Marla Tabaka https://marlatabaka.com/ Business Coach Tue, 29 Nov 2022 18:18:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.1.1 https://marlatabaka.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/cropped-M-Favicon-32x32.png Marla Tabaka https://marlatabaka.com/ 32 32 8 Signs You’re a Perfectionist (and Why It’s Toxic to Your Mental Health) https://marlatabaka.com/2022/11/29/8-signs-youre-a-perfectionist-and-why-its-toxic-to-your-mental-health/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=8-signs-youre-a-perfectionist-and-why-its-toxic-to-your-mental-health https://marlatabaka.com/2022/11/29/8-signs-youre-a-perfectionist-and-why-its-toxic-to-your-mental-health/#respond Tue, 29 Nov 2022 18:18:59 +0000 https://marlatabaka.com/?p=61528 Studies say that true perfectionists aren't trying to be perfect. They are avoiding not being good enough. People often confuse high-achieving behavior with perfectionistic behavior. High achievers are dedicated, determined individuals with a strong desire to accomplish something important to them. Their achievements are not about what others will think of them or a fear […]

The post 8 Signs You’re a Perfectionist (and Why It’s Toxic to Your Mental Health) appeared first on Marla Tabaka.

]]>
Studies say that true perfectionists aren't trying to be perfect. They are avoiding not being good enough.

People often confuse high-achieving behavior with perfectionistic behavior. High achievers are dedicated, determined individuals with a strong desire to accomplish something important to them. Their achievements are not about what others will think of them or a fear of failure; it's to gain personal gratification from their success. On the other hand, people who deem themselves perfectionists are not driven by the pursuit of perfection; the avoidance of failure drives them.rue perfectionists aren't trying to be perfect; they are avoiding not being good enough. This avoidance dictates much of their behavior, and it's linked to depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and even suicide. Paul Hewitt, Ph.D., and psychologist Gordon Flett are two of the most respected researchers of perfectionistic behavior. They say that those who feel social pressure to achieve perfection tend to think that the better they do, the better they are expected to do. And so, the search for absolute perfection never ends.

Are you a high achiever or a perfectionist? Here are seven signs that your pursuit of perfection may put you at risk of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and, in extreme cases, suicidal thinking.

1. Despite your search for perfection, you never feel perfect.

Dr. Hewitt uses this example of a college student who is also one of his patients and how the student viewed his success. The student was convinced he needed an A+ in a particular course, so he studied hard and aced the class. However, the student became even more depressed and suicidal than he was prior to the end of the semester. “He told me that the A+ was just a demonstration of how much of a failure he was,” says Hewitt. The student argued that if he were perfect, he wouldn't have had to work so hard to get an A+.

2. As a perfectionist, you cannot accept and celebrate your success.

It's never good enough, so you get sucked so far into the details that you become frustrated–even angry. Even when your goal is complete and results in success, you believe you could and should have done it better.

Perfectionists don't acknowledge their wins to the extent of feeling the joy and satisfaction of a job well done. Instead, they find flaws in how they (or others) executed the project. There is always something wrong, even though the outcome is exactly what they wanted.

3. You don't allow yourself any mistakes.

While an individual with a healthy mindset allows for mistakes, an extreme perfectionist doesn't forgive their mistakes. Instead of viewing them as a learning opportunity, you criticize and put pressure on yourself for not predicting a less-than-perfect outcome. You feel inadequate, even stupid, and these feelings preoccupy your mind, often to the point of losing all productivity.

4. You put up a front, insisting everything is perfect.

Perfectionists are intensely afraid of being judged by others. They often want the outside world to view them as being perfect and making perfection easy. Even when your world is a disaster zone, you put up a front to lead others to think it's all just perfect.

5. You avoid taking on challenges that may cause you to fail.

Perfectionists like to stick with what they know. If you're presented with an opportunity that means you'll have to develop more skills or move outside of your comfort zone, you're likely to turn it down. You're afraid you're not smart enough to tackle a new learning curve and will be seen as a failure or let down someone.

6. You believe that your likeability is linked to being perfect.

Personality and positive qualities like honesty, compassion, humor, etc., aren't what perfectionists believe people will like about them. It's not enough to be a wonderful person; you must be perfectly wonderful. You don't allow others to see your flaws, and you most likely talk about your achievements but never your failures.

7. Your life doesn't satisfy you.

Perfectionists cope well in a low-stress environment–so as long as nothing challenges you, you're fine. When was the last time you weren't challenged by life? Right, because nothing is perfect. When life seems unsettled to you, it presents a problem. Anxiety often increases, which offers the illusion that nothing is going well, thereby decreasing life satisfaction.

8. You need help with getting things done on time.

Since perfection is an illusion, the pursuit of perfection is never complete, and neither are your projects. You may get things done, but you constantly battle the decisions and motivation to complete certain things. The “what ifs” and expectation of a negative consequence or result preoccupies you, and the pressure can be overwhelming.

Can you overcome the seemingly never-ending pursuit of perfection?

There's nothing we can't overcome if we put our minds to it. Pay attention to these situations if you occasionally insist on perfection, but it causes excessive stress. I suggest journaling about them to find the shared link. The awareness alone will help you get to the core and figure out what it's all about. Observe how others accept themselves, flaws and all, and assign yourself a few virtual mentors to follow. Learning how successful people built upon their failures instead of hiding from them will help get things into perspective.

Hewitt and Flett say that perfectionism is a risk factor for psychological disorders–not a disorder itself. If it leads to depression, anxiety, or other exhausting mental states, therapy can help. Yes, you can develop a healthy mindset and make life much easier and more rewarding for yourself.

The post 8 Signs You’re a Perfectionist (and Why It’s Toxic to Your Mental Health) appeared first on Marla Tabaka.

]]>
https://marlatabaka.com/2022/11/29/8-signs-youre-a-perfectionist-and-why-its-toxic-to-your-mental-health/feed/ 0
How Solid Are Your Leadership Skills? Review Your Leadership Mindset https://marlatabaka.com/2022/11/29/how-solid-are-your-leadership-skills-review-your-leadership-mindset/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-solid-are-your-leadership-skills-review-your-leadership-mindset https://marlatabaka.com/2022/11/29/how-solid-are-your-leadership-skills-review-your-leadership-mindset/#respond Tue, 29 Nov 2022 14:18:50 +0000 https://marlatabaka.com/?p=61519 Part 2 of a 6-part Leadership series. (If you missed Part 1, see it here.) You launched your company, how long ago now? And you've spent much of that time doing whatever it takes to grow the customer list, sell, and deliver. But lately, you've realized you're not getting beyond the point of making just […]

The post How Solid Are Your Leadership Skills? Review Your Leadership Mindset appeared first on Marla Tabaka.

]]>
Part 2 of a 6-part Leadership series. (If you missed Part 1, see it here.)

You launched your company, how long ago now? And you've spent much of that time doing whatever it takes to grow the customer list, sell, and deliver. But lately, you've realized you're not getting beyond the point of making just enough money to survive if you're lucky. The good news is that if you're making just enough, there's probably a market for what you do. The bad news is that if you continue to mop the floors, you won't grow much—as a leader or a company.

This realization is one reason that drives many business owners to seek me out as a life and business coach. Odds are, you're a natural-born leader, but that doesn't mean there's not a lot to learn. It's one thing to operate your company and quite another to take it to the next level with solid leadership skills. Let's look at some of the common stumbling blocks I encounter with the founders who are ready for a change but aren't making it happen.

