0 comments on “Travel Now”

Travel Now

Imagine this: you are at home, twiddling your thumbs, looking at a calendar free from responsibilities and action items. (You have all of the time in the world!) Suddenly, you see an alert on your phone—it’s from your bank, kindly informing you that you’ve exceeded the maximum daily amount allowed in a checking account. (You have too much money!) So you reach for a globe and start spinning the Earth, giddy about all of the countries you can now visit.

NEWS FLASH: This imagined scenario will likely die when you do.

The bad news? It will never be the right time to travel.

The good news? If you accept that it will never be the right time to travel, then you can start traveling now.

“Not all those who wander are lost.” —J.R.R. Tolkien

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” —Susan Sontag

Relaxation

Perhaps you want to unwind, disconnect, relax. Maybe La Paz, Mexico or a private island in the Maldives is what you’re looking for. (An over-the-water bungalow in the Maldives is less than you’d think. And worth every penny!)

Excitement

Maybe you simply need some excitement in your life. Consider the Fiesta de San Fermin (drinking lots of red wine, throwing tomatoes, and running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain). Or go sand-boarding (outside) and snowboarding (inside) in Dubai. Or check out the wild pandas in Chengdu or the mountain gorillas in Rwanda.

Food

Is it food you’re looking for? Go to Tokyo. Or Sicily. Or Buenos Aires. Or Seoul. Take a cooking class on the island of Ko Samui, Thailand. Remember this: you are a citizen of the world. Eat like it.

Do you have extreme time constraints? We have people on staff who’ve traveled from the USA to Tokyo . . . in a weekend. Think it’s crazy? Perhaps it is, but once you’re ready to start stacking experiences instead of possessions, you may find that Bogotá, Seoul, and yes, Tokyo, are within reach for those with a dream itinerary and a three-day weekend!

Sometimes it’s not our finances. It’s not our schedule. It’s our mindset. If you’d benefit from what Zig Ziglar referred to as a “check-up from the neck up,” reach out to us. Perhaps we can help. And if anything, many of our consultants are travelers who will take great pleasure in telling you about their travels, so that you can start designing yours.

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Business Writing

The amount of time wasted by poorly-executed emails is astounding. It’s not simply time wasted through misunderstanding but misallocation of words. The time cost and the distraction cost lead to an unfortunate business cost. Of course, we cannot control the reader, but we can control the writer.

“Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” —Mark Twain

“I only achieve simplicity with enormous effort.” —Clarice Lispector

When we put systems into place regarding our writing, we can influence our reader accordingly.

Focus

Business emails should not be written in a stream-of-consciousness style akin to a WhatsApp conversation. Your reader should not wonder if you are related to Benjy from The Sound and the Fury. Keep it simple. Before you write your email, ask yourself: What do I want to convey? What does my reader need to know?

Organization

This is the answer to “How.” How can I convey this to my reader? Again, keep it simple. You don’t need a cannon to shoot a rabbit.

Development

Sometimes we have a lot to say. Remember, though, that your long email will likely be processed in parts. And the notion that your entire email will be processed by the reader is optimistic. When you determine how extensively you need to develop your email (if it’s longer than two-three paragraphs), consider sending it in parts. (Don’t reveal your plan in the subject line, i.e., The Nestle Account, part 1.) Just set some reminders or alerts so that you know to initiate part 2, 3, etc., but do so after you’ve determined that part 1 was adequately comprehended and acted upon.

Logic

It’s not enough to proofread your email once before clicking “send.” Unfortunately, if it makes sense to you, that means very little to your reader. Many of us use inside lingo on the outside world, and then we are surprised that we’ve accidentally circumscribed our audience. Don’t proofread your email while asking, “Does this make sense to me?” Instead, proofread your email while asking, “Will this make sense to my reader?”

Arima Business Solutions has expert consultants in business writing, editing, blog writing, and ghostwriting. Reach out to us today. Let’s have a conversation about your content-creation needs.

0 comments on ““To Do” and “Not To Do” Lists”

“To Do” and “Not To Do” Lists

If you’ve been active on social media lately, you’ve likely scrolled upon an article showcasing Leonardo da Vinci’s “To Do” list. The implication is not simply that da Vinci’s list is more ambitious than yours but, specifically, that “To Do” lists are composed by successful people.

“History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.” —Winston Churchill

“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me.” —Ayn Rand

While the “To Do” list has enjoyed great fanfare, the “Not To Do” list seems to be under-emphasized. What should make your “Not To Do” list may differ from others’, but consider these:

Smart Phones

When you need to focus on something, turn off your ringer (don’t allow it to vibrate either), and place your phone face down. Your focus is a hot commodity, and it should be protected. Of course, apps and telemarketers are competing for your focus. Do not surrender until you have planned to. In other words, when you are working, producing, thinking . . . when you are focused . . . build a fortress that phone notifications cannot penetrate. And then, once you are ready to switch tasks, once your focus is not at a premium, go ahead and flip your phone over, and have a look at your Facebook feed.

