Category Archives: Personal Development

What’s Stopping You From Starting Your Dream Business?

When I first started personal training I knew that one day I wanted my own studio.  At first it was just a thought that was in the back of my head.  As the years went by though, I started making moves to make this happen.  It was never easy but it was worth every bit of work I put in it and I’d never change a thing.  What’s stopping you from starting your dream business?

 

Common Reasons That Stop People From Starting Their Dream Business

 

Starting a business is definitely not for everyone.  You really need to think long and hard before you jump in because it will change your life.  If you’re someone who’s thinking of starting your dream business but you haven’t made the leap yet, let’s look at some of the things that might be holding you back and what you can do about it.

  1. You’re not sure you want all the responsibility.

This was something that held me back for a little while.  I’d think about having my own studio but then thought how nice it is to not have all that responsibility.  For instance, if a piece of equipment is broken it’s kind of nice to only have to tell your boss about it rather than being responsible for getting it fixed.  Looking back I realize that this was a pretty lame excuse and I was probably hanging onto it because I was a bit scared to take the leap.

  1. You like the security of a set monthly income.

This is definitely a hard one to let go of, but is a secure monthly income worth feeling unfulfilled?  Are you willing to do something you don’t really like just for the paycheque?  For me the answer was ‘no!’  I need to be doing something I love in order to feel fulfilled and happy with my life.

  1. The cost.

This can stop a lot of people in their tracks.  Don’t let it!  I had no money to start my business – none!  But that didn’t even phase me because I knew I could get money.  There are resources out there that can help you.  I decided to go with a bank loan and use my line of credit and even my credit cards.  I was determined and knew that even though I was going into debt to start my business, once it was up and going I’d make that money back.  Owing that much money was what REALLY motivated me to work my ass off and make my business profitable.

  1. You don’t know how to run a business.

I didn’t know how to run a business when I opened my studio.  Four years before I opened my studio I bought a license to run a bootcamp business.  I figured it would give me a really good idea of what’s involved in running a fitness business and would help me decide if it was really for me.  After 4 years of it I knew I was ready to have my own business and that what I didn’t know I’d learn along the way.  And that’s exactly what happened.

  1. You’re afraid the business will take over your life.

It will.  You have to be ready to put in 3-5 years of your life and during that time learn how to make your business capable of running without you if you eventually want that freedom.  I LOVE my business and I LOVE working in my business.  I know that I need to train people to run it so it can run without me if I ever want to be able to have complete freedom but for now I’m completely happy with where I am.

  1. You’re afraid of the competition.

Don’t worry about the competition.  There will always be ‘competition’ in that there will be businesses that offer the same service as what you’re offering but that’s where it ends.  As long as you do what you do really well, your unique brand will attract the people you need.  People come to my studio because they love the feel of the studio, the style of classes I offer and the type of people who come here.  There are a ton of other fitness places they could go but they choose me because I offer what they want and need.  One business will never appeal to every single person.  If you’re excellent at what you do and you’re authentic, there’s enough business out there for everyone.

Believe In Yourself And Go After Your Dream

Starting a business is scary and it’s not for everyone.  You need to think long and hard before you jump in.  If it’s truly your passion and your dream you’ll do what you need to do to make it work.  You’ll actually amaze yourself with what you’re capable of!

Living Your Life To The Fullest

Are you living your life to the fullest?  You might think you are, or maybe you know you aren’t.  Either way you need to really look at your life and ask yourself if you’re happy with where you’re at.  Are you excited about life?  Do you feel like you’re doing what you want to be doing?

If you’re not sure, I’ve got some tips on how to live your life to the fullest.

  1. Don’t live your life to please others.

If your reason for doing what you do is because you think it pleases others you have to stop and ask yourself if it pleases you.  You can’t make life decisions based on what you think other people expect of you.  Chances are what you think people expect of you is wrong and what the people in your life really want is for you to be happy.

