Hurry Up and Slow Down … A Day for Reflection

HolidayAny job can get old after a while when you’re working 60 hours a week and living at the office every weekend, and anyone who has lived that life can tell you that being worn out means you’re not doing your best work. The same is true for business owners and entrepreneurs. I’m publishing this blog post on Christmas Day because I want you to ask yourself, when was the last time you took a break? When was the last time you took a real break from the craziness, complexity and chaos? When did you do something fun and rejuvenating just for you? I’m willing to bet it has been a while.

Don’t you deserve an occasional day off where you can be free from the daily obligations, routines, challenges, headaches, worries, and tasks?  Absolutely!  Couldn’t you benefit from time away from your business to do something fun or relaxing to recharge your body, mind, and soul?  Without question!  Failing to get away from the business on occasion is a major mistake that will cost you and your company dearly.

Our Growth Coaches around the world regularly tell their clients to take time to get away from their businesses. Building a successful business is a marathon – not a sprint – and you have to take care of yourself if you want to survive the long haul and end the race with a smile on your face. Here’s the bottom line: if an entrepreneur builds a successful business and earns great wealth but it’s at the cost of their health, heart and happiness, then what’s the point?

The best way to fall back in love with your business and stay sharp is to build fun into your schedule. Open your calendar to Q1 of 2015. Pick a day within the next three months when you’re going to do something fun and write it onto your schedule. If you need to move the date around, that’s OK, but at the end of the quarter, hold yourself accountable for having that day of fun. Time away can help you relax your mind, refresh your spirit and come back with a new perspective and attitude. It’s a powerful tool and it will help you to be more successful.

Make a New Year’s Resolution this year to avoid getting caught in that vicious cycle of business and take breaks when you need them, even when you seem too busy. It will pay off in the long run!

Nathan Owens

President of The Growth Coach

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Why Do Some Achieve Amazing Business/Life Success and Others Fall Short? Grit.

Nathan OwensWhen Angela Lee Duckworth presented at TED Talks Education last year, she tackled a subject prevalent not just in education, but also in business – Grit. Grit, she explained, is that perfect combination of passion and perseverance. In her research, this teacher turned psychologist could predict everything from which kids would graduate high school or win at the spelling bee to which cadets would make it through West Point United States Military Academy and which sales people would be successful at their jobs.

Of course having that passion and perseverance is also what makes a successful entrepreneur.

Think about the most successful business person you know. I’m sure they’re smart people, but are you measuring that based on IQ or business sense they’ve learned over the years? In Duckworth’s research, she found that people with grit also follow a certain growth mindset – a belief that failure is not a permanent solution.

To me, one particular quote stood out above the rest of Duckworth’s presentation: “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in and day out … and working really hard to make that future a reality.”

So are the best business people those with high IQs? Or those who are willing to work hard every day to fulfill their dreams and overcome failures along the way? I would absolutely say it’s the second group. Being successful in business and as an entrepreneur is not about how smart or talented you are – it’s about how hard you’re willing to work for success. If you’re a budding business owner or entrepreneur, ask yourself, do you have the grit it takes to be successful and reach your long-term goals?

While researching for this blog post, I came across a post on from contributor David K. Williams. David turned Duckworth’s research into an aptly titled Gritometer Quotient. Check out his story to see if you have what it takes:

Nathan Owens

President of The Growth Coach

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Slow Down, Reflect and Give Thanks this Thanksgiving

thanksgivingIn honor of Thanksgiving, this Growth Coach blog is focused on the importance of giving thanks. First of all, I wish you and your family a very relaxing and blessed Thanksgiving and may you truly recognize and count your many blessings today and on a regular basis. It’s important to regularly slow down, reflect, and appreciate all the wonderful people and simple pleasures you have in your life.

To get started, let’s face reality. If it’s been a tough year, you’re probably feeling less thankful, grateful and appreciative of your business and more anxious and irritated. Ask yourself, are you focusing more on your burdens than your blessings? Are you giving more time to your problems than your opportunities? Business may still be rough, but the special people and simple things closest to our hearts still exist and are close at hand. Isn’t that so? What matters most is still available for us to recognize, love, enjoy and appreciate. Don’t let turbulent times blind you.

