GPS: Develop a useful way to manage contacts and leads to develop new customers

Image Goes Here GOAL SUMMARY: A brief description of the goal, why it is being set, and how it fits into my life as a whole goes here. Make sure it’s long enough to make it past the bottom fo the image so the table can fit to the entire width. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque vel dolor nibh, non eleifend nisl. Fusce ullamcorper, massa ultricies pretium laoreet, elit quam aliquet elit, id fringilla nibh eros vitae mi. Curabitur porta erat sed mauris iaculis bibendum. Suspendisse consequat, ante id interdum eleifend, massa libero tempor ante, a eleifend sapien nisi at odio. Nam adipiscing dapibus velit, eget iaculis justo tempor vitae. Etiam est turpis, varius id accumsan eu, bibendum id dui. Donec laoreet rutrum odio, non laoreet libero condimentum vel. Nunc ornare mauris ac arcu porttitor non hendrerit dui elementum. Phasellus vel nisi a quam rutrum vestibulum. Quisque varius suscipit diam, mollis tincidunt mauris imperdiet in. Maecenas mattis mattis metus, nec posuere ipsum feugiat a.

GOAL:

Develop a useful system to manage contacts that leads to the appropriate number of leads and new customers so as to continually grow and diversify the business, while at the same time maintaining a personal relationship with our clients.

TARGET DATE:

MM/DD/YYYY

TODAY’S DATE:

August 19, 2010

REWARDS:

  • I will be able to find information about my clients quickly, including contact information, personal information, and a history of my work with them.
  • My customers will feel like I “know them.”
  • I will be able to monitor and track the flow of suspects and prospects into customers so as to appropriately add new contacts and seek new leads.

CONSEQUENSES:

  • I will lose track of potential customers.
  • I will not know how much work I need to do to develop the business I need.
  • I will therefore be over- or under-working the sales side of my business, which will lead to too much stress (and focus on new customers) or reduced income (and focus only on existing customers)

AFFIRMATIONS:

  • I work well in an organized environment.
  • Affirmation2

 

POSSIBLE OBSTACLE

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

ACTION STEPS

MUST-DO DATE
DELEGATED TO

SOLUTION

No good contact management package to both manage contact information, contact history, and position in the sales process / funnel.

  1. Paper Rolodex, Outlook, or Online System
  1. Review Online systems. Paper does not work for my mobile environment and Outlook is too limited.
  2. Enter existing client information and all in-process sales leads.
  1. Friday, August 20, 2010
  2. Friday, August 27, 2010
  1. Chose “Big Contacts” at www.bigcontacts.com

 

POSSIBLE OBSTACLE

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

ACTION STEPS

MUST-DO DATE

DELEGATED TO

No “script” or intentional conversational points for phone calls.

  1. Solution1
  2. Solution1
  1. ActionStep1
  2. ActionStep2
  1. MustDoDate1
  2. MustDoDate2
  1. Delegated1
  2. Delegated2

 

POSSIBLE OBSTACLE

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

ACTION STEPS

MUST-DO DATE

DELEGATED TO

Obstacle

  1. Solution1
  2. Solution1
  1. ActionStep1
  2. ActionStep2
  1. MustDoDate1
  2. MustDoDate2
  1. Delegated1
  2. Delegated2

The Princess Effect

The Princess Effect… I wonder if there is a definition somewhere that puts into words the effect a woman’s heart has on a man, or a daughter’s heart has on a father. I’m not writing this to say I’m totally wrapped around my baby’s little finger yet (nor am I denying it), but I do want to get this down early in her life as a bit of a starting point of my feelings in her general direction.

