Thursday, October 4, 2012

My confessions that led to a massive breakthrough - Pt 2

A couple of weeks ago I shared some recent events that happened in my life that led me to the greatest breakthrough I have experienced.  What happened, and what did I do?

I realized that I had given my personal power and "WHY" to a relationship that was destroying me and my life.  The hardest part of this fact was accepting that I made that choice, I wasn't a victim, I was a willing participant.  If I was going to make changes and regain control of my life, I had to make some serious changes.  The good news is that you can regain your power as quickly as you can give it away!

So what steps did I take:

  • Identify "WHY!"
This sounds like rhetoric, but it was essential for me to make changes.  I had to decide why I wanted to change, and it had to be more compelling than the status quo.  I have watched so many people just accept life as it came to them as if they had no control.  And, when we choose to live like this, we don't have control.  And, in essence we really don't have control because we have given it away.  Luckily, we can reclaim this power if we create a compelling why to base our decisions on.

  • Identify all the NEGATIVES in your life.
This is the hardest step of all because some of these negative influences we like, are comforted by, and in some instances addicted to.  In this step, I took a hard look at every relationship in my life, every habit, every excuse, and how I did everything.  This was a brutally painful step for me because I had committed to complete HONESTY with myself. (BTW - This is the number one negative in many people's lives if they aren't getting what they want - LYING TO YOURSELF!!)  Most people stop here because of the pain, but I promise you it is worth fighting through the pain.  Here are some other examples:

    • Laziness
    • No purpose or goals
    • Television (The average American watches more than a month of TV every year!!  Get rid of your TV, start a part time business, and work only a quarter of that time previously spent in front of the television...Would that make a difference?)
    • Food
    • Excuses
    • Your own lies
    • Facebook
    • Texting
    • Your phone
    • Alcohol
    • People who encourage you to stay where you are or support your BS!
    • And, so on...
  • Eliminate these NEGATIVES and REPLACE them with new positive habits.
This sounds easier than it really is.  This is where intention meets truth.  Are you committed to the changes you claim?  And, this is where you discover if your WHY is compelling or just platitudes.  I made drastic changes in my life, and it was very hard.  I ended relationships that had been a part of my life for years.  I completely changed my eating habits.  I had gone from a cheat meal (actually a regular meal) being a couple of glasses of wine, half a pizza, and a big bowl of Blue Bell Ice Cream to a cup of Kashi Go Lean Crunch with Chobani Mango Greek Yogurt and a cup of tea from Teavana.  Did it feel better, HELL YES, but I did miss the grease of the pizza and the sugar of the ice cream while my mind was made numb from the wine!  Would I go back, not in a million years.  Am I tempted, SOMETIMES!  I eliminated the television from my life as well.  Me and the boys still watch a good movie, but it is not the focus of our days anymore.  There are a number of other changes made, but I know that I couldn't have made these without having a COMPELLING WHY!

  • Create your Top 6 Goals for the next twelve weeks and twelve months.
This is an important step.  Create goals that you can measure quickly and see results in the near future.  Life long goals are great, but when you are making a massive shift in life, you need to see results quickly to know that you are doing the right thing!  I have a complete goal setting program that you can use to transform your life in the next 90 days.  Email me if you want more details about this program.

  • Create a trusted group of people and mentors.
You are not superman or wonder woman so create an accountability and mentoring group that will hold you to the standards you want to live.  This is a critical step to long term success.  Can you do it without this, yes, but it is hard.

These steps guided me to the biggest transformation in my life.  For me, I hit a spot in my life where I was on auto-pilot, going through the motions and accepting.  Luckily, Christina jolted me out of this mode, and then I took these steps to make my transformation.  I hope they can help you make the changes you want in your life, and for those of you already on your path may it serve as a reminder to what you are already doing.

I CHALLENGE YOU to make the next 90 Days the best 90 days of 2012!  I would be honored to personally mentor you in your transformation!  You can achieve a lot in 90 days especially when you begin to string several 90 days together.