We all just need to burn off the fog of adversity and negativity to gain a better perspective and clearly see our true and meaningful wealth, not just our monetary wealth. Slow down, catch your breath, reflect, and count your bountiful blessings this Thanksgiving. This will help recharge your spirit, confidence, energy level, positive attitude, and sense of clarity – all essential for greater success.

So, my fellow business owner, entrepreneur or professional, who and what specifically are you thankful for? I am thankful for all our passionate franchise owners who serve and help several thousand small business clients each and every year. I am also grateful for all our dedicated Growth Coach employees, vendors, and advisers who help support our critical mission of improving communities around the world by helping the entrepreneurs in those communities achieve greater success in their businesses and balance in their lives. What we do makes a real difference, touches lives, and is very fulfilling.

What are you really thankful for this year? Go ahead, slow down and think about it. Many goal-oriented, hard-charging and successful professionals have a hard time slowing down to reflect and count their blessings. They tend to be focused on the next goal, next sale, next project, next result… They seldom stop to smell the roses, enjoy their victories, look back at their progress or count their good fortunes. Take time this Thanksgiving to truly give thanks.

Nathan Owens

President of The Growth Coach

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Business Owner: Don’t Get Comfortable

Stressed Woman Business OwnerWhen was the last time you settled for good enough? Or made the excuse that you’ve tried everything and none of it worked? Come on – let’s face it – there’s no way you could have actually tried everything, right? Sure, not every solution will be perfect for you or your business, but you can’t get comfortable with good enough.

Although the economy is recovering and businesses are more stable than they were three years ago, people are still using the economy to explain why people aren’t buying their product or service. Or they think people aren’t coming to their coffee shop because there’s a chain shop down the street. You have to face the truth – if your business isn’t as successful as you’d like, YOU are the answer. Step back, evaluate the failures and successes, create a plan and then get back to work.

I’m sure you already work a lot of hours and are slaving away to make your business successful while still having balance in life. Ask yourself this: is the work you’re doing during those hours busy work or work that’s vital to the growth of your business? Don’t spend time on non-essential tasks that are not income-producing.

Basically, you can’t get comfortable. If you go to work every day with a set routine of work that keeps you busy, but doesn’t improve your business, that’s not good enough. You need to be able to clear the fog that being comfortable has created to find the right path. Having a strategic mindset means finding ways to manage your time, delegate non-essential tasks, create effective business systems, marketing your product or service and focusing on growth.

Is your mindset strategic or are you settling for good enough?

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Don’t Be Scared of Your Business | 5 Tricks for Eliminating Fear

HalloweenPostHave you noticed that Halloween tends to get scarier the older you get? When you’re little Halloween means putting on that princess or ghost costume, going door-to-door and getting candy. When you’re a teenager, it’s about pulling pranks as a zombie or vampire. Then, when you get older, you look for a good fright with haunted houses and scary movies.

Just remember, no matter your age, fear should never work its way into your business. Fear will cripple your ability to take action, make improvements and be successful. So if your business is the scariest thing in your life this Halloween, here’s a plan for success to help you conquer your fears:

1. Set Goals

Setting challenging but achievable and realistic goals is a great way to get your business in the right direction. Decide what benchmarks you want to meet next quarter – and next year – and determine how you’re going to measure whether or not you’ve met those goals.

2. Take Action

Look at the goals you’ve set for yourself or your business. What needs to happen in order for you to meet those goals? Do you need to prospect and network more? Do you need to create a new marketing plan? Do you need to build new business systems? Create an action plan to meet whatever goals you’ve set.

3. Monitor Results

Every few weeks you need to sit down and look at how your action plan is helping you meet your goals. What’s working? What’s not working? If you are able to meet your goal early, celebrate the success and set a new goal. If you’re not able to meet your goal this time, evaluate what you could be doing differently and make changes.

4. Make Adjustments

No great plan is set in stone from Day One. If you find that the action plan you’ve created to meet your goals just isn’t getting you any closer to those benchmarks, it’s time to make adjustments! For starters, look at your schedule and see where you’re spending your time. If you are able to free up more time by delegating lower level tasks, you can dedicate more time to meeting your goals.

5. Take Additional Action

Whether it’s reorganizing your schedule and priorities to focus more on your goals or finding ways to set-up additional meetings with potential clients, sometimes meeting your goals successfully requires taking additional action – or different actions – along the way. Look at what adjustments you decided needed to be made and then take additional action.


