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Musings from the coach

Every time you experience disappointments, it’s easy to feel pulled down emotionally and mentally. Your thoughts are taken over by negativity, dragging you into a lower state of consciousness, which can be overwhelming. Some disappointments can even make you feel as though you’ll never bounce back.

Imagine bounding into the office on an optimistic Monday morning, thinking you crushed all the deals in the previous week. Unfortunately, your clients unexpectedly changed their minds, sending you back to the drawing board.

Or, you pop open your email only to find countless messages pointing out mistakes you’d made on various assignments. Your calendar was so packed full of tasks, deadlines, and meetings that you weren’t able to keep everything straight. Without an organized calendar, it’s easy to mix things up, leaving you disappointed and stressed out.

A Tip 

It could be a mistake at work or even a personal issue like a break-up that brings you down. A dejected feeling is hanging over you like a rain cloud, and you need to take a minute to center yourself. Carve out some time to reflect on the disappointment and remember the phrase “time heals all wounds.”

A tip that can help accomplish this is to optimize your calendar. While it may not seem like a calendar can help with a disappointment or mistake that has already happened, you’d be surprised! Organizing your tasks can help organize your mind, helping you avoid future mistakes as well as setting a future reminder that things are going to get better.

A Tool 

Are you using your calendar app to the fullest? There’s a huge amount of capabilities, especially for Google Calendar, that can make your life so much easier. Color coding tasks, setting reminders, and sharing your calendar with friends, family, and coworkers are just a few ways you can utilize your calendar.

If you’re experiencing a disappointment in life, open your calendar, and set a reminder for one month or more from that day. On the reminder, write a note like “How do you feel about the disappointment you experienced a few weeks back?” Just by typing it out, you may realize that in a matter of weeks, the negative experience will have dulled its impact on you. When the reminder pops up later, you probably won’t be feeling as upset anymore, and perhaps you’ll have completely moved on from the incident.

Color coding is also another way to use your calendar effectively. You can use a color-coding system to help rank which tasks are the highest priority, or which category they fit into. You can choose one color for events, one for work tasks, and one for important reminders. Having this go-to organization method is a great way to get your day started rather than staring at a generic to-do list.

The calendar on your phone will also help you keep tabs with family and friends. Sharing your calendar with each other ensures that you’ll be included in all the special events going on with the people you treasure most. You can easily check when a baseball game, birthday party, or movie night is taking place. It’ll also make it easy to see when your friends are free, making it easy to plan a coffee date.

A Quote 

“Do not be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of “- Charles Richard.

“If you dare nothing, you will gain nothing when the day is over.” These wise words rang true in the mind of Fred Smith during the early days of his company, FedEx. Fred Smith, the founder and current CEO of FedEx, made a bold decision to save the company by gambling its last $5,000 and luckily turning it into $27,000. This was after he was denied a crucial business loan forcing him to go to great lengths to keep the company afloat. The money was essential to covering the company’s fuel bill, which would help FedEx stay alive for just one more week.

In 1971, Fred got the idea to start Federal Express, or FedEx, after realizing how difficult it was to send and receive airfreight in one or two days. While attending Yale University, he wrote a paper that laid out the logistical challenges that pioneering companies in the IT world face. He sought to create a shipment company that would focus on urgent shipments, thus changing the industry forever. He received a “C” on his paper from his business professor. Undaunted Fred decided to pursue his business idea.

Fred raised around $94 million to start the company, $4 million of which was his own money. Federal Express started on a decent run, but things began getting shaky three years down the line. The fast-rising fuel cost caused high operational costs, and the company was on the expressway towards bankruptcy. They had incurred an estimated loss of about $1 million in a month. The major challenge was that no one was willing to lend Federal Express additional loans.

The company only had a total of $5,000, which wasn’t nearly sufficient to keep things running. The planes needed fuel, and this amount could not cover it. Fred approached General Dynamics for a loan, but the loan was declined. This left the company at its lowest point, threatening to paralyze its operations completely.

