8 Mental Habits Of Successful People

Executive CoachingWhen we look at ways to innovate, modify or change ourselves or our business, we often need to look at 3 different things… What do need to START, MODIFY or STOP?  Sometimes, success comes not from what you learn to do but what you learn to stop doing.

That bit of wisdom comes from Sandja Brügmann, serial entrepreneur and founder of the Passion Institute, a recently launched online educational program and consultancy for executives and entrepreneurs. “Once we have developed understanding of how we interfere with our visions and goals, then comes the challenging process of unlearning and changing specific behaviors,” she explains.

Unlearning is hard work. “It requires one to move out of automatic behaviors and into conscious understanding, where we take control of our own actions and lives,” Brügmann says. “It requires confronting uncomfortable feelings and an attentive vision for a different business life.” In fact, she says, it takes many of the same skills that entrepreneurs need to succeed in their businesses. “It’s a real act of self-love at a deep level,” she says. It’s also what you need to do to become a transformational leader.

What are some of the behaviors we all need to unlearn to become effective leaders? Here are the ones Brügmann says she encounters most often.

1. Pleasing

The need to please others comes from fear of not being good enough and fear of being rejected, Brügmann explains. “We engage in pleasing behavior in order to feel that we are OK or loved, but ultimately to make ourselves feel safe,” she says.

This is a behavior even experienced executives often need to unlearn, she adds. It’s a matter of striking the balance between giving too much and giving too little. “It is a learning process to find the middle ground, where giving comes from a centered and whole place–the only place where it can truly be of value to yourself and others,” she says. We need to start by “filling ourselves up,” building both self-confidence and self-care skills.

“It requires a deep understanding that we are good enough and worthy of love and belonging,” Brügmann says. “From there, we are able to truly become caring, giving, and serving leaders, and make a positive impact in our companies and the world at large.”

2. Being fuzzy about boundaries

“Most people need to learn to create better, healthier boundaries,” Brügmann says. Many of her students need to unlearn the belief that saying no is an unkind thing to do. “In truth, learning to say a clean and kind no is a key foundational skill to successful leadership,” she says. “For many of our entrepreneurs, it’s a big aha! moment when they learn that saying no is in fact saying yes to yourself–taking your own business dreams and visions seriously.”

Loose, fuzzy boundaries create dysfunctional organizations, she adds. “Learning to create healthy boundaries and communicating them with empathy and kindness creates clarity, safety, security, and order,” she says. “A good leader sets a clear framework for everyone in order to set his or her entire team up for success.”

3. Not speaking your mind

“Holding back from saying your truth not only creates festering and negative emotions inside the withholder, but also deteriorates relationships and weakens the health of your organization over time,” Brügmann says. This is why unlearning this behavior, and understanding that it benefits no one, is crucial.

It’s not necessarily easy, she adds. “It takes courage and the willingness to learn new assertive communication skills, as well as relational management skills,” she says. “Leaders who do learn these things are exceptionally successful at driving their organizations forward.”

4. Avoiding failure

This is the surest way to kill success, Brügmann says. “Many people have a desire for success and fulfilling their dreams but an unwillingness to fail–or rather a desire to avoid experiencing the painful feelings that can accompany perceived failure,” she says.

Getting over this resistance to failure means moving away from the notion that you are a bad person if you aren’t able to create the successful company you envisioned. “Instead, it’s better to think of failure as the procrastinating behavior that fear holds us in when we never take the chance to live our dreams,” Brügmann says. “Real failure is not taking our inner yearnings seriously enough to try creating them for ourselves.”

5. Letting fear hold you back

“Fear is a natural human emotion, and we all experience it,” Brügmann says. The difference between people who take control of their lives and those who don’t is that the former have learned to cope with and take control of certain fears–which takes a lot of inner work. “It requires self-awareness, willpower, perseverance, resiliency, and a large dose of courage,” she adds. “Entrepreneurial pursuits are not for the faint of heart.”

6. Negative thinking

“When something bad happens and we attribute negative meaning to it about ourselves, we may be heading for a downward spiral,” Brügmann warns. “That’s something we most definitely want to unlearn.”

