Monthly Archives: July 2012

Perserverance – The Essential Key to Success

Perseverance. A fitting topic to end a successful challenge with. Perseverance is the essential key to achieving success in anything that we do. You can learn all the skills you need, take all the steps you need to take, but if you don’t stick with it, you’ll can’t possibly succeed.

It has been a pleasure to go through this challenge with all of you.  I look forward to following some of your blogs in the future.

Let’s take a look at what perseverance is and how we put it into practice.



What is perseverance?

• Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
• Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
• Perseverance is trying again and again.

You show perseverance when you:

• Give up your television or gaming time to spend hours working on your homework or building your
• Try to learn a new skill that is very difficult but you don’t give up
• Keep working even when discouraged
• Come from a home where there is fighting and unhappiness but you still try your best
• Have missed a week of school but you work hard to catch up
• Are at the end of a difficult race but you cross the finish line
• Save money and make sacrifices to buy something
• Spend hours practicing on your music or craft or sport
• Study and work hard to raise your grade
• Try out for something you weren’t successful at the first time

Put perseverance into action

• When something starts to bother you, wait as long as you can before you express frustration.
• When something doesn’t work right, try again and again.
• Don’t lose your temper when something upsets you.
• Always finish what you start.
• Keep working at something that is difficult until you complete it.
• Don’t give up on difficult jobs or situations.
• Focus on someone or something that ordinarily makes you lose your patience and try to understand
it (and don’t “lose it”).
• Work a little harder or a few minutes longer on a task that you do not like.

Here are two quotes from two men who persevered through many difficult times. They were both courageous men who literally had the weight of the world on their shoulders. Luckily for us, they weren’t quitters.

It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein

When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. Franklin D. Roosevelt

3 Ways of Thinking to Develop an Entrepreneur Mindset


Peter J. Cahill, an Australian entrepreneur has identified a simple tool he calls the ABC Principle.  It includes learning three different ways of thinking and regardless of which one is most natural to you, stepping outside your comfort zone so that you can use which ever method works best in a given situation.

The ABCs are:

A. Abstract thinking

Einstein once said “What counts can’t always be counted, and what can be counted doesn’t always count.” That’s what abstract thinking is all about.  It’s not tangible and it may not fit into a spreadsheet, but the results that flow from it can.  Thinking skills.  Beliefs. Confidence.  Imagination.  Visionary skills.  Optimism.  Consciousness.  Mindset.  And that’s just for starters.

B. Business intellect thinking

Business intellect thinking encompasses all your measurable business knowledge and skills such as figures, data, strategies, analysis, systems and qualifications. Many business people feel most comfortable in this space.

Most large corporations are stuck in this type of thinking.  If an entrepreneur is sharp, they understand this type of thinking and find ways of beating big corporations at their own game by thinking around them using abstract and creative thinking.

C. Creative thinking

Creative thinking is where great ideas are born.  It’s not exclusive to arty types and designers, but is a natural part all of us.  You use Creative thinking every morning during the simple act of selecting your outfit for the day or when planning a healthy meal.

This is the type of thinking that fuels your entrepreneurial engine.

Finding your comfort zone

Regardless of whether you naturally favor abstract thinking, business intellectual thinking or creative thinking, each of us has a particular way of operating that we’re most comfortable with.

Moving out of that comfort zone and into the other two ways of thinking is what entrepreneurs do best. Corporate executives and big companies don’t tend to do it anywhere near as well as soloists, and some hardly do at all.

The entrepreneur zone

Abstract, business intellect and creative thinking are like three intersecting circles. The sweet spot in the middle where the three overlap can be elusive, but is well-worth striving for.

Cahill calls it the “entrepreneur zone,” and it’s the best place to be if you want to think and behave like a true entrepreneur.


20 Entrepreneurship Proverbs: Ancient Thoughts on Developing an Entrepreneurial Mindset

Welcome to day 29 of the Empowering Young Entrepreneurs Series. I ran across these 20 ancient quotes from several different cultures that I believe are worth pondering. They are all related to the entrepreneurial mindset and include thoughts about integrity, responsibility, failure, attitude and more.

Which one speaks to you the most? Is there one over all the others that you needed to be reminded of right now? Or one that you find inspirational or motivational?

