Archive for the 'Business Focus' Category

Positive Communications Pattern with NLP

Posted by Holly Stokes on December 11th, 2013

With the holidays and festivities also comes more time with family. Family is great when you all get along, and it’s of course difficult when your communications are less than stellar.

Try this NLP process for creating a habit around your communications so that you can come from a healthy space with your communications, creating more fulfilling relationships.

Line out a square of 4 spaces on the floor in front of you, one space for Self, one for Other, one for Observer, and one for Higher Self.

Think of a difficult conversation you had with a person.

Step into square 1: Self, and state your point of view.

Step into square 2: Other and get into the frame of the Other person, take on their view of the world and state their response or point of view.

Step into square 3:Observer, and take the view of an Observer. What is it like seeing the interaction between the two of you?

Step into square 4: Higher Self and imagine a white light shining through you and imagine being your Higher Self, feel the wisdom and insight and notice what you might change in this interaction.

Step back into Self and notice what has changed.

Repeat the process 5 or 6 times going through each of the steps, ending back in Self. Repetition will turn this into a new habit, making it an automatic response for you. This is a great process for difficult conversations, family, friends, and even coworkers!

You can also use it in preparation for difficult conversations to better understand the other’s view and maintain your own equilibrium throughout the conversation.

NLP Tool Motivation: Change your Mental Pictures

Posted by Holly Stokes on December 4th, 2013

Motivation can range from simple to complicated. At the simple level, we need to change how we are thinking about the thing we’d like more motivation on. Use this simple tool to boost your motivation on something.

A simple level motivation is to pay attention to your mental pictures. Think of a thing you are highly motivated to do. Now notice how you picture that in your mind. What is the location of the picture, what is the color, the brightness, the contrast, the sharpness of the image?

Next, picture something you want more motivation on, how do you picture that in your mind? What is the quality of that picture, the colors, the location, the contrast, sharpness of the image?

Now change the qualities of the picture, add more light to the picture of what you’d like more motivation on and change the qualities to match the picture of what you are highly motivated to do. As you change the mental picture, you’ll feel more motivated. Change the light, add brightness and vivid color. I like to add a pinch of pixie dust for good measure.

Now how motivated are you to do it?

Changing a Habit with NLP

Posted by Holly Stokes on October 27th, 2013

Sometimes making a change is simply about remembering to do so.

When you have enough healthy habits, you can enjoy lasting weight loss success. Use this Neuro-Linguistic Programming process for making a new habit.

Think of a change that you’d like to make and think of the context, where does it fit in your routine? For this example we are going to use adding exercise into the schedule after work.

What are you doing now? I come home from work and I sit down in front of the TV.

What change do you want? I want to come home from work and put on my workout clothes and go to the gym.

What is the cue that tells you to run the new habit? Coming home from work.

Read the rest of the blog post here:

Instant Confidence with NLP Tool in 5 Minutes!

Posted by Holly Stokes on April 12th, 2012

Have you ever walked into a new situation with people that you didn’t know, a new job, speaking in front of a group, or even attending a party with people you don’t know? You know that feeling of being uncomfortable, nervous and withdrawn?

I used to get the heebie jeebies speaking in front of groups. In fact, one time as a teenager, I was supposed to speak in front of my church, I had memorized a poem, and I felt pretty comfortable with it. I stood up in front of the group and about ¾ of the way in, I was so nervous that I totally forgot it. My mind was so blank – I could not (more…)

“Lucky” Expand your thinking

Posted by Holly Stokes on August 26th, 2010

Last week I watched the documentary on lottery winners, “Lucky.” It was fasinating to see how this big change played out for people in their lives. Some went to extravagant extremes, purchasing everything, others continued to live in the same house with only minor changes. For some it was chaos, and for others, it didn’t seem to change their life much.

What was most intriguing to me about it, one lottery winner said, “I didn’t really buy the lottery tickets to win, I played the game for the fantasy value.”  That sentence really struck me. We get into routine with our jobs, our houses, our bills, and in our routines, which can be very comfortable, we create a sense of a box. We don’t expand our thinking very far beyond what is happening within our routine.

So, I could use a little imagination in my possibilities of what could happen. It inspired me to buy a lottery ticket, but with the purpose of engaging my mind to expand my thinking of what is possible.  So now, before I let myself check the numbers, I allow my mind to mull over the idea “What if I did win the lottery? What would I do with the money?”

I think of paying things off like credit cards and student loans, I think of little fix-its like a new sofa and a porch swing, and then I let my mind wander to the bigger dreams, opening a center for human potential, a dreambuilder foundation to help people open businesses that fulfill their life purpose, and on and on.

