Running shoe is by Newton.
I’m still in Houston and today is the Chevron Marathon. Thousands of ambitious runners are headed for the finish line as they run, walk or crawl 26 long miles. Achieving this goal after months of training and preparation is huge.
The day will be painful, challenging, rewarding, joyous and emotional for most. Sounds like a day at the office when you are entrepreneur. I’ve recapped 26 steps that these runners have taken and you can apply to reach your goals.
1.) Start. Set your goals.
2.) Create a simple, doable plan – how will you get to your goal?
3.) Develop a working schedule that covers: research, training, execution and anything else that needs to be done.
4.) List out all your smaller milestones that are needed to meet your big goal. Make sure you set accountable measures and deadlines.
5.) Design a wellness plan that includes diet, exercise, supplements and stretching rituals.
6.) Re-think your sleeping zone, your bed, the noise and the lighting so you can sleep for 7-8 hours every night.
7.) Relearn the importance and practice of breathing often and in a full cycles.
8.) Research and buy the best equipment you need to achieve the ultimate performance.
9.) Decide who your positive support network will be including business associates, friends and vendors.
10.) Kindly lose any negative, non-achieving friends, business associates and vendors from your world.
11.) Exercise your mind by using both sides daily. From crossword puzzles to something creative like doodling.
12.) Hydrate daily with water, not wine. Wine can be consumed in moderation, but water needs to be drank at least 6 times a day.
13.) Establish daily learning rituals from reading the WJS, to listening to podcasts and watching webinars and practice what you’ve learned.
14.) Work on improving mental toughness every hour. Shake off mistakes and disappointments. Believe in the power of your mind.
15.) Push yourself beyond what you think you can do.
16.) Identify a handful of people that inspire you, follow them and learn from them. Whether you know them or not.
17.) Carefully assess your competition, their strengths, and weaknesses.
18.) Seek out legal advantages that will accelerate your journey to the finish line.
19.) Keep your eyes and ears wide open for potholes and flying objects.
20.) Practice, train and be disciplined everyday.
21.) Recover, refresh and revitalize often.
22.) Show gratitude and appreciation to people you know and people you don’t know.
23.) Visit, read and recite your goals every day.
24.) Affirm in writing what you believe and can achieve. This is your story that you own, read it out loud everyday.
25.) Stay laser focused on your goals and dreams.
26.) Don’t waste emotions on feeling guilt, worrying, dwelling on the past or things you can’t control.
27.) Be proud everyday of every little step you’ve taken.
For more on entrepreneur list-styles, view:
Celebrate loving being an entrepreneur everyday.
Can being happier change your entrepreneur results?
Guilty as charged. I was listening to Seth Godin, one of my favorite creative-brainys (that is a made up word), on 57 ways to get the world to spread your stuff and suddenly I needed to go to the little girls’ room. OMG, there were at least 40 minutes left in his Webinar on MarketingProfs, and even though I have a Pro MarketingProf membership (which is so worth it) and could have replayed it later, I was not willing to put this learning session on hold. I was engaged in every word he was saying.
How did that happen? How do you get people that glued to what you have to say?
Here’s my take on the Seth factor. He’s cool. He’s never boring. He challenges my thinking. He’s nice to listen to, compelling and calm all at the same time. He’s earned the very smart cat badge, a combination of status from credibility builders like his books, speeches and blogging and what others say the big media and fans around globe.
While he did share 57 ideas and some bonuses, here are my top four and what I going to do differently.
1) He does not have guest bloggers.
Why? Because it fuzzes it up. It is his brand promise to his readers.
As I’m evaluating the guest bloggers on Oddpodz,and I have been thinking about this for a while, he has an excellent point. Plus, guest posts are a lot of work. And unless they are highly read and driving traffic, which unfortunately my guest bloggers have not been, the ROI is just not there. So starting next week, the guest bloggers section will be laid to rest. The posts will be archived and remain on the site, but no new guest bloggers.
2) He blogs everyday.
That’s heavy. and scare the crap out of me to commit to that.
