Cast your Business Vision Journal for Innovation

Keeping an innovation journal can help you in many ways. The benefits are difficult to list in this short space and it is a commitment. Vision casting is one of the key characteristics of a successful entrepreneurial leader.

 Making regular entries into your journal is like talking to a friend.  In a sense, your journal is your friend that you can tell anything. The purpose is to help you positively and creatively – develop new skills and increase confidence as these skills evolve.  By writing your goals, you crystallize your thinking and allow yourself to act with greater self-understanding.

 Set realistic goals with attainable deadlines.  Outline specific objectives with a time frame and deadlines.  With no time frame, deadlines nor accountability you could find yourself floundering endlessly and never making any significant progress – holding onto a vision with no action – means making no money!

 Thoughts, attitudes and goals become clearer when you can actually see them on paper.  This expresses what’s really important to you and helps you to stay on task with assignments.

 Write down your successes and your failures.  By doing this, we can analyze what went wrong and what went right.  We learn what lifted us up to that success and gave us the motivation to do it.  We also learn what lowers our motivation and the road blocks to what’s preventing us from true success.

 As you accomplish  your goals, you’ll feel empowered to continue to take charge of your life.  Your journal continues to be a work in progress as you ascend to success. Let The 3W Life chart a new direction for you. Know Whose You Are!Who You Are and Why You Are Here! as you sift through fears, doubts and worry.  Don’t miss a day of your new and exciting life!

 

 

It’s OK to be Number 2!

What is Number 2?  Does everyone have to be Number 1???  In the most simplest terms Number 2 is Number 1’s main support! I am so excited to be in partnership with Donna – the Chief Identity Influencer of The 3W Life. We are first and foremost friends – sisters from other mothers – but most importantly we are friends, business partners and colleagues who have mutual respect for each other and the roles that we play in our business.

Donna and I have worked together in Law Firms in New York City for 30 years. Sometimes she was Number 2 and I was Number 1. Sometimes we had equal roles. The fact still remains true that our mutual respect and love for each other transcended our colleague responsibility. It was easy from that vantage point to venture into several business relationships.

I am proud to say – I am not Number 1. I did not create the vision of The Traveling Cupcake – our home-based bakery. It was Donna’s vision – but I was her raving fan, her biggest supporter!  The deliciousness and moistness of the products from the most buttery, vanilla pound cake to the summer island flavor of the southern coconut pineapple slice to the rich and creamy Banana Pudding dream cupcake! My creative contribution to the business is in the execution of the custom cake. I love to see a beautiful creation that tastes so yummy put a smile on a client’s face. We both bring equally important dynamics to the business. I clearly do not have the patience for baking – precise measurements, ensuring the oven temperature is perfect, timing the cakes – it’s just not my thing! Donna clearly does not have the patience for the precision of fondant, exacting colors and decorations, crusting of buttercream and sculpting – it’s just not her thing. While we both can do each other’s roles just fine, we choose to stay true to our gift lane. It makes for a wonderful collaboration when two people can respect what is brought to the table and can maximize those gifts.  No one can do it all without support from someone else.

As partners in The 3W Life, Donna continues to be the innovative visionary. She is extremely creative as a business trainer and coach. We both have managed and coached business and work relationships for more than 50 years collectively! I continue to be the support system for back end administrative support at The 3W Life. While the roles are still the same in The 3W Life as they are in The Traveling Cupcake, the end results are just as rewarding!  Partnership, Sister-Friendship. Do we disagree – yes, we absolutely do – with unrestrained honesty, with compassion, with confidence that it is done in the best interest of each other and of the business.  You know, sometimes you have to practically prove me wrong but its always done with love!

ALERT! ALERT! There Has Been a Security Breach!

Are YOU (or is someone you know) a victim of P.I.T?  What is P.I.T?

Personal Identity Theft!

Symptoms of P.I.T. Or that you have lost your Self.

Are you inexplicably stuck or constantly confused?

Is your mind frequently overwhelmed with self-criticism and self-doubt?

Do you feel manipulated and controlled by friends, family or circumstances?

Have you been passed over for promotion, denied a raise, or been unfairly exploited at work?

Have you been cheated on, used up, or abused by your mate or partner?

Have feelings of love, joy, and happiness become strangers in your life?

STOP BEING HACKED!

It’s time to GET UP and GET OUT OF THE P.I.T!

It’s time to RECLAIM and REVALIDATE YOUR IDENTITY.

It’s YOURS – if you dare to CLAIM IT!

The true identity theft is not financial. It’s not in cyberspace. It’s spiritual.

