Posts Tagged ‘professional growth’

Part 2: The Currency Required to Create A Business That Thrives

September 10, 2010

To Read Part 1 go to the Blog Post: http://bit.ly/a1qSDV

When was the last time you told a colleague or competitor about a plum resource?
When have you passed an opportunity along to someone who would be a better fit for it? Have you lent a hand to another manager who was having difficulties in getting work accomplished for no other reason than to be helpful?

These are little everyday ways you can be a go-giver rather than merely a go-getter.

In business, there are people who understand the concept of giving at a much higher level. They leverage their leadership to create opportunities for others on a community and/or global scale. These people understand that what they have—whether power, influence, or resources—are here to be used for the betterment of others. Bill and Melinda Gates, who together established the Gates Foundation, are wonderful examples of the giving principle intertwined with the leadership responsibilities that have already been outlined. The fifteen guiding principles for the foundation clearly show they understand the basic operational outline of being a go-giver instead of a go-getter: Use your resources to be of assistance to others. Operate with respect, integrity, and accountability. Partner with and collaborate with others who advocate for change.

While it may not be within your realm of influence to give to others on a global scale in the way the Gates and others can, you can give where you are—in your workplace and community. Giving is energetic currency, which has a greater value than any dollar amount. This is your most powerful currency.

Where and how are you giving to others today? Beyond money…..

We’d love to hear your comments, experiences and inspirations!

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Part 1: The Currency Required to Create A Business That Thrives

September 8, 2010

September 8th, 2010

Most people believe giving is only measured in terms of money, but there are no-cost ways to give through expressing and demonstrating your internal abundance. This is your real currency and which you use to leverage your gains, success and forward motion by helping others along the way. All of which creates businesses that thrive, expand and become a plus to the communities around them. Your positive thoughts, deeds, service, encouragement, resources, opportunities, and kind words all have value to the recipient.

Giving makes you feel part of something bigger. You might not feel that way initially, because the ego self will protest that you don’t have enough to spare, and that you’ll suffer if you give away too much. But generosity is an intrinsic part of who you are. By reactivating this part of yourself, you awaken to your higher self and curb the tendencies of your ego self. The real currency is in discovering “How can I give today?” rather than “What can I get today?” This isn’t difficult but it will take concentration and commitment to thing this way.

• It is part of your divine biological programming to want to help another person without having a hidden motive to get the better end of the deal.
• Share information about a resource with a colleague or friend to help her complete a project.
• Lend a hand to anyone who needs it, even if it means getting your hands dirty.
• Listen to others without interrupting, offering advice, or judging the situation.
• Nurture and empower others by reminding them of their resources and strength.

All of these behaviors will strengthen your organization and boost morale, even as they inspire others to operate from the higher self as well.
On the most basic level, offer a smile to a stranger on the street. Say “good morning” to a few of the other caffeine-needy folks in line at Starbucks. Give a seat to a mother struggling to juggle her children on a bus. These things cost absolutely nothing but have such enormous value.

Part 2 will be aired on the Change Agent Blog on Sept 10th

Stop Focusing on What You Don’t Have!

September 2, 2010

We have enormous amounts of money, resources, and power within our businesses.
Most of us are far wealthier in terms of material goods than many in the world. Although we rarely acknowledge and appreciate what we do have.

How quick are we to tell ourselves a story of all that we lack?
How many of us feel we have nothing to share, but in fact who we are and what means we do have is so abundant?

In trying times, we tend to hyper focus on the exterior situation rather than the interior climate. As you continue to shift your consciousness, choosing to alter your beliefs so they are in sync with the core values of your higher self, your interior climate will change. It has no choice but to follow.

Remember, the starting point for healing all relationships: business and professional starts with YOU. You’re the common denominator after all : D

How Serious Are You About Success?

