Let your failures spark your shift to success

Sparkswaraj-tiwari

I understand what it looks like to fail in business.  When I started my business, thinking clients would come easily, I was making less than $100 per month–yep, less than $100 every single month for my first few months in business. I invested thousands of dollars into my life coaching certification and countless hours learning about what it took to start a coaching business. During that time, there were days when I questioned my decision to start this business. I felt like I had failed. 

And I made a decision, that this would not be my reality. I let my failure spark a shift to my success. I started to immerse myself into at least 10 – 15 hours a week of sales and marketing webinars, teleclasses, and videos, taking ample time to read articles and other content about how to grow my business. And here I am, almost 3 years later, working 20 – 25 hours a week with a respectable salary as a leadership and business coach. I had to make a shift in my mindset, strategy, and vision to be successful, and here are some nuggets about how you might be able to do the same when failure strikes in the midst of your goals.

1) Shift your mindset 

One of the toughest challenges our generation faces is their perspective that many people live perfect lives and have had a super easy street when it comes to professional or career success. A shift in mindset when it comes to failure might be you embracing that it’s a natural part of the process of life to fail and push past failure into success territory. The truth is, the most successful people have mastered the art of bouncing back from failure. How do you do that? There are many ways, but to name two:

  • Affirmations: Daily, declare out loud who you are, what you are committed to, and who you will be in the future. Research shows this impacts our mind’s approach to both opportunities and obstacles.
  • Work on your “bounce back” strategy: Start to be more conscious of how long you stay “down” after you’re hit with a challenging situation or thought. You may even want to document somewhere how long you tend to stay down, so that you can see if you might be giving hours or even days away to worry. Replace those thoughts with ideas, strategies, and affirmations. Can you imagine if you had a creative idea or strategy for every hour you wasted worrying or feeling frustrated about a situation….There would be endless possibilities!

2) Shift your strategy 

When I found that I was making under $100 a month working over 40 hours a week as a new entrepreneur, with sometimes 5 amazing consultations per day in a row on average, I knew something was wrong, so I immediately went about working to fix it! I now make a pretty good living as a leadership and business coach after using that failure to spark a shift in my strategy. I could have placed my failures at the forefront and spent my days being down on myself, doing nothing at all, or figuring out how I was going to transition from something that “just didn’t work.” Instead, I got to work. I took advantage of a number of resources including some I mentioned in a previous blog post.  If you’re an entrepreneur, maybe you need to rethink what business model works best for your business, maybe you’re targeting the wrong market, or maybe it’s that your pricing strategy needs to be re-evaluated. When in the midst of failure,

  1. Take ample time to stop and reflect on what is happening,
  2. Determine what very specific obstacles are preventing you from being successful,
  3. Identify solutions for each one of those obstacles, and
  4. Research resources that will allow you to address each obstacle.

An essential part of my own shift included hiring an amazing business coach that could both help me analyze my challenges, determine the best resources for me, and provide me with the accountability I needed to aggressively move forward, but do what works for you. The most important thing is to take action to shift your strategy versus continuing to move forward in a way that is detrimental to you and your endeavors.

3) Shift your vision 

Some people might have you believe that shifting your long-term vision makes you a failure. It doesn’t make you a failure; it makes you strategic. In fact, it makes you a creative. It shows your ability to be flexible, and one of my greatest mentors told me that flexibility is a true mark of great leadership. Are you sticking to your current path because you’re afraid of what others might think if you change direction? Are you maintaining your current focus because you feel that you’ve already put too much time and too many resources into what you’re currently doing? Think about this: What could you be missing out on by not shifting into a new vision? What are the possibilities of what could happen if you’re able to successfully shift into your new vision? And, even if you fail at your new vision, would you be more proud that you tried or more disappointed that you failed at it? A number of renowned business leaders had a different vision for their businesses that they failed in before they were successful. Walt Disney was fired as an editor and decided to shift into a new vision that now earns $30 billion annually. After Bill Gates invested thousands of dollars into Traf-O-Data, a company he started in the 1970’s, his company brought in $20,000 – $30,000 a year. In May of 1979, his company sent letters to its clients saying that they were suspending business. Many would call this a failure, but it was an important part of his journey to now becoming the most wealthy person in the world with a net worth of $77.5 billion. My belief is that in order to effectively shift your vision, you should:

  1. Truly put your 100 percent into your current endeavor before shifting if you feel as if what you’re doing now is what you are meant to be doing.
  2. Do massive research, gain expertise, and conduct your own primary research by talking to a number of stakeholders at varying levels of business (including talking to your prospective target market) about your new vision before you shift.
  3. Take some time to be sure that you’re ready to make the shift.
  4. Place your 100 percent into your new vision if you decide to shift.