—Stephen Covey

Remember it’s never too late to discover and honor who you really are.

BUILDING your Favor Bank

Life is about give and take. It is very difficult, nearly impossible to live this life alone. Help someone so they can help you!

RE-Igniting your inner light?

Has your light been extinguished? Has someone inspired you? Give honor and thanks to those that have helped you be who you are.

Exercise: Send off the note to the person who has rekindled your inner light.

What you make happen for others will happen for you.

Have you allowed something to ROB you of your identity?

Have you made mistakes that you are unable to forgive yourself? What did you learn from that mistake? How can you move through that experience and on to a new life level? You must put mistakes behind you to take steps forward.

 

 

 

Your Circle Matters to Your Success

Imagine you grew up in a household of lazy underachievers. Now imagine you grew up in the household of high achievers. How would your perspective be different today? You can’t change your past, but you can influence your future by choosing the people in your life carefully. The people around you influence your beliefs and expectations.

Surround yourself with supportive high-achievers:

People can be either supportive or unsupportive. Have you ever noticed how many people wish you luck but then seem to sabotage your efforts? Most of the people in your life want you to do well, as long as you’re not doing significantly better than they are. Have you ever heard these statements after announcing a bold goal or plan?

  • “Are you sure you want to do that? Remember that time you wanted to _______ and it didn’t work out?”
  • “What will you do if your business idea fails? You’ll be out on the street.”
  • “I could never lose that much weight. I like eating Twinkies too much. It would be horrible to follow a diet for that long.”
  • Are these types of statements truly intended to be helpful, or discouraging?

Gain access to new people. Those around you can introduce you to new people. One of them may ultimately become your mentor or be the business contact you’ve been searching for.

  • Every person you know already knows lots of people that you do not. These people that are unknown to you may become a valuable resource.

 The people around you can teach you new things. Everyone you know has something to teach you. Are you hanging out with the right people to learn the things you need to know?

The people around you influence your attitude and expectations. You can’t help but be influenced by those around you. It has been argued that you can’t rise above the results of the five people you spend the most time with. You can learn a lot about success from your social network.

  • Imagine you’re a real estate agent and you’re spending time with the most successful real estate agent in your city. You earned $100,000 last year, and she earned $1,000,000.
  • You call five expired listings each day and send 50 postcards each week to potential new clients. You come to learn that your new friend calls every expired listing each day and sends out thousands of postcards each week. She even has two full-time assistants to handle her incredible workload.
  • She’s also doing forms of marketing you’ve never even considered.
  • Consider how this can change your life. You suddenly realize that you’re not working nearly as hard or as creatively as you could be. You start to wonder what else you could be doing better. It’s an eye-opening experience.

The people around you matter. With whom are you spending your time? Are you choosing to spend time with those that inspire and support you? Are you spending time with people that struggle with life and sabotage your best efforts to excel?

You have to power to choose the people you spend the most time with. Choose intelligently and you’ll experience greater levels of success.

Are You Inspired By Self-Motivation? IDENTITY Keys to a New You

Finding the key to self-motivation is finding the key to success and happiness.  It can be an elusive key, as self-motivation is a difficult concept to understand and implement.  Self-motivation can be defined as the ability to achieve a goal or a desire without being helped or influenced by someone else.  In other words, you inspire yourself!

With a constant daily dose of motivation you can be inspired to continue your projects and maintain forward momentum until the desired goal is reached.  Motivation allows us to maintain focus on the task at hand.  If we’re not focused then we find ourselves floundering and distracted.  Self-motivation is finding a way to concentrate your energy in the proper direction.

 Find the method of self-motivation that works for you.  Some gain motivation through religion.  They believe if they turn their needs and desires over to God or a higher power, that He will accomplish all things and grant all things as they’re needed in life.

 This is achieved through prayer, meditation and focus.  Faith is a powerful motivator but faith without works is useless.  Faith combined with work can achieve wonders.

 Unlock the keys to your I.D.E.N.T.I.T.Y.through The 3W Life! The keys will ignite and inspire YOU. Understand Whose You Are! Who You Are! and Why You Are Here! 

 

What Kind of Friends Do You Have and What Kind of Friend Are You?

 

Life experiences certainly lead us down different paths, however, God places people in our lives – for reasons, seasons and lifetimes. These reasons may be for assignment – where you are assigned to sow seeds into this person to enhance their life-growth in some way. Perhaps it is for a season – a defined time period where the relationship is a bi-directional support system but now that the convenience of circumstances has changed – such as conflicting work schedules or the school year has ended, hence, the “friend” is no longer part of your daily life. Was she really a friend?  Be careful who you allow to be in your friend circle. Lifetime friends are people you can consider your go-to-girl in all situations, good, bad and indifferent. She will be your support and encouragement. She will show you unbridled honesty – in the most compassionate way.

