B2B or Beer2Beer, that is the question…

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Frankly, I’m having mixed feelings after Grow Up Start Up event that took place on 19-20 June in Warsaw, Poland. I’m not gonna talk about the things I didn’t like though. I’ll focus on the positive outcome instead. Because THERE ARE a couple of excellent take aways for me after these 2 days.

First of all, contacts! I truly believe I found myself in the right place at the right time. We decided with a colleague of mine to skip a discussion panel and go for a beer. There, we figured out how our visions of running our own start-ups are similar. Suddenly, a bunch of people joined us at the table and we continued our inspiring conversations in a bigger group (have a look at the photo above, it speaks for itself ;)). What I noticed was the fact that they were all open-minded people who go for such events from time to time and who know what networking really is. Yep, most probably that’s why it was incredibly easy for all of us to communicate so well and take advantage of that opportunity. Continue reading

Just another diary entry of my own :)

I’ve just found what I wrote one week after I had quit my job. Oh dear, it sounds so optimistic 🙂

Just look at this…

“It’s been an incredible week for me. I think I’ve never been busier indeed. Meetings, catch-ups, good readings, consultations, workshops…

I went for jogging! First time time this year. Finally.

I baked tasty muffins. With almonds and white chocolate. Yummy…

I walked around the city taking different streets than usually. Discovered various facades of the buildings I hadn’t noticed so far, new shops, new cafes. I started to see colors and hear sounds, I smiled at people. Before I had been smiling too, and they had been smiling back at me but this time I was more relaxed 🙂 I am relaxed… Continue reading

Leading virtual teams. Say what??

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If you have ever worked with virtual teams you know how challenging it may be to cooperate with someone you don’t know in person.

The thing is that you don’t know the attitude of the people working with you in such circumstances, you don’t know their faces, their mimics, etc. You have no clue whether they are nodding their heads while saying “yes” to your request/question. You don’t know how they feel about the current situation. Because many of them will never be completely honest with you, they will try to hide certain things. Whether on purpose or not.

Sounds familiar?

I have worked with virtual teams for the past few years. These were people from all around the world, coming from different backgrounds, cultures, beliefs, with various stereotypes, sometimes unfounded stereotypes. Yep.

As a project manager, I had a pleasure to lead multiple teams and bring together all various personalities, be it specialists or vice presidents, from all the time zones, starting with New York, ending up in Singapore,

It wasn’t an easy task to manage virtual meetings while having so many different people on the call. What kind of difficulties one may have during such meetings, you will ask. Well, imagine one of the following scenarios:

  • You have a list of items to be agreed upon by members of your meeting, there are specific deadlines to each item, You don’t hear any objection nor disagreement during the meeting. Everyone seems pleased by the outcome. You end up the call. It seems John is unhappy with the deadline the group established. He just didn’t want to make a burden out of it during the call. But he’s telling you NOW. He won’t make it by Thursday. He’s way too busy with other stuff. Period.
  • There is this new small project to be carried out by your team and you are meeting with the folks to catch up on details. Several locations are involved. Everyone seems to understand the details but you ask if all is clear. Just in case. Then you ask again. Just in case. All clear. All perfect. Awesome… It turns out a couple of hours later that one group of people attending the meeting have no clue how to proceed. They didn’t admit there was lack of understanding while the specialist was explaining the procedure. It is not well seen in their culture. They will never openly admit they don’t know something. Like ever.

I could go on like this forever 😉 But let me keep something spicy for later… And btw, these are real life examples. Just so you know.

What do these examples show? Let me give you a metaphore:

When you go for a blind dinner (you know what I’m talking about, right?) and you don’t see the food on your plate, your other senses are being developped. You tend to use your nose and fingers more than usually. You discover a new way of experiencing food.

Working with people you normally don’t see… moreover, working with people you don’t know in person, may be treated as an analogy, IMO. You will just have to develop other soft skills.

