I am shifting the focus of my business to the arena of influence—or am I?
As I have been pondering this for the past few weeks, I have come to see that what I teach and coach has always been about influence—influencing what you attract, influencing how you feel about life and yourself, and influencing how you interact with others.
Life, including work, is all about relationships. Our pain and our joys revolve around these relationships. We are always influencing someone. The question is are we influencing in a positive or negative way?
In marketing, they teach you to have what is known as an elevator speech. The idea is, if someone on an elevator asks what you do you should be able to clearly articulate it in the time it takes the elevator to reach the next floor. So my new “elevator speech” is, as follows: I work with professionals to increase their influence, and their sales by asking the right questions.
Over the coming months my blog will focus on how we can better influence others. How can we use questions (versus directions or suggestions) to create better relationships and better results? Most of the examples I use will be related to the work environment but all of them can be adapted to your personal life. Whether you are trying to influence your boss to fund a project, attempting to make a sale, or negotiating with your two-year-old at home to get dressed, your ability to influence others toward helping you achieve your goals will make a tremendous difference in the quality of your life.
I will return to writing weekly blogs. I will point you in the direction of other people’s wisdom in this arena. I will offer webinars and coaching groups, all designed to more deeply develop your ability to influence.
And my work will always circle back to The Law of Attraction, the ultimate influencer. You get more of what you focus on which is to say you influence the content and quality of your life by choosing your focus. That won’t get lost in this deeper conversation about influence, I promise.
Over the next week I invite you to identify a challenge you are currently facing and continually ask yourself, “What can I focus on that will influence this to shift in a positive direction?”
One thing about being an entrepreneur—you are forced to continually reinvent yourself, even if you don’t want to. The market shifts, demand for your product or service changes, and you adapt or starve. Welcome to my world.
Truthfully, whether entrepreneurs or not, we are all called upon to reinvent ourselves from time to time. We generally don’t call it reinvention, though. We usually call it “change” and we don’t like it one bit!
Here are some common opportunities for reinvention:
As you might know, I love using questions as a way to direct focus. To adapt well to any or all changes, it is important to ask this question:
If your knee-jerk reaction is, “Nothing, Silver! There’s NOTHING good about this,” my follow-up question is:
I once had a coaching client who said, “I don’t call you anymore when I’m in a funk because I always know what you’re going to ask: ‘What’s good about this?’ So now I just ask myself!”
Every change has two sides: positive and negative. We often focus so much on what’s bad about it that we miss that silver lining that’s in every cloud. So, whatever area of your life you are being called upon to reinvent, ask yourself (and write it down):
My life is certainly different than I thought it would be. How about you? The longer I live, the more I come to understand that each of us has at least one area that isn’t the way we think it should be. What is that old saying? “Man makes plans and God laughs.”
I thought Bill and I would have many years together before we were separated by death. I was wrong.
Some of you have children with problems you could never have anticipated when you first saw their beautiful faces.
Many of you have borne seemingly unbearable sorrows or are living with pain even as I write this.
My friend Elaine is currently in the thick of it. For many many years she has had to watch her husband struggle with a painful and debilitating disease. What’s remarkable about Elaine is that she is amazingly good at blooming wherever she’s planted. No matter what life serves up, she takes the hit and then finds a way to adapt.
What’s equally amazing to me is that, to many, Elaine’s approach to life might seem selfish. Why? Because Elaine always makes sure her needs are met, sometimes before those of her partner. I don’t mean to say that she would leave him in the lurch in any way but she does make sure that she’s taken care of because she intuitively understands that she needs to stay healthy on all fronts if she is to be of maximum help to him when he needs it.
Elaine is my hero because she has learned to focus on what she can control. She cannot control the decisions her husband makes about his own care; she cannot control how quickly his condition progresses and she certainly can’t control the fact that it’s happening at all. What she can and does control is taking care of her own needs and doing whatever she can to have a satisfying and happy life despite the circumstances. So she enjoys life as much as she can, indulging her love of dance by taking classes, routinely going for foot massage and reflexology and basking in whatever comes along that makes her laugh. And oh, what a laugh she has!
Elaine’s example is primarily why I like to spread the word about the Law of Attraction that says, “You get more of what you focus on.” In the face of circumstances we cannot change, the most important tool in our possession is the ability to place our focus elsewhere.
