How to Grow a Thriving Business

Copyright 2005 Leni Chauvin
The Client Attraction Coach (tm)

An interesting thing happened to me this morning. I woke up, looked in the mirror, and realized that today was the tomorrow I had alluded to for so many yesterdays. I understood finally that on so many levels and for far too long I had lived a Scarlet O'Hara existence: "I won't worry about that today; I'll worry about that tomorrow."

Sound familiar? Have you ever said, "I'll clean up the office 'tomorrow;' I'll spend more time with the kids 'tomorrow;' I'll start working out 'tomorrow;' I'll make those calls 'tomorrow;' I'll stop smoking 'tomorrow?'"

How many tomorrows have come and gone for you and how many things on your list became things to do "soon" instead of "tomorrow?" Do you remember when they went from "soon" to "one day," to "some day?" If you're anything like me, it was probably in the blink of an eye.

Shocking, isn't it, how fast time flies? There are things to do, places to go, people to see. Somehow lots of tomorrows come and go and many of the things on our "to-do" lists (which once seemed so important), fade from our memories, until we wake up one morning and say, "Oops!"

Well, you can't get back yesterday's tomorrows, but today's tomorrow will be here soon, and, as they say, it will be the first day of the rest of your life. You CAN make the best of it, and make better use of all the tomorrows that follow.

How? By taking charge of your life and your career; by taking responsibility for what you want to create, and by staking your claim to the future you deserve to have. It's time to become clear on the vision you want for yourself and your business, and it's time to live up to your potential.

We're only given so much time on our individual journeys; stop letting things get in the way of what you want to contribute, of what you want to accomplish, and what brings out your passion. There is no time like the present to start working on your future.

Being clear on what YOU want to create is the first step. You, not your boss, not your mother, not your spouse, but YOU. What do YOU want, and do you truly want it, or is it something that you think you "should" do?

Do you hate cold calling, but think you "should" do it anyway if you want to make a sale? Why would you want to dig yourself into an unfulfilling rut when you can easily find another way to get the business on YOUR terms?

Have you been given a promotion which will bring you lots more money? Great! But does it mean you have to move 2,500 miles away from your family and friends? Not so great! How important is it for you to have a support system?

If support is important, your decision becomes a no-brainer: don't take the job! Eliminate the "shoulds" from your life. Look to what is truly important to you, your sanity, and your belief system. Then go for it!

They say that the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago and the second best time is today. If you haven't accomplished what you had wanted to accomplish by this time in your life, don't beat yourself up. Let it go and start planning and creating what you want.

There is a wonderful story called "The Daffodil Principle," written by Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards. If you're not familiar with it, "The Daffodil Principle" concerns a mother who reluctantly accompanies her grown daughter on a trip to see a field of daffodils.

The weather is bad and the mother is strongly opposed to the trip...until she rounds a corner and sees five glorious acres filled with magnificent daffodils in every shade of yellow, pink, and orange imaginable. There were 35 varieties in all, each planted as a group and each group swaying in unison, as they were touched with gentle breezes. It was absolutely breathtaking.

When the woman asked her daughter who had planted all the bulbs, the daughter told her that it was just a single woman who lived on the property. They walked up to the woman's home and saw a sign on the front porch indicating answers to the questions most often asked about the beautiful carpet of flowers growing in the field.

According to the story, the first answer was "50,000 bulbs."

The next answer was, "one at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and very little brain."

The final answer was, "Began in 1958."

They call this The Daffodil Principle. It's quite simple, really, but it's not at all easy. It takes a vision, some planning, lots of hard work, and most of all, an enormous commitment. Without commitment, we only have dreams, never daffodils.

Bottom Line: It's never too late to create the awesome future you want. Work diligently and have faith in yourself; you can accomplish whatever you bulb at a time.

Copyright Leni Chauvin


Leni Chauvin coaches ordinary people to build and market extraordinary businesses. The strategies in her Attract Clients Galore Marketing System(tm) help solo professionals get more (and better) clients without having to spend a fortune to do it. Subscribe to Leni's newsletter for tips to help you grow your business, too.