1. “The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” Chinese Proverb

2. “Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” Japanese Proverb

3. “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.” Chinese Proverb

4. “A bad workman blames his tools.” Chinese Proverb

5. “A fall into a ditch makes you wiser.” Chinese Proverb

6. “Defeat isn’t bitter if you don’t swallow it.” Chinese Proverb

7. “The diamond cannot be polished without friction, nor the man perfected without trials.” Chinese Proverb

8. “A jade stone is useless before it is processed; a man is good-for-nothing until he is educated.” Chinese Proverb

9. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Chinese Proverb

10. “The loftiest towers rise from the ground.” Chinese Proverb

11. “Building a castle is difficult. Defending and maintaining it is harder still.” Asian Proverb

12. “A person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the man doing it.” Chinese Proverb

13. “All cats love fish but fear to wet their paws.” Chinese Proverb

14. “Don’t stand by the water and long for fish; go home and weave a net.” Chinese Proverb

15. “Everyone should carefully observe which way his heart draws him, and then choose that way with all his strength.” Hasidic Proverb

16. “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Chinese Proverb

17. “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.” Chinese Proverb

18. “Make happy those who are near and those who are far will come.” Chinese Proverb

19. “Teachers open the door. You enter by yourself.” Chinese Proverb

20. “Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Confucius

Appreciate Failure: It Can Be Your Salvation

I’m taking a break from the Empowering Young Entrepreneurs Series for today to post something that I wrote for myself in November 2009 about a devastating failure I had experienced.  It’s a summary really of the lessons I learned from that experience.  Since I wrote this I gained clarity on my mission and what I really want to do to make a change in the world,  so necessarily the focus of my business changed from what is written here. 

As you know by now, I help teenagers and young adults to identify their passions and dreams and learn to build a business based on those passions and dreams.  When my new logo is ready and I get new business cards, I’m going to list my title as Change Agent.  The change I want to see in the world is a major reduction in teen/young adult unemployment and homelessness.

I hope my story speaks to you in some way.  Posting it here is the final closure in that chapter of my life.

In December of 2007 I experienced the death of a project I had worked long and hard on for the previous four years.  The realization of this dream came so close that I could feel it in my hands.  At the very last minute the main funder backed out as a result of damage they sustained due to the downturn in the economy and the project was dead.  Needless to say, it hit me really hard and a deep depression set in.  I remained in that depression and mourned that project for almost a year.  There were some attempts to recover, to pick up the pieces and move forward, but I could not make that happen.  We’re talking about fourteen million dollars lost from one source.

I have always believed that things happen for a reason, even if we don’t see what that reason is.  What I’ve come to understand about the failure of this project is that it was the Universe’s way of showing me that things could always be worse and that I had to find a way to be grateful for everything, good or bad that came my way.  When I came to this realization, I also realized that the failure of the project saved me and my very small nonprofit from what could have been an even more devastating loss in the future.  The economic downturn has caused so many changes in the funding of social service programs, that it is likely that I would have eventually lost the funding anyway and would have been left with an enormous debt and no way to continue funding the project.  I would not have been able to recover from that kind of financial loss in this lifetime.

In February of 2009, the agency I worked for filed for bankruptcy and went out of business after twenty-five years of service to foster youth.  I found myself unemployed for the first time in many years.  Not only unemployed, but they didn’t pay us for our last pay period, nor did they reimburse for mileage, phone and other expenses since September of 2008.  The job ended with them owing me more than eight thousand dollars.  I have joked all this time that I am happily unemployed as I am now relieved of the overwhelming stress from a difficult job with an agency that was not able to meet its commitment to the clients or to the employees.  It’s been almost six months and I’ve been able to accomplish a lot.  I have decided to diversify by having multiple streams of income in order to protect against this kind of loss of income in the future.  I am establishing a private practice as a therapeutic behavioral coach, working with families and caregivers to develop effective, stress free discipline strategies to help children manage irritating and out of control behaviors.  I set up an inexpensive website at, started writing ezine articles which I submit to and soon to add to is strictly for marketing purposes and Suite101 is to earn some extra money.  They have Google Ads on the same page with your articles and you get paid each time someone who is drawn to your article clicks on the ad.  I’ve also taken on other small writing jobs.  There isn’t a lot of money coming in right now, but it’s a start.

If the agency had not gone into bankruptcy, I would still be in that very stressful job.

Additionally, I have taken up organic gardening after connecting on Craig’s List with an expert in the field.  He helped me build an organic garden in my backyard and we have gardening classes here once a month.  I have a very magical garden.  With only two months in the ground, some of the plants tower over six feet tall.  It’s easy to see where the Jack in the Beanstalk story came from.  I’m learning biodynamic gardening and am having the time of my life.

My nonprofit is partnering with the garden expert to develop various projects.  We have a proposal ready to go the Probation Department to bring a garden project into the youth camps to teach them not only gardening skills and how to make money from their garden, but to create a sustainable food source for the camps thereby saving the county some money on their food bill, but also to teach social skills such as leadership development, team building, community service and to raise their awareness of environmental issues, teach nutrition and the plant to food on the table connection.