Business owners who are stuck believe they can't afford to hire.

I always say, “If you believe it, it's true!” I have yet to coach someone who couldn't afford a new hire. That's because, together in coaching, we quickly identify creative ways to secure the ongoing funds for a new hire.

You create a game plan when you work with a business coach. You'll have a growth strategy, and when you bite the bullet and hire someone to do the work that takes up much of your time, you'll be free to bring in new business. However, if you transfer your time from one mundane task to another, you'll fail. You must have a plan to increase the company's profits before outsourcing or making a hiring decision. Sometimes the answer lies as close to your existing client list, a company or individual willing to increase their spending. Don't hesitate to go after this low-hanging fruit; all they can do is say yes or no.

Get an employee training process in place.

Before you delegate anything, have a training process in place. If the work that keeps you from growing your business is computer-related, record your screen as you go through each step of every process. Find a way to easily document the work you do and use this documentation in your training. Your new employee can do the work to make it pretty, so don't worry about how it looks.

Be courageous about delegation.

Your new people are more likely to do things differently than you and less likely to do it all wrong, which is what most entrepreneurs fear. Different isn't bad if it gets the same or better results. If they make mistakes, correct them. Yes, it is that easy. Time-consuming? Sometimes, but in the long run, not so much. This mental adjustment is one of the most challenging for entrepreneurs. I hear it all the time, “By the time I teach someone else to do this, I could have done it myself.” Oh sure, that's true, but how often do you want to repeat tasks that don't grow your business? Bite the bullet, do some excellent training, and let these jobs go.

Leadership means building a team you can trust.

Whether you hire one or multiple people to help you grow, they must be the right people. It's one thing to outsource small tasks or hire a bookkeeping service, but you must select your team members carefully.

The biggest problem with new business coaching clients who already have people on board is that the founder hasn't developed a desirable culture before onboarding. We'll get into some of the nuts and bolts of this in the culture development article two weeks down the road, but for now, suffice it to say that you need to hire people whose values coincide with your own. company culture

If, for instance, you want an organization where people feel fulfillment in their work, but you hire someone who wants to punch the clock for the paycheck, neither of you will be happy. Work with your business coach to identify the core values to introduce into your company culture and create an interviewing process that explores the values of your applicants. When your people possess values that identify closely with your own, you will build mutual trust and respect.

Great leaders mentor their employees.

Some entrepreneurs have strong opinions in opposition to mentoring employees, to the point where they call it babysitting, which they claim they don't have time for. I assure you that mentoring your employees will substantially increase retention and job satisfaction. Solid mentorship opportunities will attract high-potential job candidates eager to learn and advance. As you lead and mentor your employees, you will notice that sales growth and other goals are achieved faster. And lastly, things will be done right, which brings us full circle to why you probably don't want to delegate in the first place—a fear of things not being done correctly. Teaching and guiding your employees is the only way to guarantee your desired results.

Set mutually agreed-upon goals for your employee(s), and don't let those targets linger in the ether. Do brief weekly and longer monthly meetings with your team members to review and guide them. This time will come back to you tenfold.

Hire slow, fire fast.

Hire slow. Have a process that will help you locate, interview, and onboard individuals who will contribute talent, skill, and positivity to your culture. If hiring for a critical position, take your top candidates to dinner or another activity. Invite their significant other, even their kids. Talk about hobbies and interests outside of work. Make sure your values are aligned.

Fire fast. Again, do what it takes to train, support properly, and mentor your employees. When they make mistakes, review them honestly and restate your expectations. If costly mistakes continue, it's time to let go.

One bad apple can spoil the whole team. It's not easy to let go of an underperformer or someone with a negative attitude, but these characteristics are toxic and contagious. Whether it's due to attitude or poor performance, don't be afraid to fire someone. I've seen entrepreneurs hold on to a poor fit out of fear, which never bodes well for the company.

Are you afraid that you'll get stuck doing the work? That you won't be able to find a replacement? Perhaps it's simply conflict avoidance on your part. If that's the case, know this: If you have an employee who is a poor culture fit and an underperformer, it inevitably means they too are unhappy. Everyone will find happiness on the other side of their walking papers.

Practice what you preach.

As you grow your culture (more on this later in this series), you will identify values that the company and your team live by. Let's say you have a value such as flexibility, which might mean your team can work with some flexibility and your company is flexible in resolving your clients' issues. Now let's say that you are inflexible and narrow-minded; your team and clients will become frustrated and eventually leave.

A little bit of tough love here. If you experience resistance, poor attitude, and unsatisfactory performance in a team member you've carefully selected, look in the mirror first. Most often, the leader fails, not the employee who was once the perfect fit for the job. Have you been embodying your own company culture? Have you been living up to your standards, keeping your promises, and demonstrating positive values to your team and customers?

Be a decision-maker and take inspired action.

Creative and driven employees and expectant customers want to see your products and services evolve. Too many entrepreneurs have let great plans and ideas stagnate and die. I suggest a quarterly off-site, whether it's with employees, your coach, or just you, to review growth goals and any changes that will lead to better efficiencies and an improved work environment.

There are times when circumstances prevent business owners from achieving specific goals, but most often, procrastination and fear-related issues stop us in our tracks. If you are indecisive or don't have your priorities in order, your behavior will be reflected in your team's performance.

Leaders have an appreciation for learning. Build time into your schedule to read, listen to podcasts, work with a coach, and travel to conferences. Primarily, be open to feedback and embrace change. I've never worked with an entrepreneur who does these things and still fails.

The post How Solid Are Your Leadership Skills? Review Your Leadership Mindset appeared first on Marla Tabaka.

]]>
https://marlatabaka.com/2022/11/29/how-solid-are-your-leadership-skills-review-your-leadership-mindset/feed/ 0
Top 5 Leadership Growing Pains Seen by This Business Coach https://marlatabaka.com/2022/11/15/top-5-leadership-growing-pains-seen-by-this-business-coach/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=top-5-leadership-growing-pains-seen-by-this-business-coach https://marlatabaka.com/2022/11/15/top-5-leadership-growing-pains-seen-by-this-business-coach/#respond Tue, 15 Nov 2022 14:49:37 +0000 https://marlatabaka.com/?p=61498 PART 1 of a 6-Part Series from a Business Coach Perspective Is there such a thing as a natural-born leader? Can leadership be taught? The answer is yes to both of those questions, but even a natural-born leader has much to learn. Your business coach is an excellent place to turn. As a life and […]

The post Top 5 Leadership Growing Pains Seen by This Business Coach appeared first on Marla Tabaka.

]]>
PART 1 of a 6-Part Series from a Business Coach Perspective

Is there such a thing as a natural-born leader? Can leadership be taught? The answer is yes to both of those questions, but even a natural-born leader has much to learn. Your business coach is an excellent place to turn.

As a life and business coach, I work primarily (but not exclusively) with entrepreneurs positioned to grow their companies from six to seven-figure businesses, but it’s just not happening. I find my work to be gratifying and sometimes quite exciting! When a small business owner suffers and struggles, they aren’t living the life they deserve and crave. When the entrepreneur enters a successful business coaching relationship, that life reveals itself; it’s fascinating to witness how things change as their world evolves.

What many candidates for business coaching aren't prepared for is the personal and leadership growth that comes with business growth. Many of the beliefs and practices that worked well when it was just you and perhaps a couple of part-time employees won’t contribute to the future growth of your company.

