Category: Personal Development

The Three Commitments to Business Success

Focus – Action – Finish

This newsletter is taken from one I wrote in January 2009.  There have been three separate trips to the USA and each trip bought deep spiritual and physical growth for me.

When I meet people in person they always tell me they love how much my stories have inspired them so I’ll share the ups and downs of the trips throughout the series.  It seems unfair that you miss out on some of these adventures simply because you weren’t there in real time.  I also share them so you can see some of what I’ve been through and I trust it helps you to see that business success doesn’t come from sitting on your duff.  It happens when you step up and make it happen.

This story was written as I was sitting at Los Angeles airport chewing my way through the snacks in the Red Carpet Lounge.  There was an eight hour layover as I patiently awaited my flight back to Melbourne later that night. YAY – 15 hours in a plane!

The adventure started with a 10 day Vipassana silent meditation retreat on an island off Seattle on the 19th of December 2007.  It was a kids summer camp in the winter and it rained A LOT!  Yes, I can confirm that I can stay silent for 10 whole days – a miracle for those of you who know me well.

That would be enough challenge for a normal person but oh no I went onto a second challenge during the first few days of 2008.  I completed an extreme experience outside Durango in the Colorado Rockies.  Each day we had no idea where we were going or what we were doing.  Each day we only knew our pick up point, what to wear & what food we needed.

It was a radical experience designed to make us understand exactly who we really were.  The majesty of those mountains sorts you out in a few short days.  One day thirteen of us hiked from 7,000 feet UP to 8,000 feet in a serious snow storm and that was one of the easier days emotionally!

Each day the experiences were different and designed to challenge us on four levels:

  1. Physical
  2. Spiritual
  3. Financial
  4. Relational

I won hands down on spiritual but the other three quite honestly challenged me because there were some serious players on the tour.

The thing you need to know about me is that I’m not an “outdoorsie” type.  My baseline is “is there a flushing toilet?”  No flushing toilet and I’m not there.  Well I got to the top of that bloody mountain and guess what – yep, not only no flushing toilet but it was this stinking horrible tin can in the ground, I can’t even describe what was on the floor and I had about 15 layers of ski gear on.  I was not happy, but somewhere in that level of discomfort, something inside you shifts at a cellular level and breaks you through to another layer of business success.

On this trip I was definitely the under dog when it came to business success.

Most of the participants were millionaires in their own right.  I’ve been told a hundred times over to hang out with people more successful than me and to push myself past my known boundaries and let me tell you it works, but it did make me VERY uncomfortable at times!

At one point crossing to get to a sacred site they made us walk over an icy track the size of a footpath with an 8,000 foot drop either side, and nothing to grab if you slipped.  It is one of the most dangerous situations I’ve ever been in and I’ve never been that close to having my actions, or lack of them, result in death.  This exercise was designed to teach us that in business there is little room for error, or lack of focus.

I can honestly tell you there was NOTHING else on my mind as I intently focused and put one tentative foot in front of the other.

It made me realise that one of the things most people building a small heart centred business lack (and I include myself here) is FOCUS.

Think about it, how many times have you focused on your business like your life truly depended on it?

We are great at the things we like to do, such as learning and studying our craft, and we are gazillionaires at sitting around talking about our respective modalities but when it comes to things like money or promoting our services we are paupers.  We become all flaky and full of excuses why we can’t have the success and we avoid the correct actions necessary to achieve the success we deserve and desire.

I’ve heard every justification under the sun from therapists excusing their lack of action.  I’ve made those same excuses myself in the past but you know what – we don’t help people while we are making excuses.  Excuses keep us out of our practice and in denial of the gifts and talents we spent all those long years learning.  In fact we thumb our noses at the higher sources that granted us those gifts so we could help others on the planet who are in pain or suffering or are stressed out to the max.

I met four amazing Native American Indians on this trip, one them is described as the last of the “old ones”.  I swear when I looked into this man’s eyes his energy would have knocked me back into the chair had he not been holding onto my hand.  To be in the presence of a healer of his magnitude brings tears to my eyes just thinking about him.  It was truly an honour to be in the presence of such greatness but his strength was held with the grace of an angel.