I think I found my silver lining to that dark cloud that parked itself over my head that dreadful day the funder announced they had been hit hard by the drop in the economy and could no longer consider funding our project.  That devastating failure may have led me to a brand new future, free from that overwhelming stress that I felt on my previous job, one that will lead to a happy, productive retirement in the next ten years or sooner.  I am happier than I ever imagined I would be at this time.  I encourage everyone to consider that failure may actually be in your best interest and present other opportunities that you may not have thought about.  Failure is a great teacher and mentor and I will never again be devastated by it, but will look for the opportunity that is coming next.

If you’d like to see some of the gardening project I’ve posted photos on the Nonprofit page.  Scroll to the middle of the page.


Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Thank you to Jan Kearney of My Local Business Online for Nominating me for this fabulous award.  I’m honored to be part of the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers.  It was quite a surprise as there are so many wonderful sister written blogs in this community.  I love the logo of the award and will display it proudly!  I plan to make it a permanent fixture on the site as soon as I figure out how.

There are a few rules that come with the award and one of those rules is to post the rules, so here they are:



Rules of the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

1.       All recipients need to thank the giver

2.       Post 7 things about yourself

3.       Pass the award on to 7 other bloggers of their choice and let them know that they have been nominated

4.       Include the logo of the award in a post or on your blog.


7 Thinks About Myself

1.       In early 1980 through the mid 1990’s I was part of a wolf pack (we bred wolf-hybrids and dogs at a breeding kennel).

2.       I raised a mountain lion.

3.       I love dramatic acts of nature like big storms and earthquakes.

4.       I’m a certified Community Emergency Response Team Member.

5.       Organic gardening is a favorite hobby I’m still learning how to do.

6.       When I was 20-30 something I backpacked and climbed mountains.

7.       And last but not least, a future project I have is to write a book about some of the amazing experiences I’ve had in my life.


And now, I Pass This Award on To:

Sara Duggan –

Michelle Amethyst Mahoney –

Peggy Lee Hanson –

Holly Fulford-Jeffrey –

Michelle Shaeffer –

Melissa Barham –

Lynn Baillie –

These photos are of Baboo, the mountain lion I raised.  Don’t ask how many small rugs we went through.  No matter how many toys he had to chew on, he liked those rugs.  The adult photo shows him in the courtyard of our house just waiting for a new play toy to walk in the gate.  He was a great crime deterrent.

Action: The Key To Success

The word action has come up a lot in the past few days so I thought it would be a good idea to look at why action is the key to success.

Adam Urbanski said, “The difference between successful people and the wannabes is simple: successful people do what needs to be done when it needs to be done – regardless of how they feel about it at the moment. The wannabes just complain and come up with all kinds of BS how life should be easy and everything we want should just effortlessly appear for us! Sorry, that’s not the way it works! If you want something – go get it!”

Nothing in business or life gets done unless you take some action.

Most of us know or have at least heard of the law of attraction.  Some people imagine you can just think positively and things will come to you.  This isn’t true.   It’s fantasy.  The law of attraction is not wishful thinking, nor is it just positive thinking.  Making your dreams come true and attracting what you want requires you to put energy into making it happen – taking action.  This is called determination.  Determination is the combination of time, energy and actions.  Without determination nothing happens.

The universe will not give you what you want without you taking some action.  When your action is inspired by your desires and dreams, you are demonstrating that you really want what you say you desire.  This puts you in alignment with the law of attraction and you will begin to see what you want start to come to you.  Action is like searching for buried treasure; you know it is there to find and you are digging with determination to find it.

Actions that are uninspired are time wasters.  Time wasters don’t create an alignment with our dreams and desires which means we aren’t going to get what we say we want.  This form of action leaves you with the wannabes that Adam mentioned.

My spiritual teacher once said that waiting doesn’t mean sitting around waiting for something to happen, it means doing something toward making it happen until it does happen.  So what are you “waiting” for?

“You are never given a dream without the ability to make it come true.  That ability includes your willingness to do what it takes. Marcia Wieder


8 Patterns of Self-Sabotage

This post is inspired by the writings of Marcia Wieder of Dream University in her book Overcoming Failure in the Dream Movement Series.  She talks about these 8 patterns of sabotage:

Sabotage #1:  Negative self-talk and self-doubt are useless.

If you recall the three hurdles we talked about earlier in this series, lack of belief was number one, “I don’t believe I can do it.”   We identified three was to jump this hurdle: focus on your desires, focus on who you are being and take action.  If you are in action toward making your dream come true, there is little room left for self-doubt.

