Leapfrog Over Your Obstacles | Tuesday Tip Week 11

29 Sep

Edison Success QuoteIn Week 8, we talked about creating a crystallized plan that supports goal achievement. When you build a structure around your goals, you can not only see your dreams in the background. It also makes it easier for you to find a logical starting point and map out your next steps. You can determine the things you can do today (and tomorrow) to feel like you have accomplished something in the short term.

But what happens when you hit a wall?

I attended a webinar of Dov Gordon, someone I consider to be one of the most brilliant minds in small business marketing. This webinar had a simple premise: you already have everything you need and you already know everything you need to know to achieve your goals.

That insight really struck me. I started thinking “how can I start using what I already have and what I’ve already done to get a step ahead in achieving my goals. Therein lies the beauty of strategy.

Strategy connects your goals with your day-to-day reality.

If you’re at a crossroads, identifying a priority strategy will get you unstuck.

strategy-contentI recently had a conversation with a friend and classmate who is at a crossroads in his academic journey. He shared a very insightful statement with me about switching graduate programs. He said, “I’m getting up in age, so I need to be smarter about how to utilize my masters studies.”

His self-analysis mirrors what I call your PERSONAL SUCCESS STRATEGY.

If I told you, “> you’re getting up in age, so you need to be smarter about how to utilize your time.” You would probably unsubscribe, after emailing me a few choice words. So I won’t say that. But I will say this.

You have a personal strategic advantage.  This advantage is made up of what is unique to you: your skills, abilities, training, knowledge, strengths and experiences.

Sure, other people have some of the same skills and knowledge. They may even share the same personal strengths and experiences. BUT you are unique in the way that all of those things converge and produce your specific outlook on the world. A unique perspective on how you seek to solve problems that other people miss. Many goals linger because these things are not considered at length. The good news is that you can apply this unique mix to your future goals to accelerate your progress.

The second half of that story is that it’s difficult to eke out your strategic advantage and apply it to your goals. It took me about 10 years of prep work and 18 months of intense application to pull it off. Not to mention scores of classes taken, webinars attended and books read, to piece it all together. And then applying the strategies to my business was another story (one that I’ll save for a future post). The point is it wasn’t quick or easy for me. It’s not a quick and easy process. However, I’ve made it easier for you with the Goal Accelerator. I’ve been able to condense the time frame to a fraction of what it took me to complete.

LeapfrogThe majority of my clients are mid-career professionals and managers who find themselves at a work-life crossroads more often than not. My focus finding process gives them access to life focus outcomes usually somewhere around session 4. These life focus outcomes can give you the context for the goals you’ve set. They help you clarify your direction based on who you are and what you want.

All the fluff aside, you have three basic choices when it comes to barriers. You can keep hitting the wall. You can camp out around the barrier and hope it goes away. Or you can figure out a way around them. Defining critical factors needed to achieve success will propel you over those barriers. You will spend less time and get better results. Defining critical success factors to leap over barriers is the heart of strategy.

Coaching provides you with tools to surface your unique advantages and turn them into success strategies. Whether you apply those advantages to getting your dream job (which several of my clients have done) or starting a part-time business is up to you. If you’re encountering a barrier that you need help getting over, email me at t_anderson@teaiiano.com to schedule a strategy session.

Talk soon,


Thomas E. Anderson, IIThomas E. Anderson, II is a vision development coach who enjoys motivating and equipping individuals to pursue personal, professional and organizational goals that lead to a more fulfilling life. He specializes in life focus, vision development and goal acceleration.


Unveiling Teaiiano | The Vision Development Company

19 Feb

Courtesy of milewalk.com

I had an interesting conversation with a colleague about my vocation recently. He was convinced that my joint degree in divinity and organizational leadership would lead me to be a pastor. I get this question all the time.

A common perception is that education should prepare you for a job. I could go into the history of why that is, but I’ll save it for another post. Few approach education as preparation for life. I do. Education teaches me how I already see life in this case from a Judeo-Christian worldview, an organizational development lens, and through the uncanny ability to draw out the best in other people and help them maximize their potential as they pursue future goals. Most importantly, it has caused me to question my assumptions about my life, career and business.

I have served in public leadership roles. And a few years ago, I gave it all up. To quote best-selling author Susan Scott, “it happened gradually… then…suddenly!” I divested from public leadership roles as it was necessary to figure out how I was uniquely designed to make a legacy impact.