There are new challenges at every bend in the leadership journey, which most often lead to enriching growth experiences. Below are some initial growing pains I commonly see in entrepreneurs seeking to build their companies into the beautiful vision that was once a dream.

Over the next few weeks, I will explore each of these issues at a deeper level. I’ll offer you my best business coach advice to equip and inspire you to grow your business to the next level. For now, here’s an overview.

1. The founder struggles to grow from employee to leader.

It’s all on you. You’ve rolled up your sleeves and done everything from answering the phones to delivering your product and services. But how can you expand your marketing, attend conferences, develop new products or services, and implement growth strategies if you’re busy doing things that are, frankly, not the job of a CEO?

It’s time to build a team and one that you can learn to trust. As you may know, trust can be a big issue for entrepreneurs, and understandably so. You’ve nurtured your “baby” all on your own, and now you’re dissecting it to share the responsibilities with others who may do things differently. They may even screw it up totally! This stage is where you’ll benefit from knowing that, at the employee level, there are very few mistakes from which your company won’t recover. Delegate and train accordingly. Only then will you have the freedom to step into the shoes of a true leader.

In the upcoming series, I’ll touch on the growing pains involved in becoming a leader to new employees and employees who “knew you when.”

2. New leaders need help to determine when and where to invest.

Money is still tight at this stage, so a misstep can be devastating. Do you hire employees, get a larger space, invest in software and equipment, or spend real money on marketing? There is a delicate balance among the choices since you must have the revenue stream to support ongoing expenditures (like payroll or rent), and there is no guarantee of that happening. This decision process involves careful planning, projections, and a leap of faith.

Entrepreneurs at this stage often believe they don’t have the money to scale. If you believe that, well then, it’s true! It’s not difficult to “find” the money to hire a contractor or two, or even an employee when the time is right. Without this support, you’ll most likely remain precisely where you are. A support team is typically the first place you’ll spend your dollars. We’ll look at that closely when I expand on this thought.

3. New leaders usually botch their company culture.

I always say,

“If you don’t build an intentional culture, it will build itself–and you will not like the results!”

company culture

One sign that you have allowed your culture to fall through the cracks is when you find yourself surrounded by customers and employees who aren’t on the same page as you are. This unhealthy environment creates stress and wreaks havoc on your business and well-being. If your stress is through the roof, it’s doubtful that an intentional culture is intact.

Honestly, most clients who begin working with me don’t even understand what culture is all about. This is one of the most exciting pieces to helping entrepreneurs achieve their long-term goals. We get to uncover your most treasured values and create the foundation upon which each building block of your business will sit. My clients learn things about themselves they’ve never realized, and the company grows to reflect its founder in the most meaningful ways.

I’ve got some great culture-building strategies and insights for you – coming soon!

4. Employees don’t always adjust well to change – tough decisions lie ahead!

This one ties into the whole culture topic for companies that already have employees onboard when they begin working with their business coach. One of the growing pains we often encounter in the coaching process is the realization that long-time employees are resistant to change and may no longer be a good fit for the organization. Ouch! You know their families—they may even be people you consider friends. In some cases, they are family!

Employees who “knew you when” often don’t adapt well when you become less hands-on. They may be more accustomed to having a say or being a part of your decision-making process. It’s not that your employees become less critical; it’s that your inner entrepreneur will surface as you grow your business (especially with a good coach at your side), and you’ll make decisions that your team doesn’t agree with or understand. Roles and responsibilities change, and we all know how difficult change is for some people. Sometimes, these facts drive a wedge that is difficult to maneuver around between the founder and the employee.

And yes, sometimes all of this means the employee leaves or is let go from the company, but here’s the good news: everyone is happier in the end. I see these past employees thrive as they enter a new stage of their professional growth. And the entrepreneurs, no longer hindered by the challenges of having a nay-sayer on board, also thrive.

5. You don’t know what you don’t know–but your business coach can teach you.

This is a big one. You’ve never done this before; how can you possibly know what to do as a leader? I believe true leaders have an innate ability to lead, but still, there’s so much to learn! And budding leaders often need “permission” to make the choices because sometimes these choices contradict everything you’ve been doing up to this point. You’ve been working non-stop, and now you’re thinking about taking a week off to go to a leadership conference in another state? Unheard of! But yes, leaders need education, inspiration, encouragement, and camaraderie.

You’ve never scaled a company to this level before, so there are countless things that you don’t know and wouldn’t ever give a second thought to unless someone brought them into your purview. The in-depth, ongoing process of building a full-blown, thriving culture might be a good example. In coaching, you’ll learn about things you’ve never even known to consider, and you’ll have the support to step into a whole new world. We’ll talk about some of those things toward the end of this series.

I hope you’ll stay with me over the next few weeks as we explore these topics at a deeper level. Questions? Is there something you’d like me to address in this series? Please feel free to contact me here or send them to me at marla@marlatabaka.com.

I look forward to supporting you during this very exciting time of growth!

The post Top 5 Leadership Growing Pains Seen by This Business Coach appeared first on Marla Tabaka.

]]>
https://marlatabaka.com/2022/11/15/top-5-leadership-growing-pains-seen-by-this-business-coach/feed/ 0
4 Reasons Your Partner Isn’t Fully Supportive of Your Dreams (and What to Do About It) https://marlatabaka.com/2022/10/21/4-reasons-your-partner-isnt-fully-supportive-of-your-dreams-and-what-to-do-about-it/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=4-reasons-your-partner-isnt-fully-supportive-of-your-dreams-and-what-to-do-about-it https://marlatabaka.com/2022/10/21/4-reasons-your-partner-isnt-fully-supportive-of-your-dreams-and-what-to-do-about-it/#respond Fri, 21 Oct 2022 14:20:02 +0000 https://marlatabaka.com/?p=61476 Since your passion is core to who you are, it's hurtful when someone you love isn't fully supportive of your dreams and endeavors. It's more common than you may believe; spouses, partners, friends, and relatives can be brutal when it comes to supporting entrepreneurs in their dreams. Keep the faith, it's not impossible to meet in […]

The post 4 Reasons Your Partner Isn’t Fully Supportive of Your Dreams (and What to Do About It) appeared first on Marla Tabaka.

]]>
Since your passion is core to who you are, it's hurtful when someone you love isn't fully supportive of your dreams and endeavors. It's more common than you may believe; spouses, partners, friends, and relatives can be brutal when it comes to supporting entrepreneurs in their dreams. Keep the faith, it's not impossible to meet in the middle–or to win them over entirely.

Here's what may be going on, and how you can make it better.

1. Others don't understand the entrepreneurial mindset.

Let's face it, entrepreneurs are a breed unto themselves. You are willing to take emotional and financial risks to attain the dream. You strive for freedom but often work sixty-plus hour weeks. The passion runs so deep that others can't possibly know how it feels.

Entrepreneurs frequently tell me how much they love their partner and friends, but people who don't relate to an entrepreneurial mindset may not be able to support you as you like and need.  You may be looking in the wrong place for the camaraderie and encouragement you seek from those in your personal life.

Solution: Find like-minded supporters

Spend time with other entrepreneurs. There are groups out there for almost any interest. Sharing stories, brainstorming, and lending your expertise will give you a dose of the mental and emotional stimulation you crave. The assistance of a great coach or mentor is strongly advised to aid you in creating this balance.