I said he challenged me. OK, then. I love to write. I do interesting stuff every single day. And even if I’m sick or staying in my cave, I think about really interesting things that I know others can benefit from. If I can’t pump out at least a paragraph a day, then shame on me.
3) He does not tweet.
That’s a side-line of the next takeaway for me. The actual big idea is: he consciously decides that he will not do everything, Tweeting is an activity like golf or collecting fish bones. He knows he does not have the bandwidth to do it well and right, so he’s not going there. I respect that.
I think all to often we put pressure on ourselves to do stuff that’s not really required or in our “do it freakin well zone”. For me this means not doing stuff that does not deliver happiness, money or peace in your soul. Personally, I like to tweet, it’s a good outlet for my inner soundbite, snarky side.
4) Try. Fail. Repeat.
That’s not a new one for me. But felt it was important for this list. Thank you Seth.
Love your thoughts on any of this.
Check out this Book review – “Tribes” by Seth Godin.
2010 was an amazing year for me. I had a killer year – revenues rocked, I grew my mental capacity, along with my waistline, and I learned a bunch of new skills.
All were positive as they added and challenged my adventure, bottom line and awareness journey. Here’s my recap and what I took away.
Most meaningful moments
1) When I witnessed the BP explosion flying to Baton Rouge, LA for a meeting.
Takeaway-Life is short and at any given moment it can change.
2) When my mom watched me play tennis for the first time and I won. I’ve been playing for ten years.
Takeaway-Even when you are 50, parent’s involvement still matter.
1) When I discovered I was the #1 Google search for branding speaker.
Takeaway- Content writing has value.
2) When I lead the launch of a global green brand called Earthwise.
Takeaway-Branding, Twitter and hard work payoff.
3) The progress we made on Oddpodz.
Takeaway-If something is a long tail venture, do the best you can, keep pushing, keep learning and don’t give up.
4) I scored over 25 major media new stories (FOX over 10 times, NY Times, Forbes, Miami Herald).
Takeaway-You must be assertive, reach out to the media often, with newsworthy ideas, and then do an awesome job adding to their show, whether it’s print, TV, radio or online.
Best business changes
1) Hired my sister to manage my books.
Takeaway- How did I ever do it without her? This business relationship has strengthened our bond and drastically reduced my tax challenges.
2) Invested in expert coaching.
Takeaway-When you fly a company with a small, virtual team, you need professional, high-level paid sounding boards. Asking friends and business colleagues who like you will slow down your progress.
3) Getting rid of my big office.
Takeaway-I’m not an office girl. I’m most productive when I work in my cave, on the street and by my rules.
1) Email is not the best way to communicate.
Takeaway- If you put it in writing it can live on and bit you back.
2) Hiring great people takes time, testing and more testing.
Takeaway-Hiring great people takes time, testing and more testing.
Things I still don’t understand
1) How the Gap could have launched such as ugly, new logo.
Takeaway- Even big companies do really stupid things.
2) Why Brett Farve took so long to retire and is such a public cry baby.
Takeaway-There’s a lot I don’t know, especially about guys.
2) Why Tony Robbin’s Show got canceled and The Jersey Shore is breaking rating records.
Takeaway-A lot of people will buy things I would not.
1) Toking oxygen and drinking champagne at the St Regis Spa in Aspen.
Takeaway- Money is not the end all, but sure pays for some crazy fun.
2) Going to see Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in NYC and Second City in Chicago.
Takeaway-Comedy is as important as food, my bed and black shoes.
3) Hanging out with a hot former Russian hockey player & slamming shots of horseradish-infused vodka while enjoying crepes and caviar was quite the fun night. And best part of it is – I’m here and he’s way over there.
Takeaway-Simple, random and kind of crazy encounters with no expectations are pretty amazing moments in life. I’m keeping my eyes open for more.
NEXT YEAR I’ve got my eyes on a few new adventures too.
I’d like to attend the American Music Awards, Saturday Night Live or Fashion Week in NY.
I like to have a major new book under my belt.
And meet any of these inspiring folks and have a coffee, like Lady GaGA, Tony Robbins, Michael Phelps or Richard Branson.
I’d also like to be featured in the Wall Street Journal.