March 22, 2010

This week I was at a local networking meeting for Executives and Entrepreneurs here in NYC. It was a great group of women who I truly admire and respect for all that they want to achieve in this world.  They shared personal goals and dreams for success and abundance.  For sure, they were all compelled to improve their lives.  But I also noticed that the capacity of their business and professional affiliation had several things in common.  They want to change the world.  They want to empower others and really truly walk into those powerful leadership shoes they have been given.

Just this morning I was speaking to a woman who has been relocated to Manila.  I said to her “there is no mistake that you are there now, no matter what the circumstance, you have been put in this position to make a difference to others around you.” She got emotional and realized that in fact this is true.

The point is this;
No matter where you are, you ARE here to make a difference.
Who you are being makes a difference.
And we are moving into a time where leaders are being asked to move with compassion for others like no other time before.

So what’s the problem?
Most are afraid to own their own personal power.

If so you are part of the [Change Agent] community already I’d like to ask you to help us update our database and RESUBSCRIBE to the weekly ezine by clicking here:  www.TinyUrl.com/OptMeIn

The [Change Agent] ezine is completely fr**e and is for people who are serious about making a difference in the world by re-gearing themselves, their mindsets and behaviors for success. You will receive tools, tips and resources that will help you to;

Navigate challenges in building or engaging in business at any level you’re at currently
Repositioning your own leadership with practical skills that inspires others to follow you loyally
Overcome your own fears and shortcomings yet move past them to do what needs to be done
Open you up to understanding that YOU MUST BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THIS WORLD
Move past your insecurities and trepidations to being that Change Agent (that means doing things differently!)
Embrace your own innovation and creativity that revolutionizes ANY business and boost profitability

So I am inviting you to reaffirm your commitment to YOURSELF, YOUR WORK and YOUR PURPOSE here by re-opting back into this newsletter.  It’s quick, easy and simple.  CLICK ON THE LINK: www.TinyUrl.com/OptMeIn to confirm your fr**e subscription.  You’ve got until April 7th to make this choice.  I look forward to serving you in the months and years to come.

YOU TRULY ARE the inspiration, intelligence and power that the world needs today!

How the 5-Cent Candy Bar Revolutionized an Industry: The Story of Milton Hershey

March 11, 2010

Chocolate is probably one of my favorite things in the world.  Often times I would say that there really are only 4 basic food groups: bread, butter, cheese and well, you guessed it, CHOCOLATE! I know you’re laughing but it’s true!

What can we learn about life, business and risk-taking from chocolate? A LOT.  Since chocolate is a great love of mine, I thought I’d share a tremendously inspirational story about how the 5-Cent Candy bar revolutionized an industry and created completely new avenues of success and enjoyment for many.  It’s stood the test of time and is a stellar example of the constant need for businesses to “change, adapt and grow”.  Not to mention they have made many millions over.  I’m using Hershey’s as a study because their business has spanned more than a 100 years.  Which means they have to be doing something right!

What few people know is that in 1897, Milton Hershey was a caramel maker. At that time he went to an industrial fair where he viewed some very expensive chocolate making machinery.  Back in those days, chocolate was reserved for the elite, being considered a luxury item.

However Hershey has a different thought on the matter.  What if he could bring this luxury item to the main stream?  What if he could create and market a 5 cent candy bar? Would people buy it?

He promptly sold his caramel factory for $1 million in 1900. A kingly sum in those days!  He spends several years to develop just the right formula and the 5 Cent Candy bar was born.  That little piece of heaven endured the depression.   It was a piece of comfort that was sent to soldiers during the war.  And then it morphed into many other things:  Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (my personal favorite), Mr. Goodbar, Whoppers, York Peppermint Patties and the beloved Hershey’s Kiss.  Who doesn’t love a Hershey’s Kiss!?  Doesn’t just the thought of it make you smile!?

So that’s part one of this story.  Taking something seemingly luxurious to the masses was very creative and kind of sexy.  After all, everyone wants something luxurious.  Diversification and expansion can happen within a specific product category. You just have to think about it differently; as Hershey did.  This one single idea birthed an entirely new business in this country and later spurred off to create a new company in the UK called “Cadbury” and “Mars” here in the US.  More followed suit as you can clearly see.