Some good practices which worked very well (from my observation):

  • Whenever possible, go and meet the people you work with. There’s nothing better than putting the name to the face in business. Direct contact allows better communication and help building stronger relationships. I know, not always possible. Especially if your team is dispersed all around the world.
  • Use technology.
  1. Companies, such as CISCO (no, I’m not getting any benefits out of it ;)), provide excellent solutions for your virtual meetings. You will feel as if you were all sitting in the same room.
  2. The example presented above being costly, try using what’s available and for free. Solutions offered by Google, Webex or Skype (for instance) are not that bad either.(Bear in mind phone is not enough. People will appreciate more if you make a little more effort and try to connect them in an unusual way).
  • Share your desktop with the participants. Show them graphs, notes, Excel files, etc. Some people don’t hear well what is being discussed. Furthermore, if your audience is multinational and the official language in your company is English, do not assume everything will be well understood by everyone. People have different accents, intonations. Likewise, do not use jargon or colloquialisms which are less known. 
  • Once in a while check with your audience if all is clear or if anything need to be repeated/explained. Ask especially those who are very quiet.
  • Be natural but also use humour. It’s a good practice to start your call with a small talk. Get to know your participants better. I used to attend meetings where the chairman greeted everyone in their mothertongue. A very cool ice-braker.
  • Organize team building activities from time to time. It’s important to build and maintain strong relationships.
  • Never let a problem escalate to bigger extent. Act quickly. Offer your help to resolve the conflict. Don’t sweep the problems under the carpet. They will resurface sooner than you think. Bigger than you expect.
  • Use your emotional intelligence. Trust your guts but ask questions. If you feel someone agreed to the Friday deadline because they felt forced by the group, check with them if the timelines are indeed feasible. People tend to be more open when approached individually.
  • Check beforehand whether people will be attending you meeting. The same applies to their “homework”. If someone was supposed to present a report on your Wednesday meeting, ask them on Monday if they are still good to go or need any help from you. In such a way, you will ensure you’ve got all you need for your meeting and you will save up your participants’ time. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than waiting for the key note speaker or key decision maker who eventually never shows up. It’s your responsibility to make sure they are there. On time. If they are not, you should know about it and inform other participants. Think ahead, prevent that from happening.
  • Send agenda prior to the meeting. Everyone likes to know what will be discussed and whether they are indeed needed on the call. Nowadays, we are all extremely busy and try to save up time whenever possible. Respect that.
  • Take notes/minutes of the call which you will send after each meeting. People tend to forget what has been discussed/decided. Keep track of all documentation. In case of misunderstanding, you will be fully covered.
  • Always, always, always be polite in your communication. Remember that written word has a huge power. It will never be forgotten. Also, your intentions might not be read the same way you intended. Cultural or emotional aspects may impact the way people receive the message. Always greet the recipients of your messages. Ask how they are doing. These simple words completely change the way your communication is perceived.
  • Bear in mind different time zones and bank holidays in the home countries of your colleagues. It’s crucial you know if the participants are morning or evening persons. Imagine you set up a call at 8am New York time and the manager who is a decision maker hates waking up early. You lost. Forget about the posiitive outcome of your meeting. See my point?

It is important to know some basics before you start leading virtual teams , especially the ones geographically dispersed. A good workshop around cultural differences should be considered, too. If I was to give one piece of advice, I’d tell you to get to know your colleagues better. No, seriously. If you’re friendly and proactive, they will notice your good will and will have a positive attitude towards your person and your meetings. After all, it’s all about leadership, not management. Sometimes you don’t manage directly your teams so your “power” is limited and you have to use some tricks in order to be a smart leader. These good practices presented above should help you as a starting point. The rest is in your hands. Good luck! 🙂

Why networking is so damn important?

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This will be the very first of a series of posts about my favorite topic, which is networking.

We all network. Some do it better, some do it worse. With various results. Almost all of us have Facebook or Twitter account, a significant percentage of all professionals around the world also have a LinkedIn profile. But this is an online universe. Meanwhile in parallel universe…

Exactly. What about the real life networking? Do you actually realize how important networking is for your business or your professional career? Do you benefit out of it?