2. They feel robbed of your attention.

The important people in your life may feel deprived of your attention. It's tough to admit this, so they may cite something else as the problem, become argumentative, or go into avoidance mode. This creates confusion because you can't possibly find a solution to a problem that you haven't properly identified.  Oftentimes, loved ones will say they support you, but their actions don't match their words. This is particularly true if your attention is lopsided, in favor of your business. Sometimes things get so bad at home that the entrepreneur hides behind the business to avoid facing the issues at home or in their friendships.

Solution: Create balance and avoid making promises you may not be able to keep.

Broken promises are a brutal blow to our loved ones and will cause their feelings to deepen with disappointment. Have you told your significant other that the business won't disrupt your household or relationship? You know that's not true. Do you break your plans or constantly run late? That gets old after a while so your partner is bound to feel let down and annoyed.

If you find yourself begging forgiveness for broken promises, then something must change.  Be honest, realistic, and forthright rather than avoiding the truth in fear of backlash or disappointing them. It's only fair that they know what they're dealing with. Learn to work on your business instead of in your business and create processes to expedite and organize things so you can spend more time with your loved ones. You might find they become more supportive when they don’t feel second to your business.

3. They are more risk-averse than you are.

When entrepreneurs sink time and money into a business it changes the financial landscape of the household. Savings decrease, debt increases, and lifestyle luxuries go by the wayside. Your partner may be focused on dollars in the bank today, while you're focused on a larger fortune down the road.  Spouses sometimes feel resentful, especially if they cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. Your dream may require them to work harder to make ends meet, placing the burden of financial survival on their shoulders while you “squander away the money.”

Solution: Have a solid financial plan and share it with them.

Many entrepreneurs begin their businesses as a sole proprietor. As things grow and problems arise (because they will), it's difficult to slow down enough to create a plan. A business without a plan leads to a lack of clarity and direction. I'm not a fan of full-blown business plans unless an investor is involved, but a basic financial forecast and growth strategy is a must. These plans will help those who love you feel more secure about your investment.

4. They are afraid for you.

No one who loves you wants to see you hurt. While they may not understand your vision and commitment, they do understand how much it means to you. They probably hear about your concerns, but do you communicate your positive development and wins? You may feel like you've got this, but they cannot be inside your head, so they don't feel as confident as you do. This doesn't mean they don't believe in you; they just don't see the big picture as you do.

Solution: Be conscious of how you communicate.

Sometimes it feels good to vent–to express your fears and unburden yourself when things aren't going well. So, you dump on your loved one and leave them feeling your pain. It's good to vent but make sure it's balanced by expressing a positive outlook or something that will help to resolve their concern. Of course, they will worry for and about you. Many entrepreneurs have come to me after years of using their spouse as a sounding board, only to realize it's ineffective and stressful for both parties. Again, a coach or someone else who can fill this role is a good way to go. Not to exclude others, but to balance the load.

One more important note: Never make assumptions about the meaning behind your loved one's seemingly negative actions. Reading messages into another's behavior is a fine way to create unnecessary trouble for the relationship. The key to success and feeling supported is to communicate clearly and to remember that support is a two-way street

The post 4 Reasons Your Partner Isn’t Fully Supportive of Your Dreams (and What to Do About It) appeared first on Marla Tabaka.

]]>
https://marlatabaka.com/2022/10/21/4-reasons-your-partner-isnt-fully-supportive-of-your-dreams-and-what-to-do-about-it/feed/ 0
How About 365 Vacations This Year? Here’s How–and Why https://marlatabaka.com/2022/10/14/how-about-365-vacations-this-year-heres-how-and-why/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-about-365-vacations-this-year-heres-how-and-why https://marlatabaka.com/2022/10/14/how-about-365-vacations-this-year-heres-how-and-why/#respond Fri, 14 Oct 2022 14:46:06 +0000 https://marlatabaka.com/?p=61462 When your time belongs to something else—work, parenting, caregiving, your business—it can seem as though you’re trapped inside of someone else’s agenda. Entrepreneurs easily fall into this cycle, sacrificing themselves and their time to long-term goals and the needs of others. If you’re not careful, the daily stress of giving yourself away begins to diminish […]

The post How About 365 Vacations This Year? Here’s How–and Why appeared first on Marla Tabaka.

]]>

When your time belongs to something else—work, parenting, caregiving, your business—it can seem as though you’re trapped inside of someone else’s agenda. Entrepreneurs easily fall into this cycle, sacrificing themselves and their time to long-term goals and the needs of others. If you’re not careful, the daily stress of giving yourself away begins to diminish any sense of self and well-being.

I recall my twenty-plus years of working in corporate: a fifteen-minute drive to the train followed by a forty-minute train ride into the city, then a brisk twenty-minute walk from Chicago’s Union Station to work. The commute was filled with paperwork and scheduling so I could lessen the load before a hectic 8 to 10 hours in the world of local news. At last, I followed the routine of my reverse commute home to my kids for the few short hours we had together.

I loved my job, and being a mom, but what I didn’t love was the feeling of being lost inside the mechanics of every task-filled day. I rarely stilled my mind to capture the most important moments in life, or to create a space that felt like mine, because I belonged to everyone else. I never stopped to realize that I was lost, that there was something inside of me that felt unsatisfied—until one early morning when I missed my train, which left me with a rare twenty minutes to do nothing.

I felt nearly giddy with the anticipation of a precious few silent moments to myself. I randomly strolled across to a little coffee house where patrons cheerfully bantered with the fun-loving proprietors while in line for their lattes and mochas. “Oh my! A cinnamon scone,” I thought. “Dare I? Oh sure, it was a special day.”

A special day? Why? It hit me then that treating myself to a few laughs with strangers, a fresh cup of coffee, and a cinnamon scone filled me with giddy anticipation of the next moment, and the next. I took my warm coffee and scone to a park bench and savored them, along with the joy that filled my heart as I noticed, for the first time, the beautiful fall colors that had begun to tinge the leaves of the old oaks. “I feel like I’m on vacation,” I thought blissfully. I went to work that day with more emotional and physical energy than I’d had in a while, with a bit more spirit in my step.

That evening I journaled about my mini-vacation experience, and I found it so meaningful that it was decided, then and there, that I would “put a little vacation in every day.”

Put a little vacation in every day.Vacation for Entrepreneurs

So, what does that really mean? Missing your train, or a meeting, so you can sit idly in a park warming your hands on a cup of joe? What if it wasn’t that random? What if, without sacrifice, you could escape the everyday demands to capture time for yourself? To connect with yourself and your surroundings in a way that eludes you on a typical day? To stop and smell the roses, as they say.

It sounds like too little to mean a lot.

Too good to be true? You may ask, how can 5 or ten minutes make a difference in the way I feel? What might this do for your well-being, health, and spirit?

  1. Let’s look at the more practical side of this concept first. Research tells us that taking purposeful breaks (anywhere from 5–60 minutes) to refresh your brain and body increases your energy, productivity, and ability to focus. This is especially true during periods of intense concentration, like study and work projects. Short breaks will give you more time to do other things because they will make you more efficient and accurate.

Ok, now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at the more meaningful side of taking your little vacation breaks.

  1. Purposeful mini-breaks can change the way you think. This is what I call, Bullshift™.

Bullshift™ – verb [bool-shift] – To shift your brain away from negative thoughts and beliefs (i.e., bullsh!t) to supportive, joyful, productive, thoughts.

