Fix This Next: Make the Vital Change That Will Level Up Your Business

Fix This Next: Make the Vital Change That Will Level Up Your Business


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Not sure what to do next in your business? Fix This Next will help you focus on what you need to do to keep your business successful.

Fix This Next

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If there’s one word that describes the daily life of a small business owner it’s “overwhelm”. 

Where the overwhelm comes from is no mystery according to Mike Michalowicz.  The answer to overwhelm lies in our tendency to try to fix everything all at once. 

In his new book, overwhelm, he unpacks the issue of entrepreneurial overwhelm in his usual everyday-lay-language way.

What Makes Michalowicz The Pied Piper of Entrepreneurs?

Simon Sinek has said that Mike Michalowicz is a prime contender for being the patron saint of entrepreneurs.  I’m not sure I’d agree.  I prefer to call Mike the Pied Piper of entrepreneurs. 

Mike Michalowicz has earned the right to lead entrepreneurs toward success.  He’s unabashedly self-revealing in each of his books.  

He’s not afraid of embracing and sharing his failures. But it’s not just that. He talks about his mistakes from a profoundly human point of view. He reveals the “ugly” and “shameful” elements we can all understand and relate to.  Most importantly, he has a way of transforming those lessons into processes and models that can help others.

His books are written as a real-time entrepreneurial journey.  

  • Toilet Paper Entrepreneur (2008) how to bootstrap your first business.

  • The Pumpkin Plan (2012) how to grow your business.

  • Surge (2016), how to identify trends in your marketplace.  

  • Profit First (2017), how to guarantee a profitable business

Fix This Next Provides Focus Where It Matters Most

Fix This Next an interesting book because it focuses on fixing the biggest problem small business owners have — not knowing what their biggest problem is!

Michalowicz uses Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a template to introduce what he calls the “Business Hierarchy of Needs”.

“The business hierarchy of needs doesn’t represent stages in business growth.  They are levels of needs. Your business will not climb the hierarchy in a linear fashion but move up and down levels as it progresses. “

This is a great metaphor to use because it’s something we all understand intuitively and deeply.  

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Michalowicz successfully creates a context and framework from which to view your business and from which you can easily focus on what matters most.

The “Fix This Next” (FTN) process is simple.  

“The golden rule is to always satisfy the most essential need (the one closest to the base), before addressing a need above it.

Fix This Next is Light on Reading and Heavy on Doing

Even though there are eight chapters in this book, you will most likely start your reading journey only reading four of them.

Fix This Next unfolds in two sections. The first section is really the introduction and chapters one and two.  That’s about thirty pages give or take. The second section; chapters three through eight are the specific levels of the business hierarchy of needs.

When you get to page fifty, the author basically tells you to stop, see what level of the hierarchy you want to dig into, and go straight to that chapter. 

This is Where the Real Work Begins

Even though Michalowicz has written several books before this one, he likes to tell his audience to read this book FIRST. Even though it’s his newest book, it’s like the epiphany that comes from really BEING a small business owner, working with small business owners and reflecting on the realities of small business ownership.  It’s the  “If I knew then what I know know” of the Michalowicz collection. 

Fix This Next will get you thinking about the right things and focusing on the right things. You’ll find stories from other business owners just like you, which I prefer to the many books that use case studies from big brands that I can’t relate to. 

But as far as what to do once you get there, this is on you.  Don’t look to the book to give you the answers.

Do the Fix This Next Online Assessment

If you’d like a more engaging and technical version, you can visit the Fix This Next website and take a free assessment that will get you focused.

I recommend you do both.  While the online assessment is certainly engaging, you don’t want to miss out on Michalowicz’s entertaining prose and the stories he tells along the way.

I actually did both:  I read the book and I took the online assessment.  Here’s an example of what I received:

As someone who has some experience with putting together assessments, I have to say that this one is really good. It feels thorough because the assessment has you go through a “forced choice” series of yes-no questions.  I found some of them rather tough, but that’s the point.

After the assessment, you’ll receive a follow-up email with your report along with an option to contact a Fix This Next expert.   

I followed the link and was directed to an Advisor’s Directory.  The directory contains experts who can help you implement the Fix it First strategies along with Pumpkin PlanProfit First, or Clockwork strategies.

You can search by expertise and by region.  This is incredibly helpful if you’re a small business owner who is committed to making a real change and implementing the principles from any of the books Michalowicz has written.