Carpe diem

To be clear, you should commit to seizing the day. What you should be careful of (on weekdays) is carpe noctem. This, of course, is a reference to seizing the night, and it is especially curious to see how we can arrive home after a long workday, and while we claim to be tired, we find ourselves suddenly possessed after a glass of wine (or two). We live in the moment, focused only on our immediate goal: “This feels good, so let’s fuel this feeling!!” Our less-immediate goals fall by the wayside, taking second place to a tired, tipsy, fun-loving fool. This may be why it’s not too crowded at the top. Remember, success is not an accident. If you have serious goals, then you must take them seriously.

Habit Changing

You have developed specific habits on purpose. You exercise each day for 45 minutes, or you include green veggies in each of your meals, or you kick-start your brain each morning by studying a foreign language. Maybe you meditate daily, or perhaps you make sure to read at least 5 pages from a self-help book every morning. Whatever your habits, know that when you skip a day, you are (often unconsciously) abandoning the habit and embracing a new one: the new habit, of course, is no longer doing whatever you were previously committed to. If you have deliberately chosen your habits, haphazard “habit changing” should make your “Not To Do” list.

What are some other things that should be on your “Not To Do” list? Comment below, or reach out to us today.

0 comments on “Remember “Think & Grow Rich””

Remember “Think & Grow Rich”

Any entrepreneur serious about his craft has likely read Napoleon Hill’s Think & Grow Rich. It’s been 80 years since its original publication, but the secrets offered to Hill by Andrew Carnegie remain transformative. Further, they remain fundamental to success. As Jim Rohn once said, “There are no new fundamentals. You’ve got to beware of the man who says ‘we’re manufacturing antiques.'”

“We see men who have accumulated great fortunes, but we often recognize only their triumph, overlooking the temporary defeats which they had to surmount before ‘arriving.'” —Napoleon Hill

“Defeat makes you stronger.” —Napoleon Hill

Here are 3 fundamentals from Hill’s essential work:

Thoughts Are Things

If your thoughts are buoyed by vague hope and imprecision, you will not likely transcend your place in life. If, however, you recognize that thoughts are real, then commit to making your thoughts clear and precise. This type of thinking is what Andrew Carnegie employed to turn desire into gold. He followed six steps, two of which shall be identified here:

  • First, write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire, name the time limit for its acquisition, state what you intend to give in return for the money, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it.
  • Second, read your written statement aloud twice daily, once just before retiring at night, and once after arising in the morning. As you read, see and feel and believe yourself already in possession of the money.

Failure

There are 31 major reasons for failure. Many of the reasons play critical roles in our story (the story we tell ourselves and often unconsciously rehearse). Among these 31 reasons noted by Hill is number 4: Insufficient education. Hill writes: “There is a handicap which may be overcome with comparative ease. Experience has proven that the best-educated people are often those who are known as ‘self-made’ or self-educated. It takes more than a college degree to make one a person of education. Any person who is educated is one who has learned to get whatever he wants in life without violating the rights of others. Education consists not so much of knowledge, but of knowledge effectively and persistently applied. Men are paid not merely for what they know, but more particularly for what they do with that which they know.”

Positive vs. Negative

Positive and negative emotions cannot occupy the mind at the same time. According to Hill, these are the major negative emotions: fear, jealousy, hatred, revenge, greed, superstition, anger. And these are the positive emotions: desire, faith, love, sex, enthusiasm, romance, hope. “It is your responsibility,” notes Hill, “to make sure that positive emotions constitute the dominating influence of your mind.”

A little bit of success literature can go a long way. Make the consumption of works like Napoleon Hill’s Think & Grow Rich a part of your daily ritual. As Zig Ziglar was fond of saying, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.”

For more motivation, reach out to us today. Let’s have a conversation about your needs.

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Public Speaking

If it were easy, everyone would do it. In fact, it’s reportedly the number one fear in the USA. (Number two is death.) This suggests that many would rather die than speak publicly.

Of course, like most things, public speaking is a skill developed over time, with lots of trial and error. Still, there are ways to fast-track your oratorical ability so that you can seem proficient now.

“Some people have a way with words, and other people . . . oh, uh, not have way.”         —Steve Martin

“There are a great many ‘wetless’ bathing suits worn at the seashore, but no one ever learns to swim in them. To plunge is the only way.” —Dale Carnegie

Consider these tips:

Envision Your Audience

Know, to the best of your ability, your audience. Sometimes this will require research. Other times it’s just common sense. This is not about pleasing everybody. It’s about being considerate of your audience’s needs and wants. Remember that language can connect people, and it can also create distance. Note the value and the detriment of the following:

  • Technical language
  • Conversational language
  • Profanity
  • Questions
  • The purposeful “um,” “like,” or “right?”