The thing that amazed me the most was that as soon as we met these amazing medicine men, they just started to talk and they talked and they talked about their craft, about their people about their wonderful medicine techniques, about their family, their children, about the people they have helped. They tell riveting stories of their ancestors and of the rituals they go through every year to thank Mother Earth and Father Sky who nourish and protect them.

The wisdom of these people oozes out of every cell in their body and they are fiercely proud of what they know.  They cherish the amount of time they have taken to learn this knowledge, in all instances that wisdom has been acquired over many lifetimes.  They are constantly learning and improving but what struck me most is that they are not shy or reserved in any way about telling a captive audience how much they know or how good they are at what they do.  They certainly aren’t full of themselves, or they certainly aren’t skiting or hard selling anything.  In fact their humility is overwhelming.

They are merely telling stories and sharing their knowledge and they do it with pride & perfect commitment to the people they heal.

So why then do we shy away from sharing what we do with people.  Why are we programmed to not shine our light when the people who invented this stuff are not shy or backwards in telling people who want to know about what they do?  Why do we continue to hide from our greatness?

To be able to share your message with others like these wonderful medicine men is really important.  To share your greatness is a gift and the ability to share can be learned.

They aren’t pushy and salesy

They simply weave their greatness into stories so compelling you can’t but help want to listen.  This is a massive clue for you as you go out to promote yourself and your business.  Stories will keep people involved way more than sales.  After all you’re still here reading this story!

Greatness means different things to different people.  It doesn’t matter  if you want to help 10 or 10,000 people every year.  What matters is that you achieve your targets and actually help as many people as you are meant to.  The only way you can do that is if you can adequately describe what you can do for people.

As I sit here understanding that my business is now truly international particularly as I’m writing to you from LAX – it makes me understand how far I have come and what I had to go through to get the courage to speak out.  As I realise I have been able to do it, that makes me even more committed this year to help you do much better in your practices.

As those who have encountered me know I am pretty darn serious about what I do but on this trip I realised I had been playing a small game.   Colorado transformed me from a person who was really only trudging around a hill to someone who could literally soar up a massive new mountain.

A few months earlier, I nearly missed out on being part of this trip because I went into FEAR.  The trip cost an arm and a leg and a couple of torsos too but I knew I needed help and after years of procrastination & listening to sensible advice from myself and others not to go, I finally got the guts to just get on the plane. I am so pleased I found the courage and strength to eventually join the tour because words cannot adequately describe the beauty and the sacred energy of the mountains and people that constantly surrounded me.

You can get these experiences at home too – all you need to do is to get really committed.

The magic and adventure will occur when you commit.

There is no excuse for not being all the best you can be this year, all you have to do is step up and get focused on helping as many people as you can.  Because that is the bottom line here, the more you overcome your fears, the more people you will help…….. and isn’t that why you trained to be a natural therapist?

I nearly didn’t go on that walk up the mountain that day because I believed my lack of “outdoorsiness” would see me cross the line last AGAIN!  At school the teacher used to shout in front of the class as I ALWAYS ran across the finish line – “AND HERE COME BEATLE-BOMB”.

Something within me chose to take a risk and go.  I finished fourth!  Not because I was fast, but because I just kept going.  When everyone else stopped for a break I just kept going.  My body hurt so much that I knew if I stopped I wouldn’t get back up again and would have to be carried off the mountain.  So I just kept going.

My new mantra after that climb up the mountainside is ***FOCUS, ACTION, FINISH***

The one thing I learnt trudging up that mountain in minus three degrees, as snow piles formed on my head and shoulders, was that success comes with focus.

I believe we all have a finisher within.  We can chose to sit on the sidelines and watch everyone else run over the finish line without us.  We can keep our dreams small, we can continue telling ourselves we are not good enough, don’t have enough experience, and who would want to listen to us anyway.  We can keep saying those things, or you can chose to believe positive things about your abilities.

No matter what unkind things people have said to you in past, you don’t have to be that person now.  The past doesn’t equal the future.  Maybe I’ll never run a minute mile, but I know if I just put one foot in front of the other, I can beat anything that’s put in front of me.

I Was The Only One Who Heard The Mountain Sing

That day as I trudged up the mountain on my own, the mountain started to sing to.  It was the most amazing sound I’ve ever heard.

When we got to the top I excitedly asked the others if they’d heard it.  They looked at me weird and kept on talking.  I just smiled because deep within I knew they hadn’t heard because they were too busy crapping on about nothing all the way up the mountain.