Get Fix This Next and Get Out of Overwhelm

If you’re one of those small business owners swirling in a sea of overwhelm, Fix This Next is going to be a must-read. 

Image: amazon.com




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The Most Powerful You by Kathy Caprino Book Review

The Most Powerful You by Kathy Caprino Book Review


Content – 8

Freshness – 8.5

Usefulness – 8

8.2

A personal and professional coaching program in a book.  Ideal for women going through a life transition as well as dads, husbands and male leaders seeking to support the women in their lives

the most powerful you book kathy caprino

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When The Most Powerful You: 7 Bravery-Boosting Paths to Career Bliss by Kathy Caprino showed up on my doorstep I thought “Hmm, who wouldn’t want to be their most powerful self?!  When I turned the book over and started reading more about what was inside, I realized this book wasn’t for everyone.

“The Most Powerful You” was written by a professional woman, for professional women.  While I’m sure author, Kathy Caprino started writing this book way before the 2020 pandemic started, the timing of its release and the inward journey she proposes seems like just what today’s women might be looking for.

The Cycle of How Women Perceive and Are Perceived

While “The Most Powerful You” would love to have the distinction of changing the way women are perceived, this isn’t really the goal of the book.

Caprino recognizes that you can’t expect or try to change others, you have to change yourself first.  And this is really the core mission of the book; to help women discover and accept their own power and then be brave enough to use it to achieve their dreams.

How women are perceived is really a function of this dance between women and the defining people in their lives; family, bosses, spouses, etc.

Caprino seeks to help outwardly successful women who feel stuck either in their careers or their lives and are ready for breakthrough transformation.

Caprino’s coaching and counseling process is simple. She takes you through a series of client stories that outline perception, frame the circumstances and then she guides you through a process of reframing.

Reflecting on a Personal Journey

To get the full benefit of the book, it helps to understand a little about its author, Kathy Caprino.

Kathy is the President of Kathy Caprino, LLC, a premier career coaching and executive consulting firm offering career and leadership development programs for women.   A former corporate Vice President, she is also a trained marriage and family therapist, seasoned executive coach and Senior Forbes contributor. She is also a TEDx and keynote speaker and top national media source on women’s issues, careers, and leadership.

The 7 Power Gaps That Get in the Way of Success

Over the course of her work, Caprino identified 7 “Power Gaps”.  These Power Gaps are prevalent among women — especially women entrepreneurs.

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The seven power gaps are:

  1. Not recognizing your special talents. (Brave Sight)
  2. Communicating from fear and not strength. (Brave Speak)
  3. Reluctance to ask for what you deserve. (Brave Ask)
  4. Isolating from influential support. (Brave Connection)
  5. Acquiescing instead of saying stop to mistreatment. (Brave Challenge)
  6. Losing sight of your thrilling dream. (Brave Service)
  7. Allowing past drama to shape and define you. (Brave Healing)

In her research, Caprino discovered that 98 percent of respondents revealed that they were facing at least one of the seven power gaps.  75 percent said they were experiencing three or more gaps at the same time.

In Powerful You Caprino seeks to guide readers through the process of closing these gaps, coming to terms with the events and behaviors that are limiting your life experience and unleashing your most powerful self.

Is Powerful You for “Women Only”?

In short, The Most Powerful You is written for women entrepreneurs and professionals.  But that doesn’t mean that men shouldn’t read it,

There’s no lock on the book and nothing will stop you from cracking it open.  In fact, the men who are interested enough in reading this book will get a deep understanding of what their colleagues, wifes and daughters are dealing with daily.

So, I’m going to take a guess and say that most men will not enjoy this. But the ones who are brave enough (see what I did there?) to venture inside its pages will be rewarded handsomely.

I played a game with myself and read sections of the book as myself (a woman) and then pretending to be a man.

That was an interesting experience.

Take this excerpt from the chapter entitled “Reluctance to Ask for What You Deserve and Want”:

Caprino shares the story of Janine, a woman who had done the work to transform her life from being a marketing executive to a coach.  After years of working with “Brave” (the program behind this book), she reported the following:

I had to let go of thinking:

  • I have to be perfect to be worthy.
  • I must put everyone first to be a good girl.
  • Success comes easily to others not me.
  • I must continuously prove my worth.
  • People will see my worth through my hard work.

I had to accept:

  • People aren’t mind readers: I have to speak up for what I want.
  • The more evidence we offer about what we deliver, the more acceptance by others is possible.
  • You teach people how to treat you
  • Feeling comfortable is not a prerequisite for asking for what you want

ME: YES!  OMG! This is me.  I do this all the time (except expecting people to be mind readers.  But this is me for sure.

