Archive for December, 2010

Financial Success Plan

97% of all businesses fail. Brutal statistic but true. Are you struggling with your cash flow? More businesses fail with positive assets and negative cash flow.

Take heart. Unlike the talking heads who are spouting verbal “doom and gloom,” there is good news. No you can not go into retrograde and put the money back in your house, if you used your house as an ATM. You probably already spent that money. Nor can you go back and reverse the maxed out credit cards. You can start making wise decisions going forward.

There is a marvelous piece of software called the “Wealth Accelerator” which allows you to get a grip on your finances. Even if your financial foundation is built on shifting sand, it can start taking a firmer hold.

Start by taking an honest look at all of your income, expenses and Oh no, credit card accounts. Now before you go into a deep depression and start fearing financial doom and gloom, create a success plan. Create a success plan you will actually follow through to the goal of being debt free.

If you are an instant gratification person, as many of us are, you will probably want to start with a small bill. For example we will choose a credit card where you only owe $100. It may not be the highest interest credit card, but it is the smallest balance. Paying off that card allows you to check one off the list. It is like losing weight, seeing progress encourages you to keep going with the success plan.

Another school of thought is to start paying down the credit card with the highest interest rate. Paying off the card with the highest rate sounds like an excellent idea; however, if it is a large balance it may take months to accomplish the goal. Far too many become discouraged and quit when the process drags on and on.

Take the example of weight again. If you look at the scales and say you need to lose 100 pounds, the number seems overwhelming and you give up before you start. If you set a goal of losing 10 pounds in 30 days or a pound every 3 days, the number seems manageable. When you lose the pound in 2 days, you are elated at being ahead of schedule and even more pumped to continue on your success plan.

Another technique which helps is to carry a small notebook and write down absolutely every penny you spend. You will probably find yourself passing on some expenditures just to avoid having to take out that notebook and write it down.

A third technique is to ask yourself every time you are ready to spend “do I really NEED this or do I just WANT it.” (Actually that works as well for food intake as it does for spending money.) This technique exposes habits of spending which could possibly be eliminated. Caution: this is not intended to drive you into an “I can’t afford that expense” mode as much as “Do I really need to make that purchase” mode. A feeling of lack creates more lack where a feeling of choice creates more positives choices.

In tough economic times such as these for the nation, the state or our individual change purse, taking a fresh look at habits and purchases can prove beneficial.

Hire Elaine Love as the speaker for your group and as your personal business coach. Ask about the Wealth Accelerator as a financial management tool. Let Elaine help you put yourself back on a firm financial foundation. Go to www.Elaine4Success.com or www.ElaineSpeaks.net to receive more information or to book Elaine Love.

Inertia

2011 is knocking at the door.  People are making New Years Resolutions and perhaps breaking them as fast as they are making them.  Earlier we spoke about making a resolution you really care enough about to follow through.  Motivation is a significant factor in achievement.  Inertia is also a mitigating factor.

Newton defined inertia as the tendency of an object in motion to remain in motion and an object at rest to remain at rest unless acted upon by a force.

It takes 21 days to form a new habit and 3 days to break a habit.  Unfortunately, that is the law of inertia.  It takes time to build up momentum.  In far too many cases, all it takes is a bump in the road, not even a very big bump, to halt the progress and derail the good intentions.  Your success plan is frequently derailed with minimal resistance.

Examine the resolution to lose weight – a frequent resolution since the majority of Americans are at least slightly overweight.  At the time of the resolution many may think they “should” lose weight and they may even “want” to lose weight.  Unfortunately the power of the temptation of holiday beverages, holiday treats or television snacks looms more irresistible than the resolve to avoid such delights.  Hence the resolve disappears into indulge.

Think about pushing a large rock off the top of a hill.  Getting the rock to start moving requires tremendous effort.  Once the rock is rolling downhill, it picks up speed.  Standing in front of a large rock rapidly rolling downhill would be a flattening experience.  Picture yourself as a paper thin cartoon character.  Unwise at best.

Relate these scenarios to starting a new business.  Many start a new business as they start a diet.  “I should make more money” and “I want to make more money.”  They may even invest $50, a few hundred dollars or even a few thousand dollars.  The intentions are good and there are visions of dollar signs in their eyes.  Delusions of “This should be easy.  All I do is start the business and money will come rolling in the door” dance through their brains.  Crazy, right?  No one who has ever operated a successful business would expound such a ‘pie in the sky’ ‘get rich quick” idea.

A true entrepreneurial mindset would never expect income without effort.  Just like pushing that rock, it takes tremendous effort to get the rock to budge in the first place.  Once it starts to move, keep pushing.  If you stop at that point, you will need to start all over from the beginning.  Most new business owners, particularly those who start with a few dollars, give up before they start the rock to move even the smallest amount.  It takes more effort to start a successful business than they are willing to invest.