How was your year? And what’s next for you to step up your success?!
Don’t forget to check out: Leadership = the quality of your presence.
In the new economy unfolding before you, it’s your ideas that are highly valued–not your time.
The fact remains your clients and prospects have an abundant choice of alternatives to you. There are far too many competitors in the marketplace today. Being good, even great at what you do is not enough to differentiate you from the slush pile, and get your business to the next level–where you’re compensated for your value.
Fast and cheap.
As an early-stage entrepreneur, it’s important to remember most clients will place a low value on your time–and a high value on theirs. Consequently, these are the clients who get things done fast and cheap. The bottom line is you’ll only get the gig if you’re the fastest and cheapest. In a commoditized market, any price will be perceived as too high. You’ll always be vulnerable to lower cost providers, and have little if no power influencing the procurement of your services.
Only two things release you from the bondage of trading your time for money–
- the level of demand for your available time.
- the financial value people place on your ideas.
Time is finite, valuable ideas are infinite. Entrepreneurs, who can sustain their focus and attention on creativity and innovation in how they bring value to the marketplace, will be the beneficiaries of all the new economy has to offer. Those who stay stuck in a commoditized market, billing their time by the hour, will doom themselves to order-taker status.
Get yourself free at last from the hourly rate mentality.
We are at the very beginning of a new global economic order. In the wake of this transition, we are witnessing the destruction of old systems and structures. For many businesses and the people they employ, the effects have been nothing short of devastating. As the dust settles from this disruptive reset, and in the midst of all this uncertainty, they are many entrepreneurs who are thriving! Proof that prosperity doesn’t care about the economy.
Would you like to know what makes these creative businesses rock, and how you can get your scene to rock at the next level? Here are some ideas that may help you reframe your thinking so you can break free from the physics of running your business by the clock:
Do what really matters to you, and really matters to some people. In order for you to sustain the energy required to innovate remarkable value for your clients, you must engage yourself in only those ideas, activities and relationships that really matter to you. The lines between work and play must be dissolved. Passion, and the emotional labor that naturally comes with it, are prerequisites for thriving in the idea economy.
More importantly, what really matters to you must serve a specific group of people–not everyone. Your expertise must be highly specialized in what you love and serves the higher emotional needs of others in the marketplace who are just as passionate about your thing as you are. The days of the generalist are over. Where ever your passion lies, get famous for it!
Good is the new slush pile. Nowadays, everything and everybody is good. Good enough. Your talent and expertise is the ante, merely the price of admission. Many people can do what you do–some even better! Become highly valued for your thinking and your contributions of value– not through your skills at implementation or managing process. It is the only way for you to break free from the restrictions charging by hour sets on your income and the size of your future.
Be really different. Make a real difference. Properly positioning the value you represent in the minds of clients is the source code to your financial freedom. You must invest in building your personal brand, and have it represent something genuine, remarkable, and highly valued from the alternatives in the marketplace.
Make a difference (and create opportunity) by providing your value to those you wish to serve first. Share your expertise–don’t sell it. Most of all provide more “use” value to your clients than they are paying you in cash. In other words, whenever your clients value the benefits they experience working with you more than the value of the money they are holding, you’ll have made a difference.
Stop writing proposals, start making them. Writing proposals is for suckers. How many times have you written a proposal for a client-to-be and then you wait, and wait, while your client shops around looking for a better fit at a lower price? Stop writing proposals and start making them.
Your proposal is the expertise you share in conversation with your prospective client about how best to solve their problem. After you’ve had the opportunity to assess how best to solve their problem, simply explain in a deeper conversation, what course of action you’d suggest, explain the financial investment required of them, and then say ”if we have a deal, I’ll have my office send you written confirmation of our conversation and we can begin immediately”! Your proposals are the words coming out of your mouth–not something that gathers dust languishing on someone’s desk!
Create once, and then reap the rewards again and again. Many solo professionals build their practice/business around solving the same kinds of problems for different clients. Their relationships are consulting based, not transactional. If this is true for your business, you probably have tremendous expertise that can be leveraged and offered to many clients at the same time, indefinitely. Your specific expertise can be made available in forms where many more clients can benefit from your value while you are drinking wine in Paris.
