Many possess skills, talents and attributes that come easier to them than others. This stuff doesn’t feel like work, and it’s fun.
For some it is writing, rain making, negotiating, playing sports, singing, public speaking or even solving problems.
Many believe people who have these traits are considered naturals. They think gifts are included in the DNA, and are passed down when they got their set of genes. Or they are just lucky.
That may be true in a few rare cases. But I’m of the opinion there are no gifts of talent, and luck is extremely over rated, too. Gifts and luck happen, when you really love something, are passionate, invest in practicing a craft and continuously developing “the whatever”, they become a very natural, effortless act.
The origin of the gifts is really not so important. What you do with them is.
Here is the big, bad habit that will steal from your bank account every day if you let it.
Under valuing stuff you do that is easy.
- Discounting the value of your skills, attributes and traits, because it is not hard work.
- Don’t charge enough if you are in business or ask for enough when you work for someone else.
- Or you don’t get your fair share in a collaborative deal.
The value of your skills, talents and abilities and what they will earn you is partly up to the market. Will they pay and what will they pay? But, even more important is what you believe you and your stuff are worth as you control this part of the equation that often ends up in your bank account.
Don’t be guilty of under valuing stuff that comes easy to you. Be grateful it’s fun and do enjoy the experience.
Don’t short change your worth, your bank account or your future.
The past few months I’ve really amped up my commitment to my tennis game. I play 4 or 5 times a week, take lessons and participate in cardio drills.
The results have been GREAT. I’ve lost 5 pounds and buffed up quite a bit. And I’ve had a surprising number of wins when I was really behind. I’m talking down by two sets, against a 26 year old or in a deep hole with scores like 5,0 and 5,1 and I’ve come back.
I’ve been thinking about this phenomenon, how it happens and how it applies to life and business too.
For me it’s about a few big emotions: frustration, annoyance, disappointment and how to manage them.
I know feeling frustrated is a big fat waste of energy. It keeps you in a spin, not moving anywhere. While I work on eliminating this emotion from my life, I’d be lying if I said I never feel it. I do, and many times it’s on the court, especially when I keep on losing the same points in the same way.
Lesson here. Do things differently. If you do things the way you’ve been doing them, you will likely get the same results.
Annoyance is another evil emotion. In my view it’s a weakness and it translates into letting the other person get to me over and over again. I often feel defeated even before the game is over. I get very annoyed when my opponent in tennis does something pesty, like continuous short drop shots, and return shots with an extreme spin that makes the ball go in totally weird places after it bounces.
Lesson here. Instead of using your energy to beat up yourself more, re-frame the emotion from annoyance to excitement, replace those annoying things your opponent is doing with actions to stop them and deliberate moves that activate excitement.
Some contend that disappointment is a legitimate feeling especially when expectations are set. I’m often torn with this concept, because I try very hard to practice an “in the moment” way of living. But I’m also very goal-focused and I believe one must have standards set to bench-mark stuff and know when to activate the delete button; when things just don’t meet your needs.
Lesson here. I acknowledge the state of disappointment like I do failure. Both are temporary events. Feel them in proportion to the big scheme of things, not for one second more.
Such as: minor disappointments like losing a non professional tennis match, or when some random person not even in your close world is being rude or mean or like when you buy a piece of fruit and it ends up bad and tart when you were craving a sweet plum. For me, I ask myself, does it really matter? Then I shake it off right away or in a few minutes.
Or a bigger disappointment like when a professional setback occurs that impacts many things, or a person I value who is not acting the way I want them to or when I make a bad investment that shows up as a big number on my balance sheet. For me- I try to find some good in the bad event, then I shake it off in a few hours or at the most a few days.
Hanging on to disappointments is no better than torching all your clothes, your car and yourself. Not only will it prevent future joy, it produces other negative effects like toxic pollution which touches others too.
The real key to this story is not the emotion, but the turning point. This is the point when the discomfort from frustration, annoyance and disappointment become unbearable. It’s the point that one must choose to change things because they’ve had enough. And when they are done right, theses changes result in a magical force called momentum.
Momentum is how I came back to win those games. Momentum can change your game too, in sports, business and in life. Whether you are vacillating in a bad relationship, in a stagnate career or struggling to hit a home run with start-up.
Momentum has the power of a big wind storm. Momentum can set you free and produce many amazing rewards.
Finding your momentum is about choice.
You’ve got to want it.
And then you’ve got to create it.
Here’s how it happens – How to create your momentum.
Tony Robbins first taught me these ways to make momentum when I attended his “Unleash the Power within Workshop” a few years ago. Since then I practice it often and added some steps to make the process work for me. And it has. When I make momentum big stuff happens, stuff that seemed impossible manifests.
1) Get in a peak state. It creates momentum.