 

I hope these tips and strategies help you to realize the importance of allowing your failure to spark your shift into success! Again, the most successful people have learned how to strategically make the shift and do that over and over again when necessary throughout their lives. And we all can and should do the same.

As always, if you found this post helpful, please share it with colleagues, friends, and family who you think might benefit from it.

Also, feel free to comment below or email me at daphne@daphnevalcin.com with any thoughts you have on this post!

Photo credit: Swaraj Tiwari

Three amazing, free business resources to build a profitable business

Whether you’ve been in business for a while now or you’re just beginning, you may have come to the realization that finding resources to build up your business can be challenging and sometimes overwhelming.

On one end of the spectrum, many small business owners I know have been through a season in their businesses where it seems like they can’t find the right resources to grow their businesses, and on the other end of the spectrum, after being in business for a while, it can seem like there are way too many resources to sift through.

In an effort to share just a few high-quality resources that are full of amazing information on how to build a powerful business, I am sharing this list of resources that can support your business vision whether you haven’t yet made a profit or you’re running a multi-million dollar enterprise and looking to grow. Though the resources below are all associated with the U.S. Small Business Administration, they all offer unique information, tools, and insight on what it takes to be successful in business.

1 – SCORE

For 50 years, SCORE has helped small businesses launch, grow, and achieve their goals. This nonprofit’s work is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and offers:

  • FREE in-person, email, or video-based business mentoring from experts in 62 industries,
  • FREE business tools, templates, and strategies through a comprehensive online database, and
  • Low-cost or free business workshops offered both online or in-person

How I recommend you use it: 

  • Spend ample time exploring every facet of this website.
  • Schedule a regularly occurring time to check out some of the webinars or online training available on the site as well, especially those related to areas of business that you believe are priorities for you.
  • One tool on this website that I believe can be a critical, helpful tool for your business are the mentors. I suggest spending time really researching any prospective mentor you connect with whether that’s the in-person mentor you’re assigned to or e-mentors available on the site for you to reach out to. Ensure the mentor you choose to work with long-term is one that you can connect with and that serves you best when it comes to your business growth. You’ll find individuals with decades of industry expertise who are all willing to support you and your business–a priceless tool that can be hard to find. Take advantage of it!

The SCORE website is: https://www.score.org/

2 – The Small Business Administration (SBA)

Check out the SBA website and you’ll find a plethora of resources associated with starting a business, managing a business, getting loans and grants, and contracting. You’ll find templates, presentations, explanations and more–so much so that one could probably spend months and months exploring the content on this site alone. It’s definitely a comprehensive resource, and if you’re in business, the more you understand business at its core, the more equipped you’ll be to be successful. Since 1953, the SBA “has also given out millions of loans, guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions, and other forms of assistance to small businesses” according to the SBA website.

How I recommend you use it: 

  • Spend ample time exploring every facet of this website.
  • Check out the media available on the website and schedule time to work through the resources there that are most critical to your business.
  • Under the “Local Assistance” tab, determine which local SBA Office(s) and Resource Partner(s) are most relevant to you and what support you need and take advantage of those in-person resources.
  • If you’re thinking about seeking business funds or becoming a contractor, review all resources under the “Loans & Grants” or “Contracting” sections and/or schedule time to get one-time or ongoing support from an SBA staff member.

The SBA website is: https://www.sba.gov/

3 – Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)

Hundreds of SBDCs are located throughout the United States, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rica, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each center has advisors who provide aspiring small business owners and current small business owners with free and low-cost resources. According to the SBDC website, their areas of training and support include:

  • business plan development,
  • manufacturing assistance,
  • financial packaging and lending assistance,
  • exporting and importing support,
  • disaster recovery assistance,
  • procurement and contracting aid,
  • market research help,
  • 8(a) program support, and
  • healthcare guidance.

