Archives for May 2017

How to Make Right-Aligned Choices to Use Your TEAM Resources by Ali Shanti

As promised, I am sharing with you my own personal process of how I make choices about how to best use my time, energy, attention and money (TEAM) resources in service to you making your own right-aligned choices so you can have a life worth living.

I am LOVING your responses and reminded of why I desire to allocate some of my TEAM resources to writing to you. I feel so nourished by your replies and reflections. Thank you!

If you've missed the first two posts in the series, you can catch up on them here on my blog.

Here's why this is so important to me…

I believe when we've all made right-aligned choices, we will come into harmony with ourselves, each other and the planet.

And to me that equals sustainability.

So the first thing I want to share with you about my process is a noticing around where I get off track.

I tend to make poor choices about the use of my TEAM resources when I am unaware of my motivations.

When that's the case, I am driven by subconscious, mostly hidden even from me, patterns and stories created by my past experiences instead of by conscious, creative, heart-centered choices about the kind of life I want to have and the world I want to live in.

As  a result, instead of experiencing the outcomes I want, I experience the outcomes that are a natural extension of those past stories and experiences.

An infinite loop of repeating patterns. Can you say STUCK?!?

Do you know the feeling?

When I am stuck, I can't seem to see a way out.

Every choice seems to lead back to the same outcomes.

For me, that usually looks like two businesses, stuck at around $1.5mm of revenue, way too busy, making good money, but not keeping very much of it and not really feeling as if I'm getting anywhere.

Now for some of you reading this, you're going to think “I'd love to be stuck there!”

And, yes, it's not a bad place to be stuck, but stuck is stuck is stuck. And, it's all relative.

That's a key thing to remember so you don't get stuck in comparison despair (a place I often get stuck myself) and think that you can't have the life you want because you have less than me, or haven't gotten to where I am in my life and businesses.

Remember, I started off with no special resources or skills. Came from a family with all sorts of issues and problems. And, used the coping strategies that I learned growing up with the family I did to create what I now have.

And, I've even let it all go, filed bankruptcy and rebuilt again from the space of nothing.

We can all create anything we desire from wherever we are, when we are willing to see where we are creating our stuck points and make  different, conscious choices.

If you do find yourself looking at my stuck place and feeling jealousy, envy or judgment, simply notice that and see it as a pointer to more of what you might want for yourself.

One of the best ways to get unstuck is to come into clarity around what you truly want.

And I find one of the best ways for me to do that is noticing where I am judging or jealous of what someone else has!

For others of you reading this, you've far surpassed my stuck place and you've got more money, more time freedom, and yet you're still finding yourself stuck, repeating the same patterns again and again and again and feeling unfulfilled.

That's the first key, noticing where you are stuck.

And beginning to notice where you keep getting to the exact same place, over and over and over again.

Because from that noticing, you can begin to look at the choices that lead you to that place repeatedly.

So, back to what gets me stuck in this same place again and again and again. I get stuck when I make decisions from fear.

I get stuck when I don't own my true desires. I get stuck when I choose my next course of action based on what people will think of me, rather than based on what I truly want.

I get stuck when I'm a perfectionist. And a control freak. And when I don't trust people because I've been burned in the past.

I get stuck when I let comparison despair get me down. And when I forget my vision.

I get stuck whenever I blame anyone else for my results.

Now that I see where I get stuck, I can shift it.

Tomorrow, I'll share with you how that works so you can begin to notice where you get stuck and shift your stuck places too.

Feel free to comment and let me know where your stuck place is. Where you keep getting to again and again and don't seem to be able to move beyond.

Together, we can create something new. And, ultimately, be the change we want to see in the world.

Talk again tomorrow.

I’m not perfect and I think this will still help

Yesterday I wrote to you that I would be sharing with you about where I've been and how I've learned to make choices about how best to use my time, energy, attention and money (TEAM) resources in support of a life worth living.

So, here we go…

Now, the first thing for you to know is that I am far from perfect.

I'm sure you already knew that.

And I am not sharing my process with you so that you come to make the same choices I've made, or even in the same way I've made mine.

