Monday, September 9, 2013

The Power of Seeing through your Entrepreneurial Fears - Seriously

The Power of Seeing through your Entrepreneurial Fears

I can remember going back 12 years ago in my life and waking up to the fact that I was done working for others and I had a dream living inside of me waiting to be born. I was in the base camp of the Davidson Glacier in the summer of 2001 in Southeast Alaska where, I spent 7 days learning how to mountaineer.  The rest of my group was off climbing a second mountain peak.  The day was clear and sunny.  I sat in the snow with the tranquility of the sun keeping me warm and at peace.  I was so in touch with nature, myself and all of my surroundings.  I had a confidence that I had never felt before. I was sitting alone; waiting for the small plane to taxi me back to civilization after a week of mountaineering.   In the serene silence of being so connected to mother earth, I had a visual  apparition to include robust sound glaring out at me.  I had never in my life ever felt Energy around me so Pure that I knew it was our Divine Creator who had my full attention to alter my imagination.

I was shown my Life’s Mission, a real Purpose for my existence and the reason I was sitting on a glacier in the middle of the back country of Alaska with no means of leaving without a plane.  From my perspective, I was NOT trained to act out this mission and purpose.  This was very foreign to me. This was the polar opposite of my conditioning. 

(Today I AM aware that my first career and all my experiences are what trained me for my Life Mission and my Purpose) 

 I did believe in miracles yet I can’t say I had any experience being part of one back then.  And it was also very foreign to me back then to be having these vivid conversations with the Divine Almighty in this fashion.  I wrote everything down that I heard, I saw and felt and refer to those notes quite frequently.  The last question I remember being asked was “are you willing to step into a life of meaning and purpose and fully wake up? I said YES YES YES and not really knowing what that specifically meant, yet it intuitively made sense – my YES was authentic and pure which allowed me to walk through the doorway of truth with ease and that was when the real personal development training started. I felt myself breaking free as through an inner light broke through my mind.  

  My egoic mind was filled with the illusions that magically I would just wake up to being something different without actually doing any personal development work, which back then I did really know what personal development work was.  I seriously thought this “prophetic apparition"  was some kind of instantaneous pill to reshape my life similar to the Matrix movie.  It did not happen that way.  This Divine invitation opened me up to a new world if it wasn't enough for me as a big city gal to mountaineer in the back-country of Alaska.  My world was expanding magically as I leaped forward into the new.  

What I did not know back then was a lot of what I did NOT know and how much entrepreneurial fear lived inside of me and my own limits I carried about how much success I would allow. 

I did not have entrepreneurial role models that encouraged the reinvention of my life. I certainly did not have the ability to truly articulate the psychology of human behavior within workplaces and how emotion, and behavior affected the relationship between leadership and staff , the bottom line and the energy moving through the inside of the  business as I AM the expert of today.

 I could go on and on about what I did not know and I could have buried the dream that was planted within me.  I was trained by corporate giants to play a role in feeding and serving the bottom line (sales) and to be a bridge between customer and the corporation I represented.  All I knew was people mattered and deserved to happy and have fun at work and in personal life instead of constantly carrying heavy burdens that sucked away inner joy and sabotaged constantly feeling good and succeeding.  I wanted to be done with sabotaging my own life.  Living a life of meaning and purpose is all I wanted.   A vision was planted inside my imagination, growing inside of me and waiting to be emerged into action.

You may be very similar to me over a decade ago, having an idea brewing inside of you, yet you are still in your cubicle dreaming about someday. No one ever accomplished something great someday. The truth of the matter is deep inside of you feel lost and a bit petrified because of the leap into unknown, so you procrastinate because your cubicle is safe, predictable and consistent.  You can only avoid your purpose for so long. In my experience when I was here, the Universe reached out to pluck me from my cubicle because I did not move forward.  I was all talk and no action.  That was almost 10 years ago.  That was one of the best gifts to receive that startled mix emotions of excitement and to the fear involved in actually putting my services out there.  I did it.  I leaped and so can YOU!!!

One of the most dangerous places to be is being blind to your own fear and lying to yourself about it. One of the greatest excuses I hear is how swamped or busy a person is to really invest in the prosperity of their dreams.  The problem with doing this is you never really allow yourself to connect and interact with your business dream and have a healthy relationship to fuel your enthusiasm and build your business on your terms.  By using this excuse you disconnect yourself from people who can help support your transition into a life of meaning and purpose.  It suppresses and delays your happiness and exhausts your energy leaving you in the someday syndrome.