A few people in my life know that I prayed quite sincerely for a daughter. For good reasons, too. Up until marriage my life has been a little lack in influence of femininity, and when one such man is thrown together with a woman in a dating relationship and later in marriage, it can make for a bit of a rough part. How do you keep pursuing her once you’ve “got” her? How do you make her feel special when life becomes a list of to-do’s? Where is love in routine

Goal Planning Sheet Template

Image Goes Here GOAL SUMMARY: A brief description of the goal, why it is being set, and how it fits into my life as a whole goes here. Make sure it’s long enough to make it past the bottom fo the image so the table can fit to the entire width. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque vel dolor nibh, non eleifend nisl. Fusce ullamcorper, massa ultricies pretium laoreet, elit quam aliquet elit, id fringilla nibh eros vitae mi. Curabitur porta erat sed mauris iaculis bibendum. Suspendisse consequat, ante id interdum eleifend, massa libero tempor ante, a eleifend sapien nisi at odio. Nam adipiscing dapibus velit, eget iaculis justo tempor vitae. Etiam est turpis, varius id accumsan eu, bibendum id dui. Donec laoreet rutrum odio, non laoreet libero condimentum vel. Nunc ornare mauris ac arcu porttitor non hendrerit dui elementum. Phasellus vel nisi a quam rutrum vestibulum. Quisque varius suscipit diam, mollis tincidunt mauris imperdiet in. Maecenas mattis mattis metus, nec posuere ipsum feugiat a.

GOAL:

Goal stated as a positive statement.

TARGET DATE:

MM/DD/YYYY

TODAY’S DATE:

MM/DD/YYYY

REWARDS:

  • Reward1
  • Reward2

CONSEQUENSES:

  • Consequence1
  • Consequence2

AFFIRMATIONS:

  • Affirmation1
  • Affirmation2

 

POSSIBLE OBSTACLE

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

ACTION STEPS

MUST-DO DATE

DELEGATED TO

Obstacle

  1. Solution1
  2. Solution1
  1. ActionStep1
  2. ActionStep2
  1. MustDoDate1
  2. MustDoDate2
  1. Delegated1
  2. Delegated2

 

POSSIBLE OBSTACLE

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

ACTION STEPS

MUST-DO DATE

DELEGATED TO

Obstacle

  1. Solution1
  2. Solution1
  1. ActionStep1
  2. ActionStep2
  1. MustDoDate1
  2. MustDoDate2
  1. Delegated1
  2. Delegated2

 

POSSIBLE OBSTACLE

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

ACTION STEPS

MUST-DO DATE

DELEGATED TO

Obstacle

  1. Solution1
  2. Solution1
  1. ActionStep1
  2. ActionStep2
  1. MustDoDate1
  2. MustDoDate2
  1. Delegated1
  2. Delegated2

Communication – I want to stop taking the easy way out

This week I’m learning about communication in my business and sales coaching. Today I read an interesting statistic, that while I knew was “out there,” I had not seen in print. Communication is only 7% verbal, 38% tone of voice, and 55% body language. Wow, no wonder I can’t get some thoughts across when my body and emotions aren’t on board with what I want to say, or when I’m trying to communicate something important to me with only written words (emails, blogs, facebook, etc.). It’s so easy for me – almost like it’s been built into me – to want to take the “easy way out” and send an email or hope for voicemail instead of requesting face to face meetings before getting into the meat of what I’d like to talk about.

Over and over these past few years, I’ve discovered many of these “easy ways out,” and I think in every case, it’s the wrong way to go. It may save face, but it does not challenge anyone (myself included), nor does it express the level of interest I truly want to share. If it’s important, I should do everything I can to share as much as the communication “process” with those I want to communicate with – verbal, tone, and body. It’s not always possible, but it certainly is more than I have made it out ot be in my past.

Destructive Path – A Lesson for Teens that is Supposed to be about Alcohol

I’m leading our church’s high school youth group tomorrow in a discussion that seems to focus on the “destructive path” of alcohol. I’m having a tough time with some of it’s arguments, as I feel they are a bit more of a fear tactic than a a logical progression of thought involving the Bible’s complete perspective on the topic, alcohol’s real affects (especially on young bodies and brains), and more than anything else, personal convictions. While there is something to be said about statistics and slippery slopes, there is much more to to be said about real-life experiences and thought out decisions based on values, priorities, and convictions. These are my thoughts on the lesson as I prepare to both teach it, and move from simply talking about the dangers of alcohol to the importance of personal decisions in every area of life, from alcohol and drugs to cheating, lust, and anger.

