What Motivated Me To Write A Book To Build My Business?
I would like to say that it was a well thought out business decision. But the reality is that I had always wanted to write ‘a’ book. I had this yearning deep down inside that said I was meant to write.
But then something held me back from acting on that desire. My critic worried that I would make a fool of myself. My critic said what if no one buys it. My critic worried I would get in debt and focused on how much it would cost rather than the difference it would make to me both emotionally, physically and financially. Continue reading What Motivated Me To Write A Book To Build My Business?
8 Reasons I Attend Maximise
What did it mean to us?
What would we see and hear that would be our evidence that we were maximising the opportunities?
It got me thinking about everything that I gain from my membership and the annual conference Maximise.live
Just going to an event that is called Maximise is going to train your attention to think about maximising isn’t it? Or is that just me?
Now this is something to consider with any exhibition or event. Continue reading 8 Reasons I Attend Maximise
10 Things I Want To Achieve In My Life Time
I had written this list before and yet as I read it today there were some edits. I would love to share my thinking with you simply so you know a little about me and what matters to me. Then I would love to know what matters to you.
10 Ways To Be Tactful When Pointing Out Faults
I was recently presenting at Business Builders and I was asked a number of questions one of which was “Sheryl can you tell me ways to be tactful when pointing out faults?”
That got me thinking what are the ways to be tactful when pointing out a fault. Below I have come up with 10.
Can you come up with ways that work for you? What has happened for you when someone has been tactful and pointed out a fault?
In my personal experience the only time it has ‘felt’ tactful is when I absolutely trusted they had my best intention at heart. That they cared about me and their only reason for communicating a fault was to try and help me in someway. Continue reading 10 Ways To Be Tactful When Pointing Out Faults
What Happens At A Book Launch?
For me it was about thanking those that had supported my journey. There were times on my journey as a coach that I had absolute clarity and confidence. I knew my purpose and I had a clear vision and everything went really well.
Then a few set backs in my personal life and I started seeking reassurance outside. Before long I was overwhelmed with choice, advise and wisdom. And I lost my way.
The book writing process reminded me of what I knew, what I did differently and it forced me to stop and really tune into what mattered and who mattered to me. It turns out that nothing I have done has been a waste of time or for nothing. Everything taught me something. Continue reading What Happens At A Book Launch?
Why I Work When On Holiday?
Many of my friends and family think there is something is wrong with me because I work on holiday. When I have talked to them it is because for them work is work, and home is home and holiday’s are holidays – all thoughts relating to them are very neatly organised in their very own seperate boxes. Putting things in boxes can be a great strategy and it definitely works for many situations. In fact it works for Mark my husband. Continue reading Why I Work When On Holiday?
Leave a comment Edit
Fast Forward Your Business
In September 2015 I was invited to an Andy Harrington event called Stand and Deliver. I was curious because I want to help more people and I want to make a bigger difference without neglecting my own family.
Whilst much of my approach was working, it needed to work better. I felt stuck and on my own and I needed a new way of looking at the same problem. My way alone was not enough.
I learned a lot that day about myself and Andy challenged my beliefs and made me consider which of my values might have to change to take my business and my life to the next level. I hadn’t even considered that my values could change which was learning in itself.
Three Questions That Can Get You Over Self Doubt
Being self employed, a parent and basically a human being it is normal to have self doubt. If you knew everything and you was always comfortable then in my opinion you would have stopped learning and stretching and quite frankly you most probably would have stopped truly living at your best.
Anxiety and a little nervous tummy are for me, are a signal that I have a decision to make.
When I feel like this what I have discovered works for me are 3 questions that change my focus which invariably changes the results. What I have noticed is that over time I have been able to disconnect one by one the emotional triggers that result in self doubt. Here are the questions that work for me:
Question 1: What would I/you like to have happen?
When you are stuck with a decision training your attention and inner critic to converse with and talk about what you ‘do‘ want rather than what you don’t want is important. Once you are telling your story from a perspective of I want ‘xyz’ you are more likely to be able to communicate that to others in a way they will hear and understand. (People generally have an intolerance to listening to what you don’t want because they have no idea how to support you)
When you know what you want then you can resource yourself and ask for the appropriate help.
And sometimes no matter how much you try to work out what you want you find yourself stuck in the hole of “I really don’t know what I want”. You know logically that is part of the problem and no matter how much it makes sense you can discover yourself becoming quite frustrated with yourself because you cannot articulate what you do want.
In my experience rather than beating yourself up and giving yourself a hard time for being so negative try moving on to question two:
Question 2: What is working? or What has worked recently?
When I lose sight of my success, my achievements my ‘done list’ my mind shuts down and it loses sight of solution focused communication. This is when I invest time exploring what is working to build stronger foundations and awareness that I am in fact safe and all is not doom and gloom.
If you find yourself unable to state what you do want then I would go as far as to say ‘force’ yourself to reflect on your strengths and success so far. This might feel a bit weird at first and it will most likely go against your natural pattern – it is suppose to. It is a bit like resistance training in the gym, to build inner strength you have to do something differently.