The solution is to take control of our own thought patterns, she says. For example, no one likes to hear no from a potential client or investor. However, if it does happen, it doesn’t mean that your project is bad or that your idea isn’t a good one.

“It probably has nothing to do with you as a person,” Brügmann says. “Don’t overanalyze it. Don’t make it mean anything positive or negative about you.” No one client or potential investor is the single key to happiness forever, she adds–there’s always someone else to pitch. “Think about what your next move will be to achieve your goal,” she says.

7. Getting really, really busy

“Unfortunately, it’s a common modern-day myth that being busy or having a packed schedule is equivalent to being a person of importance,” Brügmann says. “Gaining self-value and worth solely on the basis of being busy is a dangerous and self-sabotaging behavior that leads to, if anything, a deeper disconnect from your passion, purpose, and true fulfillment.”

Too often, she adds, people start unlearning this behavior only after a major stressor, or perhaps after someone they love leaves them. “Learning to slow way down can be very difficult for some people, especially those who live in overdrive,” she says. “Focusing on stillness, silence, and solitude, however, can be the doorway toward a deeper connection with self. It’s also called getting off the hamster wheel.”

8. Looking for your power outside yourself

“At the center of the storm is calm. Find your steady and centered place within yourself, and stay here as much as possible,” Brügmann advises. That calm place will give you self-confidence and allow you to stay committed to your long-term goals in spite of the short-term ups and downs of business and life.

“If your well-being, peace, and happiness depend on external factors, your level of stress will be too high to successfully stay on the entrepreneurial path for very long,” she predicts. Instead, she recommends trying to stay somewhat detached from external events. “You’ll be able to make better decisions for a larger good,” she says, “instead of just relieving short-term stress or fear.”
To your success,
Michael Stelter
P.S. To take a Test Drive on our system visit  We created the ABC GrowthAcademy System™ with the perfect combination of online resources, tools and support to get you out of any financial distress you’re presently experiencing… help you get laser-focused on your highest income-producing activities… and help you develop and then apply the fundamentals that build multimillion dollar businesses. click here to see for yourself.
If you would like learn more about how you can learn what you need to STOP doing to grow your business, call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.

3 Ways To Show Strong Leadership Today!

3d small people - team with the puzzlesI’ve heard statements like this for years…“I’m not really a leader; I don’t boss people around.”

This was how a young man recently described his leadership style to me. I found it particularly interesting because I had just finished a book that turned many similar assumptions about leadership—for example, that you must be all-knowing, domineering, and highly visible—on their heads.

It’s a simple truth: Leadership has changed. A quick Google search of the term will garner thousands of hits, offering wildly different opinions and approaches to the concept. So how can you effectively position yourself as a rising leader if you don’t know what that should look like?

Whether you want to climb the corporate ladder, strike out on your own one day, or simply become a more influential team member, you’re probably already in a leader in more ways than you realize. To continue working toward that goal, you simply need to readjust your thinking a little. Here are three key things you need to do to prepare yourself to become a leader.

1. Reconsider Your Definition of “Leader”

Effective leadership may not mean what you think it does. And if you are going to hone (and articulate) your abilities, you first need to be able to recognize and practice them.

When we think of leaders, we often think of the stereotype my friend thought of: someone who can effectively order others around. But there is plenty of evidence that other forms of leadership are equally—if not more—effective.

In Turn the Ship Around: A True Story of Turning Leaders Into FollowersDavid Marquet argues that a leader is measured not just by what she or he accomplishes, but by the accomplishments of those who work for and alongside that person.

He developed a model called “leader-leader” to replace the typical leader-follower paradigm. The leader-leader model assumes leadership is necessary at every level of an organization. It defies the idea that an organization needs someone at the top to tell everyone what to do, but rather, that organizations need a person who can bring out other leaders in the team.

In Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, Adam Grant finds that the most successful people tend to be people who are supportive of those around them. These “givers” are people who recognize ability in others and encourage them in their work. Givers get things done because they draw the best out of those around them and earn their respect and loyalty along the way, creating a powerful and productive team.

This means it’s time to get over the idea that you need formal managerial experience to be a leader.

