There is a gap....

Whether or not you made formal plans or set goals, you have big ideas and hopes for the success of your business and projects this year. We all expect and anticipate success, but, how do we make sure it happens? 

There is a gap between where your business and projects are today and where you want them to be at year-end. How do you address this gap? Do you have a roll-out plan for your ideas and hopes that guarantees the year-end results you want? 

Personally, I can't believe it's mid-year already. I'm a bit concerned that I haven't paused long enough to determine if my hopes and ideas for success this year are going to turn out the way I've planned. How about you? Do you have this concern as well?  Do you see a gap?

If not, you might be too busy with day-to-day operations to even think about it and that is understandable. However, business experience shows that if you make a solid plan now and organize your resources to fit your plan you will have much stronger results later. 

Whether or not you feel the gap, I've found that the middle of the year is a unique time and opportunity to take a moment and effectively plan for year-end success. The year is not over yet and now is the time to design the roll-out that will ensure your success. The big question is, can you afford to not do this?

The Mid-Year Design Workday gives you the environment to easily do this process. In one day you will, design an achievable 90-day plan so you know where to start, allocate resources so you avoid unrealistic expectations and gain confidence in your plan.

Please join us for our live event in Marin on Saturday, July 11th or by webinar on Saturday, July 18th. Go to www.erocalowe.com/mid-year. Be sure to invite your colleagues and friends to attend with you.


Are You Sufficiently Forward-Thinking and Future-Directed In Your Business?

As a business owner and entrepreneur, I find that being forward-thinking and future-directed gives me inspiration. I can get through difficult challenges with greater speed. My focus can become laser-sharp which causes my day-to-day operations to move much more quickly. Without allocating time for planning, I am neither forward-thinking nor future-directed. I must stop and give time to designing my future and goals. The Mid-Year Design Workday arose in response to my need for this design process.

In working with my clients, I have found that I’m not alone. Many business owners and professionals  are uncertain about their direction or haven’t taken the time to design a clear plan and goals. Others are caught up in the routine of their business or work. Still others have become bored, uninspired, or perhaps exhausted and overwhelmed. No matter where you are in the spectrum, these are easily fixable problems which can be solved through the process of intentional design.

One of my clients recently became aware that she had not specifically designed the future for her business. The company had relatively good income, however it's core strategy was way off-track and had no clear direction. By designing a new, inspiring future, new strategies have emerged, the owner has become fully empowered and the whole company is now aligned with the new design. There is a renewed enthusiasm throughout and they are on fire!

If you are going to give your life to your business and work, what are you going to do to make it fully worthwhile? The Mid-Year Design Workday is a day devoted to the process of future design. You will be able to match your commitments with what you want to build. You will be able to incorporate any important, new insights and perspectives that you’ve gained over time, that you might have forgotten into your new plan. You will also take into consideration any new resources that are available to you now, which you can use to become much more up-to-date in your business. The Mid-Year Design Workday will put you back on track so you and your business can operate at peak efficiency.

Please join us. Dates are July 11th in Marin, July 18th in San Bruno and also by webinar for people outside the San Francisco Bay Area. Early registration savings and more details are available at www.erocalowe.com/mid-year. Be sure to invite your colleagues and friends to attend with you.

2nd Quarter has started...are you prepared?

Now that the 2nd quarter has started, I know that if I don’t do a re-design I will fall into revamping my original plan and think that will be sufficient to have me managing my company and projects in the most effective manner. I also believe that I will still be on track to make my year-end goals. However, I’ve made this mistake too many times! I have learned that there are so many changes, that occur in any three month period — not only for my business but also in the marketplace and for me personally — I need a new plan.

There is much to learn from the first quarter, in terms of what has changed in your business, with your customers and the progress you’ve made so far. In our Spring Design Webinar happening at the end of this month, we will examine the past three months for new insights and perspectives that will give you big indicators about the future. This new information is important and valuable for building the future you envision.

We will discover that what we've planned at the beginning of the year is no longer a viable foundation for the success we are out to achieve this year. We are unaware that so much has changed and we proceed with the old design as our starting point. We all want to be effective and not waste our time and resources. So it becomes quite necessary to have a fresh 90-day plan, ideally created in partnership with your team.