It was interesting in the documentary to see how money changed life  for people, changing socio-economic groups, friendships, relationships, but I would wager money acts like an amplifier – giving you more of what you already have.  Do you carry fears and suspicions? Do you have good relationships? Do you love your career?

So, think a moment, what would you do if you won $100,000? What if you won $1 million, or 5 million? What would change for you? And thinking of that change, what would that allow you to have do or be that’s even more important?

Is Mulit-Tasking More Efficient?

Posted by Holly Stokes on August 19th, 2010

It seems that we are all in a race to do more, do it better, and do it faster, and in this rush, we try multi-tasking, doing more than one thing at a time. In an effort to gain time, we take multiple tasks into other activities, such as driving while: eating, talking on the phone, putting on make-up. Or what about talking on the phone while sorting through emails?

We feel busier when we multi-task, but are we more efficient? The answer is no!

Hurling through the workday with business on the mind, we try to find ways to cut corners. In an article published by the Journal of Experimental Psychology – Human Perception and Performance, psychology researchers found that multi-tasking causes us to lose time, rather than save it. Researchers identified that the brain has to “switch gears” between different tasks, and so the measured responses actually took more time. Plus, with each activity we do, there is a certain amount of set up time.

What is the solution to the onslaught of more things to do? There are a lot of ways to be more efficient with your time. Rather than trying to manage several tasks at once, take a little extra time to plan, identify your priorities, and then take one task at a time. Another way to increase efficiency is to group like tasks together. Set a slot of time aside for answering emails and another time slot for making phone calls.

Here are the top 5 ways to save time:

  1. Set your priorities and schedule time for them first
  2. Group similar activities together
  3. Leave some lag time in your day for unexpected “fix-its”
  4. Set a timer for activities that suck up time such as surfing the web, facebook, even answering emails.
  5. At the end of your workday, write your next day’s to do list. This keeps you in the flow of what needs to be done allowing you to have a clear focus the next day.

When we multi-task, it might feel like we are really busy, but the reality of it is, we are not as efficient as if we stay focused with one task at a time. Rather than multi-tasking, the answer to getting things done is to prioritize the tasks that are most important and simple take them one at a time.

Joshua S. Rubinstein, U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, Atlantic City, N.J.; David E. Meyer and Jeffrey E. Evans, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich., “Executive Control of Cognitive Processes in Task Switching,” Journal of Experimental Psychology – Human Perception and Performance.

What ways have you found to get more done in your day?

Train your Brain to Stress Less!

Posted by Holly Stokes on June 8th, 2010

Stress is universal these days, and if you are a business owner, even more so.  There are some things you need to know about stress and you can  set up your brain to stress less.

When we experience stress, our body has a physiological response. It releases hormones, adrenaline and cortisol in preparation for “fight or flight.”  This was useful in our ancestral past when our threats were physical and immediate.  Now, however, it’s a different story. Fighting or flighting is not an appropriate response for co-workers, family members, traffic, clients, or traffic- our stressors of today.

So, we have learned to take it, and sit in our chemical stew while looking calm. When our body is in stress mode, it stops working on our immune function, digestion, and the healing and repair. Stress is directly connected to our health and a major factor in our top 5 diseases.

Stress is also the hidden culprit behind weight gain. For many business owners, when we experience stress, the first thing to fall off our busy schedules is fitness, self care and time for healthy meals. The double whammy of stress and our health is that if our Cortisol levels (stress hormone) remain high – it actually causes the body to gain weight and store more fat.

I know you are thinking, I don’t have time!

Running a business is like running a marathon, we are in it for the long haul. We may dream of success like a 50 yard dash, but mostly, it takes time to establish connections, build a client base and earn community trust. If we are not taking care of ourselves along the way, we will burn out. If you don’t make time for yourself now, you’ll pay for it later, with extra weight, tiredness, burnout, and even health issues.

I recommend creating a de-stress plan, picking one or two activities that you can make part of your schedule, even if its only 10 min. a day. Physical exercise (rebalances hormone levels), stretching, yoga, walking, meditation, journaling, social time with close friends, deep breathing, you stress less, you’ll be feeling better and enjoying life more. More stress free tips:

There is another way to de-stress, that’s quick and effective. Change the stress at the roots, Train your Brain to Stress Less, and here’s the steps to do it.

It’s as simple as starting with a couple of deep and gentle breaths, allowing all the stress to fade from your body. You might even imagine a white light shining down through the top of your head pushing all the stress and tension out through the bottoms of your feet. Taking a moment to feel so relaxed and comfortable. Then, imagine breathing up through the bottoms of your feet, and spend a few minutes breathing up through the bottoms of your feet and moving your awareness through parts of your body, for example, breathing up through the bottoms of your feet, bringing your awareness into your  ankles, with the next breath breathing up through the bottoms of your feet and bring your awareness into your calf, and so on, all the way up through the top of your head.