Think about the time you were part of a group that got stalled on a project and you helped identify individuals who could move each portion of the assignment forward, based on his or her strengths. You may not have been the official group leader, but you stepped into the position and lifted others into leadership roles, as well.

Or, think about the time you taught someone a valuable skill or encouraged someone who was struggling, so he or she was able to work through the issue to complete a project. No matter what your resume says, you’ve had plenty of opportunities to lead others. Think of those experiences, and whenever you need to prove your leadership chops, you’ll have plenty of examples to draw from.

2. Realize Leadership Doesn’t Look the Same for Everyone

Your boss probably has one style of leadership, your cube-mate has another, and the company CEO has yet another—even if each of these people follow the same guiding leadership principles.

One person may be boisterous and energetic in his or her style, while another is quiet, but steadfast. Whatever the style, the most effective leaders are genuine.

What does that mean for you? If you naturally have an energetic and lively personality, don’t try to embody a demure and soft persona, and vice versa. It will exhaust you, and the people around you will be able to tell you aren’t being yourself. Give yourself permission to lead as your authentic self. Figure out your strengths, and build on those.

What that doesn’t mean, however, is that you shouldn’t try to incorporate qualities from others’ leadership approaches into your own as you grow. Think about the leaders you admire. Why do you admire them? How do they treat others? How do they act in a crisis? Consider how you can adapt these qualities to fit your unique style.

At the same time, it’s equally important to acknowledge the behaviors you dislike in the leaders you’ve encountered. How can you avoid engaging in these behaviors? If you recognize some of those habits in yourself, what is your plan for changing your approach?

As you discover and cultivate the style that fits your personality, you’ll find that it’s easier for you to assume a leadership role—because it will feel natural. And that will help you develop into a more confident, capable leader.

3. Learn to Identify and Answer Leadership Questions Like a Pro

Of course, at some point—whether you’re in a job interview or are being considered to lead a project—you’ll probably be asked about your leadership style or abilities.

Some of these questions will be obvious—like, “Do you see yourself as a leader?” Of course, you should answer affirmatively. But don’t stop there. Explain yourself. Now that you’ve thought of ways you’ve been a leader in your past experiences, provide one or two of these examples to make it obvious that you do, in fact, have the right qualities.

However, some questions won’t be so obviously centered on leadership—but it’s your job to find a way to use those questions to showcase those skills. For example, someone might ask, “Tell me about a time you were part of a project that got off track. What did you do?” This question immediately gets to the heart of what employers are really looking for: someone who can influence others in a positive and productive way. This question doesn’t specifically ask for leadership traits, but you can easily use it to demonstrate your ability to be an example for your team, make a strong argument, or rally the folks around you to accomplish a goal.

You don’t need any special powers to be a strong leader. Great leaders and not-so-great leaders come into this world the same way; the difference between the two is their willingness to learn. Take the time to consider what the concept means to you and how you can build on your natural strengths to become the kind of person that people want to follow. Then, put that into action and continue learning from what works and what doesn’t. You’ll make a difference in your workplace, and you will have great examples to share in interviews as you climb to greater heights in your career!
To your success,

Michael Stelter

To take a Test Drive on our system visit

We created the ABC E-Learning Marketing System™ with the perfect combination of online resources, tools and support to get you out of any financial distress you’re presently experiencing… help you get laser-focused on your highest income-producing activities… and help you develop and then apply the fundamentals that build multimillion dollar businesses. click here to see for yourself.
If you would like learn more about how you can strong leadership skills from the key people in your business,  call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.

Redefining Small Business Leadership as Stewardship


             Leaders Set The Vision and Culture Of Their Business

Although I tend not to be a church-going adult, I am a business owner and entrepreneur.   I resonate with ‘stewardship’ of resources and assets available to me.  I encourage my clients to integrate their personal beliefs and values into their business.  Primarily because their business is often a strong representation of their character, leadership and commitment to others.