A business owner with an entrepreneurial mindset would start by designing a success plan.  Setting attainable goals which stretch the boundaries of current knowledge and easy access requires effort to achieve.  This stretch requires the entrepreneur to think and design a creative but potentially possible success plan.  The entrepreneurial mindset knows that stretching, creating and persisting are major steps toward the achievement of the success plan.  Having a plan is great but until that plan is implemented on a consistent and persistent basis, it will fail.

Just as the rock will not move and start rolling without effort, so the business will not go from inception to profit without creative persistent and consistent action.  Refer back to the diet.  The goal of weight loss will not occur without consistent and persistent action.

Inertia is present in all things.  It takes effort to begin the process and consistent and persistent effort to keep the process moving until it reaches momentum on its own.

Hire Elaine Love to speak to your group.  Hire Elaine Love to inspire and empower you to overcome inertia and accomplish your goals.  Go to www.Elaine4Success.com.

Success Plan – why

New Years resolutions are looming just around the corner. The practice of making new years resolutions has become a common practice with so many Americans. We resolve to lose weight, exercise more, make more money, make better decisions with our money, spend more time with the family and eat more healthy foods. All of these sound like excellent ideas at the time. In most cases we actually intend to follow through. Most Americans make their resolutions and within 3 months, 3 days, or sometimes 3 hours they break those same resolutions.

Why oh why do they break them within such a short time period? Your “why” is your motivation for doing or not doing anything. The bottom line comes down to the reason or “why” we make those resolutions in the first place. If you make new years resolutions, why do you make them? How have those resolutions worked out for you so far?

The reason most people break those resolutions so quickly is that they do not have a workable success plan. For instance if you have a goal to lose weight, you may decide to go on one of those fad “fasting” diets. Many people refer to them as a cleansing. This may sound like a great idea on the morning of day 1 but by noon, you are really hungry.

Recently I needed to visit the Dracula center (blood lab) for some tests. As you probably know, it is advised that you fast (not eat or drink anything except water) for 12 hours prior to having your blood drawn. As I sat in the blood lab waiting for my turn, one of the other patients calmly remarked, “This paper is starting to look rather tasty, I am so hungry.” Obviously she was joking; however, if you are at home near the refrigerator or pantry, that temptation becomes real. With good intentions you may rationalize that orange juice is healthy or an apple is good for you. By evening you are looking wistfully at a sandwich. The next day you may even have an irresistible urge for a burger and French fries. The fasting or water only diet has a short duration of workability. In the case of the blood lab, you can fast for 12 hours because you know the time frame is short. In the case of a 3 to 5 day fasting diet, very few achieve success. It simply is not a realistic success plan for most folks.

The second reason why such a radical departure from your normal routine is unsuccessful is that you selected something you feel you should do rather than something you are strongly committed to achieving. If it is a matter of life or death that you follow a certain diet or lose x number of pounds, you have a stronger motivation to achieve the goal. Your success plan is firmly rooted in your very survival. Fighting for your life provides a powerful motivation – a powerful “why” to succeed.

Starting a new business follows the same principles as the diet. If you invest $50 and you are going to give the business a “try,” the success plan is about as likely to reach its goal as the 3 to 5 day fasting diet. Giving it a “try” is exactly the same as the unrealistic diet. You gave the diet a try and gave up within a few days or a few hours. By saying you are giving something a try means you are giving yourself permission to fail.

With a $50 investment you have very little money to lose and no “life threatening” motivation to succeed. Remember that the purpose of a business is to provide value and earn an income. You are not starting a business for the practice; you are starting a business to help people and make money. Look deep within yourself to the motivation for starting the business. Why are you starting the business? How strong is your motivation to succeed? Just like the diet, unless you have a powerful reason to achieve your goals, you have handicapped yourself. In order to realize your goals you must have a strong “why.” Your motivation to accomplish your success plan must be clear, concise and powerful.

Only with a strong “why” will you accomplish your goal.

For more tips and techniques for success, hire Elaine Love as the speaker for your next meeting and hire Elaine Love as you personal coach and mentor. Go to www.ElaineSpeaks.net to leave your request for Elaine’s services.

Wealth Builder’s Blueprint

“Why oh why did I get myself in this mess” is the plaintive cry heard throughout the land right now. Individuals, states and even countries are second guessing themselves. Note the question is “why” not “how.” They know how. Consistently spending more than your income will earn you a ride on the rocket ship to financial ruin.

“Why” is one of the most frequent words uttered by any small child. Perhaps it would be wise for adults to examine that important word as well.

When economic times are flourishing, we tend to think the good times will go on forever. We spend, spend, spend. This was the experience in the ski resort. Money flows in equal proportion to the accumulation of snowflakes on the slopes. When the powder is light, fluffy and deep, the money flows in from a variety of sources in delightful abundance. Far too many businesses had a tendency to spend lavishly during ski season as if the money would continue to flow in at that same rate. Unfortunately, logic says that will not happen. With predictable regularity April arrives and both the snow flakes and the skiers stop arriving. With direct correlation, the money stops flowing in as well.