To your success,

Jesus Balderas
"The Coach"

P.S. Message me if you would like to discover how I will mentor you through these steps over the next 90 days. Only the committed need to reply.

P.P.S. This is a critical point to note, even when you make all these changes, you will still have challenges and difficulties. The difference is that you are equipped to breakthrough them now!

Five top tips to starting a successful business - by Richard Branson

Here is an amazing post from Richard Branson on starting your own business.  If you already own a business, don't dismiss this article as it applies to opening a new income stream or division.  Enjoy!

1. Listen more than you talk

We have two ears and one mouth, using them in proportion is not a bad idea! To be a good leader you have to be a great listener. Brilliant ideas can spring from the most unlikely places, so you should always keep your ears open for some shrewd advice. This can mean following online comments as closely as board meeting notes, or asking the frontline staff for their opinions as often as the CEOs. Get out there, listen to people, draw people out and learn from them.
2. Keep it simple
You have to do something radically different to stand out in business. But nobody ever said different has to be complex. There are thousands of simple business solutions to problems out there, just waiting to be solved by the next big thing in business. Maintain a focus upon innovation, but don’t try to reinvent the wheel. A simple change for the better is far more effective than five complicated changes for the worse.
3. Take pride in your work
Last week I enjoyed my favorite night of the year, the Virgin Stars of the Year Awards, where we celebrated some of those people who have gone the extra mile for us around the Virgin world. With so many different companies, nationalities and personalities represented under one roof, it was interesting to see what qualities they all have in common. One was pride in their work, and in the company they represent. Remember your staff are your biggest brand advocates, and focusing on helping them take pride will shine through in how they treat your customers.
4. Have fun, success will follow
If you aren’t having fun, you are doing it wrong. If you feel like getting up in the morning to work on your business is a chore, then it's time to try something else. If you are having a good time, there is a far greater chance a positive, innovative atmosphere will be nurtured and your business will flourish. A smile and a joke can go a long way, so be quick to see the lighter side of life.
5. Rip it up and start again
If you are an entrepreneur and your first venture isn’t a success, welcome to the club! Every successful businessperson has experienced a few failures along the way – the important thing is how you learn from them. Don’t allow yourself to get disheartened by a setback or two, instead dust yourself off and work out what went wrong. Then you can find the positives, analyse where you can improve, rip it up and start again.

Friday, September 21, 2012

My Confessions that led to Massive Breakthrough - Pt 1

I vividly remember a scene in the second Matrix movie when the Frenchman was explaining - Choice and Consequence; or Cause and Effect.  This dialog has stuck with me ever since I watched the movie.  In this scene, he discusses choice, but we do not have the power to choose our consequence.  He discusses the true power is in "Why!"  What is your "Why?"

Once you understand your "Why," you can then choose your actions to support this.  The challenge in life is that most people do not understand his/her "Why."  Without this understanding, we are essentially powerless because we base our decisions on emotions, feelings and the influence of others in that moment.

This is also true in business. Why are you in business?  How do you select your clients?  (That is right, how do you select your clients?  Too many people just accept anyone who agrees to give them money even if they are not a good fit for you.)  What kind of client service do you give?  How do you become EXCEPTIONAL!  If you do not base your CHOICE in your WHY, then your choices are random, and far too often they are reactionary.

And, sometimes you give your WHY or purpose away to another person by letting them determine your WHY for you.  This is very dangerous!  I recently found myself in this situation, and I had convinced myself that I was in control.  The reality was that many of my decisions were based on the emotions, whims and decisions of another person.  I found myself unfulfilled, unhappy and stressed to the MAX.  For months, I found myself going through the motions, feeling sorry for myself, and wondering what else life could throw at me.  (This is for another discussion, but the Law of Attraction was strongly at work here.)