The mountain man who led us on the journey up the mountain took me aside later in the day and told me that I’d heard the voices of his ancestors.  He said they don’t speak to many.

I felt very happy I’d spilt from the crowd and given myself the opportunity to experience something very special AND for the first time ever to be the unlikely finisher.

Are you an unlikely finisher?

I’d like to bet you are.  All you need to do is to believe in yourself and just keep going.

If you focus on what you want to achieve, take the correct action, get the correct resources and then don’t stop until you finish, you will succeed.

The only way to keep getting better is to push yourself past your limits and to learn from others who have walked the path before you.  Just like that famous slogan says “Just Do It” and then FOCUS – ACTION – FINISH!

The last few days I’ve been living like a rock star in Beverly Hills

Did you know that what you’ve been doing in the past 90 days is what will shape the next six months?

I’m currently sitting in the United Lounge at Los Angeles airport – my 90 Day tourist visa is up!  Once Uncle Sam is done with you, there is nothing to do but ride that silver bird back to the wide brown land.  The jolt back to reality is going to be huge as the wheels hit the tarmac at Kingsford Smith Sydney in sixteen hours time.

P1000004The last few days I’ve been living like a rock star in Beverly Hills.

To be honest that whole Rodeo Drive things just leaves me cold.  I wandered there yesterday in search of food and was totally bemused by people in the omni-present tourist buses going up and down taking pictures of stores they couldn’t afford to shop in.  The whole celebrity things is a bit lost on me. although I did get to walk through the lobby of the “Pretty Woman” hotel and saw the balcony Julia Roberts sat on threatening to tobble over as the scared of heights Richard Gere just about had kittens.  Guess I’m as bad as the happy snappers 🙂

Also drove through Hollywood and Vine where the man walks across the road shouting “Welcome to Hollywood! What’s your dream?”

Our dreams are funny things.  The more action we put into each set of 90 days we get gifted – the closer our dreams get to reality.  The actions we don’t take atrophy our dreams.

https://pixabay.com/en/rodeo-drive-street-sign-beverly-848243/
Image By Pixabay

During my last two days in LA, I had the pleasure to be gifted a one on one session with vocal coach Roger Love.  I’d never dreamed this little kiwi could be tutored by someone who has worked with some big names from downunder like INXS, Hanson, Missy Higgins plus all the greats from USA music and film.  As I sat in his office surrounded by his accolades and framed platinum CD’s – well it was all a bit surreal.

The only reason it happened was because I took a risk that as yet hasn’t fully paid off.  But being around people who work with people who follow their dreams takes you to a new level even before you get started.

As you step up to the plate and you have to be prepared to hear the truth and be prepared to listen.

I knew as I took the honest feedback about my voice and the way I speak that all those who stood in the same spot in his office had heard similar news delivered, because we rarely consider our voice.

Doesn’t matter who you are, you still have things to learn about your trade.  After taking a huge piece of feedback on an earlier teleclass with Roger, I’ve had a couple of other things added to my voice improvements list:  “the high squeaky hinge”,  “not filling the room enough”, “speaking too quietly”, “not dropping my jaw”, “tongue too high” ….. crikey it’s little wonder I have so much trouble ordering take out in the USA!  It’s not until you get out of your comfort zone or your own environment for challenges you never knew you had, to start appearing.

Roger Love & ME Lge.001Then as we stepped over to the piano Roger reminded me that anything shared is done with love – pun intended I’m sure 🙂  My response was – “let me have all the feedback, don’t meter it, just tell me where I can improve”.

That thirst for feedback has been my friend over the years.  Sure it hurts and cuts like a knife when you first hear it, but as soon as you start to work on the problem, it feels like progress is being made.

Most never progress because they can’t take the “negative” feedback.  They want everything wrapped in cotton wool, they want it watered down, they want it so politically correct that the truth gets lost in the memory foam wrapper.

I really encourage you to be up for feedback and up to take on new information in your own business and personal ambition.

You see the thing that is our greatest enemy is what we don’t know, we don’t know.

The confidence and courage that comes from knowing you have at least one small part of what you need to learn is taken care of, well it automatically brings you to a new place.