ME PRETENDING TO BE A MAN: WHAT?  No one is perfect. You have to go and get what you want.  I’m totally worthy. As for evidence — I’m not sure about that one. Decisions are often emotional and when I am confident, people just go with it.  People will believe what you tell them.

So, Are You Ready For Transformation?

Only you know the answer to this question.  I found this book an uncomfortable and somewhat confronting read.  The stories Caprino shared sometimes hit too close to home. And, when I stopped to reflect on her lessons of “bravery” and closing the gaps I could feel myself pulling away from the conversation.

Am I ready for this conversation.  Maybe not all at once, but I can see all the different ways that I can slowly begin integrating these practices into my live.

I did learn one thing from The Most Powerful You: I am the creator of my experience. While  can look to systems and structures upon which to place blame, the only one who can change my experience is me.

Now it’s your turn.  Are you brave enough to close the gaps that are keeping you from being your most powerful you?




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Elevate and Friday Forward, Inspiration for Success Book Review

Elevate and Friday Forward, Inspiration for Success Book Review


Content

Freshness

Usefulness

Elevate and Friday Forward provide inspiration, ideas and motivation to build yourself and your business.

Elevate

When all else fails, look within yourself for answers and inspiration.

Here are two books from author Robert Glazer that will help.  Elevate: Push Beyond Your Limits and Unlock Success in Yourself and Others and Friday Forward: Inspiration and Motivation to End Your Week Stronger Than It Started. 

Meet Robert Glazer

Robert Glazer is the founder and CEO of Acceleration Partners, a global marketing agency.  He is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for helping individuals and organizations build their capacity to elevate.

One of the things he’s most proud of is having Acceleration Partners listed as Glassdoor’s Employees’ Choice awards two years in a row.  The company was also awarded Ad Age’s Best Places to Work, Entrepreneur’s Top Company Culture and many more corporate culture awards.

He’s a regular columnist for Forbes and Entrepreneur magazines.

His weekly newsletter “Friday Forward” reaches more than 200,000 subscribers and served as the inspiration for both of these books.

Elevate is Well Designed and Easy to Read

I received a hardcover copy of Elevate a few months ago and have been using it as a sort of coffee-table book.  I pick it up and read a few pages when I need a mental jump start.

It measures 5.5 x 7.5 inches and is perfectly sized to slip into a bag to take along on a trip.  The internal pages are nothing short of sleek, well designed, colorful and really easy to read. Kudos for that.

All of these physical details make it a pleasure to read and easily reflect on the content and that’s the point.

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Unlock Your Success With Elevate

The Purpose of Elevate is to help you create harmony inside yourself first, so that you can then create a home and work environment of success.

Glazer believes that leaders who elevate themselves, and others will see the greatest success.

Build Capacity in Four Core Areas

At the core of Elevate is the concept of building capacity in four areas; spiritual, intellectual, physical and emotional. I love how he compares each of these capacities to a beach ball with four chambers.  As you fill each chamber up with gas, you expand that chamber.  Fill each chamber evenly, and you get maximum momentum. Focus on any one chamber and your ball will not roll in the desired direction.

Elevate is full of real  truths that inspire you to examine yourself and make the changes that will elevate you.

Friday Forward

Grab Quick Bites of Inspiration From Friday Forward

As I mentioned, Glazer’s weekly newsletter, “Friday Forward” provided the groundwork for Elevate. So, it only made sense to expand the readership and curate the best and most inspirational newsletters and put them into a single book.

Friday Forward is a Great Companion Book to Elevate
Like peanut butter and chocolate, you can read and enjoy these books on their own. But they are far tastier together.

The Friday Forward essays are organized by the four capacities that Glazer explained in Elevate.  There are thirteen short essays in each section.  So, you’re bound to find something inspiring.

How to Read Friday Forward

Glazer started his Friday Forward newsletter as a daily discipline and practice and he recommends that you do the same.

But Glazer doesn’t just want you to read and meditate, he wants you to take action and enroll the people around you into a similar practice.

Sound uncomfortable?  Probably.  And Glazer is counting on that. He says “Our world is increasingly constructed to prevent that push.  An alarming number of our kids are growing up with ‘snowplow parenting,’ parents who believe their role is to remove or mitigate obstacles.”  But it’s the challenges that make us strong and this is exactly what the essays in Friday Forward are designed to do.