This article was recently written by Terence Chatmon…
The Fellowship of Companies for Christ International is redefining the rules on business. Markets with a conscience thrive.
Most people would say that a business exists to produce shareholders’ value, or profits. This is a true statement of sorts, but can a nation thrive with this belief?
Let me propose a different view.
Business leaders who are integrating biblical principles in their lives and businesses learn that their companies exist for a greater purpose: to honor God, to create wealth and to support the community through Christian service. That is a       different, or redefined, mission statement with eternal objectives.
There are many ways to serve the millions of people in grinding poverty. FCCI, for three decades, has equipped and encouraged Christian business owners to integrate their faith at work, lifting people up, and giving them hope and a future through the marketplace.
The core of America’s economy is small business. Of the 28 million businesses accounted for in our records, 22 million are considered small businesses with fewer than 25 employees — but their impact holds up the arms of America.

Some may say that what makes America great is its vast military, education system and economy. In our opinion, what makes America great are small businesses, whose owners feel called to serve others more than themselves. Not for themselves, but for those who have been given to them to shepherd. These are our true warriors on the front lines of fighting poverty in this nation. These are our true influencers who are making America great again. These are our true shepherds caring for the flock, all for a greater purpose.

Is America in decline? Is the decay of our morals and values eating at the very nerve system of this nation? Can any nation fulfill its constitutional responsibility with a heart for its people? To make America great again, we must start to care about its people again. We must start to care about small business owners who make America great.

Lives are changed when we see ourselves as stewards committed to a greater purpose than self, a greater cause than self. It all changes when our worldview and mindset commit it all to a greater purpose and something eternal. Proverbs 16:3 ESV says, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”

One of the foundational principles of FCCI is that God owns it all, and we are stewards of what He has entrusted us with. We are to use our earthly resources for His glory, not ours. This is stewardship. A country cannot prosper without this basic underpinning supporting it. Many Christians don’t have an accurate concept of what stewardship is all about. When we hear the word “stewardship,” most of us think about the program at church where we are asked to increase our contributions to the budget. Unfortunately, that is a narrow view.

“Stewardship is the practice of systematic and proportionate giving of time, abilities, material possessions and all God’s gifts to us based on the conviction that these are a trust from God, to be used in his service, for the benefit of all mankind in grateful acknowledgment of Christ’s redeeming love,” John Haggai wrote in his book “The Steward.”

Essentially, we are managers of God’s possessions, all of which He owns.

It is not the wallet but the heart of a man or woman that makes us strong. A heart redefined will make America strong, nurtured by principles that will shape the very core of our nation. No nation can thrive with an inward, selfish focus. We must look beyond ourselves and love something or someone other than self.
If you would like learn more about how you can provide powerful leadership by integrating your personal values and beliefs into the Vision and Culture of your business, call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.

11 Insights From Famous Coaches That Apply To Small Business Owners

Employee Screening

Leadership Is Getting Everyone To Buy Into The Vision

Small business owners can relate to football coaches’ winning leadership advice

It’s no accident the 2nd-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes football team is also the most valuable program in college football. The program has business built into it, from the head office (Athletic Director Gene Smith studied business at Notre Dame and worked for IBM) to the playing field. Head football coach Urban Meyer has leadership coaches on the sidelines for every game, and hosts regular business seminars for student athletes.

Tim and Brian Kight, co-owners of leadership training firm Focus 3, drill one primary lesson into Meyer’s players’ heads: E+R=O. That is, your reaction (R) to an event (E) is a huge factor in its outcome (O).

It’s a lesson drawn from business leadership—one that most small business owners can relate to.

Small business owners are facing down situations they can’t control every single day. Regulations change, employees call off, customers leave nasty online reviews. It’s how you respond to the action on the field that determines whether your company takes a hit or scores big.

Here are words of wisdom from 10 other winning coaches to inspire business owners this fall:


On Team-Building:

“The secret of winning football games is working more as a team, less as individuals. I play not my 11 best, but my best 11.”

—Knute Rockne, coached Notre Dame (UNT Center for Sport Psychology)

On Success:

“Success is like anything worthwhile. It has a price. You have to pay the price to win and you have to pay the price to get to the point where success is possible. Most important, you must pay the price to stay there.”

—Vince Lombardi, coached the Green Bay Packers (

On Preparing for the Unexpected:

“Making judgments under severe stress is the most difficult thing there is. The more preparation you have prior to the conflict, the more you can do in a clinical situation, the better off you will be.”

