Possible vs. Impossible

“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.” Tommy LaSorda

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The key to determination comes from being committed to your goal, connecting with your purpose, and visualizing your goal’s possibility. It is not easy being in business for yourself. In fact, in many ways it is just simpler to work for someone else! I want to share three things with you that may help you stay determined and focused. These tips are found in my new book The Ambitious Woman and I am convinced they are key to your success.

First, make a decision once. One problem that women encounter when they start a business is the underlying assumption that we are inconsistent or do not take charge well. Do not justify that belief. Your decisions are just as good as anyone else’s and you have just as good a chance of success at your new business as any other entrepreneur, provided you stand firm.
In addition, you must be very clear with your goals. Write down exactly what you want to accomplish. How will you make decisions if you do not know where you are headed? Your goals can be changed or adjusted, but set them down so that there is no doubt in your mind where you want to be.

Finally, take action. Something great starts to happen when you do what you are supposed to do. This may not always be fun, but you know where the necessary work is! In the 1970s my husband and I opened a worm farm. Yes, you heard right: a worm farm. I did not ultimately remain a worm farmer, but I had accomplished an even more important goal: I had started my own business, and I learned a great deal by doing so! The seed was planted inside me that would never again let me be content working for someone else. I knew the right opportunity would present itself, but I also learned that you have to get your hands in the dirt in order to succeed sometimes.

Never give up, and keep dreaming. Sooner than you think, you will achieve your goals!

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Dreams Can Come True!

“Your Time Is Limited, So Don’t Waste It
Living Someone Else’s Life.” -Steve Jobs

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Many of us have “someday dreams.” You know what these are: they are the dreams we always believe will be fulfilled sometime in the future but never today. However, “someday dreams” can become today’s reality if you are willing to do what it takes to make your dreams come true.
You can do anything if you choose to do it. While some people dream, some people make dreams happen. The difference between the two groups is that while most of us have secret dreams, only some of us try to reach for those dreams. In some cases, these dreams seem so far away that we cannot imagine how they could possibly come true. We may even avoid talking about our dreams because we are afraid of ridicule. However, we should never let fear dictate which dreams we will accomplish!
Instead, think about your wildest dream. What do you really want to do? What do you really want to be? Let your imagination run wild. Are you thinking of something that you really believe is impossible, or do you just fail to see how that dream could come true?
I am here to tell you that you can achieve your dreams, even if they seem impossible, but you have to give yourself permission to do so. In fact, I would guess that you are probably going to be surprised that if you ever actually do voice your dream to your friends, they may say something like, “I always thought you would do well in that field,” or “Why aren’t you doing that?” instead of the ridicule you expect! You see, sometimes our friends and family know us better than we know ourselves. While you are thinking about your dream, think of something else as well: has everyone been telling you that you should be doing something that you are currently not doing? Sometimes others see our dreams before we see them clearly.
Remember to dream your dreams. Do not hold yourself back. Once you have identified your dream, take steps toward it. You might be amazed at the results!

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Ready, Set, Action!

“Do not wait until you are ready to take action; instead, take action to be ready.” Jensen Siaw

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Do not wait until you are ready to take action, or it will never happen! If we all waited until the “time was right,” nothing would ever get done. Sometimes just starting is the most important thing you can do. What does taking action mean to you? To me, it is a mindset, but I realize that is not true for everyone.
The first step in taking charge is to realize that everything begins with you: just take responsibility. This means that you are responsible not only for beginning but for the final outcome as well. Even if the situation is not your fault, take ownership of it. Never play the “blame game.” That does not mean others should not be held accountable but that blaming others is a losing prospect. When you blame or find fault, you are looking backwards instead of ahead.
The next step in taking action is to take inventory of your goals. You must have concrete goals or you will not know what you are working toward. Writing down goals is a great way to envision them and will help you decide how to take action. In order to take action you must stay in the present. You must not allow yourself to be distracted by others or by your own thoughts. Always ask yourself, “Am I doing what I really need to do right now to move forward in this situation?” Sometimes the answer to that question is yes, even if you are doing something boring or seemingly unimportant.
Finally, you must be accountable to others for your actions. Telling others what we are going to do helps us develop consistency and keeps us honest. It is much harder to back out of our goals if we share them with others.
Taking action is often a matter of just getting ourselves in the right frame of mind and taking that first step. When we hold ourselves accountable, create our goals in a concrete form and ask others to keep us accountable as well, we are on our way to useful action!

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Encouragement Matters

“Encouraging others can be the catalyst to unleashing their greatness.” Rob Liana

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When we encourage others, we are making a personal connection. Our hearts are reaching out to their hearts. Ultimately, encouragement is the reason we perform, whether we are singing, acting, nursing, teaching or working in any career. We need that connection with others in order to do our best, even if we are by nature solitary. We need the energy and enthusiasm that others bring into our lives, and their applause encourages us to do our best and even better!

This is true whether we are at church, volunteering or in business. If it is true for us, and it is true for others as well. It is very important that we encourage those who are under our care and guidance if we want them to succeed as well.

We also need to encourage ourselves as we take on new challenges. I am remembering a story that relates how, one day, when people arrived at work, they saw a sign reporting a funeral for “the person who had been hindering their growth at work.” Everyone entered the room eager to see this person, but when they looked into the coffin they found only a mirror and a sign that said, “There is only one person who is capable to set limits to your growth: it is YOU.”

I believe that there is much more truth to this story than most of us like to admit. The bottom line is that we are all more likely to succeed when we encourage ourselves, just as we are more likely to fail if we focus on discouraging thoughts. How do you encourage yourself? By positive thinking and self-talk. Stop putting yourself down mentally. Do you tell yourself, “That was a stupid thing to do,” or “You should have known better”? Would you say those things to a co-worker over a simple mistake? I hope the answer is no!

We all need encouragement. Sometimes we get to provide it for others or receive it from those we love and trust. In some cases, it is up to us to encourage ourselves!

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