[Note: This is still a work in progress. There are definitely some areas I want to add to on personal convictions and hopefully a testimony or two from someone who’s walked down the wrong side of this path.]

The question of the week, according to the literature, is “Why is drinking such a big deal?” The answer? According to the book, “Drinking alcohol can lead to tragic consequenses.” Couldn’t I present this same argument for any number of areas of teenage life, from alcohol and drugs to speeding, driving without seat belts, and fighting? How many things in life lead to tragic consequenses, when abused? And I think that’s where this lesson leaves something out in it’s argument. In every-single-point, it’s “Alcohol can.” Alcohol can do this. Alcohol can do that. Alcohol can kill you, you know. I’m all for presenting facts, figures, and accurately used proof-texts to support an argument, but I sure don’t see any Sunday School lessons entitled “why is having money such a big deal… because it can KILL you!” No, when it comes to money, we know it’s greed and misuse (abuse) that lead to the tragic consequenses. Used correctly, money is a tool. I don’t believe alcohol is a tool, especially in the hands of children and teens whose brains are still developing, who are confronted on all sides by peer pressure and inexperience. I also do not, personally, believe it is taboo.

So I’m going into tomorrow’s lesson by texting all teens whose numbers I have with that very question… “why is drinking such a big deal.” Here are the answers I received:

  • It’s a big deal because it boggles the mind.
  • It’s a big deal because anyone can drink it, and it more than often makes for bad choices.
  • It’s a big deal because it’s often a way to “prove” yourself.
  • It’s a big deal because it has a lot of bad effects on your liver.
  • I don’t think drinking is bad. I think getting drunk is bad.
  • It’s a big deal because some people feel like they can “escape” their life for awhile and others do it cause it’s fun for the rush.
  • Teenagers think it’s a big deal because it’s portrayed as something fun and exciting and they get a rush because it’s illegal and they know it. They want to drink to get back at their parents, the government, and anyone who thinks underage drinking is wrong. For the most part they drink at parties because “it’s fun” or simply because it’s there.
  • Drinking for me is a big deal because so many bad things happen, like unplanned pregnancies, DUI, murders, domestic abuse, fornication… in other words many of the things that we all talk about as terrible have a root in alcohol. I know that “if you don’t get drunk then it’s ok” to drink, by the Bible even, but for me I’m against it 100% because, even if it’s controlled, it only takes one mistake to ruin multiple lives and that’s not a chance I will ever take.

It’s clear to me that a good portion of the youth I’m teaching either have an understanding of the fact that “alcohol is bad for me,” at least in the stage of life they are in at this time. The argument made in this week’s Sunday School lesson, while legitimately factual, is not where I feel we really need to focus with our group. I want to spend time covering it with them for the sake of those who may not have any experience or knowledge:

1. ALCOHOL CAN LEAD TO TROUBLE

Proverbs 22:29-30 – Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has conflicts? Who has complaints? Who has wounds for no reason? Who has red eyes? Those who linger over wine, those whogo looking for mixed wine.

As we go through this lesson today, I want to spend the time we spend on the points covered in your book focused on alcohol as it relates to you, your friends, and your peers. I don’t feel that these arguments are the same you’d make in a group of college students, for example, or with adults. The facts are still the facts, but what motivates people does change over time. In a book I look to often for facts and figures, Youth Culture 101 by Walt Mueller, he lists his own “top 10” reasons teenagers use alcohol (and drugs). I’ll list them here:

  1. Curiosity and Experimentation: “I’ve never met a teenager who used drugs and alcohol with the intention of getting hooked.”
  2. Peer Pressure: “My own conversations with middle and high school students indicates that pressure to drink alcohol is one of the most intense pressures churched kids feel from their peers.” True or false in your world? Give an example. “With a constant desire to fit in, be accepted, and be loved, teenagers who feel insecure and unloved at home are more susceptible and will give in to the pressure more easily.” (“it’s worth the risk”)
  3. It’s Fun: Boredom… cheap, easy, fun to do with a group
  4. To Look Grown Up: Don’t want to look like kids, it’s a rite of passage
  5. Availability: More than 60% of 8th greaders and more than 80% of 10th graders say that alcohol is “fairly easy” or “very easy” to get. Parents providing, or not limiting access.
  6. Advertising: What message does advertising give to alcohol (Homer quote: “Alcohol – the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems”)
  7. Pop-Culture Presence: Where do you see it here – what’s the pressure?
  8. Family Problems: Divorce, sepratation, absenct parents… discord, pressure, expectations, poor communication… sends teens looking for relief.
  9. Escape: Get away from stress and problems, even if temporary.
  10. To Cope: “Self medicating” to perform better? Take the edge off?
  11. Addiction: Experimentation, social use, misuse, abuse, chemical dependency

