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Zero-based thinking applies to investments of time, money, and emotion. According to several studies, the decisions you make regarding your business, investments, and much of your personal life will turn out to be wrong about 70% of the time. This means that over time, you will find that you have made choices and decisions that did not result in the outcomes that you have expected when you made those choices and decisions in the first place.

How could this be? It’s because the answers have changed. When you made the decision, you did so based on the information that you had at the time. You made the best choice you could have made at the time, all things considered; however, the answers have changed and because of this, your choice may now look much different.

So what is the leading indicator of a zero-based thinking situation? It is your level of STRESS.

Yes, that is correct: Stress! If knowing what you know now you wouldn’t get into the situation again, you are in a zero-based thinking situation. Whenever you feel chronic, continuous stress, you are likely in a zero-based thinking situation. Whenever something keeps you awake, interferes with your family relationships, preoccupies you when you are driving or commonly causes you ongoing anger or unhappiness, you might want to ask yourself the question, “Knowing what I now know, would I get into this situation again?”

So now, take a look at your investments of emotions, time, and money and ask yourself, “Knowing what I now know about this investment, would I do this again if I had to do it over?” If your answer is “no” the next question that you must ask is, “ How do I get out of this _____________and how fast?”

I am not recommending that you quit your job, sell all of your stocks, or walk away from your marriage relationship. What I am suggesting is that you seriously evaluate your current situation based on the way things are today, rather than the way they were when you originally made the decision. Have the courage and honesty to face your situation squarely and deal with it as it really is and not as if you wish it would be.

You must especially practice zero-based thinking in times of chaos in your life. Imagine holding up an empty picture frame in front of a scene representing each area of your life and asking yourself whether this is an area of your life you would do differently now. If you had to do it over, what would you differently?  What would it look like?

Turn that frown upside down?

We are all familiar with the author who writes the chilling horror story, the musician who pens the brooding, introspective song, or the video whose photographer, rather than an presenting uplifting images, displays for us distressing ones. We need look no further than the typical evening news to see negative situations seemingly all around us. To top it off, most psychologists believe that even for the healthiest, non-pathological individuals, seventy percent of a our internal self-talk is negative. [Read more…]

Perhaps the most critical tool for success is . . .

Long gone are the days when Emotional Intelligence was seen as flowery add-on to corporate training seminars or as something that would be nice, but not necessary, for a firm’s success. These assumptions about EI in the workplace are rapidly being put to rest as more and more organizations – from Fortune 500 companies to government agencies, solo entrepreneurs to non-profit organizations – realize the importance of having self or staff that has been trained in emotional intelligence strategies, and who know how to navigate coworkers’, colleagues’ and clients’ emotional trigger points. By doing so, better outcomes are achieved, and the organization as a whole, whether large or small, becomes more successful.  [Read more…]

The Seven Deadly Sins of entrepreneurship — part four

The fourth of Gandhi’s seven spiritually detrimental traits is knowledge without character.   In the world of entrepreneurship, think of this fourth trait or sin, as being all analytical while ignoring your “softer” side. In other words, you deal only with cold, hard facts, and brush off the intuitive, emotional, and creative elements of your self. [Read more…]

Are you a bully?

We know of bullying. Whether in the school or the workplace or other venue, bullying is now much in the news. Does bullying extend to NFL locker rooms? It will be interesting to see how the convoluted situation in Miami plays out. [Read more…]

Excuse Me: Did You Have Enough Information Before You Made That Decision?

We live in the “information age.” Mankind now generates approximately the same amount of information in the one day that we created from the beginning of recorded history to the year 2003. The amount of content that Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube spawn is staggering. Type in a search term or phrase into your favorite search engine, and you will likely get results measured in the millions or billions.

[Read more…]

Annabolic Times-Excuse Me, You’re Fired!

I hope this finds you very well and enjoying your summer.

As solopreneurs, we don’t often have the experience of hiring employees; more often subcontractors.  However, there is an important lesson below should you ever decide to go down that path.

Enjoy the below video!  You may recognize someone in it.


Excerpted and adapted from “Seventy Reasons Not to be an Entrepreneur (and why I wouldn’t do anything else)”  Copyright 2013 by Michael A. Babiarz, all rights reserved.

Reason Number 29: Hiring is a &**& and firing is a bigger *(**.  Hiring is not a fun process. For the small businessman, if the size of the company mandates employees, it is a process that will need to be repeated, time and time again. Your employees will quit. When they quit, replacing them means going through the painful hiring process all over again. But what if an employee needs to be let go?

[Read more…]

Annabolic Times-Excuse me, the direct approach is the best approach….

Have you experienced:

  • The person at home or at work that makes you feel like you are riding an emotional roller coaster. You know the one, he is friendly one day, but sulks and withdraws the next (and you, being the conscientious person you are, are wondering what you may have done to cause such behavior).
  • Someone who might appear to agree―with enthusiasm―to your request. Rather than completing the task, however, he or she might express anger or resentment by missing deadlines, showing up late to meetings, making excuses, or even interfering with the task.
  • Someone who pays you a “comp-insult” (a compliment and an insult in the same sentence). Something like, “Darling, you look fabulous in spite of your new hairstyle.”
  • The ex-spouse who, knowing his ex-wife is allergic to cats, buys one for their child.
  • The co-worker who engages in the crime of omission by choosing not to share a piece of key information that could or would have prevented a problem. For example, the jealous co-worker who fails to alert his colleague about a mandatory meeting and excuses it by saying something like, “I thought you knew.”
  • The individual who have caused you to be so frustrated that after your interaction you scratch your head and ask, “Am I crazy?”

If you answered yes to experiencing any of the above scenarios, you may be interacting with a person engaging in passive aggressive behavior. If you see yourself as the purveyor of this type of chaos, you may be the one engaging in it.
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Annabolic Times-November, 2012 #2 Why Your “But” Stinks

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope this finds you all very well and enjoying a laugh over the title of this newsletter. I know I did. Trust me, it would have gotten my attention too if it wasn’t my newsletter.

While everyone else is talking about gratitude, I chose to talk about something else. Being grateful is something we should all engage in each and every day, not just Thanksgiving.

After all, the Universe loves a grateful heart and a good laugh!

In Light,

Ann M. Babiarz


Hey, I got your attention, didn’t I? Now go back and read how I spelled the word “but” in the title.

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Annabolic Times-February, 2012 EI EI Oh!

Happy Valentines Day! Welcome to this month’s ANNabolic Times!

As Valentine’s Day approaches, you may be thinking about the state of relationships in your life. Relationships are the cornerstone of an extraordinary life. How are yours?

The most important relationship you have is the one that you have with—you guessed it—you. If you had to describe your treatment of yourself, how would you describe it? Often times, if we treated our friends the way we treat ourselves, we wouldn’t have any. Are you treating yourself like a best friend or something else?

Maya Angelou said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” How are you making yourself feel?

[Read more…]