So I pulled up stakes one by one. Then when the last stake was pulled, I had the freedom to pursue and receive the future that I really wanted. The future that I felt was designed just for me. Many people didn’t understand what I was doing. There were even times when I was one of those people! But over a period of 12 years, I slowly walked through the process of what I have come to call vision development.

So allow me to unveil the pinnacle of my graduate school experience:

The Vision Development Company

What was a new horizon in 2003, is where I humbly stand right now. And I want to let you know exactly where that is. At a place of greater service. A place of greater focus.

Serving in public leadership roles taught me that it takes many of the same skills to support leaders as it does to be a leader. I have found that it doesn’t matter whether you’re a solopreneur, business owner, church leader, team lead or a regular person with a big dream…if you’re at the helm…chances are you need support in achieving those big goals.

One of my highest goals is to provide support to leaders, business owners, pastors, entrepreneurs and people with a vision to be more fulfilled in personal and professional life. I have just completed a 20-month process to repurpose my business to do just that. If you would like support in achieving your future goals, it starts with a simple 30 minute conversation. Visit the personal vision portal at www.teaiiano.com for more information. I look forward to talking to you soon.


Thomas E. Anderson, II is a vision development coach who enjoys motivating and equipping individuals to pursue personal, professional and organizational goals that lead to a more fulfilling life.

7 Key Insights to Make Your Resolutions Stick

1 Jan

New Year’s resolutions start out as something you want to change about your life. And the beginning of a new year is the most logical time to set goals.

How many times have you heard the statement “a new year, a new you!”? If only it were that simple. If only you could transform your life in an instant. So you begin the year with good intentions and lots of energy for change. And then life happens. Reality sets in. And what started out as a New Year’s goal embarks on the slippery slope to the “I tried it once but it didn’t work out” discard pile. Or better yet, that resolution gets demoted to your bucket list instead of promoted your list of accomplishments.

Let’s face it. With only 8% of New Year’s goal setters actually achieving their goals, New Year’s resolutions do not have the best track record. The next four weeks will test your drive and commitment to achieving those goals.

In this post, I’d like to show 7 ways to bridge the gap between day-to-day and the goals you want to achieve.

1. Reexamine your big goals. Long-term goals contain valuable insights about you that can keep you on the track to achievement…even if you’re still working at them. Look for deeper meaning in the things that are important to you. These long range goals hold valuable info about your personal values and unique experiences. You can use these to maximize commitment to reaching your goals.

2. Stop setting goals! Stop…right…now. Don’t you dare set another resolution you’re not committed to. Yeah it sounds good that you want to hit the gym and lose 10 pounds in 2016. It’s not your goal that’s going to keep you on track. It’s your creativity when it comes to getting around the things that will derail your goals. You know. Things like vanilla ice cream and that Venti fru-fru drink at Starbucks. (Now don’t get me wrong, I love my Venti White Chocolate Mocha…but I also know that it takes me in the opposite direction of a Chippendale figure!)  Before you set your sights on that lofty ambition, figure out how you’re going to get around the temptations to give up.

3. Prepare for battle. Did you know that goal setting and strategy originate with military operations? The objective is to outwit the enemy and win the battle. If you can win the right battles, you win the war. You have to think about your achievement as a battle. You’re coming up with a plan to win against the things the come against your goal. I call them derailers because they throw my goals off track when I don’t plan for them. Let’s face it. The majority of New Years goals don’t get achieved. Heck, most of them don’t last 21 days. But if you can see what can throw you off track ahead of time, you’re in a better position once you leave the starting block. That takes keen insight, and an outside perspective usually helps too.

4. Take a long deep look inside. “I love food!” Those words came out of my client Lee’s mouth when I asked him about derailers for his exercise plan. So I asked “what does food mean to you?” He began to unpack and saw that food is tied to accomplishment. Lee works on a lot of long-term projects. At the end of the day, he wants to feel that he completed something. So we came up with alternative ways for him to accomplish small things and it has worked. Food was a symbol for accomplishment that was throwing his whole operation off track. It reflected Lee’s personal value of accomplishment. So he started a new habit that lead to healthier outcome. He picked up an old hobby of fixing things. The car window, the broken sink, and Lee even started fixing things for his neighbors. And at the end of the day, he had that sense of short-term achievement he was going for.

