End of Year

As 2017 drew to a close were you happy or sad?  Was it a good year or are you glad it is over?  You started the year, as most did, with expectations.  It might have been a change in job, more exercise, stop smoking, lose weight, gain weight, travel, drink less, drink more, meet someone special, etc., etc. But did it happen?

Interestingly, more than likely it didn’t happen.  Why, because most don’t invest in what they think they want.  They think that somehow, it will just happen, much like the claims to lose weight and become a fashion model size 3 without exercising.  Anything you want bad enough comes with strings attached.  The strings are called investment.

If it is a job, you need to invest time in researching and targeting what you want to do and where you want to do it.  If you are determined to lose weight, you need to pay attention to nutrition and physical fitness.  If you really want to quit smoking, get on a plan threw a doctor or pharmacist.  If you have a desire to travel, talk to one of your friends who does and determine where you would like to go.  You needn’t blow your entire budget, start local and see how you like it.

We all make resolutions, whether we will admit it or not, and the true test of how badly we wanted them comes at this time of year when we look back at what we really achieved.  Sometimes we see accomplishments that weren’t on the list that make us proud, and that is wonderful, but if what we really wanted didn’t happen we need to look at our investment in them.

When you look at 2018 and make your list, ask yourself, “what will I commit to, to make this happen?”  That may change what you put on the list.

Wishing everyone an awesome 2018!

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Merry Christmas

T’is the Season, Christmas is in the air, on the air, in the stores, in the traffic, everywhere!

I was asked by my family, “What did I want for Christmas?”  They wanted a list of things they could buy.  I am in the third act of my life so that is a difficult task.  I have too much now and learned a long time ago that giving is much more enjoyable than receiving.

I am also at a stage where, if I want something, I go and get it.  That really upsets the gift giving crowd!  I have sort of returned to childhood where I want it now.

The truth of the matter is the things I would like, can’t be bought.  I would like the egos in charge to take a trip to the moon and leave the rest of us in peace.  You can assign your favourite names to the seats on that spaceship.  I would like cures for the problematic diseases to end the suffering.  I would like to see education and health as a priority instead of an afterthought.

Most of all I would like everyone to look around with gratitude and marvel at the gift of life.  Cherish your family and friends and rejoice at what you have, not what you want.  Treat everyone with kindness and respect, you do not know what they are going through.

I would like to see smiles on everyone’s face as they pass a potential friend.  It’s free and it can change a life!  Merry Christmas to all as a greeting of love no matter who you are, or who you worship.

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‘Me Too’ and more ….

There is a heightened awareness, at least in North America, about those in positions of power thinking it is OK to sexually assault and harass those around them.  The predators who have made the headlines hail from business, the entertainment industry, and politics.  Reaction has been swift in many cases but the damage for many has already been done and it will bring little peace to some.

Yet this is only one form of harassment.  In our schools and in our businesses and organizations, bullying and harassment are commonplace.  Some can deal with it and, while they may be scarred, they survive.  Sadly, in the case of teens, we only hear of the tragic losses by suicide.  We tend to think that the bullying stops when school ends and students move on to either work of further their education but that isn’t the case.

Unless they are stopped, bullies carry on their work into higher education and into the workplace, continuing to disrupt lives.  Bullying can come from many sources including; co-workers, supervisors, employers, or from external sources such as clients, customers, members of the public, or workers from other organizations.

In British Columbia, through WorkSafeBC, we have legislation and regulations designed to curb workplace bullying and harassment and protect the employees.  Employers are required to:

  • Develop a policy statement on bullying and harassment
  • Take steps to prevent or minimize bullying and harassment
  • Develop and implement procedures for workers to report incidents and complaints
  • Develop and implement procedures for dealing with incidents and complaints
  • Inform workers of the policy statement and steps taken to prevent bullying and harassment
  • Train supervisors and workers
  • Annually review the above

Just like the statement, “There are no innocent people in the middle of a riot”, if you see or hear of harassment or bullying and do not act on it, you are furthering the problem.  We are all responsible for each other in the fight to end bullying and harassment.

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Waiting for the light to change at an intersection I was entertained by a murder of crows.  One had what I presume to be food and the others were engaged in wanting what it had.  At one point the crow dropped the object, and it landed in the middle of the intersection.  Opportunity!  The only issue was the changing lights and ensuing traffic!  They tried to out-maneuver one another and every now and then, one would try to pick up the prize only to be overtaken by a vehicle and have to leave.