A friend is not messy. She is a woman of good character. Surround yourself with people intrinsically and innately designed with good character. There are some friends who are long-distance. You may not speak with every day, but when you do, you pick right up where you left off. Know who you are so you can know who your friends are. This is a person you can “share your stuff” with – but will never use it against you. Take steps to be the kind of sister-friend that you would want someone to be to you.

Just because someone shares with you and may consider you an empathetic listener and a “friend” does not mean you must reciprocate the friendship status. Put people in your life’s compartments. Know where they belong on the Friend Shelf:  the shelf of Acquaintances; shelf of Associates; shelf of Co-workers; shelf of Assignments. Be careful who you share your business with – a friend will not kill your dream. She will give her honest encouragement, love, and opinion without killing your spirit in the process.

How to Make GREATER Decisions

It’s hard to think of a challenging area of your life that didn’t become challenging due to poor decision-making. Wiser decisions lead to a more successful and lower-stress life. When you make effective decisions, your life is more enjoyable and satisfying.

Master the art of decision-making and enhance the quality of your life by following this process:

Decide what you’re trying to accomplish. What is the end result that you’re hoping for? To maximize your income? Strengthen your relationship? Minimize the financial or emotional cost? Advance your career? Be clear on the desired outcome of your decision.

Make a list of your resources. Imagine you had to make a home repair. You’d determine which tools you had available for the job and then make a plan based upon those available tools. You might also purchase new tools.

  • What resources do you possess that are applicable to following through on your possible options?

Brainstorm possible choices. Avoid judging your options too quickly. Make a long list. You can evaluate them later.

Consider the odds of success. Discard any solution with a poor chance of success.

Consider the time and money involved. For example, an above-ground pool costs much less than an in-ground pool. A pet parrot requires more time and attention than a cat.

What are the risks? What can go wrong and what are the ramifications? A pet bird is harder to get rid of and can live five times longer than a cat. Birds can also be much more expensive, so more money is at risk.

Is the upside worth the risk? Some options are riskier than others, but the greater potential rewards are often worth the extra risk. How much do you stand to gain?

What are the long-term implications? Who will be affected by your decision? What does your decision mean 10 years from now? What will you gain and sacrifice in the long-term?

Can you trust yourself to follow through? A good decision that you can’t complete is no better than a poor decision or no decision at all. Sometimes the solution with the best likely outcome is too challenging to implement. Do you have the skills and the stamina to follow through?

Keep your values in mind. Many options are unacceptable due to your values. Keep your values in mind and you’ll be less likely to regret your decision later. What’s important to you?

Avoid taking too much time to make a solution. There are have been several studies on the differences between “satisficers” and “maximizers”. A satisficer looks for the quickest, easiest solution that meets their criteria. That doesn’t mean they settle. It means that they accept the first solution that satisfies their needs and run with it.

  • A maximizer continues searching until the best possible solution is found.
  • Studies consistently show that satisficers are more successful and happier than maximizers. Avoid spending more time than necessary searching for a solution.

Making good decisions is important. Most challenges in life could have been avoided with wiser decisions. Most people take too much time to make decisions and they make decisions poorly. And, even worse, the surest way to ensure that you never make any progress is to never make any decisions.

The most successful people make wise decisions, decide quickly, and follow through. Improving the quality and speed of your decisions may be the fastest path to a more satisfying life.

Heal Your Mind to Heal Your Heart

A study in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine has indicated that once anxiety and depression sets in, you’ve unleashed the possibility that you’ll develop heart disease in the future.

We all know some of the factors that contribute to heart disease – primarily genetics and our poor food consumption (or lack of healthy foods in our diets). But most people never consider sheer stress and anxiety as a source of actual damage to their body’s heart.

The Connection Between Disease and Depression

The study – carried out at the School of Population Health of the University of Queensland in Australia, was focused on women over 40 who had experienced stress but who had no sign of heart disease. Over time, their depression and anxiety seems to be a factor in the development of heart disease.

It was a 15-year look at how heart disease developed in these women. Researchers were looking for both depression and anxiety combined as a contributing factor.  

What they found was that in the women who were newly diagnosed with heart disease during the study, they were more likely to have both depression and anxiety.

What scientists concluded is that when you have these types of mental health issues to fight in your life, your nervous system can’t perform accurately. And when you’re depressed, you tend to lack physical activity, engage in unhealthy food, cigarette and alcohol addictions, and neglect your overall well being.

