Rut -- a routine procedure, situation, or way of life that
has become uninteresting and tiresome... And not
They say a rut is a shallow grave with two open ends. The
good news (good news?!) is that the ends ARE still open,
which means if you act fast, you just might out of it. How
do we get into these ruts anyway? Who would voluntarily lie
down in that grave, shallow or otherwise?
Dr. Edward Debono suggests that thoughts are pathways
literally "etched" in our brain as electrical connections
that get strengthened each time we think them -- thus
limiting our mental options. Just like cow paths. It all
begins when one of the cows wanders home from the field
along a new path. Being cows, others naturally follow,
nicely beating down the grass. The next evening our intrepid
cow is a bit less bold, and follows her own freshly trampled
path, fellow cows in lockstep behind her. And so on, night
after night, widening the path into a footpath, which over
time becomes hardened into a dirt road.
More time passes and the road is paved into a street, then
an avenue, a two-lane highway, and ultimately an interstate.
By the time you come roaring up the onramp in your shiny
SUV, your direction is all mapped out in front of you.
There's no way to turn, and no where to go but towards the
If you want to chart a fresh direction you are going to have
to grab the steering wheel and give it a hard, gut-wrenching
yank to the right. And so it is with your thoughts and
actions. Repeating them a few times all but insures you will
comfortably repeat them indefinitely unless you take
deliberate - possibly disruptive -- action to do otherwise.
Here are 7 rut busters I use with my business coaching
clients that you can apply immediately to get yourself and
your business out of a rut.
Shift your mindset from self to customer. Most business
people think of themselves first. They craft product and
service offers from their own perspective and consider
themselves the beneficiaries of their actions.
While that's not wrong, to get out of your rut do this: put
yourself into the mind of your customer. Who are these
people anyway? What are they concerned about? What are they
trying to accomplish?
If you were your customer, what would you think of that new
product, marketing campaign, or mail piece? Are you selling
your wonderful "stuff", or are you providing them tangible,
meaningful benefits. Ask, "If I were the customer, would I
care?" And if not, consider, "What WOULD I get excited
Shift your mindset from customer to client. A customer is someone who buys your goods or services. The original
meaning of client is entirely different: someone who is
under your care and protection.
Now that's a switch, isn't it? If they're customers, your
goal is to get them to buy something. But if you were to
think of them as under your care - would you approach your
business from another angle? How would you take care of
them? How would you "protect" them? What new programs would
you want to implement immediately?
Revisit your vision. Whenever I feel like I'm in a rut I
return to my vision and I do 2 things. First, I make sure it
still inspires me and that it is pointing me in the
direction I want to go. Once sure, I put pen to paper and
rewrite it. Not just once, but over and over. And I keep
writing until I can't write it anymore because I'm jumping
up and down with a new idea I must do something about right
Conduct a Survey If you don't know what to do next, ask
your clients. (They are clients, aren't they?) Conduct a
survey about anything that interests you. Ask them what's
bothering them. Ask them what they're stuck on. Ask them
what they like about your company and what they'd like you
to do next. Ask them about new features, or new products, or
If you're not happy with your current customers, conduct a
survey among the kind of people you'd like to have as
customers. And, if you can't do that, conduct a survey
online. Write an attractive search engine ad, promise
something of value, and drive people to a survey page. Ask
them anything you like - the answers will almost always
provide you with a neat mind-shift.
Focus on building your strengths and dump your
weaknesses. From the time we are little children we are
taught to better ourselves by working on our weaknesses.
This is often both frustrating and fruitless, and certainly
not as much fun as practicing our strengths.
Try this on: What if you focused 100 percent of your energy
on being world-class in those few things at which you are
already very good, and out-tasked or outsourced those things
at which you were mediocre. Imagine if you never had to face
any of those things again and could spend all your time
doing the good stuff. Would that change the way you felt
about your business? Would that bust you out of your rut?
