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Business success - All in the mind?

Internationally-renowned clinical hypnotherapist Sheila Granger has a lot of tricks up her sleeve.

She can help people manage issues they face from sugar addiction, to struggling to manage their weight, and even fear of flying.

But what not so many people realise, is that she can also help them harness the power of their minds to achieve greater success in business.

In fact, it is to this area of work that she is currently devoting most of her attention – with her own trademark programme helping some 19 fellow practitioners across the globe to make a success of their own practices.

Sheila has kindly agreed to be the keynote speaker at our next James Legal – The Business 2017 masterclass, and will be sharing hints, tips and techniques for success.

However, we were so intrigued by this topic, we couldn’t resist asking her for a sneak preview into her views on business mindset, what works and what doesn’t.

Getting to the point

 “When I go into a business for the first time, I start by working with the owners and decision-makers, to get an understanding of what they want to change,” said Sheila.

“Often, that begins with asking them what they want their life to be like, and how they want that to be different, to that they can identify a measurable goal from the outset.

“I focus on this because it’s important for them to understand what’s driving them and therefore what is ‘their point’, because if those things are unclear or incongruent, they simply will not do it. “

And according to Sheila, how we’re wired has a lot to do with what our personal reasons-for-doing will be.

“As human beings, our main motivations in life are running either towards pleasure or away from pain. Therefore, an important starting point is to understand what kind of person you are, and what drives you,” she continued.

“It’s an odd thing but many businesspeople fail to realise that the point of working hard in business, is to have a life. It might even be a case of British stiff upper lip, but I think they almost feel guilty admitting that’s what they want.

“To be fair, if you ask most people what they want from their lives, they won’t be able to tell you. However, with a business, that awareness is critical to establishing a clear vision and direction of travel.”

Busy – but in the right way?

According to Sheila, most of the business people she works with are very busy people, but too often they are actually going nowhere fast, despite all their efforts.

She said: “One of the first things I do is to take an external view and challenge them to prioritise those things that are going to make the biggest difference. Then, I hold them to account, to make sure they go on and do any things they say they are going to do.

“Usually I find that people have the answers within them, and it’s about bringing those out and shaping them, so that they succeed. My job is to get people to see things from a point of view they haven’t considered before, and create a ‘lightbulb moment’ for them”

Often the answers lie in the quiet moments in between all the madness, if we are prepared to look for them,

“Through hypnosis, I encourage people to step aside from their busy-ness for a moment, see things from a fresh perspective and so open up fresh ideas and new horizons.

“Most of us can relate to going on holiday, relaxing and suddenly seeing things a lot more clearly, or going on a long car journey and getting into a certain thought zone. Our subconscious mind is very powerful but it too often gets drowned out by the demands of daily life. When we let it come to the fore, latent things can surface that actually take us in powerful new directions.”

Who’s hypnotising you?

There are many misconceptions about hypnotherapy, associated with popular culture images of stage acts using it to get their audience participants to do weird and wonderful things.

Yet Sheila frames it another way.

“The reality is that we are all hypnotised up to 120 times a day, by the people and situations we come across, and the impact they have on our subconscious thought patterns – which is often less than positive.

“So, ironically, I very often end up working with someone to actually bring them out of the trance they are in as a result of those daily interactions, rather than putting them into one!

“Fundamentally, we all have a choice of who we listen to, and how we allow them to influence our life path.”

Often, this negative push and pull can damage our self-belief and, as a result, our potential. And they are linked to five common traits that hold people back.

