April 12, 2011
Have you ever noticed that your very first interactions at the beginning of the day significantly impact the remainder of it? As an entrepreneur I learned very quickly that managing moments, interactions and people would play a significant role in my productivity, effectiveness and success. Most importantly, it would impact my happiness. This is why I’ve found it necessary to reconcile happiness accounts often and assess my portfolio’s condition. This all starts with life’s intangibles on the balance sheet.
An Asset Called Happiness
The difference between our assets and liabilities yields net worth. One of the most important intangible, yet lucrative assets for startups and small businesses is happiness. When you feel as though it’s you against the world (and sometimes it will be), a mind set on being happy will help you get over and through every obstacle.
Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. – Thomas Jefferson
Have you ever been faced an onslaught of challenges at the crack of dawn? Or possibly, endured grating situations that appeared to be the culprit of perpetual setbacks? I refer to these as liabilities. By default, much of your business development is dependent upon how quickly and freely you are able and willing to balance your personal books, and turn these liabilities into assets. It starts with a daily process of renewal; restoration that begins with your mind.
Turn Liabilities into Assets
A significant skill set I’ve found to be most useful, is the ability to guard my mental space. By this I mean, development of a daily routine that is proactively focused on cultivating small wins and bearing in mind the long-term vision. It’s an unspoken truth that will get you past challenges, help you overcome setbacks and continue to win each and every day.
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it. — Lou Holtz
Get Happy & Increase Your Net Worth
I am confident that “happiness” is more simplistic than “experts” make it out to be. Contrary to popular belief, happiness is not a feeling. And if so, you are in bondage to it. One minute you’re happy about your accomplishments in business and the next you aren’t. Development, both personally and professionally, is not fortified on feelings or whims.
Happiness is a decision – a daily dose of smiles that trickle down into your conduct and your business. Consequently, it’s essential to learn how to crack a smile each day and resolutely manage interactions to bend them to your will – your will to be happy!
Let’s face it. Happy leaders foster and cultivate happy organizations. A happy culture then filters down into happy customers. According to Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh in his best-selling book Delivering Happiness, Hsieh notes,
“Together, we had built a business that combined profits, passion, and purpose. And we knew that it wasn’t just about building a business. It was about building a lifestyle that was about delivering happiness to everyone, including ourselves.” — Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh
Ten Ways to Get Happy Today
The question remains, are you delivering personal and professional happiness? Here are a few ideas, tips and strategies that can help you deliver happiness, increase your net worth and manage each moment like a champ:
1. Happy is as Happy Does. Each morning immediately do something that makes you happy. Walk your dog, go for a brisk run, drink hot tea or listen to your favorite music. Write down three activities that make you happy and integrate them into your daily and weekly schedule.
2. Engage in positive self talk. For some this will be much easier than others, because how we see ourselves affects every area of our lives. Personal development is essential to business development. Your self-talk (what you’ve been thinking lately) will make the difference in the next deal you close, the opportunities you reach out for and the profitability of your company. Need motivation? Post inspirational quotes in your office, listen to motivational audiobooks and surround yourself with successful people.
3. Steer clear of negativity. While some interactions may seem unavoidable, schedule and prioritize the people, places and things that “kill your happy” (also known as stressors) near the end of your day. If at all possible, remove them from your calendar all together. Take control of your schedule and don’t allow anything to zap your energy at the start of your day. In short, cancel out the negative.
4. Make the first two hours count. Prioritize your most important tasks during the first two hours of your day. Schedule 90 minutes at the beginning of each day to address your most important projects. Start with 45 minute intervals, take a brief 15 minute break and complete the second 45 minute interval. Not only do you accomplish more, you feel better too!
5. Put down the crackberry and go on an email fast. Undoubtedly, one of my favorite lifestyle design hackers, Tim Ferris, recommends that you check your email 2x per day. Get started by setting up an auto responder and “batching tasks.” The idea is to remove time wasting activities. Limit email consumption to set periods during the day and enjoy increased productivity.
6. Take a social sabbatical. For some, this is heresy, but I promise it will positively impact your business and bottom-line. Clearly define the role that social media plays in your life – is it for business or for pleasure. If it’s for pleasure, try not to “tweet or like” during the first two hours of your day. Schedule one 30 minute windows each day for social media brand building activities. If social media is a strategic business tool, delegate the management and forgo checking multiple accounts by aggregating your social networks using Hoot Suite or Tweet Deck. Work smart and utilize tools such as Twuffer.com to generate auto-tweets to educate, engage and inspire your network.
7. Stay active, get up and go. Physical activity is important. According to Dr. Daniel G. Amen the author of “Change Your Brain, Change Your Body” asserts that exercise enhances brain function by encouraging the growth of new brain cells (Neurogenesis), improves overall health, energy and enhances your mood.
8. Get organized. Develop a daily To-do List that concentrates on two areas: Personal and Business To-Do’s. Focus on the most important tasks at the start of your day and check them off as you complete them. Keep track of your progress with a notebook, day planner or online productivity tool.
9. Delegate. Learn to let go and delegate time-consuming tactical tasks to your team. Don’t have one yet? Get started today and hire an intern or outsource a virtual assistant.
10. Develop a mini risk management plan. Managing risk is essential to proactively finding solutions to small and large business challenges. Changes happen, budgets fluctuate, time schedules adjust and not everything will always work out as plan. Mitigate risk by addressing scenarios that could affect your business or a specific project and assign solutions. Expect the best and prepare for the worst.
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