Not if, but how. Think of that wild and crazy idea you
had recently. The one where you said to yourself, "That
would be great, but there's just no way." Well, I know
there's no way - you just said so -- but if there was a way,
what would it be? Answer that question as if you believed it
was possible - probable even -- and then get busy making it
real. That's power, you know -- turning your vision into
reality. Talk about a breakthrough!
What are you willing to sacrifice? Some important things
are more important than other important things, and trying
to keep all those plates spinning in the air saps your vigor
for the ones that truly matter. Dissipated energy - lethargy
-- is one of the reasons we lie down in that rut in the
first place, and dropping a few of those plates can really
help things break loose.
So let go. Make the sacrifice. Clear your plate and give up
some of those precious things you've been holding on to.
Focus your vitality on plans which will really rock your
world. Ruts? Who needs 'em.
Paul Lemberg's clients call him "the unreasonable business coach" because he insists they pursue goals and take actions far outside their comfort zone to make more money than they previously thought possible. To get www.paullemberg.com/Business_Coaching.html">business coaching tips, tools and strategies like these, visit www.paullemberg.com/Business_Coaching.html">http://www.paullemberg.com/Business_Coaching.html.
French president tells Boris Johnson he must present concrete proposals for UK exit
Emmanuel Macron has described the Irish backstop as ‚Äúindispensable‚ÄĚ to a Brexit deal and urged Boris Johnson to set out his proposed alternatives as soon as possible, as he met the British prime minister in Paris on Thursday.
Political storm over rainforest devastation as Ricardo Salles attends summit
The environment minister of Brazil, where wildfires have been sweeping the Amazon rainforest, was booed at a climate event on Wednesday as celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio and Ariana Grande joined an international chorus of criticism.
Videos of Ricardo Salles being booed by demonstrators as he took to the stage at Latin America and Caribbean Climate Week in the north-eastern city of Salvador circulated widely in Brazil. An opposition senator is planning to seek his impeachment at Brazil‚Äôs supreme court.
Allegation directed at employee of consulate in Hong Kong is often used by Bejing authorities to smear critics
Chinese state media has accused a worker at the British consulate in Hong Kong who is detained in mainland China of visiting prostitutes ‚Äď an accusation often used by the authorities to smear the reputation of government critics.
Simon Cheng, 28, a trade and investment officer for Scottish Development International, travelled to Shenzhen, a city that borders Hong Kong, on 8 August. He sent messages to his girlfriend as he was about to cross back over the border at about 10pm and has not been heard from since.
The fiance of Aras Amiri, a British Council employee imprisoned in Iran on spying charges, has accused the UK government of being ‚Äúutterly blind to their responsibility‚ÄĚ to try to secure her release.
Financier created fund in new will two days before suicide
Experts say prying open fund will be difficult for accusers
The will that disgraced financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein signed just two days before his jailhouse suicide puts more than $577m in assets into a trust fund that could make it more difficult for his dozens of accusers to collect damages.
Estate lawyers and other experts say prying open the trust and dividing up the financier‚Äôs riches is not going to be easy and could take years.
‚ÄėIt would not have happened to a white kid,‚Äô Angela Washington said after staff used a marker pen on Juelz Trice‚Äôs banned haircut
Juelz Trice came home from school earlier this year with permanent marker ink scribbled on his scalp, but it was not a prank played by one of his fellow seventh-graders. It was a punishment enacted by some of the staff.
The boy‚Äôs parents filed a federal civil rights lawsuit this week and have told the Guardian they believe the act, a hapless attempt to hide a ‚Äúfade‚ÄĚ haircut with a design that violated the school district‚Äôs dress code, was rooted in racism and left him humiliated.
Richard Braine accused of stoking tensions after also saying there are no ‚Äėmoderate Muslims‚Äô
Richard Braine, the new Ukip leader, has been accused of whipping up religious tensions and anti-Muslim prejudice after leaked emails showed he argued that people should no more want Muslims to settle in their country than Nazis.
