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.
The pace of ice loss has increased four-fold since 2003 as enormous glaciers are depositing ever larger chunks of ice into the Atlantic ocean, where it melts, causing sea levels to rise
Greenland is melting faster than scientists previously thought, with the pace of ice loss increasing four-fold since 2003, new research has found.
Enormous glaciers in Greenland are depositing ever larger chunks of ice into the Atlantic ocean, where it melts. But scientists have found that the largest ice loss in the decade from 2003 actually occurred in the southwest region of the island, which is largely glacier-free.
Crew members jump into the sea to escape the blaze, which erupted during a fuel transfer
Ten crew members have been found dead and 14 have been rescued after two ships caught fire in the Kerch Strait near Crimea, Russiaâs transport ministry said on Monday, with a rescue operation still underway.
The ministry said earlier on Monday that crew members were jumping into the sea to escape the blaze.
PM faces a looming revolt over a no-deal Brexit as Corbyn criticises her talks as âPR shamâ
Theresa May reiterated her opposition to a second Brexit referendum on Monday night, claiming it would threaten Britainâs âsocial cohesionâ and insisting the centrepiece of her strategy remained negotiating changes to the Irish backstop.
With just 67 days to go until Britain is due by law to leave the European Union, May exasperated MPs and business groups by offering scant evidence that she was willing to change course.
Kelleth Cuthbert became famous after popping up in the background of a series of celebrity portraits at the Golden Globes
The serial photobomber who stole the show and became a meme after this yearâs Golden Globes has made a new splash with a cameo on The Bold and the Beautiful.
Canadian model Kelleth Cuthbert became known as Fiji Water Girl after popping up in the background of a series of celebrity portraits taken during the 72nd Golden Globes awards in January. She was at the event as one of a number of promotional staff for the water company, a Globes sponsor, but went viral after Twitter users noticed her face and distinctive blue dress turning up in shot after shot.
Initial footage appeared to show students, some wearing pro-Trump Maga hats, from a Kentucky high school taunting Nathan Phillips, an Omaha tribe elder
Longer video footage of a confrontation between a Native American activist and Kentucky high school students at a protest has surfaced, providing fresh insight into the controversial encounter and offering a broader view of deepening divisions in America.
Police to investigate He Jiankui after last yearâs claim to have altered the DNA of twin girls
A second woman fell pregnant during the experiment to create the worldâs first genetically edited babies, Chinese authorities have confirmed, as the researcher behind the claim faces a police investigation.
Attackers detonated car bomb inside complex in Maidan Wardak province, say officials
The Taliban have launched a major attack on an Afghan military compound in central Maidan Wardak province, officials have said, with some putting the death toll at more than 100 people.
Mondayâs incident at a campus of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) is the latest in a series of deadly attacks in recent months by the Taliban, which has seized control of about half of Afghanistan.
Government says 27 national guardsmen have been arrested and accuses âshadowy interestsâ of launching insurrection
Venezuelaâs government has claimed to have foiled what appeared to be an attempted military insurrection, blaming the mutiny on âshadowy interests of the extreme rightâ.
In a statement, Venezuela accused a small group of âassailantsâ from the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) of âbetraying their oath of loyalty to the homelandâ by kidnapping four officials in an attempt to steal weapons that began at about 2.50am local time (0650 GMT) on Monday.
Open letter says the arrests mean diplomats are more cautious about work in China
More than 140 former diplomats and leading China experts have called on Xi Jinping to release two Canadian citizens detained last month as a diplomatic stand-off between Ottawa and Beijing escalates.
In an open letter to the Chinese president, former envoys to China from Canada, the UK, the US, Australia, Germany, Sweden and Mexico described how the arrests of Michael Kovrig, a Canadian diplomat on leave, and Michael Spavor, a businessman, have sent a chill through the diplomatic community.
Avon responded to actorâs criticism: âWe realize that we missed the mark with this messaging. We have removed this messagingâ
Cosmetics giant Avon USA has apologized for an anti-cellulite product after the ad campaign was accused of âshaming womenâ.