Now here comes something really interesting that happened along the way.  In 1985 an up and coming film Director approaches the Mars Company, who is the maker of M&M’s, and asks if they could use their product in his film.  The Mars Company declines.  That Director then goes to Hershey’s and asks them if they can use their similar, yet different product, Reese’s Pieces, as a product placement.  Hershey’s agrees.

What happened next?

Reeses Pieces becomes the food of choice for the alien in Steven Spielberg’s mega hit movie ET. As for Hershey’s, that product placement boosted sales by 65%. SIXTY FIVE PERCENT people!  I’ll say it one more time – SIXTY FIVE PERCENT.  The birth of product placements as a viable marketing tool was born and spurred a whole new stream of income for movie makers, TV shows and other forms of entertainment beyond the maker of the featured product.

The point is this:  stepping outside the box works!

  • Taking a calculated risk is necessary in achieving success – both internally and externally.
  • Looking at opportunities that may be a little off the wall just may bring a tsunami of profits
  • Never underestimate peoples desire to connect with a product or service that brings JOY, SMILES & HAPPINESS or makes them feel a little more elite and pampered!
  • Trust your instincts when an idea pops up!

My parting questions to you are:

  • What opportunities are you over looking to shift your products and services?
  • Why are you over looking them?
  • Wouldn’t you like a 65% jump in YOUR profits?
  • And finally……what’s it gonna take for you to get out of your way? Success is really only one left turn away!

Now, I’m off to eat some chocolate!
No, I don’t share! : D

Monthly Journal Notes: Are You Feeling the Void?

February 24, 2010

Here we go!

It’s time to wrap up the month of February with my personal journal notes for the month! Thank you everyone for your feedback and telling me that you enjoy these little missives that I share with you.

It’s Chinese New Year! Where you aware that it began auspiciously on Feb 14th?  My many years of working in Asia has made this part of my own celebratory calendar each year.  I absolutely love it! Why? Because it is a beautiful ritual; it calls for each person to review past behaviors and decide what’s really important.

Ok it’s also a time when I allow myself to enjoy the awesome food of the holiday too!  If you don’t know this about me yet, I’m a total foodie! : D (Dim sum anyone!?!?!)

I share the importance of Chinese New Year with you because I see that so many people are actually doing this; mostly unconsciously.  What is it that they value? What is important to them? And they are actually realizing their own importance. It’s all an extension of what’s truly valuable in each of our lives and within our self.

The visual I get is that I am standing in a doorway.
Behind me, is the old me. The person who has experienced great highs and great lows in her life.  It’s the Maria who has spent so much time carrying unnecessary baggage and fighting battles that never really existed except in my own mind.  I call those my “Don Quixote” moments – battling imaginary windmills! LOL

In front of me, through the doorway, is a giant void.
Darkness and black.
Nothingness that sometimes is frightening for a few seconds.
Other times it feels peaceful.
Then in those special moments there is a wave of exhilaration.

I’ve spent the past few weeks looking back over my shoulder and realizing that I am no longer that person.  Then looking forward and wondering what’s actually in that field of possibilities.

So many clients, friends and colleagues have shared this very similar feeling and experience recently.  They are dropping things that no longer serve them and recreating the boundaries of their personal and professional lives.  They have expressed that while the void seems, well, void.  There is an excitement for what’s to come.

Are you there too?

We are all experiencing a rapid transition from old paradigms to a new beginning.  We are about to enter what I have come to realize is the “Spring” within the Cycle of Change. Where new ideas, new passions, beliefs and ideals begin to emerge.  Also new, wonderful ideas begin to sprout from the fertile soil of our minds.

That void may feel uncertain and strange. But it’s all part of the process of learning to trust what is within rather than looking outside our self for security. For me, taking a walk on the snow-covered beach recently helped me tremendously to remember this.  It reminded me that in all of this rapid transition, there is peace, if I choose to embrace it.