That’s when Fred made a bold decision. Instead of flying home, dejected and almost out of business, he headed to a Las Vegas casino. Fred took the remaining $5,000 and gambled on blackjack, winning $24,000. FedEx now had enough to cover the fuel costs and keep the planes flying for a few more days. When questioned about what was going through his mind all that time, he responded by stating, “What difference does it make? Without the funds for fuel companies, we could not have flown anyway.”

This marked the beginning of a new era in the company’s history. As it turned out, FedEx only needed a few days to get things back in control. Fred was quickly able to raise a total of $11 million, which was sufficient to keep FedEx afloat.

In 1976, the company made $3.6 million, which was their first-ever profit. By 1981, FedEx profits went up to an estimated $40 million. Federal Express was renamed FedEx in 1994.

Today, FedEx is a multi-billion corporation that has revolutionized business practices globally with speed and reliability. Its net worth is estimated to be $25 to $35 billion. This is first-hand proof that success does come to those who dare to act.

A Tip 

Have you ever found yourself dozing off in the middle of a meeting? Or perhaps falling asleep while working at your desk? While you may choose the quick fix of a cup of coffee, the true solution may be getting a better night’s sleep. Getting enough sleep is essential to your health, but its importance is often ignored. Medical experts emphasize that sleep is one of the main building blocks of good health. Not only does it re-energize you, but helps rebuild body tissue and replenishes cells, including those in your brain.

In addition to medical experts, many other influential personalities are vocal about the importance of sleep. Arianna Huffington, the media mogul behind the Huffington Post, realized the importance of sleep after she accidentally worked herself to exhaustion in 2007. She spent sleepless nights creating her company, but waking up in a pool of blood with her daughter next to her was enough to make Arianna change her routine and embrace the importance of proper rest.

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is another successful CEO who values getting at least an eight hours rest. To him, it makes a big difference in his energy levels and ability to work efficiently and impactfully. He understands that when you’re fully recharged, you have more clarity and focus in your daily life. Burning out may lead to short-term success, but you’re bound to succeed more sustainably by giving your body the rest it needs.

It can be challenging to incorporate more sleep into your schedule, but being consistent in your bedtime is a critical practice. It helps create a sleep routine for your body, and your brain will be able to identify when it’s time to rest. It also helps to engage in relaxing activities before going to bed. Phones, for instance, are known to be great sleep distractors. They emit a blue light that suppresses and interrupts the release of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone. Trade your nightly social media scroll for a good book, and you’re one step closer to a good night’s rest.

A Tool 

Slumber, a free mobile app, is an excellent tool for guiding you into a restful sleep. It contains sleep meditations, soothing stories, calming music, and therapeutic soundscapes. You have plenty of options to choose from, allowing you to find what works best for you at bedtime.

The app’s sleep meditations are created by some of the top meditation teachers in the world, and its soothing stories can guide you to far-off places. Those who’d rather simply listen to calming noises can choose the music and soundscapes option. Surround yourself with woodland sounds as you take a stroll through a forest, or enjoy the hypnotic sound of ocean waves.

Anyone who struggles to fall asleep should head on over to the app store and check out Slumber.

A Quote 

“Don’t give up on your dreams so soon; sleep longer.” — Anonymous

Visionary Henry Ford founded Ford Motor Co. when horse carriers still roamed the streets, and many who couldn’t afford this means of transportation went everywhere by foot. His vision for mass production in the motor industry helped spark an industrial revolution, creating a more affordable and reliable automobile for the masses.  

Ford’s interest in automobiles started at 16 when he was hired as an apprentice machinist in Detroit. He used to operate and service steam engines while running a sawmill to support himself. The Edison Illuminating Company later hired him as an engineer, and Ford rose through the ranks to become the chief engineer in two years. In 1896 Ford created his first invention, the Quadricycle. The Quadricycle was his first step towards creating a gasoline-powered automobile. It consisted of a light metal frame fitted with four wheels driven by a two-cylinder, four-horsepower gasoline engine.