This means get your head, your heart and the physiology body in extreme focused, high-performance state. It helps me to remember another event when I was in a peak state. Like for me in tennis, I imagine a past comeback victory. I visualize that place and how it made me feel higher than high, an adrenaline rush, total bliss!! I go there again. Or in business, I remember a big new business score, a standing ovation or a time a client raved about my work.
2) Find your passion. It creates momentum.
This means reminding yourself of your values. What do you love? I love to compete!! What do you really want? For me, in tennis, it’s adding another win to my scorecard.
3) Decide, commit and resolve. It creates momentum.
This means no waffling, no tentativeness and no doubts. When I’m on the court I recite positive mantras too, OK some are sprinkled with a little snarkiness too.
Go after everything.
Nadal, Federer, Post
Ms. Opponent, you think you like steak, try chewing on this tennis ball.
Finish the shot.
Yes, I can!!!
4) Take urgent, immediate, consistent and massive action. It creates momentum.
It means as Nike says: Just do it!! And I say: Do it now!!
A sense of urgency has to kick in. A “take no prisoners” mindset has to be center stage.
5) Be flexible and honest with yourself.
Ask yourself: Are the changes working? Do I need to modify some more? Maybe take on a new action?
Feel the emotion of your achievement, the big and small ones count. Remind yourself who led the movement, YOU! And remind yourself of the formula that was needed, so you can do it again.
In closing, the super cool thing about momentum is it’s a very present, powerful force, like a huge gust of wind. Your competitors will fear it, your team and peers will embrace it and it can serve as fuel in your tank for the next battle, on the courts, in the boardroom or in a life environment.
Go make some momentum!!
Jennifer Prosek, author of Army of Entrepreneurs, is the founder and CEO of CJP Communications where she leads many of the firm’s key accounts. Her offices are located in New York, Connecticut and London and with over 70 working professionals, the firm ranks among the top 35 independent public relations firms in the US.
You could definitely say that she knows how to run a business or, should I say, how to gather an army of entrepreneurs. Want to know the secret? It’s the ability to develop, motivate and deploy employees to be more entrepreneurial within their own positions. This strategy is the basis of her first book, Army of Entrepreneurs: Create an Engaged and Empowered Workforce for Exceptional Business Growth.
Prosek shares what she knows, how she runs her firm and focuses on teaching readers how to insure that every employee becomes a powerful force for growth within an organization. Prosek believes that if every employee is empowered to use all of his or her resources to help the company succeed, they will develop what she calls an “owner’s mindset”. Her game plan for building a workforce committed to creating new business, forming breakthrough products and services, and supporting growth has earned the organization “Small Agency of the Year” and was recognized as one of the “Top Places to Work in PR”!
Jennifer Prosek uses both theory and practical advice into an overall organizational approach and taps into the hidden entrepreneurial drive among employees and because of this, I highly recommend the innovative and organizational changing book Army of Entrepreneurs: Create an Engaged and Empowered Workforce for Exceptional Business Growth by Jennifer Prosek, to anyone serious about jolting awake their company through empowering their employees.
- To have a successful company, one must develop and motivate employees to be in charge of their own actions.
- Breakthrough products and services come from those who are empowered by their resources.
- When employees are passionate about their careers, goals, dreams and ideas, everyone in the company wins.
About the author: Lauren Angrick is Chief Problem Solver for Karen Post’s companies, Brain Tattoo Branding, Brain Tattoo Publishing and The Branding Diva® speaking programs. When not online, marketing and social media brand building she enjoys being in social gatherings and anything to do with the outdoors. Angrick is a University of Tampa graduate and serves is a member of the Board of Counselors.
Internet photo police are a real thing. I learned this lesson the expensive way last year. I received a formal letter from Getty Images citing that an image on my blog from 2007 was copyrighted and the image company had no record I paid for use of the photo. Apparently, big photo houses now have teams of professionals watching the web and also use special image tracking software to find illegal photo usage.
I immediately looked into their claim and found that the blog article and photo in question was posted by an intern who had worked for me. I was not aware that there was a violation as I trusted that the intern knew the rules of copyright protected images and usage.
The Getty representative explained that ultimately the company that is using the photo is responsible for fees on any copyrighted image. While the representative believed that I was not aware of the violation and that one of my employees posted the image, the fee of $800.00 was due regardless.
So I paid the bill and removed the image.
If you are using images in your blog, make sure they are copyright free or in fact you have paid the source to use them.
The Wall Street Journal ran a good story called “A Guide to Happy (and Legal) Tumblr-ing” about blogging, images and content usage. It’s worth reading as they share some excellent places to source all.
Here are two sources I use often.
iStock.com -Low cost, quality images (most images for low res and blog usage are under $10.00).
