15 GEMS From 15 Years in Business
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 5:30AM

As August comes to a close and I wrap up my #GratitudeFestival15, it’s been a fun walk down memory lane reflecting on the clients, colleagues and coaches who have helped shape the course of my work in the world. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. It was the riskiest career move that I ever made but it was the smartest life choice that I ever made too! As my clients know, I always end sessions with the question “What’s your GEM?” So today, here are a few gems from my 15 years in business. Thanks for being along for the ride!


1.  Smart self-care is the foundation for success.

 It took me a few years to figure this one out but I finally did which is why it’s the cornerstone of my work as a coach, speaker and retreat leader. When you practice smart self-care, you are the most vital expression of YOU that God intended you to be. It’s good for you, your family, your business/career and the world.


2.  Authentic Networking is the fast path to a happy life.

 Over the years, I’ve met many clients, friends and even my husband (!) through networking. When done right, networking is all about building relationships, caring about people and finding ways to create a win-win. I know it comes more naturally for those of us who are extroverted but I have successfully inspired many of my introverted clients over the years to say “Wow, this networking thing is actually fun, Coach E!”


 3.  Givers gain.

 The BNI motto, I learned very early on that people who succeed in business are the ones who help others succeed in business too. If you approach your relationships with a mindset of “How can I help?” it changes the way you operate in the world.


 4.  Work with your perfect customers only.

 The international best-selling book Attracting Perfect Customers changed my life when I first read it. It helped me to realize that if I focused on envisioning my ideal people I could invite them into my business. It’s that easy. It was truly a game changer for me and I’m delighted that I got to meet the author, Jan Stringer, at a retreat earlier this year and thank her in person for her impact on my work.


5.  To be successful as an entrepreneur it pays to have a coach.

 I'm not just saying this because I am a business coach. Having a supportive accountability partner, a cheerleader, a resource person and a visionary confidant is a great mix to have on your team. I always have a coach, sometimes two or three at a time!  A coach can see what is possible for you when you can't see it for yourself. 


6.  To be successful as an entrepreneur you have to have a team.

 The lone ranger syndrome leads to burn out very quickly. Hire help and especially delegate your weaknesses (for me, that includes web/graphic design, administrative support and accounting).


7.  Leaders are readers.

 My books may be my most treasured possessions. It's my joy and it's my job to learn and then share from the wisdom of those who have come before me.


8.  Leaders are learners.

 Most successful entrepreneurs take time every month, quarter and year to attend workshops, seminars and retreats to constantly up their game. Are you doing this?


9.  Your vision for your business will change and grow as you change and grow.

 I started off coaching high school and college students and now I work primarily with professional mothers! I originally offered only 1:1 coaching and now I also offer group coaching, speaking, training, retreats, workshops and teleseminars. I’m also writing my first book!


10.  It’s either a Hell Yes, a Hell No or a Maybe.

 I learned this gem from one of my coaches, Andrea Lee.  (and in reality, 99% of the maybes end up in the Hell No category!) It’s a simple way to categorize your big project to-do list and helps you get clear really fast on where to focus your energy, time and resources.


11.  Do it, delegate it or delete it.

It may the greatest idea ever, but if it’s still hanging around flapping in the breeze, it was probably a Maybe which turned into a Hell No. Let it go.


12.  A little bit of gratitude goes a long way.

 Research has proven that expressing gratitude is good for your body, mind and spirit. But it’s also good for business. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve followed up with someone with a thank you – sometimes a card, a call or a simple email – and they’ve circled back to either offer more business, refer a friend or tell me about another opportunity. That’s not my motivation for expressing gratitude but it sure is a nice perk!


13. Take time to work on your business, not just in it.

 This piece of wisdom comes from the legendary Michael Gerber of E-Myth fame. We spend so much time in the trenches of our business, we can get lost in the details. Taking time to think, dream, strategize and plan assures your continued success.


14. Easy, fun and profitable.

 This has been my motto since the early days of coaching with the talented Nina East. She advised me that if I’m going to take on a new project, to make sure that it met at least two of the criterion and ideally all three. It really helps with decision making that is in alignment with my business. (If it meets all 3, chances are good, it’s a Hell Yes!)


15. Divine Timing, not my timing.

This was probably the hardest lesson for me to learn but now that I have surrendered to it, my life is so much easier and my business feels like I’m floating downriver, not like I’m trying to paddle upstream! Everything has a time and place and sometimes the stars align and sometimes they don’t. When you learn to trust that it all works out as it should, it takes the pressure off and allows you to settle into the flow of Life.


Revitalizing Actions:

1.  Review these GEMS and see if you want to try to incorporate one or more into your professional life. Let me know which ones resonate for you.

2.  Take time to review YOUR personal GEMS from your years in business. What wisdom would you like to share? Tell me about it here!  

Here's to GEMS!


Article originally appeared on Elizabeth Barbour - The Revitalized Business Woman (http://www.elizabethbarbour.com/).
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