Acres of Diamonds
By Russell Conwell

Book Description:
This book is small, eloquent, and easy to understand. It is about life, success, money, and priorities, what these things are and aren't, and will continue to challenge the way most of us choose to live our lives for years.--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Download Description:
Yet Conwell did not get readily into his life- work. He might have seemed almost a failure until he was well on toward forty, for although he kept making successes they were not permanent successes, and he did not settle himself into a definite line. He restlessly went westward to make his home, and then restlessly returned to the East. After the war was over he was a lawyer, he was a lecturer, he was an editor, he went around the world as a correspondent, he wrote books. He kept making money, and kept losing it.--This text refers to the Digital edition.
From the Publisher:
A new edition of the classic inspirational speech--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author:
Russell Conwell (1843-1925) was a lawyer, Baptist minister, decorated Civil War officer, and founder of Temple University, which is now the largest post-graduate training institute in the United States.

See You At The Top
By Zig Ziglar

Classic book on progressing from fear to success. The author leads us to analyze our self-image, relationships with others, goals, attitudes, work habits, and desires.

The Power of Positive Thinking
By Norman Vincent Peale

Book Description:
Faith in yourself makes good things happen to you. This classic guide to self-esteem and success will help you learn how to: break the worry habit; get other people to like you; avoid "the jitters" in your daily work; believe in yourself and everything you do; develop the power to reach your goals, and so much more.

From Simon & Schuster:
Translated into fifteen languages with more than 7 million copies sold, The Power of Positive Thinking is unparalleled in its extraordinary capacity for restoring the faltering faith of millions. In this insightful program, Dr. Peale offers the essence of his profound method for mastering the problems of everyday living. You will learn: How to eliminate that most devastating handicap---self doubt How to free yourself from worry, stress and resentment How to climb above problems to visualize solutions and then attain them Simple prayerful exercises that you can do every day, through-out the day, to reinforce your new-found habit of happiness Eliminating all the negative thoughts that prevent you from achieving happiness and success, The Power of Positive Thinking is an inspiring program that will help you create a positive change in your life.--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Inside Flap Copy:
Faith in yourself makes good things happen to you. This classic guide to self-esteem and success will help you learn how to: break the worry habit; get other people to like you; avoid "the jitters" in your daily work; believe in yourself and everything you do; develop the power to reach your goals, and so much more.
About the Author:
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale The late Dr. Norman Vincent Peale was an author, columnist, radio and TV commentator and the Minister of the Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, preaching to 4,000 people every Sunday. His sermons were mailed to an additional 500,000 people worldwide. The Power of Positive Thinking is largely based on his pioneering work with the Religio-Psychiatric Clinic of the American Foundation of Religion and Psychiatry, of which Dr. Peale was president.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad
By Robert T. Kiyosaki

Personal-finance author and lecturer Robert Kiyosaki developed his unique economic perspective through exposure to a pair of disparate influences: his own highly educated but fiscally unstable father, and the multimillionaire eighth-grade dropout father of his closest friend. The lifelong monetary problems experienced by his "poor dad" (whose weekly paychecks, while respectable, were never quite sufficient to meet family needs) pounded home the counterpoint communicated by his "rich dad" (that "the poor and the middle class work for money," but "the rich have money work for them"). Taking that message to heart, Kiyosaki was able to retire at 47. Rich Dad, Poor Dad, written with consultant and CPA Sharon L. Lechter, lays out his the philosophy behind his relationship with money. Although Kiyosaki can take a frustratingly long time to make his points, his book nonetheless compellingly advocates for the type of "financial literacy" that's never taught in schools. Based on the principle that income-generating assets always provide healthier bottom-line results than even the best of traditional jobs, it explains how those assets might be acquired so that the jobs can eventually be shed. --Howard Rothman

Book Description:
"Personal-finance author and lecturer Robert T. Kiyosaki developed his unique economic perspective from two very different influences--his two fathers. One father (Robert's real father) was a highly educated man, but fiscally poor. The other father was the father of Robert's best friend--the Dad who was an eighth grade dropout who became a self-made multi-millionaire. The lifelong monetary problems experienced by his "poor dad" pounded home the counterpoint communicated by his "rich dad." Taking that message to heart, Kiyosaki was able to retore at 47. RICH DAD, POOR DAD, written with consultant and CPA Sharon L. Lechter lays out Kiyosaki's philosophy behind his relationship with money. RICH DAD, POOR DAD opens readers eyes by:

