The Power of Teamwork

By Cynthia McIntosh
Success With McIntosh

Do you think about your business first thing in the morning before you even get up?  Is your goal for the day what makes you get out of bed?  Then you’re probably an entrepreneur.

Do you fall asleep listening to a ceiling fan and hearing a song in the sound it makes?  Do you hear music in every situation?  Then you are an artist.

And whether you are an entrepreneur, an artist, or a business owner, one of the hardest lessons to learn is teamwork.  I have the right to say that…I’m a self-employed entrepreneur, and I speak from experience.  Nowhere in school, at least not when I was Successin college (and granted, that was lightyears ago), did they teach students on the subject I am going to cover in this blog, and yet I believe it is one of the most important lesson one has to learn in order to be successful in business.  And it’s worth repeating – regardless of whether you are an entrepreneur, business owner, or artist, this blog is relevent to you.  Artists don’t always think of themselves as business owners, and that is something I have discussed with quite a few artists, but you are.  If your music is your career, then it is your business.  And as a business owner, this blog is important to you.

As entrepreneurs and artists, we are very passionate about what we do.  It’s different than having a 9 to 5 job working for someone else and creating their dream.  Our work is who we are…it’s what drives us.  It’s what wakes us up in the morning.  It’s what we talk about the most.  It is what determines what kind of relationships we have.  Many of, and sometimes ALL of our decisions throughout the day are made around our work.  And that’s not necessarily a bad thing if handled in a positive way – but I’ll save that discussion for another blog.  But it’s not a bad thing.  In fact, I happen to LOVE to work with entrepreneurs and artists BECAUSE of that passion and zeal for life and work.  They are inspiring.  They are determined.  And they typically just don’t let things get them down.  One thing for sure – you DON’T tell them “it can’t be done”!

But, back to teamwork…
The very characteristics that I just described also often times become our greatest challenge.  The fact that we are so passionate about our work, the fact that we are so emotionally invested in our work, the very fact that our work is so much of who we are makes it very, very difficult for us to “share” – in fact, it can feel like it is almost impossible.  We have a hard time giving up the reigns.  It is incredibly hard for us to let someone else take over a segment of our businesses and to hand over control.  It feels unnatural, it feels like it goes against everything we believe in, and it is as scary as __________ (you can fill in the blank).  The hardest thing for an entrepreneur or artist to do is trust someone else with any aspect of their business.  And that is because that business is our dream.  It is our vision.  It is our baby!  If an artist writes a song, he has poured out his heart and soul into that song.  If an entrepreneur starts a business, he has probably set aside everything else, and even gambled with everything else, in order to make that business happen.  And nothing was more exciting than when that business or song came to life.  So now to trust a portion of it to someone else is really difficult.

But this is what I tell clients – you can’t be an expert at everything.  If you tell yourself you are, you’d better be careful.  I don’t want to go to a doctor who tells me that he is an expert at everything, because I won’t trust him.  If I need to go to the doctor because I have a heart issue, you’d better believe that I am going to go to a specialist!  Well, we need to give our businesses the same kind of care.  If we hang on to all aspects of our business and insist on doing it all by ourselves and on retaining control of everything, our business is going to suffer.   It won’t reach it’s full potential.  It won’t grow as it should.  It is really important to pay attention to your business by providing it the care it needs and deserves.  And the way to do that, while in principle is simple, putting it into action is not simple.  What I tell most clients that are having trouble with their businesses is this: “Take the time to build relationships.  Find people you really trust.  Hire experts you really trust, let them take over the things in your business that you are not an expert at, and you do what is your expertise and passion.”  It is important to hire people with the mindset of getting to really know and trust them and let them take over areas of your business that you need help with.

Because I have seen this as a common problem among clients, I have created mastermind groups that are designed for entrepreneurs and artists and their unique needs.  Our mastermind groups are put together in a format that provides individualized guidance to each member, and creates strong relationships built on trust, a common mindset, and a desire to support each other’s businesses.  The beauty of surrounding yourself with other business owners and learning to know and trust them, to share your expertise with them and have them do the same for you, is that you find that it opens up amazing doors.  Every person in the group will have a different background, different experiences, different training, and different strengths.  And so as you share your business concerns, every person in the group will consider the concerns from a different perspective.  In the mastermind groups, you will build a team that will focus on building your business and provide you with expertise that you don’t have, and you will have the opportunity to do the same for each of them.  And that is powerful!  As entrepreneurs and artists, we tend to be “tunnel visioned” – we are so close to the problem that it is hard to see the right steps to take to overcome the problem.  So it is absolutely amazing and so exciting to watch what happens when you put a group of 12 passionate business owners together, sit one of them down, have him share is concerns, listen to the other 11 members give input, and watch everything come together.  So often you will hear “I never would have thought of that!” or “How in the world did I miss that?!” and you will always here “Wow!  Thank you so much everyone!”  12 heads really is better than 1!

So if you don’t have a strong team put together yet to help you run your business, consider joining one of our mastermind groups that are starting up.  You will find the support and the inspiration alone to be incredibly empowering.  And even if you do have a strong support system in place, we’d still love to have you on our team!  Join a group, share your expertise, and be a part of the success of others.  If you are anything like me, that is the most fulfilling thing one can do.  If you are interested in joining one, just go to https://secure.scheduleonce.com/CynthiaMcIntosh for availability and sign up!  We look forward to seeing you there.

And as always, if you have any questions, concerns, comments, suggestions…feel free to contact us.  We would love to hear from you.  And we look forward to helping you in any way we can.

If you need help creating a positive focus and vision for your life, we’d love to hear from you.  We are hear to help and would be thrilled to be a part of your success story.  Feel free to contact us, and we look forward to hearing from you!