Anyone who lives from a place of higher ambition, will always be seeking new knowledge, new feedback and new ways of doing things because they are desperate to find all those things they don’t know and start to work on correcting them.

I’ve had some wonderful conversations with the fabulous speakers and coaches, about the theory of the voice.  I knew it was important, but I didn’t realise how important our voice is until I attended World’s Greatest Speaker Training.

https://rogerlove.com/wgst1/It was amusing and alarming all at the same time to hear Brendon Burchard tell us how he met Roger Love.  After a very grueling schedule, Brendon was standing in the carpark at one of his mega events, hundreds of red cordial filled fans screaming for more, still with a couple of days left to present and NO voice.  Roger was able to give him enough exercises in the carpark to enable him to go back on stage and present.

But as Roger warned us, its not ideal to get your voice into this type of situation.

Of course we never put the work in before hand, because we don’t know what we don’t know.  So Roger inevitably gets the emergency call, where a miracle is being asked for and what’s more expected.  In a sick sort of way, its nice to know this stuff happens at every level of someone’s career.

It’s also sort of heartening to me (in a sick kind of way) to hear that many big names have picked up the phone and been squeaking down the line, desperate for a miracle.  It makes all the things I haven’t known needed work seem a little less “doh” on my part.

All our “squeaky hinges” dwelling in our throat’s and “Yogi bear” sounds and “cheshire cat” voices mostly go un-noticed, until we start to put pressure on them.  We simply don’t know they are a problem nor do we understand just how much air needs to roll past the vocal chords, nor are we prepared to spend twenty minutes each day working the vocal chords, the six pack of our voice.

Its hard to work out anything when you don’t even know it needs working out.

I trust you will at least start to investigate what the voice needs to stay strong, or at least remember this communication and know what to do when you find yourself “desperate in the carpark” at the back of your venue.

If you are interested in working with your voice a little more and beginning to understand what you need to know to get your vocal chords up to a level where they won’t break down on you, then I recommend you make some time with Roger Love, either in person or via skype.

Our voice is our wand in everything we do and the stronger our voice and the stronger we can communicate, the more successful we are going to be.

The next 90 Days is going to be a bit rough for me as I adjust back to life downunder and get down to some serious work.

Throwing myself back into work is something I find works after these magical adventures “upover”.  I also know that putting some solid work into the next 90 days is going to make the first six months of 2014 look way different.

7 Things You Absolutely Must Know Before You Start To Record Videos

Video is very different to recording audios.  There is no where to hide!

I still have a lot of practice to do, but these are just a few of the challenges I’ve overcome to get a half decent product.

1.  Look Directly at the Camera

To get good contact with your audience you have to be looking straight at the camera – like straight down the lens or on a laptop you need to be looking at the lens not the green light beside it, otherwise you get a strange “sideways’ look about you.

2.  Avoid Jowls

To avoid looking all “jowlie” or like you have more chins than a Chinese phone book – make sure you are looking slightly upwards at your camera, not too far up though or they’ll be looking straight up ya nose 🙂

Also if you are looking down at the camera it gives the effect of “looking down” on your audience and we certainly don’t want that!

I find if the camera is just slightly above eye level, then it works really well.  In a weird twist if I sit my laptop on my Yeti microphone box on a dining room table – I get the exact right height.

3.  Don’t Move About Too Much

If you have expensive camera’s then you can move and sway as much as you like because they will self focus.  However, the tiny little camera’s in most laptops or iPhones can’t focus quickly and you keep going out of focus if you move too much.  Allow the camera to lock onto you and then stay as still as you can, while not appearing to “wooden”.  Use your arms and hands to get the movement …. that way you won’t look like a talking clothes peg.

Golden rule, in most instances of course is:  The better the equipment, The better the end product

4.  You Need MakeUp – Even If You Think You Don’t!

If you are a bronzed tanned beauty then by all means go ahead and roll cameras with just a dab of lip gloss.  But for an old gal like me with pasty white skin, well we need a lot of help.  I found a make up artist who specialises in video work and she was amazing.

She recommended a product called Kryolan.  I was surprised how much makeup I needed to wear to look like I only had a little bit on.  I was also surprised at the colours she gave me, that are quite gaudy and give you an eery resemblance to an Oompa-Loompa in normal light, but look fine once you look back at the video.  The Lip Gloss she recommends looks pink on camera but is a funny orange colour.  So I recommend you book in and have someone help you out if you are going to get serious about video.   Danni at Its All About MakeUp really helped me a lot.