Picasa.com – Owned by Google offers many images for free usage in blogs (this is good source but takes more time to find good quality and free images).
Plus, don’t forget to tap your own creative work and shoot original photos when you can, there’s no cost, other than the camera. And if you shoot a killer image, just give yourself a bonus!
For more information on photo copyrights and to get free stock photography, view:
Stock.Xchge – Free stock photography
When I was a rookie headhunter in Tokyo I often made the mistake of limiting my questions to a candidate’s interest in changing jobs. What I failed to realize, however, was that these candidates, even if they weren’t interested in my opportunities, were invaluable storehouses of information, information that could help me find a candidate who was interested in changing their job. Eventually, I shifted my focus from determining a candidate’s interest, to downloading as much potentially valuable information from them as I could. When I realized how valuable the information was, “downloading people” became my number one priority.
When meeting a candidate, I’d usually spend the first ten minutes asking questions like:
- How many people are in your department? What are their names? (Find more potential candidates)
- Is everybody happy at work? (Is this company a good target? Are people willing to move?)
- I know you that aren’t interested in changing companies right now, but if you were interested in the future what kind of job will be ideal for you? (Make a note, and call the candidate if such a job pops up)
- I’m looking to know more people in your industry. Do you know anyone who is well connected and would be willing to meet with me for a cup of coffee? (Almost everybody knows a well connected person. A ten minute meeting with someone like that can be pure gold).
I could think of plenty more questions off the top of my head, but you get the idea.
Another example of how asking lots of questions helped me was the last time I went on the job hunt. I sent a job inquiry email to a web startup company that I guessed had little funding and probably wouldn’t hire anyone for a long time. I didn’t want to prejudge, so I asked if they had any open positions just to be sure.
It was a small company, so the president got back to me right away. He told me that there weren’t any positions and that they didn’t plan to hire in the near future. I thanked him for his time and asked if he knew anyone I could talk to who might be hiring, and he let me know of a networking event where startup entrepreneurs often met. That networking event turned out to be a very good place to find new job leads.
If I only asked if the company was hiring, I probably would have had a very short conversation. Instead, I asked as many questions as I could, and ended up with valuable information. I’m sure I could have found out about the networking event through Google, but it probably would have taken me a lot more time, and I wouldn’t have known if that event was worth going to or not.
It’s important not to get into the trap of focusing on narrow objectives. Doing so will blind you to all the great opportunities that you hadn’t thought of. Download as much as you can from everyone you meet and sort it all out later. When it comes to downloading people, it doesn’t matter if the person you talk to is a CEO or the intern who waters the office plants. Everyone has valuable information. All you have to do, is ask.
Kenji Crosland is a web entrepreneur who does SEO/Blog Outreach work for Teachstreet.com, a website that provides course listings on many subjects, including small business skills classes. In his free time he blogs about entrepreneurship and career development at Unready and Willing.
Karen recently wrote a post about 3 top –female, A-list bloggers who have earned a high-level of traffic and readership. Interestingly, the theme of “truth” is integral to each one of their blogs. I read a few entries by each author and the overarching take away message was that whether in your business or personal life, you need to be authentic. The articles made me think of a few business questions that you should ask yourself and answer truthfully. Really. No fibbing.
We all know the rule, “honesty is the best policy.” And, we’ve all probably fought the truth a time or two in our lives only to learn that the old cliché rings true. So don’t fight it. Here are four questions to ask yourself in business to set you free and help you avoid business mistakes and work-life misery.
1) Why am I doing this job?
Tell the truth. Is it to impress your friends? Are you living up to someone else’s expectations? Is it to use a degree you spent a lot of time and money earning? Is it for the salary? Is it for the hours? Does it allow you flexibility? Does the compensation allow you to enjoy a capital intensive hobby? Does it allow you to provide for a family? Is it a stepping stone to something better? The reason is not as important as you knowing the real answer. When you know why you are toiling away at your given job, you should be able to maintain a level of satisfaction in your work life. If after answering this question and finding that your reason leaves you wanting to break out of your cubicle and go out on your own, proceed to question two.
2) Why do I want to start my own business?
Is it because you simply hate your job? Is it because you don’t know what else to do? Those aren’t the right reasons. Ideally, you should be starting a business because it is solving a problem, improving some corner of the world, but in either case it should be self-sufficient (non-profit) or turning a profit. Otherwise, keep it as a hobby. The value proposition you put in your business plan should not differ from what is in your heart.
3) Am I tapping into my natural strengths to do my job?