It is important to remember that our thoughts create our reality, so be aware of your thoughts, change them and you will change your reality.

Sabotage #2:  Putting your fears into your dream will kill the dream.

This is what Marcia recommends to transform this sabotage pattern:  “Any fears we have about our dreams are just part of the present reality.  Divide a piece of paper in half.  Label the top “My Dream” and the bottom “My Reality”. Honestly describe the dream and assess your reality about the dream. Include in the reality section, all of your fears about the dream. Now you can clearly see where you stand.  You can also decide (on a daily basis) if you are more committed to your dream or to your reality, which includes your fears.  Zig Ziglar, one of the world’s foremost motivational speakers, uses a wonderful acronym for the word FEAR: ‘False Evidence Appearing Real.’  Take a close look at how you are using your fear and at what’s real and what’s not.”


Sabotage #3:  Being vague about the dream will keep you confused.

We’ve talked about this in a previous post as well.  It is essential to have clarity about your dream.  Write it down, create a vision board, start telling people what your dream is and use their questions and comments as feedback to gain clarity.  Communicate it often.  Eliminate the qualifiers when you share your dream.  For example, don’t say “some day I’m going to be a successful business person.”  Do say, “I’m going to be a success business person.”  Do you see the difference?  One is more self-assured, the other leaves room for doubt.

Sabotage #4:  If the dream stays a dream, it will never become a reality.

You must be in action on making your dreams a reality because nothing happens without action.  If you have a really big dream, the first step is to ask yourself “how can I make this happen?”  Then break that down into projects or goals.  Set a date or time limit and start moving one step at a time toward completing that goal.

Sabotage #5:  Scheduling unrealistic deadlines will lead to disappointment.

Don’t schedule yourself into overwhelm.  I’ve been there and done that.  When I feel overwhelmed I usually want to stay in bed and pull the covers over my head; nothing gets done that way.  This is what the Get Stuff Done Tool was created for.  If don’t already have this tool, sign up in the box with the red arrows on the right hand side of this page and it will be sent to you.  We also discussed this in a previous post so you can review it there.

Sabotage #6:  Loss of perspective can send you into a tail spin.

Telling yourself that you will never make it, or how bad things are is a sure way to sabotage the dream.  This can even make the situation worse than it really is.  Or just as bad, we pump ourselves up pretending things are much better than they are.  Denial is a waste of your time.  Make a visual – create a chart or graph and show how much you’ve already accomplished, then look at how much there is left to do and break that down into smaller projects.  Remember, one step at a time leads to success.


Sabotage #7:  It’s so much easier to do it myself.

This usually comes either from ego or you are a control freak.  We’ve talked about having your dream team, or a success team.  They are on your team to help you when you need.  You just need to ask them.  Also, google whatever information you need and search for free training.  I learned so much of what I know and put into practice by watching free video trainings and attending free webinars and teleseminars.  If I had trouble putting into practice what I learned, I asked for help.

Sabotage #8:  If you kill yourself in the process, you won’t get to enjoy the dream.

Take care of yourself.  If make yourself crazy and overwhelmed, if you are stressed, you are wasting energy and putting yourself and your dream at risk.  Slow down, see what you need and provide that for yourself.  It’s okay to take a break or work less hours and take a bit longer to get things done.  After all, you want to be happy and healthy enough to enjoy your dream becoming a reality.

Which one or more of these patterns have you fallen into?


Laying The Foundation For Success

Building a business is like building a house or other structure.  You start with the foundation and build up.  You have to even out the ground, lay out the outline of the bottom floor and pour the cement.  When you are done, you have the foundation.  Then you build the frame of the structure, put the roof on, install the plumbing and wiring, finish the walls then get to the smaller details until your house is complete.

The next step is to turn that house into a home.  You need to decide on paint color, furniture and the like.  Once everything is in place, you have successfully built a new home.

In business, evening out the ground is equivalent to deciding what business you will have and doing the research necessary to make informed decision.  Laying out the outline of your business consists of making decisions on the name, what your URL will be, or whether or not to have a website or other tools.

Next, setting up the systems for your business, the website, an autoresponder and other systems is pouring the cement for the foundation.

To frame your business requires determining your sales funnel; what will your products be?  What will you give away to attract people to your business?

Creating your products and having them ready to sell is putting the roof over your head and finishing the walls.

Now to turn your venture into a real business, you need to find customers/clients; you must build your list and create and work a marketing plan.

Finally, to make your business a home, you need to invite people over.  Once your customers/clients start visiting, you can call your business your home and it is time to have a housewarming party.

Welcome home.