 I will share I made many painful and costly mistakes that the consequences had me face some of the greatest storms and trials of my life around self-sabotage, procrastination and avoidance behavior-- and most of all the FEAR of the UNKNOWN. And in the early years of my practice I made the mistake of still having an employee mindset that operated my business and not fully allowing my brand to be visible and being led by the industry instead of being operating by my terms. I see many self- employed people running their businesses this way and being more miserable than they were in the cubicle.

Because of these priceless experiences directly correlated around entrepreneurial fear, I have learned to master many lessons and have a heart- filled passion to pass on my learning to other entrepreneurs and emerging businesses no matter what stage you are in your entrepreneurial practice.

  I AM inviting you to join me in attending my original teaching that is geared to fast-track you and your success in feeling freer and confidence as you move forward.  My product name is " Free From Fear: Employee Street to Entrepreneurial Blvd" It is designed for show you a direct pathway to shortcut your mistakes, boost your Energy, your Sales and your Business.    

Please take a look and contact me to share your thoughts.




Thursday, July 11, 2013

What are you Focused on Today?

           What are You Focused on Today?

Like it or not we are all focused on something.  Your focus is either contributing to building up or tearing down your life – like it or not. 

Often many of us are so focused on our conditioning, our fears and our limitations instead of being focused on living a life full of meaningful purpose and our divine natural talents, gifts and strengths.

What you allow your mind to buy into is so powerful that I ask you this very critical question – who is leading your focus about what is possible in your life?

Be honest with yourself, is it your conditioning, the media, your circle of influence?  Or is it co-created between you and our Divine Creator with intentional creation? 

I recently found myself reading an article on The Picture of the Day titled “Living on the Edge”. It is a picture and story about a young man named Alex Honnold who is known as the best in the world for being a free soloist, where he climbs natural rock formations in record speeds around the world without ropes, without gear and relies on the power of his mind.    

Sounds a bit insane, unsafe and deadly, right – Yet, Why?

 That would mean such an inner self trust, self-discipline and self-reliance would need to be accessed and directed toward living in the present moment. It means you have one shot to get every move right. It means all the conditioning of what is possible or how something can be accomplished or how long something needs to take is released out of mind and out of your focus of normal. It means reaching a profound place within yourself where the mind is silent and you are free from stress, distraction and doubt.  This is the place of your inner power and being connected with the power of our Divine Creator.  

Diving within yourself to connect to this concentrated power of silence and focus which eliminates the noise places YOU 100% in charge of your mind to lead your life. And to give up your excuses, doubts and step into the magic of life.

This power lives inside of all of us.  You may not be wired with the same gifts as someone such as Alex Honnold yet you are here for something magnificent.  You are able to access the same dimensions inside of you to finish your work sooner than later, to involve yourself in richer life experiences, and to continuously evolve beyond the limitations of society and your past conditioning.

Take a peak at this short video and article on Alex   and then ask yourself what am I focused on today?  

Please write me, would enjoy hearing how your plan shifting your focus 



Monday, June 24, 2013

Are you evolving or revolving your business today?

Are you Evolving or Revolving your Business Today?

A common mistake that many professionals and many business leaders create is in not really knowing the difference between evolving and revolving.  It may seem to be a very simple differential, yet it is not.

Both evolving and revolving use physical, emotional and mental energy to focus on something such as solving a common business problem of talent  challenges or leadership dynamics or expanding market reach to name a few. 

To keep it simple, imagine you have access to an all-day commuter train tour and you invite everyone in your culture who contributes to your business and marketing strategy, business development and talent management on this ride.  You plan on really connecting to the heart of the matter by first connecting on this tour to help all of you build up innovation.  All of you are scheduled to be together on this train for 2 weeks to really connect to discover answers and solutions.

The conductor begins driving the train down the track.

The tour operator who is charge of communicating about the sites begins sharing.  All of you feel enthused.  As each hour passes you notice that all of you hear the same message over and over.  And you see the same sites over and over.  You and your team are feeling frustrated, shortchanged and drained.  You realize you are on a revolving train tour that is spinning around the same circular track and you are BORED.  And now you and your team spends your energy focusing and complaining about the problem.  The train operator believes this is normal.  It is okay that no one is happy because they still are making a profit.    