Believe me, if you can tap into what comes naturally to you in your career, do it. You will still encounter challenges and you will have to put in effort to succeed, but it won’t feel like rolling a boulder uphill every day. Don’t fight nature. I tried to, and each time failed miserably. Here’s a case where I had to embrace reality and realize that I couldn’t be anything I wanted to. I have been obsessed with horses since the first time I laid my eyes on one. In fact, it has become part of my identity. On more than one occasion, I have been referred to as “that tall horse girl.” When I was six years old, I wanted to be a jockey. This dream began after watching the Black Stallion, reading International Velvet and watching Triple Crown Races. Unfortunately, I surpassed the height and weight requirements for the job by the fifth grade. Jockeys are typically 5’ to 5’7” and weigh in at 108 to 118 pounds. No amount of hard work or determination could make me that size. Did I give up on horses completely? No. I discovered show jumping. No height or weight restrictions and you get to go fast while clearing obstacles. In this case, the restrictions were physical, but the same thing can happen with other aptitudes. Do you struggle with math and hate rules? Finance and accounting probably aren’t good fits for you. Think about things that you enjoy doing. What aspects of your work do you enjoy? What things do you like to do outside of work? It is possible to focus on using these attributes in your career. If you’re not quite sure what your natural strengths are, you can tap into these resources.
Personal SWOT analysis
Or, check out this book,
Should you decide, you need to make some significant changes, maybe even a reinvention brand that is better aligned with your authentic you, Oddpodz Reinvention TA-DO list is a very concise action plan to get the process going
4) Why am I taking XYZ initiative?
You’ve seen that everyone and their grandmother is on Twitter, or that Old Spice had success with a viral YouTube video campaign. You decide to dedicate your efforts to a multi-faceted social media strategy. Stop. Why are you doing this? Will you really reach customers with this? Will you be building your online brand presence? Will you be able to measure and track your results to obtain some sort of ROI? Or, are you taking these actions because they worked for so and so? While it is good to keep abreast of the latest marketing tools, make sure that you spend your time and money on the ones that will produce results for you based on your business and its goals.
Can you think of any other questions that are important to answer? Please share.
Check what “Women on the Web” did. This a sassy web site for women started an innovative mid-career internship program. High-level former executives, — including publishers, editors and VP’s drawn from the shrinking print media companies — are retraining in on-line skills at wowOwow.com. Joni Evans, WOW’s CEO explains, “These are people with wisdom and worth. In our program we draw on their skill set for WOW while teaching them new skills, reequipping them for the new economy. It’s a win-win situation.”
Lois Dreagin, a 55-year-old former senior editor at TV Guide is one of these mid-career interns. In her old job she did not need to know a URL from an SEO, facebook from twitter, or a Google trend from search engine optimization. Now at WOW she’s paired with a 24 year old WOW staffer, Randi Benfield, who’s teaching her how to write tag lines for Google and URLs in return. Lois supports Randi with expert literary instincts and flawless copy-editing skills.
WOW editor in chief, Deborah Barrow, who conceived the program, says that she thinks, “This could only happen at a company like WOW. This website is run and owned by women. The idea of women helping women, empowering each other, participating in a caring community, is so different than the way male dominated workplaces have functioned.” Deborah believes that other companies should imitate her concept of women helping women as a means of survival in the new economy.
wowOwow.com, was founded just over a year ago by former Simon + Schuster publisher Joni Evans, author Peggy Noonan, columnist Liz Smith, ‘60 minutes’ correspondent Lesley Stahl, and advertising guru Mary Wells. Contributors Candice Bergen, Joan Juliet Buck, Joan Ganz Cooney, Whoopi Goldberg, Judith Martin, Cynthia McFadden, Sheila Nivens, Marlo Thomas, Lily Tomlin, and Jane Wagner join them on line. These iconic women are making history with the first-ever website aimed at educated affluent experienced Women.
I am pleased to post my first blog about an exciting new project for Oddpodz. As the newest member of the marketing team, I accompanied Karen Post (Oddpodz co-founder) on a field trip to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Oddpodz has been chosen to receive a branding/marketing jolt from the students of SCAD.
This means the brilliant minds of the Branding Solutions class, directed by branding guru professor Steven Hall, have joined our team.
SCAD is an internationally-renowned art and design school with campuses here in Savannah, in Atlanta, Georgia; and Lacoste, France. We are fortunate to have the creative wealth of these students-who come from around the country and as far away as Barbados-in our own back yard.
Professor Hall is a graphic designer, advertising art director, writer, creative director and instructor with 25 years of experience. Prior to joining SCAD, he worked as a vice president and creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising. His campaigns for professional film, agricultural chemicals and network infrastructure on behalf of Kodak, DuPont and Alcatel earned numerous national awards. In addition to teaching, he serves as Chair of the Advertising Design Department.
Sitting in the classroom, and listening to the questions and thoughts about our current site, I couldn’t help but enjoy a great sense of anticipation to see what the group will come up with to support our growth.