How I recommend you use it: 

  • Take advantage of the free training you can get from qualified, veteran experts in the areas above by scheduling time to meet with an SBDC representative. You can even use the meeting to help you think through what your areas of focus should be in your business as you seek to launch or grow. Ensure that whoever you choose to get support from is a good fit and that you feel that you are gaining practical insight and experiencing forward movement in your business through your sessions. Schedule time for ongoing support as part of your professional development as a business owner.
  • Another approach you can take is to take the time to analyze the areas of growth in your business, and then develop a plan to prioritize certain areas of development in your business so that when you reach out to an SBDC representative, you’ll maximize the value of your time with that individual.
  • Set aside time to implement the strategies and tools you gain from each session with your SBDC contact.

The SBDC website is: https://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/sbdc

There is an African proverb that states, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”  Why not take advantage of experts who are ready to support you as you move towards the dreams and goals that you hope to achieve in business? All of these resources were super helpful to me in my business, and I’m continuing to utilize them as I grow and expand my coaching practice. My hopes for you are that, at minimum, you take a look at each resource and see what might be helpful to you as an aspiring or current business owner if you haven’t already explored these sites. And hopefully, you’ll find them as valuable as I did!

As always, if you found this post helpful, please share it with colleagues, friends, and family who you think might benefit from it.

Also, feel free to comment below or email me at daphne@daphnevalcin.com with any thoughts you have on this post!

Photo credit: Rayi Christian Wicaksono 

Video: Over 40 tasks that profitable entrepreneurs do regularly!

I remember as I was starting out as a full-time entrepreneur, I had a lot of time but didn’t know how to manage it effectivelya problem that both entrepreneurs and established businesses face. These days, I’m honored to split my time during the day with a wonderful one-year-old, and, as a result, I’m working less than 20 hours a week. Yep, less than 20 hours a week. But guess what? Clients are still coming in. With a comfortable client load being about 15 clients for me, and my capacity being 25-30 clients, I have 20 clients with 5 new clients committing to work with me just last week and two who I will be orienting this week who will be starting as some of my current clients close out their packages.  I am now using some of the same strategies that I was using when I finally started working effectively to produce a substantial profit with 40 hours a little over a year and a half ago as an entrepreneur. And even though I am working less than 20 hours per week, I’m actually super close to making what I made at the height of my business revenues while I was working around 40 hours per week.

Are you wondering how I came to understand the keys to strategically managing my time in my business? 

Books like “Take the Stairs” by Rory Vaden have taught me about the mastery of the art of being disciplined in my business, and I also had to learn some things the hard way. After working from early morning to late night when I first started my business and not seeing much of a substantial profit produced, I was determined to do something different, and I made a choice to do everything in my power to make a shift in my business. I spent over20 hours a week immersing myself in online content from the most successful entrepreneurs; I hired a business coach, I read articles about business and productivity; I listened to podcasts from some of the best business leaders I know; and I surrounded myself with other business leaders who were making up to multiple 6 figures annually in revenue.

What you will see in this video comes from what I found on my business journey to be extremely valuable to the most successful business owners who I have encountered and also comes from what ultimately allowed me to first break into making multiple 5-figures while working around 40 hours a week. These same tasks have ultimately allowed me to substantially increase profits while working less than 20 hours a week. On this video, which is originally a Facebook Live with over 500 views, I break down over 40 tasks that I believe profitable entrepreneurs do regularly. I present them within 6 categories: Marketing; Operations; Finance and Compliance; Growth and Mindset; Client Work; and Sales.

Enjoy! And do me a favor and like and share this video if it resonates with you! 

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Video: Be Courageous!

There might be something you might want to do this week, or maybe this month, but fear or hesitation is holding you back.

Or maybe you’re moving forward with an endeavor like a project or networking or your tasks at work, but doing so with hesitation or a lack of confidence.

If you resonate with any of the above, then this video is for you. In less than a minute, I do a quick breakdown of how being courageous versus being confident can be super impactful for you personally, professionally, or entrepreneurially.

I pray you find this video helpful as you work to pursue your dreams and take action in your everyday life, career, or business.

Enjoy! And do me a favor and like and share this video if it resonates with you!

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Finding Time for Dreams While Making Time for Everything Else

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Have you ever felt like there just wasn’t enough time in the day? Well, I’ve been thereand I’ve actually been there time and time again in my life. As a dreamer and a doer, life has been a balancing act of thinking up amazing ideas and finding the time to implement them, all while contributing to initiatives and organizations that I have found fulfilling and meeting my responsibilities as a friend, family member, and now wife and mother.