In order to help you answer all these questions, let me first touch base on the networking itself.

A network, as I see it, is a net of contacts one knows personally or virtually. Obviously, it is more effective and beneficial to network once you know someone from real life, when you can “put the name to the face” as we say it in corporate language.

I had a chance (and a pleasure) to work in a multinational (also virtual) environment for about 6 years so I’ll be sharing with you some examples from my own experience.

There are no doubts that networking is a great opportunity for you and there could be only benefits out of it (provided you do all the right things). Apart from the obvious reason of having multiple connections, a huge net of potential business partners, clients, colleagues or acquaintances, there is one thing you should bear in mind before you even start networking: this may change your life.

I’m not kidding. Let me give you an example.

Say you have been working for some time now in a company / corporation and you wish to advance in your career. You apply for the desired position within that organization but in another department. You have a great CV, some excellent achievements and the interview went extremely well. Now imagine there is also Michael applying for that position. And he has a very similar profile. You are both strong candidates and both look promising. Say Michael met up with a couple of folks from that department sometime back and he offered his help in preparing that difficult report the team were struggling with. He also mentioned several times that he would be interested in working on some projects carried out in their department. The manager of the department really liked Michael’s report and his proactive attitude. Although he likes you as a candidate, he already knows a bit more about Michael and his skills. Who do you think will get the job?

We hear quite often that networking is just about creating connections. Moreover, it is viewed in the negative light. I’m not denying, it might be the case in some circumstances. What you should realize though is the fact that networking is all about creating and maintaining relationships. How to do it professionally? Well, simply wait for my next post about good practices! 🙂

Go Creative!

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It’s time I told you about my latest big adventure. Big in a sense that it enriched my professional life.

A couple of months ago I applied for a business contest. It was a local initiative supporting new creative businesses. Together with other 21 wonderful entrepreneurs and their teams we made it through to the last stage after a very careful selection. Several weeks of trainings, workshops and integration events were offered to us as a preincubation process.

The trainings included such aspects as social media, e-commerce, marketing, finance, accountancy, business model canvas, creative solutions, effective presentations, among others.

To my surprise, the group turned out to be extremely friendly and not competitive at all. Moreover, we started to help each other by sharing useful information one may need to run their specific business.

I created a closed group on Facebook where we could easily communicate during those weeks of intensive preparations. Let’s only hope we do stay in touch for longer than that 😉

It’s worth mentioning that we had a pleasure to work with very experienced trainers, many of them being actually entrepreneurs themselves.

What I found extremely insteresting was the fact that the best feedback on our businesses we were getting was coming from… the members of our group! I was happy to see people sharing their opinions, ideas and best practices amongst the group. And we still do. This is something priceless indeed. What’s more, two girls surprised us with their decision about joining forces. They both had a similar idea for apparel design. What a great example of combining strong assets! With a competition! 🙂 In my humble opinion, they do match and have all the complimentary skills to build a strong brand. I wish them best of luck. Great story, isn’t it? 🙂

So when the workshops finally finished, it was high time to work on our business models. I remember how sad I felt because I knew something was coming to an end. It was an end to a great chapter of my professional life where we had loads of fun with the group. So now is the time to start serious hard work on the projects. No excuses! Time to act.

Working on my business model helped me realize all the gaps and what was still missing in my plan. Good business exercise, I have to say.

I spent a lot of time thinking on it and planning the strategy. It’s not easy when you are doing something for the first time 😉 But I love to learn new things so it was a great opportunity for me to grow.

After we sent our business models for evaluation, there was one more task to be performed: a creative presentation.

I spent 3 days designing the slide deck, preparing infographics, reasearching data and adequate images, and practicing my speech. No special effects though (such as people jumping around or kids playing with my product – these were applied by my competition ;)).

I did very well in the morning while pitching in front of the jury but I didn’t expect to be chosen as one of the 5 finalists at the end. The reason being my project was very much different from all the others (I’m building an online social platform while others are doing more tangible business, such as carpets, bags, apparel or coffins – yes, you heard me :)).

