'How the Cookie Crumbles

How the Cookie Crumbles

August 3, 2022

Things are bustling here in the Wide Awake Business office. Tomorrow is an important day,. and you can bet we will be celebrating!

Celebrate with us.

Tomorrow, August 4, is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day.

I just put a batch in the oven and can hardly wait to smell that delicious aroma and to bite into a warm, soft cookie, letting the melted chocolate linger on my tongue.

Are you with me?

While you are enjoying America’s favorite cookie, take a little time to savor the wisdom contained in that sweet treat. Chocolate chip cookies teach us that…

Quality products depend upon quality ingredients. The finest chocolate, best butter and deepest vanilla make a better cookie than the bargain brand. Don’t skimp on what you put into your business. Your customers will know when you’ve taken care to give them the best.

Following a proven recipe gets reliable results. There is a reason that the recipe for original Toll House cookies is printed on the chocolate chip wrapper. The recipe works and has stood the test of time. You know you’ll get what you want if you follow the recipe precisely.

Once you find something that works really well in your business, something that your customers love, stick with it. Think about the brands you know that have a signature style or proven process. You may not be a fan of McDonald’s, but for their loyal customers, knowing that the burger will be the same in Alaska as in Alabama is one of the things that keeps them coming back.

More is not necessarily better. Adding more chocolate chips will not always result in a better cookie. There needs to be enough dough to surround the chocolate. Likewise, turning up the temperature is more likely to result in burnt cookies than in more cookies made in a shorter time.

Mistakes are not necessarily failures. Did you know that the original Toll House cookies were actually a mistake? Ruth Graves Wakefield, whose husband owned the Toll House Inn was not setting out to make a chocolate chip cookie at all. At the time, chocolate morsels had not even been invented.

Ruth had run out of the baking chocolate she usually used to make her chocolate drop cookies. She decided to use chunks of semi-sweet chocolate in the batter instead, assuming it would melt into the batter as it baked.  Surprise! The chocolate chunks got soft and gooey but didn’t melt.

Ruth took a risk and served the cookies instead of throwing them out…and a tradition was born. If she had discarded the cookies as a failure, we might not be celebrating National Chocolate Chip cookie day today.

Before you judge an unexpected result as a failure, make sure you take time to explore the possibilities. Who knows? You might just have created the new, best thing in your chosen field.

Take a minute to celebrate tomorrow. Have a chocolate chip cookie and then

Do something spectacular!

Blessings,

Chris

'Banish These 5 Limiting Beliefs

Banish These 5 Limiting Beliefs

July 27, 2022

Are you searching for more freedom in your business and your life?

If so, you are like 95% of the small business owners we serve. You’re also like us.

We entrepreneur types place a high value on freedom. We want options. We treasure autonomy and independence, right?

So, what happens when we don’t feel free? It’s not pretty. We stress and strain, we push and prod, we treat ourselves and each other badly. We know freedom is out there somewhere, if we just work hard enough to find it.

But what if…?

What if finding that freedom wasn’t about working harder, but making things easier…if what limits our freedom wasn’t found in what we do, but rather in how we think?

Here are 5 ways that your thinking may be limiting, rather than contributing to your freedom. Switch the frame on these thoughts to create a greater experience of freedom in your life.

  1. Your vision needs adjusting – If your vision is too small, it can feel limiting or confining. On the other hand, if it’s too big, it can feel impossible, locking you in to a pattern of failing to act. When your vision is big enough and compelling enough to offer you new possibilities and realistic enough to be achievable, it can motivate, inspire and sustain you.
  2. You believe that how things are now is how they will always be – Your life and your business are constantly growing and changing, and that’s a good thing. It’s change that brings freedom and new possibilities into your world. When you believe that you are “stuck” in the current reality, you give power (and freedom) to the external circumstances that affect you. When you accept and understand that you have the power to change either the circumstances themselves or your attitude about the circumstances, you open the doors to mental and emotional freedom.
  3. You focus on your shortcomings, rather than on your strengths – When you keep yourself focused on what is wrong, instead of what can be right, you stay in place of judgment, shame, guilt or lack. When you emphasize and focus on your strengths, you open the door to possibility and prosperity.
  4. You let other people define your worth and worthiness – The person who sets the standard calls the shots. When you judge yourself or your business with someone else’s measure, you will continually be held captive to the risks and rewards that come along with that measure. The freedom that you desire isn’t something that is bestowed on you by others, it’s something you claim for yourself. The only way to do that is to set your own standards and define your own worth.
  5. You excuse and justify your lack of freedom – When you look at your current situation and find reasons to explain why you are not or cannot be at the level of freedom you desire, you give power and credence to the explanation. If it’s understandable, natural, or justifiable for you not to be free, then there’s not much point in striving for it, is there?

What we’ve learned in all our years in business is that you can’t have the freedom you want if you don’t do what it takes. And more than that, you can’t or won’t do what it takes if you think in limitations, rather than in limitless possibilities.

Think, then do.

Your freedom awaits,

Chris
'No Merit Badge for Being Busy

No Merit Badge for Being Busy

July 22, 2022

It’s been a week! Coming back to the office after being away feels as though the work, the responsibilities, the “too much to do” has magically multiplied while I was off “playing.”

Does this happen to you, too?

It does for many of the women business owners we serve, no matter how capable and experienced they are. So, it set me to wondering.

What is it about being ”busy” or “too busy” that  makes us want to claim that label for ourselves?

Do we draw a parallel between being busy and being important, well-regarded or successful? Does being too busy tell us that we are in high demand?”

Maybe being busy gives us permission to say “no” to things that we really don’t want to say  “yes” to …it removes the weight of guilt or explanation.

Whatever the source or meaning we assign to it, we really seem to have embraced it, and it’s time to JUST STOP!

Busy isn’t better and there is no merit badge for being busy.  If you’ve been telling yourself for far too long that you have to be over-worked, overloaded, or overwhelmed to be okay, it’s time to change the narrative.

It doesn’t serve you to take a vacation only to immediately erase the restorative benefits as you step back in the office door. You didn’t abandon your business when you took that vacation…you took care of yourself and your family for awhile.

Try these simple reframes to the “too busy story” and see how they feel:

  • Instead of “I’m so overwhelmed with work now that I’m back,” try “things kept humming along while I was gone. There’s just enough work waiting for me to know that I was missed.”
  • Instead of “sorry, I’m just so busy I can’t do that,” see what it feels like to say, “I’ve filled all of my new priority slots for now, but I’ll let you know if something opens up.”
  • Rather than, “it will be a long time before I take another vacation, it’s not worth being so busy when I get back,” change you thinking to: “ I’ m excited to get back into a healthy work rhythm.”

You will be surprised at how much better you fee! That wasn’t too hard, was it?

 

Blessings,

Chris