5. Apply the secret sauce of goal accomplishment. Shift from goal-setting to setting priority strategies. All of my clients have either attended goals setting workshops or have some experience working with goals. Goal setting is no secret. The secret is in how to turn the negatives into positives and obstacles into opportunities. That is beyond the scope of this post. You can schedule a coaching preview to start working through the secrets of turning your derailers into accelerators.

Will you stick to your goals this year? Not sure?
Sign up here for a Free Coaching Preview
and knock those goals out of the park!

6. Get an accountability partner. Goals are more fun and less stressful to reach when you involve other people – the right people. You need someone on your side can support and challenge you as you work towards when you want .

7. Know what’s in your back pocket. We’re all busy. And you know by now that your day to day life is not going to welcome your goals with open arms. In fact current work, life and family situations will probably come into direct conflict with your resolutions. Think about when someone stresses you out and you start thinking of ways to handle it. Your goal is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. Having a contingency plan in your back pocket is a must.

Thomas' Headshot (Jpeg)Thomas E. Anderson, II is a vision development coach who enjoys motivating and equipping individuals to pursue personal, professional and organizational goals that lead to a more fulfilling life. He specializes in life focus, vision development and goal acceleration. For more information visit www.teaiiano.com.




Making Work-Life Balance A Distinct Possibility

11 Nov

Work-Life BalanceDoes your employer care about your wellbeing?

Only 12 percent of employees (or 1 in 10) think so, according to a recent study.

Think about that. One in ten.

That means if you think your employer values your mental, physical, emotional and social health…there are 9 of your colleagues who don’t share your thought.

It’s impossible to accelerate achievement of your goals when your work and personal life get out of whack.

I often tell my clients the story of “Jayweezy” (he requested I called him by that name…I declined).  Jayweezy was a 4th grade student I used to work with who practically ran the local elementary school. He would walk out of class whenever he wanted, pick fights with other students and even leave school and run around the building. My job was to “shadow” him and keep him on the right path. And you know what, after a couple of months of my support, he became like a son to me. You know the child that you raise your left eyebrow to and they’ll straighten up and fly right?

I helped Jayweezy to stay on the right path (at least on some days). What I didn’t tell you was how many hours it took to debug from working with Jayweezy after i got home. The worse his behavior got, the more my job spilled over into my family and home life. My weight fluctuated. I wasn’t resting well. All until I said “enough is enough” and made a change.

You probably find yourself in similar situations. And there are all types of ways to solve this problem. To exercise some degree of control over your life. To hit the elusive target of work-life balance.

Some days you may find yourself among the 88, and other days, among the 12. In response to a growing need among my clients, I have come up with a solution. I expanded life coaching to include work-life balance. The new program is simply called work-life coaching.

Work-life coaching provides the support and encouragement you need in maintaining balance in your personal, work and family life. It works well for:

  • Managing work and life expectations
  • Finding and resolving new sources of work-life conflict
  • Reducing stress caused by overwork
  • Setting quick priorities to accommodate tight deadlines
  • Increasing overall well-being and productivity
  • Improving your level of life focus

This coaching subscription program provides the support you need to clear log-jams and bottlenecks that you face in pursuit of your long-term goals. My clients enjoy the freedom to choose what they want to discuss with me in each session. They set their own agenda. You can too.

For more information, download the one sheet.

Talk soon,
Thomas E. Anderson, IIThomas E. Anderson, II is a vision development coach who enjoys motivating and equipping individuals to pursue personal, professional and organizational goals that lead to a more fulfilling life. He specializes in life focus, vision development and goal acceleration.

Do You Have T.M.I. Syndrome?

3 Nov

researching“You don’t need to do any more research.”

Those words are still ringing in my ears.This is what my adviser told me yesterday in a very “as-a-matter-of-fact” tone.

And you know what? I actually felt relieved to hear them.

Research is tied to being knowledgeable about a topic. Having all the bases covered. And being prepared to nail any question that comes my way.

But here’s the thing about research. It gives you all of this external information (often too much) and not enough information about you.

For example, the average career-minded professional who is interested in starting a business one day, would research how to pick a business name…print business cards…incorporate…start a website…and set prices, just to name a few. It’s simple due diligence, right?


But there’s a point where you cross over from simple due diligence into analysis paralysis or what I like to call T.M.I. (Too Much Information) Syndrome.

When you research, you look externally – outside of yourself. And if your story remotely echoes mine, you have done a phenomenal job at it. But you feel like all the research you’ve done has not spurred you to take action. If anything, it has magnified the things that you don’t know and made you uncomfortable with taking the next step in your business or career.

