• 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 training" 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?”


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


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

Achieving Work/Life Balance: The Secrets to Vitality and Success

Posted on June 27th, 2010 by julie

Let’s face it – generally, we are not that good at caring for ourselves! Others maybe but often when it comes to our own wellbeing, we run out of time, energy and resources.

In over 26 years of working with staff and managers in the workforce, there is one theme that keeps recurring more than anything else – a loss of vitality due to feeling overwhelmed and experiencing burnout.

In fact, I was spending so much of my time with people going through basic self care and biochemistry that I put a video (How to Super Charge Your Energy and Your Life) online and now just regularly send client there

During a time of personal crisis (my divorce), I did something that is probably exactly the opposite of what most people do during crisis – I started a program of determined self care and balance. At the time, I had a very busy job with approximately 150 staff but I had a deep drive motivating me – to take responsibility for my children and knew, that there was really only one way for me to achieve this – I had to put into myself so that I could achieve the goals I had set myself – to take care of my children and build a new life better than the old. I found the time and resources to exercise, eat correctly, find emotional and practical support and yes, even have fun.

Think of a balance wheel made up of your five parts – emotional, physical, mental, spiritual and relationship (includes personal and work) and ask yourself the question “Where does most of my finite daily supply of energy go? Many people will answer that nearly 80% of their daily energy supply goes into the work section. Of course, this only leaves 20% to deal with all other areas of your life! No wonder we hear people say things like – “I feel so overwhelmed”, “There is never enough time in the day”, “I’m not sure if I can keep going”. Maybe these are the sorts of things that you are saying to yourself?

If so, here are 7 tips for cultivating balance in your life, by caring for each part of yourself so that you can achieve the health and success that you dream about:

1. Take care of your body.

This requires both the right food and the right exercise. Eat as close to nature as possible, cutting out the processed foods. Small serves of protein three times a day to combat fatigue and if life is stressful for you at the moment, cut out stimulants such as alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and sugar (nicotine may be the hardest so start with the other three)

2. Take care of your fitness.

Amazing things happen biochemically when we exercise – we produce good chemicals, such as endorphins and serotonin, and get rid of “bad” chemicals such as adrenaline and cortisol. Just 30 – 40 minutes of exercise at 60 – 80% of your heart rate will do the trick

3. Deposit into a “support account”.

Research indicates that people recover from crisis or trauma better when they have psychological and practical support around them. Isn’t this the basis of our peer support programs? New research (Dan Beuttner “The Blue Zones” ) now shows us that belonging to a community or family that gives and receives love and support actually contributes to longevity and vitality. If you have not been born into this sort of network, you will need to cultivate it and develop supportive networks so that when you need someone to listen to you, a listening ear will be available

4. Tune in to the power of purpose.

Dan Beuttner’s research has shown a number of factors that contribute to longevity and vitality. He found 4 areas around the world where higher percentage than normal, live to over 100 years. We have mentioned three of these important factors already: eat food close to nature, keep moving, give and receive love and affection and the final one is have a sense of purpose. Life purpose gets us up in the morning. It motivates us to press forward and do the best we can. In fact just having a job to get up to, helps us live longer than those who don’t. If you want to explore this spiritual aspect further I’d suggest Rick Warren’s book “Purpose Driven Life”

5. Unblock your mental and emotional blockages to health and success.

Our brain works with our thoughts and feelings on two different layers or levels, the conscious and the subconscious. The accepted belief is that only 10% of our mind is the conscious brain. Our thoughts, feelings and senses are greatly influenced by our subconscious. The subconscious is thought to make up 90% of our mind. Did you know that it is generally accepted that success is 90% determined by the mind and only 10% by the actions we perform. At this point we might start to realize the huge effect the mind with its thoughts and emotions, has on the outcome for our life.

6. Recognize and when necessary deal with your emotions

Did you realize that negative emotions can make you sick and keep you locked into the past? Yet positive emotions are synonymous with good health and success. Although we need to feel our emotions, they are not meant to control us. Take notice of them and deal with the situations that may be causing negative emotions. One way to do this is:

7. Keep a personal journal

Journaling has a number of benefits including:

  • a cathartic experience that allows you to experience and release emotions
  • the opportunity to concretize your thoughts and allow you to hopefully make more informed decisions.

There really are more tips for cultivating life balance than I can fit into this article but my hope is that you will choose just one of these and start yourself on the road to self care, vitality and success.

If you feel you could use some further help, then you may be interested in my one day course:

Achieving Work/Life Balance: The Secrets to Vitality and Success

We will be covering this topic and many others such as:

  • Understanding the importance of balance when it comes to dealing with stress
  • How to increase your energy and vitality
  • Taking control over your mindset and life
  • Actually leaving work at work
  • Dealing with emotions that can rob you of your joy of life
  • Increasing your performance and productivity at work and in life

Just email me for further information at julie@sigmamindset.com or phone 0430186415

Until next time

Julie Spain