Seven Keys to Get Out of a Rut


Rut -- a routine procedure, situation, or way of life that has become uninteresting and tiresome... And not surprisingly, unprofitable.

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 next exit.

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 about?"

  • 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 away.
  • 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 new services.

    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. All rights reserved

    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.


    MORE RESOURCES:

    Turkey-US deal asks Kurdish forces to vacate designated ‘safe zone’ in northern Syria during five-day ceasefire

    Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish president, has said his country would “crush the heads” of Kurdish militants if they did not withdraw from a planned “safe zone” in northern Syria.

    On Thursday following an intervention from the US, Turkey agreed to pause its military offensive in north-eastern Syria for five days while Kurdish fighters withdrew from the safe zone.

    Continue reading...

    Quim Torra urges dialogue for democratic solution to tensions following fifth consecutive night of violence

    Catalonia’s president, Quim Torra, has called for talks with the Spanish government. Speaking on Saturday morning, Torra again condemned the violence of recent days, adding: “Violence has never been our flag.”

    He urged talks with Spain’s acting government “to open a dialogue to find a democratic solution and a political and democratic” way out of the crisis over regional independence.

    Continue reading...

    • Match abandoned over alleged ‘disgusting’ racist abuse
    • Football Association ‘deeply concerned’, pledges action

    The Football Association says it is “deeply concerned’’ after the FA Cup fourth-qualifying-round tie between Haringey Borough and Yeovil was abandoned following allegations that home players were racially abused.

    Yeovil were leading 1-0 with just over an hour played when Haringey’s players, under the direction of manager Tom Loizou, walked off the pitch. The initial target of the abuse was reported to be Haringey’s goalkeeper Valery Pajetat.

    Continue reading...

    Surveillance footage shows emotional moment when Keanon Lowe encountered student in Oregon city

    A Portland, Oregon, school district has criticized the release of video footage that shows a high school football coach disarming a suicidal student, then hugging and comforting the teen.

    The surveillance video, first obtained by the CBS affiliate KOIN 6 News, shows the Parkrose high school football coach Keanon Lowe encountering Angel Granados-Diaz, then 18. While Lowe’s actions in the May incident had been extensively reported, the video provided visual documentation of his quick thinking and compassion.

    Continue reading...

    Sebastián Piñera suspends public transport price hikes that sparked widespread protests

    Chilean president Sebastián Piñera announced on Saturday that he would reverse public transport fare hikes which had caused widespread protests in the country.

    Related: Chile protests: state of emergency declared in Santiago as violence escalates

    Continue reading...

    A Christian party has quit Lebanon’s coalition government after more protests against tax rises and alleged corruption

    A Lebanese Christian party quit the coalition government on Saturday after tens of thousands of people took to the streets for a third day of protests against tax increases and alleged official corruption.

    After protesters marched in Beirut, Tripoli and other cities, the head of the Lebanese Forces party, Samir Geagea, said his group was resigning from the government.

    Continue reading...

    Mexico’s foreign minister said on Saturday that the president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and Donald Trump had agreed to take swift action to stem the flow of illegal weapons from the US into Mexico.

    Related: 'We do not want war': Mexico president defends release of El Chapo’s son

    Continue reading...

    Matteo Salvini’s League joins rightwing parties in ‘Italian pride’ protest

    Thousands of Italians descended on Rome for a far-right rally labelled “Italy pride”, evoking connotations to the “march on Rome” held on 27 October 1922 that marked the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini’s rise to power.

    The rally on Saturday had been in the making since Matteo Salvini, the leader of the League, was spectacularly ousted from government in late August.

    Continue reading...

    Sources tell Hollywood reporter Bruce Lee’s daughter raised concerns over the film’s portrayal of the martial arts star

    Quentin Tarantino will not edit Once Upon a Time in Hollywood to placate Chinese censors, the Hollywood Reporter said.

    Related: Bruce Lee's daughter hits out at father's portrayal in Tarantino film

    Continue reading...