I’m going to give these items to the teens in the form of 3×5 cards (probably do two people per card so they can think through it together) and let them line up in the order they think the pressure to drink comes from. I’m curious if it will match Mueller’s findings.

Look back to the proverb we read. Does that make sense when it comes to drunkenness? What about the “happy drunk” who seems to be the life of the party? What about your friend who “doesn’t get drunk?” What types of trouble can you imagine – types of sorrow, conflice, complaints – come from alcohol abuse?

What do you think of this Shakespeare quote:

O God, that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains! THat we should with joy, pleasance, revel, and applause, transform ourselves into beasts!

2. ALCOHOL CAN CAUSE LOSS OF JUDGEMENT

Again, I think it would be appropriate to put the word abuse between “alcohol” and “can” in this statement. Actually, if you did that, you could probably change “can” to “will.” Is it appropriate for us to kind of up the ante here and say it’s “a drop of” alcohol that will lead to that loss of judgement? That’s how that statement comes across to me. I think these teens can see through that. I’d think they can see that it’s a slippery slope argument… “you’d better steer completely clear of this, because if you don’t… you won’t be able to stop.” I don’t want my teens to be confronted with this type of argument, because in the initial stages, it simply may not ring true. If you accept the truth of that statement as “down the road” a bit and that keeps from doing anything, fine… but if you see past the statement to the fact that your initial experience with alcohol (or drugs, or sex, or whatever) may actually not have any of the “bad” consequenses anyone has warned you about, will it stop you? I’d rather my teens develop personal convictions for both this time of their life, and as they enter adulthood, based on more than just “I don’t want to go near it because it might reach out and hurt me.” Life is full of things that can trip us up and literally KILL us if we give them control, and alcohol is definitely one of those.

The book we’re using has a graphic that shows the different levels of blood alcohol content and the effect they produce on our brains and judgement. I went to www.bloodalcoholcalculator.org and plugged in some figures for my own weight to see just how much drinking it would take to get to these points (based on a  60 minute drinking timeframe). This is by no means an endorsement of “just one or two” but rather a realistic look at the “average” effect of alcohol on a brain like mine.

  • Euphoria (.03 – .12 %): 3 – 8 beers
  • Lethargy (.09 – .25 %): 6 – 16 beers
  • Confusion (.18 – .30 %): 11 – 19 beers
  • Stupor (.24 – .40%): 16 – 25 beers
  • Coma (.35 – .50 %):  22 – 31 beers

Wow, isn’t that a relief! I’d have to drink two 12-packs to put myself into a coma. Ha. What I find interesting is that the top level of “lethargy” is the same as the bottom level of “stupor.” The difference between (1) my body slowing down, losing coordination, and being obviously unfit to drive and (2) lapses in consciousness, possibility of alcohol poisoning, and loss of bladder control … the difference there can be quite negligable. I’m not totally sure what I learn from this.

Proverbs 22:31-33: Don’t gaze at wine when it is red, when it gleams in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a snake and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and you will say absurd things.

To be honest… that Proverb (written by the wisest man that ever lived) sounds like it is spoken out of experience, doesn’t it? And how many things are there in life that, unfortunately, we will only learn by experience.

