What’s in your control?

As a young elite gymnast (yep that’s me!), the advice my coach always gave me was “concentrate on the things that you can control and forget everything else”.

It was very wise advice.

In sport, in life, in work, in business, there are many situations that occur which are completely out of your control. There is only a limited amount of time, effort and energy that you have to invest in whatever it is that you are doing. Wasting any of it on things you cannot control achieves nothing except increasing your own frustration, anger and stress.

·         You can’t control how other people think.

·         You can’t control your competition.

·         You can’t control the weather.

·         You can’t control how someone else reacts to an issue.

·         You can’t control the financial climate.

·         You can’t control how another person values your product or service.

·         You can’t control many aspects of the environment you have to work in.

In every situation you have a choice – you can decide to focus on what you have the ability to do or you can allow external situations that you have no control over to bring you down.

“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.”
Steve Maraboli

7 ways to think bigger, be braver and achieve more

1. Get really clear on what you want and how badly you want it. How important is it to you? If it’s not important enough, then move onto something else that is important.

2. Decide if you are willing to do what it takes to achieve number 1 above.

3. Ask yourself honestly “what’s the worst that can happen?”  Reality is, it will never be as scary or as bad as the picture you paint in your mind.

4. Look around at all the other people who are doing it already. If they can, why can’t you!

5. Get comfortable with not having to know it all from the start. Everyone has to start somewhere. Every great achievement started with one small step.

6. Trust yourself. You know yourself better than anyone. If you don’t back yourself, who else will?

7. Just take a leap of faith and try. Only one person can take this step and that’s you, so go for it and don’t look back!

Fitness and Health

Being fit and healthy is about so much more than having huge muscles, eating salad or being able to complete a marathon.

FITNESS is the capacity to carry out your everyday activities with vigour and energy and without undue fatigue.  Being HEALTHY is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.

To live life to the fullest, regardless of your age, your daily schedule, your current responsibilities or your future life goals, striving for better fitness and health each and every day is the best way to optimise your success. In fact it is essential for surviving life!

(Thank you to the every amazing Cathy Stacey for this reminder!)

What will it take?

It’s school holidays and I’m usually lucky if I see my 17 year old son on his feet, out of bed before 1pm! Teenagers and their crazy out of whack biorhythms!

This morning, while working from home, I heard a rumble coming from the end of the house where the kids bedrooms are. It was 11am. I went to say good morning to Mr 12 (who is doing a brilliant job of becoming a teenager in the sleep in stakes!) only to find he was still asleep and it was Mr 17 getting in the shower. Shock horror!

Can you guess what it took for him to get up early? To put in the extra effort? That’s right… A girl! Young love is so sweet.

Over the past 25 years I’ve witnessed so many people in life, in health and in business, wait for a catastrophic disaster before they change their behaviour to get what they want. Before they do what it takes to start working towards their goals.

What do you need to do right now in your life to get the results you want? Will you wait for a disaster before you act, or will you be proactive like a smitten 17 year old boy to get what you want?

Will you wait to be pushed by pain and terror, or will you be inspired by what you can achieve if you put in the extra effort?

What do you want right now? How bad do you want it? What will it take for you to get there?

Do you have what it takes?

You have dreams of creating a more exciting life.

You long to find a way to make a living from your passion.

Do you have what it takes to start your own business?

According to Chad Brooks of www.businessnewsdaily.com, here are 10 personality traits you need to start your own business:

1. Lots of energy – you will always be on the go, generating ideas and following opportunities.

2. Persuasive – you are willing to tell people about your idea and fearless in who approach.

3. Resourceful – you have a talent for fixing issues and solving problems that may arise.

4. Winning attitude – you are willing to always see the opportunity and willing to learn something new.

5. Thrives in uncertainty – you can function without a great deal of certainty.

6. Opportunistic – you are prepared to take advantage of every situation and see opportunities where others don’t.

7. Learn from mistakes – you are not afraid to admit your mistakes and can correct negative behaviours.

8. Thinker – your mind is always at work and you cannot stop the flow of new ideas.

9. Communicator – you have a gift for the gab and are assertive and to the point.

10. Fighter – you are willing to get back up after being knocked down.

Why goal setting is not all it’s cracked up to be.