  1. Stop talking yourself out of doing the things you want to do.

Even if what you want to do seems impractical you need to really listen to what your inner voice is telling you.  When you tune into your intuition and act on it amazing things happen.  Most people don’t give their inner voice the respect it deserves.  If there is something that’s really playing on your mind don’t ignore it.  When a thought sits deep with you and continues to pop up in your head, there’s a reason for it.

  1. Don’t wait! Make things happen now!

When there’s something you really want go after it!  Don’t wait for someone to tell you it’s a good idea and certainly don’t wait until the timing is right!  Telling yourself that you need to wait until the timing is right is just an excuse to not do something that scares you.  The time is right, right now!

  1. Stop complaining.

This can be a tough one – it’s so easy to get caught up in a negative mind rut and complain about things.  If you find yourself in this rut get out of it!  Force yourself to either find something positive about the situation or choose to not let it affect you.  You get to choose how you react to things and once you learn this your whole life might change.

  1. Spend time each day doing what you’re passionate about.

Figure out what your passion is and then spend time doing it every day even if it’s just for 10 minutes.  If you can make a career out of your passion, even better but it doesn’t have to be your career in order for you to indulge in it once a day.

Your Life Now!

This is your life and it’s up to you how you live it.  If you’re miserable you need to make changes to turn your life around.  You’re not any good to anyone if you’re miserable and you’re doing yourself such a disservice.  At the end of your life you want to be able to look back without regrets so start living a fulfilling life now!

How To Overcome Setbacks

Everyone has experienced setbacks in their life.  It could be career related, school related, relationship related or a physical setback such as an injury when training for an event.  Setbacks are a normal part of life and can be a great learning tool as long as you use the information to your advantage.  All you need to do is learn how to overcome setbacks.

You Can Overcome Setbacks!

The next time you experience a setback keep these 3 bits of advice in mind.

  1. Don’t panic!

When you experience a setback it can be very easy to panic.  Your brain will try to go to the extreme possible outcomes of what’s just happened.  You need to fight that.  When I’ve injured myself in the past I’ve been guilty of immediately thinking that I’m going to get fat while recovering from the injury and I’ll be too embarrassed to go back to the gym.  Crazy right?  If this happens to you, you need to stop that train of thought as soon as it starts.  Panicking over the situation will not make it better and will not solve the setback so don’t panic!

  1. Give yourself a small amount of time for a pity party.

Don’t let yourself panic but do give yourself an allotted time to feel bad about the situation.  When something goes wrong you need to acknowledge it and respect the feelings you have about it.  Just don’t get stuck wallowing in self-pity.  Burying and denying your feelings is not at all healthy.  You need to give those feelings a small amount of your time and energy and then move on and get on with recovering from your setback.

  1. Accept what’s happened and move on.

After you suffer a setback accept what’s happened and figure out how to move on.  You can’t deny when something’s gone wrong but you can point yourself in the direction that’s going to allow you to bounce back.  For instance, if you’ve suffered an injury and you can’t train the way you usually do figure out what you can do and do that.  There is nothing more empowering than figuring out a way around an undesirable predicament.

I once suffered a 3rd degree ankle sprain and started to panic.  How the hell was I going to do cardio when I couldn’t even walk?  I made myself stop panicking, had a short pity-party and then started thinking about what I could do.  Here’s what I did: I shadow boxed from a seated position.  I used the energy of my anger and frustration to power myself through shadow boxing combos that I had learned and burned a good 500 calories in an hour.

The Only Thing That Can Truly Set You Back Is You

Setbacks happen and you don’t really have much control over that.  What you do have control over is how you react to the situation.  You can feel sorry for yourself, give up and stay stuck or you can learn from the setback, suck it up and start that forward momentum.  Setbacks are just tests and the more you overcome the stronger you become.

Benefits Of Being Present

Have you ever been told that in order to appreciate life you need to be present?  Being present means paying attention to what’s going on right here right now and not letting your mind wander.  Let’s look at some benefits of being present.

  1. Less overthinking.

Overthinking usually leads to worrying which usually leads to you not doing the things you want to do.  When you are present and just living in the moment you are not questioning anything.  You’re not trying to analyze the situation.  When you’re present you get to observe your situation without trying to figure out what’s going to happen next.  What happens next is going to happen regardless so why not just be present and experience it for whatever it is.

