Topic Progress:

Are you an optimist or a pessimist? There is a vast difference!

An optimistic person thinks the best possible thing will happen, and hopes for it even if it’s not likely. Someone who’s a tad too confident may also be sometimes called optimistic.

If you see the glass as half-full when others see it as half-empty; if you look on the bright side of things, you’re optimistic. If the chain falls off your rusty old bicycle, a tire goes flat, the frame cracks down the middle, the seat keeps twisting around, and you say, “But look! The little bell still works — I’m sure this bike will be fine,” you’re being very optimistic.

Pessimistic describes the state of mind of someone who always expects the worst. A pessimistic attitude isn’t very hopeful, shows little optimism, and can be a downer for everyone else.

To be pessimistic means you believe evil outweighs the good and that bad things are more likely to happen. So pessimistic people are usually pretty negative and kind of a bummer to be around. Don’t be that person!

Believe it or not Tali Sharot, Cognitive Neuroscientist studied why our brains are biased toward optimism.


Work Ethic: Be Impeccable With Your Word

As a Business Coach, I can’t express enough of how important it is to be a person of your word. If you are in business, a business owner, or a sales professional there is nothing more disappointing to a customer than to have broken your promise and wasted their time.

What is the outlier or cause for frustrating potential clients and dis-empowering yourself? Consider that you may not be following through with your commitments and promises to clients.

Here’s a short list of issues that turn off “potential” clients:

  • Never returned my call
  • Extremely unorganized
  • Very late to our initial meeting
  • Did not provide the proposal when promised
  • Did not listen to my core concerns
  • Over promised and under delivered

“How you do anything is how you do everything.” – T. Harv Eker

In other words, if you rarely arrive on time for work, it’s likely that you will show-up late to your customer meetings.

Another example, if you always miss deadlines, or wait until the last minute to complete projects and action items, it’s very likely that you will not provide answers to client questions, or meet you proposal commitments when promised.

I think you get the point! What is holding you back from being your best at empowering your connections?

“With organization comes empowerment.” – Lynda Peterson

The first suggestion is to become impeccably organized. With all the appointment apps and software literally at your fingertips, get acquainted with one product and master using it. I happen to use the calendar app on my iPhone and for client appointments.

‘Organizing is what you do before you do something so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” – A.A. Milne

A bit about strategic meetings:

Nothing replaces on-site meetings with customers as you get to know and understand them better. This visit may also allow you to see what priorities the client is white boarding and focused on.

This scenario is also ideal for spontaneous fact finding while potentially making new contacts to decision makers and stakeholders. Basic phone calls and emails will not be as organic.

Although when on-site meetings are prohibitive or inconvenient there are other solutions for a timely information gathering conferencing session.

Additionally, with all the technology advancements and tools (,,, etc.) in the video conferencing arena, connecting to your clients couldn’t have been easier.

Just, make sure you have an agenda that you share with your client before your scheduled meeting. Thus, giving your customer time to prep and provide answers to your questions. It’s also critical to stick to the scheduled “end of session” time as this action demonstrates that you respect your customer’s time.

A Productive Office Environment:

Is your office set up for you to maximize your efficiency? These days most of us have home offices. Sometimes it is where we work evenings and weekends or it is in addition to our main office. Other times we are in a home office full time. If so, are you making your day as productive as possible?

Additionally, with 14+ million home-based small businesses in the United States, according to the Small Business Association, maximizing productivity is critical. Most people do not maximize their office space for performance and give little consideration to areas that can make big differences.

In a company environment, experts can optimize layout, design and lighting among other things. But for those of us who have carved out an area in the back of our business or the home even small changes matter. Most people are not aware
of the changes that can be made easily to improve their productivity.

Below are six areas that will help you improve your productivity in your office space:

  1. Improve the lighting.

    This is, perhaps, the most important consideration. The best light is natural light from outside. If you are fortunate to have access to this light, place your desk in a spot that it takes advantage of this light source. However, not everyone is fortunate to have light streaming into the office and not every home office has overhead light.

    A task light directed over your work-space works wonders especially on dark days. I have a Realtor client whose home office was in her basement. Every time she worked there she felt dreary. Once we added a task lamp and a tall floor lamp that spreads light across the room, the space opened up and she no longer struggled to read numbers on her computer screen. All of a sudden she felt very differently about her “lower level” home office.

  2. Set up a good workflow.

     A project often involves several steps that can be worked on simultaneously or in sequence. Think of the time wasted if you have to stand up and move across the room every time you need an important file that is part of a project. Think, too, about access to the technology equipment needed for the project such as a scanner, copy machine and computer. Good workflow depends on having the right tools and equipment at your fingertips.

    While you’re at it, check periodically that your technology is up-to-date so you’re not wasting precious office time fixing it. It is frustrating – and a bit scary — when a computer crashes and there is a possibility of losing data.  Or, what if you need to scan information for an important case and your scanner is acting up? Do you have an IT person you can count on?

  3. Pare down desk items.

    Keep the items on your desk basic and within easy reach: phone, computer, possibly an extra monitor, a picture or two of the family, essential supplies and the project you’re working on. Everything else is a distraction. We waste 55 minutes a day, according to The Wall Street Journal, looking for documents we know we own. That is a lot of time that could have been used productively.

  4. Muffle noise from other rooms.

    Take a hint from psychiatrists and invest in a machine that makes white noise. Not only will it improve your concentration, but will mask the sound of a dog barking when you are on an important call.

  5.  Evaluate your office chair.

    Is it comfortable? A poorly fitting chair can cause back pain, which is a serious issue and one reason that people miss work. According to The American Academy Of Family Physicians, half of the working population suffers from back pain every year and 90% of adults experience it some time in their lives.

    A desk chair should be ergonomically correct so that the computer screen is in the right position along with the arm height and wrists.

    Although, there are also ergonomically correct desks that will also allow you to stand or treadmill and work.

  6.  Pay attention to aesthetics.

    This is my personal favorite and yes, aesthetics matters. Recently, I was in an office where there were attractive pictures on the wall and calming paint colors. I commented on the good-looking office. The office owner told me how proud she is of her office and how it positively affects her mood.

    If your walls are all white, perhaps it is time for a change. An interesting shade of paint and a few decorative art pieces make a big difference and do not have to be expensive.

Did you identify one or perhaps two areas that you could change in your office space? If so, it’s time to upgrade your office so it will be a place where you enjoy working. If you like your environment, I guarantee that your productivity will improve.