So you’ve got something you want to achieve.  You should set a goal and focus on it 100%, right? Wrong. There’s a better way to achieve things.

Common wisdom suggests you have to have a clear goal. The goal should be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound.  You need to focus on that goal 100% in order to reach it.

I’m not convinced.

Having a goal is great. In theory. People set goals every single day. But the truth is many people fall short in achieving their goals. So I’m thinking, if setting goals is the be all and end all, then why are so many people falling short?

Here’s the reason why.

Having a goal is one thing. Doing what it takes to achieve that goal, the process, is another. When you set a goal, and you put all your focus on achieving that goal, then the end result is all you have in mind. You’re not focusing on what it takes to get there.

Unless you concentrate on the process, the incremental steps you need to complete in order to make progress towards the end result, then it’s highly likely you’ll fall short.

Let’s look at some examples

·         You want to run a 10km fun run. Your goal is getting to the end of the race and completing it successfully. The process is what you do in training each week to build your fitness gradually.

·         You run a business. Your goal is to acquire 10 new customers. The process is doing consistent marketing each day to tell people your business exists.

·         You want to write a book. The goal is having the finished product in your hand to sell to the public. The process is in ensuring you write a chapter each week.

What would happen if you completely ignored the process and only focused on the goal? It’s highly likely that you wouldn’t get there would you? But here’s the interesting part. What if you completely ignored the goal and simply focused on the process. Do you think you’d get there?

Yes, I think you most likely would!

Focusing on the process required to achieve your goal, ensures that you build the habits to ensure that you do what it takes to get to the end result. So yes you need to have the end goal in mind but your focus actually needs to be on the process it’s going to take to achieve the goal, not on the goal itself.

Light bulb moment

Don’t you love when you have those light bulb moments when something you’ve been pondering for months, perhaps even years, suddenly falls into place like the pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. I had one of those moments yesterday after attending a course which I almost didn’t go to.

It was one of those free, full day events which I had signed up for a number of weeks ago. The topic had grabbed my attention at the time but as the day crept closer I tossed up whether I really wanted to invest an entire day of my weekend to this event. The night before I actually did some research and found some quite damaging negative feedback against the company who was running the event. Alarm bells started going off.

“Of course it’s free” I told myself. “It’s a scam. I won’t be losing anything if I don’t go because I’ve not paid for anything” I reaffirmed my sceptical mind.

I did some more research and confirmed that the presenter running my course was a different person to the one mentioned in the negative comments. I decided I’d go and worst case I’d just leave half way through if it turned out to be rubbish.

I arrived half an hour early just as the registration time opened. Even as I approached the hotel where the presentation was being hosted, I expected the worst and pictured only half a dozen gullible people standing inside waiting for this scam to begin. I went for a walk so I wouldn’t look like too much of an idiot being so eagerly early to this rip off event.

When I came back 10 minutes before the start, I went in to register to find close to 100 people waiting with standing room only in the waiting area. My confidence was lifted a little but I figured at least I won’t be the only moron falling for this scheme.

To cut a long story short, 7 hours and 14 A4 pages of notes later,  I walked out basking in my light bulb moment. In the interest of full disclosure ,there was a huge sales pitch in the middle of the workshop for a program being sold at nearly $3000 but it was done with class and no sales pressure and there seemed to be plenty of people who were happy to invest in the value of what was being offered (skeptical me didn’t buy of course but I couldn’t begrudge the guy for running a business which was the whole point for him!)

The thing about light bulb moments is they are about as useless as wings on an elephant (yes I know interesting image right, it was the first thing that popped into my head!) unless you are ready to do something with the opportunity when it presents itself.

So what do you do and how do you make something out of an idea when it presents itself? Here are my five top tips:

  • Always be open to new opportunities, anytime, anywhere.  You just never know who you may meet or where you might go where a new idea or a piece of the puzzle you’ve been searching for will present itself
  • You don’t know what you don’t know so take any chance you can to grow yourself (and try not to be as skeptical as I am!)
  • You get what you focus on so keep your focus in the direction that you want to go. When you focus on the negative, you tend to see everything that is wrong. When you focus on what you want, your behaviour and thoughts become aligned with your goal and in time these behaviours and thoughts begin generating results in the right direction.
  • Carry a notebook – write down ideas as they pop into your head as they might be gone by the time you get a chance to record them.
  • Take regular walks in the fresh air. Research has shown that exercising outside boosts activity in the area of the brain which is responsible for creativity and problem solving.

