Dungeons & Dragons and the Keys to Your Success

Castle

CastleImage by Raúl A.

Isn’t it amazing how one word can become a quick and easy way to convey volumes of information and understanding between people?

The buzz word that emerged for us during last week’s Blue Sky Mastermind Retreat was “Oubliette.”

One of the members mentioned that she has a folder in her business that houses all the files that are no longer active but not yet ready to be deleted. She had creatively named that folder “Oubliette”, which is the French word for “dungeon.”

Each of the business owners attending the retreat had their turn at a two-hour laser-coaching session, where we worked through specific challenges in their businesses, gained clarity, and mapped out their next best steps.

As we went through this process, the limiting beliefs that were actually keeping them stuck in these challenges would inevitably begin to surface.

And “Oubliette” quickly became the buzz word, referring to the dungeon in your business where you feel imprisoned and unable to experience the success and freedom of your dreams.

Here are the understandings about Oubliette that emerged for all the attendees through the powerful two days we spent together:

1. The prison walls in Oubliette are made up of your doubts and limiting beliefs.

2. The only way to free yourself from Oubliette is to slay the dragon that is standing between you and a treasure so vast you can barely imagine it.

3. The dragon feeds on ~ and breathes the fire of ~ your biggest fears.

4. The closer you get to the dragon, the more you feel the heat of its fiery breath ~ and the closer you are to the treasure.

5. Your courage to stand up to the dragon is fueled by your desire for the treasure.

6. Your desire becomes stronger as you become more clear about what the treasure is ~ what is possible for you ~ and what your life looks like when you are enjoying that treasure.

7. Your most valuable tools as a Dragon Slayer are your Detached Observer glasses and your Flashlight of Awareness. {It’s nearly impossible to slay a dragon that you cannot see.}

8. Oubliette is constructed in a way that you believe you are living in solitary confinement ~ until someone lights a match or cries out for help and you realize that nearly every business owner on the planet is living in their own version of Oubliette.

9. Oubliette can be so dark and scary ~ and you may have been living in it so long ~ that you need a trusted comrade who will help you find your Detached Observer glasses and hold the Flashlight of Awareness for you.

10. The more you practice standing up to the smaller dragons that you encounter as you move closer to the treasure, the more powerful Dragon Slayer you become.

11. Your skills as a Dragon Slayer are magnified when you are in a community of other business owners who are all on a quest to face down their own dragons, assisting and cheering each other on along the way.

And here is the most mystical, magical realization that will speed you along your journey from being stuck in Oubliette to experiencing the clear Blue Sky of owning a thriving business and living the life of your dreams . . .

12. You are not only a prisoner in Oubliette . . . you are also the Jailer, the Dungeon Master, and the Keeper of the Keys.


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The One and Only Thing Limiting Your Business Success

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boxes_flickr_201715020_84ca29cad6_zImage by Linus Bohman

The level of success you will achieve in your business is limited by one thing ~ and one thing only.

Your Belief Box.

In framing our understanding of ourselves and our world, we tend to put ourselves in a box.

The four walls, the bottom and the top of this box are made up of our beliefs.

Beliefs about who we are, about the value of our products and services, and about what is possible for us . . .

Our beliefs determine the dimensions of the box ~ and whether it is rigidly constructed or easily expanded.

Your Belief Box is the container you create for the success of your business to flow into.

The smaller your Belief Box, and the more inflexible it is, the more limited you will feel in the results you’re experiencing.

An abundant, expansive Belief Box creates plenty of room for a wealth of ideal customers, of profits, and of alignment with your desired lifestyle.

And here’s the beautiful thing about beliefs: they can be changed in an instant.

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Do You Have One Foot In, One Foot Out of Your Business?

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fence_flickr_6985757255_da37053867_zImage by Simon Harrod

It’s inevitable.

At some point in the life cycle of your business, you will question whether you want to continue to own that business.

But the questioning sneaks up on you. It’s not like you wake up one day and decide to sit down with yourself over a latté and ask the tough questions.

The more typical scenario looks like this:

Some time after the honeymoon phase, the luster of business ownership begins to wear off.

