Starting every day with “what if?”

One of my business coaches gave me some sage advice. He suggested that instead of taking the stance of always trying to mitigate risk, what if I instead considered thinking about challenges from a “what if” perspective. One that is a positive perspective, and imagining how the challenge will work out in my favor.

Some may refer to this as a mindset approach, while others could consider this to be part of what they would suggest is similar to the concept called manifestation. If you are not familiar with either of these concepts, it’s worth looking into them.

In the simplest form, mindset is a process of allowing your thoughts to be open to many considerations. In other words, being open-minded with your thinking, and not letting past experiences shape or obstruct your mind from other potential outcomes when your mindset was closed. The concept of manifestation is thinking positively about a situation, and how it will have the outcome you desire it to have. Again, this requires you to be open-minded, and the timing on this concept may not always be immediate in terms of delivering the outcome you desire.

The possibility of combining these two methods of thinking as part of your “what if” strategy to start off your day, is one of the ways you can begin to alter your scenario outcomes. Yes, for those of you who have not tried either of these concepts, let alone combining them, this might seem like a real stretch for you. So, starting out by attempting to apply one of them is what I would recommend initially doing.

Once you have “test driven” each of these concepts, and had success with them, you can then work towards combining them and leveraging the power they can offer in your daily thinking and outcomes.

Let’s say that you are not an optimist, or that you have possibly been told you are not an open-minded person. That’s OK, as it’s never too late or too soon to consider thinking differently. At first it might seem like it would be impossible for someone to change the way they think, but it’s not. Peoples habits can be changed, but they have to want to change them. Consider the phrase “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink that water”. This is the same theory. Perhaps you may have encountered this sentiment in your life?

As you may be aware, the power of suggestion can be a tremendously powerful motivator or catalyst for change. Even if someone is only slightly willing to consider a different outcome or way of thinking. Having them applying the “what if” concept to how they go about thinking could produce extremely different outcomes than they might have considered before.

If I asked you the question: Are you open-minded, what is your immediate thought? The majority of people I ask this question believe they are. Although when you ask them some additional questions relating to this topic, this is when you truly find out if they are. What are these other questions? They are:

  • When was the last time you changed your way of thinking based on considering more information?
  • Do you tend to accept information at face value? Or, do you more often feel comfortable with your decisions after researching information on your own, and to ensure you understand both sides of any topic being discussed?
  • Has anyone ever told you that you are stubborn? This potentially could apply to either your thinking, or the way that you do something that you are unwilling to try to do any other way. Even if it would be more beneficial for you to do so.
  • Have others you interact with ever expressed you frustrate them? Consider why they might be saying this.
  • Is it possible for you to consider someone else’s opinion to have merit?
  • Why do you come across as always having to be right? Or, that you are the only one with a sound and reasonable answer?
  • Do you value others who are closed-minded?
  • Would you want to be considered an open-minded person?

Surprisingly, or at least to me, there are people who would not want to be classified as being open-minded. However, in my opinion and experience, I have seen people who have changed from being closed-minded to becoming more open-minded gain tremendous opportunities and advantages over those who are not.

When you are open to the possibility of “what if”, and can re-frame your mind around it having a positive outcome, I will guarantee you will start to see and experience different and better outcomes. Are you still skeptical? What have you got to lose by trying this? You won’t know until you give it a try.

Are you misunderstood?

What if you woke up today and had the experience all day that everything you did, and everyone you encountered fully appreciated and understood and was in support of what you were doing and what you were saying? Wouldn’t this be a wonderful day? I’m certain some of you may have encountered this experience, but was it sustainable?

Most of us have routines we rely upon to get us through the day, week or month. Even if it isn’t a formal routine, the majority of humans are creatures of habit. For me personally, I know I have a morning routine I like to go through. It includes reading, a short meditation (e.g., under 11 minutes), having a cup of coffee and breakfast, creating my list of items to accomplish for the day, and walking my dog. This all happens prior to diving into my other routines and before I start my work day.

To accomplish my routine, I normally get up before other people in my family. I do this so I can appreciate the quiet time in the morning. I also believe this time especially prepares me well for the rest of what lies ahead on my schedule.

Some of my family members don’t know that I have this routine, and if they did, and now they will, they may or may not be surprised by it. Since my family knows me well, they know I am not fazed by what other people think. Or, that I would be concerned about other people’s opinions of their perception of me. I’ve always been this way, and I attribute it to having an innate level of confidence that allows me to be this way.

Not being constrained by what other people think is truly freeing. My Mom loves to tell the story of when I was in elementary school, how I would always put outfits together that in her opinion were highly questionable from a fashion sense. At that point in my life, I didn’t even know what the word “fashion” meant. All I was concerned about was whether I liked the colors, patterns and way the clothes I picked out made me feel happy.