Another 10-year study by the Heart Foundation found that heart attacks can occur from major life traumas, such as the death of someone you love, disasters of nature like hurricanes, tornadoes, etc., and domestic terror attacks.

The study also found that chronic stress – especially in women over the age of 45 – contributed to more heart problems as well.  But that doesn’t let men off the hook, though.

No study to date has singled out stress as the sole determining factor for having heart disease, but there’s no mistaking the fact that it can contribute to it. It could be because depression and anxiety cause poor self-care behaviors.

One thing doctors know is that a large number of patients’ visits to the doctor are due to chronic stress. It can take a toll on your body, causing fatigue, panic attacks, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and more.

What happens when you get stressed is that your body experiences a fight or flight reaction. Your adrenaline gets pumping and you tense up. Your heart rate soars. Fat gets released into your blood because it’s used to give you a jolt of energy. Even your blood clots easier.

This wouldn’t be a problem for your heart if it happened once in awhile, but for many individuals, depression and anxiety is a never-ending problem. Your heart needs rest and relaxation.

It shouldn’t always be battling increased blood pressure, a barrage of cholesterol, and rapid heart beat. What will happen is that your heart might start beating abnormally more often than not. Your arties can thicken, too – setting you up for a heart attack or stroke.

Gauging Your Stress Level for Heart Health

You may or may not have an issue where stress – in the form of depression and anxiety – is affecting your heart health. Some people have minor stress while others are mired in it and don’t even realize how bad it’s become.

Ask yourself if you’ve been going through a lot of traumatic, nerve-wracking or frustrating situations in the past year. That might include:

  • Changing jobs, having stress in an existing one, or having no job
  • Adding to your family either with a birth or marriage
  • Losing a loved one or a good friend
  • Long health issues
  • Struggling in a relationship
  • Moving
  • Continual stress like traffic
  • Being sued
  • Struggling with money

Think about how you’ve physically felt lately. Stress is evident in our minds, but sometimes we overlook the physical effect until it’s too late. If you’re burdened by an unhealthy amount of stress, you might notice a few common stress signs early on.

Your jaw might hurt in the morning. This is a sign you’re clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth at night. You might also suffer from headaches and feel stiff in your neck area.

As stress really takes a toll on your body, symptoms get more serious. You might have dizzy spells, insomnia, feelings of panic attacks where your heart is racing, you’re sweating and you feel nauseous.

Ways to Cope With High or Chronic Stress

If you make a decision that stress might be an issue for you, then you have to see if you’re capable of getting it under control so that your heart is protected and you’re not setting yourself up for a heart attack or stroke.

First, there are some things you don’t want to do when it comes to managing your stress. Don’t take the route of asking your doctor to let you pop a pill for your stress unless it’s a last option. Pills just mask a problem – they don’t help you learn to cope.

Don’t use food to help you get in a better mood. The comfort food that many people use to self medicate during stress only causes more problems for your health.

Never turn to cigarettes and alcohol (or drugs) to help ease your anxiety. None of these things assists you in building a healthier heart. They just do more damage to your body.

Exercise by itself helps your heart – but it also releases endorphins, which help your stress levels plummet back to a manageable level. You can get as little as 20 minutes of exercise a day to reap the benefits of exercise.

Practice good time management. Whether you’re rushing around because you’ve overscheduled yourself or you’ve procrastinated to a point where you’re now panicked, a lack of time is one of the top stressors most people list about their lives.

Implement good sleep hygiene. That means you’re protecting your heart by getting plenty of Zs at night. You can’t function properly and handle stress gracefully when you’re running on empty.

Just as not getting plenty of sleep can be a problem, it can also be a problem if you get too much sleep. That’s a sign of depression, so if you can’t get out of bed and face the day, it might be time to call the doctor and set up an appointment for professional help.

Eliminate any stress that you can. That might include:

  • Tasks at your job that you can delegate
  • After school activities
  • Community commitments
  • Chores that others can help with
  • Toxic relationships that bring you down
  • Drains on your financial stores

Start replacing bad habits with good habits. Things like nutrition may not sound like it affects stress levels (and in turn heart health), but it does. When you feel like your energy is drained because you’ve crashed from a sugar high, and you’re not tired – it makes you unable to handle stress as well.

Engage in specific stress relief measures. For some, it might be:

  • Deep breathing
  • Yoga
  • Aromatherapy
  • Hypnosis
  • Connect with friends by socializing
  • Tai Chi
  • Meditation

Learn how to say no to other peoples’ demands. You might have people from your personal life, from your child’s school, from your church, or from work trying to get you to take on more responsibilities. If you need less stress, don’t be afraid to say no.

