How To Manage Your Mind To Manage Your Business Better

“Another excursion into the exhilarating waters of self-examination!” Thank you, Greg, for the synopsis! I make no apology for the epistemology!

My Cross Coaching™ events are designed to dig deeper into our knowledge and beliefs. To vault over the vaudeville some networking events put on and instead discover who you really are, not depend on what your elevator pitch tells us you are. We let who you are attract us, naturally, not your rehearsed script and performance. Our members wondered today if members of other networking events actually become conditioned by the format of those events to behave a certain way – and forget to be/have themselves? Think about that!

Our May 27, 2015 Cross Coaching™ event examined mental management methods that different members use. I wanted them to share styles to see what that would reveal, but also to support and develop the growth of each member and their business. The topic : Share tips about how you manage your mind to manage your business better.

Geri (Geraldine), a first-timer to Cross Coaching™, bravely entered the arena. She shared how she has to “trick herself” constantly. Driven by a craving for growth and stimulation (no wonder she came to Cross Coaching™) a desire to feed her mind and a high energy personality; she feeds the need for living life at speed – while striving to manage every distraction along the way – with upbeat music during her workouts and motivational materials between appointments. She aims to “trick” her mind to focus on building her business to success while simultaneously battling the fear of success! We know she is not alone in applying this style! In line with today’s topic, Geri is keen to know how the heck – in this rapidly changing human landscape – other members manage their minds, in order to better manage their business!

In response Leslie proclaimed a polar opposite approach worked for her. (Aren’t we humans fascinating?) Self motivation doesn’t motivate her! She rests her mind and applies a hyper-focus style to manage it and prioritize the action steps she knows she must take to better manage her business. Asking for help from the people, or staff,  she shares the vision with, support her Functional Medicine practice’s intention to help others find hope and health again.

So, I turned the heat up, referred back to Geri’s mental management style and posed this question: What is this trick we play on our mind to stay positive and self-motivated actually suppressing? Can Leslie’s style eliminate the need to quell and pacify fears and feelings by “pumping yourself up” as Geri does and instead permit us to tap into a natural well of self-confidence and self-awareness? Are we ‘tricking our mind’ either way?

Wendy, owner of a Yoga business, declared that it takes a lot of practice and discipline to quiet and manage the mind – whether we are in fact ‘tricking’ it, or not, we may not know –  so that fears don’t overtake how that mind manages your business. Magda, architect, confirmed how critical enormous levels of self discipline are. Mark raised the well-worn avoid pain, embrace pleasure syndrome.

Valid point, but is this what drives us, though? Can we be that simply wired? We know that the pain of not managing our mind, or our business, is less appealing than the pleasure peace of mind brings when we feel we have our mind and business “under control”. Yet, are we really still that primitive – to be driven by avoid pain, seek pleasure? If we use Geri’s or Leslie’s approach to reach our “highs” – we get pumped up by what motivates us externally or raised up by what wells up from within; aren’t we avoiding more than “pain”? Don’t we have a moral responsibility to seek higher levels of mind management than those spurred by this outdated avoid pain, seek pleasure, principle?

Bob loves to quote some of his favorite musicians. “Don’t look up to people, look into them” is one. Apparently our debate today resonates indirectly with this statement. The polar opposite approaches shared so far indicate that members either look within and find their own rhythm, or look up to and respond to another’s beat – perhaps to avoid seeing and having to live up to what honestly makes them sing? We all do this! I still do. Even while striving to vocalize and express all I have to offer my world. But, can we not get past the limitations of an either this approach or that one today, I wonder? (Fodder for a future Cross Coaching™ event, perhaps?)

So back to discipline. How critical is it? Jerry supported the notion, so I asked how he got to the level of discipline he now maintains. A level that admirably places him at the top level socially, where he respects as many people as respect him. And many do. Jerry, once a very shy college kid, realized one day that he had something to offer. He had value. He saw that others did too. This tool had always been laying in his mental tool kit. Jerry just decided to take it out!  It was the start of a very successful sales career. A balance of managing his mind to better manage his business. Perhaps the moral of Jerry’s story is to first sell yourself. Once you are sold on yourself, you then intuitively align with selling what’s in rhythm with the beat you have discovered and customer relationships happen; as a consequence sales do too! Perhaps this is close to what I was looking for. Less about having to ‘trick’ the mind, more about opening it and using what’s inside.

As facilitator, part of my role is to ask questions that stimulate debate. To support the desire of member’s to learn what they don’t know or teach what they do – Cross Coaching™ style. Sometimes they don’t know they know what they know, until I prod them with a question. Most of us don’t invest enough time in mining our minds. Probing deeper. Even if we do, it’s not until we get into the crucible of committed conversation with others that what’s mined comes to the surface.