Braine, who won the leadership after a campaign in which he expressed anti-Islam views, also suggested that non-Muslims needed to help Muslims to ‚Äúcast out their demon‚ÄĚ and argued there was no such thing as ‚Äúmoderate Muslims‚ÄĚ.
Democratic presidential hopeful‚Äôs 10-year plan warns of devastating economic consequences if crisis is not addressed
Bernie Sanders has laid out an ambitious 10-year, $16.3tn national mobilization to avert climate catastrophe, warning that the US risks losing $34.5tn in economic productivity by the end of the century if it does not respond with the urgency the threat demands.
The Vermont senator has long spoken of the climate crisis as a existential danger to the US and the world, and he has previously endorsed a Green New Deal, which he put forward with the New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
From power cuts to infrastructure failure, the impact of climate change on US cities will be huge ‚Äď but many are already innovating to adapt
Between record heat and rain, this summer‚Äôs weather patterns have indicated, once again, that the climate is changing.
US cities, where more than 80% of the nation‚Äôs population lives, are disproportionately hit by these changes, not only because of their huge populations but because of their existing ‚Äď often inadequate ‚Äď infrastructure.
In the Netherlands, where there are more bikes than people, serious money is being spent encouraging even more people to get on their bikes
In a nation with more bikes than people, finding a space to park can be a problem. The Dutch city of Utrecht is unveiling an answer at its railway station on Monday morning: the world‚Äôs largest multistorey parking area for bicycles.
The concrete-and-glass structure holds three floors of gleaming double-decker racks with space for 12,500 bikes, from cargo bikes that hold a family to public transport bikes for rent.
To protect itself from destructive flooding, the city has built a park designed to store and recycle rainwater
In Alicante it never rains but it pours. The city in southeast Spain goes without rain for months on end, but when it comes it‚Äôs torrential, bringing destructive and sometimes fatal flooding.
Or at least, it used to. In San Juan, a low-lying area of the city, authorities have built a new park with a twist. Called La Marjal, it serves as a typical recreation area and a nature reserve ‚Äď but its primary purpose is to store, and then recycle, rainwater.
As a swipe at Scooter Braun, the singer will recreate her first six albums from scratch. But her plan ignores one of music‚Äôs vital truths
Let‚Äôs assume it can be done, even though we don‚Äôt know. Let‚Äôs take Taylor Swift‚Äôs word for it when she says she is going to rerecord the six albums she recorded for the Big Machine label before signing to Republic/Universal last autumn. Let‚Äôs presume her contract with Big Machine did not contain clauses preventing soundalike re-recordings, or prevent her from taking new runs at old tracks until a certain time period had elapsed.
The news came in a preview for her interview on Good Morning America, scheduled to air this Sunday, in which Tracy Smith asked if she was planning to make new versions of all her masters. ‚ÄúOh yeah,‚ÄĚ Swift replied. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs a plan?‚ÄĚ Smith asked. ‚ÄúYeah, absolutely.‚ÄĚ She has said that recording will commence in November 2020. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm going to be busy,‚ÄĚ she told Smith.
Exclusive: Director general heading up sections at centre of Windrush scandal to step down next March
The head of two of the Home Office sections at the centre of the Windrush scandal has told staff he will be stepping down next year.
Mark Thomson, the director general of HM Passport Office (HMPO) and UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), will be replaced in March and then take on a number of advisory roles and non-executive directorships.
It seems the Boris Johnson ‚Äėfoot on the table‚Äô picture was not all that it seems. According to Sky‚Äôs Tom Rayner, Johnson was responding to a jokey suggestion from Emmanuel Macron that the table would work well as a footstool. Johnson put his foot on the table only very fleetingly.