If anger is your primary reaction, then you need to focus on anger management so that you can control your reactions to the daily stress that you undergo. And let go of any grudges you’ve been holding against other people because it only wears you down physically and emotionally.

Embracing a P.I.T. free Mindset

It’s been proven that optimists live longer than pessimists. That’s because those who look at life with a glad half empty are often suffering from heart sabotaging issues like depression and anxiety.

But it’s not as easy as flipping a switch and suddenly thinking everything is all rainbows and unicorns. In fact, you’re not supposed to wear rose-colored glasses and be fake about how great life is, either.

What you need to do is work on a mindset where you’re realistic about what life has given you and then tackle it with a positive attitude that you’re capable of working through any issues that arise.

There’s always going to be stress in your life. It’s unavoidable as a whole. But with the right attitude, you can meet situations head to head and handle them with ease.

Every day you need to reiterate to yourself that you’re capable of handling whatever arises. Stay level-headed about what’s going on. Don’t overreact and make a bigger deal out of something than it really is.

Take a deep breath and look at whatever’s happening and think logically about how you can make it better. Don’t let feelings of doom and gloom overrun your thoughts.

Chances are the worst-case scenario will never happen, and even if it did, it’s not the end of the world. You’ll recover from it. How can you get a better mindset that helps vaccinate you against stress and protect your heart?

Practice positive affirmations. This is when you vocally and mentally reaffirm to yourself that things are going to be okay. Some people start their day off this way and end it this way – or call on positive affirmations during times of crisis.

Smile. Research shows that smiling actually improves your stress handling abilities – but not just any smile will do. It needs to be a full smile where your eyes and the muscles around the mouth actually change shape.

Find ways to laugh a lot. Whether it’s through a funny show on TV or a date night out to a live comedy club, laughter can help people physically and emotionally. When you laugh, the lining of your blood vessels dilates and improves blood flow.

Finding ways to manage your stress won’t just ensure that your heart is protected. It’s going to give you a better quality of life, which will improve your relationships, too.

Top 10 Things You Need in Order to be Successful

Do you have what it takes to be successful?

You don’t need the right family, an inheritance, supportive parents, good looks, or anything else that’s beyond your control. Those things can certainly make the road smoother, but they’re not imperative.

You can create everything you need to be successful.

1.     A vision for the future. It’s important to know what you want. How will you get what you want if you don’t know what you want? A vision for the future is the same as making decisions about what you want and don’t want. That vision also provides the motivation to continue when things become challenging, and they will.

2.     Goals. Once you have a vision, you’re in the position to create goals to make that vision a reality. Failing to have goals is deciding to keep your life the same.

3.     The ability to create habits. A thin, attractive, healthy body is the result of an effective set of habits. Effective habits will also provide you with a healthy bank account. Your ability to reach your goals is largely dependent on your ability to create and implement habits.

4.     The ability to connect with others. There aren’t too many things you can do completely on your own. Others will be involved along the way. They might be customers, clients, suppliers, partners, or the public at large.

5.     The ability to deal with discomfort. Success involves change. Change is uncomfortable. How do you handle discomfort? Do you become overwhelmed, grab the remote, and head for the couch with a plate full of cookies? Or do you take a deep breath, step up, and take care of business?

Successful people are able to act even when they feel uncomfortable.

6.     Successful people look ahead and make appropriate plans. They see their future   opportunities and challenges and modify their plans and behaviors accordingly. Life also goes more   smoothly if you’re proactive.

7.     Grit. Much of the journey to reach your goals isn’t fun or exciting. It’s a grind. The ability to persevere when there’s nothing exciting going on is a good way to gauge how successful you can become. The easier it is for you to give up, the less likely you are to be successful.

8.     Patience. Patience and grit are related. Creating success requires time and patience. Patience is necessary to see concrete results. Without patience, frustration eventually wins.

9.      A regular review of your results. Having a vision and goals isn’t enough. It’s important to review the results you’re getting. Is your plan working? Could you make some changes that would bring better results? Measure and review your results regularly.

10.    A good sense of humor. Life is funny. Things will go wrong no matter how well you prepare. Unique opportunities pop up along the way. If you can laugh at life and its follies, you’ll have a better chance of experiencing and enjoying success.

Success doesn’t require anything outside of your control.

You need a vision, a plan to get there, and the ability to follow through. You can be as successful as anyone you’ve ever known. Take control and create a life that pleases you. Begin today by creating a vision of the future that compels you to make goals and take action.