The Spring Design Webinar is the perfect opportunity for this process. We strongly recommend you not try doing a new design on your own. We invite you and your team to attend the Spring Design Webinar. In the webinar, you will create an in-depth design, guided by your future goals. You will have a concise actionable 90-day plan you can begin immediately.

Please join us...

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

Get Ready For The 2nd Quarter

I’ve been working hard in my business since the beginning of the year and I’ve had some good solid results. I’m sure you’ve been doing the same thing. Now that the first quarter is over, not only can I see there is much more to go, I can feel the need to review my business direction, goals and plans to see where I need to refocus to make sure I’m on track for the success I want this year.

As we head into the second quarter I’m aware that much has happened since the year started that I need to incorporate in my plans. My progress has revealed new important areas to address. I even see new pathways and strategies to take for continuing to expand my business.

You might find yourself in a similar place.

I feel so strongly about the necessity for business owners and project managers to rethink and redesign their plans that I’m offering a special 3.5 hour webinar, called the Spring Design Webinar to provide a focused opportunity for this design process. During the webinar you will create concise and powerful goals for the next 90-days from a fresh perspective. You will feel confident that your new plan is on track to achieve the goals you’ve set for year’s end.

Whether you have goals and plans or not, it’s never too late to start. Many business owners and project managers use the Spring Design Webinar as a fundamental planning tool for achieving their business goals each quarter.

Please join us for this intensive design webinar.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

Sneak Peak #3 - 2015 Design Workday

The New Year begins on Thursday. I’m already starting to think about 2015.  I’m asking myself, what do I want my year to be about? And what I want to accomplish? I’m also beginning to review 2014 to see where I want to start with the New Year. 

When the New Year begins on Thursday, the real question is, how do YOU get ready for it?

Because it is a new beginning, not only for you personally but also for your business and projects, it’s a time when you can off-load those ideas and ambitions that aren’t really yours. There are also areas where you’ve fallen short that weigh heavily in your mind. It’s a time when you can close the door on all of that and design a new approach. 

How often do you approach the new year full of the best intentions and find yourself stuck in the same routine by February? Without focused, intentional and organized design work, the beginning of the year could likely be a continuation of last year's unfinished goals.

Here are Steps Four and Five in the Design Process,

which is the basis of the Design Workday. For the first three steps please see the earlier blog posts.

Step Four: Define specific goals and identify action steps for each one. Design concrete goals with measurable results and clear end dates. It’s these goals which will then direct your action steps. Be realistic. You want to create an attainable to-do list that will produce positive results.

Step 5. Allocate resources. Sit down with your team and work out a clear and concise plan, including strategies for accomplishing each action step, the rollout schedule and budget allotment. This is the make-it or break-it step that will define your success for the year, so plan carefully.

From my years of experience, many intelligent people don’t complete these two steps which is the fulcrum of the design. Be aware that it’s easy to short cut these last two vital steps. In the 2015 Design Workday we spend half of the day working out these challenging details and the momentum of the group makes it much, much easier to complete.

Don’t give up your dreams.

Come to the Design Workday and design your year to achieve them. If you are going to be in the San Francisco Bay Area, please join us for one of the 2015 Design Workdays. And, take advantage of the early registration savings by signing up now.  Saturday, January 17th in Marin and Saturday, January 24th in San Bruno.

Get More Information

Sign-Up Now

Sneak Peak #2 - 2015 Design Workday

In three weeks it will be January. I can feel the Holiday activities pulling my time and attention and it’s difficult to stay focused on my business. I know when January hits, at best, I have one month to get my business on track for success.  If I’m not careful January will go by so quickly it is as though I have lost a month of the year before it even gets off the ground.  The point is, I need to start thinking now about key areas of focus for the year ahead. 

Will I actually take time over the Holidays to think about this? Probably not. The price we pay for not doing this step, is we find ourselves wasting the resources of our time and energy on the wrong priorities and we don't discover this until it’s too late. Identifying the key areas where we must focus for the growth and expansion we want, will  keep us from wasting precious resources on the wrong priorities. 

The following is Step Three in the Design Process which is the basis of the Design Workday. For Steps One and Two go to Sneak Peak #1- 2015 Design Workday.