I’ve been managing a lot for as long as I could remember. I was in 14 school-based organizations my freshman year in college and committed to being active in every organization—integrity is high up on my list of values. I volunteered in almost 20 initiatives while working 2 jobs right after college. I earned a 3.9 GPA during my Master’s Degree program at an Ivy League University while serving as Director of the Politics and Cultural Pluralism Program at my residence hall. Now, I run a leadership and business coaching practice, serve as founder and leader of a nonprofit that serves under-resourced youth, am in my third year of marriage, and have an 11-month old child (not to mention still being active in a few community-based organizations).

So how do I do it?

How do I manage to make time for the things I’m passionate about while managing everything else? A few things stand out as the key to this balancing act that I hope can be helpful to you whether you’re a visionary, business leader, current entrepreneur, or simply interested in managing your schedule more effectively. One thing I know for sure: Success in any of my endeavors has a lot to do with how I manage my dreams amidst everything else. Here’s a glimpse into how I do this:

1) Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, constantly tired, and not fulfilled, you may have a priority issue.

Years ago, I found myself feeling exactly this way. I was nominated with an amazing award in Washington, D.C. and on the outside, it looked like life was perfect, but I was doing way too much. I had to stop and really look at what I was doing and what I aspired to do. It’s only because I decided to stop and restructure my priorities that I was able to develop an amazing relationship with my future husband and take the time to create and launch what became a successful life coaching practice. 

ACTION: Create a list of all of the things that take up your time (think about anything that takes over 20 minutes to do, and include communication with specific family or friends). Place a minus sign next to those things you want to reduce spending time on. Place a star next to those top 3 things that should be getting the most of your time. Write another list of the top 3 things you value when it comes to your daily life. Check your top 3 priorities against your top 3 values. Are you in alignment? Change what you spend your time on and you will change your life. 

2) Find the most practical time management tools that work for you

Research shows that those who intentionally manage their time tend to be the most successful.

When I first got to college, people were getting pretty mad at me here and there, because I would never follow through on my promise to call them back. I was trying to keep too much in my mind at the same time and wasn’t able to operate in integrity as a result. I had to learn a key concept that helps me in business now—the fortune is in the follow-up, and the follow-up (for me) doesn’t happen unless it’s written down. Now, I write everything down. I use the Reminders and Notes app on my iPhone as well as Google Calendar to ensure that I get things done effectively and take advantage of other online tools for my business to track, organize, and plan what’s important.

ACTION: Determine what tools work best for you to manage your time. Some tips, strategies, and tools from articles I’ve read and experts I’ve listened to in the past are below:

  • Try different tools such as Google Calendar, task management apps, paper-based organizers, desk calendars, or even daily to-do lists, and stick with what works best for you to stay organized
  • Do the hard things first during your work time in order to accomplish huge goals every day at work and at home
  • Plan your priorities and plan what time of day you will implement those priorities, but plan those things out at least the evening before the day of implementation
  • Have no more than 3 major goals per day of major things you’re striving for that will have major impact on your life or business

3) Focus on doing what you’re great at, and consider outsourcing or delegating other tasks

Part of finding time to do what you love comes from knowing that you can’t do everything and do it well. We have to remind ourselves that there are individuals who have mastered certain things that might take us a super long time to do (when we really don’t have that kind of time). Outsourcing and delegating gives you more time to do the things you love or the things that only you can do!

When I first started my business years ago, I would spend hours at a time working on images for my branding. Those were hours that would have been better spent reaching out to prospective clients or working on other ways to build my brand and following. Recently, I spent just a little bit of time trying to think of new branding images for my business and decided to outsource to not waste valuable time on something I knew the right expert could work on. I outsourced the creation of my branding and paid an expert to work on this, which allowed me to have time to prepare extremely well for a speaking engagement where I got about $10,000 in leads. Outsourcing pays off.

ACTION: Choose a few tasks that you are doing that are taking up quite a bit of time that you might be able to outsource. Be creative in thinking about this. You can use websites like Upwork.com or Care.com for some ideas on what you can outsource. Even if you’re not an entrepreneur, see the list below for just a few ideas of what you might be able to outsource to experience more peace, more time with loved ones, and more leisure time.:

  • Cleaning
  • Brainstorming ideas for life or business
  • Hair styling
  • Video production
  • Event planning
  • Writing/ Blogging
  • Logos
  • Fliers
  • Editing
  • Website creation
  • Research for life or business needs
  • Sales calls/ Client check-ins

So those are just a few strategies and tools that I think could prove to be extremely helpful for you as you look to find time for your dreams amidst managing everything else!