Don’t Read

Most people are bad readers. Further, unless it’s a bedtime story, few audiences enjoy being read to. Instead, consider having a list of your talking points. If you’re announcing a promotion in front of your staff, perhaps this is your list:

  • I first met Charlie . . .
  • He embodies our core beliefs by . . .
  • I’m pleased to promote Charlie to . . .

Questions Are Powerful

Another method for listing is to compose the questions you plan to answer. The human brain responds well to questions, and so should yours in a short speech. You don’t need to say each question aloud but, instead, use it to direct your speech. Here’s how it might look:

  • When did you meet Charlie?
  • How does he embody our core beliefs?
  • Why are you pleased to promote Charlie?

As you deliver your speech, imagine that you are a movie camera, panning left to right and right to left, capturing reaction shots. (If it’s a speech in a large venue, request that the house lights remain on so that you can see how your presentation is being received by your audience.) Make eye contact with audience members as you pan. Good speakers will do this. Great speakers will adapt to the reactions and adjust their content accordingly.

Of course, there is more to it, but this is where we begin. Would your business benefit from a nudge in this direction? ABS Professional Services consultants are eager to meet with you. Reach out to us today. Let’s have a conversation about your needs.

0 comments on “Critical Thinking”

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is sometimes considered creative thinking or thinking outside of the box. Others consider it a process involving specific activities like investigation, interpretation, and judgment (in that order). One person, an “unknown source,” defined critical thinking as “Thinking about your thinking while you’re thinking in order to make your thinking better.”

“Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.”  —Thomas Edison

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”  —Albert Einstein

Critical thinking, as we like to define it, relies on a three-step process suggested in 1961 by William Golding in Thinking as a Hobby. Small businesses can benefit by considering how this three-step process can be applied to the models they are attempting to advance.

Feeling vs. Thinking

Feelings are typically associated with emotions, and they do not usually require words. Thoughts, however, rely on words. We cannot express thoughts without words. The goal, here, is not to dismiss feelings. They are important. But what we must do is identify the feelings that can be translated into thoughts (and, thus, words). Distinguishing between feelings and thoughts, and articulating the thoughts (preferably on paper) is the first step.

Detecting Contradictions

The ability to detect a contradiction and to, in a sense, identify the two warring parties, represents the second step in this process. One might detect a contradiction between the company’s “core principles” and what the company seems to be emphasizing now. Another might detect a contradiction between employee job descriptions and employee expectations. Contradictions are best detected in a “between equation,” and they should be articulated in writing.

Offering Solutions

This third step is essential. Isolate each contradiction. And then begin offering solutions (plural). After considering the solutions, it should be determined which solutions are most viable for implementation and company growth.

Would your business benefit from this process? ABS Professional Services consultants are eager to meet with you. Reach out to us today. Let’s have a conversation about your needs.

0 comments on “Exercise to Increase Sales”

Exercise to Increase Sales

When Richard Branson was asked what he does to become more productive, his answer was simple: “Workout.” While everyone may respond to exercise differently, the key is that everyone responds. Specifically, the body and brain respond. These responses manifest themselves in energy, focus, and productivity. And yes, if you are running a business, exercising should increase sales.

“Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.”  —John Adams

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body; it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”  —John F. Kennedy

Grow Your Body

Most literally, you can lift weights in an effort to grow your body. But if you think of “grow” in terms of stirring, moving, or increasing something, then consider a purposeful walk. This is not a leisurely stroll but a 45-minute walk, where you break a sweat as you cover approximately 3 miles. This will increase circulation in your body. The result should be better health, less stress, and more energy.

Grow Your Brain

As you exercise, the increased blood circulation leads to many benefits, including increased mental acuity and the release of feel-good chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. Additionally, the increased blood circulation delivers extra oxygen to the brain, which can lead to an increase in memory and learning ability. In Thomas C. Corley’s research of 177 self-made millionaires, he reported that “76% of the rich aerobically exercise 30 minutes or more every day,” believing that exercise grows neurons and fuels the brain. “The more fuel you feed your brain,” reports Corley, “the more it grows and the smarter you become.”

Grow Your Business

To grow a business, many things are fundamental: vision, hard work, sales. The meditative role of exercise (small movements repeated over and over) can improve focus and help advance a business owner’s vision. The reduced stress and increased energy should enable one to work hard. And if increasing sales is one of your goals, schedule your most important calls or meetings within the 2-3 hour post-exercise window. According to neuroscientist, Dr. Judy Cameron, “Immediately, the brain cells will start functioning at a higher level, making you feel more alert and awake during exercise and more focused afterward.”

Would you like to grow your business? ABS Professional Services consultants are eager to meet with you. Reach out to us today. Let’s have a conversation about your needs.