So when we all gathered in the evening for the final Elevator Pitch contest where 5 finalists were supposed to picth in front of the jury and various guests and my name was announced I almost fainted. Seriously, I didn’t see that one coming… I was totally lost, till the point I forgot how to start my presentation. All the folks were laughing… I can imagine my confused face 😉

But I made it. I pitched and said everything I wanted to say. 3 minutes is not much to present the whole idea of your project nevertheless if you focus on the main aspects you’re able to explain what it’s all about.

I got the 4th place. Which is absolutely AWESOME. The jury said everything was well thought and planned but the project is in its early phase (agreed!).

It made me really happy and gave a boost to continue my work. I know that thanks to hard work and patience I will be successful one day. It is just the beginning of my start-up journey. As a reward, I got Waterman pens (see the picture above), 8 business English classes and accountancy services for 2 months.

I’d like to tell you one thing. I got my prize earlier than that: it was the knowledge gained during the workshops and trainings, contacts and relationships I managed to build throughout all these weeks. This is something I value more than anything else. And this is the main reason why I wanted to take part in this competition.

Thanks to everyone who made this experience so special. Big thanks to the organizers and the creative group. And a very special thanks to my brother who works with me on the project! You guys rock! 🙂

Also, something special to share with you… a trailer of my project. Feel free to share any feedback you’ve got. Thanks! 🙂

What do Angry Birds and coaching have in common?

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Today I heard that coaching is like playing Angry Birds. Yes, Angry Birds… I have just come back from a very intriguing coaching workshop. The coach was a former game developper, thus the comparison, I believe. How accurate though!

But hey, what is this coaching anyway? And why am I writing about it? I discovered coaching a couple of years ago but officially started using it as a tool some 10 months ago. I just didn’t realize this was such a powerful tool in helping people achieve their (I repeat: THEIR) goals.

Yes, I do coach people from time to time and I feel passionate about it. Whenever my coachee proceeds with the changes in their life (that they have feared for so long!) or gets their dream job, or even cuts off this toxic relationship with their partner, I feel like I’m giving a little bit of myself to this world. The feeling is indescribable. Seriously.

This week, as it is International Coaching Week, I’m attending a series of workshops and lectures dedicated to coaching. It gives me such a pleasure to discover more about this topic and to hear success stories of people who uncovered their own potential during their coaching sessions. I believe in people, I’ve always did. I used to repeat, while working as a project manager in an international corporation, that people are the best company’s asset. Each and every person has a particular talent. It just has to be uncovered sometimes. A good coach is the one who helps with this mystery.

Nowadays, more and more organizations realize the importance of coaching. They send their managers for a couple of sessions each time they see there is a problem (such as lack of motivation, need for self-development or conflict with other employees, etc.). It’s good to see this trend. It means senior management is willing to invest in their people. Or I’m just being too naive 😉

That’s how I got into coaching myself: I started coaching people (business coaching). At work. The change I saw in my coachee after 3 months was tremendous. What’s more important actually is that HE saw that change and was very proud of it. Did I mentor him? Nope, I was just asking questions. All right questions apparently 😉 That success motivated me to continue with coaching sessions. In the meantime, I also discovered the power of self-coaching but I’ll write about it another time.

So coming back to Angry Birds and coaching… Surprised to hear the comparison? I was as well. But when you look closer you will realize there are similarities between both indeed. I didn’t take notes during the workshop this time (shame on me, I know…) but, from what I remember, it goes something like this:

  • GOAL/OUTCOME – what do you want to achieve in the game?
  • BOARD of the game – where are you now? what is the situation? what is the reality?
  • CHOICES/RESOURCES – what can you do now? what do you have now that you can use to achieve your goal?
  • PLANNING – what will you do? what actions will you take? (try different techniques, what works etc.)
  • REVIEW – what went well / not so well? (lessons learned)

This model reminds me a bit of the OSCAR coaching model. OSCAR stands for: Outcome, Situation, Choices/Consequences, Actions and Review.

