Happy New Year

Make 2018 Your Best Year Yet!

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9 Questions to Ask Yourself as You Begin the New Year

One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself before starting the New Year is to set aside some for reflection. Reflecting on where you’ve been and where you are going can help you set the stage for your best year ever. 

Take 20-30 minutes to reflect on these 8 questions:

1.  What are my top three memories of 2017?

2.  What are three memories I want to create in 2018?

3.  What area in my life worked best in 2017?

4.  What area in my life do I want to improve in 2018?

5.  What do I need to start doing in 2018?

6.  What do I need to stop doing in 2018?

7.  Who do I need to express more gratitude toward in 2018?

8.  What fear or fears are holding me back from what God wants for me?

9.  If you could make one change in your life right now, what would it be?

Working hard is important…but working smart is key.

One important element to working smart in the new year is taking time for reflection. By asking and answering these nine questions, you can leverage the lessons learned in 2017 and apply this wisdom as you make plans for what you want to accomplish in 2018.  

The questionnaire is an adaptation of the Launch Youversity blog post 10 questions to ask yourself before the end of the year. 

Remembering The Point Of Christmas

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It’s easy to lose sight of the point of Christmas amidst the hustle and the bustle of the holiday season.

This is the time of year where Holiday activities and seasonal to-do lists capture our attention and occupy our time. Surf the internet or turn on your television and you’ll be bombarded with all sorts of Christmas messages. But somehow in the midst of all of those messages, the point of Christmas can be lost.

In fact, even the Pope “tweeted” his frustration, saying the point of Christmas has been taken hostage by worldliness.

Pope-tweet-point-of-christmas-hostage

In society, the majority typically rules in establishing culture. This dynamic is certainly in play when it comes to how we view Christmas. And in recent years, culture has had a knack for trivializing the momentous, ignoring the profound, and embracing the superficial.

We’ve marginalized it.
• Simplified it.
• Distracted from it.
• Established laws against it.
• De-emphasized and blurred the core point of it.

I serve on board of One Thing for Men, a ministry designed to help facilitate men’s group Bible gatherings. For December, we created a three-week message series and men’s group discussion curriculum focused on the Point of Christmas.

In the message series, Executive Director Ron Dunn, reminded everyone the Point of Christmas originated with God, way back in time. God invented Christmas and there is only one message that really matters.

It’s a perspective and truth that we can’t afford to miss. Fellow board member Jeff Brethauer and I had the opportunity to share when we got the point of Christmas. You can watch the message by clicking the image below. 

Point-of-Christmas-Tom-Martin-Coaching

In a recent devotional, Rick Warren shared the point of Christmas is quite simple:

You believe, and you receive.

You believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins, and you receive him into your life.

God sent his Son to Earth 2017 years ago to die for you. That’s God’s very first Christmas gift, sent to you thousands of years before you were even born.

Merry Christmas!

~ Tom

A Guide to Setting Goals You Can Achieve

5 Key Steps to Setting Goals and Achieving More

Have you thought about what you want to accomplish in 2018, by 2020, or maybe by your next birthday milestone?

Are you clear about what the key objectives are in your personal life, your career, or your business?

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If you want to succeed, you need to set goals. Without goals, our focus wanes and our sense of direction is dulled. 

To accomplish your goals, you need to know how to set them. You can’t simply say, “I want” and expect it to happen. Setting goals is a process that starts begins with careful consideration of what you want to achieve and ends after a lot of hard work to actually do it. In between, there are series well-defined steps that transcend the specifics of each goal. Knowing these steps will allow you to formulate goals that you can accomplish.

Why You Need to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing Today

When business owner start looking for ways to attract more customers, what is the first thing that comes to mind? The internet, right? But before they start having conversations about SEO, SMO, and social media ads, they need to make sure they have fully optimized the free online marketing platforms available, like Google My Business.

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When digital platforms like Google My Business and Nextdoor are fully optimized phones start ringing, customers start showing up, and traffic increases on websites.

Sadly though, many small business owners fall under the misconception that a website, some search engine optimization and a few social media posts are all they need for business growth to occur.

Your website doesn’t need to be found by everyone; it just needs to be seen by the people who live in your community. You get this right, and the results can be significant.

4 out of 5 people use search engines to find information about your business.