Giving yourself evidence based feedback and tracking your own success you may notice things that you would like to have happen more often or more consistently in which case you will be gradually create a solution focused mindset and you will be able to articulate what you do want.
This isn’t something I found easy at first, I found it hard to look back. In fact I had no real way to access ‘good’ memories with this in mind you might set yourself a task of consciously noticing and recording what is working over the next 90 days. The result is the same. Your attention is on what is working.
This investment of time is so worth it I promise.
Training your inner critic to pay attention to your ‘wins’ is fundamental in my opinion to ‘feeling more resourced’.
If you cannot see, hear or feel any sense of your success this is when you might employ external feedback. In my case I trained/educated my husband, my family, my friends and my clients to pay attention to my wins/successes so that when I overlooked them they could remind me.
Failing that you could employ a coach, mentor or a friend or me.
WARNING: Take care when asking friends and family because sometimes they can’t remember either and that doesn’t mean you are useless it is most likely because of how their memory works and they simply cannot access that information instantly. so again ask them to pay attention and to tell you in the moment and if they also forget to do this be mindful they too may be struggling with staying focused on your request because their own mind is full of self doubt.
Set them up for success and ask them to help going forward. Ask them to notice and tell you when they see you achieving and being successful. And of course you too can be proactive to put your attention on their strengths, wins and successes to.
Failing that you have question 3:
Question 3. How do I need to be to be able to notice what I am achieving and to become solution focused?
Invariably this comes down to a skill or a resource like have more self belief, be more assertive, make a decision, be more organised, trust more or let go of guilt.
It could be that you need more confidence in your listening or your learning or even your memory. Each of you will be bespoke and if you are still struggling please don’t struggle any longer. Get in touch.
Over the years of taking clients through the STAR system to gain and maintain clarity what I have come to realise is that self doubt creeps in more and more when you do not have confidence in your decisions and you do not have a process for recording what works for you.
About the Author – Sheryl Andrews – The Strength and Solution Detective
Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening, is well known for her fast speaking and her passion to make things happen. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to challenging conversations, lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough. Sheryl use to find it difficult to speak up and have her needs met despite the fact she could and would encourage everyone else to do exactly that. A series of 3 events in her personal life forced her to stop and learn how to take her own advice.
Today, Sheryl loves resourcing you to you to do more of what you love, delegate what you don’t and ditch the critic that says you can’t.
Sheryl openly shares an easy to adopt communication tool kit that will transform the way you think and train others to listen. Sheryl will be your strength and solution detective until you have fully trained your inner critic and those around you, to listen in a way that motivates and inspires you to be the best you can be.
Fancy a virtual coffee and chat, then please feel free to book a complimentary clarity and confidence session or check out the “How to do, delegate and ditch with confidence” free webinar.
Don’t know how call her now….+44(0)1329 286648
Follow Step By Step Listening on Social Media
Proud Member of BNI Uplands
Case Study – Erica Dent (August 2010 – Dec 2012)
Communication Training For Trainers
About Erica – Enjoy Discovering Wine
Erica Dent’s is an award winning wine trainer who found her passion for wine in 1995 when she moved to New Zealand, which led to her completing a one-year, full-time Polytechnic course in viticulture and vilification. The college has its own vineyards and winery, so the course followed a complete annual cycle of the vine, starting with pruning through to bottling and labelling the wine a year later. She also gained work experience at other vineyards and wineries in New Zealand.
Why did you start working with Step by Step Listening?
I met Sheryl at a Solent Women in Business networking meeting in November 2009 and in March 2010 I attended a taster session. This is when I realised that I quite liked the business of ‘listening to myself’ instead of asking everyone else for the answers. I knew straight away I needed to get going and booked a one-to-one with Sheryl.
During this first session I discovered that I had a [metaphorical] brick wall which I kept coming up against and, therefore, couldn’t get past it to move my business on. It was as simple as having the realisation that I had this brick wall, which represented my fears in business, and that I needed to work on getting past it.
I was new to the area and struggling to gain clientele. I noticed that whenever I even just ‘thought’ about selling, it created a knot in my stomach, this was a feeling of great discomfort one that I am now familiar with when I am mentally not comfortable with an aspect of my business.
This was my first of many very productive sessions with Step by Step Listening , in fact, in that first one-to-one session, the wall completely disappeared!
Erica worked with Step by Step Listening for 2 ½ years taking her from sole trader to small business owner. We still keep in touch today and have become really good friends. Nowadays her team and husband are able to ask her the questions and she doesn’t ‘need’ our space because she has created her own. Over the two years Erica attended power group sessions for planning and decision making, one to one sessions for really drilling down and group learning sessions to practice and improve your listening and questioning technique plus a team day to help the team create a team vision for the company.
What difference has working with Step by Step Listening made?