WATCH: Here‚Äôs the Reuters video of Boris Johnson putting his foot on the Elysee furniture. It seems President Macron was making small talk suggesting the table would work equally well as a footstool should the PM want to recline, which Johnson then jokingly does pic.twitter.com/dnv37t9mS4
Excellent photograph. What a Rembrandtesque composition: Macron out-alphaed, the scrum in the mirror and the ballerino-like flunky https://t.co/yYLDlZugrg
Demonstrators say they will persist until military-backed government is replaced by civilian democracy
Six months after a wave of protests began in Algeria, people are still demonstrating and the military-backed government appears determined to keep its grip on power.
The demonstrations have gained a familiar rhythm since tens of thousands of Algerians first took to the streets on 22 February. Thousands of students turn out on Tuesdays and there are larger protests each Friday.
Lincoln Chafee, the Republican US Senator turned Independent Rhode Island governor turned Democratic presidential candidate and a longtime proponent of the metric system, might try his luck running for president as a Libertarian in 2020.
In an interview with the Daily Beast, Chafee said he was interested in running for president on a third-party ticket.
Trump‚Äôs vision of a great Greenland Purchase was perhaps doomed from the start but that hasn‚Äôt stopped Republicans from embracing the idea.
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), the campaign arm of House Republicans is offering donors who contribute more than $25 a limited edition t-shirt that depicts Greenland as a 51st US state.
The @NRCC is fundraising with a t-shirt of a US map that includes Greenland: "Support President Trump and his efforts to help America grow!" pic.twitter.com/v1k0hjB5e5
We members of the G7‚Äôs Gender Equality Advisory Council are urging countries to ditch archaic and discriminatory laws and promote empowerment
The sheer tenacity of women raising their voices and organising for fundamental change has been, and will continue to be, the driving force for achieving women‚Äôs rights and a gender-equal world. Yet we cannot ignore the fundamental role that governments can play in either promoting or thwarting change.
That is why the four of us accepted French president Emmanuel Macron‚Äôs invitation to join 32 colleagues to form a G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council. On Sunday, we will present the culmination of our work; a package of recommended laws focused on ending gender-based violence; ensuring inclusive, equitable, and quality health and education; promoting the economic empowerment of women; and combating discrimination, ensuring full gender equality in policies and public life. In each area we point to laws from around the world that illustrate the type of action countries should take.
Nigeria marks three years without a wild polio case, meaning Africa could be declared free of the disease in 2020
Africa is on the verge of being declared polio free, after three years without any recorded cases of the disease, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Nigeria marked three years without a wild polio case onWednesday, a ‚Äúmajor milestone‚ÄĚ. If no more incidences emerge in the next few months, Africa could officially be declared polio free in 2020. The last case was recorded in Borno state in August 2016.
Corruption watchdog accused of promoting ‚Äėtoxic‚Äô workplace culture that silenced critical voices
Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International has been accused of promoting a ‚Äútoxic‚ÄĚ internal environment of bullying and harassment, making it the latest high-profile charity to come under fire over its workplace culture.
Seven current and former staff members said the organisation had ‚Äúfailed in its duty of care‚ÄĚ to staff. They accused managing director Patricia Moreira of promoting a culture that enabled ‚Äúbullying‚ÄĚ, silenced critical voices, and used ‚Äúgagging orders‚ÄĚ ‚Äď confidentiality clauses in termination agreements. Leaked internal emails and documents including a staff survey corroborate their accounts.
Bombing believed to be linked to Timothy Mtambo‚Äôs role at forefront of mass protests over alleged rigging of elections
The home of a leading human rights activist in Malawi has been petrol bombed in what is believed to be a targeted move to stop mass demonstrations planned for next week.
Three bombs were thrown at the car and home of Timothy Mtambo, the chairman of Malawi‚Äôs Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), and the executive director of the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRC).
Climate emergency and population growth blamed for deteriorating water quality, with ‚Äėcocktail of chemicals‚Äô changing as countries become richer
The planet is facing a mounting and ‚Äúinvisible‚ÄĚ water pollution crisis, according to a hard-hitting World Bank report, which claims the issue is responsible for a one-third reduction in potential economic growth in the most heavily affected areas.