  1. It creates stronger bonds with people you interact with.

When you let yourself be present with a person you’re having a conversation with, you stop thinking about what you want or ‘need’ to say next.  Amazing things can happen when you let yourself just listen to the person who is talking to you.  You pick up on more of what they are actually saying.  You’re able to have a very bonding interaction with them.  It also helps you to calm your own nerves if you have problems talking with other people.  When you’re feeling nervous while talking to someone it’s because your brain is racing trying to analyze the situation and think about what you’re going to say next.  If you force yourself to be present and really listen to what this person is saying you don’t need to think about what you’re going to say next.  The conversation will just flow naturally.

  1. It allows you to appreciate the small pleasures of life.

Be present in a situation and just notice how great everything is.  Don’t get caught up in your thoughts.  Don’t miss out on all the wonder around you.  Take the time to really see things and appreciate them.  You’ll be surprised by how joyful this will make you feel.

  1. It will let the ones you love know you love them.

Being present when you’re with someone is something a lot of people no longer do.  Everyone has a million thoughts going through their head.  They’re thinking about their day and what they have to do.  They’re so caught up in their own drama that they have no room for the person they’re interacting with.  When you’re with the people you love and appreciate force yourself to be present.  When you’re present with another person a bond is created and you both walk away from that interaction feeling happy and energized.

  1. Helps you to become more open minded.

When you shut off the preconceived thoughts you have about something and just let yourself observe without judgement you allow yourself to have some pretty great experiences.  You also give yourself the opportunity to learn new stuff that just might change your life.

Try It!

If you have a habit of multitasking all the time start practicing being present.  The next time you’re having a conversation with someone force yourself to shut off your mind chatter and focus on what the other person is saying.   When you’re out and about force yourself to focus just on what’s happening as it happens and don’t let any preconceived notions take over your brain.  Being present lets you explore and learn and will leave you with a sense of calmness as well as a sense of excitement about your life and the endless possibilities.  Just try it!

Focus On Your Strengths Not Your Weaknesses

Everyone has something they excel in and things that they struggle with.  You need to focus on your strengths not your weaknesses.

Quite often the thinking is that if you’re bad at something you need to work on improving it.  Take for instance a child’s report card.  If the child is doing poorly in a certain subject the parents will most likely encourage them to work harder at it.  They may even hire a tutor to help them get better at something that they clearly are not at all good at.  But why waste time and energy trying to become good at something you lack the talent for? Why not focus your time and energy on the things that you’re already good at and become great at them?

What Are Your Strengths?

Here are some things to consider when trying to figure out what your strengths are.

  1. What gets you really excited?

When you’re great at something you get excited when you’re doing it or even just thinking about it.  What do you get fired up about?

  1. What activity causes you to lose all track of time?

Think about the last time you were doing something where you totally forgot about the time.  Nothing else mattered to you except what you were doing?  That thing you got so completely absorbed in that it made you forget about everything that was bothering you.

  1. What do you find yourself preoccupied with most of the time?

When you excel at something it’s only human nature to want to do that thing as much as possible.  You’ll find yourself thinking about when you’ll get to do it next and when you’re thinking about it you feel happy and fulfilled.

  1. What do people compliment you on the most?

If you’re really not sure what your strength is, think about what you get complimented on the most.  When you’re great at something, sometimes you don’t see it because it’s just something that comes natural to you.  If people are constantly telling you how great you are at something, that’s your strength.  You need to focus on that.

So Why Focus On Strengths?

No one wants to waste time and effort so why put pressure on yourself to be good at something you’re just not good at.  You could spend a ton of time, money and effort trying to get good at something you lack a natural talent for and at best become okay at it.  Or you can focus your time, money and energy on the things you’re already good at and become great at them.  You can completely change your life when you focus on your strengths.

Think about some of the greatest people you know.  Chances are you know them for being great at one thing, such as painting, or playing a particular sport or being an amazing motivational speaker.  These people who you view as great, maybe you even idolize them, are not great at everything.  These greats worked on their strengths and became huge successes so why don’t you do the same thing?