- I am less tired and I am managing my time more effectively
- I have more fun as I am not so stressed
- I get more reward from my hard work, which makes it even more worthwhile
- I often hear myself using the questions in my head which helps me to get the answers more quickly
- I have recognise sooner what is working, so I waste less time on what is not working
- Financially it is working well, meaning less unwanted pressure
- My client base has considerably increased
- I have employed two staff and find using the questions really helps me manage them better
- As a team we are all working to our strengths, seeing results, and more importantly having fun!
As a result of the sessions I was pro-active to recruit someone to do the sales. I now have someone who finds sales easy and loves it; for me working at my best is teaching and building the business, not selling. I have since found that I enjoy having coffee and talking to people about Enjoy Discovering Wine’s offerings and building relationships, but I am not comfortable at the initial making contact.
You can really have fun in business when you know how you work at your best. When you know what you are great at, then you can employ the right people around you to compliment and do the stuff you are not so good at.
Despite initial doubts about the questions, Andy, my husband, now uses his own version of them which still works for us. We ask the questions to resolve differences and make decisions, such as which car to buy, whose turn it is to cook dinner etc., in much less time than before.
Why do you keep coming to your monthly session even though business is so great?
Erica said, “It is a space to clarify my thinking, so if something has cropped up in business, it gives me space to think about what ‘I’ would like to have happen, and even when everything seems all okay I always, always have a da dahhh! moment, you know those moments of revelation when you go, oh yeah that’s it.”
I am now a team of three and we have trebled the business. I can now separate work and life a little more, although that probably will never really happen, I love working. I am less tired, work is more rewarding and it is so much more fun.
Who would you recommend to work with Step by Step Listening?
Erica said, “I would recommend anybody and everybody to just give it a try and give it a good try, experience the different ways of listening, and learn a little bit about the questions that make the difference. If you want to run your business on your terms, in your own unique way, and with confidence then, this process is for you.”
“If you want overnight answers by being told by others what to do, then this is probably not the right way for you. The sessions are all about you understanding ‘your’ thinking and having the confidence in your own decisions. The one-to-one sessions are more intense and you get more extreme focus on you and your business only; whereas the Power Groups allow you to gain some insight into how others are having similar challenges and achievements, while you work on your own stuff at the same time. It is a very supportive and encouraging environment to be able to work in, being with other business owners, but still having intense focus on your own business.”
Leave a comment Edit
Case Study – Shirin ( July 2013 – Present)
Communication Training For Touring Artists
Shirin is a talented and determined Singer Songwriter and Co-Founder of Dogtooth Records has worked hard to make it big and tour the world with her music.
When Shirin talks about performing in a big O2 arena stage it is not all about her being on the stage and wanting to be the centre of attention, it is about sharing her passion for music and the difference it can make to your life. Shirin wants to demonstrate to the youth and the old alike that your dreams matter and you should make them a reality. Together with her partner Mitch, from Macro Mitch, they are keen to change the reputation of the music world with healthy living tours that focus on eating well, training hard, performing at your best without the need for drugs or alcohol to overcome nerves.
Shirin has worked in the music industry since the age of 13 and when I had the pleasure of meeting her in July 2013 she was just 22 having recently returned from a 9 month contract with Hard Rock Café in Macau, China.
What was happening?
Shirin having experienced a knock back in her youth she knew all too well that another attempt to make it big was going to require tools and strategies to develop resilience and resolve to not be ‘controlled’ by others and confidence to take ownership of her art and career.
How did Shirin work with Step by Step Listening?
Shirin started at first by attending one of our taster sessions where we were exploring how to improve listening skills once she recognised how powerful the metaphors were for helping her gain clarity of her thoughts we designed a programme that consisted of face to face sessions and skype one to ones which at first Shirin attended weekly then fortnightly with the purpose of resourcing her for her up and coming Asia tour.
Just before the tour Mitch (her life partner and tour manager) attended the ‘Do Delegate or Ditch’ retreat 2 day retreat to resource them to:
- Plan for success – Keeping both their goals in mind
- Improve decision making skills
- Enhance time management
- Raise awareness of what they needed to work and learn at their best
The couple then left for Asia where we had limited contact via the odd email and skype session. During this time I was able to share with Shirin many of the tools from the ‘Motivate, Manage or Mentor’ programme setting her up to manage herself, her band and her personal relationship with Mitch.
I feel so grateful to have shared this journey with Shirin who handles knock backs with such resilience and grace. Shirin has never given up and is determined not to be manipulated or controlled by the bigwigs with limiting contracts. Shirin and Mitch have created their own company; Dogtooth Records. Having now successfully toured 150 venues in the UK, Toured Asia and USA, Shirin is now sharing her knowledge and wisdom with other talented musicians and encouraging them to find their own way to get recognised. I am very excited about their future endeavours with independent artists and you never know I might discover a passion for live gigs that I just never quite grasped as a youth.
This is a few words with Shirin just after she realised that now her and Mitch were skilled enough to coach each other she no longer needed me for clarity sessions but would now just bring me in to give feedback on their external communications.
Shirin has been very open and willing to share her journey and you can watch more of the videos from Mitch and Shirin here.
I am very pleased to now work in partnership with Dogtooth Records as their recommended resource for resilience and strength for their touring artists.