    • Eddie Johnson says incident related to medication
    • Mayor’s comments differ from first official explanation

    The top police officer in Chicago told the mayor he had “a couple of drinks with dinner” before he fell asleep at a stop sign while driving home on Thursday, an incident the chief contends was related to a change in his blood pressure medication.

    Superintendent Eddie Johnson did not mention having anything to drink when he spoke to reporters on Thursday night and a department spokesman said then officers who responded to a 911 call reporting a man asleep in a car at a stop sign did not observe any signs of impairment.

    Continue reading...

    With a dire shortage of land for graves, the holy city is reviving an ancient custom of underground burial – with lift access, LED lighting and golf buggies

    Cool air from deep inside the mountain lightly wafts through cavernous arched tunnels. Along the walls of the subterranean passages, rows of human-sized chambers have been dug into the rock. It is unmistakably a catacomb.

    Yet this mass tomb is not a relic of the Roman empire. It was made with huge electric diggers, and the walls are lined with concrete. People will enter by lift, and those with limited mobility will be able to use a golf buggy to traverse the necropolis.

    Continue reading...

    Green growth and ‘hedonistic sustainability’ have helped keep the public on board as the Danish capital seeks to reach its goal by 2025 – and so far it’s all going according to plan

    “We call it hedonistic sustainability,” says Jacob Simonsen of the decision to put an artificial ski slope on the roof of the £485m Amager Resource Centre (Arc), Copenhagen’s cutting-edge new waste-to-energy power plant. “It’s not just good for the environment, it’s good for life.”

    Skiing is just one of the activities that Simonsen, Arc’s chief executive, and Bjarke Ingels, its lead architect, hope will enhance the latest jewel in Copenhagen’s sustainability crown. The incinerator building also incorporates hiking and running trails, a street fitness gym and the world’s highest outdoor climbing wall, an 85-metre “natural mountain” complete with overhangs that rises the full height of the main structure.

    Continue reading...

    ‘If cities are invited to be at the table, I believe they will help accelerate the work that needs to be done’ said LA mayor Eric Garcetti

    US mayors are seeking to go over President Trump’s head and negotiate directly at next month’s UN climate change conference in Santiago, they said as they met in Copenhagen for the C40 World Mayors Summit.

    Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, who rallied US mayors to commit to the Paris climate agreement after Trump announced his intention to withdraw the country in 2017, said he would ask the UN secretary general, António Guterres, on Thursday to give American cities a new role in UN climate talks.

    “I’m going to bring it up with the UN secretary general,” Garcetti said. “If cities are invited to be at the table, I believe they will help accelerate the work that needs to be done. Hopefully, we can do it in concert with our national governments, but [we can do it] even where there is conflict.”

    Garcetti, who was announced on Wednesday as the next chair of the C40 group of global cities, said he would use his position to seek “a more formal role in the deliberations” at the conference.

    “The United Nations works directly with cities all the time ... so they shouldn’t feel feel scared about jumping down to that local level,” he said.

    Continue reading...

    It is cities, not national governments, that are most aggressively fighting the climate crisis – and in 30 years they could look radically different

    She has barely ever been in a car, and never eaten meat or flown. Now 31, she lives on the 15th floor of a city centre tower from where she can just see the ocean 500 yards away on one side and the suburbs and informal settlements sprawling as far as the eye can see on the other.

    Life is OK in this megacity. She earns the exact median income and is as green as she feels she can be: she has no children yet, her carbon footprint is negligible, and her apartment, built in the early 2000s, has been retrofitted for climate change with deep insulation, its own solar air-con and heating systems.

    Continue reading...

    After water restrictions and emergency infrastructure, the final drought strategy is sheer perseverance

    People have started visiting the outback town of Pooncarie just to see a place that’s running dry.

    Josh Sheard, the publican at the Pooncarie hotel, says the remote town in far south-west New South Wales needs the attention.

    Continue reading...

    Youngsters, aged between 14 and 17, detained alongside 18-year-old over death of Clinton Evbota

    Five youths have been arrested on suspicion of the murder of an 18-year-old man in south-east London on 10 October, police have said.