Maybe you’ve been successful at meeting your goals and conquering your fears or maybe you still have some work to do. Either way, setting new goals, taking action, monitoring results, making adjustments and then taking additional action will always help you make improvements.

If you’re having trouble with any or all of these steps, consider working with your local Growth Coach:


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Why Business is Like Riding a Bike

BikeEveryone wants to succeed. Failing is tough business and it can be emotionally and professionally straining, but failure is also an opportunity to learn from your experience and be better moving forward. When you learned to ride a bike, once you took off those training wheels, you had to fall a few times to get your balance just right, didn’t you? And even when you thought you were an expert cyclist, you still flipped over the handlebars when you hit a pothole, right? But, at least for most of us, that didn’t mean putting the bike back in the garage forever. It meant getting back on and knowing what to look for on the next ride.

Try at business and sales in the same way you looked at riding a bike. When you fall, you gain valuable experience that can help you avoid the next pothole.

First let’s look at a few common reasons we fail:

Your goals were unreachable

When we’re excited about a particular endeavor, it’s easy to set your goals astronomically high. You want to go for the gold right out of the gate and that can easily backfire. If you have unattainable goals from the get go, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. It’s more important to set milestone goals you can use to hold yourself accountable, but those goals should be physically possible and at least a bit challenging.

Your goals were too low

When you set your goals so low that you KNOW you can reach them with little effort, it’s easy to rest on your success and avoid pushing yourself to be meet your big overall goals. For example, if you want to sell $100,000 worth of services in a year and you try to reach at least $5,00 per month, you’ll never make your total goal. Your goals need to be in line with your overall target.

You weren’t prepared

It seems obvious that if you go into a sales meeting without studying the client you’re probably not going to make the sale. However, even though we know the importance of preparation, sometimes we’re still not as prepared as we needed to be. Time gets away from us and what we end up presenting just isn’t our best work or it’s not properly tailored to the client. Hopefully, if this happens to you, you can use it as a learning experience and not just write off the mistake.

So, when one of more of these of these issues cause you to fail, what do you? First of all, take responsibility. Being accountable for your actions, the issues and the failures, is the first step to correcting the problem moving forward. Don’t just forget the failure and start toward the next goal – acknowledge what went wrong and adjust your future plan accordingly. Ask yourself what went wrong and why. How could you have done better? What did you need to do to make this a success? And, perhaps most importantly, create a plan to have better success next time.

If you continue to struggle either in business or in sales, your local Growth Coach can help. Find a coach here:

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Featured Blog – Dealing with the Truth

M.E. ReichSure, honesty is the best policy, but when you’re talking about the business you’ve poured your life into, being honest can be tough. It’s hard to look at what you’ve built and acknowledge that some of the things you’ve implemented just aren’t working like they should. However, despite the difficulty, being honest with yourself is the only way to truly improve.

This week’s blog comes to us from Growth Coach M.E. Reich of SRQ in Sarasota, Florida. Reich joined The Growth Coach in early 2014 and, in addition to her coaching experience, has a background in human resources and is accredited through the International Coach Federation. She’s also been a small business owner herself prior to opening The Growth Coach of SRQ. Here’s a blog she posted in early September about dealing with the truth in your business:

Always Deal with the Truth

Ever tell yourself lies about your business and personal life to feel better? Ever ignore or deny reality? Sure you have! Every small business owner and entrepreneur on occasion tells themselves comforting lies and stories to avoid the pain of reality. But be warned, there are real consequences when you turn away from the truth.

For you to achieve your desired personal lifestyle and business vision (ideal future), you must be honest with yourself. More than anything else, a lack of honesty and clarity about your current situation (the good, bad and ugly) will get you in a heap of trouble. Bottom line, you need to be truthful today for a better tomorrow. Conversely, lies and denial today result in trouble tomorrow.

Read the full blog here:

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The Biggest Challenge Small Business Owners Face

 “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” We’ve all heard that statement – especially from people who are micromanaging a situation or trying to do everything all alone. That might have worked in college when you were assigned a group project you ended up doing all by yourself, but it’s not how you should run your business!

Many business owners are great technicians. They know how to paint a house, they can make awesome chicken parmesan, they understand how to prepare perfect taxes… and that makes it extremely difficult to let go and let the staff take care of those parts of the business. You are a business owner because you wanted to own a business – not because you wanted to work seven days a week and run every aspect of the business. If you’re spending every day in the field running your business, how can you be focused on building your business?