—Bill Walsh, coached the San Francisco 49ers (Harvard Business Review)

On Focus:

“Eliminate the clutter and all the things that are going on outside and focus on the things that you can control with how you sort of go about and take care of your business. … It’s the process of what it takes to be successful.”

—Nick Saban, coaches the University of Alabama (New York Times) 

On Hard Work:

“There are many people who don`t know what real pressure is. Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple.”

—Barry Switzer, coached the University of Oklahoma (Chicago Tribune) 

On Losing:

“Losing doesn’t make me want to quit. It makes me want to fight that much harder.”

—Bear Bryant, coached the University of Alabama (

On Leadership:

“Positive leadership, in my mind, comes from two things…No. 1 [is] do your job. No. 2 [is] put the team first.”

—Bill Belichick, coaches the New England Patriots (ESPN)

On Decision-Making:

“Not making a decision is the worst thing you can do. So long as you feel you made the right decision based on the information you had at the time, there’s no need to fret about it. If it fails, you’ll know what to do next time.”

—Bo Schembechler, coached the University of Michigan (Bo’s Lasting Lessons)

On the Cost of Success:

“Nothing that comes easy is worth a dime.”

—Woody Hayes, coached Ohio State University (commencement address)

On Public Relations:

“When you win, say nothing. When you lose, say less.”

—Paul Brown, coached the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns (Men’s Health)
If you would like learn more about how you can provide strong leadership to your team to get the types of results these coaches have seen, call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.

FEELING STRESSED? 7 Ways For Entrepreneurs To Avoid Stress

15511168_sStress is a reality for everyone. But as an entrepreneur running a small business, you have your fair share of stress to deal with every day. Many of us feed on it regularly, but, long-term, its not healthy.
From finding new customers, managing your current customers, financing a business, keeping your employees happy, paying your small business taxes…. The list of daily stressors can go on and on.

But as the owner and lifeblood of your business, all you can do is bottle up your stress and forge ahead, right?

Well, a lot of entrepreneurs have a hard time stepping away and keeping their mind off their business. But taking time to clear your head of the day-to-day worries of running a business is just as important as the times you need to be plugged into your business.

So to help you prioritize this part of your day, we’ve put together 7 of the best ways for small business owners to de-stress.

Recognize What Stresses You, and Don’t Try to Tough It Out

A few things in particular might always stress you out. Maybe it’s a certain meeting each week, some tasks you need to get done at the end of the day, or the time of month you have to pay your bills.

If you know that something stresses you out, you’re better prepared to deal with it when it comes along.

And when stressors do come your way, don’t try to tough them out and move on. Stress has a direct impact on—of course—your mindset, but also on your health. If you let it build up without taking the necessary steps to de-stress, your well-being could face serious implications. And as the primary caretaker of your business, you need to keep your mental state in tip-top shape.

So, when those stressful moments roll around, here are a few ways you can clear your mind.


There are a lot of reasons to quit your 9-to-5 job to fulfill your entrepreneurial dreams and start your own business.

One of them is to take control of your workday and not punch in during a set schedule of working hours. But when you’re just starting your business, it’s easy to lose control of your schedule.

Try to remember that you are your own boss now. And if there’s something about your schedule that stresses you out every day, then change it! If you find yourself leaving your office at 6:30 every night—but would be much happier leaving at 5:30 to get home and relax—then make that change in your schedule.

Or, if your clients and partners are always filling up your schedule during your most productive part of your day, block out time on your schedule that is off-limits for everyone.

If the way your day is structured is a main cause of daily stress, then take your schedule back into your hands. Build your days around the times when you’re most ready and willing to work, and block off time that you don’t want to be plugged in.


Now, this is the most cliché of de-stressing techniques—but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an important one.

Whatever non-work related activity you do that clears your mind and removes stress,prioritize it. This time in your day or weekends should be just as important as the time you spend running your small business.

“You” time can be anything. Maybe you take 30 minutes out of your day to meditate. Getting your Zen on once a day has a lot of proven health benefits—and it could be just what you need to bring some clarity to your mind. Or, if you prefer exercising as a way to de-stress, then take an hour during your day to release some endorphins.