Luckily, I had a great friend, Christina, that reminded me that I had choice.  She reminded me that I had the power to choose what I thought about, what I focused on, how long I dwelt on something, how I reacted to something and who was a part of my life.  At first, she simply challenged me with questions like:

  • Why do you choose to think that;
  • Why did you let yourself feel that way;
  • That's interesting, why did you react that way;
For weeks, we had been talking about Attraction, Choice, Respond versus Reaction, and Happiness.  One day, she asked me to discuss and coach her on a specific business idea.  The funny thing is that when we met, we decided to walk and talk, and the focus of our discussion became the Power to Choose.  And, this is when she asked me my most revealing question -

And, the most enlightening question was, so you have been frustrated about this all day, why?  And, what do you have to do to change the way you feel?  Christina asked me this question almost off the cuff, but it penetrated to my very core.

(Ouch...And, I was frustrated for most of one day because a client wanted her website to be EXCEPTIONAL, and she kept making adjustments to  the photos on her site!)  Now, go figure that, a client has listened to me about being exceptional, and I choose to get frustrated!  Oops!

I doubt she even realized the impact of the conversation.

I rushed home, and started to pull out old books and notes from seminars that I had attended over the past two decades.  I was like WOW!!  I really have given away my power to choose.  As soon as I decided to eliminate the toxic thoughts, influences and people in my life - a peace overcame me.  I was able to focus on my WHY, something I had forgotten as I was rushing to put out fires and please others.

This sent me on a massive EVALUATION of my business and my life.  If you can relate to this, you will definitely want to bookmark this blog and read next week's post as I share with you the specific steps I took to make a major breakthrough in my life, how I did it, and within a few short months changed the entire outlook of my business and life.

To your success,
Jesus Balderas
The Coach

P.S. I recently had a client who was working with a high profile business person who was causing chaos in my client's life.  He treated my client as if she owed him something, and he kept dangling carats of big business.  This was causing her great stress, and I shared my story and some strategies with her that I am going to share with you next week.  Once she dealt with this person and situation, she was instantly relieved and her business grew almost instantly.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Matthew Balderas versus Michael Phelps

I know with all the Olympic buzz, and the success the USA is having at these Games that you may think I have lost my proud parent mind.  Yes, I am extremely proud of Matthew and his swimming.  He has become a little fish this year that requires at least 3 daily trips to the pool, and every trip requires some racing with me or his older brothers.  And, let me tell you, Matthew can swim, but there is a difference between being good at something and becoming great at it.

Will Matthew break all of Michael Phelps records in 14 years - I don't know, but probably not?  Could he break all his records, possibly?

The point is this, every day I see talented people with great business ideas that do not cultivate their skills to become a champion.  A champion puts hours of training, studying, and work into honing their skills.  Yes, they have a natural talent, but often times they often work much harder than anyone else to get the most out of that talent.  

To me, this is the difference - they identify their talent, and then they work hard to get everything out of it!

Right now, Matthew just loves swimming, and whether he comes first or second in a race he has won the race in his mind!  Will he become a champion swimmer, only if he puts in the work.  But for now, Matthew is my swimming champion!!

Here are keys to becoming a Champion:

1. A Champion realizes there is a price to pay.
2. A Champion is ready and willing to make the sacrifice that is necessary.
3. A Champion has the skill to focus in the moment. 
4. A Champion accepts nothing less than excellence. 
5. A Champion realizes it’s not what happens but how you react to it that counts.
6. A Champion is intent on self-improvement and creates inner pressure to achieve the desired result. 
7. A Champion always has a game plan and thinks and works on their plan. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Zappos Way

Zappos is an incredible success story that has created an amazing culture within its company.  Here are the 10 Core Values of Zappos that we can all learn from:

  1. Deliver WOW through service.
  2. Embrace and drive change.
  3. Create fun and a little weirdness.
  4. Be adventurous, creative and open-minded.
  5. Pursue growth and learning.
  6. Build open and honest relationships with communication.
  7. Build a positive team and family spirit.
  8. Do more with less.
  9. Be passionate and determined.
  10. Be humble.
There is so many great lessons in these values.  Study them, learn from them, and most importantly apply them within your business and service model.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What I learned from Richard Branson...


I hope you're great! Just finished an event with Richard Branson in Bucharest (a city known as the "Paris of The East") and wanted to share my takeaways with you to help you take your career and life to its next level of wow.