How Overthinking Is Holding You Back

Overthinking is a normal thing, but it might be what’s holding you back.  When you overthink things you tend to not act on them and that leaves you stuck where you are.  If you constantly find yourself overthinking everything it’s time to get out of that habit and let yourself enjoy life.

Why Do We Overthink?

When you find yourself overthinking something it’s most likely because you lack confidence in your ability to do something so you think about all the negative possible outcomes.  You second guess yourself because you’re letting yourself believe that you’re not capable of being successful.

Worrying about every little detail will hold you back.  Overthinking is really just a habit and this habit can be broken with a bit of effort.

How To Stop Overthinking Everything

  1. Catch yourself when you start thinking too much about something and remind yourself that your thinking will not lead to any kind of insight or solution.

The only way to know what something will be like is to actually experience it.  Just thinking about it will not give you that experience.  The only way to know how something will turn out is to make a decision and act on it.

  1. Remind yourself that you can always change your path.

Rather than staying stuck because you’re afraid about how things might turn out, move bravely in the direction you want to go in knowing that you can always change your path.  If things start to go south all you have to do is re-evaluate and adjust your course accordingly.

  1. Force yourself to turn off your thoughts and just act.

Quiet that self-doubting voice in your head or better yet don’t even give it a chance to speak.  If you start to hear it, block it out and start doing what you need to do.  All you have to do is start but if you’re letting your self-doubting voice speak you’ll never start and you’ll stay stuck.

Stop Thinking And Start Living

How tragic would it be to have never realized your dream because you couldn’t stop thinking about all the possible negative outcomes?  Shut out that chatter in your head, decide what step you need to take right now and just take that step.  After you take that next step, take the next one and keep going.

Why You Aren’t Achieving Your Goals

Do you find yourself constantly falling just short of your goals?  You’re not alone!  Let’s talk about some of the reasons why you aren’t achieving your goals and what you can do about it!

Reasons Why You’re Not Achieving Your Goals

  1. Not having clear goals.

You need to have clear goals!  How will you ever know if you’ve reached a goal if you don’t have clear ones?  For instance ‘I wanna lose weight’ is NOT clear so you need to make your goals SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely.

  1. Not having a plan.

Okay!  You’ve set your clear goals!  Now how are you going to get there?  You can’t just fly by the seat of your pants.  You need to have a plan to follow so you don’t end up wasting time, or worse yet giving up all together.  If you’re not sure what to do talk to someone who can help you and get the plan that will lead you to success.  Investing a bit of money in a profession is worth it if your goal is important enough to you so don’t be shy about asking for guidance.

  1. Not taking responsibility.

Once you’ve set your goals it’s entirely up to you to go after them because no one can do the work for you.  People can help and guide you, but in the end YOU have to do the WORK.  Make the decision to do the work no matter what so you can change your life!

  1. Listening to negative people.

Something funny happens to some people when they see their friends or loved ones making positive changes in their lives.  They actually feel a bit threatened and maybe a bit jealous so they will say things to discourage you.  You need to be strong enough to shut out the negative talk and stay focused on the big picture.  Focus on what’s best for you and don’t worry about how others feel about it.  You may even inspire some of your naysayers to improve their own lives so stick to your path and know that you may be helping someone 😉

  1. Not believing in yourself.

Your mind is more powerful than you can even imagine and here’s the thing.  Whatever you believe, becomes your reality so if you believe you’ll fail, you will.  Think your life sucks and you’re stuck?  Then it does and you are.  If you believe that you will stop at nothing to reach your goal and that you will be successful, then you will be!  This isn’t to say you just have to believe it and it’ll magically happen.  You have to believe you’ll be successful no matter what and this means you won’t give up when it gets tough and you won’t let yourself doubt your abilities even when things don’t seem to be going your way.  You’ll stay true to what you want in life and you’ll do the battle you need to do to get there.  If your goal is important enough, the battle will be worth it and victory will be yours.

What Are You Waiting For?