There has never been a more profound opportunity for you to exponentially increase your impact, influence and income than right now! Ideas are the currency of the new economy. Build your brand around what you love, share your knowledge for the good of all, and create high value for others first, and you’ll never fill out a time sheet again!
Think about how you create value, and in what ways you might be selling yourself short.
Editor’s Note: This post is a small taste of the concepts and ideas we will engage ourselves in during a year-long series of four 2-day White Hot Center Quantum Leap Workshops beginning in March 2011. Right from the beginning, you’ll have greater clarity and confidence to define a compelling vision for your future– and set the foundation to achieve your goal of taking your business to the next level in an easy, relaxed, and joyful way. If you are interesting in attending and would like more information, email me directly!
Be sire to check out: Smart tips: word of mouth
My life is no 1990 mini van. In fact, I’d call it a pretty luxury, high performance sports car. I’m independent, spontaneous and usually driving in 5th gear in the fast lane. I’m grateful for all that!
- My boss is me.
- No one, but me limits my pay check.
- I like all my clients and friends a whole lot, or I kick em under the bus.
- And I can have fun every single day.
All of this is a product of choice and being a very happy entrepreneur.
If you are not experiencing this, here’s four key mindsets I’ve been embracing that are making a huge difference in my pile of fruit and enjoyment of life.
The sad thing is I don’t remember any teacher, school course or professor ever telling me about them. If they would have and I jumped on them 20 years sooner, my life might look different. Maybe I’d be just playing tennis, going to movies, writing screen plays in the sand and depositing checks from all my passive income.
These mindsets are as important as understanding accounting, mastering operations and being a marketing maniac.
1) Leverage everything you can.
Every contact, every hour, every ounce of brain juice you have. Leverage means maximize the outcome from the investment.
Is there a contact you have who can open a door, ask them!
Is your price too low because you don’t believe your worth it, change that!
2) Recycle and repurpose everything you can.
Every idea, every experience, every proposal, every block of content.
Got an old idea, spin it differently!
Got a proposal for some work you didn’t get, modify it and pitch someone else!
3) Be your own best friend.
Take care of you and everyone will benefit too. This is not selfish, it’s smart. Treat yourself, pay yourself, don’t put up with stuff you don’t like, change it because you deserve the best and nothing less.
Get a massage, low on cash, find a massage school, it under $20 bucks!
Take a mental health day and celebrate it like they named a national holiday after you!
4) Be you. No matter what.
Who cares how other people do it or what they believe. That’s their story and their world, not yours. Don’t break laws, do pay your taxes and be respectful.
I get turned on by calculated risk. I don’t like holidays, I don’t eat mushrooms and will not tolerate whinny/poor me people. I won’t go to a baseball game, so don’t invite me. I like the sport, but not the idea of a ball flying at my face. I have a high standard for my quality of life. I love being around great design, eating sushi and meeting and paling up with inspirational, smart, creative minds.
That’s a little about me. Who are you?
Make it a great day!
We also suggest you check out: Can being happier change your entrepreneurial results?
I have a pile of business books that I have been meaning to read, and I am now determined to finish them by the end of the year. I had a great excuse last week when my power went out. I ran my laptop until the battery died. When it did, I decided not to relocate to a place where I could power up and sat down to read instead.
I started with Seth Godin’s Tribes. It is a collection, I believe, of blog posts on leadership. If you are an entrepreneur, or if you work for a company and have the desire to champion a cause, this book will help ignite that fire. A few key takeaways for me were:
1. The definitions of a tribe and its dynamics. “A tribe is a group of people, connected to one another, connected to a leader and connected to an idea. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate. Tribes need leadership. Sometimes one person leads, sometimes more. You can’t have a tribe without a leader–and you can’t be a leader without a tribe.”
2. A tribe is formed when someone sees a group that is asking to be led. For example, “Fox News didn’t persuade millions of people to become conservative; they just assembled the tribe and led them where they were already headed.” Capitalize on a non-obvious moment/opportunity; get there first.
