he talks about how people aren’t more successful because they have more willpower, it’s because they’ve learned how to let go of limiting beliefs and change their self-image. The way to do this is to change your mindset.

The only thing getting in the way of you getting everything you want in your life is your MINDSET.

One of the keys to changing your mindset is getting out of your comfort zone. Your comfort zone is there to keep you safe, but it also keeps you small and prevents you from achieving real success.

Your thoughts, cause your emotions, which lead to your behaviors, which end up as the results you see in your life.

When you feel stuck, it’s because you’re thinking the same thoughts, leading to the same emotions, causing the same behaviors and the same results. And it becomes an endless loop that never changes.

If you don’t change your thoughts, you’ll never change your results.

The first step to changing this loop is to focus on the reality you want to create.

You do this by visualizing what you want, writing it down, then reading it daily.

You have to bombard your subconscious with the new reality and it will start to work nonstop to make it happen.

Making this a daily practice is incredibly powerful and will cause profound changes in your personal life and business.

I’ve learned from my own personal experience the power of writing a new reality. I started with writing my goals on index cards and reading them daily. I started adding other elements that inspired me and began seeing significant changes in my life. So I created a card with all the tools I like to use to called the Compass Card. I’m going to take you through each part so you know how to use it.

You can download the Compass Card here: https://balancedpathcoaching.com/free-resources/

How to Use the Compass Card

Download my Compass Card and create the life you want
Download my Compass Card and create the life you want

On the top, put the date and your yearly financial goal. Put a specific number that’s at least 20% higher than last year. If you’re not sure how to come up with a financial goal, watch my Facebook live here where I talk about creating SMART goals.

Next, choose your theme words. Theme words are meant to inspire or motivate you. When I first heard about theme words, I didn’t really understand how they worked until a friend of mine told me about her experience with them. She was in a little slump of getting new clients so she started using her theme words every day. Her words were confidence, clients and cash. She would say the words every morning and anytime during the day when she needed a little boost.

After a few months, she started getting new clients. Then one of her clients paid her $2000 in cash! Which has never happened to her before!

After hearing that, I started using theme words, and they really work.

Next, write in your top five core values. Your core values are the most important principles that guide your life. If you haven’t identified yours yet, watch my Facebook live to learn how and click here to download a free exercise.

The last part is for affirmations to create the life you want.

The Power of Affirmations

If you watched my FB live where I talked about SMART goals, I told a story about Jim Carrey writing himself a postdated check for $10 million dollars for acting when he was trying to break into Hollywood and keeping that check in his wallet where he could see it every day.

He talks about how when he wasn’t getting any work, he’d drive up to Mulholland Drive and just sit there. He would stretch out his arms and say “Everyone wants to work with me. I’m a really good actor. I have all kinds of great movie offers.” And he would just repeat this over and over again, convincing himself that he had a couple of movies lined up. Then he would drive down, feeling really motivated and thinking, “Movie offers are out there for me, I just don’t hear them yet.”

He said that doing this helped offset the other thoughts from his family’s background. These affirmations helped him to realize his dream and double his initial goal by making $20 million dollars per movie in just five years.

One of the best ways to get more success is to do what Jim Carrey did, which is to use affirmations. They have the power to convince your subconscious to filter the information needed to make the new reality happen.

Affirmations help you create the life you want
Affirmations help you create the life you want

How to Write an Affirmation

Write down a statement of what you want as if you’ve already achieved it. Imagine that you are going to create the life you want. Here’s how to write yours:

  • Start with “I am” and write in the present tense.
  • State what you want, not what you don’t want.
  • Keep it short and specific, and include an action word ending with “ing”.
  • Include an emotion or feeling word that you would be feeling if you had already achieved the goal.
  • Make the affirmation for yourself, not others.

A way to come up with your affirmation is to visualize something you want to create or have. Imagine yourself having what you want, then describe it and how you feel.

You’ll see on the bottom of the card, there are five sentences where it says, “When my life is ideal, I am…”  Then fill in the blank with whatever your biggest dreams are for your life. Create the life you want and read it twice a day.

For example, if you want a vacation home, describe it and how you’ll feel when you’re in it. “When my life is ideal, I’m enjoying my four-bedroom vacation house in Hawaii.”

I started doing this a few years ago and it’s like magic. After a year, three of my goals came true!

Conclusion

When you’re not seeing results in your life or your business, it’s because of your mindset and thoughts.

When you change your thoughts, you change your emotions, then your behaviors which leads to different results in your life.

You do this by filling your subconscious with thoughts of the reality you want to create, writing them down and reading them daily. Use the Compass Card and write in your goals, theme words, core values and affirmations. Visualize yourself as if you’ve already achieved the goals. You’ll start to see opportunities coming your way and you’ll feel motivated to reach your goals. Then watch as you create the life you want.

The Secret to Making Hard Decisions

How to make hard decisions

It’s a typical day in your business, when suddenly you get an email from one of the biggest clients you’ve been praying for. THIS IS IT! This is the client who’s going to make all your dreams come true! Landing them will open new doors for you financially and socially because a stamp of approval from them is like gold.

You have a consultation call with the owner, and the scope of what he wants is really big. I mean REALLY big. It would take up the majority of your time and energy. He wants access to you at all times, even on weekends. You tell him, “Sure, that’s no problem” even if you promised your partner you weren’t going to work on weekends anymore. He’s pretty demanding, and insists on meeting at his office even though you typically work remotely so you can be available for your family. You feel a little uneasy because the initial signs show he’s probably going to be tough to work with. He’s not asking any questions- he’s just telling you everything he wants and expects you to agree. But it’s worth it because it’s such a huge client, right?