As an adult, I still tend to dress this way with complete abandon of what others will think of my fashion choices. I eventually realized that fashion was an extension and expression of who you are, or could be, and learning this was a complete delight. Can you relate to this? Perhaps another analogy would be more suitable, but you get my point.

So, are there ways to be better understood? Of course, there are, and I’ll share with you some ways to help you to feel more this way.

  • How would you describe yourself in a few sentences or paragraphs?
  • What would be the key words you would use to express what makes you be you?
  • Have you considered what motivates you? Break this down into categories such as your life, work or with the team you are on. Can you see patterns in these category comparisons?
  • If you feel misunderstood, have you thought about whether you feel this way due to a situation you are in, or would you say you always feel this way? If you feel this way situationally, have you factored in whether you are misunderstood because others don’t really know you, or value the skills or experience you bring to the scenario?
  • Have you fairly given others an opportunity to get to know you? Is it possible you have not expressed or communicated enough with others about who you are? Perhaps they are judging you unfairly based on a lack of fully appreciating who you are?
  • In a team situation, do you have someone on the team who would always advocate for you? In other words, do you have an internal champion or someone who will always represent you favorably to others?
  • If you don’t have someone who would play the role of your “champion” or personal public relations representative, is there someone you know that could do so?
  • Finding someone to be your “champion” is easier than you might think, as it is likely someone who already holds you in high regard. Having a conversation with this “champion” about your need for them to help support you, even temporarily can turn around the perceptions of others who don’t understand you quickly. I’ve seen this happen repeatably.
  • Visualize what it will be like from all the aspects of your life that you feel misunderstood, and what it will be like when everyone finally understands who you are. Better yet, imagine how amazing you will feel when you get to the place of feeling understood. Even if at first it is simply in one situation.

One of my aspirations in life is to have everyone I encounter feel fully understood and appreciated by others. If you know me, I hope I have been able to help you with this challenge if it is one you were facing. If I don’t know you, I’m hoping the tips I shared with you above can start you on your way to feeling understood by others.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too. She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whisperer  and Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer (published in December 2019)and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances. She also is the creator and Host of a TV Show and Podcast called Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

Why do you procrastinate?

I guarantee you know someone who procrastinates. Even when they know they shouldn’t. Perhaps you might classify yourself as someone who always puts off doing what they should be doing now, or soon? Are you aware of the fact you might be chronically doing this? I’m sure others around you notice, even when you think they don’t.

If you were to ask someone who is a chronic procrastinator if they liked to procrastinate, most would tell you they don’t like to do so. They might also tell you they can’t help being this way. Or, they will say “It’s just how I operate.” I don’t buy this. I also have first-hand experience with people who are professional procrastinators. 

When people procrastinate, they are generally doing so for a number of different reasons. Sometimes it is because they dread what they have to do, so they put off doing whatever that thing is they are supposed to be doing. Other times they might procrastinate to be spiteful, and not do something because someone told them they needed to do something right away. Or, perhaps they are a highly-distracted person, and forgot to do what they should be doing. The list could go on and on for why people procrastinate. 

If you have ever heard from someone that you are procrastinating, or that you always procrastinate, this is something you should take notice of. It’s not a label you want to have, and it can professionally tank your reputation. 

So, what do you do if you recognize you have tendencies or often procrastinate when you shouldn’t? Or, perhaps you work with or manage someone who would have this description associated with them? The good news is that anyone who procrastinates can in fact learn how to either procrastinate less, or recognize how to pull themselves out of heading down the procrastination track. 

How do you, or the procrastination culprit stop from doing this? You might not want to hear this. First you or they have to acknowledge doing this. Perhaps often, and possibly without being aware of the impact it has on others.

In general, when someone who procrastinates impacts others, the repercussions can be severe. It can also negatively impact both their career and personal life. Is this a bit extreme? Not really. I’ve seen this happen first hand. The example of the person I am referring to continuously self-sabotaged their creative career by not calling back opportunities that were handed to them on a silver platter. Would their career have been different if they had not procrastinated? Absolutely, and they were also on track to become world famous. 

Going back to how you can stop procrastinating or helping someone who does this, here are some suggestions about where to begin dropping this habit. Yes, I’m referring to it as a habit, as habits can be broken…especially bad habits. 

