I hope you have had a great week. I’ve been settling in again after the holidays. I wanted to share a quick story with you. Well, and a secret, too.
I’m wondering if you do this too:
I have some dream goals I write in the margins of my sensible plans, because I’m not sure how they will manifest...
Which really means - I’m not sure I should even ask for it -
Which really means - my fear dragons are hissing and telling me I don’t deserve it.
One of my dream goals is “global entrepreneur”. I wrote it, sort of off to the side, during a goal-casting session 3 years ago on a mountaintop in Montana, house sitting with 2 sweet yellow labs, fresh from ending a 26 year marriage, no permanent address for the first time in my life, trying to come up with a plan for what was next.
I had no idea at that time that I would now be living in Mexico City - with a bona fide apt lease, a 4 year residency card and a guapo Mexican.
I had no idea that I would be accepted into a fabulous program for women entrepreneurs and meet a woman from South Africa.
And of course I had no idea back then that I would see with her last month when I was in London, where she is based. She has projects and contacts all over the world. We talked about possible collaborations in Mexico. She’s agreed to mentor me with one of my projects in the US for 6 months.
After she left I just sat there, thinking, “Did that just happen? Did I just have a business meeting in London?”
How about you?
When was the last time you had one of those “Am I here, now?” moments, when your reality perfectly lines up with your purpose?
I returned to Mexico City, pretty much the opposite of London - colorful, chaotic, messy capital of the New World.
I was met at the airport by my sweet man, who, since the first time we had coffee a few years ago, still looks at me like he can’t believe I’m real and refuses to let me carry my bags.
He drove me home to a spotless apartment with soup on the stove. I ended a very long day and trip with extreme gratitude for a comfy bed and his warm presence, too.
None of this has transpired according to a rigid “plan”. I don't know why, but the key IS in the planning, even though the plan changes often. Eisenhower said, "In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable."
That is because we don’t have a crystal ball or control over the world, but we do have control over our actions.
Oprah is a fabulous inspiration - she is a master at striking a balance between long term vision and being fully present in what is happening right now.
So, now I do have a long term vision that informs my short term plans. I have been planning with intention since that day on the mountain top in Montana, and staying flexible when things go off track for a bit.
There are 2 ways to stick to your plan to reach your goals:
I’m offering free Mirror Your Brilliance sessions through January 19. I've had some questions about what that means.
What will we do in your session?
Everything starts with your “why”. That is why I’ve included my favorite chart of values. If its been awhile since you did a values check in, take a look and pick your top 3.
Lets talk money, shall we?
Now don't get stressed, I know its December! Hello Uncle Visa!
I have good news for you though.
First the bad news: It costs between $3000 and $30,000 to start a business in the U.S. And, the failure rate for new business is about 50%. (source: US Small Business Administration)
One of the reasons businesses fail is that they run out of money, sometimes because they spend money on the wrong things at the start.
Here is the good news: In the DreamBiz phase, you do not have to spend a lot of money to get the most important information you need to know BEFORE you start your business.
Information that can reduce your risk of failure.
Information like "What does my customer really want? What is my competition? How do I really feel about this idea after all?"
There are SO many things you DO NOT have to spend money on at first.
This can be confusing because we get advice that we need this, then that, and then more of all of it.
So, to simplify we have created a visual of the Business Box. You should spend almost all of your time in the pre-business phase OUTSIDE of the Business Box.
We’ve prepared a short fun video to explain. We hope you enjoy it! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to post them up in the Facebook group.
I hear this all the time - "I’ve never started a business before."
Or, "I don’t have any experience so I’m not ready."
Yes, it can absolutely help to have experience, not doubt about it.
But think about it, if we all had to have experience to start a business, there would be a serious shortage of new, cool businesses out there!
Martha Stewart had no experience in magazine publishing. Jessica Alba (The Honest Company) had no experience with selling consumer products and now her company is worth over 1 billion dollars!
Those are big examples, of course. But I know you could walk around the shopping district in your town and find small business owners who had no experience before they started.
In fact, that is exactly what you should do. Why?
What does experience give you? Knowledge and contacts.