Step Three: Identifying Key Areas of Focus. It’s human nature to take on way too much. And, it’s not possible to work on every thing.  When you think about the future viability of the business, you must identify the key areas that will absolutely move the company ahead this year.

One of our most important responsibilities for the year, is doing this well. In all the years of design workdays, this is where a group can have a major and positive impact by helping you reach beyond the limits of your perspective. Sharing with group members and hearing about their key areas of focus can provide inspiration and greater clarity about our own pursuits.

Please take advantage of the early registration savings and sign up now.  Saturday, January 17th in Marin and Saturday, January 24th in San Bruno.

Sign-Up Now

More Information

 

Sneak Peak #1 - 2015 Design Workday

Four weeks from today will be January 1st and I’m already feeling the pressure of next year.  For me it’s a challenge to enjoy the Holidays and get ready for next year. The beginning of every year is always an important time for business. It’s when the major objectives, the company's direction, any changes in strategy and the allocation of resources are planned out for the year. When January starts, in the face of the demand to get back to work, this critical planning process is often poorly done or entirely overlooked.

My next set of blog posts will be “SNEAK PEAKS” of the 2015 Design Workday. Because I know most people won’t do this on their own, there will be snippets of the process for you as my gift.

However, a small warning, after 10 years, I’ve found that most people have difficulty designing this on their own.  My clients have told me that when they try to do this on their own. The group setting of the workday not only provides powerful feedback and encouragement, it also supports them in reaching beyond the limits of their own thinking.

Said simply, my clients have reported that it’s hard for them to create newly and not have their goals be a rehashing of last years failed goals and hard for them to reconnect with their aspiration and ambitions. It’s our aspirations and ambitions that connect us with the direction, purpose and meaningfulness of our lives. Staying optimistic in the process is key to turning our ambitions into action plans that deliver.  

Where to start…

Step One: Getting The Most Out Of Last Year…the purpose of this step is to review your accomplishments and short falls, strengths and weaknesses for the year, so you can learn, let go and powerfully move forward. The idea is to do a performance review for your business and the business strategy for 2014.

Step Two: What Are Your Business Aspirations? The year ahead is best viewed as a building block for the future you want for your business. You wouldn’t attempt to build a building without a set of plans and you wouldn’t sign off on a set of plans that didn’t fit your vision and aspirations. You must first spend time defining your long term aspirations and aligning your goals with them.

The biggest mistake we can make is to not do this process fully. Before your company closes for the Holidays, schedule your team to do this design work in January and you will have a much higher degree of success in 2015. Please take advantage of the early registration savings and sign up now.

Saturday, January 17th in Marin and Saturday, January 24th in San Bruno.

Sign-up Now

More Information

 

Somehow we got to June...

...That means the year is half over.

For the last 5 years I've used this time of year to stop and check out how I'm doing on my plans. Am I on course? Do I need to reset my direction?

It's always a surprise to me that I usually do.

If I'm going to pour my energy and time into my plans and goals they better be the right ones and get me to where I want to go.

I feel so stronly about it I do a event for my clients and friends called the Mid-Year Design Workday.

You'll get some idea for how to do this yourself on MY WEBPAGE or if you are in the San Francisco Bay Area you can join us.

Someone who truly inspires you, can help you succeed. Do you have these people in your life?

It’s vital for your success to have a reference point outside of yourself that truly inspires you in areas where you want to succeed. It could be someone’s spectacular achievement, it could be what they say, what they do or it could be how they live…their lifestyle.

Olga is a 94 year old woman who runs track and truly inspires me.

She has shattered our generally accepted idea of what it is to be 94. Her level of activity and vitality are unparalleled. She is a bright shiny star for me and has opened new horizons in my life. Thank you Olga.

Who inspires you? If you don’t know, start looking around and find them.

CLICK to Read more

Aspirations first...goals second

Goals are what you work on, but if they’re not funded by the dreams, aspirations and desires you have for your life they’re just more stuff to do. 

  • An aspiration is a hope or ambition of achieving something. 
  • A dream is a cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal. 
  • A desire is a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen. 

Do you clearly know the aspirations and dreams you have for your life, career and business?  If not, now is a good time, at the beginning of the year to find out.

The goals you have this year should be in service of fulfilling your life and business aspirations.

Are they?

What you do each week should also be in service of fulfilling your life and business aspirations.

