Is the “Competitive Advantage” Really An Advantage? The Case for “Collaborative Advantage”

When it comes to crafting your business’ marketing messaging and defining your position in the marketplace, a commonly encountered question is: “What is the ‘competitive advantage’ of your company?”

The traditional definition of “competitive advantage” is the way a company distinguishes itself by keeping an upperhand over other companies who offer similar products and services. It’s all about “survival of the fittest.”

Reverend Suzi Schadle from the Center for Spiritual Living Eastside in Bellevue, Washington (www.csle.org), once shared this direct experience of hers from when she was leading a workshop in a school.

She was working with kids from the ages of 5-6. She wanted to teach them to work as a team.

She split the students into smaller groups of several children. The exercise she gave them was to take a raw egg and then, using the supplies that were passed out, they were to build a container for the egg so that it could be dropped from a height of 6 feet without breaking the egg. No further instructions were given. (more…)

Coaching Boom 2010 – Tips from Day #2

CoachingBoom 2010 is a virtual business-building training event that started on this past Monday, February 11th and runs through Thursday, February 18th.

I’ll be presenting on Thursday, February 18th at 8:15 am PT.

My topic? “How to Get More and Better Clients Using PAID Introductory Sessions”

Milana Leshinsky, the host of CoachingBoom 2010, has been sending out the top ideas that she’s taken away from each day’s sessions.

Here are here top 5 tips from Day #2:

1. To get more relationship or any life coaching clients,
create and offer results-oriented programs – workshops,
classes, events – for your niche market (David Steele)

2. To create a strong personal brand, be congruent and
consistent in everything you do. Use your title or tag
line on your site, newsletters, and coaching programs
(Suzanne Falter-Barnes) (more…)

Letting Go and Letting God

More often than not, I don’t recall my dreams. But last night, I had a scary dream that I recalled quite vividly when I awoke.

In the dream, I was a participant in a workshop. I recall walking by lots of other people who I knew quite well, but frankly, I didn’t recognize any of their physical features. But I knew that I knew them! I wonder if that’s somehow related to the notion that we are all connected intimately with one another!

The next scene I recall is being on the rooftop of the building we were in. The roof wasn’t flat, like a lot of buildings, but was steeply sloped, with multiple “peaks.”

I happened to look out upon the roof and, much to my horror, I spotted my youngest son, Jordan, out on the roof. Now, Jordan is quite the daredevil, but this was a bit much.

I instantaneously feared for his safety, yet realized that I was phyically too far away to snatch him off the roof. In the very moment that I experienced great fear, still in my dream, Jordan started sliding down the roof.

I realized that I was physically too far away to snatch him off the roof and back to safety. So, I remember closing my eyes and praying to the Great Spirit to take care of Jordan. I knew I could do nothing else, but to “let go and let God” take over.

When I opened my eyes, I saw that Jordan had slid onto an adjacent roof peak and was comfortably and fearlessly perched there, free from harm.

Upon awakening from my dream, I recognized how tightly I attempt to control and force outcomes. Especially when I’m uncomfortable and seek something other my current reality. It’s a habit we as human beings share.

Yet, my experience in sports, business, and life in general, is that letting go of my attachment and pinpoint control of outcomes gives me the greatest freedom to perform at inspired levels.

My dream was a vivid reminder to practice (and it is a practice) letting go of my human fears and desire to control. Letting go opens the door to great power and experiencing the extraordinary.

Building a Successful Business by Practicing Habits of Success

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines a habit as “a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance.”

Now nearly 100 years-old, my yoga master and WWII fighter pilot ace, Dr. Michael Gladych has frequently reminded me that “repetition is the key to mastery.” At the age of 93, he underwent cardiac bypass surgery – without general anesthesia. Do you think he’s mastered a thing or two in his lifetime?

In their course syllabus from The Principles of Financial Freedom: Duplicating the Nature of Spirit in Your Financial Affairs, Reverends Lloyd Strom and Marcie Sutton write that:

“The old adage that “practice makes perfect” contains great wisdom. Whenever we practice anything, our entire psycho-physical being reorganizes itself toward perfection of performance. Consequently, we will always become skillful in anything that we practice. This is because the divine intelligence within us responds to our willingness to change for the better, by changing us for the better. Our willingness for this change to occur is demonstrated by practicing. When we are unwilling to practice, we are unwilling to change, and the “status quo” will always prevail. Every great human achievement has come to those who have engaged in practicing the disciplines of their chosen endeavor.”

It is commonly stated that “successful people have successful habits.” Unfortunately, this statement is an oversimplification of an extraordinarily critical success factor.

Your habits are a product of your beliefs, thoughts, and feelings.

Successful people have developed habits that enable them to be successful, given their particular combination of beliefs, thinking power, emotional intelligence, and style of taking action.

Note the emphasis on… given their particular combination of beliefs, thinking power, emotional intelligence, and style of taking action.”

Each of us possesses a unique blend of beliefs, thinking power, emotional intelligence, and style of taking action. And this is why what works for one person, doesn’t necessarily work for another.

Some of these beliefs, thoughts, and feelings work for us. Some of these beliefs, thoughts, and feelings work against us.

And so it follows that if we develop habits, based on those unproductive beliefs, thoughts, and feelings, these in turn, result in outcomes that are less than desirable at best, and catastrophic, at worst.

So what can you do about this?
Make a list of habits that work for you. And, make a list of habits that work against you. Some of the habits that work against you will be habits of “not doing something” that actually would benefit you.

Once you’ve created these lists, start with the list of habits that work against you. Then, identify the limiting beliefs, thoughts, and feelings behind these non-productive habits.

In addition, be sure to make the list of habits that work for you and identify the beliefs, thoughts, and feelings that work for you. This is an important counterbalancing exercise, so don’t overlook its value.

This simple exercise of creating a list of desirable habits along with a list of undesirable habits holds great power – the power of acknowledging one’s self for productive habits and the power of awareness of those beliefs, thoughts, and feelings that no longer serve you or honor who you really are at your core.

Five Simple Steps to Habits That Lead To Freedom

  1. For those habits you desire to eliminate or change, becoming aware of them is the first step toward freedom.
  2. Commit to altering or eliminating those habits that no longer serve you.
  3. Commit to adopting productive habits to replace the old ones.
  4. Address the beliefs, thoughts, and feelings that keep those non-productive habits in place.
  5. Establish a structure of accountability to ensure that you are supported in following-through on practicing your new habits and getting support and encouragement when you get stuck.

This five-step approach to altering habits is simply said, though not as easily done. But if you are truly committed to adopting habits of success that jive with how you are uniquely ‘wired,’ repetition is truly your key to mastery. And, you’ll reap the rewards for years to come.