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Past COREageous Entrepreneur Blog Posts

A Warm-up to Chunking

A large project looms. Some parts are enjoyable, other parts not so much. Just the thought of getting started strikes terror in the hearts of many. The experts say, “Just break a project down into chunks.”  More terror! Why is that? I’ve discovered that some folks...

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Manage Major Distractions

When I ask clients to create a vision of their optimal self (i.e., when they won’t need coaching anymore), we discuss how they will manage a wide range of distractions. For the minor, chronic distractions, clients may declare “No technology in the bedroom. I’ll be...

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Pitch Your Story

As you cobble together your team, get them up to speed and begin to talk to customers and supporters, be sure you have a one minute story about your startup. You may not need funding right now, but you do need to generate enthusiasm for your product or service. If...

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Let’s Get Over It!

Hello COREageous Readers, Excuse my absence over the last couple weeks. Covid totally sapped my faculties; it was miserable. If you are recovering from the virus du jour or the general malaise of the winter, you need to charge up the motivation to get stuff done. Lots...

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A Habit-Forming Plan

About this time of year is when good intentions for building a new habit start to fade. Check with your local health club, if you doubt me. Research from University College London concluded that the median amount of time necessary to build a new habit takes 66...

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Trouble with Task Transitioning?

Jesse from DC writes: I have ADHD. I’m an intrapreneur working on my own big projects within a large company.  How can I make transitions back to work easier? If life takes me away for more than a few days, it can take me up to 3 weeks to get back to my normal level of productivity. Additionally, shifting between projects while at work is also very challenging.

Difficulty with transitions of all sorts is a common concern for many of my clients.

When you’re away, keep some semblance of your basic routines intact – your sleep regimen, exercise, and diet. It’s so much easier to get back into your rhythm when your routines are minimally disrupted.

For on-the-job task transitioning, some folks set alarms or block out a duration of time for moving from task to task. However, those alarms and schedules are often ignored when you are deep in a task. If you must jostle between projects, seamless transitioning between tasks starts with planning transitions.  

For example, a section of Project A could have several steps. Write them out. Where are some reasonable transition points in Project A? At what point in that step-by-step plan would be a good time to transition from Project A to Project B? Before you leave that step in Project A, make a note of where you left off. When you re-engage with Project A, you’ll be able to pick up where you left off and waste no time. Do the same with Project B.

Are you an entrepreneur with ADHD? Get COREageous! Contact me at [email protected]

COREageous Customer Service

I had to find a company to haul away my aging antique piano to make room for a new one. Founders, take note of this unique experience.

 I found Trash Can Willys junk removal online (www.TrashCanWillys.com) and called to arrange a pick up. Within 5 minutes they called back.

Grateful and enthusiastic for my call, they listened and were extremely accommodating in arranging for an in-person estimate.

Two very nice guys arrived on time, extremely courteous and well dressed.  Here’s the clincher: With no outward display of emotion, they could see that I was very concerned about trashing my beloved, but aging 100+ year old Chickering piano.  They assured me that they would move the piano with utmost care and put it back together for their thrift shop instead of junking it. I was thrilled to imagine that they might find a home for it. What trash collection company does that?

I wouldn’t expect that folks in that business would have an ounce of empathy for me and my piano.  They charged me a reasonable rate and were very conscientious about telling me how they planned to dismantle and move it safely. They offered to arrange a pick-up date to coincide with the delivery of the new piano, so I wouldn’t be without one for long. I was wowed.

Later than day, I referred Trash Can Willy’s to three friends and clients looking to downsize. They, too, were wowed.

The morale of this episode is to abide by the cluster of COREageous customer service greatness: enthusiasm, gratitude, courtesy, efficiency and caring.

Don’t wait. Establish low cost/no cost ways to offer excellent customer service early on in your startup. Contact me at [email protected]

Too Agreeable and Indecisive?

No matter what your age, IQ or educational status, you may be sabotaging yourself by excessive agreeability and indecisiveness.

When we try to please and take on too much responsibility, we get overwhelmed and create resentment towards ourselves and the people we want to please.

It’s a queasy feeling to be manipulated by those who are very good at asking for favors, delegating and  propping you up with compliments. Others have higher expectations than we can deliver. It’s even worse to disappoint people when you don’t follow through. Feeling manipulated by others AND disappointed in ourselves is toxic to our mental health.  

Your actions may leak your discomfort with being too agreeable or indecisive. The leaks come in the form of tentative and wishy-washy language, stuttering, loss of eye contact, neck scratching and shifting around in your seat. Or conversely, your desire to please is so reflexive that you jump right in with a bold and convincing “Yes, I’ll do it!” before you’ve fully assessed the request. The malaise creeps in shortly thereafter. 

It’s good to be ambitious, to take on challenging tasks in order to learn a new skill or add to your career capital. But it’s important to be kind to yourself at the same time — establish boundaries, be realistic and measured in what you agree to do.   

Need help in being decisive, standing your ground, saying ‘no’ and using language ( verbal and non-verbal) that set boundaries? Contact me at [email protected]

The Piles of Books

If you’re like me, you like to read books that will add to your personal and professional value.

Books are like candy — dopamine hits that offer affordable hope, insight, knowledge and oftentimes, distraction from what we should be doing. Once the books arrive, we have every good intention of digging into them and reaping the benefits. However, the reality for most of my clients is threefold:

  • Books pile up unopened. It looks overwhelming.
  • They start a book, get bored or don’t finish.
  • They forget what they read minutes or hours later.

Here’s what I do:

  1. I prioritize what I need to learn and select purchases carefully. I read a few book samples online. I don’t trust most reviews. Does it, early on, provide the information I’m seeking? What’s the format – short pithy chapters or long narratives?
  2. When available, I get book summaries instead of full books. These are thinner versions that focus on the key take-aways.
  3. In a large notebook, I have a section for each non-fiction book I read. As I read, I note key points and make associations with what I already know and think of ways to apply the new information. Once a week, I skim through my notebook to keep the information fresh.

                                   Need more help integrating and consolidating new information? Contact me at                                                                          [email protected]

 

Ways to Get Things Done…Easier

What can you do to get things done, done well and on time with greater ease? Here are some good starting points:

Delegate   A bit time consuming up front, but a better long-term solution. A solopreneur client, who hates accounting, figured that if she hired a bookkeeper once a month for a nominal fee, it would be one big ugly task off her plate. Instead of suffering with the bookkeeping, she uses those 2-3 hours to do what she does best and covers the bookkeeper’s fee 5 times over.

Best time of day   Deep work requires prime time focus and concentration. You’ll get through those tasks faster and with greater accuracy at a time that is optimal for your focus and energy level.  Use low energy time for mindless work like laundry or house cleaning.

Assess the task   Before jumping feet first into a task, look it over and get an idea how involved the task will be. When’s the deadline?  Will you need assistance, resources or a location more conducive for working on it? Do you need to break it up into chunks and spread it out over time? You may also find that the task will take less time than you imagined!

If you’re a PRO at procrastination, let me help you turn the PRO into a NO!  Contact me at [email protected]

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