My top two game-changing questions

I was recently asked the following question and it really knocked me for six. First of all, I struggled to come up with an answer and it really made me face reality whilst at the same time encouraging me to express my dreams and vision:

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

This question, originally created and posed by business empowerment guru Robin Sharma, is a game-changer.
Why?
Well, as a business owner I have had my fair share of scary moments (recession anyone?) and I believe that fear of failure is something that every serious entrepreneur has grappled with at some time or other. This question helps you to take a step back for a moment, forget the fear, and re-assess if you’re really doing what you want to be doing. I suggest you apply it to every new business strategy you devise, every new product idea you have, and to the bigger picture itself. Asking myself this question gave me the opportunity to re-evaluate my current course and look at my dreams and what I really want from my business (and from life). It was one of those aha moments. After all: knowing what you really want is the first step to getting it.

The second question is for your customers and clients and was penned by the late, great Stephen Covey:

What would it take to make it a ten?

How to use this question:
When collecting feedback after providing a service or a product, ask your clients how they would rate the experience or product out of ten. Then ask the above question and you should get some precise, important feedback as to what might still be missing and what you can improve. Look for patterns and act on them.
However a closing word of caution if using this question across cultures: I mostly work with German people and I have often had the pleasure of hearing “I’ll give you a nine, because I never give out tens on principle”. Kind of ruins it. Nevertheless I think it’s a great question and I will continue to ask it.
Hope the questions work for you,
Til the next time!
Louise

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The self-care checklist for entrepreneurs…and everyone else!

I found the following five self-care practices in Robin Sharma’s new book ‘The Saint, the Surfer & the CEO and have condensed them into a blog- friendly checklist ( with my own take on them) here:

1) Shift from complexity to simplicity

Ask yourself each day: How can I make my life simpler? From delegating unloved routine tasks to taking action on something right now, rather than procrastinating, can free us up some precious time to do the really rewarding stuff like speak to customers and definitely decrease stress levels!

2) Keep a daily practice of journaling

In this high- tech world of ours it is still very therapeutic to take out some pen and paper in th form of a notebook or journal and record, without judgement, whatever comes into our head. How did your day go? What are you grateful for? What did you learn today?

3) Make the time to have a ‘ silent retreat’ each day

This is a daily period of peace and can be as simple as closing your office door, transferring your calls to voicemail and savouring the view from your window for five minutes. Time to ‘ check in’ with your inner, wise self. Even some stretching, or just concentrating on your breathing. We can all find five minutes,right?

4) Commune with nature

Take time after work, for example, to have a walk in the woods or stroll on the beach or take your lunch to the local park for a change. Practice mindfullness and listen to the birds. Be one with th force that created you.

5) Nurture your body

Your body really is a temple. Stay as fit as you can. Take the stairs. Make informed choices about what you eat and drink. Have a massage. You deserve it!

Making time each day to do these five practices is a great act of self- care. It all sounds so simple, yet we busy folk often neglect ourselves and fall into the trap of living only for The Business. Even something as simple as baking a cake or a spot of gardening can centre us again and de- stress us.

Let me know what self-care means to you.

Til the next time,

Louise

P.S. Robin Sharma’s book ‘The Saint, The Surfer & the CEO’ is published by HAY HOUSE, 2013.