You can acquire knowledge. Even more quickly, you can start to get out and meet people in the field that you are interested in.
Tony Robbins advises us to find someone who has done what we want to do and learn from their experience. Makes sense, no?
Lets see, you know how to be curious, ask questions and take some notes, right?
Then you have all the experience you need to get started right now.
I talk more about growing your social capital in the video above. Oh, and how it might grow your social life in a really interesting way, too! It did mine!
Well here you have a mini-case study and a bit of a Fail in action.
A few weeks ago we did a soft re-brand from DreamBiz Test Drive to DreamBiz Blueprint and ran a couple of promotions under the new brand.
The thinking was that DreamBiz Blueprint would speak more directly to what is going through the minds of our audience - are they really thinking, "Gee, I wish I could test my idea"? Or are they thinking, "I wish I knew where to start" - something a blueprint implies more clearly perhaps than a test drive.
We did not go behind the scenes and change all of the course materials, all our social media "handles" (accounts on FB, Twitter etc) or much else.
That's what made it a "soft" rebrand. Why?
1) honestly, part of it was a lack of time to implement all the changes
2) lack of conviction that the new name would be measurably better.
Here was the strategic error:
Its OK to play out a hunch. Try to keep the process like, well, a mini test drive - we tested only the logo change and name for a couple of promotions, and not everything else in the business associated with the name. We'll still use the term blueprint as a generic description for the step by step nature of the course.
Viva la DreamBiz Test Drive!
You are sitting at your desk, or on your couch, looking out the window, wishing you were working on something that was engaging and making a difference but not sure where to start on your ideas.
We have all been there. Every idea starts out fuzzy and unformed, confusing because we are looking at something we don't have all the pieces to yet..
Try not to let that energy have the last word. Take a few minutes and get inspired by women who have started small and found success.
I particularly loved this video, its from a series called My Business Story. It has an unexpected zing related to her first client that might cause you to tear up, but that also beautifully illustrates a point that can be hard to see, especially if the view is from your couch or cubicle.
When you build a business around your inner gifts and passion or motivation, the energy that flows through your business becomes a vehicle for connecting to others and the world in ways you will not expect.
Do you have a story that inspires you and keeps you working toward your DreamBiz? If so, let us know in the comments below.
On a girlfriends' trip to Sedona, the convo of course drifted for a bit to our dreams for the future.
I was impressed with my friend when she said, "You know, I have always been drawn to the Southwest and thought for a long time I might want to retire here. Now, with some recent changes in my life, I'm thinking, why would I wait? I could start to look into ways to move here sooner!"
Bingo. Exactly. Right On. Damn Straight.
The key is small steps. As this video talks about, no one goes from A to Z in one step. NO ONE. What you want to do is avoid being the person that won't even take the tiny step to B because you can't see Z.
Here is the interesting thing - if you knew exactly how to jump into the life you want, you would have already done it, right?
So think of the exploration process as just that - exploring. Here is a link to a blog post with some great tips. You could compress this timeline into 6 months if you've been thinking about transitioning into the Boss of Me for awhile now.
The DreamBiz Test Drive is different because it SHOWS you what will work about your idea before you dive in, gives you 4 steps to test your idea, the shows you how to AVOID the 3 biggest reasons new businesses fail. all this BEFORE you spend a lot of time and money on an official business launch.
Our FOCUS on the early, or "ideation" stage, and on COLLABS for you makes us different. The video above talks a bit more about that.
There are literally thousands of sources of information for people starting businesses. I should know, I ran across at least a couple hundred of them in my own journey of exploring my ideas.
What I didn't run across was one single resources that made sense for the stage I was in at that time - with a few ideas in my head, very little clarity about where to start, and no organized way of testing the waters before I dove in all the way, spending a lot of time and money "starting a business.'
You may have seen this graphic already on the website or on our Facebook page:
It illustrates many of the activities in the Business Box - these are the areas you will find lots of advice about online. Yes, they are important but most of them are logistical tasks you need to take to start a business - I think of them as Phase 2 activities.
The place to spend your time getting clear and getting organized is outside the business box - which in reality are the areas that matter, first. You can find out a lot about your business idea - BEFORE you start your business. The video below tells more:
What is your biggest challenge in getting started? Let us know in the comments below.