What are you choosing?

All That Glitters is Not Gold: Bright Shiny Object Syndrome

January 21, 2010

Have you ever felt like there was a landslide of opportunities that all of a sudden appeared?  You look left and you can choose to take the opportunities on that pathway.  Then you look right and there are other choices.  But in front of you, just in front of your nose, there is a basket full of other opportunities.  They all look exciting – each is a beautiful shiny gem.  Each gleam with possibility!  You are blinded for a moment in sheer amazement at what’s before you.

This can be especially powerful if you have just come out of a dry spell when nothing in your world seemed to be moving.  We’ve all experienced being in what I like to call the “incubation” period where you are regrouping and reconsidering much of your business and personal life.  This is the precursor to having a major shift.  It’s the time when you are making decision about what you really want and desire.

During a session with a client recently, she was saying things such as:

“This door has opened for me….
That person called me to be on a TV show….
I have an editor banging on my door….
There is an opportunity for a new product off shoot and packaging idea….
But I also have this chance to collaborate with another professional woman to launch another arm of my business…..
I was thinking I could do…..and maybe I could also start…”

After a deep breathe, we both laughed.

“Wow” I said, “you’re going to be really busy again. “Again” being the operative word, as her previous pace nearly put her in an early grave at 38 years old.

Is this what you want?”  There was a long pause.
“No, I want my life.  But I also want professional success. I love my work! How do I balance this?  How do I choose when I want to do all of them?”

The most important thing to know is that there are always a lot of opportunities in front of you.  It’s just a matter of being open to seeing them.  There is never a shortage.

There may be times the PAUSE button may be on while you regroup and rest.  As a culture we underestimate the importance of this period. So you will never miss out on anything – really truly, you can’t miss out! The opportunity may reappear in a different form later down the line. It’s all about being courageous enough to take it when it arrives.  So stop rushing around like a chicken with your head cut off.  That’s just a scarcity mindset rearing its ugly head.

However, what’s important is that you’re ruthless about how you decide to spend your time.  Be sure what you choose to do is in alignment with your goals – short term and long term.  But prioritize!

While some projects may seem fun or interesting if they are not in alignment with your end goal you might want to pass on them and focus on what will get you where you want to go.  The only exception to this is if your gut is telling you it’s something you really need to take a look at.  You never know what can come of it.

Keep dreaming but stay focused on your goals otherwise you’re liable to get distracted by all those bright shiny objects around you!

What’s Real? A Nor’easter of Perception & Meaning

December 1, 2009

A long time mentor once gave me a piece of priceless wisdom, which I will never forget.  “A persons perception is powerful.  It is the set of glasses with which they view the world through.  It doesn’t matter what you say or mean to say, they can only interpret it based on those glasses.” The glasses he’s talking about are core beliefs.

How many times has conflict amongst co-workers, collaborative partners or spouses all erupted because of a misunderstanding of what was said, meant, implied or otherwise communicated to another person? How many times have you witnessed an argument yet could see so clearly that the way it “landed” for one party was not at all the intention of the other party.  But in that moment those 2 players could not see or hear that?

It happens so often and is the cause of so much pain and anxiety in our world. We all carry a set of beliefs that become the “glasses” with which we give all meaning.  If you believe that you are a victim then no matter what constructive criticism or guidance is offered there is a knee jerk reaction to blame others for whatever is going on.  If you believe that people are inherently dishonest then most of your dealings in life will be perceived as suspicious or not to be trusted.  Why? Because we assigned a meaning to an event long ago that now has set up those beliefs.

Any situation is merely an orchestration of exchanges.  However they have no meaning, none what so ever until we assign the meaning. I used to have a mentor that would ask me “Why are you getting so upset? Those events have no meaning” and I just wanted to throttle him! (Hey, transparency here!)  It would make me even more upset at what was going on.  But then I really got clear on this point.  The best way to explain this is to give you a simple example.

