• Corporate and Business

    Healthy businesses are full of healthy, resilient staff, that are able to thrive on a challenge, impact others in a positive manner and have a common sense of purpose. Sigma Mindset works with businesses within a success mindset to achieve a high level of performance.

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  • Human Service

    Working with a diverse group of people, in challenging situations can sometimes take a toll on the health and performance of staff. Sigma Mindset works with Human Service organisations within a resilience framework to strengthen, support and help maintain peak performance and health.

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  • Personal

    Life can sometimes provide roadblocks that stop us achieving our life goals. Sigma Mindset works with the individual and the business owner to help you smash through the mental and emotional blockages that keep you stuck and finally achieve the breakthrough you have been longing for.

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  • Public Speaking

    It can always be difficult finding exactly the right speaker for your upcoming important event. Sigma Mindset provides presentations and keynotes that teach, inspire and elevate audiences to new levels of achievement. We believe the audience should walk away with an authentic experience and practical tools for life application.

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  • Workshops

    Learning should, can and is fun. With this in mind, Sigma Mindset workshops are designed for the overall adult learning experience. Participants come away from workshops equipped, prepared and motivated to continue to tackle any necessary change.

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Archive for the "business success" Category

Dealing with Fear and Anxiety in Business

Posted on May 15th, 2012 by julie

“I think that maybe inside any business, there is someone slowly going crazy”

Joseph Heller

In a recent study, 62% of BRW Fast Starters identified anxiety as the biggest personal problem to running a business

Basically, this anxiety was about the fear of the unknown

I know, we all put on a brave face to the world to show that we have everything under control and this is not necessarily a bad thing. Certainly, we want to exude confidence in our business dealings. But the reality of life is such that we do and will face difficult times. The question has to be how do we deal effectively with these difficult times and in particular feelings of fear and anxiety.

While I was writing this article someone phoned me and we got to talking about how difficult it is for businesses right now. Unfortunately, for many, they suffer in silence and isolation, never asking for help or support. The question posed during this conversation is why don’t business owners seek help and support?

Behind every fear there is an issue of safety and when we do not feel safe we go into flight and fight mode – a natural instinct meant to protect ourselves. This fear, anxiety and feelings of being unsafe, often cause us to make decisions that we may not necessarily make as we struggle to regain a feeling of safety, I suppose in some way to build our world of the known.

But business is by its very nature, unknown. This is in fact part of its allure, as entrepreneurs love a challenge but we need to be equipped to handle the fear and anxiety that can surface when problems arise in business and they will arise.

Here are six keys that if you implement will help you get through the other side of fear and be able to move forward:

Key #1: Accept that fear will always exist if you live a life worth living. The positive is, it can keep you on your toes. Fear is a normal and natural part of life. We are programmed to respond to threatening and unknown situations with fear. Learn to accept this, flow with it and move into the more rational parts of the brain to respond. For example, just stop and ask yourself “What exactly is happening here and how is it affecting me?”

Key #2: The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it. After the first step, the fear will subside. As the unknown becomes familiar the fear will dissipate.

Key #3: You are not alone. Others feel this way. Network and find support. I can tell you right now there is someone who wants to listen to you and help you. But you must put the work in to find them. Do not give up

Key #4: Revisit your reasons for starting the business. Get out of the micro and into the macro – The Why! The Dream!  Fear can make us naval gazes and this only serves to cover up the problem and expand the fear.

Key #5: Use coaches or mentors – people who have experience with your issues. Every day I work with people having exactly these problems. I cannot count the number of times that people have left a coaching session with a completely different perspective and as a consequence a different feeling.

Key #6: Information is power – it will reduce anxiety and help you make better decisions. 80% of our decisions are made with 20% of the information – this is a recipe for disaster. Collect as much information as possible before making important decisions

Don’t allow fear and anxiety in business to cripple you. Rather face it head on and work with it and through it using the suggestions above.

If you want more help, this is one of the topics covered in my upcoming one day program: The Entrepreneurial Mindset Exposed

Until Next Time

Julie Spain

Business Mindset Strategist

Entrepreneurial Business Success – Don’t Quit, Think About Why You Started!