The Top 7 Keys for Winning in Life and Business

The topic for today’s lesson in the Empowering Young Entrepreneurs series comes to us from Adam Urbanski of Millionaire Marketing Mentors and The Overnight Authority.  Adam has coached over 50,000 entrepreneurs, many of whom have reached the millionaire milestone.


Most of these keys may seem familiar to you as we have discussed them in one post or another over the past 24 days.  I thought it important to reinforce these keys to success as both a reminder and a summary of some of the things we’ve discussed so far.  These keys are as effective when applied to the way you live your life as their are to your business.

1.        Focus on your dream.

Always keep your dream in mind when building your business.  Make It as real as possible by visualizing, create a vision board or just post photos of your dream as reminders.  Move toward those images every single day.

2.        Take action fast.

Once you have your business idea, do not wait to take action.  Brainstorm ideas, use the Get Stuff Done Tool to organize your To Do List and get to work creating your business right away.

3.        Put yourself in a place where you are most likely to succeed.

Figure out what you do in your life that wastes time and cut it out right now.  Find a place where you can focus and concentrate on what you have to do, a place with few distractions.  Then get to work.

4.        Keep it Simple Silly (KISS).

Don’t make the actions you take difficult or confusing.  Simple steps with simple systems will get you there faster and more efficiently.

5.        Passionately share your convictions.

Do you know the difference between an expert and an authority?  An expert shares their findings, authorities share they opinions.  Which will you be, the expert or an authority?  Talk from your knowledge and your heart; know your stuff and people will listen to you.

6.        Failure is not an option.

As Thomas Edison said, he didn’t fail 700 times, he found 700 ways his idea wouldn’t work before he found the one way that would work.  Don’t allow your mistakes to set you back or worse yet to give up.  Never quit, ever.

7.        Believe in your own message.

If you don’t believe in your own message, no one else will buy into it either.

I hope this review is of value to you and reminds you of what is important when building your business.


3 Common Pitfalls In Building Your Business

Recently we talked about the most common pitfall in building a business which is thinking that your great idea, your aha moment, or your product is all you need to be successful.  There are other pitfalls to be aware and beware of.

1.  Not expecting obstacles

A common mistake made by failing entrepreneurs is believing that the process of building a successful business is an easy one.  It is foolish to think that you will not encounter mistakes and setbacks along the way.

Part of being a successful entrepreneur is learning how to overcome obstacles.   We talked about three hurdles that many people have to jump over when just considering starting a business:  I don’t believe I can, I don’t have enough time and/or money and the third, I don’t know how.

Once you decide to start a business, there are other hurdles such as not knowing who to trust to help you or not knowing the financial systems you need to have in place.  These and so many other small things can overwhelm you if you aren’t careful.

If you are not prepared to make mistakes and experience failure it is advisable that you do not become an entrepreneur because it is guaranteed that you will have hurdles, challenges, mistakes and failures along the way.

2.  Failing to work from your strengths

Every human being has their strengths and their weaknesses.  It is important that you are honest with yourself and with others, about what you are good at and what you are not.

In business it is important to play to your strengths.   Your strengths are your business tools that you should take full advantage of.

If your business requires a particular set of skills that you don’t possess, find someone that can fill this gap, or reconsider if the business is the right one for you.

Many failing entrepreneurs make the mistake of wasting countless hours improving their limitations instead of working from their strengths.   If you don’t know what your strengths are, ask the people who are closest to you or ask a teacher or find a mentor who can help you figure out what your strengths are.

3.  Not picking your niche based on your passions

It is just as important to pick a business that is not only potentially lucrative, but one that you are passionate about.

If your chosen niche does not excite you in any way, your ability to build the business will suffer.  Most of your behavior is a function of how you feel, and if you do not enjoy working on your business, you will soon be unmotivated and lose interest.

Albert Schweitzer, humanitarian, theologian and doctor, born 1875 said, “Success is not the key to happiness.  Happiness is the key to success!  If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

Finally if you choose or have chosen the path of an entrepreneur, make sure you enjoy challenges because there are certainly going to be many of them as you begin to build your business.  The quote below sums up the importance of enjoying the journey, more than the outcome of your efforts:

“We don’t sing to get to the end of the song.  If that were so, the fastest singers would be the best and composers would only write finales.  We don’t dance to get from one place on the floor to another.” Alan Watts, philosopher, 1915-1973.


The journey of the entrepreneur can be a highly rewarding one.  Entrepreneurs have the potential to create a business that allows them to live the lifestyle of their dreams.  However like any worthwhile pursuit, there will always be obstacles and set-backs to overcome.


1 2 3 4