In 2008, like millions of other people, two of my dear friends, whom we’ll call Tracey and Mitch, were unemployed. Two years ago, they each took jobs that at the time seemed “off-course” – that seemed like the proverbial “two steps back.” Tracey stayed within her area of discipline, but changed industries. The result: a relocation and $100,000 drop in salary. Mitch stayed within his industry, but changed his area of focus. The result: he could now work from home, but he gave up a six-figure salary.
Tracey and Mitch took their respective jobs, in 2009, because they needed a job. I don’t believe they viewed the job they assumed back then – at the height of our economic crisis – as their “dream” job. Nonetheless, they stepped into their new jobs and did what they are known to do: They, as usual, worked hard; they were politically strategic; they were focused, disciplined, and determined; they managed using the 360 degree paradigm. These plus a plethora of other factors, like being humble, committed, and flexible, having the “right” ambassadors, and keeping their eye on the prize, to name a few, led to the wonderful news they shared with me last week. Continue Reading »
As an entrepreneur, you have no doubt already realized that this dream can be challenging to turn into a reality! This is NOT to say it cannot be done, but definitely not when you are just starting out or even three to five years in, especially if your business is really YOU.
There are plenty of entrepreneurs like me, who are the product and service. It is often difficult to figure out where and when to outsource or bring in additional staff to do some of the work your business and reputation is based on. Continue Reading »
Whenever I provide directions, you’ll typically hear, “Go to the streetlight and take a left, then turn right at the corner. At the next stop sign, turn right. I’ll be waiting there.” Using words such as ‘right, left, in front and behind’ are common practice in most languages – it’s natural for us. However, this is not the norm in all languages. Anthropologist John Haviland and the linguist Stephen Levin have shown that the Australian aboriginal dialect Guugu Yimithirr doesn’t use directions such as ‘left, right, in front of and behind.’ These words are typically referred to as ‘egocentric coordinates,’ as they are dependent on the location of the individual. However, those who speak Guugu Yimithirr use geographic coordinates, such as north, south, east and west. If I were to provide directions in this dialect, I would tell my colleague, “Go to the streetlight and turn east, then turn north at the corner. At the next stop sign, turn east. I’ll be waiting there.”
While for the majority of world languages, our own bodies are the focal point when conveying direction, in geographic coordinate cultures, their route relies on fixed global geographic directions along an x and y-axis. For example, if you observed a dance class, instead of hearing the teacher say, “take two steps right” you’d hear “take two steps west,” and “bend backwards” would be “bend towards the south.” Continue Reading »
Recently, I boarded a cross-country flight with the intent of spending my six hours, sleeping, reading, and writing. Having a lengthy chat with my aisle mate was not part of my agenda. But within ten minutes of boarding the flight and getting settled, I happily let go of my “flight” plan.
As serendipity would have it, I was seated next to a young woman who is the inspiration for this post. A young woman who has spent years planning what is now her dream come true: She was beginning her trip around the world! Continue Reading »
a Shelley West creation
No matter what career you choose to be in there is always something new to learn. To stay competitive you need to stay on top of trends or new advances in your industry. Or you may simply need to learn new software to make your work life easier.
There are many ways to acquire new skills -
- Read a book
- Take a course at a local university
- Attend a webinar
- Subscribe to a podcast
However many universities are offering free online access to their courses:
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (mit.edu)
- Open University (open.ac.uk)
- Carnegie Mellon University (cmu.edu)
- Tufts University (tufts.edu)
- Stanford (stanford.edu)
- University of California, Berkeley (berkeley.edu)
- Utah State University (usu.edu)
- Kutztown University of Pennsylvania (kutztownsbdc.org)
- University of Southern Queensland (usq.edu.au)
- University of California, Irvine (uci.edu)
Other places to pick up a few new skills though not all for free are:
- Lynda.com where you can learn digital photography, web design and development, motion graphics or other software skills
- O’Reilly School of Technology for more hard core technology skills and certifications.
Since I didn’t list all the universities that have content online a good place to look for free lectures, videos, films, and other resources — from all over the world is iTunes U.
What is iTunes U?
iTunes U brings the power of the iTunes Store to education, making it simple to distribute information to your students and faculty — or to lifelong learners all over the world. With an iTunes U site, your institution has a single home for all the digital content created or curated by educators, which can then be easily downloaded and viewed on any Mac, PC, iPod, or iPhone.
Top 10 Categories on iTunes U
Right now I’m listening to the Cognitive Psychology lectures from Open University via iTunes U. So what do you plan on learning this year?
Is Being Busy All The Time Good For You?
I am often asked if I ever relax or take a break…have you ever been asked that question? When I’m asked this question (which is quite often) I wonder what else I should be doing and/or what the person asking me isn’t doing that they have enough time to ask me that question.
I ALWAYS answer yes, but my idea of a break is not always a complete state of rest and relaxation, but a time for me to get other things done that I haven’t had the time to do for me…I also feel better when I am busy than when I have a lot of time on my hands. I believe I inherited my busyness from my Mom—even now in her retirement I have to schedule time to call her, I never know where she is and/or what country she might be in this week or the next. Continue Reading »
Before a prospect becomes a client, I take them through a series of questions. This preliminary financial coaching session is thirty-minutes, complimentary and designed to give prospects a sense of my style and what they can expect from our engagement. It also gives them (and me) a picture of their current financial state, revealing what they have, what they tend to do with what they have, and why – rather than what they think they have, tend do, or why. Finally, this in-take call provides immediate feedback regarding the next steps to take, along with a framework for how best to use our coaching time benchmarked to their goals and budget.
Prospects are always amazed at what they discover about themselves from my seventeen (17) deceivingly simple, closed-ended questions and the conversation they spark. Yet, they don’t always choose to move forward. Continue Reading »
The experience I am about to share is about me wanting to have the last word and be right. It is also about acknowledging my ego while simultaneously setting it aside; a hard discipline to practice!
When it comes to two people communicating, there are actually five “parties” involved. It’s you, the other person, what actually took place, and your respective perceptions of what took place. This is true when the communication goes well, and it is true when it doesn’t. The latter really became evident recently when my feathers were rankled with just nine words said to me via email: “…as I was asking to do…we could have.” Continue Reading »
When most people think of identity theft, it is usually in connection with the stealing of one’s personal information (e.g., social security number, credit card number, passport). But a recent conversation with a friend about what is usually an innocent question brought to mind a different kind of identity theft, one that is perhaps even more insidious.
I’m sure you are familiar with this scenario: You’re at a non-professional social gathering, you meet someone new, and after the initial pleasantries, you are asked, “So, what do you do?” How do you react to this question? Do you embrace or despise it? Is your reaction dependent upon whether you’re working; if you love the work you do; or, if you’re earning what you want to earn? Continue Reading »