When I was 16 years old I finally earned my drivers license. I was thrilled beyond belief to have this newfound freedom.  I felt like a grown up and took my responsibility with having the use of the family car – a chocolate brown Thunderbird – very seriously.  My parents imparted the importance of being responsible to us constantly.

One snowy winters day I was allowed to drive the Thunderbird to school.  It wasn’t snowing much in the morning but by lunchtime a nor’easter rolled in and school was let out early.  I stood in the High School parking lot looking at the car and looking at the buses.  I had to make a decision: drive home in the snow or take the bus home.  Thinking that I would be deemed irresponsible if I left the car, I opted to drive home.  Up and down the hilly slopes I drove slowly and cautiously.  Then it happened, I went into a full slide, eased off the breaks and did my best to maneuver the car.  Instead, I ended up crashing into the guardrail right in front of the State Troopers barracks.

My mother picked me up and did her best to comfort.  When we got home my extremely irate father greeted me.  I had completely totaled the front end of the car.  Our bad ass T-bird was cooked.  I started to cry and felt awful.  I immediately turned to my mother and said; “Does he care that I’m not hurt? Doesn’t he care that I’m not dead?!”  I interpreted his actions, his words to mean that he didn’t care about anything, especially me, except the car. In truth, what I had interpreted was really not the truth.  I assigned the meaning to his words and actions.

What would be another acceptable interpretation of this situation or his actions and words?  There are many.

  • “He was so scared that I could have been killed that he couldn’t express that fear in the moment.  He deflected his fear by focusing on the car.”
  • “He was worried about his family as a whole and was struggling with how we would get around without this car and how he could finance another one.”
  • “He did the physical inventory the minute he saw me: 2 arms, 2 legs, no blood, nothing broken.  He knew I was ok.”

We never know what a person is really thinking or what they truly mean. It’s all about how we interpret and assign meaning to any given situation.  Did my father really not care if I was ok?  I highly doubt it.  But in that moment, in my young mind I had assigned that meaning to the experience as well as not feeling loved or responsible.

You know what?  None of that is real unless one makes it real in their mind.  There are many ways any situation can be given meaning.  The challenge is not to.  Not to make something it’s not.  Not to fuel something that doesn’t really exist.  To avoid conflict and misunderstanding by practicing this art form daily.

I offer you this now so that you can reflect on this principle as we close 2009.

  • Where are you giving meaning that causes you conflict and pain in your life?
  • What is causing you to hold grievances against another person?
  • How have these meanings that created a story you keep playing in your mind stopped you short of your dreams?

Let it go.  You’ll be happier for it.

When you realize that you are the author of the pain in your life you will stop.  The greatest compassion you can show is to release yourself from the illusions you’ve created and live a more constructive life without them.

When Gurus Become Gods

November 12, 2009

Yesterday I was pretty restless so I spent several hours in the middle of the day perusing the social media world, updating my tweets and being part of the discussions that were going on.  Personally I love this aspect of social media because it helps me to see what’s really top of mind at the moment. “Great market research” as a dear friend of mine always reminds me.

I’ve noticed is that there are a lot of blog posts and articles being written about teachers, leaders and other note worthy gurus.  I guess that’s fair enough.  When you become more public and are in a position of power you ultimately open yourself up to criticism, comment and others opinions.  After all we are in a country that protects 1st amendment rights.  Free speech and all that.

What I’m seeing are a lot of people “naming names” and criticizing these people openly. They have paid fees to work with some of them.  Others have attended their educational live events or participated in some other program of one sort or another.  So there is  the element of free-will and participation in the exchange.  Actually giving permission to the teacher or leader to impart their particular form of wisdom to the attendee.  Rather than expressing any level of gratitude or appreciation I have witness some pretty severe and sometimes outlandish slamming .