The study, which assembled the world‚Äôs largest database of water pollution, assesses how a combination of bacteria, sewage, chemicals and plastics suck oxygen from water supplies and transform water into poison for people and ecosystems.
President outdoes himself in new press conference as he attacks the Danish prime minister, Jewish Democrats and the press
Donald Trump started off precisely on-message.
Strolling to the end of a White House driveway on Wednesday ahead of his departure for a veterans event in Kentucky, the president began speaking while still walking toward a crowd of waiting reporters. ‚ÄúSo the economy is doing very, very well,‚ÄĚ he said.
Family of New York man insists ‚Äėwe‚Äôre not finished‚Äô after dismissal of Daniel Pantaleo, who put Garner in a banned chokehold
One thousand, eight hundred and sixty days after Eric Garner was killed on the streets of Staten Island, New York, his family finally received a sliver of justice.
On Monday, the New York police department (NYPD) commissioner, James O‚ÄôNeill, announced the NYPD would fire Daniel Pantaleo, who, on that hot summer‚Äôs day in July 2014, placed the unarmed 43-year-old in a banned chokehold that contributed to Garner‚Äôs death.
By cancelling his state visit to Denmark, the US president has again showed his thin skin
Donald Trump‚Äôs abrupt decision to cancel his state visit to Denmark after it rejected his unsolicited offer to buy Greenland at a knockdown price took most people by surprise, not least his own ambassador.
‚ÄúDenmark is ready ‚Ä¶ Partner, ally, friend‚ÄĚ, tweeted Carla Sands, the neophyte US envoy to Copenhagen who was previously an actor and chiropractor. Hours later, it was off.
President could call snap election, seek new coalition or install caretaker government
‚ÄúThis government ends here,‚ÄĚ said Giuseppe Conte, as he announced his resignation as Italy‚Äôs prime minister on Tuesday. After almost two weeks of twists and turns, what happens next is far from clear.
The president, Sergio Mattarella, is now calling the shots in a crisis triggered when Matteo Salvini pulled the plug on the League‚Äôs tenuous relationship with the Five Star Movement (M5S) in an attempt to capitalise on his popularity and become PM.
The US president said his life would be easier if he had not mounted a trade war with China but went on to say ‚ÄėI am the chosen one‚Äô to take on Beijing. Donald Trump said the US would probably make a deal with China
Large demonstrations and violent protests have taken place across the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua. On Wednesday, Jakarta said it was sending a further 1,000 security personnel to tackle the unrest, sparked by the arrest of Papuan students in the Indonesian city of Surabaya. Indonesia‚Äôs communications ministry cut the internet to its most eastern province on Wednesday ‚Äėuntil the atmosphere of Papua returns to being conducive and normal‚Äô. Jakarta has battled an independence insurgency in the region since it was incorporated into Indonesia in 1969 after a widely discredited UN-sponsored ballot
The US president has renewed his attack on four Democratic congresswomen who have been critical of Israel, and reiterated a longstanding antisemitic trope implying that American Jews had divided loyalty to America and to Israel. Over almost 24 hours he has repeatedly described Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats as showing 'either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty'
The US president has said his administration is looking at ending the right of citizenship for US-born children of non-citizens and people who entered the country illegally. 'We're looking at that very seriously, birthright citizenship, where you have a baby on our land, you walk over the border, have a baby ‚Äď congratulations, the baby is now a US citizen ... It's frankly ridiculous,' Donald Trump told reporters
The Brazilian president has said NGOs could be burning down the Amazon rainforest to embarrass his government after he cut their funding. Bolsonaro had no evidence but said 'everything indicates' that NGOs are going to the Amazon to set fire to the forest
The Danish prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, says she is 'disappointed and surprised' by the US president's decision to cancel his state visit after she dismissed suggestions of selling Greenland as 'absurd'. Here's a look back at what drew the US president to want to make the ‚Äėlarge real estate deal‚Äô and the strong reaction to his suggestion