by Lisa Illman
As I look back on the past five years, I can identify key practices that significantly improved my results in my personal and business growth. To list all would be grueling, so I handpicked a few of my favorites!
Carry a Journal
This is such an easy and important step for any businessperson. Have a journal that you take with you anywhere. Your journal will not only keep a log of your daily activities, it can be a great tool for brainstorming during unexpected delays. You will be so thankful you have your journal when that encounter with someone you would love to meet happens. Taking notes during important conversations (especially unplanned ones) is key to saving details and contact information.
Create and Update a Success Diary
In his book, “The Success Principles”, Jack Canfield recommends creating and keeping a success diary. A success diary should include all of your successes starting from birth. Yes, that is correct, go that far back. As far back as you can remember and start listing all of your achievements. I included all of my successes in a notebook to date and then switched over to an electronic notepad I have on my iPhone for daily achievements. The success diary from your elementary school years might include anything from dance recitals you performed to ribbons you won at school. High-school years could include obtaining your driver’s license, a school play you participated in and trophies you may have won. The key is to consider everything. Overcoming bad habits like smoking to making friends with the nasty neighbor nobody liked. As you approach your current age, you should have a wealth of achievements to look back on. Creating this list will show you just how much you can do! As you keep your achievements logged everyday, you can feel good about the things you are accomplishing. Everyone struggles with feelings of less then from time to time. Questions of doubt creep in from time to time and a resource of documented positive affirmations will help readjust the stinking thinking. Your Success Diary will remind you how far you have come and how far everyday you continue to go! Page through your diary from time to time. Take a look at what a winner you are and watch your self-confidence soar!
Identify and Follow Two Unattainable Mentors
Mentors are a valuable asset to anyone trying to achieve success. Sometimes it is not possible to have a mentor with direct contact, but don’t let that stop you from using them! Identify two people you admire and make them your mentors. Follow them on Twitter, read their books, watch their videos and practice their principles. Your mentors can change as you grow and start to admire others, but having winners in focus at all times is important. Several years ago, my main unattainable mentor was Sarah Blakely, the Inventor of Spanx. I admire her tenacity and relentless drive, so when she did not answer my letter I wrote to ask her to mentor me; I decided to make her my mentor anyway! I watched her videos, read her story and got on the Spanx email distribution list. In one of her videos, Sarah talks about how her Father’s questions at dinnertime after a day at school was significant to the success of her business. His unusual line of questioning helped her handle rejection and failure while trying to launch her product. She talks of how her Dad would ask every evening “So what did you fail at today?” Sarah said she would proudly talk of all her achievements and what she did well at that day at school. Her Dad would continue asking, “that is great, but what did you fail at today?” He was always extremely disappointed if Sarah couldn’t think of things she failed. Sarah quickly realized that failure was a sign she was trying to push herself beyond her comfort zone, and that failing was a major part of the process to success. Her recollection still echoes in my mind when I need to quickly overcome rejection or a failed project. Feel the disappointment, learn from it and quickly realize that I am one step closer to my dreams!
Best practices are the gems I keep as my constant when everything around me seems to be changing. Having a few that are part of your routine will provide increased results, and give you a sense of control, focus and authority over your life. Once your best practices are in place and consistent, pay it forward and share with others!
Lisa Illman is the president and founder of Kritter Kommunity. Born in 2009 out of her passion for pets, Lisa’s vision for Kritter Kommunity was inspired by her kitty cats, Madison and Abigail. With very little cash to start her business, Lisa and her cat Abigail started blogging and tweeting to gain product exposure. They were able to take 100 orders before their new product was even available. A social media enthusiast today, Lisa and her cat Abigail still post and tweet regularly; they have over 15k pet loving followers on Twitter.
This was just the beginning of Lisa’s journey as an entrepreneur, inventor and writer for the pet industry. Coming out of the gate with no experience starting a business, Lisa took bold steps without knowing which would be mistakes, and which would take her to the next level of success. Tenacity and passion gave her the courage to pitch her own products to media contacts and landed them on many media outlets like Good Morning America. Relationship building and writing put her in a position to develop a solid reputation with the social media world of pet lovers; her furry muses cheering her every step of the way!
Hands on experience, a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Pennsylvania State University, more than 15 years of sales and marketing experience, and numerous professional awards, Lisa has a strong foundation as she continues her journey as an entrepreneur, inventor and writer. She inspires others to capitalize on their interests through coaching and writing.