©Success With McIntosh

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WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!

Written by Cynthia McIntosh
Success With McIntosh

We’ve all had times in our lives that we can look back on and wonder why things happened the way they did.  As I write this blog, many people in Texas are dealing with tragic losses.  Some of them have lost absolutely everything.  Some have even lost loved ones to the storm they named Harvey.  It is said that Harvey was a 1 in a 1000 year flood event.  That’s huge, no matter how you look at it!  And with it came devistation.  I honestly can’t imagine what the wonderful people of Texas are going through.  I’m sitting in my studio in sunny Southern California complaining about the triple-digit heat!  Not a drop of rain here, and we could use it!  Meanwhile Houston, Texas is under water.  And I think about our neighbors in Houston and what they are going through, and the heat doesn’t seem so bad!

I can look back over my life and see a lot of pain, disappointment, and regret.  But I can also honestly say that all of it has worked together to make me who I am today…it has made me strong; it has made me determined; it has made me focused; it has taught me to be very sensitive to the needs and feelings of others; it has taught me compassion.  It has given me an intense desire to help those around me.  It has taught me not only to love those around me, but to be able to accept love from them.  It has taught me humility.  And above all, it has taught me that if I focus on me and my problems, my problems look huge –  but when I focus on the needs of others and how I can help them, my problems tend to really diminish.

I pray for those in Texas who are dealing with such terrible devistation and feel like they have lost everything.  I pray for stength for every one of them.  I pray for courage.  I pray for comfort.  And I pray that God will bring people into their lives to help them and show them love.

God bless each and every one of them in a very special way.

My heart goes out to all of you.

And may we all treat each other with respect, consideration, love, and compassion.  Everyone has “stuff”, and we never know what the person we are talking to is going through.  Sometimes something as little as a smile, or a compliment, or a word of encouragement can change a person’s whole day, and sometimes even their life!  And the icing on the cake is that if you are thinking about others, it makes your life easier as well, because you aren’t so focused on your own problems.  Just sayin’.

So go out there and make a difference in someone’s life.  Being a positive influence in the lives of those around you is a big part of living a successful life, no matter what success means to you!

Cynthia McIntosh

©Success With McIntosh
http://www.successwithmcintosh.com

Getting Through Storms in Life

We all have them.  And for many of us, when we are in the middle of them, they feel like they will never end.  We feel like they are going to drown us.  We feel like no one can ever understand what we are going through.  We isolate.  We lose sleep, or we sleep too much.  We don’t eat, or we eat too much.

the_sovereign_of_storms_by_procrust-d38gl3iWe all handle stress, frustration, and disappointment in different ways.  But how we handle it can make all the difference in the world on how we come out of the situation.  How we handle it often defines what the final outcome will be.  And how we handle it is a choice.  I know it doesn’t always feel like it, but I really believe that it is.  I feel very strongly about this.  Let me tell you why:

Today I live in a house that I really enjoy, with people I love being around, and I have a wonderfully fulfilling career.  I have the world’s greatest coach (in my opinion), and I look forward to my future..But I want to share with you that it definitely has not always been this way.  In fact, I have to humbly admit that I regret that I wasted so many years feeling defeated by life!

Life hasn’t always been easy for me.  It isn’t always easy for anyone.  I’ve dealt with family issues, rejection issues, financial issues, and even cancer issues.  And for years it DID leave me feeling defeated.  But I’ve learned through my challenges that how I chose to approach them has a huge impact on how each chapter of my life ends, who I become through the challenges, and whether the challenges end up being destructive or being a blessing.

You see, up until a few years ago, I had been an accountant.  I had spent the majority of my lifetime  making my living on a computer.  Then one day I woke up in the hospital. I was told that while I had gone into the hospital expecting to have minor surgery for skin cancer,they went to remove the cancer on the back of my hand and found that it was much more than they had anticipated.The cancer had already eaten away all the nerves, tendons, muscles, and even veins in my right hand –  and yes, I’m right-handed.  They had to take everything out.  To save my hand, they had to re-build it with muscles, tendons, and veins from my right arm, but I lost most of the use of my right hand and arm.  I do have to thank God that the doctors got to the cancer in time (within being a few days too late) to stop it from going into my bones in my hand – that would have been a game changer, and I wouldn’t be writing this to you today.

After surgery, cancer treatments, and physical therapy, I needed to make some changes.  I was not able to use a computer as I had before, and I was forced into a career change.  Thankfully, I have wonderfully supportive friends, because at the ripe old age of (?) I found myself looking for a whole new career that did not require the use of my right hand and that did not require that I go outdoors much (another result of cancer).

After much time, prayer and thought, my desire to help people succeed and my love for people led me to research and ultimately take on life coaching as my new career path. I studied coaching, and it has been an amazing transition.  I feel like I am doing what I was supposed to be doing all along.  I feel released to be what I’ve always wanted to be.  I’m loving life!

Life still has it’s challenges.  It always will.  But I’m grateful that I now spend my time making a difference in the lives of others by doing something I love – all because a really tough time in life forced me to leave my comfort zone and do something completely new.

I don’t spend a lot of time talking about life’s challenges.  grid9_Beautiful-Weather2  I prefer to focus on the things that I am grateful for.  But I know that some of you are going through struggles, and I hope that this story can be an encouragement to you.  If you or someone you know can benefit from this story, please share it – that’s what makes it worth while for me!

If you have a story you would like to share or if this article has touched your life in any way, please share it with us by commenting to this post.  We’d love to hear from you!

And don’t forget to surround yourself with positive people who will support you.  Being around positive, successful people is the first step to having a successful life of your own.

Cynthia McIntosh
Success Coach
Highway 2 Success