But, instead, to give you some insight into HOW I make my choices so you can begin your own process of self discovery and make the right choices for you.

I'm just back from the Landmark Forum, which I attended a few weeks ago for the first time, and while I was there I was reminded of the power of sharing.

When I heard other people share their experiences, it gave me more insight and clarity into my own subconscious and I got to know myself more.

So, I'm sharing this here with you in service to you getting to know yourself more.

Because for me, that's what it's all about – you, me, all of us making choices about how we use our TEAM resources in the highest and best way for each of us, consciously, instead of by default or as a result of deeply patterned/conditioned beliefs that continuously have us creating lives not worth living.

Okay, so that's what's happening here and why I'm sharing with you.

So before I fully get started into my process, would you share with me about where you are with your own use of your TEAM (time, energy, attention and money) resources?

I'm curious.

What do you struggle with when it comes to your use of your TEAM resources?

Is it the time, energy, attention part? The money part? Both?

Or, do you have it all handled? If you do, I'd love to hear that too.

Hearing where you are helps me know what part of my process is most useful to share, and what is just my own desire for catharsis.

Update and an Eyes Wide Open Love Letter

If you are new to Eyes Wide Open, you probably don't know that it's been way too long since I've posted to the blog.

But, it has.

And, if you've been with me a while, well hello again.

I would love to share with you where I've been, and what's been happening behind the scenes here in the life of Ali/Alexis and Eyes Wide Open.

It seems that this is the time. So, hello, if you are new or hello again if you've been wondering.

About 18 months ago, I realized that it was time for a life and business uplevel and I was going to have to make some tough choices about what stayed, what went and where I focused my time, energy, attention and money (what I call our TEAM resources).

So, I applied my own Money Map work to my life and businesses (I often find that when we are stuck, doing our own work on ourselves is what produces the breakthrough) and it became clear from that process that I could not build two companies and be the leader I needed to be in order to do a great job with either one.

I was so resistant to letting go of either, but it was clear that if I wanted my life's work to progress, I'd have to choose.

I know many of us are facing these decisions constantly.

How do I best use my TEAM resources to have the life and income I desire?

How do I focus on one without compromising the other?

What's the highest and best use of me?

Are these questions that plague you constantly too?

If so, I'd love to share my process of discovery with you, in the hopes that it may help you discover more about yourself and help you to make more right-aligned choices about how to use your TEAM resources in service to the life you want to live.

If you'd like that, you're in the right place. I'll be emailing you more regularly sharing that process right here.

Watch for it.

And, in the meantime, if you'd like to re-presence for yourself what it means for you to have a life worth living, you may want to watch this guided meditation/video I made a few years ago.

Okay, more soon…

Eyes Wide Open Training of Team Members to Grow Your Business

I've been building businesses for the past 14 years and I can honestly say that the biggest block to the growth of each business was that I had no idea how to hire and train people well.

As a result, with each of my businesses, I hit a ceiling and couldn't get past it.

When I hit that ceiling — usually at between $1mm-$1.5mm/year of revenue — I would find myself working all the time to manage my team, tasks and priorities and find my creativity, energy and enjoyment of the business leach away.

Usually, at that point, I would find a way to sabotage the business and either turn over my whole team, shrink the business back, or throw up my hands altogether and walk away.

Then, sometime later, I would start again, rebuilding often from nearly scratch and get right back to the exact same place and find myself frustrated that I couldn't seem to get past it.

I always wondered why I couldn't seem to build multiple businesses, like Richard Branson does.

6 or 7 teams (at least), and four businesses later, I've figured out where I was going wrong and now I want to share it with you. And, also apologize to every past team member who worked on my team and left feeling disempowered and not seen for their greatness.

I can see now that I was stuck with a project management style of training that I thought was leadership, but was far from it. It was management. And I hated management. So did my team members, I am sure.

Now I can see that eyes wide open leadership is far different. And way better.

If you learn how to lead instead of manage your teams (unless you are a project manager, in which case you can instill leadership in your project management), you will be unstoppable and can become the kind of leader that have allowed business leaders like Richard Branson and Steve Jobs to build multiple companies and products that have made a huge impact in the world.