I also met another great makeup artist, Julie from Sapphire Hair and Makeup on the Gold Coast.  She works a lot with photographers and does a lot of weddings so she is really versed in what works in the video field.  Never go to a big department store to get makeup advice.  What looks good in normal light can look really different under bright video lights.  Something Julie recommended to me was a lighter foundation that is used in air brushing.  I would never have got to that solution in a million years. but it’s brilliant.  You just apply it with your fingers and it’s very running, but gives great coverage with a much less “made up” look and a much lighter feel.   Plus it lasts for ages!  The product is called Elementwo Canvas Blend Foundation and you can buy that here.

5.  You Need Good Light

Thing is you just can’t film anywhere and get a good result.  I’ve found the more natural light you have in front of you, the better it is.  You can find me at new house sits wandering around doing test recordings with my laptop until I find the space with the best light.

Professional lights of course are best and not as expensive as you might think.  Friends sent me links to these light systems, one in Sydney Australia and one in New York, both of which will ship for under $250 and that includes back drops as well!

My colleagues son is into lighting and he said the bulbs you get with the kit from the New York company will make you look younger – I guess if you buy two kits you look twice as young!

Aussie Lights – here

New York (age defying) Lights – here

If you want a Lavalier microphone, I have the Rode lavalier – but should you wish to go to that level, you can get them drop dead cheap from Amazon here

https://www.ikmultimedia.com/joomla/images/ik_images/product_page/irigmicstudio/big/irigmicstudio-black-hand-09.jpg

If you really want to bend your brain, Brendon Burchard, who has the ultimate set up, recorded this little video where he explains in depth how he gets his look and feel.  You don’t need all the hi tech stuff he uses, I’m told the cheap lite boxes will give a similar effect as his expensive ones.  You can also buy small HD cameras now that will do a great job with the right lighting, but get a geek talking about which camera to use and you’ll be here for days!  Once he starts selling Geoff Walkers program (which is now finished) he is done on the video stuff but up until then its pure gold.  Oh for the day when I have a whole apartment to create and play in!  Click here for the video

I’ve also found the little iRig Mic Studio to be quite good.  You’ll need a microphone stand to hang it above your head – remember sound rises.  When you see singers in a studio you’ll notice the microphone is always slightly higher than their mouth and they’re singing up into it.  That is because sound rises, but if your voice is strong enough you’ll fill the room and the sound will go into the microphone just fine.

Don’t forget any microphone you use will only capture what is coming out of your mouth.  The more you practice your vocal exercises and the stronger you make your voice, the more quality you will get in your recordings.  I highly recommend you have sessions with a reputable voice coach or you could get Roger Love‘s audio program and learn how to strengthen and protect your voice, in doing that you will naturally project more sound out of your mouth and into the microphone.  You will notice an amazing difference in what your voice can do it you do the exercises each day.

6.  You Need to Look Confident

OK – the makeup covers any zits or bits you don’t won’t the world to see.  But you must be upbeat and confident ….. whether you feel that way or not!

Droning on in a video just won’t work.  So you need to raise your energy and vibration.  Dancing like no one’s looking before you do your recording is one of the quickest and easiest ways to change your energy state and prepare you to record.  But it’s a personal thing so whatever activity vibes you up and makes you feel full of zest for life is the perfect things for you!

I’d estimate you need to be amped up to at least twice as perky as normal to look normal.

7.  Be Yourself – Everyone Else is Taken

Of course being you is the most important part of video because video more than any other type of communication will nail you as a fraud if you are pretending or are trying to be someone you’re not.

Funny thing, the closer I got to the camera, the more ME I became.   You find your truth in funny places, usually the places you’ve been avoiding the most.  I found filming from a distance didn’t work so well.  I had to develop a real heart connection with the camera, which is of course ultimately your connection with your audience.

So its very much about figuring out what is right for you and experimenting A LOT!

THEN PRACTICE A LOT!

Then once you get your clip recorded, well your problems aren’t over – then you got to load them to the internet and that’s a blog post for another day!  I recommend you start with YouTube because its just easier.

I’d love you to leave a comment below about your video experiences to date.