If you’re struggling with an issue, you might want to check out if a coaching session wouldn’t be of any help to you. Coaching is a very popular tool and there are numerous coaches all around the globe to help you out.

If you have any successful stories to share, whether you are a coach or a coachee, I’ll be happy to hear about them 🙂 Don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

PS. Picture taken from HERE.

Start-up? Whazzz that?

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In fact, most of us have brilliant ideas. Some of them are indeed innovative, some have the potential to change the world. We just lack the courage / time / resources to start implementing these ideas. And after a while we discover that the solution we have thought of already exists or that someone is actually working on it. How come? Damn it!

Well, it’s simple. The ideas flow. If you think you are genious because you have invented an incredible product / service / solution, bear in mind there is at least one person who is thinking about something similar. So… start doing it! But only if you feel strong enough though. Work your butt off to get it done if you think it’s worth your time, money, effort…

Don’t be afraid to talk about your idea with others. You may be surprised how useful it is to gather people’s feedback (your potential users / clients / brand ambassadors?). Most probably you’ll change your concept ten times before you start implementing the plan. And then get ready to do it far more often… No worries, it’s ok. It is even better to verify your idea no. Better sooner than later! The later you gather the feedback and comments, the worse. Why? It will cost you money. Oh, you haven’t spent a $ so far? Well, you have spent your time and time is money. Think about it. Remember that nowadays everything happens faster than 2, 5, 10 years ago. We have to be agile, flexible, responsive. 6 or 12 months of “doing nothing” may cost you. It may cost you lossing the opportunity of doing awesome things simply because someone will soon introduce the same product / service or because it will no longer be needed on the market!

So act quickly! Put a landing page in place. Collect e-mail addresses of users interested in your service. Prepare your MVP, a prototype, you will show to your potential customers. Ask them to test it and get the feedback. Improve the service or pivot the idea. Sometimes 180° changes are necessary. Once happy, launch your product (app or web service… whatever it is). If you need (additional) funding, go and seek investors / business angels. Actually, do it no sooner than your prototype is ready.

Now… Don’t build your start-up, if:

  • you haven’t done any market research and you don’t have any figures in front of your eyes – we all think our idea is bright and that it will change the world, but seriously – will you have clients? that’s what it’s all about after all, isn’t it?
  • you are not convinced that it will work – well, if you don’t believe in your own idea, how will you convince your team / clients / investors?
  • you do not feel motivated – working on a start-up means a lot of work, sleepless nights, weekends away on some start-up events, such as Startup Weekend, various barcamps, Startup Sprint etc.
  • you’re too busy with other projects – as I’ve mentioned, in the fast paced environment it is extremely important to pay attention to all the changes around you and start acting quickly, a start-up project needs your focus
  • you’re alone – unless you are rich enough to outsource the components you need, such as web or app design, graphic design, marketing strategy, project management etc. Believe me, a one-man show in this case is not going to work. Moreover, the investors will never invest in a single person. They want to see a motivated team with all the necessary skills to run a start-up and complete the project. After all, you guys will be doing it all, not the investors… Find a co-founder, if you are on your own. The other person greatly helps. Get someone you really trust though.

So why am I doing all this? Simply because I believe in my idea with all my heart and I have verified my solution to a global problem with hundreds of people from various countries. They are waiting for me to implement it now 🙂 What’s more, I’m ready to sacrifice my time and effort and work on my own enterprise (in fact, I’m already doing it). The good thing is that I’m working with my brother (IT brain) whom I trust and who supports me and tells me whenever my ideas suck. I attended a startup weekend event some time ago where it all started. Since then I’ve been gathering feedback and comments, thanks to which I have modified the concept many times. I am conscious there is A LOT to be done but I’m all excited to go ahead and make sh** real! Oh, and one more thing. I am not afraid to fail 😉

If you’re willing to help from the graphic design or marketing perspective, let me know! 🙂

Enough for now. I’m getting back to working on the landing page…

Jogging jogging jogging…

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I have started jogging recently. Yep, this is unusual as I used to hate running. With all my heart. Literally.

