Smart Ways to Free Yourself from Guilty Feelings

If you are human, you have made mistakes before. Some of these mistakes can lead to feelings of guilt. But, you don’t have to live with guilt. There are ways to move on with your life.

What is guilt? It is best described as the feeling of inadequacy that follows a mistake or a blunder. Sometimes, it isn’t even a blunder to anyone other than to the person feeling guilty.

It is not uncommon to make mistakes. We are all capable of it. But what follows that mistake? If someone else is hurt physically, mentally or financially, you may feel a sense of responsibility to make it right. This is the beginning of guilt.

Whether you hurt someone intentionally or by accident, confessing the wrong can put the situation in perspective. Either the person will forgive you or not. If it is a criminal act, you will be punished or absolved of guilt according to the law.

But, even after all of this happens, what can make a person continue to feel bad about what they have done? Guilty feelings that continue usually start before the incident that evoked the guilt.

What can cause guilt? Here are a few suggestions.

* Criticism – If you are exposed to criticism all the time, you may feel inadequate. This inadequacy could be directed at you or at a certain task you perform.

* Lack of resolution – If you can’t talk to the person you hurt then there is a distinct lack of closure. This can result in you making up scenarios in your mind that revolve around feelings of not being forgiven for the act. You may try harder with others to not hurt or offend them as a result of not being able to make amends in this case.

* Unfulfilled expectations – Some people feel guilty just because they can’t live up to others’ expectations. They feel the disappointment over what they are not, so that who they truly are doesn’t seem to matter.

So how can you counter guilty feelings?

* Take a realistic view of yourself – Each person makes mistakes. Use them as learning experiences. No one is perfect, but you can try to do better the next time.

* List your good qualities – We all have some. Keep this list handy for times when feelings of inadequacy creep back in. Post it on your refrigerator and the bathroom mirror.

* Avoid comparisons – It is the kiss of death. Sure, we all do things differently, but that doesn’t make one method better than another. If you compare yourself to someone else, you are sure to come up short on some point. That is a good way to trigger debilitating guilt.

* Counter negative thoughts – Stop negative thoughts about yourself in their path. When you have one, counter it with a positive affirmation.

Guilt is a destructive emotion that can hurt you long after the triggering event has passed. Learn to let go and move on.

Top Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Fail

Every year thousands of businesses launch. Every year thousands of businesses fail. In fact, business experts say that one in five businesses will fail within just a few years of launch. The actual numbers are probably quite a lot higher. You don’t want to fail. You want to succeed. When you know why entrepreneurs fail, you can properly prepare for success. Here are the top reasons why entrepreneurs fail.

#1 Lack of research – It’s vitally important to make sure there’s a market for your business before you launch. You have to research both demand and supply. Who is providing the same products or service? What problem are you solving for people? Who are your prospects?

The research phase of launching a business is one of the most critical. Without proper research into supply and demand, you’re not going to be able to position your business successfully. Very few businesses succeed without solid initial research.

If you’re unsure how to research your business idea, talk to an expert. Get help. Speak to other entrepreneurs you trust. You don’t have to share your idea with others, but rather learn how to research your idea.

#2 They don’t understand their market – This also relates to research but it’s a different kind of research. Before you launch your business, it’s vital that you know exactly who you’re marketing to. Why? Because you need to position your product or service to meet their needs. If you don’t understand their needs, you may miss out on profits.

#3 They don’t understand cash flow – Cash flow is essential to survival. Actually, poor cash management is perhaps the most common reason for business failure. Entrepreneurs must create a budget. They have to be realistic about how much they expect to earn. And they must have a tight rein on their expenses. In order to pay the bills, you need to have cash coming in on a regular basis. Cash flow is essential to survival.

#4 An inability to market – Not everyone is a marketing genius. It’s important to realize that marketing is essential to success. If you don’t have a solid marketing plan, your business will not thrive. In business, the old “if you build it they will come” mentality just doesn’t work. If you don’t like or understand marketing, then hire someone who does.

#5 No business plan – Many people believe that a business plan is only necessary if you’re seeking funding. This is not true. In order to achieve your goals, it’s important to plan how you’re going to succeed. Your business plan is your road map to success. Don’t skip this important step.

Take heart and think positively. While one in five businesses fail, the others succeed. Research, plan, and understand your market. Commit to marketing and manage your accounts with solid accounting and cash flow management. You’re destined for success!

Why Referral Networking Is Everything

Referral networking is perhaps the best tactic to grow and sustain a business. Referral networking is the process of gaining referrals from friends, associates and satisfied customers. You work with other respected and quality companies to support each other to grow and prosper. It’s easy to implement and the results can last a lifetime.

Here’s why referral networking is everything to your business marketing plan:

#1 Referral networking is a testimonial from a trusted source. Think about who you would rather do business with. Would you rather do business with a company that was referred to you from a trusted friend or associate, or with a business you have no information about?

Chances are you’d rather do business with a company that was referred to you. Most people would. Why? Because it removes some of the risk of doing business. When you get a referral from a client, friend or associate, you’re getting a pre-qualified customer. Your work is half done.

#2 Referral networking offers a win-win situation. When you network with other companies to refer each other, you’re not only growing your business – you’re helping others grow theirs. There’s a tremendous satisfaction with this experience. Additionally, you begin to build a strong community of supporters. When you align yourself with a group of business owners all motivated to help each other succeed, powerful things can happen.

#3 Referrals open the door for long-term relationships. When a customer comes to you because you’ve been referred, they have a different attitude. They’re generally looking to establish a long-term relationship with you. When you can offer them a good customer experience, you have likely gained a customer for life. Referral networking is great for long-term success.

#4 Referral networking is inexpensive. It doesn’t cost you anything to earn a referral. It’s a free marketing tactic. That means the return on investment (ROI) is 100%. There are few, if any, other marketing tactics that have that ROI.

#5 Referral networking provides you with time. Instead of pounding on doors and looking for customers, they’re coming to you via referrals. This means you can spend your time making money and satisfying your existing customers. It’s a much more enjoyable and economical way to do business.

Referral networking only works if you provide a fantastic product or service. A good customer experience will help motivate every single customer you have to refer others. Word of mouth will spread and your business will continue to grow.