When we don’t have time to ourselves to just “be,” much of life’s more meaningful content gets swept under the rug. We neglect to find gratitude and appreciation for the good stuff and tend to focus on the more stressful aspects of our day-to-day life. Your mind is like your body, it becomes what you feed it. We must nourish our brains with positive thoughts, intent, and beliefs to live a happy, healthy, and fulfilled life.

When you take yourself away from the hustle for a few minutes spend that time finding the good: breathe deeply, look for something beautiful in your surroundings, notice the feel and scent of the air, savor the taste of something delicious, or observe an exchange between happy individuals. These simple actions will reinforce new neural pathways in your brain that eventually become automatic. Translation: You are teaching your brain to default to a positive attitude!

A little vacation in every day has become second nature to me, and I hope it does for you as well. Negativity is exhausting! When we can teach our brains to find the positive, even during difficult times, life is more fulfilling and hopeful. Rather than allowing daily demands to deplete you, capture something special in your day to make it yours, because you deserve it!

January is right around the corner and that means new beginnings, new goals, new hopes, and dreams. Join my Group Coaching Program, BullShift! to make it all happen!

The post How About 365 Vacations This Year? Here’s How–and Why appeared first on Marla Tabaka.

]]>
https://marlatabaka.com/2022/10/14/how-about-365-vacations-this-year-heres-how-and-why/feed/ 0
5 Growth-Stunting Habits You Must Stop Doing Now https://marlatabaka.com/2022/07/14/5-things-entrepreneurs-must-stop-doing-now/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-things-entrepreneurs-must-stop-doing-now https://marlatabaka.com/2022/07/14/5-things-entrepreneurs-must-stop-doing-now/#respond Thu, 14 Jul 2022 16:38:18 +0000 https://marlatabaka.com/?p=61398 I’ve invested twenty years of my life delving into the mindset of entrepreneurs around the world. I’ve learned an incredible amount about founders and myself as well. Whether my client lives in Paris, Sydney, or New York City, they aren’t exempt from the most common mistakes, limiting beliefs, or unhelpful habits that keep entrepreneurs from […]

The post 5 Growth-Stunting Habits You Must Stop Doing Now appeared first on Marla Tabaka.

]]>
I’ve invested twenty years of my life delving into the mindset of entrepreneurs around the world. I’ve learned an incredible amount about founders and myself as well. Whether my client lives in Paris, Sydney, or New York City, they aren’t exempt from the most common mistakes, limiting beliefs, or unhelpful habits that keep entrepreneurs from reaching their goals.

Here are the issues I see most often; however, I could list many more! If you recognize any of these tendencies in yourself, you should first know that you’re not alone! The second thing to know is that your business can and will grow if you conquer the inclinations that hold you back.

1. STOP ignoring your numbers.

Numbers are the one thing in life that tell an accurate, consistent story. If your business is struggling, it is certainly easier to ignore the financial facts, but number anxiety and avoidance only create a deeper abyss between you and your success. I’ve had clients who can’t even tell me what it costs to run their business or how much money they have in the bank. There is no shame in this; I get it, but unawareness of these facts is damaging, and the pain of not knowing is usually more profound than the truth behind your numbers.

Bite the bullet. Hire a bookkeeper or accountant and get your books in order. Organizing and understanding your numbers will give you a roadmap for your next steps and help you understand where to put your focus.

2. STOP doubting yourself.

Confidence is at the core of success; self-doubt is your greatest saboteur. It’s natural for confidence to ebb and flow, but if you get stuck in a loop of negative thinking and a lack of confidence, it will undoubtedly hold you back. So what if you fail at something? That’s how we learn and gain wisdom. Have the courage to fail and put the lion’s share of your focus on your many positive achievements.

3. STOP holding on to employees who don’t perform.

You believe it’s easier to have a warm body than to take the time to locate, hire and train a new employee, right? That belief is so, so wrong! I’ve worked with many business owners who’ve made this mistake. When they finally agree to take the leap and let go of an underperforming employee, they berate themselves for not doing it sooner. If the employee is well-meaning, it is even more difficult because now the entrepreneur feels terrible about letting them go. Most people don’t know that if a team member can’t keep up for any reason, they are as unhappy as you are. Release them, free yourself from a damaging situation, and you will both be much happier.

4. STOP accepting clients who are not on brand.

An essential part of your brand is knowing your ideal client. If you’re not clear on that, it would be wise to make it your next priority. Market only to that niche, and don’t step outside of it because you need the money because fear-driven decisions will always backfire. These clients will cause problems, you may not be able to meet their expectations, you won’t enjoy the work, and it will consume more time, keeping you from your ideal clients.

5. STOP avoiding growth strategies.

If you’re putting out fires, working on non-revenue producing tasks, and engaging in what we call, productive procrastination, you will notachieve revenue-generating growth. Such procrastination is usually a consequence of confusion, uncertainty, and fear, not a condition. Your first step is to separate revenue-generating action steps from tasks that are not the work of an entrepreneur. If you must do these other tasks (that’s a whole separate issue), schedule two hours of uninterrupted time to dedicate to them as often as needed throughout your week. Spend the remainder of your day, once again uninterrupted, being an entrepreneur. No excuses, no procrastination.

What’s next?

How can you gain clarity and find solutions to the issues that stand between you and your dreams of further success? It’s unlikely that you’ll do it alone. The good news is you can absolutely make it happen.

Most people believe it’s about buckling down, determination, and struggle. It doesn’t have to be this way. Hire a great coach. Work on yourself first, then your business, not the other way around. It’s your mindset that’s holding you and millions of other entrepreneurs back from the ultimate dream of freedom and happiness. And that, my friend, can be resolved.

The post 5 Growth-Stunting Habits You Must Stop Doing Now appeared first on Marla Tabaka.

]]>
https://marlatabaka.com/2022/07/14/5-things-entrepreneurs-must-stop-doing-now/feed/ 0
The Silent Epidemic: Depression in Entrepreneurs https://marlatabaka.com/2022/07/01/the-silent-epidemic-depression-in-entrepreneurs/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-silent-epidemic-depression-in-entrepreneurs https://marlatabaka.com/2022/07/01/the-silent-epidemic-depression-in-entrepreneurs/#respond Fri, 01 Jul 2022 15:50:37 +0000 https://marlatabaka.com/?p=61388 Entrepreneurs are 4x more likely to suffer from depression than their neighbors, friends, and family members who represent the general population. The United States ties for second place for the highest rate of depression with Estonia and Australia at 5.9%. Second only to the citizens of Ukraine who are involved in a tragic war. Sadly, […]

The post The Silent Epidemic: Depression in Entrepreneurs appeared first on Marla Tabaka.

]]>
Entrepreneurs are 4x more likely to suffer from depression than their neighbors, friends, and family members who represent the general population. The United States ties for second place for the highest rate of depression with Estonia and Australia at 5.9%. Second only to the citizens of Ukraine who are involved in a tragic war. Sadly, depression in entrepreneurs is so common it represents a good chunk of a depressed population at a whopping 30%!

As a business coach, I have an opportunity to help affected business owners with their depression and to consider that their mysteriously dark thoughts and behaviors come from the depression they usually don't even know they have. The reason you may not think of it as depression is that if you see yourself as high functioning and expect yourself to ‘buck up,' as entrepreneurs do, you may be aware that you don't feel great, but you'll chalk it up to stress and other factors that don't include depression. With depression in entrepreneurs at a rate of 30 percent, this is truly a silent epidemic.