I can look back to a specific day in my life that built much of my own personal conviction about alcohol and drug abuse (and even use). I used to live behind a strip mall, and almost every day I’d walk over to the Hook’s Drug Store to buy a candy bar or can of pop. I remember walking over there one day, and up by the highway, seeing a mangled mess of a car surrounded by fire fighters, a couple ambulances, and a large group of people. I went over to watch, and for 10 minutes looked on as the paramedics worked to cut open the car to gain access to the person inside, barely hanging onto their life. Rumor circulated that the driver was drunk and had crashed right there in the parking lot, and that he probably wasn’t going to make it. It only became apparent to me later on that this entire event was staged as an effort to show the dangers of alcohol. For me, it worked. Scare tactic or not, it was a reality check I can still picture in my mind. I think before we develop almost any personal conviction, we need some sort of reality check like this. We need to look the substance (or the action, or the emotion) in the face and say, “I don’t want you. You are not worth it.” I didn’t put it into words until years later, but as I look at my life now and my view on alcohol, that image played a part in my conviction: “I will not lose control. I will not come close to losing control.” What that means to me, is very personal, and even hard to explain. But I know it, I live by it, and it holds personal value to me.

3. ALCOHOL CAN LEAD TO ADDICTION

That thought, that “loss of control,” leads to this final point as outlined in the lesson. When do you cross that line of controlling yourself and your actions and your actions controlling you? Is it a black and white line? Will you see it before you cross it or do you need to head it off way beforehand?

Proverbs 23:34-35: You’ll be like someone sleeping out at sea or lying down on the top of a ship’s mast. “They struck me, but I feel no pain! They beat me, but I didn’t know it! When will I wake up? I’ll look for another drink.”

I’m not totally sure what this verse has to do with addiction, other than the last portion, where the man who’s drunk out of his mind sets out to reply the journey he just spoke of. But is that what an addiction truly is? Does it have to go that far, that we are totally under the control of the substance, habit, or feeling?

I like this definition of alcohol addiction: “Addiction is the repeated involvement with any substance or activity, despite the excessive costs of this involvement, because of craving (intense desire).” The key portion of that definition, I believe, is the words “despite the excessive costs.” In other words, it’s worth the pain. It’s worth the side effects. It’s worth the risk that I will get hurt or killed, or that I might hurt or kill someone else should I make just a few wrong decisions.

Take a look at this quote by Denzel Washington, one of my favorite actors:

I made a commitment to completely cut out drinking and anything that might hamper me from getting my mind and body together. And the floodgates of goodness have opened upon me.

Was it “worth it” to Denzel to competely remove alcohol from his life? Why? Why wasn’t a bit of social drinking with the risk for him?

WRAP IT UP

This is where I really wanted to wind up from this entire lesson. “Is it really worth it?” I don’t ask that just in the context of, “is it worth it for me to give into peer pressure” or “is it worth it for me to try just one?” I ask that in the sense of, Is it worth it for me to decide right here, right now, what I’m going to do with alcohol? Is it worth it for me to put into words my feelings of how it’s (1) not worth the immediate brain and body function risk, (2) not worth the long-term risks of addiction or the lifestyle.

The things we read today are something of truths. They are facts. They are statistics. They are true. But simply knowing they are true, acknowledging they are true, and even saying we “believe them” does not mean we will have the strength to stand when confronted with something uniquely designed to trap and defeat us.

Think about the areas of life where you’re confronted with something you don’t want to give into. It might be alcohol. It might be drugs. It might be the wrong boy or girl that’s trying to develop a friendship with you. It might be pornography. Or it might be something small that could LEAD to those areas. Is it worth it for you to take that “first drink” in terms of a first date, a first smoke, a first flip-through-a-magazine-in-the-grocery-store. Or will you say, here and now, that your allegience is with God, His word, and come up with a statement describing your feelings and commitment?

Productivity – Plenty of Room for Improvement!

“The journey IS the destination.”

Thank GOD that’s true.

As I venture through my coaching experience, there are areas that both excite me for the “simplicity” of what really needs to be done. There are also areas that could easily overwhelm me if I didn’t keep that quote from my friend Brian of the Daily Audio Bible in front of me on a regular basis. While life is full of deadlines, to-do lists, and hectic months of business transitions, babies, and coaching homework, it’s good to remember that this is not all just about “fixing” tomorrow. It is about realizing my potential for LIFE, both for my own fulfillment, and even more than that, what I can offer to others and glorify my Creator with.