So why did I decide to do jogging? Well, there are several factors which contributed to my decision. Let me name just a few:

  1. I wanted to stay fit and healthy. Jogging is the cheapest sport ever. Plus, I live in a nice area with plenty of forests and fields. The green is a calming effect for my eyes…
  2. Jogging makes me happy. It feels so good after the workout. I just can’t stop smiling when I’m done 🙂
  3. Many of my friends regularly run. I’ve noticed their transformation: they became fit, happy, calm and different. Positively different. I’d love to feel the same.

These were the main reasons why I started to jog at all. But each time I run I realize that there’s more than that…

I actually made a plan. I decided to start small. I first went out for 15 min. You might think it’s not much. It was for me. I came back home tired but not exhausted. I was sweating. But I left space for this awesome feeling: “I WANT MORE“! So next time I went jogging I ran a little longer distance. And I spent 20 min out there, running, not walking. It felt great! I was tired but happy. Ready for some more. And next time I noticed that I ran a longer distance again although within the same amount of time as recently! Can’t wait to go jogging soon. Wow, it’s really addictive! 🙂

What are the other benefits of this sport?

The feeling that I’m breaking my own barriers and the walls that I have built throughout my whole life (false conviction that I hate jogging and that jogging is actually terrible). Each time I run, I overcome some obstacles inside my brain or physical obstacles which my body has to fight against. I do more and more. These small successes show me that if I can make it here, I can make it everywhere and it only depends on me.

As my dear business and life coach, Lucyna, rightly mentions in her blog post (sorry, in Polish only), coaching / self-coaching and running have a lot in common. Reaching your goals in the jogging plan can prove you that you are able to reach the goals in your private or professional life, too. And this is what I’ve realized on my own recently. That is why I put my trainers on and go out running.

What is your personal experience? Do you jog or are you planning to start? I’d love to hear your voice 🙂

 

22 ideas on how to ruin your training…

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I have just run away from the worst classroom training ever.

Dear Trainers, if you really want to kill your audience, here’s a bunch of hints on how to do it effectively (randomly selected):

  1. Do not present yourself / act as if everyone knew who you are.
  2. Keep acting as if you knew it all, in the end you, as a trainer, are the expert in all the possible areas.
  3. Absolutely forget about presenting the agenda of the training, why would you bother spending 1 minute out of available 6 hours on informing your audience about the plan.
  4. Keep joking each time the participants take active part in the discussion, laugh at their comments and ideas.
  5. Make numerous breaks, especially when they are least expected (like this, you will make sure your audience is nicely distracted – well done indeed).
  6. Keep bringing up out-of-topic remarks. Completely unrelated items. Chauvinist jokes are highly appreciated. And yes, your private life will surely interest the audience. Especially your relations with this poor mother-in-law.
  7. Choose your favorite participant. The one and only. Address all your questions and comments towards that person. That’s what we call engaging your audience. Or not.
  8. Keep using your awesome favorite word in each awesome sentence you pronounce. That’s really awesome. And you are awesome, too!
  9. Show us your heavy slide deck dripping with looong definitions.
  10. Do not forget to pick the ugliest font ever and make sure it’s hard to be read.
  11. Keep in mind this rule: the MORE the MERRIER! More info, more fonts, more colors, more pictures, more logos…
  12. Read your slides out loud. Back to your audience 🙂
  13. GREAT! Now you just have to forget what you have put on your slides. A good thing to try is to explain that the deck has been prepared by your colleague. Oh, and you can mention that you received it only last night.
  14. You are welcome to paste links into your presentation that do not work offline (did I mention: do not check whether all your equipment works prior to the training?).
  15. Or… open the link on youtube and let the participants wait till the buffering is over. Up to 10 minutes would be actually cool!
  16. Deliver the training while seated. Stability is the key.
  17. Or… walk around the room and let your audience follow you from one corner to another. The best idea would be to walk in circles and scrape the carpet with your shoes giving that annoying noise. It helps to focus on what you’re saying!
  18. Speak quickly! Ignore the audience who do not get what you’re talking about. Time is ticking away and there are so many things to be covered…
  19. Do not use your emotional intelligence.
  20. Forget about being flexible. Do not adjust to changes while you see the need.
  21. Use monotonous voice. There’s no better way to make these people fall asleep. Especially after lunch time.
  22. Expect everyone to be 100% attentive 5 minutes before the end of the workshop / training.