As we head into the last quarter of the year, The Growth Coach is challenging business owners to hang up that toolbelt or take off the apron and spend the next few months trusting your staff to run the day to day aspects of the business. You don’t need to step in and make every pan of lasagna and, if you don’t think your staff can handle it, then you need to train them to do the job at the level you expect. You can be available for guidance, but you can’t step in to make every decision and run every job.

Once you’re able to step back from the daily technical needs of your business, you can turn your attention to training your company leaders, building and implementing systems so the business can run without you, marketing and promoting the great products or services you provide, etc. Create a goal you want to work toward before December 31 and start making progress. If you spend the amount of time you would normally spend IN the business working toward that goal, we bet you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

Every business owner understands how difficult it can be to delegate the daily operations of your business and take on the role of a CEO, but that’s the only way to grow a successful business without burning the candle at both ends. If you find that your business can’t run without you or you can’t seem to delegate as needed, your local Growth Coach can help:

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Three Tips to Improve Your Routine

Write It Down“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

If you’re living with the same routine and you’re not happy with the results, it’s time for a change! Here are three tips to get you on the right track:

  1. Prioritize

When you get a new email or someone comes to your office, do you drop what you’re doing to meet their needs? Do their tasks take sudden priority? Or do you keep a running list of priorities to determine when things need to be addressed?

If you’re spending your days juggling tasks as they come, it’s time to re-evaluate. At the beginning of each week – and each day – take note of what you want to accomplish and what goals you’d like to meet. Certainly there will be smaller tasks that need to be addressed along the way, but as each new need arises, ask yourself, “Is this task more important than what I’m working on right now? Does it take priority?” If what you’re doing is more important, then find a way to schedule that task for later in the day, tomorrow or next week.

  1. Write It Down

Keeping a to-do list can be a tricky task and you can’t let those post-it notes pile up all over your desk and expect to make sense of them later. Whether it’s a continuously updated notepad next to your computer or an updated calendar on your phone, sometimes you just need to write the tasks down. If something occurs to you that needs taken care of, write it down. There are few things worse than waking up at 2am and realizing you forgot something. Writing down tasks – large or small – will always help and, if you can schedule those things on your calendar, all the better.

  1. Make Decisions and Delegate

When tasks come your way and you have the time to address them, make decisions. Let’s face it, if you have 15 projects in various stages of development, you can’t put all your decisions off until next week. Sometimes you need more time to think about your decisions, but if you have the answer, take action as soon as you can. It’s too exhausting to try to touch everything once and then come back later. If you have an answer or a strategy as an issue or task comes up, share it.

Likewise, if you’re a business owner or executive, when a small task comes your way that could easily be handled by someone on your team – delegate! You should have members on your staff that are trained to act in your absence and can make smaller decisions without getting you involved in every discussion. Trust them to make the right choices! By delegating and making timely decisions, you can keep from getting overwhelmed while giving your employees the opportunity to shine.

If you’re having trouble getting a handle on these tips, it’s time to talk to your local Growth Coach:

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Featured Blog: The Benefits of Trusting

Glenn Smith

Glenn Smith

There’s an old saying you’re probably familiar with: “If you want something done right – you have to do it yourself.” That might be sound advice for many of life’s situations, but it shouldn’t be your motto as a business owner or business leader.

This week’s blog features a post written by Glenn Smith, the Owner and CEO of The Growth Coach in Houston, Texas. It’s all about the benefits of trusting – in your professional life and your personal life.

Glenn is a member of The Growth Coach’s President’s Forum, is a mentor to new franchise owners and is a frequent speaker on the topics of leadership, business strategy, marketing and a wide variety of other business coaching-related subjects. He’s been recognized as the Coach of the Year by The Growth Coach and has received accolades for his work in his community.

The Benefits of Trusting

Many of us have difficulty trusting others. There are many different reasons that make trusting others difficult. One reason, for example, is that some of us were trained to not trust. Another reason is that some have suffered greatly during their childhood. As a result, they may have decided that they could not really trust anyone. Regardless of the reason, all of us have experienced relationships in which trust was broken. So, why should we bother trusting anyone at all?

Read the full post on Glenn’s blog:


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