Here’s the best news I could ever give you about your research journey…

Everything you need to grow, or even start your business is already inside of you.

I reached out to one of my best and brightest clients last week, who engaged in life focus coaching this spring. When I asked how things were going, she responded:

“I’m good! Thanks for reaching out. I was thinking about you the other day. I rewrote my life purpose statement and personal slogan a few months ago and taped it to my kitchen wall for inspiration. I posted it in my dining area so I see it every time I walk into my kitchen. Thanks for all your help with this!”

Client Life Purpose Statement

I was so pleasantly surprised by her progress that I just had to share it with you. Her response is better than any description I could give you. And I receive this type of feedback quite often. From my clients who have transforming moments in coaching that carry them through the week, to clients who experience major breakthroughs in and after their coaching sessions.

Life focus is a huge outcome of life coaching. And once you have it, no one can take it away from you. Life focus is a process that continues long after you sign off of a coaching call.

The same research you perform outside of your life, you can also do within your life. Doing research within your life leads to life focus.

Focus is already in you. It’s my job as a coach to pull it out.

For more information, visit www.teaiiano.com.

Thomas E. Anderson, IIThomas E. Anderson, II is a vision development coach who enjoys motivating and equipping individuals to pursue personal, professional and organizational goals that lead to a more fulfilling life. He specializes in life focus, vision development and goal acceleration.

How to Fully Engage Your Business Startup Goals

13 Oct

2015-0303-Multitasking-manTwo years ago, I met with one of my mentors and described to him how I was purposely holding myself back. I was working as an intern for his coaching company as a precursor to starting my own, all while working full-time in the public school system with special education students (one of which – who called himself “Jay-weezy” – was a riot!).

I was not fully devoting myself to either track. I was hedging my bets. And I intentionally held myself back from what I wanted. The problem was – I had become so comfortable with the stability of that job, I was suppressing my energy to pursue my destiny. I saved all engagement for my FTJ.

I remember talking to my mentor while grabbing the back of my shirt collar to show him how I would emotionally pull myself back from totally devoting myself to coaching. I would over-engage on my day job and stop myself from fully engaging in my future career and business.

Somehow, I thought my job, career and business were enemies.

They weren’t.

Looking around, I’ve noticed this is how most people manage their energy when it comes to that goal. You know – the goal you really want more than anything in the world. The one you don’t want to fully devote yourself to for the fear that you may fail. Or even worse…succeed!

We tend to pull ourselves back from those things we want the most. The things that we aren’t 100% sure about.

I know it sounds counterintuitive. But it’s hard to commit to that thing we aren’t quite 100% sure about. Yet there’s something within us constantly pulling us toward them. There’s potential energy begging to be activated.

Meanwhile, we do everything else but that thing. It’s like being on a laptop with 10 windows open. After a while it’s hard to find the original thread.

Jim Loehr, energy management expert and author of The Power of Story, suggests that:

“Multi-tasking is the enemy of extraordinariness.

Human beings, sorry to say, can focus fully on only one thing at a time.

When employees multi-task, they are not fully engaged in anything, and partially disengaged in everything.

The potential for profoundly positive impact is compromised.

Multi-tasking would be okay – is okay – at certain times but very few people seem to know when that time is.

If you must, then multi-task when it doesn’t matter. Fully engage when it does.”

(Note to all hardcore multi-taskers: Calm down…breathe…countback ward from 10. It’ll be okay)

We live in a world of multi-taskers. And that’s the best way I’ve found to manage my time. Frankly, I love to multitask. It makes me feel productive. Like I’m getting 2 or more things done at one time.

But what a drain on my energy. If I’ve learned one thing from my smartphone, it’s that if too many apps are open in the background, the memory and battery life start to suffer.

When I first read Jim’s take on multitasking, I was highly offended. His view threatened my sense of productivity. Of efficiency. It offended my red-blooded American work ethic.

But then I began to think “is Jim right?”

Am I focusing on the important few or the urgent many?

In other words, is my time dictated by all the things that must be done? Regardless of whether they lead to my goals or align with my values? Or am I focusing on things that are utmost importance to achieve my goals and the goals of those around me?

Coaching question: If you knew that you would not fail, what goal would you totally commit yourself to?

Think about that goal. Now plan to make more of an impact. Plan to fully engage.