3. A manager is not a leader. A manager operates within the status quo of the “factory.” The leader sees an opportunity to do things differently (and better) and sees a group that is willing to move toward that change. The leader doesn’t wait to be asked to lead, he or she just does it.
4. The internet provides unprecedented opportunities for leaders and tribes to connect. One person with a YouTube.com account can impact the world in 24 hours with the right video. The power quotient has shifted. Just look at the power of blogging, anyone can broadcast their thoughts or ideas and lead or form a tribe.
5. Necessary ingredients for a tribe leader. Genuine passion and charisma – if you don’t have that, people will see through you and a tribe won’t follow. Authentic generosity – a true leader doesn’t need credit for his or her ideas, he or she is happy for them to be spread. The ability to use criticism to improve, curiosity, heresy (vs status quo), faith, remarkability, fearlessness, leadership/empowerment, passion and reinvention.
6. Recipe for starting a micromovement: a manifesto, connectablity and tracking progress. Making money can’t be the ultimate goal of the micromovement, that will guarantee its failure.
7. Persuasion: don’t start with opposition, seek the uncommitted passionates.
8. Elements of leadership: challenge status quo, create culture, be charismatic, communicate vision, connect.
9. Do not get stuck in the way things were or are, get busy turning things into what they could be.
10. Change isn’t made by asking permission. Change is made by asking for forgiveness later.
11. True leaders understand that change is not only omnipresent, but the key to success.
12. Great leaders listen to tribe members. However, truly great leaders can listen to the other opinion, still do what they had intended and retain loyal tribe followers. He used Ronald Regan as an example of a leader with this quality.
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If you’re an entrepreneur at the early stages of success, most likely you’ve pondered how best to get your business to the next level of growth. To create high value opportunities to pursue what matters to you, and be massively compensated for doing so, you must increase your value to others first.
To begin, let’s define an “early-stage entrepreneur” as a person whose business currently sustains them at a “self-employed” job level, but not at the level where their financial flow allows them to be free to do whatever they please in a day. If this describes where you’re at right now in your business, allow me to add value to you!
Without exception, every entrepreneur I’ve worked with has a burning desire to attain a level of financial success that would enable them to spend all their “work time” being creative and innovative, constantly in a “state to play” with ideas that matter to them and bring more value to the marketplace.
Even when your vision about your greater future is clear, you still need an answer you feel confident is the right one to the question of “how do I get there? Here are three ideas that may help you gain more clarity about how you will go about creating more opportunity by expanding your value to others.
Supply is infinite, time is finite. There are two variables in life common to all of us– potential and time. We all have the same amount of both in a day.
There is no more time available than what is provided in a day. You choose how you occupy your time across the 24 hours in a single earth rotation. Take 8 hours off for sleep, and the most you have available for creating and experiencing what you want is 16 hours.
On the other hand, within a single earth rotation, there is infinite supply of “potential opportunity” as yet unrealized. To attract this potential opportunity to you, start by shifting your thinking from the world of the finite or competitive plane (current perception of lack and limitation) to the realm of the infinite or creative plane. (creativity and innovation to create more value). It is from the latter that all “value” is created. The source of infinite supply is found within you–always available for your use. The formula is simple: perceived value x leverage = wealth!
Make a big space in your life for big changes. Most early-stage entrepreneurs get stuck in the repetitive cycle of creating “survival-based” results. At the early stage of the journey, it can sometimes feel overwhelming just to keep the boat floating! Many believe outer forces–the state of the economy, not enough capital, influential contacts, or cheaper competitors–determine their results. Over time, many unconsciously set their efforts at the threshold of survival, and believe greater achievements are simply not in the cards.
Start by making a big space in your life for it to happen. Stop what you are doing step back and make an assessment of your scene. Get rid of anything in your business and your life that does not support you. And I mean everything! Making a big space requires making big changes– in your thinking, limiting beliefs, your habits, your relationships, your support and organizational structure. Change whatever it takes to fill the space with higher-value relationships that represent greater financial appreciation for the value you provide.