Is it?

Why Is It Critical for Our Happiness and Our Success to "Design" Our Year?

If we aren't at work on building the dreams and aspirations we have for our lives they probably aren't going to happen.

 

One of the problems is there are more fascinating, intriguing, thrilling and curious things to do today than ever before in the history of humankind and we want to do most if not all of them.  How do you choose what to work on, what to focus on?

 

Ten minutes easily turns into an hour when we’re catching up with friends on facebook or reading twitter…not to mention reading the news.  Forget email.  Who doesn’t have an inbox filled with unread emails that will most likely never be read or responded to?  Who doesn’t have a coffee table, bed-side table or book shelf filled with books they want to read, but likely never will?  We resort to listening to only the most highly recommended books on Audible while we are exercising or reading kindle or ibooks as we commute.  There are business courses, personal development programs and conferences we want to attend….but how can we fit them into our schedule?

There are many more exercise programs and different sports to participate in than ever before.  I just found out about land paddling.  I’d only ever seen people paddle boarding in the surf while on vacation in Hawaii. Now, you can land paddle down the street in front of your house, too. Who knew?

Simply staying in touch with friends and family can be hard.  We are busy.  They are busy.  When was the last time you had a good conversation with someone who’s really important to you in your life?

Can you get my point?  There is so much more to choose from than ever before and you can’t do it all. That’s right. We can’t do it all and people who say you can are living in a dream world, not the real world.

So, what can we do about it and what are we going to do about it?

Before we resolve this problem, let's clarify further.

IT'S WORSE THAN YOU THINK: Our time is limited.

We are not going to get another “today” or “yesterday."  We say, “see you next time” or “we’ll get together next month or year”, but when will that be? For some of us who say these things, there isn’t going to be a next time.

It’s good to understand that how we use our time, what we give our time to, directly impacts our experience of life.  It determines the areas where we will succeed. It defines the arenas where we will have our greatest accomplishments.

What we give our time to today determines our achievements and successes down the road. Everyone knows that exercising today contributes to their health and vitality next week and so on.  How we use our time today and tomorrow does matter.

Time is really the most limiting factor in our lives.

IT GET’S EVEN WORSE:

Many of us have grown up watching television over the years. Television programs have 29 second or 56 second commercials every 4 minutes or so. Non-commercial television is relatively new in our lives. Over time our nervous systems have adjusted to interruptions at that frequency. It’s easy to be distracted…our attention grabbed by something else. It could be anything around us, other people, cell phones…even ourselves. Yes, we will distract ourselves. 

THE BIG QUESTON:

Being easily distracted, having limited time and with more things to do than ever before, how are we going to fulfill the dreams we have for our lives? There is a good chance they will never happen.

A VIABLE SOLUTION:  We could consciously choose what our year is going to be about.

We could create a pathway or plan to guide the use of our time and the other resources we have.  We could choose our areas of growth. We could go to work on building the dreams and aspirations we have for our lives in an intentional and focused manner.

Yes, we are going to get distracted.  However, if we have a plan it becomes a reference point to see when we stray off course.  A plan can help up get back on track.  When we are interrupted or a whim grabs our attention we have a way to recover.  

That is why we strongly recommend doing a design process to consciously create the year.

Catch the Window Before it Closes

Within the next 2 WEEKS it’s critical that you design your goals for the year. The window is closing. You can do it yourself, do it with an online program such as the one we offer, or do a live event, which we offer in the San Francisco Bay Area.

What’s important, necessary and critical is that you DO it.

It’s time to clear out the cobwebs, get INSPIRED and get MOTIVATED about your life and the direction you’re going.

It’s time to get a FRESH perspective as to where you want to be down the road, take all the useful learnings from last year and craft some powerful business-growth and life-fulfilling goals for this year.

It’s very hard to design your goals or theme for the year in March or May…it can be done.

It’s just really difficult.

It’s far better to use the natural momentum of the beginning of a new year to get a fresh start.

If you do this well, these goals will call you to perform at a higher level…the way you wish and dream of doing.

It’s about making something REALLY BIG happen in 2014.

Schedule time now, right now, to design your year and don’t do it alone. Get other people to join you.

You are embarking on another year of your life.

Make it special.

Make it big.