RFS Blog | by Karl W. Palachuk – Relax Focus Succeed. Learn more at www.relaxfocussucceed.com

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Relax Focus Succeed

5-Week class starts July 28th.

Relax Focus Succeed®

Balance Your Personal and Professional Lives and Be More Successful in Both

Five Mondays – July 28 – Aug. 25, 2014

Registration includes a copy of the book Relax Focus Succeed® by Karl W. Palachuk.

Save $50 right now with code RFSClass

Register now: Only $199 – $50 with code RFSClass to bring this price to only $149



This course will show you how to master the concepts of Relax Focus Succeed® – a program for balancing your personal and professional lives and finding more success in both.

This course is intended for anyone who is stressed out, over-worked, and ready to take their whole life to the next level. We all lead busy lives, filled with too many demands. Many of us don’t get enough sleep or exercise. We fight to be successful at work and at home.

Taught by someone who’s been there. Karl Palachuk was diagnosed with debilitating Rheumatoid Arthritis at age 39 and spent several years getting the disease under control. With two businesses to managed and a young family, he found himself unable to work more than a few hours a day. That’s when he developed a process for achieving goals at a very high level without working himself to death.

Many of us chase the entrepreneurial dream – but few of us reach our entrepreneurial vision.

This is an intensive teleseminar course over a five week period. All assignments are voluntary, of course. But if you want feedback on assignments, please complete assignments during this course and email them to the instructor.

Topics to be presented include:

  • Balance your personal and professional lives
  • Focus on the single most important things in your life
  • Develop your vision for self-fulfillment
  • Relax – in a meaningful way
  • Be the same person in all elements of your life (overcome Jekyll/Hyde syndrome)
  • Put the past – and your present – in their place
  • Build your muscles of success
  • Stop working 50- or 60- or 70-hour weeks
  • Avoid being interrupt-driven
  • Slow Down, Get More Done
  • Work less and accomplish more
  • Define Goals: Long-term, Medium-term, and Short-term
  • Build quiet time into your life

The course will include a number of recommended do-it-yourself exercises.

Save $50 right now with code RFSClass

Register now: Only $199

Enter code RFSClass to bring this price to only $149


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Open Your Wallet

I have discovered two situations in which I’m willing to open my wallet and say “Here.  Take whatever you want.”

The fist situation is Disneyland.  Mickey Mouse can have all the money he wants.  When we’re at Disneyland, I’m happy and relaxed.   My daughter is totally wired, bouncing off the walls, and hyperventilating with fun.  So, lunch is $29 for three people?  No problem.  $50 for a sweatshirt I’ll wear twice a year?  Sounds like a bargain.

And all this is after paying for hotel, airfare, and admission to the park.  Somehow, Disneyland sucks you in and makes you feel that everything is okay.  You’re happy, relaxed, energetic.  Your attitude is positive and troubles have a tough time getting your attention.

You might replace Disneyland with Maui or some other place.  But the idea’s the same.

The other time when I open my wallet freely is during times of stress or emergency.  Something bad has happened and I need to make the problem go away as soon as possible.  As a consultant I see this all the time.  When people have an urgent need, they are willing to pay more.  I can’t count how many times I’ve heard a client say “Is there any amount of money that will get this done faster?”

Perhaps the perfect example of this is shipping a package.  You might pay a low price for “ground” shipping, but a much higher price for 2nd-day.  Overnight is a lot more.  Overnight by 10AM?  Much much more.  I once witnessed a man pay $50 to have a dozen donuts shipped overnight to his mother.

So, when do we open our wallets?  At the extremes.  We are willing to spend money when we’re happy and content or when we’re overwhelmed and frustrated.  In both of these situations your spending habits will be less rational than normal:  You won’t shop prices and you won’t make good decisions.  And yet one of these situations is clearly preferable to the other.

We’d all rather open our wallets to Mickey Mouse than to the repairman.  Why?  Because we’re in control.  At Disneyland, we are making all the choices.  We’ve planned to be there.  We’ve made decisions and set aside some money.

In an emergency or stressful situation, of course, we feel that we’re not in control.  Even if we get to make all the decisions, we feel trapped–we feel like we don’t have “real” choices because we don’t have the choice of walking away and not dealing with the problem.

So, what can you do to improve your attitude, choices, and effectiveness during emergencies and times of stress?

First, spend more time in the happy and content state.

You’re first reaction is probably “Easier said than done.”  True, but you control a great deal about your attitude and your reaction to situations.  You can choose to avoid being overwhelmed and frustrated.

One of the great benefits of meditation is that you learn to take a few breaths and relax, calm yourself, and focus on what’s going on at this moment.

When I first started taking yoga classes, I had an instructor who finished the class with a relaxation exercise.  We would all lie on the floor, eyes closed.  And she would say “This place is always available to you.  Come here when you need to center yourself and relax.”  At first I thought she meant the yoga studio.  (I’m pretty slow sometimes.)

By “this place” she meant the place of relaxation.  But to have relaxation available to you on “short notice,” you have to practice.  Being able to take three breaths and relax yourself takes practice.  You need to do it every day when you’re not stressed out.  Get to know how it feels.  Be comfortable with that state.  Then you can call on it as needed.

Second, when emergencies (or other stressful situations) happen, remember to stay calm.  Stop and think about your resources.  One of the great causes of stress is the belief that “I don’t know what to do.”  In reality, we usually do know what to do but we’re too anxious to think straight right away.  Again:  Relax . . . Focus.

