Nuggets of advice and words of affirmation often come to us from a variety of sources.
For example, my dad offers an endless stream of counsel – one I’m grateful for, though did not always follow when I was younger. (And he will readily admit I’m still not all that attentive.)
Or, once, sitting in a supermarket café, a woman approached me and started chatting. She began retelling a twisted, complex dream, and though attentive, I honestly just thought to myself, “What on earth?!” At one point, she stopped cold and asked, “Are you following me?” to which I responded, “yes.” “Girl, you’re smart,” she said, “whatever your dreams are, aim higher.” Whether she was a woman a bit off her rocker, or was truly genuine, it’s one of those moments that has remained lodged in my memory and has helped push me. It’s the random and unexpected that often stick with us the most.
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Recently, a friend called me out of the blue asking for help with a recent challenge within her business. I juggled a few meetings, we scheduled a block of time to speak ,and talked through a few possible solutions for resolution.
She updated me a few days ago to share that she had finalized all of her work with the client and received payment. She was happy to be moving on; I was excited for her and wished her well until we had a moment to work together again.
What’s interesting about this story was the valued relationship that we had developed over the years. I hadn’t heard from this friend in over six months – but as soon as she called, I was more than happy to jump in and spend the same amount of time that I would normally reserve only for clients or business partners. On several occasions, she has been willing to do the same for me – and more than happy to roll out the red carpet treatment for introductions or problem solving.
Why? Continue Reading »
‘The horizon can be full or empty, and sometimes it is due to the slightest difference in perspective.”
Kirsten Bailey provides this subtitle to the image shown here, created by the Icelandic artist Sigurdur Gudmundsson and entitled ‘Horizontal Thoughts.’ Gudmundsson’s vision represents much of what we experience day in and day out and artistically captures the importance of perspective.
This past weekend I had the good fortune to venture outside my usual residence in NYC. I spent the better part of my Friday through Sunday in retreat with other young adults grappling with life’s boulder-weight questions and reflecting on where exactly our lives are headed. It was an enriching period of self-reflection and community. I walked away with several key insights, though one particular phrase strongly resonated with me and is slowly changing my view of the world. It was the simple alteration of two words.
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Sitting at dinner, wine glasses in hand, I tried to butt in, “Well, really, I think…” “What about this…” and finally “what if I told you your hair is on fire!” but lo and behold, the tall, dark handsome gentleman sitting in front of me would have none of it. I was excited for this evening’s date, albeit a product of an internet dating site, though we seemed to share common interests. However, after 30 minutes of constant streaming, I was wishing I had a back-up plan with to interrupt this lovefest.
I seemed to be encountering this situation over and over again, where I was barely able to get a word in edge-wise, let alone know my own voice was being heard. Whether it was dating, personal or work, individuals who just wanted to hear themselves speak were cropping up everywhere. It brought me back to a boss I had years ago who only knew how to dominate a conversation.
My colleagues and I did not trust this man, at all. Listening is one of those invaluable skills, which builds trust in a relationship and offers fertile ground for strong bonds to grow. For us, trust was nonexistent. Continue Reading »
Many entrepreneurs use a Board of Advisors when starting a new project or venture. It can be helpful to have a group of people who can share insight or feedback for the idea and provide a sounding board for the entrepreneur.
But it’s hard to know who to approach when you are first starting. And you may not have the “people capital” established yet to know how to ask a group of talented entrepreneurs, bankers, accountants, lawyers and other small business experts to support you with your business. (Plus it takes time to coordinate schedules and plan the agenda!)
So I’ll recommend using an accountability partner as you start your business. Continue Reading »
I started using a new strategy this year for my business – Focus on Three.
Yes, that’s correct. I’m setting three goals. Three big goals for the year where I can review at the end of the year the impact that they made on my business. Three focused one liners that are already starting to make a difference how I spend my free time, my resources and where I focus my energy.
Why? Because there is so much a great information out there and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. I sat on Twitter the other night and just counted how fast the info came in on my news feed. And that’s not counting my RSS feeds, Facebook and email. Everyone has great info and great ideas.
But the problem is how to use the ones that work – and spend less time debating about the ones I “should” try. Continue Reading »
At 17 years old, I sat in front of my guidance counselor’s computer screen.
I am not one of the lucky ones who knew what they wanted to do with their life by the tender age of 3. Instead, I was told to come down during study hall and a test would spit out all answers to the mysteries of life. I hit the final ‘Submit’ button and a long list of carefully calibrated vocations appeared. With excitement and a sense of anticipation, my eyes began reading. ‘Sanitation Director’ ‘Elevator Man/Woman’ ‘Dog Walker’ ‘Funeral Director’…my excitement and enthusiasm for this activity was quickly waning. ‘Fisherman’ ‘Lightening Rod Installer’ ‘African Art Model.’
I breathed a deep sigh and let my shoulders fall. (I later learned nearly all my classmates had also been dubbed ‘Funeral Directors’ – we all wondered how much the funeral homes had paid off the software company to include this in our results.) While all the occupations listed are tried and true, and certainly respectable and needed vocations, none seemed to align all that well with what I considered to be my natural abilities or interests. Hopes of answering the almighty question ‘What do you want to do with your life?’ quickly faded. Continue Reading »
If you’ve ever attended a networking event, you’ve probably been asked this question “So tell me what do you do?” Seemingly simple, this question strikes fear in the heart of many – how do you answer in a memorable way ? In other words, will they REALLY remember at the end of the evening when they are staring at a stack of new business cards? Or does your card get tossed because they don’t remember what made your business valuable to them?
If you are an employee, you can share your company, title or industry. Whatever you think someone will find memorable or impressive. And it’s no sweat if it isn’t – unless you are a sales person. Continue Reading »
One of the outstanding benefits of being a part of the Careerpreneur Team (in addition to surrounding myself with some amazing individuals) is our monthly team coaching call. On a recent chat, health and wellness expert Andy Bellatti filled us in on his healthy lifestyle habits and mentioned that every 8 to 9 weeks he takes a week off from working out.
The benefits of working out were instilled in me at an early age. Physical exercise strengthens your body, keeps your heart strong, and provides a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence, so, I was surprised when Andy mentioned the weeklong hiatus. Why would you take a break when something is good for you?
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Reminiscent of moths to a flame, men cannot help but linger when she walks in the room. Her charisma and body language scream confidence, an almost untouchable presence, which cannot be disturbed. ‘She’ is a good friend of mine, a skillful artist at exhibiting both the art and science of flirtation.
In awe of her ability to engage the opposite sex, we’ve grilled her on occasion for her secret methods, yearning to know her magic formula. Much to our delight and displeasure, her response did not include a subtle but elegant pick-up phrase, a particular elixir or a trademark ‘come hither’ glance. No. In response she simply replied, “I simply act confident. I act like I have all the confidence in the world.”
Baffled, we inquired further. Surely there was some method to her madness aside from an act of confidence. Initiating conversation with the opposite sex, not to mention keeping them engaged for more than 60 seconds is no small feat. However perhaps the coined phrase, ‘fake it till you make it,’ has some depth, after all.
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