Don’t Follow These Directions

Do you get a lot of email (rhetorical question, right)?  I get quite a few from other service professionals:  business and life coaches, marketing consultants, social media gurus and more.  I follow people to see what others in my field and related industries are doing.  It’s always good to learn something new and check out what the competition is up to.

Of course I don’t read them all.  And every once in a while I do a big unsubscribing purge.

But recently I opened one to read a quick tip from a business coach whose advice made me talk back to the computer and write the blog post.  The beginning of her message was great and right in line with my thinking.   Things like, “Clients struggle because they don’t have a plan – a detailed plan that moves them forward.” I totally agree.

The next recommendation was to get paper and pen and sit in a quiet place and start by writing down everything you DON’T want in your business and life.


That is the exact opposite place from where I tell business owners to start.    Here are a few reasons to avoid starting with what you don’t want:

  • Negativity narrows your focus.  When you think about all the things that are going wrong, your creativity and breadth of thought decrease. Negativity can stifle your thinking and shut you down.  Why would you start there??
  • Negativity decreases your mood.  No surprise here, but negativity leads to a negative mood.  Imagine how you’ll feel when you jot down all those things you’re not liking, not interested in and aren’t working?  What a drag!!
  • The Law of Attraction.  I have never seen “The Secret,” but I have experienced the phenomenon of attracting into your life what you think about, imagine and verbalize.  I’m not exactly sure how it works, but I’ve found that “putting it out there” increases your possibilities of getting it back.  Try it for a while and see what happens.

Let me suggest a different exercise.  Sit down in a quiet place for 10-15 minutes with pen and paper and answer these questions:

  • What do I love most about my business?
  • What are my favorite things to do that are also the things I do best?
  • How can I do those more often every day?
  • What DO I want in my business?

As seen on Facebook

When you start doing more of what you do well and what you love, there will be less room for the things you don’t want.

Start with your strengths and successes (and I hope you do follow these directions).

What do you want in your business?  Weigh in below.

Gloria M. Miele, Ph.D. is a business development and leadership coach and Victory Circles facilitator in Southern California.  She is passionate about helping others discover and develop their strengths to achieve greater business success through coaching programs, workshops, staff training, executive coaching and keynote speaking.  Visit her website at to sign up to receive helpful business development resources, including a free Business Planning Template. You can also connect with us at


4 comments so far

  1. Laurie Schwarz Hurley on

    Oh, how appropriate. One of the first things my speaking coach taught me was to put a positive spin on things. Leave the negativity “at home” if you will. With lots of challenges going on right now for me personally, this is a lesson I need to be reminded of. Thank you.

    • Gloria M. Miele, Ph.D. on

      I’m glad this resonated with you, Laurie. I think we’re all challenged to avoid negativity, especially when there’s a lot of not so positive stuff happening. That’s why I believe these kinds of reminders are so important. Thanks for reading and for your feedback.

  2. Robbie Schlosser on

    Hi Gloria,
    Your advice makes sense to me, too. Focusing on the negative view is like walking backwards. You have no idea where you’re going, or how to get there, but you can see, with increasing fuzziness, the reverse of where you’ve been.

    By the way, I didn’t know you’re playing Blogger Monday this week. Really, are you?

    • Gloria M. Miele, Ph.D. on

      Thanks, Robbie. I like your analogy about walking backwards (and as I approach 50, my vision seems to be getting fuzzier and fuzzier, so I totally get it!!).

      And yes I am playing Blogger Monday. Check the comments on the original post. I’m in there!!

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