Richard was polite and larger than life. A pleasure to share time with. And a man who clearly adores all he does. I encourage you to read his autobiography "Losing My Virginity" as well as his book "Business Stripped Bare" if you haven't gone through them yet. Uber-inspiring. For people who want to become Remarkable Entrepreneurs - and express their absolute best.

Anyway, I'll get right into some of my observations as well as the ideas we discussed. Please don't underestimate the power of these simple ideas - superbly executed, they yield brilliant results.

1. Politeness Matters. As mentioned, Richard Branson was unfailingly polite. He mentioned to me that when he was a kid, if he criticized someone, his mother would make him stand in front of the mirror at home and say, "what you're seeing in others is really what you're seeing in yourself. So look in the mirror." This educated him on the key leadership habit of looking for - and then encouraging - the gifts and talents within other people.

2. Be Massively Independent. When Richard was just four years old, his mother stopped her car and instructed him to find his own way home, over many miles. When he was about 12, she told him to cycle 100 miles to Bournemouth alone, to visit a relative. He expressed to me that these childhood experiences were his mother's way of growing his self-reliance. And building the invincible inner core that has served him so well as an entrepreneur.

3. Screw It - Just Do It.
What makes a great company (and great life) isn't so much the inspiring idea as the flawless execution around the big idea. As Edison once said: "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration." Richard shared that much of his success came from his philosophy to disregard the naysayers and those telling him his dream was impossible and just get the dream done. (Please remember: the impossible is generally just the untried). This is a man with a giant bias towards action.

4. Lavish Praise on People.
I know you know this: the bigger the dream, the more important the team. Having worked with many of the best entrepreneurs in the world, I've learned that every single one of them gets that you can't do it alone. Beautiful to have a brave vision. But the real key is finding the genius-level talent to get that vision delivered into reality. And if all you know how to surround yourself with is mediocre people, you're destined to experience mediocre results. Richard is brilliant at finding the right people that bring his targets of opportunity to life. And he confirmed that once they are on his team, "I lavish them with praise." Our takeaway: relentlessly celebrate+develop+inspire your people.

5. Be a Radical Innovator. When he was a young entrepreneur with nothing more than the little college newspaper THE STUDENT, he still showed a lust for disregarding all the rules. He challenged the status quo. And disrupted what was considered normal. An example: he somehow was able to get John Lennon to do an original piece of music for him. He then put the song on a special disc and packaged it into the newspaper, right next to the interview he'd done on the rock 'n roll legend. At Virgin Records, he recruited the Sex Pistols and reinvented a whole category of music. At Virgin Atlantic, he gave passengers massages on airplanes and dropped them home in limos. And with Virgin Galactic, he's taking people into space. Very cool. Fantastically bold.

At the Bucharest meeting, he told the 2500+ people in the concert hall that "sometime in your lifetime, every one of you will have visited other parts of the universe." And I believe it.

6. Build Your Brand. Richard Branson gets branding. He knows what he - and the Virgin name - stands for. Fun. Good Value. Strong customer service. And so at every possible opportunity, he evangelizes all it stands for. Oh, and he's also clearly a master of getting attention. From hot air balloon adventures that made global news to showing up at a press conference nearly naked to promote Virgin mobile, this Remarkable Entrepreneur gets the value of owning a share of our brain cells.

7. Find Your Necker Island. Get this: Branson paid roughly $300,000 for his beloved Necker Island. He and his then girlfriend Joan were visiting the Caribbean on a getaway. They fell in love with Necker - but it was about $4,000,000. But he wouldn't give up (let's never discount the power of a ridiculous amount of persistence around your most closely loved goals). A few months later, the owner needed cash. Branson made his deeply discounted offer. It has served as his retreat away from the world for many years. Here's the real point: in the world of so much noise and complexity, find your personal retreat (even if it's an aged wooded bench in a public garden) where you can withdraw to think+create+renew+rest.