Or, you can work part-time and have a thriving company full of leaders while you provide a great service or product and love your life.

So what is the difference between the project management style of training your team and training your team as a leader?

Project management style of training is one in which you give your team member specific tasks that need to get done, and then specific instructions on how to do those tasks, and then monitor whether the tasks were done to their specifications.

And, if they are not done to your specifications, you get frustrated, and feel certain you have to take it all back and just do it yourself.

This is not leadership. It's project management. And, done this way, you will consistently disempower the people you've hired, and get stuck in the role of babysitter, not leader.

Steve Jobs put it well when he said: “When you have really good people, you don't have to baby them. By expecting them to do great things, you can get them to do great things. A-plus players like to work together, and they don't like it if you tolerate B-grade work.” – Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple

Unless you want to be your company's project manager, micro-managing all the details and always feeling stuck in the weeds, here's an alternative methodology for training your team members that will establish your leadership and get the results you want, right from the start.

Eyes Wide Open Outcome, Resources, Deadline and Check-Ins

When you are bringing on a new team member, instead of giving them specific tasks and specific ways to perform those tasks, and then holding them accountable to those tasks, give them outcomes, resources, deadlines and check-ins.

Here's how that could look:

First, identify the specific outcome the company needs. For example, each month we run a monthly campaign promoting one of our online training programs.

Or, we need to send out an email newsletter to our clients each week. Or, we need to ensure that everyone who calls our office gets followed up with weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually.

Second, give your team member the specific company resources available to them to meet this outcome.

So in our case, using the monthly campaign as an example, I would train my team member on the specific products we have to promote, and then let the team member know how we structure our campaigns, introduce the team member to our copywriter, our website manager, and our customer service representative.

And then I would tell the team member the specific objectives for the campaigns, for example — each month we want to enroll twenty people in the course.

Using the weekly article as an example, I would let the team member know where I've found or curated articles in the past. Or let the team member know to ask me for the article each week. And, I would give the team member a login to our website, as well as to the service we use to send out the newsletter.

I would also provide a document with standards for posting the weekly article and sending out the newsletter.

Third, give the new team member a deadline.

Let your new team member know specifically when he or she is expected to have this outcome completely handled without any input from you.

Then, let your team member get in to the resources and start doing it, while you are in parallel still doing it yourself until the deadline date for the team member to take it over completely.

So, for example, lets say that I hire the team member in May, I would still handle the May and June campaigns and then by July let's say, I'd want the team member to be handling the campaign on his or her own.

Or, for something smaller like a weekly email newsletter, if I hired on May 1, I'd still handle the first two weeks of May's email newsletters and expect the team member to take it over by the third week of May.

Finally, schedule periodic check-ins between the time that the outcome is given and the deadline date, so the team member can let you know what he or she is missing, needs or to show you the process he or she has discovered at the time of check-in and identify any missing parts.

This allows your new team member to get in there and just start figuring it out, and make some mistakes (which is a key tool of learning) while also having the support necessary to fill in any gaps in the training or resources.

Think about it this way: imagine you were trying to teach someone to tie their shoes. You could explain how to them for hours and hours how to tie their shoes, and even show them how to do it, but until they get their hands on the laces and start playing with the laces and making mistakes and then asking for specific help, they won't learn to tie their shoes.

Now, one key to this working is that you have to hire people you trust can actually do the job you've hired them for, and ideally people who you know will do the job even better than you. This is one place I definitely got stuck. I didn't properly vet people before I hired them, so that when they inevitably made mistakes, I began to question whether they could do the job well.

And then because I was in a project management style instead of a leadership style, instead of giving them the leeway and time to make mistakes (because I was still doing the thing until the deadline we had set while they were in the mistake making and learning process), I would jump in and take it over from them, further undermining their confidence and disempowering their ability to take over for me.

It was a vicious cycle in which no one was set up to win.

So make a shift today from the project management style of training your team members and into the eyes wide open leadership style of training your team members and watch your business expansion (and your own personal growth) become a real possibility.