Many businesses encounter positive assets and negative cash flow as their demise. The wealth builder’s blueprint requires vision, planning and at least a dash of common sense. Ski season does not last 12 months per year; however, the rent, utilities and desire for food on your table does exist all year long. About the end of May the lavish ski season spenders were crying “Oh why did I spend all of my money in ski season and not save anything for the remainder of the year.” As the old German adage says, “Too soon old, too late smart.”

This same behavior pattern is now visible with many Americans who used their home as an ATM with the expectation that prices and values would continue to rise. Values did not continue to rise. Now approximately 80% of the homes who indulged in this rape and pillage of their home equity find themselves owing more than their home is worth. Many of them are now asking themselves “Why did I borrow so much and get myself into this negative value situation?”

States and even nations are experiencing the same situation as individuals; the spending has out paced the income.

Ok, we can not change the behavior of states, nations or even ask for a “do over” for our personal financial situation but we can institute a wealth builder blueprint for the present and future.

Maybe the small child’s constant “why” question is wise for adults to ask themselves as they contemplate expenditures during this holiday season and going forward to 2011. If we ask ourselves “Do we want this or do we need this purchase?” It may be amazing how many purchases are a want rather than a need.

Another solution is to write down in a notebook every penny spent: cash, check and credit card purchase. Keep a ledger of income expected; not wished for, maybe or might receive or even win the lottery income. Tally the spending and balance it off against the income.

One of the best ways to avoid the “Oh why did I do that” or “Oh woe is my empty wallet” is to establish a wealth builder’s blueprint. Once the blueprint is in ink or computer font, follow it consistently and persistently.

What a concept, not spending money we do not have. Anyone want to suggest that to their state governor or congressman? Just a thought. Oh well, I think I’ll start right here in my own checkbook.

For more practical tips and techniques for personal and professional cash flow management, hire Elaine Love as your coach and mentor. Contact Elaine at www.ElaineSpeaks.net

Characteristics of an Entrepreneur

Granted, this is a challenging economic time for many of us. Men, women and even the smartest pets are budgeting, borrowing and looking for a rich connection. Ok, so maybe the pets are only looking for warm shelter, treats and pets, but the treats may be in shorter supply. Burying that rawhide bone may not be a bad move.

2 choices come to mind for most people – either make more money or spend less. With an abundance mindset, the preferred choice is to make more money. The time tested adage “You will always receive more of whatever you give you time, energy and focus” rings true today will ear piercing volume. Where are you focusing your thoughts, feelings and actions? Focus on “what is the best way for me to generate more income?” and you mind will start clicking, spinning and creating ways to generate income. Focus on “oh woe is me, there is never enough” and your energy will plummet. Your income will dive in rocket speed right down to the red ink. Red ink is an accounting term for negative cash flow; you spent more than you received. Another way of expressing that thought is credit card debt which you do not have the money to pay.

The problem is clear. The solution begins with positive creative thoughts. Over 70,000 individuals have decided to start a new business. Facts reveal that a business will require time, money and effort in order to be successful. Entrepreneurial thinking requires some careful analysis. Is having your own business the correct decision for you? Not everyone is mentally wired, disciplined, enough to succeed at their own business. The entrepreneurial mindset requires:
1. absolute clarity about your choice of business
2. absolute dedication to do whatever it takes until success is achieved
3. discipline to design a plan and stick to the plan consistently
4. an open mind to learn, grow and make wise decisions with time, money and talent
5. a SMART goal (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely)

If you have chosen to make more money and then chosen to start a business as the means to achieve more income, analyze your mindset to confirm if you possess the entrepreneurial mindset characteristics. If you have a resounding yes to all of the above, let’s go forward.

Bonus entrepreneurial mindset thought. I have written an entire series of articles on this topic. Into every life, some emotional ice water will flow. Guaranteed. This negative, usually unsolicited, advice flows more freely than political rhetoric during an election campaign; actually it is about as welcome as the tirade of political ads. But I digress. This negative input which I term as “emotional ice water” flows from co-workers, friends and even our own relatives. Sometimes those to whom we are related pour the largest buckets of the emotional chill. They ridicule, criticize, and tell you they are doing it for your own good. Some may actually believe they are doing it for your own good but the result is just as devastating. Debbie and David Downer exist somewhere on each of our family trees.

If you are to become all that you can be, you MUST minimize the effect of the emotional ice water. Developing and maintaining an entrepreneurial mindset requires overcoming this potentially hazardous substance. Emotional ice water may flow in to you but it is up to you to develop such a red hot passion for your goal that your entrepreneurial mindset will overcome any effect. Your entrepreneurial thinking will determine a major portion of your success.

Remember that what you focus on expands. Focus on success, abundance and your own millionaire mindset. Ok, so you won’t become a millionaire overnight, but if you focus on the characteristics of an entrepreneur and really hone your entrepreneurial mindset, you can become anything you choose.

I salute you on your journey to success. Hire Elaine Love to speak to your group and to coach you as an individual as you pursue your goal. Go to www.ElaineSpeaks.net and lets jumpstart your success. Review www.Elaine4Success.com to insure your success.

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”Elaine spoke to our top leaders from 8 states, she gave us new and positive ways to connect with people
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