Go do it!  Write out your goal and 3 reasons why it’s so important to you.  Set up your plan (get help if you need it) and go get what you want out of life!

Self Limiting Behaviors

Something that really frustrates me is when someone gets excited about making positive changes in their life and then they don’t follow through.  I see it A LOT when it comes to people’s fitness and nutrition goals.  They really want to make changes and get the results they want and even though it’s relatively simple to do they don’t do it and instead continue to complain.  Why do people impose these self-limiting behaviors on themselves?

Self-Limiting Behaviors And How To Combat Them!

  1. Believing you can’t change.

Some people truly believe they can’t change.  They want change but they let themselves listen to their self-doubt and low self-esteem and actually believe they really can’t change.  This is enough to stop anyone in their tracks.  Why try something new and uncomfortable if you know you’re not capable of changing?

Take action!  Don’t listen to your brain.  Decide what you want to achieve, learn how to achieve it and then do it.  Everyone is capable of changing.  All it requires is for you to take the steps you need to take to get to where you want to go.  If the negative, self-sabotaging talk starts in your head, cut it off and just keep following the steps you need to follow.  It’s going to be uncomfortable and scary at times but it’s totally worth it to get what you want.

  1. Doubting your intuition.

When you get that gut feeling don’t dismiss it.  Your intuition will guide you to greater things if you let it.  How many times have you looked back on a situation and thought ‘I should have done that!’  Stop questioning your gut feeling and start acting on it.

Take action!  The next time you get a gut feeling about something, rather than giving your mind the chance to talk you out of it just take action on it.  Take that first step and see where it leads.

  1. Expecting easy success.

Chances are, the things you really want in life aren’t going to come easy and that’s okay!  If you  try to make a change in your life and then you give up because success didn’t come easy you’ll never achieve your goals.  Don’t give up because things get tough and uncomfortable!

Take action!  Decide what you want and then get ready to work for it.  If what you want is important enough to you and you value it enough no amount of work should scare you off your path.  Have a talk with yourself and tell yourself that it’s going to be hard and that’s okay.  All you need to do is keep taking steps forward and get through the difficulties.

  1. Playing the victim.

Some people blame their circumstances, (past and/or present) for their inability to be successful.  This is just an excuse that lets you stay in your comfort zone.  Many people have overcome unthinkable circumstances to become very successful.  If you let your past experiences and a negative perception hold you back you’ll never get to realize your true potential.

Take action!  You have to let go of your negative attitude and leave the past in the past.  You need to look forward to what you want and instead of blaming your circumstances, view them as obstacles that you can and will break through one at a time.  If you’re blaming the stuff around you for your lack of success, you’re actually really just blaming yourself.  You can move beyond anything you want to, you just have to get super brave and do it.

No Limits!

Stop limiting yourself!  It does not serve you in any way and it’s all stuff that’s just made up by your mind in an attempt to keep you in a comfortable and mediocre state.  That’s not good enough!  Why would you treat yourself that way?

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

A lot of people struggle with this question.  Deciding what you want to be when you grow up is not a decision to be taken lightly and definitely not something to be pressured into.

If doing something fulfilling for a living is a priority for you, you need to discover what you are meant to be.  This means figuring out your natural talent.

Some people waste a lot of time trying to get good at the things they struggle with thinking that this will help them be better and more successful.  Why waste time trying to improve a weakness so instead of being bad at it, you’re mediocre at it when you could be working on perfecting your natural gift.

Natural talent

Everyone is unique.  Every person has had their own unique experiences and have their own unique way of seeing the world and reacting to it.  What you need to do is embrace how amazing and special you are.  In other words, stop comparing yourself to others and focusing on the things you don’t do well and figure out where you excel.  Once you do that you will start to discover your natural talents and strengths.

What is your natural talent?

Your natural talent is whatever your strongest characteristic is.  It’s something that you just automatically do without even thinking about it that’s beneficial.  Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what it is though, because it’s just such a normal part of who you are.  So how do you discover your natural talent?