An entrepreneur in the making

I love listening to podcasts and reading entrepreneurial material that inspires and challenges me in my business interests but I’ve never really identified myself as an entrepreneur. I think that’s because I’ve associated being an entrepreneur with building a global size empire turning over millions of dollars with hundreds of employees.

It came as a surprise to me to remember some experiences recently from my earlier years and realise that I’ve actually had the entrepreneurial spirit since a very early age.

I saved every bit of pocket money I earned as a young child and my parents nicknamed me the “The Count” because I would tip out my money box out regularly and count my savings.

I loved my stuffed toys when I was young, I used to sleep with about 13 of them laid out across my chest, in the same order, every night (my obsessive compulsive tendencies started early!). At the time I think I was receiving about 50 cents per week in pocket money. In an attempt to encourage me to reduce my reliance on my fluffy companions, my mum offered me 10 cents per week increase in pocket money for every toy I gave up. I did the maths and that night, to my mum’s shock, I gave them all up at once. Chaching!.

When I was in grade 4, the Rubik’s cube was released in Australia. My mum taught herself how to solve the puzzle and she taught me her special technique. Kids at school would pay me 50 cents to solve the cube for them. And they’d bring their messed up cube to me, every day. I had the repeat customer thing down pat with that venture!

The following year I had a wholesale business going at school selling a couple of toys that were all the rage at the time. I don’t actually remember what they were but I just remember buying the toys myself with my pocket money and then selling them for a profit to kids at school.

I created numerous businesses selling my handmade creations to friends, family and even door to door in the local neighbourhood. I made polymer clay jewellery and spruiked them to stores hoping to sell them. I remember offloading a batch to one store on a commission basis.

I then sold shortbread and hand decorated chocolates at Christmas door to door in the local neighbourhood. In my late teens I started selling my exquisite gingerbread houses to everyone I knew.

My mum taught me how to sew at an early age and I made and sold hundreds of leotards for my gymnastics club over many years.

I had a very small business printing personalised children’s books just after my first son was born.


  1. a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.

Ha. Who knew!

Your ideal customer

The other day Mr 12 and Mr 17 were having a discussion about the car Mr 17 was hoping to buy when he turns 18.

“If you get one of those cars which look like a mini funeral car (he was referring to a wagon), I’ll disown you as my brother!” said Mr 12.

After picking myself up off the floor from laughing so hard, my business brain identified that clearly Mr 12 is not the ideal customer avatar for a car brand trying to promote their newest style wagon.

A critical aspect of building a successful business is knowing who your ideal customer is. Trying to market to the masses is fruitless and frustrating.

A successful business knows their purpose, knows their product or service, they know their ideal customer and their pain or problem and they market specifically to that niche audience.

Know your customer – When you try and cater to everyone, you will end up serving no-one.

Stuck in a rut

What do you do when you’re stuck in a rut, disenchanted with your job and don’t know what to do or how to solve the problem? There are always choices and those choices may be to find a new job or create your own job. Realistically though, for many, these choices may not be possible in the short term. In the meantime, here are 5 ways to improve your current situation:

·         Seek out a mentor – find someone in your workplace or someone external to help you, guide you and develop you into a better version of who you want to be

·         Do better work – ask yourself, are you really doing the best work you can? Let go of the negatives you are currently focusing on and simply strive to become better at what you were hired to do. You can bring back a sense of fulfillment in simply achieving great results.

·         Up-skill – find a skill or a task to get better at, and give it everything. Use whatever opportunity you have in the present, to gather skills which may serve you in the future

·         Use your current situation as a launch pad for the next step – you may not being doing your life’s work right now, but look at your current job as a means to an end while you search for the next opportunity.

·         Practice gratitude – for the fact that you can pay your bills and put food on the table. Many people do not have this privilege.

·         Do something for someone else in your company. Helping others is a proven way to lift your spirits.