Here’s the way to do it. Pick a short amount of time. I don’t know – anything between 30 minutes and 2 hours a week, depending on your schedule. Make it a time where you have the energy to be creative or whatever it takes to completely focus. Then plan to fully devote …fully engage…and dive into the deep end of that goal.

The idea is to immerse yourself for a short period of time, and on a regular basis. Don’t pull yourself back. At least not now. Pulling yourself back any further will take too much energy. Energy that would only produce frustration and unfulfillment.

For part of that 30 minutes or 2 hours, you may want to consider a 15 or 30 minute coaching session to jumpstart your full engagement. I’ll let you in on a little secret about coaching. It’s all about you.  If you cannot fully engage in your personal goals anywhere else, you can in coaching. I’ve had prospects to email me about results they’ve gotten after just a coaching preview. In coaching, I allow my clients to take the lead and fully engage in their dreams, their goals, and their vision for the future.

I would love to set up a time to talk to you. If you feel that now is the time to engage, I invite you to set up a coaching preview and experience how coaching accelerates your goals. Until then, stop pulling yourself back. Engage!

Talk soon,


Thomas E. Anderson, IIThomas E. Anderson, II is a vision development coach who enjoys motivating and equipping individuals to pursue personal, professional and organizational goals that lead to a more fulfilling life. He specializes in life focus, vision development and goal acceleration.

Is Adult ADHD a Liability or an Opportunity?

7 Oct

adhd-symptomsI don’t know about you, but focus is not something that I wake up with in the morning. My level of focus can shift throughout the day according to the work that needs to be done. Focus is not a gift. It’s something that I work at and search for…continuously.

Quite a few of my clients have told me in the last few months “it feels like I have ADD”. They say things like:

  • “I sit down to focus on a task…and I just can’t concentrate”
  • “I get so wrapped up in my work that I forget about everything around me. Even my family.”
  • “I feel like I’m spread too thin!”

My clients’ challenges prompted me to do a little research that confirmed something I read a while ago.

You probably have heard that students with ADD, dyslexia and Asperger syndrome are absolute GENIUSES in other areas. In fact, some of the top business minds across the country have ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and other types of “learning disabilities”. So if you find yourself struggling to focus and it feels like a chronic problem, just know you’re in good company.

link between ADHD and entrepreneurship has emerged sighting that many entrepreneurs from the Baby Boomer generation or earlier didn’t realize they had ADHD until their children were diagnosed. There are a ton of successful entrepreneurs with ADHD.

  • David Neeleman, founder of Jet Blue Airways
  • Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin empire
  • Ingvar Kamprad, founder of IKEA
  • Walt Disney
  • Michael Phelps
  • Michael Jordan
  • Jim Carrey
  • Will Smith
  • Albert Einstein

These entrepreneurs, executives, and celebrities turned learning disabilities (what others considered a weakness) into a personal strategic advantage. They turned their limitations into opportunities.
Limitations are barriers. Boundaries. Some are designed for our protection. Others are meant to be crossed. But weaknesses imply that nothing good can come out of them until they are finally converted into a strength.

Sales trainer and author Blair Singer advocates for playing to your strengths, sharing that “it takes a lifetime to overcome weaknesses.” And you know what – Blair is right.

I have found ways to compensate for my weaknesses while working to strengthen the ones I can. And then there are some weaknesses (like being able to focus on technical details for a long period of time), that I will never be great at. My point is that thinking of weaknesses as limitations accelerates your goals.

Shift your thinking to figure out what external conditions are presenting you with barriers, obstacles and limitations. What conditions are creating boundaries around you?

What do those strengths allow you to easily achieve? What do the weakness and limitations stop you from achieving? How can you begin to turn your areas of limitation into opportunities? Creating opportunities for others also creates opportunities for you. Sometimes directly and other times indirectly.

My tip this week is to reframe your internal weaknesses.

Reframing weaknesses as limits helps you to explore other possibilities. I want to assist you in turning your limitations into your opportunities. Remember you are not in this journey/process by yourself. Let me help you find strength in your weaknesses and create great successes in your business, life or organization. Coaching helps you to reframe weakness as limitations and turn limitations into opportunities. Find out more information on the website at www.teaiiano.com or email me at t_anderson@teaiiano.com to schedule a strategy session.

Talk soon,

Thomas E. Anderson, IIThomas E. Anderson, II is a vision development coach who enjoys motivating and equipping individuals to pursue personal, professional and organizational goals that lead to a more fulfilling life. He specializes in life focus, vision development and goal acceleration.

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