Actor Jameela Jamil had criticized the ad, which features a seated woman in shorts and tank top with the caption âdimples are cute on your face (not on your thighs),â on Saturday afternoon on Twitter.
Archaeologists were studying site until former farm owner came forward
A stone circle thought to be thousands of years old has turned out to be a lot more modern after a former farm owner admitted building it in the 1990s.
The ârecumbent stone circleâ in the parish of Leochel-Cushnie, Aberdeenshire, was reported by the siteâs current farm and was considered unusual for its small diameter and relatively small stones.
Decree states Cairo structures require âdusty coloursâ while blue is to be used on the coast
Egyptian authorities are reaching for their paint brushes following a decree by the president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, demanding buildings across the country adhere to a unified colour scheme of âdustyâ shades in Cairo and blue on the coast.
Egyptâs prime minister, Mostafa Madbouly, told a cabinet meeting: âThe plan is to have unified colours for the buildings instead of this uncivilised scene.â He said a presidential decree targeting unpainted red-brick buildings demands local authorities paint them soon, or face punishment.
The next 15 megacities #7: More than a third of the Vietnamese cityâs historic buildings have been destroyed over the past 20 years. Can it learn from mistakes made by other fast-growing Asian cities before it is too late?
âPeople donât realise what theyâve lost,â says Candy Nguyen as she peers through the locked gates of what was until recently the historic Ba Son shipyard. âMany donât even know what was here before.â
Ho Chi Minh Cityâs oldest and most important maritime heritage site is hidden from the street by high blue hoardings peppered with slogans such as âNever stillâ and âRedefine the skylinesâ.
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For three decades, the Canadian city of Moose Jaw took pride in its status as the home of the worldâs largest moose statue.
Standing at a majestic 10 meters tall, Mac the Moose has weathered brutal winters, graffiti and even the inglorious loss of his jaw. His recognition was so great that in 2013, he was named the cityâs most popular celebrity.
Central American migrants escaping poverty and violence in their hometowns find crossing legally is a slow and difficult process
At the age of 14, Jonathan Levit was given an order by the infamously brutal Mara Salvatrucha gang in his native Tegucigalpa, capital of Honduras: to kill a friend he had known throughout childhood â âlike a brother, all my lifeâ.
Jonathan had, like almost every child in the city of Telaâs terrifying barrio of Colonia 15 de Septiembre, grown up in the gangâs shadow; there was no avoiding it, especially if you were partial to a smoke, as he was. And now the time had come for him to execute âa missionâ for what is also called MS-13 â the gang which, Jonathan says, âdoesnât just run Colonia 15, they almost run Hondurasâ.
Turkish president tells Donald Trump he is ready to send troops into US-overseen areas
The threat of a growing security vacuum in Syria as a result of Donald Trumpâs decision to withdraw US troops has been underlined by an attack on a joint US-Kurdish patrol, which reportedly killed five people and injured at least two American soldiers.
The attack on Monday, in which a suicide bomber drove a car into a checkpoint, emphasised the vulnerability of American troops since the US president declared he was withdrawing 2,000 soldiers from northern Syria on the grounds that Islamic State has been defeated.
Companyâs acting CEO says staff are âheartbrokenâ following loss of founder, which comes months after he was removed from his role
Brandon Truaxe, the founder and former CEO of cosmetic skincare company Deciem, which is behind the cult brand The Ordinary, has died at 40.
The cause of death has not yet been released. Truaxe was best known for setting up Canada-based skincare brand The Ordinary, which sells âluxuryâ products at affordable prices and has been endorsed by celebrities including Kim Kardashian West.
Teen pregnancies are soaring and HIV care has stalled in rural communities hit by âglobal gagâ funding cuts
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Reaching families in the surrounding rural communities is a major challenge for staff at the centre, and, after outreach services were stripped back, things are getting worse.
Human Rights Watch accuses EU institutions of sustaining network of âinhuman and degradingâ migrant detention centres
The EUâs support for Libyaâs anti-migrant policies is contributing to a cycle of âextreme abuseâ, including arbitrary detention, torture, sexual violence, extortion and forced labour.