Or is it?

After all, this is the client you’ve always wanted! You’re not sure what to do- your head says yes but your gut says no. So how do you know if you’re making the right decision in taking him on?  

When making tough decisions like this, it’s helpful to have a set of principles that can guide you. These are called your core values. But if you haven’t identified what they are, you may not realize you’re making a big mistake until it’s too late.

What are Core Values?

Your core values are the most important principles that guide your life. They act as a compass when making large and small decisions, and help you stay on track with the values you’ve identified as being the most valuable to you. Most people have a basic set of morals and ethics they believe in, but few actually choose the top core values they want to live by and act on daily. When you choose your core values, your life starts to feel easier and you’ll won’t feel as conflicted when facing decisions like the one above. Click here to identify your core values.

Companies have core values also. A great example is REI. One of their core values is balance, and they encourage each other and their customers to enjoy all aspects of life. One example of this is their #OptOutside campaign. This was started four years ago when they made a choice to close on two of the biggest shopping days of the year: Thanksgiving and Black Friday, and pay their 12,000 employees to spend time outside. While many retail businesses would think this was financial suicide, it’s in complete alignment with their core value of balance. And #OptOutside attracted more than 1.4 million people and 170 outdoor companies, nonprofits, and organizations to participate, and over the last three years that’s grown to 15 million people and 700 organizations. It’s one of the many reasons REI continues to be a leader and innovator in the retail industry.

Why should we identify our core values?

When we don’t have a clear idea of our core values, it’s like putting a boat in the ocean without having a clear destination. We may have a general idea that we want to be a good person and contribute to society, but we need to actually define what our core values are before we can start to act accordingly and live in alignment with them.

For example, if you want to be healthy but you only exercise occasionally and don’t eat healthy meals, are you really living in alignment with that? But if you make health one of your top five core values, you will start to make better choices. You may schedule to exercise four times a week and plan ahead on how you can cook healthy meals at home. Once you define your values and look at them daily, you’ll start to hold yourself accountable to living them.

How does identifying your core values help your business?

In the book Traction by Gino Wickham, he talks about how identifying your cores values attracts like-minded people to your business and helps weed out the people who don’t fit. This goes for employees and clients too. You want to attract the right people and repel the wrong ones.

I have a client who hired me to take on a partner in her business. One of her clients wanted to invest and help expand a part of her business.  She was working 18 hour days as a single mom trying to provide for her two children, and was hoping that this deal would help her to earn more and work less so she could spend more time with her kids. On our first call, I asked her to define her top five core values. Her top two were Kids and Independence. I asked her if taking on the partner was in alignment with those values. She paused, then said if she expanded that part of her business, she’d be working more hours and would be seeing her kids less. She would have less independence because she’d have to run all her decisions by her new partner. In the end, she decided not to take the deal. She ended up letting go a part of her business that was draining her and focused on what she loved doing and did best instead. Now she’s working five hour days and is earning more than she did before. And she was able to take a one month vacation all by herself, which she hadn’t done since before she had kids. She says that identifying her core values is what saved her from taking the partner and working crazy hours. Now she is spending quality time with her kids and is in much more alignment with her core values.

Do our core values ever change?

Yes they can. I look at mine daily, and reevaluate them every year. We go through many changes throughout our lives and things that we value when we’re in our 30’s may be vastly different in our 40’s and 50’s. For parents, once their kids leave the nest, their core values may change greatly if they’ve focused a large part of their lives on their kids. Life circumstance events like loss of a job can change your values temporarily and can get you focused on doing what you need to do at that time. Your core values may change if you’re going through a lot of personal growth, so be sure to check that they are still the most important principles to you.

How do we identify our core values?

An easy way is to look at a list of values and choose the ones that resonate with you the most. Then, filter them down and end up with your top ten most important core values. Put them in order of most important to least. Write your top five down on a card or somewhere you’ll see them daily. It’s best to read them twice a day- when you wake up and before bed. A good tool for reflection before bed is to ask yourself if your decisions that day were in alignment with all your values. If not, what could you do differently tomorrow?

For example, if one of your core values is health/fitness and you didn’t work out that day, make a commitment do exercise tomorrow and maybe add in a few extra minutes. Or if it’s family and you didn’t spend any quality time with them, put it in your schedule to spend one on one time with one member that week, and let them know to hold you to it. You’ll start to feel happier and more fulfilled when you live your core values daily, which leads to greater work life balance.

Summary

To review, your core values will act as a compass for guiding your biggest decisions. They can help your business by attracting the right people and clients to you and repelling the wrong ones. Your core values can change over time, especially during transition times or big life events. Make sure to reevaluate them regularly to make sure they are still your top five. Write them on an index card and keep them in your nightstand. Make sure to read them twice a day in the morning and at night. Ask yourself if you acted in alignment with your core values that day, and if not, what could you do differently tomorrow?

If you’d like to identify your core values, I’ve created a great exercise just for you. Click here to get started!

I’d love to know your core values so share them in the comments below or send me an email at jennifer@balancedpathcoaching.com. By sharing them with me, you’ll be more likely to living them.

5 Steps to Finding a Career You Love

Picture this: It’s 7:00am on a weekday and your phone jolts you to attention with a text. With a sinking feeling in your stomach, you know it can only mean one thing. Someone is calling out sick for work, and your day just got a whole lot worse. The dread fills you like heavy sand, and you think to yourself, “Does it always have to be like this?”

Continue reading