We are offering webinars about the DreamBiz Test Drive next week. You can learn more by visiting our VIP Portal.
Fear of failure or loss has become the new saber-tooth tiger in the bushes.
Let me explain with an example.
Q: Would it be helpful to talk about your DreamBiz or Passion Project idea with someone objective?
I bet your first reaction was "Yes!"
And then your brain immediately said, Wait - what are the details? is there a catch? If we talk about it that might make it real. We'll just get excited about something impossible. I don't have time right now.
Naaaaah. Thanks anyway. I need to go re-arrange my sock drawer, I've been putting it off.
See how this works?
I have known for awhile, and you probably do, too, that fear stops us from doing many things. More things than we can imagine, really.
Fear on autopilot = habits our brain thinks are keeping us "safe".
Here is what I did not know a couple of weeks ago - part of our brain is hard-wired to hesitate. If it senses we are contemplating something new and different, stepping out, it will kill our initiative with hesitation while we "think about it".
This was to keep us alive in the days when stepping outside of our cave could get us eaten by a tiger in the bushes if we weren't careful.
The problem is that this section of our brain doesn't know the difference between the tiger in the bushes and what might happen if we take sign up for that new class, take that trip, start that blog, or take action on any other thing that is new and different today.
All our brain sees is the stress (perceived threat) associated with the action.
I imagine that women, as the main caretakers of children around the hunter-gatherer campsite, developed this tendency to hesitate - in the form of evaluating risks - to an even higher degree, keeping track of several things at once.
What to do about it.
In brief, this is what I've learned from a few different sources*:
This is how it works:
First, breathe deeply. This send oxygen upstairs and signals to our brain that its OK.
Second, procrastination is not a bad thing you do because you are bad. It is your brain trying to keep you safe. Don't take it personally.
Third, you are the boss of your brain, right? The way you change it is by taking fast action - like in 5 seconds - on things you are avoiding, and spending at least 5 - 10 minutes on that which you are avoiding. This is how you chase the tiger out of the bushes, because in reality, its just a mouse rustling around.
Fourth, baby steps are key. You could give your notice to a job you hate in 5 seconds, and I'm not going to say you shouldn't. If you've been unhappy for years it may be exactly the antidote. Deadlines work for a reason; quitting your job immediately gives you all sorts of real deadlines. But it also ratchets up your stress level.
Instead, you could turn a more prudent approach (see how nice that sounds?) into a platform for action (instead of an excuse not to act) by grabbing a piece of paper and list the top 3 things to do, now, to transition out of that job in 6 months. For example, start a savings account, update your resume, get help having that difficult money conversation with your partner, get serious about generating part time income from a passion or idea you have.
Then, what is the next fast action you can take on each step? Do that one. I bet after spending an hour of 5 second baby steps you will feel a little woozy and more alive than you have in weeks, months or even years.
This small shift towards a bias for action will change your life. Why? Because life is a series of small decisions, many of them we make on auto-pilot, also called habits.
Here is the piece that was missing from what I read. All of the advice was focused on individual change, and yes, change starts with you.
However, no one does this alone. Women in ancient societies developed collective safety nets for their children. If you are considering birthing a business or passion project, you need 2 things:
Lets take on the tigers together. <3
Thanks for visiting!
You have a DreamBiz idea, right? How do you know if its a good one?
If you want to KNOW where to start, and KNOW what works about your idea BEFORE you actually dive in, in this FREE live meeting online I'll share:
sign up on the calendar below!
Sun 9:30 AM
Mon - Wed at 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Simple, right? I can't wait to meet you!
Hello! I'm Kala Philo, Founder and Producer of the DreamBiz Test Drive and a bunch of other magic, too.
Did you know that the business failure rate for new businesses 80%?
The good news is there are simple ways to see what works BEFORE you start your business. I am passionate about helping new women entrepreneurs minimize their odds of business failure. I developed this process from many years of diverse experiences to use with my own ideas, and am now using it to help women find clarity and direction around their business idea. BEFORE they even start their business.