Why is depression in entrepreneurs so prevalent?

I can identify many reasons for the epidemic proportions of depression in entrepreneurs, and I'm confident that researchers have identified many more. The thoughts and information in this article come from nearly twenty years of successfully coaching small business owners; I am not a therapist. Here are the depression-triggering facts I witness most often.

Some entrepreneurs are predisposed to mental illness.

Many studies argue that some entrepreneurs are predisposed to mental illness, including depressive tendencies. The same qualities that make you an outstanding entrepreneur: creativity, ability to pivot, empathy, independence, visionary, and crisis-management skills may be rooted in negative life experiences. If you have experienced any level of trauma in your past, it likely resulted in many negative beliefs about yourself and the world around you. Experiences of failure, shame, perfectionism, and emotional or physical abuse, lead to anxiety and self-doubt, which can lead to varying levels of depression.

However, even if you were blessed with an idyllic childhood and a life relatively free of trauma, it does not disqualify you from depressive tendencies. The risks and uncertainty that come with the emotional rollercoaster that is a founder's life can be enough to push us to the brink of a breakdown. There is tremendous pressure to succeed from both internal and external sources. Mostly, entrepreneurs are hardest on themselves.

What are the primary stressors that lead to depression in entrepreneurs?

Aside from the above, the climate of the business world is quite harsh. There's competition, lack of funding, employees and candidates who ghost business owners, managing others, client issues, and rapidly advancing technologies that take money and education to keep up. As a founder, you have a world of weight on your shoulders and little opportunity to go off-grid to escape the crazy.

As though the external challenges aren't enough, they are compounded by negative self-talk and beliefs that can make you feel incapable or undeserving. Skim through my other blogs and Inc.com articles for more on this mindset and what to do about it.

Why it's difficult to spot depression in yourself.

If you've lived with depression for any length of time, it's hard to identify if your moods, thoughts, and behaviors are “just who you are” or symptoms of depression. Also, you're busy; who has time to slow down to evaluate this problem? Lastly, what if you discover you are Business Coaching for entrepreneursdepressed? That's scary, right?

The good news is that therapy, a good life and business coach, a healthier lifestyle, alternative treatments, and possibly (but not always) medication can resolve most issues. Why live a life of anxiety, high stress, and sad thoughts if you don't have to? It used to be taboo to discuss mental health; luckily, those days are gone.

How to spot depression in yourself.

Pay attention to your thoughts and moods. Prolonged sadness, anger, and frustration may be signs that you are depressed.

You're tired. Of course, you are, but depression comes with a whole new level of fatigue. Pay attention to your energy patterns.

Poor concentration. You may believe that what I call entrepreneurial ADHD comes with the territory. That's not always true. Your habits, beliefs, and lack of clarity contribute to poor concentration.

You may have a lack of appetite and trouble sleeping. Watch for any change in mood, habits, or attitudes that don't feel good to you.

Do you drink more alcohol than you'd like to admit?

A drink or two takes the edge off, but note if your drinking (or other self-medicating) habits have increased. This could be a sign that your coping mechanisms are over-taxed.

Indecisiveness and overwhelming feelings that muddy up your clarity.

Sometimes these feelings get so big that we shut down and use productive procrastination to avoid thinking about strategy and gaining clarity. Sometimes, even the most basic decisions feel overwhelming.

You don't feel like spending time with others.

You are excluding yourself from everyday social situations and avoiding others. This could be happening because your stress and depressive tendencies are taking up all of your energy. It's challenging to make small talk when you're facing tough problems.

Resolving depression in entrepreneurs.

The first step for anyone is to recognize that you aren't happy and are not alone, even though you may feel lonely. Many of your peers have gone or are going through bouts of depression. Society expects entrepreneurs to be tough and resilient, but we are all human with feelings, needs, and limits.

Try to put things in perspective.

Every problem becomes amplified when the brain is operating in a depressed state. Our stress bucket becomes full, and any minor issue can create an overflow. We also have negative recordings that yell at us from inside our heads; I'm not good or smart enough, I don't deserve success, I'm going to fail, so many people are counting on me, I can't let them down. I have many articles on my site about “BullShifting™” negative thinking. Check this one out.

Think about all the problems you've resolved in the past.

When we're involved in an anxiety-inducing issue, it feels like the world's weight is crashing upon us. You've felt this way before; what happened then? Most often, our worst fears don't manifest themselves. Even if they do, there are few circumstances from which we don't recover. You've probably faced heavier challenges and made it to the other side.

If simple positive mindset shifts are not helping your depression, please find a professional to work with for a while. If your depression is deep and long-lasting, interview some therapists to find one who resonates with your belief system. A coach with training and experience working with entrepreneurs is a great choice to complement therapy or as a stand-alone approach if you believe treatment is unnecessary. A good, ethical coach will gently nudge you toward therapeutic assistance if your situation is beyond their scope of practice.

Remember your mission and vision; you have a purpose to achieve. Ask for help so you can be happy in life and business and get to your goals efficiently. It's just better that way.

The post The Silent Epidemic: Depression in Entrepreneurs appeared first on Marla Tabaka.

]]>
https://marlatabaka.com/2022/07/01/the-silent-epidemic-depression-in-entrepreneurs/feed/ 0
Stuck? In Your Own Way? This Is Important for You to Know https://marlatabaka.com/2022/06/15/stuck-in-your-own-way-this-is-important-for-you-to-know/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=stuck-in-your-own-way-this-is-important-for-you-to-know https://marlatabaka.com/2022/06/15/stuck-in-your-own-way-this-is-important-for-you-to-know/#respond Wed, 15 Jun 2022 13:24:23 +0000 https://marlatabaka.com/?p=61379 Which of your tendencies or qualities make you feel like you're in your own way? Something that stands between you and your goals, dreams, productivity, inspiration, or whatever areas of life where you're not completely happy? Here's why I ask. We sometimes dislike or become frustrated by aspects of whom we appear to be–or whom […]

The post Stuck? In Your Own Way? This Is Important for You to Know appeared first on Marla Tabaka.

]]>
Which of your tendencies or qualities make you feel like you're in your own way? Something that stands between you and your goals, dreams, productivity, inspiration, or whatever areas of life where you're not completely happy?

Here's why I ask.

We sometimes dislike or become frustrated by aspects of whom we appear to be–or whom we judge ourselves to be–but these qualities aren't always as they appear.

For instance, I've had clients who are very sensitive and empathetic. As a result, they tend to take things personally. They will take on others' problems as their own and procrastinate on essential tasks, either because they worry too much or because they are busy tending to the needs of another.

These sensitive, empathetic qualities can nearly cripple business owners and their business growth when they display as weaknesses. Suppose this individual gets caught up in their fear of being too vulnerable, pleasing everyone, failing, and never being good enough. In that case, they won't take the emotional risks associated with a successful business. That takes a backseat to the fact that they are too busy and exhausted by their emotions to act on these risks.

Another example is the entrepreneur who strives for perfection, so they claim no one can do things right. They pick at every detail to the point of going overboard. Subsequently, this individual engages in self-criticism and frustration because they get nothing of significant value done. The lack of delegation and trust are blinders that keep this entrepreneur from seeing the talents and strengths that others bring to the table.

The flipside to our strengths and weaknesses.