Posted on April 10th, 2012 by julie

What do you think the biggest enemy to your business is? Cash flow? Staff problems? Venture capital? No plan or goal? No effective systems? Of course they are all important but for me there is a much more sinister threat that is not often discussed in all those hugely successful business books. Of course by now you are asking – “What is it?”

Discouragement!

You know that feeling when nothing seems to go right. When no matter what you do and how hard you work it is just not happening. You pour everything you have into this great new idea – your time, love, money, energy, passion. You give up all the things you love to focus on making your dreams come true. Isn’t that what all the good books say?

That you have to stay focused. Block out everything else in your life and give everything you have to your dream. This is how the winners do it. If you don’t believe me read Napoleon Hill’s very famous book “Think and Grow Rich”.

You know what? I believe them but it just doesn’t stop that terrible churning eating away at your stomach until you start to think – why am I doing this? It is just too hard.

Every so often I have days like this. Do you? If so, what keeps you going? We all realize that of course, if we do not keep going, then our dreams will not come to fruition. There is this wonderful experiment that was performed a number of years ago with preschool children. The children were taken into a room and told by the person looking after them that they had to leave the room. They put a marshmallow in front of the child and told them that if they could wait until they came back and not eat the marshmallow in front of them that they would receive two marshmallows when they came back. The worker then left the room and watched them through a window. Some children put the marshmallow straight in their mouths, others just licked them and put them back and others simply did not touch the marshmallow and promptly received another when the worker came back. This longitudinal study followed these children up later in life and found that the children who were able to delay gratification had achieved more success in their lives than the ones who could not delay gratification.

The immediate is not always easy and there is always something more enticing to do with our time than work. But history does show that the more we can delay gratification the greater our chance of success.

So what are some ways that I use to deal with discouragement so that I can keep moving my business forward?

1. Make sure you have good support networks. Sometimes you will really need to download a hard day with a very sympathetic ear

2. Give yourself some time out to enjoy your favourite activities

3. Try to mix with likeminded people

4. Have a mentor or coach (see my coaching page at http://sigmamindset.com/services/leadership-development-and-coaching ) it really is a prerequisite for success

5. Everyday come back to your commitment. What is it that you are trying to achieve and do you still want it just as much as you did originally?

6. You must have a strong belief that you can do this

7. An attitude that every problem has an answer – just make sure you look in the smartest places for an answer

8. One that I try and apply everyday is an attitude of gratitude regardless of the circumstances. There is always something to be grateful for

Until next time

Julie Spain

Business Mindset Strategist

www.sigmamindset.com

Do You Have the Makings of An Entrepreneur, Intrapreneur or Socialpreneur?

Posted on March 29th, 2012 by julie

Have you ever wondered if you have the makings of an entrepreneur?

Maybe you have a job and think that it is impossible to be entrepreneurial when you work for someone else. Or maybe, your heart is in giving back to the community and helping others but you feel confused about how to go about it.

The more I study and teach on entrepreneurship, the more I realize how wide, deep and high are the characteristics that shape an entrepreneur and I’m convinced you can have those characteristics while holding down a job or contributing to the community. The labels are just a little different.

Today, I’m on my fourth business and spent ten years of my life within an organisation at management level but at 50 years of age I again learnt something new and profound about myself: I am a born entrepreneur.  Finally, I could shout “I am an entrepreneur and I love it!” But here’s where it gets really interesting, I was still an entrepreneur even when working for the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service for 10 years, I just used all of my entrepreneurial and creative talents and skills within the job.

As I developed my business Sigma Mindset and began public speaking on “Creating An Entrepreneurial Mindset” and ran a program called “The Entrepreneurial Mindset Exposed”, I became aware of something very important : entrepreneurship is not exclusive to business owners. In fact, whether you are a born entrepreneur or want to learn these skills and mindset, you can take them into an organisation and thrive.

For business owners, just think for a moment. Imagine what it would be like to have staff who have some of the characteristics of entrepreneurship just like you.  Staff who show initiative, innovation, commitment, tenacity, dedication to a common goal, problem solving abilities etc.  How would that affect your bottom line, your corporate culture, your team dynamics, and your customer service? Oh my goodness, is this exciting or what?