Your potential customers are searching find local business information like business hours, location, phone number, online reviews, and more. Customer surveys reveal that businesses with detailed online profiles and complete business listings are twice as likely to be considered reputable by consumers.

How to Stop Indulging Your Limiting Beliefs

The struggle is real. And with the dawn of each new day, our confidence must do battle with the limiting beliefs that echo around in our heads.

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If you look at the image above you’ll see an assortment of limiting beliefs I’ve heard in the course of my business coaching and life coaching with clients. 

According to Wikipedia, a Belief is the state of mind in which a person thinks something to be the case, with or without there being empirical evidence to prove that something is the case with factual certainty. 

Our beliefs can either be empowering or disempowering. And over time, because our actions or inactions follow our beliefs, they will create our reality. 

So if the battlefield is our minds, what strategy can we use to silence our limiting beliefs, gain confidence, and achieve more in life and in business?

What You Can Expect During Eclipse 2017

So you think you’re ready for the once in your lifetime total solar eclipse 2017?

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  • You have 1-3 pm blocked off on your calendar so you won’t be interrupted during the eclipse.✔️
  • You’ve purchased your ISO certified solar eclipse glasses. ✔️
  • You’ve scouted a perfect location to view the eclipse. ✔️ 

Great job preparing for Eclipse 2017!  

But, do you know what to expect? Do you know what to look for as this grand spectacle unfolds? 

Why You Need To Do a Mid-Year Business Review

It’s halftime, how did you do? The end of June represents halftime for your 2017 personal goals and business objectives. Much like in a football game, the scoreboard only tells part of the story at the end of the second quarter. So, before you kick-off the second half of the year, the wise thing to do is a mid-year business review.

Photo Small Business Owner Mid-Year Business Review

While the band is on the field at halftime, coaches and players are examining film and adjusting X’s and O’s to come up with a winning second-half game plan. Sadly though, many small business owners and sales professionals emerge from the July 4th holiday break with the same plan that has been in place since January. 

We Know We Should

The cars we drive, the planes we fly in, and the high-tech machines we use all need to be tuned and calibrated to ensure optimal performance. Intuitively we know our lives and our businesses have similar demands, yet we fail to schedule the time for this review. It is encouraging to see more and more of my small business owner clients incorporating a mid-year business review into their management philosophy.

Common Reasons Why We Don’t

And while more of my clients are open to this, there are two common scenarios where people resist doing a mid-year business review. 

Why is it Hard to Prepare?

This is a guest post from Mark Miller the best-selling author of 6 books, an in-demand speaker and the Vice President of High-Performance Leadership at Chick-fil-A. His latest book, Leaders Made Here, describes how to nurture leaders throughout the organization, from the front lines to the executive ranks and outlines a clear and replicable approach to creating the leadership bench every organization needs.

I was standing in the back of the room listening to my introduction, hoping the person would say something I could comment on when I took the stage. The room was full – hundreds of people. They had come to hear me speak. They wondered what I would say. So, did I… I was not prepared.

Image Hard to Prepare

I hope this has never happened to you as a leader. Take my word for it; to stand and speak in front of a group, large or small, ill prepared is not my idea of fun. Now, I’m okay with making spontaneous remarks as needed – that’s VERY different than a keynote presentation, or workshop setting in which success really does hang in the balance if you’re not prepared.

Are You Using Nextdoor?

By now you have probably received an invitation to join Nextdoor. And if recent press is any indication, you have been using Nextdoor in your community for quite some time.

Image Nextdoor Sign Up Page

Nextdoor currently has over 125,000 neighborhoods registered in its network, which, according to Nextdoor co-founder Nirav Tolia, represents over 75% of the neighborhoods in US.

For those unfamiliar with Nextdoor, Charlie Rose recently interviewed Tolia and they discussed the history of Nextdoor and the value it offers to consumers and local business owners.

One of the biggest use cases for Nexdoor members early on was neighbors asking other neighbors for the best service provider in their area. In a New York Times article about why Nextdoor has caught on, Tolia describes why it works so well for local business owners…

Of the five million messages are exchanged each day on Nextdoor, Mr. Tolia said, “the network’s users send more than one million recommending services to one another. And around 80% of those posts are discussions about local service providers and businesses.

Nextdoor vs. Facebook