The Power of Self Talk

We all do it, whether you realize it or not. That voice in your head that either pushes your forward or holds you back.

What is self-talk?

Having positive self talk is essential to your well being and success. Think about the words you’re using in your own head.

Is the system unfair?

Are you getting your share of sales?

Are you grateful for the customers you do have?

Are you excited about the opportunity to grow your business?

It’s such a simple idea it’s easy to overlook and write off. Can you think of a time someone burst your bubble and you felt deflated? Can you think of a time someone encouraged you to keep going despite your own doubts about success?

I bet one felt a lot better. It doesn’t always have to be someone else saying these things. You have your own inner voice and it doesn’t always say things that help. You can change that! I want you to consciously be positive. Praise yourself because you deserve it.

Self -Affirmations

Have we talked about self-affirmations? Probably at some point. Well here it goes again. Look in the mirror, say something positive about yourself and your future.

For example, “I’m a successful Etsy shop owner.”  Don’t say in the future I will be. Say it affirmatively and in the present, “I am”.

Your subconscious only understands the affirmative by the way. So stick the with “I am going to succeed” vs the “I’m not going to fail”. The “not” part is ignored and you’re reinforcing the wrong message.

Does this feel awkward?

Yeah, Gordon thought so too. Think of how many people will give up because it feels uncomfortable at first. Now be one of the few that pushes through and meets success head on. Growth = change = discomfort. Learn to appreciate the discomfort that comes with stepping out of your comfort zone and growing.

Free is a Race to Zero

Free is a race to zero. A zero sum game. You can only save as much as you spend then you’re stuck. Growth is unlimited. Creating is the answer. Reducing is the opposite of creating.

A little background, on Episode 22: Greed Part 2 of Etsy Jam, I went on to discuss how free is a big lie. It’s also a race to zero…

The High Cost of Free

The cost of free is typically privacy and time. Kevin recently discovered how much info his Android phone is collecting from him. It not only tracks his every movement on a map, it also lovingly saves voice recordings of everything he says to Google Now.

IBM disabled and banned the use of Apple’s Siri on company issued devices. Siri didn’t meet corporate policy guidelines. It was feared company secrets could be recorded and sent outside of the company. Siri sends audio recordings to an Apple server for processing. Is Apple a good steward of information? Probably. They’re a hardware company and it’s transparent where they get their money. It’s not advertising and data mining.

Time is so undervalued it’s sad. Spend 10 hours to save $20 and you’ve made yourself $2/hr. You’ll have to decide if that’s a good return or not. Your situation will dictate the value of your time. Could you have spent 10 hours on something worth more? Could you have spent 10 hours designing a product that will keep making you money month after month?

Enter Real Life

I’m no saint. I fall into this trap too. Most of it is pride getting in the way. Do I want to pay more than the next guy? Of course not. I want to be the deal king. The question then is what will that title cost me.

We’re always keeping an eye on the budget at Marmalead and it’s tempting to jump through hoops to save money. This is especially when it involves building something ourselves. It’s really tempting to tinker with stuff. When you’re running a business though, it’s really important to spend your time where it’s most valuable.

A Plea For Change

If what you’re working on doesn’t add value to the customer, then it’s probably not worth doing. Even if it saves you money, it has a limit on how much can be saved. Adding customer value is unlimited. There’s no ceiling in sight.

This mentality will change you. Choose the one you want to live because it has far reaching consequences. You must either live in a world of abundance or one of scarcity. They can’t coexist.

Hint: Choose abundance.

Work Life Balance – Fact or Fiction?

As I’m writing this, it’s nearly October and many are planning for the holidays if they haven’t already. I’m not talking about planning their holiday time off, at least not in the e-commerce world we work in. I’m talking about planning for the hardest working time of the year. A time when a shop can easily make the bulk of their sales for the whole year…

This has me thinking about Work/Life Balance and whether it’s fact or fiction. I see a lot of articles on the topic. It’s a popular thing to discuss with two very different opinions. There’s the “you must set boundaries” camp and the “my work is my life camp”. I fall in the latter.

One of the arguments for boundaries and mandatory “turn it off” times, is due to stress and health. That’s important and I get it. I wonder myself if I should approach balance differently (read try to balance at all). I don’t balance. My work/life is intertwined like a DNA sketch. Mainly I don’t have a problem with it because I enjoy what I do.

Yes, it’s still stressful and exhausting. So are sports and other hobbies we consider “life”. Work probably stresses me out less than the diehard football fan whose team loses that week. Trying to turn it off causing me more stress though. I like to say you can’t schedule passion.

There are a lot of times where I get all fired up about something, and then put it on a list for later. When I see it a few days later, the moment has past. My passion has left. That saddens me. I’m spontaneous (read I have trouble focusing on things that aren’t exciting).

My goal here isn’t to reiterate the variety of articles you’ve surely seen on the topic. Instead my goal is to share some things that work for me in keeping sanity when stress starts building. So whether or not you’re in the same camp, hopefully these will help you just the same. Disclaimer – I’m not a doctor. You’re responsible for anything you do or don’t do. 

  1. 4-7-8 Breath – For the skimmers and stressed out, I’ll put this first. I came across this exercise from Tony Robbins and then Dr Andrew Weil so it must be good. 4-7-8 are counts. You can read them as seconds, but more importantly it’s their relation to one another.
    1. Inhale through your nose to count of 4. Breathe from the stomach, not the chest.
    2. Hold for count of 7.
    3. Exhale for count of 8. Empty your lungs. Suck in your stomach and squeeze all the air you can out of your lungs.
    4. Repeat the sequence 3 times.
  2. Meditation – I was hesitant to believe I’d enjoy meditation until I reached a tipping point with others I follow who swear by it. Strangely it’s widely accepted that keeping your body healthy is important yet the mind gets ignored. 10 minutes goes a long way. Unfortunately, the more I need it, the more likely I am to avoid it 🙁
  3. Exercise – If I can regularly get to the gym, it’s amazing how much more clarity I get.
  4. Get outside – “But in every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir. I very much enjoy being outside. It’s easy to get cooped up in the office and forget how important it is to get outside. I always feel better after some time outdoors.
  5. Do things for you. Like this post. I wrote this because I wanted to. I know it will help someone and if it helps just one person I’ll be happy. Read that again, “I’ll be happy”. It’s nice when you can do something for yourself and others at the same time.

I hope you enjoyed my tips. In the comments below share any tips you have and/or what camp you’re in!