People don't often realize that our weaknesses are often the flip side of our strengths. The very things that hold us back are aspects of a strength that is undervalued or overused. Individuals who are sensitive and empathetic often have the gift of creativity. They can see things that others don't notice. They are curious, so they explore the possibilities missed by others. Creative individuals can diffuse tension and relate well to others. They often make great bosses because of these abilities, and coupled with an innovative mind, they make outstanding entrepreneurs.

PerfectionistPerfectionism, when appearing as a positive quality, allows an individual to pay attention to the smallest detail and see errors and ideas that others won't. They are ambitious and can motivate others. Perfectionists at their best strive to be the best version of themselves and are often envied for their drive and success.

The shadow side of our strengths.

The examples are endless because we all have this “shadow” side of our strengths. When our positive qualities are misdirected or go into overdrive, they shift to the shadow side and become painful and self-defeating.

Imagine a spectrum that is black at one end and white at the other. Our strengths at their best lean toward the white end; our strengths' shadows, or weaknesses, are at the dark end. As you can imagine, many of these personal assets float around somewhere in between the white and black ends of the spectrum, depending on whether we leverage them well or overuse or ignore them.

Understanding this helps us to realize we have choices.

The shadow is not who we are or what defines us. When the shadow takes over, we can flip it around to lean into our strengths and shift our perspective. How do you do that?

Begin by identifying the shadow side of your strengths.

For some, it's easier to identify the flipside of their weaknesses, rather than their strengths. Then try these ideas to nudge your shadows up the spectrum toward being strengths.

Don't hate your shadow.

Your shadow is simply a side of you that you don't see in a helpful, positive light. Resistance, such as frustration or pushing something away, only makes life more challenging. When we allow all aspects of ourselves to be recognized and worked with, we shift from resistance to allowing, which is a much less stressful way of living.

Embrace your strengths!

The shadows that don't serve you have a flip side that makes you an exceptional human being. Focus on those parts of who you are. Journal about what makes you successful (at anything), happy, and healthy.

Celebrate your successes.

We often deny our strengths and make excuses for why we can't be better. Push away the “yeah but” tendencies and celebrate even the most minor success. When I point out a win to some of my clients, they predictably say, “yeah, but (add criticism here). The more you recognize and celebrate, the more you believe in yourself.

Don't let someone steal your internal locus of control.

If you feel happy about a situation, don't let someone else's viewpoint or actions steal your joy. Put your reaction in a box and come back to it later if you must. Your qualities, perseverance, and talents are responsible for your success; no one can take that from you. Don't, for instance, let a reaction from one client affect how you work with the next one. Maintain your confidence.

Live less in the shadow.

When your strengths are in overdrive, and your actions are not productive and helpful, stop to recognize what you're doing. Take a deep breath and ask yourself how to elevate your talent or quality to live in or closer to the white. If you're being overly perfectionistic to the point of generating stress, get real with yourself. What is perfect to you may be flawed to another, so there is no such thing as perfect.

Choose your reactions and actions intentionally.

Make a different choice than being victim to the less productive end of the spectrum (the shadow). When something upsets you, do your best to be optimistic instead of going into an anxious, “what if” response. When the shadow is at work you may get caught up in catastrophizing the situation. Be careful of exaggerating the impact of any problems that arise. Understanding that you can choose your behavior is empowering so put more intention into your thoughts and actions.

B!tch slap anxiety.

Yes, you read that right. Be kind and understanding of feelings like fear and worry. On the flip side, you want to be firm with your anxiety. Anxiety is not a feeling; it's a hard-wired physical reaction to your mind's response to something. Tell your anxiety to take a hike, take a deep breath, and talk to yourself or journal about your concerns and worries. Choose. healthy distraction from your anxiety. Leverage your strengths in every situation.

When a business isn't growing it's almost always because of the entrepreneur's mindset. Learn more about my Bullshift™ group coaching program for micro and solo business owners.

The post Stuck? In Your Own Way? This Is Important for You to Know appeared first on Marla Tabaka.

]]>
https://marlatabaka.com/2022/06/15/stuck-in-your-own-way-this-is-important-for-you-to-know/feed/ 0
How to Make Tough Decisions Bearable–and With Clarity https://marlatabaka.com/2022/04/28/how-to-make-tough-decisions-bearable-and-with-clarity/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-make-tough-decisions-bearable-and-with-clarity https://marlatabaka.com/2022/04/28/how-to-make-tough-decisions-bearable-and-with-clarity/#respond Thu, 28 Apr 2022 12:56:13 +0000 https://marlatabaka.com/?p=61368 We all face the burden of making tough decisions we’d rather not make. Decisions like: leaving a spouse or partner, sending a parent to a nursing home, saying goodbye to a pet, closing a business, firing a longtime employee, or leaving a secure job. It’s an inevitable piece of life replete with a tidy package […]

The post How to Make Tough Decisions Bearable–and With Clarity appeared first on Marla Tabaka.

]]>
We all face the burden of making tough decisions we’d rather not make. Decisions like: leaving a spouse or partner, sending a parent to a nursing home, saying goodbye to a pet, closing a business, firing a longtime employee, or leaving a secure job. It’s an inevitable piece of life replete with a tidy package of grief, confusion, anger, fear, avoidance, and more.

As an entrepreneur, you must make tough choices, sometimes under unexpected circumstances. While we all experience and process each situation on our own timeline and in our own way, there are a few things you can do for an added measure of self-care.

Before making a tough decision, create your support system.

When we are in distress, we often forget to help ourselves in nurturing ways—or inform others how to help us.

When I made the gut-wrenching decision to leave a career I loved, I knew I would need to lean on others. It was time to walk away from the television broadcasting industry that I’d been part of all my adult life, but what would I do with my life after television?

Before formalizing this tough decision, I made an appointment at the local career center to learn about my options. I took the Meyer’s Briggs and other assessments at the community college; I reached out to my network to ask for connections, and I let my friends and family know that I would need some fun distractions from my quest to find a new beginning. These measures offered me a softer landing when I made an emotional exit from the only career I’d ever known.

Consider what might be needed and what would feel good to you during a stressful period in your life and ask for support. Making decisions and plans like these ahead of time will offer you a softer landing.

Plan for the inevitable.

I find a significant amount of our stress comes from doubting our choices and taking the big step of making the final decision. A situation I often experience with the entrepreneurs I coach is the unwillingness to let go of an unproductive or difficult employee. As the business grows, longtime employees may not be capable of growing with it. As employers, we understand the struggle an employee may encounter when facing unemployment. Feelings get involved and doubt sets in. Yet, once the entrepreneur decides to release an employee who isn’t performing or is not a good culture fit, good things happen—usually for the employer and the employee.

Give some thought to the decisions you may have to make in the future. Apply this formula:

If x and y happen, I will move to z, my final decision. In this scenario, if this employee fails to meet the requirements discussed in our meeting and doesn’t change their toxic attitude, I will let them go. This kind of planning lessens the possibility of emotional reasoning getting in the way of your ability to make a sound, albeit tough, decision. This process is especially helpful in big life decisions like managing the well-being of someone who can no longer make decisions on their own.

Find the collateral beauty.

I loved being the owner of a thriving independent coffeehouse. All of it, but the stress of running a brick-and-mortar business, the financial concerns, and 15 young, not-so-reliable employees—all while being the single parent of two teenagers.

As I always say, being an entrepreneur can be lonely, so I hired a business coach to help me with direction and clarity. That experience turned into so much more than I’d anticipated. It ultimately led to my current career, which turned out to be my life purpose and passion. Still, I had to make the difficult decision to sell my amazing coffeehouse so I could go to school and build my coaching practice.

