Mindset hacks for creating a successful, enjoyable business (and life!)

I created this mini-series of posts to support those of you who are ready for a business you love. It’s for those of you who are ready to set down the old “tools” of struggling and suffering because you now know they no longer work. This series is designed to help you reclaim the intensity of your true heart’s desire, and to engage the vast power of your mind to make that desire a reality. I’ll share my step-by-step processes, hot tips, new tools, and ideas for moving beyond the most common derailers: excuses, pipe dreams, self-pity, control, and resignation. 

Note: My approach is not just about positive thinking. While positivity is essential, it must be genuine. Simply thinking “happy thoughts” won’t be enough to sustain you through the natural rough patches of resistance you’ll surely encounter as you move towards your dreams. You’ll need something of greater substance such as your character, compassion, commitment and sense of humor

Ready? Let’s start with a first step

Step 1: Create a Vibrant Vision

Visioning is a fundamental human skill. We use it all the time in profound and mundane ways.  Seriously, everything from thinking about what you’ll have for dinner to planning an adventure vacation to imagining the life of your dreams — all examples of visioning. It’s such an important skill that mental health professionals know that a patient who cannot envision a positive future will not heal. It doesn’t matter how much therapy or medication is administered, without the ability to vision, there is little hope for true mental/emotional wellness.

To create a compelling vision and a vibrant fulfilling business, dreaming is essential. 

Pause right here…..  Consider what you truly want. 

What would make your heart sing? 

The Upward Spiral

Most of us are highly skilled at creating a downward spiral of imaginary worst-case scenarios. You can probably recognize how easy it is to think of what could go wrong.  “What if this bad thing happens, and then what if that horrible thing happens?”  And on and on, down and down, it goes.  It’s no wonder so many of us escape through mindless distractions and addictions. 

Good News:  with practice you can become masterful at creating the opposite; that is, an Upward Spiral.  You generate a wide array of positive dreams and possibilities.Try this brainstorming exercise called “Wouldn’t it be great if….?”  The directions are outlined below.

Two Cautions:

  1. For now, don’t worry about  being “reasonable or “realistic” just yet.  Those have a place in the process but going there too soon will strangle your creativity and blind you from seeing opportunities. 
  1.   Don’t worry about how you will make any dreams come true, yet.  The plan of action comes later.  Remember:  a premature “how” will kill a great  “what”.

Exercise: “Wouldn’t it be great if…..?” 

At your keyboard or with pen and paper, ask the question: “Wouldn’t it be great if….?”, and then fill in the blank.  Ask it many, many times.  Sometimes your answers will build on each other, sometimes they won’t. Lofty or simple, all are welcome and important.

Examples:

imagining the possibilities
  • Wouldn’t it be great if I were wildly in love with my work?
  • Wouldn’t it be great if I were wildly in love?
  • Wouldn’t it be great if I came up with a million-dollar idea?
  • Wouldn’t it be great if I went to the beach in the spring?
  • Wouldn’t it be great if I went to the beach next week?
  • Wouldn’t it be great if I found the perfect assistant?
  • Wouldn’t it be great if I had an awesome support team?
  • Wouldn’t it be great if my business was featured in the news?
  • Wouldn’t it be great if I was interviewed on the nightly news?
  • Wouldn’t it be great if I became more fit as I aged?

You’re starting with a random download of ideas and possibilities. Some will be non sequiturs; that’s fine. Pay attention to how you are feeling as you write your own list of great possibilities. To kick-start the process, take a few minutes now and do a round of this exercise.

Wouldn’t it be great if….

This exercise can be done anytime.  It could become a practice each morning with your journal.  Or, it could be what you think about as you drift off to sleep at night.  Be light with it. There is no “getting it right”. There is no requirement to do anything about the ideas that come to mind. The only “rule” is this: don’t judge your ideas. If you do judge, let the judgment go and bring yourself back to the activity.

The 7-Day Challenge

Answer the question: What would make your heart sing?  Your answer may stay the same or it may shift each day. Let it be. Then, create an upward spiral by completing the sentence, “Wouldn’t it be great if….” , every day for seven days. Come up with at least 10 possibilities. Write them down. Pay attention to how you feel before, during, and after this exercise each day.