This reminded me of business.  Opportunity sometimes drops in unexpectedly.  In spite of what some say, opportunity is never lost.  An individual may miss it, but another will take advantage of it.  Like the changing traffic patterns, there will be obstacles that get in the way and others waiting in the wings to pick it up if you don’t hang onto it.

Business, like the crows, can risk too much for the opportunity.  The crow can take high risks and get the prize, but might risk its life in the process.  But, some risk is required in the game of survival.  In business it can be the life of the business that is lost if the risk is too high, or if no risk is taken.  If you hesitate too long, competitors may seize the opportunity and your advantage is lost.

Unfortunately, my light changed so I don’t know which crow claimed the prize.

“Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them.” William Arthur Ward

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Never too Old to Dream!

Working with people who have a business idea they want to bring into reality is extremely rewarding! Some are simple, small and would not create a business large enough in themselves to be a sustainable business but could supplement other work and give them an outlet for their desire to create. Some are complex, big ideas that require financial investment that may be hard to obtain, but it does not stifle the dream.

Although there are those who are simply wanting to create a job, most have had a burning desire to do more than just work for a pay cheque.  These are the ones who have a passion to present a new and different approach to their product or service to their market.  The market may be a community, region, province, country or the world.

Entrepreneurship knows no particular age although it is generally those who have had considerable experience in the workforce.  They have developed the knowledge and experience in a particular occupation or hobby and have the desire to turn it into a business where they get the rewards and have control of the decisions.  I have had clients from their twenties to their eighties realizing their dream.

The dream will only become a reality if there are actions to accompany it.  The action steps require ongoing research to determine if there are sufficient customers or clients in the market area and methodology to reach them with advertising and promotion.  Understanding the market is crucial!  It forms the basis for the business plan.

For those who take the steps, the rewards are many.  Dare to dream, you never know where it might lead!

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The Truth, the Whole Truth

Businesses need to be vigilante in today’s world of Social Media.  There is no accountability for someone to check the validity of the information they are posting.  Incorrect or misleading information posted on a website can do irreparable damage to the business or individual.

If something defamatory has been posted and it is false, no matter how tempted you are, do not respond to it.  Instead, consult a lawyer and a public relations specialist.  Responding the wrong way can escalate the issue, not resolve it.  If the information is correct, but damaging, I would still recommend engaging the services of a public relations specialist.

Those who post or repost articles that are defamatory and have nothing to verify that they are correct need to understand the consequences of their actions.  Once it is posted it is there forever.  I see ones that I know are out-and-out lies being reposted year-after-year on Facebook.  Misinformation can severely damage the reputation of an organization.  If the organization is a charity or not-for-profit, it not only affects the organization but can seriously affect those that are supported by the charity because of reduced public support.

Online, you can find lots of examples of businesses that were hurt by erroneous information streamed on Social Media.  This does not take into account those who have taken their own lives as a result of what has been posted about them.

Before posting or reposting, verify the information and ask yourself, “Would I want this posted about me?”

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Posted in Believe and Succeed Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Clients, Coaching, Communication, Customers, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Employees, Entrepreneurs, FaceBook, Life coaching, LinkedIn, self-employment, Social Media | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Edge

Whether you are a performer, a speaker, an artist, or an entrepreneur, you need the edge.  The edge may be a unique voice, a special message. Unusual approach, or a product or service that is meeting a need that is not currently being met.

What they all share is a need to have a butterfly in the pit of their stomach when they do their thing.  Some call it nervousness, others fear, yet others call it excitement and passion!

Whatever you call it, you need it.  It keeps you on your toes and alert to your audience.  Science says this is part of our psychological ‘fight or flight’ stress response.  Some researchers refer to the stomach as the ‘second brain’.

I have witnessed presenters who were too confident when approaching the audience.  They lost their focus and consequently got lost in their presentation.  The same happens with actors – overconfidence can result in forgotten lines and nuances in the delivery of their part.

Seasoned actors and performers will tell you that they still get that feeling in the gut just before they get start, and that they need it to centre themselves in what they are doing.  You might call it a passion response.

Check with yourself before you do whatever it is you do.  If it is just routine to you, if it doesn’t put a tickle in the gut and inspire you, making you want to do it better, maybe you have lost your edge.

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Posted in Believe and Succeed Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Career professional, Coaching, Communication, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Empowering people, Entrepreneurs, Facilitator, Leadership, Life coaching, Listening, Managing stress | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment