Bringing your ideas to life…means taking ACTION

You can have the very best idea in the world but unless you take action it will remain simply that – an idea. A dream.

It takes grit. It takes hard work.

Success comes from action. Dreams become reality when you are committed to WORKING for them

Spending time “thinking” or continually taking another course will not move you forward. Yes, you may have lots of theoretical learning, but…

ACTION is what leads to achievement.


Any action, even if it’s an imperfect action it is a move in the right direction.

You learn by implementing – it may not work the first time – that’s quite normal!  But you learn valuable lessons.

Heck, if I had been waiting for the perfect moment, I would never have achieved half of what I have.

And yes, I’ve made my own fair share of mistakes along the way too – but they are learning experiences.

Taking the plunge is not easy.

Failure is common…but dusting yourself off and learning from those mistakes is what propels you towards success.

Think of how a child learns to walk…

First by using all their strength to pull themselves up on whatever furniture is available (heck, some even use the dog!).

Then getting braver and lurching from handhold to handhold.

A few wobbly steps. A few landings on their nappy padded bum.

Do they give up?

No.

They stagger to their feet again continuing to try… leveraging off what is available. Eventually, they succeed …and are off and running. No stopping them!

It’s exactly the same when it comes down to business.

The theory is all well and good. But taking action…even if it is baby steps, is what that propels you towards your goals.

Struggling to take action steps?

Fear is natural.

Change takes time. Learning new skills takes practice, but the results are worth it.

Now here’s the thing…you can do all this on your own. Absolutely you can.

But…likely as not it will be a stop-start process as you battle alone through the hurdles and obstacles that inevitably pop up to challenge you.

As an adult in business, it’s not as easy to find handholds to leverage off. But, if you are open and actively searching they are there…in both paid and unpaid forms.

Unpaid forms

These typically include things like free workshops hosted by a range of organisations ranging from your local Business Development Offices, Chamber of Commerce, Live Webinars and even Facebook groups.

All of these are very valuable and have their place. They are especially helpful if you are bootstrapping and cash is very tight.

A word of caution; these can lead you down a number of rabbit holes and infect you with a case of SOS – Shiny Object Syndrome.

You know what I mean…

You hear all these great ideas and start to research or chase after them. The result is quite often that you lose your way and waste time.

Paid forms

These are more typically a workshop, course, business coaching and mentoring.

Prices fluctuate enormously and range from under $50 to well in excess of $10,000. When choosing what to pay for, it’s vital to do your research.

As with anything that you are paying for, it’s crucial to measure up if it’s the right fit for your business at this moment in time.

My recommendation is always to start with a short course/session with that particular consultant/teacher/presenter.

By starting off with a small investment you have the opportunity to assess whether you’re going to be a good ‘fit’ for each other. Mutual respect is crucial.

Engaging a business consultant/coach to help you is a way to fast track through the woods to get to the clearing on the other side.

It’s not cheap but it’s highly effective. It’s also not as expensive as you might think.

Having a great mentor or coach makes all the difference in the world. It’s what accelerates your development and growth. They are your encouragement, teacher and supporter. Grab my tip sheet on choosing the right person to work with.

Most important of all…you unlock your own truth so there’s no room for procrastination.

The truth can sometimes be a challenge to deal with, but if you’re serious about moving ahead…it needs to be faced.

If you’re struggling to move to the next level we specialize in offering actionable, momentum building support to help you….

Fly like a dragon!

Michelle

PS – check out this article by Brad Stulberg – 8 rules to do everything better.

Working Smarter Not Harder – the key to succeeding

My daughter came home from school this afternoon, with her exam results. Ellie was pretty happy with them all except one subject. Though she was philosophical about the one disappointment.

Not because she has a ‘whatever’ attitude (I want to slap anyone silly who says that in my hearing), but because she knew she could expect no better, learning that the last two years of high school are nothing like what went before, realizing that, as she said, “Grade 11 is different, it’s all about time management and working under pressure.”

In other words, it’s getting into the realm of the real-life work environment. Ellie knew she had sacrificed one subject to excel in the others; moreover, she knows she can’t afford to do that.

Only 24 Hours In A Day

Like you and me, my daughter has only so many hours in the day to get her work done and to do it to an acceptable standard. Plus, there’s the work-life balance thing to juggle: family, friends, sport, Saturday job, chores and, just stuff.

At the end of her first term in Grade 11, she asked me, “Do you think I should give up basketball?” With travel, training and matches, it pretty much wipes out two nights a week.

Answer: “No! You just have to work smarter, not harder.”

Read: work hard but be strategic, rather than working longer.

After all, I don’t want to end up with a pale, pasty, nerdy kid, who looks, and feels, like a rat on a wheel. Time enough for that when she joins the workforce! Though hopefully, she’ll be good enough at making her own ‘luck’ by then to find work she’s passionate about, rather than put upon in a job she’s as enthusiastic about as the last lemming over the cliff.

Not just a school thing

It dawned on me that Dragon Sisters really grew out of exactly Ellie’s predicament.

Time poor people, turning to us to help them strategize and execute the most crucial aspect of their business: how to connect, convert and sell to their target market.

In other words, we found our niche market which matched up with our experience and expertise. Before that, we spent a lot of time running very hard (visualizing that rat on a wheel?), for way less results.

Once we found our niche, things got a lot easier for Michelle and I. We learnt to work smarter not harder. But back then, we thought it was normal to have not a nanosecond to ourselves. Because, as we all know, SME owner operators are amongst the hardest workers in the world, right? Right!

One of the first priorities to slip down the slippery slide of being sooo busy, is not having enough time to do a good enough job of creating and maximising opportunities for your business. Like Ellie, that’s not something you can afford. Dropping the ball on that one, translates to one thing: loss of sales revenue. Eeek!

There are many reasons that small businesses start talking to us. But the common denominator is this: they are feeling the pain.

Now, unless you’re stuck in the ‘80s and a fan of Jane Fonda’s Feel The Burn school of thought, you’re unlikely to be enjoying the sensation of pain, burn or anything else that smacks of subjecting yourself (and your business) to the less than pleasant.

The pain point we’re most familiar with at Dragon Sisters, is when you’re worried that you’re losing your market share, or that you’re not getting the results your business needs and wants, or you’re just not able to take your business to the next level successfully. We know how that feels. We’ve been there! So have many others …

A similar story

I want to share with you, an article published in the Sydney Morning Herald, by Bhakthi Puvanenthiran, last August, entitled Working smarter not harder: How to avoid small business trends in western Sydney. Mr. Puvanenthiran wrote:

The study by NRMA Business Insurance found that business owners in the west take fewer leave days, feel more stressed and don’t sleep as well at night. So how do you escape that cycle and still stay a small business person? Northmead tradie turned agent, Allen Cetinic found a way out.

“Yes that used to be me,” the former renderer told Fairfax Media.

“I used to work eight hours as a tradie and then three hours in the afternoon or evening doing invoicing, chasing money, doing website and legal claims and throwing emotional energy into that. I used to work weekends. My quality of family life was really deteriorated,” he said.

Twelve months ago Cetinic left rendering, which he had been doing for 15 years, after spotting a gap in the market.

Sound familiar? Whether you’re a tradie or not, live in western Sydney or not, (and Dragon Sisters is neither of these), the message resonates with every small business person, don’t you think?

If you want to read the full article, it’s here.

We’re all in the same (dragon) boat – from Grade 11 onward – you’re not on your own that’s for sure!

Need helping figuring out how you can work smarter and not harder? We’re only an email away.

Fly like a dragon!

Yvonne

PS – part of working smarter means having time to enjoy what you love, like walking the dog along the beach at sunset. Don’t you just love this photo?


Choosing A Coach or Mentor

Choosing a coach or mentor can be a real dilemma – on several levels and I am sure you’ll have noticed that, on a global scale, there seems to be an increasing proliferation of coaches.

I guess it’s a sign of the times that we live in.

A sign that we are attuned to the need to reach out for help.

That’s really positive!

It’s wonderful when you are empowered to ask for help and understand it is not a weakness to seek help, but a strength.

The dilemma comes, when you have to decide who to work with.

Click here for a tip sheet on choosing the right consultant to work with

A good coach is worth their weight in gold.

A quality coach will help you gain clarity and achieve results.

They will help you move forward with whatever aspects of your life or business you want to change/improve/work on. It all comes down to choosing the right person for the job.

How to choose the right coach

This is where you need to do a little homework (or maybe a lot of homework).

Just as there are horses for courses, there are different coaches suited to different people.

There are business coaches, personal development coaches, life coaches and a myriad more. There are also those who are just keen to separate you and your cash.

That’s why checking out reputations (not just what you read on Facebook or in other social media) is vital.

So, yes, it is confusing.

Especially when you are going to be investing your hard-earned money.  At the end of the day it comes down to doing your own due diligence and choosing who you feel will be able to best serve YOUR needs.

Think carefully about what you want from a coach.

Being clear on your expectations of a coach will help you make the right decision.

Lay it on the table and communicate the outcomes you expect.  Get clarity on how your coaching sessions will work, find out the availability of your coach and whether they’ll be running a ‘formula’ or if the sessions are unique to you.

Beware of the coach who claims to be able to work miracles. It comes down to your own efforts, but only once you understand what is required and have the tools to get from point A to point B.

There is no one size fits all, and different coaches have different niches and styles. You also need to consider whether their coaching style aligns with how you learn.

Or do you want a mentor?

There’s often confusion between the two. In an article written back in August 2015, on my personal blog, I talk about the difference between a coach and a mentor. You can check it out here.

Am I a coach or mentor?

Although some clients choose to engage me to coach them through specific areas of business I don’t market myself as a coach. I am first and foremost a business consultant that will, on occasion, coach clients in order to achieve their goals.

To your success,

Michelle

Click here for a tip sheet on choosing the right consultant to work with

 

How to choose a business consultant

Consultant (noun)  – A person who provides expert advice professionally.

In business today consultants are popping up everywhere. They come with a myriad of different titles. The common element is you are paying them money for their expertise.

The key word here is expertise.

There is an abundance of so-called experts, but exactly what their qualifications are can be somewhat dubious in some cases. Yet heaps of people are duped into parting with their money.

Consultant, business coach, marketing guru – there are many different names used.

A consultant is a big investment.

This means you need to be making sure you’re choosing the best one for your current business needs.

Over the (almost) 10 years that Dragon Sisters has been operating, we’ve been using a wide range of consultants and experts.

Paying a fee for a consultant is an important business investment. Naturally, we always expect a return on our investment and over the years, we’ve become pretty good at choosing the best consultant for the job.

If you are wondering how to make the best decision in selecting a consultant you might want to grab a copy of our tip sheet to help prevent you making expensive mistakes.

Download our tip sheet

Why businesses choose Dragon Sisters

You might think you’re paying us to write strategic smarketing content, to give some advice, to run a project.

Yes, that is true, but what you’re really paying for is our knowledge. The knowledge gained through our history of working across a diverse range of industries, experiences, and countries.

You are getting our combined lifetime business acumen and insights that are proven to get results.

Our brag box is full of testimonials that attest to the credentials you need to ensure when using a consultant.

In the 30 years plus of international service with Rotary, I have never come across a business that possesses the unique skills and talents offered by Dragon Sisters. Their combined international experience and corporate background give Michelle and Yvonne a unique and impressive outlook on business and professional development.

The Dragon Sisters have harnessed their experiences and channelled them into a highly effective business model that provides top class results for both corporate, SME’s and not for profit organisations.

With professional integrity of the highest level, they are the perfect ‘go to’ for anyone seeking personal profile and brand elevation.

Allan O Jagger OBE
Chairman, Kirkdale Industrial Training Services & Rotary International Director 2011 -2013

Our forte is helping businesses connect, convert and sell effectively. We do this by using our strategy, sales and marketing expertise – our Smarketing Formula.

Occasionally, a client will ask for something that is not our forte.  We never hesitate in referring our clients to experts elsewhere who can better meet their specific need.

The practice of referring has stood us in good stead by cementing our reputation as an authentic business of the highest integrity. After all, isn’t that what everyone looks for in a good consultant?

Do you use a coach or consultants? We’d love you to share your experiences by leaving a comment.

To your success!

Michelle & Yvonne

Download our tip sheet