  • This is a six-week challenge. Why six weeks? Because there has been research done to prove it takes people approximately six weeks to make something become a habit. 
  • Pick someone to be your “Procrastination” coach. Tell them what you are trying to do, and make sure they will be able to support you emotionally on your quest to stop procrastinating. Also make sure they are empowered by you, and can hold you to be accountable.
  • Write down a list of all of the things you have been procrastinating on doing. Or, have the person you are trying to help do this. Do not procrastinate on this, or any of the other suggestions. Think of creating this list as a reward, instead of something you have to do. 
  • Pick one or two items to accomplish from your list each day for the next six weeks. If your list isn’t long enough to accomplish something on a daily basis for this time period, when you run out of items on your list, I guarantee you will be able to come up with new things to add to your initial list.
  • After you complete your daily accomplishment, reward yourself. It doesn’t have to be a large reward, and it could be a cumulative reward and point based. Everyone is motivated differently. I don’t like contests, so a contest wouldn’t motivate me. Think about what you are motivated by, and pick that as your reward.
  • Keep track of your accomplishments, and share them with your “Procrastination Coach”.
  • Upon reaching the six-week mark, take a look back at what you accomplished. You can do this on a daily or weekly basis if you determine this would be more motivational. 

If you sincerely want to stop procrastinating, or help someone who does this, know that if you or they do not stop procrastinating, your life, happiness, health and the opportunities you did not take advantage of will impact what your future will look like. If you want a brighter future, commit to getting rid of your procrastination habit today. 

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of two business books (e.g.,  Wisdom Whisperer, Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer), and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances. She also is the creator and Host of a TV Show and Podcast called Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk. Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones. Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials. If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195. “NEW!” Guide for Teams: Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

Why work at a company vs for yourself?

I hear people, often millennials talking about wanting to strike out on their own to work for themselves. Most of the time the reason they site for wanting to do this is because they would rather work on behalf of something they can be passionate about, versus simply collecting a paycheck. When I hear this, I generally think about two things. The first is will they actually have what it takes to do this and be successful? The second thing is, have they thought through what they are saying to a really deep level of understanding and appreciating what they are bargaining for?

The benefits of working for a company can really stack up much higher in the positive column than you might think they would, especially if you start to list them. The biggest positive attribute of working for a company is a consistent paycheck. This would be followed by your healthcare/dental coverage being paid for at some percentage level, paid vacation, sick days, holidays and potentially other company benefits such as tuition reimbursement, matching 401K plans and daycare services to name a few.

Other benefits such as daily social interaction if you are in an office, generally free coffee or snacks at most mid to large size companies, and access to a wealth of experience and other resources you take for granted such as printers, the IT staff and communication services all just steps away from where you are sitting.

When you work for a company, they are also taking care of a myriad of other business services you might not be taking into consideration on a daily basis: Sales, Marketing, Accounting, Human Resources, Operations to name a few of the foundational company departments which make a business run. Legal and contract work is sometimes taken care of in-house, but is sometimes outsourced depending on the requirements of the company. Other big ticket items such as the rent, general office operating expenses, sales tax and benefits payments are also overlooked when peering through the vail of striking out on your own.

The first advice I give to people who want to strike out on their own, is to sit down and draft a business plan. It does not have to be an incredibly in-depth business plan, but it should cover the essential elements of what it will take to start up and run the company, with the goal of reaching profitability within a set amount of time.

The second piece of advice I give is to have the person make sure they have at least one year, possibly two, of income reserved before striking out on their own. You could split the difference and have 18 months of cash on hand, but this will be different funding than what you will utilize as operating capital to run the business. You will need to determine if you are going to borrow money to start up your business, or whether you will be self-funding it. Generally, when you self-fund it, you can do so via either family and friends investing in you, or via crowd funding sourcing options such as Fundable which is exclusively for business, Indiegogo a global fundraising site, Plum Alley which is specifically for women and Tilt which has fees cheaper than most other crowdfunding sites. 

Providing you have a solid business plan, a product or service which solves a problem and that people truly need and will pay for; I’m going to assume you have done the research to support your business concept. You will also need access to business advisors who can help you navigate through the start-up obstacles you will encounter, and enough cash to help fund your business.

Now, I challenge you to do one last thing. Honestly think long and hard about your answers to the questions below. If after reviewing your responses you are still game for striking out on your own, then I wish you the best of luck and success in your new adventure. Here are the questions: 

  • What is really driving me to want to strike out on my own?
  • Have others told me I should become an entrepreneur, or does the appeal of this option seem irresistible and something I am 100% compelled to try and be successful, or potentially fail at, and be okay with doing so?
  • Do I have a backup plan or a timeframe in mind in terms of how long I can “test” whether this concept of being a business owner is the right option for me at this present time?
  • What is my definition of success as defined and outlined in my business plan? Is it realistic?
  • Is this something I have always wanted to really do, and believe this point in time is the best time to carry out my plan?
  • What will the impact of my decision to strike out on my own have on others who depend on me either emotionally or financially?
  • Am I prepared and have I ever really had to truly sacrifice just about everything I own or have worked for to make being a business owner a reality?
  • How risk adverse am I on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most risk adverse?