Today I took a survey and came up with goals related to Productivity. As I ventured through this section, it pointed out many areas of my weekly habits that are quite lacking, and also pointed out WHY they are so. It’s not so much that I don’t know what I should be focusing on, it’s often that I let things get in the way that shouldn’t, or don’t make priorities “must do’s.” Instead, they become “should do’s,” and the urgent things that pop up each day somehow take precedence until the end of the day when I look back and say, “I didn’t do what I set out to do.”

So here are some thoughts from my journey through the Productivity section of my coaching experience:

DEFINITION OF PRODUCTIVITY:

Define what it means for you to personally be “productive” in your job. What is it essentially that you get paid for?

Just what is it i do to earn my keep? I definitely provide the go-to solutions for servers, databases, and software development. I also help design solutions for many other areas that my company supports. I do almost anything, and am able to turn parts of it over to others after establishing what needs to be done. But do I ever let go from the get-go of some responsibilities? Is there anything I’ve completely “relinquished” to the point that I may supervise, but not manage and head up? For instance, when it comes to support and hardware, areas I should and can delegate out, I am still on the front lines to determien what “needs to be done” and pick up / order anything we need to get it done. I do the bookkeeping. I do the sales. I find new clients and come up with new ideas and opportunities. I am the one in meetings. I know well the addage: “a man of many hats.” Is this good? Is it productive?

Wher is my greatest contributionb to C2IT Consulting? Where do I find the best return on investment for the time I spend working for the business? The more I think of it, it is in two areas: planning / growing the business and working with special technologies such as servers, database, and development. Just what does that mean? Why do I do everything (or at least initiate everything) when I specialize and provide the most value in specific areas? Sure, part of it is because I’m a 3 person (well, kinda… really just 2 at the moment) business. Are these things I need to let go? How would I do so? What steps do I need to take to do so?

So my definition of productivity… Doing what I am made to do. Doing what I am uniquely assigned with. It involves identifying those areas of my job that I should focus on and finding ways to either let go of other responsibilities, limit my involvement in them, or delegate them to those that work for and with me. As the business owner and president, I need to decide what I want to (and can) entrust to employees, what I must do myself, and what I can do in-house or farm out.

I believe productivity also involves setting asside specific times for tasks and responsibilities, especially those that are not in my realm of expertice, responsibility, or that bring value to the company. Things like bookkeeping, prospecting, and returning emails/phone calls… while these are necessary, key to growth, and even part of my day to day life, I find them often dictating my schedule and priorities each day. I cannot let them dominate or take over my days.

GOAL CATEGORIES FOR PRODUCTIVITY

After taking a survey looking at areas that I am involved in and whether or not those areas are, are not, or should be in my realm of responsibility, I came up with some categories for setting goals to grow and improve myself and the business:

  • FOCUS on areas of the business where I bring unique value to our clients and our company.
  • LIMIT my involvement and time in areas of the business that, while I am responsible for and must accomplish, do not bring as much value to the company.
  • REDUCE OR REMOVE my involvement in areas of the business that draw me from my responsibilities.
  • DEVELOP GOALS (specific, attainable, positive, etc.) for tracking what is needed to bring in an appropriate and growing client base.
  • Recognize my importance as the FACE OF THE COMPANY in sales, networking, and solution providing.
  • Compare C2IT’s offerings with local and non-local competition or comparable companies to DISCOVER VALUE AND ADJUST FOR WEAKNESSES.
  • Limit my time “at work” so that it does not dominate my personal life.