    The youngsters, aged between 14 and 17, were detained alongside an 18-year-old man over the death of Clinton Evbota, who was stabbed to death on the Brandon Estate in Camberwell, south-east London.

    Continue reading...

    Intricately carved coffins with mummies from 1000BC ‘biggest such find in over a century’

    Egypt has revealed details of 30 ancient wooden coffins with mummies inside, which were discovered in the southern city of Luxor in the biggest find of its kind in more than a century.

    A team of Egyptian archaeologists found a “distinctive group of 30 coloured wooden coffins for men, women and children” in a cache at Al-Asasif cemetery on Luxor’s west bank, the ministry of antiquities said in a statement on Saturday.

    Continue reading...

    Environmentalist Jacqueline Evans says she was dismissed from the Marae Moana for urging caution on deep-sea mining

    The public champion of the world’s largest marine reserve – the Cook Islands’ Marae Moana – has said she lost her job managing it because she supported a moratorium on seabed mining in the Pacific.

    Six months ago, Jacqueline Evans won the Goldman Environmental prize – the world’s foremost environmental award – for her work establishing Marae Moana (meaning “sacred ocean”), which covers the Cook Islands’ entire exclusive economic zone of more than 1.9m sq km.

    Continue reading...

    Lambie’s vote will decide the fate of the medical evacuation laws the previous parliament’s crossbench was instrumental in passing

    She came in like a wrecking ball.

    But Jacqui Lambie, the senator, has grown up.

    Continue reading...

    MPs point to lack of progress on promised safeguarding improvements for whistleblowers and survivors

    MPs have accused aid organisations of “dragging their feet” over combating sexual exploitation and abuse in the sector, despite safeguarding pledges made in 2018 after the Oxfam abuse scandal.

    Work to improve protection and support for whistleblowers has “stalled”, and more needs to be done to protect survivors, a report by the UK international development committee (IDC) has said.

    Continue reading...

    World Bank targets ‘learning poverty’ as research shows major shortfall in basic reading skills among least privileged children

    Nine out of 10 children in the world’s poorest countries are unable to read a basic book by the age of 10 – a situation mirrored in reverse in rich countries, where only 9% cannot do so by the same age.

    Data compiled by the World Bank and the UN also shows that when low- and middle-income countries are taken together – a total of 135 states – more than half of all children cannot read a simple text at 10 years old.

    Continue reading...

    Mahamadou Issoufou calls for ‘responsible parenthood’ as he warns population boom will undermine climate adaptation

    A misreading of Islam led to Niger’s explosive birth rate, hampering the country’s fight to adapt to the climate crisis and preserve its shrinking resources, the country’s president has said.

    This nexus of issues is likely to have an increasingly direct impact on European politics, said Mahamadou Issoufou, who warned warned that migration may exceed the levels it reached during the second world war.

    Continue reading...

    An NGO has recut and overdubbed a Venezuelan telenovela to raise awareness of sexual health

    Uganda has one of the highest birth rates in the world. It also has some of the most dedicated soap opera watchers anywhere in Africa.

    Now a group of enterprising Ugandans is aiming to tackle the former through the medium of the latter. Soap operas are expensive to make, however, so they plan instead to “hack” a Venezuelan import, recutting the existing series and overdubbing it with Ugandan actors.

    Continue reading...

    Unqualified missionary denies she sought to portray herself as a doctor at centre where at least 105 children died

    Zuriah Namutamba still has questions about how her grandson died. About whether the actions of a young American woman, a missionary without any medical training, contributed to Twalali Kifabi’s death.

    Zuriah is not the only relative in Uganda demanding answers over the work of the US missionary organisation Serving His Children (SHC) and its founder, Renee Bach, who has now left the country.

    Continue reading...

    The blunt words of Sydney archbishop Glenn Davies come at a critical moment for Australian churches and demands for religious freedom

    For a man renowned for his civility, the language was blunt. During his annual speech to the Anglican Church’s Sydney synod, Archbishop Glenn Davies told supporters of same-sex marriage to “please leave us”.

    “My own view is that if people wish to change the doctrine of our church, they should start a new church or join a church more aligned to their views,” he said. “But do not ruin the Anglican Church by abandoning the plain teaching of scripture.”