This hypothetical example is how many businesses make decisions and justify circumstances.

To really evolve, means you and your team jump on the train.  You are chugging down the track seeing new landscape, learning new things and opening up your inner voice to articulate new moves that lead you to actionable solutions.  The mind of your business is expanded charged with heightened motivation and enthusiasm. Your new way of thinking and managing energy is taking your business to new terrains.  You not only talk about the challenges that your business faces, you delay procrastination and take immediate action to step forward to heal the past, to stop muddling in the same mud puddles  and clean your business up and organize the mind of the business for maximized success.

I ASK YOU – Are you evolving or revolving your business today?



Christine M. West, TheBusinessMD
Industrial Organizational Psychologist 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Saying “NO” to Bamboozled Hoodwinks and “Yes” to Straight Up Service

Customer facing service agents are the front line of every business no matter if you are a soloentrepreneur who wears all the hats in your business, a small emerging business to the big corporation or anything in between that have a customer service department.  The way your front line interacts with your existing and inquiring customers affects your reputation, customer retention and bottom line profits. 

You invest a lot of time and energy in your front end systems of marketing, public relations, selling, and on-boarding clients by an online store or you do it through a human sales force that you continuously develop while paying high end commissions to nurture relationships and to close new business. When profits are flowing everybody’s happy. Everyone is making MONEY.   The customer on-boarding process is easy, the customer/consumer feels welcome until some customer or potential reaches out picks up the phone to work out a dilemma with a live person and one of two scenarios is about to play out  -  either that customer service agent enhances the relationship or exacerbates a fast deterioration.  I will elaborate more on that in a moment.

Let’s take a step back and review the past 10 years. The last decade expansive advances in technology on the rise have diminished even more the distance barriers to allow an extended marketing reach, more flexible work dynamics than we experienced last century and more innovative ways to deliver products and services. It is more common that businesses work with a clientele from various demographic regions today. 

Technology has allowed for process automation of both internal and external systems with the intent of increasing time efficiency and lowering monetary costs of having human labor.  Streamlining and cutting out the fat in a business is one thing; to cut out lean muscle on the back end system of “Straight Up” genuine Service is a big no-no costly mistake. To cut costs, so many businesses employ under skilled folks to be the problem solvers, relationship menders,  and preserve a positive image in how they  care for their customers. 

For example if you are a business selling high end product/experience/service that requires an investment from your customer, why would you have a unskilled low paid hourly worker answering the phone when someone inquires/needs clarity/ has a discrepancy  about the experience or have only a website that is difficult to navigate and makes it difficult to talk with a live person who can really nurture, care, solve, have empathy and buildup to develop a long term relationship of repeat business and promotes to others a positive experience integrated internally on the back-end of the business?  

What I am talking about is Straight-Up Service.

I have seen this scenario play out heavily in the hospitality, tourism, telecommunications, technology, retail, shopping, advertising, marketing, health/wellness, and the personal development space.  
 This is what I call a “Bamboozled- Hoodwink” approach where the business has invested a lot in the front end experience to hook the prospect, convert prospect into customer and even provides a lot of value in the product / service / experience and then something happens. A psychological disconnect in the mind of the customer has occurred. They need to talk with a person in your organization that can solve their disconnect and be of service.  This is where the customer walks away feeling better about doing business with you instead of resenting you. 

When resentment is contained early on it can easily be corrected.  When a business faces resentment that has built up over time erupting below the surface it can spread over night like weeds choking a beautiful harvest.

Here are some common mistakes of businesses that take the Bamboozled- Hoodwink approach:

·        Over promising and under delivering.  I am a big supporter and endorse a business who creates service level packages ASKing their customer to commit.  It is better to under promise and over deliver.  Psychologically this builds you up in the mind of your customer instead tearing you apart and out of litigation. 