If you found this post helpful, please share it with colleagues, friends, and family who you think might benefit from it.

Also, feel free to comment below or email me at daphne@daphnevalcin.com with any thoughts you have on this post!

Photo credit: Heather Zabriskie

One of The Greatest Gifts You Could Give Yourself – Motivation For The Month!

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One of the greatest gifts that  you can give yourself during this season in your life is permission to live your fullest life. Give yourself permission to be your best self, to follow your dreams, and to daily live a purpose-driven life.

If you’re playing small, it’s time you realized that the world and the people around you are waiting for you to realize your full potential.  The time is now, and the sooner you start, the sooner you might reap the rewards of expressing externally who you know you are internally.

Family, friends, significant others, co-workers, colleagues, and strangers alike should all be affected by the results of your leap of faith.

You’ll realize that your choosing to play big literally impacts the world around you.

In the next few weeks, I urge you to give yourself permission to be your best self. Think of practical action steps that you can take daily that will enable you to live your fullest life, move forward to implement those steps, and reap the rewards of your faith and action. 

I believe in you!

 
As always, please comment below or email me at daphne@daphnevalcin.com if this resonated with you, and feel free to share this post with family and friends!

Also, feel free to share with me below or via email how this message has helped you play big!

 

Photo credit:  Roberto Nickson

Stop and Smell the Roses – Motivation for the Month!

 

c8b8e91b-5360-467b-b718-25c20d4e7e32.jpgStop and smell the roses!

When was the last time you stopped and simply appreciated where you are amidst the hustle and bustle of life?

In my observations of those individuals who have experienced vast success personally, professionally, or entrepreneurially, one thing many of them have in common is that they have a daily practice of expressing gratitude for what they have, even at their lowest points.

If you’re lacking motivation for small or large tasks or goals, one amazing, powerful practice that can take your action to the next level is expressing gratitude.

Last year, I found out that there are actually “Gratitude Trainings” that exist that cost hundreds of dollars. These trainings teach people how to feel, show, and express gratitude in a more powerful way. I personally know individuals who have attended and have had their lives completely changed, experiencing greater abundance in every way after that training. Gratitude is that priceless. 

In the next few weeks, I urge you to try a few ways to express gratitude daily. Here are a few ways you can try to do so: 

  • Create and state five affirmations that state, in present tense, what you’re grateful for now and in the future
  • Create a blessing jar where you add in what you’re grateful for at the end of each day through writing a statement of gratitude on a small sheet of paper daily
  • Meditate or pray on 10 things that you’re grateful for soon after you awake daily

 

Determine what works for you, experience the benefits of taking your gratitude to the next level, and make whatever practice you choose to express gratitude consistent!

I believe in you!

As always, please send me a note if this resonated with you, and feel free to share this post with family and friends!

Also, feel free to share with me via email at daphne@daphnevalcin.com how this post has helped you think of what you are already grateful for in your life or business! I’m excited to hear about it!
Photo credit:  Roman Craft

If your comfort zone didn’t exist… – Motivation for the Month!

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If your comfort zone didn’t exist…

If your comfort zone didn’t exist, what would you do? What would you say? Where would you go? And what fruit would be produced as a result, either personally or professionally?

A few days ago, I heard a pastor say, “You can’t play it safe your whole life and reach the fullness of your destiny.” Someone or some group of people is waiting for you to break the barriers your comfort zone is placing on you.

It could actually be that in trying to play it safe, you are preventing yourself from experiencing true freedom.

So go for it. After using your wisdom and discernment, take that action you’ve been called to take personally, professionally, spiritually, or relationally that you’ve been holding off, because you feel that it’s just not comfortable, and reap the blessings that come from being bold and courageous.

This month, spend some time really thinking through the details of what life would look like if your comfort zone didn’t exist, think of how you can strategically move forward in a way that has the best possible outcomes, get counsel if needed on how to move forward, and then (in a timely fashion) take action!

I believe in you!

As always, please send me a note if this resonated with you, and feel free to share this post with family and friends!

Also, feel free to share with me via email at daphne@daphnevalcin.com how this post has helped you think of what would happen if your comfort zoned didn’t exist in your life or business! I’m excited to hear about it!

 

Photo credit:  Joshua Earle