Listen, I’ve paid for these types of services too and found myself less than satisfied but you know what? I made the choice to participate by handing over my credit card.  So it’s my choice. My free will. My money.  Sometimes I wish I hadn’t.  But who is to blame?  No one but me.  It was a choice that I made.

Often times we make these Gurus into Gods.  Hanging on every word. Wishing for them to impart the perfect solution to whatever is going on.  Is that realistic? I think not.  So I offer these 7 things to keep in mind about any guru, teach, mentor, coach or leader in your life.

1. When a person stands in front of you and professes their truth it is their truth. Their wisdom.  From their point of view and life experience.  It does not mean that it is “the truth” or “the only truth” that exists.

2.   Everyone is entitled to an opinion. When an opinion become a need to “be right” and to make others “wrong” that’s a competitive signal. Meaning “I’m better than her/him”.

3.   Take what you need from this person and forget the rest. Not everything they say and do will resonate with you.  Nor should it.  You’re your own person.  It’s like saying everyone likes vanilla ice cream.  (I personally prefer gelato not ice cream and the flavor of choice is nocciola)

4.   No one Guru has the end all be all answer to your problem.

5.   They WILL say something you don’t like or want to hear. It’s inevitable. Sometimes that’s actually why they are in your life.

6.   They cannot always control their guests, staff statements or opinions. People are people and are unpredictable at times.

7.   Any and every teacher makes mistakes or missteps.  Usually at one point or another they may make a correction or amend a previous error.  They are human and should be permitted for possessing a less-than-perfect character.

Ultimately it is up to you to make decisions for yourself. It is about taking personal responsibility for your actions and outcomes. You are not a victim unless you choose to be.

When you make a Guru a God, that means to ask them to perfect, to have every solution to every problem you’ve given away your personal power and choice.

If you are not in alignment with any Guru, teacher, mentor, coach or leader in your life then move on.

If you do not resonate with what they teach, move on.

And most of all, if you really find what they offer so outlandish then stop supporting them with your attendance and credit card swipes.

“The $10 Million Dollar Question”

November 7, 2009

Recently I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine and she asked me “If someone rang your doorbell and gave you a $10 million dollar check what would you do with it?”  Initially I would have exclaimed “buy a new pair of shoes and a sassy new purse!”  But, instead I paused and thought long and hard about this.  I mean, I really really thought about what I would do with that money.

I began to wonder what other people would do with it too.
 
I realize this isn’t the normal article I’d write.  But I think it’s worth exploring and sharing what happened when I posted the question on my Facebook account and in several of my Linked In groups.  In the recently economic chaos our values have changed.  The responses I received were all overwhelmingly glaring in pattern.
 
 
The number one thing people wanted was security.  After all, who can blame them!  It’s been a rollercoaster ride for the past 2 years, hasn’t it?  But what’s different here is that the context of security has shifted and gone beyond what’s right in front of them.  They expressed not just wanting security for themselves and their families but also for other people close to them; friends, co-workers and neighbors.
 
The second most common response was that they wanted to create a foundation, charity or some other type of support and help to the greater community.  Everything from agricultural, educational, health and wellness projects listed.  Some with very specific heartstrings attached to them as a personal way of resolving a challenge they’ve faced and would like to ease the process for those who are to come after them.
Both answers were extremely touching to me.  Why?
 
It shows that the consciousness around us is shifting and moving from a self-absorbed narcissistic focus of “me and me alone” to a “we” mentality.  It’s subtle, that’s for sure.  But when a society begins to change it’s focus, to realize that we all must help one another on a very basic primal level of survival can the behaviors of business and commerce in general be far behind?
 
Probably not.
 
When any group shifts it’s consciousness everything around it must follow.  Including how entrepreneurs and business executives operate.  Now it’s time to learn some new tools and skills to meet that expectation!  Move from breakdown to breakthrough by embracing these new values and incorporate them into everything you do.
A new breed of leadership must emerge that’s for sure.
 
 
© 2009 NMS Communications, LLC All Rights Reserve