It might be hard to take a significant chunk out of your day to leave the office and do what you need to do to de-stress. But when you can, you’ll probably find that you’re much more focused and productive during the hours you are working.


When you’re a small business owner, it’s much easier to say “yes” than it is to say “no.”

You’re trying to help your business reach new heights. So whether it’s pleasing a customer, bringing more on, helping out your partners and employees, or picking up all the tasks that need to get done, it’s easy to say “yes” when it means you’re helping your business grow.

But if you pile too much on your plate, you’ll quickly get overwhelmed by everything you have to do. And if you can’t put enough focus into each new project, then your business will be worse off in the long run. On top of that, you’ll be more stressed if you’re not getting everything done to your standards. It’s an ongoing cycle.

If you can learn to say “no” to the things you don’t really need to do, both your stress levels and your business will be better off in the long run. By saying “no” more often, you’ll have more time and energy to execute on the things you said “yes” to.


Another way to take things off your plate and de-stress is to learn how to delegate. Of course, you can’t say “no” to everyone all the time. Things need to get done for your business in order for it to run smoothly. But that doesn’t mean that everything needs to be done by you.

Overwhelming yourself with projects and jobs is a common way to get stressed. But if you can hand those jobs over to your employees, your mindset and energy levels will be much better off.

As a small business owner, your business is your baby. You’ve grown it from the ground up, doing everything yourself. It might be hard to hand your projects over to other people. But you’ve hired competent employees, so now it’s time to put your trust in them to do the jobs well. And if you are going about it solo, consider outsourcing work that other people can do for you.


Taking care of yourself both physically and mentally is one of the easiest ways to maintain your stress levels.

You might not realize it, but staying healthy has a huge boost on your energy levels and your mental state. So, do your best to maintain a healthy diet, drink lots of water, get a good amount of sleep, and be active.

It’s a simple step to de-stressing. But you’ll find that when you’re in great physical and mental shape, you’re much more prepared to deal with stress when it comes around.


Running a small business is chaotic. As an owner of a business, you’re wearing so many different hats and building the future of your company. And that future isn’t always a predictable one.

So where possible, try to put some systems and order in place. That might be setting a structure to how you schedule meetings, when you reach out to clients, or start new campaigns.

With some structure laid out, you won’t have to worry about reinventing the wheel every time you move your business forward. And for people who thrive in systems and benefit from organization, putting structure into the business might help remove clutter and unnecessary stress from their mind.

Plus, when you put systems in place, it’s much easier to delegate tasks and monitor progress. And when it’s easier to keep a tab on what’s going on in your business, you’ll save yourself time and headaches.


As a small business owner, you’re always hearing about “work-life balance.”

Is this really an achievable concept for the busy entrepreneur?

It is—and it’s one that should be prioritized. Many entrepreneurs treat their businesses as their lives, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

When you’re at work, be at work. And when you’re home, be fully at home. You might struggle to peel your eyes from your email feed at night, but it’s crucial for maintaining your mindset. Tackle those emails and phone calls when you get back to work in the morning, and enjoy your time off now. If you consciously unplug from your work while you’re out of the office or not on-site, you’ll find that your stress will melt away

Take a deep breath, small business owner. Stress can easily be dealt with if you take the time to identify what stresses you out and actively combat it.

When stress builds up, you’ll feel like the whole world is on your shoulder—or at least, your business is. But in the end, things will better and your business will forge on. It’s all about maintaining a positive mindset and keeping a perspective on things.
To your success,

Michael Stelter

P.S. Please remember that at any time you feel ready and qualified to move forward and acquire the professional help that can enable you to build the business of your dreams, just click here and check out our ABC E-Learning Marketing System™. It’s helping small business owners just like you get the answers and the help they need to build the business they have always wanted.  To take a Test Drive on our system visit

We created the ABC E-Learning Marketing System™ with the perfect combination of online resources, tools and support to get you out of any financial distress you’re presently experiencing… help you get laser-focused on your highest income-producing activities… and help you develop and then apply the fundamentals that build multimillion dollar businesses. click here to see for yourself.
If you would like learn more about how you can get help doing the things that will help you find Balance in your life and reduce your stress, call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.