Then each year, set the bar ever higher. Instead of each client transaction representing $10,000, over time it becomes $100,000. You don’t increase your workload; you increase your perceived value to your clients and customers. Embrace change and experience constant growth. Growth leads to a constant increase in your confidence that ever-greater opportunity will always seek you out.
Be really good and really different. This idea might seem like an over simplification on the surface, but the effects of this principle will have a profound impact on your ability to create bigger opportunity to experience financial freedom through your business.
In every product or service category there is commodization. We live in a time and society where there is an abundance of everything in the marketplace. Anytime there is an abundant supply, customers have abundant choice. When customers have abundant choice among products or services, they perceive little difference in the value they provide. Consequently, they set the price.
This is what keeps many early-stage entrepreneurs on the short end of the stick when it comes to their power in the buying cycle. Whatever you provide must be perceived as highly valued by your customers (because your value is unique and in short supply) and highly differentiated (from the slush pile of your competitors in the marketplace).
Never think for a moment that what has made another successful will make you likewise. You have to follow your own unique path and expression in creating value for others. Creating value begins by engaging in what really matters to you! The world is already full of me-too stuff! Always remember this–value is in the eye of the beholder! You job is to grow the “quality of your presence” through your unique gifts and strengths.
To experience higher levels of business and life success, you must first understand the difference between meeting demand and creating it. To get there, you must become a value creator as opposed to an order taker!
Thomson Dawson helps creative entrepreneurs and solo professionals gain more clarity and confidence to pursue their best opportunities for a bigger, better future. Get your FREE Guide to Building a Competition Proof Business: www.whitehotcenter.com
To read more from Thomas Dawson, view: Money, money, money!
As a creative entrepreneur, you already know how vitally important it is to be an effective and well-respected leader– one who is recognized for your mastery. Your level of mastery is always displayed through the quality of your presence.
Recently, at a small conference I attended, I heard speaker, author and thinker Stewart Emery define “leadership” as nothing more and nothing less than “the quality of your presence”. I immediately fell in love with the beautiful simplicity of this idea. Rather than thinking about leadership as a bunch of attributes, characteristics and behaviors, this definition resonated with me in a profound way. This elegant phrase perfectly packaged what I have been pushing around in my mind lately–mainly that enduring leadership transcends perceived levels of status, power or influence.
The Quality of Your Presence.
As a creative entrepreneur and solo professional, you already know how vitally important it is to your success that you be an effective and well-respected leader– one who is recognized for your mastery. Your level of mastery is always displayed through the quality of your presence.
The quality of your presence begins within you, deeply anchored in your sub-conscious beliefs about who you are, and what you are capable of.
If you’re stuck at a certain level of “leadership quality” in your personal and professional life, and you know you want a higher level of experience, it’s a good idea to develop the habit of thinking much better of yourself, your ideas and visions, your capability to create value, and the direction of your future. You must honestly believe and trust your own greatness within! When you trust this belief, you are automatically elevated into a leadership role–lighting your own way forward!
People who believe they are destined for greater life experiences, have a point of view that is always future-based, yet they are entirely present. They only take from the past that which will serve them (and others) in the new future they are joyously creating. They demonstrate their personal leadership by the quality of their own thoughts, which in turn, manifests into the quality of their presence. These are the folks who lead by elevating the life experience of all they come into contact with. These people light the way for others by their own example. These leaders inspire others to believe more in their own capability and promise than in the evidence of their current limitations. For these types of people, their leadership is disguised as service and never based in their status, power or ability to control others. Indeed, they have always been counted the few among us.
Speaking for myself, I aspire daily to this notion of leadership. When I experience the high quality of another’s presence, I am reminded I could not recognize it in them if it were not already present within me. This inspires me to keep moving, growing and expanding toward living and leading the life experience I desire. It’s also a great reminder of the type of people I want to hang with.
Do what matters to you and serves others.
If you want to lead through the quality of your presence, you have to be engaged in ideas and activities that truly matter to you. To create value, not only must you do what matters to you, but what matters to you must serve the good of others. In serving the good of others, you lead by the quality of your presence.