Find what makes you feel energized and strong

The thing that makes me feel energized and strong is music and teaching people how to improve their health, fitness and mind set.  My goal is to take people to a place where they feel happy and empowered.  My ultimate happy place is teaching spin classes, using the music to guide the ride and set the mood.

If you can’t quite pin point what makes you feel this way try keeping a journal for 2-3 days to keep track of what you’re doing and how you’re feeling when you’re doing it.  What thoughts dominate your mind?  Out of these thoughts which ones make you feel excited and happy?   Are you happiest when doing something physical?  Or maybe you’re happiest when you’re learning about a certain subject?  What gets you revved up?

What are you investing your time and money in?

Where are you spending your money?  For myself it’s on personal development books, music and workout gear.  What do you LOVE to spend your time doing?  What’s that one thing you do where you completely lose track of time and nothing else seems to matter?  What activity, physical or mental, puts you in a state of pure bliss?

What do the people close to you think?

Ask for people’s opinions on what they think you do best.  Quite often the thing you do best is so natural to you that you don’t even recognize it as anything out of the ordinary.  Ask the people close to you to tell you what they think you excel at.  You’ll probably be surprised by the answers.  Many people fail to see their greatness.

Don’t be selfish!  Share your talent!

Everyone has something unique and great to share with the world.  To not share that talent is selfish.  It can be hard to recognize what you do best and how it could possibly benefit others, but believe me you’ve got something.

Overcome Self-Doubt

Most of us experience self-doubt now and then.  Here’s the question: are you letting your self-doubt stop you from being great?  Chances are you are….you need to learn how to overcome self-doubt so you can have the life you deserve.

Some Tips!

  1. Acknowledge your self-doubt.

Rather than not trying something or not pushing yourself because it feels uncomfortable, acknowledge that what you are feeling is self-doubt.  It’s okay to feel it.  What matters is what you do next.  If you acknowledge it that means that you recognize it as something that’s holding you back.  Once you recognize that you can start to analyze that self-doubt and get beyond it.

  1. Figure out what the root of your self-doubt is.

More often than not self-doubt comes from an experience where you were not successful, or worse yet someone told you that you couldn’t do it.  Really think about what’s causing the self-doubt and then pick it apart.  If you’ve tried something before and failed, ask yourself why you failed.  Once you know that you know what not to do.  If your self-doubt came from something that someone said, think about what that was and ask yourself if there is really any truth at all to it.  How did this person come to the conclusion that you couldn’t be successful.  Chances are they were just projecting their own self-doubt onto you.

  1. Stop making excuses.

When you fear failure, or fear looking bad or fear taking on more than you can handle your brain will come up with a ton of excuses as to why this opportunity isn’t a good fit for you.  When you start making these excuses and justifications for not starting something, recognize that this is just your self-doubt talking and refuse to give into any excuses that your brain comes up with.

  1. Learn the skills.

If your self-doubt is caused by a lack of skill learn that skill!  Pretty much anything can be learned.  If you’re afraid of public speaking you can take courses on that.  If you doubt your ability to run a business take a business course or learn from others who are successful in business.  Most people shy away from things they aren’t good at – that’s just human nature.  But if it’s holding you back from what you want in life it’s time to learn how to do the thing that will get you closer to your dream.

  1. Ease up on yourself!

When you try something new, chances are you’re going to experience some failure.  Failure is an awesome learning tool but only if you use the experience correctly.  When you fail at something don’t get down on yourself.  Don’t let that negative self-talk creep into your head.  Put things in perspective and figure out what the valuable lesson from your failure is.  Treat yourself as you would a close friend or loved one who was struggling with something.

  1. Stop asking for validation.

Input and feedback from others is great!  You can learn a lot from it or you can decide that their input isn’t useful and ignore it.  Trust yourself to make the decisions that are right for you and don’t wait for someone to tell you you’re correct before moving forward.  If you always need other’s validation before moving forward with your life it’s going to be a very slow ride and most likely you won’t reach your potential.

Go Be Great!

This is your life.  You should have big, exciting plans and know that you will achieve them.  Don’t become complacent just because it’s comfortable.  Get out there and be great!