    Continue reading...

    I doubt there’s any woman who hasn’t had her strength rebranded as ‘aggression’ – calling us ‘crazy’ is a tired old trick

    Sign up for The week in patriarchy, a newsletter​ on feminism and sexism sent every Saturday.

    Continue reading...

    The public recoils, although sheep and cows are killed in identical fashion. But the racing industry has a serious case to answer too

    The biggest trucks at any horse sale belong to the meat dealers. At the end of the day, once those awarded a second chance have been led away, the dealers open the remaining pens and run their unlucky purchases through the saleyard to the loading ramp.

    Young, well-fed, well-muscled horses – such as thoroughbreds or standardbreds that have recently left the racing industries – are sent to export abattoirs in Peterborough, South Australia, or the Meramist abattoir in Caboolture, Queensland. The latter is currently being investigated for animal cruelty offences after footage aired on the ABC’s 7.30 program showed horses being shocked with electric prods, hit and kicked before slaughter.

    Continue reading...

    Trump once based his cabinet around retired generals but his Syria policy lurch has brought unprecedented military scorn on his head

    Four-star US generals and admirals are a taciturn bunch: they measure their words, qualify their statements and guard their silence out of loyalty to the armed forces and to their country.

    Related: Mattis resignation triggered by phone call between Trump and Erdoğan

    Continue reading...

    The jailing of nine pro-independence Catalan leaders over their roles in the failed push for secession two years ago has sparked five nights of violent unrest in Barcelona and other areas of Catalonia. The region's president, Quim Torra, has called for talks with the Spanish government after a peaceful march and general strike was followed by further clashes between protesters and police

    Continue reading...

    One might think the best color to describe Alabama would be red-brown, like its dirt, or loamy black like its best soil. Or white like its fences. Or any of the three, like its people. But blue is right. Blue skies, blue denim, blue faded scraps for quilts, the robin’s egg blue paint in portraits and on walls, muted and resilient. Blue is the hue of a fire so hot that its color has to turn cool.

    Photographer Andrew Moore captures his view of the deep south state and its complicated legacy

    Continue reading...

    People on a crowded underground platform in Buenos Aires came to the rescue of a woman who fell on to train tracks.

    CCTV footage from Pueyrredón station shows the woman being knocked off the platform by a man who fainted. Passengers quickly responded by waving their hands to alert the train driver. They then jumped on to the tracks to help the woman after the train came to a halt

    Continue reading...

    Intense fighting has erupted in the Mexican city of Culiacán, where masked gunmen threw up burning barricades and traded gunfire with security forces after authorities arrested one of the sons of the jailed former leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán. The chaotic scenes in Culiacán, a long-time stronghold for the Guzmáns' cartel, have increased pressure on President López Obrador, who took office in December promising to pacify a country weary after more than a decade of drug-war fighting.

    Continue reading...

    The Chilean capital, Santiago, has seen a significant roll-out of riot police after more than a week of mass fare evasion on the city's metro in protest over rising prices. Police and metro management said there had been more than 200 incidents of largely schoolchildren and students jumping barriers and forcing gates to access trains. Metro stations were closed or blocked and in some cases police responded with teargas and batons

    Continue reading...

    The ex-defence secretary is laughing off an insult hurled at him by the US president. Speaking at a New York charity event a day after Trump demeaned him as ‘the world’s most overrated general’, Mattis joked that he took it as a compliment. ‘I’m honoured to be considered that by Donald Trump because he also called Meryl Streep an overrated actress,’ he said. ‘So I guess I’m the Meryl Streep of generals’

    Continue reading...

    Donald Trump said the US had to let Kurdish allies and Turkey 'fight a little while' before agreeing to a five-day ceasefire with Ankara. In a rally held in Texas, he said: 'Sometimes you have to let them fight like two kids in a lot, you gotta let them fight, and then you pull them apart.'

    Turkey launched its cross-border offensive in northern Syria on 9 October following Trump's decision to withdraw US troops from the region

    Continue reading...

    odrnews.com ©