Take a moment to assess where you’re at. You can start with your physical presence, do you display health, vitality and well-being? In your business, are your products and services of the highest quality? Do your clients or customers value your mastery to an extent they gladly pay a premium for them? In your relationships, do you matter to people? Are you adding to the world by contributing your talent and gifts in a manner that reflects the quality of your presence?
You, and you alone, determine the quality of your presence. Leadership is a choice you make about the quality of your life, not a role you play.
About Thomson: With over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, designer, creative director, writer, and brand marketing consultant, Thomson’s passion and specialized expertise leads his corporate clients through the process of developing innovation strategies that influence better outcomes in their marketing, positioning, communications and customer experience.
Thomson can be reached at White Hot Center
We also recommend you read: Are you brand battle-ready at the frontline?
Seth Godin is one of my favorite smart guys. He’s a best selling author on business and marketing, The Purple Cow, Permission Marketing, Linchpin just to name a few, a prolific speaker and a great thought leader. I so admire his insight and style. I regularly visit his blog, his books and videos for inspiration. Seth and his work always challenges me to notch my work up even higher.
He like I were both born in Buffalo, New York in 1960. So that gives us, give or take a few months, 18, 250 days of life experiences to tap into when we tell stories, make points and or argue about something we don’t agree with.
Our backgrounds are quite different and very similar. Seth went to Tufts University and studied computer science and philosophy, I went To Bauder to study fashion.
We both have written books, are serial entrepreneurs and speakers. Seth gets the volume badge on book sales. But, I definitely score higher on the more hair award.
I’ve thought about Seth Godin, Buffalo, NY and being 50 this week.
In the Seth case, it’s because I often analysis other people with commonalities to me, and ask, I wonder what their biggest, best break through moment, day or decision was in their life that resulted in reaching significant goals? I also think about what was their most profound failure that contributed to their current success? All high achievers have a collection of both.
Buffalo, I hate to break it to you, but, usually when I think about you, like I did this week was when I’m dipping my hot wing in some blue cheese dressing, and for a nanosecond, I think thank goodness for Buffalo and The Anchor Bar and that they discovered this extraordinary culinary delight.
And my last item of interest, that I’ve thought about this week, being 50.
I was playing tennis last night. And my body was really sore. I’ve played everyday this week and my joints were screaming. After making a smoking point from serve, I made a comment to one of my team mates about this pain, and she voiced back. “Well, you know you are not as young as you used to be, Karen.”
There was silence. I looked around, remembered that I did not play tennis 10 years ago and that I was in the best athletic shape of my life. I stated back, “Oh, but yes I am”.
The results of my pondering mind this week.
Identify people you admire and observe them often (This is not the same as stalking).
1) Pick 2 or 3 colleagues in your industry and learn from them. This can happen without ever meeting them in person. I’m lucky, I’ve met most of Muses. Never compare their wins or defeats with yours, they are equally as important, but do challenge what you are doing with the inspiration you garner from them.
Honor your place of birth, even if it’s related to a high fat food item.
2) Seriously I love Buffalo. And I’m grateful that it provided my mom a nice place to give birth to me and others like Seth, Tim Russert, Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, Wolf Blitzer and Rick James.
Own your own story. Don’t buy into what others may believe.
3) My tennis pal may be feeling like she’s getting older. She can buy that story. I feel like I’m getting better and younger. That’s my story and I’m stickin to it.
Be sure to check out: You know you are engaged when you take your laptop and Seth Godin to the bathroom.
None of the above will change your business or your destiny. Sure these things will help move your butt along and provide some superficial joy, but the only thing that can really make some serious stuff happen is YOU.
And if you are like most humans, this action or radical change will come only after YOU feel enough pain (in your check book, on your happy meter) or you experience “in-your-face fear “about something (a big uncertainty that scars the crap out of YOU) before you initiate any real change to produce significant results.
This past year I’ve been rocking. I scored a very big assignment (6-figure) from replying to a twitter post last August, a global roll out of a new brand. It’s been an exciting ride, I’ve produced a ton of work product and have earned a nice fee for my talents. That’s all good, but it recently has created a mood of complacency and some procrastination on other projects that I should be all over, and I was not.