If after reviewing your responses to the questions above you are still convinced you want to start-up your business, then roll up your sleeves, dig into the process and go for it!

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of two business books (e.g.,  Wisdom Whisperer, Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer), and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances. She also is the creator and Host of a TV Show and Podcast called Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

Stop chasing, and walk away.

I often wonder what it would be like to not be in pursuit of something. It’s difficult for me to imagine this, as I have always been the type of person who is pursuing something. Yes, it takes energy and drive to pursue something, and sometimes it is a team pursuit. The team pursuits can provide as much satisfaction as solo ones, but it takes more coordination and someone to lead the effort.

This morning I was really excited about the pursuit of a conversation I was going to have with someone. Someone I really admired, and was looking to provide me with some advice. However, the conversation went in a completely different direction than I anticipated. In fact, instead of it being an inspirational conversation, it was the exact opposite experience. Was I caught off guard by this? Absolutely. Did it make me think about whether the outcome could have been different? Yes, but it also made me rethink what I was pursuing, in a good way.

Consider a time when you were pursuing something. Did you have an air tight strategy of going after what you wanted to achieve? Perhaps you did, or maybe it was a casually thought out plan. Or, one with a limited amount of focus, potentially not setting you up to succeed. Regardless of which of these scenarios your example falls into, it is a strong reminder of the importance of understanding how much or how little of an outcome you might have the ability to impact.

In the case of my intentionally vague example above, I’m not sharing the details for a reason. My reason is I want you to be open to thinking about why and how you chase people, opportunities or any other thing that can be chased. This isn’t a topic which is often or overtly talked about, but instead it is inferred during conversations, especially business, sales or romantic ones.

When you think about having been pursued or chased by someone or something, were you relieved when the chase was over? Or, did you in fact enjoy the pursuit and attention? If you have been the pursuer, has it always been worth it once you achieved your goal or the pursuit you were after? Of course, this could be a rhetorical question, but I’m asking it for the sake of consideration.

It’s entirely possible some people are unaware of the fact they are chasing. Worse? The person or situation they are chasing after isn’t interested in what they have to offer, either now or ever. Sometimes it’s a timing thing, which is why the pursuit doesn’t end up with the results the pursuer was hoping for. Other times, there simply isn’t a strong match between what is being offered, and what is needed. Again, this could be a timing issue, and you will need to be a good judge of which it is.

So, would I suggest to someone they should stop chasing what it is they are pursuing and walk away? The real answer is that it depends. It depends on so many different things. Here’s my take on some of the reasons to think about, or questions to ask yourself to determine whether to keep pursing or stop chasing.

  • Have you done enough research to know whether what you are pursing is something you could be successful at?
  • Have you invested enough time in understanding the person, activity or opportunity you are pursuing? Only you know the answer to this, and it might be hard to face up to the fact you have not.
  • You are going to need to trust your gut instinct on whether you should keep pursuing and going after what you want, or determine it’s time to stop doing so.
  • If money, love, family or good health will be negatively impacted by what you are pursuing, it might be time to reconsider your pursuit.
  • Is what you are pursuing a dream?
  • Does your pursuit only make sense to you? If required, would you be able to rationally explain your pursuit?
  • Are others in jeopardy of your pursuits, or are your pursuits intended to make your or others’ lives or circumstances better?
  • Consider what is really driving your pursuit. Is it ego, money, happiness, pride, passion for success as defined by your own definition of it, love or something else?
  • Is the person or situation you are pursuing going to have a significant positive impact on your life or circumstances? Be realistic, as only you can answer this question.
  • At what point will you realize you need to stop chasing and pursuing the person or opportunity? Give yourself a timeline to give your best shot at having success, and if the time comes to the point you said you will end your pursuit, do so. Yes, this will be really hard to do, but it doesn’t mean you can’t pursue your opportunity again in the future.

As an eternal optimist, it’s difficult for me to tell someone not to pursue someone or something they are passionate about. However, I’m also a realist and understand that sometimes in order to achieve what we want to, we need to stop chasing for a while. Even walk away to improve our timing or other factors which are preventing us from being pursuit successful. The saying “timing is everything” has a great deal of merit. Let it work in your favor.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of two business books (e.g.,  Wisdom Whisperer, Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer), and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances. She also is the creator and Host of a TV Show and Podcast called Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One