- exploding the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich
- challenging the belief that your house is an asset
- defining once and for all an asset versus a liability
- explaining what kids need to know about money for their future financial success"

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
By John C. Maxwell and Zig Ziglar

John C. Maxwell offers lively stories about the foibles and successes of Lee Iacocca, Abraham Lincoln, Princess Diana, and Elizabeth Dole in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. Readers can expect a well-crafted discussion that emphasizes the core attitudes and visions of leadership. Maxwell uses the same tell-it-like-it-is approach that he honed in the bestselling Developing the Leader Within You. For instance, when explaining "The Law of Influence," Maxwell states that "job titles don't have much value when it comes to leading. True leadership cannot be awarded, appointed or assigned. It comes only from influence and that can't be mandated." Even after Princess Diana was stripped of her title, Maxwell says she was still able to lead a global effort toward banning land mines because of her sophisticated ability to influence others.

If readers are looking for a step-by-step formula, Maxwell's list of "laws" will probably seem too chatty and anecdote driven. There are no specific tips on what readers can do during the next workday to help them become stronger leaders. On the other hand, Maxwell's background as a pastor gives him an inspirational voice and a spiritual context to leadership that many business and church leaders appreciate. --Gail Hudson

What would happen if a top expert with more than thirty years of leadership experience were willing to distill everything he had learned about leadership into a handful of life-changing principles just for you? It would change your life.

John C. Maxwell has done exactly that in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. He has combined insights learned from his thirty-plus years of leadership successes and mistakes with observations from the worlds of business, politics, sports, religion, and military conflict. The result is a revealing study of leadership delivered as only a communicator like Maxwell can.

The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels
By Michael Watkins

Whether challenged with taking on a startup, turning a business around, or inheriting a high-performing unit, a new leader's success or failure is determined within the first 90 days on the job.

In this hands-on guide, Michael Watkins, a noted expert on leadership transitions, offers proven strategies for moving successfully into a new role at any point in one's career. The First 90 Days provides a framework for transition acceleration that will help leaders diagnose their situations, craft winning transition strategies, and take charge quickly.

Practical examples illustrate how to learn about new organizations, build teams, create coalitions, secure early wins, and lay the foundation for longer-term success. In addition, Watkins provides strategies for avoiding the most common pitfalls new leaders encounter, and shows how individuals can protect themselves-emotionally as well as professionally-during what is often an intense and vulnerable period.

Concise and actionable, this is the survival guide no new leader should be without.

"Few companies develop a systematic 'on-boarding' process for their new leaders, even though this is a critical function with major organizational implications. Michael Watkins's The First 90 Days provides a powerful framework and strategies that will enable new leaders to take charge quickly. It is an invaluable tool for that most vulnerable time-the transition."
-Goli Darabi, Senior Vice President, Corporate Leadership & Succession Management, Fidelity Investments

"Every job-private- or public-sector, civilian or military-has its breakeven point, and everyone can accelerate their learning. Read this book at least twice: once before your next transition-before getting caught up in the whirl and blur of new faces, names, acronyms, and issues; then read it again after you've settled in, and consider how to accelerate transitions for your next new boss and for those who come to work for you."
-Colonel Eli Alford, U.S. Army

"Watkins provides an excellent road map, telling us what all new leaders need to know and do to accelerate their learning and success in a new role. The First 90 Days should be incorporated into every company's leadership development strategy, so that anyone making a transition in an organization can get up to speed quicker and smarter."
-Suzanne M. Danielle, Director of Global Leadership Development, Aventis

"Michael Watkins has nailed a huge corporate problem and provided the solution in one fell swoop. The pressure on new leaders to hit the ground running has never been greater, and the likelihood and cost of failure is escalating. Watkins's timing with The First 90 Days is impeccable."
-Gordon Curtis, Principal, Curtis Consulting

"The First 90 Days is a must-read for entrepreneurs. Anyone who's been the CEO of a start-up or early-stage company knows that you go through many 90-day leadership transitions in the course of a company's formative years. In this groundbreaking book, Michael Watkins provides crucial insights, as well as a toolkit of techniques, to enable you to accelerate through these transitions successfully."
-Mike Kinkead, President and CEO, timeBLASTER Corporation, serial entrepreneur, and Cofounder and Trustee, Massachusetts Software Council

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