Ford spent the next seven years engrossed in the enhancement of the Quadricycle prototype. He then established Ford Motor Company in 1903. Ford’s first car was assembled a month later, and since then, the company has been a household name in the motor industry.

1919 marked the beginning of Ford’s new venture, which was almost as impactful as his motor company. He paved the way to create one of the most well-known barbecue staples: Kingsford Charcoal. It all began when Edward G. Kingsford helped Ford secure wood supply for his auto plants from a stretch of timberland. Ford then had an idea: what if he could put all the wood waste from his sawmill plants to better use? This resulted in the production of briquettes from pressing blocks of reconstituted char. The charcoal briquettes hit the market under the Ford Motor brand but were later renamed Kingsford Charcoal in honor of Edward G. Kingsford.

Today, Kingsford Charcoal is a billion-dollar company converting more than a million tons of wood waste into briquettes annually. Kingsford is ranked as the top charcoal manufacturer in the United States. They stand out in the American market as they are made with ingredients 100% sourced from North America. This has been the case since the company’s beginning and still carries on more than a century later.

They offer various high-quality briquettes, from the good-old Kingsford original briquettes to new superior varieties commonly used by chefs. Besides, their briquettes are widely used and associated with authentic grilling, good food, and the enjoyable barbeque season. Grill masters across the country rely on Kingsford charcoal all summer long, creating some of the most delectable barbecue meals.

Kingsford charcoal will give you the desired real charcoal flame needed to get that classic grill flavor, including natural wood smoke for grilling if need be. Additionally, they assure you not only a grill taste but a natural fire-grilled flavor.

As you can tell, Henry Ford was not a one-hit-wonder in the business world. From cars to charcoal, he’s had a greater impact on the world than we may have thought. Henry always took inspiration from the past, identified opportunities for the future, and believed in technology as a force to change the world. That’s why he is still remembered as an incredible innovator in American, and world, history.

As an entrepreneur, staying motivated and energized allows me to tackle any challenge I come across. There are plenty of responsibilities that can take up your attention as a professional, potentially draining you of the valuable energy you need to make your business a success. While you may be able to accomplish these tasks with ease, that doesn’t mean you have to.

Your success as an entrepreneur doesn’t eliminate your need for emotional downtime. While it’s important to stay energized and push forward, you need to remember to step back sometimes. This concept is the inspiration behind the tool, tip, and quote for May.

A Tip

Do less! While this may seem counterintuitive, this tip has helped me grow my business significantly. As an entrepreneur, I’ve had to consistently juggle between different tasks that need my attention. At the beginning of my career, I needed to be hands-on in every department to steer my business in the right direction. Though this approach worked in the early stages, it had to change in the long run.

In order to significantly grow your business, you need to take time to focus on the big picture. You’re the founder and visionary, after all! My tip this month is to assign smaller tasks to others and focus on the more significant aspects that unlock your business’s full potential. While you have the skills to complete the smaller things on your to-do list, outsourcing tasks will clear your schedule, allowing you to focus on being the CEO.

In the past, I’ve been shocked to check my weekly schedule and see how many of the responsibilities filling my days could easily be outsourced. While it may be tough to justify paying someone else to do something you can accomplish, you’re gaining something significantly more valuable— time!

Time is an invaluable resource. By freeing up time, you have the opportunity to focus on self-development, enjoy quality time with loved ones, or even take a vacation. These breaks are vital to being a successful professional in the long term.

A Tool 

Hiring a virtual assistant can be immensely helpful. You can use websites like Fiverr and Upwork to find qualified people to take care of smaller tasks you don’t have the time for.

I’ve been able to find numerous professionals to complete projects for me, all through these innovative websites.

A Quote 

As Peter Drucker, a management consultant, educator, and author puts it, “Do what you are best at and outsource the rest.”

You can be a well-rounded entrepreneur, but never an expert in every field that your business touches upon. Outsourcing has made it easy for me to acknowledge other people’s talents and grow my business.

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