As you breathe in through the bottoms of your feet to the top of your head, picture in your mind a visual that represents being calm yet alert. You can even say, mind focused, body relaxed as a cue. More of these anti-stress tools are in my book, Lighten Up Train your Brain to Slim your Body book.

If you go through this practice a few times, your brain will start to make the association between the breathing, any visuals that you use, and the feeling of the body being relaxed and the mind focused.

Then, when you are in a stressful situation, all you have to do is breathe, think of your visual, or think of mind focused, body relaxed and your body will step back into this pattern, remaining calm, yet alert. This is how to make new habits around your stress – what if you had relaxation habits instead?

Try it out, or you can also get the audio “Train your Brain to Stress Less” and more strategies from a special page on my website at:

When we are calm, we are better able to make decisions, prioritize, improve our ability to get things done, and we have a greater sense of well-being. Make De-Stress part of your life- you’ll be glad you did.

–Here’s to your Health, Wealth, and Success!

Holly Stokes, The Brain Trainer, NLP Coach

Roadmap to Success!

Posted by Holly Stokes on May 7th, 2010

Creating Your Roadmap to Success. What is your next level of success? Would you like to step into your next level? In life, health, or business, the principles of creating change are the same. Create your Roadmap to Success with this NLP process designed to give you insight into each level of change that you need to address in order to create what you want in your life now.

As you answer each of the levels, you’ll find practical strategies for making it happen, create internal alignment to having it, and adjust your internal radar to making it real in your life.

Identify what you would like to have, be, or accomplish, and state it in positive language. For example, I want to boost my sales 20%. What do you want?

Then walk through this exercise, noticing the insight from each level of change. I recommend writing your insights down as you go through which will give you a roadmap to getting there.
”    What would you need to change in your environment to have this?
”    What behaviors would need to change to support this?
”    What capabilities or resources would you need to change?
”    What beliefs might you need to shift?
”    What values would you need to change to have this?
”    How might you shift in identity to align with this having? Who will you be when you have achieved this?
”    Who else would be affected by it? Who else will benefit from you having this change? Friends, family, people they influence?  Imagine taking it on fully, as if you have it now, then bringing this higher awareness back with you through each level with you, notice what else is shifting for you through each level.
”    What has shifted in your identity to take this on?
”    What has shifted in your values to take this on?
”    What has shifted in your beliefs?
”    What has shifted in your capabilities or resources?
”    What has shifted in your behaviors?
”    What has shifted in your environment?

This is called, Neuro-Logical levels of Change, and is based on Gregory Bateson’s work of integrating change.
Stop struggling! It’s time to be working smarter! Yes – You can have the life, body, and business you want, and with practical tools, you can make it happen one step at a time! What’s your next level? Share your goals with us:

How to afford help!

Posted by Holly Stokes on April 16th, 2010

How to afford help!

As a business owner, do you find yourself with too much to do? Could you really use an extra set of hands on your business? Yesterday I met with a client whose business is in that place where they could really use the help, but they don’t quite have the extra finances to guarantee an employee salary.

I asked, “what tasks would you like to have this person do?” The  owner said, “keeping the books, restocking inventory, dusting, reminder calls” all these tasks are great to have done, but these are organizational tasks.

As a Business Coach, I know that part of the key to success is in asking the right question.  So I then asked, “What tasks can this person do for your business that could generate the extra income to cover their salary and boost your business?” This question brought a whole new set of ideas to mind.

The heart of any business is marketing, generating the revenue to grow your business. Whether its word of mouth marketing, connecting with your customers, networking, advertising, or your online presence. There are many ways to do marketing.

If you are looking to bring on an extra set of hands to help you with your business, make your first priority in their schedule marketing tasks that will generate more business revenue.

I currently have 3 people working on different marketing activities for me, and because they are self-employed, running their own businesses, I don’t have the extra expense and paperwork of an employee.  This also allows me to focus on the things that only I can do, like production of CDs, finishing my book, and meeting with clients.

When I went through T Harv Eker’s Guerilla Business workshop, he asked the audience, “What is your business?” We all shouted back with the product or service we offer, “Coaching, Hypnosis, Water Filtration, Acupuncture, etc.”

His response, “You are all Wrong!  If you are in business for yourself, your number one job is Marketing what you do.” That sentence still sticks with me – he made a good point.

Marketing doesn’t have to be hard, but it really must be a priority, and it should be consistent. What are your top 3 activities that you use for marketing? If you were to bring on help, what marketing activities would you have them do for you?

Ask yourself the right question, to move your business to your next level of success, What do you need? What can you prioritize in your business that would allow you to afford the help you need?