The movie, Collateral Beauty, offers an unusual viewpoint of loss. There are aspects of even our most difficult experiences that are beautiful if we open our minds to a broader perspective. Selling the coffeehouse, while painful as I let go of my community of friends and a place I’d come to know as a sanctuary. It felt nearly unbearable; still, letting go provided me the growth opportunity of a lifetime. My coach offered to mentor me and supply me with pro bono clients. I’d added another layer of wisdom that comes with failures and successes, and this knowledge would support me in helping other entrepreneurs. I met people who would remain in my life for many years beyond the coffeehouse. I have memories of all the musicians and artists I helped by providing them a place to showcase their talents. Although I was grieving for the home-away-from-home I’d lost, my life was rich with joyful memories and more.

Use the oxygen mask theory.

We’ve all sat through the redundant safety messages on commercial flights. “Ladies and gentlemen, “Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead area. Please place the mask over your own mouth and nose before assisting others.” Why? Because you can’t help anyone if you’re unconscious.

Sometimes life gets tough just before we must make a dreaded decision. The stress and concern build up, making you emotional as your next steps become clear as mud. When your body’s energy and oxygen become consumed by its survival mechanism, your brain does not function well. The energy consumption leads to a sense of overwhelm, confusion, and many emotions.

Somehow, we become martyrs during a crisis, refusing comfort and help from others and neglecting our own needs. These sacrifices do not aid anyone involved in the situation and certainly don’t benefit you. Slow down, create space, eat as well as you can, and do what is needed to ensure proper rest.

One thing I know for sure. When we create the smoothest path possible, we have greater clarity and energy to get to the other side of our decisions. Once there, we can pick up our lives and begin to release whatever problems and pain the situation has brought into our lives.

Making good decisions is less burdensome when you have a great coach at your side. Contact me to schedule a complimentary discussion to see if I can help you to achieve clarity and stay on track. 

The post How to Make Tough Decisions Bearable–and With Clarity appeared first on Marla Tabaka.

]]>
https://marlatabaka.com/2022/04/28/how-to-make-tough-decisions-bearable-and-with-clarity/feed/ 0
4 Steps to Bullshift Your Way Into a Positive Mindset for Success https://marlatabaka.com/2022/04/19/4-steps-to-bullshift-into-a-positive-mindset/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=4-steps-to-bullshift-into-a-positive-mindset https://marlatabaka.com/2022/04/19/4-steps-to-bullshift-into-a-positive-mindset/#respond Tue, 19 Apr 2022 14:22:36 +0000 https://marlatabaka.com/?p=61357 Successful entrepreneurs see a direct correlation between the level of their success and the amount of work they've invested into a positive mindset. Any thriving entrepreneur will tell you that personal development is paramount to success, but one component often gets overlooked in translation. No personal development regiment is complete without the ongoing development of […]

The post 4 Steps to Bullshift Your Way Into a Positive Mindset for Success appeared first on Marla Tabaka.

]]>

Successful entrepreneurs see a direct correlation between the level of their success and the amount of work they've invested into a positive mindset.

Any thriving entrepreneur will tell you that personal development is paramount to success, but one component often gets overlooked in translation. No personal development regiment is complete without the ongoing development of a positive mindset.

Is “mindset” just a buzzword?

The word, mindset, is being used more often, not because it's a fad or phase, but because people are becoming increasingly aware of its importance. New studies in neuroscience continue to produce consistent evidence of the power of a positive mindset.

What exactly is mindset?

You possess a collection of thoughts and beliefs based on your unique life experiences. Some of them benefit you and support the likelihood of success, and many probably don't. These beliefs shape your thought habits and, therefore, your actions. They affect your energy levels and the way you feel in general. Your unique beliefs dictate how you view others, the world, and your future. Mindset is a big deal for everyone, but for entrepreneurs, mindset is everything.

I find that until an entrepreneur develops a positive, healthy, supportive mindset, they will not achieve their ultimate goals in life and business. A negative mindset never leads to success and happiness.

Successful entrepreneurs invest in their mindset.

The founder of the multi-billion-dollar company, Spanx, credits her success to the power of mindset development.

“I can honestly say my success is in direct proportion to the amount of time I invested on my mindset. They don't teach this in school, it has to come from making time for it and prioritizing it in your life.” — Sara Blakely

Blakely is not alone; successful entrepreneurs, in general, invest in themselves and habitually observe their thought patterns and related actions.

Build a foundation for a healthy, supportive mindset.

I've identified these 4 opportunities to Bullshift™ into a healthy mindset.

  1. Resolve past hurts.

Carrying the burden of anger, resentment, pain, and/or a victim mentality weighs us down emotionally and physically. It depletes our energy and supports negative beliefs about others and the world in general. If you find yourself thinking and talking about life events that hurt you, you are perpetuating the painful effects of the incident. This cycle uses up more energy than you may believe–energy that could be applied to your business and happiness.

It's often difficult to let go of negative memories and the beliefs associated with them, let alone forgive those involved. If you are holding on to something from the past, work with a coach or therapist to resolve it.

  1. Think positive thoughts.

Psychologist Rick Hansen, Ph.D., says that “negative events and experiences get quickly stored in memory, in contrast to positive events and experiences. Positive events usually need to be held in your awareness for a dozen (or more) seconds to transfer them from short-term memory buffers to long-term storage.” We have a cognitive bias toward failure and negativity, so it's natural to hold on to negative thoughts. We must put effort into positive thinking.

Positivity is a precursor to success, whereas negative thoughts narrow your mind and push you to hyper-focus on negativity. Positivity broadens your sense of possibility and opens your eyes and mind to the opportunities, ideas, and options that will support your success. This study, published by positive psychology researcher, Barbara Fredrickson, is only one of many that support these findings.

  1. Believe in yourself.

Athletes frequently break records once believed to represent the limits of the human body. To achieve this, they must believe in themselves one hundred percent. Can an inventor build something that they do not believe in? No, they must believe in their project and their ability to bring it to fruition.

You are the inventor of your dreams; negativity, fear, and doubt are the saboteurs. 

The practice of visualization is one of the most powerful means to raise your confidence and embed a stronger, more supportive belief system around success. If you spend only 20-seconds to a few minutes a day visualizing and, most importantly, feeling your success, it will make a remarkable difference in your life.

  1. Be grateful.

Since it takes more effort to store positive experiences in our long-term memory, it's common for entrepreneurs to focus on what they have not done rather than their achievements. Flip that around by keeping a list of positive accomplishments, large and small. Also, add at least three things a day worthy of your gratitude. Avoid the “ya but” that you may tend to add after thinking or talking about a positive step you've made:

“Today, I crossed three things off my list.” (Feeling grateful.)
“Ya, but four more things got piled on.” (Feeling defeated.)

Celebrate even the most minor wins, and you'll experience many more victories. The benefits related to intentional gratitude are many. Here's a great resource, written by psychotherapist and Psychology Today author Amy Morin.

To Bullshift your way into a positive mindset takes an investment of time, persistence, dedication, and sometimes money. However, the time and effort spent on an empowering mindset offer the best ROI you'll ever experience.

The post 4 Steps to Bullshift Your Way Into a Positive Mindset for Success appeared first on Marla Tabaka.

]]>
https://marlatabaka.com/2022/04/19/4-steps-to-bullshift-into-a-positive-mindset/feed/ 0