According to a report by Human Rights Watch, who interviewed 66 migrants and asylum seekers in Libya last year, EU institutions and member states are continuing to sustain a network of detention centres characterised by âinhuman and degradingâ conditions where the risk of abuse is rife.
Salma has never even heard of the Spice Girls. Her life, hunched over a sewing machine for up to 16 hours a day, is a world away from the luxuries enjoyed by the millionaire pop band.
But while neither knows it, Salma and the Spice Girls are connected. The factory where she has worked for more than five years, off a narrow, winding road three hoursâ drive from Dhaka, is where charity T-shirts designed by the group were made.
Spice Girls T-shirts sold to raise money for Comic Reliefâs âgender justiceâ campaign were made at a factory in Bangladesh where women earn the equivalent of 35p an hour during shifts in which they claim to be verbally abused and harassed, a Guardian investigation has found.
The charity tops, bearing the message â#IWannaBeASpiceGirlâ, were produced by mostly female machinists who said they were forced to work up to 16 hours a day and called âdaughters of prostitutesâ by managers for not hitting targets.
Campaign group urges recognition for women affected by sexual violence of Korean troops and the children born as a result
Tran Thi Ngai was 24 and alone at home in her village in Vietnamâs Phu Yen province when a South Korean soldier forced his way into the house and raped her.
âHe pulled me inside the room, closed the door and raped me repeatedly. He had a gun on his body and I was terrified,â said Tran, now almost 80, and still waiting for South Korea to acknowledge sexual violence by its soldiers during the Vietnam war.
With thousands of FBI and TSA staff furloughed and critical functions hit, the shutdown is a disaster for national security
President Trump closed the US government over a fabricated border crisis, and in doing so has sparked a real national security emergency. By shutting down the government, Trump has disabled Americaâs defenses against threats to national security.
Trump decided to shut down the government over the claim that America needs a wall to deal with a crisis at the border with Mexico. But there is no crisis on the border other than the humanitarian crisis of his own making, best illustrated by the thousands of children separated from their parents and the two children who died in Customs and Border Protection custody. Trumpâs claims of more terrorists and crime flowing across the border are lies and the vast majority of hard drugs coming across the border come through official ports of entry, not between ports of entry where a wall might stand.
For all its rhetoric, the US under Donald Trump is on a clear path of disengagement in international matters
Americaâs ambivalence about engagement with the world beyond its shores is nothing new. Isolationist instincts are deeply rooted in the national psyche. Large constituencies opposed US involvement in both world wars. Donald Trumpâs âAmerica Firstâ campaign was the most recent manifestation of a longstanding desire to avoid the âforeign entanglementsâ that the first US president, George Washington, warned against in his 1796 farewell address.
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Loss of autonomy is a painful reality of old age â but itâs hard to let go when, like Prince Philip, you are used to being in charge
In the wake of his car crash on Thursday afternoon, in which the Duke of Edinburgh rather miraculously walked away unhurt, there has been much speculation over the manâs great age, and whether, at 97, he is now simply too old to operate so independently. Loss of autonomy becomes inevitable when you reach such a ripe vintage, but it is never easy to hand over â in both a metaphorical and literal sense â the keys you have held for so long in your grip.
My grandfather lived until he was 94. Neither he nor his wife, my grandmother (still alive at 99), looked, or acted, their age. The necessity to give up certain activities only ever came at them rudely, and they could never be told they were too old for anything; they had to learn it for themselves, the hard way.
The Democratic senator has officially launched her 2020 campaign, entering a crowded field of candidates vying to take on Donald Trump. Harris portrays herself as a fighter for justice and equality. She was the first woman of colour to become attorney general for California
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A group of Kentucky students in Washington DC for an anti-abortion rally have been filmed harassing a Native American who was singing and drumming. The group were filmed surrounding Nathan Phillips, and one teenager wearing a Maga hat can be seen standing in front of Phillips and staring into his face while smiling
Two people have died and a dozen more injured in a fire at the French ski resort of Courchevel, according to officials. A witness who was staying at a hotel opposite the burning building captured this footage of the pre-dawn fire