Ana-Maria raised a question about questions. As a successful business owner who lectures on highly technical topics and writes in-demand industry manuals, she gets frustrated with lecture attendees who consistently won’t ask questions. It’s seen as a sign of weakness – has been from our early days at school, right? She wants people to think for themselves, do the research and leverage on available tools to find answers, then ask for help. The same applies when running a business. As an owner, she has learned how critical it is to ask for help, from peers or mentors, in order to research how well she is managing her mind and her business. She knows to ask her self the right questions too!

Mark took another angle. I love how he often does! People get nervous about how their question will be perceived. And questions, whether directed at self, or to others, are influenced by how one feels that day, or that moment. Improved confidence and self-awareness should improve one’s questions, more so if improved willingness to be vulnerable is added to the recipe. If a sole entrepreneur isn’t asking for help, using this recipe, then the only soul around managing that business is the entrepreneur! Not a good recipe for managing one’s mind or business. Get thee to Cross Coaching™ if you operate this way!

Monika suggested we can all learn so much from asking for help and asking questions. Her web design business recently relocated, so they have to re-build clientele and reputation. Monika knows it takes courage to make a move and to ask for help. She has instigated a campaign to learn why people say “No” when you ask them certain business related questions. She wants to learn more about rejection to boost – by injection – relationships that lead to business growth for her and her clients. She is taking it another step by asking questions about the clientele and ‘book of business’ she attracts. They become a reflection of her approach to her business and how she and her business is perceived. If you are a business owner reading this; be courageous. Ask yourself and your clients better questions. You might attract better clients!

Now fear comes up again. raised by Geri when we began, it re-emerges. Raghava thinks courage has many angles. The courage to face what you don’t know, to battle the fear of failing and the cost of that failure. He’s in business for himself. He knows.

Leslie interjected. Fear is complicated. Do we, as perhaps Geri does, use positive, motivational, tools to battle and suppress it, or should we dissect it in order to learn from and act on managing its’ mental distractions in order to better manage our business? The take-away from this debate is that there is no right way. Everyone is different. In a different energy and space, painting a different canvas with a different brush. It takes courage to dare to stroke your desires and personal canvas in a world that offers easier ways out; less arduous ways to think.

Bob chipped in to stress a similar point. Not all strive to be so alive! To dip into the waters of self-examination. To manage their minds, or their business. Even if it is the business of managing their life. Yes, we are all different. Some are competitive, some are not. We are born to bring a variety of talents. (Vaudeville needs them all!)

Yet, as Greg points out, fear remains relevant no matter which ‘role’ or career we choose. His last three years have been fear-driven because he has chosen to be self-employed,  for the first time after decades of career success in the Army and Corporate. Some of you may recognize the fear of not measuring up to the corporate model you enter. Be like this and you’ll be okay, seems to be the mantra. Lose yourself in your job, or career, can mean literally losing your ‘self”. But being self-employed , by choice or otherwise, can give you an opportunity to find parts of yourself necessary to respond to an income-creating position that has a very flexible, loosely – sometimes poorly – structured model.

So, do we choose to let fear in, or strive to suppress it? How self-imposed is fear? Or the choice to manage our mind with motivational ‘tricks’ or by tapping into the well of resources we consciously know and trust will help us get the job done or mind our business better? Perhaps it comes back to what we discussed in a previous Cross Coaching™ event. Your identity must be identified. Your mind managed. Some business owners and employees believe they are managing their business well, but what if they stepped aside temporarily and chose to manage their minds differently. How much better would their business run?

I opened this blog with a member quote – I’ll end with another one a member wrote about Cross Coaching™.

“What a rich platform for those who hunger for a different approach to connecting with others and developing our businesses. The ripple effect of actively listening to and paying rapt attention to fellow business owners is amazing to experience. Peter holds a safe space for those who are willing to peel back some of the layers to get to who we are as  business professionals. Thanks Peter for facilitating the Cross Coaching™ process…what a cool experience!”

I don’t have all the answers. I don’t always ask the right questions. But, I will facilitate you finding or asking them!

If you are willing to teach what you know or learn what you don’t, in order to better manage your mind or your business and leverage on the power of committed conversation to discover how to contribute more to your community; come join us.

Learn more at Events are limited to 20 members/guests attending. So RSVP on the Johns Creek Business Connect Meetup site, please!

Peter Gibson, Creator of Cross Coaching™


  • Ofelia Mutia says:

    Hi, how much does it cost to join your group? I am an entrepreneur, have just retired from my federal job, tried retail stint but did not work out, now having a startup company that needs to launch soon.

    • admin says:

      Thanks for joining my group. It was a pleasure having you as a guest. Your input was valuable. This group is the incubator for future groups, so right now there is no charge. Just buy lunch.
      See you at a future meeting I hope. Peter

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