8. Lucky Wins. We make luck. Enough said.

9. Don't Do It If It's Not Fun. Branson wears a smile pretty much all the time. He laughs naturally. And radiates happiness. Zero doubt: he loves his life - and all that's in it (George Clooney said he'd swap his life for Richard Branson's - much to the delight of Richard's wife). The lesson for us: life's just too short to be doing work that destroys your soul. This is the best time in the history of the world to become an entrepreneur. Find work you adore. And get busy changing with world with it.

10. With Gifts Come Responsibilities. OK, so Richard Branson's one of the richest people on the planet. But he gets that being good trumps shiny toys. He mentioned to me that, "with great wealth comes great responsibility." And so he's spending a lot of his days evangelizing Virgin Unite, his foundation that helps kids in need. Reminds me of what my amazing father taught me - using the words of the great poet Tagore - growing up: "Robin, when you were born, you cried while the world rejoiced. Son, live your life in such a way that when you die, the world cries while you rejoice."

So there you go. What the iconic Richard Branson shared with me on a sunny Wednesday in Bucharest. I hope the lessons also serve you well.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Quid Pro Quo

You are probably wondering what the heck is Jesus on about with this "Quid Pro Quo."  Also, the concept of Quid Pro Quo was given to me by Jane Balderas after she read my last blog.  Thanks, Jane.  Well, I want to continue to discuss the power of giving.  I was reading the Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John  David Mann.  And, the principles that they share in this book are very powerful.

So today's blog post is about Quid Pro Quo.  What does this mean?  According to the dictionary, Quid pro quo (this for that in Latin) most often means a more-or-less equal exchange or substitution of goods or services.  Another term I often hear in business, is win-win scenario.  What does this really mean, and I never thought of it this way until reading the Go-Giver.  It really is another way of keeping score in many instances.  I have a friend that we usually have lunch once a week together, and we alternate who pays for lunch.  Would I or he keep coming to lunch if only one of us paid every time.  Maybe, but probably not.  In business, I see people set up a referral arrangement between each other.  What they are really doing is testing the relationship.  They will give a referral to see if they get one in return.  And, after several referrals if they have not received a reciprocal referral, then they usually stop giving referrals, and they will look for a new relationship with someone in the same profession to test. How do I know this?  Because I've done it, and been on the other side of the equation of it.

I want to propose a new strategy.  Instead of thinking about whether you will receive referrals from a potential relationship, put your client first.  In other words seek out the best professionals and providers of service for your clients without thinking of your business.  Your focus is on who can provide the best products and services to your clients.  Then approach the business owner, and explain to them that you would like to provide referrals to them because your research says that they provide the best at what they do.  Then freely refer your clients to them.  I know some of you may think this sounds crazy, but think about it for a minute.  How would your clients feel about you if you always referred them the very best of everything?  Would they be happy?  Would they trust you?  How would the other business owners feel about you?  This strategy can explode your business in so many ways because you are doing business for the right reasons - to serve your clients!

This is just one example of how you can apply this powerful principle.  So what is this principle - give to others without the expectation of return.  On a personal front, focus on giving for the sake of giving, not giving to receive.  Give to your spouse to give her/him joy, a break, love, a laugh, etc.  Don't cook dinner to receive a massage.  If the massage comes then great, but if it doesn't you still gave your spouse a break and hopefully a smile from a wonderful meal (unless you can't cook).  I can't tell you how many times I have heard and maybe even said, if I do this for you, you will owe me.  No, they don't owe you.

One last example, find a way this week to give to someone that can't possibly pay you back.  Give to a stranger, a child, a single parent, or the elderly.  Recently a friend of mine met a single mom that was struggling to make ends even come close to meeting.  He quietly talked to several of his friends that were successful in their own businesses. After talking, they decided to go shopping for her, and they bought her about $500 worth of groceries and household needs.  When they gave it to her and her 3 teenage daughters, they just broke down crying (all of them).  The first thing out of the mom's mouth was "but I can't repay you."  The husband and wife said "we know, and we don't want you to."  The families that contributed to her family were so moved by it, they decided to give this to her every month because $150 a month wasn't a challenge for them to commit to.  This is giving freely, and you know what no one even knows that they are helping.

Let's abolish the principle of "Quid pro quo."