Sheila’s top 5 business success inhibitors

  1. Lack of self-belief. Sheila said: “This is the one thing that can really make or break a businessperson. If you have all the ability in the world but lack confidence, you’re more likely to fail. But if you have a reasonable amount of skill and the belief and drive to go for it, you can overcome your own limitations and the challenges you face along the way.”
  2. Unwillingness to listen and learn. “The most successful businesspeople I’ve ever met have a desire to always learn more, no matter how good they are already at what they do. This quality really sets them apart and helps them to constantly improve and anticipate trends in their industry, to stay ahead of their competition,” she added.
  3. Giving up too soon. “Sadly, many businesses give up just when they’re at the tipping point of success. Their owners think ‘I’ve done all the work but I can’t see an instant result’. However, having the resilience to push on past that point can very often be what makes the difference between success and failure,” continued Sheila.
  4. Being a practitioner rather than a business leader. “Too many business owners fail to realise that going into business represents a big thing – and it’s no longer about their skillset, it’s about learning how to do business, be nimble and change and adapt as required.”
  5. Fear of numbers. “Lots of people don’t have a handle on their figures and therefore don’t stand a chance of succeeding. To be really successful and grow, it’s important to get over their maths phobia, because you can’t make money without understanding your margin between profit and loss, and all your cashflow requirements in between.”

Sheila’s 5 positive changes to increase your chances of success

  1. Create your vision. If you had your perfect life, what would that look like? This really is the first, most fundamental step to building a successful business. Because you should see your business as a stepping stone towards creating your desired lifestyle. Find some time to get a clear picture in your head and really visualise what you want to achieve. You can even get some colourful pens and some paper and physically draw it out, if that works for you. Visualising things in this way makes you 10 times more likely to achieve them.
  2. Own you’re A.M. You need a morning routine that puts you in the right mindset for the day ahead. For example, if you struggle to find the time to exercise, do it first thing in the morning, before you get distracted by other things. 60 to 90 ‘power minutes’ devoted just to you and improving yourself, with no distractions, will have an enormous effect on your day. That means no telephone calls, no emails, and no chance to get distracted by someone else’s agenda before you’ve had the opportunity to explore your own.
  3. Make time for quite time. Meditate to help you clear your mind, relax and manage stress. Setting a little bit of time aside in the way will help you to move away from being reactive, to being more proactive about how you approach your time and your day. Often, you’ll also find solutions to any problems you’re dealing with. You’ll often find that the answers were always there, you just didn’t make the space for them. Taking this time out might seem counter-intuitive but, to quote the Dalai Lama, the more stressed he gets, the more he meditates – because the clarity this gives is so vital to becoming more efficient at ‘doing the do’.
  4. Avoid distractions. If you don’t distance yourself from your phone or email from time to time, you are never going to get done what you want to get done because outside demands will drag you off course.
  5. Blank out negative talk. It is actually a human survival instinct for us to anticipate danger, and this is why our minds will often revert to thinking about the ‘what ifs’ in any scenario. If we let this get the better of us, it becomes a destructive influence. However, it is possible to learn to flip this, and instead develop the mindset that, whatever happens, it will be better than our worst fear.

Other people’s negative talk can be even worse and so it’s also important to surround yourself with people who support your vision and your business. Imagine a really successful businessman, like Richard Branson. He isn’t successful because he is superhuman and can do lots of amazing things himself. He is successful because he has surrounded himself with a great team. Ultimately, you are the product of the five people you spend the most time with.

So, with that in mind, take a look at your five main influences, decide whether they are beneficial for you or not, and be prepared to make some brave decisions.

If this has whetted your appetite to discover more success-enhancing techniques from Sheila, you’ll be able to do exactly that at our next James Legal – The Business 2017 masterclass, where she will be our main speaker. The third masterclass in our series, it will be taking place at the Hallmark Hotel in Hessle, on Wednesday 27 September, from 9.30am to noon. You can book your FREE place here

James Legal – The Business 2017 is our campaign to help promote business success in Yorkshire and The Humber, during Hull’s special City of Culture year. You can read more about the campaign here. The campaign includes a Business Booster competition with a total prize fund of £45,000, comprising a package of support provided by our partner businesses. The support package will be divided between two stand-out businesses, chosen by James Legal Solicitor and MD Nick Miller, and respected local businesswoman Maureen Foers. For more information about the Business Booster competition, click here.

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