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Most of you are familiar with the concept of microfinance.  The classic example is that a micro-bank would loan $10 or $20 to a poor woman in Ghana, who then uses it to build up a little one-person business and pull her family out of poverty.  It’s cool, it’s inexpensive, and it works.

But I was reading in this month’s Rotarian magazine about this concept working here in the US.  How mind-blowing is that?  Read the rest of this entry »

We’ve nearly survived 2012 – included the anticipated End Of The World last week.  I hope you’re looking forward to a prosperous 2013, with greater business success and personal happiness.

But before you totally put 2012 behind you, it would be great to make sure that we learned from the events of this year.  After all, if you’re not learning, you’re falling behind.

Do you have any answers to these questions?

  • What failures and successes with your customers surprised you?
  • What were the most amazing employee contributions you saw?  (Do they know it?)
  • What did you learn about yourself this year?
  • What changed in your industry?
  • What’s now possible in 2013 that would have been unthinkable a year ago?
  • Who are you thankful to have met? (Do they know it?)

I could have asked you about regrets, failures, and barriers, but there’s a reason why I’m asking these questions in the positive sense.  It helps create optimism and energy which open up new possibilities and ideas.

What are the great questions you’d like to be asking about your 2012?  Would you like to share them with the group?

I ran across a great article this morning that I wanted to share with all of you: The intuitive leader: The road to innovation is not paved.  My friend Ariana talks about the critical role that intuition plays in leading a successful business.

I see a lot of people who struggle with this concept.  If you trust your intuition too much, you fear that it might head you off the cliff.  Read the rest of this entry »

As you might know, two major forest fires are raging just a few miles from Fort Collins.  The latest I heard was 20,000 acres, with no chance of rain or significant containment today.

Read the rest of this entry »

Business coaching can be deceptively simple, because the mechanics are so straightforward.  The coach asks questions, you answer, you have a conversation and explore.  You come to decisions.

It’s not rocket science.

But when you dig below that, there’s a much deeper dynamic going on.  Here’s some of the major reasons why coaching is different from other conversations:

  • Your coach totally adopts your objectives and goals.  There are no others.
  • The coach has the freedom and initiative to ask some challenging questions, but in a way that helps you arrive at useful answers.
  • The coach doesn’t create internal blocks to progress, instead is working constantly to remove them.
  • Your coach maintains a sense of humor, lightness, and creativity.  This builds a “space” where discussions will make rapid progress, and where you’ll have enthusiasm for following through to the next step.

Primarily, though, you can think of a coach as your “second brain” – someone who will have a discussion with you which is confidential, challenging, and useful.  You can display a bit of weakness and uncertainty without getting pounced on, without hurting the relationship.

These days, that kind of conversation is quite rare.  Most business owners have a strong sense of being alone:  They’re expected to have all the answers, to show confidence, to never have doubts.

But of course we all have doubts and fears.  We’re human.

In hard times, what do most people do?

Our first thought is to become very conservative. Don’t spend money, don’t take risks, just keep plugging away and working hard until things get better.

Read more on my Workbloom blog»

 

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