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Past COREageous Entrepreneur Blog Posts

Let’s Have Some Fun Being Accountable

If you ask your staff, What are you doing to get more done?, you’ll get a some blank stares and some good answers like: I limit social media, filter email, turn off my phone, shorten conversations, etc. The follow-up question results in more blank stares: How well are...

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Coaching Up or Out?

In my last CE post I talked about coaching valuable, but problematic employees. I will refer to these employees as Ms. or Mr. X. In hindsight, you may have noticed these problems (a haughty attitude, lack of cooperation,frequent complaining, etc) coming early on, but...

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Political Views and a Friendship at Odds

Ben has been friends with his boss Joe for many years with very few and short-lived disagreements over the years. Ben is a very responsible and loyal employee and highly valued in the organization. He has always enjoyed working for Joe. But a wedge has come between...

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The Power of “Willing”

If you are trying to get someone to buy into an idea, purchase something from you, or just cooperate, consider the power of the word “willing.” Questions like “Would you like to sign up for a week’s membership?” “Are you interested in making a donation?” “Did you ask...

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Meditation for the Meditation-Averse

There are many people who don’t find meditation relaxing. As a matter of fact, for these folks, meditation can be anxiety-producing. Quiet space can become a vacuum for worrisome thoughts to seep in and flood one’s mind with a torrent of terror.

Here’s a meditation method that helps the meditation-averse. It is centered on the breath, brings one into the present and challenges one’s focus at the same time. This form of meditation takes up a lot of mental space and allows little room for the usual culprits to find an opening.

1. Find a quiet spot to sit up tall with shoulders relaxed (not too comfortable of a spot to make you sleepy) and close your eyes.

2. Start with 10 breaths by slowly breathing in through your nose on breath #10 and breathing slowly out on #10. Do the same with breath #9, #8…to #1.

If you lose your place, or other thoughts sneak in, that’s ok, just go back to the breath # you remember. You won’t want to start over, so the object is to keep the count in your head as you breathe. Gradually, work up to 15 – 25 breaths for a sitting.

If you still find your mind drifting to unhelpful thoughts, then make it more challenging. Count each breath backwards as before, but when you inhale do so on a count of 4 (about 4 sec), hold your breath for a count of 7 (about 7 sec) and exhale for a count of 8 (about 8 sec).

This method requires a bit more “thinking” than the average meditation guru would recommend, but it can help meditation-averse folks get the benefits of traditional meditation.

Need more ways to regulate your emotions and improve your focus? Try CoreCoaching. Contact me at [email protected]

Altitude for a Better Attitude

On a recent flight to Chicago from Boston, I was annoyed, annoyed to the point of having to flip my sour outlook. I needed to apply the same advice I employ with my coachees. But to see how I got to that point, I have to share how miserable the experience was.

It’s 5:00 a.m. at Logan, winding long lines with no visible endpoint, crappy and over-priced food with the only decent coffee shop a long haul from my gate, and the security guy who went through every suitcase. The only humor here was the crowd of people standing around waiting for their luggage to be cleared and gaping at the often shocking and hilarious contents of people’s bags. I’m waiting to read about the person who wins a mega-suit for a breach of confidentiality. Add to that the crowded gate area and the parents who couldn’t have cared less when their kid threw a foam football casting my $5 muffin to the floor. The flight was delayed and no one smiled, including me.

Then I said to myself, okay, enough! There’s humor here, time to find it. Well, humor may be a stretch, but positive? Yes there’s plenty of that. (I recall the Dalai Lama saying that when you force a smile, you feel more positive. He’s right about that.) First, I’m lucky to have a flight and a mission to accomplish. Second, I’m sane, healthy and strong for my age. My husband is a gem. I was lucky to have a great education and speak two languages. My clients are making great strides, and that gives me purpose. I wrote a popular book that’s helping people, and I’m working on a new one. Modern technology makes it safer to fly. I have two hours to sit, look out a window with few distractions and think. That is a luxury. Perhaps in the future, quiet undisturbed time to think at a high altitude will be a sought-after commodity meant to “uplift” sagging spirits?   And, that muffin, for some cosmic reason, was not meant for my consumption today. A little fasting is good for the soul.

Need to re-frame your outlook? Get a lift from CoreCoaching. Contact me at [email protected]  

The Chronic Interrupter and Over-talker

These folks talk incessantly, often off topic. They see that you want to make a comment or ask a question and talk over you about something else interesting to them. Some people get so deeply into their monologues that you, as the listener, may feel invisible.

Interestingly, this anxious behavior mounts in the presence of authority figures (parents, bosses, etc.) who are typically judgmental or punitive. These over-talkers are avoiding the topics that may elicit shame or blame. Conversely, when they are surrounded by their peers in more accepting situations, this behavior is reduced. As a founder or manager, there are ways to help the over-talker be less anxious and fearful.

  1. To help them get comfortable with you, have more frequent conversations on lighter topics that do not arouse this fear response. Let them know the lighter topics to be discussed in advance of the conversation, if possible. Reinforce any positive restraint to over talk.
  2. For heavier discussions, get responses to these concerns writing.
  3. When an exchange must occur in person and the over-talking persists, mention your frustration – you may need to talk over them until they stop talking! Tell him or her that because you want to help these conversations be more productive you will signal (raising an index finger or standing up) your desire to speak.
  4. If they ignore the cues and appear totally helpless in curbing this behavior, the most helpful thing you can do is suggest they seek professional help.

Social anxiety is a common communication problem. It can be highly dysfunctional and prevent a person from contributing to the team in a positive way. Look into CoreCoaching. Contact me at [email protected]  

5 Tips to Avoid Side Hustle Hassles

If you’re dedicated and willing to make the sacrifices needed to turn your side hustle into a full time business, keep these COREageous tips in mind:

1. Is your side hustle something the market needs and wants? Or are you hoping to create a market for your product or service? Do your market research.

2. A 2019 Hiscox Side Hustle to Small Business survey (hiscox.com/sidehustle) showed that it takes 19 months of operation before you consider quitting your day job; 26 months before you could hire an employee; and 3 years before you can expect to earn an income similar to your day job.

3. Get some money management help to budget your expenses. The survey said to secure 6-12 months or more of living expenses in savings.

4. The survey recommends that you look into small business insurance to cover any liabilities you could incur in the process.

5. Are your executive functioning skills and routines solid enough to lop on a side hustle? That is your ability to get things done, done well and on time with as little stress as possible. You’ve got to be organized and disciplined to make the best use of the 20 hours or more a week you’ll need for a side hustle. If not, consider CoreCoaching to help you be the CEO of you!  Contact me at [email protected]

Founders: Hire Right

Most entrepreneurs lack training in hiring employees. Hiring the wrong employees can be a major stressor and a liability to a founder with limited resources and strict deadlines for getting their startup up and running. Here is a primer for hiring right:

1) It is important to hire for skill, but remember that trustworthiness and loyalty to the organization is equally important. Evidence of trust includes visible loyalty, honest collaboration with all members of the team, transparent communication, respectful conflict and staff retention.

2) Don’t suffer a poor fit. As a favor to you, your team and the employee in question, if he or she is not a good cultural fit and continues to buck the system despite reasonable efforts to help them fit in, let them go. Do a post mortem and learn from that failed hiring experience.

3) The company handbook is not enough of a guide for an employee’s success. In a face-to-face conversation clearly define your vision of success to new hires. Point out the company’s core values and your expectations of the role to potential candidates.

Trust is the basis of successful teamwork. Let me give your team the tools for building trust. Contact me at [email protected]

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