For the employee: imagine what it would be like to top sales records, to build a service you felt proud of, to finish a project with excellence and to leave work each day knowing you contributed, were successful and made a difference?

My program: “The Art of Intrapreneurship: Building the Business Within the Business” is designed to help staff maximize their entrepreneurial skills to help grow the business for both the owner and the worker.

If you would like to know more simply send me an email from the contact page.

Until next time

Julie Spain

Business Mindset Strategist

Don’t Just Run the Race, Run the Race to Win

Posted on March 20th, 2012 by julie

Recently, I read something that made me think about the challenge of winning or in other words, achieving success:

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run but only one gets the prize”

1 Corinthians 9:24

I really related to this quote and the fact that I just did not want to be involved in running the race, I actually wanted to get the prize when it comes to being successful with my business. I started to think about what winners actually do to win and soon realized that all of these things were applicable to success with my business Sigma Mindset.

If you want to be successful in your career or business, then you need to follow all of the success keys below:

1. Train hard.  We must put the effort in. Practice, practice and then practice some more to perfect the skills. I just learnt recently, that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to be truly good at something.

2. Take time to understand and respect your competition. You are not an island. You are actually competing against others for the coverted prize. Study and learn from your opposition. Learn to do things different and better.

3. Never give up. Winston Churchill said it beautifully: “We will never, never, never…………..give up”. The major point is that he said “never” for 30 mins. I think he made his point.

4. Practice discipline and routine. First decide what routine you will need to achieve your dreams. Then of course repeat it – over and over again. It only takes 28 days to establish (or break) a habit, so why not establish great habits that will lead you to exactly where you want to go

5. Focus, Focus, Focus. It is so easy to be distracted by 1000’s of other things in your life. By all means, enjoy life to the best of your ability but discipline yourself that at certain times you will be totally focused on the tasks required to win the prize you are chasing. Without focus you will just spend a lot of time getting nowhere in particular. Ask yourself right now, “What are the top 3 things I want to focus on this year?” Then let nothing distract you

6. Sacrifice. Oops! Not really a well loved term today. We need to sacrifice now so we can enjoy the fruits of the prize later. The athlete who gets up to train at 4 and 5am would probably much rather have a couple of hours extra sleep but when they stand on the podium to win their prize, all the sacrifice is forgotten in the joy of the win. We need to sacrifice of our time, energy and resources.

7. Prioritize. Does anyone else have trouble with this? Sometimes we try so hard to prioritize what we believe to be important but still get it wrong. 5 years, 10, 20 years of hard work goes by and we still are not where we want to be. Stephen Covey tells us we spend 80% of our time working on things that are really only 20% important to us. Get hold of a journal and spend some time deciding on what is important to you and then start to prioritize. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish in a much shorter period of time.

8. Dream.  Dreams keep us alive. They get us up in the morning with renewed vitality and motivation to tackle the day with purpose. My husband and I have a dream book. In it we write the things that we want to achieve. Some are small and personal such as dancing lessons, others are large and long term such as a successful business to create passive income. Write everything you have dreamed of – no judgements. It will surprise you what is really in your heart

9. Never lose sight of the goal. This can be difficult when you are seeing few results. Keep coming back to your dream book. Remember why you embarked on this journey.

10. Build a good support team around you. The athlete has the coach and the physio to name just a few. You will need a mentor or coach if your goal is to move forward with your career or business

11. Understand your personal roadblocks, obstacles and weaknesses. They say that 90% of the battle is in the mind. Get the mind in order and you are nearly there.

12. Educate yourself about the process, skills and techniques that you will need on the journey so you will reach your career and business goals

13. Remember to take care of your main tool – yourself. No one else is going to do this and if you burn out or go off the rails then your dreams of winning the prize will never be realized.

If you would like to chat about how I can help you with any of the above, just give me a call on 0430186415 or email me at  julie@sigmamindset.com

Until next time

Julie Spain

Life and Leadership Strategic Coach for Executives, Professionals and Business Owners