PRODUCTIVITY GOALS

CATEORY GOAL PRIORITY
Focus where I bring value Set aside a MINIMUM amount of time each day (will vary by day based on schedule / location) to work on business planning, proposal and presentation preparation, opportunity exploring, and custom development (as needed). Also examine “spec” projects and decide the amount of time to give them each week. Only go below this minimum if specific criteria is met (define that criteria). 2
Limit time spent on other responsibilities Set aside a MAXIMUM amount of time each day (varies by day) to work on regular responsibilities such as support, bookkeeping, phone calls and email, prospecting, and sales calls. Only go above this maximum if specific criteria or emergencies arise, and if they do, compensate elsewhere. 1
Reduce or Remove time spent on areas that draw me from my focus Create job descriptions for all positions, even if multiple job descriptions are held by a single person. 4
Develop goals and baselines for bringing in clients to maintain and grow company Implement the “4 point” sales system to maintain steady work on sales-related tasks, and record information so as to track information about suspects, prospects, and turning them into clients. Develop goals for revenue from new clients, how many clients / how much work is needed to meet that revenue, and determine the work necessary to attain that. 3
Increase my value as the face of the company Write a monthly newsletter to key clients, vendors, and decision makers with information about C2IT happenings, usability tips, IT happenings, specials, new opportunities, new clients, etc. 5
Compare to competition to find value and fix problems Find 3 comparable local businesses and one non-local and compare their offerings and pricing via their websites or phone calls. Local: one smaller, one similar, and one relatively bigger. See how we compare, what we offer that is unique, and where we might improve. 6
Limit time “at work” Develop an “on call” schedule and routine for handing emergencies. Work this into job descriptions. 4

FINAL THOUGHTS

My exploration of productivity shows me several things. One that really shows up is something that I think leads to some dissatisfaction with days when I work hard but “accomplish” little, or when I just can’t decide what it is I need to work on that day. I don’t fully know what I should be doing, don’t have it planned until the moment hits, and don’t see how it fits into the bigger picture… not just of “growing the business,” but meeting my personal and professional goals so that I can attain the dreams that TRULY motivate me. I need to get specific about how these goals and time spent working on them fits into those bigger pictures, and then keep that motivating information in front of me on a daily basis so as to consistently be reminded that what I am doing each moment matters.

Affirmations – A Discussion with Youth

Tonight I’m once again leading the youth group at our church. Tonight we’re going to talk about Affirmations. An affirmation is telling yourself, in times of doubt, that which you know to be true at other times. This takes some forethought, of course, because that time of doubt when you need that nugget of truth is not the time to go discovering it. Tonight I’m going to talk with the youth about some of the affirmations we may already hold (positive and negative) and work with them to develop a couple on a note card they can take home and put on their bathroom mirror or something.

I love this popular youtube video about the young girl who knows all about these statements of truth. Even if this is prepared for video, the fact that this girl has these statements memorized and can recite them with passion and emotion makes me say “Bravo, parents. You’re doing well.”

I’m not a big fan of making statements about who you want to be and feeling that just because you say it sincerely of often enough that it will become reality. I am a fan of dreaming, and am also learning even now how to take those dreams, crystallize them into goals, and see them come to be reality.

But if something’s already true, why do we need to put it into a verbal sentence, much less write it down, and even less than that, put it somewhere we see it every day? The fact is, “statements of truth” are proposed to us every day. Whether it’s the massive amounts of stories on the news telling us that “my future is insecure” or “school is a dangerous place.” We get these messages from parents, who while they are trying to teach us invaluable lessons about manners and maturity, often fail to affirm us as we grow up. Instead, we hear as a child, “don’t touch that” or “stop talking so much,” which in turn, later in life turns into “I’m a clumsy dufus” and “I don’t have anything to say that so-and-so would like to hear.” We are surrounded by negative statements about ourselves, and they DO affect us. The exercise of examining ourselves, finding what is true, and then putting it into words we either repeat often or see often is invaluable to combatting this negativity that is pounded into us every day.

Here are a few affirmations of my own… the first I’ve had drilled into me every time I view my facebook profile for over a year, and the others are relatively new, and a joy for me to read.

  • I am an adopted son of God, brave and courageous.
  • I am a success. I set goals that are important to me, do what is necessary to achieve them, and finish strong.
  • I am a loving husband and involved father, who places my family above all other relationships in life.

I as I looked at these last week, I saw some of the negative statements that I was either brought up to believe (intentionally or not) or came to believe through past experiences:

  • I am a disappointment and a failure. I have nothing to offer.
  • I am too tired and busy to figure out how to accomplish this goal.