Don’t get me wrong, slacking I’m not—hitting as many home runs as I have in me—that I’m guilty of.
In my fog of pondering about this average zone I’ve been in, I did remember that my big project may be ending at the end of the year. For me, that was the “in-my-face fear” I needed to make some adjustments in my program.
So here’s what I done to make some new progress, to take my game to next level and not just be your average Jane entrepreneur, but the superstar DIVA who is enjoying an extreme place of new adventures, income and fun.
4 steps that I taken in the past few weeks that are already making a measurable difference in my world.
1) I hired a performance coach. Through the Tony Robbins companies, I committed to 6 months of added accountability, learning more about my personality and how to leverage those attributes, and how to master the skill of replacing negative stories that hold you back and replace them with ones you passionate own that will propel you to new heights. This was not a light weight investment, in fact, it was around $4500. If you work independently, like I do, I highly recommend doing this from time to time. I’ve done it in the past with other specialists (comedy, tennis, time management), they were not cheap either, but I’ve always gotten an excellent ROI. One significant milestone takes care of the expense. I’ve only had one session, and I’m already enjoying the benefits from my coach.
Should you decide to work with any kind of coach, the keys are: clear expectations and your commitment, or it will be big waste of money.
The role of a coach is not to do your work or even give you answers. Those will come from a consultant. A coach is there to support you, challenge your thinking and behavior and sometimes verbally kick your butt. It’s very important that you have good chemistry with your coach and you both do your homework on each other. Get to know their world, their success rate, so you will respect support and advice. At the end of our first call, guess what, I had homework.
2) I did my homework.
My coach asked me to commit to do something aligned with my next 90 days goals. For me it was make 10 cold, new business speaking calls a week. DONE. She also asked me to list 10 things that I will own and believe about me. DONE. The last item was, she asked me to list things that I can loose, if I don’t own the previous list. DONE. None of this felt like a toot canal. In fact, it was powerful stuff.
3) I read an awesome book.
I don’t think I’m alone, but technology and life in general is very distracting to me. I admit I’m a right-brainer, so my tendency to wonder and dream at my desk can be higher than average. Lately, I’ve had an extra tough time focusing. Part of it is too many big things starring at me, and the other part is brain freeze. This happens when I can’t seem to find the answer to a challenge. Both make me feel stressed. This book is worth these read. She offers simple keys to unlock the fuzz and regain the focus. Again, I have experienced increased productivity after reading this and it was enjoyable to read as she chronicles clients that sound a lot like me.
4) I started a fire.
Not literally, but metaphorically. Last week I told you all about three, female power bloggers, Elizabeth Potts Weinstein, Gretchen Rubin and Danielle LaPorte. I explained that one of the best ways to learn is to watch others that are doing it well, as patterns of success are often evident. I also promised that I’s was buy their products (if they had any) and that this is another way to gain insight. Turns out Elizabeth Potts Weinstein is working on some new products, Gretchen Rubin had the book , which I also bought, just have not read yet and Danielle LaPorte had something called The Fire Starter Sessions. The Fire Starter Session is one of the most well done, video and workbook programs I’ve seen. Saying it is White Hot is an understatement! It’s fun, entertaining and provides a unique, high-value way to clarify business goals, examine personal junk you need to dump and sparks up the get back on the make some Sh– happen road TODAY. Danielle’s style is hip, smart and relevant. She is honest and strive to get you in that same place. I’m not a big fan of filling out 20 page questionnaires of inner discovery, I could not put this booklet down and look at it every day.
Did I forget to talk about the lucky lottery ticket? NO. But I don’t believe it plays any big part in the formula for happiness and success. Lottery tickets and the winnings have screwed up many lives, in fact in Tampa, some dude just got killed over his. The one and only invitee to your success party is YOU. You’ve got to want it, clearly know what you want and take responsibility to get it. Yes, I’m a big proponent of investing in yourself, personal development and learning every day (saying you don’t have the time or resources is lame excuse), YOU are driving the car.
For more on coaching, check out: Hiring a coach is a waste of money, unless you show up.