You become increasingly adept at putting out fires, even enjoying the rush and the feeling of resourcefulness that comes with it.

After spending a sustained period of time in the fire-fighting phase {sometimes years, sometimes decades}, you being to wonder whether it’s all worth it. The long hours, the inability to take a real vacation, the cringing whenever you’re away from the business and the phone rings.

You just don’t have the same energy or enthusiasm for it that you once did.

On good days, you love owning your business. On tough days, you’d like nothing better than to throw in the towel and escape. These are the days when the thought of being an employee is so tempting.

At this point, few of us have the presence of mind or the courage to have the Latté Session. It’s natural to avoid the tough conversations.

Instead you begin to energetically check out of your business. You are now straddling the fence – one foot in and one foot out.

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5 Technology Tools That Will Save You Time, Energy & Money

Light bulbs

Light bulbsImage by Kenny Louie

As a small business owner, you fill many roles that are performed by entire departments in large corporations. You are often your own Executive Committee, wearing the hat of everyone from the President & Chief Executive Officer through every VP title you can think of.

One of my favorite executive hats to wear is that of the Chief Technology Officer.

Why? Because when I find and implement really great automation tools, I get to spend more time in my Zone of Genius and less effort slogging through my day.

Here are some of my favorite technology tools that I have used to automate my work ~ all are free or have free options with extremely low-cost upgrade versions.

1. Trello | Organize Anything

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Ahh, my new technology love. . . . I first heard about Trello ~ a free, cloud-based, online organizational tool ~ from several of my clients who were loving it for project management in their business. I started to explore it myself a couple of months ago and now wonder how I lived so long without it!

If you’re like me and have a tendency to jot down notes, ideas, and to-do lists on various Post-It notes, spiral notebooks, and notes in your iPhone . . . but then lose track of where you wrote them, this tool will change your life.

Like a room full of super-powered whiteboards, Trello allows you to create boards to organize anything ~ by yourself of with others ~ and everything gets updated and synced between your devices. You can add checklists, photos, videos, links to web pages ~ even assign tasks to others and include due dates.

Trello has now become an external storage device for my brain. I use it to house and manage my weekly priorities, blog post ideas, links to articles, ideas and resources for building my business, helpful images, concepts I’m developing . . . anything that I want to remember, refer to or use later. I also share boards with people I’ve hired to work with me remotely, which saves us from a ton of emails flying back and forth!

Stop trying to use your brain to remember all those flashes of brilliance and excellent resources . . . just drop them into a Trello board and use that beautiful brain for bigger and better things!

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How to Be Happier, Healthier and Wealthier: Change Your Radio Station

vintage radio

vintage radioImage by Tom Godber

It may sound crazy, but it’s true! Tuning in to a different radio station ~ both literally and metaphorically ~ really can make a huge difference in the results you experience.

I love to listen to music during my morning power walks, using the Pandora app on my phone.

Lately, though, I’ve been noticing how many of the songs out there seem to be centered around really downer topics ~ even though I really like the artists and the melodies, I’m kinda done with the lyrics speaking to heartbreak, loss and shattered dreams.

Don’t get me wrong ~ sometimes those songs are perfect when you’re ready for a good soak in the bathtub {a glass of wine in one hand and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in the other} and a big ugly cry to release emotions that are ready to go. But as part of my daily exercise when I’d like to get fired up and motivated for my day? Not so much.

So yesterday morning, as I headed out on my walk, I decided to create a new station on Pandora. The song that I seeded the station with was Happy by Pharrell Williams. I mean, how can you not get your groove on when you hear that song?

Well, Pandora got where I was headed and continued to stream more happy, upbeat, smile-inducing music until I was practically strutting down the trail like something out of Soul Train.

And the fun didn’t end there. My elevated mood, courtesy of my new Happy Radio station, continued on as I began my work day, excited and powerful. And my day just continued to get better and better, with so many great things occurring one after the other.

The switch in radio stations literally brightened my day and set the tone for more good things to come in.

And now for the metaphor {you knew it was coming} . . .

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