·        Forcing customers to stay in a committed agreement with you when you are the one is not holding up your end of the agreement.  If your outer appearance offers an easy build up for the client and the inside of your business is mess that creates of chaotic stressful burden for your customer and their business -- this ends up being an unhealthy relationship.  You cannot expect someone to stay committed to you and pay you when you are not holding up your end.  This is great way to create resentment and have a poor reputation that ends up being a bigger mess to clean up that you ever anticipated leading to high turnover in both staff and in clients.     These businesses usually have a lot of negative hype written about them on the internet from resentful customers.

·        Your working approach is adding negative stress to the customer because you have rigid processes and a mechanical way of connecting with your customer instead having a human-friendly approach that allows ease, flexibility within the structure and efficiency.  This means you are to navigate between the company rules and being Human so your customer feels satisfied.

·        Asking the customer for constant referrals or testimonials when you and your customer just started working together. You are in the courting stages of the relationship and the customer has no measurable result to share.  This clearly illustrates a relationship that is more about you than your client.  Psychologically what you are doing is you are adding stress to the relationship with your client, leaving your client beginning to question working with you and never fully gaining the trust that is needed to accelerate results.  You suppress fruits of the relationship. Once the client receives measurable results – YES by all means Ask for referrals and a testimonial.     At this point the customer feels good about the relationship and you will receive a better testimonial. And your customer will want-to not have-to.

·        Bait and Switch.  Promising some innovative terms during the onboarding contract signing that the customer is expecting to have.  These terms really made entering into the contract attractive.  And then when the customer does not receive those terms and inquires, the customer facing agent communicates they were never authorized, misspoke, apologizes and offers a gift to the customer that has little or no valued meaning to building up the relationship.  It psychologically plants a dormant seed of mistrust that out of nowhere erupts and the customer is vigilant.

·        Signing customers on and hiding terms of the agreement.  No one likes to be blindsided and deceived.  Many online stores have very attractive services that allow the consumer to sign up for a low price to receive an item.  The law states the terms need to be sited on the sight.  It does not mean in BIG BOLD letter flashing at you.  So these Hoodwinks bank on people NOT paying attention and start automatically dipping into the consumers credit card month after month.    I have seen these businesses written up on Ripoff forums on the internet.  By the time the consumer pays attention to their credit card these “Hoodwinks” end up with a range of $20,000 - $500,000 per month because people do not pay attention.  By the time the consumer contacts the company to receive a refund they end up with some Bamboozled- Hoodwink hip answer of mechanical standard operating practices.  You the consumer have just donated a range of $59.95 -- $795.00 of your money for what in return.    An easy solution for Bamboozled- Hoodwinks after consumer makes initial purchase sent consumer email to confirm membership to XXXX and allow consumer to confirm with all the valued benefits to encourage usage.  At least if the consumer uses the services 1 x and forgets it their responsibility – they did not get forced or deceived by terms they were unaware of.
·        Marketing/ Advertising a high end experience that when inquired upon the consumer talks with a low paid unskilled agent who does not match up with the experience and cannot speak the language of the people who can afford such a luxury.

·        Having either only a Voice mail for me to call or having too many computerized prompts with such a long wait time of annoying music.  People want to communicate with live people.  People want to be acknowledged and heard. They want to be able to reach out to have their situation solved or their question DIRECTLY Answered.

Straight UP service enhances and nurtures the buildup of the relationship. It works hand in hand with the front end systems and sales force.  The customer feels valued even when “shit-hits-the-fan”  

People can feel the energy you put out – it is better to serve the best interest of the relationship instead of having  a Bamboozled- Hoodwink approach?

Straight-UP Service is about looking out for your customer’s interest not just your own.    Hiring a bunch of low paid low skilled folks to field, avoid, dodge and bamboozle complaints is missing a bigger picture and I recommend an adjustment in how you see your customers.    A customer facing agent that has a loving supportive direct approach can often melt grumpy people and solve the issue to retain an ongoing relationship.   More often than not people just want clarification to gain understanding not to beat you up.  Guess what that customer has every right to ASK you questions about the process, their billing or anything else that pertains to the business relationship.  

If you are avoiding direct communication with your customers you are NOT serving them. If you give FLUFF answers and only communicate by email YOU are NOT serving the needs of your Customers.  You are serving your needs only.   

 How you operate your business on the inside and back end with customers will directly affect your retention and profits.  It’s up to you.  

As both as a consumer and a business owner I say YES to Straight Up Service and NO to Bamboozled-Hoodwinks!