SUCCESS GUARANTEED!!! 🙂

And you? What is your worst experience ever? Wanna share?

Are you SMARTy-pants?

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What is your goal?

I mean, seriously.

If you ever wonder whether you’re going in the right direction, how will you know it? Who will be in a position to tell you if you don’t know what your goal is?

Everything is relative.

“To be successful.” “To be rich.”  “To live a happy life.”

All these will mean different things to Mark, to Antonio, to Boris, to Rita, to me, to you.

Be specific. Provide details of your goal. What is it exactly what you want to achieve? Try this experiment: tell a friend / partner / sister about your goal. Then ask them to describe how they see it. You’ll be surprised by their perspective. Both versions do not necessarily match? Be more specific. And write it down.

Now, how will you know that your goal has been met? Must something happen first? Will you feel it somehow? Do you have to obtain a certificate, a grade, a feedback? Is getting 1000 clients by the end of 2013 a measure of success for you? How will you measure that you’re successful in achieving your goal? Define it well before you start working.

Have you wondered whether your goal is achievable by you? Getting those 1000 clients globally within 1 month by Danone or Coca-Cola surely is. Is it by you, a newly created small company? Think twice before you ruin your motivation…

Are you realistic in your endeavors? Loosing 20 kg in 1 month may be an insane idea. How about you rethink and replan your assumptions? You don’t have a slight idea about what is or what is not realistic or reasonable? Ask an expert. They will likely be able to tell you and advise.

Ok, now that you have defined your specific and attainable goal, it would be great to decide by when you expect it to accomplish. Is it a short-term or a long-term goal? Do you want to achieve it by tomorrow / by the end of the week / by July 15th / by the end of 2014? Again, be specific. Provide the time frame. Note it down.

Wonderful. You have just structured your awesome goal against the good old SMART criteria. Congratulations 🙂

It is now time to make a detailed plan of actions. Not much work if you have only 1 goal. A little more work if there are plenty of the goal you wish to achieve.

Why don’t you list out all the steps you need to take for that matter?

Remember, only YOU are responsible for your achieving your goals. Nonetheless, there are people that can help you out. If you’re planning on building up your muscles and loosing 10% of fat by the end of 2013, it may be a good thing to hire a personal trainer or at least ask a friend (gym addict) to coach you a little.

Only bear in mind that YOU are responsible for your goal though.

If achieving a goal requires too many steps to take, maybe you need to sit down and redefine it. Remember that if it is not realistic, you will quickly feel demotivated and will give up on it. Perhaps smaller milestones would be a good thing to try?

Reward yourself when achieving those milestones. Nothing motivates us better than celebrating our small successes while following the road to THE goal.

Tell your friends and family about your successes, They will encourage you to keep moving. Who knows, maybe you will motivate them to improve something in their lives, too? Influencing others is an amazing feeling that gives you power to do more and better.

Once the goal achieved (or not), analyze lessons learned.

Why did you attain it (or failed)? Was it it easy (or too difficult) to achieve? Did you have enough time to meet the deadline you had earlier established? What / who was of great help to you? Did you have it written down or hang on the wall?

A short analysis of what went well / not so well will help you get to know yourself better. It will also help you understand which tools work well for you.

Share your best practices with others.

Recently, I have met a great young guy, very successfull in various business areas. He decided to share his good practices and lessons learned with others by organizing a workshop. Such a great idea! I felt inspired!

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

So… what is your goal?

I mean, seriously…