Third, don’t be too shy to ask for help.  Most of the time we don’t need help and we get out of the habit of asking for it.  When we do ask, we are pleasantly surprised at the great response we receive.  How many times have you seen people “come out of the woodwork” to help?  Friends, relatives, and even casual acquaintances are their for you to rely on.  You’re not alone!

Fourth, communicate.  In stressful situations, you need to divide people into two groups — those who are close to you and those who are not.  Chances are very good that those close to you will also be affected by the stressful situation.  Let them know what you’re thinking, engage them in solving the problem, and reassure them that you’ll get through it together.  “Others” will be less directly affected.  They may be more useful at accessing resources and giving a more balanced view of the problem.

As with anything else, you need to practice the skills of stress management before they are needed.  Practice relaxing and focusing.  Practice asking for help and communicating.

And spend more time at Disneyland!

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You WANT This Lifestyle?

Have you heard the term “lifestyle business?” I’ve heard this used a lot in the last few months.

At a conference, someone will ask how many have 2-10 employees, 11-20, 20 or more. Then, invariably, the speaker will say “Oh, how many have a lifestyle business? Nothing wrong with that.”

A lifestyle business is one designed to support the founder (or founders, if a couple) and generate enough money for that person (or couple) to live well, but never plan to “grow” in size.

Lifestyle businesses support the owner in a particular lifestyle and never plan to be 50- or 100-person companies, let alone mega global conglomerates.

So, it’s a nice fluffy term that gets used for people who are happy being one-person shops.

But the two are not the same. A Sole Proprietor or one-person shop is more likely to be struggling to get by than to be supporting a desired lifestyle.

Most of the one-person business owners I talk to fit a profile something like this:

– They work until 10 or 11 every night.

– They either work or are on call all weekend.

– They take client calls at home.

– They rarely take vacations.

– They can’t grow much because they’re afraid of what will happen when some thing goes wrong with more than one client at once.

– They don’t have time (or inclination) to take classes or tests for professional development.

– They want more money, but they are trading hours for dollars and there’s a limit to how much money they can make.

What kind of lifestyle is that? That’s the manic behavior of a 20-something that became a way of life. Now at 40-something or 50-something it’s hard work and getting harder to stay motivated.

If a sole proprietor makes, roughly, $100,000 profit in a year, that same S.P. should be buying a house and socking away at least $10,000 a year in savings.

This extremely simple formula (make your house payments, put money into investments) will invariably result in a high net worth and a comfortable retirement.

But when I talk to some people who are S.P.’s, they are barely getting by, spending every nickel they make, and doing nothing for their own future.

With luck, you’re in the first category and not the second.

But the next time you’re in a room full of business owners and the only category you fit into is “lifestyle business,” ask yourself if you’re leading the lifestyle you want.

And if you’re not, change it!

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Silas Marner in the Workplace

If you haven’t read the book Silas Marner by George Eliot, check it out. It’s a good Summer read.

The title character is well known for sitting alone in his house, with the windows shuttered, and counting his gold. Night after night Silas Marner counted his gold.

When we read that part of the book, our mind naturally thinks about an old man hunched over his table, counting his money night after night. In fact, Silas doesn’t know that he has many years ahead of him.

As with any good novel, the book has intrigue, crime, emotions run amok, love, and redemption. Silas will lose his fortune, but have his soul reborn due to the love of an abandoned child.

When we employ the imagery of Silas Marner, it’s of someone who has become obsessed with counting their gold. They define success as wealth. And so they isolate themselves from others, afraid of getting too close, concerned that everyone is after their share of the money.

Unfortunately, we have modern equivalents to Silas in the business world today.

Some people, as they become successful in business, also become so obsessed with this distorted view of “wealth” that they close themselves off from their family, their friends, and (in the business world) their clients and employees. They look at their accomplishments and somehow conclude that they got their on their own.

When this happens, they begin to act as if they’re at the end of the story. That there’s nothing left to do but count their gold. But unless they’re on their deathbed, it’s not the end. If you achieve financial success at middle age, you have many years, and many adventures ahead.

In the real world, these folks begin alienating those who would be their friends. They treat every relationship and every interaction as if it were about money. Sometimes business is about money. But when business is only about money, it is very dissatisfying.

I’ve known people who became “successful” in this regard and who changed from being fun to being bitter and alienated. Their children don’t want to spend time with them; their employees can’t stand them and have zero loyalty; and their clients and vendors just seem to go somewhere else one at a time.

In the novel, Silas learns his lessons, re-joins the community, raises a child, and learns that love and human society are more important than gold. In the “real world” I’m afraid that doesn’t happen so much. In the real world, people tend to reinforce their view of the world as they interpret each new experience as reinforcing their old beliefs.

So, what can we do? First, we can try very hard not to let ourselves become like Silas. Success does not equal money. Money is not the measure of success.

Second, we can be a true friend and tell people when they’re heading down this road. That also means sticking in there when they go through a Silas Marner period in their lives. This is tougher than it sounds. Because that period can leave our friend very bitter and unpleasant to be around. We have to be careful not to get sucked into this view of the world.

Third, we can choose to back off. This is hard to do. And it doesn’t sound like being a friend, but if it’s clear that we can’t help, it is sometimes best to isolate ourselves from the negativity.

True success means finding the things that bring meaning and value into your life. It is highly unlikely that that will include surrounding yourself with bitter, angry people, or a pot of gold.

So, finally, the best you can do is to pray for your friend. Whatever other action you take, that’s the one thing that will do some good. And, with luck, they’ll learn to focus on the more positive things in life.

Over the years, in my business life, I’ve dropped a couple of Silas Marner clients. In the business world I can simply choose not to do business with them.

 It’s harder when a friend goes down that road.

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