Conclusion

When your world feels like it’s spinning out of control, your best course of action is to take a step back and take a look inside. Both Elevate and Friday Forward offer the perfect opportunity to create a daily practice of reflection, inspiration and transformation.

Image: amazon.com




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It's time to rethink the 7 habits of highly effective people

It's time to rethink the 7 habits of highly effective people


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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

" The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey came out in 1989. If you are a small business owner you have probably read this book. I know people who read it and read it regularly.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", and there is a new edition of the book that is both bigger and better.

I read the book several times and even took the Franklin Planner course several times before it was integrated into the "7 Habits" principles and became the Franklin Covey organization. It changed my life and mindset and eliminated a lot of stress. <! – ->

I don't know when it happened, but somehow I "forgot" my 7-habit practice.

And I paid for it.

In 1998 I became the global marketing director of a large company. It wasn't what I thought was a great opportunity to use my leadership skills positively. It wasn't long before I was in such a deep reactive mode that I didn't know what was up or down. I started to suffer from extreme insomnia and fear. I became disillusioned and depressed. I just couldn't stand the job, the team and even the customers. And I stepped back.

As I whirled around in a sea of ​​self-pity, I took my old and donkey-eared copy of 7 habits. And I started reading it through. Then I gave myself the task of concentrating on one habit at a time. The return to a life I loved had begun. <! – ->

It's a good time to rethink the 7 habits for yourself.

I don't think the Franklin Covey organization knew that a pandemic was imminent. But I think they knew it was time to release a new edition of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" for today's distracted, stressed, and overwhelmed audience.

When things go crazy, it is always a good idea to take a step back and focus on the basics. It's time to get rid of distractions that are supposed to mess up your thinking and priorities. It's time to remember what really matters.

It's time to grab a NEW edition of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People". <! – ->

This new edition of 7 Habits has been updated by Sean Covey with new content that I think you will find revealing.

Sean Covey's sections are brilliantly vulnerable, powerful, and inspiring.

When I read Sean Covey's very personal insights and experiences, I was touched by how authentic and honest it was. He openly shares what it is like to be part of the Covey family and what impact this has had on him and his own children.

What I got from these updated sections of the book was inspiring. Not because of the 7 habits principles, but because of the honest sharing of the fact that we are human. We forget. We make mistakes. And that the real test of your leadership is not whether you apply the 7 Habits principles perfectly, but how quickly you recover from forgetting them.

Are you ready to take a closer look at yourself?

If you can rely on something, it is a disturbance and change. And when we go through a period of disturbance, change and uncertainty, we tend to lose our center or sense of direction and use more primitive "fight or flight" responses.

It's been a while since I took a closer look at the 7 habits, and when I read through this new edition, I was impressed with the urgency of the sound.

It is as if every page, every diagram on my shoulders, look me straight in the eye and say: "Look at this! Is this where you are? And if so, look there. See how much better it is over there! Imagine if you saw things a little differently, how much more creative and powerful would you be? "

For example, Habit 2 is "Start with the goal". Sounds easy, doesn't it? Now, before you get where you are going. You need to know exactly where you are. You need to know your "center".

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"Whatever is in your center will be the source of your security, guidance and wisdom."

Ahhh. That's nice.

But wait.

Then Stephen Covey explains the most common things we put at the center of our lives. Money, pleasure, ourselves, our spouse, a church, work, enemies – there are so many more.

Then he goes on to explain that we focus on these external things. And what do we know about external things – you cannot control them. They control you. So you are always up or down.

I was simply overwhelmed by this table – and frankly, I felt uncomfortable seeing myself all too often in some of them. You will too.

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<p dir= BUT if you focus on principles this is a way of being. It is something that you control.

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<p dir= I like to consider principles as a way of being. WHO are you in each of these areas of your life? Your principles are at the root of who you are. So you show up in each of these areas.

For example, you can choose "Love" or "Fun". Just think how powerful that is.

Their principles are constant. While these other elements can change.

Loaded with exercises that you perform

While all previous editions had exercises for you, this new edition has really expanded them.

During this time when we spend so much time at home. If our external activities and engagements are limited, this is the ideal time to go through this book and actually do these exercises.

Imagine being able to sit down with yourself, your family or your team and have these conversations instead of being distracted by external "fix it" activities.

Imagine the possible change in your way of thinking, your attitude, your relationships.

If you have been overwhelmed and afraid of everything that is going on around you, the new edition of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" is a must read NOW.

Image: amazon.com




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