So in the youth group tonight, we’re going to work on some of these statements. We did this in a round-about-way a few weeks ago when we watched the video “God’s Chisel” by the Skit Guys. The statement of truth that day was something like, “I am God’s original masterpiece.” How true, yet how often we believe otherwise.

The Bible are filled with affirmations. Affirmations by psalms men like David about their true self, and affirmations about who God is, even when He seems anything but. Just a few examples:

  • Psalm 131:1-3: O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.
  • Proverbs 16: 3: Commit your work to the Lord and then your plans will succeed.
  • 2 Timothy 1:7: For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

There are many verses that while not directly “affirmation statements” are very true and appilcable, and could easily be turned into such. For example (source):

  • I can see the Kingdom of God because I am born again. John 3:3
  • I don’t worry about everyday life. God knows my needs and meets them because I make His Kingdom my primary concern. Matthew 6:25-33
  • Jesus shows himself to me because I love him. John 14:21
  • Because Jesus died for my sins, I am no longer separated from God. I live in close union with him. Romans 5:10
  • The fruit I produce brings great joy to God, my Father in Heaven. John 15:8
  • God’s power works best in my weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9

There are many more affirmations-from-verses on this source site, and I’ll include them following the end of this post.

So this is what we’re going to review at church tonight with the youth. We’re then going to take some steps to make our own affirmations, based on facts of truth we know about ourselves, Bible verses, or a combination thereof. We’ll “supercharge” these affirmations by writing them down, saying them, and adding emotion to otherwise bland statements of truth. This site describes these superchargers well.

Affirmation Mirror work

Perhaps the most powerful way of using affirmations is to state them whilst looking in the mirror. Some of the most important messages you have received have been from people looking you straight in the eye. By looking yourself in the eye as you state your affirmation you magnify the importance of the message to yourself.

Written Affirmations

A great way of keeping your affirmation at the forefront of your mind is to write them down, leave notes or cards around so that you notice them throughout the day. The AffirmIt! program uses mobile technology to text powerful messages to you with the goal of keeping your mind focussed on your intention. Another idea is to write your affirmation down many times (10-20), this helps imprint it on your mind.

Say Affirmations with Passion

Say your affirmations with passion, the higher your emotional state as you say them, the more effective they are.

Sing or Chant Affirmations

One of the most effective ways to use affirmations is to sing them! The mind is much more accepting of affirmation messages when they are sung.

I’m going to include myself in some of these exercises. Even though I know some of what i want to remember, it still lingers on a sheet of paper buried in a notebook. I’m looking forward to putting in on a 3×5 card and placing it around my home, and then encouraging others in my family and circle of friends to do the same.

More Affirmations from Scripture

  • I can see the Kingdom of God because I am born again. John 3:3
  • I don’t worry about everyday life. God knows my needs and meets them because I make His Kingdom my primary concern. Matthew 6:25-33
  • Jesus shows himself to me because I love him. John 14:21
  • Because Jesus died for my sins, I am no longer separated from God. I live in close union with him. Romans 5:10
  • The fruit I produce brings great joy to God, my Father in Heaven. John 15:8
  • God’s power works best in my weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9
  • Through the energy of Christ working powerfully in me, I teach others His truths. Colossians 1:29
  • I have been saved, not by works, but grace, so that I might do good works. Ephesians 2:9-10
  • My faith makes me whole in spirit, soul and body. Mark 5:34
  • When I call out to God He answers me. He tells me things I wouldn’t know otherwise. Jeremiah 33:3
  • Because I place my hope in the Lord my strength is renewed. Isaiah 40:31
  • As I follow Jesus…..as I walk with him, I have peace. Luke 24:36
  • Because I obey Jesus I remain in his love. John 15:10
  • The cross of Christ is my power. 1 Corinthians 1:17
  • My God meets all my needs. Philippians 4:19
  • God is my refuge and strength …. always ready to help me in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1
  • God gives me strength when I am weary and increases my power when I am weak. Isaiah 40:29  Continue reading “Affirmations – A Discussion with Youth”