Yesterday was a tough day for me. I was missing Bill and sometimes, when I’m down I begin to dwell on his last days. I am so grateful to have the wherewithal to shift my focus to the fun times—those heady days when we were falling in love and the world was our oyster.
I was also facing a certain amount of fear about my business and whether I would survive financially. But again, I had to ask myself the same question I ask my coaching clients when they are facing the same fear, “Is everything okay right now? Do you have everything you need?” and the answer, thankfully, is, “Yes. I certainly do.”
Change your focus, change your life is not merely a slogan for my business. It is the way I like to live my life. I am grateful that the Universe puts into my path people like Elaine who remind me when I’ve forgotten. What a gift!
Who is a teacher in your life who is fully using the Law of Attraction to thrive? Who is teaching you to bloom where you’re planted?
I saw the posting to the left from LifeHack.org this morning and it got me thinking.
Sometimes we think it’s the other person who is the problem when, in fact, what we focus on about that person is creating the negative energy.
I say this because the Law of Attraction says, “You get more of what you focus on.” When we focus on what bugs us about another person, or what they are doing wrong, guess what we get more of?
EXACTLY! We attract more of the very behavior that is driving us crazy!
I have, from time to time, separated myself from people who were problematic. This happens whenever I feel someone doesn’t have my best interests at heart or I don’t feel supported. As the posting above indicates, the way I felt around them told me the connection needed to be stopped.
Then there are those from whom I have distanced myself but am still in contact with. I love these people but I judge them too harshly. They have done nothing wrong except live their lives differently than I think they should. They are not the problem, I am. I am working on this character flaw and likely will be until the day I die.
The Hippocratic oath states, “First, do no harm.” I am no doctor but I am someone who wishes to uplift, not hurt. I know you are, too. Sometimes the only way to avoid hurting is to keep your distance.
When it comes to work, the choices are not as clear-cut. Unless you quit, you can’t necessarily separate or distance yourself. There is, however, at least one potential solution and it involves—you guessed it—focus! Most combative workplace issues happen because one person in the office thinks another should be doing something different—their job, showing up on time, etc. I always have two questions for this situation:
So, while there is a lot of talk these days about toxic people, it is important to figure out where the negative energy is coming from. In my case, it isn’t always them. Sometimes it’s me and always it’s because I want them to do it my way.
What about you? Is there a relationship in your life suffering because of where you are placing your focus? What might happen if you kept your distance?
Simply stated, The Law of Attraction dictates, “You get more of what you focus on.”
This can be a fun concept to play with, if you’re game. Are you?
You’ve likely had the experience of deciding to buy a specific make and model of a car and then suddenly seeing it everywhere. Or deciding you can’t stand a certain song and then hearing it over and over (and over). That is the Law of Attraction at work. You get more of what you focus on (and resisting something means you’re focused on it).
A few years back I went through a period where I had grown really tired of Kenny G. Once I activated that thought with some amount of fervor, it was like he was stalking me. I heard him in elevators, on the radio, on TV—he seemed to be EVERYWHERE I was.
In the last month, I have had a lot of fun activating something I want with Law of Attraction. Here’s what happened:
I needed a kick in the backside to get me into gear for 2015 so I reviewed Tony Robbins’ CD program, Time for Your Life. I do this at least once a year. It has never failed to help me produce amazing outcomes.
As a result of working the program, I now have an action list, broken down into categories that I review once a week to plan my activities. One of the things I wrote down under the category Enthusiastic Learner was “Activate Law of Attraction daily to bring in the teachers I need.”
Wow! And double wow! This has worked at warp speed.
I have been studying how to offer many of my programs online. Every time I wonder how to do something that will move this project forward, the answer comes, without fail, in the form of an email, social media posting or a conversation with a friend. I cannot begin to estimate how many hundreds of hours of research this has saved me. The teachers are appearing whenever I need them!
This online training project I am working on is a steep learning curve. It is not easy but it is certainly possible, as evidenced by the vast amount of online training now available. What I have learned over the years is to make sure I don’t empower, “This is too hard,” or “I can’t do this.” When I allow things to come to me easily, they do.
What’s coming easily to you, or what would you like to come to you easily?